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The Advantages and Negatives of Opening Up

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According to the manual, opening up the hatches of a AFV increases their field of view which I assume means they can spot enemy units better then when buttoned up.  Does it also increase the accuracy of their main gun?

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27 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

there might just be some bonus to accuracy over a number of shots, as the commander is better able to observe their impact.

Looks like a test coming up...

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The negatives are fairly obvious. There are few CM maps where you can stand off beyond small arms range and bang away. So it's race to see if the unbuttoned commander can spot the enemy before some sniper or lmg team spots him. Being unbuttoned is a BAD idea in ultra-lethal CMBS because you will get shot. In the WWII titles you'll probably not die immediately but be forced to button as bullets bounce off the turret.

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10 hours ago, MikeyD said:

Being unbuttoned is a BAD idea in ultra-lethal CMBS because you will get shot.

It's a bloody awful idea in CM:A too.....I don't know if that game specifically has Uncons focus on tank commanders, but it surely felt that way when I had two unbuttoned T-55s reduced to two crewmen each in under a minute!  :o

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During night and poor LOS conditions it can be useful to have at least one or a few vehicles be unbuttoned as spotting an enemy (esp tank) first is critical.

I like to have a column led by a halftrack or two unbuttoned even if not a tank - it depends on how many tanks one has and how many tank crewmen one can afford to lose.  (Usually one can afford to lose halftrack crew.)

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I would be nice if the tac AI would have a commander pop his head out and take a peek when the situation suggests it.  Then we could all complain about how often they get shot.

 

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On 1/2/2020 at 4:41 AM, MikeyD said:

The negatives are fairly obvious. There are few CM maps where you can stand off beyond small arms range and bang away. So it's race to see if the unbuttoned commander can spot the enemy before some sniper or lmg team spots him. Being unbuttoned is a BAD idea in ultra-lethal CMBS because you will get shot. In the WWII titles you'll probably not die immediately but be forced to button as bullets bounce off the turret.

 

Oh, they die all the time in the WW2-titles as well and take their time closing when fired upon. I'm starting to wonder whether it's ever useful to open up.

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Posted (edited)

One thing that's worth keeping in mind (as I know @Erwin would agree) is just how small many CM maps are in real terms.....Most fighting in these titles takes place at what might be considered close or point blank range.

A couple of us are experimenting with long duration, small unit scenarios set on whopping maps.....The game plays & feels rather different in that coniguration.

@puje has written a whole campaign in this format for CM:SF2 'Heaven & Earth' mod.....Never has a single sniper given me so much hassle!  :o

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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I was play CMRT last night. Playing Realtime, my Russian light tank wandered in among some unseen German inf. I went to hit the '\' reverse waypoint command but hit the ']' unbutton command instead. My TC popped up and immediately died. D'oh! A real forehead-slapper moment. Its inadvisable to unbutton when your tank is 3 meters from the enemy. :lol:

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On a vaguely related note, how do those of you who use them keep 'Technicals' alive (I guess MG Jeeps would be similar).....I've taken to using them only from keyholed shoot & scoot positions, for short busts of fire, but when used this way their own accuracy is truly horrendous (ZPU Technicals can be a real menace)!

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Its been a long time since I've played with MG-armed jeeps and CMSF2 Technicals. I recall the introduction of 'hull down' command was a Godsend for them. Increases their life expectancy significantly. There's not many CM maps where you can use 'em at stand-off range. If you know you're facing a smg squad, M1 carbines or AKs then you can stand off and fire away at them with impunity. One lmg team or sniper in the mix spoils that plan, though.

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Posted (edited)

I've been using them in CM:A, which is not a particularly kind environment TBH, manually positioning them hull down works for a while, but god help the gun crews if you don't displace them after a turn (or less).  

I suppose this reflects what we see in reality, with technicals frantically reversing into position, firing a couple of wildly inaccurate bursts and then screaming off to cover.....But it makes it really dificult to effectively use them with the AI, they really need a slot each to survive!

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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It's all about range.  Shouldn't be using any soft vehicles within 500m-100m+ of an enemy.  But as SS says, the mostly small CM2 maps makes that hard and lead to ahistorical uses of all units.  In the CM games SMG's are the obvious choice of weapons and why on earth would anyone want a rifle?  The reality is that most RL engagements were at much greater ranges and only rifles and MG's were useful most of the time.  

 

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2 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

A couple of us are experimenting with long duration, small unit scenarios set on whopping maps.....The game plays & feels rather different in that coniguration.

Do you having something you can post to the Depot?  I would like to try that.  

