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WhiteWolf65

Possible new command for World War II CM games

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Posted (edited)

The one side affect of me being so sick lately, is that it has given me an opportunity to think about these games, in particular those dealing with World War II.

In the games it is very easy to set-up an infantry ambush by hiding them in concealing terrain, using the Hidden Command. Not so with heavy towed weapons or armored vehicles. I personally feel that a new command should be coded for heavy towed weapons or armored vehicles to be able to set-up in a concealed position, i.e camouflaged with camouflage netting. This was quite common with all units that fought on the Western and Eastern Fronts. Remember in the movie "A Bridge Too Far" where the Germans had a very good concealed position with their PaK-40s and then laid into the sides of those lead Achilles and Fireflies? Of course, once the position were exposed then it would be nullified to some extent. This new command would be "Concealed" and would only apply to the initial set-up of units in a defending situation. Again, just fodder from an old gaming grognard. I don't think this command would be much use in any of the CMSF or CMBS as modern infrared optics make camouflage next to useless.

**Chris**

Edited by WhiteWolf65

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"I have much more serious matters to concern myself with."

I hope you recover from your medical issues quickly and completely, but as you said in the other thread above, I would prioritize resting and recovering over posting on the forum.  Again, hope everything comes out OK, but try to rest.

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IIRC this is already in the game...

As long as you do not move (or open fire) with your AT-guns or AFVs they are considdered to be in a concealed possition and are harder to spot...

This is not graphically represented but rather abstracted...

but it is in the game as far as i know 😎

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8 hours ago, WhiteWolf65 said:

 Remember in the movie "A Bridge Too Far" where the Germans had a very good concealed position with their PaK-40s and then laid into the sides of those lead Achilles and Fireflies? 

The only problem is, that didn't happen. Ryan got his facts completely wrong, and being "anti-war" himself Darling Dickey Attenborough was probably not overly concerned with fact checking.

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I sometimes ask myself how often these kinds of close quarter ambush positions were really used. To me, they seem a bit suicidal. True, you might knock out a few enemies, but your chance to get away after that (or to get away with a crew-served weapon) were probably rather slim? I would not volunteer to man an ATG that was supposed to fire at tanks at close quarter. 

Setting up troops in highly "effective" but suicidal positions is something that can't really be prevented in CM. Pixeltruppen don't have a high degree of tactical awareness and no will of their own except when panicking.

That's not to say that it never happened in reality. Fanatic or naive units sometimes did set up in suicidal positions. Some of them were not even "effective", as demonstrated by an example quoted and translated from Joseph Klein's book "Fallschirmjäger", from the chapter on the third battle of Monte Cassino: 

Quote

 

During the night, a battalion of parachute troops showed up. They had been sent from the 1st parachute division to reinforce our position and were put under our command. The battalion leader was a "Major" who told us that he been hunting partisans in Yuoslavia until then and that his soldiers had no real combat experience.  As he introduced himself to me, I noticed that he disdained being under my (a mere "Fahnenjunker-Feldwebel's") command,  even though I  had been recommended to him as a very experienced company commander. 

We didn't want him and his troops (three full companies) anywhere close to us, so we gave him orders to set up in echelons in the trenches and bunkers to our rear right flank. 

During our night patrol around our farmhouse [they had taken up position at a fortified farmhouse at that time], he tried to convince us to set up one of his heavy MGs in the barn right in front of our farmhouse. We explained to him that this was a bad idea as the MG would have no option to retreat and would be in full view of enemy observation. It would be cannon fodder. Enemy tanks would knock it out before it could get off even a single shot. The major listened to our sound arguments but seemed unimpressed. As he was of higher rank, we could do nothing more to dissuade him of his plan. We felt sorry for those poor devils who had to carry out this order. They were doomed men. 

Because of their inexperience, it wouldn't take long until the enemy would take note of their position. They would leave their cover and run back and forth. Also, their commander and food runners/deliverers would pay them regular visits. They relied on nothing but a 500 meters distance, which they hoped would keep them concealed from the enemy. We knew very well that the Tommies had already noticed the position and that they would not take any measures against it until they launched their actual attack.  

Ourselves, we stayed in our cover throughout the days. I don't think that the Tommies had any idea that we were there.

[...]

