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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
    • Battlefront.com

      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
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Majick

Hammer's Flank Crossing the River

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Making a scenario in CMBB is a completely different animal than making one in CMRT.  It takes a lot more work and requires a lot more detail.  You can probably make three or four scenarios in CMBB in the time it takes to make one in CMRT and the design challenges and limitations are different.  If someone doesn't understand those limitations then that can lead to nonsensical statements if those statements are based on the way the old game works or are made without knowledge of the limitations of how the current editor works.  I'm sure Jason means well, but he isn't really giving any useful feedback.  What he is doing is saying that everything that ships with the game is historically inaccurate or is not representative of reality (no matter how well researched apparently).  He then proceeds to tell us all the 'correct' way to make scenarios because nothing anyone makes seems to meet his standards or perception of what is 'correct' in his view.  Well that isn't helping anyone because designers can't design scenarios that please everyone.  That is an impossible task.  Each release comes with scenarios designed by several different people who each has their own style and he can't seem to find any that suit his tastes.  If he can't find any designers who make something that he likes then rather than spending his energy telling everyone about their failures in his eyes he could spend his time in a more productive way by creating stuff for the community. 

There are several scenarios in the release that even have a listing of references included in the designers notes so when someone comes on here and says that nothing is accurate in spite of the research that went into the creation process it shouldn't be surprising if that rubs some the wrong way. 

Edited by ASL Veteran
add last sentence

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I'm glad you enjoyed it!

One of the things that isn't well known about Bagration is that the Soviets initially had a pretty tough time breaking through the German lines in several key locations.  The Germans were very well dug in pretty much all along the front.  However, by a tough time I mean it took a day or two with significant losses for the Soviets to break through.  By Eastern Front standards that's pretty quick.

The Germans, on the other hand, had absolutely no way to hold the front under such pressure.  The areas they retained control of after the initial assaults were subsequently destroyed or bypassed because there wasn't enough reserves and mobile counter attack forces to the rear.  The Germans found it hard in some places to fall back to 2nd and 3rd defensive lines, the latter weren't even all that well established.  Which means the brave soldiers who stood their ground on Day 1 pretty much accomplished nothing that mattered.

Steve

And the part I highlighted is the bit which was "new" in 1944... The Red Army had had many run ins with excellent German defensive positions (in front of Rzhev during the ill-fated Operation Mars, or in front of Vitebsk in December 1943), taking between 48 and 72 hours to break through... only to be hemmed in and German infantry hold outs relieved by mobile German reserves. In June 1944 there weren't enough of such reserves in the sector the Red Army chose to do their main effort.

Regarding Jason... Sometimes I have been on the receiving end of his "tough love" on some occasions, less often I have found myself agreeing with him. The difference with him is that he goes a bit unreal when people stand his ground as Sgt. Joch has done in this thread. I didn't know he had "real life issues", and I hope that those get resolved.

He is a man with a theme, which has to do with his fixation with the "average case". Fizou may want to comment on the following "average" I got from this site

https://sweden.se/culture-traditions/10-things-to-know-about-swedish-food/

The average Swedish family, with two adults and two children, eats 1.2 kilos of sweets per week – most of it on Saturday, sweets day.

if we extrapolate Jason's reaction to the above, according to him

  • Swedes consider eating anything sweet on any day other than Saturday to be completely and outrageously treif
  • Families with one or more than two children should be reported to the social services, the parents must definitely be completely abusive
  • If you eat less than 1.2 kilos of sweets on any given Saturday you're causing unduly damage to Swedish confectionery industry
  • If you eat more than that, you're a disgusting glutton and you should spend a couple years working in a logging camp in northern Sweden, living off the land

If there was some humour (as there is above) in Jason's take on certain things, well, he would be one of my favorite posters ever. The problem is that there isn't any humour in his posts, or it is so subtle that only Boltzmann Brains, after pondering over them for an infinite amount of time, will conclude Jason was the funniest human ever alive...

