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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
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Quixotic

question
Looking for a Primer on Equipment

18 posts in this topic

Hello folks,

 

I'm a lifelong strategy gamer who is new to the Combat Mission games, and am elated to finally be able to join you all now that I have a computer powerful enough to run it! Hopefully I'll be hopping into PBEM battles after I've cut my teeth a bit against the AI. I'll be sure to make my way over to The Few Good Men forums when I'm ready.

I come to you today with a seemingly simple set of queries which I have found near impossible to answer. Though I am a WWII history nut, my focus was always on the politics and grand strategy of the war, never the nitty gritty tactical battles which the Combat Mission series so masterfully recreates. When I started playing a month ago, I could have talked all day about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact but couldn't have told you the difference between a Panther and a Panzer III.  I've had a lot of fun learning these things myself, even though I've found the manual to be woefully inadequate when it comes to describing the materiel present in this game. Finally, now that I am on the fourth mission of Kamfgruppe Engel, this paucity of information has become too much.

(Kamfgruppe Engel Mission 4 Spoilers) In this mission, I have been tasked with interdicting Allied armor simultaneously with repulsing an infantry assault; to aid me in my tasks, I have been provided a host of on- and off-map artillery, of greatly varying caliber. I am at an absolute loss of which of this artillery would be better directed towards the armor and which I should use to repulse the infantry. I know my 81mm mortars are useless against armor, but what about the field guns? Is the 105mm shell from the Wespe adequate to penetrate armor? What about the daunting 120mm shells from my off-map mortar, even though they're HE? While I am aware of the dichotomy between HE and AP & HEAT, surely the Hummel, with its 150mm (!!!) HE rounds, will be more than sufficient to penetrate most Allied armor? Normally. I'm more than happy to learn by trial and error, but here I can't even begin to formulate a plan until I understand the capabilities of my artillery assets. (End Spoilers)

 

Question: Is there a resource where a neophyte such as myself can begin to learn about the materiel in the Combat Mission games and their relative strengths and weaknesses against one another? Free and online would be preferable, but print is fine, too. If it was geared towards the Combat Mission games it would be fantastic, but a solid primer on common WWII equipment should work just as well, or, failing that even something like a wiki for some other WWII strategy game. I ain't picky.

 

I have already read Bil Hardenberger's excellent Battle Drill blog, and watched the excellent six part Wargaming tutorial on YouTube. What I am looking for is not a primer on tactics, but a primer on the equipment itself. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer, and if any of you would be interested in starting an assuredly one-sided PBEM game at some point in the near future, feel free to PM me—I think you'll find that I live up to my name :D

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Posted (edited)

Well first off, welcome to the community! 

Combat Mission games capture those small things about WWII very well and I can agree that wanting to understand the equipment is important. There are many things around the internet that offer very detailed reports describing the equipment in greater detail. I'm sure someone here will come along and link you some familiar stuff, but if you're willing to take a look you can find some decent encyclopedias to get you started.  I personally just learned from experience after many years of WWII games what weapons are generally used for what. 

Some of the larger artillery assets could definitely immobilize a tank and if a lucky hit could penetrate most tanks top thinner armor. To be honest, I'm not sure of the specifics and I'm sure someone around here could tell you more. To give you a general idea though, yes using larger artillery assets against tanks is the way to go if you expect them to cross a certain path and want to risk their movement or slow them down. Even today, I'm still learning small differences between a WW1  and a WW2 artillery piece because many WW1 heavy artillery were used in WW2. It comes down to  a shell is a shell and if it hits, it is going to hurt. More than anything, the minor stuff that we don't see such as the recoil of the artillery is what makes the largest difference between a more modern artillery equipment. There is more to it than that, but that is usually simulated with long calling in times for your spotter I have noticed. (I believe that is what I have noticed and I could be wrong)

In any case, that's my little answer, not exactly answering specifically as I'm not an expert but hope it gives you something until someone better can do the job.

Welcome again, and if you ever want a PBEM opponent, hit me up on the Few Good Men and send me a dropbox invite.

Good luck!

Edited by Eremitae

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105mm artillery will penetrate the top armor of most tanks, although I wouldn't count on hitting them. Mortars usually will not penetrate because they are low velocity.

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Welcome. I recommend putting Kampfgruppe Engel on pause and doing the Task Force Raff mini-campaign if you haven't already done that. Then continue with Road to Montebourg. KGE is quite challenging.

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Generally speaking, artillery of any size is going to be more effective against personnel than against armor. That said, artillery can discourage armor from moving  through or remaining in an area where it is falling. All this is assuming that the artillery is firing indirectly. If it is firing directly over open sights, anything 105mm or larger can be quite deadly to armor, although obviously in this case there is the possibility that the armor will shoot back.

