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Kaunitz

Improvement suggestions

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13 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Astro:  FWIW The MG42 sound I use is more of a "BRRP" - one can't tell individual shots.  Yours sounds more like MG34.

Interesting, I have several MG42 sfx, I'll take a listen.

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17 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Are you sure about this? I thought morale states were only reduced by suppression and casualties, not being out of C2 (but certainly being in C2 helps recover morale lost). And I've never noticed enemy contact icons affecting morale at all.

Thanks for catching this.  It made me go back, do some testing and look at my notes.  My notes agree with you: Morale is reduced by suppression and casualties.  My memory was of a fight where my teams went to nervous when out of C2.  I tried to reproduce it in CMBN Engine 4 and could not.  

Page 68 of Engine Manual 4.0 under C2 documents that:  units get jumpy when they don't know what friendly units around them are up to.  Without C2, the imagination can run a bit wild.  If it has contact with its fellow forces and feels supported, things are less stressful.   

However I can't make "No C2 + Opfor nearby = Nervous" now that I am intentionally trying to.  In my test the teams were always being fired at when they went to nervous.

So bottom line:  Morale is reduced by suppression and casualties.       

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5 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

However I can't make "No C2 + Opfor nearby = Nervous" now that I am intentionally trying to.  In my test the teams were always being fired at when they went to nervous.

So bottom line:  Morale is reduced by suppression and casualties.     

Thanks for testing it out.

5 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

My memory was of a fight where my teams went to nervous when out of C2.

I think what happened might have been that squad 1 was in a fight and took casualties, which then reduced the morale of the whole platoon, including squad 2, even if squad 2 was in a safe place. Morale impacts hit all units under the same commander.

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8 hours ago, AstroCat said:

Maybe try this in-game...see what you think. It seems to use the x2 and x3 combined with the indivdual shots.

Here's both to compare...MG34 and MG42, what I'm using after a little tweaking. Not totally sure I love the MG34 sound, although it's a sound I've used off and on for a long time and it's easy to tell the difference between the 34 and 42.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/fku367t30qebnb3/mg34_42_sfx.rar

Edited by AstroCat

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7 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I think what happened might have been that squad 1 was in a fight and took casualties, which then reduced the morale of the whole platoon, including squad 2, even if squad 2 was in a safe place. Morale impacts hit all units under the same commander.

I was just about to write something like that. That can explain that happening since we know that effects on one team in a platoon have an effect on other teams no matter how close or far away they are from each other.

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Hello, gents! I've been playing again a bit lately. So here we go with more improvement suggestions or rather incentives for interesting discussions: 

#6: Fortifications

I have not mentioned it here yet. It is the single most important point on my wishlist: an overhaul of fortifications (types, camouflage and protection characteristics, price or even concept: a separate budget to buy fortifications?). As I've been playing CM:BS lately, I have been desperately missing road blocks (e.g. tank ditches - right now the only means available to block a road against tracked vehicles are mines...), tank-parapets/fighting positions, proper foxholes and slit trenches, hesco-walls, some kind of additional camouflage (esp. against air attacks), and, very important if you're a defender, some free blast-charges during setup (so that you can blast a hole in some walls/houses to open up covered connections between your positions) and ammo crates.

I've read that one major problems seems to be that fortifications need to be set on top of the ground-mesh. I for one wouldn't care too much about the visual appeal as long as fortifications worked properly. 

Note: I suspect that foxholes should offer very, very good concealment. If this caused any problems to the AI, it would still be great to have two types of foxholes - one type for the AI to aim at in scenarios (reduced concealment), one for pbem h2h battles (full concealment). I'd love to fight against invisible enemies more often. You only know that your return fire is effective once they stop shooting, not by visually seeing the enemy getting hit. So you better keep shooting, maybe they're just suppressed! 

#7: The edges of the world

In my recent games I noticed that the edge of the map is a very valuable tactical element. I think it tends to be very advantageous for the attacker because it provides him with a 100% safe flank during his advance. If he advances along a map-edge, the attacker only needs to suppress/cover positions directly in front and to one flank. This means that an approach on the map-edge very often offers very controllable, small LOS-theaters, suitable for an advance with a small, concentrated force (since there are fewer positions that need to be suppressed). If there was no map-edge, the attacker would need to face many more potential enemy positions and ambush-sites. Generally speaking, I think one would expect the edge of the map be covered by the defender's neighbouring formations. Right now, they're simply not covered at all. Map edges pose no danger to the advancing attacker - they act indeed like a great, impenetrable wall. As the attacker, the map-edge always gives me a feeling of security.

