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WriterJWA's Achievements

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  1. Yup... So even after I managed to sacrifice a Stryker to trigger the mines (which no on-ground commander would even remotely do) and marked them with engineer, I still lost two Strykers as I tried to slowly pass them through the gap. But effective, modern, U.S. Army engineers who are professionals at their jobs are probably too far outside the "scope of CM games." Not only do I have to sacrifice a vehicle to find the mines just to mark them... The marking is entirely arbitrary, too. I've tried to get around these mines four times without doing something "gamey" or just losing unrealistic casualties and I can't do it. I'm not trying anymore. Best of luck with this campaign.
  2. So I'm playing one of the small USMC scenarios and I'm trying to breach a section of the wall to make entry into a nearby building. Every time I try to use the 'Blast' command, however, the game just puts out a yellow path line like a 'Quick' move command, and the assault team attempts to go around to the entrance on the far side of the compound (where there are sure to be aimed guns, etc...). Is this a bug?
  3. Yeah, I was thinking about this further... In infantry schools they used to teach a basic procedure for these things. If ambushed inside of 50 meters we were trained to turn toward the fire and assault through the enemy position. If outside of 50 meters were were to take cover and return fire to establish fire superiority. Obvious these are easier said than done, and entirely dependant on terrain, volume of fire, etc... but those were the baselines.
  4. Are you saying it has to be allowed in all cases because the program itself doesn't differentiate between wall types and the risks of throwing a track inherent to each type, or because players would take advantage of it? If the latter, then the program needs to reflect the risk of that decision. If a player decides to plow through walls over and over then they increase their chances of becoming immobilized.... Darwin's Law ensues. Also, armored vehicles already slow down upon breaching fences, why would that have to change with allow for breaching walls? Why can't the game just represent physics as it happens on the ground? Not to be snarky, but I feel like I'm playing wacka-mole with whataboutisms. Now, in terms of the AI and it's lack of risk-management.... Yeah, I get your point in general terms, but I don't think it's a big enough reason to nerf the player into unrealistic actions.
  5. What's the relative range of these grenades, and is their ability to through outside LOS dependant upon elevation? In one of the instances I experiences I had a squad in a piece of dead ground with an enemy squad just outside of it (maybe two or three AS's away). I couldn't trace LOS to the enemy squad so I couldn't order an area fire, hence no grenades.
  6. I hear that... I do. But while I recognize (and did so in the original post) that the engine poses certain limitations, there seems to be some base-line factors that are missing that fit with basic practices on the battlefield. I'm not asking for a look-see-smell replica of a battlefield. No one should want that. But I would certainly like it if the equipment and men behaved in ways that fit with battlefield psychology, modern (or historical) TTPs, doctrine, and the limitations of the equipment. This points to my earlier post about the minefields. Regarding the AAV/armor question, there seems to be this notion that just because a thing was frowned upon by the crew who has to fix the tread means that it wasn't done at all and shouldn't be by players. If I'm a platoon commander and I'm tasked with taking an enemy held compound with one entrance, and I don't have explosives, I am 12/10 going to ask my AAV attachment to create a breach in a place elsewhere than the enemy's principle direction of fire and he'd more than likely do it. The chief overarching problem in the attitudes toward this game, and I think what's at the core of the things that cause me to question its development, is that the men seem to fall second to the equipment, which is patently false. If it's between the possibility of an armored vehicle blowing a track or me losing guys trying to rush a fatal funnel of fire.... I'm risking the track. This game is trying to replicate what combat operations are like and then asks me to throw away tactics and techniques that are designed to preserve lives while accomplishing the mission. Bear in mind, I'm not over here in tears every time one of my dudes gets killed. That happens. But I do get a little ragey when I have to lose guys because the game has robbed me of tactical considerations that would be commonplace on the ground, and the forum largely justifies it as arbitrarily as "outside the scope of CM" or "if we did it then player would just take advantage of it."
