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WIP German, one-platoon Campaign


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I just restarted to work on an old project: Gerber's heroes.

It's a fictional campaign on German side, with only one platoon.

The Nazi war-machine is suffering a critical shortage of manpower. In an act of what none would dare to call 'desperation', the War Ministry has been reduced to searching through prisons for recruits, in order to form special troops from the known criminal community. Hero of the Great War, Lt Gerber, had made expert use of his criminal tendencies and talents for ruthlessness and violence in the years of the Depression. A convicted armed robber, he has spent the last ten years behind bars. Now he is commander of a special troop. They are common criminals to the man, and awaiting the transport to the Western front.

Gerber and his troop have no shining future. If they stay, they'll die. But if they go, the same fate ultimately awaits them. Their only hope is to escape to Switzerland. Of course, the Swiss authorities will not welcome them, although they have access to a lot of money. But the faltering Reichmark is not what they need; rather it's the hard and buoyant currency of the U.S. dollar. Gerber's band of desperate warrior thieves have info about an American POW camp, where the treasury of the 4th Infantry Division is held. So Gerber says 'All in', and leads his heartened men into their own private war for money and freedom.

The last mission is missing yet, but the first 5 is playable and linked.

I need beta testers, who play through this campaign and send me some feedback.

Download: http://lacko.pcdome.hu/CMBN/Gerber.zip

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So do they eventually ally with some equally unsavoury Yanks, including a corrupt supply sergeant who looks like Don Rickles? And there's gotta be Tiger tanks involved, baby! And a sexy Tommy gun toting French hooker looking for payback for the swastika shaved into her head (time for Charles to share that "special" wireframe model he worked up one night -- sure he's a disembodied brain in a jar but he's human like everyone else)

I eagerly await the comic book spinoff....

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10-12 mins: The briefings could probably be cut down a bit without losing info, otherwise makes the scenario sound fun.

Am trying to take the closest towers first to provide high cover, then moving into the large building to eliminate guards. One friendly WIA and probably 4 or 5 guards KIA so far. I hope I am not going too slowly to escape the jail and reach the tunnel. The briefing doesn't say if ONLY the men who reach the tunnel will be available in future scenarios. Am assuming that only those who reach the tunnel will be available.

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First scenario:

In the brief, you might emphasize that you should avoid fighting and head for the tunnel, as it states that you should take on troops in the village. I lost a few men, causing it to be a draw, even though I didn't do too bad. You could also state that you can cross the cliffsides along the railroad, so you won't have to go trough the village. Finally, the exit zone could be a bit bigger to be more visable. I almost hit cease fire when I was close to the text showing the exit.

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@rocketman: Thanks! I'll do bigger exit zone.

But I guess, the other two is almost obvious and no need to mentioned it.

Plus, it's add a few foggy mood to the story, if you have to figure out, what you have to do. Because it's not a military operation with intels.

@FM Blücher: thanks! Your suggestions are very valuable!

@Erwin: Hmmm, it's interesting, I'll check that cut down briefing...

I never test what happened if I left few men behind and not exit. But I'm almost sure all your survived men will be carry over to the next mission. The exit is only a possibility to avoid more causalities as necessary.

EDIT: I checked and didn't find any cut down in the briefing. What did you mean? Could you send me a screenshot?

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Around 20 minutes in I took a couple more casualties from the guards in the woods. I also did not realize that I could run down the RR embankment and spent several turns fighting units in the village so I could kill the bunkers and then run along the tracks.

Was one minute(!) short of reaching the exit zone with all surviving troops. But, only got a few out (100 points worth). 5 KIA and 3 WIA. But still got a major defeat. :(

Not sure if the best thing is to ignore the town and bunkers and engage the guards in the woods and get to the exit zone from there, or ignore the woods guards and focus on the town/bunkers and then run along the RR tracks.

The main issue is that I wasn't sure if I had to exit with all troops, or just "enuff" to get some sort of win.

