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MisterCommander

How to stay up out of turret?

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I like to switch between the map and the commander's position unbuttoned, but every time I go from F5 to F1 I have to press Q twice to get up out of the vehicle so that I can see the landscape again.

Is there a way to stay up when I switch back to F1, so that I do not have to keep hitting QQ so much?

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Well, it's a design decision, really. In real life, the proposition to keep the map outside of the hatch is IMO flawed. Might work if you tape your map to a rigid board that is heavy enough not to be blown away by the considerable wind if you're driving at higher velocities, and even then you're likely to lose it as soon as you have to button up (be it those darn tree branches, be it artillery fire, or snipers). It always struck me as a particular outflow of peace-time tactics when people did that. The bigger a map board is, the more convenient it becomes. But then you can't pull it through the hatch with you. Unless you can flex it, but then it's usually just as lightweight as the map, and not very useful. Or you use a small clipboard but then the question is, how much do you want to expose yourself when studying the map.

I will reconsider our approach on the day where

  • computer-controlled snipers will go for exposed vehicle commanders
  • studying the map assumes either complete cover inside the turret, or complete exposure of the commander (and thus the highest chances of getting hit)
  • Your subordinate computer-controlled commanders will follow the example that you set with your own behavior, so that not only you are at risk but all your other vehicle commanders as well
  • You can choose between small clipboard and severe delays (when panning the map as you need to unclip, then unfold, refold, and re-clip your paper map) or a big convenient map that you lose the first time you pass by a tree

Until then I rather err on the side of your protection.

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Ssnake, IDK in other armies, but in my army there is a specific way to fold a map in a way that you have in an aproximate A4 size the área where you are and you can unfold the surronding "squares". So, yes, the map is used a lot when you are unbuttoned, and you never lose it as you grab it permanently with your hand or it is in your pocket.. Granted, not when you are in the middle of a battle, or in a dangerous área, but when you are navigating, aproaching the battlefield area. Even in modern tanks with moving map FFT computers, nothing beats the situational awareness of looking things with your own eyes. And specifically in topography, it is difficult enough to do it in real life in a relatively fast moving vehicle, so as to make it more complicated not being able to see the whole picture.

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I'm not saying that I didn't have my map outside for navigation purposes when commanding my tanks, but that argument doesn't apply to Steel Beasts because, well, your driver is never wrong. Even at night, even with dense fog, you always arrive at the correct designation, and your vehicle position is always correct on the map. Your vehicle orientation is always shown on the tank clock. And you can Lase/Shift+Lase to mark a point on the map (with medium and low realism settings). In other words, you don't need to have the map always before you for the simple purpose of not getting lost. This might be an issue in real life if you lose your GPS and battlefield management system, but Steel Beasts pampers the user in that respect (as a simplifciation of our world model).

 

Steel Beasts's Map Screen is primarily a command interface where you can check the whereabouts of neighboring platoons and combat support assets, reported enemy locations. You issue new commands there. The kind of activities that this map function stands for is the kind of work that tends to absorb your attention, and therefore the design decision was made to let you do it in the relative safety of your turret interior.

My experience as a tank commander was a constant change of going up and down all day, and our UI design reflects that experience.

 

That you're also usually going up to max elevation is for me an indicator that the threat level for an exposed commander isn't yet high enough. There's no recognizable advantage for staying at chin defilate rather than prodly presenting your belly button to the snipers and exploding artillery shells of the world.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Well, it's a design decision, really. In real life, the proposition to keep the map outside of the hatch is IMO flawed. Might work if you tape your map to a rigid board that is heavy enough not to be blown away by the considerable wind if you're driving at higher velocities, and even then you're likely to lose it as soon as you have to button up (be it those darn tree branches, be it artillery fire, or snipers). It always struck me as a particular outflow of peace-time tactics when people did that. The bigger a map board is, the more convenient it becomes. But then you can't pull it through the hatch with you. Unless you can flex it, but then it's usually just as lightweight as the map, and not very useful. Or you use a small clipboard but then the question is, how much do you want to expose yourself when studying the map.

