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PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 5:05:24 AM   
Yoozername

 

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I haven't had that much time or even a real computer system that really runs the game that well till the past few weeks. That stated, and given the actual 'free' time to actually play the game lately....I would like to put down some random thoughts. This is just meant to be an intro to real discussion about the game update.

Firstly, the game update is certainly 'bringing something that grows on you'. I don't play THAT much recreational software lately. So, to have time to just check out any demo, or to give time to a game that I have bought awhile ago and that has been updated for no expense to me, well that seems like good easy times, given all the real situations going on around me. "Thrill me baby", I say. I am on a budget. Time AND Money-wise. Given that, it grows on you and since I already spent the money, it gives dividends.

My 'one-blurb' opinion of PCO is as follows: "If this game came out 8-10 years ago, the wargaming world would have carried it on it's shoulders like a God".

I sincerely mean that. It adds such a unique aspect to tactical warfare gaming, 'relative-spotting', 'gamer-command-restraints' (TM) and replayability and many things that don't even come up till it's given a chance.

And that's the rub. Do wargamers give it a chance? To me, it seems the most vociferous and posturing 'rotten harbingers' have nestled themselves in wargaming websites that are just overall fail for this hobby. It is such a turn-off to think that people that can just drone on about something without any restraint, and then re-iterate the same 'issues' and then revel in the company of other negative persons. They are not critics nor ambassadors or anything positive. They are just unhappy individuals that love to spread the poison that festers in thier minds.

I think 'back in the day', many wargamers were 'given-the bug' for things like ASL by very patient and enthusiastic wargamers. It was a limited 'infestation' that showed itself in the overall growth curve of real community, even if the overall community was secluded from all it's parts. I am actually very surprised lately by the vociferous 'professional wargaming critics' that have appointed themselves 'online-personalities'. These are just customers like everyone else but have deemed it needed that they share all thier disappointments.

They are just becoming gross spectacles that do themselves and the hobby no good whatsoever. I really doubt they have played PCO much and I know if they got thier flabby butts handed to them, their twisted egos and passive-aggressive 'personalities' would drive them to play more.



< Message edited by Yoozername -- 8/5/2011 5:15:06 AM >
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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 9:35:50 AM   
Jafele


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I have a theory: Because most of wargames are ruled by companies, wargames designers tend to use "business sense" instead of "common sense". IMHO that is the key of the current situation, sad but true. What´s the difference between a classic and a common wargame? Common sense. So, I think PCO is an unnusual island in a huge sea.

That´s my theory Yoozername.

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 11:29:07 AM   
sevenpointsix2

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Yoozername

...If this game came out 8-10 years ago, the wargaming world would have carried it on it's shoulders like a God...

...that's the rub. Do wargamers give it a chance? To me, it seems the most vociferous and posturing 'rotten harbingers' have nestled themselves in wargaming websites that are just overall fail for this hobby...


Well written post, but it confuses me somewhat and prompts me to ask a couple of questions: Are you saying that PCO is 8-10 years out of step with current wargaming 'sim' type software, and who/where are the "rotten harbingers"? Also, what in particular gave you cause to deprecate these "harbingers"?

< Message edited by sevenpointsix2 -- 8/5/2011 12:07:52 PM >

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 12:52:57 PM   
Mobius


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Ten years ago there wasn't books by Glantz and Jentz and other authors that presented new reliable information that is used in the making of PCO. There wasn't the access to Eastern Block reference data on the war. There wasn't Google Earth or Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data that is used to make accurate maps. You might have the state-of-the art graphics but you would have a less accurate game 8-10 years ago.

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 3:13:49 PM   
Yoozername

 

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I don't think discussing the super-critics or even 'naming' them does any good.  In fact, the whole 'naming' thing is getting crazy also.  I myself have been accused, even on this forum, of being someone that posts on another forum.  I have also seen people posture themselves as me, to some comic effect.  I am, of course, amused and honored.

But if PCO came out as the same time as CMBB, there would be a much different reaction to it than it has now.  Mobius makes a point regarding the availability of newer information but I think the relative spotting and unique abstraction of command and control sets the game apart.

But I believe the super-critics are just burnt out if they don't enjoy what this is.  It's a pretty good wargame.  I suspect the problem is not in the product but in themselves.

