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Formations we might see in the initial Normandy release


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Since the other Normandy thread is heading in a different direction, I thought it might be useful to list what we got in the original CMSF game and, by analogy, list what we might expect in the initial Normandy release, as that was one of the things people were wondering about.

Here is an abridged list of US formations from CMSF base game:

Stryker Infantry BN

Stryker MOUT Infantry BN

Cavalry Troop

Anti tank CO

Engineer CO

Supply Plt.

Combined Arms BN

Combined Arms MOUT BN

And Syrian formations (again abridged)

Reserve Motorized Infantry BN

Reserve Infantry BN

Militia BN

Machine Gun Plt.

Heavy Machine Gun Plt

Grenade Launcher Plt

Mechanized Infantry (BMP) BN

Mechanized Infantry (BTR) BN

Reserve Mechanized Infantry (BMP) BN

Reserve Mechanized Infantry (BTR) BN

Recon CO

Reserve Recon CO

Recon BRDM CO

Reserve Recon BRDM CO

Tank CO

Reserve Tank CO

Self propelled ATGM Plt

Reserve Self propelled ATGM Plt

Anti Tank Plat.

Reserve Anti Tank Plt.

Guards Mechanized Infantry BN

Guards Recon CO

Guards Tank CO

Guards Anti Tank Plt.

Listing them like this shows there was already a precedent for having quite a collection in the initial release and I didn't even bother with artillery and air assets.

For the US in Normandy we could be seeing all the following formation types:

Infantry BN

Airborne Infantry BN

Glider Infantry BN

Armored Infantry BN

Engineer CO

Armored Engineer CO

Infantry Division Recon CO.

Armored Recon BN.

Light Tank BN (Stuarts)

'42 Tank BN (used by 2nd and 3rd armored divisions)

'43 Tank BN (used by other armored divisions)

The tank BN could have anything From Sherman M4's to M4A3(76)W's

Infantry Support CO ( Sherman 105's)

Self propelled Anti tank BN (M10's)

Towed Anti tank BN

Light AA BN

Heavy AA BN

For the Germans, in Normandy we potentially have available an organization that has many parallels with the Syrian Army. Instead of Reserve Divisions , the Germans will have the Static Infantry Divisions. Instead of Republican Guards, the Germans will have SS units. Thus the forces we could expect for the Germans are the following;

Infantry BN (static and regular)

Motorized Infantry BN

Armored Infantry BN

SS Armored Infantry BN

Engineer CO

Mobile Engineer CO

Infantry Division Recon CO

Armored Recon BN

Anti Tank BN

Mobile Division Anti Tank BN (with Stug IIIs)

FLAK BN

Tank BN (Pz IVs or Panthers-see below)

SS Tank BN (Pz IVs or Panthers-see below)

Heavy Tank BN or more likely CO (Tiger I)

Assualt Gun CO (Stug IIIs, JgPz IV's or STuH 42's)

and Possibly special Tank Plts with captured French Tanks

It will remain to be seen if we'll be seeing vehicles such as the Priest, Wespe and Hummel.

I thought it might be useful here to repeat some info from Dan "Kwazydog" Olding:

Hey guys. Just for comparison I did some research on this myself based on a couple of sources, primarily the book Panzers in Normandy. Below is a summary of the info, though of course accuracy of these numbers is debatable.

Pz-IV - 422

Panther - 374

Stug - 205

Jpz-IV - 30

H-35 Assault gun - 24

Sdkfz 7/1 - 14

Flakpanzer 38t - 12

Pz-III - 12

Renault B-1 - 5

Lorraine Assault Gun - 3 (AT variety)

Tiger - 3

Befehlspanzer III - 3

Somuas S-35 - 3

Sdkfz 10/4 - 2

Tiger II - 0

JagdPanther - 0

These numbers represent the vehicles in Panzer units contacted by the US before they reached Failse.

Of the IVs it seems that almost all were H and J models, though a few Gs were still around (and we will be including). Of the Panthers is seems that most were As and early Gs, though probably some later Ds around. There were very few IIIs left on the western front by the invasions. Of the handful that were available most were actually older models being used for training, etc (same as most of the french stuff).

And yup, keep in mind that these numbers were units which engaged US troops before Failse. Total numbers of panzers available on the day of the invasion are listed below...according to the sources i referenced.

