Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Thoughts after first full game

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa >> Thoughts after first full game Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 2:34:04 AM   
ChuckBerger

 

Posts: 277
Joined: 8/10/2006
Status: offline
So, just finished my first full game. (I did about 10 turns of a game before that, to get a feel for logistics and command.) Played Germans on normal difficulty against "slow" AI (ie, the best AI setting), with all the decisions turned on including ethical.

I won with a minor victory on October 16, having taken Leningrad and Moscow, and getting close to Rostov. I think the game ended because I grabbed Gorky... losses were about 300K for the Germans, and 2.4 million for the Russians. The Russians were beat in the north, but still very strong from Tula across to Gomel, and south to Zaporozhe.

A few thoughts:

1) I've been war gaming for 35 years. This is, without reservation, the best war game I have ever played. Yes, I feel confident saying that after a single game.

What makes it so good? Quite simply the brilliant and seamless integration of the "command" layer with the "operational" layer. The command layer is unparalleled in its tackling of the real world considerations that drove real-world military decisions and outcomes. Eg, in this case, politics and logistics. And somehow it models these things in a fun and engaging way - I was always feeling the need for more of everything - but not more panzer divisions. I mean more political power, more trucks, more time, more fuel, more cooperation from that train guy who thinks armies serve trains and not the other way around.

You really get a sense of the actual pressures on a commanding general. Yes, the fighting, but more so the logistics. Scarcity and impatience are the enemies in this game as much as the Russians.

Timing is everything - you have to coordinate moving your supply bases and airfields forwards, with the need to rest and refit, and the limited focus of artillery and air support, and all of that while being painfully aware of the growing strength of the enemy and the need to advance quickly.

2) The AI is good, even very good. It pulled off more than a few successful local counterattacks, and even succeeded twice in rescuing substantial pockets of cut off troops. In defence, it builds credible lines, in the rights places; evacuates untenable positions (sometimes); and counterattacks when it can. The AI made me think and plan carefully, and punished many of my missteps.

The AI is not really up to the large-scale challenge of force allocation across the whole front. Even as I approached Moscow from the north, it didn't rush reinforcements to the city in anything like the needed numbers, and I ended up taking the city almost without a fight. And several times it left off holes in the line, which I rushed my tanks through.

And I didn't see it mount a strategic counterattack with larger forces, as opposed to opportunistic local counterattacks. It could be more aggressive, as I was stretched very thin in places.

3) The decisions are, on the whole, wonderful and very immersive. On occasion, I started to find them repetitive - it seemed the "captured truck" decision was coming up every other turn. Maybe that gets triggered when I capture a city? And every so often a decision didn't actually fit the game context. For instance, I had a decision option to start shipping convoys to Tallinn, but the navy was nervous because of the Red Fleet at Kronstadt. Thing is, I had already captured Leningrad, so the Russian Navy shouldn't have been a concern. On the whole, I found myself wanting even more decisions to make...

4) The user interface is acceptable. Takes some getting used to, especially the daunting number of reports and where to find all kinds of information. Better use of right clicking, and improved roll-over info would be nice.

5) The asymmetry of the game design is fantastic. That's asymmetry not as in a few different units on the two sides, but asymmetry as in the two sides are literally playing entirely different games at the command layer. I look forward to playing as the Russians, and learning a whole new game in the process.

6) If I had to pick a few things to improve in the game... (a) the map, which is state of the art circa 1993. I really love a good map... unity of command, shendandoah series, AGEOD, and EU (before it went 3D) are all good examples. Accepting that the map is built of individual hexes, still it would be great if one could overlay a nicely crafted single-image map on top. (b) A replay feature, so you could watch your whole campaign in some summarised form after its done - perhaps even comparing it to the real campaign front line as it unfolded! (c) a really great editor, this game is so inspiring I would actually put real effort into doing a "Mediterranean Front" game from 1940-43, with all the politics that entails! and (d) More use of the map. If engineers are working at fixing a bridge or blasting away at an enemy fort, show it on the map. If I'm being asked to approve a commendation for a division commander, take me to the division on the map. If partisans are the big problem for my trains at the moment, show me on the map. There's a lot more than can be done with graphical presentation of info that is currently buries in reports.

