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Ithikial_AU

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Ithikial_AU last won the day on February 5

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About Ithikial_AU

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    Scenario Editor Junkee
  • Birthday 05/06/1984

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    Perth, Western Australia

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    Playing Combat Mission since "Beyond Overlord." Lurking forums ever since.
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    Perth, Western Australia
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  1. Sorry been away from boards packing a suitcase. Thinking some more on this I think what's compounded this problem was the 4.0 upgrade which seems to have taken a sledgehammer to the morale of infantry units. Bug or not, (see the array of other forum topics on this issue), infantry will break a lot more easily now than before. I built this campaign under Game Engine 3. Changing 'numbers' under the hood can have a big impact on balance for scenarios and campaigns. I remember the 'Blue and the Grey' campaign grabbed my interest when I saw it but it was built under engine 1.0. I downloaded it after 2.0 was released which increased the lethality of MG fire substantially. The balance of the first scenario on Omaha beach simply thrown out the window. I don't have any plans to go back and retest Carpiquet from scratch at this point. Too many other new ideas I want to work on already. The only scenario I've written that I may update is MG Joe's Bridge for CMBN... if CMBN ever gets tank rider functionality. (Tip - Spoiler) Your initial two companies should break in at all costs to allow the two follow on companies to exploit. If you win this battle the roles will be reversed and you'll force the Germans to spread out their counter attacks. I can't remember the exact text I wrote at the time but this engagement is a fictional scenario assuming the Operation Windsor plan was running on schedule. WriterJWA is doing better than history in this campaign. The approach I mapped out for this engagement follows the planned phase two of the 4th of July for Operation Windsor. The Queens Own Rifles Infantry Battalion of the 3rd Canadian infantry division was to move through the other Canadian forces and assault the control buildings of the airfield from the north. To the south and west was the open airfield itself so that was out of the question, while further east was unknown territory held of the Germans. The battalion would of been mightily exposed from all sides if it pushed any of it's forces further east. This is also why it's quite a narrow map as swinging around wasn't really an option. Historically this battalion was brought in to help mop up the SS holdouts in the village and hangers. It's good to get feedback, so hard to find testers and reviews of finished community works at the best of times. As for downloads, well before Bootie updated the Scenario Depot website and removed the download counter on the main page this little campaign was in the top five so I was already pretty stoked. I never could pip GeorgeMC for top spot however.
  2. Ithikial_AU

