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Author Topic: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine  (Read 1251 times)

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Offline A Canadian Cat

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #45 on: December 16, 2016, 03:25:21 PM »
Which I have not started writing yet.  But I'll get there.

In the mean time I look forward to finding out how well I will do :D

Online Asid

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #46 on: December 16, 2016, 03:32:49 PM »
Which I have not started writing yet.  But I'll get there.

Is it done yet?  :P

I await an update :)


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Offline choppinlt

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #47 on: December 19, 2016, 04:11:42 PM »
In the mean time I look forward to finding out how well I will do :D

LOL  ;D

Offline A Canadian Cat

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2017, 12:23:02 PM »
With vacation winding down I finally have the computer room back and I have kicked off the AAR: http://community.battlefront.com/topic/124269-theatre-of-operations-aar-the-battle-of-st-andre-de-l%E2%80%99epine/

Offline choppinlt

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2017, 01:53:13 PM »
Sounds great! :) I don't have BFC forum access at the moment, and I forgot to check it out last night.  >:( So I need to make sure that I check it out tonight...oh and thanks for doing this Cat!

Offline choppinlt

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #50 on: January 06, 2017, 03:12:10 PM »
Hey @Canadian Cat, I checked out the AAR last night and it is a fantastic start!  ;D This is exactly what we need to help people see the potential depth they can go in to when using TOO with any system. Once we get TOO ready, we can start to create conversion software to help streamline the process of manual battle setup and posting results. And lets not forget the automated link to CM that BFC will support (assuming TOO sells well enough to make it attactive for them to support).

So I have a particular topic to discuss with everyone. I noticed the phase lines on Cat's battle map, and they provide a great visual reference. I believe they were added as "touch" lines, correct @Canadian Cat? It would probably be best to keep the phase lines persistent on the map. The reason is that I don't want this aspect to be "gamed". In other words if someone is able to find a small gap and run a 2-man scout team touching all the phase lines, this does NOT constitute an advance in my definition. My concept of advance is occupation/control of 90% of the territory leading up to a given phase line. In other words a small pocket of troops may have been isolated/bypassed/overrun, and they don't count against forward progress. Slight skirting of a major defensive strongpoint counts for advantageous battlefield position at the tactical level and will likely lead to "advancing", but the action of skirting does not qualify by itself as an "advance". Furthermore, it could hinder the 'active defense' tactic, especially if it ended up being really successful in forcing an overextended attacker in to withdrawal. Does all of this make sense, or do I need to better illustrate what I am talking about?

In summary, I think battlemap phaselines should be peristent to allow for the ebb and flow of battle, and more accurately reflect the end state of a given engagement. Anyone, feel free to comment on this so I can read your thoughts!

Online Asid

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #51 on: January 06, 2017, 03:20:50 PM »
Regarding phase lines

I agree with you Matt. There should be a percentage which constitutes occupation. It is very unrealistic to allow a small pocket of troops etc. to take/hold an area. What if the small pocket of troops were not spotted? They then could take the PL. Not good in my view.

DOW plays a lot of Steel Beasts Pro. We have come across a similar issue. Sometimes we have failed a mission because an extremely small number of enemy forces have remained hidden in an objective. This was despite us having overwhelming numbers on our side. What we do now is pay more attention to the percentages which constitute a victory etc.

Just my thoughts.

Regards


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Offline choppinlt

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #52 on: January 06, 2017, 06:50:11 PM »
Thanks Asid!  :) Agreed, there are so many different ways this could play out. A valid defensive tactic could be to hunker down troops in a secluded area, wait for the main thrust to move ahead, then bring out the hunkered troops to raise havoc. In theory a defender may be able to take control of enough area to nullify/minimize any current gains by the attacker...or at least halt an attacker to counter the threat to their rear. OTOH, if the troops are simply hiding to escape destruction these troops won't negate gains by the attacker (assuming they stay hunkered down in their little area). I am going to assume that there will be pockets of isolated troops from time to time, but they need to effectively occupy say... 22,500m2 (150mx150m) of contiguous ground for it to count against the attacker.

This will be a bit subjective in that players will generally have to agree whether enough organized resistance remains to qualify. The 22,500m2 is meant for player context rather than a specific hard limit. For instance a hidden platoon of Panthers coming out to play poses a VERY different threat level than battered remnants of an infantry platoon.

