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About Rankorian

  • Birthday 09/18/1958


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    Worcester, MA
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  1. I was very impressed with the video, and I was particularly impressed with the spacing and pacing of the squads and tank movements. "Don't just do something, stand there" can be, I think, a good mantra in CM2, as the spotting algorithm operates--and probably was the case at the time. I am the opposite with regards to pace, perhaps to slow. I seldom use scout cars as scouts, because they are so fragile, and large--so they can easily be destroyed without even seeing what his them. At the CM2 scale, if we already sort of know where the enemy is, than I figure their job is done and they should mostly retire--sort of like the threads on half-tracks. Hence, I would have missed that "overrun" experience on the scout squad--which was amazing, and appears realistic, to see. It would have also "killed" me to walk those platoons over open field to the town--I am not sure that I could have given the command. As it turns out, a mortar unit would, purposefully I am sure, have made staying in place with the two platoons and sending out a 2 person scout team a losing decision. I am conflicted, but also interested, when a scenario is built to seemingly challenge the "usual" decisions--I likely would have brought both platoons toward the center. In all, the video shows to me a very subtle and sophisticated scenario (and, one of its excellent solutions), with a nice small, manageable mix of forces. The Panzer IV is my favorite tank, from 41 to the end of the war. This video may have induced me to buy this module.
  2. Looking at the table under the tree, I am having even more thoughts. I was thinking the decision with any of the campaign scenarios was "play or don't play". But is it correct for me to infer from the table that the German forces are largely persistent from one scenario to the next? (I did not think they were, and did not even realize that was possible or done in a campaign) [Rankorian palm-slaps his forehead] Which would mean that if I heavily damaged the enemy forces, and took the loss, I would be in much better shape for the next scenario than if I did not play it and took the loss? If so, that opens up a --LOT-- of interesting choices (interesting choices being most of what makes a fun simulation). Again, much different than the "if you don't win you are a --loser--, no fun." If that is true, I am almost stunned--because explaining that would have been so easy and to BFC, in my opinion, so important.
  3. "Kobayashi Maru"--given the world wide expanse of the internet and these forums, I thought it was some distant Japanese saying. But, ah, it is a Star Trek reference--unless I am missing something more learned. The problem, I think, is that we cannot, unlike Captain Kirk, alter the underlying (CM2) programming to a win, and the result is a possibly frustrated public. Is it good for the character of the public?--could be a debate. Is it good for Battlefront? With all sympathy to BFC, my opinion is no.
  4. As I read the table, if you "allowed" yourself to lose (in other words, did not keep playing each scenario until you win), you would be "rewarded" by getting easier versions of future scenarios. See, for example, the 3 different versions of "For those about to die"--8,9,61. This is interesting and admirable conceptually. Indeed, it raises the option of looking at a tactical situation in a scenario and taking the rational decision that the best thing to do is not to play it. (introduced, in think, in C and F "Hard Knocks"--yes the first in the series was winnable, but it is skewed toward not even trying to.) The problem, in my opinion, is that would have best to be explained--even right in the manual, if the main campaigns consisted of this type of arrangement. Put in the manual, also, that beautiful campaign tree (because to "derive it" from countless play-overs would take mind-bending hours) Perhaps "teaching people to lose", or to not fight, is an admirable.....societal goal. Or a skill that an actual commander might need (if given the authority). But for the casual gamer to run into this philosophy, so different than most of what they are given to expect elsewhere is, in my opinion, unnecessarily off-putting. Most of us try to "solve" a scenario, and do not realize that it may be there is, by design, no solution. I read so many comments about "impossible" campaign scenarios with MG and the Italian campaigns that I barely tried them--they sounded "broken". Seeing this tree gives me a far better understanding of what was going on.
  5. Since to apply, you must have been in existence, and that likely meant you were a vampire--did you mention to the recruiting office that your night-time recon efforts were excellent, and you would not likely be drawing from the usual canteen rations? Seriously, depending on the situation, sometimes the troops that are willing to flee, and fight another day, are more situationally correct. And even if the troops are elite, having a big HE burst in the middle of them...the WW2 uniform was not much better than wearing a t-shirt with regards to shrapnel protection.
  6. Nice blast from the past. It may get me to try Assault again in CMRT. I would like to eventually finish that scenario....and this gives me some ideas.
  7. I am looking forward to see how your attack turns out--forget (almost) win/loss, I will be interested to see your tactical moves. The way you have moved your units thus far has (other than the recon jabs) has almost been poetic.
