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domfluff

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Everything posted by domfluff

  1. Cold War was due on Steam in April.
  2. The definition of Machine Gun classes has evolved considerably over time, and a definition based on round size is only really applicable to the post WW2 world. HMGs were originally a sustained fire weapon, so mounted in some manner, for example a tripod. Usually this would be belt-fed and water-cooled. Those were the key definitions, rather than calibre. MMGs were a later evolution, and were primarily air-cooled. They were still belt-fed and tripod-mounted, and intended to be fired from fixed position but they were a little more mobile, due to the lack of a need for the water cooling system, but would not typically be fireable from a bipod. LMGs were generally magazine fed and very mobile - providing limited sustained fire capability on a squad level. These would have bipods. The GPMG by definition, is an air-cooled Machine Gun, belt fed and with the emphasis on sustained fire, but capable of being fired from a tripod or bipod, and performing both roles. Unlike an MMG, the GPMGs tend to have a quick-change barrel, often due to having lighter barrels to begin with. Clearly this is an MG which is more mobile than an MMG, but less capable of sustained fire over time, so it can do both roles (but tends to do them worse than the specialist weapons). Since WW2, there's been a further emphasis on the calibre of bullets fired. SAW/LSW is fundamentally similar to an LMG, but it's firing an intermediate cartridge, for example. The M2 and DShK then are now classified as a "HMG", since there's now a good reason to separate out those terms, but this does represent a redefining of the term. WW2 was a transitional period in that respect, so many so-called "HMG" in WW2 might be more properly considered "MMG" under the current definitions.
  3. Elvis uses two of them, like Van Damme in that commercial.
  4. Ah, gotcha - "CM doesn't model any of that (doctrine)" is "CM doesn't model the differences in radio use", rather than "There's no difference in doctrinal behaviour between factions in CM". Yes, I believe this is correct. the C2 model is very sophisticated, and more complex than possibly anything else out there, but it's not quite *that* sophisticated. I suspect it doesn't do a bad job of faking it though - particularly in the modern titles with radios everywhere, and various battlefield management systems.
  5. Yes, it absolutely does. The most obvious effect is in Cold War. The US pushes combined arms down to the company level - if the M150's spot the incoming armour, then the tanks will hear about it very quickly. The Soviets instead mostly do not, and their combined arms layer is at the battalion level (e.g., that ATGM formation is probably attached at the battalion level, so has to go through more steps, and often worse steps, to spread to the equivalent tank platoon). That has a lot of consequences, some of them subtle but it does mean that the Soviets will tend to suffer at the smaller unit level, comparatively speaking. That's quite aside from differences in optics, number of crewmen (all else being equal, a three man tank crew will spot worse than a four man tank crew, since the autoloader can't tell you what it sees), and quality or quantity of radios. That TO&E structure is entirely due to doctrine, and has a strong effect on the outcome of how information is shared, and ultimately how spotting will work.
  6. As far as I'm aware there haven't been extensive tests on exactly how much a partial spot can improve spotting, but it's such a significant upgrade that it's really self-evident in practice. You really don't ever want to send in a tank platoon into an engagement without letting them know what they're expecting.
  7. That's the big thread, but it's really key to "how to play CM" in a lot of ways. The C2 sharing is sophisticated, and it has some obvious consequences. As a simple one, one of the reasons why you want recon elements embedded at the battalion level, and not added as single vehicles directly into a lower formation (Czechmate is an example of that), is that the correct units at the correct place in the C2 chain will share their information much more efficiently, and they can do their job much better. This is especially important in the hyper-modern scenarios in CM, because winning the information war is often more important than winning the physical one (or should be, in a scenario which really understands what CMBS can be about).
  8. We've got a fair idea of that too. Partial spots will resolve into full spots faster than no spots. This time isn't constant (so, dice rolls), but there is a clear tendency here. If a platoon was four tanks with C2 links, but dispersed, then a spot from Tank 3 will spread to the Platoon HQ, and then down to the remaining tanks. You will see the HQ pick up the spot first, then the others in the platoon. Again, this transit time isn't constant, but will depend on C2 quality and other, presumably random elements. This is all assuming valid C2 links, therefore unbroken radios, actual LOS comms and unsuppressed crews. If the tanks are within horizontal sharing distance (4 squares) they will share to their neighbours as well. That means that a platoon will be expected to spot faster than an individual tank in real terms.
  9. I can describe how it works in Combat Commander, since that's immediately in my head: (Combat Commander is also derived from Squad Leader, which is the genesis of Combat Mission, so although it's not 1:1. you can see a lot of the same DNA). Above is an American rifle squad. Stats are Firepower 6, Range 6, Move 4, Morale 6 on the unbroken side, and these mostly go down on the broken side. Squares are special things with other triggers (in this case, automatic fire and smoke grenades). Generating fires would be comparing the firepower of the lead unit, in this case 6, and then adding one for each additional unit/weapon participating in the attack, so a full platoon firing at a single squad might start at 8. This is then modified by hinderance. The line of fire is drawn, and each piece of terrain this line crosses over in between firer and shooter will modify the shot - but only the highest modifier is counted. This might mean -1 for some rough terrain and -2 for some high wheat fields, meaning that the total hinderance would be -2, for a resultant firepower of 8-2 = 6. (This part is the similarity, and we know from previous communication that a very similar mechanism is part of the spotting/firing solution in CM.) The firer then rolls 2D6 (in combat commander's case this is drawing a card with dice printed in the corner, but it's 2D6 nonetheless), and adding their modified firepower. The target is the enemy morale, and they're trying to roll great than that to break them. This morale is modified by the cover they are in (so, a building would add +2 to this target number. Succeeding against an unbroken unit breaks them, against a broken unit destroys them.
