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Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 7:10:05 AM   
rowech

 

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I have some Chritsmas money and am considering buying one of the following titles:

Advanced Tactics
Commander: Europe at War
Battlefront
John Tiller's Campaign Series
Operational Art of War

Curious what game folks would recommend to someone who has a little military tabletop game experience (AH's 1776, Mighty Endeavour, B-17, Axis and Allies) and some strategy game experience with something like Civilization.

I don't really think I have a preference on the level of detail. I just want a game that will be fun, will offer me a solid solitaire opponent, and has some real replay value.
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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 7:16:10 AM   
Veldor


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Perhaps somewhat ironically you've listed them in the exact order that I'd recommend them to you.

Advanced Tactics is the newest and one of the best all around Matrix Games thus far I'd say. Simple enough but complex at the same time. Just enough depth, tons of replayability, good enough AI, and best of all still evolving.

It's also the perfect sort of stepping stone from the likes of Civilization and Axis and Allies.

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 7:41:04 AM   
ravinhood


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I agree with Advanced Tactics as my #1 recommendation, but, I'd then put the Tiller campaigns series right under that, then Operational Art of War 3rd and the CEAW and Battlefront last. The better game than CEAW really is SC2/WAW bundle pak now and that's the only game I'd really put up against Advanced Tactics as another choice, but, it ain't a Matrixgame game of course. ;)

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 8:18:58 AM   
marcusm

 

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Advanced Tactics or TOAW3 (or both if you can afford it).
AT has the benefit of random scenarios, it makes pick up an play easier.

Advanced Tactics allows for multiple sides, allowing for really interesting diplomatic
games. I believe this aspect has alot of potential.

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 8:38:54 AM   
Hertston


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Just to confuse the issue further ... in view of your requirements I'd put them in this order. C:EaW is omitted as I haven't played it.

Advanced Tactics

See above. There seems to be a theme developing here! My favourite of those you listed. Not the game for 'realism', and AI 'thinking' time can be annoying, but it's both challenging and fun. One of those rare occasions where the gameplay design itself hauls you in and won't let go.

TOAW3

Respectable AI. It usually gives me a decent game, anyway. Hundreds of scenarios, large numbers of which are genuinely excellent, and no chance of getting bored any time soon. Big PBEM community if you ever go that way.

Campaign Series

Weaker AI than TOAW3, but simpler mechanics and a much better choice if you prefer tactical stuff. The AI is a problem for me in this one; some scenarios are very hard to beat but I've started too many only to cake-walk them (as either side) without really trying. Again, more scenarios than you'll probably ever have time to play.

Battlefront

A good game but IMHO fails your replayability criteria. The game seems to have fallen rather flat, and the user scenarios (such as came along for Battles in Italy) never materialised. Granted, at least two of the scenarios included might have formed whole games in the relatively recent past, but the comparison with TOAW3 is striking. It really needs a re-release with another half-dozen 'official' scenarios.


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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 1:31:24 PM   
Adam Parker


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Order of selection:

1. Operational Art of War.
2. Battlefront.

The graphics in the other titles you've listed will underwhelm you and the Campaign Series if I recall correctly is still missing scenarios (and an AI).

If you want some immersion go TOAW but please do not take this as an endorsement. It's just the best and most varied of the titles you've listed (even though its scenario selection routine is straight out of a bygone era now).

My true advice. Stick to boargaming or buy Age of Empires 3.

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 2:20:12 PM   
Zakhal


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1.Advanced Tactics

Really great game. It has som nice scenarios. Easy and fun to play. Cheap too.

2.Commander: Europe at War

Panzer general europe. Easy to play.

3.Battlefront

Great overall game. If you really liked the original game (or the demos) and want more. 

4.Operational Art of War

If you want more of toaw then this might be a good choice. For me the original was kinda fun 10 years ago but with the limited free time I have I rather play som new games.


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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 3:54:04 PM   
rowech

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hertston

Advanced Tactics

See above. There seems to be a theme developing here! My favourite of those you listed. Not the game for 'realism', and AI 'thinking' time can be annoying, but it's both challenging and fun. One of those rare occasions where the gameplay design itself hauls you in and won't let go.



How long is the AI thinking time? Also, what do you mean it's not the game for realism?

< Message edited by rowech -- 12/28/2007 3:55:55 PM >

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 7:06:53 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rowech
How long is the AI thinking time?


As usual with AI thinking time, it varies depending on size of scenario and how far the game has progressed. Several minutes on occasion when a way into a big scenario; I haven't timed it. There's a thread on the subject somewhere.


quote:

Also, what do you mean it's not the game for realism?


