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Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
04-08-2010, 05:29 AM,
#1
Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
Hi everyone, I just recently been turned on to Squad Battles. I had been suffering WW2 gaming burnout, the games I have been playing were mostly "grand strategy" and this is my first time playing on such a small scale. Just a few questions if anyone can take the time to help me I would appreciate it, also if you would like to play PBEM with me that would be great, just reply and i will give you my email.

1) My vehicles seem to become immobile after only a few moves, is this normal?
2) Is it okay to assault pinned units?
3) Been playing for about a week now and I have yet to see anyone die from mortar fire? I have pinned a unit with mortar fire but I don't see anyone getting killed.
4) Illumination? How do I tell if it is nighttime, there is a mission called "Night Patrol" but I don't see any difference.
5) Attacking a hill seems you have to get lucky with 500lbs and napalm, VC with 3 guns and a trench at the top of the hill and I'm at the bottom pinned :(
6) What is the deal with the HUGE maps and only 12 turns you will never be able to get across most of the action is within a 30 hex area.
7) I have not seen any tunnels or snipers, where are they?

and finally if anyone has any general advice for someone new to this game, thanks.
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04-08-2010, 06:00 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-08-2010, 06:03 AM by TheBigRedOne.)
#2
RE: Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
Welcome to the SB world! I think you'll enjoy it.

First off, I'd take a look at Task Force Echo 4 (a bit of self-promoting, perhaps) and poke around. There are some really good game resources, including some documents designed for inexperienced players to read.

Grunt School is a great article and really gives a new guy a perspective on the game. Here are the article archives.

http://tfe4.wordpress.com/supply-section...-archives/

I'll address some of your other questions when I have a bit more non-work time. I'm sure others will chime in as well.

I'd also spend some time reading the manual, if you haven't. It really is chock-full of good information, and it may answer some of your questions. Make sure to patch your games to the most recent version on the HPS Website as well. There have been quite a few changes since TOD first released....
Site Commander: Task Force Echo 4
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04-08-2010, 06:19 AM,
#3
RE: Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
(04-08-2010, 05:29 AM)VIETNAM Wrote: 1) My vehicles seem to become immobile after only a few moves, is this normal?
2) Is it okay to assault pinned units?
3) Been playing for about a week now and I have yet to see anyone die from mortar fire? I have pinned a unit with mortar fire but I don't see anyone getting killed.
4) Illumination? How do I tell if it is nighttime, there is a mission called "Night Patrol" but I don't see any difference.
5) Attacking a hill seems you have to get lucky with 500lbs and napalm, VC with 3 guns and a trench at the top of the hill and I'm at the bottom pinned :(
6) What is the deal with the HUGE maps and only 12 turns you will never be able to get across most of the action is within a 30 hex area.
7) I have not seen any tunnels or snipers, where are they?

and finally if anyone has any general advice for someone new to this game, thanks.
I'll try out some answers for you....
1) The terrain affects when your vehicle becomes immobile. Sticking to the roads is best, and jungle can immobilize you pretty quickly.
2) You always want to pin enemy units before you assault them. Their morale is lower, and they've usually taken some casualties, so blast them for a few turns to try to pin them before you assault. It's very difficult to win one without pinning them first. If you play the Americans, a good way to do this is to fire off all of your LAWs (most squads carry seven of them) and when you are within range, switch your M79s to canister load, which is pretty effective as well. (Open the 'Command Menu' up top, and pick 'Select Weapon Load' to do this. It's a good idea to try this out for all your weapons to see your options, and then right click on the bottom bar to see how each load affects range, lethality, etc.)
3) It's pretty rare to get many kills with mortars, unless you are lucky enough to hit someone in a clear hex.
4) Nightime doesn't have any graphical changes, but holding your mouse over the buttons on the top bar will tell you what each one does. Click the one called 'Visible hexes' to see what the line of sight is from your current hex. You can check it out from any hex on the map, not just the one your occupying. I reccomend surveying the map on the first turn, just to see the lay of the land. Also go to the 'View' menu and turn on 'Map Contours' to help distiguish elevation.
5) No answer here, sometimes the game is tough... ;) The ToD scenarios aren't the best balanced ones either.
6) Just the way they are... Different designers like to use different map size.
7) There are not too many of either in ToD.

A few more tips; on the first turn, I always check the victory conditions, the number of turns, the support and the reinforcements I have coming. This lets you come up with a plan that might work. ;) Send me a game if you like (I'd prefer a short one) and we can get you out of bootcamp.

I'm a hussar, I'm a Hun,  I'm a wretched Englishman
Routing Bonaparte at Waterloo
I'm a dragoon on a dun, I'm a Cossack on the run
I'm a horse soldier, timeless, through and through

Corb Lund - Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier

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04-08-2010, 08:14 AM,
#4
RE: Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
I can't top the advice you have been given. One thing I would say though is that it's a game of hidden subtleties and it takes a while to appreciate. Learning to lie down and remain hidden until you can launch an ambush is really satisfying when it comes off. Seeing your opponent and knowing he can't see you. Preserving certain weapons and ammo for different situations and ranges is also important I think as weapons quickly deteriorate during battle and you need to use them when they are most effective. Deciding when to hold fire and when not is a perplexing little conundrums that make the game intriguing. These type of pleasures only really work in PBEM for me. I could never play a whole game against the computer. I don't have TOD yet, but I know the snipers work really well in some of the other titles, it can be a very effective weapon especially against leaders and keeping enemy squads pinned down.
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04-08-2010, 10:09 AM,
#5
RE: Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
Holding your fire is probably the most important command in the game. Select a unit, go to the 'Command' menu and then select 'Toggle Hold Fire'. You can do it for any or all of a units weapons. Then you can wait untilthe enemy is within range bfore you fire, otherwise the computer may shoot off some opportunity fire and expose your position.

