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Combat Mission Commander (Campaign Tool)


Falke88
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BTW.

Can anybody provide some historical original Wehrmacht and US / Sovjet tactical signs - the ones I'll use now are NATO standart - which doesnt feel too nice for me

I did set set of icon mods for CM games:

Soviet and German - for CMRT: http://cmmods.greenasjade.net/mods/5153/details

US and German for CMBN: http://cmmods.greenasjade.net/mods/5164/details

Feel free to use them as a basis for a set if icons for your op game. If your game stays free then some small amount of credit would be all I would ask for.

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For the Soviets form members posted helpful link so here are links to their posts:

Terkin posted the link to the Soviet manul as PDF here: http://www.battlefront.com/community/showpost.php?p=1500868&postcount=11

And Regiment0 did some translation here: http://www.battlefront.com/community/showpost.php?p=1508588&postcount=20

The translated part starts on page 11 of the document - which is page 7 of the PDF match up the "1. Headquarters", "2. Marching and guarding forces?" with the numbered titles starting there.

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I would be happy with player vs player for the first version, I would just move both sides in single player. The key would be if it could do all the book keeping in between the battles, that's the part the bogs down meta campaigns.

If you did get support and added ai and also a way to import random ai plans into cm based on the operational situation of your game. That would be a version I would pay a hundred bucks for.

I wonder if there is a way to convert /edit /revamp RobO's Quick Campaign Generator Excel spreadsheet for the book keeping purposes and incorporate it into this?

For anyone that may be interested, you can locate the files at CMMODS under both CMAK and CMBB - RobO is the author. His spreadsheet took care of all bookkeeping and setup battles to be played out via QB in CMBB and CMAK. It is a great creation.

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Sorry Falke... any link that requires me to sign in to yet another group and have to remember yet another password aint gonna get clicked on.

(Not being part of the Facebook generation that is so happy to expose everything about themselves to the world, I don't understand why intelligent folks like being funneled into private groups that now have info on you.)

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Hello all:

I have been away from wargaming for a long while and finally back at it. Back in the day I was on the test team for CMC. I am still under NDA, but wanted to add a few observations to this thread.

First, programing another layer to CM2x is a very difficult task. I am not sure but getting the right data of the right format from CM2x, using it and passing it back to CM2x seems mind numbing especially for a few good programmers working part time. One thing that these brave wargamers have to decide is if the result of the hard work will be commercial or freeware which will decide how polished the product becomes.

Second and perhaps most important, what do we mean by an operational layer to a tactical wargame. I have played the total war products and like many always wonder how this could be executed with CM. I am not sure who defined operations as warfare activities beyond the reach of direct fire and only within reach of long range arty and air power.

This definition creates a problem. Over the weekend I took a look at many wargames - even older ones made with Cyberboard. Their are really two types: those where combat takes place in adjacent hexes and those (fewer) that use ranged fire like Squad leader and Panzer blitz. Using the adjacent hex model would mean large scale hexes and small/narrow operation maps with large CM maps and OOBs (depending on the hex scale) that would be very cumbersome to play. A ranged model would mean gathering smaller units from multiple nonadjacent hexes into a tactical CM battle. This might be OK if say the game is at the division/corps level having battalions on the operational map and combat companies and platoons are grouped into a force and passed to CM for tactical resolution on an appropriate map for the terrain. Here the campaign map would look like a EF map. So choosing the size of the operational units might be key and perhaps company sized units fighting from adjacent hexes would strike a good compromise. I am trying to find a WW2 company scale game to look at the mechanics.

Great to be back...Kevin

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Yep, that is one of our own forum members :D - Broadsword is running a campaign that a few of us have had the pleasure to be a part of. This will be my 3rd campaign with Broadsword. Previous op layers were using the St Lo board game and Where Eagles Dare.

The Hamel Vallee battle in my sig along with 4 of the other 5 listed 352nd ID battles was from the St Lo campaign. Total blast and proved for me that it can be done with the tools at hand.

