SD2 battle mechanics

Bullman
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SD2 battle mechanics

Postby Bullman » Fri 14 Dec 2018 05:15

Hello,

First off, thanks again for all the fantastic games I have enjoyed from Eugen: started with RUSE, then WALB, WEE, WRD and SDN44. All fantastic games, innovative and as true as I could expect to the historical era/units they protray for the type of games they are. Key is that IrisZoom engine really is a thing of beauty that keeps diving! It is the main reason these games are so good and stand out from virtually all other RTS games. The way it portrays a realistic sense of scale is incredible. The engines allows and incredible amount of battlefield/tactical fidelity and detail (mainly with the incredible line of sight cover and spotting mechanics) while at the same time able to present the strategic picture seamlessly.

Great to hear SD2 is now next in line.

I am mainly interested in what changes (if any) to expect in the actual combat/battlefield mechanics over SDN44. Personally, I don't think there is much that I would even change. I think Eugen have nailed most of what makes the game good in SDN44. The unit details and stats are fine (certainly more would be better than less however), the orders to give units are sufficient and allow enough intelligent control.

How can it be improved? New terrain types? I know there were lots of swamps and wheat/cornfields in the Eastern front, and wooden buildings, so maybe a low grade (light) building as cover? New concealment terrain? Just thinking out loud.

Anyways, be good to hear of any changes.

Regards

Bullman

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Mike
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Re: SD2 battle mechanics

Postby Mike » Sat 15 Dec 2018 03:39

I'm sure we won't hear much of combat details until we get a dev diary on it.

But I'd be interested in corn/wheat fields that provide some cover and stealthiness to infantry and wooden buildings that offer protection from small arms, but crumble to .50 or up, depending on construction.
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Re: SD2 battle mechanics

Postby Bullman » Sat 15 Dec 2018 05:06

Talking about terrain, how could a discussion about likely terrain on the Eastern Front not consider snow and mud (ok, it’s seasonal conditions). Not sure how (or if) it would be implemented (maybe just cosmetically with no effect in combat/movement etc), let alone whether it might only occur on some selected maps.

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Re: SD2 battle mechanics

Postby Drang » Sat 2 Feb 2019 16:38

SD was a massive iterative improvement on RD. At this point, I'd like to see:

Implementation of topographic cover (units automatically using the changes in the landscape as cover)
A bit more soft cover (light woods, cornfields, et al)
Call in delays on air power. Seriously needed still - it and artillery shouldn't really be used as reactive units.

Cheers.

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Re: SD2 battle mechanics

Postby Iris » Sun 3 Feb 2019 21:35

Drang wrote:Call in delays on air power. Seriously needed still - it and artillery shouldn't really be used as reactive units.

Cheers.


I agree completely. Should be some delays to artillery and planes.

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Re: SD2 battle mechanics

Postby mvp7 » Sun 24 Feb 2019 22:31

Drang wrote:...
Call in delays on air power. Seriously needed still - it and artillery shouldn't really be used as reactive units.

Call in delay for aircraft together with longer loitering times would make air combat more interactive. The delay of artillery varied depending on the organization and doctrines. I do agree that off-map artillery should generally have longer delays than it did in SD44 but possibility for pre-calculating fire missions could be interesting.

Here's something that could be interesting for future DLC: Starting from 1943 the Finnish artillery doctrine was very fast and accurate, even when compared to major powers, without needing extensive pre-planning. heavy artillery was used defensively with good effect during the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive, especially during battle of Tali-Ihantala.

Here are some articles on the subject:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of ... %E2%80%939
The ensuing Finnish concentration of artillery fire was the heaviest in the country's military history.[31] It was based on the famed fire correction method of Finnish Artillery General Vilho Petter Nenonen, which enabled easy fire correction and quick changes of targets.[5] At the critical Ihantala sector of the battle, the Finnish defenders managed to concentrate their fire to the extent of smashing the advancing Soviet spearhead.[31] The clever fire control system enabled as many as 21 batteries, totaling some 250 guns, to fire at the same target simultaneously in the battle; the fire controller did not need to be aware of the location of individual batteries to guide their fire, which made quick fire concentration and target switching possible. The Finnish artillery fired altogether over 122,000 rounds of ordnance. This concentration was considered a world record at the time.[5] These fire missions managed to halt and destroy Soviet forces that were assembling at their jumping off points. On thirty occasions the Soviet forces destroyed were larger than battalion size.[10]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vyborg%E2 ... i-Ihantala
http://www.oocities.org/finnmilpge/fmp_kt_41_45.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Correction_Circle


One issue from SD44 that I'd like to see fixed is the use of direct area fire to suppress enemy that is just barely out of shooting range. You would target the ground just few meters short of being in direct-fire range which would quickly cause suppression to the enemy units which could then be destroyed with ease. It was unrealistic and added very frustrating micro-management to the gameplay. A simple fix could be making the area fire range 50 meters shorter than the engagement range.

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Drang
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Re: SD2 battle mechanics

Postby Drang » Wed 27 Feb 2019 19:17

mvp7 wrote:
Drang wrote:...
Call in delays on air power. Seriously needed still - it and artillery shouldn't really be used as reactive units.

Call in delay for aircraft together with longer loitering times would make air combat more interactive. The delay of artillery varied depending on the organization and doctrines. I do agree that off-map artillery should generally have longer delays than it did in SD44 but possibility for pre-calculating fire missions could be interesting.

Here's something that could be interesting for future DLC: Starting from 1943 the Finnish artillery doctrine was very fast and accurate, even when compared to major powers, without needing extensive pre-planning. heavy artillery was used defensively with good effect during the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive, especially during battle of Tali-Ihantala.

