Combat Advisor

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tonystowe
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#16 Post by tonystowe » Apr 11 2006

I will be checking out the demo tonight; purchasing the game soon.

Eric Larsen
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Using the combat advisor

#17 Post by Eric Larsen » Apr 17 2006

I've given the combat advisor a try and it is somewhat useful. It's rather useful for ranging from an attacking unit to a target, but that supposes that your firing unit is already in range. I've found that for firing missiles it is useful to know the range to target is within the missile's range. However to get firing units in range to fire missiles I find the terrain inspection panel more useful as then I can access the target hex and then range out to find my launch point. When I near the launch point I then use the combat advisor to ensure I'm within range. It's also useful in showing what enemy units are in the hex. The only thing I don't like about targetting is that units change position in the list when I'd rather that units show in the list in a static fashion and then I can run down the list with my various shots.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

tonystowe
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The Demo

#18 Post by tonystowe » Apr 17 2006

I have put the demo through some varying run throughs last week and this weekend and I have to admit that SR2010 is an awesome game. My comments herein are areas that I prefer to more indepth and by no means a slight against the programmers/makers of this great game. I am definitely hooked on this one and can't wait for its arrival.

With that said, I am finding the Combat advisor to be of limited use (the full version and updates may correct these limitations). I agree with Eric's comments and have nothing to add in regards to that.

What I would like to touch on is the short comings in the intelligence gathering assets and Electronic counter measure systems needed to defeat such activities of your neighbors.

The Radar vehicle is a great asset and when set up near the border you can see an enormous amount of intel fairly deep into enemy/neutral territory. However, there isn't a unit available to counter this threat and I feel this is a necessary addition. I believe that One ECM unit, either mounted or dismounted, should be able to counter, by percentage of training, one Radar unit. This counter measure would be two fold. First it would allow me an option to locate enemy/neutral radar units and secondly it would allow me to limit their amount of intel gathering. Additional radar units would affectively overwhelm one ECM unit, but that could be counter by adding more ECM units.

I noticed the EA-6 aircraft platform but it doesn't particularly follow any form of ECM mission.

I was greatly disappointed in the use of the SR-71, U-2 and similar units as their capabilities don't appear to be of any use. The U-2 should have the capability to cross borders if ordered to do so - however the game will stop it from completing the mission every time.

I have more to add to this but time isn't available at the moment.

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Legend
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#19 Post by Legend » Apr 17 2006

So, what's missing from the combat advisor?

Do you ever send in units into combat and then gasp in wonder as they get decimated? What caused it? Have you figured it out? Does it take a while to size up your opponents?

tonystowe
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#20 Post by tonystowe » Apr 17 2006

During peaceful relations the combat advisor (CA) doesn't provide any contribution beyond the distance between the location of the unit selected to the hex highlighted. The information provided in the Combat Advisor during war gives a better idea of what is likely to happen due to the amount of information provided comparing my units against the units located in the highlighted hex. This is too late though, IMO, as the player needs to compile and analyze this information before conducting such an attack. The CA does well in what it provides during war, however it should have a role to play in the pre-war stages to assist in developing a game plan for the coming fights!

LEGEND: Would you verify whether or not the CA takes into consideration experience, time on station (such as one (or more) asset(s) continuously observing one area for 15 days or more), tech level, etc? What else is considered?

I am not suggesting that the game give this valuable information to the player out right, however I am saying that intel before the fight is more useful as it would allow more planning and tactics to be formulated.

With that said and IMO, a more ideal Combat Advisor would provide similar information during the pre-war stages so that I could make an assessment on where to and where not to attack. This intel is obtained from various sources (infantry, SOF, Satellite, Intel Aircraft, UAV's, Mobile Radar, stationary radar, etc) and must be compiled by either the player or a Cabinet Member and shown in the form of an Intel Update Briefing. The briefing would not only cover my intel driven operations, but also any noticable attempts by my neighbors to collect on me. For instance, if an ECM unit was available in the game (in both ground, naval and air platforms) I could check my neighbors intentions. Of course, irregular activity with my radar may indicate the enemy conducting ECM operations as well.

SOF insertions by either helo or ground movement should be allowed. Unless my ground forces are simply refusing orders I could never get these guys to cross the border!

This information would be collected by available assets and presented to the player as one complete Intel Report with a Cabinet Member compiling the information. Or the player can take on the task of analyzing the data and compiling his own conclusions. This report would be delivered at either the beginning (ideally) or the end of each day (or week or whatever the player choses). The report would provide as much detail as available from the assets used. The information provided the assets used would be limited by its experience, tech level, distance to target, and other aspects that we can discuss. The information provided would be hindered by the enemy/neutral countries ability to conduct counter-intel operations, Electronic warfare, etc. which I will touch upon shortly.

