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RE: First impressions here please

 
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RE: First impressions here please - 2/11/2005 1:43:05 AM   
Tbird3

 

Posts: 21
Joined: 3/19/2002
From: Oklahoma
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chelco

Hi Tbird3,

quote:

I hope this stirs up a bit of discussion or controversy.

You betcha!

I love a good debate......sorry about the late response. The audacity of people letting work get in the way of their wargaming! Okay my issue with Maneuver warfare is that people tout it as something new and something different. This can't be further from the truth. The concepts that are addressed in maneuver theory are merely strategic, operational, and tactical concepts that have been around for ages and trained and taught at about every military course since the romans. It is not some new method which was recently invented that has turned the US Military Machine into some kind of wonder force. Furthermore, I argue that there are times when attritional warfare is either more effective or more importantly the only method to use.

quote:

... Maneuver warfare is a generic phrase which I have a bit of heartburn. The concept of maneuver warfare as I have studied it is based on gaps and surfaces. The intent is that you want to bypass surfaces (enemy forces) and find the gaps (where the enemy ain't ). Wow, what an original concept!


Gaps and surfaces is just one of the so-called "filters" of the theory maneuverists advocate. As any axiomatic phrase, considering it outside the theory will certainly lead you into a reductio ad absurdum.


quote:

This translates into what is called reconnassiance pull (maneuver warfare) versus attrition warfare (find the enemy and just grind him down). Personally I think this is mostly babble that cannot be clearly applied across the spectrum of warfare.

It is Recon-pull vs. Orders-pull, two different things.

Chelco, I stand corrected on this remark to a certain extent. You are correct about recon pull vs orders. However, what I was getting at by this remark is comparision of maneuver warfare vs attrition warfare. There has been some kind of historical backlash that tries to imply that the US Army just recently learned how to fight and win wars effectively. The typical assertion of manueverist is that the US Army historically only fought attritionally in the past and has just recently adopted this new theory of effectively waging war.

quote:

Additionally, for every "historical example" of justifiying this concept there is another one justifying attritional warfare.

Which historic example justifies attritional warfare? What happens when you are outnumbered? How do you attrit the enemy when you are outnumbered, outgunned and even worse, outmaneuvered?

General Grants Wilderness campaign is one of the first that come to mind. WWI might be another one...oops, we can do the indirect approach and hit Turkey maybe? Oh, thats right, they tried that.....I believe it was Galipoli? What do you do when outmaneuvered, outfought, outgunned? You die in glory or you surrender. When you go down this trail I have to ask several questions. What level of war are we talking about? Strategically? Operationally? Tactical? Because the answer is simple. It depends!

Lets look at it for a second. Desert Storm I, a great example of maneuver warfare! The "hail mary", "the left hook", and on and on. In reality it was generally a good application of the doctrine of airland battle. Airland battle was formally established in the US Army in 1982. If you look at what the MEF did in DS I you can in no way convince me that they were conducting maneuver warfare. The literally attacked into the teeth of the defense of Iraqi's. I believe that this attritional warfare at it's best, servicing enemy target arrays as necessary. However, from the 3rd Army's and CENTCOM's point of view they were conducting a penetration attack to initially fix the Iraqi army to facilitate VII and XVIII corps to conduct an envelopment of the Iraqi forces in and near Kuwait. Now, when you look at what VII corps did upon meeting the Iraqi Republican Guard Divisions you can't really call it manuever warfare either because it basically consisted of putting four armored divisions online and blasting their way through the enemy forces. So my arguement is that it just flatout depends on what your trying to accomplish is what will drive your course of action.


quote:

IMHO a military leader must have the flexibility to recognize situations where one or the other is applicable.

You talk like maneuver warfare or attrition warfare are options a commander has in the battlefield.

Absolutely! See above. A good commander is going to try to set the conditions for victory. It might be through manuever or might be through direct application of massive combat power at a selected location.



quote:

Remember die hard Manueverist love to use the WWII wehrmacht as the shining example of manuever warfare specialists and unless I am mistaken, they lost the war.

