How do people plan?


Mar 26, 2017
San Francisco
When I start a new scenario, I feel pretty overwhelmed by the amount of planning required and how limited my tools are to do it. A few high level questions I struggle with:
  • For multi-day scenarios, how much progress should I be aiming to make? What are major checkpoints to hit to stay on track? I can't tell how far I can travel unopposed, and still don't have great intuition about how long it might take to break through depending on how tough combat gets.
  • If something goes wrong, how do I trickle that issue down to other dependencies? Like, if I get attacked from a surprising direction and an advance is halted, what is _not_ going to get done as a result?
How do people handle this? I'd love to be able to do something like draw out my high level plans -- avenues of attack, rough expected timelines, allocating parts of the OOB to different jobs explicitly, etc. and then adjusting those plans to reflect current tactical realities. I'd also love to do things like mark my ideas about where enemy forces might be, weak points in the plan, etc. Essentially a drawing layer on top of the map that I could toggle on or off.

To not verge too far into feature request territory, do other people feel this gap? How do they handle it?

I've seen some maps like the exceptional return to st. vith AAR -- do other people make things like that? Any tools to suggest that make this easier? Planning is a big part of feeling like I'm telling a story when I play because it feels like a big part of what the person in charge would be doing and the game doesn't give me a direct way to get that feeling. When I don't have a plan, I just kind of bumble around and push forces around which is fun but not exactly the experience I'm looking for. This is especially acute when I'm picking up a scenario over days rather than playing a lot all at once. How do I keep the plot?

john connor

Oct 22, 2014
Long while back, in the CO1 days, when I was playing the very large scenarios, I used to write down the OOB in a notebook and go from there. But CO2 has so many useful tabs I don't feel I need to now. I just check out the OOB and the objectives to get started, and take it from there. I haven't found a need for any more planning tools, or overlay capabilities, but I wouldn't say I'm just 'bumbling around'. I can remember my plan between sessions. I always form a definite plan and it always includes reserve forces. I always command at Bn level, but keep the planned attack routes, or defend poles, built around regimental or divisional assets, depending on the scenario. So, work out which regiment or division is going for which objectives, then command the Bns accordingly. Plus other bits and pieces (arty plan, recon plan etc). All easily remembered, I think, but if I couldn't remember it (which will happen as I get older, no doubt) I would just write it all down in a notebook. You don't do that? The PLAN tab is very useful for running through your orders and making changes.

Daz - who did the big excellent AARs you're referring to - isn't around too much at the moment (not sure why), so you may not get a reply from him, but he did all his big productions with photoshop, iirc. I don't do that when playing, obviously, and I don't think anybody does. A lot of work! When I did a few AARs they were much thinner productions than Daz's superb monsters. Partly, because I can't afford photoshop.

All that said, there have been requests in the past for some kind of overlay tool, but I don't think we're near getting that by a very very long way. All the development work at the moment is concentrated on getting bugs ironed out of the next patch so that that and the next set of content packs can be released. After that - if there's ever an 'after that', touchwood - the usual big demands for development time are for adjustment to basing code, mounted ops, artillery tweaks and other AI tweaks, such as some scripting possibilities. If I remember correctly. However, you could add your voice to the demand for overlays. I don't know how complicated that kind of graphic addition would be.

I think this thread seems to cover something like what you're discussing -

Oh, sorry. I see you did actually already chip in to that thread!


Apr 16, 2015
I struggled with this when I first started playing. I remember playing St. Vith and then seeing Daz's AAR and thinking, wow, he's really got it together.
As I played the scenario a few more times I found that it became easier because I was more and more familiar with the units and their capabilities. I'd say this is the key. Go through all your units, find out what they are made of, their condition, how capable they are and think about how best to use them.
I've also experimented with maps and overlays. For example, I really like to overlay the maps on Google Earth to see what the terrain features look like. Got this from Daz too. It's a little bit of a pain to do, but really helps with planning on terrain features, etc.
Finally, for the very large scenarios I like to print myself a copy of the map in black and white and use coloured pencils for basic markings and plan. I just write the formation number (or ID) and then an arrow of where I want it to go. Nothing fancy, but it definitely helps. The more I play, the less I need it.

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