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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
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      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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The Heart of Darkness

“We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness”
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness 

The Heart of Darkness is a semi-historical CMSF campaign depicting actions of the US 1 Bn 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 82nd Airborne and the British Army 2 Bn Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in the Sangin Valley, located in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan during March and April of 2007.

It is designed with the latest version of CMSF as well as the NATO and British modules which are required. Several mods are included with the download which are needed to create the immersiveness of the campaign. They are included in the folder called Sangin Valley Mods. Just place in your dataz directory and remove when you finish playing the campaign.

1. Blimey's Afghan National Army Mod
2. British Camo Screen Mod by MikeyD
3. 82nd Airborne Mod v. 1.1 by Normal Dude
4. Irregulars Afghanistan by Blimey
5. Muddy Waters v. 1.4 by Birdstrike
6. Humvee modification by myself
7. Softskin Vehicles by Kieme

Other mods that I recommend that are not included in the download.

1. All of Kieme's building and terrain modifications (A Must Have for the immersion of this campaign.)
2. Combatants, Mixed Combatants and Syrian Fighters by Mord

All credit goes to the authors of these mods.

The campaign was designed to be played from the blue side only.

Core Units:

2 Bn Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
1 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment ( 82nd Airborne )
2 Bn 319th FAR (Artillery Regiment)
1 Tolai 309th Corps ANA

Campaign Tree:

1. Bombs in the Dirt (British vs Taliban) Draw will advance.
2. Hunting the Vipers (US/ANA vs Taliban) Draw will advance.
3. Blood on the Sand (US/British vs Taliban) Draw will advance.
4. Denial (US/British vs Taliban) Draw will advance.
5. Haven (US/ANA vs Taliban) Draw will advance.
6. Call of the Nightingale (British vs Taliban) Draw will advance.
7. Siege of District Center (British/ANA Police vs Taliban) Draw will advance.
8. Operation Furious Pursuit (US/ANA/British vs Taliban) Draw will win the campaign.

Campaign Notes:
"
War is a sad, horrible, tragic, display of man's inability to accept the premise that the subjugation of one by another will not be long tolerated...
...Paul Mehlos - The Poor Bastards Club

In designing this campaign I have tried within the limits of the game engine to recreate what combat in Afghanistan was like. The missions vary from probes, attacks and defense scenarios.

All the maps were created by the author (me) and I tried to give each a 'Afghanistan' feel with the tools currently available in the editor. The units are historical though some of the places and engagements are fictional.

Unit management is critical in advancing through the campaign. There are no reinforcements, though I have given a high refit and resupply rate to the ISAF forces involved.

The Taliban have a unique way of "popping up" anywhere so stay on your toes. They have developed intricate tunnel and trench complexes throughout the valley which allows them freedom of movement. This along with their ability to mingle with the civilian populations make them dangerous.

Background

"You foreigners have the watches, but we have the time"....
suspected Taliban insurgent

The Sangin River Valley is commonly referred to by British Soldiers serving in Southern Afghanistan as The Heart of Darkness. In early 2007 Sangin, situated on the Helmand River, was the world’s poppy capital and a vital Taliban stronghold. Given the Taliban’s reliance on poppy to fund their fighters, control of Sangin was vital for the Taliban’s survival and consequently would be fiercely defended.

Sangin is a district of the southern Helmand Province of Afghanistan and also the name for a town in the district, population in 2006 at about 14,000. Politically, Sangin held little sway in Kabul, a “minor backwater.” The Taliban did not see it that way, and neither did the Allies.

The district and town sit on the Helmand river-valley plain surrounded by rolling hills and mountain ranges to the east and west, and desert to the west and south. It has been referred to as a canyon town, a valley town, a market town on the south bank of the Helmand River. 

The Sangin valley became known as the Green Zone, with a population approaching 800,000. It is a mix of rocky desert and stretches of farmland, rolling hills, groves of trees, and multiple crisscrossing canals. To the northeast is the Kajaki Dam.

