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jgdpzr's Achievements

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  1. Sure, such encounters occurred, certainly on the scale portrayed in CM. What you see on a typical battlefield in CM often must be seen as merely a part of a larger engagement, encompassing a much larger area. In such an environment, different types of arms of combatants will come into contact with one another, depending on the specifics of the battle at hand. Sometimes a specific point of contact would involve all or several of the arms organic to, or attached to the larger echelon involved in the engagement (such as a division), sometimes not. While armour tended to have some infantry support nearby, there were many examples of tanks meeting without such support, particularly when one side or both had to quickly cover ground to contest a vital objective. I suppose this would most closely resemble the meeting engagement in CM terms. Sometimes armour, or recon vehicles, had to race ahead of infantry support and fight a screening action to delay an advancing enemy or shield the forward deployment of infantry. In such situations, they would briefly find themselves with little or no immediate infantry support, at least for the length of time represented in typical CM battles. I believe what John is alluding to is the fact that the make-up of a balanced force at the CM level is really an artificial construct, particularly in smaller scenarios or quick battles. On sub-battalion levels, an autonomous combined arms package like you see in most 'balanced' battles in CM would have been the exception, rather than the rule. (Hope I didn't misstate you there, John) However, coming back to the whole idea of the CM battle being a slice of a larger battle, it is possible to imagine the assets of the larger echelon of which you are a part fighting on both flanks, so you're free to imagine just about anything on your particular little piece of the action.
  2. This one is really tough for me. I first have to separate the question in terms of the two games. To put it blountly, I find fighting as the Russians in CMBB generally to be more difficult than either as the Brits or the US in CMBO. I'll add to that when I discuss the Russians. By the slightest of margins, I have to say I find the US to be the easiest force to use. Primarily, I say this because when all of the components are added together, I find them to have the strongest combined arms package (infantry, armour, artillery/air support). The Brits definitely have a strong advantage in armour. The 17 pounder and the ready availability of the Churchill give them an armour one-two the US simply doesn't have (in practical terms). In terms of comparing the two countries' various arms, this is the most one-sided category. However, I greatly prefer the US infantry model over the Brits'. While the organic 2" mortar and piat are nice, they are not enough to offset the disparity in squad firepower, IMO. Finally, there is the question of artillery. Here, too, I give the edge to the US. Probably the biggest difference to me lies between the 25 pounder and the 105mm. I simply prefer the latter. Generally, I seem to get more bang for the buck with the US (3" mortar excepted, particularly onboard) across the spectrum of the two artillery branches. Add infantry and artillery, and they overcome the British advantage in armour. But, once again, it's a close call. Now, the Russians. Simply put, the subtle but critical differences in the two games create an unlevel playing field when I compare commanding them to managing US or British troops. I consider this to be a good thing, however. Playing as the Russians requires new, and in some ways, more refined skills, IMO. There were comparatively fewer differences between playing as the axis or allies in CMBO. The unique conditions of the Eastern Front, and the very real doctrinal differences between the Russians' and the West's (including the Germans') conduct of the war should be evident in a game, and I think CMBB does a very strong job in capturing those elements. But the price to be paid includes such things as the ubiquity of green/conscript troops, unresponsive artillery support, and periodic armour disadvantages (usually related to command and control or fire control). The strengths and advantages are there (numbers, speed and mobility of armour, specialized and potent infantry, good air support, to name a few) but they take some coaxing to fully exploit. In the end, it is this fact that makes me both love, and hate, playing as the Russians.
  3. Yes, for the most part quick battles are going to be ahistorical, especially when the forces are cherry-picked. However, one could argue that many highly-historical battles wouldn't be much fun. After all, most firefights were rather one sided, hardly a sporting match-up. On the other hand, a good evenly balanced battle may not be historical, but it can be a helluva lot of fun to play. IMO, the ability to flexibly create fun, evenly balanced battles is worth the price in historical fidelity. If there are particular elements of the purchase options that bother you, establish groundrules beforehand. Plus, the engine allows scenario designers to pursue a great deal of historical detail and accuracy anyway, so scenarios are a great alternative to quick battles.
  4. I don't think this is true. The major problem is that quick battles are usually very ahistorical. The flexibility inherent in the quick battle system often leads to force mixes that distort the historical role, and subsequent effectiveness, of many units. While the rarity modifications are by necessity tweaked by a number of factors that are open to subjectivity, I have found they seem to be firmly grounded and certainly do not imbalance the game. I find they do just the opposite, which is why rarity is considered in the first place.
  5. This relates to the spaced armour on the mantlet. The saukopfblende (sic?), or pigshead, was a feature of the later stug's. It was the rounded mantlet, contrasted with the squared-off mantlet of the earlier stugs.
