Sean O'Connor wrote:My goal is to try and make the game more realistic by decreasing the casualty rate.
I don't think you can do this without changing the game at a fundamental level. Any firefight (or, more generally, any wargame scenario) between relatively "balanced" forces is going to result in heavy casualties. That's a direct result of balanced situations where both side are determined to fight.
Firefight's casualties occur much faster than in "real life" but that's because, like all wargames, things happen much faster. There's no friction. In Firefight, the moment you take enemy fire from any given feature, you can manoeuvre against it. There's no need to wait around while the point section establishes exactly what it's up against, or while that information is passed to the platoon and then to the company commander or while orders are given.
(Try this. Next time you're playing Firefight and you've just made contact with the enemy, say out loud as if you're giving orders to your men exactly what you want each unit to do. Speak clearly and reasonably slowly - you don't want to be misunderstood! Time yourself.
Two or three minutes, for sure. No way would any wargamer waste that much time doing nothing!).
In Firefight, wounded men remain effective for longer than I think is realistic. This is primarily why Firefight battles tend to produce disproportionate numbers of dead to wounded. The wounded stay and fight 'til they're dead instead of dropping out of the line and moving back to the rear for treatment.
But overall casualty numbers are probably representative , given the balanced nature of the scenario. A Firefight game isn't some minor patrol action. It represents a major operation for the digital soldiers in the player's force.
If you're going to look at tweaking anything, there may be some mileage in looking at the morale thresholds for soldiers being suppressed, routing, surrendering etc. The trouble is that, if you raise the "suppressed" threshold (or the "reluctant to advance" threshold) to something realistic, a typical game will be lengthened considerably, perhaps to the point of boredom. You'd have to adjust rates-of-fire (or ammo loadouts) for sure.
At the moment, the tactical factors do seem to be in balance, even if the game is shorter than it should be and fatal casualties seem excessive.
IMHO, of course.