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Russian Training Scenarios


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JasonC - "The way you find these incidentally is to put waypoints on spots one turn one (from any unit), then use "rotate to" and put the other end on the desired target. Now pick up the waypoint and drag it around, looking for lines of sight clear of more than a few trees etc."

I just tried to see whether I could see a clear LOS in scenario 201 by moving the 76.2mm gun to the woods just right of the house on the right and rotating towards the far flag. When I then move the waypoint I do not get any clear indication that I have LOS. In fact in places where I know there is not LOS it is no different to where I do have LOS. The only element that seems to give any indication is the barb wire which snaps the waypoint back to its original location.

I am also confused about LOS in a different night time scenario where the maximum lOS is 200m but in "open ground" I get a variable distance of LOS and whilst I can appreciate that elevation or undulating terrain may have an effect I have units that appear to be in higher ground [from a level 1 view] and they do not have 200m LOS.

Regards

RNL Tiger

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A couple of questions on 202.

When using HE for the first few turns, how long and where do you place the area fire? With the house and woods on the right I concentrated the HE into one spot. With the T34s on the left I spread the fire equally from the flag to the left of the scattered trees [no LOS to the right]. I fired HE for approximately 3 turns. Once you have a spot or sound contact it becomes more obvious where to place the HE.

Regards

RNL Tiger

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The rotate to trick isn't the LOS tool, surely. But you can find the lines that miss trees or houses etc. If you actually get a unit there - or just put on there during the set up phase for locations within your start line - you can check the height stuff and the thickness you can see through trees. But often you don't have access to the LOS tool from a remote location. You can still find the "threads" that split the main LOS blockages. You just have to count the number of tree tiles yourself. As for heights, you will see kinks in the purple rotate to line if you go down to view 1-2, if it goes over crests and such. If part is up and later down, it isn't clear.

On were to place area fire HE in 202, where there is cover obviously. The FO can target the main body of scattered trees in the center. The tanks can blow up the house and small woods on the right, any separate scattered tree tile you can see on the right rear, the pair of rough patches on the left, the "bastion" of the center scattered trees (little extension toward you at the right end), and spread a few aim points along the rest of it, if you wait on the 120s (using them for "reactive" fire). With so many tanks and several minutes from each, you can put a minute of 76mm HE into each 20m wide location. None needs more than a minute.

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Originally posted by juan_gigante:

In regards to the 110 series, I played them (as I have all the scenarios so far) with computer free set-up. That meant that when I beat 110, 111, 112, the MG was facing whatever direction the AI pleased - towards my guys, I'm sure.

Juan, you are confusing setup positioning (i.e., place on the map) with directional facing once the game actually starts. Unless you edit the scenario or play it hot seat solitaire, the MG will ALWAYS be facing to the west, away from the Russians, when the scenario starts. This is true of all three scenarios.

By the way, I do not have trouble beating 110 when playing it as originally designed (once I fully appreciated Jason's point about using FP as cover). However, once I discovered that the scenario was basically about advancing in the rear of an enemy position, I became more interested in practicing and analyzing this mission with the MG facing me from the start -- and therefore able to spot me and fire on me from the first turn.

As another aside, I think that leaving the computer free to place units in 110 is a good idea for practice -- so that all you know at the beginning is that you are facing an MG located somewhere in the area of the flag. I became really intrigued with figuring out how to locate it based on triangulating on it from the positions my units were in when they took fire during the approach from the setup zone. Using Jason's trick with the rotate command was a key element to doing this. Also, I think it's something a real platoon would have done in that situation.

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Originally posted by Interlocutor:

Strongly suggest giving yourself more time, if you haven't done so already (I think 30 turns minimum, probably more). This is partly because it is going to take longer to approach from the setup zone (because squads will take fire at times and you will have to wait for rally).

I've given myself as much as 60 turns without being able to do it -- my intention then, however,was to see if I could "eat ammo" long enough to put the MG in a low ammo situation. Never happened.