Will you adjust the scenario now so testers should wait for v2, or should we retry it again? I don't mind replaying this as it's so short. But, imo it's not really a replayable scenario unless you have completely different set-up for the enemy.

Re the briefing, I meant you could edit a few sentences out. I think you could get it all on one "page" without losing important info. BTW: Would appreciate knowing how many guys need to exit to make the rest of the campaign doable.

Also, suggest you make Berger all SS as the uniforms would then be different from the Army guards.

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I've been play testing it as well. Fun idea with some nifty little battles.

There was a lot of confusion on my part, however. Objectives and how to attain them, mainly.

First attempt, I ended up in the woods near the tunnel with all of my men, only to find I could not get down the cliff to the exit zone. With no time left to return to the village and access to the railroad cut, the game was lost. (Some reference to the railroad cut not being accessible - in other words, you need to enter the cut closer to the town - would be helpful.)

The bunkers were bizzare. Having discovered them, and seeing that they cover the way to the railroad tunnel, my men had to destroy them. But the bunkers would not die. Even with grenades, right next to them. The men never used their panzerfausts. So I decided to run in front of them anyways as time was ticking . . . only to discover they were empty. Huh?

I managed to get the men out with 9 seconds left on the clock.

It's a nifty map, and a fun premise. There are some frustrating factors, however. And re-playability is limited (as you know where the baddies are, 2nd time through).

I'd recommend removing the bunkers, or having just one. And having it occupied by the enemy.

I'd perhaps create some gully's or pathways down to the railroad bed, from the high forest.

I would potentially clarify the objectives for the player who looks for guidance in the mission briefing. If you intentionally want to leave it "fog of war," then I would remove the reference in the briefing about eliminating the enemy from the village. Stress the importance of reaching the tunnel, over prolonged battle.

It's a nice one. Second battle looks like a LOT of fun. Will report . . .



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Ok, so it is NOT possible to scale the RR embankment. That contradicts what was said earlier by rocketman.

For what it's worth however, I was able to kill both bunkers pretty easily with TARGET commands and units with grenades. The Pzfausts were not used, so I guess unnecessary. All I had to do was not waste one minute killing guards in the woods earlier in the scenario and I think I would have gotten all surviving guys onto the green exit zone.

In CM1 it was easier to determine impassible terrain. In CM2 it seems a lot harder to know. So, it would be good to put in the briefing that the embankment is impassible "past x point" or somesuch hint.

Another thought however, was that I was surprised to find the two towers furthest away from the prison exit were unguarded. I sent guys up there to overwatch, and it would seem logical that all 4 towers would have had guards.

I also wondered if I should have moved slower and hence maybe not even triggered the guards in the town and woods.

BTW: I really liked the scenario and I hope you get to improve it just a little before we restart and continue to battle 2 etc.

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@Erwin1: Possibly you are right and I have to mention in the briefing: this is a prison break. Try to avoid any casuality. Avoid the forest guards and avoid the town!

Of course, it's almost impossible to finish the mission without casuality, but the player have to keep it very low.

The guards gain score from an inherited handicap (it's important, because if there is this inherited score and you hit a cease fire after you kill one single guard in the prison, you win). And then they gain score to kill Gerber's men. Player gain score only an invisible victory zone, near to the exit zone. If the guards' inherited score plus the killed score is more then your invisible victory zone, you lost this mission. I can balance it more favorable to the player - if you think is it necessary - but if you start the other missions without enough men, this campaign will be a nightmare.

The main tactics of this campaign to prevent casualities! You have only a small team. Later you can use heavy tanks to support your men, but in this first scenario you have to solve it with minimal lost.

@Gpig: what is your suggerstion to clearify the objective and the tactics (with keep some novelty) in the briefing?

Oh, that creepy cliff. You right! I will rewrite the briefing to mentioned that unpassable cliff. But there are points, where they can climb down to the tracks, but it's closer to the town. But I locate the town guards to not interfere if you climb down there, so you can do it silently.

