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Posts posted by womble

  1. 7 hours ago, Lucky_Strike said:



    My theory is that it was too hard to include for some reason, so we never got it, despite the obvious.

    It does seem, to the uninitiated with the code, that giving the crew an LMG to use when dismounted (at least) would be as straightforward as changing the data element of the unit that determines their personal weapons when the disembark.

    I would hope you could see that giving them a "personal weapon" that they can fire while still controlling their vehicle may be more complicated, since crew get treated differently to passengers in the code. Rewriting how the code treats crews, simply to accommodate how a very few vehicles handled their infantry-defense weapons seems like a lot of work in coding, testing its interactions with the rest of the game and recoding for very small gain in terms of how the whole simulation plays out. How many battles hinge on whether the Marder crew had an LMG to use once they dismounted? 


    This goes along with my other pet peeve of why do gunners (PAK, AT and artillery crews) stay with their guns when being shelled/shot to buggery instead of retreating to a safe position and then returning when it's a bit quieter (like what would happen in RL) this was discussed, excused and never properly addressed. There are things in these games that have nothing to do with extrapolation (a favourite excuse) and more to do with can't so won't, ho hum ...

    I'm afraid that looks like a coding limitation. Guns are not treated like vehicles, so they can't be "dismounted" and recrewed. Maybe that's an unfortunate architectural choice, but you haven't seen the code and don't know whether the alternative was even halfway reasonable. And I don't think anyone has used "extrapolation" as an excuse for this, only offered that it's an abstraction (as is nearly everything in the game to some degree). There is certainly a point at which a gun crew will abandon their weapon, with no intention of returning to it, and SOP at that point is to permanently disable the weapon. This would be an additional wrinkle to deal with in coding a "leave it to hide for a bit" behaviour: how do you determine whether a given "duck out" evolution is the "we ain't coming back to the gun", especially when conditions can change while the crew is away from their piece? When you draw that line in code, it will appear to be wrong to some and wrong in a different way to others. Call it an excuse if you want to be aggressive about it. I call it a reasonable explanation as to why it's not going to happen in CMx2. There are many fruits which hang much lower that are not being addressed and aren't likely to be.

    Also, you do understand that "Can't so won't" is entirely reasonable, don't you? If you can't do something, it's pretty dishonest to say you will. But in both these cases, it's an accurate description of the situation. They can't do it (for a reasonable investment of coding time) so they won't. And they've never said they will. They may've said "We'll look at it", but these two features are either minor edge cases (dismounted Marder LMG) or buried in the core of the way units interact (gun crews) so the cost-benefit doesn't stack up favourably.

  2. Having some arty on a Harass, Minimum/minimal tubes, Maximum mission gives some highly responsive indirect HE at only a minute or two's notice for a good long time. I'm redoing Task Force Raff to get back onto the horse, and one of the 60mm mortars got 25 kills in one scenario... The AI's attack was broken before I even saw it; I thought the opfor had reduced strength units when they finally began to assault my positions, but realised at game end that no, they'd started the game full strength, but the mortar fire at "tentative contacts" had chopped them up like so much chum.

  3. 14 minutes ago, akd said:

    Breaching Kits are a special equipment item that has a more narrow function than the generic "charges" carried by engineers.  They only allow wall breaching.

    They are? I stand corrected. Are these a Black Sea innovation? Or is there a distinction drawn in WW2 titles too?

  4. 6 hours ago, AttorneyAtWar said:

    Breach kits are designed to be placed on doors/walls, not C-wire.

    The satchel charges in CM are abstractions designed to represent whatever explosive ordnance bigger than a grenade the unit that has them actually ends up using them for. You can assume that if a unit is intending to breach wire, they're actually bangalore torpedoes. If you're planning to assault buildings with that element, they're a combination of frame charges and mouseholing charges and flash-bangs. If you're planning to ambush enemy pTruppen, maybe it's a command-controlled mine. intending to ambush a tank? Then it's some explosives meant for that purpose.

    That you, the player, don't have to pick exactly which, is a testament to the planning and preparation of your staff and quartermaster. Not something you have to worry about.

