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QB Squad Points Need to be Revisited: Affecting Balance of QB's


Sim1943
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Howdy all

 

I know in years past BFC has said that they dont want to *ever* get into point discussions on the QB purchases. If I recall correctly, there was some lengthy debate about the point value of the StuG III compared to the Sherman when CM:BN came out. I stayed out of that discussion because I didnt really see a problem with it - the much bigger problem was the AI purchases for me (a force of all AT guns, all mortars, all FO's or all MG's)

 

The great news is that with CM:BS, the problem with AI purchases seems to be a thing of the past - whether because the actual logic and coding was changed, or because the AI has fewer odd formations to choose from, in all the QB's I have run the AI purchased force has been pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. Certainly enough for an interesting fight. So whether intentional or not, much appreciated!

 

That all being said, when the game first came out, after snooping around in the editor first, I was curious to see the point values that were being used for modern equipment in the QB's. First, as everyone has noticed, the point values have gone way up from the WWII titles. Taking a fully patched and expanded CM:BN as my WWII example, in a SMALL ATTACK QB the attacker has 1908 points and the defender has 1185 points: a ratio of about 1.6 to 1. In CM:BS, in a SMALL ATTACK QB the attacker has 6662 points and the defender has 4037 points: a ratio of about 1.65 to 1. So while the ratio has remained the same, the points have obviously gone way up: there are about 3.5 times as many points as before. Which is fine and expected since the point values of everything has gone up.

 

I started this thread - http://community.battlefront.com/topic/117752-bug-with-american-squad-point-cost-or-intended/#entry1576371 - after release when I saw the points for American, Russian and Ukrainian squads. I was very surprised, and still am, at the point differences between them. To the point that I think the current squad point values are making AI QB's unbalanced, and destroying the option of competitive QB PBEM games.

 

Lets be specific. All point values from both CM:BS and CM:BN will be for REGULAR experience, NORMAL motivation, FIT and 0 leadership troops. A US rifle squad costs 229 points (9 man), a Russian one 88 points (6 man) and a Ukrainian one 95 points (6 man). So points per man are: US 25.4, RUS 14.6 and UKR 15.8. So that means that your average GI Joe costs 75% more than your average Ivan.

 

In my previous thread, everyone pointed out all the advantages that the US soldier has and justified the cost increase with this. So since release I have tried to look very close at those advantages and see if they justify this point increase and are **CONSISTENT** for all the squads.

 

So lets break down the advantages/disadvantages for each National squad:

  1. PERSONAL ARMOR: As far as I can tell, everyone has personal body armor. I know for sure US and RUS soldiers do, and I have not read or heard anything that states that UKR soldiers do not. While there may be a slight advantage coded into the system for US armor, I can not tell a big difference between their protection and RUS protection - small arms seems to have a 50/50 chance of wounding as opposed to killing/incapacitating. So no clear cut advantage here.
  2. SQUAD SMALL ARMS: In the vanilla squads under consideration, US squads have M4's, SAW's, one M320, one M25 and one M110. RUS squads have AK-74's, a PKP and two GP30's. UKR squads have AK-74's, two GP25's, one RPK-74 and one PKM. US squads tend to have better optics, but I have seem no significant difference between these small arms and their RUS counterparts. As many have noted, I have not been impressed with the M25 - it sounded super cool, but its blast is just so weak that it tends to suppress more than kill. I do like having the M110 on the squad level and think its a great weapon. But, neither weapon makes any real difference to the cost of the squad - the M320 actually costs 1 point more than the M25. No again, no clear cut advantage here.
  3. SQAUD AT ASSETS: Here is where the US squads are actually at a *significant DISADVANTAGE*. The normal US squad has two AT4's - thats it. Yet, both the UKR and RUS squads have the RPG-7. In playing CM:SF and in CM:BS, the vast majority of my losses to US squads from enemy squads is the RPG-7. It is simply devastating against infantry in hard cover - one well placed shot and you lose half your squad. Not to mention the tandem warhead for actually shooting at enemy vehicles. Dont get me wrong - this is modelled correctly, thats exactly what a well placed RPG will do, and exactly what the tandem warhead will do. While the US squads have *access* to the wonderful and deadly Javelin, its not in the squad, so its points are elsewhere (ie. Javelin teams, Strykers, Bradleys, ect.). So this is an area where RUS and UKR squads have a clear ADVANTAGE over their US counterparts.
  4. SQUAD NIGHT VISION: This is where I am the most confused and this is the biggest reason that I feel like the current point system needs to be revisited. The US have night vision assets coming out their ears: both on their heads and on their weapons. The RUS soldiers have thermals on their sights, but the UKR soldiers have no night vision elements at all on the squad level. This is interesting, because the UKR soldiers cost *more* than their RUS counterparts, even though they have no NVG! Even still, I can not notice a significant difference between the squad NVG's on the US and RUS soldiers. Once the shooting starts, everyone sees fine, but before the shooting starts, the RUS soldiers seem to have no problem picking US ones out at night. There may be a small difference coded, but in practice, on the *squad* level, I see no advantage. But again, if NVG's are contributing to point cost, why are UKR soldiers, who have *no* NVG's, more expensive than RUS ones who do?
  5. SQUAD COMMUNICATION: Everyone has radios, so thats common across the board - its very nice to always be in command! But the US squad have an advantage here in that they have PDA's on the squad level. This is an advantage, but I would say not a huge one. Sure they can call in artillery strikes, but for a squad, this tends to take nearly 10 minutes to get rounds on target. During development people were debating the strengths and weaknesses of the Javelin, and one of the devs or beta testers commented on the Javelin taking 30 seconds to lock and fire - then made the comment that on the modern battlefield, 30 seconds is a long time. Well if 30 seconds to fire a Javelin is a long time, what about ten minutes! If an enemy asset is willing to sit still for 10 minutes while I walk artillery fire onto them, my squad is the last thing they need to worry about. So while the PDA does help with communication and calling in other assets, it takes so long to do so its not a big advantage.
  6. MISCELLANEOUS SQUAD ASSETS: Everyone has binoculars. US squads have two breaching (note, not demo) charges, which helps with flexibility in urban environments. So nothing huge here.

