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Erwin

New Campaign - needs testers

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That is lovely.  With all that detail I could have sworn it was a larger scale than 1:72.  Amazing!

Now plz stop f***ing around and get back to the CMA campaign!

Edited by Erwin

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A hard-drive failure brought everything to a halt.....I've got my system mostly back to normal and all the games except CMBS seem to be working properly now. 

A couple of WIPs are gone for good, but nothing major has been lost. 

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Argh...  That is a major pain.  I feel for you.  I now back up everything on a 2nd computer or 2nd internal or ext HD.  Suggest everyone do similar.

Please tell us your CMA campaign is not lost. 

 

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My PC seems to be sorted and I'm back to it.....Turns out I've lost the Core Units file for the campaign, but it's not the end of the world, just a bit more faffing in the editor.

As for an ETA for the whole campaign.....You're kidding surely! 

Once I'm fully reorganised I'll turn out a one off taster mission and see if there is any interest. 

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There is clearly interest.  I know it's huge amount of work.  But, it's a real issue when nothing happens for months.  Some of us keep visiting the CMSF and CMA forums.  But, most just give up and ignore them after a while.

If you can do another mission as good as your first that would be great.

Edited by Erwin

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The first mission/scenario that Sgt S let me playtest was already very good.  Perhaps he can release that to you if you ask nicely...

IIRC it is called "Taking It To The People".

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Sadly I lost the lot when the drive went down.....The files I'd copied were corrupt.  :(

The only thing I recovered at all from my initial CM:A efforts was an earlier version of the big city map I'd saved on a thumb-drive, so I've started again from there.....I had the sheer unadulterated joy of repeating the entire process of ensuring all the doors & windows connect up properly, on a roughly 1km x 1km city map, which took a while.  :mellow:

The genesis of all this came about as a putative sequel (one of a pair) to my earlier efforts, the premise is simple, the Soviets have just arrived and the Afghans are not being entirely welcoming.....The player will have under their command throughout the campaign elements from a Soviet Air Assault Battalion (BMD-1) & a Guards Tank Company (T-62), some vaguely familiar (to Erwin at least) Afghan Mech (BTR) units may pop up here and there too.

I'm currently working on a very big and rather complex fight set in a very slightly reduced (less fields & hills, more city) version of the map I posted earlier.....The arrival of Soviet forces has triggered a full scale insurrection in a provincial capital (very loosely modelled on events in Herat) and the player must regain control.....At your disposal at the start of the mission is the following mighty force:

2x FAC Team, 2xFO Team [Elite,+2,Extreme,Excellent], 1x Platoon ANA Mech (BTR) [Regular,0,Normal,Average], 1x Company Sarandoy Militia [Green,-1,Normal,Excellent] 5x Small Tribal Group [Green,-2,High,Average], 5x Large Spy Teams [Too varied to list]

Yup! - That's fifteen, count 'em fifteen spies! (In a city full of very angry and very well armed people.).....These actually represent various non-combatants the Soviet regime would very much like to see safely evacuated from the combat zone.  Using any of them except the KGB Residents and just possibly the Gulf News TV Film Crew for their normal intended purpose would be extremely foolhardy, getting it wrong will seriously cost you as their safe evacuation represents 50% of the available victory points.  The remainder of the points are mostly distributed between keeping possession of certain key buildings and 'Going Soviet' on the Mujahideen & Tribal attackers.  There will be a few minor hidden objectives (I know Erwin's not keen on these), but they will mostly be common sense, blowing up mosques or the government's own facilities is never going to win you any friends.

Reinforcements in approximate arrival sequence:

4x Su-17 Fitter - A Soviet instructor & his three best trainees.  The throttles are to the firewall and they're loaded for bear.....These guys are good, but use them wisely, there are a lot of angry Afghans out there and some of them may be coming for you!

1x Platoon ANA Mech [As Above] - These guys (and the platoon already on map) are nominally evacuation teams for the District Governor & various government officials, the remainder of the company are with.....

The Relief Force......These come in several waves not earlier than around thirty minutes, not later than around one hour.  I don't want to be too specific as tension & timing is key here and you just don't know when the reinforcements will arrive.  During this phase of the mission you must be flexible enough to improvise a defence against, or successfully evade pursuit by, vastly superior forces.  Suffice it to say that you do have options, but you need to be very, very careful.  I've tried as best as possible to set up the timing of player reinforcements such that he has, or shortly will have, the means to counter most of the more critical AI offensive moves, but sometimes you may just have to run or hide (or a bit of both).

Anyhow here's what's coming:

Soviet Air Assault Company (BMD-1) + Batt. HQ with FO & FA Teams [Regular,+1,High,Average], 1x Section from AGL Platoon, 1x Medium Mortar Platoon, 2x Heavy Mortar Platoon.

Guards Tank Platoon  (T-62) [Regular,+1,High,Average] + Co. HQ.

