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Normandy: Immobilisations


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Random numbers are simply that, RANDOM. I had a unique experience of this a LONG time ago in my board wargaming days... My friend and I used to meet regularly to play AH's Russian Campaign and one night we decided to record all our die rolls to see how much of a factor luck played. (If you're reading this Flettie boy, you'll be able to confirm this story)

I rolled 13 '1's in a row during a single turn which pretty much *%$*ed my chances of winning but we both had a good laugh about it. (If anyone's interested in calculating the statistical probablilty of rolling a '1' 13 times in a row, then I'd be happy to know it. I suspect I'll NEVER see that happen again in my lifetime even if I spent the rest of it just rolling die...)

What's the point of this rather boring story? If there's very small percentage that something will happen, sometimes, you just get unlucky and it happens. If you spend a considerable time setting up a PBeM game with your opponent and invest a significant part of your points on a killer tank and then, rubbing your hands with glee, you give it a movement order and it bogs almost instantly, who's to blame? You knew that there was a tiny chance that this might happen and yet you chose to take that risk and what do you know, the game's RNG just rolled a '1'. Suddenly, that huge investment in points doesn't seem so sensible, does it? So who's to blame? Getting BFC to reduce the chance of it happening in the game engine won't prevent this from ever happening in your game again, will it? When you're unlucky, you're unlucky and that's it.

Just relax, man. When s*%t like this happens in real life then you have every right to get pissed off and bitch about it. It's just a game ;)

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Steve,

i am not suggesting you should base CM figures on higher level statistics.

i simply compared clear non-combat tank attrition numbers to reported CM immobilizations.

in my opinion it's clear that the comparison shows that some CM figures are far too high. stress of combat, terrain differences, 2 hours vs 24 hours fixing etc can not lead to 1:200 - 1:400 difference.

what comes to black & white fixing, i was talking about early war Soviet conditions of zero recovery & repair services and voluntary abandoning of vehicles to save fuel & ammo -- so it actually was pretty black & white in those cases.

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I might. But I might not, because it was enemy action, not my action.

Mechanical failure isnt a problem caused by your own actions either, its a random happening that every military commander had to deal with.

Because you ask that question, I see you don’t get it.

Youve mentioned this a few times but to be honest I think that most here 'get it', the problem appears to be that you havnt explained you case in such a way so as to convince them that this is a particually pressing issue.

Dan

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Paul,

I think it's not a question of 'getting it', but of opinion.

Some accept bogging in a game, some don't. It is true that bogging is unrelated to combat int the way that bogging can happen outside of combat, whereas getting shot at is rather unusual. In such a view, boggin represents an additional risk which distracts from the 'combat' aspect of the game.

On the other hand, those who accept it, see it as integral part of combat like other random things. In such a view, to seems odd to leave out bogging, but leave in those 'other' random events.

The solution seems to be an option to turn it on or off - problem: the work involved and the range of toggles. If bogging can be turned on/off, why not friendly fire, mines, bad weather, fixed starting positions or anything which distracts from the pure tactical element of the game.

Again that's a matter of opinion. You said you see it as a challenge to be confronted with superior forces - others do not. If some don't like it at all, do we need an option to force opponents to buy units of equal capabilities (to avoid matches between Stuarts and King Tigers).

Or do we need an option to turn off firendly fire, because some think it happens way too frequently in the game?

With all respect, but there is no more reason to give the player control over bogging than over any of the things above - based only on the question whether one likes (or accepts) it, or dislikes it.

In a perfect world, there would be an option to influence all of these things, but if BF decides it's not worth putting time and effort into making bogging opitional in the game, it's no more personal than the decision to not make friendly fire or anything else optional aswell. It's based on the opinion that those things are relevant for a game as this and otherwise would dillute the experience. And in the end, since they make the game their opinion is what counts.

After all, let's not get too upset about this, the game is not even out yet and we're already discussing about too much (not enough?) bogging. :D

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Interesting thread. Interesting because at WeBoB there is a serious CMBB battle going on currently. I think there is about 15 players a side on the same battle and bogging has been a subject of great interest.

I am not playing in it as it is simultaneous mirrored which I regard as the most heinous way to play CM. However out of interest on the map I ran 9 T34's to the far end in mud and lost a third - that was in eight minutes of travel.

Looking to see if ground pressure made much differnce on test steppe map in wet conditions with rain using three each of Shermans, Churchills, T34s , and SU152 at then end of the fifth turn there are two completely immobilised and three bogged.

The curiosity is that after 30 minutes it was 2 Churchills and 2 Su152s immobilised and one Sherman. Therefore 33%. Obviously they were all given movement for the test period which would exceed a normal game in terms of travel distance.

I have done a repeat with 14 varied tanks and 4 were immobilised - curiously two Sturta who were lightest versus one Sherman 76 with almost 50% more psi. Over compensation for Sherman bogging in CMBO? :)

My feeling has always been that CM was never designed to be played with small forces on small maps and so when I used to play CMBB, of which I must have played over 100 games pre-CMAK, I played large maps with platoons of tanks so that a bogging or two did not potentially destroy the game.

