Skirmish battle query

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Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:46 pm

Hi guys I'm having trouble figuring out the BA2 units selection options in auto-generated Skirmish battle mode and wonder if you could enlighten me?

Here's the Skirmish screen, note at bottom right I've circled the Default selection option-
Image



And if we mouse over it, it tells us we can choose another set of units etc-
Image


Then if we click it this list comes up-
Image


And in this example I've selected the 'Barbarossa' set of units and tiles (bott right)-
Image

BUT, when I then begin the Skirmish battle, nothing has changed, I'm still getting the same Default units and tiles, what am I doing wrong?

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:06 am

You have done nothing wrong. There is very little difference between any of the vanilla campaigns data sets, and the default set.

By looking at the Barbarossa campaign Data folder, I can see that the Stuka has a different texture, there are a couple of different churches, and a new town wall section. You would be forgiven for not noticing anything different! It is a similar story with the other vanilla campaigns. There are some bigger differences in some of the user made scenarios, which use new units etc.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:05 am

Thanks for the clarification Paul..:)
For the record what I have managed to figure out is that in Skirmish 'Random Force' selections there are no T-34's or T-34/85's, no matter what year we choose which is a glaring omission by the devs grrrr...
However we can remedy that woeful situation by abandoning 'Random' games and choosing only 'Fixed' Russki forces (Mech41/ Tank Div41/ and Mech44), all of which DO contain T-34's.
But the downside of Fixed forces (Russian and German) is that they don't contain snipers, groan..
Random forces however DO contain snipers.
To further confuse things, German Fixed forces don't contain Kingtigers or Hetzers or Elefants etc, so if we want those units we have to use German 'Random' force Mech44 which does contain them!
I wish I'd been on the dev team to tidy things up..;)
I'm currently stringing together a number of Skirmish battles to form a "campaign", so it seems the only way to get a consistent force will be to mix Random forces and Fixed forces to suit the date of the battle, oh gosh I'll need lots of cups of hot sweet tea..

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:53 am

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:05 am
Thanks for the clarification Paul..:)
For the record what I have managed to figure out is that in Skirmish 'Random Force' selections there are no T-34's or T-34/85's, no matter what year we choose which is a glaring omission by the devs grrrr...
However we can remedy that woeful situation by abandoning 'Random' games and choosing only 'Fixed' Russki forces (Mech41/ Tank Div41/ and Mech44), all of which DO contain T-34's.
But the downside of Fixed forces (Russian and German) is that they don't contain snipers, groan..
Random forces however DO contain snipers.
To further confuse things, German Fixed forces don't contain Kingtigers or Hetzers or Elefants etc, so if we want those units we have to use German 'Random' force Mech44 which does contain them!
I wish I'd been on the dev team to tidy things up..;)
I'm currently stringing together a number of Skirmish battles to form a "campaign", so it seems the only way to get a consistent force will be to mix Random forces and Fixed forces to suit the date of the battle, oh gosh I'll need lots of cups of hot sweet tea..
I can't seem to get Soviet Rifle squads in Random skirmish either! Something is definitely not right here, unfortunately I am away for the next two days and so can't examine it properly. I must say I am quite new to the Battle Academy games, I only got into them last year, and I have not really looked at the Skirmish mode yet. My main interest is with FOG2, but I dabble with BA and BA2 occasionally when I feel like a WW2 fix.

It seems likely that something might be wrong with the unit availability values in the Squads.csv file, but after a quick look I can't see anything obviously wrong. If I can't find the cause of the problem, the easiest fix is to add the missing units (Snipers etc) to the "Fixed" lists in the ArmyList.txt file.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:46 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:53 am

I can't seem to get Soviet Rifle squads in Random skirmish either! Something is definitely not right here, unfortunately I am away for the next two days and so can't examine it properly. I must say I am quite new to the Battle Academy games, I only got into them last year, and I have not really looked at the Skirmish mode yet. My main interest is with FOG2, but I dabble with BA and BA2 occasionally when I feel like a WW2 fix.

It seems likely that something might be wrong with the unit availability values in the Squads.csv file, but after a quick look I can't see anything obviously wrong. If I can't find the cause of the problem, the easiest fix is to add the missing units (Snipers etc) to the "Fixed" lists in the ArmyList.txt file.
To have a good chance of getting Soviet Rifle units in 'Random' battles I find I have to set the force size to 'very large' but I don't like very large battles, groan..

