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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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If anyone remembers from playing "Barbarossa to Berlin", you could order your tanks to "seek hull-down positions" and to "shoot and scoot".   I found these to be essential, even in turn-based gameplay.  I imagine they would be even more so in real-time.

Question:  Why are these not available in the current family of Combat Mission games?

 

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Raptorx7   

Hull-down is an order avilable in the new 4.0 upgrade for all CM2 games. Shoot and scoot can be imperfectly replicated by placing a move order with a pause at the end and a target arc or target point and a reverse order.

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9 minutes ago, Raptorx7 said:

Hull-down is an order avilable in the new 4.0 upgrade for all CM2 games. Shoot and scoot can be imperfectly replicated by placing a move order with a pause at the end and a target arc or target point and a reverse order.

Thanks, Raptorx7!  I really must upgrade all my Combat Mission titles.  

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A proper way to perform "Shoot and Scoot" is certainly on the very top of my wishlist for new commands. 

As of now, it is possible to replicate the functionality, but its results vary wildly, especially when stealth, surprise, and timing are required.

The ultimate use-case would be to have a tank hunter team discharge their weapon, then get the hell away from the target's LOS.

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Erwin   

'The ultimate use-case would be to have a tank hunter team discharge their weapon, then get the hell away from the target's LOS."

+1  Would be very useful as it is v hard to gauge infantry timing with PAUSE. 

Also would be good in an inf ambush (vs inf or vehicles):  eg:  HIDE, AMBUSH and x seconds after TARGET FIRE move FAST away to waypoint.

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8 minutes ago, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

A proper way to perform "Shoot and Scoot" is certainly on the very top of my wishlist for new commands. 

As of now, it is possible to replicate the functionality, but its results vary wildly, especially when stealth, surprise, and timing are required.

The ultimate use-case would be to have a tank hunter team discharge their weapon, then get the hell away from the target's LOS.

Amen!  I don't have Engine 4 yet on my titles:  What about the proper way to use recce vehicles?  I try to issue a "search then break contact once enemy sighted" routine by using Hunt + Reverse, but the poor thing just stops and lets itself get blown to bits!

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

'The ultimate use-case would be to have a tank hunter team discharge their weapon, then get the hell away from the target's LOS."

+1  Would be very useful as it is v hard to gauge infantry timing with PAUSE. 

Also would be good in an inf ambush (vs inf or vehicles):  eg:  HIDE, AMBUSH and x seconds after TARGET FIRE move FAST away to waypoint.

This. With the additional ability to sync up waypoints of different fireteams/squads/vehicles.

So for instance you have two squads of a platoon about to enter a building while a third squad will provide overwatch at a good position nearby they are currently moving to. The ability to have the first two squads enter the building only once the third squad reaches the assigned waypoint (LOS / Command and Control considerations obviously come into play) would give the players an additional level of planning you'd expect to be occuring on the ground during an engagement. The squad doesn't wait strictly for 10 seconds for another team it get into position, it waits for the team to get into position even if it taks 12 second. :) Currently it's very hard to do with just the pause command trying to guesstimate timings across a battlefield. Will make urban fights a bit more workable and avoid silly encounters.

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7 hours ago, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

A proper way to perform "Shoot and Scoot" is certainly on the very top of my wishlist for new commands. 

As of now, it is possible to replicate the functionality, but its results vary wildly, especially when stealth, surprise, and timing are required.

The ultimate use-case would be to have a tank hunter team discharge their weapon, then get the hell away from the target's LOS.

I agree. I would like a command that would essentially be a trigger for the individual unit. Lets say you have a bazooka team in a house. You give it a fall back waypoint (just a move order somewhere) and then hit the 'shoot and scoot' command. What the command would do is keep the team in place until they fire the bazooka. Once they've fired, they fall back along the movement point plotted. You could obviously couple the command with target arcs and target commands as well. In essence it would be a glorified pause command, just without the guesswork of timing on the part of the player. Just an idea, but I think it would be very helpful for many different units. Tanks, anti-tank infantry, and other things such as snipers/scouts, and other soft assets that you want to preform a quick hit and run. 

