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Kaunitz

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Kaunitz last won the day on November 10 2018

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About Kaunitz

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  1. Most Combat Mission scenarios are pitched assaults (without any recon info for the attacker...*sigh*) on maps with relatively short lines of sight. Also, both sides usually have at least some (anti) tank capabilities. These are big handicaps for Stummels (and other non-armored infantry support assets). I suppose that Stummels would be much more usefull in those types of engagements that cannot be translated into Combat Mission scenarios that well/easily: asymmetrical delaying/rearguard actions. E.g. the enemy - let's suppose it's an infantry battalion - is on the retreat because tank formations have broken through his main line of resistance in some other sector of the front. In order to secure his retreat, he leaves behind small detachments (most likely MG nests) in strongpoints/villages along his path of retreat. It's rather unlikely that anti tank guns are part of such detachments. Now, your task is just to "work" your way through the enemy delaying efforts: push through minefields and road blocks, clear the villages. This is WWII day to day business. Such scenarios would be rather frustrating and dull to play. Most of the time, the enemy would just fire from a distance, forcing you to deploy from marching column to battle formation (which takes time) and once you enter the village, the enemy is already gone. I suppose that Stummels would be quite usefull in these situations (knocking out enemy nests of resistance "on the fly").
  2. I'd like to volunteer as the stay behind man, yes, please! Interesting video! Thanks for sharing.
  3. BTW If you're looking for Red Army maps: http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/images/splash.htm?scope=images/VAC9619 (you can activate a "interactive view" to zoom in, but there doesn't seem to be an option to download...) --> index map available here: https://iu.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=098c42997ca441029b69f0597ff92ea6 - here you can also download the maps in high resolution Some interesting situational maps: http://armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/
  4. These are all very interesting points. I share the observation that in some situations the suppression bar takes quite a while to fill up if no casualties are inflicted. I think our last PBEM was a great example for that, when my 2-3 heavy MGs were firing at your platoon that was advancing over open but sloped (bad for MG, no grazing) ground and quite miserably failed to pin you down or cause any casualties at all. Now, in this case, the distance was very far (500-600m?) and the fire not too accurate, so I guess it was okay that my MGs did not stop the advance. However, I also wondered whether the fact that your soldiers were spread out quite a lot played a role here. I guess that the suppressive effect is smaller when the bullets hit close to only one soldier, with the rest of the squad being farther away? Generally speaking, it seems as if very accurate and high volumes of fire are required to prevent enemy movements in Combat Mission. I wonder whether troops should go prone immediately whenever bullets impact the ground anywhere close, except if they have an active "fast" order (and are thus highly unlikely to spot the source of the incoming fire). With a gradual build-up of suppression and the standard reaction to incoming fire ("quick") units are often able to make a lot of ground even if under fire and they have a good chance to spot the source of the incoming fire (in quick move, they're still upright, standing). It seems more plausible to me that you would hit the ground immediately (and then of course have troubles to figure out where the fire was coming from, with their eyes on the ground level...).
  5. Based on my readings of WWII memoirs and also a few Vietnam accounts, I fully agree with this. You can also watch very relevant videos of real combat footage of recent conflicts on youtube. The experience of modern fire combat often seems to be one of being exposed to a more or less abstract "volume of fire". Especially, but not exclusively in dense terrain (woods, jungle...). Troops couldn't always tell the direction from which it was coming nor identify/spot the source. Soldiers in WWII did also (and were sometimes encouraged to) fire without seeing the enemy. I suppose that being exposed to a high volume of fire - not neccessarily to any actual "suppression effect" (seeing the effect of bullets hitting close), just judging from the number of sounds/noise - would also be a psychological deterrent. Even if you're not acively pinned by the opponent's fire, you'd be less likely to risk any attack if the enemy "sounded" strong? I'm not sure whether fire fights in Combat Mission fully convince me in this regard. But it's generally hard to visualize the dynamics of modern fire combat and there is certainly a lot of variety. I sometimes get the impression that our pixel infantrymen might be a bit too brave when it comes to exposing themselves to enemy fire, and perhaps a bit too good when it comes to spotting