Steve's post on Infantry

Michael Dorosh

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I got this far, incidentally:

In JonS' combat DAR (During Action Report) he described a few soldiers, in two units, withdrawing under close observation of the enemy and yet being able to pull back out of the line of fire. You can see his post here at the very bottom. When I read it I was suddenly hit with an "ah-ha" moment that I felt translated well into a "teachable moment".

To do this right I have to first explain things in CMx1 terms since many of you are used to thinking in these terms. For those of you who have played CM:SF/CM:A for a while, and have commented about how infantry feels a lot more realistic, this might help you put your finger on why.
And then it struck me it may be just a 'propaganda piece'. Or put more nicely, a strawman. I don't feel that the infantry is all that realistic, or at least, I didn't when I left CM:SF at version 1.18 or so. But I haven't seen CM:BN or the latest builds, either.
 

thewood

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Steve has a very wierd memory about CM1. I see someone called him on it. I'll say again, it's 2007 all over again. I wouldn't be surprised to go back and find that exact sames post four yeras ago.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Steve has a very wierd memory about CM1. I see someone called him on it.
Explain, please?

I scanned through a couple of pages - I know, I'm being lazy. I saw JasonC in there pitching, however. It looks like good stuff but I'm not sure what to make of it to be honest.
 

mOBIUS

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It is more infantry intensive than CMx1 as you seem to give orders down to the team level. But the tank game seems to have suffered by the lack of numbers indicating penetration ability or armor thickness. The orders have to be all changed because things like 'hunt' are not real big in infantry team tactics. Maybe orders like hold fire until the entire enemy team is in sight would be more appropriate. And not pop off from ambush at a single enemy soldier in sight.
 

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Steve appears to be unaware that movement in CMx1 is not tile-based, even though terrain is.

I think it's a good thing for him to come out and spontaneously start discussing the game though. It beats only storming out of the barn to smack 'ill behaved' individuals upside the head.

Personally I like what I see from that Elvis / JonS DAR. Is it 100% realistic ? No, of course not, but so far I'm guessing that for me the suspension of disbelief will work. There's no way of telling if it will really work, and for as long as it did with CMx1, until I actually play the game though.

The point JasonC makes is what ultimately turned me off CMx1 : far too often you are forced into doing things that no real life commander would ever do. Yes, CM only depicts the fights at the very sharp end of the stick, but even then a real US company commander would be extremely unlikely to press the issue further at the stage where Elvis is at and many would probably have called the whole thing off after the first assault in the woods was repulsed with heavy losses. However I agree with Steve and, I believe, one poster who points it out that this is not a failing of the game.

What might be interesting is a campaign where there are a few battles where you should not press the issue in order to do well.
 

thewood

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But one thing CM2 has way over CM1 is a large variety of victory conditions. One condition used in CMSF is very high point loss for a set amount of casualties. It may not make a fun fight, but losing the game because 10 men out of 100 got killed is very realistic. The main issue is the AI can't handle those victory conditions. So it only matters for H2H.

btw, the comment about CM1's tile system and sighting and movement was what I was referencing in my comment about Steve's seletive and downright faulty memory. I am amazed that he was the designer considering how little he seems to know about CM1.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Steve appears to be unaware that movement in CMx1 is not tile-based, even though terrain is.

I think it's a good thing for him to come out and spontaneously start discussing the game though. It beats only storming out of the barn to smack 'ill behaved' individuals upside the head.

Personally I like what I see from that Elvis / JonS DAR. Is it 100% realistic ? No, of course not, but so far I'm guessing that for me the suspension of disbelief will work. There's no way of telling if it will really work, and for as long as it did with CMx1, until I actually play the game though.

The point JasonC makes is what ultimately turned me off CMx1 : far too often you are forced into doing things that no real life commander would ever do. Yes, CM only depicts the fights at the very sharp end of the stick, but even then a real US company commander would be extremely unlikely to press the issue further at the stage where Elvis is at and many would probably have called the whole thing off after the first assault in the woods was repulsed with heavy losses. However I agree with Steve and, I believe, one poster who points it out that this is not a failing of the game.

What might be interesting is a campaign where there are a few battles where you should not press the issue in order to do well.
Someone on the forum there mentioned, though, that you can alter the Victory Conditions now to include force preservation in order to also keep this realistic. They can probably do more in that regard, too. Like in ASL, where you had to, say, "capture building X8, but if you lose more than 5 squads doing it, you lose."
 

