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Abdolmartin

Tips for adjusting to this game

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Hi everyone.

 

I come from a CMBS background, and wow! Despite my relative competence in CMBS, I am completely clueless in this game, getting owned both as the Soviets and as the Germans. Any tips and anything that has to be somehow un-learned in order to do better here?

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Interesting.  We have had a few people post about moving from the WW2 games to CMBS and having trouble with the transition. Honestly I have not thought alot about this but of the top of my head I think there are three main differences: reaction time, survive-ability and crew awareness.

In the modern area AFVs have faster reaction times and better situation awareness. Troops and AFVs have higher toughness but of course weapons are more leather too. What I am referring to under the heading of survive-ability is that in the WW2 titles sending tanks ahead without an infantry screen is very hard on your tanks but in the modern game it is very hard on your infantry.

So my advice on the transition is to go slower - takes longer for crews to spot the enemy and react to them.  And lead with your infantry - your tanks need an infantry screen and your half tracks are not up to taking any fire and need to be much further back.

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14 minutes ago, Erwin said:

It would be helpful if you list specific challenges that you have problems with.

 

IanL already listed some of them: reaction times, vehicle situational awareness, and survivability. A couple others are weapon system accuracy and reach. I'll explain the issues below.

13 minutes ago, IanL said:

Interesting.  We have had a few people post about moving from the WW2 games to CMBS and having trouble with the transition. Honestly I have not thought alot about this but of the top of my head I think there are three main differences: reaction time, survive-ability and crew awareness.

In the modern area AFVs have faster reaction times and better situation awareness. Troops and AFVs have higher toughness but of course weapons are more leather too. What I am referring to under the heading of survive-ability is that in the WW2 titles sending tanks ahead without an infantry screen is very hard on your tanks but in the modern game it is very hard on your infantry.

So my advice on the transition is to go slower - takes longer for crews to spot the enemy and react to them.  And lead with your infantry - your tanks need an infantry screen and your half tracks are not up to taking any fire and need to be much further back.

Thank you Ian. I think I've been treating tanks as their modern counterparts (especially US since I usually play them in CMBS); I have implicitly assumed a relatively high level of independence in spotting and survivability that simply doesn't exist in the WW2 context. And in the modern era, I don't usually move infantry through the open except if they're to go somewhere stealthily because of the lethal airbursts (BMP-3s and arty), so thanks for your advice to lead tanks with infantry.

Another issue I've been facing is that the infantry fights seem quite different. I've noticed several things:

1. Infantry die much more easily to small arms and grenades. Modern infantry are more resilient to these. So I don't know how aggressive I can be with them.

2, There are plenty of explosives in the modern era and I've always relied on them (one of my favourite things about the US is their grenade launchers) and suddenly there are no explosives here and no "I will use this ATGM to kill that strongpoint". People make up for that with arty, but I don't know exactly when and where to call arty especially given the long response times and lack of precision and airburst arty.

3. The Soviets suffer from a lack of infantry firepower at range and I can't really move thinly armoured stuff like SUs forward too early, which makes me clueless about assaulting defensive lines (I'm not very well-versed in the use of massed artillery so tips are welcome here).

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39 minutes ago, Abdolmartin said:

2, There are plenty of explosives in the modern era and I've always relied on them (one of my favourite things about the US is their grenade launchers) and suddenly there are no explosives here and no "I will use this ATGM to kill that strongpoint". People make up for that with arty, but I don't know exactly when and where to call arty especially given the long response times and lack of precision and airburst arty.

Good point about the availability of HE. On map mortars can be used in direct fire (the US 60 and British 50mm mortars provide the best quick application of HE in WW2). Keep them safe behind your front lines but close so that they can be brought up to drop some HE in the right place.  Otherwise you do have to plan your artillery use more in the WW2 titles.  On the offence I find it slows things down and sometimes I even try to break contact while I wait for the artillery to arrive.  Just be aware the the other guy could be lining your attacking force up too.  On the defence I try to pin the attackers and slow them down while calling in the artillery.  It is just harder in the WW2 era because the call times are longer.