If you reduce the scale of CM down to where individual units, teams, vehicles are absolutely critical then I suggest you are trying to make it do what it was incapable of doing. We all know th infantry were done as a supporting arm for tanks and crudely modelled to take into account the capacity of the PC's of the time.

Trying to reduce the scale to teams etc is like going to play poker and deciding that you are only going to play 10 hands rather than play the whole evening. You have therefore raised your expectation to a high level and if the ten hands you recieve are rubbish then you are doomed to disappointment. Playing with a couple of tanks just makes bogging too important - you should play games where you have 15 tanks : )

*** I trust that the bocage rule will not give extraordinary power to the Allied tracked vehicles in CMX2. That the Germns doctrinally did not climb over hedged banks does not mean it was impossible - just very risky from being vulnerable to risking bogging!!

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URC,

i am not suggesting you should base CM figures on higher level statistics.

Yup, understood. I'm simply saying that not only can't we use those higher level statistics directly, even indirectly they don't do much good.

i simply compared clear non-combat tank attrition numbers to reported CM immobilizations.

But again, it's an apples to oranges comparison. You are comparing a statistic for a type of immobilization that CM doesn't actually bother to simulate. Specifically, in CM an immobilization that would last long enough to be noted in a unit status report isn't explicitly simulated. That means in CM there is no difference between an immobilization that took 1 hour to extract or (like in that Tiger Battalion report) 3 days. What you're doing is treating all immobilizations you see in CM as if they are all of the latter type and not even one of them of the former type. That simply doesn't work.

Immobilizations, however, do have an impact on the Campaign. You get most of your immobilized vehicles back for future battles.

in my opinion it's clear that the comparison shows that some CM figures are far too high. stress of combat, terrain differences, 2 hours vs 24 hours fixing etc can not lead to 1:200 - 1:400 difference.

I disagree because I see the comparison as being inherently impossible to make. You are also, once again, forgetting that you are mixing road marches with off road use. You can not compare the average for an entire large period of time, which is disproportionally road marching, with a very small slice of non-road marching combat time. It is statistically impossible to take a large abstract set of data and compare it to a specific set when one of the most fundamental variables is completely skewed.

To illustrate my point (since apparently you still don't understand it), here is what you could do to better figure out if those higher level numbers are proportionally similar to what CM simulates. Take a bunch of tanks and put them on roads in weather conditions similar to the report you're comparing to. Drive those tanks on roads in 2km increments. Do that a couple hundred times and then count how many vehicles became immobilized. Then take that number and divide by an arbitrary number like 5 or 10 to represent the number that could be fixed or unstuck within 24 hours.

Then, and only then, will you have a set of CM game data that is more-or-less approximating those higher level numbers. Still, it's a very dodgy comparison because we don't know how much of the higher level numbers had offroad combat included, nor do we know if they ran into some sort of local terrain that was better/worse than average. However, the resulting data from CM tests as I laid out would be radically more accurate than the small sample you're using from offroad driving.

what comes to black & white fixing, i was talking about early war Soviet conditions of zero recovery & repair services and voluntary abandoning of vehicles to save fuel & ammo -- so it actually was pretty black & white in those cases.

They had some recovery and repair capabilities, although obviously not very good due to a host of factors. But their record keeping and honesty of numbers were also quite poor. So I'm not sure what early war Soviet stuff has to so with this discussion.

Steve

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PaulAU,

I agree with you that a debate with you is not likely to bear fruit. You're arguing from an emotional point of view and there's no way I can, or should, try to argue against your position. But we don't make game mechanics decisions based only on emotional arguments (though they absolutely are taken into consideration). Bogging and immobilizations are an obvious factual part of small unit warfare, therefore we will never allow it to be toggled off any more than lucky shots, panicking, friendly fire, or anything else which is of a similar nature.

Kwazydog,

Youve mentioned this a few times but to be honest I think that most here 'get it', the problem appears to be that you havnt explained you case in such a way so as to convince them that this is a particually pressing issue.

Correct. As I said, so far PaulAU's empirical arguments have been easy to poke big holes in, but his emotional argument is left untouched because it's a personal preference. Which is why I suggested that he just drop trying to justify it since he's still not been able to make a case which holds water but, apparently, is getting more and more frustrated by us "not getting it". We do... we just don't agree about the rational side of his position (again, I have no problem with his emotional argument).

Birdstrike,

Some accept bogging in a game, some don't. It is true that bogging is unrelated to combat int the way that bogging can happen outside of combat, whereas getting shot at is rather unusual. In such a view, boggin represents an additional risk which distracts from the 'combat' aspect of the game.

On the other hand, those who accept it, see it as integral part of combat like other random things. In such a view, to seems odd to leave out bogging, but leave in those 'other' random events.

Extremely well put. Thank you for that.

