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Infantry canonfodder in CMRT


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ASL Vet - I don't need to know where you set the loss threshold.  I can act as though hurting the enemy severely with lead to victory pretty much regardless of its cost to me, and unless you deliberately set the VCs in a truly perverse manner or tried to make victory for me impossible, that will work.  Either through the enemy having a loss VC that I do trigger, or simply by preventing him from fulfilling his other objectives through defeat of his force.  Dead men hold no ground.  Entirely independent of the designer's intentions and set VCs, there is always already a case for fighting to the death of the enemy force.  The question was and is, precisely, whether there is any knob or dial the scenario designer can turn, in the VCs alone, that will provide a compelling reason for the players *not* to do this.  *Both* of the players, because it one player decides to fight "to the death", the fight *will be* to the death.  I claim that if the players are rational, you cannot (by setting VCs alone).  If you fool them or if they were disinclined to fight that way to start with, sure games can result in which both sides don't press home.  But one or both of the players is hurting himself by that decision, in the VCs that you set, regardless of how you set them - that is what I am claiming.

Luka wrote in relevant part "If the problem is playing against other people and them not behaving enough like they were in the "real world"..."

Yes that is precisely the issue.  I claim that it is a rational, near optimal, robust and rewarded strategy in CM scenarios to fight every battle as though it were "to the death", focused on the utter destruction of the enemy force.  This is not realistic, but it is favored by the game situation and its abstracting a little subcombat out of the whole war and making it a zero sum, you or I win thing.  I claim that most players in nearly all fights can and will - and rationally so - order their men to press so hard that total losses on both sides combined greatly exceed actual losses in comparable real world engagements.  As in, it is utterly normal for losses to single companies in one hour in a CM game, to exceed the losses of entire divisions fighting for an entire day, in the real war.  Not a small difference.

I happen to think that happens largely because unit morale is too high, and confusion and command stuff undermodeled and too coordinated and godlike, not primarily anything to do with victory conditions.  When people tell me I can just play differently, they are missing the point.  My opponent won't play differently and his play will be *better* because of it.  When people tell me I can just set the VCs differently and it will solve the problem, I claim they are just flat wrong, and changing the VCs has no tendency to address this issue, whatever.

Clear enough what I am claiming?

If players choose to ignore the VP consequences of what they attempt during a game then there is nothing the designer can do other than to force an adverse outcome through victory conditions.  Granted, the setting of the victory conditions will not necessarily alter the player's behavior but the scenario end result can give the player a loss for not behaving in the way the designer wants the player to behave in.  However, the problem with what you seem to be arguing now is that you are ignoring the fact that the majority of players do not have the stomach to fight for as long or as hard as the AI does.  The AI doesn't care one bit how many pixeltruppen have been burnt, shot, or ripped apart by explosions or how many tanks have been destroyed.  The AI will carry on regardless and contrary to your earlier assertions the AI will fight to the death.  Most players have their own personal 'morale' and when that morale has been reached in a PBEM game the typical result is that you don't hear from that player again for three months or the turn around time on each turn gets slower and slower.  So no, most players would not be inclined to 'fight to the death' precisely because most players don't enjoy getting punched in the face repeatedly with no positive result. 

In situations where the game is close and both players feel that they have a chance to win then the battle may continue regardless of casualties until one player or the other feels they no longer can win.  However, that's because players playing a game still feel that they have a chance to win.  Once a player feels that they can't win anymore then the player will cease fire or forfeit.  After playing this game as long as I have I have only once encountered a player who wanted to force me to hunt down every last scattered enemy remnant rather than cease fire or forfeit.  The only factor that matters in a calculation of whether one side or the other in a game of CM gets fought 'to the death' is how much punishment each player wants to take and whether or not both sides think they can win.  If both sides still think they can win there will never be anything you can do to force the player to stop playing which seems like what you are on about now.  Why would anyone think that forcing a player to stop playing when they still think they can win is a good idea?  Can you imagine the howls of protest on how broken the game is?