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My take is that WW2 takes more patience in that all arty fire (and air support) usually takes much longer to arrive, and it is a lot less accurate.

In my WW2 games, there is a lot of "get into position and wait for the arty to arrive" periods.  Yes, that is boring.  But, CM2 games generally require a lot more patience than other games.

WW2 firepower seems reduced compared to modern era, and AFV's can often absorb a few AT hits b4 being KIA.

"Infantry die much more easily to small arms and grenades. Modern infantry are more resilient to these."   Can't agree with that.  I often find the opposite.  It is a factor of tactics and understanding of the relative lethality of the different era's weapons.

To obtain good spotting results one needs to get a good quality spotter (higher experience and binoculars) into a good spotting position with good LOS and let it sit there quietly with a very small arc for several minutes.  It usually takes time to spot.  The challenge is usually that the designer has given limited scenario duration and it can be very hard to just sit around for 3-5 minutes not doing anything.

 

 

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1 hour ago, IanL said:

Good point about the availability of HE. On map mortars can be used in direct fire (the US 60 and British 50mm mortars provide the best quick application of HE in WW2). Keep them safe behind your front lines but close so that they can be brought up to drop some HE in the right place.  Otherwise you do have to plan your artillery use more in the WW2 titles.  On the offence I find it slows things down and sometimes I even try to break contact while I wait for the artillery to arrive.  Just be aware the the other guy could be lining your attacking force up too.  On the defence I try to pin the attackers and slow them down while calling in the artillery.  It is just harder in the WW2 era because the call times are longer.

Thanks, I'll use my on-map mortars next time.

55 minutes ago, Erwin said:

My take is that WW2 takes more patience in that all arty fire (and air support) usually takes much longer to arrive, and it is a lot less accurate.

In my WW2 games, there is a lot of "get into position and wait for the arty to arrive" periods.  Yes, that is boring.  But, CM2 games generally require a lot more patience than other games.

WW2 firepower seems reduced compared to modern era, and AFV's can often absorb a few AT hits b4 being KIA.

"Infantry die much more easily to small arms and grenades. Modern infantry are more resilient to these."   Can't agree with that.  I often find the opposite.  It is a factor of tactics and understanding of the relative lethality of the different era's weapons.

To obtain good spotting results one needs to get a good quality spotter (higher experience and binoculars) into a good spotting position with good LOS and let it sit there quietly with a very small arc for several minutes.  It usually takes time to spot.  The challenge is usually that the designer has given limited scenario duration and it can be very hard to just sit around for 3-5 minutes not doing anything.

 

 

Re: Infantry

In the modern era, I usually get a "yellow" soldier after a movement order goes wrong. But in CMRT it's almost always a kill. Actually I've rarely seen anyone get wounded, they always become casualties. But my greater experience in BS is definitely a factor here.

Yeah I don't see how I'll be able to manage time constraints while having to move forward so slowly, but looks like there's no escape.

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In WWII titles, you need ( as alluded to above ) to develop your attack. Choose a point for your attack and take the time to assemble the force so that you can bring a lot of firepower to bear at that point. Isolate it from assistance with smoke ( no thermals in WWII ;) ).

Remember, in Modern context, he who spots first generally wins ( due a lot to the lethality of the weaponry ). In WWII, it's he who gains fire superiority ( because often the weaponry is largely similar and not as lethal ). So in the WWII context, you're not expecting to "wipe them out", you just need to stop them ( largely ) from shooting back ie. pinned and/or cowering so you can get close with a couple of squads and then wipe them out. :) 

Direct fire mortars are your friend because of their speed, although remember to keep them well back - crawling them into a good position in cover may take time, but can pay off bigtime.