Finally, my goodness keep up the great work Cameron and Vic!!!



< Message edited by ChuckBerger -- 12/6/2015 3:36:00 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 4:54:15 AM   
ryan1488

 

Posts: 158
Joined: 6/28/2008
Status: offline
+1

easily one of my top 10 war games, easily.

with just the right amount of units without feeling overwhelmed. ive got wite but honestly its probably just a little much for my tastes.

i do hope it sells well and there are many more games like it in this series.

(in reply to ChuckBerger)
Post #: 2
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 10:19:03 AM   
pensfanvw


Posts: 70
Joined: 1/3/2009
From: Owosso, MI.
Status: offline
I echo what is said. I've been looking for a truly immersive game, particularly Eastern Front, for quite some time. So far, this game has exceeded all expectations. As Chuck mentioned in the original post, would like a right click ability and having the map zoom in to a unit mentioned in a report. Thanks to all involved for a superb game!

Alan

(in reply to ryan1488)
Post #: 3
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 1:44:02 PM   
lparkh


Posts: 426
Joined: 7/25/2004
Status: offline
Great commentary Chuck. Very thoughtful. Thanks for taking time to post.

(in reply to pensfanvw)
Post #: 4
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 1:51:19 PM   
jnpoint


Posts: 528
Joined: 8/9/2007
From: Holstebro, Denmark
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: ChuckBerger

6) If I had to pick a few things to improve in the game... (a) the map, which is state of the art circa 1993. I really love a good map... unity of command, shendandoah series, AGEOD, and EU (before it went 3D) are all good examples. Accepting that the map is built of individual hexes, still it would be great if one could overlay a nicely crafted single-image map on top. (b) A replay feature, so you could watch your whole campaign in some summarised form after its done - perhaps even comparing it to the real campaign front line as it unfolded! (c) a really great editor, this game is so inspiring I would actually put real effort into doing a "Mediterranean Front" game from 1940-43, with all the politics that entails! and (d) More use of the map. If engineers are working at fixing a bridge or blasting away at an enemy fort, show it on the map. If I'm being asked to approve a commendation for a division commander, take me to the division on the map. If partisans are the big problem for my trains at the moment, show me on the map. There's a lot more than can be done with graphical presentation of info that is currently buries in reports.

Finally, my goodness keep up the great work Cameron and Vic!!!



Right now, what is holding me back from buying is just that. Some might say that it is the gameplay that counts, and almost only that. But for me the map and whats happening on the map is really important. I am still waiting to see if anything will be done with the map.


(in reply to ChuckBerger)
Post #: 5
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 5:52:30 PM   
BodyBag33

 

Posts: 13
Joined: 11/24/2015
From: Denmark
Status: offline
Don't hold your breath.

The map has not been changed since DC 1 from 2010...

(in reply to jnpoint)
Post #: 6
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 6:30:36 PM   
jnpoint


Posts: 528
Joined: 8/9/2007
From: Holstebro, Denmark
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: BodyBag33

Don't hold your breath.

The map has not been changed since DC 1 from 2010...


In that case it's just not a game for me. I just have to wait for the next ww2 game, I think that might be HoI4.

(in reply to BodyBag33)
Post #: 7
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 6:50:51 PM   
Tac2i


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/12/2005
From: WV USA
Status: offline
The DC3 map in no way looks like the DC1 map. Some might say that is a good thing, other might say they like the DC1 map better. Of the three map sets my personal favorite is the DC1 map.

quote:

ORIGINAL: BodyBag33

Don't hold your breath.

The map has not been changed since DC 1 from 2010...



< Message edited by Webizen -- 12/6/2015 8:17:50 PM >


_____________________________

Tac2i (formerly webizen)

(in reply to BodyBag33)
Post #: 8
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 6:55:15 PM   
Tac2i


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/12/2005
From: WV USA
Status: offline
DC1 Map:




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Tac2i (formerly webizen)

(in reply to Tac2i)
Post #: 9
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 6:55:55 PM   
Tac2i


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/12/2005
From: WV USA
Status: offline
DC3 Map:




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Tac2i (formerly webizen)

(in reply to Tac2i)
Post #: 10
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 7:02:17 PM   
gunnergoz


Posts: 447
Joined: 5/21/2002
From: San Diego CA
Status: offline
I can't find much fault with the map itself, since it is mostly pretty clear and easy to analyze a situation - given a game focused at this level of command and maneuver. If we were speaking of battalions and companies, that would be a different matter and I'd want to see much more differentiation and chrome on the map.

