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Firing arcs

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:04 pm
by Guest
Would it be cool if there would be firing arcs like in Combat Mission ?

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:49 pm
by Quitch
Care to explain the mechanic for those of us not familiar with the game?

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:58 pm
by Guest
My native language aint english so it's quite hard for me to explain but I try

In Combat Mission you can draw an firing arc from point A to B with your mouse.
You could controll the fire of a squad better like that.
In real life the infantry squads have firing arcs also , it would be more realistic

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 4:02 pm
by Garnier
do you mean telling a squad to shoot at an area whenever they see enemy troops or muzzle flashes? like drawing a line for them to watch and shoot at.

That would be awesome.

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:22 pm
by Guest
Yes something like that , it seems a bit silly when your troops fire where ever they want :)

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:53 pm
by Quitch
I agree this area could use a little more control. Right now they seem to open fire at about half their range, but there's no real way to stop troops firing either.

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:56 pm
by Sean OConnor
But how annoyed would you be if you told your troops that their firing arc was over to the left and then a fairly good target appeared on the right and they ignored it?

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:58 pm
by Quitch
Maybe not that, but orders like "Wait till point blank" or "Wait for rear armour" would be brilliant for bazooka teams and other specialist units, or units who you want to ambush other units.

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:44 pm
by TheKangaroo
Or, to keep things simple, a 'hold fire'-checkbox.

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:58 pm
by Sean OConnor
Again, I think you could be really annoyed if you tell your troops to hold fire and then the enemy walks right in front of them and they don't shoot. I don't want to make the game too much about micro-managing your squads. That's what the leader of a squad should be doing, not the company commander.

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:06 pm
by Fighter_Ace
I think Sean has a point. I can't even begin to imagine what patience and reflexive work it would take to keep track of who is and who isn't firing. Although it would be nice to tell you men to maybe restrain from firing until fired upon dangerously close or until and enemy becomes visible.

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:03 pm
by Quitch
Sean O'Connor wrote:Again, I think you could be really annoyed if you tell your troops to hold fire and then the enemy walks right in front of them and they don't shoot. I don't want to make the game too much about micro-managing your squads. That's what the leader of a squad should be doing, not the company commander.

But if you want that then the AI needs to be smarter in firing and not firing.

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:34 pm
by Paolo Sforza
Isn't this a 'point of view' (POV) issue? Always an issue with any kind of simulation or game. By that, I mean who is the player actually playing? Each sections leader, tank commander or gun crew leader? For me, I'd rather the AI handles on the spot decisions, while me - as company/platoon - commander tries to get the right units in the right place at the right time based upon information being relayed back by the unit leaders. I'm not sure I even want to know how many bullets each soldier has; but I do want to know when a unit is running low on ammo or why a unit isn't in the position I ordered (ie. pinned down by heavy fire, tanks spotted, etc.) The danger is that if the clarity of the game's POV is lost then we end up with an unrealistic micro-managed battle run by an all-seeing commander. I think we should keep the fog of war and trust in our small unit commanders (the AI). Of course, the AI will improve over time, but shouldn't pass an inappropriate level of decision making 'up the chain of command'.

This is a really interesting area and fundamental to game design. I'd be very interested to know what others think.


Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:02 pm
by Andy Brown
Spot on, Paolo.

For me, Firefight is an excellent reproduction of company level command, which is all about applying superior amounts of combat power at a decisive point.

I'm happy that the force options are being expanded. I'm happy that the AI is being improved. Better graphics is always good. I would like to see some other improvements which would enable the firefight player to more accurately do things that a WW2 company-level commander could do (for example, I would like to be able to specify the number of fire-for-effect rounds for each HE mission and I would like to be able to "Repeat" arty missions without having to go through the adjustment procedure all over again).

But, as a company commander, Firefight is all about troops to task eg "I want to take THAT hill and I'm going to use three squads to do it with everthing else providing direct fire support from HERE". It shouldn't be about micromanaging a squad-leader's fire control orders.

The great thing about Firefight is its simplicity. It's one of the few real-time games that a old joker like me can keep up with. Having done a few company attacks in my time, I reckon Firefight simulates the role of a company commander pretty well and it's tempo is pretty good.

Generally, the squads and weapons behave reasonably well. You send them someplace and if they see something, they shoot it. They may not shoot it perfectly but that's not what the game is about. If one of your squads is in trouble, the solution is to send another squad to help it out, not to fanny around with arcs of fire. The game provides you with all the tools you need to give units reasonable battlefield tasks "Go HERE, face THAT WAY, shoot bad guys".

There's no need for fire/hold fire options. The game is about combat, not recon. You may want the enemy to get a bit closer before engaging them. You may want to say, for example, "Sgt Smith, don't open fire until the enemy cross that road". OK, you can't do that, but the enemy can't either so it's not a disavantage.

The strength of Firefight is its elegant simplicity. Turning thought into action is about as simple as any game will ever be able to make it. A few compromises have been necessary to get it that way but none of those trade-offs significantly affect decisions made at the player's company command level.

The ideal solution to the engagement-range problem would be for each unit to have an "open fire" routine where the AI squad leader/weapon commander considers things like weapon effective range, the location and type of any other enemy, how scared they are etc as well as any instructions given to them by the player-commander. Simply allowing the player to set a specific "open fire" range is not always "realistic" because, under battlefield conditions, a squad leader may not always obey such orders or interprete them correctly.

At the moment, in my opinion, the game's realism/playability trade off is pretty good and I wouldn't want to see any micromanagement-type changes at this stage.


Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:04 pm
by Andy
something thats been bugging me for a while now is that specific squads (HMG, flamethrowers especially, mortars, FGs etc) dont go where you ask them to - if i want a flamethrower under a tree on the objective and he sits his arse down 2 trees away and hiding behind it i get annoyed. with larger infantry squads this is fine, i dont mind them finding their own cover and spreading themselves out, but with what are effectively single point squads it would be nice for them to go exactly where you told them - if you want tem to find cover, put them behind a wall, if you want them 3 metres left of a tree, thats where theyll go. this might be addressed in 3.99 but im stil waitin around for 4.0, that and my internets down for the much foreseeable future and i cant d/l stuff at college :cry:
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