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1 hour ago, SimpleSimon said:

We really need to score these battles way more heavily on casualties.

+1

Probably the issue with CM2 is that most scenarios tend to encourage a "fight to the death" strategy - no need to conserve men ammo or equipment for the future.  It's a major reason that Campaigns that require ammo and force conservation seem more realistic in the casualty calculations.

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@FlibbyBased on your picture, here is what I would do: 1. Check your mortars to see how many smoke rounds they have. If they have some, great if not, fine. 2. Use one of your HQ units with y

Yeah, it's tricky. The scheme that Heirloom_tomato outlines is good, but it's worth breaking this down a little. Defining the problem: Setting up an MG takes time, so in an even fight (an MG and

We've discussed this before, but to a large extent the strength of CM as a simulation is that, to a large degree, the real-world stuff works very well in game. There are exceptions - hugging the ma

35 minutes ago, Flibby said:

I think that part of the problem comes from traditional army "battle drills". These documents always use scenarios where you have a platoon attacking a single enemy squad. That squad is sat in a Bush and they've seemingly been left all alone like some sort of punishment.

Yes.  A reason that once has learned the basics of maneuvering units in CM2, tutorials are largely a waste of time.  One needs to learn good tactics that work in CM games, and that requires an understanding how the game system/AI works, and that comes from experience.

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3 hours ago, Erwin said:

Probably the issue with CM2 is that most scenarios tend to encourage a "fight to the death" strategy - no need to conserve men ammo or equipment for the future.  It's a major reason that Campaigns that require ammo and force conservation seem more realistic in the casualty calculations.

To be fair, most want to move quickly to contact and then spend the remainder of their gaming session in contact. It's a game. There's only so much mucking about one can do in a 45 minute engagement. Again, it's a game and, within this context - it rewards battle drills over gamey actions exploiting engine limitations. For the most part.

Edited by Howler
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In my last round of scenarios I've been peppering my wooded areas with clumps of 'hedges' or 'low bocage' to act as LOS barriers. Outside of CMBN, 'low bocage' is supposed to represent the low scrub you find lining roads or at the edges of copses of trees. Get further into the woods and that disappears because the leaf canopy inhibits growth. LOS in a forest tends to be higher than LOS looking into the forest from the outside. That feature needs to be constructed by the map makers.

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About casualty rates, when this comes up I usually bring up the Battle of the Bulge. Nearly 200,000 casualties on both sides (dead, wounded, missing), 1300 tanks lost, 1800 aircraft lost. All over the course of just one month and one week within in a relatively confined area. Statistics like that make it difficult to argue that a 20% casualty rate for your company engagement in CM is excessive.

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41 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

About casualty rates, when this comes up I usually bring up the Battle of the Bulge. Nearly 200,000 casualties on both sides (dead, wounded, missing), 1300 tanks lost, 1800 aircraft lost. All over the course of just one month and one week within in a relatively confined area. Statistics like that make it difficult to argue that a 20% casualty rate for your company engagement in CM is excessive.

6 hours ago, 37mm said:

I'm not too sure that is correct... during large battles/offensives (where most CM scenarios take place) you have very high casualty rates where units are trying to stick to some timetable of objectives (if your unit fails to meet its objectives, both the flanking units are left in horrendous danger).

Indeed, it's only one perspective. However, the thing I want to point about the above is that they were both examples of an Offensive. Offensives change the nature of day-to-day activity at the front, and are indeed the events that induce Officers to be a bit more pushy because their CO is getting nudged from above and on and on etc to produce results

Offensives and Major Battles got of lot of media attention during the war, and were often hyped up quite a bit by their planners. Sometimes this hype even spilled outside of the military and was taken up and carried by public media and politicians, who would often put even greater pressure on Commanders to exacerbate the circumstances of situations that lead to a Cassino or a Somme. Among the authoritarian states, the operational pressure would be coming from something much worse than the public, it'd be the Party now and they're prepared to shoot men who don't seem very motivated. 

No Army could sustain a monthly 200,000 man casualty rate for the duration of the war. That'd be at least a Division per day. The Red Army might've come close to something like that in 1941 during Barbarossa but even they had to stabilize casualty figures at something much lower.

 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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9 hours ago, Flibby said:

I think that part of the problem comes from traditional army "battle drills". These documents always use scenarios where you have a platoon attacking a single enemy squad. That squad is sat in a Bush and they've seemingly been left all alone like some sort of punishment.

