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Kaunitz last won the day on November 10 2018

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About Kaunitz

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  1. By comparison, here are examples that show villages (in Bavaria) before and after major land consolidations (compare the pictures on the right hand side): https://www.historisches-lexikon-bayerns.de/Lexikon/Flurbereinigung ----------- PS: If you can speak german, there is a cute little documentation on youtube. If you can't, maybe it still inspires you as a mapmaker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC2HljwiVK0
  2. The question whether the terrain was more compartmentalized (thanks, Bud Backer ) in the 1930s and 40s than today is an interesting question. I.e. were there more line-of-sight blocking features 80 years ago than what the modern google street-view map suggests? I don't think one should draw any broad conclusions. The first question one needs to ask: what constitutes a field? What we "gamers" typically consider to be a field - a piece land that grows one type of crop, its boundaries marked by some hedgerow or farmtrack - in fact usually consists of several parcels. These parcels are clearly discernable in cadastral maps and they can but don't need to be the property of a single farm. So, if the amount of land that a single farm cultivates increases, that does not automatically mean that the number of "fields" cultivated by that farm increases - it can also mean that the farm simply cultivates more parcels within the existing structure of fields? And then again one also needs to ask whether it would be that easy to bring about the merging of several fields? There are certainly administrative obstacles...? Now, I'm fully aware that the situation may differ greatly depending on where in Europe you look at (for example, when trying to create a map for CM:BS, I found that the fields in modern day Ukraine are really gigantically huge!). But I think it's a good idea to come up with a comparison: Here is a village in Luxembourg as shown on a cadastral map from 1811-1831 [!] (source: https://map.geoportail.lu/theme/main?fid=256_590&version=3&zoom=14&X=694162&Y=6366435&lang=en&layers=256&opacities=0.25&bgLayer=basemap_2015_global - * you need to click the sector south-east of the currently selected one, can't get the proper link to work!) https://imgur.com/a/g56dmNp Here is the modern satellite view: https://imgur.com/a/XlFRROc Here, I tried to blend the two views (black lines = roads/paths from the cadastral map; green lines = green lines of the cadastral map - probably hedgerows?) https://imgur.com/a/KOQIRQu For me, it seems as if very little has changed. The structure of the parcels is almost the same. One could also compare the aerial recon photos (Ian Daglish's books, mostly concentrated on northern France, include many views) with the modern day landscape.
  3. Kaunitz

