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My first released scenario for testing, "Roadside Assistance"


Poofydoodle
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Hi guys my first mission has been put on hiatus a little bit as I kind of hit a bit of a wall with it and I started working on another idea I had which while still not finished I think is at the point I can ask for a bit of feedback from playtesting to adjust difficulty and stuff, the mission is intended to be quite challenging and fun to replay.

 

I havent wrote a briefing yet so please read over the rundown here.

 

The mission is set in Africa, probably not modern day maybe late 90s, during a conflict between BLU, an African country with primarily older European equipment and RED an African country with primarily older Soviet equipment with some scattered equipment from other sources, along with various technicals there are also reports of what are suspected to be Eastern European mercenarys who are much better equipped and trained than the government forces. Both sides have friendly insurgents assisting them.

 

The mission is as follows,

During an ambush and skirmish a short time ago friendly insurgent forces disabled a command vehicle which was abandoned and seemed to be fully intact. We have a rough grid reference of the sector where the vehicle is. Your mission is to secure the area around the vehicle and to give the special forces team in the Pinzgauer time to gather any intelligence from the vehicle, set charges and escape. 

 

We are extremely limited in what vehicles can cross the river to the south due to the weak bridges. Once you cross the bridge be aware of possible enemy insurgent activity. Your are in command of a Scimitar and a pinzgauer carrying the sf team. There is a second scimitar at the base you can leave or take with you, im unsure of the difficulty yet by more skilled players if 2 vehicles will be needed or not.

 

The target can currently spawn at 4 locations, a first randomized initial force will try to secure the area for a second randomized group with an arv to tow the command vehicle and then both forces will leave to the south. If the vehicle is spotted being towed before you arrive. At this point you can try to interdict the convoy to stop the recovery of the vehicle if you feel you have the ability.

 

There is an active insurgent and enemy prescence area using mostly light vehicles such as technicals to patrol the area and follow the major roads north, we have setup our checkpoint to try to stop this but we have had causes of them trying to run the checkpoint so be aware.

 

Secure the objective by keeping friendly infantry within 50m of the command vehicle for 2 minutes, at which point you will get a message saying the infantry are done and have placed charges pn a 3 minute timer, this is your queue to begin pulling out as you see fit.

 

Points of interest-

The enemy forces are randomized from a set of different setups.

 

There are random ambushes set up to spawn rarely and also maybe suspicious civillian vehicles in places that may end up being just that.

 

The enemy technicals and brdms are semi randomized using spawn and drain points they are mostly transiting through the area to try to head north they will engage you though.

 

There are random unarmed helicopters passing through the area doing observation.

 

You have supply and repair vehicles at base but the repair m113 cannot cross the bridges or river so you are on your own if you cannot return to your side of the river I dont know if I will or can change this.

 

Things I am probabaly going to adjust or change:

 

I am not very happy with the starting checkpoint I may have to make a custom map for this mission to make it nicer and work better.

 

The enemies routes to secure the area are pretty basic and I imagine can be improved. Also i imagine the enemy forces will need to be fine tuned for difficulty and fun.

 

I am not happy with the spawn point helicopters always flying very low so I will probably have to manually create some random scout choppers buzzing around in a more realistic way.

 

I would like to add more rare random ambush points/suspicious vehicles.

 

I would like to add more than 4 possible objective points and possobly more variation in the enemy forces.

 

I will probably have to adjust the random patrols in the technicals with at weapons and brdm2s.

 

Im not sure if a timer is the best way for the charges to be detonated but i wanted it to have a dead mans switch so to speak.

 

Please give it a try and let me know what you think and how it can be improved and if the player force should be one or two tanks. I know its not a super realistic mission but I think it can be quite fun and replayable with lots of different things to encounter and being challenging but not unfair.

sbprope64cm.exe Screenshot 2021.11.13 - 15.37.59.81.png

recon.sce

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Also I forgot to mention.

