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GreenAsJade

ALLIED : Gustav Line BETA AAR Round Two - Eye of the Elefant

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Trouble with that data is all causes are covered including a variety of weapons and calibres. The 88mm L43, on the other hand, has phenomenal velocity (often tanks struck by it had entrance and exit holes) so most of the kinetic energy was lost.

A solution might be to look at casualties caused by such weapons, but this would include such factors as ammo and fuel explosions. I do agree with Michael, the sound, and pressure wave, of the impact alone should be enough to render most soldiers unable to fight effectively.

Lethaface, just had a unit spot a Syrian HQ unit, in the open, but the unit next to it, with sniper rifle, failed to spot it, the whole engagement. In desperation it fired area fire, but again annoying given the number of techniques used to pass on target information, used in real life.

(8:30 onwards)

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Just had a hull down Chally II only spot a T-72, moving across its front, after said T-72 fired at it, minutes before a sniper team failed to spot an RPG team, that a unit close by had already pinged. Worse, a textbook advance, overwatched by Chally II's, became a shambles as both tanks failed to spot three Saggers fired at the advancing mech infantry. The IDF reckoned they could spot such missiles 6-70% of the time, with 60's optics.

As I said previously, I understand, due to a myriad of real-world reasons, that spotting is not a given, but the frequency of, WTF, moments is starting to undermine the central premise of the game system.

I think a lot of the WTF moments are simply due to the fact that units in CM do not spot continuously. Spotting checks appear to be done for each unit every "x" number of seconds, with "x" varying depending on the unit and situation but previous tests have suggested an average of 7 seconds. So if an enemy unit moves into LOS 1 second after a spotting check a lot could happen in the next 6 seconds. This is a simplification of how it works as tests have shown that checks are done more frequently in some situations, such as when a unit fires, and there is undoubtedly a lot we don't know about how it works, but in general I think this is the main reason.

It would be nice to have more frequent spotting checks but BFC comments have suggested that they are very CPU intensive.

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Trouble with that data is all causes are covered including a variety of weapons and calibres. The 88mm L43, on the other hand, has phenomenal velocity (often tanks struck by it had entrance and exit holes) so most of the kinetic energy was lost.

Perhaps, but I don't think data is available broken down by caliber.

A solution might be to look at casualties caused by such weapons, but this would include such factors as ammo and fuel explosions. I do agree with Michael, the sound, and pressure wave, of the impact alone should be enough to render most soldiers unable to fight effectively.

If by "enable to fight effectively" you mean suppressed for a time, I agree. But to suggest all or even most of the men must be hors de combat for the rest of the battle is highly speculative and not really supportable by evidence. In addition to that, we are talking about a single event, which statistically speaking tells us very little about how the game models such things. We know that the number of casualties per tank penetrated varies greatly in the game and there is no reason to suspect bunkers are any different in that aspect.

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Vinnart,

It doesn't. The only one who can see out when in full combat configuration (everyone below the top of the turret) is the gunner. In the Operations Report I cited in the Peanut Gallery thread and repeat below for the 601st TD Battalion during Op Shingle, there is an urgent recommendation for a periscope for the TC. Also, if you look at the Brassing Off the Kraut piece, the combat accounts talk about the extraordinary risks some of the participants underwent by standing up in the turret in order to properly fight their M10s. You wouldn't think it, but an M10 whose crew is ready for combat is practically blind. Would further note that such was the sniper threat at Anzio, crews were ordered to stay heads down throughout the day.

601st TD Bn Operations Report; see e.3

http://www.tankdestroyer.net/images/stories/ArticlePDFs/601st_TD_Jan_44_Rpt_of_Ops.pdf

Brassing Off Kraut

http://www.tankdestroyer.net/images/stories/ArticlePDFs/Brassing_off_Kraut.pdf

Regards,

John Kettler

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I think it's important to acknowledge that much of what appears frustrating to me can just as easily be due to skill on Bill's part as due to game limitations. Personally, I'm not blaming the game that much.

I obviously don't know if Bil is suffering the same frustrations - though by the sound of the dialog here perhaps not. But on the other hand, his plans are not likely to be dependent on long range spotting of infantry, as mine were. The long range spotting he got on the ATG was an unexpected bonus for him - I don't see how we can put it down to "skill" that the ATGs were spotted - this one is maybe the single most frustrating "is that right?" kind of thing.

