Treebursts

PC : Battle Academy is a turn based tactical WWII game with almost limitless modding opportnuities.

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Philippeatbay
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Treebursts

Post by Philippeatbay » Sun May 24, 2015 10:56 pm

How does Battle Academy handle treebursts?

A forest should offer pretty good protection from rifle and machine gun fire. If you aren't standing too close to the edge of the clearing you won't be seen, and what doesn't get seen usually doesn't get shot.

But if the forest is intact it's very bad protection against mortar and artillery fire: incoming shells will detonate against tree trunks and branches, and the net effect will be very much like timed fuses. If anything, you're probably better off getting bombarded in the open than getting bombarded in an intact forest. After a few WW I-style bombardments all the leaves and a lot of the branches will be gone, so a forest in that condition will have a very different effect on incoming shells (and won't be terribly good at blocking line of sight either).

pipfromslitherine
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Re: Treebursts

Post by pipfromslitherine » Mon May 25, 2015 3:36 pm

We don't model down to that detail. I'm not sure many games do :) The cover ratings would average out the effects of the forest in different configurations.

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Philippeatbay
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Re: Treebursts

Post by Philippeatbay » Tue May 26, 2015 3:57 pm

Combat Mission has been modeling the treeburst effect for about ten years.

cupoftea
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Re: Treebursts

Post by cupoftea » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:00 pm

Maybe, constant bombardment would bring down a tree or two, reducing the cover level of that square?
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dcoffin
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Re: Treebursts

Post by dcoffin » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:40 pm

Interesting concept! I would be interested in possible solutions as I had thoughts(more like delusions at this point :) ) what it would require to do the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.

While most of issues with me trying to recreate a battle are due to lack of modding skill, to be able to represent US Army struggles in battle was this concept. Since from doing some reading one of the significant German tactics was the use of treebursts. Several books mentioned that these were a cause of large number of Alllies casualties during the battle.

bloodphoenix
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Re: Treebursts

Post by bloodphoenix » Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:48 pm

Interesting that you mentioned the Hurtgen Forest...I had just read a very interesting magazine article about it, and
my mind immediately went to what it would be like to try to model it in Battle Academy...it would be very difficult to accurately represent the full difficulties faced by the American forces, using the game's current mechanics.

Phillipe, you make an excellent point. I enjoy Battle Academy, and find it a pretty accurate representation of WWII combat as far as it goes...but I would definitely consider it a "game" rather than a "simulation". Its designed to be simple and fast-playing, intuitive and accessible to those who know Shermans and Panthers, but have never heard of a Chaffee or a Hetzer. If you haven't tried BA2 yet, you'll find that it makes some essential improvements that make game-play much more realistic. The addition of smoke rounds alone allows the player to actually employ REAL WW2 tactics...and of course fire results against tanks is no longer divided into the three categories of miss/hit stopped by armor/kill. An addition that's a personal favorite of mine is the sniper.

I'm surprised really that it never occurred to me to add tree-bursts. I'm not positive how terrain cover affects incoming fire...so I don't know if the code could be modified to give a different value vs small arms and explosives, since both are treated as "HE" within the game. One thing that occurs to me, is that there might be a way within the scenario editor to define a forest square the way you would an open-topped vehicle...so that it had a low armor rating for direct fire HE attacks, but zero "top" armor, for things like mortar rounds. Don't know if that could be done.

There are definitely a few things that I would add to the game, that I think would make it more realistic without adding too much to the complexity. Some of them have already been implemented by player-created mods: one of the best of these, imo, is the addition of Leaders who can influence units in various ways (in such scenarios, the Rally function is no longer an icon on the side-bar, but is now an ability Leaders can use within their command radius). Player mods also add the ability for Infantry squads to ride on tanks...an obvious feature inexplicably omitted from even BA2.

Things I have thought about involve recon units (scout vehicles like jeeps or armored cars) that would have a higher sight range, but not necessarily the ability to spot hidden units like the Scout infantry squads have. And Scouts, imo, should see farther as well.

One of the changes I would like to see is a distinction made for whether or not tanks are "buttoned up". I have no problem with armor having the poor visibility it has in the game when its in combat mode, but I know I don't have to tell you that most of the time, the tank Commander was standing in the hatch with binoculars near at hand.

But my single biggest pet peeve is the missing units. It was absolutely bizarre to me to play through the North Africa campaign without a single M3 Grant/Lee in sight! Especially considering the game includes the Priest and even the Kangaroo APC that had the same chassis! And when they include Jeeps, it makes the absence of Kubelwagens seem like a glaring oversight. Even cursory research into actual unit TOEs shows how ubiquitous such vehicles were in a scouting role, to say nothing of the various models of military motorcycles used by most armies, AWOL from the game.

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