 

The north side of the river is pretty much gaurenteed safe until you get close to crossing so feel free to set a route and use time compression to speed things up. Later in the mission however there may be a technical or two passing through there taking one of the roads to an offmap area. Also i may make the mission start at very early dawn to give the scimitars a bit of an advantage witn their night vision optics

 

Edited by Poofydoodle
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1 hour ago, Gibsonm said:

Well done for putting your toe in the water.

 

Many want to consume other people's work, but not all are willing to make the effort to generate scenarios.

 

I'm assuming its designed for single player?

Ive tested it in single player but I see no reason why It wouldnt work in co op with a small group to command the scimitars and the infantry and infact id like it to work for that ideally.

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I just realized there is a bug in the uploaded version, two of the possible arv convoys wont start the process of towing the vehicle and leaving this has been fixed and will be in the next upload.

 

Also it seems like the btr50s are so slow the arv convoy can catch up to the secure team so i will have to modify or remove that team so if you notice that I am working on it.

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Its not a super huge deal but  I did make some difficulty adjustments too, tbe squad of 3 bmp1s i think will be too much to handle if they get to the point first with their atgms, I reduced it to 2 bmp1s and a truck. I gave the btr50 group a sagger team to help support their recoiless rifle technical.

 

Ill try to fix the problem with the btr50s being too slow and make some other adjustments and upload a more finalized playtest version tonight. I mainly want feedback from some more experienced players in terms of the mission being too hard or not. My goal is something challenging but still fun to replay due to the random features. 😄

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Hi guys here is the next playtest of the scenario if you can please give it a runthrough.

 

I fixed the bugs from the previous post and made some adjustments to the enemy forces etc. I added win conditions for both sides, blu wins by securing the objective and then having any player controlled unit make it back to the starting area.

 

Red wins by towing the objective to any of the exit points at the edge of the map to the south.

 

I added some basic scoring but it is my first time doing it so I dont think its configured very well, there is a reward for securing the objective and blowing the charges, rewards for each enemy unit killed, and a penalty for each minute red has the vehicle towed by their ARV, I also want to add some bonuses for player performance once I figure those out 

 

I still need to adjust the objective where if the btr50 force spawns the recovery convoy can catch up to them.

 

I need to improve the blu starting area, the ai can get confused leaving to the south and cause major delays so please manually guide the vehicles passed the defensive trenches etc if you are leaving to the south to avoid wasting precious time.

 

I think I am going to relocate the possible objective spawn that is most eastward, it takes too long to get there it seems compared to the enemy and its easy for them to get too dug in or ahead of the player.

 

I am going to replace the auto spawning recon helicopters with some on manual random routes at some point as they look a little silly blazing along nap of the earth and there is no way to change it.

 

Please gjve me any feedback on ways the mission can be improved, if you think it is too hard or easy etc, things youd like to see. I think the mercenary BMD2 spawn may need to be given better ammo as it was just bouncing off at 1200m or so but it may be much more threatening at closer range and it does have an atgm so I dont want to get overeager.

roadside_assistance.sce

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Hi guys, I have been hard at work on the scenario every day trying to get it to a point I am happy considering it a final release, much has been changed since the version above, the east most point moved, forces adjusted, new potential ambushes added etc, I removed the recoiless rifle technicals that could sometimes spawn in spots defending the bridges as they could actually destroy the bridge making the mission basically impossible to finish potentially.

One of the things ive started changing is reds routes, adding them 2 different routes in they can pick at random, the initial waypoints were fine for a proof of concept and they worked ok if red got to the location first and  could get into a defensive position but if the player Scimitars got there first to hold them off while the infantry did their job it could create situations of units kind of just moving forward to their deaths or infantry just hanging out and waiting to be shot, where this could be the most obvious is on the westmost objective spawn, Blu starts close to it and there is a large valley the Scimitars can park hull down on and have a very long wide field of view to a long road red has to travel down with initial visibility starting around 2km. This could lead to the units basically marching to their death or just sitting still not wanting to advance but not wanting to engage either, ironically besides the BMP-1s with saggers the only units to really engage were the heavy machine guns or 14.5 when they got within a certain range, but the VAC IFV with its autocannon or PT-76s main guns wont even try to fire at all it seems until they get very close.