I think we can all agree, including PaulAU, that on real battlefields vehicles get stuck and break down for any number of reasons (including operator error). So from my perspective, and that of most of the people here, saying that this obvious battlefield reality should be purposefully removed doesn't make any sense. Reduced... there's an argument for that, of course, but removed entirely? I can't comprehend any reason for doing that. Even a really poor and excessive modeling of bogging/immobilizations is probably, on the whole, better to have than none at all. And of course we don't feel we have a really poor model in any of our CM games. So at most there is an argument to "tone it down" a bit overall or in some very specific way (like make bogging on paved roads lower).

However, based on PaulAU's emotional arguments I doubt anything other than complete removal would appeal to him because even if he had one vehicle in 100 battles become bogged/immobilized it seems like that would be too much, even though it would be vastly unrealistically low compared to real life.

The solution seems to be an option to turn it on or off - problem: the work involved and the range of toggles. If bogging can be turned on/off, why not friendly fire, mines, bad weather, fixed starting positions or anything which distracts from the pure tactical element of the game.

Correct. And it's the reason why we don't offer toggles like that and more than likely never will. We certainly have zero plans or thoughts towards such a toggle for CM: Normandy, that's for sure.

With all respect, but there is no more reason to give the player control over bogging than over any of the things above - based only on the question whether one likes (or accepts) it, or dislikes it.

Correct. The variables which people DO have control over, such as weather and types of vehicles, is included because they are variations on theme. We don't just have one type of weather, we don't have just one type of vehicle, we don't have just one size of battle, etc. But we do have one type of reality, so to speak, for the entire game. We allow people to fiddle with which stuff to play with, but not the underlying game mechanics. For people that hate bogging... only play in very dry weather. Bogging will still be a possibility, but very much less than it would be otherwise.

After all, let's not get too upset about this, the game is not even out yet and we're already discussing about too much (not enough?) bogging.

Which is the problem here... PaulAU's reaction to bogging is emotional, therefore it's impossible for him to have a discussion without getting emotional about it. For those of us who see this as a rational issue it is possible to keep from being emotional about it. I know I am. I see PaulAU's point of view and don't have a problem with it because I understand it for what it is.

Also, I'll repeat something I've said many times before... if bogging were such a problem for people like PaulAU, then I don't understand why after 10 years he's still here talking about it. Seems to me he'd have stopped playing the game long ago out of frustration. This is more indications that his line of argument is emotional rather than rational, and why he is projecting forward into a game he's never played instead of taking a "wait and see" approach. Because obviously to him, nothing short of removing bogging/immobilizations will suffice. Since we're not going to do that, then logically he will have problems with whatever the actual bogging/immobilization rate is. i.e. anything >0 = bad.

dieseltaylor,

Thanks for the anecdotal info. Out of curiosity, how many of those boggings resulted in immobilizations? Boggings should be quite common, immobilizations shouldn't necessarily be. I can't remember about CMBO, but I'm pretty sure the chance of a bogging turing into immobilization was influenced by crew Experience.

My feeling has always been that CM was never designed to be played with small forces on small maps and so when I used to play CMBB, of which I must have played over 100 games pre-CMAK, I played large maps with platoons of tanks so that a bogging or two did not potentially destroy the game.

Actually, the opposite is correct :D When CMBO was first under construction we thought of the maximum force that a computer could handle would be around 1 company of infantry supported by 1 platoon of tanks. The explosion of units in battles is something we didn't even think would be technically possible :D So what you're really seeing is the fact that redundancy helps overcome bad luck. It's the same reason why tanks used in "penny packets" didn't do as well as tanks used "en mas" in real combat.

If you reduce the scale of CM down to where individual units, teams, vehicles are absolutely critical then I suggest you are trying to make it do what it was incapable of doing. We all know th infantry were done as a supporting arm for tanks and crudely modelled to take into account the capacity of the PC's of the time.

Well, "you all know" very wrong :D The fact is vehicles are easier to model than groups of Humans, so the fact that vehicles came out closer to their real life counterparts isn't surprising. It is also not surprising that Human based units came out further apart from their real world counterparts. From a design and development standpoint I can assure you that infantry was never, ever seen as a "supporting arm for tanks". Players tend to think that way, but we definitely never have and never will. The best battles I remember playing of CM were almost all infantry centric. And I can say for sure that vastly more time and energy was put into CMx2's infantry modeling than vehicles, yet vehicles are still proportionally closer to reality than infantry. It will always be that way until someone gives us a million bucks to spend 2 years on AI programming and ridiculously detailed infantry micro-management features. Not that anybody sane would actually want to use them ;)

I trust that the bocage rule will not give extraordinary power to the Allied tracked vehicles in CMX2. That the Germns doctrinally did not climb over hedged banks does not mean it was impossible - just very risky from being vulnerable to risking bogging!!

German vehicles didn't have hedge cutters on them, so there's really no comparison between the two in terms of capability once those come into play. Before then, yup... everything is all evened up. Germans even have an advantage, theoretically, because their tanks were heavier (though their engines and transmissions overstressed).

