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more machinegun follies-- yet another call for a fix

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In the demo I sent a squad of men to charge a MG to test your theroies. One thing I found strange was I read up about german MGs and it said they couldn't fire more than three shots in succession or they would lose control of the gun. Yet the MG I was charging fired five to seven shots at a time and almost took out my entire squad.

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Guest Andrew Hedges

I think MGs in CM are about right. If you want to see how effective they can be, play a "probe" against the AI, giving the AI the Germans, in open, flat terrain. Choose a force mix that ensures lots of German MGs, or pick the German force for the computer giving it lots of MGs. Attack with a mostly infantry force. Usually, the computer does a great job of setting up interlocking fields of fire, which work as advertised.

Pillar: you might get more realistic results if you used more realistic troops -- regulars or greens for example.

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Well, everyone is doing a fine job arguing this out. I did keep up with the entire 5 page MG thread, and I have been re-reading parts. As demonstrated there, and here, I am still firmly unconvinced (as are many of the posters here and there) that MG's effects on advancing/moving enemy troops, are correctly modeled. As someone put it: "Something is missing."

I imagine it has a lot to do with the oft-discussed lack of ability to fire a prolonged burst at need (when threatened). In Steve's initial response to my post, it seemed that this was acknowledged, and that MGs are being improved upon for CM2. I do hope a little retro-fitting can be arranged for CM1 when the time comes.

A CMH story that I read when I was young, and has always stuck with me is of the US soldier knocked unconscious and then playing dead at his .30 cal hole, when his unit was overrun. IIRC this was during the Bulge. He waited for the right moment and then killed scores of germans with his MG before they finally took him out. A counter-attack came through almost immediately after and cleared the position, and the Americans realized what their comrade had done. Nearly tears me up every few years when I remember the story. I am sorry I do not recall his name, and I should look it up.

Though real life examples are invaluable, I can quite easily imagine myself in the position of being asked with some squad mates to rush an MG nest 200m away across farmland. (Let's face it guys there is A LOT of terrain out there, meadows, farmland, steppes, etc that is a lot bigger than 20m x 20m and nothing but some grass to break the smoothness.) It is not a pleasant thought.

Thanks for the responses, BTS, and keep up the good work on CM2. I wish I knew whether or not you guys kept up with the "Objective Flags- fixes needed" thread. I never emailed you about it because I figure if every crackpot with an idea did that, it would crash your mail server.


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Guest Big Time Software

Pillar wrote:

Interestingly however, often the enemy can defeat the machine gun without using any form of combined arms whatsoever. I just ran a few tests.

Which is exactly why all defensive doctrine of the time, and today, stresses that defenses need to be more than just a couple of guys feeding a single machine gun. They speak of obsticles, multiple overlapping angles of fire from multiple MGs, mortars, and a plethora of supporting small arms.

Again... people are takign things out of historical context and complaining that CM is "unrealistic". OF COURSE that will be the likely conclusion, just as if you put 20 King Tigers against 50 Shermans and conclude that the Germans could have won the war if they just made more King Tigers. Badly thought out examples will produce bad results which can only lead to faulty conclusions.

Firsts tests I ran the entire platoon directly at the enemy MG. Keep in mind the SMG isn't really effective until it gets close, and there was virtually NO covering fire for the run.

SMG guys are also quite nimble, and nobody is saying they are marching down a tennis court, bolt upright, with their weapons slung over their shoulders. And I don't know about you, but I don't think of 10%-15% casualties as being particularly good in exchange for one MG.

As for the lone MG doing massive damage...

Marlow wrote:

Examples of single machineguns causing significant casualties (granted these guys are CMH winners, but …)

These are EXTREME "high end" results from a single use of a MG in combat. Such examples are what are commonly called "statistical outliers". If they weren't, they would be common and pretty much every MG gunner would have kill totals like this (along with the highest awards their countries give out). Since the average gunner didn't have such success, these examples are clearly not relevant to this discussion.

Sure, such cases of one guy kills dozens exist. I have seen them range from pistols to MGs, BTW, but I don't see people arguing that a single guy with a Colt 45 should be wiping out full German platoons smile.gif

Michael wrote:

Having handled an MG34 on tripod mount, it just seems to me that a single MG crew would be hard pressed to bring effective, fatal (not suppressive) firepower to bear on fast moving targets at close range.

