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A plead for assitance from a complete newbe


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Hello everyone.

A few days ago, I took my first step into tactical strategy games with CM:Final blitzkrieg.

As per requested in the game manual, I started the training campaign.

The first two mission ware self explanatory. I learned the mechanics and UI and managed to complete them without any problem.

Then I got to the third mission and thing got complected, in that mission you need to fend off an attack on a town and then counter attack a specific point on the map.

The first part of the mission start with artillery and AT tutorial, and then after troop reinforcement arrives you are told to use it either to bolster your defenses or use them for the counter attack.

After that, the tutorial tells you to sort thing out yourself.

5 hours later, I still fail to wrap my head around and strategy that works, you either fortify the reinforcement at some defensible position and see them attrition due to artillery, or send them counter attacking via different avenues that end up kill the lot of them before even 100m of the target.

As you may understand, I need some guidance as to how to undestrnd the battlefield in this kind of scenario, what to look for and how to best approach this game.

Also,any link to written or video material that could help me understand the game better would be appreciated.

 

Thank you all in advance.

Edited by Thatguy
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  • Thatguy changed the title to A plead for assitance from a complete newbe

I'd like to help, but your question is very broad and general. Basically this game is about fire and movement.

If you just order infantry to run forwards towards the enemy, don't expect them to automatically find cover and return fire at sensible locations.

Your basic task is to use as small a force as possible to bait the enemy to reveal himself, and then use support weapons to blast those positions and/or fire and movement to suppress them and move assault teams into range.

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You are right, I should make this more clear.

I managed to get a good comprehension of cover and concealment both from the game manual and a few hours of YouTube let's play video.

I did not attempt to rush the enemy on open ground, I attempted multiple paths that had both protection from stationary MG and cover but still failed to comprehend the bigger picture.

The concept you mentioned about drawing the enemy out of cover with small detachments was something I never would have thought of myself i"m afraid.

Any insights like this ore links to material contemning those insights would be appreciated.

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You can split your squads in various ways. One of the ways is to split off a small scout team of 2-3 guys. Use that team to advance into unknown territory, while their buddies stay behind overlooking the landscape. If someone fires on the scouts, their friends should fire back. You might lose scouts, but it's still better than losing the whole squad in an ambush.

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Roleplay in CM can be both fun and efficient. So, step into your officers' shoes. If memory serves, here's my rundown of the mission:

a. You've taken a village. Now, the Hun is trying to take it back. As a rule, the defender holds a qualitative advantage. The counter-attack will be most effective, when the enemy is beaten and bloodied. So, let's focus on the defense first.

b. Set up your forces in ambush. Think as your opponent: where would you attack if you were him? Where would you call in artillery? Try to set your forces in a safe place, that offers overlapping Line of Sight on suspected enemy advance routes. Try to space out forces that may get stonked, and run back to fall back positions when spotting rounds start falling.

c. Put your observers, heavy support and tanks on the wooded hilly terrain (behind the village). Keep an eye on the hill in front of the village, the Hun may have STuG (s) there. The Hun usually concentrates his forces in a so-called Schwerpunkt. If they manage to achieve a local breakthrough, use mobile units from quiet sectors to bolster the defender's efforts. 

d. Let the wave break against your shore. Once the Hun's assault stalls, it is time to strike! Have your observers call the rest of your artillery any buildings or wooded cover in the enemy's rear. Move up your rear line, as the front line keeps watch. This is called "leap frogging". Use HUNT to cautiously advance to the hill, to the front.

e. Divide and conquer. Every time you encounter an enemy unit, stop and shoot everything you have at it, until it is dead. A thoroughly broken enemy will surrender, and hand you an automatic victory. At the end of the day, you want as many of your troops to see tomorrow. So, don't bite off more than you can chew.

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23 minutes ago, z1812 said:

Visit this Combat Mission site. It has lots of useful information. https://battledrill.blogspot.com/

This was my first thought as I read this. I highly recommend it. There are few more useful items in the FAQ:

Check out the section "Tactical Tips" many are more specific to situations but the YouTube play list contains some gems.

