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  1. 14 points
    Bil Hardenberger

    AAR - A Lesson in Defense

    This is a true After Action report (AAR). I played this game last year against one of my most skilled opponents (ScoutPL). The scenario was Green Hell, my goal was to protect the Farm and Cafe objectives, and if possible, try to take the la Madeleine objective. Simple no? This was the first time I had played this scenario and the scenario and sides were chosen by my opponent. I will give a general overview along with a quick and dirty METT-T analysis, then I'll get right into the action. A word of warning though, there will be no long range tank fights in this AAR, it will be a tough costly mainly infantry slug-fest for both sides. I do hope however that I can at least show my philosophy when on the defense. I will be honest, I struggle the most with the defense, I am very offensive minded and just can't help myself sometimes and overextend, right Baneman? MISSION The mission is simple, hold the enemy at bay and force him to waste his combat power on the drive to my objectives, so that when he arrives he will have a spent force. My main goal is to protect the two objectives in my zone, and preserve my force as much as possible. ENEMY I have been told to expect German FJ troops in unknown strength, though if I go by the tactical map above I can expect a combined force of infantry and armor. All I really know is that they should be entering around the a Madeleine objective area... if the tactical map above is correct. TERRAIN My force is sitting on a ridge-line, so I should have good lines of sight across the entire map. Whether that means I will be able to spot much is another matter. The map is also broken up by bocage lined fields. However they are easily penetrated, so will be easily flanked, also those fields will mask movement wonderfully, for both sides. TROOPS I command Baker Company, with a weapons company (Dog) in support. I will get into my initial plans for this battle in a future post. Initial deployments are shown below.. Baker is spread across the entire ridge-line and Dog has been broken up evenly to support Baker's Platoons. TIME I have 1 hour and 20 minutes to hold off the enemy. That is a long time, but will also mean that ammo supply could be the deciding factor at the end.
  2. 14 points

    The Night Before CM-mas

    Twas the night before CM-mas and all through the bunker not a 'truppen was stirring they were all down and hunkered The frags were all hung by the rifles with care In hopes that Santa Steve soon would be there The 'truppen a snoring and dreaming away of the hookers they'd met, on leave last May When out in the minefield there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bunk, my skivvies all tattered. Away to the gun sites I flew like a plane, pulled back the bolt and steadied my aim. When from mod weary eyes I spied from afar, Some northern Maine dude with a brain in a jar, Santa Steve! I shouted with excitement and glee but in response, just some bitching about TO&E On Stragglers, on Sicherungs, Luftwaffe and Herr on Jagers and Gebirs, and others more rare He droned on and on as the brain kept a coding and I knew deep inside this was no normal foreboding For once in a while a reference to Syria and with that little gem I was sent to hysteria For amidst all that heavy WWII talking Toward Shock Force 2 I knew he was walking Patiently on the desert I'd waited and soon it'd be real and my lust would be sated Back to the sand! Nato, Uncons and pals but with 4.0 flare and friggin' hit decals! My head filled with war and the toys that it brings I was hoping I'd see it before G**D*** spring! Then brain in arm, he turned toward the west to continue ever onward the Combat Mission quest Teeth clenched and jaw set against the snowy wind he trudge into the night, a phantom again And as he passed by the bunker and out of our zone I chewed on the annual Christmas bone. Merry Christmas, fellas! Mord.
  3. 13 points

    The patch?

    The whole communiction from the side of BF is a joke. People can defend it as much as they like, but their PR is not only very bad, it is almost non-existent. I don't buy nonsense like 'they must concentrate on their work', 'new information will only bring discussion and questions' and 'you can tell them how to do things once you have your own company'. Reading this forum IS like being stuck in a time-loop and the lack of information IS causing speculation. Utter arrogance. Technically not allowed to say that....
  4. 13 points

    just to say: MERCI

    Hello it will be a year now that I discovered CMBN and this forum and is time to intervene to say thank you I'm not the only one to do it but the repetition is good Since my childhood I have a dream, a desire, to see with my eyes this battle that has rocked my childhood, imagining to travel the battlefield like a drone. I was born in Falaise in 1970 and my family suffered the battle : 4 killed, the house bombed, the exodus on the road, the strafing of the bomber fighters, the artillery, the fighting but also after the battle, the destroyed houses, the burning vehicles and corpses littering the battlefield were all family meal conversations. Here in Normandie this was an important trauma. It always impressed and interested me, in a word: fascinated. I constantly asked for clarification and to question civilians or soldiers who had experienced these events. All the film reports on the subject, I watched them. I think I have seen ¾ images known from the battle. I never stopped walking the battlefield, collecting vestiges and remaining some hours to imagine the events. I used every means to immerse myself in this battle and the battles of the second world war in general. Movies, books and even games Squad leader then Close Combat that I practiced a long time. But although this battle has become my daily life because I have made it my job (I am a guide of museum and even considered as an expert of fighting led by the Poles during the Battle of Falaise pocket), the time passing my imagination has declined. and little by little the image of these fights in my mind was becoming more and more abstract. I ended up consoling myself by telling myself that if I go to paradise there I will can achieve this wish i was not counting on CMBN What a shock and even if it remains a game, my imagination work and as in my childhood events come to life in my head. After a year of practice my enthusiasm is not blunted my dream is somehow realized. So for that: thanks for this formidable game thanks to the moder who improves even more are aspect, thank you to persons who animates this forum thanks to the battle designers (for the anecdote I live on a map of the game !) I'm begining to smoke again and to say some nastiness on my neighbors, paradise has lost its appeal !!!
  5. 12 points

    Thanks Steve :)

