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Kaunitz last won the day on November 10 2018

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About Kaunitz

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  1. Uh, I've heard the word Primosole! Slightly off topic, but if you want more info about the context, take a look at my scenario project: http://forums.lnlpublishing.com/threads/the-battle-for-catania-primosole-bridge-sicily-july-1943.5326/#post-30142 (post with pictures of the actual bridge shortly after the battles)
  2. Short note on the adjust tool: I had to discover that it unfortunately does affect the overall slope as the editor recalculates all heights after every "height input". So the way to do it is still very tedious: I first "lock in" the initial (calculated by the editor) transitions (all points where one height is adjacent to a different height). And then I fill in the rest in between them. I'm a bit busy right now, I will come back to this project as soon as possible.
  3. I think this is correct. But don't overestimate the number of PG battalions that were actually armored ("gepanzert"). Most were just motorized, as far as I know. Do these armored PG btns have a rarity rating? ---- From my understanding, Panzergrenadiere are not called "Panzer" (armored/tank) because they themselves were armored (which wasn't the case very often), but rather because they were the infantry that formed part of the armored divisions (Panzer-Divisionen), who themselves were a mix of tank regiments (Panzer-Regimenter) and infantry regiments (Panzer-Grenadier-Regimenter). Accordingly, in the early stages of the war, the infantry in armored divisions were just called "Schützen Regimenter" (rifleman/fusilier regiments) and had the same corps colour as the tankers (i.e. pink). Later on they were re-named into "Panzergrenadiere" and received their own special corps colour (green).
  4. Well yes, it seems as if many nations had roughly a similar idea. Assault artillery were pretty much the tanks of infantry formations and were often distributed in very small junks - even down to single vehicles! - among individual infantry units. Proper tanks (or the British cruiser tanks), by contrast, were preferably used in massed armored formations as an exploitation force. So it's also an operational difference. Understandably, this aspect is not really present in the tactical engagements portrayed by Combat Mission games. What I wonder is why it was still deemed neccessary to keep at least some of the weird self propelled howitzers. For example: As a reason for the design of the german Sturmhaubitze (assault howitzer), one can often read that the new, long-barreled StuG-designs could no longer fill their former infantry support role as well as the early, howitzer designs had. So what is it exactly that makes a vehicle better suited for infantry support? Does this just refer to the stronger punch of the howitzer against defensive positions? Was the difference between the 75mm gun and the 105mm howitzer really as big to warrant a separate vehicle?
  5. I sometimes ask myself how often these kinds of close quarter ambush positions were really used. To me, they seem a bit suicidal. True, you might knock out a few enemies, but your chance to get away after that (or to get away with a crew-served weapon) were probably rather slim? I would not volunteer to man an ATG that was supposed to fire at tanks at close quarter. Setting up troops in highly "effective" but suicidal positions is something that can't really be prevented in CM. Pixeltruppen don't have a high degree of tactical awareness and no will of their own except when panicking. That's not to say that it never happened in reality. Fanatic or naive units sometimes did set up in suicidal positions. Some of them were not even "effective", as demonstrated by an example quoted and translated from Joseph Klein's book "Fallschirmjäger", from the chapter on the third battle of Monte Cassino:
