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Some things I'd really like to see…

I would like to see a lot more detail and meaning added to surrenders. In general I'd like to see surrenders be much more costly in point value than an actual kill. From a strategic viewpoint (in my mind at least), having ones own forces surrender and be captured as opposed to being killed creates a much trickier situation. The captured troops now become a bargaining chip between each side, the civilian populace back home is outraged and demands their safe return putting extra pressure on intelligence and high command (locating whereabouts, launching a rescue operation later on), and much like having troops which are killed, it decreases overall troop number during the battle.

To counter the above however, instead of having troops which have surrendered simply just disappear, the player must actually collect them and hold them somewhere on the map. Say for instance a squad comes under overwhelming fire and only two men are left standing, after deciding that an attempt to flee is useless due to the enemy being close by, they opt to surrender. The opposing side which forced the surrender can first make one of two decisions:

1. Leave the surrendered forces alone, eventually allowing them to un-surrender and flee back to friendly lines to fight once again

2. Move towards the surrendered forces and 'collect' them (probably through some administrative action such as "join nearest group" or something similar)

By choosing action 2 (which I presume most would), the 'collector' of the surrendered troops has to be aware of obvious things such as enemy forces firing at them to repel them away (so that they can go reclaim their men themselves). Once they do manage to collect the surrendered troops though, they can either choose to hold the prisoners somewhere, or force them to move with them. The benefits of holding the prisoners (somewhere secure) would be the assurance that there is little chance of them escaping, while the downside is that manpower would be used up as the prisoners would need to be guarded. The benefit of moving the captives with the group that captured them would be that no manpower would essentially be wasted and the men could continue to fight with their prisoner at their side, however if the group did come under intense fire and was forced into a rattled/shaken/broken state, the captives would be presented with the opportunity to flee their captors and back to friendly forces.

I believe that the implementation of this would do several things for gameplay.

First, it would force commanders to rethink how they want to move their forces and attack. Do I want to launch a head on assault on that house? If there are more enemy forces there than I suspect, my men could be overwhelmed and taken captive. This would cause much more cautious approaches towards objectives, and would also heavily promote more non-combat scouting/reconnaissance movements to determine how many and where enemy forces are positioned.

Second, it would create interesting unplanned/unscripted side missions where the commander is attempting to locate where his captured forces are, and mounting assaults to rescue them in order to avoid incurring the severe point production. While the battle for that enormous French Château rages, a small detachment of men have broken away from the fight and begun sneaking their way around the edges of the map to locate that house near the enemy starting positions where their friendly's were being held up at. I can picture how that would play out perfectly - an engineer team places explosive charges along a high wall, blows it away, and the rest of your infantry forces assault into the compound in a daring rescue.

Something else I would really like to see in relation to surrendering is the ability to allow each of your infantry units to call out (or even taunt, I guess) to your enemy and give them the option to surrender. Under the interface action list for "combat" there would be an action labeled "Offer Surrender" (or something like that) which would only be enabled if that particular infantry group was within a certain distance of another enemy infantry group. Choosing this action would not necessarily result in the enemy immediately surrendering, instead a number of factors would play into whether or not they would. Some of these factors could include friendly to enemy ratio, unit skill level, current unit state, and also the unit offering the surrenders skill level (a higher skill/experience level, say +2 for example, would mean the unit offering a surrender could speak the opposing sides language fluently and charismatically, as opposed to a -2 who would only know how to offer the surrender in their native language in a mostly unthreatening way).

I believe that implementing a more detailed surrendering feature such as this would also benefit and work with a new possible casualty treatment and evacuation system like the one mentioned in the first post. Wounded troops (casualties) left behind would need to be retrieved and treated (if possible) in a safer location or run the risk of being captured, treated, and held prisoner by enemy forces.

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I still love that sort of stuff in CM1. I recall racing active friendlies to get to surrendered friendlies in order to rescue them. (Proximity of friendlies would make them unsurrender, altho IIRC they would no longer have weapons or ammo.) Also, when larger numbers of enemy would surrender one had the challenge of marching someplace safe so that one's oppo couldn't rescue them.

If we could buy surrendered units in the purchase screen, civilians even, one could create all sorts of interesting missions rather than the repetitive assaults that tend to get designed.

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I've been lobbying for a million years for a 'green' civilian AI-controlled element overlaying the Red and Blue (in CMSF-speak). Less of an issue in a WWII setting than a modern war, one supposes. I recall years ago I did a CMSF 'Africa theatre' scenario with dozens and dozens of 'spies' representing unarmed rioters outside of a UN blue helmet compound. Charles must have been impressed with the scenario because he changed spotting rules for 'spies' and killed the scenario outright. ;)

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So here is my first thought. I think a really cool next step in realism is to require the player to evacuate casualties from the battlefield(instead of the current system where they simply disappear). That would create new tactical challenges, and you get another kind of casualty if you can't evacuate your wounded(wounded POW's). This would make certaiTn vehicles(like humvees and transport helicopters) far more useful than they currently are to modern gamers.

