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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:

      -showui

      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
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      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them
Bil Hardenberger

Command Friction - Applying C3 Effects in Combat Mission - Playtest

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“It is pardonable to be defeated, but never to be surprised.” – Frederick the Great

 

This is a playtest of my rules for applying C3 effects in CM.. myself and The_Capt, my normal sparring partner are playing through this test scenario to get a feel for the viability of these rules.  We have just begun, I have created workbooks for each of us and we have both given our initial orders.

 

The scenario is a modified version of the Roadblock training scenario.. I added a tank platoon to the German side and adjusted some of the unit settings.  This should give a good appreciation of how the rules work.  I will be making the scenario and the workbooks for the scenario available for all to play with and follow along if you like.

 

The key to these rules are the workbooks... more on them to follow.

 

 

 

...this is honestly the most forward thinking I have seen in CM in a very long time.  - The_Capt

 

I will be revealing the rules as we go, starting with the Introduction...

 

INTRODUCTION

 

One of the most important aspects on the battlefield is command, control, and communication (C3).  While the command and control (C2) status with a superior is identified in Combat Mission (CM), the effects are not enforced or modeled past affecting morale.  Communication as well is represented as will be seen in this document.  

 

The intent of these rules is to simulate the effects of battlefield C3 plus the friction normally prevalent with the communication status upon a force in battle.  Communication is how units and formations are given orders; if that link does not exist then information cannot move up, down or laterally.

 

The inspiration for this set of rules comes from this outstanding thread started by MOS:96B2P on Command and Control and information sharing.  Upon reading his findings a light bulb came on and I began to think about a way to take advantage of the in-game representation of C3 in an easy to follow manner and with little record keeping by the players involved.  I recommend reading the linked thread until you fully understand the concepts within.

 

To get the full benefit of these rules the game must be played on IRON difficulty against a trusted opponent.  I recommend that both players have the same level of expectations, basically both should have a passion for representing combat in the most realistic and uncompromising fashion and be more interested in the journey rather than the destination.  In other words, the effect that is being represented should be more important than who wins or loses.

 

The intent is to keep these rules simple to use and easy to understand.  To that end I will be providing an Excel workbook that can be used to track Tasks and will automatically calculate when the player can change a Task or use Initiative.

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TRACKING UNIT & FORMATION ORDERS

 

Formations and/or units must be given a Task which determines their current actions in game.  As long as the unit or formation is given orders generally within the confines of their Task then there is no problem... if an enemy contact appears (perhaps identified by another unit or formation) then the unit or formation must check to see if it has that contact, if not then it cannot react to it in any way, in other words it cannot abandon its assigned Task (i.e. use Initiative).

 

Different types of Tasks include:

 

·         Command Tasks – Battalion and Force Command level Task

·         HQ Task – formation Tasks given at the Company and Platoon level

·         Unit Tasks – given to individual units

 

 

The workbook is organized into the following tabs:

 

●     FORCE COMMAND TAB - This tab is where you will enter the current turn number.  It’s also where the Command Task is assigned that drives the overall mission for the player’s entire command.

 

●     COMPANY TAB - Each company in the player’s force will have its own tab.  It is within this tab that all of the planning and accounting for the Company’s subordinate formation’s and units will take place.

 

The Command task is set in the workbook in the Force Command tab.  The options for the Command Task (Commander's Intent) are:

 

·         Probe

·         Attack

·         Assault

·         Move to Contact

·         Defend

 

Also on the Force Command Tab you set the current game time... this needs to be updated every turn.

 

This is the only place you will update the game time.  In this scenario there is only one Company, thus only one Company tab.. that is represented by the 3 Co. HQ  

 

 

FORCE COMMAND TAB

 

Only on the Force Command Tab will the player update the current game time.  Note, in order for the game time entry to work correctly only use the following format:

 

HH.MM

·         HH equates to the current Hour as noted in the game while MM equates to the game’s current minute.

·         The Hour and Minute entries are separated by a period NOT a colon.