Only that in many ways it's fairly abstract, such as unit capabilities, production, and research, and certainly isn't a 'realistic' game in the sense that WitP, CotA or Combat Mission are. The payback for that is playability and the flexibility of the engine; remember that although this release is 'WW2' the engine can can handle just about anything with custom scripting, and such. If I had time to design scenarios for anything, they would be for AT (but not WW2).

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 7:24:55 PM   
marcusm

 

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Well, I wish more wargames tried to get back to what they are supposed to be. War GAMES not War SIMS.
Too many wargames turn into cumbersome boring "realistic" affairs.

Long live Avalon Hill (and SSI).



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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 8:00:10 PM   
JudgeDredd


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Weren't Avalon Hill makers of extremely detailed boardgames? I remember back in the early nineties when I was looking at boardgaming, I stayed the hell away from AH because of their complexity.

Anyway, I digress...sorry


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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 8:04:30 PM   
Hertston


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As a more concrete example, I've just started Russia '41 (big scenario, obviously) as the Russians.. the initial AI German turn took around 8 minutes or so.  Not exactly a state of the art processor, though (Athlon 64 3400+).    

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 9:51:23 PM   
ravinhood


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The pleebs are never satisfied. Give you guys a decent AI and you scream about how long it takes to take its turn. What's your hurry you taking medicine? I wish all games had as good of an AI as Advanced Tactics and took 8 minutes per turn. Hell I take 30 minutes per turn or more in some games. Quit being so selfish for yourselves. Give the AI a chance it likes to think too about strategy and tactics and beat your a$$ every once in awhile. ;)

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 10:07:00 PM   
Zakhal


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My biggest scenario in AT has been ww1 (europe) and AI turns take only som 10-15 seconds. I bought my computer year ago - intel core2duo 6600.

I still remember in amiga one turn of ums2 took 30min.

< Message edited by Zakhal -- 12/28/2007 10:48:51 PM >


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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 10:09:54 PM   
Veldor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

Weren't Avalon Hill makers of extremely detailed boardgames? I remember back in the early nineties when I was looking at boardgaming, I stayed the hell away from AH because of their complexity.

Anyway, I digress...sorry



Only in relative terms to other boardgames in relation to the number of rules and exceptions. The games themselves were pretty abstract though in modern comparison to computer games as much of that rule detail and exceptions would be hidden by the computer itself.

Think in terms of how many numbers you can fit on a counter. Thats all the room you really had for most games. Now think about even an average computer wargame.

So yeah I strongly think the "art" of abstraction was lost with AH/SPI. They were masters of just the right level of detail to make gameplay smooth and the game still fun.

Advanced Tactics is still the best choice here. Considering Axis & Allies and Civilization were mentioned its still far far far more realistic than either of those two.

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 10:35:32 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood

The pleebs are never satisfied. Give you guys a decent AI and you scream about how long it takes to take its turn. What's your hurry you taking medicine? I wish all games had as good of an AI as Advanced Tactics and took 8 minutes per turn. Hell I take 30 minutes per turn or more in some games. Quit being so selfish for yourselves. Give the AI a chance it likes to think too about strategy and tactics and beat your a$$ every once in awhile. ;)


Try getting off the high horse and actually reading the posts for once. I (while listing AT as my top pick) flagged up that the AI turns could take a while (they can), and the guy asked me how long, which was a reasonable question in the circumstances. I also pointed out that I'm hardly running a top-end processor. End of story. Nobody screaming about anything.

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 10:39:39 PM   
ravinhood


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As I recall didn't the early games like Gettysburg and Stalindgrad and D-Day and France 1940 and a few others only have like 4 page manuals/rules? lol Hardly complicated or complex and probably the most played of their series except for when Squad Leader and ASL came out. That's when rules started to get complicated and thick rule books. Squad Leader and Swords & Sorcery and Magic Realm had the biggest rules booklets I ever encountered. That was late 70's though and fortunately computer games were just around the corner so I never had to invest in reading 200 page manuals and rules booklets of wargames. Never liked that complex of a wargame to begin with where every tree has a different defensive value. lol

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 10:41:16 PM   
ravinhood


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hertston

quote:

ORIGINAL: ravinhood

The pleebs are never satisfied. Give you guys a decent AI and you scream about how long it takes to take its turn. What's your hurry you taking medicine? I wish all games had as good of an AI as Advanced Tactics and took 8 minutes per turn. Hell I take 30 minutes per turn or more in some games. Quit being so selfish for yourselves. Give the AI a chance it likes to think too about strategy and tactics and beat your a$$ every once in awhile. ;)


Try getting off the high horse and actually reading the posts for once. I (while listing AT as my top pick) flagged up that the AI turns could take a while (they can), and the guy asked me how long, which was a reasonable question in the circumstances. I also pointed out that I'm hardly running a top-end processor. End of story. Nobody screaming about anything.