The Helmand River rises in the mighty Hindu Kush mountains, about 50 miles west of Kabul. It is about 715 miles in length and passes through desert, marshes, and a lake region at the Afghan-Iranian border. It provides no outlet to the sea. Its water is considered essential for farming and is crucial to the locals.  The irrigation system so important to the growing of crops, mostly poppy, is fed by the river and dam and presented Allied forces multiple obstacles they had to learn to overcome.

Experts say Sangin’s geographic location gives it strategic importance. It is at the confluence of two rivers in the northern section of the province, the Musa Qala coming from the north, and the Helmand.

 Just north of Sangin, the land rises to a plateau. Toby Woodbridge, in his book, Sangin, A Glance through Afghan Eyes, wrote "the narrow plateau (offers) commanding views over the town centre, fields, and river below, foot-hills and mountains beyond". Woodbridge was an officer in the British Army and served in Sangin. He is now a journalist.

Woodbridge wrote this informative piece in his book:

“From a military standpoint the town (of Sangin) was no natural fortress for those stationed within.” He said foliage and high growing crops reduced the field of view. The rolling hills could mask sight of enemies hiding behind them. There was sufficient high ground in every direction enabling an enemy a good view of the town below. The walls are “interlinked in a warren-like honeycomb without external support, a permeable perimeter enabling easy access into the town’s center from myriad different directions.” Woodbridge said that it was impossible to place enough troopers out there to cover every potential gap, and the enemy had a way of finding the gaps and punching through. He explained that the terrain was such that soldiers were virtually forced to take known paths, vulnerable to easy ambush. The troops had to take round about routes to avoid Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the most lethal threat they faced.

He noted this reality:

“From the defenders’ point of view it was a landscape that rewarded constant presence and continual oversight at all times, for the moment you turned to look another way so your enemy would ensure danger greeted the next discerning glance. There was of course no possibility to place a boot on every piece of grass, dirt or track ...”

The Sangin District has long been a center for the opium trade, and has long been ruled by tribal politics. The economy depends on this opium. Dependence on opium trade, which is theoretically illegal, usually involves a requirement for a certain degree of instability. As a result, various tribes would work to assure such instability existed in order to conduct their trade. That in turn is related to tribal politics. Local government was weak which made instability easy to create and made it easier to conduct opium trading and smuggling.

The opium trade is significant. It is a multi-billion dollar business that accounts for roughly half of Afghanistan’s economic output. Speaking broadly, Afghanistan accounts for nearly all the world’s opium production and Helmand Province accounts for most of Afghanistan’s opium production.

In addition to all this, the region provided a near perfect sanctuary to process the raw opium. One estimate states that there are or have been some 30-35 processing labs from which the processed opium could easily be moved to Kandahar and on to Qetta, a major haven for Taliban leaders.

The terrain features allowed insurgents of any variety to come through the mountains between Kandahar and Helmand provinces with unlimited access to nearly all Helmand. These features also enhanced the capacity to conduct a lucrative opium trade and enabled intensive arms smuggling to, through and from the region.

The British referred to Britain’s operations in Helmand as “Operation Herrick,” and numbered each deployment with a Roman numeral, as would be the case for all British deployments. The strategy was simple yet controversial among the other coalition forces, mainly the Americans. Setup "Platoon House" bases and provide security for the local populations.

The Taliban had something completely different in mind than what the British thought they were going to do. The Taliban took the offense in a very aggressive way. So right off the bat, the British and others had wrongly assessed the nature of the threat.

The British forces deployed and had barely set up shop when they found themselves embroiled in almost immediate open warfare with the Taliban. The British had no idea that the Taliban’s intent was to destroy them. Over time, the British would send in about 1,500 more troops but it took nearly three months to get them there. 

During the period 2006-2007, the Taliban showed itself to be a formidable and skilled group of fighters, well schooled on small unit tactics. It operated extremely well in the field. The Helmand environment described earlier gave it plenty of opportunities for ambushes, and fighting quite often occurred with only 200 meters or less between opponents. Close-in fighting seemed to be the name of the game. Bayonets were employed more than once. Air power was used against them within close proximity to friendly forces. The entire landscape in Afghanistan changed.

