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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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Yes.._good thread !

In a scenario you have to play with what the scenario designer gives you but in a QB...What would be the best set-up to add some dedicated recon units ( non vehicle mounted ) to a battalion\ battalion - sized force that does not have any organic recon units in the formation ?

I was thinking._.Use an organic weapons platoon._.Delete all the attached units ( perhaps keep a machine gun or mortar team if you would like some heavy weapons to support the recon teams )  and then attach a number of recon teams to this HQ._.Perhaps rename it to recon platoon...

To replace the original heavy weapons from this platoon buy new ones as individual teams and attach them to platoon or company HQs as prefered...

Having the recon teams asigned to an organic weapons platoon means no need for a liason guy and a platoon HQ could be right up there with the recon troops to provide both C2 and a boost to moral and suppretion recovery if the troops comes under fire...If the recon teams were asigned to the battalion HQ directly and that battalion HQ remained back at the CP then both  C2 and any HQ bonus would be lost...

Does this sound about correct ? :) is there a better way to do this if you want to use dedicated recon units within a force that does not have them organically asigned  ?

 

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I wish we could set our own nets, especially for artillery and recce. Having artillery units in Battalion Tactical Groups is an amazing addition to CMBS, not being able to assign artillery to direct support  for other formations is frustrating. There are times where I want off map mortars closely linked with say a recce unit, and it would be realistic to have them operate on the same comms.

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3 hours ago, DougPhresh said:

I wish we could set our own nets, especially for artillery and recce.

I am strongly sympathetic to this idea as a player, but first I'd want to know how far this was historical practice.

Michael

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12 hours ago, DougPhresh said:

I wish we could set our own nets, especially for artillery and recce. Having artillery units in Battalion Tactical Groups is an amazing addition to CMBS, not being able to assign artillery to direct support  for other formations is frustrating. There are times where I want off map mortars closely linked with say a recce unit, and it would be realistic to have them operate on the same comms.

That's all very well but how accessible is that feature going to be to any player who has no military experience? This thread and its antecedent is the result of some pretty extensive research on the part of @MOS:96B2Pand it has provoked a lot of questions. That says to me that it seems quite clear that the way in which what could be termed by military professionals as 'dumbed down'' C2 in game is not readily understood by people with and without service under their belts. So to add the complexity you are advocating risks confusion and would possibly alienate a lot of potential players.

Additionally, the information presented is based on a battalion group, how would having multiple nets work with platoon or company-sized scenarios and how would you convey the mechanics in the manual? Your earlier recce conundrum has two pretty simple solutions:

  • Pick single vehicles as attachments to bigger units.
  • Pick the higher HQs.

WRT gunner nets, the current abstracted indirect fire system continues to trigger forum threads like 'why can't I call in fire?' To make this more difficult by introducing an artillery net would not be helpful. Given that in the Commonwealth Armies of WW2 guns and recce were divisional assets, how far do we go here ... does it become a must have to include the Divisional HQ in game to historically replicate proper gunner and recce nets?

This smacks of the numerous 'mega iron' or enhanced reality type threads that have done the rounds over the years. It is fine if you want it but for the game to sell it is in all likelihood not something that is going to be a feature that has people queuing round the block for. The separate gunner nets thing is sort of replicated in the WW2 titles by the increased delays or inabilities of certain FOOs to call in fire which to my Acorn rather than a Shelldrake/Ironside view is a pretty workable compromise of reflecting reality without making it inaccessible.

Like most things in life ....

How much do you really want it?

When things aren't perfect, compromise is always good.

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3 hours ago, c3k said:

Setting nets: hours of monotonous crystal tuning, all to be undone when the first HE round detonates nearby and shuts down the net...

Of course, that's WWII. 

:blink:

That did not come up on my Artillery Signals course (in 2011). Carry on then!

3 hours ago, Combatintman said:

That's all very well but how accessible is that feature going to be to any player who has no military experience? This thread and its antecedent is the result of some pretty extensive research on the part of @MOS:96B2Pand it has provoked a lot of questions. That says to me that it seems quite clear that the way in which what could be termed by military professionals as 'dumbed down'' C2 in game is not readily understood by people with and without service under their belts. So to add the complexity you are advocating risks confusion and would possibly alienate a lot of potential players.

Additionally, the information presented is based on a battalion group, how would having multiple nets work with platoon or company-sized scenarios and how would you convey the mechanics in the manual? Your earlier recce conundrum has two pretty simple solutions:

  • Pick single vehicles as attachments to bigger units.
  • Pick the higher HQs.

WRT gunner nets, the current abstracted indirect fire system continues to trigger forum threads like 'why can't I call in fire?' To make this more difficult by introducing an artillery net would not be helpful. Given that in the Commonwealth Armies of WW2 guns and recce were divisional assets, how far do we go here ... does it become a must have to include the Divisional HQ in game to historically replicate proper gunner and recce nets?