I'm a hussar, I'm a Hun,  I'm a wretched Englishman
Routing Bonaparte at Waterloo
I'm a dragoon on a dun, I'm a Cossack on the run
I'm a horse soldier, timeless, through and through

Corb Lund - Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier

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04-08-2010, 11:12 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-08-2010, 12:01 PM by VIETNAM.)
#6
RE: Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
Thanks for the all the advice and the link. I did not know about the hold fire command and switching weapons I was so excited to get playing I just jumped right in. Now the AI won't blow my cover during my opponents turn unless I want them to. I'm still trying to figure out the Nighttime Illumination and some I guess I have some reading to do, in the meantime Mad_dog I sent you a game.

The article on that website about mortars is really good. I like the idea of grouping all your mortar teams together and firing on the same hex. Also about not crossing open fields which seems obvious, but in a game it is easy to want to charge in a quick as you can.
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04-09-2010, 10:37 AM,
#7
RE: Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
(04-08-2010, 11:12 AM)VIETNAM Wrote: 1) My vehicles seem to become immobile after only a few moves, is this normal?
2) Is it okay to assault pinned units?
3) Been playing for about a week now and I have yet to see anyone die from mortar fire? I have pinned a unit with mortar fire but I don't see anyone getting killed.
4) Illumination? How do I tell if it is nighttime, there is a mission called "Night Patrol" but I don't see any difference.
5) Attacking a hill seems you have to get lucky with 500lbs and napalm, VC with 3 guns and a trench at the top of the hill and I'm at the bottom pinned Sad
6) What is the deal with the HUGE maps and only 12 turns you will never be able to get across most of the action is within a 30 hex area.
7) I have not seen any tunnels or snipers, where are they?
Just to add on the solid points made above:

1. Every time you move there is a calculation to see if you get stuck. (No way to get unstuck at this point.) The % chance is tied to the cost of the move. You can go immobile on a road, but you are just a lot less likely to. (A regular problem in Indochina, from my reading. ) There is an in depth explanation of the calculation in the manual I believe.

2. Unless you a desperate or running with good quality troops vs poor, I would only assault pinned units. Being able to grok the tipping point of what situations you should (there is still random luck) carry and those you won't is what separates good players from the rest.

3. If the enemy is in cover you won't see a kill result, even in the occasional event that that happens. Be thankful for the Pin result and close with him.

4. I often play with the visible hexes toggle on in reduced visibility scenarios. (And by those I mean dawn/sunset, night, fog, and also jungle (because the LOS lines there can be quirky.)

5. Well you do need a bit of luck, but the TFE tutorials are a big help. Keeping a base of fire and then using maneuver units to close are the only way to go.

6. This was an early game in the series. John has since introduced submaps so you will see smaller maps (based on huge maps) in later games. In DBP for example, all the siege scenarios are based on one huge map of the entire valley.

7. Ditto the above. It was an early game in the series. Now, if you (or any other 3rd party wanted to design your own, these are available to add into the scenario you create. While the series (all of John's series) continues to evolve, scenarios are rarely retroactively enhanced. That being said, John had me do an expansion pack for Tour of Duty that used a lot of the new features of the game. (Including tunnels and snipers.)
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04-09-2010, 11:05 AM,
#8
RE: Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
I may try to make a custom map at some point. I just noticed that if you copy the scenarios from the campaign into the other directory you will be able to load them for PBEM. I was thinking about maybe a cu chi type map, or maybe a khe sanh. Something that has Support vehicles tunnels jungle snipers, the whole deal, a massive PBEM scenario maybe 20 turns or more. I would be curious to check out the maps you made, do you have a website?
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04-10-2010, 12:09 AM,
#9
RE: Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
(04-09-2010, 11:05 AM)VIETNAM Wrote: I may try to make a custom map at some point. I just noticed that if you copy the scenarios from the campaign into the other directory you will be able to load them for PBEM. I was thinking about maybe a cu chi type map, or maybe a khe sanh. Something that has Support vehicles tunnels jungle snipers, the whole deal, a massive PBEM scenario maybe 20 turns or more. I would be curious to check out the maps you made, do you have a website?

Khe Sanh battles and maps can be found in the Vietnam game. Unfortunately, the maps don't cross over between VN and TOD, and the map editor that comes with the series really can't be used to make brand new, custom maps, at least what you're talking about.
Site Commander: Task Force Echo 4
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04-10-2010, 11:15 AM,
#10
RE: Tour of Duty advice and PBEM wanted
I have a document that has all the master maps for each game, with dimensions. I need to update it for the last couple of releases, plus <deleted by sysop> and then I can post it again. (Though it would be new here.)
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