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JulianJ

CMBS – Issues, Realism and Gaming Deficiencies

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What makes CMBS less enjoyable for me:

 

 

I have played CMBO, CMBB since they came out and still have the boxed sets. I also played AK, and also have bought patches and recently the CM1 games on GOG so I could play them on my newer system.

So these count as games I have loved and played to death.

I’ve got bored with WW2 and so felt like a new challenge recently. CMBS sounded just the ticket.

Unfortunately there are numerous areas where I find CMBS unsatisfactory. These can come under gaming and UX issues, as well as what I think are simulation issues. I realise that enjoyable gaming and “realism” or simulation may be polar opposites, but Combat Mission has set a high bar for itself, and I think can do better.

 

Firstly, should I say that I have never fought in a battle, and also that modern-era, well-documented warfare has to reach a level of realism that fantasy battles with orcs or even Medieval 2 Total War’s elephants with cannon on their backs don’t – there I can suspend my disbelief where required. When dozens of 155mm shells fail to destroy or damage BTRs, I find this hard to accept. Note: I was just playing with the US forces in most of these instances, I am not pro one side or another. I think these issues are for the game in general.

 

1. Gaming Facilities that have been lost:

 

CM1 Had:

The Line of Sight LOS indicator (Blue): this was useful to gauge the terrain and could be converted into a target command where necessary. In CMBS you can do the same with the Target command but you have to cancel it all the time when you don’t want to fire. Irritating.

The Win/Lose Percentage Bar: this gave you an indication how well you were doing in the battle. It wasn’t always right, you might suddenly jump from 40% winning to 80% after destroying the last enemy tank but it was helpful. If you were losing you needed to consider changing tactics/plans.

The Objective Flags. When attacking an objective location you could see an enemy flag change to a ? and then your own side’s flag. It meant that you knew when you had captured a location, even if there were still enemy troops about, they were in a bad way; you also knew if the flag didn’t change you’d missed a bunker or foxhole or something where some enemies were still holding out valiantly.

 

All of the above are missing from CMBS and the game suffers for it.

 

2. UI issues

 

There seems no requirement to put in the briefing the time when the mission should start. I think that’s pretty obligatory with armies, makes any schedule of reinforcements bizarre.

I played several games before I found the time is actually in tiny figures on the Compass in the top right of the screen! Whaaat? What idiot uses their compass to tell the time? It could have just said Time: 0600 or whatever below the compass in bigger type, or had a military watch graphic.

 

3. Inconsistent interface for casualties

 

Infantry get labelled casualty, but vehicle crew just disappear. Tiny coloured blobs are not helpful.

If I set a target arc, it happens at the start of the move, not where my troops end up. You used to be able to click on the end of the move line and add another command.

Why do weapons turn brown? Is it because the soldier is pooping his panties? That’s the only explanation I can think of but I haven’t found it in the manual.

What is rattled? It says Shaken in the manual. Are they the same and why did it change?

 

4. Fatigue

 

Some of my troops got fatigued, and became exhausted, when all they were doing was hiding in the woods near the enemy. I moved them around a bit sometimes but not much. Mostly they were having a smoke, talking about women, and how bad the MREs are.

Also, an MG team were deployed, and re-deployed twice, not moving more than 100 m, in 20 mins of battle, most of the time lying down. They came under fire a couple of times but were not hit. Now they are Exhausted. I carry heavy cameras around on tripods for much longer than that, and I am overweight and unfit! This is silly.

 

 

5. Information

Clearly there is a lack of realism about information reaching the commander.

I can’t access a breakdown of my own casualties, nor an estimate of enemy casualties as the battle goes on. What battle commander never has this information? Again the earlier Win/Lose bar was helpful, but you could have an Orbat screen where units are listed say from green to red depending on what their state was.

My troops never report what sort of attack is going on – e.g. mortar, arty, or air, or small arms fire from a location. This would be helpful. Many other games have an information update, where messages come up in the “dashboard”. This would be easier than recording voices for messages. In WW2, with its much lower amount of comms equipment, especially at the beginning, it isn’t so noticeable but now, with comms at even the lowest military level, it is anachronistic.

 

(I notice DreDay and others, were pointing this out in 2015)

 

6. Area Fire

In CM1 you could target area fire exactly on a particular spot, that is even if you couldn’t see an enemy you could splatter the area around them and suppress them, even if you couldn’t hit them. Or ricochet bullets into somewhere. In CMBS the indicator shifts, so you can’t place the fire precisely. I wanted to fire an MG into a house, with other infantry area firing down the alley outside the side door, so when the soldiers bugged out, they would be cut down. That wasn’t possible and all the fire hit the front of the house so everybody escaped.

In CM1 when you targetted something for AF it asked Use Main Gun: Yes/No.