This smacks of the numerous 'mega iron' or enhanced reality type threads that have done the rounds over the years. It is fine if you want it but for the game to sell it is in all likelihood not something that is going to be a feature that has people queuing round the block for. The separate gunner nets thing is sort of replicated in the WW2 titles by the increased delays or inabilities of certain FOOs to call in fire which to my Acorn rather than a Shelldrake/Ironside view is a pretty workable compromise of reflecting reality without making it inaccessible.

Like most things in life ....

How much do you really want it?

When things aren't perfect, compromise is always good.

 

You bring up a lot of good points. Sometimes I need to remember the military professionals point and stop focusing on a study-sim. I'm sure like with Steel Beasts Pro or DCS there are people who would be into the Indirect Fire Trainer with better graphics, but you're right - sigs, artillery and arty sigs are separate months long courses even working in the trade and it's asking quite a bit for the average person to parcel out assets as direct and general support and to plug them into a radio net.

To address your point on granularity I think field telephones are a great example.

Is there historical usage on the  game scale? Yes. Even OPs would have wires strung in some cases and depending on the conditions Company and Battalion CPs would be connected by field telephone.

Would it make a difference in gameplay? Sometimes. I think the Italians in CMFI would benefit as their lack of radios presently leaves their C2 hobbled.

Is it worth the technical problems? Probably not. You would either have to have linesmen laying wire as you advanced or drop from the field telephone net as soon as you moved even an action square or two. You would somehow need to show on the map what is linked by field telephone. Above ground wires were often cut by shellfire, do you show that or not, etc.

 

 

Edited by DougPhresh

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Am with Combatintman here.  There is a tendency for good folks to want increasing difficulty, but only in areas that they have a fancy for.  What about messages getting lost?  Whole units getting lost?  Units not responding to orders?  That was very common in WW2 eras at least.  The game can be made as complex as desired until very few, if any, want (or are able) to play it any more.

This same tendency almost destroyed the cardboard wargame industry in the 80's with a few vocal folks demanding larger and more complex wargames - until monsters were produced that needed an entire large room to lay out the maps, had rulebooks the size of a Bible, and were unplayable.  

The C2 stuff built into CM2 is absolutely fascinating.  But, for the average gamer who isn't playing on "Extreme" Iron (ie with the discipline to never see the whole map with all units shown), it doesn't matter at all. 

The only issue that does matter arises when one cannot bring down indirect HE when it seems that one should be able to with the HQ's and radios that the units do possess.

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On ‎27‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 12:54 AM, MOS:96B2P said:

Correct and yes the contact markers that the other company HQ sees will be replaced.  This shows only during Iron playback with the other company HQ selected.  If you have no unit selected you get your big picture view of all known contacts again.  In this big picture view a different unit, that does not have the updated contact location, may still have the old tentative contact at the former location.   I think I have heard these referred to as ghost contacts.  When there are a lot a units on the map with lots of different contact icons received at different times.  It can make an area of the map look cluttered with several contacts when in fact there are only one or two actual units.        

 

On ‎27‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 3:11 AM, Oliver_88 said:

I've made an dead simple map (my first try with scenario editor too ha) with an large wall like terrain elevation going down right down the middle, this terrain elevation stops near the north to make an "gateway" between the two sides, on the left side I have B Company HQ, 1 Platoon HQ, and 2 Section, on the right side I have 3 Section. So everyone is in the same company. B Company HQ, 1 Platoon HQ and 2 Section cannot see 3 Section.

I ran 2 Section through the "gateway" and next to 3 Section. 3 Section shortly received contact markers for B Company HQ and 1 Platoon HQ. I ran 2 Section back through the "gateway" to Voice C2 with 1 Platoon HQ and yep 1 Platoon HQ then had contact markers for 3 Section. Also to note was that 1 Platoon HQ was in Radio C2 with B Company HQ whom shortly later also had contact markers for 3 Section too. So at this point everyone knows where each other are and seemed to show that friendly dispositions could be passed within the Battalion. However I then repeated this process after having moved 3 Section to an new position. I must have ran for about 15 turns and 1 Platoon HQ never received contact markers for 3 Sections new position, just the old one. So kinda seemed like they would provide information about friendly dispositions between units within the battalion, though just the first report would be accepted, after that they would disregard any reports and only trust what they see.