    Demo Feedback

    I assume it has already been mentioned somewhere: I'd like to point out that IFV/tank crews automatically opening up to reload weapon systems (.50 cal? ATGMs) is quite problematical.
  4. Not to go too far offtopic, but my summary is overly short. The author mentions how he was on the fringe of panicking too and in fact the MG position (3 men, not just the author) only held out because another guy (who died in the process) brought back-up barrels. It's certainly true that one needs to question the intention behind eyewitness accounts (or rather "memories"), but you need to make up your own picture by reading the whole passage yourself before you raise such an accusation.
  5. Here's a short extract from Günter K. Koschorrek, Blood Red Snow. The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front. I found it interesting as it describes a situation in which an enemy attack could be observed from a large distance. The autor was a heavy machine-gunner, defending a position (bunker with MG, autor's HMG in foxhole on the right side of the bunker, the "light" (rifle) platoons in trenches on the left side of the bunker, 1 ATG behind a heap of earth). As I improve the field of fire in front of my HMG with Franz Kramer, the first enemy artillery rounds scream in towards us. The barrage is not directed at anything in particular – “A bit of disruptive fire,” says Waldi, who is standing in a foxhole to my side and behind me and is scanning the rolling hills in front of us with his field glasses. After a little while I hear him yell, “Bloody hell! They are coming at us like a swarm of ants!” I look through the telescopic sight and see them too. The Soviets are moving towards us like an army of termites, hell-bent on destruction. Waldi estimates that the range is still three or four kilometres. They’re moving slowly, at an almost leisurely pace, but they are making progress at a constant speed. They could be on us in about an hour’s time. After a few minutes, however, we decide that the mass of troops is not moving directly at us, but rather towards our right. “Looks like they might actually pass by us,” I say. “I don’t think so,” says Waldi. “We’ll probably just catch his right flank.” In the meantime the Russian guns are firing further ahead, pounding the vacant terrain immediately in front of their slowly moving infantry. Waldi is right: if they continue in this manner, we will brush their right flank. The first thing is that we mustn’t move, but when they get dangerously close we should open fire. Waldi agrees. The Leutnant sees it differently. He calls over to us and says that both machine guns should open fire now. “That’s crazy! At a range of one and a half kilometres it is a total waste of ammunition – and we will give away our position,” says Waldi, annoyed. So I wait. But then the other weapon opens up, so I fire off a belt too. The brown mass in front of us doesn’t stop for a moment, but continues forward as if nothing has happened. Then my gun jams. The autor then made his way to the nearby bunker to fetch replacement barrels and when he was on his way back to the foxhole, the German position was attacked by 3 tanks. The ATG fired one shot and was taken out. The light platoons and the crew of the bunker paniced and took to their heels (from other memoirs, it's interesting to note that these instances of "tank shock/panic" seem to have been quite common...). The Soviet tankers opened hatches to toss grenades into the bunker. The autor made its way back to the HMG foxhole, where the barrel was constantly jamming, while the Soviet infantry was getting dangerously close and laying rifle fire on the MG foxhole. In the last moment, the autor gets the MG working again and pins down some 60 Soviet infantrymen at a distance of just 50m and, as the German infantry had rallied and returned to its positions (after the Soviet tanks had somehow been taken out by ATGs...), these Soviet infantrymen then surrendered and the engagement was over.
  6. That's the reason why I don't play meeting engagements and prefer clear attack/defend roles. I don't think that meeting engagements make plausible CM scenarios, as they're something for the operational, not the tactical level. Yes, there are certainly more and less interesting slices of real terrain when it comes to gameplay. Which brings me back to my question what makes a good map. Like Bulletpoint said, it's about creating meaningfull decisions for the player. Obviously, the compartialisation (does this word even exist?) of a map, i.e. its break-up into several smaller "theaters" or compartments, plays a major role here as it forces the player to make decisions: Which one of the small theaters will he choose for his advance, how many troops to assign to each of the smaller theaters, Will it be easy to shift troops/reinforcements from one theater to the other once the battle has started, etc. The obvious way to achieve compartialissation is to separate theaters by using line-of-sight-blocking terrain features. On the other hand, one could argue that the limits on effective weapon ranges can also create (fluid) theaters. If you position this unit over here, it will not be effective over there. This kind of compartialisation by unit or weapon systems rather than by map is something that players can rarely experience in CM because the maps/compartments are not large enough. It turns the "approach" into a distinct phase of the battle, dominated by MGs, artillery and other long range fires. Also, compartialisation by terrain does automatically tell us anything about the size of the individual compartments. A single compartment can be 100x200m or 400x800m. And the size of compartments will play a major role on how the engagements play out, especially on their intensity and lethality (also: chance to withdraw) and the usefullness of different weapon systems. Unless we’re speaking about special regions like mountains, cities or extended woods or marshes, the “compartments” of your standard european countryside landscape are of course very variable, but generally speaking relatively large. That's why I've started this map-experiment. To create a map with (neccessarily fewer, as I want to finish the map at some point) but larger compartments, simply because I think that such maps are blatantly underrepresented in CM. I think it might even open up some new decisions for players, or at least put more emphasis on them: At which (of the many) targets to fire? How many units should fire? At what range should they open fire? And on a more general note, I also think that larger compartments are a bit easier on the players' minds. Small compartments put a lot of stress on the players (and the pixeltruppen, of course). It's the typical Combat Mission anxiety, claustrophobia or paranoia: http://community.battlefront.com/topic/133561-bit-of-a-ramble-on-how-cm-works-on-the-mind/ . At short ranges, any wrong step (or bad luck at spotting) is instantly lethal. If longer ranges are involved, the game is a bit less about ambushing. In more generously scaled compartments in the more typical, gently rolling countryside, the number of keyhole positions that can overwatch at short ranges should is a bit smaller. At least that's my conviction after driving through the Luxemburg countryside for a few hours on google maps streetview, measuring distances. Obviously for infantry it's easier to create ambush situations - simply because it can hide much better even in otherwise relatively open terrain than vehicles, But here, concealment (low to the ground, not blocking LOS at other parts of the map) is sufficient.
  7. Kaunitz

