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domfluff

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Everything posted by domfluff

  1. Worth mentioning that according to testing, the HQ's leadership will only affect the HQ unit itself - it doesn't filter down. According to @Josey Wales''s work, the suppression resistance that commanders give troops is only reliant on having active C2 links, and not dependant on any Leadership stat. Since C2 can be broken by suppression, this does mean that a high leadership HQ unit will maintain C2 for longer under fire (since it will stay unsuppressed for longer) - so a high leadership HQ is better at leading from the front, whereas a bad leader is better left safely behind cover, letting the squads get on with it (but maintaining contact). So it works out to being a similar effect, but backwards, and only if you are careful about maintaining command and control.
  2. domfluff

    Dutch forces information

    There aren't many Dutch videos out there. Here's a quick one, but it's not all that indicative. From memory: The main thing tactically with the Dutch is that they have decent armour and infantry fighting vehicles, but little in the way of actual infantry - that means that in the wrong situation they can be fairly brittle. The Dutch campaign is pretty great.
  3. There are a ton of ways to do this. One option would be to GM this as an Engle Matrix game, with the GM creating battles to suit the situation (you could use existing maps, so this creation process doesn't need to be that long. You'd want to standardise on a points system for the battles, but that's fairly straightforward to do.) Briefly. Matrix games are gm-run things, where each turn the players submit Arguments, and reasons why these will succeed. This is a quick example of a matrix-only game, but you can see how it can be used to generate meaningful battles: https://balagan.info/missing-general-an-engle-matrix-game-battle-report A practical (small) CM example off the top of my head: Situation, turn 3 (this is mostly narrative fluff, but since that's what Matrix games are all about, that's important). German player lost the previous battle and needs to regroup and re-arm. Their AT ammunition is getting significantly low, and their supply lines are in jeopardy. The town of Fullofpixeltruppen is on a key supply route. There is a simple sketch map of the surrounding area that both players have access to, and both players will have clearly defined campaign goals, that aren't important for this example. Both players will have a TO&E at the start, which is not tracked explicitly, but in terms of vague percentage losses, or removed entirely. (US player) Change to matrix:I send 2nd platoon to conduct a probing attack at night into the village of Fullofpixeltruppen Specific benefit desired: We will learn of the enemy strengths and weaknesses, and take out key assets (AT guns) in preparation for the main assault. Support from matrix: 2nd platoon is well-rested. The enemy are fleeing in disarray following the last battle. The initiative is ours. (German player) Change to matrix: My focus will be to get the supplies through safely. I'll bring up 2nd company to halt the retreat in a safe position and send out a force to take hill 217 with artillery. Specific benefit desired: My forces can resupply, and set up artillery fire and TRPs onto key terrain over the surrounding area - the village, the river crossing and the crest of hill 312. Support from matrix: My artillery is untouched, my men are well trained and the supplies are in really fast trucks. (submitted in secret) The GM takes these arguments and considers them. It's important that the arguments should not be mutually exclusive. The US player has no forces on hill 217, and hasn't mentioned it, so it's reasonable to rule that this move from the Germans will succeed. The rest of the German argument is pretty weak, and more or less reads as "I stop running away when I can". Since the US player is not explicitly pursuing the Germans, it's reasonable to suggest that the fleeing forces will drip out, but won't take much of a part in this battle. This means that the generated scenario here will be: Probing attack. Night mission, weather will be randomised with a die roll, but weighted towards being fine. US forces: - Rifle platoon, with priority of fires from the company mortars (no other action is happening here, and they're available) German forces: - Stragglers and malcontents, not quite a platoon in size. - AT Gun platoon - Artillery with a TRP All German forces will be low on ammunition and motivation. German infantry stragglers will also have some percentage losses. The mission objectives will be Spot and Destroy objectives for the US, centred around the AT guns. There will also be some points for killing Germans. Priority are the guns and minimising losses. German victory will be for destroying US forces, and occupying the town. Assuming standardising to 1000 points, then something like: German: Destroy (all) 800 Occupy 200 US Spot (AT Guns) 200 Destroy (AT Guns) 400 Destroy (Remaining Germans) 400 In practice, the GM would choose a sensible looking map, and set up the objectives and choose units to match the above. Stick them in the setup zones, which will be determined by the map - in this case, the German setup zones will be a lot more restrictive. GM then sends the scenario file and briefings to each party. It's probably useful if both players share their PBEM password with the GM, and all three players share a dropbox folder, so that everything is GM-accessible if needs be (but particularly the outcome). *** What's worth defining before you start though is: What are you trying to achieve? Campaigns have multiple purposes - they can provide context for battles, produce a narrative, they can force you to make longer term decisions about preserving forces, etc. Campaigns can be fully fledged wargames all by themselves, but they can also be pre-set tree campaigns, or fluffy narrative campaigns just as easily. What I really like about the Matrix game concept is that it's a powerful tool for applying some structure to an otherwise arbitrary narrative.
  4. domfluff

