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ctcharger

Finally got in to the forum! could use some pointers

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I am really enjoying the game and I do want to try a PBEM at some point.  Skill wise I need some work as I continually get shot up and ambushed in the few scenarios I have played.  I am learning to love the realism but it has been some serious tough love.  I won't tell you how many times I played the "Ambush" scenario, on the plus side, I know the back of a BTR like the back of my hand now.

I have been playing the smaller scenarios to start.  Is that wise?  I have had a lot of frustration as any single mistake in any part of the scenario can wipe out your force or at least a good portion of it.

Should I try the campaign instead?  

Is there a good hull down video I can review?  I can do pretty much everything else but when I try hull down, they move in ways I do not expect.

If I have 3 APCs in sight, can I call down a precision strike on all 3 at once or do I have to go one at a time?  So far, I can only figure out how to do one at a time and then wait another ten minutes.

Helicopters, any way to watch their view of the battlefield?

Is there a standard difficulty setting people use for PBEM? 

Is there a map mod that has contour lines?  I really struggle with elevation while playing.

Edited by ctcharger

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1 hour ago, ctcharger said:

If I have 3 APCs in sight, can I call down a precision strike on all 3 at once or do I have to go one at a time?  So far, I can only figure out how to do one at a time and then wait another ten minutes.

My, my, my, you do have a lot of questions—good ones too. I thought I'd pick this one to try to answer. If you have multiple targets that you want to hit, how many you can hit depends on how many spotters with legal LOS they have to the targets you have and how many artillery units they can call on. In other words, one spotter can call on one arty unit to strike one target at a time.

Michael

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1 hour ago, ctcharger said:

Is there a good hull down video I can review?  I can do pretty much everything else but when I try hull down, they move in ways I do not expect.

Below is the SOP I use for Hull Down:

1. Give vehicle Open Up order.     

2. Give vehicle Armor Target Arc1 entire map 3600.

3. Place Hull Down waypoints on every action spot in direction of OpFor unit.

4. Select first waypoint that allows an Area Target on the desired A/S.2

5. Place a Target Briefly3 order from this waypoint to the desired A/S.

6. Delete all the subsequent Hull Down waypoints.

7. If appropriate give vehicle Hide at final Hull Down waypoint.

Notes: 1)Armor Target Arc will not fire on AT guns. 2)LOS can be blocked between hull down position and desired A/S. 3)This will not cause the tank to fire.

 

1 hour ago, ctcharger said:

Helicopters, any way to watch their view of the battlefield?  

Nope. 

 

1 hour ago, ctcharger said:

Is there a standard difficulty setting people use for PBEM? 

Is there a map mod that has contour lines?  I really struggle with elevation while playing.

There is no standard skill level for a PBEM.  You just agree to it before you start.  Also it's not a skill level as in most other games.  It is more like a realism level.  More realistic call times for artillery etc.  There is no giving the AI more hit points or health bars etc.... 

No contour lines.  I had contour lines as a wish in my signature line until just a few months ago.  @Bil Hardenberger does have a mod that shows grid lines on the map which helps a player see elevations better.  I'm not sure if it works with CMBS or not.  I just tagged him so maybe he will stop by and let us know.  Bil also has a Combat Mission Blog you should visit.  I'll let him tell you about it.

Welcome to the forum!!!    

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2 hours ago, ctcharger said:

I have been playing the smaller scenarios to start.  Is that wise?

Yep. Cut your teeth on those and work your way up. If anything it'll keep you from being overwhelmed with too many assets. I'd even suggest once you feel comfortable and are dominating in one of these smaller scenarios, try going into the editor and switching out some vehicles. Example: if the scenario is using Strykers go in the editor and replace them with Bradleys etc. That can help get you comfortable with new equipment in a familiar setting, giving you an idea how different vehicles/weapons systems handle. Just make sure you save the game under a different name!

2 hours ago, ctcharger said:

Should I try the campaign instead?

Nope. You'll really get frustrated if you haven't gotten control of the smaller stuff yet. Force preservation can be a huge part of campaigns and losing a bunch of stuff in the first scenario could really demoralize and hamstring you in later battles.

2 hours ago, ctcharger said:

Is there a good hull down video I can review?

Try searching Youtube. I have never bothered looking for a hull down vid myself.

 

2 hours ago, ctcharger said:

Helicopters, any way to watch their view of the battlefield?

Nope. All you get with air support are communications, fly over and weapons sounds, along with the munitions visuals as they attack.

 

2 hours ago, ctcharger said:

Is there a standard difficulty setting people use for PBEM? 

