Add units to patrol?

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You can have move order out from factory, followed by patrol order(s). Probably not exactly what you meant, but it does add units coming out from factory to patrol.

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No, I'm looking to be able to add existing units to an existing patrol, the same way that an existing transport can be added to an existing ferry route.

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I watched replay #14775039, and my advice is you should just completely stop using patrol for anything except engineers.

You put land units on patrol, and they wander into enemy forces and die.

You put air units on patrol, and they fly into enemy anti-AA guns and die.

If you group up your units, and move them as a blob, you will get better results than if you put them on patrol so they run in 1 at a time into blobs of enemy tanks.

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100% agree with Arma473 but his advice is really besides the point. The AI's general stupidity while in a patrol is not in doubt. It means that any player should be cautious when setting up a patrol route. But if a player chooses to set up a patrol, it would be nice if units could be added to it after the fact.

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Whether or not patrols are beneficial or not - it is an engine feature and I'm quite confident that it can't be done directly. At best, you'd still need to manually select the units and press a hotkey like the spread attack functionality - but then to re-iterate the patrol commands over all the selected units.

And one approach is already existing: you can select your units and support one of them that are in patrol. They won't follow in formation, but they'll still try and follow.

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@arma473 said in Add units to patrol?:

I watched replay #14775039, and my advice is you should just completely stop using patrol for anything except engineers.

You put land units on patrol, and they wander into enemy forces and die.

You put air units on patrol, and they fly into enemy anti-AA guns and die.

If you group up your units, and move them as a blob, you will get better results than if you put them on patrol so they run in 1 at a time into blobs of enemy tanks.

Sorry, I'm not at my computer, so I can't check, but I'm assuming that's my last game. I'll say two things: first, I'm a terrible video game player in general, and I'm particularly terrible at FAF. That's partly because of the second thing I'll say: not everybody plays a game to win; some people play a game because it gives them a platform to be creative in some way, so they can work out some idea they had, that might not even be about the game specifically. And so I play FAF not because I want to be the best FAF player ever, but because I'm just generally fascinated by war and the strategies and tactics of war and FAF is the best platform I know to explore those subjects. And so even though I know that some hard and fast truths about how to win this game have been developed over the years and have been roundly proven, those truths don't satisfy my desire to be creative and explore the concept of war the way I want to. And what I was doing with all those patrolling units was a concept I had been thinking of for a few days: "SCOUT / HARASS / ATTRIT". The only specific purpose of those units being out there is to have some cheap intel on the field. Otherwise, they're just out there to annoy the enemy, put some fire on his units and structures, and maybe force him to modify his strategy even just a bit because now he has to deal with this mess. All those units are, relatively speaking, dirt cheap, and it's because they are ultimately ineffective at what they do, but I was trying to come up with a way to use them in some kind of effective way, and honestly I think it achieved that, and until I think of some better way to do the same thing, it will likely be a standard thing for me to do going forward.

Having said that, I wouldn't associate too much the patrols I used in that game with what I'm talking about in terms of how patrols work in this thread. I'm just saying, in a very general sense, that you should be able to pull units off a patrol to achieve some specific purpose and then put them back on the same patrol so they can just continue being a nuisance, and I'm saying that the mechanic for doing that already exists with transports and how you can add them to existing ferry routes, without having to retrace the existing route. Doing that by having them assist a patrolling unit only works if that patrolling unit never dies, and at least the way I use patrols, that's not going to work because I put those units out there specifically to be a swarm of mosquitos that the enemy has to constantly kill. Their function IS to die, which would cause the assisting units to stop patrolling. And even if i wasn't using patrols in that manner, I think there's room for general improvements in how the game works. Even "engie-mod", which has become a standard part of FAF that you don't even have to apply as a mod anymore, could be rebuked by simply saying "no, you can just build a zillion T1 engineers". We all knew how to get the build capacity we needed, but someone came up with an idea that addressed the issue in a more sophisticated way and made the game better. That's all I'm trying to do. Being able to add units to a patrol isn't going to suddenly boost my 1v1 ranking into the mid-2000s. It's not the reason why I'm a bad player. There's no mod that will fix that 😆

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@jip said in Add units to patrol?:

Whether or not patrols are beneficial or not - it is an engine feature and I'm quite confident that it can't be done directly. At best, you'd still need to manually select the units and press a hotkey like the spread attack functionality - but then to re-iterate the patrol commands over all the selected units.

And one approach is already existing: you can select your units and support one of them that are in patrol. They won't follow in formation, but they'll still try and follow.

