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Bil Hardenberger

CMSF 2 - Co-op AAR (Bil v IanL) Using Realism Rules

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Posted (edited)

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This game was fought against @IanL, it is long over and Ian will be contributing to this thread as we go, so feel free to discuss tactics used, the rules we adhered to (or tried to adhere to), or anything else that warrants a response of some kind.

The Realism Rules we used during this game were inspired by the rules used by @ncc1701e and @JoMc67 in the CMBN forum (what we called the Star Trek Rules).  I recommend you looking in on those lads and take a look at what they have been doing.

Ian and I, though we used those rules as an inspiration, really are using a different set that more aligns with our thinking of how a realism mod should be applied.  You will see some similarities and some that are dramatically different.  I will list the rules now and leave it up for discussion and debate:

HARD CAT RULES

  1.  ARTILLERY
    1. No Pre-Planned Arty on Turn 1 - EXCEPTION:  ATTACKER in an Assault or Attack scenario
    2. Once placed, artillery cannot be cancelled
    3. Artillery can only be adjusted once spotting rounds start to fall
    4. Follow Rule 4 for all Area Fire by artillery or (indirect firing) mortars
  2. TARGETING & SMOKE
    1. No direct targeting allowed, units must find their own targets
    2. Smoke can be used at any time (infantry, artillery, or vehicle smoke of any flavor)
  3. INTELLIGENCE
    1. Players CANNOT click on Enemy Icons or Units during a Game, only visual examinations allowed
  4. AREA FIRE
    1. No Area Fire allowed on turn 1
    2. AF-Type 1
      1. Players can order area fire on an Action Spot (AS) that DOES NOT have ANY positive or tentative contacts known by any unit 
      2. The PL must have LOS to the AS to direct fire from its squads and any squad to be given an area target order must be in C2 with the PL
    3. AF-Type 2
      1. Players can order a unit to area fire on an AS that has a tentative contact that is known only to said unit
      2. The squad leader is directing fire
    4. AF-Type 3
      1. Players can order a unit to area fire on an AS that a superior of the team has a positive or tentative contact in, as long as the unit is in C2 with said superior
      2. The LT is directing fire

We can dissect those in as much detail as you guys like.

SCENARIO CONSTRAINTS

  • QB Meeting Engagement (Tiny)
  • Red v Red
  • No Tanks
  • Infantry Base (any flavor)
  • No other limits

SETUP-Overview+Map.png

Note that on the map there are three objectives, we each have one friendly objective that we need to protect, and one major objective, Bridge that we will be fighting over.  The intent was to keep us honest and make sure that we didn't just both do a flag rush on the Bridge... I think it worked pretty well as you shall see.

  • Objective Blue - my setup area 
  • Objective Red - Ian's setup area
  • Bridge Objective - main objective for this scenario

My Purchases - BLUEFOR

  • B Company, 1st Battalion Guards Mech Infantry
    • HQ
    • Command Squad
    • BMP-2
    • ZSU-23-4
  • 1st Platoon Mech Infantry
    • HQ on BMP-2
    • 2nd Squad on BMP-2
    • 3rd Squad on BMP-2
  • 2nd Platoon Mech Infantry
    • HQ on BTR-60PB
    • 2nd Squad on BTR-60PB
    • 3rd Squad on BTR-60PB
    • Heavy Mortar Squad on BTR-60PB
  • 3rd Platoon Mech Infantry (Dismounted)
    • HQ
    • 2nd Squad
    • 3rd Squad
    • Heavy Mortar Squad
    • x3 AT Team (x2 PG-7 and x1 AT-13)
    • x2 Recon Teams

B Company:

SETUP-B+Company.png

1st Platoon:

SETUP-1st+Platoon.png

2nd Platoon:

SETUP-2nd+Platoon.png

3rd Platoon:

SETUP-3rd+Platoon.png

ZSU-23-4:

SETUP-ZSU.png

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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Excellent stuff.

When I'm playing single player, I've been playing with a set of house rules recently which are similar to the area fire rules above, but a little more concise:
"Units cannot area fire into a location where they do not have a contact marker, unless *no* unit has a contact marker in that location".

Logic being that genuinely speculative fire is fine, but you need to get that information around the C2 network.


I'm not really sure what the targeting rules achieve, and whilst I understand clicking on units, I'm not sure it's a massive deal.


"No pre-planned artillery" seems pretty harsh for an attacking Syrian side, but I suppose that's what TRPs are for.


Keen to see how this plays out. I'm still unsure how well CMSF plays as a PBEM game, since the Red vs Blue disparities are such that points don't work terribly well to balance things, but Red vs Red should be a lot more interesting.

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22 minutes ago, domfluff said:

I'm not really sure what the targeting rules achieve, and whilst I understand clicking on units, I'm not sure it's a massive deal.

