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Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy Video AAR 3, Turn Based/WeGo


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Hi my name is Chris "tyrspawn" Krause - i'm a Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy beta tester. I've been given the great opportunity to make a video AAR for the community.

The video is an AAR/walkthrough of the scenario Le Desert and my thoughts on Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy. The game is being played in turn based mode, also known as WeGo.

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Thanks for posting another VAAR, tyrspawn. I, personally, really liked this one. Some moments that really made me cringe (and mostly feel sorry for the Americans).

I'm sure someone is going to bring it up sooner or later, so I might as well be the first to say it: What in the heck is up with Stuttering Stanley the Panther driver? Is this another case of "You first. No, after you. No, no, I insist"? It looks like there was plenty of room, but the two tanks at the beginning of the video seemed as though they couldn't decide which one was going to drive down the path first. I also found the nose-to-nose Panther and M10 at the end quite comedic. :)

I know it's been brought up before, but I found the exaggerated movement of the tanks very bothersome in this video. Especially the stuttering Panthers in the beginning and the M10s at the end. The M10s really moved a LOT.

With that out of the way I'll say that the rest of the AAR was really, really great. It was awesome to see the Pioneers blow holes in the bocage. I'm curious, can they blow a hole big enough for a tank? I'm also curious how the player is supposed to know which hedges are short enough to jump over and which ones require blowing up or going around? Even though the Germans don't have any hedgecutters on their armor, is it safe to assume that they can roll over the short stuff anyway? I'd think a 40 ton tank wouldn't have too much trouble with a 3' tall bush.

The artillery in this AAR was especially devastating. I thought we'd seen the worst of it during the second video, but I actually felt sorry for the Americans in this battle. They got *hammered*. One guy had a mortar round land practically on his helmet, and another got shot in the back by a Panther HE round. Not a fun time for the Allies. The crumbling buildings were especially satisfying to watch (at least for the Germans).

We had a bit of discussion in one of the other threads about TRPs and their effect. The mortars starting falling VERY fast once they were called in. How close does a target need to be to a TRP to get the bonus?

I noticed a lot of ricochets when German guns were firing at buildings. Is there any chance of penetration through building walls by small arms fire, or will it just always bounce off unless it hits a window?

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Thanks for posting yet another video!

I haven't watched it all the way through yet, studying for an exam so I just jumped around it some. Again I am impressed with the variety and quality of the map design, everything feels really compressed here just like you would imagine from descriptions of the bocage fighting, everything is so up close and personal. Can't wait to play!

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We had a bit of discussion in one of the other threads about TRPs and their effect. The mortars starting falling VERY fast once they were called in. How close does a target need to be to a TRP to get the bonus?

I noticed a lot of ricochets when German guns were firing at buildings. Is there any chance of penetration through building walls by small arms fire, or will it just always bounce off unless it hits a window?

It's about 200 meters for the TRP.

Small arms can penetrate buildings.

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I think this video demonstrated (amongst many fabulous things) that you shouldn't necessarily issue RT type orders when playing in WeGo. Had tyrspawn been playing RT, he could have reissued orders as soon as he realised the vehicles weren't going where he wanted them to, but as he wasn't he had to let the AI figure the best way out for the remaining 60 seconds - which they invariably did after a bit of the old 'after yous'.

As a long time WeGo player of CMSF, I would have given different speed moves to some of the vehicles or even given 5 second pauses to each vehicle behind the lead ones to space them out as they drove off if I was feeling especially fancy.

But as I said in one of the other VAAR threads, this was your first go at playing WeGo, and you had to keep the video fun and under 5 hours in duration!

Good stuff, and thanks once again.

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Yeah, nice maps too btw, for all 3 AARs. Really getting the feel of Norman countryside here. And I like the look of the infantry.

Two things to think about for future development (not now for goodness sake!)

1. A collapsing European building (other than a wooden barn), with load-bearing walls of thick masonry or bricks, will very rarely pancake totally into a low heap of rubble. When one wall or a corner is blown away by direct fire, that would deprive the ceiling or roof section(s) immediately above it of support, causing partial collapse, but the sturdy roof beams would tend to keep most of the rest standing, leaving a "cutaway" structure. Units in the intact portion might be relatively untouched by the calamity.

Now if an artillery shell plunges through a roof and explodes in the interior, a lethal overpressure + fragments situation exists for people inside, but a "gutted" structure will likely remain with its walls structurally intact and units on the ground floor might be largely untouched. If the shell detonates close to a wall, you might blow it out however, resulting in partial collapse as above.

Full demolition of a building in the manner shown in the game would generally require both a large calibre shell (or bomb) relative to building size, plus fuzing that caused it to punch through to the foundation before exploding. The resulting earthquake causes collapse of all the walls out and down, and "pancaking" of the floors and roofs, with near total destruction of all occupants. Even then however, you'd probably still see one or two corners of the building left standing up to the level of a "high wall", with appropriate LOS blocking and residual cover.

2. I know you guys have worked HARD on the water, but from a distance it just really sticks out as odd -- either slate blue-gray or snow white. Water generally reflects the colour that's around it, which may be the sky or a stone canal bank, but is just as likely trees and earth. In a later patch, is it possible to provide an alternative coloured "greeny-brown" water tile that would be less conspicuous in rural settings?

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Excellent footage sir! Thank you.

I liked hearing you warm up to WEGO as the battle progressed, even as you contrasted the two game types.