    Hello names Hector. i live in Puerto Rico and you may know what hurricane Maria did to our beautiful island. We have no power only 3 hours a day, and as a CM fan had really missed playing. I had a little problem with the game installation since they were downloaded (i had the cds also) and tried to contact battlefront but was hard with no internet so I managed to get on for a bit and found a phone number and called Steve whom I really dont know who he is but he answered. I want to say Thanks for the conversation we had. He offered to help and eventhough I got everything working offline after, it was refreshing to hear he was available to help. I really appreciate his gesture and will continue to support Battlefront knowing that behind this company are great and caring people. Again Thanks Steve . Hector
  6. 11 points
    I’ve been working on a new scenario for CMBS 4.0 called “Tactical Operations Center”. It is in Beta testing now and is intended as player vs AI. Below is part of the Designer Notes that gives an overview. Followed by a few screen shots. This is a fictional scenario that may take a while to load depending on your computer. The player takes charge of a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) located in a Forward Operating Base (FOB) for a four-hour shift. The player is responsible for the successful execution of the mission during his shift. The scenario was created with the idea of being a static campaign in a counter insurgency environment. It is a multi-battle scenario set on a large map (approximately 7.5 square kilometers) that, unlike a traditional combat mission campaign, shows persistent map damage. So, as the player maneuvers a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) down a roadway in response to actionable intelligence he can drive past the burning wrecks of a mistake he made earlier or the scattered bodies of a Separatist unit he destroyed. The scenario also provides three types of intelligence to help guide the decision-making process. The three types of intelligence are Human Intelligence (HUMINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Tactical Site Exploitation (TSE). HUMINT is collected from Separatist who defect under an amnesty program administered by the Ukrainian government. The HUMINT intelligence is in the name field of defectors and includes an intelligence code, grid coordinates and time. A quick glance at the intelligence code sheet (included in the briefing) allows the player to know what, where and when something will occur or where something is located. Some of this HUMINT is time sensitive. The TSE and SIGINT are provided by touch objective notifications at the top of the screen. This intelligence will be useful in bringing The Butcher of Belz (enemy commander) to justice and for disrupting Separatist operations. The grid coordinates are created by a pattern of grid lines placed on the map using a blue occupy objective. The grid numbers are displayed on the map edges using landmarks. A brief explanation of this modified military grid system and how to use it is provided in the briefing. The player can, if he decides to, launch an air assault during the setup phase. There are four different landing zones to choose from. Forward Operating Base (FOB) Apache has a Helicopter Landing Zone (HLZ) where reinforcements will arrive, and other units will exit from. The FOB also has a mortar pit that will be resupplied with ammo both by air and by convoy if the roads and HLZ remain open. Another feature included in the scenario is the ability to destroy base camps thereby preventing the Separatists from receiving their scheduled reinforcements. A Quick Reaction Force (QRF) mount their Strykers as 120mm mortars fire in the background as the FOB responds to assist an ambushed patrol. Separatists scouting for vulnerable infrastructure to attack. Separatist mod created by @pquumm. Street fight in the town of Belz.
  7. 11 points

    A plea for a French Army DLC

    Hello all, As it's rumored that this game is expecting several DLCs, I take this opportunity to make a plea for a French DLC, or a LDC including the French. Why should the French be included in a DLC over other nations ? First, let's look at the setting. Game setting is placed in Ukraine, at the border of Europe in 2017/2018. France is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it's the third world's nuclear power, and the first military power of Europe (if Russia doesn't count as Europe). Diplomatically, France has been at the forefront of the discussion on Ukraine, being at the initiative of the Minsk II agreements, and is as such very involved on this matter. Historically, France is a very active military power and has significantly taken part in all the majors conflicts since the end of the Cold War : Gulf War, Yougoslavia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Lybia, Mali, Syria, etc. Furthermore France is regularly (and currently) involved in NATO and bilateral military exercises in Eastern Europe which show its commitment to the security of this region. Lastly, France would probably be able to come very quicly into the theater with significant amount of troops having a very high readiness and being located in continental Europe. All those elements make it almost certain that France would get involved in a conflict in Ukraine. On a gameplay point of vue, we would get a ton of exotic toys. Most of French gear and vehicles are indegenously devlopped. It would be also very refreshing as French military very rarely depicted in the Video Game industry (at the exception of the Warhame series). French army is also very modern and would be balanced with US and Russian military. Interesting fact, French army is the only to have fielded operationally its future soldier system program. French army also has an orginal doctrine which differs from the US or Russian one: emphasis on mobility, flexbility, and initiative, even at the lower echellons, which comes from its exprience in irregular warfare. It influenced many of its military design, with, for example, an emphasis of wheeled vehicles. As such, many asks, how would this system fare in a more conventionnal context ? CM:BS gives us the opportunity to test it. Here is a link about French Doctrine https://wavellroom.com/2017/11/30/the-french-intervention-in-mali-a-lesson-in-mission-command/ Moreover, as I said, French armed forces are very rarely depicted in video games, and French video games market is very dynamic one with 4,3 billion euros of revenue in 2017. So it would probably attract many French players eager to play their national forces (even if they're not very vocal on english speaking forums) while also attracting players from all around the world interested in brand new faction. Lastly, French forces are the only major military power never depicted in a modern CM game. We had the US, Russia, Canada, UK, Germany, Netherlands, but not France. Operationnal structure : The basic infantry combat squad is made of 8 soldiers: 1 squad leader, 1 marksman, 1 300m fire team with 1 team leader and 2 AT4 soldiers and 1 600m team with 1 team leader, 1 minimi soldier and 1 light mortar soldier. There is 3 combat squad in a platoon as well as one support squad made of 1 squad leader and 2 Eryx teams, which can exchange the Eryx against M240 MGs. Lastly, the platoon is led by a 4 men command team with one platoon leader and its deputy, one radio operator and one medic. 3 infantry platoons are supported by a weapon platoon with two 81mm mortars teams and two MILAN atgm teams, those teams can also be armed with .50 calls or .30 calls. This makes a company. The French cavalry platoon is made of 4 tanks (Leclerc or AMX10RC) and 4 armoured scout cars (VBLs). There is also a recon platoon made of 8 scout cars with different equipments (Milan, .50, .30, etc) The compagny is the center of an infantry centric French operationnal Battlegroup. Then, it receives several reinforcements from other arms. Usually, a cavalry platoon, an artillery battery, a engineer platoon, a recon platoon as well as support elements (Snipers, JTACs, Commandos, Logistics, Transmission, Health and Oil services, etc). If the battlegroup is cavalry centric, then, its made around a Cavalry squadron, with the support of an infantry platoon, etc. There is also the possibilty of mixing it up with two infantry platoons and two cavalry platoons, etc. Those battlegroups are part of a broader battallion which can either use them dispersed or together. Usually it's made of 3 infantry compagnies and 1 tank squadron and the support elements. The proportion between tanks and infantry varies in the same fashion as in BG depending of the need. Nowadays, French troops are always deployed in Battlegroups or Battallions. Regiments, Brigades and Division are only used as adminsitrative command levels in metropolitan France. As of 2017, here is a list of indigenous French army armament : - Leclerc MBT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMX_Leclerc ; http://www.military-today.com/tanks/leclerc.htm - AMX 10 RCR wheeled tank: http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/coldwar/France/AMX-10-RC-RCR.php - VBCI IFV: http://www.military-today.com/apc/vbci.htm - VAB line of vehicles, including ULTIMA version with remote .50 cal, Mephisto version with HOT missiles, 20mm version, etc: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Véhicule_de_l'Avant_Blindé - VBL scout vehicle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Véhicule_Blindé_Léger - PVP liaison vehicle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petit_Véhicule_Protégé - 120mm Rifled Mortar, its rifling permits to fire bigger shells (similar effect than 155mm shells) at longer ranges than regular mortars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortier_120mm_Rayé_Tracté_Modèle_F1 - CAESAR 155mm SPG: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAESAR_self-propelled_howitzer ; https://www.army-technology.com/projects/caesar/ ; http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product1470.htm - 81mm Mortar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LLR_81mm - FAMAS assault rifle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FAMAS - FRF2 and HECATE II sniper rifles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FR_F2_sniper_rifle ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PGM_Hécate_II - MILAN 3, ERYX and HOT 3 ATGMs: https://www.army-technology.com/projects/milan/ ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ERYX ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HOT_(missile) - Mistral MANPAD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistral_(missile) - Tiger HAD and HAP attack helicopters: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocopter_Tiger - Gazelle HOT scout helicopter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aérospatiale_Gazelle - Rafale fighter-bomber: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Rafale - Mirage 2000D bomber: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Mirage_2000N/2000D France interesting bits of kit : - Rifle Grenades, both anti-tank and HE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC58 ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APAV40 - Infantry mortars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance-grenade_individuel_Mle_F1_(LGI_Mle_F1) - BONUS anti-tank shells: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bofors_155_Bonus - SPACIDO precision fuse: http://www.nexter-group.fr/en/press/528-spacido-la-france-engage-la-phase-finale-de-la-qualification-du-premier-systeme-dartillerie-a-correction-de-trajectoire-de-nexter-munitions-et-junghans ; http://basart.artillerie.asso.fr/article.php3?id_article=1341 - FELIN system, with special optics and improved situation awarness: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FÉLIN - AASM self propelled stand-off bomb, with a low altitude launch range of 15km, which allows the plane to escape long range anti-air missile while staying out of range of SHORAD systems: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AASM Here are some videos where you can see most of the gear I talked about : In 2017 in Estonia, where you can how would look like a French Battlegroup in CM:BS : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9tzEyWL-zo& Combat actions in Mali where you can see VBCI, VAB, AMX10RC, shoulder launched Eryx, Rifle grenades, infantry mortar, Hecate II, Tiger, etc So, as you saw, lots of interesting and cool stuff could get added into the game with a French DLC. I hope it will convince you ! DOn't hesistate if you have any question. Here is a last video to convince you of the awesomeness of the French Army
  8. 10 points