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Posted (edited)

Not fit for general consumption just yet, but I'd highly recommend 'Year Of The Rat' (@puje's campaign) when 'Heaven & Earth' is released (which I believe may be quite soon).....It's very nicely done and TBH, it doesn't feel even slightly like you are in Syria:

VfSCVq4.jpg

Except maybe when you are trying to get your mortars to hit a particular hooch.  ;)

PS - That is the very sniper.....He got not less than six of my men, from three different units!  :o 

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Re. "A couple of us are experimenting with long duration, small unit scenarios set on whopping maps...."

I love that idea,  but lack the skills and gumption to make such scenarios myself. Way too many campaigns and scenarios are so packed with soldiers and vehicles it looks like a car park! They often start off well with just a few forces but then as reinforcements arrive thick and fast the game turns into a traffic management exercise. And worse, because of restricted time frames you have to race these masses of forces across the map without adequate recon. I find I give up on loads of scenarios and campaigns because they feel totally unrealistic. I try to make more realistic games by playing quick battles with 'tiny' forces on 'large' or 'huge'  maps, with the time set on 2 hours, but purpose-built scenarios are always better. If others feel the same way maybe we'll get some official campaigns that use smaller forces. The drawback for me is I'm conservatively struck in WW2, so won't be able to try your upcoming Fire & Earth campaign...

 

 

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Posted (edited)

IMHO the low intensity option is actually easier to do and gives better results.....If you can make a decent QB, you can make a scenario of this type.

With 16 AI slots you can make a couple of platoons behave really quite realistically.  To plot their movement orders, just paint the same tiles on the 2D map as you would select by clicking on 3D the map.  Have them suppress the same buildings etc. you would.....Basically treat their orders as yourself, playing them, at a remote.  The trick is to ensure they will leave the map after a certain period of time, via an Exit Zone (or due to being dead, either will do).

Once each group has exited the map, you can then spawn reinforcements and reuse those AI slots to repeat the whole processs.....This technique combined with a large map is great for modelling low level skirmishing over a wide area.  It's also very easy to set the broad objectives for these missions as using Exit Zones places certain restrictions on you, thus one might as well make those restrictions part of the package:

'destroy the enemy infiltrators before they can do too much damage'

You can always use the final round of AI Order sets to have the AI occupy territory for a climactic battle, it's just a matter of timing things to get an overall configuration that pleases you.....Indeed timing is everything in this system.  One must always ensure units spawn just prior to receiving a fresh order set and not the other way around, but TBH none of it is rocket science.

I'm experimenting with this in CM:A at the moment (which has only 8 AI slots) on my own large(ish) but very complex 'Valley Map' and it works pretty well all things considered.....I am also accumulating suitably large maps in CM:BS, which is where I hope to explore the technique more thoroughly.  I did briefly experiment with a scenario on my adapted 'Mtope Valley' map in CM:SF2, but the AI is truly terrible at using Technicals!  I may yet give that one another look, but it will have to be even lower intensity than I had originally intended.

The one thing this really is though, is time-consuming.....I cannot even begin to guess how many times I've run the scenario that was the genesis of this concept, then opened the editor, tweaked an order by a tile or two, then run it again!  :blink:

13 hours ago, Anson Pelmet said:

The drawback for me is I'm conservatively struck in WW2, so won't be able to try your upcoming Fire & Earth campaign...

I believe a very talented gentleman may be working something of this nature using CM:FI and TBH I liked his idea so much that I nicked it and started work on a 4kmx4km map for the same game, but set on a different continent.....It was starting to look fairly promising, but sadly it almost immediately fatally crashed on my decrepit old system.....Here's the only surviving image:

jZXr9ii.jpg 

So I bought a new computer and started another one.....But it'll be quite a while before that one's fit for the forums, it's twice the size of 'The Delta' map that I made for Heaven & Earth and it has a chunk of the Andes in it, so it's quite tall too!   :P

PS - @MOS:96B2P  I reckon you might be able to offer some ideas here.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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3 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

PS - @MOS:96B2P  I reckon you might be able to offer some ideas here.

You covered it pretty well.  IMO a unit to map size ratio that allows the player room to maneuver his units and make decisions has a lot of potential and is generally a fun, interesting scenario.  Low intensity scenarios are usually easy to use with this concept.  The January 2020 Bones post said Red Thunder is getting Partisans, Waffen SS and Master Maps that cover huge swaths.  So some really cool possibilities that might fit the small unit scenarios set on large maps that @Anson Pelmet and others are looking for. :)        

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Posted (edited)

Decided to try something in a conventional WWII format.....Experiments with a test CM:FB scenario entitled 'The Lost Platoon' are underway. 

Simple concept, nightmare conditions, lots of time.....Density of Germans yet to be determined.  :ph34r:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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On 1/4/2020 at 4:59 PM, Sven said:

Oh, they die all the time in the WW2-titles as well and take their time closing when fired upon. I'm starting to wonder whether it's ever useful to open up.

They actually close up much faster now than they used to, so things have improved a lot.

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