An example (excuse the grammar and spelling as the lighting is dim in my office): I Play Colorado in the scenario US North West. I placed a Mobile Radar unit along the border on the road heading north into Cheyenne, Wyoming to conduct radar intel operations. The Mobile radar indicates that four military units are located in the city and more positioned in the outlying airports north of the city. Oddly enough, my terrain information button provides all the intel on enemy units (3x Garrison Inf and 1x 155mm Howitzer units at full strength) without me having to even move an asset that close. Why is the terrain information panel giving me this information?? Anyway, my Mobile radar should be able to see movement into and out of the area (and reported in the Intel Update Briefing the next morning). Upon reading this report I decide to send an F-16, UAV or other acft on a sortie to gather intel (a mission specific selection hopefully) on that area. The F-16 and the mobile Radar report on the next mornings brief to allow a bigger picture of the military buildup vic Cheyenne area. Next I decide to position another Mobile radar two hexes left of the original mobile radar to gain additional intel on Cheyenne as well as order an SOF unit to move to the border region and conduct visual observation. The third morning I would have 2x Mobile Radar's, 1x F-16 and 1x SOF team all collecting on Cheyenne and surrounding area. The Intel Update Briefing on the morning of the fourth day should look drastically different from day one reporting and begin to collaborate the information collected over the scope of the operation.

More later.

Other thoughts:

* Mobile Radar - Information provided would be type (wheel, tank, infantry) of unit encountered, movement into and out of the radar's field of view, etc.

* Infantry units - Information provided would quantities and type of unit (15x tanks) whose information would improve based on experience.

* U-2, SR-71, J-Stars and similar Intel-related aircraft - Information provided would be deeper inside enemy territory than a mobile radar. This information would collaborate the information seen by the infantry and mobile radar. This information would validate the information as correct or incorrect in type or quantity,

*F-16 and other aircraft - Information provided will be used to collaborate information from other assets.

* UAV's - The information provided these assets should again be used to collaborate what was seen by radar or to observe deeper into enemy territory to confirm or deny actions/activities.

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Legend
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#21 Post by Legend » Apr 17 2006

ok, without getting into too much detail... how would a more elaborate combat advisor fit into our game, with other things in consideration?

What would players want to be advised on?
To attack or not to attack?

Where to attack?

What units to use?

When to attack/declare war?

Points of interest such as key industries / base locations?

In the end, what help do you think new players would benefit from seeing and how do you think it could be displayed.

Disclaimer: Any discussion on this or any other subject does not mean it will show up in any form in our game or any future version of our game.

tonystowe
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#22 Post by tonystowe » Apr 17 2006

ok, without getting into too much detail... how would a more elaborate combat advisor fit into our game, with other things in consideration?

It isn't so much as having a more elaborate Combat Advisor as much as it is to utilize the assets protrayed in the game to report through the CA to the player an Intel specific report.

What would players want to be advised on? To attack or not to attack? Where to attack? What units to use? When to attack/declare war? Points of interest such as key industries / base locations? In the end, what help do you think new players would benefit from seeing and how do you think it could be displayed.

The CA, is a source of information (intel related) in both Peace and War DEFCON and would provide the player with as much information as his assets, technology, etc are able to provide. Each asset would add a piece of the intel puzzle to the CA who would then provide an Intel Update Brief each morning to the player. The player, would then have to analyze this information and make his own decision as to who is going to be a belligerent and who isn't, who he needs to take action against and who not to act on. The player makes the decisions that would answer your questions above, however that decision is made from the intel reports delivered each morning from the CA.

The CA during Peace would most likely want to request where the player is interested in focusing his available intel gathering assets. If the player declines input, then the CA takes it upon himself to analyze the current information and deploy the assets according to his understand of the players threat conditions.

The CA during War circumstances would still have to allow the player to provide input, however the CA would be conducting the majority of the analysis and in so much he would direct the majority of the assets and have to defend its choices should the player intend to redirect an asset.

The CA during heightened tensions may provide the player with options as to what might set off the neighbor towards going to war and what approach might best fit the current situation. For example, "the CA reports in his Intel Update Brief that a border incursion has been observed by Wyoming forces into Colorado. The incursion was only 16km (1 hex) into Colorado however it was conducted by possible SOF forces and may be a precursor to hostile activities and a potential violation of current diplomatic agreements between our states." The CA might, in this case, provide two to four options that it feels would counter the incursion while not instigating an all out war.

More tomorrow if possible. This game is great so don't take my comments as negative. My background has involved intel so I like to see these type of units used as close to their capabilities as possible and to be able to make decisions off of their reporting.

Have a good day.

Il Duce
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#23 Post by Il Duce » Apr 17 2006

Probably the most concise, although simplistic, advisory would be simply the calculated probability of success. For instance,

you highlight the unit(s) you would mass on a target hex [assualt, artillery, air, etc], then identify the objective hex. From this you would get an assessment of your probablility of reaching the objective - success being defined as holding the hex through the end of the day.

You would also need a confidence index - which would account for fog of war and other unknowns. The confidence index is basically one way for the advisory to indicate that you have or have-not made proper readiness [i.e. that you do not have the intelligence necessary to consider the attack].

This probablility of success might also indicate the level of contribution from each component - which might indicate that your artillery is overklil but your ground assault forces are insufficient... in quantitative terms.

There might also be an outcome prognosis, that would indicate how your supply would support holding the objective after the attack. THis should be simplisitic [i.e. it would not account for 'transient' supply like trux or airdrops], but would be an assessment of the supply state of the hex/hex complex after the assualt concludes.

"Assault" in this case does not account for multi-phase or multi-point coordinated operations or anything complex. It's just a bunch of forces aimed at a hex in a twenty-four hour period. The target hex may beconsidered to be a central hex and the six adjacent hexes.
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously [but otherwise, they do not worry and are happy].

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