This gave you a clear option better than Target Light, IMO. In my most recent QB a vehicle equipped with a 14.5mm MG failed to fire it at all, using the 7.62mm coax instead, which wasn’t what I wanted to penetrate the target.

 

7. Morale

Few enemy troops, even single crew survivors from destroyed vehicles have no compunction about taking on entire squads in firefights. I find that hard to believe. Individuals manning launchers continue fighting even when there is only 1 crew left. My hellish arty bombardment (see below) fails to deter troops from firing. Even though we know from WW2 etc that soldiers really hate and fear prolonged arty bombardment because they can’t do anything about it.

 

8. The Tank Gavotte Sedately

 

I order my M1A2 SEP2 Abrams into attack, 2 forward and two back on overwatch.

Something paints them with a laser. The front two pop smoke and go backwards.

I order the other two forward, they move, then pop smoke and retreat. Repeat as necessary.

 

You can have hours of non-fun with this, I tell you.

 

9. Air Attack

 

This is particularly important in relation to air attack/defence. In WW2 games it didn’t seem to matter much – the planes just came over and strafed or dropped a bomb, in a stylised manner and didn’t affect the game much. That is no longer the case.

Yet none of my troops tell me they are under air attack and it isn’t easy to tell by the rotor blade sound where the aircraft are. Surely AA troops like MANPADS would report things like: “enemy helo hit – that’s a kill, it’s going down in flames” “Missile missed target. Aircraft is retreating south and firing countermeasures”

You simply have no idea what is going on, or what to do to counter it. Nor can you call for fighters if you are being plagued by enemy attack aircraft. As the helos often seem to attack directly from the rear, notionally they are in my air defence zone, and should get a hot reception, surely?

My own attack helicopters often seem to not attack the target but do not communicate this with the ground, you just hear “ingressing to attack position; coming in hot” or something like that over and over again, when a real pilot would tell ground control what the problem is – no target sighted, too near to friendlies etc etc. If you knew what was happening you could abort the mission or redesignate a target.

If this is in the battle AI anyway, it’s just a matter of adding a few pilot voice files.

Also, they only seem to use ATGMs, and do not fire the cannon(s) or rockets. I’ve only played a few games so this may be an unusual result.

 

10. Artillery - (the skanky Teen of Battles? :-) - sorry couldn't resist...

 

I have found that this is hopelessly ineffective, both mine and the enemy’s. WW2 CM1 arty, less accurate surely than today’s and smaller - 105mm / 25pdrs, etc, I found to be pretty deadly, a force multiplier, when aimed well. Modern 155’s are about as useful as flour bombs.

General/Personnel: surely this should be ground burst / air burst? That doesn’t seem like proper military language (though I stand to be corrected on this).

 

uchoym9eycbz1hrzg.jpgSee Photo

You can't see the vehicles here as this is after my drone got whacked, but they are still there.

I have fired over 100 155mm rounds ground burst and 12+ PGMs at the main objective town (Tomahawk) in Into The Gauntlet. It has had minimal effect on the BTRs. I knocked out one. Aiming point target on a building (centre left, with HQ flag) didn’t score a single hit. PGMs seem to have about a 10% chance of hitting 3 did for a Tunguska but the rest no effect, and near misses do sod all. All the BTRs have shell craters all around them, yet not a sausage of damage afaik. One of them is 100% OK because when I attacked it with my infantry it reversed at high speed, firing its 30mm very effectively. People have posted here about the real effect of arty on vehicles – imo the BTRs should have their tyres shredded, suspension and engines damaged, sights and aerials smashed and possible gun damage and crew concussion/shrapnel injuries. Not happening.

Also, every armoured vehicle just sat there, rather than exiting the beaten zone quickly.

The enemy artillery seems pretty pathetic too.

 

http://sill-www.army.mil/firesbulletin/archives/2002/NOV_DEC_2002/NOV_DEC_2002_FULL_EDITION.pdf

 

Hat tip: Forward Observer

Quote: “The model predicted 30 percent damage to armored vehicles and tanks; however, 67 percent damage was achieved. Fragmentation from the HE rounds penetrated the armored vehicles, destroying critical components and injuring the manikin crews. (See an example of such damage in Figure 1.) In addition, the HE fragmentation damaged tracks, road wheels, and tank main gun sights and set one vehicle on fire. Interestingly enough, none of the damage to the armored vehicles or tanks was the result of direct hits—all the damage was caused by near hits”

 

11. Gaming issues

It would be helpful in the game, perhaps not the same as in the real world, to know what incoming you are taking.

It would be nice to have different colours of tracer for each adversary, I know this isn’t “realistic” but otherwise it can be hard to tell who is shooting at who.