 

This tab is also where the player will adjust the Command Task

 

See the Company Tab explanation for details of the other entries on the Force Command Tab

 001-FORCE%2BCOMMAND%2B2.jpg

 

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COMPANY TAB - Explanation of Content

           

            Explanation:

Rows - the Company HQ and each subordinate formation and subordinate units have their own row which will account for training level, leadership, radio availability, and Task and Initiative settings 

 

COMPANY Column - identifies the Company name and becomes the row for the Company HQ

 

ECHELON 1, 2, and 3 Columns - identifies each subordinate echelon within the Company (Platoon > Squad > Team, and Support Teams, and vehicles)

 

TRAINING Column - specifies the training level for each unit in the Company

 

LEADERSHIP Column - identifies the leadership rating for each unit

 

RADIO Column - identifies whether each unit has an organic radio.  If a radio is damaged during play this entry should be updated

 

ACTIVE TASK Column - The currently assigned Task for each unit or formation

 

TASK 2 and TASK 3 Columns - used to specify follow-on Tasks when using a Task string

 

CHANGE TASK AT Column - specifies the turn where each unit or formation’s Task can be changed - when the entry is green the player is free to immediately change the Task for that unit or formation

 

INITIATIVE STARTS Column - specifies the turn where each unit or formation can use Initiative - when the entry is green the player is free to assign an Initiative Task for that unit or formation

 

Each formation within the Company has its rows grouped to make viewing the formation easier.  Clicking on the + sign on the left side of the workbook will expose the unit’s within each formation.

 

Across the top are two grouped columns (+ signs), the one on the left will show the LOCK-IN column and the NEW TASK Column (described below)

 

The right most + sign contains grouped columns that include the Initiative LOCK-IN column and the INITIATIVE TASK Columns (described below)

 

CURRENT GAME TIME - this is automatically driven by the current turn time entry set in the FORCE COMMAND tab.  Do not make any changes to this entry or it will break the coding under the skin.  This entry drives all of the calculations in the CHANGE TASK and the INITIATIVE STARTS columns.

 

001.JPG

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c3k   

Excellent! I'm glad to see you moving on this. The friction which this will induce should cause a VERY different game experience. That's a great set of rules you've come up with.

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Task Basic Rules:

 

●     Platoon, Company, and Battalion HQs and their XO, HQ Support, Operations, and 2IC Teams can freely move within the area of operation dictated by their Command or HQ Task

●     A unit or formation can only be given a new HQ or Unit Task if it is within C2 range of its immediate HQ.

●     A unit or formation can only be given a change in HQ or Unit Task if it is within C2 range of its immediate HQ. 

●     The Command Task can be scheduled for change at any time.

●     Unit’s of a formation (teams, squads, and vehicles) not within C2 range will not receive the formation’s change of Task until it is within C2, and then will have to abide by the appropriate delays.

●     A Task change (abandoning an assigned Task) will not take effect immediately, but will incur a delay depending on training level, leadership quality, and radio availability. 

●     There is NO delay for assigning Tasks in the turn 1 orders phase or in the turn a unit or formation enters as reinforcement.  Those Tasks will take effect immediately.

●     In the event of the loss of a formation’s HQ:

○     The highest numbered unit in the formation will take over formation command

○     The commanding team and the unit or formation getting a change of Task must both have active radios, or the team must be within voice range (within three action spots or 30 meters)

·         Note that a formation can have units of differing training and leadership levels, so any delay will be added to each unit specifically, thus a formation could have units changing Tasks on differing schedules. 

o   Exceptions:

§  A mounted unit will always use the delay for the carried unit rather than the vehicle

§  A squad that is broken down but with a Task specified only for the Squad (or team A) will use the delay for the A Team, unless Team B is not in C2, then Team B cannot receive the change of Task

●     The player can link Unit Tasks (up to a limit of three Tasks):

○     for example: Move to point X; then Attack area Y; then Defend area Y

○     This is counted as one Task and the unit or formation must complete the entire string if it is outside of C2 or does not pass one of the checks for using Initiative

●     To react to an enemy contact the unit or formation must either schedule a new Task, use Initiative (see the Initiative section below), or use Emergency React.

