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Credible small-unit missions?


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I'm thinking about dabbling a bit in the editor, but I have no experience so wanted to do something small and reasonably easy.

 

But what would small units be asked to do on their own in Normandy? Say for example a platoon or even just a squad... would they go on patrols? If so, how could that be made into a credible, playable and enjoyable scenario in this game? I mean, just scouting out enemy positions and then withdrawing might not be all that fun. Not sure.

 

What would the victory conditions look like? How about enemy force strength?

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One of the ideas I have is to make a mission that's basically a "move to contact" exercise, like the one Bil made, but with a LOT of different AI locations, so basically you could play it many times and never know where the enemy would be, thus making it essential to move using proper infantry tactics.

 

But not sure if such a mission could be given a credible backstory.

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I can really encourage doing something in the editor - a ton of fun. Check out "Proambulator" on Youtube, great video tutorials.

 

How about a fictional encounter on D-Day morning, with all the scattered paratroopers making up small groups that ran into German positions. Can be small but interesting and not entirely implausible.

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I was reading some AARs from the Italian campaign and found a nice account where a platoon plus Sherman were tasked with clearing a school and municipal building that had enemy MGs. The action took place in just a couple of city blocks and the objective was two buildings on opposite sides of a small square. You could easily do something similar in France.

Move to contact is a good idea too. The lead platoon could be tasked with recon in force for the company and make some of the objectives spotting the enemy. Maybe have the enemy have a screening force behind which is more dangerous stuff like MGs and AT guns. Your platoon's job is to break or push aside the screen and find the locations of the more dangerous stuff so the company can call up support to deal with it - as part of the back story.

I should mention @JonS's document on scenario design It started as a thread here and shipped as a PDF in the Market Garden module - http://community.battlefront.com/topic/109190-the-sheriff-of-oosterbeek-%E2%80%93-a-scenario-design-daraar/I strongly suspect that you have seen it but just in case or for others that find this thread later...

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ANYTHING WITH AIRBORNE TROOPS ON 5-6 JUNE 44!

 

I always like the "last stand at the Alamo" style battles.

Put the player in a small rubbled town 208x208 map and have the enemy try to wipe him out.

5 AI plans to work with so you could have enemy coming at different times from different directions.

Write 1 AI plan, then copy and paste to the other 4 slots and edit the times.

Big ranges in the enemy R arrival times to keep a random die roll excitement. 

Will your ammo last until your reinforcements arrive? (simulated by end of battle).

Start your troops off already with low ammo. low head counts, destroyed vehicles nearby.

maybe one team is trapped away from your main defensive position.

you get points if you get that unit back to safety (an exit zone).

Keep the battle length medium maybe about 35 minutes. 

Don't forget the dead cows...

Edited by kohlenklau
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I really want to do a company level campaign. It would be a fictional campaign loosely inspired by Company Commander by Charles McDonald. Most battles in the scenario would be short duration, platoon to company size with unique but very achievable objectives. Your main task throughout the campaign is to keep as many of your men from being casualties while still achieving as many objectives as possible. At the end of the Campaign I'll provide a score card that the player will use to determine his success. The scoring will be a grading scale based on the casualties your company takes. You will get bonuses for the level of victory for the entire campaign. Each battle will have multiple AIs so you can play again to try to better your score.

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Bullet,

my strongest suggestion would be to give the player one - and only one - very definite and modest thing to achieve with his platoon: Take a building, Destroy one bunker, Clear a small patch of woods. In CM - and in real life - a platoon is good for about one good assault before it needs to reorganise, which in CM-terms means it's reasonable to expect one platoon attack plus a bit of probing before and afterwards. If you're asking more than that of the player, you're probably asking too much.

 

IMO, scenarios most often go off the rails when the designer starts kitchen-sinking it - adding a bit of this, a bit of that, one of those because they're cool, and so on. And then expecting the player to achieve all sorts of wildly divergent objectives. Pick one thing, make that the focus of everything, and design towards that, ruthlessly stripping out anything that isn't part of the core narrative.

 

In terms of what small units might be asked to do on their own in Normandy, well, taking a single smallish terrain-based objective is reasonable. And the terrain could be anything, really. A small hill, a small farm, a single building or block within a village, an orchard, a bocage-enclosed field or two, a small thicket. To give a sense of scale, a platoon laid out 'by the book' in a defensive position would occupy maybe ... 150m x 150m. At most. The area would be much tighter in complex terrain with limited LOS. So that's roughly how 'big' the terrain objective for a platoon should be, although it can - and IMO should - be split up into multiple sub-objectives in the design stage rather than just being one big one.

 

For the enemy, the 3:1 ratio is an excellent place to start. If you want the attacker to have a reasonable chance of succeeding, he should have about 3 times as much 'stuff' as the attacker. Do when facing a platoon, the defender should have about a section. But that's not a strict rule. If the defender has no MGs while the attacker has loads, then you can probably make the raw numbers of warm bodies much more even. If the attacker is all Green, and the defenders are fanatical Veterans, then make the odds much higher. Etc.

Edited by JonS
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@Pak40, 

 

Hey! I was thinking of that as a campaign also! :D The book is right here by me...

But waiting for CM Bulge. 

PM me if you wanted to talk about combining forces and do it as a campaign factory project. 

 

Thanks, maybe someday I'll take you up on that. Right now I'm just going to try this project that's in my head. It's only loosely inspired by McDonald's book. It's been years since I read the book so I don't remember many details. Therefore all the battles for this campaign will not resemble his company's actual experiences. I just want it to be in the same vein, i.e. a week in the life of an infantry company on the front line.

 

Bullet,

my strongest suggestion would be to give the player one - and only one - very definite and modest thing to achieve with his platoon: Take a building, Destroy one bunker, Clear a small patch of woods. In CM - and in real life - a platoon is good for about one good assault before it needs to reorganise, which in CM-terms means it's reasonable to expect one platoon attack plus a bit of probing before and afterwards. If you're asking more than that of the player, you're probably asking too much.

 

IMO, scenarios most often go off the rails when the designer starts kitchen-sinking it - adding a bit of this, a bit of that, one of those because they're cool, and so on. And then expecting the player to achieve all sorts of wildly divergent objectives. Pick one thing, make that the focus of everything, and design towards that, ruthlessly stripping out anything that isn't part of the core narrative.

 

Jon, I absolutely agree. This is exactly what I'm trying to accomplish with my campaign: small unit actions with very attainable objectives with a narrative that will help the player feel a sense of closeness to his company men. It's not a major offensive campaign like the CM stock campaigns.

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Jon, I absolutely agree. This is exactly what I'm trying to accomplish with my campaign: small unit actions with very attainable objectives with a narrative that will help the player feel a sense of closeness to his company men. It's not a major offensive campaign like the CM stock campaigns.

 

Sounds like just my kind of campaign. Looking forward to it.

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