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blakduk
09-18-2005, 06:31 PM
Before i start this discussion- I know nothing about programming AI, so i dont know how possible/difficult this would be.
I was recently watching a documentary about the BOB and i was struck by how long the RAF persisted with obsolete tactics. I was well aware of their insistence that they continue using the tight 'vic' formation leading to many occassions where they were bounced by bandits as they couldnt adequately watch out for each other.
I hadnt been so aware though of their disastrous technique of lining up a number of planes to attack a bomber one after the other- so called 'attacking line astern'. Apparently the LW dubbed it 'the line of idiots'- the RAF planes were so target fixated and concerned with formation flying they were sitting ducks. One surviving pilot described watching the leading three planes in his attack group being destroyed before they reached firing range!
My question is- is it possible for the AI to be programmed to use obsolete techniques during such a well documented campaign as BOB?
During the earlier years of the war tactics altered radically so it would be interesting to observe the evolution of tactics during these campaigns.
I dont know the tactical doctrine of the war on the eastern front as well.
As for all those who whine about historical accuracy, maybe they should be forced to fly such tactics and be disciplined (maybe even grounded?) if they fail to follow orders. We could see then how many people would boast about flying 'full real'.

blakduk
09-18-2005, 06:31 PM
Before i start this discussion- I know nothing about programming AI, so i dont know how possible/difficult this would be.
I was recently watching a documentary about the BOB and i was struck by how long the RAF persisted with obsolete tactics. I was well aware of their insistence that they continue using the tight 'vic' formation leading to many occassions where they were bounced by bandits as they couldnt adequately watch out for each other.
I hadnt been so aware though of their disastrous technique of lining up a number of planes to attack a bomber one after the other- so called 'attacking line astern'. Apparently the LW dubbed it 'the line of idiots'- the RAF planes were so target fixated and concerned with formation flying they were sitting ducks. One surviving pilot described watching the leading three planes in his attack group being destroyed before they reached firing range!
My question is- is it possible for the AI to be programmed to use obsolete techniques during such a well documented campaign as BOB?
During the earlier years of the war tactics altered radically so it would be interesting to observe the evolution of tactics during these campaigns.
I dont know the tactical doctrine of the war on the eastern front as well.
As for all those who whine about historical accuracy, maybe they should be forced to fly such tactics and be disciplined (maybe even grounded?) if they fail to follow orders. We could see then how many people would boast about flying 'full real'.

foxyboy1964
09-18-2005, 06:52 PM
The only tactic I have mastered so far is to keep my plane in the air, eveything else is just luck. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Ankanor
09-18-2005, 07:41 PM
I think it WILL be possible in the near future(for BoB hopefully). This type of AI behavior would require resources which aren't available now. This will require a lot of research, tactics changed during the war in relation to the target, mission goals. different tactics for different opponents, for different types of aircraft, for different armaments, even for different enemy count. I would first like to have AI capable of deflection shooting.

tagTaken2
09-18-2005, 10:43 PM
AI can be forced to fly in vics, if you haven't come across that command, it's under Tactics, Formation (?).
You have to tell them several times, though. I'd have to be told several times too, I think.

The Russians were even worse I've read. One of the Russian aces was told to keep his mouth shut if he knew what was good for him, after he tried to teach basic survival tactics to his unit.

This is the guy I'm thinking of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Ivanovich_Pokryshkin

blakduk
09-18-2005, 11:16 PM
tagTaken2- thanks for the link.
That's the sort of stupidity that i'm referring to- someone questions the prevailing dogma and is ignored or ordered to remain quiet (sometimes even court-martialled).
The conflict between Parkes and Leigh-Mallory during the BOB is also a great example of conflicting tactics being espoused.
I sometimes think that we lose sight of the fact that it is the charisma of the leaders that often changes outcomes (for better or worse) far more than the changes in machinery and armaments.

ImpStarDuece
09-18-2005, 11:57 PM
Part of the problem with doing this is that British fighter tactics evolved constantly from the Battle of France through the Battle of Britain. As blackduk noted it was very much the leaders that effected the tactics, even at a squadron level. There were many individuals who recognised the shortcomings of the 'by the book' tactics and in order to preserve the lives of the squadron mates (and their own) altered tactics to suit.

Many British squadrons flew the 'finger four' formation during the Battle period, some even adopting the tactic during the Dunkirk evacuation. Wing pairs became more and more common as the Battle moved on.

Ideally you would see inexperianced and green squadrons sticking to the vic and fighting area attack style formations, while those with more combat experiance/better leadership adopt the wingpair and eventually the finger 4 formation.

BoB historian Jon Lake had this to say about formations and tactics:

"Before the war, RAF Fighters had operated in a V-shaped formations ('vics') of three aircraft, with the laeder stepped in front of two wingmen. The leader of the vic was able to keep a lookout, while his wingmen (tucked in very close) concentrated on keeping station. When flying in squadron strength four vics flew one behind the other, giving a formation that was easy to control and very manuoevrable. But the drawback was that only one pair of eyes was available to look for the enemy, with everyone else concentrating on keeping station.

In Spain, the pilots of the Condor Legion developed a looser four aircraft formation (a Schwarm) broadly in line astern, but well seperated, with each pilot able to check the tails of his neighbours. The Battle of France showed that the RAF's standard formation was not ideal, and from an early stage squadrons began stationing the rear most vic higher, weaving above and behind the formation. This was an improvement, but only just, and server mainly to make the weavers more vulnerable.

By the time of the Battle of Britain, the strictly regimented and choreographed 'Fighting Area Attacks' had been discredited and the raison de etre of the tight, easily controllable formations began to disappear as more flexiable tactics were developed. By July, many units were experimenting with new formations. No. 54 Squadron's success on 8 July were interesting, sine the unit was widely believed to be suffering from combat fatgue (as was No. 79 Squadron) and heavy losses had prompted it from flyng in two "vics' of three to using 'pairs' as the standard tactical formation. Credit for the adooption of the German style 'Finger Four' is hard to place with any degree of confidence, since No. 15 Sqyadron, under Squadron Leader Peter Devitt, also began using flights of three pairs (and occasionslly single 'fours') during mid-July. In No. 74 Squadron, 'Sailor' Malan retained the vic of three flight leaders, each of whom had three aircraft in line astern behind him. When the formation broke, it broke into 3 lines of 4 aircraft, though these were line astern, not line abreast.

In time, of course, the RAF simple 'stole' the German Schwarm, renaming it as the 'Finger Four' because of its supposed resembelance to the outstreched fingers of a human hand."

tagTaken2
09-19-2005, 01:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by blakduk:
I sometimes think that we lose sight of the fact that it is the charisma of the leaders that often changes outcomes (for better or worse) far more than the changes in machinery and armaments. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hitler comes to mind http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Foxyboy (!), this might take some of the pressure off:

http://www.tanksim.com/

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

pres_
09-19-2005, 09:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ankanor:
I would first like to have AI capable of deflection shooting. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You know, even though the AI often don't, ace AI's *can* deflection shoot and they can do quite well.

If you play campaigns though you'll often run up against not so good pilots.