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CMSF2 Sniper Anti-Materiel Role Showcase and Experiments Video

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Seeing my sniper teams engaging enemy vehicles with decent success I was curious about their capabilities in that role and how everything works under the hood. I´ve made an experiments video:

Note: The Syrian vehicles in this test are basically made blind and this in no way represents the usual spotting abilities of the vehicles. They´re also set to immobilized (red engine, tracks) and to 50% crew quanity which also means that the casualty figures from penetrating hits in a real game scenario would be way higher, especially for crowded vehicles. I am a novice when it comes to the editor if there is a way to set enemy vehicles to being passive let me know.

Some of my observations:

Naturally it is hard to tell what effect your sniper fire will have on the vehicle. I´ve observed vehicles getting abandoned by the crew after one hit while others remained in (limited) operationality after 10. My conclusion is that it won´t usually result in quick knock-outs but in damaging vital parts like the engine or taking out crew members severely hampering the vehicle´s ability to perform its duties (mission kill).

In an engagement the tactical AI of the sniper team always keeps its role, threat, and effectiveness in mind. When not issuing manual target commands, the sniper would probably first engage infantry units, especially close ones, it then would proceed to engage vehicles. When the sniper then let´s say spots a BMP and a BTR with frontal facing he would take its own weapon effectiveness into consideration and engage the BTR because of the higher chance of causing penetrating damaging hits.

However the sniper is also able to take the facing of the vehicle into account and would prefer to engage a BMP with his back facing towards the sniper because a BMP and its explosive ordnance may pose an bigger threat to the sniper, thus highly likely is also a more important target than an BTR. There is also less risk involved to get spotted by such an vehicle although this is probably a side effect of the other AI priorities.

You can also observe that the penetration values raise with closer distance and at 400-500m frontal penetration of some vehicles became possible in the test. However never engage an BMP frontally from that close distance and wait for a better shot or reposition. Also do not stay too long in the same position or take to many shots in quick succession because this naturally rises the chance of discovery even by low-tech vehicles. Watch out for vehicles with sophisticated optical tech such as thermal vision. Taking a shot and quickly reposition may be a viable option in some cases. Moving vehicles especially low tech and high speeds are also good targets but don´t take it for granted that they don´t spot you, this is especially true again for high tech vehicles.

If you want your snipers to focus solely on anti-personnel duties and to not engage armored vehicles. You can achieve this by setting a tiny armor target arc for the sniper team, vice versa is also possible but with enemy infantry danger close the sniper team´s self preservation may take the upper hand.

Edited by Captain Reyes

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Nice post.

2 hours ago, Captain Reyes said:

I am a novice when it comes to the editor if there is a way to set enemy vehicles to being passive let me know.

What you do is play hot seat so you can give orders to the units you want to be targets. Make them fanatic so they will obey your orders longer and then give them tight cover arcs and pause orders. That should keep them still and prevent them from firing. Do the same for the passengers so they stay on board too.

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6 hours ago, Captain Reyes said:

Seeing my sniper teams engaging enemy vehicles with decent success I was curious about their capabilities in that role and how everything works under the hood. I´ve made an experiments video:

Note: The Syrian vehicles in this test are basically made blind and this in no way represents the usual spotting abilities of the vehicles. They´re also set to immobilized (red engine, tracks) and to 50% crew quanity which also means that the casualty figures from penetrating hits in a real game scenario would be way higher, especially for crowded vehicles. I am a novice when it comes to the editor if there is a way to set enemy vehicles to being passive let me know.

Some of my observations:

Naturally it is hard to tell what effect your sniper fire will have on the vehicle. I´ve observed vehicles getting abandoned by the crew after one hit while others remained in (limited) operationality after 10. My conclusion is that it won´t usually result in quick knock-outs but in damaging vital parts like the engine or taking out crew members severely hampering the vehicle´s ability to perform its duties (mission kill).

In an engagement the tactical AI of the sniper team always keeps its role, threat, and effectiveness in mind. When not issuing manual target commands, the sniper would probably first engage infantry units, especially close ones, it then would proceed to engage vehicles. When the sniper then let´s say spots a BMP and a BTR with frontal facing he would take its own weapon effectiveness into consideration and engage the BTR because of the higher chance of causing penetrating damaging hits.

However the sniper is also able to take the facing of the vehicle into account and would prefer to engage a BMP with his back facing towards the sniper because a BMP and its explosive ordnance may pose an bigger threat to the sniper, thus highly likely is also a more important target than an BTR. There is also less risk involved to get spotted by such an vehicle although this is probably a side effect of the other AI priorities.