    The patch?

    Only stopping along the way to commit as many warcrimes as they could. Mad respect over here. Anyway, it took Battlefront 3 versions to add a toggle for music independent of the sound toggle. 1+ years to correct a real bug is in the correct ballpark.
  9. 10 points

    The patch?

    @Kuderian @slysniper If you watch this video and still think there is absolutely no problem, you're either high, delusional, or both. The fact is, there IS an issue, and Steve has already acknowledged it and said there will be a patch that addresses it. Again to reiterate what I've already said, I would like it if the patch was out sooner rather than later, but I'm not all butthurt that it hasn't been released yet.
  10. 10 points

    The patch?

    Thanks for stating it that way. I will say, as a beta-tester, coming to grips with this behavior has been difficult. The NDA prevents a lot of what I'd like say (and is a nice way to dodge ) but realize that the HE fleeing behavior was not seen as a deal-breaker before v4.0 was released...or it would not have been released. Think about the myriad of situations your pixeltroops have been in. Think about how often they do the right thing...and you don't even notice it. Think about when they do something wrong...and the situation which it took to get that behavior. Without giving too much (anything?) away, I follow two basic courses of investigation: there are areas I dig into to find stuff; and there are times when I get a whiff of something not quite right. In the first case, I start with a set of presumed behaviors and try to stress them to their outlying limits. In the other case, I happen to notice something in passing...and then the Eye of Sauron focuses upon it. There are fewer and fewer of each. And the gameplay effect of most are very minor. I can field multiple battalions and have total mayhem reign for four hours...and notice only a few odd cases of behavior. Most (all?) can be explained by men panicking under fire or other reasonable explanations. Think about the magnitude of that achievement: several hundreds of "men" acting realistically over multiple square kilometers whilst killing and being killed and trying to achieve a terrain objective. The HE behavior slipped through. Now, what if the fix is worse? Maybe men will stick in their locations, but then tanks reverse towards threats. But only if unbuttoned and the threat is known but out of LOS. And only on odd numbered turns. Occam's Razor: if the fix were simple, wouldn't you have it already?
  11. 9 points
    John Kettler

    Soviet Tank Tactics 1945

    Found this on Tank Archives while trying to chase down something else. This is chiefly about MOUT and is essential reading if you would understand how the Soviets dismantled German defenses via CA tactics and organization. They were meticulous. http://tankarchives.blogspot.com/2014/05/soviet-tank-tactics-1945.html Regards, John Kettler
  12. 9 points
    Sigh. My contention is this: We throw a wild party for Battlefront, and all of us are in attendance. We all get positively rip-roaring drunk, do stupid things. At the height of the party I'm demonstrating armor maneuver by going full sprint through the office swinging my arm wildly to indicate turret direction while screaming "Death before dismount." I certainly 100% do damage. However it's hard to separate the next morning what specifically was damaged by my "Thunder Run" vs what other parties did too. Sure there's my tanker boot treads all over the shattered remains of someone's desk...but I "ran" it over after someone else already kicked it down screaming "THIS IS SPACE LOBSTER COUNTRY!" I contributed my share to the massive pile of bottles yes....but I wasn't even the one who drank the most. Within the context of both fights, US artillery and aviation certainly did destroy things. This is a known variable. However pointing to the rubble of Mosul and chittering how it was all those damned Americans and their bombs, or Raqqah and placing all the blame on 18 heavily abused 155 MM howitzers is a bit disingenuous. ISIS vigorously practices scorched earth type tactics. Our "Friendly" and friendly forces all practice firepower warfare vs manuever (or they're going to shoot the objective with every weapon they have for an hour, THEN move to a closer firing position to repeat the same tactic, and then maybe five hours later, short on ammo move onto the objective). Both of those cities felt the full weight of a 3rd World conventional military attack, a suicidal bomb happy defender, and then some Western precision fires. Between those three, those fires certainly did their part in damaging those cities. But again the contention that basically, without those fires the attacks would have left either of those cities pretty much intact is very much a falsehood. Aleppo for instance serves as a really good example of what happens without the US precision fires, and with the opposition not being generally ISIS tier individuals. So. Again not denying there's collateral damage, but it's just idiotic to lay the preponderance of the damage at the feet of 18 howitzers while ignoring the effects of thousands of ground combatants, tanks, conventional artillery from both parties, IEDs in all guises all duking it out in close quarters.
  13. 9 points

