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I dunno. but I sometimes wonder if these AARs, conducted to supposedly show off the game, don't actually have the effect of putting off new players or even some of us old 'uns.

Don't get me wrong I thoroughly enjoy reading them. Big Bill has taught me a lot and C3K, Baneman and others have an engaging style that makes me laugh. However, each AAR always seems to highlight a problem in game design, that I have seen in my own games and put down to poor play, bad luck and so on but which I now realise are endemic and fundamental.

I mean, really, a target drives past a PIAT crew within their effective range and they neither hear nor see it? Or, in an earlier AAR, Baneman tries repeatedly to get an HMG team to set up behind bocage in such a manner that the gun, not just the supporting crew's rifles, can fire through and despite repeated tries still fails. AT guns on the defence that have neither moved nor fired are spotted and engaged at 1KM distance in a matter of seconds by a moving AFV. I could go on, but I am sure you get my drift.

AARs seem to highlight issues that in one's own games one might explain away and demonstrate that they are in fact flaws that can ruin a battle that one has devoted considerable time to and in doing so perhaps make one less want to play in the future.

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Just posting because photobucket has restored their links, so I wanted to check my screenshots. They are here. One thing I only touched on, was what a great sport Bil was to play. In every case,

Blood for the Blood God!!!!!! Crush, kill, maim!!!!! Build a throne out of skulls and wear a crown made of entrails. Grind those weak girly men into pixie dust!

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I dunno. but I sometimes wonder if these AARs, conducted to supposedly show off the game, don't actually have the effect of putting off new players or even some of us old 'uns.

Don't get me wrong I thoroughly enjoy reading them. Big Bill has taught me a lot and C3K, Baneman and others have an engaging style that makes me laugh. However, each AAR always seems to highlight a problem in game design, that I have seen in my own games and put down to poor play, bad luck and so on but which I now realise are endemic and fundamental.

I mean, really, a target drives past a PIAT crew within their effective range and they neither hear nor see it? Or, in an earlier AAR, Baneman tries repeatedly to get an HMG team to set up behind bocage in such a manner that the gun, not just the supporting crew's rifles, can fire through and despite repeated tries still fails. AT guns on the defence that have neither moved nor fired are spotted and engaged at 1KM distance in a matter of seconds by a moving AFV. I could go on, but I am sure you get my drift.

AARs seem to highlight issues that in one's own games one might explain away and demonstrate that they are in fact flaws that can ruin a battle that one has devoted considerable time to and in doing so perhaps make one less want to play in the future.

I think this is an unnecessarily gloomy way of looking at things. Of course the game is not perfect and yes there are a few things like tanks spotting better than they might have done in real life - but these can be addressed over time.

Things like the piat gunner I think is a bit more difficult to categorise. If I was sitting in cover with a piat launcher and a tank drove past, I think I might well weigh up the pros and cons of engaging it and come to the conclusion that I would be better off in a passive mode.

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If people are put off by problems they can always go play another game that has fewer problems. But if they happen to find such a game I suggest they avoid reading any AARs for it ;)

With regards to Ken's PIAT man, I don't think infantry in CM react to sound contacts. AFAIK they never have in any of the CM games going back to CMBO.

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With regards to Ken's PIAT man, I don't think infantry in CM react to sound contacts. AFAIK they never have in any of the CM games going back to CMBO.

Might be nice if they have a sound contact, they would then expend some effort to obtain a visual. This could of course be variable depending on training, current morale, leadership, and with a random multiplier thrown in, among other things.

Michael

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A few points, some big, some small.

PIAT man:

1.) I'd given him a COVER ARMOR ARC, but decided to free him of it, in case one of Bil's men in the field survives the long-range Vickers/Bren suppressive fire and stumbled upon him. With a COVER ARMOR ARC, my piat man would've been easy pickings.

2.) His lack of spotting is very likely due to the way he's got his face in the ground. If you've ever been in thigh-high crops, if your face is in the ground, you can't see much beyond a few stalks. He did (eventually) gain a contact spot vs. the Jaggie. It was purely sound based. Now, did I WANT him to pop up and look? Heck yeah. I don't know how to "force" that. But, he's totally alone in that field. His mates are dead. He's "+2 Nervous": now, I know what I want him to do, but I'm back in HQ. He's the poor bloody bloke who's got to stick his head up to look around. I don't think this is a bug or problem.

