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Everything posted by Kaunitz

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. This thread is about the creation of a historical map and scenario for CM:FI/GL: The battle of Gerbini which was fought on 20/21st July 1943 between elements of the commonwealth 51st (Highland) Division and the german parachute-tank-division Hermann Göring. As I don’t want to create or play scenarios that are larger than 1 company, and there is a limit to the maximum map-size, the scenario will only comprise part of the battle. But maybe I will end up with several company-sized scenarios. Context There is not a lot one needs to know about the overall context: After its landing south of Syracuse, the british/commonwealth 8th army (XXX. and XIII. corps) pushed north along the eastern coast of Sicily. The aim was to get to Messina as fast as possible in order to cut off the germans’ path of retreat and trap them on Sicily. A few kilometers south of Catania – a major coastal town – the 8th army met stiff resistance. Montgomery tried to bypass Catania further to the west, on the inland. In the battles of Gerbini and Sferro Hill, however, he had to learn that his army had made contact with the first (Hauptkampflinie) of three main defensive lines of the Germans, stretching from the west coast to the east cost of Sicily. While the western half of the defensive line made use of the mountainous terrain, here, on its eastern end, it ran along the plain of Catania, a large plain south of mount Etna. The germans set up their defenses at the northern edge of that plain, stretching 40 kilometers along and behind the river Dittaino. At Sferro and Gerbini, the commonwealth/british army tried to penetrate the eastern sectors of the Hauptkampflinie. The 51st Highland-division had established a bridgehead north of the Dittaino from which it started a night attack on Gerbini. It was primarily carried out by the 7th battalion Argyll & Sutherland highlanders and 2 companies of the 1st Blackwatch Highlanders – both these battalions were part of the 154th brigade of the 51st Highland Division/XXX. corps/8th army. Gerbini itself was northing more than a crossroad, orchards and a few houses. North of Gerbini, however, lay Gerbini airfield - a major axis aerodrome which had been a high priority target for allied bombers. Also, a single railroad-track ran east-west in between Gerbini proper and the airfield, with a stop at Gerbini station (stazione di Gerbini on the map). Today, you can only make out some remains of the runway on a field in between the railroad and the modern highway. Sources For a contemporary 1943 map (1:25.000) take a look here: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/ams/italy_25k/ (Gerbini) (same here: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/maps/europe/zoomify138659.html ). This seems to be the US Army Map Service -map that the allied troops actually used during the campaign. You can compare this to modern maps, like the OpenTopo map (https://opentopomap.org/#map=15/37.47215/14.84386) and google maps (https://www.google.at/maps/@37.4691357,14.842885,1698m/data=!3m1!1e3). Thanks to the 51st Division online museum, there are two quite detailed reports about the action available online: The first source is a report by brigadier T. Rennie, the commander of the 154th Brigade, dating from August 14th 1943. It also includes a sketch (based on the map linked above) on which the objectives/artillery targets are marked: http://51hd.co.uk/accounts/gerbini_combs (report + artillery fire plan), http://51hd.co.uk/history/sicily_gerbini (Map/sketch). Note that if you compare the plan to the report of the action nothing seems to have gone according to plan. None of the 7th Argyll & Sutherlands coys seem to have reached their assigned target area - instead they stayed further to the east and advanced on the airfield and beyond (D coy) and along the railroad (where A coy made it to the station). The west was therefore still held by the enemy as the 1st coy/1st blackwatch found out when it tried to secure the road north to clear the way for the support weapons and got pinned down in the process. The course of the tank platoon is a riddle for me. They showed up at the road/rail junction (where the 7th A&S's C coy held out) in the east at 00:00, then sent a tank to support A coy in the station, but later took up position in the orchard north of Gerbini, in the west. I wonder how the tanks got there. The second source, also to be found on the 51st Division online museum, is a shorter account of Dell Porchetta, a member of the 8th platoon of A coy of the 7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. http://51hd.co.uk/accounts/porchetta_gerbini (His company surrendered at Gerbini station) I also found this account quite helpful: https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2017/02/25/the-plain-of-catania-1943-part-i/ I could even find some drawings by the Division's artist Ian Gilber Marr Eadie (1917–1973):http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/8379 It is labeled with "Gerbini". We can try to identify the exact location (see next post). Some impressions filmed at Gerbini airfield: https://youtu.be/6HOPxnK2a6A Selection The Gerbini-attack is too large to be put into a single scenario. Therefore, I've decided to select (a) single theater(s) of the battle. I think that the western flank of the battle is very interesting. Here, the 1st coy. of 1st Blackwatch got pinned down, the 2nd coy managed to take a german pillbox with the help of a smoke screen, AT-guns were moved forward, and also, the german counter-attack on the next morning has been very strong, knocking out a good part of the Shermans who had been positioned in the orchard north of Gerbini. I think that this makes for one (or two) interesting scenarios (attack - counter-attack). Moreover, I feel confident that maps and the accounts give me a quite detailed picture of the terrain. Gerbini station and the airfield are harder to imagine, since I couldn't find any contemporary pictures.
