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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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About domfluff

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  1. Stryker vs Bradley

    "adding a 30-millimeter cannon it will only create a false sense of security and encourage commanders to do just that" I've never been convinced by this form of argument in military matters - even dating back to opposition to helmets in WW1 on the grounds of cowardice. I suspect it doesn't give people on the ground enough credit at all. Stryker is a bus. By most accounts it seems to be a pretty good bus, with decent networking capabilities. Wheels vs Tracks is a reasonable argument when talking about off-road buses, and you can argue about it's overall form (is it too large?/too tall?), but that's really about it.
  2. Recommend campaign for returning player

    The Devil's Descent is superb - a narrative campaign, based around a single company, so you can get to know individual units and officer names. That was the first campaign since the official CMSF one that I finished, and I think it shows the value of the campaign structure over individual missions - I'd love more small-unit campaigns like this.
  3. Yup, it's a really useful, and very powerful tool. Much better than just doing it by eye. As with most CM commands, a lot of it is understanding the consequences of the commands - "Slow" isn't just slow movement, it actually means "crawl", "Hide" isn't "Ambush" it's "get down and stay there, whilst one guy occasionally pops up to spot", etc. It's tough to choose the right level of automation, especially since CM covers quite a few different scales. Battalion sized battles can and should have different concerns to Company and Platoon scale fights, and CM caters for them with the same degree of fidelity - since there are interesting decisions to make on the level of a single *squad*, commanding an entire battalion can be a laborious process. This command forces you to read the ground, find a good location to site the armour and engage sensibly. Armour tactics, basically. What the automation *does* is it allows a well chosen spot to be used properly by the AI - it lets them take advantage of the micro-terrain in a way that is difficult or impossible for a player, especially one confined to 8m action spots. I certainly couldn't have reliably estimated the correct position to place the tank in the above example, by eye. Obviously, you don't have to use it. Personally, I think it's a superb addition to the game.
  4. End result from the building's point of view
  5. Like this, basically. Small ridge, Hull down command on or past the ridge, then a target command for where you want to look at. You might want or need to put that target command closer to you, since the LOS seems to be from the tank commander, and that might be a little high.
  6. Will do. l'll try to throw some together later, will be a number of hours before I'll be in front of a PC with CM installed
  7. This is the same shot as the second, without zooming in. Sherman is in the centre of the picture - this silver of armour is what enemy AT rounds are being aimed at...
  8. The above was achieved by spotting the likely position, then placing a "Hull Down" command on or just over the ridge of that hill. The waypoint had a Target command drawn from it to the ground action square just in front of the tower (the one with a massive hole in the side, where the greyed-out contact is in the first screenshot), where there were suspected armour contacts incoming.. The second screenshot is a zoomed in shot, from the hole in the side of the tower, where an MG team used to be. That's from two storeys up, so the actual hull down position was a little more covered. Choosing the first waypoint is important, because if you misjudge the position, the tank will move until it can see the target, or completes the move - it's therefore important to keep the Hull Down waypoint relatively short or controlled, since mistakes can be costly.
  9. Targeted arcs certainly help, since they keep the eyes and weapons pointed towards that direction - not having to wait for a turret to traverse can be crucial in a tank duel. My assumption is that this is the only effect that it has, but that seems to be enough. The thing I still haven't mastered is using them whilst moving - keeping a turret pointed sideways whilst I roll up to a corner, or whatever. On the original topic. the new Hull Down command is very powerful. It's absolutely a move command, and not a fighting one. Using it effectively does require some LOS estimations and correctly choosing a decent position for the armour, but it gives the tac AI the tools to do the fine control for you - if you find a good spot, you can let the ai find the best defensive position. It's had a remarkable effect so far - I lose many more MG's from Shermans that I did before Below are a couple of shots of the same Sherman from a CMFI battle, illustrating the point. That tank is actually hull down to a slightly lower spot. so it's exposing more of itself than it needs to for the camera angle.
  10. The situations where I've used the new Hull Down command most effectively have all been with an area target. You put a Hull Down waypoint slightly further than you think you'll need to go (so a mistake here won't cost you too much), then an area target from that waypoint to the area you want to be hull down to. The area target does *not* cause the tank to fire at that point, it's just used for the purposes of the hull down command as a reference point. I haven't experimented too much with chaining commands after this point, but in a one minute turn that is usually enough.