Steve

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To be honest, I don't get why there is a difference between a fluke shot and bogging. While I agree that bogging requires no special tactical skill from your opponent, clicking target and then selecting an enemy tank doesn't really rank high in the tactical scale ladder either.

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Stikkypixie,

To be honest, I don't get why there is a difference between a fluke shot and bogging

Because there isn't from an empirical standpoint :) However, for some there is a big emotional difference. I can't argue with that since emotions are up to the individual.

While I agree that bogging requires no special tactical skill from your opponent, clicking target and then selecting an enemy tank doesn't really rank high in the tactical scale ladder either.

Exactly. Neither is having your enemy hit his own HQ with a badly placed friendly spotting round, thus causing his underlings to panic, doesn't rank very high on the tactical skill ladder either :D Neither does getting into a QB and finding out the objective is in a spot where none of your vehicles can get a shot at. So on and so forth.

Steve

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BF. I always thought the tanks were modelled better than the humans BECAUSE it is easier to do.

I disheartened to learn you guys actually planned it to be small scale - I guess the lucky hit factor was really working for you : )! It is way better played at Battalion and multiple platoons. Particularly in view of the problems with omni-unit infantry firing ....

German vehicles didn't have hedge cutters on them, so there's really no comparison between the two in terms of capability once those come into play

The way you refer to the Cuilin plow makes me scared you actually believe the hype that it/was generated.

Some tankers discovered that if the pipes were bigger, sometimes that was enough to allow a Sherman to plow right on through, at least with the smaller hedgerows

Anybody who has spent time in Normandy or Devon knows that serious bocage was pretty much tank proof apart from serious assault and the thought that the caged Allied armies needed a good publicity story and the use of plows to take out smaller hedges was a godsend. However the implementation in CMAK with light tanks travelling through "boacage/tall hedges" faster than Shermans is plain daft.

In real life, and excluding the show put on for visiting journalists and officers where a whole load of lightwieght hedges were driven through en-masse, a medium hedge would take many ramming attempts to break - not very good for tank or crew.

So before giving Allied vehicles the magical power I suggest an examination of the legend for what is was. A item that did work on certain types of hedge and was avaiable for some serious morale improving publicity at the right time.

When you read that:

In the 747th Tank Battalion, attached to the 29th Division, someone -- name unknown -- suggested using demolitions to blow gaps in the hedgerows. After some experimenting, the tankers discovered that two fifty-pound explosive charges laid against the bank would blow a hole in a hedgerow big enough for a Sherman tank to drive through. ......... Good enough, excellent even. But when the planners turned to the logistics of getting the necessary explosives to the tanks, they discovered that each tank company would need seventeen tons of explosives to advance a mile and a half.

does it occur to anyone that this is a lot of explosives to use for hedges where a Stuart goes through in a matter of seconds but the mighty Tiger cannot pass at all!

Something sucks mightily.

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It is true that bogging is unrelated to combat int the way that bogging can happen outside of combat, whereas getting shot at is rather unusual. In such a view, boggin represents an additional risk which distracts from the 'combat' aspect of the game.

On the other hand, those who accept it, see it as integral part of combat like other random things. In such a view, to seems odd to leave out bogging, but leave in those 'other' random events.

Perhaps another way to consider this is in terms of fire and manoeuvre.

It seems that PaulAU is prepared to accept random events in the fire part of combat (i.e 'fluke shots'), but not accept random events in the manoeuvre part of combat (i.e. 'bogging and immob'). He wants to have his manoeuvre cake and eat it too, as it were.

Odd, I guess, but he can want what he wants. Not that his wants'll change anything ;)

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The thread’s gone mobius. But you don’t mind?

Then, try this:

I’m going to use the term ”forced immobilisations”, by which I mean (as I’ve said before), immobilisation over which you have no control (other than never moving a vehicle at all – and you’d be pushing creativity if you argue that doing nothing is a form of control).

Let’s imagine that you’ve settled on a game with an opponent. You’ve decided the size of the game, settled on the map (”I want one with lots of firm open ground, because I enjoy the crap-shoot, er, I mean the “challenge” of random forced immobilisations, and I always enjoy the idea of a game being unfairly over at any moment due to no-ones good thinking. This is precisely why I’m into war-games, because they’re random crap-shoots over which I have no control).

So, you ‘buy’ your forces, and go to Set-Up. But wait a minute, that pair of Shermans you ‘bought’ aren’t there. Then you remember that BFC has extended their immobilisation regime to include realistic deployment delays. Those two Shermans, 100% of your armour, broke down on the way to the front, and will not be appearing.

Do you then think:

a) Well done BFC, that’s realistic. Not only will I enjoy this random challenge, (which is now a game decided by BFC and not by me), but I will start a very long thread on the forum about just how often this happened in real-life, and cite many instances from history, as though it were relevant.

