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The_Enigma

making an operation

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Hey guys,

I’ve played a bit of CMAK but no operations at the moment just some small battles.

I’ve decided I want to make a giant sized battle, something me and my friends can play (if they ever get the net back up lol)

So I have some questions.

Would a 30 turns, 20 battles, operation with roughly brigade sized force vs. an under-strength regiment be playable?

If not could you recommend any improvements to that idea?

2nd - having played CMBO a long time ago (haven’t played it recently) i remember that operations had a point limit so a really large operation wasn’t really that possible.

Would a 2-3 regiment sized operation be possible?

3rd - The idea i was having was basically a small fortified town on a hill, the attacker coming from 3 directions, the front and the flanks from the beginning.

When you set up an operation you have the option of selecting what the supplies for each force will be like.

Does the game change these values depending on the situation the defender is in?

So if the attacker is able to surround the defender would the supplies in the next battle for the defender change?

So for example they would get from ample to adequate etc?

4th – I was thinking about making the op based on Crete, is there any info to what the weather was like during that may? Was it crappy or rather good, mixed etc?

5th – The two forces I want to use are the Fallschirmjager fighting the Australian infantry (no particular reason for the ausies but I defiantly want to use German pars smile.gif .

Did these two forces actually ever engage one another during the fighting on Crete?

Thanks for any responses smile.gif

[ November 22, 2004, 10:46 AM: Message edited by: the_enigma ]

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1) That sounds insanely large. Even a couple of battalions on each side is a lot, more so if you want a 20 battle operation - the redeploying between battles can be tiresome.

2) I think the limits were raised from CMBO to CMAK. Dunno what it is, but IMO you can play anything that is playable - two or three regiments, ugh... :eek: smile.gif

3) No, supply level doesn't change.

4) Weather was good (you wouldn't want to do paratroop landings otherwise).

5) Aussies fought on Crete too, but I think New Zealanders played a more critical role there.

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First:

I have nearly completed construction of a campaign of 15 battles of 45 turns apiece. The map is 8km long (east-west) and 3.6km high (north-south).

So far, I have taken 9 months to create the map. Map building is the hardest part of the job and the bigger you make it, the harder it is. This map is as big as they come and is 90% complete. Every week I do another hour or two but the finishing touches are some weeks away still.

Second:

There is a unit limit in CM:AK, but I haven't hit it yet. I'm up to 12,000 Axis and 14,500 Allies at present, having prepared forces for 9 of the 15 battles. I won't bother doing reinforcements for the last battle since they won't reach the field of combat in time due to the size of the map.

A realistic estimate is 2 regiments of infantry per side, without vehicles.

Third:

No, the game doesn't change these values.

Your map, however, is going to need to be big to handle the numbers of units you are discussing. A small town on a hill being battled over for 600 turns? I doubt that most players would stomach that!

Fourth and Fifth: No idea. smile.gif

A couple of general points.

The sheer scale of combat at brigade or (in my case) divisional level is going to be an issue in two areas.

Firstly, turn time. I don't know what kind of rig you're running, but turn processing time is going to be huge at this full size map idea. I've playtested my own massive campaign up to about turn 30 of the first game - no contact, no combat, just 2 forces of around 5,000 points each advancing on a huge map - and turn processing took 7 minutes on my 850 Athlon.

I built a 120-turn scenario for CM:BB on a 4kmx2km map and with 19,000 points. That scenario took 25 minutes or more to compute turns.

Secondly, simply keeping track of that scale of forces is phenomenally difficult. You will probably be moving your forces at company level rather than micromanagement. It's easy to miss, for example, the first shell blast from an artillery strike which threatens to cut your assault company to ribbons.

I would suggest you start out very small if you haven't done scenario building before. I don't want to discourage you, but the scale of the task you have considered is truly daunting and I would recommend you practice on small maps. Getting the force balance right for a 300 point-per-side ME is hard enough, for 20,000 points it's night on impossible because playtesting is simply unavailable.

Practice with some map designs, learn how the editor works and what its limitations are- - there are plenty. Examples include heavy buildings on diagonal roads, buildings can't be put on slopes, fences, hedges and walls run through the middle of a square instead of along an edge.

