Hi, welcome to this post, Welcome to Blitzkrieg Anthology – Guide to the Crimson Fields and Crimson Skies Mod This guide contains gameplay, informations, basic builds, solutions guidelines and a lot more.
A short introduction to the Crimson Fields, Crimson Skies mod that describes the many kinds of units, how the game is played, and other such things that have been altered.
This guide is aimed at those that are somewhat familiar with Blitzkrieg in its original form. However, new players shouldn’t find any great difficulty in picking up CFCS, as there is nothing inherently “gamey” from the stock/vanilla game that you need to understand to play CFCS. Hopefully, it’s more intuitive and straightforward.
Towed/Man Portable Artillery in CFCS comes in a wide variety of forms. Artillery is capable of direct fire, indirect fire, or both, and can generally be sorted into the following categories;
- Medium/General Purpose Machine Guns
- Heavy Machine Guns
- Light Mortars
- Medium Mortars
- Heavy Mortars
- Light Anti-Tank Guns
- Medium Anti-Tank Guns
- Heavy Anti-Tank Guns
- Light Infantry Guns
- Heavy Infantry Guns
- Light Anti-Aircraft Guns
- Medium Anti-Aircraft Guns
- Heavy Anti-Aircraft Guns
- Fixed Frame Rocket Artillery
- Wheeled Rocket Artillery
- Field Guns
- Light Howitzers
- Heavy Guns
- Heavy Howitzers
These are tripod-mounted Machine Guns, often heavier designs than those carried in Infantry Squads. Medium/GPMGs are rifle-calibre weapons, such as the British Vickers, Soviet Maxim or German MG34, and Heavy Machine Guns are larger, heavy calibre weapons such as the Soviet DShK or American M2HB. They are good for defensive purposes, and can fire upon low flying aircraft with some small success. Heavy Machine Guns can even be successful against light armoured vehicles, such as half-tracks or scout cars.
These are indirect fire support weapons, firing on a high arc. Light Mortars are those below 75mm in calibre and are usually carried by Infantry Squads themselves, but some are found as dedicated artillery units. Medium Mortars are those between 75mm and 85mm, and are typically man-portable. Heavy Mortars are of 85mm upward in calibre, and typically require a hauler, although some variants are light enough to be broken down and man-ported. They lack range and penetration, and their small shell size for their calibre limits explosive power, but they are light and very portable and give great suppressive fire support to Infantry.
These are usually dedicated anti-tank weapons, although some multi-purpose guns exist. Light Anti-Tank Guns can range from Heavy Anti-Tank Rifles, of around 20mm calibre, up to fully-fledged Guns of 47mm calibre. Medium Anti-Tank Guns are those of 50mm upward, usually being of around 57mm. Heavy Anti-Tank Guns are of 75mm upward, with most being too heavy to be manhandled into new positions by their crews, instead requiring a hauler.
These are not widely used weapons because their duties may be fully replaced by Anti-Tank Guns firing HE rounds, but they were used by numerous forces during the historical period. They are essentially direct-firing, low-velocity weapons designed to support infantry; nevertheless, they perform poorly against tanks unless equipped with HEAT ammo. Light Infantry Guns are typically 75mm calibre or smaller and can be manhandled to keep up with Infantry advances. Heavy Infantry Guns are typically 150mm in calibre and must be moved by transporters.
These are specialized anti-aircraft weapons, albeit their calibre and idea differ widely. Light AA guns typically range in calibre from 12.7mm to 20mm and are frequently massed into multiple barrelled batteries, such as the American 0.50Cal M55 or German 2cm FlaKVierling. They are often lightweight enough to be handled. Medium AA guns are also often automatic and range in calibre from 37mm to 40mm. They are too heavy for their workers to manage. hefty AA guns are usually semi-automatic at best and considerably too hefty to operate, with calibres ranging from 75mm to 120mm. They are usually ineffectual against low-flying targets, but they can be extremely destructive to high-flying Level Bombers. They are also good multi-purpose weapons due to their high muzzle velocity, which make them ideal Heavy Anti-Tank Guns.
