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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:


      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
    • Battlefront.com

      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them


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  1. Up! Good responses. All games ship using Game Engine 4, therefore the Upgrades don't do anything for new purchases. Who should buy the Upgrade 4 Big Bundle? Someone who already has three game Families that are not using Engine 4 yet. You save $5 in that case. If you only have two Families, definitely go with individual purchases. The need for the Upgrade 4 Big Bundle has diminished over time as the number of people who still have 3+ Families in need of upgrading can't be very many. We still see people buying them so we have no plans to remove it from the store. Steve
  2. I'm here because bad behavior requires me to divert time away from other activities. I've had 4 hours of sleep because of the "snails pace" so don't try my patience. As for the "political" part of my statement... telling someone who doesn't know his arse from his elbow because he's got his head firmly planted in one of the two spots isn't political, it's a statement of fact. Aragorn just got himself a formal warning too. Frankly, I should have just banned him for so blatantly disregarding what I just wrote and obligating me to come back a second time to this thread. It's not like this is his first time breaking the Forum rules. Now, instead of being obligated to come back here a third time I'm locking this up. Steve
  3. My two bits on the German defense budget. Contrary to views of people who live in a caves, Merkel has been slowly increasing military spending: https://www.thelocal.de/20170301/this-is-how-much-german-military-spending-has-grown-over-time There's lots of reasons why things have apparently been getting worse. The primary one is what PzKraut brought up... scale. If you're going to have a military budget for what amounts to a local defense force, then have a local defense force that fits that budget. Most of the militaries in Europe have scaled their capabilities way back since the Cold War days. Especially on logistics end. Germany, on the other hand, outwardly appears to be in the same league as Britain and France in terms of range of capabilities. In reality it isn't because the money isn't there to keep things running. The reasons for the decline of the Bundeswehr can be traced back to the 1970s. I had a friend who served in the late 1970s and another who served in the late 1980s. Both of them said they didn't think the BW was ready for war. It's only gotten worse since 1990 when Reunification happened and Germans were faced with huge costs of reintegrating East Germany AND saw no immediate threat from the east. Couple this with decades of anti-war sentiment country wide, it's not difficult to see why things fell apart so badly. The political will in the German government to address the underlying problems of the BW and society seems to be lacking. However, the attention focused on this seems to finally be shaming Germans, of all political stripes, to at least talk about the problems. Will something significant change without a war happening? I don't know, but I hope so. Germans are wasting their resources trying to do too much with too little. Steve
  4. The next time you want to violate the forum rules by hijacking/derailing a thread, kindly let me know ahead of time so I can ban you first instead of after. You've been warned officially. I just have to say that I'm not nearly as bothered by extreme left or right wing ideological comments when there's at least some reasonable basis in fact for them. As it is, you might as well have said "it wouldn't surprise me if part of the reason we haven't colonized Mars is because of the millions of unproductive hours spent watching kitten and puppy videos". Actually, on second thought, what I just said is probably more on the mark. Steve
  5. CM:FI AAR SLIM versus Bletchley_Geek

    In another thread, of course Steve
  6. Who's winning the tank war?

    Of course It is the same with autocratic governments all around the world. Military force is something people understand mean power, and power is what autocrats are all about. I was partially judging it by various conversations here with Russian players of CM games. There was much repeating of the false idea that NATO is a threat to a peaceful Russia. I remember saying that all Russia needs to deter a NATO invasion of its soil is one guy at the border shouting harsh words. Maybe waving a piece of wood or something. The non-Russians in the thread all agreed because we've seen how disunited and disorganized NATO is even when there is an obvious call for action for their own defense. This was in the 2014/2015 timeframe and there's been even more evidence of this since. Yes, but unfortunately the the military industrial complex has a lot of friends. It is the same in the West, so it is not unique to Russia. That said, I think Putin finds the shiny new toys very useful for his overall strategy of staying in power. He has managed to keep the military from getting the budget it requested, but obviously it received far more funding than it should given the economic problems Russia has. IIRC the 2018 budget is the same as 2017 and money is being internally shifted away from the Navy and Airforce to land forces (and a bit more to nuclear). Steve
  7. Tactical Lifehack

    Oleksander requested that I close up this thread so he can switch his attention to other things on the Forum. Because this is his thread in a meaningful way I'm going to honor the request. Steve
  8. Who's winning the tank war?

