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The game "manual" is sorely lacking


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Before I am torn apart, I own every CM and CMx2 game since CMBB. So I've paid my dues here, literally. ūüėĄ

The game runs smoothly and is enjoyable in the few hours I've been able to get in. Death doesn't come as quickly as Black Sea, and it (for some reason) runs much better than CMFB.

However, while the manual covers the equipment quite well, what about a little explanation about how the doctrines of each side are simulated? This is a key issue, and is completely ignored in the documentation. Why not give us some hints on how the game simulates these different methods of CinC, etc.

It just seems like BF took the easy way out on the docs and didn't explore what makes this game so different. Basically, the manual in no way does the simulation justice.

Any help would be appreciated.

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To be fair there are excellent soviet doctrine training scenarios in the game that should help you out. The briefing includes a list of reference materials for the same. The US field manuals are all available online too and full of great information. It would be great if there was a bit more info in the manuals but it’s not like the info isn’t out there. 

MMM

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3 hours ago, Rosseau said:

wever, while the manual covers the equipment quite well, what about a little explanation about how the doctrines of each side are simulated?

Doctrines are not simulated apart from the TO and E. The same rules apply to both forces, you are free to use any tactic.

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Doctrine and the TO&E go hand in hand - each absolutely lead the other. You're certainly free to use any tactical approach you'd like, but the kit is designed to be used in a particular way, and trying to force it into a different direction will usually be deficient in some manner.

The Tutorial scenarios do a very good job of demonstrating the core principles of Soviet doctrine.

The first (attack) will teach you about mass, maximising firepower and coordination with a layered plan for fires. The second (meeting engagement) will take those same core principles, and then show how they apply in a much more fluid and subtle battle of manoeuvre, in a manner which is suitable for implementation in the campaign, but also in the context of multiplayer quick battles.

This kind of tutorial scenario is something which I think is lacking in CM generally - there are an awful lot of questions that could be answered by this kind of thing. Typical examples have included how best to employ a Commonwealth rifle formation, and what the purpose of the two inch mortar is - if there was a simple, doctrinal setup that you could point to and say "if you can't win this with minimal losses, you don't understand it", that would be extremely useful, across all titles and factions.

The Cold War campaigns do an excellent job of demonstrating the doctrine of the two sides, but often with additional complexity, since we're no longer in a tutorial. There is at least one US campaign mission which is an excellent demonstration of Active Defence, and the Soviet stuff is well represented throughout their campaign.

There could always be more documentation, naturally, but field manuals exist and they're mostly very accessible. A "strategy guide" would mostly involve re-writing those.

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Yes, I had not even jumped into the Tutorials yet, but everyone's comments are greatly appreciated. The in-game Tutorial and Campaign notes are quite good as it turns out.

The recent John Tiller releases by Wargame Design Studio contain documentation that is actually worth the $40 price of admission before the games themselves, so guess I am a bit spoiled.

 

I am going to need the community's help

I am keenly interested in what Matrix Games does with the upcoming "Broken Arrow" release. Unless it turns out to be a disaster, we need more of these games, not less.

I am not worthy but have been tasked with doing two separate internet reviews of both CMCW and the Matrix title.  It would be a great help to tap into the huge knowledge base here and address the differences between the CMx2 WW2 titles and CMCW - based on your expertise and play time that I simply cannot invest.

Thanks again for your help and patience with me.

Sincerely,

Mike Russo

mikerusso1983@outlook.com

 

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tear him apart!!!  Damn too late again.

@Rosseaudifference in period from ww2 to modern fundamentally are what you'll find in a lot of real world documents on weaponry and tactics.  For example, optics, infra and thermal viewers, defensive capabilities in armor vehicles, Anti armor attack weapons etc.  CMCW is pretty accurate in this sphere.  Fascinating thing about CMCW is the representation of a transition point particularly in optics.  That being said, if you are doing a review I think you need to invest the time.  Otherwise your review will end up being a smattering of things from other people and not really authentic.  There are a number of scenarios that are done in different time periods allowing you to feel that transition point when thermal optics become more prevalent for NATO vehicles. 

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Ah yes, these are the observations I am looking for. Thank you, sburke. I could kiss you, but...

Believe me, this is a labor of love. I paid $60 for the game, will make nothing for writing a review, and simply do not have the time or expertise to do the sim justice.

Any other forum, I would not be asking for help. But I want to do a good job. Basically, I am a machine that takes a "smattering of things" and makes them into a (hopefully) compelling article. I've made a living doing this for 45 years, but not in wargaming, although I've been playing since CMBB on the Mac IIsi.

So, what a potentially awesome opportunity (imho) to have players with maybe 1,000+ hours in the CM engine offering some nuggets on how this game plays.

Attached is a recent review, but it's child's play compared with CMCW.

Hey, no pressure, guys. I will still love all of you even if I am banned!

Best Wishes,

- Mike

Libertad o Muerte.doc

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On 7/5/2021 at 10:10 PM, Rosseau said:

The recent John Tiller releases by Wargame Design Studio contain documentation that is actually worth the $40 price of admission before the games themselves, so guess I am a bit spoiled.
 

Can you recommend a specific one?

