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While I give a big bravo for the infantry being improved, much more durable. The arty and other air burst munitions don’t seem to be working correctly.

 

First example, in the Black Sea game I called an air burst 155mm strike on a couple non armored lorries carrying troops in the back under their canvas covers. One air burst round burst directly over the truck and did no damage to man or machine. 155mm artillery is a very devastating weapon and should completely annihilate those soft skin targets.

 

This next example I have seen a few different instances of with various calibers of weapons from the 125mm tank air burst round to the Dutch KEFT round. On multiple occasions I have observed troops in the open or in trenches shrugging off these air burst rounds with no effect. I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed this occurrence?

 

Lastly and this is more opinion, Troops inside buildings are too resilient to arty strikes. I have noticed groups of infantry hanging out in buildings so like any good commander would I shell them with heavy artillery. But after the strike is over I notice that the enemy has received very little damage even after taking several direct heavy artillery strikes.

 

My over all theme is artillery (in particular air burst munitions) seem a little weak at the moment and need to be more deadly. I have a save available of the super lorrie. Has anyone else noticed this?

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8 minutes ago, zmoney said:

While I give a big bravo for the infantry being improved, much more durable. The arty and other air burst munitions don’t seem to be working correctly.

 

First example, in the Black Sea game I called an air burst 155mm strike on a couple non armored lorries carrying troops in the back under their canvas covers. One air burst round burst directly over the truck and did no damage to man or machine. 155mm artillery is a very devastating weapon and should completely annihilate those soft skin targets.

 

This next example I have seen a few different instances of with various calibers of weapons from the 125mm tank air burst round to the Dutch KEFT round. On multiple occasions I have observed troops in the open or in trenches shrugging off these air burst rounds with no effect. I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed this occurrence?

 

Lastly and this is more opinion, Troops inside buildings are too resilient to arty strikes. I have noticed groups of infantry hanging out in buildings so like any good commander would I shell them with heavy artillery. But after the strike is over I notice that the enemy has received very little damage even after taking several direct heavy artillery strikes.

 

My over all theme is artillery (in particular air burst munitions) seem a little weak at the moment and need to be more deadly. I have a save available of the super lorrie. Has anyone else noticed this?

Can you post the save here? Glad to take a look at it. 

Dave

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Just as an FYI, artillery was not touched per the patch notes. 

3 hours ago, zmoney said:

First example, in the Black Sea game I called an air burst 155mm strike on a couple non armored lorries carrying troops in the back under their canvas covers. One air burst round burst directly over the truck and did no damage to man or machine. 155mm artillery is a very devastating weapon and should completely annihilate those soft skin targets.

I'll check out the save file you posted as well. This does sound like an excessively resilient truck. Could be a bug that no one has noticed before. 

3 hours ago, zmoney said:

This next example I have seen a few different instances of with various calibers of weapons from the 125mm tank air burst round to the Dutch KEFT round. On multiple occasions I have observed troops in the open or in trenches shrugging off these air burst rounds with no effect. I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed this occurrence?

Without seeing exactly what is going on it is hard to say specifically, but I can say that individual soldier's body armor (or lack thereof) is simulated. For example, US troops or Russian troops in Black Sea equipped with 'flak vests' are much more resilient to airburst. There is an additional 'cover save' for troops in trenches. Its also worth pointing out that these types of airburst rounds are best used against a specific target either in a building or a fighting position. For example, a sniper in a window or an ATGM team in a foxhole. These airburst rounds are more potent in the enclosed area of a room inside a structure, or when used to saturate a very specific piece of terrain, like the aforementioned foxhole position. Again, hard to say really what's going on without seeing it with all its context but it could be at least part of what you are seeing. 

3 hours ago, zmoney said:

Lastly and this is more opinion, Troops inside buildings are too resilient to arty strikes. I have noticed groups of infantry hanging out in buildings so like any good commander would I shell them with heavy artillery. But after the strike is over I notice that the enemy has received very little damage even after taking several direct heavy artillery strikes.

Again, depends on the context, especially the type of building. Barns provide very little cover whereas a stone building (I think someone did a test and found that stone churches from CMBN offer the most protection across all the titles, though I could be misremembering) offers much more protection. Its also worth noting that even with modern fire control and munitions, no artillery officer expects or is expected to be able to literally rubble a city block. Buildings themselves are surprisingly resilient to explosives. It is a harsh reality of urban warfare. 

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Just ran a little test scenario in CMSF2, where Syrian infantry was hiding behind a low wall while I fired air burst 155mm at them. The result was even if the round burst right over them it would cause maybe one casualty.  

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I also had a guy who was hit directly - and I really mean directly - on the top of the head by an airburst mortar round, and he became only yellow injured.

He was running and didn't even stop. Like nothing happened.