That is, unless you want to redefine what you mean by 'fight to the death' which is what I suspect you will do next. 

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If both sides still think they can win there will never be anything you can do to force the player to stop playing which seems like what you are on about now.  Why would anyone think that forcing a player to stop playing when they still think they can win is a good idea?  Can you imagine the howls of protest on how broken the game is?

I think this could be done without any howls of protest.

Simply let it be up to the scenario designer to set a casualty limit, and if the player hits that limit, he should automatically get the message that he lost (and here comes the important part: that message should also tell the player that the reason he lost was because he went over the casualty limit given in the briefing). I think most players would accept that kind of defeat as perfectly reasonable, given that it's a game about war... or maybe I have too much faith in other people?

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That is, unless you want to redefine what you mean by 'fight to the death' which is what I suspect you will do next. 

Wow, so many people here just don't get JasonC. It is very clear that he is always thinking of real life first and comments on the game simply as it performs as a simulation of real life (in combat, of course). Real life commanders don't push their men to the death simply because they know that they are as likely to catch a bullet from his own men if he is leading them to meaningless suicide. Game players will never catch a bullet from one of their pxTruppen and thus make entirely different decisions. QED.

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ASL Veteran - first, I don't think scenario designers can force players to play one way rather than another.  I also have no desire for players to obey designers.  I think tne players are always in chargd and ought to be. Designers should not even try to script actions or outcome s, role or strategies.  They should set conditions and then get out if the players chairs and let them play.  That designers cannot force players to do things is a feature, not a bug.

Second, fighting to the death does not tend to reduce the victory outcomes of the player or players choosing to do so.  At all. It is in fact the usually correct, rewarded behavior in CM fights.  It also suffices for one player to want to do so, for the battle to be decided in that fashion - by destruction of the losing force.  Of course there is one not two losing force.  The casuslties to both sides and in the aggregate will greatly exceed typical real world losses if either, let alone both, decide to fight to the death.  This is a proof, if one were wanted, that most historical commanders did not do so, most of the time.

Not incidentally because they feared being fragged for callousness, but because they understood the war wasn't going to end in the next 90 minutes and they would need their force afterward.  Also because they were generally conscientious professionals trying to save the lived of their me , not get them all killed for ten useless acres of worthless real estate.  Also because wiping out the specific enemy in front of them would deterministically just mean a new enemy right behind those, and so forth, indefinitely (see above re war not ending in the next 90 minutes).  So efficiency of action, over all opportunities and missions, was always vastly more important, objectively, than the next hill or defeating one enemy company out of tens of thousands just like it.

Players push their men harder than is realistic because they can and because, in the littke artificial cockpit of the war that is a singke CM scenario, they should.  It is rational - if the war doesn't exist when the scenario ends, and all that is being lost is a few fake pixeltruppen, and the goal is just to maximize the chance of victory right here right now on this one field, hang the cost, and this enemy is all there will ever be.  All those *conditions* are *fake*.  What players do about those fake conditions is not a mistake, it is the rational and proper thing for them to do, as commanders and strategists, given those fake conditions and fake criteria of success.

And I claim that scenario designers cannot change those things by the VCs they set.  I am not telling designers to set VCs one way rather than another.  I am saying that designers are powerless in the matter, just twiddling their VC dials.  The players are going to mash their forces together far more violently than real commanders do, and losses will be much highef than historical --- *if they can*.

I am denying that designers can change any of this *through* the will of the players via VCs.  I claim, instead, that it will either remain unaddressed, or that it can be effectively addressed only by changing what the players *can* do.  Not, I am not saying "want to do", I am not saying "choose to do", I am saying *can*.  Their pixeltruppen have to *stop obeying* the player's orders, when those orders would get all the men killed.

