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Considering to buy - questions - 3/13/2013 6:20:59 PM   
Matti Kuokkanen

 

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I'm considering to buy new operational level wargame, and TOAW3 is strong contender. However I demand comprehensive and thorough manual which explains me everything I need to know to understand and play the game. But according this topic, it could fail there. I have read tutorials are outdated, but heyhellowhatsnew (forum user name) had other difficulties too. Did he miss something in the manuals, or are manuals really lacking?

I'd also like to know about scenario sizes. I prefer small maps with few counters as in Battle Isle, Panzer General, and Panzer Corps series. Does TOAW3 deliver such scenarios? How many?

What about historical accuracy? I remember from TV about American Civil War that one Union commander had significant advantage over his Confederation counterpart, but he hadn't balls to attack. Is this delay scripted for the AI in related scenario? Can I burn Moscow before handing it over to Napoleon? Can I tell finnish artillery and Stukas to target motorized barges (instead tanks) in order to prevent T-34s crossing the river?

One of the greatest things I have experienced in wargames is player is not alone, but he has AI controlled allies (Battle Isle 3, Jagged Alliance 2, Pathway to Glory). Does TOAW3 have that?

As I understand supply and logistics, some hexes are sources and delivery is described as numbers over other hexes. What would I need to do in order to keep my own supply open and block those of the enemy? Is air supply modelled, and what player needs to do to keep Dakotas or JU-52s flying?

Comparison to JTCS and WITE: what is better in TOAW3, and what is not? Broad scale of the wars over broad scale of time... anything else?

Previous discussion

< Message edited by Matti Kuokkanen -- 3/13/2013 6:28:35 PM >


_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

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Post #: 1
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/13/2013 8:00:52 PM   
altipueri

 

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I would suggest you wait until Christmas when the Matrix annual sale will probably have this game down to about 20 pounds/euros.

It is a classic game and every wargamer ought to have tried it. However it is now quite old and forum activity is low so you may not get the sort of quick deep response you seem to be seeking.

I'm still a newbie at playing it so I'll not risk commenting further.

(in reply to Matti Kuokkanen)
Post #: 2
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/13/2013 8:27:43 PM   
Matti Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: altipueri

I'm still a newbie at playing it so I'll not risk commenting further.

Just answer me this: does manual tell you enough about the game?

_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars

(in reply to altipueri)
Post #: 3
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/13/2013 8:35:14 PM   
golden delicious


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Matti Kuokkanen

I'm considering to buy new operational level wargame, and TOAW3 is strong contender. However I demand comprehensive and thorough manual which explains me everything I need to know to understand and play the game.


How do you ever play any new game? I haven't bought a game with such a manual for about ten years. By now I take it as a given that I'm going to spend the first several (dozen?) games going "Huh, I didn't know I could do that".

quote:

I'd also like to know about scenario sizes. I prefer small maps with few counters as in Battle Isle, Panzer General, and Panzer Corps series. Does TOAW3 deliver such scenarios? How many?


Rugged Defense lists 24 scenarios with under 50 pieces (both sides) and 107 with under 100.

quote:

What about historical accuracy?


That depends on the designer.

quote:

I remember from TV about American Civil War that one Union commander had significant advantage over his Confederation counterpart, but he hadn't balls to attack. Is this delay scripted for the AI in related scenario? Can I burn Moscow before handing it over to Napoleon? Can I tell finnish artillery and Stukas to target motorized barges (instead tanks) in order to prevent T-34s crossing the river?


All of these things are technical possible. Again, depends on the designer.

quote:

One of the greatest things I have experienced in wargames is player is not alone, but he has AI controlled allies (Battle Isle 3, Jagged Alliance 2, Pathway to Glory). Does TOAW3 have that?


Sort of. As I recall, one can now set formations to be controlled by the PO. Never tried it, not sure how it works. Would also have to be governed by house rule.

quote:

As I understand supply and logistics, some hexes are sources and delivery is described as numbers over other hexes. What would I need to do in order to keep my own supply open and block those of the enemy?


That's a complex question. In general the supply model is pretty robust except in cases where the size of forces using a particular supply line is highly variable. Then it would have to be governed by events, which itself would be highly challenging.

quote:

Is air supply modelled, and what player needs to do to keep Dakotas or JU-52s flying?