Sorry for the bunkers! I want scar the players, but they are empty. It was inspirated by my experiences: in my country, the most RR station has an abandoned concrete bunker and I thought in the wartime, Germans also build these bunkers, but it's very unconfortable to the stomach-and-ear soldiers, so they left it and worm in the station building. But if you suggest it strongly I'll remove it.

Gully's or pathways? I'm not sure I can, but I'll try. Did you create maps in CMBN? If yes, how can I do it? If is add a dirty road to the cliff, the pixeltruppen can climb down? The impassable isn't because of very high angle of sloop?

"I would remove the reference in the briefing about eliminating the enemy from the village" Oh, crap, it was the problem for Erwin too! I'll remove it immediately! Thanks!!!

Erwin, Gpig: do I add more time? I set up these timer to press the player to hurry, but if you feel, you need more 5 minutes, I'll add it.

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I will rewrite the briefing to mentioned that unpassable cliff. But there are points, where they can climb down to the tracks, but it's closer to the town.

I climbed down just next to the exit zone, so you can cross there and not only close to the village. Maybe that caused me to miss the invisible victory zone and only scoring a draw.

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Ok, I modify the briefing for this:

It's time to be brutal: kill these old, sick men who guard the prison, but avoid garrison of the railway station and the town. Sneak them through and head heading for the railway tunnel without waiting for the Waffen-SS!

Keep you men alive and try to keep the casualties low, because you need them all.

Is it good?

And I reduced to half the value of Gerber's men (from 300 to 150). It's mean, you have more causalities, because guards can earn half point.

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I will be happy to try it again. :)

BTW: I do NOT think the scenario needs more than 30 mins (altho' you could make it variable ending). Had I known that I can avoid fighting the guards in the woods (I tried to suppress the guards in the town, but I did not intend to attack it and kill em all, simply to get to the RR tracks safely) I am sure I could have made it to the exit zone one minute earlier at least.

Also, I think that the two bunkers SHOULD be occupied, or at least a % probability. (Also, there should be a probability that the currently unoccupied two prison towers have guards.) You should have AT LEAST two AI plans for the guards so that the scenario is replayable. It is too small and simple to be fun to replay, unless the challenges are significantly different each time.

A winding path through the woods to a passable descent down the embankment to the exit zone would be excellent so one would have choices re which route to take (the longer path, or more directly/shorter via the bunkers). There should be a % probability of guards patrolling that path. And that path should have some obvious choke points/obstacles like wire, swamp, river etc. so that it is not automatically the easier option!

Where to d/l the new version?

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I tried a few test about the cliff. (I added a road tile to the cliff at very close to the border of the map). It's all strange: sometimes the units can climb down the slope (but not on the road), other times they go back (to the direction of town, but still in the forest) and there they climb... It's odd, but I think it's mean, the player CAN avoid the town and reach the exit zone through the forest.

Erwin, thanks for the suggestion, I added to more AI plan to the patrol. And added a small branch of guards to the back tower too. Unfortunately I didn't find presence % in the editor. How can I set this parameter?

I'll upload the new version soon (to the same place and name - overwrite it) and I will notice it here.

EDIT: OK, it's there. You can redownload now.

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Sorry, I have never tried to mess with the CM2 editor, so maybe what I suggested is not possible.

I thought that with different AI plans, that meant that the AI units could start at different locations, or enter as reinforcements at different locations or at different times(?)

At least I hope that the units in the town and in the woods can move to different places so the player cannot predict accurately where they will be every time. That would make the scenario very replayable.

I will d/l the new version and play it now...

EDIT: After the new d/l, the scenario briefing looks exactly like the old one so I wonder if it's the same old scenario still???

I played the new d/l anyway. It seemed the same as the old one as there were no guards in the towers furthest from the exit. I really think there should be some in those towers! I then tried to ignore the town and bunkers and make thru the woods to the RR. Again, I find I must be spending too much time clearing the prison, as then I actually took more casualties rushing thru the woods to make deadline. Fortunately, the whole scenario is so quick, I may try again.


