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TGIF 2014: scenario list, discussion, and house rules

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I'll take the WFF/side Orange.

To his Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Alhaji Dr. Tankhunter, VC, DSO, MC, CBE,

OC UNFOR would respectfully call your attention to the fact that the Western Freedom Fighters can attain their righteous objectives without engaging in acts of violence against UNFOR or civilians under its protection, and without incursion into UN-administered areas.

Yours, etc.,

PaladinSix

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On an unrelated note,

Kudos to Volcano and any other authors of the forthcoming mission. Clever use of scripting and party mechanics makes for some very interesting "strategic" decision-making by all three forces.

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OK, it's Friday, COs are open to all takers now (including last week's COs). We still have Red side remaining.

Kudos to Volcano and any other authors of the forthcoming mission. Clever use of scripting and party mechanics makes for some very interesting "strategic" decision-making by all three forces.
Thanks, it is complicated and I hope it works. Basic tests showed that it did, but of course you don't really know until "showtime". It is assumed that there will be rough edges that will require some work, but you never know what those are until you try it. This is the price we must pay for adding a new scenario to the mix. :)

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BTW, note that in the briefing it states that the UN forces can only utilize "small arms and autocannon" to engage threats before they are "weapons free" (attacked), but his is a typo. It should say that they can only use small arms until then.

I don't want to correct the typo until after though, because it will mess up any plans files...

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Disregard, I will have to update the scenario file I see. Some recent bug fix caused the party dispositions to need changing (otherwise UN and Red will start as enemies). Sorry about that, I will post the new version of the file here shortly....

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As discussed yesterday, an excellent mission. To recap my suggestions:

1) Deploy all UN units as individual vehicles rather than aggregated into platoon formations. This will facilitate Planning Phase deployment. If all of the Fuchs are in platoon formations (single icon), for example, you can't move them around individually and individual units have to waste time racing across the map to their assigned posts when the mission begins. Really, this should be SOP for all missions where a force is on the small side and it can be expected that units will not be deployed as integrated platoons. Probably not so much an issue for the ERF/WFF forces as, due to their size, players will be controlling entire platoons.

2) The UN really needed more obstacles. The four obstacles were basically pointless given the amount of real estate to be covered. If not more obstacles in terms of total length, than a much larger number of smaller obstacles aggregating to the same overall length as the four currently allocated.

3) Fennek is fine if you're sticking with enemy map updates. If no updates, then swap M-901 or CV90-FO for Fennek.

4) Might make sense to add civilian vehicle traffic coming and going into the Safe Zone, so that the VBIEDs blend in better. Or add civvy traffic outside the Safe Zone. That said, the UN is largely powerless to stop the VBIEDs given the amount of real estate and small number of forces/players.

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1) Deploy all UN units as individual vehicles rather than aggregated into platoon formations. This will facilitate Planning Phase deployment. If all of the Fuchs are in platoon formations (single icon), for example, you can't move them around individually and individual units have to waste time racing across the map to their assigned posts when the mission begins. Really, this should be SOP for all missions where a force is on the small side and it can be expected that units will not be deployed as integrated platoons. Probably not so much an issue for the ERF/WFF forces as, due to their size, players will be controlling entire platoons.

Having Your platoons split up and race to their positions to meet the enemy in time is just part of the planning process 99% of the time when in defense. Unless it is a campaign where You get to decide Your force structure ahead of time. I don't call racing across the map to get to your positions a Waste of time, But a vitally important thing that must be accounted for in the planning process.

On the flip side a Co might want to not split up His stuff. Maybe He wants to launch a preemptive attack and to do it with full platoons. Or defend with His stuff attached. He would then suggest that it is a waste of time to attach everything at the start and units should start attached.

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Having Your platoons split up and race to their positions to meet the enemy in time is just part of the planning process 99% of the time when in defense. Unless it is a campaign where You get to decide Your force structure ahead of time. I don't call racing across the map to get to your positions a Waste of time, But a vitally important thing that must be accounted for in the planning process.

On the flip side a Co might want to not split up His stuff. Maybe He wants to launch a preemptive attack and to do it with full platoons. Or defend with His stuff attached. He would then suggest that it is a waste of time to attach everything at the start and units should start attached.

Have to disagree firmly here. If you are in anything other than very hasty defense, you should be permitted to deploy your units as you see fit, without the artificial barrier created by the inability to divide units during the planning phase. If the mission designer's intent is to replicate an ambush or other emergent situation, then fine; deploy as an aggregated unit. Given that most missions are not such situations, and feature one or more large deployment zones, it would suggest that players should be permitted to dispose of their units as they see fit.

This has no material effect on the "preemptive attacks" you mention. Just deploy your individual vehicles in whatever formation you like during the Planning Phase, give them routes, and they will be on their way immediately on mission launch without you losing any time. In fact, you probably save time by avoiding having the AI navigate the vehicles into their positions in the platoon formation (not to mention the problem of vehicles spawning in ponds when you overlook the platoon's formation "footprint"). After mission launch, switch to F5 and it takes...what... maybe five seconds to attach two or three vehicles to the platoon CO while en route?