Again, I'll use engie-mod as an example, this time of a mod that completely changed a core feature. And OK, that's a sim mod and maybe that's the only way it could be done, but the point is that nothing's really impossible (saying that in full knowledge that I don't have the coding skill to do it myself, or even know what's possible and what isn't, but I'd like someone who does to come on here and at least say, "I tried it, it can't be done").

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@jip said in Add units to patrol?:

And one approach is already existing: you can select your units and support one of them that are in patrol. They won't follow in formation, but they'll still try and follow.

Curious, is their behavior on assist identical to patrol or somewhat different?

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It is different - they will follow, and typically walk way behind. But in the grand scheme of the patrol, they'll walk over the route.

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@jip said in Add units to patrol?:

It is different - they will follow, and typically walk way behind. But in the grand scheme of the patrol, they'll walk over the route.

The main problem is that once the "assisted" unit is killed, the "assisting" units stop patrolling.

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If you hae a route and click on it, then you can't get any data from LUA about the route or what unit is using it.
So you can't copy the data to another unit to follow the patrol.

Transporter ferry routes have special c-engine commands to do so.

This could be a way to make this possible in a Ui mod:
Select your follower units and hover the mouse over the patroling unit and press a key.
The keypress will issue a function that reads the unit orders-data from the unit under the mouse cursor
and copy it to the followers.

[Edit] hmm you still need a sim mod for this, you can't issue orders from the UI level without changing the order callback function, and this is inside the sim area of the game. (not sure about that, need to test it)

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You can add in - or change - your own orders, similar to how spread attack works. It would still require some form of interaction.

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@zappazapper said in Add units to patrol?:

@jip said in Add units to patrol?:

It is different - they will follow, and typically walk way behind. But in the grand scheme of the patrol, they'll walk over the route.

The main problem is that once the "assisted" unit is killed, the "assisting" units stop patrolling.

You can assist several and then hit shift+g to spread assist. That doesn't remove the problem, but it will mitigate it a lot.

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@jip said in Add units to patrol?:

@zappazapper said in Add units to patrol?:

@jip said in Add units to patrol?:

It is different - they will follow, and typically walk way behind. But in the grand scheme of the patrol, they'll walk over the route.

The main problem is that once the "assisted" unit is killed, the "assisting" units stop patrolling.

You can assist several and then hit shift+g to spread assist. That doesn't remove the problem, but it will mitigate it a lot.

That's interesting. Just found out about spread attacks, and didn't know spread assist was also a thing. I'll give it a try.

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@uveso said in Add units to patrol?:

If you hae a route and click on it, then you can't get any data from LUA about the route or what unit is using it.
So you can't copy the data to another unit to follow the patrol.

Transporter ferry routes have special c-engine commands to do so.

This could be a way to make this possible in a Ui mod:
Select your follower units and hover the mouse over the patroling unit and press a key.
The keypress will issue a function that reads the unit orders-data from the unit under the mouse cursor
and copy it to the followers.

[Edit] hmm you still need a sim mod for this, you can't issue orders from the UI level without changing the order callback function, and this is inside the sim area of the game. (not sure about that, need to test it)

Forgive me, my coding experience is limited to learning to code in QBASIC in the mid-90s. But when I read...

"Transporter ferry routes have special c-engine commands to do so."

... my first reaction is to ask if patrol routes can then be done with these special c-engine commands.

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It can't - we don't direct access to the c-engine. There is an API, but it is limited as to what you can communicate to and from the engine.

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I see. So things like engie-mod, which has become a core element of FAF, at least in terms of gameplay, is still just an API-level mod that is just always running, as opposed to now being part of the c-engine?

Again, sorry for trying to make you explain this stuff to a coding dullard. I'm just wondering if anything about FAF touches the c-engine. The Nomads faction is just a mod? And what about the LOUD project (I understand that LOUD and FAF are two different, incompatible entities).

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LOUD, and NOMADS, like FAF - just sit on top of the C-engine thru the API provided.

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We only edit the Lua side - we have no access to the C side since we don't have the source code. You can find what we can query / request from the engine here:

Everything else is essentially based on that and written in Lua.

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Ah OK, I get it. So the API is something that was provided by the original developers, and since they're completely out of the game, there's no way to get your hands on the source code or to even ask them to allow you access to more stuff through the API. OK, so that makes sense, and it looks like my question has been answered - it's not even possible from a coding perspective, even if the community thought it was a good idea.