Most probably use Elite or Iron. I prefer Iron.

 

2 hours ago, ctcharger said:

Is there a map mod that has contour lines?  I really struggle with elevation while playing.

There are grid mods over at CMMODS. Whether or not there is one specifically for BS, I am not sure. You might have to search better than I did.

http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?page_id=5#search/text=gridded+terrain

 

Welcome to the end of life as you know it. CM is a helluva a game.

 

Mord.

 

Edited by Mord

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Wow, thanks for the great responses.   I will follow up on your suggestions and keep at it.  A grid system would help, I am going to try and look that up first.

I have been playing on Elite level so I didn't learn too many bad habits but when my guys get zapped from out of nowhere, it gets tough.  

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Ouch... lost 3 Strikers in 2 minutes 20 minutes into the scenario... I guess I still have a lot too learn.  Objective Delta is pretty much a fail so far.  I figure if I lose 2 or more APCs the scenario is pretty much over.  Is that correct?  Or am I expected to take some losses even in these smaller scenarios?

Just got zapped again!!  maybe I should stick with boardgames...🤔

Edited by ctcharger

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1 hour ago, ctcharger said:

A grid system would help, I am going to try and look that up first.

Another thing I would suggest if you aren't already doing it is to place the camera down on the 1 level and see how things look from there. A lot of small irregularities suddenly start showing up when you get down that low. Doing a real survey of the battlefield that way would take a lot of time, but just looking at particularly critical ground is not too bad and can really effect your tactics.

Michael

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OK thanks, I have done that several times but not on a regular basis.

Also... real time versus turn based... any mode harder than the others?

I play poorly both ways so I don't have much of a read on it yet.

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22 minutes ago, ctcharger said:

Also... real time versus turn based... any mode harder than the others?  

They both have advantages and disadvantages.  However a big advantage turn based (WEGO) has is the replay.  IMO when you are first starting out the ability to replay the turn from any angle and from any location on the map greatly helps to figure out what, why and how something happened.  In real time the bigger the battle the more stuff you completely miss because you can't be everywhere at the same time.  I definitely vote for turn based.  You'll learn more, faster.  

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14 hours ago, ctcharger said:

Is there a good hull down video I can review?  I can do pretty much everything else but when I try hull down, they move in ways I do not expect.

Welcome to the best battlefield simulator on the market.  I hope you enjoy the game and get more of them.  Is your interest mainly modern?  

As for the Hull-down procedure.. of course @MOS:96B2P gave you a detailed description of using the game's Hull Down command, but I prefer to do it manually.. and I have a description of that on my blog:  Hull Down .. your mileage may vary of course, but I don't have a lot of trust for automated commands like the Hull Down and the Assault command.  

My blog as MOS mentioned is a collection of topics describing how to use real world tactics in the game.  You can find the link in my sig, on the left of the screen you will see the Tactical Toolbox, I hope it is useful for you.  Happy hunting!

Bil

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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To use the Hull Down command you have two options, but really I suggest you only use one.


- Hull Down is a movement command, so place the "Hull Down" waypoint in the direction you want to move.
- Typically, I will place this just over the top of a ridge crest.
- From the Hull Down waypoint, place a Target order on the spot you want to be hull down towards.
- The vehicle will then rumble forward and stop when it is hull down to that specific action spot.

 Careful selection of this point is important - you don't want to be hull down to something, which exposes you to something else. It's a really powerful tool, and the alternatives only really work as well if you're lucky with topography  (doing it manually) or can see the enemy (hunt).


If you place a Hull Down command without a Target order, the vehicle will move until it is hull down to the hull down waypoint. This is much harder to control.

Do this:

this.thumb.jpg.25ccc6651fd1fe2c478130547

 

As pointed out, the risk to the exact example above is that if your hull down point isn't visible, the vehicle will crest the hill and move to the other side. You could make this move safer by moving the Hull Down waypoint to your side of the ridge, but the risk there is that you may not have LOS to the target. Personally, I take the risk, and it seems to work out fine.

"Assault" is the other automated command, and is much more restrictive. I use it in specific circumstances, but it's not as powerful or universally useful as Hull Down.


Other things:
 

Quote

 

I have been playing the smaller scenarios to start.  Is that wise?  I have had a lot of frustration as any single mistake in any part of the scenario can wipe out your force or at least a good portion of it.


Smaller scenarios allow you to iterate faster. You're more likely to lose the whole game in a single bad turn, but it will be faster to pick up again. I definitely feel that smaller scenarios are useful for learning.
 

