Looking at DCCB (Full Version)

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76mm -> Looking at DCCB (10/12/2012 8:18:19 AM)

I've resisted picking this one up so far, but the reviews and comments seem really good, so am still thinking about it. I have a couple of kind of random questions:

1) Scale: The website and manual don't seem to indicate the scale. I've picked up that turns are two days, and most of the counters are regiments--is that right? What is the hex scale? What are the smallest units represented by counters--are there separate pioneer or assualt gun companies, etc.?

2) Cards: I'm always a bit leery of games featuring cards, I think they're kinda gamey. Do they work well in this game?

3) Scenario Editor: It looks like there's a scenario editor, is it OK? Is it possible to create new maps?

4) Campaigns: It looks like its possible but difficult to create your own campaigns? Can we sort of do this by editing save-game files, either in the scenario editor or via text files, etc.?

5) vs WitE? Other than it's smaller size, why do people like this game better than WitE?

Thanks.




redmarkus4 -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/12/2012 2:47:54 PM)

1) I believe the hexes are 10k. The 2 day turns give the game really good flow as the attacker can often only make it half way around a pocket, while the defend can only withdraw halfway out of it. Roads, rail and bridges are of supreme importance - cut the rail link or hold the bridge hex and you can change the course of the battle.

2) I too hate cards, but in this game they are terrific. Don't think 'cards', think strategic and logistical decisions that you wished you could have made in other games of this nature.

3) New maps and more can be made (and have been) but the Script editor is a tougher proposition - extremely powerful and flexible but I couldn't get my head round it. A good modder will be able to create any campaign on any front in any era.

4) The Case Blue 'scenario' is a campaign - 170 odd turns with an array of strategic choices to be made, all seasons and an advance from Kharkov to Baku to either conduct or counter, followed by the riposte. You can also create linked campaigns of smaller scenarios with forces that carry over.

5) vs. WitE I would say that the main features I like are the AI, which doesn't resort to spamming carpets of empty Brigades, withdraws from pockets and maintains a decent front line, objective hexes that make sense (cities are important, for example), a better flow with the 2 day turns and and an overall more polished feel.. Certainly, there has not been the same hue and cry regarding bugs and patches and the game is very stable. Also, the developer is active in the forum and you can discuss anything with him. He's very open to ideas for improvements.

I know what you like from the WitE arena and I am positive you'll really enjoy this title.




76mm -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/12/2012 3:32:18 PM)

Thanks for the response.

Aaargh, I was hoping you'd say at least something bad about it...I would dive in on this one in a heartbeat, but I've just picked up Alea Jacta Est and was looking forward to some Roman fun. I guess I'll have to get this one though.

Are the scripts for the AI, or for new card actions, or what?




RCH -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/12/2012 3:43:33 PM)

76mm,

I am a bit surprised that you haven't jumped in yet.

About cards, I think like you do and thought that they would be a bit cheesy, but that is not the case at all. They just represent a level of communicating that takes place during a campaign.

This game is a good game that reflects eastern front fighting. From the first turn of case blue the Soviets have some good units. The whole southern front is weak and a mess as it historically was, but the Soviet player gets the 5th Tank Army which is a army the German player must watch out for because it can do a lot of damage. The 5th tank army and a few other units gives the Soviet player some options in counter attacking. As the campaign goes on the Soviet side gets to go on the offensive.

I haven't played the game a lot, but I happy that if I do find something I want to tweak I can with the editor. I haven't had any time to look at the editor, but it has been described as good and powerful.

As compared to WITE. Well, I maybe should not go there as I very much dislike WITE. There is no WITE silliness in DCCB. C&C is better, the two day turn period is much better than WITE's unbelievable week turn. Etc.

I know Flavious hasn't endorsed this game. That is too bad as a lot of players listen to him. They will be missing out.




Bonners -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/12/2012 3:44:08 PM)

I'd agree to an extent with the comments about the AI, certainly when on a defensive posture. I do think it struggles with offence though. I think the cards are excellent, although it should be noted that you cant now keep saving up card points at HQs as the latest beta patch has set a limit of 20 points which has come through feedback to the developer on this forum.