I agree. I fired a MG42 on a tripod mount. It is a fantastic weapon, and definitely a nasty instrument of death, but it is not all on its lonesome the way to prevent the enemy from advancing. Over totally open ground (like the hardpack shooting range) it would be a lot harder to advance. But that isn't the same as the terrain found in Europe.

Why don't folks try tests with Green troops rushing? Or better yet, Green troops rushing a smaller foe of combined arms troops? This is what people are really thinking about when they think "MG Effectiveness". Audie Murphy, from what I can recall, was facing fairly raw German troops. Not "Regular", but most like Green. And if they all ran away quickly, how on Earth did he kill so many?

All in all I think people, since the first time we put out the CM Beta Demo, have DRAMATICALLY over inflated expectations for ANY weapon system that is ahistorically left to fend for itself. WWII and since is all about combined arms. So why all the attention paid to things that aren't typical of this? Why the insistance on comparing apples to oranges?


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Guest Big Time Software

Homba wrote:

I imagine it has a lot to do with the oft-discussed lack of ability to fire a prolonged burst at need (when threatened). In Steve's initial response to my post, it seemed that this was acknowledged, and that MGs are being improved upon for CM2.

Yes, we are going to add this for CM2. However, the reason why we did not add this for CM1 is that it was generally only done when the enemy was massed. The reasons were as follows:

1. Muzzle climb - anybody that has fired a MG, especially on a bipod or of a very heavy calibre (like the .50) knows that after a short burst the rounds aren't going where you intended them to go. Usually higher, meaning you are over shooting.

2. Accuracy - Trying to reposition an MG on a new, moving target is not like Nintendo or Quake. There is a very good chance that when you pull the trigger that the rounds won't be on target. Especially for guns set up in haste and on bipods. Obviously skill and setup arrangements (firelanes, aiming stakes, etc) can greatly improve accuracy. But except for close range it isn't certain that you are going to hit your target right off.

3. Heat - a good gunner will NOT unload his weapon on just any old target. A MG can only be fired so much in so long a period of time. Too long on the trigger means increased chance of a round cooking off, jam, or other mechanical problem.

4. Ammo - Generally only 50-250 rounds would be linked together at any one time. For something like a MG42 this is only a couple of long pulls on the trigger. If you aren't on target, or can't control muzzle climb, you just wasted a pretty substantial quantity of ammo for nothing.

For all of these reasons, holding down the trigger like they do in Hollywood was to be avoided. In fact, the Germans had a BIG problem with this later in the war as the quality of their gunners went down. The MG42 simply ate up ammo too quickly and long pulls rendered the MG team ineffective too quickly with less than ideal results.

Where long sustained fire WAS helpfull was in situations where "you just can't miss". Massed ranks of enemy troops, unprepared, out in the open, at close range. That is the MG gunner's dream. But it that type of situation was far rarer than Hollywood leads people to believe.

Let's face it guys there is A LOT of terrain out there, meadows, farmland, steppes, etc that is a lot bigger than 20m x 20m and nothing but some grass to break the smoothness.

I strongly disagree. Take a walk out in a naturally occuring or man made open space and really notice how many rocks, bushes, depressions, ditches, mounds, etc. you see. 20mx20m is quite a large area to have NOTHING in it, not to mention large expanses of such terrain. But even if such an area existed, it could be easily crossed. 20m sprint is not that hard to do under combat conditions.

I never emailed you about it because I figure if every crackpot with an idea did that, it would crash your mail server.

Exactly smile.gif This is one of those features where we simply can't please everybody. We have had discussions like this a dozen times (at least) since the Beta Demo. Unfortunately, we can't keep getting involved in such discussions or we won't be doing any actual work wink.gif

PL wrote:

I agree completely with you, and my only (uninformed) enhancement, which you already spoke of, would be to allow MGs to switch between targets faster.

We did increaese this as range gets shorter (I forget which patch), but we are going to have to do something more with CM2. Human waves need special treatment.


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Okay, I'm at home where I can think clearly.

Obviously, running headlong at a MG is not a great idea, and if anyone told me, personally, to run 200 metres over open ground at one, I would tell him to shove it.

From the standpoint of designing a game, I think there is a rationale for not making weapons too powerful. From the same standpoint, though, you do want to encourage realistic or historical tactics.

