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RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 12/14/2011 8:30:49 AM   
wodin


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Best news I've had in a long time. Infact it's made my Xmas!

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Post #: 91
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 10:53:25 AM   
Sky_Masterson


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Hi to al;-)
Still in awe after seeing all the changes made, really impresive.

I've been playing the demo for quite a while, the videos, the stuff, all the game itself is one of the best wargames I've ever seen or played..

My question is to decide between WITE or BTFB. And frankly I'm overwhelmed at the difficulty of WITE. I hate to micromanage and the turn game
is something of the past, but seeing all the praises and reviews of WITE appears to be the wargame that everyone has to own...

So that the question...BTFB or WITE?

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 92
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 10:58:17 AM   
wodin


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To different games. I'm an East front nut, totally, yet I don't own WitE nor intend to buy it for the same reasons you stated and I do own BftB. So take from that what you will. WitE is huge, the grand campaign game works upto 43 I believe now reasonably well however unless you have hours and I mean hours spare to play it and are willing to play PBEM I wouldn't buy it. BftB you can play in an 1 hour upto say four hours or so. Some micromanagement is needed but you soon learn what needs this attention and what doesn't.

You also answered your own question really..."the game itself is one of the best wargames I've ever seen or played"

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Post #: 93
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 11:03:05 AM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sky_Masterson


Hi to al;-)
Still in awe after seeing all the changes made, really impresive.

I've been playing the demo for quite a while, the videos, the stuff, all the game itself is one of the best wargames I've ever seen or played..

My question is to decide between WITE or BTFB. And frankly I'm overwhelmed at the difficulty of WITE. I hate to micromanage and the turn game
is something of the past, but seeing all the praises and reviews of WITE appears to be the wargame that everyone has to own...

So that the question...BTFB or WITE?



While I sort of disagree with you about that "turn game is something of the past", I'd recommend you BftB. I really do think it's more enjoyable, and I play WitE a lot. BftB might appear at first that offers less of everything, but in reality offers more. There is a small yet varied of user made scenarios, and I hope that a few more are ready on the tubes. Besides that the scenario pack covering Market Garden is around the corner. Working with the mapping and scenario making tools is even enjoyable.

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Post #: 94
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 11:11:49 AM   
Phoenix100

 

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Hey. Never played WITE, I'm afraid. Can't get my head around those hexes. Maps don't look like that in real life, so why should they in games? I could stand the hexes when I was playing board games, when I was a kid, but I guess I've got used to simulations on a computer looking more realistic now. Plus, do you not get carpal tunnel syndrome playing WITE - all that pointing and clicking, nothing handled by AI staff etc? It would hurt my wrist. I'm not joking either. I used to love games like CMBF (and Shock Force, before that) until I got sick of the lack of AI and all the pointing and clicking. I shouldn't need to have to EXACTLY position a tank in EXACTLY the right place to make sure it can get through mud/squeeze through a hedge/cross an obstacle without exposing itself/line up for a shot/whatever, because I haven't a clue how muddy it is down there, what the EXACT LOS is etc. The driver of the tank (the AI driver) should be able to handle all this - I should just have to say 'Attack this', or 'Cover this' etc - the AI should handle the rest. But with CMBF it's all about getting your pointing and clicking EXACTLY right (and other things too, of course, but if you get your pointing and clicking wrong you're stuffed...). This isn't an answer about WITE, I realise, but there are similarities in that very little - as I understand it - is handled without your EXACT input in WITE, and that would drive me mad just the same. But this is roughly the answer you're going to get in here, of course, as it's the BFTB forum. I wonder what they say about WITE in that forum - I shall have to look.
Or you could tell me why it's so great?
Maybe, beyond all the AI considerations etc, it just comes down to what scale you prefer to play? BFTB is small scale, compared to WITE, I think. No?

