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Infantry In CMBB


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I'm not sure if this issue has been raised yet, but is it just me or has the infantry lost something during their march over to CMBB from CMBO?

I remember reading somewhere (can't quote the source) that one of the game play tweaks was that infantry was now more readily suppressed. I, for one, never felt there was anything wrong with the way they reacted to enemy fire before. They sat up and fought when you wanted them to, they stood up and charged ahead when you needed them to, and they hit the dirt when you expected them to. Now it seems that they just spend way too much time flat on their faces.

I could list examples from just about every game I've played thus far where the infantry responds more like a thorough waste of requisition points than an effective fighting force. And this is really a shame because I LIKE to use the infantry.

I will give one quick 'fer instance' though because I noticed a couple of other oddities during a QB/ME against the AI last night. I (as the Germans) had just finished mauling a company of Guards infantry with 105 mm arty as they advanced toward an objective. Once a few units had recovered enough to continue the advance, I took out of hiding my own company of veteran Mountain troops that I'd previously moved into a defensive position in some scattered rough behind the objective.

And that's all I did that turn, was take them out of hiding, with of course the reasonable expectation that they would open fire on the advancing Russians - who by the way were all in plain site, in open ground, and anywhere from 125 to 250 m's away. But they didn't do anything. My entire company just sat there and never fired a single round.

In a panic during the orders phase on the next turn I assigned them all cover arcs that encompassed the enemy troops. The next action phase saw the field erupt with small arms fire from my company and the Russian troops were ultimately rendered combat ineffective. Why didn't my troops fire on their own without the prompt from the cover arc?

At one point I advanced a platoon and noticed their cover arcs advanced with them. They stopped in some scattered trees beside (literally) a panicked, depleted Russian squad, which happened to be just outside the borders of all of my platoon's cover arcs. My units completely ignored him despite the fact that he was only 10 m's away. I was very grateful the Russians didn't sit up and start shooting. I wonder now if my units would have continued to sit there doing nothing if he had.

The next turn I removed the cover arcs for that platoon and they immediately engaged and eliminated this obvious, in-your-face threat. Problem? Bug? Intention?

And lastly, it would appear that cover arcs could only be issued one unit at a time. This is arduous at best when you want multiple units covering the same area. It would be nice to assign cover arcs to groups, no?

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Check out this thread:

Infantry too Brittle?

Yes, it is a lot harder. Patience and forebearance is required with your cyber troops. But when you get it right- OK, I admit it- and close with and rout the enemy it is rewarding. You get a glow of accomplishment.

Remember there's a problem with certain kinds of terrain not providing cover or concealment so the difficluties in advancing are probably artificially enhanced- for the time being. Steve claims the new skitishness is more realistic and who can contradict him?

Yes, I have noticed a tendancy for troops to hold fire unless prodded. As well as a rather disturbing obliviousness of arc-endowed units to closer threats. I suspect BFC will tweak this.

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In CMBO I never "let the computer target for me" during ambushes, b/c after noticing some dramatic differences in results vs. the AI...what I noticed was that if I took a platoon and intentionally double-targeting some units, the ambush results were much better than letting the TacAI pick for me. Perhaps this is the same in -BB?

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Infantry should be more wary, the way some people tried to use them in CMBO. Rushes in open ground against a heavy machine gun? Truly idiotic and it only worked in CMBO due to the limitations of the MG. Try that in CMBB and you'll be filling body bags for your dead company while you shake your fists at the laughing HMG crew.

I for one love the way infantry comes out in CMBB. They can do so much more despite being supposedly brittle. Assault? Covering arcs? Tank hunter teams? Infantry can still be murder to armor if used properly. The open steppes of the Ostfront poses problems but there are ways of levelling the playing field.

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I also like the new infantry and machinegun model very much. Much tougher to accomplish goals but when done right infantry units are a force to be reckoned with. Suppressive fire and more suppressive fire is the key to successful infantry advances in CMBB.

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Suppressive fire and more suppressive fire is the key to successful infantry advances in CMBB.
Exactly right. And realistic. I think too many people have had experience with CMBO (and other games) that have lead them to skewed perspectives and expectations on infantry abilities. Infantry do spend alot of time on their faces, especially in open/light cover. You must adequately suppress the defender if you expect your men to move consistently forward. Overwatch is key as well...I always try to have my own MGs and mortars providing suppressive fire for the movers. I suspect elite/crack troops might be expected to be a little more successful with less support, but not much.

Not that I haven't had a few frustrating instances with CMBB myself. Generally, however, I think it's much more realistic and accurate.

