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1 hour ago, Raptorx7 said:

This is a good idea for a feature, along with selecting difficulty and Wego or real time allow players to artificially add time to a campaign scenario or a standalone scenario if they want it.

I'm sure you know, but for those who don't, you can open up any scenario in the editor and simply add more time if you feel the need to. I've done this on occasion, as well as adding a few units here and there as well. I mostly play singleplayer so I never have issues with upsetting multiplayer balance or anything of the sort. The same can be done with campaign missions, however you must unpack the missions first in order to do so. There is a tool to do this on the repository and it is quite simple to do. I generally do this to most campaigns, if for nothing more than to be able to use the maps within. 

 

As to the raging debate about time limits in general, I'm rather confused about whats being argued. Its pretty obvious that time restrictions, such as a 30 minute time limit to conduct a multiple company sized assault on a defensive position, IS in fact put there to increase the challenge. Give me two hours for the same scenario and what happens? You take your time, thoroughly probe the enemy line, find weaknesses and engage targets of opportunity. Then when you are ready, you unleash the full might of your force against the enemy's weakest point, and it all comes crumbling down around them. 

But with a time limit that is very restrictive, you don't have the time to do that. You have to conduct a very quite recon and follow it up with a hasty attack. It becomes a race against oneself. Can I build up enough fire superiority in time before all of my men are slaughtered in the frontal assault I must conduct due to the time limit?

There are a ton of other reasons/scenarios I could get into, but I think this point is fairly understood. The less time you have to execute an attack, the less thorough you can be. 

As to the gameplay mechanics such as the gods eye view of the commander and situational awareness and all that, all I can really say is that yes, of course it is a factor, and there is no way to get rid of that. Simulations try to emulate real life to the best of its abilities. It is NOT a surrogate for real life. If anything, the gods eye view and other necessities of the simulation aid the attacker. In real life, the scenario I described above is nearly impossible to execute. Most of the time limits in most CM scenarios are. That doesn't mean I think there needs to be a change or anything like that, but its worth mentioning. 

Finally, I'll point out that I believe with @Shift8's overall point is that creating very small time limits in order to increase the difficulty of a mission is, at the least, annoying. I do not like it, and it is why many times I add more time to the scenarios I play using the editor. He is arguing that it is not realistic, and I agree. But what I would argue is that, for me it is not fun. 

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On 5/17/2016 at 11:44 PM, shift8 said:

Im sure someone can dredge up some off kilter example to contrary, but in real life war does not have a "time limit." Now before someone rips my head off, YES there are time sensitive things at the strategic or operational level. However, time tables for battles are rarely if ever kept, and units in the field generally take as long as they need to do complete and objective. After all, you cannot take town X if you are dead. Units do not generally come across a heavily defended positions and go "well crap! the colonel said we had to take this in 20min, so we had better just charge right in!" Slow is smooth and smooth is fast: Period. 

 

 

I would disagree with this - timetables matter a lot, especially at CM's level.  It's not a matter of "losing" if you don't capture the village or hill on time, but it is often a matter of the larger attack stopping until tomorrow because you can't move supplies up until the hill is cleared (or whatever).  It can also mean the difference between enemy troops being able to escape or being cut off.

 

As others have mentioned, time is compressed in CM - probably by at least 4 or 5 times.  A quick 30 minute CM battle would probably take at least 2 hours to fight in reality (if not longer). A 2-hour CM battle is an all-day battle in reality.   But the number of *actions* taken in the 30 minute CM battle/2 hour real battle are going to be the same. CM - basically - cuts out the numerous 10 minute pauses where everyone freezes and nothing happens.  (Not to mention platoons getting lost in larger battles and the CO having to send a runner after them to point them in the right direction). 

Of course if I just want to play around, I'll set up a small QB and give myself 2 hours to play it - that way, I can futz around to my heart's content (and I do this a lot).  But there are lots of historical reasons for time limits like we have in CM - accounting, of course, for the time compression. 

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5 minutes ago, Andrew H. said:

I would disagree with this - timetables matter a lot, especially at CM's level.  It's not a matter of "losing" if you don't capture the village or hill on time, but it is often a matter of the larger attack stopping until tomorrow because you can't move supplies up until the hill is cleared (or whatever).  It can also mean the difference between enemy troops being able to escape or being cut off. 