I also dont think there is a set offensive pattern for the game yet, a skilful Soviet player can totally scupper Case Blue when playing against a slightly inept German player.




redmarkus4 -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/12/2012 3:52:41 PM)

My only negative would be that the Soviet's might be a bit over powered but that's a scenario issue and not an engine issue.

You'll remember how loudly I complained about WitE in these forums. You haven't heard a negative word out of me here...




76mm -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/12/2012 5:10:13 PM)

I've been lurking on this forum for a while, haven't seen many negative comments (other than the invincible HQ units in Kerch). I'll probably buy it this weekend...




LiquidSky -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/12/2012 5:47:28 PM)


The card system is very good at portraying the level of planning and organization that the higher commands are doing. Given enough time, a General (and his staff) would plan the movements out of their subunits...this is represented by the general spending 'command points' on a plan of action. The plan of action is a card. The cards are not 'random', but are the fixed abilities of each general. Some generals will get more powerful, unique cards.

For example Timoshenko, Manstien, and Raus get a card called Gamble. It can greatly increase attack capability of every unit under a Corp commanded by an army with this general. More general cards are Attack, Defend, Entrench, Speed....that every corp commander gets. Every Army commander gets Personnel which increases a Corp commanders XP.

Better commanders get more command points per turn. Manstien gets the most at 4 per turn. A few get 3...most get 1 for the Russians, and the germans seem to get mostly 2.

Because the cards are not random, but are purchased with these points, they are another layer of decision that affects the battle.

FOR example, I like to use Attack on a division to increase its ability to take an objective. I win easily, but the russians counter attack and kick me out. I probably could have won without the use of the Attack card, and would have been better served to play Defend after taking the hex. Or I could have played Speed after taking the hex to get enough AP's to launch another attack..or to exploit a hex further....or play Entrench to dig in...

DId I mention you can only play one card per commander, per turn? (and not at all if you transfer a unit to that commander?)

You can actually play without ever using the cards....and you can play a long time before noticing a commander with a cool card. (Last night, my opponent discovered L'vov, who has the card Exercise..which increases a divisions experience through training...we are on turn umm..25ish..he could have made a tank corp into a guards tank corp, if he was training it from the beginning of the game)

But the people who play with the cards will be able to perform feats of 'magic' like crossing a defended river, or entrenching quickly...or moving quickly...




wallas -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/12/2012 6:30:31 PM)

mm exercise this guy is getting attached to Stavka direct and will personally train certain units. I am kicking myself for not noticing this ability earlier. I lost a month of doing this lol




Flaviusx -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/12/2012 8:41:51 PM)

Wasn't aware that my endorsement was necessary, but as a matter of fact I think this is a very solid game. I don't compare it to WitE because I think it's doing something very different than WitE in terms of scope and subject matter. It's really apples and oranges.







parusski -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/13/2012 1:02:57 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Wasn't aware that my endorsement was necessary, but as a matter of fact I think this is a very solid game. I don't compare it to WitE because I think it's doing something very different than WitE in terms of scope and subject matter. It's really apples and oranges.





Your endorsement does matter.




Flaviusx -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/13/2012 4:09:56 AM)

Ok. It's fun! [:)] Play it and enjoy it. Just do so on its own terms. It's a grand tactical/operational game of a single campaign covering a portion of the eastern front during 42-3, with smaller scenarios included. No economics. The leadership card system is inspired and a lot more subtle than it first appears.

WitE is an operational/strategic game covering the whole of the war in the east, so it set at a different scale, and must necessarily take into account production and the like. Its abstractions are different ones than DCCB.

Neither game is perfect, they both have their oddities, both are well supported by their devs and improving over time. I think you can play both and enjoy both, but they are doing different things and will appeal to people in different ways. You do a disservice to both games if you try to compare them to each other.




parusski -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/13/2012 4:41:36 AM)

And that is why everyone wanted to hear from you: Very well put, thanks.