Likewise rocket trails for unguided AT rockets and ATGMs. From videos they seem to fly quite slowly and (the Russian ones) spiral in as they attack. If, after your AFV blows up, you see a smoke trail, you would know what hit you. I find it annoying to have no idea what destroyed your vehicle, which I would have thought would be obvious to the troops nearby.* If your tank is hit by a high velocity tank round, then by not seeing other indicators, you would be able to discern what had happened.

*If I am wrong I am sure people on this board will enlighten me.

 

Conclusion

There are, in my view, serious deficiencies in CMBS’ programming which can make it a grim grind, and a lack of information which unsuspends disbelief and does not make for an enjoyable game. Or at least enough of one that I would have more enthusiasm play it a lot. The sheer deadliness of the weapons makes caution essential, which means a plodding game, which means that you don’t meet the full mission objectives, which in turn means less player satisfaction. I end up not finishing games because the enjoyment has run out. This rarely happened with CM1.

So this seems quite retrograde compared to CM1. I’d be happy if points 1, 9 and 10 were actioned.

I am a bit disappointed that a newer game from the same illustrious stable did not match up to its predecessor. I hope this doesn’t sound too negative – I realise making “limited edition Grognard-friendly games” is difficult and compromises have to be made, but I would give CMBS only 3 ½ to 4 stars, whereas I rate CM1 as five.

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Um... no. CMx1 was Pong compared to vastly superior CMx2 game engine. Much of what you ascribe to CMx1 was your interpretation of highly abstracted functions that were limited in the extreme.

Fond memories of CMx1 reminds me of people idealizing their first high school girlfriend from 20 years ago and lamenting how they've never been able to meet another woman who matched her.

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Posted (edited)

Cool we have not had a discussion like this in a while. I think many of my comments will not be particularly helpful to you (what I like you don't and visa versa) but some might (I see a few that are just - oh I can explain that). By way of introduction I played the CM1 games AK and BB for only a year or so because I didn't find out about them until CMBN was announced. I played and really liked them while waiting for CMBN and then I finished any on going games and never looked back. I liked CM2 games that much better than CM1 games. I cannot think of any feature in CM1 that I really missed or thought was totally off in CM2. I will be interested in seeing if you remind me of any :)

 

17 hours ago, JulianJ said:

1. Gaming Facilities that have been lost:

 

CM1 Had:

The Line of Sight LOS indicator (Blue): this was useful to gauge the terrain and could be converted into a target command where necessary. In CMBS you can do the same with the Target command but you have to cancel it all the time when you don’t want to fire. Irritating.

I just don't feel this pain at all. In fact if you asked me I would have said I was sure that CM1 used a targeting command too for LOS. Apparently my memory is off. After a while you just get used to right clicking or escaping to cancel. Man I have no idea what cancels a target command it is so much muscle memory now my brain has no idea what cancel is. In other words I got used to it and never notice this difference anymore.

 

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The Win/Lose Percentage Bar: this gave you an indication how well you were doing in the battle. It wasn’t always right, you might suddenly jump from 40% winning to 80% after destroying the last enemy tank but it was helpful. If you were losing you needed to consider changing tactics/plans.

The Objective Flags. When attacking an objective location you could see an enemy flag change to a ? and then your own side’s flag. It meant that you knew when you had captured a location, even if there were still enemy troops about, they were in a bad way; you also knew if the flag didn’t change you’d missed a bunker or foxhole or something where some enemies were still holding out valiantly.

While I never complained about the way CM1 works I have to say *not* having these in the new game makes it better IMHO. If I don't have eyes looking at the right things why should I be rewarded with knowing the status of an objective? I know the answer to that - I should not. ;)

The less certainty and more fog of war in CM2 games is on of the things I really, really like. I never missed those things.

 

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2. UI issues

There seems no requirement to put in the briefing the time when the mission should start. I think that’s pretty obligatory with armies, makes any schedule of reinforcements bizarre.

I played several games before I found the time is actually in tiny figures on the Compass in the top right of the screen! Whaaat? What idiot uses their compass to tell the time? It could have just said Time: 0600 or whatever below the compass in bigger type, or had a military watch graphic.

Time should probably be in the briefing. But you are correct it is not required. Might be an improvement.

Yeah that compass is not a compass. I ef'n hate that bloody thing - which is why I got a mod and never looked back. Since it is not a compass and you can mod it you can make a higher contrast background for the time and make the "view direction indicator" look like what it is - a view direction indicator :). I am going to have to look up that mod since it was part of a package and I only use that one part.

 

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3. Inconsistent interface for casualties

Infantry get labelled casualty, but vehicle crew just disappear. Tiny coloured blobs are not helpful.

Yeah. Guys who get buddy aided also disappear. What fun. You are correct it is a bit odd that things are not as consistent but small potatoes? I feel like it is, maybe :)

 

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If I set a target arc, it happens at the start of the move, not where my troops end up. You used to be able to click on the end of the move line and add another command.

