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Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



So, thanks to the Grognard Games megathread, I learned about a new and rather unique Roguelike earlier this week. It is Armoured Commander and it is a military roguelike where you play the role of the commander of a Sherman tank fighting in France in mid/late 1944. The game is in early Alpha and is based closely on the 1987 Avalon Hill Solitaire boardgame/wargame "Patton's Best. However he plans to grow beyond that game an has already made some changes from it.



Basically when you start the game you are assigned an M4 Sherman (A Turret), the most basic (and weakest) Sherman in the game, there are a total of 4 major variants (M4 Sherman, M4A1, M4A3, and Jumbos) fitted with various turrets. After naming your tank (the randomly named crew currently cannot be renamed) you then proceed through the war day by day. Each day has a chance of your tank getting called into combat (with the first day being mandatory combat). Once called to battle you load your tank with ammo and join your task force for the day's mission. The objective is securing as much territory and victory points before sunset as you can. Every time you enter a new zone you might run into enemy resistance and a battle begins, depositing you at the battle map.




The combat is overall pretty simplistic, but with a lot of tricky tactical decisions. For example, enemy units are more likely to shoot at you if you shoot at them. The Sherman tank wasn't really built to fight enemy tanks (especially the models armed with the 75 gun) so most enemy targets with actual anti-tank ability are extremely dangerous threats. Most Anti-Tank guns, Self Propelled Guns (SPGs), and Tanks are easily capable of punching through your meager armor, especially on the more lightly armored shermans variants (such as the kind you start in). For example, the first turn of my first career ended right there when an SPG I had spotted punched through my hull in a single shot, knocking out my tank and killing two members of the crew, including the Commander (which is "you"). And, of course, the game features permadeath.




Going Hull Down will save your life! Unless they hit the turret anyways...

But much like any roguelike, you learn from your mistakes. My last career was going much better! Sure I'd had 3 tanks shot out from under me, had 2 crew members killed and several transfered out due to injury total, but I was still alive! And today I killed a Panther that was dumb enough to show its back to me. It was a critical hit even.



Sadly, my luck didn't hold out, the very next mission saw my tank assigned as lead tank (where enemies are much more likely to shoot at you) and during an exchange of fire a PaK 40 puts a shot right into my turret. 3 members of the crew are unable to bail out and burn to death when the tank brews up. Shouldn't have missed that shot I took.






Give the game a try if it sounds interesting. The creator has also done a few videos while playtesting/bug.

And watch out for these bastards.

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at Apr 16, 2015 around 07:41

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Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



dis astranagant posted:

What the gently caress is with these developers and tiny, unchangable fonts? I thought Cataclysm's was bad but this is even worse.

Are you talking about ArmCom? The font seems fine to me, but given its a fixed resolution I could see it being a problem on huge res monitors. Still, the game is being made by one guy in his spare time and is only about 3 months old (and he hasn't been able to work on it for the last month due to travelling). I'm not really shocked that resolution/font options aren't something he is prioritizing or possibly even thought of. Not while he is still busy putting in core game mechanics and squashing bugs.

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at Apr 16, 2015 around 16:15

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



madjackmcmad posted:

I felt a little like Jar Jar Binks, running around driving into poo poo and either missing every shot or hitting things I didn't have a chance to hurt while my allies did all the work. I cleared 6 areas without dying, killing 1 unit myself and the other like 19 died to friendly action. Luckiest bullshit ever. I would like to figure out what I'm doing wrong though.

Well, what are you doing? Also, don't worry if it feels like you're killing far less enemies compared to allied units. Afterall, there is only one of you and a nebulous number of allied tanks/infantry in your task force.

The thing I've found most helpful is kinda obvious, concentrate on survival! As I said in my write-up, most enemy targets with anti-tank capability can and will kill you with one good hit. When a battle starts check if you're hull down. If you are, good! Sit tight! If you are not, and there are enemies that can hurt your tank, concentrate on getting hull down ASAP. Its usually best to try to reverse to a hull down position, as moving forward might move close-range enemies into your rear arcs. You have better odds of achieving a hull down position if your commander is directing the movement (especially if he's unbuttoned) and if the driver is unbuttoned. If you're caught out in the open against threats, don't be afraid to use your smoke grenades (have to be tossed by someone in the turret who has an open hatch, so only the commander in the basic M4 (A Turret). Many Shermans give the loader his own hatch, so you can potentially have him toss smoke instead, and some tanks are fitted with a Loader-operated smoke mortar which will put smoke in the close-range hex the turret is facing. Smoke is a +2 to hit for each hex of smoke between the firing

Honestly I only button up my crew if there is nearby enemy infantry, as a penetrating anti-tank round will kill them just as dead and no one's ever shot HE at me (don't think its possible). Heck even in those situations I tend to keep my commander unbuttoned because having the extra visibility and the ability to direct movement/fire is incredibly helpful.

And remember, enemies are more likely to target you if you shoot at them. Don't antagonize a threat unless you've got a decent chance of scoring a kill.

As for killing things a few tips:

High Explosive and smoke rounds ammo can be fired in direct mode (aimed straight at the target) or in area fire mode (where you're more lobbing shells in their general vicinity). Area fire has lowered odds of scoring a kill, but better odds of hitting a target at medium or long range range. In addition, Area fire ignores terrain To-Hit modifiers, so if you're targeting infantry in the woods or in a building, consider using area fire even if they're at close range.

Regarding the Battle Map: Avoid Forests. Ambushes are much more likely there and its hard to hit targets in the woods. I personally call in artillery on any sector I want to move into where Medium or High resistance is expected.


