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New CMRT Campaign: The Cross of Iron


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Raptorx7 Well perhaps I should pay them more attention, and if you can win the 1st scenario just with infantry my hats off to you.

 

 

Dragonwynn, Some other comments after a few turns. When you have full squads you need more fox holes and you even have squads / HQ's without foxholes. This is again where it does not ring true IMO.

 

Also just plonking some AT Guns down out in the open and not having fox holes is just a bit of waste and shows no care, if you want players to believe in it you need to pay it a bit more attention IMO.

 

Yes you have given me a swathe of open land to choose some limited deployment but not places I wanted to re-deploy to. Like woods to rear and front.

 

I will continue to give this a quick test to see how I do with slightly different set up. (Also not yet lost a Tiger to arty... although landing close...)

 

 

Well I didn't win that time, but I didn;t find them to be completely useless, sorry should have added that.

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The Cross of Iron is a interactive story driven campaign of a German tank company from June 22, 1944 thru June 26. In this campaign you take the role of Hauptman Johan Clauss, Commander of 1.Kompanie,

Downloading now, this sounds like EXACTLY the sort of campaign I want to see more of. Leading a medium sized force through a campaign that has a personal element to it, with an actual narrative. So mu

Hi Hister Just want to point you - and everyone else - to a nice little feature in the new forum software: A special function for spoiler text.       Unfortunately, it is rather hard to find.

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Thanks for the additional input guys. When Bagration opened up most if not all of the German forces were caught with their pants down so to speak because the high command expected the main attacks to happen elsewhere. So to model this into  story driven campaign the first battle had to at least within the game parameters create this sense of chaos as it did when the real attack happened. Now I could have slapped in a entire front of fox holes and trenches to brace for the coming assault but it would have just been another heavily fortified defense line against a assault force. But I wanted to create a chaotic situation  which in this case was suppose to be a rest and replenish area where combat was minimal (enemy probes etc.) which is caught by surprise by the massive assault that began with Bagration. The units not within fortifications simply represent forces who were recuping from recent combat and armor that was replenishing with supplies and ammunition. I could have dug all the Tigers in and had everyone with their guns pointed in the direction of the attack but once again it would be just another scenario of dug vs attack.

 

As for the guys in the bunkers if you read the storyline when the first flashes of outgoing Soviet artillery are spotted Clauss tells the bunker crew to call the other OP and tell them to fall back to the main infantry lines and he tells the crew in the bunker he is in to load up in his kubelwagon so he can get them back to the hamlet. Just didnt see much sense in leaving 2 bunker crews to get steamrolled when they could better serve in the defense of the hamlet. I can add more fortifications if needed but it defeats the purpose of what the opening scenario was designed to do.

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Hello dragonwynn,

 

i downloaded your latest file and played the first scenario for a last time :).

I think it´s o.k now, the feeling of chaos in the first few minutes is represented in a interesting way, on the other hand it is also fun, to setup some of the troops in the way i want it. A good mix. The two antitank guns, that could be setuped, helped a lot and the better experience level of the infantry improved the survivability of my troops. I think only a few players will solve this scenario in one run without repeating it, but that´s no great problem, because the scenario is interesting enough for a second or third try.

 

I will play the second scenario this weekend and will give you a feedback, if i find some remarkable points for you.

 

@ Holien:

 

Cannon fodder Infantry: Because of the huge artillery barrage at the beginning, it is absolute impossible to bring all the men through the first scenario alive, but as dragonwynn wrote, this chaos-feelling is intended. As a great fan of infantry (and former Gebirgsjäger), i tried to handle the infantry as cautious as my core-troops, to have the maximum fun-effect in the game. By playing this way, like Raptorx7 wrote, the infantry was a huge help in destroying the russian infantry and some tanks and was also able to secure the flanks of my tigers (which stood behind woods to fire into the sides of the T34) against the storm troops, which came trough these woods.

By the way: In my last try i lost a Tiger trough Artillery. Bad luck! :(

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Dragonwynn,

  This all looks pretty cool.  I really like the story line.  Just downloaded it and will give it a shot. 

 

  I saw all the previous comments on the thread and have downloaded your corrected version from Dropbox.  I had the original one from GAJs site with the exit zones but after reading the thread I avoided the original.

