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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, LongLeftFlank said:

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

Looks at avatar - yep checks out...

:)

Edited by IanL
spelling - of course

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2 hours ago, coachjohn said:

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)

I'm not sure who you're directing that towards. If its at me, then I have no idea why...because that's not what I was expecting from SF2, not have I ever expressed that. 

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12 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.  That's the way it's always been and always will be with Combat Mission for very good reasons.

This is a really good summary, and has always been my understanding of what Combat Mission is trying to simulate. CM does not simulate the road march, or even the assembly area. CM starts at the line of departure. 

Yes, its true that some battles "spill over" from their initial battlespace and develop into larger battles. For example, the Battle of Mogadishu went from an operation centered around a building with 4 secured corners (essentially a city block) to a sizable chunk of the city itself. CM can simulate this. Instead of having the entire Battle of Mogadishu in one massive map, it is simply broken up into the phases of the battle. The first battle would be centered around the target building. The second would be centered around the Rangers moving from the target building to the first crash site. The third battle would center around securing the first crash site, so on and so forth. Would it be more fun if you could just do everything on one massive map with unlimited time? Arguably. The fact remains, that whether or not this would be fun, it is beyond the scope of Combat Mission. 

Steel Beasts is a fantastic tank sim, and one that I personally enjoy very much. However it is very important to keep in mind what the purpose of that sim is. Most casual players of the sim only fight battles, however this is far from the actual purpose of the sim. Steel Beasts is designed to teach tankers and tank formations how to conduct all possible operations, which includes road marches, how to drive in formation, etc. In fact, the combat in Steel Beasts is secondary to the 'learn to maneuver' element. Steel Beasts has large maps because it wants to simulate both moving to the assembly area, then the attack position, then the line of departure, as well as simulating the actual combat that occurs. Combat Mission is NOT designed to teach the player how to road march a battalion, or how to establish a forward command post, etc. Combat Mission is only designed to simulate the actual fighting. 

2 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

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

The fact is, the vast majority of armored warfare from its first battle to most recently, all happens within an average distance of 1.5km. The average armored engagement in the Gulf War was roughly 1.5km, despite the misconception that much of the tank fighting happened at 4km+. This simply isn't the case. Combat Mission can currently simulate a map that is 4km x 4km. That is more that double the average armored engagement range. Can battles in CM get a little close for space? Of course, especially when you are dealing with modern vehicle heavy formations and you have more than a BN on either side. CM can still do it though, and I have had more than a few battles in modern CM titles at this scale where everything behaved realistically. It's also worth mentioning that CM is not designed to simulate warfare past the BN level. You can do it of course, but you are going beyond what the simulation has been designed to do. You can do the same in Steel Beasts by simulating a division level action. Can you do it? Yes. Is that what the sim was designed for? No. (For the record, I have never tried to simulate a division level action in Steel Beasts, and I'm not even sure it would run on a modern computer)

2 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

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.

There are numerous definitions for the term maneuver. There are numerous definitions for the term maneuver that apply exclusively to a specific level of warfare. There are numerous definitions for the specific levels of warfare, and most military forces in the world have different definitions for the same terms based on their own perspective and doctrines of warfare. None of these definitions have agreed upon hard stopping points. Where does the tactical level of combat end and the operational level begin? Someone from the US and Russian military would give you a different answer. Further, someone from the Soviet and Russian military would give you yet another different answer. All of this is irrelevant sauce that DoD analysts and S-2's alike love to get lost in, rarely yielding any results. 

The fact is this: at the level of warfare that CM simulates, there is maneuver. On a 4km x 4km map(or any sized map for that matter), any sized combat element on the battlefield can maneuver to a completely new location on the map. That for all intents and purposes is maneuver at the scale of warfare present in CM. 