At 7 in the evening, when we were already thinking about our meals, all of a sudden enemy artillery started firing at our position and we heard the noise of tanks, coming from the depression/dead ground in front of our position. Then they appeared on the ridge, in echelons with ca. 10 meters in between them. It must have been about 25 Shermans that were coming at us in a line on a broad front. Behind them, partly bunched up, partly taking cover behind the tanks, partly fully in the open (as if they had been on parade grounds!), came their infantry support.  

The heavy MG in the barn in front of our position started to bark but was immediately silenced by the bang of a tank gun. Except for the artillery shells, who were starting to fall behind our position as the enemy shifted the barrage forward, everything was silent. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

IIRC this is already in the game...

As long as you do not move (or open fire) with your AT-guns or AFVs they are considdered to be in a concealed possition and are harder to spot...

This is not graphically represented but rather abstracted...

but it is in the game as far as i know 😎

This. I quickly tried, but failed, to find where in the manual or elsewhere that I read about this. But yeah it's my understanding as well that units set to hide on the deployment phase get an buff to thier ability to hide, at least until they are then spotted or unhide themselves for what ever reason. So I agree that the suggestion given here is already in the game in an abstracted manner if not graphical manner.

Edited by Oliver_88

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Warts 'n' all said:

The only problem is, that didn't happen. Ryan got his facts completely wrong, and being "anti-war" himself Darling Dickey Attenborough was probably not overly concerned with fact checking.

Well, I should have known better than not to be wearing my flak jacket and helmet this morning. Okay, I admit that I made a mistake when it came to Ryan's depiction of the Battle for Arnhem. As for Darling Dickie Attenborough, he was a putz. Operation Market Garden was one of the worst of the Allied Operations dreamed up by Montgomery. Total waste of time, equipment and most of all the blood lost by those heroic American, British, and Polish troops, IMHO. However, all of you know as well as I do, that camouflage netting or other means of concealing a unit was a widely spread practice during World War II. To make it an abstraction, rather than being able to set it up per the player's wishes (whether it is a good idea or not) seems like a much better way of depicting this important aspect of this type of warfare. Even though what Ryan said was wrong, I can give you hundreds of examples of units set up in concealed positions....say like those during the Battle of Stalingrad. Why not come up with a new command, especially for those units that do not set up in a defensive position to begin with (especially in the larger battles). This new command could be similar to the "Target Arc" command but call it "Concealed Arc". If a enemy unit unwilling spots the concealed gun/tank/what have you outside the concealed units concealed arc, then all benefits are lost. However, you give me a concealed Pak-40 ATG in a wood line on a hill and I'll dare any Allied line of armor to move within it's line of sight. Before those tanks could react there would be several burning hulks of twisted metal and dead tankers. Also remember that during the final days of the war, many fanatical SS troops would risk anything to stop the onslaught of the Allied advances on the Mother Land. I say, get rid of the abstract. To me, that is just cutting corners on what could, and probably would, make these games even more realistic.....pixel troops or not.

Damn I hate prednisone. Makes me think too much and sometimes I go off on a steroid rage (this isn't one of them).

**Chris**

Edited by WhiteWolf65

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2 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

I sometimes ask myself how often these kinds of close quarter ambush positions were really used. To me, they seem a bit suicidal. True, you might knock out a few enemies, but your chance to get away after that (or to get away with a crew-served weapon) were probably rather slim? I would not volunteer to man an ATG that was supposed to fire at tanks at close quarter. 

Setting up troops in highly "effective" but suicidal positions is something that can't really be prevented in CM. Pixeltruppen don't have a high degree of tactical awareness and no will of their own except when panicking.

Heavy weapons close quarters ambush.... I´d guess very very rarely and most likely more from an emergency situation (about to abandon weapon anyway, for lack of towing, fuel, ammo, situation etc). Germs had a preference for the "surprise fire" (Feuerüberfall) concept and very likely most other nations as well, since it´s the most effective (hit hard before enemy gets to any cover or spot and return fire). Yet it´s also range dependent. With regard to HMG, PAK etc. "Surprise Fire" (or ambush) would be chosen at "effective" combat ranges usually. So any situation like shown in Bridge too Far (can´t recall the scene ATM) is.... well...guess what.

Got to make some test runs with PAK and the like and would be interested on how much any the ambush possibilities could be made most effective. Range, flanking and keyholed would be normal methods, but I´d also toyed with the idea to either crew "move" an AT gun into fire position or in hands of the AIP "reinforce" onto the map. AIP could also be "triggered" to move assets when an enemy unit hits a trigger map zone and such.

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I'll say it again like I do every time I have the chance.

