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MisterMark

Managing Lots of Infantry... A real pain!

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18 hours ago, Doc844 said:

True words.  I actually hate seeing my pixel truppen die, i try and keep them alive and not squander them which is a downfall of mine at times, more so when im attacking.

Not to be misunderstood: I don't like to see my troops cut to pieces, either.

But I tend to think: It reduces the "realism" of the game, if one micromanages too much.

Did you ever try the "Scourge if War" games? These teach you patience, when suddenly a subordinate decides, that this is a perfect day to die. Or win the glory.

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2 minutes ago, StieliAlpha said:

Not to be misunderstood: I don't like to see my troops cut to pieces, either.

But I tend to think: It reduces the "realism" of the game, if one micromanages too much.

Did you ever try the "Scourge if War" games? These teach you patience, when suddenly a subordinate decides, that this is a perfect day to die. Or win the glory.

Ive got scourge of war waterloo but couldnt get into it.

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1 hour ago, Doc844 said:

Ive got scourge of war waterloo but couldnt get into it.

Hm, only a few days ago, I bought the Waterloo Collector's Edition. Most  probably just for the shelf, too.

But I played 2nd Mannassas for quite a while.

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3 hours ago, StieliAlpha said:

 

But I tend to think: It reduces the "realism" of the game, if one micromanages too much.

Did you ever try the "Scourge if War" games? These teach you patience, when suddenly a subordinate decides, that this is a perfect day to die. Or win the glory.

A similar option - and one more in line with CM - would be Command Ops 2.

On the micro-management issue I have to confess that I quite enjoy the setup phase of a big battle - forming a plan, working out who is best fitted for each role in that plan, and then re-arranging everybody in their jump-off positions, whilst also optimising C2.  The subsequent near-identical multiple move orders are a bit tiresome, I agree.  But as others have said, it's only the lead scouts and FOOs who need detailed plans in the initial stages.

In terms of use of infantry, I think that one of the hallmarks of a great videogame/simulation is that the player adopts real-world tactics in order to succeed in the virtual one.  For example I've been playing through a FB campaign as the US.  My armoured infantry and armour kept getting zapped by Fausts and Shrecks hidden (until they fire) in any of a multitude of positions of cover.  Early on I used cheap units as bait to try to tempt the buggers to reveal their position and then nail them with direct fire from tanks, but as the campaign ground on I got fed up with putting people in harms way. Now I just flatten any likely-looking spot with mortars or off-map arty, send someone in to poke amongst the rubble, before letting the precious Shermans rumble past. It's not particularly fun from a gaming point-of-view, but it works and, from what I've read, it seems to have been what the Allies did.

As for realism, at one point I actually felt a pang of guilt when I called in a strike on a row of Belgian cottages which I merely suspected of housing some Germans.

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StieliAlpha (and anyone else interested in Napoleonic warfare),

If you're gaming Waterloo, then you absolutely need to read Waterloo: New Perspectives: The Great Battle Reappraised by David Hamilton-Williams. In a nutshell, he shows that the standard account, authored by Siborne is anything but impartial and factually correct. What really happened is that Siborne embarked on the great and glorious task of putting out a thoroughly researched account of the battle, drawing directly on numerous (hundreds?) interviews he did himself with those who were there. Unfortunately for him, he ran out of money and wound up going cap in hand to several famous British regiments for funding, resulting in their taking pride of place in Siborne's well-received book, which became the standard canon. In turn, since practically everybody drew on Siborne for the British side of things, this has perpetuated a gross distortion of what really happened. MY familiarity with Napoleonic warfare is chiefly naval, but I certainly knew the basics. The book I'm recommending blew me away, and I can't say enough good things about it, for it is first rate.

Regards,

John Kettler

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12 hours ago, John Kettler said:

If you're gaming Waterloo, then you absolutely need to read Waterloo: New Perspectives: The Great Battle Reappraised by David Hamilton-Williams.

I believe I read this when it first came out and liked it quite a lot. I meant to re-read it, but let it slip and had to give it away in "the great clean-out" two years ago. Apparently it has stirred up some bitter controversy, at least in the Amazon review pages, but so far I am not so learned in matters Napoleonic to take a side, except that I greatly enjoyed reading it.