Finally, if what CM provides is simply not enough for you, then just don't play it. I personally think CM is the finest tactical combined arms simulator out there, with no other sims/competition coming even slightly close. This does not mean I am not critical. I am no fanboy. There are more than a few posts and threads by me here on the forum to prove this. I wish that everyone who was interested in warfare at this level could appreciate CM for what it is. I wish that everyone who is in the profession of arms could appreciate CM as a valuable conceptual tool of understanding tactical warfare. This isn't the case, and never will be. If CM was perfect in every possible, there would still be people out there who would dislike it. Human nature I suppose. The point is, I hope you can learn to understand what CM offers and appreciate it for what it is. If you can't then that's too bad, but that is due to your own subjectivity, and not a fault of CM.

With that, another Miller essay is in the books, here for everyone to ignore! 😄

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

...has always been my understanding of what Combat Mission is trying to simulate. CM does not simulate the road march, or even the assembly area. CM starts at the line of departure. 

...Combat Mission can currently simulate a map that is 4km x 4km...

Quite so.  However, has made me wonder why CM2 features so many recon vehicles - when they are relatively useless on small maps.  One of the motivations for larger maps and mobility is to be able to have a realistic function for recon vehicles.    

4Km x 4Km is large enuff.  Agreed.  But, remind me... how many scenarios exist currently on that sort of size map?  That my interpretation re what Apocalypse was saying.  The vast majority of CM2 scenarios are exactly how he described:  "Every scenario with armored vehicles feels like a knife fight, with little room to move without becoming instantly engaged."

It's not the game that is the problem imo.  The challenge is that so few designers able or willing to design the large scenarios.

Edited by Erwin

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3 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Quite so.  However, has made me wonder why CM2 features so many recon vehicles - when implied, they are relatively useless on small maps.  One of the motivations for larger maps and mobility is to be able to have a realistic function for recon vehicles.    

There is a great misconception that has gone on far too long here on the forums and in general. Recon IS NOT a single phase of battle. Recon does NOT stop, ever. Recon is constant. This applies equally to WWII and modern warfare. 

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Posted (edited)

But, if you are at the point of departure where infantry reign supreme as the primary focus of the game, what use are (so many) lightly armed recon vehicles on a small map?

His description is still accurate:  "Every scenario with armored vehicles feels like a knife fight, with little room to move without becoming instantly engaged."

Edited by Erwin

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Posted (edited)

I think Erwin is specifically referring to recon vehicles such as the BRM-1 and some of the WW2 German armored cars.  Recon vehicles do seem to have limited use since other vehicles but mainly infantry can accomplish the task of recon.

Edited by Sulomon

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Posted (edited)

I'm well aware of what you meant. It appears the concept remains no more clearer to you, however. To put it simply: if recon occurs at all levels and you cannot see how a vehicle (to take the example of the BRM-1) with a literal radar attached to it, or a swift vehicle that balances protection and mobility may not facilitate this, then I, nor any manual may help you understand how to conduct recon at the tactical level. 

Edited by Rinaldi

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Erwin said:

But, if you are at the point of departure where infantry reign supreme as the primary focus of the game, what use are (so many) lightly armed recon vehicles on a small map?

His description is still accurate:  "Every scenario with armored vehicles feels like a knife fight, with little room to move without becoming instantly engaged."

In order to learn how to multiply numbers, you need to know how to add numbers first. If you do not understand the advantages of recon vehicles over recon infantry, and the specific things each are good and bad at, then you will not understand their role as a whole as part of a larger operation. Which clearly you don't. I feel that trying to explain to you why having recon vehicles that move much faster than infantry teams, and generally carry as good as or much better optics and recon equipment than the infantry recon teams, is a waste of my time. 

The fact remains. Recon vehicles have a very important role in Combat Mission, at the level Combat Mission simulates. If you do not understand why, then that is a fault with your understanding, not with Combat Mission. 

Quote

It's not the game that is the problem imo.  The challenge is that so few designers able or willing to design the large scenarios.

Oh for crying out loud. How many years ago did the record break? We are desperate for a new tune. 

If you do not think there are scenario's in Combat Mission that are large enough, I have an amazingly simple solution for you. Make. Them. Yourself. 

