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So you just got your hands on CMCW...now what? Designers Q&A thread.


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19 minutes ago, Thomm said:

Question:

BMP-2s appear to be near-blind.

Is this realistic or a bug?

Apparently realistic.

19 minutes ago, Thomm said:

Does it help to have a squad loaded?

It does help to have someone in the commander's seat for the BMP 3. I'm not sure about the BMP 2

19 minutes ago, Thomm said:

Even then, the 'Open up' button fails to work, at least in some instances.

It might not open a top hatch without someone in the commander's seat.

19 minutes ago, Thomm said:

 

 

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16 hours ago, Thomm said:

Question:

BMP-2s appear to be near-blind.

Funny. Here I was on the US side, thinking they were all-seeing and deadly more than two kilometers out. I guess it's all a matter of perspective. 😄

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Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, Der Zeitgeist said:

Funny. Here I was on the US side, thinking they were all-seeing and deadly more than two kilometers out. I guess it's all a matter of perspective. 😄

tenor.gif

Edited by Vergeltungswaffe
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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Thomm said:

Question:

BMP-2s appear to be near-blind.

Is this realistic or a bug?

Does it help to have a squad loaded?

Even then, the 'Open up' button fails to work, at least in some instances.

Best regards,
Thomm

The BMP-1 and -2 vehicle commander is also the platoon / squad leader and dismounts with the platoon / squad.

Edited by akd
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MikeyD said:

BMP losing its vehicle commander when troops dismount also happens with M3 Bradley, with a similar degradation of ability (roughly akin to a killed tank commander, I supposed)

Yeah, this one could go either way. I think in CMSF and CMBS they stay mounted.

Edited by akd
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I thought Soviets requires assistant Plt leader stay on one of the BMP's commander seat while the Plt leader dismount? So there should be one BMP in the Plt has 3 crew members? 

 

Anyway, Here is a gamey method to improve BMP's spotting ability while keep the majority personal fighting dismount later. Split a scout team from the squad. Make sure the scout team board the BMP first. the one who occupy the commander seat will change description to "Leader".  Please note the squad will combine again when you board the rest of the squad on the BMP. To avoid that you can put the 1st squad/A team on 2nd BMP, 2nd squad/A team on 3rd BMP. Or you can make the scout teams belongs to 1st Plt board the BMPs belongs to 2nd Plt .

 

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13 minutes ago, Chibot Mk IX said:

 

I thought Soviets requires assistant Plt leader stay on one of the BMP's commander seat while the Plt leader dismount? So there should be one BMP in the Plt has 3 crew members? 

 

Yes, known issue.

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On 5/1/2021 at 2:23 PM, The_Capt said:

A little of both.  We were all looking for special features really indicative of the period (my personal favourite is the MGB).  This led to a LOT of research and pleading.  I honestly thought we had little chance then Charles kind of sprung it out of a hat and viola, “CM in violation of international conventions(tm)” was born.  We tinkered with them, they are nice and deadly but not overwhelming now.  When testing we started to see results pretty close to real world studies (at least those we could find).  
 

I'm late asking about this but I can't figure out what MGB is?

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Personal message to the scenario designers:

I just finished my first medium scenario (Brauersdorf), and it was great, but I find it very hard to motivate myself to even start another medium (or larger) scenario.

They are simply too big / too much effort for casual playing.

You (the designers) put so much time into the editor to set up these big scenarios, and I cannot even appreciate your effort, because I simply cannot convince myself to put the necessary amount of time into a single game.

I have no idea if others feel the same way, but for me it would be much better, if, e.g., two thirds of the scenarios would be 'small' or below in size. And not the other way round.

Best regards,
Thomm

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1 hour ago, Thomm said:

Personal message to the scenario designers:

I just finished my first medium scenario (Brauersdorf), and it was great, but I find it very hard to motivate myself to even start another medium (or larger) scenario.

They are simply too big / too much effort for casual playing.

You (the designers) put so much time into the editor to set up these big scenarios, and I cannot even appreciate your effort, because I simply cannot convince myself to put the necessary amount of time into a single game.