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Erwin   

"What about the proper way to use recce vehicles?  I try to issue a "search then break contact once enemy sighted" routine by using Hunt + Reverse, but the poor thing just stops and lets itself get blown to bits!"

Yes, this has always been a puzzle in CM2.  In CM1 one could play on much larger maps where mobility recon and transport were very important.  In the vast majority of CM2 battles the maps are smaller and it's arguable that there is little role for vehicular recon or transport vehicles - except in an "unexpected" meeting engagement or being ambushed.  In many cases the best use of a recon vehicle is to dismount the crew and use em on foot recon. 

In the game there is overwhelming temptation to use recon vehicles as support weapons alongside regular troops - and that is probably what the designer intends.  But, is that what would happen regularly in RL? 

Far better to use programming resources to address the "inf shoot and scoot" idea as mentioned by Xorg for snipers, AT and ambush teams.

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3 minutes ago, Erwin said:

"What about the proper way to use recce vehicles?  I try to issue a "search then break contact once enemy sighted" routine by using Hunt + Reverse, but the poor thing just stops and lets itself get blown to bits!"

Yes, this has always been a puzzle in CM2.  In CM1 one could play on much larger maps where mobility recon and transport were very important.  In the vast majority of CM2 battles the maps are smaller and it's arguable that there is little role for vehicular recon or transport vehicles - except in an "unexpected" meeting engagement or being ambushed.  In many cases the best use of a recon vehicle is to dismount the crew and use em on foot recon. 

In the game there is overwhelming temptation to use recon vehicles as support weapons alongside regular troops - and that is probably what the designer intends.  But, is that what would happen regularly in RL? 

Far better to use programming resources to address the "inf shoot and scoot" idea as mentioned by Xorg for snipers, AT and ambush teams.

"Programming resources" as in altering game code itself?

And yes - it is oh so satisfying pounding enemy troops with 20mm cannon from armored cars!  :)   But I still  want the true function of recce . . . after all, "Information is half the battle".  The German eight-wheeled armored cars, in particular, have an additional driving station facing to the rear of the vehicle, to allow it to drive as fast in reverse as in forward drive.  The present-day version used by the Bundeswehr retains this cool feature!  It's a shame to see it not fully exploited in Combat Mission.

 

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4 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

<Snip> What the command would do is keep the team in place until they fire the bazooka. Once they've fired, they fall back along the movement point plotted. You could obviously couple the command with target arcs and target commands as well. <Snip> 

I like this idea.  This might be something worth BFC's time someday.   

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IanL   
15 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:
4 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

<Snip> What the command would do is keep the team in place until they fire the bazooka. Once they've fired, they fall back along the movement point plotted. You could obviously couple the command with target arcs and target commands as well. <Snip> 

I like this idea.  This might be something worth BFC's time someday.   

Agreed. I have many times sent an AT team out of cover to get a shot and the timing of my pauses meant they either took their shot and watched their handy work in admiration for 10 more seconds getting hit from all sides or they are just about done aiming when they notice that time is up and they run away never taking a perfectly good shot. I think I have an AAR where a team does that a few times.

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IanL   
11 hours ago, Sasa Narinasa said:

Amen!  I don't have Engine 4 yet on my titles: 

I am a big fan of the hull down command in the v4 engine. Not everyone is but I think it is useful. Check out this thread for a detail discussion and disagreements :)

 

11 hours ago, Sasa Narinasa said:

What about the proper way to use recce vehicles?  I try to issue a "search then break contact once enemy sighted" routine by using Hunt + Reverse, but the poor thing just stops and lets itself get blown to bits!