the enemy when under fire. These two things are probably related, which is also why further experiments with modding animations might be interesting (forcing soldiers to stay prone more). Infantrymen in Combat Mission are very often able to fire on sight, with the result that casualties accumulate very fast and fire fights are decided comparatively quickly. For example, how often do you order a MG unit to move to an alternate fire position? In my experience, fire fights usually don't last long enough (by the time they would reach the new position, the engagement is already over) and 2) as soon as they move, they get shot. By contrast, if both sides were more affected by the "volume of fire", firing blindly to a greater degree, you'd expect casualties to accumulate slowlier, as a kind of "attrition". Soldiers would get hit by "anonymous" bullets more often, accidently, if you will. Partial cover would be more effective in this situation (it is of no great help when the enemy has spotted you...). I sometimes wonder why these situations don't occur in Combat Mission. As far as I know, Combat Mission does not take into account the more "abstract", indirect psychological factors. It does model the actual "suppression" effect, but not the psychological impact of a "high volume of fire". (Similarly, I think there is no tank shock/panic in Combat Mission). Depending on a unit's morale, the mere sound of intensive firing (within a certain distance/radius) could have an impact on morale and the will to advance. So this would be a more long-term "environmental" factor compared to the more extreme and direct "suppression" effect when the unit is targeted by accurate fire. I suppose that MGs are also part of the reason. They're quite handicapped by the fact that they can only area-target a single square per minute. They can only cover very small areas. Another point to think about would be the bonus for spotting units that are firing. And then of course the distance at which engagements take place also play a big role. Another rather weird thought: what about the lack of a "crouched movement"? Perhaps units would be able to advance closer to each other without getting spotted (staying below the height of the terrain type), so that both sides would be more likely to find themselves in a situation in which they can area fire at each other at closer distances? Also, when exposed to fire, a soldier's accuracy should drop drastically? Just very hypothetical brainstorming here, free of any considerations how it would affect gameplay as a whole ... So, for the further discussion, I would be interested in your opinions on these questions: 1) Should a perceived high volume of fire have a psychological effect, even if it's blind/inaccurate (not covered by the actual suppression mechanic)? 2) Does CM infantry engaged in fire combat spot too well? If so, why?
  6. I sometimes use wooden bunkers in my quick battles as ammo crates and "dug-outs" to offer some protection against enemy artillery. As it has been mentioned, they tend to get immediately spotted and knocked out by any non-small arm weapon. They can be effective against enemy infantry though, if you can place them somewhere 1) enemy tanks can't fire on them, 2) they can play the strength of their heavy MG (ideal distance to enemy 350m plus, i.e. outside the effective range of the enemy light MGs!) and 3) as long as you can protect their flanks/dead angles. So yeah, basically, never. Strangely, it seems that bunkers can't be supressed for some reason. As long as this is the case, it would probably be a bad idea to make bunkers provide a realistic level of protection...? Fortifications are in a very bad spot right now. Either they don't offer enough protection and - equally if not more important - concealment (bunkers, trenches, foxholes) and/or they're severly overprized in quickbattles (wire, mines, AT obstacles). But it's unlikely that anything will change. 😕 I'd also greatly welcome fortified buildings and the option to modify buildings in the deployment phase (barricade windows, add doors /blow gaps to allow covered movement to and from buildings).
  7. "Infanteriegruppe als Spähtrupp" (The infantry squad on a recon mission for the company) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJwEsfobXy8 @40:43, you can see a schematic presentation of the squad's retrograde movement (footage starting @32:18) upon contact. The distance between the german squad in the rivulet and the enemy heavy MG is said to be 150m. The distance between the german light MG (back in the wood) and the enemy heavy MG is 350m.
  8. @Zveroboy1 I've converted your map for Red Thunder and Final Blitzkrieg. Just had a quick look, everything looks fine. The only thing you might want to adjust are the flavour objects. I've uploaded the files here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/91wr3f203ub9ash/AABD8cAKYNLStBpusxo1yl_pa?dl=0
  9. Yay! Thanks a lot! I can never get enough realistic maps! I'm always searching for maps suitable for H2H play. Have you considered to port them to the other (WWII) titles as well? It's actually super easy.
  10. Do you know whether the "victory/defeat" differentiation means anything or is just an information on your "performance"? After all, as you say, what really matters is capturing squares.
