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Old Battlefront - 2/12/2007 5:39:24 PM   
dakjck

 

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I must be getting old, becasue I seem to remember that, in the Battlefront issued for the C-64, you did not move each individual unit, but rather ordered formations of approximately 3 units which then moved generally according to your orders. And I also seem to remember that you could attach certain support units, like armor or engineers, to the 3 unit formations. However, you did not direct each unit into each space, you directed the formation. While moving, individual units could get bogged down by fire from enemy units and never reach their destination. This could mess up your plans, but seemed alot more realistic. I liked this system alot becasue it tried to mimic a level of command. In reality, no commander orders every single unit down to battalion level.

I have only played part of one battle, but it seems this older style of command control has been deleted in favor of the older absolutely control every unit style of play. Has my memory gone completely, or has SSG abandoned the original style of command that made the Battlefront system so unique and good?
Post #: 1
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/12/2007 6:53:06 PM   
RayWolfe

 

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Unfortunately, SSG abandoned the old system.
If you want a formation based ordering system have a look at another Matrix games system: Highway to the Reich or Conquest of the Aegean by another Aussie outfit: Panther Games.
Cheers
Ray

(in reply to dakjck)
Post #: 2
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/12/2007 7:56:11 PM   
dakjck

 

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Thank you for your confirming response. I loved the old system and had purchased all of the games they made using it. I am sorry to see them change. I purchased this game based on the old system and it looks like I wasted $50.00 for a game I won't play.

By the way, I do have the Panther games.

(in reply to RayWolfe)
Post #: 3
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/12/2007 8:27:01 PM   
LarryP


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RayWolfe

If you want a formation based ordering system have a look at another Matrix games system: Highway to the Reich or Conquest of the Aegean by another Aussie outfit: Panther Games.
Cheers
Ray


I have both of these games and you can order units individually but the manual discourages this. They are great for formation based strategy. I order the top commanders and let them deal with the peons.

(in reply to RayWolfe)
Post #: 4
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/13/2007 8:16:39 PM   
stevel40831


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RayWolfe

Unfortunately, SSG abandoned the old system.



Different tastes I guess... if they had used the old system, I wouldn't have even bothered with the game. Letting the AI control your units always leads to bizarre things happening. A little randomness and failure to follow orders are interesting concepts, but, the AI bumbling around with "my troops" is not what I want in a wargame. Give me control, they're my men!

Steve

(in reply to RayWolfe)
Post #: 5
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/13/2007 9:02:16 PM   
JudgeDredd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: stevel40831
...
Letting the AI control your units always leads to bizarre things happening
...

I haven't seen this happen in Conquest of the Agean. The AI commanders are very intuitive!

_____________________________

JudgeDredd
I AM the Law!

(in reply to stevel40831)
Post #: 6
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/13/2007 9:02:57 PM   
JudgeDredd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dakjck
...
looks like I wasted $50.00 for a game I won't play
...

I'll buy it for $20!!

_____________________________

JudgeDredd
I AM the Law!

(in reply to dakjck)
Post #: 7
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/13/2007 9:52:47 PM   
Missouri_Rebel


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I tried to get into CotA, but it doesn't seem like much of a game to me. The limited feedback and lack of ongoing battle reports leave me feeling like I am watching a game instead of playing one. At no point did I feel like I knew what was happening or that I had a role larger than moving a chit to an area. Absolutely no immersion for me. Maybe I am missing something, but I certainly won't be purchasing any more of the series unless there is a system in place that allows even some form of feedback. Are they firing? How many hits did they recieve?etc. Sure there are collored chits that are supposed to show some things but I wanted some kind of hard numbers.

For me it was money not well spent. The bad part is the future developments add 1...get that 1 major enhancement to the game per release, I remember reading. Maybe it is sound practice? I don't know, but I guess I will have to wait for 15 more releases in their line before I purchase a game that appears to be innovating and new enough.

mo reb

_____________________________

**Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul
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(in reply to JudgeDredd)
Post #: 8
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/13/2007 11:02:54 PM   
Capitaine

 

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MoReb, I had the same feeling as you with the CotA/HttR system.  I think it goes to the reason we play wargames in the first place.  I play games not to fight battles and try to experience war, I want to understand the results of historical battles, and the reasons therefor.  If I can't understand why and how a unit is doing what it is doing, it has no value to me.  Others want to simulate the "experience of war", and prefer NOT knowing the whys and hows of the action because "the real commander" wouldn't actually know that.

