Friday, October 3, 2008

TacAI in CMSF v1.10/Marines: Getting There

In a previous entry I mentioned my hopes for an improved TacAI in CMSF v1.10/Marines.

One pet peeve I had with CMSF v1.08 was that computer controlled units were not very good at getting out from kill zones. The computer controlled units were too slow to run away from enemy fire and (given the lethality of the weaponry involved) died quickly while crawling to cover (the crawl of death).

Back in the v1.08 times, I assembled a silly scenario to test the TacAI. Three rows of one-story buildings, with a relatively wide space between the first and second rows ("main street"). Under my command one M2 IFV and a two men HQ team overlooking "main street" from one edge of the map. The enemy is two Plt (-) of Syrian special forces (all dismounts), deployed on the opposite edge of the map. The Syrians are out of my forces view, behind of a row of houses that runs perpendicular to "main street". The Syrians have orders to "advance" towards the edge of the map held by the US. Their objective is strip of terrain as wide as the three rows of buildings. Their stance is "normal" and their allowed time to advance is 35 minutes.

While running the scenario with v1.08, the computer-controlled Syrians would advance in a wide front, including "main street". The poor bastards assigned to advance through "main street" were always mowed down. They would advance first, then get pinned down, crawl and die.

I ran the same scenario with v1.10 to see what had changed. Below is a screen shot after I asked for a cease fire.

Some Syrian units had no major problems advancing. They made to quite near the US forces because their routes of advance were out of LOS from the US forces. My focus here is the Syrian forces advancing through "main street".

A Syrian HQ unit opted for the right side of "main street", came under fire (see "A" label in the screen shot), suffered three casualties and moved to a building to find cover. Three survivors!

A Syrian squad chose the left side of "main street", came under fire (see "1" label in the screen shot), suffered three casualties, pulled a bit back and entered a building they were hugging. From there they engaged my forces with their RPGs (see "2" label in the screen shot). My Bradley lost its engine to their fire. Some members of this squad can be seen advancing (see "3" label in the screen shot).

Granted, fire accuracy has been toned down a bit in v1.10. But I don't think this could have helped the Syrians because the M2 IFV has a very high rate of fire. Whatever the reason, the Syrians have a chance to survive "main street" now!

I'm pleasantly surprised.

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