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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
carcer

Omaha Beach West

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.......so....college semester finally finished. Been working on an Omaha Beach map. The western sector. Curious what some people's thoughts and opinions are on invasion maps and what can potentially make them fun and tactical- contradictory to the idea of flood rush the dead space. I'll throw up some screens in the next couple days. I found a neat way to have an invasion fleet horizon texture and an even more cool, plus convincing way to have landing craft. You all will love it. Might have to go texture hunting though as the Higgins steel plates are from Men of War. Any help with reference photos and force compositions will be greatly appreciated. Dog Red - Charlie (maybe Fox Green?). I've already mined Steven Zaloga and critical hits board game. I'll provide more details when I can such as goals and ideas for balance.

Levi

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I don't think landing craft are so important to have, but I'd like to see the allies start in the water and have to wade in. For some reason all the D-day scenarios I played started the allies out on dry sand, but the engine can easily do shallow water.

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8 hours ago, carcer said:

Sweet, will definitely go for shallow water. Here's some pics of landing craft I've been playing with for ambiance.

https://goo.gl/photos/TYYBtG6iw9zm4y5v8

https://goo.gl/photos/coepgTSdw7Crb1WEA

Game-play wise only about half or so arriving units would probably start out in these as the rest will start off in the shallows.

Those landing craft are just really clever and creatively done :) So simple, I wonder why nobody thought of that before. Isn't that what people call genius?

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Really nice work on the map, and the LCs look great.

Joe Balkoski's books provide some great vignettes, as well as some excellent OoB, plus time-of-entry and place-of entry data.

Also, scroll down to "HISTORICAL INFORMATION, 29th INFANTRY DIVISION" here:http://www.angelfire.com/md/29division/

 

Edit: one of the issues you'll face, I think, is that the shore line is static - you can't simulate the tide flowing in. Depending on how you set things up that may or may not be a problem. For numerous reasons, including the tide, I'd suggest concentrating on a number vignettes in time and space, rather than trying to model The Whole Damn Thing(tm).

Edited by JonS

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 I recall playing a CM1 CMBO D-Day third-party scenario with offshore floating landmass 'battleships' loaded with artillery spotters...

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41 minutes ago, Wicky said:

 I recall playing a CM1 CMBO D-Day third-party scenario with offshore floating landmass 'battleships' loaded with artillery spotters...

There's a similar use in one of the CMFI campaign scenarios.

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I appreciate all the comments. Thank you JonS and Rocketman for the links and I think I have an idea that might work for tide line. Going for full Western side of map because of the fields of fire but will include smaller scenarios from the master map and will try to make a couple small ones for the Eastern side as well. Tomorrow I'll try to put out the landing craft textures as well as a horizon set for an invasion fleet (idea based on someone else's mod for Shock Force).

Details:

A more accurate portrayal of Omaha Beach in contrast to the main narratives from film and other video games

Focus on Western Side of the beach with full map battle and then smaller map scenarios to cover the same battle based off of the critical hit board game scenarios

Map in the 70-80% range of historical accuracy

Combination of close combat bloody Omaha mod, iron front 44, and the board game Omaha from critical hit

Tactically focused such as clearing lanes in mine fields for tanks (ideas welcome)

Compressed time line and unit composition

Based off of critical hit then adjusted for historical accuracy and game-play

Able to run with my computer specs for turn-based (I think my CPU is only around 3.2)

The smaller scenarios will be a lot less computer intensive

3 phases for the project

1: rough placement, correct topography, strong-points, and stand in housing positions

2: detail map sector by sector and in entirety based on photos and game-play touch ups

3. Mission plan and unit balancing

Other details:

Going for look and feel of the beach especially in light to combat mission’s mod Bloody Omaha. The beach will look like carnage even though technically no units have landed yet, there will be landing craft, an invasion fleet in the horizon box, with crates and debris on the beach. Beach obstacles will have to compromise to not lag game down. Mostly turning towards close combat placement of hedgehogs with most concentration around Dog Red and Green. The rest of the beach I’ll try to stagger. For representation and game-play could alternate between obstacles and mines in a staggered fashion so that the player will need to clear a few lanes on the beach. Question if mines on the beach should be AT or mixed. The beach will probably have to have various low dunes and such for cover to add to survivability of the game engine as well as tactical elements. Example can be found in the Utah mission of US campaign in the game.

 

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Mines on the beach should be exclusively a-tk I believe. On the bluff have some a-pers.