 

Of course a text book fire and manoeuvre approach is easy here, but how often does that scenario occur? 

 

I understand the need for the rank and file to have simple and easy to understand instructions, but is not as easy to find instructional materiel for lieutenants and captains on how to approach attacks to more complex defensive setups. I guess most of that relies upon the same principles being applied with a dollop of common sense.

 

You've got to know what the rules are before you can usefully break them.
 

That's fundamentally it - you may never get a textbook, all-advantages situation in practice, with a laid out covered route and a platoon attacking an unsupported enemy, but the building blocks of your more complex plan are all there. Those represent your fundamentals, and what goes into the larger scheme - they represent the things to look for, or the situations you have to create. It's not for nothing that the Squad attack drill has a few sections in the decision flowchart which branch into "and if you can't do this, form a base of fire and move into the platoon attack drill", and the same thing applies to the platoon attack drill defaulting to a company attack.

Any real-life application of drill is going to be less than perfect, but since the fundamentals are sound, getting those right should leave you in a better spot than not.


The perennial CM problem is that of scale. Those platoon battle drills *do* represent the kinds of problems that platoon leaders need to solve. The whole point of *having* platoon leaders is that the company leaders don't need to be concerned with that, and can instead point a platoon at something and tell them to get on with it. In CM, naturally, you're playing platoon leader, company leader and potentially battalion leader, all at the same time.

 

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8 hours ago, Erwin said:

Yes.  A reason that once has learned the basics of maneuvering units in CM2, tutorials are largely a waste of time.  One needs to learn good tactics that work in CM games, and that requires an understanding how the game system/AI works, and that comes from experience.

We've discussed this before, but to a large extent the strength of CM as a simulation is that, to a large degree, the real-world stuff works very well in game.

There are exceptions - hugging the map edge isn't something that a real-world commander has done, and even with the CM2 C2 system there's still gaminess there - but I think there's a ton of value in studying real world battle drills for CM games.

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13 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Indeed, it's only one perspective. However, the thing I want to point about the above is that they were both examples of an Offensive. Offensives change the nature of day-to-day activity at the front, and are indeed the events that induce Officers to be a bit more pushy because their CO is getting nudged from above and on and on etc to produce results.

CM does have the tools to help simulate lower intensity warfare... there are CMSF1/2 scenarios where the penalty for casualties are quite harsh (@Combatintman has made a few) and even a few low intensity campaigns by @puje.

Although, as @Howler points out, this is a game & people usually want to get to the 'splodey tank' bits fairly quickly.

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15 hours ago, domfluff said:

We've discussed this before, but to a large extent the strength of CM as a simulation is that, to a large degree, the real-world stuff works very well in game.

There are exceptions - hugging the map edge isn't something that a real-world commander has done, and even with the CM2 C2 system there's still gaminess there - but I think there's a ton of value in studying real world battle drills for CM games.

That's not a criticism simply an observation.  Before the last update one had to know that units would likely panic or run from good defensive positions quite easily and take that into account as one played the game.  Hopefully, that is fixed now.  But there are many other items that one has to know about and make allowances for like odd pathing, LOS/LOF issues etc etc.

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On 7/24/2020 at 7:55 AM, SimpleSimon said:

Bingo. Map's too small for the given scenario and forces involved. The player doesn't really have many options and the one he has is very exposed to return fire. 


I've been plying quite a bit of Command Ops 2 recently and at its Divison+ scale what you run into quite often are Companies/Battalions making attacks only to be receiving fire from some wooded terrain 1.000 to 3.000 meters away. When playing CM though most of the maps are pretty airtight.

I've toyed around the the idea of adding "generic terrain" to some existing maps just to see how it might change play. Part of the issue with CM is that map making takes a long time so to make reasonable sized maps takes quite a while. A detour around this would be to heavily detail the core area where the player is expected to partake in close combat and have a less detailed distance zone where the terrain largely exists for the placement of long range assets. Essentially in a 100 meter fight the exact layout of ditches and where windows are will matter. At 1.000 meters not so much.

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I guess that one additional reson for not having that many huge maps in CM is TIME...

The time it takes to manouver (dismounted) pixeltruppen over vast areas...both on the part of the player as well as the AI...

Deployed for combat it can take quite some time to advance from A to B...