 

  I have a small question.  Without abbreviations for the tank commander's ranks, the last names are cut off when viewing the units.  If you know the last names of the tank commanders, please let me know.  I'd like to keep track of the survivors.

 

  Thanks,

 

Heinrich505

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Hi Dragonwynn,

 

I fully understand what was your intention in the first scenario of your campaign, and I have the impression that now, you are adding more and more assets to the defender; which is going against what it was supposed to be.

So, will it be possible to have the first campaign you made (ie with exit zones, no Pak etc...), but let the player go through the campaign whatever the result of each battle.

After all, this is the story of one man through Bagration. As long as he is alive and exits his tank when needed; he is supposed to fight the next battle.

 

It would keep the particular flavor of this (great :) ) campaign and will allow the player to advance through the story.

Edited by sval06
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Dragonwynn,

  This all looks pretty cool.  I really like the story line.  Just downloaded it and will give it a shot. 

 

  I saw all the previous comments on the thread and have downloaded your corrected version from Dropbox.  I had the original one from GAJs site with the exit zones but after reading the thread I avoided the original.

 

  I have a small question.  Without abbreviations for the tank commander's ranks, the last names are cut off when viewing the units.  If you know the last names of the tank commanders, please let me know.  I'd like to keep track of the survivors.

 

  Thanks,

 

Heinrich505

Thanks Heinrich 505. Here are the names and rank.

HQ Tiger Hauptman Clauss

2nd Command Tiger Oberleutnant Haus

 

1st Zug (Platoon)

HQ Tiger Leutnant Ackerman

Unteroffizier Beck

Unteroffizier Haffner

Unteroffizier Gerhardt

 

2nd Zug

HQ Tiger Leutnant Gerst

Unteroffizier Friedrich

Unteroffizier Fuchs

Unteroffizier Jaeger

 

3rd Zug

HQ Tiger Leutnant Katz

Unteroffizier Lenz

Unteroffizier Martz

Unteroffizier Mayer

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Hi Dragonwynn,

 

I fully understand what was your intention in the first scenario of your campaign, and I have the impression that now, you are adding more and more assets to the defender; which is going against what it was supposed to be.

So, will it be possible to have the first campaign you made (ie with exit zones, no Pak etc...), but let the player go through the campaign whatever the result of each battle.

After all, this is the story of one man through Bagration. As long as he is alive and exits his tank when needed; he is supposed to fight the next battle.

 

It would keep the particular flavor of this (great :) ) campaign and will allow the player to advance through the story.

Thanks for the input sval06. The original file is still on the main download at GAJ. I overwrote the files unfortunately on my system to try and add the balance. All the previous comments had valid concerns and I dont want the campaign to become a chore but to be fun as well as challenging. I feel the changes that were suggested will make for a better balance especially in the first 2 missions which can be difficult. The story will get REALLY intersting after the 2nd scenario and I am waiting for feedback from anyone who may have made it that far. Thank you for the kind comments and suggestions and as I said the original .cam file is attached to the GAJ download.

 

The new file is in my dropbox link above if you would rather go with that one. It does correct a few other issues that were present in the original.

Edited by dragonwynn
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Just loaded cross of iron up, impressive stuff, well done, looking forward to playing through it :-)

Just to make sure, is the link at the start of this for the latest version?

Thanks

Yes the dropbox link has the latest.cam file. You will need to download from GAJ for the modtags. Just replace that .cam file with the new one

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Hello Dragonwynn,

 

I played the 2. scenario yesterday.

 

-Spoiler-

At the beginning, I moved all my units in the northern area of the river quickly into the woods and so, as i had expected, escaped the artillery barrage into the setup zone. :P After that, i positioned 3 ambush areas with my infantry along the attacking roads, and reinforced this behind with the Tigers.

This led to a huge "Nahkampf" battle with handgranades, Panzerfausts in the woods... great, i liked it. I was able to destroy 70 % of the russian tanks by infantry, the rest by the Tigers.

Logically my very aggressive close-combat-style cost me some of my infantry, but no Tiger was hurt.

By the way, i was glad, that no "green" troops were on my side, with such kind of troops, it would have been impossible to give the russians a great fight in the woods.

