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Courage & Fortitude - opinions? (spoilers)


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I've just finished my first C&F campaign with an allied major victory, but only because I cheated in the last mission. I hated it so much that I quit out of frustration - I ceasefired very early and was awarded a 'minor victory'. I couldn't stand any more. I honestly found most of the missions dreadful :( Way way worse than anything Shock Force put our way.

Dreadful in the fact that the maps, although reasonably large at times, were so designed to stop any sort of multi-pronged flanking attacks. By and large there was only one way to the victory locations and you were going to get slaughtered along the way. Look at the last two missions. Nightmares both of them. A ridiculous amount of mines everywhere, blockades all over the place. If the US army had ran into a location like that in real life, they would have said, 'sod that' and chosen a different route, or bombed it into oblivion first. Then there's the bocage that you can't get through. I had lost all but four men from my engineers along the way and had just 4 demo charges - can't do an awful lot with that. Now I realise some people are going to say, 'hey, welcome to real life', but I stronly disagree. Sure, a real life dimension is important in this game, (and game is the word) but I think the map designers have taken things too far now. They are taking the fun and some of the flow out of the game by almost forcing you to a predictable and sticky end. It has to stop, it's just not that much fun anymore.

All but one of the missions were very difficult in my opinion (perhaps TOO difficult), and I had no replacements or replenished ammunition along the way. My mortar teams were useless as I had no mortar rounds. My engineers were mostly KIA/Incap and I was down to 4 men in the last mission so I instantly lost the ability to blow gaps big enough for my tanks - and tanks are by and large sitting ducks - you can't use them that well in the support role because there is hardly any LOS. Even when I thought I had LOS to a target, half the time the blue line just stops abruptly, and I've no idea why! Most areas suitable for tanks are predictably mined, and with no engineers, you can't blow the mines unless you 'volunteer' someone to go mine-clearing. This is worse than the IED's in SF! The whole campaign was full of frustrations like that for me. Not much fun at all if I'm honest :(

I am really hoping the future commonwealth campaign offers more diversity and scale. Larger maps, less predictability, better all round please!

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Sure, a real life dimension is important in this game, (and game is the word) but I think the map designers have taken things too far now. They are taking the fun and some of the flow out of the game by almost forcing you to a predictable and sticky end. It has to stop, it's just not that much fun any more.

It seems that certain of the scenarios/campaigns that are bundled with the game and, more particularly, some of the new user created ones pride themselves on being fiendishly difficult, or 'evil', requiring a perfect approach and multiple restarts. This could be putting off new players.

Of course, it may be that I suck, but I was able to master most of the battles in the CM1 series.

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It seems that certain of the scenarios/campaigns that are bundled with the game and, more particularly, some of the new user created ones pride themselves on being fiendishly difficult, or 'evil', requiring a perfect approach and multiple restarts. This could be putting off new players.

Of course, it may be that I suck, but I was able to master most of the battles in the CM1 series.

Yes, I'd agree with that - I'm not dissing the amount of work involved in creating these scenarios, but I honestly think they've over-cooked them. They are trying too hard and the end result is an overly difficult if somewhat predictable slugfest. Some of them are just too linear - a good example of this is Razorback Ridge. It's an absolute nightmare and IMHO is pretty much un-winnable unless you are extremely lucky. I played it through twice after many, many restarts, and ended up with a draw. You don't get enough time to really warrant the exploration it needs (and deserves) either. I just don't understand why these maps are made to be so un-penetrable, it doesn't make sense to me. I realise there can be a never-ending supply of new missions and maps in the future, but that's not the point.

Which mission did you consider easy, out of interest?

I'm just starting the 2nd and consider the 1st is more of a puzzle than a battle - once you have cracked two "tricks" in your approach then the Germans don't have a chance at all.

