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Makes sense. Getting hit in the face by a missile: Pretty painful. Having a missile explode behind you? Almost Harmless.
See, anti-tank rounds (with the honorable exception of the RPG-7) are made to destroy armor plating, not cause a huge shrapnel explosion like a grenade. Sure, you might get the explosion, maybe some whiplash, but since it was directed forwards (i.e., to the tip of the rocket) rather than raining shrapnel on you, it's entirely ineffective unless they hit you in the face with it.
Let me put it this way:
The "force" of the explosion is directed forwards, towards the plating, so that it can penetrate it easier. What's more effective against a heavily armored target, a shrapnel-filled explosion or a closed, directed one which concentrates the "force" of it towards a single point? That, is why the actual, Real Life military doesn't use rocket launchers as Anti-Personnel munitions. It's stupid and ineffective.
I've never really had a problem with needing multiple unit types in RA3. I usually just have anti-ground units with some air-to-air units backing them up (Tsunamis/Tengus/Waveforce Artillery, for instance).
I've been playing RA3 on the 360 (yes, really) for a while now, and I must say I'm quite impressed by EA's efforts to make RTS games on consoles succeed. Of course it's nowhere near as precise and easy to control as on a PC, but it still handles surprisingly well.
On a side note, I saw Crispin Freeman listed in the voice credits and I can't tell who he voices. IMDB didn't help at all, and it's eating me up inside.
Basically everywhere outside of NATO disagrees with you. RPG's are one of the leading causes of casualties in recent wars such as Chechnya, Iraq, and Afghanistan (both Soviets and us). Some rocket launchers (like the RPG-7 again) have multiple warhead types including incendiary, high-explosive (as in traditional artillery shell explosive), anti-personnel and thermobaric.
The easiest way to make this work in RTS is give rocket soldiers a slow but immense damage attack. Say do 80 damage to tanks and infantry per shot but it takes like 4-6 seconds between shots at minimum. Besides it plays better. It's a lot more fun when you realize that a half dozen rounds in the air every few seconds kills something as opposed to three dozen rounds still in flight from the sheer too-fast fire rate but weak damage.
And you now something? The CNC series had functionality in the RA 2 era that made units a lot more intelligent in auto-acquiring targets and allowed you to pull off that high damage low fire rate rocket soldier most effectively. Long mod stuff here Go get you a rules.ini/rulesmd.ini file for RA 2/YR and open it up. Do a "Find ->" for something called VHPScan. That's your functionality. It has three levels: "None" does like the game shipped with meaning most of the time units will all focus on the nearest target regardless of health or threat. "Normal" which will cause units to engage something else if the enemy health is in imminent danger of sinking into ConditionYellow (50% health in default). "Strong" is the most intelligent. A group of units will have only as many units as is needed to kill the target in one salvo (or hit ConditionRed aka 25% health whichever is more probable happening) meaning if one unit in a group will take out the target on its own accord in one shot with like units only one unit will fire unless all of them are ordered to shoot or others take damage from the enemy unit being target. VHPScan=Strong when applied to units makes them devilishly intelligent on auto-acquire and attack move.
Sadly such functionality was abandoned as of Generals and never implemented again.
edited 28th Mar '12 8:08:22 PM by MajorTom
I have always thought about having something like that in an RTS game, where units prioritize who to attack when you let them do their own thing.
Also, speaking of rocket launchers used on personnel, I have two things to say: 1. This discussion reminds me of that story about the US soldier in either Iraq or Afghanistan who got hit with an RPG-7 round and lived (it didn't go off, if I recall correctly) and 2. dedicated anti-personnel rocket launchers seem like something that could do what a grenade launcher already does.
edited 28th Mar '12 8:49:53 PM by RocketDude
From what you guys are saying, Major and Rocketdude, you totally need to check out Wargame: European Escalation. Basically contains everything you were talking about just a few posts ago Tom, and units behave realisically for once: they need to be resupplied with fuel and ammo, have different armor values on their flanks and rear, weaker weapons won't be able to penetrate the armor on tougher units, firing ranges are realistic (often more than a 1000m), and can panic or rout under heavy pressure. Oh yeah, and seeing a horde of T34/85u's try to take down an M1 Abrams is hillarious.
Some of those things are useful (range and armor especially), others (the whole manual re-supply thing sucks in RTS if it can't be automated a la airfields and aircraft) not so much.
