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    Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

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    dukling

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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by dukling on Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:49 am





    Very Happy


    Last edited by dukling on Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    33lima
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:04 pm

    I just played the #1 VB mission for the frist time and it's great to see that SF has at last arrived in Normandy!

    Some comments:

    1. The Tigers have a large LSSAH marking on the LH turret side, where the tank's tactical number should really be (on both sides). The grey streaks on the camouflage are also a bit strange for mid-1944.

    2. The Cromwells with the camo nets are really great work - even the pattern of the hessian strips woven into the net is correctly shown. Brilliant!

    3.  'Fire position' or 'Battle position' would be a better, more military term for 'observation spot'.  The latter sounds like an OP (observation post) intended just for watching.

    4. I would suggest the briefing will be easier to understand and follow with the following change. Replace ''Move to the the observation spot, then wait...'  with 'Move to the area of Point 213. Get into a fire position there, from which you can cover the N175 road from Villers Bocage. Then wait...' This is better for several reasons. It's more military, plus Point 213 is labelled on the map and the 'observation spot' is not. It would also be good to change the 3d world marker from 'Observation spot' to just 'Point 213'.

    5. What do the 'Danger zone' markings on the map mean? Isn't everywhere, in a battle zone, dangerous? Suggest removing them. If they are places where the player really should not go for some reason, say why, in the briefing - mined, soft ground, whatever. 'Don't go there because the mission won't work' isn't a good reason to give Smile

    6. Replace all the Bedford 3-tonners with M3 half tracks.

    7. Suggest that the British advance guard is programmed to make Point 213 its objective, and stop/'go firm' there. This would be more consistent with the real battle. And it would prevent the player having to spend a lot of time picking off every last suicidal AI infantryman, who just carry on dashing or crawling towards Caen, regardless of the deadly threat behind them.  Wiping them out at Point 213 would be less unrealistic. Better still, if the AI can be programmed to run back to VB, if and when their losses get too heavy. If they just carry on towards Caen regardless, the 'turkey shoot' which then happens is a bit silly, plus it distracts the player when it would be better if he focussed on Point 213 and then Villers. This sort of behaviour is ok for troops who are trying desperately to escape an encirclement and get to safety, but for an attacking force, it can look wildly un-realistic. Having the British 'go firm' on or near Point 213 would avoid this.

    8. The second Tiger had got to VB long before me (where it lost a track on the outskirts). It might be better if its move was triggered in a different way, so that it did not do this.

    9. At times, the British tanks seem very resistant to 88mm AP rounds. I got several good, close-range hits on one Cromwell which stopped it shooting but it just turned around and drove off fast. Checking the statistics, I can see some hits were glancing blows or non-lethal but still, at times, my 88mm rounds don't seem as lethal as they should be.

    The VB map is excellent, probably one of the best ever made for SF, brilliant work (I guess that there is some reason that it is not possible to have a main street in Villers with no gardens and houses or shops in a row, on either side). At times my FPS are lower than usual and things are a bit choppy but it is still playable.

    PS the briefing says the mission will fail, if the enemy recce units spot me. Can this condition be removed? Fine, it is better not to be seen, until you start shooting. But to faill the mission because you are seen early, seems wrong and would not happen in real life. You might be more likely to lose, but not with certainty.
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    lockie
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by lockie on Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:09 pm

    Hi, 33lima
    Thanks for the good report and comments. Let's have all of them Wink

    33lima wrote:
    1. The Tigers have a large LSSAH marking on the LH turret side, where the tank's tactical number should really be (on both sides). The grey streaks on the camouflage are also a bit strange for mid-1944.
    Could u enclose picture what do u mean?
    Here's Wittmann's "Tiger"


    2. The Cromwells with the camo nets are really great work - even the pattern of the hessian strips woven into the net is correctly shown. Brilliant!
    Thanks! This congrats goes to will73 and yl9961027!

    3.  'Fire position' would be a better, more military term for 'observation spot'.
    Accepted.

    4. Replace ''Move to the the observation spot, then wait...'  with 'Move to the area of Point 213. Get into a fire position there, from which you can cover the N175 road from Villers Bocage. Then wait...'
    Will do.

    5. What do the 'Danger zone' markings on the map mean? Isn't everywhere, in a battle zone, dangerous?
    Did u try to come there? Wink

    Suggest removing them. If they are places where the player really should not go for some reason, say why, in the briefing - mined, soft ground, whatever.
    It was mentioned in the briefing "Your task"
    BE CAREFUL with the enemy scouts! If they will spot your tank, then mission failed!
    Perhaps, I should have been added:
    BE CAREFUL with the enemy scouts! The "Dangerous zone" is marked on the map. If they will spot your tank, then mission failed!

    6. Replace all the Bedford 3-tonners with M3 half tracks.
    Why? Some M3 half-tracks presented in the V.2

    7. Suggest that the British advance guard is programmed to make Point 213 its objective, and stop/'go firm' there. Wiping them out at Point 213 would be less unrealistic. Better still, if the AI can be programmed to run back to VB, if and when their losses get too heavy.
    OK, it's possible to implement.

    8. The second Tiger had got to VB long before me. It might be better if its move was triggered in a different way, so that it did not do this.
    Will be fixed.

    9. At times, the British tanks seem very resistant to 88mm AP rounds.
    Yes, Cromvell is to hard to be killed with any guns. This is because of the cockpit, which located inside 3D tank model and thus it has additional armor, which protects the crew from shell fragments. Usually, cockpit is a separate 3D model. The armor should be decreased.

