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Bozowans

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About Bozowans

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  1. Bozowans

    Update on Engine 4 patches

    I take it that means Shock Force 2 is doing well then? It's a shame to hear about the decline of wargaming. I'm quite young myself and it makes me wonder what wargaming will look like decades down the line (if it doesn't just die out). CM is like the dream wargame I had when I was playing with little toy soldiers and reading history books as a kid. I was amazed when I first saw CM with the 1:1 soldier representation and all that. Seems like one big cause of that decline would just be the sheer number of games there are now. It's like we're living in a golden age of video games where there are thousands and thousands of them to choose from. Someone else mentioned Paradox games like CK2 and EU4, and just those alone can suck hundreds of hours of your life away from you. I've spent way too much time with just CK2. Then there's all these other countless genres that I want to try out now and then. On top of that, people tend to work longer hours these days for less pay, and at least in the USA, the vast majority of people here live paycheck to paycheck or are outright in debt. So who has time to sit down and learn how to play complicated wargames? Gamers these days seem to demand infinite replayability for the cheapest possible price and the lowest possible effort, and it's easy to find some cheap game on Steam for a few bucks until you get bored of it and then go on to the next cheap game. It doesn't seem like there is really any answer to that.
  2. I thought the game was about the post-war counterinsurgency just as much as it is about the initial invasion. There are a number of scenarios in the game already that take place long after the invasion and deal with routine occupation forces running into trouble from insurgents.
  3. I've been reading the book House to House by David Bellavia, about his experiences in Fallujah in 2004. He described the insurgents there using mortars quite effectively, walking fire onto the US forces as they charged into the city. Before the assault, he described an artillery duel they got into with an insurgent spotter. They pulled a Humvee up to a ridgeline outside the city and set up an observation post. Eventually they spotted sunlight glinting off binoculars from an insurgent spotter within the city and called in a fire mission onto the guy's location. The insurgent must have had the same idea because a short while later a mortar exploded almost directly on top of their Humvee. A few minutes later though, the insurgent was turned into pink mist when his position was blown to bits. Outside Fallujah there was a five foot high railroad embankment or berm that traversed the landscape and blocked vehicle access to the city except through certain roads. For the main assault, the US plan was to move up engineers during the night to blast holes into the berm and then rush the main assault battalions through the breach as part of a gigantic headlong charge into the city while it was still dark. Once they made it into the city, the infantry would dismount their vehicles and then assault the nearest buildings. This was of course preceded by a massive days-long air and artillery bombardment that destroyed much of the city. Despite the heavy bombardment and the darkness, the insurgents were able to direct pretty accurate mortar fire onto the masses of US vehicles as they moved through the breaches. Bellavia described looking out the portholes of his Bradley and seeing mortars exploding among their vehicles while they were moving along, so the response times of the insurgents must have been pretty fast. The insurgents timed it so they would hit the US forces with mortars, volleys of RPGs and dozens of IEDs as they charged in, and they knocked out or at least damaged a lot of the US vehicles. Bellavia described seeing a Bradley burst into flames and a lot of the other ones get hit, including his own. The insurgents did have a lot of time to prepare for that battle, but it's interesting reading about what they were capable of. Despite being massively outnumbered and outgunned in every conceivable way by a global superpower, they were still able to cause like 700 casualties to the Coalition forces over the course of that battle.
  4. I may have missed it but I didn't see this talked about anywhere else on this forum. They are all invisible in the setup phase, but the moment you hit go you can see the outlines of every enemy trench on the map even if they haven't been spotted by your units yet. Is that a bug or what? That doesn't happen in the WW2 games. It kind of defeats the point of putting those new trenches in the game instead of the ditches from Shock Force 1 doesn't it? Here's one "spotted" trench piece yet you can still see a ghost outline of the rest of the entire trench system: And another:
  5. Bozowans

    Terrain Description

    Maybe I will! Unless someone else had already made one. A short terrain guide would be very useful for these games. Like in Fortress Italy everyone should know to never, ever drive into those vineyards. Yet you wouldn't know that until you end up losing an entire tank platoon by driving into one. That would cause a lot of frustration if you didn't save your game.
  6. Bozowans

