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Kaunitz

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Kaunitz last won the day on September 16

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  1. Kaunitz

    Lackluster documentation

    Very cool stuff! Thanks a lot! So, to summarize: The gunner has 4 periscopes for his mk.1 eyeballs, all oriented to the front, perhaps covering 180°. Let's ignore the machine gunner's seat. The gunner (turret/left) has three periscopes oriented to the front of the turret (taken together, they also probably cover about 180°) and one vision slit (61°/7°) oriented to the rear (probably checked less often). Then, mainly for aiming the gun, the gunner has a special sight (BPK-2-42) which includes an infra red search light. Summed up, this spotting device gives him 6x zoom in daylight and 5.5x zoom in nighttime which should enable him to spot "tank targets" (?) pretty reliably up to 600 meters (no clue what active and passive mode refers to). The commander (which is missing in 2 of 3 BMPs; turret/right) has two ordinary periscopes oriented to the front and one oriented to the rear. He also has a special spotting device (TKN-3B) including an infra red searchlight, which gives him 4.75x zoom in daylight and 4x zoom during the night but has a comparatively narrow field of view. His other special spotting device (1P3-3) can rotate 360° degree, but is weaker in terms of night capability (no IR). I suppose that the infra-red spotting devices are not thermal. So they would enable you to see for the specified ranges at night, but enemies can still stay relatively safe if they stick to ordinary rules of camouflage (break up their silhouettes). Passengers have periscopes oriented to the front/sides of the vehicle. There is one vision slit in each of the doors at the rear of the vehicle (in the game these are displayed as shut). So, how would these characteristics be "translated" into the game? I think it would be an interesting experiment to speculate. We know that spotting cycles work in intervalls (7 seconds if units are far away from each other, shorter if they're close). Maybe the vehicle has a constant, slightly randomized spotting value for each of its sides (e.g. front, front-left, front-right, etc)? Maybe the game indeed simulates each individual crew member and makes it use only one of its many spotting options per turn (so, for example, the driver would use only one of his three periscopes per spotting cycle). Then the question how the game treats "zooming in" (smaller field of view but more detailed) still remains. In any case the important information that really interests me would be: At least 1 pair of eyeballs will be looking out to the front of the vehicle. Maybe they have some problems to spot targets close to the ground (not sure about that vertical field of view)? The gunner has only has low quality (no thermal imaging) night vision up to a range of ca. 600m. This nightvision seems to be limited to the direction that the turret is currently facing. If there is a commander in the vehicle, he has relatively good all around spotting capabilities, but only during the day (no night vision). And he further increases the night spotting capabilities of the vehicle in the direction the turret is facing. If the passengers are really supposed to look out through their vision slits, the vehicle might have some small spotting chances to its flanks and rear. Or, put as short and practical as possible: Hull/front: 1 spotter (day: low quality - to represent basic eyeballs-, no night vision) Hull/sides: up to 3 spotters (passengers) (day: very low quality - to represent the small chance that the passengers are actively looking out? -, no night vision) hull/rear: up to 2 spotters (day: very, very low quality, no night vision) Turret/fixed to facing: 1 or 2 (if commander) spotters (day: medium quality, night: low quality up to ca. 600m (gunner), low quality up to ca. 300m (commander)) Turret/not fixed to facing: up to 1 spotter (commander) (360°, day: medium quality, no night vision) In the manual, it would help if I could just find this single piece of information: IR capability limited to the turret's current facing, low quality (up to ca. 400m)
  2. Kaunitz

    Lackluster documentation

    Every game has rules/abstractions. In this case, crew slots must have some spotting type and strength? I want to know the rules of the game, as the link between reality and game is not obvious and not self-evident (as in WWII titles). It's often unclear what kind of devices the real vehicles are equipped with (russian internet sites...) and it's unclear if and how they are represented in the game. There must be some system to it.
  3. Kaunitz

    Lackluster documentation

    Thumbs up for the info! Now at least I know more about the BMP-2s spotting in the real world (it seems to suck ^^). The question remains if and how this complicated situation is represented in the game, and how you can tell. Just by looking at the vehicle, you don't know that its spotting sucks (all you can see is that it has an entry "IR optics", like 95% of all the vehicles in the game).
  4. Kaunitz

    Reverse slope/grazing fire.

    The problem is that the game would need to differentiate between an "area that can't be seen because it's behind a hill or a house" and an "area that can't be seen because it's behind 10 tiles of 50cm high grass or a single bush". In other words, the targeting point used for determining LOS needs to be set at a higher altitude. If you get a reverse slope (can see a point up to ca. a man's height "above" the targeted tile), you should be allowed to area-fire. There are probably good reasons why it's not that simple, but it really affects gameplay in a bad way. It's ridiculous that an MG or a an infantry gun cannot fire behind/through a bush. If your infantry came and told you "There is an enemy MG nest giving us a hard time, 50m short of the barn" with a hand singal in the direction and you ordered your gunner: "50m short of the barn, straight ahead!" you wouldn't expect him to answer "Sir, I can see the barn, but I can't see that particular spot 50m in front of it. It's obscured by a bush!" Already the AI doesn't know how to area-fire. But who cares! This game is meant to be played against human opponents anyway!
  5. Kaunitz

    Reverse slope/grazing fire.

