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What is Combat Mission?

Page 4  CM manual:
ÔCombat Mission: Beyond Overlord is a tactical WWII combat simulation set in a 3D environment. Players issue orders in turns and then see the action executed in real-time. It simulates battles in northwestern Europe immediately following the Allied "D-Day" invasion of Normandy in June of 1944, also known as Operation Overlord, through to the end if the war in May 1945. Combat Mission allows the player to lead the soldiers of six nationalities (U.S., British, Canadian, Polish, French, and German) into battle using historical Tables of Equipment and Organization (TO&E), surroundings, and combat results. Combat Mission is not a video game. It requires thoughtful strategy and tactical skill to overcome the enemy while preserving oneÕs own forces and achieving the mission objectives.
Where can I get the demo?
The demo can be downloaded from http://www.battlefront.com/cmdemo.html. The demo is version 1.02.


Are there going to be any new scenarios for the demo?
 

No.
Where can I buy CM?
CM is only available from Battlefront.com. Read http://www.battlefront.com/about/about_festo.html to find out why CM is only available online.

How much does CM cost?
Read http://www.battlefront.com/products/pro_policy.html for BTSÕs full sales policy. CM sells for $45 + S&H. S&H is currently $8 for orders from US, Canada, and Mexico and $10 for all other foreign addresses.


How long does CM take to ship?

CM is shipped via the US Postal Service. Shipping by other methods (UPS, FedEx) is currently not available. Shipping time is approximately one week for US orders and two weeks for all other orders. Given the vagaries of postal delivery, there is a good chance you may receive your package earlier or later than the above estimates.


Does CM come with a box and a manual?

CM comes with a shrink-wrapped manual with the CD inside the manual. DonÕt freak out when your game arrives and you donÕt see a CD. J . CM does not come with a box. Boxes cost lots of money to produce and add little value to the game. Their sole purpose is to grab your eyeball in a store. As CM is only sold online, a box is unnecessary. CM comes with a fabulous 180-page manual.


Are there any reviews I can read about CM?

The battlefont.com website has links to several reviews.
http://www.battlefront.com/products/worldwar/cm/cm_rev.html.
Are there any CM websites out there?
    Yep. In fact, there is a webring setup for CM - http://nav.webring.org/cgi-bin/navcgi?ring=combatmission;list. The two biggest sites are http://www.battlefront.com, the official home of CM where there is a lively discussion board (over 75,000 posts). The other granddaddy of CM sites is http://combathq.thegamers.net.
Will there be any add-on packs for CM?
Yes. Although what it will contain or when it will be out is up in the air. Possibly new vehicles, new textures, new scenarios. The add-on pack WILL NOT include other theaters like the Eastern Front. Other theaters will be separate games.
What theaters will CM2, CM3, CM4, etc. cover?
CM2 Ñ Eastern Front 1941-1945
CM3 Ñ Mediterranean {Includes Balkans, Italy, and North Africa}
CM4 Ñ Early War 1939-1940 {France, Poland, etc.}
CM2 will definitely be made. The others are tentative but likely.
When will CM2 be out?
BTS has provided a time frame of 12-18 months. Even though CM already has a game engine in place, there is still a tremendous amount of work to do. TO&E for five years of war for the Germans, Russians, and Axis minor nations. All new models for the tremendous numbers of vehicles and equipment. New graphical textures for all of the new models. New terrain. Game engine upgrades (new building modeling, mouseholing, AI tweaks, etc.). In addition, support will still be given to CM1.


I didnÕt notice a CM: Pacific Theater listed.
 

That omission was not a mistake. BTS has no plans for a Pacific Combat Mission. For whatever reasons pro and con for a CM: Pacific Theater, and regular CM forum readers have seen them all (The Pacific is nothing but a jungle-fighting slaughterfest! The Pacific is exciting and intense infantry combat!) the Pacific is neither the designers (Steve Grammont and Charles Moylan) area of interest nor expertise. As a result, they are going to concentrate on other theaters of WWII.
Can I modify unit data?
No, internal data such as speed, armor, firepower, etc, canÕt be user-modified. If you have a problem with how something is modeled, BTS is certainly open to discussion about changing things.


Can I modify the textures and sounds?

Absolutely! The external graphics and textures have been intentionally set-up to be user modifiable. User mods are already available. Head on over to http://combathq.thegamers.net or some of the other websites listed in the CM webring http://nav.webring.org/cgi-bin/navcgi?ring=combatmission;list and download textures Ôtil the cows come home!


There are no winter textures in CM.