There is no command to do what you are asking for in one order phase. And many agree it would be nice. So that leaves you with two options. First just send them across the battle field until they end up with holes and react accordingly. It sounds like you have experience with that :)

The other thing to do is combine moving to cover, stopping and observing from cover and dismounting crews. Use the terrain to mask their movement and get them into a position where they have some cover and leave them there for a few turns. Then move them again. You can couple that with dismounting the crew so the vehicle can remain hidden while the crew crawls to the hill top in the forest for a look. Infantry and dismounted crews have much much better situational awareness than mounted crews.

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1 hour ago, IanL said:

I am a big fan of the hull down command in the v4 engine. Not everyone is but I think it is useful. Check out this thread for a detail discussion and disagreements :)

 

There is no command to do what you are asking for in one order phase. And many agree it would be nice. So that leaves you with two options. First just send them across the battle field until they end up with holes and react accordingly. It sounds like you have experience with that :)

The other thing to do is combine moving to cover, stopping and observing from cover and dismounting crews. Use the terrain to mask their movement and get them into a position where they have some cover and leave them there for a few turns. Then move them again. You can couple that with dismounting the crew so the vehicle can remain hidden while the crew crawls to the hill top in the forest for a look. Infantry and dismounted crews have much much better situational awareness than mounted crews.

Thanks!  I will definitely try that next time.

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Judging by everyone else' input, it seems I'm  not the only one who's noticed a paucity in the commands for infantry units.  Has anyone else here played "Close Combat"?

Edited by Sasa Narinasa
incomplete statement

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17 minutes ago, Sasa Narinasa said:

Judging by everyone else' input, it seems I'm  not the only one who's noticed a paucity in the commands for infantry units.  Has anyone else here played "Close Combat"?

I've played most Close Combat games, but I don't understand your question since Close Combat has much fewer commands.

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Just now, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

I've played most Close Combat games, but I don't understand your question since Close Combat has much fewer commands.

I seem to remember an "Ambush" command for infantry units that was quite useful in Close Combat and fulfills most of the requirements people wish for above.

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37 minutes ago, Sasa Narinasa said:

I seem to remember an "Ambush" command for infantry units that was quite useful in Close Combat and fulfills most of the requirements people wish for above.

Well... not really. You can replicate its functionality with the Target Arc or Target Armored Arc command. All Ambush did in Close Combat was prevent a unit from engaging enemies until they came within ~30 meters or they came under fire.

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17 hours ago, Erwin said:

"What about the proper way to use recce vehicles?  I try to issue a "search then break contact once enemy sighted" routine by using Hunt + Reverse, but the poor thing just stops and lets itself get blown to bits!"

Yes, this has always been a puzzle in CM2.  In CM1 one could play on much larger maps where mobility recon and transport were very important.  In the vast majority of CM2 battles the maps are smaller and it's arguable that there is little role for vehicular recon or transport vehicles - except in an "unexpected" meeting engagement or being ambushed.  In many cases the best use of a recon vehicle is to dismount the crew and use em on foot recon. 

In the game there is overwhelming temptation to use recon vehicles as support weapons alongside regular troops - and that is probably what the designer intends.  But, is that what would happen regularly in RL? 

Far better to use programming resources to address the "inf shoot and scoot" idea as mentioned by Xorg for snipers, AT and ambush teams.

'Width, Height – sets the size of the map. Maximum area for a Battle map is 20 square kilometres (roughly 4km by 5km) though neither dimension may exceed 5 km'

CMAK manual page 145 refers.

'Maps can have a maximum total surface area of 18 kilometers squared (4248m x 4248m if shaped as a perfect square). No side can be longer than 8,000 meters. The ratio of the length and width of the map must be 10:1 or less'.

Combat Mission Engine Manual Version 3.01 Page 92 refers.

So tell me about the much larger maps thing ...

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Rinaldi   

I'm a big fan of the Hull Down command, like @IanL but my only issue with it is that its impossible to jockey with it in the same turn. I usually off set that by trying to activate near the end of the minute cycle. Otherwise I try to manually find hull downs and plot the jockeying myself. 