I found the rule forbidding clicking on enemy units to be more of a hindrance than a help to be honest.  So if I play another game using these rules I will insist on striking it.

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Posted (edited)

Are your AT teams RPGs or ATGMs?

If they're ATGMs, I'm not sure where I'd site them - from the screenshots, the map curvature looks as though any engagements would be limited to a couple of hundred metres, and possibly through wire-catching bushes.

Equally, if "Heavy mortars" are the 120mm sort, then you've a hefty minimum range to deal with. That's less of a problem if your targets were worked out in advance, but it's a limitation.

(The building is an obvious spot for an ATGM team, but it's probably too obvious - I'd feel remiss if I didn't lob a few mortar rounds in that direction).

Edited by domfluff

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1 minute ago, domfluff said:

Are your AT teams RPGs or ATGMs?

If they're ATGMs, I'm not sure where I'd site them - from the screenshots, the map curvature looks as though any engagements would be limited to a couple of hundred metres, and possibly through wire-catching bushes.

Equally, if "Heavy mortars" are the 120mm sort, then you've a hefty minimum range to deal with. That's less of a problem if your targets were worked out in advance, but it's a limitation.

Yes one of each - I will post more details in my METT-T breakdown.

As for the mortars.. yeah, they are the 120s... don't want to post any spoilers, but they became a bitch to use on this short map.

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46 minutes ago, domfluff said:

"No pre-planned artillery" seems pretty harsh for an attacking Syrian side, but I suppose that's what TRPs are for.

I made an edit to the rules in my intial post.. @IanL called it out to me that I had: No Pre-Planned Arty on Turn 1 - EXCEPTION:  Defender in an Assault or Attack scenario

...when it should have read:

No Pre-Planned Arty on Turn 1 - EXCEPTION:  ATTACKER in an Assault or Attack scenario

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15 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:
43 minutes ago, domfluff said:

I'm not really sure what the targeting rules achieve, and whilst I understand clicking on units, I'm not sure it's a massive deal.

I found the rule forbidding clicking on enemy units to be more of a hindrance than a help to be honest.  So if I play another game using these rules I will insist on striking it.

Re targeting rules: They are supposed to ensure that leadership is with the troops (PL means Platoon Leader). The idea being that having the platoon shooting up likely areas or conducting intel by fire would be directed by the platoon leader and therefore they need to be able to see and be in touch with their men. The goal was to make sure the PL was up there controlling things - like they would be IRL. In the game with our god like views it is all to easy to just park the HQs behind safe cover and not pay close attention to what the PL could actually see and what activities they could actually conduct.

For me this was the biggest experience enhancing effect of these rules. They are not too onerous but help increase the RealFeel(r).

Re refraining from clicking on enemy units: At the Elite and Iron levels all enemy infantry icons share the plan infantry icon this is good. IRL typically you would not know if the guys you are seeing are HQ or a heavy weapons team unless you saw the actual heavy weapon. The problem is the game reveals this information in the UI panel when you click on it. Crap! So, we have a rule that you cannot click on it. Which reminds me I keep meaning to log that as a bug...

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I thought the UI panel only shows that when your units see identifying information (e.g., the weapon system or radio or something) - certainly if they've only spotted a single soldier the panel won't show that.

The area-targeting limitations I understand (and fully support), what I'm less sure of is the use of the Target command in general:

Quote

No direct targeting allowed, units must find their own targets

Control of fires is part of a platoon leader's job, yes? So allowing your squads to fire as they will will detract from that.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, domfluff said:

The area-targeting limitations I understand (and fully support), what I'm less sure of is the use of the Target command in general:

Control of fires is part of a platoon leader's job, yes? So allowing your squads to fire as they will will detract from that.

A PL can only control so much, he should give sectors of fire and expect the individual units to abide by those limitations... you can do that with Cover Arcs in the game, so no need to micro-manage by giving direct target orders.   Exception, if the PL is giving an Area Fire order, which is recon by fire, that is well within his sphere.

Edited by Bil Hardenberger

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4 minutes ago, domfluff said:

I thought the UI panel only shows that when your units see identifying information (e.g., the weapon system or radio or something) - certainly if they've only spotted a single soldier the panel won't show that.

Nope. Sadly you can see what kind of unit it is if you click on it no matter how much or how little of the unit you can see. And that blank UI panel - that means you have selected an enemy infantry squad.

 

4 minutes ago, domfluff said:

The area-targeting limitations I understand (and fully support), what I'm less sure of is the use of the Target command in general:

Quote

No direct targeting allowed, units must find their own targets

Control of fires is part of a platoon leader's job, yes? So allowing your squads to fire as they will will detract from that.

