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The_Capt

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Everything posted by The_Capt

  1. OP...c'mon it was right there! "ZSU-23/4 Zuper Deadly !"
  2. Yep, we didn't get these fixes in under the wire, so we will have to get them out on the next one.
  3. Bil and I once bandied around an idea of recreating the War of 1812 in a dystopian future, Invasion America would nicely link into that concept. Unfortunately that one is not currently on the books...but a lad can always dream.
  4. Just to follow up. In the interim, players can simply open these scenarios in the editor and purchase a Soviet Air controller team for Head to Head play.
  5. Ok, that one is on me. The air support works in the single player campaigns but of course this will be an issue in H2H. Will get it fixed.
  6. Gotta be honest, the video gave me flashbacks to the first time I saw CMBO. Nice and clean interface. The level of abstraction will be key.
  7. Hey don't get me wrong, there is room for improvement within the game for fire support. A FPF mission or FPF TRP makes very good sense and they definitely did exist in the context of the CM games. (Although, frankly the gunners can get in line behind the engineers in regard to in-game improvements) And there are exceptional circumstances where a fire mission system like this could happen, problem is how much do we invest in these more niche scenarios? A tactical formation may the main effort once in its entire history, and then it would be looking at a deliberate assault scenario. In that scenario the "go" would likely come from the guns themselves, not the other way around. Keep in mind that in the west maneuver warfare as concept did not even exist before CMSF in the CM timeframes (CMCW can almost see it but it was still a few years off). This runs into a developers dilemma trying to cover as many possible scenarios as possible in the time one has to develop the game. I have had this argument with the BFC guys for years wrt military engineering; however, now having been on the other end, I totally get their point. As cool as explosive line breaching would be in the game, its actual use is exceptionally limited (without getting silly). We had the same argument for FASCAM in CMCW: do we want to spend months on a feature we might see once or twice? I would argue that outside of CMSF (but even here the game is a lot more near-pear than say operations in Afghanistan over the last 20 years) almost all CM titles are going to see the vast majority of fire support in scenarios as I have described previously. For CMCW we did a lot of research on combat support in the timeframe and although I do not argue that US/Western artillery could operate as the OP describes, I seriously doubt they would be offered a situation where they would be able to use it. An AMC order did not exist at all in Soviet doctrine (in any war), the US/West would only use it rarely in peer high intensity fights (and then mostly only in a contemporary timeframe) which remains the core of CM titles. In the future, if the Azer-Armenian conflict is an indication, fire support might be entirely controlled at the operational level or conversely made virtually organic for a set period of time. I think the jury is still out on that one, which is a major problem with building in-the-future games, namely accuracy. Anyway, CM3 might make all of this so easy that we can get every possible variation imaginable but for now, most Combat Support will likely remain an 80% solution. But c'mon, we got freakin cluster munitions!
  8. Well, yes, I suppose I am saying that, or they might be dead in 25 mins. Any guns above battalion mortars would be swinging wildly across the battlefield with more calls for fire than they could ever support. While at the same time hopping like a strung out frog to avoid air strikes and counter-battery. The situation where they could sit and wait for one tactical unit to say “now” and be able to actually deliver would be extremely rare. I actually think CM is too forgiving in permanently assigning fire support to a tactical formation (at least in the historical titles). In reality they could be pulled away or lost mid-battle. The situation you are describing is very common in our current fights. We own the space, the guns can be assigned for much longer and tighter because our opponents are largely uncons. This sort of fire support was also available in Vietnam and a lesser extent Korea, so there are historical theatres where it would work...but few and far between in most CM titles. Again, SOF missions would also apply but really still outliers. So yes, fully recognize it is a tool in the box. Just proposing that in a high intensity peer fight it would seldom be able to be used.
  9. Well I would argue it means something as far as CMCW is concerned and we won't be seeing it in that title or that era because it simply was not, nor is not realistic in that timeframe. Was not "talking down" to be honest...was trying to educate but like most in the younger generation I am sure you guys have it all figured out and history offers you little (ok, that last part was talking down a bit). I had a boss a long time ago that said, "there is nothing more dangerous than a one war military"...he noted France after WWI as the prime example. The problem was (and is) that once a military becomes enamored with one type of fighting for too long they tend to only see the world through that lens; history shows repeatedly how this never ends well. Good hard won lessons become doctrine, repeated utility of that doctrine leads heavy investment and lost corporate memory of anything else...and then it all becomes dogma if things go on long enough. I suggest that you read up on the recent Ukrainian conflict or the very recent Azer-Armenian conflict. Both demonstrate that the speed and lethality of the modern battlefield has accelerated once again and I am not sure where that leaves our current tools but I am sure that it looks nothing like the wars we have been fighting since the end of the Cold War.