Also, the a-tk mines on the beach were there to counter landing craft, and were attached to the anti-landing-craft obstacles. They were  NOT there for the tanks, which came as a complete surprise to the Germans. The engineers were tasked with clearing paths through the obstacles for the landing craft as the tide rose, they weren't clearing minefields for the tanks. Bear in mind that in weeks and months before 6 June the beach was being inundated by the tide twice every day. That's a somewhat obvious statement, but the point is that the sea shore is a harsh environment which would quickly uncover, wash away, or render inoperative any mines 'buried' in the shingle, or anything less robust than an a-tk mine. The Germans knew that, of course, so they didn't lay minefields on the beach below the high tide line.

The clearance of obstacles by the Gapping Teams helped the tanks maneuver too of course, but their main problems were

  1. getting to shore at all after being dropped into the ocean too far out (which you could simulate with staggered arrival and only having the correct number of tanks actually make it to shore), 
  2. surviving direct fire from the a-tk guns (which you could simulate with ... a-tk guns!), and
  3. maintaining mobility in the very tricky shingle without getting bogged/ immobilised (which you could simulate by setting the ground conditions to muddy or very muddy).

Another book recommendation for you: https://www.bookdepository.com/Cracking-Hitlers-Atlantic-Wall-Richard-C-Anderson/9780811705899?ref=grid-view&qid=1494838221635&sr=1-2  Despite nominally only covering 1st Assault Brigade, RE (and therefore the assault of the British beaches) it actually goes in to great detail on all five beaches, from both the attackers perspective, and the defenders. I think you'll find it invaluable (Full disclosure: I helped Rich with editing).

 

Oh,  and remember; OMAHA was actually shingle,  not sand.

Edited by JonS

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2 hours ago, carcer said:

The beach will look like carnage even though technically no units have landed yet

Wouldn't it be better to start fresh and let the player's actions create their own carnage?

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On 5/15/2017 at 2:41 AM, Bulletpoint said:

Wouldn't it be better to start fresh and let the player's actions create their own carnage?

I guess I am over stating 'carnage'. What I really mean is to capture a sort of ambiance of a landing which would include having a few boxes and barrels, a few craters from the pre-barrage and the landing craft, but all of these elements to a minimized representation. Will probably stick with critical hits US support with 2 destroyers available towards the end of the scenario; skiping the pre-barrage as part of it. Going for an approach that Close Combat has done with static maps: dogg.jpg

JonS I'll definitely use the suggestions above and focus on the concept of bogging down and trying to survive the AT guns which should be fun since most of them are 50mm. I found a great way to break up the beach between shallows, streams, sand, and shingle where it's evident where the tide lines are after looking at some photos. I'll post some screens when I can. I had no idea you were the author for the scenario design tutorials. I'm starting to read through them to take the same kind of approach which is extremely helpful.

I'm curious if the ships in the horizon I made from the combat mission support icons are too large or not? I also can't figure out how to stick posters directly to walls as another possibility to add to the landing craft is replace posters with doors, life saver buoys and such. Later I'll update the pack with something that can replicate the anti-landing craft sticks and camo nets for bunkers.

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18 minutes ago, carcer said:

capture a sort of ambiance of a landing which would include having a few boxes and barrels, a few craters from the pre-barrage

I'm down with the idea of having a few boxes and crates scattered about the place. As long as you do it with a light touch I think it'll be fine. Yeah, it's not strictly 'correct', but I don't think many folks will even notice much until their infantry get to those locations.

The craters, on the other hand ... the pre-invasion bombardment uniformly missed. Not just the individual pillboxes and WNs, but the whole damn beach. The aerial bombardment certainly all missed, landing a mile or three inland. On the other hand, a few craters scattered about would be ok - especially if you feel they're important in terms of providing the US infantry a wee bit of cover as they straggle across the beach. Don't be too much of a slave to history if you feel it gets in the way of the 'story' you want to tell.

I also can't figure out how to stick posters directly to walls as another possibility to add to the landing craft is replace posters with doors, life saver buoys and such.

I'm pretty sure you can't. I tried adding posters to some terrain features in a scenario once, but it turned out they'd only adhere to building walls.

 

Thanks for the comments on the Scen Design thing - I'm really glad folks are still finding it useful :)

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2 hours ago, carcer said:

What I really mean is to capture a sort of ambiance of a landing which would include having a few boxes and barrels

I think such things were only brought ashore much later? In my view as a potential player of your scenario, going ashore on the first wave and finding supplies already landed would seem odd to me.

Also: Good old Close Combat. I really liked the way each map would be hand painted so that there would be lots of unique details.. The modular approach of CM also has its merits, but those old maps just looked very atmospheric with their winding trenches and curved roads etc.

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35 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

IThe modular approach of CM also has its merits, but those old maps just looked very atmospheric with their winding trenches and curved roads etc.

Curved roads, is it that difficult, as they've semi done it with the rail lines. Would really improve mapping. Cheers

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