Any country that takes the strategic decision to conquer the whole Europe and Russia is bound to defeat. Those strategic mistakes cannot be patched by tactical or operational wisdom.

Hey, the Germans eventually lost at the strategic, operational, and yest the tactical level. You have to win starting at the bottom up in order to achieve victory.

quote:

The other issue with these concepts is that at what level of warfare do they apply? I argue that there is no "silver bullet" when it comes to war.

Maneuver warfare applies to the tactical and operational level of war. There is no silver bullet in armed conflict. You will never find "recipes" on how to conduct an attack in any maneuverist treatise because the emphasis is on a set of mind you must have on how to defeat the enemy.

I believe this was my original arguement that you need to be flexible and not have a specific mindset. Additionally, maneuverist never quite completely tell you how to win but often than not how not win (read attrition).



quote:

Additionally, the general concepts that apply to war are ancient and in some ways unchanging. Do you ever wonder why military leaders continue to read the "art of war"? How can one argue with the concept of combined arms? Wow, if I combine and sychronize my archers and cav with my legions I can generate more combat power than with them separately. I think that is how Alexander, Julius Caeser, and other great tactical generals have won on the battlefield. Guess what? On the modern tactical battlefield you still want to do the same thing. The phrase we use is that we want to get every dog into the fight. I want to combine/ synchronzie my tanks, my infantry, my mortars, my artillery, my engineers and my air support so that the enemy will have deal with them simualtaneously.

Moltke, Lidell-Hart, Boyd or Lind didn't invent nothing new. They just gathered the elements and put them together.
Nobody argues that combined arms is a good thing. Pitty it doesn't work very well in present-day Iraq.


Who said that it isn't working in Iraq now? I tell you with the utmost confidence that it is being used very effectively. The conditions have merely changed and there is no "quick" solution to fight that is going on there now.


I love this. I hope they don't run us out of here!

Regards,

TBird3

(in reply to Chelco)
Post #: 151
RE: First impressions here please - 2/11/2005 6:02:53 AM   
Mike_w

 

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I'm not even going to try to go blow to blow with Chelco and Tbird3 on the details of maneuver warfare.

My original comment was just that maneuver warfare is NOT the same as Air/LAnd Battle. Maneuever warfare may have existed long ago, but it doesn't seem to have been indoctrinated and implemented until well after Boyd. Desert Storm was not maneuver warfare, it was AirLAND battle. I'm not even convinded "Blitzkrieg" was true maneuver warfare as the purpose was not really to get inside the decision cycle (or OODA) but to simply encircle.

Concerning Grant, and Monty, I think this is one of your main points, at the operational level, attrition was the name of the game; however, with few exceptions such as Cold Harbor, Grant relied much more on maneuever then his predecessors which led to his tactical successes. Grants plan was to continually engage the Army of Virginia so as to wear it down ( While Sherman marched thru the rear). He was very aware however, that the Army of the Potomac would not tolerate any more disasterous defeats such as Fredericksburg where the tactics were attritional as well.

No real point to my post
I will just reiterate that the Second Iraq conflict showed what a proffessional force trained in Modern maneuver warfare can do to conventional armies still fighting with Soviet/WWII tactics. I'm not sure any military force could have adapted to the situation as quickly as the coalition forces moved. Many Iraqi units simply found themselves bypassed, and when they reacted by pulling out of defensive positions to re-position, they were exposed....and destroyed.

