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domfluff

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Everything posted by domfluff

  1. Typical definitely includes Experience levels - check out CMBS US FO's versus, say, CMFI Italians.
  2. Naturally, Javelins can and are used in anti-fortification (or anti-building) roles as well, both in reality and in CMSF.
  3. "Don't Cry for Me Sergeant Major" has it that they were referred to them as "Bungalows", since each missile was the price of a small house...
  4. The fact that it makes a decent attempt at doing asymmetry is notable by itself, and obviously applicable to CMSF. This was my attempt to recreate the first scenario from Force on Force: Road to Baghdad in CMSF 1 a while ago:
  5. Force on Force is an interesting ruleset, I played around with it for a while. The scenario books are pretty great, and decent sources for CM scenarios. One issue the rules have is that it revolves around contested dice pools of differing quality - so one squad might be rolling D6's and the other D8's, and you're essentially comparing the results directly. The problem with this ends up being that the difference in quality is massive (D6, D8, D10 and D12), and it gets into a death spiral pretty quickly. There are also quite a few ambiguities and weirdnesses around the ruleset. Still, it's cool. When we did play around with it we ended up using the scenarios and converting them to Crossfire instead, which is a minis system I really get on with.
  6. I'm suggesting that attempting to model something entirely speculative using an explicit model might be the wrong kind of solution - if you have to make everything up, you're not simulating anything. This is why something like CM: Forever War would be better than something like CM: 40K or CM: Battletech. Decent simulations of high levels of speculation are generally better done with models which are less concerned with details. This is even true in military exercises - making assumptions that tech will exist, without being too particular about the whys and wherefores, but generally modelled in abstract, broad terms rather than specifics.
  7. Just to mention that this is still an issue in Engine 4. Hopefully this is in the upcoming patch
  8. It's pretty cool, I'm tempted to put together some similar problems in CM really (different scale and context, obviously). You can have a read here for free, I ordered one of those out of copyright reprint jobs on Amazon for a couple of quid. https://archive.org/details/moltkestacticalp00moltrich/page/n7
  9. That's an opinion (not an invalid one, but opinion nonetheless) - you could take exception with a number of unit parameters, and others do. Over-protected Bradleys are a common one, for example. I don't think I have enough understanding of modern kit to really have an opinion, but I don't think questioning some of Battlefront's assumptions are invalid either. TEWT = Tactical Exercise Without Troops. Matrix games are a type of wargame which are more similar to an RPG than Advanced Squad Leader. Matrix games consist (at the basic level) of an outline of a situation and an umpire. The players (or frequently teams) make formal Arguments about their disposition and choices. Example arguments could look like: Action: (Normal March) My army moves from France to Austria, via Wurttemburg and Bavaria. Result: (Open Battle) We will fight the first army we encounter. Reasons: (Prepare) The army is ready to go. (Supply Lines) Our supply lines are good. (Victory) I always win! The arguments are compared, and usually both can be valid, but the umpire is then responsible for determining the outcome, which might involve some randomness. (You'll note the above argument structure bears a strong resemblence to the format of the Solutions in "Moltke's tactical problems from 1858-1882" (spoilers?) The lack of detail firmly works in it's favour when it's used to model things that traditional wargames find veyr difficult - hidden information, random events and complex socio-political leanings. They are therefore a powerful tool for modelling speculative or hypotheticals, since the fine details are unimportant.
  10. In general (and it obviously differs with national doctrine and equipment), I think it's often reasonable and useful to see the squad as "A light machine gun, and some warm bodies that keep it going". (That's definitely less true for the US in WW2 - the Garand's rate of fire can make up for the poor LMG output, but it's reasonable for the Germans and Commonwealth forces, as well as anything in the modern titles.) Splitting into fireteams using the actual "split squads" button therefore automatically splits them by weapon - if a squad splits into three, it'll typically have the LMG in one, an AT asset in the second and an SMG in the third, or something similar - rifles are mostly there to make up the numbers and bulk the fire, and the core weapons are usually what the squad is about. So... no, I'm not convinced that splitting squads loses much in terms of firepower. I think that's often true for CM in general - the right unit with the right weapon in the right place is often equally or more effective than much larger numbers of enemies. You could model this as a "Force multiplier", but I suspect that's a little disingenuous or at least unhelpful in actual practice. Fundamentally, this is why units like the Commonwealth Carrier Platoons are intriguing - they're mechanised infantry embedded into infantry battalions, with a tiny number of troops with disproportionate firepower - they have similar numbers of men to a large squad, but have the firepower of a platoon or greater, as well as mobility and some armour protection. They don't have much staying power - random artillery can destroy them very quickly - but used correctly they can handle themselves to far greater effect than a much larger unit.
  11. I think that's a difficult one. It's obviously possible to do proper hard sci-fi/speculative fiction in a military context. CM: Starship Troopers, CM: Old Man's War or CM: The Forever War would be a lot more plausible (and interesting) than CM: 40K, but since none of those are actually about the fighting, it's debatable whether that would be a good idea. Worth doing? Probably not. Even with Black Sea, there's a worry about over or under-modelling certain aspects, which just aren't an issue with the WW2 data. Forging one's own setting is possible, but given the amount of speculation that already exists in Black Sea, I'm not sure that more would be a good idea for a simulationist game. In general with wargaming, you can do speculative or counter-factual stuff, but it usually requires being set at a less granular level to be plausible - something that an Engle Matrix game or TEWT can do really well, for example, but that a detailled counting-bullets sim will struggle to keep plausible. Would I like to see a CM-like serious take on something speculative? Sure. I think it would be unlikely to end up all that similar to Combat Mission though.