●     If the unit or formation is not within C2 range or cannot use Initiative or Emergency React it must follow whatever orders have been previously set for it. 

○     The previous Task will cancel upon completion of the assigned task (unless it is a Defend or Idle-Reserve Task, they do not end until the Task is changed by the player.

○     Upon completion of a Task the unit/formation will revert to either the Idle-Reserve or Defend Task (player’s choice).

 

 

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HQ TASKS

 

At the Company and Platoon levels the HQ must be given an HQ Task that will guide how its subordinate unit’s Tasks are assigned.  These are intended to drive the unit Tasks to complete the HQ Task.  These will be identified by red text in the workbook.

 

HQ Tasks are meant to be formation specific and they identify the commander’s intent.

 

These Tasks do not end automatically; they must be changed by the superior HQ in order to come to an end.

 

The Company or Platoon HQ must be within C2 range in order to change the HQ Task.

 

Possible HQ Tasks:

 

·         Route Recon

o   Must specify the start position, the route being reconnoitered, and the final position

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

o   Unit Tasks do not need to be the Scout Task

·         Area Recon

o   Must specify the area being reconnoitered

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

o   Unit Tasks do not need to be the Scout Task

·         Clear Zone

o   Formation is expected to find, engage, and either destroy or push enemy from the specified area

o   The above must be drawn and specified (usually named) on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Move to Contact

o   Formation is expected to find and engage the enemy from the specified area

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Probe

o   Light attack planned to identify enemy positions and strength.  Not designed to defeat the enemy, only to gauge his defense.

o   Must specify the start position, the route, and the area or position being probed

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Attack

o   Determined attack intended to defeat the enemy defenses

o   Must specify the start position, the route, and the area or position being attacked

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Attack by Fire

o   Attack on an enemy position, or suspected position from a distance, without closing on the enemy

o   Must specify the start position, the route, and the area or position being attacked by fire

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Ambush

o   The intent with this Task is for the formation to be in a position from which to surprise the enemy with fire

o   Must specify the area being ambushed (kill zone)

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Feint

o   A movement intended to deceive the enemy as to where an attack or probe will occur

o   Must specify the start position, the route, and the area or position that is the subject for the feint

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Follow & Support

o   The formation getting this Task is expected to follow another formation and support the lead formation as required.  This may include destroying bypassed units, operating as a blocking force, etc.

o   Must specify the formation being followed

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Follow & Assume

o   The formation getting this Task is expected to follow another formation and pass through and take over the offensive if the lead formation becomes bogged down or is unable to continue

o   Must specify the formation being followed

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Secure

o   Clear and defend an area or objective from enemy attack. 

o   Must specify the area or objective being secured

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Defend

o   Protect an area or objective from enemy attack.

o   Must specify the area or objective being defended

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Delay

o   Trade space for time.  A defense technique where the formation will defend from successive or alternate positions, falling back just before the enemy can overwhelm the defended position

o   Must specify the start position, the subsequent positions, and the final defense position

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

·         Withdraw

o   Break contact with an enemy. 

o   Must specify the start position, the route, and the final defense position

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

 

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Unit Tasks

 

Each unit will be given a unique Task

·         Squads can have one single Task even if it is broken down into separate teams, as long as the teams remain in C2. 

·         If a team becomes “out of C2” while operating under a Squad level Task then assign that team whatever task it was operating under, it will continue to attempt to complete that Task until it comes back under C2.

 

Unit Task List:

 

o   Idle-Reserve - no current orders.

○     Terminal Task - This Task will not end until changed.

 

o   Move - currently on move orders

○     Must specify:

■     Start position

■     A route (waypoints must be assigned all the way to the destination position) when the Task is assigned

 

NOTE:  These waypoints may be changed and edited in subsequent turns as long as they adhere to the general path set when assigning the Move Task and as long as the destination point does not move.

