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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:


      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
    • Battlefront.com

      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them


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  1. Can two instances of bunching within the first 10 minutes of a stock campaign be a sign of poor design? Maybe all the thorough testing before release didn't pick it up? I highly doubt it. If it was tested a lot before release, this would have been noticed and corrected. I believe this because it happened so early on in the scenario, before the "TacAI" could have got rolling so to speak. Like I said, I'm interested in constructive discourse. Throwing an "incompetent" or "kicked to the curb" in here and there makes things more colorful as long as empirically supported claims are being made. And +1 for Scenario of the Month, great initiative. And now for some bunched smoldering wreakage in a large open map:
  2. True. My charge that the scenario was designed "incompetently" was too harsh. It was borne out of frustration. No I have never attempted to design a scenario. Overall, pointing out problems with AI/scenario design is constructive if the problems are real. I provide two examples in this thread of enemy bunching in the first 10 minutes of a scenario in a stock campaign. This is sufficient empirical evidence that there is a problem. It does not matter if I play the scenario over again and find that the AI does not bunch. The fact is, the AI bunched in two separate instances in the first 10 minutes of the scenario. The problem may be with the AI ("TacAI"), it may be with the scenario design tools, or it may be with the scenario designer's decisions. Given the comments so far, it seems I was wrong to conclude that the problem is solely with the decisions made by the scenario designer. It is all of the above. Perhaps the designer could have split the enemy into smaller groups. Overall the designer for this campaign has done well. But bunching like this really takes the wind out of my sails.
  3. So the consensus here is that this bunching behavior is a symptom of incompetent scenario design. Extra disappointing because this is a campaign sanctioned by BF ("The Charge of the Stryker Brigade", part of the $10.00 Battle Pack). Clearly it was rushed. Just played another turn and sure enough, now the enemy tanks are bunching up unrealistically:
  4. The fact that you were able to post those real world pictures so quickly after reading this post is very impressive. But my point stands regarding the AI/scenario behavior in this particular tactical situation. You're right: the first company to make an AI that approaches the challenge of playing against a human being in a tactical combat game will be unspeakably rich. I think Battlefront can do better, maybe even become leaders in AI performance in the video game industry (most developers are resorting to exclusive multiplayer now anyway because AI is so difficult to do properly). Let's hope that they get more sales so that they can devote more resources to the improvement of AI and scenario design tools.
  5. Here is another example of unsatisfactory, immersion-breaking AI (or design) from the "Charge of the Stryker Brigade" campaign. These four enemy BMPs had not yet been engaged and this is only about six turns into the scenario... in less than a single turn (1 minute) they emerged from behind a hill and clustered together as seen in the picture. One of my javelin teams took one of these out later in the turn. This is highly disappointing. Are there plans to improve AI, or at least to release more competently designed products? I've never designed a scenario before, but this seems so amateur to me (to have a bunch of BMPs simultaneously crest a hill in an exposed position). Perhaps the designer is attempting to model how a panicked Russian force might react, but I simply can't imagine a bunch of Russian BMP drivers doing something like this, even when they weren't sure where the enemy was.
  6. Good points. I think your argument about having more AI-groups is strong (as in the Combat Mission AI thread). That would at least enable scenario designers to circumvent unrealistic AI behavior.
  7. The point I am making is that it is unrealistic to have 3 vehicles parked next to one another on a road in an active combat environment. My artillery has been falling, tanks have been exploding. This would never happen in real life. It is utterly stupid. Do you disagree?
  8. Here is an example of unsatisfactory, immersion-breaking AI from the "Charge of the Stryker Brigade" campaign. These three enemy units had not yet been engaged... they are just hanging out in a group in the middle of a road with their flanks to the enemy (me). Two of their tank friends had been destroyed many minutes before this screen capture was taken. Unacceptable? Yes. Will I continue this mission? Yes.
  9. Tips for spotting AT guns

    Currently playing "Hunting for the bug". Came to this thread to figure out how to deal with tank spotting of AT guns at long range after losing 4 tanks to 2 AT guns in less than 2 minutes (6 tanks lost to the 2 AT guns in total so far). After reviewing the comments, it seems that there are no "tips" for spotting AT guns with tanks: the AT gun will spot your tank first and will destroy it (might be an exception for green AT crews but they're uncommon). In fact, it will spot and destroy many of your tanks first, even if they all have LoS on the guns simultaneously, are unbuttoned, and are dispersed. So my conclusion is that if you are not ok with sacrificing 2-4 tanks and their crews to finally spot and destroy an AT gun, then keep your tanks on standby until the AT guns are dealt with using artillery or infantry. IMO this is not a realistic feature. I have four tanks with LoS on the AT gun positions. The tanks are unbuttoned. When a large 88 mm AT gun fires, I expect crew members with LoS on those AT guns to spot them. But they don't. Anybody know how these situations played out in reality during WWII? My guess is that if AT guns were present, tanks would hide until they were dealt with. Perhaps tanks would fire on the known location of the guns at times from hidden position, although I don't see how this tactic could be used in game because the tanks will be spotted and destroyed with relentless precision.
  10. Increasing WEGO turn time

    Reading the comments, I now believe it stands to reason that increasing turn time would screw with the gameplay. Nevermind.
  11. I greatly enjoy PBEMs (WEGO). However, I wonder whether seasoned veterans of CM2 would support a WEGO mode that enables users to increase turn time. For example, instead of the standard 1 minute turn time, this could be increased to 2 minutes, perhaps up to 5 minutes. So during your turn you would be issuing orders knowing that you would not be able to reissue orders for another 2-5 in-game minutes. The benefits of this increased turn time are: -faster PBEM battles (instead of being drawn out over 3 months, maybe only 1 month) -a new challenge for CM2 gamers, requiring greater foresight and strategic thinking
  12. By the Beautiful Blue Dniepr

    PBEM's are painfully slow indeed. I am currently on Day 79 of a one hour and 30 minute battle in CMBS...
  13. Here's a problem with the way CM2 is coded: if you have an infantry squad being transported in a truck and they take a single casualty, you cannot on the next turn instruct them to get out of the truck. You must watch as the truck reverses and the passengers remain sitting upright in the back, taking more casualties. This doesn't seem right in relation to real life: passengers would jump out immediately if the situation allowed. Having them all panic immediately so that they cannot be controlled seems like a mistake. I wonder if this can be re-coded in future versions of CM2.
  14. Kieme's modding corner

    Kieme - Would it be possible for you to provide an up-to-date list of all CMBS mods that you have created? This thread is nausea-inducing. On a similar note, I have noticed that the popular http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net website only carries 8 of your mods. I'm guessing there are many more Kieme mods given what I have seen in this thread.
  15. New Josey Wales CMFI AAR

    Just to clarify, I am not Josey Wales. His AARs are the best in class and thought that I'd share here. My CM AARs (in the style of Josey Wales) can be found on the "Rational Assessments" youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaREwrCM8yagYu-Gwo3sjBg