Michael

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Hmmm i saw this about a year ago and decided not to read it becaise of some of the research i did on it (i always research a book before i read it) maybe i will have to take a second look.  

 

Its a very rare thing to find someone without a biased view or ulterior motive but ill give it a shot.

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As Brother Dave Gardner once said, "Teeth, hair, and eyes all over the road." As well as intestines, gonads, tootsies, pinkies and other assorted parts. Many, many other assorted parts.

Michael

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19 hours ago, Sandokan said:

Back to the original subject, here is a whole infantry company crossing a bridge using a single move order. Rush hour!

Crossing the bridge..jpg

"That's a bold move, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off."

Edited by Apocal

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20 hours ago, Sandokan said:

Back to the original subject, here is a whole infantry company crossing a bridge using a single move order. Rush hour!

Crossing the bridge..jpg

I hope, you sent somebody over, to watch out for trouble first. 

BTW, don't you know the "Horizon" mods, or do you dimply prefer the drab yellow?

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Ah, I declared the bridge "safe"  some turns ago.The few scattered germans this side of the hill on the right side of the picture are busy running for their dear life.

2 hours ago, StieliAlpha said:

BTW, don't you know the "Horizon" mods, or do you dimply prefer the drab Yellow?

This sounds interesting. I'd gladly try a good one. Your advice?

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6 hours ago, Sandokan said:

This sounds interesting. I'd gladly try a good one. Your advice?

CMODSIII.  It has a search function.  There are others but start here http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?page_id=5#search/text=horizon

I think Aris mods are best - http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=1474

Edited by Badger73

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I like the idea of Battalion-Level QBs, and often enjoy putting together the forces, thinking about the map and so on... until the game loads and I have a giant blob of units in one corner that I need to spend half an hour placing. That's before the game even starts!

This is made worse as the defender as for some unfathomable reason fortifications are spread all over the deployment zone. It would be so much easier if they were tidily placed in a row, which I think happened in CM x1.

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On ‎8‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 5:16 PM, MisterMark said:

Love the CM2 platform for a variety of reasons but am I the only one that finds it tedious and daunting to manage anything more than a few platoons of infantry? 

My sweet spot is Battalion (-) (two or three companies with higher headquarters on the field, plus attachments) up to the full battalion level. I enjoy those the most, and tend to think of them as the best 'brain food.' They are though, as you point out, labors of love and frustration.

On ‎8‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 5:16 PM, MisterMark said:

And once you start splitting infantry up into teams and trying to use them with sound coordinated tactics, the workload obviously multiplies.  Furthermore, when the bullets start flying and units get spread out and disorganized, my willingness to control them with same level of detail as before goes out the window.  Am I too focused on micromanaging?  

Not at all. Micromanagement is the appeal of CM, when I want hands off stuff I play Graviteam. So you're not alone in this problem.

On ‎8‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 5:16 PM, MisterMark said:

For large engagement with a company or more of infantry, is it better to use generalized grouped orders and not be as concerned with organization and losses?  In my combined arms battles I consistently find my infantry to be responsible for very few enemy casualties as compared to my mortars, tanks and artillery. 

Everyone plays differently, so don't take this as authoritative but I'll share with you how I go about doing this. In a nutshell the answer to your question is "both."

1) Plan backwards - It helps focus your thoughts. If you plan from the deployment box forwards you tend to start splitting attention and creating a thousand mini missions for yourself (and thus increase your workload of micromanagement). This will also help with disorganization. When I'm about to start a movement that requires a lot of team splitting and micromanagement I say to myself "When this action is done, we reassemble here." The last step. Then I move backwards from there. Having a clear picture of your desired end-state helps you keep a platoon in good order, in my experience.

2) One bite at a time. Assign intermediate objectives ("I want x platoon here, for x reason") after you have determined what your desired overall end-state is. Handle that like its own mission. When you watch a turn play out, go by companies or platoons, focus on their area, watch them play out.  If I have two companies attacking in a turn, I may watch or at least scrub through the turn 2 to 4 times. Asides from getting 'in the weeds' to enjoy the action (I record a lot) I find I don't miss things that my PBEM opponents sometimes will.