Rocket Artillery of the period is almost equally split between self-propelled (usually truck or tank mounted, see “SPG” section) and towed/stationary types. Wheeled Rocket Artillery is usually light enough to be manhandled by it’s crew, although given the large rocket blast created it’s normally advisable to have a hauler nearby to move to a new firing position quickly. Fixed Frame Rocket Artillery is either in permanent locations, or in easily broken down packs that can then be man-ported.
These weapons are classic artillery pieces comprising Field Guns under 100mm in calibre, and Howitzers under 105mm in calibre. Field Guns fire in a low, shallow arc, with Howitzers firing in a high, curving arc. Field Guns are rapid firing for artillery and good at barrage fire, although their penetrative power is low. Light Howitzers tend to be slower firing, but better at hitting targets behind cover and damaging buildings, Infantry in trenches, etc. Both types can generally be manhandled by their crews.
These big calibre guns are among the heaviest weaponry available. They are sluggish to fire, with some only capable of one round every two or three minutes, but they are strong. Heavy Guns, like their smaller counterparts, fire on a low, shallow arc, but Heavy Howitzers fire on a high, diving arc. Heavy Guns are most adapted to dealing with fortifications, using their penetrative power to shatter through concrete, but Heavy Howitzers are better suited to dealing with entrenched adversaries or those behind obstructions.
The term “Self-Propelled Guns” in CFCS covers several types of vehicles. Unlike in vanilla Blitzkrieg, most self-propelled guns are now incapable of indirect fire. For details on whether a specific vehicle is capable of indirect fire, see it’s entry in the unit encyclopedia. This is usually determined by that vehicle’s historical role, the sighting equipment it was fitted with etc. Broadly, the different types of SPG can be categorised as the following;
- Tank Destroyers (TDs)
- Assault Guns
- Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA)
- Self-Propelled Rocket Artillery (SPRA)
- Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns (SPAAGs)
Tank Destroyers (TDs)
Tank Destroyers are self-propelled guns designed explicitly to destroy armoured vehicles. They vary in form, with US TD’s being turreted and essentially tanks bereft of machine gun armament, early German Panzerjagers being lightly armoured self-propelled anti-tank guns, and Soviet TD’s and late war German Jagdpanzers being heavy armoured casemated guns. Their combining factor however is a high velocity, powerful main gun. Some early models are even half-tracked vehicles.
Assault Guns are essentially self-propelled and armoured Infantry Guns, used for close support of Infantry with direct fire. Some of these vehicles were later modified into or used as multi-purpose Tank Destroyers, such as the German StuG or Soviet SU-152/ISU-122/ISU-152 family. Unlike the vanilla game, these units are not capable of indirect fire, as this was not their role.
Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA)
Self-Propelled Artillery is a term that covers such vehicles as the US M7 Priest or German Hummel. These vehicles, unlike Assault Guns, were designed specifically to be self-propelled mounts for conventional, indirect artillery. These vehicles are capable of indirect fire. Often the delineation between two very similar vehicles, such as the US T19 HMC (a half-tracked SPA Piece) and US T30 HMC (a half-tracked Assault Gun) is due to this role distinction.
Self-Propelled Rocket Artillery (SPRA)
Rocket Artillery of the period is almost equally split between self-propelled and towed/stationary types (see the “Artillery” section). Self-Propelled Rocket Artillery is mounted on trucks, half-tracks or modified tank chassis, ranging from completely unarmoured, such as (most of) the Soviet Katyusha family to the American T34 Caliope, an M4A1 Sherman with a mounted rocket system still capable of serving as a Medium Tank. The inaccuracy of Rocket Artillery means that most systems are capable only of barrage fire.
Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns (SPAAGs)
Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns (SPAAGs) are an emerging unit type during the period, with almost no units of the type existing at the beginning of the conflict, and most major armed forces putting one into service by war’s end. They exist in two basic forms, with most being armed with a battery of Light AA Guns to deal with fast-moving, low level threats. Some vehicles were produced with Medium AA Guns, giving particular mobility to these useful weapons.
The bread and butter of the original game, CFCS has a bit more of a combined arms approach. Armor, that is to say the collective term for Armoured Vehicles, is now split into several different forms.
- Light Vehicles
- Scout Cars
- Armoured Cars
- Light Tanks
- Medium/Cavalry/Cruiser Tanks
- Heavy/Infantry Tanks
- Close Support Tanks
- Flamethrower Tanks
This category covers both motorcycles and light four wheeled combat vehicles such as armed Jeeps. Although unarmoured and lightly armed, these vehicles are capable of scouting and are fast moving and stealthy.