This can be done by lowering morale.  This can be done by greater command and control difficulties, command delay, confusion, scatter of men who only slowly reform and that only if they are safe, by much slower recovery from suppression, by incomplete recovery from supression caused by losses (rattled conditions), by global morale morale effects and contagion that make units pin because others they can see take losses, even when they did not - and all similar mechanics.

It can also be done by having a threshold willingness to continue fighting, which, if hit, forces that side to offer ceasefire.  If the other side thinks they are winning and also so offers, this will end the fight early, with whatever objectives reached and losses so far obtain at that specific moment.  If both sides hit their respective limits, the fight will end then and there, in mutual exhaustion.  The men are simply *unwilling to continue*.  It does not matter what the commanders want.  The men have stopped listening.  They've had enough, and will not die for nothing any more, today.

Those are changes to what players *can* do.  Players will also react to those limits, and they will react to them rationally.  They will avoiding hitting states in which they lose control of their force and their men stop obeying them.  They will measure objectives by what they think they can achieve without the men quitting on them.  Players already do this, when it comes to avoiding broken squads by excessive movement in the open near the enemy, and the like. There is no reason to worry that players won't incorporate these "can" limits into their plans.

I claim that such changes actually would materially reduce the average losses in typical CM scenarios.  Maybe not all the way to historically low, realistic levels, but well below what we routinely see now.

Some of those changes require actual code revisions.  Some do not - e.g, playing greens for morale realism.  Some require just a prior gentlemen's agreement between the players before the game starts, and can then be implemented with no code changes, by the players.  Without even involving scenario designers, or by following cease fire threshold recommendations from designers.  Either way.

Clear enough what I am recommending?

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... no desire for players to obey designers.  I think tne players are always in chargd and ought to be. Designers should not even try to script actions or outcome s, role or strategies.  They should set conditions and then get out if the players chairs and let them play.

Then what, exactly is the problem?

 

Oh, right; they aren't obeying you, nor playing the way you think they should be.

Edited by JonS
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JonS - no, the problem is that typical CM battles, played rationally, have 10 to 100 times the casualty rates of real battles.  A pure realism problem.

When people pretend it isn't a realism problem, but is just caused by the players playing "wrong", it is necessary to point out that this explanation is false.  When people suggest it can be easily corrected by changing victory conditions by making losses more important, it is necessary to point out that this suggested solution does not remotely address the issue.

The issue remains one of realism.  The game's fault, not the players'.  All the morale and confusion and suppression recovery etc aspects I described above, are wrong in CM today.  Pixeltruppen are mindless Terminators, compared to actual soldiers, etc.

This can be addressed somewhat without code changes.  It could be addressed better by code changes. It cannot be addressed by pretending the issue does not exist, or blaming the players, or blaming the VCs scenario designers picked.

When instead it isn't addressed, we are left with something halfway to an arcade FPS, rather than am accurate simulation of small unit tactics in WWII.  

And the people denying this would defend the realism of power ups and medical kits if they were in the game today.  They'd blame players for using them if someone pointed out how unrealistic those are. But it is just hopeless.

Edited by JasonC
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10 to 100 times the casualty rates of real battles.

So?

I mean, I disagree with pretty much everything you just wrote, but even pretending that I don't ... so what? Every wargame ever, up to - and especially including - NTC, has had exactly the same "problem". None of that means that good tactics won't work in CM, or that bad tactics won't be punished in CM, or that insights into the nature and ebb-and-flow of combat can't be gained from CM.

But you don't like it that too many pixeltruppen die?

?u=http%3A%2F%2Fstevethomas.com.au%2Fwp-

Maybe we could form a society for you - The JasonC Memorial Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Imaginary And Ephemeral Pixeltruppen (TJCMSFTPOCTIAEP). Make sure to give generously on collection day; 30th February, every year.

 

Edited by JonS
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This can be done by lowering morale.  This can be done by greater command and control difficulties, command delay, confusion, scatter of men who only slowly reform and that only if they are safe, by much slower recovery from suppression, by incomplete recovery from supression caused by losses (rattled conditions), by global morale morale effects and contagion that make units pin because others they can see take losses, even when they did not - and all similar mechanics.

