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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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General "Mill" tactics. 

While working with tanks it is iportant to change position often. But sometimes you find yourself such a nice spot on a map that you dont want to change it. Well in that case you will need to look for 2 additional positions near by. Put one tank into position by giving him movement order +plus add up to 30 seconds pause on his position and give him "reverse" order. During those 30 seconds your tank will be able to located and fire on target at least once, then he will retreat. After he moved back use the same technic to your "replacement" tank - let him take exactly the same position as your first tank and also give him 30 seconds to work on target before reverse move. By doing that you will make it nearly impossible for your enemy to take out your tank. You need to set your "Mill of death" in a random place on a map, while doing raiding with your tank unit - you should not apply this tactics while hitting your enemy directly in the face. Because in that case "reversing" will benefit your enemy. Sometimes while playing against skilled opponent you can be hunted for doing this, and this is where the "Covering" tank will work. "Covering" tank should be located under the certain angle towards your enemy position. That tank should not be exposed to enemy positions yet, it should control area in front of your target. If your "Mill" tanks will be hunted during those sneaky rotations your "covering" tank will simply execute those who will go after you. So the logic is simple - destroying your enemy shot after shot without giving him time to lock on your units. If your enemy will dare to move some armor forward your covering tank will punish that armor right away. This technique will take some time and practice before you will master it but if you will it will come in handy. It is important to remember that controling areas where your enemy is is always nice but thinking one step ahead will make you even more effective. 

 

L47.jpg

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Machor   

Re: "Death Mill"

Interesting idea, but we'd need input from a real tanker to establish if this would work irl or if it's being 'gamey' by taking advantage of the Tac AI. I mean, if you have a tank appearing at the same spot over and over, wouldn't a real enemy simply take aim there and wait for the target to reappear?

There was something similar mentioned in the Novaya Gazeta interview with the Russian tanker who was wounded in Ukraine, but it isn't the same. I'm quoting both the original and The Guardian's translation below:

"Мы играли в карусель. Это такой тактический метод боевой стрельбы из танка. Три или четыре танка выезжают на рубеж открытия огня, стреляют, а как у них заканчиваются боеприпасы, им на замену отправляют также три или четыре танка, а те загружаются. Так и менялись."

"We played carousel, a tactic of tank fire. Three or four tanks would go out to the edge [of the area] of open fire, shoot, and when they ran out of rounds three or four tanks would take their place while they reloaded. That’s how we rotated."

https://www.novayagazeta.ru/articles/2015/03/02/63264-171-my-vse-znali-na-chto-idem-i-chto-mozhet-byt-187

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/25/russia-ukraine-soldier

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Tanks should jockey - that is change position in cover, before returning to a fire position. If the enemy expects to see you return to the same place, they can have an ATGM waiting.

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BTR   

The original tactic is as that guardian excerpt says. A tank group engages or suppresses until its ammo load is depleted then gets switched out by a fresh group. This originated in Afghanistan as far as I am aware, but really solidified in Urban environments during the first Chechen war. Also during the Chechen conflict a pair or a platoon of three were the standard group size, but I suppose it could work with four or more at the time. 

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Erwin   

Have always wondered about the best use for MG's esp HMG's.  Unless one has the appropriate long range (1000m+) they can usually be suppressed and/or killed quickly. 

I read somewhere on these forums that a good tactic (at least in the game) is to push them forward (rather than keeping em in the rear for support) and use them to cut an enemy's line of retreat. 

And yes, re the armor example above and others, one needs to make clear whether we are talking about tactics that effective in the game, as opposed to in RL.  Game tactics is what these forums are primarily about (or should be imo).

Edited by Erwin

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Placing foxholes in tree lines will give a huge protection bonus for your infantry - first they will not share damage from HE because each of your soldiers in separate cell, second - enemy infantry will have difficulties to hit your soldiers because all that green stuff around ur units will block some bullets and third - because enemy arty will be less effective. Note: if you getting arty fire dont wait until it gets concentrated - relocate your units before "fire for effect."

L52.jpg

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9 minutes ago, Oleksandr said:

Note: if you getting arty fire dont wait until it gets concentrated - relocate your units before "fire for effect."

That is probably the wisest tip for Engine 4 that I've seen yet, combined with well thought out fallback positions it's the best solution for the engine's urge to displace on its own initiative.

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I'd say it depends on the situation how wise it is to displace when artillery fire starts coming in - sometimes it can pay off to hunker down and wait it out in your foxholes/trenches, to avoid getting caught by enemy direct fire when moving back into your positions or something like that.

I usually use Hide paired with an indefinite Pause (to prevent any unwanted displacing - don't want a squad to decide it's better to be in the open than in the trench while it's raining HE-F ;)), and it's worked surprisingly well to keep my units alive even under heavy airburst barrages so far.

Just my 2c TBH, I might just be stating the obvious though.

