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RE: Campaign mode - 10/23/2007 8:38:55 PM   
Joe D.


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Regretably, I passed on COTA because I just couldn't get into that campaign; it was a pointless battle as Gilbralter, not Greece, was the true key to the Med.

It's not enough to have a good game engine, but a good game, a good story, i.e., droping paras behind enemy lines, and then racing to cross bridge after bridge in order to link-up w/them before it's too late.

Certain battles just have more of an attraction to the gamer because of how close they were fought -- Waterloo's "near run thing" -- and/or how much their victory meant; the end of Napolean (again), of WW II and going home by Christmas, and so on.

Waiting expectantly for BftB for all the above, including some family history.

< Message edited by Joe D. -- 10/23/2007 8:41:16 PM >


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Post #: 31
RE: Campaign mode - 10/23/2007 10:51:03 PM   
The Plodder


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quote:

.....including some family history.


That is the main reason I got COTA...one fellow's turn off is another fellow's turn-on.


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Post #: 32
RE: Campaign mode - 10/23/2007 11:36:42 PM   
HansBolter


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While I'm no great fan of the Greece campaign, there ares ome really, really good fights to be had in the COTA scenario line up.

Spartans at the Pass (guess which pass) is one of those finely designed and balanced scenarios that truly challenge the player.
No one, to my knowledge, has succeeded in getting a decisive victory with the Germans. A marginal victory is fairly easy, but I tried
time, and time again, for the decisive and came up short every time. Any scenario that compels you to play it repeatedly in an effort to better your last showing, is worth the price of the entire game.

In addition, a big part of the appeal for me, besides the game engine itself, was the inclusion of a hypothetical Malta scenario. I played the hell out of Avalon GHill's Malta board game and have waited a long time for a chance to fight battle on my computer.

Not to mention the educational value. I learned a lot about the Greek campaign I had never learned before.

And who can pass up a chance to try their hand attacking the Greeks in the mountains with the Italians.

(in reply to The Plodder)
Post #: 33
RE: Campaign mode - 10/26/2007 3:23:00 PM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tactics

There were a good number of people, myself included that did not want BFTB. It’s an over used series, IMO.  The consensus at that time from the players was to go straight to the Eastern Front, but BFTB had already been started – So here we are. 



I'm absolutely incredoulous over the claim that the Bulge is over done. While it has probably been "done" more than any other battle in history I still find each new game on it thoroughly enjoyable. I was just posting on the design forum about how much fun I am having beta testing the BFTB scenarios.

I played the hell out of and enjoyed almost every last regimental level bulge board game I ever played, and there were quite a few. When I discovered Wacht am Rhein I literally salivated over the prospect of playing the Bulge at battalion level. Now we have a chance to play it at company level!!!

No matter what anyone wants to claim, no matter how many times you have fought the battles over Elsenborn Ridge, St, Vith, Clervaux, Stavelot, Trois Ponts and Bastogne, I guarantee you the depiction of these fights at company level in BFTB will be a breath of fresh air giving you new insights into how those fights went down at a much more detailed level than you have ever been able to play them before.

While I would like to play a dynamic campaign as much as the next guy, I can't fathom the mentality that takes the stance of depriving oneself of the immense enjoyment of these individual fights as a means of "protesting" the lack of a campaign. From my perspective you hurt yourself more with this stance than you hurt the games developer by the lack of a sale. I, personally, couldn't possibly pass this up. But, then again, I do have the advantage of an inside insight into just how much fun it truly is.

< Message edited by HansBolter -- 10/26/2007 3:25:58 PM >

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Post #: 34
RE: Campaign mode - 10/26/2007 4:05:30 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter
quote:

ORIGINAL: Tactics

There were a good number of people, myself included that did not want BFTB. It’s an over used series, IMO.  The consensus at that time from the players was to go straight to the Eastern Front, but BFTB had already been started – So here we are. 


I'm absolutely incredoulous over the claim that the Bulge is over done. While it has probably been "done" more than any other battle in history I still find each new game on it thoroughly enjoyable ...