So all in all, the US squads have a potential advantage in body armor, an advantage in communication thanks to the PDA, and a potential advantage at night, but again, I cant notice a difference: in playing at night, I tend to find the enemy with my US *squads* when they start shooting at me - Sniper teams with the M107 and vehicles are a much different story, but their points are elsewhere. But the SOV and UKR squads have a significant advantage in the RPG-7. Again, NVG/Thermals are clearly not a point contributor because the UKR squads, which are blind at night, have neither but yet cost *more* than their RUS counterparts.

 

So overall, I see no clear cut advantage. But instead I see the strengths and weaknesses of both balancing out. Similar to the age old question: would you rather have 10 Garands, 1 BAR and 1 Thompson, or 1 MG42, 1 MP40 and 7 Mausers?

 

So looking back to the balance of CM:BN, the vanilla US Rifle Squad cost 47 points and got you 1 Thompson, 1 or 2 BAR's, usually one sniper 1903, one AT rifle grenade and the rest Garands. So for that 12 man squad, you were paying 3.9 points per man. Compare to the Fallschrimjager rifle squad that cost 57 points, has 2 or 3 automatic weapons (MP40, MP44 or FG42), 2 MG42's, 2 rifle grenadiers, rest mausers, *plus* 2 demo charges, 1 or 2 Panzerfausts and 4 AT grenades. All that for 5.7 points per man, or a 46% increase in cost. So this squad has a significant and real advantage in firepower, and AT assets, plus the demo charges - I would expect it to be more expensive, and 50% more expensive sounds about right. Compare this against the CM:BS balance, where the US square are 75% more expensive for no significant advantages.

 

So how is this affecting QB's? Simply put, the US player is facing the red horde. When attacking if 30% of the points are set aside for artillery, support and/or vehicles assets, on a SMALL, ATTACK QB the attacker would be left with approximately 4660 points and the defender with 2825 points for infantry purchases. So if US infantry costs 25.4 points a man, they would have approximately 180 guys attacking against a SOV infantry force of about 190 guys. Carefully playing against the AI, youll win just fine depending on what assets you purchase beyond your infantry and how you use it. However, defending as the US, you would have approximately 110 US infantry against *320 RUS Infantry*. Against the AI, depending on how you use your artillery, sure you can still win, but it feels more like a zombie game than a CM game.

 

In both of these situations though, playing against a human opponent, the US player is at a SIGNIFICANT disadvantage because of the cost differences in infantry while not really gaining any clear cut advantage.

 

I have been waiting since the days of CM:BO to get back into PBEM play. The days of "1500 ME SHORT 75" bring back very fond memories. Playing on Rugged Defense, I thought the balance in purchasing points was great and had a blast playing. I was really looking forward to CM:BS to see if the SHORT 75 rules could be duplicated and a similar experience could be had. But given these current squad points, I would never play as a US force. UKR versus RUS could still work, but the US player is severly handicap because the US soldier is way too many points for no clear advantage.