Or

B) Well, that sucks. Now I have to settle on a new game with my opponent. Decide the size of the game, settle on a map (”Let’s make it all swamps this time, I’ve given-up, really”), and again wonder why such a beautiful gem of a game has such an obvious dumb flaw in it.

Or

c) Suddenly remember that ”hammer-scissors-rock” is a game replete with unexpected tactical ‘”challenges” and perhaps we should be playing that? I’d certainly use the word “emotional” a lot when talking to anyone who suggests otherwise.

CM’s current immobilisation regime is functionally exactly the same as I’ve described above.

It sucks.

But can be easily fixed.

BFC isn’t arguing that it’s hard to fix. They’re arguing that it’s fundamentally wrong to fix.

We just need to remind BFC that it’s a game and we’re not looking forward to their proposed “Random tank-commander sudden heart-attack module”, no matter how realistic it might be, or how “emotional” it may seem to oppose it.

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What's I also don't get is that someone who claims to enjoy the tactical challenge of fighting Stuarts against King Tigers, does not enjoy the challenge of fighting infantry against tanks. That unnecessary swipe aside, I know bogging happening a lot when the ground conditions are set to wet, but I can hardly remember a time when boggin happened when terrain conditions are good.

It sucks when it happens, and it's out of your control and your opponent's control, but so are fanatical troops, weapons jamming, weak point penetrations, there is no button you can click to make it happen and it is impossible to predict when it will happen.

If you play QB and you buy two tanks and you know there is a chance bogging then you better have back-up plan or make one up on the fly. That's a tactical challenge.

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Dragging this back from the middle of the thread...

still, historically you have stuff like a tank army do a 300 km road march with 5-10% breakdown rate. in CMBB you get as many breakdowns for 1% of that range.

No, you don't. Since my wife and son commandeered the good computers to play World of Warcraft for a while, I was relegated to the laptop, so decided to run some CMBB tests on road immobilisation rates.

Test 1: July 1943, southern theatre. Dry conditions, paved road, 4km long map. 30 parallel roads, with a regular t-34 (early) on each.

After 30 test runs, 0 tanks bogged, 0 immobilised.

Okay, so that is testing pretty much the ideal situation, where you expect the lowest bogging. But we still have 3,600 km of t-34 road driving without a single problem

Test 2: replace t-34s with 30x early Tigers, since they are notoriously unreliable. Another 30 test runs. Still 0 boggings observed.

Test 3: Make things a bit tougher. Put the tigers on dirt roads, still in dry conditions. Only had time for 10 test runs. 0 observed bogging events.

Since tests 2 and 3 should result in more boggings, it is fair to say, I think, that we have the equivalent 70 runs of t-34 on paved road (doing 70 runs of t-34 on paved road ought to result in fewer boggings than the actual 70 runs with a misture of tigers and dirt roads thrown in).

URC's real world data is of 5-10% losses of t-34s on a 300km road march (road quality, weather not specified). 5% losses in 300 km would give a typical time between failures of 6,000 km. I have 8,400km of tank drives, so you'd expect 1.4 immobilised tanks in that time (not factoring in CMBB immobilisations should occur more frequently since they include any problem that can't be fixed in CMBB battle timescales under combat conditions).

So either something is screwed with my CMBB copy, or if they are actually undermodelling 'bogging' on road driving :)

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dieseltaylor,

BF. I always thought the tanks were modelled better than the humans BECAUSE it is easier to do.

And you thought correctly :D The way you put it in your previous post it sounded like a tired old argument I've heard before that infantry was tossed in as an afterthought. It's factually incorrect and should be rather obvious that it wasn't. Making a game with infantry as an afterthought would have been twice as easy as what we made. I also would argue that CM's handling of infantry is superior to any other wargame out there which is at the same scale, so if what we did was an afterthought... then other games were a no-thought ;)

I disheartened to learn you guys actually planned it to be small scale - I guess the lucky hit factor was really working for you : )! It is way better played at Battalion and multiple platoons. Particularly in view of the problems with omni-unit infantry firing ....

When we were making CMBO computers were probably 1/2 as powerful as they were when we released and 1/4 as powerful a few months later. By the time CMBB rolled around computers were probably 10 times better, yet the code was the same basic code. Everything became much easier to do simply because the hardware was better. HOWEVER, the game was always designed to allow Battalion on Battalion combat, obviously, since that's what we provided players from the very start. We just thought hardware limitations would curtail how many people played at that level.

The way you refer to the Cuilin plow makes me scared you actually believe the hype that it/was generated.

OOH!! I sense a chip on a shoulder ;)

Anybody who has spent time in Normandy or Devon knows that serious bocage was pretty much tank proof apart from serious assault and the thought that the caged Allied armies needed a good publicity story and the use of plows to take out smaller hedges was a godsend.

I've been studying WW2 for about 25 years now, so yeah... it's news to me that it was all just a big PR stunt. I must have read the wrong 100 or so books on fighting in Normandy. Got some better ones I can look into?

