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mav1

Map size choice

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So is the battle map size going to be 2x2km? Would it have been possible to have a bigger map size? Since in cmbb you can have 3x3km battle size maps. The exta size would be better.

[ September 27, 2006, 06:23 AM: Message edited by: mav1 ]

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I predict 2x2 will be unplayable huge, and will encourage entire sides to pack onto one map or nearly so.

Campaigns can then consist of recon actions where 2 platoons chase each other around without so much as seeing each other, many times, a few company actions roughly similar, punctuated by occasional death matches between entire regiments, with command spans so huge borg AI and perfect coordination utterly smashes the realism, except that nobody can give all the orders if they have either job or life.

Map sizes should be tailored to points present, and some mechanism (like sequential entry for large forces e.g.) needs to be used to penalize "overstacking" on a single operational map. Pretending everyone will always send one battalion TF to each map, will not remotely work. Nobody will.

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Jason,my understanding of CMC is that the maps are created for each tile before a CMC scenario even begins. So they will not change because of size of forces or points or anything else. From what I've heard you could have a platoon HQ unit vs another platoon HQ unit fighting on a 2km x 2km map. 4 men vs 4 men. That is an extreme example just to illustrate my understanding of how the CM maps are used.

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I know, and it is dumb as a bag of rocks, that is why I am lobbying to change it before it is too late.

You can make the maps beforehand of course. You just don't have to use the whole thing. The cropping is easy in the editor, it would just be a matter of scripting it properly.

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Indeed the maps will be 2K x 2K. JasonC's points about playability are noted. It does make each encounter quite 'epic', but also leaves room for maneuver.

Why should each battle be 'linear', with only a small battlefield, edges that secure the flanks, and only one way to attack?

In any case, it is too late to change it, so lobbying efforts might be re-directed tongue.gif

Hunter

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Jason, you raise a good point. Especially in terms of keeping the game moving, it would be nice to have tiny engagements fought on a smaller battlefield. However, I think it may add a degree of realism to the game with the bigger map sizes to not always know exactly where your opponent is. Hunter's right in saying that during the war there were no magical map edges that secured your flank, and I think that may add an interesting dynamic to the game.

As for the opposite problem of too many units crammed into a relatively small area, well again I think realism is on the designers' side. Battles of that size will probably quickly degrade into a giant meat-grinder, but then again that's a pretty fair assesment of what the war was like.

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K - no, realism just breaks when you try to put a regiment on one CM map. Playability stinks, the command span is ridiculous. One mind cannot perfectly coordinate every sergeant in a regiment inside of 20 seconds, sighting reports are not shared in 5, etc.

CM is designed for a certain scale and it works at that scale. Platoon sized actions can be done but aren't very realistic. Regiment sized can't be, unplayable and hopelessly broken. Reinforced battalions are pushing it frankly, and the game works best at company to battalion scale.

The designers choice of 2 km is meant for a cookie cutter, every fight a battalion fight, standard, and to keep the maximum map widths at approximately the effective range of the strongest AT weapons. But was not chosen with varying force size seriously in mind.

Hunter, you say it is "too late to change". If you want to throw away all the work you've done on a busted product, that's a good way to do it. If something is seriously broken in game play terms, you fix it or you waste all the other efforts.

Very large forces should split maps and arrive in stages, to reduce coordination. Very small forces should crop maps to center on the actual collision. Static maps will leave me haggling with the editor by hand - I simply won't use the program. And I am dead center of your target market.

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JasonC,

How would you simulate small forces which work around open flanks? If the map is cropped for the collision, that eliminates the ability to fight for a shoulder and slip around.

The option of doing that at the meta-map level is not my preference.

Auto map-cropping raises (in my mind) other issues: what of dissimilar force sizes? Is the map cropped for the big force, or for the small force?

I understand your position. However, I think the tradeoff is to either have fixed maps and flexible units, or fixed units and flexible maps. I prefer the former.

Regards,

Ken

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Originally posted by c3k:

JasonC,

How would you simulate small forces which work around open flanks? If the map is cropped for the collision, that eliminates the ability to fight for a shoulder and slip around.

You do the slipping off map, and only model the collision - enter from another direction, for example.

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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by c3k:

JasonC,

How would you simulate small forces which work around open flanks? If the map is cropped for the collision, that eliminates the ability to fight for a shoulder and slip around.

