BletchleyGeek reacted to George MC in Mit Karacho!
Yeah Panthers (if not most tanks) will take longer to spot if the TC is buttoned up. Though as you mention having the TC capped by infantry small arms equally recues spotting ability!
The gun sight in the Panther gives a field of vision at 2.5x mag of just under 500m at 1000m (IIRC). Though the drill for Panthers was the TC spotted the targets and talked the gunner onto acquiring them. Though again I'm sure most tanks would sue that method especially given the sights used at the time and the primacy of the MK1 eyeball (with binos) in spotting. FYI Soviet doctrine was generally for attacking tanks to be closed up but from personal accounts I've read many Soviet TCs would still stick their head up to see what was going on.
I think you are right that area firing would indicate your position and it was this the SU crew most likely spotted and engaged on.
I'm not sure how good SUs are at spotting. In truth in playing the game they seem (personal impression NOT proven!) they seem on a par with tanks i.e. if TC unbuttoned then spot quicker, if TC buttoned then yup takes varying time depending on variety of factors e.g. experience, suppression, what potential target is doing, as in things moving and firing are always easier to pick up than something sitting quietly observing.
IIRC in Mit Karacho there is light fog and its not long after dawn so poor light conditions. The LOS/LOF tool indicates the maximum distance you can area fire to but spotting to that range is very variable and more likely for practical purposes to be very much less (although does depend on what activity the target is engaging in, if been spotted by friendlies and that contact shared etc). In short spotting is a complex process and has some degree of variability.
There is lots of advice on this forum about players take and approach to managing this. Mine? I use my tanks in pairs, if close terrain then keep them close in pairs and ideally team up with dismounts who can scout ahead and spot targets and then share that info.
So in short all of the above is modelled - though how much and how accurately is the stuff of forum debate. Note the game uses a 'spotting cycle' which can sometimes cause some weirdness.
But 'seeing' things is filled with weirdness. Just today a guy about ran out in front of my car (doing 20mph) even although he seemed to be looking right at me, and I spotted him from 50m and thought "hhm he's going to chance running" and covered the brakes. As I drew level with him he made to run but his missus grabbed him - he looked surprised and was obvious he'd not clocked the large white car meters from him. Spotting cycle must have been against him
BletchleyGeek reacted to Howler in How do they prevent friendly fire between the base of fire and manoeuvre force IRL?
Watch your suppression meter though. It is effected by nearby fire from friendlies.
BletchleyGeek got a reaction from Vanir Ausf B in WITE-2: thoughts and opinions?
WITE 2 is a significant evolution wrt WITE and WITW. You have a more refined model of supply distribution (still abstract in jarring ways though), movement (more granular ground conditions, roads and rail transport), meaningful (allegedly) operational level air warfare (opposed to merely tactical), a notion of command inertia (preparation or ops planning points), combat delays/congestion (to more accurately reflect time and space constraints), and engaging campaign victory conditions (sudden death, high water mark rewards, vp awarded in function of how early or late certain milestones are achieved), and a significant overhaul of the user interface. The manual is very well written and it will be actually helpful and informative. A lot of effort went into it.
There are a few "contras" too. The AI is as smart as Gary can program it, no more and no less. So quite smart, but not magical. In a game with this scope, that means things can go off the rails in distracting ways. Also it is a 1980s AI: it cheats, way less than it used to, and doesn't feel ashamed of doing so. You can adjust the level of cheating but the settings (basically a knob that goes from "I win always"/ "damaged tanks are always recovered and fixed" to "AI has nukes"/"AI has Star Trek technology to move and generate supply") require experimentation. Given that you need to restart a game if you mess up settings, throwing away hours, I find this irksome. WITE2 is funnest against a proper human opponent, the AI is for learning the game imo, just don't look too close at what it does with the rules. The game has no HD support beyond 1080p, if you need big displays the game will be possibly unplayable (native scaling is being implemented and should be out soon). The event engine is underutilized imo, but offers a few welcome morsels of flavour (but nothing like HOI4 which I think is all flavour and texture). The UI has been greatly improved but still fails to explain well combat results.