 

So I ask the same question my original thread did: Are the current point values for US/RUS/UKR squads balanced? If NVG/Thermals are not contributing to points, why are the US Squads 75% more than their RUS counterparts?

 

I am really enjoying CM:BS in particular, and CMx2 in general, but this issue is leaving a bad QB taste in my mouth, which is especially bad considering the long standing AI purchasing seems to be much better.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Chad

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So I ask the same question my original thread did: Are the current point values for US/RUS/UKR squads balanced? If NVG/Thermals are not contributing to points, why are the US Squads 75% more than their RUS counterparts?

 

Presumably because every US rifle squad can consistently knock out advancing Red armor, regardless of the presence of APS, laser warning system, ERA, etc.

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Presumably because every US rifle squad can consistently knock out advancing Red armor, regardless of the presence of APS, laser warning system, ERA, etc.

 

The squad itself doesn't come with a javelin. It's a piece of equipment they have to pick up from someone else and that should be factored into the vehicle carrying it. So it makes no sense for this to be part of cost of the squad.

 

As mentioned above, the organic AT to a squad is just a pair of AT4s.

 

I disagree with some of the points above like the effectiveness of NVGs and PDAs, both I've found very useful as the US. I'm not sure how effective optics really are in CM, but I think they do help a bit to both spotting and shooting.

 

But I do agree the cost difference between US and Russian soldiers at same skill settings feels like it should be closer to 50% or so. Right now it feels a bit too high. 

Edited by Ryujin
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Presumably because every US rifle squad can consistently knock out advancing Red armor, regardless of the presence of APS, laser warning system, ERA, etc.

 

As Ryujin mentions below, the Javelin is *not* organic to a US rifle squad - they need to pick it up from somewhere else. As I mention above, the points for it are therefore in that asset, whether a Stryker, Bradley or actual Javelin team. The only AT assets that you are paying for in a US rifle squad are the two AT4's.

 

 

I disagree with some of the points above like the effectiveness of NVGs and PDAs, both I've found very useful as the US. I'm not sure how effective optics really are in CM, but I think they do help a bit to both spotting and shooting.

 

But I do agree the cost difference between US and Russian soldiers at same skill settings feels like it should be closer to 50% or so. Right now it feels a bit too high. 

 

As mentioned in the original post, NVG/Thermals are clearly not contributing to points, else the UKR squads would cost less than their RUS counterparts, not more. So even if there is a tactical advantage to US squads with their NVG/Thermals, its not contributing to the point of the squad.

 

But even at 50% increase, for what? A PDA? I would happily trade my US PDA for a RUS RPG-7.

 

While some may shrug their shoulders at this and think its not a big deal, for those of us who play QB's, especially against a real opponent, these point differences are huge and are going to affect gameplay. Its not like the StuG example above, where just one vehicle may or may not have been too many points. You are talking about every single US soldier being way, way more expensive than his counterpart.

 

Why?

 

Thanks

 

Chad

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I expect some of this is down to "cost effect per platoon" pricing decisions. The US infantry are assumed to have access to their Javs, and are, indeed, required for the Javs to be of any use. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bradley (or any of the IFVs) cost calculation has no element for the supplies it carries for its squad. If you look at the effectiveness of a platoon of US armoured infantry, the total points cost might well be a better comparator: if you've got 110 warm bodies, you'd expect them to have their Brads with them, I think.

Sure, it's not really an excuse, when "points" are touted as representing "combat effectiveness", but BFC despise cherry-picking, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the points value assignment were an incentive to buy the rides that would be associated with the footsoldiers in any real combat at the scale they're presenting in the period.

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In my opinion the main problem with QB point is with it impact on final score.

You can lost most of your forces but if you has captured objective (for example 1000 pts) then you win. Enemy received 0 point for objective and funny 40-50 point for all that he destroyed from your force.

In good old time of CMBB the points for objectives are correlated with points for forces (900 pts objective and 1500 pts for forces, for example)

This is why I don't play QBs...

Edited by Denis1973
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OP I spot on and has been my experience of QB.

 

My favourite QB if Infantry vs Infantry and with woodland/forest. First game was US defence. I managed to buy a US company + few assets and I bought 2 battalions of Russian + liberal artillery as presumed for them. Was way unbalance, albeit my tactic were rusty.

 

 

So next game I stripped the Javelin teams out of the platoons as there's no need for them. And again managed a Company + (improved skill on most), plus few some GLs, one section of 81mm and 120 mm mortars.