It can also be done by having a threshold willingness to continue fighting, which, if hit, forces that side to offer ceasefire.  If the other side thinks they are winning and also so offers, this will end the fight early, with whatever objectives reached and losses so far obtain at that specific moment.  If both sides hit their respective limits, the fight will end then and there, in mutual exhaustion.  The men are simply *unwilling to continue*.  It does not matter what the commanders want.  The men have stopped listening.  They've had enough, and will not die for nothing any more, today.

 

Combat Mission is first and foremost a game. I think it is very likely that a lot of players would not enjoy a "realistic" battlefield. But still, for some players this might be just their cup of tea.

Perhaps it would be an idea to be able to select a play mode (say "Game" vs. "Realistic" for lack of something better at this point). In Realistic mode troops will behave more in line with what you wrote. Game mode is the way things are now.

This will potentially make it harder on the scenario designers if both play modes are to be considered. What would be a pretty easy job in Game mode could be really hard in Realistic mode.

But still, I think it is not a bad idea to cater for players who desire a more hardcore simulation. All in IMHO.

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c3k - that doesn't amount to the designers not being in fantasy land, only to alleging that the players got their first.  

The infantry part of the war was not static or uninteresting or unimportant.  It was most of it, on all fronts and times.  And plenty of it, even in the times and places where armor was occasionally around.  When armor was around, it was rarely an even match of the best vehicles from both sides, or even a near-even match of the vanilla ones. 

What I am saying is that we'd be better off with more diversity in the matter.  Fights without any armor, and fights where only the attacker has barely a smidgen of the stuff, are inherently interesting and important for tactical lessons.  Similar "asymmetry" in amounts of heavy fire support, or the presence of obstacles or difficult terrain, are also inherently interesting.  Especially so with force to space levels considerably lower than the battalion every 600 yards scale in too many of the included scenarios.

I am reacting to those who told the original poster, in effect, sure infantry is unimportant, it was so in the real war.  (Some instead told him useful lessons about how not to get his men killed, which is great - not what I am reacting to).  This just isn't true.  And the OP desiring to see scenario conditions in which infantry isn't just cannon fodder, when it can survive and fight, and its handling matters for the outcome, is justified, IMO.  (That range of conditions may indeed be wider with best play - separate issue).

FWIW...

Working on a good infantry fight right now.  Still making the map.. but when I am done will be a good fight.  It may only be hypothetical but I try and make it interesting an fun.  But I agree, sometimes a good slug fest between Infantry is exciting in itself.  I found out that having too much artillery generally made the scenario bad and sometimes unplayable or at the very least demotivating as your infantry is torn apart... but in all respects, sometimes that was the case.

 

I also agree with JonS in that good sound tactics or bad or bad ones do result in what would probably be accurate in real life.  I actually think that the BF team does a great job.  Its not real life but its a great simulation of what I like to think as a 3D environment of ASL games from past, or larger ones from the likes of Panzer Blitz. From Avalon Hill.

Edited by GhostRider3/3
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Casualty rates in the game mostly appear off in the game, as the statistical end game screen data is so accurate. Consider many the dead and WIA in the statistics, would rather fall into the MIA (unknown) category in real life. This is in addition to the real surrendered, which are normally below average in a CMX2 game IMO. Yet I figured most the game circumstances, where one can see more troops surrendering, but these situations rarely happen in a standard CMX2 game.

I´ll make some tests, just out of curiosity and do my own evaluation about KIA, WIA and MIA and compare them with the end game screen statistics. I.e if a panicked infantry unit routes away and the last two guys get shot unseen during the rout, I would count these as MIA, not KIA/MIA. The other guys who possibly make it alive through the battle, would tell the commander that they don´t know about the whereabouts of their buddies, as they couldn´t see what actually happened. Were they killed or captured alive by the enemy, wounded or unwounded? Do they still wander near or behind the enemy frontline and seek an opportunity to make it back to friendly lines? The real life commander would count these as MIA generally and only the player knows exactly about the destiny of each individual soldier.

