Darkest Hour - Dev Diary #32 - Casualties Tracker

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Hello everybody and welcome to our new development diary. :)

Today is the day I will introduce one of the most awaited and requested feature we implemented in v1.03, -- namely ‘casualties stats’!

As most of you know, this feature was initially planned to be in the first version of the game but was dropped along the way as we faced a serious realism dilemma. For where Hearts of Iron II, which we built our game upon, was good at simulating most aspects of land warfare, it made a poor job at producing realistic and consistent combat losses.

We didn’t want to come up with a casualties tracker only to hear that these statistics aren’t realistic and that the feature is ‘broken’. ;)

Thus, we first needed to address the land combat system to make it more realistic. An earlier development diary already introduced our changes to land combats and doctrines.


Casualties tracker and equipment types

Now, on to casualties!

There are 3 categories of manpower losses logged by the game engine:

  • Killed (KIA)
  • Missing (MIA) - same as killed, but counted when a division vanishes in encirclement
  • Wounded - the % of the ‘killed’ MP that returns to MP pool (tickle-back doctrine modifier)


These 3 categories are aggregated by the casualties tracker into a single losses statistics number. You can change this behaviour and record only the actual KIA and not captured units and attrition losses thanks to the usual misc.txt value! :)
And as we want to make things perfect, we also fixed a bug along the way with mobilization command applying tickle-back modifiers to (de)mobilized land units.

Now, how does the tracker determine how many men are lost in a given battle?

Each unit model has a new section in the units files called ‘equipment’. Under this entry, we added equipment types that a given unit may be composed of.

As an example (and I am making it up), a full-strength 1939 medium armor division could have 8 000 personnel, 700 trucks and 300 medium armors. When the unit looses strength in battle, its equipment will be reduced accordingly. For instance, a half-strength 1939 medium armor may have lost 150 tanks. And that’s how the game calculates battle losses!

Here is the list of the 37 equipment categories to be used in brigade and unit types (fully moddable):

  • manpower
  • equipment
  • artillery
  • heavy_artillery
  • anti_air
  • anti_tank
  • horses
  • trucks
  • halftracks
  • armored_car
  • light_armor
  • medium_armor
  • heavy_armor
  • tank_destroyer
  • sp_artillery
  • fighter
  • heavy_fighter
  • rocket_interceptor
  • bomber
  • heavy_bomber
  • transport_plane
  • helicopter
  • rocket
  • balloon
  • transports (convoys)
  • escorts
  • transport
  • battleship
  • battlecruiser
  • heavy_cruiser
  • carrier
  • escort_carrier
  • light_cruiser
  • destroyer
  • submarine
  • nuclear_submarine



We added tool-tips on units icons to let you know about what equipment a given unit currently has/would have at full strength.


939906ScreenSave2.jpg



Battle casualties reports

Now, how will you know about the losses you suffered/inflicted in battle?

A post battle message will let you know about the losses you inflicted or suffered (per equipment types) as well as your allies’ losses, if they joined the battle.


700988ScreenSave3.jpg



And as we assume you may want to customize your interface to suit your own taste, we added 3 combat losses report and equipment report styles, selectable from the right-click menu above the Pause button!

But that is not all!

A tool-tip will also let you know about the current losses taken and inflicted per country during the battle, over battle progress bar (both on battles list and for current battle). Another tool-tip will let you know about current equipment for unit involved in a battle.


309114ScreenSave4.jpg



All the inflicted/taken losses are then logged in 9 new statistic pages: Army Equipment Comparison, Air Force Equipment Comparison, Naval Equipment Comparison, Taken Losses Comparison, Inflicted Losses Comparison, Taken Losses (Air), Inflicted Losses (Air), Taken Losses (Naval), Inflicted Losses (Naval). The Equipment comparison pages will allow you to take a quick look at the available equipment for you and your allies, assuming that the fog of war is active and you didn't remove it to spy your enemies! ( ;) ) The pages with the Taken and Inflicted losses will show, obviously, the Equipment losses that have been taken and inflicted in each category for every country in the world.


