Some things CM: Normandy Will Need To Be Able To Do

Michael Dorosh

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From Battle Royal: A History of The Royal Regiment of Canada 1862-1962 by Major D.J. Goodspeed.

The Royal Regiment of Canada had been selected to protect the right flank of 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade while that formation crossed the river Orne north of Louvigny. Shortly after first light on the 18th, company commanders moved forward to reconnoitre the objective, but, although the day was fine, they found visibility extremely restricted because of huge clouds of dust being raised by an Allied heavy bomber attack on Faubourg de Vaucelles. The acting commanding officer, Major Anderson, issued his orders at 8:30 in the morning of 18 July, but for most of the day the men had nothing to do except catch up on some badly needed rest.

Major Anderson's plan was to launch an attack from a start-line at the hamlet of Le Mesnil, which would be secured by the 8th Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment. Thereafter the Battalion would proceed across the wheat fields east of Le Mesnil, and clear a large orchard north of the village of Louvigny. This orchard was bounded on three sides by a 7-foot wall composed of large boulders. "D" Company (Major J.D. Fairhead) was to lead the attack, followed by "A' Company (Major T.F. Whitley), with "B" Company (Captain D.S. Beatty) in support, while "C" Company (Major R.G. Young) established a firm base on high ground south of Le Mesnil. "D" Company, after passing through the orchard and clearing a chateau lying beyond it, was to advance through a wood as far as a railway line that ran north and south between Louvigny and Fleury-sur-Orne. From the orchard, "A" Company would wheel right and clear Louvigny, then "B" Company would pass through to take up a defensive position south-west of the village to stop any possible counter-attack from the direction of Athis, which was in enemy hands.

Strong fire support was provided by the divisional artillery, one company of medium machine-guns, one company of (4.2)-inch mortars, the combined 3-inch mortar platoons of the Royals and the 8th Reconnaissance Regiment, and by one squadron of the 10th Canadian Armoured Regiment, which was to give close support for the attack and blast holes in the walls of the orchard by firing from hull down positions in (the) "C" Company area.

H-Hour was not announced until the middle of the afternoon, and the companies began to leave the battalion area at five o'clock to reach their start-line by six. The enemy did not interfere with the move forward.

"D" Company crossed its start-line on time, as the supporting fire programme commenced. The leading troops had little difficulty in crossing the wheat fields, and as "D" company was about to move forward into the orchard, "A" Company was set in motion. As "A" Company advanced, random small arms fire began to sweep the wheat fields but did not impede progress, and although mortar bursts lit among the arrowhead formations of the advancing sections, these caused amazingly few casualties. When "A" Company reached the orchard, however, it found that, although there were three breaches in the orchard wall, "D" Company had suffered heavy casualties and had been unable to get forward. The company commander, Major J.D. Fairhead, had been killed a few feet inside the orchard, as had the only other officer, Lieutenant E.J. Chellew.
Just one account of actual fighting in Normandy. (I'll leave you all in suspense as to how it turns out, but I suspect you can figure out who wins for yourself. ;) )

Some points suggested by this snippet (and feel free to add posts of your own on this topic)

  • Infantry Formations: Geordie talked about these at BFC often. Here's a regimental history that talks about them actually being used under fire. Because - they really were.
  • Hull Down positions: The ability of a Sherman to get its weak-ass hull under cover and fire at German tanks will be crucial - far more so than in a modern setting. I still can't believe there is so little backlash about the removal of the "seek hull down" command because I personally loved it, especially on crest lines.
  • Dust: Normandy was a dusty place, certainly on the dirt roads; I hope we'll see that adequately reflected.
  • Walls: Those 'tall walls' in Normandy were a killer, but there are all kinds of pictures of troops loopholing them. Will we have the ability to do this as well? Ditto mouseholing?


 
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dalem

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Hell, from what I've read mouseholing is already IN CMx2 - your guys can shoot through wall, yes? You wanted a certain level of abstraction, yes? Well there you go - it's already in, customers suck, BFC's brilliant, and it's selling exactly as well as expected.

:) How's that?

Seriously though, from what I've read, I simply can't see how the current concepts of action spots and LOS and LOF and all that is going to work well with the close-in terrain of Normandy, either urban or rural.

