Author Topic: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike  (Read 170288 times)

Alejo68

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #120 on: March 22, 2015, 05:58:16 PM »
Hi, new here. First I would like to thank you for sharing this, and for the effort you put into developing such a good game. I loved PB and always wanted to have a pc version of it.
Of course it's your decision, but I think you should add a "donate" button in your web site. I would like (and think others would also agree) to help you in some way.
Really hope to see Armoured Commander getting bigger and full of new additions.

Alejo

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #121 on: March 22, 2015, 10:20:04 PM »
2) I noticed in the Python source, you were using integer values for armor that abstract 'protection'. Personally, I'd be really interested in seeing a more sophisticated penetration modeling based on round type and velocity, angle of incidence and armor thickness and steel type. I expect that would be a lot of work to code, but the complexity can be hidden from the player, and the high fidelity of penetration ballistics could in-turn enable high fidelity damage modeling. But... I'm not coding this,. :)

This would be a mistake.  It is a common misconception in WWII wargames for some odd reason - Steel Panthers had one derivative work that went down this path.  Combat Mission also made a similar mistake.  There are two problems, both showstoppers. 

The first is fundamental game design, you have an abstract system that resolves a large number of approximations into a historically statistically realistic result.  Now you decide to take one factor out of dozens, examine only one small cross section of that factor, and resolve it to oh lets say +/- 0.0001.  Now every thing else is still integers, by how much have you reduced any error?  If you had two factors, both integers and made one a float calculated to the nth degree, at best you've only cut the error by less than half.  The error sources are additive, not multiplicative and in most game systems there are far more than two factors to consider.  Worse, if you assume you've gotten all the errors out of one case, you'll actually screw up the formulas behind the abstraction.

The second is, well the Aberdeen proving ground tests are only averages for one thing, and that's about your best source of information on WWII ordinance.  Of course those tests don't agree with the Russian tests, or the UK tests.  Then consider logistics, some guns had bad rounds but the lots went to different theatres, mostly.  Factor those in where necessary.  Same goes for armor, some factories produced armor that was better than others, some supposedly face hardened wasn't, some was brittle.  Now consider the various flaws in different vehicle designs.  Consider maintenance.  Oh and angle of incidence - highly dependent upon terrain, speed and suspension, relative altitude, even Combat Mission's vaunted 3d model was flawed in those regards.  Factor in the effects of that tree branch that deflected the round by 0.01mm.

It sounds good, but it is flawed reasoning and can actually hurt the game.

sage2

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #122 on: March 24, 2015, 07:47:09 PM »
2) I noticed in the Python source, you were using integer values for armor that abstract 'protection'. Personally, I'd be really interested in seeing a more sophisticated penetration modeling based on round type and velocity, angle of incidence and armor thickness and steel type. I expect that would be a lot of work to code, but the complexity can be hidden from the player, and the high fidelity of penetration ballistics could in-turn enable high fidelity damage modeling. But... I'm not coding this,. :)

This would be a mistake.  It is a common misconception in WWII wargames for some odd reason - Steel Panthers had one derivative work that went down this path.  Combat Mission also made a similar mistake.  There are two problems, both showstoppers. 

The first is fundamental game design, you have an abstract system that resolves a large number of approximations into a historically statistically realistic result.  Now you decide to take one factor out of dozens, examine only one small cross section of that factor, and resolve it to oh lets say +/- 0.0001.  Now every thing else is still integers, by how much have you reduced any error?  If you had two factors, both integers and made one a float calculated to the nth degree, at best you've only cut the error by less than half.  The error sources are additive, not multiplicative and in most game systems there are far more than two factors to consider.  Worse, if you assume you've gotten all the errors out of one case, you'll actually screw up the formulas behind the abstraction.