(in reply to BletchleyGeek)
Post #: 95
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 11:44:11 AM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix

Hey. Never played WITE, I'm afraid. Can't get my head around those hexes. Maps don't look like that in real life, so why should they in games?


And maps don't quite look as the real thing, do they? :-) Abstractions are Ok, as long as they're useful. In this context that means "makes for an enjoyable, engaging and interesting experience".

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
Plus, do you not get carpal tunnel syndrome playing WITE - all that pointing and clicking, nothing handled by AI staff etc? It would hurt my wrist. I'm not joking either.


The "carpal tunnel syndrome" thing is a bit of an exaggeration, but still isn't either far off the mark Indeed, it can be an extenuating - mentally especially - experience. You've got to do a lot of computation in your head. It tends to feel like work: you might need from time to time to get up and take a short walk, have some coffee, smoke a cig and then get back to it. However, it's also very engaging, time flies while doing your turns.

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
I used to love games like CMBF (and Shock Force, before that) until I got sick of the lack of AI and all the pointing and clicking. I shouldn't need to have to EXACTLY position a tank in EXACTLY the right place to make sure it can get through mud/squeeze through a hedge/cross an obstacle without exposing itself/line up for a shot/whatever, because I haven't a clue how muddy it is down there, what the EXACT LOS is etc. The driver of the tank (the AI driver) should be able to handle all this - I should just have to say 'Attack this', or 'Cover this' etc - the AI should handle the rest. But with CMBF it's all about getting your pointing and clicking EXACTLY right (and other things too, of course, but if you get your pointing and clicking wrong you're stuffed...). This isn't an answer about WITE, I realise, but there are similarities in that very little - as I understand it - is handled without your EXACT input in WITE, and that would drive me mad just the same. But this is roughly the answer you're going to get in here, of course, as it's the BFTB forum. I wonder what they say about WITE in that forum - I shall have to look.


I also play some CM:SF and CM:BN. And you're very right in that about at the end of the day, CM:BN and WitE giving a similar feeling. My major gripe about Battlefront is their incapability to really improve the UI in their games, either by providing slick mechanisms to coordinate your forces (as in Frozen Synapse, for instance, where you can make commands to be tied to another unit completing their assigned task), or by giving the player some AI staff that's able to do a decent job with little supervision.

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
Or you could tell me why it's so great?
Maybe, beyond all the AI considerations etc, it just comes down to what scale you prefer to play? BFTB is small scale, compared to WITE, I think. No?


The scale is indeed one of the biggest differences: you get to look and manipulate at a very different picture. Actually, if you check most of narratives out there of WW2, 90% of them fit very well the scale WitE depicts, hence the popularity of operational wargames at the division level, with time coming in week/half-week intervals and maps abstracted at the 5-10 mile per hex.

Command Ops (and previous Panther titles) allowed you too look into fine-grained fabric of war, by having continuous - or rather high-fidelity - renditions of time and space. There are very few books that describe things at this level, basically they're usually "professional" books, i.e. edited by armed forces educational and research institutions. Hence, the lower popularity of these games (who hasn't read here Enemy At The Gates? who has read Glantz's studies on Soviet operational warfare?).

Regarding the AI in WitE... well, it's not even playing in the same league as that of Command Ops. To put a footy analogy: it's a bit like comparing Manchester United or Chelsea with Merthyr Town F. C. However, WitE AI provides an enjoyable challenge to those who haven't the time - or the inclination - to look for a human opponent.

There's some people who do indeed think that playing Command Ops is like "watching TV". While I sort of understand this feeling, I think it says more about how narrowminded can be people than anything else. I've played a lot of computer and traditional table wargames. I've seen dozens of different systems trying to portray what Command Ops does in a faithful manner. And I must say that it's Command Ops the game that gets the most of it right. And it also teaches you a few thing. There very little games that not only are enjoyable, but also educational.