(in reply to Tbird3)
Post #: 152
RE: First impressions here please - 2/11/2005 10:45:56 PM   
Chelco

 

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Wow Tbird3! Nice discussion.
I need time to answer since now I am at my work.
Cheers,

(in reply to Mike_w)
Post #: 153
RE: First impressions here please - 2/12/2005 1:44:13 AM   
Chelco

 

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Ey Tbird3!
I am posting this maybe too prematurely and unedited because it is likely that we will be asked to move out to other forum/thread. So forgive if memory fails me in my writing.
I am convinced that maneuver warfare is sometimes like saliva: it's in everybody's mouth but not many know what exactly is! Not that I claim that I know it. Neither I claim you don't know about it. However, pro and con arguments regarding maneuver warfare have been made popular by people with less than perfect knowledge of what the thing is about. The damaging effect of these popular arguments is as collosal as the one produced by creationists who misinterpret scientific evidence that proves that evolution is real and is happening right now.
Maneuver warfare is not the same as "fire and maneuver", the common and useful tactical principle the US Army painfully learned in WWII. Maneuver warfare is not simply just moving your forces to punch a hole in the enemy line, outflank, or envelop the enemy.

A simple outline of maneuver warfare as I understand it
1) OODA loops (observation, orientation, decision, action). The cycles a fighter pilot takes when engaged in aerial combat, as described by John Boyd, can be extended to commanders in the battlefield.
Implications:
a) if your OODA loops are shorter than the ones of you enemy you will force him to shorten his, a thing he may not be able to do. You have to master the art of shorten the OODA loops in your command structure.
b) if your OODA loops are short and your actions adequate you will force your enemy to take wrong decisions and it will not fight as an organized force anymore.

2) Surfaces and gaps
a) You take advantage of the enemy's gaps, avoid/bypass his strengths and struck into the rear areas to disrupt his cohesion and ability to fight.

3) Point of main effort (schwerpunkt)
a) All units under your command must support the schwerpunkt. All unit commanders under your command must understand which is the schwerpunkt and how to take tactical decisions that support it. A schwerpunkt is not a terrain piece but rather a portion of your forces you commit as the force that will cause the collapse of the enemy's ability to fight as a coherent force (the enemy's center of gravity).

4) Mission type orders.
a) The orders you impart have to be short and must tell exactly what your intentions are in terms of the "big picture". Say goodbye to this kind of orders: "take hill 128 by attacking with your company using the cover of the woods here". Say hello to this: "the schwerpunkt coys will likely be threatened by enemy fire at hill 128. Deny the enemy the ability to fire from that hill". Your subordinate knows what you want because he knows why you want it. Granted he may take the cover of the mentioned woods and take hill 128, but he could also position his forces yielding the enemy position at hill 128 useless, forcing him to evacuate that hill. Commanders under your command have to be given the freedom to act on the spot and take decisions of actions they think will likely help the schwerpunkt. Your goal is to create a highly decentralized force and accept the apparent chaos of not knowing exactly where some of your insubordinates are.

Now certainly, points 1) to 4) are not new. Not an argument there. "Maneuver warfare is not new. It probaly dates from the first time a caveman surprised an enemy from behind instead of meeting him club-to-club. The first clear case in recorded history was the battle of Leuctra in 371 B.C." This is an exact quote of W. Lind's "Maneuver Warfare Handbook". Maneuver warfare is not a new way to fight (generals had used it since long time ago) but a series of principles that try to capture the essence of previous successes. So I will not argue more (in fact I never said that) with the "this is not new" concept.

quote:

There has been some kind of historical backlash that tries to imply that the US Army just recently learned how to fight and win wars effectively. The typical assertion of manueverist is that the US Army historically only fought attritionally in the past and has just recently adopted this new theory of effectively waging war.

I don't belong to the camp of people who thinks that the US Army learnt to fight modern wars recently. I don't believe that the US Army was transformed to the mean war machine of today because of maneuver warfare.


quote:

When you go down this trail I have to ask several questions. What level of war are we talking about? Strategically? Operationally? Tactical?

Operationally and tactically.

quote:

General Grants Wilderness campaign is one of the first that come to mind. WWI might be another one...oops, we can do the indirect approach and hit Turkey maybe? Oh, thats right, they tried that.....I believe it was Galipoli?