Although there are some cases where the game will provide air supply through the engine, this would mainly have to be set up by the designer, to include supply points or supply units in the location of airfields. In neither case would this be related to air superiority levels (although now I'm thinking about a workaround which could make this work....)

In general, I would recommend investing in TOAW if you're a serious designer. I'm not aware of any other game system which provides such a powerful set of tools for building your own scenarios. More or less anything is possible within the scale and time limitations fundamental to the engine- which are themselves far broader than any vaguely comparable game.

If you're not a designer, have a look at some of the small scale scenarios and see if you're interested in playing them.

I'm going to get shouted at by everyone else- but frankly, if you like scenarios with very low unit count, aren't a designer and are particularly concerned with playing the AI, you won't get a lot out of TOAW.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 3/13/2013 8:38:13 PM >


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(in reply to Matti Kuokkanen)
Post #: 4
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/13/2013 8:41:16 PM   
golden delicious


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From: London, Surrey, United Kingdom
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Matti Kuokkanen

Just answer me this: does manual tell you enough about the game?


Easy to learn, hard to beat! I got the demo and just started running with it. Got trashed by the AI a few times (in my defence, I was fifteen at the time) but had a lot of fun along the way. It's actually pretty quick to pick up if you don't mind making mistakes.

To answer your question more directly, the manual lays out the fundamentals of the way the engine works and what you need to consider- I remember considering my print manuals for Volume I and COW being somewhat treasured possessions. It doesn't tell you every detail of gameplay. If it did, it'd run to several hundred pages. I'd recommend not even glancing at it until you've played the game at least a good six hours.

< Message edited by golden delicious -- 3/13/2013 8:43:37 PM >


_____________________________

"Event 902: Bob Cross slays dragons!"

http://www.savemstateathletics.com/tdg/

(in reply to Matti Kuokkanen)
Post #: 5
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/13/2013 8:47:33 PM   
General Staff

 

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quote:

1) I have read tutorials are outdated, but heyhellowhatsnew (forum user name) had other difficulties too. Did he miss something in the manuals, or are manuals really lacking?

2) I'd also like to know about scenario sizes. I prefer small maps with few counters as in Battle Isle, Panzer General, and Panzer Corps series. Does TOAW3 deliver such scenarios? How many?

3)What about historical accuracy? I remember from TV about American Civil War that one Union commander had significant advantage over his Confederation counterpart, but he hadn't balls to attack. Is this delay scripted for the AI in related scenario? Can I burn Moscow before handing it over to Napoleon? Can I tell finnish artillery and Stukas to target motorized barges (instead tanks) in order to prevent T-34s crossing the river?

One of the greatest things I have experienced in wargames is player is not alone, but he has AI controlled allies (Battle Isle 3, Jagged Alliance 2, Pathway to Glory). Does TOAW3 have that?

4) As I understand supply and logistics, some hexes are sources and delivery is described as numbers over other hexes. What would I need to do in order to keep my own supply open and block those of the enemy? Is air supply modelled, and what player needs to do to keep Dakotas or JU-52s flying?

5) Comparison to JTCS and WITE: what is better in TOAW3, and what is not? Broad scale of the wars over broad scale of time...

6) anything else?

1) To an extent he missed some things- for instance in the tutorial referenced in Post # 17, he asks what an RBC is, when it's specifically stated in the previous sentence/paragraph- "RBC (Retreat Before Combat)", then shortened thereafter.

Manuals- been a while but they were adequate++ for me once I put the effort in- and it is something of a learning curve but well worth it. Then again, I'd be from days when you bought a (board) game per war/battle so could need to know several sets of rules to play several different EF games for example. But without serious effort, you'd be in danger of getting lost, but I'd suggest that's true for any number of games++ you mention.

2) See Rugged Defense Scenario Listings for a pretty comprehensive DB including- possibly of topical interest to yourself- scenarios on the the Winter War (Suomossalmi, Naykkijaervi). You can see # of units, briefing etc...