This is something which is not really appreciated nowadays: most people approach games thinking they have to win them by sort of default, so game mechanics get dumbed down (sorry, "streamlined") etc. I'd say that most games out there are much more like watching random TV soap operas and reality-shows than Command Ops. With Command Ops you can actually learn something about how war is waged. It's very much like limiting yourself to watch those excellent BBC documentaries and the odd HBO show, ignoring the rest of dross.

And here we touch the only aspect where WitE works very well, the asynchronous nature of MP play. BftB MP play works fine, but it's exclusively synchronous - it requires people to be on-line together to play the game. This is not a problem for in itself, provided there's plenty of people around so it's easy to get games going on your same TZ. Asynchronous means you can get opponents across the world, with ease.

Command Ops is niche - it's not Civilization IV! - so we lack the critical mass of players for MP to explode. On the mean time, having some sort of asynchronous MP mechanism I think would help a lot (think of CMx2 - reluctantly added - WEGO system). However, I also think Command Ops would lose part of its spirit - Assess, Plan, React - in that format.

< Message edited by Bletchley_Geek -- 1/12/2012 11:46:57 AM >


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Post #: 96
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 12:00:47 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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Great info, BG. Thanks. It wouldn't make me want to play WITE, I think. I was serious about the CTS - whether you get it depends how much you spend anyway on computer (I work on it) and how old you are (48). I can get it if I push the mouse, plus various other obvious RSI things, in shoulder, back etc. Extensive mouse use (just form working at the computer, actually) has left me in a lot of pain at times. I had to learn to mouse with both hands (to be able to switch) to get rid of it. Of course, if you're younger this probably seems absurd.

I second everything you said about Command Ops being educational. It makes you go to reality, I find. It makes you want to read about the reality, look at the real terrain etc.

Interested you went for Frozen Synapse. I almost did, but shied off because it wouldn't, I thought, make me go to the reality, there not being one. Doesn't mean it's not a great game. Is it?

(in reply to BletchleyGeek)
Post #: 97
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 12:08:59 PM   
BletchleyGeek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
Great info, BG. Thanks. It wouldn't make me want to play WITE, I think. I was serious about the CTS - whether you get it depends how much you spend anyway on computer (I work on it) and how old you are (48). I can get it if I push the mouse, plus various other obvious RSI things, in shoulder, back etc. Extensive mouse use (just form working at the computer, actually) has left me in a lot of pain at times. I had to learn to mouse with both hands (to be able to switch) to get rid of it. Of course, if you're younger this probably seems absurd.


What you said: "if you're younger". But we all eventually get older :)

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
I second everything you said about Command Ops being educational. It makes you go to reality, I find. It makes you want to read about the reality, look at the real terrain etc.


To go to reality, or at least entices you to come up with your own interpretation of the events portrayed

quote:

ORIGINAL: phoenix
Interested you went for Frozen Synapse. I almost did, but shied off because it wouldn't, I thought, make me go to the reality, there not being one. Doesn't mean it's not a great game. Is it?


I went for Frozen Synapse because I'm a a die-hard fan of games like Jagged Alliance 1 & 2, the original X-COM series and Syndicate. I've played out most half-baked attempts at relivign those. And Frozen Synapse was the first one who really offered novel game mechanics that *actually worked*. However, I got tired quickly of the "Smurf Wars" looks and the "Rat in a Maze" scenarios. It was more of a concept than game, but very good concept. MP play was very cool but it soon got overrunned by the "LOLOLOLOL I PWN YOU" crowd.

I got it cheap, so I played it a bit, saw its awesome mechanics and I gave it away.

