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Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan

 
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Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 3:27:51 AM   
Arjuna


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Hi all,

I'd like to share with you our plan for the development of Command Ops 2 (CO2)over the next two years.

CAVEAT - NO PLAN SURVIVES CONTACT WITH REALITY FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME

We plan to develop CO2 in stages, releasing updates after each stage. In particular we plan to:

  • develop CO2 stage 1 by the end of August. Release by end of September. This would comprise the following features:

    • Planning Graphics 1 - NAIs
    • Sequential Tasking
    • Triggers
    • Enhanced Map Drawing
    • Map Overlays
    • Enhanced Context Menu
    • New Unit Icons
    • Multiple Selection in OB Display


  • develop CO2 stage 2 by end of November and release early December. This would comprise the following features;

    • multiple AI threads/large scenarios
    • whatever other small UI features we can fit in

  • release KOAD in early December

  • develop CO2 stage 3 by end of Mar 2014 and release by end of Apr 2014. This would comprise the following features;

    • PBEM
    • Fire Plans
    • whatever other small UI features we can fit in

  • release West Wall in April 2014

  • develop CO2 stage 4 by end of July 2014 and release by end of August 2014. This would comprise the following features;

    • Campaign Mode
    • Task Variants (Doctrine) - specifically Soviet doctrine
    • whatever other small UI features we can fit in

  • release East Front by end of August 2014

  • develop CO2 stage 5 by end of October 2014 and release by end of November 2014. This would comprise the following features;

    • Planning Mode
    • Mounted Ops
    • whatever other small UI features we can fit in

  • release LOTB by end of November 2014



CAVEAT - NO PLAN SURVIVES CONTACT WITH REALITY FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME

Oh and did I mention that no plans survives contact with reality for any length of time.

By way of clarification let me add the following points:

  • Each upgrade, including the initial CO2 stage 1, will sell for $29.99.
  • All previous data packs will be converted at no cost to existing owners with each upgrade. So with the release of CO2 stage 1 we will also release upgraded data packs for HTTR, Greek, Med and BFTB. So your investment in these will endure. We will probably split the BFTB scenarios into two packs. Existing owners of BFTB will get these at no cost. The only expense you will be up for is the cost of the CO2 upgrade - ie $29.99.
  • Whenever a person buys the CO2 engine they will get the latest version incorporating all previous updates. So existing users can skip say updates 2 and 3 and then buy 4, in which case they will get 2 and 3 as well at that time. The aim here is to facilitate two things. First to enable newcomers to buy in at any time at a $30 price tag for the engine and then buy whatever data packs they choose. Second to enable existing users the option to skip a data pack they are not interested in without a penalty in terms of the engine features. Please bear this in mind though that certain data packs will require certain features that will require you to update the engine - eg The east front pack will require Soviet doctrine.


Features Key:

  • Planning Graphics 1 - NAI = Named Areas Of Interest or areas drawn by the player on the map. They will have states like enemy/friendly presence, enemy/friendly control. They will be used by triggers to start or end tasks. Eg start attack when enemy enters area X.
  • Triggers = data condition used to start and end tasks. Players will be able to setup a trigger for each of the timings of a task. Eg HHour commences when friendlies no longer in area Y.
  • Sequential Tasking = ability for players to issue multiple orders in sequence. Subsequent tasks will be activated when either the current task ends or a trigger fires. Eg issue a defend and an attack to your reserve force with a trigger to end the defend if enemy enter area Z.
  • Enhanced Map Drawing = this will see us switch to a new graphics engine that will support 2D drawing (and maybe 3D in the future). It will support transparency effects and allow us to have really large maps with many more layers than the current engine.
  • Map Overlays = graphic overlays used to depict various effects on areas of the map. These will include move rates for foot and motorised, map control, enemy and friendly firepower and concentrations.
  • Enhanced Context Menu = ability for player to right click on the map and depending on what entities are at the location to display/enable the following:

    • terrain info (just like it does now)
    • unit list - ie list of all units whose occupied area overlaps the click location. So you can select which unit you want.
    • eligible orders - a list of orders that can be issued to the selected force. So you can issue orders with a right click rather than clicking on the tool tab.
    • crossing info - if one is present - eg primed status, construction progress.