 

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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Making a scenario in CMBB is a completely different animal than making one in CMRT.  It takes a lot more work and requires a lot more detail.  You can probably make three or four scenarios in CMBB in the time it takes to make one in CMRT and the design challenges and limitations are different.  If someone doesn't understand those limitations then that can lead to nonsensical statements if those statements are based on the way the old game works or are made without knowledge of the limitations of how the current editor works.  I'm sure Jason means well, but he isn't really giving any useful feedback.  What he is doing is saying that everything that ships with the game is historically inaccurate or is not representative of reality (no matter how well researched apparently).  He then proceeds to tell us all the 'correct' way to make scenarios because nothing anyone makes seems to meet his standards or perception of what is 'correct' in his view.  Well that isn't helping anyone because designers can't design scenarios that please everyone.  That is an impossible task.  Each release comes with scenarios designed by several different people who each has their own style and he can't seem to find any that suit his tastes.  If he can't find any designers who make something that he likes then rather than spending his energy telling everyone about their failures in his eyes he could spend his time in a more productive way by creating stuff for the community

Discussions about his personality aside, I would actually like very much to try his scenarios, if he made any. Many of the things he says make good sense, I think, when you look at the substance instead of the tone of delivery.

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Discussions about his personality aside, I would actually like very much to try his scenarios, if he made any. Many of the things he says make good sense, I think, when you look at the substance instead of the tone of delivery.

Well that's the thing isn't it?  I don't think anyone would mind if he made some scenarios and then said 'I think this is the best way to depict WW2 East Front combat' and just put them up for download.  The problem comes when he says that everyone else is wrong - which is pretty ridiculous considering the breadth of combat situations that could be represented in scenarios and the limited number of scenarios that come with each release.  It is one thing to say that battles with King Tigers in them were rare, but it is another thing to state that any scenario with them in it is not representative of actual combat.  Especially when they are included in a scenario that was well researched and which, in fact, included King Tigers in the actual battle.

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Guys, I've been reading this board for 15 years, mostly lurking.  there is no better place and group to talk military history. But it loses a huge chunk of its value to me without JasonC. And yeah, I've been on the receiving end of his lovable bedside manner too.  There was a distinct 'contempt of cop' air about this particular suspension. And some of the cops here can get pretty dismissive and nasty as well. Bring him back please.

Edited by LongLeftFlank

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Guys, I've been reading this board for 15 years, mostly lurking.  there is no better place and group to talk military history. But it loses a huge chunk of its value to me without JasonC. And yeah, I've been on the receiving end of his lovable bedside manner too.  There was a distinct 'contempt of cop' air about this particular suspension. And some of the cops here can get pretty dismissive and nasty as well. Bring him back please.

I'm pretty sure that the temporary ban has already been lifted, although I can't be certain.  Temporary bans are usually only for a few days.  I'm going to assume that Jason is simply choosing not to post at the moment.  Whether or not he wants to contribute again is entirely up to him (assuming the temp ban has been lifted of course).

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                        I for one do not care about the issue this so called man has that keeps him alive here. I have been certified by a judge for 11 years so I guess I can go rip off walyworld and plead nut job and go home with the goods to boot. I am not an avid forum poster anywhere to a fault or reader either but I have read enough posts on enough forums to say these posts by Jason; whom I have never read until today; are the most abusive to his targets then anyone I have ever read. There are flamer forums out there desighned just for him for reals so those don't count. CM as a game can only hope to hint at the reality of the horror of war and no game ever will or should. For as good as cm is its just a very cool miniatures game in the end and that's all. we are here because we like to play army. As for the campaign. I think its the coolest set of scenarios for solitaire I ever tried..game three is as far as I have gone and with many trys. I have played mission one at least ten times (never finished it just hit the escape pod button when I thought I was being a bad commander.i wish ithekial would play through number 3 wich I think is a work of art. as far as our original poster's problem. that battle is a reverse slope puzzle and should plan from the german 2nd line. I just selected all of the left flank battalion and moved it over and did not bother even setting up. it makes no real difference. I very quickly and safely made the first line and the save is nagging me to open it again. don't bunch up and stay in one place very long and use your heavy stuff on anything that resembles a fortification as they start to fill in and keep moving ...the slope works for you as much as against you. 