There's over done, and there's well done; Panther's engine works well w/games at this level, and I'm looking forward to a desperate struggle and a good fight in Belgium, just like the "over used" battle at Waterloo (OK, it was really St. Jean).

But if the consensus was the Eastern Front -- and it probably was -- how did Panther Games end up in the Med?


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Post #: 35
RE: Campaign mode - 10/26/2007 4:09:17 PM   
Neilster


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Like Market Garden, Greece/Crete/hypothetically Malta involve airborne forces. Also they're an Aussie company and probably wanted to do something with Aussies in it. Just my guess.

Cheers, Neilster

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Post #: 36
RE: Campaign mode - 10/26/2007 4:19:42 PM   
Joe D.


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Sounds like a good guess, and there were no Aussie's on the Eastern Front; I had also forgotten about Germany's "pyrric victory" air drop over Crete.

But if Panther wants to stir local interest down under, how 'bout New Guinea for a future release as land combat isn't very exciting in WitP/UV?

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Post #: 37
RE: Campaign mode - 10/26/2007 4:56:58 PM   
Agema

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.
and I'm looking forward to a desperate struggle and a good fight in Belgium, just like the "over used" battle at Waterloo (OK, it was really St. Jean).


Does that mean it should be the Battle of Sokolnitz, not Austerlitz? ;)

(in reply to Joe D.)
Post #: 38
RE: Campaign mode - 10/26/2007 5:20:32 PM   
Neilster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.

Sounds like a good guess, and there were no Aussie's on the Eastern Front; I had also forgotten about Germany's "pyrric victory" air drop over Crete.

But if Panther wants to stir local interest down under, how 'bout New Guinea for a future release as land combat isn't very exciting in WitP/UV?

I don't think the size of the Australian wargaming market justifies targeting it. Panther have probably satisfied themselves by exploring an interesting and little-wargamed campaign that involved ANZACs (with an eye on potential contracts for officer training with the Australian Defence Force too), further developed and expanded their engine and are ready to take on some more diverse and commercially lucrative stuff.

They should make some good sales now with BFTB and titles set on the Eastern Front, in Normandy and North Africa (can't remember the order and isn't there going to be a Pacific one too?). The commercial reality is that you have to appeal to the North American market. It's good to see games like COTA being made for variety though. Also, the Eastern Med in the Spring of 1941 was actually a vital theatre. Remember, there was no Eastern Front yet and this was where the Axis were attempting to project power.

Cheers, Neilster


< Message edited by Neilster -- 10/26/2007 5:21:21 PM >

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Post #: 39
RE: Campaign mode - 10/26/2007 8:05:40 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Agema

quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.
and I'm looking forward to a desperate struggle and a good fight in Belgium, just like the "over used" battle at Waterloo (OK, it was really St. Jean).


Does that mean it should be the Battle of Sokolnitz, not Austerlitz? ;)


Never gamed Austerlitz, but Wellington's first dispatchs were sent "from the town (Mount Sainte Jean) before (south of) Waterloo," and the name just stuck.

As Wellington's engineers had previously surveyed the terrain of St. Jean as a good place to make a stand, you would have thought they knew the name of the hamlet they were defending.


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Post #: 40
RE: Campaign mode - 10/26/2007 9:13:21 PM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Agema

quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.
and I'm looking forward to a desperate struggle and a good fight in Belgium, just like the "over used" battle at Waterloo (OK, it was really St. Jean).


Does that mean it should be the Battle of Sokolnitz, not Austerlitz? ;)


Never gamed Austerlitz, but Wellington's first dispatchs were sent "from the town (Mount Sainte Jean) before (south of) Waterloo," and the name just stuck.

As Wellington's engineers had previously surveyed the terrain of St. Jean as a good place to make a stand, you would have thought they knew the name of the hamlet they were defending.




Kind of similar to how the Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought on Breed's Hill, IIRC.

(in reply to Joe D.)
Post #: 41
RE: Campaign mode - 10/26/2007 11:56:39 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter

Kind of similar to how the Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought on Breed's Hill, IIRC.


