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Strategic Command Blog Post #1: "New Features and ... - 6/23/2016 12:54:12 PM   
Daniele

 

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Read the full entry here


Strategic Command WWII: War in Europe is the ground-breaking next step in the highly acclaimed Strategic Command series of turn based strategy games.

A Return to Hexes

Our aim with the Strategic Command series is to make attractive, playable and historical games. Our aim for this release is to make a game that will provide one of the best strategic level re-creations of 20th century warfare, while also being a whole lot of fun to play.

The first and possibly biggest decision for us was to return the series to using hexes rather than tiles. There are pros and cons to both, but it was clear that the majority of those who expressed a preference preferred hexes, and we didn't disagree. So hexes are back!

Accessible and Entertaining Historical Games

The concept behind our games is that they should be easy and fun to play, while also being fully immersed in their historical setting.

So combat is quick to carry out, simply click on your units to move/attack. German units can be near Warsaw in no time at all!



Read the full entry here


< Message edited by Benedict151 -- 9/1/2016 2:27:01 PM >
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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/24/2016 2:21:55 AM   
James Taylor

 

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How about for future movement, we Ctrl-left click on each unit selection we wish to move in a grouping, then as the movement possibilities are highlighted(slowest unit or add motor pool), we then pick the way-points by Ctrl-right clicking, continuing on further than a singular turn movement allows and all those units continue moving until they reach the final way-point turn after turn automatically.

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/24/2016 11:10:00 AM   
djxput

 

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Enjoyed reading that ... The dynamic movement sounds real good. Makes sense.

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/24/2016 3:42:04 PM   
TheGreatRadish

 

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All very nice, thanks for this. However, i assume no mention of the ability to play as individual nations and not a whole alliance means it is not one of the new features?

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/24/2016 4:27:46 PM   
Iñaki Harrizabalagatar


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What about the supply system? has been changed from SC2?

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/24/2016 11:47:27 PM   
Capitaine

 

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Excellent blog post. I've never played any of the previous SC games but am looking very forward to this one.

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/25/2016 9:15:21 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Iñaki Harrizabalagatar

What about the supply system? has been changed from SC2?


Hi Iñaki

Not as such, though the supply system did receive a big overhaul in recent years for SC2, starting with one of our WWI releases.

We also made it so that damaged HQ units would a) provide less supply and b) require more than one turn to repair to full strength.

This release takes those improvements and adds a little more around the edges, e.g. researching Logistics increases the amount of HQs a Major country can build, and also their Minimum Supply Value, thus potentially increasing a country's supply infrastructure.

Bill

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/26/2016 2:21:14 AM   
James Taylor

 

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Hi Bill,

And what about that reduction of supply per turn a unit is surrounded? Are we talking only two units necessary to accomplish the isolation or will it take more?

I would think with eight tiles taking four units, that for six hexes we'd expect three units.

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/26/2016 11:21:23 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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Hi James

That remains the same, not because you're necessarily wrong but it's something I thought might be best left to experience to tell us whether or not to change it.

Now that you've raised this, it's got me thinking about it a bit more and I think that in a WWI game with hexes the rule might be better set to 3, but this feature is perhaps of less importance in a WWII game as the frontlines are more fluid and more tools exist to reduce the strength of resources, e.g. Strategic Bombers.

That said, we shall see as initially I didn't want to change it until we had a better feel through practice.

Bill



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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/26/2016 3:03:29 PM   
James Taylor

 

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That sounds reasonable as the time per turn could be variable depending on the designer of the scenario.

Not sure what the turn sequence will encompass as far as time, but a good standard to use might be the siege of Leningrad, although there were breaks when Lake Ladoga froze over.

Still we definitely want to avoid the surrounded HQ(as well as units) that never diminishes in prowess and gains in experience to a point where they can never be vanquished.

James (Brad) (SeaMonkey)

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/26/2016 3:10:44 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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Ah, I never realised you were SeaMonkey!