Notes on the various Shermans you can drive:

M4 Sherman & M4A3

The most basic Shermans available. Features a welded hull and a cast turret. Lightly armored by Sherman standards. Always armed with the 75mm Cannon and carries a standard load of 97 rounds of ammo with an 8 shell ready rack. Features an A, B, or C Turret. In real life the M4A3 had a newer, better engine and other minor improvements, but in game it is effectively the same as a basic M4.

You always start a game of Armoured Commander assigned to an M4 Sherman (A Turret).

M4A1

Nearly the same as the M4 Sherman. However it features a (noticeably rounder) one-piece Cast Hull which means the front hull armor is significantly better at defeating the fire of lighter anti-tank rounds. However the turret remains a weakpoint as this Sherman uses the same A, B, and C turrets as the standard M4. In addition the side and rear armor are no better than the welded hulls. The M4A1 is always armed with a 75mm cannon and carries a standard load of 91 rounds of ammo with an 8shell ready rack.

M4A3(75)W & M4A3(76)W "Easy Eight"

An improved model of the M4A3, these tanks have improved frontal hull armor comparable to the M4A1 models. The number in parenthesis indicates whether it is armed with a 75mm cannon or the 76mm long barrel cannon. The W meanwhile stands for "Wet Stowage" meaning the tanks' ammo is stored submerged in fire-retardant ethylene-Glycol. In game terms this means if your tank knocked out it is slightly less likely to explode and is much less likely to brew up, improving crew survivability.

The M4A3(75)W carries 104 rounds of 75mm ammo with a 4 shell ready rack and uses a D or E turret while the "Easy Eight" carries 71 rounds of 76mm ammo with a 6 shell ready rack and uses G or H turrets.

M4A1(76)W

Much like the improved M4A3s, this Sherman is an M4A1 with wet stowage and equipped with a 76mm long barrel cannon. It uses G or H turrets and carries 71 rounds of 76mm ammo with a 6 shell ready rack.

M4A3E2(75)W "Jumbo" & M4A3E2(76)W "Jumbo"

These are "assault" Shermans. Fitted with improved hull armor and the massive and thickly armored F turret, the "Jumbo" is mean to engage the heaviest enemy resistance head on. Anything less than a 88mm Pak 43 or Königstiger will struggle to penetrate the frontal armor of these tanks. Beware however, for this means these tanks are frequently picked to lead the tank squdrons and their side and rear armor is still rather vulnerable to enemy fire. They are equiped with either a 75mm or 76mm gun. The 75mm armed version carry 104 rounds of ammo and feature a 4 shell ready rack while the 76ers carry 71 rounds of ammo and have a 6 shell ready rack.


Sherman Turrets.
Noticed all those turrets I mentioned? There certainly is quite a variety. What they mostly mean is what extras you get. The main differences are whether the turret comes with a hatch for the loader, a smoke bomb mortar, and a vision cupola for the Commander. For the most part you don't have to worry about the different turrets, but when you receive a new sherman, be sure to note what extra features you have, if any.


Sherman Cannons:

The 75mm Short barrel cannon (75) is better at killing soft targets and has weaker AP rounds. However it gets smoke rounds, the WP are basic smoke rounds, while the limited HCBI rounds produces smoke for longer. The 75mm gun also has a better chance of maintaining Rate of Fire (firing multiple shots per turn) compared to the 76L.

The 76mm longbarrel cannon (76L) has better AP rounds and has High Velocity Armor Piercing rounds available in limited supply. HVAP rounds are your silver bullets, capable of killing many armored target even on a front shot, but the supply is limited. Stockpile these every time you're offered some and consider saving them for the most dangerous targets (but remember, you can't shoot them when you're dead). Meanwhile the 76L has less effective HE rounds.


Rate of Fire and the Ready Rack

One useful mechanic to understand in Armoured Commander is Rate of Fire when firing your main cannon. During a turn, each time you fire the main cannon there is a chance you will maintain Rate of Fire and be able to fire the cannon again at the same target without your turn ending. This can be extremely important for maximizing your chances of killing an enemy target.

This is where the ready rack comes in. When you order your loader to reload from the ready rack, you receive a substantial bonus to your chance of maintaining rate of fire, as long as you still have the appropriate ammo type loaded in the ready rack. If you have no more shells of the right type in the ready rack, or if you choose not to use it, you can have your assistant driver help pass ammo as his action for the turn to improve your odds of maintaining rate of fire, though the assistant driver is generally less effective than a prepared ready rack. You can also stack the two, ordering the loader to load from the ready rack while having the assistant driver standing by to pass ammo if the ready rack runs out. I was able to send a surprising 6! shots downrange at an enemy Panther tank in a single turn once this way, 1 shell loaded, 4 from the ready rack, and 1 passed by the assistant driver. That panther was reduced to swiss cheese.

Always remember to restock your ready rack after every battle, and restock the ready rack whenever your loader finds himself with a spare turn during a battle. In general, I prefer to reserve usage of the ready rack for targets that actually present a threat to my own tank (thus when firing at infantry, trucks, and armored cars/half-tracks I will generally reload from general stores with the Asst.Driver passing ammo.


