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Playing through all of my Combat Mission scenarios in chronological order, starting with CMAK


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I am currently playing through all of my realistic tactical and operational games in chronological order(so mostly Combat Mission and Command Ops). I'm not entirely sure how many scenarios and Campaigns I have since I did bulk downloads of custom scenarios/campaigns/operations so I have a lot of duplicates and H2H only scenarios. But it is somewhere north of 2,000 total scenarios between CMAK, CMBB, CMFI, CMBN, CMRT, CMCW, CMA, CMSF, & CMBS. I have spent the last couple years just sorting all of them (renaming each with the date at the front of the filename in YYYY-MM-DD format so that they order themselves in chronological order when sorted alphabetically) and haven't actually been playing them during that time (to minimize spoilers) so I am very rusty now. But at long last sorting is finished, and playing has now commenced.

I have just finished uploading the first CMAK scenario of the playthrough, this one set in France in 1940, to youtube and I thought I might share it here in case anyone is interested.

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, good for you.  Even tho's have been a big fan of CM1 I keep forgetting how compelling the early war stuff was since CM1 had mods for Poland '39, France 1940, Sea Lion etc. that enabled one to play even earlier eras than Barbarossa.  

I loved the fact that in CMBB you could have a campaign that took you all the way through the entire war - in one game(!).

And while at levels 1 and 2, it's clear that CM2 look better, at levels 3 upwards, a well-modded CM1 was very competitive with the way CM1 looks.   I think most experienced players spend most of their time playing at the higher levels for ease of control.  

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  • 1 month later...

Just played a rather bitter tank battle. Nothing fancy here as far as tactics. The rain and mud kept me pretty restricted to the roads, so it's a nice simple head-on engagement.

Mostly just briefing an initial moves in part 1

The action really starts to pick up in part 2

And remains pretty nonstop right through part 3

 

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That sounds like just the thing I need. I'm currently using what mods I could find, mostly grey textures meant for mid war vehicles and late war troops that I used to replace some early war textures. But there are an unfortunate number of vehicles left unaffected and still in desert tan. Do you have a download link that still works?

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I have the folders and files totaling 322MB.  As you know, you have to replace all the original .bmps so it is vital that you save/back-up your original CMAK bmp folder.

Not sure how large one can upload.  If you have a drop box, I can try and upload the set in several folders of 30-40MB each.  (Can one upload folders or only files???)

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I have a dropbox, although I am fairly new to using it (should I leave a link here or should I PM you?). I'm not sure if you can upload a folder or not, but you should be able to upload a .rar or .zip file which you can get by right clicking on any folder and selecting Add to "****.rar"

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6 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Glad you got all the folders!  :)

Enjoy...

Thanks again! My next video in this series will have every vehicle and soldier in proper European theme. And since you asked me to I'll post a fresh thread on the forum with a download link just as soon as I can figure out how that feature of Dropbox works so that other people can download it as well.

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Ah... Am so nostalgic for CMAK and the desert campaign.  Tempted to start CMAK up again.

One thing I recall from CM1 days is that at longer ranges (over 1Km), the accuracy of all units like the 88mm which was supposed to be 100% accurate up to 1Km is badly degraded.

I vaguely recall designing a CMAK campaign and deciding that the 88mm and any other weapon system that was accurate at long range in RL had to be Elite with an HQ with max capabilities just to try and simulate the desired accuracy.  So, it's hard to use the German tactic of keeping the enemy at range and relying on superior optics and accuracy.  

Actually, am wondering if the same problem is still in CM2.  Playing a CMBN game right now where Vet Panthers are having a hard time hitting anything if the range goes much over 1Km. 

Edited by Erwin
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Posted (edited)

Well, I've yet to use or encounter any 88s in CMx1. But I do recall getting ambushed at extreme range by 88s on at least one or two occasions in CMx2 and suffering heavy losses as a result. My overall impression is that hit probabilities in CM are probably about right (it really is quite difficult to hit distant targets without modern fire control systems, especially when you are rushing because the other guys are shooting back at you).

