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ASL Veteran

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ASL Veteran last won the day on September 3

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About ASL Veteran

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    CM Scenario Designer

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  1. ASL Veteran

    Are AT guns too fragile?

    You can't get to America from Europe without a boat in 1941 so declaring war upon the US when you don't have a navy and you live in Europe is bound to fail. That's especially true if you can't even muster the naval capacity to take out that pesky island nation just across the English Channel. Granted, American lend lease help was probably rather annoying and whose to say whether the US wouldn't have ended up fighting Germany anyway, but if there was a way to avoid adding millions of American soldiers to enemy's side of the scales it would probably be prudent. I'm going to make the assumption that Hitler thought the Japanese would attack the Soviets from the east, but they never declared war on the Soviet Union so there you go.
  2. I typically leave scenarios that I'm working on in the Game Files folder rather than the scenario folder. The editor will pick up scenarios in the Game Files folder and if you only leave the one you are working on there then you don't need to sort through all the others by diving down into the Scenario Files folder. Once the scenario is complete just move it to the Scenario folder. If you want to work on a scenario again move it back out of the scenario folder to the Game Files folder again. That doesn't technically solve the sorting problem but it should be a work around that you can use if you want to.
  3. ASL Veteran

    Are AT guns too fragile?

    Perhaps the number of scenarios skews away from the depiction of the war as a whole, but certainly no specific individual scenario can be described as an inaccurate description of any particular tactical situation that is created based upon the available documentation. Much of the source material available tends to discuss Tigers, Panthers, SS, etcetera in more detail than the other stuff. Perhaps that wasn't always the case, but many books that were written in the fifties and sixties aren't necessarily available anymore. I think every US division had a divisional history that was published shortly after the war, but most of those books aren't available and those that are typically aren't detailed enough to be useable as a primary source for scenario creation. If you look over what's available on Amazon in terms of unit histories, the ones that are available in English anyway, are going to be Panzer Divisions, SS Divisions, and some American divisions. Even divisional histories of Commonwealth units are relatively difficult to come by, at least on Amazon in America. Battle histories in general will be done about fighting that was 'important' or 'interesting' from either an operational or strategic perspective and, yes, many if not most of those actions involved German Panzer Divisions or SS Divisions since those were the types of units that were generally present where the action was the hottest or the most important. There are a few very good divisional histories of standard divisions where some 'common' battle types can be pulled from, but those types of books are probably on the more uncommon side of things. So a scenario designer who is making something 'historical' is restricted in the reference material that is available. The designer also wants to create something that's interesting. What makes a scenario interesting probably falls into two categories. A scenario can be interesting if it uses interesting units or equipment or a scenario can be interesting by depicting a certain tactical situation. Who wants to play ten scenarios that all depict the same tactical situation with the same standard units? Maybe for players who prefer quick battles I suppose there might be some interest in that, although the player is choosing his own force under those circumstances so the force is personalized to the player who is selecting it. A scenario needs to strive for more in order to grab the average player's attention and make for an interesting gaming experience.
  4. ASL Veteran

    Are AT guns too fragile?

