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kbluck
04 Mar 03, 13:19
I have some questions/suggestions about artillery.

1. Is it possible to cancel fire missions? If so, I can't figure out how to do it. If not, I think that's a major omission.

2. Volley fire seems to be at the sustained ROF. It would be cool to be able to call for fire at Max ROF for those "extreme" situations. If I remember correctly, 155mm can fire up to 4/min and 120mm mortars can fire up to 16/min for limited times.

3. Shouldn't "splash" be called 5 seconds prior to impact?

4. It would be very helpful if the impact footprint was visible *before* you click to assign a fire mission.

5. I understood that the Paladin system included integrated fire control on the vehicle, and thus individual tubes can fire missions independently of an FDC. In the game, they seem to require FDC support to fire. Also, isn't Paladin capable of direct fire? That would be handy in those unfortunate situations where the enemy has infiltrated into your rear.

6. It would be nice to be able to preplan "rolling" fire, i.e. to specify that subsequent volleys offset a certain angle and distance. Especially useful for attacking enemy in column and for covering your own advancing forces with smoke. Of course, this can be simulated with multiple missions, but that is a bit cumbersome, especially for AMC and TOT missions.

7. It would be nice to set an SOP for automatic displacement after firing missions, i.e. after n missions displace randomly 1000m to a new FP. This would be useful for all units, actually, something like "displace after remaining motionless for 5 minutes."

Thanks,

--- Kevin

Deltapooh
04 Mar 03, 16:01
You can cancel fire missions:

1. Activate Fire Mission Mode

2. Select unit, hierarchies, or group who's mission you want to cancel

3. Place pointer over target grid (should be marked with the "+" with line tracing from the indirect fire unit to the grid location)

4. Click on the the target grid.

Mission will be cancelled.

You do have limited direct fire capability with the Paladin. The .50-cal can't do much. To my knowledge the Paladin can't employ it's main tube in a direct fire role, unless there is some munition I don't know about.

The displacement option is interesting, but that might tie me down. Depending on the time frame and progammed conditions, automatic displacement could be both a blessing and a curse. I mean I wouldn't like to my artillery to move about during a breaching operation. It'll through off my timing.

Why is everyone so automated happy these days. I don't trust the AI's. One of the most difficult, yet enjoyable condition in ATF is the amount of attention you need to pay to what is happening.

kbluck
04 Mar 03, 17:00
Thanks for the tip on cancelling fire missions. I'll amend my request; can't we do that from the FM log, instead of having to remember what battery is shooting what? Speaking of the FM Log, I've noticed that mortar units have the text staggered somehow, pushing the splash time off the right edge. Maybe that is fixed in a later version.

I'm quite certain the Paladin can fire the howitzer in direct fire. They have a telescope for that exact purpose, and it's one of the standard crew tasks. No, they don't have an APDS round or anything like that, but believe me, a direct hit from a 155mm HE round is no love tap even for a tank. Of course, this mode is intended as a desperate last resort, but as far as I can tell, the game doesn't do it at all.

Displacement is an easy issue to ignore in most wargames. Personally, I think this game is also rather lenient on counterbattery fire. The Paladin was designed specifically to disperse and move a lot to avoid such fire; leaving it sit is a luxury we can get away with only if the game fails to punish such lax behavior. CPT Proctor, I understand you're rotating out to NTC; do you O/Cs let BLUFOR batteries just sit and fire for hours without molestation? No, I think not. Yes, it makes the planning task harder, but in real life your artillery isn't going to support your breach at all if it's burning.

On a related note, perhaps fire missions could be assigned to "next available gun/platoon/battery", thus allowing you to preplan fires even when you're not sure which of your leapfrogging batteries might happen be emplaced when the mission rolls around.

As for the AI, I agree that individual control is a lovely thing for gamers who like to fiddle. What it isn't is realistic. The game, as far as I can tell, is intended to be modeling the experience of a task force commander. That CO isn't going to be micromanaging the movement of individual vehicles. He's already got more than enough to worry about. It appears CPT Proctor has tried to model this with his mission mechanism, and it generally works pretty well.