If you're up for a big time commitment - a turn of the GC can take easily one hour or more of your time - and have a reliable war gaming buddy that is happy to play huge CMx2 scenarios to the end, then you can't go wrong with WITE2.
BletchleyGeek reacted to Ultradave in For you mortar men out there?
The fire direction center does the calculations for defection (azimuth) and elevation for the firing unit. There are two general types of fire missions "Adjust Fire" and "Fire for Effect" that a FO would call for, and they are exactly what they sound like. So for adjust fire, one round at a time is sent out, the FO sends back corrections, and the last correction should be 50m, so you get close and then call, "Drop 50, Fire for Effect" and the battery or mortar section sends the FFE, whatever that is determined to be (which is determined by the FDC normally, based on the FO target description in the call for fire).
Fire for Effect is exactly that. FO calls in a fire mission with coordinates, FFE, and target description and gets, say a batter 3 rounds on target. The possible error here is greater, unless the FO has a pretty much perfect location coord of the target. Sometimes that's possible (crossroads visible on a map for example).
And of course, if you are in a hurry (and who isn't in combat?), you can abbreviate the adjustment, maybe "Add 200, Fire for Effect" rather than a couple more rounds to get within 50, realizing that the FFE might be less accurate, depending on how good you are at estimating distances at a distance, target movement, etc.
What a TRP does for you is cut time by having firing data to that point already calculated, and typically TRPs are selected so that their location is accurately placed, such as a crossroads, the tip of a treeline, a bridge - anything that can be very accurately picked from a map. The battery (or mortar section) would have pre-calculated firing data to the TRPs on the list, including time round data, so that a FFE call can go out quickly. A typical use would be to specify "From AB001, Add 400, Fire for Effect, Infantry Company in the open" AB001 being the TRP number. We had TRP numbers assigned by maneuver unit in blocks when I was doing this.
In either of these cases you are still going through the FDC, just different procedures/data.
Of course if your FO is standing next to you or can shout, the mortar crew just dials in the pre calculated data. Keep in mind that 60mm mortar crews will be moving around a lot so TRPs are kind of useless for them. They'll know where the TRP is but have to recalculate the data anyway.
As an artillery battery we knew we'd be moving a lot too, because counter battery location radar was something that WAS quite good back then. Rule of thumb was 6 volleys from a position and time to move. So when you set up in a new position first thing is to recalculate all the TRP data, which you may be doing in between on call fire missions. We had 2 plotting boards, but they'll be busy, because one is primary, the other is the checker, and they'd be plotting a mission AND repotting the TRPs simultaneously. We practiced this a lot.
Now with the more modern titles, like BS, and SF2, the FOs have the advantage of GPS, so they at least know their own positions very accurately. Cold War, GPS was just coming available, not in wide use and certainly not to the FO level. Laser designators were just making their appearance, usually for designating for air strikes. Our XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery did have a limited supply of rocket assisted 155mm rounds (can't remember the name - first ones available), and those were final guided by laser. Pretty much just in field test mode then. Computerized fire control was in its infancy during the time covered by CMCW. TACFIRE was just being tested - computerized fire control system. Very bulky, kind of balky. We had FADAC (Field Artillery Digital Analog Computer). We never used it. It weighed 400 lbs, didn't work after being airdropped (we broke several) and was really slow. We could easily beat it with good old charts and darts, which did not change significantly from WW2, through Korea, Vietnam and the CW period. Same techniques, updated data, more radios to comminicate.
I think most of this is represented in game pretty well. There are 2 things I'd love to see in CM:
1) The ability to call a FFE on a map location, without having any eyes on it or a TRP. In real life this is common. You might have a sound contact or saw a unit that went out of sight behind a rise or treeline and you'd call in a FFE on a map location. Might be accurate, might not. But you'd do it.
2) An initial call to shift from a TRP, rather than wait for the TRP mission and then adjust. Again a VERY common call for fire.
Your last part is correct. Without a FDC and being significantly off line, corrections are going to be iffy for accuracy. I expect you'd do very rough in your head conversion of the adjustment, or the FO would do it before stating the correction. For example a 45 degree offset means .7x the stated correction, that sort of thing.
BletchleyGeek reacted to domfluff in For you mortar men out there?