Here are some articles on the subject:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of ... %E2%80%939
The ensuing Finnish concentration of artillery fire was the heaviest in the country's military history.[31] It was based on the famed fire correction method of Finnish Artillery General Vilho Petter Nenonen, which enabled easy fire correction and quick changes of targets.[5] At the critical Ihantala sector of the battle, the Finnish defenders managed to concentrate their fire to the extent of smashing the advancing Soviet spearhead.[31] The clever fire control system enabled as many as 21 batteries, totaling some 250 guns, to fire at the same target simultaneously in the battle; the fire controller did not need to be aware of the location of individual batteries to guide their fire, which made quick fire concentration and target switching possible. The Finnish artillery fired altogether over 122,000 rounds of ordnance. This concentration was considered a world record at the time.[5] These fire missions managed to halt and destroy Soviet forces that were assembling at their jumping off points. On thirty occasions the Soviet forces destroyed were larger than battalion size.[10]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vyborg%E2 ... i-Ihantala
http://www.oocities.org/finnmilpge/fmp_kt_41_45.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Correction_Circle


One issue from SD44 that I'd like to see fixed is the use of direct area fire to suppress enemy that is just barely out of shooting range. You would target the ground just few meters short of being in direct-fire range which would quickly cause suppression to the enemy units which could then be destroyed with ease. It was unrealistic and added very frustrating micro-management to the gameplay. A simple fix could be making the area fire range 50 meters shorter than the engagement range.


The only concern I would have is that, given the relative predictability of engagement zones on maps, pre planned fire missions would need to be phase N onwards only or would fuck up the game a la opening napalm strikes

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mvp7
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Re: SD2 battle mechanics

Postby mvp7 » Thu 28 Feb 2019 00:44

Drang wrote:The only concern I would have is that, given the relative predictability of engagement zones on maps, pre planned fire missions would need to be phase N onwards only or would fuck up the game a la opening napalm strikes


I was thinking something like Artillery observers being able to order the fire mission but leave it on hold. After targeting time the barrage could either be activated, or if new target is selected the preparations would be reset. This way artillery could still be used defensively against predictable attacks but less so if the attack comes from unexpected direction.

Another way to make defensive artillery less effective could be adding a couple spotting rounds before the actual barrage which would give the target a bit more time to react.

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Re: SD2 battle mechanics

Postby Drang » Sun 31 Mar 2019 11:05

mvp7 wrote:
Drang wrote:The only concern I would have is that, given the relative predictability of engagement zones on maps, pre planned fire missions would need to be phase N onwards only or would fuck up the game a la opening napalm strikes


I was thinking something like Artillery observers being able to order the fire mission but leave it on hold. After targeting time the barrage could either be activated, or if new target is selected the preparations would be reset. This way artillery could still be used defensively against predictable attacks but less so if the attack comes from unexpected direction.

Another way to make defensive artillery less effective could be adding a couple spotting rounds before the actual barrage which would give the target a bit more time to react.


excellent ideas.

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Re: SD2 battle mechanics

Postby PzAz04Maus » Mon 1 Apr 2019 01:24

Yeah, Panic planes and alarm artillery are back in spades. The infantry fight feels like a bit of a downgrade back to the bad old Wargame feels: Infantry have too much open terrain to cross, not enough microcover to cross it with.

That said, it doesn't seem to feel as bad as wargame, for some reason. My current guess is because reinforcements are plentiful compared to SD44, infantry stealth still seems better than Wargame, more towed pieces to counterbattery.

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I think SD2's phase system was redesigned for a dynamic between early aggression versus late mass. I'm not sure if it's a good switch. On one hand, I like the gameplay choice of choosing to make an early breakthrough or to play it safe. This seems to rhyme with the WWII strategic aesthetic too: Axis focus on early success, Allies focus on the delay and attrition.

However, I liked the design of SD44 attempting to recreate the development of a battle: Skirmish, fight, counterattack. This system lets light or obsolete equipment a chance to shine.

But, SD44's system was flawed. While great for light vehicles, Phase A didn't stay an open skirmish for long - the slow pace of reinforcements meant units for a second or third phase A attack could meet phase B reinforcements - while Phase C was usually padding for phase A or B.

But Phase B was the largest problem: a lot of times, the fight centered around culling the cat herd. Because Eugen's Bocage involved a lot of weird, narrow open lanes, culling the cats became the hardest objective in SD44. The maps were great for big cat sniping, not a lot for Sherman knife fighting.

In phase B, the Allies were saddled with a lot of awkward dilemmas; Shermans/Cromwells required a lot of resources and time to compete, only to be dispersed, ambush poke, support infantry, or lie waiting for most of the match. Furthermore, the Allies risked overspending to force Germans to buy anything but panthers, throwing lots of units to slay 1 cat, or risked overspending on panic planes/artillery to suppress them. There was no dilemma comparable to this on the Axis side, except when German AA was hot garbage.

Of course, I don't think anyone wants to go back to that time.

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In SD2, this isn't as much of a problem. The inclusion of APCR, light forest, more comparable tanks, and the ability to actually mass cheap T-34s makes this dilemma less lopsided. It still is a concern, but it's much more enjoyable than the old 75 Sherman versus King Tiger ridiculousness.

----

If I could design the game perfectly, I would love both the ability to facilitate the early success/late mass dynamic of SD2, but keep the open skirmish/attack/counterattack dynamic SD44 tried to go for, again letting light scouts shine in phase A. But I think the two concepts are mutually exclusive.

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