    The VB map is excellent, probably one of the best ever made for SF, brilliant work.
    Polygon was made by Deviator  cheers

    At times my FPS are lower than usual and things are a bit choppy but it is still playable.
    This is because too many objects on the polygon. U may check "decrease amount of plants" in the video setting.


    Last edited by lockie on Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    33lima
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:19 pm

    I recommend replacing the trucks with half-tracks because (i) the German photos show that the mech infantry in the British force had carriers and M3s...



    and (ii) that is more appropriate for the infantry batallions in British 1944 armoured units, than soft-skinned vehicles. In the mission, I saw several trucks, and a lot of carriers, but no half-tracks.

    Bedford 3-ton trucks are likely to be rare or absent in a combat area or with an armored spearhead. Tanks would generally withdraw to a leaguer (harbour), at night, to get 'bombed up' from the trucks of the supply echelon. Bedfords were used to transport troops but they would have been the short, 15 cwt Bedford, which the troops called TCVs (Troop Carrying Vehicles):



    At Villers, I doubt if there were many trucks of any kind. Likely a few, but not many.

    About the markings on the Tigers, here is mine, in-mission; the other Tiger looks the same:



    They both have the white Leibstandardte shield emblem on the foward Left Hand side of the turret, and the tank tactical # (205, partly hidden by the spare track links, here) further back. Photos of Wittman's unit's Tigers are like your profile. The tactical number is further forward, under where the smoke dischargers used to be, on earlier Tigers. Likely the Germans moved the numbers there on Tigers, when they moved the spare track stowage from the lower nose to the turret sides, hiding the place where the numbers used to be painted.

    And those grey stripes look odd. OK maybe for a tank painted in 'panzer grau' before spring 1943 then crudely over-painted in later-war colours; but it doesn't look right on an early 1944 production Tiger.

    About the dangerous zones, I think I understand now what they are for. But they aren't realistic. How would the Germans know which exact zones were under allied observation? And why would my mission fail, if I allowed myself to be spotted?

    I am guessing that the mission logic will mean that the British units will not move properly if Witmann's Tiger is seen too soon. So the player needs to 'co-operate'. But I think this is a very un-realistic way of achieving that.

    Better ways would be either:

    1. Start the mission with the player already in a defensive position on Point 213 and tell him to ambush the British from there, on no account move away from that area until the British point troops have been destroyed!

    ...or...

    2. In the briefing, tell the player only the FIRST part of his mission - 'Move to Point 213, ambush the Tommies on the N175 from there. Move directly - and get there as fast as you can!' Set a trigger to give the orders for the second phase - the attack on VB - later. For example after a fixed time or after British losses reach a fixed level, or after the second Tiger starts to move. The order could be displayed as text, like this: 'Elephant 1 from HQ [I forgot the callsign!], when you are done up there, get down the road and clear Villers Bocage. Elephant 2 will support you from the south.'

    ...or...

    3. Use one arrow from Beauvais direct to Point 213, instead of the slightly confusing three arrows that are on the map now, to encourage the player to go directly to that spot. If it is also needed for the player to drive down the N175 into town, add another arrow from Point 213 to VB

    ...or...

    4. If you must keep the 'danger zones', mark them instead as 'suspected minefields'. That ought to keep players out of them. And it's a lot more realistic! Zones which are under naval gunfire would also work but the Germans would not know where these where - and anywhere could be shelled.

    Just some suggestions!

    I definitely think stopping the British at Point 213 would be a good idea. I remember more than one Eastern Front SF mission with the same sort of problem. It's ok if the enemy troops are rushing away to escape an encirclement but it's just daft in a normal attack, charging like lemmings, and is especially bad in a mission where you lose, if a single, crawling enemy or speeding light tank gets past you to the objective, which I think may be the case in one of the other missions.
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    33lima
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:07 pm

    I have just started a mission report over at CombatAce, which I will also post over here, when it's complete; this covers the Panzer IV mission:

    http://combatace.com/topic/86604-villers-bocage-minus-the-tiger/

    A couple of comments so far:

    - I would have preferred to have had 3 or 4 Panzer IVs under my command. With SF's incautious AI, it becomes a one-tank mission too easily. And more than one SPW would have been better than just one, by default.

    - As in all tanksim mission briefings, I would have liked the briefing to tell all the platoon leaders what their tasks were, both to better explain to me what was supposed to happen, but also because that is how it is done in real life;

    - The turret side tank numbers on Panzer IV 205 seem to sit out a little in the air, past the bend in the turret spaced armour (seen in the first pic of mission report) - making the numbers a little smaller, would fix this; plus the tank would look better in the yellow-brown-green three-colour camouflage most German tanks carried at this time;



    - The British armour should in 1944 probably not carry the red and white flashes, which were common in the desert but not in NW Europe. Smaller tank names would also make it less obvious that all tanks of the same model (I think) have the same name. Each tank really had a different name, starting with the letter of their Squadron/Company.

    Great mission, the shorter lines-of-sight in the closer country make the mission more scary than usual! And the environment is fantastic!
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    lockie
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by lockie on Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:32 am

    33lima wrote:I recommend replacing the trucks with half-tracks
    M3 half-tracks are not fully implemented for GBR side yet.

    Tigers both have the white Leibstandardte shield emblem on the forward Left Hand side of the turret, and the tank tactical # 205.
    It's possible to fix the same numbers, but I can't promise.

    And those grey stripes look odd. OK maybe for a tank painted in 'panzer grau' before spring 1943 then crudely over-painted in later-war colours, but it doesn't look right on an early 1944 production Tiger.
    These grey stripes should look as muddy on the hull Smile I tried to change the original camo on the more muddy, coz Tigers looked as from the shop. Now it has dark color and not as souvenir from the duty free zone.