< Message edited by Bletchley_Geek -- 1/12/2012 12:09:41 PM >


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RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 1:27:42 PM   
wodin


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I'm desperate for a new either IGOUGO or WEGO Top down hex squad level game that incorporates all the best bits form other tactical level games. This day and age there is no need for a bland looking 2D hex map, it could have hexes overlayed on a google earth map where every rut in the ground effects movement and cover etc but still top down with counters, though the game monitors every single soldier in the counter and where they have postioned themselves in that hex. I want Squad Battles but with Multilevel buildings and proper ammo counts, destructive environment to the point where you can blast holes into cellars and through walls, I want sewer combat and a tacai that monitors each soldier in the unit (similar to Tigers Unleashed), where the AI of your own troops will react on their own if needs be in a realistic fashion, not to the point where the game plays itself but at least know when to crouch\hit the dirt get in close to cover use the right weapons at the right time in returning fire etc. I want a grand campaign with historical troops, an extensive OOB plus RPG elements. With awards being handed out for actual events that played out rather than some abstract formula with regards to their kill rate. I wont combat based of physics and ballistics rather than an abstract formula (Again like Tigers Unleashed but this time it works) I want replacements and casualty clearing stations and supply issues all part of a combat strategic\management layer in the Grand Campaign that also deals with air support in the combat phase. I want to be able to play any part of Stalingrad in depth, say the Barrickady attack by the Pioneers or the assualt on the Tennis Racket etc etc. All wrapped up against an AI on the same level as BftB. Most of all I want immersion and the game to be fun to play.

So no I don't think the hex is dead

So no I don't think the hex is dead.

< Message edited by wodin -- 1/12/2012 1:38:40 PM >


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RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 2:08:07 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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Well, I want to be there. Right there with real world graphics so convincing that I cannot tell it's not real unless I come out of the gear that makes that illusion. I want it 3d surround and I want to be, say, coming into Arnhem leading a company and I want to see only what that person could see on the ground and info he could get from assistants etc. Totally real. But safe....

Mmm. That's what I want. I'm 48. Things are moving fast, sure. This will all happen, of course. Not sure I'll be alive though. But who knows. My 'generation' - which isn't the oldest by a long shot - grew up without phones. I don't mean mobiles, I mean we only got a home phone when I was about ten. Computers? The astonishing magical info fest that is the web (that allows conversations like this one) - all that happened after I left university, which wasn't SO long ago. All this that we have with us now as a given, it's all only forty years old max. It's been an astounding half century of change. More change in the texture and standard of ordinary lived lives than any other half century in history. Did old(er) men play games at all in the past? I don't think so. What we do would have been laughed at. If you played a game it involved sport and physical exertion. Or it was scrabble. Or chess.

But now it's all about games and liesure. We don't know what else to do with ourselves.

So I might get to be there. I might. I'm sure your wish list is do-able, Wodin, but it might not be flash enough to be commercial, and hence you might stand less of a chance....

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Post #: 100
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 3:34:09 PM   
wodin


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Well I'm forty. The trouble with being there is that we will no longer be using our imaginations which for me can be a big part of gaming ever since playing Army at school. The graphics in FPS games to and are mind blowing and I'm sure ten of fifteen years ago we dreamed of graphics like these, but have they enhanced gaming? Not really because you soon get used to them and they loose the WOW factor pretty quickly and nothing is left as you don't use your imagination. It's similar to the novel and the major Hollywood film, films very rarely live up to books no matter how great they look because the imagination is always better. Finally a game that was that detailed and graphic would I feel become very unwieldy in trying to play it, also it would feel more like directing a film than playing a game maybe.

I just have a feeling that life like graphics in the end wont add to the wargaming experience, I think it's all about gameplay and detail with less and less abstraction.Aslong as I'm getting feedback from my troops about the situation in some form and in as much detail as I want then thats enough as I said my imagination can then do the rest without the need for someone else's imagination showing it to me graphically. For an FPS game though it is great I suppose but not really for a wargame, again because to me it would end up feeling like I was directing a film rather than playing a game. The game you describe sounds more like a hyper realistic FPS than a tactical wargame, which granted would work and sounds great, I 'd buy it in an instant. Though most Commanders above coy level where behind the lines looking at maps etc.

