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Perfectly clear explanation, and I've benefited greatly from it. Thank you very much.

That is sort of what I thought was happening; that 4.squad was actually in command via A.Company, irrespective of the problem between 4.squad and 2.platoon, and separately, 2.platoon and A.company. But I didn't want to assume.

This system of benefiting from your parent's parent is what I would have hoped for, actually (and seems very realistic given what I saw of warfare first-hand).

I'm not really sure overall what the benefit of C2 is in terms of spotting. I understand that when 1.squad sees a confirmed enemy for the first time, only he knows where it is. And I understand that he can pass up information to his chain of command (which can then be dispersed via the C2 chain to other friendly units). But from a practical sense, if you can't see it yourself, you can't shoot it (or call arty on it), so all of that tangential relaying of information would seem to me to be unhelpful: until you are in a spot to physically see a that unit's location, you can't shoot at it. If you can see the location, even if you can't confirm the enemy unit yourself (but someone else can), for game purposes, I can target the space and it will suppress and do damage. So I don't understand the advantage of passing on information about targets to other units that can't see them. What can units do if they learn about targets they can't see?

Finally (this round), does an HQ's leadership value help his subordinates (that are in the C2) with anything more than 'morale checks' for lack of a better term?

I'm thinking Advanced Squad Leader here, and wondering if the leadership ratings in CM have any parallels.

If Unit A spots an enemy and passes that information to HQ X and HQ X passes this information back down to Unit B, Unit B will be more likely to spot and engage, or respond to as a threat, Unit A's target because they will have a suspected contact ("?") at that location.

To make the C2 system more meaningful, I personally will not area target a location where I (as player/god with knowledge of all contacts of all units) know an enemy to be present unless the targeting unit has a suspected contact marker on that location.

I'm not 100% on the effects of being in command, but my understanding is that the leadership values help with information distribution and morale.

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I'm not really sure overall what the benefit of C2 is in terms of spotting. I understand that when 1.squad sees a confirmed enemy for the first time, only he knows where it is. And I understand that he can pass up information to his chain of command (which can then be dispersed via the C2 chain to other friendly units). But from a practical sense, if you can't see it yourself, you can't shoot it (or call arty on it), so all of that tangential relaying of information would seem to me to be unhelpful: until you are in a spot to physically see a that unit's location, you can't shoot at it. If you can see the location, even if you can't confirm the enemy unit yourself (but someone else can), for game purposes, I can target the space and it will suppress and do damage. So I don't understand the advantage of passing on information about targets to other units that can't see them. What can units do if they learn about targets they can't see?

Finally (this round), does an HQ's leadership value help his subordinates (that are in the C2) with anything more than 'morale checks' for lack of a better term?

I'm thinking Advanced Squad Leader here, and wondering if the leadership ratings in CM have any parallels.

The C2 chain means more for spotting depending on the difficulty level you are playing at.

If one plays slow enough you can more or less see the info run up and down the chain as people that 'should' see something, but don't, get clued in by folks that do see.

"Oh.. over THERE! I see them now!" kind of thing.

But mostly it is for suppression and area fire purposes like you stated. One team knows somethign is there and yells it out, so you have an excuse to hose that area now.

Re: HQs...

The manual states that the Leadership modifier makes everyone below and in C2 perform "better".

BFC is famous for fuzzy statements like that, and I love it. No number crunching percentages to calculate best modifiers.

The best way to test is to make a QB Hotseat WEGO vs yourself.

Buy +2 and -2 leaders and put their squads through matching tasks.

You should get an idea of what happens under fire and directing/rate of fire.

0 or +1 are the best value in QBs. Minus numbers are usually found in scenarios, and after taking casualties.

---

You can use the editor to create anything from Chuck Norris to Gomer Pyle.

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-Buildings do offer suitable cover and protection BUT it is important to realise how they 'group' in the buildings. If you have a 12 man team on the same floor, they are going to get shot up pretty quickly. Your men will look for the windows. Split your team on different levels.

How do you split a team on different levels? Whenever a team of mine enters a building, I have to select a level for the entire team, and the whole team goes to that level. I'd much rather place a spotter on the highest level of the building who calls down to a team radioman below, but the game doesn't allow that.

If you can't spot AT guns (and they can be difficult to spot) then you are not using recon effectively. Get some scouts up front and probe the areas of interest prior to sending your armour in.

That sounds like a good idea, but my scouts usually get spotted and suppressed or killed -- sometimes by the AT gun they're looking for and sometimes by enemy riflemen protecting the AT gun. I'm obviously moving my scouts incorrectly, but I haven't yet discovered how to move them properly.

