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Any tips for a new player?


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I just downloaded the Normandy demo and I'm giving this another try. I gave this a go several years ago and put it on the back burner because I was so new to the genre. Fast forward to now and having a couple years under my belt playing Battle Academy 1 & 2, Unity of Command, Theater of War (briefly), Steel Divisions (briefly) I find myself lured back to this beast.

I know I'm going to fail, a lot, but I want to really "get" this game. I've watched the Armchair General videos multiple times.

Any tips/tricks from you pros here for a new guy? Not sure if the demo will allow me to play a smaller platoon vs platoon battle, but I know starting off as small as I can is the best approach.

Thanks

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Sounds like you have the right idea.  Start small (infantry platoon) and add stuff (weapons platoon, engineers, fortifications, armor, artillery, air support, etc.) as you gain experience.  If you don't mind reading, the game manual and engine manual are good sources of information.  There are all kinds of topics here on the forum you can run searches for.  And ask questions here on the forum.  A friendly, helpful group here that will answer your questions.  And for every question you have there are probably a few forum lurkers who have similar questions but don't want to log in and ask.  So you help them too.   

I don't really remember what's in the CMBN demo.  But one thing I've done is load up a scenario or quick battle in Hot Seat mode and just practice.   With no pressure you can move troops and vehicles around.  Experiment and learn.  Find drills and SOPs that you think will work.    Set one side up with a few fire teams defending a crossroads or terrain feature.  Then take a platoon from the other side and secure the crossroads.  If you play both sides yourself you can better observe what's going on (ruins the fog of war but that can wait until your done training)  Use the replay feature as often as necessary to understand why something happened.  

When you have questions about something come back here and ask.  Welcome to the war.  :)

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1 hour ago, zasgard said:

Does the demo allow for Hot Seat mode?

The Black Sea demo does, so I´d assume BN does too (I have the full BN game, so no access to the demo).

I agree with everything MOS said - and would like to add some advice I profited from when I began playing CM1:

Cheat-quit a lot (in the beginning)
When I started playing I often saved and then surrendered when I was stuck in a game. I could then check out the AI opponents force layout and discover if my combat actions had had the desired effect on the opponent - if any.
I think this helped me a lot to get to understand how the game and the tactics work.
 

 

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Welcome back to the game. 

Split your squads into fireteams and scout teams. Use the scouts to find the enemy locations. Basically they'll get shot at and hopefully you'll gain a contact location when that happens. 

Amass firepower on the enemy locations as quickly as possible. Engagements are won by the side that can bring the largest amount of firepower to bear quicker than the other side can both in terms of volume and caliber. 

Get to know the terrain. Each type of terrain has advantages for some units and disadvantages for others. Locate areas which give good cover & concealment and offer good lines of site towards the enemy. These areas can be considered key terrain. 

Be patient! It's easy to get carried away in the moment to try and build on a gain, but there will be another enemy nearby that you haven't seen yet who will make you pay for being too hasty. 

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Play 'We Go' turn based play. Most of the Combat Mission regulars and I'd guess all the old timers from the old days of CM1 when this was the only option. It let's you pause, rewind and rewatch the action and gives you plenty of time to plan out and set detailed orders across multiple units to ensure they are supporting each other.

The RTS option may be tempting, particularly if you've come from other RTS titles, but I promise you that you will miss little details when commanding anything larger than a company on a wide map. :)

 

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I'd have a look at anything @Bil Hardenberger has done:

http://community.battlefront.com/profile/36458-bil-hardenberger/?tab=field_core_pfield_20

https://battledrill.blogspot.com/

His AAR narratives and associated graphics are extremely clear and I've learned a lot from his stuff.  The second link is to his Blog which has a number of CMBN tutorial type scenarios which will get you started.

Most of all though - people generally learn best by doing - so just fire up the game, have fun and don't get too bent out of shape if you get your a$$ handed to you occasionally … if that was the case I would have stopped playing years ago … 😉

 

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The nearest thing to an 'easy' setting is to play a QB and give yourself a force balance of +100%.

Then you can give yourself plenty of different forces to play with and you can afford to make mistakes. Get some TRPs in fortifications (QB purchase), which makes it easier to use artillery.

Switch command links on (alt-z) and paths (alt-p), so you can keep your platoons together and keep track of what your forces are doing.

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It's a really hard game, but don't be intimidated, and don't be afraid to fail. When you lose or do poorly, think critically about why and how you can fix your mistakes next time.

Also, the biggest single advice I can give you is to never save and reload to correct your mistakes.