Scout Cars are lightly armoured, lightly armed vehicles designed for scouting and reconnaissance. They are capable of scouting, and quite stealthy, and some carry Anti-Tank Rifles.
Better armoured and armed than their smaller brethren, Armoured Cars are often capable of light combat operations on their own in addition to scouting and screening for heavier armour. Towards the end of the war especially, they carry armour and armament approaching that of Light Tanks.
Light Tanks are the lightest tracked, turreted combat vehicles. Some are straightforward combat vehicles, suffering the penalties of their larger brethren in terms of vision range and spotting ability. However, some Light Tanks are used as Reconnaissance Vehicles, taking over from Armoured Cars. Whether specific types of Light Tank can be used for scouting is listed in their encyclopaedia entries.
These are the standard, main striking arm of the armoured forces of a nation. The exact terminology varies depending on nation, and the balance of armour, speed and weaponry that a design possesses, but all are rather myopic regarding vision range and spotting ability. (a trait shared with all fully armoured vehicles. See “basic concepts”)
These are the heaviest combatants on the battlefield. Again, their exact nature and terminology depends on the nation and time period, and their balance of armour, speed and weaponry, but both types feature thick armour and a generally low turn of speed.
Close Support Tanks
These tanks are armed with weaponry designed primarily to support or face Infantry, for example short-barrelled howitzers, spigot mortars and the like. These guns often trade muzzle velocity for destructive capability, and so are ineffective against armoured vehicles.
These tanks are armed with short-ranged flamethrowers, often replacing their primary weapons or requiring the fitting of a smaller calibre main gun to fit. Flamethrowers are specialized weapons that excel at dealing with entrenched or fortified Infantry.
A supporting arm, these vehicles are more important than ever in CFCS, representing the trailing edge of combat more than the original game. The roles of some vehicles have been changed, and some types expanded into new roles to better represent their historical roles.
- Gun Tractors
- Platoon Command Vehicles
- Armoured Personnel Carriers
- Engineering Vehicles
- Armoured Recovery Vehicles
Unarmoured and with generally poor off-road performance, these vehicles are never the less vital to keep your army in the field, supplying both ammunition and reinforcements. Some armies fielded limited numbers of half-tracked and fully-tracked supply vehicles to overcome the off-road limitations of wheeled trucks.
Gun Tractors are specialist vehicles designed to tow artillery pieces. They can be wheeled, half-tracked or fully tracked. They are largely interchangeable with trucks, although they do have greater towing capabilities and should be kept for artillery duties. Horse-drawn Limbers also fall under this category.
Unlike the original game, where ambulances slowly healed nearby infantry, in CFCS, these vehicles now can reinforce Infantry Squads and Artillery Pieces. Some nations field armoured ambulances.
These vehicles have been significantly improved since the original game. They now have their proper armour values, and the benefit of armament, usually a Medium or Heavy Machine Gun. They can be used as trucks, and have all the same capabilities (although usually have less towing capabilities, as they weren’t designed to haul guns)
Platoon Command Vehicles
These are specialist half-tracks, usually employed by the Germans, armed with various weaponry beyond that of usual Infantry Half-Tracks (for example, 3.7cm Anti-Tank Guns). They are combat vehicles rather than being able to supply ammunition or reinforcements, and as their name suggests, are intended to be used by Platoon and Company HQ Squads.
Armoured Personnel Carriers
A late war advancement on Half-Tracks, Armoured Personnel Carriers are fully-tracked Armoured Carriers, often based on tank chassis, intended to carry Infantry into battle. They are also frequently armed, to support their disembarked Infantry when they engage in combat. As with Half-Tracks, they can supply ammunition and reinforcements.
These are specialist trucks (or horse-drawn carts) used for all forms of battlefield engineering.
Armoured Recovery Vehicles
These are armoured, tracked and often armed vehicles used to perform battlefield engineering tasks whilst under fire. Although their crews still need to disembark (and be exposed to fire) to perform their tasks, the vehicles themselves are far better protected and, therefore able to perform their duties under battlefield conditions than unarmoured Engineering Vehicles.