Last night I created a series of complicated waypoints for red to advance using the valleys to the south as cover. At each point they peak out there is an engage waypoint, they are set to embark from the first 2 100% of the time at high speed, they have retreat waypoints at each one and can retreat back up the waypoint too for the same reasons. (Less than 50% of AFVs remaining, under fire, at a 75% chance). From the retreat waypoint they have waypoints saying to move forward up to the engage point again if they are not under fire. at the final waypoint which is quite close they are set to only embark passed it if they arent taking fire as from then on would start the movement to get in and capture the objective area. Last night I did have somewhat better results but the units still didnt perform as well as I hoped, I did have the group with the ARV get picked  off and have the ARV pop smoke and retreat but only to the last engage waypoint where he decided to make a push again so I adjusted it more until what I have now.

I ran a quick test of the current setup earlier today and got at first group a BMP-1, BTR, and a PT-76, the bmp1 picked off one of the Scimitars as they advanced but as they got picked off they didnt really try any suppressive fire or to engage us but they didnt really fall back either, the second unit with an ARV, VAC IFV with the 20mm cannon, and a technical with a Dshk showed up soon after. At one point a lucky shot killed the driver and gunner of the vac right around the edge of its 1500m range causing the ARV and the Technical to just sort of hang out, not continue to try to push forward, but not fall back either, and not really fire at me and when they do shoot for whatever reason the heavy machine guns are the only ones to even try. Once I popped back behind the hill and stopped engaging they did start moving up through cover again.

Im just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to build this, I dont really want the units to stop unless they are trying to engage or do something, it seems like if they dont want to push forward they should either be engaging or falling back. I dont want to give them tons of ATGMs because they would be overpowered for some of the other objective spawns. Is there a way to get the PT76s, BMP1s, and autocannon armed vehicles to engage farther out to at least try to suppress? Should I setup waypoints that if they spot enemy while advancing here they turn on their smoke generators and start a high speed assault until they are within range? Do I need to give the ai some kind of artillery smoke or he that would motivate them to continue pushing?

Ideally if the two scimitars are at the top of this hill and start taking long range pot shots at these enemy units they will either continue to push forward until they are within range and/or engage, open fire passed the effective range with some sort of effort to suppress, or fall back to safety to regroup I really dont understand parking and sitting and the AI doens't want to fire their weapon, doesn't want to close, but also doesn't feel threatened enough to retreat or hide.

Screenshot below to give you a basic idea of what im working with and what I have setup now. Im guessing I might have to use assault waypoints and smoke generators and have them push hard and fast until they are within range of where the pt76s and 30mms want to shoot and have them go on this path if they spot an enemy or start taking fire while marching down the road.

sbprope64cm.exe Screenshot 2021.11.21 - 15.34.43.52.png

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50 minutes ago, Poofydoodle said:

I removed the recoiless rifle technicals that could sometimes spawn in spots defending the bridges as they could actually destroy the bridge making the mission basically impossible to finish potentially.

A stronger bridge would withstand the blast; you'd need to create a Delta map of the one that you're using and then swap the bridge for a different model; worth mentioning in this context is the Map Object Model Catalog which is part of the Steel Beasts installation (in the Documents folder). It will provide you with a list of the bridges, their object number, and their MLC rating. The higher the MLC rating, the better the bridge is protected against blast damage.

 

Another possible fallback option would be to attach a bridgelayer tank to the Blue task force. If a span of the bridge collapses, the player could lay the bridge spanning the gap (all our bridges have their pillars at under the bridgelayer span limits). That way the player could deal with the unfortunate turn of events.

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As to your questions about the behavior of your red forces,

 

Units on Engage routes will simply assume hull-down positions until either they can defeat the enemy or the enemy breaks contact (and if their armament can't cause at least damage to the advancing enemy (and the given range), well, they won't even open fire but wait. It's what they do (see standard behaviors in Chapter 8 of the user's manual).

