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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

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Tactical lifehack.

I think that it is important for us to share some tactical lifehacks related to this wonderful game.

Please attach screenshot of your knowhow and some description of it.  

I think if we will organize our answers that would work better.

So please share your ideas supported by screenshots and detailed description of what it does or what it serves for. Thank you.

Since I’ve started this topic I will provide first lifehack. As you can see on a picture there are some barbered wire around mixed mines. This thing is useful when it is located on the opposite side from your enemy across some river. It should be specifically placed in areas where crossing the river is the most comfortable for your enemy. Simple at first look it turns out very effective in slowing down your enemy. Enemy infantry forces will need to go around or will be forced to use some sappers to go through it. If enemy forces will use armored vehicles to run over that wired thing they will be damaged by mines almost immediately. Even you facing smart opponent who will use engineers this thing can became a mass grave in no time. All you have to do is to place your BMP, or any other armored vehicle on a solid distance from this trap. Your vehicle should have good visual of that area and should be able to fire through it. When your enemy will try to organize some breakthrough it will be forced to slow down, its infantry will need to go around or break through under fire, its vehicles will not be able to advance fast. The main goal of this thing is to slow down your opponent. Furthermore I’ve also checked this thing on human factor.  One of the people I’ve played with faced this trap, he was almost sure that I’m simply wasting my fortifications shaping them in awkward manner. He decided to go through it by using 3 of his BTR’s 82A without even unloading his infantry. The result was dramatic, I had a BMP-2 sitting in ambush around 450 meters away from that spot. I gave certain target arc to my BMP, and in terms of two minutes an entire platoon was smoked out. Then he decided to go through it with bigger forces and that took some time. By the moment he finally passed that thing my arty was already preparing to shell some area in front of him. Conclusion: this thing can be a trap for AI, it can be a trap for a real player, and it is a great way to slow down your opponent. It is also a great way to redirect your opponents plans because most of the people are getting excited when they see some barricades, they really wanna go through them.

Counter act hint: if you want to counter this thing you need to shoot through barricades, deploy smoke, use your engineers and then move on. You can also call an artillery strike on it but that is a waste. If you see this thing I would recommend to cross that river in a different place because price of crossing can be way higher than you think.

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Another cool thing is using bridges as a cover from artillery shells. Sometimes in defense mode you are forced to move away your troops from comfortable positions to avoid some shelling. But at certain moments on certain maps you can actually use those bridges in order to protect your vehicles. I’m talking about vehicles because they are able to survive antipersonnel shelling. So for example if you will put some infantry under that bridge, it can take some damage from a shell hitting somewhere nearby. Yet, with vehicles this way of positioning works perfectly. Especially when it comes to being under mortar fire.

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Erwin   

Have never been certain if sandbags are eye candy only, or actually provide cover.  Any info??

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11 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Have never been certain if sandbags are eye candy only, or actually provide cover.  Any info??

they do provide some cover 

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Erwin   

Good to know... thanks.

I suppose the question is that since fortifications like sandbags are so easily seen in CM2, are they worth it since they can attract a lot of attention (ie fire).

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IanL   

I find sand bag walls very helpful for AT guns. Since they are usually placed in restricted keyhole locations then the walls are not usually spotted first any way.

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This thread is a very good idea!

How do you find the return on investment on your first example? That's something I struggle with in Quick Battles, when to buy fortifications vs. more units. As of now, I always lean towards units as opposed to fortifications unless some area just *asks* for some obstacle or mine (and then, sometimes the enemy decides to go completely around them, hi there @IanL :D)...

 

Maybe I'm not playing to the strengths of fortifications (I'm definitely open to criticism or suggestions), but I think they could do with an overhaul in the future (new types, re-balance of some values, perhaps an alternate resource system reserved for fortifications...)

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Desertor   

Trenchs are good too, à long trench line with some scattered half squads, one sniper team, one flamethrover, a couple light machineguns and some kind of antiarmor...Fire at the enemy, inflict some casualties, witdraw before arty strike, left two target reference points in the trench, if the enemy takes the trench will have a few more casualties. For nothing, because the line has not tactical advantage for the attack...

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Personally I think tha we should ask the developing team to add some bunkers into this game. They've been used in modern wars all around the world and they are being used today.  

 

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Apocal   
On 7/1/2017 at 6:04 AM, Oleksandr said:

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I'm trying to imagine reasons someone (anyone) would look at that and NOT expect there to be mines in the middle. Like, seriously. Dude literally left a big polygon of wire in the middle of the road, I wonder what's inside...?

On 7/2/2017 at 9:20 AM, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

This thread is a very good idea!

How do you find the return on investment on your first example? That's something I struggle with in Quick Battles, when to buy fortifications vs. more units. As of now, I always lean towards units as opposed to fortifications unless some area just *asks* for some obstacle or mine (and then, sometimes the enemy decides to go completely around them, hi there @IanL :D)...

