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Who's still playing operations?


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This is frustating.I mean the majority of reason's given for not playing an operation aren't always valid.

Just because it says "Huge" doesn't mean that it will play that way.I have a 1.4gig Amd,and after losing a stick of RAM I have 256MB DDR left.I just got through with the operation called 'Festung Breslau',and it was called Huge.Despite all the building's and units,I never had any problems with the performance of the game.In addition to that,despite armor clashes,exchanges of arty,turn generation rates were normally less than a minute.There also was never a single PBEM file that was over 1MB.It was also a very good operation(that may still need some work).Thanks to the designer!I will try and do a review at the depot--which brings up a question,how many designer's bother to still go and look for review's?

I am also hearing this stuff about playtesting.Why don't you upload your operation to The Proving Grounds?Playbalance is a misnomer.From what I have seen,virtually ever person plays CM slightly different.If you somehow expect that you will get it perfectly balanced to accomadate so many different style's then I think you are maybe a bit misguided.Upload it.Let some people get a crack at it.I would be willing to bet that if a very skilled player,played an unbalanced(in his opponents favor)*Huge*(as in atleast 7+ battles of atleast 20+ turns)operation,he could potentially even the odd's over the course of the operation simply by out playing his opponent.

Can we hear from some more people that do NOT like operation's,and why?

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Just finished an Anzio Op.

Just starting (batle 2 of 9) a JUNO/Caen Op.

It seems to me that Ops require a certain amount of 'house-rules' jiggery-pokery to get them to work at all well. My opponent and I use a variation of 'play-where-they-lay', meaning basically no re-locations between battles.

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Ahhh,thanks for that.I knew there was something else I wanted to add.

The "Play-where-they-lay" rules don't help any.In fact they hurt the realism even more.It has always been perceived by me that there is a simulated break in the fighting between battles where ammo can be re-supplied and you can gain replacements,the time of day changes,etc.To me,this makes sense.

I have always viewed the troops that were cut-off(i.e. not fully resupplied and often in the little boxes)as being tied up for longer at the front(do to relative location with enemy troops),and it took them longer to break contact.Hence not getting fully re-supplied.It makes no sense whatsoever for enemy combatant's to just hang out there,within grenade throwing range of the enemy,while everyone else takes a little break.Not to mention that it should be punishment enough to have troops that didn't get re-supplied.IOW,they are next to useless in the following battle.Just don't use them in the next battle,let them hang back and get re-supplied.

IMHO,the best rules to go by are just try not to be gamey.Don't abuse the sometimes faulty setup zones by allowing them to teleport you across a defended river,etc..It all comes down to your willingness to play a clean game,and sometimes lose as a result of it.

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Originally posted by JonS:

It seems to me that Ops require a certain amount of 'house-rules' jiggery-pokery to get them to work at all well. My opponent and I use a variation of 'play-where-they-lay', meaning basically no re-locations between battles.

They definitely require rules, but if you're playing someone you trust then I'm sure they will agree with rules as well. Some ops are just initially broken, especially ones with bridges or islands. You gain more than you actually pushed, causing deployment weirdness.

Originally posted by junk2drive:

Thanks for the info.

Is this something you have written down or do you guess as you go along?

Do you send your friends a proposed point setup first?

Pud has some nice big maps that would be good for ops.

No written rules as of yet, but I may write them down sometime if I can get a consistant enough playability.

No proposed point setup. I usually buy a few companies and tanks to 'fill' the map and get a good idea how large the point setup should be, then I round off how much I bought. I setup reinforcements every other battle (battle 2 has major reinforcements, 3 has none, 4 has some, 5 has some, 6 has none, etc.). Use best judgement according to strength of particular countries units are. Allies buy first, then the file is sent to Axis player (because of the way purchase screen is setup). After each side buys they tell each other what final pt total is. If one side is 50 points down or more, he can buy an extra support. Then you just load the map and play (no need to put them in deployment zones in editor, you can do that on first battle setup).

This works majority of time but I'm still practicing how to fix reinforcements. If both sides are really slugging it out, the battle is balanced. If one side gets and edge at any time, that edge turns into a blade fast since the other player cannot catch up through reinforcements. I think adding a major divisional reinforcement would help balance.

