Hearts of IronIII: Their Finest Hour. Dev diary 2. Combat Tactics and Armour/Piercing

Darkrenown

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It’s Thursday again, so that means it’s time for another TFH DD! This week I’ll be talking about two rather neat new features: Combat Tactics and Armour/Piercing.
Let’s 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 it’s 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 German’s have chosen Breakthrough, which counters Ambush and renders it useless. Leaders who out-skill their opponent s are more likely to Counter them.
Their Finest Hour DD2 tactics.png
For players who want to influence their leaders’ 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 that’s on the defensive to use cautious tactics, but set your counter-attacking Armoured Corps to high Aggression.
Their Finest Hour DD2 aggro.png
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.

That’s all for this week, but tune in next Thursday for news about the Operational mapmode, our new multiplayer Chat system, and Battle Scenarios.
 

GrimReaper

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Yes! This is gold :D

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.
No mention of air units having a Piercing value, so does this mean having a strong air force is vital to counter a strong tank force?
 
Last edited:

kaspar42

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For players who want to influence their leaders’ 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 that’s on the defensive to use cautious tactics, but set your counter-attacking Armoured Corps to high Aggression.

Ok, so if I am on full manual, I still can't directly pick the tactic? Can I set the aggression for individual battles, or do I have to track down the HQ of the commanding leader to set it there? And is there then an easy way to select the leaders HQ, like clicking his portrait in the battle view?
 

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Ace!
 

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Good stuff !

However its been a long day for me and I am a bit confused by this

"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."

Could you perhaps give an example?

Thanks
 

joeenochs

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Cool, Darkrenown. Question: How is the battle leader determined? Must he come from the fighting divisions
or can he also come from the superior HQs not directly involved in the battle?
I think the latter makes much more sense and is consistent with the fact that in 3.06 HQ leaders can gain
experience well without directly fighting. Otherwise you are forced to send HQs into the battle
just to get the right battle leader.
 

Beagá

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Won´t that mean SU will be beaten even harder than before?

Maybe it´s time to get rid of those Decisions then, since considering most german leaders start with better skill than allied and sovietic generals... They will have quite an advantage until their counterparts are more experienced. It certainly is a great improvement and allows for more "organic" outcomes than giving +20% hard attack out of nowhere.
 

mdlusk

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What will armor serve for armored cars? Defending against militia or garrisons or cavalry? Or is it intended that someone will try to increase the armor of them tech rushing, and use them against infantry? Just curious on the philosophy behind it. I understand the historical context.

Also by "attacking" the armored unit, does that mean when the defenders or attackers attack, or only for attackers? I.e. does it help armored units on both offense and defense? Just want to clear that up.
 

unmerged(271387)

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Won´t that mean SU will be beaten even harder than before?

Maybe it´s time to get rid of those Decisions then, since considering most german leaders start with better skill than allied and sovietic generals... They will have quite an advantage until their counterparts are more experienced. It certainly is a great improvement and allows for more "organic" outcomes than giving +20% hard attack out of nowhere.
Makes sense
 

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Also by "attacking" the armored unit, does that mean when the defenders or attackers attack, or only for attackers? I.e. does it help armored units on both offense and defense? Just want to clear that up.

Superior armor vs enemy weapons means you take less damage, but it also replaces the old hard vs soft attack bonus letting you perform more attacks if your armor is strong enough.

Cool, Darkrenown. Question: How is the battle leader determined? Must he come from the fighting divisions
or can he also come from the superior HQs not directly involved in the battle?
I think the latter makes much more sense and is consistent with the fact that in 3.06 HQ leaders can gain
experience well without directly fighting. Otherwise you are forced to send HQs into the battle
just to get the right battle leader.

Tactics are based on the leaders directly in combat. We toyed with the idea of having one higher level decide it, but felt this would force the player into structuring armies a certain way so we didnt do that.

