This is a frequently asked question (FAQ) list for CMBN. There is a separate article for the CMBO veteran, which highlights some of the differences between CMBN versus CMBO. (Question: Does this mean this FAQ is for CM2 only, and not the older CM1?)
Game Engine Features
Questions about what things the game engines does, and does not.
There are two major versions of the game engine, called CM1 and CM2, and there are some minor versions of each. As of October, 2019, latest is CM2v4.02.
If you see items in this FAQ that are specific to some particular version, please try to note the differences. (Question: Should we just forget about CM1?)
Where is the line of sight tool?
There isn't a line of sight tool as such. Line of sight is built into the target command. Some vehicles don't have weapons, so you can't use the target command. In that case, you are SOL. You can kind of get an approximation by moving the camera behind the vehicle, zooming in and eye-balling it.
Can I start fires like in CMx1?
Are rivers/seas/water and bridges in the game?
Are there command delays?
Units receive your command right away. However, units might take a few seconds to start executing, or might ignore the command, or might do something entirely different from what you expect. This is the tactical AI in action. Things like incoming fire, fatigue, and morale get taken into account.
Why do burning vehicles sometimes explode again?
This is a "cookoff". CMBN keeps track of the ammo count present in the vehicles, even when they're destroyed. What you're seeing is the remaining ammo exploding due to the fire.
Does ambient light affect the vision of my units?
It certainly does. Units will have much worse vision in a night battle with no moonlight, than in daylight. Moreover ambient light is dynamic, so if a battle starts at dawn, the sky will gradually become lighter and lighter for example. Light from point sources such as fires is not modelled, nor are shadows from trees and buildings.
Is friendly fire included in the game?
Small arms, machine guns, grenades and grenade launchers don't cause friendly fire casualties but they do suppress friendly units if close enough. Everything else does (.50 cal and up).
Do vehicles block line of sight or line of fire?
Generally: No, and yes. For details, see the article on line of sight.
Can a Bazooka/Panzerschreck/Panzerfaust/PIAT fire from inside a building?
No for the first three. Yes for the PIAT, the reason being that the PIAT has a "spring mechanism" to launch the projectile from the weapon.
There has been some debate about allowing firing from inside buildings (with some penalties) for the first three weapons, but for now at least (version 1.10), it is disallowed.
The answer above might be for just CM1 (older version). I use CM2 and I just saw a panzerschreck fire from inside a building.
What is C2 and relative spotting?
How do I know if my unit is in C2 or not?
A unit is in contact if you see an icon above the suppression meter. Note that radios need some time to set up when a unit is stationary and it is not possible to maintain radio contact while moving. These icons only tell you if the unit is in contact with a superior parent unit, but not which one. The GUI also gives information about the status of the chain of command all the way up to the highest ranking officer (see picture). If all dots are green the chain is OK, a red dot next to the name of a superior parent units means that the chain is broken at this level of command, i.e. the unit below cannot reach that superior HQ.
(Screenshot here: A squad in distant contact with its platoon commander. Note how the chain of command is broken at company level however. The platoon commander is out of contact with the company.)
What is the 'bug out' feature?
If a unit (controlled by the Tactical AI) decides that it is suicidal to stay in the position that it is in, it will 'bug out' and retreat to a safer location. This could be because it is heavily outnumbered or because it is taking effective fire and can't respond. This feature not only keeps badly placed troops alive, it also prevents the player from ordering suicidal attacks because the troops simply won't do it.
Can individual systems on vehicles be destroyed?
Yes! Although it might seem that your tanks are shrugging off enemy fire with impunity, it is a good idea to check the damage tab now and then. This will give you a more detailed overview of the damage your tank has sustained. Targeting equipment, optics, tracks and more can all be damaged and severely degrade the performance of your tank.
What are ammo bearer units?
CMBN implements an ammo sharing system, whereby units from the same formation (platoon) can share ammo with each other if they are close to each other (around 25m). Heavy weapons such as machine guns, anti-tank guns or mortars usually come with ammo bearers team which carry additional rounds for these weapons. To use them, just place them near the gun/mortar. They also provide close protection.
Questions about how to do stuff in the game.
What is 'splitting squads'?
The US and German armies organize their squads into subdivisions called teams, giving more tactical flexibility on the battlefield. For example one team can be used to provide overwatch while the other team move from cover to cover. Depending on the unit it is also possible to split off AT teams, assault teams or scout teams. See the article on Admin commands.
Why can't I split this particular unit?
There can be several reasons for this. Not all units are organized in way that allows splitting. Squads that have suffered too many casualties won't be able to split either. And a squad that has any movement orders cannot be split until you cancel those orders.
How do I reform a squad after splitting?
Just move its teams into the same action spot and wait. There is also a Combine Squad command; it reorganizes an existing squad.
How do I order my units to move in formation?
You can't really do this. It is possible to select multiple units, then give them all the same move order; in this case the waypoints will be placed at the same relative position to each unit. This might be more useful than it is, if not for:
Can I move waypoints?
No. Waypoints in CMBN are not draggable.