Current map sizes might have evolved as the golden medium when it comes to providing the CM players with the 'action' that they are looking for 😁...

 

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I often play on maps, which I make myself, that are bigger than the typical CM map and generally have long sight lines.

They're fun, but very challenging - it's much harder to approach a defensive position where the enemy can catch sight of you at 1000+ metres and has good LOF from 500+ metres than it is to attack a position such as the one in the map above.

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3 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

I guess that one additional reson for not having that many huge maps in CM is TIME...

The time it takes to manouver (dismounted) pixeltruppen over vast areas...both on the part of the player as well as the AI...

Deployed for combat it can take quite some time to advance from A to B...

Current map sizes might have evolved as the golden medium when it comes to providing the CM players with the 'action' that they are looking for 😁...

 

Certainly when I last played Graviteam Tactics I spent 80% of the time wandering around on my own. The other 20% was trying to figure out the UI 😂

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10 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

I guess that one additional reson for not having that many huge maps in CM is TIME...

The time it takes to manouver (dismounted) pixeltruppen over vast areas...both on the part of the player as well as the AI...

In CM1 we often had "huge" maps that were several Km in each direction up to the max of 8Km x 4Km.  If one didn't have transport and had to walk troops around it was a boring experience.  However, with proper transport the maneuver aspect of playing on large maps was the greatest fun.  Recon vehicles had a real purpose - which they rarely do on the relatively small maps of CM2.  

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8 hours ago, Freyberg said:

They're fun, but very challenging - it's much harder to approach a defensive position where the enemy can catch sight of you at 1000+ metres and has good LOF from 500+ metres than it is to attack a position such as the one in the map above.

I tend to agree 😎...

But... with a decent combined arms force you will probably be able to defeat/supress the enemy long range shooters...

Especially vs the AI...as the AI may not be the best at repossitioning or getting back into the fight if they have been forced back (clever scenariodesign may go some way in helping the AI handle these situations...but it is a bit tricky to get that right)..

Leaving you with a lot of infantry to advance somewhat lenthy distances against perhaps limited resistans...

But yeah...nontheless i to am actually all for longer distances also 😎...atleast in more scenarios then we currently have...

Like you said...its a different challage 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Erwin said:

 However, with proper transport the maneuver aspect of playing on large maps was the greatest fun.  Recon vehicles had a real purpose - which they rarely do on the relatively small maps of CM2.  

agree...

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12 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

The time it takes to manouver (dismounted) pixeltruppen over vast areas...both on the part of the player as well as the AI...

Most objectives at CM scale games shouldn't have you maneuvering over long distances. Essentially there are two parts to map size movement affect and fire affect. By giving the player reasonable setup zones you can largely negate the movement affect. You can presume that the player takes over well after the approach march and as men are preparing for H-Hour. However, the large map allows for fires to affect activities quite a bit away from them and this can change what tools or how players approach the attack.

This is easier to explain visually and this little snippet from Command Ops 2 does a good job.


The Combat Mission focus would be the battalion attack on Steinebrück with armor support from the hill just South of Steinebrück. However, if you enlarge the map to include a portion of Lommersweiler it adds context to the attack visually and makes the attack a bit more complicated. Rather than a 1-dimensional straight on assault the player must make the assault while contending with fires from Lommersweiler. At no point in the scenario would the player make an approach of the town but they would exchange fire with it.

Say its a morning scenario wit the first 25 minutes occurring before first light.

- Do you press hard earlier to get across the river before Germans in Lommersweiler can see you?
- Do you use your artillery to suppress the heights while your armor supports the assault?
- Do you attempt to shoot it out and gain fire superiority over Lommersweiler?
- etc....

Edited by com-intern
yt
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Huge maps tend to devolve into a series of typical CM-size engagements separated by long walks.  You've got the editor at hand. Give it a try. Maps are as easy or as difficult to make as you make them, yourself. Give yourself a lot of real estate, snap some roads across it, paint some wood lots and rivers on it, and plop in some building clusters. Then drop forces onto it and have at it. That's how easy it is to make a scenario. 

Whenever I build a scenario I usually start creating the core area , then I add another 600m to one end, then another 300 to another, giving avenues of approach or overwatch. Repeat until I conclude its the right size to accomplish my vision. I don't append an additional 2km 'just because'. Its a bit a-historical for a company to be scampering around real estate that would have typically held a battalion or more.