 

You could change those routes to Assault tactics, possibly with embark conditions that they won't advance if faced with Blue in too great strength, or in certain places (regions). Makes scripting more even complicated, unfortunately.

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Hi! Thanks again for the help guys, I've been redoing all the waypoints making them shorter with more points, retreat conditions, multiple random routes etc and am much much happier with the ai and getting close to releasing a proper v1 release of the mission.

Thank you for the help with the bridges but actually I've kind of ended up writing the flimsy bridges into the "story" of the mission so to speak now so I think im going to keep them as is. Initially the plan was to have blu use their own arv to get the enemy vehicle back to their side of the river but that failed when I discovered it couldnt cross the bridges, and then I found out there wasnt an easy way to use a bridge later or set up a pre made bridge for the way the rivers are, so I decided to adjust the mission and I think it is better this way. It also so happens that the Scimitars are light enough to cross and it sort of establishes a reason why the blu attacking force is quite lightweight and why red hasnt had a major offensive across the river yet without having to put a bunch of defenses along it.

 

I read over chapter 8 again and redid the routes for red at that location and am much happier with them still not totally 100% perfect but much much better. Now if they don't see enemy upon entering the valley they will continue as normal in the convoy, if they start taking fire they will retreat back up the route (i wish they were a little more eager to break formation here or I could specify a formation just for the retreat) until they get to the previous waypoint and go into the canyons for cover. If they enter the area and see enemies or take fire they will instantly go to one of the combat routes, either assaulting up through the canyons until they are at the last one at which point they switch to engage and try to get closer and then continue their routes to secure and recover the command vehicle. I am not 100% happy with this route yet as sometimes the ai behavior is a little goofy or they decide to go up over the massive hills to catch up, or they will go into the open field, turn on their smoke generators if available, and start a full speed assault until they get close enough and then start an engage route. Ironically a group of 3 BTR-70s and a recoiless rifle technical put up one of the best fights yet against the two scimitars up in the hull down position dodging fire at high speed until they got close enough to open up with their 14.5s and as they got picked off gradually they did a fair bit of damage and eventually the arv convoy with the VAC caught up and also got close enough to start engaging. Of course all of this has retreat waypoints and stuff setup although I feel like I am still learning them a bit and dont know if I'm using them the best. But it seems using assault to get close and then switching to engage with the waypoints set to defend is the way to go. 

I will have to tune the approach up the canyons for cover a little more, maybe make them only advance up one or two of the canyons before going for an assault into effective range. But overall I am much happier with the ai now doing a test this morning, its nice to see them doing things like turning on smoke generators and fleeing, however I have noticed the ARV seems to like to go to the retreat waypoints right away and hang out after I redid these routes, im not sure if they are hardcoded to do this or I changed something as im not sure if they did this before but im not sure if I want to have embark conditions on all the retreat waypoints and interfere with the normal ai but I would also like the arvs to try to get the vehicle as long as they arent under overwhelming fire or odds.

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Hi guys! Im releasing another test version of the scenario, I think this will be the last public test before I do its first proper public release at which point I will start a new thread which will go on to be the location of all future scenario releases, discussions, write ups and screenshots of aars etc.

 

I still havent wrote up a briefing yet but  basically on blue mission start you will get a grid reference message. Get there ASAP and try to secure the area well enough to get the sf team within 50m of the command vehicle which will give a radio message, after 3 minutes or so the sf team will radio they have gathered the intel and placed a charge with a 3 minute timer to destroy the vehicle. This is your queue to pull back when safe but if you want to mop up the remaining forces a bit feel free. The mission will end once you get a unit back to the start point.

 

Changes in this version-

 

All red routes and ai have been completely redone. The ai is much much more effective and realistic now with retrear waypoints and conditons and multiple routes into the objective area.

 

The pinzgauer has been changed into a machine gun armed unimog. The SF team now has a few extra men as they were simply way to small before to put up any kind of fight if they had to, also this means the truck now has some ability to defend its self or support the infantry a bit as opposed to losing its once dismounted. The sf team has a dragon ii to give them some sort of hope along with the pzfst iii if the scimitars arent availahle.