Quote

Is there a standard difficulty setting people use for PBEM? 

 

Elite or Iron. I much prefer Iron, most people I play seem to like Elite. They're mostly the same.

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I see my mistake now with Hull down.  I was assigning it to a way point but instead to the unit, I will try assigning the command to the waypoint instead.  Same with MG and GL units to deploy.  I knew that from the training but I apparently I forgot.  I will give it a try next game.

 

Just sucks playing for 30 minutes of game time… getting close to the end…. and then “poof”  game over….  Sometimes the enemy deployments in the scenario seem unlikely, like they are all scattered around the map just waiting to ambush me, could be sour grapes.  Snipers and the like would be scattered around but APCs?  I doubt it.  The Ambush scenario deployments struck me as realistic (that F*ing sniper just needs to die!) while the Echo platoon scenario with the Strykers seems unlikely.  What do I know I guess?  New kinds of war and all that.  

 

I have interests from WW2 to Modern.  I just read Stalin’s Favorite about the 2ndGuards Tank Army and will probably try that next.  Tanks with SMGs units on the deck shooting out every window blowing through town at night…  Panzerfausts were really bad news, like RPGs today.  When I read it, I was shocked as to how many Sherman tanks they had, the book had excellent pictures of them.  Fulda Gap would be a must buy also if they go that route.  Their server would probably crash.  Normandy ’44 looks great and something on the Eastern Front late ’42-’43 would an interest too.  I love reading the field manuals and the like although I struggle to apply them in the game.  APCs with tanks around are just dead meat in my cardboard and keyboard commando experience. October war theater would be interesting too.

 

Yeah right, not actually 1 minute turns but more enforced paused action every minute.  Now that I remembered that I can assign commands to waypoints, I am going to plot out a lot more commands ahead of time and maybe try real time or at least not have to click around and micro manage them every minute.  

 

Mainly I struggle being patient and letting the infantry get out ahead, prep fire the various hiding spots,  and scout around or advance before letting the artillery/helos do their thing.

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I stress this a lot when talking about CM games but WEGO is the way to go (for me, anyway) not because of any realism pros or cons or gaming advantages but for the cinematics. The incredible scenes that play out in any given battle that may be missed because you are too busy in RT trying to manage the ebb and flow of the situation. We all have experienced moments that were so cool and jaw dropping we still remember them to this day. These tiny stories within the bigger battle are what makes this game so awesome. As you play (if you play in WEGO) you will eventually come across your own classic moments and you'll replay them over and over, blown away by the coolness before you. They can end up like a favorite action scene in a movie or description in a first person military book. Of all the bells and whistles in wargaming (or most gaming for that matter) it's the ability to tell a story that truly captures my imagination and CM allows that in spades. And WEGO is what allows you to experience it, more than once, from any angle you choose, as many times as you choose. It's one of the very best features this series offers.

You are like me, I am interested in all kinds of military time periods. So, once you have gotten the hang of Black Sea, you'll have a plethora of WWII action just waiting. You'll find the pace almost relaxing compared to modern (even SF2 feels slower than BS)! And it must be mentioned Red Thunder is different than Fortress Italy which is different than Battle For Normandy and Final Blitzkrieg, so there are plenty of experiences to immerse yourself in. You found a really good series with a lot of depth that will give you more bang for your buck than a belt fed Mg42 on full auto.

I've been here 18 years so that's got to say something!

 

Mord.

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WEGO it is!   I did buy Combat Mission back when it first came out, pretty amazing but for some reason stopped playing it.  Pretty amazing package then and even more amazing now.  Watching the guys launch a Javelin is pretty wild.  I am going to mount up Echo platoon and get them through!  

(I have still have my doubts about thin skinned APCs however, wheeled APCs in civilized areas though make a lot of sense but that thin armor...)

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59 minutes ago, ctcharger said:

WEGO it is!   I did buy Combat Mission back when it first came out, pretty amazing but for some reason stopped playing it.  Pretty amazing package then and even more amazing now.  Watching the guys launch a Javelin is pretty wild.  I am going to mount up Echo platoon and get them through!  

(I have still have my doubts about thin skinned APCs however, wheeled APCs in civilized areas though make a lot of sense but that thin armor...)

They are trucks, nothing more.  Don't let the A fool ya.

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I am playing Objective Delta and losing...

Echo platoon down...🤕  Not sure I am cut out for modern war....  I was doing so well and then...boom... APCs blowing up and Russians everywhere...