How do I select several units?
Shift+select, or Shift+dragging with left mouse button.
How can I stack orders?
In CMBN you can give much more complicated orders that in CMx1. To do this give several movement orders, then highlight a particular waypoint by selecting it or the line connected to it. Now you can give pause, fire, smoke, cover arc or facing orders at that waypoint. You can also use this technique to check the LOS/LOF at that point. Select the fire command at a particular waypoint, although LOS/LOF line will be drawn from your units starting position, the LOS/LOF check is done at the waypoint itself. This is nicely illustrated by the sticky posts in the CMSF Strategy and Tactics forum, such as this post.
My vehicles keep missing their corners! How can I keep them on the road?
While the Tactical AI usually does a decent job of moving your tanks from A to B, sometimes it needs help. To absolutely make sure that they follow a certain path add more waypoints (there are no command delays remember). To help them get around corners, treat them like real vehicles with a lot of momentum! Give lots of waypoints in a gentle curve and slow the vehicle down into the turn to ensure they don't go off-road.
How do I find a hull-down position?
Update 4.02 includes a new Hulldown command. See the documentation.
To get your tanks in a hull down position relative to another spot there are two ways. The first one is by setting a waypoint to where you think might be a good place, highlighting that waypoint and selecting the target tool and pointing it to where your tank should be hull-down too. This tool will display whether your vehicle is hull-down or not. Note that the target line will originate from the current position of your unit, but trust us, it gives information for the highlighted waypoint.
The other method is by using the camera controls and zooming in. Since polygons determine whether something gets hit or not, this can be a viable way to find hull-down positions.
How do I check the LOS from a location?
The same way you check for hull-down positions. The target tool will be all blue if LOS is possible, grey or broken if otherwise. Note that the target tool does NOT take into account the stance of the unit at that location, i.e. you might have LOS if your squad is standing, but not if they are prone.
Can infantry ride on vehicles?
No, this is not in the game. (Can Soviet troops ride tanks?)
What does a hole in a hedgerow look like?
It looks like a hole in the hedgerow. Move the camera down low and close, maybe zoom with the X key, and then pan along the hedgerow. They are pretty clear once you see what they look like.
How does indirect on-board fire support work?
If an on map mortar or other such can see it, they can shoot at it. Off map units can't do that. Other than that, they work like off map units, you need an HQ to call for fire. Off map artillery is assumed to have C2 links always working, whereas on map that's not always true. You select the fire support tab (the gun icon next to the plane icon). See the article on artillery.
How do I fine tune the positioning of my infantry squads?
Although you can not precisely position squads, you can encourage them to take certain positions by giving them a Face order.
Using the Program
Questions about how to do stuff outside of the game.
How do I select just a company/platoon in the QB force selection screen?
You have to select the whole formation it is a part of, and delete the stuff that you don't want. (This ensures that the chain of command remains intact.)
How do I install mods and what can I mod?
Instructions on how to install mods can be found at the forum here. CMBN allows you to change the textures of models, sounds of weapons and the displayed text. Adding new models or changing data (such as weapons data) is not possible.
How do I take a screenshot?
CMBN has no built-in screenshot function. Windows users can try Print Screen (which copies a screenshot onto the clipboard), and then paste the image in Paint or any other image manipulation program. However, Print Screen does not always work. OSX users can use command-shift-3 and command-shift-4 in the usual way.
How do I make a movie?
Movie making is not built in to CMBN. Use tools to capture pieces of video, sound, add graphics, and edit them into a final product. There are a lot of editor tools to choose from, such as FRAPS, Windows Movie Maker, Quicktime, and iMovie.
How do I start a play by email game (PBEM) game?
- Start a game and choose '2 players - Email'. The game will then prompt you for a password.
- Enter a password and click OK. After that you will return to main screen of the game (don't worry; this is normal).
- Go to the 'outgoing email' folder where you installed CMBN, select the newly created PBEM file (e.g. "newgame 001.ema") and send it to your opponent.
- Your opponent puts the file in his/her 'incoming email' folder.
- Your opponent selects 'Saved Game' in the main screen of CMBN and loads the file you sent to him/her. Then he/she will be prompted to enter a password.
- A new PBEM file will be created in his or her 'outgoing mail' folder (e.g. "newgame 002.ema") which has to be sent back to you.
- Repeat until finished.
Windows Vista/Windows 7 users beware! Sometimes the game saves the files in another location on your hard disk, depending on the read and write permissions of your CMBN install. If you can't find the PBEM files try looking here: C:\UserName\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Battlefront\Combat Battle for Normandy \Game Files\Outgoing Email\ . You might have to change the directory and the UserName to match the way your computer is set up.
I don't like the default keyboard input scheme/where is the right mouse click pop-up screen?
If you don't like using the default input scheme (where the same key corresponds to different commands depending on which command tab is activated) you can either modify your hotkeys.txt file in your Data folder or use the space bar to show the pop-up screen with all the commands. An altered hotkeys.txt file is also provided with the game which can be more to your liking. Note that to cancel a fire order you can simply press the backspace button.