I would be willing to venture, without you needing to prove it Pillar, that charging headlong into a MG over 200 metres of "open" ground (however you define open) was not a commonly accepted tactic on the Western Front from 1944-45!

We could both cite examples of Medal of Honor winners who

a) held off entire companies with one machine gun


B) charged headlong at an enemy MG and knocked it out

So I admit I was being silly and not giving your ideas nearly enough merit.

But I am concerned that a single automatic weapon might take on too much importance, therein of course is the problem, and one BTS has wrestled, and is wrestling with, as we have seen from Steve's response and other posts here talking about CM's history of MG changes.

Perhaps the greater issue is how well the game plays over an average of many encounters of any specified type. We've all read about or experienced the PF kill at 200 metres, or the Panzerschreck that couldn't kill a Sherman 20 meters away with 8 rounds into its stern, etc.

I don't doubt your test scores; would be happier with a bigger sampling, but think they are fairly conclusive.

To be honest, I do have vivid memories of charging headlong into enemy MGs in a TCP/IP game - I lost, but it was close...also lost a lot of troops.

There is a ton of other stuff I could blather about - ie the morale of MG crews and the likelihood of abandoning the weapon rather than firing to the last possible moment, plus other rationales like "how many infantrymen would even see an enemy MG dug in 200 metres away, so why quibble about them being ordered to charge it" and other such stuff. But I won't!

Let me ask this - how much of a "fix" would you suggest? And how would you ensure that it satisfied the majority?

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That marine CMH winner that held off the Japs with a .30 cal was also the guy who the original G.I. Joe doll was modeled after.

In a different subject, the Audie Murphy example was good, but if you have ever read To Hell and Back by Audie, you will see many different examples that will both support and condradict your example of his actions outside of Holzwihr.

Audie took on several machine gun nests single handedly after his friend Brandon was killed. And never got a scratch.

In the beginning of the book while they were still in Anzio his entire company made it across a set of railroad tracks under fire from a dug in machine gun squad. Only three or four were hit before the company even began to fire back and knock out the nest.

Just a few different examples.



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Yuck, now I am forced to use cookies whenever I want to post something. The burning question that is on my mind is ... why is Steve only member #42? Shouldn't he be member #1 or #2? smile.gif

I don't have any big issues with the MGs as point fire weapons in CM right now ... except maybe that their suppressive characteristics could be tweaked upwards. The main thing MGs are lacking in my opinion is the inability to form firelanes and to throw effective suppressivefire through visual hinderances such as smoke or grain. The firelane thing is probably more of a coding issue than any real desire by BTS to leave it out. Since no units block LOS, I doubt there would be a way to currently have those units hit by fire if they are located between the target and the firing MG as opposed to being the target itself. Of course, troops located beyond the target would be hit as well.

The effectiveness of the MG in the open would really be enhanced with firelanes as this would make flanking MG fire much more effective. The rate of fire tweaks and an increase of the suppressive effects would be nice adjustments I think. Anyway, just wanted to post on the new forum. ;) By the way, if you wanted to set up an 'Audie Murphy' scenario you would probably want to use an 'Elite' HMG in your test. Maybe BTS can consider actually including a hero unit in CM2? He would just sort of pop out of a squad and be fanatic or something. Give him some really enhanced firepower or super accuracy with a 'zook or something . I would like to see more extreme random morale effects like ... going berzerk or heroic ... or having a squad just throw up its hands in surrender after one shot is fired at it. :cool:

