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German CMAK version/German Infantry


wasi
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Hi everyone,

I have been enjoying the CM series since CMBO and got the Afrika Korps Game just yesterday. However, there are some things about the german version that really annoy me. It's not because of the missing swastikas and SS-runes (in germany, these are prohibited, only allowed when showing historical documents), that's ok with me. But the german version does not include a written handbook. While the german CMBO still got the full written handbook, in the CMBB game a shortened one was included to make it fit into the new DVD case. CMAK also was sold in a DVD case, but somehow they didn't even put a shortened handbook in. I mean, by now, i know all the controls and orders, but in a game that is made with so much love for details, i just would like to have some written pages.

Also, the german mission briefings contain many spelling/translation mistakes. A sentence like "Captin, ordra your infatry to assualt frontaly" would truly affect the game's serious background and the pre-battle-excitement, if you understand this (exaggerated) example.

I know that all this is not the developer's fault, but rather the german publisher's. Hopefully the (many, please!) future CM games will be as exciting in their german versions as they are in the original. Another great feature would be a full campaign with units growing in experience and officers gainig leadership skills.

Now i have some questions about german infantry weapons in CM. Being a german, i prefer the german side when playing, as you might guess. Looking at the german infantry squads, i realized that their firepower and ammunition rating is usually lower than that of their allied adversaries. Ok, the american M1 rifle was truly a superior weapon, but when i compare the K98 to the Enfield rifle, i wonder. Both of them were, as my military knowledge (mainly developed by CM, Panzer General IV and Battlefield 1942) tells me, rifles the soldier had to reload manually, by operating a bolt after each fired round. Now the british rifle has a firepower rating of 10 at 40m, while its german equivalent has about 6,5. Why that? If i was defining a firepower rating for CM, i would consider rate of fire, precision and penetration power. In my short time with the german army (we got conscription), i learned about the truly devastating power of the 7.62mm NATO round. The K98 used 7,92mm rounds (as far as i know), being even heavier than the 7,62. Considering accuracy: Any of the conscripts i was with could hit a soccer-ball sized target at a distance of 200m after 2 weeks practice with the G3 (former german army rifle). Now some weapon-interested sergeant once told me that the K98 was even more precise and the Mauser system world-famous(K98 rifles are still used in the german army for military parades, he had to care about them).

Finally, the rate of fire, should be similar to the Enfield, since both rifles are bolt-operated, as i think. So why is there such a huge difference in the firepower ratings of these weapons?

Next topic: The Bren lmg is more powerful at short range than the lmg34. I don't know much about british weapons, but the Bren looks like having a clip/magazine at its top which can hold about maybe 40 rifle-bullet sized rounds, forcing the soldier to exchange clips often, unless the Bren had a low rate of fire(that would reduce its firepower rating). Now the Mg34 was either belt-fed or a cylindric box was attached. So maybe 50-250 rounds were available before reloading, a major advantage.

Overheating: As far as i know, any Mg has this problem. The Mg34 has this holed barrel for air-cooling, the Bren has nothing comparable (at least it doesn't look so). Today's german Mg3 is easy to operate, an overheatened barrel can be exchanged(takes approx. 5 secs). This Mg3 is just a plain copy of the Mg42, which is the improved version of the Mg34. So why is the Bren superiour to the lMg34?

(German lMgs are identical to hMgs, the only difference is that the lMgs use a bipod, while the hMgs are placed on a "Feldlafette")

Since i rarely use the infantry's ammo at distances larger than 150m, short range firepower is truly important to me. And that is the next point: German infantry has these very low ammo ratings. Where is the use in a Panzergrenadier 43 squad (ammo 32) in a large-scale-infantry battle?

As i understand it, a squad's ammo rating depends on the number of rifles compared to the number of automatic weapons. Why then has a british squad (6 rifles, 1 smg, 1 lMg) an ammo rating of 51? The german '41 rifle squad has 2 more rifles and less ammo. ?

Ok, sorry about complaining so much, i still love the game, but sometimes i wonder how the germans could make it that far with this inferiour equipment (PzIIIF vs. T-34M41). Since this forum is in english language, i suppose most of you come from the us or great britain. It's a good thing that we can exchange opinions now rather than have to fight each other, although i like blasting british tanks on the computer!

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The K98 versus Lee-Enfield has been explained on the old CMBO board

K98 5 round clip

Lee 10 round clip= lee has more firepower

I agree that the MG34 belt fed, quick barrel change versus magazine Bren is counter-intuitive especially when higher magazine capacity is considered enough to make the Lee-Enfield "better".

