Providing medical aid--does it make a difference?

Nemesis

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#1
The CM Manual says that providing medical assistance to wounded troops will reduce the number of KIA and increase the number of WIA with some sort of score benefit to the player who provides medical aid.

In my brief tenure here, I have religiously provided aid to almost all of my wounded and even evacuated dead troops from the battlefield. I have even taken small risks to rescue my men (thankfully, no one providing buddy aid has been shot yet) and slowed advances to provide aid.

In addition to the supposed points bonus, it is also just "good fun" to have to do medical evacuation.

But I have also noticed that most of my opponents seem to leave their wounded and dead where they lay. They usually only provide "aid" to get weapons and ammo from downed guys or when it is accidental (the WIA soldier just happens to be in the same square as live men for a few minutes).

My reward for all of my effort? My KIA:WIA ratio seems to be EXACTLY the same as my opponents (about 60% KIA to 40% WIA).

Do others notice this? Is the KIA:WIA just generated randomly? Does it even matter from a score standpoint?
 

Meat Grinder

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#2
The longer I play this game, the more I tend to try to have my troops provide "buddy aid" to the wounded.

To answer your question though, and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, there is no "in game" benefit to buddy aid, beyond acquiring ammo and weapons. The game engine assigns the same points value to a WIA as it does a KIA. Buddy aid can actually hurt your in game performance, as the soldier providing aid is an easier target than a prone soldier. There are, however, some scenarios where ammo can become an issue and buddy aid is almost required in order to keep fighting.
 

Nemesis

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#3
That is what I suspected, MG.

From the Version 4 PDF Manual:

"Note: Incapacitated (red base) soldiers who have not re- ceived “buddy aid” (i.e. disappeared) by the end of the game have a 25% chance of becoming KIA in the final tally."

I don't find that to be true.

There is also this paragraph that I don't fully understand:

"These are the victory parameters for a scenario. The scenario designer assigns victory points to each objective individually. Options include:
- Casualties (friendly and enemy): if the player keeps his own casualties under this percentage (relative to the entire force in the scenario) or pushes the enemy above another percentage, he is awarded the respective victory points
- Condition (friendly and enemy): if the player keeps his percentage of wounded, incapacitated and missing soldiers below this percentage, or pushes the enemy above another percentage, he is awarded the respective victory points

Note: dead (KIA) and incapactitated soldiers are counted as “Casualties”, while lightly wounded and incapaci- tated soldiers (eligible for buddy aid) are counted against “Condition."
 

A Canadian Cat

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#4
Yeah, it is only a matter of time before some of your guys go down while giving Buddy Aid :) . Having said that I play like @Meat Grinder too. Are we sure that the points are the same for WIA and KIA? I always figured it was not the same. Something to test I guess.

If you buddy aid a wounded soldier he will be removed from the battlefield. If he is left on the battle field he can be killed. If there truly is no point difference then that will not have an effect.
 

MOS:96B2P

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#5
@Nemesis Not only is the wording confusing but the subject matter "Buddy Aid" / "Medic" is scattered around in at least four different sections of the 4.0 Engine Manual. Information can be found on pages 21, 32, 36 and 63. Those are the pages I have in my notes. Could be more.

What I think the manual means is yellow base soldiers are not counted as casualties but can be counted under parameters-conditions if the scenario designer assigned the conditions (The parameters-conditions is under Mission in the scenario editor).
Red base and brown base soldiers are counted as casualties. From the wording in the 4.0 Engine Manual red base soldiers may be counted in both casualty and condition. However I think red base soldiers are only counted in casualties but not sure due to the wording.

CM Wiki states: WIA & KIA is treated the same by the scoring mechanism; thus, giving buddy-aid makes no difference to score.

I'm not sure where that Wiki information came from. It may be in yet another location in the manual that I don't have recorded in my notes. However after reading your post and @Meat Grinder It may be true that there is no difference to the score. I may look into this some more to see if I can get a definite answer.

I always try and have my troops Buddy Aid. Especially in the modern titles. It often turns out to be a mission within the mission and adds another tactical problem to be dealt with.
 

Nemesis

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#6
I think you are right, MOS. It is a shame. A very good concept was half executed.
 

Bulletpoint

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#7
Does it make a difference in a campaign game though?
I always assumed that giving buddy aid meant about 25 pct fewer KIAs - and therefore more troops for the following scenarios?
 
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Eremitae

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#9
I'm someone who always goes for Buddy Aid if possible. Especially in the campaign. For example, the Livorno Division assaulting Gela is essential if you want your Italian troops to have some machine gun firepower. I'm also a commander that is probably way too concerned for my pixel little troops than I should be but hey, maybe it's a good thing.

*Thinks back to the days playing Medal of Honor Allied Assault trying to save every squad member*
 

MOS:96B2P

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#10
I did some experiments in CMBS v2.1 Engine 4 where I saved a game after taking casualties and then ceased fire and recorded the AAR results.
I then loaded the save, completed buddy aid, ceased fire again and recorded the AAR results.
The score did not change.

3 WIA, (out of 10 total troops) then cease fire.
No buddy aid - 1 KIA, 2 WIA = OpFor Minor Victory 25 points.
With buddy aid - 0 KIA, 3 WIA = OpFor Minor Victory 25 points.