  11. Some things I learned and noticed about GT during my first campaign playthrough that are quite impressive, I have to say: Persistent battlefields throughout the campaign: dead soldiers, craters, destroyed buildings, trenches, destroyed vehicles - everything is persistent. Campaigns are played on a map which are roughly at least 80km² big. Tactical battles take place on 3x3km sections of this map. If in your first battle a tank burned out at location X on the map, the wreck will still be there 5 turns later (the next day). Dynamic terraforming. That's right. Take a look at the attached video. At 09:37 you can see how the infantry gun slightly "condenses" the soft ground. Sounds! The great thing about the sounds is that GT differentiates close and distant sounds. It's extremely immersive and something that is sadly missing in CM. For some reason, armored battles play out "softer" than in CM. In CM, tanks are taken out of the battle completely very quickly when they start to get hit. In GT, you typically end up with a lot of "damaged" and immobilized tanks. (Those need to be repaired in the campaign) Of course it also depends on the pairing (armor versus gun*range*angle). GT has a pretty complex system to keep the player from micromanaging too much. Giving orders requires you to have command points and consumes command points. Units that have no communication links to their superiors or are in a bad shape in general need more command points to follow orders. Command points regenerate over time. (You can set the regeneration to fast if you want to "switch off" this system/restriction). Info sharing (about enemy contacts) works similarly to CM. By voice, wire/telephone, radio, maybe even flares (haven't quite figured this out yet). GT even has infantry telephones on tanks (haven't seen those yet ingame, but it is mentioned in the manual that they allow info sharing between infantry and buttoned-up tanks). Video of my second engagement in the campaign. Unfortunately, you have to play the game while you watch the action, so creating beautifull videos is not that easy. But I think you can get an overall impression of the relatively low battle intensity, realistically scaled maps, dynamic weather (note how it gets darker), and also the notorious "emptyness" of the modern battlefield.
  12. Oh I didn't know that! Thanks for clearing that up. I don't think that it's technically hard to follow the rules. There is no need to write down anything. It shouldn't come down to role-playing, the intention is just to increase the difficulty of coordination between troops and the effects when coordination goes wrong. Players would just need to understand that they may only give orders on every turn that falls on minute 5/10/15 etc. Accordingly, they need to set more waypoints. Being "locked" into attacking a village for 5 minutes doesn't sound bad to my ears at all. 5 minutes is not a lot of time, really. Transmitting orders or catching a breath/reorging the squads would probably take at least 5 minutes. Even on a platoon leaders own initiative, instructing his squads about his ad hoc plan would take more time than 5 minutes. I think a 5 minutes delay (at maximum, it can be shorter depending on when a new idea comes to the leader's mind during the turn) is more realistic than the 1 minute twitch reaction. And again, player borg spotting is a real issue. You can make leaders react to enemy positions that should be unknown to them, if it wasn't for the player's god view. Now, as to whether there are situations in which the players need to interfere in shorter intervalls in order to keep things plausible/relaistic and compensate for "deficiencies" of the tac AI? Probably yes. The handheld-AT-ambush situation is an example that warrants an exception to the rule. But this is the only important situation that comes to my mind where quicker reaction is needed and plausible. Well, but if the "Hard Cat" rules (which are much more complex) can be observed by gentlemen players, then the 5 minutes rule should be easy! ------------------------ The idea is that 5 minutes turns should be a slight remedy against the "borg spotting" problem, i.e. players being able to let units react extremely fast to things the units cannot be aware of. This includes both movements and positions of enemy as well as friendly units. It gives chaos more time to develop before the hand of the player can intervene and re-arrange. As a side-effect, it also makes area-targeting a bit more risky (the longest "target briefly" command is 1.5 minutes, if I remember correctly?).
  13. Regarding the idea to increase the time intervals between orders: In fact I wondered what would happen to the game if you increased the reaction interval for ALL troops to 5 minutes (!)? What would happen if players were only allowed to give new orders to their troops every 5 minutes, instead of every single minute? Theoretically, we should end up with a lot of coordination difficulties and friction? And that's exactly what I (and some others) are missing in Combat Mission. Thanks to very sophisticated waypoint system in CM, playing with bigger reaction intervalls would be perfectly viable. Bigger reaction intervals would encourage you to put a bigger effort into anticipation and force you to make a decision: Do I want to take it slow and carefully or risky and fast (potentially surprising the opponent but with a very messy situation if it goes wrong)? The basic go-to-example: If the infantry support of a tank is stopped in minute 2 of the turn, the tank would still continue to move on for 3 more minutes, depending on how risky your approach was/how many waypoints you've placed. Players could still borg-spot-area fire at targets that the firing unit does not see. However, this cheesy tactic would at least cost/waste a bit more time than it does now. Once I have a bit more time at my hands, I'd really like to try that out in a multiplayer battle. Are there any volunteers? As a positive side effect , H2H battles could be played faster? "Have 20 minutes? Let's just resolve the next turn (5 ingame minutes)!" Just load the game, click on finish turn, done, repeat 4 times. You can watch what happened in the individual turns afterwards (reloading the saves). A 60 minutes scenario would just consist of 12 turns. A much more manageable and less intimitating number than 60! @IanL What do you mean by "cumulative effects"? It's true that the player is also in control of the brains of individual troop leaders. Therefore, increasing the player's reaction intervalls also decreases the level of troop leader initiative. Or at least it makes them more random by applying a variable delay on them. Depending on when the "trigger" happens during the turn, there might be more or less delay on the leader's initiative. I don't think it would be such a deal breaker for me, especially as the basic self-preservation reactions (go prone, pop smoke, reverse, leave trenches in the midst of artillery barrages ^^) are handled by the tac AI.
