Game Manual
Version 3.00
Combat Mission
This License does not provide you with title to or ownership of the software program “Combat Mission”
(the “Software”), but only a right of limited use of the Software, and ownership of the media on which
a copy of the Software is reproduced. The Software, including its source code, is, and shall remain,
the property of, Inc. You may make a copy of the Software solely for backup purposes,
provided that you reproduce all proprietary notices (e.g., copyright, trade secret, trademark) in the
same form as in the original and retain possession of such backup copy. The term “copy” as used
in this License means any reproduction of the Software, in whole or in part, in any form whatsoever,
including without limitation, printouts on any legible material, duplication in memory devices of any type,
and handwritten or oral duplication or reproduction. The manual may not be copied, photographed,
reproduced, translated, or reduced to any electrical medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in
part, without prior written consent from, Inc.. All rights not specifically granted in this
Agreement are reserved by, Inc.
You shall not, in any way, modify, enhance, decode, or reverse engineer the Software. User-created
scenarios and other materials like graphics or other mods may be distributed free of charge, but shall
not be sold, licensed, or included as part of any package or product that is sold or licensed, without the
prior written consent of, Inc.. You may not rent or lease the Software or related materials.
You may permanently transfer the Software and related written materials if you retain no copies, and the
transferee agrees to be bound by the terms of this License. Such a transfer terminates your License
to use the Software and related materials.
In order to install and run the Software, you acknowledge and agree to the usa of a third party licensing
application on your computer.
Limited warranty warrants to the original purchaser that the media on which the Software is recorded is
free from defects in workmanship and material under normal use and service for 90 days from the date
of delivery of the Software. This warranty does not cover material that has been lost, stolen, copied,
or damaged by accident, misuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification.’s entire liability and your exclusive remedy shall be, at’s option, either
return of the price paid, or replacement of the media which does not meet the limited warranty described above. The media must be returned to with a copy of your purchase receipt.
Any replacement Software media shall be subject to this same limited warranty for the remainder of
the original warranty period, or thirty days, whichever is longer.
Limitation of liability
Game Manual
Installation & Licensing.......... 6
Installation from disc.................. 6
Installation for Download version.6
License Overview...................... 6
How to find your license key.... 6
Licensing................................. 6
Additional activations............... 7
License activation support......... 7
Game File Organization............ 7
Selected Formation/
Unit Toolbar........................... 23
Soft factors.......................... 23
Equipment Toolbar.............. 23
QB Purchase Restrictions..... 23
Rarity..................................... 24
Launch the QB........................ 24
Setup Positions....................... 24
Victory conditions.................. 24
Keyboard & Mouse Controls.. 9
Camera Navigation.................... 9
(Mouse Default).................... 9
Mouse (RTS)......................... 9
Mouse (FPS)......................... 9
(Keyboard - defaults)............ 9
Unit Selection............................ 9
Commands.............................. 10
Command Keys (defaults)....... 10
Editor....................................... 10
3D Map Preview.................... 10
buildings.............................. 10
Flavor Objects..................... 11
2D Map Editor........................ 11
Options.................................... 11
Customizing hotkeys............... 11
Saved Games......................... 24
Gameplay Styles.................... 24
Single Player........................... 25
Real-time............................... 25
Turn-based............................ 25
Two-player............................... 26
LAN/Internet.......................... 26
Real-time Mode................... 27
Turn-Based Mode............... 27
Hotseat.................................. 27
Email...................................... 27
Options................................... 12
Skill Levels............................. 28
Basic Training.......................... 28
Veteran.................................... 28
Warrior..................................... 29
Elite......................................... 29
Iron.......................................... 29
Scenario Author Test............... 29
Battles & Campaigns............ 14
Battles..................................... 14
How to start........................... 14
Select Combat Force.......... 15
Select Game Options.......... 15
Mission Briefing................... 15
Setup Phase.......................... 15
End game review................... 16
Combat Victories................. 16
Victory conditions.................. 17
Terrain based objectives..... 17
Unit based objectives.......... 17
Force wide objectives......... 18
VICTORY LEVELS................ 18
Campaigns.............................. 18
Playing A Campaign.............. 19
Basic Screen Layout............. 30
Game User Interface (GUI)..... 30
Unit Info Panel....................... 31
Team Info Panel..................... 32
Details Panel......................... 34
Detail Panel Components...... 34
Profile.................................. 34
Stats.................................... 35
Reports............................... 35
Command Panel...................... 36
Menu Options.......................... 37
Command Interface................. 38
Keyboard............................... 38
Mouse.................................... 38
On-screen menu.................... 38
Playback Interface................... 39
Quick Battles......................... 20
Quick Battle Options................ 20
Environmental Options.......... 20
Units options.......................... 21
Purchase Forces..................... 22
Main Menu............................. 22
Formation Selection Tabs...... 22
Equipment Quality Dropdown Menu...... 23
Available Troops.................... 23
Activated Troops.................... 23
Spotting.................................. 39
Camera Control Mode........... 12
Floating Icons........................ 39
Commands............................. 41
Move Commands.................... 42
Ground conditions,
Bogging & Immobilization... 44
Move...................................... 44
Quick..................................... 45
Fast........................................ 45
Slow....................................... 45
Hunt....................................... 46
Assault................................... 46
Blast....................................... 47
Mark Mines ........................... 47
Reverse ................................ 47
Combat Commands................ 47
Target..................................... 48
Target Light............................ 49
Target Arc.............................. 50
Clear Target........................... 51
Face....................................... 51
Target Smoke........................ 52
Target Armor Arc.................... 52
Target Briefly.......................... 52
Special Commands................. 52
Hide....................................... 53
Deploy Weapon..................... 53
Dismount............................... 54
Bail Out.................................. 55
Acquire.................................. 55
Pop Smoke............................ 56
Pause.................................... 56
Open Up................................ 57
Administrative Commands...... 57
Split Teams............................ 57
Assault Team......................... 57
Anti-Tank Team...................... 58
Scout Team............................ 58
Instant Commands.................. 58
Automatic Actions.................... 58
Medic..................................... 59
Ammo sharing....................... 59
Self-preservation................... 59
Pinned................................. 59
Shaken................................ 60
Panic................................... 60
Broken................................. 60
Surrender............................ 60
Command & Control (C2)...... 61
Communication methods......... 61
Maintaining C2 Links............. 61
Control procedures.................. 62
Information Sharing............... 62
Leaders................................... 63
Radios..................................... 64
Artillery & Air Support........... 65
Requesting Support................. 66
Selecting a Spotter.................. 66
Support Roster........................ 67
Support Panel.......................... 69
Adjusting or
Canceling Support................... 70
Artillery Mission Parameters.... 70
Air Mission Parameters........... 71
Target Reference Points ......... 72
Pre-planned barrages.............. 72
On-map support assets........... 72
Air Assets............................... 73
Combat Mission
The Editor............................... 75
Basic screen layout................. 75
File Menu............................... 75
Editor Selector....................... 76
Mission Editor.......................... 76
Description............................. 76
Battle Type.......................... 76
Environment........................ 77
Daylight............................... 77
Battle Size........................... 77
Title..................................... 77
Description.......................... 77
Image.................................. 77
Data....................................... 77
Mission.................................. 78
Designer Notes...................... 79
Parameters ........................... 79
Terrain Objectives ................. 79
Unit Objectives ..................... 81
Victory Calculations................. 82
Map Editor............................... 83
Map Editor Options................ 83
Map Overlay.......................... 83
Elevation................................ 83
Map Elements........................ 85
Ground #1........................... 85
Ground #2........................... 85
Ground #3........................... 85
Foliage................................ 85
Walls/Fences...................... 85
Brush............................... 85
Flavor Objects..................... 85
Roads.................................. 85
Independent Buildings........ 86
Modular Buildings............... 86
Bridges #1........................... 86
Bridges #2........................... 86
Craters................................ 86
Placing Large Bridges........... 86
Landmarks............................. 87
Setup Zones.......................... 87
Map Toolbar........................... 88
Object Rotation................... 88
Draw Tool............................ 88
Paintbrush........................... 88
Map Zoom........................... 88
Map width & depth.............. 88
Units Editor............................ 89
Purchase Units........................ 89
Formations............................. 89
Specialist Teams and
Individual Vehicles................. 90
Soft factors.............................. 91
Typical Setting....................... 92
Purchasing equipment............. 92
Equipment Dropdown Menu.. 92
Reinforcements....................... 92
Earliest Arrival Time............ 93
Arrival Span........................ 93
Deploy Units.......................... 93
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Deployment Commands..... 94
Artificial Intelligence Editor.. 94
AI Elements............................. 95
Groups................................... 95
Map Zone.............................. 96
Orders.................................... 96
Order type........................... 96
Setup Orders....................... 97
Occupy buildings................... 98
Stance................................... 98
Passenger status................... 98
Plans....................................... 98
Exit Between ... and .............. 99
Correct timing.................... 100
Triggers............................... 101
Setting up a Trigger........... 101
Exit Between Times.......... 102
The Tricky Part.................. 102
Support Targets .................... 103
3D Preview........................... 104
Editing Buildings.................... 104
Modular buildings................ 104
Single Wall........................ 105
Single Side........................ 105
Entire Building .................. 105
Independent buildings......... 105
Editing Flavor Objects........... 105
Making Campaigns.............. 106
Core Units File....................... 106
Scenarios (Battles)................ 107
Campaign Script File............. 108
Compiling a Campaign.......... 110
Creating Quick Battles.........111
Setup Zones.........................111
AI Plans................................111
Victory conditions.................111
Units on the map................. 112
Terrain.................................. 112
Battle Type........................... 112
Mods..................................... 112
Loading order........................ 112
Rezexplode........................... 113
Repack.................................. 113
Mods in Action....................... 113
Important............................... 114
Troubleshooting..................... 115
Tech Support......................... 115
Look for this symbol next to some paragraphs. It denotes changes vs. Engine v2.0
Combat Mission
Installation from disc
In order to install the game, insert the game disc into the DVD drive.
(PC) The Installation Menu should appear if you have CD Autostart enabled on your
computer. Click on the “Install Game” option to begin the installation process.
If you have CD Autostart disabled, or if the Installation Menu does not appear,
please browse the contents of the disc and simply double-click on the file called
“Setup.exe”. That will manually launch the game installer.
(Mac) For the Mac version, simply open the disc icon and copy the game application
into a place on your harddrive (e.g. the Applications folder).
Installation for Download version
After you have successfully downloaded the Combat Mission setup file, double-click
on it to launch the installer.
Note: your downloads do not have an expiry date. However, we do not guarantee that they will remain
available for ever and ever. So it is still a good
idea to keep the installer file you downloaded and
copy it somewhere safe (e.g. burn to disc, USB stick,
or external harddrive) so you can reinstall the
game later on.
License Overview
Combat Mission is protected by an online activation system that helps us restrict
illegal distribution of the software.
How to find your license key
For download versions, (including download&mail) it is the same code that you
used to download your game. You will find your license key saved in your online
account at After logging in, click on the “My Account”
link from the top menu. If you forgot your login, go to
to retrieve a new random password as well as your username in the same email.
The username is called “User account” in the same email.
For mail delivery only versions, the license key is printed on the product itself,
usually on the back of the case or the game manual, sometimes inside the case
or manual cover, depending on the product. Do not lose this label because we
may not be able to retrieve your license key for you if you do!
When you first run CM, after the initial install, you will be prompted to activate your
copy. In most cases all you need to do is:
a) make sure the computer on which you have installed the game has an active online
connection to the internet
b) choose “Online Activation” from the dialog window
b) enter your license key into the correct field.
c) hit the “Activate” button and wait a few seconds while your license authorizes.
If you wish to install the game on a computer which has no internet connection, you
Game Manual
must perform what is called a “Manual License Request”
After launching the game:
a) click on the “Manual Activation” button
b) write down or memorize the Authorization Request Code presented to you
c) on a computer that is connected to the internet, go to
d) enter your License Key and the Authorization Request Code in the appropriate place
e) write down or memorize the Authorization Code you receive from us
f) go back to the computer where the game is installed. Launch the game again and click
on “Manual Activation”. Ignore the Request code and click on the Next button. Enter the
Authorization Code from step e above
Off-line licensing is also a good workaround for online computers which experience
problems with a firewall, router or proxy settings and cannot establish an internet
connection to the activation servers.
Additional activations
Our End User License Agreement (see page 4 of this manual) allows you to have
the game activated on one PC and one backup PC. Our online activation system
enforces this limit, but will allow you two additional activations without asking
questions (so called “overflow activations”). These Overflow Activations are meant
to be used when you switch to a new PC and would like to continue playing the
game there.
Note: there is no way to “unlicense” a previously activated copy on a computer. Which has the advantage
that you can’t ever forget to do so :^)
In addition to the above 4 activations, you can add one extra activation to your key
every 365 days.
(PC) In order to do this, lease go to and request
an additional activation for your key by clicking “Submit Ticket”. Do not forget to
let us know what your key and the game title is!
License activation support prides itself on customer service, and this continues with the implementation of the online licensing system. Please check out our Knowledgebase
section which explains how online activation works in detail:
If you ever need specific assistance, do not hesitate to email us with a description
of your problem. We usually respond within 1 working day.
Please note: only the original version
of the game is using our Online Activation System.
If you have purchased your game elsewhere (e.g. in
a store), then you probably have the retail version
of the game, which is NOT using our Online Activation System.
Game File Organization
(PC) The installer places the main game files, such as the Data files and executable,
Combat Mission
into the folder selected by you during the installation process. In addition to that,
a folder is also created automatically inside your MyDocuments directory, which
contains personal files, such as your preferences and save games. This location
is hardcoded based on your Windows settings for your user document files.
(Mac) The game consists of one app package containing all the game relevant files.
In order to access the game files, Control-Click on the app and select “Show
Package Contents” from the menu. (Note: this applies to the version purchased
from directly. If you purchase through the Apple App StoreTM,
please note that the files are stored under “Application Support”).
Game Manual
Camera Navigation
(Mouse Default)
Cursor at screen edges ................ Move
Cursor in upper corners .Rotate
Left-click and drag ........................ Move camera
Right-click and drag ...................... Pivot camera
Right-click and hold
(when unit selected) ...................... Pivot around unit
Mouse wheel ................................. Elevate
Mouse wheel + SHIFT .................. Elevate + Pitch
Mouse Wheel + CTRL .................. Pitch
CTRL + Left-click .......................... Jump to Map Location
Mouse (RTS)
Cursor at screen edges ................Move
Cursor in upper corners ................Rotate
Left-click and drag ........................ Pivot camera
Right-click (on unit or floating icon) ...................... Pop-up Command Menu
Mouse Wheel ................................. Zoom in/out
CTRL + Left-click .......................... Jump to Map Location
Mouse (FPS)
Cursor at screen edges ................Move
Cursor in upper corners ................Rotate
Left-click and drag ........................ Pivot camera
Right-click (on unit or floating icon) ...................... Pop-up Command Menu
Mouse wheel ................................. Elevate
Mouse wheel + SHIFT .................. Elevate + Pitch
Mouse Wheel + CTRL .................. Pitch
CTRL + Left-click .......................... Jump to Map Location
Note: In FPS mode, while moving with the WASD keys,
the camera will pivot towards the location of the
cursor. In this way you can “guide” the camera
smoothly as you move it.
(Keyboard - defaults)
W or Up Arrow .............................. Move Forward
A or Left Arrow .............................. Move Left
D or Right Arrow ........................... Move Right
S or Down Arrow ........................... Move Back
Q ................................................... Rotate Left
E ................................................... Rotate Right
V ................................................... Reverse View
R ................................................... Raise camera
F .................................................... Lower camera
Z..................................................... Zoom out
X.................................................... Zoom in
C.................................................... Wide Angle View
1 - 9 ............................................... Preset Camera Positions
Arrow Keys.................................... Fine Movement
Unit Selection
Left-click on Unit ........................... Selects Unit
Right-click on Map ........................ Deselects Unit
Double-click on Unit ...................... Group-select formation
SHIFT+Left-click ........................... Adds additional units to group
SHIFT+Left-click & Drag ............... Drag selection rectangle 10
around multiple units
Combat Mission
(Note: + and - keys are restricted to “next” unit within
the group when a group is selected)
CTRL+1-9...................................... Assign to camera group
ALT+1-9......................................... Select and jump to camera group
(Note: To assign units to a camera group, the desired
units must first be selected. In Iron mode, only HQ
units can be assigned to camera groups)
ESC ...............................Pause Game
TAB ................................Lock Camera to Unit
(Note: the camera remains locked in even after you deselect a unit unless you select a new one or hit TAB
- ......................................Select Previous Unit
+ .....................................Select Next Unit
(Note: in the End Game Review and Scenario Author
Test modes, the +/- keys also work with enemy
F12 .................................Select Last Unit
{ and } ............................Adjust 3D Model Quality
`.......................................Talk to Internet Opponent
Command Keys (defaults)
B.....................................Move Fast Command
N.....................................Move Command
\.......................................Reverse Command
H.....................................Target Command
Y.....................................Target Light Command
G.....................................Face Command
/.......................................Deploy Command
P.....................................Pause Command
H.....................................Hide Command
[.......................................Dismount Command
].......................................Vehicle Open Up Command
;.......................................Pop Smoke Command
F5....................................Movement Command Panel
F6....................................Combat Command Panel
F7....................................Special Command Panel
F8....................................Admin Command Panel
DEL.................................Clear Unit Target
BACKSPACE .................Delete Last Waypoint
3D Map Preview
CTRL+Left-click on wall ................ change windows/doors layout
ALT+CTRL+Left-click wall ............ change windows/doors layout for ................................................................ WHOLE side of building (all floors)
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CTRL+Left-click on roof ................ change shape/type of roof
SHIFT+Left-click building .............. change “Facade” (texture) of the .................................................whole building
CTRL+SHIFT+Left-click ................ cycle through balcony types for .................................................selected floor
CTRL+SHIFT+Left-click on ground floor .................................................cycle through balcony types for the WHOLE side of the build- (all floors)
ALT+Left-Click .............................. change building details
ALT+SHIFT+Left-Click................... cycles through stages of major
................................................................ damage to building including
....................................................... complete rubble
Flavor Objects
LEFT CLICK.................................. rotate object
SHIFT+LEFT CLICK...................... nudge object in the direction the camera is facing
CTRL+LEFT CLICK....................... delete object
ALT+LEFT CLICK.......................... Select object for precise cursor
....................................................... placement
2D Map Editor
CTRL+Right-click .......................... change current tile rotation
Left-click ........................................ place tile/object
Left-click & hold ............................ “paint” tile/object (not all
Right-click ..................................... delete tile/object (of the same type currently selected)
O.................................................... Toggle map overlay visibility
Alt-B .............................................. Toggle Artificially Bright Night Graphics
Alt-C............................................... Toggle Camera Shake
Alt-H............................................... Toggle Vehicle Hit Description Text
Alt-I ............................................... Toggle Floating Icons
Alt-J ............................................... Toggle Show Objectives
Alt-K............................................... Toggle Smoke
Alt-L ............................................... Toggle Show Landmarks
Alt-M.............................................. Toggle War Movie Mode
Alt-P............................................... Toggle Show All Move Paths
Alt-Q .............................................. Quit
Alt-R .............................................. Toggle Shaders
Alt-S .............................................. Toggle Sound
Alt-T .............................................. Toggle Tree Display
Alt-W ............................................. Toggle Shadows
Alt-Z............................................... Toggle Command Links
Customizing hotkeys
CMx2 allows you to customize the hotkeys to your liking. In order to do so, at the
main menu select Options, and at the bottom of the screen select Controls. To edit
a hotkey, left-click on the desired command and then press the desired hotkey.
You can also edit hotkeys directly in the “hotkeys.txt” file in your User Data folder.
The order buttons under the various Command Panels will display the assigned
key in green text.
Combat Mission
Three different camera control modes are available: Standard, RTS, and FPS. The
camera control mode options are found by selecting Options in the menu menu
and then selecting Controls. Standard mode is the default mode, used by CMx2
In RTS mode, the left mouse button pivots the camera, and the scroll wheel zooms
the camera in and out. Most importantly, right-clicking on a unit or its floating icon
with the right will bring up the pop-up Command Menu
In FPS Mode, the left mouse button also pivots the camera and right-clicking units
brings up the Command Menu, just like RTS Mode. However, in FPS Mode, the
camera will pivot to follow the position of the cursor while it moves. Essentially,
you move the camera using the WASD keys while moving the mouse to smoothly
pivot it.
It is unlikely that you will change camera control modes often, so you should experiment with all three modes and decide which fits you best.
The Options menu allows various global game options, mainly with regard to visual
and audio quality, to be set prior to playing a game. For the most part these settings
require infrequent resetting. Features that need more frequent customization are
set within the game using Hotkeys.
The Options are:
- Sound: Toggles all in-game sounds on or off.
- Music: Toggles all in-game music on or off.
- Display Size: you can select the game to run at the following resolutions: Desktop (the game will run at whatever resolution your desktop is set to), 1024x768,
1152x864, 1280x960
If you want to run the game in a resolution and refresh rate not listed, you can manually configure these settings by editing the “display size.txt” file located in your
game directory. Simply change the numbers that you see there with the width (in
pixels) and height (in pixels) and refresh rate (in Hertz) you wish to run the game.
Example: For 1440x900 at 75Hz refresh rate, you would delete the numbers in that
file and replace with “1440 900 75” (without quotes). If you put in all zeroes - example: 0 0 0 - the game will revert to using your desktop resolution and refresh rate.
Note: Exercise caution and only use a resolution and
refresh rate supported by your monitor as damage
to your monitor or display adaptor could occur,
especially if you use too high a setting.
- Vertical Synchronization: this option optimizes image quality based on your
monitor refresh rate. This setting may reduce your framerate, however. Activate
this option if you experience “screen tearing”.
- 3D Model Quality: Offers several settings for balancing model details with speed.
The choices range from “Fastest” (lowest quality, highest game speed) to “Best”
(best visual quality but possibly lower game speed). “Balanced” offers a good
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compromise between model quality and frame rate speed.
- 3D Texture Quality: Same as above, except it balances the quality of the graphics. For computers with video cards with less than 64 MB memory, the Fast and
Fastest settings are recommended.
- Antialias / Multisample: Allows you to toggle Anti-Alias and Multisample on or off.
If switched on, this option improves visual quality but may cost game performance.
- High Priority Process: This option instructs Windows to assign “normal” application priority or “high” application priority to the game when it is run. The “normal”
setting can fix lagging mouse and/or keyboard input issues for some systems.
The “high” setting is recommended if you have not experienced any input lag
problems. The “high” priority option allows Combat Mission to use more system
resources and may result in better performance.
- Language: CMx2 comes in a multi-language configuration. It defaults to English.
If you would like to switch to a different language, you can make the choice here.
You must exit the game after changing languages, in order to access the correct
language scenario folders.
Note: changing the in-game language instructs the game
to look into localized “GameFiles” folders for scenarios, save games and QB maps, specific to each
language. These folders are empty by default, and
you will have to copy the English files from the
default GameFiles directory and/or translate them
before they are accessible in the selected non-default language.
- Controls: Allows you to set key bindings for hotkeys and change the camera
control mode.
Combat Mission
CM offers three basic types of scenarios to play: Campaigns, Battles, and QuickBattles.
As the game title “Combat Mission” implies, the actual battle is at the core of the
game. This is where player and/or computer-controlled forces clash and their
fate is decided. Battles constitute the base for the Campaigns and Quick Battle
systems, explained further below. A number of pre-designed and tested battles
and campaigns are available with the game. By using the powerful Editor tools,
players can also create and share an unlimited number of new battles.
Battles are missions put together by a scenario designer, and include the map,
objectives, forces, reinforcements and AI scripting. Battles can depict a nearly
unlimited number of combat situations. The Editor section of the Game Manual
explains in detail how Battles can be created.
How to start
To start a Battle, click on the Battle button on the main menu screen. The battle
window opens, listing all available battles from the game’s “Scenarios” folder.
You can sort the list of battles by using the parameters found in the lower left
corner. Clicking on the title of each battle provides additional information to give
the player a quick idea of what the Battle is about.
- Image: an optional image associated with the Battle. This could be an in-game
shot, or map overview, or anything else that the scenario designer deems worthy
of showing. If no image is provided, this area remains black.
- Parameter icons: four icons showing important parameters for the battle:
- Environment: (from left to right) Forest, Hills, Open, River, Rough, City, Town,
- Time of Day: Dawn, Day, Dusk, Night,
- Battle Type: Assault, Attack, Probe and Meeting Engagement.
- Battle Size: Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, Huge.
- Duration: the duration of the battle in minutes
- Temperature: the air temperature during the battle
- Description: a short description entered by the scenario author to describe what
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the mission is about.
The player has the option to click Fight! or to Cancel. The latter brings the player
back to the Battle selection screen. Hitting Fight! opens the next screen:
Select Combat Force
The player now chooses the side he would like to play.
Select Game Options
In the next screen, the Style of play and number of players is set, as well as the
difficulty level for the mission.
Players - options range from single play in real-time or turn-based, or various 2
player options (LAN/Internet, Hotseat and Email)
Skill - the difficulty setting including Basic Training, Veteran, Elite and other settings.
Click OK to load the scenario.
Mission Briefing
The mission-briefing screen opens when first entering a battle. The briefing screen
- Strategic Map (e.g. an overview map of Normandy or the geographical location
of the battle). Empty if not uploaded by scenario author..
- Operational Map (e.g. a topographical map of the neighborhood where the battle
takes place). Empty if not uploaded by scenario author.
- Briefing Text. Describes the mission orders to the player using a common format.
- Button for Tactical Map. Toggles map or briefing view and shows a tactical map
to the player, e.g. a bird’s eye view of the battlefield. Empty if not provided by
scenario author.
- Designer Notes: shows additional notes (only if provided by the scenario author)
to both players. Unlike the briefing text, the designer notes do not impose a
common format.
Hitting OK takes the player directly to the 3D battlefield.
Setup Phase
When you first enter the 3D battlefield you start out in the Setup Phase. Gameplay
is paused and both sides are able to move their units within the available Setup
The Setup Zones are visible as colored areas (in shades of red for one player, and
shades of blue for the other player) overlaid on the terrain. Each side can have
Combat Mission
up to three different colored Zones in any configuration (including non-contiguous). Units may be moved within the same colored Zones they start within, but
not outside. Units that are not within any Setup Zone may not be moved during
the Setup Phase, though they may be given movement or other orders which
will be implemented once the battle begins.
Note: If Terrain Objectives are part of the mission, then
you can toggle their visibility (during the setup
phase and at any later time during the battle) by
using the hotkey combination Alt-J.
Almost all of the regular Commands available to a particular unit while in battle are
available during the Setup Phase. However, some Commands only activate once
the battle starts. For example, any Combat Command issued to a unit during
Setup Phase won’t do anything until the battle starts. Movement Commands given
to a unit within its Setup Zone will move it there immediately and without any
game effect, such as Fatigue. Movement Commands which are placed outside
of a Zone instruct the unit to move to that location as soon as the battle starts,
but not before. Other Commands, such as Button/Unbutton, Acquire, and Split,
have an immediate effect and can be done or undone instantly and without their
typical game costs (time delays, Fatigue, etc.).
In addition to your soldiers, weapons and vehicles, you can also position various
types of fortifications (if available) during the setup phase, such as Trenches,
Barbed Wire and other obstacles, or mines.
Once you have positioned your units to your liking and are ready to start the battle,
click on the red blinking button in the lower right hand corner of the screen. This
is the “End Phase” button which quits the Setup Phase and launches the actual
battle. The game clock will start ticking and will continue to do so until you pause
(RealTime) or until the 60 seconds of the first Action Phase are completed (WeGo).
More about this in the following chapter about “Gameplay Styles”.
End game review
After a battle ends, the End Game review screen displays the “score” for both players, listing all mission parameters and objectives (including hidden objectives),
indicating whether or not the player achieved each objective (and to what extent),
and totaling all points, thereby calculating the victory level. The victory levels range
from total defeat to total victory and various steps in between (including minor,
major and tactical defeats/victories as well as a “draw” if the points accumulated
by both sides are nearly equal).
Hovering the mouse cursor over the individual Parameters and Objectives shows
further details about the point calculation and totals near the bottom of the screen.
Combat Victories
The players may also review the 3D battlefield after the battle. All Fog of War
restrictions are removed, so they can see all units for both sides at the current
state when the battle ended. Players can select both friendly and enemy units,
and once selected, the Combat Victories for the given unit are shown in the lower
left of the screen. The Combat Victories display lists how many and what type
of infantry, vehicles, and big guns this unit destroyed.
Note: in the End Game review, using the +/- keys to
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“jump to the next unit” also works with enemy units.
Victory conditions
Scenario designers can set a number of specific victory conditions for battles, and
mix different objectives and objective types. Each objective can have a different
victory point value associated with it. The objectives of the opposing sides do not
have to match. In fact, one side can have totally different goals than the other side.
Also, objectives are not automatically known to both sides: a mission goal is only
known to the side that has to achieve it; or only the other side; or both; or none.
The Editor chapter explains objectives in more detail. Here are the basics for the
For each scenario, there are three main types of objectives for each side: terrain-based objectives, unit-based objectives, and force-wide objectives.
Terrain based objectives
The scenario designer can set any number of terrain-based objectives, i.e. areas
on the map of some importance to the mission. Terrain based objectives are
assigned to all available units for that side. The available objective types include:
- Occupy: player needs to occupy an area, clear it completely of enemy troops, and
keep some forces there (until the end of the battle) to gain points
- Destroy: player needs to destroy an area (e.g. a building or bridge)
- Preserve: the opposite of Destroy; the player needs to ensure that an area (e.g.
building or bridge) remains undamaged.
- Touch: player needs to reach the objective area to gain points, but does not have
to remain in position there.