I personally prefer longer range combat in RTS. That's why my Yuri's Revenge mod has ranges no less than 16 cells long. (That's almost as wide as the screen at 1024x768 resolution. 20-24 cell ranges depending on angle often are longer than the screen.)
Well the supply mechanic is actually far from realistic. If anything, it's probably the single most abstracted thing in the whole game. All you need to do is park a supply truck nearby the unit(s) that need to be rearmed or repaired, and it'll automatically begin to restock them. And the resupply range is pretty ridiculous too, units more than 500 meters away will receive the supplies as well!
And it's definately a good thing, because it keeps the more powerful units and weapons in check and prevents them from being spammed too much, namely the artillery units and AT/AA missiles, as well as preventing recon units from going on hit-and-run killing sprees.
@Major Tom - Fair enough, but rockets in the C&C games basically operate in that principle. And, as was stated above by Rocket Dude, it's way cheaper (and more effective) to just use grenade launchers in that sort of situations. Maybe the Soviets/NOD/GLA could have the sort of Rockets you mentioned (being that they're the token "low-tech" factions), making them more effective on infantry and less on vehicles.
Rockets as anti-personnel is actually higher tech. For one it has versatility of purpose. Grenade launchers are far more prone to Crippling Overspecialization than an RPG. Also RPG-7s for instance are cheaper than M203's. (Get used to hearing about the RPG-7, it's a universal kind of weapon.)
Now if only real world armies would make homing rockets able to track an infantryman...
edited 29th Mar '12 8:46:39 AM by MajorTom
Eh, it depends. Simply carrying different warheads for your RPG works better than carrying an RPG and a grenade launcher that are only useful for certain things.
I've played a lot of The Battle for Middle Earth, which is built on the Generals engine. Does that count?
Homing Rockets for infantrymen would be too impractical when you could just, you know, shoot 'em at just about any distance. It'd be like using a howitzer to blow up a wooden bridge. Sure, it's effective, but it's too damn wasteful. The money and resources could be used for far more practical ways of dealing with running infantry .
As for the RPG-7, It may be cheaper, but it's way less reliable when you factor in that a grenade can be arched, while the rocket flies directly forwards (well, it arches upwards, but that's not what I mean). Grenades (unlike what videogames may tell you) are not always made to explode upon impact with any flat surface, making them more reliable to launch behind cover. Furthermore, grenade launchers are easier to carry, lighter, and more versatile than rocket launchers in a combat situation. And you can tape a grenade launcher like the M203 (FOR EXAMPLE, NOT THIS ONE SPECIFICALLY) to a wide variety of rifles this day and age, thus bypassing the issue of having another weapon to carry altogether. It may not be cheaper, but it's more cost-effective and versatile. This is the reason actual organized armies make the distinction between Anti-Personnel rounds and Anti-Armor rounds, and the reason behind grenade launchers being so widespread. Versatility wins.
Which is why they don't give Grenade Launchers and rockets to the same trooper.
Guys, entertaining as this extended discussion of real world weapons is, would you kindly move it to another thread so we can actually talk about video games in this one?
Ok, time to rerail then.
Expanding on Major Tom's idea of "realistic" ranges: exactly would we go about implementing that in any of the C&C games, exactly? The major issue there is that ALL of the C&C games were never done to scale. That is, a lot of them had basic riflemen the size of cars, dreadnoughts that are smaller than any of the structures in the game, supposedly huge units like the Mammoth MK 2 no bigger than a tank. And the ranges never made sense either: aircraft had to be practically on top of their targets to fire, infantry couldn't even shoot past a city block or treeline, and artillery of any sort had pathetic range, even in-game. Unless the next C&C decides to massively increase the scale and size of both the units and maps to realistic proportions (which isn't likely, given what little we've seen out the Generals 2 teaser), I don't see it happening.
Mostly just crank up the numbers and ditch the gimmicky shit like suicide bombers. (Seriously the last 10 years has shown those to be increasingly ineffective against regular militaries. Tank cracking, building busting, fanatics they are not. Alternatively if you must, force them to rely on stealth and line of sight.) Then throw in some stuff that can break up the unstoppability of a tide of tanks such as elevation models, cover, line of sight (make buildings, trees and walls solid) and more.