I will reconsider our approach on the day where

  • computer-controlled snipers will go for exposed vehicle commanders
  • studying the map assumes either complete cover inside the turret, or complete exposure of the commander (and thus the highest chances of getting hit)
  • Your subordinate computer-controlled commanders will follow the example that you set with your own behavior, so that not only you are at risk but all your other vehicle commanders as well
  • You can choose between small clipboard and severe delays (when panning the map as you need to unclip, then unfold, refold, and re-clip your paper map) or a big convenient map that you lose the first time you pass by a tree

Until then I rather err on the side of your protection.

I think the overall concept is flawed. There is no way in SB to control units above company level from outside of the map. On the other hand, a company commander can control his units while exposed outside the hatch.

 

The map then becomes a convenient way to emulate radio commands. If there was a way to control units from abovr company level, say for example with command UI similar to Arma and Opf, then having the map stuck to the inside would make perfect sense.

Edited by stormrider_sp

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The other issue is that on some vehicles the "map" actually represents the BMS that is inside the vehicle. So, there is no easy way to do it, other than that we have always understood that the map view is inside the vehicle. 

 

I mean, what are we talking about here -- you have to press Q after you use the map? Yes, that is the negative side of the decision, but we have to have consistency across vehicles, and the best way to do it is by considering that the map view is inside.

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1 hour ago, Volcano said:

I mean, what are we talking about here -- you have to press Q after you use the map? Yes, that is the negative side of the decision, but we have to have consistency across vehicles, and the best way to do it is by considering that the map view is inside.

Could it perhaps be altered so that when a user clicks the "Exit" button on the map screen, after returning to the eye-perspective view, he will then stand up and pan/tilt to wherever he was looking outside the hatch automatically?

 

Personally I happen to think that Ssnake is correct and that, particularly in combat, if I couldn't have my head up looking for things that were about to kill me, be it a sniper, artillery, an enemy tank, or a big branch coming my way, I would much rather be down inside the turret where at least I have some armor to protect me.


However, I would argue that the act of ducking down into the turret to glance at a map board and then popping back up to look in a certain direction might be easier in real life than in a game, almost automatic if you will.

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Hatches are designed to be as small as possible. While I never found standing up and sitting down to be particularly inconvenient in the Leopard 2, I have to acknowledge that the Leo 2's hatch is somewhat bigger than average (I'm looking at you, Pizarro!), and even then it required still a conscious effort. The current solution in Steel Beasts has it all. It just happens that some of you disagree with the design decision that we took. That's okay. We will never be in perfect agreement about all details, that's so unlikely that for all practical matters we can call it "simply impossible".

 

I'm not saying that we will never change this. But changing it will require the introduction of other game mechanics. Convenience in combat must come at a price because combat taken seriously is anything but.

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As a former platoon commander, the way it is modelled currently is perfect.

Being outside to check the map is  no-go.

You are too exposed during a vulnerable action.

And if you want to use the map to navigate while outside the hatch, print it!

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This... "There is no way in SB to control units above company level from outside of the map "

 

true, however,real time commanding you can't also.

 

Its done in most armies in a TOC, the command center/veh....by more than 1 person. ..on a map.

 

This being a SIM, it is working as planed.

 

Thank you ESIM.:)

 

 

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On 12/17/2019 at 10:01 PM, stormrider_sp said:

I think the overall concept is flawed. There is no way in SB to control units above company level from outside of the map. On the other hand, a company commander can control his units while exposed outside the hatch.

 

I might as well join in too as a previous:

 

Vehicle commander

Troop (or Platoon) Leader

Sqn (or Cbt Team / Company) commander and

Unit commander

 

As you go up the chain you spend more and more time looking at a map.

 

As an individual vehicle commander you look at the map at the Tp / Pl O Group to orientate yourself and understand the Orders (since they usually relate to the trace on the map, or in the case of quick radio orders to markings already on the map). Your focus then shifts to manoeuvring the vehicle, giving crew briefs and fire control orders, looking around to ensure you know where the other vehicles are, etc. You regularly get back down inside (drop from say "one Q" in SB terms), I usually did it at the next bound when the risk of being shot at was lower, to check the map (or for the more recent vehicles BMS) to confirm your navigation or to estimate where the enemy is so you can send Contact Reports, Report Lines, etc. back to the Troop Leader.