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Pillar wrote

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>After looking at those movies, you should easily be able to get an idea what the effect of an MG might be on a squad of infantry at the other end of that 200m stretch. Do you think they'd be able to rush it without ANY covering fire whatsoever, even if they were the most nimble, dexterous bunch of veterans in the company? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah... but once again you are comparing apples to oranges. There were about 10-20 MGs firing all at the same time in those clips. They were also firing over a piece of terrain that we did not put in Combat Mission -> "firing range". That area has not one blip of vegitation and has been graded perfectly flat. It is utterly uncommon and totally artificial.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The answer would probably be "no". They may not take that many casualties, but that is BECAUSE they would stop and take cover. As soon as the MG opened up on a platoon or squad in the open, they would drop to prone and find cover and then deal with the situation methodically. If they continued running, 8 guys (the SMG squad) the casualties should be much higher. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Argh smile.gif How many times do I need to repeat that "running" is not a guy sprinting in the open in a straight line. These guys are running in leaps and bounds, zig zagging, using available cover, etc. The better the unit, the better able they are to do this. Try running a Conscript company at a Regular platoon with one or two MGs. See what a difference this makes.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>So I'm not exactly suggesting the MG's should be killing the entire platoon with one protracted burst of fire within 15 seconds. I'm saying the MG fire should stop or slow considerably the enemy advance, with all the wonderful morale affects too. This currently seems very very poorly modelled, based on my tests.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Uhm... but your tests are totally useless in terms of drawing realistic conclusions. They are so totally abstracted and taken out of context that they hold absolutely no merrit what-so-ever. When you take a weapon system out of its historical context you can not, repeat CAN NOT, expect to have it yield historically correct results.

If you do a search on this subject you will find at least one massive thread where I did far more realistic test conditions. The results were far different than what yours came up with. Why? Because I used testing conditions that were relevant.

Pillar, you could be right you know. But not with the tests you conducted. You might as well have put a StuG, facing backwards, and popped it time and time again with a Stuart at 500m and declared our treatment of armor was horribly flawed. Bad tests will yeild bad data which can only lead to faulty conclusions. It is as simple as that.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>He said the real value of an HMG is to stop or delay the enemy advance so he can be killed by other means, such as mortars or artillery. If an HMG currently can't stop a single SMG (8 men) squad from rushing it directly over 200m, what good are they?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Alone, without all those supporting "means" against a decently trained foe? They aren't worth very much. Read any defensive doctrine you care to look at from 1941 on and tell me where they prescribe solo MGs for defensive positions.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Secondly, he said CM has made tanks moot because the whole reason tanks are on the battlefield is to deal with enemy support weapons. Yes, they kill other tanks and kill enemy AT weapons but the whole reason for doing THAT is to pave the way to deal with enemy support.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So you are saying that, from your experience playing CM, that tanks and other AFVs are not of any value if the other side doesn't have tanks? Boy, that is the first time since the Beta Demo that anybody has trotted out that argument. You really can't be serious about this.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The real solution to beating the "system" is not making german units more expensive; it is making MG's do their job of delaying the enemy so he can be destroyed indirectly, and subsequently bringing back value in the tank.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, the real solution is to not blindly look at your faulty tests and actually see how things work in a "real world" (i.e. a game against another player) example. Then compare it to a similar, average, "real-real world" (i.e. hitorical accounts from WWII) situation and see how things compare. Plucking an outlier, like Audie Murphy, isn't productive ESPECIALLY if you ignore the other parts of his story (i.e. taking out MG nests single handedly).

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>While currently this can be done to some degree with massive amounts of HMG's and heavy support, myself and other individuals (military professionals included) think that the individual MG is still not accurately modeled, and thus the full effect of such sound tactics is not realized in the game.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it isn't totally, 100%, to the nines accurately modeled. But boy... are you REALLY going overboard with your conclusions. If you can't hold of an enemy infantry attack, you should look at your use of your units better. And if you still failed to hold them back, take a look at the whole picture and see why it might be that you were defeated. I bet you anything that there are far more important factors that lead you to defeat than the MGs.

If the MG modeling was really as bad as you seem to think, why is it some 16 months later that we are hearing about this for the first time? Sure, other people have complained about MGs, but others have complained about practically everything else at least once or more times. So please understand that I am taking your faulty testing, logic, and espeically conclusions with a large pinch of salt.

If I sound annoyed it is because I am. Pillar, you have been around long enough to do a much better job making a point than this. You are basically saying that CM is totally broken as a simulation because you can run one squad against a single MG (which is completely irrelevant) and, apparently, got your butt soundly kicked recently and are looking for a simple reason why. So yes, I take strong issue with your conclusions because they are based on completely irrelevant "tests".


[ 04-08-2001: Message edited by: Big Time Software ]

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-What happened here:

Inspired by the discussion I set up one of those test ranges. 200 meter dash by regular US platoon vs. regular MG42 HMG.

Running over open terrain and scattered trees the platoon is subjected to 1 burst per 7 seconds (6 in 42 seconds) and arrives with 9 casualties. Notable being that the platoon HQ gets wiped without ever being directly targeted, the MG fire seems to "spill over" that is.