1x Platoon ANA Mech [As Above] + Co. HQ

1x Platoon ANA Mech Engineer [Regular,0,Normal,Average]

1x Heavy Artillery Battery [9x Tubes 130mm]

4x Hind D Gunship

You are facing not less than a full Mujahideen Battalion (Very determined and capable fighters, not very well trained though, mostly outside the city to start with.) acting in conjunction with a Tribal Militia command (Untrained but very angry and pretty well armed, these guys live in the city.).....Fortunately these will be on the attack for most of the first hour and they are of course controlled by an evil AI that loves nothing better than seeing its little minions slaughtered in droves!   So long as you have a plan (the sneakier & cheekier the better) you should be OK.

Your mission then, should you choose to accept it, will be to survive the initial Afghan onslaught by any means necessary until the relief force arrives.....Once your position is reasonably secure use the firepower at your disposal to drive the insurgent elements out of the city and retake any significant objectives lost earlier, while also ensuring the safe evacuation of all fifteen non-combatants.

Provisional campaign title is 'Going Soviet', scenario title is 'Action & Reaction'.....I've pretty much finished scripting the first AI plan up to the point where I think the players actions should already be making any major actions on the AI's part rather redundant (due to deadness).  Obviously lots of tweaking will be required (at present it's taking me approximately one to one and a half days per five minutes of serious AI initiated fire-fight).

I'm still testing everything (including possible player strategies) so any/all of this is yet subject to change.....If anyone's interested at all or has suggestions and ideas please jump in. 

I'm as yet undecided whether this should be the first or third scenario in a campaign, it's quite full-on for an opener, but there's also a certain logic to using it that way.....The alternative would be to use amended versions of the two highway maps to represent the Soviet push to the provincial capital from their jumping off point.

PS - For any of you mad enough to test this in an early iteration (prior to briefings) this post may contain small traces of hint.  ;)

PPS - I'm also having great difficulty in getting the AI to use its artillery, I have some set to arrive as reinforcements for use by the various FO teams in the OpFor, but they determinedly refuse to use it (which may be a good thing considering the tenuous starting position).....Have I missed something specific about CM:A, essentially identical scripts seem to work fine in CM:SF.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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"Sadly I lost the lot when the drive went down.....The files I'd copied were corrupt."

Are any of the files you sent me of use to you?  I'll be back with my main CM machines in a week so could send files back to you if useful.

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If you have the original version of "Taking It To The People" I could probably tweak it and release it as a stand alone.  B)

If you fancy having a look at my current effort I believe it's scripted to the point where the player's actions will now be largely directing events, and your insights and impressions would be valuable to me.....I know you favour the 'stay low & watch out' approach which is a good one for this mission, eyes you have aplenty, but you must protect them and use the information gathered swiftly to avoid being overwhelmed.  I also know you favour WEGO for big battles, which by CM:A standards this is, but I've only played (blind, as opposed to in designer testing mode) in real time so far.  I'm suffering the usual problem of knowing what all the '?' are, so I know what to do, I'd be intrigued to hear your perspective, but keep in mind this is nothing like a finished project yet (no briefing as usual, I hate writing them for some reason).  :rolleyes:

Ironically I noticed in this scenario I'm doing almost ALL the things I said not to in the 'Stepsons of Jihad' CM:SF thread.....The player starts with his forces either locked in place or in teeny-tiny setup zones, some of which the AI will promptly attempt to overwhelm (in it's usual mad-zombie-rush sort of way).  Also there is just a possibility of BAD TANKS appearing with hostile air overhead, but TBH I suspect that if the player still has airstrikes left at that point in the game, the BAD TANKS will be the least of their worries.  :o

However the premise of this scenario is entirely different, the Soviet command care not one whit how many Afghan or Soviet lives are lost before order is restored.....Order will be restored!  :angry:

Blowing up the 'holy-places' may take the polish off a shining victory, but if it's expedient.....Well you are the Red Army and orders are orders.  :mellow:

Ensuring the safe evacuation of the non-combatants is essential to Soviet prestige (not to mention confiscating any surviving video footage) and should be considered a top priority.....Preventing the Mujahideen or their Tribal allies from ever entering the Soviet Consular or Government Buildings would definitely be a mark in the operational commanders favour. 

PS - There will be a cover story for the BAD TANKS when I do get round to writing the briefing BTW.....It's all planned out.  ;)

PPS - It's just possible I screwed myself.....I was in a hurry to restore my system after the hard drive failure and I may not have fully updated CM:A when I checked the files.  I couldn't open any of them and I assumed they were corrupt so I deleted them.  :unsure:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Not sure that I kept v1 files if you sent me updated versions.  Don't have anything on my laptop while am traveling. 

Send me PM to remind me to check my main systems in a week or so.  Maybe I can help you write the briefings - I used to do a lot of professional writing both fiction and tech docs.

Happy to test out anything you have.  Your earlier effort was already much better than most.

