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ADDITIONS TO PATCH PLEASE - JAV RARITY increase and general Points cost changes

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Hi Guys

I've been discussing this on another CM forum on the BLITZ war gaming club forums and have support.

This is a two pronged question

 

Basically I can take just Javs and no tanks and for 1000 points - 10 Jav teams kill all russian armour which is worth 6000 points or more.

Javs are too easy to spam  and have totally unbalanced the game for PBMs which we all play.

Even scenarios are quite difficult.

 

Javs should be increased in rarity to allow less of them - same goes for Enginner teams and trucks which carry 2 spare javs.

My questions to the devs is how many Javs are on hand to US forces and what is reasonable?

Are there stock piles of these things?

 

 

This is a problem combined with the fact Russian forces should have more Tanks at a cheaper cost and cheaper troops.

They are a massive army at lower quality, and the US less in numbers more in quality and tech.

So there should be some balance there to reflect this.

Current purchasing in PBMs doesn't reflect this.

yes to an extent maybe players need to agree on this but it should also be part of the games costings to make it easier.

 

Your engines limitations has pretty much put the Russian supersonic AT Missile system at a massive disadvantage with it not being able to sit behind hills and buildings and spot/shot safety.

Then the jav spamming which is ok for US forces.

Now PBMs which are really popular are out of wack.

 

I was hoping the Devs would have offset this with costings and rarity for the forces concerned to help fix this.

 

Whats your thoughts on this?

AS a PBM player - if im US im killing 15-18 tanks for loss of none with Javs and my opponents are giving up.

This is with using 4-5 jav teams and some engineers who come with them.

Using trucks for cheap ammo and mobility they come with Javs - couple of them 

So seeing this in action and playing many PBMs from both sides I'm wondering if anything can be done to balance it out?

Cheers

 

Edited by GAZ NZ

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I agree on the fact that there are many javelins available for US troops.

 

There was some discussion about this already. First of all it's Worth to note that the next patch will bring quite many changes to the point values of units in QB purchase, so any discussion  would be more worth it after the release, not right before..

 

Anyway, I belive that the main problem is the common availability of the javelin asset within US troops, in reality. If that's the case this is well modeled. At the same time I would also reduce the quantity of "free" javelins available on the vehicles, especially considering that no russian active protection system is capable of intercepting them.

For example: you might discard the presence of so many RPG V2 within russian infantry, but if you'll ever play a close-quarter battle against US troops you'll see how powerful is the russian infantry thanks to so many RPGs, not to mention the ability to set up very powerful close-quarter ambushes. On the other hand there are other sort of imbalances, just think about air support and anti air assets. The russians in current game have a potential absolute control over the sky, they have powerful and varied airborne assets, they have missile and combined missile/gun anti-air assets, they can shoot down any plane/helicopter or drone, at the same time the US army has no anti-Aircraft asset (but for the manpads, which is inferior to a complex weapon such as a tunguska) and are not capable of shooting down drones. Couple this with the ability to use precision artillery strikes and you get a very powerful combination that the US side simply can't use (or at least will risk/have difficulties to). That's another form of non-balance.

 

But all of this is about "balance" and this game is not balanced because it represents reality and a close as possible simulation. I understand that when it's down to playing quick battles against human opponents, you desire (and need) some balance (in terms of points), and that's what the next patch is indeed trying to bring us, we'll see how that works out.

Meanwhile it wouldn't be too hard to set up some simple rules in your quick battles, many people already do that, and they call these "house rules", for example, one of them may be: no use of active protection systems; or, you can give the russian player a % bonus of points when playing against the US. There are a few instruments we can use to tweak balance.

Edited by Kieme(ITA)

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They are a massive army at lower quality, and the US less in numbers more in quality and tech.

 

The US Army is significantly larger than the Russian Army.