    Terrain Description

    A thick, detailed manual? What, like adding two more pages to it? It wouldn't take much to explain what the terrain types are. And yes it would make the game more approachable. Otherwise you wouldn't get people coming onto these forums just to ask how the game works. Do you dislike strategy guides? Because that's all stuff you're supposed to figure out for yourself through trial and error or something? Is it too much to ask for a picture of mud that says "this is mud - increased risk of bogging"? Or a picture of a potato field that says "this is a potato field"? I can write all this out myself if I wanted. It doesn't have to tell you that this exact type of terrain has a 24.67% increased chance of bogging for this type of tank, and a 37.32% chance for this other type of tank on it. And what do you mean, "those that come prepared like in *real life* have an advantage?" You mean like going into the editor and laying out terrain types and testing them? You can't do that in real life. I'm just not sure why you would deliberately want to make the game more confusing for new players. And for those of you talking about how there a billion different variations of a terrain tile because sometimes there can be stuff on top of it, okay I get that. That's not what I'm talking about though. All I want to know is what the underlying terrain texture is supposed to be. That's it.
  7. Bozowans

    Terrain Description

    It's not like this information is unknowable to the player already. Anyone can open the editor and lay out the terrain types and see what they do themselves. Or they can read about the terrain and their exact mechanics on these forums, so you always know exactly what terrain you're driving over in the game. It's just a pain to do all that. If you're playing multiplayer, this also gives the ultra-grognard types even more of an advantage than they normally would over a new player. The grognards would already know all the hidden mechanics of the game that the manual doesn't tell you because they've gone in the editor and tested every little thing, while a new player would not know any of this and all it does in the end is make the game more un-approachable.
  8. I thought this was an interesting firefight in the last game that I played. Russian troops attempt to cross a bridge under heavy fire from Ukrainian positions across the river. The view from one of the Ukrainian positions: ''' An RPG slams into one of the lead vehicles: Seconds later, another RPG crashes into the middle of the infantry huddled behind the vehicles, causing four casualties: The Russian APCs are all destroyed and the infantry are pinned down behind the vehicles, taking heavy losses. With the APCs down, more Ukrainian infantry emerge from hiding and the defensive fire intensifies. The bridge fills with dead and wounded. The Russians have decided they have had enough and are sent streaming back across the bridge in disarray.
  9. Bozowans

    Terrain Description

    Yeah I agree with this. This game is still kind of abstracted somewhat. This is a video game and you can't 100% perfectly simulate the complexity of real-life terrain in a video game. For example, real terrain is almost never going to be perfectly flat like a pool table. Even mostly flat terrain is gonna have small undulations and curves and objects in it that someone could potentially use as cover. Yet in the game, flat terrain is perfectly flat because it's impossible to simulate terrain to that level of detail. Your guys in the game should have a much better idea of what the terrain looks like than you do. You're just looking at pixels and blurry textures on a screen. Sometimes it's really hard for me to figure out what some terrain tiles are. Is it soft ground or mud or is it just dirt or what? Am I gonna risk bogging my vehicles down if I go across it? If you were standing there in front of it in real life you would know exactly what it is. So why don't they just tell you what each tile is in the manual? We shouldn't have to go into the editor and lay out all the different terrain types and test them ourselves just to see what they do.
  10. Bozowans

    A question about cover

    Yeah that's what makes this scenario hilarious to play. The AI will suicidally charge every last one of their units ahead toward the objective zones, eventually feeding even their HQ units into the meat grinder. Broken squads will retreat a short distance, then recover, turn around, and charge back in again until every last man is wiped out. It always bugged me that units can't rout off the map in this game (yet they could in CMx1 IIRC). In the end it's still a lot of fun to play though. One of my favorite parts: That was a spot where the Russian infantry would turn the corner and then immediately get mowed down by a bunch of my guys a few houses down. Eventually there got to be a nice pile of bodies there. The Russian company commander is lying in there somewhere. I definitely agree with buildings being death traps a lot of the time. Especially in Black Sea where the weapons are so lethal and accurate. The WW2 games are more forgiving. Buildings can be great cover in a straight-up infantry firefight where you're only taking small arms fire at long range, but in Black Sea every infantry squad usually comes with their own vehicle with a big gun. One tank shell or missile or APC autocannon hitting the side of a building from a mile away can shred a whole squad in seconds. So I'll put guys in buildings that have a good keyhole view of the enemy or are otherwise protected from view (like the ground floor of a walled compound). Or I'll put them in there strictly as observers and tell them to hold fire. Otherwise that building will be their tomb.
  11. Bozowans

    A question about cover

    You mean having infantry hug a wall so they look around the corner? That can be tricky to make work sometimes (though I did have an RPG guy take out two APCs by doing that). I meant more like having guys waiting far back down the street, so the enemy gets blasted one at a time as they turn the corner onto the street. Or something like that. Like for example, one of the most successful positions I had on the map was this one down the street by the bridge: That's the view from the window that one of my RPG guys was shooting out of. He could sit there and fire at each APC as they crossed the bridge one by one and none of them could fire back before they were hit.
  12. Bozowans