If you really want to be complex, assign natural boundaries to sub-units. Part of the disorganization of a lot of people is they will be handling one unit brilliantly at one time; the flank was fantastic, sure, but you just had three platoons all mixed with one another - now what? In a roundabout way, its a very immersive form of confusion to experience.

3) Conduct squad and platoon drill when there's a need to. In the smaller missions I know people like to keep the squads split up into fire teams constantly because it allows for them to do things such as traveling overwatch, etc. with much more ease. That's all well and good, but in larger scenarios it may not be necessary for every unit. If a company is marching, maybe only the lead squad of the lead platoon needs to be broken up. When you're attacking, consolidate and reform often. I only break into fireteams at the last possible moment if necessary, and am quick to reform afterwards. Generalized group orders can help during the lulls. Use your best judgement; if you have already crossed a danger zone unharmed several times with lead units, you can probably order the entire trailing unit to cross it briskly and all at once, etc.

I find when attacking with infantry a very small percentage of my men are really needed for the final assault; one or two fire teams are usually sufficient for a position at a time. I leave the fancy minute micromanagement for those moments, when a misstep can wipe out half a squad rapidly.

 

Edited by Rinaldi

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On 24.8.2017 at 7:09 PM, Sandokan said:

Ah, I declared the bridge "safe"  some turns ago.The few scattered germans this side of the hill on the right side of the picture are busy running for their dear life.

This sounds interesting. I'd gladly try a good one. Your advice?

I think, there is only one horizon mod per game. Have a look at CMmods on the "The few good men" web site.

If you don't find, I can send you a link next  week.

 

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13 hours ago, Sandokan said:

Found it, thanks. There are a few interesting things. I'd better check the FGM site more frequently.

 

Check nothing, just join and become a member there!  B)

FGM is well worthwhile, especially when ready to play H2H but certainly for many other reasons too.  Hope to see you there.  ;)

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On ‎8‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 5:16 PM, MisterMark said:

Love the CM2 platform for a variety of reasons but am I the only one that finds it tedious and daunting to manage anything more than a few platoons of infantry?

Furthermore, when the bullets start flying and units get spread out and disorganized, my willingness to control them with same level of detail as before goes out the window.

Am I too focused on micromanaging?  

For large engagement with a company or more of infantry, is it better to use generalized grouped orders and not be as concerned with organization and losses?

In my combined arms battles I consistently find my infantry to be responsible for very few enemy casualties as compared to my mortars, tanks and artillery.

Any tips from the CM2 veterans out there on how to organize and manage large formations of infantry and still keep the game fun?

Thanks,

-Mark

Daunting? Quite. I personally prefer to command nothing larger than a reinforced company. I can do Battalions, but I find it tedious, and I tend to leave large portions of it in reserve.

Degradation of command ability as the situation develops is quite normal, to the point I will simply not give orders for several turns.

If you're trying to micro manage every single fire team on every single turn, you are too focused on micromanaging.

Only your spearhead units should be split all the way down. Follow on forces can be used in "bricks" as it were.

The casualty rates you are seeing with Combined Arms are perfectly normal.

First, do your homework: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmW_vcwM_qxukdDjpfUEerpICUzTrTKek

Second, the "+" and "-" keys are your friends.

Third, your troops don't need orders every turn. Let them shoot it out a bit before reacting.

"Bullets are cheaper than soldiers, so use more bullets, and less soldiers." - Me

 

 

On ‎8‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 9:41 AM, MisterMark said:

Love the CM2 platform for a variety of reasons but am I the only one that finds it tedious and daunting to manage anything more than a few platoons of infantry?

Furthermore, when the bullets start flying and units get spread out and disorganized, my willingness to control them with same level of detail as before goes out the window.

Am I too focused on micromanaging?  

For large engagement with a company or more of infantry, is it better to use generalized grouped orders and not be as concerned with organization and losses?

In my combined arms battles I consistently find my infantry to be responsible for very few enemy casualties as compared to my mortars, tanks and artillery.

Any tips from the CM2 veterans out there on how to organize and manage large formations of infantry and still keep the game fun?