Timetables do matter, but it is not the end all be all. When were the British supposed to take Caen? D-Day. When did the British actually take Caen? 6 August 1944 (according to wikipedia) According to those highly in favor of strict time tables and limits, the Allies should have lost the Battle for Normandy on D-Day. "Well chaps, we couldn't take Caen in the time table, looks like the invasion was a failure. I say, back to England for tea and crumpets!"

Omaha beach is another example. They were supposed to be off the beach by mid morning, yet they ended up being bogged down in heavy fighting well into the evening for the beach. They failed to achieve the time limit set for them. Despite this failure to hit the time limit, D-Day was not a failure and the battle continued. There are a ton of other examples of time tables not being met. It happens, Charlie Mike. 

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9 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

Timetables do matter, but it is not the end all be all. When were the British supposed to take Caen? D-Day. When did the British actually take Caen? 6 August 1944 (according to wikipedia) According to those highly in favor of strict time tables and limits, the Allies should have lost the Battle for Normandy on D-Day. "Well chaps, we couldn't take Caen in the time table, looks like the invasion was a failure. I say, back to England for tea and crumpets!"

Omaha beach is another example. They were supposed to be off the beach by mid morning, yet they ended up being bogged down in heavy fighting well into the evening for the beach. They failed to achieve the time limit set for them. Despite this failure to hit the time limit, D-Day was not a failure and the battle continued. There are a ton of other examples of time tables not being met. It happens, Charlie Mike. 

I think this entire discussion is a bit of a waste of time, but I just wanted to say that your view of time limits is a little ridiculous.  Sure, the player 'loses' the scenario but that doesn't mean that, in reality, the entire battle or campaign has been lost or defeated.  A time limit in a scenario means - take this set of objectives within this amount of time.  So what does failure mean?  Yeah, you lose the scenario, but the equivalent in real life would mean that you simply didn't capture the objective on time.  That's really all there is to it.  So, Captain Miller, I need you to capture the airfield at Caen by 1400 hours.  Yes sir, and you go off and try to accomplish the mission.  1400 hours arrives and you haven't captured the airfield - so what does that mean exactly?  You go back and tell Major Pain that you couldn't capture the objective within the time allowed - that's all it means.  It doesn't mean that your troops were forced back to England, it doesn't mean the Allies lose the entire war, and it doesn't mean that atomic weapons begin exploding in the atmosphere.  It just means that you were unable to capture the objective within the time the commander allocated to complete the mission.  In game terms it means you lose, but in reality terms all it means is that the objective was not achieved. 

There are numerous examples to choose from, but generally speaking if a commander fails to operate in a manner that is expected you probably won't remain a commander for very long.  The idea that, historically, commanders could sit around casually taking as much time as they wanted to in order to capture some objective somewhere is a little tenuous.  How many examples could you come up with where a unit commander was given a huge kick in the pants from a higher HQs because the unit was considered to be moving too slowly, cautiously, or cowardly?  I could fill the forum with examples like that.  "L company, where the heck are you?  You were supposed to be moving through town an hour ago!  Get off your a$$ and get moving or I'll replace you!"  So please, let's not venture into fantasy land thinking that all unit commanders could just lollygag around taking as much time as they feel like it to achieve an objective.  That attitude is completely divorced from reality.

From a game play standpoint though, if some player wants to sit around taking ten hours to make it through what is normally a thirty minute scenario then have at it - he's not hurting me any.  Just don't ask me to accommodate him with a four hour long scenario on a 200x200 meter map.  It's ridiculous.  If that's what a player wants to do then he can make his own or run a QB.  I'm not going to pretend to understand it but if that's what the guy wants then he can have at it.

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7 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

If anything, the gods eye view and other necessities of the simulation aid the attacker.

Probably. It helps the defender too in various ways, but maybe not as much due to the fact that normally the attacker has a preponderance of forces and holds the initiative. But it helps the defender to guess where the main focus of the attack is going to fall and if necessary to shift his troops around, commit reserves, concentrate defensive fires, etc. So it is not entirely one-sided.

Michael

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6 hours ago, ASL Veteran said:

...I just wanted to say that your view of time limits is a little ridiculous.

That kind of comment is just rude and uncalled for. CaptMiller's argument deserves respect as much as your own. I find his more agreeable, but that doesn't mean I regard the meat of yours as "wrong" in any way. There are two schools of thought here depending on what one wants and likes in the game and within the game are equally valid. Each side can put forward good reasons to support its side and there is no need to descend into personal slander.

