D Day +1 Spearhead

Rocket-Man

Space is only 100Km up
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
375
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
South Carolina
#1
This is the first play test of my scenario D Day +1 Spearhead. My opponent is Michael Dorish who is playing the Germans while I am playing the Canadians/British. My initial setup is shown below.



Starting from the top of the map, the British Royal Ulster Rifles are in the white setup zone and are advancing towards Cambes-en-Plane as shown.

In the northeast side of the map in the red setup zone, the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders will send one company of infantry towards Cambes-en-Plane, 1 company of infantry towards Glaamanche, 1 company of infantry and 6 AT guns towards Villions-les-Bussions and one company of infantry towards les-Bussions.

In the center left of the map in the red, white and blue setup zones, the North Nova Scotia Highlanders are defending Authie and Buron. The Sherbrooke Fusiliers Shermans that had advanced towards Franqueville are going to reverse towards Authie with four Stuarts taking up position in Authie to hopefully get a few side shots into any passing Panzers.

I am moving all the vehicles with no weapons from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders towards the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders.

So far, Michael and I have played one turn with no contact. The first turns file was 6.3 MB and Michael said it took about 20 minutes to process on his machine. I am interested to see how long it will take my computer to process the next turn.
 
Last edited:

Rocket-Man

Space is only 100Km up
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
375
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
South Carolina
#2
I sent back turn 2 to Michael today.

The turn took about 51 minutes for my computer to crunch. About halfway through the turn resolution the sound quit and small pieces of graphics, about 200 pixels wide and 100 pixels high, were torn from the screen, leaving a black rectangle in their place. The same graphic was then moved about the screen, leaving a black rectangle every time it was moved. After there were about 6 or 7 black rectangles the screen would refresh and the process would start again. The turn did complete however, with the file size being 4.9 MB.

I noticed a couple of anomalies during the turn. Four of my vehicles did not move during the turn and one vehicle had a waypoint disappear. The ones that did not move had all their waypoints deleted somehow.

No combat yet, although I did spot a few of his vehicles advancing in the area between St-Contest and Cussy.
 
Last edited:

CMant

New Member
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
137
Likes
1
Points
0
Location
USA
#3
20 minutes , 51 minutes , does this mean you will have to downsize the scenario ?
 

Rocket-Man

Space is only 100Km up
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
375
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
South Carolina
#4
No. I just want to let people know what they are getting into if they play this scenario. It definitely will not be for everybody, but it is the only scenario I know of that uses an 8 x 4 KM map designed to mimic the actual terrain and actual (or as close as CM allows) OOBs of greater than Regimental size.

There are actually a couple of other scenarios that depict this battle, NP 2. Blut Und Ehre being one of them. But none of them are as historical as this scenario. For instance, Blut Und Ehre has Panthers which did not take part in the fighting in this area and has compressed the map so that that the map starts at Carpirquet airfield ends at the sea, which is a distance of about 17 Km. The other scenario I know of, but can't remember the name of, is much smaller and was Battalion sized if I remember correctly.

I have also heard that with extreemly large scenarios there are sometimes issues with targeting and path finding, so in the end, this scenario might just be too much for CM to handle. Only play testing will tell that though.
 

Rocket-Man

Space is only 100Km up
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
375
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
South Carolina
#5
20 minutes , 51 minutes , does this mean you will have to downsize the scenario ?
Let me clarify my previous answer. My plan has always been to make a smaller version of this scenario representing just the action around Authie and Buron by using map maker to transfer the current map into a scenario, rather than an operation, format.

That will reduce the map size by a little more than 38% and the unit count by more than half, which should make a scenario anybody can play.
 

Rocket-Man

Space is only 100Km up
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
375
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
South Carolina
#6
Turn 5 took 57 minutes to process on my machine and file size was 7.3 MB. Michael informed me that turn 3 took about 50 minutes on his machine and the file size was 5.1 MB. Why the first computation only took 20 minutes is a mystery.

There was a little shooting turn 4. I will post some screenshots of the turn 5 action when I get the next file.
 