I have read what you don't like in CMBN and what you want graphically and put them together we either have as said a very realistic FPS (actually the closest i can think of that resembles what you want is ARMA 2 when you get to control squads and above, which I hated as it felt to unwieldy, maybe needs to be better implemented or voice commands would solve the issues I had with it)or as I've said a few times (I'm repeating myself here i think alittle to often ;)) or it would feel more like directing a War Film.

As for older men playing games I expect they did, things like cards and chess I reckon have been played alot by the older generation for many years especially once fitness levels drop so you can't partake in sports and the like and toy soldiers have been around for along time, was it HG Wells that wrote some rules along time ago?

I apologise for the amount of times I repeated myself in this post. Sometimes I get carried away in my replies.

< Message edited by wodin -- 1/12/2012 3:48:46 PM >


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RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/12/2012 3:58:42 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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Yes, I mean behind the lines, with maps etc. So i meant something like BFTB, but with a map. I was half joking really. I meant like a sci-fi movie. You put on a headset and you're there, with your staff and your map and sidearm etc. Then you do the scenario in that role. Not an FPS thing, unless arty comes down on you or your command post is overrun, but that would be exceptional, I guess. Just dreaming.

I wholly agree about graphics, of course, and have said this here before. That's one of the great things about this game - that you have to use your imagination, that there's space to do that. Graphics - as in nearly every game out there that has concentrated on graphics rather than AI - add nothing. And you're right, twenty years ago, we really did dream about that. And here it is and it means very little. I remember playing a mac game (back wehen I had a mac) called 'Hellcat', I think. The graphics were shocking (to us now), but it was enough to cue your imagination and brain in and it felt very real, like flying a Hellcat!!! That's gone though. Once the bar moves you can't just go back and pretend those graphics work.

With books and films I'm afraid it's worse than you say. Books just do not get written now that are like the books that were written when I was younger, or for our parents. The entire form has been overwhelmed by structures inherited from film and TV, in pacing, plot and character. The amazing thing about the novel form is the access it can give (which other forms cannot) to an internal perspective, yet the way books are written these days (including my own, I'm sorry to say) is like they're increasingly extended scripts. It's what people want. I myself find it very hard to read Dickens now, or Elliot, or anything in the classical novel form. I expect more speed, less depth, more action etc, more manageable chunks of drama. The books my kids (four and six) read are even worse and it shows in what they can absorb - kids books (and there are so many more of them than when I was little) are becoming more and more like a script for an FPS game.

So. Everything is getting worse, it seems. That's a surprise....

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 102
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/13/2012 11:57:39 AM   
Sky_Masterson


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Well, certainly didn't want to generate dispute between defenders of the hex style war games and the most curren ones, btfb as is the case...
I not consider myself neither a consummate startegist nor a wargame geek per se. During the years i had the opportunity to read many books
of authors that many of you might consider " knowledgeable" in the art of war.., Beavor, Atkinson, Manstein..., and all in all i can tell that
you can actually learn a lot by reading the plethora of books avaiable.

i've read your posts and my intention was to obtain the opinion of players with far more experience than me in wargames, and I do think that my question
has been well answered.

Thx




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Post #: 103
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/13/2012 12:00:16 PM   
Sky_Masterson


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And By the way, i'll buy BFTB this afternoon and enjoy every bit of this wonderful strategist tool...

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Post #: 104
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/13/2012 3:09:55 PM   
wodin


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Good news...enjoy.

Well Phoenix and myself were really singing from the same hymn sheet there;)

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Post #: 105
RE: Patch #2 Fixes/Changes - 1/13/2012 3:38:46 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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Yes. I think it was a joint gripe, rather than a dispute....

Enjoy the game. There's lots of layers to it. If you force yourself (as I have to) to play on the slowest setting and click everything to get as much info as possible then it can be a really detailed game. Then you can really decide properly how much you want to intervene, once you've got your master plan in full swing...

Hofen is a good scenario to start with, I think. There's quite a few AARs in the section here to help you get the most from it.

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 106
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