 

Objective spawn 4 the eastern most one has been relocated. This is the third position ive tried and I think I am finally happy with it but i am not 100 percent sure as I havent tested it as much as the other spots.

 

The random patrolling milan and rcl technicals have been removed. These potential major threats during transit have been removed in exchange for more carefully setting up the main enemy forces, also pos 4 was near a major junction so you could end up with groups of technicals rushing through there on a suicide charge. Now there is only the occasional brdm2 spawn patrolling the roads or trying to sneak across the river to take one of the roads off map or run blus checkpoint to infiltrate blus territory (not part of the mission just world building)

 

The possible lookouts near the river have all been adjusted and more possible ambushes added but I would like to fine tune them more. Currently its mostly brdm2s that can spawn that are still a possible threat if they hit in the right place but not insta death. They will mostly fall back once spotting you or fired upon and fall back to another position and or retreat to the objective area or flee.

 

The random unarmed helicopters have been removed and im not sure if im going to add any back in a more organized way.

 

Things Id still like to work on:

 

I want to set up some sort of condition where the enemy force completely falls back if they are down to basically just the arv and either gives up or maybe waits for reinforcements of some kind or just gives up completely on recovering the vehicle after the charge goes off.

 

Add a backup truck on standby to extract the infantry if the first one gets disabled.

 

Add more random patrols and lookouts possible on the river fine tune the little ambushes and ieds.

 

If possible re add some milan or recoiless technicals where the player has a fair chance and they dont risk blowing up the bridges.

 

But yes some feedback on difficulty from different people who dont know the exact location of the objectives would be much appreciated.

roadside_assistance_v5.sce

Edited by Poofydoodle
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When testing this morning I realized I messed up the waypoints on the red side for the far west objective in the valley. The red convoy will stop their march in if they spot an enemy or take fire but wont switch over to their assault route in, mistake on my part, you can avoid this by opening fire on them as soon as they come into visual range at the exreme end of the valley, assuming you have setup on the ridgeline to watch the road in. That or simply restart the mission if you get that objective spawn and dont fancy a relatively easy engagement.

 

This has already been fixed and will be in the next release which will be a final public release and uploaded to the missions section once I toy with a few more ideas. Mainly just a few more possible little encounters to make the area feel more like a combat area with active insurgent activity and deciding what exactly I want the enemy forces to do when they are basically decimated. Im thinking have them pull out with a chance to either leave completely or an uncommon chance for heliborne reinforcements to arrive and start a second push to remove the player and maybe make pulling out a little more interesting.

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Hi guys im thinking the mission is ready for a final public release today or tomorrow once I write a briefing up. Ive improved the ai waypoints a lot since the last post and made them a much mre effective and believable force and am pretty happy with it now. Im sure there will be improvements to make and change once people play more and give feedback. I am probabaly going to write a small aar in the new thread so people can get a more detailed idea of what the mission is like, well one of the possible objective spawn areas anyways.

 

The main things ive added:

 

When the main force is taking heavy losses they will call in some heliborne reindorcements from a mercenary group. This prevents the mission from getting a little boring if the main enemy force is wiped out and can put some pressure on to get the objective done and pull out if not done already.

 

I added some semi random patrols along the river in brdm2s, btrs, ans technicals along with the random lookouts that can spawn. This makes crossing into enemy territory more fun and interesting it also adds a degree of variance in how long it will take to get to the objective area. It also means you cant just send the truck with the sf team back on its own and know it will probably make it out of enemy territory ok.

 

Earlier today I had a playthrough where everyone ended up dying, the enemy got the drop with some lucky 14.5 hits but it was very intense and fun. It ended with one scimitar staying back on a himl to delay the enemy bmp1s, amx13, and other vehickes assaulted generating smoke cover as the unimog and the second scimitar headed for the bridge after finishing their job at the command vehicle. The first scimitar getting taken out by at3 shot and a patrolling btr damaging the second scims suspension slowing as down as mi8s flew over and dropped some bmds nearby and while retreating in reverse laying smoke blundered into a second patrolling btr who lit up the unimog and got a very lucky turret ring shot on the damaged scimitar who was than scared off by a surviving dragon gunner taking a pot shot.