In real life, and excluding the show put on for visiting journalists and officers where a whole load of lightwieght hedges were driven through en-masse, a medium hedge would take many ramming attempts to break - not very good for tank or crew.

So I guess the AARs, memoirs, and technical bulletins detailing how it worked and how successful it was, not to mention the collapse of the German defensive line right after widespread employment, were all faked?

So before giving Allied vehicles the magical power I suggest an examination of the legend for what is was.

Sources?

In the 747th Tank Battalion, attached to the 29th Division, someone -- name unknown -- suggested using demolitions to blow gaps in the hedgerows. After some experimenting, the tankers discovered that two fifty-pound explosive charges laid against the bank would blow a hole in a hedgerow big enough for a Sherman tank to drive through. ......... Good enough, excellent even. But when the planners turned to the logistics of getting the necessary explosives to the tanks, they discovered that each tank company would need seventeen tons of explosives to advance a mile and a half.

What does that have to do with Cullin devices? I've seen the same paragraph in a book detailing how well they worked, but other than that I don't see a link. Ah! Wait... now I see...

does it occur to anyone that this is a lot of explosives to use for hedges where a Stuart goes through in a matter of seconds but the mighty Tiger cannot pass at all!

Sure, if you understand physics it is easy to explain. Smaller amounts of explosives worked great, but only when they were put in the right place. That took a lot of effort and that effort often drew the attention of German mortars and alerted the troops on the other side that the Americans were on their way. So it wasn't really practical. Larger amounts, in old artillery casings, improved the effect but not enough to be of practical use either. Like most things Americans encounter, their solution was to simply use bigger explosives. And guess what? It worked! But as the quote said, it was too much for the logistics to possibly keep up with.

The reason why the cutters worked is that they did what the explosives did... cut at the roots. Since the roots provided the majority of the resistance, the hedge could literally be pushed in by something heavy. Like a tank or a dozer. The US forces did have dozer tanks and they worked fantastic, the problem was they had only a handful of them and building more would have taken way too long. Substitutes proved in adequate until the Cullin innovation (he wasn't the only one, but he got all the credit).

Question for you... have you ever worked clearing brush or trees? I've done quite a lot of it. Physics, though I don't understand the math, frowns first on the element which is weakest. So what gives first is what goes first. Soil is very passive so it tends to move first before something dug deeply into it. A vehicle trying to use soil as its leverage against a rather well established barrier going to have the soil give first. If the vehicle instead tries to overcome this by using velocity to increase its effect on the barrier, then the vehicle itself may prove to be the weak link and stuff like transmissions, axels, drive sprockets, etc. break before the hedge does. But instead, if the hedge's primary means of support is weakened, then the equation may be able to change.

Now, does this mean a bicycle with a pair of scissors could go through a hedge that would stop a Jagdtiger? No, of course not. But could a Stuart with a hedge cutter make it through a hedge easier than a Tiger without one? Sure, the math says that would work out fine. First, the Stuart is taking out a much smaller amount of the hedge and therefore it's weight is now proportional to the opening it is making. The Tiger, being a monster, needs to make a monster hole. Therefore, the Tiger needs to overcome a larger amount of resistance. Remember, the Stuart only cares about making a hole big enough for the Stuart, not big enough for a Tiger.

Anyway, I welcome references to authoritative sources that clearly spell out that the Cullin cutter is just a PR fantasy that I've somehow managed to completely be duped by even to this day. Otherwise, once Shermans and Stuarts get the right gear, expect them to be able to do things that the big German cats can't.

Steve

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When you read that:

[snip]

does it occur to anyone that this is a lot of explosives to use for hedges ...

Yes. Then and now, it occurred to people that was a lot of explosives. So they didn't do it that way (where "that way" = "with explosives") as a matter of course.

Doubler's thesis(?) "Busting the Bocage" (precursor to "Closing with the Enemy") is available online somewhere (CGSC?)

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PaulAU,

I’m going to use the term ”forced immobilisations”, by which I mean (as I’ve said before), immobilisation over which you have no control (other than never moving a vehicle at all – and you’d be pushing creativity if you argue that doing nothing is a form of control).

Er... so you mean that sometimes commanders deliberately immobilize their vehicles while moving them? See, we're only at the first line of your new post and there is already a glaring error in how you are framing the discussion. I'd argue that all immobilizations are the result of things which you don't have control over. At least every time I've got a vehicle stuck I've never said to myself "fantastic, that's exactly what I was trying to do. Good thing I correctly guess that the ground I drove onto would get me stuck so badly that I have to get out and go get another vehicle to haul me out".

BTW, I'm not being flip. I'm simply trying (again) to point out that you're line of rational argumentation is unsound.

Let’s imagine that you’ve settled on a game with an opponent. You’ve decided the size of the game, settled on the map (”I want one with lots of firm open ground, because I enjoy the crap-shoot, er, I mean the “challenge” of random forced immobilisations, and I always enjoy the idea of a game being unfairly over at any moment due to no-ones good thinking. This is precisely why I’m into war-games, because they’re random crap-shoots over which I have no control).

