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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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Everything posted by Combatintman

  1. M-26 Pershing..Super Pershing ??

    Maybe this thread should be called M4 Sherman .. Super Sherman??
  2. It is indeed possible to set the VP structure to arrive at a draw (or whatever result you desire) every single time. You also bring up the issue of player perception which is much harder to manage. Ultimately we are all competitive when we play these games and we want to win every time which seems to be where you're coming from in your last bullet point. The point you make there is at odds with your statement about experiencing a campaign in the penultimate bullet. I'm not saying that this is wrong by the way, I just think that as a designer, it is difficult to be comfortable with releasing a scenario/campaign where victory is impossible when you can pretty much guarantee that somebody will criticise your work because they don't get a 'win' result at the end game screen. As an example, all of my scenarios come with comprehensive orders and designer notes yet on at least one occasion, but probably more, some comedian has come up and said - 'I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing in this mission' and when engaged in discussion about it, have revealed that they didn't read the orders/designer notes. I'm following @Ithikial_AU's project with great interest because it is clear that he is trying to push the boundaries of the engine and trying to bring a new experience to players. However, I also think that whatever solution he comes up with will not be to everybody's taste. I'm still thinking about how I would crack this particular nut according to my own perceptions which are entirely based on the map damage issue. For me (I stress - my personal prejudice) - map damage would be an immersion killer for me and therefore my thought process is all about a mechanic for avoiding previously destroyed buildings being intact or vice versa. The only way I see it working is to create phase lines and air gap the maps around those phase lines. This of course has its limitations because it makes it difficult, but not impossible, to introduce counter-attacks for example. Of course that is my opinion based on my bias - others can probably live with map damage thing so long as they get to manage ammunition or casualties or that they get a win at the end of every scenario. The point here is that we come back to the choices that a skilled designer has to make to try and satisfy the broad church of individual preferences out there. I'll admit, I sit fully in the unambitious camp for scenario design, my stuff is generally historical/semi-historical which gives me a handrail for the design concept and I want to make the objectives pretty clear and simple. While I'll try and add as much complexity to the AI side of the editor as possible, I still think my stuff is meat and potatoes in execution. However, I do generally get positive feedback and I think that a lot of it revolves around the fact that I don't add any 'trickery' around VPs. Pulling off positive feedback in a campaign where you're juggling VPs, the core unit file, mission branching and map damage with a target audience of widely differing motives/prejudices about the 'right' result will be phenomenally tricky and I admire @Ithikial_AU for trying it.
  3. @MOS:96B2P has served ... he probably has plenty of medals already Banter aside - if you want to know stuff about the mechanics of this game, he's definitely not someone I'd have on my ignore list.
  4. Happy New Year's Day! 2018 look ahead

    No he doesn't and if you open such a thread somebody will open the same one in about a year's time - rinse and repeat for every year that CM3 is not released. Seriously ... it is far too early to be thinking that CM3 is coming on the horizon given the workload that Steve has already outlined. This workload I doubt will prevent them from paying much attention to what is said about CM3 out here.
  5. AI Support Targets (red)/(blue)

    Nope - I think my limited knowledge on this topic was covered pretty early on. Bottom line is that AI spotters can be a tricky beast to work exactly as you intend. If you really really really want artillery to fall on a particular area then you have to use TRPs and max up the skill levels of the guns and spotters but even then it is down to the vagaries of the AI.
  6. Barbed Wire

    Easiest question to answer ever .... Australians.
  7. Happy New Year's Day! 2018 look ahead

    Well if Steve's post quoted above is taken at face value, the assumption has to be no.
  8. Barbed Wire

    Yes but you reading too much into 'rewritten'. They have to be rewritten in coding terms so that players can split off scout elements etc which cannot be done in CMSF currently. As others have said, CMSF 2 is pretty much CMSF in the new engine.
  9. I have a couple of ideas rattling around my head but I'll admit they won't totally align with your design theory. For me the absolute must is that we avoid the immersion killer of map damage. In simple terms this involves: Creating air gaps in your map. Imposing some rules on the player (not onerous ones and they are tactically justifiable ones). Having withdrawal lines/triggers for the Axis The air gaps will allow you to set the branching up and will also allow you to develop the narrative while the rules will require the player to keep a portion of the force involved in defensive or R+R mode. The triggers are not AI triggers, they are a design device to have the opposition withdraw from certain areas to avoid becoming outflanked/encircled. Anyway, it is late o'clock here in NSW so I'll revisit this in a couple of days so that you can see where I'm going with it. Still a lot of work though ...
  10. 12 STRONG movie about Afghanistan