    The problem with any discussion of OBs or TO&E's for any scenario, especially for the WW2 era, is that there is seldom any clarity as to what exactly was present at any particular location at any particular time. On the Eastern Front in particular, even identifying the correct participants down to the battalion level is typically an impossible task because the documentation simply doesn't exist. Even in France or Italy where Western Allied and German records are typically much better there are still a lot of unknowns. The Germans had a lot of ad hoc units where it can be virtually impossible to know what equipment was present or not present and even standardized TO&Es are not so standard once you have first hand accounts or unit specific equipment descriptions available. I seem to recall that the Hermann Goering Division had one support unit in Italy that was supposed to be an engineer battalion, but only one company was actual engineers. The other two companies were self propelled artillery and a recon company or something - I don't remember the specifics off hand. Suffice to say that if you were using a standard TO&E for that unit for a scenario you would be inaccurate in your depiction of the forces involved. Aside from unit strengths in quiet sectors just before a major attack, virtually no unit on the Eastern Front was ever at full strength with most German and Soviet units being somewhere around 50 percent strength on the high end. Strength returns for most German battalions were typically much lower than 50 percent, but if a designer chops 50 percent strength off their battalion they are more likely than not to be in the ball park of what might have been present if the exact figure is not known. I seem to recall Jason complaining about King Tigers, Panthers, and other German tanks being too common in scenarios and I think it can serve as a good example of the problem with that kind of argument. If I have a book about the 505th Tiger battalion and from that book I manage to find enough material to create four scenarios all with Tigers in them, well then those scenarios are historically accurate. At least as accurate as I can make them given the reference material that I have available to me. Saying that out of twenty scenarios there are four scenarios with Tigers in them and that's inaccurate is a faulty argument on its face. If I recreated four scenarios with Tigers in them and I used reference material from four actual battles that took place that had Tigers in them, the fact that there are four scenarios with Tigers in them doesn't make those scenarios inaccurate. That's just a ridiculous position to take. There are so many battles in WW2 that took place and accurate information down to the battalion level that includes specific equipment strength figures is so hard to come by, it is without a doubt more difficult to prove that something is inaccurate since any battle that any designer chooses to create could theoretically have taken place on the battlefield at some point in time during WW2. With regards to the Red Thunder campaign I think a fair question to ask would be whether anyone can prove that the situation depicted in the first scenario never took place. There are literally thousands of miles of frontlines to peruse and for someone to sit there and say with any level of confidence that the situation in the scenario is absolutely a false depiction of events is going way out on a limb no matter what 'facts' they are basing their objections upon.
  5. Not sure what happened there but I triple posted
  6. I think my favorite scenario of the seven for Nordwind would have to be Custer's Stand. That one is a direct result of the extended city fight in Hatten because when the main German attack stalled in Hatten (on the road to the Hagenau Forest) the Germans attempted a Rhine crossing a bit to the south in the area where Custer's Stand is set. The entire area was apparently socked in with fog for all of the battles near the Rhine and there is but a single American company defending an entire town on a very large map. The Germans come from three different directions and the American company has to stretch a little thinly in order to hold the town. Due to the conditions you have German paratroops and Volksgrenadiers infiltrating in through the dawn fog since its nearly impossible for the Americans to guard every approach with sufficient strength. These American forces were some of the regiments that were broken up from their parent divisions, attached to various veteran divisions, and dispersed along the Rhine in isolated towns and other strongpoints.
  7. Like I mentioned, the performance for Nordwind could be described as uneven and the descriptions I mentioned were for the initial attacks on New Year's Day with specific Volksgrenadier units. You also can't draw much of a conclusion from total casualty figures since those would include a lot of non combat related casualties and there were phases of the operation where both sides were attacking and defending at different times. Hatten, for example, was an intense city fight for more than a week before the Americans elected to voluntarily withdraw several miles behind a river to shorten their lines. The Germans were so battered and bruised from that battle that they didn't even follow up the American withdrawal for something like twelve hours if I remember right (scenario Hot Time in Hatten and Breaking the Line). The US twelfth armored division also launched a division level counterattack on the German bridgehead over the Rhine and was annihilated (scenario: A War Without Mercy and Last Man Out). On the approach march to Wingen sur Moder the Nord battalions almost wiped out an entire American company in prepared defensive positions and followed that up by capturing or killing several HQ and supply units in the town itself without suffering very many casualties in the process (scenario Wax Museum and Drive them Out). Troops out in winter conditions with WW2 era equipment for extended lengths of time would also suffer a lot of frostbite and sickness related losses. So basically quoting Operation level casualty figures tells you nothing of value with regard to how the units fought tactically. In order to know what happened tactically at the squad and platoon level you have to read first hand accounts.
  8. The descriptions of German infantry tactics during Nordwind mostly consist of a lot of human wave attacks by the Volksgrenadier units involved some of whom were apparently intoxicated during the attack. The veteran Nord Mountain division performed much better and was an effective unit during the fighting so I would say that the experience and effectiveness could be described as uneven. Nord was mostly intact though from sitting in northern Finland for most of the war and so they would probably be an exception rather than the norm. American units also had uneven performances at times, although I think for the most part the American units seemed to outperform their German counterparts in general. The veteran American divisions in particular did very well almost across the board. Most of the lesser performances could probably be directed at the various green regiments that were deployed in theater and hastily attached to other divisions rather than having a unified command structure. I suppose the relatively inexperienced twelfth armored division laid a big fat egg too.
  9. The Germans in Hot Time in Hatten get about 20 mortars and 6 150 Infantry Guns. They just become available as part of the reinforcements that are listed so the two tubes is just what you get at start. Hot Time In Hatten is in the Alsace region and was part of Nordwind not the Bulge and the German units involved in that operation were mostly scratch units that didn't have much in the way of standard TO&Es or heavy artillery. Nebelwerfers, from a scenario perspective, are also a bit limiting since they are primarily an area saturation weapon and so their usefulness or applicability are fairly limited. They just aren't a weapon that is typically going to be used for on call strikes on precision targets which is what a player is primarily going to be using when playing. Artillery in general terms is probably much more accurate in game than it would have been at the time for a variety of reasons that have been discussed and so the Nebelwerfer in game would benefit greatly from that extra accuracy. The main thing about rocket artillery in the game is that they don't sound any different than normal artillery which is disappointing to me since I remember with some fondness the weird space rocket sounds in CM1 when Nebelwerfers were used.
  10. ASL Veteran