You do the slipping off map, and only model the collision - enter from another direction, for example. </font>

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Originally posted by Pak40:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by c3k:

JasonC,

How would you simulate small forces which work around open flanks? If the map is cropped for the collision, that eliminates the ability to fight for a shoulder and slip around.

You do the slipping off map, and only model the collision - enter from another direction, for example. </font>

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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Pak40:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by c3k:

JasonC,

How would you simulate small forces which work around open flanks? If the map is cropped for the collision, that eliminates the ability to fight for a shoulder and slip around.

You do the slipping off map, and only model the collision - enter from another direction, for example. </font>

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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

If you actually understood what I had said, you wouldn't be calling it silly nor mis-representing what is trying to be explained to you.

Perhaps if you actually explained it better.

Jason says

Very small forces should crop maps to center on the actual collision.
I take this to mean that he thinks maps should contract based on the force size. I think this makes some sense so long as the size of the map still leaves room for some tactical flanking during the battles.

You said in support of his idea and in response to c3k's question about on map flanking:

You do the slipping off map, and only model the collision - enter from another direction, for example.
This is kind of vague but I took it to mean that you think flanking should be done on the strategic level, i.e. in CMC, not in CMBB. Therefore when the CMBB battle takes place the attacking units come from the side of the map, not the top of the map where the defender is expecting. Is this not what you meant? BTW, I wasn't deliberately mis-representing what you said. So if you feel that I am incorrectly interpreting what you said, then you should have explained it better rather than give that snide remark.

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Platoon Size engagements???

This comes down to how the forces are broken up by the designer if the map forces on the strategic level are in smallest design a company level you would only see platoon level engagements if you force been widdled down and if that is the case it be rare both forces will be platoon level.

I have played company level actions on a 2x2 map and you really only will be focusing on the defendable and attacking areas. Also the maps are broken into 4 quadrants, so if you got a platoon you may only be defending one flag point. So there is no chasing troops around the country side looking for a fight.

The flag still becomes the reference point in who holds the square at the end.

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Wow I am getting this weird since of Deja Vu ...

Before we go down the road of what will the game balance be, how about we read the thread "Speculation on game style, will teams become unbalanced towards the end."

Link

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Hunter, you say it is "too late to change". If you want to throw away all the work you've done on a busted product, that's a good way to do it. If something is seriously broken in game play terms, you fix it or you waste all the other efforts.
Maybe I don't understand the way they programmed the game but from a financial perspective it sounds like they would be better off throwing the whole CMC plan in the garbage instead of going with a near total rewrite. Which is what I would think would be needed to totally change how maps would work.

I imagine by the time they announced CMC it was already to late to change.

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Hmmm,

I am not trying to put words into the mouths of either Michael Dorosh or JasonC, but I am trying to gain feedback to see if I understand the concept they are proposing.

I admit I like the idea of 2km x 2km maps. It allows long-range on-map CMBB weapons to be used. (Nashorns, big cats, etc. - JasonC, those toys can be FUN at long range. I know you'll debate their use at long ranges in game vice real life.) Anyway, 2km 'feels' right to me.

If we autocrop maps to the size of colliding units, how is it done? What is the basis? I have a battalion. You have a company. Either I'm restricted to your size, or you're stretched to my size. Obviously, as the opposing units diverge in size from each other, the autocrop solution gets worse (i.e., more crowded, or more stretched).

I enjoy the tactical puzzle of flank protection. If I have an autocrop, then my defending units lose fire effects on the flanks. How would I defend unit seam infiltration? With fixed grids, I plant the forces I want, and if there's a battle, I'm stuck with my decisions (did I put a platoon to defend a grid, or a battalion?).

At some point, the fine granularity of CMBB (10 meter squares, squads and teams) has to be magnified. There are plenty of operational level game ideas. How the two interface is the crux of the problem.

Other than claiming fixed grids is an idea which will lead to poor play, and autocropping is the solution, HOW will autocrop work? If I have a single Nashorn on a hill, and you have a Soviet armored regiment on the prowl, HOW will autocrop work?

(All this is moot - Hunter et al. have already spoken.)

Thanks,

Ken

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I too am struggling to figure out how the logic and math of auto-cropping would work.

My 2 cents; You would have to come up some value, call it "F" for footprint. A formula which would consider; ME size, integral firepower & range, ME disposition, frontage, depth, terrain, and possibly some other factors.

A very interesting and difficult challenge.

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I personally think the map size should stay the same based on the campaign defaults. If one player decides to defend a 2x2 km map with only a platoon then he should suffer the consequences.