76mm -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/15/2012 4:08:31 AM)

OK, picked this up and installed this weekend, I'll probably be looking for a game in a month or so once I've figure things out.




Keunert -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/15/2012 8:40:16 AM)

i expected to see a good part of the active WitE crowd coming over here while they wait for the new title. somehow this did not happen. this surprised me as there aren't that many boardgame like quality titles available. any idea why this did not happen?




76mm -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/15/2012 10:53:22 AM)

I don't really have any idea about why other WitE players have not been coming over, but I'll tell you why I held off for so long:
a) I didn't care much for the Advanced Tactics games, and the dev is the same;
b) IIRC, Matrix brought out another Stalingrad game (Unity of Command), shortly before this one, and that one sounded too beer and pretzels for me (no stacking, etc.);
c) hearing about the cards in this one didn't boost my confidence that I would like it, bearing in mind (a) & (b);
d) I've recently bought several games that I haven't really had time to play, and still have one on-going game in WitE; just not enough time!

That said, the reviews and comments on this game have been quite good, and I won't start any more WitE games, so I thought I would finally check it out.




redmarkus4 -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/15/2012 12:00:02 PM)

Great to have you here!

This is definitely not AT, which I also played for a short time. I hope you enjoy the game.




Flaviusx -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/16/2012 11:24:42 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Keunert

i expected to see a good part of the active WitE crowd coming over here while they wait for the new title. somehow this did not happen. this surprised me as there aren't that many boardgame like quality titles available. any idea why this did not happen?


For the reasons I've already stated.

If you want to do the whole war at the strategic level, this title, for all its virtues, doesn't cover that. Even if down the line subsequent releases cover other years and campaigns in the east, it still won't be doing what WitE does.

It scratches a whole different itch than WitE. The game is very good, but it just cannot be straight up compared to WitE.





Keunert -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/16/2012 11:53:43 AM)

FlaviusX i understand that but WitE is out for like two years? i thought that a lot of players would be attracted to the new offer. i thought DC's level of complexity and theme should be interesting to a lot of WitE players as well.
Unity of Command or Commander Europe at War, Panzer Corps those are games for a different crowd, but this one should appeal to the grogs too?




76mm -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/16/2012 2:45:53 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx
If you want to do the whole war at the strategic level, this title, for all its virtues, doesn't cover that. Even if down the line subsequent releases cover other years and campaigns in the east, it still won't be doing what WitE does.

It scratches a whole different itch than WitE. The game is very good, but it just cannot be straight up compared to WitE.


Well, I think there are many players, or at least one--me!--that are mainly interested in the Eastern front. I am willing to buy any good game (and unfortunately many bad ones) with an Eastern Front topic. While I drew the line at Unity of Command and Panzer Corps, I did buy Conflict of Heroes and actually played it a couple of times...

On the other hand, I have absolutely no interest in most other theaters and therefore don't intend to buy WitW, regardless of how many improvements it has over WitE.

If I'd thought about it more I'd have probably bought this one sooner, but I've been disracted with lots of other stuff, including other games.




redmarkus4 -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/16/2012 7:29:20 PM)

How are you finding DCCB so far?




76mm -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/16/2012 9:16:46 PM)

I'm still reading the rules, and have opened the game. So far I like what I see, but it's kinda early to say. I have to say that the interface rather appeals to me, especially the various data tabs across the top of the screen.

One petty issue: on my computer the tooltips flash on and off, makes it hard to read them and is kind of annoying--any way to stop the flashing?




redmarkus4 -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/16/2012 9:44:23 PM)

I haven't seen the flashing tool tips myself but you can turn off labels in Prefs if its' really annoying.




LiquidSky -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/16/2012 10:40:51 PM)



I have seen the flashing tooltip problem, but it is intermittant in that some saved games I get hit by it, and others I don't. I have been trying to track it down so that I can put in tech reports, but seems when I want to have the problem, it doesnt show up.




redmarkus4 -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/17/2012 9:38:24 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

I'm still reading the rules, and have opened the game. So far I like what I see, but it's kinda early to say. I have to say that the interface rather appeals to me, especially the various data tabs across the top of the screen.

