The guys of On Target Simulation don’t seem to take a break, they are always adding to and improving Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm. Thanks to them, we can provide you with a major new update for this amazing Cold War-focused tactical strategy game.
If you aren’t already playing it, here’s a quote from one review of Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm that will encourage you to give it a try: "In closing, this one of the most innovative war game designs in recent times. The fidelity of tactical combat, the flexibility and easiness of access to the capabilities of the game engine alone are worth the price of admission. The turn resolution mechanics, so original and meaningful for a wholesome command & control experience, will definitively be noticed by hobbyist wargamers and war simulation professionals alike."
The v2.02 Update fixes a bug that could cause victory conditions to slightly fluctuate and re-balances air defense. The update fixes also some crashes and adds many usability and game-play improvements such as: kills caused by weapons of mass destruction (nuclear weapons and persistent chemicals) are now credited individually to the firing unit in the Kills and Claims chart, air defense units are now much more aggressive in most circumstances, all spotting and shooting for helicopters is now done from a higher level, which is equal to the elevation of the ground plus one, the game autosave option will now save the game prior to any turn resolution and much, much more!
Check below to view the full change list:
v2.02 – November 18, 2013
New Features and Improvements
• When making scenarios it can be hard to tell the aggregate worth in victory points of the forces. These totals plus the totals of owned victory point locations set the % victory bands for determining the outcome of the game so they are very helpful to know. The totals are now shown in the summary tab of the scenario editor right above the rearranged and expanded victory bands, and also in the VPs tab of the command notebook for easy reference during the course of the game.
• Our friend Judge Dredd discovered that the number of victory points required to achieve various outcomes (decisive, tactical, marginal) could change during the course of the game as various victory point locations changed ownership. This unduly helped the NATO player and hindered the Warsaw Pact player and we now realize it was unfair. The victory conditions you see at the beginning of the game are what you need to achieve at the end. Some of the scenarios needed a slight rebalancing in light of this and we have changed the following:
o CA1 Hunting Bears
o CS1 Red Hammer
o HL_AS 3rd Herd
o HL_WGS Witch’s Cauldron
o HM_AS A Test of Wills
o HM_AS Dawns First Light
o HS_WGS The Pied Piper
o NL_AS 3rd Herd
o NL_WGS Witch’s Cauldron
o NM_AS 12 Bravo
o NM_AS A Test of Wills
o NM_AS Ate Up
o NM_AS Dawns First Light
o NM_AS Head On
o NM_WGS KG Rommel
o NS_AS A Time to Dance
o NS_AS Black Horse
o NS_WGS The Pied Piper
o WL_AS 3rd Herd
o WL_WGS Witch’s Cauldron
o WM_AS A Test of Wills
o WM_AS Dawns First Light
o WS_AS A Time to Dance
o WS_AS Purple One
• Certain rocket artillery units such as the MLRS or the Soviet BM-21 have an ability to shoot “Saturation fire” (a seven hex pattern at once) which then uses up all of their ammo and requires them to be resupplied. There is a new rule now that these units must have at least 90% ammo *before* they can display and receive a saturation fire order.
• Kills caused by weapons of mass destruction (nuclear weapons and persistent chemicals) were not being credited individually to the firing unit in the Kills and Claims chart. Now they are. Kills suffered by units crossing contaminated hexes later are not credited to the firing unit but rather continue to be attributed to the supreme HQ for the other side.
• The Subunit Inspector display was not always popping up over top of the map as expected in all cases. This has now been fixed in the main game but remains an issue in the scenario editor if you click on an empty hex and hit F6 to bring up the inspector. We found this latter issue too late in the cycle to have a fix for this release but the rest of the time it now works as expected.
• Air defense units were sometimes a little too passive for their own good. This has been addressed and they will exhibit more aggressive behaviour now in most circumstances.
• When units with passengers were given Assault or Deliberate Movement orders then a dialog would pop up asking how far away from the objective to dismount at and proceed on foot. The scope of this was overly broad and has now been restricted to just mechanized infantry. HQ, air defense and artillery units will not have this option any more. Further, if the mechanized infantry have already lost so many of their vehicles that they are already on foot this question will no longer be asked.
• Sometimes the game would start with artillery missions already plotted against known radar equipped air defense units. This would result in their damage or elimination before the player had a chance to move them. These “turn zero” missions have been filtered out now and will not appear.
• Helicopters. The line of sight was working well but the line of fire was missing coverage of some hexes that clearly could be seen and were within range. It turns out the assumption was that the helicopter would pop one level higher for spotting but then drop back down to shoot and this restricted the line of fire. Now all spotting and shooting are done from the higher level, which is equal to the elevation of the ground plus one.
