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Advantages of the "sneak" command....

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Originally posted by womble:

"...You also have to consider that,in all honesty,scenario editor tests are gamey..."

Your opinion... I reckon scenedit tests are like actually having gone through training (in whatever aspect of warfare you're testing). The game is so ginormously variable that experience won't necessarily be the best tutor.

An example: I wanted to find out how to make a gun fire one round of smoke rather than its whole load. Fiddling in Scenedit showed me how so I didn't have to account for all the extraneous factors. Integrating those factors into the method is what the scenario was for.

Yes,but when it is used to discover precise numbers that are static THAT is gamey.Because it is a function of the game,not anything like getting training.What these tests are doing IS finding at exactly what distance and under exactly what circumstances something gets spoted.THAT is gamey,because no amount of training can tell you something as exact as that.

Ultimately,it comes down to the way you think,or rather the way you were taught to think.But,I still say that these tests are not going to give you a full grasp of what you THINK you know.I also believe that falling back on these data excursions will continue to hinder your CM progress.However,find the answers you seek how ever you want.I would suggest looking through all the old forum postings dating back to '99.

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Then please explain to me how it is that I managed to figure it out without these controlled conditions?I'll tell you why,because I try to always try different things.Just because you get burnt once or twice trying something doesn't mean that you give up on it.

You have to understand,though,that I typically play really large engagements.As anyone who plays them knows,it will often times be like many little battles all in the context of one giant battle.This gives me numerous opportunities to test these things out.I guess I can understand why you wouldn't want to try such risky things in some 2000 point flag chaser.But,people won't believe me when I say that playing larger battles will help you learn more,and learn more quickly....so,why bother.

Another very useful learning aid is to exchange passwords with your PBEM opponent at the conclusion of the contest.Then,if you save all the files,you can go back and watch the whole thing from their perspective.Very helpful in allowing you to see many things that you are typically left to ponder.

Anyway,I actually don't care how someone learns these things.I was just trying to tell people that sometimes,apparently very rarely,a freak like me comes along that can get an equal understanding of these things as someone who tested it in an editor.

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Originally posted by JasonC:

Testbeds are useful and I encourage others to do them. Not, pace Zalgris, to wait for me to do them for them. Nothing like seeing for yourself.

I wish that you had of proof read this JasonC, esp " Not, pace Zalgris, " 'cos that really isn't clear. However, I think I understand that somehow here you mean to imply that I ought to do my own sneak command tests for myself. Fair enough, you didn't need to prompt me since I intend to anyway, but I am still very interested in seeing what you come up with and compare etc. I'll post what I learn myself also.

I second JasonC's call for no one to enlighten us with his entirely battle experience based wisdom on the subject of employing the sneak command and to provide us with some explainations of how it works in CM. However one learns this stuff and everything else in CM doesn't bother me, whether it's just through battle experience, running multitudes of tests or whatever, because players still have to put it into practise themselves in the end.

BTW no one I think exchanging passwords at the end of PBEM games is gamey, obviously not cheating, but gamey, not that that will stop me from doing so. Thanks for the idea though.

[ September 27, 2005, 07:27 PM: Message edited by: Zalgiris 1410 ]

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No one, after reading your posts I get the following impression:

Seargent Major to new recruits:

"right you pack of scumbags - welcome to basic training.

Congratulations, you have passed! Well done men.

You are now going to be shipped off to the front - we dont care if you dont know how many rounds your 80mm mortar can shoot off in a minute - you will find that out soon enough when the enemy are running full tit towards you"

Just an impression smile.gif

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I do not want to hear any more stupid comments about seeing at exactly what distance something is spotted is equal to getting training.Finding out how many rounds a weapon can fire a minute is not even remotely the same thing as knowing that if Fritz moves his toe a half an inch farther forward he will be spotted under X circumstances.How oblivious are you people to the reality of what I am saying?

The reason that I did not,and will not,answer JasonC's extremely vague question is just for that reason...it is vague.Besides,what do you want me to say?Sneak is,and will always be,a gamble since you rarely know what is where and/or what it is doing.If you learn to use it instintcually you will be just as effective with it.

I am done with this topic.I am tired of trying to help people that don't want to be helped.Good luck in trying to find the answers to your questions.

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We are still interested in learning a little from no one's experience gained while employing the sneak comand, where's the help? How about a few pointers?