Panzers Available in Normandy (1st June)

Pz-IV - 680

Panther - 304

Stug - 243

Tiger - 68

H-35 Assault gun - 67

Lorraine Assault gun - 48 (105mm and 75mm AT versions)

Jpz-IV - 40 (should be 60 in total, 20 missing?)

Somuas S-35 - 26

Tiger II - 24

Sdkfz 7/1 - 23

Pz-III - 18

JagdPanther - 12

Flakpanzer 38t - 12

Sdkfz 10/4 - 15

Befehlspanzer III - 6

Renault B-1 - 5

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You forget FJ. Also, Kamfgruppe and Task Force organization greatly complicates making such lists (somewhat like the Marine OOB in CMSF, but with infinite variations). I think CM:N will require a more flexible approach to OOBs than CMSF has afforded so far.

I think SS in general may be out in the first release.

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You forget FJ. Also, Kamfgruppe and Task Force organization greatly complicates making such lists (somewhat like the Marine OOB in CMSF, but with infinite variations). I think CM:N will require a more flexible approach to OOBs than CMSF has afforded so far.

I think SS in general may be out in the first release.

Actually I'm guessing the SS will be in but the FJ will wait for the Commonwealth module which is why I left them out. We'll see whose guess is right. :)

Any way one could select down to the platoon level in order to build the Kampfgrupe. The US player would do the same to build Combat Command Task Forces for the Armored units.

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The US also had Ranger battalions (not just Pointe du Hoc) and M-18 TD's in the Normandy timeframe. I'd switch the US AA Bn's for artillery Bns, to play those wacky Cobra breakout situations.

For the Germans, the US fought the FJ before the SS, though the 101st Air did fight the 17SS Panzergrenadier Div early on.

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The US also had Ranger battalions (not just Pointe du Hoc) and M-18 TD's in the Normandy timeframe. I'd switch the US AA Bn's for artillery Bns, to play those wacky Cobra breakout situations.

For the Germans, the US fought the FJ before the SS, though the 101st Air did fight the 17SS Panzergrenadier Div early on.

The AA Bns had the 90mm guns that could double as anti tank guns, plus you get the M16 quad .50 halftracks. Again I'm guessing, and it's a pure guess, that we'll either get the SS or the FJs in the initial release but not both. I'm betting on the SS but I can certainly be wrong.

PS. You sure about the Hellcats? my source says not until Dec '44.

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For the US in Normandy we could be seeing all the following formation types:

Infantry BN

Airborne Infantry BN

Glider Infantry BN

Armored Infantry BN

Engineer CO

Armored Engineer CO

Infantry Division Recon CO.

Armored Recon BN.

Light Tank BN (Stuarts)

'42 Tank BN (used by 2nd and 3rd armored divisions)

'43 Tank BN (used by other armored divisions)

The tank BN could have anything From Sherman M4's to M4A3(76)W's

Infantry Support CO ( Sherman 105's)

Self propelled Anti tank BN (M10's)

Towed Anti tank BN

Light AA BN

Heavy AA BN

I would love it if all those made the initial release. Since Steve said para's are in, the first three infantry Bn's are, I would say, for sure. And since the two announced modules will add Commonwealth and the fall OOB's for both Commonwealth and US, I think the rest of the formations will make it - outside of a few exceptions.

Pardom my ignorance, but did the US ever face the SS in Normandy? Off the top of my head, I just know (obviously) that the Brits had to deal with them, but I cant recall the US having too in Normandy.

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Waffen SS and FJ will not be in the initial release. Instead, we're going to concentrate on Wehrmacht units. There's a LOT of them to simulate, unfortunately. Also a ton of specialized formations for the US forces too.

For example, in CM:SF the US Army has a single "tank" company with a single "tank" platoon stuck into basically a single Battalion type. Yes, they have different models of tank, but they are all organizationally the same. Not so with the WW2 US Army! At a minimum we need unique platoon, company, and battalion formations for:

Light Tank

Medium Tank

Tank Destroyer

And that's just one thing. The Germans, as we know from CMx1, have about 5 million different organizations. I can tell you it's already giving me a headache :D The research I did for CMx1's TO&E is in front of me, but it's primitive compared to what CMx2 requires so I have to hit the books again. Plus, I did that TO&E some 8-10 years ago... I'm a little rusty on the details :)

Steve

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Chad,

Pardom my ignorance, but did the US ever face the SS in Normandy?