So, a couple of thoughts/clarifications here, because I'm curious. I'm not referring to anything that Chuckdyke has talked about in this thread.
The original post was asking if there was a difference in-game between the physical location of the mortar team, the observer and the target, in particular for spotting rounds.
(I'm mostly considering this in the context of the modern titles, so potentially all of the available kit)
1) With an FDC, I was under the impression that the whole spotting round-adjust-fire for effect cycle wasn't required.
That means that the closest representation in-game of this capability would be a TRP, would it not?
2) The question that was originally posed in this thread is whether the physical location of the mortar, the FO and the target matter, and whether these are better lined up.
Without an FDC, TC 3-22.90 (Mortars) is pretty clear that the FO should be within 100m of the mortars if possible, or else within 100m of the gun-target line. That seems mostly to make the trigonometry easier to do - there's no real reason why that couldn't be done as accurately with any degree of displacement, but that would make the sums a lot more fraught, and require an accurate idea of your relative position - so this is presumably done for reasons of practicality.
In-game, if there was any difference in this to be seen, then presumably the difference you'd see would be in how quickly the spotting rounds get turned into fire for effect? If the FO was more than 100m off-line, then the accuracy of their adjustments would have an increasing amount of error to them (since the basic trig fudge will get increasingly wrong the more you deviate from the G-T line). If this was something the game models (and my brief testing seems to suggest that it is not), then the spotting rounds for an Observer that wasn't on the G-T line could be all over the place, no? And if those spotting rounds were wild, then the time it would take to adjust them onto the target would be greater, so the effect modelled would be (should be) that an FO not on-line would take longer to turn a mission into a fire for effect.
Actual call-in times would be similar - there will be a minor effect of having an FO in shouting distance, particularly in EW scenarios, but that's a secondary, and much more minor point.
BletchleyGeek reacted to Combatintman in For you mortar men out there?
Neither is it determined by being the most persistent and vocal person in the debate. One of the people with whom you are disagreeing @Ultradaveis or was responsible for the planning and execution of indirect fires as a profession. You, on the other hand, appear to lack the same credentials, so guess who is more likely to be believed.
BletchleyGeek reacted to Probus in Forum upvote/thanks/like
You need to enable negative voting because nothing bad could possibly happen if you did that. 😈(sarcasm)
But seriously, I think negative feedback is abused in most places and causes an "echo chamber" effect, not to mention a more toxic environment. Good choice @BFCElvis. I would thank an upvote you but...
BletchleyGeek reacted to Combatintman in Soviet campaign game 1- why does my FSE show up in a shooting gallery?
Even if they were based on non-Soviet publications those so-called "Western assertions" were solidly based. I know from experience that both the US and UK had some pretty swept up Soviet studies branches staffed by Russian speakers and specialists in the discipline and no doubt other NATO nations had similar capabilities. On top of that the intelligence operations with which I am very familiar, having worked on one of them, were enduring, comprehensive and multi-disciplined. The doctrinal pamphlets therefore benefited from the results of the massive collection effort. The Soviet Army was largely a conscript army which in time of war prioritised getting to places quickly, en masse supported by massive amounts of firepower. To achieve all of this, it needed forces that were well-armed, reasonably well-protected and mobile that could deploy quickly and with the minimum of coordination. For this it employed a series of simple but highly effective drills in offensive operations. Those drills were practiced on exercises which were overtly publicised and often attended by Western military attaches. Fine if you want to go with the 'yes but they will only show what they want people to see' argument but other exercises were tracked by NATO intelligence and in Germany these were covertly tracked by the three Allied Military Missions (BRIXMS, MMFL and the USMLM). Skepticism is fine in limited doses but it is not so in this case.
BletchleyGeek reacted to kohlenklau in kohlenklau CMFI North Afrika QB map-mod project
I am making a HUGE ARSE map for desert warfare. It is set at the maximum of 3488 meters in width by 5126 meters in depth.
It loads for 3D preview on my machine in about 20-25 seconds.
