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BlackVoid

Axis armor points in CMBB

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SMG half squads - now that is another nice gamey tactic.

Back to armor points. I wish BFC employed some other solution to fix this and not with the point ratios. Unfortunately the effect of this imbalance mostly depends on the date and the terrain. For example early war it is a great advantage for the Soviets, later on a bit less so.

A better and more logical way would have been to alter point costs. Eg: decrease cost (further) of Russian ATGs, tank hunter teams and also tanks compared to the German counterparts due to their lower quality. This solution would be more balanced and consistent than the current fixed, Soviets get 2x the armor (a bit less than 2x, but close).

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Black Void - After years of play I have had much time to mull the iniquities of the BF straitjacket. My solution is to loosen up the parameters to allow greater game flexibility and also to make the game more historically accurate.

In the early days of CM to a huge degree the idea existed that everybody should fight with full squads which is of course a historical nonsense. Almost never would battles be fought between sides with 100% full units.

Also the way that BF arranged the purchase points so that battalion purchases are very much cheaper than buying units by individual or company level. Very useful for the Germans but a crippling system for the Western Allies. I suspect it also is a German advantage in CMBB.

Elsewhere here I have written on the benefits that the Germans can reap with a no casualty policy in force when there is a 2000 point game. Under that figure the Germans can buy battalions whereas the Western Allies cannot buy a single battalion.

This might seem insignificant but it isn't. For a US squad the battalion pays 29 points per squad, the Company pays 35, and the platoon pays 41 points. Obviously this is not CMBB but I am using this as an example of how strict BF designed limit adherence harms the game.

Flex the options on the opening screen to make it more fun and increase the fog of war : )

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It happens that guns are maneuvered. I think it is fair to say I wrote "a" book on pushing guns into position, if not "the" book on it. It does not happen that guns being maneuvered just happen to stop in perfect kink positions immediately behind crests such that they can kill all the tanks they like without being hurt in reply --- without the commander who gets that result intending it from the start.

It really isn't too complicated. People defend cheating because they want to cheat. They won't call it that, it has an unsavory air, and they are endlessly inventive in irrelevant dodges they don't care a lick about. But they don't defend putting guns in unkillable locations because they want to simplify things or welcome new players or make the game more playable or make it easier to move guns around or reduce micromanagement or even just because they like debating things. Anyone might do that once, perhaps.

What one sees instead is that those so arguing will say anything, absolutely anything, except "OK, so I won't do that" or "I know its cheating but I want to kill that enemy tank". People do all of the above because they want to do it. They want their gun to live and that tank to die, and all the rest is just handwaving to get that to happen without their opponent calling them on it.

Since they aren't going to change their minds or admit what they are doing, I did not say the solution is to argue with them or debate things or explain detailed cases. Those are not solutions - anyone so arguing has a motive in doing so that will not be touched by anything involved in any of that. The solution is, don't play them.

They can play each other all they like. It is their silicon. No skin off their nose or yours.

It just isn't worth an hour of your lifetime babying them...

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It happens that guns are maneuvered. I think it is fair to say I wrote "a" book on pushing guns into position, if not "the" book on it. It does not happen that guns being maneuvered just happen to stop in perfect kink positions immediately behind crests such that they can kill all the tanks they like without being hurt in reply --- without the commander who gets that result intending it from the start.

Time to amend your book...

gunt.th.jpg

The image is from a quick test I just ran. Sorry for the small image size, still trying to get the hang of imageshack.

Anyway, the Pak 38 was positioned at level 7 and ordered to push the gun up the level 9 rise using the move to contact command. As you can see it the gun stopped short of the crest, it has LOS to the three Stuarts, and the LOS line has a very pronounced kink.

At the time I captured the screen shot the Stuarts were firing with all they had, as evidenced by the pinned state of the gun crew. However, the main rounds consistently hit the front of the rise, and only the MGs had any effect on the gun crew.