- Exit: Exit Zones allow all friendly units to leave the map. There are no points
awarded for leaving a map. However, units that are part of an enemy Destroy/
Destroy All Unit Objective (see next section) and do NOT leave the map are
credited to the enemy as if they were destroyed.
Unit based objectives
There can be any number of unit-based objectives in a scenario. The objective can
be tied to one single unit (such as a tank or an HQ unit) or to entire formations
(such as a platoon or even a company), or to a mix of various units. Unit-based
objective options include:
- Destroy: you must destroy the designated units. The more damage you cause to
those units, the more points you earn.
Combat Mission
- Destroy all: you must completely destroy the designated units in order to earn
any points. Points are not awarded for damaged units.
Note: If the enemy has a Map Exit Objective, then you
will gain points for all designated Destroy/Destroy
All units that do not leave the map before the battle
is over.
- Spot: you earn points by spotting and identifying the designated units.
Force wide objectives
These are the victory parameters for a scenario. The scenario designer assigns
victory points to each objective individually. Options include:
- Casualties (friendly and enemy): if the player keeps his own casualties under
this percentage (relative to the entire force in the scenario) or pushes the enemy
above another percentage, he is awarded the respective victory points
- Condition (friendly and enemy): if the player keeps his percentage of wounded,
incapacitated and missing soldiers below this percentage, or pushes the enemy
above another percentage, he is awarded the respective victory points
Note: dead (KIA) and incapactitated soldiers are counted as “Casualties”, while lightly wounded and
incapacitated soldiers (eligible for buddy aid) are
counted against “Condition”
- Ammo (friendly and enemy): if the player retains more than this percentage of
ammo or pushes the enemy to expend more than another percentage, he is
awarded the respective victory points
- Friendly bonus: onetime bonus to the side. A quick “fix” to balance uneven battles,
which can be fun at times.
The full range of Victory objectives is available for Battles and Campaigns. Quick
Battles use a simplified auto-generated system, which is explained at the end
of this chapter.
The following victory levels are possible, in descending order of magnitude:
Total Victory / Defeat
Major Victory / Defeat
Tactical Victory / Defeat
Minor Victory / Defeat
In a campaign, the magnitude of your victory or defeat can influence the course
of future battles. For information on how victory is calculated, see the Mission Editor
A Campaign is a single player game that progresses through a series of interconnected Battles stretching over many simulated hours, days, weeks, or even
months. After completing a Battle, Combat Mission selects the next Battle based
on the results of the one just completed. The Battles within a Campaign are all
premade, but are adjusted to reflect combat results from the previous Battle.
Combat Mission campaigns are what we call “semi-dynamic”: this means there
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are some predetermined elements, as well as some based on the player’s actions.
Certain units have their casualties, changes in leadership, ammo usage, damage,
Combat Victories and other factors carried over to the next Battle they appear
in. Such units are called Core Units and constitute the bulk of the player’s
available force for the Campaign. This does not mean, however, that every Core
Unit appears in every battle. On the contrary, very often units seen in one battle
might not appear again until several battles later. Some units may only appear
a couple of times, while others appear nearly every battle. However, Core Units
are always seen at least two times, unlike Auxiliary Units which are seen only
once for the whole Campaign. Combat Mission makes no attempt to inform the
player about which units are Core, in order to remove the temptation for players
to abuse Auxiliaries (i.e. treating Auxiliary units as “disposable”).
Depending on conditions before each new Battle, Combat Mission may replace
fallen soldiers, repair damaged vehicles, replenish ammo, etc. However, as with
any real-life military campaign, replacement, repair, and replenishment are not
guaranteed events. A wise player will keep this in mind and avoid wearing out
his forces trying to achieve something that, in the larger context of the campaign,
is relatively unimportant.
Combat Mission chooses which Battle comes next based on the score from the
previous Battle. However, the evaluation is based on expectations about how well
the player should do. Sometimes expectations are high and sometimes not. This
could mean a high score for one Battle keeps the player on the optimal path to
victory, while the same exact score for another Battle may mean a detour before
getting back on the straight path to the Campaign’s end. Generally, however,
better results lead to a more direct path to the final Battle.
Playing A Campaign
From the Main Screen, click on the Campaign button to view all available Campaigns.
Once a Campaign is selected, the player receives a special Campaign Briefing. It
describes the “big picture” of what is expected of the player and which forces are
available to achieve the objective. After absorbing this information, the player
moves onto the Mission Briefing to find out the specific details of the coming
Battle. At the end of each Battle, the player views an After Action Report (AAR)
that scores the player’s performance for that battle. After viewing the AAR, the
Campaign Briefing will reappear, followed by the next Battle’s Mission Briefing
and the whole process is repeated until the end of the Campaign.
Campaign players have an option to switch between RealTime and WeGo Modes
in between battles. To do this, save the game between battles, exit to the main
screen, then start up your Campaign save game normally. Before the battle
starts an option is presented to switch Modes. This is useful for those people
who prefer to play in RealTime for smaller battles and WeGo in larger battles.
Campaigns started using an earlier version of a Campaign can be continued with
newer versions once the current battle being played has been completed. The
way to do this is:
a. Save your current campaign in between battles just after you dismiss the After
Action Report and exit to the main screen.
b. From the main screen select the New Campaign option and then highlight the
Combat Mission
updated Campaign you wish to play. Hold down the SHIFT key and then click
the OK button.
c. An “Import” screen will appear and you’ll see your save game in the list of files.
Select it, click OK, and the Campaign will start up again normally. The game does
its best to reconcile changes to such things as Core Units, but there is only so
much the game can do successfully. In the event it can’t make sense of new and
old it simply defaults to the new information, which may cause some of the battle
history to change. Therefore, this new feature works best when the Campaign
designer is making minor corrections instead of major overhauls.
After the last Battle, the player sees the Campaign AAR. Unlike previous AARs,
which showed results for the just-completed Battle, the Campaign AAR details
how the player performed over the entire Campaign. This signifies the end of
the Campaign.
The individual campaign missions make full use of all Victory Options available for
Note: Players can create their own campaigns. Please
read the “Editor” Chapter for details on how to link
Quick Battles offer unlimited replayability in CMx2, and are also a quick way to
“generate” a new battle. Units for both sides, and the map to be played on, are
either purchased/selected or randomly chosen according to a number of parameters set by the player.
Quick Battle Options
Environmental Options
These options define the general setting for the Quick Battle (QB).
Battle Type - Meeting Engagement, Probe, Attack, Assault, or Random. This setting
has an impact of what type of Quick Battle Map will be loaded: if you select Meeting
Engagement, only maps defined as Meeting Engagement will be considered for
loading. If you choose any of the other Battle Types, then only maps which are
NOT a Meeting Engagement are considered. The Battle Type also determines
how many “purchase points” the defender/attacker will receive to assemble their
forces. Additionally, the attacker in an Assault type battle automatically receives
a certain level of intelligence/recon information at the beginning of the battle,
informing him about a certain % of known enemy positions.
Battle Size - ranging from Tiny to Huge. This has an impact on how many units will
be available to both sides (ie. how many points are available)
Length of Battle - determines the length of the QB in minutes/turns (from 30 minutes to 2 hours).
Map Selection - can be Human or Automatic. If Human, then the player will be
able to choose a map from the list of available maps after finishing all settings
on this screen. If Automatic, then the map will be randomly chosen, based on
the selected Battle Type and two additional options:
Map Size - ranging from Tiny to Huge. Only maps of the selected size will be
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considered when making the random choice of which map to load.
Environment - sets the general type of terrain to be played on. This setting has
a direct impact on what type of Quick Battle Map will be loaded.
Note: if the Automatic map picker does not find any
eligible maps for the QB based on the settings made
by the player, the game will simply load the Main
Menu screen again.
Year & Month - sets the date for the scenario.
Daylight - sets the time for the scenario.
Weather - sets the current weather for the scenario.
Rarity - Rarity determines the degree real life historical availability factors into unit
purchases. The choices are Strict, Standard, Loose, or None. See the Purchase
Forces section later in this chapter for details about the Rarity purchase system.
Units options
These options define the units that both sides will be playing with. Units can be either
purchased by the player(s) or are selected randomly, based on the parameters
chosen in this screen.
Service - This defines the base pool of units for that side for the QB.
Combat Force - the composition of your task force for the quick battle can be
selected here, e.g. Infantry only, Armor only, etc.. These choices are based on
historical formations, but are additionally balanced for Quick Battles. See “QB
Purchase Restrictions” later in this chapter for details.
Two additional choices are always available as well: Mix (which means that units
of ALL branches are going to be available for the QB, without restrictions), and
Random (which means that a Combat Force setting will be randomly selected).
Unit Purchase - can be set to Human or Automatic. If Human, then the player will
be able to purchase units for this side in the next screen. If Automatic, then the
computer will randomly assign units for this side based on the choices made so far.
Note: even if you are playing solo against the computer
opponent, you can set this parameter to Human for
the computer player, and will be able to pick the
forces that you will be up against.
Map Preview - this option is available only when Unit Purchase is set to Human.
The available choices are No Preview or Preview Allowed. If Preview is allowed,
then the Map Preview button is active in the Unit Purchase Screen, allowing the
player to explore the map in 3D view while assembling his force.
Force Adjustment - allows playing an unbalanced QB. If set to the default “no
change”, both sides will have the default amount of purchase points available to
buy their units with. The options allow you to give up to an extra 150% of units,
or to deduct up to 60%.
Note. “default purchase points” does not mean that both
sides have always the same amount of points! The
amount of points per side depends on the chosen
Battle Type and Size. For example, in an Attack/
Combat Mission
Defend type situation, typically the attacker will
receive more points than the defender by default.
In an Assault, the attacker will receive even more
(almost twice as many), while in a Meeting Engagement, the point values will be nearly identical.
After setting the parameters and determining the QB map to play on (randomly or by
selecting one), the player will either be tasked with purchasing the participating
forces (if the Unit Purchase was set to Human for one or both sides), or the game
will proceed with the QB launch (if Unit Purchase is Automatic).
Purchase Forces
This screen appears if Unit Purchase was set to Human for one or both forces. It
will appear once for each side that is set to Human Purchase.
The Purchase screen for Quick Battles is very similar to the Purchase screen used
by scenario authors in the editor (see the Editor chapter later in this manual).
Here, we will describe the basic functions and the main differences between QB
Purchases and Editor purchases.
The Purchase screen consists of several main areas (explained below in the order
that you usually use them):
Main Menu
The menu bar on the left of the screen is the main workhorse for the Purchase
Window. Here you see three lines showing your 1) points budget, 2) how much
of it you have spent already, and 3) how much is remaining. You will also find a
button called “Suggestions” which allows you to have the computer player put
together a suggested force for you with just one click. You do not have to accept
the suggestion if you don’t want to, you can edit it or discard it, and you can have
the computer make as many suggestions as you like.
The Map Preview button is active if map preview is enabled for this side, and opens
a 3D preview of the battlefield when clicked.
By clicking the Cancel button, you exit the Quick Battle and return to the Quick
Battle menu. By clicking the OK button, you accept any purchases and choices
made in this screen and proceed to load the battle map.
Formation Selection Tabs
Located on the left side of the screen, this is where you determine the settings on
which the choices available in the Available Troops window are based on. You
select the branches and formations and special units and vehicles that you want
to purchase here. The available choices are preset based on the Unit Options
you selected when starting the QB.
When you start purchasing your units, you MUST start with at least one Formation.
This is necessary so that a proper Command&Control chain can be established
for the battle. After purchasing one or more formations, you can then switch the
display to Specialist Teams or Individual Vehicles if you would like to “cherry-pick”
specific units that are not part of the pre-defined (historical) Table of Organization
& Equipment. These units are automatically attached to the currently selected
(already purchased)
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Equipment Quality Dropdown Menu
You can set the general equipment available for the troops you purchase with one
click on the dropdown menu, ranging from Typical (for that force and period),
through Poor and Excellent. To finetune the selection after your purchase, read
the next section “Toolbar”
Available Troops
Depending on how the Formation selection tabs are set, a number of available
formations, vehicles, units, support assets or fortifications is displayed in this list,
including their point and rarity values (if Rarity is not set to None). A “+” behind
the purchase point value indicates that the number shown is a “lowest case” for
certain formations.
Activated Troops
This list shows the troops that you intend to purchase. You can subsequently delete
and revive units in this list to finetune any selections made.
Selected Formation/Unit Toolbar
Near the bottom edge of the screen, a dynamic display appears, depending on which
formation is selected in the Activated Troops list. The toolbar consists of two main
areas: on the left, the Soft Factors menu, and on the right the Equipment toolbar.
Soft factors
Here you can adjust various “soft factors” for each individual unit or formation,
such as Experience, Motivation, Fitness, and Leadership. For a more complete
description of the soft factors, see the “Editor” chapter.
Equipment Toolbar
Some formations allow you to determine the type of equipment that they are going
to field for the battle, such as different tank or vehicle or gun types. For example,
if you select a US Armor formation, typically you will be able to determine here
which models of Sherman tanks will be appearing in the battle.
Note: if you don’t want to set the choices for individual units or formations, use the Equipment Quality
Dropdown to set a general quality setting for the
units you purchase.
This menu is highly context sensitive and dynamic, depending on which formation
or unit you highlight in the Activate Troops list. Sometimes you can select an individual squad and several choices will appear here, sometimes you can select a
Battalion HQ and select the equipment for the entire formation with a few clicks.
In addition to different equipment, you can usually also determine here if you want
indirect weapons such as guns, howitzers or mortars appear on the map, or be
available as off-map support assets only.
The choices made here may affect the point value of the formation that they apply
to. This is why the points listed under Activated Troops may differ from the “typical” point values shown under Available Troops for the exact same formations.
QB Purchase Restrictions
The Purchase Screen for Quick Battles differs from the Editor’s in a couple of
significant ways. In the Editor there are no restrictions on how many, or what
types, of units can be purchased. For Quick Battles, there are restrictions on
both, depending on what Options are specified. For example, when Battle Size
Combat Mission
Option is set to “Huge”, and Combat Force set to “Infantry Only”, your force will
be large and restricted to nearly pure infantry units.
The amount of uncommon units allowed for purchasing can be restricted if desired.
“Strict” keeps unit purchases almost exclusively to common units, “None” has no
restrictions at all. “Standard” approximates actual availability for that particular
month, “Loose” is more generous than that.
Launch the QB
Next, the player is asked to select which side they want to play, and to set the
game options: which style of play they prefer (Real Time, WeGo, 1 player or 2
etc.), and which skill level (Basic Training, Veteran etc.) to choose, just as for a
regular scenario.
Setup Positions
The purchased units are located in the predetermined setup areas at the beginning
of the QB.
Note: Soldiers are automatically aboard their vehicles,
by default, but you may unload and reload in the
Setup Phase (and later) as usual.
Victory conditions
Victory conditions for Quick Battles are much more limited than for Campaigns and
Battles. Only two types of victory conditions are available:
1 - Terrain objective zones. These are always considered as OCCUPY zones.
2 - A set number of points are rewarded for causing enemy unit casualties. The
more casualties caused, the more points are awarded.
The Victory Points for terrain objectives and casualties in Quick Battles are adjusted
dynamically based on the battle type (Assault, Attack, Probe, Meeting Engagement). A Meeting Engagement will offer more VP for inflicting casualties, and
less VP for holding ground objectives. Assaults on the other hand will award far
more VP for holding ground objectives and emphasize casualties much less.
Attacks and Probes are somewhere between Meeting Engagement and Assault
in emphasizing casualties over ground objectives.
This Main Menu entry allows you to load previously saved games as well as Incoming
Email files from a human opponent in Play-By-Email games. The available files
shown to load are originating from the /Game Files/Saved Games and /Game
Files/Incoming Email folders inside your game directory.
You can delete saved games within the Save Game menu by selecting the save
that you wish to delete and left-clicking the “Delete” button. You will be prompted
to confirm your decision.
Combat Mission can be played in a number of ways. At its core, it’s a simultaneous-time ground combat simulation where one second of playing time equals
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one second of real time. In other words, a 30 minute engagement will also take
30 minutes to play out. Since not everybody has time to play real-time, a number
of alternative playing styles are supported.
No matter which playing style you choose for a given battle, the underlying simulation
engine always runs in real-time. In other words, as far as the game is concerned,
turn-based play is nothing else than a game played in 60 second increments of
real-time, in between which gameplay is paused to await player input. It doesn’t
have any effect on the simulation itself.
Single Player
Single-player mode allows one player to fight against the Computer Opponent (often
also referred to as Artificial Intelligence, or AI).
The Computer opponent consists of three main sub-elements:
- the customizable “Scenario AI” which can be “programmed” by the Scenario Designer who determines the overall strategic goals as well as possible avenues
of approach and is able to “script” certain behavior;
- the hard-coded Operational AI (OpAI) that coordinates and assigns the orders to
- and the hard-coded Tactical AI (TacAI) that controls the individual behavior of units
and soldiers based on the assigned orders and the situation that develops after
the shooting starts.
The Real-time Single Player mode starts with the player entering the battlefield
in the Setup Phase. Time is paused, and the player is able to get to know the
battlefield, study his orders and units, and place his troops within the designated
setup zones. During the setup phase, it is possible to issue orders which will be
executed immediately when the battle starts.
With setup completed, the player launches the battle, starting the clock. The clock
ticks in true real-time (1 second of game time equals 1 second in the real world)
and only stops if the game is paused. All actions happen simultaneously. After the
allotted Scenario Time expires, the battle ends, and the results screen is shown.
The turn-based single-player mode begins again with the Setup Phase, which works
just like for Real-Time play: both players are able to change the deployment of
their units, and issue orders which will be executed during the first turn.
After the Setup Phase ends, the first game Turn begins. For the first turn (only), the
turn begins with the Action Phase, during which the units execute the commands
given to them during the Setup Phase. After the Action Phase ends, players can
rewind and replay the Action (without being able to issue commands) as often
as they like during the Replay Phase.
Each following Turn is divided into three phases: a Command Phase during which
the player is able to issue orders to his units for the upcoming turn, an Action
Phase, during which the units execute these orders, and a Replay Phase, during
which the player is able to rewind and watch the action as often as he likes.
The Action Phase runs in real-time for 60 seconds and automatically ends after that
time. The Player is not able to issue further orders during the Action and Replay
Combat Mission
Phases but can move the camera freely around the battlefield.
The Computer Opponent can be quite formidable when you are just starting to play
CMx2, but it is no match for an experienced human player, because, unlike a
human, the AI is not capable of learning from its mistakes or adapting its gameplay to its opponent(s). Although a lot can be done by the Scenario Designer to
increase the difficulty of winning against the Computer Opponent by carefully
scripting the Scenario AI, sooner or later, multi-player games against other humans will provide the only real challenge.
Playing against other human players is possible using a variety of methods.
CMx2 uses a peer-to-peer connection between the two players. One player assumes
the role of the host, while the other player joins as client. The host first creates
a new Battle by choosing which scenario he wants to play, and from the Game
Start window selects the appropriate game type: “2 Player Internet/LAN”. On the
next screen, CMx2 automatically detects and lists all IP numbers associated with
the host computer, as well as which port will be used for the connection. It then
waits for the client player to join.
Note: Combat Mission uses the UDP and TCP port 7023
for all multiplayer games. If you are trying to HOST
a TCP-IP game make sure and open port 7023 for
both UDP and TCP traffic.
The host now has to communicate this information to the client player by email or
chat. The client launches the game and chooses “Join Game” from the main
game menu. Here, he enters the correct IP address and port given to him by the
host. After clicking “Join”, the game will attempt to connect with the host computer and, if the connection was successful, the game will launch. From here on,
gameplay resolves exactly the same as in the 1 player Real-Time game mode
for each player.
Note that CMx2 lists ALL the IP addresses assigned to
a system. If you have multiple modems or network
cards, it will list all IP addresses associated with
those devices. What it can’t do is tell you which one
is the correct IP address, because that depends on
how your system is configured. If you do not know
the correct IP address yourself, your opponent will
have to try all of them to find the correct one.
Make a note of its place in the list, because even
if the IP address itself might change, the order in
which the IPs are listed should not.
If either player is behind a firewall (hacker protection) or is using a proxy system,
you may need to reconfigure your system by manually opening the necessary
port for incoming and outgoing transmissions. You might have to uninstall some
firewalls completely (software-based) or disable them (hardware-based). Some
firewalls might have to be uninstalled completely. Users with routers need to add
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the TCP port to the routers forwarding table and match it to the internal IP address
of the computer that hosts the game, then use the router’s control panel to get
the external IP address given out by your ISP. This external IP address is what
your opponent will need in order to connect to you as host.
People using Internet Connection Sharing on their home LANs cannot host Internet
games. They can, however, host locally to systems that are connected on the
same home LAN. They can join other hosted games normally, via Internet or LAN.
This limitation on hosting affects systems that gain their access to the Internet
SOLELY on ICS connection.
Real-time Mode
Two player Real Time Mode works just like in Single Player games, with the difference being that players must mutually agree to a pause in the action.
Players can request a game pause during TCP-IP play by navigating to the Menu
Options Panel and selecting one of the Request Pause options. The second
player will be prompted to accept or decline the pause request. If the request is
granted, the battle will be paused until both players press the Resume button,
at which the action will continue.
Three types of pauses are available. A Playable Pause allows players to move their
camera around the battlefield, select units, and give commands. A Viewable Pause
allows players to move their camera across the battlefield, but they cannot issue
commands to their units until the pause is lifted. A Locked Pause prevents players
from moving their camera or interacting with units at all until the pause is lifted.
Turn-Based Mode
Turn-Based Mode works the same in Two Player as it does in One Player, with two
important exceptions: First, there is no Replay Mode or time controls available
available. Second, once finished with the Command Phase, the player must click
the “Continue” box in the upper right corner of the screen to continue onto Action
Phase. Action Phase will not begin until both players have selected “Continue”.
Note: Only the Host can save a LAN/Internet game. The
player that loads the save will also become the Host.
Hotseat play is very similar to Turn-Based Single Player games. Each player plots
his commands and actions as he would in a Single-Player game and, once done,
exchanges the seat in front of the computer with his opponent (hence the term
“hotseat”), who now does the same. This is repeated for each turn.
Play by Email works exactly like Single-Player Turn-based play, except that once
a player completes their commands and actions, a special save game file is
generated. The player emails this file to their opponent who loads it on their end,
executes their commands, watches the results of the previous turn, then saves
a file and returns it to the first player.
Here is a more detailed explanation of the process:
1. You pick a Game and are prompted to create a password. This creates Game
file 01 which is stored as an Outgoing file. You will find this file in (Title Name)/
Games File/Outgoing Email. You send this to your partner.
2. Your Partner gets the 01 file and saves it in his Incoming Email Folder.
Combat Mission
3. He starts the game and finds file 01 in the Saved Game portion of the Opening
4. Partner puts in password and a new file 02 will be generated to be sent to you.
By saving and swapping these files via email, the players advance the game from
turn to turn at a pace that the players can adjust to their liking. The gameplay
itself, i.e., the Action Phase, still takes place in real-time - just like in Turn-Based
Single Player mode.
Note: If the PBEM files are too large for email transfer,
you can use a number of free services on the internet allowing you to upload and swap large files
When you launch a new battle, you can set the skill level, which adjusts the overall
difficulty of the game. Unlike other games, the skill level does not simply give an
artificial bonus to the computer opponent, but instead has an influence on core
game mechanics. The following section describes the differences between the
different levels. Only the differences from the previous lower level are described.
Basic Training
This is the easiest setting. The following special rules apply:
- Friendly units are always spotted
- Spotting information is instantly shared among teams (aka “Borg Spotting”)
- Troops suffer slightly fewer casualties and are less likely to panic
- Treatment of wounded soldiers (“buddy aid”) is extremely fast
- Artillery and air support arrives extremely fast
- Enemy units, once spotted, are always fully identified
- The life/death status of enemy vehicles is displayed immediately
- Enemy weapons and suppression are displayed
- You can hear the voices of unspotted enemies
- Supplies from Ammo Dumps are automatically distributed among troops.
Most people familiar with the Combat Mission game system will prefer this setting.
It is a fair balance between realism and fun that does not burden the player with
unnecessary details or long waiting times. The following special rules apply:
- Friendly units are always spotted
- Enemies, once spotted, are not always immediately identified and can appear as generic
“Enemy contacts” (but less often than at Elite level)
- Spotting information is distributed among teams using the standard Command & Control
rules (See Command & Control chapter)
- Treatment of wounded soldiers is faster than in real life
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- Artillery and air support arrives faster than in real life
- The life/death status of enemy vehicles is hidden until the crew bails out or the vehicle
starts to burn
- Enemy weapons and suppression are not displayed
- You cannot hear unspotted enemies
- Supplies from Ammo Dumps are automatically distributed among troops.
Warrior is similar to the Veteran setting but introduces more realistic time delays
for a number of tasks and events. Hardcore players will favor this setting. The
following special rules apply:
- Enemies appear as generic “Enemy contacts” until they are positively identified by your
forces on the battlefield
- Treating wounded soldiers takes a realistic amount of time
- Artillery and air support take a realistic amount of time to arrive
- Supplies from Ammo Dumps are automatically distributed among troops.
Elite is identical to Warrior with only one difference:
- Enemy infantry icons are always the plain “soldier” type, regardless of their armament or
Iron is an optional setting that goes even one step further than Elite, and introduces
special restrictions on what the player can do and when. While even more realistic
than the other settings, this option introduces a number of interface limitations
which might put off the casual player, so it is strictly an optional choice.
- Friendly units need to be spotted just like enemy units. If you have a friendly unit not in
line of sight or in contact with another friendly unit, then the only way to find this unit is by
either re-establishing contact with another friendly unit or by clicking through the chain of
command in the game interface, jumping from unit to unit.
Scenario Author Test
“Scenario Author Test” may be selected as a Skill Mode in 1-player games only. It is
intended to be used by Scenario Authors only when testing their creations, and
is not intended for “live” play. This setting will cause all enemy units to be fully
displayed to the player, but not additionally “known” to player’s troops. Computer
controlled units show their movement paths when selected.
Note: in Scenario Author Test mode, using the +/- keys
to “jump to the next unit” also works with enemy
Combat Mission
The main screen layout breaks down as follows:
1. Top Navigation/Info Bar - the info bar at the top of the screen provides information
about friendly and enemy units located within the viewing area, even if the units
are hidden or obscured by an obstacle. Clicking on one of the triangle-shaped
icons instantly switches the player to that unit.
2. Game Area - this is the central display area where all the action takes place.
Using mouse and keyboard controls, the player can move the camera around
the map, as well as access units and info by clicking on them directly and/or on
their floating information icons (if enabled).
3. Game User Interface (GUI) - the main interface bar at the bottom of the screen
presents the player with all the information and controls necessary to interact
with units.
Note: This screen layout is used for all instances where
the player interacts with the 3D game world. 2D
game elements such as menu screens and the editor
use a different GUI layout.
Game User Interface (GUI)
As soon as you enter the 3D game world of CMx2, the GUI appears at the bottom
of the screen. It always consists of the same three main parts, even though some
may be empty or unavailable at times.
1. Unit Info Panel
2. Team Info Panel
3. Command Panel
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Unit Info Panel
The Unit Info Panel displays the most important information for the currently selected
unit. It breaks down as follows:
1. Unit name - standard or customized unit description
2. Unit type - describes the type of unit, such as “Rifle Squad”
3. Portrait - a picture that represents the current unit type
4. Unit attributes - the central characteristics affecting the unit’s ability to perform:
a) leader name (leadership modifier)
b) experience level (no modifier)
c) physical condition (physical fitness modifier)
d) morale (motivational modifier)
Modifiers determine, for better or worse, how the unit behaves during the game.
Each modifier can have a positive or negative value, as follows:
+2 - excellent
+1 - good
+0 - average
-1 - below average
-2 - poor
5. Rank - the rank insignia of the highest-ranking leader of the unit.
6. Branch of Service - shows which Branch of Service the unit belongs to.
7. Chain of Command - displays the parent formations of the selected unit. A
green icon indicates that the HQ unit/formation is currently in contact with the
next lower HQ unit/formation, while a red icon indicates lack of contact. In the
previous example, if the icon beside the “A Company” entry is red, then the 1st
Plt is out of contact with A Company HQ, while - if the icon next to “A Company”
is green - then 1st Plt is in contact with A Company HQ.
8. Ammo panel - the ammo panel displays the available and remaining types, calibers and amounts of ammunition that the unit has at its disposal. Each bullet/
round is listed here for each specific caliber/type.
9. C2 Link - the Command and Control (C2) link shows the current established
means of communication for the selected unit with its next higher HQ in the
chain of command. The left most position shows if there is a visual connection,
the middle position shows if there is either voice or radio contact. The right most
position is reserved for advanced communications present only in modern-day
CMx2 titles. See chapter Command & Control later in the manual for more details.
10. Suppression Indicator - an inverted color-coded pyramid indicates the amount
Combat Mission
of suppression the selected unit is enduring at any given time. It also gives the
player a rough measurement of the total volume of incoming enemy fire. As the
color moves from green to yellow to orange to red, the amount of suppression
increases, and the unit will be more likely to go to ground, panic, or break. When
units are pinned (i.e. they can shoot but do not respond to movement orders),
or panicked, routed or broken, that status is shown in the suppression indicator
display as well. A small dot to the right of the suppression indicator will light up
if the unit is Brittle.
11. Artillery and Air Support buttons - allows access to the Artillery and Air Support
screen (if such support is available and if the currently selected unit is allowed
to request support).
12. Special Equipment - this area consists of 6 slots which display various types
of special equipment that a squad, team, or vehicle might be equipped with (e.g.
demo charges, binoculars, etc.).