    Armoured Infantry

    Shows what you know... Mord.
  14. 9 points

    Irratic Framerate Issue

    I ran the same scenarios as Hister using my system with the following specs: AMD FX 8320 3.5GHz 8-core (4 modules totaling 8 integer, 4 floating point, up to 4.0GHz turbo mode) 8GB of DDR3 1600 (CAS 9) MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti - 388.00 driver Asrock 880GM-LE FX motherboard (AMD 880G chipset) Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD Windows 7 Home 64-bit SP1 (latest patches) Running at a resolution of 1920 x 1200. Using the default settings in CMBN 4.0 (Balanced/Balanced, Vsync OFF and ON, AA OFF) and in the Nvidia Control Panel I typically got about 6 FPS (measured with the latest version of FRAPS) in "Op. Linnet II a USabn UKgrnd" on the German entry side of the map (all the way to the edge) and scrolling right or left looking at the Americans in Richelle. In "The Copse" scenario it measured around 28 FPS behind the allied armored units at the start (scrolled around the map a bit). Messing around with Vsync (both on and off), anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, Process Lasso (affinity, etc.), power saving settings in Windows control panel, etc. didn't seem to have a significant performance effect on the low FPS of 'Op. Linnet II...'. I overclocked the FX 8320 to 4.0GHz (simply using the multipliers in the BIOS and turning off several power saving features there too, such as APM, AMD Turbo Core Technology, CPU Thermal Throttle, etc.). With 'Op. Linnet II...' the FPS increased to only 7 FPS. Turning off the icons (Alt-I) did bump up the FPS by 1 additional frame (the option reduced the number of objects to be drawn in this view) to 8 FPS. There are some Hotfixes from Microsoft that supposedly address some issues with the Bulldozer/Piledriver architecture and Windows 7 involving CPU scheduling and power policies (KB2645594 and KB246060) that do NOT come through Windows Update (you have to request them from Microsoft). I have NOT applied these patches to see if they would make a difference since they CANNOT have their changes removed (supposedly), even if you uninstall them. A number of users on various forums have stated that the changes made little difference to their particular game's performance. I decided to compare this to an Intel system that was somewhat similar: Intel Core i5 4690K 3.5GHz 4-core (possibly running at 3.7 to 3.9GHz in turbo mode) 16GB of DDR3-2133 (CAS 9) eVGA GeForce GTX 670 - 388.00 driver Asrock Z97 Killer motherboard (Z97 chipset) Crucial MX100 512GB SSD Windows 7 Home 64-bit SP1 (latest patches) Running at a resolution of 1920 x 1200. Again using the same settings used on the FX system with CMBN and the Nvidia Control Panel I got 10 FPS in 'Op. Linnet II...' while scrolling on the far side looking at the American forces in the town. In 'The Copse' scenario the FPS went to 40 FPS behind the allied vehicles at their start positions. The biggest difference between the GTX 660 Ti and the GeForce GTX 670 is the greater memory bandwidth of the 670 since it has a 256-bit bus compared to the 660 Ti's 192-bit memory bus. So POSSIBLY the greater GPU memory bandwidth in conjunction with the Intel i5's higher IPC (Instructions Per Cycle) efficiency and the increased system memory bandwidth (faster system RAM) resulted in the higher frame rate on the Intel system, but only by so much. I ran a trace of the OpenGL calls used by CMBN while running 'Op. Linnet II a USabn UKgrnd' on the FX system. This recorded all of the OpenGL calls being used in each frame. The trace SEVERELY slowed down the system during the capture (a lot of data to be written to the trace file). Examining the trace file suggests that CMBN is SEVERLY CPU BOUND in certain graphical views. This is especially true with views of a large amount of units and terrain like that in 'Op. Linnet II...'. What appears to be happening is that some views in large scenarios of CM involve A LOT of CPU time in issuing instructions to the video card/'frame buffer'. The CPU is spending so much time handling part of the graphics workload (which IS normal) and sending instructions to the video card on what to draw that the video card does not have a full (new) frame of data to post to the frame buffer at a rate of 60 or 30 FPS (Vsync). At 30 FPS each frame would have to be generated between the CPU and the video card within 33.3ms. Instead this is taking around 100ms on the Intel system and about 142ms on the FX system (resulting in the 10 and 7 FPS respectively). Some frames in the trace file had hundreds of thousands of instructions, some reaching near 700,000 instructions (each one is not necessarily communicated between the CPU and video card, only a fraction of them are), whereas sections where the FPS was higher might only have less than 3000 instructions being executed. The low frame rate is a direct consequence of how busy the CPU is and this can be seen with both Intel and AMD CPUs. So the accusation comes up, is the CM graphics engine un-optimized ? To a certain extent, it is. There are limitations on what can be done in the environment and with the OpenGL 2.x calls that are available. CM could be optimized a bit further than it is currently, but this involves a HUGE amount of time experimenting and testing. Working against this optimization effort is CM's 'free' camera movement, the huge variety, number and size of maps available and the large variety and number of units.These features make it hard to come up with optimizations that work consistently without causing other problems. Such efforts at optimization are manpower and time that Battlefront simply does not have as Steve has stated earlier. Charles could be working on this for years in attempt to get better frame rates. While this would be a 'worthy goal', it is unrealistic from a business standpoint - there is no guarantee with the amount of time spent on optimizing would result in a significantly better performing graphics engine. Other, larger developers typically have TEAMS of people working on such optimizations (which, importantly, does allow them to accomplish certain optimization tasks within certain time frames too). When CMSF was started sometime in 2004 OpenGL 2.0 was the latest specification available (with the 2.1 specification coming out before CMSF was released). Utilizing newer versions of OpenGL to potentially optimize CM's graphics engine still involves a lot of work since the newer calls available don't necessarily involve built-in optimizations over the 2.0 calls. In fact a number of OpenGL calls have been deprecated in OpenGL 3.x and later and this could result in wholesale redesigning of the graphics engine. On top of this is the issue that newer versions of OpenGL may not be supported by a number of current user's video cards (and laptops and whole Mac models on the Apple side). As for the difference between the GTX 550 Ti and the GTX 660 Ti that Hister is experiencing, I'm not sure what may be going on. The GTX 550 Ti is based on the 'Fermi' architecture, while the GTX 660 Ti utilizes the 'Kepler' architecture. Kepler was optimized for the way games operate compared to the Fermi architecture which had slightly better performance in the 'compute' domain (using the GPU for physics calculations or other floating point, parallelized tasks). The GTX 660 Ti should have been a significant boost in video performance over the GTX 550 Ti, though this performance difference may not be too visible in CM due to the CPU bound nature of some views. It's possible that older drivers may have treated the Fermi architecture differently or simply that older drivers may have operated differently (there are trade-offs that drivers may make in image quality for performance - and sometimes this is 'baked into' the driver and isn't touched by the usual user-accessible controls). I have a GTX 570 I could potentially test, but I would probably need to know more details about the older setup to possibly reproduce the situation and see the differences first-hand.
  15. 8 points
    After I mentioned Pavloc's house over on the CoC board on FB, one of the guys essentially said the story of Pavlov's house was propaganda. When I asked for evidence, he sent me this link to a massive discourse on the whole situation, complete with photos and Russian CC film clips. The amount of information here is overwhelming, but I thought it would delight the troops. The carnage is sobering (a battalion down to 18 effectives), showing how truly close the Germans came to taking Stalingrad, and there's grog chrome galore, too. Nets on upper story windows on German buildings to keep out incendiary bottles, for example. And did you know Serjeant Pavlov took the house with only three other frontoviki? They were its sole garrison for a time, and the buld-up began from there. All in all, this Reddit is a marvelous resource for what I'm sure is a CM game people dream of (or wake up sweating at the thought of it). There is a great deal more at the link, including a lot of amplifying remarks, corrections to the article's translator, comments about being respectful to the fighters and more. All in all, quite the education! Fair use Regards, John Kettler
  16. 8 points
    Hello this is an AAR of my quick battle with @Oleksandr It's a Russia vs Ukraine medium size meeting engagement. I haven't played much Black Sea (I mostly play Final Blitzkrieg) and I went with what I figure would be a standard force. I have four platoons of mounted infantry, 5 T-90AMs, six mortars, a mounted grenade launcher platoon, and an igla platoon and a Tunguska for AA. I don't have a very advanced plan. Essentially move forward and see how the match develops from there. But I assume the major objective will be the main contest and the minor objectives won't be very contested. I send two platoons of infantry, the T-90AMs, and the grenade launchers to the center. I send a platoon of infantry on each flank, one to secure my minor objective, the other to contest his minor objective if possible. I dismount my platoon that is securing the minor objective since it is rather exposed, the BMP-3s will be first to the objective. Damn! I lose two BMP-3s at the same time and I don't even know what killed them, looks like tank rounds though. Good thing I dismounted. This doesn't change my plans but I do am now aware of how dangerous the area around the minor objective is. Going to move my infantry platoon in the forest next to the minor objective. I spotted a Tunguska while the rest of my units move forward uneventfully. Next post will be soon, either tomorrow or the day after.
  17. 8 points

