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evilman222

Early-War CM?

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On 8/16/2019 at 9:55 AM, MikeyD said:

I had completely forgotten the Renault light tank was in CMBN

They are in CMFI too. Love that canister shot. 

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Posted (edited)

What I don't understand is why the development team doesn't do more in the way of vehicle/unit/towed artillery-guns expansion packs, as was done for CMBN, for the earlier years of the war. Most of the terrain in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union from 1940 to 1943 would be pretty much the same as it was in the later stages of the war. As for the desert war, just modify some of the buildings and we have that theater of operations. I also agree that anything dealing with the PTO during WWII should not be considered. As for BS, add NATO units and a few of the newer weapons systems (at least bring back the A-10). Fix the negative terrain elevation so that trenches and weapon pits are more effective and add some additional barriers like dragon's teeth or other concrete obstacles. Just spit-balling.

Edited by WhiteWolf65

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Posted (edited)

You underestimate the amount of work that requires. Making 1940-1943 CM takes a lot more than just throwing out a few vehicle packs, you also need new TO&Es for every nation involved, which as R2V demonstrates can very well be a colossal amount of work compared to making new uniforms and vehicles. The Eastern Front during 1942 and 1943 was not exactly fought in Poland, Bielorussia or the Baltic States, it was happening in the Ukrainian and Caucasian steppes, if it isn't Northern Russia. Buildings in Northern France and Belgium can be different as well.

Edited by Frenchy56

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1 hour ago, WhiteWolf65 said:

I also agree that anything dealing with the PTO during WWII should not be considered.

I think it would be a perfect fit for the game engine actually. Flushing out static, stubborn enemies seems a lot like combing bocage for Germans in CMBN.

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Oh i'd pay twice as much as normal for a CM game covering the Invasion of Poland and Fall of France. Plenty of tactical scenarios to be had in a Spanish Civil War game too. 

On 8/16/2019 at 10:46 AM, Freyberg said:

I would love to see an early war title, either Western on Eastern Front, but as for whether the market for a 'France falls' game exists, I'd note a couple of things.

I'm a less expert and less knowledgeable player than many on this forum, and these days I always play against the AI (I don't have the time to dedicate to PBEM). Playing the AI, I only like to play on the attack; and I much prefer to play Allies. My perception is that serious grogs like playing the Germans; while we less serious players prefer shooting at Nazis to commanding them.

I would enjoy early War for historical reasons, but it's the late War where you have the most fun playing Allies on the attack. I don't know what percentage of BFC's customers think and play as I do, but that may have something to do with the smaller market.

 Defensive campaigns are possible in CM, the best example of which I think was "A Moment in Time" from Market Garden module. Campaigns starring the Allies as attackers have context in the time though, such as the Saar offensive. The Allies conducted plenty of attacks and actions during May 1940 that would fit in the scale of a CM game, and continued to do so even when the situation was as hopeless as June 1940 when the Weygand line was breached. 

The way the Allies were functioning in 1940 would have them much resembling Syria in CMSF I think. The tools, men, and even surprising cases of willpower are there, but for various reasons the Allies' defense of the Low Countries is a very dysfunctional affair. Thing is this can still be an interesting way to play, in a "making the best of the situation" sort of way. Lots of scenarios with an Allied defense or attack compromised by a poor balance of infantry/armor/artillery/air support. 

1940 was also the ultimate year of the "Tank Army" when infantry anti-tank weapons were very limited, consisting of anything from improvised bombs to artillery guns pressed into service as anti-tank guns. For their part the Germans were also operating formations that were far too "tank heavy" so lots of bizarre scenarios with tons of Panzer Is charging down a forest road into a nice Belgian hamlet with a single infantry company arriving 30min into the scenario to secure it from your counter attack. Ohhh I could go on all day. 

 

 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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2 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Oh i'd pay twice as much as normal for a CM game covering the Invasion of Poland and Fall of France. Defensive campaigns are possible in CM, the best example of which I think was "A Moment in Time" from Market Garden module. 

I think that campaign could be described as "Balanced" rather then defensive, as the Germans are attacking in at least three of the missions. 

Although when it comes to an early-war CM I'm with you all the way.

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49 minutes ago, Warts 'n' all said:

I think that campaign could be described as "Balanced" rather then defensive, as the Germans are attacking in at least three of the missions. 

Although when it comes to an early-war CM I'm with you all the way.

To Dunkirk I presume?

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On 8/26/2019 at 1:36 PM, Frenchy56 said:

You underestimate the amount of work that requires. Making 1940-1943 CM takes a lot more than just throwing out a few vehicle packs, you also need new TO&Es for every nation involved, which as R2V demonstrates can very well be a colossal amount of work compared to making new uniforms and vehicles. The Eastern Front during 1942 and 1943 was not exactly fought in Poland, Bielorussia or the Baltic States, it was happening in the Ukrainian and Caucasian steppes, if it isn't Northern Russia. Buildings in Northern France and Belgium can be different as well.