Again, you're confusing your emotional reaction as some sort of factual thing instead of just a personal preference. When I have a vehicle bog I don't quit the game, nor does CM automatically end it for me. So you're making an argument here that is emotional and particular to your individual concept of what "fun" is and what "fun" isn't. If you do that then everything becomes fair game. People can say "the game is over the moment I take a friendly fire casualty because I had no control over that" or "the game is over the moment the other guy kills one of my favored vehicles before I feel it was time to lose it".

So, you ‘buy’ your forces, and go to Set-Up. But wait a minute, that pair of Shermans you ‘bought’ aren’t there. Then you remember that BFC has extended their immobilisation regime to include realistic deployment delays. Those two Shermans, 100% of your armour, broke down on the way to the front, and will not be appearing.

That's a different thing completely. Now you're talking about randomized pre-battlefield casualties. That is a feature which can be toggled off if you like.

Do you then think:

a) Well done BFC, that’s realistic. Not only will I enjoy this random challenge, (which is now a game decided by BFC and not by me), but I will start a very long thread on the forum about just how often this happened in real-life, and cite many instances from history, as though it were relevant.

Or

B) Well, that sucks. Now I have to settle on a new game with my opponent. Decide the size of the game, settle on a map (”Let’s make it all swamps this time, I’ve given-up, really”), and again wonder why such a beautiful gem of a game has such an obvious dumb flaw in it.

Or

c) Suddenly remember that ”hammer-scissors-rock” is a game replete with unexpected tactical ‘”challenges” and perhaps we should be playing that? I’d certainly use the word “emotional” a lot when talking to anyone who suggests otherwise.

Or how about:

d) I only like challenges that don't challenge me too much. Instead of taking the fight to the enemy with what I have, and making a possible victory even sweeter, I'm going to quit the game and scream at the developer for ruining my perfect plans. Never mind the fact that the enemy might have lost something to pre battle casualties that evens things up (that's what CM does do, in fact) or the fact that I could have lost those Shermans within the first 10 seconds if the other guy had a big AT gun already in LOS. Therefore, I'd rather quit the game now and prove I'm incapable of rising to challenges instead of actually seeing if I am or not.

e) I take whatever realistic challenges come my way and get a thrill out of overcoming them. If I wanted a game that didn't have randomness in it then I'd stick to Chess or Checkers.

CM’s current immobilisation regime is functionally exactly the same as I’ve described above.

No it isn't unless you include Possibility D and E since you conveniently left it out.

It sucks.

A matter of opinion. I think it "sucks" no more or less than any other dozens of things which can happen.

But can be easily fixed.

Fluke shots, friendly fire, inaccurate artillery fire, missing aimed shots, etc. can also be easily "fixed" if you define "fixed" as artificially rigging the results to fulfill an unrealistic expectation defined by personal preference rather than sound rational reasoning.

BFC isn’t arguing that it’s hard to fix. They’re arguing that it’s fundamentally wrong to fix.

Correct. Just as it "fundamentally wrong" to make it so Tigers can never be knocked out by Stuarts, SMG units will always wipe out a rifle unit at close range, Panthers should cost the same as PzIVs because they replaced them, etc. Anybody can make an argument that we should "fix" something, but that doesn't mean we should.

We just need to remind BFC that it’s a game and we’re not looking forward to their proposed “Random tank-commander sudden heart-attack module”, no matter how realistic it might be, or how “emotional” it may seem to oppose it.

So we should put in Power Ups and Wizards into the game if someone says it would be more fun or will throw a tantrum if we don't?

You really need to take a step back and realize that you're getting yourself into. You're argument has just crossed the line into "give it to me because I want it" territory. I can understand you being upset with us not caving into to your demands, but we have a lot of demands made of us and we must make sure to be VERY careful about which ones we implement. Otherwise, CM will become a mix-mosh and lose its central focus. And that focus is battlefield realism. If you don't like that then why are you playing CM? There are dozens of RTS games which don't have bogging, so if bogging is the be-all-end-all killer for you then why are you playing CM at all? I'm not trying to insult you here, I'm honestly asking you. If you don't like realism, then why are you playing CM?

Steve

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TheVulture,

Thank your wife and kid for us because it's nice to have some hard information than a lot of what has been in this thread so far.

So either something is screwed with my CMBB copy, or if they are actually undermodelling 'bogging' on road driving

Sometimes I do wonder if people are playing hacked versions of CM that do things differently than the version we released, so you're not alone in this curiosity :D (BTW, this is EXACTLY why we don't allow people to mod our games' data).

The results you posted show what I said earlier about making sure to compare apples to apples, oranges to oranges. Saying that it is possible to determine that an apple has more sweetness than an orange because they both are round, about the same size, grow on trees, are fruit, etc. is obviously not a good thing. Yet time and time again, year after year, thread after thread, I see people doing this.

