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Flanders Suggestions fr. Discussion with Butzzel and Klaiber 11/14/21


Hett
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Keeping in mind I've not played in awhile or even played the new Flying Circus of Nightmares... I have given some thought to potential suggestions for retooling FiF missions which may or may not work.  

The first consideration with the mission builders always seems to be objects in game versus capability of the engine.  It seems that once again things get bogged down in the code and from what I hear/understand from the Guys, the new game seems to be designed for fast skirmish style combat with little to no FoW at all.  This is in keeping with trends that have been for years steering us away from the "campaign" more towards the conflict.  

To compensate for this and still retain a lot of the "atmosphere" of FiF and other campaigns that we want to see as Simmers and Armchair Generals, I believe we'd need to reduce the scope of thinking to once again look at the snapshot idea, which decreases the scale and therefore the number of required objects in game at one time.  This idea is applicable to most situations in the IL-2 systems, whatever the era.

If we think snapshot, we look at the actual amount of time we are flying (and or tanking), let's say 2 hours and we are then starting off from a theoretical real world limit.  A convoy would not be able to replenish supplies at a forward outpost after said outpost was destroyed because in 2 hours the convoy would not reach the front.  This eliminates that sort of object as a concept of consideration.  At the risk of limiting ourselves down to just a head to head conflict between opposing sides there are still many elements we can use.  

A convoy may be a target but it is only a convoy.  The consequence of the Convoy's arrival might occur by the next game session but it would not arrive that game session.  Campaign generators and trackers automate this sort of thing but the mission designers would have to track all the objects themselves to transfer consequences to the next session or later.  Keeping the snapshot mission pointed and direct might reduce some of the level of detail but would serve two purposes in actual game play and design.  We basically create only the IF statements and leave the Else to the metagame tally between sessions.

  1. Helps to deter gaming the game.  Missions are required to prevent loss of the war, even if that day's battle seemed to indicate a different outcome.
  2. Cuts down Object quantity.

Missions would of course be detailed and relevant but the designers have total control of the snapshot the players get to participate in.  Two hours is not a lot of time IRL in the heat of battle.  Whether in the air or slogging through the rubble strewn streets to find enemy tank patrols.  Taking a HQ or Capturing a flag has a result, but the victor who claims the territory won't see the results of their victory until possibly next week if at all during the course of the campaign.

I think we can, as designers successfully narrate the war between the snapshots and track the elements that we place from one week to the next with logical outcomes based on the success or failure of the snapshot missions.   Multiple options can even be presented to the Generals of each side for plotting strategy and campaign development.

This might seem irrelevant and I blame my absence for that, but I am working to catch up, listening a lot and hoping to help smooth out some of the wrinkles that this new system throws up.

/S
 

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20 hours ago, Hett said:

Keeping in mind I've not played in awhile or even played the new Flying Circus of Nightmares... I have given some thought to potential suggestions for retooling FiF missions which may or may not work.  

Input/Feedback is always welcome!

20 hours ago, Hett said:

The first consideration with the mission builders always seems to be objects in game versus capability of the engine.  It seems that once again things get bogged down in the code and from what I hear/understand from the Guys, the new game seems to be designed for fast skirmish style combat with little to no FoW at all.  This is in keeping with trends that have been for years steering us away from the "campaign" more towards the conflict.  

+1.  The bigger the mission, the more chance you have of mission/log errors.  Especially when you start adding in people.  @Kliegmann and @Butzzell have both had this problem.

20 hours ago, Hett said:

To compensate for this and still retain a lot of the "atmosphere" of FiF and other campaigns that we want to see as Simmers and Armchair Generals, I believe we'd need to reduce the scope of thinking to once again look at the snapshot idea, which decreases the scale and therefore the number of required objects in game at one time.  This idea is applicable to most situations in the IL-2 systems, whatever the era.

If we think snapshot, we look at the actual amount of time we are flying (and or tanking), let's say 2 hours and we are then starting off from a theoretical real world limit.  A convoy would not be able to replenish supplies at a forward outpost after said outpost was destroyed because in 2 hours the convoy would not reach the front.  This eliminates that sort of object as a concept of consideration.  At the risk of limiting ourselves down to just a head to head conflict between opposing sides there are still many elements we can use.  

That's a good point, and something that we've tried to factor in as best as possible.  Especially in Tanks In Flames from the Spring.

This is one of the reasons the factory missions are often weird, as real factories would be far behind enemy lines and require bombers at high altitude.  It wouldn't be something we'd get to within 30 minutes.  In actually, what we've been bombing aren't really factories, per say.  Rather, they're supply depots moving munitions and equipment to the front.  Or, muster points if we're talking about troop concentrations.

20 hours ago, Hett said:

A convoy may be a target but it is only a convoy.  The consequence of the Convoy's arrival might occur by the next game session but it would not arrive that game session.  Campaign generators and trackers automate this sort of thing but the mission designers would have to track all the objects themselves to transfer consequences to the next session or later.  Keeping the snapshot mission pointed and direct might reduce some of the level of detail but would serve two purposes in actual game play and design.  We basically create only the IF statements and leave the Else to the metagame tally between sessions.