Michael Dorosh

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But one thing CM2 has way over CM1 is a large variety of victory conditions. One condition used in CMSF is very high point loss for a set amount of casualties. It may not make a fun fight, but losing the game because 10 men out of 100 got killed is very realistic. The main issue is the AI can't handle those victory conditions. So it only matters for H2H.
Ah, posted too soon. But good point about AI - however, I prefer H2H anyway. Unfortunately, the game seems to be optimized for solo play.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Well, I wouldn't wish caricature Jason's core argument about lethality of fire here, because I don't think he's denying these incidents happen at all. I think he's just asserting that -- fanatical banzai charges a la Bloody Nose Ridge or Elsenborn aside -- the vast majority of the bloodshed takes place in the opening moments of a firefight.

There was a time earlier in CMSF's development when infantry would go to ground in place when fired on and just keep dying and dying and dying at a steady rate for as long as you kept hosing them down. Even in decent cover. So all you had to do was just keep shooting; no real tactics required.

Whereas his view is that within scant seconds of a firefight, the surviving targets have wormed their way into solid cover even in the most unlikely places, and they will not continue taking casualties at anything like the same rate unless either (a) they expose themselves (e.g. resume fighting) or (b) you can bring weapons to bear on them from a different, unshielded angle, or chuck in HE or sumfink.

So in game terms, he is arguing, I think, for a significantly enhanced cover value (against bullets anyway) for units that are Pinned, Cowering or Hiding, as opposed to merely prone (and still fighting/Spotting). And I think he has a point, although as I've said there are other workarounds available.
Really good post there. Steve's response?

He ignored it. And talked about this instead:

Nope, the weakest realism link in any wargame is the player.
JasonC does have a point, I think, though not sure how it could be modelled in practice.
 

thewood

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It is strange the seems optimized for SP, yet the AI is fairly weak and difficult to work with. Seems to be working against itself. It's CMSF in a nutshell; one step forward, one step back.
 

thewood

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The cover thing is the weakest part of CM2 right now. Jason is hitting the nail on the head. CMSF's terrain seems to almost perfectly flat with little abstraction for units finding cover. I think its a legacy of the WYSIWYG thinking that permeated the design decisions in CM2. It was found pretty early in CM2 that some kind of abtraction was needed for cover. I am not sure there was ever an abtraction for concealment though.
 

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btw, the comment about CM1's tile system and sighting and movement was what I was referencing in my comment about Steve's seletive and downright faulty memory. I am amazed that he was the designer considering how little he seems to know about CM1.
Careful! Comments like that can get you a whole mess o' nasty PMs. :)

-dale
 

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The cover thing is the weakest part of CM2 right now. Jason is hitting the nail on the head. CMSF's terrain seems to almost perfectly flat with little abstraction for units finding cover. I think its a legacy of the WYSIWYG thinking that permeated the design decisions in CM2. It was found pretty early in CM2 that some kind of abtraction was needed for cover. I am not sure there was ever an abtraction for concealment though.
It still maintain that modeling concealment from vegetation will be the biggest challenge for CMBN.
 

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Either Elvis or JonS mentioned a visibility range of about 20m in the woods they've been fighting over.

When listening to Steve I wouldn't expect blanket restrictions of the type we had in CMx1 to exist in CMx2. You're either hidden behind a tree (what about undergrowth ?) or you're not. In short, I think Redwolf is right and at the moment from looking at the fight in those woods I'm a bit doubtful.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Either Elvis or JonS mentioned a visibility range of about 20m in the woods they've been fighting over.

When listening to Steve I wouldn't expect blanket restrictions of the type we had in CMx1 to exist in CMx2. You're either hidden behind a tree (what about undergrowth ?) or you're not. In short, I think Redwolf is right and at the moment from looking at the fight in those woods I'm a bit doubtful.
But it's the most realistic game EVER made.

Be careful what you wish for. If it ever DOES start tracking each tree and clump of underbrush, I think we truly can kiss PBEM goodbye, because God knows how they expect to make file transfers manageable.
 

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Well that's what he was going on about in his talk about JonS pulling the guys in the middle back, wasn't he ?
 

Redwolf

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I'm trying to read that long post for the <N>th time but there's no hard information in there, is there?
 
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