 

■     Destination

○     It is okay to have flank units (for a formation) off the route to protect the flanks. 

○     This order is cancelled upon reaching the destination.

 

o   Scout - must specify area or route to recon and destination - must operate within the specified boundaries. 

○     A route (waypoints must be assigned for each unit (if a formation) all the way to the destination position) when the Task is assigned.

 

NOTE:  These waypoints may be changed and edited in subsequent turns as long as they adhere to the general path set when assigning the Scout Task and as long as the destination point does not move.

 

○     A unit or formation on Scout orders can withdraw (or send one or more units) to contact their HQ or a neighbor unit in order to share information (if required). 

■     Once the HQ or neighbor unit has the enemy contact themselves the Scout unit must return to its area of operation and continue its task.

■     If the Scout unit is eliminated prior to reaching the HQ or neighbor unit then the enemy contact information must be ignored until acquired by another unit or formation (in other words it cannot be acted on).

■     The Scout unit can abandon the movement to share information and return to the Task at any time.

○     Only up to 1/3rd of the player’s force can be assigned the Scout Task at one time

○     Units or formations with the Scout Task do not have to be within C2 range to use Initiative:

■     The Initiative assigned task must remain within the Scout Task boundaries specified by the player

■     If the unit or formation uses Initiative it immediately reverts to the Scout Task upon completion of that Initiative assigned Task

○     Terminal Task - This Task will not end until changed.

 

o   Engage - fire orders on a specific enemy unit or formation, or into an area, no other movement planned. 

○     Must specify target, or target area(s). 

○     Only target orders and small movements to allow for shoot and scoot and small repositioning moves to allow engagement of multiple targets.

○     If targeting an enemy unit, the Task ends when the enemy unit is destroyed or withdraws out of view) or either when the Target Briefly clock expires, or when the target order is cancelled.

○     If using Area Fire, Task ends either when the Target Briefly clock expires, or when the target order is cancelled.

 

o   Move & Engage - orders to move and engage a specific enemy unit/formation, or an area. 

○     May be a direct or area target, must specify:

■     Start position  (the first waypoint)

■     A route of travel (waypoints must be assigned all the way to the ABF position) when the Task is assigned

 

NOTE:  These waypoints may be changed and edited in subsequent turns as long as they adhere to the general path set when assigning the Move & Engage Task and as long as the ABF position does not move

 

■     Attack by fire (ABF) position (from where the unit will fire) (the final waypoint)

■     Targets, or target area(s)

○     There are no limits to area fire targets unless it could obviously be seen as a reaction to an enemy contact that the unit has not identified itself.

○     If targeting an enemy unit, the Task ends when the enemy unit is destroyed or withdraws out of view) or either when the Target Briefly clock expires, or when the target order is cancelled.

○     If using Area Fire, Task ends either when the Target Briefly clock expires, or when the target order is cancelled.

 

o   Attack - must specify enemy unit, formation, or objective area being attacked.

○     Order ends when the objective area is occupied, the enemy unit or formation has been destroyed or when canceled. 

○     This Task can include:

■     Attack (by maneuver) a position, area, or enemy unit missions

■     Indirect fire missions (on map mortars, FO tasking, etc.)

●     FOs must be within C2 in order to plot a fire mission (i.e. they use the Attack task)

○     This Task does not include Attack by Fire (ABF).  See the Move & Engage Task

 

o   Defend - must specify area to defend.

○     Applicable for the area the unit or formation currently holds - the unit or formation can redeploy within the general area as desired without changing the Task

○     A Defend Task can be active or positional, it is up to the player how to actually perform the Defend Task

○     Local counter-attacks are okay as long as the unit being ordered to counterattack can itself identify the enemy contact and it must be within C2 range.

○     Terminal Task - This Task will not end until changed.

 

o   Delay - used when the player wants a unit or formation to slowly give ground to an advancing enemy.