One petty issue: on my computer the tooltips flash on and off, makes it hard to read them and is kind of annoying--any way to stop the flashing?


And there's always my map mod to try out ;)

[image]local://upfiles/27287/474DAAA7830E442284D84AF5F2F326CC.jpg[/image]




wallas -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/17/2012 4:02:15 PM)

It is an awesome game with the only exception being the lack of a undo button.




redmarkus4 -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/17/2012 5:57:21 PM)

Yes, I agree - I have paid a heavy price for some foolish mouse clicks. I'm a big supporter of undo in cases where no intel was obtained by the action taken.




76mm -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/29/2012 10:02:36 AM)

Well, I've finally started a game against the AI and spent most of my weekend playing 17 turns of the long Case Blue scenario (as Germans).

I have to say that with a couple of exceptions noted below, I really like the game. Hard to explain, but the scale, etc. seem to work well, and you don't see the 25-hex panzer sprints like in WitE. Also, for the first time ever in a wargame, I'm not looking at CVs, etc. to determine whether to attack, or how many units to use--it is generally a more subtle calculation, trying to get combined arms, attacking from multiple directions, using a card, etc.

My main three "dislikes":
1) I HATE all the clicks necessary to move units around and the unconventional mechanic for moving units. Until I played I thought that all of the complaints about no undo button were overdone, but now I understand. Frankly, if I don't buy more games in this series, this would probably be the reason why... The combat sistem is also fairly clunky, but not as bad as movement because not all units attack every turn.

2) I don't care much for how artillery and air attacks have to be launched separately from land attacks, it seems very "un-combined arms". Also, I don't understand the difference between using arty as a barrage vs using it in a standard land attack--ie, is the regimental arty even used in a standard land attack?

3) The map is really ugly! Sure I don't expect fancy graphics in this kind of game, but whew, my eyes need a break. Not a big deal I guess, I will start checking out some map mods, but thought I'd mention it.

Also, I would love answers to three questions which I can't seem to figure out:

a) the manual talks about HQ power and percentages shown on unit counters, but I don't see this number on combat units, only HQs. Does HQ power affect combat units? If so, how can I tell what it is?

b) I moved some aircraft to a forward city and got the "damaged location" message. I moved the planes anyway, but how are the cities repaired? Is it automagic or do I need to move engineers there, etc.?

c) I can't find where in the manual it talks about overloading the HQs with units. I think I read somewhere that as long as both of the ratios are above 1, your HQ is not overloaded--is that right? How can I tell how many units are commanded by a HQ (other than going to the OOB)?




Keunert -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/29/2012 11:43:38 AM)

1) it gets easier if you use hotkeys. to be honest i find the ui of this game the best. i have big problems with HPS titles in this regard. DC feels very natural for me.
2) artillery in infantry units are counted in while doing land attacks. they also provide counter artillery fire and do inflict losses on the attacking artillery.
3) Warsaw to Paris has better maps. it was a step back. the available mods improve that a lot in my opinion

a) it does affect morale, combat efficiency and is quite important.
b) cities repair automatically. they take damage from fighting, airstrikes and artillery. moving in a damaged city reduces the air units efficiency.
c) that's right: anything above 1 is sufficient, anything below one reduces HQ bonus.




76mm -> RE: Looking at DCCB (10/29/2012 12:22:26 PM)

Keunert, thanks.

But how can I tell how much HQ power a unit has? I don't see it on the counter or on the unit panel??

I will have to try moving units with the hotkeys, maybe it will be easier. The movement mechanics in the HPS games are also a bit quirky but I can't say I minded them very much for some reason.

I forgot to mention one other thing I don't like, maybe someone can enlighten me: I really don't like how it is not possible to take actions with entire stacks, but onlyl individual units or groups. Is there really no way to move/attack with a stack?




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