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Heirloom_Tomato

The Truelife* Mode PBEM DAR

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In all my years playing CM games and talking about them with other players here on the forum and with friends at home, one of the subjects which comes up fairly often is the ability of the player to have a "God" like view of the battlefield. As the player, we have far more information available to us than a typical battlefield commander would ever hope to have. This thread will be all about several steps taken to reduce the amount of information you the player have and how that reduction of information plays out in a real battle against a human opponent.

@RockinHarry has made several mods to the game and we are going to showcase them here. I hope he will read this first post only and then go away as I will be talking about my side of our battle here and we hopefully have many more turns still to play. RH's mods we will be using in this battle are: Invisible enemy floating icons, Invisible sky triangles, Invisible casualty cross, invisible enemy tracers and several animation changes to lower the stance of troops while performing certain tasks. We will however be playing with friendly icons on. Having played several battles with all icons off, it is no fun losing your men in thick cover and breaking fog of war just to find your men back. While I like the game to be hard, I still want it to be fun. 

For our battle we chose a medium meeting engagement between Armoured Infantry, RH as the Germans and me as the Canadians. The only rules we agreed to were: must take at least two companies of infantry and all vehicles chosen must have at least two rubber wheels. Single vehicles, specialist teams and any artillery could be used so long as it was available under the Armoured Infantry tab. 

I am just finished my lunch at work now, I will post more tonight! 

 

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Quote

The Truelife* Mode PBEM DAR

I was hoping you were going to be sitting in a foxhole, in the rain, playing on your laptop, while intermittent mortar fire lands nearby, but your version sounds more interesting 😉

Edited by Pete Wenman

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1 hour ago, Pete Wenman said:

I was hoping you were going to be sitting in a foxhole, in the rain, playing on your laptop, while intermittent mortar fire lands nearby, but your version sounds more interesting 😉

 

I'm not sure about more interesting; it's more practical though :D

Edited by IanL

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7 hours ago, Pete Wenman said:

I was hoping you were going to be sitting in a foxhole, in the rain, playing on your laptop, while intermittent mortar fire lands nearby, but your version sounds more interesting 😉

I work in a barn and usually come home dirty and smelly. I promise not shower before I write up these posts. As for the intermittent mortar fire.... I live in a household with 7 females, one of whom is learning to drive. Does that count?

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RH and I discussed map choice a little bit and decided we wanted a decent sized map, with some open areas and preferably a town to fight over. We also chose to have our battle take place in Holland. The map we are fighting on is Holland Town Large Meet 049. Here are a few pictures of the map:52u5zHY.jpg

Here is an overhead view of the map:

OupN7Yk.jpg

From the right side:

3f5wCyA.jpg

From the left side:

71U4jTV.jpg

 

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Before I get into my force selection and battle plan, I want share a few thoughts on this battle. The biggest concern I have without any icons visible, is the complete lack of notice I will receive of where enemy units might be. I will only know where they are once I can see them, hopefully before they start killing my men. I think it will be key to try to get as many eyeballs as possible into an area and try to patiently wait to see if any enemy units are present. I also think it will be very important to craft a solid plan for my attack, and then stick to it as much as possible. Keeping my forces together, in communication and mutual support, will be the only way I will be able to get fire superiority once contact is made.  

Knowledge of C2 sharing is going to be impossible in a battle with no icons. My plan to counter this challenge will be to attempt to follow a small command delay strategy. Members of the same platoon, who are in C2 will be able to respond to enemy units within the same turn. If they are out of C2, they will need to make contact with their platoon mates before they can respond. Platoons in the same Company, again in C2, will be able to respond to enemy units one minute after contact has been made. Company to Company communication will be assumed to be 2 minutes. There is one caveat to this rule, if two platoons are in contact with each other, information sharing will be assumed to be instantaneous. Since we are playing in Iron mode, it will be very easy to determine which units are in contact with each other.

I hope to be able to put up my plan for this battle tomorrow night. It is Valentines Day though, so it will depend on how my night goes... 

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11 hours ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

Before I get into my force selection and battle plan, I want share a few thoughts on this battle. The biggest concern I have without any icons visible, is the complete lack of notice I will receive of where enemy units might be. I will only know where they are once I can see them, hopefully before they start killing my men. I think it will be key to try to get as many eyeballs as possible into an area and try to patiently wait to see if any enemy units are present. I also think it will be very important to craft a solid plan for my attack, and then stick to it as much as possible. Keeping my forces together, in communication and mutual support, will be the only way I will be able to get fire superiority once contact is made.  

Knowledge of C2 sharing is going to be impossible in a battle with no icons. My plan to counter this challenge will be to attempt to follow a small command delay strategy. Members of the same platoon, who are in C2 will be able to respond to enemy units within the same turn. If they are out of C2, they will need to make contact with their platoon mates before they can respond. Platoons in the same Company, again in C2, will be able to respond to enemy units one minute after contact has been made. Company to Company communication will be assumed to be 2 minutes. There is one caveat to this rule, if two platoons are in contact with each other, information sharing will be assumed to be instantaneous. Since we are playing in Iron mode, it will be very easy to determine which units are in contact with each other.