    Maybe in CMx4 when you define your Operational Plan to the game, and your pTruppen then draw appropriate equipment and ordnance from the available supply, including extra mortar rounds and other ammunition, for their tasking (of course, you can let your AI XO make the assignments, or dole out your spare LMGs held at Bttn level manually...). But be wary of the demise of Schroedinger's demo charge; if that wire-breaching lot need to ambush a tank, the Bangalore's they're carting around won't be much help...


  5. 18 hours ago, Erwin said:

    Am completely puzzled why it is so controversial to give players the OPTION of extending a scenario.  No one is saying that a player MUST extend if they don't want to.  I can't understand this discussion thread at all.

    Threads where simply asking for an OPTION to do something in the game results in such "out of proportion" negative responses reveals some personality issues that might fascinate a shrink.

    Because the option already exists and a massive chunk of the arguments as to why development effort should be expended on this feature rather than something more useful are fallacious. As well as the option existing having ramifications beyond what the proposers recognise. Options are more complicated than "wouldn't it be nice if...".

  6. 10 hours ago, Badger73 said:

    I could see this as a post-2017 CMFI "Battle Pack" module as well.

    It won't be a "Battle Pack". No new models or TO&E in battlepacks. It doesn't fit as a vehicle pack, either, since the TO&E changes would be significant, even going back into Tunisia. So at the very least it would be a Module, and probably a whole new Family, given the additional "local colour" that would need to be incorporated.

    I think it's most likely to come out in CMx3, if the architecture choices they make in that putative future product allow for more flexible developments (like having forces separate from terrains).

  7. 2 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    Apparently life is not too short for snooty schoolyard put-downs. 'The OP' has experienced reaching the time limits on a scenario while in the midst of intense and indecisive fighting many times, which was the cause of the problem in the first place.

    And if those were standalone scenarios you could have set the time limit to 4 hours. Most scenarios get playtested. All the ones BFC put in with their modules do. Some people play slow and cautious. Some people play fast-and-loose. For there to be a scoring system, there has to be an end point, where scoring counts. It's that simple.

    2 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    I accept almost everything womble says except that, to change the time limits on existing scenarios, you have to go into the editor, which is not too difficult as long as you know that (but you have to know it, and many people are not particularly interested in editing scenarios). But even then, a four hour limit might seem like a lot, but I could certainly imagine playing a game like that. I play EUIV and many other games that go on for weeks or even years at a time. Love 'em. If some people cannot imagine such a thing, perhaps it's the imagination that's deficient.

    Four hours isn't "a lot" if you've got enough units to keep fighting for that long. HvH, though, you're looking at 8 months to completion, and that's if you both manage to get your turn in every day. And it'd take a lot of reinforcements to keep it going that long, the way we, the players, end up smashing them together, cos the engine would struggle to have them on map ab initio. For any "official" scenario against the AI, you're basically a) spending a lot of game time unproductively, and 1) making the potentially carefully-crafted 90 minute AI plan mostly irrelevant.

    2 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    In QBs the limit is only two hours (again, unless you know about the editor), and I would like to know how many engagements in Normandy in 1944 lasted for less than two hours.

    How many QBs actually go to a 2 hour limit? None IMO. Contact is made, and the CM meat grinder generally produces a result within 30 minutes of that time. So, if you want to spend 90 minutes groping for recce information that was complete within 30, you might hit the limit.

    2 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    From my understanding, it was pretty much continuous fighting for months. There's no particular reason why the attackers have to be always overwhelmingly larger than the defenders, and many a force has been expended entirely attempting to break a defensive line.

    The reason there seems largely to be the point ratios of QBs; even Probes give the attacker sufficient matierial advantage that it's relatively straightforward to generate overwhelming local superiority in order to dislocate a defensive scheme. That and what might be deemed "acceptable" force match-ups. There has been much discussion about "asymmetric" battles, largely focused on how to make an untenable defender's position "palatable" for the general player, and the general consensus appears to be that while technically possible, the interest-base in fighting an impossible situation "well enough" to score some weighted VP scheme high enough to beat the superior force. Same arguments apply to "understrength" attacks. 

    2 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    All I'm saying, once again, is that it should be easy to cancel or play through time limits if players choose to do so. Nobody is suggesting they should be banned for those who like them. More options, that's all that's being called for, by me at least. It is indeed a game, not a training or testing exercise for professionals. I'm not particularly interested in scores, or in passing tests, or in rankings. I'm interested in playing out scenarios to their conclusions.

