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domfluff

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  1. domfluff

    How much do you roleplay?

    For me, the whole point of simulationist games (computer or otherwise) are that you create a feedback loop with real-world information - i.e., with Combat Mission I want to play CM, find an organisation, battle or piece of equipment that I'm unfamiliar with, and play with it in-game. Frequently fail, which encourages reading around outside the game, which should feed back into using the equipment more successfully. As a recent example, although I was pretty familiar with the British CVR(T) designs, I'd never really understood the Scimitar, or why that survived longer than the Scorpion in service. It took reading about the development of the family to finally grok that the intended purpose of the design was to take on enemy light armour - which will mean BTRs and BMPs in context. With earlier understanding about BMP usage - BMP mechanised infantry are intended to use their BMP as fire support, since it's supposed to be a fighting vehicle, albeit a weak and explodey one. In that sense, a BAOR vs Soviet fight may well have had Scimitars neutralising BMP support, whilst the infantry deal with their counterparts. That's a role which is equally applicable in 2008 Syria and 2017 Ukraine, whereas the Scorpion's more anti-infantry role is less relevant. So... I'm not sure I'd call it "roleplaying" per se, but I certainly attack these kinds of games as simulations first and games second - I'm more concerned with what it can teach me than how to exploit game systems to win.
  2. domfluff

    s h o c k f o r c e 2

    Last word on that was that Shock Force 2 would be an entirely new game, but would have a discount for current owners.
  3. (Whoops. I might have had a little to do with the post being changed...) In computer game terminology, "strategy games" is the correct genre for CM. In military/grog terminology, CM is a 'Tactical' game. At best it might be a "grand tactical" game, on massive maps. It doesn't really have enough logistical nuance to really be considered an 'Operational' game, even in the campaign system. You can fiddle around with that to a certain extent (e.g., branch a mission into two options with different reinforcement rates, depending on whether a supply cache was blown up or not), but it's crude and not terribly satisfying. CM is certainly not a 'strategy' game in the military/grog sense, since there's none of the political/diplomatic concerns that define that. The definitions are pretty vague, still: The Australian defence force defines them as follows: Strategic Level of War The strategic level of war is concerned with the art and science of employing national power. Operational Level of War The operational level of war is concerned with the planning and conduct of campaigns. It is at this level that military strategy is implemented by assigning missions, tasks and resources to tactical operations. See also campaign. Campaign A controlled series of simultaneous or sequential operations designed to achieve an operational commander’s objective, normally within a given time or space. See also operational level of war. Tactical Level of War The tactical level of war is concerned with the planning and conduct of battle and is characterised by the application of concentrated force and offensive action to gain objectives. CM is a tactical game, and it can be a Campaign game with... campaigns. It's not an Operational or Strategic game at all. As far as computer games are concerned, 'Strategy games' is a shorthand, nothing more. That serves a purpose. If I was after deep comparisons of wargame titles, I wouldn't go for a top ten list like this. I'd much rather see something like that Armchair General series on CM, or an article a while back that was using CMANO to model the F-35 and try to understand it's role in some plausible contexts. 'Wargames' is a similarly dodgy shorthand - there's a reason why 'Consim' has been preferred for a while. 'Conflict Simulation' is a term which more accurately covers most simulationist games.
  4. domfluff

    Clear target

    Hide doesn't entirely stop them from firing, it's more of a "get down!" than an "ambush" or "hold fire" - they'll still fire if enemies are close enough. In a lot of situations, Hide will break LOS. The best way to "Hold fire" is to set a short covered arc, circular or otherwise. It's a really useful thing for scouts, HQ units, or anything you want to be watching more than fighting.
  5. domfluff

    Finally made it!

