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About SimpleSimon

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  1. The scale of the games, breadth of options available for constructing and playing through a wide variety of scenarios, and the nebulous relationship between the two of them. The decisions involved in play are often both meaningful and meaningless, a difficult paradox to replicate artificially but one true enough to the realities of tactics and war. Captured in a way most video games cannot construct convincingly because of their sterility and excessive fixation on the superficial.
  2. Highly circumstantial, but i've played an awful lot of scenarios that I wouldn't describe with words like "clever" or "challenging". More like "lazy" and "malicious".
  3. Basically Josey yeah what you said before. I think the issue I see is that people compromise their base of fire too heavily to get the enemy "in one go" as the British put it. Excessively heavy assault element covered by an overwatch of insufficient strength to protect its assault element. You're doing it wrong when you're own overwatch is so badly compromised it can't even protect itself!
  4. SimpleSimon

    CM Sniper tactics

    If a sniper had it his way he wouldn't be anywhere near our CM scenario because the high density of men and heavy weaponry in the average CM scenario would present an insanely lethal environment for him to operate within. Dial back your expectations, and if you have one always make sure he is in a relatively safe, low-intensity sector of map at a comfortable stand off from enemy units. That may seem disappointing, but you've got to remember you've got one, maybe two, men here who can and will inflict a lot of misery on an enemy as long as they can avoid becoming directly engaged. The value of snipers is that they can do damage totally out of proportion for their own manpower cost but they will only achieve this as long as they are not operating in extreme danger all the time.
  5. Preparatory bombardment, flamethrowers and engineers, or outright avoidance. A coherent defender in ambush positions that our infantry march into is a screw up on our end, the player's. Next time determine if you really need to move through that housing to begin with and if you do, support or prepare that attack with appropriate assets.
  6. S.L.A. Marshall I haven't seen the morale penalty, but maybe they don't do it with Gaurds Rifles? Anyway penalizing the player for breaking Russian infantry down into teams is foolish, and violates BF's own principal that they don't influence the play style of sides by their nationality. I'll look more closely next time when I play Soviets, but I haven't seen that and if it's there it hasn't been a significant issue to me. The Italians can't split units down into subparts but that's less egregious to me since it's organizational, not implied to be "some kind of Italian thing". And man the peculiarities of Italian organization are amazing to me. It's so bad but I get such amusement out of playing as them i'm sad more Italian units and stuff just aren't in the game. It's like when you achieve anything playing as the Italians it's SOOOOO much more satisfying than as anyone else because they're so off foot about fighting modern wars against peer enemies. I guess that just come down to playstyle then. As usual in doctrinal debates, we're both probably right. Much depends on the circumstances where our abstractions decrease in value as the player's own knowledge of specifics increases. Intentionally so because of the abstract nature of the theorizing. Certainly they did, and did not seriously believe that the artillery conquered battlefields. It wins them but it does not own them, and it was still expected of the infantry to break down small pockets, holdouts, and screen larger bodies from harassment so they can move faster. That's not winning the war, but it's facilitating it in the way combined arms does. Thus, low expectations. It is merely my own observation that CM players seem to think like British Officers of 1914, and not 1918, and with that in mind i'm trying to point out there is another end to the spectrum of play here.
  7. Erwin and others are right that, if anything, the games AI makes the soldiers seem too fanatically willing to fight to the end. We should be seeing way more POW and MIA counts on those after action screens than what were getting. Because they don’t want to die. It’s up to you to ensure that when your men go up against opposition it’s a game already rigged for them to win. When you build a scenario for a given unit to accomplish its task within you do so in a way that failure is either extremely unlikely or impossible. Don’t ever push your men into fair fights, fair fights are for losers.
  8. What do you mean by "clunky"? Soviet Rifle squads in game have one machine gun per section, identical to the British. Gaurds Infantry have several SMGs and even SVTs. Seems very desirable to me. Contrary to shock troops, like the Airborne or SS, nobody really expected infantry to achieve much by themselves. That's why regular infantry were so lightly armed, and why the bolt action rifle did not finally go extinct until after 1945. The infantry's main job was the most basic of them all, to compose and populate a battle line. Hence the infantry in most armies are armed with one machine gun per section and sometimes an SMG for the leader. (If they were even anything near their own ToE, which they frequently weren't.) In many cases a pistol may have been all the squad leader had. These guys weren't expected to work miracles, they were expected to sit in a hole and stomach the Chef's mutton stew. If seizure of an objective was desired then it generally behooved their superiors to have already smashed said' objective with artillery fire. The infantry must merely advance into the pummeled moonscape and take prisoners or crush holdouts. This is kind of why everyone was slow to adopt battle rifles or assault rifles between the wars, and the machine guns that emerged in the 1920/30s were largely designed with cheaper production in mind rather than outperforming older guns. Other than the radio very little actually changed about the way infantry did battle in 1918 as to how they did it in 1945. The idea of infantry advancing into smashed moonscapes to defeat an enemy already defeated by bombardment was not glamorous but in the wars of the 20th century that was exactly what they did. So they were armed with that in mind. Yes yes they might run into something they actually have to shoot sometimes but if it was something heavier than two riflemen in a ditch then someone above their pay grade screwed up. That's just comes from not screening your main body properly. I agree the AI is boneheaded about unit pathing though, but that's not really a major problem as long as you're tasking your force sensibly. Mistakes will happen sure but the biggest mistake of them all is to let an enemy have you convinced you have no strength, and cannot challenge him.
  9. The value of splitting units depends heavily on the side you're playing and what you're doing, and in my opinion it is often done in the game for the wrong reasons. Personally when I can help it, I don't split my units. Some of the advantages like more eyes for spotting are offset by the decreased firepower, making individual teams less able to defend themselves and certainly unable to engage many kinds of targets. For some sides, especially the Allies and Soviets, compromising your advantage in firepower should be done as minimally as possible. You need as many men as you can muster for any firefight so you can completely overmatch a reasonable target. I'm not talking a 2:1 or even 4:1 to advantage in firepower. I'm saying if you're doing it right you never fail to ensure the firepower of an entire Platoon comes crashing down on a pair of lowly Volksgrenadiers in a knoll or in an unfortunate French Farmhouse. Just about the only units I ever split off from Allied infantry are scout teams, sometimes assault teams too, but even then they're just playing armed recon. The point is you should always be able to put your fist through whatever is dumb enough to lash out at your force. In this way, you make it totally impossible for them to do their job which is kill your men, and put them in a position where even their own self defense is in question. Splitting your own units too frequently does not generally assist this in my experience, as it creates many small groups of mutually unsupported and unsupportive teams who spend most of their time being the target instead of making targets. You're doing your enemy's job for him when you excessively split your force and ensure that no element of his defense will be excessively task saturated or overloaded. Way of the closed fist, not the open palm, grasshopper. Now that's just my own experience, it fits the circumstances of the average Allied/Soviet task force in my opinion and it's not universal. If you prefer to split units a lot and the micro management of small teams is how you like to play than my friend never fail to load up scenarios as the Wehrmacht as you will be rewarded for that kind of play style with them much more frequently than you will as the Americans or British or Russians.
  10. SimpleSimon