    Yes, onmap crew-served infantry guns can fire indirectly in Combat Mission games. The big problem with infantry guns and assault guns is that - like all other troops - they can't target an action spot unless they can draw a LOS to the ground of the tile. If your unit is at the same height as the target-tile, you can't fire at it. So for example, if you'd like your infantry-gun to fire "50 meters in front of that barn", they can't because grass might block their LOS on the ground of that particular action spot. While this affects all troops, it particularly weakens support weapons, whose purpose should be to knock out targets quite accurately with their strong HE ammo. It's a shame really, because I have a soft spot for those non-tank vehicles. But right now, they seem to be quite useless. You can still attempt to shoot at some spot in front of the desired target-spot and hope that some shell might at some point land somewhere close to the target due to random inaccuracy, but nedless to say this wastes ammo (those support weapons don't have that much to begin with...) and gives away their position. Yes you're right. Also, I figured out that the kind of indirect fire I had in mind (shooting over larger obstacles) is rather impossible for the self propelled howitzers on CM maps. Even when elevated as far as possible, they would probably "overshoot" the standard CM-map sizes. The infantry gun, on the other hand, has really astonishing gun elevation (see video linked by Wicky).
  6. Kaunitz

    Improvement suggestions

    Some appeals of the reinforcement idea: More plausible and slightly more assymetrical engagements - the defender could start with just infantry and AT guns (because they're cheap enough to use them from the start) and face a force of overwhelming armor in the first phase of the battle. The second phase would see the counter attack by mobile reinforcements. Time is a bigger factor- related to point 1. As a defender, you'd try to delay the enemy long enough for your reinforcements to arrive safely and while the attacker is still in a bad spot. Overall, it would make engagements a bit more dynamic. I personally don't like probes and meeting engagements because I don't think that these engagements occured very often in WWII. But the engagement types with fixed roles (attack, assault) sometimes feel a bit static. With reinforcements, there is a lot of uncertainty and some dynamic. As the attacker, you'd need to break through and then - this is new - hold on to the objective. The defender would also need to be more active and incorporate the reinforcements in his overall plan (when and where shall they arrive? Can they use covered routes to their fighting positions, etc). Here is a video to get you in the right mood for reinforcements! Here come the Panzergrenadiers! (I like the Panzerjäger-Austrian guy at 09:39 and 19:54 such a great actor lol) [some errors in the english captions; Note that the leader of the PG/halftrack platoon uses flares in two situations: 1) to tell the arty to shift their fire forward (to cut off the enemy breakthrough from further reinforcements from the rear) and 2) to mark an enemy AT-gun position for the tankdestroyers (that were supporting the counter attack from the crest of the hill) to take it out]
  7. Kaunitz

    Improvement suggestions

    Small update to the last point of my last post: I tried to test assault artillery. I totally forgot about the reverse slope problem. The fact that you cannot target reverse slope spots severely limits assault artillery.
  8. Kaunitz

    Improvement suggestions

    You can't make units disembark from a bunker/shelter and move them on in the very same turn, which can be fatal very quickly. It would be nice to have that option. Soldiers who die while being in a bunker/shelter disappear (no buddy aid/retrieval of weapons available). This does not just apply to losses to heavy calibre AP or HE fire (in which case the soldiers would probably be totally obliterated...) but also to losses to small arms fire. It would be nice to have a "typical only"-toggle for quickbattles, so that players cannot select the experience/morale/leadership of their troops individually but have to deal with what they get. I think that this level of fine-tuning is rather annoying sometimes. (It's great for scenario design, of course!) I suppose it has already be mentioned before several times, but just to make sure: An option to dismount and remount crew-served weapons is desperately needed. The lack of the option makes crew-served weapons a very bad choice in many situations (e.g. you can't let them use an artillery shelter). ---- More a weird idea to be discussed rather than a serious improvement suggestion: Maybe it would be interesting to give players (or just the defender?) the option to buy reinforcements at a reduced price? The later in the game the reinforcements appeared, the fewer points they would cost? Maybe this would increase the uncertainty of battle a bit (right now, players often know exactly how many tanks the opponent has and can advance freely and carelessly once they know they've been knocked out). And maybe lead to more plausible engagements, with the defender's (more expensive) fast/motorized units showing up as a reaction to the attack. ---- Also, I wondered if there is some reason why onmap short-barreled/low-velocity assault guns/howitzers/sp. arty cannot fire indirectly? Is it because the trajectory would not be curved enough to fire at the "comparatively" short distances on the typical CM battlefield? The onmap crew-served infantry guns can fire indirectly, by the way, and the game even considers their line of fire (you can end up with a "no line of fire" error message when your gun's trajectory arc does not allow it to fire over an obstacle). EDIT: I looked up some candidates in the Command Ops II database, which seems to be very well researched, and indeed it lists a minimum distance for bombard missions (indirect fire) of 2.5km, which is too far for most CM maps. (looked up the 10.5cm leichte Feldhaubitze 80/40, used on the "Wespe"). Also, it seems that by doctrine, they were not supposed to deliver indirect fire, but direct fire (in which case, however, the arced trajectory would still be handy, which might also be the case in CM - http://community.battlefront.com/topic/112114-reverse-slopegrazing-fire/?tab=comments#comment-1763218 )
  9. Kaunitz

