AI & GAME LOGIC
The game logic very much depends on mission design and additionally
implements individual vehicle management.
The designer of the mission will have set up a (hopefully) good battle
plan for OpFor. Usually the plan for Blue is left to you. The way you make
use of the information in the briefing and use the mission planning screen
and its path planning options and conditional variables affects how your
force will react to the presence or non-presence of the enemy and the way
the unfolding battle is developing. You can set up static defenses. You
can try hesitant needle-attacks or massive, concentrated counter-attacks.
You can try stubborn head-on-attacks, or flanking maneuver, or hiding
moves. It is up to you. But it also is you who will have to face the
consequences of your decisions.
While you usually command the tank you are riding with, the single
vehicle in your group is not commanded precisely into exact positions,
instead when it reaches the area of the battle position for your group,
each vehicle will search independently for a good position where it is
well-concealed, hull-down, and facing threats with itís frontal armor, if
possible. For that it will maneuver up to 100-200 meters in the vicinity.
Prepared dug-in pits will be recognized by the AI. It will also constantly
change itís exact position in reaction to enemyís movement, sometimes
more, sometimes less Ė it depends on the enemy, but it never exposes itís
vulnerable flank or rear in these movements, >if possible<. So you order
the general movement and behavior, but the single units will act
autonomously when it comes to searching hull-down positions, evading enemy
artillery fire (if you allow them to evade), maneuvering in your vicinity
to find best position, and so on. In battle they will constantly move back
and forth, to pop up, let loose a shot, and disappear again while their
cannons are reloaded, they will try to prevent being outflanked or expose
their vulnerable sides and rears to the enemy. There is no static to be
seen. Forget the old "M1 Tank Platoon" by MicroProse, this is the real
However, one of the rare and small setbacks that need to be mentioned
is with regard to tanks in battle positions that are in very close
vicinity of natural obstacles like (especially) huge rocks. During
fighting in desert scenarios I repeatedly saw a tank in such state being
blocked by the obstacle, eventually refusing to face the enemy with his
front, when the obstacle prevented that movement, or refusing to move back
if the obstacles were behind him. In that case the tank constantly moves
back and fourth by less than half a meter, trying to pass through the
obstacle. Where during route traveling tanks are able to evade and go
around obstacles, they seem to have some problems when trying that while
being engaged in a battle position.
During overland travel, units under AI control (both Blue and Red) will
follow roads if they are in column formation and have no dedicated scout
or breaching-orders, and if the orientation of the road is not more than
30į off the direction to the next waypoint.
In general the AI of the game works very well and acts in a believable
fashion. Vehicle management works fine and the simís management and
monitoring of your plan that you ordered your force to follow is reliable
and neutral, it does not cheat in favor of the computerís side. Since the
missions are set up by human mission designers and the mission editor
allows them diverse, random setups of starting conditions, you must even
expect to be surprised by non-welcomed moves you would not expect to see
from a computer-controlled AI.
I never saw something like vehicles getting stuck in trees or in
geographical features that are expected to be passable. Rivers seem to be
considered as impassable, no matter how small or wide they are, so you
need bridges or bridge-layers for them. You can "intentionally" get your
own tank stuck, if you order it to climb a too steep edge, for example.
You better not do that. Vehicle management by the AI will avoid this to
take place, I never witnessed "accidents" like this taking place.
Vegetation will damage vehicles, however, if they use improper driving
styles and high speeds in, for example, forest or rough terrain.