  6. Yes, I spent a bit more time on internet research and, for example, found this info on one of the more common german fuzes, which would also trigger when the shell just grazed: http://michaelhiske.de/Allierte/UK/Handbook/Pamphlet12/12_003.htm So it seems that close support (i.e. well armored, directly firing) low velocity assets* posess only few advantages: higher explosive power - this was their main advantage; they were required to be capable to collapse a house with only a few shots; this can also be handy in CM games against enemy positions behind houses...; in order to achieve the same explosive power with a long-barreled gun, you'd need to bring a huge calibre, which would not fit into any tower or hull... firing above the heads of friendly infantry (that's a rather questionable advantage...) better at targeting positions on reverse slopes (but again, these assault howitzers were supposed to fire directly...) Disadvantages: less accurate/harder to aim (they would typically "bracket" their target) smaller armor penetration power (but they often had a stock of hollow charge rounds; also the high HE power of HE howitzer shells would often manage to disable enemy tanks in some way) slower reloading (in some cases, the cartridge and the shell were separate) ................... * How common these were is another topic. I'm refering to self propelled howitzers like the german early (short barreled) StuGs (7.5cm howitzer), later on the StuHs (10.5cm howitzer), the Sturmpanzer (15cm howitzer). The Russian SU-122 (12.2cm howitzer), SU-152 (15.2cm howitzer). As an "infantry tank", the early British Churchills (I, II) also came with a 76mm howitzer. The US had their M8 motor howitzer carriage (7.5cm howitzer) and a 10.5cm howitzer vairant for the Sherman. Generally speaking, the history of "assault artillery" (german "Sturmartillerie", slightly similar to the British "infantry tank" concept?) is a rather confusing topic. I understand that these units were more often found as part of infantry formations than as part of tank formations, although by no means exclusively. (Some of the later/long-barreled StuGs were just used like tanks in tank formations; The US. assault howitzers were assigned to tank regiments). They were also organised as artillery, not as tank formations (german StuGs in batteries and battalions) They were supposed to support infantry, primarily in the attack. They would target MG nests, ATGs, artillery positions and other positions that prevented the infantry's advance, especially if these targets were for some reason out of the friendly artillery's reach. The StuH proved to be very effective at fighting these positions up to a range of ca. 3.500m. Thanks to their high explosive power, they were particularly usefull against strong enemy positions and/or buildings. Unlike "proper" self-propelled artillery, assault howitzers were used for direct firing and therefore had to operate close to or at the front line (--> heavy armor required). They were also expected to fill the AT role if needed. While most early designs' howitzers/guns were quite capable of dealing with any enemy tank in the early stages of the war, the armor race meant that assault howitzers quickly fell behind. Some designs (StuGs) were updated accordingly with high velocity guns at the cost of the howitzer's higher explosive power. I aslo suppose that their AT role was more pronounced in the attack - in the defense, the infantry would preferably rely on its ATGs? Unlike tanks, assault howitzers were not supposed to carry out an attack on their own. So I suppose they were used in the way that most CM players are already using tanks right now. This also meant that the side armor was not such a big concern for assault howitzers as it was for tanks.
  7. Here's one more thing I keep asking myself. Again, I have no real info on it except for what the internet tells me. I'm just wondering: Did HE shells fired by high velocity guns explode as reliably as those fired by low velocity guns? The reason I'm asking is that one could assume that the flat angle does not trigger the impact fuze as reliably? I mean the tank's muzzle is quite high up (-->tower), which helps to increase the impact angle? But at longer ranges (angle becomes smaller) or if the target is at the same height as the muzzle, there might have been problems, especially if the ground was soft...? I have no clue at what angles those impact fuzes stopped working...? This would perhaps be an important aspect for the differentiation between high velocity and low velocity assets (e.g. assault howitzers) in the game? Interesting link on the different explosive charges: https://www.quora.com/Could-WW2-anti-tank-guns-fire-HE-shells-like-normal-guns-could-or-were-they-less-effective-for-firing-this-type-of-shells Types of fuzes, impact angles: http://www.poeland.com/tanks/artillery/fuzes.html // dispersion pattern: http://www.poeland.com/tanks/artillery/dispersion.html PS: It seems that some HE shells during WWII were already equipped with more sophisticated fuzes that were also triggered if the shell just grazed (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_fuze --> "double-acting fuze"). I wonder how common these more sophisticated fuses were.