6 hours ago, ASL Veteran said:

...generally speaking if a commander fails to operate in a manner that is expected you probably won't remain a commander for very long.

On average, that is probably true. However, Monty kept his job no matter how many people got exasperated with him including his bosses. Not only did he keep his job, he got promoted to CIGS after the war.

6 hours ago, ASL Veteran said:

How many examples could you come up with where a unit commander was given a huge kick in the pants from a higher HQs because the unit was considered to be moving too slowly, cautiously, or cowardly?

I have one that comes readily to mind. During the battle for Saipan, Marine Lt. Gen. H. M. Smith who was corps commander relieved the commander of an Army division—whose name coincidentally was also Smith—for not being aggressive enough. How did Gen. Smith arrive at that conclusion? The Army division was not suffering casualties at the same rate as the Marine divisions in the Corps.

It was a big war and anything you can imagine probably happened at one time or another, and a lot you would never have imagined. A lot of it really crazy.

Michael

Edited by Michael Emrys
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7 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

That kind of comment is just rude and uncalled for. CaptMiller's argument deserves respect as much as your own. I find his more agreeable, but that doesn't mean I regard the meat of yours as "wrong" in any way. There are two schools of thought here depending on what one wants and likes in the game and within the game are equally valid. Each side can put forward good reasons to support its side and there is no need to descend into personal slander.

His conclusions were ridiculous.

 "Well chaps, we couldn't take Caen in the time table, looks like the invasion was a failure. I say, back to England for tea and crumpets!"

The problem with Captain Miller's argument is that he equates losing a scenario due to time limits as being representative of a catastrophic defeat in the entire theater of operations.  That is a ridiculous proposition if he is attempting to equate scenario time limits with reality.  It simply is.  I don't know what bur got under your saddle but I am attacking the substance of his argument such as it is.  His argument is that scenario time limits are unrealistic because failure to meet a time limit with a platoon sized action in game is equivalent to an entire invasion force being defeated in reality.  Based upon that reasoning he apparently feels that he made a compelling case that scenario time limits are unrealistic.  If his argument is ridiculous then it deserves to be treated as such.  There was nothing personal involved.  Failure to achieve an objective within the time constraints of a scenario does not mean anything other than the player was unable to achieve the objective within the time constraints given and there is plenty of historical evidence that time limits are imposed in platoon, company, and battalion sized actions. 

As I made clear in my post - I don't care how a player wants to play the game so your concerns about where I come down with regards to scenario time limits is misplaced.  There may be two schools of thought as to whether or not someone wants a time limit in their scenario, but that's not the issue I was addressing because I don't care about that.  However, Capt Miller's argument that time limits are unrealistic and that, in his view, commanders could lollygag around doing whatever they want for however long they want to is completely divorced from reality and ridiculous.   

 

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I think players intuitively know when they win, lost of draw a mission at the end. The closing briefing is just a guide based on the designer interpretation of the tactical situation either historical or hypothetical. It's based on a lot of thought and not pie in the sky in most cases. It's nearly impossible to get that interpretation correct for all players. On the fly extension of scenario time with victory point penalties would solve some issues for some players letting them, for example, clear out a straggler or two from an objective. But that situation will circle back for the designer to again factor that ability into the balance equation. For them, it's a like trying to catch a moth.

Kevin

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Just a question relating to the time limit discussion. How do players generally feel about hitting the cease fire when they feel the battle has essentially ended but there is still scenario time. 
It would seem when time is not necessarily the deciding factor in a scenario, a designer may want to bump scenario time longer than they normally feel it would take. Meticulous real time players would then not feel pressed, especially past the halfway mark, but seasoned players would quite often say they ceased fire with X amount of time left. 

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My comment is specifically for "vs AI" gaming rather than H2H:  The related issue which may or not be "gamey" but is sometimes essential to progress in a campaign, is choosing CF as soon as one is able to get a Draw or Minor Victory - this is needed in missions where a loss ends the campaign and you would otherwise have to replay one or more missions.

