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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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Just wanted to say thank you to the people here for their help and support. Yesterday I finally managed to play the Battle for Normandy demo for the first time. 

I managed to obtain an I3-4130  with 8 GB RAM, a GTX 560 ti and a monitor for under £200. 

Needless to say, despite watching and reading loads about how to play, I was awful. I completed the mission to take St Martin's farm and the Crossroads but the body count was high. 

Hopefully this is the start of a new hobby. I'm open to any further tips or guidance. 

 

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2 hours ago, Cheltster said:

I completed the mission to take St Martin's farm and the Crossroads but the body count was high. 

Is that from the tutorial campaign?

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Combat Mission will kick your arse. It's scenario dependent, of course, but a lot of scenarios have a high difficulty level, and it's a game that is very unforgiving of errors.

In terms of learning - Josey Wales and Usually Hapless on Youtube do excellent Combat Mission videos, where they go into their thinking and analysis of terrain and forces, they're well worth a watch. Christopher Maillet (SLIM) has a great series of Tactics, Techniques and Procedures that are worth a look, and Bil's Battledrill site (http://battledrill.blogspot.co.uk/ ) is a mine of useful information. There's also an older Armchair General series of CM tactics which is superb.

There are other sources, of course, and some excellent youtubers (Ithikial, for example), but I find those less useful for base-level learning of the planning and thinking that's required.

 

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It is the second mission of 4 on the demo. 

With regards to YouTube, I think I've seen all the videos. The armchair general and Christopher Maillet ones are excellent. The AARs by Jose Wales and others are also good. 

It is one thing to watch them, another to implement them. Even though the Germans were down to a handful of men they still murdered me in the bocage. For some reason my platoon couldn't seem to get them even when they were running away. 

I still got a total victory but far too many casualties. Need to improve. 

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3 hours ago, Cheltster said:

It is one thing to watch them, another to implement them.

:D Yes, this is a very true statement.  However you will implement them with time an experience.  I find that asking questions here on the forum and googling BFC combat mission topics will generally help you through the learning curve faster.  Good luck.    

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Posted (edited)

A way that I found helped me learn a lot was to play against other humans. Especially if ones opponent is interested in sharing what they know, and discussing battles afterward and mistakes and strategies. It really is instructive, and a lot of fun. 

You can’t go wrong by looking at @Bil Hardenberger‘s Blog

and another site that has lots of little tips and ideas is Here

Edited by Bud Backer
Typo

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I love this site. You guys are so helpful. I have read my way through most of Mr Hardenberger's site, but that other link was new to me and a total goldmine. So thanks Bud. 

I'll hopefully get another crack at it tonight, once the kids are in bed. This time I'm going to sweep through that bocage with minimal casualties. We'll that is the plan anyway. 

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Posted (edited)

Welcome, friend!

I struggled with those missions, as well. Recently, also struggled with parachute regiment campaign. The bocage is a two sided blade. A few tips:

- Mortars are invaluable. I went into the game thinking that light mortars were pop guns mostly for smoke. By the end of the campaign I depended on them. Best way to deal with dug-in Jerry MGs on the other side of the bocage. Germans have mortars too (very good ones), relocate quickly if you see them landing around your troops.

- The bocage is a formidable barrier. Never troops to an obvious entrance, the Hun has very effective heavy weapons trained -- in ambush. Look for imperfections in the bocage during deployment -- small gaps and pathways that are less accessible.

- Nothing short of a satchel charge can make a hole. Do not waste valuable HE ammo shooting at it, or try to plow through it with a non-Rhino tank. Satchel charges, sappers and their trucks are worth their weight in gold. Breach the bocage in places the Fritz does not expect!

- Artillery is the Lord of War, not Nick Cage. Off-map artillery is key to taking out trench systems and bunkers that can halt your entire advance. Heavier artillery can take long to call in, and long to call off. I often find it is prudent to call it in during deployment, to save time -- adjusting it, if need be.

- Use smoke screens on bunkers!