And it'll absolutely have to have weather. Rain, mud, dust, etc. Have to.

-dale
 

Michael Dorosh

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Hell, from what I've read mouseholing is already IN CMx2 - your guys can shoot through wall, yes? You wanted a certain level of abstraction, yes? Well there you go - it's already in, customers suck, BFC's brilliant, and it's selling exactly as well as expected.

:) How's that?

Seriously though, from what I've read, I simply can't see how the current concepts of action spots and LOS and LOF and all that is going to work well with the close-in terrain of Normandy, either urban or rural.

And it'll absolutely have to have weather. Rain, mud, dust, etc. Have to.

-dale
Great response. ;)

How did they deal with those 7-foot walls in Europe? Looking back at the CM:SF discussion, there was talk at BFC from RS_Colonel about how everyone in US Army basic training jumps such a thing on the obstacle course, so why not be able to do it in the game. I agreed fully, but on sober second thought, how often would you do it in combat. It should definitely be an option, though, especially in a quiet section of the map on a straightaway wall.

When I submitted my Lock N Chase scen for the release disc, one of the changes Steve (or somebody, don't know who) did was to remove sections of the walls I put in because the Tac AI couldn't handle long sections of wall. The terrain was "too realistic" (my words) and so you had huge gaps where I had put walls in. It was a fictional map, but in my world, I thought I wouldn't want kids running out into a four lane highway, and there would be a definite sound barrier between the traffic and the city I had right next to it.

Normandy was chock full of walled enclosures, so Tac AI behaviour will need to be tweaked to incorporate this - and of course the bocage. That will be huge.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Heh. No to the Bren Tripod, but yes to the 3-inch Mortar eventually (on map would be nice, it would mean that the maps are finally big enough), Vickers PIAT, and land mines.

I honestly wonder if BFC would ever in their right mind actually model a Bren tripod.

Oh, I know something else that needs to be done.
 

Michael Dorosh

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The .50 calibre AAMG.

Hugely over-modelled in CM, and by coincidence, nicely abstracted to cover up the fact the tank commander of a Sherman had to bail out of the turret in order to use it on ground targets. (See attached picture.)

I can't wait to see how BFC tackles the use of this baby in 1:1.

I just tried to recreate the Operation Veritable Campaign Game from ASL in CM:AK, and found out that not only is it impossible to edit the .50 calibre ammunition on the Kangaroos to zero (WTH?) but the .50s are so overmodelled, they simply overwhelm all the German anti-tank assets on the map at long range.

In ASL, the APCs are under Recall in order to prevent the Allied player from using them as anything but what they were - battle taxis. They come on board, drop the troops off, and skedaddle. In CM, they are mobile gun platforms, and in Operations, they stay there for up to 20 battles, if that's how long the designer has made his campaign. With those massively powerful "fifties" chewing up anything in sight. By contrast, the firepower of the .50s is downgraded in ASL, so that ROF and firepower are both reduced when mounted on the vehicle.

In CMX1, the .50s in the AAMG position on Shermans very often were taking out tanks on their own. Ballistically, very possible under the right circumstances. Historically - no way, not on the scale it happens in CMX1.

Can't wait to see what happens with these.

Prediction: a possible huge bone of contention.
 
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Tanker

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On a similar note, in real life how effective would a 20mm AAA gun be in immobilizing a tank? I don't know but I suspect CM1 overmodelled that also
 

dalem

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The .50 calibre AAMG.

-snipperoo-

Can't wait to see what happens with these.

Prediction: a possible huge bone of contention.
Hell, Michael, you must remember the several times I tried to get a conversation started on that very topic - the modeling/overmodeling of U.S. vehicle .50cals.

Found one. It's got some interesting stuff in it too. I love mining the historical vault of the CM forum.

Here's another, with Harry Yeide pretty much confirming what we all think.

Still can't find "my" thread, the search parameters of the new BFC forum are poopy...

-dale
 
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Michael Dorosh

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Hell, Michael, you must remember the several times I tried to get a conversation started on that very topic - the modeling/overmodeling of U.S. vehicle .50cals.

Found one. It's got some interesting stuff in it too. I love mining the historical vault of the CM forum.