    About the dangerous zones, I think I understand now what they are for. But they aren't realistic.
    It's a part of the mission.

    How would the Germans know which exact zones were under allied observation?
    There is a squad of scouts, brought this info and made marks on the map.

    And why would my mission fail, if I allowed myself to be spotted?
    Because, column will stop, thus there is no ambush in the open area.

    I am guessing that the mission logic will mean that the British units will not move properly if Witmann's Tiger is seen too soon. So the player needs to 'co-operate'. But I think this is a very un-realistic way of achieving that.
    This is a game Smile

    1. Start the mission with the player already in a defensive position on Point 213 and tell him to ambush the British from there, on no account move away from that area until the British point troops have been destroyed!
    It's already done. The time which user has to spend to get to the point 213 is equal time to get column in the ambush. I do it deliberately, coz staying during 5 minutes on the same place is boring.

    I definitely think stopping the British at Point 213 would be a good idea.
    OK, I'll try to implement it.

    33lima wrote:I have just started a mission report over at CombatAce, which I will also post over here, when it's complete, this covers the Panzer IV mission:
    http://combatace.com/topic/86604-villers-bocage-minus-the-tiger/
    Great report!

    - I would have preferred to have had 3 or 4 Panzer IVs under my command.
    It'll be home-work for the user's missions Smile

    - As in all tanksim mission briefings, I would have liked the briefing to tell all the platoon leaders what their tasks were, both to better explain to me what was supposed to happen, but also because that is how it is done in real life;
    I just added short comments in English to underst what should be done in the mission.

    - The turret side tank numbers on Panzer IV 205 seem to sit out a little in the air, past the bend in the turret spaced armour (seen in the first pic of mission report) - making the numbers a little smaller, would fix this
    It's possible.

    plus the tank would look better in the yellow-brown-green three-colour camouflage most German tanks carried at this time
    OK.

    - The British armour should in 1944 probably not carry the red and white flashes
    It could be fixed in the future, but not this time.

    Great mission, the shorter lines-of-sight in the closer country make the mission more scary than usual! And the environment is fantastic!
    Thanks! cheers


    Last edited by lockie on Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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    33lima
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:00 pm

    OK yes I understand that the player must stay out of sight, otherwise the enemy AI will not drive up to Point 213 to be ambushed. That's ok.

    I just think the 'danger zones' concept is an unrealistic way of making the player do that, when other, more realistic ways are available.

    Best might be to put one mighty, great, no-nonsense blue arrow pointing from Beauvais to Point 213. A strong visual hint, 'JUST GO STRAIGHT HERE!' Or change the labels from 'Danger zone' to 'Suspected minefields' or 'Soft ground - avoid'. German recce patrols would not be able to determine with certainty which exact zones the British could see.

    Or simply tell the player that it is VITAL that they get to Point 213 unobserved by British forces to the west, so stay in cover. Give the player a little challenge in map reading and use of cover.
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by lockie on Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:27 pm

    33lima wrote:I just think the 'danger zones' concept is an unrealistic way of making the player do that, when other, more realistic ways are available.
    Danger means danger Smile Everybody knows this word. Danger means - DON'T GO! Or u'll get a trouble. It's clear. The briefing has description where to user should go, of course he has a choice to go in other direction, then be prepared - mission failed Smile
    There are no mines and soft grounds. There are Brits scout who may spot Tiger and send warning message to the column. It leads - mission failed, coz column stopped.
    OK, I may put on the map two arrows instead three, just don't understand why Smile Coz three arrows exactly directed to the place where to.

    German recce patrols would not be able to determine with certainty which exact zones the British could see.
    Of course, they don't know, that's why they marked possible "Dangerous Zone" . It does that with a high probability Tiger will be spotted by the enemy scout patrol, if he come to this zone. Meanwhile, if he doesn't come to this zone - the probability to be spotted will be a very low. So user has a choice where to.

    Or simply tell the player that it is VITAL that they get to Point 213 unobserved by British forces to the west, so stay in cover. Give the player a little challenge in map reading and use of cover.
    I did. Here's description:
    You have to execute the next tasks:
    1. Move to the area of Point 213. Get into a fire position there, from which you can cover the No175 road from Villers Bocage. Then wait for the scout VIPER message: Rockie is out of town.
    2. After that message has been received, you have to intercept the enemy column and destroy it.
    3. Then move to the down town and capture Viller-Bocage.\n
    There will be additional "Tiger", which help you to destroy column and capture the town. Meanwhile this "Tiger" out of order, but soon it will be ready to take part in action. BE CAREFUL with the enemy scouts! The "Dangerous zone" is marked on the map. If they will spot your tank, then mission failed!
    Don't move until you will get confirmation signal from scout squad!
    Good luck!
    I'd be pleased, if u make all necessary adjustments to the current text, then I'll put it in the briefing.
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by lockie on Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:06 pm

    Brits infantry is a very precize and accuracy! They made TWO hits from bazooka into my gun Very Happy


    I was so close to the "mission completed successful", but... Twisted Evil
    My advice: be careful with Brits infantry!

    PS
    I've managed to decrease Cromvell inner armor(cockpit) and now these tanks burns as "Ronson lighter" Shocked
    There should be a personal mission for Cromvell to make further investigation with his armor.
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    33lima
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:41 pm

    lockie wrote:
    I'd be pleased, if u make all necessary adjustments to the current text, then I'll put it in the briefing.


    OK here's the current briefing (red); my suggested replacement (blue); and some notes (violet), not to be included but just to make some extra points. I think the briefing/orders need to START with a short 'scene setting' paragraph, to tell the player some basic things he should know, before the briefing starts - like who he is. They say the most dangerous thing in the army is an officer with a map, but not even the stupidest officer needs to be told in the actual briefing, who he is! So start with a short introduction, before the briefing itself begins.


