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domfluff

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domfluff last won the day on May 20

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  1. The issue with commanding irregulars in CM is that you (still) have a god-like view of the battlefield - the C2 sharing helps, but it doesn't go far enough to be an accurate sim of what you can actually do. In a practical sense, it just shouldn't be possible to precisely co-ordinate movement with disparate elements across a city, or indeed, out of line of sight. So... restricting uncons to a single movement path is crude, but I think it's a workable solution. It's not representing knowledge of the land, so much as limiting co-ordination and control. In terms of the simulationist value of irregulars in CM - the Civilian density obviously allows a degree of blending in with the local populace, and the flexibility is modelled in the wildly disparate weapon loadouts they can be given. i think, given the restrictions, that's fine. The other advantages are mostly around scenario and map choice - defending urban areas, etc.
  2. Heh. They're surprisingly scary things - able to empty their racks in the space of a minute or so, and small enough to be stealthy when needed. They're also actually bugged right now - the AT-5 version in CMSF2 has five readied missiles, but can fire six before reloading.
  3. Oh, the specific quotes are talking about the vehicle mounted smoke pots, rather than the backline smoke generators, used to mask movement - but it's still not clear from that source their actual use tactically (since it's hard to find detailed low-level stuff). In a practical sense, the Russian forward-throwing smoke pots certainly seem like they're better offensively than defensively, and work well in that role, but I'm aware that's not the question. You could make a similar case for disembarking western troops under a smoke screen.
  4. "The Russian Way of War" certainly talks about them using Smoke pots to protect against top-attack munitions, but in general getting decent info on Russian tactical stuff is difficult. Certainly there isn't much distinction made there between smoke from artillery and smoke from vehicles - other than to point out that vehicle smoke is worst at protecting from aircraft, since the cloud height will be lower.
  5. Also, the decision whether to spread AT weapons or keep them together is something which is real, tactically interesting and modelled in CM quite well already - having multiple ATGMs across the map makes C2 difficult, which means that they won't easily pick up each others spotting information, and run the risk of being engaged separately. As a trade for that, they gain power through manoeuvre - splitting them up makes it difficult to suppress them all at once, so you gain resilience for a loss in effective comms.
  6. Yeah, but not always (which is why it's only in odd situations) - if you're coming down a row of houses, and need to target something at ninety degrees, you may not be able to make a move in the right direction. Again, not always, but sometimes being in control of your turret can be extremely useful.
  7. The tank sop has to be preceded by really good recon, but what I do: Look at the exposed waypoint top-down, and estimate clock direction to the target position (say, 2 o'clock) Set the covered arc from the tank's current position (or any one order before being exposed) with an arc which is wider than you think you need. This arc needs to centre on the 2 o'clock position, but might run from 12 to 4 or so. Arcs are absolute, not relative, so a moving arc will move with the tank, not the target. This has to be from a prior position if you want the turret to turn before breaking cover. The turret will point at the centre of this arc, and your movement orders can be placed - clearly the last order should be hunt, so that the armour can potentially take advantage of the blocking terrain. It's still a risk, but the payoff in this case is that you save turret traverse time, which can be sufficient margin to win the exchange.
  8. No problem with on minute turns - any arbitrary line is going to be a compromise. I do have a problem if the arc means that you spend 59 seconds of that minute holding fire against a new threat out of arc - a mistake, to be sure, but one that doesnt look all that plausible to me. I use covered arcs a lot, but mostly for a limited set of reasons - Holding fire entirely. This happens all the time. This is fantasic with HQ units that need to be sharing C2 rather than fighting, scouts, etc. Usually these are small circular arcs, sometimes these are short directional ones for facing. Ambushes and kill zones. Good when you get the chance. Aiming tank turrets. In the odd situation where this is useful (coming around a building towards a known contact, for example), this can be the difference between winning or losing a tank duel. Saving a couple of seconds of turret traverse can be all it takes. ...that's about it for me. The downsides ("what if something goes wrong") otherwise outweigh the benefits for me.
  9. Mostly I was thinking about the earlier discussion, around the use of Target and what a platoon leader's role is - Bil suggested you could define fire sectors with covered arcs, to get around the lack of "Target" in this ruleset, to still allow for control of fires. I like the idea of that, but (I think) not with one minute turns.
  10. I really like the idea of enforcing cover arcs for my squads, but I think the reason I'd shy away from that is that is that they're very easy to screw up, and it's not 100% what the response is going to be to something outside of arc. If the unexpected happens, I'd like for my squads to be able to react, and often the covered arc will prevent or limit their ability to do so. Is that limitation realistic? I don't know, but it doesn't feel right. Would a squad told to watch a particular treeline refuse to fire on a halftrack that appears to their left? It's possible, but it doesn't seem correct to me.
  11. To be honest, I think a lot of what might be termed "national characteristics" in ASL (or Crossfire, Combat Commander, or anything similar) are doctrinal or logistical differences, which are often baked into the unit structures, equipment, or not relevant at CM scale. For example, three-tank Syrian/Russian platoons can't effectively perform bounding overwatch in buddy-sections, since there's no easy way to break down the unit. That means that you're lead towards using them as a single unit, and bounding with six tanks total, one platoon covering the other. In a similar vein, the WW2 British infantry section breaks down into Bren group and manoeuvre element, and the default squad splits support this behaviour in-game. Simulationist design has had this argument for decades, of course - whether you should model, say, Italian soldiers as inherently worse, since they performed comparatively badly in WW2. The position that CM takes is ostensibly that Regular troops are Regular troops, regardless of nationality (which I think is actually the more complex position to take, ultimately), but clearly equipment does make a difference. Body armour, Night Vision gear, a full set of magazines, etc. certainly push a Regular US infantryman over a Regular Uncon with an AK and a hope. I think there's room for both models, but it's worth being careful how one models "Design for effect" versus Cause.
  12. I dunno about shot down, but going by Wikipedia at least: and from the Black Sea Manual: Now, you can absolutely make the case that US armour shouldn't have APS systems, since they certainly didn't at this time. I have no idea what the logistical chain would be to get Trophy onto Abrams in June 2017, and how plausible that is, but I imagine you could argue that it's not okay. I'm not sure why you'd argue for kit that doesn't turn up in the period depicted in the game though.
  13. To be fair though, that's pretty much how the points work out, at least for the regular army. A BMP-1 company cost about as much as a Bradley platoon, and a T-55MV or T-62 company costs about as much as a platoon of Abrams. Guards and Airborne stuff not quite as much.
  14. Might take you up on that some time. With full expectation of losing, mind you.
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