There are always plenty of volunteers for playtesters here, so don't be shy of asking either. Second and third opinions are really valuable.

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i did try it out a smaller scale.

A platoon of aussies, a few extra lmgs and hmgs vs a company plus extra platoon of germans.

on a rather small map.

by turn 20ish out of 30 the germans had just broken through the outside defences and where heading for the town before my pc crashed (ive got problems with my gfx card, i need a new one)

by fortiefied town though, i meant barbed wire and mine fields, a few layers of trenchs, sandbags with mortars in literally circlly a town a few streets across.

The last time i made a bigish sceniro was with cmbo, and was with my old computer (something like a 450mhz processor, ive got an 1.8ghz one know). The ammount of units involded my 2-4 battalion size on a medicore map.

Took my computer a while to load each turn.

And to be really honest my map designing rather sucks sometimes, 1 or 2 good maps made the rest ok.

I understand your points made, most likly best to work up to something that big then jumping in feet first then ;)

I could just pump the "version" i have now a little bit and see what people think?

I'm up to 12,000 Axis and 14,500 Allies at present
is that points used or actual troops?

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Originally posted by the_enigma:

i did try it out a smaller scale.

A platoon of aussies, a few extra lmgs and hmgs vs a company plus extra platoon of germans.

on a rather small map.

by turn 20ish out of 30 the germans had just broken through the outside defences and where heading for the town before my pc crashed (ive got problems with my gfx card, i need a new one)

by fortiefied town though, i meant barbed wire and mine fields, a few layers of trenchs, sandbags with mortars in literally circlly a town a few streets across.

The last time i made a bigish sceniro was with cmbo, and was with my old computer (something like a 450mhz processor, ive got an 1.8ghz one know). The ammount of units involded my 2-4 battalion size on a medicore map.

Took my computer a while to load each turn.

And to be really honest my map designing rather sucks sometimes, 1 or 2 good maps made the rest ok.

I understand your points made, most likly best to work up to something that big then jumping in feet first then ;)

I could just pump the "version" i have now a little bit and see what people think?

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> I'm up to 12,000 Axis and 14,500 Allies at present

is that points used or actual troops? </font>

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If you want to see a finished and huge fight, goto the Scenario Depot and look up Tactics II in CMBO, there is about 11,000 points per side, big map.

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Before you embark on this massive, massive, massive operation... do some smaller scale maps, battles, and operations. Nothing is worse than to spend a great deal of time designing a battle or op and finding out it is flawed. I know first hand!

A few suggestions:

First, if you want to build this fortified town... conduct a test on a small scale. Design one side or approach to the town. Design the defenses then figure out what force will be needed to beat that defense. This will give you an idea on how to scale the larger battle.

Second, Operations are much tricker to design than battles. You need to figure out if you want your map to scroll (advance and assaults) or be static. The map may not scroll like you want it to... do a small test and figure out how it works. The action on most maps that scroll is along a single front, instead of a three sided attack. Between battles, you need to have an idea about the new set up zones will be... for example, the enemy may grab large amounts of ground that he did not earn... they were just unoccupied by your forces and now he can set up there.

Third, learn the limitations of the AI. The AI is rather stupid on a larger scale. Sometimes it will not attack at all. Sometimes (usually, really) it will leave perfectly defensible position to walk out into the open.

Forth, as mentioned -- most computers will have a difficult time handling a large map. The more graphic elements you have, the bigger the drain. Urban maps are particularly draining.

Fifth, will it be fun to play? If one side is pure defense, barricaded in a static defense even, there isn't much for that player to do other than watch and see how well his plan worked. Will that be fun for a number of battles?

As far as points per battle go... when you hit 10,000 (total for both sides), that is a pretty big battle. That is a lot of units to worry about. Try to keep in this range.

Start small, test parts of your idea as battles, figure out how ops work on the design level, figure out how to get the AI to attack and how to defend, scale down the "big" idea to something playable.

As far as battles on Crete go, I'm sure you could come up with some sources with a quick internet search. Books... must be a thousand of them.

