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Macisle

Kharkov Map Sneak Peak

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Hey, guys. I've been too busy to start on Part 3 of the video series, but have been chipping away at the map as time allows. I've caught up on my doors and windows! :)

That's been in the central factory area of the map. I decided to get a little Stalingrad action to test the pathfinding, so I took a security company,  outfitted them with MG34s to simulate 1942 infantry, and had them clear the area of a green battalion of Soviets. For armor, I had a platoon each of PIIs and Marder IIs, and the Soviets had two platoons of the earliest available T-34s. Anyway, here are some screenies. The last shows an overview of a large chunk, but not all, of the factory area. Enjoy!

 

A PII provides covering fire as an infantry team leaves safety to link up with a team waiting in front of the next factory.

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Tense moments pass as the men cross the short, but potentially deadly distance.

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The team at the factory door keeps watch, briefly spotting a Soviet soldier. They are nervous. Just inside the entrance are a number of dead and badly wounded comrades -- the cost of previous attempts to enter.

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However, this time PII support fire seems to have flushed out the defenders. At the rear of the factory, a second tank occasionally puts fire into the building and keeps watch for escape attempts.

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Only a break in MG fire to change belts saves a few lucky defenders.

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Meanwhile, in the next factory row over, a third, lone PII risks the danger of close assault to try and soften up things for the advancing infantry. The defending Soviets are of poor quality, but there are a lot of them and their occasional successful ambushes are gradually wearing down the veteran German infantry.

26504118978_d8b4247e66_b.jpg

 

The PII is lucky enough bump into displacing Soviets, causing them to reverse course.

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A burst of MG fire from the tank elicits screams from the wooded area, but the PII loses sight of the remaining men. It may be time to withdraw to safety...

26504118358_8d532e8665_b.jpg

 

The Germans feel like drowning men in a sea of danger.

26504123738_e26fb3ac99_b.jpg

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2 hours ago, Ithikial_AU said:

Seeing that grey panzer makes me wish for early war CM again. :P

Yep. I suuuuuure wish the next module was moving back in time, instead of forward. Early Eastern Front and France 1940 are at the top of my CM wish list. Of course, I'm still excited about the late war module. I wonder what new toys it will have?

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Okay, here's one more group of screenies from a neat turn:

A scout team finds a group of Soviets and all hell breaks loose. The PII doesn't follow through on an area fire order.

40335690352_293a588b10_b.jpg

 

Meanwhile, on the other side, a second PII engages another group of Soviets.

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The rest of the German squad rushes in to help.

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The Soviets across the road fall back, but not before lobbing a couple of grenades.

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Which immobilize the PII.

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The Soviets in the building run for it, too. That is, except the last man, who lingers to engage the withdrawing German squad with his pistol.

40335688712_97c133d409_b.jpg

 

Super Ivan!

40335688472_b0d4873142_b.jpg

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19 minutes ago, Macisle said:

Super Ivan!

Great screen shots. It looks like this guy is about to feel some serious pain...

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 Nice screenshots: a picture explain already 1000 words... but seem that you have some spy in your scenario ....one picture before the last one... look like a german soldier that found a soviet helmet or... a russian soldier that stoled a german uniform 😊

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23 minutes ago, IanL said:

Great screen shots. It looks like this guy is about to feel some serious pain...

Thanks. Yeah, he didn't make it. He got past the tanks, but then the Germans in the red brick building got him.

There was a true Super Ivan, a few turns earlier, though. He was the last man from an ATG team knocked out by arty. I kid you not when I say he got shot out of two building locations by infantry, then another by an HE round from a Marder. Then, he blew past the Marder, running right by it in the woods, through small arms fire, down the road and turned the corner out of sight just as the Marder finished turning to try and get a shot at him. As far as I can tell, he crossed the street and ducked into a factory. It was one of those CM moments that is like a story out of someone's WWII memoir. Love those!

Edited by Macisle

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7 minutes ago, 3j2m7 said:

 Nice screenshots: a picture explain already 1000 words... but seem that you have some spy in your scenario ....one picture before the last one... look like a german soldier that found a soviet helmet or... a russian soldier that stoled a german uniform 😊

Thanks. One of the crawling Germans? The team leader? If so, I think that's the camo foliage on his helmet making it look a bit Soviet-style in the darkness there.

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It is amazing what one can do with mods.  This looks like an acceptable variant for early war.  In CMBS thread, Dragonwynn is creating an entire world mod for modern Korean theatre (has screenshots).

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5 minutes ago, Warts 'n' all said:

"Comrade MacOstrovnoy, the N.K.V.D are at the door, something about rockets, and dead comrades."

"Sir, I am not drunk. I have never seen the woman beside me before, and all of these empty bottles are...for molotov cocktails!