For same points again 2 battalions + company.

 

My tactics and attention to detail was spot on, but still almost mission impossible to defend against a horde with those odds- and that is against AI. Would be very VERY unbalance in human-human.

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Actually prices for us player should be further increased to make battles more balanced. 80 points per javelin team is ridiculously cheap and quality/price ratio favors US tanks. Individual unit cost does not matter too much as long as us wins are roughly equal to ru wins.

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Another problem with the points cost is that they are "general purpose" points. So a Javelin, for example is worth a lot more in a fight where armour shows up, but an AT-4 would do most of what a Jav can in an infantry-only fight.

And the Javs in a Bradley are worthless in a fight with no infantry on your side. But if you put the cost of the Javs on the infantry squad, as appears to have been done, you can game the system by having cheap ("ad hoc" even) infantry grab the supplies, if you don't need the infantry.

It's a complicated old game, getting the points right, and for all purposes and all users, it simply isn't going to suffice without the systems for customising what you buy being very much more complicated than currently. And BFC don't like QBs in the first place, so getting the force selection "perfect" is low down on their priority list for fuggly coding issues. The current model is aimed at, and works well enough for, "typical" use of forces in the theatre depicted; it creaks pretty badly when forces are used in "a-pseudo-future-historical" contexts.

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The squad itself doesn't come with a javelin. It's a piece of equipment they have to pick up from someone else and that should be factored into the vehicle carrying it. So it makes no sense for this to be part of cost of the squad.

 

As mentioned above, the organic AT to a squad is just a pair of AT4s.

 

As Ryujin mentions below, the Javelin is *not* organic to a US rifle squad - they need to pick it up from somewhere else. As I mention above, the points for it are therefore in that asset, whether a Stryker, Bradley or actual Javelin team. The only AT assets that you are paying for in a US rifle squad are the two AT4's.

 

If you consider the cost as part of the vehicle budget you're basically getting those Javelins for free because a Regular, Normal, 0 Leadership Bradley IFV/CFV (APS) w/ a CLU and three Javs cost 378 points while the equivalent BMP-3M costs 411 and gives nothing comparable in terms of ATGMs. 

 

While some may shrug their shoulders at this and think its not a big deal, for those of us who play QB's, especially against a real opponent, these point differences are huge and are going to affect gameplay. Its not like the StuG example above, where just one vehicle may or may not have been too many points. You are talking about every single US soldier being way, way more expensive than his counterpart.
 
I haven't noticed it crippling the American side of QBs overly much; their vehicles are better bang for the buck, especially APS-equipped, up-vetted M1A2s. Actual Javelin teams are cheaper than the highest-tier Russian ATGMs, which is probably a mistake but... Anyway, I've found winning the armor war to be the most crucial factor.
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It's a complicated old game, getting the points right, and for all purposes and all users, it simply isn't going to suffice without the systems for customising what you buy being very much more complicated than currently. And BFC don't like QBs in the first place, so getting the force selection "perfect" is low down on their priority list for fuggly coding issues. The current model is aimed at, and works well enough for, "typical" use of forces in the theatre depicted; it creaks pretty badly when forces are used in "a-pseudo-future-historical" contexts.

 

QB points should work more like currency.  More players buy something more expensive it gets; that's how prices would find natural balance maintained by community. Price fluctuations and eventual devaluation would be fun to see.

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QB points should work more like currency.  More players buy something more expensive it gets; that's how prices would find natural balance maintained by community. Price fluctuations and eventual devaluation would be fun to see.

 

That would require a phone-home functionality in the game itself and praying that someone in the (small) community doesn't do something to game the system with faux-QBs.

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I think the game charges a lot for the high tech gizmos the infantry carry.  I just opened up a tiny QB Russia attack vs US. : Russian recon infantry cost 271 points for the platoon HQ, Veteran, high motivation +1 leadership,  they come with a RPG and a PDA, and the recon squads that come with him  have no PDA or RPG for 249 points.  both are 6 men squads.       kind of even more expensive than the US squads, no javalins for them anywhere and the squads are small and they don't all get PDA's.  Seems the price difference between the recon squads and the platoon command squad should be more than 20 points.  The non leader squads are carrying around the laser designators for no apparent utility since only the platoon HQ can call in with it so if you want the PDA and laser designated infantry for Russia you'd probably want to get rid of one or both of the recon squads in the recon platoon and replace them with weapons teams.  for comparison a Russian line infantry squad with the same stats cost 120 points  but they have a rpg instead of the laser designator and less night vision

 

Id say that this seems more a case of russian recon stuff being just super overpriced compared to their line infantry,  and US infantry also overpriced compared to soviet line infantry (but less than the soviet recon);  But I just played the second mission of the Russian campaign, and my recon formation walked all over the UKR thanks to their superior night vision.  So I think the point system just doesn't give many or any points value to night vision sights (seems an omission)  but has a big premium on night vision goggles.  And I think the premium is somewhat fair at night. 