My desert map "iconic things" checklist...anything to add?
undulations in the sand
some goat herders shack with a stone walled area for securing his girlfriends, I mean goats,
the supply road with mile markers
the roadsign in the fuel drum!
a small domed mosque (working on it)
some brewed up wrecks
tank track marks left in the dirt
short telephone poles
palm trees around an oasis/well
barbed wire fortification with metal stakes and no wood
BletchleyGeek reacted to Lethaface in How much effort do you put into a BFC scenario before moving on?
Recognizable. I too have learned that expecting the same qauality & quantity of others (who can't always deliver that) is bound to lead to friction and or disappointment.
Although you should always slack off to be able to keep surpassing expectations when it matters ;-).
On scenarios, for me it depends what I expect from the scenario / why I play it:
* A casual playthrough of a scenario, or just for immersion (RealTime can be fun for this): just play it out in one go and don't mind too much about winning / losing. If I win I win, if I lose I lose and that's fine.
* A determined play to beat the scenario with proper analysis, planning and tactics: Restart if necessary and or if I want to try out several approaches of a given problem, savescum. Another reason for save/load is when troops do things I didn't want them to do. I can't really remember much scenario's that required more than one restart to win, perhaps apart from some vignettes which are notoriously hard.
* Campaign play: depending on the campaign (Modern vs WW2, type of army) I can become a bit obsessed minimizing casualties and or the optimal way to achieve victory. So probably like determined play but more savescum/restarts if I don't like how things played out. However, if I feel I gave good orders and the troops behaved accordingly I'l usually accept the outcome and not restart or reload; casualties are a factor and the immersion of having to use units with prior casualties in further battles can be very rewarding imo.
However determined CM play requires a lot of thinking and energy (in my case), so that's not always an option after a busy workday / week.
BletchleyGeek reacted to domfluff in Does anyone think that the Dragon ATGMs in 1979 scenarios are too powerful?
Can I have your Dragons?
I've seen Dragons and TOWs reliably bounce off the front of T-64 and up, especially the turret.
It's obviously worth testing, and it's always possible there's an issue, but I don't recognise that in my experiences.
BletchleyGeek got a reaction from chuckdyke in Command Ops 2
I would like to recommend the excellent scenarios by Chris Maiorana
Some of them using maps and estabs (tables of organisation and equipment) for projects that never happened: Stalingrad, Korsun, Pacific, all testing the limits of the ai programming and the simulation engine. I think all the stuff is on Steam.
My favourite AARs were those by Dazkaz, one of the few(?) that realised there was a lot of game beyond the "a game that plays itself" promotional line which, in hindsight, poisoned the minds of many players. Mark here is perhaps one of the best players ever, his tutorials for Highway to the Reich are a classic. I have all of the stuff he wrote for the game archived for reference.
BletchleyGeek reacted to ASL Veteran in So you just got your hands on CMCW...now what? Designers Q&A thread.
The thing with scenario size is that, generally speaking, the smallest 'semi' independent maneuver element is typically a battalion - at least for WW2. Not sure if that's changed for modern or not, but you simply can't find very many situations with a company sized force that is operating independently of it's parent battalion. Platoon sized actions take place obviously, but those are typically going to be patrol type actions and so you are somewhat limited in what you can do because a lot of patrolling activities simply don't translate into CM very well since they aren't typically going to be a 'capture location x' type of battle. Prisoner snatch type of things simply won't work since you can't really deliberately capture enemies in CM. You can do spotting for victory points, but then what's the other side doing during that time frame and if it's a larger enemy force then how does the player keep their 'spotting' units alive - especially if playing head to head. Then how fun would that be anyway since most of the time would be spent hiding from the enemy. It works for campaigns but not so much for a stand alone.
On top of that, modern units just have a lot of 'stuff'. Even a US Mech Infantry platoon is something like eleven 'pieces' if you split your squads. A US Mech Cavalry troop has something like four tanks, three scout teams, two M901s, and three M113s IIRC so that's twelve pieces to move around for one troop. Smaller battles are a lot easier and quicker to create, but at the same time there is only so much you can really do with them since you have to come up with patrol type objectives.
Incidentally the US side in Czechmate is only two platoons (slightly reinforced) and you are defending so it shouldn't be too taxing. It's still a lot of pieces relatively speaking (in WW2 terms) because of all the vehicles, but the Soviet force is a lot larger so it wouldn't classify as a small scenario given the size of both forces combined.
