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About Kaunitz

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  1. Kaunitz

    Are AT guns too fragile?

    I'm probably not contributing directly to the main question at hand (how much protection should the shields of ATguns provide) but may be interesting for the side-question (did AT guns manoevure when exposed?). Here is a British brigadier's reflection on how to use AT guns after the battle of Gerbini 19743, where - after a successfull night attack - the British failed to bring up their AT-guns (according to the British doctrine mentioned by Josey Wales) in time to repel the German counter-attack the next morning and were therefore beaten back to the starting line. I've marked the more interesting parts (concerning the usage of AT guns in an attack context) in bold: "2. In view of this experience it appears that our arrangements (contracted in the desert) for reorganising the A.Tk defence of a captured position requires thorough overhauling. In the desert the enemy was generally completely evicted from the captured area, thus allowing some hours of darkness and quietness for reorganisation. In this battle conditions were, as already described, quite different. It seems now that the A.Tk plan for reorganisation down even to the sighting and responsibility of each gun should be worked out beforehand. A.Tk defence should follow up the various stages of the attack, making good ground as it is captured. Guns, particularly Pheasants [=17pdr AT guns], should be sited in the vicinity of the start line to fire well forward; not only in an A.Tk role but also in the close support role firing HE. Support A.Tk guns should be pushed well forward to reorganise on the reserve coy positions when captured, and in turn also to provide close support to the forward coys. Forward A.Tk guns should then be pushed forward to carry out their pre-allotted tasks in the area of the forward coys when those areas are captured. All guns should be carefully camouflaged before the attack, so that they can, should it be necessary, give support initially from exposed positions. The forward movement of the guns should be controlled by a very responsible officer (in case of Bns the 2nd i/c) who should have by his side an arty officer, prepared, should it be necessary, to bring down smoke to cover the forward movement. All ranks in the Bn should understand this procedure so that they can cooperate to the full extent to aid this move forward if [recte: of?] A.Tk guns either by smoke or fire. Finally it seems imperative that each A.Tk Bty should have at least one troop of S[elf]P[ropelled] A Tk guns for quick reorganisation in forward areas."Read more: http://51hd.co.uk/accounts/gerbini_combs#ixzz5KHLj6EUt Also, you may like to check out the 61st AT regiment's journal from July 1943: http://51hd.co.uk/accounts/61_anti_tank_sicily
  2. Hello, kindred spirit! Although it won't make me stop working on my scenario, the discrimination of infantry is certainly my worst (and only really major) gripe with the CM series. The lack of proper defensive assets and the inability of infantry soldiers to use the ones that are in the game (because of bad positioning, bugging-out when arty strikes close, etc.) severely handicaps infantry and leads to implausibly high casualty rates in my opinion. In modern warfare, infantry and defensive works need to work as an integrated team. Infantry alone doesn't stand a chance. I will run some more tests to confirm, but as far as I can remember, using smaller (split-up) units didn't really change a thing. It seems as if soldiers are randomly assigned eligible positions within the action square. I'm really excited to hear about new ditches in CMSF2! Can you point me to more information? -------------------------------------------- Real life got in the way a bit, and there are ups and downs of motivation. Also, my desire to understand how the game works gets in the way repeatedly. But then again you need to understand how stuff works if you want to create an interesting scenario, right? I'll be back soon!
  3. Thanks! I guess the titles scared me off until now, but I will definitively take a look! What I found most interesting in the accounts I've read so far is how slow and steady WWII still was. For some reason, I expected more manoevre, when in reality, the front moved only so much (until a general retreat, in which case total chaos broke loose). Every day, officers did their recon in the morning, throughout the day battalion areas were shelled (positions are judged based on the average number of shells they receive per day), patrols were sent out into no-man's land, the enemy was constantly observing your trenches and you were observing his. If you made good some ground because of the enemy's retreat or because of your own (rare) attack, you dug in instantly in order to secure your gains. I just find it interesting that from my impression of the WWII accounts, it was still so much dominated by trenches + artillery.