In contrast, it can take many minutes (even tens of minutes) to rectify deployment problems if you have to put the entire platoon in one place and then send units scurrying across the map. What is worse, they may have no choice but to cross danger areas to which they should never have been exposed (from a simulation perspective) had they been allowed a proper deployment.

Plus, dividing into individual vehicles helps reduce the clusterf*ck when someone has slotted into a 2-, 3-, or 4- vehicle in a platoon and ownership issues get very confusing.

Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting doing this when you have, say, a battalion-sized force and you're expecting only maybe 7-8 players on your team. Clearly, everyone is going to have their own platoon and deployment by individual vehicle is would be a rare occurrence. I can tell you, however, that the UN force in last night's mission was maybe a company+ and needed to be task-organized into mixed platoons and deployed in defense zones each separated by 4-5km. And there was no conceptual reason in the mission why the UN would have lacked time to deploy as the CO desired. This contributed to a massive organizational problem during the planning phase, especially as two of my 4 team members were relatively inexperienced and had some difficulties sorting out ownership issues. And, in fact, I lost one of my precious few vehicles precisely because it had to make a 4km journey to its assigned defensive position. (I would also add that our six tanks and 4 warriors were deployed separately, which was very much appreciated).

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As discussed yesterday, an excellent mission. To recap my suggestions:

1) Deploy all UN units as individual vehicles...

OK, I can do that, done.

2) The UN really needed more obstacles...
I can add a few more, no problem, but I cannot add too many more because some people might use them to block every single bridge from the north side into the safe zone, which is not my intent since there are but so many mine plow vehicles to deal with them. Maybe I will add a few more obstacles but create fords across the river at certain points to keep things from getting deadlocked by obstacles.
3) Fennek is fine if you're sticking with enemy map updates...
Yes, I am sticking with map updates for that one, I removed the text about friendly map updates from the briefing now.
4) Might make sense to add civilian vehicle traffic coming and going into the Safe Zone, so that the VBIEDs blend in better...
I would, but unfortunately they are not smart enough to navigate that map at the moment so I left them out.

Thanks for the feedback. :luxhello:

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Have to disagree firmly here. If you are in anything other than very hasty defense, you should be permitted to deploy your units as you see fit, without the artificial barrier created by the inability to divide units during the planning phase. If the mission designer's intent is to replicate an ambush or other emergent situation, then fine; deploy as an aggregated unit. Given that most missions are not such situations, and feature one or more large deployment zones, it would suggest that players should be permitted to dispose of their units as they see fit.

This has no material effect on the "preemptive attacks" you mention. Just deploy your individual vehicles in whatever formation you like during the Planning Phase, give them routes, and they will be on their way immediately on mission launch without you losing any time. In fact, you probably save time by avoiding having the AI navigate the vehicles into their positions in the platoon formation (not to mention the problem of vehicles spawning in ponds when you overlook the platoon's formation "footprint"). After mission launch, switch to F5 and it takes...what... maybe five seconds to attach two or three vehicles to the platoon CO while en route?

In contrast, it can take many minutes (even tens of minutes) to rectify deployment problems if you have to put the entire platoon in one place and then send units scurrying across the map. What is worse, they may have no choice but to cross danger areas to which they should never have been exposed (from a simulation perspective) had they been allowed a proper deployment.

Plus, dividing into individual vehicles helps reduce the clusterf*ck when someone has slotted into a 2-, 3-, or 4- vehicle in a platoon and ownership issues get very confusing.

Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting doing this when you have, say, a battalion-sized force and you're expecting only maybe 7-8 players on your team. Clearly, everyone is going to have their own platoon and deployment by individual vehicle is would be a rare occurrence. I can tell you, however, that the UN force in last night's mission was maybe a company+ and needed to be task-organized into mixed platoons and deployed in defense zones each separated by 4-5km. And there was no conceptual reason in the mission why the UN would have lacked time to deploy as the CO desired. This contributed to a massive organizational problem during the planning phase, especially as two of my 4 team members were relatively inexperienced and had some difficulties sorting out ownership issues. And, in fact, I lost one of my precious few vehicles precisely because it had to make a 4km journey to its assigned defensive position. (I would also add that our six tanks and 4 warriors were deployed separately, which was very much appreciated).

Points taken.

There are many variables and difficulties to be taken into account when formulating a plan as Co For TGIF. Players of all different skill levels as well as hardships set up by the Scenario designer. Intended or not. Like vehicles attached when the Co would like to deploy them as individual units. Gambling on whether or not a unit can get to the battle position You want without getting destroyed. On and on.

I guess I don't look at it from the scenario designers point of view. I just accept it as it is and critic inward.

I'm thankful if my units can be movable at all in the deployment phase.