The American Civil War was the painful realization that the days of those Napoleonic decisive battles (the single battles that decided the fate of an entire war) were totally over. Years of bloody and indecisive battles. That's what we want for a model of waging war?
The same applies for WWI. Galipoli was a costly battle too.


quote:

Lets look at it for a second. Desert Storm I, a great example of maneuver warfare! The "hail mary", "the left hook", and on and on. In reality it was generally a good application of the doctrine of airland battle. Airland battle was formally established in the US Army in 1982. If you look at what the MEF did in DS I you can in no way convince me that they were conducting maneuver warfare. The literally attacked into the teeth of the defense of Iraqi's. I believe that this attritional warfare at it's best, servicing enemy target arrays as necessary. However, from the 3rd Army's and CENTCOM's point of view they were conducting a penetration attack to initially fix the Iraqi army to facilitate VII and XVIII corps to conduct an envelopment of the Iraqi forces in and near Kuwait. Now, when you look at what VII corps did upon meeting the Iraqi Republican Guard Divisions you can't really call it manuever warfare either because it basically consisted of putting four armored divisions online and blasting their way through the enemy forces. So my arguement is that it just flatout depends on what your trying to accomplish is what will drive your course of action.

The two wars against the Iraqi Army were fought with the upmost profesionalism by the Coalition forces. However, the operational and tactical errors commited by the Iraqis were so gross that ANYTHING would have worked.


quote:

Absolutely! See above. A good commander is going to try to set the conditions for victory. It might be through manuever or might be through direct application of massive combat power at a selected location.

And if that selected location is the enemy's center of gravity, voila, you are a maneuverist!

quote:

Hey, the Germans eventually lost at the strategic, operational, and yest the tactical level. You have to win starting at the bottom up in order to achieve victory.

Granted, but the German Army was carrying out operational and tactical orders from a lunatic that shot (or forced to suicide) his best generals.


quote:

Additionally, maneuverist never quite completely tell you how to win but often than not how not win (read attrition).

BTW, how would you define attrition warfare?

quote:

Who said that it isn't working in Iraq now? I tell you with the utmost confidence that it is being used very effectively. The conditions have merely changed and there is no "quick" solution to fight that is going on there now.

Do you really think that the present-day US Army is going to beat sustained guerrilla operations in urban environments?

Cheers,

(in reply to Chelco)
Post #: 154
RE: First impressions here please - 2/12/2005 2:19:34 AM   
Chelco

 

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Just wanted to add this tiny thing before I get asked to shut up by the moderators.
The Marines teaching maneuver warfare to their officers: in the game "Close Combat Marines" you get briefed, jump into action and you notice that the victory flags are not visible. They removed them because they don't like the player to focus on pieces of terrain as objectives.
Cheers,

(in reply to Chelco)
Post #: 155
RE: First impressions here please - 2/12/2005 3:31:32 AM   
Mike_w

 

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Chelco, assuming that the doctrine now is manuever warfare (whateevr that is) when was it adopted to replace Airland battle?




quote:

Do you really think that the present-day US Army is going to beat sustained guerrilla operations in urban environments?


Look at Falluja. Once you have the intelligence, conventional force can be very effective when the Guerrilla force is isolated. Underated battle IMHO. Knocked out their center of gravity and the insurgency hasn't been the same since....

The idea is to keep them from being able to sustain it by constanty staying on offense and being "fluid"
will it work? who knows.....