Taking this a bit further, my initial thoughts are that organized resistance behind the front line is NOT meant to be a 'gotcha' move discovered AFTER a battle. It doesn't feel very realistic to say to a player "you only think you advanced 900m, but since I hold this secluded area it completely nullfies your advance". I think the attacker should be given notice before an engagement ends that the defenders think they have enough organized resistance to prevent advance. This way the attackers can choose to find (or not find) the troops behind their lines (assuming they are still hiding). My first thought is to have the defender make this declaration immediately before either side wishes to end an given engagement. That way the attackers have to take additional time and effort if they choose to address the enemy troops behind their lines without a 'gotcha' moment, and the defenders can opt out of making the declaration if they feel resistance is not worth the loss and just accepting the full advance of the attackers. Does all of this make sense to you guys? Again, feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts.

Offline A Canadian Cat

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #53 on: January 09, 2017, 06:10:51 PM »
Hey @Canadian Cat, I checked out the AAR last night and it is a fantastic start!  ;D This is exactly what we need to help people see the potential depth they can go in to when using TOO with any system. ...

Thank you. It is quite a bit behind and I am frustrated because I decided to use photobucket but their site has been experiencing technical difficulties over the holidays. I have been unable to get access to my pictures after spending time getting them all up there. Grrr. Either they will fix it or I will abandon them but it is slowing me down.

So I have a particular topic to discuss with everyone. I noticed the phase lines on Cat's battle map, and they provide a great visual reference. I believe they were added as "touch" lines, correct @Canadian Cat?

That is correct. I didn't put them there as anything official but for my own reference. So, good to have a fuller discussion.

It would probably be best to keep the phase lines persistent on the map. The reason is that I don't want this aspect to be "gamed". In other words if someone is able to find a small gap and run a 2-man scout team touching all the phase lines, this does NOT constitute an advance in my definition. My concept of advance is occupation/control of 90% of the territory leading up to a given phase line. In other words a small pocket of troops may have been isolated/bypassed/overrun, and they don't count against forward progress. Slight skirting of a major defensive strongpoint counts for advantageous battlefield position at the tactical level and will likely lead to "advancing", but the action of skirting does not qualify by itself as an "advance". Furthermore, it could hinder the 'active defense' tactic, especially if it ended up being really successful in forcing an overextended attacker in to withdrawal. Does all of this make sense, or do I need to better illustrate what I am talking about?

Yes, having them persist would probably be better. At the time I created them I was thinking that these shouldn't be occupy objectives and they really shouldn't but they also shouldn't be touch objectives either. I guess for the time being having them be occupy objectives so they stick around would be better.

Offline A Canadian Cat

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2017, 06:23:48 PM »
On the subject of what should constitute an advance. What you guys have written is valid from the defender's point of view - leaving pockets will make life difficult for the attacker to keep on going.

The flip side though is if as the attacker I encounter a strong defensive position that I can by pass I should be allowed to. If my forces know they are there and take appropriate actions to surround them then that would potentially be a good thing for me. Yes, my advance would be slower but I could force the a cut off enemy force to surrender without the cost of assaulting their positions.

Also small bands of soldiers might actually not really be much of a concern. For example if a battalion is attacking and the bypass a small platoon sized unit with out knowing it there would likely be a sizable reserve force (likely a company) that is not exactly sitting around brewing tea. That small force's window to cause problems and still get away would not be very long. And they would not be free to do as the pleased they would still be facing a company of reserves that they could run into at any moment.

Keep in mind I agree with all your points I just adding some thoughts that such pockets might not really be a big a problem for the attacker. Clearly this has to be resolved and it needs to take a balanced approach that does not just favour one side.

One possibility would be that the defender gets an opportunity to decide what the soon to be surrounded forces should do. Or what the stragglers should do. Should they hold and cause problems (which slows down the attacker or forces them to pull back from the 600m gain they thought they had to only 300m). Should bypassed platoon attempt to pull back or case behind the scenes issues (could be slowing down again or causing casulties to the reserve units).

Also should this be resolved at the tactical level in CM or once the battle is done. Or a combination. I think @asid and @choppinlt have already put forward some ideas that could certainly work.

Offline choppinlt

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #55 on: January 11, 2017, 07:47:45 PM »
The flip side though is if as the attacker I encounter a strong defensive position that I can by pass I should be allowed to. If my forces know they are there and take appropriate actions to surround them then that would potentially be a good thing for me. Yes, my advance would be slower but I could force the a cut off enemy force to surrender without the cost of assaulting their positions.
Agreed! However, we run in to problems with interpretation and transitioning to the op level. TO is not built to allow of contested areas/pockets. It pretty much just shows the FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area), even though the reality is that enemy forces are likely to be entertwined in places. This is why I gave suggestions above about giving players options. Upon battle completion the defender can choose to forgo resisting with their forces in the enemy rear. This keeps the defending forces in tact while the attacker is allowed to retain their full advance without penalty of organized resistance to their rear. OTOH, if the defender doesn't want to give up that easy (and they control enough continguous territory), then it is up to the attacker on what to do. They can simply just bombard the heck out of the defenders, assault, both, or just ignore and sacrifice some of their forward movement due to organized enemy to the rear that controls enough contiguous territory.