Note: keep an eye out for knocked-out burning vehicles that contain extra ammo and other special
equipment. CMx2 simulates “cook-offs”, i.e. exploding
ammo inside a burning vehicle. After each explosion,
ammo is crossed off the list, but remaining ammo
may still explode later on. You should keep your
infantry away from burning vehicles or they could
suffer injuries.
Team Info Panel
The Team Info Panel shows all Soldiers assigned to the unit. Depending on the
type of unit and the nationality, the Team Info is further subdivided into Teams.
Squads show three columns representing up to three Fire Teams, designated A,
B and C. The actual composition is determined by the nation’s specific TO&E.
Each Soldier is represented by his Weapon, his Wounds, and his Specialty. Behind
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the scenes, the rank, individual ammo count, type of body armor (if any), number
and type of grenades, Special Equipment, and spare ammo are also tracked for
each Soldier.
The Unit Info Panel displays cumulative ammo counts and any Special Equipment.
The total weight of everything a Soldier carries is also tracked and has an impact
on fatigue from movement. In order to prevent unnecessary information overload,
these details are not available to the player.
The large variety of Weapons available to soldiers are accurately portrayed according to their real world characteristics, such as ammo type, rate of fire, reloading
procedures, chance of jamming, inherent accuracy, weight, etc. On the 3D
battlefield you can see the weapons as they are being used. The Encyclopedia
chapters in the game-specific manuals detail each Weapon and its capabilities.
The color of the Weapon icon in the panel denotes the general health of the Soldier.
Green means the Soldier is in good shape, though perhaps a little banged up.
Yellow means that the soldier has sustained a significant wound that is likely to
impair his ability to fight. Incapacitated Soldiers have a red “Casualty” text above
their Weapon icon. These Soldiers are so seriously wounded that they are no
longer able to fight, move, or perform other actions. The Soldier’s base within the
Game Area also shows Green, Yellow, Red (incapacitated) and Brown (dead)
to reflect his Wound status. If you point the cursor at a weapon, the name of the
weapon is displayed and that soldier’s base is subtly highlighted in the main 3D
Incapacitated soldiers (red soldier base) can be given first-aid by their comrades,
which is called “Buddy Aid”. There is no Command for this action, rather it happens
automatically when a friendly soldier (regardless if he is from the same squad
or not) is moved close to the location of an incapacitated comrade. Depending
on the situation (incoming fire etc.) the soldier may decide to treat the wounded
man. The word “medic” is displayed in the status field. The player can abort the
treatment at any time by giving the parent unit that the medic belongs to any
kind of Command. The medic may decide to abort the treatment himself as well
if there is significant incoming fire.
Once treatment for a incapacitated soldier is complete, the wounded soldier will
disappear from the Game Area.
Note: Incapacitated (red base) soldiers who have not
received “buddy aid” (i.e. disappeared) by the end of
the game have a 25% chance of becoming KIA in the
final tally.
Dead soldiers (brown soldier base) can also receive “Buddy Aid” (by moving a
friendly soldier close to the location), but all it does is reclaim their ammo and
weapons, if possible. “Aid” to dead soldiers is pretty quick.
Many Soldiers have a special ability due to training and/or weapon assignment.
These Specialties are represented by a short line of text over the Soldier’s weapon
icon, such as “Commander”, “Gunner”, “Driver”, etc. Soldiers can perform tasks
they aren’t specialized, just not as well as those who do. For example, some
soldiers have been trained to drive a vehicle, command a Team, use AT weapons,
etc. If a soldier without a specific Specialty tries to perform the same task, he is
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generally worse at doing it.
Details Panel
All units that are not Squads are simply referred to as Teams and have up to seven Soldiers in the Team A column. In place of columns B and C is the Details
Panel, which is where special information about the Team is shown. There are
three different types of Details Panels based on Team type: Vehicle, HQ, and
Heavy Weapon.
The layout for each Detail Panel is essentially the same with Profile, Stats, and
Reports sub sections. The Profile shows a silhouette unique to that unit, the Stats
give some indication as to what the unit is capable of, and Reports give details
relevant to the Team’s specialized purpose. Reports are “tabbed” and can be
accessed one at a time. CMx2 remembers which Report was last in view so the
next time you select a unit of that type, the same Report shows up by default. The
following sections briefly describe the unique features shown for each unit type.
Detail Panel Components
The Details Panel is divided up into three conceptual pieces: Profile, Statistics,
and Reports. The information for each varies a little depending on if the unit is
a Vehicle, HQ, or Heavy Weapon (HW).
Designation and Purpose - lower portion. Several pieces of information are displayed here, depending on the type of unit selected. Generally speaking, this
section gives you information such as military designation (e.g. M4A1, MG34,
etc.), caliber of main weapon, minimum/maximum range, and/or a description
of the unit’s purpose (e.g. Headquarters, Medium Tank, etc.). For headquarters
the formation name is also displayed.
HQ Button - when a Vehicle or HW is also a HQ, a button appears which toggles
the HQ Reports on or off instead of the unit’s Vehicle or HQ Reports.
Silhouette - an illustration of what the unit looks like. For heavy weapons, text is
superimposed over the Silhouette depending on the type of weapon and its state
of readiness. “Semi-Deployed” means the weapon can be used, but not optimally.
“Not-Deployed” means the weapon can not be fired until Deployed. “Limbered”
tells you the weapon is in its towed, non-firing position. When no text is present
the weapon is fully deployed and ready to fire.
Crew Positions - a grey dot for each designated crew position, a blue dot for each
occupied position, a yellow dot for lightly wounded crew members, and a red
dot for incapacitated.
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Passenger Positions - works the same as Crew Positions, but uses a green dot
instead of blue to represent an occupied position.
Vehicle Name - The common name of the vehicle, if any (e.g. Sherman, Tiger etc.).
Not applicable to HQs and HWs.
Vehicles - Weight, Speed, Power-to-weight ratio, Offroad and Turning ability
Heavy Weapons - Caliber, Setup and Pack Up Times, Speed, Minimum and /or
Maximum ranges
HQs - Personnel, Experience, Condition, Morale, Suppression
Ammo Report - available for Vehicles, HQs, and HWs. Displays the amount of
ammo of each type assigned to that unit.
Defenses Report - available for Vehicles only. Shows the vehicle’s ability to defend
1. Hollow charge rockets (e.g. Bazooka, Panzerschreck, Panzerfaust)
2. Large caliber anti-tank rounds (e.g. 88mm)
3. Medium caliber anti-tank rounds (e.g. 50mm)
4. Small arms (e.g. Machineguns)
...against the
Front ............. >
Sides ............. ><
Rear .............. <
and Top. ........ v
The amount of threat posed by the various munitions is shown graphically as Bad
(small red x) , Poor (o) , Average (yellow o ) , Good (light green square)
, and Excellent (thick green square) .
Combat Mission
Damage Report - available for Vehicles only. Shows how well each system of the
vehicle is functioning. The icons used are coded in the same way as the armor
icons in the Defense Report (previous page). Additionally, vehicle systems that
are destroyed are displayed not just with the red “x”, but also by the system name
appearing as bright red text.
Note: The game tracks and applies limitations to what
a vehicle can or can’t do *precisely* as shown here,
so keep an eye on the damage report during combat! If the engine is destroyed then your vehicle
won’t be able to move. If its engine or running gear
are damaged it may be able to move but only slowly, and even more so across difficult terrain or up
steep slopes. If the radio is destroyed or damaged,
it may lose connection to higher up, resulting in
loss of Command & Control, and so forth.
Note: Vehicle weapons that are reloading may temporarily appear as grey.
Unit Report - available for HQs only. Shows up to nine units directly attached to
the HQ and their status (ranging from fully operational to depleted to eliminated).
Clicking on an entry jumps to that unit.
Formation Report - Identical to Unit Report, but showing up to nine Formations
attached to the HQ (if any).
Command Panel
The Command Panel is a highly interactive area that allows the player to issue
Commands to units, to select from various Menu options, and to control the
speed of the game. The various component pieces are broken up logically so
they can be accessed quickly. The components are numbered according to this
picture of the Command Panel:
1. Instant Commands - allow one click change in unit behavior. The left button tells
the unit to HALT and retain its Commands. Clicking on the button again tells the
unit to RESUME. The middle button instructs the unit to CANCEL all its Commands and to do nothing for the moment. The right button tells the unit to EVADE
by abandoning its current Commands, seeking immediate cover and perhaps
popping smoke. Although units can Evade on their own initiative, sometimes they
try too hard to stick to their Commands and need to be redirected without further
delay. Instant Commands work in both Real-Time and We-Go styles of play.
2. Command Modes - determines which type of Commands are being used;
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Movement, Combat, Special and Administrative. When selected, the name of the
Command Mode is displayed along the bottom and the appropriate Command
Buttons are shown in the Button Screen.
3. Button Interface - shows either Command or Menu Buttons, depending on which
is currently selected. Command Buttons display their assigned hotkey and are
color-coded to match the Command Lines shown in the Game Area. See section
[Commands] for more details about Commands
4. Menu Mode - by clicking on the Button “Menu”, the Screen displays various
special Options the player can use. These Options are detailed below. Clicking
again on the “Menu” button quits the Menu Mode.
5. Playback Interface - used mainly for We-Go style play, this interface allows you
to replay, rewind and fast forward through each game turn and phase. The large
red button in the middle is used to End Turn or End Phase in turn-based mode,
or to Pause the game (same as pressing the ESC key) in Real-time mode. The
elapsed game time is shown at the bottom.
Menu Options
The Menu Options Panel contains a total of seven buttons, explained below. The
Panel is accessed by clicking on the “Menu” button. Clicking again exits Menu
Mode and resumes regular Command Mode for the Panel.
1. Save - opens the Save Game screen, allowing you to save a game in progress.
The saved game can be found under (Game Title)/Game Files/Saved Games,
and can be loaded from the “Saved Games” entry in the Main menu visible upon
game launch.
2. Conditions - opens a pop-up window listing the environmental conditions for
the current battle, including:
- Weather (e.g. Clear, Overcast, Rain...)
- Temperature
- Ground Conditions (e.g. Dry, Wet...)
- Wind Strength and Direction
3. Briefing - opens the Briefings Panel with the current Mission Briefings
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4. Hotkeys - opens the Hotkeys Panel listing all important in-game hotkeys
5. Cease fire - toggles the call for a Cease Fire on and off. If the opponent selects
this option as well, the game ends with a mutually agreed to Cease Fire
6. Surrender - immediately surrenders the battle to the opponent
7. Quit - aborts the current mission immediately, without calculating results
Command Interface
Units are controlled by issuing Commands. The Command Panel is the primary
method for viewing and issuing Commands. All Commands are grouped into
one of four conceptually similar Command Modes:
Movement: Commands to get units from waypoint A to B
Combat: Commands to engage enemy targets
Special: various special Commands that complement Movement and Combat
Administrative: Commands that affect a unit’s basic organization
There are several ways to issue a Command during the game, so you can choose
whichever suits your style of playing best.
You can use the keyboard to issue Commands via Hotkeys. You can customize
the hotkeys to your liking and either use a hotkey for each individual command
(Direct access) which eliminates the need to bring up the required Command
Panel first, or use the Default Keys (Relative access). You can access Command
Panels directly with the F5-F8 function keys.
You can use your mouse to operate the Command Panel in the Game Interface
directly. Simply click on the corresponding buttons to switch Panels and issue
On-screen menu
A selectable Command Menu popup in the 3D area is also available. The onscreen
list of available commands can be viewed by selecting a unit and pressing the
SPACE BAR. A list of the four Command Modes (Movement, Combat, Administrative,Special) appears. Move the mouse over the desired Mode and a list
of commands related to that Command Mode will pop out. Simply click on the
desired Command and then follow normal procedures for that Command (e.g.
clicking a Waypoint or selecting an enemy unit to Target). The menu can be dismissed with another press of the space bar or by clicking the mouse anywhere
outside the menu.
Some Commands are “modal”, such as Deploy Weapon for Heavy Weapons.
These Commands remain lit up to show that the unit is already performing that
particular Command. Issuing the Command again has the effect of telling the
unit to cease that action.
Units whose Morale State is Panic, Broken, or Routed are not capable of receiving any Commands. Units that are heavily Suppressed (“Pinned”) may accept
Commands but may not necessarily act upon them right away.
Game Manual
Playback Interface
For Turn-based We-Go play, this interface is used to playback each turn’s action.
For other play styles, such as Real Time, this panel is only used to conclude the
Setup Phase at the beginning of each battle and launch the battle. The controls
resemble those of a regular VCR or CD player, and include:
-play/pause (toggle)
-skip to end
-fast forward
The large red button in the middle of the Playback Interface is used to advance
from one phase to the next, i.e. ending the Setup Phase and starting the game
in Real Time mode, or ending the Playback phase and starting the Command
Phase of the next turn. In Real Time mode, pressing the button has the same
function as the ESC key, and pauses the game. Below this button is the elapsed
game time expressed in minutes.
One of the center pieces of the new CMx2 game engine is the concept of “relative
spotting”, where a number of game elements - from command & control, to skill
levels, to individual unit abilities - all come together. A typical battlefield is full of
chaos by its very nature: combatants worldwide call this chaos the “Fog of War”,
where no two soldiers “see” the same thing. To simulate this, CMx2 employs
complex calculations and a unique spotting concept which only shows the player
what his currently selected unit can see.
Spotting is computed for each unit individually, and is not only based on actual lines
of sight, but includes many other factors such as: what the spotter and target are
doing (facing does matter!), the equipment they have available (scopes, binoculars etc.), skill levels, visibility based on climatic effects and the time of day, even
sounds (units can “hear” nearby enemies!) and so forth.
Enemy units that are not seen by any of your troops are not shown on the map.
This includes muzzle flame, smoke, dust, and other effects directly attached to
enemy unit behavior - these are also not shown unless the unit itself is already
spotted by at least one friendly soldier.
But even when an enemy is spotted by one of your units, that information does not
pass immediately to other friendly units; instead, it is transmitted using the usual
Command & Control channels, and is subject to the same restrictions.
Note: Relative Spotting is turned off for Basic Training
Skill level.
Example: One squad might see an enemy unit that a friendly squad, close to the
first, does not see. It only takes a few seconds before the first squad is alerted
about the enemy presence by visual signals (e.g. hand signals), but it takes much
longer to pass this information to other units in the Chain of Command. Units
out of contact might not receive this information until they are in contact again.
In addition to being handy ways to keep track of and select units, the Floating Icons
Combat Mission
also convey important spotting and unit status information. Unless disabled by
its hotkey the icons appear over the center mass of the units they represent.
Unknown or previously spotted but now out of sight units, as well as pure sound
contacts, are shown with a generic silhouette and a question mark. In these cases,
the general identity of the contact (soldiers, tank, etc) has been determined but
not its exact location or nature. Over time the unit may be further identified and
will display a specific floating icon.
Each icon can be in one of four states: normal, dimmed, highlighted, and transparent. Transparent icons are only used for units whose morale is so low that the
player has lost control.
Note: Floating icons for friendly units briefly blink after sustaining a casualty.
With no unit selected, all icons are in their regular state. This shows the player the
combined information from all his units as passed up the Chain of Command.
Note: Icons for units that are not capable of receiving
commands (e.g. panicked, destroyed) are faded, by
When a friendly unit is clicked on the following icon changes occur:
- the selected unit’s icon background blinks between normal and highlighted
- all friendly units within the same immediate formation (usually a platoon) remain
in their normal icon state
- friendly units in other formations are dimmed
- whatever enemy units can be directly seen by the selected unit are shown the
others are hidden
Note: Double clicking yields the same behavior except
that units within the same formation have their
icons highlighted.
When an enemy unit is clicked on the following happens:
- the selected unit’s icon background blinks between normal and highlighted
- friendly units within LOS of the enemy unit remain in their normal icon state
- all other friendly unit icons are dimmed
Some of the most immediate effects of this system are that units with dimmed icons
cannot be directly targeted by the selected unit. The unit TacAI will continue to
behave as if no enemy unit was present. It will, for example, continue walking
down a road into a possible ambush, unaware of the threat.
The icons displayed are nation-specific and unit-type specific. Normally in World
War 2 titles, Axis forces are displayed by rectangular grey colored icons, while
Allied forces use round olive drab colored icons. In modern war titles, NATO-type
forces use a round blue colored icon, and opposing forces use a diamond red
colored icon. The unit representations show the main type, such as tank, infantry,
vehicle, etc., using the silhouette of the most common unit for that nation.
Note: at Skill Levels Elite and Iron, enemy infantry
icons are always the plain “soldier” type, regardless
of their armament or function
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At high skill levels, enemy units whose location has been confirmed but not their
exact nature will display Unidentified Floating Icons. These will present a generic
silhouette with a question mark. In these cases the specific location of the enemy
unit has been determined, but not its exact identity. For example, an infantry
Unidentified Floating Icon could be a squad, a bazooka team, or a battalion HQ.
Since the exact location has been determined, Unidentified Floating Icons can
be selected and targetted with Combat orders. Over time the unit may be further
identified and will display a specific unit icon.
If play is Axis on Axis or Allied on Allied (or Red versus Red and Blue versus Blue),
the colors and shapes remain the same but the black unit representations on the
icons change because they are specific to one nation’s equipment.
Most actions which are possible for the player to do by clicking on a unit are also
possible when clicking on the unit’s icon instead. This is often easier since the
unit icons are “stacked” automatically for easier access. For example, when
embarking a vehicle you can click on the vehicle or on its icon.
At the very core of the CMx2 tactical game lies its system of Commands. Commands
are the primary form of interaction between the player and his virtual soldiers on
the battlefield. CMx2 uses a structured Commands system which emulates most
of the typical orders a squad of soldiers would give or receive on a real battlefield.
Similar Commands are categorized into specific Command Groups. The four main
Command Groups are:
Move Commands - move units from A to B using various methods
Combat Commands - instructs the unit to use its weapons in some controlled
Special Commands - specific instructions that are nestled in between Move
Admin Commands - similar to Specials, except specific to unit organization
This structure is more than just for ease of reference. Each unit is able to combine
one command from each group and perform it simultaneously. For example, a
unit can conduct a Move and Combat Command at the same time, while another
might perform a Move and Special command. Not all commands can be combined
like this, but many can. Some commands, especially certain Special and Admin
Commands, might require full focus by the unit until completed.
Which commands are available to which unit, and at which time, is highly dynamic.
Suppression, fitness, unit cohesion, location, the unit’s equipment, and the time
of the battle can all have an effect on what types of commands are available at
which time. Some commands might be grayed out, indicating that they’re temporarily unavailable, while others might not appear at all because they’re only
available to a specific type of unit, or only if a specific type of equipment is carried.
Just as in real life, your virtual soldiers are not robots and therefore will not mindlessly
execute each and every order from you. There are many situations - usually under
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heavy enemy fire - in which soldiers may simply refuse to execute a Command
you have given them, or may replace it with what they consider more suitable.
For example, you may give a unit a Fast Move Command only to see it changed
instantly to a Slow Move Command because the soldiers feel hugging the ground
is the better way to stay alive. Units with or without orders will also usually initiate
evasive action on their own in the face of extreme danger - for infantry this may
including crawling to cover, for vehicles it could mean popping smoke, rotating to
face the threat and retreating away from threats. This can happen if you ordered it
or not, if you want it or not, as the unit is simply concerned about its own survival
at that moment. Keep this in mind when you see that your Commands are not
exactly working out as you think they should...
The following is a list of ALL available commands. Certain restrictions are mentioned,
but not ALL possible combinations are listed.
In addition to the above, a special category, “Instant Commands”, is available. Instant
commands do not appear in the usual Commands Panel, but have their own buttons at the left top of the Commands Panel interface. These Instant Commands
are “emergency” commands, allowing a player to quickly instruct a unit to PAUSE,
CANCEL ALL, and EVADE. Obviously, this is mainly useful for Real-Time play.
Instant Commands are explained in more detail in the next chapter.
Lastly, there are certain actions that the units conduct themselves without the need to
explicitly give them a Command, such as providing first aid for wounded or sharing ammo. These action are listed and explained at the very end of this section.
Move Commands
Move Commands include orders that usually have to do with getting a unit from
point A to point B in a certain fashion. Movement commands are generally issued
by selecting the desired type of movement and then clicking on the map with
the mouse, thus placing a waypoint. A Command Line extends from the unit’s
current position to the waypoint.
Additionally, when an infantry unit is moving and the waypoint is placed over ground
terrain (i.e. not a building or vehicle), the actual destination for each one of the
teams that make up the moving unit is highlighted in yellow. Teams B and C (if
any) also have their adjacent destinations highlighted when plotting moves and
when giving facing orders attached to a final waypoint. Note that the final facing
is important for positioning “wing man” teams, so you should attach facing orders
to final waypoints as needed.
Note: if you need even more granular control over each
of your teams, feel free to split them and issue individual movement commands.
Infantry soldiers/units automatically try to position themselves “smartly” around
and along buildings, walls, ridgelines and other terrain which provides cover and
concealment. When targets present themselves soldiers will try to gain line of
fire by repositioning themselves. However, as in real life soldiers are reluctant to
reposition themselves in exposed positions when they are currently in good cover.
Units do not always follow the exact Command Line drawn on the map, but will
choose their movement path independently based on the terrain between the
start and end points, including finding their way around impassable obstacles.
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The chosen route depends on the type of movement command issued, as well
as if the unit is being fired on or not. Keep in mind that the longer the distance
between the start and ending points, the more the route the unit chooses might
deviate from what you had in mind when you gave the order to move out.
You can issue several Move Commands (from the same type, e.g. Move + Move;
or different types, e.g. Move + Fast) one after the other, generating a string of
waypoints that the unit will pass through one by one. There is no limit as to how
many waypoints you can place, though more than a handful is hardly practical.
Move Command waypoints can be adjusted by left-clicking and dragging the
waypoint with the mouse. However, any Target commands associated with that
waypoint will be deleted and will have to be re-given.
Infantry units will usually halt at each waypoint for a few seconds and regroup,
attempt to maintain formation etc. Vehicles will simply pass through waypoints
if it is a string of the same movement types and if they can do so without having
to slow down for a hard turn.
Note: new players tend to make a number of common
mistakes when ordering around vehicles. Here are
couple of tips (all are obvious when you think about
how people drive vehicles in the real world):
- when maneuvering in difficult terrain with many
obstacles (such as densely packed urban areas with
narrow streets etc.), use Slow movements
- when setting waypoints for your vehicles, avoid sharp
turns. If your movement command creates a 90 degree turn, the vehicle has to slow down or even stop
in order to make the turn. By setting 2 or 3 waypoints instead at less steep angles, the vehicle will
be able to move much quicker.
- if moving in a convoy, make sure to space out the
intervals between vehicles sufficiently, and increase
the distances the faster you want them to go! Have
you ever tried driving at 50 mph with only a couple
of meters of distance to the car in front of you?
Not recommended!
- pay attention to impassable terrain between the starting point and destination when plotting movement
commands. Vehicles will attempt to complete your
orders and if faced with impassable terrain, may
take a drastic deviation from the course you had
intended for them. If you move through difficult
terrain, use Slow Movements and set several waypoints closer together. Plotting one waypoint across
half the map is inviting disaster.
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When you issue a Move Command with the cursor placed over a vehicle capable of
transporting soldiers (or over its icon), the unit that is given the Move Command
will automatically embark onto the transport vehicle, either as passengers or, in
some cases, as crew.
When you issue a Movement type order with a waypoint placed inside a building,
a pop up menu will allow you to select the floor level that you would like the unit
to occupy as its final destination. You can select Level 1 if you want the unit to
simply enter the building, and then select Level 2 for the next waypoint later on
to instruct it to move up, or you could immediately select Level 2 and have the
unit pass through the ground level immediately to the second in one motion.
While moving, soldiers will sometimes stop and take a quick shot at nearby/exposed
enemy troops, then resume moving. This depends on the Movement Command
issued, and is more likely for enemies in front of the unit, and less to the sides
and rear.
Moving troops that come under heavy fire usually try to move FASTer, except when
they are so tired that they could only use walking speed (i.e. not even QUICK).
In that case they will switch to SLOW (i.e. crawling), and sometimes they cancel
their move altogether to seek nearby cover.
Ground conditions, Bogging and Immobilization
When issuing Movement commands, keep in mind the ground condition that you
want to order a unit to move over. All vehicles are rated for Offroad performance.
To some degree better quality crews lessen the chance of bogging. However, if
you order a non-tracked personnel carrier to move across a muddy field the best
crew in the world won’t likely help you out much.
Keep in mind that Ground Conditions can change during the course of a battle. E.g.
during a Downpour, ground conditions may change from Wet to Muddy during
the battle.
Some vehicles are able to drive over obstacles, such as low walls or fences. However, this usually greatly increases the risk of immobilization and will progressively
damage the vehicle’s tracks or tires.
Bogged vehicles display a “Bogged” marker in their unit panel, and are not able to
move. Bogged units attempt to un-bog themselves automatically. This may fail,
however, and lead to a permanent immobilization.
Ground conditions (as well as the terrain itself) do play a role for infantry units, too,
affecting the soldiers’ speeds and rate of exhaustion.
Infantry - This is the standard “move from A to B” command usually used in situations where enemy contact is not expected or is unlikely. It is fairly slow, but it
maintains unit cohesion, pretty good all-round awareness (but no anticipation
of imminent contact), and is not tiring to infantry. Usually units that come under
fire while executing a Move Command stop or change their movement order
and take evasive action, and there is a high chance that they will return fire and
look for cover.
Vehicles - this command means slow speed and usually instructs the crew to unbutton to maintain good all-round observation.
Restrictions - Move is not available when a vehicle has been knocked out or im-
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mobilized (usually by a track, wheel or engine hit, but also if the crew has been
incapacitated). For infantry, move might not be available temporarily due to
wounded and incapacitated soldiers as well as excessive fatigue (in which case
you have to let the soldiers rest a little)
Example - use Move to change floors in a friendly occupied and previously cleared
building when speed is not important. Use Move to drive down a road not expecting enemy contact.
Infantry - soldiers move at a jog. This movement type slightly emphasizes speed
over cover, cohesion and awareness, but is not a full-out run. It may lead to some
bunching up, as it’s more difficult for soldiers to remain in formation. More tiring
than Move but still sustainable for longer periods, at least for fit soldiers.
Vehicles - this command means medium speed, and emphasizes arriving at the
waypoint quickly over returning fire.
Restrictions - same as for Move, but fitness and fatigue play a bigger role. Additionally, vehicle with soldiers riding on top of them (such as tank riders) cannot move
at Quick speed. Vehicles given a Quick order will instead move at a slower speed.
Example - this command is best used to shift positions quickly when speed is important but when the area to move through is covered and not under immediate
enemy view and fire
Infantry - Fast Movement maximizes speed to get from one place to another at the
cost of fatigue, and also decreases awareness and spotting ability, especially
to the sides and rear (relative to the unit’s movement direction). Fast makes
the unit less likely to return fire or to stop or change its movement direction and
objective. Keep in mind that this means that a soldier running FAST will NOT
stop to reload, either.
Vehicles - Fast means movement near the maximum speed possible for the terrain,
and a decreased awareness of what is happening around the vehicle.
Restrictions - Fast has the same availability restrictions as Move (immobilization,
fatigue, etc.), and, additionally, might be unavailable when certain components
of a vehicle are damaged (even if not fully destroyed), or for infantry units, when
combat/equipment loads are excessive. Additionally, vehicle with soldiers riding
on top of them (such as tank riders) cannot move at Fast speed. Vehicles given
a Fast order will instead move at a slower speed.
Example - se Fast to have a squad sprint across an open road from one building to
another, making sure that they do not slow down to return fire. Use Fast to cross
a stretch of open ground with a vehicle in order to reduce the time of exposure
to enemy tanks.
Infantry - Slow is the equivalent of a Crawl command. Soldiers move forward in
the prone position, maximizing cover and concealment at the cost of speed and
fatigue. Crawling is extremely slow and very tiring and should only be used to
move short distances. Crawling soldiers are generally hard for the enemy to spot
(depending on terrain). Crawling soldiers tend to pause and return fire at nearby/
exposed enemy troops often, then resume moving. After reaching the destination,
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soldiers who move SLOW (i.e. crawl) will tend to keep their heads down for a
little while even if there is no incoming fire and no enemies are spotted.
Vehicles - instructs the vehicle to move slowly, at walking speed. Useful when coordinating vehicle movements with infantry.
Restrictions - same as for all Movement commands.
Example - crawling up the last meters towards a crest or edge of a tree line helps
maintain concealment. Slow vehicle movement makes the vehicle less likely to
appear as a sound contact to the enemy.
Infantry - this command maximizes the unit’s awareness for possible enemy contact.
Soldiers advance slowly, weapons ready. Upon seeing an enemy unit, or when
fired upon (even if the enemy is not seen) the unit stops immediately. This is a
good command to use when enemy contact is imminent.
When soldiers using HUNT get too tired, they stop and pause for 90 seconds before
continuing to HUNT.
Note: in combination with a Target Arc command, Hunt
is restricted to only the area within the arc, and
ignores enemy units outside the arc.
Vehicles - orders vehicles to advance slowly and observe the battlefield for enemy
contacts. Upon spotting a threat, such as another enemy vehicle or tank, or
when fired upon (even if the enemy is not seen), the vehicle stops immediately.
Restrictions - same as all other Movement commands.
Example - Hunt is very useful for cleaning out houses which are suspected to have
enemy hiding inside, or as a “move to contact” order for tanks.
This command is available for infantry squads only, and requires a certain minimum
headcount (in other words, you cannot use assault if you only have two or three
people active). It instructs the squad to conduct a so called “leapfrog” movement,
which is executed by splitting the squad into a movement element and a firing
element. The moving element advances at FAST speed (the same limitations
apply as with the FAST command) while the firing element remains stationary
and provides covering fire. After the movement element stops (ending the first
“leap”), the roles switch, and the movement element (now the firing element) provides covering fire while the firing element (now the moving element) advances,
reaches and overtakes the firing element, and arrives at the next “leap”. This
procedure repeats until the squad has reached its designated objective location.
