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Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 6:48:39 PM   
Toby42


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I've been reading posts and I've downloaded the tutorial and movies, etc. It seems like all you do is give an order to a Headquarters unit and watch the computer play the game! What am I missing? From what I've seen, it doesn't look like much fun.

I'm sure that there is more to this game than that, but apparently I'm missing the point of it????

I'm not familiar with any of the titles in this series, so I'm pretty ignorant of them. I'm not about to spend $80 to see what the whole love affair here is about. Hopefully someone can enlighten me, or maybe I just have to wait for the demo to be released.....

Thanks

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 6:53:08 PM   
MarkShot

 

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Tony,

In the HTTR and COTA forums you'll find three stickied Mini-Guide threads by me. They go into tremendous detail as to what playing the game means. You can find them on PDF as well. It is not simply a spectator sport.

Whether the game and its price is appropriate for you ... you're the only one who can answer that question.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 6:58:07 PM   
Toby42


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot

Tony,

In the HTTR and COTA forums you'll find three stickied Mini-Guide threads by me. They go into tremendous detail as to what playing the game means. You can find them on PDF as well. It is not simply a spectator sport.

Whether the game and its price is appropriate for you ... you're the only one who can answer that question.


Thanks Mark. The price is stiff, but OK if the game lives up to all of the hype! I'll check out those threads.

Will the demo give a feel of what is under the Hood??

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 7:05:24 PM   
MarkShot

 

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I am not sure exactly what will be in the demo, but I am sure you'll be able to get a sense of things.

The problem with AARs and videos is that neither really captures the overall affect. Why?

The AARs because the nature of the media and the decision points fail to convey the flowing continuous nature of the game. This makes it look more WEGO and turn like than it is.

The movies tend to just be a few highlights, since no one wants to sit through a movie of an entire game. This results in the game appearing to not having much for the player to do and being a spectator sport.

Hopefully, the demo will help rectify the above shortcomings.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 7:10:50 PM   
Toby42


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I've downloaded your pdf files and I will go through them...

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 7:20:56 PM   
MajFrankBurns

 

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quote:

It seems like all you do is give an order to a Headquarters unit and watch the computer play the game!


Amazing someone else finally sees what I see about this game.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 7:28:58 PM   
Arimus

 

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There are tons of wargames that let you micromanage units and give direct orders to the hundreds of units on the board,  but only one that does what BFTB does.
Maybe try one of those other games?

Or turn the order delay off and give orders to every unit on your side.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 7:33:05 PM   
MarkShot

 

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MFB,

Have you played RDOA, HTTR, or COTA? If so, how did you reach that conclusion? It is fully possible to let the game run and do nothing just like it is doable in turn based game to skip over units and do nothing. Both cases are pretty boring which leads most players to prefer to do something than nothing. Once you begin to participate just like anything else in life, things quickly get a lot more interesting.

If you haven't owned any of the titles, than which third party materials are you drawing your conclusions from? I've written about 300 pages (if printed) of guide material for HTTR and COTA. From my perspective, there is plenty for the player to do. That is not to say that it resembles traditional hex turn based games. RDOA/HTTR/COTA/BFTB is a different kind of intellectual exercise. Appropriate for some and not for others.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 8:00:34 PM   
Toby42


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I've started reading Mark's PDF files and it looks as though there is a lot of interaction involved. Especially when you first start a scenario with all of the planning involved. How it plays out throughout, I don't know. I'll have to read more and hopefully the demo will answer some questions for me! But to arbitarily DIS the game is wrong....

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 8:07:18 PM   
Toby42


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To continue on with my last comment. This series has had a "Faithful" following for years. There must be something right with it!

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 8:11:34 PM   
MarkShot

 

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You are correct (unless 70% of your ultimate strength is from reinforcements), then the largest continuous period of analysis, planning, and order giving is often before starting the clock. After that you will have much to do, but it will be spread across the continuous flow of the game.

Although I tried to cover it in my tutorials (but still difficult to convey), one of the key aspects of the game is to correctly determine when is it time to intervene and give new orders. On one hand, if you give new orders frequently every time the wind changes, your efforts will deteriorate into a chaotic mess. On the other hand, if you wait to give orders until your existing orders have been completely carried out (BFTB gives you completion messages on everything as compared to earlier games), then your command of the situation will be very lethargic and reactive leading to the enemy running over you.

< Message edited by MarkShot -- 6/3/2010 8:12:20 PM >


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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 8:18:14 PM   
boatrigm


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I couldn't really get a feel for how the games played until a found a demo of Airborne Assault: Red Devils Over Arnhem. It is a very old demo because the game is no longer available but I really like the engine! I kept coming back to the demo to play it over several days and had a great time so I bought HTTR and COTA. The games are much better than the AAR's. I ended up buying BFTB even if the price is on the high side. Just waiting for the game to ship from NWS.The new BFTB engine looks even better than COTA!