    Canadian Forces Composition

    This has more information about Canadians in CMSF 2 than pretty much anywhere else:
  5. CM is a hard, unforgiving game, which demands high concentration over long periods, and is more than happy to slap you when you do something stupid. That means that it's a perfect recipe for burnout. I know I personally tend to go in fits and starts - I'll have long periods of a ton of Combat Mission, and periods where I poke very little of it. This is a fundamental issue with CM's design choices. It gives you a ton of control, but also asks you to do an awful lot. I do find it's better to try to stop and refocus, going over the same situation a few times from different levels. e.g., one of the lead squads in a platoon on an approach march comes under fire. First - I'll consider the situation from the squad's position. Just focusing on the squad and the fireteams within. Get them to cover, return fire, see what assets you have available and take stock of the situation. Consider that for the full minute of playback, then make the orders. Second, rewind time and consider the same from the perspective of the platoon. Thinking especially about how the platoon HQ can establish C2 and get any or all of the spotting contacts that the squad may have made, and also make sure the platoon HQ is in C2 with the squad in contact to bolster their morale. At the same time, consider getting the immediate platoon assets (e.g., platoon MGs) online. Usually that's enough for the immediate contact. After this crucial minute, you'll start considering whether the squad can handle this by themselves, whether you need to use the other squads in the platoon to help, or whether it's too much for your platoon to deal with, and what to do about that - breaking contact or thinking about things from the company commander position. I definitely think it's worth thinking about things tactically from a platoon level, as above, considering the battle as a series of separate platoon actions (which will be mutually supporting, directly or otherwise). These platoons might well have attached assets, either formally through the Quick Battle/Scenario designer or informally through "This squad of engineers will go with this platoon". The initial plan of manoeuvre is what sets these mutually supporting platoons up, which means your company or battalion level (whatever the top level is) thinking should mostly be up-front, or during the early stages of the battle.
  6. domfluff

    New Schmuck in need of advice

    The above is a demonstration of the power of manoeuvre when it all goes right, combined with some old fashioned hubris. Completely understandable, but a devastating mistake to make, and one which he may not recover from.
  7. domfluff