Only one test of course, but...

When I added a line of barbed wire and had the platoon run through it I noticed that the MG went into double time, spraying 1 burst per 3.5 seconds (17 in 60 seconds).

The platoon was stopped cold again and again as the ROF increased, the fire clearly "spilled over" and the tacAI shifted target as squads broke, or I guess, another one was judged more of a threat.

My question is:

Under what circumstances does this ROF double time happen?

With the wire out there it certainly looks like CM in its current incarnation could reproduce WWI results.


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I think the main problem with MGs is the low ROF when firing at close targets. I think the rof should be variable depending on range to target.

Thus at the max range of around 500m MGs would fire the current 7 ish bursts per min. This would make sense as there is no point wasting ammo on such a distant target. But every 50m closer the rof would be increased. Thus at 200m the MG might fire 15 bursts per min and maybe as high as 20-25 bursts at 100m oe less. This would simulate the MG firing more at closer targets that are more of a threat and easier to hit. If the "grazing fire" effect was also increased I think mgs would be pretty well modeled.

[ 04-08-2001: Message edited by: KiwiJoe ]

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Colonel_Deadmarsh:

My question is, if these "open" tiles represent terrain which includes shrubbery, dips, etc, then where is the tile that represents an open field with no cover that can maximize an mg's effectiveness?


And where are the "Knights that say Nie". They were always around where shrubberies existed!


Jim R.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I think CM1 will produce a somewhat WWI type result *if* the designer really does lay out a WWI type situation as best as CM1's constraints will allow. But there are subtle differences that make a DIRECT comparison impossible. CM1 was not written to deal with Human Waves because they rarely, if ever (using WWI definitions) happened in CM1's simulated scope. As I said above, CM2's scope DOES include human waves, and therefore we do need to make sure that the cause and effects are adequately in balance.



Well, this is ridiculous, and the first time I've found myself at odds with BTS's point of view.

Why does (and will) an MG on the western front perform diferently than one on the eastern front. Does this mean I'm going to have to re-learn tactics and expect different results when engaging MGs in CM2?

If this is true, then one or the other MG models is flawed. (Personaly, I think if you just increase the burst rate/turn of MGs they would work better.).

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I will start by addressing Echo's post first, as it gets to the heart of one of the core issues...

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Why does (and will) an MG on the western front perform diferently than one on the eastern front.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I thougt I explained this, but obviously not well enough. Keep in mind that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, in CM had to be hand coded to produce the results you see when you play the game. Nothing is in there by accident. Nothing happens on its own. Everything was directed to do what it does, for better or worse, by specific lines of code.

Second point is that we can not, in a million years, code up every little detail of combat potentially relevant to a specific, randomly arrived at situation.

Therefore, we must focus our coding effort on things that are relvant to the particular situation we are trying to simulate. All other aspects must fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, even taking this practical approach we still can't code up everything that is necessary. At least not on the first go. There are dozens of things we feel were escential but yet couldn't put into CM1 (either because of time, hardware demands, or some other non-design related factor).


Can CM1 accurately simulate a WWI environment? I don't know because CM1 was not specifically coded to simulate that specific epoch of combat. As I wrote, I suspect that you can in fact do a fairly accurate WWI type scenario if you really tried. In theory it should, but I can't say for 100% sure that it will since CM1 was not designed to simulate that environment specifically.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Does this mean I'm going to have to re-learn tactics and expect different results when engaging MGs in CM2?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

To the extent that the rest of the situation you face is not "Western Front Like", yes. I would expect, however, that 1944/45 Eastern Front combat should be fairly similar to the way it works in CM1 since that is the time frame where the Eastern and Western Fronts are most similar.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If this is true, then one or the other MG models is flawed. (Personaly, I think if you just increase the burst rate/turn of MGs they would work better.).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have stated, in this thread and elsewhere, that MGs are not perfectly modeled. I would also say that NOTHING in Combat Mission is. Everything could use improvement, so that is not the issue. The issue is... are MGs useless as Pillar has concluded, or are they reasonably well simulated with a few shortcomings? That is the only issue here.