Yes, but only the 17th SS. The US also had contact with 6th FJ. These battles will be possible with the introduction of the Commonwealth Module.

We decide that instead of dribbling out a bit of some formations in one and not the other we'd concentrate on getting them more-or-less complete in one go. This makes sense from both a gaming and from a production standpoint.

Steve

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Waffen SS and FJ will not be in the initial release. Instead, we're going to concentrate on Wehrmacht units. There's a LOT of them to simulate, unfortunately. Also a ton of specialized formations for the US forces too.

For example, in CM:SF the US Army has a single "tank" company with a single "tank" platoon stuck into basically a single Battalion type. Yes, they have different models of tank, but they are all organizationally the same. Not so with the WW2 US Army! At a minimum we need unique platoon, company, and battalion formations for:

Light Tank

Medium Tank

Tank Destroyer

And that's just one thing. The Germans, as we know from CMx1, have about 5 million different organizations. I can tell you it's already giving me a headache :D The research I did for CMx1's TO&E is in front of me, but it's primitive compared to what CMx2 requires so I have to hit the books again. Plus, I did that TO&E some 8-10 years ago... I'm a little rusty on the details :)

Steve

That's why there needs to be an OOB editor.

Re: FJ. The exclusion is odd but understandable. Given the limitations on the front and back end of the timeframe (No D-Day landings, no Lorraine campaign), FJ would seem to be central to the battles the game is left to focus on: St. Lo and the Cobra breakout. II. FJ Korps GHQ units and the 3. FJD were pretty central to many of the most important hedgerow battles. That said, obviously resources are limited.

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Chad,

Yes, but only the 17th SS. The US also had contact with 6th FJ. These battles will be possible with the introduction of the Commonwealth Module.

We decide that instead of dribbling out a bit of some formations in one and not the other we'd concentrate on getting them more-or-less complete in one go. This makes sense from both a gaming and from a production standpoint.

Steve

Cool, thanks for both replies Steve. I knew about the FJ's (Carentan), but I am not familiar with the 17th. Regardless, as was pointed out above, once we get the first module out, we cna easily get scenarios with them in.

Did we all mention how excited we are to finally, after all these years, return to Normandy? So . . . are you going to do Valley of Trouble Mk II? :)

Thanks again for the replies.

Chad

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Infantry Support CO ( Sherman 105's)

I haven't done any specific research on this, but I read somewhere in the last year and it stuck in my mind that there weren't many 105 armed assault guns available until well after the Normandy battles. I also seem to recall that they were all in armored divisions, so calling them infantry support is a little misleading even though just about anything with armor and a gun pulled duty as infantry support at one time or another.

Michael

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AKD,

That's why there needs to be an OOB editor.

And a model importer, mapping tools, data editor, and everything else that goes with it ;) Obviously that's never going to happen, so an OOB editor which gives you the ability to create low level, unique TO&E is never going to happen either.

Re: FJ. The exclusion is odd but understandable. Given the limitations on the front and back end of the timeframe (No D-Day landings, no Lorraine campaign), FJ would seem to be central to the battles the game is left to focus on: St. Lo and the Cobra breakout. II. FJ Korps GHQ units and the 3. FJD were pretty central to many of the most important hedgerow battles. That said, obviously resources are limited.

The thing is, one can make that case with pretty much anything. "How can you have a game without amphibious landings?" "How can you have a game without para landings?" "How can you have a game without the crazy stuff 21st Pz Division had?" "How can you simulate the cauldron of Falaise without the Brits?" "How can there possibly be a game without hampstertruppen?" :)

As we've been saying for 5 years now... we are making no attempts to simulate everything under the sun for a particular theater with a single release. That's economic suicide for us which, sooner rather than later, will mean major restrictions on what you can play. Therefore, we're keeping the focus narrow so we can simulate deep. By definition that means some stuff won't make it into a particular release. The logical thing for us to do is leave out the special case stuff which takes almost as much time as the common stuff.

