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About Bozowans

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  1. Very interesting posts. Here's a spoilerific post from the third mission: I just now finally finished it. After the difficulty I had with the second mission, this one was surprisingly easy! It was a massacre. I took only 6 dead and 9 wounded, with one tank lost. The Soviets took about 320 casualties, 27 tanks lost, 35 other vehicles lost and even one of their planes got shot down, crashing a couple hundred meters from the AA half-track that got it. After the big tank battle at the beginning of the scenario had died down a bit, I started advancing a very thin, very widely dispersed infantry skirmish line out on foot across the wide open fields toward the objectives. Since the scenario was an hour and 20 minutes long, there was more than enough time for them to reach the other side of the map just by walking. It was a nice image watching them walk by all the burning T-34s everywhere. The infantry got into a few shootouts with retreating Soviet troops and tank crews, sometimes at very close range, but the resistance was pretty light. By the time my forward scouts had begun encroaching on the final objective, they noticed large numbers of Soviet troops, trucks and a couple of AT guns starting to pull back from the town, heading to the map edge to exit. That was when I ordered one of the Panther companies to speed forward ASAP and cut off their retreat. I had the Panthers encircle the town with one platoon cutting off the road the Soviets would have to cross in order to exit. Whole platoons of infantry got caught out in the open and wiped out. I had the infantry line start running ahead with more tanks to storm into the town, flushing out panicked Soviet troops to be mowed down by the tanks. There were Soviet troops running right past the Panthers just meters away, but they were too panicked to be a threat. Some of their troops got away, but It was a slaughter. Just one of the tanks alone caused 44 casualties. I didn't even use that much artillery, but I had one observer shell the town and some Soviet mortar positions with howitzers, causing 35 casualties. It was an interesting battle.
  2. It's always interesting to read how other people handle these scenarios. I'm only just now getting into the third mission. I played through the first 25 minutes, up to the moment the full kampfgruppe finally shows up. The second mission was pretty hard, so I've been playing extra cautious this time and it seems to be paying off very well. For the first 10-20 minutes I kept all tanks hidden behind buildings while scouts and observers ran ahead to spot T-34s, then run back to report the contacts throughout the chain of command. Meanwhile I was calling in artillery onto some of the T-34s to get them to button up, and only then would I let the Panthers peek around the buildings to try to snipe at the enemy tanks. It worked really well, but I still lost a Panther. A T-34 got a lucky shot and managed to knock out a moving Panther with its first shot from more than 1300m away. Three of the crewmen got roasted, but I've only taken two other men wounded so far, which is crazy considering the huge number of burning T-34s out there. It seems like most of the Soviet armored force has been wiped out already. Those Panthers are monsters - my longest range kill was at 2508m, almost from one edge of the map to the other. Now I just have to decide what to do with the huge masses of reinforcements that just showed up. You get so many troops that it's hard to know what to do with them all. It seems like you could lose tons of men and still have a ridiculously powerful force.
  3. Unless you were under Patton's command I guess. The dude really seemed to love marching fire. From his book "War as I Knew it": "Marching Fire: The proper way to advance, particularly for troops armed with that magnificent weapon, the M-1 rifle, is to utilize marching fire and keep moving. This fire can be delivered from the shoulder, but it is just as effective if delivered with the butt of the rifle halfway between the belt and the armpit. One round should be fired every two or three paces. The whistle of the bullets, the scream of the ricochet, and the dust, twigs, and branches which are knocked from the ground and the trees have such an effect on the enemy that his small-arms fire becomes negligible. Meanwhile, our troops in rear, using high-angle fire, should put out the enemy's mortars and artillery. As I have stated, even if we fail to put out the mortars and artillery, the most foolish thing possible is to stop under such fire. Keep walking forward. Furthermore, the fact that you are shooting adds to your self-confidence, because you feel that you are doing something, and are not sitting like a duck in a bathtub being shot at. In marching fire all weapons must be used. The light machine guns can be used while walking -- one man carrying the belt, the other man carrying the gun. The same is true of the Browning automatic rifle and, of course, as previously stated, the M-1. The 60mm. mortar, advanced by alternate sections, can do much in the same way. The 81mm. usually should support from one position."