• We inadvertently allowed smoke to blind radar units! Yes, that was a mistake but we have rectified it now.
• If a unit is unarmed (for example a scout helicopter) then it should never have cause to run out of ammo and therefore should never need to resupply for lack of ammo. The AI will no longer try to resupply such units for lack of ammo.
• Friendly artillery fire rarely caused casualties in blue-on-blue situations. It does now.
• The ‘Make unit independent’ menu item is useful in the scenario editor when rearranging the chain of command (e.g. to unsubordinate independent units that have been attached somewhere by mistake) but not so much during the game itself where its use can be confusing – especially to the AI. We have turned it off now during game resolution. If a player subordinates an independent unit to another unit during the game it can still be transferred to another unit but it cannot be made independent again during the course of the battle.
• Particularly resourceful units that were forced to involuntarily displace on short notice were sometimes building themselves an instant bridge to get across a water obstacle. This was praiseworthy but not very realistic and we disallow it now.
• Core Units and Ctrl-W. Core units are ones that carry forward from scenario to scenario in a campaign game. It can be very useful to know which units are core and which are not during the course of a battle but apart from selecting and reading the Unit Description Panel (UDP) for every single unit there was no easy way to tell which was which. In the scenario editor we added a Ctrl-W hotkey to display the word “Core” in red letters over each unit to identify it temporarily. Clearly the beer was flowing like the might St. Lawrence River the night we thought that one up. Starting with 2.03 it puts a nice discrete white “c” on each counter on the right edge just below where the “+” (mixed unit composition indicator) is drawn if it is shown. It is more effective and this hotkey is now available during normal play as well.
• Campaign games, artillery and specialty ammunition. Speciality ammunition like FASCAM and ICM is expensive and scarce in this game. The chance of running out after any given mission is quite high. In between scenarios in a campaign though the assumption is that it will be fully restocked for the next battle. This was not being done before but is now.
• For artillery strikes and such, the map cursor moves to the target hex and blinks three times. Due to a recent coding change the blinking was too fast to be noticeable but it has been slowed down so that it takes about half a second now so that it helps to attract the eye to the hex of impending action as intended.
• The game has an autosave option that will save the game prior to any turn resolution. If there is a problem saving the game it will now tell you what the path and name of the file are so that we can help troubleshoot the issue.
• “Air Search Radar located at...” was showing for the wrong side and appearing far too often. These issues have been fixed and calmed down respectively.
• When playing with the Limited Staff Orders option a poster named Cleveland noticed that saving the game would reset the number of orders points used back to zero. Reloading the game would give the player a fresh allowance to use up again. This has been fixed.
• During the pre-game setup phase unit orders that are given have no command delay penalty – they take effect immediately. This is an important advantage but it was lost if the player had to save the game during the setup phase and return later. Now saving a game part way during the pre-game setup phase will not stop the command delay waiver from applying when the game is reloaded.
• Air Strike Controller. The time frame offered always started ten minutes into the allowed range. This has been changed so that it defaults to the earliest possible time instead. Also, the cancel button in the controller dialog didn’t really work properly and this has been fixed.
• If an artillery unit was put in Direct Support of another unit and that other unit was subsequently killed then the game could throw an error trying to display the broken relationship. This has been fixed and now if the supported unit is killed the artillery unit will now revert to On Call orders instead of Direct Support.
• There was a recent code change in the scenario editor that prevented placing map markers for engineered obstacles, minefields or exit hexes. This posed quite a problem to would be scenario authors but has been fixed now.
• When zoomed out to the limit (or close to it) during turn resolution drawing an explosion animation could sometimes cause the game to throw an error. Some animations like hit explosions are drawn a small random distance from the center of the hex. At high zoom levels this random distance was always zero and we were asking a random number generate to pick a number between zero and zero as a result with the expectation that it would pick zero. This can actually result in a number anywhere between -2,147,483,647 and 2,147,483,647 (apparently that is the convention) which then posed problems for the screen rendering engine. Our mistake and we apologize to random number generators everywhere for this oversight.
• There is a game option to allow automatic resupply back up to 30% if a unit went under 5%. This was not working as well as intended – particularly with helicopters - but has been straightened out now.
• Zooming the screen in or out while plotting movement had the unwanted effect of erasing the waypoints and terminating the orders. Zooming is now disabled while plotting orders so a player should set the zoom level first and then give the orders.
• If a helicopter unit was eliminated in combat but was clicked on in the chain of command display it would throw an error when trying to fill in the UDP panel. This was due to a faulty flying elevation calculation and has been fixed.
To download the update, players can run “Check for Update” via the game menu or download it directly from the game’s download page here.
Get more information on Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm from its official product page.