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Kaunitz last won the day on November 10 2018

Kaunitz had the most liked content!

About Kaunitz

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  1. I need to point out that the map is still a big work in progress. Tanks are very mighty here, that's true - assuming that the scenario takes place in daylight. They will have some troubles to advance because of the ditches that use "heavy wood" (impassable for tanks) terrain though. While I do want to add some places where tanks can cross a ditch (via marsh terrain, which I suppose has a higher chance to immobilize the tanks), tanks will still need to pass through bottlenecks that can be controled by the defender and/or be mined. So letting the tanks advance should be a risk. They're still very powerfull if they stay back (at proper tank range) and support the infantry's advance, primarily by knocking out enemy MG nests. These nests can pin the advancing infantry well outside effective rifle range. That's an aspect that I really like and that corresponds to the accounts that I've read of WWII engagements: The approach phase is dominated by MGs, artillery/mortars and heavier calibres/tanks. On a relatively open map like this one, that's particularly true. I also like that troops tend to get pinned more often and for longer spans of time, without getting immediately wiped out. That's a positive side effect of the relatively long engagement ranges (depending of course on the distance at which you decide to open fire). The question is whether the defenders have "enough" protection from the tanks. In the scenario-version, I really need to dig-in the MG nests very well and/or put them into bunkers, which - despite them getting spotted way too fast - do offer good protection as long as the tanks stay at a longer range. I also wondered about whether it is a good idea at all to place the defenders in the farm in the valley between the two hills. It's a position from which there is hardly any retreat. As the attacker also starts from a hill, he has excellent view over the whole valley (the "line-of-sight shadows" of terrain-features shrink as you look at them from higher above...), so that any movement to the rear will be spotted and complicated by artillery or tank fire. (Also note that the larger footprint of features that offer good concealment makes spotting by FO teams way less risky than you might be used to). I might elevate/embank the main road leading to the swampy area (to the 88 flak) a bit. This should provide some cover for retreating infantry.
  2. I'm always happy when someone is willing to test the stuff I create. No hurry at all. I'm not the fastest one in creating the map either ;). Short clip of a tank crew "brutality" that happened in my latest test (shortly thereafter the third tank got immobilized on the bridge by a grenade thrown from under the bridge; the immobilized tank then smoke-charged the orchard, pretty interesting scene ^^):
  3. Small update. Why not? https://www.dropbox.com/s/81siz05u8tsehdp/Vast_Valley_WIP.btt?dl=0
  4. Thanks! The map has progressed in the last few days. Aanother orchard in the valley has been added, as well as 3 new farms with little pastures for their cattle, works on the borders of fields, on woods, ditches and the roads. I will upload a new version once I feel like it's a big difference. I've deleted the wall around the orchard. No too many thieves around here, even though the orchard lies adjacent to a main road. I don't think a wooden fence would serve any purpose (it also looks nice just to have the slight height-difference with "heavy forest" terrain (--> bushes) around it. Generally speaking, for borders, I prefer the usage of "heavy forest" (somtimes in combination with a sharp 1m elevation, or with a "foot path" running through it) over that of proper hedges/bocage, as the latter creates all kinds of reverse-slope absurdities ("My MG can't fire through that foliage!"). I will replace some hedges with my custom "heavy forest" solution. Once the map is finished, I'm planning to add a separate, "battle" version of it, full with defensive works (that will of course be visible to the attackers ) and shelled areas. It's natural to create the "untouched" version first.
  5. Via Lindy Beige's latest video on tactical psychology https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRB9IU3Vt2g I came upon the book "War Games" by Leo Murray which also featured an account of the battle at Longdon hill, which, in turn led me to this interesting video:
  6. Thanks for the suggestions and the "motivation", I guess ;). But to be honest I had more problems than just that one. For example there was no satisfying way to get anti tank ditches to work (unless you turned them into huge cliffs, which rendered them unusable as a position for infantry). Also, my pixeltruppen were unable to make proper use of sunken roads (soldier placement on the edge of slopes is a challenge) - either the soldiers positioned themselves in a way in which they had hardly any LOS (--> can't fire) or they overexposed themselves, not making any use of the cover provided by the sunken road. And in any case, they got horribly destroyed by a few mortar shells. I'm not refering to a giant artillery barrage. I just don't want a platoon that is supposed to seek cover in an irrigatin dtich be destroyed by a short mortar mission. For this scenario, "depressions in the ground" (AT ditches, irrigation ditches, sunken roads, and the Germans had a properly fortified position with trenches) are very important, also because the area is quite flat otherwise. Therefore, it is severely handicapped by soldier-placement/cover-related issues. I've explained the issues in a bit more detail in the linked topic. Of course I'm not sure. As so many other aspects, it's based on gut-feeling and limited experience. What makes you so certain that props don't provide cover? Interesting to note that props interdict movement. When I experimented with terrain, I used hedgerows/walls to split up action squares into several parts (to gain more control over soldier-placement/force soldiers into spots where they actually had a good LOS). It's very handy as the player can deliberately target a part of the action square with his movement orders.
