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A suggestion for the game - Close combat zones


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First of all I apologize most deeply if this is the wrong forum to post this in. As my idea is meant for the whole Combat Mission series and is not a technical issue, nor about a scenario, I thought I would post it to a forum where veterans of the game would be.

I also I apologize if the idea has been brought up before.

*Close combat zones or hand to hand battle*

It is quite odd how clearly superior armoured forces are in Combat Mission, even at close ranges. Same goes for bunkers. Even at two meters, a range from which any soldier could shoot through the slit, the armoured unit is dominating. In CMBO, the Combat Mission game I have played the most, the only infantry unit really capable of destroying an enemy tank is the panzershreck unit.

However as far as my history knowledge goes, many tanks were destroyed with various close combat methods. In addition to the various sticky bombs there is shooting through the viewing slit, or just generally "riding the tank", Ie. climbing on top of the tank leaving no targets for the tank and usually demoralizing the tank crew. Similarly for bunkers. If not going into the bunker and clearing it out, one could still throw grenades into the building, through the firing slit, or just apply handgun fire throughoutly. As I suspect that is is no news for anyone that bunker and tank crews are mortals just like everyone else, I can leave these examples and go to the idea itself:

In order to portray the fact that at extremely close ranges the infantry could take advantage of their clumsy and heavy armoured enemies, I suggest that all units will have a zone of close combat around them. If an unit enters this zone, new battle factors will come into affect. For example morale, experience and fanaticism will become major factors in hand to hand combat between infantry units. Weapon parametres on the otherhand will mostly lose their importance apart from submachine guns that will now be of great value. When close combatting an armoured unit, again experience and morale mean everything. If the bunker crew is green, paniced and in all not that all fanatical, they will most likely surrender when the first enemy units start knocking the back door. Also the chance of the engaged enemy unit surrendering will increase drastically.

The combat zone (Circle naturally), in my opinion could be something of the diameter of ten meters, thus five meters of distance to the unit. This would mean for example that all fighting within a house would be considered close combat.

As for the benefits of this change I present two examples:

1.CMBO: West Wall defences, I control the axis forces. My center is quickly overran by the Americans, all my bunkers destroyed by direct hits, same goes for my right flank. However in the left flank I have one 75mm cannon pillbox, and a supporting tank (PzIV, IIRC). The American halftracks and casual tanks arriving to the scene are quickly destroyed with these two, however it is of no difficulty for the American infantry to slip through. Opposed only by one machine gun and a few slow heavy guns, the troops have an easy time running behind the pillbox, thus leaving the tank as their only threat. Quickly the troops cave in around the tank, some three to four squad of infantry surround the Panzer. Yet in the following four turns of combat, the Americans do nothing but attempt to run away. They do not attempt to engage the pillbox allowing their friendly tanks to enter the combat, nor do they hop on the broad back of the panzer saving themselves, nor do they run to the tracks and duck to be below the firing line. Instead they wait there and give the tank free kills.

2.CMAK demo: Playing the American side in a defensive mission. Aiming to keep hold of a light building I amass vast quantities of troops in and in the premises of it. Including those, as we are facing Rommel`s armour, is a bazooka team. It is in farmost corner of the house, so it is not targetted in the primary assault, during which all the other troops in and around the house are killed or routed. Now the American flag on the building turns into a question mark, and the Afrika Korps have entered the building. Yet for some reasons my shaken bazooka team will not move, will not engage the enemy, nor will it surrender. The AI decides to leave this rifle team behind, and so for three whole turn the bazooka team and the Afrika Korps inhabit the same building. It is only when I try to retake the building, and the Germans send reinforcements to the area, that my bazooka team joins the fight and is eliminated.

To my knowledge and point of view, both of these cases would have benefited from the system I propose. The risks of this system are those of unrealism and unbalance. Yet five meters is a range very hard to get in, especially if the target has noted the approach. And as far as realism goes, I can not think of any reasons why an infantry unit could not fire through the bunker slit at one meter, but rather wait for a tank to fire at the same slit from five hundred yars.

Thank you for your time, I`d appriciate all feedback on the idea smile.gif

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viewport firing doesn't work, armored vehicles ( most European ones ) have armored glass behind the viewports

pillboxes are really an abstraction, I've never seen a pillbox with such an open firing slit that held cannon. The ones I've seen that contain cannon have a metal plate ( mantle if you will ) to seal the gun room off from the outside.

btw close assault by infantry really should be of last resort, until you have the later panzerfausts 60m and 100m infantry are relagated to the ambush role. Exceptions could be made against lightly armored vehicles ( M17s < gamey gamey gamey! )

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MG pillboxes are the same. Thery do have a firing slit you could put rounds through but it is small. Any unit worth its salt has cleared the area in front of it. The field of fire is wide open and if a rifleman is in a position to put rounds at he slit he is almost certainly in the open in front of a machine gun. With a well made range card the machine gunner need not even aim to put effective grazing fire over a large area. His head would be down and unless bullets hit the gun sufficiently to damage it then rifle fire would be ineffective.

Your CMAK example sounds perfectly realiztic to me, if I was with one other guy and my bazooka when the Africa Krops entered the building I would do the same. I would not attack indoors with a bazooka, I wouldn't surrender either as long as they don't know I am there. I would do exactly as the guys did, hide out till you try to retake the building.

As for the CMBO example I think perhaps you have an unrealistic expectation of what your troops are going to do. THe tank my be stationary on screen but in real life is still probably moving about, no armor will stay still with inf all around it. I bet climbing onto a fully functional tank is hard if the crew doesn't want you there. As for clinging to the tank by the tracks I think fear of the thing crushing you would be a factor in reducing the infs chances of doing this. With only rifles and grenades it is pretty hard to kill a tank, charging a tank is really a last resort. I too would try to find cover. Perhaps with additional equipment and excellent leadership it would be worth a try. I agree with you, 4 squads should be able to take a tank out given 4 minutes of time, but I think in general, without such overwhelming odds charging the tank is a bad idea.

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I think most of the proposed is already in CM. Infantry will engage each other in hand to hand combat when in 20 meters (I think) of eachother. Listen for the sound effects and you'll notice.

Infantry will take out tanks with grenades and the like given that they are not supressed and the tank is within 30 meters. I have had succes with this many times in all three CM games.

As to pillboxes and bunkers I think BFC has admitted it is a weak point of CM and that it is something they will work on to improve in CMX2. It is still viable to attack them with infantry as long as you stay out of the firing arc (only 90 degrees after all). Bazookas (from the rear) and demo charges work wonders but I think even grenades will do the trick.

So I'd say it's a good idea that has already been implemented. smile.gif

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