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Increase MG scatter (focus fire)

14 Sep 2021, 16:17 PM
#1
avatar of Hannibal
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Posts: 2386 | Subs: 2

Playing around with the mod tools, by accident I got a decent idea how focus fire works:

Every bullet that rolls a hit, gets re-rolled to potentially hit another model nearby. What means "nearby"?
Turns out the scatter values of small arms are not just there for calculating where the tracer should go visually. They define the area which models are considered "nearby".

MGs in the game are actually a prime example of a weapon that is able to deal high damage to singular models in order to take them out early. While some MGs in the war were very accurate, their main task was to get fire superiority and suppress a large area rather than taking out one soldier after the other.

This could be simulated by increasing and adjusting the scatter values of most automatic fire units. Currently, most weapons have such weird scatter profiles that the chance of another soldier being in the scatter area is fairly low, unless the target is in cover. Iirc, the HMG42 has an angular scatter of 3 degrees, which basically means that a second model should be closer than 2 meters on most ranges. Additionally, The scatter ratio values are set in a way that mostly models behind the actual target can be hit, but not in front of it. This makes some sense since a machine gunner will not aim towards the feet and recoil will make the weapon kick upwards. But in the end this leads to these weapons often focusing all of their DPS on the same model instead of using the damage spread mechanic that is in the game. There are some exceptions like the BAR that has 12 angular scatter, but from the weapons I checked most of them behaved as described above, both Axis and Allies.


Obviously I have no intention to mess with in game balance that much at this point, so please consider this more of an idea than an actual discussion about balance (hence why this is posted in the gameplay section).
14 Sep 2021, 16:21 PM
#2
avatar of Vipper

Posts: 12186 | Subs: 1

14 Sep 2021, 16:29 PM
#3
avatar of rumartinez89

Posts: 202

Now that you have peaked my interest good sir, I have a few questions.

1. Would increasing scatter help lets say the vickers suppress better?
2. Would decreasing scatter cause SMG units to drop single models faster?
3. Why is the BAR so high? I would expect it to be lower to drop models faster while the LMG to be higher so that it would do consistent damage to whole squad.
MMX
14 Sep 2021, 16:38 PM
#4
avatar of MMX

Posts: 830 | Subs: 1

interesting, i always thought the scatter values would only define the area in which the damage is spread around the targeted model. so if i got this correctly increasing scatter by a fair amount would actually increase the damage output quite significantly via the additional accuracy rolls? that would be interesting to play around with for sure.

14 Sep 2021, 16:41 PM
#5
avatar of Descolata

Posts: 468

oooooo that's REALLY nice.
14 Sep 2021, 16:42 PM
#6
avatar of Hannibal
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 2386 | Subs: 2

Now that you have peaked my interest good sir, I have a few questions.

1. Would increasing scatter help lets say the vickers suppress better?
2. Would decreasing scatter cause SMG units to drop single models faster?
3. Why is the BAR so high? I would expect it to be lower to drop models faster while the LMG to be higher so that it would do consistent damage to whole squad.

1. It could at least alleviate the issue of the Vickers killing a model and then not firing because it needs to aim at another target. The actual suppression of the Vickers is okay if no model dies. Additionally, ROF could be doubled and accuracy or damage halved to allow for more damage checks. In this case suppression must also be halved to cancel put the double ROF.
2. I can't remember the SMG scatter values. But unless they are exorbitantly high, I assume that they will almost always hit a single target due to the short ranges.
3. I have no idea. Maybe Relic wanted to simulate that the bar was originally designed as a portable LMG? This weapon was supposed to cover advancing troops while advancing yourself. Or maybe it had accuracy issues? Maybe someone here on the forum knows.


I don't think these values have ever been up for balsnce consideration. I can't really remember any change to them in the patch notes.

Edit: due to MMX's post it just came to my mind that there is the possibility of damage not being transferred, but the mechanic just acting as an additional roll for damage. In this case increasing the scatter must come with less accuracy or damage per bullet, otherwise the targeted model will just die the same.
14 Sep 2021, 16:43 PM
#7
avatar of Descolata

Posts: 468

Now that you have peaked my interest good sir, I have a few questions.