  7. I've been playing Combat Mission since about 2002, when I discovered Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord, and since then I've owned every CM title produced with the exception of Afghanistan. I think it's arguably one of the most engaging digital simulations of a tactical battlefield out there. It does a better-than-fair job modelling, in broad strokes, the principles of fire and maneuver, combined arms combat, supporting arms, and C3I. Having said that. . . There are areas where the game really breaks down in representing a lot of facets and attributes of the weapons and behaviors of troops on the ground. Here are a few examples I've seen: The complete inability for spotters to call in indirect fire on point they cannot physically see. This is something combat arm officers and NCOs are taught to do as a matter of course. Calling in artillery fire on positions that are out of LOS can been done with somethings as simple as a grid mission and adjusted by sound. It's not ideal, but it can, and has, been done. I should be able to call in fire behind hedgerows at any time regardless of its position. The only detriment is the loss of accuracy. (As an example, this lack makes a scenario set in the Hurtgen Forest all but impossible to represent accurately.) The inability for engineers to search for minefields ahead of their discovery by tripping them. Engineers should be able to attempt to clear a lane through a suspect minefield at any point in the game, not just when a minefield is discovered. There are far too many scenarios in all the modules that show minefields in the briefing only to rob the engineers the agency to deal with them. That's remarkably unrealistic. (This is excluding flail tanks, of course.) There seems to be a misunderstanding of the toughness of armored vehicles. A 64,000 lbs AAV-7 or a Stryker, or other armored or even remotely armored vehicle, should not be burdened into changing direction when faced with a masonry wall. They might have to slow down, but they are not generally impeded by them. Infantry squads are remarkably inelegant with their fires. This applies more to modern combat, but squads given a marksman rifle should be able to detach that marksman to perform precision fires instead of the whole squad or team just blazing away haphazardly at targets. While suppression is important, aiming in a huge component to modern infantry fires. These guys are some of the worst marksmen. Infantry should be "spot-able" in buildings. Troops are not static. Infantry attempting to spot their opposite brethren in urban environment should not have to expose themselves to fire just to find them. I can't count how many times I've had spotters looking at a town for great lengths of time to find nothing, only to uncover a large troop formations in the buildings once I expose myself. I'm not suggesting it's easy to spot troops in built-up environments. It's certainly not. But it's not binary, either. Dumb grenades. In once scenario I had a squad below the rise where a German squad sat with an MG blazing away at friendly troops. They were well within grenade range, but they could get an LOS to the squad do to the shape of the terrain. In order to kill that squad I had to basically charge my guys, and lost a few in the process, when in reality a volley of hand grenades should have been enough to disrupt the Germans. But I couldn't throw them because I couldn't see them. In another examples, a Marine squad was working up on a house where a Syrian squad sat. They were able to get to the house undetected due to the lack of windows on three sides of the house. However, because I couldn't do something as brainlessly simple as throw a grenade into the window n the fourth wall, I had to rush into the house the hard way... And lost two guys before the Marine recon squad broke and ran into the open where they were summarily executed. This brings me to another point.... I think this may be in the process of being addressed, so forgive me if I'm repeating a soon-to-be-fixed flaw, but troops don't helter-skelter into random and dangerous directions when they come under fire. More than likely then go prone and remain in place. I can't count how many times I've had troops bolt into the open when they come under fire only to die needlessly. In one scenario I had a squad in a field of tall grass and they came under fire. The only guys who were able to return fire were the guys who were kneeling. The rest couldn't draw an LOS and therefore couldn't fire. Were their squad members mute? Could they not tell their fellow soldiers the direction of fire and relatively range? Where was their squad leader? Why wasn't some form of ADDRAC statement issued? These are just a few of dozens I've seen. While I recognize there are limitations in programming that might make some of this challenging, here is my plea: A lot of this could be alleviated with getting a better understanding of combined arms warfare, a better understanding of the limitations and attributes of the weapon systems, and how troops operate and behave in the field. Just reach out to Marine Forces Systems Command, or even one of the Marine divisions, or contact the U.S. Army Training and Education Command or one of its combat divisions and see if there are field manuals that help better explain how these work. Ask to talk to combat officers and engineers and artillerymen to get a better feel for their capabilities in combat--what they can do and what they can't. While there are lots of merits to this game, there is an equal amount of what seems to be pure fantasy (both in the game and in the forum) over what actually happens on battlefields--how long things, how attacks and defenses are planned and executed, and a whole host of other tactical considerations. Contact their public affairs folks and their unit historians; I have no doubt in my mind you would be given reasonable access to make a better game. You will undoubtedly find them remarkably receptive and open. Please understand, I love this game. I wouldn't have spent time writing this if I didn't care about it in some way. It's just frustrating to see a game *this close* to getting it right, only to toss it away. Just my 2c... Thanks for indulging me.
