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CM: House Rules


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I think one rule universally accepted is that defenders may not pre-plot artillery on or near the attacker's set-up area.

(Attackers are usually densely packed and unprotected there, but in real life there would be no map edge to suggest to the defender where they are.)

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In addition to those listed above, most H2H QB rules place some limits on the amount and type of armor purchased so that not every game turns into the Battle of Prokhorovka. There's no one standard, but some common rules are limiting total points spent on armor to 30% of the total with "armor" generally defined as fully tracked vehicles with some Commonwealth troop carriers (Bren carrier, Kangaroos) exempted. Fionn's Rules are still used, or some will limit "heavy" tank (KT, Panther, ect.) purchases to 1 per every 3 medium or light tank. I also like to cap artillery size at 155mm.

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As a rule, I do not use area fire except against a spotted enemy unit, or a lost contact marker.

When calling in air support, I always use an area target, and set the diameter to at least 200 meters.

And when playing against the AI, I never plot orders more than 1 turn ahead, to allow the AI time to "react" to my movements.

Those are the only three actual rules I can think of, but when I'm playing against the AI, my general rule is 'slow and steady'. I try not to implement any complicated plans, or try to out think the scenario designer, I just try to react to developments accordingly.

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Panther is a heavy tank now ? :P

Close to it. By far the best "medium" tank in the game. The PZIV is a joke compared to a Panther, as you well know.

As for QB house rules, if my opponent doesn't say anything prior to Turn 1, then I just assume no defender 1st turn pre-planned arty strikes and no TRPs or pre-planned arty strikes in meeting engagements, and anything else goes. If my opponent wants more stringent house rules, I usually go along with them.

I had one opponent who gave me a long laundry list of house rules, which I found quite tiresome, then he wanted to play an Assault, with him attacking, which of course gave him a tremendous points advantage. I went along with it, for the first and last time.

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Close to it. By far the best "medium" tank in the game. The PZIV is a joke compared to a Panther, as you well know.

....

Yes, but in essence it's still a medium.

"Heavies" to me means Tigers ( I or II ) and IS ( 1 or 2 ).

If you want to forbid/restrict Panthers, then you should also forbid/restrict T34/85's ( T34/76 vs PzIV is quite an interesting matchup actually - especially since, without riders, those little T34 suckers are fast ! ).

Edit: Oops, forgot I was in the Normandy forum ! Still, replace T34/85 with 17-pounder tank/Sherman 76 and it still applies roughly.

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I put "heavies" in quotes because for CM it's more about classifying capability than size. A Panther weighs much less than a Tiger I, but in most combat situations is just as capable if not more so. It's true that the Germans classified the Panther as a medium tank because that was its intended role on the battlefield, but in terms of size/weight it was a heavy tank by any other nation's standards. At 45 tonnes it is only a tonne lighter than the IS-2 and is heavier than both the Churchill and the T-26 Pershing -- all three of which were classified as heavy tanks by the Allies. A Panther outweighs the T-34/85 and Sherman 76 by about 11 tonnes.

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I put "heavies" in quotes because for CM it's more about classifying capability than size. A Panther weighs much less than a Tiger I, but in most combat situations is just as capable if not more so. It's true that the Germans classified the Panther as a medium tank because that was its intended role on the battlefield, but in terms of size/weight it was a heavy tank by any other nation's standards. At 45 tonnes it is only a tonne lighter than the IS-2 and is heavier than both the Churchill and the T-26 Pershing -- all three of which were classified as heavy tanks by the Allies. A Panther outweighs the T-34/85 and Sherman 76 by about 11 tonnes.

True, but as you say, it's about capability. Panther has very vulnerable sides.

You can't restrict Panthers without similarly restricting Allied armour of similar capability ( the Sherman 76/17 pounder armed British tanks/T34-85's )

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I find the caparison's with the Tiger interesting because it and the Panther have very different strengths and weaknesses, but neither is clearly better than the other. As you say, the Tiger has better side armor. The Tiger also has better front turret armor (although there appears to be some game engine limitations that result in it not being quite as good as it should be). But the Panther has better front hull armor, which is where more shots hit than any other area. The Panther's gun also has better penetration, although it's a little weaker against soft targets. I like the Tiger for it's pure sexiness, but if I were playing a QB and really just cared about winning I would take the Panther over the Tiger.

I don't think of the Sherman 76 or T-34/85 as being in the same class as the Panther. Head to head the Panther can kill them much more reliably than the other way around. The 17 pdr helps, but even it can't normally penetrate the Panther upper hull (assuming unflawed armor).

But despite that, if someone wanted to tie Panther availability to Sherman 76 or T-34/85 I would probably agree to it.

The Jagdpanther is another hard vehicle to classify. It weighs the same as a Panther tank, but I would call it a heavy because it has an even better gun and armor combination at the cost of no turret, and really crappy spotting

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And when playing against the AI, I never plot orders more than 1 turn ahead, to allow the AI time to "react" to my movements.