An interesting prospect would be to have Battlefront make the new vehicles/uniforms, then put out a call to the community to do the research and handle the TO&Es on a volunteer basis (and to get their name in the credits). I think that there's enough people on here that would be willing to donate their time to doing such a project. If nothing else, it would be an interesting experiment...

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On 9/2/2019 at 8:40 PM, Combatintman said:

To Dunkirk I presume?

By co-incidence, we do have our own Dunkirk. And during WW2 there was a radar station sited near the village, which got bombed a fair few times.

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1 hour ago, evilman222 said:

An interesting prospect would be to have Battlefront make the new vehicles/uniforms, then put out a call to the community to do the research and handle the TO&Es on a volunteer basis (and to get their name in the credits). I think that there's enough people on here that would be willing to donate their time to doing such a project. If nothing else, it would be an interesting experiment...

I'm pretty sure that's illegal in a lot of places if they sell the expansions for money. Either that or they'll have to pay the volunteers. It's still work done for a company, and every single company aims for profit, or else it won't last long.

Edited by Frenchy56

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15 hours ago, evilman222 said:

An interesting prospect would be to have Battlefront make the new vehicles/uniforms, then put out a call to the community to do the research and handle the TO&Es on a volunteer basis (and to get their name in the credits). I think that there's enough people on here that would be willing to donate their time to doing such a project. If nothing else, it would be an interesting experiment...

There is a problem with that. BFC would still need to verify TO&Es or risk a massive loss of credibility among their customers. In the end, I don't know how much labor you would be saving for them. Some perhaps, but probably not as much as you seem to anticipate.

Michael

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Issue is there are few English sources of the Battle of France, and lots of what's there is focused on the BEF and Dunkirk. Translated German accounts of the battle can be valuable, and can be used as a way verify ToE's through captured equipment, but I think German accounts have also been overused. This is sort of what led to that picture of "Sacre Bleu! Surrender faster!!!!" stereotypes about the French and overreliance on the Maginot Line by German Officers riding the emotional high of their greatest achievement on the back of the world's first Tank Army. 

tl:dr German accounts of the Early War battles are detailed but rose tinted and a bit condescending. 

As for what I've seen, your average French Infantry squad was 12 men, mostly rifles. A machine gun, slightly modified French copy of the BAR, was assigned to every squad and one man was an "assistant" armed only with a pistol. Every squad was also supposed to have a VB rifle grenade launcher. "Viven-Bessieres", a cup-style grenade discharger from 1916. Interestingly this type of grenade used the "trapped energy" of a normal rifle round to launch and activate its 8 second timer, no blanks needed. 

Issue here is of course that French re-armament was a very sloppy affair and in 1940 how many units had anything near their ToE? The Lebel and Berthier rifle of pre World War 1 vintage were by far the most common weapons still in use by the infantry even though the much more modern MAS36 was around. Ps neither the Lebel or the Berthier shared ammunition with the FM24/29 so squads all had to carry two kinds of ammo around oh dear. 

All of this is then further complicated by the fact that the French operated on paper 3 kinds of Infantry Divisions. Line (I think that's the name?), Reserve A, and Reserve B. Line Divisions were full time and would've been equipped with the cream of the crop...(cream of the croissant?) of French equipment, all the best Officers and even men experienced fighting in the Rif War. Probably few formations were full strength though, even the full-time units probably weren't. 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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20 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Issue is there are few English sources of the Battle of France, and lots of what's there is focused on the BEF and Dunkirk. Translated German accounts of the battle can be valuable, and can be used as a way verify ToE's through captured equipment, but I think German accounts have also been overused. This is sort of what led to that picture of "Sacre Bleu! Surrender faster!!!!" stereotypes about the French and overreliance on the Maginot Line by German Officers riding the emotional high of their greatest achievement on the back of the world's first Tank Army. 

tl:dr German accounts of the Early War battles are detailed but rose tinted and a bit condescending. 

I guess you could say the same about the late war, but the other way around?

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@SimpleSimon Quite exact, but the FM 24/29 is about as much of a 'slightly modified French BAR copy' as the Bren is a 'slightly modified British BAR copy'. It used part of the action, yes, but you cannot call it a "copy", or "slightly modified".

Edited by Frenchy56

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9 hours ago, Frenchy56 said:

@SimpleSimon Quite exact, but the FM 24/29 is about as much of a 'slightly modified French BAR copy' as the Bren is a 'slightly modified British BAR copy'. It used part of the action, yes, but you cannot call it a "copy", or "slightly modified".

Yeah you're right. Various old sources keep referring to it as "that BAR copy" because I think the source saying that actually knows nothing about it. The FM24/29 isn't a very close copy of the BAR. "Influenced by it" seems a more appropriate description. Unfortunately it seems to have kept the BAR's crucial limitations, like a small magazine and lack of a quick change barrel, but the French kept it in production after the war until the 1960s. Maybe they just didn't want to pay FN Herstal for the MAG and Minimi…"not made here". 