In fact, I find the "instant feedback" of micromanager mode a bit off-putting. I understand why it would be that way in a game, but believe me, in real life an LTC isn't going to be able to sit in his TOC and telepathically know where every last asset is and to tell tank #4 to turn right and shoot at the BMP on the ridge. In "micromanager" mode, you're essentially playing the roles of the entire command chain down to vehicle commanders. Well and good, if that's what you like. However, it would be awesome if there was also a true "TF commander" mode, where you could only assign orders to echelons, there were commo delays, you didn't know exact positions, didn't know about kills immediately, etc. Hell, half the time you don't know exactly where your own friendly forces are and what they're doing, much less the enemy. A real TF CO can't be living in the present - he needs to be thinking ahead, because orders take time to execute. Believe me, a mode like that would make the game a whole different experience.

--- Kevin

Deltapooh
04 Mar 03, 18:31
The Paladin was designed specifically to disperse and move a lot to avoid such fire; leaving it sit is a luxury we can get away with only if the game fails to punish such lax behavior. CPT Proctor, I understand you're rotating out to NTC; do you O/Cs let BLUFOR batteries just sit and fire for hours without molestation? No, I think not. Yes, it makes the planning task harder, but in real life your artillery isn't going to support your breach at all if it's burning.

The enemy still needs to observe your artillery position. Counter-battery radar and visual contact are the only solutions available to the enemy commander. I learned early on in BCT that counter-recon is imperative. I kill all the enemy scouts and make certain the nothing can observe my artillery position. I use the LOS fan to aid me in that effort.

Movement is still important. I noticed the enemy AI seem able to observe your unit's beyond the range indicated by the LOS. I chalk it up to the muzzle flash and sound. Its rarely accurate though.


On a related note, perhaps fire missions could be assigned to "next available gun/platoon/battery", thus allowing you to preplan fires even when you're not sure which of your leapfrogging batteries might happen be emplaced when the mission rolls around.

No a bad ideal.


As for the AI, I agree that individual control is a lovely thing for gamers who like to fiddle. What it isn't is realistic. The game, as far as I can tell, is intended to be modeling the experience of a task force commander. That CO isn't going to be micromanaging the movement of individual vehicles. He's already got more than enough to worry about. It appears CPT Proctor has tried to model this with his mission mechanism, and it generally works pretty well.

In fact, I find the "instant feedback" of micromanager mode a bit off-putting. I understand why it would be that way in a game, but believe me, in real life an LTC isn't going to be able to sit in his TOC and telepathically know where every last asset is and to tell tank #4 to turn right and shoot at the BMP on the ridge. In "micromanager" mode, you're essentially playing the roles of the entire command chain down to vehicle commanders. Well and good, if that's what you like. However, it would be awesome if there was also a true "TF commander" mode, where you could only assign orders to echelons, there were commo delays, you didn't know exact positions, didn't know about kills immediately, etc. Hell, half the time you don't know exactly where your own friendly forces are and what they're doing, much less the enemy. A real TF CO can't be living in the present - he needs to be thinking ahead, because orders take time to execute. Believe me, a mode like that would make the game a whole different experience.

It's impossible to micro-manage in ATF. I only micromanage very important assets. For example, my scouts. I don't use any formation. Each vehicle is given an area to check out. I monitor their activity make changes where appropriate. I also micromanage my attack helo's.

The ability to micromanage continues to evolve in modern warfare. American commanders have a better understanding of their forces than ever before, and that will continue. While all this information risk overwhelming the commander, it's an acceptable risk.

In the game, I usually fight the battle at company level. So I don't really see each vehicle or unit in the fight. As you correctly stated, the commander must not fight the current battle the next two. I always keep an eye open for opportunities. I spend alot of time taking and comparing screenshots to find a better opportunity. I function in the battle continuum. That means I don't stop thinking or searching until the mission is complete.