You absolutely can do that. Give a unit a move order then select that way point and give it a target, target arc, face command etc. Rinse and repeat and you can do a ton of cool stuff. Having tanks drive along with their turrets pointing to the side is just one cool example.

 

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Why do weapons turn brown? Is it because the soldier is pooping his panties? That’s the only explanation I can think of but I haven’t found it in the manual.

Those guys are lightly injured. It is in the manual - going to have to look that up later, unless some one beats me to it.

 

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What is rattled? It says Shaken in the manual. Are they the same and why did it change?

Also in the manual Shaken and Panic are temporary states for when bad things happen to your men. Once that temporary effect ends their condition is reflected by one of the states of OK, cautious, nervous, rattled or broken. That is from memory so I could have the order wrong and be missing something.

Basically bad stuff happens and your OK troops become shaken. If they get a break the will recover their composure but they might not be OK any more. Dropping out of OK can also happen because they know bad things have happened to their comrades too - the state can change even with out bad things happening to them directly.

 

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4. Fatigue

Some of my troops got fatigued, and became exhausted, when all they were doing was hiding in the woods near the enemy. I moved them around a bit sometimes but not much. Mostly they were having a smoke, talking about women, and how bad the MREs are.

Also, an MG team were deployed, and re-deployed twice, not moving more than 100 m, in 20 mins of battle, most of the time lying down. They came under fire a couple of times but were not hit. Now they are Exhausted. I carry heavy cameras around on tripods for much longer than that, and I am overweight and unfit! This is silly.

Yeah, that is either a bug or they were moving. It is highly unlikely to be a bug. I don't have a direct explanation since there is not enough info there and no game saves to look at but they were moving or under combat pressure and forced to move. Just because you didn't see it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

 

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5. Information

Clearly there is a lack of realism about information reaching the commander.

I can’t access a breakdown of my own casualties, nor an estimate of enemy casualties as the battle goes on. What battle commander never has this information? Again the earlier Win/Lose bar was helpful, but you could have an Orbat screen where units are listed say from green to red depending on what their state was.

My troops never report what sort of attack is going on – e.g. mortar, arty, or air, or small arms fire from a location. This would be helpful. Many other games have an information update, where messages come up in the “dashboard”. This would be easier than recording voices for messages. In WW2, with its much lower amount of comms equipment, especially at the beginning, it isn’t so noticeable but now, with comms at even the lowest military level, it is anachronistic.

Yep, an often requested feature. I personally have some desire for an order of battle and maybe even some indication that "stuff is happening" but I really don't want messages that artillery is dropping on unit xyz or similar. That's my opinion obviously.

 

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6. Area Fire

In CM1 you could target area fire exactly on a particular spot, that is even if you couldn’t see an enemy you could splatter the area around them and suppress them, even if you couldn’t hit them. Or ricochet bullets into somewhere. In CMBS the indicator shifts, so you can’t place the fire precisely. I wanted to fire an MG into a house, with other infantry area firing down the alley outside the side door, so when the soldiers bugged out, they would be cut down. That wasn’t possible and all the fire hit the front of the house so everybody escaped.

Yeah, CM2 games do that too. In CM2 games you have to pick an "action square" to target but the shooters spread their fire around. Bullets fall short go long too. In CM2 you definitely can cause suppression of the enemy even with close but not quite targeting. I know you *feel* like you are getting worse fidelity in your targeting but you really are not. CM1 games were highly abstract and CM2 games are really not. So while you might feel like you have more precision in CM1 I can assure you that is not the case at all.

 

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In CM1 when you targetted something for AF it asked Use Main Gun: Yes/No.

This gave you a clear option better than Target Light, IMO. In my most recent QB a vehicle equipped with a 14.5mm MG failed to fire it at all, using the 7.62mm coax instead, which wasn’t what I wanted to penetrate the target.

Target vs Target Light does this now. But you are also not totally wrong, especially CMBS where there are sometimes more than two weapons systems and one or more of them have vastly different uses. This comes up and various kinds of solutions have been discussed. For the sake of humans not being able to get even more of an advantage over the AI the stance has been - lets make the Tac AI make as good a choice we can under the guidance of target vs target light and the actual target. Honestly it works pretty well and us human gamers who are micro managers really shouldn't have that control. Those decisions will be made by the crews and they might not make the ideal calls every time. They might even make a better choice than you sometimes. Better to let the TC make their own decision. After all its his crew's life that is on the line :D

 

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7. Morale

Few enemy troops, even single crew survivors from destroyed vehicles have no compunction about taking on entire squads in firefights. I find that hard to believe. Individuals manning launchers continue fighting even when there is only 1 crew left. My hellish arty bombardment (see below) fails to deter troops from firing. Even though we know from WW2 etc that soldiers really hate and fear prolonged arty bombardment because they can’t do anything about it.

