Itís Thursday again, so that means itís time for another TFH DD! This week Iíll be talking about two rather neat new features: Combat Tactics and Armour/Piercing.
Letís look at Tactics first. When a battle starts now, the battle leader on both sides picks a Combat Tactic which gives his side certain bonuses. These are somewhat like the old Battle Events, but they are always active now, and a new Tactic is chosen by both sides every day of the battle. The choice of Tactic is affected by: Leader skill, Skill vs enemy skill, Units present, Techs, Frontage, Reserves, and whether itís an offensive or defensive battle. Many Tactics also have a Counter-tactic that nullifies them, meaning they grant no bonus. In the example below you can see this has happened to the Soviet Ambush, the Germanís have chosen Breakthrough, which counters Ambush and renders it useless. Leaders who out-skill their opponent s are more likely to Counter them.
For players who want to influence their leadersí Tactical choices, we have added an Aggression slider to manually controlled units which acts to weigh their choices in the direction you set (In the case of AI controlled units this is handled by their Stance). You can set Aggression at any HQ level and your leaders will look to the nearest HQ above them in the chain of command to take their stance from them. You can simply set this that the Theatre level, or you can tweak every Corps HQ on the Eastern front if you so desire. You can even mix n match, for example you might set a Theatre thatís on the defensive to use cautious tactics, but set your counter-attacking Armoured Corps to high Aggression.
Higher Aggression settings will tend to make leaders pick higher risk Tactics which tend to win battles faster but take higher losses, while lower settings will make leaders use delaying tactics to draw out battles with minimal losses. Do keep in mind that this only weighs the choices of your leaders though, so you may find Rommel is still launching Blitzs even while set to low aggression.
Now for Armour/Piercing. All tank type brigades, and armoured cars, now have an Armour value, and all land combat brigades, plus a few support, now have an Armour Piercing value. Whenever an Armoured unit is in combat any unit attacking it must test their Piercing value against its Armour: If its Armour is higher the unit takes half damage from their attacks and does increased Org damage. If the Piercing value is equal or higher than the Armour then there is no effect and combat proceeds as normal. Both Armour and Piercing work by checking the best value in a division, it is not averaged. As a rough rule of thumb, at equal tech levels Light and Medium armour cannot be Pierced by Infantry, but will be by Anti-tank brigades, while Heavy armour will not be. Armoured cars, on the other hand, will not normally have any advantage over Infantry unless they have a couple of tech levels over them. This means there is now an arms race between Armour and Armour Piercing weapons, both between tanks and AT/tanks, and should make AT units more useful as well as offering some more advantages to Heavy and Super Heavy armour units.
Thatís all for this week, but tune in next Thursday for news about the Operational mapmode, our new multiplayer Chat system, and Battle Scenarios.