  4. Kaunitz

    New features curiosity

    ability to buy ammo bearer teams. If you buy AT guns, IGs or MGs or similar weapons as "specialist teams" (not as part of a "formation"), they come without ammo bearers. IN WWII titles, it's really bad for AT guns and IGs, as the ordinary supply trucks and ammo crates don't have the appropriate ammo. So you're really stuck, with the initial supply of the weapon. Maybe I missed it somehow, but you can't "remount" man-handled weapons like AT-guns after you've "dismounted"? Better soldier placement within action spots. Right now, trenches/ditches are ineffective in terms of protection against artillery due to the way individual soldiers place themselves. For more information please refer to this post in my Gerbini-project: Not a feature but rather a bug: soldiers leave the protection of trenches (the ones you can buy as "fortifications") in order to hide in craters. As craters tend to be created during artillery barrages, you can imagine that this rather hurts.
  5. Note: The problem that units leave the trench seems to be related with craters. 1. The unit stays in the trench. 2. Artillery shell hits close to the trench and leaves a crater. 3. Unit is unscratched, only half-suppressed, morale is okay but still it leaves the trench and runs to the crater to hide there. So it seems as if craters need to have a lower priority as cover than trenches. The behaviour is very suicidal as usually the infantry catches another shell on its way from the trench to the crater.
  6. I'm pretty sure that a blue line means that all weapons (for vehicles: weapon-systems) of a unit can fire at the targeted spot, while a grey line means that only part of the unit can fire. This is very obvious when you have an infantry squad and one guy is kneeling, while the rest of the squad is prone. You will notice that the blue LOS will be limited by the prone soldiers' LOS, while there is an additional grey LOS that ends where the kneeling soldiers' LOS ends. If you order the very same squad to hide=go prone, there is no grey LOS anymore. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Update concerning my problems with the functionality of ditches in Combat Mission games: I've done more experiments, but ditches that you create by shaping the terrain simply don't work. Soldiers will not stick to the trench, but instead still roam around at the elevated edges, horribly exposing themselves to artillery fire. I really wish that the placement of soldiers on an action spot will be improved so that they stick to the "lower" areas. Fortunately, placing trenches in ditches helps to mitigate the problem. As soldiers now stick to the depression (because they're placed inside of the trench, which is in the middle of the action spot), and because the trench itself might also provide some kind of bonus, they are now protected against artillery fire. IN my testing barrages, the casualty numbers for ca. 20 men placed in a ditch decreased significantly. With the natural ditch, I lost ca. 12-17 guys, with the ditch + trench, the casualties are down to 1-2., which is still very high for 2 minutes of bombardement but far better than a wipe-out. There are still many problems though. While the trench "in" the ditch provides good cover versus artillery, the protection against small arms fire and LOS is a different matter (see my post from 16th June in this thread, where I describe a way to create positions that offer good protection against small arms fire and good LOS, but are very vulnerable vs. arty). Also, moving along a trenchline can still result in soldiers exposing themselves on the elevated borders of the ditch. Also, you still get the problem that units tend to leave the trench (for whatever reason) when they come under artillery fire and prefer to get killed in the flat open. Pictures to make the problem clearer: Natural ditch: horrible soldier placement - all but one soldiers are on the high terrain at the border of the ditch. If an artillery shell strikes anywhere close, half of the squad is dead. Trench placed in ditch: good soldier placement. Nobody gets hurt unless a shell lands a direct hit in the trench (for that reason, I wished that trenches were narrower...) Something similar can be achieved by placing walls/hedges in the ditch. It looks totally stupid, but it leads to slightly better soldier placement. So, generally speaking, if you want to have a trench/ditch that actually works (i.e. offers protection to infantry), you have to make sure that the infantry will stick to the ditch/the center of the action spot somehow. I really think that these issues are a major concern. I'm pretty sure that the game uses a very sophisticated system to determine hits, both from artillery shells and direct fire. For example, when I was creating good MG-positions for CM:BlackSea by using craters and logs, I noticed that in many cases the MG gunners (behind the log) survived while the MG got destroyed by enemy fire! Until then, I didn't even know that MGs could be destroyed in that way! So it's a pity that the game engine is so sophisticated when it comes to determining hits but doesn't really let us "fine tune" the amount of cover and create proper positions.