Another related frustration with CM2 is when you go from a loss to a Major Victory because of something very minor - like you killed a couple enemy guys - and suddenly the game ends without one understanding what one did to very abruptly "come from behind" to win.  It's a backwards step from CM1 in which there was a much more linear relationship to slowly getting the upper hand, and a game rarely ended until you really felt like you'd won.  It was much more emotionally satisfying, whereas many CM2 games end like coitus interruptus.  (Not that I know anything about that really.)  :/

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A scenario in CM is a battle with a set of parameters that are determined by the designer of the scenario or by two players in a QB.  It must be this way because it is a game and a game has limits.  Take the map you play on for example.  The map has borders and the battle space has a finite size as defined by the scenario designer.  Places that exist in reality on the earth do not suddenly end in oblivion at the map's edge.  There are no map edges in reality.  However, the game's limitations force the designer to create a defined battle space in order to make the scenario in the first place.  A player can sit here and argue that map borders are unrealistic and that they should be able to drive around at will across the entire face of the earth, but of course that ignores both the limits imposed by the game itself and the reality that the map would be populated by other military units.  Similarly players can complain that a time limit is unrealistic because in reality time continues - and that's true so far as it goes.  However, that ignores the fact that the game has limits and that the battlefield is not static.  Things would be happening in real life that are outside of the confines of the parameters the designer has set and while the battle itself may or may not continue beyond the specified time limit given in a scenario that doesn't mean that time itself comes to a complete stop with the ending of the scenario.  It only means that the player didn't succeed in the mission he undertook within the context of the parameters that the designer specified.  Do any wargames exist that have no time limit?  I can't think of any off hand.  Third Reich had a time limit.  Operation Barbarossa had a time limit.  ASL / SL scenarios all had time limits.  Games are generally played in 'turns', or at least they were back in the day.  Maybe things are different now with computer games, but every computer game I can think of typically has a time limit before the game ends.  Time limits are not some sort of weird revolutionary new concept that is difficult to grasp or even unusual in the context of our hobby.  Time limits are far and away the norm. 

Time limits also serve a function in games.  They force players to 'do' something.  A game with no time limits may become pretty boring if neither side feels the need to take an action.  With no time limits there is no compelling need for a player to take an action.  In the case of a game like Civilization the time pressure comes from other players competing with each other for a specified goal and so the time pressure is more like a race than a hard limit - although you can still play with hard time limits in Civ as well.  No matter where a designer sets the limit at, either for the map or for time, there will always be somebody who wants more space or more time so trying to meet everyone's needs is a fool's errand.  Granted, a designer may cut either time or map so short or small that a scenario becomes unplayable for most players - and that's a bad thing.  Designers should always try to hit the right balance with time and map size, but a general argument that time limits should be eliminated is folly.  If a player thinks that a scenario time is too short then just specify which scenario they think is too short and discuss why.  Maybe a case can be made that the scenario length or map size should be extended and perhaps a designer may pay attention and make an adjustment. 

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My point was clearly missed so let me clarify: I have no issue with time limits. In fact, I view them as essential in CM as a way to keep players on task, whether it be against the AI or a human opponent. If there were no time limits, then the battles would last forever for no good reason. My complaint is with a scenario, such as a multi company attack against dug in defenders, and the attacker is only given 30 minutes to win. That is ridiculous. 

5 hours ago, ASL Veteran said:

His conclusions were ridiculous.

 "Well chaps, we couldn't take Caen in the time table, looks like the invasion was a failure. I say, back to England for tea and crumpets!"

The problem with Captain Miller's argument is that he equates losing a scenario due to time limits as being representative of a catastrophic defeat in the entire theater of operations.  That is a ridiculous proposition if he is attempting to equate scenario time limits with reality.  It simply is.  I don't know what bur got under your saddle but I am attacking the substance of his argument such as it is.  His argument is that scenario time limits are unrealistic because failure to meet a time limit with a platoon sized action in game is equivalent to an entire invasion force being defeated in reality.  Based upon that reasoning he apparently feels that he made a compelling case that scenario time limits are unrealistic.  If his argument is ridiculous then it deserves to be treated as such.  There was nothing personal involved.  Failure to achieve an objective within the time constraints of a scenario does not mean anything other than the player was unable to achieve the objective within the time constraints given and there is plenty of historical evidence that time limits are imposed in platoon, company, and battalion sized actions. 

As I made clear in my post - I don't care how a player wants to play the game so your concerns about where I come down with regards to scenario time limits is misplaced.  There may be two schools of thought as to whether or not someone wants a time limit in their scenario, but that's not the issue I was addressing because I don't care about that.  However, Capt Miller's argument that time limits are unrealistic and that, in his view, commanders could lollygag around doing whatever they want for however long they want to is completely divorced from reality and ridiculous.   