  8. Thanks for all the info so far, guys! So it seems as if my assessment about artillery was roughly right? Regarding guns (long barrel, high velocity) and howitzers (short barrel, low velocity), there would be differences in the firing angle and the explosive power. The angle is not portrayed in CM (both come in at a very steep angle). The angle matters as it would create dead ground that artillery can't reach (depending on the terrain and the distance and position/relative height at which the arty is firing), it would affect the chance to hit into trenches, and also it would determine the chance for riccochet fire (coming in at a very flat angle, shells with delay-fuses would bounce off the ground before exploding, resulting in a more effective air burst). We're unsure whether howitzer shells have a higher explosive power in CM compared to gun shells of the same calibre. Regarding the germans, I don't think that the scale is a real issue (batteries vs. battalions/Abteilungen). You can just buy more batteries to simulate a battalion. Would you really prefer not to have battery-strength "un-organic" (i.e. not including the infantry's regimental guns) artillery assets available during force selection? From this and the fortifications thread, I also take away that some people are of the opinion that artillery (and also indirectly firing mortars??) is too accurate and should not be allowed to fire "line" or "point" missions in WWII titles. It seems reasonable to me, but of course it should be backed up by actual data. The question of calibre size is also an interesting topic. The overall lack of fortifications makes larger calibres less worthwhile. Just a small example (from wikipedia): The StuG III's long-barreled 7.5cm gun fired shells containing 0.68 kg of explosives, while the StuH's (assault howitzer) short barreled 10.5cm howitzer fired shells containing 1.75kg explosives (shrapnel would be effective up to 10m to the front and 35m to the sides of the explosion). So the difference is much larger than the calibres suggest. The howitzer fired more than double the amount of explosives. Another aspect that needs to be pointed out: In reality, troops in proper defensive positions would seek shelter in their dugouts during artillery barrages and return to their fighting positions after the shelling. This is a kind of large scale suppression typically caused by the massed artillery rolling barrages that so often preceeded an attack, with the attacking infantry hoping to overcome the enemy's fighting positions before the enemy had even returned. It's not handled by the game's suppression mechanics, but by the player giving orders to move to and from the dugouts. The problem with this is that crew-served weapons cannot be "remounted" in CM for some reason. It has been pointed out several times already in another context (many people would like to have a "fire and immediately hide/flee to safety" option). As a result, the crews have the choice between taking shelter and effectively losing their weapon or staying and getting killed.
  9. By the way, in case you haven't seen it, here is an interesting video on Soviet fortifications (starting at ca. 42:35): https://youtu.be/44KzYWq_3gw?t=2555
  10. Apart from a lack of properly working fortifications, map design plays a large part here too. A realistic map offers lots of small options for cover. It's hard to model that on maps, as the smallest height increment at your disposal is 1 meter and it also affects the neighbouring tiles. What is more, quickbattle maps typically lack important features like road embankments and drainage or irrigation ditches. Also, most quickbattle maps (except urban environments, of course) are way too "dense" with very short lines of sight. Fighting is always happening at point blank range, at which modern weapon systems are an overkill.
  11. I'm sorry but the main problem with trenches remains that they hardly provide any protection, especially against artillery. Also, as they protrude from the ground, they tend to "catch" direct fire HE shells which would otherwise pass harmlessly above a well placed trench (no wall/hill immediately behind it)? This is also where low velocity guns (infantry support tanks/howitzers) should have a slight edge over high velocity guns. The networks of fortifications you mention are impossible in CM quickbattles. All fortifications except for TRPs and wooden bunkers (all soft factors set to a minimum to reduce points - an oversight?) are horribly overprized. It is as if they have been deliberately taken out of the game. Why should I buy so many broken and overprized assets? While fortifications should cheaply funnel the opponent into your troops' kill zone, it's the other way round in CM: securing an area with a half-way functionable wire obstacle (1 line or wire + 1 line of mines; which is still less than what you would see in reality) costs more points than securing the same area with troops. To make fortifications (and related stuff, like engineers!) viable options in quickbattles, I think their point cost would be reduced to a third at minimum! Who buys an AT mine for 25 points that covers a single square (8x8m) and doesn't even trigger reliably?! It's a much better investment to spend the points of 3-4 mines (covered area: 24-32m - lol) on an anti tank gun. Generally speaking, I'd also like to point out that properly priced mines would also help to make H2H quickbattles less (anti)tank-dominated. Of course it's true that trenches should not be invincible against artillery. Especially mortars with their steep trajectories are dangerous for trenches. But I'd argue that the hit rate in the game is over the top. It would take more shells/longer to score hits into a trench. Here is a little diagram I've made for modern mortars: http://community.battlefront.com/topic/123157-improvement-suggestions/?do=findComment&comment=1763553 In his book "On Artillery", Gudmundsson quotes some interesting data from an article in the US. field artillery journal from 1916, which mainly helps to show how howitzers with their more arced trajectories were better at hitting into trenches. Of course it's hard to properly evaluate such tests (what is a "standard trench"?), but I haven't been able to find any other data on this topic. Generally speaking, I think the game would profit a lot if you actually had to suppress enemy positions and assault them, rather than sit it out while your FO calls pinpoint arty on them and knock them out. Also, you will never see infantry in trenches getting rolled over by tanks (letting the tanks "pass"), as it seems to have happened quite often on the Eastern Front. Instead, tanks are able to shell infantry in trenches into oblivion.
