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Scenario Designers. PLEASE GIVE US A BREAK WITH THE GODDAMN ARTILLERY.

Recently I've been playing both CMBN and CMFI scenarios PBEM. I've played a lot of CM. A lot. It is a game. I am trying to use my tanks and infantry, primarily, to defeat my opponents tanks and infantry. That is the heart of the game.

Artillery acts like a bolt from the sky, and kills tanks and infantry. I can't stop artillery. It kills my troops, and there isn't anything I can do about it.

That takes the game totally out of my hands. That isn't fun.

Too many scenarios included on the CDs are drenched in artillery. Artillery included and available in many scenarios is sufficient to wipe out half of the forces involved in most given scenarios, in the typical 1-2 hour long scenario.

If the scenario consists of two forces making contact, and then the artillery comes in and kills one side or the other, what is the point in that? I don't see it.

Scenario designers, consider allowing me the player decide the outcome of the game. Let me conduct a small arms firefight. Let me hold an infantry position. Let me flank and infantry position. I can't do that if the artillery will decide the issue in every case.

If you are working on a scenario, please consider making it artillery free, or artillery light. Whatever you are planning on using, cut it in half maybe. If it is enough to cover the whole front twice, that might be too much.

Thank you.

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This is worst in scenarios with small map, defender has little cover where to hide and attacker has plenty of arty and TRPs already placed where default defense positions are. Then playing the scenario is like Iraqi Republican Guard troops on open desert waiting for those B-52s to arrive.

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Why don't you remove the artillery yourself in the scenario editor, it's not illegal :- )

I find artillery dodging half the fun of CM battles, however, i find it can be to powerfull if not tweaked, so there are some restrictions i use, if my opponents allow, and that is to limit an artillery battery to an area fire circle diameter of 35m per gun, which means a four gun battery would have a maximum area fire circle of 140m, and added to that, if the spotter could only plot an area fire circle of 70m, he could only use two guns, this allows artillery to still play a role, but with less coverage, given the maximum area fire circle is currently 400m.

I also ban Linear and Point fire for all off map assets, and I ban area and linear fire, for on map mortars, this reduces the precision, these restrictions were suggested by Jon S, and i find that they reduce the dominance of artillery to level that feels right, or at least it feels right for me.

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I am currently building a huge scenario. The map is 4000 by 3000 meters. It is very hilly and parts of it are heavily wooded and it will be wet. The defenders will have quite a few 88mm and 75mm antitank guns but few tanks. My idea is that the Allies have out run their artillery and will have to rely on their on map mortars. The German 88s and some of the 75s are out of range of the US mortars at the set up area so the US will have to advance against ,what I plan on will be, heavy resistance to get their mortars within range of the 88s and 75s that are holding up the advance of their tanks. A large part of the woods is impassable to tanks so the initial phase will be infantry against infantry. The Germans will have on map 81mm mortars and a few heavy mortars off map, just a few, but should not be enough to dominate the battle. The US, as usual, will have plenty of tanks and men to throw into the battle. The casualties will probably be heavy on both sides but especially on the US side, at least thats the plan. Comments welcome.

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Le desert scenario is an example 'ad extremis' of this. Just finished playing this H2H and the sheer amount of artillery (300 rounds on both sides) on a very small map is just mind numbingly pointless and saps any enjoyable tactical gameplay that might have existed otherwise. Is there any way to restrict the number of rounds in the editor? I'm not against artillery 'per se' -it's an essential tool for well-defended forest - but perhaps restricting it to the 28 rounds for a single 'long' strike should be enough for each 1km squared area of map size.

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Le desert scenario is an example 'ad extremis' of this. Just finished playing this H2H and the sheer amount of artillery (300 rounds on both sides) on a very small map is just mind numbingly pointless and saps any enjoyable tactical gameplay that might have existed otherwise. Is there any way to restrict the number of rounds in the editor? I'm not against artillery 'per se' -it's an essential tool for well-defended forest - but perhaps restricting it to the 28 rounds for a single 'long' strike should be enough for each 1km squared area of map size.