You can also observe that the penetration values raise with closer distance and at 400-500m frontal penetration of some vehicles became possible in the test. However never engage an BMP frontally from that close distance and wait for a better shot or reposition. Also do not stay too long in the same position or take to many shots in quick succession because this naturally rises the chance of discovery even by low-tech vehicles. Watch out for vehicles with sophisticated optical tech such as thermal vision. Taking a shot and quickly reposition may be a viable option in some cases. Moving vehicles especially low tech and high speeds are also good targets but don´t take it for granted that they don´t spot you, this is especially true again for high tech vehicles.

If you want your snipers to focus solely on anti-personnel duties and to not engage armored vehicles. You can achieve this by setting a tiny armor target arc for the sniper team, vice versa is also possible but with enemy infantry danger close the sniper team´s self preservation may take the upper hand.

What graphic mod are you using? It seems like a kind of a shader mod? It looks great!

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1 minute ago, DeutschRitter said:

What graphic mod are you using? It seems like a kind of a shader mod? It looks great!

I was just about to ask that.

Never have I seen my Combat Mission looking so well, and running so smoothly. What's your secret?

An interesting experiment, none the less. I can see an anti-material rifle being preferable to an ATGM against wheeled armour.

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8 hours ago, IanL said:

Nice post.

What you do is play hot seat so you can give orders to the units you want to be targets. Make them fanatic so they will obey your orders longer and then give them tight cover arcs and pause orders. That should keep them still and prevent them from firing. Do the same for the passengers so they stay on board too.

Hotseat, never thought about that mode, great idea, thanks.

I am using reshade in combination with the ingame shader. You can see my settings in most of my videos at the beginning. Also using 16xAF, 8xAA, 8xTransAA in the Nvidia settings. Ingame shader is custom by one of the shader mods at cmmods, can´t exactly recall which one but highly likely one made by BabaricCo. 

For performance I keep ingame aa off due to conflicts with nv aa and keep both drop down settings at default balanced as I didn´t notice much visual improvement other than draw distance when setting this high but huge performance impact.

Edited by Captain Reyes

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15 hours ago, Captain Reyes said:

For performance I keep ingame aa off due to conflicts with nv aa and keep both drop down settings at default balanced as I didn´t notice much visual improvement other than draw distance when setting this high but huge performance impact.

I got an AMD. Haven't messed around with their settings -- perhaps I should. I'm currently playing FB, which is beautiful -- but barely runs (lags badly when I move the camera).

Thanks for the tip!

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1 hour ago, DerKommissar said:

I got an AMD. Haven't messed around with their settings -- perhaps I should. I'm currently playing FB, which is beautiful -- but barely runs (lags badly when I move the camera).

Thanks for the tip!

It isn´t so important to do amd/nvidia settings but the lag you report is strange. What are your specs and what are your ingame settings? With all shown visual enhancements and mods in place I play my CM2 games on 40-70 fps depending on scenario size but even on my 5 year old crappy (even back then mediocre) notebook the CM2 games run pretty decent with 30 fps most of the time.

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Let's see:

CPU: AMD FX 6350

RAM: 16 GB DDR3

GPU: Asus Radeon R9 270x with 4gb GDDR5

HDD: Western Digital 2 TB

OS: Windows 7 64-bit

I get this lag on maps with lots of buildings and/or vegetation. Toggling tree tops off only helps a very small amount. Naturally desert games run better for me.

When I pan the camera to the horizon, view lots of stuff, the framerate takes a hit. When I move the camera down to the ground beneath, framerate becomes reasonable.

From what I saw CM really runs on 1 core, and the FX's single-core performance is not the best. Great for newer games that are multi-threaded, though.

Edited by DerKommissar

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17 minutes ago, DerKommissar said:

Let's see:

CPU: AMD FX 6350

RAM: 16 GB DDR3

GPU: Asus Radeon R9 270x with 4gb GDDR5

HDD: Western Digital 2 TB

I get this lag on maps with lots of buildings and/or vegetation. Toggling tree tops off only helps a very small amount. Naturally desert games run better for me.

When I pan the camera to the horizon, view lots of stuff, the framerate takes a hit. When I move the camera down to the ground beneath, framerate becomes reasonable.

From what I saw CM really runs on 1 core, and the FX's single-core performance is not the best. Great for newer games that are multi-threaded, though.

I loaded up a big scenario, checked resource monitor, and CMSF2 definitely is not running on single core but on all here. I have an I7 (4 physical 4 HT cores) and the game is able to utilize 100% in a benchmark situation.

You still not mentioned your ingame settings, especially the two dropdown ones are important.

Edited by Captain Reyes

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3 minutes ago, Captain Reyes said:

I loaded up a big scenario, checked resource monitor, and CMSF2 definitely is not running on single core but on all here. I have an I7 (4 physical 4 HT cores) and it is able to utilize 100% in a benchmark situation.