So, please let me know where in this little scenario did I cheat?

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It happens that guns are maneuvered. I think it is fair to say I wrote "a" book on pushing guns into position, if not "the" book on it. It does not happen that guns being maneuvered just happen to stop in perfect kink positions immediately behind crests such that they can kill all the tanks they like without being hurt in reply --- without the commander who gets that result intending it from the start.

It really isn't too complicated. People defend cheating because they want to cheat. They won't call it that, it has an unsavory air, and they are endlessly inventive in irrelevant dodges they don't care a lick about. But they don't defend putting guns in unkillable locations because they want to simplify things or welcome new players or make the game more playable or make it easier to move guns around or reduce micromanagement or even just because they like debating things. Anyone might do that once, perhaps.

What one sees instead is that those so arguing will say anything, absolutely anything, except "OK, so I won't do that" or "I know its cheating but I want to kill that enemy tank". People do all of the above because they want to do it. They want their gun to live and that tank to die, and all the rest is just handwaving to get that to happen without their opponent calling them on it.

Since they aren't going to change their minds or admit what they are doing, I did not say the solution is to argue with them or debate things or explain detailed cases. Those are not solutions - anyone so arguing has a motive in doing so that will not be touched by anything involved in any of that. The solution is, don't play them.

They can play each other all they like. It is their silicon. No skin off their nose or yours.

It just isn't worth an hour of your lifetime babying them...

I couldn't resist...

post-13607-141867621421_thumb.gif

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Time to amend your book...

gunt.th.jpg

The image is from a quick test I just ran. Sorry for the small image size, still trying to get the hang of imageshack.

Anyway, the Pak 38 was positioned at level 7 and ordered to push the gun up the level 9 rise using the move to contact command. As you can see it the gun stopped short of the crest, it has LOS to the three Stuarts, and the LOS line has a very pronounced kink.

At the time I captured the screen shot the Stuarts were firing with all they had, as evidenced by the pinned state of the gun crew. However, the main rounds consistently hit the front of the rise, and only the MGs had any effect on the gun crew.

So, please let me know where in this little scenario did I cheat?

If you do this deliberately every time you position a gun you exploit a game bug.

In practice, moving like that is harmless since you have no foxhole, so weapons other than direct fire HE will be effective. Not to mention you moving it made it easy to spot. Even if you tried to cheat, it's more like a suicidal cheat.

Again (I mentioned it before), what people think crosses the line is using trenches to put it into that position, and do it with all guns they have.

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JC

Go to view level 1 beside the gun, and put the LOS tool out where the enemy will be coming from, scanning over the field anyplace they may be. Now watch the first portion of the LOS line as it leaves the gun. Is it straight? Free and clear over the rise? Or does it "kink" inside the first 10-15 meters, then proceed straightly?

If there is a kink in that initial segment of the LOS line, you are shooting *through* the hill. The game will let you, in the first 15 meters or so. But it *won't* let the replies through the hill the same way. This is bug exploiting stuff and a no-no.

Move the gun forward until that kink is gone, or you aren't being clever about combined arms, you are merely exploiting the game's inability to model physics exactly.

JC your last post seemed a tangle of strands vindicating your position.

One strand that is missing is that now two people have done tests which show that having a kink in the sighting line is not a reliable sign that the gun is in an unkillable position. I killed using indirect fire from my main gun.

It would seem therefore that you are in error in your assumption of the kink being a indicator of "cheating" behaviour. Your recommendation to move until the gun has no kink is therefore bogus advice.

It seems a shame that no one takes the time to challenge your ideas - normally.

I am sure that there are positions where guns can seem unkillable and the effect you describe where there is a concave slope could happen however in the thousands of instances where there is a kink and has not stopped the gun being killed would suggest your "cure" is for a problem that is uncommon - apart from possibly a few players.

