News from the Eastern Front - my struggle with Mius

Bulletpoint

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So, I finally decided to buy this game, and for the last couple of evenings I have been struggling to learn how it plays. All of you here are probably familiar with it, but I thought I would share some impressions anyway, just off the top of my head.

First of all, it's a very challenging game to learn. But thanks to youtube videos, the in-game tutorial, and plenty of trial and error (and googling), I'm slowly improving. The sometimes broken English in the menus and on the forums only help to set the mood of the Ostfront. Ze Russians.. zhey are ztill ze zame.

It's a very different game than Combat Mission. It feels more realistic in some ways, and less in others. The engagement ranges are much greater, but the weapons also feel more real and deadly. For example, a LMG42 is a very powerful weapon out to 1000m range in Mius, whereas in Combat Mission, it struggles to hit anything at 300m+. In Mius, interlocking machinegun fire arcs actually control ground. So while the maps are bigger, and the amount of platoons smaller than in CM, you defend more by setting up strongpoints than in CM where it's more of a continuous front line.

The explosions and other effects are also much more rough and realistic and gritty than in any other game I played. Seeing a KV1 tank break through the trees and rampage straight through one of my platoons was a pretty terrifying sight - especially as it crushed several of my troops right in their trenches, while their friends could only watch in despair. The ground even deforms as the tank moves over the trench - very impressive when coming from Combat Mission that's still caught in the dark ages in the graphics department.

Another thing I noticed is that in Mius Front, infantry is pretty helpless at close range against tanks, whereas in CM, they quickly take out tanks with hand grenades. I don't know if my troops could have thrown a grenade bundle if they had had a bit more courage, or if magnetic mines and such AT weapons are in the game.

However, for all its advantages, Mius also has some annoying flaws. The setup phase has all the squares of the map colour-coded according to concealment levels, and the strong garish colours are harsh to look at, and unit icons are hard to find on such background. The graphics look quite good when down at ground level, but they look pretty weird when zooming out - each tree and bush casts a completely black shadow on the ground, which gives the landscape a kind of psychedelic feel.

Many of the sounds are very good (at least to my civilian ear) But the sound of incoming mortars is so poorly done that it almost turned me off playing the game. It sounds exactly like they just recorded cheap fireworks going off. I eventually found out that this sound would disappear when I disabled the "advanced sound modelling" or some such thing in the options. However, that also seems to have degraded the other sounds, so it's a mixed blessing.

Well, so far I have played the campaign set in the Saur-Mogila tumulus area several times, but always quit once my mistakes cost me too dearly. My Marders eventually ran out of ammunition because their incompetent commander (me) didn't learn how to resupply them yet.

Interesting fact: It turns out the very same hill where the campaign took place in WW2 has now again come under fire in the Russia-Ukraine war. The memorial the Soviets built on the summit was destroyed by artillery a few years ago, and the statues were scattered in pieces just as the men they were built to honour. History does repeat itself....
 

HOA_KSOP

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Bulletpoint, I feel your pain on the learning curve, it’s a (Russian) bear. But the game is a great battle simulator, which is why in other posts I have stated imo it’s a command simulator, not a game.

It sounds like you are making good progress. There is no doubt the operational component is confusing, things like re-supply and reinforcement are not intuitive and take s minute to figure out. But hang tough, you’ll Get there.

I have to get back into Graviteam, I have been trying to learn Distant Worlds Universe, which is a monster in its own right.

Great post.
 
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Bulletpoint

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Bulletpoint, I feel your pain on the learning curve, it’s a (Russian) bear. But the game is a great battle simulator, which is why in other posts I have stated imo it’s a command simulator, not a game.

It sounds like you are making good progress. There is no doubt the operational component is confusing, things like re-supply and reinforcement are not intuitive and take s minute to figure out. But hang tough, you’ll Get there.

I have to get back into Graviteam, I have been trying to learn Distant Worlds Universe, which is a monster in its own right.

Great post.
Thanks. I'm soldiering on with the same missions and trying to fix my mistakes and improve my approach in each playthrough. Then when I start to get the hang of it, I'll move on to other challenges.