On the covered arc issue, my opinion is that it should be automatically dropped when a) a unit advances/assaults/runs or B) when a unit gets contact. Maybe a tweak along those lines is forthcoming. My guess is that BFC made it "sticky" to allow player control, which is nice. But yes, realistically, your men should react to an enemy at 10 meters.

And on covered arcs assigned to multiple units simultaneously....um....okay. Sounds like a minor whine more than a legitimate beef, but sure, that'd be nice.

Bottom line for me: CMBB is a major improvement in the way infantry is handled.

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I seem to recall from somewhere in the manual that if a unit covers an arc and an enemy threat comes within close range the unit will fire at that unit.

However, in that example, the panicked (?) opponents, maybe they were no threat? Or maybe even captured?

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I almost hated the old system and LOVE the new one !!! Infantry fights are just awesome now.

It's a good behaviour now of the inf to be somewhat conservative to open fire on enemies. In real only poor soldiers would open fire on an approaching column in the open at over 150 m.

I as the commander can now perfectly finetune what i want my soldiers to do with the covering arcs or explicit target orders. In CMBO it was almost impossible to have units in LOS to the enemy without opening fire (-> a lot of ammo waste). Now i can order my HMG to open up on the enemy early if i like to slow down the enemy, or i can give all my units short covered arcs for a perfect ambush slaughter.

To the brittleness. The units aren't more brittle IMO but just hit the dirt earlier which is good. It's all about surprise and fire superiority. Now it's really important to have those reserve squads ready all the time to decide a firefight.

1 Squads is nailed (tramped into enemy), second sneaks in and opens up unexpected -> voila enemy supressed then bring the third squad to mop up or use the time to retreat. I love it !!

;)

Greets

Daniel

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I would have to jump in on the side of CMBB on this one.

The infantry in CMBB may not be as much "fun" as in CMBO but they are a hell of a lot more realistic.

Infantry are key in holding ground and are still effective in built up areas and close terrain. However, in open terrain with little cover they are seriously hampered..just like in real life. I have watched 2 Panthers suppress an entire Russian Coy tryinh to come across open ground. In CMBO that Coy would have made it with little problem and my armour would have been swamped but in CMBB those two MGs per tank actually do something.

I wouldn't change a thing re Infantry...

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The new system is frustating, but looks more realistic than CMBO's - according to the war footage and movies I've seen, AND to "common sense" and psychology : what will YOU do if you were running acros a field and MG fire erupt :eek: ?

I guess you'll hit dirt :rolleyes: ... Will stand up cautiously when yelled at by Sarge, then move, and back to ground on the next fire !

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Ok,

To demonstrate my point, I just ran a test I did in CMBO.

A Regular Infantry Coy RUNning over open ground through a defile to a flag. The defile is covered by 2x Regular Pillbox MGs.

In CMBO, IIRC I had about 20-30% broken or dead and about 50% made it to the flag in about 3 turns, with the missing 20-30% running for cover.

Now anyone who has studied WWI history or spent some time in the Army knows this is ridiculous.

I just ran the same test in CMBB and I had closer to 50% broken or cas and not a single unit made it to the flag.

I small test I know but I am seeing much more realistic behaviour in CMBB. It is going to be very interesting to see how tactics change.

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I would agree that they are more brittle now. IMO, regular infantry in CMBB act like green troops in CMBO. While advancing across open terrain, all it takes is one MG burst and 2 or 3 or my squads will hit the dirt and crall back to the nearest cover. I dont have the time to go into it right now, but I dont know if the new infantry changes 'feel' right.

Chad

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Originally posted by Chad Harrison:

I would agree that they are more brittle now. IMO, regular infantry in CMBB act like green troops in CMBO. While advancing across open terrain, all it takes is one MG burst and 2 or 3 or my squads will hit the dirt and crall back to the nearest cover.

The point is that this isn't brittleness, this is resilence. At the beginning of the next turn you can cancel the crawl orders, and if you have any kind of supporting fire soon your guys will be up and fighting even from a position on open ground. You can then advance in rushes from there.

In the old system, being pinned was just a snippet away from getting panicked. Now units seem to pin easy, but they recover quickly, and don't fall easily into panic. This is a huge improvement IMO.

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Originally posted by CMplayer:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Chad Harrison:

I would agree that they are more brittle now. IMO, regular infantry in CMBB act like green troops in CMBO. While advancing across open terrain, all it takes is one MG burst and 2 or 3 or my squads will hit the dirt and crall back to the nearest cover.

