Another New Guy's Frustration

Real time World War II combat simulation
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Another New Guy's Frustration

Post by Owl » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:13 am

I have tried over and over again, but the result is the same: My guys die and the AI wins. I've read and tried all the hints on this forum, guys die and the AI wins. I've played defense and offense guys die and the AI wins. Fire support from neighboring units? Might work, but I don't know since as soon as I make contact with the enemy, the contacting squads take 70-80% casualties in 20 seconds, are immobilized, and guys die and the AI wins. My artillery arrives in two weeks, but the AI artillery takes out my squads in 4 or 5 minutes. I've set the difficulty level at "very easy," guys die and the AI wins.

Maybe I'm handicapped by more than 20 years as an officer in the military. Maybe it's the fact that I'm over 50 years of age, have a job, and can't commit 40 hours a week to learning a game. All I know is that I spent some hard-earned money on a game that is about as satisfying (so far) as gouging my eyes on a pickett fence.

Any other hints for an old guy who is new to this game? :cry:

Andy Brown
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Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Post by Andy Brown » Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:30 am

Some of your guys dying doesn't mean the AI wins.

If you've got two or three squads facing off against an enemy squad, most of your guys won't die and the AI troops will eventually be shot out of position, even without some fancy, flanking manoeuvre.

The player's arty doesn't take longer to arrive than the AI's, it only seems that way :) (You can hear the AI's guns firing off-map same as yours).

If you have previous military experience, you may be having trouble accepting the level of casualties you take. You will take significant casualties no matter how well you play, though 70-80% in 20 secs sounds a bit exaggerated. I've been playing FF for years and casualties figures of 50% (dead and wounded) at the end of attacking games is undesirable but not unusual.

Defence is harder than attack so make your first games Very Easy Attacks with Mostly Infantry (gives you a tank or two to support your infantry without having to deal with too much aarmd defence) and trade in the support weapons for rifle squads until you start to get the hang of things.


Andy Brown

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Post by Knut » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:16 pm

Hi Owl,

I think we can all appreciate what you're going through. Here are some general hints.

In the attack, flanking movements work as well in the game as in real life. If you move your forces up the extreme right or left of the terrain, you can often bypass the defenders and then take them as they retreat to their flag. At the very least, you won't have to worry about being encircled by the defender.

Use your recon squads liberally! They are there to be targets so get them well out in front of you troops to locate the enemy. They also make great defenders as they can see further than they can shoot, so they won't be too quick to give away their position, unlike the HMG squad or the command team!

Have at least 2 squads ready to provide covering fire for each advancing squad. Liberally use the "Fire" button to check ranges and fields of fire and then "Cancel" it instead of actually firing. It is an extremely handy function. Tanks work great in this roll. Let the recon find the enemy, your tanks suppress them, and then move your regular squads to flank/destroy them, or blast them with arty.

Tanks have practically no ability to see the enemy! You must support your armor with with infantry and rely on the infantry to find targets for the tanks to shoot at. They will also "freeze up" when in the line of sight of an enemy tank or ATG, so be prepared for that.

Having at least 2 mortars in the attack is very useful for dealing with enemy ATGs. When an enemy gun is spotted, bring both mortars down on it. The 8 shells they fire in quick succession will suppress the gun, if not kill it, and usually no more than two salvos from each mortar will be enough to destroy it.

When attacking, don't let your troops get bunched up in the center. As you move forward, enemy forces that find themselves further away from their flag will pull back to their rear, and can catch your advance troops from the flank.

Be aware of where the defender is likely to be. He is almost always in woods, buildings, or on hill tops, so always treat these areas as if they are enemy occupied, and check them with your recon squads before moving your larger units into range. It can be extremely difficult to dislodge the enemy from buildings, so it is better to bypass those when possible, or suppress them with one tank and then "bulldoze" them out into the open for your infantry with another.

When defending, you may want to move any armor to the rear, out of sight behind a hill or some woods until you see where the attacker's main thrust will be. You can then order a flanking move to catch the enemy's tanks from the rear or side.

Always use the "F" key in defense to check your squads' ranges and line-of-sight during the deployment phase. Make sure to hit the "esc" key after checking each unit, or they will fire immediately at the beginning of each game.

If you get totally wiped on a mission, restart it! This is really handy when you're learning. Go to "File" > "Restart Game" at the top left of your screen, and it will take you back to the beginning. The enemy will deploy the same troops on the same terrain in the same places, so this will give you a big advantage and let you try and compare some different techniques.

I could keep going on, but hopefully these hints will help you out some. Remember you can also do things like choose "Mostly Infantry" along with "Very Easy", and then buy some extra tanks yourself for an added advantage as well. And if worse comes to worse, you can always choose to fight against the Italians! :)

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Great Help!

Post by Owl » Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:45 am

Andy & Knut;

Thanks a lot for taking the time to post your thorough replies! I'll implement your suggestions as I play more games!

"you may be having trouble accepting the level of casualties you take"

-Amen to that!

"70-80% in 20 secs sounds a bit exaggerated."

-A little exaggerated, I'm sure, but there are times that a squad or two have taken many casualties in very short order; Like in the time it takes to scroll the map, I'll see 3, 4 or even 5 more guys get hit.

In any case, thanks again for the help guys! I'll monitor the forum for even more help in the future! :roll:

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Post by Owl » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:42 am


Just got rated "Superb" after following the suggestions in this thread, although I would consider my casualties shockingly high (37%). I guess the rating system uses the old Russian military doctrine: "We have more people than you have bullets."

Anyway, now I know I will enjoy this game more. In fact, I think it will become all that the "Close Combat" franchise should have been.

Thanks AGAIN to Andy & Knut! :D

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Post by JeanBoule » Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:13 am

The contacting squads take 70-80% casualties in 20 seconds . . . .that is not a wild exageration. And when it does happen, you have lost the use of a couple of manoevre elements making it harder for the remaining ones, and they suffer an inevitable attrition.
As I played the game I was thinking all the time how ineffective the squads and weapons seemed to be, how slowly they moved, if they moved at all, how hard it was to get arty onto a target, how few casualties it seemed to be causing. I am satisfied that the AI does not cheat. It often seems my guys are not suffering many casualties at any one time but when end of game comes around - there are very few left!!! Especially in the "line" squads, there are few in the "survived" category. If you have 30% survivors, most will be mortar, HMG teams, or HQ squad members who don't (and should not need to) go close to the enemy, not to mention crews of AFVs which didn't seem to want to take any risks whatsoever.

Knut has done a terrific summary of ideas on how to get a reasonable result from the game, without descending into nit-picking detail. I can't think of anything important that he has left out.
Voila du boudin!

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