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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The video shows one MG firing at one part. Also, to anyone with some abstract reasoning ability it's clear what one MG can do.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, seeing as I was the one taking the video I can also say that one could conclude the opposite if you had seen the stuff that wasn't on there. Things like that Ma Deuce being weighed down with a half dozen sandbags and STILL jumping up in the air after three or four rounds. And when someone first plopped down a MG, like a .30 cal on a tripod, very often their first couple of attempts to hit the vehicles wound up kicking dirt up 100m in front or whacking the back ridgeline above the target. Oh... and how many times I saw someone have to clear a jam, extract a broken shell, or misfeed a new belt of ammo. And nobody, not one single gunner, was shooting at a moving target while being shot at. Hehe... not to mention that most of these guys were really well fed, so malnutrition and exhaustion were not factors.

So basically... yes... MGs can spew out a lot of lead. Everybody knows this. So what does this video show that is relevant to this discussion? Being the guy that was there, I say not a thing.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Perhaps the rate of speed for the "Run" command should be dropped a little? Currently it is at around 3.4 meters a second. All this speed AND they are using cover, "leaping bounding and zigzagging"?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Perhaps. This is something that we are looking into. Do a Search on the word "assault move" or something like that. The current "Run" is an abstraction, along with every other move order, so it might be that it is too generous with movement rate.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Also, how much zig zagging must an infantry man do from 200-100 meters to make the MG significantly adjust aim? I'd say a helluva lot. You zig, I'll move my barrel.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If it were that easy, then how could any Allied squad EVER get at even one German squad? I mean, each German squad had a MG34 or MG42 (in theory of course, sometimes 2), right? So what you are telling me here is that a MG is a sure bet killing machine with no chance of missing?

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Are you saying that veteran squads are somehow better at leaping and zigging than conscript ones? If not, why do that test?

How does a veteran company dodge bullets any better than a green one?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In a word, "yes". What do you think separates vets from greenhorns? Their ability to curse in new and interesting ways? ;) No, their ability as soldiers to carry out their assigned tasks with the least risk to themselves and a higher probability of success. Not getting shot is a fundamental part of this difference, therefore Vets are better than Conscripts (just to use two Experience ratings as an example).

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Now that's a smear if I ever saw one.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it was just a simple statement. I challenged your test and explained why it wasn't relevant. You decided to not engage in debate over that issue and instead continue to hold up your test as if it were some sort of faultless system to arrive at the truth. So I decided to illustrate why any old test that is thought up does not necessarily support a conclusion based on it.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I hope you aren't saying that just because doctrine doesn't call for solo HMG's that the situation never comes up, or that it's beyond the scope of CM, are you? I would disagree with that strongly. If not, what is your point?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My point is you can not take a isolated, totally artificial example and base wide ranging conclusions upon it. This is Scientific Method 101 here. Nothing more than that. If you want to see how effective MGs are in a CM battlefield situation, then create a test using a fuller range of common variables. If you just want to compare one MG vs. one squad, fine. But that is as far as you can take your conclusions without throwing other things into the mix. Note that others have done this in this thread and have come up with different conclusions than you have with your test.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I actually said: "Yes, they kill other tanks and kill enemy AT weapons but the whole reason for doing THAT is to pave the way to deal with enemy support."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I know what you said. But by saying this, in the context in which you said it, you are STRONGLY implying that tanks are useless in CM if there are no other tanks or AT assets to attack.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>It has been brought up, it has been talked about in chat rooms, it has been complained about by friends of mine who play the game and veterans alike. Military professionals don't always have time or patience to argue with programmers.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I never said this hadn't been brought up as an issue. In fact, I specifically stated that it has been discussed before. As has EVERYTHING in CM. I don't think there is a single thing in CM that hasn't been criticized, picked apart, taken out of context, etc. But simply because someone says "I think it is wrong" doesn't mean that it is. Even people with experience and/or deep study of the situation. Check out some of the hundreds of threads on tank gunnery or armor penetration stuff for a good example of this.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I get the impression my arguments are attempting to be evaded and what I say discredited based on my win/loss record... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not at all. I made one mention of this because you did. It does not negate all my other direct criticisms of your test and your conclusions. You appear to wish to use this as some sort of excuse to ignore EVERYTHING else I said, including previous posts where I tried to show you why your test was flawed, based on my one comment about you losing a game. That is your choice, but it is poor debating to say the least.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If my comments seem irrelevant and my logic so faulty, perhaps these comments from my comrades won't:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Boy... isn't that an underhanded, irrelevant, way to make a point. Can't do it yourself, so you post a bunch of stuff that I don't know who said what and see what sticks. Why didn't you post the responses from people that disagreed with these folks? Don't tell me NOBODY took issue with any of these quotes. I recognize a few of the arguments and know that I did personally. Posting snipits of past discussions that only agree with your position is a VERY poor way to make a favorable impression.