Hummm. Crews forced out of vehicles are still a bit dangerous but that is way better now than it was in CMBN 1.0. Probably still not perfect. Troops firing under an artillery barrage: I cannot say that I have felt that to be an issue. They tend to keep a low profile or run - at least for me.

 

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8. The Tank Gavotte Sedately

I order my M1A2 SEP2 Abrams into attack, 2 forward and two back on overwatch.

Something paints them with a laser. The front two pop smoke and go backwards.

I order the other two forward, they move, then pop smoke and retreat. Repeat as necessary.

 

You can have hours of non-fun with this, I tell you.

Yeah sucks to have a crew who knows their day is about to end badly pull back and protect themselves. :) The short version is this what tankers have said would be the behaviour. Imagine you are the TC and your system just told you that you were about to be hit by an unknown weapon.

Two important things to know about this:

1) If the tank crew has identified a target and are engaging it - they will not abandon that targeting they will follow through. Yeah, thanks laser detection system, I already know I am staring down the barrel of that T90- thanks. In other words they know they can do something about this guy who is targeting them.

2) If the tank crew has a fast move order they will also ignore the warning and continue. The TC has determined that moving to the new location is more important or safer than reacting.

I think you can use that knowledge and those facts to increase your level of fun.

 

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9. Air Attack

This is particularly important in relation to air attack/defence. In WW2 games it didn’t seem to matter much – the planes just came over and strafed or dropped a bomb, in a stylised manner and didn’t affect the game much. That is no longer the case.

Yet none of my troops tell me they are under air attack and it isn’t easy to tell by the rotor blade sound where the aircraft are. Surely AA troops like MANPADS would report things like: “enemy helo hit – that’s a kill, it’s going down in flames” “Missile missed target. Aircraft is retreating south and firing countermeasures”

You simply have no idea what is going on, or what to do to counter it. Nor can you call for fighters if you are being plagued by enemy attack aircraft. As the helos often seem to attack directly from the rear, notionally they are in my air defence zone, and should get a hot reception, surely?

Yeah I don't think we should know what is going on. Many of the systems that would hit ground targets come from so far away people on the ground might not even hear the aircraft. And those that are delivered close could come from any direction. This guys are flying after all :)

Confusing is good. I like it anyway.

 

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My own attack helicopters often seem to not attack the target but do not communicate this with the ground, you just hear “ingressing to attack position; coming in hot” or something like that over and over again, when a real pilot would tell ground control what the problem is – no target sighted, too near to friendlies etc etc. If you knew what was happening you could abort the mission or redesignate a target.

If this is in the battle AI anyway, it’s just a matter of adding a few pilot voice files.

That is really mostly for flavour. It is not meant as a detailed communication.

 

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Also, they only seem to use ATGMs, and do not fire the cannon(s) or rockets. I’ve only played a few games so this may be an unusual result.

Yep, eventually you will see all the fun stuff coming from the air.

 

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10. Artillery - (the skanky Teen of Battles? :-) - sorry couldn't resist...

I have found that this is hopelessly ineffective, both mine and the enemy’s. WW2 CM1 arty, less accurate surely than today’s and smaller - 105mm / 25pdrs, etc, I found to be pretty deadly, a force multiplier, when aimed well. Modern 155’s are about as useful as flour bombs.

General/Personnel: surely this should be ground burst / air burst? That doesn’t seem like proper military language (though I stand to be corrected on this).

Well I hate it when my guys are hit by artillery. I would not call it ineffective. I have no idea of the correct terminology either. I think we all agree that artillery control is a simplification since it is Combat Mission not Forward Observer.

 

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See Photo

You can't see the vehicles here as this is after my drone got whacked, but they are still there.

I have fired over 100 155mm rounds ground burst and 12+ PGMs at the main objective town (Tomahawk) in Into The Gauntlet. It has had minimal effect on the BTRs. I knocked out one. Aiming point target on a building (centre left, with HQ flag) didn’t score a single hit. PGMs seem to have about a 10% chance of hitting 3 did for a Tunguska but the rest no effect, and near misses do sod all. All the BTRs have shell craters all around them, yet not a sausage of damage afaik. One of them is 100% OK because when I attacked it with my infantry it reversed at high speed, firing its 30mm very effectively. People have posted here about the real effect of arty on vehicles – imo the BTRs should have their tyres shredded, suspension and engines damaged, sights and aerials smashed and possible gun damage and crew concussion/shrapnel injuries. Not happening.

Also, every armoured vehicle just sat there, rather than exiting the beaten zone quickly.

Yeah, something seems off here. BTRs do not fair well under bombardment. Are yous sure they were OK? They don't have to be burning wrecks to be seriously damaged.

 

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The enemy artillery seems pretty pathetic too.