Michael Dorosh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
15,488
Likes
759
Points
113
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
#7
Not looking at the scenario specific remarks here of Mark's deployments, but I will comment on the topic of large scenarios in general. Cory Runyan championed the 2 hour long, 6 kilometre square, brigade size scenarios on the CM:BB forum. We playtested one of his as I recall. I tried to talk him out of that one as well if I recall correctly. I don't remember the exact arguments. Looking back, there is certainly something to be said about the lack of ammunition supply in CM restricting the scenario length, though in something as big as this one, that isn't an issue i.e. the map is so big that the contacts seem to be as brief as in a "regular" scenario - i.e. this is really a series of smaller scenarios whereas Runyan was championing longer battles, which this isn't.

There is a common argument in the ASL forums too - if you have 2 or 3 turns that are nothing but "advance to contact" then why have them? Chop them out and start the forces closer to each other. The alternate argument is that you lose the ability to maneuver, but in CM with each force hidden, it's kind of a shell game anyway. That wasn't an issue here. As a test, we shall see if 60 turns is too long or not. I do remember playing Runyan's 2 hour scenario and finding that for my tastes it was simply too much. No idea how this one will turn out - the only way it can work is if one force can overwhelm another one within the 60 turns and then still manage to move from one objective to another within the time limit and accomplish something. Otherwise, it will be simply time wasted at the end. If it devolves into a bunch of scattered fights with NO AMMO units potshotting around the flags for 20 turns, it won't be much fun. :) The drawback of the Operations model is that you can't bring any forces in as reinforcements later in the battle to offset this.
 

peterk1

Active Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2003
Messages
1,170
Likes
35
Points
48
Location
Montreal, Canada
#8
IMHO, The real weakness of CM is making a static defense fun for the defender after the set-up is done. Are you at least able to move a little or are you stuck in fortifications? If the latter, sounds like mostly a movie watching exercise.

Just peeked at teh map....you have tanks to play with. Might not be too bad!
 

Rocket-Man

Space is only 100Km up
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
375
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
South Carolina
#9
I am playing the defending Canadians/British in this one. Two of the three Allied Brigades need to be moved into position from their start locations, plus there are about 55 Allied tanks and assorted vehicles to move around, so there is definitely something for the defenders to do.

Regarding Michael's comments, this scenario is different from other CM scenarios in that the map is so big that the individual areas of contact are essentially separate battles. There is some freedom in what forces you bring to each area of the map though.

I don't know how this scenario will work out in the end. It might be no fun, it might be unplayable due to some limitations in CM that are yet undiscovered. It definitely will not be for everybody even if it is playable.

But I wanted to try something that had not, in least in my experience, been tried in CM before and see how it worked out.
 

Rocket-Man

Space is only 100Km up
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
375
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
South Carolina
#10
Some screenshots from turn 4.

Going from south to north, first the area around Authie-Franqueville:



I have spotted a few Panzers coming over the hill towards Authie. I have left four Stuarts hiding in Franqueville to hopefully get a few flank shots on them as they pass by. The rest of the Shermans and Stuarts I have reversed towards Authie, and the company of infantry south of Authie I have started retreating towards downtown Authie.

Around Buron, as shown below, the Germans are advancing their armored Pioneer Company towards Buron but are getting cut to pieces by my AT guns and Shermans in Buron. Some German guns are advancing towards St-Contest.



Northeast of Villons-les-Buissons, the Canadian Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlander Brigade is advancing in four directions as shown. The units advancing towards Cambes-en-Plaine have come under long range fire from some Panzers south of Cambes, which shows the advantage the Germans had in this battle in occupying all the high ground. I doubt any of them will actually reach Cambes or Galamanche, but I wanted to try and see if it was possible.



North of Cambes, as shown below, the British 2nd Royal Ulster Rifles are advancing towards Cambes, but have already gotten some infantry into the woods on the north side of the city. The Germans have Panzers on the south side of the city, and I am assuming some infantry riding them as well, so it looks like the setup zones for the two sides worked to bring about the meeting engagement in Cambes that happened historically. Some German guns are also advancing towards Galamanche.

 
Last edited:

Rocket-Man

Space is only 100Km up
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
375
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
South Carolina
#11
Turn 5. The charge of the German Pioneer Platoon got further than I thought it would with three halftracks surviving to reach the outskirts of Buron. I don't have a lot of infantry in the area, just one squad, so I am hoping my Shermans can drive off the surviving German infantry.