    @Erwin it is ironic that you criticise @Sgt.Squarehead for not seeing the film and then go on to make comments about what is achievable in an editor that by your own admission you are reluctant to use. I know quite a few people who have designed scenarios and my perception is that people who go into the scenario editor generally do so because they have seen something that inspires them or that that they have a desire to create/recreate something. I have spent 8 years of my life on operational service, I have more data and experiences that I could convert into scenarios than you could ever wish for. Some I can make into scenarios, some I would rather not. That is the hard side of it. The soft side has many factors but I'll keep it to five: Does this interest me? How much time can I commit? Will players want to play this scenario/campaign? Can I make this work? What will my wife say? I appreciate that this is a sweeping statement but I would wager that the majority of people who play CM have an interest in military history. You only need to look at the various realism threads to understand that. If my premise is true, then they are likely to have watched lots of documentaries or films about warfare and have read lots of books or magazines about warfare. The takeaway here is that there aren't many people in need of good scenario/campaign suggestions. For me it all comes down to passion and my wife's assent - if all five of the bullet points above are ticked, I'll think about creating it. Now I'm pretty sure that you are perhaps the most avid of mod collectors/users. A lot of the points I make about scenarios/campaign suggestions I am sure apply to modders. From my read of the situation, many modders create things because: They want to do it. They are prepared to invest the time. They think that their creations will be popular with players. The mod can be made. The wife is happy with it. Given that context, 'I've seen this film', or' I've played this game' followed by 'this would be great inspiration for scenario designers' is not helpful. It is like posting pictures of uniforms or tanks and saying 'Please make this mod'. I can assure you as somebody who has designed scenarios, I have never read one of your threads that says 'I've seen this film and I think this would be a great scenario' or similar and thought ... 'now why didn't I think of that' and leapt into the editor to make it so. Of course I am not the only person who uses the editor out there so I accept that other designers may have leapt to the challenge but my guess would be that very few, if any, examples exist. To finish, I love your passion for the game but I remain unconvinced that your suggestions on potential scenarios/campaigns will encourage people to go into the editor to create them.
  11. This is certainly doable but is a lot of work. I would at least have a fixed unit pick and mission for the first campaign mission but thereafter you can just create decision missions that allow the player to branch with a chosen force. Let's say that Mission 1 has A and B Coy in it and A Coy gets a bit of a hammering. You can then create a decision Mission where the player chooses to use A and B Coy again or to use C and B Coy for the real Mission 2. Rinse and repeat ... Like I said though - it would be a sh1t tin of work to both create and test.
  12. Well to be fair ... like WW2, Battlefront are campaigning on multiple fronts.
  13. Spot Objectives

    Just to reinforce what I said earlier, one of the CMSF British module campaign missions had spot objectives. The basic premise was that a recce element had to spot as much as it could on an airfield. I tested it a couple of times and I don't recall any notifications during execute. Developing my earlier narrative further, you could use spot objectives in a COIN campaign construct where a key part of the campaign is to say, identify an insurgent leader and then track them to a bed down location over a series of missions. Obviously individual mission VPs need to be structured to make spotting the leader the difference between defeat and victory. You could have some interesting branches where not spotting the leader leads to more attacks and a lower campaign end score while spotting the leader leads to fewer missions, the leader's quick elimination and a higher campaign victory score.
  14. Spot Objectives