Also small bands of soldiers might actually not really be much of a concern. For example if a battalion is attacking and the bypass a small platoon sized unit with out knowing it there would likely be a sizable reserve force (likely a company) that is not exactly sitting around brewing tea. That small force's window to cause problems and still get away would not be very long. And they would not be free to do as the pleased they would still be facing a company of reserves that they could run into at any moment.
Agreed! That is the risk that a commander would take if they allow a force to remain behind, or if they had troops get overrun/isolated.

One possibility would be that the defender gets an opportunity to decide what the soon to be surrounded forces should do. Or what the stragglers should do. Should they hold and cause problems (which slows down the attacker or forces them to pull back from the 600m gain they thought they had to only 300m). Should bypassed platoon attempt to pull back or case behind the scenes issues (could be slowing down again or causing casulties to the reserve units).
Precisely!  ;)

Offline Christian Knudsen

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2017, 01:12:07 AM »
I've been thinking about this a bit, because it is an issue that I think we want to avoid overcomplicating if at all possible.  In my ASL port I used some existing ASL rules for perimeter determination, and grafted some escape rules and a counterattack option for the defender.  So when the engagement ends, a perimeter is determined.  Any attackers/defenders that are "isolated" by the perimeter determination either have to "escape" to friendly lines, or have to be rescued by a counterattack/continuation attack, which must happen within a given (short) time period.  The advance is then averaged based on the perimeter, and that is fed into the Op Layer as an advance distance.  A bit complicated in the execution (it is ASL, after all), but ends up fairly smooth in the Op Layer.

CM is not quite as smooth, because there is no easy way to determine a perimeter.  I see this as needing a bit of gentlemanly agreement between opponents, because there are so many variables.  I think using phase lines is probably the best way, but definitely not touch zones - they would have to be occupy types.  These would have to be every 100-200 meters depending on the depth of the map.  No problem, if the attacker achieves the "500 meter" terrain objective, then you put 500 meters into the Op Layer.  But what happens when the attacker occupies the 500 meter by running a team forward, and the defender then holds the other objectives?

In order for the attacker to dislodge the defender, i.e. count the advance as 500 meters, the attacker must have more forces at the 500 meter point than the defender has behind it, counted as manpower, including vehicle crews.  So if an attacker has managed to insert 50 men to occupy the 500 meter point, but the defender only has 30 men between the 200 and 500 meter point, then the defender has been outflanked/dislodged.  The defender must withdraw/escape, and I suggest that an escape mechanism be built in somewhere.  In this case the attacker records a 500 meter advance.

If the attacker is outnumbered by defenders that are behind them, then they are the ones who are isolated and must escape.  In this case the attacker records a 100 meter advance.

Now there are plenty of situations that will lead to complaints.  "But I've parked 10 King Tigers on a hill at the 700m objective with an FO that can interdict everything for miles around, but the defender has 60 guys broken huddling in a wood at the 200m point!  How am I possibly isolated?!?"  Well here we would either exercise some gentlemanly common sense and give it to the attacker, or just say "them's the rules, it is what it is".   We want to avoid having to include exceptions for every possible variation.  This loses us a bit of fidelity, but keeps us from bogging down completely. 

The good thing about this situation is that it avoids small pockets and tactical bypass in TO completely, which I think is desirable.  It is still totally possible to circumvent and bypass a force; you just have to either defeat the defender and gain freedom of movement, or push forces through where the defender is not, which I think is fairly realistic.

Offline A Canadian Cat

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2017, 02:30:45 PM »
Yeah, that actually sounds like a good starting point. Gaining some experience and tweaking it as needed sounds like a plan.

Offline choppinlt

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2017, 03:48:57 PM »
I've been thinking about this a bit, because it is an issue that I think we want to avoid overcomplicating if at all possible.
Agreed!  :)
In my ASL port I used some existing ASL rules for perimeter determination, and grafted some escape rules and a counterattack option for the defender.  So when the engagement ends, a perimeter is determined.  Any attackers/defenders that are "isolated" by the perimeter determination either have to "escape" to friendly lines, or have to be rescued by a counterattack/continuation attack, which must happen within a given (short) time period.  The advance is then averaged based on the perimeter, and that is fed into the Op Layer as an advance distance.  A bit complicated in the execution (it is ASL, after all), but ends up fairly smooth in the Op Layer.
Sounds cool that you put that in your ASL system! :) And yes, it sounds like it would be smooth in the Op Layer.

