New Patch For Combat Mission

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Chad Harrison
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New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by Chad Harrison »

Hi all

I know that there are a number of people who play CM:SF lurking around here. I also know that there were a number of people who really enjoyed the original CM's, but are waiting for a lot of the finer points of CM:SF to be ironed out before putting the CD back in, or buying it.

A new patch was released today, version 1.11.

Lots of great changes once again. For those who played the original, you will appreciate this: the blue bar is back! In turn based mode, the turn is now once again calculated up front and you can fast forward the entire turn or do whatever you want, just like the old days.

Again, just a heads up.

Changelog follows:

Turn-Based Replay

Turn-based action is pre-computed with a "blue bar" before the action is displayed. This allows for improved performance of large battles on older computers, and for convenient "skipping ahead" in the early turns of a battle before enemy contact.
Craters, vehicle bog status, damaged buildings, walls, and trees display correctly (not too early).
Smoother vehicle and soldier movement.
The Fast-forward and Rewind buttons normally change time by 5 seconds, but will change by 10 seconds if the Control key is pressed, and 20 seconds if the Shift key is pressed.
Incoming rounds from air support attacks are displayed at the correct elevation.
Moving vehicles sound better in email replay.
Cease-fires and surrenders activated in mid-replay don't "forget" what happened later in replay when calculating victory.
Correct animation is shown after a soldier switches weapons.
Corrected a problem that sometimes caused unbuttoned vehicle crewmen not to be shown in replay.
Corrected a rare case where, after replay, a casualty could be shown using the animation he had just before becoming a casualty.

Vehicles

Improved pathfinding and obstacle avoidance.
Vehicle secondary explosions do not continue for too long in email games.
Improved coordination between the rotations of vehicle hulls and turrets.
Fixed a bug that sometimes caused vehicle ammo to increase.
Stryker MGS uses an improved APFSDS round, the M900, rather than the M833.
LAV-25 will use its coax MG, not its 25mm cannon for "Target Light".
LAV-A2 series armor thickness reduced.
Modified ammo loadouts on early-model T-72 tanks.
MTVR trucks have a new floating icon image.
In the M7A3 Bradley BFIST and the M1131 Stryker FSV, if an artillery or air spotter/observer/controller is riding as a passenger, he will switch seats with a vehicle crewman so he can use the vehicle's powerful FS-3 optical equipment. Note that the vehicle must unbutton to use the FS-3.
The Platoon HQ Stryker ESV, with only one crewman (a driver) will use its MG if a passenger is aboard to man it.
Corrected a problem that sometimes caused ricochets off vehicle armor not to be displayed.
Fixed "twitchy" vehicle movement when moving to a destination very close to another vehicle.
Crews will not retain a pop-smoke targeting order after bailing out of their vehicle.
Fixed a potential problem with a BMP-3 crew re-entering the vehicle but then not using its weapons.
Passengers consistently close the rear doors on the LAV-25 when required.
When a vehicle driver is hit, another crewman takes his place even if there are passengers on the vehicle.
Increased time penalty for reloading a vehicle-mounted weapon with a destroyed autoloader.
Light vehicles have tighter suspensions.

Infantry

Improved soldier pathfinding.
Soldiers can "fire on the move" when inside buildings.
Fixed a bug that could make soldiers moving in a building suddenly drop down a level, or stand too close to the walls.
When a squad splits into teams, the teams divide ammo amongst themselves more evenly.
Corrected a problem where a soldier could become "stuck" moving up a steep slope.
When a squad splits into teams and later reforms, its original targeting orders from before the split won't still be active.
Accuracy of marksmen slightly increased.
Split squads reform when aboard vehicles.
Grenade throwing between adjacent levels in a building works better.
RPG-16 reloads correctly.
A slight difference in elevation will not prevent soldiers moving from rooftop to rooftop.
Corrected a problem where soldiers could lose a weapon recently acquired from a vehicle on the next turn of an email game.

