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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
weapon2010

Battle Packs, Vehicle Packs?

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The next thing to come for CMFB is a v1.02 patch to correct various minor things that have turned up since v1.01.  After that we'll release Upgrade 4.0 to add new features to the game engine across all titles, including CMFB.  After that we'll be working on a late war Module that takes CMFB up to the end of the war.  However, keep in mind that although we work on more than one thing at one time we do try and service the older games first.  CMFB is the latest release and therefore is at the end of the line in terms of new content.

Steve

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Engine version 4.0 on the way... sweet!! Can't wait. Even though its expected features haven't been announced (AFAIK), I'm sure there'll be some pretty neat things included. With the CMFI Gothic Line module also in the works, sounds like Battlefront is as busy as ever.

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Steve, Just for clarification - 

You mentioned in the first post here that it is - CMFB 1.02 - then Engine 4.0 - then a late war module for CMFB? I read in a previous post that it was going to be either a late war module for either CMFI or CMRT that would be the next major project.

Did you just get your CMs mixed up? :unsure: 

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12 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

...After that we'll release Upgrade 4.0 to add new features to the game engine across all titles, including CMFB ...

Steve

Hot-damn!

That's super news, Steve. Thanks!

Since the 4.0 Upgrade will be adding new features across the board, I wonder if it includes any expansion in the number of possible AI Groups and/or Objectives. More AI Groups would be a godsend to the scenario I'm working on for CMRT.

Speaking of CMRT, shout-out for the next module. Come-on', baby! That's at the top of my wishlist after the 4.0 Upgrade.

Edited by Macisle

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I think Steve was talking about plans for this title only when he mentioned the next CMFB module. There's of course other stuff happening besides, on a more accelerated schedule than the CMFB module.

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8 hours ago, Macisle said:

Speaking of CMRT, shout-out for the next module. Come-on', baby! That's at the top of my wishlist after the 4.0 Upgrade.

And mine. If I can't sleep I just think about the coming module and I'm gone in no time. :) And yes, that's a compliment to CM, because concentrating on the game always makes me forget everything.

Edited by Aragorn2002

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Awesome news!

I was starting to grow a tad concerned after the information blackout during the summer, but it appears that all is well and moving along at full speed. For me, just knowing that things are moving along is plenty of info.

I'm very excited for the engine upgrade. Looking at Shock Force and then looking at Final Blitzkrieg, you can see the vast amount of improvements that have come to the CM engine over the years. Very excited to hear about what the next big leap is! (Even if its just a bunch of "little things")

Charlie Mike!

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1 hour ago, Aragorn2002 said:

And mine. If I can't sleep I just think about the coming module and I'm gone in no time. :) And yes, that's a compliment to CM, because concentrating on the game always makes me forget everything.

Yeah, it's pretty amazing how much mental bandwidth CM can take up. It sure makes thinking about work difficult sometimes.

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I hope we see general Tac AI improvements! I would love one day to be able to stipulate covered movement so you set the waypoint and then the TAC AI will use a covered route rather than having to set lots of waypoints.. Also like to see any improvements that will help with urban combat.  Like to see soldiers lean around corners and also be able to blind fire over walls if using smg's, and say half track gunners keep firing but duck their head behind armour plate if they have incoming fire. Just general self preservation improvements which could cut back the times you suddenly loose half a squad because it seems they didn't react well to the situation. Like to be able to order soldiers to throw grenades through windows, maybe a command similar to the blast command.

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Here are some things are a bit better than hints :)  As you can see from this partial list of features, there's a little bit of everything in Upgrade 4.0 as there was in the previous Upgrades:

*  New vehicle follow capability.  Yes, yes, I can hear the CMBO customers saying “FINALLY!” since they were the first to ask for it’s inclusion nearly 20 years ago.  While this is not an all encompassing “Follow Command” as we wanted (sorry, we tried… it proved unwieldy) it does allow vehicles to follow each other in a column with appropriate “traffic control” behavior.  The UI is very simple. You select Vehicle 1, plot a path, select Vehicle 2, hover the mouse over Vehicle 1 (similar to embarking infantry) then click to associate Vehicle 2 to Vehicle 1's movement.  Vehicle 2 will now follow Vehicle 1 as best it can.

