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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
    • 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
Sgt.Squarehead

Mosul (Iraq) The small red-headed child of an epic MOUT map!

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Rather than have any more discussions of the on-going fighting in Mosul disrupt other threads here, I figured it might be worth giving that particular section of the conflict a thread, a map and perhaps a few scenarios all of its own.....To which end I've been messing around with a small (688x320) section of LLF's epic Ramadi map in an attempt to model one of the more urban sections of East Mosul:

WelcomeToHayyAlKaramah_zpsmrstbk36.jpg

Welcome to Hayy Al Karamah (view  from the north-east, the player's initial starting point).....I actually only chose this area of East Mosul as it looked like it would be the easiest to model using a section of LLF's map, but as it turns out that was quite a fortuitous choice; This district lies directly between two of the major axes of advance towards the River Tigris and West Mosul and it was the scene of some of the heaviest urban fighting in East Mosul.  You can view the area in Google Maps, here:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@36.3433451,43.2196935,589m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

As you will see the map is not strictly accurate, the layout of the blocks and main roads in the north-western portion in particular is quite wrong, however the density of construction and general layout is, I hope, close enough to represent the area adequately for a few small, representative, scenarios.  Just for fun, at LLF's suggestion, I've included a couple of typical buildings which provide particular tactical challenges that are clearly not present on the satellite map, live with it, or don't!  ;)

It seems that Iraqi security forces first re-entered the area on or around 2nd November 2016, exactly which forces these were is slightly unclear, but prominent amongst them were the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), possibly supported by elements of the Iraqi 9th Armoured Division & 1st Infantry Division (3 Motorised Brigade):

http://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/campaign-mosul-november-1-3-2016

With much assistance from Combatintman, I've modelled a CTS  Core Force (& a supporting US Navy SEAL 'Trident Team') using a combination of Syrian & NATO units as seen here:

 Iraqi%20CTS%20-%202_zpsgb97io2c.jpg

The CTS themselves are represented by Veteran Syrian Special Forces and they are mounted in US Humvees or Canadian Nyalas (representing MRAPs).  A trio of Abrams tanks (presumably from 9th Armoured) are attached to the Core Force to give it some extra muscle, coalition air and artillery assets will be plentifully available throughout the campaign.

Despite continual harassment by ISIS snipers and multiple attacks by VBIEDs the CTS managed to largely take control of the eastern portion of the district by November 4th, at which point ISIS counter-attacked, in force.....Suffice it to say that the entire Hayy Al Karamah district was not completely under Iraqi Government control until 3rd January 2017!  :o

Huge thanks to both Combatintman & LLF for their continued help & support.....I feel like I'm standing on the shoulders of giants here!  B)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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November 2nd 2016, Iraqi Police and CTS tentatively enter the Hayy Al Karamah district:

2Nov16Setup_zpsfwbhh7o9.jpg

A small group of armed locals volunteer their services in return for assistance freeing their family members from the ISIS controlled areas.....Can they be trusted?  :ph34r:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Maybe you already thought of this as a possible scenario "feature" that may have a function:  Setting up a friendly force of some kind in a building with no windows or exits, so they can't fire out or move out.  So, part of one's mission would be to use demo charges to breach a wall (doesn't damage friendlies) to liberate the imprisoned force.  That force can then be used.

Possibly a way to get reinforcements to a very precise location?  Or, rescue hostages etc?

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I started on a CM:SF scenario (set on the classic 'moutmapextendedfinal' quick battle map) that works exactly that way.....The player was to command Syrian rebels & jihadists in an attempt to break their leaders out of jail.  The problem that brought things to a grinding halt is that in CM:SF the uncons do not get Mine Teams (guys with satchel charges) like they do in CM:A, I would have had to use Syrian Engineers and it just didn't feel right.  :unsure:

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"...didn't feel right."

Need to use imagination in the story-telling - the Syrian Engineers would be deserters or uncon plants who enlisted purely to learn about and steal explosives.  Plenty of precedents.

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Nooooo......Still testing ideas, seeing if they work.   

I'll keep hacking away at it and posting updates, should have a workable scenario before too long.

