Author Topic: Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?  (Read 230 times)

JenniferinaMAD

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Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?
« on: 18 May 2017, 17:13:28 »
Is it possible to set a level of Forced Withdrawal for AI vehicles in between the full set of conditions and not using them at all?

In particular, my issue is with how easy it is to 'kill' Princess vehicles whenever FW is in effect through motive crits. (I play AtB campaigns). I like that vehicles get abandoned when things are bad, or there'd never be any salvage ever. But I don't really think they should be abandoned just because the wheels fell off. I think they should keep fighting until some other FW criteria is also met (armour breach, weapon loss, engine hit, maybe turret lock?).

The way I see it, an immobilised Behemoth with a few side armour dings isn't that much less dangerous than a pristine one (even though it is easier to hit), so why is it abandoned immediately?

I do like that motive crits are a thing, and in general prefer the TW rules to most of the TacOps changes. It's just this one issue (that otherwise fine tanks are abandoned) that bothers me.

Are there any options to fine tune this behaviour without changing too much else?


Snimm

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Re: Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?
« Reply #1 on: 19 May 2017, 11:05:29 »
I don't think you can get that specific at this time.
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Kovax

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Re: Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?
« Reply #2 on: 19 May 2017, 11:25:27 »
I've wondered the same thing: should a vehicle be abandoned as soon as it's immobilized, regardless of armor condition?  In my opinion, any vehicle should have a high chance of bailing if it's got less than 5 points of armor on any location or some other critical damage effect.  At that point, any further common Medium Laser or AC/5 hits will go internal, and the crew is likely to be annihilated one way or another, so getting out makes sense.  When you've got 40 points of armor in every location, and are still capable of keeping the enemy at bay with your own big guns, bailing and trusting in the protection of that sturdy starched uniform and a pistol doesn't seem like such a great alternative.

Ideally, having a LOW chance to bail if immobilized (re-checked each turn that the unit takes damage), but increasing drastically as armor is depleted below a certain threshold, would give a more realistic indication of crew morale.  I haven't checked to see if there's an official optional morale check already defined.

Also, I'd love to see some kind of optional threshold where an entire AI force would begin to fall back, rather than as an individual thing for crippled units.  The current options seem to be an all-or-nothing choice between having the force as a whole fight to the last functioning unit, or else abruptly forcing an unrealistic cease-fire at some specific condition.  If I'm "winning big" as a commander, I'm not about to let badly damaged enemy units simply walk, limp, or crawl away if I can help it, otherwise I'm probably going to end up fighting them again after they're repaired.  If I'm losing, I'm (generally) not going to fight to the death, but I'm probably not going to be able to negotiate a cease-fire that's far more valuable to me than to them, so I'm going to have to conduct a fighting retreat, if possible.  In my opinion, the AI should have to make the same decision, and withdraw whatever units it can under fire.

arlith

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Re: Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?
« Reply #3 on: 19 May 2017, 15:25:32 »
There's really two different problems here.  First is, how does the bot handle withdrawing?  Right now, it's simply, "is the unit crippled or not?"  This relies completely upon the forced withdrawal rules in TW.  There's really no additional logic.  So, actually implementing some logic regarding morale and withdrawing for Princess is something that could be done.

Since Princess doesn't really have any withdrawal logic, it relies purely on the in  TW for determining if a unit is crippled.  There may be situations where these rules could use some tweaking, like with vehicles & motive hits.  I think that this is the quickest and easiest way to address the original problem.
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JenniferinaMAD

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Re: Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?
« Reply #4 on: 19 May 2017, 18:06:36 »
It is possible for Princess to change the withdrawal status of a unit, and it is possible to manually set all units to be withdrawing from the get go.

So I would think, it is possible to add an additional check to set multiple units to withdraw during the game. The issue would be adding a trigger, be it with automatic checks or manual function calls for the chat window.

Speaking of which, can princess be adjusted during the game using chat commands? I.e. can its variables be changed like when first adding the bot? Or does some loading/compiling step require that this all be done beforehand?

BlueThing

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Re: Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?
« Reply #5 on: 19 May 2017, 20:01:38 »
I've wondered the same thing: should a vehicle be abandoned as soon as it's immobilized, regardless of armor condition?  In my opinion, any vehicle should have a high chance of bailing if it's got less than 5 points of armor on any location or some other critical damage effect.  At that point, any further common Medium Laser or AC/5 hits will go internal, and the crew is likely to be annihilated one way or another, so getting out makes sense.  When you've got 40 points of armor in every location, and are still capable of keeping the enemy at bay with your own big guns, bailing and trusting in the protection of that sturdy starched uniform and a pistol doesn't seem like such a great alternative.

Ideally, having a LOW chance to bail if immobilized (re-checked each turn that the unit takes damage), but increasing drastically as armor is depleted below a certain threshold, would give a more realistic indication of crew morale.  I haven't checked to see if there's an official optional morale check already defined.