Also re-reading the quote above there seems to be an assumption that there will not be a range of heights on the battlefields. I may have a direct line of fire to hills higher than me but there also may be lower areas where a kink is in effect. It seems to me that having artillery on the battlefield has the possibility to become an unmanageable nightmare if one tried to follow the your advice - particularly as the kink is not effective.

Is it not simpler for people to buy decent combined arms and stop whinging? If it occurs then 99% of people are not cheats so it is probably you have attacked from the "wrong" position. Tough. Getting players paranoid just does not seem half as good a solution. And calling players who do not share your view cheats is rather sad.

PS Oddities

To my recent cost when 7 squads firing for 5 or 6 minutes at under 100metres from a variety of positions and heights were unable to make a 6lber gun crew quit its cliff position. But **** happens.

The game is full of oddities such as dropping an entire module of 8" artillery on a single trench and failing to kill or panic an HMG crew.

* I said previously the Panther crew was Shocked - it was Shaken. Apologies.

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Redwolf

If you do this deliberately every time you position a gun you exploit a game bug.

Have you considered the possibility that the game, warts and all, might have compensating bugs that make the game reasonably playable. I have always found that borg spotting means that ATG's die very quickly - I can only imagine that there life expectancy would drop to even lower levels folllowing your view as to where they should be positioned.

I assume that my kill and the suppression by the MG's does not carry much weight with you in terms of being a reasonable out come of a tank vs ATG duel.

Which leads me to wonder what with 88's being so large that the English failed so often to hose them down with MG fire or even put 2pdr shot through the gunshield. Is it possible than even 11ft ATG's are not necessarily the easy target. Do you think that the bulk of the gun was screened by the guns being placed on reverse slopes?

This is an interesting little article:

http://www.ghqmodels.com/newsletters/janfeb2001.pdf

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I'm convinced by JasonC and Redwolf: placing ATGs in trenches just behind crestlines in "invulnerable defilade" (whereas it should be in "ATG hull-down") is a no-no, and arguing that the ATG is still destroyable by mortar fire or pinable by MG fire does not change the fact that it cannot get hit by return HE fire from the tanks it fires at.

It does make ATG placement a bit trickier.

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As far as I concerned I think there is some mileage in that specific instance. I have not tested this out. However JC extended his point beyond simply trenches.

On the basis that I dislike making rules outside of the game I wonder whether you had considered how weedy ATG bunkers are, perhaps JC's ATG/trench wrinkle actually provides a properly beefed up bunker but without overhead protection. Bunkers are flawed .....

It is only a thought.

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Have you considered the possibility that the game, warts and all, might have compensating bugs that make the game reasonably playable. I have always found that borg spotting means that ATG's die very quickly - I can only imagine that there life expectancy would drop to even lower levels folllowing your view as to where they should be positioned.

The worst engine pessimation of towed guns in the CMx1 engine is actually the lack of traverse versus rotation. A real gun can move into a target horizontally very very quick - as long as it has angle left to traverse in the carriage. If you run out of that you have to lift the carriage to turn. In CMx1 the guns are pretty much treated like they always have to rotate, and that leads to some pretty severe problems with fast-moving vehicles. SP guns in CM do have both traverse and rotation, it's sad the code wasn't reused for towed guns.

The list goes on with TacAI unable to position a gun in anticipation of a target moving into the shot, the inability to go backwards (can only go out by first rotating 180 degrees) and so on.

But the thing is, and that is why I am not buying your argument:

In CMx1, the realism of the plain guns in a foxhole in woods, or in a trench, placed without exploiting this gun feels about right in most cases. I about matches historical accounts, at least with single or few tanks wandering around into a defensive zone. The feeling you get as the attacking tank owner in CMx1 and the losses you take match historical accounts very well IMHO.

Since that feels about right, making it much harder to kill by bug-exploiting placement doesn't.

I assume that my kill and the suppression by the MG's does not carry much weight with you in terms of being a reasonable out come of a tank vs ATG duel.