    On June 13, 1944, an attack by the 22nd Armoured brigade group of the British 7th Armoured Division outflanked Panzer Lehr's defences around Tilly-sur-Seulles and cut through the German lines, taking the village of Villers-Bocage and threatening Panzer Lehr's rear. Elements of Panzer Lehr, the 2nd Panzer Division, and the 101st SS Heavy Panzer Battalion were committed to defeating the British penetration.

    Combat order
    Kampfgruppe Panzer Lehr Division SS together with 101 Tank Battalion SS attack enemy avant-garde and destroy it.

    Callsigns
    HQ - Fox\n
    APC - Wolf\n
    Panzer group Tiger - Biber\n
    Group Pz.IV - Viper\n\n
     
    Your Task
    You are Captain Helmut Ritgen. There are two tanks Pz.IV H. under your command.
    You have to:\n
    1. Attack the enemy avant-garde at the Hill 213 and destroy it.\n
    2. Attack Viller-Bocage and capure City hall.\n
    When you will be near city, then send a radiomessage: Wolf may go.\n
    Grenadiers will help you to clear the area.

    Dismissed.

    Reconnaissance:
    There are up to 12 tanks Sherman and Cromvell.


    ---------------------------------------

    It's June 13th, 1944: Beauvais, near Villers Bocage, Normandy. You are Major Helmut Ritgen, Panzer-Lehr Regiment 130, Panzer Lehr Division, with just two Panzer IVH available to you. You've been assigned to a small battlegroup thrown hastily together by the Divisional commander himself, Fritz Bayerlien, to deal with a dangerous situation which threatens the whole German front with disaster. Together, the kampfgruppe has your two Panzers, four Tigers from 101 SS and a single squad of panzer grenadiers from Panzergrenadier-Lehr Regiment 901. General Bayerlein's orders begin...

    SITUATION
    An attack by the 22nd Armoured Brigade group of the British 7th Armoured Division has outflanked Panzer Lehr at Tilly-sur-Seulles and cut through our lines, taking the village of Villers-Bocage and threatening our rear. An advance guard - roughly a company of Cromwells and Shermans with motorised infantry - has already pushed west from Villers Bocage and reached Point 213. Elements of Panzer Lehr, the 2nd Panzer Division and SS Schwere Panzer Abteilung 101 are being committed to stop the Tommies, before they get all the way to Caen!

    MISSION
    Kampfgruppe Bayerlein will destroy the Tommies in the area Point 213 - Villers Bocage.

    EXECUTION
    The operation will be in two phases.

    Phase 1 - we will move to Point 213 and destroy the enemy advance guard there.

    Phase 2 - having destroyed the enemy advance guard, we will attack and clear Villers Bocage.

    Detailed tasks
    Phase 1 - all three tank platoons will move independently to Point 213.

    Phase 2 - Once the advance guard has been destroyed, I will order the attack on Villers Bocage. On my command, all three tank platoons will move there independently.

    Ritgen - when you are close to Villers, you are to call in the Panzergrenadiers. They will help clear the town.

    All platoons are to link up at the Hotel de Ville, in the middle of town. Destroy the enemy and hold onto your gains!

    We don't have air or artillery support, so don't even think about asking!

    SERVICE/SUPPORT
    No change.

    COMMAND AND SIGNALS
    Callsigns for this mission are:
    Kampfgruppe HQ        - Fox
    Zug Ritgen [player] - Viper
    Grenadier zug - Wolf
    Tiger zug links - Tiger Eins
    Tiger zug rechts - Tiger Zwei
    The Tigers' radios are in a shitty state after their long march to the front so don't be suprised if they're not on the air! Just co-ordinate your actions as best you can!

    Any questions? No? Right, then, Panzer Marsch! Mach schnell!





    Notes

    1. The player really needs the sort of detail above. And it makes sense to present it in this format - the one used for NATO orders. This will be familiar to many players. Except for minor details, it is the same format used by the British Army in WW2. The Wehrmacht's format was similar. The reason for this is that it presents the participants in an operation with the info they need in an efficient and sensible order. This is exactly why it is also the right format for a tanksim briefing. The player's needs are basically the same as the real-life platoon commander.

    2. As Ritgen (who was a major, not a captain) cannot command the other units, he isn't the commander of the whole force. So I have picked General Bayerlein himself as the boss. Pick someone else if you like (and change the name of the Kampfgruppe!) but remember, this is the person giving the briefing/orders. And to all the participating platoon commanders, not just Ritgen.

    3. The boss (HQ) MUST be present in the mission. They do not just brief the player then go away! I suggest adding an armoured command vehicle - for example an Sdkfz 250 - somewhere safe, perhaps close to the grenadier's Sdkfz 251. To be realistic, this command vehicle should not just sit somewhere to the rear. I suggest it advances when the panzer grenadiers move, but to stay safe, stops in cover before it reaches Villers Bocage. A small point - but it is really hugely unrealistic for any force not to have a command element, present on the battlefield.

    4. The mission is too lonely. The player should have at least three Panzer IV. The grenadiers should have at least three half-tracks. If necessary for mission balance, reduce the number of Tigers - maybe, one weak platoon of three, instead of two separate pairs.



    About the Wittmann mission and the danger zones, I would suggest this for the briefing:

    Avoid the areas marked in red on your map! These areas are in clear sight of the enemy at Villers Bocage and you will completely spoil the ambush if you are spotted!

    ...and finish the briefing with;

    And remember, Wittman, keep the hell out of those red zones until after the ambush is sprung, or I'll have your arse for a bike stand!