However, moving to avoid infantry being spotted might be something that Bil is very good at, and something the terrain helped him with.

And as someone pointed out, it's possible that the LOS that I had when I placed the bunker was better than it has eventually turned out to be (in fact this explains a bit of a WTF that I had, when I was looking at how much of Hill 126 the bunker can see: I could have sworn it was more.).

Similarly, my tanks were always moving when they were spotted, wheras Bil had the luxury of being able to put his in overwatch and wait. You could conclude that I should perhaps not have been moving mine around so much eh? This is a tough one though: numerous times when I moved them, mortar rounds fell right where they were the moment before. Having had my ATGs spotted sitting still and hiding, I couldn't really afford to hope that my stationary M10s would not get spotted in any keyhole that I placed them in ... before I spotted the spotter - wheras Bil could afford to have his beasts continuously in my sight, because there was nothing I could do about them. That's not a game limitation, its a fact of who has what, and how the land is laid out.

In summary, if I had to say what are the game frustrations:

- lack of ATG emplacement and concealment

- change of bunker LOS, and apparent lack of spotting and firepower

And what are game circumstances (Bil's force mix, skill, the lay of the land...)

- Tank spotting

- Inf spotting

At least, this is how I see it right now.

GaJ

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"And as someone pointed out, it's possible that the LOS that I had when I placed the bunker was better than it has eventually turned out to be"

I know someone said this but how can this be? This is a game that tracks every bullet.

In terms of spotting Womble raised the issue that all the problems were on Gaj's side. Well in the previous AAR I remember Bil being pretty ticked when his stationary Shermans didn't spot Gaj's moving PzIVs.

Gerry

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In terms of spotting Womble raised the issue that all the problems were on Gaj's side.

I'm fairly certain womble either had his tongue in his cheek, or forgot the [sarcasm] tags, when he posted that.

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"And as someone pointed out, it's possible that the LOS that I had when I placed the bunker was better than it has eventually turned out to be"

I know someone said this but how can this be? This is a game that tracks every bullet.

Because bunkers on a slope subsise into the ground after you place them, in the time between pressing "go" on the setup and seeing where they end up in the first actual turn. I forgot about that when I was placing mine.

This doesn't explain why the bunker couldn't see the infantry guy that strolled across it's line of sight, but it does explain why the line of sight was more limited than I thought it was going to be ... maybe patchiness of the LOS helped that inf guy...

GaJ

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I think it's important to acknowledge that much of what appears frustrating to me can just as easily be due to skill on Bill's part as due to game limitations.

It was so down to Bill's skill :- )

Personally, I'm not blaming the game that much.

Yes you are :- )

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Something that I've learned is that every now and then during the AAR process you're going get a post that really dampens the experience for a while. It's quite an interesting challenge to conduct a battle in public with someone clearly more skilled than you are: a genuine test of mettle, because the show must go on...

GaJ

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Looking back on the ultimate purpose of these public AAR threads being to showcase GL to the general public, I'd say this one has failed miserably. All I'm left thinking is that the game is buggy and not that much fun!

Don't get me wrong, I'm a GL owner already and know that CMx2 is both fun and very clean on the bug side, but if all I had to go on is this AAR? I think I'd come down with a different opinion.

I'm not making a comment on any of the participants as players or writers, but rather the battle and the results.

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Looking back on the ultimate purpose of these public AAR threads being to showcase GL to the general public, I'd say this one has failed miserably. All I'm left thinking is that the game is buggy and not that much fun!

The problem with the bugs that remain is that they are so subtle that they are nearly impossible to prove, in systems that have little or no UI feedback. But this AAR shows there are still things that can throw a whole battle into question.

How many other vehicles have their 3D models tagged wrong or their crew upside down or whatever other esoteric thing that nobody will ever find?

It doesn't help either that the community here is pretty hostile to people criticizing the game who don't submit 1000 replicate tests.

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As I said in the a previous post, the episode where the Tiger commander was seated backwards worried me, it seemed a too literal an interpretation for spotting calculations.

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I think you guys are looking at it the wrong way.

