Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This scenario is based on the exploits of the LRDG, which basically came in all guns blazing, did what they had to do and then got out. Don't try doing that literally in this scenario though, you will run into problems where the game throws extras at you, some quite hard to accept as realistic.

First of all you have the decision making delays, where apparently the pros and cons of the next course of action is democratically discussed while under fire. No instant reaction training evident here, no terse instantly obeyed orders from someone in charge, no, take your time, we have all day.

Then there is the mystery of the silent White recce vehicles. Come in all guns blazing but once the passengers disembark the guns fall silent, no fire support, the crew of three apparently lose interest or maybe boil up a nice cup of tea. Even if they are parked right next to an occupied enemy foxhole.

Next we have the infantry assault process. The first step in that process apparently is simply to stand and fire at the objective while standing in the open, even if its a foxhole a meter or two away. The objective predictably fires back. Then, apparently if all is OK, the actual assault begins ie the infantry actually move towards the objective. And eventually throw a grenade or two.

Followed by the AI countermanding my orders to the attacking vehicles, on a couple of occasions, and backing away from the objective. Presumably to give their infantry some sprint training while under fire, he he.

To assault the main two story building I drove a carrier right up to the front door, giving the assault order. Carrier arrived intact, didn't back away, no casualties, looking good. Men disembark but otherwise don't move. After a while they are all killed, as will happen if you stand in the open a few meters away from your enemy and hang about. Somehow or other they are fired upon by a MG upstairs, presumably a magical MG which can see and fire through walls and floors. I'm not saying that four men could have realistically taken the ground floor, that may or may not have been possible. But they would have thrown a few grenades in, kicked down the door and had a go.

There is more but that will do, I guess it shows just how difficult it is to do a game that enables real infantry combat, particularly that which involves an element of surprise and initiative, both of which are vital to successfully playing out a particular scenario that is not methodical and deliberate by nature, like a game of chess.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, who stole your teddy bear?

decision/assault delays - some decisions will be made on the instant: a unit will return fire if not pinned or suffering from morale failure, will generally seek cover if they come under fire; delays are a modelling of experience of the troops (WW2 saw large numbers of conscript troops with very little training thrown into battle), command cohesion (if your squad is ordered to assault a building but isn't within the command radius of its leader, a delay penalty occurs) and suppression. If you seek to play with instant reaction training, try going with veteran or better troops, in command. The delays also balance, to some extent, the time allowance for the decision making process that the player has with WEGO.

vehicles not firing on an occupied foxhole - if the crew can't see the occupants it will only area fire at your order. If the crew is green and has come under fire, the gunner will most likely button up and not open fire. They will also seek to preserve themselves from what they perceive as a stupid order: "Advance, die for your country and your commander's pleasure!" is an order that might be obeyed by troops of the most fanatic bent (and these are modelled, but probably aren't in the demo): anybody else will consider fragging their leader a realistic solution to their problem (and this isn't modelled, alas, the vehicles will merely retreat). Frustrating for sure, but the modelling pushes you to providing suppressing fire with MGs from a distance, as they are designed to do. I think the bit missing here is the Area Fire command. Try it - works pretty good. A couple of minutes of suppressing fire will lower the foxhole inhabitants' morale, at which point they become easy prey for an assaulting squad. Firepower values at range are given for various weapons (click on a unit and hit "enter"), you can do some rough calculations of effectiveness from here.

magical mgs - the game engine is ten years old and home computers still don't have the grunt to build a 3D model that deforms in real-time as the real world does in the midst of battle. The programming and processing required for the degree of realism you would seem to expect lies outside the purview of a $50 game played on a $1000 machine. Thus, some elements of realism are definitely fudged, most certainly they aren't represented in the graphics.

Finally, playing against the AI is good fun, but nothing like playing against a human opponent. Garn, give it a go! Or wait until CM:Normandy (not its real name) comes out and play real time with the newer game engine.:D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having played the game for 9 years and several hundred games I can confirm that sometimes the game seems flaky. However the vast majority of the time it works very well indeed.

Despite what the designers of the CM series say I think this game works best as a large point amour centric game. Armour is well modelled and the infantry less so but if you are playing with enough points, 2000+, the clever use of combined arms and the number of units being sufficient that a single lucky hit does not ruin your day makes CMAK a very very good game.