  10. Well we like to think we have been "part of the team" for quite some time now (Bil and I were beta testers for quite awhile and they are definitely a key part of the whole outfit). That said, this time was definitely a different level of commitment but we are really glad that Steve et al took a chance on us. Right now we are focused on continuing to support CMCW as we roll from BFC early access to wide release under Slitherine. After that we will see. Nothing is written in stone just yet, but I can say we do have plans...and then a plan after that...and maybe one more after that.
  11. We are on it. With luck it should turn up in a patch coming to a neighbourhood near you soon.
  12. Do not take this completely the wrong way but you are a product of your time. Do not feel bad as I have to continually remind the current crop of officers at a staff college that they are as well. It is also my fault for not qualifying the context. You quote above speaks to where we are as modern militaries, completely overwhelming the current battlefields so that we can "hold a battery for 20 mins". Our current way of warfare, which is about 30 years old has now become doctrine...it is also very dangerous to assume all warfare will nicely line up with it. In a high intensity peer fight, I am afraid we are going to have to re-learn a lot of lessons the hard way and this would be one of them. In this case that battery of howitzers might be dead in 20 mins and any ideas of hold fire "on my command" will likely go out the window extremely fast once we are at parity or worse. So in context of the original posting, we are talking in CM (which you are correct has abstractions), so WW2, Cold War, fictional Syria (which is probably as close to the current thinking aligns), CMBS (to which we are not well aligned at all). In all but Syria any idea of bottlenecking calls for fire when they are 1) likely to be quickly overwhelmed and 2) at threat of being knocked out, is simply not realistic nor historical. Don't worry, there will be hard lessons for everyone (e.g. Air Supremacy), or maybe we will get lucky and it will be small asymmetrical wars for awhile longer.
  13. Just to add to this, ASL V is correct, this is not how fire support works. Perhaps Coy mortars and maybe even Bn organic fire support (but that is a stretch), everything above that gets fed into a Fire Support Coord Centre (different countries call it variations on this) where call for fire are coming in continuously and are prioritized and executed as quickly as possible. The only exception would be for SOF but we are talking exceptional strategic missions. Now in the future, I have heard talk of completely automating fire support (in all its forms) and having something like this is much more possible, particularly when we are talking an entirely all-PGM inventory. In CM context this sort of thing would be beyond CMBS and probably into the 15-20 years from now timeframe (but there are differing opinions). Next step after that are accurate predictive models (so AI based C4ISR) that basically plots the fire before the tactical commander even knows he/she needs it.
  14. Ok, thanks for this. We are going to follow up. Not sure how QB pricing is done, I expect it is an algorithm and looks like it needs a bit of tweaking.
  15. But then you get paradoxical behavior in RL. Green troops do not know any better so they will blindly charge in, while experienced troops with tight communities have well established informal leaders and may very well simply disobey a really dumb order....like the kind players often give them (I know I do).
  16. So on the AI plans, the last three options on the bottom (default they say "Mixed, Normal, No Dismount"), if you hit the "normal" tab, there are a series of ambush options with ranges. This needs to be assigned to a specific order though.
  17. Well, not really. Scenario designers put reinforcements where they think the Soviets would have put them in the scenario. The shock effect is organic based on where the scenario designers also think the US would put troops. I mean there is a bit of drama at play here as well but nothing you are seeing is really unrealistic for a Soviet FSE/Advance Guard on the move to establish a breakout in the Fulda area. The player can crack this one successfully, even if they take loses. In the Soviet Campaign overcoming these types of tough challenges was kinda the theme. It is also why we suggested the Soviet campaign be played last, but players are free to play anyway they like. Way back when we started pulling the campaign together some of the old timers said "AI will never truly compete with a human player, the best you can hope for is a Draw". So we worked hard at building a campaign that challenges that assumption but still employs realistic doctrine on both sides. Some players might see some "gotchas" but hey it is all in the spirit of good fun.
  18. There you go! I do think a some frustration with playing the Soviets is built into the learning curve adaptation towards Soviet style warfare, which seems to actually work for them in this title.
  19. To get a real sense of the Soviet approach to warfare. The FSE is not some sort of mincing recon package, skulking around in the trees for hours. It is an opening punch that is going to come straight down that road and crash into the lead US tripwire. It can be done btw, testers managed to not only take Mansbach and wipe out those M60s but keep pushing up the mountain...now they needed a couple tries.... Good luck.