Set the supply modifier for the artillery to Limited in the scenario editor.

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****DETAILED SPOILERS FOR LE DESERT SCENARIO****

the sheer amount of artillery (300 rounds on both sides)

Defending US Artillery in le Desert (excl on-map 60mm)

# 1 section of 81mm mtrs, adequate ammo (40 rounds) (arrives as reinforcement)

# 1 x Bty of 105mm, adequate ammo (112 rounds) (doesn't arrive till after halfway through scen)

TOTAL: 152 rounds

Attacking German Artillery in le Desert

# 1 section of 81mm mtrs, adequate ammo (80 rounds)

# 1 x Bty of 105mm, limited ammo (84 rounds) (arrives as reinforcement)

# 1 section of 120mm mtrs, adequate ammo (48 rounds) (arrives as reinforcement)

# 1 section of 120mm mtrs, adequate ammo (48 rounds) (arrives as reinforcement, just before halftime)

TOTAL: 260 rounds

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Le desert the sheer amount of artillery (300 rounds on both sides)

More like 250 rounds all round. Well fair enough, I stand corrected.

Nevertheless, my inability to provide a more accurate estimate and to have inadvertently replaced it with a wild exaggeration actually serves to illustrate how overly powerful the artillery support is in the scenario. I mean this is how it feels playing the game!! Indeed, I'd welcome an alternative perspective of the scenario from anyone who has played this map and doesn't think it is.

And still, 250 rounds on a small map when the three objectives lay within (approx) two hundred metres of each other doesn't invalidate my main point:-

No, I don't necessarily entirely agree with the OP; artillery has it's place and is a crucial tactical asset, but I would agree that there are some scenarios that inherently possess unbalance because of bad asset choices. In my view, Le Desert is the most salient example of where inappropriate asset choices, for the map size and layout, nullify what could otherwise be a highly enjoyable infantry engagement with some inherently interesting tactical problems. :(

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Playing larger battles, with the appropriate map sizes, can greatly reduce the perception of uber-arty.

Limiting the ammo counts and calibers also helps.

There are myriad tactical options to reduce the effectiveness of enemy indirect fire, including decoys, smoke and quick response to spotting rounds.

---------

This is not to say that I have not found a few examples like the ones stated above. Some designers either adhere to historical information, or just use common round-per-man ratios that were used at the time. My first attempts at design showed this, and I reduced ammo counts and number of tubes to make a "playable" experience.

The editor is your friend, and no scenario is locked. Tweak them until you find your sweet spot.

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How are you losing tanks to artillery? Even a full battalion shoot of 105s in-game won't reliably m-kill a single Sherman out of a five tank platoon and I haven't seen a scenario yet that will give you that much to play with. As for artillery overall, the relationship is skewed because infantry don't have deep entrenchment options to ride out intense bombardments in safety. Bunkers are too obvious and easy to knock out, cellars aren't modeled in the game and foxholes have no option for overhead cover against even lighter mortars.

Also, artillery is moderately more accurate than in reality, with mortars being like indirect sniper rifles.

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A few folk seem to have enjoyed it

http://www.theblitz.org/scenarios/Combat-Mission-x2/Le-Desert/action=scenario_details&sid=15&ladder=16

If I was making this scenario again I'd probably use less artillery, either cutting back the ammo supply even more, and/or dropping one of the 120mm modules.

I understand why some people hate arty and how it can imbalance the game. That is part of the game and I have recently played Le Desert and it turned out to be one of the best H2H scenarios I have played in a long time right on a knife point for either side.

Arty was important and both players dealt with it.

If the arty was reduced it would make it a different scenario and perhaps imbalance it. It is pretty balanced so far based upon results shown.

I have just played CW 5am In The Shadow of the Hill and that has lots of arty for the Brits and is a tough challenge for the Germans, I still managed to pull off a victory by thinking carefully on how to avoid being where the arty was likely to be called and by using fox holes that did seem on the whole to help against the shells...

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Immobilizing a tank is often almost as good as killing it.