I hope to be able to put up my plan for this battle tomorrow night. It is Valentines Day though, so it will depend on how my night goes... 

Ahh Yes...The far too fast automagically C2 Info Sharing in CM (even in 'Iron' Mode...unfortunately) will give you a good heads-up of where enemy units/icons are .

Oh, and thought I was your to go guy for trying to make all aspects of CM as realistic as possible...Now, I know who side your on, lol...In any case, I will be watching how this Battle unfolds with great enthusiasm :-)

Edited by JoMc67

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12 hours ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

craft a solid plan for my attack, and then stick to it as much as possible.

Also, sticking to the plan is, IMO, more realistic.  In the game the player can learn something,  change the entire plan and instantaneously have every unit execute the new plan.  Interesting stuff.  I look forward to following this.

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3 hours ago, JoMc67 said:

Ahh Yes...The far too fast automagically C2 Info Sharing in CM (even in 'Iron' Mode...unfortunately) will give you a good heads-up of where enemy units/icons are .

Oh, and thought I was your to go guy for trying to make all aspects of CM as realistic as possible...Now, I know who side your on, lol...In any case, I will be watching how this Battle unfolds with great enthusiasm 🙂

With no icons or markers of any kind visible for the enemy, and by none I mean absolutely nothing, no sound or spotting contacts at all. If 1st platoon can see an enemy halftrack, I have zero visual clues 2nd platoon knows about it. In fact, the only way to know for certain if 2nd platoon can see the halftrack is to click on each section in 2nd platoon to confirm. I have some examples of what this means in this battle already, I just need some time to get the screenshots processed and posted. Since RH is busy on the weekends we won't be sending over any turns, so I should be able to get a fairly decent chunk done this weekend. 

As for playing realistic battles with you, RH made the invisible icons, so I had to give him first dibs. If you would just hurry up and surrender in our CMFB battle and we can start a new one in CMRT with these same rules and mods! 

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56 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Also, sticking to the plan is, IMO, more realistic.  In the game the player can learn something,  change the entire plan and instantaneously have every unit execute the new plan.  Interesting stuff.  I look forward to following this.

With the icons off, it really is an information vacuum. There is a strong desire to react swiftly to what you can see occurring on the battlefield. However, the even bigger question is always where are the rest of his men? If I go charging in, am I walking right into an ambush?

I am sure there are members of this forum who can see one or two units and know exactly what formation they belong to and how many others should be out there. I have a decent guess but not solid knowledge to risk everything. Sticking to the plan means there should either be enough eyeballs giving me accurate information to send in reinforcements or enough guns to crush any opposition encountered. Hopefully. 

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1 hour ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

With no icons or markers of any kind visible for the enemy, and by none I mean absolutely nothing, no sound or spotting contacts at all. If 1st platoon can see an enemy halftrack, I have zero visual clues 2nd platoon knows about it. In fact, the only way to know for certain if 2nd platoon can see the halftrack is to click on each section in 2nd platoon to confirm. I have some examples of what this means in this battle already, I just need some time to get the screenshots processed and posted. Since RH is busy on the weekends we won't be sending over any turns, so I should be able to get a fairly decent chunk done this weekend. 

As for playing realistic battles with you, RH made the invisible icons, so I had to give him first dibs. If you would just hurry up and surrender in our CMFB battle and we can start a new one in CMRT with these same rules and mods! 

This is true, and with 'No Enemy Icons' it will really hinder things...There might be Enemy Units on the Map that are only visible for a few seconds (that one of your troops notice), but as the 'God Like' Commander you may never even notice it (and as you say; Unless you decide to pause the game every 5 seconds and click on all your units to see who spots what...and, eventually getting a headache in the process, lol).

Actually, you know what would be real nice (as an Upgrade Suggestion), if the outer ring of a Friendly Icon would flash for a few seconds (different from flashing when taking a casualty, etc) when it spots an enemy unit so you can automatically know what unit to focus on...Thou, if you played with 'Sky Triangles' On, then you will have a fairly good idea of what part of map the Visible enemy are located (then, cycle through your units to see who spots what).

Are you going to use any of our 'House Rules' or did you come up with something similar/different ?..Let AI choose what targets to shoot at (use covered arcs to manipulate), no detailed armor hits, no use of the permanent pause function (use the 5-through-45 sec pause function only), etc.

Don't worry about our game..."The End is Near" and your Mortar Fire hasn't deterred me from taking all my objectives (whatever those objectives may be, lol)...I need one final push into that Farm to end all hopes and dreams for the Amis (not to be confused with "The Farm too Far" syndrome I had earlier, lol).

 

 

Edited by JoMc67

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5 hours ago, JoMc67 said:

I hope to be able to put up my plan for this battle tomorrow night. It is Valentines Day though, so it will depend on how my night goes... 

You live with 7 chicks, 6 I am assuming are your daughters. How do you think your night is going to go? LOL. If you want to survive it, that is.

You must've spent 300 bucks on flowers!

 

Mord.