* Consolidate (Squad) Command.  This allows a Squad to internally reorganize from two or three Teams into one or two Teams, depending on conditions.  No more will Squads be forced to live with depleted Teams which could better function if consolidated.  Personnel is reassigned by the game (not player controlled), however it is voluntary and therefore Squads don't spontaneously Consolidate all on their own.

*  New tracer and muzzle special effects.  The old system was designed in a different era of graphics card capabilities. We’ve long been requested to bring things up to more current standards.

*  Ability to place Flavor Objects in the 3D environment more directly.  The clunky UI that exists currently made many map makers opt out of using many, if any, Flavor Objects.  The new feature works by letting the map maker "clone" a placed Flavor Object while in 3D mode, then place that cloned object anywhere.  This is especially helpful when placing lots of the same things, like telephone poles, gravestones, etc.  That in turn means more atmospheric environments for people to play in with a lot less time and energy.

* AI Orders now includes an option to “Withdraw”, which means it moves backwards and ends its move by facing the direction it came instead of the direction it traveled. This might not seem like a big deal, but it is :D

* AI Facing can now be specified.  Similar to “Withdraw”, this allows the scenario designer to be sure what direction AI Groups pay attention to instead of leaving it up to the TacAI to decide on a case by case basis.  This improves awareness, responsiveness, and defensive capabilities.

* AI can now be ordered to perform Area Fire in its AI Plan.  This allows the AI to place fire on particular spots on the assumption that the enemy might be there.  Woodlines, reverse ridges, buildings, etc.  This is a compromise between the current system (absolutely no AI area fire) and everybody's fantasy system (the AI is smart enough to know when and where to apply Area Fire all on its own).  Preliminary results indicate that this will be a rather nasty surprise for single player types :)

Steve

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16 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

Here are some things are a bit better than hints :)  As you can see from this partial list of features, there's a little bit of everything in Upgrade 4.0 as there was in the previous Upgrades:

*  New vehicle follow capability.  Yes, yes, I can hear the CMBO customers saying “FINALLY!” since they were the first to ask for it’s inclusion nearly 20 years ago.  While this is not an all encompassing “Follow Command” as we wanted (sorry, we tried… it proved unwieldy) it does allow vehicles to follow each other in a column with appropriate “traffic control” behavior.  The UI is very simple. You select Vehicle 1, plot a path, select Vehicle 2, hover the mouse over Vehicle 1 (similar to embarking infantry) then click to associate Vehicle 2 to Vehicle 1's movement.  Vehicle 2 will now follow Vehicle 1 as best it can.

All of those features sound excellent, thanks. Just the first addition, alone (the vehicle follow command) will make me much more willing to take on some of the larger scenarios. I'm intrigued by all the AI modifications, too.

 

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Some really good stuff in 4.0 that I´ll like. Add a fortifications overhaul and it´s a safe purchase. Fixing the fubared 3.12 CMBN patch appears not to be an option anymore, so I can keep taking my time off from CM til 4.0 then.

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GOOD STUFF!

As a player, I've been wanting (but have never posted about) something like the Consolidate Squad command for ages. Good call on it being a player choice, though. Sometimes, a depleted team can be very useful on its own (single-man scout, ammo-gofer, etc.).

Thanks also for the Follow capability. I've been one of the people posting about that over the years.

Wow, lots of great stuff for scenario designers!

3D environment Flavor Object cloning is a godsend. I've got a long-term project Kharkov map in its early stages for CMRT that I'm planning to go full-bore anal retentive on for extreme urban madness. FO placement is the part I was least looking forward to. Not anymore!

AI Area fire? That's GREAT! That's gonna' make the CM SP battlefield a different place. Awesome news!

And, AI orders for Withdraw and Facing are also huge enhancements. Anybody who creates SP stuff in the Editor will appreciate the massive potential in those engine upgrade features.

Man, I can't wait for this. All the new Editor features have big value for the scenario I'm working on.

I hope the release is soon. -Not a moment of hesitation on getting it.

Thanks, Battlefront! Both for listening and for delivering.

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Thanks for the update Steve!  Great news to hear about all the new features for 4.0.  Personal fav's are the AI enhancements which seem like they will definitely help the scenario designers. Withdraw command will be especially beneficial for Armour.  One question - any chance of been able to get the AI plan to fire smoke artillery after the first turn?  I could never get that to work.