This is completely the wrong mindset for both my generation and that of WW2. In dem dere days - at least in a european environment - the wounded were left to look after themselves, at least by the fighting troops, UNTIL the tactical situation had been resolved.

However in a CMSF/Afghan situation, were battles are won as much in newspaper columns as they are on the actual battlefield, I would agree with you completely.

SLR

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I was actually thinking a dedicated medic unit would be the ideal way to do it. I know for a fact that there was casualty evacuation in WW2, but it makes sense that it may not have been the first priority of the combat troops. These days the rule is "never leave a man behind". Having never served in the armed forces I can't really say much on modern procedure, but I guess they will teach me that soon enough. I just passed the ASVAB(97%!!) and physical, all that is left is to pick a job, swear in, and wait to get sent off to basic. That last bit isn't really relevant to anything, I just feel like I need to tell everyone whether I know them or not.

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I was a medic in the Army for 6 years. The basic procedure for medics is to first suppress the enemy (i.e., return fire) and only then move in, get the casualty behind cover, and render whatever medical aid is needed. Otherwise, your standard non-medical soldier is still taught basic medical aid like back in WWII, which of course involves stuff like controlling bleeding and basic bandaging of wounds (provided time allows, of course).

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I was actually thinking a dedicated medic unit would be the ideal way to do it. I know for a fact that there was casualty evacuation in WW2, but it makes sense that it may not have been the first priority of the combat troops. These days the rule is "never leave a man behind". Having never served in the armed forces I can't really say much on modern procedure, but I guess they will teach me that soon enough. I just passed the ASVAB(97%!!) and physical, all that is left is to pick a job, swear in, and wait to get sent off to basic. That last bit isn't really relevant to anything, I just feel like I need to tell everyone whether I know them or not.

Well man best of luck, hope the most exciting thing you see is the firing range. We expect much more detailed feedback and general grogness in time for CMSF2.

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I'd like the ability to dirrect suppressing fire better, perhaps using something like the artillery tool, where an area, point or linear target can be selected. An MG might have a line drawn to cover the face of some woods, another MG an elipse covering the ridge of a hill, also allowing rounds to hit the reverse slope. Vehicles could have a fixed or moving suppressive zone, so a tank could ether fire at the treeline, or have a moving zone, simulating shooting up the hedgerows/ground as it advanced.

I'd like units to have a TAOW-like tool to determine how fiercely they attack/defend an objective. The different settings could be linked to the determination of the soldiers/command ability of the HQ and how successful the unit has been so far. Successes could temporarily increase the determination/morale level, but a setback would cause most of that temporary increase to vanish.

So a highly trained, determined enemy might fight to the last man, or stage a holding action, whereas a unit that had attacked might have a temporary decrease, to simulate exhaustion, adrenalin drop and mental exhaustion (historically, units seem to be highly vulnerable when they are attacked just after they have successfully attacked a position). Similarly a green unit that has successfully defended against a superior foe might be an even tougher nut to crack, the next time, but if it is, it is highly likely to disintegrate, especially if it has been told to hold at all costs.

The rating could be adjusted in the editor so that historically tough opponents could be simulated, and could be different for attack and or defense. These might then give a more dynamic battle, with the AI holding a position briefly (low determination level) but countering savagely (high determination). The player could attempt to change the levels, but it would not be automatic and would depend heavily on the units initial and current morale level, in contact with its HQ and other factors, suppression, casualties, victories under belt etc.

Might be a way of getting Northmans dynamic battlefield environment.

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Over the years people have regularly commented that it would be useful to have medics in the game cos they would actually have a useful purpose, as opposed to the plethora of HQ Support, 2IC, and XO units which have no useful purpose (at least I have never found any) other than using them as ad hoc medics, recon or AT units... not sure if that's realistic.

But, it's best not to hold your breath on this one.

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2ic's should be helping the C2 of the unit, providing a relay and a replacement function if/when the HQ takes a hit. That is if the game is in anyway realistic in the way it models C2. I must say, the relative spotting (playing Shockforce demo) can be maddening in its bizzare representation of spotting, especially as armies have multiple sytems to help friedly units share such info. I think CM2 is a big step up on CM, but somethings just don't feel right, and C2 is one of them.

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(operational) + (tactical)

Command ops + Combat Mission!

+1 THIS.... ALL DAY, EVERYDAY!! Zooming down to a typical CM view, and zooming out to a CO view with a transition that wouldn't take you out of the environment could make it epic. It would, however, need a VERY strong TacAI to successfully represent unit leaders at a tactical level. The operational AI is already pretty good.