  • New Unit Icons = we will be taking advantage of transparency effects to enhance the way we display unit icons. I'll provide more info on this later.
  • Multiple Selection in OB Display = ability to select multiple units from within the OB display. So you can now simply select your force from the OB display and issue orders without the need to find the units on the map.
  • Multiple AI threads/large scenarios = ability to use multiple AI threads - one per side initially. This will improve performance and enable us to take advantage of the larger maps and to create larger scenarios with more units.
  • PBEM = play by email. This will involve the ability to issue orders, email your save to your opponent, have them issue their orders and then play out a turn covering an agreed period of game time.
  • Fire Plans = ability to create a set of bombard tasks sequenced to a schedule. This will allow you to create preparatory rolling bombardments or sophisticated fire support plans triggered by NAIs.
  • Campaign Mode = ability to fight a sequence of scenarios. More info on this later.
  • Task Variants (Doctrine) - specifically Soviet doctrine = provision of AI to manage different ways of planning and executing tasks and linking these to specific doctrine used by nations or services. Eg an American force may be able to conduct a fix and flank attack or a double envelopment while a Soviet force conduct a full frontal assault.
  • Planning Mode = ability to create contingency plans where you issue orders that are not current until the plan is committed. So you can prepare multiple plans and activate them as required.
  • Mounted Ops = ability to model separate leg and transport components for mechanised/motorised infantry. You will be able to order a mech inf force to defend in terrain that only the leg component can traverse and the AI will manage the move, dismount, subsequent separate moves and defends for the split force. It will also model the use of mech component to provide fire support in attacks. More on this later.


We would appreciate your feedback on our plan.

< Message edited by Arjuna -- 4/22/2013 12:43:22 PM >


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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 4:29:49 AM   
navwarcol

 

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Sounds really great Dave.
To make sure I understood that, the separate releases listed above for CO2, that do not mention a game release as LotB, for example, are engine updates for our current game, and then the game releases will be able to "plug in" when they come out, in the same way as BftB,HTTR, etc do now?
Oh, and did I mention? Sounds great!

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 9:05:30 AM   
wodin


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How much will the East front game be? Or will have have to buy all those upgrades previously? I'm hoping the EF game will be a standalone that includes all the previous upgrades.
It's abit confusing to be honest. Again do I have to buy 5 upgrades then the LOTB game to play it..or will the LOTB game include all the upgrades?

Lets say I want the EF game only...do I have to buy all those packs to be able to play it? If someone new comes to the game will they have to buy all those upgrade packs and the scenario packs?

It seems to get the most out of this you need to buy all the scenario packs..otherwise your looking at nearly $150 for all the CO2 upgrades plus the EF scenario pack cost of 29.99 (Thats if it is a pack and not a full standalone game) where if you bought all the planned packs it's not that much of an outlay as the core upgrade cost is sort of spread out then.

I love all the new features. Just if I fall behind on buying the upgrades as and when they come out it would get to a point I would never be able to afford the EF game I'm afraid.

Really sorry to bring this up. Just want some confirmation on how it works if you just want say EF and LOB when they come out.

Maybe when a new game\pack comes out you sell it as either a pack for those who have been buying the upgrades..or as a game with all the previous upgrades but at a full priced game..say $79.99. Otherwise future customers who come across the game once the EF title comes out will see they have to buy all the previous upgrades to play it and could be put off.

< Message edited by wodin -- 4/22/2013 9:41:54 AM >


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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 12:44:48 PM   
Arjuna


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Wodin,

I have amended mu original post. Check out the newly added third point under "By way of clarification". I hope do hope that clarifies matters for you.

< Message edited by Arjuna -- 4/22/2013 1:01:33 PM >


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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 1:05:01 PM   
Rosmarus

 

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Did I understand this correctly. CO2 is more of a new version of your game engine than a new game? I will be able to upgrade my current CO games (BFTB as well as HTTR) to CO2 with no additional costs? If so, what does CO2 include, is it the east front game that has been in development for a while or is it just an engine upgrade and East Front will be an addition to CO2? What does LOTB stand for? Also I love you and so forth. Any ETA on COTA?