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BTW, I think I will give the UN side a UAV that will appear once they become "weapons free". I mean, the UN has so little, that at least they should have good situational awareness so that they know how to best commit their forces. That should be the one their few advantages (information and quality).

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Points taken.

There are many variables and difficulties to be taken into account when formulating a plan as Co For TGIF. Players of all different skill levels as well as hardships set up by the Scenario designer. Intended or not. Like vehicles attached when the Co would like to deploy them as individual units. Gambling on whether or not a unit can get to the battle position You want without getting destroyed. On and on.

I guess I don't look at it from the scenario designers point of view. I just accept it as it is and critic inward.

I'm thankful if my units can be movable at all in the deployment phase.

Oh believe me, there was plenty (I would say, predominantly) self-criticism on my part during and after the mission. The single biggest cause of our train wreck during the planning phase was *my* not realizing that the unit deployments in my .pln file would be nullified if someone else "owned" the vehicles.

However, it's still reasonable to point out when there are aspects of the mission that don't make sense from a simulation perspective, and IMHO, the bloc deployment of some of the UN platoons was such a case. I'm sure Volcano realizes I mean this as constructive suggestion. I said it before and after the mission, and I'll say it again: he created a really fascinating mission and a welcome break from the usual TGIF fare. We merely worked a few kinks out last night, as to be expected with a new and novel mission.

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BTW, I think I will give the UN side a UAV that will appear once they become "weapons free". I mean, the UN has so little, that at least they should have good situational awareness so that they know how to best commit their forces. That should be the one their few advantages (information and quality).

That's a good idea. Can a UAV outrun a Hind? :bigsmile:

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The single biggest cause of our train wreck during the planning phase was *my* not realizing that the unit deployments in my .pln file would be nullified if someone else "owned" the vehicles.

It may have been a case where someone moved one of their vehicles before the plan had been loaded. I think that if everyone leaves things alone, then the plan will load properly. Something to double-check.

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Well actually the behavior is that all the units the CO owns will get moved in the deployment phase and be given routes. However, if the CO doesn't own them -- because another person owns them -- then they will not get moved nor be given routes when the plan is loaded. There is a technical reason why this is so, because over complicates the save plan, and because you currently cannot send routes to other players.

Maybe that will get enhanced one day, but for the time being time being the way to avoid this is to get all the other players to pick a vehicle in the same platoon or as few platoons as possible, then the CO will own everything else and it they will be updated accordingly. After the plan is loaded, the CO can then give units to everyone else.

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Well actually the behavior is that all the units the CO owns will get moved in the deployment phase and be given routes. However, if the CO doesn't own them -- because another person owns them -- then they will not get moved nor be given routes when the plan is loaded. There is a technical reason why this is so, because over complicates the save plan, and because you currently cannot send routes to other players.

Maybe that will get enhanced one day, but for the time being time being the way to avoid this is to get all the other players to pick a vehicle in the same platoon or as few platoons as possible, then the CO will own everything else and it they will be updated accordingly. After the plan is loaded, the CO can then give units to everyone else.

Actually, would it be possible to have every player except the CO occupy the "None" slot in the Assembly Area? Then, (hopefully) [1] the CO owns all vehicles, [2] they get properly deployed as per the CO's loaded plan; and [3] the CO then hands off ownership during the planning phase.

I tried this yesterday while running a local host mission with two instances of SB on my machine, and it worked. But dunno if it will work in a "real" online mission.

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Well, the problem with that idea is that everyone who picked "none" would be forced into observers on Bllue side. So, it wouldn't work for Red. It is probably better to just have everyone pick to be observer of co/A actually, but you should test that out with other people to be sure.

There is some old stigma attached to being observer, probably because of old bugs that probably doesn't exist anymore. Some people think that if you are observer then you cannot be given a unit, but this is untrue. The real concern is what happens if you start as observer, are given a unit -- can other people get into the gunner's position on that unit? You would have to try it to know for certain. ;)

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Maybe 20+ trucks per side parked off the side of the map.

CO gets their vehicle.

Everyone else gets in a truck.

Then at mission start you swap your truck for whatever the CO gives you?

I've used this in a few scenarios where the actual fighting force is determined by trigger at mission start and then spawns.

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28 MAR scenario:

Island Civil War 01-SC-3011a

Disclaimer: this scenario is complex and has only been played once many years ago -- it may have rough edges.

NOTE: To avoid passwords, open the scenario in Network Session as HOST and choose the side you want to play and go to planning phase.

Edited by Volcano

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Maybe 20+ trucks per side parked off the side of the map.

CO gets their vehicle.

Everyone else gets in a truck.

Then at mission start you swap your truck for whatever the CO gives you?

I've used this in a few scenarios where the actual fighting force is determined by trigger at mission start and then spawns.

Yes, that works too, but I won't be editing all the TGIF scenarios to add trucks off the map just so some COs can load their ultra detailed plan. ;) It would work well for a campaign though.

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