A summary of dangerous enemy targets:
Note all kill probabilities I mention come from Patton's Best. Patton's Best odds were derived from a game called Advanced Squad Leader, but used a d100 instead of ASL's 2d6. ArmCom returns to ASL's 2d6 mechanics and thus probabilities may be different in ArmCom)
("Sure Kills" are actually about 95%)


---- AT Guns ----
Count as infantry and thus can't be killed using AP rounds, use High Explosives.
  • PaK 38(50mm Gun)
    • Unlikely to kill even a basic Sherman on a front hit, it still has good chances on a side or rear hit though, especially to the hull. Don't underestimate it. Jumbo Shermans have little to fear from this gun.
  • Pak 40 (75mm Gun)
    • Good odds of knocking out a basic Sherman on a frontal hit and a sure kill on side/rear hits. Against more heavily armored Shermans it will struggle to penetrate the front armor, but side/rear hits to the hull remain lethal. "Jumbo" Turreted Shermans are resistant to its fire even on side and rear turret hits, but the hull remains vulnerable on those facings
  • Pak 43 (88mm Gun)
    • Extremely Dangerous. For the purposes of the game, this is the same gun mounted in a Königstiger and will destroy even a "Jumbo" Turreted Assault Sherman with ease. Unless you are facing an actual Königstiger, this is likely your #1 priority target to deal with.

---- SPGs ----
Most Self Propelled Guns are basically a tank without a movable turret. Instead they have a gun "turret" built into the hull of the vehicle. They typically feature very strong front armor. All the SPGs in this game are armed with 75mm guns of one kind or another that are roughly equivalent to the PaK 40.

  • StuG IIIg
    A Nasty little bugger. The most common SPG you will encounter.
    • 75mm Shermans: Your AP rounds have low odds of penetrating a StuG's front armor at close range and minimal chances beyond that. Side/Rear hits are close to a Sure Kill at close range and remain favorable at longer ranges.
    • 76mm Shermans: Standard AP has favorable Odds of penetrating the front armor at close range, and decent odds at longer ranges. Side/Rear hits with AP are extremely favorable at all ranges. HVAP rounds are sure kills on all facings and ranges with the exception of frontal hits at long range, which are mere favorable.

  • Marder II & Marder III
    Unlike other SPGs, the Marder's cannon is operated by an exposed crew working from behind a heavy blast shield as opposed to the crew being enclosed. The Marder II is the rarest SPG you will encounter as it is rather obsolete.
    • 75mm Shermans: AP rounds are a sure kill or highly favorable at all ranges and facings. Interestingly the exposed gun crew means HE rounds have a decent chance of knocking out a Marder on side and rear hits to the turret.
    • 76mm Shermans: AP/HVAP rounds are a sure kill at any range or facing.

  • JgdPz IV (JagdPanzer)
    A Panzer IV chassis built as an SPG. Meant to carry the same gun as the Panther Tank but wartime shortages resulted in many being built using weaker 75mm guns, including the ones encountered in this game.
    • 75mm Shermans: Your AP rounds have no chance of killing this SPG on a frontal hit except for a critical hit. Side and Rear armor hits are highly favorable at all ranges, except for long distance side hits, which are merely good odds of a kill.
    • 76mm Shermans: Your standard AP rounds have almost no chance of a kill on frontal hits. Side/rear hits are Sure Kills at all ranges. HVAP rounds have highly favorable odds of penetrating the front armor at close range, mediocre odds at medium range, and almost no chance at long range. Side/Rear hits with HVAP are Sure Kills at all ranges.

  • JgdPz 38t (Hetzer)
    The Hetzer is extremely similar to the Jadgpanzer in most respects. But is slightly easier to kill, for the most part you can simply refer to the Jagdpanzer's entry.

---- Tanks ----
Tanks vary a bit. But all should be treated as deadly foes.
  • Pz IV (Panzer IV)
    Roughly equivalent to your own Sherman tank. This will be the most common enemy tank encountered. It is armed with a 75mm Gun that have similar performance to a 76mm Sherman gun firing AP rounds.
    • 75mm Shermans: AP rounds will have decent odds of a kill on a front turret hit, but mediocre on a front hull hit at. Side/rear hits with AP are high probability kills at close/medium range and remain favorable even at long range.
    • 76mm Shermans: The Hull is resistant even to 76mm AP but still favorable at close range and decent at other ranges. HVAP hits are generally "Sure kills" (except hull hits at long range, which are merely highly favorable). Side/Rear Hits with regular AP are a "Sure Kill".

  • Pz V (Panther)
    Deadly. It mounts a 75mm gun like the PzIV and the SPGs, however it is a completely different gun and will kill you dead. In fact, it actually has slightly better penetration than the Tiger I's gun. Depressingly, these tanks will be encountered nearly as often as Panzer IVs.
    • 75mm Sherman: AP has nearly no chance to penetrate its front armor. Even a critical hit only has a ~50-80% chance of killing it on a hull hit, depending on range. Even Side and rear hits with 75-AP aren't a sure thing. In a 75mm Sherman you should seriously consider avoiding engaging these things and hoping friendlies destroy it. That said, if you get a good shot at one's side or rear and can put multiple AP rounds downrange, take the shot, but know you're playing with fire.
    • 76mm Sherman: Much like the 75mm, the 76L's standard AP rounds have almost no chance of penetrating the frontal armor (criticals will kill though). However 76L AP shots to the side and rear armor have very favorable odds of a kill, take the shot if you get it. HVAP rounds Have excellent/decent kill odds on a front turret hit at close/medium range. Thanks to its highly sloped front hull armored even the mighty HVAP round only has ~25% odds of a frontal kill to the hull at close range and almost no chance at longer ranges. HVAP hits to the front turret are favorable at close range and decent at longer ranges. Side/Rear hits on the Panther with HVAP are a "sure kill". Conclusion: Don't be afraid to use HVAP on a Panther staring you down, but pray it hits the turret.