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Originally posted by no_one:

The "Play-where-they-lay" rules don't help any.In fact they hurt the realism even more.It has always been perceived by me that there is a simulated break in the fighting between battles where ammo can be re-supplied and you can gain replacements,the time of day changes,etc.To me,this makes sense.

Well, obviously I disagree. PWTL is meant to stop one from teleporting forces from one side of the map to the other, and from teleporting reinforcements up to the front without giving the enemy a chance to interfere. As it happens, in the Op I'm playing now, and the one I've just finished the interval between battles is only a few hours, possibly less. So being able to conduct large-scale movements is unrealistic. If an Op was set-up to have only one battle per day then PWTL would probably make less sense.

Oh, that reminds me - Op Designers: could you please put an indication in the general briefing of how long you intended there to be between battles. That gives an indication of the kind of relocations that are practical within the time specified.

Obviously you can implement PWTL more-or-less rigourously. Personally I tend to keep the centre of mass of platoons in the same place, but might shift around a few units by a few metres into better cover or sumfink. Support weapons may or may not move, depending on their size. Un-attached support teams (zooks, piats, FOOs, Coy and Bn HQs, etc) might or might not move, in some cases quite long distance (esp the FOOs). Vehicles, on the other hand, stay exactly where they are, or move backwards. Reinforcements get 'organised', but otherwise start out in likely spots along the read map-edge, or something similarly appropriate.

As far as I'm concerned, PWTL makes for a more realistic experience, not less. Otherwise I wouldn't use it, of course.

Regards

JonS

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Ah,but of course :rolleyes: (teehee)

I like how what you said took no consideration to poor weather,night,or any other LOS limiting situation.Just because you are 500m from the enemy doesnt mean that you can't/shouldn't be able to move around.Even on large maps it is entirely posible to move most anything from one side of the map to the other in 5-10 turns(or minutes,or whatever)

I also like how you think that an operation that overall represents 2-3 days is supposed to be non-stop,endless fighting that never takes a break,never regroup's,etc.What about night combat?From what I have been able to pick up,night combat was different,and required significant planning.Wouldn't there be a regrouping phase or something beforehand?

Sounds to me like you are cutting off your arm to spite your hand.That or you are just lazy and don't like doing the setup's.

To me,doing the setup's makes more sense.Maybe not always as I often times leave a lot of things where they are/were.The enjoyment I get from an operation is doing a setup on ground that you earned,and as a result of,have intimate knowledge of.Much better than a scenario where you are just there....

To each his own...

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Guest Mike

I like playing operations PBEM - they give much more intersting start points for battles, and the tension of where the next battle is going to start is quite good.

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Originally posted by no_one:

I like how what you said took no consideration to poor weather,night,or any other LOS limiting situation.

Why would I? The two ops I'm thinking of (Anzio and Caen) both take place over the course of a single, clear day. Also, you must have missed this bit: "If an Op was set-up to have only one battle per day then PWTL would probably make less sense", which seems to pretty specifically address your concern.

Just because you are 500m from the enemy doesnt mean that you can't/shouldn't be able to move around.
Right, and just because the war turns off between battles in an op doesn't mean you should abuse the ability to move for free.

Even on large maps it is entirely posible to move most anything from one side of the map to the other in 5-10 turns(or minutes,or whatever)
Yes, and it's even easier when the enemy can't shoot at you, or take advantage of temporary dislocation caused by your movements. And leaving all that aside, just because you can do something, doesn't mean it's realistic to do it. Military formations move sloooowly. Very, very sloooowly. To take a macro example, it took the Western Allies 11 months to move from Normandy to the Elbe, a distance that you could drive comfortably in one, maybe two days. Why do you think that might be?

And even moving around behind your own lines was a slow process. 3rd British Div moved from near the Orne to near the Vire in the later stages of the campaign in Normandy. They started the move from behind the lines, and finished it behind the lines, the total cross-country distance was 50 or 60 miles, and it took them about two days!

Whisking back in forth within view of the enemy is not credible, in my opinion.

