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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. I'd have thought the "suppress target first, bring up flamethrower to flush them out" strategy was accurate to reality, really - flamethrowers are really a kind of siege equipment, and therefore best used for finishing off bunkers or possibly in built-up terrain. The advantage they gain over a straight-up close assault is range and speed - you don't run the risk of having to then defend the assault from a newly exposed, or unexpectedly defended position (one chap with an SMG that suddenly decides to go rambo on the assault team, or an MG in a building behind the target, for example). Limited? Sure, but they do provide something you can't do otherwise.
  2. Tactical Lifehack

    Gah, have to hand in my Grog card! Sorry, was more concerned with finding the link
  3. Tactical Lifehack

    This is what I do, which works really well for me. The actual Hull Down-move waypoint is probably too far forward to be safe, but it's indicative really. When you target a grid square, it's getting LOS to a point somewhat *above* the square, so there's an offset. It won't do as good a job as the Abrams (ahem) in the photo above, but it'll do a good-enough job for CM, in my experience. The experiences of others seem to differ.
  4. Tactical Lifehack

    Does "One terrain feature behind" imply "out of line of sight" though? That's been my issue with the BMP - the squad needs to use it's firepower to support the advance, but the BMP needs to not get shot at. It's pretty great at the former, but terrible at the latter, so range seems to be a decent option. Clearly, anything outside of AT-4 (and equivalent) range would do, I suppose.
  5. Tactical Lifehack

    Using 203mm artillery to make foxholes seems like an awful idea to me, where the same (or better) protection could be supplied using far cheaper smoke assets, in CM or real life. Smoke-penetrating IR might make a huge difference to this calculation, but even in that situation I'm not sure that foxhole-by-artillery is viable. However, this is a starting point for a discussion. I don't feel like attacking ad hominem is useful at all here - you certainly don't need to be able to demonstrate practical use to teach well, since teaching and practice are often vastly different skills. It's certainly correct to debate the value of the advice, and you're free to counter with alternatives. To compare - two points that Olek has posted that I have found particularly interesting revolve around the use of BMP's to support an attack, and using a mixture of artillery assets on the same target. The former is important, since unlike the Stryker or an APC, the BMP is clearly a fighting vehicle, albeit not a terribly *good* one (at least in terms of survivability). That means that the platoon needs it's BMPs to be exposed and using it's fire support, but can't afford to expose them too much, since they'll just lose the asset. In his earlier post, the BMP's are dismounting about 1km away from their targets, and the infantry dismounts are proceeding on foot. I've been playing around with not dismounting the MG, sniper and HQ teams, keeping them to spot, and only advancing with the six man squads. That seems to work pretty well - the dismounts can't really deal with any incoming fire, but the BMPs certainly can from that distance. In that scheme, the other squads are mostly there for when the infantry are leading (in close terrain), or setting up a defensive position. The 1km dismount is a large distance, and the infantry take some time to cross it - there's plenty of time for a response to be generated here - but it's definitely a way to get more out of the BMP support. In that scheme of attack, the dismounts can begin to engage anyone left on the objective, but may have difficulty pushing through. This is when the BMPs can be brought up for closer support, or can flank the objective to get things moving.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. End result from the building's point of view
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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...
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.