○     Must specify:

■     Start position

■     Each intermediate position (or line)

■     Final position or line

○     The unit or formation can only move back to the next intermediate position or line when:

■     The unit is in C2 range

■     The formation HQ performing the Delay Task  has a firm or UI enemy contact to trigger the movement

○     A route of travel (waypoints must be assigned specifying the start position, each intermediate position and the final position) when the Task is assigned.

 

NOTE:  These waypoints may be changed and edited, paused, etc. in subsequent turns as long as they adhere to the general path set when assigning the Task and as long as the final position does not move.

 

○     This Task is cancelled upon reaching the final position

 

o   Withdraw - must specify start position, route, and destination

○     Must specify:

■     Start position (the first waypoint)

■     A route  (waypoints must be assigned all the way to the destination position) when the Task is assigned

 

NOTE:  These waypoints may be changed and edited in subsequent turns as long as they adhere to the general path set when assigning the Withdraw Task and as long as the destination position

does not move.

 

■     Destination (the final waypoint)

○     It is okay to have flank units (for a formation) off the route to protect the flanks

○     This Task is cancelled upon reaching the destination

 

o   Resupply - must specify resupply point

○     Unit or formation getting resupplied gets this Task assigned

○     The Resupplying unit or formation will be assigned the Idle-Reserve Task and cannot move during the resupply operation.

○     This Task cancels when all units in the formation have finished Resupplying

o   Engineer - must specify point or area

○     Unit or formation that is ordered to perform an Engineering Task i.e. clear or mark mines, breach walls.

○     Must specify the point or area requiring an Engineer Task

■     The final waypoint will identify the point where the Engineer Task occurs.

o   This Task cancels when the unit or formation has completed the Engineer Task

 

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Turn 1 Initial Orders

 

 

●     There is NO delay for assigning Tasks in the turn 1 orders phase or in the turn a unit or formation enters as reinforcement.  Those Tasks will take effect immediately.

 

Starting the game I have assigned an Area Recon task to the 1st Rifle Platoon... this does not mean every unit in that formation has to be on Scout orders, but all parts of the formation must move with the intent of scouting the assigned area..

 

 

·         Area Recon

o   Must specify the area being reconnoitered

o   The above must be drawn and specified on an overhead map the scenario is being played on or must be described in the comments section of the workbook

o   Unit and subordinate Formation Tasks must be given in support of this HQ Task

Unit Tasks do not need to be the Scout Task

 

The HQ Task is assigned through a drop down menu in the workbook:

001-CommandTask-02.JPG

 

In this case I have explained my intent in the comments section:

001-CommandTask-01.JPG

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Unit Task for 1st Platoon

 

1st Squad will be broken down and given a Scout Task...

 

 

o   Scout - must specify area or route to recon and destination - must operate within the specified boundaries. 

○     A route (waypoints must be assigned for each unit (if a formation) all the way to the destination position) when the Task is assigned.

 

NOTE:  These waypoints may be changed and edited in subsequent turns as long as they adhere to the general path set when assigning the Scout Task and as long as the destination point does not move.

 

○     A unit or formation on Scout orders can withdraw (or send one or more units) to contact their HQ or a neighbor unit in order to share information (if required). 

■     Once the HQ or neighbor unit has the enemy contact themselves the Scout unit must return to its area of operation and continue its task.

■     If the Scout unit is eliminated prior to reaching the HQ or neighbor unit then the enemy contact information must be ignored until acquired by another unit or formation (in other words it cannot be acted on).

■     The Scout unit can abandon the movement to share information and return to the Task at any time.

○     Only up to 1/3rd of the player’s force can be assigned the Scout Task at one time

○     Units or formations with the Scout Task do not have to be within C2 range to use Initiative:

■     The Initiative assigned task must remain within the Scout Task boundaries specified by the player

■     If the unit or formation uses Initiative it immediately reverts to the Scout Task upon completion of that Initiative assigned Task

○     Terminal Task - This Task will not end until changed.