    C2 & Information Sharing (REDUX)

    The screenshots in the original C2 and Information Sharing topic were destroyed by Photobucket. As a result a REDUX C2 and Information Sharing topic was created with new screenshots. Some mods that will show up most often in the screenshots are, user interface (UI) and floating icons: Floating Icons – Cat Tactical Icons CMFI User Interface – Juju’s TweakedUI CMFI V5 Some interesting topics have been started about how information moves through the C2 chain both vertically (up & down the chain of command) and horizontally (directly from one team to another team). As a result I did some experimenting with C2 & information sharing. Below are the results with screenshots from the experiment. If anyone can offer a correction or additional information please do. Additional useful information and supplemental C2 rules: 4.0 Engine Manual page 66 Command & Control. @Bil Hardenberger Command Friction 2.0 - http://community.battlefront.com/topic/125172-command-friction-20/ @Peregrine Command Layers - http://community.battlefront.com/topic/110861-command-layer-in-ai-battles/ The distance information can be shared vertically (chain of command). Voice C2: Up to six action spots, approximately 48 meters. If either unit is on Hide then the distance is reduced to approximately 16 meters. Close Visual C2: Up to 12 action spots, approximately 96 meters. This is also the maximum distance a higher HQ can fill in for a lower HQ. Example: Company or battalion HQ fills in for a platoon HQ and provides C2 to the platoon's fire teams. Distant Visual C2: As far as the unit’s line of sight. (In the experiment I had units in distant visual C2 at 40 action spots, approximately 480 meters before I stopped.) Radio C2: Entire map. In the WWII titles, CMSF & CMA - C2 via backpack radio is lost during foot movement. C2 is maintained during foot movement in CMBS. The distance information can be shared horizontally (directly between teams). Up to four action spots, approximately 32 meters. (Sometimes a team had to move to within 3 action spots) Can information be shared horizontally between teams from different battalions? Yes Can information be shared between two different HQs that do not have a common higher HQ? Vertically: No (With no common higher HQ there is no bridge for the information to pass over) Horizontally: Yes The experiment was conducted on skill level Iron in CMFI v2.0 Engine 4. I used two different US battalions on a custom made map for the experiment. The 4th US Tank Battalion on the west (left) side of the map and the 1st US Infantry Battalion on the east (right) side. A high ridgeline divided the two battalions. HQ units are blocked from C2 Voice, Close Visual and Distant Visual with other HQ units. At the beginning of the experiment no units of the 4thBattalion were in C2 with units of the 1st Battalion. An immobilized German Tiger and a destroyed Tiger were used as the OpFor unit to be spotted and reported. The Area of Operations (A/O) for the experiment. Note the highlighted scout team with no C2.
  18. 8 points

    The patch?

    Well, a long discussion about those problems in engine 4.0 started in April: (10 months ago!). And a lot of people were agreeing there was an important problem. And Battlefront acknowledged the problem, after a lot of requests from his customers, at least in August (6 months ago): In my opinion a patch to fix the main problem with engine 4.0 should have been already released. I can not understand the policy that Battlefront is following with engine 4.0. It was released 14 months ago and at least 10 months ago a long discussion was started pointing out an important problem with that engine and stock campaigns. But that is only my opinion, of course. Txema
  19. 8 points

    The patch?

    Taking what bait? This is not about you. Why should it be about you? And why is 'seeing' you of any importance? Unlike Steve and you are the same person. You are just picturing yourself as the voice of reason. Which you are not. People are asking justified questions and in return calling them sad or pathetic IS arrogant. If screenshots are announced and promised, but nothing happens for more than a month, than there is something wrong with communicating from the side of BF. Time and time again reading the same old 'information' is getting on people's nerves. That's quite normal. And another thing. This forum needs a Young Guard, since the Old Guard is pretty decimated. So let's welcome their comments and questions and make them feel at home, so they will stay with us.
  20. 8 points

    Black Sea II

    Personally, I would rather see resourced directed towards CM: Fulda Gap than Black Sea 2.
  21. 8 points
    I have CMBN installed on 3 machines right now, my main desktop, my laptop and my daughter's laptop. She is enjoying LAN battles with me almost as much as I am. I have CMFI installed on those three as well as my desktop at work. My understanding is the game comes with 4 activations initially and a new one is made available every year you own the product. As for Steam, Battlefront have stated repeatedly they will not be using the Steam platform. As stated before, my daughter and I have been playing LAN battles with each other without issue. I own a copy of Civiliation V and while it is installed on both our laptops, I need to buy a second copy to battle her thanks to Steam's DRM rules. So a big thanks to @Battlefront.com for not using Steam so I can introduce the joys of CM to the next generation.
  22. 8 points
    Drifter Man