 

If we take Russian recon guys as evidence that US squads are so expensive because of their night vision, laser designators (wait they don't have that many of these... but their PDA serves similar purpose thanks to GPS guided precision rounds) and PDA's , basically all the high tech gizmos; then it seems the javelin is almost a free bonus item, or already has its price included in the vehicle.  ... Just thinking aloud here...

 

So the question remains; how to pick a competitive force in an infantry only QB as the US.  Night time would help a LOT.   I imagine that the US would not often attack during the day with infantry only, but they might get attacked.  I think day or night the US with infantry only should take a lot of off-board support to leverage the network and C&C advantage of the US.  If you can afford the Paladins they are super powered.  2 to 3 minute call in time should thin the horde. I think it fair that US infantry cost extra points beyond the gizmo gear extra points just because the US arty is so fast and flexible.  Grenade launcher teams cost a similar amount for both teams but the US team can call in a mortar strike fast and accurate while providing his own steal rain.  US also gets dismount 50 cals and mmgs for not to many points.  You could have a typical settings only rule to keep the US guys way stronger experience motivation and leadership wise. 

 

 

Oh and I think US infantry only has an advantage in anti air and obviously in its air support.  The igla only gives you one shot each but the stinger reloads. 

 

Second Oh.  Oh and Im not trying to say the points as is are right or wrong or anything, just thinking about how they might have arrived at the points they chose. 

 

But why are the UKR line infantry squads more than Russian?  the only idea that comes to mind is the Ukraine doesn't have as many soldiers or people to make soldiers out of as Russia.  This line of thinking offers another explanation of the high cost of US infantry and Russian recon infantry. Both could be about the relative rarity/ how important it is not to lose the asset.  US soldiers are expensive because US tolerates the fewest infantry casualties and pays the most per guy.  The Russian recon are even more expensive per guy because they are rare and very much needed to not be lost, compared with the line infantry that are expected to die in large numbers facing the US.  This explanation to me fits well with just about everything I can think of price wise.  Abrams arn't as much more expensive than their lesser counterparts because we have a lot of them compared to the top tier of the other guys, and we can easily afford to send them back to be repaired.  UKR and Russian army have a lot of conscripts and less expensive training and such, and would be more casualty tolerant than the US, so their line infantry cost a lot less than US line infantry.  Russian line infantry are a little better equipped because of the thermal sights at night, but the Russian army has more men so can afford more loses than the UKR, plus its fighting a way tougher adversary so more losses are expected.  It has a bigger army so it makes sense it can bring a few more men.  But the recon guys for the Russians are expensive sort of like western troops in terms of dollars, and Russia has not a lot of extra dollars for expensive stuff like that, so the expensive Russian infantry cost a lot like the US infantry does. BM Oplot-M costs almost as much as Abrams because UKR needs every one of theirs.   I know BF says its prices are based on capability but it seems like their might be a little fudge factor for national level influences.

Edited by cool breeze
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I wonder if, asides from the technological devices the infatrymen carry, there is some kind of consideration into a more general angle.

In fact, if there is something taken into account from how much an american soldier costs to his country vs a russian or ukrainian one.

 

I would be thinking that UA soldiers cost a little more than RU even with inferior equipment/training because the general state of UA armed forces is somehow worse - that country has more difficulties in recruiting, training, equipping and maintaining a man under arms.

 

I don't know if these things have been abstracted into the logic that determines the price for ingame units, but imho, somehow these aspects should be accounted

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I wonder if, asides from the technological devices the infatrymen carry, there is some kind of consideration into a more general angle.

In fact, if there is something taken into account from how much an american soldier costs to his country vs a russian or ukrainian

LOL, no.

Russian recon squads may be expensive because they all carry laser designators, which they will lose in the next patch. I will take a look at Ukrainian vs Russian line infantry prices but don't expect any sweeping changes after just a few weeks of play. For now if you really want to play a US vs Russia infantry only game I would give the US player a +40% point adjustment

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LOL, no.

