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jztemple
27 Jun 08, 16:48
To avoid spamming this forum too much with the details and results of my testing, I'll just direct you to my Squad Battles Field Testing (http://sites.google.com/site/jzs-place/squad-battles-field-test) site. I'll summarize here and note any changes to the list.

So far I've completed the following tests:

Trip Flares (updated 7/1/08)
Commanded Mines
Wire Cutters (updated 7/1/08)
Fuel Drums
Fuel Drum Part Deux
Guard Dog Testing (updated 7/1/08)
Gas Projector Testing
Alternate Fire Density Test for Leaders (added 7/16/08)


Oddly enough, and oddly is such a understated term for it, I'm having a blast testing these things. I'll post more results but keep it to this thread.

jztemple
27 Jun 08, 18:42
Here are the results of the Fuel Drum testing:
* Detonating a fuel drum blows away all the wire in your hex and the six surrounding ones. Amazingly you survive without a scratch.
* You cannot detonate a fuel drum by shooting at it. That seems just so wrong...
* A fuel drum detonated in the middle of seven barriers will destroy all of them
* Ditto the previous statement for booby traps.
* Detonating one fuel drum in the center of of a circle of six fuel drums.... doesn't affect them at ALL. That is so, so wrong in a Bruce Willis sort of way.
* A four man team can carry four fuel drums. And carrying any number between one and four has no effect on your available MPs or the cost of the terrain you are entering.


And here are the results of the Fuel Drum Part Deux testing:
* Exploding fuel drums cannot hurt the people who set them off. Weird.
* They will seriously damage a friendly unit in the same hex. Whoopsie!
* They will damage a unit, friendly or otherwise, in an adjacent hex.
* Doesn't seem to matter if a unit is prone or upright, effect seems the same.
* They seem to never kill more than one man in an adjacent unit, well, one time it did kill two
* And, sadly, the strength 100 fuel drum was no more effective than a strength one drum. And four strength one drums do a lot more damage than the single strength 100 drum.

Details, screen shots and downloads available from my Squad Battles Field Testing (https://sites.google.com/site/jzs-place/squad-battles-field-test) site.

Joao Lima
28 Jun 08, 18:15
ermmm... question, can you elaborate on:


And, sadly, the strength 100 fuel drum was no more effective than a strength one drum. And four strength one drums do a lot more damage than the single strength 100 drum.

what sort of database values are we talking as 1 and as 100?

Mike Cox
28 Jun 08, 21:30
The fuel drum was a carry over from another title, I'll make some changes to the dat and submit it to Rich for a future patch. (As well as look into these other weapons issues.)

(and are there any official scenarios that use Fuel Drums? I do not want to break one.)

jztemple
28 Jun 08, 22:46
ermmm... question, can you elaborate on:

what sort of database values are we talking as 1 and as 100?

No changes to the database. When I did the OOB I set the strength of one fuel drum as 100, like you would set the number of men in a squad. Before that I had just had each fuel drum unit (counter) have a strength of one.


The fuel drum was a carry over from another title, I'll make some changes to the dat and submit it to Rich for a future patch. (As well as look into these other weapons issues.)

(and are there any official scenarios that use Fuel Drums? I do not want to break one.)

I don't think there are any fuel drums used, but I guess that would be easy to check... I just did a text search and it didn't show up in any other OOBs or SCN files.

While you are poking around, is there some way to find out why my trip flare test failed. Is it broke, or am I just missing something in the implementation?

jztemple
29 Jun 08, 00:39
Here are the results of the guard dog testing:

Guard dogs apparently don't work. In contradiction to the cited rule, dogs as a the detection device do not work out to the extend of their listed range, but only to the visibility range when manually fired. And still they don't work any better than just a human. In fact, I can't even be sure that they have any effect at all.

Perhaps I'm just not using enough dogs, or enough intruders. I'll keep trying to see if I can get this dog to hunt :crosseye:

jztemple
30 Jun 08, 00:14
Here are the results of the gas projector test: (http://sites.google.com/site/jzs-place/squad-battles-field-test/gas-projector-test)

Results:
* The gas launcher system and the effects of gas work as described in the Users Manual. All functions appear to work as advertised.

I had to add a "gas projector" weapon and a "gas, mustard" load to the .dat files and made a new .pdt file as well with non-zero gas spread and clear values. I've attached to that page all the needed files, be sure to back up your weapons.dat and loads.dat files!

Mike Cox
30 Jun 08, 22:28
Here are the results of the guard dog testing:

Guard dogs apparently don't work. In contradiction to the cited rule, dogs as a the detection device do not work out to the extend of their listed range, but only to the visibility range when manually fired. And still they don't work any better than just a human. In fact, I can't even be sure that they have any effect at all.

Perhaps I'm just not using enough dogs, or enough intruders. I'll keep trying to see if I can get this dog to hunt :crosseye:

Are you playing with FOW and are the Muj on ground in concealment terrain? If so a human won't see them but a dog 'fired' in that direction should. The SB team can discuss if they want to give the dogs IR capability to see farther at night.