Edit: Also falling into the WIA category would be those lightly wounded (yellow dot), which normally are amonst the combat capable (OK) category. At the end of game isolated, yet combat capable units (iron mode), I´d also count amongst MIA, if there´s neither LOS from friendlies to these units and COC/C2 link cut. This should all yield some more real to life casualty statistics I think.

Edited by RockinHarry
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When actually playing the game it doesn't feel 'off' to me and you can't really compare total theater casualties to game casualties.  I know some people do that, but it isn't a valid comparison.  There are a very few battles that are described accurately enough that you can get a sense of how many casualties would be appropriate for a CM sized battle, and in those few instances that a direct comparison can be made the game isn't actually off by a dramatic amount.  Maybe the in game casualties might be a little bit higher but it isn't higher or off by a ridiculous amount in terms of total casualties.  The thing to keep in mind is that everything in a CM battle is accelerated as compared to a real battle and that's simply a function of the game environment itself.  A player will do in one hour what a real commander could accomplish in three or four hours.  You can almost consider two hours of CM combat as being comparable to eight hours of real combat.  Everything in the game moves more quickly because there is no command confusion.  You want A company to attack?  You instantaneously move them to attack.  You want A company to stop attacking?  You instantly have them stop advancing.  Players don't even need to have a coherent attack plan at the beginning of a battle since every unit reacts instantly to the player's commands.  A real commander doesn't have that luxury.  Real soldiers also won't go places or do things that are excessively risky and yet the player can command his truppen to do whatever he wants them to do and they will obey orders.  Some might want a situation where their soldiers don't follow their commands, but the howls of protest at truppen not doing what the player wants them to do would drown out those one or two voices in the wilderness who wants to play a game with soldiers that don't do what the player wants them to do.

My suspicion is that none of this is really the reason why this complaint comes up.  There may be one or two guys who complain about the casualties simply from a purist perspective because they don't seem historically 'accurate' to them.  Like I mentioned though, in cases where a specific battle can be examined well enough to determine if the casualties are accurate the CM casualties come out a little bit higher but it isn't like crazy high.  No, I find it hard to believe that someone plays a scenario through to completion, wins the battle, and then goes to the victory screen and says 'wow, this game stinks because the victory screen shows a casualty number that doesn't correspond with my understanding of historical accuracy.'  Very few would operate from a level of purity and selflessness to register a complaint of that nature simply on historical grounds alone.  No, my guess is that most of those who complain about in game casualties as compared to theater wide casualty statistics are doing so because of how they fare when playing the game. 

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When i first started the new cm, the unrealistic casualty rates bothered me.The consensus seems to be this is mainly due to players pushing their forces much harder than would be the case in reality, yet even playing as cautiously as i could, trying to play it 'by the book', not pushing too hard or giving unrealistic orders, the casualty rates would still be way higher than expected. I think that the biggest cause of this is the way the squads behave. When they run they go into the conga line of death and when they stop they are all bunched up. A full squad takes up two action spots. How would this play out were it doubled?

 A squad spread over four spots would survive much better than at present. A lot of the time you see two/three men hit because they are lying almost on top of one another. Fighting in woods, they all want to hide behind the same tree..arrgh. When one man is fired on, there is almost always at least one of his pals right behind him and when using cover i.e. craters, ditches, windows..you get six men lying on top of each other in one crater or two men in the ditch and four sitting on the lip, or four men at one small window. I know some of this is due to limitations within the game but would giving the squads a bigger footprint solve a lot of this? Also, if the squads were spread out you would not have one tightly packed bunch of shooters firing on another bunched up gang. the firing would be much lessened in these exchanges due to los within the squad but i think would flow at a more realistic pace. Last point. The maps would probably become larger as you force would spread out more effectively, yes there are large maps at the moment but it still comes down to very tightly compressed squads moving within it. Yes it would be great to have formation type orders, skirmish line etc, but until that is manageable, if ever, just giving them more room would I think cut the casualty rate drastically. I love these games and nothing else comes close to cm but it is strange that for all the time gone into making it so realistic, for me one of the biggest flaws is down to the omission of one of the very basic rules of combat....Spread the f***k out, keep your spacing. Cheers.