Perhaps file-juggling is the answer as you suggest, but sadly I'm a PC dummy, I only know how to do game playtesting and analysis.

I played the original BA1 when it was released some years ago but it never really grabbed me so I drifted away, but BA2:Eastern Front is a whole new ball game and blew my socks off when I bought it earlier this year, so like you I'm a relative newcomer to it.
I'm especially hooked on Skirmish mode (which BA1 doesn't have) because it gives us a brandnew map to play on each time, so every battle requires planning new axes of advance, and when defending we need to work out lines of fire, ambush positions, killing grounds etc to suit whatever map the game has given us, great stuff!
And of course, we can make the battle size range from very small to very large; I tend to go for smallish battles for a quick fast fix.
At the moment I'm working out the best smoke shell tactics to use as smoke is a very powerful weapon, the enemy can't kill you if he can't see you..:)

PS- Regarding planes, I see they're only in Random battles, never in Fixed, grrrr..

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:52 am

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:46 pm
Paul59 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:53 am

I can't seem to get Soviet Rifle squads in Random skirmish either! Something is definitely not right here, unfortunately I am away for the next two days and so can't examine it properly. I must say I am quite new to the Battle Academy games, I only got into them last year, and I have not really looked at the Skirmish mode yet. My main interest is with FOG2, but I dabble with BA and BA2 occasionally when I feel like a WW2 fix.

It seems likely that something might be wrong with the unit availability values in the Squads.csv file, but after a quick look I can't see anything obviously wrong. If I can't find the cause of the problem, the easiest fix is to add the missing units (Snipers etc) to the "Fixed" lists in the ArmyList.txt file.
To have a good chance of getting Soviet Rifle units in 'Random' battles I find I have to set the force size to 'very large' but I don't like very large battles, groan..

Perhaps file-juggling is the answer as you suggest, but sadly I'm a PC dummy, I only know how to do game playtesting and analysis.

I played the original BA1 when it was released some years ago but it never really grabbed me so I drifted away, but BA2:Eastern Front is a whole new ball game and blew my socks off when I bought it earlier this year, so like you I'm a relative newcomer to it.
I'm especially hooked on Skirmish mode (which BA1 doesn't have) because it gives us a brandnew map to play on each time, so every battle requires planning new axes of advance, and when defending we need to work out lines of fire, ambush positions, killing grounds etc to suit whatever map the game has given us, great stuff!
And of course, we can make the battle size range from very small to very large; I tend to go for smallish battles for a quick fast fix.
At the moment I'm working out the best smoke shell tactics to use as smoke is a very powerful weapon, the enemy can't kill you if he can't see you..:)

PS- Regarding planes, I see they're only in Random battles, never in Fixed, grrrr..
I had another look at this today, and I can't see any way of "fixing" the Random Skirmishes. Looking at previous forum threads, the lack of T34s has been mentioned before, but no one has found an answer. The explanation given is that the unit selection is done at random, and no weight is given to more common units. But that does not explain why KV tanks, Lend Lease Matildas and Valentines seem to be in picked in abundance in every scenario, while T34s are virtually non-existent.

My only success was by changing the T34s "SkirmishInfo" value to 2 (from 5). I was then getting 1 or 2 T34s in a skirmish, but they were still vastly outnumbered by KVs and Valentines! Perhaps I will try changing the KVs and other rarer units to 5 and see what happens.

Something you may be interested in is Great Ajax's Army List mod:

viewtopic.php?f=221&t=48872

It adds a ton of new army lists to BA2, and snipers to many of the German lists, but sadly not the Soviet.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:23 am

Paul59 wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:52 am
[Something you may be interested in is Great Ajax's Army List mod:
It adds a ton of new army lists to BA2, and snipers to many of the German lists, but sadly not the Soviet.
Thanks, its thread runs to 2 page and sounds a bit too complex for me, and as there are no Russki snipers we're back into "glaring omission" territory again so I think I'll give it a miss because I've already had a bellyful of glaring omissions in the standard game..:)
Anyway I've made some headway in patching together a string of decently-balanced 'Skirmish' battles to form a "campaign", so for the record and for anybody else experimenting along the same lines, these below are Fixed forces (not Random) and we get good force mixes-