CM is not quite as smooth, because there is no easy way to determine a perimeter.  I see this as needing a bit of gentlemanly agreement between opponents, because there are so many variables.  I think using phase lines is probably the best way, but definitely not touch zones - they would have to be occupy types.  These would have to be every 100-200 meters depending on the depth of the map.  No problem, if the attacker achieves the "500 meter" terrain objective, then you put 500 meters into the Op Layer.  But what happens when the attacker occupies the 500 meter by running a team forward, and the defender then holds the other objectives?

In order for the attacker to dislodge the defender, i.e. count the advance as 500 meters, the attacker must have more forces at the 500 meter point than the defender has behind it, counted as manpower, including vehicle crews.  So if an attacker has managed to insert 50 men to occupy the 500 meter point, but the defender only has 30 men between the 200 and 500 meter point, then the defender has been outflanked/dislodged.  The defender must withdraw/escape, and I suggest that an escape mechanism be built in somewhere.  In this case the attacker records a 500 meter advance.

If the attacker is outnumbered by defenders that are behind them, then they are the ones who are isolated and must escape.  In this case the attacker records a 100 meter advance.

Now there are plenty of situations that will lead to complaints.  "But I've parked 10 King Tigers on a hill at the 700m objective with an FO that can interdict everything for miles around, but the defender has 60 guys broken huddling in a wood at the 200m point!  How am I possibly isolated?!?"  Well here we would either exercise some gentlemanly common sense and give it to the attacker, or just say "them's the rules, it is what it is".   We want to avoid having to include exceptions for every possible variation.  This loses us a bit of fidelity, but keeps us from bogging down completely. 

The good thing about this situation is that it avoids small pockets and tactical bypass in TO completely, which I think is desirable.  It is still totally possible to circumvent and bypass a force; you just have to either defeat the defender and gain freedom of movement, or push forces through where the defender is not, which I think is fairly realistic.
I agree 100%, CM is not that easy to truly make those determinations. I believe that no matter what method is chosen it will all come down to gentlemanly agreement regarding final interpretation. I like the theory behind your idea, however I'm concerned that implementation goes against your initial core point of avoiding overcomplication. Specifically, I'm concerned with counting the number of troops...that sounds tedious. It is certainly doable, and it could be one method players could use to help determine limits of advance, which brings me to...

I have another suggestion to measure advance limits. Every 100m of advance would have 3 'occupy' objectives spread out laterally, which roughly splits the battlefield in to 1/3rd's. The objectives would NOT have to be perfectly laid out in a perfect grid. Players would have opportunities to tweak placement of objectives within certain limits (e.g. +/-100m width, and +/-25m depth). In this way the objective stays in its intended zone, but it can be adjusted for various reasons.

Implementation: the attacker must occupy 2 out of 3 objectives per 100m phase line to qualify for advance, period, no exceptions. Furthermore the number of objectives the defender occupies BEHIND the limit of advance is subtracted from the attacker occupied objectives. This would adjust the final advance backwards due to a lack of full control.

Example: imagine a defensive zone 1000m deep and 1000m wide (see below for a diagram). There would be 3 objectives placed per 100m phase line, for a total of 30 objectives. Let us say that the Final End State of a battle shows the attackers advancing 700m, and they took 2 out of 3 objectives at every phase line. The limit of advance is 700m, which means the defenders occupy 6 objectives behind the limit of advance. Subtract 6 objectives from the attacker's objectives (starting at the limit of advance and working backwards) to find a final adjusted limit of advance. If the defender only wants to disrupt behind the lines, OR simply avoid detection, they can do so without taking objectives. If the defender wants to mount a counterattack with those 10 King Tigers hiding, then he may do so and run amok taking objectives away from the attacker.

Furthermore, see first sentence above on implementation. If the defenders hold ANY additional objectives on any of the phase lines in the diagram below, then that creates a new limit of advance due to a lack of the attacker holding 2 of 3 objectives on a given phase line. REMEMBER, we are ONLY talking about the final end state of a given battle. So objectives can ebb and flow over the course of a battle, but what matter is the Final End State of the battle.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 03:40:56 PM by choppinlt »

Offline Christian Knudsen

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Re: Battle of St. Andre de l'Epine
« Reply #59 on: January 13, 2017, 05:52:11 PM »
I don't know if that is any less complicated, but it seems like a good idea. One possible issue is that I think CM limits designers to 8 VLs, although I don't have a rule book handy.

But any solution will have to be a balance between complexity and workability. We need to keep in mind that we definitely want to design for effect here; what matters is that the final result in the op layer makes sense, no matter how we come to that result,