Erwin, I agree there are still options for the 'Jailbreak' scenario, it may yet see use.....IIRC designing that was how I discovered there are no 'Mine Teams' in CM:SF.  CM:A is a better game in many ways, but then there are those damned silly trucks (& possibly some issues with AI artillery, still need to get to the bottom of that).  :rolleyes:

Just out of interest.....If there were perhaps a one in five chance of there being an ISIS suicide bomber amongst those 'Armed Locals', how would folks feel?  It's pretty damned harsh (detonating an IED in the player's setup-zone on turn one, with malice aforethought and no warning), but it's entirely within the bounds of possibility in the environment I am attempting to model.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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On-going testing of the suicide bomber in the setup-zone concept reveals that the player's units will spot and shoot him before he can earn his virgins about 60-70% of the time:

SuicideBomberSpotted_zps7flcqnoq.jpg

The rest of the time:

VirginsAnStuff_zpsabgl6v5d.jpg

In either case, the player's various units can wind up having a little fire-fight with each other, in the confusion.....It's all rather satisfying TBH.  ;)

Thoughts? 

PS - Sadly it looks like this concept's out, for some reason the IED man ain't spawning where he's supposed to unless I directly put him there and then it seems he will only spawn there.....I'm sure I've had them spawning to random spots (using multiple AI plans) before, but can't get them to do it tonight.  :rolleyes:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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The main challenge with IED's, mines or any immediate ambush or arty strike (and/or any other "SHOCK EVENT") on turn one or any subsequent turn, and esp in a set-up zone, is whether that event can make you lose the game on turn one.   If so, people will immediately restart.  Or, give up and go away PO'd.

If you have enuff units that you can still pull off a satisfying win after a "SHOCK EVENT", then that would be ok as a "realistic" event.

PS:  "SHOCK EVENT" (c) All rights reserved.  Sgt S is granted an international license in perpetuity to use the copyrighted phrase "SHOCK EVENT" for non-commercial purposes.

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The explosion seen above is a medium IED, so I could still go down a size, typically with the locked deployment you see above it kills 3-4 CTS from the Core and knocks out their Humvee.....It also completely lays waste to the 'Armed Locals' and royally messes up an Iraqi Police platoon. 

I definitely won't be using this particular idea (it's just an experiment/warning) , but if I can persuade the random spawning to work correctly I may use something similar.....I'm experimenting with other suicide bomber concepts, none of them quite as spiteful as this one.  These should actually be a bit easier to deal with than a well placed IED man (they are in essence very badly placed IED men), but they could be quite nasty if you happen on them unawares.

IEDs and Suicide attacks were a huge part of the fighting in East Mosul, so it's something you will have to take into account in your planning, waves of VBIEDs are to be expected once the fighting hots up!  :o

PS - If a 'Shock Event' was going to ruin a battle I wouldn't put it in.....Hence my tuning of the mortar bombardment and rewriting of the briefing in the CM:A scenario, after you reported so many unavoidable critical casualties (still not had anything close in my own runs).  If it had been Sarandoy or DRA Army guys you had lost, I'd have told you to 'suck it up soldier'!  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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I have sussed out how to do the random IED spawning!  :D

PS - I should probably add that if the player can capture Hayy Al Karamah with under 50% CTS casualties, he's doing better than the historical unit.....That's how bad it was, seriously!  :o

PPS - Did I mention the mines?  :ph34r:

 

 

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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So, assuming then that 1st platoon didn't just explode.....A Co. HQ moves to secure a large compound:

ACoHQTakeCompound_zpsyillymai.jpg

In our earlier Discussions both LLF and Combatintman pointed out that this area rapidly becomes depopulated, I'm contemplating keying this to the player's success in evacuating civilians.....There would be a number of evacuation missions, with each success causing a campaign branch. 

The following scenarios on either branch would be pretty much identical copies of each other, but in the successful branch the Population Density setting would be reduced by one level for each successful mission. 

This will result in uncon forces, particularly (VB)IEDs, etc. becoming increasing ineffective if the player is successful.....It also brings a humanitarian touch to an otherwise rather nasty battle.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Good question.....Probably not I suspect, but the crew were in a very sorry state, I wrote killed in the post above, but actually almost all of them suffered serious injuries rather than death, so they would be back in a mission or two.

