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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

It's not. That's a bowling alley with no room for maneuver. 

 

The attached photo is what a typical Steel Beasts scenario map looks like, with a (red) overlayed 4x4 km CM map area.

That is an example of the space required for a modern Combat Team (MBT & IFV) to maneuver. 

 

Edit: this is not a CM vs SB dig, just an example using another game that uses modern armor.

OlzAjSn.jpg

Knowing nothing about a modern Combat Team, what would the make up of this Combat Team be? I tried to zoom in on the image to see what the blue unit markers represented but they are too small to see clearly.

Edited by Heirloom_Tomato

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Posted (edited)

Ooh Ooh I love these kinds of games. Let me take a swing at it. From what I can identify from top to bottom: 

Unsure of HQs

Looks like a light mech inf team (M113s?)

Then a mechanized artillery gun team

Heavy armored scout team (Cavalry Bradleys?)

Unsure of the following three

An armored company - 3 platoons

Two heavy mech infantry platoons (Bradleys?)

Aaand besides the armored engineers my shot is over.

How'd I do boss?

 

Also on a side note that map is 19 x 6 km with a few hundred meters to spare. That's 114 sq km. Which is a little over 4 1/2 larger than the largest map I've been able to load a scenario in on CMBS. However, even at 5 x 5 km, the map still runs very comfortably. Steve earlier mentioned the engine is reaching its limits.. Not in fps! :)

I guess time will tell if CMSF2 will offer any improvement (Not that I'm expecting it!) as we typically see with the progression of the titles. I haven't been able to stand playing CMSF with how laggy the camera gets with larger maps. 

Edited by Artkin

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This is where it pays to be mostly interested in infantry combat.  :D  a 2 km sq map is HUGE.  I am testing out on a 500 by 300 meter map.  I have a platoon of infantry engaged with another joining up.  I am in heavy combat struggling to establish a perimeter that is simply too much ground to cover. (The area I am trying to actually defend is maybe 130 x 130 meters).  I am concerned about ammo usage as my transport is too vulnerable to bring forward so I will have to break off teams to fetch more further weakening my line.  As Ken would say - GLORIOUS!!!! 

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17 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

You and I used to talk via email. It was after my first Iraq deployment in 2007. Aside from two additional deployments (also on Strykers) life has been busy.

Ah!  You changed your forum name since then.  Connection made.

Quote

Edit - I never had the chance to send you that pair of ASUs that you asked me for.

Not a problem, I sourced another.  Now, of course, there's enough out there to carpet Texas.

Back to the discussion...

I've studied land warfare seriously for about 30 years and for the last 20 years day in and day out designing simulations of it.  Simulations which have no shortage of critics, many of whom are in uniform and have combat experience.  From feedback it is pretty clear that Combat Mission does a credible job of simulating warfare.  Ergo, as one of its principle designers (and on the "art of war" side, the primary designer) I must have a credible grasp of the subject matter despite not having served.  Which is why I challenged you to stop lobbing one liners and instead have a discussion.  You've done that.  Good!  I've been down this road many times before with many "manueverists", so I'll shake some dust off and go in once again to a fairly familiar discussion (I have my predictions how this well end, BTW :) )
 

Let me state that I definitely agree there is a case to make for having more maneuver room in CM. But the case for Combat Mission benefiting from that extra room is narrow and the sacrifices required to provide it unacceptable for our customers.  Therefore, large map sizes has never been and never will be a priority for us even though we have progressively increased the map sizes over time.

As I said before, there's been almost no change in engagement ranges since WW2.  To a large extent there's been little change in tactical warfare in general, maneuver included.  What there has been is a MASSIVE increase in lethality within those ranges a MASSIVE increase in the sources of lethality, and a MASSIVE increase in operational capabilities.  People who have played both the WW2 and Modern settings of Combat Mission can easily see that.

Yes, yes, yes... I know that games like Battlefield 2 and Steel Beasts have much bigger battlespaces.  Because of what each is trying to do, and not trying to do, that makes total sense for them.  If Combat Mission were trying to be a First Person Shooter or a vehicle sim, we'd be in big trouble with our current map sizes.  And if players of either Battlefield 2 or Steel Beasts were looking for the sorts of intense tactical combined arms situations our customers are looking for, they'd be in big trouble no matter how big their maps are.

Besides the technical strain of simulating huge battlefields in the sort of detail Combat Mission has, if you allow one player lots of room to maneuver, you have to provide the other side with the ability to oppose/thwart/delay/frustrate/channel the maneuver.  Otherwise it's like shooting fish in a barrel for the side that has the ability to move.  Don't like those nasty defenses the defender's put up?  Drive 5km away from them and circle in around back.   Fun a couple of times, but it would wear thin very quickly if the player is interested in things like Fallujah or Ramadi, not to mention Normandy or Monte Cassino.  Maneuver space simply isn't important, or even a factor, in those sorts of battles.  Conversely, try simulating these sorts of battles in Battlefield 2 or Steel Beasts.  I don't expect it would be much fun more than a couple of times, or even possible once.