But then again we still have that argument with the C-9 (M240 to our US mates), some idiots believe that having an old 20 round M16 magazine for the first rounds down range is a "good" idea.

Handsome intelligent people such as my self think that this defeats the whole point of belt fed LMGs and run around (or make others run around) with either 100rd belts in cloth bags or just naked belts of 30. The 250 rd metal "cans" originally designed for them rattle around too much for the bush. CMAK treatment of the Bren vs MG34 is proof that it is neither handsome nor intelligent.

[ December 11, 2003, 10:41 AM: Message edited by: Bastables ]

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Originally posted by Bastables:

I agree that the MG34 belt fed, quick barrel change versus magazine Bren is counter-intuitive especially when higher magazine capacity is considered enough to make the Lee-Enfield "better".

At extremely close range I think I'd rather have the Bren, because it will be easier to handle than the belt-fed, heavier, difficult to hold and handle, massive recoil, comparatively unreliable MG34.

But that's just me.

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Conjecture here, of course, but apparently the Lee Enfield could also be fired slightly faster than most other bolt action rifles of the time. Anecdotal stories of Lee Enfields on the front lines in WWI had some German commanders overestimate the number of machine guns in a given sector due to the high firing rate of a number of Lee Enfields firing close together. Of course, as these are anecdotal and not proving ground statistics, you might have to look elsewhere for more "groggy" evidence.

Faster firing rate + higher magazine capacity would seem to = greater firepower.

I've heard that the Kar98 was more accurate at longer ranger - does the firepower rating of the squads reflect this?

Another factor which might be bumping up the firepower of the Bren at ranges under 150m is the portability of the weapon, allowing it to be brought to bear on new targets with speed and accuracy. Many stories of Bren guns being used on the attack or at close quarters relate how it could be fired from the hip (indeed, a training manual I have for the Bren from the era specifically demonstrates this firing posture) and moved around very rapidly.

What are the respective firepower ratings of the LMG42 and the Bren at 150m?

Lastly, I've often heard that the relative lack of inherent ranged firepower in Commonwealth units lead to the non-doctrinal necessity of closing with the enemy, fighting at very close ranges with No. 36 grenades, Brens, SMGs and occasionally, bayonets.

In any case, an interesting discussion. I'm sure more grogs will pop in to shed more light.

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In response to Wasi's interesting comments - allied troops were only too well acquainted with the effectiveness, power, and accuracy of the stock KAR98. The German practice of delaying allied infantry breakthroughs with ad hoc long range sniping by non-specialist troops was very effective in harassing and causing casualties. My own grandfather, who fought in most of the major Canadian battles in WWI and carried the Ross Tbolt for a while, admired the Mauser rifle and considered it the finest infantry rifle of the era, especially in that it withstood the conditions of the trenches better without rusting - as his Ross rifle was prone to.

The Lee-Enfield .303 does have one special characteristic that might make it a bit more effective in a close encounter - the short bolt throw. Troops could work the bolt with thumb and two fingers, while pulling the trigger with the little finger, so they could fire quite quickly "from the hip". I never tried it with my Enfield (which I no longer own), but perhaps this feature, along with the 10 shot clip, gives the weapon a small advantage at close range over the KAR98.

Like the KAR98, the .303 was also a very accurate weapon. My father (who was a superb shot himself) watched an old Algonquin Indian guide shoot two whitetail deer which were 800 yards away on the side of a hill with his army-surplus Lee-Enfield. He set the ramp sight to "800" and dropped them side by side. The second deer looked up at the distant sound of the first report, but must have assumed that it's companion was lying down because it was tired, and went on feeding until it too was hit.

But, someone - Gen. Chris Vokes, or perhaps Pierre Burton - said that most Canadian troops might as well have been carrying pitchforks, for all that they used their rifles in battle. Vokes did scold his infantry for not using enough rifle ammo at one point of the Italian campaign.

As far as ammunition loadouts - isn't this affected by the supply level attribute which is configurable when you are creating a battle?

I have noticed that in CMBB and the CMAK demo, both Axis and Allied squads seem to deplete their ammo very quickly, once in contact with the opposition. This makes the planning for and use of reserves an important and realistic part of the game.

I agree with Wasi that its hard to see why the mg34 would have a lower effectiveness rating then the Bren gun.

