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Noob problem


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Hi,

I just bought CMFI two weeks ago and despite the clunky controls I am really enjoying it so far. I really appreciate the degree of realism and the slow, tacticool gameplay.

Anyway I have a problem/complaint.

While I am new to the Combat Mission series I have some basic knowledge about infantry tactics and I am used to milsim games.

What really annoys me with Combat Mission is the fact that I seem to always have to attack against overwhelming odds. Most offensive missions I played have a force ratio of 1:1 or 1:1,5 in favor of the enemy and if that wasn't enough the enemy has most of the time several advantages. I will outline this a little bit:

I played the allied campaign "Troina" and while the first mission went rather succesfull the second mission was a nightmare.

I had to restart the mission after my first try to take the hill miserably failed.

The second attempt was a slight improvement...However, I am supposed to assault an entrenched, company sized enemy forced which is equipped with MGs and heavy guns with just two (or three) Infantry platoons and a platoon of totally useless halftracks. I mean these are not realistic odds, are they?

You would want to have a numeric superiority of 3:1 or even more.

So the mission was a pain, I had to advance superslow, calling in massive artillery strikes and cover every small advance with smoke. After more than an hour I was able to take the first line of defences with my infantry (artillery did the most killings while the infantry was limited to shoot some demoralized survivors).

In the end I almost ran out of time and out of artillery shells so I had to assault the peak rashly which led to high casualties.

The third mission seems to be of the same kind, you have to assault a well equipped enemy sitting on a hill top with just a weak infantry force.

I hope nobody gets me wrong, I like the game and most of the time I enjoy it, but it seems to be unrealistic if you have to achieve ridiculous kill/death ratios of 4:1 or 5:1 to win a mission.

Of course my failures may be results of bad coordination or bad tatcics but I have the impression I am always short on infantry and the enemy has such an advantageous position that the only way I can advance is to call in artillery strikes and let my infantry mop up the survivors.

I have to admit that on most mission where I have to be on the offensive I have problems, sometimes the time is runnig out and sometimes I have the feeling I have just too few soldiers (and sometimes both).

For example I found the mission of the german campaign (a moment in time) in the market garden module extremely difficult. I was unable to get even a foothold into the town. The americans seemed to be unimpressed by the suppressing fire of 2 HMGs and despite beeing pounded by 50mm mortars they picked off my infantry. After 30mins, 20 casualties and zero achievement I aborted the mission.

Maybe somebody has a few hints what my mistakes are? Or knows some custom made missions which have realistic force ratios....

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There are a few reasons why the odds (especially in campaigns, which are automatically against the AI) often favour the defender, on the surface.

First, the AI isn't that good. It needs some numbers advantage to compensate for its tactical shortcomings, even on the defense. In at least one of the AI plans for that battle, the AI plan does some risky stuff that can spend an entire platoon for literally no return if the Allied player is being even slightly historical in his troop usage.

Second, the "odds" thing where 3:1 is expected for the attack should be considering every arm of the battle. In that 2nd battle of Troina, you've got a large artillery advantage which, if it were a QB, would push your points value much closer to 2:1

Third, cakewalks aren't interesting. A 5:1 attack would expect an easy victory with few losses. A 3:1 attack should pretty much always be successful, but a 2:1 attack risks failure. Which is the more engaging scenario? Opinion will vary, but more people will want the 2:1 or 3:1 than the 5:1, and there will be a division as to whether "assured success" is a desirable level to pitch a battle at.

Fourth, the ratios apply at every level. As the attacker it's a lot easier to arrange for local 3:1 or 5:1 odds, especially against the AI which will tend to be passive (or active at inappropriate times, due to the limitations of the Plan engine), and that's what you're aiming for.

That second mission is hard, though. Deliberately so, I'd guess. The open slopes make cutting the enemy's defensive strongpoints off from each other (to arrange those local mismatches) quite a challenge. It's possible that the biggest "noob mistake" you've made is thinking that the campaigns (like every other game out there, so it's an entirely understandable misapprehension) are the "introduction" to the game and will gently ease you into things. They aren't. And some should come with health warnings. Same thing applies to trying to run through scenarios by starting at the top of the alphabetical listing... :)

What you're experiencing isn't terribly unrealistic. Artillery dominated the WW2 battlefield, and the Allies used a lot of it. Remember that the Arty is a good chunk of your notional "purchase points", and that if you weren't struggling to achieve your objectives in the time allowed, you'd be getting bored with it.