9 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I guess you could say the same about the late war, but the other way around?

Certainly. Winning and losing both have ways of coloring their side of the story...

 

 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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ps reading up on French small arms. The French Army may well have had more Erma EMPs around than their own MAS38, but both SMGs were issued in veeeeery small quantities. Less than 2,000 of each. I wouldn't be surprised if an average infantry battalion didn't have any, and probably most went to MPs and maybe some to vehicle crews. 

https://conflictuel.pagesperso-orange.fr/LGGtemp/French_SMGs_1940.pdf

Here's an interesting paper someone wrote on French SMGs between the war. The tl:dr of it is that the French seem to have lots of different SMG models, but not many of any of them. The Thompson was around here and there. Overall sub machine guns would've been quite rare among French infantry in 1940...

 

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In reality the MAS38 SMG saw the most action against remaining Japanese troops in 1945 Indochina, then on either side against early Viet-Minh.

Edited by Frenchy56

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Because at one point or another the Viet Minh in fact were fighting the Japanese and then the French. One after the other I think is what Frenchy is getting at but tbh they may well have been fighting both the Vichy French local authorities and Japanese at the same time. Vietnam was a French overseas territory and after The Fall it went to Vichy. The Japanese and French had an unfriendly but pretty much cooperative relationship with each other in Indochina and it was from French airbases that the bombers which sank Repulse and Prince of Wales took off from. 

The MAS38 is an interesting little sub machine gun too. The barrel and receiver are actually offset from the bolt and firing pin, allowing the bolt to recoil partly into the weapon's stock which is why it's so compact. However, typical of pre-war SMGs it was far too expensive a weapon to equip armies with. Lots of milled parts and fine wooden furnishings  and few were produced after the war. 

Mid war sub machine guns were all kinds of crazy anyway. The Thompson had a leaf sight adjustable up to 600ish meters (yards?) I think (!!!!!) presumably for whoknowshwhateven. I think it was expected that most of the customers at the time were going to be MPs and law enforcement. 

 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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3 hours ago, Warts 'n' all said:

Could you clarify this, as that would suggest two sides fighting against the Viet-Minh.

Both on Viet-Minh and French sides. I thought it would be clear that the French would be the other side during both of those conflicts.

Edited by Frenchy56

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1 hour ago, SimpleSimon said:

Because at one point or another the Viet Minh in fact were fighting the Japanese and then the French. One after the other I think is what Frenchy is getting at but tbh they may well have been fighting both the Vichy French local authorities and Japanese at the same time. Vietnam was a French overseas territory and after The Fall it went to Vichy. The Japanese and French had an unfriendly but pretty much cooperative relationship with each other in Indochina and it was from French airbases that the bombers which sank Repulse and Prince of Wales took off from.

Well, toward the end of the war, earlier fighting against the Viet-Minh could have stacked over the fighting against Japanese. In fact some Japanese soldiers fought in the Viet-Minh as well after their country surrendered.

In fact, the French were fighting the Japanese in the first place since they had invaded and wrestled the rest of Indochina out of Vichy French control in September 1941 (they had already invaded the North one year earlier). No wonder the airfields were available.

Edited by Frenchy56

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The Japanese had invaded and left the local French authorities with little choice as to who was in charge now for sure. 

So chief source of fire for French Infantry in 1940 seems to have been the Hotchkiss Mle M1914, a robust air cooled machine gun of Pre-Great War vintage and the Brandt Mle 27/31, a rather unremarkable but simple Brandt style mortar. Both of these weapons were grouped into a weapons company in with the 3 rifle companies and all of them under a Battalion. This is a fairly typical layout for a 1940 infantry formation. 

Devil as they say, is in the details. The weapons company was only assigned a pair of Brandt mortars. Equivalent German weapons company was supposed to have 6. This put a French Infantry company behind a German one in weight of fire. It isn't really made up for by the 4 extra machine guns in the French weapons company over the German company either. (A French weapons company was assigned 16 Hotchkiss Mle vs 12 MG34s in the German weapons company. The MG34 was such a superb machine gun though...) The French had no heavy mortars but then neither did the Germans outside of the Chemical troop, then mainly for smoke bombardments.

A light mortar very similar to the American 60mm M2 mortar was assigned, one to each Company only and French troops were also supposed to receive a 50mm mortar to replace the VB rifle grenade but I think none were delivered before June. Very little exists on that 50mm mortar, but here's something.

 https://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=990

Most of them went into service with Vichy, and it would've been assigned to Platoons. Could lob a 50mm shell out to around 650m-700m but it seems rather complicated. At only 8-12lbs it's certainly much lighter than the Granatwerfer 36 (30lbs!) and weighs about the same as the British 2in mortar but has a little bit more range. 

 

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