Training & Reliability

Hi,

i was thinking of some amelioration that could make a difference.

All units gain experience when they succeed in combat, but it should be possible to train units before sending them to the front, even if training makes them gain less experience than real combat.
I think of a building that would “pop” “fake” “disarmed” ennemies units, letting our units shoot at it if ordered (it would be a shame if our units pursue their training if real ennemies would be at range).

My second idea would be to implement reliability. I assume that the lack of precision in infantry do quite the job, but the more docs i read about those supertanks aka tigers & tigerii, the more i realize that in spring:1944, a tigerii won’t ever occur mechanical problems, opposed to the reality where they was really a bad idea to make the tank use it’s motor.
A lua script could make a proportion of tanks to be unmovable, waiting to be repaired by a tow tank like the gersdkfz9, which is currently used as a construction vehivle. I think that it’s ok that some buildings can’t be built since the beginning, but the command cost to build and use those advanced buildings make them used later in a game, so i think that infantry builder should be able to make every building, but my gersdkfz9 needs to repair (or first get them out of ennemy’s range) some tigers on the battlefield.

What do you think about those two ideas?
(and i postponely excuse myself for my english, feel free to correct me. Particularly, i was’nt able to find the actual name of the french “dépanneuse de char”, in spring:1944 is used the term “construction vehicle”)

Training the Infantry would be a good option. But the Reliability is a bad idea because of balancing. The most Tigers especially Tiger II’s were destroyed by planes or naval-guns. And if “Reliability” comes in-game then for all other tanks, too. (So use planes against Tigers)

By the way a Tiger II have its price so if you play as US you should be able to outnumber the enemy easy.

Training would be an interesting new facet, although I’m not sure about implementation. You could either a) build a “training center” that would boost unit experience a given amount for time spent in its radius (which could allow you to hoard a large reserve force in your base and then unleash it for an offensive) or b) have an additional button on the console for barracks and tank/vehicle/arty yards that makes the facility produce experienced units for an increase in cost and time. However, I do like how the current system makes you try and avoid heavy losses and am a little afraid this would lead to players having their front lines composed of “green” troops garnering experience the hard way and being wasted without much thought while an elite force sharpens its bayonets back home.

As for reliability, most of the maps we have are tactical-scale knife fights in any case. Most mechanical casualties were on longer road marches between battlefields, and most of those were also products of inadequate crew training, poor maintenance, and the fact that a lot of the German tank designs were rushed into production without having the kinks ironed out. The Panther was actually the least reliable tank in the German arsenal, largely because in order to shorten production time and conserve materials the front drive units were crude kludge-jobs. The Tiger II, on the other hand, had early issues but most of the bugs were worked out of it by the end of the war; the last Wehrmacht status reports for the panzer arm composed March 15th 1945 listed operational availability for the PzKfw. IV at 62%, Tiger II at 59%, and Panther at 48%. Cost and vulnerability to airstrikes are the big levelers here; I usually play against the AI but I doubt many live opponents would give me the chance to build up my favored company-to-battalion-sized force of Tiger IIs and a like or greater number of Panthers.

A way to implement the training would be to implement the experience at building level : a barrack that had produced 200 soldiers would produce more experienced soldiers than a fresh new barrack. An experienced tank depot would have experienced meccanics and experienced crew instructors, resulting in more experienced tank.

Another way could be to make units gain experience when they shoot, even if they target nothing.

In response to the reliability suggestion, I can only say in passing that it doesn’t appear to serve any positive function for gameplay. We try to balance the demands of realism with gameplay, but when it comes down to details which are both unintuitive and minute, they often are excluded because the majority of players will not find their inclusion beneficial, and indeed, in most cases, they won’t be able to easily grasp the addition. There is a functional limit to the complexity of the simulation on the user end.

Training outside of combat has not been discussed for some time, in fact, I believe we last considered it two years ago. Provided that we balance it with, perhaps, diminishing returns and some low limit, I could see it as part of the game, though I must note that the difference between soldiers of different nations is reflective of, in part, general training level.

Yeah i agree that reliability would’nt be an advantage to the gameplay. I was thinking of that mainly because i did not understood why tigerii was so powerfull in the game, but as i play mostly german, i didn’t realize that a bunch of cheap tanks could manage to beat it down.

I agree too that if training would be implemented, i think it should be in these terms :

New soldier : exp=0 cost=x
New trained soldier : 0<exp<0.50 cost=x+500
Experienced soldier : 0<exp<inf
Experienced trained soldier : 0.50<exp<inf

In current game, if 20 germp40 with 0.50<exp<1.00 fights against 20 germp40 with exp=0, it will last with only 8 exeprienced dead, versus 20 lost.

Actualy, new born infantry is “sacrifiable” infantry. trained infantry would make those units “the ones you assist, support and rescue”.

Other things to worry : i have noticed no limit to infantry gain experience. It’s sometimes surprising that a dugged cannon can be more fragile than a riflemen.

I had another idea to implement this : a button in factory that permit to choose between “no training”, “basic training”, “long training”, that would simply increase the time and cost to make a unit by 15 & 30%, making the unit more or less experienced.

I suppose for now I’m satisfied with the “training” already incorporated into the different factions; on thinking about it I’m still concerned some means of boosting experience before they hit the front lines will lead to most players training a force in their base for the late-game push while sending raw infantry into the grinder on the front lines. Generally when I play I check on my infantry and make note of the experienced ones; if the situation permits sometimes I’ll pull them back to base so to preserve them. Gives me an incentive not to get my troops chopped up from the early game on.

As far as maxix’s comments on evening out the tanks go, it really is mostly about the player who capitalizes on the strengths of the tanks. I play the Germans mostly as well because I come from the “if your opponent doesn’t let you build the biggest, baddest units it’s no darn fun” school of RTS, and it’s obvious I love the Tiger II’s ability to take ridiculous amounts of punishment and dish even more of it back out. That said, I don’t use them like an OTA Krogoth - on my watch those big toys never go anywhere without AA cover and a large screening force of infantry, and they stay well back from the enemy. Without spotter units to pick up targets out to the edge of the 88’s range the Tiger II loses its ability to “kite” enemy units, and at close range it’s slow turret turn speed allows it to be swarmed. Same goes for the Tiger I and IS-2. In general the medium tanks will be the bread and butter of any faction’s armor force; you can build a lot of them in not much time, losses are easier to replace, you’ll feel less reluctant to throw them into a fight, and when you use a 5-to-1 numerical edge to outflank heavies with them you’ll find they typically win.