    CMBN weapons effect tests

    Over the past few weeks I've been extensively testing the firepower of different American, British and German rifles, SMGs and LMGs in CMBN 4.0. I originally wanted to make a complete series of tests before 'publishing' the results, but I understand that there is an update in the making that will, as a minimum, adjust the rate of fire of some weapons, so for my work to have any impact, I should show them now rather than later. I am posting in general CM discussion. Although the tests were CMBN-specific, I believe that the same patterns in weapons effectiveness will be found in other titles as well. Method 13 lanes, target troops in foxholes (4-man U.S. medium mortar ammo bearer teams, regular, fanatic, no ammo). Walls are used to separate the lanes over the last 40 meters only, to prevent ricochets from affecting the results. In each lane, one firing team (regular, normal motivation, no leadership modifier) engages the target troop unit using a target arc order. The firing team is so set up that there is only one man in the team with the tested weapon, and he is the only one firing. Ample ammo is provided from supply trucks so the firing unit does not run out of ammunition during the test. There always is a leader in the team with binoculars to aid with spotting at long distances. 13 firing teams with the same weapon are tested in parallel at distances from 40 to 600 meters. The test runs for 10 minutes or until all target troops are eliminated, whichever comes earlier. The total time in action for the 13 teams (between 0 and 7800 seconds) and the total casualties (between 0 and 52) is evaluated. Each test is repeated 26 times, therefore each weapon is tested 338 times at each distance. An example of the test file is found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/d5b7qoex6cmigm0/Weapons effects BAR (Gunner) 400m.bts?dl=0 In total, there are 106 files like that one, each run 26 times for up to 10 minutes. About 10,250,000 rounds were fired by the firing teams and 72,530 casualties taken by the target troops. Distance to target is the average distance of the 13 firing teams to the target action spot (as the firing team's action spot is 8 m wide, this needs to be adjusted for) Firepower is here defined as the average number of casualties suffered per unit time by the target troops. Minor wounds do not count. The unit is bpm, "bodies per minute". Rate of fire is taken from ammo consumption during the test, averaged from 26 instances. The unit is rpm, rounds per minute. Accuracy is the number of casualties per round fired. It may not fully correspond to the number of hits per round fired as one casualty may receive multiple hits, especially with automatic fire. The unit is bpr, "bodies per round", multiplied by 1000 to make the numbers easier to interpret. Tested weapons MP40 (Leader), Sten Mk II (Leader), Sten Mk IV (Leader, Soldier), M1A1 Thompson (Leader) - distances 40-192 m MP44 (Leader), MP44 (Soldier) - distances 40-320 m Karabiner 98K, Gewehr 43, Lee Enfield No 4, M1 Garand (all Soldier) - distances 40-320 m Lee Enfield w/scope (Marksman) - distances 40-600 m MG42 LMG, Bren, B.A.R. (all Gunner) - distances 40-600 m [I am going to break up this post here, results come next]
  23. 8 points

    Naughty or nice... here's some bones!