Edited by Bufo
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Also, I find that artillery (and big HE in general) causes much too little physical damage to walls, hedges, etc. Bocage should be quite tough, but not indestructible. Leaving it hanging like a rope bridge across the crater of an airplane bomb is just plain silly.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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Cpt Miller, upon further testing the vehicle fired air burst munitions do appear to be working better than I first assumed. I think your response regarding how they work is 100% correct. I think I initially observed a couple one off bad lucks.

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1 hour ago, zmoney said:

Cpt Miller, upon further testing the vehicle fired air burst munitions do appear to be working better than I first assumed. I think your response regarding how they work is 100% correct. I think I initially observed a couple one off bad lucks.

One of the things that makes CM great in my opinion is the fact that you can do things correctly and still have it go wrong. It is a representation of reality that most games and sims have the hardest time portraying. There are lots of anecdotal examples out there of soldiers who are seemingly hit directly by a shell but suffer no injury as a result. In the 2nd episode of Band of Brothers for example, one of the soldiers survives 2 grenades that are right next to him in the trench. Point is, crazy stuff can happen, and CM represents that fairly well. 

I did do a quick test myself of airburst artillery (155mm and 120mm mortars) against infantry in trenches, and what I found was quite devastating. In just 30 seconds, the entire trench line that was taken under fire was smashed pretty heavily. I took the first mission of the US campaign from SF2 and gave myself a Paladin battery right from the get go. I've attached the replay here so you can check it for yourself if you would like. 

Berm Airburst Test 1.bts

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48 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

 crazy stuff can happen, and CM represents that fairly well.

Yeah the problem with this is that we actually arrived to the point where CM becomes a religion. If anything happens, that happened because that was the intended effect for sure. This game cannot go wrong anymore.

Edited by Bufo
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6 minutes ago, Bufo said:

Yeah the problem with this is that we actually arrived to the point where CM becomes a religion. If anything happens, that happened because that was the intended effect for sure. This game cannot go wrong anymore.

*sigh*
 

I do not think CM is perfect. I spent a long time pointing out the bad infantry behavior introduced with game engine 4. I even made a YouTube video about it. I then spent a few months testing new versions of the TacAI to iron out the issues. 
 

This whole devotion to find everything little thing wrong with CM contrarianism is obnoxious to the extreme and is not productive. It doesn’t help at all. If you think that there is an issue, prove it through tests. If other people do not think you are convincing, that is your fault, not theirs. 
 

And I literally just posted a save file of a replay showing that air burst artillery is effective. And I said I would look into the lorries being overly resilient, which may actually be a problem. 
 

I honestly do not get this contrarian bs. Get a better hobby. 

Edited by IICptMillerII
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Just checked out the file you uploaded and indeed the infantry did take a lot of casualties as one would expect. To refine my point down a bit, I think one 155mm shell bursting over a soft skinned target in the open should be more devastating than it is. If air burst rounds need to be adjusted maybe it is in this aspect. In the tests I've run it appears as if troops in the open stand a far better chance of taking less casualties than troops in a trench. Possibly due to troops in a trench being more tightly packed together?

 

On another note how did you adjust the campaign parameters? I've been longing for this ability because I often disagree with campaign designers troop experience levels. Lastly, how has no one adjusted where those two tanks on the left of that battle are situated. Since CMSF1 they have been placed with no line of sight to anything lol. 

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26 minutes ago, zmoney said:

To refine my point down a bit, I think one 155mm shell bursting over a soft skinned target in the open should be more devastating than it is. If air burst rounds need to be adjusted maybe it is in this aspect. In the tests I've run it appears as if troops in the open stand a far better chance of taking less casualties than troops in a trench. Possibly due to troops in a trench being more tightly packed together?

I do think that airburst arty should have more of an effect on things like vehicle subsystems. Radio antenna's should be especially vulnerable, as well as troops riding on vehicles out in the open or only covered by a tarp. As to the trenches, I would point out that airburst rounds are designed to be effective against troops in fortifications. The trenches and foxholes in CM do not simulate overhead cover, which is why airburst is so effective against them. I'd love to see a new type of fortification added, such as a covered trench, that would give a lot more protection against airburst artillery. 

29 minutes ago, zmoney said:

On another note how did you adjust the campaign parameters?

If you use the campaign unpack tool (over at CMMODS iirc) you can unpack any campaign (from the CM2 games, does not work for CMSF1 or CMA) and then tweak the individual scenario's. Its useful if you want to play out a battle from a campaign as a single scenario, or tweak things around a bit. However, if you want to compile it back into a campaign you need to follow all the steps, like writing out the campaign script. 

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2 hours ago, Bufo said:

Yeah the problem with this is that we actually arrived to the point where CM becomes a religion. If anything happens, that happened because that was the intended effect for sure. This game cannot go wrong anymore.