 

In my opinion, nothing must be changed here. If you want to make it a little bit more challenging, than i would add another russian infantry company, which attacks not on the street, riding on tanks, but advances on foot through the woods on the left or right side of the maine street in the middle. This would make the setup of the ambushes more challenging. For people, who will defend mostly behind of the river, this playes no role of course.

 

In the 3. scenario the player must choose between two possibilities of how to proceed in the campaign. I voted for the artillery-securing-mission. In my opinion, it would be helpful for Dragonwynn, when someone here in the forum chooses the casualty-securing-scenario to give him also feedback on this storyline.

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Quick update I have just finished my replay of the 1st scenario.

Gained a total victory with the loss of 2 tigers. The AT guns helped, the one on far left very useful and survived the whole game. The other two took a couple of tanks between them.

The tigers were lost to one shot kills and both were stationary with good los but T85 rolled into view and spotted 1st and destroyed them, got to love the spotting cycles. Even had one T85 take two close range 88mm hits / Penetration's survive and return fire while backing up. A third 88mm hit bounced off the turret! It was finally stopped by a zhreck!

The key difference was where I placed my Tigers and withdrawal of a fair amount of infantry to the rear woods.

Had a quick look at next map, looks great, hope to get some time to play this week.

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Quick update I have just finished my replay of the 1st scenario.

Gained a total victory with the loss of 2 tigers. The AT guns helped, the one on far left very useful and survived the whole game. The other two took a couple of tanks between them.

The tigers were lost to one shot kills and both were stationary with good los but T85 rolled into view and spotted 1st and destroyed them, got to love the spotting cycles. Even had one T85 take two close range 88mm hits / Penetration's survive and return fire while backing up. A third 88mm hit bounced off the turret! It was finally stopped by a zhreck!

The key difference was where I placed my Tigers and withdrawal of a fair amount of infantry to the rear woods.

Had a quick look at next map, looks great, hope to get some time to play this week.

Awesome Holien. Yea those T-35-85's can be a pain. One thing you guys can help me on is feedback from mission to mission on whether you get any vehicles returned to action from repair or replenishment. I'm still foggy on exactly how those parameters work in the script and I adjusted the script to increase the repair and replenishment parameters a bit to help out from one scenario to another.

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Hello Dragonwynn,

 

i played the 3. scenario (saving the artillery) on Saturday.

 

Spoiler:

I drove 4 of my Tigers from the setup zone (the street) to the left into the little woods on the map edge. From there i was able to fire into the sides of the storming russian tanks. A platoon of infantry defended the flanks of the Tigers against the russian infantry attack at this side of the battlefield.

The fifth of my Tigers was setuped behind a house to cover the mainstreet of the village, if one or two T34s were able to break through the ambush zone.

After killing the most tanks, i used 3 Tigers an the screening infantry platoon to make a flank attack into the rear of the russians, which they could not stand. With this tactic, it was very easy to win the scenario. I lost 1 Tiger and only 17 infantry soldiers.

 

Besides the fact, that this was the easiest scenario so far, the scenario made fun and is absolutely o.k. No changing needed. If you want to make it more challenging, than give the russians two additional tank platoons, which attack together with the infantry on the right (seen from the russian point of view) side of the attack. That would make my choosen tank-ambush position in the game more uncomfortable.

 

Oh... one question: Why did you (or Battlefront, i don´t know that) name the german platoon HQs in this scenario "Sektion", for example "3 Sektion". Do you mean the german word "Sektion" or did you spell the english word "section" with a "k"? I don´t know, but in my opinion, both variations would be wrong.

- The german word "Sektion", does not fit for a platoon sized formation and

- The english word "section" means "Gruppe", a name, which you rightly already have used for the subunits of the platoon.

 

At last, one word to your background story: My respect, very well written! :)

Edited by MARS42
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Still cant get past the First scenario... well I probably can but do not taking that many losses... I find it sort of buggy that the HMG that I put in HIDE.. resort back to normal mode.  I think I have tried it about 6 times.. the Rocket attacks take out about 120 casualties in the first 5  minutes.  I even went gamey and killed the Idiot FO in my setup zone, but that does not really matter to much as the artillery is already coming in.... it is what it is, cant do anything about that as the troops and mortars are not in any setup zone so you can not move them.. its all luck really.