Aircraft in CFCS are far more varied in form and capabilities than in the original game. The form, formation and role of Airborne forces has also been changed considerably (see “Infantry” section) . Aircraft can be divided into the following categories;
- Spotter Aircraft
- Photo-Reconnaissance Aircraft
- Heavy Fighters
Ground Attack Aircraft
- Ground Attack Aircraft
- Dive Bombers
- Anti-Armor Aircraft
- Light Bombers
- Medium Bombers
- Heavy Bombers
These are slow, low-flying, multi-purpose spotting aircraft that can reconnoiter an area or spot for artillery. Some have defensive machine guns.
These are fast, high-flying aircraft that use cameras to photograph an area. They reveal large battlefield areas and are often too high and too fast to be intercepted by enemy fighters or shot down by enemy AA. They are usually unarmed, as they rarely face interception.
These are single-engined, air superiority aircraft that are used to sweep the sky of enemy aircraft and deter them from attempting to launch air patrols of their own. Fighters may also arrive on map as Ground Attack Aircraft, using their guns to strafe ground targets and sometimes armed with additional bombs and rockets underwing.
These twin-engined, heavily armed fighter aircraft often trade maneuverability and speed for firepower and range. Of varying success in the air superiority role, they are also seen as Ground Attack Aircraft, often using bombs and/or rockets in addition to their formidable fixed gun armament. Some have defensive machine guns.
Ground Attack Aircraft
As well as being an overarching term covering all low-level attack aircraft, this term also covers specialist aircraft designed specifically for the ground attack role, such as the Soviet Il-2 Shturmovik or the British Hurricane Mk.IV. They are frequently heavily armed with fixed guns and capable of carrying significant payload in the form of bombs, rockets or bomblet canisters. Some carry defensive machine guns.
A particular fad of the 1930s, Dive Bombers are precision bombing aircraft used for low level pinpoint attacks on targets, frequently used as a form of “flying artillery”. They tend to carry light payloads and little or no fixed gun armament. Some carry defensive machine guns.
These are specialist aircraft, fitted with large calibre guns or shaped charged bomblets intended for precise attacks on enemy armor formations. Such aircraft include the Soviet Il-2 Type 3M (37mm), British Hurricane Mk.IID or German Henschel Hs-129.
These are single-engined or twin-engined aircraft, usually from the 1930s, used for both level bombing and shallow dive attacks. Some carry light defensive machine gun armament.
These are twin-engined (rarely tri-motor) aircraft used to level bomb (and in rare cases, shallow dive and strafe) targets. Most are equipped with several defensive machine guns, and fly at considerable altitudes, requiring Heavy AA Guns or Fighter Aircraft to reach them (when level bombing).
These are twin-engined or four-engined aircraft used to carpet bomb areas, normally used against strategic targets but occasionally pushed into the tactical battlefield role. They are all heavily defended with multiple defensive machine guns, and fly at altitudes that mean only the most powerful Heavy AA or most high performance Fighter Aircraft can reach them. Their attacks are inaccurate but devastating.
These aircraft are (usually) unarmed transport aircraft used for transporting and delivering paratroopers. In CFCS, paratroopers are delivered in Platoon sized sticks from each aircraft.
One of the largest areas of change in CFCS is in the form of Infantry. Infantry has now been reorganized into properly formed Squads/Sections (the terminology varies based on nation, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll stick to using Squads), comprised of the historically correct number of ranks, with the correct weaponry for the period. Infantry also has different skill levels represented, in four levels from Conscript, through Regular, Crack to Elite. These skill levels mostly effect accuracy with weapons, with higher skill levels being far more deadly. Whilst the weaponry involved can vary massively, these different organisational forms can be categorised in the following broad ways;
- Rifle Squads
- Assault Squads
- Motor Squads
- Armored/Panzerschutzen/Panzergrenadier Squads
- Platoon/Company HQ Squads
- Paratrooper Squads
- Glider Infantry Squads
- Machine Gun Squads
- Anti-Tank Squads
- Mortar Squads
- Flamethrower Squads
- Sniper Teams
- Sapper Teams
- Heavy Machine Gun Teams
- Gun Crews
These squads are the core of your Infantry Platoons. Usually, three such Squads, combined with a Platoon HQ Squad, form a Rifle Platoon, although precise organisation can vary with time period, nation and arm of service. Their composition again varies but typically, they feature an NCO, often armed with a Submachine Gun, around eight Privates with Rifles, and a team of two to three men armed with Pistols or Rifles supporting a Light Machine Gun, for a total of about 12 to 14 men depending on time period and nation.