Combat Mission as it is right now could massively benefit from 3 commands.

Shoot and Scoot : Cover arc order that lets you select an arc and a number of shots (much like Target Briefly) and then executes a Fallback Point order (see below). This would increase the surivability and unpredictability of fragile high-impact weapon teams.

Fallback Point : Movement waypoint that is only executed when the TAC-AI decides the unit should retreat. Essentially, this lets you decide where a unit retreats when it breaks or decides to scamper, solving one of the biggest problems players have with the TAC-AI. With vehicles, the movement would be in reverse.

Target Grenade : Attack order that uses grenades and demolition charges only. It would increase the usefulness of grenades especially in urban settings. You can do something similar in the games as they are, provided the terrain is right (target in the same Action Square, but beyond an obstacle), but such a thing is quite rare.

 

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I will give you a perfect example of how hidden German anti-tank guns were used with a high degree of success during the war in Europe. I had a gaming friend year's ago who told me what his uncle told him during his tour in France during the war. His uncle was a driver for a M5A1 in a armored recon unit. This situation happened in one of the small French villages. His unit, about five of six M5s, were ordered to scout a tree line and relay any info to the battalion commander. The unit moved out of the safety of the village and started advancing on the tree-line. At about 500 meters, four 88 L/56 guns opened on them. Within a few seconds three of the six M5s were made into flaming junk. My friend's uncle pushed forward until he noticed that the two other M5s had stopped because the crews had abandoned their vehicles after seeing the what happened to the first three M5s. His uncle put his M5 in reverse but wasn't lucky enough to get out of the way of the next 88 round coming straight at him. The round hit the lower glacis plate in front of his position, knocked the seat pedestal out from under him, killed the radio man and gunner (the commander was blown out the top of the hatch), went completely through the engine and out the back of the tank. It was at that point that his uncle opened his hatch, climbed out and ran like all hell had broken loose. Of course, an artillery barrage took out the 88s but that is the type of situation that can and did happen during the chaos of battle.

I have also been told battle stories from a Catholic priest when I lived in Asheville, NC about his time with the Waffen SS on the Eastern Front. He told me that every single tank crew was always frightened when it came to dealing with concealed Russian Pak fronts.

**Chris**

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10 minutes ago, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

I'll say it again like I do every time I have the chance.

Combat Mission as it is right now could massively benefit from 3 commands.

Shoot and Scoot : Cover arc order that lets you select an arc and a number of shots (much like Target Briefly) and then executes a Fallback Point order (see below). This would increase the surivability and unpredictability of fragile high-impact weapon teams.

Fallback Point : Movement waypoint that is only executed when the TAC-AI decides the unit should retreat. Essentially, this lets you decide where a unit retreats when it breaks or decides to scamper, solving one of the biggest problems players have with the TAC-AI. With vehicles, the movement would be in reverse.

Target Grenade : Attack order that uses grenades and demolition charges only. It would increase the usefulness of grenades especially in urban settings. You can do something similar in the games as they are, provided the terrain is right (target in the same Action Square, but beyond an obstacle), but such a thing is quite rare.

 

Agreed, agreed, agreed............1000%

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13 minutes ago, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

I'll say it again like I do every time I have the chance.

Combat Mission as it is right now could massively benefit from 3 commands.

Shoot and Scoot : Cover arc order that lets you select an arc and a number of shots (much like Target Briefly) and then executes a Fallback Point order (see below). This would increase the surivability and unpredictability of fragile high-impact weapon teams.

Target Grenade : Attack order that uses grenades and demolition charges only. It would increase the usefulness of grenades especially in urban settings. You can do something similar in the games as they are, provided the terrain is right (target in the same Action Square, but beyond an obstacle), but such a thing is quite rare.

two possibilities coming in mind. 

1. Target arc and paused "evade/retreat" comand. At least worth a try I think. Maybe combined with some tricky "hull down".

2. Target grenade already works if the targeted area (within 30m something) is not currently in direct LOS. You can effectively "grenade" an area i.e behind a wall, or road/RR embankment. 