German main armour types-
Mech 41:- PzIVD(short 75mm) / PzIIIF(short 50mm) / Pzjager1 / Stug B(short 75mm) / Pz38t
Panzer Corps 43:- PzIVF2(long 75mm) / PzIVF1(short 75mm) / PzIIIN(long 50mm) / Stug G(long75mm) / Marder III / Wespe
SS Pz Cps 43:- Tiger / PzIVF2(long75mm) / PzIII Flamm / Wespe

Russian main armour types-
Mech 41:- T-34(76mm) / BT-7 / BT-7A
Tank Div 41:- T-34(76mm) / T-28 / T-26
Ramshackle 41:- KV-1 / BT-7 / T-26 / KV2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The above Fixed selections give a pretty good mix of units for the early and mid-war periods BUT we have to switch to a 'Random April 1945' selection if we want to play the Late war period, because that's the only way we'll usually get the following extra units-
German-
Kingtiger / Panther / Nashorn / Jagdpanther / JpzIV / Elefant / Hetzer

Russian-
T-34(85mm) / SU-85 / SU-122 / SU-76 / Sherman / Valentine / Matilda

HOWEVER, even though that's an impressive array of Late war Random units, there's no guarantee that they'll all be in the same battle, for example T-34/85's or Elefants etc might appear in one battle but not the next.
Also, the computer might dish up random selections that are very mismatched and unbalanced, for example one side (usually the Russians) might be infantry-heavy with very few armoured "teeth" with which to get stuck into Kingtigers etc.
Last edited by PoorOldSpike on Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:21 pm

You don't need to read all of the Great Ajax Army List Mod thread, that's just a lot of advice from other people to Great Ajax. After taking all that advice on board, he edited the original post with an updated download. After you have downloaded his file, and extracted it, you just need to paste it into your BA2 Campaigns folder. To use it you then click that "Default Data" button in the Advanced Skirmish menu and select his mod, just like you did when you tried the Barbarossa data set.

If you don't know where your BA2 Campaigns folder is, it should be somewhere like this:

My Documents/My Games/BA2/CAMPAIGNS

I can't be anymore specific than that unfortunately, as the exact place seems to vary depending upon the operating system your computer uses, and if (unlikely) you have specified a different place for your My Documents folder.

If you have downloaded any user created campaigns or scenarios, they will already be in that folder. Scenarios downloaded through Battle Academy 2s in built "Download Community Scenarios" button will automatically go in that folder.

If required, I can easily mod Great Ajax's Soviet army lists for you and add snipers. I have a vast amount of experience with modding Pike & Shot and FOG2 army lists, which use exactly the same system, so adding snipers will be a piece of cake.

Alternatively, I have quickly played about with the BA2 Squads.csv files "SkirmishInfo" values, and created (hopefully!) a much better random selection of units. This "SkirmishInfo" value seems to be designed to add units to a skirmish game in historically correct platoon numbers, for example a tank type that was normally used in platoons of 5 vehicles has a "SkirmishInfo" value of 5. But it seems to me that units with high "SkirmishInfo" values are normally those that are picked rarely, probably this is because the total points value of a 5 vehicle platoon is very high, often too high to fit in the total points limit of a scenario. So I have changed all the "SkirmishInfo" values, giving common units low values, and rare units high values. This is the result:

LINK DELETED SEE REVISED MOD HERE:

viewtopic.php?f=312&p=817400#p817400


Just install it in your My Documents/My Games/BA2/CAMPAIGNS like I described above.


cheers

Paul
Last edited by Paul59 on Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:01 am

Paul59 wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:21 pm
..If required, I can easily mod Great Ajax's Soviet army lists for you and add snipers...
Okay go ahead, jerry has got snipers so it's only fair that Ivan should have them too..:)
I installed the Ajax mod and it's sensational, it seems he's got the entire German and Red Army in there!
I'll also have fun dabbling with your Random Skirmish mod.

PS- In the standard game, only Random battles include planes (MiG, Me109, Sturmovik and Stuka) is there any way to get them into Fixed force games too?