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  • 3 months later...

Hey Falke and others, this is probably not the absolutely right place to post this but I am in the process of making Yet Another Half Baked Operational Layer - General Spreadsheet (YAHBOLGS), in case anyone is interested.

It seems that it'll be rather different in approach than what the others have been proposing - and one thing is for sure: it is not going to be pretty...

It uses a real map tucked into a spreadsheet (currently open office calc, but should work fine with excel) to do a couple of things: act as map (image is in background of spreadsheet), keep track of unit positions and orders (get pasted into map), allow for recon and collision detection (shown on separate sheets in the same file), thus getting rid of a dedicated game master (if players are honest).

Basically new versions of the spreadsheet will get mailed back and forth between the players one after the other. WEGO is probably possible but you'd have to know how to merge the files so the sheets specific to the player get updated. Usually no problem but I haven't looked at it yet. When two units of opposing sides meet or their paths cross in one turn it is off to conflict resolution. Currently I would like the battles to run for 3h by default and also use 3h as minimum turn length. The max turn length is really up to the players and I could imagine 24h for the first couple of turns until units get into contact. In principle it should also work with all kinds of scales but I had a division or two in mind when I started to make this. I have very little formal military/history background but a defensive frontage of 10 km with 1.5 km depth sounded like a good match 500m squares on e.g. the old British Eng 1:25k maps that were easy to come by online.

There are a couple of advantages in this approach, which I'll try to showcase in an example later. Design guidelines for this project were mostly:

Laziness, a pinch of 80/20, long intervals of thought spaced out really far, and when I couldn't help it: progressive elaboration (we'll deal with that later). I liked the idea of spending a lot of time brooding over a paper map with some string and pins - trying to cut down screen time (not sure how well this worked). Also, it was an attempt to get into oo calc a little, so I say again: it is not pretty.

Oh and one more thing on the honesty system: I usually assume near total honesty. I will not sacrifice simplicity for policing. It is meant to be fun. If it turns serious fine, just put some money in the pot and lose it if it later turns out you were cheating.

For the detailed rules you may be able to adapt stuff from other wargames (I probably don't know). What matters most I believe is how this layer interfaces with CM, so I've focused on this. The other question is how unit tracking is to be done (ugh!). I plan to use "sloppy but honest", but I may try out if a very long campaign file script with a huge core unit file would work. You may need regular times where you do a "resupply battle scenario" that would just be one turn without any shooting. And you'll probably be stuck with one gameplay mode (e.g. wego). Anyway, unit tracking is something people can agree on separately.

 

So here's a quick setup for a scenario:

Step 1:
Agree on administrative map setup zones and force points.
Agree on modalities of objectives, existing fortifications, resupply, weather, turn rate, turn length (in game), setup zone rules, off map artillery / air force rules, intel on forces and positions, random events, etc.

 

Step 2:
Purchase forces and make a core force file in the editor, or keep track using the spreadsheet.
Split forces into combat formations and note in the forces sheet. You can reorganize these later.
You can assign a point value to your recon pool, or withdraw units from combat action later and place them in the recon pool.
It helps if you have a color coded template of your formations to copy & paste them to the map.

 

Step 3 - optional:
Make a generic campaign file with a long series of battles (some battles may just be there to allow resupply of men and material between battles), or use slightly less detailed unit tracking and make separate battles at a later time (more flexible in terms of battle modalities)

 

Step 4:
Place combat formations on map, note their distribution of force points, note supply lanes on map, give orders to combat formations for at least the turn duration (e.g. 3 h).
 

