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The Year Ahead Bone Post

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15 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Another kinda bone is that CMRT's existing TO&E is getting a major redo.  Back when the TO&E was assembled there were a lot of very big gaps in Soviet TO&E research materials and, believe it or not, even German stuff.  Remember, 99.9% of the world's population couldn't give a fig about if a Kübelwagen in the late 1943 Hampstertruppen Company's mortar platoon had a guy with a rifle, a SMG, or a rubber ducky.  The lack of incentives for fame, glory, and profit apparently limits the resources devoted to digging up this sort of stuff.

Unfortunately for all of us, this low level data is critically important to have this depth of information AND to have it be consistent with how things worked in the field.  For example, official US TO&E's references to M3A2 Halftracks as standard equipment would be fine if they were ever produced :D  For some crazy reason we actually care about these details and that means when better information comes up we go back and revise existing game TO&E without hesitation.

For the Soviets things have gotten VERY interesting VERY recently.  The Russians have decided that it's about time they allowed their source materials to be published.  Better still, published on the Internet for free!  NONE of this was available to us back when CMRT was originally under construction.  Well, not in any systematic way and certainly not without someone else's interpretation and sense of what level of detail was important to document.

One very good example of this is the overloading of units with SMGs beyond their original authorized strength.  Based on information we had on hand at the time, and logic of how things worked in other forces, we simply bumped up the number of SMGs in units where appropriate.  Well, turns out that there was an official order from STAVKA to convert one platoon in each company so that it had no normal rifles or carbines, only SMGs and sometimes LMGs and Sniper rifles (where already present).  The remaining platoons remained at roughly authorized levels of SMGs.  Very different than what we had before!

What does this mean for CMRT players?  Whenever we release a Module we release a patch for everybody.  If you don't purchase the Fire & Rubble Module you'll still get all these TO&E updates less any newly introduced equipment (in particular Lend Lease stuff).  If you do purchase the F&R Module you'll get all that plus later versions plus all the new equipment, winter environment, terrain, and whatever else comes along for the ride.

So there you have it... another bone while you patiently wait for preordering.

Steve

+++1😊

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5 hours ago, Sequoia said:

Does this mean the Soviet Submachinegun Companies from Panzerblitz weren't that far off?

Don't know about Panzerbiltz, but there was always a Submachinegun Company in the rifle regiment, two in a Guards rifle regiment.

I think he is talking more of the rifle company,  perhaps as outlined at this sight:

https://www.battleorder.org/ussr-rifle-co-1944

Although I hope BFC just adds this type and doesn't remove the others, from my digging it didn't just change to this TO&E overnight across the board.

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12 hours ago, Mudhugger said:

Don't know about Panzerbiltz, but there was always a Submachinegun Company in the rifle regiment, two in a Guards rifle regiment.

I think he is talking more of the rifle company,  perhaps as outlined at this sight:

https://www.battleorder.org/ussr-rifle-co-1944

Although I hope BFC just adds this type and doesn't remove the others, from my digging it didn't just change to this TO&E overnight across the board.

Unlikely as the TO&E changes with dates - if a piece of kit or organisation was introduced in say December 1944, then it will be made available at that date in the editor.  Previous organisations and equipment remain available as long as they continued to be fielded in significant numbers.  It is one of the many things that makes these titles so realistic and also probably why the release of titles slips beyond their planned release dates.

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Posted (edited)

The change to organize 1x SMG in each rifle company was made in mid 1943.  All the rifle companies in current version have larger numbers of SMGs than the shtat provides for seeded throughout the rifle company.  With this fix, they will be concentrated in an SMG Platoon and rifle platoons will have the authorized shtat allocation of SMGs.

Note that the 43 and 44 rifle battalion orgs are really not earlier and later orgs, but rather the full shtat authorized org (from Dec 42 with changes through mid 43) for the "43" battalion and a more typical reduced org for 1944-45 (not a new shtat) for the "44" org.  

In 1944-45, the Red Army was short of men, not SMGs.