Here's another, with Harry Yeide pretty much confirming what we all think.

Still can't find "my" thread, the search parameters of the new BFC forum are poopy...

-dale
Oh yeah, babe, one of my fav all time threads. Only second, I think, to the one where I threw out the trivia of how the Waffen-SS never used the word "Herr" when addressing each other. M. Hofbauer came aboard to tell me I was wrong. I insisted. He got snarky in the way only a German can (a lot like Moon, really) and said basically "what do I know, I only speak it as a first language." I presented my evidence. He apologized profusely when he dug a bit for his own sources and we were quite if not chummy then at least respectful of each other after that.

He also posted the delicious story of the Waffen-SS general on an inspection tour that he had found, in which said officer visited the 12th Panzer Division and asked a young trooper what his job in the division was, and was told "Gruppenführer, Gruppenführer." The first, of course, being the word for a squad leader, and the second being the rank title for a General in the Waffen SS. It was one of the bits of evidence he found that they really didn't use the word "Herr". :)

Those links remind me what an ahole Moon is. All the html in the archives is turned off, so you can't see a lot of the old posts the way they were originally posted, and of course there are references to the old General Forum, which has been deleted and purged wholesale twice now. :mad: Though I guess the html is a security issue rather than just Moon being Moon.
 
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[hirr]Leto

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Hell, Michael, you must remember the several times I tried to get a conversation started on that very topic - the modeling/overmodeling of U.S. vehicle .50cals.

Found one. It's got some interesting stuff in it too. I love mining the historical vault of the CM forum.

Here's another, with Harry Yeide pretty much confirming what we all think.

Still can't find "my" thread, the search parameters of the new BFC forum are poopy...

-dale
The first time I had a Sherman .50 cal fire a burst into the back of a StuG and immobilize it (in CMAK), I think I almost pooped myself. After I was done screaming for awhile actually.

I also have found that kangaroos, priests and other .50 cal armed vehicles really can march through a thicket of AT guns like they were the green giant stomping through a cornfield.

HO HO HO...

Cheers!

Leto
 

dalem

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You shoulda been there in the early days of the CMBO beta/release when .50 cals had all their oomph plus terrifying accuracy from moving jeeps, ACs, and HTs. :)

German HTs were superfluous really - gave you something to aim at. ;)

-dale
 

Patrocles

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Hell, Michael, you must remember the several times I tried to get a conversation started on that very topic - the modeling/overmodeling of U.S. vehicle .50cals.

Found one. It's got some interesting stuff in it too. I love mining the historical vault of the CM forum.

Here's another, with Harry Yeide pretty much confirming what we all think.

Still can't find "my" thread, the search parameters of the new BFC forum are poopy...

-dale
FWIW, the links are broken for me. Anyone else?
 

Rocket-Man

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One thing the CM series desperately needs is the ability to assign mortar asset to individual HQs so that a passing HQ does not grab control of a mortar away from the HQ you want to use it. I'm sure this has happened to everybody.
 

TacCovert4

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Is that even possible to code in? The ability of passing crews/infantry being able to use the externally mounted weapons of disabled vehicles?

If so, it would be awesome. Especially since just because the tank got disabled, it doesn't necessarily mean that that pintle mounted .50 is going away.
 

thewood

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I would think the tanks had to be completely burned out. If I had just seen a tank knocked out, I would stay away from it. Its a bullet magnate and possibly an explosion waiting to happen.
 

[hirr]Leto

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Is that even possible to code in? The ability of passing crews/infantry being able to use the externally mounted weapons of disabled vehicles?

If so, it would be awesome. Especially since just because the tank got disabled, it doesn't necessarily mean that that pintle mounted .50 is going away.

Welcome to the slippery slope of 1:1 infantry modeling... realistic yes... in need of some sort of functional abstraction: yes.

It's a tightrope walk at the best of times, and perhaps one of the most decisive arguments against 1:1 modeling: if you do 1:1 for every squad member, then you also need to do it within an AFV model, or anything else really. But when you consider that the 1:1 representation in CMSF is not REALLY 1:1, you begin to realize why. Too bad it is still being hailed as 1:1... the propoganda churns on.

Cheers!

Leto
 
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