  14. So I've spent the last weekend giving Graviteam a real chance for once. I've had MiusFront it in my game library for a long time already, but being the CM fanboy that I am, I never really made a serious effort. But now as I'm growing slightly disatisfied with CM's lack of progress/innovation, I decided to try GT out more seriously. The bad: Graviteam's AI is no challenge. Lacking a multiplayer mode, this means that any fun I might have with the game will be short-lived. This is the single most important point of this review. After one weekend of playing, I'm already tired by AI suicide charges. Graviteam's UI is a nightmare beyond description, both in the tactical battles and even more so in the operational mode. I call "fanboy" on anyone who thinks differently on this point. Nobody seems to understand how the various indirect fire methods really work. Even the expert tutorials just tell you which combinations of buttons you should have checked, without fully understanding what they do. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Mabye it's bugged. The campaign aspect is certainly interesting, but it's more on the "game" than on the "simulation" side of things. They way battlemaps are cut out of the campaign map means that positions that could very well support each other are simply "cut off" (but to be fair, this is even more noteworthy with many CM maps...). Also, the whole reinforcement/battlegroup aspect is rather questionable. Battalions are represented by single companies (the other companies are in reserve, not present on the battlefield). The good: The visuals are more simulation-like: For example, tracer rounds are simulated - these really have a huge impact on the overall aesthetical impression of a WWII battle. Another thing that struck my eye is that tree models are more realistic than in CM (in CM, tree trunks are much too thick). From what I've seen so far, clear areas on most GT maps also feature a lot of small bumps that provide cover to prone infantry. The more realistic impression of GT is also related to the "tight" reaction of individual soldiers. While the overall animations of GT soldiers are a bit clunky at times, they tend to stand up and run faster than CM soldiers, who sometimes seem to react/move in slow-motion. GT gives the player less control over some aspects, which leads to command friction that is a bit lacking in CM. For example, GT has an interesting "command delay" system to prevent the player from micro-managing too much. As it has been discussed, friction is of particular importance when it comes to tank-infantry coordination. Here, properly scaled maps also help a lot - tanks are simply faster than infantry! But you will only start to understand the implications of this if you play on realistically sized maps. Graviteam's maps are realistically large. The same cannot be said for CM quickbattle maps. Situational plausibility. One thing I particularly like in GT was that both the mix of troops you lead into battle as well as your overall goal for a battle somehow seemed more plausible than in most CM games. The second point is probably related to the campaign mode, which ties the operational and the tactical levels closer together. Due to their fine, time-consuming level of detail, CM battles need to deliver a lot of action in a short time-span to be fun, even if the resulting high intensity of the action is very unplausible. GT is very different here. As they're real time, battles play out very fast. Long periods of "nothing" can be bridged very quickly by speeding up time. This means that GT can portray the intensity level of WWII engagements (with a few exceptions, obviously) much better. Casualties are lower overall, engagements develop slowlier, don't necessarily end in full escalation. Also, in the campaign battles of GT, you never know how many and what kind of troops the opponent still has in petto. You could find yourself in a very asymmetrical/unbalanced battle (it's okay because retrat makes sense and you don't lose too much precious game time if you do it...). In CM, by contrast, the balance lies within a single game/scenario, not on the campaign level. It features some details that are missing in CM: e.g. telephone units that lay wires; flares. Also, you can set the density of an infantry formation. I wished I could spread out my soldiers in CM too... Offside the core functions, one also needs to point out that modding CM seems to be much easier and that CM features an awesome map/scenario editor. So overall, I would say that Graviteam has a more realistic/simulationist visual appeal, while CM's visuals are a bit more "table top like" (and very detailed at that!) which also has its own charm. In terms of gameplay, the overall combat situation (mix of troops, map size, goals of a battle, intensity of engagements) is more plausible in GT, while the actual mechanics are probably more convincing in CM (precise positioning, effects of cover and concealment, etc). Any advantages that Graviteam might have, however, are strongly mitigated by the lack of multiplayer support, and severely hampered by the atrocious and clunky UI. CM is the much more polished and user-friendly series. So both games have their merits. I think I will stick to GT for a more "contemplative", laid-back singleplayer experience (let's just watch the action) and to CM for a more competitive, highly invested tactical multiplayer experience.
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