I'm sorry I mustn't have been programed instinctually as no one apparently is in CM sneak tactics, or perhaps he meant to refer to his massive amount of intuition!

Off to do some sneaky tests, see ya.

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I've done a few crappy tests and sneak is not that great as an approach technique IMO, advance kicks arse over it. The sneakers don't have very good spotting themselves and are more likely to get ambushed at meddium range because of it. I let the Tac AI handle the target firing and during a clear warm CMBB mid day it would generally fully spot the sneakers in October steppe at 340 metres but start shooting at 250 metres supprisingly effectively.

I have found out so far that sneaking across a road or soft ground ain't especially too good, for example they were easily spotted by regular enemy Infantry without binoculars beyond 350 metres. In marsh precisely at 300 metres. On the other hand sneaking seems to work well in woods even up to only just about 40 metres away, even when the enemy troops had a clear LOS to where they were. So I'll test further with sneaking through such concelling terrain as brush, scattered trees and buildings etc.

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DK - if you need to move 25m to get into cover and expect fire, "advance" is going to be more effective than "sneak". You'll get there in a quarter the time, taking less fire before reaching cover. And you are just as likely to avoid losses, from all I've seen. (Behind a wall is an exception - sneak will clearly help in that case). Sneak is useful if it is stealthy, not going to be too useful if you are spotted and shot. Better than "move" mebbe, but that's not saying much.

Zal's reports fit, you need cover for it to work. Steppe is a form of open ground. Even 350m is somewhat useful in steppe. If + stealth can cut the range somewhat that would be important. 200m in rocky is very useful. Brush and wheat are the obvious next ones. They have the same exposure as rocky but that doesn't mean they necessarily have the same spotting behavior. And they are the most common forms of "approach" cover.

anteportas - Probably. Care to pitch in and tell us how much?

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Ok some test data from a while ago.

A Maxim MG 10m in woods spots a regular sniper moving in open ground at 350.

For a sniper on crack it is at 235m

For a crack sniper moving in steppe it is around 150m.

This was on a clear and sunny day. No terrain elevation. The Maxim faced the sniper directly.

Lessons: experience is important and steppe conceals quite well.

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But that was "move" - the subject under discussion is the sneak command. We are all aware experience helps sharpshooters avoid detection, the question is how close units of various skill levels and types can get to typical realistic sets of spotters, using various types of terrain, if they "sneak".

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Similar test to before, same sneakers. Spotters are squads or MMGs either in light buildings, or 10m deep in woods. This time the terrain is wheat or brush. Spotting distances vs. sneak -

squad house vs. wheat - 125m

squad house vs. brush - 105m

MMG house vs. wheat - 90m *

MMG house vs. brush - 110m

MMG woods vs. brush - 80m

all others - 90m

* low, might reflect placement of MMG within house.

Next I tried advance for comparison. It was quite competitive.

MMG house vs. wheat - 195m

squad woods vs. brush - 150m

all others - 175m

This lead to the following "contact drill" recommendation when exploiting long areas of brush or wheat.

(1) move to contact & hide until fired upon, or enemy known to be ~300m distant.

(2) advance and hide in 50-75m bounds until fired upon again, or until within 200m of expected target.

(3) hide and rest one minute if under fire.

(4) sneak 2-3 minutes or until 130-150m from expected target.

(5) interrupt above procedure with a minute of "hide and rest" if pinned or tiring.

Accumulate potential shooters within 150m or the enemy this way. Open up with them (come off "hide") when you have enough firepower in range, to suppress enemy shooters.


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That's excellent work JasonC and while it might make my testing a bit redundant I think I'll have some fun when I'm checking - though that'll have to be for a few days or a week or so, 'cos my PC is being swiped, fixed and upgraded, I hope. I think I'll be able to get some reading done in the mean time!

BTW I would like to point out that steppe terrain changes in its actual lenth over the months with as is mentioned in the manual different ratings levels of concealment. That's gonna be fun for me to work out I'm sure.

Another thing to bear in mind regarding the experience levels of the troops that both are sneaking and trying to spot anything is that you often have a section or two in a company or platoon with an experience rating one level below or above the norm. This needs to be taken into consideration when both advancing and sneaking your troops. Apparently, the higher experienced sections can advance / sneak further than the rest before they're likely to be spotted and it might be a good idea to have them in the lead as SOP. OTOH obviously the lesser experienced sections are going to be spotted earlier and further out than the other units with serious implications no doubt.