I only realised now that I have to set reinforcement priorities for all the different platoons. Should I always set a priority for each one, or does that deplete overall supply levels? Or maybe it makes it more unlikely that each platoon gets anything - spreading resources too thin?
 

Bulletpoint

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Yesterday I had a situation where my soldiers in trenches were not firing on approaching enemy troops. I saw it happen a couple of times. Fire at will is ON. My troops are experienced, good morale, and they have ammo. Yet the enemy just gets closer and closer and shoot them right there in the trench.

Is this due to the trench/foxholes being flanked? One would think that troops in foxholes would still just be able to turn 90 degrees and shoot left or right. There is LOF.

Or am I forgetting something else?
 

Bulletpoint

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I had a similar thing happen now, with a 75mm LeIG in a trench just watching as an enemy tank got closer and closer. They showed "firing" but never did. when using the target tool, they had 100 pct chance to hit at that short range, and they did have HEAT ammo left. What am I doing wrong here?
 

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Fire arc's maybe? Are your troops being subjected to suppressing fire??
 

Bulletpoint

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Another strange thing: Valentine tanks are much harder to knock out than KV-1. I had some Stugs knock out 4 KV-1 from about 1600m, but when trying to engage Valentines, they just couldn't do it.
 

Bulletpoint

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Fire arc's maybe? Are your troops being subjected to suppressing fire??
No arcs, no suppressing fire. But I did see that they were "designating" for a moment, so that's a sign they got an indirect fire order from their platoon leader. I turned off AI fire control and the designating stopped, but they still didn't want to fire on their own...
 

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Another strange thing: Valentine tanks are much harder to knock out than KV-1. I had some Stugs knock out 4 KV-1 from about 1600m, but when trying to engage Valentines, they just couldn't do it.
Flank shots on the KV's? Maybe it's the Sheffield steel...
 

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Sometimes the AI is finicky, that's been covered in a number of forum posts at the Graviteam site. Can your unit leader order them to fire on the target?
 

Bulletpoint

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Flank shots on the KV's? Maybe it's the Sheffield steel...
Sometimes flank shots, yes. But they just need a couple of penetrations to get taken out of the fight. Valentines can seemingly take any number of hits from the sides and rear and still keep fighting. Best thing I can hope for is to break the tracks, but it still keeps firing.

I'm firing StuG 75mm AP from about 800m distance. In Combat Mission that would be extremely effective.

The game classifies the Valentine as a "light tank".. hah! In Soviet Russia... light tank is heavy tank.
 
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Bulletpoint

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Tank 1, showing all hits:

20200209162804_1.jpg
Tank 1, showing all damaging penetrations (tank is still active)

20200209162820_1.jpg

Tank 2, same story. Lots of hits from the back, at closer range this time. The tank is also operational and firing back at the end of the battle (I ran out of StuG ammo)

20200209203727_1.jpg
 
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HOA_KSOP

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Wow, I see what you are talking about.
 

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You know, I would expect the Matilda to bounce shots like this, but a Valentine? See what you mean.
 

Bulletpoint

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You know, I would expect the Matilda to bounce shots like this, but a Valentine? See what you mean.
Reading the manual yesterday, I found that "trk" means a hit to the track. Nearly all hits were against the track. Even the ones hitting what seems to be the engine bulge count as track hits. So I guess that's why it survives. The track can't get more than 100 pct destroyed.

Is there any way to tell guns to target a specific part of the vehicle? Maybe I somehow selected targeting the tracks?
 

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Maybe the problem is the gun you are shooting with. It’s a low velocity infantry gun. You are probably shooting HE. I think the velocity for that particular gun is what, 200 m/s? Or is this shooting with the Stug III?
 

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Maybe the problem is the gun you are shooting with. It’s a low velocity infantry gun. You are probably shooting HE. I think the velocity for that particular gun is what, 200 m/s? Or is this shooting with the Stug III?
The screenshots show hits by StuG III long barrel versions. Can't remember if they are L/43 or L/48.

The LeiG situation was another incident. In that case, the infantry gun did have HEAT ammo available, and at 100-200m they were shown as having 100 pct hit probability. But did not fire.

It's a very interesting game; I just come across some oddities.
 
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