    @MOS:96B2P Don't know the answer either but my guess is if you look at the other unit objective types ('destroy' or 'destroy all) and then count how many times in game (spoiler alert .... zero .... spoiler ends ) that you have been notified that you have scored some points ('destroy') or that you have scored all of the points ('destroy all') then the deduction has to be that unit objectives don't provide feedback during execute. You only get that at the endgame screen. So for my money (not much) @Rinaldi is bang on - this is all about what you say in the briefing and to be honest I think this is the way it should be. To go into the tradecraft of it (because I know you're all over this), the type of mission that I think (and hope) that you're designing is some sort of recce activity. So to step back to the planning stage, the '2' shop will have looked at signature equipment and the time and space issue to formulate NAIs and the (off the top of my head) SIRs which are effectively the mission/specified tasks for the recce element. So that would translate into something fairly concrete to work with eg: Mission: 1 Recce Sect is to cover NAI 1 from 010800Z to 011200ZMar18 in order to locate the enemy main axis. The task verb is probably a bit shaky but hey ho ... The specified tasks or other bits of the order would then depend on the situation but of course would be driven by that initial IPB and the resultant collection plan etc. This is all stuff that you can plug into the mission briefing for the scenario in the game. Of course there is always a balance to strike with what goes in and what doesn't but it is always best to work on the assumption that with a spot objective that you probably need to be fairly specific. Fortunately I don't think this is overly unrealistic because there are plenty of things you can do with this sort of mission to spice things up and add surprises and challenges for the player eg Have an NAI where the player has to spot everything that rolls through it in a particular timeframe. Potential challenges for the player are: Getting eyes on to the NAI without getting whacked or spotted on the infiltration. Getting eyes on the NAI at the time specified. Extracting from the NAI to friendly territory without getting whacked or spotted on the exfiltration. Getting to friendly territory in a specified time frame. I understand the balance will be trickier to achieve when victory depends on seeing one thing only or identifying a CRP or similar but you can still build the same dynamics around the mission in terms of: Getting there and back. Being seen or not seen. Being zapped or not zapped. Anyways ... @George MC, who I can see has already answered is more of an expert than I am because I know that he has actually used spot objectives in Mission/Campaign design whereas I haven't to my recollection (Mission 1 of George's KG Schroif has spotting as part of the mix) .... so, if you've got this far then perhaps my answer is .... whatever George says
  15. Happy New Year's Day! 2018 look ahead

    SPOILER ALERT ******************************************** Sh1t and dangerous probably SPOILER ENDS***********************************************
  16. And there could be some pathfinding jiggery-pokery going on there as well. Image left you have a low wall with a street lamp, a road and then a tree. Some of those vehicles may be just figuring out where they should be going. I agree it doesn't look great though and could be improved.
  17. I think this is one of Paper Tiger's scenarios and it is definitely CMSF 1. It is likely that he (or whoever the designer was) had a mod installed that converted the marsh tiles into water tiles when he took the screenshot for the mission briefing whereas the OP is not using that mod so the marsh tiles show up exactly as they are. The other giveaway is that the gap crossings are mocked up using low wall tiles and higher elevations relative to the 'river'. If this was CMSF 2, you would see an actual bridge. Anyway @BrotherSurplice - if I am right about this being a Paper Tiger created mission ... good luck, they are tough enough vs the AI, let alone H2H. I have played this one as the British and it took me plenty of attempts to get something resembling a decent victory. Reference your own forces analysis ... don't forget to consider your ammunition states ... although the British TO&E is accurate for ammunition loadouts, you should bear in mind that your Rarden 30mm don't have many HE rounds and your dismounts will burn through their 5.56mm in a couple of turns so make sure you get your Toms to bomb up early. Looking forward to the rest of the AAR.
  18. Winter Bulge

    Whatever version was last released is probably the 'finished' version - Worghern hasn't been here since September 2016.
  19. I dispute that - I served in the British Army at that time and never saw a Stinger, never heard it being talked about as an in-service weapon system, never saw it listed in any of the 8005 Establishment Tables, or saw it as a weapon system in any of the battlefield simulations in service. Furthermore the Staff Officer's Handbook of that time does not list it at all. It is vaguely possible that SF types might have had it but even if they did, they are not in the CMSF TO&E so it is a moot point.
  20. What happened to ChrisND?

    He no longer works for Battlefront.
  21. It is a fair point though - like the UNCON IED triggermen in CMSF who prefer to ping AK rounds downrange over pressing the t1t on a whopping great IED. I've always found flamethrowers difficult to employ and my general rule is to suppress first with another element and then manoeuvre carefully with the flamethrower. While of course there are some workarounds like target arcs or MOS's Target Light suggestion I think that the AI does need a better way of dealing with some of these more specialised units so that, in this instance it prioritises the flamethrower once it is within range.
  22. Certainly not common in the British Army - the in-service system is (and was at that time) Starstreak. Air Defence units in the British Army are cap badged Royal Artillery, and realistically that would probably translate as an Air-Defence Battery task-organised as part of a Brigade Construct. I can't imagine any of the other NATO elements in CMSF would have anything more generous than this air defence-wise.
  23. Maybe two of them will do the 8 mouse clicks necessary to open a scenario in the editor, add the time, save it and then exit back to the battle screen.
  24. Thanks mate ... that was an integral part of this discussion.
  25. Sorry is it a problem for someone who bumps their gums about choices and programming problems about buttons to eschew an editor that probably was a fairly big programming problem to put together? Your post suggests that it is .... You've been given the choice you have chosen not to .... hardly Battlefront's problem is it?