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JasonC, I think you might feel differently about that scenario if you actually played through it.  I thought the whole campaign was great though I would have preferred a few more missions and I thought the first mission was the best and really set it off with the right tone and realistic feel.  Gave a great sense of the scale and did a great job of showing the difficulty of defeating the German empty battlefield concept I have read you describe.  I think if you played through it you'd find it much more how you want it to be than you think.  SPOILER the only concentrations of enemy force are deep in the zone in well hardened positions that would have generally been pretty safe from prep fire.  Everywhere else is just carefully positioned small hardened spots with few men but the firing lanes all overlap to make it a tough slog to get through.  You get tons of guys all at the start (realistically so) but there is no reason to spend any time setting them up because the starting zone is safe (as is realistic in this case).  Then once you start you have total freedom of how to attack given the hugeness of the map.  But given the friendly forces and the enemy, and the loose casualty restrictions, and  I think a somewhat historical approach would give successful results.

 

Plus its easy to role play away not having control of the 3 hour boring prep barrage.  You are the commander of the ground forces, including the mortars and the su-76's.  But some higher up artillery planning mucketymuck was responsible for the prep barrage and you are just left to make do with what he left you.

Edited by cool breeze

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And I'm here to tell you and anyone else that the result is unhistorical stupidity, not accurate anything.  You have not only sat in the Russian attacking commander's chair, you have imagined and "managed" and divided and abstracted him into the biggest brain dead fool since Pickett's charge.  You turn the result over to the player with the effect of "here, I've decided that you are a witless idiot, please play that part in my movie script now."

Pound sand.  Nobody deserves this treatment as a player.  

Maybe I should have actually finished reading before commenting ;)  .    Now that I read your post I have a better sense of what you wanted out of the scenario and I see my last post is likely not going to hit the mark.  Anywho I think you're kind of missing an important point of the role of scenario designer, especially in a campaign.  The scenarios are always about interesting battles.  Interesting in the sense that by the time you take things over, someone has miscalculated at some level enough to make it not completely one sided.  So its always about handling the mistake of some superior officer on you're side, and or taking advantage of a mistake of the superior officer on the other side (say you're defending, which means they are attacking with too small a force.)

 

Plus its the dang first level of the main campaign for the game so you shouldn't have to be a soviet artillery prep fire expert to win it.  Im glad all that prep fire stuff was taken care of and I didn't  feel like whoever handled it had to leave me any of his ammo allotment to finish the mission with what was provided by my generous communist masters.  Leave it to the American Capitalists to save lives with  better more flexible heavy arty usage.

Edited by cool breeze

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Hi folks, this is my first post on the forum, not a veteran by any stretch of the imagination but I do truly enjoy the Combat Mission family of strategy games. Hammer's Flank was fun to play, The first scenario seemed to be fairly straight forward, maneuver against dug in defenses by penning and out flanking. Do not understand this Jason persons ranting (which is probably a good thing) and thanks to the Sgt. for creating this nice exercise. I realize this is an old post but just now reading it. Please keep up the hard work of making scenarios and campaigns for me to play.

Again

Thanks Sgt.

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On 8/14/2017 at 8:31 AM, Michael Charles said:

Do not understand this Jason persons ranting (which is probably a good thing) and thanks to the Sgt. for creating this nice exercise.

JasonC doesn't like scenarios where the player is railroaded (especially when he is railroaded in dumb ways), where the scale goes beyond a reinforced company, where the actual relevant tactics and techniques are distorted to make a scenario more action-esqe.

Given the delay involved (~20 minutes) and lack of TRPs for the attacker, it was pretty clear the intent was to use the rocket battery as the player's personal prep fire, particularly since the ammo provided is somewhere south of half it's normal load. IIRC, the briefing said as much. But given that, it is lackluster at the task; even putting the rocket barrage directly on target doesn't appreciably degrade the totality of the defenses. Even if you inflict casualties, it isn't as if the scenario designer actually degraded the German personnel numbers in each team so what is fielded still has manpower depth enough to endure and stay intact. The suppression doesn't last longer than a minute or two, so it is basically irrelevant. Odds of a player arriving just after the fifteen minute mark (longest delay possible for a fire mission) in this scenario are very low.

It's been years since I played it, but I think the mortars have limited ammo as well, even though you can't use them for prep fire since they are MIA at scenario start, only coming in at (I think) the five minute mark for whatever reason. At any rate, they are incredibly difficult to employ effectively, due to the lack of map-fire ability in CMx2 and basically no good overwatch positions, which means you're exposing a unit leader (or the singular green or conscript FO) to whatever nastiness you require mortars to deal with. 