 

Wikipedia on the US Army:

 

546,047 Active personnel

557,246 Reserve and National Guard personnel

1,105,301 total[3]

 

Russian Army:

 

Size 285,000 personnel (2014), incl 80,000 conscripts[1]

 

Equipment wise, the Russians have about twice as many active MBTs as the US if we only count the models that are in CMBS. In total, the Russians have about 1,5 as many MBTs as the US if we count all models and active and stored MBTs.

 

Sources:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equipment_of_the_United_States_Army#Vehicles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_equipment_of_the_Russian_Ground_Forces#Vehicles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Ground_Forces

 

 

 

Regarding the Javelin, it is indeed a very common weapon in the US Army it seems. The Marines AFAIK only have specialised Javelin teams, but the Army hands them out like lollipops. It was excessively used in Afgahnistan and Iraq, even against seemingly "unworthy" targets like DShK positions or RPG teams, so it seems reasonable to assume that the US Army would bring lots and lots of Javelins when fighting a foe as fond of armoured vehicles as Russia. I couldnt google up any hard numbers on how many Javs the US infantry platoon actually fields in the past 5 minutes, but i am sure there is a veteran on this forums who will tell you the exact number and/or how realistic CMBS models the Javelin. Maybe you should send a PM to panzersauerkrautwerfer regarding that matter, i have always found his posts on TO&E etc quite insightful.

Edited by agusto

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Anyway, I belive that the main problem is the common availability of the javelin asset within US troops, in reality. If that's the case this is well modeled. At the same time I would also reduce the quantity of "free" javelins available on the vehicles, especially considering that no russian active protection system is capable of intercepting them.

 

I disagree with any TO&E changes that would sacrifice realism for balance. I am fine with changing the QB points for balancing H2H, but scenario designers must have the option to create realistic battles if they want to, however imbalanced they may be. The common solution for a scenario with imbalanced forces would be to distribute the victorys points accordingly: in CMSF, the Coalition usually had superior everything, but the scenarios were still difficult due to a huge penaltiy for taking casualties. I see no reason why concept could not be applied to CMBS.

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Point cost and rarity class assessments in all CM titles are frequently skewed. Items that are standard issue in the TO in some cases get hammered for rarity. Other items that are no more combat effective than an equivalent get given increased points costs because they are non-standard.

 

An example of the first is the transport in a British Motor Battalion that gets whacked with an "Uncommon" rarity charge, making a mounted rifle company cost something like 50% more in rarity than combat cost. Or the Fireflies that are meant to be standard issue to a Sabre squadron: doesn't matter how many Shermans you cut from the ranks, all the rarity is in the Fireflies. Stuff that's standard issue in a TO should only be rare if it was actually rare. Were british armoured formations routinely down 25% on their Fireflies, but not their other Shermans?

 

The biggest example of the second is using a 15 point purchase "premium" for every "Specialist team" or "Individual vehicle". Deleting your battalion MG platoon and adding the same number of MGs back as if assigned to lower level command does not double (approximately: the cost of a Vickers team is 16 points, taking the exact same thing (which isn't quite possible) the combat effectiveness of those MGs.

 

Which is to say, the current QB setup has its limitations. Where is the cost of the Javelins assigned? To the team, or to the vehicle that carries them: without the team they're useless, so the team should be bearing the cost. But the team could be any team, so the cost should be with the vehicle (else some dismounted driver could come grab the Brad's supplies and go T-90 hunting for no cost). Fixing those limitations so that every contingency comes out equally unsatistcactory to both sides of a QB would require a serious rework of the QB purchase schema which I can't see happening: BFC don't like QBs on principle, so making them better is going to be a low priority.

 

Which is a shame, because there are ways of making the gamey force picks that BFC (and all right-thinking historical gamers, natch, self included :) ) despise become inefficient use of precious purchase resource.

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Thanks womble, I understand your point.

 

What if current "surplus" javelins were removed from the vehicle storage? Or maybe reduced in numbers (% chance of getting them on any of your bradleys for example)?