Testers here are highly resistant to anecdote-based complaints due to repeated instances of following up on anecdotes with time-intensive controlled tests and finding either a non-issue, or results nearly opposite to that claimed in the anecdote (i.e. something claimed as happening all the time is actually statistically rare).  Users are very prone to confirmation bias regarding failures and negative events.  If the failure or negative event involves something where probability is a factor (like artillery casualties), not an always / never event, you really should try to set up a test to confirm.

But that is just general commentary.  On air bursts vs. trucks, I did setup a quick 155mm (point, heavy, quick) vs. mounted platoon in 32x32ish square test and the results did not diverge significantly from same test with "general" fusing.  Trucks and troops in trucks are certainly not immune to air bursts.  However, it does feel off in several ways:

  • Neither airbursts nor ground bursts seem to deliver sub-system (radio, engine, wheels) damage to trucks even when they are causing casualties to passengers.  Trucks appear to either be fine or KO'd with nothing in between.  The distance threshold for a hit to be likely to KO a truck seems to be the same for air bursts and ground bursts, maybe a little tighter for air bursts.  Might be a bug in this, or maybe any sub-system damage results in immediate KO? (If the latter, then trucks are definitely not taking sub-system damage as would be expected.)
  • Because air bursts never directly strike trucks, all air burst KOs appear to be without damage.  Trucks won't blow up / burn from air burst KOs.  Also noticed that sometimes the KO would happen a turn or so later, further giving the "no effect" feel.
  • Troops in trucks appear to have higher protection vs. artillery bursts compared to troops in the open on the ground.  But if their trucks are KO'd and they exit, they go down much faster to air bursts than to general.  
Edited by akd
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Anything in a soft skin vehicle will definitely break from shell splinters. Subsystems on all vehicles that are not themselves protected by armour will also be damaged by splinters of sufficient size and energy.

There is room for improvement here, but artillery is a complicated business and a lot of people are shocked by the lethality of crew served weapons generally. If revisions are being considered, I'd suggest that it's worth taking the time to  go over of all aspects of artillery. For example, and this is nitpicky, including HE delay fusing, and separating WP and base ejecting smoke. 

Shock Force 2, might have HE delay if that is what "armor" is. I believe some smoke shells for some weapons systems are WP and some are base ejecting. The reason I think this is relevant is that in Shock Force 2, specifically when the campaign considers collateral damage and civilian casualties, WP should not be available during MOUT. It's a small thing but as an artilleryman, my brow wrinkles at NATO using WP in areas occupied by civilians. 

Additionally, if marines are coming to the Black Sea module, I would suggest adding dedicated naval guns like the 76mm OTO Melara. Preferably those could be added to Shock Force 2 as a patch. Having Marines land supported by fire from M777's is a little baffling, unless they are firing from landing craft, as the Canadians did at Normandy, or lashed to the decks of their amphibious assault ships. 

Crossposting from the Shock Force 2 Patch discussion

Quote

 

I served as an artilleryman on 109's and 777's. 155mm shells will ruin your day, even under armour and I think subsystems like optics and radios should be more damaged, but there is a reason why battery anti-armour drills put most of the emphasis on the battery anti-tank weapons and not direct fire from the guns themselves. 

Direct fire with a howitzer is not easy. They're not dual purpose guns like the 25lbr, we don't have HEAT or sabot rounds, heck we have bagged charges. Direct fire on point targets is much more effective than in the days of Wellington, but the principle is the same, and since the Boer War, whatever we are directly fire on is much better at firing directly at us, which was the whole reason for the switch to indirect fire. 

All of that to say, there are a lot of things on a tank that will break from shell splinters. Many of those things like optics and radios probably should be more easily damaged in Combat Mission. Some of those things like pioneer tools, spare parts and jerry cans are not relevant to the time frame of a scenario. Some other effects like damage to electronics, crew stress, possibly damage to welds and seating of parts, I can't really speak to. 

For Shock Force 2, It would be nice if the legacy "Armor" fire mission was either clarified to be HE-delay, in which case all titles should have it, retooled to DPICM, or removed. 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, DougPhresh said:

it's worth taking the time to  go over of all aspects of artillery. For example, and this is nitpicky, including HE delay fusing

Odd thing in CM: when you look at shell craters, it seems all shells are delay fuzed, because those craters appear when shells are allowed to dig into the ground before exploding.

But when shells hit buildings, they burst immediately upon contact, instead of penetrating. So buildings give quite a lot of cover, even against direct hits, which burst harmlessly on the roof.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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I read something written by a Latvian SS-soldier where he mentioned mortar fire hitting the squad he belonged to. To his own surprise a mortar shell landed close to him but he wasn't injured in any way although he was pushed over by the explosion. So although some of what is written in this thread seem that some pixeltruppen are undestructable by artillery fire similar things can probably happen.