Assault is usually executed in the face of enemy fire (typically from the front) and
is a good compromise of security and forward movement while maintaining unit
cohesion and limiting fatigue. The disadvantages are that it is a fairly slow form
of advance, and that it requires a certain minimum unit experience to implement.
Restrictions - Since “leapfrogging” does not make much sense with only a handful
of soldiers, it requires a certain minimum headcount.
Example - use Assault to cover open ground over long distances while under enemy
fire. Assault can be also useful to clean out buildings (only the assault team is
exposed to ambushes)
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This command enables an infantry unit with demo charges to blast a hole through
a building wall, exterior or interior, as well as through tall stone or brick walls,
Barbed Wire, and of course also through the nasty Bocage hedgerows, allowing
units to pass through the breach.
Note: the breach may not automatically be wide enough
for vehicles to pass through. This may require more
than one blast attempt.
The time it takes to conduct this command varies based on unit experience, and
can range from one minute to several minutes per detonation.
The Blast Command instructs the unit where to move. This makes it no different
from any other Movement Command, except that the unit attempts to blow up a
section of (nearby!) wall or hedgerow along its path.
Note: It is a good idea to place the Blast Command
on the opposite side of the wall you want breached.
This ensures that the correct section of wall is
breached and that the unit moves through the opening.
Restrictions - only available for infantry units carrying demo charges.
Example - moving in a city down an open street can be lethal - especially when the
enemy has a few well positioned machineguns in place. A much safer, but more
time consuming method, is to blow holes in adjoining buildings, avoiding the
open street entirely. Another good use for this command is to enter and storm a
building from an angle the enemy isn’t expecting.
Mark Mines
This command enables engineer units to detect and mark hidden minefields so that
other units are aware of them. Other units can then move through the marked
minefield, albeit slowly. Mark Mines is a very slow movement command that takes
the unit’s full attention and reduces awareness and returning fire.
Restrictions - only Engineers can mark mines.
Example - Marking mines under fire is suicidal unless you have other forces suppressing the enemy or call for a large scale smoke screen.
Simple “back up” command, available only to vehicles. Instructs the vehicle to drive
backwards without changing its facing (e.g. keeping its gun and stronger front
armor forward towards the enemy while retreating).
Restrictions - same as for all Movement commands.
Example - use Reverse to back up into cover while keeping a tank’s front armor
directed at the enemy.
Combat Commands
Combat Commands usually have to do with firing one’s weapons at a designated
target, be it an enemy unit or a general area on the battlefield where enemy units
are suspected or known to hide (or to move to). Only one Combat Command
can be active at any one time, but it can be combined with commands from other
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Groups (e.g. movement).
Note: In general, the player cannot determine exactly which weapons are used. This choice is made by
the squad/unit leader based on the circumstances
(range to target, ammo situation, suppression and so
This is the standard fire command, instructing a unit to use all of its available weapons to fire at the designated target. The target can be an enemy unit or a piece
of terrain (area fire).
Note how it says “available weapons” in the preceding
paragraph! Some weapons may have restrictions,
such as having to be deployed before you can fire
If the target is an enemy unit, the firing unit will fire only when the enemy target
is visible and hold fire (but maintain the target) when it is not. If the target is
an area, the firing unit will maintain a constant stream of outgoing fire at the
selected area, automatically shifting its center of aim during the process to
each side to maximize coverage and effect. Area targets always “snap” to
the underlying action grid in CMx2.
Area fire orders are immediately canceled when any active member of the firing
team/squad enters the target area (useful for room clearing).
Note: A special situation is the targeting of an enemy
unit near a TRP (Target Reference Point). In CMx2,
these double-function not only for artillery support
fire, but also as “ambush markers”. Soldiers targeting
an enemy unit near a friendly TRP are much better
at estimating the range correctly.
How much and what type of fire (small arms, main gun, grenades) is outgoing
depends on a number of factors, including the type of firing unit, the distance to
the target, target type, and the available ammunition. For smaller targets further
away, the firing unit will use aimed fire and single shots or short bursts while it
might switch to full auto at targets at close range and when it has enough ammunition available.
Support soldiers for heavy weapon and sniper teams will tend to withhold their fire,
unless the enemy is very close.
Note that you do not have to use this command to make
a unit fire. Units will open fire on sighted enemy
troops and vehicles automatically if/when they can.
In fact, unless you have a specific reason to order
a unit to concentrate its fire on a specific enemy, it
is often the better choice to let the unit decide its
targets freely.
While the target command is being issued, the command line extending from the
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firing unit to the mouse cursor assumes the function of a Line-of-Sight tool. Different shades of gray, blue and red indicate if a line of sight is free, obscured,
or blocked, and where it is blocked (the area out of sight is marked with red).
When placing a target command the color denotes how strong the LOS is to the
target. If the line to the target is light blue the LOS is clear, part dark blue and
part magenta if it’s blocked, and gray if it’s mostly clear but not for every soldier
in the squad/team.
Additional Notes can be displayed at times above the target, alerting the player
to special conditions, such as Hull Down or Partially Obscured or plain Out of
Sight targets.
How well a unit performs in executing a Target command depends on a large number of factors, including distance and equipment, target type and status, as well
as the firing unit’s experience. The quality of range estimates made by gunners
and the speed of acquiring and re-acquiring targets especially depend on the
experience level of the shooter.
Note: Virtually every bullet in CMx2 is tracked from
muzzle to target. This applies to both small arms as
well as heavy calibers. The principle of “what you see
is what you get” applies: if only part of a vehicle
is visible (e.g. behind a wall or partially concealed
by a slope in the terrain) then only that part can
be hit by direct fire. The only exception to this is
that vehicles are NOT shielded by hiding behind
knocked-out armored vehicles; however, infantry
does gain cover in this situation. In fact, infantry also receives a blast protection bonus when an
armored vehicle (live or knocked out) is between
them and a very large explosion.
Restrictions - 1) Target is not available if the unit has no ammo.
2) Recoilless anti-tank weapons such as Bazookas, Panzerfausts, and Panzerschrecks may be fired from within buildings. However, the potentially lethal hot
gases released by these weapons may wound or demoralize any soldiers within
the same building floor! These weapons may be fired from building balconies
without any penalties.
3) When a vehicle attempts to fire on a target that is beyond its maximum elevation
angle (for example, a tank trying to shoot at the upper floors of a building that it
is very close to), the aiming time for the shot is increased dramatically. Buttoned
up armored vehicles suffer the same penalty if they attempt to attack point-blank
range targets, such as infantry swarming around the tank.
Example - enemy snipers are firing from a building. Instead of targeting the enemy
unit, the player calls for area fire from a tank, which uses high-explosive ammo
from its main gun to blow up the whole side of the building.
Target Light
This is a variation of the Target command and works very much the same, but at a
reduced fire output. Usually it limits the firing unit to use small arms and MG fire,
Combat Mission
while larger calibers and heavier weapons hold fire.
Note: on-map mortar teams that receive a Target Light
command will use their mortars, but only at a very
slow rate of fire
Target Light is useful when you want to put a few MG rounds into a suspected enemy location but not waste a tank’s main gun round, or if you want to take a few
aimed shots at a low threat infantry target not too far away without wasting too
much ammo. Target light does not prevent the use of hand and rifle grenades,
though, at the appropriate ranges.
Restrictions - same as for Target
Example - for firing at long distances, the game itself already reduces fire output
even if you use the Target command, so Target Light is most useful as an ammo
preservation tool for targets at medium and close ranges.
Target Arc
The Target Arc command orders the unit to only fire at enemies within a certain
target area and/or range. After selecting this command, the player has to click
on two points on the game map, and the cone-shaped area between those two
points represents the designated target area; or, you can keep the SHIFT key
pressed when selecting this command. This will create a 360 degree arc around
the selected unit, allowing you to set the distance at which the unit will engage
enemies but no specific direction.
Any visible enemy units that are located inside this area, or that move into this area,
will be fired upon. Any enemy units outside of this target arc will be ignored (until
self-preservation takes over and the Tactical AI decides to override player orders;
e.g. if an enemy unit suddenly pops up at extremely short range).
When placing a target arc, the distance in meters is displayed.
This Command is also useful to keep a unit’s “attention” focused on a specific part
of the game map while it moves. If, for example, you want to keep a close eye
on a bunch of buildings (where you suspect enemy activity) while driving down
a road, you could assign a target arc to several units covering this area. The
target arc increases the chances that units will recognize and engage an enemy
threat within the target area quickly.
After placing an arc, the unit will rotate its main gun turret - if available - to face the
center of the designated target arc, to minimize acquisition delays and maximize
spotting abilities. Infantry units will shift their facing accordingly.
Restrictions - You cannot mix Target/Target Light and Target Arc commands. The
AI will sometimes override Target Arcs in self-defense, when, for example, an
enemy unit suddenly appears at close range.
Example - an unidentified enemy vehicle contact is reported near a building. We give
a target arc command to one of our Sherman tanks to make sure they engage
the enemy vehicle as soon as it pops up from behind cover.
Note: Target Arcs placement is “relative”, i.e. in relation
to the unit’s position and facing, and not tied to an
absolute location on the game map. In other words,
if you move a unit with a designated Target Arc,
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that arc will move and turn together with the unit.
In this way, you can order a unit to “cover the three
o’clock position”. You cannot use a Target Arc to
“stick” to a particular spot on the map. So, if that’s
what you want, you have to keep the targeting unit
stationary or adjust the arc accordingly during the
unit’s movement.
Clear Target
Instructs the currently selected unit to stop focusing on its designated target. A unit
without a designated target is then free to engage targets at will, or will follow
other player-specified commands.
Restrictions - Clear Target is grayed out if the selected unit has no currently designated target.
Example - after area firing at a building and blowing a hole in the wall, no further
enemy contact is reported. We abort the area fire command to allow the unit to
focus on other targets at will.
Infantry - issuing a Face command will cause the soldiers of the unit to re-evaluate
the cover provided by the surrounding terrain in relation to the facing the player
has indicated, and, if better cover is available, to move to that cover. For example,
the unit might move around a wall, or house corner, to face the new direction
while maximizing cover against fire coming from that direction. You can issue a
Face Command to a unit in motion as well. If you do so, then the last waypoint
will be automatically highlighted so the Face Command will apply to that last
waypoint, not the current position. You are also able to manually select a waypoint
(any waypoint, not just the last one) and issue a Face order from there however.
Note: the Face command is “absolute” to the point you
click on the map, not “relative” to the position of
the unit at the time that you click. An example: You
issue a Face command to a moving unit by clicking
on a house in the distance. When the unit reaches
its final waypoint, it will turn to face the house.
Vehicles - The unit will rotate its hull and turret (if applicable) to face the direction
the player has designated.
Restrictions - vehicles cannot rotate if immobilized.
Example - an enemy Panzerfaust team is spotted on the flank. We change the
facing of our Sherman tank to rotate its stronger front hull towards the threat.
Note: facing matters! It matters for both infantry as
well as vehicles and greatly increases a unit’s
awareness and spotting abilities in the direction it
is facing. CM simulates the natural human behavior
to “look around” the battlefield (which includes a
higher attention towards the front, less to the sides
and even less towards the back) for both infantry as
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well as each individual crew position on a vehicle
or tank!
Target Smoke
Besides simple vision-blocking smoke only, CMx2 also features White Phosphorus
smoke shells, which can cause damage and burns to soldiers exposed to it (within
very close proximity to an exploding shell).
Infantry - applicable to some mortar teams. Other infantry units use the Pop Smoke
Vehicles - The unit will fire smoke shells at the designated target or location.
Restrictions - Units need to be capable of firing smoke shells, and ammunition
needs to be available.
Example - a major threat appears in front of your tank. The tank commander orders
smoke to be fired in front of the enemy to blind it, gaining valuable time for a retreat.
Target Armor Arc
The Target Armor Arc works exactly the same as Target Arc, except that the unit
will only engage armored vehicles such as tanks within the designated arc. This
Command is very useful if you do not want to reveal the position of your anti-tank
assets to enemy infantry reconnaissance, or if you want to ensure that your tanks
only engage other enemy tanks instead of distracting themselves on softer targets.
Restrictions - You cannot mix Target/Target Light and Target Armor Arc commands.
The AI will sometimes override Target Arcs in self-defense, when, for example,
an enemy unit suddenly appears at close range.
Example - you have hidden away an anti-tank gun overlooking a likely route that
enemy armor will use to attack. You want the anti-tank gun to maintain the element of surprise, so you give it a Target Armor Arc over the area to ensure that
it does not fire on any enemy infantry preceding the tanks.
Target Briefly
The Target Briefly Command functions exactly the same as the Target Command,
with one twist: instead of indefinitely engaging the target, a unit given the Target
Briefly Command will stop shooting after 15 seconds and self-cancel the order.
Issuing the Target Briefly Command more than once will add extra 15 second
increments to the Target Briefly duration. This is useful when you have friendly
units in close proximity to the target and you need to tightly coordinate their
orders within a single turn.
Restrictions - Target Briefly is not available if the unit has no ammo.
Example - You are assaulting an enemy-held building with a tank and a squad of
infantry. To prevent friendly casualties from the tank’s shells, you give the tank
a Target Briefly Command on the building and then give the infantry a Pause
Command for 15 seconds coupled with orders to move into the building. As soon
as the tank has finishing shooting, the infantry squad will spring into action and
assault the building.
Special Commands
Special Commands include various special tasks not directly related to movement or
firing weapons. Many Special Commands deal with specific situations or specific
equipment, and therefore are only available to a unit if those conditions are met
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or if the equipment is available. Popping Smoke, for example, is only possible
if the unit has smoke grenades available. Likewise, Deploy Weapon is only an
option if the unit carries a heavy weapon which can (or has to be) deployed
before firing. Most Special Commands are exclusive, meaning that they are the
only command that can be executed at a given time, and cannot be combined
with other Command Groups.
Infantry - soldiers will generally go prone and hold fire and look for nearby terrain
offering good concealment, trying hard not to get spotted.
Vehicles - vehicles will hold fire and not move, trying to keep a low noise profile.
Hiding vehicles that are struck by a projectile, or that spot an enemy vehicle
targeting them, will automatically un-hide.
Note: Hiding while facing an enemy takes a lot of
nerve, and units might decide to stop hiding if
fired upon or if the enemy approaches extremely
close, depending on that unit’s experience, morale
and leadership.
Restrictions - hiding is no good if the enemy is already firing at you, or if you are
trying to hide in open ground in full view of the enemy.
Note: issuing a Hide command to a moving unit is
possible. The unit will continue moving and will automatically hide after reaching the FINAL waypoint.
If you want a unit to hide immediately you have to
first issue a CANCEL ALL Instant Command to clear
all waypoints, and then issue the Hide Command.
Example - we hide a German Panzerschreck team to let the first few vehicles and
US infantry pass by before un-hiding and launching a grenade at the side of
an enemy tank. This ambush tactic is especially effective if used in conjunction
with a friendly Target Reference Point (TRP), as this increases the firing unit’s
accuracy for the first shot.
Deploy Weapon
Certain heavy weapons can be deployed before firing to increase their chance of
hitting or to increase their fire output, while others cannot be fired at all before
being properly deployed. Deploy Weapon instructs the gunner of a heavy weapon
(such as a medium or heavy machinegun, a mortar, an anti-tank gun, howitzer, or
other heavy equipment) to deploy his weapon (on the appropriate mount), while
one or more other soldiers of the same unit are designated as loaders and/or
security or lookouts.
Some weapons, for example, medium machineguns, can be fired without first being
deployed, but will suffer from decreased accuracy and a lower fire output. Other
weapons, such as mortars or howitzers and anti-tank guns, cannot be fired at
all if not properly deployed.
Note. weapons which can be fired even if not fully deployed show a “semi-deployed” message across the
weapon icon in the interface, whereas other heavy
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weapons typically show “not deployed”. Guns that
are not deployed but are in transport mode show
“Limbered” in the interface.
Deployment takes a specific amount of time for each type of weapon, and also
depends on various other factors, such as the unit’s experience and current
If you order a unit with a currently active Deploy Weapon command to move, it will
automatically first de-activate the Deploy Weapon command, and then execute
the movement command. There is a longer command delay in such a case.
Note: Large wheeled weapons (such as anti-tank guns)
can be pushed at a slow speed without having to be
un-Deployed and then re-Deployed.
Note: anti-tank guns that are deployed in the Setup
Phase and do not move or rotate are harder for the
enemy to spot!
Restrictions - If you issue the Deploy Weapon command to an already moving team,
it will deploy its weapon at the end of the movement command. If the movement
command consists of several waypoints, the weapon will be deployed after the
last waypoint has been reached. If you want the team to deploy immediately, you
need to first clear the movement command(s).
Note: Depending on the weapon system, certain restrictions may apply as to where a weapon can be
deployed or not. For example, some weapons may
not be deployed inside buildings or on balconies or
roofs. Others may be deployed, but the Setup Time is
increased: for example, heavy MGs may deploy inside buildings, though assembly time is increased.
This simulates the need for the crew members to
clear a space and set up a stable firing platform for
the weapon.
Example - we want to use a heavy machinegun to provide covering fire for an infantry assault. Finding a good position with a good field of view and field of fire,
we issue the Deploy command to maximize that guns accuracy and fire output.
Orders the passengers of a vehicle to leave the vehicle. This command is available
to both passengers as well as the vehicle itself. If you select a vehicle and issue
the Dismount command, ALL passengers will leave. If you select a Passenger
unit and issue the Dismount command, only that unit will disembark and automatically take up a defensive position near the vehicle.
Note: For Passengers, Dismount is not the only way to
leave the vehicle. You can also select a passenger unit and issue one of the available Movement
Commands. The passenger unit will automatically
dismount and then move to the designated way-
Game Manual
point on foot. This is not possible for vehicle crews,
since choosing a Movement order while a vehicle is
the active unit will order the vehicle to move to the
specified waypoint.
Disembarking troops may attach Face, Deploy, and Pop Smoke orders to waypoints.
Restrictions - only available to passengers inside vehicles or vehicles carrying
passengers. Otherwise inactive.
Example - after the armored infantry platoon arrives at the intended dismount
point, we group-select all Halftracks and issue a Dismount command. All teams
dismount immediately.
Bail Out
Available for vehicle and antitank crews only, this command instructs the crew to
leave immediately and seek cover nearby. Vehicle crews may re-mount their
vehicle again during the same battle, but for anti-tank crews abandoning the gun
is permanent, and therefore Bail Out should only be used in emergencies where
staying with the gun would mean certain death.
Restrictions - AT Gun teams may not remount abandoned guns.
Example - to preserve the crew, we order them to Bail Out of an immobilized tank
with a damaged gun sitting in plain view of enemy anti-tank weapons, since it’s
only a matter of seconds before the tank is going to brew up. Bail Out can also
be used to dismount the crew and use it for recon, since bailed out crews can
later re-occupy the abandoned vehicle.
The Acquire command allows an infantry unit to pick up equipment, weapons and
ammunition from points where such goodies are available. In CMx2, this usually
means from infantry carriers such as halftracks and trucks which usually carry
additional equipment in storage compartments.
In order to use Acquire, the infantry unit has to enter the vehicle first. A pop-up window lists all available equipment that the unit is eligible to choose from. Clicking
on an entry removes the equipment or ammo from the list and places it into the
inventory of the passenger unit.
Note: while soldiers automatically can share ammo
without explicitly being ordered to (from nearby
vehicles, or from nearby infantry units in their formation, as well as through buddy aid), the Acquire
command gives you greater direct control.
Note: Units adjacent to an Ammo Dump can also use the
Acquire command to obtain ammunition from the
Ammo Dumo.
Restrictions - only active when the infantry unit is inside a valid pickup area, such
as inside a halftrack or truck, or adjacent to an ammo dump.
Example - after nearly an hour of continuous combat, the armored infantry platoon
is running out of ammo. We split the squads into teams and order them into the
nearby halfracks one by one to grab fresh ammo.
Combat Mission
Pop Smoke
This order is available for both infantry equipped with smoke hand grenades as well
as for vehicles equipped with smoke generators or smoke launchers. Pop Smoke
instructs such units to place a smoke screen around its current position, to the
best of its ability. Pop Smoke is used usually as a defensive command when the
unit runs into overwhelming resistance and is useful to spoil the enemy’s aim
(even if only for a few seconds) and therefore gain time to get into a better and
more secure position (or out of an ambush, for instance).
The duration and placement of the smoke screen depends on the unit that is executing this order, as well as the weather and wind conditions. Keep in mind that
smoke drifts and dissipates rather quickly under certain conditions, and can often
become as much of an obstacle to your own forces as to the enemy. Offensive
use of smoke (e.g. covering an advance) is usually left to supporting artillery or
air assets and not to the individual ground unit.
Note: “Pop Smoke” can be aimed using the Face Command or current unit facing. The smoke will not
fire until an existing Face Command is executed.
Restrictions - available only as long as unit has smoke grenades available and/or
the smoke launchers are not damaged.
Example - an armored infantry platoon needs to dismount under fire. The accompanying Sherman tanks are ordered to pop a defensive smoke screen around
the dismount point, allowing the infantry to dismount and head for cover, while
spoiling the enemy aim.
Available for all unit types, this command instructs a unit to wait before carrying on
with further orders. Pause can have different states, and each click on the Pause
Command Button toggles through the list of available options.
Timed Pause - when you first select the Pause Command, an info text appears next
to the selected unit icon: “Pause 00:15”. This means that the unit is going to wait
in place (but will continue firing, if applicable) for 15 seconds before continuing
with any other orders. Each further click adds 15 seconds to the timed pause,
for a maximum amount of 1:30 min (the longest selectable time for timed pause).
Pause - The next click sets the Pause Command to a “Pause for further orders”
status. This is identical to the “Pause” used for Instant Commands, and is additionally indicated by an activated “Instant Pause” button in the interface. The
unit will stay in place until the player clicks the Instant Command “Pause” button
again, after which the unit will resume any pending commands.
Un-Pause - The next click resets the cycle and clears the Pause command. At this
setting, the unit is not going to pause.
Restrictions - none.
Example - if you want to time it so that one squad at a time crosses a road - using
FAST - then you could issue FAST commands to all squads in the platoon in
advance, and assign each a different time delay using the Pause command. So,
you could have 1st Squad break and cross the street immediately, then Squad
2 thirty seconds later, and Squad 3 after 1 minute, for example.
Game Manual
Open Up
Available for both vehicles and passengers. Open-up is a toggle. When activated
(highlighted), it instructs the vehicle passengers or crew to open all available
hatches. If the vehicle has none available, nothing happens. When de-activated,
it tells the crew or passengers to close all hatches.
Restrictions - available only for vehicles and passengers.
Example - fighting from an open hatch increases the field of view and battlefield
awareness of a vehicle crew tremendously (by eliminating blind spots created by
the vehicle’s vision ports), and even allows passengers to use personal weapons,
but it can be very dangerous and lead to casualties, especially if the enemy returns fire from close distance. Use this command to choose between situational
awareness or added protection, as the situation demands.
Administrative Commands
Administrative commands deal with the organization of squads, teams and crews.
Split Teams
Evenly (more or less) splits a squad into two or three teams. How many teams are
split depends on the nation’s doctrine as well as the squad’s current manpower.
The Tactical AI tries to keep the teams at roughly the same strength and also
distribute special weapons evenly, thereby effectively creating independent maneuver elements. Splitting teams is often advisable when fighting in urban terrain
so as to avoid bunching up of soldiers into too small of an area, where they all
can be taken out by a single well-placed hand grenade.
Split teams (including the assault, scout, and anti-tank detachments created by the
commands explained next) belonging to the same parent squad automatically
re-join when stationary within a few meters next to each other, and form a single
squad-sized unit again without requiring the player to give another order. So if
you want to split a squad into teams, make sure that you separate the teams
shortly after splitting them, or they will reform into a single unit.
Restrictions - not available if the headcount of a given squad is too small. Certain
nationalities whose doctrine discourages low-level decision making, such as the
modern Syrian army, the World War II Soviet Army, and the Royal Italian Army,
will suffer morale penalties if split Teams are out of close visual and voice contact
with their Platoon Leader.
Example - we want to assault an unsupported German machinegun position from
the front and both flanks at the same time, and split a full strength US rifle squad
into three teams. By splitting into three teams and using them as independent
maneuver elements, we are reducing the MGs ability to suppress the entire squad.
Assault Team
Splits a squad into two independent teams - a heavily armed security element that
usually retains all heavy weapons (such as machineguns and rockets), and a
maneuver element with small arms and automatic weapons, hand grenades and
other equipment useful for close quarters battle. The game automatically tries
to include the soldiers with applicable Specialties - such as Machinegunner or
Marksman - into the correct Teams for their task.
Restrictions - same as for Split Teams.
Combat Mission
Example - we want to clean out a building suspected to be occupied by the enemy.
Sending forward the maneuver element with light automatic weapons, while
keeping the heavy equipment back with the security element, reduces possible
casualties from first contact and provides security for the moving team.
Anti-Tank Team
Orders the squad to detach an Anti-Tank element, usually consisting of two or more
soldiers (including any soldiers with an Anti-Tank Specialty, if available) armed
with the best anti-tank weapon(s) that the unit has at its disposal.
Restrictions - only available if the squad/unit has anti-tank weaponry available.
Example - we split out a two-man Bazooka team from the main squad and place
it in a different location, issuing a Hide command to have them wait for a good
shot, while the rest of the squad engages and distracts the enemy by fire.
Scout Team
Splits off a team consisting of a few solders (usually 2 or more) with light automatic
weapons (if possible) to act as light recon for the Squad or Platoon.
Restrictions - same as for Split Teams.
Example - we want to send a recon element forward to see if there is an enemy
ambush. Splitting off a scout team minimizes casualties from first contact, and
allows the rest of the unit to cover the scout element in case of retreat.
Instant Commands
Instant commands are mainly used for emergencies, when you need to quickly intervene to prevent a unit from getting into trouble (or to get out of trouble quickly).
These commands allow the player to initiate three pre-defined “procedures” with
one click, which, during emergencies, is often about all the time one has. These
commands simulate actions soldiers would normally take by themselves on the
battlefield when finding themselves in a tight situation.
Instant Commands can be used both in Real-Time mode as well as Turn-based
mode. In Real-time mode they are executed immediately, in Turn-based mode
they are executed immediately after the start of the next turn.
PAUSE - instructs the unit to temporarily halt all active orders and wait. This is the
equivalent of yelling “Halt”. This button is a toggle, and by pressing it again,
the unit is ordered to resume what it was doing. This is the equivalent of yelling
“Carry on!”
CANCEL ALL - deletes ALL active commands for the unit instantly. If you have
plotted a long chain of waypoints, this command allows you to delete all of them
with one click without having to delete each waypoint one by one. This is the
equivalent of yelling “Stop” over the radio.
EVADE - deletes all active commands and instructs the unit to take immediate
evasive action. This may include moving to cover as well as popping smoke, if
available. This is the equivalent of yelling “Take cover!” over radio.
Automatic Actions
In CMx2, your soldiers are not brainless robots. The TacticalAI is at work at all times
Game Manual
for both computer controlled and player controlled soldiers to try to simulate
realistic behavior of human beings in a combat situation. There is a number of
tasks that your solders will perform without the player having to explicitly order
them to do it (in fact, there is no way for the player to issue such commands).
Some are related to self-preservation and combat morale, others are important
“administrative” tasks.
Any infantry soldier is capable of providing first aid on the battlefield (so called
“buddy aid”) to nearby wounded friendly soldiers.There is no Command for this
action, rather it happens automatically when a friendly soldier (regardless if he is
from the same squad or not) is moved close to the location of an incapacitated
comrade. Depending on the situation (incoming fire etc.) the soldier may decide
to treat the wounded man. The word “medic” is displayed in the status field. The
player can abort the treatment at any time by giving the parent unit that the medic
belongs to any kind of Command. The medic may decide to abort the treatment
himself as well if there is significant incoming fire. Additionally, troops will never
perform buddy aid if there is a spotted (healthy) enemy within 100m.
Note: Dead soldiers can also receive “Buddy Aid” (by
moving a friendly soldier close to the location), but
all it does is reclaim their ammo and weapons, if
Ammo sharing
Besides the Acquire command, soldiers on the battlefield are also capable of automatically sharing ammunition to some extent with those around them. Soldiers
can automatically share ammo with other nearby infantry units that belong to
their formation, as well as with nearby vehicles (provided that the vehicles carry anything to share). So it is not always necessary to embark on a vehicle to
access stored ammunition, although it still gives the player more direct control
than auto-sharing.
The automatic ammo sharing feature is most useful for heavy weapon teams. Heavy
weapons will draw their ammo first from ammo bearer teams before using their
own carried ammo. Moving (or keeping) the latter close to the heavy weapon will
ensure ammo resupply without the player having to specifically order it.
Special Ammo Dump units can placed on the map in place of transport vehicles in
certain scenarios. These immobile units act as stores of ammunition that nearby
units can draw ammunition from, following the same guidelines are ammo sharing
between other units.
Even your virtual troops don’t like to die. The TacticalAI takes over control over
troops for various stages of self-preservation without the player having to (or in
fact being able to) issue any commands.
Soldiers may become “pinned” when subject to heavy incoming fire (“suppression”).
The term “pinned” refers to the inability and unwillingness of the soldier to leave
his current position/cover, or to move at all, for fear of getting hit. Pinned is a temporary status that usually ends shortly after the suppression level is reduced, but
Combat Mission
extended periods of heavy suppression can cause a unit to move from “pinned”
to “panicked” state.