The 1st was a puzzle yes, but once you solve it once the mission is actually quite straight forward. This is part of my problem though - the missions shouldn't be about 'puzzles' they should reflect allied numerical superiority, huge maps and plenty of time to play, more in line with the old series. These almost feel like scenarios out of the TOW series... The mission I found easy was a tiny map, with recon units. I can't remember what it was called but it was pretty easy. I had about 5 casualties and suffered a damaged M8 at the end of it.

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I've just finished my first C&F campaign with an allied major victory, but only because I cheated in the last mission. I hated it so much that I quit out of frustration - I ceasefired very early and was awarded a 'minor victory'. I couldn't stand any more. I honestly found most of the missions dreadful :( Way way worse than anything Shock Force put our way.

You probably won't be surprised to find me agreeing with you if you've read any of my interjections in the other C&F threads. I'm in the middle of writing up a critique of the campaign, and have gotten sidetracked a little: I realised I could deliberately fail from my saved setups and actually have a look at University and Bolleville so I could add them to the essay. I'm playing University now.

Dreadful...maps...designed to stop any sort of multi-pronged flanking attacks.

And where they weren't, the AI setup was completely unaware of its flanks (Bumper Cars, I'm looking at you).

...some people are going to say, 'hey, welcome to real life', but I stronly disagree.

Me too.

The campaign briefing says the player is commanding the 3/314, so why does the Bttn commander make soooo many ****ed up decisions?

They are taking the fun and some of the flow out of the game by almost forcing you to a predictable and sticky end.

The only saving grace is that sometimes it's just about possible to brass your way out of the straitjacket.

All but one of the missions were very difficult in my opinion...

Over Hill and Down Dale is easy if you spot the right flank.

School is an exercise in sadism. With an 'easy win' that shouldn't make sense (so won't occur to most).

(So far) University's hardest aspect was the lottery of the first couple of minutes.

Crossroads is actually quite a fun idea.

Bumper Cars was a fairly standard scenario, I think, with a slightly cruddy AI placement that made it easy.

Razorback Ridge is easy if you get lucky with the AI plan and how your previous casualties interact with the scenario. Edit: a murderous deathtrap otherwise.

La Haye du Puits is a grinding assault. If you've suffered before, you'll suffer again.

...I had no replacements or replenished ammunition along the way.

That's unlucky. I only had replacement issues at the beginning of School, really. And of course between RR and La H du P, where paranoid reading of the briefing for RR should have led me to have expected it. I redid RR once I found out that every bullet spent in RR isn't available in H du P.

My engineers were mostly KIA/Incap and I was down to 4 men in the last mission...

Did you not receive any engineer reinforcements? I got loads. Two platoons, I think.

Even when I thought I had LOS to a target, half the time the blue line just stops abruptly, and I've no idea why!

I had that a few times, mostly when trying to bring down buildings. One time, an apparently clear 75mm shot at a building was disallowed (I think because the small building in front occupied more volume than the graphic suggested) but the MG I was trying to neutralise still managed to gack the TC. So it was a one-way bullet mirror...

Most areas suitable for tanks are predictably mined, and with no engineers, you can't blow the mines...

To be fair, you can't blow mines most of the time even with engineers. You have to go around 'em.

It seems that certain of the scenarios/campaigns that are bundled with the game and, more particularly, some of the new user created ones pride themselves on being fiendishly difficult, or 'evil', requiring a perfect approach and multiple restarts. This could be putting off new players.

Of course, it may be that I suck, but I was able to master most of the battles in the CM1 series.

There does seem to be an unhealthy "I can write a scenario nobody can beat" vibe circulating. It's not hard.

I'm just starting the 2nd and consider the 1st is more of a puzzle than a battle - once you have cracked two "tricks" in your approach then the Germans don't have a chance at all.

Good luck with School. It's the hardest of the lot. It's also the most futile, because you get a minor victory if you ceasefire on setup. Still have to go through University, but you do that with fresh troops, fully replenished, and it's an order of magnitude easier to start with.