You still not mentioned your ingame settings, especially the two dropdown ones are important.

I put the highest settings.

So: max AA, Very High detail, High tree detail, Very High shadows

I got Vsync off, Highest Priority Process and ATI mouse click fix on

I'll double check when I get home. I hear people have issues with CM and AMD cards.

Edited by DerKommissar

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1 minute ago, DerKommissar said:

I put the highest settings.

So: max AA, Very High detail, High tree detail, Very High shadows

I got Vsync off, Highest Priority Process and ATI mouse click fix on

I'll double check when I get home. I hear people have issues with CM and AMD cards.

😓😂

Well here is your secret, set your 3D model and 3D texture quality to balanced, you won´t notice much visual difference other than a considerable frame boost. Keep the rest.

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Just now, Captain Reyes said:

😓😂

Well here is your secret, set your 3D model and 3D texture quality to balanced, you won´t notice much visual difference other than a considerable frame boost. Keep the rest.

Ok dude, I'll try it out! Much appreciated.

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The single biggest FPS hit is in game AA. Turn that off and you'll see a noticeable improvement. Next, download/use the latest 'Adrelanin' AMD video driver and  create a game profile and set as follows:

AMD.Settings.png.9eb59c6acee37072a58149b54b790269.png

 

While I don't use the in game settings @Captain Reyes mentions for CMSF2, you'll likely need them to squeeze more FPS for CMFB with its forests and weather conditions (snow!).

 

Edited by Howler

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20 hours ago, Captain Reyes said:

Let me know how it goes.

Well, it does certainly reduce the lag. But it also reduces the terrain texture distance significantly. Balanced is ridiculous -- there's a triangle wave that separates rendered terrain and a greenish substance that lies beyond. This being said, I've had good experiences with setting them to Better or even Excellent -- putting that threshold farther and still reducing lag to some degree. The Best setting is most certainly the issue here.

15 hours ago, Howler said:

The single biggest FPS hit is in game AA. Turn that off and you'll see a noticeable improvement. Next, download/use the latest 'Adrelanin' AMD video driver and  create a game profile and set as follows:

AMD.Settings.png.9eb59c6acee37072a58149b54b790269.png

I can confirm AA does affect FPS. I tried messing around with Radeon Settings and did make it look pretty good at AA:OFF, TEXTURE: BETTER, DETAIL: BETTER. I'll try yours as well.

My drivers are like half a year old. I'm a bit hesitant to upgrade them as everything works. Do you think the newest driver runs smoother?

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1 hour ago, DerKommissar said:

The Best setting is most certainly the issue here.

Really

It isn´t most certainly, it is which is a fact basically every Combat Mission player out there knows. Like it was explained thousand times it lowers draw distance which is one of the resource heaviest things in CM and yes you notice it. Still better than playing with goddamn 5 fps for years without figuring this out. It is common knowledge for 7 years that this settings literally kills your fps and just is advised for strong PC and/or smaller scenarios. I am not sure if I recall correctly but I remember Battlefront even stated that they thought about removing the highest settings because it isn´t efficient and there are so many set it too high.

Edited by Mattis

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1 hour ago, DerKommissar said:

I can confirm AA does affect FPS. I tried messing around with Radeon Settings and did make it look pretty good at AA:OFF, TEXTURE: BETTER, DETAIL: BETTER. I'll try yours as well.

My drivers are like half a year old. I'm a bit hesitant to upgrade them as everything works. Do you think the newest driver runs smoother?

Lately, AMD has been more committed to not breaking things during updates. You should be able to refresh your drivers without issue. Mind you, you can stay where you are as you like.  You are fairly current. I keep updating hoping depth buffer access under ReShade will magically be fixed. No luck there yet. If you're not using that shader framework with CM - then you have another reason not to update your driver.

You will need to keep in game shaders ON if you wish to see hit decals. Otherwise, you'll see white holes. (ATI/AMD issue)

I go with 3D models/textures on Best as I prefer draw distance over FPS. But, can appreciate that others favour FPS.

Turn off VSync in game if you opt to use the driver frame rate control in the Radeon settings I posted above.

 

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20 hours ago, Mattis said:

it lowers draw distance which is one of the resource heaviest things in CM and yes you notice it. 

this settings literally kills your fps and just is advised for strong PC and/or smaller scenarios.

Interesting conversation.  Just to make sure I understand, by "it" we are talking about the in-game 3D quality and 3D texture settings under options? 

I'm not a tech type but I've read on this forum that 3D (don't know if they meant 3D quality or 3D texture or both) affects how many textures are loaded into the pregame cache. Fastest settings load only texture 1 and 2 to save virtual drive space whereas Best quality loads everything.  Does this sound accurate to you?  

