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View Full Version : Effectiveness, Rest and the Mega-Scenario



jztemple
03 Dec 08, 09:25
The concept of effectiveness and the loss of it during a scenario is one of the most important features of the Squad Battles series. The effectiveness of weapons is diminished by their use and the effectiveness of men and vehicles are lessened by being in combat. Loss of effectiveness drastically affects the combat ability of a unit, compounded by the loss of effectiveness in both the man and the weapon. Players know that the more a unit is exposed to combat, the lesser it's ability to contribute to victory. Smart players keep units out of the line of fire, set their weapons to hold status, and keep reserves of fresh troops when these actions are possible so as to still have time to win the match.

Some time ago, the concept of Rest was introduced into the game system, as follows:


Rest
There are Rest Parameter Data Values defined for each scenario per side. If a rest value is nonzero, then it is possible for units of that side to recover effectiveness during the scenario. To be eligible for recovery, the unit must not have moved, fired, or assaulted that turn, nor can it have been fired upon. For each turn that a unit is eligible, it can recover an average effectiveness value equal to the rest value. When a unit is eligible for rest, then the effectiveness recovery also applies to all weapons carried by that unit. Vehicles cannot recover effectiveness.

Older games had the Rest function added in their updated game engines, but have the associated parameter data rest factors set to zero for both sides so essentially rest doesn't happen. Rest does affect the latest three games of the series. In Soviet Afghan War, the A side of a scenario has a Rest factor of six, while the B side has a Rest factor of ten (eight in winter). In Winter War, these factors were reduced to five for both sides. And in Spanish Civil War the factor was again reduced to four for each side.

A simple test of Rest in Spanish Civil War [link to scenario (http://sites.google.com/site/jzs-place/jz-s-squad-battles-home-page/%24RestTest.zip?attredirects=0)] showed that each turn a unit or weapon eligible for recovery of Effectiveness via the Rest mechanism gained between one and seven points, affirming an average of four points to be gained each turn.

Is Rest currently effective in the scenarios of these three games? Using Spanish Civil War as an example and assuming a scenario average number of turns equaling fifteen, and also assuming that most scenarios start with the effectiveness of all men and weapons at 100%, is there sufficient time for a unit to lose effectiveness, gain it back and then utilize it's recovered effectiveness in a worthwhile manner? For example, let's say that a unit starts a fifteen turn scenario with both weapon and unit effectiveness at 100%. Five turns later, having been in combat each turn, it's effectiveness for both are down to 80%. To recover back to 100% the unit must not move, fire or assault or be fired upon. Assuming the unit can achieve these, then at turn ten the unit would be back at 100%, but only have five turns left in the match. And this also means that the scenario must provide that units can be pulled from combat for several turns and not adversely affect the chances of the player to win.

Obviously in Winter War and Soviet Afghan War effectiveness is regained at a slightly great rate, but the assumptions above should still hold generally true.

Are there scenarios that reward a player who utilizes the Rest function? I'm not sure there are, but I'd like to hear from folks about this. Does anyone rely on Rest in their planning and execution of a scenario?

Finally, there is the concept of the Mega-scenario. In Squad Battles twelve turns represent approximately an hour and most scenarios never exceed more than two hours and many are much less than this. But suppose you had a scenario that gave you an allotment of, say, eight hours or 96 turns? You could put a unit into combat, pull it back and let it rest for an hour, then reuse it again. This would also (one would imagine) affect a player's sensitivity towards casualties, since actual manpower losses cannot be replaced. Certainly an intriguing concept. Most likely the AI isn't designed to cope with this, but as a PBEM scenario it might be very interesting.

Mike Cox
03 Dec 08, 12:46
In a recent PBEM game of SCW (Casa de Campo III (sic?)), I think I was able to mange ammo relatively well.

My main concern was the 81mm Mortars and the HMG's. They supported a Nationalist advance on the river and had dropped below 75% (some getting closer to 50%-60%). You can pull the mortars back out of LOS. They were getting back into the 90%'s when his reinforcements arrived. Moving them back up to the ridge allowed tem to effectively interdict his significant reinforcements, sealing the win.

The MG's moved forward once they dipped low. I kept them concealed in the woods by the river. Once they had come back up they took their place along the river in the firing line and caused great damage to any unfortunate Republicans trying to relieve the objectives under pressure.