- Beware the STuG! You'll be facing more assault guns in the bocage, than anything else. A STuG hidden in the bocage is much more effective than a tiger in the open. It will spot your shermans and advancing infantry. It will kill both fairly quickly. Do not attack it head on, outflank it with bazooka infantry.

- The bocage can also be your shield. Infantry and armour behind the bocage are very safe. Doesn't just provide concealment, but also deflects projectiles. Sprinting to an unoccupied strip of bocage can be wise, but be careful of cowering germans. Get close enough and taste the MP-40 and grenades.

Edited by DerKommissar

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The one, ok two, mistakes I made all the time at first was trying to move too quickly and spreading my forces too thin. I still have a tendency to fall victim to those same mistakes from time to time.

I always find I am in a rush for some reason to try and hurry the battle along. This leads me to sending my pixeltruppen too quickly into unexplored territory and to their deaths. The saying "Never send a Company where a platoon hasn't been, never send a platoon where  a squad hasn't been, never send a squad where a scout hasn't been" should be something to always remember. The clock in the game is important to keep an eye on, but don't let it force you into poor decisions.

As for splitting up forces, the temptation to send first platoon off to take objective 1 and second platoon off to take objective 2, at the same time, rarely results in success. Keep them together, use the extra troops for more covering and suppressing fire, and tackle the objectives one at a time. Use first platoon as the lead for the first objective, with second backing them up and able to flank or add their firepower to the battle to help overwhelm the enemy. Then use second platoon as the lead for the next objective and first platoon as your reserve. In CM battles it really is almost impossible to use too big of a hammer to hit your enemy with.

The issue I struggle the most with now is timing. When do I call in the mortars or try adding one more squad to the fight? Or the barrage I called in will be ending soon, when do I start moving my men up to take advantage of the barrage, yet not walk them into friendly fires. Or trying to get all the pieces of an assault moving at the right times to effectively support each other.

For all three of these challenges, practice, practice, practice. Hopefully every battle you will get just a little bit better.

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Posted (edited)

Remember, your men's lives are pathetic. They know this; you know this. Their one hope? That you can give their poor existence some sort of meaning. They desire glory. They know their time is short. A glorious death is the best they could have. They only hope that they can somehow add to your reputation. They will be grateful if you allow them to die so that you can enhance your reputation.

I'd have you ask my men, but, well, there aren't too many left at the moment.

;)

Or, you can do what the guys above me have suggested.

Edited by c3k

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Thanks for the help once again guys. On the Road to Berlin mission I managed a total victory with just 9 men killed. So I was pretty happy with that. The difficulty was only veteran, but you have to start somewhere. 

Tonight I managed a major victory in Closing the Pocket. This was a very different mission. I opted for a sit back and pound them approach. Used the artillery and mortars to do the work whilst waiting for the Panthers and Marders to show up. Once they did I put them in Hull down positions and knocked out there shermans and M10s. Then just swept through the town. Found out at the end there were a couple of M10s hiding at the back for some reason. Loving it. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Cheltster said:

Thanks for the help once again guys. On the Road to Berlin mission I managed a total victory with just 9 men killed. So I was pretty happy with that. The difficulty was only veteran, but you have to start somewhere. 

Tonight I managed a major victory in Closing the Pocket. This was a very different mission. I opted for a sit back and pound them approach. Used the artillery and mortars to do the work whilst waiting for the Panthers and Marders to show up. Once they did I put them in Hull down positions and knocked out there shermans and M10s. Then just swept through the town. Found out at the end there were a couple of M10s hiding at the back for some reason. Loving it. 

You haven't finally made it, this until you play against a Very New & Green CM Opponent...Such as myself :-)

"DO YOU WANT TO PLAY A GAME" (an excerpt from 'WarGames').