  10. We actually know how this part works. "Clutter" isn't really a thing, although there was mention of an increased change of things like wire-guided ATGM failure, but we know that the underlying terrain tiles along the firing line degrade spotting. This is analogous (and presumably directly analogous) to the Hindrance rules in Advanced Squad Leader and derived titles.
  11. You're not wrong about what it became, but I'm less sure that's an entirely fair summary of early GW. GW was started by three guys with a market stall, and were the first importers of D&D (and later other RPGs) into the UK. For a while they managed to convinced people that they were the *only* importers of RPG material into the UK, and signed a lot of exclusive contracts. When these expired, most of those suppliers went elsewhere, meaning that GW was left with miniature lines that it couldn't legally sell. Rather than dump these, they threw together a generic fantasy rules system around the miniatures and moulds they already had. A clear example is Runequest, for they had models representing the Broo: This line of Broo miniatures was then renamed into "Beastmen", so that they could continue to be sold. That's extremely dubious legally and morally, since they had lost the licence to the intellectual property, and certainly the first edition of Warhammer wasn't the setting that it would later become - that didn't really happen until third edition, and the launch of WFRP. Equally, a lot of the early GW business was about publishing other people's titles, and alongside them making their own, simpler versions, which they would heavily promote. Battletech became Adeptus Titanicus, Car Wars became Dark Future, etc. I'm not sure that GW has ever really been a punky upstart with a strong moral compass - they've always been a corporate entity, it's just that the scope and scale have shifted quite a bit.
  12. I definitely wouldn't want to be that guy. As soon as you turn an IR spotlight on, everything can see you, and you're still going to be revealing less than you give away - I don't think that's really a viable option for anything.
  13. I was under the impression that none of the tanks in CM with active infrared use them actively, for fairly obvious reasons (i.e., in this kind of peer conflict, you're making yourself far more visible to the enemy than you're making them visible to you). From memory, the T-62's passive IR functions out to 100-200m or so, and it's not great. It's a lot better than nothing, but it's not good. Night fighting wasn't the doctrine of either side at the start of the CMCW period, and as such in CW, night fights are either as confused, ridiculous and random as they are in the WW2 titles, or they're dominated by the later US gear.
  14. Things we know: The Target tool is based on a lookup table, generated by the map. This takes five heights (crawling, standing, small vehicle, vehicle, tall vehicle) and finds each square to each other square. This is why the Target tool can be so fast, and why it's always been fast, even when the engine itself wasn't as hot. Spotting and Shooting (line of sight and line of fire) are two separate calculations. Spotting is done from the model's eyeballs, and a firing solution is plotted explicitly - the actual chap represented plots true line of sight when trying to make a shot. The shot itself has a degree of randomness, of course, and one factor that is factored into that are a "hinderance" value from intervening terrain tiles (much like ASL, etc.). Spotting uses a similar method, but doesn't use exactly this method. Doing this would be expensive in CPU terms (and especially was in 2007). Instead, each unit is given a spotting cycle. This defaults to seven seconds (i.e., there is a check every seven seconds for what this unit can see), but this time is flexible and will vary based on aspects like distance to the enemy. This spotting cycle is often a cause of complaints - it's possible to force some weird results if you charge a Jeep directly at a tank along a road, moving as fast as possible. If you happen to catch this at a weird step in the spotting cycle, then this will not update until the Jeep is in an apparently ludicrous position. So there are many factors at play. Even if there were no RNG elements involved at all in the spotting calculations, the resultant calculations are far more complex than something human-observable. Since variance, hidden information and sufficient complexity can all be mathematically equivalent, even if there were no random elements at all to the spotting system, you'd still end up with something which is to all intents and purposes, "random". If you can't possibly predict the outcome from knowing the starting conditions, that's "random" whether or not it involves any dice rolls.
  15. If I'm interpreting these screenshots correctly, then I'm not really surprised by the results here. 1) Your tanks are moving, theirs are stationary. All things being equal they should spot first. All things are definitely not equal here. 2) You have no spotting contacts for your armour. Your armour has no idea what they're rolling into, where to look or what to look for. This is fundamentally incorrect technique. Sometimes that's necessary, naturally, since desperation is a thing, but I don't get the impression this is correct here. 3) For the above, that kind of thing is why I tend to repeat things like "Shock Force teaches bad habits" - you can get away with that if you have a significant advantage in quality over your opposition, such as in Shock Force, Black Sea or some situations in the WW2 titles, but if you don't have that quality advantage - and in this situation you firmly do not - then this kind of bad practice is a lot more exposed. 4) It's hard to judge but it looks as though you're exposing a smaller number of tanks than you're rolling into - the enemy platoon in a stationary position also outnumbers you, so there are more eyes to see you than for you to see them. Even if all things were equal (and they're still not), and you weren't moving (but you were), I'd *still* expect them to spot you before you spot them. Quite aside from arguing about the quality of the simulation here, even if we limited this to discussion in terms of the representation of game mechanics, I'm not sure these screenshots show what you think they're showing.