To make up for this mistake, the Commonwealth of Mass decided to design a new bridge shaped to reflect both hills, but then they renamed the bridge after a civil rights advocate and Breed's Hill was forgotten, again.

Take this quiz courtesy of the Mass Turnpike Authority:

Is the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge ______________?

A) A fitting tribute to Civil Rights Activist Lenny Zakim?
B) A stirring monument to the patriots who fought on Breed's Hill?
C) The only part of the Boston's Big Dig project that is still safe?



_____________________________

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"The Angel of Okinawa"

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The best fighter-bomber of World War II

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Post #: 42
RE: Campaign mode - 10/27/2007 3:47:25 PM   
j campbell


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Neilster,

I beg to differ with your appreciation of the Med's importance on Germany's strategy.   I do not beleive that the german's  would have gotten involved in the med at all until Italy's blundeing in Greece and northern Africa and the fall of the Yugislavian government.  The timetable had been set for the Offensive on the eastern front to begin in Spring.  The action in Crete was not worth the undertaking since its conclusion significanlty had impact on future operations on the eastern front-delayed timetable, loss of valuable assets both in aircraft (airtransport capablity and aircrews) plus loss of paratroopers and confidence in paradrops thereafter.
in retrospect the germans' justification that  they needed to take Crete to neutralize a British airstrike on the Romanian oilfields does not hold water. 

I find it an exciting battle to play from military gaming standpoint-much like the german airdrop on Holland. 


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Post #: 43
RE: Campaign mode - 10/27/2007 5:19:20 PM   
Neilster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: j campbell

Neilster,

I beg to differ with your appreciation of the Med's importance on Germany's strategy. I do not beleive that the german's would have gotten involved in the med at all until Italy's blundeing in Greece and northern Africa and the fall of the Yugislavian government. The timetable had been set for the Offensive on the eastern front to begin in Spring. The action in Crete was not worth the undertaking since its conclusion significanlty had impact on future operations on the eastern front-delayed timetable, loss of valuable assets both in aircraft (airtransport capablity and aircrews) plus loss of paratroopers and confidence in paradrops thereafter.
in retrospect the germans' justification that they needed to take Crete to neutralize a British airstrike on the Romanian oilfields does not hold water.

I find it an exciting battle to play from military gaming standpoint-much like the german airdrop on Holland.


Where did I mention German strategy? I didn't. All I said was that the Eastern Med was a vital theatre, which it was, and that the Axis were projecting power there, which they were. The Mediterranean was the essential conduit to and from Empire and enabled Egypt to be supplied quickly, thus helping to protect the Suez Canal. Another consideration was the presence of Vichy French Syria and Axis diplomatic pressure on Turkey. With the fall of France (and the subsequent neutralization of the French fleet), the British had their hands full keeping the Mediterranean sea lanes open in the face of the Italian fleet even before the Jerries turned up. Why the latter did so is immaterial. They did, and hence projected power into the Eastern Med.

Barbarossa may or may not have been delayed by the invasion of the Balkans. It had been an unusually wet spring and early summer in Eastern Europe and Eastern Poland/Western USSR were probably too boggy to campaign in until mid to late June 1941. Historians argue about this stuff but it is also true that Hitler wanted to secure his southern flank before the invasion anyway.

The invasion of Crete was costly but I wonder what the consequences of not invading it would have been? A large Allied base just south of Greece? Doesn't sound too appealing. How exactly did Operation Mercury delay Barbarossa?

Cheers, Neilster


< Message edited by Neilster -- 10/27/2007 6:59:40 PM >

(in reply to j campbell)
Post #: 44
RE: Campaign mode - 10/27/2007 11:42:30 PM   
ETF


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kung Karl

Why can't they just make one big scenario covering the entire campaign? With the abiliyty to only give orders to the high-command this could be very managable and fun. Does the engine not support a map of such size or what?


I agree would be nice.............COOP play for mutiple commanders to boot would make this easy to manage very large maps!