 

My one complaint about the map is no German officer would have placed the line so far back from the initial reverse slope.. it seems odd to me that they would give up a defensive postion overlooking the main road into the village and put everyone in a small kill box... so its odd that they give up an advantage, and would not have a second defensive line.. where the first line is.  Iam not sure if the designer thought the mission to easy for the Germans or felt that a massacre was more fun.  I think the scenario is a great idea, looks great and gives you that feeling of the massive weight of Russian Artillery and Rockets... as a campaign, no idea because you have to survive the first scenario and on average I lose between 3-5 Tigers, and 230 plus casualties.. and its not even over with around 38min left. 

 

I have gamed it and put troops far away from most of the artillery.. most of the tigers on one end to stem at least one of the Assaulting approach avenues, although that does not help the other two.  Anyways I will keep reading some of the reports here but its immersive, obviously challenging, but if its a campaign.. and barely anything survives, whats the point.

 

EDIT:  I just downloaded what I think is the latest version.  I still think the map is small and just made into a killbox for destructive enjoyment, and the forward German positons are still completely incorect... I know the Author wanted pants down scenario but still the forward placement to cover the road facing the enemy lines is wrong IMO.  If the front line covered the road and the farm.. then the Artillery barrage would maybe be that more spread out.

 

1. Infantry takes on average 50-70 casualties the first minute.

2. By the end of 10minutes on average your infantry casualty rate is over 125.  Thats I almost 1/5th of your starting strength and the tanks are just now rolling up.

3.  I am not free to place the Mortars away from the village... If the Village is or would be a target, why would you place your support assets so close to a potential target area?

4. I understand the pants down of bagration, but that does not mean they would have been complacent in their defensive setup.

5. If the Infantry is a CORE element, then the first scenario is ridiculous, as you will lose at least half if not more.

6. The Tigers are CORE most likely which is fine, but the Russians for the first mission on such a small map does not allow the Tigers to manouver very much to get any advantage.  Its a shootout at close range with no real advantage to the Defense.  T/34/85 at point blank range is about on par with the Tiger, although I give more penetration value to the Tiger, however they are still outnumbered 5 to 1, each time you lose a Tiger the ratio changes drastically.  (MAP TO SMALL)  Its nice but to many assets so close together its a "ClusterFck" For the ammount of artillery used.  IMHO.

7. This scenario would be a great stand alone.. "bloody hell of a day"  "To the last Big Cat"

8.  I have done this mission 6 times looking for ways to minimize the Infantry casualties, its nearly impossible with them being that close together and that much saturation Artillery.. big artillery at that.  Although challenging I could see many first time players just simply clicking the exit button and going off to another battle, as the first scenario can be completely demoralizing for the player taking that many losses and barely winning, if you call it that, or getting to continue to the next scenario. 

 

Will give it another go to see if I had the latest.. if not then I will report any differences.

 

Semper Fi. 

Edited by GhostRider3/3
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Hello Dragonwynn,

 

after playing the first four minutes of scenario 4 (Defending the bridge), i was really frustrated, because i think, you have done the setup of the troops not as accurate as you did it in the first 3 scenarios. I closed the game and will play it again.

 

1. As i noticed in the other 3 scenarios before, i sometime don´t get it, why you spread the platoons as much and don´t hold them together.

 

2. The setup of the Tigers has to be corrected. I was really angry about the position of the Tigers of 1 and 2 platoon together with company HQ. They are standing in line on a street, which is getting incoming T34 fire after 5 seconds of the scenario beginning. So i loosed 2 Core units withing the first 60 seconds without the possibility to react. The enemys here are the 4 T34s in front of the Tigers behind a little wood. That must be corrected.

 

3. The setup of 3 of the Paks is not helpful. The have nearly no line of fire and are positioned tactically poorly. The same with the Panthers and Panzer IV. The tanks are not the problem, i can move them, but to move the Paks is not so easy, so they must stand in good positions at the beginning.

 

4. I don´t get the postions of the infantry either. Some troops here, some there. No mainpoint of defence. I recommend here the sentence of General Manstein "Who wants to defend all, defends nothing"

 

I have the feeling, that this scenario was developed too fast. I suggest to make a complete new setup for this scenario or to create some setup zones for the players.