  12. Thanks for the answer! I tested it and you're right! The Lloyd can tow the 6pdr (not the 17pdr though). The other carrier variants can't.
  13. Bear with me. I know next to nothing about WWII artillery. But I was hoping that maybe someone here could help me understand a few things? From what I understand, the distinction between "howitzers" and "guns" was already becoming blurred during WWII. The difference is that howitzers fire at higher angles (curved trajectory) at lower velocities (shorter barrel), while guns fired at lower angles (flater trajectory) at higher velocities (longer barrel). This gave the gun a longer range (usefull for counter battery fire) at the cost that it could not hit enemy positions in defilade that well (because of the flat trajectory). This applies to larger scale obstacles (hills), but also to the smaller scale (hitting into trenches). Also, I've read that howitzer shells had more explosive power than similar calibre gun ammunition. Simply because gun shells needed a thicker case in order to bear the stress from being fired at higher velocities. So I was wondering if there is any difference in Combat Mission between howitzer and gun artillery? From what I can tell, both types use the same trajectory (the shells roughly come flying from the "friendly side" of the faction, which is set by the mapmaker). Do howitzer shells pack more punch than gun shells? Also, perhaps one type is more accurate than the other? What's your experience/opinion? Another interesting aspect is that WWII saw the rise of self propelled artillery. Obviously, the benefits are operational and/or related to counter-battery fire evasion and thus have no place in Combat Mission. But it seems as if sp. artillery formations often come with more ammunition? --------------------------------------- Last but not least, I also want to point out that assault guns/close support artillery (including the sp. artillery pieces that can be placed on map in CM) are in a bad spot in Combat Mission H2H quickbattles. Partly it's understandable, as it really was in a bad position and was adapted to fill a broader role during the war. Russian and German assault guns got their longer barreled guns to be usefull in the infantry support as well as the anti tank role. Nevertheless, traditional assault guns (e.g. StuHs) were used in the war. Currently, there is no incentive at all to pick these proper - howitzer armed - assault guns in H2H battles. I think they're in need of a price reduction. They're good at collapsing buildings and knocking out strong points (hardly anyone uses bunkers anyway...) and hitting enemy infantry. But the fact that they can't deal with enemy tanks makes them next to useless in H2H quickbattles. Reducing their cost may help? It's a pity that they are limited to scenarios. The same can be said for (manhandled/towed) infantry support guns and tanks, by the way. The H2H quickbattle is a very tank- and anti-tank heavy environment unless you agree on restrictions that usually include AGs/sp. artillery though. For this reason, I think that AGs (not including those that also act as tank destroyers) and sp. artillery should be much cheaper (compared to tanks). There are just so many vehicles you rarely ever see. This includes the early StuGs and later the StuHs, earlier SUs & ISUs, Sextons and Priests, Wespes and Hummels, StuPa/Brummbär, PzIIIN, Churchills - the coolest looking tank! , Howitzer Motor Carriages and also all sorts of flamethrower tanks, by the way! As their main use is against enemy infantry, they should be in a different, lower price category than tanks and anti tank guns. But maybe it's just up to the community to find new house rules for force composition. Limiting armored fighting vehicles or tracked vehicles is not the solution. Rather (or in addition to that) we'd need to limit the number of guns with AT capability (long barrel/high velocity), which naturally includes not just mounted guns (tanks etc), but also ordinary "infantry" ATGs.