Edited by JoMc67

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Posted (edited)

my advice is to ditch playing the AI immediately. playing humans is SOOO satisfying when you win and the AI teaches bad habits - unless its crafted by a master like JonS or LLF and even then because the Ai can only react tactically. it will not fot example shift troops or counterattack unless the designer implements orders, and even then its not reacting to you its following a script.  Also the AI cannot attack. Yes you can play as defender but the AI just really isnt that great at attacking though mind you some scenario creators or campaign creators have made the AI competent as an attacking force. e.g. Scottish Corridor campaign. But to truly succeeed or be dangerous in an attack you have to be able to react and think - change avenue of attack or pull back.The AI cannot do this. Also it cannot area target - so where a human will lay suppression fire or keep blasting a hedgerow youre guys are behind just no longer visible the AI will cease fire if sight of targets lost. Same with artillery - the AI wont target unless it actually sees an enemy. whereas you and other humans can blast an obvious position with preplotted turn 1 arty or call arty into a forest you saw enemy units run into and lost sight of. you know theyre in there but cant see them.

mind everyone plays different and the campaigns are fun especially if youre waiting for PBEM turns. 

but finding a couple good pbem friends and playing the scenarops and discussing the combat can be a great help.

and dont worry everyones awful at first pretty much.  this is by far the best game community i know of here of any game IMHO and also the game company too.  nowadays a few other companies will similarly patch the game if provided proof of historical inaccuracies for example, yet BFC pioneered this in my experience, Id never before when I first joined this site (after lurking 9 mnths) 18 yrs ago. id neber before seen game developers so often interact with and take into consideration community suggestions.  for example a year or two after cmbn came out I posted a complaint that the bursts of MGs was too mechanical it.d be the same 5 rnd or whatever it was burst. others discussed it too so I dont know if it was just me but I was delighted that in a patch a month or two later the bursts were randomized. 4 rounds, 10, 7, etc.

EDIT: I note you mentioned the difficulty level. It should be emphasozed to you that the difficulty only relates to realism on firing times, fog of war and chain of command. otherwise its the same ai and weapons strength from bottom to top. Id give elite a try it sounds daunting but trust me you.ll be surprised its the same just a little more realistic. the differences are really small compared to changing the difficulty on any other game really though.  If you have any questions PM and Ill try to shoot you an answer.

Also mortars are invaluable and as a rule I use the US 60mms and Brit 51mms in direct fire. if you do an on map direct fire mission i suggest using target light. it just slows the mortar crews rate of fire. you ll be shocked at how quickly they burn through ammo. also its good for some weapons like mortars to use area target as targetting the enemy will cease fire when the enemy starts taking cover from fire. Remember friendly MG and small arms wont injure your own men. Explosives can cause blue on blue. Learn to split your teams up, cause suppression. As you close with the enemy using fire and maneuver turn the mortars off or to another target when or if you plan to storm the enemy position, but still have any MMGs or HMGs use area fire to keep enemy heads down. this works well in my experience.

also learn what buildings are cover effective. churches are great especially also the graveyard as well and stone walls arnd it. barns are death traps and Id rather keep my men out in the open than in one.

Also dont underestimate the realism unless youre sure - all sorts of stuff is modelled thats not in other games. using a zook or faust in a building? the back blast can kill or injure friendlies.  Arty hitting units in forests will cause havoc because treebursts amd associated fragmentation with them..

Im kind of distracted so please if you have specific advice PM me theres just so many things and tangents I could go on.

Welcome aboard, its truly an awesome experience and I really miss my online friends and games from here.

 

Id also like to apologize especially to @IanL for how our pbem games lapsed and how utterly patient you were before we had to quit due to my IRL issues.

Cheers to you all, hopefully. I can come back soon. unfortunately for now some really bad familial stuff is occupying my life. 

Edited by Sublime

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43 minutes ago, Sublime said:

Id also like to apologize especially to @IanL for how our pbem games lapsed and how utterly patient you were before we had to quit due to my IRL issues.

Cheers to you all, hopefully. I can come back soon. unfortunately for now some really bad familial stuff is occupying my life. 

Apology accepted - of course. Family first for sure.

Good luck

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