    Reverse slope/grazing fire.

    By the way, does anyone know why onmap self-propelled arty/short-barreled* assault guns/howitzers can't fire indirectly in Combat Mission's WWII titles? Is it because the trajectory wouldn't be curved enough to hit anything on the smallish maps? Note that you do get the option to fire indirectly with onmap infantry guns, and the game takes into account the trajectory somehow (you can get the "No line of fire" error-message if the gun can't fire over an obstacle in the way). By the way, I guess that the slightly arced trajectory of assault artillery can be important when using area fire. Simply because the shells will land closer to the intended target, considering the base inaccuracy, because the shells travels at a higher/safer altitude? By contrast, if you fire a flat trajectory gun over flat terrain, the base inaccuracy can make the shell hit the ground anywhere in between the gun and the target (or behind the target), potentially threatening your own troops on the way.I need to conduct some tests to see whether this is true. If it is, it's just another way in which Combat Mission is awesome ^^. Firing over the heads of the attacking infantry was one of the prerequisites of assault guns... Also, these guns should be more effective against trenches (depending on terrain, flat trajectories can miss by a lot if slightly off target...with a curved trajectory, a shell should be closer to the target). But this would probably only matter if trenches offered more protection in the game (right now, lacking proper slit trenches and hastily dug fighting positions, trenches are eliminated much too easily by arty/mortars) *Sturmgeschütze (lit. assault guns) started out as proper assault guns, but ended up as long barreled tank destroyers - their role was taken over by "Sturmhaubitzen" (lit. assault howitzers), if I get the story right.
  10. Kaunitz

    Lackluster documentation

    Yes, experience is a harsh teacher, especially as CM matches take very long to play through. And also, there is a second person involved so you don't want to screw it up for both of you by making a "silly" mistake, which was not the result of a bad plan or tactical inadequacies, but simply of a lack of information. Especially in small games (my prefered battle size), details matter. Of course you can test out the very specific situation in the editor. But it feels a bit like cheating to me. The question is whether players could be spared this tedious effort. If only some basic information was available in the game or the manual...
  11. Kaunitz

    Lackluster documentation

    Thanks. I will conduct a few night time tests with various vehicles once I've finished my H2H game. sburke, I generally agree with you. I don't like it either, but in the modern titles I do think that looking up in the manual is necessary to a certain extent. Because, as mentioned, the differences in spotting capabilities can be huge as so much technical stuff is involved, which is not visible in the game. The game's UI doesn't even tell you the kind of spotting device your vehicle has (day/rest light/IR/thermal generations). I would really prefer that information to be available in the game itself (I'm not a fan of looking up stuff in the manual either), but if it's just available in the manual then okay. But right now, it isn't even available in the manual. You can't tell other than by testing and "experience"/"feeling". That's not adequate for the high tech stuff you get in modern vehicles. I want to know whether my vehicle spots like this or like this or like this: Right now you can only tell if you happen to be lucky enough to find your vehicle's spotting devices on the internet, understand its capabilities, and then hope that the devs used the same source and that the device is not linked to some crew-slot that is currently unoccupied or inactive due to damage to your "IR" subsystem. I can't understand how anyone could argue that this would be too much info for the player. The lack of info on spotting devices feels as if you're given a vehicle with a large gun, but you don't get to know whether it fires HE or AP ammo and how much ammo you have left and whether the muzzle points to the rear of front of the vehicle (but at least you could test that easily in the editor...). The availability of this basic gun-information doesn't break the game either. Quite the contrary is true - it makes the game better. Totally agree. But again, it's not about how the tac AI reacts and fires weapons. I'm mainly concerned about spotting (the weapons are quite easy to understand compared to spotting tech...). And from my point of view, spotting/information is something that tends to get organized on a higher level. If you're a platoon commander and have the task to observe an area, you won't position your vehicles in a spot where they can't see that area. It's not about knowing "exactly" how well my vehicles can spot, it's about "can I observe that area half-way reliably or not at all"? It's about very, very basic knowledge about the base spotting ranges of spotting devices. As mentioned, many different kinds of spotting devices with a very wide range of quality are hidden behind and obscured by a single "IR" entry in the system-damage-tab. In the same vein, as spotting distances increase due to magnifiers, I guess that knowing the spotting angles is much more crucial than in WWII titles. But I have to agree that it's not exclusively but primarily an issue in night operations. I guess most people prefer daylight scenarios?
  12. Kaunitz

