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ncc1701e

Map size relationship with OOB size

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Play testing my first attempt to perform a CMFS2 scenario, I found out that I have no room to maneuver. My scenario is a company size around 180 men on each side with few tanks / technicals. This is a red vs red scenario.

The initial map was 752m width x 624m depth. I am immediately to contact despite having some terrain for cover and concealment. I am now extending to 864m width x 1088m depth to allow some recon before first contact and a way to outflank.

But my question is the following. Is there some recommended map size depending on the OOB size? I have searched on the forum but did not find the answer.

I am wondering if I am taking the good decision i.e. extending the map.

Expert advices needed please...

Thanks

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I'd say extend the map. Even in WW2, I think that map would be too small for 2x180 men.

There's no general guideline, but when playing H2H, I tend to choose "tiny" forces on a "medium" map size.

It also depends on how much dense terrain there is, and if there are vehicles or just infantry etc. But in general, I think it's best to have the map be a little too big than a little too small.

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16 hours ago, ncc1701e said:

But my question is the following. Is there some recommended map size depending on the OOB size? I have searched on the forum but did not find the answer.

There is no solid consensus for OOB size vs map size. There have been a handful of threads discussing it over the years but it very much depends on what you want to do. A scenario where the fighting has already started or is about to start would not need as much room as one where you have to find the enemy first.

16 hours ago, ncc1701e said:

I am wondering if I am taking the good decision i.e. extending the map.

For sure - if you want there to be manoeuvre between forces or recon to find the enemy then yes extend a way.

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Thanks for the tips. I have run several quick battles to see the map size chosen with "tiny" forces and "medium" map size. This is good insight.

I am extending the map. Back in few months... 😃

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@ncc1701e ultimately every tactical problem is unique which is why the military places great store in planning.  As a very rough guide to making your map an appropriate size for a company vs company engagement you need to consider what is a viable defensive frontage.  To do that you need an understanding of your key weapon ranges and force structure.

Taking infantry as an example - the standard effective range for modern infantry weapons is in the ballpark of 300m.

If your force size is a company, it will generally have three platoons.

Applying some of the principles of defence:

  • Mutual support
  • Depth

So with mutual support, that means that each element should be able to support each other.  Remembering that the effective weapon range of your weapons is 300m then your individual squads should be no more than 300m away from each other.  That would make the defensive frontage in the ballpark of 1500m to 1800m in open terrain.  For depth, most defensive layouts will have an outpost line and each platoon in the company will generally have two squads up and one squad back.  Likewise the company defence will generally go with two platoons up and one platoon back which would give a depth of about 900m to a kilometre.

Now you have to build enough space on your map for the attacking force to manoeuvre - that would make the minimum map size for a fairly open map something in the region of 2.5km x 2km.

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In a QB context there is no consistency across titles. Even in WW2 titles, sometimes Huge gives enough for a tank battalion, sometimes only enough for a tank company.

It would be nice to have consistency where say Huge = Battalion+, Large = Battalion-, Medium = Company+, Small = Company, Tiny = Platoon

Where battalion refers to a battalion of any arm, of any nation. If I set Huge, I should be able to take an infantry, mech, or armored battalion plus supporting elements.

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On 2/4/2020 at 9:03 PM, domfluff said:

In addition, map sizes are far from uniform - several "tiny" maps are massive.

 

On 2/5/2020 at 10:46 PM, DougPhresh said:

In a QB context there is no consistency across titles. Even in WW2 titles, sometimes Huge gives enough for a tank battalion, sometimes only enough for a tank company.

The problem is that it's not the game labelling the sizes - it's the map maker. So various map makers have different ideas what constitutes a "medium" or "huge" map.

It would be better if the game just automatically calculated the area ofthe map and classified the sizes based on that.

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A rule-of-thumb is that If your map presents no options for either of the sides to simply outmaneuver each other and achieve anything via bypass, then it is a set-piece battle. Another good rule-of-thumb is that it's much easier to make a hard scenario than an easy one. Start small and learn from that before going big. 

Crucially modern Armies are much smaller than they were in 1945 and frontlines are highly abstract concepts now. Infrastructure is also much improved now and effectively every formation is performing a screening mission to one degree or another. The average range an infantry squad can decisively affect a firefight is only around 200 meters but they have weapons that can be effective much further out than that. A pair of M240s will make an 800-700 meter range around their position extremely dangerous to transit while within about 400m or so they will shut down movement entirely of a platoon sized force. The capabilities of the average infantry GPMG are what I personally "peg the value" of my map selection and design at. 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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I think that the modern titles really do need maps larger than 16km2 . As you say, they are so mobile, dispersed, and possess so much firepower that many if not most scenarios and QBs were realistically be missions for platoons or companies. I think battalion-sized engagements is where all of the pieces of CM come together, and with the battalion tactical groups in Black Sea or the mechanized battalions in SF2, there's just not enough room.

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2 hours ago, DougPhresh said:

I think that the modern titles really do need maps larger than 16km2 .

+1   CM2 teaches lessons from when played on maps that are smal and/or offer short LOS - also with WW2 era.  eg that SMG's are much more valuable/useful than rifles etc so why do armies bother with rifles.

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8 minutes ago, Erwin said:

+1   CM2 teaches lessons from when played on maps that are smal and/or offer short LOS - also with WW2 era.  eg that SMG's are much more valuable/useful than rifles etc so why do armies bother with rifles.

I agree wholeheartedly! There are hardly any scenarios with battalion fire-support. The rifleman takes ground sure, but the battalion mortars and MGs, especially for the Commonwealth armies are what shoots them onto the enemy position. And not a lone HMG attached to a rifle company, a section or platoon of them, coordinating and concentrating their fire.

