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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:

      -showui

      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

Pelican Pal

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  1. Stryker vs Bradley

    To an extant I agree with CptMiller, but there is a difference between having entire platoons of Stryker Dragoons and having them as company/battalion level assets, or even as 1 per plt. Does anyone know how these 30mm Strykers are going to fit within the formation? IIRC the MGS was a company level asset that could be doled out when needed, and the MGS itself was a bit of a failure. My only experience with Strykers has been in various sims, but I've often found situations where greater and more prolific HE chucker would have been useful. The Mk.19 often falls short and a Javelin is hardly economical. In those cases either the MGS or Dragoon would be a welcome sight.
  2. Tactical Lifehack

    I've been enjoying the discussion on this thread, but I honestly don't get the absolute need to convince each other of your positions. Oleksandr has laid out his reasoning several times and you might not agree with it, and that is fine. I personally don't agree with his opinion on it, but I think his line of thinking is interesting to read. I also enjoyed reading the strong replies to his position. BTR, Chudacabra, Erwin, AKD, HerrTom, CptMiller's first post (even if a bit snippy) all added good content to the thread. It created a richer conversation about something that would otherwise not be talked about. I wouldn't have AKD's link for instance without this discussion. But holy **** guys. Do you absolutely need to string together a bunch of snarky, personally attacking posts that don't add any functional content to the thread just because someone likes the design ethos of the BMP-3 (Our IFV is both a weapon and a VBIED), seriously? Like RSulomon, is Oleksandrs' opinion really such a big deal that you have to make some weirdo post asking if he understands opinions can be wrong? Great guys, Oleksandr doesn't like the Stryker, many of you have made cogent arguments to the opposite of that, but do we really need to write a bunch of internet trash so you can "win" your argument? We don't need this whiny internet trash. Now ironically my complaint about internet trash has put further litter in this thread. But I expect better conduct here than some random reddit thread where every user is just trying to declare themselves the winner of some ****ty internet argument. Let **** go sometimes, you don't always need to "win"...
  3. Another reason for a centralized Forum...

    @Battlefront.com I had originally purchased a Paradox Interactive copy of CM:SF, ordered a boxed copy of the Marines expansion, and iirc ordered a digital copy of the British expansion. Would this setup still be allowed access to the discount, or is it limited to CM:SF copies from Battlefront? Or is this information that will be released at a later date? Thank you
  4. I've been away from playing CM since Black Sea was released. However, in that time I've been playing quite a bit of Arma 3 with a group. In that game you have a reasonably good simulation of small scale infantry/combined arms combat. However, the AI is too weak to adequately conduct an attack. This is a problem in Player vs AI scenarios as a platoon of players could easily defeat a force 2 times their size (or greater depending upon composition). The solution that some Arma 3 scenario designers have come upon is essentially to accept that the AI is weak on the attack and enlarge the AI attacking force to compensate for this weakness. A platoon sized attack force is doubled, a company gets another platoon or two attached. While this is technically unrealistic the goal isn't to recreate a battle but to give the defender the feeling of fighting a desperate defense against an enemy. Relating this back to Combat Mission. I wonder if defensive scenarios would be more fun to play if the eschewed realistic force densities in order to give the player the experience of a defense against a stronger opponent. Aim for a realistic experience rather than a realistic setting. Of course this doesn't solve the problem of dealing with an operational layer because force preservation and sizes matter a lot more than in one off scenarios.
  5. Vehicle Panic behavior is really BAD

    The issue is that writing a "smart" ai is really hard, Like incredibly hard. The tac ai doesn't have a super solid view of the map and it has to make the best case judgment nearly instantly and hopefully that works out. It can't know that 10 meters back is safe ground (at least not efficiently and that is the important part here). It does know that woods provides a concealment bonus. So it picked what it knew.
  6. US soldiers act like cowards ingame

    I have noticed that all troops seem to cower more than in the WW2 titles and CM:SF. Its odd though. They seem to cower quite a lot at the beginning of an engagement before any targets are spotted (even from relatively great distance from fire). However, once they spot and enemy and join the fighting the cower much less. Even as the total amount of firepower used increases.
  7. Unofficial Screenshots & Videos Thread