Pinned units remain under the control of the player and may receive combat commands, but may not act on them immediately, and will generally reject and ignore
any movement commands.
Troops may become Shaken as a result of events on the battlefield, such as heavy
incoming fire, near misses, or casualties. Shaken troops are automatically Pinned
but additionally are not able to receive any player commands. Unlike Panicked
troops, shaken soldiers will usually not attempt to get up and run away.
Heavily Shaken troops are prone to succumb to Panic.
Panicked soldiers succumb to their fears and may act irrationally just to get out of
the current situation. This may mean ignoring any orders, and a high chance
of getting up and running away (even if in plain view of the enemy and thereby
becoming an easy target) to the nearest cover.
Panicked units cannot be controlled by the player until they recover from the Panic,
and will usually plot their own commands, often trying to move away from known
enemy contacts, or to nearby cover.
Troops who have suffered heavy casualties and have become shaken or panicked,
but have not recently been under fire, may partly recover to a “broken” state
where they return to player control, but are so “brittle” that any significant further
incoming fire or further casualties will cause them to become shaken or panic
again very quickly.
Heavily shaken or panicked troops in proximity to strong enemy units may decide
to throw down their weapons and attempt to surrender. Surrendering units are
indicated by raising their hands. Surrendering units cannot receive any further
Surrendered soldiers appear as MIA (Missing in Action) on the After Action Report.
After a short while (usually about 1-2 minutes), units attempting to surrender “succeed” to do so, and disappear under a white flag icon.
It is possible to prevent units from surrendering, by “rescuing” them. In order to
do this, you need to first clear out all nearby enemies, and move friendly units
into the proximity. If successful, the surrendering units will return to their normal
unsurrendered status (but will probably still be panicked).
Troops will not fire on surrendering enemies, but they will fire on unsurrendered ones
that may be nearby, so it is possible for surrendering troops to be hit indirectly.
Note: Fanatic troops will never surrender.
Game Manual
The concept of moving and acting on information is called Command and Control,
or “C2” for short. Arguably, C2 is the single most important aspect of a combined
arms force operating in the field. Its ability to pass information up and down the
Chain of Command largely determines that force’s opportunities and the options
available to it.
Note: the C2 rules applied in CMx2 vary slightly depending on which Skill level you’re playing. This
chapter assumes the Elite skill level, with all the
rules in full effect. At Veteran level, some of the
restrictions imposed by the C2 rules are lifted or at
least are not as strict, while playing at Basic Training level essentially means C2 is not active at all.
There are two primary components of C2: communication methods and control
procedures. In practical terms, this means a break in communications reduces
the ability for the force to function properly, but good communications don’t matter if the commanders can’t leverage the information to achieve an advantage.
Communication methods
C2 methods are divided up into different groups and displayed in the Unit Info Panel:
The methods, from left to right, are:
Visual Contact (units within LOS of each other)
Eye Contact - close proximity
Eye Contact - distant
Audio Contact (units able to hear each other)
Voice Contact
Radio Contact
Satellite Contact (available only for certain armies in modern day titles)
Like any sort of chain, the Chain of Command is only as strong as its weakest C2
link. Having all three methods available to a unit at the same time allows for the
best possible results, while having none at all means a break in the Chain of
Command. A break means the higher and lower parts of the chain are no longer
connected and therefore unable to communicate with each other. This can have
disastrous game results.
Maintaining C2 Links
The more types of C2 links units have, the better chance they have of maintaining
connections. Just remember that not all C2 methods are of equal quality. Range
is quite important because the farther away units are from each other the greater
the chance they will experience breaks in communications. The inherent fragility
of the method is also important since some are inherently more robust.
All units have the opportunity to establish Eye and Voice Contact, but to do so
Combat Mission
means keeping units fairly close and in plain sight (LOS) of each other. These
are the most reliable, robust forms of C2 possible. Unfortunately, from a tactical
standpoint, having units bunched up is generally not a good idea, nor is it even
necessarily physically possible.
Radio Contact is the most basic technological means of overcoming these problems,
however, radios are tricky things to operate effectively as distances increase,
and good radios are quite expensive. CMx2 includes two major types of radios:
small handheld radios, and large backpack radios.
By using the hotkey ALT-Z, C2 links will be represented on the battlefield by lines
connecting units to their parent HQs. A bright red link indicates a strong C2 connection, usually both visual and audio. A slightly darker red link indicates a weaker
C2 link, which is usually usually just visual contact. A dark link means there is no
C2 contact, and the unit is out of command with it’s parent HQ.
Some armies in modern day titles, such as the modern US Army, have another
powerful C2 tool at their disposal: satellite communication devices. These can
be available in both vehicle mounted and infantry carried variants, and link the
entire force together over the battlefield via a digital network. These devices
offer a means of communication that is superior to radio contact, and are largely
immune to the interference factors of Visual and Audio methods.
Control procedures
CMx2 goes beyond just simulating the hardware to maintain contact on the battlefield, but also attempts to realistically track what happens with the information
passed up and down the chain. A rifle squad reporting an enemy contact to its
platoon HQ will trigger an entirely different response than if it is broadcasting
the information through the battalion radio net! That’s because the platoon HQ
is set up and has procedures in place guiding it what to do in this situation. For
the Battalion HQ, this piece of information is largely useless.
What this means in game terms is that units can effectively only trace command-and-control to their immediately-superior HQs.
Higher HQs may fulfill this role only to a limited extent. If a squad or team is out
of contact with its immediate superior (usually a platoon HQ) then its company
or battalion HQ may provide voice and close visual contact, but not radio or distant-visual contact. This simulates that a higher HQ can’t babysit a large number
of units more than one level lower in the organization, and it means that higher
HQs can’t be used in a gamey way to make platoon HQs unnecessary, but they
can step in and provide command-and-control in a limited radius in emergency
Information Sharing
The better organized and connected a force is, the better able it is to communicate
Game Manual
critical pieces of information between units. Though it is not obvious to the player
that the information itself is moved around, the results of it are. There are three
primary benefits of good organization and communication: spotting of enemy
units, calling for support, and maintaining discipline.
One of the most important aspects of Combat Mission is its system of revealing
information about enemy units, such as position, type, and actions. Unlike most
other games, CMx2 uses what we call Relative Spotting instead of Absolute
Spotting. In an Absolute Spotting system, when an individual friendly unit “senses”
something, that information is instantly, and perfectly, available to all units on
its side. It doesn’t matter where the other units are or what sorts of communications capabilities they have. Relative Spotting, on the other hand, keeps the
unit’s “sensed” information from moving to other units unless there is some way
of communicating it to them. In other words, when you click on a unit in CMx2
you get to see what it sees relative to what it knows. If the unit is isolated from
the Chain of Command it wouldn’t be able to target something it didn’t spot itself,
for example.
Note: On-map mortars can fire indirect even if they are
out of command & control and lack a radio, provided that the spotter is within 50m.
Lastly, maintaining C2 is important for keeping unit cohesion intact. Units tend to
get jumpy when they don’t know what the friendly units around them are up to, or
where their superiors are, or what the enemy might be trying to do at that moment.
Without C2, the imagination can run a bit wild, so to speak, and the unit may
be imagining the worst scenario. Perhaps all its buddies withdrew and forgot to
tell it to pull back? Maybe the HQ was wiped out and nobody higher up knows
about those tanks coming down the road, and therefore no help is on the way?
Well-disciplined units hold up better under these circumstances, of course, but
every unit has its breaking point. If it has contact with its fellow forces and feels
supported, things are less stressful.
Every unit has someone in charge of its soldiers, though not necessarily the same
type of Leader. Leaders provide units with, what else... leadership. They help
maintain internal discipline, direct fire to be more effective, and keep contact with
other Leaders. The more Leaders you lose, the harder maintaining C2 becomes.
Leadership influence takes the form of a Leadership Modifier represented in the Unit
Info Panel. The better the modifier, the more effective the Leader is in keeping
things on the straight and narrow. Note that the modifier values are +2, +1, 0,
-1, and -2. This means that a Leader can have no special effect on Leadership
(0 rating) or even a negative influence (-1 or -2). Anybody that has ever served
in the military, or studied it in historical texts, knows that some people should
Combat Mission
never have been put in charge of anything except washing dishes (and you don’t
necessarily want to be the one eating from those dishes). CM dutifully simulates
these poor Leaders.
There are two types of dedicated Leaders; Unit Leader and Assistant Leader. A
Unit Leader is a soldier who has the training and rank to command the unit he
is assigned to. The Assistant Leader has similar training and capabilities as the
Unit Leader, but is of a junior rank and may not have all the skills necessary to
command a unit over the long term. However, an Assistant Leader generally
has the same chance of being a good Leader in a tactical fight, which is good
because that is exactly what he’ll have to do if the Unit Leader becomes a casualty.
Squad-type units usually have a Squad Leader (Unit Leader) in charge of Team A,
and an Assistant Squad Leader (Assistant Leader) in charge of Team B. When
Squads are split up, like Weapons Squads normally are, this effectively means
that the command responsibilities are split up. If one Leader falls to fire, the
other one will not take over his responsibilities, because they are assumed to
be physically separate units when split off as Teams.
When a battle starts, the name and rank displayed are that of the unit’s current
senior Leader. Should that Leader fall in battle, the name and rank will change
as the replacement assumes command.
World War Two commanders did not enjoy the luxury of a whole array of powerful
communications tools that are available on a modern 21st Century battlefield
(when satellite based tracking systems and communications are often available
even to small units and formations). Instead, the primary means to communicate
over distance (outside of visual and audio ranges) was the radio.
But radios were expensive and (compared to today) rare. While the US forces made
a deliberate effort to try to provide radios usually at least down to the platoon
level, many German formations only possess a radio for the main Company HQ,
or have one reserved for specialized Forward Observers. Some forces with more
outdated technology, such as the Royal Italian Army, did not have any radios in
their infantry formations at all, instead relying on pre-established field telephones,
and messengers carrying written orders for communication.
Players will probably learn quickly that paying attention to where the radios are on
the battlefield is going to provide a crucial element on the road to victory. Without
a radio nearby, that group of on-map mortars is pretty much limited to only firing
at targets within sight. Without a radio, that platoon commander who loses sight
of his Company CO is effectively out of the loop with higher ups.
Below the company level communications were mostly by voice and sight. Because
the effective range is so much less than a radio, Platoon HQs have to remain
quite close to their assigned units in order to control them. A Rifle Platoon, for
example, would usually advance in a way that most, if not all, of the attached
squads and weapons teams could see or hear the Platoon Leader’s commands.
Weapons type platoons were often asked to operate over larger distances than infantry type platoons. Since radios were not usually available, the solution was to
add intermediate Section HQs between the Platoon HQ and the weapons under
its command. Their job was to extend the range of the Platoon HQ by acting as
Game Manual
a relay point for communications.
A good example of Section HQs can be found in most Medium Mortar Platoons.
Often there are two Section HQs, each with two mortars, assigned to a single
Platoon. By positioning the Section HQs, and their assigned mortar teams, to
the left and right of the Platoon HQ, the Platoon Leader can communicate with
each of his Section Leaders, which in turn communicate with each of their Mortar Team Leaders. This allows voice and visual commands to be quickly and
efficiently relayed from top to bottom over a much greater area than platoons
without Section HQs.
The importance of positioning Section HQs becomes apparent when attempting to
call for indirect fire support. For defensive reasons, you don’t want your mortars
bunched together, yet if you spread out too much you’ll lose contact with them.
If that happens, then they usually will be unavailable for indirect fire missions.
Section HQs, therefore, are vitally important despite their lack of radios.
In modern titles such as CMSF, radios are such a common commodity in even less
advanced armies that the placement of radios is not a major concern. Even squads
are usually armed with the military-grade equivalent to a walkie-talkie, allowing
them to remain connected to C2 over a respectable distance and out of visual
or audio range. Some modern forces have even more powerful communications
in the form of networked satellite devices.
These networked satellite devices, which can be either mounted on vehicles or
contained in ruggedized PDAs, are connected to a central computer system that
takes input from all the other devices. Think of them as specialized computers
connected to the Internet with built-in GPS. Each device linked to the system is
automatically tracked and updated on a digital map shown on all the screens of
the other devices. Therefore, not only does the operator know where they are,
but also where everyone else is. Better still, commanders can enter information
about enemy units so everybody using the system can see the same thing. The
other significant feature it has is the ability to “text message” anybody with a
connected device, regardless of where they are in the chain of command.
When the going gets tough, the tough call for Support! Combat Mission offers
players unprecedented access to this all-important resource in a way that is both
realistic and simple to use.
Support assets may consist of close air support as well as artillery (mortars, guns,
howitzers and rockets). Support assets may be off-map (often stationed miles
behind the actual frontlines), or on-map (the actual guns and mortars are visible
on the battlefield, and are under the player’s direct influence). In the latter case,
the support assets can also be used in the direct-fire role; however, as far as
indirect support is concerned, there is essentially no difference in how on-map
or off-map assets are treated. More specifics about the use of on-map assets
are explained later in this chapter.
Although Air and Artillery produce quite different results, CMx2 for the most part
uses the same interface for both forms of Support. Better still, CMx2 helps walk
the player through the various steps needed to complete a Support Request
Combat Mission
without requiring months of military training.
To see if Support is available, and what types, all the player has to do is click on
one of his units, and then look at the Support Buttons in the Unit Info Panel, just
above the Special Equipment area. If a button is lit up, then Support is available;
otherwise the button is dimmed and there is no support available for that type
(air or artillery).
Note: you have to select at least one friendly unit for
the Support buttons to light up. Also, for turn-based
play, this only works during the Command Phase.
These buttons not only inform the player about availability, but also act as the means
of creating new Requests (the act of “asking” for Support) or viewing existing
Missions (a Support Request put into action). A button will also blink when the
Mission starts to deliver its munitions, thereby giving the player some warning
that something is going to go “boom” very soon.
Sometimes lots of Support is available, other times none. The availability of Support
is always force wide and determined by the designer of the Battle.
Requesting Support
The first step in making a Support Request is to select a unit to be a Spotter, then
clicking on either the Air or Artillery Support button in the Unit Info Panel (keep in
mind that if a button is dim, Support is not available). Instantly, the user interface
changes to include two new elements; the Support Roster and Support Panel.
The Support Roster shows all available Assets while the Support Panel presents
options for making a support fire request.
The following sections explain how to use this new interface to create a Support
Request and turn it into a Support Mission.
Selecting a Spotter
The player’s first task is to identify which unit to give responsibility to for both creating a Support Request, and managing the resulting Support Mission. Since
not all units are equal in this regard, here are some things to keep in mind when
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selecting a Spotter:
Line of Sight (LOS) - quality LOS to the target area always makes for more accurate
and effective results, except for pre-planned strikes (called during the Setup Phase
of a battle) and strikes on known pre-registered TRPs which do not require LOS.
Note: Spotters for indirect support weapons (as well as
on-map mortars) are able to target areas slightly
outside of direct LOS under certain circumstances,
such as when firing indirectly over a tall wall or
just behind the crest of a hill.
Unit Type - specialized forward observer teams are better (trained & equipped) than
formation HQs, for example. In fact, certain types of support (like Air Support)
may only be called by specific types of units (such as only by dedicated FOs),
and may be completely out of bounds for others.
C2 Links - Units without a communication link to the spotter are shown as “out of
contact” in the Support Roster.
Stress Level - suppressed or shaky units don’t make the best Spotters
Matchup rating - Depending on how urgently Support is needed, the Matchup rating
(see next section “Support Roster”) may be critically important. The Matchup value
reflects the difficulty a specific Spotter has in getting in touch with a specific asset
and securing permission to use it. A Platoon HQ will have difficulties reaching a
Regimental howitzer battery, for example. In fact, in some cases, such requests
may be outright denied. If this is the case, then “Denied” is shown in the Support
Roster on the affected asset.
Remember, if the Spotter doesn’t appear to be up to the task, another Spotter can
be selected. To do this, either deselect the current unit or click on the “X” in the
upper left hand corner of the Support Roster. There are no game penalties for
checking out how various units pair up with different Assets.
Note: A Spotter team can only direct one Support Request/Mission at a time! Once their current Support
Request status has entered “Firing”, they can begin
another Support Request. If a spotter is already busy
directing a Support Request, the support assets will
display “Spotter Busy” text over them.
Note: This restriction does not apply during Setup Phase:
at the beginning of a battle, a Spotter can direct an
unlimited number of missions.
Support Roster
The Support Roster displays all Support Assets available for the current Battle,
though only one type (Air or Artillery) at a time. Each Asset is represented by a
colored square with these pieces of information:
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Both off-map and on-map assets (capable of providing indirect fire support) are
Silhouette - an image of the piece of equipment
Number of Tubes - count of how many guns are assigned (aircraft are always “1”
per Asset)
Matchup - in the upper right hand corner is a symbol representing how well the
Spotter and Support Asset are matched for each other. There are five states, color
coded as follows: Excellent (green circle) , Good (green triangle) , average
(yellow square) , poor (red triangle) , and bad (-) .. The better the match
the more efficient and effective the results will be.
Overheating - green/red dots indicate how hot the artillery barrels are getting.
When all dots go red, the battery has to hold down its rate of fire to no greater
than its “sustainable” ROF. Otherwise it is free to use “maximum” ROF (if the
mission wants it).
Designation - military designation, two lines
Main Weapon - primary weapons, two lines
Mission Status - when an Asset is being used or is not ready to be used, a line
of text appears at the bottom of the Asset display. “Receiving” and “Preparing”
indicate the Asset is receiving the details of the requested support mission and
is setting up to carry it out. Artillery show “Spotting” when firing spotting rounds,
“Firing” when firing for effect, and “Empty” when all ammo has been expended.
Additionally, on-map assets may show “not positioned” if they are not set up to
deliver fire support.
Aircraft display “Attacking” when actively engaging targets, “Can’t Locate” when it’s
failed to find the target, “Coming Around” when it is preparing for another run,
and “Landed” when it is no longer available.
If you see “Busy”, the Asset is being used by another Spotter and can’t be interfered
with by the current unit. Use the “Go To Spotter” button to switch to the unit directing that Asset to make changes to the Mission.
“Denied” is shown if the spotter is not allowed to use the Asset for some permanent
reason. (e.g. a platoon HQ trying to call regimental artillery).
“Out of contact” is shown if the spotter has no C2 link to that asset.
Up to 5 Support Assets can be shown at one time, which is usually more than enough!
However, if more than 5 Assets are available in the Battle, then Left and Right
“shuffle” buttons are displayed to shuffle between the previous or next batch of
1-5 Assets. Clicking on an Asset in the Roster selects it and makes it activate
the Support Panel where some additional information about the Asset is shown.
To see another Asset, simply click on it and it will swap in for the previous one.
To assign multiple Assets to a Support Request, shift-left-click additional Assets
in the Roster. At this point the player is not committed to do anything with the
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Asset, thereby allowing “browsing” without any sort of penalty.
Support Panel
Once a Spotter and an Asset are selected, the Support Panel is activated and ready
to turn a request for Support into reality:
The selected Asset is shown on the right side of the Support Panel and contains
the same information as in the Support Roster. Below it, however, is new information which shows the munition types and quantities available to that particular
Asset. The combination of the Asset Panel and the Ammo Panel represents all
the information there is to see for that particular Asset.
The column of labeled buttons in the middle part of the Support Panel are the means
of communicating with the Asset. From top to bottom the player clicks on a button,
follows the instructions to make a selection, then moves on to the next button. As
Parameters are chosen they are displayed to the left in the Parameters Screen.
When the last Parameter is set, the player is prompted to “Confirm” the Support
Request. This is the player’s last chance to back out of a Request without penalty,
for once Confirmed the Request is off to the Asset for processing.
Note: in general, artillery support ranges for most assets available in the game are more than sufficient
to ensure that any target on a given battle map can
be reached, regardless of where it is. However, it IS
possible for off-map artillery to be “out of range”,
if it is something very small like a light mortar and
the target is far away from the friendly map edge!
Depending on conditions, it can take a few minutes or many minutes for the resulting
Support Mission to commence.
The estimated delivery time in the Fire Support Mission Request display initially
shows the best possible time (usually what you’d get with a “standard” mission). If
a mission type other than “standard” is selected, the estimated delivery changes
Once a support mission is activated, its estimated time of arrival continues to be
updated in the Support View as time passes. Note this is only an estimated time,
and the actual arrival can come sooner or later.
Starting from the point of Confirmation, the Spotter and Asset communicate with
each other to keep the mission on track. These communications are heard by
the player in the form of radio traffic between the two. The exact things said depend on whether the Support Mission involves an Air or Artillery Asset, the type
of Mission, and what point the Mission is at.
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Adjusting or Canceling Support
Sometimes it is necessary to change a Support Mission’s target or to cancel it
entirely. All modifications to a Support mission must be made via the Spotting
unit, since Spotter and Asset are linked until the Mission is over. The easiest
way to find the Spotter is to select any unit, click the Support Button for the type
of Asset you’re looking for, then select the Asset of interest. Assets which are
engaged in a support mission are listed as “Busy”. In the Support Panel, the
top Parameter button for a busy asset says “Go to Spotter”. Click on that button
and the Spotter instantly becomes the currently selected unit, complete with the
Target line/s shown.
Now that the Spotter is selected, the Mission can be adjusted or Cancelled in the
Support Panel as long as the Spotter and Asset can communicate with each
other. If an on-map Asset loses its C2 link to the Spotter, or the Spotter unit is
destroyed, the Mission will unavailable for adjustment.
Note: Support units (not only artillery but also air and
other assets) in the process of receiving a cease fire
command cannot be given further orders until the
cease fire occurs. Also, note that missions cannot be
“adjusted” while they are still being “received”!
It may turn out to be too little too late, but there are two reasons that CM will abort
a Support mission on its own. The first happens if friendly fire is encountered
and the friendlies have good C2 to the Asset doing the firing. Basically, they will
try to get the Asset to cease fire even if the Spotter can not. The second reason
is if the Spotter is out of C2 long enough that the Asset wonders if the Spotter is
still able to direct fire. In that case it might cease fire on its own simply because
it’s a bad idea to fire blind with no feedback. However, in both cases the player
is at the mercy of variables falling into place, so neither should be counted on in
place of using a Spotter to cease fire when possible.
If the Spotter is incapacitated or killed during a Support Mission, the Asset will usually be unavailable for other Support Missions for a length of time. Depending
on the circumstances, the Support Mission may either be eventually canceled
or continue to completion.
Clicking on the Adjust button allows the player to redesignate the Target portion of
the Support Mission while leaving the rest of the Mission as originally specified.
Shifting fire like this is very useful if the target units have moved or more important targets have presented themselves within close proximity to the original
Target area. Observed fire should not require Adjustment to stay on Target. That
is handled automatically by the Spotter to the degree it can see the Target and
has C2 to the Asset.
Artillery Mission Parameters
These are the Parameters for Artillery Missions. Which Parameters are shown for
a specific request depends on the chosen support asset (for example, Smoke
Missions are only available for assets that actually have smoke ammunition
Target - sets the size and shape of the area to hit:
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Point Fire - focuses on a single Action Spot or specific enemy unit
Area - one click for the center and one for the perimeter
Line - requires two clicks, one for each end of the line
Number - sets the portion of the Asset to use, from 1 to the total number in Asset
(usually 2, 3, or 4)
Mission - responsible for establishing initial Rate of Fire (ROF) and sustained ROF:
Emergency - no spotting rounds, otherwise like Heavy (not available for pre-planned artillery strikes)
Harass - very slow ROF to conserve ammunition
Light - slow ROF, remaining at slow ROF
Medium - medium ROF, then going to sustained ROF
Heavy - max ROF, then going to heavy sustained ROF
Smoke - medium ROF, firing smoke ammunition to create a smoke screen rather than explosive
ammo to damage or destroy the target
Duration - determines number of rounds to use per mission:
Quick - 2-4 rounds
Short - 6-12 rounds
Medium - 12-18 rounds
Long - 20-28 rounds
Maximum - exhausts ammo supply
Type - sets the munition mix based on the target type:
General - generic setting
Personnel - weights in favor of airburst antipersonnel rounds.
Note: Planned artillery strikes as well as strikes ordered on a TRP can airburst if set to a “personnel”
target. This simulates the use of timed fuses. Not all
shells will airburst, although airburst capability is
much more common in modern war titles
Delay - establishes when to start the support, prep time inclusive. The options are:
Immediate - no extra delay
5 Min - sets for 5 minutes min
10 Min - sets for 10 minutes min
15 Min - sets for 15 minutes min
Air Mission Parameters
These are the Parameters for Air Missions (which Parameters are actually shown
depends on the selected Air asset):
Target - sets the size and shape of the area to hit:
Point - focuses on a single Action Spot or unit
Area - one click for center and another click for perimeter
Mission - responsible for establishing the scope of the attack:
Light - lighter Munitions
Medium - mix of lighter and medium Munitions
Heavy - medium Munitions with a smattering of lighter
Type - sets the munition mix based on the target type:
General - favors unguided HE munitions
Personnel - favors HE munitions
Delay - establishes when to start the support, prep time inclusive. The options are:
None - no extra delay
5 Min - sets for 5 minutes min
10 Min - sets for 10 minutes min
15 Min - sets for 15 minutes min
Combat Mission
Note: Aircraft in the WW2 setting are no longer controlled by Spotters. Available WW2 Air Support will
now prowl the battlefield independently, without the
player being able to command them.
Target Reference Points (TRPs)
Target Reference Points are special points on the battlefield which have been
“pre-registered” in advance for a support strike. This means that the exact location and distance to a TRP is known to both the spotter and the firing element.
Artillery strikes targeted near a TRP (within 50m) do not require LOS from the spotter, do not use or need spotting rounds, and have a near-zero preparation time
(however, the “communication” time is unaffected, so don’t expect battleships or
corps-level rockets to be on hair-trigger readiness due to a TRP).
Placement of TRPs during setup is not limited to friendly zones.
Note: In CMx2, TRPs also double-function as “ambush”
markers for regular troops and vehicles. When soldiers fire their weapons at a target near a friendly
TRP, they are much better at estimating the range
Pre-planned barrages
Artillery strikes ordered during the Setup-Phase are automatically considered to
be “pre-planned barrages”. The game effects are similar to firing artillery near a
TRP: no LOS from the spotter is required, no spotting rounds are fired, and there
is almost no preparation time.
On-map support assets
In the Support dialog for indirect fire, on-map assets work just the same as off-map
assets. But there are a few peculiarities with regard to on-map support assets
that are worth mentioning.
First of all, the player has full direct control over on-map assets, and this means
that their actions on the battlefield may make them unavailable to provide fire
support; such as when they are on the move and not fully deployed/unlimbered.
Also, on-map assets need to be “in command” in order to be able to communicate
with the spotting unit. An on-map asset that lacks a C2 link up through its chain
of command to a higher HQ with a radio is going to be shown as “out of contact”
in the Support dialog.
Exception: On-map support assets including mortars and howitzers can fire indirect
even if they are out of command & control and lack a radio, provided that either
the spotter is within 50m or the support asset is next to a vehicle equipped with
a radio.
Note: Spotters for indirect support weapons (as well as
on-map mortars) are able to target areas slightly
outside of direct LOS under certain circumstances,
such as when firing indirectly over a tall wall or
just behind the crest of a hill.
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In addition to providing indirect support, on-map assets are also capable of firing
directly at targets. In this case, there is no need to use the Support dialog, and
instead the player may give Target and other commands to the on-map asset
For modern warfare settings, the player’s interaction with Air Assets is similar to
Artillery. The differences between the two are explained below, otherwise it should
be assumed the same. For the WW2 setting, aircraft cannot be controlled by
player units and will instead act independently of player control.
The player brings up the Air Support Roster by clicking on the Air Support Button
in the Interface.
Not everyone can call for air support. In fact, the requirements for doing so on a
battlefield are steep, as you require the right equipment and an existing chain
of communication to do so. Specialized FO teams called Air Controllers get the
best results when ordering Air Support.
Like Artillery, each Air Asset has specific Munitions in specific quantities to use.
Unlike Artillery, these dramatically affect the kinds of missions the Air Asset can
perform. A P-47D Thunderbolt, for example, can carry a small number of bombs or
may be outfitted for strafing runs only. Same plane, entirely different capabilities.
The two words on the right describes the type of plane (e.g. fighter-bomber). For a
given type of plane there may be different configurations (bombs, rockets, machineguns). The Scenario Designer simply selects the one(s) he wants for the
given Scenario and that is what the player has to deal with. Also, unlike Artillery
Assets, the number of planes is always 1 per Asset.
When the player selects an Air Asset in the Support Roster, it appears in the Support Panel like so:
The Mission Parameters and Support Buttons reflect the Air Asset options. Setting
up a Mission is identical to Artillery from a user interface standpoint, but different
in terms of what options are available and how the Mission is actually carried
out. Air Missions require LOS from the plane to the target, possibly the identification of the target, estimate of the target size, and possible customization of
the Mission for the scope of the strike. These factors determine if the Mission
can be performed at all, how many Attack Runs are made, and which Munitions
are used. For example, a P-47D Thunderbolt would probably not drop a 500 lb
bomb on a Squad or truck, nor would it make three passes dropping a 500 lb
bomb each time.
If the Spotter has LOS to the target and is in communication with the Air Asset, it
can confirm the target destroyed, or request that more runs are made if it isn’t. If
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there is no communications link, or no LOS, then the Air Asset will have to make
this decision on its own.
Accuracy is determined in part by the type and quality of the Spotter and his directions to the air unit. Basically the Spotter increases the chance that a target will
be seen and also hit. This is particularly important at night.
Like Artillery, Air Assets have a chance of Auto Cancelling a Mission based on
friendly fire risk. Unlike Artillery, this can sometimes happen before even firing
a shot. The chance of a “scrubbed” Mission depends on the Spotter type, the
quality of LOS between Spotter and Target, as well as proximity to friendly units.