    Improvement suggestions

    As I've mentioned you can make use of the already exisiting pause-feature to give your units time to rally. I suggested it because it would be the easiest way to get the desired results (letting players decide if they want to move fast or deliberately with stops AND giving them close control over the path of movement) without adding new switches and buttons and whatnot to the game.
  8. +1 And I'd also be interested to take a look at the Ardennes map if it can be found somewhere. I fully agree to what you say. A good map should be balanced (according to the scenario or quickbattle conditions - if the scenario is assymetrical that's fine, of course) AND believable. That's why I don't think it's a crime if a mapmaker anticipates how the players will look at his map and tries to prevent a design that is inherently imbalanced/not fun for the players. I need to point out that, when it comes to breaking immersion, the edge of the map is one of the worst offenders. That's one of the reason why I feel the urge to have a certain minimum size for maps and try to prevent cut-offs. -------- More generally, I'd be interested to know what you would consider to be a good/fun to play map? Immersion/realism is probably a no-brainer. But can you name what makes the tactical appeal of a map? I will try to formulate some points myself.
  9. Interesting point and you might be on to something. With a gently rising canopy of leaves, this should be impossible, as the leaves -not the micro-terrain on the ground or tree trunks - block the lines of sight into the wood consistently. Thanks for the link! Cool stuff. I will also try to read up on some of the more mobile phases of WWII that you've listed. Re Map: Yes, I guess I'm prone to over-egging. But for me that's also part of the fun and experience. Scrutinizing how well the game's maps can represent real landscapes. This of course also applies to mere aesthetics that have no influence on the tactical gaming-experience at all. But when it comes to distances and foliage, I think these aspects are functionally important. On the picture, it does look like any unit in between the tree-trunks could be spotted quite easily, while on the real photograph, you'd be very safe from discovery because of the dense wall of foliage and the shadows cast by the canopy (the concealment effect of shadow is something that is abstracted into the "wood"-micro-terrains, which fails as soon as you stand up ^^). I haven't found a good way to simulate this effect, other than by using (chaotically and randomly placed) bocage fences. Generally speaking, I think that discussing things like these with the aim to bring the maps functionally (not just aesthetically) closer to real landscapes, is a good idea. I just wished I knew a bit more about the things that shape landscapes (I've no clue at all when it comes to agriculture or forestry....). All I can do is drive around in google streetview, measure distances, compare with WWII maps. I do think that some long-range scenario would be a nice addition to the pool of maps and scenarios currently available. Longer ranges are certainly realistic (which doesn't mean that short ranges aren't), and I also think they would give players a refreshing experience, with the role of some weapons becoming a bit clearer (e.g. MGs) and some aspects of the game becoming a bit more important than they usually are (finer graduation of suppression, aiming is more important, armor values/distance to target more important, movement under long range fire is sometimes still possible, firing without being immediately spotted, etc). In my last test, a AT-gun-bunker was duelling with a platoon of Shermans. At longer ranges, the Shermans had quite some troubles to hit and crack it. Longer distances also makes some problems stand out more though (tanks area-firing at not-yet-shared targets only sighted by infantry is a quite huge problem, infantry seems to spot much better at those longer distances).
  10. Kaunitz