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/26/2016 4:40:48 PM   
Yogi the Great


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I had both SC & SC2 they were among my favorite games at the time. SC1 in particular reminded me of AH 3rd Reich. I am glad to see them return to hexes although that was a very big topic of conversation as SC2 was coming out on the Battlefront Forums. Those SC forums could be fun but to be honest could also be a bit frustrating. Some of the "Strong Personalities" could be very vocal, very political and quite rude and insulting at times. Being a good player and a respectful forum participant did not always go hand in hand. The Matrix forums would not have allowed much of the type of posts that Battlefront did.

I am looking forward to SC3 and hopefully it will be as good or even better than the first two.

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/26/2016 6:30:36 PM   
James Taylor

 

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Since there will be a possession front line denoted for SC3, I'm assuming that will dictate supply status?

Now let's say there is an HQ(full strength) with a number of units trapped in a pocket including a supply hex. Can you(Bill) elaborate on supply status?

Further, since the best way(again assuming prior mechanics)is to bomb the supply points(hex and HQ)will there be a provision for limited air operations in inclement weather?

I'm remembering Burma in AoD where it was very difficult to reduce a pocket of enemy units without an abnormal abundance of resources(air & ground).


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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/27/2016 3:48:12 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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The front line feature is just for clarity's sake, so the ebb and flow of battle can be clearly seen, rather than affecting game play as such.

A full strength HQ where the resource drops to a strength of 5 would have a supply giving value of 8, therefore providing 7 or less to nearby units, depending on roads, terrain, weather (if the road is unpaved) and proximity.

A damaged HQ will have a lower supply giving value, so hitting that with aircraft and any other indirect fire will be beneficial.

Hitting the resource itself with Strategic Bombers and any other indirect fire weapons will also help.

Pockets will still retain some ability to hold out, and that is essential really as otherwise we could never have a Bastogne or Stalingrad style situation. But damaging the defender's HQ and resources will weaken their ability to survive, enabling the one surrounding the pocket to destroy the pocket unless a relief force gets through.

Rain does allow aircraft some limited rebasing, but no attacks.

< Message edited by Bill Runacre -- 6/27/2016 3:52:20 PM >


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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/28/2016 1:09:02 PM   
The Guru

 

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Hi there

looking very promising, can't wait

Is there going to be a three-player option? ( West-Germany-Soviet)

that would be nice...

Also, since (if I'm not mistaken) support units will be allowed to stack with regular units, does that mean the end of the two-hex range indirect fire? I must say I don't mind abstractions, but that, at this scale, really always bothered me...

< Message edited by The Guru -- 6/28/2016 1:13:43 PM >

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/28/2016 3:54:23 PM   
James Taylor

 

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Wouldn't that be great if we could stack an asset with the main, parenting unit. Actually, the upgrades kind of presented that possibility, only thing was, those assets were not unattachable as in real life.

What I would like to see is that according to the skill level of the governing HQ, a number of attachments or proficiencies were available to the units under the HQ's command.

They could be automatic as in the case of proficiencies(attack, defend, or mobilization) or an actual manual attachment of that particular asset(heavy tanks, anti-tank, artillery, etc.).

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/28/2016 5:46:45 PM   
Iñaki Harrizabalagatar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: James Taylor

Wouldn't that be great if we could stack an asset with the main, parenting unit. Actually, the upgrades kind of presented that possibility, only thing was, those assets were not unattachable as in real life.

What I would like to see is that according to the skill level of the governing HQ, a number of attachments or proficiencies were available to the units under the HQ's command.

They could be automatic as in the case of proficiencies(attack, defend, or mobilization) or an actual manual attachment of that particular asset(heavy tanks, anti-tank, artillery, etc.).


That is a great idea IMHO

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 6/28/2016 10:01:47 PM   
James Taylor

 

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Thanks Inaki, every once in awhile I have an epiphany!

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 7/1/2016 11:23:34 PM   
Auchinleck

 

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Include a representation of the number of casualties in the game results. So the war has more meaning when an icon disappears (is removed) from the map. I think too many war games don't represent the staggering number of men killed, which eliminates the cruel reality of what war actually means. A whole lot of dead men.