And yes, patience is needed. Admittedly some scenarios are short of time, but that's because the AI needs the help. In a PBEM against a human opponent, you can easily spend half the battle or more, jockeying into position. Sometimes that's most of the fun and the Big Push, when it happens, can be over just as fast as in the Modern title.

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11 minutes ago, Baneman said:

In WWII titles, you need ( as alluded to above ) to develop your attack. Choose a point for your attack and take the time to assemble the force so that you can bring a lot of firepower to bear at that point. Isolate it from assistance with smoke ( no thermals in WWII ;) ).

Remember, in Modern context, he who spots first generally wins ( due a lot to the lethality of the weaponry ). In WWII, it's he who gains fire superiority ( because often the weaponry is largely similar and not as lethal ). So in the WWII context, you're not expecting to "wipe them out", you just need to stop them ( largely ) from shooting back ie. pinned and/or cowering so you can get close with a couple of squads and then wipe them out. :) 

Direct fire mortars are your friend because of their speed, although remember to keep them well back - crawling them into a good position in cover may take time, but can pay off bigtime.

And yes, patience is needed. Admittedly some scenarios are short of time, but that's because the AI needs the help. In a PBEM against a human opponent, you can easily spend half the battle or more, jockeying into position. Sometimes that's most of the fun and the Big Push, when it happens, can be over just as fast as in the Modern title.

Yeah, got it. Change of paradigm. :) Actually an important part of my CMBS tactics centered on spreading hunter-killer teams with overlapping fields of fire to increase the chance of spotting the enemy first, especially from unexpected directions. Looks like I'll have a lot of re-learning to do here. :D 

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One thing that has not yet been mentioned is that in WW II comms are far more rudimentary. In the US Army only platoon leaders and up had radios, and often those were not working. Other armies were usually even worse off. Communication was mostly by shouting, hand signals, whistles, and in some armies bugles. Flares were used a lot, especially in the Soviet and German armies, but those signals had to be pre-arranged and could only convey very simple messages, such as "We have reached the first objective," or "Begin Bombardment D now." Field telephones were used, but usually in fairly static situations. A company HQ might have a wire connection to battalion HQ if they were going to occupy that position long enough to establish a net. Platoons were usually too much in motion (unless occupying defensive positions) to do much communication by wire.

What this all boils down to is that intel does not get shared with anything like the alacrity of modern comms. Squads usually had to be in visual range of other squads and their HQs in order to pass and receive info. And of course, it takes longer for info to move up and down the chain of command. This is one of the main factors in why the whole tempo of combat in WW II was slower.

Michael

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I recall a conversation like this concerning the BFC title that's halfway between CMRT & CMBS - CM:Afghanistan. Soviet infantry squads in CM:Afghanistan  are stunted to reflect the manpower shortage later in the war. In CM:Afghanistan the role of Russian infantry was reduced to moving forward over the charred bodies of their enemies after the tanks & artillery have done their job for them. I recall Steve once commenting that in CMBN if you'd fight with a platoon of Shermans use a company of T34s in CMRT. If you'd normally use a company then in CMRT use a battalion. In CMRT you've got ISU-152s and lots of 'em. These beasts were meant to make up for the lack of decent on-call artillery support.

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I'm sorry, I didn't hear it the first 3 times. ;)

 

Re: lethality. Modern infantry in CMBS is modelled with body army. Modern firearms are sub-caliber. 5.56 does do damage when it hits. But a .30 '06 does far more. So, you've got 5.56mm (or 5.45mm) hitting body armor THEN causing wounding, compared to .30 '06 (or .303 or 7.92mm) hitting naked flesh.  That's why modern units use so much HE.

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On 9. nov. 2016 at 2:37 AM, c3k said:

I'm sorry, I didn't hear it the first 3 times. ;)

 

Re: lethality. Modern infantry in CMBS is modelled with body army. Modern firearms are sub-caliber. 5.56 does do damage when it hits. But a .30 '06 does far more. So, you've got 5.56mm (or 5.45mm) hitting body armor THEN causing wounding, compared to .30 '06 (or .303 or 7.92mm) hitting naked flesh.  That's why modern units use so much HE.