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And the people denying this would defend the realism of power ups and medical kits if they were in the game today.  They'd blame players for using them if someone pointed out how unrealistic those are. But it is just hopeless.

LOL WTF AYKM

I mean, I disagree with pretty much everything you just wrote, but even pretending that I don't ... so what? Every wargame ever, up to - and especially including - NTC, has had exactly the same "problem". None of that means that good tactics won't work in CM, or that bad tactics won't be punished in CM, or that insights into the nature and ebb-and-flow of combat can't be gained from CM.

+1 to that

The consensus seems to be this is mainly due to players pushing their forces much harder than would be the case in reality, yet even playing as cautiously as i could, trying to play it 'by the book', not pushing too hard or giving unrealistic orders, the casualty rates would still be way higher than expected. I think that the biggest cause of this is the way the squads behave. When they run they go into the conga line of death and when they stop they are all bunched up. A full squad takes up two action spots. How would this play out were it doubled?

Naw it is the first thing you said.  Even if we got a game that was "perfect" in the areas you are talking about the casualties would still be to high because fundamentally defenders don't withdraw when they start taking serious fire and attackers don't stop when they take some casualties.  We commanders behave like ever hedge row is an at all cost objective.  It is a game have fun with it.  If you want to play in an environment that might have a better shot at realism try joining into one of @kohlenklau's campaigns.  At least there you might fight a totally lopsided battle or fight a withdrawal to save your force - all things that happened in reality and we hardly ever play in this game.

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Sonar is undoubtedly right in his points about bunching and the tac AI being responsible for excess bloodiness even with careful play, and ASL veteran is basically agreeing with me (whatever his other intentions) in pointing out that the game gives godlike player coordination and rapid execution of commands, that real commanders did not have, especially under WWII conditions (vs modern headset-linked comms and such, I mean).  I don't think those alone, even combined, actually explain the phenomenon, however.  I agree they both do play a role.  

It is clear to me that morale recovery is simply far faster in CM than anything realistic.  I think the men hit per shot are about right (some weapons too high perhaps), with bunching the only issue raising those unrealistically.  I think the suppression effect immediately, from fire applied, is also fine, and better than most previous games.  Men and units do pin and pin realistically, a company is stopped in the open by morale effect not physical destruction, and the like.  But they just snap out of it and continue the mission very very rapidly and reliably.

I read AARs from WWI really dumb attacks, for example, including ones that resulted in casualty levels approximating those routinely seen in CM.  But the historical result is that the attacking and struck unit goes to ground *and never gets up again*, slinking to the rear at nightfall and in 1s and 2s.  In CM, the same fire outcomes and initial suppression would commonly lead to units going heads down for 2 minutes (if not routed) to 5-10 at most, then continuing the mission.

This also creates a standing invitation to press.  The window in which enemies are made ineffective and vulnerable by prior fire is so short that either one closes with them to finish them, while that is happening, or they will recover and the whole process will need to be gone through again.  I also see this fact as linked to the much greater ammo expenditure and firing frequency we have in CM, compared to reality.  At bottom the "rally power" of infantry is set far too strong. 

That may be a concession to player expectations, and it may be that players like Terminator pixeltruppen more than they'd like flesh and blood ones.  But I think there are at least different audiences on that score, and I second the idea of allowing each to have what they want through setting differences (akin to the :veteran" etc levels now available).