Edited by Centurian52
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I agree re most WW2 era weapons.  But, the 88mm was feared as it was very accurate.  I read 100% accuracy up to 1Km, and could kill most Allied tanks at 2Km or more.  In CM1 I did not experience that sort of accuracy.  Admittedly, I can't recall playing a CM2 scenario with an 88mm ATG - the Tiger 1's have 88mm.  But, can't recall a scenario with Tiger 1's on a map with over 1Km LOS.  (Panthers in a CM2 scenario am playing right now have a hard time hitting at around 1Km - even in ideal conditions.)

Found this old post re CM2:

Using the doubled dispersion data which is supposed to model the random scatter of rounds on the battlefield, the Tiger 88mm is acually a little better than the Panther 75mm at many ranges:

HIT % When Range is Known

Tiger 88mm APCBC

100% at 500m

93% at 1000m - This is lower than the Panther.

74% at 1500m

50% at 2000m

31% at 2500m

19% at 3000m

 

Panther 75mm APCBC

100% at 500m

97% at 1000m  

72% at 1500m

49% at 2000m

29% at 2500m

18% at 3000m

 

http://gva.freeweb.hu/weapons/german_accuracy7.html

Footnotes

1. 8,8cm Flak 18, 36 & 37. Source: Jentz, Thomas L: Tank Combat in North Africa. Note that there is a significant difference in accuracy between the early Pzgr. and the later Pzgr.39 fired from the 8,8cm Kw.K.36. [up]

2. 8,8cm Kw.K.36. Source: Jentz, Thomas L: Germany’s Tiger Tanks. Tiger I & II: Combat Tactics. Although the 8,8cm Flak 18, 36 & 37 is ballistically the same as the Kw.K.36, the accuracy is specified only for the Kw.K.36 in the reference. It is likely that the accuracy for the 8,8cm Flak would be similar for these ammunition types. [up]

3. 8,8cm Kw.K.43. Source: Jentz, Thomas L: Germany’s Tiger Tanks. Tiger I & II: Combat Tactics. Although the 8,8cm Pak 43 and 8,8cm Pak 43/41 are ballistically the same as the Kw.K.43, the accuracy is specified only for the Kw.K.43 in the reference. It is likely that the accuracy for the 8,8cm Pak 43 and 43/41 would be similar. [up]

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Very interesting data. I can easily believe that a gunner could achieve those accuracies on a marked range against targets that aren't moving, shooting back, or making any attempt to conceal themselves. But I have a hard time believing, in the absence of advanced FCS, that any weapon has ever achieved those kind of hit rates in battle (actually even with advanced FCS you will still somehow manage to miss more often than you would think, if my own gunnery in GHPC and Steel Beasts is any indication).

Military History Visualized actually did a video on this a couple years ago. The TLDR is that while the 88mm probably deserves its reputation for exceptional accuracy and lethality, that reputation needs to be taken in the context of the other weapons it was competing with in WW2. As such you probably could not count on one-shot one-kill with an 88 in real life.

 

Edited by Centurian52
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Not CMAK, but I've sprinkled in a little bit of Theatre of War into my France 1940 gameplay to cover for CMAK's lack of any French tanks. Regrettably, I did not perform terribly well in this mission. With any luck there are some additional lines covering the evacuation at Dunkirk.

 

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4 hours ago, Centurian52 said:

Military History Visualized actually did a video on this a couple years ago.

That video would have been interesting.  But... it seemed that they were out to prove a point and cherry picked specific engagements that gave data to match their premise.  Like it gives the average of all ATG shells of all sizes per KIA tank.  Or, it starts talking about Stug kills which is irrelevant.  Then it jumps to 1944 when Soviet tanks (KV's, JS's etc) were much tougher.

What they do not say "In 1939 thru '41 the average number of 88MM shells used to kill a (typical not the toughest) enemy tank was..."   Or, "In 1940/41 in the desert, the average number of 88MM shells used to kill a Crusader or whatever was the typical Brit tank at the time) tank was..." 

Also, what was the average range?  If the engagements were over 1 Km that would affect the accuracy stats also.

For all I know their premise may be correct.  However, this is a poor and misleading/manipulative video imo.  

