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domfluff

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  1. Targeting directly with a deployed mortar also relies on the mortar having line of sight, to a certain extent. You can Target *just* out of LOS with a mortar, to the other side of a crest or hedge or whatever. Actual indirect fire requires a spotter with LOS to the target and the authority to call it in - Forward Observers certainly, but some armies devolve this down to low levels (in CMSF, US squad leaders can call in indirect fire, whereas Syrian squad leaders can not).
  2. Shock Force has a unique setup (asymmetric warfare) and a modern setting which is fictional, but is close to several real conflicts. It has a lot of advantages that play to CM's strengths - playing Blue vs AI Red means that the AI is often a little more plausible, since static defences or badly trained troops are the order of the day. The asymmetry is often balanced by victory conditions - commonly Blue forces will have overwhelming force, but may have strict rules of engagement and can't afford to lose men or material, which creates a very interesting dynamic. This can be difficult to do well, but it can be done. It was also first, so there is a ton of user content out there, especially since there's a lot of history to draw from. Black Sea is more hypothetical, and is particularly interesting to compare to Shock Force - the Russian army is much better equipped than the Syrian one, even for ostensibly similar formations. The three factions in Black Sea aren't equals, but they're much closer in ability, which makes scenario design easier. If I wanted to buy a modern CM game for PBEM, I'd buy Black Sea, for sure. I suspect Shock Force might be the more interesting title in general though.
  3. Most troops go to ground on receiving fire at a broadly similar rate (I.e., no one likes getting shot). Where C2 links help is in the recovery time - a squad with a valid link (e.g., to an unsuppressed platoon leader) will recover from cowering faster, and so will win a firefight iteratively. Over the course of some minutes they’ll spend fewer seconds in the dirt, so their cumulative volume of fire will increase over an isolated squad.
  4. Whilst I agree with your fundamental point, there are some baked-in differences with equipment that make symmetric scenarios in CMSF tough. In particular, Bradleys overmatch pretty much everything on the Syrian side, and can effectively take on the full range of Syrian gear. Now, this is still a scenario design issue. I do think it's harder to balance asymmetric scenarios, but it's not impossible. I don't agree that CMSF has to be about "overwhelming blue attacks" - there's certainly a lot more wiggle room there - but it's certainly the easiest scenario type to make with the tools available. Red on Red (regular or irregular) is a lot easier to balance.
  5. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c89b/42c29ca2491edbbcd986377b2df4e6418602.pdf
  6. The main advantage of face to face wargames is that the "AI" is generally better. I'm a firm believer that choice of game medium should follow from external factors - there are things that a boardgame is really good at (e.g., the amount of information you can communicate with a counter is very high), and things which they do very badly (hidden information in particular). You can work around these issues, or you can work with them, and play things designed to be played in the appropriate medium. As a general rules, I usually look for wargames that you can knock out in under two hours, maybe three at a push. That's something that's very suitable for face to face play, and fits in nicely with the form (e.g., "game night", or something that you can finish in one sitting). That narrows the field considerably, of course. Combat Commander, Commands and Colors: Ancients, Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage and Hammer of the Scots are all great examples of something fitting into that model. The games of Phil Eklund (the BIOS series, High Frontier, the Pax games and Greenland series) are simulationist games which are wargames in all but subject matter (since they are concerned with spaceflight, evolution, cultural change or whatever), and also usually fit into a two hour period. In terms of miniatures games, I'm a big fan of Crossfire, since it's unusual in that the emphasis for the average minis game is on the miniatures, rather than the game rules Further afield, something more esoteric like an Engle Matrix game, which is basically a group roleplaying game on a strategic/political subject, can easily cope with things that only that medium can do - it would be extremely difficult to model a satisfying matrix game as a singleplayer PC game, for example. So, yes, it's all down to context. Combat Mission does infantry combat in particular extremely well, and (because of the lack of individual control), probably better than something like ARMA, since your soldiers will react more or less realistically. The detail at this level does mean that it struggles a little at larger scales (and obviously can't cope with anything Operational), but that's fine - it has it's niche and it works very well for that.
  7. If I do precisely the above, it happens almost every time. Put another way, I've recreated that three times now, and it's done the same thing each time. I have some video footage if needed, but it's pretty clear from the screenshots I think. Again, I think they're running to "nearest cover", or trying to.
  8. The precise replication is in this thread: In the CMBN "Roadblock" tutorial mission, having the squad move to *one space to the left* of the gap in the bocage. Then just letting things run. They'll start taking fire, and in a few turns will (almost always) run forward to a spot which is slightly depressed.
  9. Now, again, I think this may have more to do with the slight depression in the terrain there - it may be the closest cover. It's exactly the same behaviour as that reported at the start of this thread, but that doesn't mean that nothing has changed.
  10. Which is more than possible with careful scenario design, of course. It's hard though - you can throw down a WW2 German and US infantry company with an objective in the centre and have a reasonably balanced, and even an interesting battle. You really can't do that with Red vs Blue in CMSF, and you especially can't do that with Uncons.
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