TacAI

Improved infantry team evasive movement logic.
Soldiers with area-fire orders are better at taking aimed shots at individual enemies who subsequently appear in the targeted area, especially in buildings.
Suppressive fire: when you order direct fire at an enemy infantry unit, and that enemy unit later disappears from sight, the target order is not immediately canceled. Instead, your unit will continue to area-fire sporadically at the enemy's last known location for a short time if the LOS is sufficiently clear for area-style targeting (note that sometimes it won't be). Volume of fire is lighter versus open terrain, and shots will be taken at other targets of opportunity as usual. If the enemy reappears, it will again be targeted directly. If it does not reappear for about 45 seconds, the target order is canceled. A similar behavior applies to individual soldiers who have fired on enemy infantry without targeting orders from the player. They will continue to area-fire at their target's last known location for about 30 seconds.
Soldiers are better at moving to advantageous firing positions inside a building.
When appropriate, vehicles will attempt to "shoot and scoot" in cases like a BMP-1 where the guided missile takes a long time to reload.
Grenadiers are more willing to use their rifles, not just the grenade launchers.
Hunting units are not so quick to halt if they encounter distant explosions.
Troops crawling behind a wall won't go up to kneeling/firing position while waiting for teammates to catch up.
TacAI aims a little lower versus certain vehicles, especially those without turrets, for better accuracy.
Soldiers placed near the top of of a steep slope (looking up) are more likely to crouch than lie prone, so they can get a clear LOS/LOF over the rim of the slope.
Heavy-weapons gunners and forward observers are less likely to fire their light personal weapons (in order to keep a lower profile).
Javelin gunners fire missiles at enemy infantry in buildings less often.
Gunners pay slightly less attention to enemy vehicles that are abandoned but not destroyed.

Computer Player

Computer player is quicker to surrender when most of its forces are knocked out.
Computer player is more aggressive with its artillery and air strikes, and better coordinates its artillery smoke missions.
Computer-player units don't arbitrarily change their facing when the battle starts.
Computer player does a better job organizing movement destinations of its vehicles.
Bunkers
Fixed the "floating bunkers" bug.
Bunkers can reliably be placed near trees in a scenario without being shifted.
Medic/"Buddy Aid"
Soldiers more reliably pick up "important" weapons from fallen comrades, but marksmen won't drop their scoped rifles to pick up grenade launchers.
More likely to happen between soldiers in the same squad/team than in different squads/teams.
Works across action spot boundaries.
Less likely to happen when under fire.

Air and Artillery Support

Building protection versus artillery airbursts is increased.
You no longer hear enemy artillery and air support communication even if you have spotted their forward observer.
Targeting support fire on building domes works correctly.
If an artillery spotter loses sight of the target during the spotting round phase, accuracy of the fire mission is reduced appropriately.
U.S. Army JTAC, and U.S. Marine Fire Control teams are faster at calling in air strikes.
Incoming rounds from helicopter guns won't impact off-map (too early) when the game map is steeply sloped.
Joining teams together to reform a squad when one team is already spotting for air or artillery strikes works correctly.

User Interface

Hotkey for toggling floating icons can also toggle display of spotting contact "?" icons.
You may change between real-time and turn-based mode between battles of a campaign, or exit to the game intro screen.
The automatic prompt to save a campaign game now comes just after clicking away the end-of-battle screen, not after loading the next battle.
Pause command increments are: 5sec, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 1:00, 1:15, 1:30, (Unlimited) Pause.
Camera zoom up to x20.
Engineers who are passengers on a vehicle may be given a Blast move order, provided it's not the first waypoint.
An enemy unit will no longer remain "selected" in the game interface if it disappears from your units' view.
The game won't allow setting area targets that are a little too low for your gunners to see.
Split squads that have special names display their team names correctly, e.g. "Havoc 1 / A Team".
Target orders given to a double-clicked HQ (which selects its formation) do not apply to reinforcements in that formation that have not yet arrived.
In turn-based play, there is no longer a problem with dismounting from a UAZ and immediately plotting a move into a building.
The target cursor shows "Reverse Slope Target" instead of "Reverse Slope".
"Hint text" is not shown when there is a priority message (like reinforcement arrival) so they don't overwrite.

3D Graphics

Faster frame rates in large battles.
New blown-out building wall models.
Updates to models: BRDM-2, BRDM-2 (AT5), BMP-3, AAV-7, AAVC-7, M1A1 Abrams USMC, and M16 rifle.
When walls of different types abut, the sides render correctly.
Foxholes are no longer darkened, so they won't give away infantry positions.
Columns of smoke look correct in internet/LAN games.
Distant dirt and gravel roads display correctly when using Better or Best 3D Texture Quality option.
Light from moonrise appears more gradually.
Landmark text is more readable when it's positioned below the distant mountains but above the edge of the map.

