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Are infantry (or any asset) in BS harder to spot than CW or BN?


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I'm 'feeling' like this is true, eg when my Russians walk the walk and then die from unseen shooters and even when stopped find it hard to spot the shooters!

Could this be a thing or just my imagination?

Spotting in CW seems far easier than BS.

THH

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BS is far more dangerous and deadly than any other game in the CM2 series.  It metes out much punishment for the slightest mistake or carelessness - mostly cos of the modern technology that allows a unit to spot other units much more easily.  Generally, the Blue forces are superior in this - altho' it is debatable if this is an accurate representation of RL as many member shave noted a bias towards the US. 

Am not sure that I have noticed a bias.  But, I do know that one has to use very good tactics and it us very easy to lose a lot of units very quickly if one approaches CMBS with the same "relaxed" mindset as for example CMSF or any of the WW2 games.  

For that reason, I would not recommend CMBS to a newbie.  

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I certainly would recommend CMBS, lol. It's a great game and it's not hard to survive in it despite the rhetoric on the forums...

I have not shared your experiences though @THH149, so I am interested to see what comes up... I typically play rus/ukr only.

Edited by Artkin
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21 hours ago, THH149 said:

I'm 'feeling' like this is true, eg when my Russians walk the walk and then die from unseen shooters and even when stopped find it hard to spot the shooters!

Could this be a thing or just my imagination?

Spotting in CW seems far easier than BS.

THH

 

Spotting in Cold War is *definitely* not as easy as in Black Sea.

The Russian optics are bad in both, but Cold War only really starts having a huge gap in spotting in the later periods, or scenarios with excessive TTS, Abrams and Bradleys. If you play earlier periods (1980 is my sweet spot), then you're down to the slightly-superior optics of the M60A1, or the thermals of the Dragons and TOW launchers, which are a lot more manageable.

In Black Sea, there are thermals everywhere - it's possible in Cold War to stick an FO on top of a naked hill in the NTC campaign, and as long as you're maintaining range you can do so safely. This is objectively untrue in Black Sea - you have to assume that anything that can see, can be seen. That means that committing assets means trying to make sure you can win any fight you've just started. Recon is incredibly important, especially with drones.


The trick to getting Russian stuff to work, especially in Cold War, is to understand how the probabilities pan out.

For a hypothetical example - imagine a US tank that had a flat 50% chance to spot in a given arbitrary slice of time.

If you had a single Russian tank that had (we'll say) a 20% chance to spot, clearly the US MBT is going to be expected to get the first spot off, and whomever gets the first shot will usually win the engagement.

If on the other hand you had four of the same Soviet armoured vehicle, then the chances of getting that spot is 100*(1-0.8^4) , or 59%. Clearly completely arbitrary values, but they're demonstrative.

You don't care which of your tanks gets the spot first, so long as one of them does. The principle then is to get your maximum strength against a minority of the opposition, and also really lean heavily into that Lanchester square law to minimise your own losses.

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Posted (edited)

I'm thinking something more banal than tank spotting, and apologies for not having ready data on any of this.

My situation is Russian infantry are getting shot from say 100m- 200m range by American infantry without the Russians seeing the shooter (not even a contact/just the bullet graphics), when both sides are using the same eyeballs and bino's. It's weird that I even notice this (and maybe the Russ get to knocked around to much to register a contact, but that's unlikely).

Maybe its do with the CM algorithm to give the US a technical/equipment advantage for some - unknown to me - reason, say if, the US would in reality spot the moving russ in say 5 seconds and the russians moving would spot the US in 5 seconds after the fire comes in, but the attacker gets a CM engine game lead of hidden fire for say 20 seconds to make the difference meaningful in game terms.

I love BS much more than CM and SF2, but gosh its scary. And its all learning by die-ing.

I would love to see a few training scenarios based on BS like CW has.

Best

THH

Edited by THH149
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Both sides aren't using the same eyeballs and binos though - there are significant differences in equipment, even on the rifleman's level - all US soldiers have thermal optics, for a start, and the Javelin launch unit (which operates with or without missiles) might well be the best single spotting device in CM.

The tank example was only representative - the principles are identical, and the point is that to overcome the deficiency in optics you need to rely on numbers. It's typically significantly easier to play with quality than quantity, mind you.

The point on Training Scenarios is a good one. I've long thought this kind of thing would be good for all titles, and would help things significantly - scenarios which aren't supposed to be difficult, just doctrinal examples of specific things.

For example, a common refrain is how "useless" the British 2 inch mortars are in CMBN. This is firmly incorrect, but presumably their use is non-obvious. If there was a doctrinal platoon attack scenario for the British rifle platoon, then you could have a yardstick to measure other things by - essentially, a "If you can't win this, you don't understand it yet" test. Later scenarios can then build off this with greater complexity and additional problems.

With the CMCW tutorials, there is a direct line between the tutorials and the Soviet campaign. The "attack" scenario teaches the fundamentals (mass, firepower, speed), and the "meeting engagement" then takes those and adds the complexity of a flexible, more typical scenario, where you have to be fluid and adapt, rather than just move forward and shoot. The first Soviet campaign mission is then a doctrinal meeting engagement, but you're now facing an enemy which is really trying to beat you, and has the ability to put you through hell. A->B->C. If you tried to jump straight in at C you'd miss most of the context.