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BTR   
44 minutes ago, Erwin said:

And yes, re the armor example above and others, one needs to make clear whether we are talking about tactics that effective in the game, as opposed to in RL.  Game tactics is what these forums are primarily about (or should be imo).

Honestly in our peer or conventional case the carousel is equally situational in game and IRL. It was mostly used versus a non-conventional threat or in situations where enemy AT had little chance to respond. I would guess it has the same applicability in game. Hm, I wander if I can set up a traditional carousel in-game...

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BTR   

I guess it would look something like this until the ammo is spent. I use "slow" command to realing the turret to the next target so the aiming at the end of "move" command is faster. Moving around allows for better LoS  and more fire commands per turn than simply waiting a turn and then issuing another "target" command. Plus I don't have to babysit the tanks. 

tcPoiq7.jpg

I don't think it is a necessarily a good idea to go all out and do this for the whole platoon, but two out of three doing the carousel and one on overwatch is rather accurate to Grozny application. 

vZQWna7.jpg

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Machor   

@Brian Smith

Thank you for the input - I suspected this move was taking advantage of the Tac AI. It works in game probably because there's an obligatory minimum time necessary to target a vehicle, whereas IRL the enemy would fire as soon as the tank reappeared. That being said, there is a tie-in to a non-gamey way to play better, which is to try and have observing units share their contacts with tanks before the latter move out to engage them, which will give them the edge in targeting. As with most other things in the game, the US are the top dogs in this, while UKR is at a huge disadvantage without satellite comms. [In theory, Oplots should fare better - I haven't experimented enough with them.]

@BTR

Thank you for the very interesting background to the carousel.

4 hours ago, BTR said:

It was mostly used versus a non-conventional threat or in situations where enemy AT had little chance to respond.

Interestingly, in the incident where the interviewed Russian tanker was wounded, it was being used against Ukrainian forces that could respond.

4 hours ago, BTR said:

I would guess it has the same applicability in game.

I'm not getting its applicability in game since we can't rearm? :blink:

6 hours ago, Erwin said:

Have always wondered about the best use for MG's esp HMG's.

In the offense, they go in the base of fire. In the defense, use them as the anchors of your line, i.e. at the two ends of the line; that way, they'll be enfilading the attackers.

6 hours ago, Erwin said:

Game tactics is what these forums are primarily about (or should be imo).

Agreed, but that doesn't give licence to advocate gamey moves. ( @Oleksandr No offense intended. :)) Now that I'm back to playing CMFB ('Tis the season! :D), I find myself having to contemplate moves for units without radios that are out of C2, that is, whether they would realistically make the move that I want them to make based on the information that they have. And, in many cases, I end up letting perfectly good units sit, since they could make the moves I want from them only if they had a telepathic link to the HQ. (My favourite 'cheat' against myself is that all my units that are out of C2 have an SOP to seek out a C2 link if not currently engaged or defending a position. :D)

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Erwin   

"...doesn't give licence to advocate gamey moves."

agreed.   But to play a game well one has to how how to fight the game system as nothing is 100% realistic.  eg: As humans we do not have the capability to spot a one pixel wide LOS thru trees to kill an enemy...  However, we need to be aware that the computer AI can do that.  Another eg:  What we humans see as a very clear LOS to a target may not enable us to actually fire at the target in the game - happens a lot in urban settings.

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BTR   
5 hours ago, Machor said:

I'm not getting its applicability in game since we can't rearm? :blink:

It's tactical worth is about the same for me since IRL you'd lose a tank group from engagement for 20-30 minutes in the very best case after each carousel (that's how long it takes to restock the loaders). Effectively in terms of most of CM shorter time frames you'd really only be able to use this carousel once from a tank group (i.e. a pair or a platoon). 

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On 10/12/2017 at 7:25 PM, Machor said:

<Snip>  there is a tie-in to a non-gamey way to play better, which is to try and have observing units share their contacts with tanks before the latter move out to engage them <Snip>

I find myself having to contemplate moves for units without radios that are out of C2, that is, whether they would realistically make the move that I want them to make based on the information that they have. And, in many cases, I end up letting perfectly good units sit, since they could make the moves I want from them only if they had a telepathic link to the HQ. (My favourite 'cheat' against myself is that all my units that are out of C2 have an SOP to seek out a C2 link if not currently engaged or defending a position. :D)

When playing against the AI (PBEMs are different) I do much the same thing.  One of my house rules for playing against the AI is:  A unit must have at least a tentative contact to Area Target.  If it does not have the tentative contact it can’t react (because as far as it knows there is nothing there).  This encourages me to use the C2 system and information sharing.  I think it is pretty cool to send an infantry team over to a tank to horizontally share contact information and then allow the tank to start Targeting the contacts.  When playing against the AI it makes the game much more interesting IMO. 

