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Who'll make the first 100m x 300km map? A road...a very long road. Partisans may lurk along it. Good luck as you drive your convoy along it.

Or, 300km x 100m: You have to defend the entire width with one Italian battalion. The Soviets may enter anywhere. Good luck.

I would think there will be some limits associated with how "out of square" the maps can be. Just guessing, mind you.

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Quick question (I don't know if I'm being a little dim or not here)

I pre-ordered Combat Mission Battle For Normandy back in 2011 (The hard case edition) and currently I have all of the modules (CW and MG). My question is will there be another western front expansion to fill the last disk slot in my case? Or is the new Eastern Front game going to do that?

Yes. There is a "pack" expected. MG is the last in this series. But there will be a "pack" with random stuff and not necessarily specific to MG or Normandy.

Here is a link which breifly discusses it.

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=112578

There are discussions at length around here some where which is a road map. I'll let you find that. :P

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Looks impressive :)

Quick question, with the inevitable increase in complexity when bigger maps come in (you can't have a 30km front capability without having at least a few truly epic map filling battles :D), is there any plan to give units more autonomy (even if it's optional)?

Just as one example, I don't see how you can reasonably tell who's under fire and respond, other than second by second stop/go, so having units able to seek cover a little bit more proactively than they currently do or calls to indicate under fire (not just casualties) might help...

I've pointed this out in posts elsewhere, but team based multiplayer (with 'Iron' style fog of war for team players) will be the only way for multiple battalions to be manageable within current CM gameplay (WeGo or RT).

I dearly hope that this feature is incorporated if even larger maps are being catered for - it would be a freakin' awesome step fwd in tactical depth for the series.

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Or 1.5km x 20km.....

I'm currently playing "Operation Hammersmith" in CMSF which is about 1.5km in depth and would give you plenty of engagement range if you plonked WW2 tech in, so obscenely long fronts are a distinct possibility (subject to scenario design and technical limits).

Not sure you'd want to do that in the opening of Bagration though - Soviet unit densities were of the order of a divison per kilometer in the breakthrough sectors...

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I've pointed this out in posts elsewhere, but team based multiplayer (with 'Iron' style fog of war for team players) will be the only way for multiple battalions to be manageable within current CM gameplay (WeGo or RT).

I dearly hope that this feature is incorporated if even larger maps are being catered for - it would be a freakin' awesome step fwd in tactical depth for the series.

That would be an awesome feature. We can currently play large 2v2 games (for example 10k points per player or more) in WEGO mode and overcome the game limitation by using the editor to purchase more troops than QB inteface allows and then sharing the savegame password between teammates. But if the game allowed for QBs as big as 20 or 30k points per side there would be no need to play with the editor for game setup. Granted, it's not difficult to do it but not everyone will attempt that. (for anyone who has not tried it, it's pretty awesome and even more fun that normal 1v1 games :) ) If the game had a built in 2v2 mode for choosing and commanding the troops that would be even better. I can bet realtime game fans would also be happy about a feature like that, for easier handling of bigger armies whether in coop or H2H modes.

If the game could also use sort of Iron mode spotting, so that you could only see the untis of your teamate that your own can spot, now that would be something :) But I'd be happy anyway if increased map sizes also means increasing the QB point allowance.

PS. As one very good map maker I know mentioned, for the bigger maps the editor could use some addtional tools, ones for easy placements of randomized forest patches for example etc., making the whole process much less time consuming.

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It's not all that hard to control upwards of 2 battalions in WEGO. There are several AARs floating around of games that size. IMO these larger map sizes are going to be of greatest benefit in the Black Sea game where unit densities will be lower than what was typical of WW2 and weapon ranges higher.

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Sure, controlling 2 battalions or even more is perfectly ok in WEGO (not so much in realtime), but the problem is the current limit of 7200 points in QB interface. Above that you have to toy with the editor, which is not difficult but still a chore, especially that you can't see point values in the editor like in QB UI :) On a map which is 5x5km or 10x3km it's not a lot. Increasing the QB limit to around 15-20k per side for such big maps should do the trick for most battles and those looking for really huge ones can still use the editor for it. IT's a small change but very needed imo if the map sizes are gonna be increased in 3.0

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Not sure you'd want to do that in the opening of Bagration though - Soviet unit densities were of the order of a divison per kilometer in the breakthrough sectors...