    New Schmuck in need of advice

    You can know what you're doing and still fail horribly. @Hapless is one of the better CM youtubers, and makes some really great videos. They often dive heavily into reading the terrain and planning, which is really a huge chunk of the game. Also sometimes this happens:
  8. Meeting Engagements in CM are frequently a problem - rushing to grab the centre is neither particularly authentic, nor particularly satisfying - attack/defend scenarios are often a little better. The more interesting meeting engagement setups tend to have distinct "mine" and "yours" objectives - both sides then have to consider their attack and their defence, which produces something much more reasonable.
  9. Have been thinking a lot about Opfor in general (sucker for an underdog), and how to approach this with CMSF 2, particularly from a PBEM standpoint, and trying to be somewhat competitive. Doing some experimenting with CMSF 1: The heaviest option for civilians in CMSF will allow Combatants (not Fighters (Mujahideen), but the guys in camo and jeans), and possibly VBIED (but not taxis) to remain invisible until very close indeed - it seems like if these are Move-ing along city tiles, these won't be spotted until around 2 action spots away. VBIED seem to have some degree of stealth, but nothing like as much as that. Usually that doesn't matter, since they cover a huge amount of ground pretty quickly. They are not spotted directly, but the soldiers will still call out "SPOTTED AN ENEMY UNIT", etc. - so there's some contextual clues. Occasionally they might pop up with contact icons, but still nothing they'll directly fire at. Originally I thought this was a problem, but on further thought I think this might actually be okay - the manuals talk about spotting unusual behaviour in civilians, dogs etc., so this could be put down to that kind of observation. I was also originally of the opinion that this "stealth device" approach to modelling insurgents wasn't terribly great, but it does seem to match up to the tactical considerations quite well - hiding amongst civilians to get to point-blank range, etc. Combatants do not have the firepower to go into a straight fight with any Blufor squad, at least with small arms, and they're mostly equipped with small arms alone. This means that I suspect the correct approach is to force them into something other that a straight fight. E.g.: The mission is to attack a US squad, inside a police station. The plan is to use spies to discover their location, infiltrate (whilst holding fire!) to locations surrounding the building, then give them a really good reason to leave the building - ideally a VBIED, but perhaps an ATGM, mortar fire, RPG volley, whatever. The Combatants can then open up whist he US squad is fleeing the building, giving them the advantage that they need. Any technicals are ideal here as flankers - probably not engaging directly, but cutting off retreat routes. The TC 7-100 series are the recent OpFor guides for the US. 2 and 3 are of particular use: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/TC_7-100.2_-_Opposing_Force_Tactics_(December_2011).pdf https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/TC_7-100.3_-_Irregular_Opposing_Forces_(January_2014).pdf The interesting things here are how generic these are (the same basic concepts work for Syrian Mechanised infantry battalion assaults, or a fighter group ambushing a few HMMWV's). This generally splits a plan into three sections: Active Element - This is the element that will make the assault/carry out the ambush/manoeuvre onto the target. Security Element - Early warning for the approach of reinforcements, possibly delaying or preventing this. Typically this might just be an RPG team, but could include spies, IED's, mines, ATGMs, etc. Support Element - C2, Direct fires, Indirect fires and mobility. Direct fires will be MG's, RPGs and maybe an ATGM. Mobility is obviously civilian transport. The "C2" part of that is worth some thought. Irregular forces don't get much in terms of equipment, and I can't remember if there's much in the way of radios in CMSF. The Spy in Passage at Wilcox (CMSF 2 Demo) definitely has a radio, so there's that. I do wonder if it's worth using teams in taxis as messengers, sharing the spy spotting information horizontally? In any case, it's going to be important to pay attention to force (cell?) structure here, and a reasonable percentage of your force allocation should probably go on spies (or at least dedicated to spotting Combatants), since you'll need all the help you can get. This does leave the Fighters in a slightly odd position. Without the stealth of the Combatants, they're mostly useful for having better equipment (including ATGMs), usually a little better training, and higher motivation. Whilst that means that they're a good choice for the actual attack, they don't have the same ability to get close without some thought - I wonder if they're best used from concealment as the assault element, after the support element suppresses the target? That would leave Combatants in the Security and Support roles mostly, I suppose. E.g.: The mission is to attack a US squad, inside a police station. The plan is to use spies to discover their location, infiltrate RPG teams (whilst holding fire!) to locations surrounding the building, then fix them in place - unleashing a volley of RPGs and MG fire from multiple directions. The Fighters can then debus from civilian transport and storm the building directly. One idea I did read in the above manuals which I think could work well in CMSF is using taxis to form an impromptu roadblock - using them to block in either end of a street so that exits are impeded. The taxis will be destroyed, of course, but if it keeps the enemy in the kill zone longer, so much the better.
  10. domfluff

    CMSF irregular thoughts

    Interesting. I wonder if the fact the FO is actually a JTAC has anything to do with it? Also what the experience level is for the mortars - it's not really possible to test this without the full game though. I wouldn't expect it to be any different than CMBS really, but I do know that the Typical settings for US FO's in CMBS are usually Crack or Elite.
  11. domfluff