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 2:07:49 PM   
Ramses


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rosmarus

Did I understand this correctly. CO2 is more of a new version of your game engine than a new game? I will be able to upgrade my current CO games (BFTB as well as HTTR) to CO2 with no additional costs?



I think what Arjuna means is that you will get the updated data packs after purchasing the new engine:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

All previous data packs will be converted at no cost to existing owners with each upgrade. So with the release of CO2 stage 1 we will also release upgraded data packs for HTTR, Greek, Med and BFTB. So your investment in these will endure. We will probably split the BFTB scenarios into two packs. Existing owners of BFTB will get these at no cost. The only expense you will be up for is the cost of the CO2 upgrade - ie $29.99.





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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 2:13:34 PM   
Arjuna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rosmarus

Did I understand this correctly. CO2 is more of a new version of your game engine than a new game? I will be able to upgrade my current CO games (BFTB as well as HTTR) to CO2 with no additional costs? If so, what does CO2 include, is it the east front game that has been in development for a while or is it just an engine upgrade and East Front will be an addition to CO2? What does LOTB stand for? Also I love you and so forth. Any ETA on COTA?

Yes CO2 will be a new version of our current CO engine. To obtain CO2 you will have to pay for an upgrade to the engine. That will cost you $29.99. But you will not have to pay to get your data packs upgraded.

LOTB = Legends of the Blitzkrieg.

What we are essentially doing here is decoupling the engine from the data. You will be able to upgrade the engine without having to buy data. So you may choose to upgrade the engine to stage 2 and not get the KOAD data pack which we hope to release around the same time.

ETA on the Greek and Mediterranean packs (formerly COTA) is probably three weeks away.

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 2:22:38 PM   
Ramses


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After looking at the planning for a while, I have an odd feeling about the business model. If i read it correctly for the money-conscious it would be best to wait for the latest build of the engine (and get all of the previous features included) and skip all the earlier builds. In that case you save 4 x29,99.

That way it appears the true followers of the franchise (and the most likely to dish out the cash) are penalized, while newcomers get great value for money....

Also this: if I am not mistaken I read somewhere on these forums that mounted ops was an essential feature in Russian doctrine and that this had to be implemented first in order to be able to make the East Front game. How come the East Front game is released in this planning in August 2014 while mounted ops are modelled in the engine update stage 5 and released in November 2014?

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 2:55:08 PM   
Konrad_Novak

 

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Arjuna, could you please elaborate on the Russian doctrine? What will be the main differences from German\Allies one, used in CO:BftB?

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 5:21:34 PM   
Jafele


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

We would appreciate your feedback on our plan.


IMO if a new game is going to be realised, solid changes are required: A 3D game map would be a great improvement, also a quick battle generator using maps created by the community. For sure these ideas will attract many people to CO2.

Just imagine playing CO in a map like this: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3309426

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 7:48:24 PM   
Konrad_Novak

 

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Oh, yes, I completely agree with Jafele. Some kind of "random map generator" or "easy 4-step scenario creator" is a must. Command Ops uses non-scripted AI, and it should be freed to roam on randomized pastures ;)

< Message edited by Konrad_Novak -- 4/22/2013 7:50:51 PM >

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 8:43:19 PM   
wodin


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So I just wait for CO2 upgrade 4 which has all previous upgrades and buy the EF pack..or wait for Upgrade 5 and buy EF and LOTB pack and I will have all the upgrade packs then..that sounds cool. Though not sure how many will buy the upgrades previously as that would be alot buying an upgrade at a time. I suppose the very impatient with alot of spare money;).

Still that sounds alot better than having to buy each and every upgrade.

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 8:56:07 PM   
redwolf

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

So I just wait for CO2 upgrade 4 which has all previous upgrades and buy the EF pack..or wait for Upgrade 5 and buy EF and LOTB pack and I will have all the upgrade packs then..that sounds cool. Though not sure how many will buy the upgrades previously as that would be alot buying an upgrade at a time. I suppose the very impatient with alot of spare money;).

Still that sounds alot better than having to buy each and every upgrade.


Well, the other way to look at it is that it is a subscription for $5/month (2 updates $30 each per year).

Given that I pay $90/month for a TV package that only sends garbage that doesn't sound bad at all.