LOL and other people keep saying its too powerful. I have no idea if its right or wrong but BFC pays attention to solid evidence and have made many changes due to our discussions in the past on many topics. You seem to have found a few about artillery effects.

 

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11. Gaming issues

It would be helpful in the game, perhaps not the same as in the real world, to know what incoming you are taking.

I disagree. I prefer to keep it more confusing. True not as confusing at the real world where 90% of the you have no idea who is shooting at you at all - just that they are over behind that wall.

 

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It would be nice to have different colours of tracer for each adversary, I know this isn’t “realistic” but otherwise it can be hard to tell who is shooting at who.

In the game now. There is white, red and green. Or is one of them yellow? Damn I don't remember who has what colour but the US, Rus and UK are different already. Oh and I think those colours are based on the colours they actually use.

BTW in the game each round looks like a tracer which is not consistent with real life - this is in the game because it would be to difficult for us to figure out what was happening otherwise.

 

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Likewise rocket trails for unguided AT rockets and ATGMs. From videos they seem to fly quite slowly and (the Russian ones) spiral in as they attack. If, after your AFV blows up, you see a smoke trail, you would know what hit you. I find it annoying to have no idea what destroyed your vehicle, which I would have thought would be obvious to the troops nearby.* If your tank is hit by a high velocity tank round, then by not seeing other indicators, you would be able to discern what had happened.

*If I am wrong I am sure people on this board will enlighten me.

Yeah I think you are. But I'm no expert either so I'll let someone else make a more definitive statement.

 

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Conclusion

There are, in my view, serious deficiencies in CMBS’ programming which can make it a grim grind, and a lack of information which unsuspends disbelief and does not make for an enjoyable game. Or at least enough of one that I would have more enthusiasm play it a lot. The sheer deadliness of the weapons makes caution essential, which means a plodding game, which means that you don’t meet the full mission objectives, which in turn means less player satisfaction. I end up not finishing games because the enjoyment has run out. This rarely happened with CM1.

Sorry to hear you are not enjoying it as much. I feel the exact opposite. As soon as I played on game in CMBN I never wanted to play a CM1 game again. And after I finished my commitments I never have. Some of the difference could be comparing a WW2 game to modern combat game. The weapons systems in CMBS *are* way deadlier and you really *do* need to be more careful. But you said you played CMBN so I suppose not all of your disappointment can be chalked up to that.

 

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So this seems quite retrograde compared to CM1. I’d be happy if points 1, 9 and 10 were actioned.

Again I totally disagree. I forget what 1, 9 and 10 are now so I'll just say that I am happy that BFC continue to make things better in both the UI and the game play. Sure I have my list of things I want worked on too, sounds like mine are different than yours.

 

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I am a bit disappointed that a newer game from the same illustrious stable did not match up to its predecessor. I hope this doesn’t sound too negative – I realise making “limited edition Grognard-friendly games” is difficult and compromises have to be made, but I would give CMBS only 3 ½ to 4 stars, whereas I rate CM1 as five.

Yeah, I feel the exact opposite. I love CM2 games and never want to play the CM1 games again.

Edited by IanL
Fixed typo T98 -> T90

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, JulianJ said:

1.

The Line of Sight LOS indicator (Blue): this was useful to gauge the terrain and could be converted into a target command where necessary. In CMBS you can do the same with the Target command but you have to cancel it all the time when you don’t want to fire. Irritating.

4. Fatigue

Some of my troops got fatigued, and became exhausted, when all they were doing was hiding in the woods near the enemy. I moved them around a bit sometimes but not much. Mostly they were having a smoke, talking about women, and how bad the MREs are.

Also, an MG team were deployed, and re-deployed twice, not moving more than 100 m, in 20 mins of battle, most of the time lying down. They came under fire a couple of times but were not hit. Now they are Exhausted. I carry heavy cameras around on tripods for much longer than that, and I am overweight and unfit! This is silly.

Conclusion

...but I would give CMBS only 3 ½ to 4 stars, whereas I rate CM1 as five.

In the main, I agree with almost everything IanL has said above.

To address just these couple of points :

1) Here I agree with you just a tiny little bit - in that if a vehicle does not have a gun, it cannot Target and thus check LoS. However, the times I'm likely to move a unarmed vehicle ( truck/jeep etc. ) close to harm's way are very few and far between, so I can live with it. Plus there are workarounds.
 But under normal circumstances, waving the Target line around to check LoS without clicking on the ground means it is easy to right-click to eliminate it.

4) Do you know what fitness state those troops were ? If they were "Weakened" ( -1 in the little box in the UI, see arrow in pic below ) or "Unfit" ( -2 ), they will get Tired and worse VERY FAST. Moving in woods is particularly tiring if the ground cover is heavy.