< Message edited by Mike_w -- 2/12/2005 1:37:04 AM >

(in reply to Chelco)
Post #: 156
RE: First impressions here please - 2/12/2005 3:47:20 PM   
Chelco

 

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Ey Mike!
AirLandBattle has some elements of maneuver warfare. However, some people have criticized that doctrine saying it doesn't include some important things of it.
Regarding Falluja. Yes, that's right. It was a victory for the Coalition. An important factor is that the insurgents didn't have anywhere to go.
Cheers,

(in reply to Mike_w)
Post #: 157
RE: First impressions here please - 2/12/2005 11:42:36 PM   
Jim_H


Posts: 878
Joined: 2/12/2005
From: West Yorkshire, England
Status: offline
Hi,

Having bought the game today, and just completed the first tutorial I thought I'd share my initial thoughts

This is written from the perspective of a Novice/Intermediate wargamer:
Interface: The whole gui is laid out nicely and everything appears to be in a logical place. The menu systems work well and are simple to understand. One very nice touch is the ability to switch the display over to the left. As a left hander, this is a welcome addition and makes a big difference to my enjoyment of the game. Thanks for that!
Two things I would like to change: Firstly, the way the map scrolls. I'd prefer to be able to use the arrow keys. It's a little irritating to see the map move every time I moved my mouse over to the menu area. It just feels a bit awkward to me. The second thing is that the game may be windowed, but it still stays on top (at least it does on Windows2k). I have to alt-tab to switch to other programs. Having said that, I'm just lazy so it's not that big a deal having to use the keys.

Graphics: The graphics are good by wargame standards and the painted map is excellent. I had some reservations about the grid layout when I first saw screenshots of the game, but this does work surprisingly well. Yep, I'm happy.

Sound: Not a lot to say. Standard gunfire and explosions. We don't buy these games for the sound, so I don't have an opinion either way really.

Gameplay: Fantastic. What can I say? It's every bit as good as all the reviews said it would be. It's obviously deep enough to satisfy all but the Grognards, but amazingly easy to learn how to play too. You aren't bogged down with pages of unit statistics and the micromanagement is minimal. The wego feature is fairly new to me and takes a bit of getting used to, yet it does manage create tension. For this game I think it works much better than igo-ugo. I haven't played enough to judge the AI yet, but it moved differently to the prediction in the tutorial docs and would have surprised me if I'd had fow switched on. Plus, the lack of any scripting is always good in my book and increases replayability. Once I've gotten used to the game and mechanics, I'll probably try my hand at pbem <gulp>. I sincerely hope Matrix will consider a map editor at some point as I think this is needed by definition and severely limits the scenario editor.

Documentation: I had no problem understanding anything written in the tutorial and it all made sense immediately. It was a gentle learning curve. That's a new experience! Many wargames require a lot of reading before you get your feet wet. Not so with this game. I just plunged in and followed the tutorial. I have read a few of the other sections in the manual and they all look to be written in plain English. Again, excellent.

Overall: This has to be one of the most approacheable and enjoyable wargames I've played in many years. It really is very easy to play and a newcomer to wargames would feel very much at home almost immediately. Minor criticisms aside, I'd have to give this game 9/10. Well done Matrix!

Jim

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 158
RE: First impressions here please - 2/14/2005 9:13:11 PM   
RobertCrandall


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From: Burlington, Ontario
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Thank you Jim, "approachable" is exactly what we were looking for. Doubtless we will lose a bit of that adding new features and such for the grognards, but with any luck it will still remain approachable for a long time to come.

Cheers, Rob.

(in reply to Jim_H)
Post #: 159
RE: First impressions here please - 2/22/2005 12:36:31 AM   
Cpt. Canuck

 

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From: Calgary, Soon to be sovereign nation of Alberta
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I said that I would buy it and I did.

Had a little problem with downloading the game, but I think it was a problem with DR. Problem cleared up on its own.

I have played the tutorials and the Soviet Tank Rush scenario from both sides.

Initial impression is I like it, can't wait to get experience against the AI and start some PBEMs. Good job Rob and crew.

I had some questions around artillery, radio usage and group orders, but I think they have already been addressed earlier in this thread.

One question though. I understand the decisions around infantry and don't want to get into the whole leg infantry issue. But, how do I tell if the mech. infantry is dismounted (thus able to use there dismounted weapons) and could I advance on a position with the infantry dismounted?