  8. This game seems to have its own metric of what it considers realistic or "outside the realm of CM" that's based largely on the limitations of programming and sheer fantasy. In a separate thread there has been talk that a USMC AAV-7 shouldn't be allowed to break down masonry walls because it might allow players the option to do that whenever, or because "it's not done in combat conditions." (Real life hint: It is). In the Thunder scenario I still haven't been able to get beyond the gap in the berm without catching a mine and killing Joes. And yet despite S2 being well aware of the minefield prior to zero hour my engineers can't mark lanes because they can't actually, physically see the mines...
  9. So.... The engineers' option to 'Mark Mines' is dark. I've used engineers a-plenty in CMBN and CMFI with great success, but here it won't let me mark minefields, even after I sacrificed a Stryker to expose a minefield. Where are the M58 MICLIC's? Why can't I breach the berm with the engineers a la the Persian Gulf War??
  10. *POSSIBLE SPOILERS* So, here we are: CMSF2, the Task Force Thunder campaign, scenario one. There is a long berm running the length of the map between the US setup area and the battlefield. The berm has ramps at intervals to allow the player to drive vehicles to the top. Toward the south end of the map there is a gap where a highway runs perpendicular to it across the map. According to the briefing and the map, there are anti-tank mines blocking the road. Makes sense.... That's a likely avenue of approach. Now... apparently, the backside of the berm is prohibited terrain. I can't get vehicles from the top of the berm down the backside onto the desert beyond. I also can't get the attached engineer section to mark the apparent mines in the road (presumably because I haven't actually triggered them, because why would anyone do that?). So how am I supposed to get beyond the berm? The engineers can't breach the berm with their charges, nor can they mark the minefield in the roadway. Please... For the love of god... Don't tell me I have to run a vehicle into the minefield to trigger the mines just so I can mark a lane with the engineers. Please don't tell me that.
  11. Yes. Exactly that. It was done in Iraq routinely as a breaching option in lieu of explosives. All the time. Gates, wall, etc... It is not even remotely a rare event. Don't alter physics just for the purpose of "gaming" players in a direction that you deem accurate when in fact it's not.
  12. So I'm playing the second scenario in the USMC campaign. Toward the middle of the mission I attempt to seize an objective with three AAVs with infantry aboard. The objective is a building with a small wall that surrounding... However, it seems in Combat Mission the 64,000 pound AAV-7 is no match for the masonry of a three foot wall. I was unable to cross over the wall put my troops in a safer position to dismount and assault the building. Why can't AAVs breach walls? I have witnessed an AAV topple a wall much larger. Here is a video that demonstrates my point:
  13. I'm just getting warmed up to the idea of developing a scenario, so forgive my lack of knowledge. Instead of creating a band aid ("morale ballast") to prevent early surrender, why not just have the various troop qualities better reflect a realistic surrender threshold? So instead of having to create some kind of off-map spirit leader that keeps them in the fight, they can rely on their own troop quality (ie., green troops panic and surrender at X value, veteran troops at Y value, fanatics at Z value). Money no option. . . I think I'd be far more realistic to have an exit map edge for an AI. If a combination of their morale and their command structure falls below a certain threshold, and X number of objectives are in control of the player, they make a bee-line for the exit. If they come under fire in the process of doing that, then they stand a higher chance of surrender. Alternatively, the en masse surrender feature could be removed and replaced with individual surrenders only. The verdict will be apparent at the end of the scenario or if the player elects to cease fire.
  14. I wonder if somewhere around the first Combat Mission series it just got stuck in the minds of developers that the scenarios should be on or about an hour. I remember having similar complaints when playing CMBO and CMAK.
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