If your most important tank gets blown up or gets stuck in the mud because you made a mistake, continue playing till the end and see how well you can do without it.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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I don't really think that this game is all that difficult. Atleast not when playing against the AI...Will just a little bit off experience you will be doing fine in vs AI gameplay...

Facing off against a more experienced human player is a different matter though...😉

I agree with most of the above comments...regarding playing QBs in hotseat vs yourself...

It's a very good way to learn the effect of different weapons on different targets...What kind of suppression will guy get

 from a HMG, from a 20mm auto cannon, from a rifle squad...At what ranges...What damage do they do against various targets ?

Playing hotseat against yourself you will be able to see the results first hand 😎

Like Combatintman said...The link to Bil Hardenbergers stuff is really good reading...

as well as this stuff...

 

Edited by RepsolCBR
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i am there 2 years ago now
the forum is an inexhaustible source
of course you can not ignore Bil Hardenbergers' blog
there is also the video of Armchair General and also of General Jack Ripper

watch this list


See also in the forum SF1 there is a lot of basic advice that was discussed at the beginning of the game system

Edited by Falaise
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First look to the left of my response and look at my total posts...now take this advice for what it's worth! :) Below exists opinion not fact.

There are three types of general battles...attack, defend and meeting engagement (specialized scenarios exist but they are...specialized).

Attack

Screen/Recon: How much time do you have and how fast is your force. In the vast majority of CM battles time is not a factor in determining victory...there is generally plenty of time. Assuming this to be the case DO NOT RUSH. As stated by Josey Wales use a portion of your force as a screen/scouting force to determine the location of enemy forces. Your screen is NOT the attacking element. The main body of your force can move into position but do not move it into potential contact (don't move them anywhere you think it would be possible to be fired at) until you know what you are facing and where they are. In my opinion this  is the most important part of the battle. Control your desire to rush forward and start fighting until you have actionable intelligence which allows you to employ your limited forces intelligently.

Assemble and mass main attack force: Keep your attack force concealed as long as possible. This will hide what you have and what your plan of attack is (admittedly the AI doesn't care but play like you are playing another human at all times and you'll have less to unlearn when you do!). Once you know where the bad guys are you look at your objectives and terrain. Determine where you want to advance (down that road, through those trees ect. Ensure the terrain offers maximum protection for your flanks. At this point you should have an idea about where the initial enemy line of resistance is and what it has. Decide at this time whether you are better off engaging at long range or short. You have Tigers and he has 45mm AT guns? Start the fight as far away as possible. He has hvy MGs and you only have infantry? Get close. Use terrain and limit exposure. 

Reserves: Ensure you keep a reserve force in place. At the height of the battle there will be times where you realize there is an opening where if you just had one more platoon to go left you could roll his whole line...often you don't have that platoon. Keep a reserve force. This gives you options once your main attack is underway which you will not have if all of your forces are committed. 

Defense

Look at the above...the attacker will be doing that. How to counter it? First and foremost limit the enemies intelligence. Create a screen of your own. If you can get the enemy to deploy his forces in such a manner that he makes his main attack on that screen you will have an advantage. Why? He doesn't know where your main line of resistance is nor what it consists of...meaning mistakes are more likely and opportunities to destroy the enemy from a location he doesn't expect will frustrate his plans. 

Defend in depth. The defender will generally start with a smaller force. If you try to cover your front with a single strong line the attacker will be able to choose where and when to mass his force and he will break through and roll your defensive position. Screen - Main Line of Resistance - Reserves.

Reserves. If you are completely static the enemy will be able to take his time, locate your positions one by one and eliminate them with massed fire and indirect. Keep him guessing and remember time is on your side. You want the attacker to lose patience and make hasty decisions. That's how you generally win as the defender. Keep a force which has some mobility as a reserve. They can plug holes in the line and counter attack unexpectedly from the flank.

Meeting Engagement

Treat it as an attack. Let the enemy race forward and occupy those positions. There are no points awarded for getting there first. Let him expose his forces and plan. Your screen is taking notes of the composition of his force and their location. The initiative is now yours. Keep it. Focus on his forces NOT the objective...you'll have time for that when his forces are degraded later in the game. He is generally less well situated in defensive positions because he hasn't had the opportunity to view lines of sight from all the prospective positions. IOW he is not set up as well as he would be in a defense mission. Take advantage of that. See where he is, decide the best way to approach and engage and KEEP YOUR RESERVES READY. 

Hey I was bored and felt like talking. :)

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Attilaforfun said:

Meeting Engagement

Treat it as an attack. Let the enemy race forward and occupy those positions. There are no points awarded for getting there first. Let him expose his forces and plan. Your screen is taking notes of the composition of his force and their location. The initiative is now yours.