Also, map cropping will automatically let your opponent know appoximately how large your force is at the start of a battle. For example, if both sides only commit a platoon each, then the map will be cropped to a smallish size and both parties will know that they are not up against a large force. Kind of a gamey way to figure out your opponent's force size.

Another possible problem with map cropping is that it will be impossible or at least very difficult to code the program so that the crop will be in the interesting part of the map. For example, a 2x2 km map may have a small village in it which would normally be the strategic focal point of the area. If the map is cropped because of small forces, then how can one gaurentee that the village will be included in the cropped version? It seems very likely that the computer may crop the village itself. Victory flags will not always ensure a propper cropping because a 2x2 km map usually has multiple victory flags scattered across the map.

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Originally posted by Dirtweasle:

I too am struggling to figure out how the logic and math of auto-cropping would work.

My 2 cents; You would have to come up some value, call it "F" for footprint. A formula which would consider; ME size, integral firepower & range, ME disposition, frontage, depth, terrain, and possibly some other factors.

A very interesting and difficult challenge.

Of course it is a difficult challenge, and probably unworkable at present (certainly it would involve a major rewrite). But in reality, this is what a battalion commander does. See my page at:

http://www.deutschesoldaten.com/procedures/opsorder.htm

opsomap.gif

Call it a "frontal" attack if you want; any deliberate attack is a frontal attack. The idea that battalions go swarming around 4km square territory spoiling for a fight is the same kind of fiction that Hollywood spews out, where the battalion commander huddles with the lead actors as if calling a football play and the operational planning is hashed out with a few finger marks in the dirt. It worked out well in the movie GETTYSBURG but to portray a 20th Century battle like that...didn't happen that way.

In some cases, as above, you pick an objective, you pick the ground, and you attack over it.

See my other page for an example of what Pak40 is suggesting.

http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/mediawiki-1.5.5/index.php?title=Regalbuto

Mapregalbuto.png

Here, the Canadians sent out wide flanking patrols and managed to take the high ground from an unawares enemy. Sometimes that happens. Does it make for an interesting CMBB encounter? No. The maneuver that the Canadians did in that battle shouldn't even be simulated at the tactical level as there was no fighting involved, and really, what is the difference between playing for 45 turns to get your forces to the start line on top of the hill, or starting a 15 minute game with forces on the start line? Pak40 feels that this ability to roam freely should be part and parcel to every tactical encounter. I would suggest that what the Hasty P's did at Regalbuto is part of the strategic phase. CMBB battles should be invoked only once battle has been joined.

From "The Regiment" by Farley Mowat:

Regalbuto was to be no buccaneering rush into the unknown - the sort of thing that had brought renown at Assoro, and disaster at Nissoria - but, as far as the CO could make it, this battle was to be a carefully calculated action. Kennedy started by sending long-distance patrols far to the east with orders to penetrate deeply into the enemy's flank and report his dispositions, and the best routes of approach. The CO himself, with his company commanders, then carried out a detailed reconnaissance, and laid the battle plans with care and caution. The operation was to be a wide right flank attack, but not a blind one. Nor would it be unsupported. The artillery FOOs were ordered to travel with the CO, and the mortar platoon was ordered to come along on foot, and manhandle its heavy weapons and ammunition over the five miles of the approach march.
All of this "boring stuff" is properly done on the operational map, not in a 60 turn tactical game on a map far too big for the forces involved. CMBB was designed to have forces of company size fight it out on small maps. The greater question of recce and maneuver is done at the strategic level. Why bother having a strategic layer if you gain no benefit from it?

In the case of Regalbuto, the CMBB battle that would have been generated would not be the 4 km square including Mt. St. Lucia, Tower hill, the town, and Mount Tiglio. No, the CMBB battle should be company sized engagements, say, "C" Company on the eastern spur attacking down Hill 2100 (with the map scaled down to represent this strategic location), and another company sized engagement on the western spur, say 15 minutes of game time concentrated at the point of action.

How to simulate this? Well, one way is to take an operational map rather like the board game maps for STORM OVER ARNHEM or TURNING POINT: STALINGRAD or THUNDER AT CASSINO. Move operationally from point to point, with action at crucial points played out on appropriate sized tactical maps geared to those points.

From what I can tell, CMC could do this another way - ie with starting zones in the 2x2 maps geared towards getting the forces to the fight in a hurry. Time will tell, I guess.

[ September 29, 2006, 01:41 PM: Message edited by: Michael Dorosh ]

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