I haven't played Combat Mission, maybe my remarks are pointless. But looking at the comments on what makes it what it is.....
Cute has never been a selling point with me. Nifty 3d graphics are to me just a pointless use of computational power in my opinion.
The counter art in ASL is impressive, but in the end, all I need to know is, is it a tank or an artillery piece eh. So it stands to reason I think the images in Steel Panthers are first rate. But 3d, nah thats an unnecessary level of detail. If the 3d limits the scope of Combat Mission, then the trade off wasn't worth the eye candy gain.
I have seen one to many games unable to run on a decent computer, because the fools designing the game couldn't limit their attention to just making a good simulation.
A long time back I had Patton Strikes Back as a favourite game. But inbedded in it was all sorts of film clips. It really didn't do anything to make the game better. And it did make the computer work harder for nothing.
Even my favourite Operational Art of War insists on a 3d rendering in a separate window. This detail really accomplishes nothing though (other than requiring more computer power).
Wargames are about simulation admittedly. But unless the game is you driving a specific tank around (as if you were actually IN the tank), then 3d loses any real worth.
Of course there are those that crave eye candy and need an ever increasing dose of it. Those same people are the reason why most movies have grotesque levels of special effects with tiny pieces of acting (if acting at all) linking them together.
Today's hardware is getting more and more capable, but just being capable, does not automatically translate software bells into justifyable options.
I have not tried Combat Mission as yet, mainly because bells are not a selling point to me. Additionally, no matter how good a game might be, it can't always be made to do everything. That's primarily why I am not counted among the many that absolutely must see Matrix make a Steel Panthers version of every permutation of action or time period (including Modern).
I probably won't see anything wrong with the cd of Steel Panthers 2 I have sought out from the CD Access.com people.
But that is mainly because I don't have the passion needed to delve into the data I suppose. I usually only complain when a game does something clearly obnoxious in such a way that it spoils the fun somehow.
It won't be up to the standards of SPWaW, and it won't likely play nice with my primary OS (that being XP). So I will just install it in my secondary Win 98 OS (nothing like having your cake and eating it too).
If some day Matrix is done with Combat Leader, I will find it very peculiar to see them dust off the Steel Panthers code, just to rework a program, that is made to look like a waste of time by Combat Leader.
Sure I would like to find a mint copy of Basic Squad Leader. But as lovingly as I hold my first playings of that game, I have no interest in people making modules for it.
If Combat Leader succeeds (as it should). Odds are I will delete Steel Panthers off the drive, and settle for using it as a basis of fond memories.
I LIKE that my life bothers them,
Why should I be the only one bothered by it eh.