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      Final Blitzkrieg v1.01 released!   05/21/2016

      Once again proving that we don't sleep much, we have just released v1.01 for CM: Final Blitzkrieg.  There's lots of great improvements and fixes now just one download away.  Click HERE to see the release notes and download links.  Thanks to everybody for reporting issues and special thanks to the testers who make sure we don't overlook them.
    • Battlefront.com

      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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1 hour ago, Warts 'n' all said:

Ah, that very incapable AI that gives this rubbish Limey a good kicking in quite a few campaigns.

That's not because of the AI, but because of the very intelligent human scenario designer... Which is the reason I love playing campaigns too.

Not quick battles against the computer, where the lack of intelligence becomes extremely obvious.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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On ‎9‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 5:44 AM, Bulletpoint said:

Is there any evidence of this? I'd think the opposite is true, and that longtime players avoid QBs.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't understand how randomly generated quick battles can offer any challenge to experienced players?

But scenarios certainly can. Especially the ones built for replayablility with varied AI setup plans. I'm currently replaying Scottish Corridor, and I'm delighted (and frustrated) every time the enemy is not where I thought they would be...

I have never played a quick battle....  but I would also never consider myself "the average player".  I love tinkering in the editor, I have actually created a few scenarios and have messed around with many more just fiddling with ideas.  Personally I love a well crafted scenario that has multiple AI plans to leave me guessing and the prospect of messing with triggers is enticing.  I do prefer though a good HTH match.  The AI will never give you the same experience and interaction that a human will.  On the other hand you can cruise through 30 turns in a night against the AI.  The point is, BF has to account for the entire community.  The representation on this forum is I expect an exceedingly small portion of their client base.  Better be or they will be next after Toys R Us filing chapt 11.

I am wary of anyone telling me what the average player does, frets about the shrinking community or decides that the issue with scenario creation is they are too hard especially if they have never bothered to try doing one.  As to all this continuing argument that only in a campaign do you care about force preservation etc   I understand the point, but disagree. If your orders are such and the VC set correctly, then force preservation is very much an issue.  Whether there is a following battle or not, if the scenario is designed correctly you still work off the same set of parameters.  A campaign does not have to use the same units in every battle, it isn't even required to use the same units in any battle so it is not an automatic assumption that because you are playing a campaign you have to worry about things you needn't concern yourself with in a scenario.  I've been in plenty of battles having to worry about where my AT assets are and preserving some to hold of potential enemy movements.  A well crafted scenario is immersive, with the right victory conditions it can make you deal with issues like force preservation.  A well crafted campaign gives you a sense that you are affecting a larger mission.  The reality is it is simply a linked set of scenarios, they may not in fact have much of anything to do with one another.  One of my favorite campaigns is TF Panther (CMSF).  I don't like every scenario in it, but I love "the snitch".  One of my all time favorite scenarios.  It loosely fits into the campaign, but only loosely.  It is conceptually something I intend to use at some point in a campaign that is a series of missions in CMSF.  The idea is to have a series of missions for a unit's deployment, but there isn't necessarily a tying element between them, just the freakin grind of trying to survive in an ongoing insurgency.  

BF's standards for making a scenario are pretty high and rightly so, the player has paid for the product and it should be held to a different standard.  That makes scenario creation a bit more stressful.  However a user community scenario should not be held to that standard. (though many are far better than my paltry contributions- I am looking at you @Sgt.Squarehead

 

 

Edited by sburke

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@sburke  Kind of you to say that fella, but as you know it wasn't exactly a quick build, nor can I claim credit for all of it, I was greatly helped.  ;)

The current one's taking even longer, mostly because I'm (re)training a dog at the same time and because I've had to erase a lot more of LLF's lovely map and lay down my own.

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On 19/09/2017 at 2:23 AM, Mad Mike said:

Anyway, just an impression from one (not representative) player.
Thanks to @Ithikial for his great Combat Mission Career Record System. :)

Thanks and nice stats. ;) Sadly any record keeping needs a time investment from the user before it starts bearing fruit to see patterns in how you play. To add to @IanL 's comments about The Blitz's split in scenario/QB H2H matches, it's pretty much the same over at the FGM. Up until we stopped recording details about the type of battle played it was roughly 60% scenarios being played for ranked ladder matches.