I am forced to accuse the crew of the right flank Panther of War Crimes for firing on surrendered prisoners there at the end.

Is it possible to order a breach and then send a more expendable unit than the Pioneers through the breach first, or is that a function of the command? That was a valuable asset that got mowed down at the hole.

I really liked the way the Germans squeaked past that barrage at the fence.

The guy that ate the friendly fire round just before he entered the last building had me rolling. It stood him up and laid him right out.

Friendly fire ... isn't.

---

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Excellent footage sir! Thank you.

Is it possible to order a breach and then send a more expendable unit than the Pioneers through the breach first, or is that a function of the command? That was a valuable asset that got mowed down at the hole.

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In CMSF, when engineers would breach a wall, it was automatic that after breaching the wall, the engineers would rush in. From what I've seen in that last video, it does not appear things have changed. Once that hole is blown open, the engineers are committed.

I doubt any changes will be made between the recording of that VAAR and release. In my short beta test career the bug smashing and code tweaking would end and everyone would start concentrating on scenario design this close to release.

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I just tested this in CMSF and here is what happens:

1) You give a blast order on the far side of the wall: They will breach the wall and immediately move through, and set up on the other side.

2) You give a blast order on the near side of the wall: They will breach the wall and then move around a bit but stay on their side, facing through the hole.

3) You give a blast order on either side, followed by a movement order in any direction/distance. They will move to the blast order and wait a few seconds, but then the order changes to a movement order, and they just move to the next point without breaching the wall. I guess this is a bug, since ideally you might want to breach the wall and then immediately pull back.

Edit: This was all in RT

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I also found the nose-to-nose Panther and M10 at the end quite comedic. :)

I remembered this video:

Min 4:00 - 6:30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSp4xwY0yus

And:

Min 5:45

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STo1uq0uulw

Two question for Christ:

- ┬┐Have you used the compass?(rigth on top)How it works?

- Can you turn on / off the phosphorescent terrain?

Thanks to Battlefront and Christ for the efort and greetins of a fan from Spain.

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Two question for Christ:

Jesus is busy right now (:D) but I can answer the second (based on CMSF) - the 'phosphorescent terrain' is the highlighted scenario Objective, and yes this can be switched off with 'Alt J' when in game. I'm going to assume that this keyboard shortcut will remain the same in CMBN and won't result in all your pixeltruppen downing tools and running away!

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Another excellent appetizer, thank Chris!

While watching the vid, i noticed two instances where i didn't really understand the soundcontact questionmarks onscreen.

This moment at aprox 30:33

(did someone in the platoon fart and now they are wondering who it was?):

Contact1.jpg

And then this one where Jerry suspects the Americans to tunnel underneath the road. Time stamp aprox 58:26.

Contact2.jpg

Can anyone elaborate on how the sound contact system works? I'm sure my men will be getting very paranoid if they capture an enemy, pass him, turn their heads and then wonder what that sound is 1 meter behind them...

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Another excellent appetizer, thank Chris!

While watching the vid, i noticed two instances where i didn't really understand the soundcontact questionmarks onscreen.

This moment at aprox 30:33

(did someone in the platoon fart and now they are wondering who it was?):

Contact1.jpg

And then this one where Jerry suspects the Americans to tunnel underneath the road. Time stamp aprox 58:26.

Contact2.jpg

Can anyone elaborate on how the sound contact system works? I'm sure my men will be getting very paranoid if they capture an enemy, pass him, turn their heads and then wonder what that sound is 1 meter behind them...

I don't think these are sounds contacts, just contact markers.

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I think it has to do with relative spotting.

Some unit had a (sound) contact here some time ago. If you have not selected any unit, all (sound) contacts are displayed.

The sound contacts "gray out" over time, but they persist some time after the actual observation.

So in this instance, there are some units/is a unit that had a sound contact here, and "thinks" there might be enemy soldiers here. The unit in the screen knows better - but that info hasn't reached the other units. If the unit in the screen would have been selected you would not have seen any ?, and might have seen some dead soldiers instead. But as there is no actual unit selected, you get a combined intel report. As most units "think" there might be some enemy soldiers here - or "think" there were maybe some enemy soldiers here (greyed out question mark), this is what is displayed. In this instance that is old and incorrect information.

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Absolutely great to see it in WeGo. Thanks to tyrspawn.

The essential differnce I felt was highlighted when th bazooka team was firing at hte back of the Panther. Tyrspawn said he would have done an immediate re0order for the Panther, In my book that is unrealistic and why WeGo prevents micro-management.

But each to his own,

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I think it has to do with relative spotting.

Some unit had a (sound) contact here some time ago. If you have not selected any unit, all (sound) contacts are displayed.

The sound contacts "gray out" over time, but they persist some time after the actual observation.

So in this instance, there are some units/is a unit that had a sound contact here, and "thinks" there might be enemy soldiers here. The unit in the screen knows better - but that info hasn't reached the other units. If the unit in the screen would have been selected you would not have seen any ?, and might have seen some dead soldiers instead. But as there is no actual unit selected, you get a combined intel report. As most units "think" there might be some enemy soldiers here - or "think" there were maybe some enemy soldiers here (greyed out question mark), this is what is displayed. In this instance that is old and incorrect information.

Aha. Now there's something you don't see in CoH ;). I never thought about sound contact per unit...that's a great piece of realism to take into account.

Thanks for the reply!

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