Sure, it's not so much fun to be beaten: even the perfect game being showcased will showcase the loser's experience, and that will be of being beaten. The solution to this is not having a perfect game to showcase, it's setting up a game where the chances of one side or the other losing significantly are low.

While I'm sure a more skilled person would have done better than me in this defence, I somehow doubt that anyone would argue that the chances of a tight battle on this map were high.

That doesn't mean it isn't fun: this battle has been a challenge, and fun to play, for me. Of course I've bitched and moaned when things haven't gone my way - who doesn't do that? :D

GaJ

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GreenAsJade,

Let me see if I have this right. You site your PB, but when you hit the Go button to start the game, the PB has somehow partially sunk into the ground, wrecking your carefully surveyed sight lines? If so, that strikes me as being a Grade One, must fix now bug!

Turning now to your M10s' acute vulnerability to mortar fire and the enforced potential Spotting and engagement creating movement in order to avoid such fire, I think it may be worthwhile to see when field expedient overhead armor began to be fitted and for GL and CMBN to reflect this at the appropriate dates.

That would help greatly, though I have my doubts regarding a direct hit from anything bigger than 81mm, and that itself might be enough. I know of a case on Crete in which the TC's hatch on a MK Vi light tank was blown open by 81mm mortar fire and the TC injured. From what I've seen of the M10 roof armor mods, the hatches are rudimentary and might well fail outright if hit. If this occurred, the crew would have a substantial 5mm steel plate blown down upon it.

I'm all but convinced there are problems with spotting vs ATGs. If you've got multiple concrete PBs, for the sake or argument, then why oh why wouldn't your combat engineers have provided primary and alternate firing positions for your TDs, both towed and SP? Since entrenchments seem not to work, then how about some provision to crater the area, so as to provide usable defensive positions? Back in the CMBN Demo, this was the only way I could find in one of the scenarios to keep my ATGs alive long enough to shoot a target.

Clearly, Bil is a formidable foe, but what you've been dealing with over and above his prowess and skill as a commander have only exacerbated the Bil problems. Nor do we yet have any insight from BFC as to what AP round you're using. This is something you, as field commander, would most certainly know and have adjusted your tactics to reflect.

When Bil gets his terrain tweaks in, the map will be much kinder to the defender, but not for this battle. He's had a lot more maneuver room than the ground historically afforded. In turn, that would've limited his attack options, making your job easier. Nor has his Elefant run into the kinds of woes my heavier armor (see Jagdpanther vs Jarmo in ROW) seems to magnetically attract. Realistically, he'd be roadbound or close to it, rather than waltzing about on Italy's hills of green.

Don't get me wrong. Bil's a martial terror, but I'd argue the combination of factors I've cited have acted as force multipliers for him and force degrades for you. A defense with concrete PBs would, were I handling it for real, be a defense with dummy gun positions, too, possibly with means of faking fire therefrom. You can't do that here--that I know of.

A big unknown to me is the location and extent of your setup area. Would love to see how much you could've potentially covered via mines, wire and other annoyances. From what I can tell, Bil's been able to drive forward at an impressive clip in part because there are no countermobility assets in place. Imagine the fun if Bil's scout team slips into the woods for peek over the hillock and becomes a flaming datum! Might that slow him down a bit? As the military truism goes, "The easy way is always mined." The mere knowledge mines are about tends to really slow down the entire proceedings. Then, he's reacting to you, which is precisely where you want him to be. This is where the rule of "Always cover obstacles with fire comes" in. If you bog him down, you can then pound him with direct and indirect fires, further unhinging his battle plan. Think in terms of putting emery dust in his gearbox. You want his attack to grind down and fall apart, helped by ongoing attrition and disruption from your direct strikes on exposed elements. Of course, applying this is far more challenging, especially if it's me!

Regards,

John Kettler

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GreenAsJade,

Let me see if I have this right. You site your PB, but when you hit the Go button to start the game, the PB has somehow partially sunk into the ground, wrecking your carefully surveyed sight lines? If so, that strikes me as being a Grade One, must fix now bug!

Or maybe a fact of life to take into account?

It certainly happens, and BFC know about it, but I think a combination of "very hard to fix" and "not really that critical" applies at the moment.