  • Pz VIe (Tiger I)
    Its a Tiger, do I really need to say more? Is armed with an 88mm cannon that will murder you dead unless you are in the most heavily armored Jumbo Shermans (which it only has 3% odds of penetrating the front hull/turret armor). Very rare. Engage with extreme caution.
    • 75mm Sherman: Do not even bother shooting at its front armor. Low kill odds on a Side hit, especially beyond close range. Even a close range rear hit has less than 50% odds of knocking out a Tiger. You seriously should consider just doing your best to avoid this tank and praying something takes it out.
    • 76mm Sherman: Do not bother with frontal attacks using standard AP. Side/Rear hits have decent odds, especially at closer ranges. The Tiger is why you are carrying those precious HVAP rounds. Unlike the Panther, the Tiger has almost no armor sloping. HVAP rounds have excellent kill odds on frontal hits except for long range and the turret at medium range. HVAP is a "Sure Kill" on side/rear hits at close/medium range, and still highly favorable at long range.

  • Pz VIb (Königstiger / Tiger II)
    This thing is an improved Tiger I. Extremely Rare. The Tiger II's improved 88mm gun will demolish even the heavily armored "Jumbo" Assault Shermans with terrifying ease. PANIC
    • 75mm Shermans: Do not pursue Lu Bu! Seriously, think long and hard before you engage a King Tiger in a 75mm armed Sherman. The front hull armor is immune to even a critical hit from your AP shells (Front Turret crits still have reasonable chances). Even at close range an AP shot to the side hull has 25% kill odds while a rear hull shot has 40%. Side/Rear Turret hits have almost no chance of penetration.
    • 76mm Shermans: Standard AP has almost no chance of a frontal kill (even a critical is 50% odds). Chances improve considerably on side/rear hits, especially to the hull (The turret remains quite hard to penetrate). As for HVAP... Remember what I said about the Tiger I's unsloped armor making HVAP very effective? Yeah. They sloped the front armor on the King Tiger. Even HVAP will fail to penetrate the front hull of a King Tiger at close range (~25% chance of penetrating the turret though). However, HVAP will punch through the side/rear of the King Tiger with ease, except at long range, where it struggles to penetrate the turret (hull is still good).
    • Conclusion: If you MUST engage a Königstiger, flank it.

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2015 around 05:37

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Unormal posted:

EDLC8-PK??2-F2KWJ (? = 66 upside down)

Snagged this one. Danke!

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Insert name here posted:


Got super lucky on my second ever campaign and was lucky enough to survive every time when I had my tank shot out from under me like 5 or 6+ times. Is there any way to tell which direction I need be driving to flank a tank? One of my losses came from a Jagdpanzer IV which I immobilized, so I figured I'd have free reign over it and drove forward until it was by my side, but apparently I was still facing its front and dinged off while it blew my tank up.

Wow, congrats on making it further than I ever have. Cannonball I II III was the furthest I ever got before I was brewed up. I made it to August 26th, how far does the campaign go? (see edit below) Run into any Tigers? I've only seen a Tiger I three or so times, and only once was it not almost immediately destroyed by friendly forces.

As for enemy facings, if its currently like the source game, Patton's Best, enemy facing is randomly determined when you succeed at the roll to move and everything shifts in relation to you. That doesn't quite make sense though when the target is immobilized. Its just one of those quirks of the randomness I guess. Maybe he'll address it at some point.

I can't wait until he puts in the other mission types from Patton's Best. So far we've only got "advance" which is basically moving forward to secure territory against scattered and disorganized resistance. In addition to Advance there is Battle, which works much the same way, except you're pressing in on better defended areas, thus you won't run into vulnerable Opel trucks, half-tracks and armored cars. Instead its nothing but infantry, MG guns, AT guns, SPGs, and Tanks, and their odds of being hull down or in fortified positions are much greater. The third mission type is counterattack and works rather differently. A counterattack scenario represents the Germans attacking while you defend. Instead of moving around on the map, every 15 min there is a check to see if a battle occurs. When a battle occurs your tank automatically starts stopped and hull down and this time an "Ambush" means you get a turn of free action instead of the enemy. Otherwise fights are as normal and things continue this way until the day ends. The only time you use the map is if you have to retreat from your current position.

[edit] Hey, guess what, he just released Alpha 5.3, which incorporates several bug fixes (including a few I reported. ). It also extends the game to April 18th, 1945. Think you can survived 9 months of combat, Insert Name? This release is mostly just bug fixes, though it does include the display for weather effects, which'll be in the next version to feature new mechanics.

Speaking of bug fixes and releases, the author has a thread elsewhere for reporting bug fixes and general feedback.

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2015 around 16:48

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009





I have yet to last longer than a month in this game. This time I had 5 tanks shot out under me before I was finally injured enough to be sent home. Of course I was lucky. I lost 3 crew members in one tank when it brewed up. The Wet Stowage shermans are so much more survivable.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Insert name here posted:

I'm pretty sure I actually got seriously wounded at some point, but I didn't get sent home and was just given another tank. Is it random or did I run into a bug?

Probably a bug. I've also noticed some oddities on the crew fate screen, a few of which I've reported to the dev.

For example, in that screen one crewman survives (injured) even though he failed the bail out roll and the tank brews up.

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2015 around 22:41

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Arcturas posted:

I've had a number of encounters where I get shot, my commander is incapacitated and can't bail out, and the tank brews up "killing everyone inside" but I don't die, and instead get assigned to a new tank. It's very strange.

That said, I'm terrible at this game. It's fun, but I have no idea what can be hurt with HE and what can't be hurt with HE. I probably also shouldn't roll around with HE in the gun most of the time.

Yeah I've had a few brew ups that should've killed my commander let me keep going. Are you using 5.3 5.4? It just came out yesterday today. I think he fixed a few of those crew bugs (but some are still around). If you find any particularily grevious bugs, consider reporting them!

