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High casualty rates in CM games


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Area fire against a sound contact. Had a scenario one unit had a full contact an LMG just a sound contact in a building. Playing on Iron, Because I had a full contact I could observe what happened inside the building. There was no kill of the suppressive fire, I suspect the enemy unit just went to a lower floor. 15 seconds was enough for this effect. Just keep a log of every worthwhile AAR it pays off if there is a pattern. 

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An interesting debate. I agree that in CM it is not possible to move your troops really carefully. A situation I just saw in a battle: a group is close to a hill edge, on the other side of the edge I have a sound contact. In real life, I imagine, you throw a few hand grenades over the edge first. In CM, you can't do that because you can't give a fire order without LOF. Just as an example.

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You could try Area Firing in the direction of the sound contacts.  That can be very effective in woods as shells do penetrate a lot further than LOS and will affect any enemy along that line.  Would be interesting to see if there is any good effect in a hill crest situation - especially if it's a gentle slope.

 

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Thou, I understand what @MikeyD is trying to say in regards to Higher Casualty Rates in CM due to Tip of the Spear Formations being in direct Front Line Combat..However, it's @LongLeftFlank and his explanation that is by far the better RL explanation. 

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Posted (edited)

Combined arms, time and coordinate your three assets. Infantry, artillery, and armor. Check your C2 so that the units share their contacts. @Scipio Yes you can plot LOF without LOS. As the grenade is the only weapon the TacAI will let you use the grenade. Always a good practice to throw a grenade over a wall. High casualty rates could be the cause of being too careful. Recon, Probe, Attack, Assault. 

grenade.png

Edited by chuckdyke
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During Set-Up use METTT-C. Buron the Main event. The METTT-C favors the Germans. The C stands for Civilians they have all the cover and concealment. My key weapons are the artillery and HMG's. The trick with HMG's are in this case to deliver effective plunging fire. That's in this case make life impossible for the Germans just behind the hedges. The 3 TTT's stand for Troops at hand, Terrain, Time. Time and Terrain is on the side of the Germans I must use my troops to make METTT-C work in my favor. The attacker must apply all his resources in concert.

Plotting the 'Heavy Weapons' HMG's are the hardest but once in place the Vickers is better than the MG42. 

Plotting the Vickers HMG Tip se the HMG's in concert with mortars the HMG HQ can plot indirect fire.

Set-Up.png

Use Camera Position 1 to confirm where your HMG will strike.

Set-UpB.png

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/19/2020 at 11:03 AM, MikeyD said:

Another example of real world casualties exceeding CM would be the siege of Poznan, February 1945, which  saw seventeen thousand KIA and an uncounted number of wounded over approx a 4 weeks.

to put that in perspective one might consider the casualties suffered in a big war of the roses battle. 30k for one side alone happened in some of those nightmares in one day of battle as i understand it.

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Posted (edited)

Reasons for high casualties in CM:

1: You can keep attacking until every last soldier is dead. Your orders are never refused, even when there's only one broken rifleman left. "Broken" doesn't mean broken in this game. In reality, there's a point where survivors just can't be pushed on and the attack stalls.

I'd like to see an optional realism level where broken troops are uncontrollable, and where near-broken troops can only be given orders if in contact with their officers. Fanatic level troops could be exempt from this and allowed to keep attacking.

2: Since the HUNT command is buggy and doesn't make troops stop and go prone when fired upon, there's no real way of advancing infantry carefully, even when you know where the enemy is.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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11 hours ago, Erwin said:

The issue is that almost every CM game has serious casualties, whereas the examples mentioned above were not the norm for WW2 (ignoring other eras that are not relevant).

Which does circle back to the point that CM isn't necessarily representing "the norm", but the "most intense" actions. Not that this covers the whole issue, of course.