  5. 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.
  6. 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)!
  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. A British MG position in Sicily. A British AT gun waiting for information about interesting targets. Note that there is an FO team (+radio) with the gun. I tend to do this because the FO team can deliver all information about enemy sightings to the gun. The frontline units spot stuff and tell their superiors. The superiors (battalion level) of ALL units on the battlefield stick together at the command post so that they can share information verbally, even if they' don't share a common superior. By this method, all sightings are shared to all units but it may take a while. So here the FO team is very busy listening to the radio and spotting while the gun-crew has some tea. Of course this only really matters if you roleplay a bit and don't let units area-fire at targets they don't know about.
  15. Yes, this is a good idea and does work in woods, but in other types of terrain, it gets a bit tricky. "Why are there so many logs in that corn field?" ^^ On a positive note the depiction of the irrigation ditches of Gerbini via trenches is not that much of a problem as both players should know where they are. The Germans for sure, and the British had their map. Some posts/discussions about fortifications in CM: (esp. second half of my post from May 31st 2017) I've done quite a lot of experimentation back then. My impression was that HE hits in CM are modelled with a lot of complexity and were quite realistically affected by terrain and slopes. For example, it seemed as if shrapnel was quite clearly stopped by terrain and walls. But I couldn't come up with a controlled and reliable test. It was more a gut feeling after some test-shellings of terrain shaped in all kinds of varieties combined with painstakingly placed sandbag walls. For example if you got a gentle upwards slope relatively close behind your position you'd better place a sandbag wall behind you in case a shell hits there. Otherwise the shrapnel might hit you from behind. It's much better not to have any elevated terrain around you at all. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Here are some pictures of the protection that a "depressed" road can provide if done correctly as described above (blue, black - 1 [road tile], blue; does not work with all terrain-types): All soldiers align themselves neatly along a line parallel to the road. Most importantly, this behavious is consistent and reliable (unless you use really large squads): (Note one soldier is crawling over to the MG-buddy to take up his assistant-position next to him, see his final position in the next pic). All (blue line!) soldiers can fire from the prone position and have good LOS. As they're close to the ground, LOS will get blocked if there is lots of grass (especially if the enemy approaches in a crawling manner, which is rather unlikely) - but even then all soldiers can still area-fire (very effective if the terrain is flat). View from the enemy's perspective - this position should provide excellent cover against direct fire but it sucks against arty. If they cover, they're barely visible at all. Compare this to soldiers kneeling in trenches - those are much more exposed! In this flat surrounding, the position is even better as it will be difficult for the enemy to aim at the square directly in front of the position. Unless the enemy is firing "downwards" from a hill or standing and exposing himself, the square will most likely be counted as "reverse slope". I still need to do proper testing, but by the looks of it (I do think that looks matter, but of course I could be wrong if things work in a more abstract way...), this position seems to be better and more consistent than trenches. Soldiers can stay in a prone position, have LOS/can fire and benefit from good protection against direct fires. The road itself would look a bit nicer with a different approach (blue in black elevation), but in this case it's gameplay over aesthetics for me.
