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Reccon Report

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Hi

First I have to say I am very excited by that project and I am waiting for a Falklands sim since I play flightsims.

Now I have a little feature suggestion you might like.

 

This feature will very much depend how the dynamic campaign will work and how it is presented to the player. For now I am assuming for simplicity that the campaign progress ( intel ) between the missions is shown to the player in a similar way as Falcon 4.0 does.

What I like to see is that the player can report units he see on his missions and that the campagin engine will react on those informations. Lets make an example:

The player is in his Skyhawk on his mission to attack british ships. On his way he overflyes a single ship that hasn't been mentioned in the briefing and wasn't on the intel map of the campaign cause it was hidden by the fog of war. Now the player looks at his kneeboard map ( another must have :) ) and klicks on the position where he thinks the ship is and writes a comment to it. The player carries on his normal mission and flyes back. On the debriefing screen now, there is an option to write a reccon report. A map where the player can mark positions of units he discovered. He also can assign an ID to that mark from a dropdown list. This list could include specific ship types ( Type 42, Hermes, ... ), classes ( destroyer, carrier, ... ) or just target type ( ship, tank, SAM, ... ) according to how far the player actualy could ID the unit on his mission. Other options the player could set for his finding are Friendly/Hostile/Neutral/Unknown, degree of certanity ( High/Medium/Low ) and how sure he is of the exact position ( exact, somewhere in the ocean, ... ). Perhaps some know that ID-system from the game Sub Command. Once the player has insert all his discoverys he presses the report button. The infos now are sent to the campaign engine wich will use these datas on further mission.

If the player per example was shot upon by a SAM and later reported the position, in the briefings of the next missions there will be a notification and a threat circle on the map.

Or if the player reported a destroyer with medium certanity, the campaign engine might run a reccon mission next to confirm the contact. Or if the player reports a carrier with high certanity and gives exact position informations, the campagin engine might imediatly launch a strike group on that target.

The key of that report function is that the campaign engine uses these datas additionaly to it's other inputs and calulates reasonable answers. The camgaign engine migh comletly ignore a low certenity ship sighting, or ignore a high certenity Type 42 destroyer if there are more important missions to do. Or the engine just uptades position informations of a known conact. Also the position input of the player is important. An unexact position information of a certain carrier sightning might generate a big search effort while a wrong position report of the player migh let a strike group running into empty space.

 

The whole concept would add much to the missions themselfe, as the player would had to observe his envoirement and try to give exact informations, as wrong reports would result in waste of campagin recources. And of the player doesn't wants to report anything, he just doesn't do it. Also this would make a very impotant type of missions of the Falklands war possible, the armed reccons.

 

The whole concept sound quite complicated and new, but at the end it just adds the player to the eyes of the campagin engine as every other AI unit already is. It is part of a dynamic campaign anyway that AIs "report" their sightings to the engine and that missions are based on this informations. Btw, it would be cool if the AIs don't instantly are they eyes of the camgain engine but only after they landed on their homebase.

 

I don't insist that you have to include exactly what I request here, I just wanted to give you some food for toughts and stimulaty others to write down their ideas.

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Guest Shadowcat

That is a very cool idea. If the campaign engine was written to support that type of data from the existing A.I., then it might be easier to add in player reports of a similar nature.

 

One problem would be distinguishing player-reported units from A.I.-reported units, and I suspect the player would need to make the call on those. Otherwise the campaign may end up thinking that there are two destroyers in an area instead of one, if two different missions spotted it but had reported the position differently.

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Shadowcat, this problem can be part of the idea behind that mechanisme. If an AI armed-recon flight sights a ship and reports its position, then moments later the player sees the same ship and reports it too but with wrong position informations, the campaign engine might indeed think there are two ships and act on that basis.

That mechanisme prevents the player from making reports without much toughts. As the player is aware that his input has an effect on the bigger planing, he has to take extra care in what he tells on the debriefing ( just like in real life ). Otherwise he makes the campagin harder for himselfe.

 

I had another tough on this subject, but this time on kill reports. Until now, we always had our kills listed in the debriefing in every game. What about if this infos fall into the fog of war aswell and the player even has to tell the campagin engine what kills he had ?

Airframes were an important and spare ressource in the Falkland war. Every Sea Harrier the RN lost made their live harder, cause less planes had to do the same dutys. Only few more lost Sea Harrier could have meant that CAPs couldn't be monted or intercepts couldn't be flown. Wouldn't it be possible to utilice that interesting tactical situation in the campagin more intense ? The campagin engine plans missions according to the assets it thinks the enemy has. If the argie "commander" thinks the Sea Harrier force has been reduced enough he might descide to cancel further escort mission and send strikes alone. Or if he thinks all Sea Harrier got destroyed he might attack the fleet head-on. The kill claims the pilots make after a mission would have a direct effect on how strong the campagin engine thinks the enemys squadrons are.

So if the player fills in his debriefing after an mission and claims to have shoot down 4 Harriers while in fact he just downed 1, this has an effect on the further campaign. The campagin engine assumes the Sea Harrier force is weaker that it actualy is and plans on this. This could make an nice surprise on a following missions.

 

Anyway, thats just a little idea I had. I don't know if it actualy adds something to the gameplay or if it just would be annoying. I had to test it myselfe to see if it is fun or not. I guess it would most likely something for the most hardcore players and would certanly need to be an difficulty option. After all it is nice to see your success' after your mission.

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