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      Final Blitzkrieg v1.01 released!   05/21/2016

      Once again proving that we don't sleep much, we have just released v1.01 for CM: Final Blitzkrieg.  There's lots of great improvements and fixes now just one download away.  Click HERE to see the release notes and download links.  Thanks to everybody for reporting issues and special thanks to the testers who make sure we don't overlook them.
    • Battlefront.com

      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
Bil Hardenberger

CM Final Blitzkrieg - ALLIED (Defense) BETA Battle Report

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BFC ought to pay royalties to Google Earth. ;)  The maps they're producing these days are simply astounding. Half of the fun of the game is now coping with real world LOF distances and terrain features. It gives gameplay the sort of feel that even the best fictional 'game optimized' maps can't provide. You ought to spend a few minutes Google Earth Street Viewing up and down the village of Recogne, Belgium just to get a sense of the terrain before the battle starts.  :D

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Good idea. Will do. Basing a map on real elevation changes and terrain features is very hard to replicate. Too bad Google Earth doesn't include topographical contours (yet at least). It would make map making even more of a delight. I know there are work arounds, but still.

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METT-T Analysis - Part 1

MISSION:  Word from higher HQ is to delay and attrit, the enemy if he chooses to attack through my AO, applying stiffer and stiffer resistance as he penetrates the zone.  There can be no withdrawal out of this zone, we will hold to the last man or tank.

ENEMY:  This component of METT-T will evolve throughout the battle.  As of now I know almost nothing, but I do expect to see something like the following:

  • Pz Grenadier or Motorized Infantry Battalion (-) - I expect any infantry to be mounted either on trucks or halftracks.  
  • Tank Company (-) 
    • Expect to see mainly Panther tanks (perhaps two platoons)
    • Expect to see at least one JagdTiger or SturmTiger (Intel says at least one of these is in the area)
  • Light to medium artillery of at least one battery, could be as many as three

Aerial photo of a JagdTiger near some trees along a road leading into the AO (it is unknown whether this monster will make an appearance, but intel seems to think it likely

(game Note: this is a mockup, I have NOT seen this in game yet):

ANALYSIS-ENEMY%2BTD.PNG

TERRAIN: I will be doing an in-depth terrain analysis in a future post, but for now I wanted to show the type of terrain we are dealing with.  The AO is 1.8 km in width and 3.6 km deep.

From a high level the terrain appears very flat (looking towards German lines)...

ANALYSIS-Terrain-01.PNG

...but as you move lower it becomes apparent that this ground is dominated by small rises and dips in the ground...

ANALYSIS-Terrain-02.PNG

...though there are some long sight lines, there will be plenty of opportunity to mask movement and positions from enemy observation and fire.

ANALYSIS-Terrain-03.PNG

AAR Map-01.btt

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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(game Note: this is a mockup, I have NOT seen this in game yet):

Well, historically most of those Jagdtiger beasties did break down before seeing any allied tanks so yeh, just because intel spots one doesn't mean you'll ever encounter it.  ;)

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Hi Bil. I must have not spotted it if you said it. What is the date? Time of day? Weather report? Any air support? Though the screenshots look overcast and falling snow maybe your actual battle is different?

The comic by Bud is set at 3 weeks after the start of the German offensive so I for one am bound to get confused.

For CMFB Air Support is it the style that the aircraft enter the battle area and do their thing independently or are they vectored in to a specific target by FO?

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Just spent a while "walking" through the battlefield on Google Earth. I can see that there are two ridges on either side of Recogne, which have pretty good overwatch on Cobru and the road into Recogne (the left flank ridge significantly higher than the ridge on the right). Echoing Kohl, what is the visibility like? You don't really want to engage (o be engaged) by German armour over 1,000 meters, you're going lose pretty much every match up. With the very limited (and probably not exact with respect to the actual CM map) feeling I am getting from Google Earth is that your plan of playing an aggressive defense doesn't seem to me to be supported by terrain (and here my interpretation of "aggressive defense" is "spoiling attack"). If Baneman gets some serious AT firepower into Cobru fast, you aren't going to have an easy time approaching undetected and unharmed.

But if you catch him while he's developing his attack on the town... that's another story.

 

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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"In depth terrain analysis"??? You want my in depth analysis? The snow's up to my friggin' shins!    ;)

As always, looking forward to one of Bil's masterpieces. (His AAR's always bring to mind the woman in the red top in that bar in Boston. Ahhh. http://community.battlefront.com/topic/110127-allied-cmbn-market-garden-beta-aar-the-better-beta-beater-reader/?do=findComment&comment=1455314

But I digress.

I love his analyses. He's like a data-borg. He crafts a beautifully accurate enemy sitrep, then pounces on the first opportunity. Time to get the popcorn ready.

Ken

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Just spent a while "walking" through the battlefield on Google Earth. I can see that there are two ridges on either side of Recogne, which have pretty good overwatch on Cobru and the road into Recogne (the left flank ridge significantly higher than the ridge on the right). Echoing Kohl, what is the visibility like? You don't really want to engage (o be engaged) by German armour over 1,000 meters, you're going lose pretty much every match up. With the very limited (and probably not exact with respect to the actual CM map) feeling I am getting from Google Earth is that your plan of playing an aggressive defense doesn't seem to me to be supported by terrain (and here my interpretation of "aggressive defense" is "spoiling attack"). If Baneman gets some serious AT firepower into Cobru fast, you aren't going to have an easy time approaching undetected and unharmed.