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Originally posted by SteveP:

If others chime in with reports that they are able to complete the mission playing hot seat or after correcting the orientation, then that would be great. I guess then I'd be the one asking them how they did it. smile.gif I frankly think it would be great if others did try it that way, because I think people would learn more from really having to advance under fire for 400 meters rather than having to worry about only the last 150 meters.

Came to this thread late, and only began playing through these scenarios over the last five days or so.

Many thanks to JasonC for the development of the training scenarios, for posting his commentary on the various tactical situations and for sharing his knowledge throughout the board. I’ve been playing the all of the CMx1 games since their inceptions and much of what I’ve learned has come from the forums; Jason, among many, has been a large part of that.

Although I’ve been a member of the forums for nearly five years, I’ve rarely posted (I believe this is my tenth post). However, the ongoing controversy over Scenario 110 intrigued me to the point of doing my own research and felt it important to add the outcome to the discussion.

I’ve attempted each of the scenarios blind, without having read any of the spoilers pertaining to the individual scenario. My first attempt at 110 was a loss, having taken too much time advancing along what seems to be the path of choice – through the woods and houses along the center right. By the time I reached the fence, there wasn’t enough time to verify the sound contact before the time limit expired.

One of the things I learned after going back to the board was the “26-meter rule”. I had previously been unaware of the collateral effect of morale losses on too closely spaced units. I replayed the scenario moving along the same line of advance, using accelerated movement and keeping a close watch on the spacing between my squads. Squads moved 2x2 in a box with the leader generally in the center. I had no problem reaching the fence in good order by Turn 11 and the HMG was spotted immediately upon opening up. It was quickly pinned using covering fire while my squads moved one at a time to the craters west of the fence. The remnants of the HMG crew surrendered on Turn 15 with two casualties to the Russians.

What I found interesting in both attempts was that the MG42 never opened up during the early part of the advance even though I knew (on my second attempt) that several legs of the advance were unavoidably visible to the trench. After reading several of SteveP’s post, I decided to have a look-see from the German perspective.

Although the MG42 is set up facing east, I presume that it must immediately (during the first turn) rotate to face the Allied-friendly west edge even though the Russians are coming from the east. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to witness this because the only way that it happens is when playing Russians vs. AI with FOW. As Russians vs. AI (no FOW), Germans vs. AI (FOW, no orders given to MG42) or hotseat (again, FOW, no orders given), the MG will fire on the Russians at the opening range. In any event, as Russians vs. AI with FOW, it is possible to march under “Move” orders through wide open terrain in full view of the trench without the MG opening up until one Russian squad reaches a range of approximately 175 meters from the trench.

After editing the file to change the Allied-friendly map edge to east and Axis to west, I’ve been unable to approach nearer to the trench than the two buildings straddling the road. The nearest building is roughly 210 meters from the machine gun, still too far to verify its location. After several attempts, the best that I’ve been able to do at the end of 20 turns is having two pinned squads still in command. The other two squads, despite all orders and attempts to the contrary, have routed beyond command range. I haven’t yet gone to SteveP’s extent with regard to scenario length, but it’s my feeling that the only way to approach beyond these buildings, with the MG42 looking in the right direction, is to run the MG low on ammo. I have not looked at the end of each game, but by the time that the limit is reached, the MG has still had in the vicinity of 10-20 shots remaining.

So, there’s my $.02, fwiw. I’d be very interested in seeing if anyone is able to come up with a way to get even close enough for a visual on the MG once the game file is changed so that the Russians advance from an Allied-friendly east edge of the map.

On another, shorter topic, it seems that after all these years, I’m finally becoming weary of playing solely against the AI. Even when it appears that my strategy is not the best, the AI usually makes some tactically idiotic move to save the day for the good guys. Time to pbem, ya think? ;)

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Originally posted by Rake:

Rake, like you I am someone who has played CM for a long time without being an active contributor to the forum. Also, like you, I have immense respect for what Jason has contributed to this forum, and for his efforts in creating this training program. I've learned a lot from it. But I do think it could be improved upon.