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 7/1/2016 11:25:18 PM   
Auchinleck

 

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quote:

Include a representation of the number of casualties in the game results. So the war has more meaning when an icon disappears (is removed) from the map. I think too many war games don't represent the staggering number of men killed, which eliminates the cruel reality of what war actually means. A whole lot of dead men.


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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 7/8/2016 12:06:40 PM   
demyansk


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I like a nice comprehensive final table to show results. It's fun to have something to look at when the battle ends.

Looks like a nice game.

Will this be much different than the Global Conflict game?

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 7/9/2016 4:29:35 PM   
TheGreatRadish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheGreatRadish

All very nice, thanks for this. However, i assume no mention of the ability to play as individual nations and not a whole alliance means it is not one of the new features?


I fear no response to this but answers to other questions is pretty telling. Hubert/Bill, can you please put me out of my misery on this one?

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 7/19/2016 7:25:50 PM   
Birdw


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It would be nice before the save turn is actually saved if there were a listing of casualties from each side on that players turn.

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 7/25/2016 11:40:04 PM   
TSPC37730

 

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I'm really looking forward to this one.

What's the overall map size in terms of hexes? From the screen shot above, Poland itself looks to be about 20 hexes across! This allows for a lot of detail. On the other hand though, if Poland is that large, then how many units would the German player typically deploy during the initial attack on the USSR?

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 7/28/2016 3:25:12 PM   
Champagne


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My humble opinion:

One of the problems with any conflict simulation about WW2 in Europe is that the players have knowledge of the historical facts but the real life nations and leaders did not. It is a real challenge for game designers.

Hitler did not expect his invasion of Poland to bring the UK and France into war.

Nobody expected France to fall quickly, but, in the game, this must be a likely result. In the games on WW2 in Europe that we have already, the UK and France go with a maximum "beef up" of France in order to make sure that history is not repeated. This can't be what regularly happens in the game, if the game is to simulate the actual conflict. In the game, France must have the same weaknesses as in history.

Hitler expected the UK to make peace after France fell. In fact, he was CERTAIN of it, and really did not prepare for any continuation of a ground war. Let us recall that even in the summer of 1941 during the height of Barbarossa, Hitler began to demobilize Germany's ground war focus and switch it over to an Air/Naval focus. So, obviously the continuation of the ground war past 1941 was unexpected.

Stalin was totally surprised by Barbarossa, but, this is an aspect of the real war that games have handled well.

Britain's plan to invade neutral Norway didn't happen only because Germany beat them to the punch -- that's another aspect of the war that's not easy to simulate in a game.

Finally, it is important to address the issue of the German war economy. We know that in real life, it is arguable to state that Germany NEVER put itself completely on a war time footing, economic-wise. We know that the Gauleiters always kept for themselves significant war material and war resources for their own domestic use. Bormann worked very hard to make sure that Hitler himself never interfered significantly in this mis-allocation of war resources.

The German Nazi leadership made very clear after Stalingrad that there would be "Total War". This implies that prior to Stalingrad, the German war economy was not on a total war footing -- and the facts of history bear this out.

How does a game designer handle this design challenge? It's a very tricky aspect of the game that should be addressed.

< Message edited by Champagne -- 7/28/2016 3:31:01 PM >


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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 8/1/2016 7:40:21 PM   
Hubert Cater

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Champagne

My humble opinion:

One of the problems with any conflict simulation about WW2 in Europe is that the players have knowledge of the historical facts but the real life nations and leaders did not. It is a real challenge for game designers.

Hitler did not expect his invasion of Poland to bring the UK and France into war.

Nobody expected France to fall quickly, but, in the game, this must be a likely result. In the games on WW2 in Europe that we have already, the UK and France go with a maximum "beef up" of France in order to make sure that history is not repeated. This can't be what regularly happens in the game, if the game is to simulate the actual conflict. In the game, France must have the same weaknesses as in history.