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 8:22:20 PM   
Toby42


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot

You are correct (unless 70% of your ultimate strength is from reinforcements), then the largest continuous period of analysis, planning, and order giving is often before starting the clock. After that you will have much to do, but it will be spread across the continuous flow of the game.

Although I tried to cover it in my tutorials (but still difficult to convey), one of the key aspects of the game is to correctly determine when is it time to intervene and give new orders. On one hand, if you give new orders frequently every time the wind changes, your efforts will deteriorate into a chaotic mess. On the other hand, if you wait to give orders until your existing orders have been completely carried out (BFTB gives you completion messages on everything as compared to earlier games), then your command of the situation will be very lethargic and reactive leading to the enemy running over you.


So if you change an order, will the unit continue with the original orders until the delay time is implemented?

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 8:33:38 PM   
MarkShot

 

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As most of your orders will not be directly to line units, it is more complex than just having unit continuing one thing and then switching to another. When you change the orders of a force, different sub commanders and line units will get their orders at different times.

This is why altering orders in the middle of an attack can be so disastrous. Imagine a whole Bn or Bde of an assaulting line, simply halt as they start to digest their new orders. The peer Bn or Bde will continue to thrust forward deeper while the enemy remains at their flanks.

On the other hand, it may be exactly the thing to do ... if the attack was planned for first light and while advancing you see that the enemy has withdrawn during the night. Simply letting the attack continue will unnecessarily take its toll on your men and equipment. Also, it will delay you from properly exploiting the fact that the enemy is falling back and on the move. If you catch up to them in such a situation, you are much more likely to do them some real harm ... as opposed to they are already dug-in and waiting for you.

So, just in this simple example to can see the beauty and challenge of the game. Since I made the decision seem pretty black and white. But it usually isn't. When are it the right time to decide what the enemy disposition is during the attack? Just how much resistance constitutes an enemy withdrawal versus just regrouping an impending counter attack?

< Message edited by MarkShot -- 6/3/2010 8:34:18 PM >


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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 8:34:04 PM   
simovitch


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Treale,
Yes, if you play with 'orders delay' on. You can opt to play the scenario without orders delay and they will react more or less instantly to you changing the objective.

The amount of delay depends on the size of force you are giving orders to, commander experience and a host of other variables.

There are some commands you can give the force that won't cause a delay regardless, like change formation, frontage, depth, ROF.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 8:40:02 PM   
Toby42


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So, citing either example from above, if while in an attack you see a new threat on your flank. Can you disengage a unit(s) from the rest of the manuever unit to meet the other threat?

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 8:46:40 PM   
MarkShot

 

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Yes, but playing with full order delays, it will take some time and will result in some disruption. Leaving you to ask is it better to go with the flow or pull the rug from underneath your subordinates. :)

If Dave was here right now, he would probably say this is why a good commander will always maintain a reserve. Thus, if something like this happens, you can let the attack continue and deploy the reserve to protect the flank. (Dave is very big on keeping a reserve. He rarely throws everything he's got into the pot.)

Treale, so are you getting a sense of what this game is about? It's about making decisions. The big decisions. Not about agonizing over charts and tables to get the best odds from a single 88 ATG on the next turn.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 8:54:54 PM   
Toby42


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MarkShot

Yes, but playing with full order delays, it will take some time and will result in some disruption. Leaving you to ask is it better to go with the flow or pull the rug from underneath your subordinates. :)

If Dave was here right now, he would probably say this is why a good commander will always maintain a reserve. Thus, if something like this happens, you can let the attack continue and deploy the reserve to protect the flank. (Dave is very big on keeping a reserve. He rarely throws everything he's got into the pot.)

Treale, so are you getting a sense of what this game is about? It's about making decisions. The big decisions. Not about agonizing over charts and tables to get the best odds from a single 88 ATG on the next turn.


It's starting to come together in my mind a lot better.

If you create a reserve do you de-tatch them from the rest of the command? I'm sorry for asking so many questions...

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 9:03:27 PM   
MarkShot

 

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There are many ways to create reserves.

From the initial orders detach some Bn or Bde from your command and have them sit it out.

Or take an arriving reinforcement force and hold them in reserve.

Or take some portion of a force which previously saw action, but is now sitting on a cold objective and turn them into a reserve after having rested. Of course, this will disrupt the overall force on defense of the objective, but they are now behind the fight. So, what harm can it do?

As with many things, how you do it depends on the situation. And it might be better not to use a reserve. Perhaps if the reserve Bn went in with the initial attack, it might be enough to break the enemy's defense. Yep, more big decisions! Don't let keeping reserves be the reason that you commit your forces piece meal and your butt kicked.

You should know that individual AI subordinate HQs will maintain their own reserve. The higher you set AGGRO (aggression), the more resources your subordinates will throw into the attack. However, their reserve is under their control unlike when you set up your own direct reserve.