    CMSF2 Release Update

    Battlefront you have some evil timing for your releases. I generally always get the notification that you've released something as I'm on my way to work in the morning. Have to chalk that up to unlucky time zones. This time however it's just happens to release 48 hours before I board a plane to head to Europe for two months of winter fun. All working on this end so it will be waiting for me when I get back. All the best with the rest of the launch.
  3. <-- Author of the Lions of Carpiquet campaign. (Minor spoilers) The mission you are having a problem with is the one where you have to go after the airport control buildings on the eastern side of the airfield correct? Yes unfortunately you are squeezed in tightly to begin with and need to rush those front line buildings to gain a foothold. The good news is once that line if secure you're reinforcements should be able to move onto the map outside of enemy LOS. (Well unless you knock down those buildings completely). As the map maker I had a major problem with this slice of the southern master map since it butts right up against the northern map and the village. The entrenched positions with the 88 battery from the second battle would be exactly behind your deployment zone IRC. I had the problem of deciding whether to try and recreate that or not. I chose not to at the time. I didn't have a million and one testers (this isn't a stock campaign so don't have access to the beta tester pool) and those that I did have volunteer from the community didn't raise any problems at the time. You're actually on the 'doing better than history' track as the Canadians never actually got a shot at these buildings during the historical battle. They were held up too long in the village and hangers on the north side of the airfield. (ie the player loses battle 2 of the campaign). These control buildings were hammered by artillery and air power during the battle (as you get to control in the battle). The reaction to your air power especially should give you a big hint about what you have to go up against once they make their attack runs. You can also make the battle a touch easier if you manage to hammer the buildings during the previous scenario with your own platoon of Shermans... if they aren't tied down by other distractions. Glad you liked the other scenarios so far. It looks like the experience you had is what I was after when I designed them. Just a shame I you won battle 2, I think the follow up battle (instead of the one you are not fighting) is very fun since you get to use a lot more of 'Hobart's Funnies.' Sadly they only rocked up later in the day so I felt that I couldn't use them in the dawn assault. I'm heading off on holiday at the end of the week but thanks for playing. Keen for any other insights.
  4. I'd have no problem with that proposition what sover in the vast majority of circumstances. Combat Mission is a complex wargame, not an bog standard RTS like StarCraft where the objective for determining victory are pretty dry cut. There maybe the odd case where a narrative is laid out in a CM scenario where the objectives must be taken no matter the cost but it would be the exception rather than the rule. Receiving a Total Victory would suggest your forces are ready to carry on with further operations. If you take all your objectives but ruin your forces in the process the degree of victory should ideally probably reflect that. I've certainly had cases where it's gone the other way at times when I've fought the long hard slog, struggled to reach my objectives and my forces have taken a battering, only to be rewarded with an AAR saying 'Total Victory.' The first reaction I have is that "It certainly didn't feel like it!" There's probably a few cases where that's happened where I've been recording you TouTube. Actually.... (sorry putting the economist/analyst hat on now), we can probably measure this if there's a decent number of people out there using my little Excel data tool. That records casualties/casulty rates agaist the degree of victory. I just know from my own results that the number of times I've received a "Total Victory" is my greatest number of results, even though I know in quite a number of those it's been a virtual bloodbath on my side. IIRC thats effectively what was done with the original CMSF Blue Force campaigns and scenarios. They all had very harsh penalities on losing more than 10 - 20% of your forces if I remember correctly. This type of victory condition was sort of required to actually balance out the scenarios where only one side receives all the 'toys.' If you didn't force the Blue Force player to slow down in some what they could steam roll most Syrian opponents. Are you aware of this little tool I created years ago to test out combinations of victory point allocations? Pretty much allows you to test out what you proposing... just without the many hours of work within the game itself. http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=4236 As flagged previously, in my opinion at least, I think these are the better CM scenarios and helps reflect a better wargame experience that wargamers are after. CM has always been about realism (I'm sure there's a post or two floating around here from Steve on that point). This is particularly the case for larger maps that give players a lot more options to consider in how to tackle the problems in front of them. Having every unit modelled in detail to simulate a WW2 or modern era engagement can be let down if there's mission design that allows for, or worse, forces players to fight the engagement in a very unrealistic matter (such as with very restrictive time limts preventing proper recon etc). But yes at times we just want to jump into the editor, line up some King Tigers and IS-2's, and grab the popcorn. You didn't accidently let a cat out of the bag there did you? Or is this just a side passion project inside CMFI? (Sorry I'm a part of that CM: North Africa fan club).
  5. My point is the game shouldn't be encouraging that type of behaiviour (QB's aside I guess...) particularly in scenarios which are trying to recreate historical or 'realistic' fictional scenarios. The "I won! See I took all the objectives... just don't mind the fact I've only got 20 guys left out of the 100 I started with." Sorting out VP's based on terrain but also unit based objectives can handle part of this, however the time parameters placed on the players also preconditions how a player approaches a CM scenario. If I've only got 45 minutes to find a victory I'm likely forced to push everything forward since I'll have no time on most maps to undertake recon and plan accordingly. This goes back to the OP's funny meme. The creation of a time based victory condition would allow designers to factor in more time and reward players who achieve their objectives quickly if their intial plans worked as intended or they got around their opponents skillfully enough. I think @Hemostat summed it up best further on with his post around CM having a tendancy for high