The second is, well the Aberdeen proving ground tests are only averages for one thing, and that's about your best source of information on WWII ordinance.  Of course those tests don't agree with the Russian tests, or the UK tests.  Then consider logistics, some guns had bad rounds but the lots went to different theatres, mostly.  Factor those in where necessary.  Same goes for armor, some factories produced armor that was better than others, some supposedly face hardened wasn't, some was brittle.  Now consider the various flaws in different vehicle designs.  Consider maintenance.  Oh and angle of incidence - highly dependent upon terrain, speed and suspension, relative altitude, even Combat Mission's vaunted 3d model was flawed in those regards.  Factor in the effects of that tree branch that deflected the round by 0.01mm.

It sounds good, but it is flawed reasoning and can actually hurt the game.

I'm not suggesting a higher fidelity model makes for inherently better game play. But it certainly might do so, and while there's some variation (as you noted) between armor penetration testing results, that largely comes down to differences in how the measurements were taken. Obviously this can't be a 'true' simulation without modeling 3D space, vector, drag blah blah. A lot of the variation you suggest (bad rounds, precise AOI calculations, small variations in armor thickness or weak spots such as view ports) can be handled appropriately by RNG.

I'm only suggesting that being able to model more factors, and with greater fidelity, might in fact make for a more interesting game even if the overall outcomes are often similar.

GalagaGalaxian

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #123 on: April 15, 2015, 09:01:03 PM »
Its awesome to see this being made. Patton's Best was a neat game, but all the manual book keeping made it a bit of a chore to play (I guess I'm just not cut out to push chits around a board). I think the inclusion of some ASL elements/mechanics and changing the battle board to a hex field are some good changes. I'm eager to see how this progresses and evolves beyond Patton's Best.

Looking forward to Alpha 6 when you come back from traveling. Though can I make one hopefully simple (but knowing programming, who knows) request? When you add in the ability to rename the commander and his nickname (as you mention in your first video) can you let us give nicknames to our tank crew (or completely rename them)? Its always more fun in games like this when its your friend or room mate who nearly gets killed instead of random dude. X-com is a good example of that.

Anyways, once again the game is quite awesome. Thank you for working on it.

[edit]

Actually I have a bug (I think) that I can report. During a game this evening I fired on a moving SPW 251 with HE. The first shot reported immobilizing it, but a subsequent shot still got a "target moving" penalty. Now this is kinda understandable, but it was also listed as moving next turn (including a moving penalty when I fired at it).

[edit2]

Another interesting potential bug. I had my latest career end when a PaK 40 hit my turret, causing the following result.



However, the game said my character was sent home due to injuries, even though I was under the assumption that he was killed in the tank fire, as it says he was unable to bail out. Either this is a bug or other crew members were able to rescue him (a feature from Patton's Best) before the tank brewed up. If the latter is the case, it could probably be clarified better, perhaps "rescued by fellow crew" instead of "unable to bail"?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 07:36:25 AM by GalagaGalaxian »

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #124 on: April 16, 2015, 07:59:03 AM »
Thanks for the comments!

When you add in the ability to rename the commander and his nickname (as you mention in your first video) can you let us give nicknames to our tank crew (or completely rename them)?

You'll eventually be able to select your commander's name, and set nicknames for each of your crew.

During a game this evening I fired on a moving SPW 251 with HE. The first shot reported immobilizing it, but a subsequent shot still got a "target moving" penalty. Now this is kinda understandable, but it was also listed as moving next turn (including a moving penalty when I fired at it).

The first part is not a bug; all shots from the player's main gun have to be fired before their effects are worked out. So if you get two hits and the first one turns out to immobilize the target, the second one has already hit and won't benefit from the target no longer moving.

The second one is definitely a bug; the moving flag wasn't reset properly when a target was immobilized. Just fixed it.


Another interesting potential bug. I had my latest career end when a PaK 40 hit my turret, causing the following result.

However, the game said my character was sent home due to injuries, even though I was under the assumption that he was killed in the tank fire, as it says he was unable to bail out. Either this is a bug or other crew members were able to rescue him (a feature from Patton's Best) before the tank brewed up. If the latter is the case, it could probably be clarified better, perhaps "rescued by fellow crew" instead of "unable to bail"?