BletchleyGeek reacted to IICptMillerII in So you just got your hands on CMCW...now what? Designers Q&A thread.
Warren gave a great breakdown. I would add that one of the most common complaints I see everywhere about CM games set in a modern setting is that the maps are too small. "Knife fighting in a phone booth" is a phrase that is usually thrown around quite regularly. I sympathize with that assessment to a degree.
I think that Cold War goes a long way of showing that with the proper sized maps, you can get real maneuver in a modern setting. Of course, the double edged sword here is that some people prefer those phone booth knife fights. I think that Warren is correct that Cold War currently is mostly the larger fights and does not have many smaller fights, and that going forward it will be important to try to include more of those smaller fights. But I think it was the right call going with the larger battles for the first game. After all, this was to be a massive mechanized fight, and I think it was important that Cold War capture that feeling and sense of scale out of the gate.
All that said, I do think that Combat Mission has an issue with what I call administrative burden, or overhead. The player has to give so many orders to so many individual units, that it can get really tiresome keeping up with everything. Just getting a single company to road march can take hundreds of clicks and pause commands, etc.
Reducing the admin burden on the player I think would go a long way to facilitating the playability of the larger battles. But that is completely in the hands of Steve and Charles, and is well beyond the scope of a game or module.
BletchleyGeek reacted to The_Capt in So you just got your hands on CMCW...now what? Designers Q&A thread.
Now some of you pay attention...this is good criticism.
So yes, if someone asked me "what would you do different", I would have to say that the balance of scenario sized for this title is it. We have only a minority portion of Tiny and Small battle in CMCW and we wrestled over that somewhat. So why did we go this way (and there was a deliberate consideration):
- CMCW is mechanized warfare. One could argue it is set at the apogee of peer mechanized warfare. So this does not mean infantry do not have a role, far from it; however, the infantry-only or infantry dominant fights are less realistic. They definitely would have happened but they happen in context of a much larger mechanized battle. The main problem here is weapon ranges and real estate. As weapon systems evolved the frontages and area of effect for formations increases dramatically. So the risk here for small force battles is big nearly empty maps or tiny fights at point blank range. Not impossible (see Hunter or Prey for an outstanding small fight) but harder to consistently produce as realistic.
- Casual vs Hardcore. This one is much tougher...who is the audience? Here we really had to stick with the CM brand, which is more hardcore in its niche. The brand is based on hyper-realistic, to the point of being a simulation vice game, at the tactical level. The target gamer is someone who wants that as part of their hobby. So we leaned into that with realistic scenarios and campaigns, many of them pulled straight from period doctrine, which in this context as mentioned previously is fast moving mechanized based warfare. This pretty much need the Coy Tm as a minimum in order to showcase accurately and the Coy Tm in 1982 needed a 2x2 km battle field as a minimum, in reality it could probable handle a 4 x 4km battlefield (terrain considerations).
That said, I would really have liked to see good smaller scenarios and we will definitely take that into consideration for any DLC moving forward.
BletchleyGeek reacted to domfluff in Any advice on the NTC Training Campaign (first mission)
The NTC campaign might now genuinely be my favourite campaign in all of Combat Mission.
NTC campaign is supposed to be brutal, like the real NTC. Don't believe their lies. The enemy are all better than you - Elite and Crack experience, and they outnumber you. They're also hellishly aggressive and have some very sneaky AI plans going on. They will surprise you - the designers, Bil and Warren, are better than you.
In terms of tips:
You're playing the doctrinal infantry heavy mixed mech inf/tank company of the period, which I've grown to kinda love over this launch weekend. This is a combined arms formation, and its strength is gained through that combination - each element individually will fall apart. Field manual 71-1 (1977) is really the best guide to "how to do the NTC", since that does a really good job outlining how this works, and how to carry out the various missions you find in the campaign.
The terrain is really hard to read at the NTC - you can't line up on a hedgerow or take a building, so it's a fascinating puzzle of reading folds in the ground, using reverse slopes, etc. The campaign gives you choices, and it's probably a good idea to try the other paths (although the last decision point seems to be broken right now).