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 3:45:21 PM   
Yoozername

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jafele

I have a theory: Because most of wargames are ruled by companies, wargames designers tend to use "business sense" instead of "common sense". IMHO that is the key of the current situation, sad but true. What´s the difference between a classic and a common wargame? Common sense. So, I think PCO is an unnusual island in a huge sea.

That´s my theory Yoozername.



Interesting. My own take is that some software companies try to pound a wargame into some other product entirely. They are, of course, trying to reach an expanded market. In doing so, they must make design and scheduling decisions as far as where the work goes. But I suppose this is another subject altogether.

PCO is certainly unique in bringing such a massive update at such a low price.

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 4:33:54 PM   
sevenpointsix2

 

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Thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated.

I played CMBO/CMBB for many years and it was getting time for me to try out another wargame sim. This time around I wanted it to have a fresh approach to its command system and user interface. I didn't want a CM type clone and PCO is certainly not that ... it's unique. You really can't compare PCO to the CM series because they really are so different. They may share the same genre, but little else, and for me that's just peachy keen.

< Message edited by sevenpointsix2 -- 8/5/2011 4:36:09 PM >

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 5:39:35 PM   
Jafele


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I´ve noticed that most of people agree to change and deteriorate rules only to get an easy way to win. It brings money to companies obviously. After all this is just commerce, isn´t it? Being sincere companies are responsible of this situation, but people too...

An excellent and enjoyable game can only be done using common sense (the less common of the senses).

Best

< Message edited by Jafele -- 8/5/2011 6:24:02 PM >

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 6:05:10 PM   
Commanderski


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If Matrix made a game about the American West and somebody played the 7th Calvary Campaign and lost at the Little Big Horn, they would complain that the game is broken...

You have those types of people with every game that comes out. PCO is a good game, similar and very different to other games that are currently out.

While I'm sure the Matrix developers have their own idea in which direction they would like to see their particular games go, they do listen to the people who play their games. The support that they give is above and beyond what anyone would expect from a company if they were just interested in the bottom line.

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 6:33:28 PM   
Jafele


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An example of this "democratic" way of doing games is the following example:

Try to ask to 10 people about a strategic situation during a battle. One of them is a military man the others are not. Who can give you the best answer? The decision of the commander or a "democratic" decision of all of them?


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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 7:13:14 PM   
Yoozername

 

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Those are good points.

What I like most about PCO is the command system.  While unfamiliar and seemingly constrictive at first, it actually constrains the player to realistic handling of his units.

I read many posts about the 'lousy AI' in many games.   These posters never consider the fact that they have totally unrealistic control over thier own forces.  To them, its 'realistic' since its what they are used to.  The ability to micromanage and coordinate all of one's forces in games such as CMBB etc. is so unrealistic and puts ANY AI at an extreme disadvantage.  So a game like PCO with its command system, and the relative spotting, keeps a human player 'honest' and has a wargaming entertainment value that I enjoy.

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 7:45:25 PM   
Jafele


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You´re right. Basically it´s a matter of honestity. I fell proud to see I´m among gentlemen in the PCO community . Maybe PCO will continue being a good game because of the honestity of the designers and community. It´s in our hands.

Why good games usually don´t get on well with business? Because you don´t need to buy many games if you´re spending your time with the best one.

I´m optimistic about the future of PCO cos honest players buy games too.

< Message edited by Jafele -- 8/5/2011 7:47:46 PM >

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 8:21:37 PM   
junk2drive


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Yoozername

Those are good points.

What I like most about PCO is the command system.  While unfamiliar and seemingly constrictive at first, it actually constrains the player to realistic handling of his units.

I read many posts about the 'lousy AI' in many games.   These posters never consider the fact that they have totally unrealistic control over thier own forces.  To them, its 'realistic' since its what they are used to.  The ability to micromanage and coordinate all of one's forces in games such as CMBB etc. is so unrealistic and puts ANY AI at an extreme disadvantage.  So a game like PCO with its command system, and the relative spotting, keeps a human player 'honest' and has a wargaming entertainment value that I enjoy.



Good point. I don't like to micromanage my games and that may be why I don't roll over the AI.

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/5/2011 9:03:29 PM   
Yoozername

 

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I have often been a proponent of AI built around 'platoons'.  That is, the AI commands platoons around but the 'platoon AI' uses 'drills' very much like a real platoon might.  So instead of every unit 'doing it's thing' basic manuvers like some squads cover while others move take place.