    Lackluster documentation

    I would seperate these two things. For me, how the TAC AI behaves is something different from how it spots. The tech for those modern vehicles differs on such a wide scale that you can't really tell whether you have some halfway reliable eyeballs on a certain area or not. That's all I'm asking for, really. I do want to know if my vehicle's sight ends after 200 meters during night time or whether it can watch an area at a distance of 500 meters. I think you have to agree that such information is vital. How good a vehicle can spot has a great influence on how you can use it. If you guys can figure this out quickly, I applaud you. But I can't get my head around most of those abbreviations that google gives me when I search for the abbreviation of my vehicle. And some sites are in Russian... Maybe there is a link between the commander's seat in the BMP being unoccupied and its bad spotting? Thanks. May I ask how you tested the BMP-3 sighting? Maybe I can recreate the test and check out a few selected vehicles and try to draw some conclusions from it. Also interesting to know that the game does differentiate thermal generations. Is that documented somewhere?
  13. Kaunitz

    Lackluster documentation

    The game really can't be as complicated as many of you seem to suggest? I don't buy "you learn by experience" / "you have to develop a feeling for how things work" / "it's exactly as in real life" advice. The game is an abstraction and it can't be so complicated to provide some basic info on vehicle spotting capabilities (e.g. for each crew position: the arc (°) of LOS/kind of LOS (day/rest light/infra red/thermal imaging) / strength of LOS over distance). This is basic info, I don't think I should have to spend days in the editor trying to set up situations to figure out how vehicles spot. I don't want to sound rude, but can any of the "experienced" guys here who have already developed the "feeling" tell me how spotting of the BMP-2 works in the game? An example would really help me out. To make it even more precise: What are the effects of the lack of the commander in the BMP-2, if any? Is the spotting just somehow degraded in all directions? Or is the representation very detailed, ie. do the three vision slits of the command seat (turret/right) remain unoccupied/inactive, including the 1PZ-3 day anti aircraft 4xmagnifier sight, the TKN-3B binocular (4.74x day, 4x night), the OU-3GA2 infra red searchlight, the TNP-165A designator? If so, what are the effects? In this case, would you be stuck with the gunner's weaker spotting devices (the driver just has ordinary vision slits)? Can anyone say something on this with certainty? Also, what is the effect of having my "IR" (infra red) system damaged? Provided that the game is based on a very detailed representation (per crew seat), are the spotting devices of all seats affected/degraded? Does the game differentiate between rest light / infra red / thermal imaging? Please don't get me wrong. I love the CM series, and I really appreciate all the detail. But in the modern titles, so many technical details are obscure. Neither can you find the technical details in the UI, nor do you get an explanation what kind of devices the game differentiates and how they work. It really prevents me from enjoying the modern titles as much as I could.
  14. Kaunitz

    Lackluster documentation

    The problem is: the 1st and 2nd vehicle never get a filled commander slot, even if the respective squads are in the vehicle. So presumably (nobody knows how it really works...) the best spotting devices of those two BMPs are never crewed/active and the right side of the turret is horribly blind against close targets? Maybe it doesn't work like this at all and everything is more abstract. But in any case I think we should be allowed to know!
  15. Kaunitz

    Lackluster documentation

    Thanks for the link to Ian's compilation! I didn't know about it. Some very usefull stuff! I do think that the very basics should be explained somewhere. Playing the game should be about tactics, not figuring out where your units' dead angles are or being unsure about whether you have "reliable" eyes on an area or not. Right now, I really don't know how reliable my observation is - I can search on google what kind of equipment my vehicle has, but then I still don't know if and how that piece of equipment is modeled in the game. Other questions arise when the damage model shots that my IR is "damaged". What does this mean? All devices on all seats? ---------------------------- About the BMP: It seems to work differently? I have an Ukrainian mechanized platoon (mounted in 3 BMP-2s). Two of the vehicles (1st, 3rd) only have 2 crew-slots (indicated by the blue dots) and never get a commander, even if the squad is in the vehicle. One vehicle (2nd) shows 3 crew-slots (at the cost of one passenger-slot) and always has a commander, regardless of whether a squad is in the vehicle or not. --------------------- Abotu point costs: It should show the "out of formation" point costs. It should give you some basic idea about the value of the asset (and the rarity) - also, "in formation" point costs don't differ that much.
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