I also like how you think that an operation that overall represents 2-3 days is supposed to be non-stop,endless fighting that never takes a break,never regroup's,etc.
If you'd been paying attention you'd have noticed that I think no such thing. In my ops, between the battles the units do regroup and reorg (partial units get recombined by the engine, the player makes slight adjustments to positions within the pn and coy current location). They also get bombed up, receive new orders and prepare for the next advance (based on intel received in the previous battle, which remains good because the other player is using the same house-rules).

What they don't do is teleport from one side or end of the map, attach themselves to different companies or battalions, and all without any chance of interference from the enemy.

What about night combat?From what I have been able to pick up,night combat was different,and required significant planning.Wouldn't there be a regrouping phase or something beforehand?
What about it? As I said, the ops I'm talking about never had a night phase, and I also said "If an Op was set-up to have only one battle per day then PWTL would probably make less sense."

Sounds to me like you are cutting off your arm to spite your hand. That or you are just lazy and don't like doing the setup's.
Yeah. That's it. I'm lazy and I hate myself. :rolleyes: Way to make a helpful contribution.

The enjoyment I get from an operation is doing a setup on ground that you earned,and as a result of, have intimate knowledge of.
See, this makes no sense to me. You talk about 'intimate knowledge of the ground', but also talk about teleporting the only units that would actually have that knowledge across the map to a completely new piece of ground.

I prefer to look at it in 'knowledge chunks'. 1st Platoon fought their way up Hill 123, and will be staying there because;

. 1) they are already there, and

. 2) they fought there, so they know the ground there better than anyone else.

While they are waiting around (between battles) they'll improve their positions, resup on ammo, etc, but they won't be moving off to Hill 456 just because they can and they can do it for free.

And what about your hard fought-for knowledge of the enemy and his dispositions? You're quite happy to piss that away? That is incomprehensible to me.

To each his own...
Yes, thank god.
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As someone who doesn't like ops, I think I fall into much the same thinking as JonS. I really tried to like ops, and spent hours making custom maps for them, but since I prefer PWTL myself it's difficult, mostly because of the unpredictable setup zone lines. I dislike the map movement in some Ops and would rather have a see-saw battle over a set piece of ground, so I prefer static ops. Of course this only makes the setup zone problem worse.

Any sort of breakthrough which is able to seize a flag deep into enemy territory is completely negated as soon as the new lines are drawn... it's suicide to leave any kind of force out on it's own like that. I think the final nail in the operation coffin was when after a bloody battle I was able to take 3/4 of a sizeable town away from the enemy, only to see ALL of my units in the town be outside of my setup zone in the next battle. To make it even worse, due to a quirk in how units are handled between battles infantry frequently will get bumped out of buildings, usually into the street. Unless I wanted to see many of them gunned down right away by a few lingering MG nests and armored cars I couldn't even leave them there and hope to hang on until reinforcements arrived (Among the house rules used is that reinforcements only arrive along roads at the map edges).

So now I use the QB trick, where you import old troops into a new game. I solved the setup zone problem with an honor system wherein certain flags must be all held by a side to use the corresponding setup zone. It's far from a perfect system, but at least when I push the russians out of a forest I'm not fighting for that same ground again the next battle.

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JonS,

Thank you for your input.

However,you are apparently a very strange individual(more ways than one)that has trouble differentiating between the game of CM and real life.I do not have a time machine that allows me to go back and learn how to do it the way they did.All I CAN do is use the units that I have,the best way I can.I also doubt that by reading a few accounts of real battles that YOU fully understand how it was either.

What is also sad is that you actually think that PWTL solves some sort of problem.It's not like the frontline units get to stay where you left them.They get thrown out of building's,out of half-track,and even trenches.Yet,you claim it is the solution,and defend it as such.What do you do with those units that are thrown out of cover?Do you pull the one out of command squad back,or the whole platoon?Maybe just leave them there to die?

In reagard to why people don't play op's more;I can tell you that it isn't because they want more rules.Like large battles aren't time-consuming enough without having to ponder all those pointless rules.Just do a setup each battle.Make a choice on whether or not to pull your troops back.Simple.Git er done!