Thanks,

-Mark

There's no need to leave the bulk of your force in a rear area. As you clear each major terrain feature, move up your reserves. Try to plan your movement as a series of "jumps" and keep your reserves no more than one or two "jumps" behind your leading forces.

Your use of tanks and heavy weapons is correct, but you might want to carefully observe the effects of your fire, and not waste time shooting empty foxholes. Use your heavy weapons fire as cover to move a small infantry force into the enemy position, don't try to eliminate ALL of the enemy with nothing but gunfire. You'll just be wasting time. Time is a precious commodity.

Once you get better at managing your troops, you'll find it easier to split off separate forces and deal with multiple objectives simultaneously, which will massively relieve the time pressure you are feeling.

 

On ‎8‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 1:56 PM, Sandokan said:

Crossing the bridge..jpg

There's nothing wrong with that picture. If the enemy cannot fire on that bridge, you might as well be strolling down Main Street, Anytown USA. ;)

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I had the problem of being overwhelmed by anything more than a reinforced company when I first started but it was because I did not exercise proper command and organize my thoughts as I needed to.  Now, I start off by screenshotting an overhead of the map and then I start doodling.  Let's pretend we're dealing with a battalion.

1. I assign objectives to my leading company or companies depending on whether I'm fighting two up, one back or one up, two back.  Ex. A Co. to advance on left side of the road and occupy first line of bocage.  B Co. to advance on right side of the road and occupy first line of bocage.  C Co. and tank platoon to hold in reserve.  I write these instructions down on my map and mark phase lines for my expected advance.  Now, obviously, as the situation deteriorates and the picture becomes more complicated these instructions will also become more complicated.  I keep on keeping on and continue writing all of my plans and marking all known enemy locations on the map.

Ex. 1st Plt/A Co. has become pinned at first line of bocage by sMG42 and a few infantry.  I write the following: 2nd Plt./A Co. to scout 1st Plt.'s left flank and look to flank the machine gun nest.  1st Plt. will hold its positions and attempt to suppress the enemy. 3rd Plt./A Co. to hold in reserve.  2 tanks from Tank Plt. to move up to 1st Plt.'s position and provide fire support.

We then execute and, lo and behold, my plans go to hell because the lead tank is brewed up and we have spotted an ATG on elevated ground commanding the portion of the road I need to move the tanks up to 1st Plt.  2nd Plt.'s scouts have also identified a HQ and a fire team or squad in front of them, though they are unspotted for the moment.  Meanwhile B Co. has yet to encounter resistance though the next hedge line is on high ground and can see the ATG.  We now have a more complicated situation which will require more doodling and writing.

Ex. Surviving tanks to hold on road until ATG is eliminated.  1st Plt./A Co. to hold positions and continue fixing the enemy to front unless spotting rounds come in, in which case 1/A will withdraw one hedge line back.  2/A to form on scouts, mass on their own hedge to establish a base of fire, and 1st squad/2/A will assault first line of bocage by bounds.  When resistance is eliminated 2/A will form on 1st squad and wheel right onto sMG42's flank and destroy them.  B Co. to scout next hedge line and prepare to move up 4th Plt. mortars for direct fire on ATG.

I'm sure to some this will seem ridiculous and way too much effort but I find that it helps me to focus my efforts where they need to be focused and it keeps me aware of how all of the information I'm receiving and all of the little micro fights I'm dealing with are influencing and shaping the big fight and the overall objective.  By marking all enemy positions we can quickly form a loose picture of what we're facing and with a little imagination and TOE knowledge we can develop a very accurate picture of the defenses.  When I tried to keep all of the information flow in my head I would inevitably make a monstrous mistake such as spotting a panzershreck team in one area, not actively engaging in that area for a few turns, and by the time I do decide to move there the contact has disappeared from both the map and my brain and I then lose a tank or tanks that wouldn't have been lost had I been collating my information and intelligence properly.  I also used to become so bogged down in small unit fights that the fighting would seem to devolve in my mind into a bunch of scattered brawls that I was fighting simply for the sake of fighting whereas I now never lose sight of how this small platoon action is influencing the battalion's overall objective or, in many cases, isn't furthering the mission and should be abandoned posthaste.

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