  7. Thanks! No hurry! German is my native language.
  8. I'm not delving too much into this, but reading Sajer's memoir, I never had any doubts that it is based on real experiences. Whether he gets his unit right I don't really care. But there are just many very small details and observations that must have been really hard if you had invented all of them (especially in such a density!). Also let's not forget that he was perhaps 18 or 19 years of age and that the memoir was first published 1967 - 20 years after the actual events! If you want to see how a fake memoir looks, take a look at "The Last Panther" or "Tiger Tracks" by a certain Wolfgang Faust. Anyone with some sensibility will figure out that it's phantasy. It reads like a script for a Hollywood movie. May I ask you what other memoirs (especially for the Axis or Soviet side) are interesting reads if you can find the time for it? To my surprise, there doesn't seem to be a thread dedicated to reading tips on the forum yet? Here is a list of memoirs I have come across so far (European theatre): George Wilson: If You Survive. Peter White: With the Jocks. A Soldier's Struggle for Europe 1944-45. Martin Lindsay: So Few Got Through. With the Gordon Highlanders from Normandy to the Baltic. Stuart Hills: By Tank into Normandy. Vasiliy Bryukhov: Red Army Tank Commander. At War in a T-34 on the Eastern Front. Ken Tout: By Tank. D to VE Days. Guy Sajer [Mouminoux]: The Forgotten Soldier. Apart from memoirs, I found this book highly interesting. The best book on WWII tactics/operations I could find so far (not that I've found a lot, to be honest, apart from the notorious Osprey booklets that is): Michael D. Doubler, Closing with the Enemy. How GIs Fought the War in Europe, 1944-1945.
  9. If you're interested in the eastern front, I can recommend "The Forgotten Soldier" (originally in French: Le soldat oublié) by Guy Sajer. I've read the german translation and for me this is one of the most impressive eye-witness-accounts of WWII (at least of those I've read so far). As for all accounts of personal war experiences, don't expect a proper account of the campaign and its chronology. But I was impressed by his description of how surreal and weird his battle experiences felt and more generally of the horrors and chaos of war. Sajer on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Sajer
  10. Addition/correction to previous post:: Test 1 / tank / tall grass: 460 / 650 / full lane (second value was missing) Conclusions from the tests described in the post above 1. Weather and daylight conditions don't seem to have an effect on LOS per se. For dawn (05:00) and hazy conditions, the LOS is the same as for clear conditions. At night (00:00), there is a hard cap on visibility (400m in this case - I've read that CM titles do consider the moon phases, so the exact value may vary with the date respectively). As there clearly is an effect on LOS in adverse light an weather conditions, but LOS as given by the target command stays the same, it seems as if units might rather receive a "hiding bonus"? 2. I think that my theory from last year (based on observations in CM: Black Sea) is not too far off the mark: There must be at least two values for each terrain: 1) density/LOS blocking value, and 2) height (either as in an acutal hitbox of some sort, or a z-value for the whole action spot). Different densities must be the reason why the range of full lines of sight vary with terrain. For example, forest terrains (105m full LOS) are not as dense as crop terrains (60m full LOS). The tricky part is to explain the "reverse slope" line of sight zones and the difference of results between tanks and infantry. It's much easier to explain my theory in pictures so here we go: Eyes below terrain height (e.g. prone infantry --> creates limited "reverse slope" LOS) Eyes above terrain height (e.g. tank --> creates unlimited "reverse slope" LOS) Explaining hull-down results with different terrain heights -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If things work indeed as described in the diagrams and when you consider the test results from above, we end up with these terrain characteristics: clear: no effect on LOS crops: large height, large density forest: medium height, low density tall grass: small height (but still higher than prone infantry), medium density
  11. Cool idea to add dismounted vehicles to a particular formation! Thank you for the explanation of TOC and the link to the house rules. I will take a closer look at both. This can be solved by target reference points. So you could either aim at a contact marker or - for final defensive fires or preplanned suppressive fires - at TRPs. The bigger problem is that as long as the game does not allow you to fire at reverse slope areas, you can't reliably fire at contact markers and TRPs even in situations in which you should be allowed to. This problem primarily affects infantry who fires from a position close to the ground, and generally speaking in flat or very gently sloping terrain. In these cases you often need to fire at a point way in front of the actual target.