North of Bitot, the Germans are advancing some guns. I plan on hitting them with my mortar spotter when they stop. Not much has changed in the rest of the battle. Distances are long and it takes a while for things to develop.

One of my other opponents is also paly testing this scenario with one of his regular opponents. I will report anything interesting that he passes on to me.

I also figured out the wierd graphic glitch I saw in an earlier turn resolution. It was some kind of glitch between my screensaver and CM. I have not let the screensaver come up again during turn resolution and have not seen the glitch again.

Michaels last turn resolution took about 45 minutes and my last one took about 35 minutes. I think all the initial plotting of vehicle paths is what took so long the first few turns.
 
Last edited:

McIvan

New Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2008
Messages
193
Likes
1
Points
0
Location
Auckland
#12
Highly amused by this....and, frankly, scenarios this size are usually only really amusing when played by someone else. But, like all wargamers, I do have this irresistable impulse to throw far more units at a game than it was ever designed to handle. So bravo to you, sir! I will salute you if you manage to finish it.
 

Rocket-Man

Space is only 100Km up
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
375
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
South Carolina
#15
Highly amused by this....and, frankly, scenarios this size are usually only really amusing when played by someone else. But, like all wargamers, I do have this irresistable impulse to throw far more units at a game than it was ever designed to handle. So bravo to you, sir! I will salute you if you manage to finish it.
I am definitely pushing the limits of CM in this scenario. When CM first came out, it would have been impossible to even play a scenario of this size because of the limitations on computer horsepower at the time. But it is possible now, and until somebody tried making a scenario of this size, it was impossible to know if CM could even handle it.

So far I haven't noticed any problems, although some could crop up later in the play test. I actually have to give BFC credit for how well the game engine is working so far, considering that they probably did not test how the engine would handle a scenario like this one.
 

Rocket-Man

Space is only 100Km up
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
375
Likes
0
Points
16
Location
South Carolina
#16
A quick update. Michael's had some computer problems and I am waiting for him to get off his a$$ and reinstall CMAK so we can continue the game.
 

Michael Dorosh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
15,488
Likes
759
Points
113
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
#18
How did this work out?
Mark got b!tchy on the forum and I lost interest. :laugh: Actually, I emailed him about the game and he never replied, then got b!tchy on the forum, so I figured I had my reply. :D

It's just as well; my email addresses got wiped in the HD crash and I never did reinstall CM:AK. My objection wasn't to the scenario, which seems well put together, but playing it means losing my computer for an hour an evening while it computes turns. It's not something I'm willing to do right now while I'm working on manuscripts, or trying to - bad enough this forum competes with my ADD... :)
 

Michael Dorosh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
15,488
Likes
759
Points
113
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
#19
Just to bump this one, I'd love to see some form of manageable "campaign" system link a bunch of smaller scenarios together - something like CM:C would have been ideal, but on a "grand tactical" scale rather than operational, if that makes any sense. Forget the logistical stuff, and just let two players game out a bunch of tactical encounters on smaller maps based on a situation like Mark has created here. Resolve the close range fights, plot tactical movements from one village to the next, then conduct the next smaller tactical battles that take place in the next hour. Would be great for multiplayer.

So for example, you have the overall map divided into 8 sectors

A1 A2
B1 B2
C1 C2
D1 D2

The Canadians manage to capture A, B and C1 in the first round of tactical battles; they plot further movements into C2 and D1 in the next, more fighting ensues, etc. You could even set up separate battles for each infantry company in the assault, rather than battalion sized battles - JasonC talked about scaling CM fights in CM:C to appropriately fit the game rather than just slugging things out on a 2km x 2km map each time with brigade sized forces. I tend to agree with his assessment.

I think that would be the way to handle this scenario too - with a good Gamemaster, and the judicious splitting off of individual fights into smaller battles. Take my halftrack charge into Buron; that could have been a 30 turn scenario all on its own; after that was resolved, we go back into a strategic phase once all the other fights are resolved, and plot out where the other battles take place - instead of long turns of movement within the CM game engine, where dozens of units do nothing but move (without benefit of convoy orders, mind, and with that crazy fatigue modelling), just redraw everything and start a new battle with fresh supply - cut to the interesting stuff.