@Mad Mike - Once the upcoming CMFI module is released the Career Record System is going to need a hefty update given the new nations/formations included (I assume based on earlier BF released bones). Expect a tap on the shoulder. :)

15 hours ago, rocketman said:

I would also be keen for more "team-up" projects so to share the load. For example, I love making maps and the basic research, but making AI plans, force composition etc is tiresome and often stall a project. Problem with teaming up with someone is that you have to share an idea for a scenario. Something I find very interesting might seem "meh" to others. Maybe we could create an "idea pool" in this forum, at TPG or elsewhere and that way find common interest in a project. A while back there was community interest in doing a "Task Force Butler" campaign for CMFI, but I still want to know if that might be covered in the final module.

Team up projects with a common interest/theme I think is a big way to try and attract new community members to experiment in the editor. That's not to say it's the solution, there's certainly long wishlists out there for editor improvements from the community. However CMx2 scenario design is a time consuming task, so having a group of people with a common interest in a particular battle or theme means you can pool knowledge and research. And if you're lucky maybe have some testers on hand already to try out each other's work. Our little Arracourt project probably not the best example given the scale of most of the battles and the fact we aren't done yet (guys I am alive and have a three day weekend off coming up :D ), but even here it has lightened the load already allowing some helpers to just make maps while others tackled the OOB and AI plans.

The worst thing I think for a scenario designer I think would be to work on an idea only for a double up of scenarios trying to depict the same event, either from other community members unknowingly working at the same time on the same idea or for it to be covered via a future official Battlefront release.

11 hours ago, IanL said:

My personal preference is that they make campaigns playable H2H. If that happened I would likely switch to campaign play for the vast majority of my games. I still hold onto hope.

One of the ideas I've had but never had the time to to even start to put it together was to recreate CMx1 style Operations inside the editor - to reflect a steady advance by an attacker over a large peice of terrain over a fixed period of time. Given the much larger maps inside CMx2 now this became a more viable proposition.

It would be basically a block of scenarios (each with variants) and two players would follow a flow chart based on who won the last battle and/or some other criteria. For example, let's say IanL and I fight the opening engagement with IanL playing the Allies. IanL win's with a Total Victory and pushes me back to my rear defensive line. We follow the flow chart and move to "Battle 2A" which is for when the Allies meet all their objectives in Battle 1. This battle is set a few hours after the last engagement with my forces in a battered state and the front line moved up to reflect earlier gains. Alternatively let's say I won the first battle with a Total Victory by holding IanL's forces in place quite comfortably then we'd move to "Battle 2D" which reflects the different situation, with the Allies needing to make a second attempt against the same line of defenses later in the same day. In this case, IanL may get additional forces/support for the second attempt as higher command realises there's a problem. That's up for the designer to plan out and construct a narrative to suit the varying situation.

The best test case for something like this I think would be to recreate the 'Carentan' operation from CMBO. Basically can the stretched German forces hold on longer than they did historically? What happens in the 101st Airborne can't take Carentan by the 12th of June and then have to attack again on the 13th of June but now with the 17th SS Panzergrenadiers on station to assist (ie no counter attack and Battle of Bloody Gulch).

Now that would be a bit of multiplayer fun. :)

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3 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

[snicker]

Posters always seem to believe that what they desire can be "very easily" achieved.

Well snicker if you want, but all the elements are already there.

A H2H campaign would just be a series of subsequent H2H battles, with the scenario data drawn from the campaign file, and force preservation carried over for both players.

The code to stitch these existing features together would not write itself, but most of it would be copy/paste from existing code.

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11 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

That's not because of the AI, but because of the very intelligent human scenario designer... Which is the reason I love playing campaigns too.

Yes, you're right. I really admire the work that designers put in.

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I like Combat mission for all the reasons you all have said: options - some like campaigns (like me) and thats fine, some like scenarios thats fine and some like QB's thats also fine.

The most inportant thing though for me have become the editor its a great tool and I simply love it.

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4 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Well snicker if you want, but all the elements are already there.

A H2H campaign would just be a series of subsequent H2H battles, with the scenario data drawn from the campaign file, and force preservation carried over for both players.

The code to stitch these existing features together would not write itself, but most of it would be copy/paste from existing code.

I am not a software engineer/coder. But I am a beta tester. I have no idea whether any of the above (my bold) is true. I, therefore, am very confident that =you= have no idea if your statement is true. I do know that nothing is as simple or straightforward as we'd like it to be.

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8 hours ago, Ithikial_AU said:

The best test case for something like this I think would be to recreate the 'Carentan' operation from CMBO. Basically can the stretched German forces hold on longer than they did historically? What happens in the 101st Airborne can't take Carentan by the 12th of June and then have to attack again on the 13th of June but now with the 17th SS Panzergrenadiers on station to assist (ie no counter attack and Battle of Bloody Gulch).