On the other hand, the IED blast did set off a pick-up truck full of RPGs.....Which would have made things rather exciting, so the overall effects seemed about right to me, give or take. 

Erring on the side of caution, I would use a Small IED rather than a Medium were I to include this concept (which I am now seriously considering).....In the earliest scenario with the highest population density there is, by my rough estimation, about a 12-14% chance of a successful IED suicide-attack at the start of the mission.  That seems pretty reasonable to me and naturally the player will be warned in the briefing that it's a possibility, allowing him to take some steps to mitigate the damage.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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No worries fella, will do, this is all just testing at the moment.....I'm trying to work out some baseline concepts that I can use to give the scenario the right feel (I hope).  The lack of truly miserable weather options in CM:SF may be a hindrance here, but I'll do what I can.

I'm also still working on the map with flavour objects.....If I can persuade everything to do what I want, when you are told to look for 'things' they will be there to be found, but you will have to look.  I don't want to say too much here, but I think you know where I'm going with this from conversations elsewhere (I'll ping you a piccie by e-mail).

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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To be fair they're supposed to be MRAPs, it's about as close as we can get right now.

The CTS core force has some interesting kit at its disposal, it has the usual Russian weapons of the Syrian SF unit it is built with plus all the NATO goodies from the Humvees and Nyalas.  They all have night-vision gear and are Veteran +1 with high morale, these are some tough hombres.

The core force's ability to summon death from above is not inconsiderable either.....Supporting fires from US 155mm or Russian 122mm & 152mm howitzers, BM-21 MRLs and airstrikes from F-16s, Su-25s & Mil-35s are all available, pretty much on demand.  :o

With this lot in your hands, if you think I'm going to have ISIS go easy on you..... :rolleyes:

This is asymmetric warfare, so do not expect your opponent to fight the battle you want them to, dirty trick will abound (just read the news).....If the IEDs and so on are too much for you, you probably shouldn't be in Iraq and definitely not in Hayy Al Karamah. 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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I don't own the Brit or NATO modules (or CMBS). Does the Nyala guntruck turret offer the gunner noticeably better protection from SAF (small arms) in-game than the Humvee?

Lack of a true guntruck is going to be a hassle for my Ramadi scenarios starting in 2005 when the Marines were finally fully uparmoured. I may try to reskin a BRDM but their armour is complete rubbish.

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Here's the 'stats':

Nyala_zpslivpwzl3.jpg

Unless I'm misreading it, the armour stats may actually be worse than the Humvee!  :o

TBH I haven't used them enough to comment on whether the gunner is better protected in play.....Yet!  I suspect I'll be pretty familiar with 'em in a week or so though!  ;) 

Half of the injuries my units suffered in your Ramadi - Wicked Wednesday test were Humvee gunners, so I've got a comparable baseline against which to measure it as my testing here proceeds.  I'd highly recommend both of those modules, they're well worth it and they would offer you a lot of new toys to play with (my Afghan offer is transferrable BTW).  B)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Ha ha, thanks again but I'm set. Will wait for the upgrade then buy the whole back 9. I could also simply reskin a BRDM which has an actual HMG turret, but its armor is also worse than Humvee, so unclear the gunner is better protected.

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I'll get back to you with observations from testing.....I'm intrigued to see if that big armoured bin actually does anything too, the stats say no, but in my experience this game can be more subtle than that.  B)

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If ever a game needed more AI Groups it's this one.....I've discovered quite a bit about IED teams tonight, you can for instance actually place IEDs inside buildings, it just requires a certain commitment from the triggerman.  :ph34r:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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You know those 'Don't Go Here' tiles you were after LLF.....I seem to have found one on a road junction and it's royally messing with my VBIEDs!  I cannot get them to take that route, Blue can drive down it OK but the damned VBIED just stops, is there some special technique for using VBIEDs that I'm missing?

PS - Aha.....Sussed it, the AI doesn't like 'Dash' or 'Quick' moves to a map edge tile, it wasn't the junction (penultimate destination) but the target tile that was the problem.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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13 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

<Snip> you can for instance actually place IEDs inside buildings, it just requires a certain commitment from the triggerman.  :ph34r:

I have tried to place IEDs inside buildings before but could not.  The triggerman will go inside building no problem of course.  But how do you get the IED inside? 

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