Combat Mission is designed to simulate the fight that happens from maneuver, not the maneuver that brings a force to the fight.  That's the way it's always been and always will be with Combat Mission for very good reasons.

Steve

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2 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Drive 5km away from them and circle in around back.

But if you do that then you will run into a different enemy unit. Oh wait, that's your point :)

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IDK, from my preliminary observations: CMSF 2 does exactly what it says on the tin: it's a "remastered" version of CMSF.

However, unlike many big-name "remastered" games -- I can say with some certainty that this one will be in a playable state at launch. *cough* Dark Souls 1 Remaster *cough*

Did anyone see the "new" Command & Conquer? Yeesh!

All that aside, I would like larger maps, better graphics and performance. Who wouldn't? But, I don't think it's fair to expect that from a remaster of a 2007 game.

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17 hours ago, IanL said:

I also have a game of korsun2017 on the go - that is pretty big. A mechanized battalion + attacking on a 3.6km by 3.6km map.

Just want to add a little to this. This is a modern match up and a battle on a map with rolling hills and forests. I have had a few engagements at around 2000m (ATGMs) which is basically hill top to hill top since that is the only place that has such LOS. I suppose if the map was bigger those same assets might have engaged targets on a previous hill. But the main point I wanted to make is that this map has a lot of choices for manoeuvre. I have activity going on along three possible routes - recon is out. I have picked a couple of near by routes as my main attack (they can support each other) and am manoeuvring my forces to take advantage of them.

What I am saying is it feels like there is room to manoeuvre.

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7 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

if you allow one player lots of room to maneuver, you have to provide the other side with the ability to oppose/thwart/delay/frustrate/channel the maneuver.  

This is a very good point for not going for huge maps right now. I don't think the AI forces would be able to handle that very well with the tools currently avaliable to the scenario designers..

Larger maps probably means larger forces and above all...more MOBILE forces !

The AIs inability to MOUNT any kind of transport to repossition would be a serious shortcomming. On smaller maps the AI can repossition on foot and it works pretty well
but with really large maps such repossitioning might very well be to slow.


Even if the AI could MOUNT vehicles the need for additional AI groups would be even bigger then now. In addition to the fighting forces... AI groups would need to be spent on the transports. 16 AI groups would not go very far...


The limitations of the current trigger system would also be felt more harshely on larger maps i belive. On smaller maps the AI-groups has a decent chans contributing to the fight even if their possitioning, movements and other actions might not be perfectly timed and directed

but on huge maps the need to be in 'the right place' at the right time doing 'the right ting' will be more important i belive...

To get huge maps to work decently well vs the AI we would probably also need to see these changes (atleast) to compliment ...better performance.

- Updated map-editor
- A MOUNT-option for the AI
- More AI-groups
- More trigger options (to help the AI better understand when, where, why to repossition, attack etc...)

 


 

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6 minutes ago, RepsolCBR said:

To get huge maps to work decently well vs the AI we would probably also need to see these changes (atleast) to compliment ...better performance.

- Updated map-editor
- A MOUNT-option for the AI
- More AI-groups
- More trigger options (to help the AI better understand when, where, why to repossition, attack etc...)

Sounds like a reasonable assessment. All doable of course but also shows that this would be more work than just "make the maps bigger".

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Some of the experience of playing on large maps requiring maneuver can be simulated though the cleverness of the map designer.  eg: The current 3K x 2.5K Tactical Ops Center map created by MOS is designed cleverly so that a great deal of mobility is required - making it "feel" like the player is maneuvering on a much larger map.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

Knowing nothing about a modern Combat Team, what would the make up of this Combat Team be? I tried to zoom in on the image to see what the blue unit markers represented but they are too small to see clearly.

A "combat team" is a Company-sized element that consists of its original forces (tanks or infantry) but is augmented with another force. Usually 2x Platoons of tanks, 1x Platoon of infantry or vice versa. I believe that photo is broken down into individual vehicles, but is the same composition. 

 

At higher echelons it is referred to as a Task Force; a Battalion-sized echelon with a mixture of Infantry and Armor forces. Usually 2x Companies of Tanks and 1x Company of Infantry or vice versa. 

Edited by Apocalypse 31

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9 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Combat Mission is designed to simulate the fight that happens from maneuver, not the maneuver that brings a force to the fight.