As a result, the British commanders set up what came to be called “Platoon Houses,” small fortified “bases” in the towns of Sangin, Musa Qala, Nawzad and Garmsir. Often these platoon houses were government complexes where the troops could bed down, organize, obtain shelter, and prove a place from which they could launch their patrols. The plan was to hold these towns by using these platoon houses. 

The Sangin Platoon House was located in the abandoned District Center along the Helmand River. Some soldiers called it “The Alamo.” The fighting here has been so fierce and deadly that British forces called it “Sangingrad” after the WWII Battle for Stalingrad.

The enemy commenced its siege of Sangin, then occupied by the British, in June 2006 and this initial siege lasted until late April 2007.  At the time the British had several companies located there. Helicopter and fixed wing air came in to support the troops. General Sir David Richards, the NATO commander in Afghanistan at the time, said the fighting here was the worst the British had experienced since the Korean War.

Then in April 2007, J/42 Commando participated in Operation Silver, a multi-national offensive to clear the Taliban from in and around Sangin. It was meant to be a surprise, “shock” attack.

During Operation Silver, 42 Commando Marines led an armored column and pushed into the town from the north. The US 1/508 Parachute, 82nd Airborne Division, augmented by the ANA, conducted a heliborne assault towards the District Center, coming at the center from the southeast. The 82nd refered to it as Operation Furious Pursuit.

This was part of a Helmand wide offensive known as Operation Achilles designed to clear all of the province of enemy. Operation Achilles was the largest NATO operation to date in the war, involving some 5,500 NATO and ANA troops. It was led by the British and, at the request of President Karzai, focused on the Kajaki dam and the towns in the area.

The 2nd Battalion Fuseliers infantry had replaced the 42 Commando in the town center. In their first 20 days they were attacked 79 times.

(Special Note: This campaign is only partially tested (due to RL stuff) so consider it in test mode. I will make changes based on player feedback.)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sfc5316dglrf452/The Heart of Darkness.zip?dl=0

Place the mod folder contents into your dataz and the .cam file into your campaign directory.

Hope it proves enjoyable.

Michael

 

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Don't have time to play right now, but was so intrigued by your campaign that I had to do my opening set-up.

I really like the Mission 1 situation.  The Brits are fascinating to play with their "weird" recon vehicles.  My only disappointment was that there is no sniper unit (I thought the Brits would always have those) and no Grenade launcher-equipped vehicle.  IIRC the Grenade Launcher is one of the only one or two support weapons in CMSF that can be dismounted from a vehicle and carried by foot.  Those two units would make the Mission 1 situation even more fun. 

Also, one gets an FO but I didn't see any off map arty/mortars or aircraft promised in the briefing.  If there is such reinforcements, the briefing should give some mention of them.  If not, I would remove the FO.

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Thanks Erwin. I'll look at adding a grenade launcher. The FO was there because he was part of the core unit. Since it's a mobile mission and I didn't add any arty assets. I may however put in some Rotor assets for support. I'll put a sniper in as well. He was suppose to be there. 

Michael

Edited by dragonwynn

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**********SPOILERS************

 

 

 

 

20 mins done, 50 minutes to go:  Sent two squads to the left flank and one to the right each backed up with one 7.62mm and one 50 cal vehicle.  The other vehicles in reserve or in rear if transports.

On left flank, took 4 or 5  casualties from mines in the irrigation ditches(!) + two to enemy fire in the walled village (after making 2 demo holes in the walls for entry.  However, have eliminated three sets of enemy there and have two squads (minus 6) plus the HQ (minus 1) and the 2IC team there.

On right flank had success.  No friendly losses (only 1 lightly WIA crew member) with several enemy squads/teams eliminated - probably the whole enemy flank killed.  Entering that village in next turn or two.

No IED's as yet, but mines are a bitch.

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*************** SPOILERS ******************

 

 

 

 

Down to about 26 minutes to go...

Secured the left flank village and wiped out the enemy between the village and mosque (including one mosque sniper) - but at the cost of one vehicle and 2 men.  Wiped out the enemy on the right flank and have taken the village and occupied the road junction - but with 4-5 casualties.