Once things get Real the squad and team leader should be allowed to control their fire teams. At least that's how I look at it. I suppose you could argue that the PL might want to direct that if they wanted to support some specific manoeuvre by a particular team.

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Now that you (both) explained some of those rules I can understand why they were implemented. What I like is that they don’t require the (in my view) onerous bookkeeping that the more complicated systems that have been described elsewhere on this forum entail. No tracking what you’ve ordered a unit to do several minutes ago and if you can change those orders or not, etc.

This seems to be a balance of playability and some realism elements. 

I’m looking forward to more. 

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2 hours ago, IanL said:

The goal was to make sure the PL was up there controlling things - like they would be IRL. 

For me this was the biggest experience enhancing effect of these rules.

+1  I like this.  I'm going to work this into my own house rules.    

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39 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

+1  I like this.  I'm going to work this into my own house rules.    

Maybe we should have a unique thread comparing House Rules... might be eye opening.

Bil

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3 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

I found the rule forbidding clicking on enemy units to be more of a hindrance than a help to be honest.  So if I play another game using these rules I will insist on striking it.

That makes sense to me. 

What should one do if one inadvertently clicks on an enemy unit in close combat.....Confess & surrender immediately?  Request a ceasefire to discuss one's error?

2 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Maybe we should have a unique thread comparing House Rules... might be eye opening.

It would be interesting to compare.

 

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1 minute ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

What should one do if one inadvertently clicks on an enemy unit in close combat.....Confess & surrender immediately?  Request a ceasefire to discuss one's error?

I did actually accidentally click on one of Ian's units during the game when I was trying to CTRL click next to it for a visual inspection... I immediately told him and gave him permission to click on one of mine.  

Bil

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I find it quite hard enough to resist the urge to blast action spots that I know are occupied while waiting for word to filter down the chain of command already.....The opportunity to inspect one's future victims is fair prize for such restraint IMHO.  :D

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1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

I did actually accidentally click on one of Ian's units during the game when I was trying to CTRL click next to it for a visual inspection... I immediately told him and gave him permission to click on one of mine.  

Bil

LOL yeah this rule was annoying considering the main use of clicking on enemy units is to find out which of your units can see it. Totally sucks not being able to do that.

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1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Maybe we should have a unique thread comparing House Rules... might be eye opening.  

Hmmm, that's an idea...................  

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1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Maybe we should have a unique thread comparing House Rules... might be eye opening.

Only if we can some how not talk about people's dumb ass rules for force selection in QBs - I only allow 25% of this type of force except if they have only wheels and then you can go as high as 33%. Oh and only some regular troops the rest green. Except for snipers, they can be veteran. But no tanks unless its a blue moon next Tuesday. Save me from the insanity of your broken little minds.

If we could just talk about in game limitations on orders and behaviour I would like that. That conversation that is very rare.

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Always great to see another AAR on the forums, especially when it's from Bil!

6 hours ago, IanL said:

Re targeting rules: They are supposed to ensure that leadership is with the troops (PL means Platoon Leader). The idea being that having the platoon shooting up likely areas or conducting intel by fire would be directed by the platoon leader and therefore they need to be able to see and be in touch with their men. The goal was to make sure the PL was up there controlling things - like they would be IRL. In the game with our god like views it is all to easy to just park the HQs behind safe cover and not pay close attention to what the PL could actually see and what activities they could actually conduct.

In the modern titles, specifically Shock Force, I actually think this makes a lot of sense. Maybe more so for the US/NATO side of things to better simulate strict ROE environments, but it has merits all around. 

36 minutes ago, IanL said:

Only if we can some how not talk about people's dumb ass rules for force selection in QBs - I only allow 25% of this type of force except if they have only wheels and then you can go as high as 33%. Oh and only some regular troops the rest green. Except for snipers, they can be veteran. But no tanks unless its a blue moon next Tuesday. Save me from the insanity of your broken little minds.

Ha! Yup, pretty much. I tend to avoid playing Quick Battles for this reason. I also find that sometimes House Rules can be a little over the top (the 'no Abrams in BS for the US player' comes to mind) so I tend to avoid most house rules. However, all of your house rules seem to be aimed at increasing the C3/fog of war realities on the ground, which I think is a great idea. 

In general I think the C3 system in CM is very well done. In my opinion the only thing it lacks is that added layer of fog of war that can sometimes lead to fratricide and other types of miscommunication. For example, during a night battle if a friendly unit sees another unit but cannot identify it, so they engage it anyways and end up shooting up a friendly element. I know that on Iron difficulty this is theoretically possible, but during the orders phase you regain complete battlefield awareness as the player, so it still rarely happens. 

@Bil Hardenberger what soft factors did you set your men too? I've found that if the Syrian force is given good soft factors, they can be a very potent fighting force.

Really excited to see how this plays out using these rules. I'll reserve judgement on the rules until the AAR is concluded so we can see how they affected the gameplay. 