< Message edited by Yoozername -- 8/5/2011 9:16:20 PM >

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/8/2011 5:20:37 AM   
Pillar

 

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I asked this at gamesquad but didn't get an answer there.  What was the reason for making the control, firepower, cover etc...  squad level, rather than platoon level counters?   Are we meant to be moving squads on their own?  (Like advancing one squad while the rest of the platoon hangs back.)   If so is there a solid reason for requiring platoon hq orders (stance changes or whatever) to go automatically to all the squads?  I realize the infantry model/game isn't finished yet.



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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/8/2011 5:26:17 AM   
junk2drive


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I thought we answered you there but I guess not. What part of your question did we miss?


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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/8/2011 6:38:11 AM   
Pillar

 

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No problem, just the questions above.  Also I asked why Mobius didn't like SPWAW just out of curiosity.  The first part of the original post was answered but then the second part wasn't. 

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/8/2011 5:23:23 PM   
Mad Russian


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The complete platoon/squad relationship should be revised in the next game in the series.

Good Hunting.

MR


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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/9/2011 6:02:08 AM   
Pillar

 

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If you want to leave it at that, that's fine :) Thanks for the reply.

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/9/2011 6:57:18 AM   
sztartur2


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I may be one of the few that quite like the new platoon level approach. I may say it is good as ti is except the lack of a crawl command to the infantry, and we need adding a parameter to the formations about the distance of vehicles/squads in the formation, and being able to add multiple commands like in CMX1. Other than that is OK I like them as they are.


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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/12/2011 3:35:43 AM   
Yoozername

 

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I also think it is a good abstraction. 

The wargamer, that does not want realistic constraints may also find that there are games that give them options that meet thier needs.  Perhaps 'death-mode' products, like the ones that the kids at Columbine favored, can meet all needs.

In my case, I say PCO is on to something and I hope they devlop it further.

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/12/2011 6:59:54 AM   
Jacko


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Last night I gave one of my platoons an order to rush out of a building and into safety in a nearby wood. A T-34 with it's back to my escaping platoon turned as fast as a ballerina, while my platoon ran for their lifes but almost stood still. They were wiped out by MG-fire of the tank. What I mean to say is, the infantry should be able to move a lot faster. There are still too many little, but gamebreaking problems. The same problems occurs in CM1. It always annoyed to hell out of me, to put it a bit crude. Assaulting or running infantry should be fast movers. 

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/12/2011 7:28:48 AM   
Yoozername

 

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Jacko that would be great video.  can you send it?

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/12/2011 8:04:48 AM   
Jacko


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I haven't got it saved, Yoozername. But I've seen it happen before with a Panzerschreck team.

Another strange thing was that the same T-34 moved a bit backwards and forwards all the time, like a driver who can't find the right gear. It went on for at least a turn of two. Things like that need to be ironed out. 

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/12/2011 12:04:50 PM   
sztartur2


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I also noticed StuGs turning to target as fast as a ballerina. 

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/12/2011 3:15:26 PM   
Jacko


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Now don't misunderstand Sztartur and me. We never actually WATCH ballet of course. 

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/13/2011 1:54:25 AM   
Yoozername

 

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I see about a 3 second 90 degree turn for a StuG. 

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/13/2011 2:34:10 AM   
junk2drive


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Jacko run a test. Have squads move, rush and charge to a point like a tree or building. Measure the distance with your line of sight tool first. Something easy like 100m. Time the movement to distance and see if it compares to real life with a full load on your back.

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Conflict of Heroes "Most games are like checkers or chess and some have dice and cards involved too. This game plays like checkers but you think like chess and the dice and cards can change everything in real time."

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/13/2011 3:13:33 AM   
Jacko


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They did it in 1 minute and 15 seconds. Rushing that is. I guess that is pretty realistic with full fighting gear. It's been a long time ago, but I remember it made running amazingly difficult. I'm glad to see that is allright. Perhaps the situation I did describe with the infantry platoon and Panzerschreck team was due to other reasons, like being under fire or wounded squad members. 

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RE: PCO : Product Review/Open Letter - 8/13/2011 3:25:01 AM   
junk2drive


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We did try to make speeds of things in the game realistic. If you notice something that doesn't seem right, run a test, then let us know.

I confused myself one time by leaving the units supersized. Running a replay at normal size made a big difference.


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Conflict of Heroes "Most games are like checkers or chess and some have dice and cards involved too. This game plays like checkers but you think like chess and the dice and cards can change everything in real time."

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