Had a nasty surprise when Islamic Terrorists appeared in my rear around 45 minutes to go in left flank areas that had been cleared.  Suffered two Landrovers KIA and another 3-4 casualties.  No doubt this is realistic and horribly frustrating in RL - it certainly is in this game.  One has to train oneself to keep a force in the rear to watch for this sort of ambush.  But, it's hard to prevent friendly WIA and KIA when enemy pops up in one's rear.  Probably in RL after taking over a dozen casualties the mission would be abandoned(?).

The problem with mines, IED's and these sorts of "pop up in the rear" ambushes, is that there is nothing one can do about em except accept casualties.  While simulating frustration is "realistic" it is one of those features that one doesn't want to experience much in a game.

Again, it's recommended that the Brits are given some arty.  A mortar or two would do a treat since once one spots enemy units one would think that the obvious weapon for any allied force to use would be mortars or airpower.  The 50 cals on the vehicles are fun.  But, it takes a lot of work to kill with only those support weapons.

Edited by Erwin

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6 hours ago, Erwin said:

*************** SPOILERS ******************

 

 

 

 

Down to about 26 minutes to go...

Secured the left flank village and wiped out the enemy between the village and mosque (including one mosque sniper) - but at the cost of one vehicle and 2 men.  Wiped out the enemy on the right flank and have taken the village and occupied the road junction - but with 4-5 casualties.

Had a nasty surprise when Islamic Terrorists appeared in my rear around 45 minutes to go in left flank areas that had been cleared.  Suffered two Landrovers KIA and another 3-4 casualties.  No doubt this is realistic and horribly frustrating in RL - it certainly is in this game.  One has to train oneself to keep a force in the rear to watch for this sort of ambush.  But, it's hard to prevent friendly WIA and KIA when enemy pops up in one's rear.  Probably in RL after taking over a dozen casualties the mission would be abandoned(?).

The problem with mines, IED's and these sorts of "pop up in the rear" ambushes, is that there is nothing one can do about em except accept casualties.  While simulating frustration is "realistic" it is one of those features that one doesn't want to experience much in a game.

Again, it's recommended that the Brits are given some arty.  A mortar or two would do a treat since once one spots enemy units one would think that the obvious weapon for any allied force to use would be mortars or airpower.  The 50 cals on the vehicles are fun.  But, it takes a lot of work to kill with only those support weapons.

I added some air assets as well as the snipers into a update file for that mission based on your previous suggestions. I know it is frustrating but it's the only way I could simulate the Talibans fighting style. They are very good at ambush style fighting.  I could not locate in the editor a Brit vehicle equipped with a grenade launcher to add in. 

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Check out UK MUD MARINES.  At 2 hours 30 mins to go, the UK gets vehicular reinforcements including TUM WMIK vehicles (NOT Jackals) with L134A1 40mm grenade launchers. 

The best part is that if you BAIL OUT the vehicle, they take the L134A1 40mm grenade launcher with them and can deploy it as an inf support weapon.

They also get TUM vehicles with 50 cal and 7.62mm.  If you BAIL OUT the 50 cal TUMS, they take their 7.62mm MG with them and can deploy that!

I love this capability.  Am not sure if any other allied (US etc.) vehicles do this.  So, yes, CMSF with UK module does offer this.  :)

Let me know when you have added this plus snipers and light arty (and/or airpower) of some kind.  I'd like to play this first mission again with these assets.  Right now, I think in RL my operation would be abandoned as I have lost too much - half at least to mines and the ambush. 

I do agree that the ambush is very realistic re Taliban tactics and acceptable. Perhaps warn players in the briefing that "Previous patrols have reported the need to be aware that the enemy can pop back even in areas one thinks has been cleared". 

Edited by Erwin

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**********  SPOILERS ******************

 

 

 

Taliban auto-surrendered with 25 mins to go.  I didn't attain the final high ground objective, but killed enuff. 

