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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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      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
JeffPreston

CMBN v 4 w no extras: Sometimes there's no enemy present in a Quick Battle

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Hi Folks:

Can anyone help? I've got CMBN v 4 w no extras.

Sometimes there's no enemy present in a Quick Battle. I've seen this twice - once with v 3.12 and once with v 4.00.

On both occasions the enemy was the USA, but there's not enough data to know if that's any kind of pattern. Both times it was the defender who was not there. Both times the attacker and defender forces were chosen automatically.

It's disappointing to spend 30 minutes slowly creeping up to a village only to find it, and the rest of the map, completely empty.  :(

The statistics at the end screen clearly show there is no USA force at all - no men or vehicles.

I love this game and would love to hear of a solution to this issue!

Many thanks in advance for any help. :)

 

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What are your selections for the 'combat forces' involved ? My only guess here is that the AI player selected all air-power or something to that effect (or possibly didn't make any selections). You may want to select something in particular for the 'combat forces' rather than leaving it at 'auto' and see if that makes a difference.

Also the 'size' of the battle can make a difference here too. 'Tiny' and 'armor' may result in no forces being selected for the enemy, etc.

Edited by Schrullenhaft

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Hi Schrullenhaft:

Thanks for your reply.

The defender in both cases was US infantry.

>> You may want to select something in particular for the 'combat forces' rather than leaving it at 'auto' and see if that makes a difference.

I've not seen this problem when the defender's units are chosen by the player. I seldom use this for, as far as I understand how CMBN works, it means the player has an exact order of battle for the enemy.

I use the automatic selection of forces in almost every case as it is a compelling feature of the software.

Most of the games I've played this way have been small or tiny battles, but with infantry as the selection, there should surely be no difficulty in computing forces which are within the size of battle chosen?

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11 minutes ago, JeffPreston said:

I use the automatic selection of forces in almost every case as it is a compelling feature of the software.

Unfortunately it's not very compelling at all, because it's poorly programmed, leading to results like you experienced. It seems to basically select the enemy force completely at random, which means sometimes your enemy will consist of an off-map battery of guns (but without anyone to actually call in the artillery). Other times, it will buy 5 AT guns and place them in the middle of a forest. Etc.

Even when you're lucky to get a somewhat decent enemy force, there's hardly any challenge because of the essentially random nature of the computer setup and movement orders. So I suggest not to bother with quick battles basically. It's a waste of time spending an hour carefully advancing on positions that make no sense.

This game shines in scenarios and especially playing against a human opponent.

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Hi BP:

Thanks for your reply.

I've had an inordinate run of luck it would seem as I've had dozens of compelling battles, with only a small number which had either no forces at all or very poorly placed or selected forces. I'm having a marvelous time with the program, but the session which contained no enemy was a big disappointment.

The (not 'quick') battles have been great fun too and I can see that with careful design they have the potential to be a lot more challenging than QBs.

I think one of the factors that has kept me happy with QBs is that the forces I choose are usually 'tiny' rather than 'small' and as such it is perhaps harder for the enemy battle plan to be a randomly created mess with baffled battalions all over the place doing odd things, rather than just a few companies trying to appear to be trained soldiers.

Whoa - I see you're a scenario author! Excellent - I'll try 'Crossroads At Pierrefitte-En-Cinglais V2 [Updated 20/11/2015]' next time I play as I can play it with no add-ons as I understand things?

Edited by JeffPreston

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4 hours ago, JeffPreston said:

Whoa - I see you're a scenario author! Excellent - I'll try 'Crossroads At Pierrefitte-En-Cinglais V2 [Updated 20/11/2015]' next time I play as I can play it with no add-ons as I understand things?

Yes, it should work. Because I made it back when I only had CMBN without addons, myself.

It's my first scenario, and while I was proud of the terrain and the different enemy AI plans, I've later realised that it's a very tough mission to actually win. Just so you know and don't get too frustrated with it. Try it a few times, it's designed for replayability too.

However, I think you're on V4.0, which apparently makes infantry much more likely to run away under fire. That should make the mission  easier than when I play it (I'm still on V3.12, where enemy infantry can be very stubborn to dislodge).

I started making a revised version that corrects a few small details to make the map an even more exact copy of the wartime French town, and also turns down the difficulty a bit. But I don't know if/when I'll actually release it.

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5 hours ago, JeffPreston said:

I've had an inordinate run of luck it would seem as I've had dozens of compelling battles, with only a small number which had either no forces at all or very poorly placed or selected forces. I'm having a marvelous time with the program, but the session which contained no enemy was a big disappointment.

That experience is much more reflective of the usual experience. CMBN was first and it's QB auto select code is still not as polished as the newer games. From what I understand the auto select code is a combination of an algorithm (which is the same for all titles) and some probability or weigh values in the TO&E for the game (which is specific to the game). The newer games have had more testing so they perform better.

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Hi IanL:

Thanks for your reply - it would be nice if the code for CMBN QB automatic selection could be improved based on newer versions which are, as you have described, better.

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In all fairness:

QB's can be quite good, if you play H2H and select your force yourself.

Just remember to select the "map preview" option. Otherwise, you may end up with a tank platoon in the woods.

Even then, it may happen, that your force does not properly match your opponents. That would be "unlucky", or a real challenge...

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By the way @JeffPreston, I just remembered that I actually did a US version of my second scenario. That means you should be able to play it with just the base game. I never uploaded it anywhere, but if you're interested, send me a PM with your email and I'll send it to you. I think it's a bit easier than the British version too.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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