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Hey Mord, You missed quoted the wrong person...Heirloom Tomato said that, LOL 😳

I only have one insignificant other to worry about 😉

Edited by JoMc67

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The only thing I don't necessarily agree with is turning tracers off, but I understand. Unfortunately you can't just turn on tracers for certain weapons, which would be ideal. Machineguns should always spit tracers, instead of SMGs, rifles, grenade launchers and on-map fired mortars. (edit: Maybe you can? Reading another thread discussing this)

I mean, if you are going to reduce your situational awareness, play real-time, and have agreed upon pause times every 3 or 5 minutes for re-issuing orders. Limit those times to 5 minutes. I also understand why you're doing it the way you are, I'm just discussing how I see your concept. Are you guys also increasing the difficulty setting to further decrease situational of individual troops?

This will be a blood-bath. I'll be watching.

Edited by Firehead

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3 hours ago, JoMc67 said:

Hey Mord, You missed quoted the wrong person...Heirloom Tomato said that, LOL 😳

 OOPS! I knew he said it, I apparently didn't scroll up far enough. I must've cut that from your reply to him. LOL.

 

Mord.

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I was swamped with Valentine's day, but no @Mord I did not spend $300 on flowers. Chocolate and handmade cards still get the job done around my house. I will have more of an update tonight after posting up the weekend challenge battle.  

You have seen the map, and read the rules. You now have 2850 points to spend picking your force. What do you take? What do you avoid? I would love to hear some of your choices to see how close they come to what I picked.

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19 hours ago, Firehead said:

The only thing I don't necessarily agree with is turning tracers off, but I understand. Unfortunately you can't just turn on tracers for certain weapons, which would be ideal. Machineguns should always spit tracers, instead of SMGs, rifles, grenade launchers and on-map fired mortars. (edit: Maybe you can? Reading another thread discussing this)

I mean, if you are going to reduce your situational awareness, play real-time, and have agreed upon pause times every 3 or 5 minutes for re-issuing orders. Limit those times to 5 minutes. I also understand why you're doing it the way you are, I'm just discussing how I see your concept. Are you guys also increasing the difficulty setting to further decrease situational of individual troops?

This will be a blood-bath. I'll be watching.

This battle is being fought in Iron mode so arty calls and medic times are increased. Other than this, I am not too sure if there is more we can do.

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I would start with the assertion that I will be building a balanced combined arms force. At least some of the fight will be in town so you will need some infantry. Also this is a meeting engagement so you also need some fast moving components. Not having the game in front of me I don't really know if 2800 points is a company size or battalion sized. For the sake of argument lets say its company sized. I would start with a company of infantry make sure one of the platoons has half tracks or bren carriers. Since you are the Canadians you could keep the carrier platoon and have a reduced infantry company. Then you want some armour so a platoon of Sherman tanks. I might try for a 105 Sherman but it would be a nice to have and not a requirement. 81mm mortars are a definite thing you want or if this is battalion sized 105 instead. I would definitely make room for one or two top notch sniper teams - they are great for detecting approaching enemy units and causing them some pause while you manoeuvre to respond if needed.

The the mobile infantry and a tank or two (half tracks, trucks or carriers first) scream into town as fast as possible taking up positions around a key location or two. Use the tanks to interdict your enemy's approach and have the rest of the infantry head off at a jog escorted by the rest of your armour. Then start securing more of the town and your flanks as you can. Re-purpose the half tracks, trucks or carries as you need to.

IMHO

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22 hours ago, JoMc67 said:

Are you going to use any of our 'House Rules' or did you come up with something similar/different ?..Let AI choose what targets to shoot at (use covered arcs to manipulate), no detailed armor hits, no use of the permanent pause function (use the 5-through-45 sec pause function etc?

We didn't add any additional game play rules to the battle other than the ones stated. I am pausing the replay turn a lot to try to get good angles for screenshots. Nothing is going to get me lambasted worse than setting up an idea like this and then posting horrible pictures. I am also watching the turn over and over again, from as many different positions as possible, all in an attempt to understand what each unit can see or not see. 

As for letting the AI choose what targets to shoot at, right now that is how the battle has been going, mortars being the sole exception. I am actually a little afraid of giving a unit a target command only to have them blindsided and ambushed by an enemy I never saw.

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If both sides haven't already purchased their Formation and Units, then consider the following:

No Vets or above, but instead use Green/Reg, No higher then High Motivation, No higher then 0 Leadership...This should help keep the casualties down a little, while maintaining some staying power (you wont have those continuous RAMBO moments that Vet/Crack w/High Motivation +1/2 Leadership give you).

I know I've been doing the above in most my PBEM or against AI...Usually, Green/High Motivation/0 Leadership as my baseline.

Then, maybe try using the 'Suggestion Only' to purchase your Formation (you will get interesting results, minus the headache of purchase troops).

 

 

Edited by JoMc67

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On 2/14/2019 at 3:48 AM, Heirloom_Tomato said:

I live in a household with 7 females

On 2/15/2019 at 7:41 PM, Heirloom_Tomato said:

I was swamped with Valentine's day

Heff, is that you?

Edited by Bulletpoint

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Ok, HT, give us an Update...Your killing me here with your suspense :-(

I went over to the BN Screenshot Thread just to discover an interesting screen shot :-)

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