Incidentally the ability of the AI to decide that what yuo have orderd is suicidal, or to react to the sudden sighting of a dangerous unit, really are one of the great positives of the system. Playing humans by PBEM is an eye-opener if you start to find the AI too easy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to make sure I used my mortars correctly, and I found the Italian flak gun annoying the first time through (unspotted even while blazing away etc). As soon as I knew where that was it was easy. OK, some infantry still pinned a bit in the rush into town, but the light armor soon suppressed the shooters and freed them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

Forgot about this, the usual 'you are a dickhead' type comments I see. Which really translate into a 'I am smarter than you' game warrior type comment, no problem :)

This quote from my post is really what I was getting at 'There is more but that will do, I guess it shows just how difficult it is to do a game that enables real infantry combat, particularly that which involves an element of surprise and initiative, both of which are vital to successfully playing out a particular scenario that is not methodical and deliberate by nature, like a game of chess.' And still think is a valid comment.

Oh well, superficiality ruled as usual.

Link to post
Share on other sites

sand digger,

I'm sorry you took my post to be denigrating your intellect - it wasn't written with that in mind.

As for initiative and surprise, these can be part of the game when you play against a human; the AI has very limited options whereas a human player can make the most of feints, covered approaches, covered arcs (for setting up ambushes and fire sacks), smoke screens...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Prior to playing the tutorial against the AI I had played lots of games against human opponents so had a fair idea how everything worked. Playing the tutorial against the AI was a bit of a fun attempt to recreate the sort of attack the LRDG would have done in the way they may have done it. That attempt failed as reported, thats all, no big deal, I did the reoprt because I thought it may have been of interest to or resonated with others. Instead I got the mostly 'you are a dickhead' type response.

In another game, think there was a human opponent that time, it was a while ago of course, I tried to recreate an attack tactic developed by the 9th Div around El Alamein. Basically it involved shelling the crap out of a well defended but compact position then rushing in with the infantry mounted in Bren Gun Carriers right on top of the objective, the infantry then dismounting and doing it hand to hand as necessary.

That did not work out too bad but the same problems to a lesser degree as in the tutorial surfaced. The ride to the objective was great fun on replay though :) I was going to report in detail on that one too but after the above responses could not be bothered.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair enough. I enjoy a good AAR, so I've missed out there. With the arrival of CM Normandy I think you'll see more of what you're looking for with regard to tactically sensible assaults.

I've only read Popovski's book on LRDG type operations - I agree it's hard to see how that shock of initial contact, total surprise, could be modelled (and isn't in CM). You'd have to have some sort of freeze or go-slow on the defending troops to give the effect I think. I mean, there's a battle set up and going to happen, so an attack isn't really unexpected. The CMx2 engine does a better job there too. Cheers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree it's hard to see how that shock of initial contact, total surprise, could be modelled (and isn't in CM).

Are you certain about that? It's been years since I played and I may be mis-remembering, but ISTR that in creating a scenario it was possible to set the initial morale of a unit to low and they would gradually improve if not under fire. This was to model the effects of prep barrages, etc.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

The LRDG were an exceptional unit and the game engine is completely unable to recreate the tactics and the elan of the men.

If I were to attempt it as a scenario I would suggest that only HQ units are used - elite naturally as that would be the nearest CM could get to independently thinking groups. You will of courser still be screwed by borg-spotting and the AI's view of vehicle movement but at least the men will have the right pizazz.

However if I were you and I had that much time available I would join a club. : )

In passing the WeBoB Bash 9 has the same game being played by 21 pairs which is allowing for some number crunching and analysis of outlier results. The most obvious is that big winners outgrade their opponents when viewed against the BoBster player ranking. Very high correlation.

However aside from that the interesting thing is that the Italian s are unable to identify captured Italian tanks - well they do identify them but as VIb's which being armed with HMG's is not viewed as a threat. They may live long enough to realise their mistake but it does rather alter what might be seen as a perfect balancing device in a scenario.

Other things to note are that the Italian ATG tankettes kick the British carrier ATG's butt quite handily.

My personal opinion from the start was that the Italians would be the winners in the expected draw result. I did allow for outliers in mismatches. I have to say I am very happily being proved right after 18 battles with the median score being 51.5% to the Axis. As for the average, it is 50.8% to the Allies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My main interest at the time was the historical aspect of the NA conflict up until the end of 1942. So I always tried to play 'historically', that aspect appeals to me much more than the actual gaming side so it was sort of a make believe factually based adventure if that makes sense. In my first job there were Tobruk veterans still working then so there was that aspect too.

The TOW Kursk game works quite well at the micro management level against the AI if that is of interest to anyone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...