  20. So some details would help a bit. Which Campaign, which mission and how far into that mission were you?
  21. Good question. First off we wanted to make sure that if a player got stuck that they still had a chance to play out the scenarios in the campaign. Second we wanted to give them a chance for H2H, some really good opportunity for play there. We did do minimal rebalancing here because players can simply go into the editor and tweak for 2 player. In other days we could do an entire Rumblings of War tourney using these ten scenarios. They are not symmetrical by-design so testing out players under these conditions would be highly interesting. Why '82 and no Blue AI? Same answer to both...we ran out of time. I was close to pulling the trigger on doing up Blue AI but we did not have time to properly test it. And '82, because it was really the original US Campaign to coincide with the Soviet one (which we did leave all locked up and nasty), and again we ran out of time to take on '79. The campaign standalones are really there as bonus content to allow you guys to play em or play with them in the editor. The risk was people could go in and see all of the AI plans (i.e. cheating) but our thinking was "well it is your money" and so should be your choice.
  22. Well thank you for the feedback, always gratifying to see that the campaigns are making people happy. I really hope you saved and can take another run at mission 5. So Route 66 is where the campaign kind of takes the kid gloves off. First off, it is an ME with very little intel on the enemy, highly realistic by the third day of the war. Recon assets would be highly degraded by this point, so formations are at risk of smashing into each other without the "layers of eyes" they would normally have. So in this mission you need to really lean in quickly, find the enemy and interdict them before they can get on their terrain objectives. The US side wins by denying the Soviet side, and not losing too much in the process. "But where are the Soviet objectives, Capt?" Ah, again part of the puzzle, the US player need to kind of figure that out with what recon assets you have, or simply cut out the mystery and hit the Soviet forces as early as possible. Soviet follow the standard doctrine template for an ME. If you stopped the Soviets in your game, then my guess is that you lost just a few too many friendlies doing it. You were so close, tactical victory is the threshold to move on. I hope you can make it past, I really like mission 6, 7 and 8. If you find it impossible, you can always play them as standalones, they are; Bad and Worse (mission 6), The Citadel (mission 7) and Unhook the Leash (mission 8). But based on your track record, I don't think you will need to. I don't think we are doing Steam achievements but if we did there would be one for making it to Mission 5 along the victory track in a single go. And then another for making through the entire US campaign in a single go. If you can beat the Soviet March or Die in a single go, the military should recruit you Enders Game style.
  23. To answer the question of "troop quality" between the US and Soviet in and around the late 70s/early 80s? Not really...that is kind of my point. I mean the only conflicts of note to see US and Soviet involvement were Vietnam and Afghanistan and neither were 1) the same, or 2) a resounding success. All those prove is that big conventional militaries suck at COIN...not a real surprise there. It also shows that troop quality for both superpowers in these conflicts was poor; both sent largely conscripts and dumped mountains of hardware on the problem. That said, both the Russians and US were capable of producing excellent troops as was demonstrated in WWII (Soviets in the East and US in the Pacific). In the timeframe of the game I would probably give the tactics and operational edge to the Soviets. They were playing an old rulebook but had mastered it. The US was in transition and hadn't a good grasp of their former or new strategies yet. Hardware was again at parity, with definite edge to the Soviets on mass. I guess the answer is that both sides were capable of pushing out excellent-to-'ok'-to-poor troops so any and all combinations/matchups are probably on the menu depending on the context of the fight.
  24. Well it really isn't apples to apples even in the time frame. Grozny was something closer to hybrid warfare in a dense urban setting with the Russian military a shell of its former self. Desert Storm was a large mechanized fight between two "peer" forces with the US at the top of its game...and the Iraqi's who were frankly bafflingly bad. In reality Gulf War probably gives enough of a hint at where things would have stood in a late 80s fight but in 82 things were very different. The US was still rebuilding in the post-Vietnam era. Goldwater Nicols had not passed yet and Airland Battle was in its infancy. The US definitely did not have either a quantitative or qualitative edge yet. As to troop quality comparisons, again really hard to do, there isn't much point to it really as it becomes a philosophical discussion really. You can argue both sides without a definitive answer, so we have best guessing and play balance considerations at the end.
  25. I started with them closer to parity, again Soviets slightly higher, and then through playtesting we increased Soviet quality where it looked needed. If anyone plays the US Campaign standalone scenarios as H2H, I would probably go in and tinker with the experience settings much closer to parity. We really did it by feel, as opposed to any "realistic" metrics, largely because "realistic" metrics available were (and are) highly subjective. The line in the West is that that the Soviets were largely nearly useless uneducated conscripts (which frankly has some truth) while NATO had highly educated professional armies. The line in the USSR, was that the West was soft, weak and entitled (which frankly has some truth) while the troops of the Soviet Union were made of steel and sacrifice. Which one is accurate?
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