  16. The problem I have with creating ditches by using ditch lock is that the ditches look nice, but I find them a bit problematical in terms of gameplay. Often soldiers don't align on the action spot as you would hope. Some stay "outside" the ditch (exposing themselves to enemy small arms and especially artillery fire), others are in the ditch so that they can't see/fire anywhere, etc. Maybe I'm just too picky, but I find that the terra-formed ditches are not as protective and effective as they should be. I've experimented quite a lot with different kinds of combinations of blue (ditch lock) and black elevations and also with placing fences/hedges on ditches in order to "force" soldiers to position themselves on the right spot. There is a combination that makes soldiers align quite neatly along the trench with a good field of fire and okay cover (if prone)*, but troops still remain very vulnerable to artillery fire. That's the reason why I now place actual "trench" tiles (the ones you buy in the unit selection menu) in the ditches. Even though it doesn't look that nice (see picture), this makes soldiers align nicely and (I hope!) should also give them some better cover against artillery. But this needs some further testing (I think there are already some test-results regarding the protective effect of fortifications against arty to be found in the forum somewhere...). And also, as the trench-tiles need to be bought and deployed, it doesn't work for quickbattles (problem of point budgets, setup-zones, tedious work....). More generally speaking, I find that creating proper defensive positions in Combat Mission is incredibly difficult. For more modern titles, it's even more difficult, as HE projectiles are so abundant. I was pretty pround of my MG position here (crater + log, + only gently sloped terrain around so that the chance of shrapnel striking into the crater from above was low and close misses would land farther away). It withstood quite a few HE shots. But then again a position such as this is too obvious - a human opponent can simply look at the map and search for a log and a crater): ------- * blue 0, black -1, blue 0 // --> place the unit on a blue (not black) tile and face them in a right angle to the ditch
  17. Short note to myself on the intricacies of CM terrain I fear that I will have to place "trenches" as irrigation ditches. The ordinary method - simply using a narrow sharp [blue in black] depression - looks nicer but doesn't really work in terms of gameplay. I always pay close attention to how soldiers aline in the action spot and I simply can't make them line up nicely - some soldiers won't be able to fire at all, others need to kneel, many are very exposed, etc. Also, they're by far too vulnerable to artillery fire. I've also experimented with using fence-tiles (they split up an action spot into smaller areas) in order to gain more control over soldier-placement, but it doesn't help in this case. In trenches, they seem to be fine, and with some high grass it doesn't even look that bad. However, this means that it will not work in quickbattles. Apart from ditches, dirt roads (Fortress Italy lacks dirt paths, so I have to use dirt roads) will also offer some protection, as I set them to be 1 unit deeper than the surrounding fields. Properly done (the road needs to be black, the surrounding fields blue)* soldiers can line up very neatly on each side of the road, with good protection (prone) and good fields of fire. Just to visualize my problem, here's a small video of a British platoon in a ditch (albeit not the narrowest version). The British are opening up on a German platoon that is retreating covered by a smoke screen. A german infantry gun (150mm - on map artillery) knocks out 9 British with a single shot. I hope that this will not happen in trenches... Creating ditches via depressions in the ground simply doesn't give me the desired results. They're too broad and fail to offer infantry units that placed "in" (well, more "around" actually) the ditch the protection they should. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO0aHShKu1o&feature=youtu.be * Does not work with all types of terrain. E.g. ploughed fields create edges that are too sharp. It certainly works with sand and wheed terrain. PS: Did you know? The engine casts shadows depending on the time of the day! I was smiling when I noticed that the shadows are cast to the northwest in the morning and to the northeast in the evening.