    It's important to remember that our so-called briefings are in fact orders given by the player's superior officer (to the player and to all the other platoon commanders), not just some kind of battle picture.

    PS there seem to be many 6-pounder Cronwell III tanks in these missions (with no muzzle brake). I think by the time of D-Day, they were nearly all 75mm versions, the Cromwell IV and later.

    This is a good view of the markings seen on Cromwells at Villers Bocage:

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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by woofiedog on Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:19 am

    Excellent work on the concert music shell for SF. We have the same type of music shell in one of the parks at Institute Park in Worcester the city next to us. Pretty close the same and they have music concerts through the summer.

    A photo I took about 5 yrs back of the old music shell, they have since replaced it with a new one. Great place to lay back and listen to some music. Very Happy

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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by lockie on Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:22 am

    33lima wrote:OK here's the current briefing (red) my suggested replacement (blue)
    Thanks for the detailed briefing! But I didn't find recce report.

    1. The player really needs the sort of detail above. And it makes sense to present it in this format - the one used for NATO orders.
    I may say u sincerely that almost nobody read the briefing before mission started Smile That's why I try to present as short form as possible to give to user the main tasks.

    2. As Ritgen (who was a major, not a captain) cannot command the other units, he isn't the commander of the whole force. So I have picked General Bayerlein himself as the boss.
    General Bayerlein is completely in time!  Cool

    3. The boss (HQ) MUST be present in the mission. They do not just brief the player then go away! I suggest adding an armoured command vehicle - for example an Sdkfz 250 - somewhere safe, perhaps close to the grenadier's Sdkfz 251.
    That will be for a user's home-work mission Smile U know AI is almost completely unpredictable. I spent ~ two months to force AI move along the road. Now u suggest me to write another script for the Commander APC and spend another two months to iron out his rout Very Happy
    I'm pretty sure, my script will be put out to the hell right now when Com. APC will meet enemy units or just turn upside-down or another stupid things, i.e. attack the enemy tanks.

    4. The mission is too lonely. The player should have at least three Panzer IV.
    No need. In the town u can't take a command over er ONE wingman, I'm not talking abt. TWO.

    The grenadiers should have at least three half-tracks.
    The mission has limits. Additional APC will break the victory trigger and overload the whole mission. Besides, u'll be lucky, if at least one APC will come to the town and not upside-down during walking Smile

    This is a good view of the markings seen on Cromwells at Villers Bocage:
    May be later these marks will be implemented.
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by frinik on Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:35 pm

    The map is truly excellent! Deviator has managed to upstage himself once more. But it's also thanks to Lockie's relentless efforts adding new vegetation, trees, houses and objects which has made Deviator's little miracle possible. Not to mention Will 1973's fantastic new models and Donken's generous contribution to making the new buildings.. Very Happy Very Happy
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    33lima
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:31 pm

    lockie wrote:
    33lima wrote:OK here's the current briefing (red) my suggested replacement (blue)
    Thanks for the detailed briefing! But I didn't find recce report.


    Information on the enemy forces is given at the start of the briefing/orders, under the heading 'SITUATION'. This is common practice. There doesn't need to be a seperate section for a 'recce report'.

    We can't really know for sure, that few people read the briefing. I am sure some players just load up the mission right away, get their tank running and off they go. Just play their own tank, and give up trying to control their sometimes mad AI wingmen. Missions like the Wittmann one, because it is mostly solo, actually suit this.

    But others will read the briefing - especially if we make it (i) interesting and (ii) useful. Or because they believe that in a tank simulation, it is good to simulate other things, apart from the tanks. And so they will appreciate a realistic briefing.  A nice dramatic storyline is good for the mission intro screen, but for the briefing, it needs to get more military.

    My suggestion does this by giving the player a short paragraph setting the scene. Followed by a description of the plan, which is shortened and simplified compared to real life, but realistic. Except in the suggestion above, it doesn't really give enough information on where each platoon is at the start and what it is then to do, apart from what you can work out from the map (which is not much). To compensate for this, is why I said 'platoons are to move independently'.

    My suggested briefing is only a little different from your original one, which is actually good - and certainly better that briefings for many user-made missions! cheers

    I understand that loss of control is likely if you take a three-tank platoon into a town, which is not unrealistic. I would say, give me the platoon anyway, and I will keep them out of town as much as possible  Smile

    It's a pity it is troublesome to add a command element. There is one in 'Dust in the Wind' I think, the half-tracks IIRC. Maybe there are ways of putting them on the map, but keeping them out of serious trouble. In M1 Tank Platoon II, any light units attached to your M1A2s, like M113s or Bradleys, were destroyed by enemy artillery as soon as they were spotted, if they sat still for more than maybe 30 seconds. So the thing to do was, in the planning map, set them a zig-zag route that would keep them moving and ended in dead ground somewhere where they would not be seen or (I hoped) over-run by the enemy.

    One of these days I am just going to have to try to apply some of my own advice in the Mission Editor, and find out for myself that it's not so easy!!!

    Anyway, the mission report is completed, with lots of pics of the excellent action, tanks and landscape, which is full of many marvellous objects, natural and man-made. I will post it over here too, soon.
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by lockie on Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:58 pm

    33lima wrote:
    Information on the enemy forces is given at the start of the briefing/orders, under the heading 'SITUATION'. This is common practice. There doesn't need to be a seperate section for a 'recce report'.
    I've got used to separate section Smile

    We can't really know for sure, that few people read the briefing. I am sure some players just load up the mission right away, get their tank running and off they go.
    But others will read the briefing - especially if we make it (i) interesting and (ii) useful.
    Of course, briefing does a very important role in the mission. In fact, 80-90% of the work takes briefing writing, coz to make a simple mission I need ~20 minutes. That's why I highly appreciate Frinik's scenario skill and of course er help in writing. I just noted, that mostly users prefer rush into the battle at first time. Then at second, third try they spend time to the mission details, i.e. reading briefing, tasks.

