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Has anyone beat "School of Hard Knocks" with the new game rules?


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Just wondering if anyone has done this mission recently.

 

Since the game came out, three things have changed that make the mission much more difficult:

 

1: Machineguns are now much more deadly and suppressive. You have lots of empty ground to cover, and the Germans have lots of MG's in this mission.

 

2: Direct mortar fire has been made much less accurate. This makes your 60mm and 81mm mortars much less of an asset, as they blow through a lot of ammo with no effect on the enemy foxholes.. 

 

3: Tanks spot less well. This impacts your five Shermans.

 

 

So, not saying it's impossible, but I'm not sure I can do it - has anyone tried recently?

Edited by Bulletpoint
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I just did a search for that.  Several people feel like AT guns are harder to spot - including me actually.  But I can not find any reference to it being a feature or fix.  However I personally think you have nailed it: tanks spot less well.  That was a change.  And if tanks spot less well then AT guns are harder to spot - by the tanks anyway.

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I also have a feeling that foxholes now offer better protection than when I started out playing CMBN. But that might just be a side-effect of mortars being less accurate. I used to be able to count on even 60mm mortars knocking out a foxhole-square reliably once they zero in, but now all I see are lots of new "foxholes" in the immdiate vicinity of the enemy ones :)

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  • 10 months later...

I just won, on my second try.

My failure on the first try was due to not conserving ammo, and underestimating the strength of the enemy.  Also, understanding the range limits of different weapons is important.  I was trying to shoot at German positions from the North side of the river using M1 rifles, not realizing that their effective range is only 400 meters.

So, you need to get your troops close enough to the German defensive line to shoot at them.  You can't do that without tank support.  You can't move your tanks forward until the AT guns have been knocked out.  So, you need to send a few squads forward to make contact, and hopefully tempt the AT guns into firing at them, and reveal their positions.  Then, you fire on the AT guns with mortar, MGs, and tank main guns until you are sure they are knocked out.  Then you can move the tanks up to the engagement line to cover the infantry as the German MGs chew them up.  You lose a lot of men, but eventually, you knock down the German defenses enough that you can replace your men faster than the Germans can shoot them up.

I also had to practice using smoke from different sources to get adequate protection.  I needed all the smoke I could get: mortars, tanks, and the 105 battery, to get the job done.  I concentrated the smoke in the center, and used my long range MG's to fire on defenders on each side of the area of engagement.  I lost 2 tanks, one to an AT gun while it was still sitting on the ridge, and a second to a mine in front of the bridge (after they were marked by the Engineers!).  I almost lost a 3rd to a panzerschreck, but I was at the edge of the schreck's range (200m), and he missed.  The 3 tanks left were just barely enough to get the job done.

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I just won, on my second try. <Snip>

I lost 2 tanks, one to an AT gun while it was still sitting on the ridge, and a second to a mine in front of the bridge (after they were marked by the Engineers!). <Snip>

Good Job on your win!  Just to follow up reference marking mines.  Not sure if you know this or not but I would not be a good comrade in arms if I did not point it out:  Marking mines will assist infantry in passing through a mined action square (they can still go off if the infantry panics and runs or something).  Marking mines has no benefit for vehicles.  A vehicle has the same chance of setting off marked mines as un-marked mines.  :)   

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Good Job on your win!  Just to follow up reference marking mines.  Not sure if you know this or not but I would not be a good comrade in arms if I did not point it out:  Marking mines will assist infantry in passing through a mined action square (they can still go off if the infantry panics and runs or something).  Marking mines has no benefit for vehicles.  A vehicle has the same chance of setting off marked mines as un-marked mines.  :)   

 

Good to know.  I don't really understand how mines and barbed wire work in CMBN.  Regarding mines, it seems that you can't mark them until someone gets blown up by one, first.  Then, a red sign appears.  You can Fast/Quick move some engineers to the adjacent square, and use the Mark Mines command into the square where the mine was set off.  Once they are done, the sign turns white.  After that, troops can move through the mine field at Move speed without getting hurt?  I thought the same applied to vehicles, but you are telling me that is not the case.  Bummer.  Does moving a vehicle through a known mine field at reduced speed lessen the chances of hitting one?  It seems that there should be some way of lowering the risk for vehicles, even if you cannot eliminate it entirely.

Regarding barbed wire, the manual says that it will slow infantry, but every time I try to order them to cross it, the computer plots a path around it, instead.  I know I can make a hole through it in the usual ways: engineers using Blast, or drive a tank through.  I haven't tried blowing a hole in it with a tank main gun.  Would that work?   There is a barbed wire fence in Hard Knocks that is within panzerschreck range of the German defensive line.  Also, is there a risk of a tank being immobilized from driving through barbed wire?  I have had that happen when driving over a low stone wall.

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Mines can be spotted by infantry, and will get bonuses if they are Engineers or moving slowly. There's still every chance that they won't spot them though.