3) Qs:

a) You can toy with whatever deviations from history the designer has permitted/allows. And of course you are free to engineer your own triumphs and tragedies, either as a player or designer.

b) You can shell or bomb hex location(s), what you destroy or sink is determined by the engine.

c) To your last Q, not really, except what the designer builds in to manage units. It's essentially a 2 player game- or Player versus AI. See Europe Aflame for the concept of events in 1939-45 Europe for example, but my understanding is that it only allows for countries to enter on one side or another- someone may well correct me on this.

4) See http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3210671 and this illustrates a lot of things. It quotes the manual, it's one of the most intelligible, concise and precise explanations of supply in TOAW I've seen and perhaps most importantly it shows how players in the TOAW Community help each other out.

5) Some others probably play- or have tried- these other games. Maybe they can provide comparisons.

6) What TOAW lacks these days is programming and further development support, and this is a crippling deficit.

An additional thought- If I were looking again I'd buy one of the Command Ops series: Highway to the Reich/Battles from the Bulge. There's a demo available. It's made by a really useful Australian outfit- seems to me in terms of experience, thought, skill and most importantly relative to TOAW these days, ongoing development- Panther Games of 'Trial of Strength' fame (for those with longer memories), which I remember fondly as something of a quantum leap in EF board wargames. Command Ops seems similar in that regard (I just wish I had more time to review it further- I keep putting it on the long finger). Maybe someone has played both and could chime in here with an opinion.

Whatever you decide, I wish you well.

< Message edited by General Staff -- 3/13/2013 8:49:45 PM >


_____________________________

Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
(J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

(in reply to Matti Kuokkanen)
Post #: 6
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/13/2013 9:18:43 PM   
Matti Kuokkanen

 

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Joined: 4/2/2004
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quote:

ORIGINAL: golden delicious

I'm going to get shouted at by everyone else- but frankly, if you like scenarios with very low unit count, aren't a designer and are particularly concerned with playing the AI, you won't get a lot out of TOAW.

So what other games would you recommend for me? Please answer in this thread

_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars

(in reply to golden delicious)
Post #: 7
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/13/2013 9:28:35 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Matti Kuokkanen

I'm considering to buy new operational level wargame, and TOAW3 is strong contender. However I demand comprehensive and thorough manual which explains me everything I need to know to understand and play the game. But according this topic, it could fail there. I have read tutorials are outdated, but heyhellowhatsnew (forum user name) had other difficulties too. Did he miss something in the manuals, or are manuals really lacking?


The manual was made by humans and, while they may have thought it was comprehensive that was not humanly achievable. It tells you how to use the software. It will not turn you into Rommel anymore than reading a flight manual will make you Richard Bong. That comes from experience. Furthermore, the manual is augmented by the "What's New" document for changes that have been made since version 0.

quote:

What about historical accuracy? I remember from TV about American Civil War that one Union commander had significant advantage over his Confederation counterpart, but he hadn't balls to attack. Is this delay scripted for the AI in related scenario?


It potentially could be. It depends upon the designer. (For such a scenario, that designer might have to be you, by the way).

quote:

Can I burn Moscow before handing it over to Napoleon?


Foraging is not modeled in TOAW. ACW & Napoleonic scenarios kind of stretch TOAW out of its norms. But that hasn't stopped designers from trying.

quote:

Can I tell finnish artillery and Stukas to target motorized barges (instead tanks) in order to prevent T-34s crossing the river?


Only if they are in separate hexes - and that would be getting a bit tactical. But Ferry/Bridging squads are far more vulnerable to artillery or air bombardments than armor, obviously.

quote:

One of the greatest things I have experienced in wargames is player is not alone, but he has AI controlled allies (Battle Isle 3, Jagged Alliance 2, Pathway to Glory). Does TOAW3 have that?


The latest version added the ability to hand control of some of your force to the PO. But if you're playing another human, that's a sure way to get clobbered.

quote:

As I understand supply and logistics, some hexes are sources and delivery is described as numbers over other hexes. What would I need to do in order to keep my own supply open and block those of the enemy? Is air supply modelled, and what player needs to do to keep Dakotas or JU-52s flying?


Air supply is modeled for isolated pockets if you have excess (unused) air transport capacity. C-47s & JU-52's are not explicitly modeled, though. Air transport is modeled as a capacity.

< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 3/13/2013 9:32:27 PM >

(in reply to Matti Kuokkanen)
Post #: 8
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/13/2013 9:42:21 PM   
General Staff

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: altipueri

1) I would suggest you wait until Christmas when the Matrix annual sale will probably have this game down to about 20 pounds/euros.

2) It is a classic game and every wargamer ought to have tried it. However it is now quite old and forum activity is low so you may not get the sort of quick deep response you seem to be seeking.

3) I'm still a newbie at playing it so I'll not risk commenting further.
1) Don't worry- at the current glacial pace of change (and based also on comment 2), by Christmas it'll be available on e-bay for far less than that.

2) Yes.

3) Newbie or not, and thank you and well done for sticking your neck out, you're unfortunately dead right.


_____________________________

Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
(J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

(in reply to altipueri)
Post #: 9
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/14/2013 12:42:08 PM   
Cfant2

 

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There is a Demo of TOAW I. Just try it. The game has improved a lot since then (in both gameplay and grafics (yes, I call it grafics! :)) But you can see, if it means fun to you.

http://www.fileplanet.com/11553/10000/fileinfo/The-Operational-Art-of-War-Vol.-1-Demo

(in reply to General Staff)
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RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/15/2013 8:45:11 PM   
burroughs


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Quantity does not mean quality - I am surprised that anybody who playing TOAW III means business may be disappointed with the forum or community support. Perhaps indeed the company corporate responsibility does not live up to what is expected of somebody who deserved our trust enough so as to get our money, but the comunity has always been and is there whenever I need that and there has not been as issue I used to decribed here that wasn't adressed in more than a decent and satisfying maner. Does not mean that every issue has gotten solved as a result, but I always knew what to do about that and could consider and reconsider my options.

< Message edited by burroughs -- 3/15/2013 8:46:55 PM >


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RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/16/2013 4:15:11 PM   
Matti Kuokkanen

 

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I've already bought, downloaded, and installed this game. Now reading manual. From other threads I know documentation of tutorial scenarios are outdated. Has anyone rewritten those up-to-date?

_____________________________

You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars

(in reply to burroughs)
Post #: 12
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/16/2013 7:41:08 PM   
sPzAbt653


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Klink put together a modern day tuturial you might want to look at here:
http://gefechtsstand.wordpress.com/

(in reply to Matti Kuokkanen)
Post #: 13
RE: Considering to buy - questions - 3/16/2013 8:49:52 PM   
General Staff

 

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From: Dublin
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Matti Kuokkanen

I've already bought, downloaded, and installed this game. Now reading manual. From other threads I know documentation of tutorial scenarios are outdated. Has anyone rewritten those up-to-date?
Not that outdated. They're still valid for most aspects of the system except combat results, since these are of course going to be variable, so other than general TOAW principles- and specific scenario issues- they don't really go step by step through more than turn 1 simply because they can't.

Also the following items in the system have changed since at least the two I wrote (Tannenberg 1914 and Kasserine 1943) were written:

1) Artillery in support of infantry works somewhat differently- read the manual AND the 'What's New' notes for updates.
2) If you attack units that are surrounded, they now have the ability to try to break out and can do so through the 'weakest link' in your surrounding cordon. This is also covered as in (1) under 'Retreat Before Combat' (RBC).
3) Maybe folks have noticed other issues and could add to these. The other tutorials I'd suggest are similarly viable/valuable(?).

Some folks don't like/seem to read these too carefully or are too keen to dash into combat- I've seen some AARs on Kasserine 1943 that would make Rommel weep.

The real struggle in TOAW- it was for me along with much else (like Supply)- is to understand the 'Combat Rounds' system. The tutorials may help and there's a wealth of other material out there. Just search the net, the TOAW forum or if still in doubt ask.

As to updating these- there's little point when the system is at present crippled with some serious problems and no fix/development progress in sight. I did take a quick look at them recently- they don't look too good in the MS Word versions included but there were HTML versions that didn't make it in the final cut, including an article on Balkans 1912 that was more general and didn't include specific moves. These can be found here:

Balkans 1912
Tannenberg 1914
Kasserine 1943

If someone wants to put the work in telling me what needs updating (other than the above) I'll maybe put the work in to fix them.

_____________________________

Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
(J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

(in reply to Matti Kuokkanen)
Post #: 14
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