Anyway, if you want to absolutely confirm what is happening in this scenario -- as originally designed -- try playing it against the AI (not hot seat) with FOW turned OFF. In that mode you can see everything. You will, for example, be able to see that the MG is turned in the wrong direction at the beginning of play. Now, of course, if you keep the clock running, the MG will turn toward your troops because he can spot them when FOW is turned off. However, I think you can extrapolate what is really happening from what you see when the game starts to run. The only caveat I would make is that in an earlier post, I asserted that the MG will turn back toward the west when your guys get in cover. For reasons I will go into if anyone is interested, I not entirely sure about that (and haven't taken the time to test it).

My analysis is that Jason is asking/expecting green troops with a vanilla green commander to advance for 70-90m (from the last cover to spotting range) in completely open terrain, within 200m of an HMG, without the platoon returning fire (which it could only do with area fire, and which for that matter it doesn't have enough FP to matter) or without any overwatch fire available to attempt suppressing the MG. When I think about this, my conclusion is that BFC modeled this correctly -- no green platoon is going to do this.

Again, pace Jason, I understand you are convinced otherwise. I am just offering my opinion from a lot of time experimenting and analyzing.

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By the way, for anyone who is still interested in this question of facing and map orientation, I've recently discovered that a misalignment is not all that uncommon -- even on scenarios included with the game CDs!

Now, does it matter?? I think it depends on the type of scenario and whether you are playing the AI or not. Also, it is not a factor in QBs at all, since a misalignment can't happen in a QB. But one aspect of this misalignment has gotten me very intrigued: could this explain at least some of the instances in which units sneak or rout toward the enemy. This has been commented upon as a stupid AI trick in the past, but without any real insight (I think) into the reasons or whether it makes sense. However, it becomes clearer if you realize that, at least in some scenarios, they are routing toward what they think is their own rear!

Personally, I am convinced this is an explanation in at least some instances when it happens, based on playing some other scenarios with this misalignment problem. But I don't know if it could be a major explanation (and, again, it doesn't apply in QBs). I don't mean with this posting to digress from the main subject of this thread (I will happily start a new thread if anyone wants to explore this theory further). So, to refocus back on the subject of this thread:

I had noted when playing 110 as originally designed, that pinned Russians squads would often try to sneak toward the shell holes near the MG, once they got to the fence line. In fact, Jason suggests that players look for this to happen and take advantage of it. Since I corrected the alignment of the scenario, I have seen no instance of a Russian sneaking or routing toward the MG (at least for no more than a few meters toward obviously strong cover). Again, I'm only suggesting something of possible interest because I haven't figured out any good way of testing this.

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OK, finally, after three previous attempts, I got a major victory at 400.

Actually having the 76's play a role was the crucial difference. The one totally destroyed the objective building along with the HMG in it, which made quite a difference early, then took out both tanks quite handily. The other took out the bunker and then kept enough fire on the gun woodline to keep things interesting.

With the bunker and the center HMG gone (and the support weapons hammering the two right HMGs), I was able to advance much more easily in the center. I used platoon/company fires to suppress the hell out of the forward german platoon, which put up a bit more stiff of a resistance than last time. With the +2 morale HQ, the squads were occasionally bouncing back from even two Maxims area firing at them, but I took my time and switched a platoon onto whatever poked its head up, and eventually the lead platoon broke and took off. This allowed me to advance across the wire, and after some reorganisation fully engage and destroy the center squads and coy HQ.

I was less satisfied with my use of support weapons in the center and left this time - unfortunately 2 of my mortars (1 82mm, 1 50mm) got KOed by enemy arty. Speaking of which, the enemy arty was made much less effective by my use of the one unit per covered tile rule, which makes a great amount of sense now...