Edited by IICptMillerII

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On 6/20/2018 at 8:44 PM, Apocalypse 31 said:

 

Modern Tanks and ATGMs can engage direct fire further than 4k. That's still a tactical fight and NOT operational.

Yeah, and how often will they have the opportunity to fire at such a long distances? On the European theatre, the average engagement distance for tanks or ATGMs is about 1km.

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

It's not the game that is the problem imo.  The challenge is that so few designers able or willing to design the large scenarios.

In terms of performance, the game has a difficult time handling large maps - even with a decent gaming rig. 

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1 hour ago, Ivanov said:

Yeah, and how often will they have the opportunity to fire at such a long distances? On the European theatre, the average engagement distance for tanks or ATGMs is about 1km.

You don't read the news or watch YouTube much, do you? Plenty of medium/long-range ATGM engagements occurring in Syria. 

Syria? Isn't that the same theater that Shock Force is based on? 😲

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There's a class of scenario that I call 'demonstration scenarios'. These are designed to show the player what a dense artillery rocket bombardment is like, or a dense minefield belt, or multiple battalions on a map, or a moonless night during a blizzard in deep snow. They're well within the capabilities of the game engine. The problem is they're usually not fun to play so don't get repeated. Scenario designers, after they've got the urge to 'push the envelope' out of their system, usually settle down to designing engagements that they would like to play. Typically that means your infantry won't have a 50 min walk before finally stumbling upon the enemy. And armor typically won't be facing muddy ground in a rainstorm and unpaved roads. Not that the game engine can't handle it but that the player doesn't have much fun playing it.

If you have a theory on how a scenario SHOULD be designed make that scenario yourself and post if for others to play. Ten minutes work and you've got opposing units facing off from 3km+ with no LOS obstructions. Put your theories into practice. How does your theory work as a playable scenario? I've done some 'extreme' scenarios that turned out to be a hoot to play.

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2 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

If you have a theory on how a scenario SHOULD be designed make that scenario yourself and post if for others to play.

I'm not sure if this is directed at me, but  if it is then you've missed the point because its not something that I've ever asked for. 

 

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4 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

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

That's an opinion I'd never argue with.  Everybody has their own definition of "fun" and thresholds for what they will/won't play.  99% of the gaming audience out there thinks Combat Mission is as fun as watching paint dry, so I'm not easily offended :D

4 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

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. 

How often do you think that sort of situation presents itself in modern conventional symmetric warfare?  And at what command level are those decisions made?  Asymmetrical warfare, in an arid environment where there's lots of local intel to draw from within an established AO is very different.  We've always been very clear that Combat Mission is about conventional symmetric warfare, with the possibility for asymmetric as a side feature.

4 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

But with that kind of space, it allows commanders to be creative with how they assault the enemy.

A commander's options are not limited by his creativity alone, they are also limited by a plethora of other factors.  Options for a battalion or company commander in a full on hot conventional war with near peer enemy forces is totally different than approaching 12 Taliban holed up in a village of 50.

4 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

God forbid I use the term maneuver again on this thread, people will think I mean rigging ballots. 

The problem isn't with your use of "maneuver", it's your seeming reluctance to understand your vision of what constitutes maneuver is a subset of the full definition.

4 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

@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. 

Er, why?  Discussions don't have a time limit and I certainly don't ban people for expressing their opinion. 

4 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

Where I come from and how I work, divergent opinions are welcomed and wanted.

The same is true here.  And just like where you work, I'm sure divergent opinions are challenged when there are grounds for doing so.  Challenging an opinion doesn't mean it isn't welcomed or not wanted.  In fact, it usually is the opposite.

That said, you should try to debate more and posture less.  It makes for a better discussion!

Steve

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1 hour ago, Ivanov said:

Yeah, and how often will they have the opportunity to fire at such a long distances? On the European theatre, the average engagement distance for tanks or ATGMs is about 1km.