Without a more detailed "blow-by-blow", I can't comment much on your mistakes, but what you say of your Germans-in-MG experience, you might be expecting too much from HMGs, and almost certainly are expecting too much from your Granatwerfer 36s. Even with the recently uprated MG behaviour, you're not going to be able to suppress more than 2 positions with 2 MGs, and if the American squads are split (as they pretty much have to be in urban combat), you're going to be facing many more origins of fire than 2. The GrW36 was a sub-par piece of equipment that was generally withdrawn from front line Heer units by about '42; I wouldn't expect great things from it. IIRC, previous discussions have its HE filler as being less than a grenade's worth.

That (and the fact you don't mention the squad MG34/42s in the suppression role) might also indicate a contributing factor to the difficulty: if you're using "low grade", non-front-line-formation troops who aren't well equipped, sturdy under fire and aren't expert with their weapons (Green, Low Motivation, poorly led) any assault will be difficult. And I also have no insight into how difficult the designer expected the scenario to be. It might be that the expected outcome is some level of loss and it is still possible to progress to an overall campaign victory of the level of loss is small enough. Or there might just be some key asset that you're overlooking the "proper" (in the designer's eye) use of which will unlock the potential of your infantry to close with and destroy the resistance. I'm not familiar with the mission in question, so these are tentative suggestions for things to look at.

In the end, though, the game comes into its own in HvH mode. Practice against the AI (but save the scenarios for when you graduate to HvH).

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yea ,no substitute for playing human opponents.

it'll will teach you lessons very quickly.

i wouldnt be too critical on gameplay yet anyway,u say 2 weeks of experience in game?just scratching the surface mate.

some of us have been playing this game for years and still get smashed.

you need to rack up a 100 games or so to get used to the quirks and perks of successful battles.

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Have viewed them all, the armchair vids were a gerat help to get started, thanks.

Concerning the human vs human playing....is it posible in real time? I think I really hate the turn based mode and moreover PBEM is a hassle.

How do I get a multiplayer game? There seems to be no gamelobby or something...

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Clubs are available to join,most of us are in one or two

RT games are rare mate,i enjoy a few small RT battles,but,the majority of people play turn based via email.(dropbox and H2HH make this automatic once set up)

its the only way to fly and probably a better way to learn the game initially as u can rewind the action.

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I think I really hate the turn based mode...

In RT HvH, you miss out on the "slow, tacticool gameplay" to a great extent, since you can't pause all the time (without irritating the bejazus out of your opponent...).

...and moreover PBEM is a hassle...

It really isn't. Not with H2HH to help.

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Welcome to the forum.

Probably you have already played the tutorials, but if not you should.

As Womble said, the scenario forces are unbalanced to provide a challenge from the A.I. to the human player.

However it is not difficult to import a scenario into the editor and give your self more units and rename it.

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Okay, then I will have to get used to the turned based mode maybe. At the moment I prefer the real time mode with much use of the pause button.

The beauty of WeGo play is that you get to watch (and rewatch) everything if you want to. Every heroic technicolour act of your pTruppen.

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Daidalos,

Welcome. We often play RT on our LAN and is perfectly possible, same w Internet provided someone wants to commit to a couple hours. Else you are condemned to the eternity that ia wego. <kidding>

It is possible to modify missions in the editor to add more forces or fire support to suit your Desire then save them as a different name.

Another fun thing if you have two PCs is install on both and do an rt battle against yourself. Set up the defense so at it can pretty much run itself with minimal assistance and then try and crack it in RT. it's a good way to learn what's going on.

Los

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Clubs?

Sounds complicated to get a multiplayer game going...

Where are the clubs and how do I join?

One such club is the blitz

Which has this ladder:

http://www.theblitz.org/ladders/Combat-Mission-x2/action=ladder&lid=16&active=0&played=5&order=d&order_by=elo&all=1

I have seen postings in the forum asking for RT games. Not sure how many games are played that way but they do happen.

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