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Posted (edited)

The no targeting rule would be problematic in a non-infantry only battle since the various Target commands double as weapon selection commands. The TacAI tends to shoot HE at everything.

2 hours ago, IanL said:

Only if we can some how not talk about people's dumb ass rules for force selection in QBs - I only allow 25% of this type of force except if they have only wheels and then you can go as high as 33%. Oh and only some regular troops the rest green. Except for snipers, they can be veteran. But no tanks unless its a blue moon next Tuesday. Save me from the insanity of your broken little minds.

Well, why don't you tell us how you really think? 😄 I take it you have not played many QBs with completely unrestricted purchasing, particularly of the large or huge variety. If you did you would soon join the ranks of the broken-minded. The common refrain that the best OOB is a balanced OOB is not true in CM world, at least not in QBs where efficiency is paramount. Generally speaking, the way to achieve the most cost effective force is to purchase the smallest amount of infantry you can get away with then spend everything else on the best tanks available while completely ignoring artillery. There are a number of game mechanics that encourage this that I won't get into.

In the CM1 games there is a QB setting called Balanced that places limits on each unit type. It was the most popular QB type, at least in the ladders/clubs I was in. Placing limits on armor in particular is a fairly simple way to approximate the Balanced setting in CM2 QBs. It also has the virtue of being verifiable so it can be used with opponents you aren't sure can be trusted.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B

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46 minutes ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

Generally speaking, the way to achieve the most cost effective force is to purchase the smallest amount of infantry you can get away with then spend everything else on the best tanks available while completely ignoring artillery. There are a number of game mechanics that encourage this that I won't get into.

And then you find the map selection is mud...lots of mud.  :D  

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

Well, why don't you tell us how you really think? 😄 I take it you have not played many QBs with completely unrestricted purchasing, particularly of the large or huge variety. If you did you would soon join the ranks of the broken-minded.

LOL I did let my snark flag fly.

In answer to your questions - yes actually I do play a lot of open selection QBs. I like it. I don't like house rules telling me what to buy or not buy. I learned that a balanced force *does* matter by playing against good players. Ones who when I went tank heavy stripped away my measly infantry force and then picked away at my tanks. Ones who used artillery to control my avenue of approach to thier advantage.

If you pick a force and get beat on the selection screen don't whine to me about your house rules. Pick a better force next time. Or grow a pair and make do. I certainly will!

:D

That is enough banter. I'm getting my turn files lined up and about to get some screen shots. Next post will be back on topic.

Edited to add: Oh man you guys really set me off. As you can guess I hate hearing about how this or that isn't fair in the game and how I have a whiz bang complicated set of house rules for force selection that fixes everything. It just smacks of whininess and I tend to rant a bit. Ignore me. @Bud Backer can attest - he has heard me rant from time to time :D

I am happy to pay free selection QB matches and I also enjoy restricted matches too. Obviously this one is - mech infantry only. I am happy to have an involved discussion about house rules around ways to increase realism. I will refrain from going off in this thread about those other kinds of house rules.

Edited by IanL

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Posted (edited)

Planning

METT-T will be forth coming. For now I will go out of order and present my order of battle to get things going.

 

METT-T: Troops

Order of battle

  • A Company, Syrian Regular Army Recon

    • HQ Team (named Leslie), BMP 2K

  • 1st Platoon

    • HQ Team, BMP 2

    • 1st Squad, BMP 2

    • 2nd Squad, dismounted

    • 3rd Team AT-7, dismounted

  • 2nd Platoon

    • HQ Team, BMP 2

    • 1st Squad, BMP 2

    • 2nd Squad, dismounted

    • 3rd Team AT-7, dismounted

 

  • B Company, Syrian Regular Army Recon BRDM

    • HQ Team, BRDM-2

    • BRDM-2 AT5

  • 1st Platoon

    • HQ Team, BRDM-2

    • 1st Squad, BRDM-2

    • 2nd Squad, BRDM-2

    • RPG Team, BRDM-2

  • 2nd Platoon

    • HQ Team, BRDM-2

    • 1st Squad, BRDM-2

    • 2nd Squad, BRDM-2

    • RPG Team, cross loaded into 1st Platoon's 4th BRDM-2

2 Platoon A Co

20190507200134-2a9ae868.jpg

 

1 Platoon A Co

20190507200214-c5d9f775.jpg

 

1 Platoon B Co

20190507200254-9b5ea3d1.jpg

 

2 Platoon B Co

20190507200334-c2af73b0.jpg

 

Edited by IanL

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2 minutes ago, IanL said:

HQ Team (named Leslie), BMP 2K

I am just highlighting this. Something I try to remember when I play a QB is name the top commander with my name. That way I can see if I survive the battle.

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