No winter textures shipped with CM. CM did ship with a neat feature, though. Winter textures can be added to CM without the need to overwrite existing texture files. Winter texture bmps begin with a Ô1Õ instead of a Ô0Õ. As a result, a blizzard of winter textures has appeared. Try the same sites listed above to download winter textures. Winter textures will only appear if the scenario has snow on the ground.
Where can I download scenarios?
Various sites on the CM webring http://nav.webring.org/cgi-bin/navcgi?ring=combatmission;list have scenario depots filled with scenarios. If you have created a scenario and want a website to host it for you, email the website for submission guidelines.
How do I take a screenshot?
For PC:
    Hit ÔPrintscreenÕ. 2. Paste image into your favorite paint program. If for some reason all you get is an image of your desktop (a known problem with some Voodoo cards) or for some other reason ÔPrintscreenÕ doesnÕt work, you might want to try a dedicated screen capture program. Hypersnap is a good program and is now available for a free trial from http://www.hyperionics.com.
For Mac: If you have a Ati based video card press Cmd-shift-3 and look on your HD for a file called Picture 1 (or 2 or 3 depending on how many photos you took). If you have a 3dfx based card search for a utility called GlideHack that allows you to take screenshots. You can set your own hotkeys using it.

 
What is the latest version of CM?
The latest version of CM is 1.05. The 1.05 patch can be downloaded from here: http://www.battlefront.com/products/worldwar/cm/
10a. Are versions 1.00, 1.01, and 1.02 compatible with each other?
Version 1.00 is not compatible with either of the other two versions. There are no compatibility problems that I am aware of between 1.01 and 1.02.
When will TCP/IP play be added?
TCP/IP play is a promised feature that will be available or free download. Projected completion time is about two months, although I donÕt exactly when the counter on those two months started.
11a. Why wasnÕt TCP/IP play included in the original release?
The fans can be blamed for this. Back in January there was a poll that asked whether the fans wanted the game delayed a month to put TCP/IP in or to ship the game without it. The vote was 95% to ship the game without TCP/IP play and patch it in later. We fans were eager to have the game sooner rather than later. Initially, the thought was that putting in TCP/IP would be a rather painless process, but that did not turn out to be the case.
My (video card, sound card, mouse, etc.) doesnÕt work. Help!
The first thing you should do is download the most recent driver for whatever driver is causing the problem. Doing this should clear up most problems. If this fails, post your problem to the CM tech support forum http://www.battlefront.com/cgi-bin/bbs/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro. Be as detailed as possible. At a minimum, include a description of the problem, hardware with driver versions, and OS.
I want an OOB screen!
If you want an OOB screen, you are not alone. OOB stands for Order of Battle and an OOB screen would basically list all of the units under your command. The arguments pro-OOB:
I have a hard time following what is happening to my men. I donÕt feel in control of my forces and an OOB screen would give me the info I need to better control my forces. I want a screen that lists my squads and teams with men left and status level and allows me to click on a squad and immediately jump to it so I can give it orders (or something to that effect). I can already get all of this information any by clicking on all my units or cycling through them using the +/- keys, but that is tedious.
Anti OOB: Welcome to the problems of command! CM already gives you WAY more information than any WWII commander would ever realistically have. With practice, it is possible to get a feel for what is happening to your men without having to click on every unit. Some people actually like the feeling of a loss of control (masochists J ). There are many ways to find your units and figure out what is happening to them. Sound cues and visual cues are probably your best way to get a quick idea of what is happening. Also there are numerous toggleable features to help keep track of your troops Ñ Floating unit state text descriptions, showing all movement paths/targeting lines, unit bases, changing the size of units, varying tree densities, smoke, as well as the +/- key to cycle through your units.
Ultimately including or not including an OOB screen is a Design Philosophy issue. BTS didnt include an OOB screen because they didnÕt feel it fit into the feel of the game. DonÕt worry though, including an OOB screen is being looked into for CM2.
Why do squads only have three men displayed?
Several reasons:
What is gamey?
"Gamey" is a situation where you exploit loopholes in the software to achieve an objective. For example, rushing crews into battle to provide intel is considered gamey by some. It should be pointed out that what one person considers "gamey", another person might not. So if PBEM, you might wish to lay some ground rules up front.

 
Can I watch all the movies together?
Not currently. BTS has this on their to-do list for either a CM1 patch, or for CM2.


Where are the MG34's for German Infantry?

"...the MG34 is not modeled for anything but vehicles that would have them (i.e. ball mounted or coax)."
By the timeframe which CM covers, the MG34, due to it's expense, and susceptability to problems from dirt and damage, was relegated to duty on vehicles. The MG42 was the standard MG in use, so the MG34 use in squads was not modeled.


My German halftracks/armored cars/Hetzers/Self Propelled Gun was just killed by a Jeep!?!? What's up with that?