 

19 hours ago, Howler said:

You will need to keep in game shaders ON if you wish to see hit decals. Otherwise, you'll see white holes. (ATI/AMD issue)

Reference the hit decals does that apply to Nvidia also or just ATI/AMD?

 

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40 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Interesting conversation.  Just to make sure I understand, by "it" we are talking about the in-game 3D quality and 3D texture settings under options? 

I'm not a tech type but I've read on this forum that 3D (don't know if they meant 3D quality or 3D texture or both) affects how many textures are loaded into the pregame cache. Fastest settings load only texture 1 and 2 to save virtual drive space whereas Best quality loads everything.  Does this sound accurate to you? 

That's what I understood "it" to mean. Further, it's more accurate to say that 'Best' uses all the allocated space set aside by the game engine as on larger maps, for example, everyone is effected by "draw distance" to some extent. It's also reasonable to assume that high resolution 'mods' impact the screen presentation more than low resolution ones do (more space allocated). I'm assuming this is the case but can only speak from the viewpoint of an life long ATI/AMD video Windows7 user.

53 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Reference the hit decals does that apply to Nvidia also or just ATI/AMD?

From posts under the various Tech Support forums, this seems to be specific the ATI/AMD video cards. But, I tend to skip the Nvidia issues. Also, I believe this fault was introduced in one of engine upgrades (anecdotal observation). I only noticed it once I started to tweak shader settings under v3 when I started with the BarbericCo (?) movie mod which lead me to the truly awesome ReShade (4.0.2) that I use exclusively for such purposes today. Many members on this board also use this frame work as can be seen the stunning screen caps posted in the various threads. Personally, it was worth the effort as it extended the life of CMSF which had not until recently been updated visually.

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Yes its the two settings, the most severe one is the 3D model quality setting and please not again this goddamn mumble jumble about pregame cache, virtual whatever, engine allocation, which texture is loaded and whatever.  3D model quality should simply be called "Draw Distance" or "Foliage" and yes you can see it in foliage heavy games like Red Thunder. Finding this out would consume less time than making posts ala Bill Gates.

3d model quality best:

best.thumb.jpg.730cdc93de036cef2c486cf42f0fe8be.jpg

 

Edited by Mattis

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balanced:

balanced.thumb.jpg.172ec242008914765e3e32b679420584.jpg

Now I hear already an army of "people but but but there are trees missing Mr. Mattis!" Yes in 2000m or whatever they start to drop but if you play on a PC comparable to the performance of a Mitsubishi Lawn Mower in the last cold days of late April thats how things are still better than getting a epileptic seizure from turning that cam right?  40 damn FPS difference between balanced and best. Now some may come up with: "but but I got a powerful PC as a reward for accomplishing my successful biking license at school and it still doesn´t run appropiate". Yes it is still taxing HOWEVER: (next post)

 

Edited by Mattis

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better.thumb.jpg.f2af9e900d2312ae6d6a66837a56203d.jpg

"What is this Mr. Mattis? Why you´re Uploading two times the same "best" picture, stop spaming the forum and polluting the planet with taking server space up over in Island."

No this is the exact middle between the settings and I think called "better" or whatever. It takes perhaps 10-15 frames instead of 40 away on my system still being complete fluid even during camera turns and runs. "But But" yeah start counting and good luck finding those crysis 4 high quality trees that are responsible for the other 30 frames in the best picture.

More even in some maps like urban maps or desert maps like in SF2 I AM NOT EVEN ABLE TO TELL WHAT IS DIFFERENT from balanced to best other than I am about to end up in hospital´s stroke unit from witnessing my precious frames dropping into basement.

Years and dozen of threads mentioning the hazards of this setting but still do you want know how many people are running the best settings instead of at least the better or balanced? Basically everyone that comes up with fairy tales like "I would be happy to have 30fps" or "my game runs bad because CM just runs on half cores", "CM is really badly optimized for my gaming chair" etc. I never run CM below 30fps even on bad systems. Why people, why you love to bang that head of yours constantly (leading to my head also getting banged oberving this), every smart men out there experiencing such problems would first check his settings, no? Learn to solve problems not to create ones always being dependant on others doing so. I know some of your are older (me included) but please figuring computers and gaming out is not much more demanding than figuring a M16A4. Don´t be like the Youtube millenials nowadays who forst need a streaming celebrity to give them instructions on how to cross the street without getting hit by a car and then still get hit by a car. I am not adressing the masochist among you that like to play with their 5fps Microsoft Powerpoint slideshows for "CM in the 90´s" nostalgia but for the HillyBillies like this RecruitHatred or what was his name and others out there that make a living out of complaining and pointing fingers instead of being a smart gentlemen and learn to solve problems.

Edited by Mattis

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