I think we are talking past each other when we use the word maneuver, which is understandable because every branch of the US military has its own definition of the word. 

 

From ADRP 1-02 Operational Terms and Graphics: 

Quote

Forms of maneuver – Distinct tactical combinations of fire and movement with a unique set of doctrinal characteristics that differ primarily in the relationship between the maneuvering force and the enemy. (ADRP 3-90)

...And how its defined among the US Department of Defense

Quote

Maneuver– (DOD)

1. A movement to place ships, aircraft, or land forces in a position of advantage over the enemy. See FM 3-07.

2. A tactical exercise carried out at sea, in the air, on the ground, or on a map in imitation of war. See FM 3-07.

3. The operation of a ship, aircraft, or vehicle, to cause it to perform desired movements. See FM 3-07, ATP 3-18.14.

4. Employment of forces in the operational area through movement in combination with fires to achieve a position of advantage in respect to the enemy. (JP 3-0) 

But the one I enjoy the most (ADRP 3-90)

Quote

The movement and maneuver warfighting function is the related tasks and systems that move and employ forces to achieve a position of relative advantage over the enemy and other threats (ADRP 3-0). Direct fire and close combat are inherent in maneuver.

 

so yeah...tomato / tomato

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10 hours ago, sburke said:

This is where it pays to be mostly interested in infantry combat.  :D  a 2 km sq map is HUGE.  

And it holds true in the military as well...

Infantrymen carry a 1:10,000 map, Tankers carry a 1:250,000 map.

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28 minutes ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

I think we are talking past each other when we use the word maneuver, which is understandable because every branch of the US military has its own definition of the word.

I don't think we are.  There's plenty of room for "tactical maneuver", such as shifting platoons around from one sector of front to another, exploiting breakthroughs (wherever the happen) with mobile assets, countering unexpected enemy activity with mobile assets, etc.  Fire, speed, use of terrain, etc. are all critical elements in getting good results.  That's always been a huge part of Combat Mission and will always be so. That fits your favorite definition of "maneuver" very well, I think.

The issue some "maneuverists" run into is that there's no hard and fast line between "tactical maneuver" and "operational maneuver".  I know because I've had this discussion many, many, many times over the last 20 years.  This is not a new topic at all.

Again, there's different types of sims for different types of combat.  There is no one sim that handles all forms of combat in all situations equally well.  Steel Beasts has its good points, it also has its limitations.  Battlefield 2 has its good points, it also has its limitations.  Combat Mission is no different.  As a player you have to pick and choose what sort of combat experience you want and select the game that best fits and accept the limitations of whichever choice you make.

Expecting Combat Mission to be as good as Steel Beasts, without its problem areas, *AND* as visually stunning as Battlefield 2, without its problem areas (or budget!!), *AND* not losing any of the things that makes the current Combat Mission worth playing setting... well... as your subject line states, you're pretty much assured "disappointment" because what you're looking for is impractical.

Steve

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I think this is similar to questions about echelon elements like signals, engineers, medical, logistics. I always though CM engagements started after recce and maneuver, and ended before vehicles were recovered from the AO, fully supply was established, etc.

As much as I would like a 50x50km area to operate in complete with little MPs directing traffic and cooks busy in the field kitchens, managing the forward elements of a battalion is already a big scale for the level of detail in the engine.

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Just now, Battlefront.com said:

 There's plenty of room for "tactical maneuver", such as shifting platoons around from one sector of front to another, exploiting breakthroughs (wherever the happen) with mobile assets, countering unexpected enemy activity with mobile assets, etc.  Fire, speed, use of terrain, etc. are all critical elements in getting good results.  That's always been a huge part of Combat Mission and will always be so. That fits your favorite definition of "maneuver" very well, I think.

With your WW2 titles, maybe. But I disagree when it comes to modern conflict within CMSF and CMBS. Every scenario with armored vehicles feels like a knife fight, with little room to move without becoming instantly engaged. It's one of the biggest frustrations I had with Black Sea and why the game no longer exists on my hard drive

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9 minutes ago, DougPhresh said:

As much as I would like a 50x50km area to operate in complete with little MPs directing traffic and cooks busy in the field kitchens, managing the forward elements of a battalion is already a big scale for the level of detail in the engine.

Right. Not even sure what you're talking about.

Nobody wants to road march into battle - that's boring and a waste of time. If you notice that screenshot I posted only has roughly 3km of buffer space between the Assault Position and the expected line of enemy contact. The cooks aren't there. 

But with that kind of space, it allows commanders to be creative with how they assault the enemy. God forbid I use the term maneuver again on this thread, people will think I mean rigging ballots. 

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Posted (edited)

Also, @Battlefront.com

 

I'm surprised the thread has lasted this long. Feel free to lock it and ban me at any time. Won't be offended. 