    My suggested briefing is only a little different from your original one, which is actually good - and certainly better that briefings for many user-made missions! cheers
    cheers  bom  drunken

    I understand that loss of control is likely if you take a three-tank platoon into a town, which is not unrealistic. I would say, give me the platoon anyway, and I will keep them out of town as much as possible  Smile
    That will be definitely a user's home-work alien

    It's a pity it is troublesome to add a command element. There is one in 'Dust in the Wind' I think, the half-tracks IIRC. Maybe there are ways of putting them on the map, but keeping them out of serious trouble.
    yes, it's possible , but AI behavior will be unpredictable. Oh, u may place VW-82 in any farm's court-yard and it'll be kinda HQ call-center.

    One of these days I am just going to have to try to apply some of my own advice in the Mission Editor, and find out for myself that it's not so easy!!!
    I've already started to make subtitles Wink

    Anyway, the mission report is completed, with lots of pics of the excellent action, tanks and landscape, which is full of many marvellous objects, natural and man-made. I will post it over here too, soon.
    Thanks a lot! Report is excellent and I'm really appreciate er work!
    I see after er article was released on Combatace.com our forum got new members Smile

    PS
    Don't forget to check PM.


    Last edited by lockie on Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by kapulA on Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:43 pm

    Seems like I've been away for a while, since the JSGME mod order fits the one you listed but I can't seem to find the mission in the ingame campaign menu. Where is it supposed to be? confused

    Edit: Sorry, ignore this. I was able to get it working, probably some update issues...
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:01 pm

    I have just played the updated Panzer IV 'Nazi Last Chance' mission and here are some comments:

    1. briefing - change 'Beauvais' to 'South North of Beauvais' (sorry, my imstake).

    2. Briefing - spelling mistake, 'Bayerlien' should be 'Bayerlein' (maybe my mistake too?).

    3. Panzer IV - the smaller tactical numbers are better but there is now a big gap between 10 and 1.

    4. The text/radio message to 'Attack the Avant Guard [should be 'advance guard'] at Point 213' was displayed about 5 minutes into the mission. The message to attack VB appeared only a minute later. Suggest the first message is played, as soon as the mission starts.

    5. The shooting begins very soon after the mission opens. A little longer, to enable the player to get organised and start moving, might be better. And unless the player drives very fast, the Tigers get to Point 213 long before he does. If you do bounding overwatch, the battle will be over before you get there, maybe even if you drive normally! This is a pity because the terrain/poylgon is great for this tactic.

    6. When I did reach Point 213, there were THREE Tigers there, all close together. One I think was knocked out, but the other two were just sitting there, side-by-side, crews in open hatches. I drove past them. They did not move. This was AFTER the order to attack VB had been displayed. But I drove on. They did move eventually but it was strange. In Phase 1, the Tigers dash off to Point 213 a bit too quickly. At the start of Phase 2, they do not move towards VB soon enough!



    7. While creeping in to VB, the single Tiger from the right-hand pair collided with my Panzer IV when I was trying to shoot an enemy tank just inside VB. This may have been because this time, i took my platoon well wide, to the right. This also meant that I missed the panzergrenadiers, who attacked alone, up the N175. Co-ordination between the different platoons is a problem in this mission. I am not sure how to make it better. One option might be to give the player's platoon more specific instructions in the breifing. For example, he could be told that in Phase 1, he should link up with the left-hand Tigers and support them. And for Phase 2, he should move onto the N175 near Point 213, wait there for the grenadiers, then advance with them.

    8. The player's platoon would surely be better with three Panzer IVs. For most of the mission, he will be in open country, so it doesn't really matter if he loses control when the fighting moves into VB. The lack of co-ordination between the platoons would be less serious, if the player had 3 tanks - because it would matter less what the other platoons did, if the player had a decent force, of his own. The wonderful new Normandy terrain provides GREAT opportunities for bounding overwatch - it is great fun to advance, sometimes covered by the rest of your platoon, sometimes making a rush together across open ground.



    9. A single SPW (the grenadiers) is no good. It either needs added to the player's platoon or given some friends, like another SPW or two, or maybe a kannonenwagen. Like somebody said of planes, 'A single fighter is a target. Two fighters is a weapon.'

    10. This mission, after being rammed by the Tiger, my loader stopped working. I had plenty of AP left. I quit the mission and checked my tank's statistics. It was undamaged. there were no crew casualties, we had not even been hit. Something similar happened in the last play-through, but that might have been damage. Not this time, though. Strange.

    the new Normandy terrain is a big hit! The hedgerows are a great new feature!



    Last edited by 33lima on Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by lockie on Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:26 am

    1. briefing - change 'Beauvais' to 'South of Beauvais', 'Bayerlien' should be 'Bayerlein'.
    fixed

    3. Panzer IV - the smaller tactical numbers are better but there is now a big gap between 10 and 1.
    I'll return the former size.

    4. The text/radio message to 'Attack the advance guard at Point 213' was displayed about 5 minutes into the mission.
    There is smth. wrong. All texts are displayed no more than 12 sec.


    5. The shooting begins very soon after the mission opens.
    fixed

    6. When I did reach Point 213, there were THREE Tigers there, all close together. This was AFTER the order to attack VB had been displayed.
    fixed

    7. While creeping in to VB, the single Tiger from the right-hand pair collided with my Panzer IV when I was trying to shoot an enemy tank just inside VB.
    In SF it happens on the regular base. Stupid AI sometimes wants to move exactly through the given point and often upside-down.