New moddability

But that is still not all!!

As you know we love to support the modding community and further expand the scope of what can be done by modders, we thought losses statistics may be interesting for multiple reasons.

Not only will you be able to modify at will the equipment each unit model is composed of, but you will also enjoy this new trigger:

losses = { [country = TAG/-1(default)] type = equipment_type value = X [data = 0(default)/1/2] }
# Checks if TAG (or country in question if not specified or country = -1) took at least X losses of equipment_type (data = 0 or no data),
# inflicted at least X losses of equipment_type (data = 1) or if (inflicted - taken) losses of equipment_type are at least X (data = 2)

losses = X #Check if current country lost at least X manpower


Now, what use could it have?

Perhaps you already had some ideas of yours, but here is how I used it in my upcoming World in Flames 2 mod:

An event will happen when Germany has sunk more than say 1,000 convoys (1 M tons) to let you know about your ‘Uboats Success’. It then has various effects to simulate the growing power of Admiral Dönitz in the Kriesgmarine.

Another event will let you know about the stories of Luftwaffe aces when you destroyed enough enemy fighters.

Not enough?

Now, you could also add ‘War Attrition’ events increasing dissent to simulate the crumbling public opinion support to the war your country wages when it lost more than, say, 1 million soldiers in battle.

Still not enough?

What about using inflicted losses as a condition for triggering your enemy’s surrender? You may want to play around this and require that you destroyed 1,000 enemy tanks or sunk 10 enemy battleships to win the war (if we are talking about a hypothetical naval conflict).

As you can see, the possibilities are almost endless and you can play with this new trigger with all the different scenarios and possible situations that could happen in game.



And this ends our development diary!
We hope that you enjoyed the reading and, most of all, that you will enjoy these new features coming with v1.03! :)
 
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Earl Uhtred

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That's pretty cool.

I wonder, if you're tracking MIA statistics would it be possible to have a 'prisoner exchange' at the end of hostilities giving you a slight manpower boost based on the number of MIA personnel?
 

Ardrianer

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awesome!
 

Mexbuild

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How a Hoi2 game can produce "horses"? :laugh:
I can't imagine producing horses through your ic without laughing.

Now serious:

So a unenduring Battle of Verdun could create dissent (titled as war weariness?)
 

Kung Zog

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Nice!

Are the losses equally shared between the different equipment categories or can a motorised division lose 15% of it's infantry but only 12% of the trucks?
 

Fernando Torres

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How a Hoi2 game can produce "horses"? :laugh:
I can't imagine producing horses through your ic without laughing.
There's actually a lot of history there. I first wanted horses be removed but Eric, Martin, Andrea and the rest of the team wanted very bad to keep them. So I quit.
And then, playing the game made me feel more sympathetic toward horses. I saw the 'War Horse' movie recently and then read some articles about how the Wehrmacht even at its best still used horses to carry equipment.
So at the end of the day, although it seemed funny to me at first, I kinda like having horses as an equipment. :) It makes sense and it's cute. :)
It's not like it can't be modded out anyway.
 

jpbfr

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As Fernando said , now you can use losses as triggers , so I guess somebody could add an event for Japan to win the Pacific War if their forces manage to destroy the whole US navy, instead of having to inavde the damn American mainland , which can be a pain. Maybe a white peace , with some modest gains and the end of the oil embargo. What do you guys think ?
 

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As Fernando said , now you can use losses as triggers , so I guess somebody could add an event for Japan to win the Pacific War if their forces manage to destroy the whole US navy, instead of having to inavde the damn American mainland , which can be a pain. Maybe a white peace , with some modest gains and the end of the oil embargo. What do you guys think ?

If Japan is quick enough it might actually work :)
 

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great job! maybe in a future patch you could separate the KIA,MIA and wounded in the statistics.
 

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OMG!!! This is so awesome.
 

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