I haven't yet added crew rescue attempts to the game, but the result you got was a weird one. Will do some testing and check it out.

GalagaGalaxian

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #125 on: April 17, 2015, 06:27:03 AM »
The first part is not a bug; all shots from the player's main gun have to be fired before their effects are worked out. So if you get two hits and the first one turns out to immobilize the target, the second one has already hit and won't benefit from the target no longer moving.

Yeah, I figured that was the case and it makes complete sense. Speaking of Rate of Fire and shooting the same target repeatedly, would it be possible to have an option to willingly cease fire even if Rate of Fire is maintained? I had one turn where I ended up shelling an AT gun with a surprising 6 HE rounds (4-5 of which hit) thanks to a well stocked ready rack and my assistant driver passing ammo to pick up the slack when the rack ran out. It ended up feeling a bit excessive and wasteful of ammo.


Also, I ran into another potential bug. During a battle encounter I exchanged shots with an AT gun. It returns fire at me the first time I shoot at it, but spends the next two rounds shooting at other tanks (while my own Tank lives up to its name), on the fourth round it shoots at me again and, surprisingly, has an acquired target bonus.

Basically events went like this (you can see some of it in the log):

1st round: Pak 40 fires at me.
2nd Round: PaK fires at, and destroys, lead tank
3rd Round: PaK fires at new lead tank, but misses.
4th Round: Pak 40 fires at me, has acquired target bonus.

I assume the PaK's acquired target bonus should've been cleared when it shot at different targets.

Screenshot:
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 06:32:52 AM by GalagaGalaxian »

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #126 on: April 17, 2015, 06:43:18 AM »
You can always hit End to advance to the next phase if you don't want to continue firing with RoF. This will move immediately to resolve any hits you've already scored.

Thanks for spotting the acquired target bug! Just fixed it in 5.3. I'll do a new release soon since there's been a few fixes and additions since 5.2, but a lot of stuff (like weather effects, counterattack scenarios, etc.) won't yet be working.

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #127 on: April 17, 2015, 08:00:24 AM »
I never added a note to the firing instructions that you could finish the Main Gun firing phase by pressing End - added that in 5.3!

Just uploaded a windows binary for 5.3, not too many changes from 5.2 but it should fix most if not all of the bugs reported by GalagaGalaxian and others recently. As mentioned, although there is a Weather Conditions display in the battle encounter screen, there's no effect on gameplay yet. I'll add this in the next version. Biggest addition in 5.3 is probably the extension of the combat journal through to April 18th, 1945.

Download from http://www.armouredcommander.com/downloads.html

GalagaGalaxian

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #128 on: April 17, 2015, 08:59:07 PM »
Found some more bugs from my latest playthough, now using 5.3. Several of these have screenshot links.



Also some minor feedback and suggestions that popped into my head while playing:

  • When loading shells into your tank, it would be convenient to have a button key to load shells 5 or 10 at a time (Shift+U/I/O/P maybe?) This is a minor thing though.
  • It may be helpful to beginners to specify what the loader can fire is his orders screen is a *Smoke* Mortar (even if the mortar is called a smoke mortar in the F2: Tank Info screen)
  • Currently you may not select what shell type to reload when selecting a target and picking between area fire and direct fire. You can specify between General Stores and Ready Rack though, so why not let us pick what to reload? Is this to prevent firing mixed volleys? If so, why not allow ammo type choice only before firing the first shot?