  7. I observed the same thing with trenches. Under an artillery barrage, some troopers would leave the safety of the trench to seek cover in a freshly created shellhole. Needless to say that running through an artillery barrage is not that clever. I had to put my Gerbini scenario on ice because of soldier-placement issues and the lack of protection provided by defensive structures. It was impossible for me to provide the attackers with proper cover against artillery: http://community.battlefront.com/topic/125278-highlanders-the-battle-of-gerbini/?do=findComment&comment=1748396 (also check out the links here: http://community.battlefront.com/topic/125278-highlanders-the-battle-of-gerbini/?do=findComment&comment=1747999 My impression is also that the engine uses some rather refined method to simulate the effects of cover. My go-to story is that I once created a very sophisticated MG position in CM:BS that provided excellent protection from small arms fire and direct HE fire. The MG was placed on/close to a log (a prop placed on the map). The soldier firing it was in a shell-hole and behind the log (similar to the position you can see here: https://youtu.be/ke4SbGZ7LJE?t=337), the surrounding area rather flat (to prevent direct HE from hitting close). Even though his position took a lot of fire, the firing team survived. The slightly more exposed MG, however, got knocked out. Up to this point, i didn't even know that MGs could get knocked out like that. (In this snippet, the MG hot knocked out shortly after the firer: https://youtu.be/ke4SbGZ7LJE?t=484)
  8. Of course it could get bloody. I'm not denying this. I'm just trying to point out that it did get bloody in certain situations - for example: getting hit by artillery without any cover, or in an ambush situation (sudden, relatively short range fire fights). It seems as if such a situation has occured in your quote ("moving over a little rise..."). While I'm perfectly fine with these situations by themselves, I think that they occur too often, particularly on quickbattle maps. And there is a reason for this. Many quickbattle maps offer lots of little hills, little clumps of trees, a high "variety" of terrain, if you will. But all these features have relatively small footprints, they're cramed on a map that is too small to hold them all. This results in a "tabletop/miniature railway" feeling. If you compare these maps to real landscapes, the scale is really off (except perhaps for Normandy bocage...). Lines of sight of 1-2 kilometers are quite common in many regions, yet you can hardly get such a line of sight on a Combat Mission map. Quite naturally, this has many implications for gameplay, e.g. forcing long range assets into uncomfortably short ranges, making it easier to neutralize positions (features with a smaller footprint can be "saturated" more easily, positions become more obvious) and, most importantly, short ranges make any first fire very lethal (thus putting extreme importance on spotting). Due to the miniature scale of terrain, most CM engagements play out like ambushes. But as i've made my point and it seems as if my impressions are not shared by many fellow players, I'm fine and won't spam this topic anymore. Any further discussions on this point can be outsourced to this topic:
  9. I thought I could upload the current state of the map here if anyone is interested in experimenting with how the game plays out when greater distances are involved. WARNING: This is by no means the final state of the map and it's not a proper scenario. All I did is to put some troops on the WIP map to get a feeling for how the game plays. It's only meant for experimenting, and you need to play both sides. https://www.dropbox.com/s/bk9rpz0bwzvr4d2/vast_map_test.btt?dl=0
  10. Have you tried the NCAP? I assume the photo is from there and you can get a higher resolution picture (for $$$$): https://ncap.org.uk/search?view=map I did a quick search but couldn't find any sortie for 2 January 1944, I'm afraid. But there are other pictures of the region.