Light and medium antiaircraft guns have the ability to shoot at enemy aircraft to
either disrupt or stop attacks. Gun crews that are unsuppressed and not targeting ground units automatically engage attacking aircraft as soon as possible.
Heavy antiaircraft guns were not designed to engage fast and low flying tactical
aircraft and therefore can not engage enemy aircraft. Small arms, including machineguns, are also never used against aircraft because the chance of success
is extremely low while the chance of revealing their positions or being distracted
from ground combat is very high.
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CMx2 provides players with the same tools that were used to create the stock
battles and campaign, and allows them to create their own maps and missions
from scratch.
The Editor really combines four separate and powerful tools in one:
Mission Editor - settings needed to make a scenario, such as weather variables,
briefings, victory conditions and more
Map Editor - creates realistic 3D combat maps from scratch
Unit Editor - purchase, organize, and deploy units
AI Editor - tailors higher level parameters for the computer opponent to follow, such
as unit behavior, movement paths, and more
Basic screen layout
The picture below shows the basic layout for the Editor.
1. File Menu - buttons to Save, Load, and create a New scenario or Exit to the
main screen.
2. Editor Selector - a pop-up menu to choose the Editor you want to work with.
The popup menu also lists additional important features - 3D Preview and Make
Campaign, explained later in this section.
3. Mode Selector – a list of buttons showing the main Modes of each selected Editor.
4. Option Palette - graphical button palette which shows Options specific to the
selected Mode
5. Settings List - displays values for the selected Option (if any), some of which may
be editable (depending on Option).
6. Toolbar - tool icons for Map Editor
7. Display Area - this is where the 2D overview map is displayed for certain combinations of Editor, Mode and Options.
File Menu
Displays buttons for:
LOAD - opens dialogue to load an existing scenario file (from the Scenario folder)
SAVE - opens dialogue to name and save the currently active scenario to disc. If
the scenario has already been saved before, the current name and save location
are loaded as default.
Combat Mission
NEW - erases all settings and creates a “blank” new scenario file with all settings
reset to their default entries.
IMPORTANT! Don’t forget to first save any existing scenario you have been working on!
EXIT - exits the Editor and jumps back to Main Screen
Editor Selector
This pop-up menu displays all available Editors and main functions. The selection
made here has direct influence on which Options and Settings are shown, as
well as the options available in the Toolbar and Display areas.
MISSION - used for editing mission parameters such as briefings, objectives, time
and date, weather and more.
MAP - used to edit terrain features
UNITS - used to organize and deploy forces
A.I. - used to “program” custom computer player AI
3D PREVIEW - used to jump to a 3D view of the current game map
MAKE CAMPAIGN - The creation of a campaign file requires several ingredients:
(1) The currently loaded scenario will provide the “core” troops, the mission briefings,
and the snapshot data for the scenario choice screen.
(2) A campaign “script” text file that designates the parameters and battle .btt scenario files by name.
(3) The .btt scenario files for campaigns are created just like any other standalone
scenario, but additionally the player imports the “core” troops from the base
scenario mentioned under (1) above.
(4) The battle files named in the script must be in the same directory as the script
file or the Scenarios directory. The finished campaign “.cam” file will be saved in
the Campaign directory, overwriting any previous file.
More details about campaigns in the following chapter
Mission Editor
The Mission Editor defines the basic parameters and settings for a given scenario.
When choosing which scenario to play, the player can click on it in the scenario list
and see a brief overview to the right of the screen. These details help the player
determine which scenario to play without needing to load it. None of these settings
have any impact on the scenario itself. Just like any product sitting on the shelf,
the packaging simply informs the person what is inside, nothing more than that.
Battle Type
Specifies the general nature of the battle and who is the attacker. Depending on the
nature of the scenario’s storyline you may wish to be “vague”, or even inaccurate,
so you don’t give away surprises.
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Assault, Attack, Probe, Meeting Engagement
This setting gives the player a rough idea of the nature of the area being fought
over. People specifically seeking an urban battle, for example, will know right
away that they want to skip over a scenario that is taking place in a Forest.
City, Town, Village, Open, Rough, Forest, Hills
Characterizes the average natural lighting conditions. The actual lighting is determined by the time & day settings in the Data section.
Dawn, Day, Dusk, Night
Battle Size
The scenario’s approximate size, from Tiny to Huge, gives players an idea of the
overall scope of the battle. Each scenario author probably has a different idea
of what Tiny or Huge is, but usually the amount of units involved as well as map
size and battle duration should be factored into the setting here. As a general
guideline, a Tiny battle involves platoon sized forces, or smaller, for each side
and a very small map. A Huge battle involves a force of several companies on
each side and a very large map. The rest fall somewhere in between.
Tine, Small, Medium, Large, Huge
The scenario list is listing scenarios by the text entered here (i.e. the scenario title).
Titles should be short and to the point, but catchy, too. When you playtest your
game make sure the title looks good in the list.
A short one-line description of what players can expect to find when they decide to
play the battle. Be mindful that there is no way to customize the text to match a
particular side’s perspective, so keep it generic. When you play your scenario
you should double check that all your text fits in the box.
Each scenario can have, and should have, a small image file associated with it.
Think of this as the slick marketing image found on a packaged product. Make
something exciting and dramatic, if possible, that gives the player a small idea
of the nature of the battle they’re contemplating to play. The file has to be in
BMP format and a maximum of 170 x 170 pixels in size. Three buttons allow the
scenario designer to:
Import a new image file
Export the existing image file
Clear the existing image file
The Data section defines a number of parameters which, unlike the Description
section, do affect the inner workings of the scenario. These settings control:
Length of Battle - the maximum duration of the scenario
Variable Length - sets a variable (random) ending time
Region & Month - sets the month and year
Day - the day on which the battle takes place
Hour - at which hour the battle starts
Minute - minute when the battle starts
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Weather - sets the current weather for the battle
Wind Strength - sets the wind strength
Wind Source - the direction from which the wind is originating
Temperature - the temperature during the battle
Ground Condition - sets the general ground condition.
Allied Friendly Direction - sets the direction into which Allied units would withdraw to join their lines
Axis Friendly Direction - sets the direction into which Axis units would withdraw to join their lines
Early Intel - can be set to None, Axis Force or Allied Force.
Intel Strength - can be set between No Intel (0%) to Full Intel (100%) and any step between in
10% steps.
Force vs Force - this setting allows you to create Allied on Allied and Axis on Axis missions in
addition to the standard Allied vs Axis. This setting defines what units are available for purchase and
deployment in the Units Editor. You may even mix and match forces in this way.
Mission (Allied and Axis)
The Mission Briefings seen by the Allied and Axis players at the beginning of the
battle are determined/created here. Each sides’ set is unique to itself, but the
method for creating them is identical for both. A full Mission Briefing set consists
of a strategic overview map, an operational overview map, a tactical overview
map, and the text for the briefing itself.
All four files (three image files for the maps and one text file for the briefing text)
have to be imported into the scenario file.
Note: Once imported you do not need to include the
original files anymore.
The three map images all have to be in BMP (Bitmap) format, but each can have
a different maximum size:
Strategic Map: 224 x 224 pixels
Operational Map: 702 x 224 pixels
Tactical Map: 952 x 350 pixels
The briefing text itself is a simple text (.txt) file. A template is used as default for
the briefing text when you create a new mission from scratch. It might be a good
idea to export the template first, fill in your orders into the template, and then
import the completed text.
Note: The ^ tags indicate the end of a section, and
should not be removed.
Empty briefing sections are not displayed to the player at all.
The options for the images and briefings are:
Import a new file,
export an existing file
clear (delete) an existing file
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Designer Notes
Designer Notes are similar to briefings and created in just the same way. The main
difference is that Designer Notes are unstructured and allow the scenario author
to enter any message he would like both players to see. This can range from tips
on how to play, background information (such as the larger historical context of
the battle), or even a short narrative to set the right mood.
Parameters (Allied and Axis)
Unlike most wargames, Combat Mission allows “asymmetric” victory conditions
where each side has its own unique parameters and is judged based on how well
it achieves them. The side that best achieves its goals is declared the winner,
even if technically both sides were within specified parameters. You can specify
the following conditions for each side:
CASUALTIES - number of casualties the side is allowed to endure.
CONDITION - number of units allowed to be panicked, routed, tired, or wounded.
AMMO - amount of total ammunition that side is allowed to expend.
For each parameter the scenario designer determines the threshold in % (from
0% to 100%) and the amount of victory points associated with each once the
threshold is reached. Specifically, you get the points if:
Enemy Casualties > X% Enemy Condition < X%
Enemy Ammo < X%
Friendly Casualties < X%
Friendly Condition > X%
Friendly Ammo > X%
Casualties is casualties suffered, e.g. 100% means the whole force was wiped out.
Both soldiers and vehicles are factored into this and you get partial credit for
immobilizing a vehicle.
Condition is a combination of (from most important to least) morale, fatigue, suppression, and light wounds (more serious wounds or death are part of casualties,
not condition).
Terrain Objectives (Allied and Axis)
Each side can be assigned up to 8 terrain based objectives. This involves defining
where the objective is, what the player is supposed to do with it, and various
other details. These parameters allow the designer to simulate a wide range of
missions instead of just the usual “capture the flag” and “king of the hill” objectives
commonly found in wargames. To start off, click on the corresponding button
labeled Obj 1 - 8, and “paint” the objective area onto the 2D map.
Note: there are no limitations in how you “paint” the objective area. You can create a single large area, two
or more independent ones, or even sprinkle small
spots all over the map. Keep in mind that points for
a specific objective are only awarded once and that
10 separate spots for a single objective means that
the player must pay attention to ALL 10 spots, not
just one. If the mission is to destroy these areas,
for example, that means all 10 must be destroyed
in order for the player to get points. This can be
Combat Mission
difficult to effectively communicate to the player,
so be careful when spreading things out. Therefore,
generally it is better to make separate objectives for
non-contiguous goals.
After determining the objective area(s) you need to specify what the player must
do with the area(s) and who knows about it:
OCCUPY - friendly units have to move to the area, clear it completely of enemy troops, and remain
there when the battle ends
DESTROY - the terrain (e.g. building) has to be destroyed/damaged
PRESERVE - the terrain must be protected from destruction/damage. This type of terrain objective
is probably best suited for buildings or bridges.
TOUCH - friendly units have to reach the area and are awarded points immediately upon reaching
it. They do not have to remain in place
EXIT - friendly units may leave the map (permanently) after reaching this objective. Any friendly
unit may use the exit zone. There are no points awarded for leaving the map! Instead, any unit that
is part of a Destroy/Destroy All Unit Objective for the opposing player and does not leave the map, is
scored as “destroyed” and the points are awarded to the enemy.
Exit Zones are a special type of Objective and may be
a little hard to grasp at first, since they work differently than the other Objective types. Instead of
awarding points directly to troops that successfully exit the map, it is the opposing player that gets
points for any units that should exit but don’t. The
correct procedure to work with an Exit Objective is
- paint a Terrain Objective on the map for Side A
- assign Side A units to a Unit Objective (SHIFT+F1-F7)
- in the editor, open the Unit Objective tab for the opposing player (Side B), set the Unit Objective to
Destroy/Destroy All, and assign points
- any unit that is part of the Destroy/Destroy All unit
objective has to exit the map. If it doesn’t, then Side
B will be awarded full points for the unit as if it
was destroyed.
Units leave the map automatically upon reaching the objective area, - usually within
60 seconds of reaching it - they do not need to be specifically ordered to. Units
about to exit first display an arrow icon and then simply disappear from the map.
KNOWN TO... - player, enemy, both, none
Tip: If you do choose to use a hidden objective, it is
probably a good idea to make it a secondary goal
and one that is still fun even if known (through
replay or peeking).
POINTS - assign how many points are awarded to the player who fulfills the objective.
Note: as mentioned above, Exit Objectives cannot be
assigned points, so this option is not available for
them. Instead, after creating an Exit Objective, you
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would then assign units to a Unit Objective (SHIFT
+ Function Key F1-F7), open the Unit Objectives tab
for the opposing player, set it to “Destroy” or “Destroy All” and assign some points. In this way the
opposing player will be denied points if enemy units
leave the map that are part of his Unit Objective.
NAME - assign a name to the Objective for easier reference (it’s also shown to the player on the
3D map and upon completion)
Note: terrain objectives can also be used as Triggers.
These special terrain objectives do not count towards victory conditions, do not award victory
points, and will not be visible during play. For more
information on Triggers, refer to the Plans section.
Unit Objectives (Allied and Axis)
In addition to (or instead of) terrain based objectives, you can also designate enemy
units as objectives. This allows for such things as “destroy all enemy tanks” to
be the primary mission and to judge success based on tank destruction instead
of other things.
To designate a unit or formation as a scenario objective, you have to first assign it
to a “unit objective group” in the Unit Editor. To do that, select the unit
or formation and hold down the SHIFT key while pressing a number key
from F1-F7. The selected unit(s) will then show a [U] next to its name
followed by the corresponding group number you pressed. In order to
remove a unit that is already part of a group, select that unit, hold down
SHIFT and press F8.
Note: when deploying units in the 3D Preview
of the Editor, units that are part of a Unit Objective
show a U in the Suppression area of their Team Info
Panel, followed by the number of the group they belong to (e.g. U:1 indicates Unit Objective Group 1).
Once you’ve done this, go back to the Mission editor and select the Unit Objectives
Option. Click on one of the buttons for Unit 1 through Unit 7 to set the parameters
for that group.
Note: keep in mind that only ENEMY units can be assigned as unit objectives. For example, an Axis unit
assigned to Group 1 will be tied to the Allied side’s
Group 1 objective, never to the Axis side’s Group 1
Unit Objectives can be one of three types - Destroy, Destroy All or Spot.
DESTROY - the designated target unit has to be knocked out for full points to be awarded, and
damaged for partial points.
DESTROY ALL - the designated target(s) must be completely eliminated for points to be awarded.
Exception: if the enemy has an Exit Zone on the map,
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then points are awarded to the opposing player - as
if the unit was destroyed - for ANY unit that is part
of a Destroy/Destroy All Unit Objective and that
does not manage to exit the map on time.
SPOT - the designated target unit has to be spotted in order to be awarded target points.
KNOWN TO... - player, enemy, both, or none
POINTS - assign how many points are awarded to the player who fulfills the objective
NAME - assign a name to the Objective for easier reference (it’s also shown in the After Action
Report), e.g. “Eliminate enemy tanks”.
Note: there are no restrictions with regard to how many
and what types of units you may “lump together”
into the same Unit Objective. With the exception of
Destroy All (which is an “all or nothing” type of Objective) partial points are awarded according to the
following rule of thumb: you get some points for
each soldier, more points for vehicles, even more
for tanks, and less for lighter vehicles.
Victory Calculations
Combat Mission calculates the victory level in the following manner (Warning: Math
Step 1: Determine V.
V = (A + 10) / (B + 10)
where V = Victory Level, A = earned Victory Points of the side with the higher score,
and B = Victory Points of the side with the lower score.
In other words, take the Victory Points score of each side, add ten, and then divide
the higher score by the lower score. The result is V.
Step 2: Determine Victory Level.
The ultimate Victory Level of the victor is determined by V and also by the percentage of potential Victory Points obtained.
Draw: V less than 1.25.
Minor Victory: V less than 1.75.
Tactical Victory: V less than 2.5 and 30% of potential VP earned.
Major Victory: V less than 4.0 and 55% of potential VP earned.
Total Victory: V equals 4.0 or more and 80% of potential VP earned.
The losing side will always receive the opposite Victory Level of the winning side.
So if the winning side receives a Major Victory, the losing side will receive a
Major Defeat.
Example: At the end of a mission, the US side receives
700 Victory Points out of 1,000 VP possible. The
German side receives 150 VP out of 1,000 VP possible.
V = (A + 10) / (B + 10)
A = 700
B = 150
V = (700 + 10) / (150 + 10)
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V = 710 / 160
V = 4.44
The US receives a Major Victory, and the Germans receive a Major Defeat. Although V was over the
4.0 requirement for a Total Victory, the US only
achieved 70% of the potential total VP, while a Total Victory requires at least 80 of potential VP be
Map Editor
The Map Editor is where you design your own maps from scratch by “painting” the
landscape in a 2-dimensional top-down view. To see the results of your work
in 3D, click on the “Editor Selector”, and select “3D Preview” from the pop-up
menu. After you’ve explored the 3D world, hit the ESC key to bring you back to
the Map Editor.
The Map Editor consists of three main tools: the Option Selector on the
left allows you to choose which features of the map to edit; the Settings
Selector allows you to choose a specific type/feature of the selected
Option; and the Tool icons on top of the screens allow you choose from several
editing modes and “brushes” and change the map’s dimensions.
Note: The exact terrain elements available, such as
building types, ground cover, and foliage, will vary
slightly based on what date and setting a particular
CMx2 game depicts.
Map Editor Options
Map Overlay
A 2D image of a map can overlayed on the editor map. This is a very handy way to
make a map based on a real location. To import an image as an overlay, take a
screenshot of the desired map and save it as “special editor overlay” (without the
quotation marks). Save it as a .bmp file. Place this image in the Z folder within
your game’s Data file. When you start the game, the image will be imported as
a map overlay. Pressing the O key will cycle between various states of transparency. The map overlay image will always stretch to fit your 2D map, so when you
create the image you will have to crop it to the desired width/height in meters to
ensure accurate scaling.
By default the map is perfectly flat and all tiles are set to elevation level 20. You
can adjust elevation levels to be anywhere between 0 and 999. Each elevation
change represents a height difference of 1 meter.
Note: Maps containing water tiles must have a minimum
elevation of 5.
CMx2’s approach to elevations might be conceptually difficult to grasp at first. However, once you get a feel for it you’ll never want to use another elevation editor
again! Instead of setting the height of each individual tile, you simply “draw” contour lines like you see on a topographical map. CM then logically slopes the terrain
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between the contours so that the transitions are smooth and natural looking.
The mechanics are quite simple. There are four different ways to change the elevation of a tile - Direct, Adjust, Adjust All and Clear. You can also set multiple tiles
to the same height by keeping the left mouse button pressed as you move the
cursor around the map. No matter which method you use, or how you use it,
the results are the same. The tiles clicked on turn black to signify that you have
“locked” the particular tile to a specific height, which is displayed in white numbers. All others remain in their natural state, showing that they are “unlocked”. All
locked tiles remain at the height you specified; all the unlocked ones dynamically
change their heights to conform to the placement of new locked tiles. In this way
you can specify a crest of a hill and the rest of the terrain will smoothly come up
to meet it instead you having to do it all manually.
The Options panel on the left displays the four choices:
DIRECT- set a specific elevation with one click. First choose the desired elevation
by using the + and - keys on the keyboard, then click on the map at the desired
location. The elevation of that tile changes to the value you specified.
ADJUST - decrease or increase elevations by the amount set using the + and - keys
on the keyboard. The default is 5, meaning that if you left-click on a tile with the
elevation set to 20, it will be increased to an elevation of 25. Clicking on it again
sets it to 30. Left-clicking while holding the SHIFT key decreases elevation by
the set amount.
You can also set the adjustment value to 0. This locks a tile to whatever its current
height is. For example, if an unlocked tile is 23, you can click on it and it will lock
in at 23 without having to manually set the height to 23 using the Direct method.
This is useful when you want to establish a fixed base to create a steep hill or
valley without changing the surrounding heights.
ADJUST ALL - this allows you to nudge ALL tiles up or down by one level each time
you press the + or - key, respectively. This is useful if, for example, you reached
elevation 0 on the map but suddenly notice that you need a few lower elevations
to finish a canyon. Increasing all tiles by +5 height gives you the needed room
while retaining all your hard work map wide.
Note: this option only works when at least ONE elevation has been set by you on the map (i.e. when there
is at least one black dot placed on the map).
CLEAR - unlocks a locked tile and adjusts nearby elevations automatically. For
example, say you decided to flatten out a section of map that you had previously
made hilly. Just clear the locked tiles and it will settle to whatever the surrounding
terrain is set to.
Elevation numbers are, by default, only visible in this mode. If you want to see elevations in other map editing modes you can press the “E” key on your keyboard,
which places an elevation overlay over the current 2D map display. Pressing E
again removes the overlay.
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DITCH LOCK - The Ditch Lock is a new editor function that allows slopes between
two fixed elevation points to be much steeper than the default slope.Ditch Lock
can be used to make narrow terrain features such as ditches and small berms.
To use Ditch Lock, switch to either the Adjust or Direct elevation tools and then leftclick on a tile while holding CTRL. The elevation number on the tile will display
a blue background instead of the usual black to indicate that its elevations will
be steeper.
Map Elements
Ground #1
This tab includes various types of dirt, ground and grass coverage as well as lightly
and heavily covered forest floors.
Note: Heavy forest and heavy rocks are impassable for
vehicles (regardless if you add trees or not)
Grass Y: yellow grass
Grass T: tall grass
Grass TY: tall yellow grass
Grass XT: extra tall grass
Ground #2
This tab includes Mud, Marsh and Water, several types of man-made ground covers,
and various types of fields and crops.
Note: Marsh is passable to infantry, albeit slowly. Shallow
fords are passable to infantry and vehicles. Deep
fords are only passable to infantry.
Tip: too avoid jagged riverbanks, set the riverbank tiles
to the same or one LOWER elevation than the water
Ground #3
Crops and grapevines.
This tab allows you to select a number of different types of trees and three types
of bushes.
Tall stone walls are impassable to any units but can be demolished to create gaps
(e.g. with demo charges).
Low walls and wooden fences are passable to a large degree. Infantry simply jump
over them, while most vehicles, except the lightest types, are able to move through
them. However, the risk for immobilization (throwing a track, blowing a tire) is high.
Adds brush to the terrain tile (can be mixed with other types of ground coverage,
especially with Dirt tiles).
Flavor Objects
Various small objects to add flavor to a map. The selection ranges from piles of
trash to streetlights, telephone poles, carts, rocks, tree stumps and much more.
This tab offers several types of paved and unpaved roads, dirt paths, a railroad,
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and a multi-lane road
Note: Some road types automatically add a ditch on
each side of the road. This can be used as cover
for infantry but can also slow down careless vehicle
Independent Buildings
Various types of “special” buildings (commercial storefronts, barns, churches, etc.)
designed specifically for the game setting. As the title implies these are intended
to be used as independent buildings. “Church” as a small town church or in 3
“building blocks” that can be used to create a large cathedral.
Modular Buildings
These are building “blocks” (ranging from 1 story high to 8 stories high) of varying
sizes and configurations, and can be used by map designers to put together
large building complexes, cities, and other structures.
Bridges #1
These are various bridge types. Some bridges may be impassable to vehicles.
No designation means a one-lane bridge allowing vehicles.
F = footbridge
R = railroad bridge
W = wide (i.e. two-lane)
The number is the length of the bridge in meters.
The following weight limits apply to bridges:
- Foot bridges: ................Infantry only
- Stone one-lane and Stone rail bridges:
........................................Medium and light vehicles, and infantry
- Two-lane bridges: ........Everything allowed
Bridges #2
Second tab with various bridge types
Different sizes of craters to simulate pre-battle damage:
3L - 3 small craters (from light calibers)
7L - 7 small craters
15L - 15 small craters
1M - 1 medium sized crater
2M - 2 medium craters
4M - 4 medium craters
1H - 1 large crater (from heavy calibers)
2H - 2 large craters
1S - 1 super-sized crater (from a large bomb)
Placing Large Bridges in the Editor
The large size of the new bridges can make their proper use in the editor a tricky
proposition. Here are some tips for proper placement:
1. Make sure that the map is large enough to accommodate the bridge. Refer to
the bridge dimensions listed above to plan your map dimensions ahead of time
and avoid unpleasant surprises.
2. Half-sized bridge stubs are useful if you want to depict a famous historica lbridge
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as “window dressing” on the periphery of the battlefield without increasing the
map size to accommodate the entire bridge.
3. Bridges require an “anchor point” at the end, a 2x2 square of fixed elevation
points that will determine how high the bridge stands from the ground. Full length
bridges require an anchor point at both ends. Bridge stubs require an anchor
point only at one end. Refer to the below picture as a guide.
4. Place the bridge on the map first, and set the elevations and anchor points after
you are sure that you will not need to move the bridge.
5. You will probably need to adjust the height of the anchor points several times
to achieve the best effect. Check your results in the 3D editor to ensure that no
bridge structures (other than the supporting columns of course) are sinking into
the ground. If they are, raise the elevation of the anchor points to make the bridge
sit higher off of the ground.
Identifying key terrain features in the Briefing helps the player associate what he is
tasked to do with where he is supposed to do it. To help tie these things together
you can place text “landmarks” to indicate, specifically, where something is. For
example, you can identify a prominent hill as “Hill 586” and note in the Briefing
what the player is supposed to do with “Hill 586”. To place a landmark, first click
on the tile you want to label. A pop-up window opens with a text field to enter
the name of the landmark. Note that this name is visible to both players, so it is
generally a bad idea to make the landmarks too side specific if you intend on the
scenario being playable from both sides. If you find you don’t like the landmark
you put down, or see that it is in the wrong place, click on it in the 2D map to
select it and then choose Delete.
Note: if you want only one side to see a map label, use
Objectives instead (see the chapter about the Mission
Setup Zones
Allows “painting” of up to three setup zones per nation, labeled Allied 1, 2, 3 and
Axis 1, 2, 3 respectively. Zones are used to restrict how much the player can
customize his starting locations. For example, allowing the attacking player to
set up in the same spot as the defender would not be a good idea. Likewise,
allowing the defender to put some snipers or AT teams in the middle of the attacker’s assembly area isn’t likely to win you any friends from people who play
as the attacker!
Setup zones do not have to be adjacent, meaning that you can create one large
zone, two or more independent zones, or even sprinkle spots all over the map.
Units located within a specific zone during the Setup Phase of a battle can be
moved to all spots of that same zone number, no matter where they are. So if
you create two Zone 1 spots on the opposite ends of the map, a unit can jump
from one spot to the other without restrictions during the Setup Phase, as long
as it is placed on a spot with the same zone number.
Note: units placed by the scenario designer outside of a
Setup Zone during deployment cannot be moved at
all by the player during the Setup Phase.
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Map Toolbar
The Map toolbar at the top of the screen is always visible when the 2D overview
map is shown. The tools contained in the bar allow you to quickly access four
Object Rotation
Most objects which can be placed on the map, such as buildings, road tiles, walls
etc. can be rotated in one of four directions before placing them on the map. The
four arrow buttons indicate the currently selected direction.
You can also change the rotation by holding the CTRL key and right-clicking (it
doesn’t matter where you click). Repeat this until the rotation direction you want
is selected (the current selection is always indicated by a depressed button)
Draw Tool
The draw tool is the diagonal arrow located between the rotation arrows and the
paintbrush. Using this tool, you draw a road or wall across the map with only
two clicks of a button.
To use the draw tool, you must have a linear terrain feature selected (roads, walls,
fences, and the like). Select the draw tool, and then left-click on two tiles in the
map editor. The terrain feature will be automatically created between these two
The “brush” with which you can “paint” terrain/objects on the 2D map is set to one
of four sizes. The smallest size paints only one terrain tile per click, while the
biggest level paints a rectangle of 15 by 15 tiles per click. Left-click applies the
currently selected terrain to the area covered by the brush, right-click removes it.
Note: not all objects are eligible for different brush
sizes. Most terrain types are, but, for example, Buildings or Flavor Objects are not. Additionally, Flavor
Objects can only be placed in 2D view, but they cannot be deleted by right-clicking (since they are not
visible in 2D view). You have to go to the 3D Preview
to delete Flavor Objects.
Map Zoom
The 2D map can be set to any one of five different levels of magnification by clicking
on the corresponding button. The left most button is max zoom in, the right max
zoom out. The middle zoom level is the default. If the map view is zoomed in,
then the view will scroll when you move the cursor to the screen edge.
Map width & depth
Sets the dimensions for the playable area of the current map. Two “boxes” are
available, one for setting the width and the other for setting the height.
In order to adjust map sizes, you use one of the four buttons available per “box”.
Obviously the + buttons increase the size, while the - buttons decrease map size.
Each click increases the map by 32 meters.
Note: by pressing and holding the SHIFT key while
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clicking on one of the buttons, the increase (or decrease) is 160 meters.
What might be less obvious, but is logical once you think about it, is that the placement of the buttons also indicates the direction into which (or from which) the
map is increased (or decreased). You just have to consider which axis is being
lengthened or shortened, and the +/- pairs are then formed to affect each end
of that axis.
The left/right arrows indicate that the west/east side of the map is affected. So
pressing the plus on the left adds space to west. Similarly the minus on the right
removes space from east.
The top/down arrows indicate that the north/south edge are affected. So the plus
and minus on top affect the northern border of the map, while the plus and minus
in the bottom do it for the southern border.
Maps can have a maximum total surface area of 18 kilometers squared (4248m x
4248m if shaped as a perfect square). No side can be longer than 8,000 meters.
The ratio of the length and width of the map must be 10:1 or less.
The Units editor provides all the tools to create Orders of Battle for both Allied and
Axis sides. On the left is a list of options arranged logically, from top to bottom, in
the order generally used to create a typical Order of Battle. First, you purchase
units for a side, then you assign reinforcements, and lastly you deploy those
units in the 3D environment.
The main screen layout consists of two columns in the main display area. On the
left is a list of all the Available Troops that can be purchased for the specific and
currently selected “Branch” (sub category of a side’s units). On the right is the
Activated Troops display that shows all the units you’ve “purchased” for inclusion
in your battle. At the bottom of the screen are various options to tweak the data
for a whole formation or a specific unit.
Purchase Units
When purchasing units for your battle, you first MUST start by buying a Formation.