Again, look up stuff on gunner or armor penetration. You will find ALL SORTS of quotes about how "terrible" CM's modeling is. However, you will also see lots of people picking apart their lines of argument, qualifying broad over generalizations, finding outright factual mistakes, etc. It is convenient to totally believe what you read when it agrees with you, it is another to quote it out of context as if it is gospel and try to rub our faces in it. Perhaps I should post a few dozen quotes from military men (privates to colonels) who say that CM has infantry fighting "bang on"? It is just as relevant as your quotes, but I don't want to waste any more of my time.

Pillar, I expected more from you. I challenged your conclusions VERY SPECIFICALLY earlier, yet you ignored the criticism that I and others pointed out. You have also ignored others who have come to different conclusions using more fairer tests. I only grew annoyed when you still held to your faulty tests and their conclusions. You have also not bothered to comment on the tests that I and others have done that, at the very least, should cause you to question if your tests are as fair and conclusive as you think they are.

To sum up...

Using a few tests of ONE MG vs. ONE squad is NOT good enough to base broad, sweeping judgments about the general effectiveness of MGs in the context of the game itself. If you don't believe me, then try setting up more representative tests (as I have outlined) and show how they back up your position and not mine. While I have repeatedly said there is room for improvement in CM's handling of MGs (and other features in general) I strongly disagree that they are as poorly modeled as Pillar (and some others) insist.


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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I wasn't posting other peoples comments to "make up for" my own arguments. I thought you were sincerely interested in what EVERYONE had to say.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

We are. I have heard all of this before, several times over. I have also engaged in people in this discussion at least a dozen times. But quoting stuff, out of context and without even names, is absolutely no way to go about a discussion. I could post an equally long list of quotes saying that CM is next to perfect (which I don't agree with, BTW), so what does that prove? This is not a popularity contest, so trying to puff up your argument in that way is a non starter.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I think my own points are still valid. I think the strongest argument you have is the programming aspect.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Uh... that is actually my weakest point because it basically says that you are right and that CM is horribly flawed.

What you are doing is like looking in a gym, testing the physical fitness of a few selected people, in a specific circumstance, and trying to use those conclusions to judge the fitness level of the general population of the surrounding town/city/state/country. I don't know why you can not see that your test is flawed and therefore so are your conclusions.

Simply put, you can not take one element, out of context of the whole, then use the results to support a claim that is dependent on the whole. At best, all your test shows is that a single MG against a SMG squad, in the circumstances of your test, allows the SMG unit to advance too fast/easily. That is all. Any attempts to broaden your conclusions based on this test is highly flawed science.

If you really care about this issuse, as you have claimed, then why aren't you interested in doing a better set of tests? Why not try something along the lines that I have suggested and see what happens? Others, including myself, have done so. Heck, even some people in this thread have (which you have not even acknowledged).

Sorry to come down on you hard like this, but I can not stand it when flawed "tests" are used as some sort of club to beat us with. Especially when I have tried VERY hard to get you to see exactly why your tests are flawed and that others have come to different conclusions using different tests than your own.


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I can only agree. . .In one scenario I had British vetern Paratroopers holding a bridge with a vickers machine gun. A bunch of German rifle sections begin to move across the small bridge. I ordered the Vickers to fire at the foremost section and it didnt even phase them. The machine gun was 150 metres away. The damage should have been catastrophic as the machine gun was above the bridge and the teams had no where to go. All the machine gun did for me was allow the Germans to take the bridge and bring up reinforcements and break into the city. They captured it after 12 turns. If only that machine gun could have even pinned the germans down for 2 turns reinforcements would have been there. . . The germans were of regular quality, and were whermacht troops.

You would think that a machine gun could pin down 18 men on a bridge for 2 minutes . . .