Yes. But three modules of 105s won't reliably immobilize it. Something around 155mm will, but I have not played a scenario yet that gives you three modules (a full battalion) of 155s. Expressed more directly, tanks still counter artillery, by both armor and their mobility under fire.

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Scenario Designers. PLEASE GIVE US A BREAK WITH THE GODDAMN ARTILLERY.

Recently I've been playing both CMBN and CMFI scenarios PBEM. I've played a lot of CM. A lot. It is a game. I am trying to use my tanks and infantry, primarily, to defeat my opponents tanks and infantry. That is the heart of the game.

Artillery acts like a bolt from the sky, and kills tanks and infantry. I can't stop artillery. It kills my troops, and there isn't anything I can do about it.

That takes the game totally out of my hands. That isn't fun.

Too many scenarios included on the CDs are drenched in artillery. Artillery included and available in many scenarios is sufficient to wipe out half of the forces involved in most given scenarios, in the typical 1-2 hour long scenario.

If the scenario consists of two forces making contact, and then the artillery comes in and kills one side or the other, what is the point in that? I don't see it.

Scenario designers, consider allowing me the player decide the outcome of the game. Let me conduct a small arms firefight. Let me hold an infantry position. Let me flank and infantry position. I can't do that if the artillery will decide the issue in every case.

If you are working on a scenario, please consider making it artillery free, or artillery light. Whatever you are planning on using, cut it in half maybe. If it is enough to cover the whole front twice, that might be too much.

Thank you.

I agree. It's rubbish at the moment.

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Ive had opponents 25lbers immobilize, then kill Tiger tanks I've had hiding in long range hull down positions. It can be done. Obviously the tank usually moves, but if the tank is immobilized by something else, or the opponent has a TRP or gets lucky.. The 25 lber is ideal, the caliber is a little weak but the RoF more than makes up for it, especially if you get an 8 gun battery. The same opponent (Winkelried) has also killed about 3 panthers this way too. Obviously this isn't a standard tactic, but he has used it and it can work.

As Schultz, another regular foe of mine pointed out, large maps make a gigantic difference with this. For example, in Breaking the Panzers as the Brit you get a pretty large amount of on map arty, with a few 25 lber batterys as well. However the map is big and it's not overdone. Le Desert definitely has a lot, but I recall it as enjoyable regardless. I find now though that the longer I play BN the more I like HUGE maps. Even if the forces aren't huge, I just like the extra room and makes the game feel more authentic and allows for much more maneuver, etc. There's nothing wrong with scenarios like Le Desert, but they're smaller and portray the final assault, after much recon and moving. Those aspects are doable and CM and greatly enhance the game experience IMO.

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I think having scenarios without it for this type of player is fine, yes some scenarios could use a little focus on none arty.

But there is another problem here, if Arty is haviing that bad of a affect on you as to playing the game, then I would suggest you start reviewing your tactics of how you are playing and learn some new ones.

First, you know its out there, you know the enemy is going to use it, so try not to play in a way that you get your units in trouble with being under it.

Like was said, it really is easy to dodge most of it if you pay attention to what is going on and leave yourself excape routes.

I find the only one that normally gets the best of me is when the enemy is Direct firing 81's and I have no time to run. And you know what, I deserve what I get when he does that, and the last time I checked, it never was enough to be the game breaker, but yes it impacts the battle just like evrything else does.

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The game is turning into a sort of Space/Fantasy FPS where there's a core of regular players who know all the tricks and power ups and covered this and that and ""HA HA Blew you up NOOB"

Huh?

I mean, yes, there is certainly a considerable skill cap involved (as with any good game), but the openness of the community regarding the how's and why's compares rather well to other competitive games.

Pulling from one prolific poster:

How to defend in bocage.

Tactical axioms

edit: If you are referring to my question as to how someone loses tanks to artillery, that is an honest question because we all know it is possible and you can do it regularly to the AI (because the AI is dumb). But to have it happen to a live player? There is something going on that is very wrong (not necessarily the player's fault) for that to happen consistently. And if there is an issue with artillery being able to reliably destroy armor in this period, that needs to be looked at, because it breaks the combined arms relationship between armor and artillery.

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