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SPOILER!

and the one you're getting frustrated with is, IIRC, an absolute beast. Totally unfair. It was ages ago I played it but when I got to the end and saw the German defences I remember thinking "how was I supposed to beat that?" Over the entire scenario I failed to spot most of the big AT guns. Those Shermans were just brewing up and there was nothing I could do about it. You have to commit them (or so you think) as crossing an open field with barbed wire when the scenario designer as cleverly placed a railroad track to prevent you from setting up a base of fire leaves you little other options. When I nailed the 88s at the front with a sneaky HQ unit calling in arty I thought I'd nailed it. Then it gets worse and worse. You don't even outnumber the defenders to any significant degree. And they have more AT guns than you have tanks. And I think an equal number of those are 88s (possibly more). I suspect it would be a frustrating bloodbath IRL. Seriously, leave it alone unless you're feeling masochistic. Certainly not one to learn the game with.

(I hope he's thinking of the right scenario - Ed)

Sound advice. I started playing the scenarios in the order they appear on the menu and A Delaying Action is maybe the most difficult scenario that ships with the game. It's puzzle like and every little piece has to work flawlessly for the player to achieve a total victory on it.

Don't judge the game based on this sadistic scenario.

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CM1Fan there is an order to split squads, can't remember of the top of my head what tab it's under, you can choose what sort of team to split off as well, assualt or recon.

I agree, Wodin, that you can split squads into teams of various types, but I believe CM:BN gives you no way to select which members of the squad go into each team and to send one member of a team as a spotter to one floor of a building and the rest of the team with a radio to a lower floor with their heads most of the time below any windows. At the team level, I think it's all or nothing, with the entire team grouped on one floor (or one action point area of the floor).

It would be nice if the AI automatically dispersed a forward observer team the way I believe usually would be best, but I don't think the AI does. I'm also pretty sure CM:BN doesn't let you do that either. I'm not eager to micro manage my controllers of indirect fire, but I haven't yet discovered how best to get those controllers to do what I want them to do.

EXPLETIVE, I don't even know how to move a team (preferably just the team member holding the binoculars) into a position from which it can observe an area where there are a gaggle of question mark icons. (In a real situation, I'd order the team to move to where the ? marks change to enemy units.) I've tried targeting that area from each action point on a direct line from the current position of the team to the cluster of ? icons without finding a point from which the area is visible. The targeting line always goes back to the current position of the team, but, as I understand it, the line of sight evaluated is from the way point where the targeting started.

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You can't take individual soldiers out of a team. However the game has dedicated spotters already in it as an individual unit. So your best using one of those.

I asking for alot of micromanagement which isn't really what the game is about. Your asking really for an individual soldier control as well as a squad scale game.

If you don't want to send the whole team upstairs split them and see which one has the binoculars and send that half upstairs.

Also ? marks aren't actually unit's but are rough sound contacts (might be old sightings aswell can't remember) (so no unit's have LOS)...some of which are wrong\old and there will be no units there anymore. It will be a bad idea chasing them around the map. You need to see which way they are going and prepare to ambush them. Again you don't go chasing after them, you use the info your getting to prepare and ambush etc, they are more like pointers to roughly where the enemy is and which way he is going.

As for micromanage indirect fire, you have to do it yourself.It wont just do it automatically. You need to get your spotters in a good position early or during set up..as you see some ? marks try and judge which way they are going and hopefully you have a spotter that can see a point they appear to be heading to, you then set your mortars\arty to fire (remember this will take a few turns) at that point (do an are fire)..then hope you've times it right and got it in the right position... or your like me and sometimes end up blowing ten tons out of a field aas the nemy have already gone past the are I targeted, if that the case you can adjust fire.

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However, your squad still shows "in command" status by voice/visual icons. This is because a unit that is out of contact with its own HQ can benefit from command by a superior HQ in its own chain of command, but only within voice/visual command range. Your squad is under temporary command from the adjacent Company HQ. Unfortunately, there is no visual indication of where this link comes from in the interface.

I just found out that you can click on these "in command" status icons, and you will be moved to the commanding HQ. Very useful if you want to know who is commanding your squad/unit at the moment.

Other than that, I'm still confused about a lot of the C2 things. Sometimes the reson for a break in the chain of command, or the reason why a mortar team is "out of contact" just seems impossible to figure out. Too bad the manual doesn't explain these very important things too clearly.