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On 7/5/2021 at 10:10 PM, Rosseau said:

address the differences between the CMx2 WW2 titles and CMCW

Hmm, well I guess I will take a shot at that one.  The primary difference CMCW and the mainstream WW2 titles lies deeply in how militaries of each era define mass and firepower.  Specifically the technological impacts of roughly 30-35 years of evolution changed the battle-scape pretty significantly, which is well reflected in the era doctrine.  In CMCW both sides were deeply invested in the offense and maneuver as overall approaches due in large part to the lessons learned in WW2.  In that sense you cannot easily separate the two time periods as one basically springs from the other, a scion if you will. 

Broadly speaking, CMCW sees the infantry slide back a bit as the entire battlefield had become mechanized (remember that mechanized were in the minority during WW2), mass was built on steel, not human muscle.  Infantry still play a critical role but they are not the broad front force in creation of military mass.  Tanks, ATGMs and mech technology meant that ranges of effects were significantly extended.  As a result the battlefield also shrank while paradoxically getting bigger; fewer forces could cover larger frontages with more lethality.  C4ISR systems meant that speed and tempo were significantly faster and more lethal.  WW2 relied on mass effects broadly distributed, CW meant mass effects more narrowly distributed.

In game, this means several things.  First, maps are a lot bigger for smaller forces, compared to WW2 so the player must manage much more terrain.  The "Setup and Pitch" happen a lot more often, in different places and faster.  So in a CM game there is always a setup by the player; a KZ, line of attack, support prep etc.  In a WW2 game that takes a certain amount of time to get aligned and in motion.  In CMCW, it not only happens faster but more often, this creates a lot more of what I like to think of as "micro-dramas" that pull the player in. 

In CMCW the Pitch happens differently as well.  The culmination of effects at a point on the battlefield is far more fluid in the CW setting.  This has again to do with speed and range.  For example, I can have a culmination happen at 2000-3000m with ATGMs and tac aviation, and then another at 1500-2000 with armor, and then another at sub 1000 with infantry...on the same big map, at the same time (see The Citadel).  All the while the Air/AD game is playing simultaneously.  In WW2 titles we get lots of action but it tends to be more linear and paced differently.

I guess from a gaming perspective you can already see the lines starting to form up.  If a player likes faster paced, bigger battles of smashing steel, CMCW is the title for you.  If the player prefers smaller tighter battles or big slower grinding fights, heavy on infantry, that build to a climax then WW2 has a lot to offer (and to be fair WW2 was so big that you can find pretty much whatever you like in it).    One last thing that we did see, nearly from day one, was the force balance in CMCW resembles those seen in the ww2 titles (first time I saw M60s and T64s go at it I had flashbacks to Shermans and Panthers).  There is no one dominating side and as the guys say "if it can see you, it can kill you" applies equally to both sides.  We did not plan that or try to build it in, it simple "was" once the forces got plugged into the game.

Hope that helps a bit...

  

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In our timeframe US warfighting doctrine was in flux. The old 'tripwire' nuclear defense had been abandoned in favor of a conventional defense in depth that Pentagon critics derided as a 'don't lose' strategy as opposed to a 'win' strategy. Pentagon mavericks were pushing for a doctrine of aggressive stabbing attacks with no clear front lines. A position that, in hindsight, probably would not have fared well against a phalanx of Russian ATGMs and 125mm guns. Airland Battle doctrine was still a couple years away and the US didn't yet have the capability for non-nuclear strikes on follow-on forces before they entered the battle zone. So The prospect of Russian follow-on forces re-attacking after the initial battle was a problem that hadn't yet been solved.

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On 7/5/2021 at 7:10 PM, Rosseau said:

The recent John Tiller releases by Wargame Design Studio contain documentation that is actually worth the $40 price of admission before the games themselves, so guess I am a bit spoiled.

Thanks again for your help and patience with me.

Sincerely,

Mike Russo

Banning, not likely :D  Couple notes

1 Not a good thing to post your email.  We all don't mind, but Bots may find it.

2 What a bummer.  I hadn't looked at Tiller games for a bit and didn't know John had passed.  Huge loss for the gaming community.

 

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Thanks very much for the new posts, and for your word of wisdom on the bots, sburke. I am also an idiot for forgetting the Beta AARs for this game, which contain a wealth of information.

My guess is the faithful have already purchased CMCW. The site I'll be writing for is mostly frequented by historians and wargamers. So, my mission will be to get those few who are somehow unfamiliar with the CMx2 series, or those who have held off on CMCW, an accurate view of what they might be missing. For the former, due diligence requires that I address the need for micromanagement when playing this series. It is an awesome system, with a super-powered editor, and I cannot think of any downside personally besides the time-sink involved with playing these games seriously.

John Tiller's passing was an unpleasant surprise. He was my age exactly, so doubly so! They just finished their two-week sale, and I got a feeling they did well, which would be a fitting tribute.

11 hours ago, Redwolf said:

Can you recommend a specific one?

The ACW and Napoleonic releases are heavy on micro and light on AI. For the lover of these eras, perhaps PBEM is best.

But I so enjoy the newest Panzer Battles series of games. Wargame Design Studio at its finest, plus the considerable power of a database editor, which was only previously available in the Squad Battles series of tactical games. I am anxiously awaiting the release of Panzer Battles Moscow '41, but not sure when it will be available.

 

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