    A question about cover

    I finally got around to playing that scenario and it went surprisingly well! It was pretty nerve-racking seeing the huge Russian force bearing down on me but I ended up with a total victory and forced a Russian surrender with 5 minutes left on the clock. That was a really intense battle. It took me days to play it though. One thing I can say for sure is that the positions that most of your troops start out in are really, really bad. I could tell right away that they start out way too exposed. I ended up spending a crazy long time just in the setup phase, reorganizing the entire defense and moving most of my troops around including the foxholes. Probably the most important thing IMO is to find keyhole positions or positions around corners, so that you can engage their units one at a time as they come into view. Keyhole positions are such a pain for an attacking force to deal with. I had several good spots where my RPG teams could fire until they ran out of ammo and had to run back to get more. I had one platoon covering the western bridge, another covering the southern approach, and the other farther back inside the town. The first wave of Russians headed toward the western bridge, and I had a few RPGs plus an ATGM all set to open fire the moment the first vehicle got to the other side. Within a few minutes the bridge was covered with burning wreckage, with the Russian infantry pinned down behind their vehicles. With the vehicles down, I sent up a few of the BTRs and some more infantry and counterattacked them, sending the Russian infantry streaming back across the bridge in disarray, right into an artillery barrage. I took surprisingly few casualties. A handful of Russians managed to get across the bridge and into the outlying buildings and gunned down three of my men, but they were dealt with quickly. The second and much larger Russian attack came a few minutes later from the south. With the Russians around the bridge destroyed, I was able to shift my entire force over to the south to deal with the new threat. This force was much harder to deal with and they managed to penetrate into the town somewhat. I took most of my casualties here. Still, I was able to whittle them down piece by piece, and as more of their vehicles were destroyed, they became more and more open to counterattacks. I found the BTRs to be surprisingly useful. I had them zipping back and forth all throughout the battle, resupplying and shuffling men around, and using them to counterattack exposed Russian infantry. The BTRs are also capable of destroying the Russian MT-LBMs if they get the jump on them. My BTRs caused about 27 enemy casualties between them and I lost two of them, one to a stray artillery shell and one to a tank shell. Toward the end of the battle I had three of the BTRs circle around together and attack a bunch of Russian infantry in the flanks, wiping out a couple of squads. The Russians managed to get a toehold in one of the objective zones, but as the clock ran out I started counterattacking them much more aggressively, throwing them back out of the objective again and forcing their surrender. At the end, they only had one MT-LBM left and one badly damaged tank with a busted targeting system and broken crew. The end result:
  13. Bozowans

    Update on Engine 4 patches

    A lot of other game developers release small "hotfix" patches for their games if they find an important issue. Like a patch that just fixes one thing. It makes me wonder why Battlefront never does anything like that. I would rather download several small patches over time than wait two years for one big one.
  14. They're going to patch this behavior at some point. No idea when though. In engine 4.0 they made it so troops break cover and run away when they take any kind of HE fire. It's really annoying sometimes. I can spend ages laying out a careful defensive plan, putting my guys in good keyhole positions and so on, but then the moment a stray mortar round lands nearby, my guys immediately abandon these carefully thought-out positions and start running around all over the place, giving their positions away, exposing themselves to more fire, and putting the entire defense at risk. It can be silly to watch. The safest place to be when there are shells flying about is lying down at the bottom of your holes, not running around dammit! I can see why they would add that in, as it makes sense that guys would get up and run for cover if they are caught out in the open in an artillery barrage. The problem is that they do it when they are in trenches and foxholes too. The game doesn't make any distinction between cover and no cover. I've been avoiding the WW2 games because of this. They seem to have fixed it in Shock Force 2, and I've been seeing infantry behave a lot more reasonably there.
  15. You can play any scenario for PBEM, but some of them are not balanced for it. On the description for each scenario in the main menu, some of them might say "H2H only" meaning that it was only designed for head-to-head multiplayer, either in real time or PBEM. That usually just means that the scenario designer made both sides evenly matched, so that both players have an even chance to win. A typical H2H scenario might be a meeting engagement where both sides are pretty much identical. Like for example, each player has one platoon of tanks and one company of infantry, and they all have to fight over one objective in the middle of the map. You could also just do a PBEM Quick Battle where each player picks their own forces out of a list. If a scenario says "Blue vs AI only" or something like that, it usually means that the strength of the Red force has been given a big boost to provide more of a challenge against the AI. If you try to play one of those scenarios in PBEM, the Red player will have a huge advantage. Likewise, if you try to play a "H2H only" scenario in single-player, it will probably not be very challenging due to the AI not being as competent as a human player would be. Real warfare is never perfectly balanced though, and it can be just as fun to play any of the other "non-H2H" scenarios in PBEM. I still haven't tried Black Sea in PBEM, but I've had some good fun with PBEM in the WW2 games.
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