 

Losing a scenario IS a defeat. Period. End of story. There is no theatre of operations in CM. There is no operational level, no dynamic campaign, and no continuity of forces outside of a campaign. Stop trying to apply something that does not exist in the context of CM. I and many others would love some form of operational layer in the game, and some have gone so far to find ways to simulate it (CMPzC for example) But without an external system, there is no operational level at all. A win is a win and a loss is a loss.

So, if you and I were to fight out a battle, and you won the battle, that's it you win. If I came onto these forums and started bragging about how I defeated ASL Veteran in battle, even though the end result of the scenario would have been a defeat for me, I'm sure you would disagree. 

As to the lolly-gagging: again you have clearly missed my point, despite my attempts to illustrate it. If you consider reconning the enemy, probing his lines for weakness and targets of opportunity and other essential tasks before an assault lolly-gagging, then you clearly know nothing about how battles are actually fought. Read Bil Hardenburgers blog or any number of his AARs here on the forums. He repeatedly states that good recon is the most important part of the battle, but before and during the action. Watch the Armchair General CM Tactics videos. Paulding also greatly emphasized the importance of recon, both the terrain and the enemy. I am NOT advocating for an attacker to sit around and take his sweet time with every mission. I understand and know of many who were canned for doing less during WWII and other conflicts. I am not Fredendall at Kasserine Pass. 

 

So in conclusion, I am for time limits. I like them and I understand why they are necessary in CM. (Side note: they are also in Steel Beasts, an armor simulator and I like them there too for the same reasons) I DO NOT like unrealistically short time limits imposed on an attacker with the sole purpose of inflating the challenge of an attack. There is a range of time limits acceptable for battle sizes. That range is perfectly debatable, but that is not what I am arguing. I am only arguing against unrealistically short time limits. 

As a final note, I understand that many times in real life there are times when commanders must conduct hasty attacks without time to do proper recon. This happens for various reasons, time crunches being one of them. Other times, it is necessary due to the situation at hand. (Easy Company and The Island in Holland is a great example of a necessary hasty attack against an unknown enemy force due to the circumstances of the situation) Hopefully this was clarifying.  

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6 hours ago, ASL Veteran said:

His conclusions were ridiculous.

 "Well chaps, we couldn't take Caen in the time table, looks like the invasion was a failure. I say, back to England for tea and crumpets!"

The problem with Captain Miller's argument is that he equates losing a scenario due to time limits as being representative of a catastrophic defeat in the entire theater of operations.  That is a ridiculous proposition if he is attempting to equate scenario time limits with reality.  It simply is.  I don't know what bur got under your saddle but I am attacking the substance of his argument such as it is.  His argument is that scenario time limits are unrealistic because failure to meet a time limit with a platoon sized action in game is equivalent to an entire invasion force being defeated in reality.  Based upon that reasoning he apparently feels that he made a compelling case that scenario time limits are unrealistic.  If his argument is ridiculous then it deserves to be treated as such.  There was nothing personal involved.  Failure to achieve an objective within the time constraints of a scenario does not mean anything other than the player was unable to achieve the objective within the time constraints given and there is plenty of historical evidence that time limits are imposed in platoon, company, and battalion sized actions. 

As I made clear in my post - I don't care how a player wants to play the game so your concerns about where I come down with regards to scenario time limits is misplaced.  There may be two schools of thought as to whether or not someone wants a time limit in their scenario, but that's not the issue I was addressing because I don't care about that.  However, Capt Miller's argument that time limits are unrealistic and that, in his view, commanders could lollygag around doing whatever they want for however long they want to is completely divorced from reality and ridiculous.   

 

There is a bur under the saddle because the tone of your response was overly pointed. It came off as dismissive. 

 

What Miller said about objectives and time is not ridiculous at all. The confusion here is that one side thinks are they implementing some kind of omage to the operational level with time limits when they are not. Time limits are an obtuse method of inferring this. If you want to talk about reality, the tactical situation dictates how long something takes. Some declaration of operational intent is a fantasy compared to the reality of how long an attack will really take. If the operational time requirement is too short, then it because the operation was not planned properly in the first place. IE: unrealistic expectations. The Caen example is a good one. As I recall Caen was a D-Day objective and didnt get taken till august like Miller pointed out. This is because the original plan was not realistic. Turn out the enemy does things you cannot plan for. When one units comes up against another unit in the field, it really does not matter at that level how fast command wants you to go. You can only go as fast as the tactical geometry allows for. Hurling yourself at the enemy to try to go faster will most likely result in failure that wastes even more time because you have to do it again and again. OR, you take so many casualties that while you may get somewhere as determined by some arbitrary schedule, you wont be worth anything. 