Edited by akd

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On 3/8/2020 at 11:45 PM, sburke said:

And many of us buy a copy anyway... especially if we feel pretty lame about the amount of time we've been able to put in testing etc.... looking n the mirror here...

Waves back from the mirror trying to carefully use the correct hand :)

 

On 3/8/2020 at 11:59 PM, MikeyD said:

The only thing more thrilling than getting your hands on the finished title is getting your hands on the first Alpha build. :D

+1

 

On 3/9/2020 at 11:42 PM, Battlefront.com said:

One very good example of this is the overloading of units with SMGs beyond their original authorized strength.  Based on information we had on hand at the time, and logic of how things worked in other forces, we simply bumped up the number of SMGs in units where appropriate.  Well, turns out that there was an official order from STAVKA to convert one platoon in each company so that it had no normal rifles or carbines, only SMGs and sometimes LMGs and Sniper rifles (where already present).  The remaining platoons remained at roughly authorized levels of SMGs.  Very different than what we had before!

What does this mean for CMRT players?  Whenever we release a Module we release a patch for everybody.  If you don't purchase the Fire & Rubble Module you'll still get all these TO&E updates less any newly introduced equipment (in particular Lend Lease stuff).  If you do purchase the F&R Module you'll get all that plus later versions plus all the new equipment, winter environment, terrain, and whatever else comes along for the ride.

So, how much will these changes effect exiting old scenarios without editor changes? You have explained the process a few times and I was about to write up my understanding of how it will work but stopped because I was not confident I was getting it right. (If a true test of understanding is can you explain it to someone else - alas I do not grok this yet).

Will existing CMRT scenarios see Soviet rifle platoons' arrangement of small arms change when running in the new release?

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7 hours ago, IanL said:

Will existing CMRT scenarios see Soviet rifle platoons' arrangement of small arms change when running in the new release?

From past experience with similar changes, the TOE's of the units in the order of battle are "baked" into the scenario files, rather than being loaded dynamically, so it may be necessary to load them up and save again perhaps?

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37 minutes ago, BletchleyGeek said:

From past experience with similar changes, the TOE's of the units in the order of battle are "baked" into the scenario files, rather than being loaded dynamically, so it may be necessary to load them up and save again perhaps?

Correct!  Anything above the individual Soldier level is baked into scenarios and won't change unless someone rebuilds it.  For example, if we decreased the number of SMGs for a type of Rifle Squad that (should) show up even in older scenarios.  But new Platoons with new Squad types won't because they are new structures and that's the sort of thing that's basked into a scenario file.

Steve

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Thanks for the clarification Steve, it is a subtle difference, as I wasn't sure that individual components (soldier, vehicle?) were invariably loaded dynamically. It makes sense that the OOB gets baked into the scenario because you guys allows a fair degree of customization of the template that the engine knows about in the editor (removing nodes of the "tree" and adding new "leaves"). 

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11 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Correct!  Anything above the individual Soldier level is baked into scenarios and won't change unless someone rebuilds it.  For example, if we decreased the number of SMGs for a type of Rifle Squad that (should) show up even in older scenarios.  But new Platoons with new Squad types won't because they are new structures and that's the sort of thing that's basked into a scenario file.

That was the difference I was not sure how it applied to what you are actually doing here. By saying that @BletchleyGeek is "Correct!" I take it the change you are making is to create new types of platoons for the original formations but keep the past platoon definitions around as opposed to redefining the way the existing platoons are armed. This means that old scenarios will remain largely unchanged and if people want to see differences they would need to edit their old scenarios and delete and repurchase formations.

Obviously new scenarios get the new TO&E.

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8 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

Thanks for the clarification Steve, it is a subtle difference, as I wasn't sure that individual components (soldier, vehicle?) were invariably loaded dynamically. It makes sense that the OOB gets baked into the scenario because you guys allows a fair degree of customization of the template that the engine knows about in the editor (removing nodes of the "tree" and adding new "leaves"). 