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Some basic things that potentially seem counterintuitive when you're first coming to the game:

  • Your average infantryman looks at his feet when he's moving. Unless he's Hunting or Slow moving (Slow=crawling, so he can't look at his feet :) ) he won't spot worth a damn. To compensate for this, infantry on Quick or Fast moves should stop often for a look around.
  • Trees are just trees. They're a stick and some cotton wool. The ground underneath them can be anything from a bramble thicket to a bowling green (or even tarmac, though most map makers won't use that often). The tree components block LOS/LOF on a 1:1 basis. The ground type under them will offer varying levels of cover and concealment depending on what it is. Having a squint at the map editor will go a long way to helping you identify which ground types might be best to hide in.
  • Hiding troops have their faces in the dirt. They won't see anything much. The default behaviour of your pTruppen is to find what terrain features there are in the 8mx8m action spot they're in, and to use them to protect themselves from known threats while maximising their chances of observing new ones and acting against the known, so "Hide" should not be the default "last action in the movement bound".
  • The AI is script-based, and the only triggers for actions are time bounds. So if the AI plan you're up against is at all active, it will have been designed with "typical" progress of the human player in mind, given the designer's stipulated game length. So if you edit up the maximum length of the scenario you might find the AI attacking/withdrawing/counterattacking at wildly inappropriate times, leading to a suboptimal experience. If it's a static defensive plan though, it's not going to matter much.
  • Your troops will be spotted least often if they are still. If they're moving slowly (crawling), they'll be spotted more easily but not as easily as if they're on their hind legs. This is intuitive. It's also intuitive that they'll be spotted for sure if they open up. So use Cover Arcs set to short, or miniscule ranges to make sure they don't open up until you want them to. They'll still shoot at really threatening things that are close to their CA range, but that's why you give your FOs a 5m cover arc and have them crawl from out of sight into their OP. Often, this needs only to be the "last 8m" so they aren't seen by the jokers on the other side of the bocage-lined field.
  • Some buildings are very tough indeed, bouncing any rifle-calibre bullet and staunchly resisting HE for a long time. Other buildings are made of spit and cardboard and even an asthmatic wolf could blow them down. Experience and watching videos of tests people have done will tell you which ones are blockhouses and which are deathtraps. And even the deathtraps, if you crawl around in them, provide fair concealment from the same elvation.
  • Edit: Tanks are great in forests. Most of the forests I've seen have been passable to tanks (the ground type isn't "impassible", and tanks ignore tree trunks for movement purposes, because it'd be a nightmare to manage pathing otherwise). Their MGs react faster than an AT Rocket when you bump into them, and that doesn't happen often because engagement ranges are so short. With the commander unbuttoned, they spot pretty well.

"A delaying Action" is certainly a beast. There are a couple of keys that unlock it though.

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[*]Trees are just trees. They're a stick and some cotton wool.

An addendum to that: Trees are sticks made of titanium :P And the cotton wool is eye candy only. Many people lose units because they don't realize LOS can be traced through branches and foliage. Only the trunks block LOS. Plot you moves with "show trunks only" on.

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... Many people lose units because they don't realize LOS can be traced through branches and foliage. ...

Although sometimes (it seems) spotting can be prevented/delayed by branches and foliage.

But we're still waiting to hear some official word from BF concerning spotting oddities.

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I just found out that you can click on these "in command" status icons, and you will be moved to the commanding HQ. Very useful if you want to know who is commanding your squad/unit at the moment.

Almost, but not entirely accurate. Clicking the status icon will take you to the HQ immediately above it in the C2 chain. If this HQ is wiped out then clicking the 'in command' icon will not take you to the new HQ - instead it will still take you to the dead HQ, despite a higher HQ now being in charge.

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Ok, thanks for the info! Since I just discovered this function (which, for some reason, was not mentioned in the manual?), I haven't come across that special situation yet. Seems strange that it works that way, what would be the point? Why not use this as a way to show what HQ is responsible for a particular "in command" icon, regardless of wether it is the immediately higher HQ or not?

Also, it would be nice if you could click on all the "links" in the chain of command to the far left and then jump to that particular HQ. That might help with trying to reestablish the chain of command when there is a break somewhere.

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An addendum to that: Trees are sticks made of titanium :P

Tru dat. :)

And the cotton wool is eye candy only...Only the trunks block LOS.

This simply isn't the case in my experience. Foliage does block LOS. It's just that there are gaps in it. Gaps which the AI is very good at finding :) It often blocks LOF too/more, as you'll see when you get bullet spatter and shell detonation on leaves in cases where there's a gap in the foliage that permits LOS, but projectile track deviates from the sight line used to determine LOS.

Many people lose units because they don't realize LOS can be traced through branches and foliage. Plot you moves with "show trunks only" on.

I think more accurately people lose units because they assume foliage is a magic shield that will always hide them, and don't take into account the gaps.

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Ooo. That's a good vid. Have you got the next bit: firing?