The best description comes from Charles himself: http://www.battlefront.com/discuss/Forum1/HTML/007180.html
"The U.S. .50 cal was designed to destroy light armor. It can penetrate 12.7mm at 1000m, and 19mm at 550m, according to "Hell On Wheels" referencing the War Department's "Defense Against Mechanized Units". Obviously, at point-blank range, the penetration would be even greater (somewhere in the 22-25mm range, IIRC, sorry I don't have my data in front of me at the moment)." and later in the same post:
"And imagine what it's like. It's not a single shell penetrating. It's five, ten, maybe twenty or more. All richocheting around inside the tiny crew compartment, fragments flying everywhere. And more shots coming very quickly (no need to reload some big cannon, just squeeze the trigger!). The side of that Hetzer would look like Schweizer Käse. The .50 cal is a big bad mama jama."
To get a feel for the range that the .50 cal can reach out and touch someone, look at the following penetration diagram:
http://www.bigtimesoftware.com/images/mgvsht.jpg
As can be seen, the .50 cal can put the hurt on a German halftrack from a long way off.
All of that being said, Bigtime Software is looking into the current accuracy of the .50 cal against vehicles.

 

 

I just saw a platoon of US soldier walk right up to a German HMG 42 and take no casualties. Whats up with that?
 

First, makes sure you have downloaded the 1.03 patch for CM. Big T\me Software did some tweaks to increase the leathality of MGs for this version. That being said, there are many factors that decide the effectiveness of HMGs in CM. First of all, you may be causing more casualties then are shown in your HMGs kill statistics. If your targets are not fully identified (ie, the show up as 'Infantry Squad?' You will not get credit for casualties caused. What the enemy squad is doing will make a difference, a running squad is much more likely to take casualties then is a moving squad in a given amount of time. A moving squad is more likely to take casualties then a crawling squad in a given amount of time. Now, this is couterbalanced by the fact that a runnign squad will most likely be under fire for a shorter amount of time then a moving squad or crawling squad.
Crew quality will also greatly affect the MGs ability to cause casualties, as well as their current state (are they pinned or taking fire?) Another thing to note is, even though clear terrain is shown as just flat ground, CM takes into account that there are small bushes and undulations in the ground that can be used as cover.
Finally, MGs just aren't quite as effective killing machines as many people think based on what they've seen in other games and movies. What they are excellent at is supression and pinning units down. If used properly though, they can be very devestating. Steve set up an experiment that showed this well:
http://www.battlefront.com/discuss/Forum1/HTML/001788.html
And those results were beofre the 1.03 tweaks. Another thing to consider about MG effectiveness is that CM does take into account 'Grazing fire' and 'Plunging fire'. This is described in the .50 cal manual as:
Classes of Fire with Respect to the Ground.
(1) Plunging fire. Fire in which the angle of fall of the rounds (with reference to the slope of the ground) is such that the danger space is confined to the beaten zone, and the length of the beaten zone is materially shortened. Plunging fire is obtained when firing from high ground to low ground, when firing from low ground to high ground, and when firing at long ranges.
(2) Grazing fire. Grazing fire is fire in which the center of the cone of fire does not rise more than one meter above the ground. When firing over level or uniformly sloping terrain, the maximum extent of grazing fire obtainable is about 700 meters.


How many copies did BTS sell?
 

Since Big Time Software are a privately owned company they hold all their numbers close to their collective chests, (yes, they have been assimilated too). If they were to tell us all exactly how well they were doing other publishers might take more of an interest in wargames and soon the market would be flooded, and future BTS products swamped in a morass of mass-market.


How is Air support handled?
 

CM:BO models air support in a somewhat abstracted manner (bet you're getting used to hearing that).
 
First off: you buy air support as a form of artillery, rather than as you would buy a tank or an infantry platoon. You can ONLY buy fighter-bombers (sometimes referred to as Jagdbombers, or Jabos) for battles which are fought during the day, in clear weather. You cannot buy air support under any other conditions.
 
Second: you have NO CONTROL over the plane once the battle starts. It may come on turn 1, it may come on turn 30, it may not come at all. It may even bomb your own units by accident. War sucks, don't it?
 
Third: you will never actually see fighter-bombers. The most you will see is a plane-shaped shadow moving very quickly across the map, and usually leaving a trail of burning things behind it.
 
Fourth: yes, you CAN shoot down enemy fighter-bombers, and your own fighter-bombers can be shot down. CM models a variety of anti-aircraft guns, and in addition, tanks which have flexible MGs mounted will sometimes use them against enemy fighter-bombers. You can tell if a unit is targeting or being targeted by a fighter-bomber by looking at the targeting lines going to and from the unit. If there's a red targeting line going from an AA-capable unit to some point in the sky, that unit is trying to shoot the fighter-bomber down. If there's a yellow targeting line going from a unit to the sky, well...chances are that
unit's about to die.
 
Fighter-bombers are perhaps the most unpredictable units in CM. They can either work wonders, or they can be a waste of points. It's up to you to decide whether you want to take the chance.