UK Result:

13KIA; 13 WIA; 4 VEH KIA; 34 OK;

TALIBAN:

57 KIA; 30 WIA; 11 OK

I lost my entire Command unit of 4 men to an IED, and maybe another 6 guys to mines.  Not much one can do about that, so very frustrating, but probably realistic.

My sense is that the Taliban won this one due to the high UK casualties.  I think that the UK needs to attain a much higher kill ratio to make it a win. But, they really should have had some arty and/or air (esp since they have an FO) and grenade launchers would be good.  Maybe UK would still lose 10 to IED and mines, but there isn't a good reason for the other esp all those WIA.  The 4 vehicles were taken out by the rear ambush - I shoulda kept the HQ elements in the rear to cover that possibility.

Nice small scenario.  The 2nd mission also looks very interesting.  But, I think that the allies need to be penalized more for casualties -  and therefore need more firepower - esp when the US are involved.

I hope you can adjust the campaign missions based on above comments and I would be happy to replay from the start.

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**************  SPOILERS ***************

 

 

BTW:  For the 2nd mission I noticed there are no vehicles for ammo resupply.  That always makes me nervous - esp since it's essentially an urban assault.  Also, I can't believe that a force would be put in danger of running out of demo charges in RL for example.  I would expect a lot more breach units or engineers maxed out with demo charges.  (Also need lots of units with smoke, since we cannot resupply smoke.)

Also, to enable players to minimize friendly casualties, one needs to allow generous time limits.  The 1.5 hour time limit for mission #1 is probably ok.  Mission 1 is a relatively simple mission.  But, 1 hour for mission #2 which is much more complex and potentially deadly, is way too little.  I would make it closer to 2 hours so that the player can be careful and minimize casualties.

Re Snipers, I find them little more effective than regular inf unless you make them more experienced.  They will also run out of ammo quick.  Since they are dedicated sniper units, make them Elite or Crack at least.

Edited by Erwin

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Thanks Erwin. I will look into these suggestions. The first mission has some Apache assets added as well as the sniper and yes they already have Crack status. The second mission is a airmobile  search mission since the terrain in Afghanistan in the mountains didn't often allow for vehicle support. So extra ammo wasn't often available. If you ever watch any of the many documentaries on the war in Afghanistan units on these type of missions often ran short on ammo during firefights.  I will look at the addition of a few engineers to help,as well as the time limit. 

Michael

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That's great.  :)  Your campaign looks like it has xnt potential of being very good.  However, I hate replaying, so would prefer to wait until the updates are made. 

What I will do is Cease Fire my way thru the campaign and briefly examine all the missions and give you my assessment re what I think of the initial forces and if the unit mix and time limit seem reasonable.

Firstly, I congratulate you on your briefings - very succinct and to the point.  No rambling on with tons of unnecessary information that is of little use in the game.  Well done!

Mission 2:

I take your point about ammo limitation.  As mentioned b4, make the snipers one experience level higher - Crack or Elite, and give us 2 hours and heavily penalize friendly casualties.  Otherwise looks good.

Mission 3: 

Looks interesting.  The urgency seems to make the 1 hour limit appropriate.  I noticed that the inf seem to have full ammo loads.  If the Brits have been fighting, you might want to reduce that.  They have the AFV full of ammo if a resupply is needed (assuming the IFV can survive of course).  Also, I had the impression that the Taliban do not start close, but seem to arrive as reinforcements.  I would have thought that the Brits would come under fire immediately from enemy unit already in place.  (BTW: I CF'd in turn 2, and won a victory.)

Mission 4: 

Again, I like the look of this joint operation between Brits and US.  I note that only the US has a JTAC - maybe that is deliberate.  Also, I would make the snipers at least one level more experienced.  I.5 hours seems very short for such a large map.  To do this carefully and keep friendly casualties to a minimum, I would think that 2 to 3 hours would be needed.  Again, you decided to have no ammo resupply vehicles - maybe ok...