Rifle Platoons had an organic pool of weapons that they could draw upon to swap out amongst the men in their Rifle Squads. Chief amongst these were Submachine Guns, and frequently during periods of close combat, such as the Normandy Landings, the Battle of Monte Cassino, the Battle of Caen etc, Company Commanders would order these Submachine Guns be issued to Rifle Platoons and distributed to the men in Rifle Squads, in lieu of their usual Rifles. This increased their short ranged firepower massively, at the cost of long ranged capabilities. These Assault Squads represent these close combat equipped Squads, as well as representing German and Soviet Submachine Gun squads, which were permanent formations that could replace a single Rifle Squad in a Platoon (in German Rifle Platoons) or form entire Companies of Submachine Gun armed close combat specialists (in Soviet usage). Such PPsH-41 armed infantry were also used as Desant Infantry – Infantry that rode into battle on tanks.
As infantry grew more motorized, deploying trucks and other light vehicles to boost strategic mobility, entire divisions were eventually motorized, giving rise to Motor Squads. These formations are frequently smaller in size than conventional Rifle Squads in order to fit within the tiny trucks employed in the early 1940s when such formations were initially developed. Support weapons, such as Anti-Tank Rifles, were also carried by these Squads, rather than being pooled into Support Weapon Platoons as with conventional Infantry Platoons. Motor/Motor Rifle organization was utilized by the British Army and the Red Army in both truck-mounted Motorised Divisions and later Mechanised Infantry Divisions, which utilised US-built M3 and M9 Half-Tracks.
Similar in concept originally to Motorised Infantry formations, Armored Infantry (US Army) or Panzerschutzen (German Forces, Pre-1942) or Panzergrenadiers (German Forces, 1942 onwards) evolved into aggressive formations using their Half-Tracks strategic and tactical maneuverability, attacking from their Half-Tracks and using their vehicles as a basis for support weapons. As with Motor Infantry, these Squads tend to be smaller than regular Infantry Squads to fit into Half-Tracks of the time, although their heavier weaponry and the weapons of their vehicles usually make up for their reduced numbers.
Platoon/Company HQ Squads
Not a specific Squad type on it’s own, rather being specific to different formations (for example, Panzergrenadiers have their own Platoon HQ Squads), these two Squad types are the Headquarters elements of their respective formations. For example, three Rifle Squads will be commanded by a Platoon HQ Squad, the entire formation producing a Rifle Platoon. Three such Platoons will be commanded by a Company HQ Squad, forming a Rifle Company. These Platoons often have Support Platoons, covered later, attached to provide heavy weapons support, but these HQ Squads are only attached to the Rifle Squads themselves. They often feature organic heavy weapons support themselves, for example, the British Platoon HQ 40 Section features a Mortarman carrying an Ordnance ML 2 inch Mortar, providing close range HE support for his Rifle Platoon.
Paratrooper Squads are Squads of Infantry trained, equipped and organized for the arduous task of jumping into combat from Transport Aircraft via parachute. Airborne Squads, Paratroopers and Glider Infantry, are considered Crack Infantry, better skilled than regular Infantry, given their training and professionalism. Paratrooper Squads may be found in two forms. In some situations they are organised much as regular Rifle Squads, formed into conventional Squads, with Platoon HQ Squads. If called into a map via Transport Aircraft, however, the entire Platoon is commanded as one.
Glider Infantry Squads
The other half of Airborne Infantry, the “Glider Riders” are the less glamorous but equally valuable part of the airborne operation, riding into battle in combat gliders. They are usually comprised of smaller Squads, organized to fit into the small gliders available. (British Glider Infantry came in two Squad sizes, 7-man and 5-man, with the smaller Hadrian Glider being able to carry one of each Squad, and the larger Horsa able to carry an entire Platoon). Glider Infantry Squads are usually no better equipped than their Parachute-equipped brethren, but their Companies or Battalions are able, by virtue of Glider landing, to have far heavier support weaponry.