Also, I'd love to see some kind of optional threshold where an entire AI force would begin to fall back, rather than as an individual thing for crippled units.  The current options seem to be an all-or-nothing choice between having the force as a whole fight to the last functioning unit, or else abruptly forcing an unrealistic cease-fire at some specific condition.  If I'm "winning big" as a commander, I'm not about to let badly damaged enemy units simply walk, limp, or crawl away if I can help it, otherwise I'm probably going to end up fighting them again after they're repaired.  If I'm losing, I'm (generally) not going to fight to the death, but I'm probably not going to be able to negotiate a cease-fire that's far more valuable to me than to them, so I'm going to have to conduct a fighting retreat, if possible.  In my opinion, the AI should have to make the same decision, and withdraw whatever units it can under fire.
A couple of things:

1) I really like vehicles being abandoned when they are immobile. That is the correct behavior for the majority of vehicles, since they will be hit by effectively all incoming fire. Very heavily armored vehicles are the exception to this, but by and large I think it is better to assume abandoning than fighting as a default.

2) For campaigns, I've always played 3025 era as chivalric, with the ability to withdraw in exchange for leaving some salvage you might have taken off the field (or might have been destroyed by further combat). From a gameplay perspective, this can be negotiated between rounds. There are exceptions to this (e.g. Wolf's Dragoons versus Kurita), but I consider it the norm. From a winning the war perspective, this may not always be optimal, but from the perspective of units on the ground, the ability to receive quarter is a huge benefit. This is especially true for mercenaries, who can gain valuable salvage and avoid taking more damage.


JenniferinaMAD

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Re: Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?
« Reply #6 on: 20 May 2017, 03:32:24 »
I'm certainly not asking for the current way to be removed, but the option to change it would be nice.

As it is, LBX cannons can far too easily render even medium to light tanks immobile without denting the armour all that much, nevermind anything not tracked, meaning even assault vees with FW on are a special kind of redshirt.

The mech crippling rules also deal less in how imminent their death is and more in how well they can still contribute.

E.g.: It takes two sensor crits to cause a mech to be crippled, when even one sensor crit very likely means your pilot could be killed by the very next SRM. The determining factor isn't that the pilot could die any second, but that the mech can't shoot anymore.

I think vehicle crippling rules should likewise focus more how much of its capabilities the vehicle has lost rather than how likely it is to die in the next volley. 

BLOODWOLF

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Re: Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?
« Reply #7 on: 20 May 2017, 12:34:25 »
Pfarland had this question a while ago (modify princess' behavior/give her commands in MM) and Netzilla explained that you can only give her behavior commands if your on her team.  So if she's the opfor then she is just going to, "You are not my boss."

Kovax

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Re: Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?
« Reply #8 on: 22 May 2017, 14:39:25 »
So far, the only way to handle a situation where the AI side is clearly beaten, and is in the process of being annihilated completely, is to kick the 'bot and replace them with one set on "Withdraw".  That's a manual decision by the player, and it would be a significant improvement, in my opinion, if one could set scenario conditions to set a threshold where that happens, and have it occur automatically.  Units that CAN withdraw will do so, and those that can't will either eject or die trying to stand.  When you've managed to beat up 3 'Mechs to the point where they're "motive kills", or close to it (11+ to stand), I really hate to see the scenario end abruptly and have them carted off by the OPFOR on a truck while my own 'Mechs and vehicles stand there and simply let them go.

A player option to call a cease-fire, which the 'bot might accept or reject based in part on the condition of its own units and on the degree of "legality" of both sides, would be another possible addition, and more in line with keeping with the "chivalry" aspect.  Pirates would typically neither offer nor expect quarter, where House units would (normally) be much more willing to allow their opponent to surrender the field, and take offense if not offered the same civility.

....you do know the underlying purposes behind "chivalry"?  Women and children go first, so if there's an ambush, the men have time to draw weapons and defend the family.  Women walk on the side of the road to block hidden threats, while the men stand toward the middle to present their shielded side to oncoming traffic.  It seems harsh and cruel at first glance, but as long as everyone follows the rules, it makes it pointless to stage an ambush, since all it's going to do is piss off the guys with the weapons.  By putting the weak at risk, it actually made travel safer for everyone.  There were hard practical reasons for doing things which we now consider "polite", and no longer even consider the reasoning behind it.

JenniferinaMAD

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Re: Adjusting Forced Withdrawal for Vees?
« Reply #9 on: 22 May 2017, 16:01:40 »
That doesn't sound like the purpose of chivalry and more like an exploitation of those who follow it as a code.

It's not going to work against say, wolves, or enemies who aren't chivalrous, so chivalrous knights, i.e. those who took seriously their charge to protect the weak, couldn't risk doing it.