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There does seem to be a belief that for a scenario to gain peer approval it has to be monitor punchingly difficult. We need to remember this is hobby that we do in our leisure time for enjoyment, sometimes I feel I'm still at work. That said I'm really grateful to anyone who's put their time into making a scenario for this game.

Everyone has different tastes but I prefer a scenario where a victory is possible through the use of some tactical thought but if you get it wrong and lose some men you should be able to try a different approach and still get a minor win without having to save and reload constantly.

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The mission I found easy was a tiny map, with recon units. I can't remember what it was called but it was pretty easy. I had about 5 casualties and suffered a damaged M8 at the end of it.

Crossroads is the mission you're talking about. The problem with it is that it was/is buggy. I took the direct route but was still give the cross country route.

I expect more casualties in this campaign than any of the CMSF campaigns due to timeframe. However, I agree with the comments about the scenarios being "over baked".

Bob

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Wow, I completely disagree.

I am 70 turns into the last scenario, and was just about to write an entry on how impressive that last campaign is. I am getting close to the town square and, yes, the enemy units are placed so that every 10s of meters of the way is a new tactical element to defeat. It is like dozens of smaller scenarios in one.

OP, you likely got a minor victory in the last scenario, but a Major Victory in the Campaign?

Yes, the last scenario is designed, it would appear, to be defeated by taking particular places in a particular order--I am just about to take the building south of the town center. The maps channel--but wouldn't the real defenders channel the attack, also? I stayed away from the mines (except toward Outskirts), blasted through the center bocage.

One of my points would be this: don't you want a Campaign to last weeks to months? What is the rush? With 32 turns left, I figure I have 10-14 days of play still left, at the rate I go.

Example of what I appreciate: the main road in town has obstructions in a checkboard pattern. Hmmm...I wondered...why? Could have been blocked off completely, but then no Allied armor could have gotten through.

Hours/days later, I am trying to figure out how to get past the perfectly placed TDs of the Germans in the Town Center (likely can't clear the Exit zone, without clearing out the bottom of Town Center). Ah, I think, I will race my tanks, with their gyrostabilizers, to the side of the TDs, and get them from the flank.

Ah....that is why the checkerboard obstructions are there....to prevent such a tactic.

And as night falls in the last scenario, it is transformed into a night battle.

As I have mentioned before, if there is a suggestion I would have, it would be to inform people of the difficulty and almost unimaginable length of this Campaign. I like sushi. If you don't, it does not make sense for you to accidently get into a sush restaurant--good or bad sushi, you will not like it.

Even if you do not like this Campaign, it would, in my opinion, be factually incorrect not to notice that the scenarios and maps are highly sophisticated, with an incredible amount of military tactical knowledge built into them.

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...it would, in my opinion, be factually incorrect not to notice that the scenarios and maps are highly sophisticated, with an incredible amount of military tactical knowledge built into them.

It's such a shame that such knowledge doesn't extend to the briefings. I would argue that the maps might be sophisticated, but they have no subtlety. They beat you in the head with "no, you can't do that," at every turn. A subtle map will have opportunities for taking little advantages. Most of the C&F maps are designed to stop every approach except the one or two the designers want you to take. And then, if you do find an approach the designers hadn't thought of, the defensive deployment isn't adaptable enough to cope and the scenario starts to become a cakewalk.

For La Haye, I cleared the mines up to the outskirts, either side of the road, and threw a deep hook down my right to roll them up. I pessemistically assumed that the mine belt went right across the map, and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered I could drive my tanks round it. Enemy armour kills and neutralisation were by zook and arty. My shermans never saw 'em. Forced a surrender 1 minute past 00:00, though a ceasefire at the end of 00:00, going back to the save was also a victory, IIRC. With the forces I had, this scenario wasn't "too hard". I'd started losing the will to live by the time I had enough reinforcements on-map to get really stuck in, though, and my pTruppen suffered for it, due to lack of care and rushing to get a result. If you've suffered at the hands of previous scenarios, or their shoddy briefings, you might have a lot of trouble.