On a side note, playtesters are currently working on 2 mega scenarios for an upcoming title. They will really only be HTH/PBEM as the AI does not really recognize the need/how to deal with effectiveness. The fun factor remains to be seen, but I think they are interesting.

jztemple
03 Dec 08, 13:40
Ooh, upcoming title! Will we get the Chaco War at last? :laugh:

On a related note, will we be seeing updates to the older titles to bring them up to the SCW current status?

Mike Cox
03 Dec 08, 14:06
1. No comment.

2. Yes.

mansito
03 Dec 08, 15:35
Someone can describe this new feature in SCW destroyed terrain and how its work???




Pd. In the screenshots of SB manuals i can see an german soldier of WWI wearing a gas mask, :p In olders manuals also I could see an Spanish nacionalist officer:p


PD. A SB in WWI is a wonderful idea.



Saludos

jztemple
03 Dec 08, 15:53
Cratered hexes (which can already be existing at the start of a scenario or created during the scenario by artillery) now have an additional movement cost and protection value.
Destroyed hexes now have a terrain height value and prevent road movement into them.

Please, no WWI right now. If you want a bunch of infantry charging against trenches while carrying bolt action rifles, you can just play SCW. Something a bit more modern would be appreciated.

mansito
03 Dec 08, 16:16
Please, no WWI right now. If you want a bunch of infantry charging against trenches while carrying bolt action rifles, you can just play SCW. Something a bit more modern would be appreciated.




Maybe Falklands war:clap: lot of infrantry action, few vehicles and some airpower......

TheBigRedOne
03 Dec 08, 16:41
SB: Prehistoric.

Mike Cox
03 Dec 08, 18:29
Well without commenting on what titles might be on the development chalkboard - There is a lot more to WW1 than tweeeet 'Over the top boys! rat-a-tat-tat .....groan....moan...

Middle East, 1914 on both fronts, Rommel's Infantry Attacks!, The Lost Battalion, Teufelhunds, the first Armor attack, the first gas attack, Stosstruppen, infiltration tactics...

cromlechi
04 Dec 08, 07:39
I agree with Mike, WWI would be a weclome addition. I've got Rommels Infantry Attacks Book and there's tons of material in there for many interesting scenarios. The African Theatre WW1 would also be really interesting. Having said that I am a fan of modern conflicts too and top of my wish list would be Squad Battles Chechnya.

mansito
04 Dec 08, 11:08
SB has demostrated to be a superb tactical system in WWII and modern era so (SAW and Nam), IMO WWI its not only trench warfare, there is mountain fighting (Alpine campaings), desert warfare and amphibius landings (Gallipolli), most, jungle warfare in german central Africa and more and more (fights in far east island betwen Japan and Germany). etcetcetc....... testing ground for different weapon and very different armies (Submachineguns, lighmachine guns, chemical warfare, tanks......).In conclusion, excelent playground to good scenerio desingners.



Saludos

FastPhil
04 Dec 08, 12:59
Cratered hexes (which can already be existing at the start of a scenario or created during the scenario by artillery) now have an additional movement cost and protection value.
Destroyed hexes now have a terrain height value and prevent road movement into them.

Please, no WWI right now. If you want a bunch of infantry charging against trenches while carrying bolt action rifles, you can just play SCW. Something a bit more modern would be appreciated.

OK gents here we go! :bandrum:

You wanted modern, you got it. SB:Starship Troopers

The Mobile Infantry vs the skinnies and the bugs :nuts:

TheBigRedOne
04 Dec 08, 13:05
OK gents here we go! :bandrum:

You wanted modern, you got it. SB:Starship Troopers

The Mobile Infantry vs the skinnies and the bugs :nuts:

In space no-one can hear you scream.

rahamy
04 Dec 08, 13:44
I will say SB: WWI is not the next title in line...nor even 2nd or 3rd, but is planned - market permitting.

If all continues as it has for the last 2 years we should have a steady stream of new content for this series for at least the next 3 years, if not more...

Mike Cox
04 Dec 08, 17:35
SB:Starship Troopers

I know you are joking, but it actually sounds kind of fun. SB: Princess Ryan's Space Marines all sorts of Military Sci Fi.....

I'll let you sell it to Rich and JT though.