As for the comment that we can't tell, or can't tell from "theater wide casualty levels", we can tell, and the places of disagreement between CM loss rates and real world ones come in much sooner than that, at a much lower unit size and time scale.  If you take heavily engaged divisions in an attack stance in the largest attrition battles of the war, you see loss rates around 300 casualties per division-day.  I see that in CM with battalion-hours.  (Company level fights have a smaller mismatch but still a mismatch - another reason I prefer those, personally). When a battalion-hour in CM is a division-day in real losses, this cannot be ascribed to aggregation questions.  We have two distinct dimensions of order of magnitude misalignments, compounded.  One of those two powers of ten might plausibly be "covered" by "worst case" or most intensity time or area of effort focus, but not both of them, and especially not with the consistency high losses occur in CM.

As for JonS's snark, read the thread title, and review the original poster's lament.  People do care that CM is far bloodier than real combat, and not because of imaginary tenderness for electrons, but because it palpably detracts from their playing experience.  Both in how believable it is, in tactics effects and roles, in the perceived role of infantry within the combined arms mix, etc.  I didn't invent the issue and I am not making it up - I am explaining where I believe its origins lie, and therefore where solutions are possible.

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I totally get where players are coming from when they don't like taking casualties in the game.  It's only natural, not necessarily because we care about writing letters home for our pixeltruppen, but rather because it seems like your combat power is being frittered away.  I think we've all had those games where we get the PBEM file and we dread running it because we just know that disaster awaits our pixeltruppen.  People prefer to play games and win.  People don't generally like to see forces under their command be ripped apart helplessly.  Who enjoys seeing their well laid plans be disrupted and their pixelsoldiers destroyed within a game?  Certainly not me.  I enjoy inflicting casualties upon the enemy.

The game environment is the same for everyone who is playing the game though so regardless as to how flawed or imperfect a player's perception of the game environment may be since both sides are operating under the same issues there is no competitive advantage or disadvantage.  Another thing to consider is that while you may be able to make adjustments that make casualty creation a bit more difficult, the only effect it is likely to have is to slow down the game and make it less dynamic and possibly less fun.

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 ASL, in regards to slowing the game.If the forces were given a larger bootprint on the field as i suggested, there would be less concentration of force, the game would progress at a different pace yes and maybe a slower one,though with more realistic results and when I say realistic I don't mean slower=boring. For instance,two full squads firing at each other from cover would commence at a more realistic pace in terms of ammo expenditure and casualties, a lot of the time you would be able to leave them knowing there will be a few mins of plugging away before one or the other pinned instead of every squad on squad engagement being the instant crisis that it is more than often right now and giving time to carry out flanking moves and such which can be done yes,but too often it is a case of having two mins at most to get counter suppression on the enemy or you can forget about the squad you are trying to help out, so infantry engagements may be drawn out little more but this in itself would possibly offer opportunities and not necessarily restrictions.If i need three squads to overcome one enemy squad in cover, a lot of the time as it is now my infantry look terribly crowded but there is no option because they need to be cheek to jowl to get los in order to gain fire superiority over this other tightly packed force. This undoubtedly leads to higher casualties and to "the tactical eye"looks very wrong.

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So the conclusion thus far is CM is not 100% realistic and losses are skewed high. OK .... we can not modify the sources code. We can modify our tactics and/or have battles where force preservation in pursuit of other game winning objectives is an important consideration. Why can't a draw be the logical conclusion to a well fought battle? I know .. I know .. why play a scenario email for weeks and have it end inconclusively? What if both sides had a vested interest in the result - say wireless. If you win you get free access for 6 months ... lose: no access ... draw: you keep access at your current rate. I think this would change player plans depending on the tactical situation handed to them. They might care about loses when seeking free access - then back off to hold on to their current rate if things get hairy and they have incomplete knowledge of their opponent and their objectives. (Who can live without internet for 6 months). Scenario designers don't control player internet access or any external influence. They only have the editor which provides a lot of options thankfully. But they can't change player behavior if the player does not adapt to the tactical situation they designed. They can't console the player when they get sour and don't  "win" using their tried and true play style - which can be suicidal and result in a loss. Curse the designer - how dare he(she). 