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27 minutes ago, domfluff said:

Both sides aren't using the same eyeballs and binos though - there are significant differences in equipment, even on the rifleman's level - all US soldiers have thermal optics, for a start, and the Javelin launch unit (which operates with or without missiles) might well be the best single spotting device in CM.

The tank example was only representative - the principles are identical, and the point is that to overcome the deficiency in optics you need to rely on numbers. It's typically significantly easier to play with quality than quantity, mind you.

The point on Training Scenarios is a good one. I've long thought this kind of thing would be good for all titles, and would help things significantly - scenarios which aren't supposed to be difficult, just doctrinal examples of specific things.

For example, a common refrain is how "useless" the British 2 inch mortars are in CMBN. This is firmly incorrect, but presumably their use is non-obvious. If there was a doctrinal platoon attack scenario for the British rifle platoon, then you could have a yardstick to measure other things by - essentially, a "If you can't win this, you don't understand it yet" test. Later scenarios can then build off this with greater complexity and additional problems.

With the CMCW tutorials, there is a direct line between the tutorials and the Soviet campaign. The "attack" scenario teaches the fundamentals (mass, firepower, speed), and the "meeting engagement" then takes those and adds the complexity of a flexible, more typical scenario, where you have to be fluid and adapt, rather than just move forward and shoot. The first Soviet campaign mission is then a doctrinal meeting engagement, but you're now facing an enemy which is really trying to beat you, and has the ability to put you through hell. A->B->C. If you tried to jump straight in at C you'd miss most of the context.

How is the first Soviet campaign mission is meeting engagemen? It's a pure Soviet attack, US forces are in defensive, they retreat only and don't attack. 

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It's a "Meeting Engagement" in the Soviet definition of the term - i.e., an attack from the march, preceded by CRP and FSE, and followed by the main body of the battalion, which has to manoeuvre and adapt to the terrain and situation.

It's also something which is a direct upgrade from the "Meeting Engagement" tutorial.

The deliberate attack would be on a fixed position, where the battalion had time to assemble in whole before being engaged. That's definitely not that scenario.

The term "meeting engagement" in most wargames tends to mean "two equal sides rush to the centre" or the like, which is not what I meant there.

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1 hour ago, domfluff said:

Both sides aren't using the same eyeballs and binos though - there are significant differences in equipment, even on the rifleman's level - all US soldiers have thermal optics, for a start, and the Javelin launch unit (which operates with or without missiles) might well be the best single spotting device in CM.

I think @THH149 is saying that the US seem to have superior 'eyeballs' in CM:CW (we know they do in CM:SF & CM:BS and there are good reasons for it, as you point out).

Hope it's not the case, but as he suggests, it might be a remnant of some underlying code or similar?

PS - My own experience thus far is that even unsophisticated Soviet tanks are perfectly capable of seeing & hitting my equally unsophisticated tanks at some remarkably long ranges.....I have @Bil Hardenberger & the NTC to thank for that lesson!  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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In CMCW, the TOW launchers, and every M47 Dragon (so, potentially every US infantry squad) has a thermal imager - they will and should have better spotting. Not Black Sea levels of spotting, but certainly superior to the Soviets.

The tanks will also have superior optics in general. In addition, we know there is currently a bug with specifically the M113, where it can see through smoke. This is due to be patched out.

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There doesn't seem to be any evidence that the US used the Dragon launch unit and night-sight in this fashion.....In fact there is evidence dircectly to the contrary:

"It should not be used as a surveillance device; other night vision devices are used for that role."

Night Sight AN/TAS-5 only has battery life and coolant for two hours of operation, so any advantage should end at that point (apparently they were returned to brigade for refills).

The US did have other NVG.....Not sure how prevalent it was 1979-1982 though (not very, I suspect):

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/7-7/Appi.htm

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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Ah, interesting. They certainly use it in-game though, since they can spot through smoke.

The US forces in game have night vision sights on various weapon systems. AN/PVS-4 on all M60 (so, every squad again) and some of the M16s, and AN/TVS-5 on the M2. That's quite aside from the vehicles.

I imagine that altering the Tac AI to not use it in a surveillance role might be pretty tough. There's going to set the thing up when stationary, and it's going to be hard for the AI to determine your intention when stopping a squad at an arbitrary location. In addition,

The night spotting in particular makes for some fairly ridiculous battles in Cold War - the US has an extreme advantage there.

I could well believe that the Dragon's AN/TAS-5 is being used like a Javelin CLU by the TAC AI. Whether that's appropriate in the circumstances (regardless of the manual) is a different question, and one I'm not equipped to answer.


In terms of battery life:
 

Most scenarios (and all Quick Battles) are under two hours in any case, so I'm not sure that battery restriction is terribly relevant.

Indeed, the Javelin CLU's battery life has been quoted as lasting a varying amount of time depending on temperature, between half an hour and four hours, with most conditions being around a three hour expectancy. This is not modelled in CM either, and I don't think I'd expect it to be.

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Re spotting, it may be worth checking if CMBS exhibits the same phenomenon as CMSF where a two man rifle team with a relatively cheap thermal scope on a rifle, is better at spotting enemy units at long range like 2,500-3,000 meters than any other unit (except the Javelin launcher).  This was noted in my Oddities and Weirdness of CM2 list (item 1):

 

Edited by Erwin
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