  6. While I can't claim definitive knowledge pertaining to these questions, I will throw out what I know. The IS-III had a VERY cramped turret. It had a wonderful shape for balistic-protection purposes, but that rounded sloping also meant a very tight internal area. I would hazard that was why the coaxial MG ammo was reduced so drastically. I would also think the shape and design of the turret may have made the inclusion of a cupola difficult, but of that I am far from sure. I know I have read where the Soviets were very disappointed in the turret of the IS-III because its functionality was too greatly compromised for the sake of maximizing protection. Regarding the change in ROF of the IS-II, I would bet that it had something to do with a change in ammo storage. They probably devised a more effective way of storing the two parts, making loading more efficient. That, too, is just a guess.
  7. You are most welcome. If you want to get your fill of handling the IS-II, try jeagermeister on the CD. I had very good fortune using them with shoot-n-scoot tactics (en masse-that's critical) in that battle. Just remember that even though the gun of the IS-II is capable (sometimes, against the heavy panzers, it's about the only sufficient gun on the field) of duking it out with tanks, that's not its primary role.
  8. I agree, and I think it goes one step further. I believe the retreat behavior is affected by several factors, one of the most critical being chance to hit. A major consideration in this factor is ROF (because of bracketing). Because of the pitiful ROF of the IS-II, the chance to hit within a short period of time is then further decreased since it takes so much longer to adjust fire. These factors add up to make it clear that in many combat situations the AI crew is going to err on the side of self-preservation, causing what many consider to be mistaken retreats. Regarding the general useage of the IS-II, it is clear that Soviet doctrine stressed its utilization in the anti-personnel and anti-fortification roles. IOW, It was their heavy assault tank. I've seen snippets (sorry can't quote or even remember where I read this) that suggested its use in the anti-tank role should be limited to long ranged fire, engaging targets frontally so as to use its thick frontal armour to mitigate the ponderous ROF. Closer engagements were usually the product of desperation, or tactical error, rather than the doctrine prescribed norm. Finally, I have discovered (others have as well) that shoot-n-scoot tactics are extremely useful with this vehicle since this will negate some of the problems many have noted. In one of the threads referenced previously, Redwolf was particularly disturbed how the vehicle will sometimes back off without even firing a chambered round. Shoot-n-scoot will avoid this because you are giving the ai a simple, clear order that it can complete without being overridden by self-preservation. Bottom line, the IS-II's ROF forces some restrictions on it's utility in the general AT role. I'm not going to open Pandora's box on whether or not this is historically accurate, as that horse has been thoroughly pulverized. For the sake of the game, learn to deal with its limitations and you will find it to be a potent AFV, even against the nastiest of armoured adversaries.
  9. Yep, the 50mm is neither particularly small, nor light. Having played around on one, I can definitely attest to how difficult it would be for one person to move it. I've found this limitation in the engine to be but an occasional minor nuisance because once a gun is down to the last man, he usually doesn't survive long anyway.
  10. Slappy got it right. Quite simply, the ai didn't remember it had bounced AP three turns previously. Generally, it will only fire its more valuable rounds immediately after seeing its other rounds defeated (within the same targeting contact). I don't believe the engine is capable of a more lasting learned response.
  11. To be honest, I've not noticed a proliferation of 88mm outside of the Germans of WWII. 105, yes, but not 88. As far as the 88 goes, it is my understanding that the bore diameter itself was a product of studies done by German ballistic experts designing a high altitude flak gun. The size provided a good compromise allowing for a shell that provided good explosive capabilities while still being manageable enough to be shot to high altitudes. So, intitially, the requirements of flak service led to this bore diameter. Fairly quickly, it was realized that the gun was also quite effective in the AT role, and eventually the 88L/56 was mounted on the Tiger once it was realized the purpose-built AT gun 75L/70 would not be ready in time. I'm not sure as to the specifics of why the 88mm diameter was continued in the 88L/71, but I have to think the combination of good AT capabilities (independent of muzzle velocity) and superior HE capabalities (superior to any of the 75mm guns) were considerations, as well as logistical benefits of uniformity. This may be a gross over-simplification, so don't quote me on this.
  12. Of cource not. But I dont attribute some mythical skills of war at the operational level to them either. For some reason, many people seem to be almost idolizing the Soviets during 44-45. I suppose this is a counterreaction to the mindeless horde-image that was prevailing after the war, but the current image is equally one sided and wrong.</font>
  13. The Jagdpanzer IV series had one or two internally stowed MG42s. When needed for close defense, the conical cover in the front superstructure would be pivoted, revealing an opening in which the machine gun would be inserted for firing (early vehicles had twin conical firing ports, as well as two MG42s). AFAIK, there was never a hard-mounted MG on the vehicle, and it was also unusual that the machine gun normally carried was the MG42, rather than the MG34, the machine gun normally equipping panzers. [ January 01, 2003, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: jgdpzr ]
  14. One thing I've found that helps is having other units firing on the tank, units not involved in the close assault. If you can get the tank targeting them, the close assault units seem to buck up their courage and throw those grenades. Even if they take sporadic fire, they tend to keep their heads down. Distance wise, 16m should be close enough, I've taken out tanks with infantry as far away as 20m I think.
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