That opens a range problem. Direct fire HE is much less range-dependent than MG fire. So your tactics have to divert from historical reality towards shorter ranges to be equally successful.

MG fire to towed guns is also partially unrealistic since the gun shields do nothing in CMx1 - but they certainly did help against MG fire in real life.

Which leads me to wonder what with 88's being so large that the English failed so often to hose them down with MG fire or even put 2pdr shot through the gunshield. Is it possible than even 11ft ATG's are not necessarily the easy target. Do you think that the bulk of the gun was screened by the guns being placed on reverse slopes?

This is an interesting little article:

http://www.ghqmodels.com/newsletters/janfeb2001.pdf

The 88s are dug in to the barrel. A hole in the shield means nothing.

It wouldn't be realistic if CMx1 would just given them "height" and treated them like vehicles. You would have to invent a model of what kind of stance the crew is in at what moment to determine crew members being hit and of course actual gun mechanics hits.

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With the logic that I have seen argued thus far, perhaps we should just generalize and state the following: "anyone who beats JasonC is a cheater".

LMAO!!

For one, I am mildly offended (but moreover, greatly amused) that someone might be labeled a cheat (even if it is just the esteemed mind of one person in this thread) by simply having a gun LOS line with a kink in it within 15 meters.

I for one do not think that is a very objective or empirical way of deducing someone's honesty. I didn't know there was a "bug" before I read this thread, and have been using defilade positions for infantry, tanks, and GUNS since when I first began to crawl at this game, specifically due to my robust knowledge of military tactics.

Now I am by default, a cheater.

Better that, than be labeled an opionated arse.

(Rubble rubble rubble... What's that? Oh really. Fooey.)

I've been informed that I already have been labeled as an opinionated arse.

Ahem.

Carry on.

Cheers!

Leto

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It seems a shame that no one takes the time to challenge your ideas - normally.

Think back to my "banging your head against a brick wall" comment that you found cryptic at the time. Sometimes a pointless endeavour is just that, pointless.

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If you do this deliberately every time you position a gun you exploit a game bug.

Perhaps, but an important distinction needs to be made here. I wasn't looking to cheat or exploit a game bug. Instead, I was using a realistic tactic to bring my gun into action. That in the course of otherwise normal (and fair) play this particular bug surfaces is unfortunate, but also irrelevant.

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Kingfish -you knew exactly what would happen and entirely intended to exploit the known bug. Simple.

Well, duh, oh sage of mobile field pieces. It was a tightly scripted scenario. I chose to create the conditions which would ensure the bug would arise. I did so to prove a point, that is the bug can be created by someone who uses realistic tactics and has no intention of cheating.

BTW, I'm not trying to sway your opinion or possibly enlightened you with an opposing point of view. You've painted yourself into the corner with your 'everyone who does this is a cheater' bull**** and frankly that is exactly where you belong.

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I don't think it is entirely pointless in that simply accepting JC as being correct without thinking through its ramifications would have been wrong and left many people - or at least those who bother to read the thread - believing they possibly had been innocently cheating.

We have now established that:

1. a kink in the sighting line is not prima facie an unhittable position

2. that JC has an unfortunate knack of meeting "unsporting players"

My suspicion is that given enough elevational difference then the effect probably can occur where the crest is sharp. That the answer that is both simple to remember and provides the least player workload is not to make players paranoid about placing guns but for the moving player not to move into such positions whereby his counter-fire is rendered ineffective.

I am sure there have been many innocent instances where maps have provided such positions which have also had a viable field of fire, and also very rarely some gamily made maps and scenarios where the effect has been crafted.

For playing smoothly and free of worry it seems to me that the exploit is simply ignored and tank drivers just bear in mind the possibility and the onus of avoiding such situations. If you choose to play on smallish maps where tanks cannot move easily and buy no alternative weapon systems then that is entirely up to you.