What I suggest in your present case is to try using it both ways. That is, first concentrate your artillery against the infantry and see how that works out, saving every turn so that you can go back and restart the game only this time concentrating on the armor. Finally, you may arrive at some conclusions over the distribution of your assets. But to begin with, you might want to use your mortars only against infantry and your heavy artillery (150mm or larger) only against armor.

As for sources of information on who has what in terms of equipment, I am confident that posters will pop up to pass along some links. But I think your most reliable information is to be found in books, of which there are mountains.

Michael

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Welcome. I recommend putting Kampfgruppe Engel on pause and doing the Task Force Raff mini-campaign if you haven't already done that. Then continue with Road to Montebourg. KGE is quite challenging.

I couldn't possibly abandon the fine men of Kamfgruppe Engel to those impudent Canadians! Even if you've got to break a few IGs to make an omelet.

I'm definitely in over my head a bit in this campaign, but I'm enjoying it a ton. The worst that can happen is I lose.

Thanks for the pointers everybody, still hoping someone has a link or book name handy to get me pointed in the right direction. Until then I'll keep lobbing sh*t at the untermensch and seeing what sticks.

Edited by Quixotic

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Stubborn cuss! ;)

I had to dispose of the bulk of my library a couple of years ago, but off the top of my head, here are a few book titles that might give you a little help. Some of these are out of print but possibly available through such vendors as ABE.

WW2 Fact Files by Peter Chamberlain and Terry Gander. This is a multi-volume work that covers pretty much everything from pistols up to heavy artillery of the major belligerents. Physically, they are packaged more like magazines than your typical book. They are far from being the most comprehensive sources on their topics, but for beginners like yourself are a good place to start if you can find copies.

German Infantry and Assault Engineer Equipment 1939-1945 by Chris Ellis. A small booklet on a narrower topic, but containing nevertheless a wealth of information.

British and American Tanks of World War Two by Chamberlain and Ellis. Actually this covers more than just tanks, including most AFVs that ran on tracks.

Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two by Chamberlain and Ellis. Basically the same deal as above but for the Germans.

The American Arsenal (no author listed). This is basically a reproduction of an official catalogue of most the ordnance used by the US and Lend-Lease recipients. Lots of hard data.

Well, this should get you started. From there your search should lead you to some interesting places. Just as a personal note, like you my greatest interest in the war has been more at the operational and strategic-grand strategic level rather than at the tactical small unit level. But CM is such a great game that I wouldn't miss it for the world. Have fun!

Michael

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I'm surprised that someone hasn't created a Wiki or something which goes into explanation of all the units and equipment of this game. For me personally, I'm interested in finding out the armor thickness of AFVs and gun penetration data in Combat Mission since we now no longer have this info on the dashboard.

Is there a mod or anything available to use that gives this info?

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Col Deadmarsh said:

I'm surprised that someone hasn't created a Wiki or something which goes into explanation of all the units and equipment of this game. For me personally, I'm interested in finding out the armor thickness of AFVs and gun penetration data in Combat Mission since we now no longer have this info on the dashboard.

Is there a mod or anything available to use that gives this info?

 

 

There is a Combat Mission Series wiki, but it's on the anemic side...

On the other hand, the manuals do a pretty good job at explaining what's at your disposal.

For armor and penetration data, I find the game's Defenses Report to be almost useless. Luckily, there are alternative and much more accurate (Front Yellow vs. Large Shell isn't very descriptive) sources. The free-to-play WW2 tank/aviation/navy game War Thunder features a wide arsenal of vehicles for all major nations of WW2 and an Armor Visualization feature that lets you see the thickness/angle of armor. Another source is the Penetration Calculator tool at http://www.wwiiequipment.com/pencalc/. It even shows you a nice little graphic to see where you should position a unit armed with a given canon to take down a given tank.

I've been known to frantically consult this website when I'm facing heavy German armor...

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On July 15, 2017 at 2:14 AM, Michael Emrys said:

Stubborn cuss! ;)

I had to dispose of the bulk of my library a couple of years ago, but off the top of my head, here are a few book titles that might give you a little help. Some of these are out of print but possibly available through such vendors as ABE.

WW2 Fact Files by Peter Chamberlain and Terry Gander. This is a multi-volume work that covers pretty much everything from pistols up to heavy artillery of the major belligerents. Physically, they are packaged more like magazines than your typical book. They are far from being the most comprehensive sources on their topics, but for beginners like yourself are a good place to start if you can find copies.

German Infantry and Assault Engineer Equipment 1939-1945 by Chris Ellis. A small booklet on a narrower topic, but containing nevertheless a wealth of information.

British and American Tanks of World War Two by Chamberlain and Ellis. Actually this covers more than just tanks, including most AFVs that ran on tracks.

Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two by Chamberlain and Ellis. Basically the same deal as above but for the Germans.

The American Arsenal (no author listed). This is basically a reproduction of an official catalogue of most the ordnance used by the US and Lend-Lease recipients. Lots of hard data.