Well take the 5x5 example, that's 5 divisions (and plenty of men!). Easter Front WW2 isn't my forte, but I assume it's many thousands of men.

Either way, there's little point having capabilities for extremely large maps without the tools in place necessary to manage correspondingly large forces.

I don't know necessarily what that should be (I'm pretty new to this myself) but some possibilities could include:

  • Unit automation of standing orders (e.g. on contact, find cover vs on contact keep going)
  • Player fights alongside AI players to a player determined master plan
  • Multiple players per side
  • Ability to give units an objective and have them figure out how to achieve it

I'm just thinking aloud, and those ideas may not be feasible or desirable, but I can't imagine anyone but the absolute most committed being able to monitor the expanded forces that you will now be able to fit onto the map without a fundamental re-think of the relationship between player and troops.

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My PC (which pretty much runs anything I throw at it in CM) is going to explode if I try to put in a 30 sq km map with even one division of troops. I think folks are going a little overboard on what you can expect to do with the increase in map size.

Time to come back to reality for a moment (I know what a downer I am today. :D )

Broadsword and I have been running HTH campaigns for 2 years now and what we have overall found is even a 4x4 map is an enormous amount of effort to create and typically we would simply slice it down from a master map to something more reasonable.

What I personally would like to see that would make larger maps more useful is the ability to take the end game save of a battle and reopen that in the editor to initiate a second battle (to hopefully include the damage existent on that map). That would go a long way to reducing the overhead of a hth campaign. Given the 4 hour time limit still existing it would seem to enhance the use of the map scale.

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Not sure you'd want to do that in the opening of Bagration though - Soviet unit densities were of the order of a divison per kilometer in the breakthrough sectors...

That can't be true, can it? That would be some 5000 men per kilometer, like line infantry I'd imagine.

Also, I've taken a look at a map and that also gave a different impression and Zaloga gives the number of 80 German soldiers per frontline kilometer on average.

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Let me restate something that appears to be getting lost in the discussion of larger maps...

COMBAT MISSION IS A TACTICAL WARAGAME

It is not now, nor will it ever be, operational level. As much as some people want it to be that it simply isn't practical. The amount of work necessary to make such a game is far in excess of what we can afford to do, and what most computers would be capable of handling. Which means those of you who are taking a tennis ball and trying to play basketball with it... stop :D It will only frustrate you in the end because it's not going to happen.

There are two primary purposes of having much larger maps:

1. To allow for more TACTICAL maneuver space. Want to approach a village with a much more latitude? Want to have a battle through many lines of defenses? How about a tank battle where both sides start outside of engagement ranges and yet can still have room to maneuver before that changes? Want to have a battle that effectively encompasses two separate sub battles, such as a bridge crossing and then seizing a village 3km away? Want to have a battle that involves two pincers pinching a force defending from both sides AND still have maneuver room for the attackers (i.e. instead of them being on the map edges)? That sort of stuff.

2. Master Maps. For those who make maps, it's quite a bit easier to make one huge map than several smaller maps. It is also more flexible for scenario designers because they can "crop" out exactly the portion of the larger map that they want to use. This is especially useful for very detailed historical maps, but of course can be done for fictional ones as well.

If people can find ways to leverage larger maps to do things which aren't explicitly supported, that's fantastic. Always happy when that comes about. But we're not going to be distracting our development efforts into things which do not remain firmly within CM's stated scope.

Having said that... with 4 hour game times and huge maps there's a practical way to pretty closely recreate CMx1 style Operations that some people miss. True, some on-the-fly elements are still not possible, but with some creativity and leveraging of things like reinforcements of ammo ladened trucks, it comes pretty close.

Steve

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That can't be true, can it? That would be some 5000 men per kilometer, like line infantry I'd imagine.

Remember that not everybody is on the front line. Densities like that include reserves, support units, and logistics. The Soviet doctrine was to put a combat element in front, have it fight until it was burnt out, then replace it with another element. Repeat as necessary to achieve a breakthrough and then fan out as needed.

This is why the German frontline melted within hours. There was simply no time for the Germans to bring forward replacements to existing lines because the Soviets were capable of full intensity combat without stop. By the time German reinforcements got moving the frontline they were going towards was already coming to meet them. Not that the Germans had much in the way of replacements anyway.

Steve

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Who'll make the first 100m x 300km map? A road...a very long road. Partisans may lurk along it. Good luck as you drive your convoy along it.