  16. The armour displays do show this as being better. My point was: a) the displays are wrong. The in-game performance of the T-64A’s armour is significantly better than that of the M60, as it should be b) the armour ui is, and always has been perhaps the single most useless and deceptive part of the ui - even if they were accurate they are hard to read and harder apply in any meaningful manner. Actual RHA numbers would be a lot more useful, although even those are only a fraction of the story.
  17. Whether to use an XO team or to detach runners really depends on how well planned this is - if you're keeping an armour formation in reserve for a counter-attack, then a dedicated XO team with radio (either man-carried or in a jeep or something) would be the thing to do. If you need something more extemporaneous, then you may have to go with what you've got.
  18. 1. Spotting. There's a ton of smoke in those pictures, I imagine that's part of it. CM spotting works on cycles, so closing distance rapidly will create weird situations like this, if you're caught in between cycles. Spotting is also a percentage game. Doctrinally and in practice in CM, the Soviet method was to get as much mass on target as possible. The first tank to spot their opponent will usually win the engagement, but if you can get enough tanks on target at the same time, it doesn't matter which one spots first, as long as one of them does. To model that with arbitrary values - we could give the US tank a 50% chance of getting the first spot in a given engagement. We'll arbitrarily make the Soviet tanks half as good as that - a 25% chance of getting the first spot. One vs One, clearly the US tank will have a major advantage, but if there were three Soviet tanks, then the chances of *one* of them getting the first spot is 58%. Understanding this is absolutely fundamental to understanding how to play Soviet and Soviet-derived forces, and it's something the Tutorial scenarios do a really good job of teaching. 2. Armour. The armour squares are a legacy UI element, which has always been pretty useless. The T-64A and especially T-64B have significantly better armour than the M60 in game, at least to the front turret.
  19. Information passes vertically within the same formation. Imagine I have two platoons from the same company, each with three Squads A, B and C. That means the structure might look like: Company: cHQ Platoon 1: HQ1, a1, b1, c1 Platoon 2: HQ2, a2, b2, c2 We'll assume everyone has a valid C2 link in some manner, sight, vocal, radio, whatever. If squad a1 has a spot, and I really need b2 to have that spotting information, then the information will get transmitted in jumps up and down the formation: a1 will spread to HQ1, which will spread up to cHQ, which will spread down to HQ2, which will spread down to b2. Each of those jumps costs time, and this means that this is not necessarily the most efficient way to spread this. Higher level formations (battalion in this case, but also division and regiment) are represented, but off-map and contactable by radio. This necessarily takes longer to spread off and on map. In addition, horizontal sharing is a thing. The vertical sharing above only happens within the same formations. Any two units regardless of formation can share information when they are within four action spots. This has a number of implications. - Most formations keep their recon assets high in the TO&E structure. This will have the effect of reducing the number of steps, since the battalion scouts will report to the battalion HQ, who will spread things from there. - Keeping C2 is the primary role of HQ units. A "leaders recon" is a real thing in reality, as it is in CM - spotting with an HQ unit is obviously risky, but in the right circumstance can be a lot more efficient in getting a good idea of what is out there. Taking a calculated risk with your HQ can pay off in some situations. - Sharing information between units is why you'll see more combined arms units in the modern titles, particularly for the US. A US mechanised company in Cold War is a fully capable unit, with armour, infantry, organic artillery and supporting ATGMs, all in one little C2 network that can operate independently. - Horizontal sharing gives purpose to any "XO" units and secondary leaders. These can be the go-between between disparate formations - keeping in contact with their HQ via radio, and sharing spotting contact horizontally with the unrelated unit (perhaps a battery of AT guns, a tank platoon, whatever). - Sharing between actually disparate units is something you want to plan for, and do horizontally. Sending a "runner" (perhaps a two man scout team) will work for this, but if you have a well-planned assault then this is what the XO team is actually for.
  20. Sure. I'd like a way to do that which doesn't cripple my infantry though BRDMs don't have any special reconnaissance equipment above and beyond a large window and a radio - they're a transport vehicle for a scout team (and pretty great at that job).
  21. Firmly has been discussed. The BRDMs also don't have their scout teams, among other issues. I still think that this is a tremendous shame - that map is one of the best in Cold War, and it wouldn't take much to turn that into one of the best scenarios in the game.
  22. Typical reasons would include damage to the gun, being out of ammunition, or the gunner (and the gunner alone) not having LOS to the target, due to some intervening terrain.
  23. Engineering equipment has been on the "soon" list since the CMSF 1 manual. I actually have a pet theory that the first mission of Task Force Thunder was designed with a mine plow Stryker in mind, which never materialised.
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