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The British Forces Campaign - Highland Games


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34 minutes ago, Ultradave said:

Head to your left to the far left corner and exit and you are going alone, headed south from Damascus, ending with a ridgeline assault. Head to the far right corner and exit and you are going to downtown Damascus with the US forces.

It may be my memory, but I do not recollect ever having seen that option.   :wacko:  Will have to go thru all my saved games.

BTW:  I always thought that "Warriors in the Sands" was the "British" campaign.  The "UK+USMC Warriors in the Sands" version also features the US (natch).  "Highland Games" is Scottish.  Confusing.

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The old flowchart is for the SF1 version ONLY. While the order of the battles and what happens next has not changed, the rest, refit and resupply variables have been modified to reflect the updates in

New and better enemy AI. Also with the patch improvements to soldiers staying in cover and not running away or toward you, your opponent is tough and fights very hard. Patience, recon by fire, objecti

Or you could remember stuff, stop assuming and read the briefings maybe?

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"Highland Games" is the reworked UK campaign.

Counterattack is the defensive one you were talking about. Yeah, that one was tough, and was impossible before he made some changes to it. Those tanks that come as reinforcements were way too late originally to prevent being overrun. Now they arrive earlier and can help, but yeah, you have to be careful not to expose yourself, and to move them from cover to cover. There are a pretty fair number of enemy tanks. 

Also, if I remember correctly, the Javelins are in the trucks parked near the buildings. You have to run and acquire them and then set up. By the time you do you'll have targets, however, the Syrians have an annoying amount of artillery support so you'll need them to survive that. I was able to take out a number of Syrian vehicles with the Javelins and a couple more with the light AT weapons of the squads.  I *think* I'm remembering this right but I don't have a save I can use to go check that now. If you have a save from the beginning of Counterattack, check the trucks for resources. 

The choice scenario is "Course of Action" in the title at the top of the screen. Should be #9. There are 2 objectives, OBJ Damascus, and OBJ South. You pick one and that determines the remaining scenarios. The briefing describes it, I think pretty clearly. The VPs are set up so that if you "lose" by taking OBJ South and not OBJ Damascus, then you go south alone. If you "win" by taking OBJ Damascus, then you head to Damascus with the US. The OBJ Damascus was the harder one to take. The reinforcing tanks were my fire support and I just blasted everything to rubble in that corner 🙂

I found the remaining scenarios of the on to Damascus choice the harder of the two paths. The city fighting was brutal, especially the final one "Bowling Alley"  Tough, brutal, BUT for once you have all the artillery support you could ask for and you'll need it all. 

Hope that all helps.  Oh, and I think there are 17 or 18 scenarios all together so each path runs through 13 or 14 to the finish.

Dave

 

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On 10/18/2020 at 4:12 PM, Erwin said:

Completed Highland Games Mission 11 and I think that's the end.  Killed between 5x and 10x enemy inf and vehicles as lost, but still suffered a major defeat - altho' not clear why as most missions one can easily get a Total Victory. 

Mission 11, or "Counter Attack", is only the end of the campaign if you lose the scenario. If you had achieved a minor victory in the battle, you would have continued on.

On 10/18/2020 at 4:12 PM, Erwin said:

I thought one would get at a squadron of Challengers as reinforcement but one only gets three

No spoilers, but this is a battle where your casualties from previous missions will come back to haunt you. 

11 hours ago, Erwin said:

Which scenario is the one from where the path divides?

The next scenario is the US or Alone battle where the player chooses which path to follow. There are 4 more battles after this one, irregardless of the path chosen. I would suggest keeping a save from this battle so you can take the alternative path if you wish to play all the battles in the campaign. The US path features urban battles, while the Alone path features more rural combat.

The convoy battle exit zone issue is one that was flagged by @Ultradave in play testing. I made the changes and saved the scenario with a modified name. When compiling the campaign, I did not up date the script to pick up the new scenario. This mistake has now been corrected. 

 

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14 hours ago, Ultradave said:

Also, if I remember correctly, the Javelins are in the trucks parked near the buildings. You have to run and acquire them and then set up.