As for killing things, I wrote up some good info on AT Guns, SPGs, and Tanks in a previous post. I actually keep my gun loaded with HE standard myself, but since advancing fire* isn't modeled yet, it might be better to keep AP loaded, yeah.

As a quick guideline of what to use each ammo type on:

Infantry (includes AT Guns) cannot be hurt by AP rounds, you have to use HE.
Trucks are a soft target and have a good chance of being killed by AP and will almost certainly be destroyed by an HE hit.
PSWs and SPWs are armored cars or half-tracks, HE rounds have a small chance to kill them (a decent chance on a rear shot) but generally you want to use AP which will almost certainly kill them
Tanks and SPGs have nearly no chance of being destroyed with HE rounds and should be engaged using AP only. (Special Exception: The Marder II and III have mediocre odds of being killed with HE on side/rear hits due to their exposed gun crews).

As for firing HE rounds, they can be used in two modes Direct Fire and Area Fire.

Direct Fire: Is more accurate at close range, especially against vehicle targets. At medium range its less accurate against infantry compared to Area Fire, and about equal in Accuracy against vehicles. At longer ranges, direct fire is not very accurate at all.
Area Fire: Is typically more accurate at medium and long range. It also has one extra feature in that ignores modifiers for terrain. It also ignores modifiers for vehicle size, but anything large enough to give a bonus probably is a tank or SPG and you don't want to be shooting HE at those anyways.

So quick Summary:

Using HE on a target at Close Range, who is in the open: Use Direct Fire
Otherwise: Use Area Fire.


* Advancing Fire is a mechanic from Patton's Best but is currently not modeled in Armoured Commander. In Patton's Best, when moving into a new map area, you have the option to use advancing fire (in addition to calling in artillery and airstrikes). Like artillery, this option is made before finding out if there will be a battle. When you choose to use advancing fire, your tank consumes 1-5 HE rounds and units of .30cal ammo (currently ArmCom doesn't track MG ammo) to represent your tank's contribution to the advancing fire as your task force proceeds, machinegunning and shelling any likely ambush spots along their path. If a battle does break out, before enemy units are reported, you place upwards of 6 Advancing Fire markers on the board (every 3 tanks that get knocked out that day reduces your advancing fire markers by 1). When enemy units are revealed, if there is an advancing fire marker in that sector, there is a chance the enemy unit will be removed, as it withdrew under the weight of your advancing fire (in PB you do not get victory points units "eliminated" this way).

Its a great way to help increase your safety when moving into areas with heavy enemy resistance expected, but as you can see, continued use of it can really guzzle down HE ammo. Of course to help with that in Patton's Best you have the dubious option of overloading your tank with upwards of 30 extra rounds of HE ammo. This extra load represents stuffing ammo just about anywhere you can fit it in the tank. This makes things quite uncomfortable for the crew (no mechanical effect) but more importantly makes the tank more likely to explode if knocked out. In addition carrying excess ammo in a tank with Wet Stowage also removes the effect of that safety feature until the extra rounds are spent.

To make things even funner, there is a chance each morning briefing that your commanding officers will force the extra HE ammunition on you, especially in Advance missions. This isn't modeled yet in Armoured Commander however (Thankfully).


By the way, while I'm here. Could anyone give me some beginner tips on Caves of Qud?

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at Apr 18, 2015 around 18:09

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Your mouse is actually functional! You can mouse over enemies to learn their ID, facing, and status (moving, in woods, hull down, etc). You can also right click them to get a description and some basic info.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Armoured Commander has been updated again. I'll stop mentioning every little update but this one has some good ones. Namely weather is now implemented. Now you can get your tank bogged in the mud or snow, which also dampen the lethality of HE rounds against infantry. Plus Fog, which reduces spotting and firing ranges to close range only.

In addition enemy tanks/SPGs now have to spend a turn face your tank if they want to shoot you but are at a side/rear facing and crew orders no longer reset each round.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



I'm actually toying with the idea of doing a simple LP of it. But I'm currently waiting to see what else he adds in the next couple weeks. At the least I'm waiting until crew nicknames are in so I can theoretically kill a few dozen goons in tank fires and explosions.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



It probably helps me that I was already loosely familiar with the old boardgame that ArmCom is based on (but diverging from).

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



The Armoured Commander Dev has started working on a the crew skill system. Here is a teaser he posted:

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



A rough version of the next major Armoured Commander release is out:

Rev_Sudasana posted:

Just uploaded binary and source for a new version I'm calling Alpha 6 release candidate 1, since it adds a huge aspect of the game: experience points and skills!

http://www.armouredcommander.com/downloads.html

There have been a few minor changes to the game, and there are still a number of known bugs / missing features, but I wanted to put this version up to give people a chance to try out the skills system. In particular, I'd like to players' reactions to the following:

- are any of the current skills either under- or over-powered?
- are there any obvious skills that I should add right away?
- is the experience point progression for gaining levels too fast/slow? When you view your crew, the exp required for their next level is shown in parentheses.
- should there be a pop-up notification when a skill is activated? Right now there is just a text message in the message console.

The layouts and design of a lot of the windows is a little buggy since I'm trying to make the entire interface more consistent, and have moved to a standard-sized console for most in-game menus and windows. I'll fix this up before the final Alpha 6 release.

I think there also might be a bug with the driver not being able to access the "unbog attempt" order after your tank is bogged down. IF you run into this, save and reload, and it should be fine. This is another issue I'm looking at fixing before Alpha 6.