The concept is worthy of investigation. If you keep things to a battalion per side ish it could work. I have been involved in one really big experiment (I think it was two battalions per side) and eventually there were too many forces on the board for the game to process and strange things started to happen - orders were ignored, units stop moving etc. So, there are limits that are not as explicit as the dimensions of the map that you have to be aware of. In this case we were unsure if the issue was specific to the number of units or the amount of orders (which also naturally goes up with more units) so we do not know where the lines are.

8 hours ago, Ithikial_AU said:

Now that would be a bit of multiplayer fun. :)

Oh man - a year or more perhaps.

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"It would be basically a block of scenarios (each with variants) and two players would follow a flow chart based on who won the last battle and/or some other criteria. For example, let's say IanL and I fight the opening engagement with IanL playing the Allies. IanL win's with a Total Victory and pushes me back to my rear defensive line. We follow the flow chart and move to "Battle 2A" which is for when the Allies meet all their objectives in Battle 1. This battle is set a few hours after the last engagement with my forces in a battered state and the front line moved up to reflect earlier gains. Alternatively let's say I won the first battle with a Total Victory by holding IanL's forces in place quite comfortably then we'd move to "Battle 2D" which reflects the different situation, with the Allies needing to make a second attempt against the same line of defenses later in the same day. In this case, IanL may get additional forces/support for the second attempt as higher command realises there's a problem. That's up for the designer to plan out and construct a narrative to suit the varying situation.

This has been done successfully in CMA's "Competent Incompetence" campaign   Highly recommended. 

Several other campaigns in other CM2 titles have branching "storylines" that go in different directions depending on the result of a mission. 

There have been some clever attempts to give players a choice in this binary way by having "dummy missions" where one has a choice of either sending a kubelwagon to an exit, or not depending on what you want you next mission to be. ie: Exit and Win leads to Mission A, decide to not exit (and lose) leads to Mission B.

This is a major reason why Campaigns are such a brilliant feature of CM.

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When I wrote:

30 minutes ago, IanL said:

The concept is worthy of investigation. If you keep things to a battalion per side ish it could work. I have been involved in one really big experiment (I think it was two battalions per side) and eventually there were too many forces on the board for the game to process and strange things started to happen - orders were ignored, units stop moving etc. So, there are limits that are not as explicit as the dimensions of the map that you have to be aware of. In this case we were unsure if the issue was specific to the number of units or the amount of orders (which also naturally goes up with more units) so we do not know where the lines are.

Clearly I did not read this properly. Sorry. What I said above relates to a large map with a lot of forces but many coming as reinforcements of the course of hours and hours of battle time. In other words one large battle over a large long map to see who comes out ahead. I got that idea stuck in my head after reading your first paragraph and nothing else sunk in - sorry. :D

9 hours ago, Ithikial_AU said:

It would be basically a block of scenarios (each with variants) and two players would follow a flow chart based on who won the last battle and/or some other criteria. For example, let's say IanL and I fight the opening engagement with IanL playing the Allies. IanL win's with a Total Victory and pushes me back to my rear defensive line. We follow the flow chart and move to "Battle 2A" which is for when the Allies meet all their objectives in Battle 1. This battle is set a few hours after the last engagement with my forces in a battered state and the front line moved up to reflect earlier gains. Alternatively let's say I won the first battle with a Total Victory by holding IanL's forces in place quite comfortably then we'd move to "Battle 2D" which reflects the different situation, with the Allies needing to make a second attempt against the same line of defenses later in the same day. In this case, IanL may get additional forces/support for the second attempt as higher command realises there's a problem. That's up for the designer to plan out and construct a narrative to suit the varying situation.

Yeah, a set of scenarios with flow charts could work. To get the force preservation between battles would require some work and trust or would you create variations of the follow on scenarios with different adjusted forces and not try to actually reflect what was left from the previous battle but just reflect force levels generally.

 

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I recall Steve once mentioning that that vast majority of purchasers are single player vs the AI, by a very wide margin. And the vast majority of purchasers have never posted to the chat board. Now that I think about it, I've never posted comments to any other game's chat board besides BFC. I may have occasionally lurked World of Tanks chat board for random armor tidbits but never engaged in the conversation. Frequent commenters and competition players are by their nature an unrepresentative lot. You don't build neighborhood public swimming pools to accommodate only Olympic swimmers.

 

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This place is more like a modelling forum than any other game forum I've encountered.....I mean people are polite and actually discuss meaningful topics. 

Is that in part down to the creative aspect of the games I wonder?  As you point out this site naturally attracts those interested in the mechanics of the game.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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5 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

This place is more like a modelling forum than any other game forum I've encountered.....I mean people are polite and actually discuss meaningful topics. 