_____________________________

"Things are getting better!
...Well, maybe not as good as they were yesterday, but much better than they will be tomorrow!"
-Old Russian saying

(in reply to Tac2i)
Post #: 11
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 7:13:47 PM   
marcpennington

 

Posts: 335
Joined: 1/31/2011
Status: offline
I personally prefer the DC1 style to the DC2/DC3 one, and have always been surprised they didn't keep using the DC1 tile set. Beyond being far more pleasing to my eyes, in DC1 it's far easier to see rivers.

(in reply to gunnergoz)
Post #: 12
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 7:14:23 PM   
budd


Posts: 2880
Joined: 7/4/2009
From: Tacoma
Status: offline
I'd like a better looking map and i pretty sure a modder will get to it. Once i start playing, it just never crosses my mind.

_____________________________

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

(in reply to gunnergoz)
Post #: 13
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/6/2015 7:20:01 PM   
Queeg


Posts: 495
Joined: 6/23/2005
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: **budd**

I'd like a better looking map and i pretty sure a modder will get to it. Once i start playing, it just never crosses my mind.


Same here. I actually like the lack of clutter once I start playing.

(in reply to budd)
Post #: 14
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/9/2015 2:05:31 AM   
kosmoface

 

Posts: 103
Joined: 8/10/2010
Status: offline
The Map graphics are my only complain, everything else is top notch. I know, I know wargamers want their maps as blunt as hell, but with my young 41 years I really like a little more fidelity (see Jison's map for WITE).

Is there any way to get the DC1 graphics into this game? It would help a little bit.

PS: Oh and I am thankful that I don't have to play with NATO counters. The reason I like the DC series since the beginning. I wonder how many people dismiss hardcore wargames, because there is nothing to chose from, besides NATO counters.

< Message edited by kosmoface -- 12/9/2015 4:45:51 AM >

(in reply to Queeg)
Post #: 15
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/9/2015 4:25:20 AM   
ryan1488

 

Posts: 158
Joined: 6/28/2008
Status: offline
I must be in the minority here. I mean I guess the map could be a little prettier but its 100% non issue to me.

Strange hearing war gamers complain about graphics.

(in reply to kosmoface)
Post #: 16
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/9/2015 10:48:41 AM   
kosmoface

 

Posts: 103
Joined: 8/10/2010
Status: offline
quote:

Strange hearing war gamers complain about graphics.


Oh I don't think I am per se a wargamer, maybe that is the reason... there are "normal" gamers that like to play those games, too. And I think it is not a dumb thing to look outside the niche and see, that there is a market untapped of. Graphics are overall really good and I wouldn't expect a photorealistic whatever. But between blunt and cluttered there is room in between.

Personally I don't really like to play on bleak maps with NATO counters. I will mod a game the second I buy it, to make it more accomplished visually... or not buy it at all.



< Message edited by kosmoface -- 12/9/2015 3:55:11 PM >

(in reply to ryan1488)
Post #: 17
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/9/2015 1:20:49 PM   
jnpoint


Posts: 528
Joined: 8/9/2007
From: Holstebro, Denmark
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: rs99z28

Strange hearing war gamers complain about graphics.


Why? It is important for my expierience of the game as a whole.

(in reply to ryan1488)
Post #: 18
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/9/2015 4:17:36 PM   
AstroCat


Posts: 440
Joined: 7/31/2003
Status: offline
Agreed, an upgraded map would make the game a lot more fun for me.

< Message edited by AstroCat -- 12/9/2015 5:17:48 PM >

(in reply to jnpoint)
Post #: 19
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/10/2015 7:52:56 PM   
Tac2i


Posts: 1993
Joined: 4/12/2005
From: WV USA
Status: offline
Guess it is good to have a choice of counter types. I know that when Advanced Tactics Gold was first released in 2011 that there was a very vocal crowd that decried not having NATO counters in the game.

quote:

ORIGINAL: kosmoface
PS: Oh and I am thankful that I don't have to play with NATO counters. The reason I like the DC series since the beginning. I wonder how many people dismiss hardcore wargames, because there is nothing to chose from, besides NATO counters.