Anyways, thanks again JasonC for your scenarios and your advice. On to 401 and 402!

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Hi. I got your message with two others this morning. That was a very quick reply, thanks. All those replies made me reopen CMBB and try it again. I downloaded all of your russian training exercises but I was wondering if there is something like a guide or brief instructions. I started with 100 and everything went fine until I reached 112. It says: introduces map fire prep bombardments. And a little further: intended lessons - terrain analysis for and timing of planned fires, etc. My question is, what should I be looking for when doing these exercises? Like lesson 102 should have said something like: try to attack the german tank from at least two sides so that one of your tank can attack his flank. But when things get more sophisticated, like in lesson 112, I just don't know what to look for.

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OK, in 111 you got a mini-company, in the form of two platoons plus a small heavy weapons group (2 MMGs and an 82mm mortar). In 112 you also get a low quality 122mm gun forward observer, who gets 30 rounds of rather powerful HE. But his response time is so low, if you try to use him as a "conventional" reactive FO, waiting for a spotted target then calling in a fire mission - it will take forever to arrive and the fight will be over by then.

So, the way you use such an FO is for prep fire. You give him a fire mission anywhere on the map on turn 1. It will say "cannot be adjusted later", because all turn 1 fire missions are "map fire". The rounds will arrive instantly - 1 second into the first turn for the first flight, the rest spread over about 4 minutes - if you do nothing else.

You can also choose to delay the fire mission by hitting the "Q" key. Each time adds 1 minute of delay. You can therefore pick the time and place the mission will be fired, on turn 1. This is called "map fire" and simulates a planned fire mission rather than a called one. Slow reaction time makes no difference. The barrage will always be accurate and delivered, no matter what happens to the FO or where your troops or spotted enemy are.

The last bit means to use such missions effectively, you have to figure out where the enemy is likely to be. And because you must give the order on turn 1, you have to do so without help from scouting, just by looking at the objectives and the terrain. Defenders can be expected in relatively large bodies of cover, near the objectives or in locations that can cover approaches to them, by fire.

It is true that single MGs might be just about anywhere. But larger bodies of infantry need to stick relatively close to their commanders and need a lot more cover locations themselves, so it is easier to guess where they are likely to be. There just won't be that many areas with enough cover close enough together, in spots useful for blocking your advance.

You then plan the place you will advance, knowing where and when your artillery will come down. From the previous fights, you should have a reasonable idea of how far your men are likely to reach by different times on the clock. If the barrage hits some enemy location just when their fire would be getting uncomfortable for your infantry, you've timed it nicely.

The simplest thing you might decide to do with the FO is target the flag itself in turn 1, for a prep fire, arriving immediately, without any Q added delay. This is not, however, the best use you can make of him, as you will find if you try it. 112 features somewhat stronger opposition than 111. If the FO doesn't help out effectively, you should find it harder. If he does, you should find it not much harder than 111.

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This is unvaluable resource, great job!

Just went through the 100's series, excellent.

On the so much comented 110, I don't know really which is the big problem here. I got it on the second run, what I did was the following:

- adavanced with the whole platoon to the house area behind the wooden fence.

- split all the squads, then I positioned the teams armed with LMGs on cover, 2 in the fence itself separed enought for the MG to do not pin both if it shoot at one, an other close behind in the open, left of the fence, and an other team in the house at the other side of the road; all pointing at the trench & scattered trees.

- the teams armed with SMG and the platoon HQ positioned left side of the fence, should advance sneaking towards the trench.

- the LMG teams, even without link to the platoon HQ, can provide enought supressing fire for the assaulting teams and not break if they receive MG fire, even if one does break, there are 3 more teams to provide fire support.

- once the MG opens against assaulting teams, you should be close enought to advance towards the trench. just assault with 2 teams while rear teams supress the MG and 2 of the assaulting teams shoot at close range.