Not sure if we are talking about the same scenario.  There were javelins in the 4 trucks (which were each armed with 50cal).  But, not a single Javelin launcher anywhere.  I thought the scenario was to demonstrate how dependent we are on long range Javs/ATGM's.  I was thinking that maybe reinforcements would arrive with Jav launchers.  But, the only reinforcements were 3 Challengers.  And two of those were killed where I thought them safe behind the woods/orchard.  There is no LOS for friendly units, but the enemy AI can find those invisible (to the human player) pixel-wide gaps and also killed 4 or 5 Warriers in the same way.

11 hours ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

No spoilers, but this is a battle where your casualties from previous missions will come back to haunt you. 

Am pretty sure I had zero (0) Challenger casualties from previous missions.  Maybe we're talking about a different mission.  It would be helpful to have a Campaign flowchart like are provided for many other campaigns.

11 hours ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

Mission 11, or "Counter Attack", is only the end of the campaign if you lose the scenario. If you had achieved a minor victory in the battle, you would have continued on.

Yeah... I got a Draw on my Mission 11.  But, not sure if I was on a different branch.

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2 hours ago, Erwin said:

Maybe we're talking about a different mission.

We are talking about the same mission.

 

2 hours ago, Erwin said:

Yeah... I got a Draw on my Mission 11.  But, not sure if I was on a different branch.

There are two branches in the campaign and you only reached one of them. The first branch comes after the Recon mission of helicopter airfield. The following mission is exactly the same mission, the difference being the amount of intel the player has based on a successful recon mission or a failed mission. 

The next branch happens in battle #12 and has been explained above.

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Hmm...  in the Mission 11 that I played, I do not recall a "large hospital" on the map.  Maybe it was labeled as such but I do not recall any large building (or any building in the "friendly" area of the map over 3 floors).

Also, while there were Javelin reloads in the 4 trucks (the ones armed with 50 cal) there were no Javelin launch units.  So the Javelins were useless.  

I assumed that this mission was an exercise in how to defend with only ATR's and the 30mm of the Warriors.  Losing so many Challengers and Warriors was a shock.  But as I said they supposedly were safe behind woods/orchard with no LOS out.  But, apparently the AI found some invisible pixel-wide gaps and shot em up.  

If the campaign continues, I may replay.  But, am irritated that the Platoon HQ's can't call HE as I did lose FO's due to their Warriors blowing up (while I thought them safely out of enemy LOS), and there are no Co HQ's that I could see. 

Also, have been playing "The El Derjine Campaign" and the Platoon HQ's in that are able to call in arty and air.  Does that mean that campaigns and scenarios that are NOT updated to CMSF2 do not feature the HQ bug?

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1 hour ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

There are two branches in the campaign and you only reached one of them. The first branch comes after the Recon mission of helicopter airfield. The following mission is exactly the same mission, the difference being the amount of intel the player has based on a successful recon mission or a failed mission. 

I think I did ok on the recon mission - got all the objectives and the following assault mission wasn't hard to win.  But, that is not really a branch right?  You are saying that the only "branch" comes after Mission 11.  But one has to win Mission 11.  A Draw is not good enuff.  Is that correct?

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I'm not sure mission numbers are getting us the correct things. The defensive one you are talking about is called Counterattack and the 'choice' one comes next. It's named Course of Action at the top of the briefing screen.

Never mind my comment about the hospital. That's also a defensive one but on the other branch (to Damascus). I had originally thought that's what you were talking about and forgot about the "Counterattack" scenario.

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The one I am calling Mission 11 is where one has Scottish inf with Warriors and one Challenger plus 2 platoons of dismounted US Marines with 4 50cal armed trucks.  The mission is to defend vs a strong Syrian attack and then counterattack to retake objectives.

Reinforcements consist of 150mm arty, 3 Challengers and a helicopter.  

As mentioned there are Javelin missiles in the trucks but no Javelin launchers.   I don't recall losing any Challengers up to this mission, and I don't recall losing any Jav teams either.  Plus in previous missions I gave Jav launchers to the inf squads anyway.  So, why no Jav launchers in Mission 11?

Is that deliberate or is something bugged?

To prevent confusion maybe make a campaign flowchart?

Edited by Erwin
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8 minutes ago, Erwin said:

The one I am calling Mission 11 is where one has Scottish inf with Warriors and one Challenger plus 2 platoons of dismounted US Marines with 4 50cal armed trucks.  The mission is to defend vs a strong Syrian attack and then counterattack to retake objectives.