    CMSF irregular thoughts

    In the training mission, are you calling them in using the drone for spotting? I suspect that's going to be worse than doing it by eye, for a couple of reasons - anything that lands outside of the drone's spotting disc is obviously going to be invisible, but I suspect (haven't tested) that it's a little worse in general anyway. The tutorial mission also has a lot of buildings hiding things you might want to hit - it's worth getting a eye level view from the FO and seeing what they can see, since any spotting round that lands behind a building is going to be useless to you.
  12. domfluff

    CMSF irregular thoughts

    You're quite right about the supply settings, but Typical settings are lower in CMSF 1 (and presumably 2). The Uncons will also not have the benefit of BMPs or Humvees full of ammo to stock up on, and may or may not get ammo dumps in CMSF 2 (will have to see). There's obviously nothing technologically advanced about an ammo dump, but it'll depend on whether they have the dismountable trucks etc. to do it.
  13. domfluff

    CMSF irregular thoughts

    The way I see it - the uncon advantages in Quick Battles will be as follows: - Cheap, highly motivated troops. - ATGM's with the Fighters, including some AT-14. - Cheap, fast vehicles with lots of firepower, including cheap anti-air. Should be decent drone killers at least. - IEDs and VBIEDs are devastating disruptive technology, and don't have easy counters - Civilian density provides some stealth cover for Combatant positions and Movement - Small arms that excel in short ranged combat, especially the RPG-7, which is superb in complex terrain Disadvantages include (but are not limited to!): - Poor training - Poor equipment (e.g., no body armour, night vision, secondary weapons) - Limited supplies - Limits of stealth will be hard to judge, so unreliable - No armoured vehicles - Terrible C2 (few to zero radios) - Artillery limited to mortars, no air support To me this all points to what's probably fairly obvious - that the ideal scenario for a competitive uncon player is a defence in depth over complex terrain (ideally a city, but the same thing would work in the right kind of rough terrain) - multiple independent positions that can work by themselves, and support each other with fires, particularly with ATGMs, but also mortars and MG teams. Independent positions make the most of the limited C2 options, since each position can be held by a "platooon" under voice/sight comms from their HQ unit - they probably won't be giving out spotting info to the other positions, but they will at least keep C2 within themselves.
  14. domfluff

    CMSF2 Release Update

    The problem is support. You release something, and suddenly there will always be a ton of bugs you didn't catch in development. If you release over a weekend or during a holiday, and your team won't be available to react to them - you'll have a lot of people slammed in the face with major issues, and no communication or fixes for them for the first few days of release.
  15. domfluff

    CMSF irregular thoughts

    Setting a 1,000m arc is a reasonable plan. I rarely directly target them, since relying on the turn rolling over at the right point can be a problem. I think the real point with ATGM's is to pre-plan the kill zone, the primary position, and a secondary position with covered approach route - ATGM's broadcast their position all over the place, so breaking down and changing position after a single shot seems like the best SOP, especially if that shot is successful.
  16. domfluff

    Targeting

    Like a lot of things, it's a behaviour with some tweaking - I've definitely seen them do it, but not always as fast as I'd like. Fundamentally though, if you order a unit to do something specific, I think it's reasonable that they should try to do that above anything else. An improvement might be a "hunt-like" toggle, which could apply to several orders - i.e., "cancel any existing orders when contact is made".
  17. domfluff