  14. Thanks for the feedback! I've deleted the bridge and instead made the road go over it. Looks much better now! You're right that the small river doesn't warrant a proper stone bridge. I will be reworking both the supposedly swampy areas. I'm not happy with them at all. This will also solve the field too close to swamp problem you mention. I can't see where my roads are overly steep though. Footpaths and minor dirt roads are okay if they're a bit steeper. My main roads are all adequatly "flat", I think? I've laid out the base plan of the little village: https://www.dropbox.com/s/g607gwomwvr84go/Vast_Valley_WIP.btt?dl=0 I think it's nice and also quite realistic that one row of houses is built "into" the hill. Buildings are clumped together to form rows (but I have to admit I think it was not that common in the area portrayed by my map...). The houses stand directly at the street, which makes the street seem quite narrow. The "downhill" houses have some garden areas (not fleshed out yet). There is a chapel (not really a parish church?) at the crossroads. I'm not sure if the village is large enough to warrant its own graveyard. The pastures for the cattle are "downwind". Please ignore the odd wall on the right. Also, the wood "behind" the village will be broken up a bit / less regularly shaped.
  15. I checked and found that I'm using Ari's CM:FB terrain mod. Comparing my landscape with pictures of actual southern Belgium in autumn/winter, I'm not so happy about the "bland" very brownish look. But a modification that slightly changes color of the ordinary ground grass texture will work wonders (I just haven't figured out how I can keep the transparency of the "doodads" grass). What does the RHZ Movie Shader Tweak change? Does it apply only when I press Alt+M or does it alter the "normal mode" appearance? I've tried it but couldn't spot a huge difference. I'm a bit cautious with the movie mode tweaks as most of them just seem to increase the contrast between shadow and light areas, which is adequate for full summer sunshine heat conditions (--> Fortress Italy), but not for more diffused light conditions. thanks for taking a look! Yes, I also think the bridge is a bit unfortunate. There needs to be a bit more space between the crossroad and the bridge. The "turn radius" is too small. Do you have a particular example of the odd roads? I'd like to fix it. -------- I think I will stick to the idea of adding a village to the "axis" side of the map. There will be a wood springing forward from the hill in an L shape, which provides shelter for this village. In the latest version (not uploaded yet), I've paid even more attention to wind conditions and added more windbreaks. Here are some points I think I've learned so far concerning map-making. Maybe it will help other map-makers: Get your scale right; Use google maps street view. Check out how far you can see using the "measure distance" tool; In this particular case, I've gone to excess a little bit - the landscape in southern Belgium and Luxembourg is a bit more hilly/bumpy than my map suggests; but overall, it's still more realistic than most quick battle maps; Getting the overall distances right is important as spotting and weapon accuracy mechanics are based it. In particular, be carefull not to accidentially create dead ground when creating your hills; If there are even slight irregularities in the gradients of a slope (e.g. if you reduce height every 3 squares, then suddenly change it every second square), dead ground is created; Creating gentle slopes is not as easy as you might think. It's not safe to rely entirely on the automatic algorithm of the scenario editor (which fills in the height info between two points you've set) - it will create dead ground. See my post from 3rd November in this topic: http://community.battlefront.com/topic/133505-thats-one-vast-valley-hard-edged-realistically-scaled-map/?do=findComment&comment=1768726 Pay attention to the „sharpness“ of your ridges. Sharp ridges create ambush situations (you can spot the opponent only when you're already very close to him). Again, it's a matter of how soft and gentle your slopes and hills are. Check out the real size of the footprint and the height of hills in the region you're trying to portray. It will tell you something about how soft or sharp your ridges should be. Most quickbattle maps feature hills that are too steep and small (--> hobbit shire landscape) which makes them perfect for ambushes at close range. Only place fences and walls where they actually serve a purpose. E.g. keeping cattle on a pasture. Keeping wild animals out (e.g. graveyard). A fence around a field of grain is rarely usefull... Pay attention to how large fields are in reality (again, google maps can help; you might consider how field sizes have changed historically, but this depends a lot on the region). E.g. fields in modern day south-eastern Ukraine (--> Black Sea) often have a length of 1-2km! That's basically a huge map that features nothing but one single field! Needless to say that these conditions give a different