Players are going to have to be careful about handling the different levels of experience distributed throughout their formations and manage them accordingly as well. It may simply come down to allowing the better units to lead in the van while holding back the under-experienced sections by a minimum or maximum distance as an SOP or such. Of couse there then is the factor of HQ stealth bonuses to assist with the advance and sneaking approaches.

I must admit that this is an area of my CM game playing that I massively need to improve upon, since my usual tactics revolve around gaining fire superiority to provide the fire dominance required to allow for the movement phase to proceed. I normally conduct pretty much all my Infantry movements using just the 'move' order! My troops never tire that way, but O.K. now I'm learning better. I'm liking the 'advance' and use it a bit through concelled terrain but I'd like to get a bit sneaky now also.

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One problem I have with sneak is that you cannot go from hidden to sneak. As soon as you issue any movement command, troops will stop hiding and wait for the command delay. During this time, they will happily take pot shots at the enemy and reveal their position. I suppose you could give them a minimal covered arc, but I am concerned of about placing such restrictions upon troops on the move.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sneaking highly, highly useful... provided you are patient and have the time. True story: Played Cracking the Egg recently. A regular platoon of soviets, whose PL had no stealth modifiers, snuck up the tiny strip of woods along the road straight to the other side of the map!!!

I have found that sneaking in brush, on a sunny day, usually works. There is nothing like an infantry popping up in front of someone from nowhere. :D

Sneaking infantry are a tank's worst nightmare.

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Originally posted by markshot:

One problem I have with sneak is that you cannot go from hidden to sneak. As soon as you issue any movement command, troops will stop hiding and wait for the command delay.

I've been having this problem too. Ordering hiding troops to sneak even when in covered positions such as woods, creaters and rubble makes them expose themselves during the command delay. The only time that this doesn't happen is when the troops are pinned by near or incoming fire. They pretty quickly end up having to get pinned by enemy fire which I guess extends their time delay further, that is I think that they wll pop up again and again when unpinned until the sneak order kicks in. This is obviously best attempted with the better experienced kinds of troops of course, since at least thay may eventially get around to actually sneaking.

Actually it has worked out OK enough for me with some veteran squads, mostly out of command having reached rubble and were no more than 50-60 metres away from multiple enemy shooters, who are usually themselves in rubble or buildings. For example I play tested with one lone vet squad sneaking in a large rubble 20x20 tile from one corner to another and then another while there was more than a platoon of enemy troops all within 60-70 metres trying to spot and shoot at this one very close sneaky squad. A couple of the enemy squads proceeded to counter attack and move into another closer rubble tile to this squads diagonal left and getting to under 40 metres of it. Still didn't spot it while it was sneaking and then hiding. The AI was controlling them and they were also vets, but as they moved dead straight ahead along my forward most side I unhid it and let it rip. It still hadn't been targetted by all those other near by enemy units after its sneaky repositioning so close infront of them. There was fire going both ways and they had a few other targets to also deal with like their counter attacking comerades, but still they had there heads up enough to have IDed my squad IMO. The formally up to stength two enemy counter attackers were wasted while my squad didn't suffer a single casualty while in the rubble for ten minutes!

Anyway, while it works well when the troops have been given a series of orders to carry ouyt including some sneaky pathways, I am more inclined to use it sparingly given this problem. Although, as my tests demonstrated somewhat, sneaking can be effective in concealed and especially covered terrain judging by my experience with it. Anyone with some sneaky SOPs please feel free to advise, thanks. ;)

[ October 15, 2005, 11:13 AM: Message edited by: Zalgiris 1410 ]

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  • 2 weeks later...

About spotting distance testing beeing gamey...

I was in the army for 3 weeks[1], and didn't get much field training, but the first day out in the field we spent estimating distances and doing spotting excercises with and without camouflage.

So I think this _is_ very basic training, coming before any weapons training.

[1] I ran out of study postponement for draft, and while investigating different options I decided to take a look before definately refusing to serve. Interesting 3 weeks by the way, but not interestingly enough to loose 14 months of free life; anyway, they didn't need me in the end.

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