 

...this is done through the drop down menu for each team:

001-B.JPG

 

The orders for each team look like this:

1%2BSquad.JPG

 

2nd and 3rd Squads have been given Move Tasks followed by a Defend Task at their destination (see the workbook image above).. 

 

 

o   Move - currently on move orders

○     Must specify:

■     Start position

■     A route (waypoints must be assigned all the way to the destination position) when the Task is assigned

 

NOTE:  These waypoints may be changed and edited in subsequent turns as long as they adhere to the general path set when assigning the Move Task and as long as the destination point does not move.

 

■     Destination

○     It is okay to have flank units (for a formation) off the route to protect the flanks. 

○     This order is cancelled upon reaching the destination.

 

Note in the following image that I have specified the route and the desired destination... also note that I have a 1 minute pause before these squads move through the hedgerow... this will allow me to adjust the movement orders in subsequesnt turns. this is allowed as long as the final destination point remains the same.

2%2B%2526%2B3%2BSquad.JPG

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Wow, this Command Friction is very interesting stuff.  It takes Combat Mission C3 to a whole new level of realism and immersion.  The idea to organize and track it in an excel spreadsheet / workbook was brilliant.  (Also probably necessary to keep it manageable / doable) I am still going through and attempting to digest / analyze the finer points of the system and will probably have questions at some point. 

 

While I was going through the workbook it occurred to me that another benefit of Command Friction may be when playing against the AI.  It should make playing the AI more challenging and realistic if the human player used this system.  I think I will give that idea a test run as soon as I am familiar enough with the system to implement it.   

 

  I will be making the scenario and the workbooks for the scenario available for all to play with and follow along if you like.

 

I look forward to following the AAR with the workbook.  Thanks for all the time, effort and thought that went into this. 

 

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Change Unit Task

 

 

 

A unit or formation can only be given a change in HQ or Unit Task if it is within C2 range of its immediate HQ. 

 

After the first turn Warren decided he wanted to change a squad's assigned task.. looking at the workbook in the Change Task At column for that Squad he sees that it can't change Task until game time matches 1.26.. current game time is 1.29 (the time shown in the orders phase and input in the Force Command tab).

002-GER-Change%2Btask%2B01.JPG

 

 

To change the task the player unhides the Change Task columns (BLUE ARROW) - then he enters the time shown in the Change Task At column into the Lock-In column (RED CIRCLE) - then in the New Task column he enters the new Task.. note that the new task can be composed of a string of linked tasks, these will not be assigned until the time has been reached.

002-GER-Change%2Btask%2B02.JPG

 

 

When the game time reaches 1.26, the LOCK-IN column entry will turn green telling the player that he is free to change the task.

002-GER-Change%2Btask%2B03.JPG

 

 

ASSIGN NEW TASK - Process

 

Select the leftmost + sign along the top which unhides the NEW TASK and the LOCK-IN columns.

 

Procedure when assigning a NEW TASK:

1.    In the current turn note the CHANGE TASK time.  This indicates the game time where a unit or formation can change its Task

2.    To change a unit’s Task enter this time in the LOCK-IN column.

a.    As the CHANGE TASK time will be different every turn, you need to lock-in that you want to change this unit’s Task.

b.    This is done by entering the time that a change of Task will take effect

c.    This must be in the exact same format as the time in the CHANGE TASK column (see above)

3.    Then enter the first Task in the NEW TASK column. 

a.    This locks in the Task while not overwriting the current active Task

b.    At this stage you only need the first Task even if you plan to use a set of linked Tasks

4.    When entries are made in these columns they will turn amber to help you remember that a New Task has been assigned. 

5.    Once assigned, the New Task cannot be changed without first resetting the LOCK-IN time to the current turn’s CHANGE TASK time.  In other words the clock must start again.

6.    As the game unfolds and the game time ticks down, eventually the time in the LOCK-IN entry will match the current game time and it will turn green.  This indicates that the player is now free to make his NEW TASK orders during the next orders phase.