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Posted (edited)

Admittedly the small number of examples and lack of any clear conclusions in the video are fairly unsatisfactory, but it's hard to find data on exactly what range a particular tank was knocked out at. Likewise it is hard to find data on exactly how many 88 shells were fired from 1939 to 1945, and of those how many were aimed at tanks, and of all of the tanks knocked out in the war how many were knocked out by those 88 shells. There are other problems with the data presented in the video, such as all of the sources are for rounds fired per kill claim, not for rounds fired per actual kill (kill claims often have little resemblance to actual kills). I believe he did the best he could with the data he had.

The portions on Stug kills as well as kills by other guns were to set a baseline of what sort of shot/kill ratio can be expected from other guns, in order to give some idea of how good the shot/kill ratios for the 88s are. Having read estimated rates of rounds fired per hit achieved ranging from hundreds to one to thousands to one for small arms, from thousands to one to tens of thousands to one for WW2 anti-aircraft shells, and hundreds to one for WW2 air-launched rockets, a rate in the tens to one sounds pretty good to me. A rate of less than ten rounds fired for one kill sounds absolutely amazing.

Edited by Centurian52
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Going into the scenario editor to ensure there are no anachronistic tank variants or formations in the upcoming scenarios and holy cow did some of these scenario designers play fast and loose with historical accuracy with some of these France 1940 scenarios. 

I am seeing a lot of Panzer 2Fs (which don't show up until 1941 and have better frontal armor than the Panzer 2Cs that were available at the time), Panzer 3Gs (the later production models with the 50mm guns, which don't show up until after the Battle of France), Panzer 4Fs (which don't show up until October and have much better frontal and side armor than the variants available for the campaign), M3 Lees (presumably as a stand in for the Char B1, they do seem similar since they both have a hull mounted 75mm gun, but the Char B1's 75 is a very low velocity gun, while the M3 Lee's 75mm is a medium velocity gun with significantly better performance), and Stuarts (which are much faster than any French tank they might be standing in for, as well as better armor and gun performance (the French 37mm was an L21 gun)). I've even come across German infantry with mg-42s.

The desire to use American Lees and Stuarts as stand-ins is understandable due to the lack of any French tanks in the game. However their performance is sufficiently different from any French tanks available at the time that I do not consider them to be good stand-ins. Captured Italian M13/40 tanks, found in the Australian armor when the parameters are set to May 1941, are a good stand in for French AMC 35s, with remarkably similar performance in every regard I was able to look up. Frustratingly there are R-35s in the game, but they are captured and in Axis service with the Italians with the parameters set to July 1943. But there seems to be no way to add Axis vehicles to the Allied roster, leaving those R35s forever locked away and unusable for Battle of France scenarios.

I can't think of any excuse for using incorrect variants of German tanks for France 1940 scenarios, as there is no shortage of Panzer 2Cs, Panzer 3Es and Fs, and Panzer 4Cs and Ds provided by the editor to use. And with mg34s provided by the editor there is no reason why mg42s should be showing up in the Battle of France.

Anyway, like I said before, I'm combing through my upcoming France 1940 scenarios and removing or swapping out anachronistic vehicles and formations. Which means I'm catching some spoilers, but I'm hoping I'll forget most of them by the time I circle back around to playing these scenarios.

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It's great you are still enjoying CMAK!  

Back in early 2000's I spent months designing a 8Km x 4Km max size CMAK map "miniaturizing" the entire African theater from El Agheila to almost El Alamein.  Almost gave me a nervous breakdown and had to stop.  It's why I have not attempted to design for CM2 which is far more complex.

But, it's the sort of campaign one cannot do in CM2 due to engine limitations and processing power.  Also, CM1 has the wonderful "dynamic campaign" feature where one could play on a portion of the maximum size map, and the "window of play" would move depending on the success/failure of each mission.

Re the 88mm, what we don't know is did they start firing at (say) 3Km range and 10 rounds later got a kill when the tank had moved to 1Km.  Seems likely that when faced with dozens of tanks, the 88mm would start firing at max effective range where the tanks could not fire back with any accuracy.  So many variables like that could have skewed the video's stated conclusions.

 

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