Russian recon squads may be expensive because they all carry laser designators, which they will lose in the next patch. I will take a look at Ukrainian vs Russian line infantry prices but don't expect any sweeping changes after just a few weeks of play. For now if you really want to play a US vs Russia infantry only game I would give the US player a +40% point adjustment

 

Vanir

 

Your solution, of giving the US a point bonus, works fine against the AI in QB's. The bigger problem is the *QB PBEM* scene. To replicate some kind of 'COMBINED ARMS' from CMx1 you are already going to need a butt load of rules. To replicate a modern version of 'SHORT 75' you are going to need another butt load of rules. Then to have the US player have to have another butt load of rules to cover how to spend that 40% adjustment.

 

Balancing point values is a bear, but it can be done. For instance, if you pulled the hood back a bit and we could see some of the values being used ingame we could better estimate how much 'better' a soldier really is.

 

For instance, your baseline soldier has no NVG, no armor, an average accuracy weapon and no weapon optics. Lets say he costs 10 points. Then if we could see under the hood, and knew a soldier with weapon thermals was 50% more likely to spot infantry at say 50 meters, and a soldier with NVG *and* thermals was 67% more likely to spot at that same range, now we have something to work with. Then if we say that 'normal' body armor defeats 30% of incoming rounds, but 'good' body armor defeats 40%, theres more data. Then if his weapon accuracy is say 40%, but another had weapon accuracy of 55% with optics - thats even more data.

 

If we were able to pull back the hood, you can see that everything that happens ingame is values like this: A Veteran solider, who is tired, and firing from a prone position at a point target behind a window in a wood building at a range of 56 meters is going, while under light suppression, is going to have a 14% chance of hitting on his first shot. Like any 'game' system, each one of those elements is factoring into the overall equation, and ultimatley, you roll the dice and see if you hit - no different than say taking a shot at a moving tank, from a moving tank, in ASL.

 

So if we, which we wont, have that data we could come to some concrete values about how much better any soldier in CM is than another soldier. Not this 'it feels about the same', but actual values that can help in making these balancing decisions. Again, taking ASL as an example, if you compare the American 1st line 6/6/6 squad against the German 1st line 4/6/7 squad, you can draw absolute, concrete conclusions about their relative strengths and weaknesses, by which you can start to base points off of - which is exactly what they did all those years ago.

 

My gut feeling, is that if those values were posted here we would see that the American solider is way, way overpriced for not that much more capability than his RUS counterpart - the value was a number that someone chose, and it got inflated and never rechecked. Which is fine, thats part of development, but now that the issue has been raised, lets revisit those values. 75% more points is huge - and you would expect that soldier to be that much better. In CM:BS, the average GI Joe is *not*, not even close, 75% more capable than his Ivan counterpart.

 

Just my continued thoughts - its out of balance.

 

Thanks

Chad

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Maybe general availability + the political will of the nations goverment to commit forces is factored in as well. Which, to use Risons words, means that while GI Joe may not be 75% more capable, Ivan maybe 75% easier to replace. Remember: Russia is using conscripts while the US are relying on volunteers. Probably Putin can also politically bear more dead soldiers than his US counterpart.

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I have been waiting since the days of CM:BO to get back into PBEM play. The days of "1500 ME SHORT 75" bring back very fond memories. Playing on Rugged Defense, I thought the balance in purchasing points was great and had a blast playing. I was really looking forward to CM:BS to see if the SHORT 75 rules could be duplicated and a similar experience could be had.

 

Ah, Rugged Defense. I cut my PBEM teeth on that ladder way back when. Good times.

 

I don't know if Black Sea is amenable to Short 75 type rules. I would probably not allow the US to use APS vehicles, the presence of which is speculative anyways from a reality standpoint. The Russian micro UAV that I can't remember the name of should be banned, IMO, since it is immune to US AA (in reality they can be shot down with machine guns if spotted). Beyond that I'm not sure.

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Ah, Rugged Defense. I cut my PBEM teeth on that ladder way back when. Good times.

 

I don't know if Black Sea is amenable to Short 75 type rules. I would probably not allow the US to use APS vehicles, the presence of which is speculative anyways from a reality standpoint. The Russian micro UAV that I can't remember the name of should be banned, IMO, since it is immune to US AA (in reality they can be shot down with machine guns if spotted). Beyond that I'm not sure.

 

Rugged Defense was great. Discovered it at the same time I discovered CM - they two went hand in hand. Played as 'Chad Harrison' back in that day.

 

I think 'COMBINED ARMS' and 'SHORT 75' can be brought to the modern titles. For those who wernt around back then, 'COMBINED ARMS' was a setting in CMx1 games where the game allowed you a certain percentage of points for INFANTRY, TANKS, ARTILLERY, AIR and SUPPORT if I recall correctly. In essence the setting forced played to have a balanced force consisting mostly of infantry. In other words, you games were infantry supported by tanks/arty, not tanks/arty supported by a few squads.