I don't know if there is anything one could do against it. One remedy could be not to allow the attacker to move along the edges, so that the edges of the map can be controlled rather easily by the defender (from his deployment zone in the rear though, we don't want to give the defender un-assailable ambush-positions up front). The attacker could of course still fire into the edge-zones, but not move along here to exploit the "great black wall".

Have you thought about the tactical implications of map-edges yet? What is your opinion?

#8: Engagement types

I planned to set up a quick battle in CM:BS and for this reason opened up the maps in the scenario editor. To my surprise I found that the maps come in different variations according to engagement-type (meeting, probe, attack, assault), the victory conditions and the location of the terrain objectives, however, were the same regardless of engagement-type! So, the only difference between engagement-types seems to be the imbalance of force-selections points (and initial recon for the attacker in assault), which surprised me quite a bit. I always was under the impression that the game type would also have an influence over the victory-point-weighting of casualties as opposed to terrain objectives (so that the terrain objectives are much more important than casualties in an assault battle, e.g.) and also the location of the terrain objectives (in a meeting engagement, they're in the center of the map, in an assault engagement, they're deep in the defender's half). 

#9 Initial Recon

Please give us the option to set an initial recon level for the attacker in quickbattles. Having scouts moving up to sit in a bush for 5 minutes trying to spot stuff and then rolling the dice (with the time-limit sitting in your neck) sometimes feels a bit uncomfortable and doesn't really do these recce-troops justice (suicide scout-car, anyone?). It would be great if we had the means to simulate longer-term observation. This would also help to shorten the initial scouting phase (which can be kind of a nuisance in pbem h2h battles).

It could be a simple option in the quickbattle-menu, but it could even be something very sophisticated, such as a dedicated scout-outpost-element  that the attacker can set up (ahead of his deployment zone) and "use" during his deployment. Once the attacker has positioned it and decided to "use" it (ideally before he positions the rest of his forces), this element would conduct high-chance spot-checks from it's current position, the quality depending on it's experience-level, thereby providing the attacker with suspected contact markers. Once used, the element dissolves (so each element can only be used once/at one position). Maybe sniper elements could be used in this way as well? Maybe there is a chance that the defender also discovers the attacker's scouting effort? The defender would see a scouting marker at the position of the attacker's scouting outpost. From the position and pattern, the defender could draw conclusions on what the attacker might know and what he's planning... (but only at the start of the actual battle, not during deployment phase!).

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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7 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

#7: The edges of the world

In my recent games I noticed that the edge of the map is a very valuable tactical element. I think it tends to be very advantageous for the attacker because it provides him with a 100% safe flank during his advance. If he advances along a map-edge, the attacker only needs to suppress/cover positions directly in front and to one flank. This means that an approach on the map-edge very often offers very controllable, small LOS-theaters, suitable for an advance with a small, concentrated force (since there are fewer positions that need to be suppressed). If there was no map-edge, the attacker would need to face many more potential enemy positions and ambush-sites. Generally speaking, I think one would expect the edge of the map be covered by the defender's neighbouring formations. Right now, they're simply not covered at all. Map edges pose no danger to the advancing attacker - they act indeed like a great, impenetrable wall. As the attacker, the map-edge always gives me a feeling of security.

I don't know if there is anything one could do against it. One remedy could be not to allow the attacker to move along the edges, so that the edges of the map can be controlled rather easily by the defender (from his deployment zone in the rear though, we don't want to give the defender un-assailable ambush-positions up front). The attacker could of course still fire into the edge-zones, but not move along here to exploit the "great black wall".

Have you thought about the tactical implications of map-edges yet? What is your opinion?

Yes, this is a big fundamental problem, not just with this game but with wargames in general. Many scenario designers try to give the defenders very good defensive terrain along the edges, to discourage the attacker from sticking too much to the map edge. Other designers block the edges completely, using rivers, forest, bocage, etc. I personally prefer the first option, as blocking often looks very obvious and gamey.