  11. Try this one: http://www.battlefront.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=314&func=fileinfo&id=2917
  12. One per section, or group of three carriers. Full platoon is three sections, so nine carriers, not counting platoon HQ.
  13. The kind of tactical-level recce that is possible in your usual CM scenario tends to be hasty and ad hoc. Clearly, the main objectives in the recon phase of a CM battle would be to find enemy positions, and in particular enemy assets - Armour, AT Guns and ATGM's in the modern titles. Armour is easy to spot, as are planned fortifications (whether they should be is a different argument). The real difficulty comes in spotting a well sited anti-tank asset, which tend to be quiet, and have no reason to give themselves away. Relying on eyeballs and binoculars to spot the enemy works well if they are moving - e.g., in meeting engagements and defensive positions - but is less effective if the enemy are static and you are planning an attack. In this "passive" sense, the right positions are those overlooking likely lines of advance, with decent concealment, and sticking short arcs on the scouts to hold their fire. Recon vehicles in this case are mostly used to move the scouts up to a defilade position, where they can dismount and sneak forwards. Clearly, the extra mobility can be extremely useful here, both for deep deployment, and getting out of there when things start getting hairy. A recon team with access to radios and in good C2 is very important, since half of their purpose is to clue in the player to the enemy dispositions, and the other half is to give the TacAI a hand, by passing around spotting information. The problem with the above is that this passive option doesn't help with finding quiet, static assets, such as AT guns. It seems to me that the active options available are to use recon by fire, or to actively infiltrate likely positions ("recon by face", if you like). Both will expose the scout team to danger, and both will need a plan for extraction. Dedicated recon teams tend to have disproportionate amounts of firepower (especially SMG's), so clearly they are equipped to win fire superiority in a close ranged, limited engagement, with presumably the intent of breaking contact as soon as possible (e.g., sprinting back to the vehicles). The element that actually makes contact shouldn't be alone - a supporting scout team should be in close contact at all times, to spot whatever the first blunders into. This second unit might also carry the radio set, or a third unit may be needed for that communication. What I'm currently musing is how sensible active infiltration could be. Recon by fire is certainly a good idea, but it does mean revealing the scout's position, so they'll have to relocate. Actually trying to sneak up to within 100m or so of the enemy seems extremely risky, but I'm not sure if there's a better way to uncover hidden AT guns and the like (and clearly, not spotting that 88 in the woods and losing a platoon of Shermans is more of a risk than losing a recon team or two). So... the carrier platoon in Commonwealth units. Carrier platoons are versatile, odd things, but one of their functions is recce, embedded at the battalion level. That means that C2 sharing is easy, since they already exist as part of the existing command structure. A carrier platoon is three carrier sections, and an HQ. A carrier section is three carriers, with a huge amount of firepower. Dismounted, they carry three Bren guns, a two inch mortar and a PIAT (so, approximately the same firepower as an entire platoon of rifles), and have 9-10 men in the section, with organic access to tracked transport, some limited armour protection and some extra ammunition. Only the HQ unit of the section has binoculars and a radio set, so the section has to keep in close contact, and can't wander off. I think that one section should be sufficient for a given recon task. Multiple sections can be employed, but they will likely be independent of each other.. This means that I think the SOP for any kind of active recon - or recon in contact generally, would be something like: (HQ - Bren, 1st team - Bren/Mortar, 2nd team Bren/PIAT) - HQ unit has a covered arc to hold fire. - 1st and 2nd teams advance a little, or recon by fire, and end up making contact. 1 is spotting whilst 2 is moving, and the HQ is spotting for both. - Break contact drill (possibly every time). 1st and 2nd team lay down suppressive Bren fire, with the mortar laying smoke on the target. The HQ unit is relaying spotting data up the chain. - Once the smoke has developed (probably inside of a minute), the HQ unit starts suppressing with their Bren, allowing both teams (one at a time) to extract to somewhere out of LOS (probably back to the carriers), followed by the HQ team themselves. That seems like a decent use of their capabilities to me - their comparative lack of radios and optics, coupled with disproportionate firepower and cross-terrain mobility.
  14. There's always a degree of danger with doing that kind of thing. There were a few attempts to use strategic bombers (!) at the tactical level, which were pretty disastrous, but nevertheless could be represented at CM's scale. The problem with making that an option is that now that's an option in every Quick Battle forever, which can seriously warp the game, particularly in the competitive, multiplayer sense.
  15. So... turning the icons off would achieve that. The downside is that you won't have any feedback as to whether someone has picked up a sound contact, or similar.