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Post #: 45
RE: Campaign mode - 10/28/2007 1:10:26 AM   
j campbell


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Seems you took my critique abit too personal.  I do not beleive that the eastern med was a vital theate at all.  In retrospect it should not have been a theatre to begin with.  I do not beleive the Germans wanted anything to do with Africa or Greece or yugoslavia until the Italians messed things up to the point that the germans had to intervene.  By Feb 1941, the date for the german invasion of the soviet union was fixed-May 1941.  Units earmarked for action on the Eastern Front had to be used to go south to pacify greece/Yugoslavia-this force grew to roughly 30 divisions: 7 armoured, 3 mt, 3 mot, and 13 infantry plus  regimental sized units such as gross deutschland. 

To think that the Brits were going to turn Crete into some kind of land based aircraft carrier to destroy the poesti oilfields is ludicrous.  It is 1045km from those 2 points on a map.  The brits would have to build major airbases on what is essniall a primitive island and supply them in the eastern med.  They were having a difficult enough time bombing german targets from bases in southern england. 

The crete operation although a success (it could just as easily have been a failure  since there were many more allied forces on the island than had been planned for) tied up 3 crack german divisions and the majority of the german transport fleet 1 month before operation Barbarrossa. 

Taking the two camapaigns as a whole then there was great success militarily against the allies-when one considers casualties and territory taken and lost but they (in my opinion) lost time and valuable equipment (wear and tear on motorized and mechanized equipment) where it was going to be needed most- the East Front.  Hindsight is 20/20 whether it was the campaigns in southen europe or rains that delayed the offensive against the soviets we will probably never know but those valuable weeks of summer daylight and clear weather lost certainly had an impact on German fortunes later. 

I must apologise-in your post you did state Axis projecting power-and the italians certainly fall in that category so you are correct there.  I just do not think that the southern front (excluding Romania) was a vital theatre -thats where we differ. 




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Post #: 46
RE: Campaign mode - 10/28/2007 3:05:11 AM   
simovitch


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ETF


quote:

ORIGINAL: Kung Karl

Why can't they just make one big scenario covering the entire campaign? With the abiliyty to only give orders to the high-command this could be very managable and fun. Does the engine not support a map of such size or what?


I agree would be nice.............COOP play for mutiple commanders to boot would make this easy to manage very large maps!

The current map limit is about 2500 square Km - a little less than 1/3 of the Ardennes battlefield. Anything over a Corps slugging it out with another Corps really starts to slow down the clock far too much to enjoy the flow of the game, expecially on a large map where each unit is constantly re-assessing tasks, visibility and route paths in 'realtime'.

If it was the standard igougo hex grid game, then you could probably do such a monster but you wouldn't be able to give orders to high command and expect it's subordinates to execute the plan the way the AA engine does, so therein lies the rub.

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Post #: 47
RE: Campaign mode - 10/28/2007 4:47:21 AM   
Neilster


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From: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
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quote:

ORIGINAL: j campbell

Seems you took my critique abit too personal. I do not beleive that the eastern med was a vital theate at all. In retrospect it should not have been a theatre to begin with. I do not beleive the Germans wanted anything to do with Africa or Greece or yugoslavia until the Italians messed things up to the point that the germans had to intervene. By Feb 1941, the date for the german invasion of the soviet union was fixed-May 1941. Units earmarked for action on the Eastern Front had to be used to go south to pacify greece/Yugoslavia-this force grew to roughly 30 divisions: 7 armoured, 3 mt, 3 mot, and 13 infantry plus regimental sized units such as gross deutschland.

To think that the Brits were going to turn Crete into some kind of land based aircraft carrier to destroy the poesti oilfields is ludicrous. It is 1045km from those 2 points on a map. The brits would have to build major airbases on what is essniall a primitive island and supply them in the eastern med. They were having a difficult enough time bombing german targets from bases in southern england.

The crete operation although a success (it could just as easily have been a failure since there were many more allied forces on the island than had been planned for) tied up 3 crack german divisions and the majority of the german transport fleet 1 month before operation Barbarrossa.