Tons of stuff in the game is still missing - still no Counterattack mission type, campaign action times are not increased as they should be for muddy/snowy weather, etc., but it's coming along! As I posted on r/roguelikedev, I had a hairy moment a few days ago when I ran into three AT Guns at once. Just now I got exploded by a Panther when I took a risky shot on its side armour while it was hull down and I was not!

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Got distracted by other games lately but I checked up on Armoured Commander. The dev has made some nice improvements. He has a basic XP/Skill system for crew in now, and has the beginnings of an improved campaign system, including a (currently non-functional?) campaign map and shifting the campaign info into an editable file. He also has included options for letting you pick your starting/replacement tanks as well as replacing your commander if he is killed (though both options are recorded on the high score table).




Oh, and also a few basic sound effects.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Burning Rain posted:

Is Armoured Commander playable to people whose knowledge of tanks is limited to knowing that there are some strange big armoured things out there (and playing Panzer General some 15 years ago)?

madjackmcmad posted:

If there were some place in game to see what sort of ammo was best for each target, that would be perfect. I don't really know much about tanks and I was able to do alright for a little while, but ended up firing armor piercing ammo against unarmored mens or shooting tanks in the fattest part of their asses instead of the soft unguarded poundables.

I've done a couple write ups in this thread for Armoured Commander.

Galaga Galaxian posted:

As a quick guideline of what to use each ammo type on:

Infantry (includes AT Guns) cannot be hurt by AP rounds, you have to use HE.
Trucks are a soft target and have a good chance of being killed by AP and will almost certainly be destroyed by an HE hit.
PSWs and SPWs are armored cars or half-tracks, HE rounds have a small chance to kill them (a decent chance on a rear shot) but generally you want to use AP which will almost certainly kill them
Tanks and SPGs have nearly no chance of being destroyed with HE rounds and should be engaged using AP only. (Special Exception: The Marder II and III have mediocre odds of being killed with HE on side/rear hits due to their exposed gun crews). [Edit] However most enemy tanks are highly resistant to AP rounds on their front facing, go for side or rear shots whenever possible. The 76mm gun's special HVAP rounds will score frontal kills on several tanks much more easily however, except the Panther and King Tiger who have highly sloped front hulls which will likely cause the round to bounce

As for firing HE rounds, they can be used in two modes Direct Fire and Area Fire.

Direct Fire: Is more accurate at close range, especially against vehicle targets. At medium range its less accurate against infantry compared to Area Fire, and about equal in Accuracy against vehicles. At longer ranges, direct fire is not very accurate at all.
Area Fire: Is typically more accurate at medium and long range. It also has one extra feature in that ignores modifiers for terrain. It also ignores modifiers for vehicle size, but anything large enough to give a bonus probably is a tank or SPG and you don't want to be shooting HE at those anyways.

So quick Summary:

Using HE on a target at Close Range, who is in the open: Use Direct Fire
Otherwise: Use Area Fire.

I did a somewhat more in-depth write up on the various Shermans you can receive and some of the enemy units you face (the ones capable of killing your tank) here.

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at May 12, 2015 around 15:49

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Burning Rain posted:

Yeah, I saw that, and it actually was the reason I asked, because all the tank and gun names are moon speak to me and scared me off. I mean, you explained stuff well and all, but when I see things like "The Marder II and III have mediocre odds of being killed with HE on side/rear hits due to their exposed gun crews", I immediately assumed that I'd have to spend few months learning about tanks before being able to get to the fun stuff.

The Marder is the only real weird case like that amongst the SPGs and Tanks. For every tank/SPG that isn't a Marder High Explosive has extremely low or no odds of scoring a kill.

Just tell yourself that if its a Tank or SPG, use Armor Piercing rounds. Also just remind yourself that most enemies have very strong front armor that you're unlikely to defeat with a 75mm gun, while the 76mm will still struggle on many targets frontally, always try to go for side or rear shots instead. As for learning about various tanks, there are really only 3 different SPGs (StuG, Marder II/III, JgdPz 38t/IV), and 4 different tanks (Panzer IV, Panther, Tiger, King Tiger). And for the most part they're boiled down to extremely simplistic statistics (front/side/rear turret/hull armor values, and what gun they carry), you don't need to know esoteric stuff like the Tiger was one of the few WWII tanks that could turn in place or that the Hetzer was designed to carry a sweet gun, but shortages caused most of them to get a weaker one and stuff like that.

However I did just discover a new feature he added! Apparently shots that hit Tanks/SPGs but fail to score a kill have a chance to stun the target, possibly for multiple turns. This even works for HE rounds, which is nice, because sometimes I'd fire an HE round at a tank/SPG just to clear it and hope Rate of Fire let me throw AP shells downrange after it. This is a nice addition that helps even the odds a bit.


Anyways, even if its about Tank combat, its still a roguelike, one learns by dying. That said, I'll probably play some more ArmCom in the next week or so and maybe work up a better version of that stuff I posted, something actually more "guide" like.

[edit] Actually if I do write up a better version of that enemy guide, would you guys prefer listing the different unit's actual armor values, or just go with something like "Front/Side/Rear Armor: Heavy/Light/Light"?


I'm very much looking forward to further progress with the game, especially if and when he opens up the campaign stuff to further modding. There exists a semi-official "Expansion" to Patton's Best (the tabletop wargame ArmCom is based on) called "Panov's Best" that puts you in the commander seat (Who is also the gunner) of a Russian T-38 Tank on the eastern front. I'd love to give that a crack. Alternatively, screw Shermans, give me one of these:



The American M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer. Small, fast, and lethal. The fastest tank in WW2, achieved via increadibly thin armor (1 inch at most!) and a radial engine meant for aircraft. Also armed with the same powerful 76mm gun as the better Shermans, and unlike Sherman crews, who typically had to scrounge for HVAP rounds (because the Sherman was considered an infantry supporting tank not intended to engage enemy tanks in standup fights), the Hellcat was supplied with a lot more of them since their job WAS killing tanks.