TO&E

New Syrian Mech Airborne Infantry Battalion formation.
Updates to Syrian Airborne Rifle Squad, Marine Fire Control Team, and a few US artillery formation names.
Marine sniper teams carry more sniper-rifle ammo.
Syrian forward observers have binoculars.
M4A1 rifle renamed to M4.

Quick Battles

Syrian forces always have a forward observer if artillery is available.
Troop Quality parameter has a greater effect on force size: low-quality forces are larger than before, and high-quality are smaller.
If a map was mistakenly designed with "duplicate" Occupy-Terrain objectives for each force, a Quick Battle won't import two copies of the objectives.

Miscellaneous

Smoother internet play.
Fixed a bug that caused some newer sound cards not to use enough sound channels.
The effect of experience on spotting ability is increased.
It's slightly less easy to spot enemies who have just fired their weapons, especially antitank launchers.
Scenarios with big maps load faster.
Surrender does not necessarily lead to total defeat. The scores for Terrain Touch, Terrain Destroy, and all Unit objectives are preserved.
IEDs can be detonated by nearby explosions.
Pre-battle Intel "?" icons don't disappear if the associated units are eliminated while not spotted.
AT-10, AT-11, and AT-12 missiles have a 100m minimum range.
Elite mode allows friendly fire in dark conditions.
Trees are tougher to destroy, especially palm trees.
Corrected some rare problems with LOS/LOF and buildings.
Marine Assault (aka SMAW) squad shows an antitank floating icon.

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Chad Harrison
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RE: New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by Chad Harrison »

Having played it for a bit now, I can say that two things make such a huge difference: the return of the 'blue bar' and vehicle path finding.
 
The blue bar (ie. the turn is calculated ahead of its replay, just like the original Combat Mission games if you have played them, instead of being calculated in real time) makes the game feel much more like its forefathers; which is a great thing! You can now skip through boring turns, so the days of having to sit through a 1 minute turn watching nothing happening are over with. AND, this will help the game to run better on older machines.
 
For anyone who has played CM:SF in any form, you know there have been both big and small issues with vehicle path finding. They finally came up with a simple solution: when two vehicles come to the same position and will block each other, one of the simply pauses for 5 seconds while the other continues on its path. To test it, I had 8 Strykers try to go through a small opening in a wall at the same time. Previously, they would have come up with crazy paths to get through there. You would have ended up with 7 out of 8 Strykers half way across the map. Now with the latest patch, they all moved forward to the opening, and they continued to pause to wait their turn. It sounds like a small thing, but it makes a huge difference.
 
Along with the other changes in this patch, and previous patches, CM:SF is finally, in my opinion, at the same greatness level as the original CM's. In many ways, again in my opinion, it is much, much better than the original. Things are looking really good for the upcoming WWII version of CMx2 (Normandy Campaign incase you didnt know).
 
Just to be clear too, I am in no way associated with Battlefront. I was actually introduced to Matrix Games through Battlefront (was beta testing for Panther Games when they made the switch). As with many here, I played the original CM's to death. Absolutely loved them. When CM:SF was released, in addition to having no interest in the subject matter, I was turned off by many of the original bugs and so on. I shelved it after a couple weeks of play.
 
Again, this is just an FYI posting. Especially for those, like me, who bought CM:SF and shelved it after little play. If this is you, fire it up again. You may like what you find [:D]
 
Good hunting.
 
Chad
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JudgeDredd
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RE: New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by JudgeDredd »

I love the game and will get the patch. Thx for the heads up.
 
I don't know if they've fixed it, but one of the "really" annoying things with vehicles for me was when your vehicle reached a waypoint...rather than continue on it's journey, it stopped and turned on the spot. I often found this made them very,very vulnerable and lost more vehicles like that than any other way.
 
Hopefully it's fixed. If not...oh well...they are good to look at for the time they are alive!
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hadberz
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RE: New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by hadberz »

Thanks for the heads up. Sounds like some good changes.
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Chad Harrison
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RE: New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by Chad Harrison »

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

I don't know if they've fixed it, but one of the "really" annoying things with vehicles for me was when your vehicle reached a waypoint...rather than continue on it's journey, it stopped and turned on the spot. I often found this made them very,very vulnerable and lost more vehicles like that than any other way.

