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how to develop more aggressive approach


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recently i was watching a youtube video of guy taking on 88 mm flak gun positioned in the woods with 1 section of Irish guards. later he brought on the sherman and was able to take out the germans by driving the tank right up to the gun.

 

now, i was surprised as just around or two should destroy the tank that went over the open ground and was thinking what am i doing wrong in this game. i play the same mission (4 of MG campaign Road to Nijmegen) and for same position i took completely different approach.

 

the briefing already has some german positions placed on the map due to recon units being able to spot them. the gun is set up to protect the right flank while the main objective is on diagonally opposite part of the map. the main objective is quite heavily defended and i saw the right flank as a possible avenue to encircle the ai and hit them from flank or behind.

 

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I went to the position with 3 squads and 4 tanks (my main force for the flanking) and it took me about 20 turns to prepare the whole attack on that position including the mortar barrage. now that is obviously an overkill as the guy in video did it just with one squad and the tank, my main problem with the game seems to be the time. i am very slow at moving my troops and i have difficulties judging the speed of the units. 

 

i always go with scouts in front, bounding overwatch and things when i approach the enemy and it takes too much time. seeing this guy just rushing forward i thought i  must be doing something wrong. how do you judge the pace of movement and beat the battle clock?

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how do you judge the pace of movement and beat the battle clock?

 

I don't like taking a lot of casualties so I tend to be cautious and sometimes run into problems with the clock.

 

As a result I will sometimes use backwards planning from the final objective back to the friendly set up area and use phase lines.  If I have 60 minutes to get to the final objective I will place a phase line roughly half way to the objective, along my chosen route of advance.  This then becomes the 30 minute phase line.  I will further divide the map into 45 minute (3/4 distance) and 15 minute (1/4 distance) phase lines along my chosen avenues of advance. Then I go back and look closer at the terrain and adjust the phase lines based on terrain, expected resistance etc....  

 

I then make the final adjustments/plans by backwards planning: If I need to be at this location in 60 minutes with dismounted infantry then 1st Platoon needs to cross the small wood area no later than (NLT) than 50 minutes.  To cross the woods at 50 minutes the Plt needs to clear this farmstead NLT 45 minutes etc..... back to the set up zone/line of departure. I try to be reasonable with the time based on what I know of the terrain, OpFor etc...  Now I have a rough running estimate to judge the progress of the mission and my literal boots on the ground progress.

 

I try to remember to preserve my force and use it in a realistic way.  This means I am not always going to beat the clock.  So be it.  There is always another mission.           

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i as well don't like unnecessary losses and never rush into the conflict but i find it impossible to do the mission in time by careful approach. i guess time restrain is also a part of battle situation but i think it should be reserved for certain situations and missions not for all of them. 

 

making phases as you suggests seems reasonable and useful, might try that in my next campaign mission.

Edited by mbarbaric
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I might try the phase line method for my next mission. It looks pretty daunting. Final mission in the Courage and Fortitude campaign.

 

Every time I load up the map and start planning, I lose motivation and quit before starting, since it seems impossible to scout out, approach and clear out a town of that size, surrounded by minefields, in just 60 minutes.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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There's an art (and it's by damme a dark one) to judging where to stop incautious advance and shift over to proper scouting. Depending on the scenario, you could be three hedgerows from the first enemy piquets, or you could be one hedgerow from their MLR. Often, it seems that the only way to make sure you don't waste the first third of the scenario's allotted time just feeling your way towards the first enemy you can get a grip on is to Quick a handful of split Scout teams off  one terrain feature ahead of your main force and see where they start to get ventilated.

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this sounds good enough, i just feel so bad letting the scout team run on quick only to beat the game clock. this shouldn't happen in real unless there is some time factor... mostly in CM battles time limit is totally arbitrary put by the mission creator.

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this sounds good enough, i just feel so bad letting the scout team run on quick only to beat the game clock. this shouldn't happen in real unless there is some time factor... mostly in CM battles time limit is totally arbitrary put by the mission creator.

Not arbitrary. They don't just lick a finger, hold it up in the breeze and say "...45 minutes for this one." They (if the scenario is any good) playtest it at least a couple of times or more on "Scenario Author Test" difficulty and get a feel for how long it will take. Then hopefully it gets played by another player or two and the estimates revised. For example, the scenario Buying the Farm that IanL and MethodGamer are playing "cards face up" for everyone's edification and edumication is a foregone conclusion: the Amis will drive the Germans out of the Farm, and the chances are that, given unlimited time, they would achieve their casualty parameter, and the Germans would lose theirs. The Germans are that overmatched. The only thing that makes it challenging is that the Germans only have to hold for half an hour.

 

That isn't to say that there aren't scenarios out there that have just had an arbitrary limit set, but for a conscientious designer, the time limit is part of the design and narrative that they're building.

 

If you think scenarios are too short, you also need to consider two other things:

 

Time in CMx2 is greatly compressed. Because of our "God's Eye View" we can set up and coordinate engagements much more rapidly than a commander on the ground could. Our timing can be better. There's less waiting around for ducks to get in a row. I would guess that a 3 times compression would be a conservative estimate.

 

The AI's plan is based (for the most part) on time. There are some BN maps now with triggers, but all the original scenarios have the AI scripted according to the designer's estimates of the player's tempo. If you extend a half hour scenario where the designer has tried to present you with a dynamic opponent, out to one or two hours, you'll find that the AI's actions will have little to do with you, since you're not engaging on the anticipated time scale. So, for example, if there's a defense that's due to fall back at 10 minute and 20 minute marks, and you take half an hour to get into the position where the original piquets were, you won't have anything to fight, and you'll not catch up to the defense until it's in its final positions. Which would be unsatisfying and wasteful of the designer's effort.

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That isn't to say that there aren't scenarios out there that have just had an arbitrary limit set, but for a conscientious designer, the time limit is part of the design and narrative that they're building.

 

 

In theory, yes. That's how it should work. But in practice, I've played several scenarios (included with the game) where the time was insufficient to win in any remotely realistic way. That's not to say you can't win those missions. It just means that you can only win them by basically rushing into enemy fire, taking highly unnecessary "Rambo" losses. I don't think that feels authentic for Normandy at least.

 

Of course, some scenarios might be about beating the clock, and I don't think anybody's asking for endless time. But when the set-up is about a well prepared assault on a big and well defended town, I find it very bizarre to only have one hour on the clock, time dilation or not. Just making it to the edge of town will take scouting, suppression, and maneuvering, probably waiting for artillery support to come in, and all that is nothing compared to the grind of clearing the houses one by one...

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