Some elements of a unit are loaded dynamically, such as what icons a Team uses, which bits and bobs get stuck onto a Soldier, if a Leader has binoculars, etc.  But the unit itself and how it is connected to other units are baked in.  Vehicles are considered a "unit" in this regard, but with pretty much everything being loaded dynamically.  Meaning, if you purchased something called Panzer IV J (Early), and we decided to replace it with a Maus, then the Maus would show up complete with all its stupidity.  But it would also mean *ALL* Panzer IV J (Early) in *ALL* situations would show up as Maus.  Which is totally not sensible and that's why we never alter what a vehicle inherently is once we set it up.  Details are, of course, edited all the time.  In fact, with Engine 2 we redid every single model to improve their fidelity and all existing scenarios used the new models without any further modifications.

1 hour ago, IanL said:

That was the difference I was not sure how it applied to what you are actually doing here. By saying that @BletchleyGeek is "Correct!" I take it the change you are making is to create new types of platoons for the original formations but keep the past platoon definitions around as opposed to redefining the way the existing platoons are armed. This means that old scenarios will remain largely unchanged and if people want to see differences they would need to edit their old scenarios and delete and repurchase formations.

Basically, yes.  However, for the most part only a few bits of "header" information of a formation is loaded dynamically.  This means that in the TO&E coding the Soviet Rifle Company as it exists today does not look like the one everybody is playing with today.  That allows me to do modifications to large, complex, interconnected Formations without having to redo the whole thing.  In this example I created a new SMG Platoon with some new Squad types, added it to the existing Company and subtracted one of the existing Platoons.  Boom, done!  If I had to rebuild entire Battalions every time I made small changes we'd still be working on CMBN Commonwealth Module :)

Steve

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It would be great if BFC could change this in the editor: Now AI tank commanders will open up by default when the scenario/mission starts, it would be great if the designer could close the turret door if you need that e. g. if in the mission AI tanks has to get close to enemy infantry soon after the mission starts.

More AI plans would also be great e. g. 64 plans.

The ability to "paint" roads on the map to avoid "zig zag" roads.

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It's interesting to see how players will use this organization. IRL were very different opinions about using smg platoons. From screening flank to attaching SMG groups to rifle squads (in defense). Most obvious - fire and maneuver tactic where rifle platoons are firing elements, smg platoon - maneuver element.

What do you think, did Germans adopt this organization with their Sturmzugen? Or did they come to it independently, basing on 1-st world war assault groups? 

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Call me an armchair general or whatever is the best label for my slacker approach to creating a mini-scenario of hodge podge teams purchased and plopped on the smallest map possible. Been a long time. Is it 252 x 252 meters IIRC?

The valiant efforts by BFC to make TOE exact and precise and accurate are respected but not an aphrodisiac for me.

I am really excited to pre-order F&R and will be watching closely for that announcement. 

NA BERLIN!

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On 3/9/2020 at 11:42 PM, Battlefront.com said:

For the Soviets things have gotten VERY interesting VERY recently.  The Russians have decided that it's about time they allowed their source materials to be published.  Better still, published on the Internet for free!  NONE of this was available to us back when CMRT was originally under construction.  Well, not in any systematic way and certainly not without someone else's interpretation and sense of what level of detail was important to document.

State archives are opening up a bit with a recent push by the Putin Government to revisit the victory nostalgia of the 1940s. The greater candor on long obscured details like the precise makeup of Red Army units is an important benefit of this although there should be little doubt that Vlad is also seeking out information that he can use to Chest Thump the Russian military a bit. Quite a few units in the Red Army never matched their ToEs through the entire war although this became much less of a problem for the central and southern fronts as the war crossed into 1944. 

On 3/9/2020 at 11:42 PM, Battlefront.com said:

One very good example of this is the overloading of units with SMGs beyond their original authorized strength.  Based on information we had on hand at the time, and logic of how things worked in other forces, we simply bumped up the number of SMGs in units where appropriate.  Well, turns out that there was an official order from STAVKA to convert one platoon in each company so that it had no normal rifles or carbines, only SMGs and sometimes LMGs and Sniper rifles (where already present).  The remaining platoons remained at roughly authorized levels of SMGs.  Very different than what we had before!