I'll be leading the charge now, and...uh...rockets, did you say? Let's discuss it when I get back! "

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2 hours ago, Macisle said:

"Sir, I am not drunk. I have never seen the woman beside me before, and all of these empty bottles are...for molotov cocktails!

I'll be leading the charge now, and...uh...rockets, did you say? Let's discuss it when I get back! "

Brilliant! Both your riposte, and the video itself.

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"...and the HQ accidentally stayed behind..."   :D  Zet vas no axxident, Comrade Colonel.  Zer is much special China plate that ze Comrade General is wanting us to...appropriate.

That was one of the most intense house-to-house combat scenes that I have seen since I was playing out battles in the ruins of the Stalingrad Mod.  The one Russian lad took a German rifle round right in the freaking gut as he ran into the hidden position of the enemy.  That was painful to watch.

Your AAR is simply amazing, Sir.  So very well done and the camera angles are stellar.  Narrative is spot on.  Absolutely riveting.

Heinrich505   

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Thanks, guys!

Your generous compliments are much appreciated. You can see why I decided to do video on the battle, as it offers such good material for visuals.

Yeah, the firefight at the loading docks was pretty amazing, with my favorite moment being the sudden counterattack by the Germans into the connecting building location where 2nd Co., 1st Plt's commander was. That was the guy with the pistol who got mowed down by the MG42 supertrooper. The supertrooper also earned his Iron Cross: Dirty Harry Edition with a remarkable little pistol run. He is actually the MG man still at large in the building complex. It was a little hard to see, but the schreck guy, who also survived, may have been the main factor in breaking up the German counterattack, as he killed two of his own men with a schreck blast. That was right as more Soviets were entering above and had the shreck round not been fired, there would have been two more stationary Germans there and no blast suppression. That might have been enough for the Germans to hold the location.

As mentioned in the video, the SU-122 fire was likely the trigger for causing the Germans to displace and feed men into the loading dock location. The way the building complex is constructed, that caused my newly arriving units to get drawn into the fight themselves, as troopers tend to wander around a bit and then others from the team will join them if combat results and goes on close and long enough.  There are a large number of complexes like this (except more elaborate :)) around the master map and I've seen many cool firefights in testing (though this one is among the best).

That's actually part of the reason why the Soviets are going to be the attacker in the H2H campaign. The primary reason is to throw the Soviets a bone, as the Germans tend to be the center of attention on the Eastern Front. But a close second is to achieve balance by leveraging the high quality of SS troops and extra firepower of Panzergrenadiers against the inherent urban combat advantage of the Soviet infantry weapon mix, further softened by a lesser quality of troops. As my earlier recent posts showed, I've done some testing with regular German infantry on the attack and it ain't easy. Without adequate fire support from arty, tanks, and preferably plentiful DCs (FTs help, too!) , the Germans have a hard time advancing, since the punishment for any mistakes is so fast and costly, with whole teams tending to be wiped out (it would be a big help if scout team functionality would be increased to allow more scout teams to be pulled out of a standard German squad after the first team is lost).

A potential sweet spot for SP scenarios might be to have regular German infantry with adequate heavy support attack against fanatic green Soviet infantry. I haven't posted any pics, but did some testing on a different part of the map with that setup and the combat felt quite good and very Stalingrad-like. One very cool, though frustrating moment was when I blasted my way into a factory area through a blind wall. I knew there were enemy troops there and had an overwatch team ready, along with a second, staggered assault team to follow up on the breach team. Everything went like clockwork and the initial defenders were wiped out. However, there were unscouted areas of the factory adjacent and, like in the video, defenders flooded in to reinforce the combat. I lost about a squads worth of men and the rest retreated back the way they came. Painful, but very realistic!

That part of the map hasn't been shown yet, but would I think make quite a good map slice for adapting the Streets of Stalingrad ASL scenario. Maybe...The Streets of Kharkiveksya. :D

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Ah yes, I spent many hours playing that Streets of Stalingrad ASL scenario.  Good memories.  I always used my imagination to visualize the ASL battles, but now CM comes along and I can rush alongside the troops in 3D, seeing what they see.  I never thought I would see the day.  It is still amazing to me.

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10 minutes ago, Heinrich505 said:

Ah yes, I spent many hours playing that Streets of Stalingrad ASL scenario.  Good memories.  I always used my imagination to visualize the ASL battles, but now CM comes along and I can rush alongside the troops in 3D, seeing what they see.  I never thought I would see the day.  It is still amazing to me.

Same here. While we still have to ignore the graphical rough edges caused by necessary abstraction in things like where a trooper enters a wall with a door, overall, we are amazingly close to photo-realism compared to the days when ASL was king.

Which reminds me, I forgot to mention in the vid that I'll be smoothing out some of those jagged elevation lines before releasing the map.