BTW: I realized that is is absolutely vital that you take into account how people are playing your game so you can evaluate our feedback. So FYI: I use WARRIOR WEGO.

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Ok, so I played it again WEGO WARRIOR. I think it was the same version though. This time I didn't bother clearing the two towers I knew to be empty and simply hunted teams towards the exit until a guard noticed. Got into firefight and lost 7 guys WIA and KIA but eliminated all guards. However, these were the last casualties I took in this scenario.

Went out to the closest woods and deliberately avoided the next woods where I knew there to be guards. Went around far away from the town and bunkers and came in down the RR embankment. For some reason 8 indentations from the exit is a way down. But, one cannot tell by simply looking. I think this spot is also out of LOS of the bunkers, so imo you may as well have the bunkers manned.

Exited all survivors 4 mins b4 end. Still only got a DRAW and a campaign MAJOR DEFEAT, so no next scenario for me.

Obviously, it's not good for replayability once you know where the guards are outside the prison. Not sure if it's possible to get out of the prison without taking some casualties. However, the first time I ever playtested this I only took 1 WIA within the prison walls.

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@Erwin: Thanks to test and feedback again!

AI plans - as far as I know - only determine the path of AI units moving, but not the location or presence%. Eg: there is no "wood guards" as you mentioned, because there is a patrol there, but they moving to the town and back. When I tested this mission, I found them in every situation in a different position. Probably this is why you thought, they are more. They are very few (about 6 soldiers), but they are moving. And if you are lucky, you can walk freely from the prison to the wood, if this patrol is in the town. Once I almost catch this momemt, but patrol flank me, when they return from the town.

When I add more AI plans, I added different path to this patrol. And this will add a few replayability (but not much, I know).

Version: There is not the extra line in the briefing? :( Hm, something goes wrong. You are right, I'll add a readme.txt to the ZIP file and I will describe a version number and a few line history (what's new in this version). But (right now), you can check the creation date of cam file: is it from yesterday (then its the new one), if it's older, some cache tricked us. :(

WEGO: Hm, I never tested this campaign in WEGO, so it's a very good way if you do! Since CMSF I forgot wego and use RT.

Casulities: you're right, it's almost impossible to break out from the prison without casualities, but from the prison to the tunnel, it's possible. And also very weird your DRAW, becasuse of modified value of Gerber's men. Probably, this is because of version chaos (I hope). Today evening, I'll check everything you mentioned double and create the version-readme and upload it again.

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Guys, I uploaded a new zip to the same location. The zip contains a readme file with the version and changelog.

I checked the uploaded mission and yes, the briefing change was missing, but there was a few guards one of the back tower (the closest to the railway).


Guards have 40 point initially. And they could gain 150 from your men.

Player gain 100 point if reach the exit zone.

So, if you lose half of your men (75), guards win (75+40 > 100). But if you lose less then 60 point, you win. I guess, you have to lose much less then 60 for continue the campaign. But if you have suggestion about it, I'll welcome. Oh, and any of you LOSE or DRAW this mission (or any mission of this campaign) PLEASE screenshot (or just scribe) the AAR screen, how many score you have and the enemy has.

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"...there is no "wood guards" as you mentioned, because there is a patrol there, but they moving to the town and back..."

That is excellent as that is what I was hoping was possible.

Since I was eventually able to easily avoid that patrol and find a route close to the map edge, then swing down to the RR to get down the embankment 8 indentations from the EXIT ZONE, maybe you need to have a 2nd small patrol go all the way to the edge, or to the woods at the back of the map just to give the player something to worry about.

BTW: If the patrols are moving it would be great if one could simply wait till they pass. If that is possible then you could reinforce the patrols to make them inadvisable for the player to attack. But, waiting till the patrol passes will almost certainly require extending the game length a few minutes.

BTW: Why not have all 4 of the prison towers occupied? It would make more sense. An alternative is to start with a friendly team in at least one of the towers to simulate that they have already taken out the guards there.

Will let you know re the new version. (and PLEASE name the zip and file with a version number to prevent confusion.)

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