    So go into every scenario before you play it and bang the time limit up to 4 hours. Oh, and recognise that the conclusion you draw, especially against the AI, will largely be artificially skewed one way or another because of the extended time line. The reasons not to make it a "standard option" are pretty clear: it's not how the game or its scenarios are designed.

    2 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    Having stated my case several times now. I will not expose myself further to pre-emptive ostracism from self-appointed representatives of 'the community'.

    Stating your case repeatedly doesn't fill the holes in it.

  8. 8 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    I didn't say it wasn't fair. My complaint is that it's unrealistic and irritating.

    Of course it's unrealistic. So are map edges. It's. A. Game. It has to have boundaries. The time limit is the boundary in time, same as the map edges are the boundaries in space. It's only irritating because the rest of the simulation is of such high fidelity. Look at figures games like Flames of War or Bolt Action: they have time limits of six turns. I'll say that again: six turns. But people love to play those games.

    8 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    Commanders might well give junior commanders timelines, but how often are they met?

    Doesn't matter how often they were met IRL. This is not RL.

    8 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    And if they aren't met, what happens? The battle doesn't just stop.

    That, obviously, depends. When XXX Corps missed their time objective, the Rhine crossing was stymied and the British 1st Airborne badly damaged. When Lieutenant Rupert's patrol hasn't cleared out the farmhouse by 11:00, Captain Nobb probably calls in some 25lbers to rubble it. Or Lieutenant Carruthers' platoon has scouted a gap to go round it, or Lancer Giles' stray Sherman V hooks up with Rupert and gives the pesky determined farmhouse defenders the 75mm HE good news. Or maybe they just disengage and have a brew. However, what happens outside the context of the scenario as presented is irrelevant, because it's unknown and unknowable. 

    8 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    It could be easily reflected in the scoring, as someone suggested.

    And there would still be time limits. They'd be "softer" but if you're going to want "flexible" time limits, unless they're reflected in scoring, you have to pretty much ignore the scoring scheme; as has been said, often the defender is so overmatched, the only thing they have that allows them to "win" is to hold out for "long enough". 

    8 hours ago, Casus_Belli said:

    And for the 95th time, no-one I've seen is saying there shouldn't be a provision for scenarios to have time limits, only that players and designers should be able to not have them, or to continue playing after they've passed. I'm arguing for a choice, that's all, and I don't believe it's unrealistic, since many battles do not play out the way force commanders would like, and good commanders adapt and persist.

    The maximum available length of scenarios and QBs as it stands tends, IMO, pretty much towards infinity for the game in its current form. If a designer doesn't want a time limit, he can pick a four hour battle, and the player can be as dilatory and indecisive as they like for two game-hours,  and still have 2 hours to actually get onto the objectives. That might be a push with a Brigade scale action, but I'm not sure I've got the stamina for several battalions for 4 game hours, and I like large, long games. If you're still fighting a QB after 2 hours, someone has spent far too long on the approach phase. QBs are a particular problem. If you're playing them against the AI, their scripted plan cannot be arbitrarily stretched if you suddenly decide you want 20 more minutes on a 90 minute fight. It is limited as to how it can adapt at the moment to the difference between a 20 minute and a 2 hour fight. If you're playing against a human, and you care about the points, how can it possibly develop some "overtime penalty" that will match game length and type and remain fair (where "fair" is the assumed quality of the current scoring process for QBs)?

    Designers use time limits for numerous reasons, including narrative tension and game balance. And you can still go into all the scenarios ever produced and up their time limit to 4 hours. The only scenarios you can't extend using provided tools are Campaign scenarios, and there, the context of each battle is even more tightly prescribed than an arbitrary standalone scenario, and "interfering" with the time limits imposed by the designer starts to verge on making a mockery of their efforts at storytelling.

  9. 12 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

    That's definitely a creative solution, but I think options like these should simply be available to scenario designers in the editor, instead of requiring them to construct such Rube Goldberg contraptions.


    I don't disagree. Just putting it there for people desperate to incorporate it now...

  10. There have been some suggestions in previous threads on this topic as to how a scenario designer can change the VPs allocated to a side dependent on the progression of time in the sole case of AI battles from a given side (they involve having an AI order group in some hard-to kill location move about to garner additional VPs from Touch objectives, so wouldn't work if a human was in charge of that side, whether in Single Player or HvH modes).

