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1 minute ago, Stormin Norman said:


LOL. Thanks for the video! That solves everything. I love the sound effects. I presume the forest tiles need to look more menacing because in game I really can't tell the difference.

yeah, tree models and size are the same. so you can't tell...only from "context": lot of same looking trees=forest in SB

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3 hours ago, Stormin Norman said:


Looks like the tank is winning sir! 


I'm speaking from personal experience not hypotheticals. I don't want to have to shelve the game already because my tank crews can't navigate a little forest, which would include falling a few trees. Don't get me wrong I love trees, myself.


In real life scenarios sometimes you have to make your own road in a combat environment.



Well lets see.


1. The turret has traversed off.  So you aren't doing the SB thing of covering your arcs while travelling through a forest (I agree with Grenny that one tree doesn't equal a "forest" I don't think anyone said you can't knock down individual trees, up to a certain size). Nor are you covering your arcs as you should in a "combat environment".


2. In the first case the tank hit the tree, backed off and had to take a run up to knock it down the second time.


3. In both cases the tree did the "widow maker" thing and fell on the turret - not sure how much damage the external fittings took but in any case the crew now need to remove the tree.


4. In a "combat environment" a single tree provides bu**er all cover or concealment and you are better off going around the tree.


I'm speaking from real experience too. I have visited too many of my soldiers in hospitals (and in two cases gone to their funerals and counselled their next of kin) because they did things very similar to this. My "real life" experience covers a tad more than 3 years.


Good morning.


Edited by Gibsonm
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The way we're treating forests is a bit of an abstraction. The rule of thumb for tank crews is:

  1. If the trees are so densely packed that you can't drive around them, you can run them over, no problem. We can't render scenes with that type of young, dense forests, so the Steel Beasts world doesn't have them (maybe one day). 
  2. If the trees are so big that you better not try to run them over (for a wide variety of reasons already discussed in this thread), they are usually so far apart that you can drive between them. Which is what we can render, so that's the type of forest that you encounter. In an attempt to teach a lesson to young tankers that forests are usually not the best place to be AND summarizing all the reasons why running over big, old trees is a somewhat risky business, we decided that these forest trees would withstand all tank collisions, and what's more, that there is a significant risk for the crew if they try to do it in a reckless manner.

You will never experience injury when colliding with an indestructo-tree at slow speed. Even at moderate speed the risk is fairly low. But at high speed the risk is severe. This will lead to the desired behavior that people who drive their tanks through our forests with relatively large inter-tree distances will slow down, much like they would in real life in a real forest. Therefore, this kind of tree nudges the player towards more realistic behavior, ergo a higher reslism of (tactical) results, which is a good thing.

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Okay, I don't want to make an international incident out of this but is there a way to prevent the AI crews from throwing track and breaking road wheels from rubbing against these impervious trees?


1. What if I want to set up a hasty defence along a tree line for concealment?


2. What if time is not a major factor and it would be tacticly advantagious to not travel the path of least resistance to a position/line/objective?

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Honestly, I've been playing SB for about a decade and I've never had such a problem with this. It's been my experience that the AI is cautious enough when given a route through, or a BP at the edge of a forest. I'm genuinely curious now as to what the exact situation is where you seem to be taking so much damage from the trees.

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Going at top speed through woods is a good way to get rid of excess vehicles.

Going at fast speed the risk is greatly reduced.

Going at slow speed and the risk is essentially non-existant.


So go at fast speed if you are willing to accept some risk or go at slow speed if risk is unacceptable.

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Also, with column formation and close spacing (as recommended by (at least) the German tactics manual for the tank platoon as the preferred formation when moving through difficult terrain with largely obstructed view) will drastically reduce the chances of the other tanks in your formation to collide with trees, as they will follow your (invisible to you) trail of breadcrumbs that the lead vehicle is dropping all the time.


I don't know what you did ... but maybe you simply applied reckless tactics, and the simulation turned it into a learning experience - as it's designed to do. ;)

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9 hours ago, Lt DeFault said:

Honestly, I've been playing SB for about a decade and I've never had such a problem with this. It's been my experience that the AI is cautious enough when given a route through, or a BP at the edge of a forest. I'm genuinely curious now as to what the exact situation is where you seem to be taking so much damage from the trees.


OMG never mind! I'm an idiot. I reran the same mission a couple more times (A tank platoon in Attack summer) and watched AAR. I think what's happening is my M1A1 section gets to the edge of the tree line and start taking 30 mm cannon rounds to the suspension. So, I'm sorry if I came off as some kind of an a**hole. But, it pretty much happens all the time. My gunnery isn't fast enough to take out what it looks 3 or 4 BMPs before my suspension takes hits.