Or, 300km x 100m: You have to defend the entire width with one Italian battalion. The Soviets may enter anywhere. Good luck.

I would think there will be some limits associated with how "out of square" the maps can be. Just guessing, mind you.

Heh... yeah, we'll see what practical considerations there might be with min/max dimensions on any one side. In theory we'd like to let players decide, but we're not sure that's going to be practical in terms of how the game handles massive distances in any one direction.

Steve

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That can't be true, can it? That would be some 5000 men per kilometer, like line infantry I'd imagine.

Also, I've taken a look at a map and that also gave a different impression and Zaloga gives the number of 80 German soldiers per frontline kilometer on average.

It's more or less true, with the qualifier that during the initial breakthroughs the lead infantry divisions were generally attacking in multiple waves, not all at once.

So you wouldn't have the entire division's worth of rifle battalions literally "up front" on the attack, but rather an "attack in depth," with one battalion in lead, followed a by another battalion a few hundred meters behind, another waiting in reserve just behind that, etc.

The goal of this type of attack was to "find the seams" of the defense. Lead elements that encountered strong resistance would engage and tie the enemy down, while the follow-on wave shifted right or left to find a less defended route. Once a seam was found and an initial penetration accomplished, one formation would turn right or left to "roll up" the enemy line, while another continued the advance into the next band of enemy defenses, where the process would be repeated, if necessary.

The overall goal was to achieve a penetration-in-depth of the enemy defensive belt, isolating the defending forces into small chunks that could be easily enveloped and overwhelmed, flowing past the strong points like water rather than attempting to smash through them. Once a complete breach was accomplished, follow-on mechanized forces would then exploit the breakthrough into the enemy rear.

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Steve, would it be a problem to at least increase the number of troop points allowed in QB interface? Alternatively, could we have point values shown in the editor? Both would make building larger battles (20, 30k per side etc) much easier.

Also, where does tactical end and operational begins? A map 5x6km or a 4x7 is practically asking for troops worth 30 or 40 k per side :) Tbh anything less than 20k will be lost in all that empty space...

Is that still tactical though? I believe so as what we're looking for is CM detail and focus on micromanagement of individual squads and vehicles, just with more troops than it is possible now.

Anyway, I know it's not your main focus but would it be possible to introduce at least a few things that would make life easier for those who would like to use larger maps for larger battles, ie. more troops allowed in QB interface or point values shown in the editor troop choice? Would that take a lot of work to tweak? (I honestly don't know...)

Also, I think introducing modes like 2v2 doesn't mean CM is gonna go operational. For realtime games it could mean a company for each player making it easier to control the troops. Question is, how much effort it is to change the engine and netcode to enable more than 2 players in a game. I do think WEGO 2v2 would be easier to create but again, it's up to you guys to decide, I believe it could be worth it though and create more interest in CM games among those looking for some coop experience.

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That's an easy one. Just tell her no Christmas cookies this year 'cause her butt is looking wide. You'll have plenty of time for CM...out in the garage, with the canoe...and the dog.

I dunno, Mord. In the settlement she may get to keep the canoe. The dog too if he likes her better than the guy. But he will probably get to keep the spiders out in the garage.

Michael

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Well, Steve's post did say "30 kilometers square," which would literally be 30X30. But I think your interpretation is correct and what he meant was "30 square kilometers." Word order in English is important.

Michael

But Steve's original post said:

As of right now you can make maps roughly 30km2

So Steve's post did not imply 30x30 and so it should never have entered into the discussion :D

Steve

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Also, where does tactical end and operational begins?

When we have to start making features specifically to support operational level needs that aren't applicable to tactical level needs.

Anyway, I know it's not your main focus but would it be possible to introduce at least a few things that would make life easier for those who would like to use larger maps for larger battles, ie. more troops allowed in QB interface or point values shown in the editor troop choice? Would that take a lot of work to tweak? (I honestly don't know...)

Some probably not much, but we also have a couple hundred similar effort requests for things which are more relevant to CM's mission. Others, though, are massive investments. Like...

Also, I think introducing modes like 2v2 doesn't mean CM is gonna go operational.

Yes, but it probably means 6 months of solid work on nothing else for a feature that maybe 5% of our customers would use. Even if it were 20% it's still too low for that sort of investment. If we're going to spend 6 months on something it's going to be for a feature that 100% of our customer base will use and probably 98% will be so happy about it that they'll insist on naming their next child after one of us :D

Steve

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