 

The 'SHORT 75' rules, or 'FIONN SHORT 75' were rules that limited both sides to vehicles that could be defeated on the front armor by a 'Short' 75 gun. In other words, Germany couldnt have Panthers, Tigers or tank destroyers that were essentially immune to the Shermans 75mm gun firing AP at the front armor. And the Allies couldnt take Jumbo Shermans.

 

What both these rule sets did was create a wonderfully balanced game that was entirely appropriate for competitive, ladder play - which is exactly what Rugged Defense was. One set of rules was enforced by the game (COMBINED ARMS), while the other was enforced as a house rule. Certainly people broke it here and there, but never any of my opponents. As Vanir pointed out, it was great fun and very competitive. 

 

Unfortunately, it has been hard to replicate since. Every year or so, I have been asking BFC is they ever plan to bring back 'COMBINED ARMS' as a setting, such as here http://community.battlefront.com/topic/103808-cm-v20-combined-arms-for-qbs/?hl=rison#entry1360983 and here http://community.battlefront.com/topic/103808-cm-v20-combined-arms-for-qbs/?hl=rison#entry1360983. Steve finally got back to him and sadly, no plans, ever apparently, on COMBINED ARMS coming back. So moving forward, to duplicate that experience, you would need a whole lot of house rules, none of which could be enforced by the game - you would find out your opponent 'cheated' either once you saw the illegal equipment or after the game.

 

'SHORT 75' on the other hand, while tricky, could still be done in Modern titles of CM. Take the essence of the rule, nothing is invincible, and apply it to modern kit. APS is out for sure. A limit to Javelins. And so on. If the infantry points were balanced in CMBS, you could make a rule that goes something like this:

  • Alteast 50% of points must be spend on a 'Core' infantry unit atleast company in size - no deleting assets or cherry picking, its taken 'as-is'
  • No more than 30% of points can be spend on armored transport - whether APC or IFV. These vehicles must be part of the parent formation, and not cherry picked.
  • No more than 20% of points can be spent on AFV's
  • No more than 20% of points can be spent on artillery, aircraft and drones
  • No APS. No specialist teams. No Javelins outside of organic ones.

So its doable, but we would have to have a pretty long list of house rules and you would have to trust your opponent on it.

 

*IF* the infantry points are balanced in a future patch to CM:BS, I would be happy to head up the attempt at making the modern equivalent to 'COMBINED ARMS SHORT 75'. But if the infantry inbalance in cost remains, I think I will once again find myself waiting for the 'next release'. 

 

That being said, I would like to get the ball rolling on 'COMBINED ARMS SHORT 75' for the Bulge game as we get closer to release. Ill start threads for that and get a much more comprehensive list of rules in place to try and replicate the wonderful balance of CMx1.

 

Chad

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Just sitting here and thinking about the above list a little more, I think recreating the 'COMBINED ARMS' and 'SHORT 75' experience is possible *IF* we can get some better balance to infantry costs.

 

You could call it COMPANY PLUS. In essence, your force would be based on a company sized unit, unaltered. Then you spend your remaining points on adding support elements to it. There would need to be rules for point balancing (to replicate COMBINED ARMS) and what units are allowed and not allowed (to replicate SHORT 75).

 

While this will be tricky, but possible, with Modern titles, it would work especially well with current WWII titles.

 

Thoughts?

 

I think I might start a thread for just this.

 

And please balance the infantry costs so we can use this for CM:BS  :D

 

Thanks

 

Chad

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'SHORT 75' on the other hand, while tricky, could still be done in Modern titles of CM. Take the essence of the rule, nothing is invincible, and apply it to modern kit. APS is out for sure. A limit to Javelins. And so on. If the infantry points were balanced in CMBS, you could make a rule that goes something like this:

  • Alteast 50% of points must be spend on a 'Core' infantry unit atleast company in size - no deleting assets or cherry picking, its taken 'as-is'
  • No more than 30% of points can be spend on armored transport - whether APC or IFV. These vehicles must be part of the parent formation, and not cherry picked.
  • No more than 20% of points can be spent on AFV's
  • No more than 20% of points can be spent on artillery, aircraft and drones
  • No APS. No specialist teams. No Javelins outside of organic ones.
So its doable, but we would have to have a pretty long list of house rules and you would have to trust your opponent on it.