Until you buy a Formation, most of the choices and functions of the Purchase
Screen remain inaccessible.
Formations are a very important concept to both gameplay (which is not directly
relevant here in the Editor chapter) and scenario making. Most of Combat Mission’s formations are based on authentic historical Tables of Organization and
Equipment (TO&E) for the various forces used in the game. Every single individual
unit belongs to a single formation, which in turn may (or may not) be a part of
another formation. A formation isn’t a unit itself, rather just a container for either
units or other formations. For example, a Rifle Squad is a unit typically found in
a Platoon formation, which itself usually belongs to a Company formation.
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After you purchase a formation you can then “delete” the specific units/formations
you don’t want. This might seem a backwards way to do things, but really it is
quite necessary. If you bought units on their own they would have no formational
context. Since such context is very important to gameplay and realism you’d
then have to go through a complicated process of attaching units to each other,
possibly in ways they never would be in real life. Therefore, it is much easier to
start with the correct formations attached to each other and simply toss aside
the units and formations you don’t want.
All units are organized by Force type and then secondarily to a specific Branch of
that Force (e.g. US Armored Infantry, German Panzergrenadiere, etc.). When
you select a Force, a list of the available Branches appears below. Selecting one
of these shows what the Available Troops are for that particular Branch. You are
allowed to mix and match units from Forces and Branches as much as you like,
no matter how unrealistic it may be in real life.
Note: for Quick Battles, the Purchase Screen does impose certain restrictions with regard to the available
Each line under Available Forces represents a unique, purchasable formation.
At first glance there doesn’t appear to be many choices since you initially see
just the tip of the iceberg. Next to every formation name is a small + icon which
allows you to “expand” it to show attached formations and units. By default, all
formations start out “collapsed” in order to minimize the amount of space used
in the display. To expand a formation, all you have to do is click on the “+” icon.
Once expanded, the icon turns to a “-” icon which, when clicked, collapses the
formation again.
To “purchase” a unit, doubleclick on it or, alternatively, single-click to highlight the
formation, then click on the Purchase button. Either way, once a formation is
purchased it moves to the Activated Troops column and is immediately available
for use in the scenario. However, it is highly unlikely you’ll need all the units of
the formations you purchased. Therefore, in the next step you’ll probably want
to remove formations and units that aren’t necessary for your battle.
Note: Purchase and Rarity points are shown in the
Editor to provide guidance on balanced force compositions for Scenario Authors, but play no other
role. A “+” after the purchase point value indicates a
“lowest case” value for certain formations.
Removing units is very easy. In the Activated Troops list, simply select the formation
or individual unit to remove and then click on the Delete button. The unit name
grays out showing that it is no longer available for your battle. If at any time you
change your mind, not a problem. Simply highlight the formation or unit and hit
the Revive button to reset them.
You can also Rename units in the editor. When you rename a unit that is not a
formation (e.g. squad or vehicle), the name change applies to that unit’s leader
(e.g. “Smith”), otherwise it applies to the unit itself (e.g. “Task Force Baker”).
Specialist Teams and Individual Vehicles
After purchasing one or more formations, you can then switch the display to Specialist
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Teams or Individual Vehicles if you would like to “cherry-pick” specific units that
are not part of the pre-defined (historical) Table of Organization & Equipment.
These units are automatically attached to the (already purchased) Formation
that is currently selected in the Activated Troops list.
This option is mainly intended for Quick Battles, but it provides the scenario author
with a quick and uncomplicated way to modify the game’s TO&E to his liking.
Soft factors
Each unit has certain “soft” data that can be adjusted if desired. Soft factors are
those elements that are, more or less, variable from unit to unit regardless of type.
Most of these are related to the soldiers themselves, not the equipment they have
assigned to them. You can see what the soft factors are by clicking on a unit or
formation and looking at the popup options at the bottom section of the screen.
Of course you can adjust these settings individually as well, e.g. if you want more
control or want to simulate a specific historical person or unit. What follows is a
description of the various values and parameters used.
EXPERIENCE – determines the experience and training level of the soldiers of the
formation. Options include:
- Conscript: draftees with little training and no combat experience whatsoever.
- Green: draftees with little training and some combat experience or reservists with
some training and no combat experience. Green can also represent professional
soldiers whose training is substandard in comparison to another force.
- Regular: professional soldiers who went through extensive, quality training
programs, but lack combat experience. Or, Regular can represent troops that
received mediocre training that have a fair amount of combat experience.
- Veteran: professional soldiers with standard military training and first hand combat
experience. Alternatively, it can be professional soldiers who have trained to a
slightly higher standard than Regulars, yet lack combat experience.
- Crack: exceptional soldiers with more than the average training and plenty of
combat experience.
- Elite: the best of the best. Superb training, frequent combat experience, and
generally all around tough guys.
MOTIVATION – determines the soldiers’ will to fight. Options range from Fanatic
(soldier will never give up and fight even when facing certain death) all the way
to Poor (soldier has little desire to fight and will take the first chance to rout).
FITNESS – determines the inherent degree of physical readiness of the unit’s
soldiers. This influences on how quickly soldiers tire and recover from physical
tasks, such as running or being bombarded by enemy fire. Options include: Fit,
Weakened, and Unfit.
LEADERSHIP – the capability and experience of the unit leader does not always
correspond with the quality of the unit. This rating allows a unit to range from
great soldiers and terrible leaders, or terrible soldiers and great leaders. The
values are from -2 to +2, indicating the leader’s influence on the unit cohesion
and various other capabilities.
SUPPLY – determines the amount of ammunition and other equipment available
to the unit at the start of the game. Options include Severe, Scarce, Limited,
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Adequate and Full.
HEADCOUNT – this setting allows to simulate formations with casualties from
previous combat.
VEHICLE STATUS – changes a Vehicle to be immobilized, knocked out, burning, or
dismounted from the very start of the game. Transport vehicles (such as halftracks
and trucks) set to “dismounted” will appear as Ammo Dumps at Elite skill level
or higher, while at lower skill levels their ammunition stores will be automatically
distributed among units in the same formation.
Typical Setting
For all of the above settings except Vehicle Status, the option “Typical” is also available. This choice randomly sets the value to be a typical (historical) value for the
selected formation and the selected timeframe. Typical is the default setting for
all options and is a good way for the scenario designer to get some variety for
his scenario without having to adjust each and every unit individually.
Purchasing equipment
At the bottom edge of the screen is a display for selecting specific equipment options, depending on which formation is selected in the Activated Troops list. Some
formations allow you to determine the type of equipment that they are going to
field for the battle, such as different tank or vehicle or gun types. For example,
if you select a US Armor formation, typically you will be able to determine which
models of Sherman tanks will be appearing in the battle.
This menu is highly context sensitive and dynamic, depending on which formation
or unit you highlight in the Activate Troops list. Sometimes you can select an individual squad and several choices will appear here, sometimes you can select a
Battalion HQ and select the equipment for the entire formation with a few clicks.
In addition to different equipment, you can usually also determine here if you want
indirect weapons such as guns, howitzers or mortars appear on the map, or be
available as off-map support assets only.
The choices made here may affect the point value of the formation that they apply
to. This is why the points listed under Activated Troops may differ from the “typical” point values shown under Available Troops for the exact same formations.
Equipment Dropdown Menu
You can adjust the equipment selection individually for each unit (this can be tedious, especially if you are making a scenario with a lot of units), as explained
above, but you can also use the Equipment Dropdown menu to apply general
(randomized) settings to entire formations as you purchase them. The Equipment Dropdown menu is located on the left side of the screen underneath the
Formation/Specialist/Vehicle selection menu. You can determine units to be in
Poor condition or Excellent condition and several steps in between. Depending
on the setting, your formations will be already prepopulated with vehicles and
weapons accordingly. One choice includes a “Typical” setting, which uses the
historically “correct” values for that unit and that specific time period.
Up to seven groups of units per side can be designated as Reinforcements from
the Available Units list, irrespective of their parent formation. This allows the sce-
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nario designer to have units enter the battle at some later and/or (more or less)
random point in time. The units of each Group enter the map at the same time,
but the entry location is set individually for each unit using the Deploy function.
Staggering units can help with early game unit congestion, enhance the plot of
the scenario, or simply spice things up.
The first step is to assign units to a Reinforcement Group by highlighting them in
the Available Units column and pressing a key on your keyboard (not on the
NumPad!) from 1 to 7. This assigns the unit(s) to the respective Reinforcement
Group, and a small [R] followed by the number of the assigned Group appears
next to its name. For example, [R1] means the unit is assigned to Reinforcement
Group #1. To remove a unit from a Group simply highlight it and press the 8 key
and you’ll see the designation go away.
Once you have at least one unit assigned to one Group you can specify when it
comes into the game. To do this, click on the Group you want in the list on the
left side of the screen. For each group, you can set the time of the earliest arrival,
and determine a random time span within which the arrival time might deviate.
Note: when deploying units in the 3D Preview of the
Editor, Reinforcement units show an R in the Suppression area of their Team Info Panel, followed
by the number of the group they belong to (e.g. R:1
indicates Reinforcements Group 1).
Earliest Arrival Time
This specifies the soonest a Group appears on the battlefield (for example, 5 minutes
after the begin of the battle, or an hour, or more).
Arrival Span
Can be set to be Exact (no deviation, i.e. the unit will always arrive exactly on the
time set above) or a value between 5 and 30 minutes in 5 minute intervals.
Specifying a time determines a range which is added to the Earliest Arrival Time.
Note: be careful of what you do here since there is a
chance for significant unintended consequences.
For example, if a 60 minute battle has Earliest Arrival Time set to 30 minutes and the Arrival Span to
30 minutes, the reinforcement group might arrive
anytime between 30 seconds after the beginning
of the battle and one second before its end. Or, if
you set Earliest Arrival Time to 60 minutes and the
Arrival Span to 10 minutes, then the reinforcement
group will never arrive (because the battle will end
before the arrival time).
Deploy Units
This feature switches you from the 2D Unit Editor to the 3D Preview map so you
can position the Available Units in the exact spot, orientation, and stance you
want. This applies to Reinforcements as well, regardless of when they come
into the game. You can do all sorts of things, such as loading units into vehicles,
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deploying heavy weapons so they can fire immediately, etc.
The Group(s) a unit belongs to (if any), such as Reinforcements, or AI Plans, is
shown in the main interface bar at the bottom of the screen, inside the Suppression indicator (e.g. A:5 indicates AI Group 5, R:1 indicates Reinforcement Group
1, and so forth).
If you created Setup Zones they are shown on the map. A unit in a Setup Zone
can be moved freely within that particular Zone during a game’s Setup phase.
Units placed outside of a Setup Zone can not be moved by the player until after
the game starts.
Note: pay extra attention to where Reinforcements are
placed in order to avoid unrealistic situations, such
as units suddenly appearing in the middle of a
field or a spot that is likely to be occupied by the
other side. It might be a good idea to have Reinforcements appear in a place out of sight of enemy
troops in order to allow the other player a chance
to move them before getting shot at.
Deployment Commands
During Deployment mode, a limited number of Commands are available for each
unit type, mainly related to administrative tasks.
Note: The Target command is available during Deployment mode in order to check LOS from units.
Most Artificial Intelligence (Computer Player) systems in games are based on
highly scripted, reactive behavior. The scenario designers program very specific
instructions for even the most basic behavior, often to the point of “if the enemy
moves here, attack, otherwise don’t do anything”. The game play tends to be
quite predictable over time and potentially easy to fight against because the
designer has to correctly anticipate what the player will do.
Other game AIs, including the one in the previous Combat Mission series, are
dynamic AIs that act and react on the fly. Since its behavior patterns are more
generic, it is more flexible when playing a specific mission/battle. Unfortunately,
the same generic attributes preclude the Computer Player from taking advantages
peculiar to the battle being fought. The designer can set up a perfect double
pincer envelopment and watch the AI decide to conduct a frontal assault instead.
CMx2’s Computer Player is a sort of hybrid of scripted and dynamic systems. The
scenario designer has the ability to customize the higher level, and to some
extent lower level, behavior specific to the tactical considerations of the battle.
However, the AI can improvise, to some extent, within the designer’s parameters.
This greatly reduces predictability, but more importantly it allows the AI to conform
to the story of the battle. If the battle’s story revolves around an ambush or a
convoy to move along a certain road, such crucial elements can be “coded” into
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the scenario to make sure they happen.
The scripting aspect of CMx2 is also critical for coaching the Computer Player on
how to win. For example, if the defending Computer Player needs to defend a
set of buildings inside a city, the designer can specify which key spots should be
manned in order to ensure the success of a more abstract victory condition. No
matter how good a dynamic AI may be, practically speaking it will never equal
the insight the designer has without some very specific help. Therefore, think
of the scripting as the designer helping the AI understand what it needs to do,
where, and how.
AI Elements
There are four distinctly different concepts that create a decent Computer Player.
Groups - a collection of units (CMx2 allows up to 16 Groups per side)
Map Zones - areas of the map for Groups to focus on (up to 16 per Plan)
Orders - basic instruction sets for a Group (up to 16 per Plan)
Plans - overall coordination of Groups, Orders, and Zones (up to 5 Plans per side)
Units are assigned to Groups to concentrate on geographical Map Zones using
various Orders to direct their behavior. Plans specify which Groups use what
Map Zones with which Orders. The Computer Player only ever uses one AI Plan
for a scenario, however it can use different Plans (if they exist) each time the
scenario is played.
Once a Computer Player’s Group reaches an Order’s Map Zone, it begins to look
at the next Order (and associated Map Zone) if one exists. The computer player
decides when to “move on” to the next Order by looking at two time points set
by the author, and the condition of its troops.
These concepts are identical for both Allied and Axis sides, however the elements
can be used in different ways in order to simulate the different behavior patterns,
doctrinal approaches to combat, etc. of each side’s simulated force. The importance of each specific element varies from scenario to scenario, side to side.
However, generally a good Computer Player comes from equal attention paid
to all four elements.
A scenario can have a Computer Player for either or both Axis and Allied sides.
However, if the designer did not specifically create a Computer Player for a
side the units for that side will simply sit wherever they start out and do nothing.
Therefore, the scenario designer should make sure to mention in the briefing that
a scenario is supposed to be played from a specific side only.
A Group is a collection of units (squads, teams, guns, and vehicles) assigned to
perform tasks together. Each Group acts independently of other Groups using
Orders it receives from a Plan. Because there is only one Plan in use during a
scenario there is no risk of Groups getting contradictory instructions. This means
the designer must be quite sure of why various units are in one Group and not
another, because if the assignments aren’t sensible then the Orders are less
likely to produce desirable results.
All units are assigned to Group 1 by default, unless specifically assigned to Groups
2 through 16. To assign a unit to a Group, go to the Unit Editor’s Purchase Units
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option, select the unit or formation by clicking on it, then use F2-F8 keys to set
the Group number to 2-8. To assign the unit or formation to Groups 9-16, press
the F1-F8 keys twice in succession: F1 twice for Group 9, F8 twice for Group
16, and so on. Units assigned to Groups 2-16 have their Group number appear
to the right of their name as [A2] through [A16]. To reassign a unit to a different
Group, simply repeat the process with a different numbered F key. To have an
assigned unit return to Group 1, highlight it and hit F1.
Note: when deploying units in the 3D Preview of the
Editor, units show an A in the Suppression area of
their Team Info Panel, followed by the number of
the AI group they belong to (e.g. A:2 indicates AI
Group 2).
Map Zone
Map Zones are “painted” on the map, much like a Setup Zone or a victory Objective
area. Each Order can have one, and only one, Map Zone assigned to it. The
shape and size can be as regular or irregular, small or large, and you can even
generate separate discontinuous areas, but they are still considered part of the
same map zone. That doesn’t mean it is necessarily a good idea to make huge,
crazy shaped Map Zones, just that it is possible. Generally the more “creative”
the Map Zones are, the less likely Groups will behave as desired. Therefore, it is
usually better to break up larger concepts into smaller pieces and assign different
Groups to each with their own Orders and Map Zones.
Note: Each Order must have a Map Zone assigned to it.
Orders without Map Zones are simply ignored by the
AI. If you want a unit to remain stationary, simply
copy the Map Zone from the previous Order in the
Plan. The unit will not move.
The composition of the Current Group should be kept firmly in mind to make sure
that the Map Zone isn’t too small or too big for the number of units, the distance
too great, the type of terrain unfavorable or even impassable, and so forth.
It is very important to keep in mind that the Map Zone is the desired END ZONE
and not the path. The TacAI determines, based on a Plan’s Orders and tactical
Commands, how to get from one Map Zone to another. A Group will NOT follow
a long and skinny Map Zone; it will simply move all its units onto it and stop before moving onto the next Order’s Map Zone. If you want to influence the path a
group of units takes, issue several orders as you would waypoints.
Each Order consists of a single instruction for a specific Group to follow. The
specified Map Zone is the destination and the Order represents the method to
get there. This is an important concept to fully grasp since doing the opposite,
treating the Map Zone as the start of the Order, will likely doom a Plan to failure.
An order consists of four parts (not including the Map Zone), except for the first
Setup Order, which only has three (as explained further below).
Order type
Dash – basically this is an “everyone run for the hills” option that should be used
very rarely. Make sure that the distances are fairly short or the units are vehicle
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only, otherwise they will likely exhaust themselves before reaching the specified
Map Zone. It is also wise to make sure the Group isn’t likely to fight along the
way since the units won’t be predisposed to doing that. Use Dash for things like
getting units to move quickly from one major source of cover to another at maximum speed, such as across a dangerously exposed road or field.
Quick – emphasizes speed over combat, but to a lesser extent than dash. Units
will attempt to get from A to B as quickly as possible but not at all cost, and not
at maximum speed. Units may stop and return fire occasionally, but are generally unlikely to do so. Quick is useful when covering medium distances that you
want to cross quickly but without completely tiring out the units, and when enemy
contact is unlikely but not impossible.
Advance – this is the “happy medium” between Dash and Max Assault. This is generally the best Order to use when moving from place to place and not specifically
anticipating a big fight. Units instructed to Advance decide what they should do,
but generally it is to keep moving after taking some shots at spotted enemy units.
Assault – this order emphasizes combat over movement. Units ordered to assault
will generally interrupt their movement when facing the opportunity to engage the
enemy, but will not remain stationary for too long. This is the best order to use
for advancing while in contact with the enemy at medium to longer distances.
Max Assault – the opposite of Dash, Max Assault tells the Group to stop and engage with maximum firepower whenever each unit sees an opportunity to do so.
This is generally a poor choice for getting a Group to stay on the move if a lot
of enemy is expected in the vicinity. It can also be a bad idea if the area being
moved over is a poor place to stop for a firefight. The best use is for short moves
where there is good cover and enemy activity is highly expected.
Note: computer infantry units can demo-charge their
way through walls and bocage if their “next” movement order (set by the author in the AI editor) is
close by (30m or less, generally). It works best to
place one movement order destination on the near
side of the wall/bocage, and the next just on the
other side of the wall/bocage.
Setup Orders
The very first order of each plan is a Setup Order. It works exactly as other orders
with one big exception: the Map Zone for the Setup Order defines the area where
units begin the game, not where they need to move to. As such, the Map Zone
is NOT the End Zone as for all other regular orders. Therefore, Setup Orders
have no option for “Order Type” since the units do not have to move anywhere.
The AI does not break the rules. If you paint a Map Zone for a Setup Order outside
of a valid Axis or Allied Setup Zone (as defined in the Map Editor), the AI will
never setup there. Therefore, make sure that your Map Zone for Setup Orders
for the AI plan matches a valid Setup Zone in the Map Editor. To make this easier,
Setup Zones are always shown on the 2D map when you select a Setup Order
in the plan.
Note: landmines assigned to AI groups number 2 and
higher move into the AI groups’s painted setup zone
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Occupy buildings
This option tells the unit which floor to occupy if it enters a building. If a unit is not
inside a building, this option has no effect.
This option defines the basic behavior and combat posture of a unit for a given Order.
Cautious - shoot only when a clear target presents itself and don’t get too worked
up when one does. This helps conserve ammo and limits how much the Group
makes its presence known to the enemy.
Active - shoot early and shoot often. This is generally the best option when the
Group is being tasked with assaulting a known enemy position.
Ambush - instructs the units to only open fire if the enemy closes within a specific
distance. Several distance options are available, from 75m to 1000m.
Ambush Armor - functions like Ambush, but unit will only open fire if armored
vehicles come within a specific distance.
Hide - just as it sounds! This instructs the Group to avoid doing anything that might
attract attention, such as moving or shooting. Units that get shot may return fire,
but other units in the Group will try to remain hidden.
Passenger status
This option tells infantry carrying vehicles (and bunkers) to Dismount its passengers
or keep them Mounted. Keep in mind that this option is activated BEFORE the
designated Map zone is reached! If you want to dismount after reaching a map
zone, you will need to create one Order for getting there mounted, and then a
second order (with or without a Map Zone) to dismount on location.
Note: There is no way to instruct the AI to Mount units
once Dismounted due to the complications of coordinating vehicles and infantry (real life military
units train for months to get this right!). Practically speaking, it would be rare to see infantry units
get into and out of vehicles multiple times within
the scope of a Combat Mission battle, so it is less of
a limitation than it may initially appear to be.
Plans are the glue that holds together Groups, Map Zones, and Orders. They act
as “scripts” for the AI to follow, but not in the traditional FPS/RTS sense in which
tactical behavior is tied to trigger points, patrol routes, etc. Instead, it is a set
of behavioral instructions just like in a real military formation. For example, the
“script” doesn’t say “Tank 231 goes from this point to this point and then tries to
shoot here”, rather it says “Tank 231 will try to move through this area and shoot
at any threats it sees”. The actual tactical moves and decisions the unit makes
are left up to the TacAI, which means they are context sensitive decisions.
When the player starts to play a scenario, Combat Mission selects one semi-randomly chosen Plan to be used for the duration of the battle. This allows the
Computer Player to be unpredictable each time a scenario is replayed, yet still
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follow specific instructions made by the scenario designer. Or not!
You can create multiple Plans for Combat Mission to randomly choose based on
weighted values. A Plan with “Used Sometimes” is two times more likely to be
chosen than “Used Rarely” while “Used Frequently” is four times more likely to
be selected. If a value is used more than once then the chances of selection of
the others is adjusted so these ratios are maintained. Alternatively, the Scenario
designer may choose to make only a single Plan for a particular side, thereby
guaranteeing that one Plan is always the one used.
To create a Plan, and its components, select one of the five possible Plans from
the list in the user interface to the left. The first popup menu controls the chance
that the selected Plan is going to be used in a battle. The second popup menu
designates which Group is considered the “Current Group”. When selected,
existing Orders assigned to that Group can be seen and manipulated, and new
ones can be created. The third popup controls the Current Order for the Current
Group. The first of the 16 possible Orders is always Setup. New orders can be
added by clicking on the Add button, existing orders can be deleted by clicking
on Delete.
To copy a Plan, select the Plan that you desire to be copied, and press CTRL-C to
copy it. Nothing will happen visually, but the plan has been copied. Next, select
another Plan that you wish to overwrite, and press CTRL-V. A window asking
for confirmation will appear. Select OK to copy the Plan. Copying Plans is very
useful when you want to just use variations of a single Plan, without having to
tediously recreate all of the waypoints for the AI Groups.
Note: Plans need to be tested by the designer in order
to make sure they work as expected. However, since
CM randomly chooses a Plan it is difficult for the
designer to be sure of debugging a specific Plan if
there is more than one. To overcome this, simply
change the chance of the desired Plan happening
to “Used Frequently” and the others down to “Not
Used”. Just remember to change the values back to
whatever it is you want before sending the battle off
to be played by others!
Exit Between ... and ...
“Exit Between ... and ...” tells the AI Group at what scenario time to leave their
current Map Zone and when to arrive at the next Map Zone.
The first number tells the Group to stay at the current Map Zone until the specified
scenario time is reached. With this setting a Group never moves on to the next
Order before the specified time is reached.
The second number defines the latest time that an AI Group should arrive at it’s next
order, and causes the Group to try very hard to get to the next Order in the plan
before the specified scenario time is reached. This does not mean the Group
will do it, just that it will try. If it has taken excessive casualties, is immobilized or
heavily engaged, it may blow the set time. It will still attempt to execute the next
order in the plan, just not within the time that the scenario designer allotted for it.
Combat Mission
Note: the time set in “Exit between ... and ...” is absolute
scenario time and not a duration. “1:00” means “one
minute after the beginning of the scenario”, and
NOT “one minute after the last order”.
You can increase the “jumps” for the time settings by holding the SHIFT key while
you click on the + or - buttons.
Example: Exit Between 5:00 and 10:00
These settings mean: the units in this Group will remain executing the current order
(at the current Map Zone) for 5 minutes after the beginning of the battle. They are
not allowed to leave sooner. After 5 minutes, the units are free to begin leaving
the Map Zone and start executing the next order in the plan. They do not have
to leave immediately, however, before 10 minutes scenario time pass they really
should be gone.
Note: all of a Plan’s Orders are saved into the scenario file even if there are no Groups assigned to it.
This allows the designer to move, remove, redo,
and otherwise manipulate units and Groups without
worrying about wiping out work done on a Plan
prior to the changes. Obviously, if no Groups are
assigned to an Order none of the Order’s actions
are carried out in the game, so there isn’t any point
of creating Orders that have no Groups, though
there is also no problem if unassigned Orders are
left in the file since the Computer Player simply ignores them.
Correct timing
The AI editor lets you coordinate various orders and groups in a plan to some degree through the use of the “Exit between ... and ...” time settings. These can be
a little confusing when first working with them.
In short, the first number instructs the group to keep executing an order until that
time in the scenario, while the second number instructs it to leave a Map Zone
and move on to the next order in the plan before that time is reached. The two
main sources of confusion often are:
- the time settings are absolute scenario time, not relative “duration”.This means
that the time needs to be adjusted accordingly for each order within a group’s
plan to reflect the time passed in the scenario.
Example: If you want two orders to be executed for
about 5 minutes one after the other, then Order 1
is set to Exit Between 5:00 and 5:30, and Order 2
should be set to Exit After 10:30. Notice that this
will not GUARANTEE that the second order is executed for 5 minutes.
- the times are merely guidelines for the AI. The AI will attempt to stick to the time
plan, but not at all costs. Combat effects, fatigue, and other factors may make the
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AI blow the schedule. The AI will still proceed with executing each order within
a plan, one after the other, but may disregard the schedule set by the scenario
This is more true for the second time setting than the first time setting to some
extent. After all, it is easier to simply sit in place for a certain time than to move
out exactly on time.
Note: the more strictly you set the timing for a plan,
the higher the chance that the AI won’t be able to
remain on schedule. Setting the “Exit Between ... and
...” times for an order very close together is asking for trouble. While it may work reasonably well
early in the plan, as you get to the later stages,
you should set the times further and further apart
to account for the unavoidable delays and keep at
least some level of control. If you don’t, then the
AI will simply ignore your schedule altogether.
You do not HAVE to use the “Exit Between ... and ...“settings! Simply leaving them
on default will mean that the AI completes one order after the other without delay,
as fast as the given order and the combat situation and condition of the troops
allows. In fact, for the majority of situations this may be just the right setting!
Sometimes you will want an Group to act based on battlefield conditions rather than
set times. This is achieved with the use of Triggers. You can tell a Group to “Wait
For” another Group to execute an Order or to “Wait for” a unit (enemy or friendly)
to touch a Trigger Objective. The same basic principles apply to both Order and
Objective type Triggers, however you will probably find some situations where
one type works better than the other.
What Triggers can not do is provide alternate commands. AI Orders are still followed
one-after-another without branching. Triggers simply allow you to control when
the next Order executes based on the Trigger parameters you choose.
Setting up a Trigger
Triggers are always set up first and then linked to specific Orders. A Trigger can be
used by as many Orders in as many Friendly Groups as you want, but an Order
can only be assigned to use one Trigger. Setup can never be used as a Trigger
and the last Order of a Group can never be triggered.
For an Objective Trigger you must first designate a Terrain Objective on the map,
then choose what sort of unit can trip it. You can choose between friendly or
enemy and either any type of unit or only armored ones.
For an Orders Trigger you must identify a specific Order (Setup is not an Order) in
a friendly Group and change the popup just below the Order Number to “Can
Trigger” from “Not Trigger”.
Now that you have a Trigger specified you need to instruct one or more Groups to
use it. Find the Order you want to wait for a Trigger and click on the “Wait For...”
button at the bottom of the Orders panel. When you do this a dialog appears
with a popup menu that shows all the Triggers you have made. Select one and
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it becomes the active Trigger for that Order.
Exit Between Times
The first thing to understand is how the “Exit Between” times affect tripping. The
first time tells the AI to NEVER start the Order until that time even if the Trigger
is tripped. The second time tells the AI to NEVER start the Order later than that
time even if the Trigger is not tripped. The time period between the first and
second settings is when the Order is paused waiting for the Trigger to be tripped.
If you want a Group to always wait for a Trigger to be tripped leave the first timer to
00:00 and set the second timer to something greater than the scenario’s maximum game time. If you want a Group to give up on a Trigger if it isn’t tripped by
a particular time (a failsafe) then leave the first timer to 00:00 and set the second
timer to the time you have in mind. Sometimes you will want a Group to wait until
a specific time even if the Trigger is tripped, in which case you set the first timer
to that time. If the Trigger is tripped before then the Group will start executing
it’s Order only when the first timer’s time is reached. If it hasn’t been tripped by
then the Group will remain idle until either the Trigger is tripped or the second
timer’s time is reached (whichever happens first).
The Tricky Part
While setting up Triggers is fairly straight forward, getting them to do what you expect is not necessarily as easily done. The more complex your Plan is, the more
interdependent Groups are to each other, the more challenging it is to get the
results you want. This section tries to get you started on the right path.