I have no idea if others feel the same way, but for me it would be much better, if, e.g., two thirds of the scenarios would be 'small' or below in size. And not the other way round.

Best regards,
Thomm

Now some of you pay attention...this is good criticism.

So yes, if someone asked me "what would you do different", I would have to say that the balance of scenario sized for this title is it.  We have only a minority portion of Tiny and Small battle in CMCW and we wrestled over that somewhat.  So why did we go this way (and there was a deliberate consideration):

- CMCW is mechanized warfare.  One could argue it is set at the apogee of peer mechanized warfare.  So this does not mean infantry do not have a role, far from it; however, the infantry-only or infantry dominant fights are less realistic.  They definitely would have happened but they happen in context of a much larger mechanized battle.  The main problem here is weapon ranges and real estate.  As weapon systems evolved the frontages and area of effect for formations increases dramatically.  So the risk here for small force battles is big nearly empty maps or tiny fights at point blank range.  Not impossible (see Hunter or Prey for an outstanding small fight) but harder to consistently produce as realistic.

- Casual vs Hardcore.  This one is much tougher...who is the audience?  Here we really had to stick with the CM brand, which is more hardcore in its niche.  The brand is based on hyper-realistic, to the point of being a simulation vice game, at the tactical level.  The target gamer is someone who wants that as part of their hobby.  So we leaned into that with realistic scenarios and campaigns, many of them pulled straight from period doctrine, which in this context as mentioned previously is fast moving mechanized based warfare.  This pretty much need the Coy Tm as a minimum in order to showcase accurately and the Coy Tm in 1982 needed a 2x2 km battle field as a minimum, in reality it could probable handle a 4 x 4km battlefield (terrain considerations).

That said, I would really have liked to see good smaller scenarios and we will definitely take that into consideration for any DLC moving forward.

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Warren gave a great breakdown. I would add that one of the most common complaints I see everywhere about CM games set in a modern setting is that the maps are too small. "Knife fighting in a phone booth" is a phrase that is usually thrown around quite regularly. I sympathize with that assessment to a degree.

I think that Cold War goes a long way of showing that with the proper sized maps, you can get real maneuver in a modern setting. Of course, the double edged sword here is that some people prefer those phone booth knife fights. I think that Warren is correct that Cold War currently is mostly the larger fights and does not have many smaller fights, and that going forward it will be important to try to include more of those smaller fights. But I think it was the right call going with the larger battles for the first game. After all, this was to be a massive mechanized fight, and I think it was important that Cold War capture that feeling and sense of scale out of the gate. 

All that said, I do think that Combat Mission has an issue with what I call administrative burden, or overhead. The player has to give so many orders to so many individual units, that it can get really tiresome keeping up with everything. Just getting a single company to road march can take hundreds of clicks and pause commands, etc. 
Reducing the admin burden on the player I think would go a long way to facilitating the playability of the larger battles. But that is completely in the hands of Steve and Charles, and is well beyond the scope of a game or module. 

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What I would wish for would be the option to have an AI plan for friendly units on the map. Make some of the friendly units not playable, to stay true to the scope of this kind of warfare, and adding another leven of immersion to the battlefield, because you are now not the god controlling everything, but just one gear in the machine of war.
Of course, this would come with other problems, to keep these forces performing in reasonable behaviour for the mission designer, which would be the job of the scenario creator, but overall, I think it would be a great addition.
It would give you as a player a smaller force to take care for, so you can focus on your units.

I am still creating an experimental scenario, in which you will play as a Soviet BMP company, within a bigger soviet attack, just to check for the possibility of this kind of gameplay.

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Posted (edited)

I'm thinking about designing a campaign that sort of uses a US Battalion Task Force as the core unit BUT, the player will only command a single company/team during a mission. The rest of the Task Force (portions of it depending on the storyline) will provide the supporting assets for that company/team in their mission.

Another option would be, the same core task force concept but, the player takes command of different parts of that task force at different times during the campaign. There would be decision points where you would select your force for a mission from one of the tank heavy or mech heavy company/teams. 