Why wouldn't you try to get there first and make a hasty defense then? In a meeting engagement the sides are pretty much even, so when you can take the obsjective first and then go into a defensive position? AFAIK the defender often has the better chance, especially when the force ratio isn't 3:1 in favor of the attacker.

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1. Resist the urge to split your forces. Attack the smallest possible force with the largest possible force. It doesn't matter what title you are playing, WW2 or modern, fire superiority wins. Every time.

2. Holding an objective, or preventing the enemy from scoring any points from an objective, requires only 1 man. If the battle has 4 different occupy objectives, keep your main force moving from one objective to the next and leave a driver, destroyed vehicle crew or an XO team behind to secure the points.

3. Don't underestimate the usefulness of a long duration light or harass artillery mission. Arty keeps heads down, which prevents them from seeing you move. They are also great for area denial. Nothing worse than thinking an arty mission is over, so you start moving your men up and then a round lands in the middle of your platoon. Most light or harass missions will give 15+ minutes of firing time. You can cancel the mission as your men get close to the objective and use any remaining rounds to pummel any strong points.

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2 hours ago, BarendJanNL said:

Why wouldn't you try to get there first and make a hasty defense then? In a meeting engagement the sides are pretty much even, so when you can take the obsjective first and then go into a defensive position? AFAIK the defender often has the better chance, especially when the force ratio isn't 3:1 in favor of the attacker.

I did say it was opinion! Actually I would guess most players agree with you and that most meeting engagements turn into intense fights around the objective relatively quickly. That furthers the advantage of the delay. You will be focusing on getting to the objective safely and into positions where you can hold it. I'll be focusing on you. That rapid advance both tells me what the enemy  has and where they are while giving none of this information away. Now the enemy is tied to a fixed location and must defend it from all directions. I have freedom of mobility, information and the ability to mass more firepower at a particular spot than the defender. Rinse and repeat and the defense is picked apart (in theory). 

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@BarendJanNL @Attilaforfun you are both right, the strategy you choose to employ largely depends on the equipment and quality of troops at your disposal. In a quick battle meeting engagement the player has the choice of what equipment to bring. So long as you bring the right tools for the strategy you are planning, victory should be achievable. 

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8 hours ago, zasgard said:

 Just not sure which title it will be.

They are all good 😎 but the WW2 ones are not quite as...deadly ! One of those might be a good pick to start with...

Ones you do take the plunge i would recomend a mix of playing scenarios and improving your 'equipment knowledge' through running dedicated test using the QB battles...

To be able to formulate good tactics it will be vital to know what strenths and weakneses both your own and the enememy equipment has...As you become more and more familuar with these strenths and weakneses the game will become even more fun imo...and you will be a far better player ! 😉

 

 

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On 11/21/2019 at 9:35 AM, Heirloom_Tomato said:

1. Resist the urge to split your forces. Attack the smallest possible force with the largest possible force. It doesn't matter what title you are playing, WW2 or modern, fire superiority wins. Every time.

This. Depending on the side you're playing being the only modifier for how much of your force you split off if any and what you task them with. The chiefest means of safety is in numbers and your units need to able to support eachother mutually in order to overcome challengers. 

 

On 11/21/2019 at 9:35 AM, Heirloom_Tomato said:

3. Don't underestimate the usefulness of a long duration light or harass artillery mission. Arty keeps heads down, which prevents them from seeing you move. They are also great for area denial. Nothing worse than thinking an arty mission is over, so you start moving your men up and then a round lands in the middle of your platoon. Most light or harass missions will give 15+ minutes of firing time. You can cancel the mission as your men get close to the objective and use any remaining rounds to pummel any strong points.

Also this. Leave no rounds unfired. Use medium or heavy bombardments of 2 or more guns for defense or emergencies. When attacking you'll get more bang for your buck running long missions that will assuredly depopulate a grid reference of anyone dumb enough not to be in a tank or bunker. 

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I also should point too that, you should not be afraid to disregard my own or the advice of others if you want. Don't be afraid to experiment and try out things with the game you might not have thought of as "optimal" or whatever. Evaluate your situation and do what you think would work best and if that didn't work, reload and try something different. In some ways the game has some vague puzzle mechanics going on, and in a macro sense you're often trying to find the right piece for a given situation.

Oh yeah also put your camera at ground level as much as possible. It's easy to get stuck up in the heavens peering down upon your pixeltruppen wondering why things aren't going according to plan when a ground level perspective would've made it clear that the terrain is/isn't masking something or someone. 

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