Troops having nowhere to run to has been the most devastating factor, IME. Which means they remain "in the game", and recover enough to be a nuisance, so you can't even be "humane" and set target arcs that ignore 'em; the only way to stop them plinking at your side is to take them out. I'm not sure why there's no "if a Paniced[/broken/whatever status is appropriate] unit hits a map edge, it exits" rule like in most tabletop figures games rulesets. How those get calculated into victory conditions would be a fairly trivial discussion.

The AI "bull rush" tactics don't help either. They turn defense scenarios into turkey shoots most of the time.

I was hoping the "driven off by weight of fire" reactions would have been tweaked during my hiatus, but no, a unit that's winkled out of its cover by suppression without being actually Broken still just retreats and sits in the open ready for the advancing enemy to pick off, rather than falling back towards some, any cover. They only flee to the next set of cover once they've had another shellacking and gotten properly Broken.

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Folks have often remarked that we should use only Green troops who are not fit who would be very averse to fire and would hide and save themselves at every opportunity.  The problem is that this realistic behavior would not make for an entertaining game.  However, if one wants realism, that would be a way to go.

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Some of these factors boil down to "the AI being able to assess what's good for its pTruppen" to a similar degree as a realTruppe can... Do I run all the way over there to be safe? Can I get out of this situation safely, or should I throw in the towel? Difficult questions for a basic rule-based system (which is all the CM TacAI seems to be) to answer accurately.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, womble said:

I was hoping the "driven off by weight of fire" reactions would have been tweaked during my hiatus

Yes, and its been long while...Where have you been, my Brothren. 

Edited by JoMac
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12 hours ago, Erwin said:

Folks have often remarked that we should use only Green troops who are not fit who would be very averse to fire and would hide and save themselves at every opportunity.  The problem is that this realistic behavior would not make for an entertaining game.  However, if one wants realism, that would be a way to go.

You would still be able to push those green troops until they are all dead though. This is not user error but a fundamental game design issue.

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12 hours ago, Erwin said:

Green troops who are not fit

Always be positive. Try backward chaining of a battle. To gain the 800 points to occupy an objective these 'Green or Conscript troops are all you need to win a battle or a campaign. Look at the last steps you need to make. 

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There are a lot of reasons why the casualty rates are so high

 

Things that arent related directly to the mechanics:

Battles usually represent tip of the spear scenarios where high casualties are expected.

Players push their forces way too hard.

Low time limits lead to overly hasty attacks.

 

Directly related to the mechanics:

Infantry maintains too little spacing.

Infantry accuracy is too high while under fire (and too low when not).

Support weapons can only effectively supress one action square. All belt fed mgs are far less effective at supressing than they should be.

Hunt command doesnt work properly. Units shoudl stop when getting shot at rather than just when they see a target.

Entrenchments are underpowered. They are far too easy to spot and generally provide too little cover.

Tanks are far too good at spotting infantry close up especially on the flanks and rear.

Units giving first aid expose themselves unnecessarily.

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1 hour ago, holoween said:

Entrenchments are underpowered. They are far too easy to spot

Makes no difference against the AI. Human players can deal with it to make a few house rules. 

 

1 hour ago, holoween said:

Units giving first aid expose themselves unnecessarily.

Buddy aid do them when you have secured the area. 

 

1 hour ago, holoween said:

Support weapons can only effectively supress one action square. All belt fed mgs are far less effective at supressing than they should be.

Tactics! 'Spray & Pray is a bad tactic. Use cover arcs. 

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Just now, chuckdyke said:

Makes no difference against the AI. Human players can deal with it to make a few house rules. 

Houserules shouldnt be required for something so simple

Just now, chuckdyke said:

Buddy aid do them when you have secured the area. 

As long as your unit is in an action square with a casualty it will try to buddy aid no player choice involved

Just now, chuckdyke said:

Tactics! 'Spray & Pray is a bad tactic. Use cover arcs. 

Yea if i want to assault a treeline ill put my hmg on a cover arc rather than have it fire supression fire at it great idea.