2 KIA, 3 WIA, (out of 17 total troops) then cease fire.
No buddy aid - 4 KIA, 1 WIA = OpFor Tactical Victory 45 points.
With buddy aid - 2 KIA, 3 WIA = OpFor Tactical Victory 45 points.

So, unless I missed something, it sadly appears buddy aid does not affect the score. It did recover grenades and ammo.

@Bulletpoint I don't know if buddy aid has an affect in a campaign. That's an interesting question. Maybe I'll try to link two of my test maps together (making a campaign) and see what happens.
 

Bulletpoint

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#11
I wonder if KIA/MIA would make a difference to the score if the scenario designer selects the criterion "Friendly Condition" instead of "Casualties"?

Even so, I think few designers choose that.. so doing buddy aid is probably a waste of time usually. But I still do it...
 

MOS:96B2P

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#12
Well I was going to do a test campaign (never tried that before) and I did learn how to make a core file and import it into existing scenarios and Quick Battles. However to go any farther than that a TXT file has to be completed and it appears rather involved for my purposes. So instead I just asked the legendary scenario / campaign designer George MC (Creator of CMRT KG Von Schroif and many others). He was not 100% sure but did not think buddy aid would return a WIA to a campaign. His reasoning was based more on real life than game mechanics but did make sense. In real life an incapacitated soldier is not likely to rejoin his unit the following day. They would probably be recovering from their incapacitating wounds for weeks if not months. And of course many never did recover enough to fight again.

I think the walking wounded (yellow base) are counted against "Condition" if "Condition" is used. Yellow base is not counted as a casualty and has nothing to do with buddy aid. I don't think KIA is counted in condition. WIA might be counted in condition. I'll see if I can take a look at that next.

Also this core file thing. The ability to save a favorite TOE and import it into scenarios and Quick Battles seems really cool. I'm going to give that a go when I get caught up on some other CM things.
 

Meat Grinder

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#13
His reasoning was based more on real life than game mechanics but did make sense. In real life an incapacitated soldier is not likely to rejoin his unit the following day. They would probably be recovering from their incapacitating wounds for weeks if not months. And of course many never did recover enough to fight again.
I was thinking along the same lines. I've always been under the assumption that WIA (red base X) in Combat Mission designated severely wounded soldiers who would not be rejoining their units for a long time, if ever.
 

Bulletpoint

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#14
Yes, you're probably right that red base casualties are too wounded to keep fighting. I just always had the idea that some of them might just be knocked out by an explosion and might get "missing in action" if not found and helped. Or that some wounds might be fatal because of shock and blood loss, but if found and bandaged, the soldier might keep on fighting, especially in desperate situations like Stalingrad. I guess such situations were rare, and most wounded would be evacuated to rear areas. Especially on the American/British side, where things were not so dire.
 

MOS:96B2P

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#15
After some more experiments WIA (red base) incapacitated wounded are not counted in Parameters/Condition. The walking wounded (yellow base) are counted in Parameters/Condition (But of course the yellow base have nothing to do with buddy aid).
The following were some observations:

WIA (red base) can turn to KIA (brown base) from additional hits.
Buddy Aid is one on one however a team can treat multiple casualties in the same A/S concurrently.
A team administering Buddy Aid will recover ammo including ammo for weapons they do not have in the team.
Buddy aid on KIA (brown base) was about 15 - 35 seconds. On WIA (red base) about 1 minute – 2 minutes 30 seconds.
I think casualties only disappear if they receive Buddy Aid. I tested 2 KIA & 2 WIA for 1½ hours game time. They never disappeared.
Experience of the teams administering buddy aid did not affect the length of buddy aid or the amount of equipment recovered.
Lightly wounded (yellow base) are not counted as casualties on the AAR screen.
To share ammo recovered in buddy aid the medic team must be part of the unit (“highlighted” unit) needing the ammo.
During testing on average about 2 grenades and 170 rounds of ammo were recovered per casualty. I know from playing the game other
equipment (radios, binoculars, some weapons etc.) can also be recovered but I did not try for that in the experiments.
WIA (red base) incapacitated wounded are not counted in Parameter/Condition but are counted in Parameter/Casualties.
Buddy aid does not make a difference to the score in Quick Battles or in Scenarios.
Buddy aid does not make a difference to the score in a Campaign.
Buddy aid may only make a difference as a tie breaker in a CM tournament. ;)

If I got anything wrong let me know but as best as I can tell that's the way it works. A little disappointed that Buddy Aid has no affect on the score but I will continue to order my teams to administer aid. Seems like the realistic, correct thing to do.
 

Bulletpoint

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#16
Thanks @MOS:96B2P for testing this out thoroughly. I'm a bit disappointed too that buddy aid doesn't give any real "reward" apart from the ammo, but at least we now know what it does and doesn't.
 

A Canadian Cat

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#17
I think casualties only disappear if they receive Buddy Aid. I tested 2 KIA & 2 WIA for 1½ hours game time. They never disappeared.
That is absolutely correct. I was surprised that it had no effect on any scoring. That was not the impression I was under - but science does not lie. Nice work. If you have not done so already could you post that on the BFC boards? I have not been over there yet today so you might have already done it but it would make it easier to bring it to Steve's attention - which I will do.
 
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