BTW Redwolf you say in your experience the results feel right. I was just curious how many games you have played - not trying to make a point but genuinely curious as to how one who has been on the forum for years does gamewise. I suppose I must have clocked over three hundred with the majority being large QB's. At WeBoB this seems to be a very high figure.

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I don't think it is entirely pointless in that simply accepting JC as being correct without thinking through its ramifications would have been wrong and left many people - or at least those who bother to read the thread - believing they possibly had been innocently cheating.

Oh, I think you misinterpreted what I said. I said people found attempting to argue or discuss anything with JC to be pointless. I never implied anyone believed him to be correct. In fact, at this point, I think most people know him well enough that they simply don't bother for the simple fact that, as I said, it's pointless to hope for a rational discussion once he makes his mind up. I give you this thread as exhibit A. Or exhibit 10,593,543 depending on which system you want to use.

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Imagine the following in RL WW2:

A well-prepared gun position behind a crest. Used just like a tank uses hull down to cover the parts of the gun below the barrel. A tank approaches within good range. Kill chance very high. But those 3 tanks in overwatch are out of the ATGs effective range. The gun crew expected that and prepared the gun to be drawn back into full cover (ie "turret down") after a few shots. Recoil is low, the gun can easily be pushed or pulled by 4 men as a kind of sled/rails has been prepared despite the wheels being off/turned whatever.

Overwatch is far away and thus has a hard time spotting the gun - even when firing. Probability of a first round from the overwatch landing near the gun position is low. MG fire won't hit the pullling crew as they can operate from within the trench.

The gun shoots twice, killing the forward tank, then pulls back. 20 seconds after the first shot the gun is in full cover. The gun crew can then decide whether to move to alternate positions or just be trucked away.

Ideas for simulating this in CM? (Except for using lots of smoke to cover the withdrawal, exploiting yet another bug.)

Next problem:

Positioning a gun on higher ground will result in exactly the same game bug when firing downwards as putting the gun behind a crest. Even when putting the gun on the edge the gun still profits 50% from the bug as half of the rounds will be long and in this case this means far too long. Which raises the question: Is positioning a gun on higher ground gamey? If not - where is the thin red line?

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CMAK, 1943 scenario designed specifically to test the proposition that if an AT gun has a kinked target line, and is set back from a crest, it is pretty much invulnerable to return fire from tanks.

Terrain: 200m by 800m billiard table flat apart from a height 9 ridge set at gentle elevation.

Forces/deployment: All regular DAK= 4 X PAK 40 set away from the crest

US = 30 X M4 Shermans in 6 platoons

Result: 2 X M4's KO'd by the 24th second. ALL PAK's KO'd in 36 seconds though most pinned/broken by return fire by the 30th second (only one was firing after the 30th second)

None of the guns were spotted before opening fire and most return fire was effective very quickly.

Conclusion: In CMAK, hiding guns behind a ridge so that the target line is kinked ends up in a lot of dead PAK crew's.

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Interesting stuff Vark though 30 to to 4 does seem a little unfair. Perhaps a platoon to 1 or 2 would be a more realistic - however I appreciate that was not the point of the test.

Would it be easy for you to repeat with trenches? And possibly foxholes?

I believe sandbags are totally useless also. : )

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No problems DT, the odds were there to test the veracity of the claim that the guns would be invulnerable or, at the least highly protected. The next test will have 4 PAK behind the crest and 4 PAK on the flat ground, protected by brush, so as not to get minced before they get rounds down range. I will let you know the results.

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Vark,

Thanks for the test results.

Unfortunately, we all know the CMx1 has its problems in regards to Borg Spotting and fast reactions times.

I think in RL it would take several minutes to destroy an AT platoon or a tank company, and not just one turn . Everytime I see these results, it reminds me of modern day combat where whole tank companies or field pieces can die in a matter of a couple minutes, but not in WWII.

Joe

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