< Message edited by MarkShot -- 6/3/2010 9:05:30 PM >


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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 9:12:53 PM   
Toby42


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I guess that I'll have to wait for the demo to see if it will run on my old desktop. I'm sure that my laptop can handle it???

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 9:20:38 PM   
MarkShot

 

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The game is CPU intensive. The memory footprint is probably below 200Mb. Video subsystems are not really stressed.

I was trying to get a benchmarking thread going, but I guess people weren't interested. You can find it here.

Probably good to wait until the demo if checking performance.

Here is scenario complexity which drives simulation performance:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2479970

Here is the benchmarking:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2481037



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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 9:25:14 PM   
deanco2

 

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Pardon the interruption, I'll just stick my 2c in, and leave you all to it.

I came here from the Distant Worlds forum.  Distant Worlds is a game much like this one, in that the game runs along, and you stick your nose in from time to time and tweak things here and there.  I'm always looking for games like this, I don't always like clicking like a madman.  Huge fan of Combat Mission.  Anyway, I followed the links and downloaded the 'general concepts' video.  Watched it, and was blown away.  When he said that moving 300 counters was not only tedious, but unrealistic, I said, 'this guy's speaking my language'.  When I saw the play example how the computer was able to handle itself, I basically had my credit card out.  Until I saw the price, but that's another thread, and not why I'm posting.

So I would up buying HttR as the reviews were good and it looked to be about the same thing as far as I am concerned, and the price was right.  I am very happy with that game, it plays exactly how I imagined it would, and I am learning a lot about how an army moves just watching the counters move around.

Anyway, that overview video deserves a wider audience, I'm sure others would be swayed like I was.  It even sold a game, just not the game it's advertising.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 9:36:41 PM   
Toby42


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I have a Pentium 4 running at 3.06ghz. I only have 1 gig of shared ram. I know bottom of the scale! My laptop is brand new with a dual core processor and 4 gig of ram.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 9:49:14 PM   
boogada

 

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Its running fine on my two year old laptop. 2ghz Duo Core with 2gigs ram.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 10:14:26 PM   
FredSanford3

 

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Hey, where in Central Florida are you? I live in Altamonte Springs.

You can micromanage as much as you want in this game, you just don't have to.


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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 10:28:02 PM   
Larac

 

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With another gig or 2 of RAM the old laptop might run it ok.

As it is shared.

But try the Demo to be sure.

Mark, how close in system resources is COTA to BFTB ?

Lee

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 11:00:31 PM   
Adam Parker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Treale

I've been reading posts and I've downloaded the tutorial and movies, etc. It seems like all you do is give an order to a Headquarters unit and watch the computer play the game! What am I missing? From what I've seen, it doesn't look like much fun.


I was one who once thought the same. It's why though I owned CotA I could never play it. Ditto mainly for HttR.

Still sceptical, I then bought the game, scanned the rules to see what was under the hood and watched the BFtB tutorials - and I haven't been more excited to try something out in PC land for a while.

I once remember that a group of us was discussing the possibility of a war game where you had virtual "grease pencils", with which you could select a corps or division and draw its boundaries and plans of advance on the map (something for the iPad one day maybe?).

BFtB is the closest thing I've seen that comes to that. As the rulebook states - players need to put themselves into the shoes of the overall commander and command 2 levels down (with necessary exceptions as the tactical situation requires). If you can "suspend your disbelief" and roleplay the game in that manner, then this promises to be a gem of a game.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 11:15:39 PM   
eMonticello


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You do have a choice in this game. You can be Superman by setting the delay to zero and pushing every unit yourself or you can be Hannibal Smith and develop the plan that Face, Murdock, and Mr. T carry out.

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/3/2010 11:17:10 PM   
MarkShot

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Larac

With another gig or 2 of RAM the old laptop might run it ok.

As it is shared.

But try the Demo to be sure.

Mark, how close in system resources is COTA to BFTB ?

Lee



You can take a look at my performance thread. It seemed that they were close based on a cursory number of units test. I was surprised by that, since I know how much coding went into BFTB. But from a technical systems point of view, it's really more about how many instructions execute on the average for each unit in the main simulation loop. Increasing the number of cases and possibilities need necessarily greatly increase the average code path.

However, even if it is true that the CPU load is close, it is also clear that COTA's average scenario size (number of units) is quite a bit smaller. So for a marginal system, COTA has a higher proportion of scenarios which will play smoothly.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2481037

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RE: Pardon the Interuption! - 6/4/2010 12:07:58 AM   
Fred98


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quote:

ORIGINAL: eMonticello
or you can be Hannibal Smith and develop the plan that Face, Murdock, and Mr. T carry out.



Of course we all love it when a plan comes together

Sorry, someone had to say it!

-


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