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Did you not receive any engineer reinforcements? I got loads. Two platoons, I think.

To be fair, you can't blow mines most of the time even with engineers. You have to go around 'em.

I had about a platoon's worth of engineers throughout, (If I recall) but I lost most on the School mission at that bridge. They weren't replaced. I ended up with a small unit of engineers who had to do a hell of a lot of running around to blow a hole here, clear a mine here, and it just isn't realistic. I ended up regarding the 4 engineers I had left the most important units left in the game! I just got sick of it in the end. :(

Wow, I completely disagree.

I am 70 turns into the last scenario, and was just about to write an entry on how impressive that last campaign is. I am getting close to the town square and, yes, the enemy units are placed so that every 10s of meters of the way is a new tactical element to defeat. It is like dozens of smaller scenarios in one.

OP, you likely got a minor victory in the last scenario, but a Major Victory in the Campaign?

Well this is why I started the thread - I want a good healthy discussion about it. I realise my opinion will differ to others.

I was awarded a minor victory in the last mission even though I quit only half hour in. I suffered 248 KIA with 169 wounded in total, and the enemy suffered 269 KIA with similar numbers wounded.

It's such a shame that such knowledge doesn't extend to the briefings. I would argue that the maps might be sophisticated, but they have no subtlety. They beat you in the head with "no, you can't do that," at every turn. A subtle map will have opportunities for taking little advantages. Most of the C&F maps are designed to stop every approach except the one or two the designers want you to take. And then, if you do find an approach the designers hadn't thought of, the defensive deployment isn't adaptable enough to cope and the scenario starts to become a cakewalk.

For La Haye, I cleared the mines up to the outskirts, either side of the road, and threw a deep hook down my right to roll them up. I pessemistically assumed that the mine belt went right across the map, and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered I could drive my tanks round it. Enemy armour kills and neutralisation were by zook and arty. My shermans never saw 'em. Forced a surrender 1 minute past 00:00, though a ceasefire at the end of 00:00, going back to the save was also a victory, IIRC. With the forces I had, this scenario wasn't "too hard". I'd started losing the will to live by the time I had enough reinforcements on-map to get really stuck in, though, and my pTruppen suffered for it, due to lack of care and rushing to get a result. If you've suffered at the hands of previous scenarios, or their shoddy briefings, you might have a lot of trouble.

I am with you Womble. The briefings need to be less 'brief' and need to give you a bit more of a clue about reinforcements, replacements and replenished ammunition, instead it's a guessing game half the time.

I'm half tempted to replay the whole campaign again, although the frustrations would likely reappear, so maybe it's something for a rainy day. You wouldn't catch me saying that before!

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I had about a platoon's worth of engineers throughout, (If I recall) but I lost most on the School mission at that bridge. They weren't replaced. I ended up with a small unit of engineers who had to do a hell of a lot of running around to blow a hole here, clear a mine here, and it just isn't realistic. I ended up regarding the 4 engineers I had left the most important units left in the game! I just got sick of it in the end. :(

...in the last mission...I quit only half hour in.

Ah, you probably quit just before the additional engineers arrived. Shame, in a way, but you got a campaign victory :) I like to stay with the game (even if it's just spamming the turn button til I hear some "squelch") until I get all the promised reinforcements. Usually, I'll try and find something 'useful' to do while I'm waiting (which is how the plan to breach the mine belts came about at La Haye :) ), and I've wasted more than a few minutes waiting for promised reinforcements that never arrive. I still don't know why I didn't get the onmap 81mms in La Haye; the rest of M company showed up...

I am with you Womble. The briefings need to be less 'brief' and need to give you a bit more of a clue about reinforcements, replacements and replenished ammunition, instead it's a guessing game half the time.