The first mission a monster in size terms. Some people enjoy them, some don't. I thought that was a bit annoying in the stock campaign just because I prefer real time and it is well beyond anyone's ability to manage played that way. If you're into splitting squads to maximize infantry performance, it goes straight into near-unplayable territory even for WeGo; each turn for me took something like a half-hour of tweaking, especially once I realized it was a shooting gallery for one side if I didn't carefully echo-locate each of the backfield ATGs and try to hit them with mortars before they took out my supporting armor. The careful approach doesn't work very well; you cross right in sight of the deep German backfield defenses and a few close-in machine guns in some serious chokepoints, all of which have TRPs set on them. The end result is that the Germans get a free harvest of kills wherever you cross and if you choose a single crossing point, they get a series of them with their artillery, which out-matches the player's by a fair margin.

So yeah, I didn't really like the scenario that much either. Whenever I replay the campaign I just hit cease fire during the setup phase and save myself the aggravation.

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I think it's a goodfunscenario, though with some drawbacks. The first time I played I gave up because of the casualties and micromanagment, but I really enjoyed it the second time. It rewards (what I understand to be) Soviet-style tactics: I gave each company a line of advance, all supporting each other, and each company with its platoons in a column, holding back just one platoon and some engineers as a battalion reserve. I put the rockets on planned fire with a 15-minute delay (which I assumed to represent the tail end of a much larger bombardment). Not splitting the squads (except for a few scout teams) reduces micromanagement a lot and I think it's unnecessary anyway. The losses are murderous, especially to artillery, but with three echelons you can take a lot of casualties to your lead platoons and still push forward. 

The biggest thing I wish were different about the scenario is that it would provide a few pre-battle intelligence markers on hte map to help the player understand roughly where you might first come under fire and where you might want to target rockets. I assume the Soviets would've historically had this information from their recon before a set-piece attack like this.

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9 hours ago, Erwin said:

I guess I managed it then...  Don't recall issues.

I wasn't saying it was unwinnable, just it forces you to take losses in a stupid manner. I guess I could complain that it basically got the entire relationship of a successful river-crossing wrong; intact defenses overwatching the crossing points with ample and unsuppressed artillery available is basically the conditions for a bloody failure on the part of the attackers attempting to cross. But I don't care that much compared to the scale being like double from playable and other stuff.

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I played it as well (actually have video of it). It isn't a bad scenario, but like almost all scenarios in that campaign it is a bit too large to play properly, in my view. I am also not a big fan of how CM2 handles line of sight in this kind of terrain, which makes many engagements kind of annoying.

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It's been a long time since I played it since it's an original gamer campaign and probably the first CMRT mission I played.  But, I just powered it up to remind me and I recall it being enjoyable.  Obviously one has to enjoy large missions. 

I don't recall having too much problem winning.  But, it requires mental discipline to hold reserves until one knows what it ahead and made plans where to attack.  As with nearly all CM games, one has insufficient info re where enemy defenses are located. So, one has to do one's own recon - the sort of recon that in RL would/should already be done.

The other SOP is always to find locations for one's support units where they can mass fire on a relatively small portion of the map where one intends to attack while at the same time making sure those units can't be counterfired from too many enemy locations - ie keyholing.  I can't recall how much smoke was available.  But, if it's available it needs to be used.

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I just played this battle last week-end, and what i think is the most frustrating is that german got plenty of artillery, and with too much reactivity and accuracy.
You are suppose to play the soviet hammer on the poor german nail. But actualy you got only a small support when german got full of mortar or medium gun battery, with veteran spotter and what it's look to be unrealistic reactivity. Roles are reversed and it's feel like a big swindle. You should play a great Behemoth, obviously you're not ...

But in the other hand, it's a nice challenge, and it took me several attempts and strategies before i did a gap on the enemy line !
Finaly, this is what i call "a good game" ... :)

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I loved Hammer's Flank. It was kind of slow, but not too slow, with enough fortifications to be challenging but not tedious; and it gave me a real respect for the Soviets - you can't just hurl your troops in, you have to balance aggression with a degree of probing nimbleness.

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