I don't see a reason for shoot and scoot - just like the tabled follow command its something that sounds wonderful in theory but might be a mess in practice. We already have people who insist that Hull Down doesn't work for them, for example. Every time shoot and scoot is mentioned to, I notice CM1 players tend to roll their eyes . Apparently it didn't work very well in that title either. 

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SLIM   
5 hours ago, Combatintman said:

So tell me about the much larger maps thing ...

Not many people enjoy single digit frame rates. ;)

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Erwin   
6 hours ago, Combatintman said:

'Width, Height – sets the size of the map. Maximum area for a Battle map is 20 square kilometres (roughly 4km by 5km) though neither dimension may exceed 5 km'

CMAK manual page 145 refers.

'Maps can have a maximum total surface area of 18 kilometers squared (4248m x 4248m if shaped as a perfect square). No side can be longer than 8,000 meters. The ratio of the length and width of the map must be 10:1 or less'.

Combat Mission Engine Manual Version 3.01 Page 92 refers.

So tell me about the much larger maps thing ...

We've talked about this B4.  I miss the 8Km x 4Km maps of CM1.  Those maps were frequently featured in the scenarios and campaigns that many of us enjoyed esp the last Band Of Brothers "Birthday Bash" Tournaments which ran for maybe ten years.  Plus that size could be handled by average computers.

One really had to worry about mobility on those maps, and transport and vehicular recon were important (plus a Regiment + on each side!).  While CM2 can feature 4Km x 4Km how many scenarios are available on that size map?  How many of us have super-computers that can RUN that scenario with (say) a mere Battalion on each side?

I am not trying to beat a dead horse here.  I simply responding to the issue of how to use Recon vehicles and why they (and transports) are generally not that useful in CM2 and are usually brought way too close to the front line in CM2 than would be the normal case in RL.

Edited by Erwin

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8 hours ago, Rinaldi said:

I'm a big fan of the Hull Down command, like @IanL but my only issue with it is that its impossible to jockey with it in the same turn. I usually off set that by trying to activate near the end of the minute cycle. Otherwise I try to manually find hull downs and plot the jockeying myself. 

I don't see a reason for shoot and scoot - just like the tabled follow command its something that sounds wonderful in theory but might be a mess in practice. We already have people who insist that Hull Down doesn't work for them, for example. Every time shoot and scoot is mentioned to, I notice CM1 players tend to roll their eyes . Apparently it didn't work very well in that title either. 

I suppose people have varying experiences, but I found "shoot & scoot" to be very helpful in helping me fight off the Red Hordes.

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3 hours ago, Erwin said:

We've talked about this B4.  I miss the 8Km x 4Km maps of CM1.  Those maps were frequently featured in the scenarios and campaigns that many of us enjoyed esp the last Band Of Brothers "Birthday Bash" Tournaments which ran for maybe ten years.  Plus that size could be handled by average computers.

One really had to worry about mobility on those maps, and transport and vehicular recon were important (plus a Regiment + on each side!).  While CM2 can feature 4Km x 4Km how many scenarios are available on that size map?  How many of us have super-computers that can RUN that scenario with (say) a mere Battalion on each side?

I am not trying to beat a dead horse here.  I simply responding to the issue of how to use Recon vehicles and why they (and transports) are generally not that useful in CM2 and are usually brought way too close to the front line in CM2 than would be the normal case in RL.

I love those huge maps!  With regards to recce vehicles being less useful on the generally smaller maps in the Second Generation titles, I would make a distinction between playing against the Computer and playing against a Human opponent.  Obviously, the Computer is somewhat simplistic in its tactics - but I'd like proper recce for  when a Human opponent tries to do the "unexpected".

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16 hours ago, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

Well... not really. You can replicate its functionality with the Target Arc or Target Armored Arc command. All Ambush did in Close Combat was prevent a unit from engaging enemies until they came within ~30 meters or they came under fire.

That's three clicks in Combat Mission and two drags on the cursor.  In Close Combat, that's one click.

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