As @Bulletpoint said this game is not easy but figuring out the right thing to do does get easier. I remember my ah ah moment way back in CMBB where I was showing the game to my dad (retired infantry officer). He said "why are you doing that your going to get your men killed! First find the enemy and then suppress them and only then move forward for a final assault." I was running guys all over the place with the predictable results. I followed his advice and things started working out much better. That advice and so much more is encapsulated in the articles and videos linked in this thread.

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3 hours ago, Thatguy said:

The first part of the mission start with artillery and AT tutorial, and then after troop reinforcement arrives you are told to use it either to bolster your defenses or use them for the counter attack.

After that, the tutorial tells you to sort thing out yourself.

5 hours later, I still fail to wrap my head around and strategy that works, you either fortify the reinforcement at some defensible position and see them attrition due to artillery, or send them counter attacking via different avenues that end up kill the lot of them before even 100m of the target.

A basic tactic when defending is to NOT put all or most of your units so that they would be visible and could be shot at by the enemy at the start.  It's much better in the set-up turn to put approx 90% of your forces out of any possible enemy sight or direct fire weapons.  (Leave a few small "expendable/sorry guys" teams in the front so you have an idea of what the enemy is doing.) 

Let the enemy waste ammo blowing up the first buildings or obvious defensive positions.  You want the enemy to get in close so that he cannot use his artillery, and so you can ambush him at close range.  So, if in town, place most of your units one or more buildings inside the town, so they cannot be hit by long range enemy direct fire.  If in wooded territory, place em far enough inside the woods so that the enemy has to enter the woods to find your units.  The object is to create many short-range ambush opportunities.

Edited by Erwin
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And this thread opened by @Combatintman a while ago provides an excellent in-depth look at assessing the battlefield and planning what you intend to do:

It may be a little too detailed for the introductory scenarios but well worth a look. 

You're doing the right thing by the way, start small and learn the basics and ask as many questions as you need to.

And welcome to the game and the forum.

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One thing to keep in mind when reading tactical tips is that scenario designers are usually some very devious and experienced players, so most scenarios have somehow been designed specifically to make sure you can't win them just by the basic textbook stuff. There will never be LOS, you won't be able to flank, you won't have artillery support, etc.

There are very few good scenarios for new players. The only one that comes to mind for CMFB is Lanzerath Ridge. It's not "easy" as such, but it's winnable by following basic doctrine. Set up a base of fire, then probe forward over open ground. When enemy positions open up, suppress them with MGs from your base of fire. When all positions are suppressed, charge.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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22 hours ago, Thatguy said:

You are right, I should make this more clear.

I managed to get a good comprehension of cover and concealment both from the game manual and a few hours of YouTube let's play video.

I did not attempt to rush the enemy on open ground, I attempted multiple paths that had both protection from stationary MG and cover but still failed to comprehend the bigger picture.

The concept you mentioned about drawing the enemy out of cover with small detachments was something I never would have thought of myself i"m afraid.

Any insights like this ore links to material contemning those insights would be appreciated.

@Josey Wales on YouTube is about the best for information for tactics. For observing select Veteran and above. MG's and AT Guns let your mortars deal with them. Don't duel with other tanks unless you're for 100% sure your tank is much better. Houses and Bocage you never see a hiding enemy there. In this game if you never make a mistake you never learn anything. 

Edited by chuckdyke
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Thank you all for your tips and links. I read Combatintman's guide and AAR and the translated manual. although the guide was quite advanced for someone like me, It did set me in the right state of mind for what's to come.

After about 5'ish hours, I manged to finish both the 3rd and 4th mission in the training campaign. I even manged to sang "overwhelming victory" on the last mission.

I have to say this again, this seems to be a very nice community. and I hope to continune to participate in it in the future.

Edited by Thatguy
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One thing I always liked about Combat Mission is that strict adherence to battle drills as outlined in training manuals do not necessary work. Those manuals should not be ignored however. They are very instructive. But any commanding officer could care less about manuals in the heat of combat. It's about survival. Kill or be killed. Combat Mission is not chess, which I play online everyday. it's about the virtual fear of getting a leg blow off and how can I can ask those men who shipped across the Atlantic to put their lives on the line can return home. In a computer sense of course. Pin down and out flank usually works out. 

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