The action spot contains a definite number of mines, so HE fire (or enough bodies) can empty the minefield, with time.

Marking mines is not removing them - conceptually it's the engineers plotting a safe path, and laying tape or whatever to mark a corridor. Therefore, a normal "move" command is probably the best bet for moving through mines, but even then there is a chance of failure.

I don't think different vehicle speeds matter, and I'm not sure they should either.

Barbed wire "slowing" infantry I think actually means forcing them to go around. I believe you can destroy them with HE fire (you can destroy most things with enough HE fire), so that should be an option. Tanks will take track damage just as they will with running over walls - so it's possible to immobilise them, but you're usually okay.

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<Snip>  Regarding mines, it seems that you can't mark them until someone gets blown up by one, first.  Then, a red sign appears.  You can Fast/Quick move some engineers to the adjacent square, and use the Mark Mines command into the square where the mine was set off.  Once they are done, the sign turns white.  After that, troops can move through the mine field at Move speed without getting hurt? <Snip> 

My SOP is to move through all anti-personnel minefields (marked or un-marked) using the Slow command.  This is my reasoning: Fast & Quick will likely set off a mine. Infantry can Hunt through the minefield but if any incoming fire is near them they will stop moving and you have to order them forward again next turn.  Infantry can use Move however if they take incoming fire they will often Quick to the next waypoint probably setting off a mine.  This leaves Slow as my SOP.  

Some notes on minefields:

Engineers can Mark Mines in the same action spot as the mines or from an adjacent action spot. 

If engineers Mark Mines from an adjacent action spot they will crawl into the mine A/S when mine marking is completed.

Engineers can most reliably and safely locate unidentified minefields using the Slow command.  

Marking a minefield substantially reduces the chance of triggering a mine for infantry traversing the minefield.

Friendly mines will destroy friendly troops and vehicles. 

Mines cannot be placed on bridges.  

When using a flail vehicle to Clear Mines there is a chance that some mines will not be detonated,

US Breech teams contain engineers and can also mark minefields.   

Minefields can be neutralized by heavy artillery (150mm+), if it scores a direct hit.

Minefields can be neutralized by a blast from a demo charge if there is a blastable obstacle (wire) in the action spot.

Red sign with a skull and crossbones = Active non-marked minefield.

Off white sign with a skull and crossbones = A marked minefield. 

Green sign with a white X = Neutralized minefield (all mines detonated) 

 

<Snip> Does moving a vehicle through a known mine field at reduced speed lessen the chances of hitting one?  It seems that there should be some way of lowering the risk for vehicles, even if you cannot eliminate it entirely. <Snip>

As far as I know vehicle speed does not effect the chance of a marked mine field detonating.  I have never tested this however so it may be possible.  My SOP is to keep my tanks away from known Antitank mine fields, marked or not.  Just not worth the chance of having a tank destroyed.  Mixed minefields do not have as many AT mines in the 8x8 action square as a dedicated AT minefield.  As a result I have seen vehicles drive through mixed minefields without detonating an AT mine.  

Antitank minefields can be marked but there is no effect.  Infantry can traverse them without risk and vehicles don't benefit from marking.

Anti-personnel mines do not strongly affect vehicles but they can cause track & wheel damage and can lead to immobilization.

<Snip> Regarding barbed wire, the manual says that it will slow infantry, but every time I try to order them to cross it, the computer plots a path around it, instead.  I know I can make a hole through it in the usual ways: engineers using Blast, or drive a tank through.  I haven't tried blowing a hole in it with a tank main gun.  Would that work?   There is a barbed wire fence in Hard Knocks that is within panzerschreck range of the German defensive line.  Also, is there a risk of a tank being immobilized from driving through barbed wire?  I have had that happen when driving over a low stone wall.

ALL vehicles, wheeled & tracked, take damage from driving through obstacles (This includes wire).  This damage is cumulative.  

I have never had any luck in blowing a hole in wire with a tank's main gun.  To double check I just loaded a test map and fired all 51 rounds of HE from an M4A3 Sherman at three sections of wire from an approximate range of 32 meters with no effect.

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Despite the damage, this is the "poor man's" mineclearing method ;)

Yes, this can get the job done for AP mines and allow the infantry through.  My problem is they sometimes turn out to be a mixed minefield...... what a mess that makes.:P

I have had tanks with a small red spot under "Tracks" when viewing the damage report, yet they seem to move normally.  What does that mean? Are they more prone to immobilization if they run over a wall?

On the damage report the subsystems of the vehicle are listed.  To the right of each subsystem is a green dot for a healthy subsystem.  As the subsystem sustains damage during the course of the battle the green dot goes through different shades/colors of green, yellow, orange, red etc.  For tracks / wheels the in game effect is that the vehicle moves slower and slower.  At some shade of red the vehicle will be immobilized.  At that point the word "Immobilized" will also show up across the suppression indicator and the vehicle will no longer respond to movement commands.      

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