Machine Gun Squads
Machine Gun Squads are Support Squads, assigned as part of Support Platoons for Rifle Companies. They lend extra firepower to a Rifle Company where needed. They are usually armed with the same Light Machine Guns as found in Rifle Squads, although some carry heavier weaponry.
Anti-Tank Squads are Support Squads assigned as part of Support Platoons for Rifle Companies. They give Rifle Companies organic Anti-Tank capabilities, although the weaponry they carry is not as robust or reliable as proper Anti-Tank Guns. Depending on period and nationality, this weaponry can vary from Anti-Tank Rifles, to Anti-Tank Grenade Launchers, to Infantry Anti-Tank weapons like the PIAT, Bazooka or Panzershrek. These Squads are not widespread; usually they would only be present at the rate of one such Squad per Battalion.
Mortar Squads are Support Squads, assigned as part of Support Platoons for Rifle Companies. They lend important organic fire support for Rifle Companies in armies where Light Mortars are massed into dedicated Support Squads, rather than being spread amongst Platoon or Company HQ Squads.
Flamethrower Squads are Support Squads, assigned as part of Support Platoons for Rifle Companies. They are specialist assault Squads, mainly used for assaulting entrenched and fortified positions. Man-portable Flamethrowers are short-range, meaning their operators must close to hazardous distances to engage the enemy.
Sniper Teams are specialized Support Teams used to scout enemy positions and to pick off important targets, such as gun crews and enemy officers. They comprise of a Sniper, armed with a scoped Rifle, and a Spotter, armed with a Rifle, Carbine or Submachine Gun, equipped with binoculars and trained in spotting targets. They are capable at sneaking and avoiding being seen, even when firing.
Sapper Teams man Trucks, Half-Tracks, Engineering Vehicles and ARVs, being deployed when those vehicles are given orders. They are typically armed with Rifles, Carbines or Submachine Guns and will defend themselves if attacked.
Heavy Machine Gun Teams
Heavy Machine Gun Teams man Medium/GPMG and Heavy Machine Guns (and similar weapons), the team is comprised of two Privates armed with Rifles and a Junior NCO armed with a Rifle or Submachine Gun. If their crewed weapon is destroyed, or they are attacked whilst moving it, they will defend themselves.
Gun Crews are Six-Man crews that all other artillery pieces, from Mortars up to the largest Heavy Artillery piece. They are usually comprised of five Gunners armed with Rifles, Carbines or Submachine Guns and an NCO armed similarly. If their crewed weapon is destroyed, they will defend themselves.
Although not widely associated with the period, Cavalry still played a considerable part during the 2nd World War. Most Cavalry of the period is armed with Carbines, and lead by an Officer armed either with a Pistol or also with a Carbine. Cavalry Squads can operate independently, with two Squads forming a Troop, and two Troops forming a Squadron. They move rapidly compared to Infantry, but of course cannot occupy trenches or buildings and are very vulnerable to artillery fire.
So, that’s the unit types and their changes, uses etc. out of the way. So, what’s this section? Well, there are a few basic concepts that have changed in CFCS compared to basic Blitzkrieg.
Scouting and Unit Sight Power
A core concept in CFCS is Unit Sight Power. Generally, the more “buttoned up” a unit is, the less capable it is of seeing units within its sight radius. Your tank may drive straight past those carefully hiding enemy Infantry Squads, whereas your own Infantry, unburdened by tiny vision slits and periscopes, will quickly see them.
There are exceptions to this rule. Units with “Scouting Functions” listed next to their role in the Unit Encyclopaedia have excellent Sight Power (that is, the ability to spot concealed enemy units). These units might still be fully armoured, “buttoned up” units, such as Armoured Cars or Light Tanks. Infantry also has good sight power, and a combined arms approach, with Infantry, Armor and supporting Artillery, will yield the most success.
In the original Blitzkrieg, all artillery was quite rapid firing, accurate and robust. Now, not so much. Why is this? Well this is for several reasons. Artillery isn’t that accurate in reality. You couldn’t, not in 1940 at least, fire a shell from several miles away, and pinpoint blast a tank. Nor would that round have the penetrative power, or the right shell type, to damage that tank, for the most part. Nor would the gun crew firing it be capable of firing 15 to 20 rounds a minute continuously, especially not from a moments notice.