I can just see it now, big bonuses to movement actions letting it easily flank, lots of HVAP ammo, and blowing away Panthers left and right. Sure its armor is tissue thin, but who cares when those guns will kill you just as dead if you'd been in a slow, plodding Sherman?

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at May 13, 2015 around 16:58

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



I love it when Panthers expose their flanks to me.



This career is living up to the name B.J.Blazkowicz.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Looks interesting, though that screenshot is a mess and I am having difficulty parsing it. I take it you control a whole armored platoon (or more) rather than a single tank?

Also, Blazkowicz fell afoul of my "always dies before the end of August" curse, though he made it to Aug 31st before burning to death when a StuG III brewed up his second tank. To be fair, I think that career had my highest number of enemy tank kills, over the month I must've killed a good 4-5 Panthers and a handful of Panzer IVs, as well as several SPGs and assorted AT guns/trucks/traks/infantry. If only they'd given me a Sherman armed with a 76L for my second tank.

I think if/when he adds the ability to nickname crew members I will definitely do a Let's Play of the game with crew named after volunteers, the new "replace commander" if killed option even makes that easier since I won't have to keep resetting to the start.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



New Version of Armoured Commander out. [edit] Or maybe not. the 6.3 link is returning a drop box error! Hopefully he'll fix it soon.

Rev_Sudasana posted:

Alpha 6.3 is now online at http://www.armouredcommander.com/downloads.html

Changes include nicknames for crew, some minor bug fixes, and a new crew injury system that should be more clear than the previous one, which was too closely modeled on the (somewhat unclear) Patton's Best system.

In a future version, crew that take serious injuries will be sent to recover and will be available again later in the campaign. For now, as long as they are not very seriously injured or dead, they recover at the end of an encounter. Once I have a better way to display crew wounds, they will persist until the end of the campaign day, giving them modifiers to any other to-wound rolls that day.

Nice to see crew nicknames in, given what I said yesterday. Its almost like he is reading my posts!

Galaga Galaxian posted:

I think if/when he adds the ability to nickname crew members I will definitely do a Let's Play of the game with crew named after volunteers, the new "replace commander" if killed option even makes that easier since I won't have to keep resetting to the start.

Which he is. He sent me a PM on another forum where I've reported some bugs to him occasionally. He asked to use parts of my write ups (edited) for an online manual for the game he is working on. Pretty cool.

Guess I should consider working on a let's play. Not sure what kind of longevity it would have though, I suspect things would get samey real quick for an audience.

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at May 15, 2015 around 00:37

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



I was considering doing it in the "casual LP thread" where people just dump short stuff, but a dedicated Roguelike LP Mega thread might be a cool way to do it.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Only "Problem" with doing an ArmCom LP in a RL-Megathread is I would have to cut the "goon sign up" part because I really wouldn't want such a thread to get spammed with Dwarf Fortress like "Dwarf me" posts (not that I would expect such a strong response). Honestly not that big a loss, really. Maybe I'll do themed crew names instead.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



What a bullshit battle. I've never seen it roll so many "enemy reinforcement" events. And it kept spawning tanks and SPGs. There were two panthers still on the board when one of them finally scored a hit on my tank and knocked it out (amazingly, no one was killed). Enemy artillery was also shellling the poo poo out of friendly infantry, it felt like every event was a new Tank or SPG rolling in or enemy artillery blowing up friendly grunts. War is Hell.



I fired half the AP shells I was carrying (normally 35) in that battle.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Got assigned a "Jumbo" for the first time. Man, that frontal armor is great.

* plink *

* plink *


JUMBO CARES NOT for your puny PAK 38s and Panzer IVs.



Jumbo does care about getting shot in the side armor by a Pak 40 though. I think it sent small fries at me at first just to lure me into a sense of false security.

Actually, some of those dice rolls seem kinda funny. First one is 2+1 = 5? And the third one is 4+3 = 4?

[edit] With the Jumbo shot out from under me, I'm assigned a 76L armed Sherman, so of course I am only offered one HVAP shell and we run into nothing but small fry until a JagdPanzer IV shows up. Fucker fires at me and amazingly the shot glances off my front turret armor. I order the single HVAP I got to be loaded next and fire the chambered AP round (mostly just to clear it, standard AP can't hurt a JgdPzIV's frontal armor), it scores a critical! Rof Maintained! HVAP away! Hit! An AP crit and an HVAP hit, this rear end in a top hat has to be dead.



Both shots get absorbed by the dirt as I failed to notice he was hull down. To make matters worse his second shot also hits my turret (I am hull down as well, so of course HIS shots hit the turret while mine hit hull), except this one penetrates, killing my gunner instantly and seriously wounding my commander.
Game Over.

That said, I do like the fact you don't get to see the results of your gunfire until your mad frenzy of lobbing shells downrange is over. More than once I've fired a half dozen AP rounds at a Panther or SPG's exposed flanks and scored a good 3-4 hits only for the very first shot to have knocked it out. Better too many than too little, I always say! Pretty realistic too, since Tankers would often shoot a hit target multiple times just to make sure it was dead.

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at May 15, 2015 around 06:52

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Oh hey, in ArmCom if you stun a target that is already stunned, the crew bails the gently caress out. Nice. Maybe there is a point to lobbing HE uselessly at a tank.