 

Where I come from and how I work, divergent opinions are welcomed and wanted. But this is the internet and not real life. 

Edited by Apocalypse 31

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Posted (edited)
On ‎6‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 11:34 AM, Apocalypse 31 said:

Really disappointed in what I've seen with SF2 screenshots.

 

Looks like the same old CM2 game engine. Call it upgrade 4, upgrade 100...or whatever it's called now. It's still the same engt that was developed in the late 1990s.

 

I was hoping for something more...perhaps a new game engine that would support larger maps, better terrain, better performance, better multiplayer.

 

Umm, No, but same CMSF Game Engine from the mid 2K timeframe :-)

Edited by JoMc67

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

Also, @Battlefront.com

I'm surprised the thread has lasted this long. Feel free to lock it and ban me at any time. Won't be offended. 

Where I come from and how I work, divergent opinions are welcomed and wanted. But this is the internet and not real life. 

No need to lock it as far as I'm concerned, I'm enjoying the back and forth, and as far as banning goes, why would he do that?  I think you have been firm in your opinions but not really insulting or rude.

As for "maneuver", well it can't be pinned down to a simple definition in the tactical context, are we discussing individual unit maneuver or formation maneuver?  Neither requires a huge amount of space... even with the LOS at the NTC individual units and formations can perform maneuver warfare in very small areas in order to improve their position in regards to an enemy.  Though I would love to play easily and smoothly on larger maps I rarely feel confined on the CMSF maps.  The CMSF 2 BETA AAR map is 1.5 km by 2.3 km and it feels plenty large to me even for modern warfare.  Sure some vehicles will be able to fire diagonally across the map with no problem, but that is going to be a rare occurrence I think, and most fire exchanged so far has been around or less than 1000 meters.  Even between tanks.

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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I am not a military expert but have played combat mission on and off for more then 3 years. More lately. I started with SF and progressed to BN. My responses to all this.

1 - It is a game. You want a simulator go to the high end stuff, but you’d need a PhD in military science to play it and a computer degree to understand it. I bought a couple of those “games” - not a lot of fun. (Plus most computers can’t handle the number crunching and the crash often)

2. Combat mission was originally designed for war world II - yes things more faster and fire at longer ranges now with more lethal charges to them - so fitting modern warfare into this engine is not optimal but playable (key word “playable” - people are not really dying) Does work better with wwII - more grunts on the ground.

3. There are “wider based” games that call themselves tactical out there - i.e. gravitan , total war, and others (I probably have them all or have played them at some time) They have bigger maps - more maneveurability and are all very good but lose something in the individual commands to troops. Every game I’ve played (started in the 1980’s with text base) give to get. So being a game you get what they say.

4. As for graphics - I think most “casual” gamers (i call myself that and most players are) actually don’t have computers to handle higher graphics. FPS like Steel Beast or Battlefield must have bigger graphics to immerse the person as overall group composition and movement is not as important.  I don’t think many people complain about the graphics - can they be better - I don’t know but my computer wouldn’t handle it. (I know some turn down graphics on most games for playability which to me is first and foremost. (Still the movements are very realistic with no freezes)

Like I said if you’re looking for high end simulations there are a bunch out there - look at HPS - but keep ten books next to you and be ready for crashes. (I recently played in a multiplayer online game like that) each move was taking me 7 hours. Wasn’t a lot of fun. (I think I subconsciencely committed suicide to get out.)

I believe CM is one of the best tactical games I’ve played (more so in WWII. 

Just the a different view from a casual observer.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

No need to lock it as far as I'm concerned, I'm enjoying the back and forth, and as far as banning goes, why would he do that?  I think you have been firm in your opinions but not really insulting or rude.

Yeah exactly. This forum is actually really good place for discussing opposing views. Steve does not ban people for having a constructive discussion. Heck he tolerates a lot more rudeness than I would :) this thread is a really long way from that.

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Let's be honest, I think most of us would like the option of bigger maps, there's some merit to what you say, but also to Steve's position.....I don't need the whole of @LongLeftFlank's Ramadi map for a MOUT battle, it would just slow things down, but for a big tank engagement it's an entirely different matter (it was cool to hear about @IanL's T-90s cutting loose with their GLATGMs before the Abrams could engage).

There's also the small matter of just how goddamned long it would take to make a CM map of the scale you are discussing to the quality you have become used to.....No small undertaking, especially if you want some reasonably detailed built up areas.

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Posted (edited)

What vile incantation hath awakened me from my non-Euclidean slumber in the nameless deeps?

Oh, and 

 

Edited by LongLeftFlank
DISAPPOINTED!!!

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