Taking the two camapaigns as a whole then there was great success militarily against the allies-when one considers casualties and territory taken and lost but they (in my opinion) lost time and valuable equipment (wear and tear on motorized and mechanized equipment) where it was going to be needed most- the East Front. Hindsight is 20/20 whether it was the campaigns in southen europe or rains that delayed the offensive against the soviets we will probably never know but those valuable weeks of summer daylight and clear weather lost certainly had an impact on German fortunes later.

I must apologise-in your post you did state Axis projecting power-and the italians certainly fall in that category so you are correct there. I just do not think that the southern front (excluding Romania) was a vital theatre -thats where we differ.




As I stated in my post, The Eastern Mediterranean was vital to the British, and the Italians were determined to dominate it so as to isolate Egypt. The coup d'etat in Yugoslavia and Greek acceptance of British aid against the Italians meant that there was a threat to the flank of Barbarossa. Was Hitler supposed to watch the Italians defeated in Greece and lose Albania and then launch Barbarossa with a hostile Yugoslavia just south-west of the jumping off point and British forces in Greece? Hitler decided it needed to be cleaned up before the invasion. As a result a whole lot of Jerries turned up and things got even hotter in the Eastern Med. If that delayed the invasion, bad luck Adolf. It certainly looked a reasonable decision at the time. Just because the Germans wanted to invade the USSR in mid-May doesn't mean they could have, because of the weather. As I said, it's a hotly debated topic but it is not clear that the Balkan adventure delayed Barbarossa.

If the British could turn tiny Malta into a base for offensive operations (and keep it resupplied when it was a stone's throw from Axis airfields) then why not Crete? Compared to later German losses, those on Crete look like small change (elite troops though they were) and it removed a potential thorn in their side.

Cheers, Neilster

(in reply to j campbell)
Post #: 48
RE: Campaign mode - 10/29/2007 2:09:24 PM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: simovitch


quote:

ORIGINAL: ETF


quote:

ORIGINAL: Kung Karl

Why can't they just make one big scenario covering the entire campaign? With the abiliyty to only give orders to the high-command this could be very managable and fun. Does the engine not support a map of such size or what?


I agree would be nice.............COOP play for mutiple commanders to boot would make this easy to manage very large maps!

The current map limit is about 2500 square Km - a little less than 1/3 of the Ardennes battlefield. Anything over a Corps slugging it out with another Corps really starts to slow down the clock far too much to enjoy the flow of the game, expecially on a large map where each unit is constantly re-assessing tasks, visibility and route paths in 'realtime'.

If it was the standard igougo hex grid game, then you could probably do such a monster but you wouldn't be able to give orders to high command and expect it's subordinates to execute the plan the way the AA engine does, so therein lies the rub.



Trust me, corps size is about all a human can handle in the way of keeping tabs on and staying involved in the many. many small fights that take place across a corps size frontage.

(in reply to simovitch)
Post #: 49
RE: Campaign mode - 12/4/2007 6:12:48 AM   
Guz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Howard7x


quote:

ORIGINAL: Tactics
New maps and more 2-day fictional scenarios and still no reverse upgrades to previous titles.  HTTR ruled. This doesn’t.  
 


Thats a pretty stupid comment.

If your so intent on NOT liking this game before its even releaed purely on the battle its simulating then why clog up the forum with negative opinions. In fact, why come into the Battle For The Bulge forum at all if you already know your not into it.

Dynamic campaigns could be implemented if the developer had alot more time and probably a few more people working on the project. At this moment in time that isnt the case. Were not talking about Blizzard Entertainment here.

I think its fantastic that such small development houses can turn out wargames that are both genre defining and are leading the way in how a wargame can be played. If you dont see that, i feel for you.

The airborne assualt games have matured with each release and i dont see why BFTB will be any different. Take your negativity and go elsewhere.


don't talk to my woman like that! j/k hi Tac!


