Frequently Asked Questions for ******************************** * C L O S E C O M B A T * ******************************** by Atomic Games and Microsoft. Version 1.0 June 30, 1996 1 Game Philosophy (why we don't make you micromanage) 2 Why there is no editor, DYO 3 Game Scale 4 Monitor Information 5 The Orders 6 Keyboard shortcuts 7 LOS line 8 How/why the game ends 9 Why there's no pause 10 Second stories and Elevations 11 Command Radius/Troops not obeying 12 Heroes, Bravery, and Cowardice 13 Effectiveness of MGs 14 Soldier Deployment 15 Soldier Visibility 16 Bazookas and Schrecks vs Infantry 17 AI Cheating 18 Enemy Knowledge 19 Moving a Vehicle in Reverse 20 Mortar Indirect Fire 21 What's different in the retail version 1 Game Philosophy (why we don't make you micromanage) _______________________________________________________ We wanted this game to be more of a simulation than a board game. As such, we did not want to burden the player with having to command each and every soldier and tell that soldier what ammo to use, what to shoot at, and where to take cover. Playing the game that way would take hours and completely ruin the experience of the game. While that may be exactly what some players want in a game, it is not the game that we wanted to create. 2 Why there is no editor, DYO _______________________________ A map editor would be impracticle. We have to preprocess the map for LOS and even running on a 9500, this takes special code and 40 or more minutes. And then we have to see how the map data turned out and tweak it for the correct behavior. DYO is a definite possibility for CC2. Being able to select teams to put in play, victory locations and values, setup areas, etc is certainly do-able and adds a lot to the life of the game (posting your favorite battles). We could not do it easily in CC due to precalculated setup locations. If we can make the setup locations dynamic in CC2, we can handle DYO. 3 Game Scale ______________ Scale is dependant on screen resolution, thus, it is about 15 meters per inch at 800 x 600 assuming 13 horizontal inches of viewing area. The official scale is 8 meters per 40 pixels. Soldiers are represented at 2x scale and vehicles are at 1.5x scale so that these are more visible. 4 Monitor Information _______________________ Team Monitor: Scroll list on the far left bottom. Sorted by the team type with the exception that the Company/Platoon Commander Teams are always at the top. Left side: Contains Team Icon (pict of soldiers/vehicle), and Team Quality (a set of bars ranging from none (Conscript) to 4 (Elite). Top Center: Contains the Team Type Name (general description). Background color represents the team's cohesion, or ability to fight. As the color drops from Green to Red or Black, it represents that the team is taking losses. Bottom Center: Contains the Team's Strategic Order. If this order is Green, it is an order you gave. If it is white, the team is doing it's own thing. If it is Red, the team is disobeying you. Right side: Enemy Threat Compass. It represents the direction that team sees the enemy. If the center dot is red, then that team is alse being shot at. Soldier Monitor: Top Left: Same as the Team Monitor Left Side. Top Center: Team Name (more detailed than the Team Type Name) and the Team Orders. Both of these are similar to the Top Center and Bottom Center of the Team Monitor respectively. Top Far Right: Smoke Availability. If not crossed out, this team can place smoke. Top Right: Firepower Graphs. These are graphed at 10s of meters at the number listed, thus the column with an 8 represents firepower at 80 meters. Green, good firepower, grey line, no firepower. This color will also show up on the Fire Line as you drag it across the screen. Vehicle Info: For vehicles, a status panel showing the vehicle condition is displayed. Green indicates functioning; Red, destroyed; and blank, that vehicle does not have that weapon or is immoble. Soldier List: This has the soldier name, action, status and weapon info. Most of this is pretty obvious, the key here is to see if the soldier action is Green, Red, or White (see Team Strategic Order above). Ammo Type consists of the following: AP - Armor Piercing, includes all solid shots such as bullets. HE - High Explosive HT - High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) SM - Smoke SP - Special. This can be anything from Canister (check the M5 at close range) to HVAP used in the M4A3 76. Ammo Count is the number of rounds available of that ammo for that weapon. Note that the rounds are still divided into clips or belts internally, and that the time to reload a clip or belt is taken into account. Watch a soldier with a Garand fire and you will see him fire off 8 rounds, then sit a reload for a while. Physical State: Dead and Incap means this soldier will no longer obey orders and will just lay there. Hurt means the soldier was hit but can keep on going. Mental State: The soldier can go Berserk, Fanatic, Heroic, Panicked or Routed. This is adjusted as stress builds in relation to the soldier's morale and experience. Fatigue: As fatigue increases, the soldier can become winded or later, fatigued. The soldiers desire to follow orders drops with the increase in fatigue, as does the speed at which he moves. Message Monitor: You can click on a message and it will center on the team that issued the message. You can also restrict which priority of message will appear by deselecting the color associated with that message priority. 