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I think a destroyed german fighter plane would be a great addition as a flavour object. They could be a great addiont for atmosphere. For example for some bigger battlefield with some destroyed plane on it. It gives you the feeling that the war is bigger in scale, that you are not the only one and that there is more going on. It makes planes visible in some way. It makes also for a much more convenient airfield, which you have to defend as german forces, or have to attack as allied forces, or counterattack as a german again. But this might be more interesting for CMBN. Caen – Carpiquet Airport or Reims – Champagne Air Base, if you want to have a historic example.
It could also make an interesting goal for smaller missions to reach this plane, just to have some more interesting goals in a mission.

About the edges of the map. That is true. I like to create big maps where the starting zones are in the corners and there is a lot of room to maneuver. This makes the way to the edge of the map much more far away. A longer way on your attack means that you are more vulnerable for a longer time.

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#7: The edges of the world

Part of this issue could be mitigated by larger maps.  It's fine if you want to creep along the map edge, but if it takes so much time to get from the map edge to the objective, there would be no point.  I recall rarely having this map edge issue when on a huge CM1 map.

Also, re ammo crates, don't we have ammo dumps in CM2?  (These were requested for many years and now have only seen em in a couple of scenarios(!).  BF must be PO'd about the resources they put into providing us with this feature.)

Re Recon, I agree.  However, IIRC there is a way for the designer to give us varying amounts of info about enemy positions.  I have played scenarios where we are told that there is info from recon, and indeed on the map during set-up on can see sound contacts. 

Edited by Erwin

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@Erwin

The problem I see with larger maps is that it alters the whole scenario. If we use maps that are larger than the size of the forces involved would suggest (as far as I know, formations were assigned sectors according to their size), then instead of a proper attack or assault mission, you'll end up with a skirmish/meeting engagement. So, even though larger maps might help, they change the overall type of engagement. If the map-size is increased while the force-sizes stay the same, then the defender cannot form a defensive line (because he would be spread out too much) but rather has to rely on a flexible ad-hoc defence once he knows the direction of the opponent's main effort. 

As far as I know, ammo crates can be placed in the editor when you create a scenario, yes. But you cannot buy them as "fortifications" in quickbatlles.

Concerning recon: yes, assault missions give the attacker some suspected contacts at the beginning. So there already exists some kind of mechanism. It would be great if this aspect of the game could be fleshed out more. An easy solution would be to give us an option "attacker initial recon" (none/minimal/medium/excellent) in the quickbattle setup. If it doesn't cost any points, players would need to agree on it beforehand (I don't believe that the point-system is really good at creating fair battles anyway ^^ map and time-limit are just as important as forces).

Edited by Kaunitz

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One more thing that came to my mind:

#8 Sounds

I think almost every veteran CM user uses some kind of sound mod. The good thing about most sound mods out there is that they offer not just better but also much louder fire-sounds than the vanilla game. Now, I'm not an expert on sound in games, so I try to describe the phenomenon in my own words ( ;) ): It seems as if you need to make the sounds very loud (with lots of clipping) if you want to make them work. If you use sounds without clipping at reasonable decibel-levels, the sound's volume will usually be too low in the game. The crux seems to be how quickly distance from the sound-event (so to speak) decreases sound-volume. Would it be possible to make fire-sounds louder over greater distances?

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

 

Re Recon, I agree.  However, IIRC there is a way for the designer to give us varying amounts of info about enemy positions.  I have played scenarios where we are told that there is info from recon, and indeed on the map during set-up on can see sound contacts. 

As the designer you have an option to set the pre-battle intel for both sides. How much intel the two sides will get at set-up can be adjusted in several steps ranging from something like - very limited to near full intel on enemy possitions.

This is good !

The problem is that the designer have no controll at all over wich units from the two sides that will be shown as contact incons to the opposing player at set-up.

The settings only decides how strong the pre-battle intel will be...how many percent of the overall opposing force will be indicated...

Wich actual units those are are completally random and are not even the same from game to game when playing the same scenario several times.

On of the 'small' ;) things on my wishlist is to include the ability in the editor to exclude untis from being avaliable in the pre-battle intel. Many times it might not matter wich units are shown as intel-incons but every now and then i'm sure there will be untis that the designer would like to remain hidden...

...Having things like AT-gun possitions revealed in the pre-battle intel for example might pretty much ruin a certain scenario...The player should not know about those guns...

If he gets some basic information on some of the infantry possitions...fine ! but not those guns ! :)

Having the ability to exclude them from the pre-battle intel-pool (with a quick toggle in the unit editor) would be a nice feature...