    To an extent I think it is important to remember that visually secondaries look pretty tame in CM. A catastrophic explosion that cooks off all the onboard ammunition of a BMP-3 wouldn't be leaving a crater with an almost perfect BMP-3 model sitting in it. A catastrophic explosion just turned a 20 ton BMP into 20 tons of shrapnel.
  8. I didn't mean to imply that and I don't think it is true. Doing AI design for a QB map must be an incredibly hard task. I've done it for three scenarios with hand picked units. It was tough and time consuming then, I can't imagine what it would be like not knowing what is on the field. For example, in one AI plan I made I had two platoons of infantry attacking a fortified position with the support of 2 T-72s. I know that the infantry alone cannot take the position. So I have the infantry move to a concealed location and then wait for the tanks (using a trigger) to reach an overwatch position from which they can lay fire into the defenders. Thereby suppressing them. On top of all of that I know what the defender has so I know that the overwatch position won't be watched by a pair of ATGMs, and that the enemy has no heavy armor. So the tanks arrive at the overwatch position and begin engaging enemies. The 2 platoons of infantry are triggered and begin their attack. The AI attack works out really well and looks pretty intelligent. It took me about 2 hours to get it working perfectly. Now imagine planning that attack when you don't know what the attacker or defender will have. It might be 5 tanks and some LMGs, it might be 3 platoons of infantry, it might be a platoon of infantry and a battery of 105s. There are an almost infinite number of combinations that could be fielded and on top of all that your AI groups are necessarily limited. And what might be an intelligent attack when your enemy has only Mechanized infantry might look incredibly stupid when they are packing a bunch of elite Abrams.
  9. An important thing to remember is that the AI is essentially done by the scenario designer. QBs by their random nature will have worse AI than scenarios all things being equal. It also means that the AI can vary in difficulty greatly between any scenario.
  10. Walking is king

    The reason I avoid walking in any sort of combat situation is that your men react to fire very poorly and tend to take more casualties than they really needed to.
  11. Over the weekend, given enough time, I'm gonna work on an Official List of Rules for this and post those so y'all can have a firmer idea of what I imagine. I just wanted to know if there was any interest in playing something like this before I spent time on it. I guess the interest to me is not just that you have multiple players playing on the same team, but that there is communication friction. The core idea here is that players do not have free reign to talk to each other. So if the CO sent 1st Platoon off to do something and the 1st Plt. RTO was killed and radio destroyed you suddenly have a Plt. out of contact. Until contact is reestablished the player in control of 1st Platoon, can't talk to anyone on his team (and in the best case scenario can't see what they see). Without that communication friction I don't see the point of having multiple players on the same team. I imagine the role of the referee to be adding some garbling of radio messages based on how firm the radio link is (if you go in and out of contact with HQ every 10 seconds you won't get the whole order), and if nothing else post a sort of 3rd part AAR to peanut gallery.
  12. Graphics suck?!!?!?!

    Well, this thread got big. Personally I think that the AI (both tac and strat) would be leaps and bounds better if it were exposed to the community. There are people with talent and time who would have an interest in making the AI in CM really good. Issue is, once again, that you can't just magically open the AI up for users to mess with. (technically you could, but I always got the feeling that BFC worries a lot about DRM and piracy) Point is though. You can't just say "here is the ai" you need to have it exposed in a logical way to the user. Civilization does this via LUA scripting, and while I think a similar setup would be beneficial for the CM AI. It can;t just be magically be done. It requires work to do that. However, I also don't believe that CM needs a dynamic Strat AI. I;ve designed 3 scenarios and with the tools we have now you can do some pretty complicated stuff and get the AI to act pretty intelligently. The farther down this road we go the better the AI will get. Right now we have triggers which gives you a ton more power and the more robust that system gets the more interesting things scenario designers will be to do.
  13. Unofficial Screenshots & Videos Thread

    It means a ricocheting bullet went into an opening in a vehicle. In a recent game I had an F-16 drop a 800 lb bomb into the hatch of a T-90. "hit: opening" was a bit of an understatement. Also if you look at the CM:RT screenshot thread you'll see a T-34 catastrophically exploding after a burst of MG fire into the open driver's hatch detonated the ammo.
  14. I love this game.

    Lets not forget Javelins.
  15. So in the "Graphics Suck?!!?!?!" thread someone mentioned multiplayer with players controlling different formations working together. The idea sounds really interesting to me and additionally it sounds like it is something that could actually be done with a number of honest players and a referee, although it will be relatively labor intensive. So I was wondering if any folks would be interested in trying it out. The idea is for a small 30 minute battle, just as a proof of concept/ to avoid going too far down the rabbit hole, With maybe 2-3 platoons per side. Each platoon would be commanded by a player and one additional player would act as Company Commander. There would be a single save file that is passed around and each player would get it and give commands to only their units, without looking at the commands of friendly units. They would then save the file and pass it to the next player (or possibly the ref to ensure purity of the save). The players would also be able to communicate with each other, but only through written order. Depending on the C2 link between that player and who they are communicating with the parts of the message may become garbled. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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