 

On ‎27‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 6:15 PM, Oliver_88 said:

Scratch that I just noticed that they are not disregarding everything about later information. Each time I am sending 2 Section to 1 Platoon HQ to vertical report about 3 Sections new position although the location of the contact is not updating, the age of the contact is updating heh. And then same thing with 1 Platoon HQ vertical reporting over radio to B Company HQ.  So some vertical reporting and horizontal sharing of friendly information within the battalion does seem to be going on from what I can see. And also put down another Company HQ and Platoon HQ, from another battalion, and other than the information being shared horizontally by 2 Section seems no different.

 

On ‎27‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 6:25 PM, MOS:96B2P said:

Yep, I got the same thing.  All tentative contacts fade as they get older.  If they are updated they will become brighter and then begin to fade again.  I've never tested it but they probably fade away until they disappear entirely if not updated.  

I was going to query (with apologies for doing so) whether what we are seeing was working as intended. As seemed an little strange to me that units being shared friendly information would only share (graphically at least) the age of contact and not the position. But never mind as I see this works in the same manner for enemy contacts (in both iron and elite) as just the age of contact is being shared not the position. Or maybe should still be querying? Without an unit selected the contacts seem to be shown to me as whatever was most recently seen/reported/shared. Difficult to know who to trust huh. :)

I've attached the scenario that I am testing with. There's an four zones in the north, with an enemy truck in the first one, and you have three buildings that when you put an unit into cause the truck to leave those zones and move onto the next one. Send 3 Section to "Vantage Point" to get them to see which zone the truck is currently in. Move 2 Section around to the same side as 3 Section. Have 3 Section leave the "Vantage Point". Make the two sections meet to share the information. Have 2 Section go back around and share the information to their HQ, meanwhile send 3 Section into the required building to make the truck move zones. Repeat the process and see what changes for the big picture and each units picture.

test.btt

Edited by Oliver_88

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5 hours ago, Erwin said:

This same tendency almost destroyed the cardboard wargame industry in the 80's with a few vocal folks demanding larger and more complex wargames - until monsters were produced that needed an entire large room to lay out the maps, had rulebooks the size of a Bible, and were unplayable.  

AH's "The Longest Day" springs to mind. Getting from the bedroom door to the bed, without treading on the game map, and the reinforcement charts was a feat in itself

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4 hours ago, DougPhresh said:

Could you be referring to this 1500 hour monstrosity? ;)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Campaign_for_North_Africa

There are some though who still do want separate logistics rules for the Italians boiling pasta in their field rations...

Exactly...  And I even think I still own a copy - stored deep in a garage with over a thousand others.  :(

And don't forget the nuclear option - cats...

Edited by Erwin

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5 hours ago, Oliver_88 said:

I've attached the scenario that I am testing with. There's an four zones in the north, with an enemy truck in the first one, and you have three buildings that when you put an unit into cause the truck to leave those zones and move onto the next one. Send 3 Section to "Vantage Point" to get them to see which zone the truck is currently in. Move 2 Section around to the same side as 3 Section. Have 3 Section leave the "Vantage Point". Make the two sections meet to share the information. Have 2 Section go back around and share the information to their HQ, meanwhile send 3 Section into the required building to make the truck move zones. Repeat the process and see what changes for the big picture and each units picture.  

That's a pretty slick test map you have there.  I like the trigger houses.  I would make the east to west crossover on the south end of the map.  A few times I was sloppy with my timing and 2 Section heard the truck move while 2 section was making its east/west relay moves (of course I could just be more careful).  Nice way to isolate and test.  I think you have a talent for scenario design!!  Thanks for sharing the test map.        

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I do wonder if Gary Grigsby has saved that kind of wargame. Can you imagine playing WITE and having to lay out that map and roll dice!

Similarly, I can't imagine playing even a small-ish CMx2 scenario with Advanced Squad Leader rules!

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Below is an example of a Company HQ filling in for a Platoon  HQ when the Platoon HQ was not available.  A battalion or company HQ may provide voice and close visual contact, but not radio or distant-visual contact. 4.0 Engine Manual page 67.  

V2v2lwCh.jpg

munMLK4h.jpg

f1VzEq3h.jpg

sKqNilzh.jpg

 

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MOS thank you for making the effort to redo this. I did have trouble trying to follow the original but it's really clear and obvious with the images and your explanations.

I think some testing needs to be done to prove that having a tentative contact makes acquiring an actual LOF of fire to the contact quicker. I hope it does.

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I have often used the HQ toggle with vehicles (mostly tanks).  Now that I started using US Armored Infantry, where the HQ is part of first Squad, I have noticed it with infantry also.  Thought I would share some screenshots of it.  The HQ toggle is probably common knowledge on vehicles.  Might not be so common with infantry.  The toggle is useful for C2 related issues. 

Below shows the platoon HQ team in First Squad.

 kffFGLch.jpg

Click the HQ toggle and now the entire squad is displayed. 

qky0MJjh.jpg

 

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