Also, why would a APC just become immobilized?  He was not on a road but still in a green area which is grass I guess.  are they done or will they try and get unstuck?  My Hummer did that too one time.

I saved my game at various points but it feels like a cheat if I actually win, but I don't like to start all the way at the start either.  Could be a while before I start "dominating" the smaller scenarios.  😑

Is there a listing that ranks the scenarios by difficulty?  Also, I feel like the scenarios I have played are kinda puzzly... like there is just one right way to play it, is that true?  

Got it, bogged means I have a chance, immobilized-toast... grab the stuff and bail

I think I am allowing my guys to get scattered and I leave them out in the open too much.  So when someone pops up, there isn't enough guys shooting back to reduce the losses of the unit being shot at.  

 

 

 

Edited by ctcharger

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2 minutes ago, ctcharger said:

Also, why would a APC just become immobilized?  He was not on a road but still in a green area which is grass I guess.  are they done or will they try and get unstuck?  My Hummer did that too one time.

I think immobilized also is an abstract for other mechanical problems, thrown tracks, broken suspension etc.  but yes, frustrating. 

When a vehicle is bogged it will transition to un-bogged or to immobilized.  Once immobilized it will remain so for the remainder of the mission.  

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6 hours ago, ctcharger said:

 I saved my game at various points but it feels like a cheat if I actually win, but I don't like to start all the way at the start either.  Could be a while before I start "dominating" the smaller scenarios.  😑

Save-scumming is fine, especially when learning. Rapid iteration, etc.

It's definitely something to wean yourself off though, and obviously you can't do it against humans.
 

6 hours ago, ctcharger said:

Also, I feel like the scenarios I have played are kinda puzzly... like there is just one right way to play it, is that true? 


I think there are broadly (very broadly) two kinds of CM scenarios. Some present a puzzle-like narrative, that often are fairly linear, and may have a single best solution.

The others are more sandbox-like. They tend to present you with "here is a company of strykers, here's a hill I need you to take, go".

Both can be good. The former can feel more similar to tactical decision games - abstracted discussion-puzzles which may not have a "correct" solution, but usually have a ton of wrong ones. That can be really useful for creating a narrative (important if you're trying to recreate a specific battle), or exploring an unusual situation (e.g., how do you deal with an armoured attack with limited AT weaponry?).

The latter tend to be more generic - you often have a force which matches the on-paper force numbers (i.e., this is a full platoon or company, with the expected force numbers, ammo and weapons), and the situation tends to be more conventional - the enemy might also represent a typical force, and the focus is on how these troops can be used most effectively. 

Both have a place. I think I generally prefer the latter, but it really depends on what you're after. 

In terms of CMBS examples - I'd put "An August Morning" in the former category, and "Into the Breach" in the latter, although the classifications are vague.

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About struggling with terrain contours.
I've joked that there's a habit players have of playing at precisely the camera elevation where model details and terrain features become indistinguishable. Then they complain that the models don't look good and the terrain sucks. :angry:  If you're struggling with terrain features try moving your camera down into the weeds with the troops. Then you can see that subtle terrain rise is blocking your view of the target and that slight dip will offer good concealment.

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I think you are on to something.  I am always zoomed out and never really get into the weeds.  When I have, it works out so I need to do that more.  I love the models, the BTR for whatever reason just strikes me as cool and looks great in the game.  

Save-Scumming... yikes, now there is a word for it?   😑  I know it's cheating... I wonder if I should do the quick battle thing instead while I am learning.

I am kinda bummed that it doesn't do contours yet, after downloading a bunch of Vietnam maps I taught myself how to read military maps and got pretty good at it.  A grid would help with my spacing I think.  I keep forgetting that this game has tough love realism and so keeping guys under cover or out of sight, spread-out, but close makes a real difference.  

I also need to learn more about artillery and air support too, when to go heavy vs light etc.  

This is me playing "Ambush" and getting beat bad....that it would be good for a laugh...

 

 

 

PlayingBlackSea.jpg

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20 minutes ago, ctcharger said:

😑I think you are on to something.  I am always zoomed out and never really get into the weeds.  When I have, it works out so I need to do that more.  I love the models, the BTR for whatever reason just strikes me as cool and looks great in the game. 

I usually watch a full minute zoomed out to get the overall picture. Then I zoom in close and watch the action in the handful of places where stuff is happening or my plan is unfolding (OK unravelling). I used to watch close in in one place and then switch places but I could not stand watching something happening in one part of the map and hear the huge explosion happen 800m away and wonder what that a good huge explosion or a really bad huge explosion. :)

Your dog looks like they think the are a cat.

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