5 The Orders ______________ You can issue up to 6 orders: Move, Move Fast, Fire, Smoke, Defend, and Hide. Teams that cannot perform the order (e.g. has no smoke grenades) has that affected order dimmed. Move tells the team to move to that location taking the safest route. The team will scatter to cover if fired at and will use overwatch. Move Fast has the team take as fast a route as possible and to do so running. This will tire out a team quickly (Fatigue in the Soldier Monitor) as well as make them vulnerable to enemy fire. Fire (See LOS Line below) Smoke is the same as Fire, but you are placing a Smoke grenade or shell that will produce hindrance causing smoke that will decay in a minute or two. Defend order tells the team to seek cover from enemy fire based on the angle of the defend arc you select. Selecting a narrow arc ensures that all the soldiers will take the best cover vs enemy fire from that direction but be vulnerable to fire from other directions. A wider arc will lessen the amount of cover that a team can get vs any one direction. Think of it as hiding behind a tree, and which side of the tree do you want the soldier to be behind. This is the default order for the Americans and Germans, only the Germans interpret Defend as an Ambush command in that they will not fire unless they see an exposed target, are being fired at, or the enemy is very close. Hide command will keep your guys from firing unless the enemy is within 30 meters. It works best if your team has not been seen. 6 Keyboard shortcuts ______________________ The keys z, x, c, v, b, and n can be used in conjuction with a selected to team to issue Move, Move Fast, Fire, Smoke, Defend, and Hide orders respectively without having to click and hold the mouse on the team. This is very useful for placing mortar fire. Select the area on the overview where you want to fire, select a mortar team in the Team Monitor, hit c, then click on the map where to bring in the fire. No scrolling required. 7 LOS line ____________ The LOS line drawn when issuing a Fire order represents whether or not the team has LOS to the target, and the firepower the team can put on that target. If the LOS line is Red, you have Line of Sight to the target, if it turns Dark Red, you can still shoot there, but you cannot see that location due to visual hindrances along the Line of Sight. If it turns Black, then you cannot shoot there, nor see there. Note that LOS is traced from each soldier in a team to each soldier in the enemy team you have the fire line cursor over. Thus if one soldier in the looking team is standing, he can shoot over the wall while the rest of his prone team members cannot. This can also cause a successfully placed fire marker to not cause anyone to fire as everyone that can fire is no longer in LOS. Click and drag on the fire marker to recheck your team's LOS. If you are not pointed over an enemy team, but over open ground, LOS is traced to the highest terrain object within the vicinity. Thus, you can trace over a wall to a building, but cannot trace over a wall to open ground. The color of the dot at the end of the fire line represents the amount of firepower this team can deliver at that range. If the fire cursor is over open ground or an enemy soldier, it uses the Vs Infantry rating. If it is over a vehicle, it will use the Vs Armor rating to determine what color to display. 8 How/why the game ends _________________________ The game ends when an internal timer set for between 30 and 120 seconds goes off. This timer is started when either both side's Force Morale is in the Yellow, or one side's Force Morale is in the Red. Once started, the Force Morale bars begin to flash. This represents that one or both sides will to fight has been lost and the troops will start to pull back. In the case of one side going into the Red, that side will then start to rout. The winner is determined as follows: If one side's Force Morale is Red, the other side won, regardless of score. This represents routing the enemy from field of battle. If the other side is still in the Green, it will be a Major Victory or better, else it will be a Minor Victory or better for the other side. If both side's Force Morale is Yellow or both are Red, then points are used to determine the victor. Victory location points vary from location to location. The bigger the font used in the victory location name, the more it is worth. This method allows a player to develop a strategy of either defending / taking victory locations or killing the enemy. We do not force you to do both. There is also a game end due to inaction. If no shot has been fired or no order issued by the player for the past 2 minutes of game time, the battle will be declared ended due to inaction. If you are playing as the Germans and are attempting to set up an ambush in the rear, and the Americans are advancing very slowly, you can just re-issue a Defend or Hide order every minute to keep the game from ending. But believe me, in the campaign game, you want the game to end as soon as possible if playing the Germans. 9 Why there's no pause ____________________ Pausing the game and issuing orders would ruin it. We actually did useability tests on live subjects, with a pause feature in the game. We saw the players issue a lot of orders, let the game run for maybe 10 seconds, pause, issue more orders, etc. This destroyed the whole feel of the game. Its also totally unworkable for 2-player network games. If you feel the game is moving too quickly, try slowing it down from the options menu. 10 Second stories and Elevations _________________________________ Elevations / Hills were things we would have liked to put in the game but the extra graphics needed to represent them were not possible for us to put in. They will be in for CC2. Multi-story buildings will possibly never be put in due to the problems with the interface (Move Upstairs, Move Downstairs) and viewing multiple levels (View First Floor, View Basement, View Roof, etc) causes. Also, imagine trying to tell where enemy fire came from, directing fire vs different levels, determining which buildings have how many levels, etc. 11 Command Radius/Troops not obeying _____________________________________ There is no command radius but the distance from a leader will affect how well the team obeys its orders. Given everything else is the same, a poor quality team moving with your company commander's team is more likely to carry out it's order than it would if the only leader was on the other side of the map. If that team you ordered to move got shot at, its possible that they decided against moving. Or they started to move, got shot at, and decided to run back to cover. A lot depends on their experience level and their surrounding terrain. In either case, the team will constantly re-evaluate their ability to make that move. If they decide its safe, or they decide to obey the order, they'll try again. 