Couple of comments about it:

  • There's not much foliage intersecting with the drawn LOF. I should have said that "enough" foliage (more than an AP-width, say) will stop LOF.
  • I noticed that at 19s, the drawn LOF actually passes through the trunk and branches of a tree. What's going on here!?

So yes, like all green stuff (hedges, bocage), you can see and shoot through "some" foliage to a certain extent, but (approximately) a full tree canopy will stop you seeing or firing at things. Happens all the time to me. The important point is that it's not 100% bullet proof and if you don't look carefully you can be surprised.

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Hmm I think that was more than an AP width of greenery there, but it was perhaps not the best angle to show it.

I did not record the next 60 seconds of comedy, unfortunately. As it turned out the Stug and the Sherman spent the whole turn shooting at each other without scoring a hit as all the rounds impacted on titanium tree trunks. I reversed the Sherman out of LOS on the turn after that.

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Hmm I think that was more than an AP width of greenery there, but it was perhaps not the best angle to show it.

I think it intersected parts of several trees. But you might be right. I feel that there was something special about that example though, since foliage frequently denies me line of sight, and can provide concealment from my enemies too. It's very rare to find a line of sight from an upper storey window through even a line of "full" trees outside the building, IME.

I did not record the next 60 seconds of comedy, unfortunately. As it turned out the Stug and the Sherman spent the whole turn shooting at each other without scoring a hit as all the rounds impacted on titanium tree trunks. I reversed the Sherman out of LOS on the turn after that.

That happens a lot, too.

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Well my point in saying I was a tanker was simply to steer people away from having to ask me if I knew things like overwatch, hull down, etc. I was simply trying to distance myself from a first time tactical game player.

I found the first CM very tactically realistic, and so far I have no real problem with tactical realism in CM2.

Did you ever play CMSF? I have a hard time imagining anyone starting out easily with CMBN. I think I would find CMBN baffling if I had not played CMSF for years before I got to it. I have lots of habits left over from CMSF -- for example I can only play in real time and I don't bring up full platoons of infantry until I get some rough idea of where the enemy are and all my support weapons are ready to fire or are firing.

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"The AI is script-based, and the only triggers for actions are time bounds. So if the AI plan you're up against is at all active, it will have been designed with "typical" progress of the human player in mind, given the designer's stipulated game length. So if you edit up the maximum length of the scenario you might find the AI attacking/withdrawing/counterattacking at wildly inappropriate times, leading to a suboptimal experience. If it's a static defensive plan though, it's not going to matter much."

I am practicing by using the same scenario several times. Does the AI defense plan change each time that I replay the scenario, within limits of course, or does it remain the same? The scenario that I am playing is a big one so I have been able to attack at a different place each time so far but I'll have to start repeating pretty soon.

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I am practicing by using the same scenario several times. Does the AI defense plan change each time that I replay the scenario, within limits of course, or does it remain the same? The scenario that I am playing is a big one so I have been able to attack at a different place each time so far but I'll have to start repeating pretty soon.

Depends. The scenario designer can create multiple AI plans for either or both sides in a scenario. If the designer does so, which plan you see will very randomly with each play-though.

But if the scenario has only one plan, then this is all you'll see.

Bear in mind that within any given AI plan, while AI is generally limited to trying to do with the AI script tells it to do, the AI does "take care of the details" itself, based on the unfolding tactical situation. So even if the AI is on the same plan as the last time you played through the scenario, the AI actions won't look *exactly* the same.

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Depends. The scenario designer can create multiple AI plans for either or both sides in a scenario. If the designer does so, which plan you see will very randomly with each play-though.

But if the scenario has only one plan, then this is all you'll see.

Bear in mind that within any given AI plan, while AI is generally limited to trying to do with the AI script tells it to do, the AI does "take care of the details" itself, based on the unfolding tactical situation. So even if the AI is on the same plan as the last time you played through the scenario, the AI actions won't look *exactly* the same.

Thanks for the reply YankeeDog.

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Depends. The scenario designer can create multiple AI plans for either or both sides in a scenario. If the designer does so, which plan you see will very randomly with each play-though.

Though only, AIUI, if you start the play-through from scratch each time, rather than "after setup", with just a variation in tactics on your part. It's not reactive, rather the plan is picked when sometime between you picking sides and the game field being displayed.

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Though only, AIUI, if you start the play-through from scratch each time, rather than "after setup", with just a variation in tactics on your part. It's not reactive, rather the plan is picked when sometime between you picking sides and the game field being displayed.

Good point -- I'm pretty sure this is correct. So if you want to re-play a scenario and have a possibility of seeing a different AI plan, it's important to start the scenario again "from scratch".

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