Ok, so if I am on full manual, I still can't directly pick the tactic? Can I set the aggression for individual battles, or do I have to track down the HQ of the commanding leader to set it there? And is there then an easy way to select the leaders HQ, like clicking his portrait in the battle view?

if you disengage your troops from all HQs you can't pick tactics. The HQs do not have to be ai controlled for you to be able to affect tactics though. Just click the HQ above. Note that this is just a way to influence tactics before battle. I don't foresee anyone wanting to change it during combat so there is no shortcuts inside the battle view itself. If you do change the slider it might affect it 24h later though.

No mention of air units having a Piercing value, so does this mean having a strong air force is vital to counter a strong tank force?

Air to land attacks are not affected by armor etc and work as before
 

Fallschirm Neger

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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.

How does this compare to the existing statistic of Hard Attack?
 

Darkrenown

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What will armor serve for armored cars? Defending against militia or garrisons or cavalry? Or is it intended that someone will try to increase the armor of them tech rushing, and use them against infantry? Just curious on the philosophy behind it. I understand the historical context.

Also by "attacking" the armored unit, does that mean when the defenders or attackers attack, or only for attackers? I.e. does it help armored units on both offense and defense? Just want to clear that up.

AC armour is fairly token and mostly for bullying low tech nations, I wouldn't expect tech rushing them and using them as armour to be very effective.

Attacking = targetting in combat, doesn't matter what side they are on.

Good stuff !

However its been a long day for me and I am a bit confused by this

"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."

Could you perhaps give an example?

Thanks

Quick made-up numbers:
Inf = 4 Piercing.
Arm = 5 Armour, 5 Piercing.
AT = 6 Piercing.

Arm attacks Inf, Arm's Armour is higher than Inf's Piercing, so Arm takes halved damage from all Inf's attacks while doing bonus Org damage to them.

Arm attacks Inf + AT, Arm's Armour is lower than AT's Piercing, so Arm takes normal damage and does normal Org damage.

How does this compare to the existing statistic of Hard Attack?

It's an additional system on top of it, the whole SA/HA vs Softness % is still present, but AP is an additional check. So in effect if you can't pierce their armour you SA is worth 1/4 while your HA is worth 1/2.
 
Last edited:

joeenochs

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Tactics are based on the leaders directly in combat. We toyed with the idea of having one higher level decide it, but felt this would force the player into structuring armies a certain way so we didnt do that.
Some time ago I suggested an algorithm to determine the battle leader. The idea was to use the HQ leader with the highest number of divisions involved in the battle
as the battle leader even if not in the fight. The HQ level would be determined by the size of the battle. (three or more divisions -> Corps commander, six or
more -> army leader, eight or more army group leader etc.) If just one or two divisions fight the leader would be one of the division leaders.
This would make your army group south leader Manstein appear as your battle leader when you launch Zitadelle which would be pretty cool.
In my opinion to chose the battle leader from actively fighting division is old HOI2 thinking. What do you think?
 
Last edited:

Wraith11B

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Will the Armor v. Piercing hopefully alleviate some of the more "gamey" (at least to my thinking) divisional builds of MOT/MOT/TD/TD or ARM/ARM/SPARTY/SPARTY as viable? Or are those going to remain the same since the frontage system is still the same?

Also, is the new combat events only for HQs under AI control? I'm assuming no, but wanted to confirm.
 
Last edited:

podcat

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Also, is the new combat events only for HQs under AI control? I'm assuming no, but wanted to confirm.

its for both AI control and otherwise
 

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Finally Japanese armored cars in China make sense.
Good update, and I really like option of setting most troops to "defense" with selected "offensive" divisions.
That also makes "firebrigades" as nice option, jumping to threatened part of front with aggressive doctrines.

Keep up good work, and don't forget 3.06 :)
 

krche

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Aug 16, 2009
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Will there be any change of the Combined Arms modifier? Ideally 2 x inf and 1 x medium armour should be enough for Combined Arms.

Can we maybe only have the front line units included in the Combined Arms ratio check? I.e. no reason for an artillery brigade making combined arms less likely, on the contrary.