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This one is a very different beast, not promising anything.....Just running a few more tests, still can't get the Mujahideen artillery firing any suggestions at all?  Anyone?

I can live without the artillery if necessary, but I'd like to know why it's not working.....I'm sure I've had it working in the past (using AI controlled spotters, not pre-mapped fire-plans).

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I really don't know what the problem is.....At least one of the spotters should have line of sight to some of the scuffles that break out, but I've not seen a single round fired. 

TBH the situation is probably already sufficiently precarious for the player and the artillery could overbalance the scenario so I'm not too worried, but I would like to know what I've done wrong for my future work.  :rolleyes:

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I think 5 may have been the re-write, but I'd be interested in seeing it....No hurry though TBH.

I'm in a bit of a funk at the moment, keep coming here looking for technical information & advice, inspiration for future scenario projects and news of CM:FI.....But what I find are puerile political rows unworthy of Battlefront, hell they're unworthy of Battlefield!  :rolleyes:

It is destroying the reputation of a formerly well respected company & TBH it's putting me off the CM games too (which is annoying because I own ALL of them).  :mellow:

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Good idea.....I had my wrist slapped TBH.  ;)

At least we can probably all agree retrospectively, that there were no 'good-guys' in CM:A.....The Soviets were simply beastly in their behaviour, but arming all those Afghan tribesmen to the teeth (and simultaneously importing Saudi style Islamic radicalism) was probably not a brilliant move in the long run either.  :rolleyes:

I've actually got two campaigns on the go for CM:A.....The second is much more complex than the one I've described above, nominally titled 'The Triangle' it's centred around Afghanistan's massive opium industry.....I've placed the player in the morally highly questionable position of the tribal group doing the growing and smuggling, meaning they will variously find themselves at odds with, or allied to, several different factions, often at the same time.

It will mostly be a campaign of sneaking and hiding, with occasional outbreaks of bloody revenge, typical low-intensity tribal warfare.....Would this be of any interest to people do you think? 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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12 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

At least we can probably all agree retrospectively, that there were no 'good-guys' in CM:A.....The Soviets were simply beastly in their behaviour, but arming all those Afghan tribesmen to the teeth (and simultaneously importing Saudi style Islamic radicalism) was probably not a brilliant move in the long run either.  :rolleyes:

Hadn't read this prior to posting, but it's very illuminating IMHO: 

https://warisboring.com/america-has-misused-its-military-power-in-the-middle-east-29a2541022b4#.vrkem7ssd

It's refreshing to see these connections been brought to light.....Without consideration of all of these factors the wider 'crescent of chaos' is almost incomprehensible.

PS - Not much I can do about the title of the article, it's actually somewhat inappropriate IMHO.....Please read it though, as I said it provides a useful insight into the geopolitical thinking of the Afghan Invasion era.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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I've just finished testing the various plots & schemes necessary to win this scenario in both real-time and WEGO.....Pleased to say that everything worked to my satisfaction (except the AI artillery which I've decided I can probably live without for this mission). 

Just going to pick it over one more time and then I'll put up a no-briefing version for those willing to experiment. 

 

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Well that was both fortunate and enlightening.....Firstly I discovered I'd forgotten to do a bit, a fairly major bit TBH (victory points) & secondly I discovered that using Uber-FO's would actually make a difference as the AI likes to lead with them in 'Maximum Assaults'! 

I'm not too sure how happy the typical CM:A player would be if the first Tribal/Mujahideen unit he came into contact with was Elite! 

I've decided to live without the artillery, I've left one unit in for my next test.....But I'm not hopeful that it will do anything.  At least I can guarantee that FO won't try to Rambo his way into a heavily defended building!

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"...not too sure how happy the typical CM:A player would be if the first Tribal/Mujahideen unit he came into contact with was Elite!"

From a designer psyops perspective for AI vs the human player it's a neat idea to have the first (and only the first) AI enemy encountered to be Elite.  A player who has trouble with the first enemy unit encountered is likely to be much more cautious.

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Trouble is, in this scenario there are swarms of them.....It's a full scale attack! 

As I said above, I've decided the simplest solution was to remove the spotters, it doesn't effect the feel of the game, indeed the balance feels pretty good to me (I know what's going on), so it should feel pretty bloody precarious to the player, which is about what I'm after. 

I'm going to build a series of simple test scenarios to determine what the actual situation with AI controlled artillery is in CM:A, I'll post results (& any notably enlightening test scenarios) here in due course.

So, a bit more tweaking is required, but this one is pretty much wrapped up now, on the scripting front at least.....I'm sure I saw a 'briefing template' posted somewhere, but I can't find the damned thing. 

On a vaguely related note, I've posted my no-briefing 'Hammertime' FSA variant (it's in the BTR-82 in Syria thread) and Combatintman has very kindly provided me with most of what I need to make some CM:SF scuffles in & around Mosul, just for you.  ;)

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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