Mike Cox
30 Jun 08, 22:53
Here are the results of the Fuel Drum testing:
* Detonating a fuel drum blows away all the wire in your hex and the six surrounding ones. Amazingly you survive without a scratch.
* You cannot detonate a fuel drum by shooting at it. That seems just so wrong...
* A fuel drum detonated in the middle of seven barriers will destroy all of them
* Ditto the previous statement for booby traps.
* Detonating one fuel drum in the center of of a circle of six fuel drums.... doesn't affect them at ALL. That is so, so wrong in a Bruce Willis sort of way.
* A four man team can carry four fuel drums. And carrying any number between one and four has no effect on your available MPs or the cost of the terrain you are entering.


And here are the results of the Fuel Drum Part Deux testing:
* Exploding fuel drums cannot hurt the people who set them off. Weird.
* They will seriously damage a friendly unit in the same hex. Whoopsie!
* They will damage a unit, friendly or otherwise, in an adjacent hex.
* Doesn't seem to matter if a unit is prone or upright, effect seems the same.
* They seem to never kill more than one man in an adjacent unit, well, one time it did kill two
* And, sadly, the strength 100 fuel drum was no more effective than a strength one drum. And four strength one drums do a lot more damage than the single strength 100 drum.

Details, screen shots and downloads available from my Squad Battles Field Testing (https://sites.google.com/site/jzs-place/squad-battles-field-test) site.

They are referred to in the manual here:

Remote-Control Demolition Weapons
Demolition weapons with a crew of 0 are fired under remote-control. A non-Pinned, non-Disrupted crew with a valid remote-control device within range must exist for these weapons to be fired. The crew must be from the same organization in the Order of Battle as the demolition weapon. To fire
a remote-control weapon, select it and then right click in the same hex while holding down the Control (Ctrl) key.

I did make a change in my dats for a future patch making it a suicide weapon if you are in the hex when you detonate it. The SB team can discuss it a bit more (effect range seems too big). It would have been nice to flag it as a towed gun to prevent it from being toted around, but we can't prevent you from doing every sort of silly thing. We just would not set up a scenario where that was a possibility. If you want to create SB: Die Harder be my guest.

Mike Cox
30 Jun 08, 22:57
The trip flare had an incorrect load and needed a small fix for a future patch. (L and T flags on the Trip Flare Load)

Mike Cox
30 Jun 08, 22:57
John Tiller will need to look at wire cutters since they do not appear to be working as in the manual.

Mike Cox
30 Jun 08, 23:32
Here are the results of the guard dog testing:

Guard dogs apparently don't work. In contradiction to the cited rule, dogs as a the detection device do not work out to the extend of their listed range, but only to the visibility range when manually fired. And still they don't work any better than just a human. In fact, I can't even be sure that they have any effect at all.

Perhaps I'm just not using enough dogs, or enough intruders. I'll keep trying to see if I can get this dog to hunt :crosseye:

Better written as Guard dogs apparently work as coded, to their visibility range. They work far better than a human (who can sit adjacent to a unit in covered terrain and never see him if he does not move or fire for turns on end) and most certainly have an effect.

The manual however might read better if it said:

A Detection Device is subject to range limitations, but often does not have to have a Line of Sight to the target hex when fired. By default, firing a Detection Device also reveals the hex containing the Detection Device to the enemy.

jztemple
01 Jul 08, 06:50
They are referred to in the manual here:

<snip>

We just would not set up a scenario where that was a possibility. If you want to create SB: Die Harder be my guest.

I hope everyone understands that I'm running these experiments just to poke around in the game system, not to take cheap shots at the developers, testers and support staff. I've worked with software professionally for over thirty years and I know that things will always pop up that look odd if you try to make the software work in ways not intended.

I have an affection for the Squad Battles system since it is so gadget oriented. Most game systems are satisfied with having combat factor A compared with combat factor B and a random number generator consulted. Here, we get a chance to try out so many possibilities that some are bound to come up a little odd. The important thing is that so many of the gadget combinations do work just fine.

jztemple
01 Jul 08, 06:54
John Tiller will need to look at wire cutters since they do not appear to be working as in the manual.

Actually I like the way that wire cutters work now. They are incredibly simple devices and it could be assumed that a unit does have them, the strength being unimportant, as would be the efficiency of the cutters themselves. I'd also like it if carrying a cutter didn't contribute to a unit's encumbrance, since it could be assumed that they are of trivial weight and impedance.

jztemple
01 Jul 08, 07:04
The trip flare had an incorrect load and needed a small fix for a future patch. (L and T flags on the Trip Flare Load)

I made the change using the editor and tested it and the flares work great now. I've updated my web page for this.

jztemple
01 Jul 08, 07:14
Better written as Guard dogs apparently work as coded, to their visibility range. They work far better than a human (who can sit adjacent to a unit in covered terrain and never see him if he does not move or fire for turns on end) and most certainly have an effect.

