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When is/isn't an Observer in command of a unit?

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I've been trying to get a handle on routes & waypoints by playing a modified Tanks! scenario from map and observer view only. I am a bit confused about the Schrödinger's Cat nature of the position.

If I am in observer view for the command vehicle of a platoon, will the platoon and observed vehicle act as if I wasn't there? That is, will they halt, seek hull down and engage when they have seen enemy? It seems that sometimes they do and sometimes they don't but I'm not sure if that is the case. This with an Engage tactic applied.

If I issue a command via the keyboard (example, halt or top speed, or traverse left), will that disable the AI in some way? If so, how to reengage it? Will 'C' do it?

If I enter the TC position, but do nothing but pop my head up with Q, or view through the gunner's sight, will the TC AI deactivate?

Does a unit being my 'current' unit from the map view make any difference as far as the AI is concerned?

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New user manual (PDF), page 63 (the paragraph with the bolded text in it, upper third of the page). In fact, you should really learn this chapter as it will give you the best understanding of unit low level behavior.

In the observer's position, the unit by and large behaves as if it were alone unless you give it a new order (like to assume a battle position ("E"), to hold or open fire ("H", "F"), to deviate from the planned route ("A", "D"). In these situations all tactical decisions must be made by you, except that the decision when to fire on detected threats is up to the (computer-controlled) individual vehicle crews.

A mere change in speed in the absence of enemy does not make the unit independent of the planned route. However, it does so if there is enemy in sight, assuming that you (the player) reacts to its presence and that you want to take over.

When you're in the commander's position, you're in command. The unit will do as you say. Everything - good and bad - you can take to your own credit.

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Thanks, I had read that section before posting but had not entirely understood it. I suppose the root of my question was 'when is an observer considered a unit leader, if ever?' but I think I am beginning to grok it now.

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:)

As an addendum; if you stay in the observer's position and give new movement commands, the unit will still behave as if you weren't there, but it will default to but one behavior, and that's the assault route (without the safety restrictions that we normally apply, to stop if there is a threat in the deep flank of the attacking unit). Likewise, in a hasty battle position the only behavior that will apply is "Hold" - because

1) it's the default setting in this case, and more importantly

2) there is no unconditioned route leading away from it. (See the section in CHapter eight about implicit embark conditions; without an "escape plan", both "Defend" and "Guard" will effectively work like "Hold".

Notice that both Hold and Assault are behaviors that maximize firepower ... and vulnerability of your forces. As long as your firepower is superior, you'll feel just fine. But if that changes - and it can change quickly - you will eventually suffer substantial force attrition. Knowing when it's time to bug out is a key survival skill.

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