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It also teaches that the tactical value of a tank is having as thick armour and as large a main gun as possible, and tank "duels" are what counts.

Rather than the tactical unit of Armour being a tank platoon and maneuver being as important as firepower.

Finally, we have all these great recce units - in all titles - but never the space to use them. Taking a US cavalry or recce unit is an exercise in frustration. Where's the enemy? Well he can only be somewhere in this tiny area, and if you bump into him you're dead already because you can't maneuver so you either sit on your hands and end the scenario or try to conduct a frontal attack with jeeps!

Larger maps would let motorized recce stretch their legs, evaluate routes and take an end run around the enemy.

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26 minutes ago, DougPhresh said:

Larger maps would let motorized recce stretch their legs, evaluate routes and take an end run around the enemy.

This would be cool.  I think one of the main problems with huge maps are Computers being able to handle the maps.  I'm working on a scenario now with a 13km2 map, and it takes about 3 minutes to load.  I have a fairly decent computer (getting a little old now) that was built for the purpose of running CM games.  I suspect Battlefront is cautious about allowing maps so big that many of their customers would not be able to load them or if they did load the map there would be lagging, draw distance problems, stuttering, etc.     

I still want bigger maps and will upgrade my computer in the next year or two.  Maybe CM3 will allow for bigger maps that more computers can handle?  Will have to wait and see I guess.    

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7 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Start small and learn from that before going big.

I try but sometimes it is difficult to resist the temptation to add a few more units ... 😉

 

2 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Maybe CM3 will allow for bigger maps that more computers can handle?  Will have to wait and see I guess.    

I have read a lot of references to CM3 on the forum lately. Did I miss an annoucement or is it just a guess?

Edited by ncc1701e

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3 minutes ago, ncc1701e said:

I have read a lot of references to CM3 on the forum lately. Did I miss an annoucement or is it just a guess?

A guess, I guess. :D  Based on comments, like the one below, made by Steve in 2018.  

Eventually we will have a new game engine.  Obviously it will be written with contemporary technology in mind and won't be OpenGL as we view it as a dead end.  It will also benefit from 20 years of experience with how best to simulate tactical warfare on a computer.  It's only a matter of when, not if.   

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I'm not so sure. The basic job of recon is to screen a larger formation coming up the roads behind them. Fighting is either a secondary job or maybe just as important as the first task depending on the Army or maybe even branch of that Army.

I think what we really need to do is consider objectives and context differently for recce troops than for mainline infantry. The scenario designers have a tendency to view everything from the perspective of a pitched set-piece battle I think, and this colors their approach to objectives and scoring. There is a tendency to sell the CMx2 engine short for depicting things like recon, but honestly I think the problem here is well, us. A lack of imagination and a lack of knowledge unfortunately. A few scenarios in the games exist depicting reconnaissance well enough but they are a minority. Component reconnaissance formations of Armies all behaved differently though and there were different expectations placed on all of them too.

Most Armies had light recon consisting of motorcycles, cars, or horses. Plenty of them had no movers at all for the men assigned these duties, and consequently those kinds of scouts would not operate very far beyond their main body and would not be expected to accomplish much other than verifying that the fields and roads beyond were not certain death. 

Then you have the opposite end of the spectrum, those lavishly well equipped and heavily armed Panzer Aufklarung which had half tracks and scout cars with guns up to 75mm   equipped. They could kill tanks if they ambush them! The Americans fully expected their own recce groups to intercept the enemy's recce and armed them with that mission in mind. (M8 Greyhound, the Staghound too though they never used it) Hopefully they'd destroy them but at the very least they'd restrict their movements and ability to see ahead and gather information on what the Panzer or Motorized Division behind them was charging up toward. In general recon's job was to avoid pitched engagements....they lacked the weight and punch for lots of fighting...but they were often sharp enough to fight short engagements and perhaps win some of those too. 

 

 

Edited by SimpleSimon

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On 2/7/2020 at 11:35 AM, MOS:96B2P said:

I still want bigger maps and will upgrade my computer in the next year or two.  Maybe CM3 will allow for bigger maps that more computers can handle?  Will have to wait and see I guess.    

I am pretty certain its a Combat Mission software limit rather than a PC limit.

I have a CM on an SSD - 16gb of 3200mhz ram - Ryzen 3600 and load times are still tremendously long compared to almost anything else.

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18 hours ago, com-intern said:

I am pretty certain its a Combat Mission software limit rather than a PC limit.

Specifically,  the issue is OpenGL. I'm hoping BF will go Vulkan in CM3 when/if they opt to modernize the engine.

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OP LINNET II is in my opinion, one of the single best CM scenarios, full-stop. I would be over the moon to see scenarios, campaigns and especially QBs at that scale.

Especially because we don't have operations, large scenarios with several battalions and reinforcements are especially satisfying.

If anything, I would have liked a scenario generator for LINNET. The concept of 4 variations with the same German force is great for replay ability and really shines. It would be nice to select force templates, almost like QB so it could be, for example "OP LINNET e - POLgnd CDNgnd" where the initial forces are elements of the Polish armoured recce and motor infantry and Canadian armour comes to the rescue. 

Add the same for the German side, so it's a SS formation attacking or so on and you have some of the biggest battles in CM with many iterations without new or more casual players fiddling with the editor for hours.

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FYI anyone looking for this scenario it is called "BP1 Operation Linnet II". and there are 4 variants a-d offering a variety of UK and US airborne and ground forces.

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