casulty rates and players being risk averse. (Well some of us...) Players want to have time to spot the enemy, set up a strategy to engage and have enough time to reassess and re-engage as required. You can't do that in a scenario that lasts under an hour in most cases - and considering the maps seem to have been getting bigger with later releases. One rule I took into 'Lions of Carpiquet' was looking at the historical time it took for the Canadians to clear out Carpiquet and the airfield. Take the northern approach, they launched the attack at 0630 hours and were still fighting for control of the village and airfield at around 1100 hours. This is an area of less than 4 square kilometers. If it was a stock scenario I'd be surprised if the player would have been given more than two hours to dig out an entrenched enemy. I ended up breaking it in two with a 'second attempt' possible later in the day which lined up closely with the arrival of 79th Armoured 'funnies.' However both scenarios, particuarly the first had a huge time allowance so the player was never felt rushed. Historically the engagement wasn't rushed, in no way should the player feel the same. When I design scenarios I want them to be a challenge but the player should always feel they have a chance as they play through it. I don't mind players beating my scenarios. By the way no foul with all this. You know I love ya work @IanL.
  6. WriterJWA just beat me to the punch. I disagree that time is the primary thing that defenders have on their side. In terms of when reinforcements are coming over the horizon yes, but the attacker does't stop an assualt once the clock strikes 4.00 pm. The attacker will stop an attack when they think they can no longer effectively push to achieve their objectives. Encouraging players to play to the clock is the problem that has been raised here. A defenders need to deny ground to the enemy and this is generally done by dismantling the attacking force to the point it no longer becomes operationally viable to continue. Most scenarios I've played (and can remember :P) achieve this by assigning VP's to destroying the attacking force. This makes sense. The Time VP idea of mine was for allowing delaying action type situation on the defence where you simply know you won't be able to hold out forever. There are certainly cases where the clock is paramount in an operation but rarely should the clock be such a binary situation for determining victory on the battlefield. I think the point of contention here is that it's viewed by some (incorrectly or not) as being too much of a crux that designers rely upon for either upping difficulty or dictating the way a player approaches an engagement. Agreed and that makes sense for the Combat Mission scaled engagement in my mind. The commander you are playing as may have orders to 'clear that village' by no later than 0900 hours to allow for follow on operations. Now with CM's focus on realism, I doubt that orders comes with the clause to do it no matter the cost in pixeltruppen lives. Well let's not count the Soviets just for a minute. For this example if you only manage to clear it by 0930 hours, yeah it's not a 'Total Victory' level of success as desired but would likely be considered a 'Tactical Victory' since you achieved the tactical objectives of this engagement however your delay impacted on the ability to carry out the wider operation.
  7. For purposes of my argument below I'm defining the following terms as: Tools - Units given the player to fight the engagement. Parameters - Map size, time limits, objectives etc, the variables that can be adjusted by the designer to promote a certain type of play. Purely my opinion but the best scenarios in CM are the ones where the designers give the player a clear objective (and secondaries if applicable), a set of tools to use and then let them loose to solve the problem in any way they see fit. When designers start reducing parameters like time allocation and map sizes/design in certain ways they are promoting a certain type of play. This usually means designers are restricting the player to follow a linear path to completing the objectives. Inappropiate map sizes for the forces provided to both sides and restrictive time limits are the usual things I've noticed that designers turn to increase difficulty or try to push the player to follow a historical pathway. Even with some of the stock scenarios I've played, I've come away thinking did they just reduce 30mins from the time allocation to up the difficulty? That's not to say time shouldn't be a factor for scenarios and racing the clock is certainly viable in some situations, however design and narratively speaking it has to make sense. If you are assualting an entrenched enemy position and you as the player are told you are commanding the main effort, your superior officer is not going to care if it takes you an extra 30 minutes to take that final position. This is where my victory points allocated by time taken comes into play and frees up designers to be more flexible when setting a scenarios parameters. If you take that final objective but you required those extra 30 minutes you won't get the additional victory points that would of made it a total victory... but please keep fighting the battle until you complete it. Oh and if you are designing a campaign and force me to rush a large map within an hour and then expect the same force to do it all over again with no replacements... @George MC is still the master of getting the balance between tools and parameters right in my opinion. If you haven't played this one yet, you've been missing out... http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/tsd3/cm-red-thunder/cm-red-thunder-add-ons-scenarios/der-ring-der-5-panzer-division/ My thoughts above also do not mean all battles need to be battalion(+) affairs to give the player variety, however the time allocation and map size should be adjusted based on amount of and the type of forces involved in the battle.
  8. This is why my wishlist for CM is for the ability for designers to include victory points based time taken. Example 1 - On the Attack Complete 'Terrain Objective 1' receive Z victory points. However take it before X minutes then you will receive an additional Y victory points. This would allow designers to break up the degrees of victory based on how competent the player is at acheiving the scenario objectives rather than it being a black and white yes/no proposition. It would be very handy in campaigns. Dramatically frees up designers to be a bit more liberal in time allocation. In reality a whole operation is not going to be called off because B Company was half an hour late clearing that village. The company commander may get his a bit of a talking to however. Example 2 - On Defence If you can hold Terrain Objective for X minutes you get Y victory points. This allows for the modelling of delaying action scenarios by designers, making the prospect of fighting a defence scenario a bit more appealing especially against the AI.
  9. Ithikial_AU