There are other options/configurations I'm considering but the player's active force would be  be basically kept to a company/team size.

Edited by Double Deuce
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5 minutes ago, Dr.Fusselpulli said:

How would you archive that? What would that supporting assets do and how?

The Task Force (a modified balanced task force set in mid 1985 and after implementation of the Division 86 changes) would be set up as a core force so I could activate anything from that core force for the player to use in a given mission. The extra assets could be elements of the battalions other 3 company/teams, scouts and mortars as well as forces from the brigade and division such as engineers, air defense artillery, field artillery, military intelligence, military police and probably others I'm missing off the top of my head.  Since most of these are going to be part of the core force in the campaign, those asset units losses and status get tracked as would the players active force. With this setup, hopefully I can implement it correctly, any losses to anything associated with the task force will carry over which limits your access to them as the campaign goes on. For example, if you get part of the battalion scouts assigned and you get the killed off, they would not be there for later in the campaign.

There's more moving parts to the design I'm trying to flesh out and I'm under no illusion it'll be a very large task and it's going to require lots of recordkeeping . . . but that's the plan. 😁

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@Double Deuce, ah okay. Understand that now. So the player would still play that other assets issued by the battalion, but it is only added to the core force to keep track of the losses.

About the thread: is it possible to get a AT-4B Spigot Team as a single unit in the "specialist teams" category? For now only the AT-7 Saxorn is available there, while AT-4B Spigot is only available as a Battalion asset in some formations.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Thomm said:

Personal message to the scenario designers:

I just finished my first medium scenario (Brauersdorf), and it was great, but I find it very hard to motivate myself to even start another medium (or larger) scenario.

They are simply too big / too much effort for casual playing.

You (the designers) put so much time into the editor to set up these big scenarios, and I cannot even appreciate your effort, because I simply cannot convince myself to put the necessary amount of time into a single game.

I have no idea if others feel the same way, but for me it would be much better, if, e.g., two thirds of the scenarios would be 'small' or below in size. And not the other way round.

Best regards,
Thomm

The thing with scenario size is that, generally speaking, the smallest 'semi' independent maneuver element is typically a battalion - at least for WW2.  Not sure if that's changed for modern or not, but you simply can't find very many situations with a company sized force that is operating independently of it's parent battalion.  Platoon sized actions take place obviously, but those are typically going to be patrol type actions and so you are somewhat limited in what you can do because a lot of patrolling activities simply don't translate into CM very well since they aren't typically going to be a 'capture location x' type of battle.  Prisoner snatch type of things simply won't work since you can't really deliberately capture enemies in CM.  You can do spotting for victory points, but then what's the other side doing during that time frame and if it's a larger enemy force then how does the player keep their 'spotting' units alive - especially if playing head to head.  Then how fun would that be anyway since most of the time would be spent hiding from the enemy.  It works for campaigns but not so much for a stand alone.

On top of that, modern units just have a lot of 'stuff'.  Even a US Mech Infantry platoon is something like eleven 'pieces' if you split your squads.  A US Mech Cavalry troop has something like four tanks, three scout teams, two M901s, and three M113s IIRC so that's twelve pieces to move around for one troop.  Smaller battles are a lot easier and quicker to create, but at the same time there is only so much you can really do with them since you have to come up with patrol type objectives. 

Incidentally the US side in Czechmate is only two platoons (slightly reinforced) and you are defending so it shouldn't be too taxing.  It's still a lot of pieces relatively speaking (in WW2 terms) because of all the vehicles, but the Soviet force is a lot larger so it wouldn't classify as a small scenario given the size of both forces combined.

Edited by ASL Veteran
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Yeah, there's a variety of battle sizes, but the trend is towards the larger end of the scale. Mechanised forces are easier to divide up than infantry forces - a tank company is much easier on the cognitive load than an infantry company - but it's still on the larger side on average.

If we end up with airborne scenarios, or more fringe actions in later modules, there will be more scope for infantry-only or smaller scale stuff, but seeing a Motor Rifle battalion rolling over the hills is sort-of the point of the thing.

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