    I'll take a wild stab at that, possibly in your opinion rhetorical, question. Coding time and effort as compared to possible financial reward? If you look through the forums you might notice a few old threads where various individuals proposed to BFC that they would take on the task of creating the framework to perform the exact task that you are casually tossing out there. BFC told them to go ahead and go for it with their blessing and support. These efforts even got their own official threads in the appropriate forums. Although the task was attacked with optimism and enthusiasm their efforts failed. BFC has enough on its plate that diving into such a task was not deemed worthwhile and with the failure of the third party efforts, well here we are.
  11. ASL Veteran

    History accuracy

    You can make a claim that whatever scenario you are referencing is historically inaccurate from a weapon and equipment perspective, but that's only because the scenario designer chose to create a scenario with the unit in question. If the unit in question was not portrayed within the context of a specific scenario then the historical inaccuracy debate about the equipment used by any specific unit likewise disappears. Therefore in order to achieve the level of 'historical accuracy' that you want any scenarios depicting units that used non standard German weaponry would have to remain unmade thus preserving the 'historical accuracy' of the equipment being used. All you achieve through that is to limit the scenario possibilities that players can enjoy because all of that non standard equipment was not going to be included and was never planned for inclusion. If you want to point the finger of 'historical inaccuracy' at anyone then the finger would be pointed at whomever designed and created a particular scenario and not the game itself. By your definition of historical accuracy the game is perfectly fine so long as the units being portrayed in scenarios were issued standard weapons and equipment. My reference to the 461st Infantry Division was not a specific one, but rather to be read as 'random German infantry division picked out of a hat'. Many, perhaps most, German Panzer Division TO&Es have quite a bit of variation between them, but most of those differences can't be portrayed within the game. Scenario designers just do the best they can with what's available in the game. The alternative is that you would get less varied content because in order to meet your standards many scenarios would remain unmade. It is also a tall ask for every scenario designer to be so familiar with any particular unit being portrayed that they would know how many French machine guns that specific unit employed. It's one thing if you pick up a book about a specific division and that book has every weapon listed, but if you are designing scenarios you have to design scenarios across many different units, locations, and situations and in most cases just knowing what battalion was involved in a particular battle or even where everyone was actually located on a map is nearly impossible. Try creating a scenario about a Soviet attack in Poland and then tell us all how easy it is to identify even a specific division that may possibly have been involved in a particular battalion sized battle let alone what model machine guns any particular squad might be carrying. Scenario research is hit and miss at times. Sometimes you get lucky and have first hand accounts and good maps and sometimes you have to wing it and make a few assumptions. You have picked up a book with detailed information about a specific unit and you are extrapolating inaccuracies from that. A scenario designer might read about an engagement that sounds interesting and then try to locate the battle on a map and try to figure out exactly who was there. Your method might work if you only want to make scenarios about that specific unit in the book you have, but if you want to broaden your horizons you have to go into territory where the information isn't quite so precise or even available under any context.
  12. ASL Veteran