    This may have been because this time, i took my platoon well wide, to the right. This also meant that I missed the panzergrenadiers, who attacked alone, up the N175.
    U may wait for SPW or attack alone. It's er choice.

    For example, he could be told that in Phase 1, he should link up with the left-hand Tigers and support them. And for Phase 2, he should move onto the N175 near Point 213, wait there for the grenadiers, then advance with them.
    AI is unpredictable. All pre-orders will become out of the user's plan Smile

    BTW
    Does in Blaze Steel AI wingman obey to user's order?

    8. The player's platoon would surely be better with three Panzer IVs.
    That's the user's home-work Basketball

    The wonderful new Normandy terrain provides GREAT opportunities for bounding overwatch - it is great fun to advance, sometimes covered by the rest of your platoon, sometimes making a rush together across open ground.
    Should we expect for the new mission comin'?  Cool


    9. A single SPW (the grenadiers) is no good.
    It was added for the last moment, according to the request during testing.

    It either needs added to the player's platoon or given some friends, like another SPW or two, or maybe a kannonenwagen.
    That's for the user's home-work Very Happy

    10. This mission, after being rammed by the Tiger, my loader stopped working. I had plenty of AP left. Strange.
    That's the game feature drunken
    To increase AI stupidity sometimes crew members doesn't want to obey user's order (similar like unit does), because they scared drunken drunken drunken

    Check PM.
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by Deviator on Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:26 pm

    Паважаны 33lima, прачытаў ваш агляд па маім полигону.Рады, што ён вам спадабаўся.Яго стварэнне-праца не толькі мая,але і іншых людзей, якія стварылі многія новыя аб'екты для гэтага палігона-і ў першую чаргу камрада lockie,за што я яму вельмі ўдзячны.

    Dear 33lima, I've read your review about my polygon. I'm happy, that you liked it. This map creation is not only my work, but also the other people who have created many new objects for this landscape and especially to Mister Lockie, what I'm very grateful to him.
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:42 pm

    Sorry I have my 'stupid' head on - I should have said 'North of Beauvais' not south of Beavais - sorry!

    The AI in SABOW is better. no dis-respect to SF, it is still the best WW2 tanksim (except for some things Panzer Elite does better) - most things in SABOW are better, for example:

    - tank commander's target indications are easier to follow - Graviteam no longer use the compass bearing like SF, but in SABOW, use a less strange system which is not as intuitive as the clock code, but much better, combined with a small turret position indicator icon at the bottom of the screen.

    - you have more options to control your platoon, including more hotkeys (even more would be better) and you can issue many commands from the 3d world, not all from the map like SF;

    - the AI is better - they stay in formation better and don't charge the enemy like madmen;

    - there is much better simulation of communications between units (of which there is none at all in SF, unless the mission designer programs in some messages, like 'Dust in the Wind');

    - sounds are much better, more quiet further away and there is the speed of sound, as in Steel Beasts;

    - the SP campaign system, based on the wargame element, is actually very good.

    - the wargame interface means the player can do what only the mission builder can do, in SF - start by playing the role of the company commander and make a plan for all units - then you can jump into the role of any of your platoons, that has a playable tank. In the campaign, you script (=plan and give orders for) your own missions, then play them;

    - graphics, including crew animations, are better;

    - other good stuff, like you can call for a voice and text status report from your crew, to find out what damage or casualties are;

    - better tank control - your AI driver behaves like a human for example stopping at obstacles he is worried about, until you order him to try to get past the obstacle. And you can control turns much more easily - the longer you hold down A or D, the bigger the turn, with an icon showing you what you selected.

    Technically SABOW is a much better tank simulator, not just a minor, graphical update. Plus because of the wargame side, it is also a good all arms combat simulator, complete with realistic abilities to call in or direct air and artillery strikes.

    SF of course does WW2, has many, many, MANY more playable vehicles, seems easier to work with. And its scripted missions have advantages of their own - like the ability to give the player a realistic briefing, if the mission designer chooses to use it. SABOW has some mission editing tools but I don't know if it has any kind of map editor, although importing from GTOS will be useful.

    About the loader not loading, I wondered if it was fear/morale! I have high morale and always obey orders set I think. I was considering lower morale, to see if that would make the AI tanks stop charging the enemy. But I'm not going to do this if it makes my own crew hide! Perhaps if I didn't ignore or switch off the icons, they would let me know when such things are happening!
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:34 pm

    Deviator wrote:Паважаны 33lima, прачытаў ваш агляд па маім полигону.Рады, што ён вам спадабаўся.Яго стварэнне-праца не толькі мая,але і іншых людзей, якія стварылі многія новыя аб'екты для гэтага палігона-і ў першую чаргу камрада lockie,за што я яму вельмі ўдзячны.

    Dear 33lima, I've read your review about my polygon. I'm happy, that you liked it. This map creation is not only my work, but also the other people who have created many new objects for this landscape and especially to Mister Lockie, what I'm very grateful to him.

    Yes it's an amazing map, with excellent terrain, some bocage but not TOO bad for tanks. And lots of really excellent buildings and other ground objects. It really has a Normandy 'feel' just like the stock SF maps/polygons have an eastern European or Soviet 'feel'. In these new missions, you really feel that you are somewhere different!

    I was really blown away, the first time I drove my Panzer IV into one of the bigger hedgerows. She slowed right down, hesitated, then broke through with what sounded like crunching sounds. When that happened, I KNEW or or felt - that I had really arrived in a virtual normandy!
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:28 am

    OK I have played the latest version of the first Wittmann mission a few times and a mission report has been started at CombatAce.