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Post #: 50
RE: Campaign mode - 3/8/2008 6:15:53 PM   
Grognerd

 

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I was a bit disappointed to see I will not be able to play the entire Battle of the bulge in this game format, I read the AAR from HansBolter and the level of simulation seems pretty darn good. Looking at the threads on scenario's available some pretty big one's will be available to play. So I think the term dissappointed is kind of mis-leading, looking at the post for the CPU time involved for a company level game of the entire bulge makes sense that it could not do an entire campaign.

So don't get me wrong, I will buy this game to simulate the desperate battles of the road nets and towns at company level.

I guess I'm having a "wargame" fantasy moment. This game engine/system has the potential to make all previous hex based computer wargames obsolete. It is more of a simulation and less of a game. I'm really looking forward to more titles in other theaters too. The Chir river battles of the Ghost Panzer division and the African campaigns will really test this game engine. I have supported Panther for a long time, I own "Trial of Strength" and "Fire Brigade" (boy, that was a good title for it's day) I have HTTR, have not bought COTA (yet) just was not a campaign that I've ever had great interest in.

All this talk and I have not made my point yet...

Question for Arjuna..

In the future of computer wargaming, can this engine support regimental/brigade level to make campaign games of the Eastern/Western front or the Desert campaign? Like I said I'm having a wargaming fantasy moment, but I really do see this type of game engine being able to cover a larger scale. I also see it as the future of computer wargaming...
Dang, I'd freak out to play "Trial of Strength" with this game engine....

(in reply to Agema)
Post #: 51
RE: Campaign mode - 3/9/2008 1:21:03 AM   
Arjuna


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Grognerd,

Thanks for your feedback.

First off, go and buy COTA - you won't regret it. After all you need a full collection of our products.

The short answer to your question as to whether we could upscale the unit size, is yes we could. However, we would have to rework much of the existing combat, reaction and detection/intel systems to accomodate it. Yes it would be great to model the entire East front a la Trial of Strength. But this would take a BIG investment of time on our part and right now we cannot afford that. Perhaps if more of the traditional wargamers would buy our products then we could do so. For now it will have to remain a possibility rather than a probability.

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Post #: 52
RE: Campaign mode - 3/9/2008 2:37:57 AM   
ravinhood


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quote:

Perhaps if more of the traditional wargamers would buy our products then we could do so.


Go turned based and that might happen. ;)

_____________________________

WE/I WANT 1:1 or something even 1:2 death animations in the KOIOS PANZER COMMAND SERIES don't forget Erik! ;) and Floating Paratroopers We grew up with Minor, Marginal and Decisive victories why rock the boat with Marginal, Decisive and Legendary?



(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 53
RE: Campaign mode - 3/9/2008 5:36:57 AM   
SeaMonkey

 

Posts: 751
Joined: 2/15/2004
Status: offline
OK, I know I don't post much about the AA engine, but for austerities sake I'll reiterate my position that this is the most advanced wargaming engine of our time.

Now, that said,..I'm moved to once again focus on what perhaps could be the feature of reckoning, the final improvement that pushes this wargame over the precipice into the world of recognition.

Its not like its a secret! Its been done before in a similar scale. I know we all are familiar with the Panzer General legacy. It was its campaign mode. That core force taken from one scenario to the other, that branched possibility that the decisions you as the commander made led you into another indefinite futuristic task.

And that wasn't it, it when on and on, it captivated its audience. It had the cement of winning one battle after another that eventually won the war.

Don't you see it Dave? The Bulge is perfect for this. We are all familiar with the local struggles that interacted with the other areas which finally culminated in the conclusion, either victory or defeat.

Don't try and reinvent the wheel, what PG laid down is for you and the Panther Prowlers to pick up. Sure, its a daunting task.....what is the price of success? Are you willing to pay? Is the sacrifice worth it, the reward isn't always gauged in a monetary sum.

Opportunity is knocking, has been since the inception of this engine, it only remains for you to embrace it. No one else has the tools Dave, only you. But rest assurred, there will be another and you may recollect that it could have been you.

Is that what you want?