_____________________________

Tac2i (formerly webizen)

(in reply to kosmoface)
Post #: 20
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/10/2015 8:44:35 PM   
morvael


Posts: 11745
Joined: 9/8/2006
From: Poland
Status: offline
I like these counters best, even after so many years:




Attachment (1)

(in reply to Tac2i)
Post #: 21
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/11/2015 1:06:11 AM   
kosmoface

 

Posts: 103
Joined: 8/10/2010
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Webizen

Guess it is good to have a choice of counter types.



Absolutely. I think NATO counters and stylized counters should always be offered.

(in reply to Tac2i)
Post #: 22
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/11/2015 2:39:57 AM   
AstroCat


Posts: 440
Joined: 7/31/2003
Status: offline
Although I am using the NATO counters I wish the stylized counters would account for the different unit types like the NATO counters do.

(in reply to kosmoface)
Post #: 23
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/11/2015 2:49:44 AM   
etsadler

 

Posts: 148
Joined: 4/27/2011
Status: offline
Just goes to show how different people can be. If I see what I would call a "fancy" map my thought is, "Why did they waste their time on that? Spend your time on the important things!"

A recreation of an actual WWII map that the actual generals would have used is my gold standard.

(in reply to AstroCat)
Post #: 24
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/11/2015 2:58:25 AM   
etsadler

 

Posts: 148
Joined: 4/27/2011
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Webizen

Guess it is good to have a choice of counter types. I know that when Advanced Tactics Gold was first released in 2011 that there was a very vocal crowd that decried not having NATO counters in the game.

quote:

ORIGINAL: kosmoface
PS: Oh and I am thankful that I don't have to play with NATO counters. The reason I like the DC series since the beginning. I wonder how many people dismiss hardcore wargames, because there is nothing to chose from, besides NATO counters.


I will not by a WWII or later period game that doesn't have NATO (or the WWII German symbols) counters, they are a must. I don't expect to find them in historical games as much, but the essentials of the NATO system go back to WWI and somewhat similar symbols were used in the Napoleonic wars.

(in reply to Tac2i)
Post #: 25
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/11/2015 5:18:11 AM   
ChuckBerger

 

Posts: 277
Joined: 8/10/2006
Status: offline
Hey Morvael, are those counters from V4V? Maybe the Velike Luki battle? Or Stalingrad?

Man, takes me back. Use to play Utah Beach, the original, on a black and white 1st gen Mac laptop!

(in reply to etsadler)
Post #: 26
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/11/2015 5:36:25 AM   
lancer

 

Posts: 2955
Joined: 10/18/2005
Status: offline
Hi ChuckBerger,

The Soviet activation levels are something that's been tweaked up and down an awful lot during Beta testing.

Where it is at present is probably an overly generous representation of the situation on the day however it's a good balance for the default difficulty level as a Soviet Player new to the game can struggle in this area.

With the next update I'll be adjusting it to a more realistic level for higher difficulty levels but leaving it as is for Normal.

Cheers,
Cameron

(in reply to ChuckBerger)
Post #: 27
RE: Thoughts after first full game - 12/11/2015 6:14:24 AM   
morvael


Posts: 11745
Joined: 9/8/2006
From: Poland
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: ChuckBerger

Hey Morvael, are those counters from V4V? Maybe the Velike Luki battle? Or Stalingrad?

Man, takes me back. Use to play Utah Beach, the original, on a black and white 1st gen Mac laptop!


Yeah, V4V Velikiye Luki. Map graphics looks a little outdated, but it's functional. However, I love these counters to this day (as can be seen in my avatar).

My first contact with the series was Market Garden. I think I got it on Children's Day in 1993 or 1994. Already on PC and in color. But I think I had to upgrade my video card from 512kB to 1MB to be able to play

I spent so much time with the game, I was able to write scenario editor for it (though only 90% things were editable, as some were hardcoded like scenario variants, and some were left undeciphered like advanced weather parameters).

(in reply to ChuckBerger)
Post #: 28
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa >> Thoughts after first full game Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.172