I suppose both are reasonable bases for gaming a war scenario, although personally I feel that the experiential basis is impossible to achieve via computer and is next to worthless.  Being able to see and understand a warfare model, however, has a lot of value to us historian types.

(in reply to Missouri_Rebel)
Post #: 9
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/13/2007 11:32:54 PM   
Pergite!

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Missouri_Rebel
I tried to get into CotA, but it doesn't seem like much of a game to me. The limited feedback and lack of ongoing battle reports leave me feeling like I am watching a game instead of playing one. At no point did I feel like I knew what was happening or that I had a role larger than moving a chit to an area.


Its the only game I have stumbled upon (besides POA2) that offers a good simulation of command limitations. You get limited information, you act on it and your manuever units execute your orders. With the order delay and other frictions (the terrain models in COTA is IMO wonderful) the game can get very advanced. I found it easy to get into, but very hard to master (especially if you are used to have full control).

I do belive that there is great that there are som many diverse games out there to fit all our different tastes. We are all wargamers, but we do indeed have different preferences.

(in reply to Missouri_Rebel)
Post #: 10
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/13/2007 11:37:50 PM   
Zap


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Sounds like they are following the Microsoft model.

(in reply to Missouri_Rebel)
Post #: 11
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/13/2007 11:42:44 PM   
Missouri_Rebel


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Sure enough Capitaine. I guess that is why I prefer games with a lot of information such as Battlefront and the DB series. Give me stats and roll's any day over delay times. Just not my cup of tea. I understand a lot of people enjoy CotA, and it has had some great reviews, but if the new Battlefront was in any way like it I would not have purchased it. The problem I stated with CotA about not enough innovative features per release is also a turn off for these games too. I own K. Pocket and BIN but didn't purchase BiI, feeling like it was too much of the same and not enough new. Was I wrong? Not sure. Did Battlefront offer enough new things to warrant a purchase? I think it did, although it still has that familiar feel. But sometimes familiarity breeds contempt.

mo reb

< Message edited by Missouri_Rebel -- 2/14/2007 12:04:30 AM >


_____________________________

**Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul
**A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have-Gerald Ford

(in reply to Capitaine)
Post #: 12
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/13/2007 11:48:14 PM   
dakjck

 

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It is interesting seeing the desire of players to control every rifle. I began playing wargames in 1964 with Tactics II. I have played them continuously since then. I definately fall on the side of the grognard, always leaning on the side of realism over playability. Over the years, before the computer (prehistoric, I know), many of the long time players I played with lamented over the God-like control we exerted over the formations. With the advent of computers, we all hoped that the computer could bring what board gaming could not, true fog of war, simultaneous movement, morale and proper command control (admittedly, towards the end of board gaming, rules were put into effect for most of these, but there were very cumbersome - anyone remember 1914?

In most battles, something unintended happens, such as the attack on Hougemont being developed into an all out attack as opposed to the feint intended by Napoleon or the misunderstanding over which guns to charge at Balaklava. I am amused by the comment "I want to understand the results of historical battles and the reasons therefore." If you think you will understand a battle by being able to control every unit exactly, you do not have a prayer of ever understanding a battle. Napoleon wanted Grouchy to march to the guns, but he did not. How does controling every step Grouchy takes help you understand why he never showed? How about the Union unit (I cannot remember the name) pulling out of the line without orders just as Longstreet's men attacked at Chickamauga? Without these unintended occurences, how can you hope to understand the battle? True, you do not want games where your actions have little to do with the outcome. However, with proper command control, your style of play needs to change. Your orders become more general "take that position" rather than "move your first unit there, your second there, then attack here". If your orders are not followed exactly, well, that is war. Even the best generals have ordered units to "take that hill, if practicable," only to find the receiver of the order did not comprehend the the need to take the hill.

I admit that a game that puts you in the proper command position needs a good ai to handle the lower command levels. It may be my fading memory, but I recall that the old Battlefront did accomplish just that.

(in reply to Capitaine)
Post #: 13
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/14/2007 3:59:23 AM   
Missouri_Rebel


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I think that if there was more intel regarding WHAT the units were doing and some kind of casualty report that I would have enjoyed it more. As it stands though, the ammount of intel is too low to be enjoyable for me. It just seemed to me that there wasn't enough for me to do other than sit and wait. I might give it another whirl to reconfirm my position. I always want to enjoy the games and play them a lot ,but lately it seems as though I like the idea of having a new game more than I do actually playing them. I think it must be some kind of disorder or somefink.