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2 hours ago, MikeyD said:

Its a bit a-historical for a company to be scampering around real estate that would have typically held a battalion or more.

That's why some of us really enjoy the scenarios and campaign missions that do have a Battalion-sized task forces.  Then one can enjoy using recon vehicles the way they are intended as well as having longer range combat that many weapons are designed for. 

The short range immediate combat that most scenarios offer gets boring.  Another reason am a fan of what MOS designed for his xnt CMBS TOC (Tactical Ops Center) scenario.  Mobility over relatively long distances (due to clever use of the map) was key.

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I wouldn't mind if BFC made a 'suprice" annonsment...stating...

"Hey, guys...to make playing on larger maps a more fun experience we have developed the following features:

- persistant map damage

- an updated/improved frontline calculator ala CM1 operations.

- more branching options for the campaignscript.

That would make me...kind of happy ! 😁

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I'd argue that from a realism stand point the usual culprit is too large a force on too small a map. Rather than vice versa. The pain in the ass that is scenario design makes it clear why we have that problem. I've done some personal editing of scenarios and increasing the size of the map and adding/moving some of the supporting troops out of the immediate combat zone has usually worked although for obvious reasons the new terrain isn't terribly detailed.

Which from a gameplay perspective I think works just fine because the player is never meant to walk over there.


@RepsolCBR

Just being able to have persistent map damage would be fantastic. Literally just exporting the map out as is would be nice.

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On 7/27/2020 at 1:05 PM, MikeyD said:

Huge maps tend to devolve into a series of typical CM-size engagements separated by long walks.  You've got the editor at hand. Give it a try. Maps are as easy or as difficult to make as you make them, yourself. Give yourself a lot of real estate, snap some roads across it, paint some wood lots and rivers on it, and plop in some building clusters. Then drop forces onto it and have at it. That's how easy it is to make a scenario. 

This is a big reason why im not in favor of avoiding or removing big stuff from the game in lieu of engine improvements or mechanical changes etc. The game's biggest scenarios fully develop the game's ability to create random, organic, and exciting encounters that affect each other in the abstract and in the direct. There's lots of player controlled context well outside a single squad and what they're up to now clearing out a house. In a way, you can almost view "big battles" as multiple interconnected "scenarios" just all happening in the same scenario. Except the effect of the map edges is much reduced. There's usually not enough context to explain why maps just cut off where they do for me. But in something like Blunting the Spear I define why A Company shouldn't pass beyond a certain line because its a minefield or an open kill zone T-34s are watching etc. 

 

On 7/27/2020 at 5:07 PM, com-intern said:

I'd argue that from a realism stand point the usual culprit is too large a force on too small a map. Rather than vice versa. The pain in the ass that is scenario design makes it clear why we have that problem. I've done some personal editing of scenarios and increasing the size of the map and adding/moving some of the supporting troops out of the immediate combat zone has usually worked although for obvious reasons the new terrain isn't terribly detailed.

A situation which invariably leads to a set-piece battle, where the defender is well postured and the attacker isn't, requiring the attacker to intricately and cautiously "solve" the map like a puzzle. (A strategy only made practical at all by the totally passive AI.) Save scumming is about the only way to achieve your objectives and have some kind of bloody tattered survivors left over you could charitably call a force. I'm ok with these kinds of battles for scenarios, but they're often in the campaigns too and even the most optimistic plans for solving them involve lots of ammunition expenditure or time consumption or plain bloodiness with consequences that carry over into....another set-piece battle? 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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I've been playing around with this on some test scenarios in hot-seat mode.

I seem to get relatively similar results whether I approach a SBF position, covered or not, by crawling the last few spots or not. There doesn't seem to be any cover that a 3-4 man MG team can get into unseen from 3-400m away. As such it appears sensible to just make sure that enough firepower is arriving at the same time that the enemy can't shoot at them all, and then establish fire superiority.

What i seem to be getting my head around is that fire superiority isn't about getting the best position for your troops, its just about getting enough troops with LOS to an enemy that you can suppress their units. It doesn't matter if you're in the open if the enemy has their heads down. Of course it's nice to be behind a stone wall giving suppressive fire, but 5 squads in the open with LOS to the enemy will establish fire superiority better than 2 squads behind a wall, or 5 squads without LOS. 

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