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Wasi,

I could be wrong as I have not seen the German version, but please check your CMAK root directory for the PDF file which contains the full 200+ page CMAK manual.

"Handsome intelligent people such as my self think that this defeats the whole point of belt fed LMGs and run around (or make others run around) with either 100rd belts in cloth bags or just naked belts of 30."

Just to expand on Bastables ammo portage minutae. Both M249 and M240 have cloth pack accessories for his purpose. (as he alludes) The M60 didn't need it since each 100 carton came in a cloth bag that you could hook to the feed tray. The M16 magazine fed option was there to get rounds to the SAW from riflemen in a pinch not so much for walking around, since the cloth bags are available.

I don't think anyone (well that had any sense) in WW2 or otherwise porting an LMG walked around in a combat area with no rounds in the weapon. (any cursory instpection of pictures of documentary footage shows this. Both Mg42 and MG34 had small drums for portage use.)

Likewise relative firepower performance under 150 meters being linked to the factor of any perceived abiity of one weapon to be brought from portage to firing quicker or more effectively over another can be brought to bear is not good programming. That factor would be better linked to time it takes a unit to go from moving to firing.

RE: K98 vs Lee Enfield. I have both and love both. I'm guessing the extra firepower probably has to do with the 10 vs 5 round internal magazines since working the bolt on each provides practically a negligable advantage. Anyways anyone banging away that fast on a bolt action rifle is not going to hit much anyways. Well unless your playing Day of Defeat, the K98 is lethal in that game!

Los

[ December 11, 2003, 12:33 PM: Message edited by: Los ]

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On the Bren vs. Mg34 LMG issue.

The reason that the LMG firepower drops at close range is that it is a belt-fed weapon. That means that at longer ranges, one of the other squad members is the assistant (loader) and feeds belts. Once the battle goes to close quarters, the loader stops loading and starts using his own weapon. The result gives better overall squad firepower, even though the LMG part of the firepower declines due to slower rate of fire. (There are all sorts of little details in there!).

As for the ammo loadouts, I'm not sure exactly how they are computed. My impression is that automatic weapons don't always have the ammo limitations that they should (especially SMGs). Perhaps in the next engine, ammo tracking can be made more precise.

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Originally posted by tar:

On the Bren vs. Mg34 LMG issue.

The reason that the LMG firepower drops at close range is that it is a belt-fed weapon. That means that at longer ranges, one of the other squad members is the assistant (loader) and feeds belts. Once the battle goes to close quarters, the loader stops loading and starts using his own weapon. The result gives better overall squad firepower, even though the LMG part of the firepower declines due to slower rate of fire. (There are all sorts of little details in there!).

As for the ammo loadouts, I'm not sure exactly how they are computed. My impression is that automatic weapons don't always have the ammo limitations that they should (especially SMGs). Perhaps in the next engine, ammo tracking can be made more precise.

Err this should really only be an issue with the SMG section, where the No 1 is going to wield an MP/SMG, the K98 is not going to present much of a loss and the rifleman would be better off sorting that belt/gun out.
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Thanks for your interesting replies.

To Los, about the german version: Yes, the manual is included on the 2nd CD, when installing the game, you get informed of that, but i would prefer paper and ink. (Anyway, i don't have no Acrobat Reader)

About K98 vs. Lee Enfield- Well, the E.'s clip capacity really is superiour, i didn't know about that (i think in Battlefield 1942 you get an "Enfield Nr9" using a 5 round clip, maybe because of game balance). To Fluf: A single K98`s firepower rating is 6/5/3/1, the Enfield's 10/6/3/1, they are equal at long range. I'm not sure but i think in WWI the germans used the Gewehr98, and WWII's Karabiner 98k (k=kurz=short) is a shortened version of that rifle, shorter barrel=less precision. The long-range rifle fire maybe was more effective on a WWI battlefield, since the area (France, Belgium)from 1915 on was just a desert of mud with holes in it-no trees, houses and the like. In WWII, the more and more effective tank forced infantry to hide in woods, villages etc., and higher overall mobility prevented an area to be turned into a moonlike landscape by heavy artillery so that the accuracy of the K98 was of less use than a higher rate of fire would have been in urban or forest warfare. I wonder why the germans spent their resources on developing these unreliable and inaccurate missiles, they should have put more strength in developing a light automatic or semi-automatic standard infantry weapon early in the war. They actually did try this, but stopped after unsatisfying results.