  12. Observation on the effects of different types of ground on LOS I tested this on perfectly flat terrain with lanes (ca. 50 x 1030m) of different types of ground. The testing infantry unit was in prone position (forced by using the “hide” command), equipped with binoculars and was of "regular" experience (these two factors shouldn’t really matter when determining LOS). The tank used in this test was a Panzer IIIN, of "regular" experience. I simply took notes on how far the different types of LOS reached on the different lanes/ground types. The LOS was always “drawn out” in a straight line from the unit (no oblique LOS were tested). Note that the results of all my conducted tests suggest that there are at least four groups of terrain. Here is a list of ground types I tested, assigned to the groups respectively: ( 1) “clear” group: grass Y, dirt, sand, ploughed field 2) “crop” group: crop 2, crop 4 3) “forest” group: light forest, heavy forest 4) “tall grass” group: tall grass Y Schema: Infantry: full LOS ends at / reverse slope ends at Tank: full (blue) LOS ends at / partial (grey) LOS ends at* / reverse slope ends at All values are given in meters. You may need to add or subtract up to 20m, as the position of the unit within the action spot is not always the same, etc. So there is always a bit of wiggle room. Test 1 (conditions: 12:00, clear, gentle wind, very dry ground) Infantry Clear: full LOS for the whole lane (1030m) Crops: 60 / 135 Forest: 105 / 335 Tall grass: 93 / 760 Tank Clear: full LOS whole lane (1030) Crops: 85 / 125 / whole lane (1030) Forest: 185 / 290 / whole lane (1030) Tall grass: 692 / reverse slope for whole full lane (1030) Test 2 (conditions: 12:00, hazy, gentle wind, very dry ground): Same results as in test 1 Test 3 (conditions: 05:00, clear, gentle wind, very dry ground): Same results as in test 1 Test 4 (conditions: 00:00, clear, gentle wind, very dry ground): Infantry: Clear: full LOS up to 400m, no LOS after that Crops: 65 / 140 Forest: 100 / 340 Tall grass: 90 / 400 Tank: Clear: full LOS up to 400m, no LOS after that Crops: 80 / 120 / 400 Forest: 205 / 290 / 400 Tall grass: full LOS up to 400m, no LOS after that Special hull-down info for the tank (data valid for all four tests): In forest, the tank was partial hull-down from a distance of ca. 340-380m on. In crops, the tank was partial hull-down from 140m on. In tall grass, the tank was partial hull-down from 760m on. In clear terrain, the tank was never counted as hull-down. I will try to draw some conclusions in the next post.