Result ended with the MG down to one captured man, and only 2 cassualties (none was a KIA). hope it helps.

So far this has been enjoyable exercises and very valuable lessons. I've learned to be much more carefull with my troops and one important thing: while I've respect to move on open terrain, I don't fear it anylonger, assaulting enemy defensive positions with green troops was: "WOW, what can you do with veteran troops then!?"

Now into 200's series.

[ December 29, 2005, 07:58 AM: Message edited by: KNac ]

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Just finished 201 with a tactical victory. The ATR appears to be a useful tool for supressing PAKs. I will try again putting the two ATRs, two 50mm, two maxims under commend on the left flank and bringing the field guns together to the right, where the HE is needed, with all the inf. moving in columns along the low ground, using the same delayed arty.(really enjoyed that lesson on the use of off map & on map but virtually immobile artillery.) Should be a breeze... unless itsn't.

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Jason,

I'm a new CMBB player, having just got the game for Christmas. I'm about half way through the manual. I've played the tutorial, and the first three of your trng missions.

Thanks for this effort. After reading some notes on the trg missions, I felt pretty bad when I immediately got my T34 knocked in my very first try. Actually, still not sure why it happened I was trading shots with the Pz III, I had approached the crest of the hill with a hunt command, but after about 3 or 4 shots the PZ III knocked out the T34. I replayed the scenario a few times and had no trouble on subsequent efforts.

The next 2 were pretty straight forward as well. I decided to try some different tactics after for the third trg exercise (once I had one it first of course). I went ahead and ran my tanks all the way forward with full speed orders, I almost thought I'd still get away with it, but by turn 8 I had two of my T34's knocked out. But that's ok, I was really just trying to see what the ramifications of driving fast into a firefight were.

I'll be finishing the manual this weekend, and playing a few more of the trg scenarios, along with the advanced training scenario.

Thanks again.

Rick

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Jason,

I see that your training scenarios are very popular. I tried the 110 lesson this morning. I was recieved a total. I advanced one squad to houses on right, by bounds, one squad up to shell hole in center and one to house on left.

The only contact I had with enemy was by sound. He broke and routed my entire platoon. I'm going to give it another shot and see if I can improve. I tried doing some area fire, to try and suppress, but all I accomplished was to run one of my squads out of ammo.

By the way, I noticed that the name on the battle was RusTRain200 while playing, rather than 110, which is what I loaded.

Thanks again,

Rick

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This is the most fun I've ever had with CM. Really good stuff. Now we all have to make a set of German training scenarios to compliment these.

I tried 110 4 times with knowledge of the winning technique and got clobbered all 4 times. I can get all my guys in good order and spaced out to right behind the fence. I set the covered arcs. One unit gets an advance. MG fires breaks him. No spot. Repeat for the next 3 turns with different moving squads. Usually ends with the whole platoon routed or panicked.

I edited the scenario to see how it plays differently using regulars and a bit better leadership. Night and day! The key is that the regulars can get the accurate spot from right behind the fence! My green troops could never manage to do that. The first moving squad will pin and then the next turn you can suppress with everyone from about 150m away. At that distance the MG won't stay totally down but he's toast anyways. After 1 turn of suppression you can use overwatch with 2 moving and 2 firing to get close.

I'm going to try a few more times removing some of the bonuses I gave myself, but 110 is probably a little too hard for a 100 level exercise.

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Well,

I've started this boot camp a little later than most of you, just got the game for Christmas. I had no problems with first three scenarios, but I've been totally defeated on 110 four times now.

From one of Jasons suggestions, I've just gone in and adjusted units to regular and added +1 to platton leader command and morale. I'll see what that does and try again. If I hadn't read here that a number of you have made it through this one, I'd probably just give it up as unwinnable, but that's clearly not the case.

That's one great thing about this training series.