Is that in part down to the creative aspect of the games I wonder?  As you point out this site naturally attracts those interested in the mechanics of the game.

Why you sniveling goat faced pimple on a ... oh wait, I thought I was on the forum for "the division". My bad. 

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13 hours ago, IanL said:

The concept is worthy of investigation. If you keep things to a battalion per side ish it could work.

That's part of the reason why I thought of Carentan. Quite a narrow front of advance between St Come Du Mont to Carentan that was carried out by the 502nd PIR as Battalions leap frogged each other. Maybe you switch over to commanding the 506th PIR for the main assault on the city whenever that point is reached. (Though yes 502nd was still involved).

13 hours ago, Erwin said:

This has been done successfully in CMA's "Competent Incompetence" campaign   Highly recommended. 

Several other campaigns in other CM2 titles have branching "storylines" that go in different directions depending on the result of a mission. 

There have been some clever attempts to give players a choice in this binary way by having "dummy missions" where one has a choice of either sending a kubelwagon to an exit, or not depending on what you want you next mission to be. ie: Exit and Win leads to Mission A, decide to not exit (and lose) leads to Mission B.

This is a major reason why Campaigns are such a brilliant feature of CM.

Sadly CM:A is the only time I haven't brought a Combat Mission release. Ran into too many technical problems with the demo.

Well aware of the "dummy mission" concept and sort of used that approach at the start of my Lions of Carpiquet campaign (though there is a small risk to the player if they play it silly). This idea is a bit different to that since the two players playing against each other aren't limited to a binary win/lose situation of a regular single player campaign game. You can design the VP's to equate to different scales of victory (in this case how far they advanced in the previous battle) and then the next battle determined by the flow chart and should reflect terrain wise whatever gains they made last time - big or small.

13 hours ago, IanL said:

Yeah, a set of scenarios with flow charts could work. To get the force preservation between battles would require some work and trust or would you create variations of the follow on scenarios with different adjusted forces and not try to actually reflect what was left from the previous battle but just reflect force levels generally.

I was thinking having a fixed rate depending on the previous degree of victory or defeat programmed into the following scenario variants. Once a battalion reaches a certain point they are pulled off the line and replaced - like they would have been by regiment/division command. Once the player loses too many formations from the fixed list in this way, then it's an auto campaign loss. This system means you won't have any 'speed bump' battles though still gives one side an advantage if they have the operational momentum from a string of prevous victories. It would also be safe way to avoid arguements breaking out half way down the campaign tree. Only downside is you couldn't guarantee matching up losses from specific sub-formations such as companies or platoons (ie A Company took a battering last time but comes back with only 20% casualties because of a major victory). No sytem is perfect.

9 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I'm looking for some detailed guidance on campaign scripts, anyone have a link at all?

@Mad Mike 's little tool should give you the campaign script file. It's easier to have one that's already been used successfully as a template and replace the necessary bits of information with the game manual in hand. That's what I did for Lions of Carpiquet. You are going to make mistakes but the game will give you a rough idea where the error is if it spits the file back you. It's usually a formatting issue or a typo that causes errors. (From a guy who isn't a a programmer :D )

9 hours ago, MikeyD said:

Frequent commenters and competition players are by their nature an unrepresentative lot. You don't build neighborhood public swimming pools to accommodate only Olympic swimmers.

I like that metaphor. :)

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13 hours ago, MikeyD said:

You don't build neighborhood public swimming pools to accommodate only Olympic swimmers.

But the good thing about olympic standard swimming pools is that both athletes and the rest of us can enjoy swimming there :)

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Hello to all my forum buddies:

Still on my 2017 break from CM but now headed to work for FEMA and will be deployed to hurricane damaged areas.

I wish I had popped on here and would have been shocked to see some new modules I had fantasized about! :(

Oh well, I hope the CM salary guys are all well and can balance their real life to soon shekel out some CM material to us in the audience.

I think some of the mods I was involved in are still out there to be enjoyed?

Best wishes to everybody.

~Phil

 

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4 hours ago, kohlenklau said:

Hello to all my forum buddies:

Still on my 2017 break from CM but now headed to work for FEMA and will be deployed to hurricane damaged areas.

I wish I had popped on here and would have been shocked to see some new modules I had fantasized about! :(

Oh well, I hope the CM salary guys are all well and can balance their real life to soon shekel out some CM material to us in the audience.

I think some of the mods I was involved in are still out there to be enjoyed?

Best wishes to everybody.

~Phil

 

Thanks for your work - the FEMA stuff (and your CM stuff, but the FEMA is just a weeeee bit more important.)

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