    I think it's potentially misleading to think of BFC "using Time Compression" in any active way. While combat tempo is accelerated in a CM setting compared to Real Life, it's an entirely emergent outcome from the game environment, and difficult to avoid, that fights progress more rapidly due to improved coordination and reduced concern for injury to the participants. Units don't move drastically faster, and whether they recover "morale damage" faster than real life is a mostly subjective judgement, considering we don't know exactly what each represented Morale state actually represents. It doesn't seem to me to be unreasonable that an infantry element that's been Pinned (i.e. subjected to heavy and persistent-enough incoming fire to lose the ability to conduct observation, let alone offensive operations) might start popping its head up for a cautious look and maybe thinking about shooting back, within about 30s of the incoming relenting; waiting any longer seems like it's more of a risk of one of those previously-suppressing elements scuttling up close and lobbing grenades unopposed... Thinking of "time compression" as a "game mechanic" risks misattributing effects to programming rather than behaviour.

  11. On 9/25/2016 at 5:08 PM, JohnW said:

    Keep up the good work.  Very good progress has been made.  Since BF has not mentioned North Africa at this point, in my opinion, it is unlikely that anything will show up soon.  At this point, I'm happy with the current game engine.  I hope BF keeps developing more content for it.  A few vehicles would go a long way.  For me a U. S. M3 medium tank and some German and Italian tanks would be great.  It appears that reasonable terrain MODS are already possible.  Suitable German and Italian vehicles could very likely appear in the next release for CMFI.

    If you consider North Africa relative to FI in the same sense as Kursk will be relative to RT (which I get the feeling is how BFC would see it), you're right, nothing's going to show up soon. But then Kursk isn't going to be anytime soon, given that there's the RT and FB modules-to-end-of-war, and the BS module(s) already in the "To Do" list ahead of it, and Kursk is, I get the impression, going to be ahead of any putative NA family.

    But maybe by then CMx3 will have been brought to reality and the whole paradigm of product development will have shifted... :)

  12. 6 hours ago, Jammersix said:

    Battlefront: Wanted: Manual Writer. Must be able to put basic concepts into words, and have a rudimentary grasp of how modern procedural manuals are listed.

    Must also have detailed, accurate and complete knowledge of all game systems to accurately extract the basic concepts.

    Most game manuals have errors in them related to the lag between manual writing/production and the last-minute pre-release development rush. And the lack of budget allocated to ongoing documentation maintenance means they don't change, even when there's no hardcopy production element to them.

  13. Vehicle packs for the early war would require a metric buttload of new models. So they'd be a lot more incremental work, in that regard, than a module stepping back a year.

    Getting things historically correct is a big motivator for BFC's personnel, I sense. Since that would require things like TO&E changes, I'd imagine they're reluctant to do that until the "scheduled" sequence of game progression comes and they can do the whole thing "proper, like". The BN vehicle pack just added things from the same period as the existing TO&Es and added just the very few elements that the vehicle pack added (flamethrowers and some of the vehicles as options in existing command structures). That's a far cry, conceptually, from just releasing an "orphaned" bunch of vehicle models.

  14. For my part, I don't play any other tactical WW2 titles. HOI 3 (with Semper Fi, For the Motherland and Their Finest Hour) is a favourite, but still unsatisfying compared to CM, grand strategic option.

    As for board games, a recent one I've found thoroughly excellent is Quartermaster General which is WW2 in 20 turns. Way more abstract than this simulationist gamer generally likes for a wargame, but by that token it manages to avoid descending into the "Uncanny Valley" where dodgy mechanic shims erode the experience's flavour or challenge. It's fast to play, especially if the Axis get a good start...

  15. The TacAI is, IMO, much too free with its squad ranged HE assets. The same sort of thing happens with rifle grenades too: they're used pretty much indiscriminately, usually the HEAT variant (if present) first in Target Area fire, and at "unlikely" spotted targets if no Target Light command is in place. I could stand them using them at the rate and ranges they do, on "Target" orders, which are pretty much saying "focus on this target and do your best to neutralise it", but IMO, the RG (and fausts; they use them too if the range to the Target Area is short enough) should not be used without a spotted target, and much more selectively on spotted targets with no Target order in operation.

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