The Russians produced an absolute glut of SMGs during the war because their production wasn't interrupted by the invasion (Tula arsenal was overrun for a time but it didn't produce any SMGs) and also because the PPSh and later PPS-43 were incredibly cheap and uncomplicated guns. I think the actual unit cost for the PPS-43 was less than half a Mosin Nagant. The Russians produced them in hordes not only because they had plenty of use for SMGs, but also because in the desperation to arm many millions of men right away rifles might well turn out to be more rare in some places than a Pepesha. 

On 3/9/2020 at 11:42 PM, Battlefront.com said:

What does this mean for CMRT players?  Whenever we release a Module we release a patch for everybody.  If you don't purchase the Fire & Rubble Module you'll still get all these TO&E updates less any newly introduced equipment (in particular Lend Lease stuff).  If you do purchase the F&R Module you'll get all that plus later versions plus all the new equipment, winter environment, terrain, and whatever else comes along for the ride.

So there you have it... another bone while you patiently wait for preordering.

Steve

Out of curiosity what changes or additions are being made to Russian artillery and air support parks? 

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4 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

State archives are opening up a bit with a recent push by the Putin Government to revisit the victory nostalgia of the 1940s. T

They can coat it with as much nostalgia as they want, we don't care as long as we get to see the original wartime source material.  Fortunately, that's what they are doing :D

4 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

The Russians produced an absolute glut of SMGs during the war because their production wasn't interrupted by the invasion (Tula arsenal was overrun for a time but it didn't produce any SMGs) and also because the PPSh and later PPS-43 were incredibly cheap and uncomplicated guns. I think the actual unit cost for the PPS-43 was less than half a Mosin Nagant. The Russians produced them in hordes not only because they had plenty of use for SMGs, but also because in the desperation to arm many millions of men right away rifles might well turn out to be more rare in some places than a Pepesha. 

Yup, already known for decades.  The problem was trying to figure out where all those SMGs went to because the official TO&E that was known didn't show how they were allocated.  We had to guess.  The newly release source material finally answered those questions.  And in hindsight, it's kinda obvious that's what they did with them.  Soviets were all about concentration of similar things to achieve their results. 

4 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Out of curiosity what changes or additions are being made to Russian artillery and air support parks? 

For Fire and Rubble?  Not much.  I'd have to check, but I don't think there was a lot of changes to equipment for those two areas between late Summer 1944 and Spring 1945.

Steve

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10 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

They can coat it with as much nostalgia as they want, we don't care as long as we get to see the original wartime source material.  Fortunately, that's what they are doing :D

Indeed. Neither here nor there and it's not like we don't circulate some misinformation in kind. 

10 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Yup, already known for decades.  The problem was trying to figure out where all those SMGs went to because the official TO&E that was known didn't show how they were allocated.  We had to guess.  The newly release source material finally answered those questions.  And in hindsight, it's kinda obvious that's what they did with them.  Soviets were all about concentration of similar things to achieve their results. 

Yeah I doubt a lot of them went anywhere except to the front, but I wouldn't be surprised if the NKVD were keeping stocks too. 

10 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

For Fire and Rubble?  Not much.  I'd have to check, but I don't think there was a lot of changes to equipment for those two areas between late Summer 1944 and Spring 1945.

Steve

Chief thing I want to see restored is the ability to call airstrikes during the planning phase. 

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On 3/20/2020 at 11:19 AM, SimpleSimon said:

Chief thing I want to see restored is the ability to call airstrikes during the planning phase. 

Not sure I follow you.  Plus, any changes like that would be for the Game Engine, applicable across all titles (WW2 in this case), and not for a specific release.  We don't generally make such changes except when we do an Upgrade.

Steve

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1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

Not sure I follow you.  Plus, any changes like that would be for the Game Engine, applicable across all titles (WW2 in this case), and not for a specific release.  We don't generally make such changes except when we do an Upgrade.

I would like to see dedicated air controllers in a upgrade, meaning that only they can call in a airstrike e. g. a Stuka divebomber. Kinda like in CM 1 where you have FO-teams to call in arty.