Reinforcements consist of 150mm arty, 3 Challengers and a helicopter.  

As mentioned there are Javelin missiles in the trucks but no Javelin launchers.   I don't recall losing any Challengers up to this mission, and I don't recall losing any Jav teams either.  Plus in previous missions I gave Jav launchers to the inf squads anyway.  So, why no Jav launchers in Mission 11?

Is that deliberate or is something bugged?

@Heirloom_Tomato Will have to answer. I tried downloading that individual scenario and checking it but it won't open all by itself like the Course of Action would. I could have sworn I had Javelin launchers on top of, in one case for sure, the most forward building, and took out several vehicles in that blank rectangular open field area.  I think there was another team farther back. It was a while ago, so I don't remember all details and I don't have the saves anymore. I wonder if it's possible an older version got compiled. In early versions, the Challengers arrived much too late, and like you, were almost immediately destroyed as they could not move from that covered spot without taking fire. He changed the timing so that they arrive much earlier and have a good chance to move and find cover and take the offensive (two of mine destroyed everything coming at me from the right beyond that patch of woods).

Sorry I can't be of more help. I'd have to replay the campaign from scratch to get where you are now 🙂

Dave

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There are no Javelin launchers in this scenario. There are however lots of other infantry anti-tank weapons available for you to use. They are just much shorter in range, less powerful and require stealth to use effectively. 

I loaded up the single scenario, BOTH the original and the SF2 modified versions have the tanks as core units. If @Erwin had 1 tank on the map and three show up as reinforcements, casualties were suffered in previous battles. 

With all the discussion around this scenario, I played it again tonight and got a minor victory. I suffered a turn of disaster when I got too aggressive and lost 4 AFV's in 30 seconds of misery which cost me the major victory. The key to the battle is getting the on map Challenger into a covered location with excellent views of the map. Guard his backside with AT equipped infantry and covering fire from grouped AFV's. Have the infantry take all available AT weapons, split them up and deploy them in protected ambush positions. A well positioned FO team can be a real game changer once the artillery arrives with their short call times and precision rounds. When the reinforcement tanks arrive, their grouped firepower easily overpowers the Syrians. The Challenger is one tough tank but it can be taken out easily if used too aggressively. 

I don't know how to make a beautiful flow chart but here is an excel file with a listing for each scenario and what happens next if you win or lose.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wvnt4rc68qipc2t/highland games.xlsx?dl=0

 

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Ok, guess I was just remembering using all the AT4s on various targets. And yes, I made good use of artillery. The initial Challenger I did have peeking from behind a building with a pretty good view downrange. He didn't get killed. I did lose several APCs when they got flanked and hit. I did get some sort of victory and move on, with the final version.

Sorry @Erwin, sometimes it gets confusing remembering what happened after playing several versions of the same scenario.

Dave

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9 hours ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

If @Erwin had 1 tank on the map and three show up as reinforcements, casualties were suffered in previous battles. 

Am certain I had not lost any Challengers prior to this mission.  BTW:  The new flowchart is useful.  Thanks.

I did find an old flowchartHighland Games Flowchart.xlsx  SPOILER: This lists the reinforcements etc.

Looks like the new version is going to need playtesting.  Can't see wanting to replay everything until I have forgotten it - which may be years - hopefully we'll have CM3 by then.

The irony is that when playing CMSF1 campaigns that have NOT been updated one experiences fewer problems and weirdness.  Eg: Am finding "The El Derjine Campaign" excellent and no obvious bugs - even though it was never updated.  

So, my recommendation is that folks play the original Highland Games Campaign that came with CMSF1.

Edited by Erwin
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3 hours ago, Erwin said:

Am certain I had not lost any Challengers prior to this mission.  BTW:  The new flowchart is useful.  Thanks.

I did find an old flowchartHighland Games Flowchart.xlsx  SPOILER: This lists the reinforcements etc.

Looks like the new version is going to need playtesting.  Can't see wanting to replay everything until I have forgotten it - which may be years - hopefully we'll have CM3 by then.

The irony is that when playing CMSF1 campaigns that have NOT been updated one experiences fewer problems and weirdness.  Eg: Am finding "The El Derjine Campaign" excellent and no obvious bugs - even though it was never updated.  

So, my recommendation is that folks play the original Highland Games Campaign that came with CMSF1.