    Draw distance

    I understand what the original poster is talking about as players with half decent graphics cards still tend to see the where the game switches over the max resolution textures to min resolution textures at a pretty close distance to the camera. It's quite jarring when you are zoomed out even by only a little bit as see this hard line where the textures switch to a low resoltuion mess. Given the improved GPU power and VRAM of cards these days compared to CM2's release, you'd think the cards could handle more. Maybe bump this setting up a bit or alternatively give players a bit more control over how much of the map they want to see drawn with the max resolution textures/models? Let them test it on their side to find the balance they like and what their PC's can handle comfortably. A sliding scale in the options for draw/view distance like ARMA has would be ideal. My two cents plus sales tax.
  10. Ithikial_AU

    CM:BN Screenshot Thread #2

    Sorry to hear. I'd be interested in carrying on with your snow dusting line of mods for vehicles and uniforms. If you don't mind sharing your psd files feel free to get in contact. All the best.
  11. I was thinking BF could 'cheat' and replace the building and the surrounding action squars with 'new' indistructable buildings of rubble of X number of stories. No entry points, no windows but infantry could climber over and into neighbouring buildings. Again all hypothetical from someone who isn't a programmer or knows how the guts of CM engine works.
  12. A 'simple' solution assuming it can be programmed in easily enough. Gets my thumbs up but that doesn't count for much. The other issue I've had with collapsing buildings, especially taller ones, is that when they collapse the rubble pile is as flat as a pancake. There's no difference after a 1 story or 14 story building collapse. I'm no building demolitions grog but all that destroyed rubble has to go somewhere. If a simple formula was created, say for every 3 stories that collapse it is replaced by 1 'story' of rubble, I think this would go somewhat towards creating more believable destroyed towns and cities in game. Not to mention the tactical problems of having sudden building entry points into upper levels, and troops possibly becoming trapped in lower levels. The rubble mound would also have to create a sloped mound over neighbouring action squares to allow troops to traverse etc. This may also add to the tactical problems the player has to face, particularly vehicle movement in tight areas. I've noticed with some maps made for official releases and what I ended up doing with my own 'Lions of Carpiquet' campaign was to go in and manually create 'hills' where a ruined structure would be. Doesn't help for buildings that collapse in game but helps make a destroyed map look a bit more belivable at deployment. Sadly it's also an incredible time sink for a map maker. My two cents plus sales tax.
  13. Not exactly a screenshot but a bit of a 'curve ball.' (For an Aussie I think I've got my baseball terminology right).
  14. Ithikial_AU

    RT Unofficial Screenshot Thread

    That's some gorgeous pics @MOS:96B2P. Almost makes you want the CMRT module before CMSF2... almost.
  15. For what it's worth I'd rather they decided to stick with the CM2 engine if it meant they can focus on content that pushes the games back into mid and early war. Every few months I read something and go "ooh that would be fun in Combat Mission" and then realise it's from 1941. Early and mid war is far more appealing than 'starting again' especially if it means we're heading back to Normandy. If the shift to CM3 was designed around porting over existing games' content from already released titles that would probably be a big help but it's probably a pipe dream. Especially considering what's been going on with CMSF2 and that's the same engine.
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