Image result for hammer banging head


I'm going to move all 4 tanks to the tree line and see what happens.

Edited by Stormin Norman
More dumb errors on my part.
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On 5/4/2016 at 9:38 AM, Gibsonm said:



I tend to find its a version of "garbage in, garbage out". :)


People expect 4 vehicles going flat out to come to a crossing, change formation (where positions matter), cross the bridge and then go back to the initial formation.


Or they move the lead vehicle close to a river bank and wonder why the wingman trying to maintain position, ends up in the river.


I find that giving the AI plenty of space to adjust tends to work so in the above example:

  • Tk Platoon approaching crossing off road, flat out, in say wedge.
  • Change to "March", slow, spread out about 100m short of the crossing.
  • Route the "March" over the bridge to a set point.
  • Change back to "Assault" or whatever is required.

If lots of units intend to use the crossing I create a dedicated route:

  • Create a waypoint (right click on map - create waypoint) on near bank say 100m short
  • Plot the route across the bridge (march, slow, spread out) use the shift key to align the route to the road.
  • End route say 100m beyond

With this in place you can simply route units to the near bank waypoint and they will use these steps. Then put in a route starting from the far bank waypoint to wherever you want to go.


The next vehicle can use the same crossing routine, because it was created independent of a given unit.


You do need to sequence things so 3 or 4 units don't arrive at the near bank waypoint at the same time, otherwise you will have a mess (but people do this too - e.g. scene in the movie "Patton").


As for the river / water obstacles, it might just be experience but having an idea of how much room a Platoon takes up (esp. if you are using say "wide" spacing) and ensuring the route you plot leaves enough room tends to work.


The last one I've seen regarding water is when a unit is stopped but given no tactic and tends to wander. If you are close to the river bank and don't want it to move, give it a "stay" tactic. Giving it "defend" may make matters worse as in its attempt to find hull down locations, etc. (as ordered when you told it to defend) it might inadvertently back up onto the slope of the river bank.


Buildings can be problematic, esp. if the map designer has left very small gaps between them to replicate row houses or similar. If a real tank needs to do neutral turns and back and fill to get through then don't be surprised if the AI has issues.


Anyway that's some pointer on how to make life a little easier for the AI.


Happy to talk through them on TS if you'd like.


Not to take anything anything from Gibsonm's comments.



When leaving the river* leave enough room for the last vehicle to get across.

So you'll need more space for a 6 vehicle unit on wide spacing.

Than you would need for a 2 vehicle on close spacing.


The reason for this is as soon as the lead vehicle hits a way point that changes the formation, it is immediately applied to the entire unit.

So, done incorrectly the last vehicle may still be on the bridge under column formation and then goes attempts to get into line formation, and promptly drives off the bridge into that nice inviting water.


As a last note.

In SB column formation explicitly equates (When not under fire or being flanked) to "Follow the leader" and is unique in this regard.


Try it, drive in a serpentine fashion and watch your wingmen


*or other laterally restricted terrain.

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1 hour ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

Pew Pew. No more AI firefights. Maybe a day when players can control riflemen.

Rifle Sights.png



I don't see SB ever being a full fidelity infantry sim.

but allowing a player to aim and shoot really would add anew dimension.


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19 hours ago, Stormin Norman said:


In depth details and instructions on Way points and routs would be appreciated. 


There you go.


How to get the AI to cross a Bridge 3.028.zip


Submitted for upload.


Will revise all the other Guides post 4.x release and create a new 4.x compliant Bundle including this one.



Edited by Gibsonm
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  • 2 weeks later...

Food for thought; engine noise level in SB seems to be based on the speed that the vehicle is doing rather than the rev's/work that the engine is doing, ie; a tank climbing a steep gradient at 'top speed' sounds like its idling, when the engine must be working pretty hard at high revs generating a much larger noise signiature. I wonder if its feasible to change this? Would add a lot in terms of immersion i think, and would have some tactical relevance also.

 Not a deal breaker at all, and im aware that theres a heap of really nice stuff coming our way soon with 4.0 (very happy to see modeled crew and some older NATO gear coming to SB, among other things!)

 Cheers- ZERO

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It'd be cool if minefields optionally had conditions to control if they exist when the scenario starts or not.. That way you could randomize or otherwise make the minefields start in different locations to add replay value to scenarios. Also, being able to place small minefields in-game with engineers would be cool (if that's not already a feature in 4.0.)

Edited by Rotareneg
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