Some comments on the Soviet Tank Rush scenario. If I understand the Staff Overview and Summary properly, there are two areas (4 & 8) on the east side of the map for which NATO forces could recieve 100 Victory Points each. I am not an expert but, to me that would be like the division commander saying I want you to take your understrength battalion and not only stop the attacking regiment but I want you take some objectives 10 kms behind the lines. I think this may be why the AI tends to attack when it controls the B&Rs. Also the Mission briefing says "D" company is available for the battle but they don't appear in the OOB for the B&R. I think this is a typo.

(in reply to RobertCrandall)
Post #: 160
RE: First impressions here please - 2/22/2005 12:57:04 AM   
JudgeDredd


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cpt. Canuck
One question though. I understand the decisions around infantry and don't want to get into the whole leg infantry issue. But, how do I tell if the mech. infantry is dismounted (thus able to use there dismounted weapons) and could I advance on a position with the infantry dismounted?


As soon as a mech unit stops, I believe it's infantry are dismounted (They wouldn't be sitting in the tin cans waiting for trouble in real life - so I believe that's the way it's modelled).

In v1.0.1, you will be able to see the weapons of the infantry carried on a mech unit when you look at the hardware inspector for said unit...you will se a (dis) next to the weapons which mean that is the tools your infantry come with.

_____________________________

JudgeDredd
I AM the Law!

(in reply to Cpt. Canuck)
Post #: 161
RE: First impressions here please - 2/24/2009 8:45:54 AM   
scowlmovement

 

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Here goes my two cents gentleman.

I truly believe this is the game I've been waiting for for a long time now. I've always been a big fan of the contemporary board wargame (i.e., NATO, Tac Air, Air-Land Battle). When I initially got into PC wargaming, I was in the Marine Corps. I was buddies with one of the S-2 guys in my battalion, and he introduced me to TacOps. It's still an all-time fav, but you had to put so much work in to play. Anyhow, I understand FPG is a sort-of re-hash of an older PC game (?) and still includes elements of everything I love about the genre.

Likes:

-Beautiful maps. Reminds me of a top-down Google Earth map of Germany.

-User-friendly interface. Toned down and low-key. Like TacOps, you don't have to rifle through a bunch of small on-screen symbols to play the game. Everything sort of "flows" nicely.

-Graphics. Surprisingly, I think the graphics won me over initially. Gotta love those old boardgame style counters. And the nifty little animations aren't flashy, but they are effective.

-Gameplay. Very fun and innovative. Easy to get the hang of, but I'm still learning how to master the AI. Lots of different options to play with, but not overwhelming. VERY challenging at times. I've been playing the tutorials over and over, trying new things everytime.

-Sound. Again, subtle yet effective. I actually enjoy the in-game sounds! Realistic and immersive. I was stationed in 29 Palms where the Marines do a LOT of live fire, so I like hearing weapons fire that sounds real.

-Passion. I can feel the "passion" of the developers throughout the game. I can tell they are just as big a fan as we are, and it shines through to the final product.

Dislikes:

-Not many...not very many scenarios included, but I've only been playing the tutorials since I've gotten the game. I haven't cracked open the editor yet, but I really hope to soon. The game has crashed on me at least once already, not sure why. Dismounted infantry issue not so bad, the way that is gamed is done effectively. Crunchies on the way, perhaps?

Conclusion:

I'm very happy with what I've got, and I'm sure I will get hours of satisfaction from this game. Well done, gents!

(in reply to TheHellPatrol)
Post #: 162
RE: First impressions here please - 2/25/2009 12:28:34 AM   
Capn Darwin


Posts: 4419
Joined: 2/12/2005
From: Newark, OH
Status: online
The new game engine has infantry as their own counters. Mounting and dismounting now in there. FPG is a fun game but not very Mod friendly. With the new game we are adding editing to almost every facet of the game. Maps, data, sound, scenarios, campaigns, etc. You will be able to go nuts.