Or you could remember stuff, stop assuming and read the briefings maybe?

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so this campaign is no good because it was too easy.  And now it's not good because it's too hard?  I actually have done the counterattack battle twice because I want to get better at how to run a defensive fight like this.  It's hard to not lose warriors unless I forego the warrior firepower (meaning hide them entire battle.  And it's hard to keep flanks safe because attacker uses multiple approaches.  So it's a tough fight.  I got tac V first try, probably not much better 2nd try which is nearly done.  It's a very interesting tactical situation.  It's more like the situation the Syrian infantry typically faces from me -- outgunned in less than advantageous terrain.

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Didn't say it was too hard.  I said that in this particular mission one encounters many LOS issues (which can decimate your vehicles and inf when you think that there is no enemy LOS ie: this is not "WYSIWYG"), as well as the platoon HQ's not being able to call in arty or air - which is a problem if the Warriors that just blew up took your FO's with them.  Just doesn't feel like it was tested.  But, that's just my opinion and my critique of the campaign of course.  Feel free to ignore and play it as is...  No law against that.

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Erwin, I realize my wording seemed snarky, actually did not mean it to come out that way-- shoulda put a smile emoji there or something.  I am still having fun w the campaign.  I hope I get new vehicles else my men are going to have to walk to Damascus.  Those warriors would really benefit from an ATGM like bradleys or BMPs have.  Even just one missile would be great.

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2 hours ago, Erwin said:

Didn't say it was too hard.  I said that in this particular mission one encounters many LOS issues (which can decimate your vehicles and inf when you think that there is no enemy LOS ie: this is not "WYSIWYG"), as well as the platoon HQ's not being able to call in arty or air - which is a problem if the Warriors that just blew up took your FO's with them.  Just doesn't feel like it was tested.  But, that's just my opinion and my critique of the campaign of course.  Feel free to ignore and play it as is...  No law against that.

It was tested. I asked to have the Challengers arrive sooner, because originally they showed up with only 7 minutes remaining, no time to have an effect, and got blown up as soon as they moved. No way to take the offense and gain/regain anything.

However, with the earlier arrival, I got a victory and moved on. I was aggressive on the left and sent some dismounted troops up to that small ridge/fold and managed to ambush a couple of attacking vehicles. I sent one Challenger to the right by that woodlot/orchard, and when I saw there were multiple attackers, sent another, and wiped out everything over there.

I had quite a battle for that small group of buildings on the middle left. I think I lost a couple squads and possibly 2 APCs over there, but the other 2 Challengers eventually mopped up.

At the end when I reviewed the map, there were still some enemy tanks, but they were far across the map and hadn't advanced. Or not far anyway. Possibly they were in overwatch and I had eliminated most of the attackers, or were ready to defend that last far objective (which I think if I remember I ran out of time to go for).

Yeah, this was a hard one. But (hee, hee), wait until you get to the last scenario of the Damascus route ("Bowling Alley"). Yikes (but you will have plenty of artillery for that one - use it to prep the objectives (and by prep I mean attempt to level them 🙂. Stick with medium/medium missions and you will have plenty of ammo).  And at that, it's hard now but it started out impossible, so some changes were made to make it more manageable.

Dave

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On 10/22/2020 at 10:49 AM, Erwin said:

BTW:  The new flowchart is useful.  Thanks.

I did find an old flowchartHighland Games Flowchart.xlsx  SPOILER: This lists the reinforcements etc.

The old flowchart is for the SF1 version ONLY. While the order of the battles and what happens next has not changed, the rest, refit and resupply variables have been modified to reflect the updates in the game engine since SF1. 

On 10/22/2020 at 10:49 AM, Erwin said:

So, my recommendation is that folks play the original Highland Games Campaign that came with CMSF1.

While I understand you were disappointed to encounter the exit zone error playing the updated SF2 campaign, this advice makes literally no sense. The updated campaign file is based on the original campaign, meaning the exit zone error was, and still is, in the original SF1 campaign. Not only will some one playing the original campaign run into this issue, they will also miss out on all the other updates improving the campaign. 

On 10/22/2020 at 10:49 AM, Erwin said:

Am certain I had not lost any Challengers prior to this mission. 