I know I raised concerns about what I had to pay to upgrade my HTTR but this is an entirely different case and sounds like a bargain to me.

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 8:58:56 PM   
wodin


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Well it'as a mute point now..however if it was a case of having to buy each upgrade new customers when the EF title came out would have to shell out around $150...

Still it's a mute point as it isn't the case.
quote:

ORIGINAL: redwolf

quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

So I just wait for CO2 upgrade 4 which has all previous upgrades and buy the EF pack..or wait for Upgrade 5 and buy EF and LOTB pack and I will have all the upgrade packs then..that sounds cool. Though not sure how many will buy the upgrades previously as that would be alot buying an upgrade at a time. I suppose the very impatient with alot of spare money;).

Still that sounds alot better than having to buy each and every upgrade.


Well, the other way to look at it is that it is a subscription for $5/month (2 updates $30 each per year).

Given that I pay $90/month for a TV package that only sends garbage that doesn't sound bad at all.

I know I raised concerns about what I had to pay to upgrade my HTTR but this is an entirely different case and sounds like a bargain to me.



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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 8:59:00 PM   
phoenix

 

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No probs with the pricing plan for me. All sounds very interesting and hopeful. Would have to say, given the rate of progress/updates/new iterations etc over the last few years, it also sounds VERY ambitious! Fingers crossed that you can keep, roughly, to schedule!

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 9:08:47 PM   
AndrewKurtz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix

No probs with the pricing plan for me. All sounds very interesting and hopeful. Would have to say, given the rate of progress/updates/new iterations etc over the last few years, it also sounds VERY ambitious! Fingers crossed that you can keep, roughly, to schedule!


+1

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 9:14:56 PM   
wodin


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Well said Mr P. That is some tight schedule, keeping up with patches and making sure the old scenarios work with the new upgrade packs is some amount of work..I worry the scenarios will end up very unbalanced by the time the last upgrade is released. Unless later upgrades don't actually effect the older scenario packs.

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 11:19:08 PM   
Arjuna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ramses

After looking at the planning for a while, I have an odd feeling about the business model. If i read it correctly for the money-conscious it would be best to wait for the latest build of the engine (and get all of the previous features included) and skip all the earlier builds. In that case you save 4 x29,99.

That way it appears the true followers of the franchise (and the most likely to dish out the cash) are penalized, while newcomers get great value for money....

No, so called "true followers" will enjoy the new features for a lot longer than newcomers. Please bear this in mind, that the cost for a game with a single data pack is going to be just under $60. If we did not decouple the engine and data packs and you were a "true follower" and bought each game in the series you would end up paying exactly the same amount of money - ie $60 per title. Sure, with this system, you can wait 2 years and save $120. But you will have missed out on playing some great battles for two years. That's a choice you can make.

quote:

Also this: if I am not mistaken I read somewhere on these forums that mounted ops was an essential feature in Russian doctrine and that this had to be implemented first in order to be able to make the East Front game. How come the East Front game is released in this planning in August 2014 while mounted ops are modelled in the engine update stage 5 and released in November 2014?

Mounted ops were an essential feature in all armies of WW2. We already do model mounted ops, albeit in a limited way - ie we don't model mech inf unit as two component units. For the first East Front (EF) title we will continue to model it as is. Once we have done the new mounted ops modelling it will be retrofitted into that first EF title. The fact is that all the data packs would benefit from the range of new features we have planned. But if we follow your logic to its natural conclusion, then we should wait for two years before releasing any of the data packs. That's not going to keep us in business. I think this is a good compromise.

BTW there will be more than one EF title. We already have a second one in the works. But I'm not going to say anymore on that now.

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/22/2013 11:56:54 PM   
sulla05

 

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It sounds great and thank you.

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/23/2013 1:51:33 AM   
Deathtreader


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Sounds great!

Forward!!

I guess there is no intention then of allowing players to to reassign units to non-organic bases?? Even if only to supply water, food and other supplies common to both the unit and base stocks??

Rob.

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/23/2013 2:45:33 AM   
Arjuna


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Rob,

The above list is for major ticket items. That is not to say we can't make other minor changes like this one should there be good cause. However, remember this that such minor changes are distractions. So we need to keep these to the minimum and now that I have listed the plan there will be others reminding me where the prime focus should be kept.