 

You are commanding and controlling one vehicle and as a rough guide I'd say you spend 80% 3D world, 20% Map (but this is dependent on the situation).

 

As a Troop (Platoon) commander you look at the map at the Sqn / Cbt Team O Group to orientate yourself and understand the Orders (since they usually relate to the trace on the map, or in the case of quick radio orders to markings already on the map). Your focus then shifts to manoeuvring the vehicle, giving crew briefs and fire control orders, looking around to ensure you know where the other vehicles are, etc. You regularly get back down inside (drop from say "one Q" in SB terms) to check the map (or for the more recent vehicles BMS) to confirm your navigation or to estimate where the enemy is so you can send Contact Reports, Report Lines, Call Artillery, Send SITREPs etc. back to the Sqn Commander.

 

In a four vehicle Troop, you are commanding 3 other vehicles and controlling one vehicle (yours) and at a rough guide I'd say you spend 70% 3D world, 30% Map (but this is dependent on the situation). Slightly more map time in this role.

 

As a Squadron (Cbt Team) commander you look at the map at the CO's O Group to orientate yourself and understand the Orders (since they usually relate to the trace on the map, or in the case of quick radio orders to markings already on the map.

 

This is probably where things start to change. You will have your own battle map in a tank suit pocket (covered in plastic, folded, creased and covering in OHP pen scratchings) but there will also be a better (though still not palatial) map similar to a SB one back at the Sqn HQ vehicle.

 

If you happen to be in the HQ then you are spending 100% of the time in the "map view" and commanding your sub units. That is "Call sign 21 move up", not "21* go here", "21A* go there", "21B* go somewhere", 21C* go somewhere else" ... (* where these are vehicles within call sign 21).

 

If you are out "influencing the battle" then you'll still be doing all the individual vehicle commander things (refer above) but the Sqn 2IC or Battle Capt will be managing the Echelon, movement of the HQ, etc.

 

In a four Troop Sqn with a SHQ and an Echelon, you are commanding the four Troop leaders, the Echelon and the SHQ  and controlling one vehicle (yours) and at a rough guide I'd say you spend 50% 3D world, 50% Map (but this is dependent on the situation - e.g. In a Sqn Atk you'd be focused on the real world, since your tank is likely in the Assault).

 

As a Unit (Regt or BG or Bn) commander you look at the map at the BDE COMD's O Group to orientate yourself and understand the Orders (since they usually relate to the trace on the map, or in the case of quick radio orders to markings already on the map).

 

You will have your own battle map in a tank suit pocket (covered in plastic, folded, creased and covering in OHP pen scratchings) but there will also be a series of better (though still not palatial) maps similar to a SB one back at the RHQ in some sort of Command vehicle (M577 or similar).

 

If you happen to be in the HQ then you are spending 100% of the time in the "map view" and commanding your sub units.

 

If you are out "influencing the battle" (without being a LTCOL H Jones type) then you'll still be doing all the individual vehicle commander things (refer above) but the Regt 2IC or BG OPSO will be managing the battle. You will be linking up with the Sqn Commanders or visiting the respective SHQs.

 

In a four Sqn Unit with a RHQ and an Echelon, you are commanding the Sqn Commanders, the Echelon and the SHQ  and controlling one vehicle (yours) and at a rough guide I'd say you spend 50% 3D world, 50% Map (but this is dependent on the situation). However at this level the Regt / Bn / BG CP or TOC is where most of the orders come from and you are battle tracking (via SITREPs or BMS) and by and large letting the SQN Commanders get on with executing your plan.

 

As a Unit CO you issue orders to say 6 people. Trying to do their jobs too and giving orders to say (4 x 6) + 4 + 2 = 30 Troop / Platoon icons is not good practice, trying to do it while fighting your own vehicle as well is doomed.

 

* Caveat - These % can vary with the job (Recon Vs Tk vs Mech, etc.) and the mission.

 

Edited by Gibsonm

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19 hours ago, Gibsonm said:

 

As you go up the chain you spend more and more time looking at a map

Very true statement, and I concur as a former/still serving..