I did a speed run of the campaign last night as your comment about this being a bug in the campaign needed to be checked. I ceasefired in the setup phase of every battle not requiring a victory to move on. There was only one battle needing a minor victory to advance. I kept the tanks out of the battle as much as possible and did not suffer any tank casualties. In the Counter Attack battle, I started with 1 tank on the map and more than 3 tanks arrived as reinforcements. Since all the tanks in this particular mission are core file units, you must have suffered a tank casualty in a previous battle.

As for the British platoon HQ units being unable to call for artillery, this is a game engine issue and not a campaign specific problem. The issue has been reported in the official channels and should be fixed the next time a patch is released. Knowing this problem exists, and the importance of timely artillery and air support, I can only recommend doing your level best to keep any Forward Observers alive. There is nothing further I can do on this issue as any further work is above my pay grade.

Edited by Heirloom_Tomato
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14 hours ago, Ultradave said:

I had quite a battle for that small group of buildings on the middle left. I think I lost a couple squads and possibly 2 APCs over there, but the other 2 Challengers eventually mopped up.

***** SPOILERS *****

I had arty drop on that middle left group on HARASS for a looong time, and everything soft there got wiped out, the buildings were leveled.  Then used anti-armor or precision to kill a few tanks that were still alive.  The air can be set to Area and they get most of the remaining armor that can't be easily spotted at the far end of the map.

My plan was to keep all the Scot and US armor on the RHS of the map behind the Orchard/Woods cos extensive waypoint LOS examination showed that there was no LOS thru the trees.  However.... the AI was able to shoot thru those woods and I lost so much there that it cost me the game.  Grrr.  :(

It seems that one needs to hide everything in and behind buildings and simply press GO until the arty and air arrives (kinda boring).  Then use those assets to kill the enemy tanks.  Once most/all of the enemy tanks are gone one has the final few minutes of the mission to come out with all the Challengers and Warriors and advance to retake the objectives.

It's one of those "tricky" missions in which you have to find the "right" solution - even if other strategies seem to make more sense (as one doesn't realize the LOS issues).  

 

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1 hour ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

While I understand you were disappointed to encounter the exit zone error playing the updated SF2 campaign, this advice makes literally no sense. The updated campaign file is based on the original campaign, meaning the exit zone error was, and still is, in the original SF1 campaign. Not only will some one playing the original campaign run into this issue, they will also miss out on all the other updates improving the campaign. 

Ok good to know that one shouldn't use the old flowchart.  

The other, perhaps even more important problem with the convoy mission is that it is easy to exit ALL the convoy vehicles to the exit zone with no casualties.  One expects a Total Victory.  However, I think I got a Minor or even a Defeat cos the player doesn't realize that significant Syrian reinforcements that were clearly intended to ambush the last convoy group arrived AFTER all the convoy trucks had been successfully exited(!) 

Whoever playtested this let the designer down as it's dismaying that they A) didn't notice that the Exit Zone didn't work and B) didn't notice that one can easily exit all the convoy trucks prior to the Syrian ambush units arriving.  

The other issue for many/most of the other missions as others have noted is that the time allowed for many/most of the mission is very short (often 20 minutes - 45 minutes) and one gets the sense that this is to cover up the lack of sophisticated AI unit actions.  One cannot really savor these short missions.  It's like watching a one act movie.

The urban rescue mission is excellent and I look forward to replaying it (altho' imo it really needs an extra 15-20 minutes).  But, in nearly all the other missions where the AI is attacking (other than Mission 11) one can easily locate hull-down positions that cover the enemy AI set-up zone, and the enemy units get wiped out as soon as they enter the map, or soon after as they cross open ground in full view of the hull down Challengers.  So, the only challenge is to locate the appropriate hull-down positions and after that one is shooting fish in a barrel.

Most such mission were won simply by destroying enuff enemy units and it wasn't necessary to actually occupy the objectives.  

My suggestion is that maps should be designed so that the Red forces are able to safely enter the map and maneuver without getting into Blue LOS - so that Red forces can attack from unexpected directions at unexpected times.  Am playing Snake Eye's "The El Derjine Campaign" and those missions are a good example of that. Plus aside from the initial mission they are all in the 90 minute to 2.5 hour duration, so one has time to savor the experience.

The above is the reason this is probably a good beginner campaign cos nearly all the missions are very easy and do not require sophisticated game knowledge or experience.  The urban rescue and Mission 11 are exceptions.  But, that's ok.  

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