    Spotting rounds ?

    If he doesn't see them he will still attempt to adjust fire until he does, although this signifies that unless he gets lucky you're still probably looking at a few more minutes of spotting before he's on target. It helps when they see their own fire to be sure. Something to keep in mind is that "precision" barrages are difficult affairs to manage with the technology of the time. It can be done, but it'll take longer to walk the fire into the target if it's a small target. For weapon crews this is reasonable enough, they're not going anywhere soon. If you want fire fast though trade off some accuracy and you'll see that you can have more fire missions in less time.
  11. I think the issue they had with the Bradley was that it cost more than many tanks, western IFVs generally did though. There would've been no way to keep the Bradley's costs down too with the broad set of mission capabilities that were being demanded of it. The media of course went to no effort to explain any of this. That wouldn't make it a story and many journalists' careers hinge on making this molehill a mountain! That was my attacks for years too until I stepped back and soberly evaluated exactly what was happening. That I was demanding a bunch of nervous, barely literate farmhands armed with late 19th century repeating muskets to seize and plant my nation's flag upon a given knoll or izbas,. It took stacks of bodies before I realized that this was not reasonable and if the game was real I would have either been relieved and sent back to Iowa/Vladivostok/Lincolnshire for a desk job by my superior or fragged by one of my own men the next time I thought the latrine was safe. You could say that the Germans/Americans/Russians just put up a tough defense but honestly if it that knoll had been held by the Italian Mafia or the Zulu even, the results would not have been much different. So step back and think about how badly you really need it and why you do. If you do, then you also need to remember that you are wielding the resources of a nation and should not send men, average men, to achieve Hollywood miracles when instead you could detail it to a mortar or send a tank instead. The men can go after that and then go around telling everyone what a pitched battle it was afterwards, just look at all those smoking craters I made with my bayonet! The point is they're alive to tell that.
  12. I think when people get bad results with infantry fighting from half tracks they would've had bad results from their dismounted infantry assault too. Lots of players seems to expect miracles of their infantry. "I attacked a prepared, motivated, heavily armed defender from disadvantaged ground guys what am I doing wrong?" lol. I do think there's some excessive vulnerability issues with riders and gunners in the half tracks, for the most part though they do exactly what I need them to do. Protect my infantry from bombardments. I think for the most part men weren't too crazy about fighting from within the vehicles. They were barely bullet proof and were designed primarily with splinter protection in mind. IFVs were a long ways off.
  13. SimpleSimon

    Familiarization with Combat Mission

    Yeah as far as the games go Fortress Italy was really friendly to beginners. The scenarios were generally well balanced and the difficulty of the campaigns mostly followed a logical progression. There was a lot less wunderwaffe stuff in everyone's scenarios and lower population-to-map size densities.
  14. SimpleSimon

    Artillery advices needed

    The Cannone da 65/17. They're awesome. I love the weird stuff. It was designed to be handled by infantry up and down Italy's steep hills and mountains for fire against strong points. It would almost fit right in at The Battle of Waterloo though. I found them very useful in the Italian campaign in Fortress Italy where they could be used for direct fire, even as anti-tank guns in a pinch. They could also be used for indirect fire but as you say they're not better at that than mortars are. I suspect like many pre-WW1 infantry-level guns they weren't really intended for it.
  15. SimpleSimon

    Artillery advices needed

    The definition of a "field gun" was highly nebulous in the age of field guns even. You also had things in some armies like regimental guns, infantry guns, or the 25pdr which was labeled a "gun-howitzer". The wars of the 20th century were truly the wars of the high-explosive. Everything and everyone was under pressure to sling some kind of HE somehow and someway.