  4. I thought this was a neat little encounter from the last scenario I played: I ran a full platoon of Germans up to a stone wall and unexpectedly bumped into a bunch of Soviet stragglers hiding on the other side just a few feet away. Two Germans were gunned down immediately and a point blank firefight broke out. One of the Germans dropped down and tossed a grenade over the wall. The Soviet soldier tried to duck down but the grenade landed literally right underneath him. He went prone directly on top of the grenade, covering it with his body when it exploded. The rest of the Soviet troopers were shot pretty quickly, with no further casualties among the Germans. I couldn't be sure how many more of them were hiding behind the wall though, so tanks and more infantry were rushed forward in the next turn. The fight only lasted a minute or so in the end. I don't think I had ever seen someone toss a grenade at an enemy so close to them in this game before. He could have reached out and touched the other guy. Usually grenades are thrown pretty far and not very accurately either.
  5. I just finished that same mission a couple days ago! I still haven't started the next mission yet. I seem to be a much more aggressive player than you. I took 70 casualties and lost several tanks but I forced a Russian surrender and got a total victory with 15 minutes to spare. They took more than 4 times the casualties that I did, losing 300+ men including around 40 captured and 16 tanks destroyed. Some of those Russian tanks were ridiculously well hidden and hard to spot, even after they had fired. I haven't played the WW2 games in a long time and I had gotten used to the open deserts and advanced optics of Shock Force 2, so it really surprised me to see my tanks blown to bits again and again by invisible T-34s. It was a lot tougher than the first mission. My useless AA half-tracks all got wiped out by the Soviet airplanes as well. Red Thunder is really interesting to me because the Soviet infantry get no real anti-tank capabilities like bazookas or panzerschrecks, so I can be much more aggressive with my tanks. I tried doing "thunder run" style maneuvers, just charging my tanks straight down the city streets at high speed and without infantry support, having them wreak havoc in the Soviet rear areas. Sometimes it worked surprisingly well. You can just drive straight up to enemy occupied buildings and blast them point blank and there's nothing they can do about it. When it came time to assault the objectives, I would lead with the tanks and have the infantry jog along behind, trying my best to use the tanks as cover. The Soviet infantry were mostly helpless and got slaughtered. Those T-34s were brutal though.
  6. I get CTDs in all of the CMx2 games. They will all run fine but then CTD after an hour or two. It seems to have something to do with the shaders. If I turn the shaders off it works fine. Have you tried that? It's annoying but not a huge deal because the shaders look really awful on my computer anyway. Still, the CTDs happen even with the latest patches.
  7. I don't know about Barbarossa but it would be cool if they skipped 1943 and went straight to 1942 instead; where the panzers were still grey and it was right at the height of the war with huge battles like Kharkov leading into the push to Stalingrad. They could make a whole game about Stalingrad and it would be cool. I would imagine that "Combat Mission: Stalingrad" would sell a lot more copies than Barbarossa as well.
  8. I'm playing the 5th mission in the Russian campaign now as well. I seem to have gotten an absurdly lucky hit just now by destroying an Abrams with a single volley of 203mm shells. I wasn't even aiming at the tank either; I was aiming at the building in front of it. I was trying to destroy the buildings around the tank to open up more sight lines to it. The second shell in the very first volley of the fire mission just happened to overshoot the building and land directly on top of the rear deck of the tank. I couldn't see the tank at the time but I could hear that penetration sound effect. Once the dust cleared a few minutes later I saw it: So they can certainly be killed I guess. There are more tanks though and I'm sure that they will not go down nearly as easily as this one did.
  9. Yeah I agree with this 100%. I played some CM1 scenarios not that long ago and it was interesting to see how different it was. It's not just the fortifications either. Troops in moderate or light cover like trees and bushes can be very resilient against even direct HE fire from tanks. In CM2 by comparison, it's not that uncommon to see entire bunched-up squads get vaporized by a single tank shell. CM2 is just much deadlier all across the board, while CM1 is so abstracted that you get casualties very slowly building up over a long period of time. I've felt for a long time that the CM2 engine works better in the modern war setting than it does for WW2. The CM2 engine did start with Shock Force after all. The extreme deadliness of the weapons, the higher degree of control you have over your troops, the high casualties and even the higher numbers of KIA compared to WIA all fit with the modern setting better than WW2. Even that "infantry running away from artillery" behavior that everyone complained about until the recent patch was more appropriate for the modern setting. If there is artillery or HE fire hitting near my infantry in Black Sea, I would WANT them to run away ASAP because chances are they are gonna get turned into meat paste within the next couple of minutes regardless of whether they're in cover or not. Infantry squads are smaller and more spread out in the modern setting too so it makes more sense for them to move around. In the WW2 games though, it makes no sense for a huge line of dozens of infantry to immediately abandon a long trench line and run away just because some mortars start hitting.