Ultimately,if you had better explained what you meant by "one battle per day",perhaps there wouldn't have been any confusion.Most,if not all,of the op's that I play have a dawn battle followed by a single mid-day battle,and then a dusk battle(then night if applicable).Is that one battle per day?What is?I have never seen an operation that had a single mid-day(or whatever)battle then no more combat until mid-day of the following day.

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Originally posted by no_one:

JonS,

Thank you for your input.

However,you are apparently a very strange individual(more ways than one)that has trouble differentiating between the game of CM and real life.

And you are apparently an offensive git. But I see that does not seem to bother you either. :rolleyes:
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Originally posted by no_one:

I do not have a time machine that allows me to go back and learn how to do it the way they did.

I do, it's called talking, reading, looking, learning, and trying to put it all together in a comprehensible whole. You might try it some time.

All I CAN do is use the units that I have,the best way I can.
Quite. As do I. Except I draw the line at what I consider to be gamey 'sploits. Sometimes. Sometimes I do the gamey stuff too. But I know it's gamey, and it cheapens it for me.

I also doubt that by reading a few accounts of real battles that YOU fully understand how it was either.
I might quibble with your definition of 'a few', and might also throw in a little Relevant Real World Experience™ (RRWE), but I'll not argue with your larger point. I don't fully understand how WWII battles were conducted, or even fully how a small subset of them were conducted. On the other hand I do believe that I have a better grasp of it than, say, you.

What is also sad is that you actually think that PWTL solves some sort of problem.
No, Mr Strawman. I think it's a compromise partial-solution that solves some problems and overall makes for a better gaming experience. For me. For the reasons outlined above.

It's not like the frontline units get to stay where you left them.They get thrown out of building's,out of half-track,and even trenches.
Some of them do, some of them don't. If you take the time to figure out why some units get moved and others don't you can mitigate that engine-effect to a greater-or-lesser degree.

Yet,you claim it is the solution,and defend it as such.
Mr Strawman again I presume? See above. PWTL is merely a start point for discussions between you and your opponent, which should take into account the particular circumstances of the Op you are actually playing. It's not inflicted like some sort of straitjacket on all and sundry. Do you even know what house-rules are, and why they came about?

What do you do with those units that are thrown out of cover?Do you pull the one out of command squad back,or the whole platoon?Maybe just leave them there to die?
Yes.

In reagard to why people don't play op's more;I can tell you that it isn't because they want more rules.Like large battles aren't time-consuming enough without having to ponder all those pointless rules.
Yes, because the basic principle of PWTL is so freaking complex that you'd need a Cray to keep it all straight :rolleyes:

Look, Mr Strawman, I'm not trying to convince you to use them. I couldn't care less how you chose to play. There was a general question about who plays Ops, why, why not, how, etc. I answered those questions.

Just do a setup each battle.Make a choice on whether or not to pull your troops back.Simple.Git er done!
LOL - weren't you the one moaning about how long Ops take to play out? PWTL saves time.

Anyway, in my opinion what you are doing (free setup between battles) is playing a series of loosely linked scenarios. Without a useful briefing at the start of each. But it isn't really any kind of dynamic operation, since there's little or no information that can be carried forward from one battle to the next if there are no restrictions on repositioning forces between battles.

Ultimately,if you had blah blah
Riiiight. It's my fault you can't read, called me lazy, said I loathed myself, used any number of strawmen, and a couple of ad homs. Got it.

[ May 18, 2005, 03:15 AM: Message edited by: JonS ]

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Ultimately,if you had blah blah

Riiiight. It's my fault you can't read, called me lazy, said I loathed myself, used any number of strawmen, and a couple of ad homs. Got it.

No,answer the question.It might actually be the one you get right.

Looking forward to seeing how many different points you break this into.

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Originally posted by Andreas:

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

JonS,

Thank you for your input.

However,you are apparently a very strange individual(more ways than one)that has trouble differentiating between the game of CM and real life.

And you are apparently an offensive git. But I see that does not seem to bother you either. :rolleyes: </font>
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Hmmmh... just play the way you want (and your opponent is willing to). I don't think either deployment method is the final word in realism. PWTL sounds good for the avantguard, but if you have reserves or overwatch units in the back, it's not too bad to allow those to relocate.