Step 5:
Deploy all recon missions on map sheet and subsequently check results on your recon sheet. Don't cheat.
Check the engagements sheet. Engagements can happen between opposing formations that are on the same square some time during the turn. Line up engagements with opponent (approximate timing, distance from HQ, etc). If you agree you can skip engagements (e.g. if one force is only a supply line, or if there is a significant time difference in the occupation of the square).
Next note contingency plans if you feel it is necessary. The should clearly state an outcome and revised orders. Per default you can only use revised orders once per day. Next determine the type of engagements and possible reinforcements, as well as artillery and aircraft interference. Agree on a mode of play (pbem, real time, scripted, substitute)

 

Step 7:
Conflict resolution and map making.

Decide what area to include into the battle. Usually the attacker will have the last word regarding width, whereas the defender can choose the depth. The ratio of width to depth should be 0.5 to 2. An artificial setup zone may be created close to the attackers edge of the map. Directly adjacent units can be used as reinforcements with 1/3 arriving every 10 minutes. Parts of the main units can be added to the reinforcement (e.g. to avoid artillery). Units on reserve in the vicinity need to allow for confirmation and additional travel time.

 

I assume a two division conflict would typically result in 5-10 major battles (or subdivisions of a very large battle).
It is likely that 10-15 smaller engagements such as probes and ambushes will have to be resolved as well.
The major battles will likely be fought on Combat Mission maps tailored directly from the administrative map information. As it is likely that a critical probe will escalate later, one should give some thought to the placement of the map edges (e.g. to be able to extend the map in the direction of the assault).

 

Of course I have a bunch more detailed rules but they are pretty much independent of this concept.

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  • 3 years later...
On 9/15/2014 at 7:03 PM, kipanderson said:

 

However, all this is very grand. If you managed to produce some form of operational layer where we could manoeuvre battalion and company units then resolve the clashes in CM and play the results back to the operational units that would be fantastic and dream come true.

 

We had Cocat, when we played CMMC2. Maybe dedust it and see if it still runs?

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On ‎10‎/‎1‎/‎2014 at 11:14 PM, kevinkin said:

Hi

What is the hex, time scale and the unit size of St. Lo?

Kevin

@Broadsword56 would be better able to answer owning the game ;)  the units are generally companies.  Hexes are as I recall a couple hundred meters and time scale is kind of variable in that a single unit could be activated more than once in a turn, but there was a cost to doing so.  It was a very good basis for a campaign layer in that the battles fit well for CM scale and we'd pick and choose which battles to fight out in CM so we only had the more interesting critical ones.  It was still after all this time one of my best Combat Mission experiences.  If you hit the link in my sig for Hamel Vallee there is a lengthy AAR that goes into the campaign layer, map creation etc- and this was before CM had overlays.  Broadsword did an amazing job running the campaign, creating maps etc.

Edited by sburke
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10 hours ago, Fokker G1 said:

We had Cocat, when we played CMMC2. Maybe dedust it and see if it still runs?

I still have it and tried it and it still works so far. Loaded a map, create a unit and create labels so far with no problem.

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On 8/14/2018 at 1:23 PM, sburke said:

@Broadsword56 would be better able to answer owning the game ;)  the units are generally companies.  Hexes are as I recall a couple hundred meters and time scale is kind of variable in that a single unit could be activated more than once in a turn, but there was a cost to doing so.  It was a very good basis for a campaign layer in that the battles fit well for CM scale and we'd pick and choose which battles to fight out in CM so we only had the more interesting critical ones.  It was still after all this time one of my best Combat Mission experiences.  If you hit the link in my sig for Hamel Vallee there is a lengthy AAR that goes into the campaign layer, map creation etc- and this was before CM had overlays.  Broadsword did an amazing job running the campaign, creating maps etc.

The Scale of St-Lo is 306 yards per hex, and time scale is 1 day per turn. Each turn lasts a good while, as the sides alternate attempts to activate their troops. What's particularly good about St-Lo for use with Combat Mission is the nature of bocage fighting -- the engagements were highly compartmentalized due to the terrain, so it really was a company commander's war.  Copies of the game are very easy to find used for cheap, and there's a fine VASSAL module for it -- which is what I used. 

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