Look up FPG scenarios Red Star and White Star. I think you can still find them on the Wargamer site in the depot area.

Thanks for you your feedback.

_____________________________

We are working on 2.06 update. Visit our website too.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations Developer,
and resident Rocket Scientist

(in reply to scowlmovement)
Post #: 163
RE: First impressions here please - 4/9/2009 12:42:35 AM   
fortyporkpies

 

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Howdy!  Judging by the dates on the latest posts, I am a late comer to this wonderful game (FPG).  I have always been a huge wargame fan (well, all games for that matter; I'm a programmer and I have designed [very simple] games on the side when I was in college).  I just downloaded patch 1.13.  After completing most of the prebuilt scenarios, I have now moved on to the editor.

As to my first impressions, I love the simplicity of the user interface and the ease to which one can control an entire Brigade/Regiment/etc and its complementary off-board assets.  The graphics are not bad, although I think that graphics with respect to the format of this type of game are of secondary importance.  The game mechanics are great, I just wish there was more transparency with the combat calculations (like a combat resolution log or something). 


Let me preface the following by saying that I have read all of the provided game documentation and quite a bit of the FPG forum before I registered...

I have a few questions/comments for the developers (I know this is an older game, I imagine you guys are moving on to more advanced games; I don't expect a huge response):

> With respect to altering the default unit tags and unit composition within the full blown scenario editor, the game crashes.  Is the only way around this to a) edit the database file manually; or b) clone the unit to be modified, delete the original and edit the clone?  Or c) only edit the units when you get to the final "entire units in the game spreadsheet"?

> There are some oddities that pop up when I "rename parent unit and give it a new name"; I sometimes get "phantom" units that appear on the screen but are not in the selectable OOB

> Is it possible to edit a unit tag with including an * to denote mixed unit types?

Thanks!






(in reply to Capn Darwin)
Post #: 164
RE: First impressions here please - 5/5/2012 4:06:04 PM   
Mad Russian


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From: Texas
Status: offline
Okay then....imparting my initial impressions.

First thing to do before giving that to you is to PLAY THE GAME a bit and not comment after looking at 5 minutes worth of game time with it.

I Played and mini AAR's for both tutorials and then did a full fledged scenario and AAR.

You can follow how well or poorly I did with my own words and screen shots.

Now, to what I think about the game.

The first thing that strikes me is how easy it is to play. Nothing complicated with everything easily found if you want it. I'm not used to where everything is 100% at this moment but I'm comfortable that I can find whatever I want easily.

After 3 scenarios now, 2 of those tutorials designed to highlight the capabilities of the game, I'm struck with how toothless infantry is in this game. Scale has a lot to do with that. When units are 500 meters apart they have to sit and bang at each other. That's not the way infantry wants to fight. But there seems to be an extremely tank centric base to the game. Where it's felt that tanks are the absolute rulers of the battlefield. I disagree with this view. SOMEBODY has to go take that village and that means boots on the ground. Infantry attack. I don't have that feel in the game. For me personally that takes half of it's potential away.

The AI did a credible job and I was fighting hard to get a Draw my first real scenario. Of course that's as a complete Noob to the game. I have some gaming experience behind me so my tactics should have helped make up for my lack of game mechanics knowledge and I felt it did. I've been playing a lot of WWII lately, PCO in particular, and wanted something different. This certainly qualifies as being different.

I intentionally took 3 different nations in the 3 scenarios. Having done that, I can tell you that there are tremendous nationality differences in the forces. I got a major wake up call when I saw the difference between an A-10 attack and an Alpha Jet attack. Both in results and the ability of the defense to affect the outcome. The Soviet air units seem to have drunk too much Vodka before their missions they have a hard time with air to ground recognition. Much more difficulty than the NATO pilots. Not a bad thing. Just something to keep in mind when you switch sides.