  18. Which one? The tropical one or the "normal" one? I think that especially the "normal" one looks really cool! I will see if I can also get the equipment textures to work. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Here is an extract of the map with the Royal Airforce aerial recon markers on it (area D of the artillery fire plan): Here is what I think I understand - maybe someone here is more knowledgeable when it comes to reading the British marker I'm having troubles with (dot + arrow, see below)? Note that a circle around a symbol means that it is an anti air asset. On the northeast and northwest corners of the position, there are two batteries (4 guns each) of anti air guns. Note that one of the positions had already been marked on the base map (double circle)! In between the two batteries there is a trench/ditch under construction (u/c) and an anti air searchlight (?). South of the trench, there is a marker I can't interpret (dot + arrow). On the southern corners of the position, there are 3 + 2 anti air MGs. The 3 anti-air MGs are marked as "unoccupied" (unocc.?). On the southern border of the position, there also runs an under construction ditch (I'm pretty sure that this one is visible on today's google maps' satellite view) and again, to the south of this ditch, there another one of the marker I fail to interpret. Further to the south, at the curve of the Strada Statale, there is a rectangle + dot and arrow pointing west. This is the same marker as for the confirmed MG-pillboxes in other places (I couldn't confirm this specific pillbox with google maps though). Given that the pillboxes were for MGs, the dot+arrow might actually be an ordinary MG position? I'm pretty sure that the brigade must have had this information before the attack. I can see no other explanation for the artillery fire plan which clearly targets the positions marked by the RAF. Also, the reports mentions the "barracks" area, which becomes only clear if you take a look the RAF info, which identifies barracks (large huts) under cover of the trees in the orchard area.
  19. Kaunitz

    New features curiosity

    Thanks a lot! It works just like you've described! This should be in the manual!
  20. Kaunitz

    New features curiosity

    19. Allow more than one ammo dump per side. If you buy a truck in the editor and set its status to "dismounted", it will show up as a stationary ammo dump. However, this only works a single time, so you can only ever have one ammo dump per side (the second one will simply not show up on the map). This is bad news if you plan to use a lot of heavy MGs that are supposed to deliver lines of grazing fire for prolonged amounts of time. On realistically scaled maps (with comparatively vast "flat" areas), hMGs graze-firing height along predefined lines can be extremely effective, if only they wouldn't run out of ammo so fast.
  21. Kaunitz

    Bren Guns firing single shots?

    I also hope that this will be fixed in the next patch. Had a test battle (in Fortress Italy) across a short field (180m). 2 german MGs suppressed and scared a poor British platoon to death. The Brits had 5 (single shot!) bren guns. With the Brits' heads down, the evil germans laughed and rolled up their infantry gun - Kaboom! The rest is history.
  22. For me these two look very different (see the screenshots above). Did you rename all the files of the "normal" version? If you didn't, I don't think they will show up in your game and you might be looking at the vanilla skins instead (those look very similar to Mjkerner's tropical version ^^ - but note the cross-belt). EDIT I've messed up the link sorry. Here is the correct link to the tropical version: http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?wpfb_filepage=cmfi-uniform-luftwaffe-hg-zip Sorry, my bad!!
  23. Uniform mods/reskins for the Hermann Göring Division There are currently three summer uniform mods available (not counting the winter version by SDP): by Jorge MC http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=4575 - the mod features desaturated "flecktarn" tops and very bright, more vividly colored helmets. by Mjkerner ("normal" version) http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=1229 - the mod features very warm - almost "leathery" - colors for the tops. But - in stark contrast to that - there are also a few dark grey trousers and helmets put into the mix (not really visible on the picture below). Some of the helmets are really cool! All uniforms have stains of dirt on them. (NOTE: This mod is outdated and will not work unless you rename all files - the picture below shows vanilla boots and gear, I only got the uniform and helmets to work) by Mjkerner ("tropical" version) http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=1229 - this mod's uniforms differ only slightly from the vanilla ones (NOTE: This mod only features uniforms, no change to helmets) Here is a comparison between the mods and vanilla: I will use my own selection which uses bits from all three mods: Perhaps I can compile a Gerbini-experience bundle with all the relevant mods that are out there - giving all due credit to the creators, of course. I will compile a small pdf with a comparison of the the modded assets and the vanilla game. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other than that, I'm still working on the map. The recon information by the Royal Airforce is very interesting and helps me to understand the battle a bit better. E.g. the aerial recon takes note of "huts under the trees" in the orchard area. So these seem to be the "barracks" that are mentioned in the battle reports. They are close to two runways that have been "ploughed up" (decomissioned...) already by 1943. I now also understand why the area west of Gerbini has been shelled quite heavily: this is the area where the air recon marked several FLAK positions. I wonder whether they could also be used on ground targets and how many were still occupied and working by the time of the Gerbini ground attack (the airfield and its surroundings had been bomb-raided several times by then...).
