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Official campaign mission times


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Straight to the point: I am very frustrated with the low time limits of some of the official campaign missions. For example, the marines second mission, where you're given an hour or maybe just over to clear the town and advance to the other side of the map to take all the objectives. Not a chance unless you rush, which will only cause extra casualties. Another example would be the "Decisions, decisions" mission. 30-35 minutes to cross the map and exit. The briefing warns of ATGM's, so the only option to minimize casualties would be infantry out front being overwatched by vehicles, which takes far too long.

Previously not knowing anything about modern tactics, I have been taking it slow and cautious attempting to complete missions with no casualties. There really is no other way if you want realistic allied casualties (none for the most part, I guess). The time constraints force you to take chances with the lives of men the real life commanders would not risk.

Having said that, I am very much enjoying the game. When Shock Force was announced I was one of the dissapointed ones, I wanted a CMx1 with an upgraded engine. Did try the demo, but it ran very slow, so hardly gave it a second thought and continued playing AK and BB on and off. So anyway, I gave the marines demo a try a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was sold and can't wait for the Brits. I haven't even touched wego, real time is far more fun and very manageable with the option to pause.

So well done Battlefront. After all the whining in the forums when SF was announced and released, you have created a game that is leaps and bounds ahead of your older games and any other war game. You definitely have my money for the Brits, Normandy+ modules and whatever comes next (East front please).

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It has always been true that many CM scenarios are too short. Actions that would be given half a day in real life get maybe two hours in CM. This has been true since CMBO; it isn't new to CMx2.

The usual explanation is that CM's action "compresses" real time because twelve-hour scenarios would make for an unwieldy game. In real-life, after all, eight or ten of those twelve hours would be down-time in the action anyway. Few people would want to play a scenario that, after the initial ten-minute firefight was over, consisted of waiting until dinner for the reinforcements to come up.

Think of this way: Two hours in CM represents several hours in real life, but with the waiting taken out. If nothing else, this probably helps the AI put up a better fight.

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It has always been true that many CM scenarios are too short. Actions that would be given half a day in real life get maybe two hours in CM. This has been true since CMBO; it isn't new to CMx2.

True, but casualties did not matter so much in BO-AK. No matter how careful you were, against a competent opponent you are going to take fairly heavily casualties, at least in comparison to modern blue vs 80's Soviet equipment.

It is far different with Shock Force, where, at least if you want to play realistically, you don't want any casualties at all. Difficult to achieve that when the clock forces you to run that squad at the objective when there's 3 minutes remaining.

With that decisions mission, you only need 10 minutes as your only objective is to reach one of the exit points. I just told a LAV to top speed straight to one and hit cease fire!

Seems to be the only way to win that mission. Hardly a realistic tactic though, is it? Certainly not when they have intel there are ATGM's around, or even RPG's, which are so common even uncons have them in fairly large numbers.

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True, but casualties did not matter so much in BO-AK. No matter how careful you were, against a competent opponent you are going to take fairly heavily casualties, at least in comparison to modern blue vs 80's Soviet equipment.

It is far different with Shock Force, where, at least if you want to play realistically, you don't want any casualties at all. Difficult to achieve that when the clock forces you to run that squad at the objective when there's 3 minutes remaining.

Be fair. A good scenario designer can make things work well within the constraints of the system. That's how games are.

Seems to be the only way to win that mission. Hardly a realistic tactic though, is it? Certainly not when they have intel there are ATGM's around, or even RPG's, which are so common even uncons have them in fairly large numbers.

I've played it twice and won it twice with realistic tactics, albeit without dawdling. Overwatch and advancing by bounds did the job for me.

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I beat the second Marines mission with 30 minutes to spare. You just have to take the amount of time you have into consideration. I totally skipped clearing the city, and went up the left hooking right to clear the objectives. Also liberal use of Artillery helps.:D

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It is far different with Shock Force, where, at least if you want to play realistically, you don't want any casualties at all. Difficult to achieve that when the clock forces you to run that squad at the objective when there's 3 minutes remaining.

I hear what you're saying here, and time is definitely still an issue sometimes (although as qualified above).

However, I think zero casualties is the wrong expectation. While Syria in CMSF is still a third-world force, they are a real army (as opposed to insurgents, terrorists, or splinters of some failed state). They have some serious equipment (as far as Eastern Bloc kit goes), they have logistics, they have motivation, and they have a command structure.