Seems to me you're "screming" now....I rest my case your honor case closed Ravinhood wins another one. ;)

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/28/2007 10:59:16 PM   
marcusm

 

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Judge, you are correct in one way, some of the SPI games were huge
and ASL especially was very complicated but. They were still strategy games not
simulators meaning that they abstracted enough so that you got the right game flow.

TOAW3 went a bit too far imho with the number of trucks etc. It's still great but I think
it would have been even better if it abstracted those parts.

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/29/2007 12:54:54 AM   
JudgeDredd


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Fair points about AH. All I know is I had one and thought "Sod that"...then I went to TSR

But I joined board gaming late in "my" life...got into computers about 2 years later and didn't go back to board gaming. Had I known of a community, I may well have stuck with it. The only person I got to play The Hunt For Red October boardgame with was my wifes dad when we went on a caravan holiday (yes you US people...we use them for holidaying in ) and after quite a few scotches, I couldn't take being accused of cheating anymore...he didn't know how to play and I did. I explained the rules to him, he'd forget...when he tried it again he said blah blah blah...

Anyway...I remember not wanting to get as deep as AH games. TSR were difficult enough for me. I did buy a Pacific War game (I think it was called that). That may have been AH. Had a massive split map. I never did get to play it


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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/29/2007 1:20:14 AM   
freeboy

 

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I own them all, AT is far ahead imo, for me its the time thing. How much time can u spend?

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/29/2007 2:55:43 AM   
rowech

 

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Are there demos for any of these games? 

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/29/2007 2:58:04 AM   
Veldor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rowech

Are there demos for any of these games? 


Negative.


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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/29/2007 3:45:36 AM   
marcusm

 

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Sort of. Peoples General is the freeware prequel to Advanced Tactics.
Much rougher but still gives a basic idea what to expect.

Isn't there a TOAW demo floating around somewhere as well? At least there was one at some point. That demo was actually a school example on how to do demos, a real system(software) seller that Korean scenario :).


< Message edited by marcusm -- 12/29/2007 3:46:26 AM >

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 12/29/2007 4:10:30 AM   
ravinhood


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<snicker> wasn't it "Peoples Tactics" Marcusm instead of Peoples General? ;) But, Peoples General isn't a bad game either. ;)

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 1/10/2008 11:33:17 PM   
rowech

 

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After continuing to look at these games, I eliminated Advanced Tactics because of the gametime issue possibly being a big deal.  I also eliminated Battlefront.  I've played WWII to death in a variety of other games so I eliminated Europe at War as well.  Leaves Campaign Series and TOAW.  I know they're very different level of games....so what it boils down to....

which game of those two do you like better?

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 1/11/2008 12:18:14 AM   
ravinhood


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Game for dollar value goes to the Campaign series. TOAW though is richer in detail and more of an historical SIM instead of random tactical battles that you can get out of the Campaign series for a lifetime. My preference will always be the game that offers more for the $$ and random generated features, so, in this case I'd buy the Campaign series. TOAW is more for the hardcore simmer while the Campaign series is for those that just wanna have fun. ;)

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 1/11/2008 1:06:15 AM   
Zakhal


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Advanced tactics is the best game matrix has release for many years. But if you have only an old computer and no money then I guess you shouldnt buy it.

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 1/11/2008 2:28:14 AM   
Awac835


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Id have to say go with AT to. Its easy to get into yet rather complex in the details. And it have a random map generator its a huge bonus to replay value.

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RE: Game advice thread # whatever - 1/11/2008 4:12:29 AM   
Zakhal


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Advanced tactics is not random maps (it has those too but its not really the point imho). It has user made scenarios and graphics spanning from civil war to today offering fun AI. I played three scenarios civil war, ww1 and north africa all offering realistic maps. And all of those were fun "victories" and not just walkathrons - I really got kicked by the AI (I pretty much lost during the civil war alone - i had to work for victory) during the show and theres two more difficulty levels to try out.

There is a patch (released after my latest games) that improves the AI but I havent tried it yet (life = work). Other than the so far solid AI I love the combat screen its very simple and elegant. And the game itself can stretch to anything from fantasy to modern war - graphics included (modern user mod is the making). This is easily the best game from matrix since spwaw (gary grigsbys lifework pacific war excluded). Everything just clicks in AT. If panzer general is mashed potatoes, advanced tactics is the meat.

< Message edited by Zakhal -- 1/11/2008 4:30:24 AM >


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