    Believe me, it feels like a completely different game. So many things have changed that you can't even begin to go through them all - stupid little things like walls with gaps that weren't in CMSF. Map development will be a whole lot different with all the new capabilities. Moving flavor items with alt-click. Moving way points after you've placed them. Then you get into things like target briefly which didn't exist. BF reworked almost everything so yeah you have to buy it again at a discount. You thought it should be free? Damn I need you to come over and work in my yard digging trenches if you think labor should be free. Let me know when to expect you. The big items are ToEs, models etc and ALL the CMSF content that is available. However don't be fooled. the small things are what will catch you probably more than the big items. Try building a map with the same level of detail as the later titles and you'll quickly find yourself frustrated by what you can't do that you take for granted now. Ooh did someone say overlays? I get that everybody has their favorites and we all want our favorites at the top of the list, but those that revel in CMSF have waited the longest for an update over any other title. You've been waiting 3 years since CMBS release for a module? 4 Years since Gustav line for CMFI? It's been over 7 years since the NATO module and NONE of the version improvements have been applied to the BEST CM game. So get the hell back in line and wait your turn. If CMSF isn't your fav then so be it, but don't crap on those of us who have waited all this time as the LAST title to get 4.0. You know what the title will have. 4.0 and all the stuff that made CMSF what it is. Not to your liking? No one is making you buy it. However if like me you find CMSF as the most appealing game of the CM titles, then you really really want CMSF2. Even at full price it would be a deal.
  24. 8 points
    With much talk centering on CMFI and the upcoming (hopefully soon) release, I played out a scenario that had some great action. I thought I would share it. It is December 6, 1943, 2:15 PM local time, and Obersoldat Rolf Schenk peers through his binoculars at Villa Roggati. His uniform is soaking wet, the cold rain running in rivulets down his neck and back. It drums off his steel helmet with maddening consistency. He wipes the smears of rainwater off the end of his binoculars, letting out a sigh of frustration. Things are quiet now, way too quiet. He was in town when the Canadians attacked, and his unit had to retreat. They took up positions just outside of town, and now he has his MG team set up where they can just barely see the town. He has been tasked to support the coming counter-attack, but Hauptmann Esch has also given him the job of providing intelligence from his vantage point. He has not been given a radio, so he will have to break away one of his ammo carriers for this task, leaving him a man down. He is not pleased. He quietly waves over one of his ammo carriers, gives him specific details, has the man repeat them, and then sends him to the rear with his observations. Time is ticking inexorably towards the attack time of 2:30 PM. The attack begins, slowly at first. Artillery begins to fall on the town at precisely 2:30 PM. Off to Rolf’s left is a PAK, set up to cover approaches into the town. Suddenly two Sherman tanks are spotted by the PAK gunners. The tanks ease out from behind a large white building – they are barely visible. The PAK gun is pointed straight at their location, but a hail of MG fire from the tanks causes the gun crew to duck for cover. Then they are slowly picked off by the deadly hail of lead, one at a time, until they are all dead or wounded. Schenk can hear the wounded moaning in pain, but he dares not move from his position to help. The tanks have that location zeroed in. Rolf hears the distinctive squeal of tank treads as panzers move up to try and duel with the Canadian tanks. The Germans didn’t have tanks earlier when they were thrown out of the town by the Canadian attack. Now they do. He wonders where HQ managed to scrape them up. If they’d had them earlier, then they would still be in the damn village. One of his crew mutters that the tankers will deal with those upstart Canadians. The panzers roar and 7.5 cm shells launch towards the enemy tanks. The lead tank trundles forward under cover of the following tanks. Oberstleutnant Fuhrmann is trying to gain a flank shot on the enemy tanks. He has his driver ease past a small shed, his turret already facing the right direction. Fuhrmann is confident they will get the first shot off. As his tank barely clears the shed, Fuhrmann stares in shocked horror down the barrel of one of the enemy tanks. The tank spouts fire, and the first shell rips into the lower front of his tank. Smoke instantly fills the interior. He can hear screaming from the driver and radio man positions. His gunner is already ripping at the side hatch, self-preservation overtaking any thoughts of return fire. Fuhrmann is counting down numbers in his head. He knows a good tank crew can reload in about 5 seconds. He yells “Everyone OUT!!!” as he reaches up for the…4…hatch. The lever swings…3…and he throws his back against the hatch. The hatch flies…2…open and he is looking up at grey sky that immediately bathes his face with cold rain. He starts to…1…clamber up into the cold rain and he hears the roar of a tank gun. He realizes that if he hears the gun, the round is already on the way…his last sight is a boiling roar of red flames… View from the Canadian tank – a catastrophic explosion as the kill shot ignites the enemy tanks ammunition loadout. There are no survivors. In the space of a mere five minutes, the Canadian tank gunners knock out three German panzers. This view is from the Canadian held town. Funeral pyres of the flaming steel coffins rise into the grey December sky. Fuhrmann’s tank lies in a crater in the road, caused by the giant explosion. Schenk sees some badly burned survivors run from the other tanks. He immediately sends his runner back to Hauptmann Esch to inform him that the initial thrust up the center is being blocked expertly by the Canadians. Hauptmann Esch slams his fist down on the hood of his Kubelwagen. He didn’t rush the armor in. He was cautious. Still, the verdammt Canadians are putting on a show. His right flank is getting blasted by very accurate artillery fire. He sends out the orders – Left Flank, GO! Several remaining panzers veer off to the left flank. They take a circuitous route, bogging at times, but somehow managing to pull out of the sticky Italian mud. They arrive in time to support the Landsers who are trying to overwhelm stubborn Canadian resistance. The cowering ground-pounders find new courage with the arrival of the steel monsters, and they rise up to push through the warehouses on the left flank. Pioniere Unteroffizier Hardenberger leads his squad up the same road as Fuhrmann. He is confident they can work their way along an embankment, concealing their approach. As they near the flaming wreck of Fuhrmann’s panzer, 7.5 cm shells and machine gun fire tear into his men. He screams “VORWÄRTS” and sprints towards the shed that appears to be the only real cover available. Two more of his men crash through the door and throw themselves on the floor, panting with exertion and adrenaline. Hardenberger can just see the Sherman tank through a crack in the wall. How the hell did it see us? he wonders. “These Canadians are possessed by the Teufel,” he mutters out loud. The unlucky Pioniere caught by the enemy tanks… Fuhrmann’s tank still burns on the road. Hauptmann Esch receives reports that the left flank attack has broken through into the town. He orders his command staff into their Kubelwagen and he heads around the left flank to see the progress. Hauptmann Erwin Ruckdeschel leads the push into the town from the left flank. His Mark IV Panzer takes a right turn on the first street and eases slowly towards the town center. He is careful not to outpace the infantry. Like all panzer men, he hates fighting in the close confines of any town. Dead Canadian soldiers lay in the street as a reminder that nothing is safe here. “Feind Panzer, Eins Uhr!” shouts his gunner. Ruckdeschel’s eyes immediately snap to the one o’clock position. His gunner had already pointed the turret in this direction moments before, as the driver slanted the tank at a slight angle to increase their front armor effectiveness. He sees the barrel drop ever so slightly as his gunner lines up the shot. He has a very good crew. Following tanks are covering flanks with HE, and he had his loader keep AP in the breech. He calls out “115 meters.” This is knife fighting for panzers. They are so close. Erwin sees the enemy Sherman tank starting to round the corner. Their turret is already turning in his direction. He smiles, knowing they will be too late. “Fire!” he shouts, the roar of the cannon rocking the tank. Smoke fills the interior and then begins to vent. “Treffer!” shouts the driver. Now Erwin can see the explosion. Flank shot. It is a kill! Two more Sherman tanks will try to work around their flaming comrade and will meet the same hideous end, brewing up after taking one or two hits. Ruckdeschel’s crew is putting on a clinic. A forward MG crew has set up in a blown up gasoline station. The pumps are still standing but the building is rubble. They took casualties and one of the crew tries to stem the bleeding of his comrade. In the distance to the right, another squad of Pioniere are also attending to casualties. Smoke from the three Shermans brewed up by Ruckdeschel are ahead to the left. Ruckdeschel and the crew of a Wespe, commanded by Unteroffizier Thylin, systematically reduce the buildings that are sheltering the two Shermans that blunted the initial attack. Their handiwork can be seen by the MG team, as a field of rubble that used to be buildings now stretch out before them. Stabsfeldwebel von Pannwitz tried to ease his Mark IV Panzer slightly past the bus station to get a flank shot on the enemy tanks. Again the cursed Canadian tanker somehow was already watching. Von Pannwitz took a shell in the turret, knocking out his main gun. Obergefreiter Lorenko is now in command and Ruckdeschel does not know if his friend, von Pannwitz, is dead, dying, or merely