CMFI.jpg

Conclusion

I would have rated CM1 as five - back in the day, before CM2 games came out. Now it is simply dated. Also, we tend to have rose tinted memories - I can recall teeth-grinding frustrations with CM1 too :lol:

Edited by Baneman

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, IanL said:

After a while you just get used to right clicking or escaping to cancel. Man I have no idea what cancels a target command it is so much muscle memory now my brain has no idea what cancel is. In other words I got used to it and never notice this difference anymore.

I payed attention while I was playing today - its right click I use to cancel the targeting tool. I also use right click to cancel laying down way points for a move as well.

 

16 hours ago, IanL said:

Also in the manual Shaken and Panic are temporary states for when bad things happen to your men.

Page 64 of the CM Engine Manual v4.00.pdf "Self-Preservation" talks about becoming shaken, paniced etc. But you are right I see no mention of the normal states. Thankfully one of our most helpful forum members has written a definitive work on the subject @Josey Wales :

 

16 hours ago, IanL said:

Yeah that compass is not a compass. I ef'n hate that bloody thing - which is why I got a mod and never looked back. Since it is not a compass and you can mod it you can make a higher contrast background for the time and make the "view direction indicator" look like what it is - a view direction indicator :). I am going to have to look up that mod since it was part of a package and I only use that one part.

I forgot to look this up while playing but looking in the mods list I found it. I took it from Marco's silhouette mod. I personally do not use the sihouette's but I love his "view direction indicator". I made a tweak to help with reading the time and I use it for all my CM2 games.

http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=1751

ViewDirection.png.fcdadb80681eaec73d223db29ecec795.png

Edited by IanL

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Glad that Ian provided that link.  Marco Bergman's UI mods (esp the option that gives range and caliber of weapons) are essential imo and give the UI a much more polished look. 

Recommend one gets all his versions for the other CM2 games as well.

(Wonder what happened to Marco - he is one of the very talented CM2 modders who disappeared.)

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, IanL said:
Quote

Why do weapons turn brown? Is it because the soldier is pooping his panties? That’s the only explanation I can think of but I haven’t found it in the manual.

Those guys are lightly injured. It is in the manual - going to have to look that up later, unless some one beats me to it.

Brown is the color of death. Green: fine, Yellow: light wound, Red: heavy wound, Brown: dead. Weapons (in the UI, as in what each team member's main firearm is) only have two states, green for fine, and yellow for lightly wounded, anything worse and the icon is removed. So I don't even know what the complaint is on this one. I can't say I ever saw a brown weapon.

 

1 hour ago, Erwin said:

(Wonder what happened to Marco - he is one of the very talented CM2 modders who disappeared.)

As far as I know Marco does work for BFC so he's probably busy doing textures and such for one of the upcoming releases. Basically, anytime you are playing something he's worked on you are using one of his mods. He did the awesome US Stuart in CMFI as well as the camo Shermans. He usually releases his UI mod a few weeks after a new title/module comes out.

 

Mord.

Edited by Mord

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I think the objective flags are a great idea. I often disagree with the game regarding who controls which point -- in AAR. It would be nice to have optional feedback.

Aircraft models would be a dream come true.

Not sure I agree with the artillery bit. I have taken out T-90s with precision strikes. The air-burst munitions will turn infantry into mince-meat. I will say that I find conventional artillery more effective in the WW2 era -- where it absolutely wrecks everything.

I do find the casualty system confusing at times. I usually count any wounded crew as dead, idk what happens to them past yellow. It's be cool to haves specialized medics in certain squads that can take care of anyone who is hurt. Maybe able to drag wounded crew from damaged/destroyed vehicles? 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mord said:

Brown is the color of death. Green: fine, Yellow: light wound, Red: heavy wound, Brown: dead.

Oops yeah. From the CM Engine Manual v4.00.pdf  page 36 under "Team Info Panel"

Quote

The color of the Weapon icon in the panel denotes the general health of the Soldier. Green means the Soldier is in good shape, though perhaps a little banged up. Yellow means that the soldier has sustained a significant wound that is likely to impair his ability to fight. Incapacitated Soldiers have a red “Casualty” text above their Weapon icon. These Soldiers are so seriously wounded that they are no longer able to fight, move, or perform other actions. The Soldier’s base within the Game Area also shows Green, Yellow, Red (incapacitated) and Brown (dead) to reflect his Wound status. If you point the cursor at a weapon, the name of the weapon is displayed and that soldier’s base is subtly highlighted in the main 3D display.

Note that the weapon colour in the UI can only be green or yellow. Anyone who is incapacitated or dead gets a red casualty indicator on top of their yellow rifle. To make matters worse in CMBS the colours are actually grey and mustard yellow.