  12. There's a failure rate due to operator/other error, but there are also passive protection systems like shtora, which can do the same job. The operator can also just fly the damn thing into the ground. Failure rates are therefore very difficult to appproximate.
  13. There's even one of the stock CMBN scenarios, where a US company is attacking a town in France. For some reason, the US company has a massively disproportionate amount of indirect firepower - you can actually just sit back and level the entire town for a victory. This is one of those things where the "game" part of CM comes to the fore - not that the capacity shouldn't be modelled, but how it actually fits into scenario design is really important.
  14. If you don't have a covered approach for fire and manouevre, you use fire and movement instead. That's a bounding, frontal attack, that will cost you more men, rather than one with an element attacking from a 45+ degree offset. You still need to close to finish the enemy efficiently, and close as safely as possible. It's entirely true that a decent opponent will cover their flanks, and make this as difficult as possible, but (aside from really unfortunate terrain), it shouldn't be possible for them to be everywhere, and that's where decent recce comes in. Obviously, if you have the advantages, you should use them - with enough time, it might be absolutely appropriate to sit back and just level the place with artillery - but there are (often!) scenarios where you don't have everything you need, so you need to make incremental advantages where you can.
  15. I don't believe so, it's an engine limitation. A minor, but pretty irritating one.
  16. Is one of those perennial issues with CM - similar to "AT Guns are too hard to spot" "AT Guns are too vulnerable", etc. It's hard to make a solid case for or against. You're right - it does seem like snipers gave themselves away too easily (whether "too easily" compared to reality, or just "too easily" to make them useful). That why I tend to use them as long-ranged recon units first, and only open fire if they can isolate an enemy squad - the sniper wasn't doing anything to suppress the BMP, obviously, and BMP vs Sniper has precisely one winner. One issue with using them in Black Sea is how supernatural spotting can be, and how fast response times can be. I suspect Slysniper's concept of using them to get the hurt in on already suppressed enemies is also sound - matching them with AGLs and the like.
  17. Is a fairly ambiguous statement - certainly infantry are present in a combined arms sense in the larger scheme of things, but at the kind of scale that CM games often are, there are plenty of tasks which infantry are expected to be able to achieve using their organic arms - if not, there wouldn't be much point in giving them the variety of weapons that they have. Certainly the British army spent a lot of effort on small unit doctrine, and the presence of LMGs and 2 inch mortars at the platoon level imply that the infantry platoon has tasks that it can complete without additional aid.
  18. Soviet squads get morale penalties for splitting, and Italian squads are currently unable to do so at all (but it's been hinted that a similar effect will occur for them, at some point). They're not designed to be used in agile fireteams, thus clunky. The SMG squads and tank riders are still fairly awkward - they're very strong in their role, but they have essentially one job to do - there's nothing in there which could be described as "elegant".
  19. Snipers in CM are, first and foremost, recon units. They are small teams, often with organic transport, equipped with powerful optics. They are ideal for sitting in an isolated, covered position, spotting the enemy and calling down indirect fires. Usually I'll have my snipers on shorted covered arcs to hold fire, and might not fire a shot for the entire battle. If you want to use them to actually pick off key targets, they can, but you have to be careful. They probably need to have boosted leadership and experience, and you must have a plan for extraction. Getting a single kill, then relocating is the idea. They can have a disproportionate effect in combat mission - kills affect morale permanently, so a two man team giving accurate ranged fire can pin down a squad or weapons team. Two or more squads might be too much for the sniper team to deal with, so the recon first, call in indirect fire second, kill things third is basic sop.
  20. Modern US have platoon-embedded FO's (in a lot of formations), mostly for calling down mortars - that makes actually-forward FOs a lot more plausible, I think. It's still not entirely clear - even in a tiny scenario, like CMBS August Morning, but also in MOUT or similar close terrain - taking the FO with you means that you can bring down mortar fire (and Precision mortar fire) far more easily, since you're more likely to have an uninterrupted LOS to whatever is threatening you. In that same scenario you can also station the same FO in a more commanding position, which is definitely safer, but I don't think it's clear whether it's strictly better. If the role of the FO is going to be to bring down the heavy stuff then I think it's a lot clearer, but those are often best used with pre-planning anyway.
  21. Whilst I can see the point in not splitting US WW2 squads for firepower reasons (given the lack of a real LMG), I'm not sure that carries over to the British - doctrinally and in the game, the Bren operated as a three man team, and is as much of a centrepiece/focal point as the MG42 is for German squads - splitting into a manoeuvre element and a base of fire is sensible and useful. Soviet and Italian squads, sure. Those are clunky by design.
  22. You could just assign "Clear Target" to a keystroke? EDIT: Oh, I see what you mean - you're talking about visibility, not function.
  23. Yeah, the manual is wrong. To be fair though, points only go so far towards balance to begin with - terrain and objectives can matter far more. You could use the Quick Battle screen to get a rough idea though.
  24. I'm pretty certain that already happens, and not just with HE. The effect seems to be lessened in adjacent squares, but I'm sure there's a spread of suppression effect. You're quite right about the fidelity though - designing a game system is a compromise, and anywhere you draw these lines will have these issues - there's a reasonable argument to make that one minute turns and 8m action spots are not sufficiently granular to depict the kind of thing that CM is designed for. Obviously changing that would come with significant trade-offs, and any other level of fidelity would come with it's own compromises. In practice, CM is more than good enough, but since this thread is spitballing improvements, your comments are no less valid.
  25. I'm not even sure how to measure dollarhashatpercents
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