1. Would increasing scatter help lets say the vickers suppress better?
2. Would decreasing scatter cause SMG units to drop single models faster?
3. Why is the BAR so high? I would expect it to be lower to drop models faster while the LMG to be higher so that it would do consistent damage to whole squad.


1. Yes and no, it would massively increase consistency due to not killing models. The Vickers still has massively lower base suppression than MG34/42 (its 2/3rds).

2. Yes, but only if lower than the spacing of the models. This is another reason Sturmpios get wrecked vs units in green cover, the green cover squad just doesn't drop models as the damage is spread throughout the squad. Makes IS vs SP interesting.

3. I doubt it was clearly designed around. Probably a design mistake. This happens more often than it should. We also don't know exactly what the exact relation to positioning to scatter.
14 Sep 2021, 16:49 PM
#8
avatar of Hannibal
Senior Moderator Badge

Posts: 2386 | Subs: 2

jump backJump back to quoted post14 Sep 2021, 16:38 PMMMX
interesting, i always thought the scatter values would only define the area in which the damage is spread around the targeted model. so if i got this correctly increasing scatter by a fair amount would actually increase the damage output quite significantly via the additional accuracy rolls? that would be interesting to play around with for sure.

I am not sure if there are additional roles or if the damage is fully transferred. I vaguely remember a post about this but can't recall the content. This is easily testable though.
I didn't do throughout tests, but in cheat mode I saw that MGs do damage to a singular model. When I increased the scatter angle to 20 (plus increased ROF and decreased damage per shot), the all models got damaged roughly at the same rate, but not fully the same.
I also don't know if there is a check per model or only one check and then damage to all models in the scatter area is applied. There are many options how Relic could have implemented this.
14 Sep 2021, 17:07 PM
#9
avatar of rumartinez89

Posts: 202

Very interesting, part of me thinks BARs are so high since Rifleman were expected to get 2 in the late game.

Hannibal could you test what would happen if you lowered the scatter for BARs and then double and triple BARS(Rifleman/Rangers) for the sake of science.
14 Sep 2021, 17:38 PM
#10
avatar of EtherealDragon

Posts: 1776 | Subs: 1

I think one interesting thing to look at would be the Kubel which I've noticed over the years tends to be very good at doing health damage but doesn't drop models. (I feel like I always need to go medics early versus Kubel). I assume this is due to the scatter of the gun? It would be a good place to start looking at scatter values and such.
Pip
14 Sep 2021, 18:07 PM
#11
avatar of Pip

Posts: 1503

It would make sense to give all MGs a pretty absurd scatter value in order to make them more consistent.

What values go into "Scatter" exactly? Are there percentage chances involved for whether a given shot will scatter, or is it primarily a case of angles/AOE in which scatter can occur? The former would make this potentially a VERY valuable statistic to tweak.

If possible, I'd suggest that all MGs have between 66-80% scatter "chance", which should ensure that models don't get focused down before suppression can occur. This might even let you increase the damage of some MGs without making their suppression worse, if that were desired.

I know (From my own testing) that scatter can allow an unit to damage units from a squad it isnt actually targetting (And interestingly enough, this scatter check seems to ignore range and sight. I was able to hit and damage models from a squad that was on the other side of a sight-blocking wall). I can't recall as to whether it allows you to damage a stealthed unit, but that's rather a niche scenario anyway.
14 Sep 2021, 23:24 PM
#12
avatar of JibberJabberJobber

Posts: 1589 | Subs: 3

jump backJump back to quoted post14 Sep 2021, 18:07 PMPip
I can't recall as to whether it allows you to damage a stealthed unit, but that's rather a niche scenario anyway.


It can actually, will reveal it as well.
15 Sep 2021, 04:10 AM
#13
avatar of y3ivan

Posts: 119

it seems like all LMG has the function of focus fire=true. with an oddball USF M1 thompson SMG with has focus fire.

i do notice LMG having the effect of focus fire, as it kills single model better than guns without focus fire. All except USF M1 thompson, which still functions like other SMG class.
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