 

Fundamentally here there is a disconnect about how time works in real life. The actual physical geometry of combat dictates how long things take. Human schedules are meaningless in this regard. They serve only as a planning tool to construct a generalization of how things could go. Hence why virtually no major military operations follow their time tables even remotely. Human fantasy meets battlefield reality. 

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48 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

There is a range of time limits acceptable for battle sizes. That range is perfectly debatable, but that is not what I am arguing. I am only arguing against unrealistically short time limits.

A more precise word is testable rather than debatable for any given tactical situation presented to the player. There is no golden rule. Each designer has their own methods to arrive at a draft time limit which in an ideal world is tested against various play styles from both sides. The draft time limit is then either accepted or modified knowing it will never please everyone. 

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56 minutes ago, kevinkin said:

A more precise word is testable rather than debatable for any given tactical situation presented to the player. There is no golden rule. Each designer has their own methods to arrive at a draft time limit which in an ideal world is tested against various play styles from both sides. The draft time limit is then either accepted or modified knowing it will never please everyone. 

Tested results + 10 minutes.

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Typically testing a scenario is a one shot. Most people who test are veteran players that use a proven method of approach to win a scenario. Therefore the time spent on reconnaissance is only as much as necessary. Experience leads to a quicker win than an average player. The experienced gamer as tester reports for example "I only achieved a tactical victory in the 1 hour time allotted".  Hmmm better add 10 minutes, to accommodate a broader scope of players if time is not a requirement of the mission.

Yes its arbitrary could be +5 minutes, or 15, but it has to be more time not less. The more the mission gets played by the designer and maybe the same tester its too easy to fall into the trap of thinking the mission time is too long.

 

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So a designer is supposed throw out their experience and play testing results to arbitrarily add time thereby accommodating "average" players when the definition of average is unknowable? There are in-game skill levels to be selected and if the player finds battles are routinely cutting short they can increase time in the editor. You are suggesting designers en masse as a rule are setting mission lengths incorrectly for most players by a constant factor of 5-15 minutes and this has gone on for years. 

 

Edited by kevinkin
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Well, yes, the scenario should accommodate "average" players.  That's the whole point of any entertainment product.  Average players want to have fun and feel like they can accomplish wins, not just get beaten up and PO'd off.  Sure, maybe one needs to be an experienced player to get a Total Victory.  But, a Minor Victory should be achievable by an "average" player.

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Erwin, that's all well and good but there is no way to ensure any arbitrary increase will meet that objective. It may make matters worse for the player. The designer's judgement using some independent testing is all they have to go by. Designers are not out to PO players. I can not image a situation where a mission originally designed for say an hour is then adjusted after a months testing and then the designer adds another untested 10 minutes "for good measure". As if they are seasoning Sunday's dinner. I just can't.  

 

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"the whole point of any entertainment product" is to appeal to the "average"? I have to disagree with that. The whole point is to appeal to it's own market. If you make "Art House" movies for example, you don't care if Mr and Mrs Average don't want to watch it.

The idea that scenario designers should make them longer just so more of us can get victories is perplexing to say the least. I'd rather get beat playing a realistic scenario. Than win one that had been made easier for me.

 

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14 hours ago, shift8 said:

... The confusion here is that one side thinks are they implementing some kind of homage to the operational level with time limits when they are not. Time limits are an obtuse method of inferring this. If you want to talk about reality, the tactical situation dictates how long something takes. Some declaration of operational intent is a fantasy compared to the reality of how long an attack will really take.

The thing is, CM is a wargame.

In any type of battle other than an ME, the attacker is going to outnumber the defender by a large margin. Since CM battles occur in isolation, there is never going to be "Cavalry coming to the rescue".

Thus, often, the way to give the Defender a viable chance to "win" is to give him a chance to "run down the clock" before the attacker can occupy all the victory locations.
Such a time limit can be logically linked to a rl reason by linking it to a theoretical operational level "they dislocated the timetable of a larger attack operation."