Edited by Kieme(ITA)

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In terms of Javelins available, there's about one launcher per rifle squad.  I'm not sure how many are available per each different flavor of Cavalry unit (IBCT, SBCT, and ABCT Cav looking dramatically different), but ABCTs had two per platoon in 2011 at least.  

 

Round allocation is a bit different, but the CMBS 3 or so missiles per launcher is well within the reasonable loadout, especially for US forces expecting armor.

 

Re: Topic.

 

Yeah. This isn't an RTS, we don't need to "nerf" things that are authentic.  The rarity price exists to keep folks from filling up on King Tigers in the world war two CMs, or keep APS Abrams from rolling around by the dozens, but for equipment that is simply available as a squad level weapons system, and has been for some years, I don't think you could do more wrong by adjusting to make it less common because we're trying to keep QBs "fair."

 

Also as an addendum, the "cheap and plentiful" Russian Army is a bit of a myth at this point.  As posted earlier there's no commanding size difference between the forces, the US Army has about 550,000 active duty personnel, but with mobilization can surge to a little over a million.  The Russian Army stands at something like 1 million active on hand by available positions, but in practice is closer to 700,000-800,000.  While it is certainly larger, it is no longer at the point where it can across a broad front simply plow enemy forces under, and especially given the inclusion of NATO forces, and the Ukrainian military in the CMBS scenario, likely has something we could call parity in numbers to NATO/UKR forces in theater.  

 

The gap between US equipment and Russian equipment is something the player has to close, (and much the same going the other way, with I feel one exception*).  Doing it in a "gamey" way is marginal.

 

*The US reliance on fixed wing aircraft  for air defense is poorly modeled.  Right now you're stuck with either "Russian jets are not available" or "Russian jets can bomb without any real opposition."  I'd like a way to model air interception during the game, so as to allow a more realistic limitation on CAS vs CAP covered forces, without simply having no CAS available at all.  

Edited by panzersaurkrautwerfer

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Capability should not be reduced for anything. Pricing however, can be adjusted infintely until match ups in QB are fair.

 

At the current state, if I really wanted to be that guy, I could take a dismounted cavalry unit with a million javelins for fairly few points. If the opposing player brought any vehicles, they would be rendered useless.

 

Aerial assets on the other hand are probably over priced.

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At the current state, if I really wanted to be that guy, I could take a dismounted cavalry unit with a million javelins for fairly few points. If the opposing player brought any vehicles, they would be rendered useless.

 

Or you could just use infantry to clear them out, as it's a very weak formation in terms of ground forces.  

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Balancing by point value is kind of a rock, paper, scissors game. With so many weapons systems and variable capability based on terrain that is a tough nut to crack. Add to that visibility options and night scenarios and suddenly you find that the adjusted QB values are now out of whack.

CM has never really struck me as a game about balance per se so much as a game that teaches you to do the best you can with what you have. Sometimes that best is just survival or simply gutting your opponent before you are eventually crushed. It isn't chess. Not that there is anything wrong with chess.

The U.S. does have a drone invulnerable to even the TG, don't know it's point value off hand.

If you are really looking for a "balanced" game just for a player challenge I'd suggest going red vs red or blue vs blue. Then you have an equal point value and capability. Would simplify the whole discussion and challenge of equalizing forces.

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Or you could just use infantry to clear them out, as it's a very weak formation in terms of ground forces.  

 

Most of the time, the opponent would choose a balanced force. It whether you are wiling to take the chance to make a large part of his balanced force un-usable by taking AT heavy.

 

 

My thoughts are that the Russian player can have a lot, and I mean a lot, more infantry than the US player for the same points.

 

Kinda makes up for the US advantage against armor.

 

Only if you take them dismounted can you really build up the numbers. Numbers wise alone a dismounted company of Russian infantry is roughly the size of two US platoons worth of dismounted infantry man for man.