They also need to give you more information, where it would be available. Going into University, I would have liked to have known whether any of the AT assets had been gotten rid of, and what damage I'd done to the forward defensive positions. Having played School, anyone would imagine that the day's pounding by artillery had completely eradicated the first line of defense for I company to have reached its start point for the scenario without further loss. Yet they are miraculously lightly damaged (though perhaps a bit low morale status).

I'm half tempted to replay the whole campaign again, although the frustrations would likely reappear, so maybe it's something for a rainy day. You wouldn't catch me saying that before!

For me, having dissected the scenarios in other threads, I don't see any point spending any more time on the ones I've already played. Once you've found the weak point in any of them, you've got it licked. La Haye I think is only a beast if you've taken a pounding in the scenarios previously and if you've used hindsight to make the nasty ones trivial, so La Haye will be just an exercise.

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I said in one of the other Courage and Fourtitude threads that La Haye is probably winnable if you had every last man slaughetered in earlier missions - you get enough reinforcements (eventually) to win the battle on their own I suspect. There is a whole company of engineers running around by the end of the battle, most of which are completely fresh.

Yeah, there are some very tough battles in the campaign (School/University and Razorback obviously). What makes them particularly tough (mentally) is that you have no good options. I hate advancing over open ground in view of the enemy, but when there is absolutely no cover, I end up having to do something I hate. Can't say I enjoyed it at the time, but once I got to the point where I had men in secure positions on the far side of the bridge and could actually make choices and use cover, then it was a lot more fun (I was back in my comfort zone).

Razorback ridge was fun once I figured out how to beat it but is as much a lesson in how to use the command system to get the pizeltrupped to actually do what you want as it is a tactical challenge.

Overall though this was my favourite campaign. Once I had made the mental adjustment to accepting that it was damned hard. La Haye was a great scenario though in my opinion too; as someone else has mentioned, there are different tactical challenges and situations all over the map and any time you think you are safe or get a bit careless, you will pay for it. But unlike Razorback and School, you have options right from the start and can attack the town in any number of reasonable ways, which all have a decent chance of working.

(Although for what it's worth I absolutely hate gimmicky battles like the crossroads one (or the similar 'choose your route' mission in the CMSF marines module). I much prefer the appoach of Devils' Descent of quite clearly making it a 'non-scenario' - move unit here to go down route A, or leave it where it is to go down route B).

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I said in one of the other Courage and Fourtitude threads that La Haye is probably winnable if you had every last man slaughetered in earlier missions - you get enough reinforcements (eventually) to win the battle on their own I suspect. There is a whole company of engineers running around by the end of the battle, most of which are completely fresh.

I very much doubt that you could get all the way into town with just the engineers and the two platoons of tanks (some of which you might not have if they're in the CUF and you lost them earlier). You'd have to be lucky and never roll over a TRP. I think you'd also have to know where everything is ahead of time.

Yeah, there are some very tough battles in the campaign (School/University and Razorback obviously). What makes them particularly tough (mentally) is that you have no good options.

That's a good point. Especially for people like me who hate the calculus of casualties... There's an element of mental anguish that's not conducive to 'fun'. I think University is only going to be tough if you've smashed your force to bits trying and failing to get a total victory in School. Which is one of the aspects of the campaign sequence that I hate: some battles are better surrendered before you start.

Razorback ridge was fun once I figured out how to beat it but is as much a lesson in how to use the command system to get the pizeltrupped to actually do what you want as it is a tactical challenge.

For me, it was an exercise in reading the victory conditions. But my I-3 had enough men left/had been filled out by replacements to exploit that reading; some peoples' won't.

(Although for what it's worth I absolutely hate gimmicky battles like the crossroads

Heh. I enjoyed that one, but it's not a 'proper' mission and I had no compunction about restarting it until I had a go where most of the movement paths were smooth and raced through the village. I treated it as a driving lesson, a relaxing interlude in the actual combat :)

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After getting through Bumber cars with a Major Victory, I decided it was time to take a break from this campaign.