    I was confused by the statement in the briefing 'Don't move until you get confirmation signal from the cout squad!' This gives the idea I am supposed to wait where I start - in Beauvais. suggest this is deleted.

    The mission I found to be more difficult than I expected. There is a lot of convex terrain and therefore dead ground near Point 213, plus much vegetation. It is therefore not easy to find a good fire position, unless you are dangerously close to the N175. If you shoot from defilade, then the enemy tanks, even though they cannot see you directly, are very good at driving off the road and flanking you. Becasue of the hedges and the dead ground, you may find that you have a Sherman Firefly up your backside, very soon! It can be very dangerous, just to sit in one position for too long, which is good.

    After trying different tactics for the ambush, I attacked Villers Bocage but though I reached the Town Hall, I didn't get a victory. This must be because I didn't destroy all the enemy in the town (neither did Wittmann!). I ran out of AP rounds - some hollow charge might be better, than so much HE. It might be better to change the victory condition so that the player wins the VB objective, if he reaches the town hall, even if there are still some enemies alive. Some SF missions make you drive around hunting every last enemy to win...this can be very frustrating.

    This is a very different mission, partly because of the terrain, partly because you are mostly on your own. It is very tense and exciting! Even though you are more than a match for most of the enemies, some are still deadly - Firelfies and PIATs especially! And it looks great, with the superb landscape and the weather changing dramatically during the mission - Steel Fury has never looked better.




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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by frinik on Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:42 am

    Lima what shell complement do you use for the late Tiger? Historically the Tiger I used to carry from 92 up to 120 shells( at least according to Thomas Jentz' book.).The latter was highly illegal and dangerous but nonetheless many crews did it because of logistical problems getting ammo supply late in the war. Tiger Is commanders in the East would normally carry a 2/3 AP 1/3 HE complement rather than the 50/50 proportion which was recommended. Thus your tiger could have 60 AP and 32 HE and you'd still be historically within the norm. Just change the shells complement to that in the tiger tech_cfg file and you won't run out of shells in a mission.
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by lockie on Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:34 am

    33lima wrote:
    I was confused by the statement in the briefing 'Don't move until you get confirmation signal from the cout squad!' This gives the idea I am supposed to wait where I start - in Beauvais. suggest this is deleted.
    I may change the phrase:
    When u'll get "fire position" at the Point 213, then don't move until you get confirmation signal from the scout squad!

    After trying different tactics for the ambush, I attacked Villers Bocage but though I reached the Town Hall, I didn't get a victory. It might be better to change the victory condition so that the player wins the VB objective, if he reaches the town hall, even if there are still some enemies alive.
    There are two triggers of the victory:
    1. 3x superiority on the square near open theater (I may change on 2.5x)
    2. 2x superiority all over the polygon

    From report:
    I was steering slightly right of it, to ensure that I stayed away from those darned red zones.
    If u come in the "dangerous zone" - u just will get warning message, then u've to get back or if u still stay in the "dangerous zone" then mission failed.

    I was careful not to smash the well or otherwise do more damage than I could avoid, to the nice Norman scenery.
    No need to do this Smile Almost all houses/objects were made destroyable, so u may see some good effects.

    This is a very different mission, partly because of the terrain, partly because you are mostly on your own. It is very tense and exciting! Even though you are more than a match for most of the enemies, some are still deadly - Firelfies and PIATs especially!
    Yeah, don't kidding with infantry Smile

    And it looks great, with the superb landscape and the weather changing dramatically during the mission - Steel Fury has never looked better.
    Weather speed  could be changed.


    33lima wrote:I ran out of AP rounds - some hollow charge might be better, than so much HE.

    frinik wrote: Historically the Tiger I used to carry from 92 up to 120 shells( at least according to Thomas Jentz' book.). Just change the shells complement to that in the tiger tech_cfg file and you won't run  out of shells in a mission.

    I deliberately decreased the shell quantity, coz with a full set it'll be just "Wittmann's shooting polygon" same as "Kolobanov's firearms". And it's not interesting simply shoot stupid AI. But when u're out of AP u've to think how to hide/shoot.
    Anyway, no need to change anything in the tech.engcfg Smile
    1. Open file:
    data\k42\loc_rus\levels\levels\SCRIPTS\cm_pack_mission10\mis_vitman_scripts.engscr
    2. change entries:
    GR39HL_88K, 8;
    SPRGR_88K, 32;
    PZGR39_88K, 27;
    PZGR40_88K, 0;

    on any other, ie:
    PZGR39_88K, 1000000000000000000;
    or even u may increase the rate of fire Very Happy

    1. Open file:
    ...data\k42\loc_rus\levels\levels\common\common_res.engcfg
    2. change entry
    KWK36,%FL_GUNBRAKE%,%WEAP_RBARRET%,56,88,1,0.35,0.1,1,1,0,7,1,1,1,shot_88l56,reload_pz6,,drop1,1,txt_gun_flak36,gun_shot_pat,,KWK36;
    on
    KWK36,%FL_GUNBRAKE%,%WEAP_RBARRET%,56,88,1,0.35,0.1,1,1,0,0.01,1,1,1,shot_88l56,reload_pz6,,drop1,1,txt_gun_flak36,gun_shot_pat,,KWK36;
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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

    Post by 33lima on Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:57 pm

    Thanks for the info!

    Second part of mission report is now up at CombatAce; it'll probably be later tomorrow before I finish it, and after that I'll post it here, too.


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    Re: Mission: Battle of Villers-Bocage (Pz.VI "Tiger")

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