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12 minutes ago, WhiteWolf65 said:

At about 500 meters, four 88 L/56 guns opened on them. Within a few seconds three of the six M5s were made into flaming junk. My friend's uncle pushed forward until he noticed that the two other M5s had stopped because the crews had abandoned their vehicles after seeing the what happened to the first three M5s. His uncle put his M5 in reverse but wasn't lucky enough to get out of the way of the next 88 round coming straight at him.

sounds bits of an "overkill" to me. Did this uncle acted in a Hollywood movie sort of? Yes, it sounds ironic..... but 4x "88´s"/Tigers vs a M5? Unlikely... to say it mildly. And that at 500m. Even more unlikely. :mellow:

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@RockinHarry

I know it's possible to approximate some of what I described, but I think that to model appropriate and logical behaviors, those actions would need distinct commands.

The time-based shoot and scoot method is not reliable. When the time reaches 0,  the team will evade (which is no good and potentially dangerous if your target did not cross the target arc in time). In a similar fashion, they can shoot an infinite number of times during that time window, but you could want for them to evade as soon as the first shot is fired (the most evident case would be for a team equipped with disposable AT launchers).

About grenades, the problem is that it's often not possible to find a spot where your target is liable to be engaged in the currently available manner. A separate command would give you the expected result every time as long as you're in range.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

@RockinHarry

I know it's possible to approximate some of what I described, but I think that to model appropriate and logical behaviors, those actions would need distinct commands.

The time-based shoot and scoot method is not reliable. When the time reaches 0,  the team will evade (which is no good and potentially dangerous if your target did not cross the target arc in time). In a similar fashion, they can shoot an infinite number of times during that time window, but you could want for them to evade as soon as the first shot is fired (the most evident case would be for a team equipped with disposable AT launchers).

About grenades, the problem is that it's often not possible to find a spot where your target is liable to be engaged in the currently available manner. A separate command would give you the expected result every time as long as you're in range.

yes, these are just (partly insufficient) workarounds currently available in the game. I´d also wish for more and better options, hopefully beeing included with next patches or game engine versions. Improving on AI should be always first priority IMO, before doing or adding anything else. B)

Edit: I think the main problem for BFC adding this could be how to make it work for an AIP! Even with available stuff, the AIP always appears....overworked. It´s already quite a challenge to pull every trick out of the hat to give the AIP more of a chance vs. even a mediocre human player.

Edited by RockinHarry

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Posted (edited)

Here is one for you. In all the years that I've played CM, I have never seen any infantry get into hand-to-hand combat with rifle butts, entrenching tools, bayonets, or even a rock. Now that would be an exciting addition. In other words, Close Combat (no, not the game). LOL

Edited by WhiteWolf65

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3 hours ago, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

Shoot and Scoot : ...

Fallback Point : ...

I really like the idea of the first two. Thumbs up. Trying to figure out the timing of a shoot and scoot order is hard. Too often even good guesses fail to get what you want. Love the fall back point idea too.

I am sure BFC could design something that would work well. Perhaps not exactly like you describe but same idea.

3 hours ago, Xorg_Xalargsky said:

Target Grenade : Attack order that uses grenades and demolition charges only. It would increase the usefulness of grenades especially in urban settings. You can do something similar in the games as they are, provided the terrain is right (target in the same Action Square, but beyond an obstacle), but such a thing is quite rare.

I am not convinced about this on though. I get that some times we wish that more grenades would be throw but when in a real situation would you really only want grenades? Keeping in mind that in the game the troops try to do exactly what they are ordered. So as an example let's say you want a team to throw grenades over a hill crest. With a grenade only order bad things will happen if the enemy comes over the hill top at the wrong moment. Or if you give a team a grenade only order into the first floor and they then come under fire from the second floor.

I would recommend advocating for more grenade use in certain situations instead.

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7 hours ago, IanL said:

I really like the idea of the first two. Thumbs up. Trying to figure out the timing of a shoot and scoot order is hard. Too often even good guesses fail to get what you want. Love the fall back point idea too.

Shoot-n-scoot was the primary reason that the M-18 was designed. Hit your target hard and hit the gas before you get ventilated.

I am sure BFC could design something that would work well. Perhaps not exactly like you describe but same idea.

I am not convinced about this on though. I get that some times we wish that more grenades would be throw but when in a real situation would you really only want grenades?

If I were in such a situation in real life, I would grab hold of the first thing I could to take out a threat.

Keeping in mind that in the game the troops try to do exactly what they are ordered. So as an example let's say you want a team to throw grenades over a hill crest. With a grenade only order bad things will happen if the enemy comes over the hill top at the wrong moment. Or if you give a team a grenade only order into the first floor and they then come under fire from the second floor.