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The TacAI is specifically programmed to try and keep troops moving. Ask anybody with military training out there and they will tell you:

Hunkering Down = Eventual Death

The trick is that poorer troops are harder pressed to put this simple truth into action than more experienced ones. Regular experienced troops, the way CM defines them, are perfectly capable of acting on this concept. Try it with Green or Conscript and you most likely would have either sent them to the rear or killed them on the bridge.

And I bet that if you ran that saved game over a couple of times you would find that at least a few of those times the Germans didn't make it over the bridge, or at least not in any shape worthy of praise.

Read up on some bridge battles in WWII (Remagen and Niejmegan come to mind) and you will probably see that a single MG does not an effective defense make.

Folks also have to remember that 150m is close. Really close. The point of an MG is to pin down enemy troops out further where they aren't capable of rushing or otherwise causing harm. This is why HMGs are employed in defensive lines with effective range being at least 1000m. There is a reason why such guns were developed to shoot fairly accurately at this range. Keep the enemy at a distance and you have increased chances of success.


P.S. The Vickers has a really poor RoF. 450rnds/min makes it one of the worst MGs in CM. This is a relevant factor.

[ 04-08-2001: Message edited by: Big Time Software ]

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This discussion seems to be going in a direction that nobody involved wants it to. I guarantee you that much.

To me, the simpler the scenario of the test case, the easier it is to remove variables, and the easier it is to isolate the factors you are trying to quantify.

Personally, I am not a veteran, and I am not a programmer. The only position I can speak from is that of one of a supporters., with a passion for this game you and Charles have created. I can say with all certainty that Pillar falls into this category also, and I dont like seeing the discussion come to this.

So, if in your opinion, Pillar has started from a flawed premise, I can assure you with all certainly that is is not an intentional one, being used as a means to discredit you, your work, CMBO, or anything like that. Your response on the matter seems to betray that you have made that assumption.

Here's where I stand on the issue. Ever since I have started playing ...certain types of players.. lets just call them aggressive and smg heavy, it has been my impression that support weapons and teams, especially allied ones are unable to suppress enemy units and fend off assaulting units in the way that I assumed would happen in real life. From my perception, it doesnt work out in a way that I can react to naturally. Pillar and I discussed that subject at length.

Now I dont have any experiences to speak from, but I am very interested in the subject because I play your game almost every day.

If Pillar's test example is not suitable for isolating a fair appraisal of the MG simulation, please suggest one that is, or perhaps give me a link to where it has been done.

In the end, you might be sick of discussing this, it might have been dealt with a million times before. I can respect that. You don't owe me or anyone else anything for my money beyond the CD that came in the mail.

But, you are not talking to an ingrate newbie to the game. You are not talking to a snobbish critic, or detractor. We are people who love your game, play it all the time, and try to spread the word of mouth to others.

Food for thought.

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Actually... this point reminds me.

Folks have been wondering why a unit gets to within, say, 30 or so meters and still keeps on coming at the firing unit. This is not a sure thing, but if the unit is Regular or above it is more than likely. The reason is that this is realistic behavior (outlined in my previous post).

A long time ago we did not have this coded in. Probably before the Beta Demo, but perhaps just before the final version went out the door. I can't remember. The point is, without this logic put in units, even good ones, would get up close to a target, the FP rating would be too much, the unit would turn away (in good or bad shape), and would be mowed down on its way back to some cover or other. This is totally unrealistic behavior and was a terribly unfair penalty to the attacker as it was practically impossible to close on an enemy unit unless it was totally pinned down.

So there is a point of "no return" in which a unit will more than likely keep rushing headlong regardless of enemy firepower and losses. Pay attention as you play games from now on and you will see that this behavior, which is realistic, cuts both ways. I have seen full squads get eliminated instead of turning around and perhaps only getting cut in half.

Just more food for thought.


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Just like to add a couple points here, CM does factor in an area effect for MGs, IIRC it has a radius of about 15m or so from the target. Flanking fire is deadly in CM against troops running in the open, try those tests again with two or three interlocking MGs and see what happens. Two MG42s will stop a platoon from 200m out nine times out of ten. The US 1919 MMG is a weak MG I have found, about on par with the British Vickers. smile.gif You will need more of them to be as effective as the MG42. That said, there's always room for improved modelling which BTS seems intent on.

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