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:34 am

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:01 am

PS- In the standard game, only Random battles include planes (MiG, Me109, Sturmovik and Stuka) is there any way to get them into Fixed force games too?
I have had a look at the scripts that govern the use of planes, but I cannot see why it would stop them appearing in Fixed force battles. I am not a expert in scripting I am afraid, so hopefully someone with more knowledge of that can check it out.

cheers

Paul
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:20 pm

Here is a modified version of Great Ajax's Custom Army Lists. it now includes Soviet Snipers for most infantry formations:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/kii267kbz ... s.rar/file

To distinguish it from Great Ajax's original mod I have renamed this one as "Army Lists with Soviet Snipers".
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:16 am

sorry double post deleted
Last edited by PoorOldSpike on Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:23 am

Paul59 wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:20 pm
Here is a modified version of Great Ajax's Custom Army Lists. it now includes Soviet Snipers for most infantry formations..
Thanks mate it works fine and so does your 'Skirmish' mod..:)
Speaking of Skirmishes, I'm hooked by the way the computer drops a random force in our lap as it's a real challenge to our wargaming skills to get the best out of whatever the computer gives us even if at first it looks completely outclassed.
For example today the computer gave me a mixed bag of infantry and only 2 guns (85AA and 76mm) and NO TANKS to defend with, and when a bunch of AI heavy German metal turned up I groaned and almost threw in the towel before a shot was fired.
But amazingly my 85AA knocked off 2 Kingtigs, a Tiger and 2 Wirbels all on its own (below) and I got a draw!
If jerry had any infantry I never saw any, which meant his armour was lumbering around half blind without any infantry eyeballs to spot for them and I was able to pick them off one by one..:)

(For the record, he had a single Tiger on the other side of the map which waltzed into the other objective to make it a 1-1 draw)

Image

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:30 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:23 am
Paul59 wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:20 pm
Here is a modified version of Great Ajax's Custom Army Lists. it now includes Soviet Snipers for most infantry formations..
Thanks mate it works fine and so does your 'Skirmish' mod..:)
Speaking of Skirmishes, I'm hooked by the way the computer drops a random force in our lap as it's a real challenge to our wargaming skills to get the best out of whatever the computer gives us even if at first it looks completely outclassed.
For example today the computer gave me a mixed bag of infantry and only 2 guns (85AA and 76mm) and NO TANKS to defend with, and when a bunch of AI heavy German metal turned up I groaned and almost threw in the towel before a shot was fired.
But amazingly my 85AA knocked off 2 Kingtigs, a Tiger and 2 Wirbels all on its own (below) and I got a draw!
If jerry had any infantry I never saw any, which meant his armour was lumbering around half blind without any infantry eyeballs to spot for them and I was able to pick them off one by one..:)

(For the record, he had a single Tiger on the other side of the map which waltzed into the other objective to make it a 1-1 draw)

Image
Was this with my Random Skirmish Mod, or the vanilla Skirmish?

I would be interested in any feedback on my Skirmish Mod, such as if any units are appearing more (or less) frequently than you would like. If it can be thoroughly tested, I will give the mod it's own thread, I might even include the new user created units that have been made for the game. At the moment they are spread around the forum in different mods and scenarios, but it would be nice to bring all the East Front ones together in the Skirmish mod.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:24 am

Paul59 wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:30 pm

Was this with my Random Skirmish Mod, or the vanilla Skirmish?
I would be interested in any feedback on my Skirmish Mod...If it can be thoroughly tested, I will give the mod it's own thread, I might even include the new user created units that have been made for the game.
I can't remember if the 85AA screenshot was the vanilla Skirmish or not, but I've just begun testing your fantastic Skirmish Mod in earnest and I'd say it does deserve a feedback thread of its own so go ahead, and yes, DO include new units by all means..:)

In the meantime here's some current feedback and suggestions I can give you on the mod, beginning with June 1941, I've been clicking through dozens of random force selections and logging which units appear or don't appear, and bear in mind my comments refer only to the June 41 random selections-

1- MAKE THE KV-1 AVAILABLE, it never appeared in any of my selections.

2- LIGHT MORTARS-Make them appear much more often (German 81mm and Russian 82mm), because at the moment they rarely appear at all.

3- FLAME- The Germans need 2-man flamethrower teams because as yet I haven't seen one appear at all, whereas the Russians sometimes have them.

4- AT-RIFLES- Make them available to the Russians. The Germans have their Panzerbusche, but as yet I haven't seen a Russian ATR appear at all.

5- MEDIUM/HEAVY ARTILLERY- Give the Russians some because at the moment they have none at all. By contrast the Germans sometimes (but very rarely) get a huge 150mm field gun AND they sometimes get a big self-propelled 150mm Sturmpanzer SiG33 with indirect fire capability.
(The Russian 76mm field gun with indirect fire capability is somewhere in BA2 so maybe it can be slotted into June 41 random selections, and there's also a Russian 120mm mortar which could perhaps be included to at least go some way towards redressing the imbalance between German and Russian arty.
I don't think the Russians historically had any self-prop arty in 1941 so there's nothing we can do about that.)