Those of you who have seen me post over the past years should already know that the first thing I do when I get into a discussion like this is to try and make sure we're comparing apples to apples or oranges to oranges before conclusions are arrived at. Since there is very little statistical data relevant to bogging during tactical engagements, nor how often it leads to one type of immobilization or another, we're pretty much screwed in terms of having relevant historical data to use. But that doesn't mean you grab the next best thing and pretend it's the same when clearly it isn't.

Steve

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Bocage - I am rather hurt that you see me as a lightweight in the bocage! As if for some reason I have not already read the available information on the Web and even searched geographical sites for further information. If certain information is repeated often enough gets tobe taken as fact. However relatively few people have actually described the "bocage" that they drove through.

We have two strands on the same subject. How CMAK treats the matter and RL.

In CMAK the bocage/tall hedge is driven through with nary a stop - I think 15 seconds is the fastest. And curiously this probably is pretty much what the show for the Press and Generals demonstrated. The faster the tank the faster it goes through.

Lets talk real life:

However to extrapolate that Show to 6ft banks with trees and bushes that have been growing there for several hundred years is lunacy. One might easily argue that rather like buildings bocage is a hugely variable and someone who is used to what passes for hedges and fences in the US may think a modest bocage is the be all and end all on the subject.

At one stage I read a unit history - a US unit who was most instructive on the short size of the fields which meant repeated ramming was required and this was very bad for the tank. The tracks simply could not provide enough traction to force a way through. This was particularly true in damp conditions and also where a field was sloped to the side. By my reckoning he was on a medium bocage route.

Now I have spent three years trying to re-locate this source which is by far the most descriptive account of bocage busting being free of hype. I have also been collecting information and photos but as I have guests arriving in 10 minutes and need too dress this can wait. : )

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No, you don't. Since my wife and son commandeered the good computers to play World of Warcraft for a while, I was relegated to the laptop, so decided to run some CMBB tests on road immobilisation rates.

excellent! i would have done tests myself but graphical glitches on my Vista computers prevent me from doing them myself (screens like "unit purchase" are all black).

Test 1: July 1943, southern theatre. Dry conditions, paved road, 4km long map. 30 parallel roads, with a regular t-34 (early) on each.

After 30 test runs, 0 tanks bogged, 0 immobilised.

Okay, so that is testing pretty much the ideal situation, where you expect the lowest bogging. But we still have 3,600 km of t-34 road driving without a single problem

will comment this further down.

Test 2: replace t-34s with 30x early Tigers, since they are notoriously unreliable. Another 30 test runs. Still 0 boggings observed.

Test 3: Make things a bit tougher. Put the tigers on dirt roads, still in dry conditions. Only had time for 10 test runs. 0 observed bogging events.

this is far too good. more immobs for early Tigers please :)

it's a bit curious that in the linked thread someone's test gave 10% Tiger I losses for 4 km on open dry ground. i wonder if this stuff was fixed for some CMBB version after those tests.

URC's real world data is of 5-10% losses of t-34s on a 300km road march (road quality, weather not specified). 5% losses in 300 km would give a typical time between failures of 6,000 km. I have 8,400km of tank drives, so you'd expect 1.4 immobilised tanks in that time (not factoring in CMBB immobilisations should occur more frequently since they include any problem that can't be fixed in CMBB battle timescales under combat conditions).

5th GTA T-34 totals is 0.0073% per km, 29th TC T-34 for 7-8th July is 0.023% per km (the worst data set). so:

4 km, single T-34, single immob chance

29th TC: immob chance is 0.092 %

5th GTA: 0.0292%

single test run, 4 km x 30 T-34, single immob chance

29th TC: 2.76%

5th GTA: 0.876%

30 test runs, 30 x 4 km x 30 T-34, single immob chance

29th TC: 82.8%

5th GTA: 26.28%

so yeah, ignoring other things, 29th TC data set would imply a single immobilization for your test.

paved roads would be rare for the region unfortunately. i'm not actually sure what the weather conditions were on the march route during 7-9th. on Kursk region itself 6th was still muddy, but 7-9th mostly dry.

So either something is screwed with my CMBB copy, or if they are actually undermodelling 'bogging' on road driving :)

indeed. i find those linked earlier test results a bit puzzling in the light of your test. either something has been changed in CMBB, there's some setting detail that makes a huge difference or immobilization & bogging do not happen on road tiles (which would be very odd if it represent mechanical breakdowns as written earlier).

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I'm faintly bemused as to how it's possible to spend 40 minutes setting up a battle with only one or two tanks.

I'm including negotiating with your opponent, settling on a map, 'buying' troops. And yes, then 39 minutes placing your two Marders so they don't have to move for the rest of the game in case you sustain 50% casuaties from firm dry ground.

Firm dry ground is your worst enemy. Because there's *nothing* you can do about it.

I'm bemused by that.

If it really bothers you that much, why not just restart the game with all the agreed upon settings?

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