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Old 08-28-2006, 04:05 AM   #1
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Default Aaargh those damn bridges.......

I have a question regarding the crossing of bridges in SBPPE.

I recently played the Elstertal scenario, in which you have to cross a bridge to reach your mission objective....(nice mission and good for noobs as well because of your superiority in forces)

I suffer heavy losses every time, not only because of enemy fire, but also because a substantial amount of my troops ends up in the water.......

Is it due to their stupidity or am I doing something wrong in giving orders?

I order a column formation and then set up their route across the bridge, using 8 x magnification, trying to keep the route line exactly on the bridge.....and every time they end up in the water.....

The alternative is to take command of every vehicle, and to steer them over the bridge manually, this is way too time consuming......

Any advice for the noob?
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:36 AM   #2
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Bridges, like breachings of minefields, are funnel-type obstacles. They work pretty reliably, if following some rules.

If needed, lay smoke to cover the event from enemy eyes.

Go to column formation.

Use routes, if possible. Preferred method would be to set at least two waypoints even in planning phase, and link them through a "march order"-route. Make sure that the waypoints are positioned so that vehicles can line up BEFORE the stone walls of the bridge to both sides of the road begin. All vehicle lineup should have been completed BEFORE the first vehicles moves onto the bridge. Use moderate speeds.
You can hold the shift-key when setting waypoints on a road. By that an automatic makes sure that the waypoint is really attached to the right traffic line of the road, even if you do not hit it exactly.

And very important: TIMING. Make sure that not more than one platoon at a time is busy with crossing the bridge, and that it has cleared the bridge area before the next platoon enters the close vicinity of it. Same is true for moving on roads: traffic jams can make life a mess up if you don't have a reasonable spacing between platoons - keep the fourth vehicle of the first platoon at least as far away from the first vehicle in the following platoon like you have set a unit spacing (narrow, medium, wide). The lead vehicle eventually slows down, giving another platoon time to shortehn the distance between the two - so compensate for that. Vehicles that are on roads will try to stick on roads, if movement direction is not off course by more than 30°. If there is a vehicle of another platoon on a vehicles position in it's formation", the driving AI starts to "fight" and negotiate the position, the collision with the other unit, and the will to stay on the road - not good.

So, coordination and timing are the keywords, use column formation and march-orders, and keep a space between platoons. Finish all lineup in column before the unit reaches the bridge. Best is to pre-plan it via conditioned routes in planning phase, and set triggers or conditions when what unit should do the crossing.

Same thing with the breaching of minefields, but here even more coordination is needed, since one unit brings forward the Miclic, another one ploughes (?) through the breach, and a third one set the flag markers - and then the normal units follow.

There is, however, a problem with the AI, it gets stuck even in ridiculously small bodies of water, and even amphibious tanks. Right now, think of ALL water as inescapable traps. Unfortunately, this unwanted feature is confirmed not to be addressed in the next addon or patch. So, keep a good distance between units, and water. When a tank set up a battle position near a thin rivulet of water, and gets engaged, it eventually moves back and fourth to remain hull-down. This could get him stuck - so keep an eye on this.
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Last edited by Skybird; 08-28-2006 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 08-28-2006, 05:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
All vehicle lineup should have been completed BEFORE the first vehicles moves onto the bridge. Use moderate speeds
This worked, although a couple of tanks still ended up in the water.....only minor losses this time..
from now on: water = danger
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:55 PM   #4
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Strange that you still have losses. The bridges I somehow got correctly from the first match on, I never lost a single tank straying off. I lost tanks that headlessly drove into the water at other opportunities, and tanks that got into a traffic jam in a minefield breaching, evaded and got disabled by mines, but on bridges I still wait for a loss due to traffic or formation manouvering. Keep on varying your procedures. It should be possible to avoid your losses!
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:57 AM   #5
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Well, the losses may be because of faulty leadership from me....

I ordered a platoon of tanks over a bridge and it went well this time, but I did not set the last waypoint far enough from the bridge for the entire platoon to cross (2 tanks were still on the bridge)..when the platoon came under fire, the tanks started taking evasive action, which resulted in two tanks falling from the bridge....

Lesson learned: move the entire platoon across....

My next mission will be in the desert, so I don't expect many bridge-related losses there!
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