  24. Update on the sources used to create the scenario (in addition to those listed in the first post): Lorenzo Bovi, Sicilia WW2, Foto inedite. Speciale Aeroporti: Catania, Gerbini (2016) just arrived and I'm very pleasantly surprised! The highlight is a map (the 1943 one linked in post 1) on which allied air recon marked the dispositions of the airfiled and its defenses. I'm not entirely sure yet if I interpret everything correctly, but it all all bunkers/pillboxes are marked on the map, perhaps even AT gun positions, wire obstacles (not sure yet). Very helpfull! Books basic titles (most of the following titles are about the Sicily campaign in general, the battle of Gerbini usually is but a paragraph) Samuel W. Mitcham Jr./ Friedrich von Stauffenberg: The Battle of Sicily. How the Allies Lost Their Chance for Total Victory (Stackpole Military History Series (1991). Carlo D’Este: Bitter Victory. The Battle for Sicily, July–August 1943 (1988). Albert N. Garland / Howard McGaw Smyth: United States Army in World War II. Mediterranean Theater of Operations: Sicily and the Surrender of Italy (1965). [short description of the German forces...] Hugh Pond, Sicily (1962). Eric Linklater:The Campaign in Italy (Second World War 1939 - 1945 Series) (1977). more specific titles Claude Gillono, Fortress. German Armour In The Defence Of Sicily (Firefly Collection No.3) (2013). Lorenzo Bovi, Sicilia WW2, Seconda Guerra Mondiale - Foto inedite. Speciale Aeroporti: Catania, Gerbini (2016). [pending: Claude Gillono - Hermann Göring Panzer Division in Sicily (2008)] Maps Download-link to a detailed modern map of the area, the height info is very valuable: http://www.comune.paterno.ct.it/zf/index.php/trasparenza/index/visualizza-documento-generico/categoria/306/page/5/documento/2449 Accounts 51st Division online museum, report by 128th field artillery reg.: http://51hd.co.uk/accounts/128_field_reg 51st Division online museum, report by 61st anti tank reg.: http://51hd.co.uk/accounts/61_anti_tank_sicily
  25. Some short notes on dust in Combat Mission This is mainly for my own reference. I have not conducted serious tests, just some quick hotseat-experiments. What raises dust? Vehicle movement over "dusty terrain". The faster the vehicle goes, the more dust is thrown up. Firing large calibre guns (AT guns, tank guns, etc) from "dusty terrain". MGs are okay. Shell impacts on "dusty terrain" Whether a terrain is dusty or not depends on the ground condition (no dust if wet, eg.) and on the type of terrain. E.g. the ploughed field tiles don't raise any dust, most crop tiles do. Also consider different road types. Who can see dust? Dust generated by shell impacts can be seen by the opponent. Dust generated by firing or moving can only be seen by the opponent if he has spotted the source of the dust (confirmed contact required). Note that the enemy can only see the dust that is created from the moment on at which he has spotted the source (i.e. "older" dust generated by the source is not shown to the opponent retrospectively). On the other hand: once you've spotted dust, it stays even if you lose sight of it's source. Effects of dust? Dust reduces/blocks LOS. For example, if you have 5 tanks on a sanddune fire, they will literally disappear in a cloud of dust. This is a two-edged sword and something to consider if you want to area-fire. Fire --> dust-cloud --> No LOS --> no area fire until the dust dissipates. This also raises an important question: Do dustclouds that my enemy can't see (because he has not spotted the source) still handicap his LOS? In order words: Is it possible that he can't see me because he's looking at a dust-cloud of which he is totally unaware? Can you be fooled by an invisible dust cloud? I don't know whether dust raises the chance of getting spotted (as an unconfirmed contact at least, even if you're shrouded in your own dust-cloud?). This would be a highly interesting question. Behaviour of dust? Dust travels with the wind (scenario condition) and dissipates at some point.