That's kind of my point. If a typical map is 1Km x 1Km, then generally it will be designed so that LOS will be limited to maybe 300 meters max.  My question is would you deploy a relatively expensive recon vehicle with all its electronics to observe or "recon" at that sort of range?   My experience in the game is that a vehicle at that short range gets KIA quickly.  In that situation it's better to send in a leg unit (or dismount the vehicle crew).  But, if one is going to be using leg recon, why have all those recon vehicles that CM2 has available?   If the intent is to simulate short range engagements, then you are saying that BF would be better focusing on something other than providing numerous recon vehicles.

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18 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

OlzAjSn.jpg

Superimpose that red square over Objective 'Peter', and abstract the approach maneuver in the scenario editor, and you would have a CM Scenario.

Create one battle around Objective 'Parker', and another one around Objective 'Peter', and you have a CM Campaign.

Get it? The scenarios and campaigns present in the game provide for everything you would need to simulate this operation, with the exception of the approach march, and maneuver between objectives, which if you really wanted them, could also be added (in sections) into a CM Campaign.

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30 minutes ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

You don't read the news or watch YouTube much, do you? Plenty of medium/long-range ATGM engagements occurring in Syria. 

Syria? Isn't that the same theater that Shock Force is based on? 😲

I wouldn't draw any conclusions from the YT videos. They are not representative because they always show successful attacks from the ambush positions. I haven't seen many videos where the missile missed or malfunctioned. So the ATGM porn present online has to represent only small fraction of the actual launches. Of course the're ATGM systems like Spike NLOS with a range over 20km designed to be fired at the targets BVR. But they are designed for the helicopters or some future tank destroyers, that would be networked with drones or other observation systems.

Having said this, I'd love to see a little bigger CM maps. They don't have to be 10x10km, but maybe 5x5km, something more suitable for mechanized combat. The current maps are great for infantry combat or WW2. For modern mech warfare - not so much.

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16 hours ago, Artkin said:

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! :)

Speak for yourself. If I were to play on a 5x5 map, my computer would melt.
I'm currently playtesting a Company+ sized scenario on a 4x4 map, and I'm very much enjoying the single digit FPS I get to deal with.
Oh, wait, no I'm not.

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15 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

From feedback it is pretty clear that Combat Mission does a credible job of simulating warfare.

I've shown Combat Mission to every veteran I know (which is quite a few), and the common consensus I have received is, "Yeah, it's close enough."
Is it perfect? Nah.
Is it good enough? Absolutely.

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5 hours ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

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. 

Now, now, sir. No one is saying you cannot disagree.
We're just pointing out "divergent opinions" of our own.

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There is no doubting that Combat Mission's overall game performance is very different from computer to computer, despite specs seeming to be relatively the same.  There's a lot of reasons for that and we've had many discussions about it in many threads.  It boils down to a combination of three things:

1.  We use OpenGL and card manufacturers don't seem to put as much effort into optimizations as they do DirectX.  This not only affects speed, but also quality.  Shadows are the #1 example of the latter.  Some cards look fantastic, others look horrid.  Not our doing, but we get judged by it.

2.  The number of units and the real world physics tracking is HELL on most computers for the size of battles CMers seem to be most interested in (battalion + in total for both sides).  Other games either severely restrict the number of "actors" or the level of detail or both to free up resources to keep the graphics smooth.  Whenever we have a choice between graphics or gameplay, we err on the side of gameplay.

3.  Resources focused on graphics.  More programmers, bigger budgets, and tighter focus means other 3D warfare games out there can do things like spend 3 months optimizing a particular function to get better performance.  And if they find slow spots they can't work around, guess what?  They tend to restrict the game so the problem isn't exposed rather than take their lumps like we do.

Overall we're pretty happy with the performance level of Combat Mission on most game systems most of the time simply because we know how difficult it is to do what we're doing.  That said, we obviously would love for things to be smoother and faster beyond a tweak here or there.  Someday that will happen, but not with  the CM2 game engine as that's not practical.

Steve

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