The point is that this isn't brittleness, this is resilence. At the beginning of the next turn you can cancel the crawl orders, and if you have any kind of supporting fire soon your guys will be up and fighting even from a position on open ground. You can then advance in rushes from there.

In the old system, being pinned was just a snippet away from getting panicked. Now units seem to pin easy, but they recover quickly, and don't fall easily into panic. This is a huge improvement IMO.</font>

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Point taken though CM Player, and I am not saying that it is not an improvement. I am saying though that IMO infantry are not as effective attackers now as they were in CMBO. Just one MG employed at 1000m becomes an invincible weapon of defence. Why? Because you will never see it until you get much closer. When moving across open fields, that takes a long while when under long range MG fire! --Chad

Makes the hauling those mortars around useful now. In CMBO they were baggage, now they are important additions and I buy 81's to supplement the 50's whenever I can.

Wanted to add; the large ammo load-outs of the Russian 50's are just fantastic!

[ October 09, 2002, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: Abbott ]

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Originally posted by Winterhawk:

At one point I advanced a platoon and noticed their cover arcs advanced with them. They stopped in some scattered trees beside (literally) a panicked, depleted Russian squad, which happened to be just outside the borders of all of my platoon's cover arcs. My units completely ignored him despite the fact that he was only 10 m's away. I was very grateful the Russians didn't sit up and start shooting. I wonder now if my units would have continued to sit there doing nothing if he had.

The next turn I removed the cover arcs for that platoon and they immediately engaged and eliminated this obvious, in-your-face threat. Problem? Bug? Intention?

well, you should have removed the cover arc when you moved your troops. I don't like that the game does this either, but I would imagine it could be easily patched out. I suppose that once a unit moves, the game can negate any cover arc commands and the units would not do something like that. I think the problem you had was a quirk in the system. And if you would have taken off the cover arc before movement, which would be realistic (can a unit cover an area and advance at the same time?), there would not have been a problem and the Ivans in question would have been dispatched with.

Other than that, I get frustrated with the infantry in CMBB, but I prefer it that way, as I find it more realistic than CMBO was.

-V

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Funny thing is the manual now suggests that you NOT target for your troops and let them pick-and-choose for themselves! It's awfully hard to follow that advice, and as a result I often find I've expended all my ammo before the scenario's over!

About why your troops wouldn't fire: What was their ammo level? Were they fresh troops or nearly out of ammo? It's pretty hard to convince troops in CMBB to use-up their last few rounds.

And it may be my imagination, but I'd swear a unit faced with a LOT of targets is less willing to fire and give its position away. I recall that was a real problem with U.S. troops on the western front. I don't know if that's modeled in CMBB or not.

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well, you should have removed the cover arc when you moved your troops. I don't like that the game does this either, but I would imagine it could be easily patched out.--V

Don't patch that out. Using the covered arc while moving is a great feature!

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Personally, I think the infantry modeling is nearly perfect. It certainly requires a much larger degree of skill and patience than CMBO did.

When I first picked up CMBO, I did use all the proper cover fire and maneuver techniques. Then, when playing multiplayer, I found that they werent required...people just bum-rushed my positions and overran them, hence my original crusade about MG effectiveness.

In CMBB, almost everything feels about right. About the only thing I would change would be the tendancy of troops to fire at distant (400-500m) targets when there is a threat much closer. It makes moving even at long range, much more difficult than I would expect in real life once the enemy is engaged.

For example, I've advanced a reasonably good order platoon into a woodline opposite the enemy at about 100-150m. We begin to shoot it out, with neither side being able to move out and attack the other across the middleground. Far behind the line, I detach a Company CO and have him move to join up with another group advancing on another (out of LOS) flank. Inevitably, one or more enemy infantry in the firefight area will retarget this completely non-threatening group of guys moving slowly and away from their area 400m away and drop him to ground...ummm...dont think so. There are bigger (and more dangerous) fish to fry much closer and wasting time and ammo at a distant target probably wouldnt be high on their list.

FWIW, I'd prefer that infantry units didnt target enemy units beyond a certain range (maybe 200m?) if there are 'threatening' enemies closer. ASL did a good job of simulating that with a few of its targeting restrictions.

Chad:

Yes, unlearning all the 'bad habits' from CMBO takes a little time. ;) Its rewarding though once you learn to 'do it right' and everything breaks your way!

Talenn

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Originally posted by Silvio Manuel:

In CMBO I never "let the computer target for me" during ambushes, b/c after noticing some dramatic differences in results vs. the AI...what I noticed was that if I took a platoon and intentionally double-targeting some units, the ambush results were much better than letting the TacAI pick for me. Perhaps this is the same in -BB?

