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domfluff last won the day on January 28

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  1. There are two main quality settings - one you can change in-game, "3D model quality", and the other you can change out of game "texture quality". The latter uses larger textures, so loads more into RAM (and will increase load times for a scenario). 3D model quality mostly controls the distance that the engine starts to hide detail for scaling. The easiest way to see this is to load a map with a lot of trees - with 3D model quality on the lowest setting, only nearby trees will be drawn, and there will be a noticeable drop in tree quality a little further out. Beyond that, the trees will not be drawn at all. You'll see the same thing with textures - there will be a noticeable radius around the camera where textures are drawn with their highest quality settings, then at further distances this will drop off. This kind of Level of Detail (LOD) scaling is commonplace - if a model takes up two pixels on the screen, there's no reason to spend a large amount of resources rendering it, since the user won't notice the difference. The CM engine being what it is (in terms of age, priorities and development resources), this isn't as powerful or efficient as it could be, and it's a lot more noticeable than some examples - this kind of LOD scaling will happen in most computer games (for an extreme example, the Total War series), but the effects are usually harder to spot.
  2. I think that's generally a wise approach - any plan that requires that your opponent is inferior to you (at least in terms of tactical ability) is doomed to fail at some point - in anything competitive, it's a good idea to assume that they're at least equal to you, if not better, until proved otherwise.
  3. To be fair, I've seen the same deal with Syrian/older BMPs and Bradleys - they fire their ATGMs and whilst the thing is in the air, the Bradley kills them with the 25mm. In general though, even a bad AT asset is still an AT asset, and you have to go with what you've got. Splitting them up is clearly sensible, since it lessens the ability for a single target to deal with them.
  4. The manual lists it, case by case. All of the western smoke blocks thermals, but most of the Redfor stuff doesn't, with the exception of some of the more elite stuff. BMP-2M has the IR blocking smoke (white), for example.
  5. Personally? "Badly" is what I usually go for. Yeah, hull down, scoot, and hope you don't have too much return fire. One obviously advantaged position would be to make use of the optics, and dump some IR-blocking smoke before cresting a hill with them, but that's a lot of resources expended on something you can usually do better with a Javelin, particularly in CMBS.
  6. When I've run spotting tests with drones, the results have varied wildly between identical tests. Vehicles are reliably easier to spot than infantry, and moving vehicles are easier to spot than stationary ones, but that's all generalisations - I've had the same tests spot the stationary infantry long before the adjacent vehicles, and so forth. Based on that experience, I suspect that there's enough noise to obfuscate any differences between roles.
  7. They get improved spotting. Judging how much is tough, naturally, since it's hard to figure out spotting mechanics precisely, but they are better at doing so. The Radar is a component of the BRM, which can be degraded or destroyed. There's no other component in CM which is listed for no effect - if nothing else, that's a big clue The purpose of the vehicle then is to use a combination of the radar and Constellation 2 to spot and share spotting contacts across the recon company.
  8. I suspect the modelling in CM is pretty good on that front - the smaller crew in the Firefly will make spotting worse over the 76mm Sherman, I wouldn't be surprised if loading times were lower too. From subjective experience, I'm pretty certain the 17 pdr is less accurate than the 76mm and (most importantly) if you set the date to June 1944, you have access to Firefly, and not the 76mm.
  9. It's not *just* WYSIWYG, and that's an important distinction. We know, for example, that line of sight and line of fire work differently. That line of sight is based on a system similar to Advanced Squad Leader, with intervening terrain tiles abstracting "hindrance", but the actual firing solution is calculated 1:1. The results of a hit are then subject to abstraction, including what we assume to be some kind of "saving throw". This flitting between 1:1 representation and abstraction is something of an ugly marriage - it'd definitely be easier to abstract more and represent less, since having a man to man representation means you can see when things don't play out as assumed (like moving into the "wrong" door).
  10. The actual low-level TacAI will work the same for all forces, but that's not actually a problem - that comes down to things like when to throw grenades, what cover to take, or what weapon to use against a tank. The higher level stuff is scripted, so the real question is "How much do scenario designers understand different forces?" Clearly that's going to vary, but the combined experience is generally good to great there.
  11. It's a really old reference - I'd not be surprised if it was unusual in the 1940s as well.
  12. From 29: A "Mooncalf" is a foolish person. Term is derived from aborted/miscarried cow fetuses, which are obviously viscerally unpleasant and apparently random events, so obviously ascribed to the moon, being witchy and such. e.g., Stephano to Caliban in the Tempest:
  13. Couple of thoughts from the above: - In the modern titles the soldiers are carry a lot more kit, and will tire out more. Unrealistic? Possibly, but I'm not surprised they tire out faster than in the WW2 titles. - Move is a really useful command. It's the only movement command where they'll also recover exhaustion. It's not a command to use when you're expecting contact - they'll change their next move order to Quick, which is often not appropriate - but it's very useful for getting about the place. They're also pretty attentive when moving - upright and slow enough to spot things, mines and enemy contact. I definitely wouldn't use it when the chance of contact is high, but if you have a lot of ground to cover on the foot, and there's a low (but non-zero) chance of contact, then I'm fine with it. I would pay close attention to what the result of contact will be though. - Hunt does protect them slightly better against incoming fire. Going to ground will present a lower cross-section, and will give them the best chance to react. Recently, I've been Hunting less and Move-ing more, as well as making more use of Fast. Hunt is great for any move where you're happy to be stopped at any point. This means it's absolutely the best move to make in woods, for example, but terrible for entering buildings - stopping in the middle of the street is a bad idea, and you can't control when contact is going to be made. Fast is best for when the movement takes priority over everything else, and you need to get to that position without compromise. Quick can actually be something of an odd one out - it's hard to make a solid case for why you'd move Quick-ly, since they won't be able to fight effectively, and they won't prioritise movement, so it's neither one thing nor the other.
  14. In general though, it's the setup time that kills it. I don't think it's a coincidence that their use was phased out - 2 inch and 60mm mortars provide some kind of embedded artillery support, without the associated setup period. The rise of handheld AT weapons and an increase of mechanisation really cover your other use-cases pretty well. Later of course, ATGMs are very man portable, and even the clunkiest of them are more flexible than a WW2 Infantry Gun.
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