< Message edited by SeaMonkey -- 3/9/2008 5:41:45 AM >

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 54
RE: Campaign mode - 3/31/2008 4:12:28 AM   
Tactics


Posts: 330
Joined: 10/28/2002
From: USA
Status: offline
Meh, I've been reading about 'no time for a grand camp' for the past few years, along with the flip flop on retro active updates for the older titles.

(in reply to SeaMonkey)
Post #: 55
RE: Campaign mode - 3/31/2008 2:52:08 PM   
Grell

 

Posts: 1064
Joined: 4/1/2004
From: Canada
Status: offline
Hi Agema,

Very well said I agree 100%. This game speaks for itself, it doesn't really need any advertising as it is already a work of brilliance.

Regards,

Grell

(in reply to Agema)
Post #: 56
RE: Campaign mode - 6/22/2008 12:01:26 AM   
GlobalExplorer

 

Posts: 85
Joined: 6/21/2008
Status: offline
Let me start by saying that I have just registered to comment on these questions. I have played similar games from Panzer General and Close Combat 2 in the early nineties, and COTA got me really excited. I was going to buy it tonight but not before I had a final look at the forums.

Until I read this thread.

Ignoring what most players want - a campaign - is a cardinal mistake and it looks like developers have to repeat this time after time. There are so many examples that campaigns (even simple compromises like the one in PG) make customers happy, and a complete lack of one p_sses them off. SHIII was a huge success because of it's dynamic campaign, which was when ubi gave in to community pressure after the SH2 fiasco. Ageod has had huge success with AACW's grand campaign but NCP is not because what people really want is to build up their forces and not just select battles from a list.

Panzer General had very nice system of linked scenarios, later versions had branches, and it made most people very happy. Dont tell me that this system is extremely difficult to implement because it isn't, I am programming myself.

The other option you have: make the scenario data open and allow free development of an external campaign engine. Why is that not considered if you have no resources left in the next years?

Why complain that no one buys your game if you could analyze what keeps them from doing it?

Like others said before I will have to pass COTA because I already know that in twenty years of gaming I have never enjoyed unconnected micro scenarios. I will try to think over my decision with BTFB which has some other new features which I missed from COTA (unit pictures and such), but COTA is off the table. I just thought you might want to know what keeps people from buying your games.

An additional thing: make a demo! Not having one is another reason why your games dont sell.

I hope this does not come around as a rant but I thought I had to do it.

< Message edited by GlobalExplorer -- 6/22/2008 12:04:33 AM >

(in reply to Grell)
Post #: 57
RE: Campaign mode - 6/22/2008 4:20:49 AM   
Arjuna


Posts: 17773
Joined: 3/31/2003
From: Canberra, Australia
Status: offline
Global Explorer,

Thanks for your feedback. I do appreciate your motives and the time you have taken to post here.

BFTB will have a demo. The reason we have not supplied one for COTA is that we did not have the resources to do it properly. The demo for BFTB will come with a set of movie tutorials, so that people can understand how to play the game.

As for a campaign feature. Well I appreciate you want one and that a number of users want such a feature. But the fact is that there is not the same degree of interest in this feature as you might think. Moreover the time required to develop this feature and do it properly ( and that's the only way we know how ) just makes the cost benefit that much less.

Please note that we did invest a fair amount of time ( around 6 months of effort ) into developing a campaign feature for COTA. But in the end we shelved it to focus on mixed mode movement and other features that were critical to providing a realistic simulation. Some day we will return to that development and finish it, but not in the immediate future.

The priority for BFTB has been on fulfilling the most requested features - ie providing more controls to manage forces and develop plans. This includes providing a fully functioning Order of Battle display, timing controls to enable coordination of tasks, settings to manage the standard operating procedures for orders - such as allowing bypass, attacks, ambush, stragglers and ignoring basing - and the ability to set the supply level for a specific mission.

We have also focused on enhancing the strategic AI, removing the router's "dance of death" ( which was highly requested ), syncing the command lines with the OB display and adding an estimated duration to the pathing tools. But probably the most requested feature of all was adding the Estab views into the Game so now you can access data on all weapons and vehicles from within the Game.