 

Maybe I'm not playing to the strengths of fortifications (I'm definitely open to criticism or suggestions), but I think they could do with an overhaul in the future (new types, re-balance of some values, perhaps an alternate resource system reserved for fortifications...)

Mines are useful to me in limited doses, for very specific purposes. One of the best uses is planting them on the AS next to doorways, especially the only doorway into/out of a building with good line of sight. Another good use is placing them along map edges when facing another player. Occasionally, I'll leave an entire objective undefended but covered in mines, with a TRP emplaced; the mines act as a sort of sensor and artillery/mortars follows up on whatever is there.

But the use is situational, so it is rare for me to invest too much into them. Personally, I think they could use a bit of a price reduction, especially obstacles like wire. Even better if defenders could get a preset minimum, depending on stance (hasty or deliberate defense) to which players could add more if they chose.

Edited by Apocal

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On 7/7/2017 at 6:37 PM, Apocal said:

I'm trying to imagine reasons someone (anyone) would look at that and NOT expect there to be mines in the middle. Like, seriously. Dude literally left a big polygon of wire in the middle of the road, I wonder what's inside...?

Mines are useful to me in limited doses, for very specific purposes. One of the best uses is planting them on the AS next to doorways, especially the only doorway into/out of a building with good line of sight. Another good use is placing them along map edges when facing another player. Occasionally, I'll leave an entire objective undefended but covered in mines, with a TRP emplaced; the mines act as a sort of sensor and artillery/mortars follows up on whatever is there.

But the use is situational, so it is rare for me to invest too much into them. Personally, I think they could use a bit of a price reduction, especially obstacles like wire. Even better if defenders could get a preset minimum, depending on stance (hasty or deliberate defense) to which players could add more if they chose.

Yes people do tend to ignore logic while battle is going on. Instead of checking and being aware they may make a mistake. Yet, even if your opponent will be aware of it if you put this thing in the right place right it may slow him down. And for AI battles that worked for me every time as well. 

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It is important to use tranches as safe routes between places where infantry holds its lines and those places where it can cover from arty strikes. Furthermore, always remember to keep your infantry within safe distance from armor. It is important because if some armor will be destroyed your infantry will survive that. If you will place your armor too close to your infantry it might be wiped out by explosion. Do not place infantry too far from your armor because armor got some ammunition - while rearmoring your infantry units in armored vechicles always split your squad so that entire squad will not be wiped out if ur armored vechicle will be blown up while infantry rearms in it. 

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While setting up your fortifications always follow "Echelon" logic. What is that? It is when you have some foxholes infront and behind your main trench lines. Whats the purpose of it? Active deffence principal - you put some elemnets of your squad in first line of defence then in second then in third. When your enemy starts to react on your first line trench - move first element back to main trench. After a minute or two (depends on a situation) order that element to get back in the first line. Those small micro level tactical moves will give you an edge against your enemy. How? Very simple - he will be not able to concentrate his fire on all of your units. Each element of your squad will take some fire but that fire is not going to be concentrated. By constant shuffle of your squad you will be able to lose less and kill more. Note: try to keep MG's in main line most of the time and try to keep your snipers behind. 

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Using RPG teams within streets is very simple. Yet, keeping them alive is very hard. What you need to do is to try to avoid direct placement into buildings. Always remember that there are more than one vechicle on the map. In order to wipe out 3-6 russian BMP's by few squads of infantry you should always track your enemy. Place your rpg teams close to buildings but try not to put them inside of those buildings. When your enemy moves in your units will shoot them down in the back or in side armor. If you will put them inside of those buildings - you might destroy one or two vehicles but then other enemy units will open fire on your rpg team and that will be an end. From the other hand if you will be constantly movinf from street to street letting your enemy pass by you - you will be destroying way more armor. This tactics is good when you have small forces and dont have any hard weapons on you. Simply put some elements of your squad equipped by RPG's close to some buildings - wait until enemy moves in - and thats it. Obviusly - smart player will not enter that town with armored vehicles themselves. Yet as a little hint that might work on his rotations, places where he feels safe, places he think he got control over. Small forces can be effective even against strong enemy. Strong enemy might make bigger mistakes gentlemen - use those for your advantage. 

 

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Edited by Oleksandr

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Sometimes it is important to give instead of taking. Always look on your map for a fire control spots. What does it mean? If you know that your enemy got more firepower than you, if you need to protect a lot and if you have no points to spare - use fire control over actual placement of your units. If you have a highgrount what you need to defent - split your battle plan in two halfs. Place your platoon lower than your objective if possible. Make sure that your forces can see it clearly, make sure that your forces can cover certain areas with fire. Then set up your line of defence. It will be your starting point. Wait until your enemy will enter that area. When main forces of your enemy will be wiped out - wait for 5-10 minutes untill his infantry reserves will showthemselves - engage them and prepare to move on. At certain point your enemy will stop moving forward - your task is to destroy your enemy's armor. After you did that most of his units will be broken or shaken or panic - easily retake the spot. 