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Machor   

@Erwin

Let's think about the issue this way: Think about the set of RL tactics, and separately about the set of moves that are possible in the game. I'm saying we should look at the intersection of these two sets, i.e. RL tactics that are workable moves in game and vice versa. It speaks to the high RL fidelity of the game that players can 'discover' moves in it that are RL tactics.

@BTR

I now understand why rearming isn't relevant for the carousel in game, and thanks to your illustration I've understood the tactic itself. One more question: In the minute following your illustration, would the tanks keep firing while reversing along the same line that they advanced on?

@MOS:96B2P

I've recently started experimenting with attaching one or more scout teams (FOs in WW2 titles) to tank platoons, and the preliminary results seem very promising - I also discovered tank riders are far less helpful; the tank's own engine noise appears to significantly reduce the capacity to pick up sound contacts. Looking forward to reading through your thread, hopefully with the images restored. :(

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SLIM   
On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 1:04 AM, Oleksandr said:

Put one tank into position by giving him movement order +plus add up to 30 seconds pause on his position and give him "reverse" order. During those 30 seconds your tank will be able to located and fire on target at least once, then he will retreat. After he moved back use the same technic to your "replacement" tank - let him take exactly the same position as your first tank and also give him 30 seconds to work on target before reverse move. By doing that you will make it nearly impossible for your enemy to take out your tank.

Of course, all of this presupposes your enemy does not come equipped with fire and forget ATGMs.
30 Seconds is an awful long time for someone to stare at you through a Javelin's CLU. ;)

||CptMiller|| successfully locked onto and destroyed a Leo2 of mine in a recent CMSF PBEM with only a 15 second exposure.
The missile actually struck the tank AFTER it had moved into cover behind a 2 story building, much to my chagrin.

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Erwin   

"Let's think about the issue this way: Think about the set of RL tactics, and separately about the set of moves that are possible in the game. I'm saying we should look at the intersection of these two sets, i.e. RL tactics that are workable moves in game and vice versa. It speaks to the high RL fidelity of the game that players can 'discover' moves in it that are RL tactics."

I agree with you.  My point is that the AI has some capabilities that give it a "gamey" advantage.  So, it shouldn't put people off using tactics that could be described as "gamey" eg: examining the LOS from every waypoint so you can determine ahead of time and more accurately than in RL where to have your unit(s) end up for best LOS.  We have been given certain capabilities in the game.  Voluntary hobbling of oneself is on a continuum eg do you play IRON or ELITE etc.

Edited by Erwin

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Machor   

I wouldn't call the example you gave gamey. As the player, I see myself as representing not only the force commander - which would be the case in a command sim - but also the decision maker in every unit that I control. Thus, while in RL the force commander would order an advance to a general area 'X' while leaving it to those lower in the chain of command to choose which 5 meter square they will occupy in that area, we have to do things the way you said because we're in several men's boots at the same time. Also, the capabilities of the Tac AI work for both sides; I'm not aware of any way that the AI cheats against the player.

As for the continuum - I guess I am taking it to eleven beyond IRON; CM is such a complex game that it's understandable BFC doesn't offer a built-in option to make it even harder to play than it already is.

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BTR   
7 hours ago, Machor said:

I now understand why rearming isn't relevant for the carousel in game, and thanks to your illustration I've understood the tactic itself. One more question: In the minute following your illustration, would the tanks keep firing while reversing along the same line that they advanced on?

Yes. There is no set way to move and fire your tanks while doing the carousel :). If you are lazy you can minute fire "target brief commands" without moving at all for example. About reverse order on Ru and Ua vehicles in general - the game is very forgiving to them versus their IRL reverse speeds, but it is still often a thing to be avoided. Syrian tankers sometimes side park or reverse park their tanks so they can quickly drive off in case something goes wrong. I'm not saying do exactly that, but it helps to consider ways of not using reverse while commanding ru armor.  

Re my personal carousel experience - it is rarely effective when spread over an area or multiple targets, but it has its merits when you have a large building or a hedge you have to clean up. 

Edited by BTR

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Machor   

@BTR

You've opened my eyes to the fact that reversing in tanks isn't... simple. I did searches in both English and Russian, but couldn't find anything discussing Soviet vehicles; I did find quite interesting tidbits like the Merkava has three reverse gears, the Tiger I was likely to throw track if steered while reversing, and the Panther was liable to break its transmission if reversed. Is the sole problem with Soviet vehicles having a slow reverse speed, or are there more significant issues like the Tiger and Panther?

About the carousel: I am not getting the point of having a special term for it if it is simply suppressive direct tank fire at a building or a hedge; I thought what made it special was that by spreading fire over an area, it served as a quick and dirty substitute for calling in artillery. Am I off the mark here?

If I understand the carousel correctly, it might offer a solution to get around the delay in calling in artillery in WW2 titles.

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