I almost always did the opposite in infantry vs infantry situations. I discovered that manually targeting units usually is a waste of firepower because it "sticks" to the original target even if it is paniced or routed. There would always be a more dangerous and closer target that should be shot at, intead my unit would still be firing at the routed unit that I manually targeted. Letting the TacAI choose it's targets gets better results because it will almost always choose a more dangerous target.
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Talenn,

My experience so far shows they target based on exposure more than anything. I do agree with you though as the exposure percentage seem to be horribly out of whack. In my battle today, I had an airborne russian platoon enter rubble that was a light building before it was destroyed. I had a platoon of pioneers right there and had to independently target them to the threat right next to them. Why, for some reason the exposure was shown at 17%. Come on now, they were in what use to be a small wood frame house. Did manage to wipe them out but you really have to pay attention to each infantry platoon or they could get themselves waxed PDQ. Oddly enough, I watched the action very closely and never heard the hand to hand and screams someone else mentioned. These guys were only 1m apart!

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Originally posted by Chad Harrison:

It also seems like you spend all day trying to suppress multiple enemy locations and all you get out of it is a lot of squads and MG's that have 'low' ammo.

I agree that this can happen. I haven't played enough to be sure, but it looks like in CMBB you can't expect infantry to go through several knots of resistance in one and the same 30 minute period like it was in CMBB. It takes a lot more small arms ammo to get anywhere, if you don't have heavy stuff backing you up. So just taking that first patch of woods, or silencing that one machine gun is the accomplishment of the game for an infantry platoon.

I agree that this may not seem so fun if you're used to the dynamic and 'raiding' kind of action you could do with infantry in CMBO. This new game seems like it could really come into its own on very large maps with motorized troops in 120 turn scenarios.

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I've read all of your posts with interest and, I must confess, I was surprised to find little support for my argument. I honestly didn't find the infantry model in CMBO that bad. Now, based on your replies, I've had to take a longer, harder look at them here in CMBB.

Have any of you ever played any games from the venerable Close Combat series? Remember how the first two instalments focused on infantry and how effective their role was? Remember the third one, The Russian Front? The infantry was "re-worked", becoming easier to suppress and, subsequently, easier to kill. Players quickly adapted their techniques, not by using their infantry more effectively, but by avoiding them. Battles quickly became nothing more than tank-fests, with the only infantry present being those that carried AT assets. I fear the poor spotting ability of CMBB tankers is the only thing keeping it from suffering the same fate.

I hope the reasons for my bringing up this comparison are not lost. My reaction after playing my first few battles in CMBB was that the omnipresent line between what is authentic and what is fun had been crossed. Do the infantry react more realistically now? Maybe. I supposed it depends on ones' point of reference, doesn't it? Everyone in the room that's charged across a field dodging motor shells and machine gun fire please raise your hands? Hmmm, the silence is telling indeed.

Is it more fun now? Ahh, now that's the real question, isn't it? In CMBO, did your infantry take casualties, get suppressed, afraid and route? Did they sometimes, despite the fire, press on? Was it fun? Yes, yes and hell yes! I don't know how many times I would follow that little infantry icon with my camera as he charged through the flak to the safety of the tree line, all the while urging him on: "Run you 6-legged sumbich run!"

Now, with CMBB, I'm not so sure. I do far more cursing than battle crying (although sometimes I do just plain cry). I move my troops no longer with confidence but with trepidation, genuinely afraid someone will start shooting at them, and this especially so if they're anything less than post '44 veterans.

So have I "figured them out" yet? Yes, I should think so. After numerous sessions with furrowed brow I'm consistently doing what it takes to win against both the AI and human opponents. But it's my opinion that the new infantry model has significantly reduced tactical possibilities, and that's a shame. Albeit there will always be variables and exceptions, it's too often now simply a matter of fire superiority. He who brings the most guns wins.

In CMBO you wouldn't think twice about breaking off a section of your force, say a platoon, and moving them quickly and quietly towards a flank. Because a platoon was capable, should be capable, of inflicting some damage. Now every time I issue a platoon this assignment the Lt. looks at me with glossy eyes and says, "You want us to go out there? Alone?"

So at the end of the day, for me, CMBB has lost something. It's lost its courage. It's lost some flexibility. It's lost some of its unpredictability. Is it more real? Again, maybe. It's my opinion, not my personal experience, that any soldier not willing to pick up his weapon, return fire and move forward while under fire himself has no business being a soldier in the first place. Countless historical engagements and the odd court martial here and there bare this out quite nicely thank you.

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