 

But the question I have, I have a second unimog spawn in at basr if the first is disabled as a backup way to extract the infantry however even tbough its part of the same platoon as the first unimog I cant attach the infantry to it so they can board, is there something im missing? This is pretty much the last thing I wanna do.

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16 minutes ago, Poofydoodle said:

But the question I have, I have a second unimog spawn in at basr if the first is disabled as a backup way to extract the infantry however even tbough its part of the same platoon as the first unimog I cant attach the infantry to it so they can board, is there something im missing? This is pretty much the last thing I wanna do.

 

Select the replacement unimog, get it close to the infantry, and then tell them to board from the unimog by clicking on the vehicle icon in the lower right corner of the interface. 

 

Spoiler

SS_19_36_28.thumb.jpg.4efddfb65a2c2e7db0787dae388d0c1b.jpg

 

Edited by Mirzayev
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21 minutes ago, Poofydoodle said:

Awesome! Thank you so much I was trying to get them to attach to the unimogs group and not having any luck, ill tty that thanks!

 

If you picked a "Unimog - supply" then it can't carry troops.

 

If you picked the Troop variant then it already has attached Infantry and is "full" (it can't carry other dismounts as well).

 

If you have removed the organic passengers and want a different team "attached" as in regular passengers (like troops in an APC) you can do that.

 

Happy to meet you on TS and talk you through that if you like?

 

Edited by Gibsonm
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Hi guys im happy to announce the first "public" release of the mission. It now has a full briefing and summary as well as countless changes to make it much more fun to play and the enemy forces more intelligent and challenging like what was discussed above.

 

Granted I am far from an expert at SB but I feel like this mission will be quite challenging without being unfair but I cant say for sure until I get some feedback from blind playthroughs. Of course difficulty will vary somewhat depending on the luck of the draw with the random generation but my goal was to make a challenging mission where failing can still be fun as the mission will be different the next time you play, ive had some really intense fun playthroughs that ended in failure.

 

I will upload it to the site once I make up an image for it and will start a new thread which will be the home of everything related to my missions from now on.

Roadside_assistance_RC1.sce

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6 hours ago, Poofydoodle said:

Hi guys im happy to announce the first "public" release of the mission. It now has a full briefing and summary as well as countless changes to make it much more fun to play and the enemy forces more intelligent and challenging like what was discussed above.

 

Granted I am far from an expert at SB but I feel like this mission will be quite challenging without being unfair but I cant say for sure until I get some feedback from blind playthroughs. Of course difficulty will vary somewhat depending on the luck of the draw with the random generation but my goal was to make a challenging mission where failing can still be fun as the mission will be different the next time you play, ive had some really intense fun playthroughs that ended in failure.

 

I will upload it to the site once I make up an image for it and will start a new thread which will be the home of everything related to my missions from now on.

Roadside_assistance_RC1.sce 976.13 kB · 0 downloads

I'll video myself playing this tonight and hopefully can provide some feedback

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38 minutes ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

I'll video myself playing this tonight and hopefully can provide some feedback

Oh really? Awesome! Thanks so much I hope everything works well and you dont encounter some bug or bad combination of random events I didnt account for haha

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My feedback:

  1. Overall I didn't experience any game-breaking bugs or anything massively imbalanced with the mission. I thought it was really good. My playthrough was sloppy and ended how it should have, for how I was playing.
  2. Briefing: Mission Statement - Maybe just simplify this? Move the 'how to' into Para III (execution) or into Para I, Situation (if it describes the situation or how the enemy is going to fight)
  3. Change SF Uniforms to Camo w/ Red Beret to give it some flavor
  4. Set SF Troop Quality to Elite
  5. Have Hare 2 Spawned from the get-go. This will give the player more options than just riding all 12 guys in one truck. 
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