I will spare you the technical nitty-gritty, but in CFCS, indirect artillery fire is now much more inaccurate, and shells fired on such trajectories have far less penetrative power than those fired on direct trajectories (which are often APHE, HEAT Shells or Solid Shots, the precise types listed per gun in their Unit Encyclopaedia entries). Artillery can only Barrage fire at targets beyond direct fire range (unlike the original game, where they could Barrage fire at targets at any range) which again, prevents artillery being overwhelmingly powerful. Artillery shells do now have a greater effect on exposed Infantry however; shrapnel and concussive blast are extremely…unpleasant.
New Weapon Types
CFCS features a number of new weapon types that do not feature in the original game. Infantry may be equipped with Rifle Grenades and Light Mortars, both of which give them some organic fire support. Both can be decisive in combat, as they are formidable force multipliers. CFCS also features flamethrowers, which whilst short-ranged (Man-portable ones especially), are devastating against Infantry in trenches, fortifications or buildings. Finally, Ground Attack Aircraft in CFCS may be armed with Air-to-Ground Rockets. Whilst very inaccurate, these weapons can be very powerful in saturation attacks on enemy columns.
Infantry formations have been reformed in the CFCS. Infantry is no longer represented by single, independent Squads, but by a hierarchy of linked Squads, each with a different role to play. Rifle Squads will often form the backbone of your infantry units. A Platoon HQ Squad is required for every three Rifle Squads. (Most maps are set up to provide this fundamental organization. Of course, losses and wartime conditions meant that this did not occur all of the time, even in actuality). The Rifle Squads have the majority of the firepower, consisting of Rifles and some sort of Light Machine Gun, with appropriate NCOs and Junior NCOs in Command and SiC. The Platoon HQ Squad consists of an Officer and Adjutant, as well as runners and any supporting personnel. (This changes based on the country and the period). The officer has binoculars and a good field of vision. In most circumstances, infantry can shoot further than they can see, therefore employing your Officers and their binoculars to increase your Infantry’s sight range and maximize their efficacy is critical. Light Mortars, carried by Infantry, Rifle Grenades, Medium and Heavy Mortars (now with significantly expanded range compared to the original game), and tripod-mounted Medium and Heavy Machine Guns are all essential for assisting Infantry attacks and defensive activities.
Paratroopers are now better portrayed with particular Squads to illustrate their unique formations and equipment, and when called via Transport Aircraft, drop into action in massive, Platoon Sized sticks that are commanded as a single Squad.
Aerial combat in CFCS is considerably reformed over the base game. Ordinarily, Blitzkrieg featured a rather “rock paper scissors” approach to aerial combat, giving a very artificial feel to it, and once you won that particular game, you were free to use your air support to savage the enemy almost with impunity. Otherwise, if you lost it, you were almost helpless. Similarly, AA Guns were oddly effective, with 88mm Guns able to snipe fighters out of the sky, and the whole call-in system being on a “one type at a time” system feeing very gamey and limited.
CFCS scraps this in favour of a more natural, “reserve” system. As long as the weather remains clear, air support can be called at any time and for as long as serviceable aircraft remain. For example, you may have 12 Bf 109Es available, and when called they arrive in a Flight of 3 Aircraft each. You could call 4 such Flights simultaneously, using all 12 Aircraft at once. Any loses taken however would reduce your total reserve of 12. This also means that different Aircraft types can be called at once, allowing you to call Fighter escort for your Ground Attack Aircraft, for example.
Fighter Aircraft will engage each other, unlike in the base game where this was a rare nay freak occurrence. Also, Fighter Aircraft may be shot down by the defensive guns of other Aircraft they attempt to intercept, such are the vagaries of war.
Anti-Aircraft Guns are now far more inaccurate when engaging aerial targets (their accuracy against ground targets is unaffected). A small engine limitation of rapid-firing anti-aircraft guns has been fixed, and as such guns such as the 0.50 Calibre M55 or the 2cm FlaKVierling will fire at their historically correct rates against aerial target as well as ground targets. This makes them very effective against low flying, slow aircraft such as Spotter Aircraft.
Well, I think that just about wraps it up. If there are any other elements that need clarification, please do feel free to join the discord and be part of the discussion at https://discord.gg/ZvujgGrANM – [discord.gg] .
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