    Combat Mission will kick your arse. It's scenario dependent, of course, but a lot of scenarios have a high difficulty level, and it's a game that is very unforgiving of errors. In terms of learning - Josey Wales and Usually Hapless on Youtube do excellent Combat Mission videos, where they go into their thinking and analysis of terrain and forces, they're well worth a watch. Christopher Maillet (SLIM) has a great series of Tactics, Techniques and Procedures that are worth a look, and Bil's Battledrill site (http://battledrill.blogspot.co.uk/ ) is a mine of useful information. There's also an older Armchair General series of CM tactics which is superb. There are other sources, of course, and some excellent youtubers (Ithikial, for example), but I find those less useful for base-level learning of the planning and thinking that's required.
  6. domfluff

    When is Shock Force 2

    "Whenever is most inconvenient to Erwin" seems like a fairly reliable estimate, to be honest.
  7. domfluff

    Green Troops

    Oh, you're quite right, but I do think there's scope for flexibility within CM scenarios - depending on the narrative you're painting, it can definitely be appropriate to shift experience levels around, even if only to model relative differences. For the 101st example, Veteran vs Regular German troops would be fine, but you could certainly argue for Regular vs Green, depending. This is the "design for effect" part of CM (and wargame design in general) - occasionally you need to bend the model to suit the outcome, particularly if the events you are simulating are significantly outside of the norm.
  8. domfluff

    Green Troops

    I think that definition has been an unresolved argument for as long as wargames have been a thing. It's a consequence of being forced to supply hard numbers for soft factors, and there isn't really a great solution - are the 101st Airborne on D-Day "green" troops, since they hadn't dropped before, or "Veteran" troops, given the higher levels of training? With how specifically Combat Mission models "Green" behaviour (i.e., designing the scenario for effect), you're probably better modelling them as Regular or Veteran, but it's not a question with a single answer.
  9. domfluff

    Green Troops

    I usually think of Green troops as being able to do one thing. You can rely on them to take that hill, defend from this position, kill one vehicle with their AT assets etc., but you can't rely on them to do more than this. In CMFI, Italian troops are usually Green by default. Ideally, you use them in the attack against a fixed position. You give them a ton of supporting fires, preferably from Brixia mortars, and you hope that enough of them make it to grenade range to make the difference. Any more complex plan is inviting failure - you can't guarantee that any individual part of a Green formation will actually be able to do it's job, but with careful hand-holding and limited expectations, they can still be useful.
  10. domfluff

    Happy New Year's Day! 2018 look ahead

    You'll be waiting some time for Shock Force 22222222222222. I'm looking forward to Shock Force 183376 personally. That's when they're adding the ability to put things back when you "Acquire".
  11. I assume it's generalised - I don't know how the values are derived, but the intention is surely worst-case (since the point of it is "how not to get your own men killed") From vague memory of a discussion here, I believe the way CM models HE shrapnel is an explosive effect, followed by a number of randomly drawn straight-line traces, from the impact point. That inevitably will mean that in some scenarios it'll be better to be prone (they'll pass overhead in the y-axis), and in some scenarios it'll be better to be standing (if the path is grazing the ground, then being prone will create more x-axis targets to hit.
  12. Yeah, that's lethal range - that's the range you expect people to die, rather than the range that they could get hit. An important distinction if they're your own guys From the current US Infantry Manual (there's little difference in basic HE mortar effects from WW2 to now, so the values are still valid) MSD = Minimum safe distance PI = Percentage of incapacitation. 0.1 is one in a thousand soldiers will be incapacitated at this range, in expectation. 10 PI is one in ten (i.e., you expect to cause casualties with a mortar round at this distance). Below the above table there's: "WARNING REDs are for combat use and do not represent the maximum fragmentation envelopes of the weapons listed. REDs are not minimum safe distances for peacetime training use."
  13. Yeah, I expect there's a limit. It's definitely more than calibre-in-metres though. Doctrinal danger close is something like 200m for a US 60mm mortar (IIRC), although sensibly that would include scatter from incoming rounds, etc.
  14. From previous discussions, I think the way that CM models fragmentation is that the explosion draws a number of ray-traces from the explosion point, in random directions. I assume that this number depends on the size or how fragmentary the round is supposed to be. Assuming these are just straight line traces (an assumption with no firm basis), this could produce some really weird results in the occasional edge-case scenario - hurting people across the map, and so forth, assuming there happened to be nothing in the way. I know I've certainly seen people get injured unexpectedly from incoming rounds, so that might be what's happening here. It would certainly explain the simultaneous losses. As a rule of thumb, "Danger close" is always further than you expect.
  15. Panzer II crew decided to give up this whole war business, and form a spontaneous boy band.
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