Ironically, the most effective way to limit Javelins is to force cherry picking. Bradleys and Strykers purchased from the single vehicle list never have them. I don't think that's a good idea, I'm just pointed that out. I do like not allowing extra Jav teams to be purchased from the specialist list.

Outside of that I think those rules are more elaborate than necessary. For the WW2 games one of my favorite rules is to limit the number of points spent on tanks to something like 30% of the total, with "tanks" being defined as fully tracked vehicles excepting Bren carriers and such. But I feel the other categories are self-limiting. Nobody is going to spend half their points on artillery. Unless you are playing on a small map -- which I refuse to do -- it's not cost-effective. I may limit the caliber. I think people should be allowed to buy all the APCs and IFVs they want. They die easily enough.

 

That being said, I would like to get the ball rolling on 'COMBINED ARMS SHORT 75' for the Bulge game as we get closer to release. Ill start threads for that and get a much more comprehensive list of rules in place to try and replicate the wonderful balance of CMx1.

Sounds good!

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Rison,

 

While I certainly don't know what's under the hood, I do have some insights to offer. In a given Russian ground combat force, the best troops will be in recon. This is an operational necessity driven by the need to gather timely intelligence, and those best suited for the task are those who worst fit the line unit model. These are the men who are clever, creative, highly adaptable and able to operate with very little supervision. Since they are, by the standards of their society, exceptional, they are scarce, therefore valuable. To further enhance their effectiveness, they are given toys which are too scarce and expensive to equip the line formations. Theoretically, both figure into the cost. I really haven't looked at them in game terms, but IRL, I suspect you'll find what senior sergeants and such will be able to do in them tasks requiring officers elsewhere. In principle, then, there is no fundamental reason why a recon squad, given an important enough target, couldn't call down fire upon it. Each squad, after all, has its own radio. Of course, our own RUS contingent may have information to the contrary. 

 

Judging from what I've read, the situation with RUS LRFs and LTDs is pretty ugly vs US. The equipment is heavy and awkward, as contrasted to US gear like this which is lightweight and gives ranges to plus/minus 1 m out to 20 klicks. This one doesn't reach as far, but it provides integrated daylight and thermal observation capabilities, LRF, LTD and geolocation functions. Certain units might also have the AN/PEQ-16A, which is pretty impressive, but is by no means the bottom of the toy box, as seen in the AN/PSQ-23, for snipers and squad leaders. Systems like these give the US and US equipped allies tremendous capabilities, but they're relatively cheap for the US to build and field en masse. No idea how that plays out in the game, either. 

 

These are but a few examples to show how things might work under the hood, but it all comes down to what criteria are used and what relative weights are assigned to which aspect. I submit, for example, there's a world of difference between a fully trained Russian soldier and his/her American counterpart. Training time, training quality, training aids, live fire ammo allotments and more all favor the American soldiers. Indeed, I think a strong case could be made that, generally speaking, US units should be superior, not because they're US (that would be ridiculous), but because they have an overall standard of training and equipage which is the envy of the armies of the world. Until recently, no one had anything like NTC, as a case in point. Back when I was a Threat Analyst, I used to cringe (for OPFOR) over Russian flight hours/ per fighter pilot of 120, vs 300+ for NATO, with many more live fire opportunities, not to mention things like RED FLAG. OPFOR had nothing remotely equivalent. 

 

Given the high complexity of the issues, to the extent I understand them, I'm glad I'm not MikeyD. I suspect there are times when his SAN loss, in trying to weigh, assess and decide a per man or unit value, is greater than that resulting from an encounter with a Lovecraftian shuggoth. Tech is cheap for the US, but producing veritable state of the art soldiery isn't, and it's long been a verity that the US prefers expending firepower over soldiers' lives. That trend has not only continued but expanded. An expression of that preference is an impressive new toy which definitely saves lives. No one in it, but can still dish out the pain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CxP7E2r8lA

 

I shall be most interested to see how the various unit values and such get sorted out over time. I also miss things like the Ambush command and the Combined Arms setting, which theoretically should prevent some of the nonsense I've run into in my current "computer picks both sides" QB, in which I have more bodies than seats. Oops. We're not UK and have no LOB provisions by which to fix this awkward problem.

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler
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These are the men who are clever, creative, highly adaptable and able to operate with very little supervision. Since they are, by the standards of their society, exceptional, they are scarce, therefore valuable. 

Isn't this a little insulting? Russia /Soviet Union has always been one of the leading countries in the world in producing culture, science, athletes and so on. You seem to be pointing at some kind of barbarian state.

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