And these are only the highlights from the list of 131 features/changes made so far. We have a further 736 items outstanding, of which a campaign feature is but one. For some such as yourself, a campaign feature is seen as critical. But judging by the feedback we get here and on other forums and via email this is not a majority view. We are open to further persuasion though, should there all of a sudden be an avalanche of opinion to the contrary. And regardless, it is a feature I would like to see eventually.

_____________________________

Dave "Arjuna" O'Connor
www.panthergames.com

(in reply to GlobalExplorer)
Post #: 58
RE: Campaign mode - 6/22/2008 10:44:05 AM   
RayWolfe

 

Posts: 1548
Joined: 2/5/2003
From: Kent in the UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: GlobalExplorer
Dont tell me that this system is extremely difficult to implement because it isn't, I am programming myself.

Well, that's put you in your place Arjuna. What do you know?
I'm not a programmer but I have worked with enough programmers and made enough system requests to know that nothing is as simple as it looks.
For what it's worth GE, I too have had many games with campaign features but I've never, ever, used that feature. It doesn't interest me.
Although your views are important, mine is just one that is contrary to yours. But what is far, far worse than all of that is that you are depriving yourself of one of the very best games out there.
Cheers
Ray

< Message edited by RayWolfe -- 6/22/2008 10:48:13 AM >

(in reply to GlobalExplorer)
Post #: 59
RE: Campaign mode - 6/22/2008 4:05:54 PM   
GlobalExplorer

 

Posts: 85
Joined: 6/21/2008
Status: offline
Thanks a lot for replying to most of my statements.

At least 1 of my questions were answered very favorably: I am pleased to hear that I will be able to download a demo for Bftb. Meaning that I will have a 2nd chance to hopefully change my mind based on first hand experience. Looking at screenshots of this game like the one with the panther bring back memories of CC2 and I hope to stand corrected when I have played the demo.

Now let me try a more constructive approach. First of all it was said that demand for campaign is not very high. I disagree with that. Maybe it is correct with the current owners of AA titles. But it was also stated that in spite of an excellent underlying engine, they do not sell well. I believe this is because you miss out on a large part of your potential market. I am in communication with a lot of unhappy gamers which fall exactly in the middle between casual and grognard. These gamers (I count myself one of them) are very displeased with the trends in the gaming industry in general. Thousands of them are hanging out at forums like subsim.com, simhq.com etc and lament about mainstream titles (which they have exclusively bought in the past). I think they are now ready to turn their back on the mainstream market if only the indy scene comes up with the right products. Apart from maturity, complexity and realism these people also want gamey features, i.e. they are concerned about graphics, ease of use, athmosphere, realism options etc. I used to prefer mainstream titles for almost 20 years but 2 like years ago I made the switch and now invest in games from ageod and stardock, and I intend to do so in the future, just not if the products are right out ugly or incomplete.

Let me reiterate something like the Panzer General campaign is not difficult to implement. It is basically just done by loading a string of scenarios in the right order, saving some important statistics and adding introductory screens / cutscenes. Close Combat 2 also had a fantastic campaign system that was based on scripted scenarios. You were basically just racing against time on a stratmap showing your progress and cleverly creating the impression of a much deeper system.

Even if the AA titles would link the scenarios in the simplest form - meaning all you can achieve is gain or lose time - it would still be a big improvement. If no forces were built up or transferred between the scenarios this will still be 1000 times better than a pulldown menu.

There remains one of my questions that was not answered, and that is the one about scenario files. If the PG team is indeed incapable of adding a campaign through lack of resources, why don't you open up your files and let the community fix it in the form of a free campaign application? Think of programs like lowengrins DCG. I also made something similar for the Silent Hunter games ( link .. ), and would be open to have a look at this new engine.

This is what I ultimately hope you will consider in the future: to build up and work closer with your community, and support mods. That way you can have your fans work together with you and for free and let them add features and that dont make sense from a purely business point of view.


(in reply to RayWolfe)
Post #: 60
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