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"...give us an option "attacker initial recon" (none/minimal/medium/excellent) in the quickbattle setup."

This sounds good.  However, RepsoICBR has some good points about the issues around random recon reveals.

"The problem is that the designer have no controll at all over wich units from the two sides that will be shown as contact incons to the opposing player at set-up."

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The map edge comment has been around forever, many a player has pointed out the issue as to the unrealistic effects within the game as to map edges.

There will never be a answer that really works for that problem.

But if it was my game and I could design it and get it to work, I would have a optional feature you could  turn on.

With it on, it would reword the defending side additional reinforcements for attacking side units within a certain distance from the edge.

(lets say 100 meters.)

 

So if the attacker puts 50% of his units within that 100 meters of the edge. the defender gets a 50 percent  amount of his forces in additional  troops which he could select and then dictate when and where they enter to some degree.

It would stop most edge hugging by a attacker with out not allowing its use. maybe its worth putting 10% of your force at the edge to gain a advantage which is worth the 10 % increase in defender forces. Only the player can decide

It would also be a running feature, meaning maybe the attacker on turn 5 has 20% of his forces on the edge, the defender on turn 10 decides to bring on 15% of the reinforcements he qualifies for. Then on turn 30 the attacker now has 30% of his forces at the edge.  The defender would qualify for a addition 10% plus still have 5% he never used. So he would have the option to bring up to another 15% unto the board at any point.

 

Anyway, just one crazy thought of mine as to preventing the abuse of a short fall of map edges that has no true solution

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There is at least one simple map design technique I have encountered for making the edge-hugging undesirable...  Put a non-traversable obstacle on the edge in one or a few places - eg: deep water etc.  That forces the attacker to go "inland" and should make the edge-hugging pointless/undesirable.

Edited by Erwin

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4 hours ago, Erwin said:

There is at least one simple map design technique I have encountered for making the edge-hugging undesirable...  Put a non-traversable obstacle on the edge in one or a few places - eg: deep water etc.  That forces the attacker to go "inland" and should make the edge-hugging pointless/undesirable.

@Erwin  Yes, this is a good suggestion that would certainly help. The solution does not work for modern titles though (amphibious APCs...). I wonder if there is any plausible impassable terrain for the modern titles. Swamps?

@slysniper   That's an interesting idea, but I think the implementation would require a very large effort. 

@RepsolCBR Thanks for clearing that up! Interesting points. Of course it would be much more satisfying if the pre-battle-recon was not random but depended on the actual concealment and quality/experience of the defending troops. From what I've read, quality seems to be a very important factor here - positions are given away by people leaving their position each morning to pee, etc.

 

PS: This might be an interesting watch:

(also check out the other army training videos the user has uploaded)

Edited by Kaunitz

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9 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

@Erwin  Yes, this is a good suggestion that would certainly help. The solution does not work for modern titles though (amphibious APCs...). I wonder if there is any plausible impassable terrain for the modern titles. Swamps?

And heavy woods.

 

9 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

@slysniper   That's an interesting idea, but I think the implementation would require a very large effort.

Indeed yikes. Not to mention you could all to easily accidentally trigger a bonus to your opponent.

I like @Erwin's idea. Or even simpler - don't worry about it at all. :D

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As I'm currently working on my first scenario (CM:BS), here are some reflexions, primarily touching on aspects of positioning and defence and the editor. 

DEFENSIVE POSITIONING

Mind you, I think I've stumbled over these "issues" because I am going for a realistic map-scale. It seems to me that most (not all) scenarios for CM games use very condensed (unrealistically crowded, narrow) maps. And I also need to point out that I'm having a blast just trying to design a proper defensive position in the editor. It feels like a game of it's own. Design a defensive position (for frontage X, with only X vehicles/tanks, against enemies x) that actually works. If you play the game in the editor, you can experiment with trenches and positions of all kinds, toying around with elevations. 

#10a mortars’ hangtime:  I really don’t know and I couldn’t find any info on mortar hangtime on the internet. So I wanted to ask: are mortar-hangtimes realistic? I’ve made a test with the Ukrainian mortars on a testing range. The heavy mortar’s hangtime was ca. 30 seconds (at all ranges between 600 and 1000m), the medium mortar’s hangtime was ca. 40 seconds (at all ranges between 200 and 1000m). Needless to say it’s pretty tough to target an attack that is conduceted at vehicle-speed with such a great hangtime - unless of course you put obstacles in their way, hehe! 