Mission 5:

Another interesting map and situation.  So far, you have done a good job with every mission being different.  I again question if the time limit is reasonable - it feels more like a 2-3 hours mission is one is to be careful and avoid friendly casualties.  We are attacking a village, but no demo charges are available?  Also, no snipers.  I thought that our forces would always have snipers.  But, maybe I am wrong about that.  (PS: I got a minor victory when I CF'd.)

Mission 6:

Another good looking one.  My favorite Jackals are back with some light armored support.  I wonder if some TUMS with their grenade launchers would be a good addition since it is night.  Also, snipers should have higher experience.  Personally, I would always make any specialized trained unit like Recon or Engineers have higher experience than the regular grunt.  And again, at night everything takes more time, so again add an hour or so to the time limit.

That was the end and I won a major victory by doing nothing and just using CF all the way thru.  That is a problem with the CM2 victory calculation system.  Not much the designer can do.

Overall, other than mission 1 and 3, the missions need more time if one is to minimize friendly casualties.  Friendly casualties should be penalized heavily.  I would make specialized troops like snipers have more experience.  Other issues are minor. 

Hope this all helps. Am looking forward to playing this after you make adjustments.

 

Edited by Erwin

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I would love to test this but will not be able to get near this until I get home in December.

My 2 cents FWIW based on the premise of the campaign, the fact that I was there in Mar-Apr 07, I have done a few Afghan missions myself for CMSF, I wrote the British Forces TO&E  for the game and Erwin's comments.

1.  I get the impression that there are IEDs and mines masquerading as IEDs in some of these scenarios.  If you are going for realism (and I see that you have labelled this semi-historic) then I would tone these down dramatically. IEDs were barely a factor in HERRICK 5 and I suspect that in the first month of HERRICK 6 they probably didn't pay too large a role.  I have looked back through my notes for the tour and for the whole of Mar 2007 I can only recall one or two IED related incidents. Gunshot wounds, shrapnel and people falling over were the main causes of casualties during this time. The other reason to tone them down is that they are pretty frustrating for players because there is little they can do about them which means people won't like the campaign if you overdo it.

2. Sort of linked to the above is the thing about the enemy popping up all over the place. Yes there are Kareezes in Helmand and yes the enemy knew the ground but in many cases, a lot of the contacts were 'enemy pre-seen' which means that we got the drop on the enemy more often than they got the drop on us. So by all means have a cunning enemy and of course try to replicate the 360 degree threat but I wouldn't go mad with it.

3. Erwin appeared to have got massacred in Mission 1 suffering 13 x KIA and 13 x WIA - bear in mind that total UK KIA in Mar-Apr 07 was four. Now I appreciate that it is big ask to replicate the real casualty results but I would structure VPs so that more than 5-7 casualties in any mission is a loss. That will probably mean tweaking the enemy a bit.

4. If the missions are all set in and around Sangin then artillery support would generally be available from FOB Robinson. The Canadians had about 3 x 105 or 155mm guns there for a while and I'm pretty sure that if they had gone by then that 29 Cdo Regt would have had a couple of 105 Light Guns in there. There were also 81mm mortars in Sangin DC itself which would give you a 5km-odd radius of coverage from the DC.

5. TO&E-wise the British Light Infantry battalion should be the basis of the UK force. It is a bit fiddly because of the way it is implemented in CMSF but a Light Infantry Company Group from memory should provide you with most of the bits needed for the British battles. The one thing to watch with all of the British units though is that they don't have much ammunition to start with and they burn through it quickly so I would make provisions for this either through ensuring resupply between missions or making sure that there are some vehicles that the guys can acquire ammunition from. Erwin has already alluded to ammunition problems in his run through.

6. I have no idea how you've picked your enemy but RPG-7s were two a penny over there so I would go for a combatant force pick that has low quality weapons, eliminate anybody with a sniper rifle, which weren't that prevalent and make sure they've got RPGs. Have snipers by all means but I would limit them to one per mission and I wouldn't make them any good. My defaults for 'Taliban' are always 'conscript' in my missions and this setting gives me the results that I think are accurate if you are trying to replicate real life.