    Targeting

    The battlefield is divided into 8m x 8m Action Spots. If you use the Target command, without selecting a visible enemy unit, it'll target the centre of the nearest action spot to where you click, which can be several metres away from where you expect. It'll fire on that general area for the full minute. If you target the unit (assuming you can see it), it'll fire on the unit, until it loses sight of them. The unit itself can override both of these if it wants or needs to - if it sees a more appropriate or threatening target.
  18. Have been playing around with various attachments for the Russian Motor Rifle platoons. Recently started a PBEM, and quickly realised that the AT-13 ATGM is what I should have chosen, over the AT-14, to bolster my motorised rifle platoon. The AT-14 is a more powerful missile, but the worse choice in this situation: BMP-3 platoons have six free seats. Six man squads, a two man team (Sniper/MG/HQ), and two seats free. That means it's trivial to add up to three two man teams, or a two man team and a four man team, whilst maintaining the same number of transport vehicles. (Probably going to illustrate that at some point - motor rifle platoons and the varying ways one can specialise them). AT-14's have a three man team, which is awkward (you can't fit in two three man teams into the six seats, since they won't split down), the launcher is heavy and relatively slow to set up (~50 seconds) AT-13's have a two man team (therefore you can have three of them), have a shorter minimum range, set up in ~20 seconds and they can also be fired from the shoulder if needed - it's a much more flexible missile, that slots far more easily into the Motor Rifle platoon structure and purpose. AT-13's are also lighter - the crew can move Quick, rather than just Move when fully loaded. Important for getting away after firing and giving away your position. AT-13 is wire guided, AT-14 is laser guided - that means the AT-13 will *not* trigger laser warning systems. The penetration values are similar. The AT-14 has a much longer range, the AT-13 is still effective up to 1,500m, which is usually good enough for a mobile force. The AT-14 carries one additional round (4 vs 3), since the extra team member carries two of them.
  19. domfluff

    Demo Feedback

    It is. It's also interesting that the CMSF 2 Syrian TO&E is very different from CMSF 1 - in CMSF 1 the same squad would have nine men with two RPK's, not seven with a single PKM. Technically the driver and gunner of the BMP are the other two squad members (and the third "team"), but since they should stay mounted that doesn't really count.
  20. Yeah, is just using the target line as a LOS tool - there's no actual firing from the command. Obviously the vehicle will have LOS to that square, so there may well be something there to fire at, but that'll be the vehicle's decision.
  21. Yeah, Hull Down is best used like this: The above example is still a little risky (a little over-emphasised for effect) - if the target point can't find a hull down position along the move path, then the tank will move to the end of the Hull Down command regardless - so in this case this would include cresting the hill and over the other side, which could be dangerous. Probably sensible to try to stick the Hull Down waypoint on your side of the hill, so in the worst case it'll either not get LOS, or it'll be partially covered. (The "Target" command in this case will not cause the tank to fire.) Without the target command, the Tank tries to find a Hull Down to that point, and if it can't then it will just complete the move. With the above you can control where your vehicle ends up significantly more accurately. End result of the above:
  22. domfluff

    Demo Feedback

    Sure. The "Split squads" button also divides them very predictably, and usually by doctrine - they divide into the columns that appear in the UI: This Syrian squad from the CMSF 2 demo will always split into two elements with a Split Squads command - one base of fire element with the PKM, and one manoeuvre element with three men and the RPG (so in practice this implies something more like a modern French squad, or a WW2 Commonwealth one). Modern US squads are built symmetrically, as are WW2 Panzergrenadiers, but that's not the case for every nation, formation and time period. Part of the reason for me using "Split Squads" more is that there's no chance of getting the split wrong - you know precisely what you're getting.
  23. domfluff

    Demo Feedback

    Yeah, splitting off scout teams or AT teams from US squads is something I'd only do temporarily. More and more recently I'm finding myself *only* using "Split Squads" - the outcomes are predictable, and the resulting units tend to be self-sufficient if needed.
  24. domfluff

    AT-13 vs AT-14 thoughts

    I suspect the AT-14 is the far better choice for a static, defensive position, but for a mobile mechanised platoon I think the benefits of the AT-13 are considerable, and probably worth losing some penetrative power.
  25. domfluff

    AT-13 vs AT-14 thoughts

    Good point. I was having trouble finding details on both systems' spotting capabilities, but I'd assumed the AT-14 was superior - AT-13 certainly has thermal imaging, which is going to be a lot better than nothing. The issue with using the AT-14 like the Javelin is the mobility I think - I've often used Javelin teams as scouts or with platoons for their spotting (Breaking the Bank in the CMSF 2 demo offers a really good example of this), so having something without the ability to fire shouldered will limit this in practice quite a bit.
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