The two most important elements of that formation ("centre of mass" if you like) are learning to use your off-map support correctly, and how to manage a tank platoon. It's been common to be able to run up your tanks into a forward defensive position in most CM games, but here you're outranged, outgunned, and you can't really afford to take losses, since you'll need to use all of this company later on. A large part of using the off-map assets is that you need to read the terrain and the enemy lines of approach. The enemy emphasises speed and aggression, specifically to counter the threat of your off-map assets. This kind of experience is pretty much new for CM, it's rare to be faced with this kind of problem in the other titles.
The other arms support these two core elements. Learning how to make the most of your light mortars in this context is important, and how best to site your TOW launchers - the TOWs will outrange a BMP's ATGM one on one, but again if you're in forward defensive positions you'll never be one on one.
Infantry have a secondary role. I mostly used them to secure or deny the flanks of my armour, often in complex terrain. The Dragon and LAWs can be useful, but aren't dominant or in large numbers, but they provide the spotting and flank security that the armour desperately needs. The .50 cals of the M113s aren't something I want to be going on the offensive with, but (given how aggressive the enemy are), they certainly had their uses.
BletchleyGeek reacted to The_Capt in So you just got your hands on CMCW...now what? Designers Q&A thread.
Soviet Campaigns = Tough and Challenging:
- First off the player has to manage an entire MRB TF (so Bn and a Tank Coy as a min) in each battle (except the last one but lets leave that one for now). Over the Campaign the player is basically managing an MRR across the campaign scenarios, so 3 x MRBs, a TB and AT Bn as they fight down towards Alsfeld.
- The Campaign reflects Soviet doctrine (and POV to be honest) so there is very little RRR between battles (in March or Die it is zero). So if one loses the better part of a tank company in Battle #1, you have to live with those losses for the rest of the campaign. It is very easy to run out of gas by the end if a player is reckless.
- Force ratios are pretty forgiving actually, Soviets will go into each fight with at least a 2:1 advantage or higher.
- Tough as in US troops quality and positioning. The US troops are 11 ACR and 3rd Armd Div, about the best equipped and trained the West had in this area. They have owned the ground for nearly 40 years at this point and know every inch of it. So each fight sees them very well positioned and with the best stuff.
As to saving and bush-searching, well I will leave that decision to you but each fight in on the clock so don't take too long. Bottom line is that the campaign is not recommended for first time players as it will likely be frustrating. Veterans should be prepared for shaking hands and tears in their eyes if they make it to seeing the street lights of Alsfeld.
BletchleyGeek reacted to The_Capt in So you just got your hands on CMCW...now what? Designers Q&A thread.
First off, thank you and welcome to the game. This post is really a place for you guys to Q&A with the game designers. Questions on features, campaigns or scenarios can go here and we will try to get to them to help you out.
So if you are new to the CM you probably want to start easy and small to get the feel for the game. Check the scenario notes as designers often will highlight which side may be easy or harder. For example, "Valley of Ashes" is by-design, pretty easy for the Blue side as an opportunity for beginners to get a feel for a larger scenario. While the Red side of this scenario is pretty tough. I will let the other scenario designers chime on on their babies.
I will say that the Soviet Training scenarios by Cpt Miller are a very good place to start for a lot of people as full Cold War Soviet formations, in all their glory, are a bit of a new thing for the series.
For the Campaigns, I highly recommend people start with NTC. Bil and GeorgeMC did a really good job in putting together some very good scenarios that can get people into the groove of maneuvering in the context of a Cold War battlefield.
Then I would suggest moving onto the US Campaigns. 1982 was designed to be the primary but 1979 turned out to be really interesting, so players choice really. 1982 is probably a little easier as 1979 can be challenging with the older equipment set.
Finally, I would then suggest that players can gird their loins for the Soviet Campaigns. These are designed to be tough and a challenge to manage. Every battle is battalion sized and frankly pretty tough. The March or Die version is designed to be downright unfair to the loins, but also probably the most realistic....you have been warned.
Anyway, enjoy and have fun!
BletchleyGeek reacted to SovietOnion in So you just got your hands on CMCW...now what? Designers Q&A thread.
Artkin, respectfully, this is a lot of vinegar when honey might be more profitable.