A dismounted US Rifle company, made up of three platoons, command element, mortar secton, and a drone - with two Javelins in each platoon. Purchased at typical stats costs 4830. The same in Stryker costs 7230.

 

You can buy a dismounted Russian MR Battalion for 4606 - with three companies, Btn HQ, and a 120mm mortar battery at typical stats.

However the same type of Russian Company taken alone in BMP-3M, with default type of BMP-3M purchased meaning a mix of the three types, costs 4351 for one Company.

 

Edited by Stagler

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*The US reliance on fixed wing aircraft  for air defense is poorly modeled.  Right now you're stuck with either "Russian jets are not available" or "Russian jets can bomb without any real opposition."  I'd like a way to model air interception during the game, so as to allow a more realistic limitation on CAS vs CAP covered forces, without simply having no CAS available at all.  

 

I couldn't agree more.

 

I feel that this is the only real issue with CMBS right now. Other issues are minor or more or less based on a lack of symmetry/balance, which is not supposed to exist in such a simulation.

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I couldn't agree more.

 

I feel that this is the only real issue with CMBS right now. Other issues are minor or more or less based on a lack of symmetry/balance, which is not supposed to exist in such a simulation.

 

That may be the case in your opinion, but at the end of the day, this is a game where in its best case two people face off against one another. Balance and symmetry has to exist somewhere or it becomes unenjoyable and pointless.

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Javs should be increased in rarity to allow less of them - same goes for Enginner teams and trucks which carry 2 spare javs.

My questions to the devs is how many Javs are on hand to US forces and what is reasonable?

Are there stock piles of these things?

 

Yes, there are stockpiles of them, practically coming out of our earholes. Javelins are the modern US Army's bazooka, with a similar scale of issue -- one per rifle squad rather than two per rifle platoon -- from the beginning and nowadays plenty of "spares" that could be used to beef up any unit's AT capability should a threat arise. It might have been more limited back in 2001 or so, but there are tons of them floating around since they pull double-duty as part of the local security setup, so you'd probably find a few Javelins in MP outfits, artillery batteries, etc. even without an armor threat.

 

They've never been especially rare or limited in numbers, outside of initial fielding.

 

Maybe when the Marines module comes around, they'll be a better fit balance-wise since Marine infantry battalions have like eight or nine total Javelin launchers and depend more heavily on dismounted TOWs for ATGMs.

Edited by Apocal

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Whats your thoughts on this?

AS a PBM player - if im US im killing 15-18 tanks for loss of none with Javs and my opponents are giving up.

This is with using 4-5 jav teams and some engineers who come with them.

Using trucks for cheap ammo and mobility they come with Javs - couple of them 

So seeing this in action and playing many PBMs from both sides I'm wondering if anything can be done to balance it out?

Cheers

no offense but it sounds to me that your opponents are doing a poor job at adapting to your style.  It seems like there are a lot of better things they could have done than bringing 15 tanks in range of your javs and letting em sit there till they get killed.  If the map is big enough they could shoot from beyond the 2 km range limit.  If that's not possible scoot and shoot can still work very well against javs.  one can scoot into a keyholed fire position, blast a building or airburst a treeline, and scoot out before the jav can lock fire and land.  artillery also works very well to suppress and or kill the javs.  scoot and shoot plus artillery would be even better.  and of course there is the I think more obvious answer, not bringing a ton of tanks and instead bringing a super big ton of mechanized infantry in cheap carriers.  I think you can get about a platoon of Russian infantry in light armoured vehicles for about the price of a brad and a infantry squad or an even better ratio vs the US super cav.