BFC and our doing these D/AAR's:

There was absolutely no instruction or slant about what to do. You're looking at a BETA build. If BFC wanted a marketing game, well, I wouldn't be the one to ask to do it for them. We picked forces available in non-CMBN games, then we played. Now, if that shows bugs and flaws, so be it. If there are flaws in a beta build, you can be sure they've been presented to BFC. (No guarantee that they can or will be fixed.)

So, if the depiction of game shortcomings drives people off, then perhaps that's for the best? Why spend upwards of $50 (or whatever) for a game someone considers seriously broken?

A benefit of these AAR's is that it introduces new players to the game, without them having to download the demo, let alone but it. Also, it lets others see a different play style (You may call them tactics. Or not.).

Ken

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Disagree somewhat with Blackcat's pessimistic view. A key factor is the morale of the unit. If it is rattled, it is unlikey to act like a hero unit! In a recent game I had an anti-tank gun with LOS to a target but I could not get it to fire. Moved a HQ unit to it and with a little friendly motivation it started firing. Unrealistic to expect all units to act in kamikaze fashion.

Also if a member of the gun crew has been killed or wounded, the remainder will be a little nervous. If it fails to fire, get a HQ nearby to offer a little friendly advice - get that f*$##@g gun firing!

Especially when playing as the allied player.

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I mean, really, a target drives past a PIAT crew within their effective range and they neither hear nor see it? Or, in an earlier AAR, Baneman tries repeatedly to get an HMG team to set up behind bocage in such a manner that the gun, not just the supporting crew's rifles, can fire through and despite repeated tries still fails. AT guns on the defence that have neither moved nor fired are spotted and engaged at 1KM distance in a matter of seconds by a moving AFV. I could go on, but I am sure you get my drift.

AARs seem to highlight issues that in one's own games one might explain away and demonstrate that they are in fact flaws that can ruin a battle that one has devoted considerable time to and in doing so perhaps make one less want to play in the future.

No doubt some of these things may be legitimate bugs that could be addressed. But don't forget these things may seem like bugs to you because you have a Gods eye view of the battlefield. CMx2's goal is to simulate 20th to 21st century warfare while at the same time being an enjoyable game. Real war is not an enjoyable game ;)

CMx2 is a war simulation and you can't forget that stuff happens in war. A RL commander doesn't have the luxury of micro managing ever sub unit in his command. All he can do is place his men in the best positions possible to accomplish his mission. Why didn't the at-team engage that tank? Who knows, maybe some dust here, I tree limb there, a stray round overhead causing him to duck at the last moment.

"I swear leftenant I could hear him coming my way but I never laid eyes on the bugger"

I think we also need to keep in mind that any battle where both sides have equality of force means that one or two mishaps can cause a game to shift one way or the other.

frustrating for sure but there it is.

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c3k,

I now have a theoretical explanation for your rapid, successive marking down of the 251 gunners. Might it be an "under the hood" representation of increased gunner exposure as a result of the clambering over, maybe standing somewhat atop of, the fallen? The 251, fully loaded, isn't exactly roomy, especially given the working space around the gun. Drop a body or two into that space, add slippery stuff, and simply getting to the gun becomes a challenge, never mind operating it effectively.

Regards,

John Kettler

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c3k,

I now have a theoretical explanation for your rapid, successive marking down of the 251 gunners. Might it be an "under the hood" representation of increased gunner exposure as a result of the clambering over, maybe standing somewhat atop of, the fallen? The 251, fully loaded, isn't exactly roomy, especially given the working space around the gun. Drop a body or two into that space, add slippery stuff, and simply getting to the gun becomes a challenge, never mind operating it effectively.

Regards,

John Kettler

My explanation is that it's due to superior battlefield leadership. My men know what I expect of them. If you haven't seen this kind of performance from your men, perhaps you need to work on your pre-battle morale speech?