When I play CMSF, I keep reminding myself that it is not Iraq or Bosnia. It's a scenario with US forces as the tip of the spear against a professional, trained, mechanized enemy force. While it isn't the Fulda Gap, it certainly isn't Grenada.

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You first assign times you think will work then you go back after testing. Literally every scenario I made I went back and added at least 15 more minutes to the time and at least 300m more to the map. Half the scenarios I playtested I also suggested the same.

Oftentimes I'd suggest an extra ten minutes, then replay the extended scenario and find I finished with ten minutes to spare. The benefit of the extra time was more 'psychological' than anything. I hate watching that darned counter tick down and start doing stupid things to catch up.

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Also, many scenarios (not all, but many) can be completed within the time constraints because the AI forces will surrender before to have to seize all objectives or utterly destroy all the enemy forces.

I have played all the scenarios and campaigns that came with the game and a great number of user provided scenarios and campaigns and I can only think of two games in which I though the time was insufficent. And I consider myself a cautious and methodical player. Most games will end before you run out the clock, either due to inflicting enough casualties or meeting a threshold level of victory resulting in the game ending.

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Another example would be the "Decisions, decisions" mission. 30-35 minutes to cross the map and exit. The briefing warns of ATGM's, so the only option to minimize casualties would be infantry out front being overwatched by vehicles, which takes far too long.

I agree very much on that one, especially if you choose to take the right hand route either past or through an enemy-held village; the map is too small to just bypass it.

Although I guess a LAV at full speed is pretty much proof against those slow-to-aim, slow-to-move missiles, and noones going to hit it with an RPG... not sure I'd care to do the same with the trucks though! :cool:

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Sure, and what else does the briefing say? Yeah, the enemy are disorganised, running out of supply, and retreating.

30mins is sufficient time for this mission. You are *not* required to destroy all the enemy you find ... you aren't even required to engage them. You just need to get to the far end, and pick a corner.

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Well... I just tried it with running the two LAVs through at full speed (straight up the middle of the map); they avoided the heavy missiles with no problem, but one caught an RPG and was destroyed, the other had its wheels wrecked by a near miss. The one with trashed wheels took ten minutes to get to the exit point while its dismounted infantry and the survivors from the other LAV (which was most of them, fortunately) held off the BRDMs from the village... was quite fun, as it happened.

I've previously done the mission by running everyone, even the trucks, up both sides at speed (though it always dumps me at "Pooh" regardless, which seems odd given that it says it makes a change?), but it still feels a very risky thing to do. I dunno. You can't really say to the little guys "just drive like hell and shoot at anything that moves, looks like it might move, or looks like it might have someone hiding behind it". :D Unless you paused it every few seconds, I suppose.

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(though it always dumps me at "Pooh" regardless, which seems odd given that it says it makes a change?)

Yeah. The way the scen 'works' is that one obj is worth ... er ... something like 5,000 points while the other is only worth 5 points. The Syrians start with a bonus of 2,000 points.

If you secure the 5,000 point obj you win, regardless of whatever else you do. If you secure only the other obj or, indeed, no obj at all you will lose. Regardless.

Securing both means you'll 'win', since you'll get the 5,000 pts (plus the 5 pts for the other one :rolleyes: ).

After this battle the campaign branches, with a 'win' sending you down one branch, and a 'loss' sending you down the other. The scen itself is kind of a nothing battle. If anything, it should be smaller and shorter.

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I'm always running up against the clock. A few scenarios are too short, in my opinion. But they ARE beatable. My problem is that A) I like to play in realtime and B) I don't like taking casualties. It's fun for me to try to bring all my boys home safe, so I tend to be slow and methodical unless the situation warrants an quick move or a swift assault.

While shorter time limits are absolutely necessary for many scenarios, others should just give you the full limit (I love the 4 hr limit in 1.20!). When your objectives are achieved, you either win when the enemy gives up or you hit the cease fire button. I just think that playing in realtime takes more time if you're not constantly pausing.

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well i am fine with 99% of the missions. when a mission has 120 turns it takes me 60 to 80 to push the syrians in a surrender. mostly you dont get a sens of any urgency as there is plenty of time.

in "decisions, decisions" you have a flat and low area to the verry right side, i rushed through there with the lavs, and trucks. i killed the syrian ambush in the woods there, and worked mysself into the right settlement. cleared the settlement and about the time i figured its save enough i rushed a LAV at the verry right edge of the map into the exit zone. had about 5 turns left last time i played.

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