Now I'm tempted to try firing some White Phosphorus smoke rounds at enemy tanks to see if the crew will bail out because they think they're on fire.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Looks good, and hopefully Rule 2 means no one will launch a debate about if something like ArmCom is a proper RL.

Little worried about spamming such a thread with screenshots, though the 1208x782 screens for ArmCom are only about 90kb each. That said, I'm not looking forward to ALT+PrintSCRN. CTRL-Ving dozens of screenshots. Maybe I should look into a screen grabbing tool (sadly steam overlay, which would've been my lazy method, doesn't work with the game).

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



ArmCom 6.4 is out. Mostly just minor fixes and clarifications, but it does include giving you XP/VPs on days where your tank doesn't make it the whole day before being knocked out/disabled.

[edit] Seems to have a nasty bug regarding loading shells for successive attacks. I'm sure he'll fix it promptly. Turns out it was because I was trying to load a save from 6.3, which was causing issues.

Galaga Galaxian fucked around with this message at May 16, 2015 around 22:04

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



GreyPowerVan posted:



This is good, right

All I can think of is, this.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Do you guys think screenshots this size would be too big to leave un[timg]ed for the RL LP thread?

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



One of you guys good at the game should do Caves of Qud for the Roguelike LP megathread, tia.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Interesting premise. I, too, await a trip report.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



ArmCom has progressed to Alpha 7.

Rev_Sudasana posted:

Whew - uploaded Alpha 7 release candidate 1: http://www.armouredcommander.com/downloads.html

I'm hoping that after some testing and some bugfixing, I can leave Alpha 7 up to be the stable version of ArmCom for a little while. In the meantime I'll work on polishing things behind the scenes, looking forward toward a beta version where all the major components of the game are present and working reasonably well!

As with the last update, if you load a game that was saved in the Campaign Calendar or Campaign Map in a previous version, it should work. Most of the variable changes have been within enemy units, which are spawned anew during each battle encounter.

In this version, I've added a few important things and fixed some bugs I discovered:


- Fixed a bug where stunned enemy vehicles would still act as normal
- Fixed a bug where every day would start cloudy
- Fixed a bug where immobile enemy units at medium or long range in fog or falling snow could move closer to the player
- Orders now reset each turn only for Driver and Loader, other crewmen will keep their order until the end of the encounter or circumstances make their order impossible

- Changed the odds of enemy morale values slightly
- Made spotting and identifying enemy units slightly more difficult

- All enemy AT Guns are assumed to be emplaced; this means they always get a +2 terrain DRM to hit, or to kill with an area fire hit. If they are in a fortification, they get the +3 DRM instead.
- AT Guns are never set up moving, and will not move during a battle encounter
- Their only actions are: Do nothing; fire at friendly tank (player if fired upon in previous turn); fire at player tank; fire at lead tank
- AT Guns have a facing set at spawn, and which can be changed if player tank moves
- If an AT Gun rolls an attack action and is not facing the player, it rotates to face the player
- Any critical hit on an AT Gun, whether direct or area fire, will automatically destroy it

- Enemy infantry units (LW, MW, AT GUN) can now be Pinned:
- if an infantry unit is hit by HE but not destroyed, they must take a morale test; if they fail, they are pinned
- if a TK roll on an infantry unit is exactly equal to the number required, the target is automatically pinned
- pinned units can only do nothing or move away as their action
- pinned units can test to unpin at the end of the encounter turn by rolling against their morale level

In case you haven't been watching the RL LP Megathread (you should!) and didn't see me mention, he also added Panzerfaust attacks in the last Alpha 6 version!

I really like the change to the AT guns, it seemed rather weird that they were able to move around so freely when most of them required vehicular assistance to be moved any appreciable distance.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



After having watched Mad Max: Fury Road (which is awesome, go see it) I find myself wishing there was a "Mad Max" Roguelike. Something like Caves of Qud (which I have been playing more of, and enjoying) blended with the vehicle customization and other elements of Cataclysm DDA.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Yeah, I saw that, but its pretty different from a "normal" RL such as CoQ or Cata:DDA, plus goons in this thread and the steam thread have made it sound rather mediocre, though not bad.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Yeah, that sounds pretty much like a "no sale" to me. Maybe on a good sale, I dunno.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



The author of Armoured Commander has started a blog section of his website which he will be talking about his continuing work on the game.

Currently he seems to be redoing the campaign day map with slightly improved aesthetics and more sensible road layout generation.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Welp, suffered my first major death in Caves of Qud. Was told to head on down to Golgotha to find and fix some droid. Ended up going down a one-way(?) stair that deposited me in some weird place where I was accosted by a seemingly unending tide of "Chute crabs". Tried to run and find an exit, but got trapped. 4 salve injectors, 2 fragmentation grenades, and I dunno-how-many shotgun shells later I was eaten alive by the drat things.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



TooMuchAbstraction posted:

I dunno, if they're too out of it then they might not be able to hit the beats reliably.

I can't even hit beats reliably sober. Especially the song on the first level/map of Zone 1. I can't understand why I can't get it down.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Yup. I just keep going too fast, especially for that first song. I'm used to slamming keys rapidfire in my roguelikes.

Probably doesn't help I've been playing all sorts of different roguelikes this last week thanks to the LP Megathread.

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Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009



Its crashing? Never had it outright crash on me before. But I haven't yet tried Alpha 7. If you want, you could try reporting this to the dev at the ArmCom thread on the Temple of the Roguelike forums.

Here is a link to ArmCom Alpha 6.7 (last version I played), see if that still crashes or if its something he did in Alpha 7.

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