    Yup, and it shows the futility of Russia's strategy from a military standpoint, therefore it's pretty clear that the strategy is for propaganda and pocket lining reasons. There's been many discussions about this aspect of Russia's military strategy on this Forum for many years. The fact is that Russia spends a huge percentage of it's GDP on a military that it doesn't need for any practical reason. What does Russia need its military for? Defense against military confrontation by a superior foe (US, NATO, China) Ability to invade, threaten, and otherwise bully neighboring countries Maintain domestic order in the event of another large scale uprising Project power to 3rd world conflicts such as Syria Of the three, the one that theoretically requires the biggest quantity and quality of force is the first one (defense). But in practical terms, that's absolutely not true. Europe has ZERO interest in invading Russia in any conventional sense. First, because they know an invasion of Russia is impractical for a thousand reasons. Second, because Russia has nukes AND WILL USE THEM without any doubt if invaded. Heck, Russia has threatened to use nuclear weapons if the West shuts it out of their banking system. Since Russia has nothing physical that the West wants, and the West could destroy Russia's economy through policy moves, there's absolutely no reason grounded in reality to view the West as a military threat to Russia's homeland. Period. The ability to cause trouble for its neighbors is a very, very important part of Russia's foreign policy concept of world order. Therefore, it must maintain a credible combined arms force to impose Moscow's political will on its neighbors whenever it wants. Since the potential targets are small and under equipped, quality and quantity are not factors. Russia could win any border battle with any nation it choose to at any time with status quo technology. Force size, however, is necessarily different when talking about a vast nation like Kazakhstan vs. Georgia. Taking on it's NATO neighbors, on the other hand, would require a force and economy that Russia isn't even planning on having, not to mention could have, so that's out of consideration. Domestic order is something that can also be done with status quo technology. If Chechnya were to try and break away again, Armata would have no practical improvement in outcome vs. a T-62 because high tech weapons do not beat motivated insurgencies. At best they can reduce the overall number of friendly casualties and increase the ratio of friendly to enemy losses. Better training, tactics, communications, and other things have a much better payback than tank technologies. Projecting active military power abroad is a new thing for Russia and that does require a certain investment in capabilities, mostly logistical in nature, but again the forces needed are modest in size and not significantly improved upon by big expensive toys. The reason is that their adversaries are themselves under equipped. As with an insurgency at home, spending money on better quality soldiers is vastly more effective than better quality equipment per Ruble spent. It was also the idea peddled by Kremlin bots, media, and official statements from members of the government. Which, sadly, many otherwise intelligent Russians bought hook, line, and sinker just as they bought the notion that NATO is an offensive organization bent on invading Russia at the first possible opportunity. Which emphasizes the propaganda nature of Russia's weapons systems modernization program. Steve
  9. Who's winning the tank war?

    Er, that's what I mean I didn't say the US was cutting off Pakistan out of some false sense of moral high ground. It's a practical matter that the US wasn't getting what it wanted from Pakistan and so military aid became increasingly politicized in the US. The tap was unofficially turned into a trickle in 2014ish timeframe (mostly out of concerns about India), but the military aid stayed in place even though US commanders in Afghanistan complained endlessly about the untouchable safe havens and ISI support for the Taliban. But then, quite suddenly, the military aid was turned off this year. I doubt Russia would have done things the same way. He means the units that have names ("Sparta") instead of standard military designations. I was also struck by how few vehicles they have, which is understandable since Russia and the regimes of the DPR and LPR have deliberately undermined them (and assassinated their leaders). Steve
  10. How to use mortar halftracks?

    The reason we frown upon statements like this because... They lead to more. Knock it off. Steve
  11. Who's winning the tank war?

    Weapons purchases have almost always been about politics more than anything else because it's one of the few ways countries have some sort of leverage over the larger nations. Anybody think countries are warm to strong relations with the current US administration? Plus, the Soviet Union and Russia has always shown its willingness to sell anything to nearly anybody that can come up with cash or barter for their weapons. The US is far more fickle in that it sometimes supplies arms without care (Saudi Arabia's war against Yemen) and sometimes it doesn't (military aide to Pakistan). I also think it's probable that a subsidized arms purchase from Russia is cheaper to maintain over the long haul than a subsidized US purchase. Couple that with the uncomfortable truth that the soldiers of most of these nations are horribly ineffective no matter what they armed with (Iraq is a prime example), why spend lavishly on a military equipment if they aren't willing to invest in the people that operate them? Steve
  12. "6,000,000 carrying arms"

    Are you sure you want to keep posting here? We have no patience for Holocaust Deniers, neo-Nazis, or similar types. There are plenty of other forums that cater to that sort of thing, and this is absolutely not one of them. So I'm giving you two weeks of time to think about your future postings carefully. Steve
  13. Thanks, Steve, for your clear statement in the recent RT discussion!

  14. Soviet Tank Tactics 1945

    I'm closing this up because it's only going to get worse. Blaming refugees for the Bundeswehr's budget problem is equivalent to arguing that the only reason we haven't colonized Mars by now is because of all the money white people have to spend on sunscreen lotion. Since everybody posting here by definition has access to the Internet, there's no excuse for horrific levels of ignorance about a topic so easily researched as the state of the Bundeswehr and NATO's chronic under funding of its military. But Bulletpoint was spot on when he said: Steve
  15. Tactical Lifehack

    For the record, it is fine for people to be critical of the advice being made here. It is also fine to be critical of Olek for not addressing issues brought up by other posters. It's even fine to point out that Olek hasn't shown how his advice works in real gameplay. None of that is a problem since that's what discussion forums are for. Sock puppets and abusive postings, however, are not. I've had to ban two people (well, probably the same person) already and it's been probably a year or more since I've banned even one account. Hopefully we can keep the critical discussion focused on the advice and not cause me to log into the backend and kick people off the Forum. Steve