I'm not sure that it does "react". I seem to remember that all of its moves are plotted at the start of the game. Any changes (eg a vehicle reverse from contact) are down to the TacAI. I'm sure someone will correct me if not so though.

Arguably if you plot 3 mins of moves for your troops and then don't adjust them you are giving the AI a better chance, in that you are hamstringing yourself.

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I'm not sure that it does "react". I seem to remember that all of its moves are plotted at the start of the game. Any changes (eg a vehicle reverse from contact) are down to the TacAI. I'm sure someone will correct me if not so though.

Arguably if you plot 3 mins of moves for your troops and then don't adjust them you are giving the AI a better chance, in that you are hamstringing yourself.

Yep. The opponent (AI or human) has no knowledge of your forward planning, anyway, so planning a minute at a time or 20 is irrelevant: if your foreknowledge was perfect, the exact same result would eventuate. Since your foreknowledge probably isn't perfect, all you can do by voluntarily lengthening your decision cycle is give the opponent an advantage.

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I'm not sure that it does "react".

But it will at some point. CMRT has added the ability for the AI to be programmed to trigger based on what the player does. Presumably that will be part of the 3.0 update for CMBN and the 2.0 update for CMFI.

Of course that has to be programmed into the scenario so it will not magically change existing scenarios.

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My number one rule for a decent game against the AI is "no do-overs." The temptation is always there to go back to an earlier save and try again when something goes wrong. You can't do this against against a human opponent, and of course the AI can't do it, so don't do it against your poor hapless computer.

I break this rule all the time.

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But it will at some point. CMRT has added the ability for the AI to be programmed to trigger based on what the player does. Presumably that will be part of the 3.0 update for CMBN and the 2.0 update for CMFI.

Of course that has to be programmed into the scenario so it will not magically change existing scenarios.

And it won't change whether the human player is plotting one minute at a time or more.

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My number one rule for a decent game against the AI is "no do-overs." The temptation is always there to go back to an earlier save and try again when something goes wrong. You can't do this against against a human opponent, and of course the AI can't do it, so don't do it against your poor hapless computer.

That is a good rule. One that I sometimes struggle to follow, but a good rule.

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Against the AI, I am always the attacker (exception: meeting engagement). The AI is decent in the defence, but I find it lacks the ability to properly manage and adjust in the attack.

Also, I never look at the AI force allocation, set up positions, objectives, etc. Everything is a total surprise.

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Arguably if you plot 3 mins of moves for your troops and then don't adjust them you are giving the AI a better chance, in that you are hamstringing yourself.

I'm sorry, that's not what I meant. I only plot one movement at a time when playing the AI. What that means is my troops tend to sit in one spot for up to a minute until the next turn. This gives AI troops a chance to shoot at me a bit and make life more interesting.

And as for the reaction thing, I certainly don't mean the AI actually plans around my own actions, what I mean is that I give the AI time to spot my troops before moving them again. I also try to maintain a slow rate of advance to allow the AI plan to continue, without simply suppressing everything I see.

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I'm sorry, that's not what I meant. I only plot one movement at a time when playing the AI. What that means is my troops tend to sit in one spot for up to a minute until the next turn. This gives AI troops a chance to shoot at me a bit and make life more interesting.

And as for the reaction thing, I certainly don't mean the AI actually plans around my own actions, what I mean is that I give the AI time to spot my troops before moving them again. I also try to maintain a slow rate of advance to allow the AI plan to continue, without simply suppressing everything I see.

Actually Slim, I do about the same procedures as you do against the AI.

Basically, I will move my troops until they get to their desired locations, then wait a min of one full turn, rinse and repeat. Also, I will never advance Troops who are worse then 'Tired' ( anything that's in Red ).

I also think players should follow same or similar procedures as thier normal form of Combat, not only against the AI, but other players...This will closer represnet RL Combat situations where HQ's evaluate the situation, give orders, etc.

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As soon as you know what the enemy is going to do or his set-up, the fun is spoiled. So "no do-overs" is good.

However, there are numerous instances when one's own side's AI screws up - especially silly pathing issues that cause massive casualties - doors to buildings that are not usable etc. In those instances I think that a do-over of the offending turn(s) is acceptable.

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As soon as you know what the enemy is going to do or his set-up, the fun is spoiled. So "no do-overs" is good.

However, there are numerous instances when one's own side's AI screws up - especially silly pathing issues that cause massive casualties - doors to buildings that are not usable etc. In those instances I think that a do-over of the offending turn(s) is acceptable.

Sometimes, for sure. But I've found that swallowing those mistakes against the AI (just as I would in a human PBEM) makes the game feel more dramatic.

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...what I mean is that I give the AI time to spot my troops before moving them again. I also try to maintain a slow rate of advance to allow the AI plan to continue, without simply suppressing everything I see.

Pausing for a turn or three also gives your own troops an enhanced opportunity to spot more of the enemy. So it cuts both ways.

Michael

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