 

Platoon Leader

Company XO / 2IC

Company Commander

Battalion XO / 2IC

Battalion Operations Officer

Brigade Operations Officer

 

Most of my time and attention is now spent on various communication devices (up to 6 at a time, a record!), with several other GPS / PLI devices that would probably make a WW2 veterans' head spin (the amount of information at my station can be overwhelming).

 

BUT

 

There is no map, either digital or analog (or 3d, yes that exists) that can orient me to the terrain like the Mk1 Eyeball, standing in my hatch. Which is why I still carry a map board with me while mounted.

 

I believe the Germans had a phrase for this feeling in combat: "at the tip of my finger" @Grenny?

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On 12/31/2019 at 12:52 PM, Apocalypse 31 said:

BUT

 

There is no map, either digital or analog (or 3d, yes that exists) that can orient me to the terrain like the Mk1 Eyeball, standing in my hatch. Which is why I still carry a map board with me while mounted.

I never said you don't need a map, did I???

 

I just said that as you move up the time you spend referring to it changes.

 

In fact I'm pretty sure I said "looking around to ensure you know where the other vehicles are" and "but this is dependent on the situation - e.g. In a Sqn Atk you'd be focused on the real world, since your tank is likely in the Assault"

 

But as a Cavalry Sqn Commander with a frontage of 20km - looking around hardly tells me the entire picture.

 

* God help protect me from people who can't be bothered to read what I type.

 

Edited by Gibsonm

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7 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

I believe the Germans had a phrase for this feeling in combat: "at the tip of my finger" @Grenny?

You're probably referring to "Fingerspitzengefühl" - a reference to the sensitivity of finger tips, used in a series of interviews with one of the German WW2 officers conducted by the US Army about the conduct of operations. I see it as another instance of what Malcolm Gladwell described in his book "Blink" where very experienced practicioners can process sometimes very subtle hints and make correct decisions without being able to explain why, exactly, they made that decision (except maybe when forced to explain, and even then the question is if memory is still completely accurate). It could be firefighters overhearing a very specific (but subtle) sound that indicates the imminent collapse of a structure, making a snap decision to evacuate.

 

(I experienced the loss of initiative as an almost visceral sensation during a live exercise of the Swedish Army to which I was invited in the town of Linköping, where one party made nice progress and advanced from one crossroads to the next until, at some point, things stalled. I sensed it about 30 seconds after it happened, and indeed it took about ten minutes before things started moving. Had I been a leader on the defender's side, I would have picked that moment for a counterstrike.)

 

So, "Fingerspitzengefühl" maybe is actually best translated as a mix of gut feeling, an inkling, a haunch, or the sensation revealing a convincing mental picture about the enemy's disposition and intent as the basis for your own decision what to do next.

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6 hours ago, Ssnake said:

You're probably referring to "Fingerspitzengefühl"

 

Yes! (I was going to butcher it...)

 

It was a term that was introduced to me at Staff College a few years ago. Love it.

 

 

13 hours ago, Gibsonm said:

God help protect me for people who can't be bothered to read what I type.

Haha. That's cute.

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18 hours ago, Ssnake said:

 

So, "Fingerspitzengefühl" maybe is actually best translated as a mix of gut feeling, an inkling, a haunch, or the sensation revealing a convincing mental picture about the enemy's disposition and intent as the basis for your own decision what to do next.

Also perhaps "Coup d'oeil".  Being able to judge distance at a quick glance.  A valuable skill for a cavalryman or artillerist.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coup_d'œil

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9 hours ago, GaryOwen said:

Also perhaps "Coup d'oeil".  Being able to judge distance at a quick glance.  A valuable skill for a cavalryman or artillerist.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coup_d'œil

"Avoir le coup d'oeil" is not only about distance evaluation, but also the ability to see what others don't see, like a key land feature, a tactical advantage and exploit it, seing an camouflaged eny at distance...

it's more to be smart and good observer than real distance appreciation (even it's also used)

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Froggy said:

It's more to be smart and good observer than real distance appreciation (even it's also used)

Of course.  Perhaps we have a good grasp on the concept.  😉

Edited by GaryOwen
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