7.    Assign the NEW TASK using the available drop down menus

8.    The player adds any desired linked Tasks as desired

Finally the player will delete the NEW TASK and the LOCK-IN entries
Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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IanL   

Oh, cool. I remember when we were first discussing this your ideas sounded interesting. I only started reading - need to get off the phone and into a bigger screen..

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Wow, this Command Friction is very interesting stuff.  It takes Combat Mission C3 to a whole new level of realism and immersion.  The idea to organize and track it in an excel spreadsheet / workbook was brilliant.  (Also probably necessary to keep it manageable / doable) I am still going through and attempting to digest / analyze the finer points of the system and will probably have questions at some point. 

 

While I was going through the workbook it occurred to me that another benefit of Command Friction may be when playing against the AI.  It should make playing the AI more challenging and realistic if the human player used this system.  I think I will give that idea a test run as soon as I am familiar enough with the system to implement it.   

 

 

I look forward to following the AAR with the workbook.  Thanks for all the time, effort and thought that went into this. 

 

Thanks MOS.. yes playing against the AI should be interesting using these rules and the workbook.. in fact I think one of the inner circle is thinking of doing just that.

 

I still have a few important features of the rules that I have revealed yet.. for example using Initiative and emergency reactions... those will come soon enough.

 

Ian, looking forward to your feedback.

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SLIM   

Excellent work as always Bil. Personally I use a very simplified ruleset for C3 as a "house rule", but I had never thought of building out a big set like this. I'll have to review all of this in detail.

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Excellent work as always Bil. Personally I use a very simplified ruleset for C3 as a "house rule", but I had never thought of building out a big set like this. I'll have to review all of this in detail.

 

Thanks Slim, download the workbook (attached to one of the previous posts) and check it out.. that is the heart of the system.. the rules can be watered down to suit your play style, but the workbook alone can be used to drive unit flexibility... which alone is a big step from normal CM game play.

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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Bill,

Looks very interesting.. look forward giving it some careful study when I have some time.

It certainly is possible to play to house rules. Did a lot of that if my standard sparring partner of old when playing CMBN. This was before Upgrade 3.0 and we had our own, strict artillery rules re calling fire, FO and such.

Will be interesting...

Thanks,

All the best,

Kip.

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Thanks Kip.. be interested in your thoughts after you give it some attention.. there are a few aspects that I have only touched on.. namely using Initiative and Emergency React.. I'll explain those as they come up in the playtest game.

 

Cheers 

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Warren just sent me this question:

 

 

I am a little confused as to what is in or out of a task.  For instance I have guys Defending, so can a squad move to a better fire position on its own so long as it stays in the area?  Can I assign cover arcs?  I am not sure the differences between HQ and unit tasks.  To my mind if say a platoon is defending an area, it could have units with pre-assigned jobs.  For instance "withdraw after first contact"  a kind of shoot and scoot for a lead unit.  

 
I guess what I am not getting is how much latitude a given unit or HQ has within the context of its higher HQs.  And of course that latitude will change by nation and experience. 

 

My response:

 

Warren, yes, as long as the unit is still defending it can indeed move within its assigned area and even carry out small local counter-attacks.

 
Re: HQ and Unit Tasks.. well if the Platoon is on Defense then you could have units on the line actually in a defensive posture, might also have a small reserve on idle waiting for developments, could even have units conducting a resupply or an engineer operation.. all could be still be within the HQ Task intent.. so shoot and scoot is indeed permissible.

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Game time 1.29:

 

At 1.29 game time the workbook looks like this, note the Tank Platoon commander's intent and orders:

1-29%2BOrders.JPG

 

Game time 1.28:

 

One turn later I have a clear firm spot on two enemy tanks (from 4th platoon HQ):

1-28%2BSpotting.JPG

 

Selecting the tank platoon the HQ (actually both tanks) has the enemy tanks as contact icons, and 1 M4A3 is in command.. this means they can be given a change of Task.