One question, a number of you talk about moving in 10-20 meter "jumps" with I'm not sure I understand the mechanics of how this is done. I've been setting up movement with 3 or 4 waypoints from the start line to the shell holes. I got two units to stop by inserting pauses while the other units kept going, then I would pause them. apparently this isn't the correct way to advance?

Thanks again Jason.

Rick

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Just a note....

The effects of good leadership on green troops can be seen easily by comparing 110 to 111 and 112. When I did 112 for the first time, I aimed my arty barrage 15 minutes out - on the forest behind the objective. Right location but far too late....by then, those guys had stormed forward to reinforce the trenchline.

BUT, nevertheless, my green troops were still able to easily rout everyone and they got the early spot on the machine gun while still behind the road/fence. Ended up being far easier than 111.

The only difference between 111 and 112, ignoring the artillery (which didn't play much of a role), was the slightly better leadership.

I've been playing CMBB for ages and never saw the effects of leadership so clearly before.

Rick,

It's probably safer NOT setting up one huge movement plot from the start-line to the shellholes. Do it in phases.

Get your guys safely behind the buildings first....then get them safely behind the fence in attack formation, set their covered arcs. And then start doing short 30m advances with only 1 or 2 units at a time.

By doing it your way, everyone is moving at the same time and you're going to have trouble getting your spots. You need some guys motionless.

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Just did 200. If anyone's is losing 2-3 tanks to the gun on the first turn, you're not spacing them up enough.

Keep one T34 in the middle and then other two on each edge. You'll probably lose one of them but the gun will not be able to turn quickly enough for 2 hits before you deal with it. It should die on turn 1 or turn 2.

Got a tactical victory without reading the advice. I think my problem was that I kept the tanks way back in the set-up area blasting away at suspects until about turn 20.

This lessens the power of the shot and I didn't get many early spots...but I didn't know if there were any more AT guns lurking so it's hard to call it a mistake.

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rickr, welcome to the community. You've just begun delving into one of the deepest and best games available. As you are quickly learning, however, it can be very hard!

When people refer to moving in bounds, they mean that you only move your unit 10 to 50 meters at a time, and not moving everyone at once, so some can keep watch while others advance.

Honestly, though, a big suggestion would be to try a few QBs early, rather than just jumping into Jason's rather difficult training scenarios. Try a QB wherein you attack. Give yourself a point bonus of 50%. Get used to moving the units around, how they react to different things, and such. Get a general familiarity with the game - in the short term, this will help a lot.

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Two more tries at 110 and two more disasters. In the first, though, I got my force to the fence in good order and even had the MG pinned at game's end, but wasn't close enough to the trench to contest control, so lost totally. Essentially, I ran out of time.

In the second, I tried to keep a couple of squads unsplit, for the sake of concentrated firepower. Bad mistake. This allowed the MG to concentrate fire on fewer units, greatly increasing its suppression leverage. A squad got hosed and ran away, followed by team after team. Then the HQ got shot up and ran--toward the MG and was shot to death. By game's end I had one functioning team left; the others were either routed or broken. Am glad I don't do this for real!

Regards,

John Kettler

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John, just for fun, try bumping up ONE leadership quality 1 click. I have a feeling it turns it into a cakewalk. And that's a lesson in and of itself.

It's also quite interesting how that exercise gets used as a building block for lots that follows in the 200 series. It's changed my attacking style 100%.

p.

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Very interesting Jason! I have now completed the 100 series quite easily except for the 110 one. smile.gif What I think I noticed in that one (when it finally cracked) is the value of having one or two squads heads up and stationary. They can then spot at better ranges than a strict advance + hide drill.

I'm eager to start on the 200s but sleep is in high demand.

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Juan and PeterK,

Thanks for comments. I've played 110 a couyple of more times. Still a total defeat. But actually made some improvement in final position. In any case, I"m going to try again. It's frustrating that it seems like some folks don't seem to have a problem with this one.

Thanks for advise.

Rick

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