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no offense but it sounds to me that your opponents are doing a poor job at adapting to your style.  It seems like there are a lot of better things they could have done than bringing 15 tanks in range of your javs and letting em sit there till they get killed.  If the map is big enough they could shoot from beyond the 2 km range limit.  If that's not possible scoot and shoot can still work very well against javs.  one can scoot into a keyholed fire position, blast a building or airburst a treeline, and scoot out before the jav can lock fire and land.  artillery also works very well to suppress and or kill the javs.  scoot and shoot plus artillery would be even better.  and of course there is the I think more obvious answer, not bringing a ton of tanks and instead bringing a super big ton of mechanized infantry in cheap carriers.  I think you can get about a platoon of Russian infantry in light armoured vehicles for about the price of a brad and a infantry squad or an even better ratio vs the US super cav.

 

Yeah, a lot of mortars/arty, applied liberally, are the counter to Javelins.

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russian infantry is already powerful at close quarter against tanks. With the weak RPG-26 as a backup. Imagine with RPG-28s (pet peeve of mine, I know). 

 

Javelin is good but long acquisition times, The target could be gone in that time. You can only fire two javelins in 1 mins. A lot can happen in 30 seconds and the russians have good enough enough optics to make that deadly to the javelin crews.  It is only 50% effective against targets with overhead cover. Its not the uber weapon it was in CMSF. 

 

AT-13 can fire 4 missiles in the same minute. At-14 almost as much. And the AT-14 complement available at bataillon level (6 launchers) in wooded higher ground and in trenches can ruin an M1A2 platoon's day even from the frontal aspect. I've done it many times.

 

US weapons are more forgiving of unskilled players. But a skilled russian opponent can really mess up your day (even a skilled A.I plan). It will be even worse with the patch. The Russian IFVs will finally be effective at spotting and engaging in a timely matter and will all be equipped with the powerful 30mm sabot. T-90s will be beefed up at the hull front and sides. The M1A2 turret side ERA will be useless against tandem warheads.  You need to learn how to play the different sides. That's what makes this game so fun. 

 

APS for the US should come at a high rarity price though (and it will be in the patch) That can really tip the balance and make the Russian side almost unwinnable against a human opponent. You want APS ?Prepare yourself to fight with few forces, giving a chance for the Russian player to win the game if he knows what he's doing.

Edited by antaress73

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US weapons are more forgiving of unskilled players. But a skilled russian opponent can really mess up your day (even a skilled A.I plan). It will be even worse with the patch.

 

Agreed. If anyone wants to rumble hit me up. Just finished wiping the floor with Doug Williams :D

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The game reflects reality with the Javelins. I'm an active duty member in the U.S. Army (and combat arms, I'm a trained javelin gunner myself, and I have used them). Javelins are common in the U.S. military, and they are incredibly effective. Back in the 2003 Iraq Invasion, a single Special Forces team knocked out dozens of MBT's and IFV's with javelins in one incident alone, without taking a single casualty). The Javelins were knocking out vehicles even farther out than what their max range was being advertised at the time.

 

You can gaurantee that U.S. troops would have ridiculous amounts of Javelins in a future conflict with any nation using armor. Russian gear and vehicles are not at all on par with the U.S. Military. I personally rather see the game reflect reality, than alter it to make it more PBEM balanced.

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Don't worry BFC's stated policy is to let the gear behavior be as it should be and allow the points and sometimes rarity offer some kind of quick battle balance.

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Back in the 2003 Iraq Invasion, a single Special Forces team knocked out dozens of MBT's and IFV's with javelins in one incident alone, without taking a single casualty). The Javelins were knocking out vehicles even farther out than what their max range was being advertised at the time.

 

It was four APCs and a truck.

http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/roughnecks-at-war-the-battle-of-debecka-pass/

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I was thinking that was a bit excessive, the ammo count alone for that many targets would require a special forces company sized element (which is not really a thing).

 

They actually had poor Iraqi gunnery (both tank and artillery) to thank for even being alive to kill what they did; prior to their Javelin shots, their Humvees were under fire from T-55s and they fled. Around the same time an artillery round landed a few meters away and the only reason they weren't all killed or injured in their door-less, unarmored vic was because the Iraqi gunners had loaded a smoke shell.

Edited by Apocal

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