The Mg34 vs. Bren: I didn't think of the easier handling of the Bren, it surely is tough to turn a Mg34 around quickly on a new target at short range. Today's Mg3 weighs about 13kg, the Mg34/42 may have been even heavier (i think they had wooden shoulder pieces? don't know the word).

Another strange thing is that a german squad, i think the '45 Füsiliere, is equipped with an lMg42 that has a firepower rating less than the '44 Rifle squad's (50/45...). That is no error since this squad was also available in CMBB with similar firepower. Why is that? Did german late-war lMgs suffer from bad maintenance, or what?

About the low ammo ratings: It is realistic to find the troops waste their ammo within minutes, but maybe the possibility of them getting new ammo, maybe by an ammo truck, could add even more tactical finesse to the game, at least in larger battles.

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Originally posted by Andreas:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Bastables:

I agree that the MG34 belt fed, quick barrel change versus magazine Bren is counter-intuitive especially when higher magazine capacity is considered enough to make the Lee-Enfield "better".

At extremely close range I think I'd rather have the Bren, because it will be easier to handle than the belt-fed, heavier, difficult to hold and handle, massive recoil, comparatively unreliable MG34.

But that's just me. </font>

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Originally posted by Andreas:

At extremely close range I think I'd rather have the Bren, because it will be easier to handle than the belt-fed, heavier, difficult to hold and handle, massive recoil, comparatively unreliable MG34.

I think you partly mix up MG34 and MG42 here.

The MG42 is the bitch to fire which is only more useful against nassive rushes by the enemy. The MG34 was supposed to be a joy to fire once set up. In particular it was supposed to be much better than the MG42 when using bipods.

The M34 was less reliable, but that shouldn't go into the CM firepower rating (although squad LMG jam might have been nice to model it isn't).

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The Lee-Enfield is widely considered the fastest rotating bolt action ever. I'm not exactly sure why, but on the gun boards and websites I frequent I've often seen it mentioned that shooters feel that it is faster than other rifles(often specifically in comparison to k98s, the owners of both rifles love to rag on owners of the other type). Part of this is probably the loading mechanism; many rifles if you try to cycle them too quickly don't load properly.

Anyway, the speed of the action combined with the larger magazine capacity seem to be reasonable explanations for the extra firepower ratings. On the other hand, the k98 is ever so much cooler looking... :D

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Just turned this up:

"There was, as part of the training regime for the British Soldier, the Lord Roberts’ Match, also known as the ‘mad minute’. The aim of this was to train the soldiers to fire as many aimed shots as possible in a minute, concentrating not just on accuracy, but on rate of fire. This activity was suggested by the Minister of War, Lord Roberts, during the Boer War, to improve the standard of British Marksmanship. The target of a 24 inch circle would be hoisted for 60 seconds at 300 yards.

The record was apparently set in 1914 at the British School of Musketry by Sgt Instructor Snoxall. 38 hits were scored inside the ring at 300 yards within the

minute. Scores of 34 to 35 were "not uncommon". Such phenomenal rates of fire were made possible by the combination of the Lee Enfield bolt action, and consistent training in the knowledge that most engagements will be conducted at under 500 yards."

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Originally posted by 30ot6:

Just turned this up:

"There was, as part of the training regime for the British Soldier, the Lord Roberts? Match, also known as the ?mad minute?. The aim of this was to train the soldiers to fire as many aimed shots as possible in a minute, concentrating not just on accuracy, but on rate of fire. This activity was suggested by the Minister of War, Lord Roberts, during the Boer War, to improve the standard of British Marksmanship. The target of a 24 inch circle would be hoisted for 60 seconds at 300 yards.

The record was apparently set in 1914 at the British School of Musketry by Sgt Instructor Snoxall. 38 hits were scored inside the ring at 300 yards within the

minute. Scores of 34 to 35 were "not uncommon". Such phenomenal rates of fire were made possible by the combination of the Lee Enfield bolt action, and consistent training in the knowledge that most engagements will be conducted at under 500 yards."

The ability of fast firing British regt ended with the "death" of the pre-war army in 1914 and the advent of Kitcheners conscripts. This all before WWII.
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I agree with you that the Enfield's higher firepower is justified by it higher magazine capacity and the easier bolt operation, at least at short ranges. However, firing faster usually uses up your ammo faster. Why then do british squads in CM have higher ammo ratings than germans, even if equipped with the same amount of rifles/smg/lmg? (brit early recon/assault squad-german '41 recon squad)?

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