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5 minutes ago, holoween said:

it will try to buddy aid no player choice involved

That could be a human behaviour. Redirect at the next turn. You need to be in hide mode to make a trench full cover. 

 

8 minutes ago, holoween said:

Yea if i want to assault a treeline i

Give it 15 seconds covering fire combined with a 15 sec of the maneuvering element near the end of a turn. You realize the HMG need to be in enfilade to be effective. In enfilade you need only one action square. In defilade you need to spray and pray and waste a lot of ammo. In the case of an MG 42 he will run out of barrels too. 15 seconds is enough to suppress once they cover you lose a full contact.  

 

19 minutes ago, holoween said:

Houserules shouldnt be required for something so simple

Works both ways. Put somewhere an empty bunker and watch how many tanks give their position away. Empty trench or foxholes with your TRP on it. I like Hotseat that is the sort of Catch22 we play. Take it from me first spot gets your intel and plan. 

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2 hours ago, holoween said:

Tanks are far too good at spotting infantry close up especially on the flanks and rear.

I had hoped this had been solved with the numerous updates and patches.  :(   Yes, it's as ridiculous as inf being unable to detect or hear a tank on the other side of a wall, or a few meters away in poor visibility.

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44 minutes ago, chuckdyke said:

That could be a human behaviour. Redirect at the next turn. You need to be in hide mode to make a trench full cover. 

Buddy aiding is human behaviour. kneeling in the open to get shot yourself isnt.

Hiding in a trench doesnt protect you from the shells landing inside. CM trenches simply are far wider than any infantrymen would ever build them.

Quote

Give it 15 seconds covering fire combined with a 15 sec of the maneuvering element near the end of a turn. You realize the HMG need to be in enfilade to be effective. In enfilade you need only one action square. In defilade you need to spray and pray and waste a lot of ammo. In the case of an MG 42 he will run out of barrels too. 15 seconds is enough to suppress once they cover you lose a full contact.  

To get supression fire only on the last 15 seconds you need to get a movement command inbetween which makes it practically impossible to do what you suggest with a hmg and simply impractical with lmgs. Unless youre in a perfect flanking position with your hmg targeting one action square wont get fire on the entire treeline so if there is more than one team your supression will fail.

Quote

Works both ways. Put somewhere an empty bunker and watch how many tanks give their position away. Empty trench or foxholes with your TRP on it. I like Hotseat that is the sort of Catch22 we play. Take it from me first spot gets your intel and plan. 

Yes you can use bad things in a smart way. Doesnt mean most defenses arent underperforming in CM.

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1 minute ago, holoween said:

CM trenches simply are far wider than any infantrymen would ever build them.

They are generic, we need actually trench and foxhole tiles.

 

3 minutes ago, holoween said:

argeting one action square wont get fire on the entire treeline

An HMG is the wrong tactic. The HMG HQ can call in mortar fire and he doesn't need a radio. You always need a combination of units. We need 25 years more before the AI can copy every human behaviour. You just discovered you need a human opponent. 

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3 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

An HMG is the wrong tactic. The HMG HQ can call in mortar fire and he doesn't need a radio. You always need a combination of units. We need 25 years more before the AI can copy every human behaviour. You just discovered you need a human opponent. 

That i cant effectively use a hmg for supression because the game will only let me target one action square per turn even though this is the only role hmgs have on the offense is the core issue here.

That i could use other assets doesnt change the fact that the hmg cant perform as it should

I almost entirely play against other humans. It does however only make the issue more aparent as against the ai it really doesnt matter.

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1 hour ago, holoween said:

That i cant effectively use a hmg for supression because the game will only let me target one action square per turn even though this is the only role hmgs have on the offense is the core issue here.

While I agree that HMG fire doesn't seem to suppress like we'd expect, FWIW area fire does shift fire to the AS on either side of the targeted AS. 

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