I have done a lot of playtesting in CMRT with Stuka divebombers and they attack their own forces almost every time they attack, especially SPWs seem to be great to attack 😦.

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8 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Not sure I follow you.  Plus, any changes like that would be for the Game Engine, applicable across all titles (WW2 in this case), and not for a specific release.  We don't generally make such changes except when we do an Upgrade.

Steve

I think it's switching control of aircraft to the player similar to CMBN and the other western front titles.

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The determinant for this feature is historical reality for the given force for the given time.  Soviets never had that capability even at the end of the war, at least not in a way meaningful to CM's level of simulation. 

Steve

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3 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

The determinant for this feature is historical reality for the given force for the given time.  Soviets never had that capability even at the end of the war, at least not in a way meaningful to CM's level of simulation. 

Steve

The Soviets didnt but the germans used stuka divebombers for precision bombing sometimes very close to the frontline, this would be great to have available in CMRT.

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The ground-support units in 1945 were less likely to get on-call air support due to a lack of trained pilots and available aircraft.

Operations like Bodenplatte had to use mass, and in a sense adhered to the aviation version of a "human wave" technique. That's generally the hallmark of an under-trained, desperate force that has to make do with an unsteady force with a lack of equipment. A human wave attack with some early jets- bonkers, desperate stuff. Like using an iPad to chop wood.

That's part of why 1945 is interesting to me, personally- the advancements in technology were either paying dividends (generally for the Soviets), or a technological near-dead end that had been doubled down on regardless of utility or sense (generally the Germans). The pool of trained, battle-ready manpower had evaporated, so there are both highly trained and capable forces intermixed with untrained and possibly under-equipped ones.

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1 hour ago, benpark said:

The ground-support units in 1945 were less likely to get on-call air support due to a lack of trained pilots and available aircraft.

Operations like Bodenplatte had to use mass, and in a sense adhered to the aviation version of a "human wave" technique. That's generally the hallmark of an under-trained, desperate force that has to make do with an unsteady force with a lack of equipment. A human wave attack with some early jets- bonkers, desperate stuff. Like using an iPad to chop wood.

That's part of why 1945 is interesting to me, personally- the advancements in technology were either paying dividends (generally for the Soviets), or a technological near-dead end that had been doubled down on regardless of utility or sense (generally the Germans). The pool of trained, battle-ready manpower had evaporated, so there are both highly trained and capable forces intermixed with untrained and possibly under-equipped ones.

Hey BenPark,  curious as to what tech dead ends you were referring to on the german side?  I usually think of 1945 as a time of Germans suffering acute shortages of everything more than a tech issue.  The Soviets had certainly developed tech & tactics to nullify most German advantages by this time, like having LOTS of AT guns in their infantry divisions.  What else were you thinking of?

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

The determinant for this feature is historical reality for the given force for the given time.  Soviets never had that capability even at the end of the war, at least not in a way meaningful to CM's level of simulation. 

Steve

Respectfully there's nothing historically accurate about the current system though. The VVS was capable of conducting highly meticulous airstrikes against fixed or known positions thanks to a combination of aerial reconnaissance from above and battlefield reports from below passed to Air Army HQ. There's no good reason the player shouldn't be given the power to abstract this capability in the planning phase as long as the game has air strikes at all. If the idea is that the team just doesn't want air strikes in game, I get that, but then they should just disable the feature entirely and leave it to the scenario designers to abstract. I don't think this is necessary though (and it would be highly disappointing) but the easy fix to me anyway seems to just limit point attacks to the planning phase (not available for call in after the mission starts) and limit area attacks to the action phase. (Loitering aircraft can be given a start time and after a set time will disappear and cannot be recalled.) 

Certainly the idea that World War 2 air forces conducted immediate, precise point attacks on individual targets with the accuracy of modern JDAMs or guided munitions is wrong, but attacks on point targets were in fact done. They didn't just send one airplane and hoped it got lucky, they sent tons of them and hoped someone got lucky. 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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