  13. I'm pleasantly surprised (well surprised not really... ) that so many of you like to roleplay. One thing which nobody has mentioned yet is treating the wounded. I've been reading quite a few accounts of Vietnam warfare (which admittedly is different from WWII). But getting the wounded off the battlefield was a major concern. In Combat Mission, I have to admit that I rarely wait for buddy aid (aka "kneel if you want to share your buddy's fate") to be finished, or even move up vehicles to pretend they carry away the wounded (well most of the times it's simply too dangerous). But as mentioned in the initial post, there are some behaviours that can give you an edge yet are unrealistic. The most obvious case is area-targeting a spot at which other units have identified an enemy (but the unit that is firing is not aware of this enemy). It can make a huge difference if the enemy can fire away for 6 minutes or is silenced after only 20 seconds. The same is true for movement. How can a platoon of tanks react to an enemy position neither they nor their superior is aware of? By not waiting until the word reaches the tank platoon (if it can at all!), you can let your units react unrealistically fast which has some effects on tactics. E.g. with less "delay" to everything, artillery is more dangerous as troops are forced to wait in place for longer. This relative spotting is somewhat of a problem, but I don't see how it could be solved in a game without relying on multiplayer events with lots of participants (SoW), which is not what I'd like and expect from the CM series. The good thing is that CM's relative spotting system gives you all you need to roleplay and it doesn't require a lot of note-taking to do so. I also tend to buy more FO-teams when I roleplay. Not because of their binos or their ability to call in artillery more quickly, but because of their radio. I fear it's not really realsitic (but then again we don't have field telephones...), but a greater number of radios is needed to make full use of good (but seperated) positions. The smaller the number of radios, the more bunched up my force typically ends up. In this way, role-playing also lets you appreciate tank and other (mechanized) formations that come with many lovely radios! I've scanned through the TOC's thread briefly. Please don't laugh at me, but I still don't quite understand what it does and how it works. It's a campaign themed around counter-insurgency played on a large map, using a different scale of time and space? It aims to add an operational level to the tactical level of Combat Mission?
  14. Fellow CM veterans! First let me make it clear that this is not supposed to be a rant or a suggestion for improvement. I think that CM is already as good as a game can get in this respect. I'm just interested in how you play the game: Do you roleplay a lot or do prefer a highly competitive approach to the game and use all means available to you, even if some of your actions are implausible from a realism standpoint? What do I mean by this? Mostly, it boils down to letting a unit react to information that would not be available to the unit. Stopping a movement because you know you will be running into a line of fire, for example, or area-targeting the position of an enemy unit which has been spotted by a different unit. Or letting a small section exploit an opportunities regularly and independently of the platoon HQ's knowledge, etc. Things along those lines. So do you usually pay attention to these details, do you wait until enemy sightings are communicated up and down the command hierarchy, or do you "abuse" your godlike player power? For me personally, it depends. In multiplayer games, I play competitively. Even if both sides would agree to roleplay, you still never know and there will be room for heated discussions and interpretations ("Why did you move that tank platoon over there?" "Ehrm ... they were ... patrolling?" ). In single player, I prefer to roleplay. I often play hotseat against myself, roleplaying both sides so that I can speed things up unrealistically when I know the other faction is not using the delay/time anyway. What I find quite interesting is that when I roleplay, communication becomes a major aspect in planning the mission. You have to consider reaction times and command links. If my force is in desperate need of radios (I'm looking at you, WWII-Italians!) I usually assume that there is a pre-determined H-hour at which all units ought to start their attack. I sometimes also integrate limited means of visual communication into the plan (eg. I assume that some units have flares in different colors to signal/initiate a predetermined action to other units). Roleplaying greatly enhances the fun I have with CM. And it can lead to very exciting situations. Ever seen a messenger sprint through an artillery barrage? On the other hand, roleplaying can lead to some problems as most scenarios are not designed with roleplaying in mind. From my experience, time limits can get very brutal when you roleplay, especially if your communcation-plan turns out to be deficient. But then I don't overdo roleplaying. For example, I reckon that it would take much longer for units to describe the location of enemy sightings (unless in close visual contact so that you can point in the direction). I think that the transfer of information is quite fast in CM. In reality, someone would probably need to get out their map (HQ units only?) then spread the word and instruct his subordinate tanks/squads? I guess it would take much more time, especially if the battlefield doesn't offer a lot of features that can be called out easily. Here is an interesting approach by Bill Hardenberger - it's pretty much the pinnacle of roleplaying in CM (it's a bit too complex for me, too much book-keeping, but I might try it out some day): Please share your opinion or tell us if and what aspects of the game you like to roleplay! PS: I can't finish any post without an improvement suggestion, so here we go: Messengers/despatch riders on motorcycles (for WWII themed titles)!