#10b bullet/shell velocity: Also, as my map leads to engagements at greater ranges, I noticed that many weapons’ bullet/shell-velocities are “unaesthetically” slow. MG-bullets have a very arched/round trajectory if fired at 1000m. Bullet drop seems a bit too exaggerated imho. This is an aethestical aspect on the one hand, but on the other hand it does affect gameplay (see 10c/grazing).

#10c grazing/reverse slope: Obviously, one of the best positions for a MG is a position in which it can deliver grazing fire, i.e. where the bullets travel at a low height (lower than a man) for long distances. So basically, you should be trying to position your MGs on the same level as a flat plateau. The game’s target-command gives you a good idea: where it says “reverse slope, no aim point”, you’re in grazing mode (your unit cannot see the ground, but anything standing up from it). The bad thing is, however, that you cannot order area fire on grazing spots (“no aim point”), as your troops need to actually see the ground (not “over” the ground) to be allowed to area-fire. Only if you’re lucky, you find a low point somewhere behind the “grazing zone” so that you can still deliver grazing fire (scenario-designers need to keep this in mind!). It would be nice though if we were allowed to area-target “reverse slope no aim point” locations.

#10d deployed MG swiveling speed (related to 10e): A problem with MGs in grazing positions: Since their LOS is slightly obscured (overwatching a flat plateau with lots high grass), enemy contacts popped up rather sporadically. Now, the MG had to swivel around to aim at the targets a lot (even if they popped up at only very slight new angles and the distance was excellent at ca. 500m).The problem is that a deployed MG (in prone position) is extremely slow to swivel around because the gunner always crawls to his new position/alignment. So, the MGs ended up with lots of swiveling, but hardly any shooting. I think that this was a bit flawed. MGs needs to swivel around faster and/or get a broader angle at which they’re allowed to fire without the gunner’s repositioning.

#10e lack of MG fire platforms (deploy kneeling): A MG cannot be “deployed” in a foxhole or trench or on low walls. ‘Nough said.

#10f overall lack of defensive power (fortifications, shoot & scoop):

I have to stress this as it is so high on my wish-list. I applaud the very fact that the CM series actually offers fortifications. Yet I still think we need a much greater choice of (effective!) fortifications. Foxholes and trenches that actually offer good protection, overhead protection, proper concealment (fortifications should be part of relative spotting), battle positions for tanks, concertina wire and other road blocks as well as hesco walls (for CM:BS).

I also think that shoot-and-scoop (see the big thread) would help the defender a lot. Many times, the problem is that without a shoot-and-scoop command and 1-minute-turn-intervalls, the defender simply cannot escape/prevent return-fire. This is true for vehicles as well as for infantry.

(I don’t care if the AI can’t cope with fortifications or shoot & scoop it. Let’s go H2H! :D)

EDITOR

#11a no acquire command: Contrary to what the manual says, there is no "acquire"-command available in the editor.

#11b one ammo crate: You can place only one ammo-crate (dismounted truck) per side. Also, the ammo-crate is not providing AT-equipment (like RPG-rockets in CM:BS)?

 

 

B6OHS5r.jpg

 

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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11c: Centered craters: I'm not quite sure yet about the ingame implications of craters, but they might have a place in my improvised defensive-positions (in absence of proper foxholes). The problem is that all large craters stick randomly to some corner of a square and you can't change their alignment by deleting/replacing them. So there is no way to place craters as precisely as it is neccessary to use them as foxholes. 

Edited by Kaunitz

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10 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

#10c grazing/reverse slope: Obviously, one of the best positions for a MG is a position in which it can deliver grazing fire, i.e. where the bullets travel at a low height (lower than a man) for long distances. So basically, you should be trying to position your MGs on the same level as a flat plateau.

This is interesting. Never thought of it before. Does that mean that MG fire from a second or third floor of a building will be less effective against targets on a reasonable flat area than if I set up my MG on the ground floor?

And are we talking effects that are happening in reality, or do these things affect this game too?

I usually always set up MGs as high as possible, to give them a bigger field of fire, but maybe I am missing out on this grazing fire thing...

Edited by Bulletpoint

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