12 Heroes, Bravery, and Cowardice __________________________________ Heroic soldiers don't become Audie Murphy, and they are likely to "recover" from it. Unlike ASL, when a soldier goes heroic, he does not gain special abilities. He's just more likely to stay functional in the heat of battle. Bravery points are awarded for when a soldier goes heroic, fanatic, or berserk. The soldier also gets bravery points for taking a victory location. Cowardice points are awarded when a soldier routs or becomes panicked. Leaders get bravery and cowardice points for winning or losing the battle (the bigger the win/loss, the more the points) as they are responsible for the outcome. Note that you are represented on the battlefield as the 2nd Lt. that commands the first team listed in the Team Monitor. In the campaign game, you get to name that soldier. 13 Effectiveness of MGs ________________________ An M4 cannot be killed by an MG but can be killed by the Panzerfaust that the loader in the MG team carries. Rule #1 of survival with American armor: Never move closer than 60 meters to a potential german location. Even 120 meters is too close if there is a Panzerscreck team near. As for the MG killing halftracks, this is why the M3 HT series was known as "Purple Heart Boxes". With only 6mm at a 20o slope of frontal chasis armor (10mm effective) and 12mm at 20o slope frontal upper structure (17mm effective), the German MG42 could easily penetrate it at close range (less than 200m or so). While the MG won't necessarily destroy the M3 HT at this range, it can injure or kill the occupants resulting in a soft kill. Also watch out for the MG42 when you are in a wooden building at very close range (50 meters or so). That gun (as well as the US 50cal) can rip right through the walls making it much safer to be outside the building in some nice big shellhole or foxhole. One of the strategies a tester came up with is to deploy a couple of MG42 teams in the interior of a large stone building so they could not be shot at by the Americans until they entered the building, at which time the MG42s opened up, shredding the interior wooden walls between them and the Americans as well as the Americans themselves. 14 Soldier Deployment ______________________ The amount the team bunches up depends on their experience and the amount of cover in the area they are trying to deploy in. Inexperienced teams will tend to bunch up more and even experienced teams will bunch up if the cover within their "deploy zone" is limited to a small location. The deploy zone consists of a rectangle about 8 meters wide and 24 meters long, perpendicular to the axis of advance. 15 Soldier Visibility ______________________ If you are having trouble seeing your soldiers, try using the Team Monitor to select the team. Double clicking on a team in the Team Monitor will center the map on that team and highlight it. Enemy soldiers may be hard to see just because they are shadowed. If a team has just been spotted but no one got a good look at the team, they will initially be displayed as shadows to let you know something is there even if you don't know what it is. As more information comes available, they will change into visible soldiers. 16 Bazookas and Schrecks vs Infantry _____________________________________ Bazookas and Panzerschrecks were used quite often vs infantry in buildings / behind walls. The Germans even referred to the Bazooka as a shoulder 75. The game will limit usage of these weapons in this fashion if there are tank assets that have yet to be dealt with. 17 AI Cheating _______________ The AI does not cheat. We put a lot of effort into making sure that the AI is playing with the same rules as the player. Move Out does NOT equate to AI control. The AI performs many other actions to try to coordinate attacks, provide suppression fire, etc. Move Out causes your troops to move forward to engage the enemy, and then they will keep on trying to advance. 18 Enemy Knowledge ___________________ Selecting an Enemy Team will display varios information about that enemy team. The amount is dependant on how well spotted the enemy team is. Knowledge accumulates about an enemy team as time progresses and the enemy is doing things in LOS of a friendly team. It is also affected by proximity to the enemy and the cover the enemy is in. Thus, a just spotted enemy team in a building will only give you what type of team it is and number of soldiers. Only if you get close, or spend a long time in LOS of this team will this knowledge increase. If this is not the case for you, make sure the enemy intelligence option is off in the Custom preferences. 19 Moving a Vehicle in Reverse _______________________________ Vehicles will use reverse, but only if they are given a Move command, not a Move Fast command. The move also has to be of a short range. Using Move Fast will cause the tank to get there as fast as possible, not a safe as possible. 20 Mortar Indirect Fire ________________________ The indirect fire model for mortars was simplified so the player would not have to be concerned with spotting rounds, etc. They are handled abstractly. The rate of fire of a mortar is about 1 round / 6 seconds, but note that the delay could be much greater if the mortar team repositioned themselves due to incoming fire, the mortar firer was suppressed by enemy fire, or the mortar jammed (fired a dud round). 21 What's different in the retail version __________________________________________ The sounds file used in the demo is a subset of the sounds in the game. Two sounds, the Berserk scream, and the out of armor sounds were left out due to their size. Also, the Save Replay, Campaign Game, and all the other Maneuvers are enabled in the retail version as well as the Help system which is really immense.