I have not had that happen to me, but I micromanage the facing of my vehicles. In other words, I will assign a facing to the last waypoint to make sure they point the right direction.
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RyanCrierie
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RE: New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by RyanCrierie »

Thank God the blue bar and "Fast forward" are now back. Because of this I might actually buy Marines and British Forces...
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Prince of Eckmühl
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RE: New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by Prince of Eckmühl »

ORIGINAL: Chad Harrison

Having played it for a bit now, I can say that two things make such a huge difference: the return of the 'blue bar' and vehicle path finding.

The blue bar (ie. the turn is calculated ahead of its replay, just like the original Combat Mission games if you have played them, instead of being calculated in real time) makes the game feel much more like its forefathers; which is a great thing! You can now skip through boring turns, so the days of having to sit through a 1 minute turn watching nothing happening are over with. AND, this will help the game to run better on older machines.

I've followed this discussion for a while now, and I'm sorta perplexed by the whole deal. If Steve is to be believed, the results of a WEGO turn in which the graphics are displayed during the computational phase are exactly the same as when the graphics are decoupled and run AFTER the computational phase. Further, Steve has said that the reason that the original method was used was because that's the only way that nineties-era hardware could handle it. Some people with low-end systems began having truly wretched frame-rate problems after they patched the game to 1.10, so BF bailed them out with the antiquated "blue-bar" technology. I'd note that it's those same low-end systems that struggle to crunch a turn, anyhow, so their owners will still have to wait for the turn to resolve, fast-forward, or not.

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JudgeDredd
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RE: New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by JudgeDredd »

I don't know what the furrore is about. I prefer real time for this game anyway. [:D]
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RyanCrierie
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RE: New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by RyanCrierie »

So I've tried out my dusty copy of CM:SF with the v1.11 patch; and while the blue bar and fast forwarding improves the quality of the game massively, it still is clunky to play; because I'm always right clicking to bring up the unit menu, like in Combat Mission x1 and Panzer Command; and I find myself pushing the keys that I use in Panzer Command to spin and rotate the 3D camera around.

But seriously, this is the game-mechanic state that CMSF should have been released in sixteen months ago, with at least the space bar menu and the blue bar.....

Alas, BFC has pretty much told their fanbase to **** off; and it looks like they're only finally getting it, too little, too late. [/align]
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Prince of Eckmühl
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RE: New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by Prince of Eckmühl »

ORIGINAL: RyanCrierie
But seriously, this is the game-mechanic state that CMSF should have been released in sixteen months ago, with at least the space bar menu and the blue bar.....

Ryan, I really respect your technical acumen. [:)]

If the computations are the same in WEGO, RT vs "blue-bar," why does it matter?

We're not comparing RT vs WEGO, here, but one way of resolving WEGO vs another.

The developer claims that the results are identical for the two routines.

Do you take issue with that assertion?

If not, I fine myself struggling to understand your objections to resolving the turn and displaying the turn animations simultaneously.

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JudgeDredd
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RE: New Patch For Combat Mission

Post by JudgeDredd »

Actually Battlefront didn't tell anyone to **** off. What they did do was take the game in a new (read better) direction. The fact that old die hards didn't like it doesn't mean BFC told them to **** off.
 
I find it bizarre that people talk about Battlefront in this way. This is a company that gave people Combat Mission Beyond Overlord, Combat Mission Barbarossa to Berlin and Combat Mission Afrika Korps and many others....millions of hours of gaming. So BFC take the the genre in a new direction and BANG...all of a sudden they're telling fans to **** off. They did no such thing.
 
Combat Mission Shock Force is a fantastic game (with or without the blue bar....I'm not even sure what blue bar people are referring to!!). Bloody naysayers ought to wind their neck in and try something new. That company has provided millions of hours of entertainment for many, many people and BFC were verbally attacked for CM:SF...it was the naysayers that told BFC to **** off....not the other way about. All BFC said was "Look...we've made a decision to go this route. The franchise is committed to this route"...people read "ALL YOU OLD CUSTOMERS OF OURS CAN JUST **** OFF"....bizarre.
 
Personally, I think it's a great game and am cuffed to bits they went the route they did. Gameplay is great. Sounds are awesome. Graphics are fantastic and what I always wanted in the old Combat Mission games.
 
In fact, I'd go as far as to say I'm gutted they're going back to WWII which, imo, has enough coverage. I think the hard core CM fans need to wind their necks in and go with the flow. If they unwind a bit, they might find what alot of people find with CMSF...a great game. [:D]
 
Of course, all that is just my opinion...and in this great world of free speech that we live in, I'm entitled to air it [:'(]
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