The most important, and definitely most difficult, concept to understand is which
Order to select as the Trigger. The natural inclination is think of Triggers being
tripped when an Order is complete (i.e. the units arrive in the painted area).
This is not how it works. Instead a Trigger is tripped when the designated Order
starts, not when it ends. Which means if you want to key off of units arriving in
the painted area of Order 5 you must select Order 6 as the Trigger, not Order
5. While this may be counter intuitive to us Humans, to the computer it’s solidly
logical and there are very good reasons for it.
The second most common source of error is having two or more Groups use Triggers
to “leap frog” each other. This can definitely work, however designer error and/
or unforeseen game events can cause a huge chain reaction that stops your AI
from functioning. For example, you could find Group 2 waiting for Group 3 which
is waiting for Group 4 which is unexpectedly waiting for Group 2. This error is
commonly called “circular logic”. Careful use of the Exit Between timers can limit
the damage, but keeping things simple is an even better way to go.
Combining Objective and Orders Triggers can produce some sophisticated behavior
if done right. For example, Group 2 Order 4 waits until Objective Blue is tripped
by enemy armor, at which point it starts a wide flanking action using three additional Orders. Order 6 places the units in a key spot which signals that Group 3
should begin its own movement. In which case Group 3 would be set to trigger
off Order 7 so that it starts it’s attack when Group 2 is at the key spot.
TIP! In the event that you want the last action of an
Group to be a Trigger (which it can not be by default) you can fake out the system. Create your last
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Order to do whatever action it is you want done,
then create a new last Order with the parameters
to be the same as the previous one and no painted
objective zone. Then go back and assign a Trigger
to the previous Order. This allows the last meaningful action of that Group to act as a Trigger even
though technically it’s not it’s last set of instructions. That’s because the actual last Order is nothing
but a repeat of the previous instructions.
TIP! There is no explicit way to instruct a Group to
face after completing an Order. However, you can
“paint” the rearward destination 1 Action Spot further than you want them to go, then create a new
Order and paint the Action Spot where you want
them to end up. What happens is the units move past
where you want them to wind up, end that Order,
then start the new Order which requires them to turn
around and drive “forward” towards the enemy by
1 Action Spot. If you do not use Exit Before/After
time variables then the progression from one Order
to the next will be seamless.
Support Targets (Allied or Axis)
The scenario designer can specify Support Targets for the Computer Player’s artillery and air support to use at the beginning of the scenario. Such artillery strikes
represent preplanned bombardments for a side controlled by a Computer Player.
If a Human player is in control of a side the designer’s assigned Support Targets
are simply ignored.
When Support Targets are specified, all Artillery and Air Support Assets allocated to
that side’s force are considered available for the AI to use. The only requirement
is that a valid spotter have line of sight (LOS) to the designated target(s) in order
to initiate the strike. All normal support rules apply such as C2 links, delay times,
etc. Artillery and Air Support Assets not used against the Support Targets are
available for the AI to use during the regular course of the battle.
Up to 20 independent Support Targets can be designated. Simply select a target
number and paint the zone to be fired at in the 2D map. Zones can be any size,
contiguous or disjointed, though practically speaking it is best to keep in mind the
actual amount of assets available. If one target zone covers half of the map, but
the side only has a battery of two measly 82mm mortars available that are low
on ammo, don’t expect an earth shattering map-covering artillery strike. Instead,
it is more likely that the AI spotter will randomly pick one place out of the entire
zone and pound it until the mortars are empty.
Each target can be assigned one of three possible missions. These determine the
intensity and duration of the strike:
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Destroy - heavy intensity, long duration. Issue this type to cause maximum damage.
Available assets, ammo, and size of the target area are especially critical here.
A couple of 60mm mortars aren’t going to level a city block, for example, but 4
batteries of 155mm Howitzers certainly can!
Damage - medium intensity, medium duration. Good for a quick, devastating shock
to a particular area Good balance between ammo conservation and damage.
Suppress - low intensity, short duration. This is best used for harassing fire or to
pin an enemy force down to allow friendly on map units take advantage of the
Preplanned strikes arrive at the beginning of a scenario, but not always immediately in the first few seconds. Normal C2 delays apply. Each target is attacked
in order, and if multiple assets are available, several targets can be attacked
Any support assets that are not used up for the pre-planned bombardments are
available for the AI Player to use dynamically during the battle as long as it has
what it needs to call in a strike (e.g. proper spotter, adequate communications
links, etc.). In other words, the AI Player is bound by the same rules as the Human
Player, as explained in various sections of this manual.
The 3D Preview displays the battlefield in 3D mode, which can be useful for spotting
possible issues with terrain, elevations, or the overall look of the map. It is also
good for getting a feel for how to set up the AI’s Orders and Plans. Additionally,
Preview mode allows the direct manipulation and fine-tuning of certain map
aspects which cannot be accessed from the 2D Map Editor, such as buildings
and Flavor Objects.
Editing Buildings
In 2D mode, you choose the basic building types and determine their placement on
the map. The actual look of the building is determined randomly from a number of
options specific to each type of building. However, these automatically assigned
attributes can be overridden and customized, if desired.
CMx2 features two major types of buildings - modular buildings which are more
generic building “blocks” that can be up to 8 stories high and are made to be
arranged into various shapes and forms, and independent buildings that are more
specific in their design, and, as the name implies, usually are not combined with
other buildings. The two buildings types differ in some details as far as how they
work in the editor.
Modular buildings
For each side and each floor of each building the texture, number of doors, and
number of windows can be set. If the wall is exposed it can have a balcony of one
sort or another. The type of roof can be changed as well, provided that alternative
roofs are available for the building.
One of the more interesting, and powerful, features is the ability to completely remove
walls by toggling through the “window/door layouts” until the wall disappears.
This allows adjacent buildings to be combined into larger structures, such as a
massive warehouse or L shaped house. Since individual walls on individual floors
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can be removed, it is possible to have a building complex that is open on some
levels and closed on others, or 3 stories in one section and only 2 in another
section. The tactical possibilities created by this feature should not be overlooked!
Note: If modular buildings are placed directly adjacent
to each other, windows and doors will automatically
be removed from the adjoining walls, leaving them
In general, each of the following clicks and key+click combinations toggles through
the available options for each building in succession.
Single Wall
CTRL-CLICK on a side changes window/door layout for wall
CTRL-SHIFT-CLICK on a side adds balconies for that wall
Note: for upper levels without balconies, door configurations are skipped except when the camera view
is inside the building. This makes it easier to set
up “interior” walls between immediately adjacent
Single Side
CTRL-SHIFT-CLICK on ground floor adds balconies to all floors on that side
Entire Building
ALT-CLICK changes window/door frames for all four sides
SHIFT-CLICK changes the buildings texture for all four sides
CTRL-CLICK on roof changes shape/type of roof (if available)
ALT-CTRL-CLICK changes the windows/door layout for all floors on the same side of a building
ALT-SHIFT-CLICK cycles through stages of major damage to building, starting at a blown-out roof,
progressing through blown-out upper levels, to complete rubbling.
Independent buildings
Individual buildings largely work like modular buildings, with a few notable differences: the window and door layouts are fixed and cannot be changed, and no
balconies can be added. The following key+click combos apply to Independent
CTRL-CLICK on a side/roof changes cycles through stages of pre-battle damage for floor/roof
SHIFT-CLICK changes the buildings texture for all four sides
ALT-CTRL-CLICK cycles through stages of major damage to building, starting at a blown-out roof,
progressing through blown-out upper levels, to complete rubbling.
Editing Flavor Objects
The placement and rotation of Flavor Objects can be finetuned in 3D Preview mode.
After placing a Flavor Object in regular 2D mode in the general area where you
would like to have it, you can “nudge” it into position and also rotate it to achieve
realistic placement. You can also precisely place a flavor object by ALT-left clicking
on it, and then clicking on the desired destination.
This is done through a combination of keys and mouse clicks, as follows:
LEFT CLICK - rotate object
- nudge object in the direction the camera is facing
ALT+LEFT CLICK - Select object for precise cursor placement
CTRL+LEFT CLICK - delete object
ALT+LEFT CLICK: place flavor objects with the mouse
Combat Mission
New Campaigns for Combat Mission are technically quite easy to make, however
since they require many custom made battles it can be somewhat time consuming
to put together because each individual battle takes a fair amount of effort to make.
A Campaign is a semi-dynamic string of individual battles linked together. Each
battle for a Campaign is just like every other scenario made in the Editor, save
one major feature: a common pool of units imported from a central “core units”
file. This allows Combat Mission to track individual units from battle to battle,
which in turn allows the results of a previous battle to have a direct effect on
those that come later.
At the heart of a Campaign are two sorts of battles; primary and branches. Primary
battles are those that represent the optimal path from start to finish. If a player
wins each battle these are the only ones that are played. Branches are those
battles that the player is diverted to after failing to win the previous battle. There
is a great deal of flexibility as to how these features are used, enabling campaign
designers to customize the structure of a Campaign to conform to a particular
“plot”. In fact, the campaign does not have to branch at all if that is what the
designer wishes to do.
Note: in theory you can create loops in the branching structure, by directing the player to a scenario
he played previously, e.g. after a loss. While this is
possible, please keep in mind that any damages and
changes to the map from the previous fight are not
saved. This means that destroyed buildings from
the first time through are magically rebuilt, craters
filled in, burning vehicles removed, etc. Therefore
it might be a good idea to avoid such loops for the
most part.
It is possible to have units tracked from battle to battle on both sides. However, this
is not recommended in general since it means the same two forces face each
other battle after battle. That’s not very interesting! Plus, with the high casualty
rate typical for World War Two frontline engagements, it is unlikely that a significant portion of the Core Units would survive more than a few battles. Still, it’s
an available feature and players are welcome to experiment with it if they want.
Core Units File
This is a regular scenario file that does nothing more than provide a common pool
of units to draw from and certain elements needed to present the Campaign to
the player. It is as simple as purchasing some units and setting up the mission
information (briefings, title, etc.). Combat Mission ignores everything else so don’t
worry about the map, unit placement, etc.
Battles within a Campaign can use units that are not in the Core Units File, therefore
it is only important to put units in here that are central to the story. For example,
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if the Campaign revolves around a single Rifle Company and a Tank Platoon,
you don’t need to put in an Engineer Platoon or a Cavalry Platoon that are only
used once. Such auxiliary units which don’t make an appearance in more than
one battle can be added into any scenario normally using the Unit Editor as one
would for a stand alone battle.
One very important thing to keep in mind is how CM tracks units from battle to battle.
When a formation is put into the Activated Units column of the Unit Editor (i.e.
purchased) unique identification numbers are assigned to all the units within it.
This allows CM to know that Tank 1234 in Battle #1 is the same Tank 1234 in
Battle #2. After a unit appears in the Activated Units column it can be manipulated,
such as having a unit’s Experience changed or deleting a formation so it isn’t
available, just like in a normal scenario. These changes can be undone or redone
as often as desired. However, these changes are not automatically incorporated
into existing battles for the Campaign. To have such changes registered each
existing scenario file must be “synchronized” with the Core Units File in order to
bring those changes into existing battles (see below).
Scenarios (Battles)
There is nothing inherently different between scenarios made for a Campaign and
those made for stand alone use. Maps, AIs, Mission Parameters, etc. all have to
be created just like any other stand alone battle. The only significant difference
is that some (or all) of the units from one (or both) sides can be imported into a
scenario so that they carry through from battle to battle. Also, it is not necessary
to make the small 170x170 picture that represents the scenario in the Battle
selection dialog because it is ignored.
Importing units is quite easy. Create a new scenario in the Editor, choose the Units
Editor, and then select the “Import Campaign Units” option. An open dialog appears so the Core Units File can be located and selected. Once confirmed, all
the units in the Core Units File are imported into the current scenario file.
The next step is to whittle down the Core Units to those needed for the current
battle only. Often this is a small subset of the total units found in the Core Units
File. Select the Purchase Units option and look in the Activated Units column. All
Core Units are there with a notation that they are, indeed, Core Units. To remove
unwanted units simply do what is done for any other scenario: select the unit,
or formation, and select the Delete button in the lower left corner. This toggles
the unit “off” so it won’t appear in the battle at all. It can be toggled back “on” at
any time, like a normal scenario, by repeating these steps. Additional, non-core,
units can be purchases at any time as in any other scenario.
From time to time changes may be made to the Core Units File that require synchronization with existing Campaign battles. This is generally an extremely easy and
painless thing to do. Just open up the scenario file and Import Campaign Units
again. Core Units already in the scenario retain almost all of their customization,
such as placement, Group assignments, Orders, etc. Therefore, synchronizing
with the Core Units File does not wipe out hard work! What it does do is remove
units no longer in the Core Units File, imports newly added units, and updates attributes (such as names, experience, etc.). The latter is probably the only potential
drawback of synchronizing since customized settings like that must be redone.
Combat Mission
Note: any formations completely removed from the
Activated Troops list in the scenario will reappear
and must be deleted again (if that is still desired).
This is to make sure deleted formations can be
brought back in if the designer changes his mind
after removing them. It’s very important to know
this, since reintroduced formations appear in default positions in the 3D environment automatically,
which can create a rather “interesting” game experience until it is fixed in the Editor.
Campaign Script File
A group of completed scenarios are just that until you use the Compile Campaign
feature. In order to do that, though, a Campaign Script File must exist. This is
a TXT file which Combat Mission uses to understand which battles are fought
when, what the conditions are for going to the next one, and how much the units
should be refreshed between battles.
The script is quite simple. The first part is the Campaign Header to help CM set up
the Campaign as a whole. The first variable specifies which side the Campaign
is played from (Allied or Axis), if a Human Opponent is allowed (No or Yes), the
text shown to the Allied player after the last battle (Victory and Defeat), and the
text shown to the Axis player after the last battle (Victory and Defeat).
What follows are a variable number of Battle Entries, one for each Battle in the
Campaign. Within the first section of the Battle Entry is the scenario file name,
the minimum victory level needed to win, the scenario file name to go to after a
win (blank signals end of Campaign), and the scenario file name to go to after a
loss (blank signals end of Campaign).
Campaign scripts can specify a minimum and maximum overall campaign victory
level based for any battle that ends the campaign. Normally, to signal the end of
a campaign, the [NEXT BATTLE IF WIN] and/or the [NEXT BATTLE IF LOSE]
fields are left empty. However, any of the following list of keywords can optionally
be entered there instead, signaling both the end of the campaign and either a
minimum required overall campaign victory (if following [NEXT BATTLE IF WIN])
or a maximum allowed victory (if following [NEXT BATTLE IF LOSE]). This is most
useful for “early ends” to campaigns where you want the final score to reflect the
fact the early end of the campaign more than the success or failure of each battle
along the way. Note that each keyword must start with an underscore.
_total defeat
_major defeat
_tactical defeat
_minor defeat
_minor victory
_tactical victory
_major victory
_total victory
The next section in the Battle Entry is the percentage chance an individual unit has
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of being completely replaced if lost, repaired if damaged (vehicle only), topped off
with full ammo, and brought back to a fully rested state. If the Campaign contains
no Core Units for a particular side, there is no need to fill in that side’s variables.
Note: the very beginning of a Campaign starts out with
a special Campaign Briefing. This is identical to a
normal battle’s briefing, complete with Operational
Order and maps. CM looks for this information in
the Core Units File, which should be loaded when
the Campaign is compiled (see next section)
Here is a sample of a two battle Campaign Script with dummy values inserted:
Note the characters before and after this text. They allow designers to put in comments, or notes, such
as why something was done a certain way. Anything between these characters is ignored by Combat
Mission. Otherwise an error will occur when the Campaign is compiled.
// Alternatively two back slashes can be entered to create a comment. There’s no functional difference
between this method and the previous mentioned method.
/* Campaign Header*/
[PLAYER FORCE] blue// options are: blue/red
/*Battle #1*/
[BATTLE NAME] My First Little Battle // note, do not include “.btt”, just the file name
[WIN THRESHOLD] tactical victory// total defeat, major defeat, tactical defeat, minor defeat, draw, minor victory, tactical victory, major victory, total victory
[NEXT BATTLE IF WIN] My Second Little Battle
[NEXT BATTLE IF LOSE]// a blank signals an end of the campaign
[RED REFIT %] 10
//always express this a number between 0 and 100
/*Battle #2*/
[BATTLE NAME] My Second Little Battle
[WIN THRESHOLD] minor defeat
[NEXT BATTLE IF WIN]// end campaign
[NEXT BATTLE IF LOSE]// end campaign
[RED REFIT %] 10
Combat Mission
Compiling a Campaign
A Combat Mission Campaign consists of a single file (with the extension .CAM) that
contains all the information the game needs to play a Campaign from start to finish.
The single file format ensures that it can be transported from person to person
without missing pieces. It also ensures that players can’t cheat by opening up
individual battles in the Editor to peek or alter elements to make it easier to win.
Note: This means the person making the Campaign must
keep the individual battles or forever lose the ability to make changes to the Campaign!
Compiling a Campaign is technically quite easy, however mistakes in the Script File
are easy to make and that probably means a couple of failed attempts are likely.
Not to worry, though, since Combat Mission gives useful feedback about what
the mistake is that is preventing a compile from happening.
Before starting, put all the files for the Campaign into a single directory. The Core
Units File doesn’t have to be in the same directory, though it does help keep
things tidy. Once this is done, do the following things in this order:
1. Enter the Editor
2. Load the Core Units File
3. Click on the Editor selection popup menu and choose “Make Campaign”
4. A dialog comes up that gives some reminders of what is about to happen.
5. When you click on Make Campaign, an Open Dialog comes up and asks for the
Campaign Script File
6. Select the Campaign Script File and click “Open”.
7. If the Script File contains no errors, a new file, with the .CAM, extension appears
in the Campaigns directory. The file name is taken from the currently open scenario, which should be the Core Units File.
Note: if there are errors, a dialog pops up and says what
the problem is. Simply make the correction needed and repeat the steps above. Since CM stops and
reports the very first error it detects, each error
requires a fix and another compile attempt.
Once a Campaign is successfully compiled, it must be located in the Campaign
directory, in the Game Files folder, in order for Combat Mission to offer it as a
choice in the Campaign option within the game. Campaign files received from
other people also need to go into the Campaign directory in order to be available for play. The size of a Campaign file is directly related to the size of the
combined scenario files that are compiled. Therefore, Campaigns tend to be
several megabytes in size.
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Any regular scenario can be turned into a Quick Battle Map. In order to be picked
for a Quick Battle, the .btt file needs to be placed in the Quick Battle Maps folder
in the game directory. Theoretically you can simply copy an existing scenario
into that folder and see what happens. Unused settings or features (such as any
units on the map) are simply ignored. Practically, there are a number of additional
points to consider when copying maps or when creating them from scratch.
Setup Zones
Quick Battle Maps MUST have valid Setup Zones for Axis and Allied sides. Without
valid Setup Zones units of both sides will probably end up right on top of each
other. Not fun!
AI Plans
Quick Battle Maps MUST have an AI plan for BOTH sides. You can use more than
one plan and you can use as many groups in each plan as you like. The AI player
will randomly assign units into groups.
Note: Since nobody knows which units will be taking
part in a given Quick Battle, it makes sense to create AI plans in a much more generic way than for
regular scenarios.
Victory conditions
Quick Battles consider only OCCUPY terrain objectives and unit casualties for determining victory conditions. All other objective types and parameters are ignored.
All terrain objectives are converted to OCCUPY objectives automatically, and all
Units are part of a force-wide UNIT objective.
Quick Battle scores are determined differently than in Missions. The total point value
is automatically set to 1,000 VP. Out of the 1,000 VP available, a portion will be
allocated to the OCCUPY terrain objectives and the remainder of the VP will be
assigned to the UNIT objective.
The ratio of VP awarded for terrain objectives versus casualties will vary based on
the type of battle, with Meeting Engagements awarding the least VP for terrain
objectives and the most VP for unit casualties, and Assaults awarding the most
VP for terrain objectives while de-emphasizing unit casualties.
The relative VP values of the terrain objectives in a Quick Battle is determined by
the relative VP values that the map designer assigns to each of the objectives.
For example, if a designer creates three terrain objectives, and gives one of the objectives 500 VP while
giving the other two 250 VP each, then in every
Quick Battle on that map, the first terrain objective
will be worth twice as much VP as either of the other two. The ratios of the VPs values are important,
not the actual VP values themselves!Axis and Allied
Sides are interchangeable in QBs. An Axis Attack scenario can be picked for an
Allied attack QB, and the game will automatically switch sides for the players.
Combat Mission
Units on the map
Any units placed on a QB map are simply ignored and deleted, and will not appear
in the QB.
The type of terrain you set for a map determines when it will be available for a QB.
If a player wants to play a city map QB, only maps defined as city maps will be
available for him.
Battle Type
Probe, Attack and Assault maps are selected when either of these options is selected for a QB. Meeting Engagement maps are only selected when the player
chooses to play a Meeting Engagement scenario.
Note: Assault maps automatically provide a certain level
of intel to the attacking player about the defender’s
positions (as one would realistically expect).
Note: Mod Tools are only available for the PC version
at this time.
Two Mod Tools (RezExplode and RezPack) are included in the Mod Tools directory.
Both programs work with “.brz” files, which are “packed” data files containing
the individual sounds and graphics used by Combat Mission. For simplicity, we’ll
refer to the contents of a “.brz” file - the sounds and graphics - as “resources”.
These contents are not normally visible, but can be extracted using RezExplode.
RezExplode takes a “.brz” file and “explodes” it into its individual resources (for
example, “.wav” files for sounds and “.bmp” for graphics). These individual resources can then be edited or replaced by you.
RezPack takes the resources that you have modded, and “packs” them back into a
single “.brz” file. This is not only convenient, but allows users to (de)activate a “mod
pack” easily by moving a single “.brz” file into or out of the CMx2 “Mods” folder.
Inside the main Combat Mission folder is a folder called “Data”. Here is where all
the sounds and graphics for the game are stored. You’ll see files with names like
“Version 100.brz”, “Version 101.brz” and possibly others. This is not, however,
where you will be putting your mods. To mod CMx2, you’ll use RezExplode to
access the contents (resources) of the “.brz” files that ship with the game (like
“Version 100.brz”), then edit the ones you want, and then use RezPack to recombine your modded versions of the sounds and graphics into a new “.brz” file
that you will name.These “.brz” files are then put into the Mods folder (for PC
users, this is located in the My Documents folder; for Mac users, it’s inside the
app package under Resources) to activate the mod.
Loading order
When Combat Mission starts up, it loads all the .brz files it finds in the Mods folder,
as well as the My Documents/../User Data folder. However, it is possible that a
given sound or graphic (say, “tank texture.bmp”) might be contained in more than
one .brz file, and the two files might be different despite having the same name.
Combat Mission has a method to ensure that the “latest” version of a sound or
Game Manual
graphic is always the one used by the game: the .brz file name that is LATER in
alphabetical order is given priority. For example, if “tank texture.jpg” is contained
in both “A.brz” and “B.brz”, the version contained in “B.brz” will be used, and the
one inside “A.brz” will be ignored. Similarly, “Version 101.brz” takes priority over
“Version 100.brz” because it comes later alphabetically.
As you explode the .brz files that come with the game, you’ll notice some duplicates
of various texture graphics and such. The reverse-alphabetical loading order allows later-version .brz files to take priority over the earlier ones. This is important
because you want to make sure that your mods get priority over the sounds and
graphics that ship with the game. See below for further details.
To access the contents of a .brz file, COPY it into the “input” folder inside the RezExplode folder. Now run RezExplode by double-clicking it.
There is no user interface. Just wait a few moments until an “exploded” folder appears. Inside there you’ll find the contents of the .brz file you just exploded. The
files inside the “exploded” folder are the ones you’ll want to consider modding,
and later repacking using RezPack.
When you have finished modding the sounds or graphics you want, you can package
them back up as a new .brz file. Copy your modded files into the “input” folder
inside the RezPack folder. It is OK to copy nested folders here - RezPack will
dig down into the folder hierarchy to find all your modded files.
Run RezPack. There is no user interface. Wait a few moments until a “packed.brz”
file appears. You should rename this file as you wish. It is ready to be moved into
Combat Mission’s “Data” folder (see section below for details).
RezPack also creates a file called “log.txt” or “log error.txt”. Inside this file you’ll see
some useful information. If the file is called “log error.txt”, it means that you accidentally packed two or more resource files with the same name (inside different
nested folders) and the log file will list these “conflicts” at the top of the file. You
will likely want to remove all but one of the conflicting files and run RezPack again.
Also contained in the log.txt file is a list of all the resource files you packed, and
the nested folder hierarchy (if any) they came from.
Mods in Action
Now that you have created your mods as .brz file(s), it is time to see them work
inside Combat Mission. Here is the easiest way to be sure that your mod files get
loading priority over the files that ship standard with Combat Mission.
First, note that any enclosing folder names are included with file names in the alphabetical priority comparison for loading. Now go inside your My Documents/../User
Data/Mods folder and create a new folder called “Z”. Because “Z” comes after
the names of the standard game files (“Version XXX”) you are guaranteed that
any mods you put into the “Z” folder will be loaded and used by Combat Mission.
Second, note that among the .brz mod files you create and put into this “Z” folder,
the alphabetical rule still applies within that folder. So if you have “MyMod1.brz”
and “MyMod2.brz” files both inside the “Z” folder, data from “MyMod2.brz” will
take priority over “MyMod1.brz” for any duplicate contents.
Combat Mission
You may also place single *non-brz* files into the Mods folder (such as individual
WAV or BMP files). Combat Mission can recognize individual BMP or WAV files
even when not packed into a BRZ file. This is not recommended when creating
a “mod pack” for use by others because dozens or hundreds of individual files
are difficult to manage, but it can be useful while you are creating your mod, and
want to test out small edits. Individual files are given loading priority over ALL
.brz files regardless of how they are named.
Don’t remove the “Version XXX.brz” files from the Data folder. The
loading-priority system will ensure that your mods are used when
Don’t monkey with the contents of Combat Mission’s Data folder EVER.
The proper place to put your mods is inside the Mods folder inside the
appropriate My Documents directory (e.g. /My Documents/Battlefront/
Combat Mission/..).
Mods you create and pack as .brz files do NOT have to replace (or
include) all the contents of whatever .brz files you originally “exploded”.
You should RezPack ONLY the resources you modded, and Combat
Mission will locate the others in their original .brz files.
Please note that while you are invited and encouraged to make and
distribute mods for CMx2 so other players can enjoy them, the selling of
mods or including them in compilations which are then sold is prohibited
by the End User License Agreement.
A good place to share your mods is our Repository at
Game Manual
While we are taking utmost care in preparation of this software to avoid bugs, today’s myriad of available
systems, software and hardware configurations makes it impossible to guarantee 100% compatibility.
Below you will find a few known issues as well as a list of contacts available to help out.
An up-to-date Troubleshooting Guide is also available at our webpage:
anti-virus/security software
Our games are encrypted in order to protect them from hackers. This encryption can, depending on
your anti-virus/security software settings, trigger so called “false positives”. This happens e.g. when
you allow your software to flag unknown code (so called “heuristic scanning”) - being encrypted, our
software is more likely to be considered “unknown” than unencrypted software.
All of our games include so-called Digital Certificates with, Inc. as the publisher. If you
see this, then you do not need to worry that the software may be infected, and can safely adjust your
anti-virus/security software settings and/or whitelist the falsely identified file(s). If you don’t know how
to do this, then you can contact your anti-virus software vendor, and we also list a few handy tips in
our Knowledgebase at
“Virtual Machines”, Process Sniffers, Debuggers...
These types of software/developer utilities, while sometimes useful and having their legitimate uses, are
used by hackers to decompile program source code. Our software is protected against these types of
intrusions, and will refuse to launch if it detects access attempts. Not all such tools are transparent to
the user; for example, some Anti-virus software packages use virtualization technology (e.g. “Virtual
Keyboard” or “Sandboxing” toold). If the game does not launch, please first make sure that you do
not have any utilities of this kind running.
On certain systems with multiple video cards a known bug prevents players to select units occasionally.
Turn off the additional video card(s) to solve this problem.
Multiple Video Cards (SLI) very Slow
If you are running multiple nVidia video cards running in SLI mode, download the latest Forceware
drivers (169.21 at least).
Units disappear with Shadows on
This problem seems to affect people with certain combination of newer (8000 series) GeForce cards
and various OS and video driver combinations. Until Nvidia releases a new set of Forceware drivers
that specifically address this problem, simply play the game with shadows disabled (use Alt-W to
toggle shadows on or off).
Level of detail
CM:BN tries hard to keep up framerates and will automatically downsample textures, and adjust model
quality, and level of detail calculations if it detects performance limits (VRAM used up etc.) This may
lead to a subpar graphics quality during gameplay. Often it is a better idea to manually adjust the
model and textures quality downward in the Game Options Menu, leading to better overall look and
faster framerates.
Intro Video
If you would like to disable the intro video playing at game launch, hold down the “V” key at game startup.
This is a toggle and remembered for future launches. If you want to bring the video back, simply keep
“V” pressed again during the next launch.
Tech Support
If you run into a bug, or have problems in running or installing the game, please visit our Tech Support
forum at:
If you do not find a solution to your problem there, please post a support ticket at
Please also do not forget to check regularly for the latest patches to the game at:
You can also do an auto-check to find out if your version of the game is up to date. In your (PC) Start>Program Group or (Mac) game directory, you will find a link called “Check for latest version”. Clicking
Combat Mission
the link will automatically compare your currently installed version of the game with the latest version
available for download, and the results will be displayed in your browser.
For problems with licensing or unlicensing the game, please refer first to the Knowledge Base at:
If you do not find a solution to your problem there, please “Submit a support ticket” there.
Game Manual
Copyright 2014,, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
Combat Mission
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