  11. I don't want to belittle casualties by any means, but I don't think it's reasonable to just throw around numbers like that as an argument. How many troops took part in the 1 month of fighting in the battle of the Buldge? According to wikipedia ( - best source ever), it was about 705.000 men for the US forces and 23.000 of the casualties were "missing". In any case, even if you admit the fact that the casualties would be spread very unevenly amongst the troops, you can get much worse casualty figures than this in a 1-2 hours' Combat Mission game. For example, when two battalions of the Durham Light Infantry brigade launched a night attack across the Simeto river in Sicily against the defensive positions of the german paratroopers, the scene was also described as "hell's kitchen" and casualties were "severe": The 6th battalion suffered 120 casualties, the 9th battalion 100 casualties. (ca. 25-35% of the front strength, I suppose?). In Combat Mission H2H quickbattles, you often get a casualty rate of 60% and more within an HOUR (you just need to check out some youtube AARs). I stand by my opinion that the engagements in Combat Mission are often too bloody, for the reasons stated above ("hard/ambush" is the most common type of contact) and because of the "player recklessness" (which is just natural for a game) that Jack Ripper has mentioned.
  12. I've described in my post above that I don't think it's just due to the "recklessnes" of players. In my opinion, it's also a matter of map-design (primarily quick battle maps) in combination with a lack of properly functionable defensive structures. So, in my opinion, it's not just because players don't break off the engagement, but also because the rate of casualties inflicted during the actual engagements is relatively high.
  13. Hi guys! Good suggestions! I also like command friction and the idea that units should not react to occurances they don't know of. I have no idea myself how it could be translated into a system that could be managed by the game/pc though. In my opinion many realism-aspects affect the context/setting of the typical CM match: Night battles. People often underestimate how many attacks were carried out at night. (This is also linked to point 2: If the enemy is in defensive positions, you don't want to engage in daylight, as it will be easier to detect your appraoch and stop it - by means of MGs and artillery, usually) Play fewer meeting engagements as this would be an extremely rare situation. Play scenarios with clear attacker and defender roles. The big problem here is that CM lacks the fortifications that would be neccessary to portray such an engagement (lack of proper trenches & dug-outs). The trenches we have right now don't provide sufficient cover against artillery and small arms fire. In most cases, a defensive line can simply be "bombed out" instead of requiring a capture by fire & manoeuvre. Many maps are a bit crowded. Of course it depends on the historical region (--> bocage in Normandy is an exception, obviously), but there is a lack of more open maps that allow heavier weapons and some defensive assets to play out their advantages.* For example, this is also true for the bunkers which are available in the game right now: In order for their cover to be of any help, the distance to the target need to be really big; otherwise, too many bullets will hit the bunker's opening. Also, MGs were preferably used at ranges at which ordinary rifles could not return fire and at which it was not so easy to pinpoint the location of the MG nest. Because of the short lines of sight (= high lethality of weapons) that are so common in CM, I feel that spotting is more important than it should be, requires you to fiddle around and micromanage a lot, and it also adds randomness to the game. Another factor related to map design is that in many terrain features (e.g. woods) have a rather small footprint or are cut off by the edge of the map which turns them into an "obvious" position that can be neutralized quite easily. It's very easy to saturate a clump of trees with arty or HE. By contrast, a 1x1 km wood is a bit more difficult to neutralize. Generally speaking, from a realism point of view, Combat Mission matches strike me as way too bloody. The amount of casualties is insane. The reasons for this are probably a mixture of the things listed above: the typical CM engagement is an engagement in daylight at very short range with no proper means of defence for the defender (trenches, dug-outs). The one (BIG) advantage that the defender has is the short range of the engagements which enables him to trigger devastating ambushes (spotting the enemy first, destroying him before he can react). This is what I've described as a lack of "soft contact" in Combat Mission games. You usually only get "hard contact", with one asset getting out immediately after being spotted, with few if any chances to react. In some cases, it can be extremely frustrating to play under these circumstances. I'd also prefer if an infantry unit that gets fired upon while moving with the standard movement-order would go prone immediately, not run to the next waypoint. ------------------ * Once I've finished my Catania scenario for Command Ops II (https://forums.lnlpublishing.com/threads/the-battle-for-catania-primosole-bridge-sicily-july-1943.5326/)], I will continue my work on a large map (http://community.battlefront.com/topic/133505-thats-one-vast-valley-hard-edged-realistically-scaled-map/).
  14. 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
  15. 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.
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