7. I note Mission 7 is 'Siege of the District Centre'.  Is this Sangin DC and is your map of Sangin DC? FWIW I have a an 1104m x 1248m CMSF map of Sangin DC which I am willing to share so long as you credit me somewhere in the mission/campaign briefing. However if you want it, you'll have to hit me up fairly quickly because I will have limited internet access in a few days.

8. Reference Erwin's frequent 'victories' by hitting CF at the start - I suspect this might be due to there being  Red 'Occupy' objectives in these missions and the Red 'Occupy' Objective bug (which I have reported to the Beta Crew). As you might be able to guess from that statement - Red Occupy objectives don't seem to work which means that any scenario with these objectives will likely result in a Blue victory without too much effort. Clearly if my guess is right then you will have to completely rethink how you use objectives and parameters to generate victory conditions.

Anyway - that's probably about enough to be going on with apart from saying thanks for taking the time and effort to create this campaign - I have three campaigns which have never left my hard drive (ironically one of them is Op SILVER).

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Since you were there Combatintman, those are fascinating insights.  Wish you'd get your own campaigns ready for d/l. 

All my feedback is purely from the perspective of what makes a "good and entertaining" mission.  "Realism" is hard to achieve and is nearly always either boring or frustrating.  Verisimilitude is what gamers really want - the illusion of reality.

See this simple explanation:  http://www.sol.com.au/kor/11_01.htm

Edited by Erwin

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Thanks Combatintman . Wish I could have had that info in the beginning lol. Good stuff that I will look into making adjustments with. 

As far as IEDs go there are really very few in the campaign. I just factored them in on just a few missions for variety. Aggravating I know. 

The Taliban 360 threat is present but hopefully not over done. With the advantage of superior firepower of the US and Brits I needed something to avoid the missions being turkey shoots and be boring. So I gave the Taliban that irritating quality lol.  

The District Center map would have been awesome as I am sure mine is far from accurate. I winged it the best I could. 

The air and arty are there in most of the missions. A few of the 508 PIR missions are in the Ghorak  Valley complex and I was not sure if that was in range of any based arty assets. Based on what I could find the 82nd operated out of Khandahar so most of their operations were airmobile into the Ghorak Valley. But I could be wrong as I am sure you are better versed than I am. 

The vp thing is screwy so I will look at the occupy space thing. 

Once again thanks to you and Erwin on your input. I will try to make the adjustments needed. RL and work are keeping me busy so will work on it as time allows. 

Thanks much

Michael

OH forgot to add there is like  90% replenish and supply rate between missions. But I will look into some additional ammo options. 

Edited by dragonwynn

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19 hours ago, Erwin said:

Since you were there Combatintman, those are fascinating insights.  Wish you'd get your own campaigns ready for d/l. 

All my feedback is purely from the perspective of what makes a "good and entertaining" mission.  "Realism" is hard to achieve and is nearly always either boring or frustrating.  Verisimilitude is what gamers really want - the illusion of reality.

See this simple explanation:  http://www.sol.com.au/kor/11_01.htm

Call me strange, but I could give a **** if the scenario or campaign is entertaining.  I want realism as much as possible as that will make it entertaining for me.  I really do not like a "scripted" scenario or campaign...  Oh I will play them however.

My point is I enjoy using CM as a study of different tactics and such and I couldn't care less if the scenario is "entertaining" or fair.  War is hell and if I want to do something a certain way, I shouldn't be limited to following what is suggested in a briefing and such.  That is what I want out of my CM. 

You know the FPS games that block you from exploring everywhere, and make you follow a scripted path to an encounter. They are fun sure, but that is not what I would care for in a scenario / campaign designed for CM.  Just my two cents.

Edited by Blazing 88's

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I don't see this as a scripted set of missions, other than there is an attempt at balance.  Dragonwyn who was there has pointed out the unrealistic aspects. 

Realism is extremely boring, and CM is sold as an entertainment product.  Perhaps there is more than one constituency here.  However, playing CM for entertainment and R&R is the primary market.  If you want more realism you have to play one of the multi-zillion dollar DoD simulations.  (They are extremely boring - and also scripted.)