But if you catch him while he's developing his attack on the town... that's another story.

 

Miquel, to be honest I'm not sure how closely the in-game map terrain matches the real world elevations.  I will be doing a full analysis and pinning down the lay of the land as I will have to deal with it. I don't remember seeing the ridges you mention, but we will see. 

Game ststus: still waiting for Baneman to finish his purchases so I can make mine. 

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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I made this map. The map should line up with the actual terrain. I used a period map (which Bil has used as the topo overlay in one of the screens above), as well as modern height values from GE, Bing Maps, and other modern sources.

That said, some things need to be adjusted for keeping roads straight, etc. that make a few features slightly different due to the Editor. The topo map and GE are also not fantastic at subtle changes in height, so there are always a few liberties with gameplay in mind. I don't think you will find much terrain that is completely flat here. It isn't as steep as other battle areas, as well. The Bulge battles weren't all fought on the north shoulder!

I also spent a good number of hours in GE in Street View as well, looking at which houses fit the time period (the 1944 map is quite off in various ways in this regard). I think that a "walk" through the map in CM through any of the towns depicted and then one through GE should line up quite well.

And bear in mind that the map used here is cut down from a larger one!

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Please take also couple of M24s?

Again big thanks to you for making these DARs. They're a great read. 

 

Mike I've been debating using the Chaffee but I am leaning towards something with a bit better gun.  I'll be breaking down my thoughts on force composition and battle plans after I do my OCOKA analysis. 

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Hi Bil. I must have not spotted it if you said it. What is the date? Time of day? Weather report? Any air support? Though the screenshots look overcast and falling snow maybe your actual battle is different?

The comic by Bud is set at 3 weeks after the start of the German offensive so I for one am bound to get confused.

For CMFB Air Support is it the style that the aircraft enter the battle area and do their thing independently or are they vectored in to a specific target by FO?

kohl, it's a QB so this information is pretty generic:  date is January, weather is heavy snow and it's cold as hell.  I will not be purchasing air support I doubt the weather would let them arrive. 

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I made this map. The map should line up with the actual terrain. I used a period map (which Bil has used as the topo overlay in one of the screens above), as well as modern height values from GE, Bing Maps, and other modern sources.

That said, some things need to be adjusted for keeping roads straight, etc. that make a few features slightly different due to the Editor. The topo map and GE are also not fantastic at subtle changes in height, so there are always a few liberties with gameplay in mind. I don't think you will find much terrain that is completely flat here. It isn't as steep as other battle areas, as well. The Bulge battles weren't all fought on the north shoulder!

I also spent a good number of hours in GE in Street View as well, looking at which houses fit the time period (the 1944 map is quite off in various ways in this regard). I think that a "walk" through the map in CM through any of the towns depicted and then one through GE should line up quite well.

And bear in mind that the map used here is cut down from a larger one!

Probably the elevations I was talking about fall out of the map boundaries.

Looking forward to the maps! 

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ANALYSIS-ENEMY%2BTD.PNG

Bil,

  Was this shot taken by Henry Fonda while flying through the fog in an Army Piper Cub, engine off, over the sounds of a German armor column...just before being shot down?  This doesn't even remotely look like a M-60 painted grey with crosses on the sides.   What the hell misinformation is Intel trying to pull here????  <_<

Heinrich505

 

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Bil,

  This looks like another fantastic showcase.  I am very excited seeing all the new equipment, the snow, and the maps.  I'll be following your analysis and action with great interest. 

  Looks like Benpark has another winner for a map.  When you showed the upper elevation versus the lower elevation it became very clear how things aren't all that flat.

  And, if you get a Chaffee with Telly Savalas commanding, you'll have to mod all the loot he was accumulating on the tank during his drive through the Ardennes, haha.

  This battle really looks great.  Thanks for agreeing to put this on.

 

Heinrich505

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All I know is that I chose the Heavy Snow option when I set up the QB. 

Heavy snow weather results in light snow ground condition in QBs.  Man, I wish weather and ground condition could be decoupled for QBs.  You will never, ever, ever have sun and snow combined in a QB. :(  Sandbox ftw.

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It might help if someone went into Baneman's thread and hurried him up a bit.. he must really be second guessing himself with his unit purchase, make a decision already!!  .. sigh ...

;)

 

Its those flurries of heavy and then light snow at his doorstep that are really bogging him down....

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OCOKA TERRAIN ANALYSIS - PART 1

OBSERVATION & FIELDS of FIRE - lines of sight on this map are going to be extremely short... especially for a map that appears as flat as it does.  Ben has done an incredible job implementing micro terrain in this map.  The average LOS is around 500m with occasional ranges out to 700-750m.  LOS out past 1 km is very rare on this map.  I will have to recheck once I get into the real game to ensure this is still the case,

COVER & CONCEALMENT - cover is limited on this map, the urban areas of Recogne and Cobru stand out as do the many wooded areas.  Note, most of the wooded areas restrict vehicular movement so that will factor into mobility for both sides.  The short ranges and the micro terrain will allow some good concealed positions.

OBSTACLES - the main obstacles on the map are the restricted wooded terrain (to vehicles), the close terrain of the urban areas, and the snow which will effect movement and mobility.  This is why the road network is so important in this scenario.

The following screenshots of the terrain were taken in the scenario editor while I wait for Baneman to complete his purchases:

Looking towards the German start zone:

OCOKA-01.png

OCOKA-02.png

Looking into the US defensive zone:

OCOKA-03.png

OCOKA-04.png

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