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About Holman

  • Birthday 12/20/1968

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    PA, USA
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    The wargames and the history and the fiction and the teaching.


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  1. I can never remember whether (for spotting and/or shooting purposes) it's better for armored vehicles to be buttoned or unbuttoned. I know there are tremendous differences between CM eras and armies and even individual vehicle models, but is there an easy rule of thumb for knowing when a hunting/scouting/covering vehicle commander loses anything by being in or out of the hatch? I know WW2 vehicles will have better sighting unbuttoned, but how can I tell which models of (e.g.) Strykers or other modern vehicles have good optics when buttoned or not?
  2. FWIW, the "dirty bombs emptying multiple major cities for a century" scenario has always seemed a bit too apocalyptic for me, but in the end it doesn't matter and has no game effect. All you need is a plausible motive for Western-led regime change. It can be abstract, or it can be as specific as you find plausible. All that matters is that *something* has motivated the scenario you're playing.
  3. Here is Snyder's C.V. in case anyone wants to see if he's a lightweight.
  4. From his Wikipedia: "Timothy David Snyder (born August 18, 1969) is an American author and historian specializing in the history of Central and Eastern Europe and the Holocaust. He is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.[2] He has written several books, including the best-sellers Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.[3]" One of my best friends was a Marshall Scholar with Snyder at Oxford and considers him one of the most serious historians he has known. He is not a "popular" author except in the sense that his work has attracted wide interest.
  5. Jungle fighting just wouldn't work at all in this engine. Draw up an all-forest map and try an infantry engagement in it.
  6. I read it years ago, and found it fascinating. IIRC (and this will be a test of my memory, as I'm not looking it up), Malaparte was an Italian journalist who enjoyed the company of aristocrats and other well-connected Italians, many of whom would come to be part of or adjacent to the Mussolini regime. He was also deeply cynical about the war. The novel is semi-autobiographical and offers a very unusual perspective on WW2. Did I remember it right?
  7. Plus, the CMx2 graphics engine doesn't present every twitch and squirm of an individual soldier. Someone ducking at the right time or pressing themselves that much further into the dirt can save them even if the computer doesn't show it.
  8. Someone could create "Invasion America" right now with graphics mods alone. The US/Soviet data is already in the engine, and all you have to do is change some building textures and doodads. You've got German terrain for the East and South and NTC terrain for Texas etc. Recolor it for Kudzu and gravel roads if you really want to go to town.
  9. Visible from whom? That's the question. I think you should just accept that it's difficult and that the player has to learn the complications and work with them.
  10. I feel icky about dumping on another developer's vision. There's room for lots of wargames, and the life of the genre depends on attracting new players at all levels.
  11. Buddy aid has a random element, and rightly so. Maybe you want the FT, but the buddy just has no idea how to use it correctly. Maybe that BAR is better than your carbine, but the stock got shattered by the blast that killed the BAR man. Maybe you'd love to pick up that M240, but the former gunner's entrails are currently slathered all over it.
  12. I assume you want to press a key and have the map highlight everywhere your unit can see. But what is the "unit?" Since sighting in CMx2 is by individual members, does (for example) a selected tank highlight where the commander can see (even if the gunner can't), or does it only highlight what the gunner can see (meaning that the tank itself might be visible from places where you're told it can't see). Likewise, an infantry squad. Does your button highlight only what a single member can see, or is it necessary for all of them to be able to see the spot? In the end, even with such a sighting-highlight tool in place, you'll be developing an eye for what a unit can *effectively* see and not see through long practice. And that's what we're already doing now.
  13. Ideally, sure. Or... maybe not. In CM, visibility is checked not per unit but per individual soldier. Your opened-up tank commander might see an enemy that the gunner can't; an infantry rifleman might see one that the squad machine-gunner can't; etc etc. CM requires that you learn by practice what works and what doesn't. Some extra UI tools might actually make this harder, not easier.
  14. Try it and see. Place a waypoint (which you can of course delete afterwards) on the other side of a forest or even just a building. The LOS line does appear to originate from the unit, but its colors very clearly indicates sight from the waypoint.
  15. I haven't spent any time in the CMCW map editor, but how is it for 1970s-80s urban architecture? Berlin might not be much of a battle, but fighting would surely be serious in Hamburg, Hannover, etc. And of Course Frankfurt and Cologne/Bonn would probably be the ultimate targets for the Pact invasion plan. Perhaps the West-and-East German DLC could include appropriate urban terrain as well.
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