perspective on combat (even modern weapon systems will not create the total carnage you typically get on the tiny, dense maps). Fields on most quickbattle maps are by far too small. Fields follow slopes – when ploughing a field, you go paralell to the slope, not up and down. The same goes for the direction in which vines etc. are planted Wind is a factor: many landscapes are formed by considerations of wind/erosion. Hedges that you can see between fields serve as windbreakers. Houses and villages should also be placed somewhere where they're protected from wind (or have their own windbreakers - a treeline). On most hilltops, you will find woods, not fields. Wind might also have something to do with the famous bocage terrain in Normandy, or maybe even with high walls built around orchards (--> more sensitive fruit trees...?). So in general, I'd suggest you pick a wind direction and built the whole map around it. think how the features on your map would be protected from wind. Drainage. Especially if your map features hills, you should consider drainage. On a slope, water runs downhill and thus doesn‘t stay long enough to be soaked into the ground. So in most cases, hills will create little rivulets. Woods come in all shapes and forms. How old is the wood? Is it well groomed and fostered and used economically (like virtually 100% of the woods in Europe at that time) or is it a primeval wood? Based on that, woods can come in many varieties, with varying degrees of undergrowth and tree height and tree density. Some woods feature a "rising canopy of leafes" at their border (mostly "shelter belts" between fields), which should block all LOS into and out of the wood, others are more open. As usual, do consider the overall realistic size of woods. The size of the footprint of a wood matters a lot (a small wood can be saturated by artillery easily, a small wood is a "suspicious" position and dangerous even to FO teams)? You may also consider to add (tactically quite important) firebreaks to your wood. You could even consider to consider whether a hillside is north or south - the flora will differ slightly. [Note that the game's shadows are cast quite realistically respective to the cardinal directions; the direction and the length of the shadows will changed based on the date and time of your scenario! Even the sun will be visible correctly on the skydome] If your map is very mountainous, the aspect plays a big role. In central Europe, settlements would be found on the southern slope, woods on the northern slope of a mountain. For gentler hills, it's not such a big isse. Metalled roads, rails: are usually embanked/traced-out (especially on swampy terrain); this is an important feature as it provides infantry with some cover Keep the gradient of major roads and rails as low as possible. Roads follow the terrain. Be aware that the selection of the area has implications for gameplay. E.g. don‘t cut away "support positions" (hills/elevations in the "rear" area) carelessly. Some weapon systems ought to be employed at greater distances (tanks, ATGs, HMGs, etc). By cutting them away, you force these assets into close combat, which is not totally unrealistic, but still less plausible. Of course it raises the question of whether you build a map around a particular force-size or around the plausible employment of weapon-systems. Even a small force needs a large map if it features tanks and HMGs that should be deployed at their optimal range ... On the other hand, a small troop density on a large maps also raises some issues... Consider "reverse slope fiddlyness". Unfortunately, in order to spot (for arty) and/or area target a square, units need to be able to see its ground. This can create a variety of gameplay problems. E.g. in tall grass, even when your unit cen see "above" it without problems, if it cannot see the ground, then it cannot area-target. You can end up with very absurd situations in which a MG or even a large calibre gun cannot shoot over tall grass or through a lousy little wooden wicker fence (come on, you would be able to see the "splash" of a 75mm HE shell 1 meter above the ground!!). It also creates problem for calling in artillery fire. So I'd propose to give the attacker a slight hill – if you make him just fight uphill over reverse slopes, then he won‘t be able to call in arty unless he has TRPs. It‘s rather bad map design imho, as you'd need to warn players beforehand (take TRPs, otherwise you will not be able to call in arty). And in general, reverse slope fiddlyness makes you fight the game rather than your opponent. Some wiki-links to usefull map-creation topics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspect_(geography) // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windbreak // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firebreak // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffer_strip // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contour_plowing // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge
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