I tend to pull back some of my forces in the deployment phase, because I want to scout ahead if my opponent has brought reinforcements to that section, or to avoid being raped by artillery.

In my own operations I try to see if any deployment house rules are specifically needed. For example, in one operation I have forbidden teleporting vehicles along a secondary, muddy path - if the player wants to bring his tanks there, he has to take the risk of bogging by actually driving along the road.

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Originally posted by no_one:

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

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

JonS,

Thank you for your input.

However,you are apparently a very strange individual(more ways than one)that has trouble differentiating between the game of CM and real life.

And you are apparently an offensive git. But I see that does not seem to bother you either. :rolleyes: </font>
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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

I wouldn't mind so much if one could at least transfer terrain AND forces from one map to the next, and do a manual drawing of front lines, but we were denied that too....too bad. The CMX2 "ops" sounded pretty tantalizing though.

We already talked about that but... although it's not the panacea, troops importation (on PBEM I believe), when done along certain lines, does allow some flexibility.

As for me, I'm like MikeyD: was quite fond of ops in my BO days, but it dried up a bit... I think I had it after a 14 battles op against my regular PBEM buddy. We played this one over what, two years and a half? I had about two reinforced battalion worth of Canadian troops plus armored support. YEEEHAAAAH!

Cheers

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  • 3 weeks later...

Teleporting units is ridiculous. Plain and simple.

Maps are full of pit falls. Terrain features, lack of roads, mud, choke points, etc. Logistics is as much a part of the battle as the fighting. To just ignore all of these would be missing part of the challenge.

Granted -- some ops can be tremendously huge and moving one hundred units forward over a large map is tedious. But still, it would be worse to just plunk a couple of companies in the line without making them risk an artillery barrage as they move forward... or being seen by the enemey and tipping off an intention to attack.

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Ok,I have to know more.How did it take place in real life?Did frontline units advance non-stop until dead or completely out of ammo?

In the case of the latter,what would they do to get resupplied?Would they just sit there until supply came to them?Would they fall back and get supplied/reinforced and go back to the front?

What was done with the wounded?

How did reinforcements get to the front if the advancing units never stop?I know that transports weren't always available,so did the reinforcements sprint really long distances to catch up...vehicles drive at break neck speeds?How could any of them catch up while risking an arty barrage?Maybe because the way had been cleared by the forces that have already gone through the area?

I am not making an argumnet here;I genuinely want to know.Regardless of what the answer is,I will still play it the way I currently do.

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Now that I think of it,maybe both concepts should be thrown out.

The way I picture how it happened most of the time in real life--the frontline units would get relieved by reinforcements that would continue the attack/counter attack.Then the once frontline units would either sit and wait for resupply,or fallback and get it.

The best work around would then,IMHO,be to fall back most frontline ATTACKING units and replace them(as closely as possible)with reinforcements.Defenders are a different story.Unless counter-attacking,frontline units should have to stay put,BUT reinforcements should be able to be brought up(within reason)for the next battle.It is up to the defender how close he wants to place them.

There is absoulutely no reason why attacking reinforcements have to stay at the back of the map in the next battle.The advancing units have already cleared the way,and there should(if done properly)be very little to no resistance stopping them.Not to mention the fact that it is very unrealistic to have ALL additional reinforcements to show up all at once and in a tight little wad.They would/should arrive over the course of a battle,every battle.

[ June 03, 2005, 05:22 PM: Message edited by: no_one ]

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Originally posted by no_one:

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

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

JonS,

Thank you for your input.

However,you are apparently a very strange individual(more ways than one)that has trouble differentiating between the game of CM and real life.

And you are apparently an offensive git. But I see that does not seem to bother you either. :rolleyes: </font>
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Originally posted by no_one:

Ok,I have to know more.How did it take place in real life?Did frontline units advance non-stop until dead or completely out of ammo?

Try reading some books, or better yet, go sign on the dotted line like JonS did (or for that matter Andreas and myself). Not that we pretend to have been in WW II, or in my case at least to have ever served operationally, but in all honesty it does open one's eyes to the difference between theory and practice.
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