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/23/2013 4:08:19 AM   
**budd**


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I have no problem with this model, and this is probably the only series i would say that about. I only own the original HTTR, but i will soon fix that once the patch and cota arrive. I want to see where this is going and i'll be happy to pay for that pleasure. It's a good compromise, an al carte menu. It does look like an ambitious schedule though.



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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/23/2013 8:09:02 AM   
Ramses


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna


If we did not decouple the engine and data packs and you were a "true follower" and bought each game in the series you would end up paying exactly the same amount of money - ie $60 per title. Sure, with this system, you can wait 2 years and save $120. But you will have missed out on playing some great battles for two years. That's a choice you can make.



Thanks for explaining it once more. For the record: i wasn't referring to myself when i mentioned 'true follower', but rather to the people playing the game since Red Devils over Arnhem, the original HTTR, COTA etc.

It's a pretty ambitious schedule: hope you guys can keep it.





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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/23/2013 8:14:30 AM   
phoenix

 

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Dave said: No, so called "true followers" will enjoy the new features for a lot longer than newcomers. Please bear this in mind, that the cost for a game with a single data pack is going to be just under $60. If we did not decouple the engine and data packs and you were a "true follower" and bought each game in the series you would end up paying exactly the same amount of money - ie $60 per title. Sure, with this system, you can wait 2 years and save $120. But you will have missed out on playing some great battles for two years. That's a choice you can make.

I think my view would be that I wouldn't count on anything existing longer than a year in this economic climate (fingers crossed your finances are more robust than this, Dave, but you never know...), so I will, of course, take what appears as and when - even though that will cost me more. It's always like this, with every game I've bought. You buy immediately and you pay more. You wait and you can get it for a fraction of the price in some sale or other. Sad, but true, because if enough people don't shell out the extra cash immediately (shall we call them the 'so-called true followers'?) and lose the waiting discount, then Dave's cash-flow plan won't work at all, and then there certainly won't be anything coming out two years down the line, because if everyone waited to save 120 bucks then they wouldn't have the cashflow to continue. No way round that, as far as I can see.

< Message edited by phoenix -- 4/23/2013 9:02:30 AM >

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/23/2013 10:16:05 AM   
wodin


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Dave are all previous scenario packs get retro fitted for each and every upgrade? Or will the new upgrade features not work on older scenario packs?

Just asking as I imagine it would be a huge job to retrofit the scenario packs after each engine upgrade. Balance of scenarios alone would be a massive headache.

I see you mention EF title will be retro fitted so I'm presuming this is something that will happen for certain scenario packs only.

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/23/2013 10:16:34 AM   
Øystein

 

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For those of us stupid and haven't paid too much attention to the forums lately, what are:

KOAD and LOTB short for? :)

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RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/23/2013 10:24:02 AM   
wodin


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LOTB Legends of the Blitzkrieg is a new scale game..set at platoon level covering Rommel during the early West front.

Knock on all doors is a Bulge scenario pack however it's looking at the German plan for the Bulge that they decided not to use called Knock on all Doors.

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(in reply to Øystein)
Post #: 27
RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/23/2013 8:24:52 PM   
GBS

 

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Not sure I understand it all but count me in as one who will step up for each and every upgrade as they come out. Like redwolf said, I pay 90 bucks a month for a TV package I hardly use so I see this as bargain entertainment. I look forward to this.

(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 28
RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/23/2013 9:21:30 PM   
Perturabo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

LOTB = Legends of the Blitzkrieg.

What we are essentially doing here is decoupling the engine from the data. You will be able to upgrade the engine without having to buy data. So you may choose to upgrade the engine to stage 2 and not get the KOAD data pack which we hope to release around the same time.

Good to hear it. I can't afford the prices of full games (especially now that NWS no longer sells Matrix Games games) and I don't play the provided scenarios anyway as I'm more into science-fantasy/WWI stuff than WWII.

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(in reply to Arjuna)
Post #: 29
RE: Command Ops 2 (CO2) - The Plan - 4/24/2013 3:16:25 AM   
BROJD

 

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Sounds fantastic!

(in reply to Perturabo)
Post #: 30
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