Eye candy, a Russki 120mm mortar..:)
Image
http://www.mission4today.com/index.php? ... 15&start=0

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:46 am

Thanks OldSpike,

KV-1; The problem with the KV was that it's availability was set to start from July 1941. I'm not sure why the developers had it like that, as the KV was definitely in action in June 41, and even saw some very limited use in the Winter War (1939-40). So I have changed the availability to December 1939.

Light Mortars: The Light Mortars had a SkirmishInfo value of 4, so I have changed it to 3 and they should now be much more common. I just hope not too common!

German Flammethrowers; Again, this was an availability date issue. Inexplicably it was set at September 1941! I have changed the settings to the same as the Soviet Flammethrower.

Soviet AT rifles; The reason why they don't show in June 1941 is that the availability start date is set to July 1941! I did a bit of research, and apparently this is correct! It surprised me, but it is said that the Soviets lost so many AT guns in the first weeks of the war that they decided to reverse their previous policy of not giving AT rifles to the infantry. The PTRD and PTRS AT rifles were then quickly designed and introduced in July 1941!

Soviet Artillery; This was another availability start date issue. The Soviet ZIS-3 76mm Gun has a start date of February 1942! This is technically correct for that particular design, but it ignores the fact that the Russians were using thousands of older 76mm guns for decades before that, and this unit has to represent them in the game, as there is nothing else. I have therefore changed the start date to Feb 1937.

Here is the updated version of the Mod:

LINK DELETED SEE REVISED MOD HERE:

viewtopic.php?f=312&p=817400#p817400

I have included some of the new units/models, all credit for these must go to the original creators. The units are:

Sturmtiger
Jagdtiger
T35
Pz I
Kubelwagen
Katyusha
Maus
Flak 30 AA gun
Sdkfz 251/17
Sdkfz 222


cheers

Paul
Last edited by Paul59 on Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:40 pm

Okay mate in Mod 1.1 I've just clicked through about 50 Russian attacking selections and 50 Russian defending selections (June 41) and I think the game tends to dish up sets of slightly different selections depending on whether we're attacking or defending, or am I imagining it?
For example the new T-35 only seems to appear in defending selections, and there also seem to be more guns and AT guns in defending selections.
So at this point can you clarify whether the forces available really are weighted according to whether we're the attacker or defender?

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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:54 pm

PoorOldSpike wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:40 pm
Okay mate in Mod 1.1 I've just clicked through about 50 Russian attacking selections and 50 Russian defending selections (June 41) and I think the game tends to dish up sets of slightly different selections depending on whether we're attacking or defending, or am I imagining it?
For example the new T-35 only seems to appear in defending selections, and there also seem to be more guns and AT guns in defending selections.
So at this point can you clarify whether the forces available really are weighted according to whether we're the attacker or defender?
Well that would be nothing to do with anything that I have done. I suspect the type of scenario may affect the selections, but this would be something coded into the game by the developers. It would not surprise me if selections were dependent upon if the side is attacking or defending.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by Paul59 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:16 pm

Although having said that, I do not know how the game would be able to single out T35s for a defensive battle. It is a new unit so the original game scripts could not have been written with it in mind, and I cannot see anything in the Squads.csv file that could be used by the game to identify it as a defensive type unit.
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Re: Skirmish battle query

Post by PoorOldSpike » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:46 pm

Paul59 wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:16 pm
Although having said that, I do not know how the game would be able to single out T35s for a defensive battle. It is a new unit so the original game scripts could not have been written with it in mind, and I cannot see anything in the Squads.csv file that could be used by the game to identify it as a defensive type unit.
I've run some more v1.1 Russian June 1941 selection tests and can confirm that the following tanks only appear in human-defender forces- KV-1, T-35, KV-2, BT-7A, they never appear in human-attacker forces, so it seems the devs must have somehow programmed different force selection parameters for the attacker and defender.
Perhaps a dev could come and confirm it, I'm just a grunt wargamer so what do I know?..:)

PS- It might be that the type of battle affects selections (Attack/Defend/Symmetric/Meeting) or perhaps the size of battle (from very small to very large) affects which units the game engine dishes up, i'll run more tests in my laboratory later.
The good news is that v1.1 as it stands right now still gives us a generally much better selection of units than the vanilla game..:)

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