However, this is not a "homage to the operational level ", it's a rationalisation of a game mechanism whose function is to make the battle feasible for both sides.
( If I was a Defender in a H2H battle and the Attacker had 2+ hours to swarm me, I probably wouldn't even bother to play because I know I'd have zero chance ).
( granted, there are other ways - Victory conditions incorporating casualty limits etc. - those methods also generate complaint threads here sometimes ;) ).

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15 hours ago, shift8 said:

Fundamentally here there is a disconnect about how time works in real life. The actual physical geometry of combat dictates how long things take. Human schedules are meaningless in this regard. They serve only as a planning tool to construct a generalization of how things could go. Hence why virtually no major military operations follow their time tables even remotely. Human fantasy meets battlefield reality. 

A scenario is a battle in a can.  It is not reality.  No matter how good of a simulation CM may be it is not the equivalent of reality.  The means of dictating victory or defeat are entirely artificial.  The scenario designer paints some victory locations on the map and assigns points for capturing them.  The scenario designer may also allocate victory points for killing the enemy or keeping friendly casualties low.  No matter how you slice it, the person who is designing the 'battle in a can' is the one who is dictating to the player what victory or defeat means. 

Let me ask you a question.  When you play a scenario and there are victory conditions specified in terms of occupy or touch objectives and destruction of enemy soldiers and equipment do you view that as a valid means of determining victory or do you just decide on your own whether or not you have 'won'?  I you just play something and decide on your own whether you won or not then discussing this topic with you is an entirely wasted effort because you are setting your own parameters for victory or defeat.  If you accept the scenario designers definition of victory or defeat within the context of terrain and destroy objectives then why can't you accept the scenario designer's parameters for time and space?  The one who tells the player whether he won or not is the scenario designer and the scenario designer tells you whether you won or not by virtue of setting victory objectives, map dimensions, and time requirements.  If you don't capture the specified objectives within the time frame that the designer has dictated you lost the battle.  There is no 'well if I had more time I would have captured X'.  Part of the designer's parameters was 'capture X within time frame Y.'  If you fail to do so then you lose. 

What you apparently find impossible to understand is the fact that failure in a scenario due to time constraints means that you failed to capture the objective within the parameters that the designer specified.  If you had more time could you capture the objective?  Maybe, but that's irrelevant because you didn't accomplish the task in the specified time.  It doesn't matter if the real battle continues on for the next three weeks.  All that matters is that you, the gamer, failed to win the scenario within the parameters specified by the scenario designer.  Making an argument that 'well real battles last until the objective is captured' is entirely irrelevant because that's not even part of the equation.  The only thing that matters is what you, the gamer, managed to accomplish within the parameters specified by the scenario designer.  Real life battle commanders don't gain 25 victory points for capturing Francois Farm.  Real life battle commanders don't have a map edge.  Real life battle commanders don't gain 100 points if he keeps his casualties below 10%.  Real life battle commanders don't gain 200 points for totally destroying enemy unit X.  The entire framework within which a CM battle is 'fought' is artificial and the parameters of that battle are set by the designer.  One of the parameters that the designer sets is time.  If you fail to meet the threshold for victory within the time specified then you lose.  I don't know how to explain it any more simply than that. 

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2 hours ago, kevinkin said:

Erwin, that's all well and good but there is no way to ensure any arbitrary increase will meet that objective. It may make matters worse for the player. The designer's judgement using some independent testing is all they have to go by. Designers are not out to PO players. I can not image a situation where a mission originally designed for say an hour is then adjusted after a months testing and then the designer adds another untested 10 minutes "for good measure". As if they are seasoning Sunday's dinner. I just can't.  

 

Kevin & Warts:  I was thinking of the "average" CM player.  I have been playing CM since 1999 and by any measure would be considered a very experienced player.  Yet, I have serious problems getting a good result with more than a few scenarios.  Replaying scenarios repeatedly in a campaign just to move onwards is frustrating rather than a fun challenge. 

If you have the same experienced designers and testers working together, there is a danger that scenarios end up more difficult because the testers know how the designers think.  Repeated testing allows one to figure out all the sweet spots for LOS etc, and also the vagaries of the game system/mechanics. I am not saying that I have any particular answer other than we need more fresh designers and testers.  (I do fairly frequently volunteer to test, and always caution against making a scenario too complex - even tho' perhaps it may be getting too easy - for me.)

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