  1. Helps to deter gaming the game.  Missions are required to prevent loss of the war, even if that day's battle seemed to indicate a different outcome.
  2. Cuts down Object quantity.

Missions would of course be detailed and relevant but the designers have total control of the snapshot the players get to participate in.  Two hours is not a lot of time IRL in the heat of battle.  Whether in the air or slogging through the rubble strewn streets to find enemy tank patrols.  Taking a HQ or Capturing a flag has a result, but the victor who claims the territory won't see the results of their victory until possibly next week if at all during the course of the campaign.

I think we can, as designers successfully narrate the war between the snapshots and track the elements that we place from one week to the next with logical outcomes based on the success or failure of the snapshot missions.   Multiple options can even be presented to the Generals of each side for plotting strategy and campaign development.

This might seem irrelevant and I blame my absence for that, but I am working to catch up, listening a lot and hoping to help smooth out some of the wrinkles that this new system throws up.

/S

A goal for a long time has been to get the results of one mission setting up the events of the next.  And we sort/kinda got that with the capture the flag dynamic in Tanks In Flames (TIF).  Though that has needed a lot of adjusting.

However, without a parser, it would require a lot of screenshots and mid-week work by the mission designer to hand craft the next mission.  I think this is what Kliegmann was going to try and do for his Europe In Flames event (another WW2 tournament).  However, that was going to require him to basically not fly.

Currently, in FIF, by using a Map A and a Map B, and then randomizing the targets, we kind of fake it for WW1.  And we can basically get away with it due to the lack of a moving frontline.  The missions are mostly different each time, and you can roleplay weirdness of the targets by assuming that the fictitious generals picking the targets are just a bit clueless.

However, as you said, there isn't a continuity from mission to mission.  And I think we'd all like to see continuity.

With continuity, you could (for example) hit Factory 1 knowing that this will stop convoys from heading to the front in it's sector, which will restrict the number of guns in that area, which could then open up that region for a tank attack from your side.  Which could destabilize that area and give you points.

 

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2 hours ago, Klaiber said:

However, as you said, there isn't a continuity from mission to mission.  And I think we'd all like to see continuity.

With continuity, you could (for example) hit Factory 1 knowing that this will stop convoys from heading to the front in it's sector, which will restrict the number of guns in that area, which could then open up that region for a tank attack from your side.  Which could destabilize that area and give you points.

Is it?  Logical Progression yes, what goes on in the background, maybe not?  Is the continuity level necessary from the viewpoint of a front line pilot or a tank commander?  I keep bringing up to Butzzel the idea that a common soldier, maybe even an officer might not know why or what was going on.  As in the German pilots at the end of WW1 that didn't believe they had lost the war because in their minds, they had won.  A mission is a set of orders, orders to be followed quite often without knowing what the purpose was.  I'm sure there is a happy medium between complete obviousness and full disclosure to everyone.  Stripping it all down to exactly what we want to accomplish with FiF will hopefully answer some of these questions.

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58 minutes ago, Hett said:

Is it?  Logical Progression yes, what goes on in the background, maybe not?  Is the continuity level necessary from the viewpoint of a front line pilot or a tank commander?  I keep bringing up to Butzzel the idea that a common soldier, maybe even an officer might not know why or what was going on.  As in the German pilots at the end of WW1 that didn't believe they had lost the war because in their minds, they had won.  A mission is a set of orders, orders to be followed quite often without knowing what the purpose was. 

With any big offensive, the common foot soldier may not have known about the overarching strategic concerns that were the subject of command briefings.  But they knew that the point was to weaken the enemy, so that territory could be taken so that the enemy could be pushed back.

However, with flying squadrons, given that they were directly supporting the ground war or were directly supporting those who were directly supporting the ground war, you can imagine that there would be a much clearer picture about what was going on.  For one thing, they can physically see it from the air.  And for another thing, they'd recognize the movement of friendly bombers alongside the activities of enemy bombers and what targets were selected for destruction.

My point is, having us hit a random bridge out in the middle of nowhere for a point is less immersive than hitting a bridge in an active sector that sits between a known ammo depot, a muster point, and a supply artery for a forward position you've seen 2000 men die over yesterday.

And thus, I think we'd all like to see continuity here because it's not only logical progression but something more tangibly apparent.  Connected targets give teams the ability to plan strategies that take into account attrition (which we all love) and virtual attrition (which is the process of weakening an enemy by getting them to waste resources).

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The purpose of FiF  or any combat flight sim is just that - to offer the opportunity for air combat.  The winner is the team that works together and has great skills  ,,, and a little luck.

On 11/15/2021 at 3:14 PM, Klaiber said:

Connected targets give teams the ability to plan strategies that take into account attrition (which we all love) and virtual attrition (which is the process of weakening an enemy by getting them to waste resources).

Attrition works if both sides take out targets and are equally weakened. When the attrition is unequal, one team can be put into a hole that they can not come back from. That is where you need to have a handle on victory conditions. You have to be able to achieve a victory before one side is too demoralizes that they stop playing.

Attrition also creates a new level of game play. You are now dependent on the General to have a great plan. Someone will figure out which target or sequence will game the game.  You have to be very careful in designing this type of scenario.  It can be done. It is just a bit more involved.

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