So, when @JulianJ said brown rifle I thought he actually was talking about the mustard yellow lightly wounded rifle symbol. And I still think that is what he meant except he called it brown instead of yellow. Probably because it looks brown :D

Edited by IanL
spelling - of course

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I forgot about the casualty text. Been a while since I've played. I stand corrected.

I think between the two of us we have cleared up one of the issues. LOL.

 

 

Mord.

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Thanks to everyone who contributed, and particularly to IanL for answering in depth, even if we disagree on several matters.

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OK OK! Enough with the brown.....I'll take another look next time I play, but I feel quite strongly that the colour is not what I would describe as mustard yellow. :-)  I get the picture though, so that is er....cleared up.....

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I looked at the guns in the UI. I can see that they could be, at a stretch,  described as mustard yellow, although I would say brownish.  I see how this all fits now.  Also, the @JoseyWales posting was excellent and cleared a lot up.  I can't see how to give him +1 rep though.  I tried clicking on that.

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20 hours ago, JulianJ said:

OK OK! Enough with the brown.....I'll take another look next time I play, but I feel quite strongly that the colour is not what I would describe as mustard yellow. :-)  I get the picture though, so that is er....cleared up.....

LOL - yeah my wife and I often have a discussion about what is brown vs orange vs mustard vs whatever colour name some designer picked :D

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16 minutes ago, JulianJ said:

I can't see how to give him +1 rep though.  I tried clicking on that.

If you mouse over the heart in the lower right of the post a coloured green arrow and a blue heart should appear. Click on the green up arrow and you have up voted his post. I still have no idea why there are two ways to up vote but they both seems to end up with the same thing.

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I've been playing quite a few QBs, to test out different units and equipment.  I do think arty is underpowered and I'm now thinking somewhat inaccurate.  PGMS seem to almost certainly miss.

I was playing Russia v Ukraine most recently.  

I had 6 SP 82 mm mortar carriers.  Because of the length of time for observed fire and my FOOs were not getting into good positions, I moved the vehicles to the edge of woods and used direct fire on targets, where I knew enemy forces were.

It seems  that the  first turn the mortar is setting up, and then it fires next turn.  The fire seems to be much more inaccurate than I would expect for direct fire. Also you don't seem to be able to set ground/air burst - it's all ground burst.  I expended 201 82mm HE rounds and caused 8 casualties.  8! 

Many of these fires were on one particular enemy location.  Which was - I thought -given a thorough pasting with both direct and mortar fire.  After the Ukrainians surrendered, I had a look round the battlefield and there were still around 20 enemy troops at this objective, some quite unharmed.  The mortar fire had been very ineffective (similar to the 155mm I mentioned above).  

I know that artillery can overpower a game and make it not fun, but this seems to have gone the other way. I was under the impression that mortars and arty were great infantry killers.

 

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8 hours ago, JulianJ said:

It seems  that the  first turn the mortar is setting up, and then it fires next turn.  The fire seems to be much more inaccurate than I would expect for direct fire. Also you don't seem to be able to set ground/air burst - it's all ground burst.  I expended 201 82mm HE rounds and caused 8 casualties.  8! 
 

 

 

It could be worse if you were playing WWII, and it would have been 80 casualties :unsure:...Someone didn't get the Memo to switch around the Modern & WWII Arty calculations.

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Posted (edited)
On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 1:06 PM, DerKommissar said:

I will say that I find conventional artillery more effective in the WW2 era -- where it absolutely wrecks everything. 

 

Yeap, and I also agree that WWII Arty/Direct Fire is a little over-modeled, and wrecks everything compared to Modern :unsure:

I wonder if it has anything to do with v4 Upgrade and the New Infantry Spacing...Maybe, when the Upgrade gets fixed it will alleviate some of these issues. 

Edited by JoMc67

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11 hours ago, JulianJ said:

PGMS seem to almost certainly miss.

I have had the opposite experience - at least with 120mm mortars which seem very accurate when using precision rounds.  

However, I found that for regular HE and smoke rounds - using drones to spot for the 120mm mortars resulted in a lot of spotting rounds and then very inaccurate FFE results.  Even for a point or linear target one gets craters and smoke all over the place.  

This is odd since one would think that a drone would easily spot where rounds are falling and make it easy and quick (few spotting rounds needed) to adjust for accurate FFE.  

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the feature I liked from cm1 was its relative total war coverage. but cm2 is by far the more real game ad infinitum. that said it would be nice if cm2 had two player campaigns or a smarter meeting engagement ai.  that said both games are fun but cm2 is just so much more locally speaking.

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The OPs post screams "learn to play" so loud that my ears are bleeding. Whatever meaningful points and observations he acutally manages to raise are drowned out by his ramblings consisting of opinions disgused as fact, influenced by a complete failure (or will) to understand even basic premises behind the design philosophy of the CM2-series, nor the subject matter covered by CM:BS. Waste of space.  

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