Kevin 

 

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Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room.

@sonar 's posts make a lot of sense, I think.

Also, it's a consequence of the 8-metre square minimum movement distance. Say you want to go up to the crest of a hill to scout. In real life, you can move forward centimetre by centimetre, until you get exactly the field of view you need, while staying well hidden and covered. In the game, it's 8 metres or nothing.

I'm dreaming of the day when they divide the maps into 4-metre squares and make each squad act like a group of 2-man teams. So, if you have 10 men in the squad in total, that means 5 teams of 2 guys. However, you might still only be able to split a squad into 2 or 3 teams (for gameplay or historical realism reasons), but those teams would be "internally composed" of subteams of 1 or 2 soldiers, and able to spread out to adapt to terrain.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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I'm dreaming of the day when they divide the maps into 4-metre squares ...

Are you kidding me? Maps already take a significant effort to craft. Quadrupling the effort required would not benefit anyone. And besides, even if they did you'd just complain that the tiles were 2-metres, or 1-metre, or ...

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ASL Veteran - would it slow down the game?  It might.  But less rally power might also reduce "board stalls" that occur when each side has enough firepower to suppress the enemy, but the men shot at rally from those effects and the battle continues as a result.  With lots of further fire exchanged because of it.  My diagnosis of the cause of high losses is that the men "last too long" under fire, in a morale sense rather than an actual men hit sense.  Brittler troops don't obviously equate to less decision.  They might lead to more decision, to a side giving way at a lower level of losses received to date.

I will agree that some of the other measures I've discussed, more modeling of confusion and command delay, would indeed tend to slow down the game.  Realistically so in my opinion, but I can see that being independently undesirable for a broad group of players.  That is also the only set of the recommendations that can't be implemented without code changes. (Turning down rally power could be done more thoroughly with code changes, but a start can be made in that direction just by making a heavier use of green troops).

As for the loss threshold cease fire option, on its own it would tend to end fights earlier than they end now ,which would tend to reduce the number of game turns played per scenario (and losses with it).  It might slow fights down by more tentative play by the commanders, within the turns played, but overall would probably make games go faster, even if less death happened per game turn actually played.

Fair question...

 

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Considering some the weaknesses of the CMX2 infantry modelling, I still find casualty rates more or less realistic. Bunching up is a problem, as is some the single soldiers stances in various combat situations. Trenches and Foxholes, can be obviously just considered as beeing of the shallow type and thus do not always give the protection one would expect. Also counts for stone buildings in the game. CMX2 models a type, that can mostly be found in villages and towns, but not in larger cities, were buildings are more solid, having thicker walls and offer basement shelter and combat positions. Beside that, the end game casualty list statistics aren´t comparable to what can be found in historical WW2 battle or theater accounts, which derive data from longer time frames and figures heavily affected by FOW (way more MIA, who can either be unconfirmed killed, wounded and surrendered troops, as well as stragglers not yet returned to their parent units for various reasons). In CMX2, the fate of each individual soldier is always known and this is also the purpose of the end game statistics.

Beside generally adapting tactics to some the game engines limitations, I personally found a way to mod single soldiers stances (in CMBN), in order to reduce some the most stupid exposures that lead to more casualties than necessary IMO.

That is: Medics go prone, soldiers go one stance down to reload weaponry and in the extreme mod version, I disallow soldiers to stand upright while shooting and when actually doing nothing (waiting, spotting). That doesn´t dramatically limit a soldiers spotting nor fighting abilities, but helps with offering a smaller target to the enemy and vice versa (mod affects both opponents the same time).

I just use this mod for testing purposes and my own enjoyment, but otherwise do not use it (the full mod) for self made missions that are intended to be published.

 To see what decreased exposure does in the game generally, one can test the medic mod to be found over here: http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=713 

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