I guess that is why I have so many bookcase game systems. All the asl boxes with un-opened doubles in shrink-wrap. And shrink-wrapped A3R and Empire of the r. sun among others. More money than brains and time it seems.

mo reb


_____________________________

**Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul
**A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have-Gerald Ford

(in reply to dakjck)
Post #: 14
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/14/2007 5:05:14 AM   
JSS

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: dakjck

...I am amused by the comment "I want to understand the results of historical battles and the reasons therefore." If you think you will understand a battle by being able to control every unit exactly, you do not have a prayer of ever understanding a battle.


Hmmm, methinks you've never played the DB series, maybe. Not sure what your rant is geared toward but NO wargame, NONE surpasses the SSG DB games for recreating the flow of an operational campaign; the lessons of history are there in the DB series (WWII is of course its focus)... especially figuring out WHY somethings were possible and somethings were a historian's pipedream. The old Atomic games where in the same ballpark (sort of) but nothing else even comes close. The comment you're ripping is spot on for DB and the historical outcomes of campaigns... to expect the same from BF is not unreasonable IMHO.

(in reply to dakjck)
Post #: 15
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/14/2007 5:24:23 AM   
06 Maestro


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

I'll buy it for $20!!





A perfect capitalist, you are.

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Post #: 16
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/14/2007 7:36:42 AM   
Gregor_SSG


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This is an interesting discussion and it's one to which there is no right answer. The orginal Battlefront did indeed have a higher level order system where the player didn't have direct control over their units. We found that some people loved that system, but more people hated it, and some people were happy to play either way. The divide is still with us today.

All I can say is that we firstly make the games we ourselves want to play, and that we're never going to do a game that violates that rule (it's too much hard work for too little money to contemplate). Within that fairly broad parameter we try and produce a design that does justice to the military decisions that commanders had to make, rewarding good ones and discouraging bad ones. I have absolutely no doubts that direct control games (not just ours) can and do achieve that aim.

Gregor



_____________________________

Vice President, Strategic Studies Group
See http://www.ssg.com.au and http://www.ssg.com.au/forums/
for info and free scenarios.

(in reply to dakjck)
Post #: 17
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/14/2007 11:25:19 PM   
TPM

 

Posts: 349
Joined: 2/8/2007
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quote:

ORIGINAL: dakjck

I must be getting old, becasue I seem to remember that, in the Battlefront issued for the C-64, you did not move each individual unit, but rather ordered formations of approximately 3 units which then moved generally according to your orders. And I also seem to remember that you could attach certain support units, like armor or engineers, to the 3 unit formations. However, you did not direct each unit into each space, you directed the formation. While moving, individual units could get bogged down by fire from enemy units and never reach their destination. This could mess up your plans, but seemed alot more realistic. I liked this system alot becasue it tried to mimic a level of command. In reality, no commander orders every single unit down to battalion level.

I have only played part of one battle, but it seems this older style of command control has been deleted in favor of the older absolutely control every unit style of play. Has my memory gone completely, or has SSG abandoned the original style of command that made the Battlefront system so unique and good?


Jumping in late here, but I have to concur with this...I just recently discovered the old Battlefront games (thanks to DOS emulator) and while I don't think the games as a whole are great (well, great for the time period), I absolutely love the command system...I like being able to tell a formation "defend here" and let them find cover, etc., or "take that objective" and let them do it. I look at some of the HUGE scenarios for Operational Art of War and it boggles my mind that guys can sit there and order BATTALIONS around in Operation Barbarossa! Of course, that might be another issue dealing with the scale of the game but you get the idea.

In any event I would like to see more games give you the option...kind of like the old War In Russia game, where you could set objectives for units...I know it didn't work perfectly, but still it was cool.

Maybe this has a lot to do with the fact that I don't have time to sit there and order everyone around! I just want to say "3rd division, move here and when you get there, be in a defensive posture" or something like that...and if I saw after the first turn the AI didn't do it right, I could get in there and fix it. C'mon, wouldn't you love to just tell those reinforcements "When you get on the map, head straight for here" instead of moving every single freaking piece up the road?

(in reply to dakjck)
Post #: 18
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/14/2007 11:55:03 PM   
TPM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JSS

quote:

ORIGINAL: dakjck

...I am amused by the comment "I want to understand the results of historical battles and the reasons therefore." If you think you will understand a battle by being able to control every unit exactly, you do not have a prayer of ever understanding a battle.


Hmmm, methinks you've never played the DB series, maybe. Not sure what your rant is geared toward but NO wargame, NONE surpasses the SSG DB games for recreating the flow of an operational campaign; the lessons of history are there in the DB series (WWII is of course its focus)... especially figuring out WHY somethings were possible and somethings were a historian's pipedream. The old Atomic games where in the same ballpark (sort of) but nothing else even comes close. The comment you're ripping is spot on for DB and the historical outcomes of campaigns... to expect the same from BF is not unreasonable IMHO.