I would tend to agree with this. Like grenades bouncing back on the thrower. It did happen. Herein, is the problem with the current A/I. I give an order to a unit and they almost 80% of the time will carry it out, no matter how outlandish that order might be. You and I know that when some butter-bar lieutenant fresh from the academy ordered a unit to do something that the platoon Sargent felt was fool-hardy that is was usually the Sargent's actions that saved lives, not the lieu's. I would like to see the A/I pretty much say, "Hey, if you want to have a gun fight with a Panther and you only have a side-arm.....screw you."

I would recommend advocating for more grenade use in certain situations instead.

 

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On 6/23/2019 at 8:58 AM, WhiteWolf65 said:

Here is one for you. In all the years that I've played CM, I have never seen any infantry get into hand-to-hand combat with rifle butts, entrenching tools, bayonets, or even a rock. Now that would be an exciting addition.

In CMBO/BB etc. you'd hear smacking sounds and grunts and the units would jerk backwards simulating that the squads were engaged in hand-to-hand. In BN/FB etc. close combat is basically a lot of grenade chucking and point blank shooting. I'd love to see more action when it happens but BF's argument is that it won't look good if they can't program it so it's an actual 1vs1 representation on screen. In other words if a guy is swinging his rifle like a club and the enemy unit isn't right in front of him it won't look right. But then again we get dudes doing first aid in the wrong spot sometimes, wheels that don't roll on towed guns, guys not holding heavy machine guns when firing, dudes that disappear into thin air when shot on or in vehicles etc. So, I don't know if one more abstraction would be annoying or wouldn't matter to me.

Mord.

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On 6/23/2019 at 3:27 PM, IanL said:

True, I think my main thought is that a tweek to the grenade throwing decision might be better.

We already know what's gonna happen if they tweak it. The units will end up blowing their wad the first time a grenade throwing situation pops up. There'll be fifty threads complaining about it, arguing and calls for proof, and a year or two later it will finally get dialed back to where we pretty much started at. LOL. Sometimes "tweaks" are more work than a brand new feature.

 

Mord.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Mord said:

We already know what's gonna happen if they tweak it. The units will end up blowing their wad the first time a grenade throwing situation pops up. There'll be fifty threads complaining about it, arguing and calls for proof, and a year or two later it will finally get dialed back to where we pretty much started at. LOL. Sometimes "tweaks" are more work than a brand new feature.

BTW I wasn't advocating for a dedicated grenade command, just making a humorous observation on the pitfalls of tweakage.

 

Mord.

Edited by Mord

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Posted (edited)
On 6/23/2019 at 5:22 AM, Kaunitz said:

I sometimes ask myself how often these kinds of close quarter ambush positions were really used. To me, they seem a bit suicidal. True, you might knock out a few enemies, but your chance to get away after that (or to get away with a crew-served weapon) were probably rather slim? I would not volunteer to man an ATG that was supposed to fire at tanks at close quarter. 

Setting up troops in highly "effective" but suicidal positions is something that can't really be prevented in CM. Pixeltruppen don't have a high degree of tactical awareness and no will of their own except when panicking.

That's not to say that it never happened in reality. Fanatic or naive units sometimes did set up in suicidal positions. Some of them were not even "effective", as demonstrated by an example quoted and translated from Joseph Klein's book "Fallschirmjäger", from the chapter on the third battle of Monte Cassino: 

 

"Pixeltruppen" as you describe our beloved CM fighters, may not have as much tactical awareness as their human counter-parts but I feel that they can be more than what they currently are. As it stands now, our Pixeltruppen, have a very limited number of options when it comes to their own preservation. They can either carry out the command as given to them, pop smoke, cower, run away or die. I do feel that the A/I of the pixeltruppen could be improved upon to where a squad of men led by a competent (veteran soldier) should also have the ability to refuse to follow an order if that order has a high, or even a moderate, degree chance of turning that squad into  a bunch bloody body parts on the battlefield.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, read how effective concealed German weapons (from infantry up to heavy towed weapons) were at destroying advancing US infantry and armored units as the US was making it's way to Cologne. One excellent source of how Germany conducted combat operations during the war is "On the German Art of War: Truppenfuhrung: German Army Manual for Unit Command in World War II" by Bruce Condell and David T Zabecki, published by Stackpole Books. This is an excellent book for anyone that is interested in how the German Army conducted combat operations during the war. And, it's pretty cool to read while listening to Dark Side of the Moon by Floyd. LOL

Edited by WhiteWolf65

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