Think about it this way. Would it be less "odd" to have a US sector Normandy game with no Wehrmacht divisions? Would it be more of a restriction on the gamer to have everything in one game at one time, or would it be more restrictive to have no Bulge, Eastern Front, or anything else because we packed it in? Life is all about choices :D FJ and Waffen SS will be in with the Commonwealth Module, which means you can simulate those battles a well as the ones the Commonwealth forces were involved in. Just not until then.

Steve

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Chad Harrison,

Regardless, as was pointed out above, once we get the first module out, we cna easily get scenarios with them in.

Yup! And by the time the Normandy family wraps up, there's going to be a lot more stuff to simulate as well.

Did we all mention how excited we are to finally, after all these years, return to Normandy?

Yup, and we are too :) We needed a break from WW2 and so we did Modern. Now that we've done Modern for a while we are happy to go back to WW2. Especially because we know we can do more than just WW2 for the next 7 years thanks to the ability of the engine to handle more content quicker.

So . . . are you going to do Valley of Trouble Mk II?

If we don't I know someone else will!

Steve

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Chad Harrison,

If we don't I know someone else will!

Steve

Oh come on Steve, just put it in the demo. 99 out of 100 people here will have no idea what it is, and why this totally un-historic battle is in the demo.

But 1 out of 100 will play that a remember a revelation of gaming greatness that occured 10 years ago. Just like the Tiger picture, it will bring it full circle. That is, until CM:Normandy 2 comes out :)

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The thing is, one can make that case with pretty much anything. "How can you have a game without amphibious landings?" "How can you have a game without para landings?" "How can you have a game without the crazy stuff 21st Pz Division had?" "How can you simulate the cauldron of Falaise without the Brits?" "How can there possibly be a game without hampstertruppen?" :)

As we've been saying for 5 years now... we are making no attempts to simulate everything under the sun for a particular theater with a single release. That's economic suicide for us which, sooner rather than later, will mean major restrictions on what you can play. Therefore, we're keeping the focus narrow so we can simulate deep. By definition that means some stuff won't make it into a particular release. The logical thing for us to do is leave out the special case stuff which takes almost as much time as the common stuff.

Think about it this way. Would it be less "odd" to have a US sector Normandy game with no Wehrmacht divisions? Would it be more of a restriction on the gamer to have everything in one game at one time, or would it be more restrictive to have no Bulge, Eastern Front, or anything else because we packed it in? Life is all about choices :D FJ and Waffen SS will be in with the Commonwealth Module, which means you can simulate those battles a well as the ones the Commonwealth forces were involved in. Just not until then.Steve

I think this is a practical approach if I ever heard one. Concentrating on what was actually there in the main. Although the US did face the FJ, they didnt face very much SS and if you design your campaign right you can easily avoid battles which included any of them I think.

Its also a shrewd tactic by BF as those US punters that wont be interested in a CW Module are going to want the FJ and SS units to play with.

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AKD,

And a model importer, mapping tools, data editor, and everything else that goes with it ;) Obviously that's never going to happen, so an OOB editor which gives you the ability to create low level, unique TO&E is never going to happen either.

Mmm...no. We've discussed this before. Scenario editors need some limited ability to create formations within a scenario in that don't suffer command penalties just because they don't fit the "templates."

The thing is, one can make that case with pretty much anything. "How can you have a game without amphibious landings?" "How can you have a game without para landings?" "How can you have a game without the crazy stuff 21st Pz Division had?" "How can you simulate the cauldron of Falaise without the Brits?" "How can there possibly be a game without hampstertruppen?" :)

As we've been saying for 5 years now... we are making no attempts to simulate everything under the sun for a particular theater with a single release. That's economic suicide for us which, sooner rather than later, will mean major restrictions on what you can play. Therefore, we're keeping the focus narrow so we can simulate deep. By definition that means some stuff won't make it into a particular release. The logical thing for us to do is leave out the special case stuff which takes almost as much time as the common stuff.

Think about it this way. Would it be less "odd" to have a US sector Normandy game with no Wehrmacht divisions? Would it be more of a restriction on the gamer to have everything in one game at one time, or would it be more restrictive to have no Bulge, Eastern Front, or anything else because we packed it in? Life is all about choices :D FJ and Waffen SS will be in with the Commonwealth Module, which means you can simulate those battles a well as the ones the Commonwealth forces were involved in. Just not until then.