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12 hours ago, Heinrich505 said:

Ah yes, I spent many hours playing that Streets of Stalingrad ASL scenario.  Good memories.  I always used my imagination to visualize the ASL battles, but now CM comes along and I can rush alongside the troops in 3D, seeing what they see.  I never thought I would see the day.  It is still amazing to me.

Me 2.  Used to be enamored of miniatures for the same reason.  However, since CM came out in 1988, I have saved literally thousands of dollars not buying any more cardboard wargames, miniatures, (or computer games). 

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On ‎20‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 12:21 PM, Ithikial_AU said:

Seeing that grey panzer makes me wish for early war CM again. :P

Amen!

7 minutes ago, Josey Wales said:

Brutally brilliant!

& again. 

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Thanks, guys!

I've also knocked out a few more blocks on the master map. I'm falling into a pattern where I work on the map until I need a break and then do another video.

So, it'll be awhile until the next one comes out. Depending on the action, I may go back into more voiceover detail as the action plays out. For Part 3, I felt that VO during the playback would have just gotten in the way.

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Based on summer foliage, this is the Fourth (final) Kharkov, right? the Rudmyantsev offensive after Kursk?

Kharkov_Dzerzhinsky_Square_(1943).jpg

Considering all the suffering Ukraine went through in the Holdomor, the Soviets certainly poured a pile of money into the industrial centres in the late 30s, didn't they? That architecture would not have been out of place in contemporary Detroit. Only the best for the New Soviet Men being cooked in the workers' pot!

Oh, and kudos btw, from one deranged urban mapmaker to another....  

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, LongLeftFlank said:

Based on summer foliage, this is the Fourth (final) Kharkov, right? the Rudmyantsev offensive after Kursk?

Kharkov_Dzerzhinsky_Square_(1943).jpg

Considering all the suffering Ukraine went through in the Holdomor, the Soviets certainly poured a pile of money into the industrial centres in the late 30s, didn't they? That architecture would not have been out of place in contemporary Detroit. Only the best for the New Soviet Men being cooked in the workers' pot!

Oh, and kudos btw, from one deranged urban mapmaker to another....  

Thanks! Yeah, I'm feeling increasingly deranged...:wacko::D

For example:

40457795585_2a445b1a3c_b.jpg

So far, the biggest of the big boys (but internally, may of the levels are open, so situational awareness isn't bad).

The story on the map and campaign is that they are fictional and not tied directly to any actual history.  The project started way back when, with me wanting a dense urban map with bridges for CMRT. At that point, I was calling it "Three Bridges" and was planning to use the whole map at once. I'd always been captivated by the particular stretch and bend of the river in Kharkov that I decided to use and so went with it.  I did a little research into the historical Kharkov terrain, but didn't want to get tied down to having to recreate that. At that point, I decided to use Google Street level and (generally) recreate what I found there, which is my favorite way to do map work. So, I renamed the project "Kharkiveskya" (Kharkiv-esque) and went from there.

The campaign idea (H2H only) does have some parallels to the historical battles, though. Here's the basic situation:

In the midst of a massive Soviet offensive, a fresh SS armored division, previously undetected by the Soviets, has achieved a brillant series of maneuvers (Berlin gave them the gas!) and captured the heart of the strategically important city of Kharkiveskya. The German player is in command of the center regiment. He must defend that area (the master map) as the Soviets adapt their offensive to the new threat and push the Germans out of the city.

Currently, I'm looking at 8 battles, with the defender having a reinforced company as the basis for most of them. The final battle will begin with a German counterattack that uses the last reserves, blending into the final Soviet assault. It will be a true monster city fight.

I'm super-busy in RL right now and am spending what time I have pecking away at the master map and doing some slice testing. During the summer, I also may have to take a forced 6-8 week break in a place without a computer that can run CM (:o) -- which way sucks.

Anyway, the good news is that I'm very pleased with how things are going and am working on the map in such a way that some slices will become available for community testing while I finish others.

Eventually, I'll start posting campaign details and open up things for deeper discussion, but right now, I have to lay very low and just chip away at the map.

Thanks for dropping in and taking the time time to post. I saw a pic of your wonderful Ramadi map. Fantastic work! That certainly looks like one for framing and study. I can tell you've been wrapping your head around many of the same map-making issues that have driven me to drink...uh...more coffee! :)

Edited by Macisle

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29 minutes ago, Macisle said:

So, I renamed the project "Kharkiveskya" (Kharkiv-esque) and went from there.

Very clever. 

29 minutes ago, Macisle said:

Eventually, I'll start posting campaign details and open up things for deeper discussion, but right now, I have to lay very low and just chip away at the map. 

Nice looking map so far.  Looking forward to this.  +1

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