Hitler expected the UK to make peace after France fell. In fact, he was CERTAIN of it, and really did not prepare for any continuation of a ground war. Let us recall that even in the summer of 1941 during the height of Barbarossa, Hitler began to demobilize Germany's ground war focus and switch it over to an Air/Naval focus. So, obviously the continuation of the ground war past 1941 was unexpected.

Stalin was totally surprised by Barbarossa, but, this is an aspect of the real war that games have handled well.

Britain's plan to invade neutral Norway didn't happen only because Germany beat them to the punch -- that's another aspect of the war that's not easy to simulate in a game.

Finally, it is important to address the issue of the German war economy. We know that in real life, it is arguable to state that Germany NEVER put itself completely on a war time footing, economic-wise. We know that the Gauleiters always kept for themselves significant war material and war resources for their own domestic use. Bormann worked very hard to make sure that Hitler himself never interfered significantly in this mis-allocation of war resources.

The German Nazi leadership made very clear after Stalingrad that there would be "Total War". This implies that prior to Stalingrad, the German war economy was not on a total war footing -- and the facts of history bear this out.

How does a game designer handle this design challenge? It's a very tricky aspect of the game that should be addressed.


Thanks for your post Champagne and I would say that Strategic Command uses a pretty robust engine with a variety of events and triggers to help address many of the possibilities that can happen in game, and despite our very good understanding of what happened in history and our attempts to avoid the same mistakes.

We use in game actions to drive various political alliances, war entries and even for some military mobilizations and avoid the pitfalls (as much as possible) of hard coded events or hard dates to handle key moments of the war.

For example, depending on German actions in the war they may delay Barbarossa a little bit, declare war on the USSR early, or they may eventually have to face a USSR at a time not necessarily of their choosing. Let's say Germany did not properly garrison the Eastern front or if they invaded the UK, the USSR may look at that as an opportunity to strike west under the right conditions.

Germany may go on a more total war footing and invest more heavily and earlier into Industrial Technologly, but of course this might come at the cost of investments in other key areas of research. We also use a bit of a catch up method when invested in Spying and Intelligence that can help to bridge the gap when one side takes a significant lead in particular areas of research that helps redress imbalances over the long term.

To help model the idea that Stalin was caught a bit by surprise by Barbarossa, we use a special unit event that places a historical OOB of units along the Eastern front, upon declaration of war, that are then typically destroyed by an initial Axis assault. This helps us ensure that a Soviet player doesn't pull these units back and away from the front, as historical hindsight would dictate, but at the same time, those units are then available to a Soviet player should an Axis player not properly plan and effectively launch Barbarossa and destroy these units as the Germans did historically.

There are inevitable liberties and some abstraction, but I think for the most part you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how flexible the game play can be with hindsight in mind, while at the same time working quite well within the historical framework of what one would expect for a European Theater WWII game.

Hubert

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 8/13/2016 10:17:48 AM   
Granfali

 

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Traducido al español.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4133202

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 8/13/2016 11:50:49 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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Muchas gracias Granfali

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 8/18/2016 8:07:34 PM   
EdwinP


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Will German AI occasionally declare war on the USSR early or does it always DOW on the same date?

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RE: Strategic Command Blog Post! New Features and Game'... - 8/22/2016 7:24:37 AM   
EdwinP


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quote:

Diplomacy

It is now possible to block diplomacy towards some countries, e.g. the USSR cannot attempt to influence Franco's Spain. We have also introduced the ability to limit investment towards historically neutral countries, so that, for example, only a small diplomatic effort can be made to swing Switzerland towards one side or the other.


Nice, historically only the UK and US applied diplomatic pressure; via threatened and actual embargoes, to keep Spain neutral. This change increases, slightly, the chance that Spain can be influenced to join the Axis. Will the SC3 AI ever launch a diplomatic campaign to sway Spain to its side given that it takes a sizable investment; at least it did in SC2, to have a chance of this succeeding.

< Message edited by EdwinP -- 8/22/2016 7:25:40 AM >

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