    Improvement suggestions

    Interesting thing! I can clearly see how usefull it would be in urban environments ("Use that front door but please don't stop - or moonwalk - for 5 seconds out in the open!!"). But if anything like this is to be implemented, I think it would need to stay as simple as possible, without "checkboxes" that is. What about making infantry behave like vehicles by default, so that they move "through" waypoints without stopping. We already have a means to stop them temporarily or permanently (pause-order/pause-button/delete movement orders). - -
  11. This is indeed a problem. But it's not a deal-breaker and I think that all maps suffer from it. Especially ditches/small elevations that run diagonally across the map are an ugly thing, but there's really nothing you can do against it (if you know a trick please tell me! ). It's also true that the flatter /more gently sloped the landscape is, the more dead ground you create by implementing even a very small 1m-height feature or a simple hedge. First of all: Thanks for all the ideas you bring up! I still remember you, by the way! (http://community.battlefront.com/topic/125196-wip-mapscenario-taming-the-watchdog/?tab=comments#comment-1714589 I wonder though to what extent these mission-descriptions would apply to a WWII-setting. There are certainly people around who are more informed on these matters than me and maybe my picture of WWII-warfare is off (so pls correct me!), but as far as I know, WWII in north-western Europe and on the Eastern Front was still characterized by front lines, rather than the manoeuvre of "main bodies". So, apart from the early stages in which the frontlines were forming up (or failed at that...), I suppose that recon played a relatively small role in the main theaters of WWII? "If the enemy is not in that village anymore, he has probably retreated to the next one. If not, we just continue to advance until we get shot at...". But in a modified form, a "guard" or "delay" mission seems very plausible: as far as I know, WWII front lines, especially the German ones, were defended rather thinly but very deeply. The idea was pretty much to "slow down" the enemy with deposable infantry to prevent him from striking through the line (and wreak havoc among your support assets and your artillery) and in order to buy time to get your counter-strike-force ready to attack the enemy while he was still vulnerable/committed to the attack. The fear of the counter-attack is a very common theme in any WWII account. But then again I don't see why I should not also port this map over to CM:BS once it is finished! I will open up a CM:BS threat once I'm ready for the port. We can then discuss what kind of action would provide a suitable scenario for the map in more detail. At first glance though I have to say that I fear that my map will be to small for modern warfare. The narration you've described fits your map - which is larger (3328m x 1920m) - but I think we will find it difficult to come up with a plausible scenario for my 1.5 x 2km map. I've had all these troubles with modern warfare before (see threat linked above). But of course I could extend the map. ----- May I ask though whether your map is scaled 1:1 to the original? It's really hard to compare real pictures with ingame screenshots, but I do think I see some difference in the 2 pictures that you've posted? I know I'm extremely nitpicky (that's why I've started my own map! ) but doesn't the map looks smaller/denser than the real picture? For example, the house on the left seems to be at a distance of perhaps 4-5 action spots (32-40m) from the street, while on the real picture, it looks like it's farther away? It also seems as if you can't look as far on the map as you can on the picture? The trees on the horizon on the map seem to be larger (closer) than those on the real picture? I don't know whether they're already finished, but I would also suggest to add some concealment to the wood on the right or to woods in general. I've found bocage-tiles quite handy for that, in combination with terrain that offers some undergrwoth (light/heavy forest) and a sloping canopy (short trees at the edge, tall trees in the center of the wood). If you just place trees on light or heavy forest tiles, the effect is not really convincing. From my experience, soldiers that stand up are taller than the fortest-tile's terrain effect and thus can be seen quite easily if they're not blocked entirely by treetrunks or the trees' foliage. This can lead to ugly situations in which units can spot deeply into a wood. Also, thick vegetation at a wood's edge looks nice.
  12. Wait until you see the map before you decide how it feels. If the map is any good, it will feel natural AND turn out to be balanced (according to the idea of the scenario and/or as a quickbattle map).
  13. In CM:BS, Electronic Warfare does have a point cost. The only issue is that it needs to be set by the player who sets up the game, so both players know whether the enemy has EW or not. http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/thefgmforum/threads/opponent-wanted-cm-bs-tiny-small-quickbattle-on-medium-large-map.28262/#post-259796
  14. WIP: Working on woods This is the best "mixed" wood I could come up with. I tried to create a rising canopy, with shorter trees at the edges and taller trees as you proceed depper into the wood. The wood is not without problems: generally speaking, the trunks of CM trees are much too thick. I suppose it's necessary as an abstraction as the maximum number of trees you get per 8m² is 3). Also, the foliage/crowns of almost all CM trees are located very low/close to the ground. This means that lines of sight are unnaturally short in CM woods, wheras in most real woods, the situation "on the ground" is characterized by bare trunks - all the foliage is high up in the canopy of leaves. In CM:FB, there are two (cornifer) trees that feature tall trunks - tree E & H - but these are significantly taller than the other trees, so combining them looks a bit weird. It would be so great if map-designers had access to de-foliaged trees. Note that although the woods are cut off by the edge of the map, they are still large enough so that infantry has some space in it and is not trapped against the adge (so that the wood can not be saturated by artillery that easily). Small sidenote: In chapter 14 of Charles B. MacDonald, Company Commander. The Classic Infantry Memoir of WWII, you can read how firebreaks were significant features for orientation in woods. --------------------- WIP: View from the farm to the wooded hill (left) and orchard (right).The distance to orchard is ca. 1 km. Note the "gentleness" of the slope. There will be some hedges and ridges separating the individual fields. -------------------- In the potential scanerio, the German reinforcements (probably a platoon of PG in halftracks and/or trucks, 1-2 tanks/Stugs) will arrive on a road that leads through a narrow ravine between two hills (the same road will also be the exit objective). If the german player wants to evade the bottleneck (the ravine's exit), his troops will master a very steep road through the woods:
  15. @SeinfeldRules I just realized I've already taken a look at your maps some time ago! And I found them really great! Especially "Amongst the Ruins" stuck to my mind as the most beautiful urban map I've seen so far! And your Mine Mill Mountain! Your more agricultural maps were also created with a lot of love and astonishing attention to detail. The only issue I have with them is that they're very small, so I'm afraid that the "cutoff" problem applies for me.