    History accuracy

    The second line infantry divisions in question would have had either MG34s or more likely captured Czech, French, Polish, Belgian, older German models from WW1 and other machine guns of various types that were used by various German forces throughout the war. I don't think he means that the entire division had only two machine guns of any type. Possibly even more commonly used would be various captured French and other types of rifles. Of course, CMBN does not include any of that for a variety of reasons. Sure, it would be nice to have the full catalog of various German small arms but in the grand scheme of things BFC has to weigh whether or not the art for a new weapon model and coding for various sized magazines for each of the hundreds of various smalls arms is really worth the time and effort because the 461st reserve infantry division had Maxim machine guns instead of MG42s. That isn't a question of 'historical accuracy' but rather a question of inclusion or exclusion. The game isn't historically inaccurate because the German sledge mounted MG08 isn't included in the game. It's just not included in the game that's all. Not even counting the captured weapons, the German MGs used by various units would include the MG13, MG38, MG30, MG15, MG08, MG08/15, MG34, MG42, and the MG151/15. The Czech built ZB vz/26, ZB vz/30, ZB vz/53, and ZB vz/60 were also used by second line units and SS foreign volunteers. The list could go on and on, but really what difference does it make in the game overall and how impactful would it be? There isn't even a way to specify certain weapon mixes in squads in the editor so even if all these weapons were in the game there is no way to specifically set a squad to have a certain desired weapon mix so whatever weapon mix you would get would effectively be random. The game doesn't know whether the unit you are portraying is a first line infantry division or a second line infantry division. The game only knows you are selecting a German infantry unit. How historically accurate would that be to have ZB vz/26s showing up in first line infantry squads?
  13. Yeah, but CMSF2 doesn't introduce any new vehicle models since those were already done with the initial release. There are probably some new textures and maybe some TO&E tweaks but other than the actual game code there isn't much else that needs to be added or altered. Anything that involves a new vehicle with an associated new TO&E and artwork would probably be, from a non code perspective, more work than updating CMSF2. Virtually none of the appropriate British or even American lend lease vehicles are already done for 1940 through 1942 and there would probably be many new Axis vehicles as well.
  14. My guess would be theoretically you could have as many modules as you wanted to create. The only caveat being that every module would have to fit within the target time frame and region for that game family. You aren't going to get an 'early war module' slapped onto CMBN for example. There would be way too much new artwork and TO&E related stuff to put into a module. There may also be special situations where specific coding would be required (like one man turrets) and the majority of that kind of stuff is held in the base game and not the module. For example, the commonwealth module has commonwealth soldiers in it, but who would they fight against? Most of their opponents come from either the base game or other modules so if you created a module for early war French they would have nobody to fight against if you simply married it to CMBN. The modules also have to interact with both each other and the base game and so a theoretical 'early war module' would have to interact with all the 1944 stuff. Sure, the date ranges would be there and you wouldn't see the later war stuff if you hadn't selected that time frame, but the module would have to interact with them regardless so it wouldn't make a lot of sense to slap a module onto a base game where none of the artwork, vehicles, TO&E, and any special coding that might be required needs to interact. It would be pointless to do that. It makes much more sense to create a game 'family' where the things that are contained within that game 'family' are going to interact with each other and that's currently how it works.