Anyways - keep up the great work and the informative bones :)

Just found my previous ideas for 4.0.  Since Steve has opened this worm hole to the future I will paste them here :D

1) The conditional statement - I remember Steve said this may occur for V4.0 which would be great as I think this could be the single biggest improvement for the AI to be more flexible. I imagine a group of reinforcements been able to be sent to the correct part of the map depending on which flank the human player's main effort is coming. E.g If terrain objective 'left flank trigger'is reached by the enemy then the AI defenders reserve group will carry out the orders branch which advances to the left flank OR If terrain objective 'right flank trigger' is reached by the enemy first then an alternative set of orders will mean the defenders reserve group will advance to the right flank. Currently the scenario designer needs to guess which flank the human player might choose or somewhat artificially channel the player down a certain part of the map. It seems the coding to follow one branch or another could be fairly straight forward but the user interface for setting up Ai triggers would need to change obviously.

 

2) Delayed or Triggered support targets. Currently the AI can create a great smoke screen or get the defenders heads ducking for cover with a well aimed barrage at the start of a scenario but there is know way (That I know of) to delay the smoke screen or pre planned barrage occurring. So my suggestion would be to add a delay to support targets. Again this would hopefully be fairly easy addition to the code and would allow the scenario designer to create a more formidable AI attacking scenario as smoke and HE barrages could be delayed to occur with the estimated time it takes to advance to certain parts of the map rather then requiring the AI to actually get eyes on target. An even more flexible solution would be to allow support targets to be triggered. E.g Support targets 'A' and 'B' are designated to be fired upon when a friendly unit reaches an objective trigger. This may be a bit harder to implement though but it would certainly help the 'AI' to execute the attack in a more coordinated fashion - like a human player.

Edited by weta_nz

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26 minutes ago, weta_nz said:

Thanks for the update Steve!  Great news to hear about all the new features for 4.0.  Personal fav's are the AI enhancements which seem like they will definitely help the scenario designers. Withdraw command will be especially beneficial for Armour.  One question - any chance of been able to get the AI plan to fire smoke artillery after the first turn?  I could never get that to work.

Anyways - keep up the great work and the informative bones :)

Just found my previous ideas for 4.0.  Since Steve has opened this worm hole to the future I will paste them here :D

1) The conditional statement - I remember Steve said this may occur for V4.0 which would be great as I think this could be the single biggest improvement for the AI to be more flexible. I imagine a group of reinforcements been able to be sent to the correct part of the map depending on which flank the human player's main effort is coming. E.g If terrain objective 'left flank trigger'is reached by the enemy then the AI defenders reserve group will carry out the orders branch which advances to the left flank OR If terrain objective 'right flank trigger' is reached by the enemy first then an alternative set of orders will mean the defenders reserve group will advance to the right flank. Currently the scenario designer needs to guess which flank the human player might choose or somewhat artificially channel the player down a certain part of the map. It seems the coding to follow one branch or another could be fairly straight forward but the user interface for setting up Ai triggers would need to change obviously.

 

2) Delayed or Triggered support targets. Currently the AI can create a great smoke screen or get the defenders heads ducking for cover with a well aimed barrage at the start of a scenario but there is know way (That I know of) to delay the smoke screen or pre planned barrage occurring. So my suggestion would be to add a delay to support targets. Again this would hopefully be fairly easy addition to the code and would allow the scenario designer to create a more formidable AI attacking scenario as smoke and HE barrages could be delayed to occur with the estimated time it takes to advance to certain parts of the map rather then requiring the AI to actually get eyes on target. An even more flexible solution would be to allow support targets to be triggered. E.g Support targets 'A' and 'B' are designated to be fired upon when a friendly unit reaches an objective trigger. This may be a bit harder to implement though but it would certainly help the 'AI' to execute the attack in a more coordinated fashion - like a human player.

These are great ideas.

Delayed/tiggered AI arty (inc. smoke) and an expansion of the number of AI groups would be at the top of my list of things to add beyond what Steve has told us will come in the 4.0 Upgrade. Conditional statements would be wonderful as well.

I have other ideas, but will hold them for now.

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5 hours ago, Cobetco said:

A follow Command.... yay! getting tanks and half tracks across a bridge won't be a circus preformance anymore!

Indeed, that will save a lot of work. Great to see the improvement of the game engine continues!

Personally I hope features such as burning buildings, trees and terrain plus smoke will also return. And also more convincing fog.

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