I'm all but convinced there are problems with spotting vs ATGs. If you've got multiple concrete PBs, for the sake or argument, then why oh why wouldn't your combat engineers have provided primary and alternate firing positions for your TDs, both towed and SP? Since entrenchments seem not to work, then how about some provision to crater the area, so as to provide usable defensive positions? Back in the CMBN Demo, this was the only way I could find in one of the scenarios to keep my ATGs alive long enough to shoot a target.

This is partially a QB problem. In a scenario, the designer designs these things in,

to the best of their ability. Defending on a QB doesn't offer that possibility.

Obviously, emplaceable guns would help.

A big unknown to me is the location and extent of your setup area.

I'll dig up a picture in due course.

Would love to see how much you could've potentially covered via mines, wire and other annoyances.

This has been mentioned from time to time. The setup zone allowed for it.

What did not allow for it is the points involved. Grab hold of the map from Bil (actually, maybe I have a copy I can share, also), and see for yourself how many mines you'd have to buy to have a reasonable chance of Bil bumping into any of them across the wide open approach path choices he has. Then ask yourself whether you wanted any tanks at all...

GaJ

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I think you guys are looking at it the wrong way.

Sure, it's not so much fun to be beaten: even the perfect game being showcased will showcase the loser's experience, and that will be of being beaten. The solution to this is not having a perfect game to showcase, it's setting up a game where the chances of one side or the other losing significantly are low.

They might be but I am not :D Like I tell my kids if you cannot have fun loosing at a game it is time to quit playing. Even the best loose games and matches sometimes.

While I'm sure a more skilled person would have done better than me in this defence, I somehow doubt that anyone would argue that the chances of a tight battle on this map were high.

Hey, you have done a damn fine job IMHO.

That doesn't mean it isn't fun: this battle has been a challenge, and fun to play, for me. Of course I've bitched and moaned when things haven't gone my way - who doesn't do that? :D

GaJ

Some bitching *is* part of the fun - right.

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GreenAsJade,

The sinking PB strikes me as being passing strange, and I have no understanding of why this would occur. In a QB, what, if any, option do you have to offset this truly bizarre, er, feature? Maybe BFC needs to add some height to the PBs to offset the apparent improper foundation laying? Had you been German and BFC a bit wild on fortifications, then you might've been able to use the Kugelstand, which I believe was found useful on soft, marshy ground (or perhaps GL's incredible weight nonbearing terrain). Could you stick some of the latter under Bil's Elefant when it moves?

Kugelstand

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=148477

I look forward to seeing your deployment zone map. I did go back and look at the game map proper and some other early stuff, but didn't see what I was looking for there. May've missed it. Been known to happen. Frighteningly often.

I know you could've used mines and such, but I wanted to see where they might've discombobulated Bil, had they been used perversely.

ian.leslie,

Or else we wouldn't be grognards! Did you go listen to the March of the Grognards yet? It's on the GDF. No, I didn't compose it. I couldn't compose for a kazoo.

Regards,

John Kettler

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The Pillboxes sink into the ground after the game begins and they always have since CMBN first came out. The same thing happens with trenches to some extent, mostly if the terrain isn't flat. The Pillbox has to deform the terrain mesh in order to lower it's profile in the ground (to simulate the Pillbox being dug into the earth) and the mesh simply doesn't get deformed until the set up is completed. It's not a bug - it's designed to work that way to lower the Pill Box profile.

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It's not a bug - it's designed to work that way to lower the Pill Box profile.

And also to ensure the pillbox ends up sitting horizontally, not at some odd angle dictated by the slope it is placed on.

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ASL Veteran,

As you can tell, I've played no CMBN QBs with PBs, or else I'd know this. Of course, I've played no CMBN QBs at all! I'd like to know how the player's supposed to preserve LOS when it's figured beforehand but changed by the settling of the PB? Seems to me that such a problem could seriously hurt any kind of static defense.

Regards,

John Kettler

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I'd like to know how the player's supposed to preserve LOS when it's figured beforehand but changed by the settling of the PB?

I confess that I haven't tried this myself, but it seems like choosing a spot that offers the desired LOS and then placing the pillbox a little higher up the slope would do the trick.

Michael

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