My nickname is the Mad Russian. That came about because wargames often portray Russian/Soviet forces as simply being Western/NATO forces using Soviet equipment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the differences are hard to show in a wargame. Others are hard to swallow for many gamers. For the most part the Soviets have to do better planning because once they start with a plan they keep using it until it breaks or it breaks you.

Which would mean that the delay times for the main assault elements would be about double what they are in this game now. Many gamers wouldn't want to see that. I would. You could make the actual doctrine for the WP an option for those that just want the NATO style of free wheeling command.

In the game where I was Soviets my order delay time was 4 minutes and NATO's was 5 minutes and in the game I was W German the WP delay was 15 minutes and mine was 4. The game I was Soviet should not have had faster delay times than the Americans unless there is another reason not easily ascertained. The game where I was W German seems much better but why the difference?

I did see chemical attacks delivered by both sides by the AI. I don't agree with NATO chemical strikes for the same reason that Robert said he can't see the AI delivering nukes in the game. NATO was extremely reluctant to use chemical warfare for a number of reasons. First was civilian casualties. They didn't want to attack an area where the civilians were guaranteed not to survive those weapons effects. The WP had no such compulsion.

Overall, the game plays well. Fast, easy to find things and make things happen. It's a bit too tank heavy for my tastes but most games are. PanzerBlitz started that trend and it's still alive and well. Map movement controls could be better but they work.

This was a very good choice for me to step away from WWII for a change.

Thanks for your time and efforts.

Good Hunting.

MR






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 5/5/2012 5:26:22 PM >


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The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
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Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

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Post #: 165
RE: First impressions here please - 5/5/2012 8:19:26 PM   
sabre1


Posts: 1928
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Great and through review, thanks Mad Russian!

< Message edited by sabre1 -- 5/5/2012 8:32:46 PM >


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Post #: 166
RE: First impressions here please - 5/5/2012 8:28:52 PM   
Mad Russian


Posts: 12551
Joined: 3/16/2008
From: Texas
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: sabre1

Great and through review, thans Mad Russian!


Don't I remember seeing that you had a lot to do with the TO&E's for this game?

Great Job!

When my W Germans showed up in M-113's I was reminded that you shouldn't bring a knife to a gun fight! A battlefield taxi vs an IFV will get your attention quick!

Nice range of units portrayed in the game.

I've fought as US, W German, Soviet and now British so far. The scope and variety is great and from what I can see the unit TO&E's are all spot on.

Good Hunting.

MR

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to sabre1)
Post #: 167
RE: First impressions here please - 5/7/2012 8:01:50 AM   
Vyshka


Posts: 261
Joined: 4/13/2002
From: Chandler, AZ
Status: offline
Mad Russian, was the scenario that had the off delay for the Soviets one of the tutorial scenarios?

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Post #: 168
RE: First impressions here please - 5/7/2012 12:37:25 PM   
sabre1


Posts: 1928
Joined: 8/15/2001
From: CA
Status: offline
Mad Russian,

I did not have anything to do with TO&E's. I just enjoyed reading your review, and appreciate the time you took to write it.

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Post #: 169
RE: First impressions here please - 5/7/2012 2:15:24 PM   
Mad Russian


Posts: 12551
Joined: 3/16/2008
From: Texas
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Vyshka

Mad Russian, was the scenario that had the off delay for the Soviets one of the tutorial scenarios?


Yes, it was Tutorial Scenario 2.

Good Hunting.

MR

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Vyshka)
Post #: 170
RE: First impressions here please - 5/7/2012 6:32:47 PM   
Vyshka


Posts: 261
Joined: 4/13/2002
From: Chandler, AZ
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian


quote:

ORIGINAL: Vyshka

Mad Russian, was the scenario that had the off delay for the Soviets one of the tutorial scenarios?


Yes, it was Tutorial Scenario 2.

Good Hunting.

MR



I will have to run some tests on the other scenarios. I wonder if they just set that in the tutorials to help move things along?

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