Well, this should get you started. From there your search should lead you to some interesting places. Just as a personal note, like you my greatest interest in the war has been more at the operational and strategic-grand strategic level rather than at the tactical small unit level. But CM is such a great game that I wouldn't miss it for the world. Have fun!

Michael

 

18 hours ago, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

There is a Combat Mission Series wiki, but it's on the anemic side...

On the other hand, the manuals do a pretty good job at explaining what's at your disposal.

For armor and penetration data, I find the game's Defenses Report to be almost useless. Luckily, there are alternative and much more accurate (Front Yellow vs. Large Shell isn't very descriptive) sources. The free-to-play WW2 tank/aviation/navy game War Thunder features a wide arsenal of vehicles for all major nations of WW2 and an Armor Visualization feature that lets you see the thickness/angle of armor. Another source is the Penetration Calculator tool at http://www.wwiiequipment.com/pencalc/. It even shows you a nice little graphic to see where you should position a unit armed with a given canon to take down a given tank.

I've been known to frantically consult this website when I'm facing heavy German armor...

Thank you both for the recommendations, these will complement nicely the resources I've managed to find myself. Like you, Xorg, I've found wikis/strategy sites for other WWII games to be helpful in gleaning knowledge that can be applied the Combat Mission games. For anyone else reading along and wanting the same information, I've found the wiki for World of Tanks (http://wiki.wargaming.net/en/Main_Page) to be useful in comparing different nations' tanks and relative utility, and the site Military Factory informative for more general information and history about WWII military equipment, especially when search filters are applied (http://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/by-country.asp?Nation=Nazi Germany, for example, is a relatively comprehensive list of armor fielded by Nazi Germany).

 

If anyone here has more titles and links to recommend they are welcome to post them here and help newer players or curious vets grow this knowledge base. Thanks guys!

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On 7/15/2017 at 10:34 PM, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

Another source is the Penetration Calculator tool at http://www.wwiiequipment.com/pencalc/. It even shows you a nice little graphic to see where you should position a unit armed with a given canon to take down a given tank.

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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No matter what sources you go to to evaluate what a weapon can do, for in game purposes. It is best to just set up test maps and place your units in it to do unit vs unit testing.

I have found that is the only way to get a true feel for what to expect. Plus after you done that for a little while, you will have all the main units figured out and you will never need to do it again. But I have been playing these games since they came out in the CM! series  and I still find at times a unusual match up and I am not sure what the results will likely be. So to the test map I go to get some in game penetration results so I know what to expect in the coming battle.

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In terms of getting info that is useful for playing the game, suggest you get the CM1 series - esp CMBB.   The CM1 series had extremely useful equipment information that popped up when desired and gave range and IIRC comparative HE power.  Info that for whatever reason BF decided to not include (in an easy to use format) in the CM2 series.  I find the CM2 manuals not that useful for how to play the game.

Better than spending many hours reading a ton of books in order to find specific info, playing CM1 will quickly teach you what you need to know to be a decent CM2 player.

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also need to just play.  If you've got cromwells/churchills vs tigers, you have to use flanks and/or get lucky.  I hit a tiger b/w turret & chassis & jammed turret when surprised by head-on tiger.  Another time hit tiger's gun -- then chased him like wolves after a buffalo until I got in the killing shot into his rear plate.  Nothing in the game is invincible.  All things are vulnerable.  Makes it dangerous and fun no matter what battle you are in.

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5 hours ago, danfrodo said:

also need to just play.  If you've got cromwells/churchills vs tigers, you have to use flanks and/or get lucky.  I hit a tiger b/w turret & chassis & jammed turret when surprised by head-on tiger.  Another time hit tiger's gun -- then chased him like wolves after a buffalo until I got in the killing shot into his rear plate.  Nothing in the game is invincible.  All things are vulnerable.  Makes it dangerous and fun no matter what battle you are in.

Ah! This anecdote reminds me of my first try at the Kampfgruppe Engel campaign for CM:BN. There was a Greyhound down some narrow dirt road flanked by hedges, I send a Pz IV thinking this was going to be a no-contest... well, the greyhound destroyed the panzer's main gun... Later I send a Panther to finish it off and then give it a movement order slightly up the road (I knew there were no AT assets in this area)... well, the remnants of an infantry team I thought I had killed earlier managed to gather the courage to chuck a few grenades at that Panther, breaking its tracks!

As you said, nothing is invincible in this game, I've even seen a video of a Stuart killing a Tiger!

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indeed!   we've all lost plenty of the 'superior' equipment to know that superior is an edge, not a guarantee.  I like stuarts.  like little nasty fast hornets. 

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On 7/17/2017 at 5:49 PM, danfrodo said:

I hit a tiger b/w turret & chassis & jammed turret when surprised by head-on tiger. 

Turret jams are in this game?

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