Isn't it rather because modern western armies are more casualty averse in general? In a democracy, money is cheaper than blood. So spending on lots of HE and info tech is preferable to buying lots of body bags.

One might say the modern Western army is similar to the Russian Afghanistan example above, with infantry mostly moving in after the enemy is blown to bits. 

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Use of HE is driven by tactics, not political sensitivity. If I lose 5 men taking a position, my 40-man platoon can only take a certain number before offensive ops have to stop. If, by using HE, I only lose ~1/2 a man per position (1 every 2), then my platoon is that much more effective.

Plus, HE solves the cover problem. Hiding behind a berm? Boom! Problem solved.

Yes, Western armies are rich enough to use smart HE. Other nations' forces have to solve the problem using excess population. ;) 

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Are you trying to play through the campaigns or doing missions against the AI or Quickbattles against the AI or playing online? 

 

I use more mass in ww2.  In the modern era each guy and vehicle has so much more firepower, and better spotting, that smaller groups can do the same jobs as it takes larger groups to do in ww2.  And the firepower punishes bunching up much harder and faster.  Since everyone has so much firepower, small numbers of defenders are enough to be very lethal and can stop attacks and cause unacceptable casualties.  So the defenders can be much more stealthy and still be strong, but that gets balanced somewhat by the better spotting of the attackers.  In order to defend hard in WW2 you need a bigger mass, so its easier to spot, which makes it easier and safer to use a bigger mass yourself. 

Another thing is that there are a few ways that WW2 firepower is sort of bigger than modern.  not overall but in some specifics, which are important. 

Bigger bullets.  While the infantry are all lacking the modern automatic weapons of modern infantry, the have big strong rifles.  So at long range,400-500m, against targets in a building the WW2 infantry might have more firepower, especially with more men. 

MGs are a bigger deal by far too.  Modern days they don't do much to dominate open fields at long range, because if they can be seen they just get nailed with HE.  in WW2 the HE might not be available or efficient or work. 

Last but not least, don't worry about the guys dying.  its so much easier on the eastern front, just remember that almost all of them died anyway.  That is each of their ultimate mission anyway, to die for your purposes, and honor.  The highest honor in victory for your  pTruppen is to be bleeding out while it happens.

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Oh and MOAR area fire,  as long as you dont use too much, like maybe with paratroopers.  You have more men and they all carry a ton of too heavy of ammo so shoot it at the bushes in front of their guys. 

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1 hour ago, cool breeze said:

Last but not least, don't worry about the guys dying.  its so much easier on the eastern front, just remember that almost all of them died anyway.  That is each of their ultimate mission anyway, to die for your purposes, and honor.  The highest honor in victory for your  pTruppen is to be bleeding out while it happens.

But my poor pixelTruppen.  I feel so personally responsible each time I accidentally send some to their doom :D 

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15 hours ago, c3k said:

Use of HE is driven by tactics, not political sensitivity.

This is getting into political territory, so I won't continue the argument, apart from to say that we disagree here -  because I would say that tactics today are often very influenced by political sensibilities.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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On 11/11/2016 at 4:55 AM, Bulletpoint said:

This is getting into political territory, so I won't continue the argument, apart from to say that we disagree here -  because I would say that tactics today are often very influenced by political sensibilities.

I think that has always been true to some degree. One of the differences now is the amount of instant access we have. Obviously there is more to it than just that, but it has a definite impact. During WW2 the military could largely censor how the news was reported. Starting with Vietnam and television that started to change. Then along comes every person with a handheld video recording device and YouTube. 

You see the same impact on police work now in a double edged way. The police are being recorded more, but they also have their own recording ability to try and tell their own side. 

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