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18 minutes ago, BornGinger said:

I read something written by a Latvian SS-soldier where he mentioned mortar fire hitting the squad he belonged to. To his own surprise a mortar shell landed close to him but he wasn't injured in any way although he was pushed over by the explosion. So although some of what is written in this thread seem that some pixeltruppen are undestructable by artillery fire similar things can probably happen.

I also read an anecdote from D-day where a shell hit very close to a guy, but the sand dune somehow dampened the explosion and he survived. Many things can happen in war. But in CM, artillery has deliberately been made less dangerous than in reality. That's openly admitted by BFC.

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58 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

I also read an anecdote from D-day where a shell hit very close to a guy, but the sand dune somehow dampened the explosion and he survived. Many things can happen in war. But in CM, artillery has deliberately been made less dangerous than in reality. That's openly admitted by BFC.

The rest of the reason why to the bold is that infantry stay together a bit tighter in CM than in real life. So, since they bunch up, artillery would be too effective. This is due to the action spot system. It's been discussed many times. 

As akd mentioned above, testing and data collection is what will show whether there is really a problem. That takes time...and effort. Once it can be proven that there is a problem, well, then a solution must be proposed/devised. And then that solution needs to get tested. Bocage/infantry interaction has been a great example of how inter-related all these factors can be and how unintended consequences can result.

 

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37 minutes ago, c3k said:

The rest of the reason why to the bold is that infantry stay together a bit tighter in CM than in real life. So, since they bunch up, artillery would be too effective. This is due to the action spot system. It's been discussed many times. 

Yes, I should have added the explanation for it too. I didn't want to make it seem they just nerfed artillery to annoy people.

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True story. My older brother was in 1st Cav, a 60mm machine gunner in the Central Highlands, ‘66-‘67. We’ve discussed his experiences hundreds of times, but it was only a year or two ago that I thought to ask him if he had ever been in/under an arty barrage (I already knew they’d been under light mortar stonks on a few occasions).  His response was that only once, sort of, when his squad (he thought 8 guys, because he recalled that they had Just received some replacements in his platoon recently, and his squad was “fat”) was taking a breather under the only tree on a hill, watching a 155mm barrage landing in the valley below. Suddenly there was a very loud CRACK, like if lightning struck across the street. They were all stunned...and realized that a round came in low and hit the tree top 20 feet above them. They had all been basically laying down, some sleeping, in a more or less fan shape around the tree. No one had a scratch on them, but his best buddy had been using his helmet as a pillow and it was pinned to the ground by a 2 foot long by several inches wide shell splinter. Missed his head by a couple of inches!

Posted in case you ever need a justification as to why a round didn’t do what it should have. But can only use it once, lol!

Edited by mjkerner
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Suffice it to say and without getting graphic, from my own personal experience being on the receiving end of mortar, rocket and artillery fire as well being on the spotting end more times than I can count, indirect fire many times does what you want it to, and sometimes does something totally different than expected. I have seen rounds land and not explode, and I have seen the smallest tiny sliver of shrapnel do lethal damage. 

The results I see in CM are not too bad for a video game/simulation. One must remember that artillery spotters, whether they be FO's, commanders or small unit leaders, are human, an good accurate spotting or indirect fire is an art form that many do not perfect. There is always the human factor that goes into every fire mission.

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10 hours ago, mjkerner said:

True story. My older brother was in 1st Cav, a 60mm machine gunner in the Central Highlands, ‘66-‘67. We’ve discussed his experiences hundreds of times, but it was only a year or two ago that I thought to ask him if he had ever been in/under an arty barrage (I already knew they’d been under light mortar stonks on a few occasions).  His response was that only once, sort of, when his squad (he thought 8 guys, because he recalled that they had Just received some replacements in his platoon recently, and his squad was “fat”) was taking a breather under the only tree on a hill, watching a 155mm barrage landing in the valley below. Suddenly there was a very loud CRACK, like if lightning struck across the street. They were all stunned...and realized that a round came in low and hit the tree top 20 feet above them. They had all been basically laying down, some sleeping, in a more or less fan shape around the tree. No one had a scratch on them, but his best buddy had been using his helmet as a pillow and it was pinned to the ground by a 2 foot long by several inches wide shell splinter. Missed his head by a couple of inches!

Posted in case you ever need a justification as to why a round didn’t do what it should have. But can only use it once, lol!

The only way I can see this happening if the shell was a partial dud, so that only a small portion of the filling actually exploded.. I think that at 20 feet distance, the explosive force of a 155mm shell itself would have been deadly, not to mention any splinters.

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