wounded. It tears at him but he keeps his focus on the dangers all around him. There is some confusion now, as the battle grinds to a halt. The two Canadian tanks at the front of the village are stopping the frontal assault and have now stopped the flank attack too. They are perfectly placed to interdict any movement towards them from the front or from the side street where Ruckdeschel sits. And, unfortunately, they are very good at their craft. Hauptmann Ulrich is given hand signals by Unteroffizier Franz Witt. They are at the front edge of a vineyard and can see the enemy tanks, maybe 100 meters to their front. Ulrich sees that Witt wants a smoke screen dropped on the enemy tank position. If that happens then perhaps the tanks in town can get the drop on them. Franz has something more daring in mind. He plans to lead his squad into the smoke for a close assault of the enemy tankers. The Hauptmann doesn’t get that part of the message. Ulrich calls in the smoke. The FO is one of the best, and the smoke rounds start to fall in about 3 minutes. The smoke is now building all over the enemy tanks. They will be blind. The tanks on the flank will now be able to advance and once the smoke dissipates, they will have the drop on the Canadians. Ulrich sees Witt leap to his feet, and start sprinting towards the wall of smoke. Witt’s squad instantly rises as one and they pound after their squad leader. Hardenberger sees the smoke and immediately has the same idea as Witt, even though he has no idea what Witt is planning. One of Hardenberger’s survivors has at least one satchel charge and they can use that on the blind tanks. He roars to his two men to charge the tanks. They leap to their feet and begin the crazy charge towards the wall of smoke and probably certain death. Rolf Schenk and his men see the smoke dropping. There is a silent Mark IV right next to their position, yet another panzer vexed by the skill of the Canadian tankers and knocked out with a single shot. All the crew got out of this one though. In front of the berm protecting his men are two dead soldiers from an earlier attempt to sneak through the vineyard. They have no idea what is being planned, until Rolf sees Unteroffizier Hardenberger and his two men, greatcoats dark against the backdrop of white smoke, pounding across the wet field from the left, heading right for the smoke. He catches his breath at the daring attack, and one of his men shouts “Sind Sie verrück?” This echoes his own thoughts – they must, indeed, be crazy. They don’t see Witt and his men off to the right, as the smoke has already obscured their equally mad charge. It is chaos and madness in the smoke. Hardenberger can barely hear anything from the loud pounding of his blood through his head. Machine gun fire rips the smoke, as the Canadians fire blindly. He barely hears the screams of one of his men, and he finds himself running just under the barrel of the enemy Sherman. He has no idea that Witt’s men are also rushing into the smoke. Witt himself is crawling towards the misty bulk of the enemy steel monster that lashes out at the host of tormentors that mean to do it harm. Hardenberger rues the fact that he didn’t take the satchel charge himself, as he is now in the perfect spot to attach it to the enemy tank. But all he can do is run in the smoke, hoping the enemy tankers focus on him and don’t see his men trying to assault it with the satchel charge. He now seeks some sort of cover as the tank flails the smoke with its machine guns. Franz Witt’s men are among the two enemy tanks. There is some slight cover from the rubble of a building and some craters from artillery fire. The smoke is dissipating way too fast – the rain is settling it too quickly. Dammit, Witt thinks, they only have seconds to live now. Witt takes cover in a crater and hurls his grenade. The man to his left – Max, he thinks but can’t be sure – is about to shove a grenade into the front tracks of the tank. Karl, off to his right, is about to hurl yet another grenade. All he can do is hold his breath now. It occurs to him that maybe this wasn’t such a great idea after all. Witt’s grenade goes off, a cascade of sparks and smoke lighting up the side of the tank. Two more grenades are heading for the enemy monster. It is time for them to get the hell out of this deathtrap. He screams to his men to run. The enemy tanks open up with their machine guns. He hears some of his men scream as they are hit. Everyone runs like frightened rabbits in every direction to confuse the enemy gunners. Erwin Ruckdeschel sees a Feldwebel in the captured bus station to his right. The man is waving through an open window, trying to get his attention. He throws open his hatch and slightly pokes his head up to try and hear the man. The Feldwebel shouts that Landsers are attacking the two Sherman tanks, running into the smoke screen. Ruckdeschel had seen the smoke dropping, but in the absence of any instruction, he had remained in his position, covered by the wall of the bus station. As the smoke clears fast, the Feldwebel gives Erwin a running blow-by-blow as he describes Witt’s and Hardenberger’s men being cut down by the enemy tanks. This is too much for Ruckdeschel. He gives his orders fast. He has the turret swung to the 2 o’clock position, and he orders his driver to move forward smoothly about 15 meters. He tells the crew they are going to try and hit the two enemy tanks in the flank, just like von Pannwitz tried earlier, but his crew is going to succeed perfectly. The men nod quietly and grimly. “Now!” he orders, and the tank slides smoothly out from cover, gun turret already lined up in the right direction. A soldier, incapacitated from his wound, lies helplessly in the street as the giant panzer rolls past him, missing him by centimeters. He can only scream, knowing that no one will hear him over the roar of the panzer engine. He stops screaming when he realizes he has not been crushed. Then new terror fills him. What if the tank turns? What if the tank is blown up? Horrors flood through his mind but he is powerless to do anything. Mercifully he passes out from blood loss and fear. Erwin’s gunner has two perfect flank shots, just as predicted by his commander. The Sherman on the left starts to turn its turret. That makes the choice for the gunner. The first shot is a hit. Is it a kill? No time to judge. The second Sherman is now trying to turn the turret towards them. Ruckdeschel lets his gunner turn the turret smoothly to address the 2nd target. The second shot – this is a certain kill. The second Sherman is torn apart in a massive explosion. Still no time to breathe or think. The gunner gently sweeps the turret back to the first Sherman. They have to be sure. Moments count. Seconds tick off. Erwin is not aware that he has stopped breathing. The tank is utter silence, save for the clang of the ejected shell casing on the floor of the tank and the schick of the new round being slammed home into the breech, then the slam of the breech as the shell is rammed into the gun. The loader cries out that the gun is ready. Unvented smoke is wafting through the interior and the heavy smell of burnt powder is tickling the back of Ruckdeschel’s throat. The gun roars again, and sparks and flames gush from the 1st target. It is a kill too!!! Smoke is already pouring from the burning wreckage of the other Sherman. “Damn fine job, Comrades, Damn fine job!” shouts Ruckdeschel. The crewmen smile and bask in their commander’s praise, while still watching the enemy ahead. A figure is seen leaping from the burning tank on the left. His uniform is blackened and smoking. A second man falls from the Sherman. Then a third. All are burned and covered in soot. They are too far away to see any blood. Ruckdeschel sees the faces of his men turning towards him, questions on their faces as they wait for orders. “Let them go,” he says quietly. “Don’t fire.” He thinks he sees relief in the faces of his crewmen as they turn back to their stations. He knows the Canadian tankers have fought with skill and bravery, just men doing a horrible job. The survivors deserve a chance to escape. With the destruction of the two enemy tanks in their crucial defensive position, the Canadian opposition wanes and they fall back to defensive positions outside of the town. Oberleutnant’s Gloser’s command squad emerges from the vineyard and joins with Rolf’s MG team. They are bloody and grim from attending to all the wounded in the vineyard. Pioniere Harzer, the sole survivor of Hardenberger’s attack in the smoke, finds his squad leader bleeding in a shellhole, wounded as he fled the attack on the enemy tanks. Harzer still has satchel charges that he didn’t use in the attack, as he faltered at the last minute when they entered the smoke and he found cover to hide. Hardenberger is bleeding and unconscious. Harzer shoves the charges under some nearby rubble and attends to dressing his squad leader’s wounds. No one will know. Witt and his entire squad are wiped out. They will never know if they immobilized the one tank in their attack. The two tanks are destroyed so it wouldn’t matter to anyone but Witt and his survivors if their attack was for nothing. Witt is badly wounded, as are two others from his squad. Three are dead and the attending Sanitäter remove identity discs from the fallen while others patch up Witt and move him and the rest of his wounded squad to the rear. Ruckdeschel knows that the attackers in the smoke played a vital part. He saw that the two enemy tanks were distracted by the brave Landsers in the smoke. This was what gave his tank the edge, that and the skill of his crew. He is so proud of them – the crew can see it in his eyes. Rolf Schenk sees a very different skyline of Villa Roggati now. It is a scene of carnage and destruction. He shakes his head at the stubborn Canadians. They fought with skill and honor and they died when overwhelmed. They have surely given his comrades a bad blooding this day. He wonders why they didn’t just retreat out of the town. Why did they stay and die? Do they owe The Queen and England their lives? One of his comrades gives the Canadians an off-handed compliment. “I sure don’t want to come up against these bastards again,” he mutters. Rolf quietly concurs. The war goes on. Heinrich505
  25. 8 points

    Armoured Infantry