 

Sorry for the harsh critic, not intended to offend you, but to help. ;)

Edited by MARS42
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So I replayed the First scenario another 4 times to see if there is any way to minimize Infantry casualties.

 

#1.  Spread the men out on the left flank in the known set up zones.. spread 3 Platoons on far right.  4 Tigers  Left, 4 tigers Right and 2 Middle covering the Road from tree line next to village.

      

Results:  Artillery Barrage came to the Center and Left, initial casualties were around 60 in the first minute, and 10 minutes later the Center and 1/4 of the Mortars were wiped out. I sent 2 platoons from the far right to at least assist the Right side of the road as I knew the tanks were on the way.  Tanks Crushed the Left side knocking out 2 tigers from the tree line they advance to.  They made it all the way up to the 3 AT gun (that is placed by the Author with no defenses.. its just there to the left.)  Since the Artillery did a bit of damage to the Left side the tanks finished off most of the infantry but paid a high cost.. at the 20min mark, there were virtually no Tigers left on the left and very few infantry.. the Company ceased to exist except for single or small groups of men...

Right side and center held out, 1 Tiger was damaged (Main gun out of action, and another later was immobilized)  All the Panzershrek teams were killed and lost about half the infantry to direct fire from T-34's coming from the Right side of the map.  Stopped the scenario at 32min left.  Germans had 4 Tigers operational and maybe 180 soldiers.

 

#2 went almost identical to the first scenario with the exception I only lost 4 Tigers, again all on the left Flank, and all ATG were destroyed. (One by Artillery)

 

#3. Set up most of the Tanks center and in the Field.. moved all the Infantry from right side of Road to the Far Right near the tree lines. to make AT traps with Panzerfaust and Shreck teams.  Left Side allocated 4 Tigers.  Scenario went better at first although the infantry took a pounding on the Left Flank this time, and the second Barrage 15min about destroyed about 40 percent of the Center's fighting force including 2 HMG, and forced 1 ATG crew to run for their lives.  20 minutes in Left Flank was destroyed completely and 3 Tigers lost.  The Russians pay dearly but they have another 7 Tanks and around 120 Infantry still coming.  Both ATG on the Left middle have been neutralized, panzershreck teams decimated.

Right side and middle, Russian tanks are put out of action and troops coming up the middle are dealt with, right side Infantry take a pounding by Bionic eyeball spotting Tank crews who see troops in the woods hiding, anyways the infantry takes a pounding and that plan did not go.. as planned.

 

#4 Gave up on Left side.. moved all the units to the far right and then reinforced the middle area.... Artillery Barrage hit the Middle and village destroying a good amount in the first 6 Minutes, large battle middle and Right however the Soviets steamrolled left and took out the one ATG.. we counter attack and push them out of the village with a loss of 3 Tigers and 2 useless from all the hits they took.. in the end troop strength is about 40 percent.

 

To those that have somehow managed Total Victory... nice.. would like to know where you placed your units.. because I feel its the luck of the draw with the artillery bombardment going either Center mostly, Left, or sometimes just the Setup zone area but towards left and village are.  Basically its a kill box for anyone left of the Road or in the Village, including all of your lovely assets.. HMG's Mortars and Shreck teams that get virtually eviscerated.

 

Just my observation again not trying to be hard. just trying to figure the point to the campaign.

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Thanks guys for the input and suggestions. Don't feel like you are being critical as I understand your concerns.

Mars42 in the Link Up mission the infantry in the town have been assaulted continously and are desperately trying to hold the bridge open. The survivors are scattered and understrength from losses and some squads have been wiped out. That is the reason they are scattered around the town. There are basically 2 routes that are still open into the town. The bridge and the road Claus Tigers are on. The point of the mission was to fight through the town and reach the bridge.

Ghostrider I understand your concerns and I stated previously that though I could have dug everything in and had the entire German force at the ready but that would have defeated the whole storyline.

Having said all that I do understand all of the concerns and I am going to pull the campaign off the grid. Just seems to many players are struggling with it and that was not my intent. I wanted to create something different from the regular attack vs defend and create difficult circumstances for the player to solve. I may release the missions as stand alone without the storyline.

Thanks again for all the feedback. It's all a learning process

Edited by dragonwynn
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