*  Unrelated, but never think to yourself "oh its just a PaK 38, and I'm hull down. It'll be fine."
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 09:08:27 PM by GalagaGalaxian »

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #129 on: April 18, 2015, 09:13:51 AM »
Thanks for this! Fixed nearly all of these just now in Alpha 5.4 and put it up for download! http://www.armouredcommander.com/downloads.html

Two things:
  • "Friendly" units refer to allies of the player that are handled by the AI. In the future, the player will have more control over the specific units in the player battlegroup, but for now, the player's tank being KOed doesn't count as a 'friendly' tank lost
  • I will eventually add the option to move stacks of shells at once, it's just a little fiddly and not as easy to implement as the other bugfixes

GalagaGalaxian

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #130 on: April 18, 2015, 06:15:59 PM »
No problem! This game is very entertaining and certainly challenging, and if I'm gonna be playing it, I might as well help point out any bugs I encounter. I'll probably give 5.4 a play tonight (maybe I can finally last longer than a month!) so we'll see if I find anything else.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 06:45:04 PM by GalagaGalaxian »

GalagaGalaxian

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #131 on: April 20, 2015, 07:39:22 PM »
Ended up not playing this weekend, but I did just play a quick game and I noticed one probable bug, plus one thing that stood out to me.

First, some crew still seem to be surviving when it seems like they shouldn't be. In this case, two crewmembers who were incapacitated managed to bail out of the tank.


Secondly, at one point I ran into a Panzer V. The first turn I tried to get hull down while rotating the turret and loading 75AP, and it just shifted position. Next turn I moused over it and saw it was moving in the open and on a side facing. Figuring this was a decent chance to take it out, I opened fire, only getting off one shot, which hit the turret, but failed to penetrate. It then took its second turn, firing at the lead tank. When I moused over it again at the start of my (third) turn, it was now hull-down on a forward facing.

Is enemy tanks being able to change facings and hull down status while making attacks intentional? I honestly can't remember how it works in Patton's Best. Even if they are allowed to turn to face you, I don't think they should get to be able to achieve hull down as bonus. Much like your own tank (without a gyrostabilizer) I kind of feel like the enemy tanks should be allowed to shoot OR move, but not both. Rotating the turret and firing I'd be fine with (assuming they took a similar penalty) but being able to theoretically instantly snap from a rear facing to facing forward, hull down AND shooting at you is a bit much. In addition I guess this would mean SPGs could only fire at you if they were already on a front facing. (I'm rather fine with that though, as things are already dangerous/lethal enough, the player's poor Sherman needs every advantage it can get)

I guess its a simplicity vs detail issue though. If you start tracking enemy turret facings and requiring stuff like Move Or Shoot you have to decide how many clauses to include in the enemy's otherwise random actions (Similar to how they are more likely to target you if you fire at them if they're facing you, or reposition if they're not facing you). I unfortunately don't know how complex such things would be, but I'm sure they're not extremely simple. Still, the situation stood out to me, so I thought I'd mention it.

[edit] Actually thinking back, I think I may have run into another bug in that at one point I may have retained my own hull down status after pivoting the tank.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 07:55:08 PM by GalagaGalaxian »

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #132 on: April 20, 2015, 09:17:05 PM »
Just a quick reply, but as per rules clarifications, in PB crewmen who are incapacitated can still attempt to bail out. It just means they can't do any actions inside the tank.

I'll check out the position changes when firing upon friendly units. There's a The General article called Improving Patton's Best that suggests some changes to enemy facing and action procedures, and I'll likely implement something similar in the futuure.

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #133 on: April 21, 2015, 10:04:25 AM »
I added a section to the AI action function so that if an enemy tank or SPG rolls an attack action and is not facing the player, it pivots to face the player instead. It will still maintain Hull Down status if it already had it.

Regarding pivoting and losing Hull Down, you can pivot your tank to face any direction in the Pivot action phase, but if you end up facing the same direction as you started, the program knows this and does not take away any Hull Down status, nor does it grant you Moving status. Only if you actually pivot to face a new direction will it remove any Hull Down and grant Moving status.

I've made some good fixes and changes for Alpha 5.5, hope to upload it in the next few days!

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #134 on: April 21, 2015, 06:48:05 PM »
Just uploaded Alpha 5.5 to http://www.armouredcommander.com/downloads.html

Highlights are weather effects, weather changes, bogging down, and corrected handling of Area Fire HE hits. Full changelog is in the readme.txt in either the binary or source archive.