Steve

My entire point was that the FJ would be an odd exclusion given a narrow and in depth focus on the US hedgerow battles in Normandy. There is nothing "special case" or "one-off" about FJ given that focus. Purely a historical comment, not a criticism of your business approach.

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Also, Kamfgruppe and Task Force organization greatly complicates making such lists (somewhat like the Marine OOB in CMSF, but with infinite variations). I think CM:N will require a more flexible approach to OOBs than CMSF has afforded so far.

Mmm...no. We've discussed this before. Scenario editors need some limited ability to create formations within a scenario in that don't suffer command penalties just because they don't fit the "templates."

It's a bit early to see what will happen with "special cases", obviously we all want the TO&E's to be as historic as possible.

If you look at what happened with the USMC module, BFC originally went with the "official" TO&E for the marines module, but Marines ignore their own TO&E and group units based on the "task" at hand, so they went with the current "task oriented" TO&E in the release version which was the most practical and realistic solution.

The Normandy 44 situation is way more complex since no German divisions, except SS divisions, were staffed at anything close to the "official" TO&E and almost all divisions brokedown into Kampfgruppes as soon as they suffered substantial casualties.

I'm sure BFC will be able to come up with a solution that will please most people, if not, I'm sure there will be a long line of people ready to point this out. :)

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What? no SS or FJ? I thought this game would be historically correct?

As Ryan said, they will get in, just not with the initial bundle. Considering how much stuff is going to already be in the original bundle, this is certainly understandable.

Paying $25 for the first module would give you not only SS and FJ, but British and Canadian formations and equipment, plus a new campaign, plus new scenarios using these forces. I can not see how anyone could see that as a steep price for what you get. Immensely fair if you ask me.

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What? no SS or FJ? I thought this game would be historically correct?

Well there were only a handfull of SS in the US sector so they're better in the Commonwealth modual where the SS units were concentrated. The FJ will be missed but it's better to have a more complete Whermacht to launch the family.

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Talk of the campaigns in CMx2 Normandy has got me thinking. I bet they are going to be pretty tough to construct as people will expect, indeed demand, total historical accuracy. That wasn't an issue with the fictitious invasion of Syria but for Normandy we are going to want to see maps that reflect the actual terrain of the historical engagements, the correct units, dates and times of each engagement, correct weather conditions etc.

I think a lot of the battles of the Normandy campaign were fought in the rain, or at least it rained heavily for several days at the start of the invasion. The fields were also purposefully flooded by the Germans to impede the allied invasion. That means we are going to have to see rain weather effects and water on the ground for it to be historically accurate.

I don't know how BFC are planning to do water in the editor but the logical way to my mind would be to set an elevation number, say 10, as being the water level. Anything at elevation 10 or below is water, and anything above is land. That would also have the added bonus of allowing units to wade through water if it's shallow, say elevation 9-10. Elevation 8 or less would be over 2 metres deep and impassible.

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Talk of the campaigns in CMx2 Normandy has got me thinking. I bet they are going to be pretty tough to construct as people will expect, indeed demand, total historical accuracy. That wasn't an issue with the fictitious invasion of Syria but for Normandy we are going to want to see maps that reflect the actual terrain of the historical engagements, the correct units, dates and times of each engagement, correct weather conditions etc.

For some that might be very important but do the vast majority of gamers really care about absolute accuracy? Personally, I dont think they do. You only have to witness the desire for Qbs etc to know that the majority that come here arent all that bothered.

Me, I'd be happy with a good solid game rather than ensuring that every fold in the ground is modelled and the correct weather is on the correct day. As long as it looks right and feels right then I will be a happy bunny... We shall see, all we know right now is that theres no SS or FJ, heck one guy suggested that this meant Southern France for the first game, which I dont think it will be.

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Talk of the campaigns in CMx2 Normandy has got me thinking. I bet they are going to be pretty tough to construct as people will expect, indeed demand, total historical accuracy.

I don't think that is likely to be much of an obstacle. There were scenario designers during CMx1 who did acceptable work with the tools available in that game. Most of them seem to be still around (why hasn't someone shot rune yet?) and will likely come to the fore with the better tools available in CMx2.

Michael

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