Have to agree with these comments on the DB games...I thought the The Ardennes Offensive was just awesome...perfect scale, great graphics (you could see at a glance what units belong to what divisions), great mechanics. I bought Korsun as soon as it came out and I still play it (was hoping they'd make a North African edition, seems like the engine and scale are perfect for it). Although I'd love to see something like the old Battlefront command system (at least as an option), these DB games really are fantastic and I'm sure the new Battlefront is great as well.

(in reply to JSS)
Post #: 19
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/15/2007 12:39:25 AM   
SMK-at-work

 

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Does anyone know if the scenarios for the old battlefront system are archived anywhere??

(in reply to TPM)
Post #: 20
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/15/2007 12:55:15 AM   
TPM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: SMK-at-work

Does anyone know if the scenarios for the old battlefront system are archived anywhere??


Here's where you can get the game:

http://www.the-underdogs.info/

It comes with alot of scenarios...maybe 50 I think. Unless you've got an old operating system (95, 98) you're going to need a DOS emulator like DOSBox to run the game.

(in reply to SMK-at-work)
Post #: 21
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/15/2007 1:03:41 AM   
ravinhood


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd


quote:

ORIGINAL: dakjck
...
looks like I wasted $50.00 for a game I won't play
...

I'll buy it for $20!!


I'll buy it for $5.00 ;)

(in reply to JudgeDredd)
Post #: 22
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/15/2007 1:44:03 AM   
dakjck

 

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Thank you for your response. I just wish that SSG/Matrix had not advertised this as a reissue when, in fact, it is such a departure from the original. What made Battlefront (and Halls of Montezuma and the Civil War series) stand out in the crowd was its command system. Usually, I wait to play a demo to see what the game is. However, becasue this was the reissue of "Battlefront", I immediately purchased it. So, ya got me.

I know there is a large following for the command every rifle approach. John Tiller has made a career of it. Maybe if I was new to wargaming, I would appreciate it more. However, after having to move every skirmisher in Wellington's Victory, I have had enough pushing around counters (yes, I still refer to the virtual units as counters, can't help myself).

I am sorry to see game design regress, but I understand you have to make a profit. At least I have enjoyed this discussion.


(in reply to Gregor_SSG)
Post #: 23
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/15/2007 4:16:51 AM   
Gregor_SSG


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dakjck

Thank you for your response. I just wish that SSG/Matrix had not advertised this as a reissue when, in fact, it is such a departure from the original. What made Battlefront (and Halls of Montezuma and the Civil War series) stand out in the crowd was its command system. Usually, I wait to play a demo to see what the game is. However, becasue this was the reissue of "Battlefront", I immediately purchased it. So, ya got me.

I know there is a large following for the command every rifle approach. John Tiller has made a career of it. Maybe if I was new to wargaming, I would appreciate it more. However, after having to move every skirmisher in Wellington's Victory, I have had enough pushing around counters (yes, I still refer to the virtual units as counters, can't help myself).

I am sorry to see game design regress, but I understand you have to make a profit. At least I have enjoyed this discussion.




I don't think we ever said that Battlefront was a reissue. We did say that it had elements in common with our Decisive Battles series and we did have screens shots and AARs on the website, so absolutely no deception was intended.

Gregor

_____________________________

Vice President, Strategic Studies Group
See http://www.ssg.com.au and http://www.ssg.com.au/forums/
for info and free scenarios.

(in reply to dakjck)
Post #: 24
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/15/2007 5:16:07 PM   
dakjck

 

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My mistake. I went back and looked at what was said and it did say it was a new system. It was my error to anticiapte that the game with the same name covering the same battles would seek to improve the system that set it apart. There clearly was no deception. I guess I just hoped for more.

(in reply to Gregor_SSG)
Post #: 25
RE: Old Battlefront - 2/15/2007 10:31:59 PM   
SMK-at-work

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: TPM

quote:

ORIGINAL: SMK-at-work

Does anyone know if the scenarios for the old battlefront system are archived anywhere??


Here's where you can get the game:

http://www.the-underdogs.info/

It comes with alot of scenarios...maybe 50 I think. Unless you've got an old operating system (95, 98) you're going to need a DOS emulator like DOSBox to run the game.


thanks - I'll cehck it out.

I already have all the games & am looking for the scenarios that were published in Run 5 regularly.

(in reply to TPM)
Post #: 26
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