Edited by Erwin

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Well hopefully with a little more work I can get a balance that will both be somewhat realistic and actually fun to. All the suggestions are good ones. 

Erwin instead of reducing the replenish rate maybe a stiffer point penalty for friendly casualties would make a better balance. What you think? 

Michael

Edited by dragonwynn

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Agreed.  Definitely more penalty points for friendly casualties.  But, then you have to give the Brits and US enuff firepower to kill the enemy at range more easily so that the Allied player can realistically expect to take very few (if any) casualties.  (Of course if the casualty rate in minimal, then the campaign doesn't need such a high replacement rate.)

Combatintman says that getting massacred by IED's and mines is not "realistic" based on his RL experience in theatre.  My "wargamer" POV is that since the player can't do anything about mines and IED's, it's very frustrating and makes the mission less fun to play. 

Any mission could still have mines and IED's, but then the mission needs to take that into account.  In addition to warning the player in the briefing, that would mean allowing a lot more time - so that the player could very carefully search for enemy IED trigger men and move more slowly - thus less likely to trigger mines. 

To summarize my feedback: 

1)  More penalties for friendly casualties.

2)  Add a Sniper unit, (Crack or Elite).

3)  More firepower: Grenade launching TUM WMIK vehicles (NOT Jackals) with L134A1 40mm grenade launchers (+ mortars and/or air to justify the FO.). 

4)  More time to move more carefully. (Time to sit for a few minutes in order to detect enemy lurkers.)

5)  Stronger warning in briefing re need for all-around defense since enemy can pop up in rear, plus possibility of mines/IED's (assuming you want to keep these features).

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5 hours ago, Erwin said:

3)  More firepower: Grenade launching TUM WMIK vehicles (NOT Jackals) with L134A1 40mm grenade launchers (+ mortars and/or air to justify the FO.)

Ok based on what I am looking at in the editor the TUM WMIK doesnt seem to have a GL. So I have added the Jackal GMG which gives you the same dismount ability. You will still have some Jackal HMG also. I may be missing something on the TUM but going with the Jackal.

Air and arty is being added or adjusted on some missions that did not have them. You may get both or one or the other depending on the scenario. Working in a few ammo supply assets in a few missions.

Thinned out a few IED's (there were very few to begin with) but they are still in some scenarios as well as mines (Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world) but there are not a lot. Aggravating yes but it will keep you on your toes.

I have tweaked the Brits just a bit based on Combatintman's suggestions (I was already using the Lt Infantry TOE that he had suggested). The 81mm mortars are in District Center already as he had suggested but show up as offmap based on CMSF not letting you visibly see the mortar units.

All missions now have extended time limits as suggested. Snipers are crack also.

Based on Combatintmans suggestions with the Taliban I have adjusted their status to mainly conscript with a few green, regular and a few veteran units for variety. There are a few snipers but they are mainly regular with a few veterans. Not sure how to remove the individuals in certain units that had sniper rifles though.

6 hours ago, Erwin said:

5)  Stronger warning in briefing re need for all-around defense since enemy can pop up in rear, plus possibility of mines/IED's (assuming you want to keep these features).

This is covered in the main briefing at the beginning of the Campaign. Did not want to be repeat the same thing in every briefing. Did add aditional warnings about mines and IED's to the briefings.

I will continue to make a few more adjustments and tweaks then hopefully get the updated file uploaded soon. Anymore suggestions please feel free to let me know and I will make the adjustments.

Michael

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"Ok based on what I am looking at in the editor the TUM WMIK doesnt seem to have a GL. So I have added the Jackal GMG which gives you the same dismount ability. You will still have some Jackal HMG also. I may be missing something on the TUM but going with the Jackal."

I loaded up the "UK Mud Marines" and TUM WMIK vehicles (NOT Jackals) with L134A1 40mm grenade launchers definitely exist in the CMSF game with UK module.

Would you like me to send you the "UK Mud Marines" scenario so you can check for yourself?  Maybe you can "reverse engineer" it and find where the TUMS with L134A1 40mm grenade launchers are hiding in the editor.  (Send me PM with your address.)

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