  10. Very nice that these are on GOG now. I still have my old CDs for CMBO and CMBB but I seem to have lost CMAK. They don't cooperate on my computer now though. The game's clock doesn't work right and I can't rewind or fast forward the turns. If I even try to rewind the turn, it breaks the game somehow. I wonder why that is. The movement animations for the infantry are messed up too. Other than that, the game runs OK. I can play through a whole scenario as long as I do it in real time and never touch the forward or back buttons. That means I have to play it zoomed way out the whole time and I can't really tell what's going on so the game really isn't very playable. CMBB also has an issue where the framerate is awful unless I alt-tab out of the game and then go back in. Then it runs fine. So many bizarre issues.
  11. Weird stuff like this happens in all the CM games to be honest. It seems to happen most often when units are very close to each other. When I was playing Black Sea one time, one of my Russian BMPs failed to spot an enemy Ukrainian BMP even though it was right out in the open, right in front of it at point blank range (like 50-60m away). The vehicles just sat there for quite a long time doing nothing until I eventually had to bring up an infantry squad in the next turn to blast the enemy BMP with a rocket. The infantry spotted it almost instantly. I remember taking a bunch of screenshots of the whole incident because I was like WTF. Then there will be other times where something will spot an enemy under seemingly impossible circumstances and then blow it up with a crazy trick shot from miles away through a huge forest and out the other side or whatever. These games can be unpredictable like that. I think the devs like it that way.
  12. The main single-player campaigns for Red Thunder have a lot of really huge battles and it can definitely be pretty overwhelming. It's better to play some of the smaller single scenarios first, but once you get to playing the campaigns, you might want to play the Russian one first. The German campaign follows a huge mechanized force and you have dozens of tanks and halftracks packed with troops to deal with. I found it pretty overwhelming to deal with such a huge number of vehicles plus every infantry squad having its own carrier. At least with the Russians, you have mostly infantry and can just move everyone forward in large groups. You don't even have to worry about casualties that much. You just drop down a giant artillery barrage and then start throwing waves of men at the enemy. Remember that you can double click on units to select their entire formation and move them all at once. So if you double click a company HQ, you will select the entire company and you can move everyone together with the same command. That can help quite a bit.
  13. I've seen friendly fire happen a lot in these games when it's at night or dawn/dusk. I've seen squads hose down multiple friendly vehicles like that so I don't think it's a bug. The tank commander really should've buttoned up though. There are rounds cracking just a few inches away from his head. It's not like he would know where they are coming from. In real life he would simply hear a loud CRACK CRACK CRACK CRACK right next to his head and he would instantly duck down out of reflex. I've always thought tank commanders are too slow to button up in these games. I've had guys get killed by friendly small arms fire as well. One time I had a guy crouching next to a hedgerow and he was hosed down by a long burst from a friendly tank at close range. It was at night, there was no other shooting going on anywhere on the map, and no enemies nearby for hundreds of meters. The tank just opened up on its own and killed him out of the blue. In retrospect it might have been a ricochet off the hedgerow berm that actually killed him since other people say that only ricochets can kill friendlies it seems. It was hard to tell though as he was killed almost instantly in a hail of bullets. I suppose it's possible that one of the first bullets passed through him harmlessly, hit the berm, then immediately jumped back and killed him within a split second.
  14. And then Notre Dame burns up... coincidence?
  15. Yeah they don't explode when hit in real life. It's like shooting a metal tank full of water. It just punches a hole in the tank and the fuel starts leaking out. They don't explode in the game either. I saw a WW2 flamethrower demonstration in person once. They are also much more silent than you might think. There is no big WHOOOSH sound like you hear in movies. At least not with the small backpack flamethrowers. Flamethrower duty would still be very dangerous though because you have to get very close to the enemy. It's very hard to use them in CM for that reason. My flamethrower guys either get killed before they get close enough, or the enemy gets killed by other means before they get close enough. So they're useless either way. Even if they don't explode, it would still be really awful to have to carry one in a real war. You can run with them but they're very heavy and awkward to carry and you probably won't be able to react or take cover as quickly. If by some chance you manage to get close enough to use it, then your exact location is instantly broadcast to everyone around you for a mile in every direction, like a giant beacon that says SHOOT ME.
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