The manual however might read better if it said:

A Detection Device is subject to range limitations, but often does not have to have a Line of Sight to the target hex when fired. By default, firing a Detection Device also reveals the hex containing the Detection Device to the enemy.

I've updated my Guard Dog page with your comments. I'll try to devise some better tests to illuminate these points.

Ozgur Budak
01 Jul 08, 07:38
I think one point is missing here. The editors in SB are tools for scenario creation. They dont guarantee historical & accurate results entirely as they are only program codes. And the program code has certain limitations. It is scenario designers' intention and skill to use editors for a scenario that will produce accurate results. For instance; a four men squad can carry four fuel drums. Thats because coding sees them as individual weapons and doesnt take their weights into account. It is the "scenario designer" who should take this into account. As a designer I always feel myself responsible for the accurate execution of the scenario. If there are aspects SB coding cannot cover it is my responsibilty to portray the situtaion within coding limits.

In scenario editor, a designer can load dozens of infantry into a kübelwagen. But a good designer would know that limitation and act accordingly. Similar to the fuel drums; just give one drum to four men.

Creating test scearios are very helpful. There are some aspects of the system we didnt use in any scenario. Test scenarios are good way of checking them.

Best

jztemple
01 Jul 08, 09:09
Ozgur, I agree with your point. Part of the reason of what I am doing is that there are some items in the database that aren't used, like the fuel drums, and I was seeing what could be done with them, so that perhaps someone could find a good purpose for them in some scenario. Perhaps someone was thinking of adding fuel drums to some scenario, and with the testing I did he can now understand what will happen if they are added.

I enjoy hypothetical and offbeat scenarios that utilize seldom seen parts of the game engine. Also, and this is one of my quirks, I like scenarios that are like training exercises. I was considering one which would pit a Russian engineering force against a Mujahideen defended area that was fully stocked with all sorts of mines, wire, barriers, lights, trip flares and the odd hidden defender. That's why I started off testing wire cutters.

Now, perhaps I could have those engineering troops arrive by parachute? With mine dogs?

Ozgur Budak
01 Jul 08, 09:15
I enjoy hypothetical and offbeat scenarios that utilize seldom seen parts of the game engine.

I recommend playing "Through the Dark Waters" in the Winter War then. It is the only scenario including naval warfare :)

Mike Cox
01 Jul 08, 10:05
I also meant to add on the guard dog subject a step by step method of seeing correct results:

Playing HTH is the best way to see this (or PBEM with your self). Use the $Heavy Terrain Guard Dog Test.
Turn 1 Move Muj to 5,16
Turn 1 No Soviet Move
Turn 2 Move Muj to 9,15, go to ground
Turn 2 Move Soviet to 12,15
Turn 3 No Muj Move
Turn 3 Soviets should still not see Muj. 'Fire' A Dog at the tree line. The Muj will be exposed.

Now, if IR capability was added to dogs, the Muj in the tree line would not likely by exposed. However, if there was a Muj in the open in the dark, the Dog could see him.

jztemple
01 Jul 08, 11:18
I also meant to add on the guard dog subject a step by step method of seeing correct results:

Playing HTH is the best way to see this (or PBEM with your self). Use the $Heavy Terrain Guard Dog Test.
Turn 1 Move Muj to 5,16
Turn 1 No Soviet Move
Turn 2 Move Muj to 9,15, go to ground
Turn 2 Move Soviet to 12,15
Turn 3 No Muj Move
Turn 3 Soviets should still not see Muj. 'Fire' A Dog at the tree line. The Muj will be exposed.

Now, if IR capability was added to dogs, the Muj in the tree line would not likely by exposed. However, if there was a Muj in the open in the dark, the Dog could see him.

I tested this and it worked great. I think in the first turn you meant the Muj to move to 7,16, as he starts in 5,16. I'll post this to the test page soon.

So conceptually for a scenario designer the more useful implementation of guard dogs might be to "sniff out" non-moving enemy units. I'll have to see if I can make a quick test scenario of this.

I tested the above but with dropping the dogs in the original Soviet start hex, and the moved non-dog equipped units didn't spot the Muj, which confirms the value of the dogs. I also tested using the above steps, but using binoculars, and they worked exactly the same.

Oddly, when I "dropped" the eight strength 10 dog units they became one strength 80 dog unit. Interesting.

I would try out IR capability on the dogs, but I'm afraid they would short out the night vision goggles in their water dishes! :laugh:

rahamy
01 Jul 08, 16:50
I hope everyone understands that I'm running these experiments just to poke around in the game system, not to take cheap shots at the developers, testers and support staff. I've worked with software professionally for over thirty years and I know that things will always pop up that look odd if you try to make the software work in ways not intended.


Certainly, no worries here...just glad to see the activity on the engine. I don't think the series gets as much attention as it deserves.

jztemple
16 Jul 08, 21:49
I've added a new field test, Alternate Fire Density Test for Leaders (https://sites.google.com/site/jzs-place/squad-battles-field-test/alt-fire-density-test). The discussion of this topic is in this thread (http://forums.gamesquad.com/showthread.php?t=67982).