1-29%2BTanks%2B01.JPG

 

Expanding the New Task columns I enter the time that 1 M4A3 can change task (the yellow entry in the Lock-In column), this tank cannot change orders until gametime matches this entry.  I have also entered the new task in the NEW TASK column for 1 M4A3.

 

HQ M4A3 however can change task in this turn (note that the CHANGE TASK AT entry for this vehicle matches the current game time and is green):

1-28%2BOrders.JPG

 

With this in mind, I must set the proper orders for HQ M4A3 while 1 M4A3 must wait.  This illustrates the friction inherent in a formation move as all units might not be as flexible and responsive.

1-29%2BHQ%2BTank.jpg

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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Selecting the tank platoon the HQ (actually both tanks) has the enemy tanks as contact icons, and 1 M4A3 is in command.. this means they can be given a change of Task.

 

With this in mind, I must set the proper orders for HQ M4A3 while 1 M4A3 must wait.  This illustrates the friction inherent in a formation move as all units might not be as flexible and responsive.

 

 

This system of handling C3 with the Lock-in time and resulting realistic delay based on multiple factors adds realism to the C3 process. It reminded me of a concept we had back in the day.  It was called the OODA loop.  Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.  Command Friction increases the chance of a commander getting inside the OODA loop of the OpFor in the chaos of a battle.  As in RL one side might bog down as events overtake the ability of a commander to get orders issued and executed before the situation changed yet again.  (Order and counter order.)  This is pretty cool and has a lot of potential to make the game more realistic.            

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MOS, yes recreating Boyd's OODA loop is why I wanted to do this... it's going to get really interesting when one or the other of us cannot react quickly enough to the other's moves.

 

“For active defense operations to be effective, you will have to compress your OODA Loop down to Observe -> Act.” – Matthew Devost

 

“Decisions without actions are pointless. Actions without decisions are reckless.” – John Boyd

 

“Machines don’t fight wars, terrain doesn’t fight wars. You must get into the minds of humans. That’s where the battles are won.” – John Boyd

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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Game time: 1.27

 

My HQ Sherman moved forward, spotted and engaged the left most enemy Pz-IV... both rounds went high... 

1-27%2BSHerman%2Bv%2BPz-IV.JPG

 

As a reminder this is the workbook at game time 1:28:

1-28%2BOrders.JPG

 

At game time 1:27 the gametime matches the time that was input into the LOCK-IN column... so I can change the Task (must be the same as that set in the NEW TASK column).. then I clear the LOCK-IN and NEW TASK columns... 

1-27%2BTank1%2Btask.JPG

 

...then I give the unit the appropriate orders:

1-27%2B1%2BSherman.JPG

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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weta_nz   

Hi Bil,

 

After having a quick read through this thread I am definitely interested to see how this 'plays' out. Actually I am surprised their are not more comments as this seems to have some very interesting possibilities.  As a primarily single player, I for one (as MOS:96B2P already commented) think this could actually force me to come up with a proper plan against the AI and stick to it. As I play mostly small maps with a small number of units the spread-sheet wouldn't be too burdensome to update so thanks for coming up with the workbook and making it available. 

 

Also without having looked into it too deeply I think there could be a possibility for Battlefront to use a similar logic to what you have presented here to expand upon the scripting for the AI.  Certainly for scenario designers a tool like this could help keep track of the various units and plans when building AI scripts. 

 

One crazy idea I've just had is that Scenario designers could write an AI script for the defense then use a version of your Excel Work book template to create an attack plan (which is saved with the scenario). The 'player' then does the 'grunt' work and tries to adhere to the given plan/timetable  using the rules you have given.  I can just imagine the defeated 'player' blaming the 'General'  because of his inflexible plan ;).  Potentially would make for a great learning tool for us tactical novices!

 

Now to download the workbook and actually check out how it works

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The General

BY SIEGFRIED SASSOON

“Good-morning, good-morning!” the General said

When we met him last week on our way to the line.

Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead,

And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine.

“He's a cheery old card,” grunted Harry to Jack

As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.

But he did for them both by his plan of attack

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