Have fun and good luck!

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Feel free to browse the Scenario Design Tips section of The Proving Grounds for help as well. Then, after you've designed it, upload it to the site so that we can throughly playtest it for you before you send it along to the Scenario Depot. ;)

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lmao moon, that because of the insane amount being/wanted used?

thkz GJK ill get to work on some new ideas and leave the billion pointer op for now ;)

hey i just dl and played that mission mention above - forward recon ... cool lil mission, :( i got hammered, anywayz it was a cool lil map what was made there imo smile.gif

[ November 23, 2004, 01:15 PM: Message edited by: the_enigma ]

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If you would like to see a huge op in action getting ready to upload Blut und Ehre for CMAK to the scenario depot. It takes place on an 8k by 4k map of Normandy near Caen. This campaign is 15 battles of 20+ turns each, and turns on my 2.4 Pentium computer take over a minute to process.

As Soddball stated above the map is the hardest part and this one took several months to get right. Operations this big are an ambitious project and you should definately master creating some smaller ops first.

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Well Enigma and Soddball. Just discovered another reason why huge scenarios are a pain. After spending over three months working on mine to get it perfect I just tried to kick it over to the depot only to discover that there is a 100kb limit on all submitted files. :(

My hard researched 8k by 4k CMAK map alone is more than that even before adding units. In fact the finished product weighs in at 184 kb. So it looks like I just spent several months creating an op that will never be hosted. And what really sucks is that I began work on four more ops in the series with the intent to create an entire Normandy campaign all on 4k by 8k maps from D-Day through to Falaise. My hope had been to simulate the feel of tabletop gaming with miniatures on a huge map and I think they would have been great for multiplayer with 4 or 6 players(dividing up the armor and infantry units command)

O well, live and learn. :(

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Just sent it your way Sergei. Let me know what you think. I have played it to the end against the AI twice but thought it would be good with 4 or 6 players dividing up each sides units.

Thanks for any input. Of course I suppose the map could be divided up to make a series of smaller ops if this one is too big for the Depot.

Thanks Sergei

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Just sent you a copy. I had planned to use this map twice. I was going to reverse it and make the Canadians the attackers from the North to portray the opposed landings on D-Day and the subsequent atttempt to grab Caen and Carpiquet before nightfall on the 6th(adding in beach obstacles, barbed wire, pillboxes, mines, DD tanks etc). I had started on maps for operation Epsom and the American action near St.Lo as well but now I am undecided as to whether to continue or not. :confused:

[ December 01, 2004, 10:46 AM: Message edited by: Emar ]

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Of course you must continue. Just e-mail the file to Admiral Keth and ask him to put it up manually! I'm sure he'll help. The 100kb limit was probably put in place simply because it never occurred to anyone that someone would create a 55000 point operation on a 32 square km map... ;)

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I have played a few ops and tested a few ops against the AI. I have read some reviews of ops.

Never made one.

I find that if I do well in the beginning battles, the later ones can be boring. I get that same impression from other people's reviews.

It is very hard to balance the first battle for a broad audience then have it stay balanced through the series.

Just some food for thought.

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An operation doesn't necessarily have to be balanced all the way. Let's say that a five-battle operation is decided in battle three. Then you can end it with a ceasefire agreement or by surrendering.

But there are many ways for keeping the operation interesting throughout the fight. One way to achieve balance is a constant stream of reinforcements. Let's say that in first battle both sides have 1 company, in second battle they both get two companies, in third battle 3 C's and in 4th battle 4 C's as reinf. If player A has been losing all his men and player B has lost hardly anything, then at the start of 4th battle A has 7:4 supremacy. That can still be interesting and player B might achieve a draw.

However, an operation doesn't have to be exactly 'balanced' to be enjoyable. Indeed, an operation can begin with one player being the underdog and struggling hopelessly while trying to pull out of the way of a superior attacker. The attacker can't be stopped from taking the objectives, but it is possible to cause losses while keeping own core force intact. Then, after a couple of battles, the roles change and the previous attacker now has to stand fast to prevent a counter-attack from taking the objectives back.

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