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I figure the way to do it is have the operational level be turn based(probably essential). Each turn would represent 1 hour, and would be simultaneous move(wego). When opposing forces meet the game would zoom down to tactical level(like the Total War games). Each engagement on the tactical level would last for no longer than one hour(to match the operational level turns). If the engagement is not decided in that one hour it will be resumed next turn.

I'd like the ability to dirrect suppressing fire better, perhaps using something like the artillery tool, where an area, point or linear target can be selected. An MG might have a line drawn to cover the face of some woods, another MG an elipse covering the ridge of a hill, also allowing rounds to hit the reverse slope. Vehicles could have a fixed or moving suppressive zone, so a tank could ether fire at the treeline, or have a moving zone, simulating shooting up the hedgerows/ground as it advanced.

YES!! I have frequently found myself wishing I had better ability to direct suppressing fire. They should certainly add that to the next CM engine. It really would be very useful to be able to order suppressing fire along a linear or area target like you can with artillery.

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Something else I'd really like to see is visible, on map air support. This would mostly pertain to a more modern CMSF/CMSF2 setting instead of WW2.

So instead of me calling in that helicopter gunship and only seeing bullets appear on the ground, the actual chopper would be represented and things like AA guns and small arms would pose a threat to it.

It would be useful for transport purposes too, I can imagine a small infantry engagement taking place on a huge map where a helicopter picks up troops and flies them to a waypoint. Getting shot down could have multiple outcomes...all crew and passengers killed, crew and passengers wounded, crew and passengers survive. Could be determined by altitude and what brought it down (small arms, AA, etc).

If that could be implemented my next wish would be a Falklands War game...now that would be interesting. Lots of small to huge infantry engagements with little use of vehicles and armor, heavy use of mortars and airstrikes, both sides being fairly similar in weaponry...that would be fun.

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Something else I'd really like to see is visible, on map air support. This would mostly pertain to a more modern CMSF/CMSF2 setting instead of WW2.

So instead of me calling in that helicopter gunship and only seeing bullets appear on the ground, the actual chopper would be represented and things like AA guns and small arms would pose a threat to it.

Ditto. But I don't think you will ever find a person who would disagree with that. I'm sure everyone who works for battlefront would love to put in visible air support too(I realize it's not good tact to speak for people you don't know, but this seems pretty universal). But battlefront is a very small company with few resources, so they needed to abstract a few things.

If you're willing to sacrifice a bit of ground realism I recommend the Theatre of War series. They do an excellent job on air support, and anti-air ground fire.

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much more grand scale,

like, say, a huge dynamic campaign system....to put it across simply...

Hearts of iron 3 + combat mission

this would be a sensational war game of the period...not only would you feal the length of the war but also the economic struggle and production of war material..

then, once the battle starts, you go to the most awesome 3D battle field simulator.

:D

The later Close Combats handled the Strategic LAyer quite well I thought. The interlinking of the battle maps gave you reason to try a last gasp capture of particular Victory Locations (eg in order to secure a line of retreat)

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+1 THIS.... ALL DAY, EVERYDAY!! Zooming down to a typical CM view, and zooming out to a CO view with a transition that wouldn't take you out of the environment could make it epic. It would, however, need a VERY strong TacAI to successfully represent unit leaders at a tactical level. The operational AI is already pretty good.

+ 1 for this as well for me. Would love to have something like Command Ops merged with CMx2. I would even settle with something less sophisticated like what close combat has. Every time I finish a campaign I find myself wishing for an operational level added to the game. I want BF to finish what the concept of CMC started......CMx2 is just destined to have an operational layer added to it. It could make this already great game achieve timeless legendary status.

It is totally doable too, it could be built off of the editor and QB functions linked to a simple 2D map with Nato symbols as maneuver elements. When contact is made, battles are generated and can be played in SP. I fear that the CMC fiasco has soured them at ever making another attempt. Hell....now days they could even prepay the effort with kickstarter....I bet it would be a hit.

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  • 4 months later...

some ecxellent posts and responses posted. alot of the games mentioned i have played, hearts of iron 3, combat mission series (obviously) close combat (exhaustively) panzer general...the list gos on. and the total war series to answer a previous question posted. ;-)

this new CMX2 series of combat mission is really impressing me, every announcement is a jump in leaps and bounds of what i call the best war game.

is like i recall reading somewhere, the only downers to me, are the limitation to your machine and the size of battle, (which is sort of a natural element the way i look at it) any machine can only do so much. and the endless supply of material that is avaliable to choose to be built for the games, one for sure i'm glad to see the return of the FLAK VEHICLES. :-D

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Woah, never thought of medic units but they would be a ton of fun to move around trying to help your wounded. I imagine it would be fairly easy to implement them codewise, but would it be historically accurate to have a medic "unit" on its own on the scale of most CM battles? Would they be detachable or stuck with squads? I'm not sure how they were exactly used in WWII, but I'm sure someone else on here does (you guys surprise me time and time again with how much you know about seemingly everything).

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