Note - you will have different situations and conditions but the logic is always the same - if you cant protect something directly - maintain fire control over area - if you dont get what you  want nobody will and if they will try you will destroy them. In this particular case I had 1 mechanized platoon (3 BMP's + 3 infantry squads) and 1 HQ bmp + HQ itself standing against a company on a certain place on map. Enemy had no chance at all. his units were moving main road (so all my units were engaging them same time) and the spot he was trying to take was on the hill - which is super nice because units what are going up are not able to see what stays below them. Even if my enemy would use proper recconacense he would not be able to take that hill without using artillery or some high tech tanks - because his units would be always reciving fire before they will get a chance to shoot back. 

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Setting Platoon Defence position. While setting up your defence try to consider few things. 

First of all if you have armored vehicles and tanks look for several positions for each unit. For example you have a tank and you found 1 awesome poistion - look for 2 other places where you could put it later on. It is important because if you will use same spot all the time sooner or later your enemy will take out your tank. The logic is simply - you make few shots from your tank - you kill some enemy - then you switch your position wait for few minutes then switch again and so on and so on. While setting up your defence keep your AT rocket systems a little away from your main trench. Why? Because those systems are putting enemy under terror - and he will likely try to use some artillery in order to take your AT/sniper/whatever out. By the way taking down AT systems by using arty is awesome move. So when you got an idea and a plan for your tank - think about your APC - your apc in ideal conditions should be hull down. It is also important to have secondary position prepared but dont move your light armor as much as you move your tank. While planing trench - always keep in mind that you will need around 10 pices of trench for a platoon. Yet the most important part here is to use terrain. You need to look for some forest and some hills so that your infantry will be able to rotate from place to place safely. Trees are also good for stopping anti personell shells - they are reducing damage. Keep your APC clos to your trench line so that your infantry can hide there while being under arty fire. Plan your trenchline so that your infantry can engage different sectors from different angles. Do not put all your infantry forces in the same place. Think about cover and consealment logic. If you will do everything right you will be able to destroy an entire company with a well digged platoon. 

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Haiduk   
11 hours ago, Oleksandr said:

Setting Platoon Defence position.

I guess you are placing own platoon too dense. Even by Soviet field manuals platoon should defend 300 m of front. In real conditions it's often forced to control in two times more. Alas, CM doesn't allow to split squad more than on two parts in order a squad wasn't hit at once by mortar or artillery shell. Especially, when no blindages. I tried to dig in small hut with flat roof in the "terrain pit" instead blindage. But it is a problem - your opponent will spot digged house during observation of the map and uncovear that there is your fortification.

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3 hours ago, Haiduk said:

I guess you are placing own platoon too dense. Even by Soviet field manuals platoon should defend 300 m of front. In real conditions it's often forced to control in two times more. Alas, CM doesn't allow to split squad more than on two parts in order a squad wasn't hit at once by mortar or artillery shell. Especially, when no blindages. I tried to dig in small hut with flat roof in the "terrain pit" instead blindage. But it is a problem - your opponent will spot digged house during observation of the map and uncovear that there is your fortification.

Nope I'm using Mountain Infantry platoon represented in the game (which is 7 people per suqad +team leader which splits into 3 parts within this game) +sniper team +1 AT from a support company . Yet, it is not that important - because for each mission in real life as well as in the game you adjust your force. A little lesson from history: nobody actually followed soviet field manual directly even within soviet union. Especially in Afghanistan. Feild manuals were used as a base of tactics and methods but then in actual situation it was adjusted. For example an outcome from Afghanistan war was to add an SVD to pretty much each squad not platoon. Furthermore, while holding chechpoints and long term positions each platoon was upgraded with NSV's, AGS's, SPG's and tons of ammo for them eventhough field manual was different. Its not about what you said to have - its about what you can have. This how platoon can look like while holding its ground for some time: platoon itself (3 squads), AT system (Stugna or any other), Sniper team, 3 BMP's/BTR's (or 4 BMP's if we talk about some ukrainian units reformed accordingly to NATO standarts), MG team (unfortunatly no heavy MG's in the game yet), AGS's and a tank. 

Towards being spotted - if everything done correctly it doesnt matter if your opponent knows that you are there or not - while using this approach I was destroying a company (supported by T90's) by the use of a single platoon. The only thing you can do while facing well organized position like this is to use massive artillery strike. 

NOTE: pick mountain infantry battalion platoon within this game it will split into 3 elements + team leader. I will write about adjusting platoons for attack and for defence later on.  

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7 hours ago, Erwin said:

Your comments are very useful - esp for modern CMBS and CMSF combat.  Lots of good ideas.

Thank you man! There will be more! 

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