  8. First, I am not arguing with anyone. I am learning effective game tactics. But let's take this situation: seen in this DAR. Your screening infantry sees a target several hundreds of meters ahead. Your tanks leap forward, shoot the target, and then retreat. Unless I am mistaken (and people will chime in quickly to what extent I am), that C2 did not exist in WW2. If infantry communicated with the tanks, it was generally a very local, almost tactile experience--maybe some hand signals, or a phone on the back of the tank. CM2 has non-Borg spotting, but we, as players, can break that (absent a house rule that one can only attack a unit with a unit which actually is aware of the unit) by area firing, for infantry units. For armor, it is "seeing" what every unit sees, and then moving your armor when and where you want, presenting your armor frontally. Then you wait for spotting. But in the WW2 IRL the attacking armor would have been very more blind and at a disadvantage. Mass would be more important. If, in the game, you may know where an enemy armor piece is because of some distant infantry unit, the attacker can gain the initiative. [this is, of course, an old issue: think of trying to simulate C2 issues in Napoleonic or American Civil War games--couriers--, much less with the Romans] Tanks without, generally, even medium range effective communication with the infantry, mostly only able to fire when stationary, and substantially blind when buttoned unless one sat for awhile--that is my image of a WW2 tank. My guess is that things have changed. I am on the edge of my seat to see how this proceeds.
  9. I am sure your opponent is a excellent fighter, so I say everything with the utmost respect. I do not like the use of those Panthers. In overwatch, initially 3 on his left flank (your right), 2 on his right flank--with a screening force in front, and then moving the 2 over when he understands you moves. I think that would have been the baseline/default positioning. Keep them at a distance, clustered, with only front armor to be seen. On the other hand, your handling of the Sherman tanks shows why we should give that fighting vehicle more credit, particularly in the more crowded Western Front. Now I am going to make a generation specific comment: You --move-- your tanks. That is probably consistent with modern doctrine, and the Shermans are likely a good candidate for that. In my thinking, in WW2 tank thinking was that they were more mobile AT/HE/MG positions with armor around them. [ha...maybe such a generalization will get JasonC to jump in to eviscerate me] Yes they were mobile, but the concept was to move them to somewhere critical and sit and fire (yes there is the "shoot and scoot" in CM--but I consider that the exception to the rule, and was dropped as a command in CM2) How is your ammo? Do your Shermans carry much HE? That might be critical near the conclusion of this battle.
  10. Great presentation. It is almost as though it was a story-book for a movie. Overall shots, and then close in ones. Hey, was that Brad Pitt sticking his head out of the Sherman?
  11. The line of trees on the right you used--could not have been better positioned if you had walked out and planted the trees yourself. The Panthers have a justifiably great reputation.....when they can present their front armor from a distance. Not to be too "catty" [to use the slang for such German armor], but your opponent may have been better served by holding his Panthers back from Noville, in overwatch position, and at a distance. Think of how that would have markedly disrupted your right flank move. Moving Panthers into a town, in my opinion, markedly weakens their powers. The cats are not great street brawlers.
  12. Wow. Given he started with the same point forces you did, where are they? Your spread out right flank, which is something I was worried about, is starting to contract in and become a noose. Could you be missing something off your left flank? Even if you were, there is a lot of killing spot area between Cobru and the left forests to stop movement there. Again, your movements behind Noville is much more risky than I would attempt--you are essentially separating our forces into 2. But....if he punches in one direction, you can forcefully counterpunch the opposite side. The H to H stuff is a real mind game.
  13. The down-side of that (so I have read) is that both sides can sit on their distant flags, and thus be boring. (since, with equal forces, attacking is risky). Given the known artificialness of an ME anyway, I am not against trying to turn it into an interesting cage match--as we are seeing here. I am reading the book "Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming" (a 800 page book on wargaming--what is not to like?). Early on, I think from the designer of PanzerBlitz (I could be wrong about the attribution), there is a quote something like, "The Game is a Game." [CM, by the way, is just mentioned as a topical topic they just did not get to] And, reading this thread, I am enjoying CM2.
  14. Unless I am missing something, this is what I see: you have him surrounded, but he has, then, the faster internal movement. Normally, I would favor the faster ability to deploy internally. But, again unless I am missing something, he seems to have a lot of units in a small amount of area. That could prove to be awkward, as moving them could inadvertently expose them to fire from your units, and any fire from your units could potentially cause damage to his nearby units. You also know, sort of, where his units are--"his" town. He knows less about your units, except those he has see on your right flank (which, I agree, may be unnerving to him) In general, I would think that a contest between two equal units one would want to be in the defensive position (particularly with FOW). This is what I find so jarring about QB ME battles: the initial rush to get into the central position (like gaining the central position on a chess board). The person who does not attack the enemies fixed positions first may have the advantage. If he attacks Corbu, I think the situation will be very, very interesting. If he piece-meals the attack, or can't move units with precision, you have him. If he does, however, he might have you. That might then require you counter-attack at his rear to draw off units by threatening "his" town. So, I would counsel patience (except, perhaps, to pepper some woods/target on the right flank to emphasize your potential threat there). But I don't have command--the weight of decision is on your shoulders.
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