I downloaded the single mission from the repository "COUNTER ATTACK Ladenstat. it features a new map. Fighting takes place in open frontier and uses fire and movement. Sounds like it may be a cure for "Bocage Burnout syndrome" SIL [silent internal laugh] that many of us are starting to suffer from.

So there will be many many more add on single battles and campaigns in the future. I would hope members will not get to discouraged and obsessed with this one CamPAIN.

Even though this Campaign was hard. I still utilized and learned many valuable lessons during it,that will be applied to other battles. I made good use of Bazoka teams and scouts[better to lose 2 men than a whole squad]

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The 1st was a puzzle yes, but once you solve it once the mission is actually quite straight forward. This is part of my problem though - the missions shouldn't be about 'puzzles' they should reflect allied numerical superiority, huge maps and plenty of time to play, more in line with the old series.

Absolutely. :-)

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Well I guess my point was we have at last count, I think there are 7 pages of add on missions and campaigns in the repository. If it keeps snowballing like CMBO did. There will be lots of them in the future and I would like to thank in advance all of these scenerio designers who will spend hours making them for the rest of us to enjoy.

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Still can't get it up to finish La Haye du Puits.

Thanks for the prior attempt at encouragement on this mission Rank, but its not a problem with my force size. I'm actually in relatively good shape. It's been sitting there for a month now: it just looks like tedium and work to me. Too much micro for such a large force and such a large map.

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It's such a shame that such knowledge doesn't extend to the briefings. I would argue that the maps might be sophisticated, but they have no subtlety. They beat you in the head with "no, you can't do that," at every turn. A subtle map will have opportunities for taking little advantages. Most of the C&F maps are designed to stop every approach except the one or two the designers want you to take. And then, if you do find an approach the designers hadn't thought of, the defensive deployment isn't adaptable enough to cope and the scenario starts to become a cakewalk.

For La Haye, I cleared the mines up to the outskirts, either side of the road, and threw a deep hook down my right to roll them up. I pessemistically assumed that the mine belt went right across the map, and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered I could drive my tanks round it. Enemy armour kills and neutralisation were by zook and arty. My shermans never saw 'em. Forced a surrender 1 minute past 00:00, though a ceasefire at the end of 00:00, going back to the save was also a victory, IIRC. With the forces I had, this scenario wasn't "too hard". I'd started losing the will to live by the time I had enough reinforcements on-map to get really stuck in, though, and my pTruppen suffered for it, due to lack of care and rushing to get a result. If you've suffered at the hands of previous scenarios, or their shoddy briefings, you might have a lot of trouble.

I don't entirely disagree with this assessment.

You, and Phil, and Agua are all clearly experienced, and I respect your opinion.

The flip side to very sophisticated maps is that they were very "channeled". Even University (THE ONE I WOULD LIKE TO DO OVER), the bocage on the left side left only a very small opening to advance troops.

Wombie, I am pleased that I initially analyzed the map exactly as you seem to have done. Deep hook down the right. Who would want to try to advance across open ground? And I made the same "mistake" thinking the minefields were connected. But it seems that I was not as good at "clearing mines", lost some AFVs, and restarted--then realizing that the center was clear.

Agua, I understand that the scenario feels like work. I tried to look at the glass half full--it has been like playing about 10 difficult scenarios in a row. I am at minute 27-28, and pull myself back to the computer. It is like enjoying running a marathon.

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Isn't the extent of the miefields marked on the map?

It is, but the briefing says they don't know how deep the minefields are, and I had long ago given up trusting the brief anyway, so I (as I said, pessimistically) assumed they didn't know how wide they were either and assumed the worst. At least that way I got a pleasant surprise when the first troops into the 'unlocated mines' found that there actually weren't any. Cue a great big transfer of centre of gravity... :)

I certainly wasn't going to follow any of the advice in the 'Plan' section of the briefing. Those, in aftersight, always seem to send you down the gullet of the defense.

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