Also, shrink the size of stuff on screen. We don't need no Mammoth tank Expies being 1/12th of the entire screen.
edited 29th Mar '12 10:45:07 AM by MajorTom
Or use low-cost suicide drones instead of equipment piloted by actual pilots.
Though if you're going do to that you might as well use missiles. Still, it makes sense that the Empire of the Rising Sun in RA 3 used kamikaze pilots, considering their faction was basically a mishmash of every Western idea about Japanese culture they could think of.
Wasn't it just the mini-subs in RA 3 that were manned kamikazes? The support power was stated to be entirely drones.
Again, something that Wargame:EE did, and it works... to an extent. One problem that game highlights is once you start using more realistic combat ranges and tactics, infantry seriously become useless unless you've got an APC or chopper to swiftly move them around. And the cover they use tends to not last very long against howitzers or tanks...
The other major issue is that the C&C series, as a whole, is strangely reliant upon a bunch of units that actually have to get up close and personal to attack: ex the bomb trucks, suicide bombers, terror drones, flamethrowers, Overlord tanks, etc. Perhaps the best way to get around that issue is instead of focusing on engagements that would likely involve long-range combat units, keep the fights in areas where infantry can find ample cover and move around with decent speed, such as cities, mountainous areas, or forests. That way, the close range units can still find a useful role, as well as stuff like tanks (building/armor destruction) or artillery (suppression/shelling enemy positions).
Welcome to real war. The last time a wall of men was an effective tactic against anything was early in the First World War.
Seriously infantry in the open deserve to get slaughtered by the hundreds if you are charging them unsupported across open terrain against things like defenses, tanks or artillery.
However use them tactically as is shown both in reality and the stuff you say. Have infantry garrison structures, use line of sight and cover to evade artillery and air support. Allow them to traverse areas (like dense forests) that other vehicles cannot. Also you can make the big guns inaccurate (even if still very lethal if a random direct hit happens) against them. The first CNC did that last part. Tank guns there would kill any infantry in two hits if it landed a direct one. Problem (for the tank anyways) was, it rarely did that.
Yep, Artillery units were among the most damaging in the game against almost anything, and there were several missions in which you spend a good portion of the time watching out for a small group of them coming up behind your base, on top of a cliff, and blowing your construction yard to kingdom come (these were typically before you got aircraft, though the one in which you do pretty much forces it to stop that tactic).
Trouble was, two tank hits would wipe them out, a minigunner (bit of a misnomer, it was an assault rifle he was carryin IIRC) could do the same job if micromanaged to avoid fire, etc.
Interestingly actually, the GDI equivalent, the MLRS, was designed with infantry killing in mind as well as tanks and buildings. They made superb escorts for tank armies to wipe out the infantry before moving onto the other units as support fire.
Yeah, not a bad idea. Adding in stuff like ECM or a camoflague rating to reduce the enemy's accuracy might help that situation as well. Say for example, if you were to deploy an ECM unit nearby your airfields (or whatever the hell you consider important), it would make the enemy's artillery fire on that area less accurate and random. But if the enemy manages to get a scout unit nearby to give targeting coordinates or a direct line of sight, then the ECM ability would be negated, and the artillery fire would be precise and deadly.
That's actually what they did in real life. The MLRS was meant to scare the hell out of the enemy and demoralize/disorganize them by blasting huge areas with a swarm of flechettes and rockets, and pummel enemy defensive positions.
edited 29th Mar '12 11:47:11 AM by SgtRicko
When you can erase an entire grid square (a 1 kilometer square area) with a single battery of vehicles that more scares them in the sense of "5,000 of our men just got wiped out!" than simply "stay out of the open!"
Anyone else spend hours and hours in Tiberian Sun intricately crafting their base? I was of the mindset that if every square inch isn't paved and it doesn't have walls or gates, it's not a base, damn it!
As I recall, the GDI mission in which you had to defend the Kodiak was the absolute worst in that regard.
Me! I played that game when I was about... 10-12-ish, I can't remember exactly, and I always wanted my bases to look great. Of course, I lost all the time until I learned how to properly plan your base.
Yeah, I got a little obsessive over base building and structure placement. In the Nod mission where you have to escort weed eaters down a long road to your base, I even set up little gated checkpoints along the way courtesy of a captured GDI barracks.
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