;)

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PIAT man, expanded:

Another issue that has to be kept in mind is that I'm taking some freeze-frames and posting them here. There are a lot more bullets flying around than are shown or discussed. This is not a pristine environment for the piat guy. It'd take a full day for me to show everything going on or to explain the reasoning behind every team's movement or targeting orders. I'm doing far more than what I'm showing. I'm trying to get the highlights out...

Don't make a judgment based on screenies in an AAR. You're not seeing the whole picture.

Ken

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Turn 32.00 to 31.00

Speaking of PIAT man...

He's alone in the field. Bil knows he's there. How? Shrug, it's Bil. Actually, I think Bil's approach is very good, but it is a style I don't use. He floods the battlespace with eyeballs, then very carefully notes EVERYTHING. Hell, I'm willing to bet he uses grease pencils on his computer monitor! ;)

Seriously, he's good at gathering intel. He probably noted a bit of movement, maybe a contact, and is now finally checking it out. He's got a lot of SPW's with just drivers left, scattered as OP's all around. Eyeballs help. However, who's got the town? Yeah, he's got plenty of eyeballs, my men have plenty of... Well, why don't we just leave it there?

Let's look at what's happening in that little corner:

31wabbithunter01.jpg

And just a few yards away...

31wabbithunter02.jpg

An overview:

31wabbithunter03.jpg

More...

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32.00 to 31.00 cont.

Ballsy PIAT man:

Why ballsy? Why don't we look?

31piatman04.jpg

31piatman05.jpg

31piatman06.jpg

31piatman07.jpg

What a way to end the turn! Like it shows in the screenie, I've decided to pull him out. He's got a sten and he's a para. He should be able to handle 3 of Bil's Germans easily enough, but I'd like him to have a cuppa as a reward and to show my men that bravery is to their benefit. Also, the tall grass could put him at a disadvantage. There's always that...

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32.00 - 31.00

Sneakers

Over in my back left, Bil used a halftrack as a probe and lost 3 men last turn. The halftrack reversed away. I've got my one tank left. (Probably not for long!) It'd be tough to send my infantry team against a mounted squad, so the tank noses forward.

31sneaker08.jpg

By the end of the turn, there's no solid contact. Maybe next turn will get the job done.

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32.00-31.00

Town News:

Bil is still moving around and using long-range gunnery. Poor Bil. It's almost like he knows what will happen to his men if he tries to enter.

Pix...

31town09.jpg

31town10.jpg

Like I state in the screenie, I've had no casualties. Well, the Glider Flight CO, but, c'mon, that just means there'll be more beer for the rest of the men. I fully expect anyone in the steeple to take losses. No one else has been hit, yet. Yeah, that'll change.

For now, I'm keeping the paras sheltered as best I can while they still have some sort of field of fire to hose down Bil's dismounts.

One final image from the churchyard:

31final11.jpg

Ken out.

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Bah. Bil has such a paucity of firepower, it's ridiculous! Sure, he can blast holes here and there, but how many rounds of HE is he carrying? If he wants to use his MG's (which I'd've been doing ages ago) he's gonna have to come close enought to dance with me. :)

I -think- he'll slowly manuever his forces (infantry) and creep them closer under the cover of his fire. He'll need about 8 turns, give or take, for that. That will only leave him about 20 minutes for the house to house fighting.

I may fill that lorry up with volunteers and rush some more bodies, err, trigger-pullers, into the town. Big risk, but it may be enough to tip the scales.

Ken

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31.00-30.00, cont...

More of Ballsy Piat Pete.

30jaggie05.jpg

30jaggie06.jpg

Ballsy Piat Pete got pinned in the field of short grass, just short of the farm. I've given him another FAST order and am trying to help out a bit. We'll see if he makes, next turn.

I've got 3-ish Piat teams in the town. Bil is staying clear, so last turn I took one and started moving to cover my left. I think Bil is afraid to bring his halftracks closer to the town, based on my rain of piat projectiles over by Dune. If so, that helps. It slows down his ops tempo and frees my piat teams to hunt his tanks. Okay, "hunt" is a stretch. I can move to cover a likely avenue of approach.

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