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JulianJ

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JulianJ last won the day on July 2

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  1. I have always found that appropriate music really makes a good game better. I have GMed a lot of roleplaying games, and for a long time I have tried to have soundtracks ready on my computer to play when needed. I invented some "home brew" games set in the Second World War or its aftermath (Nazi Hunters - track down a fugitive Nazi and bring him to justice - players really enjoy that). For example most players don't know what the Horst Wessel Song is, but they viscerally know it is a Nazi anthem. Siegfried's Rhine Journey is better music, but it is indelibly associated with war and WW2 through a million documentaries. Playing these sounds made a big impact and could cue the players that something was going to happen. In one RPG game the players (secret agents) find themselves as guests at a performance of the South German Racial Purity Folkdance Troupe, who do knee-slapping German folkdancing (yes it exists) and I play some and tell them they are singing songs about bringing in the harvest, the pure love of a pure Aryan shepherd boy for his pure Aryan milkmaid...and hanging Jews from trees...the players were determined to wreak havoc on these not-very undercover Nazi special forces. One player who ferociously machine-gunned the last of them later in the adventure told me he wasn't sure whether it was their crimes against humanity or their crimes against music that offended him more. So ghastly music works as well in certain circumstances. While playing online games like CM I soon find the regular music, however good gets boring. It is also important to get music right: playing the brilliant Lord of the Rings soundtrack doesn't work with any games set after the medieval period. As I have mentioned, I am a big fan of Shogun 2, but traditional Japanese music is too different for my ears - the westernised soundtracks of Samurai films and manga work much better for me. There is also the need for different music at different phases of the game. For example, the soundtracks of the original Doom and its successors have pulsing heavy metal, which is perfect for some sort of all out assault, but then become overpowering. I use Lucas King a lot (especially Dark Piano Music III) - he is ideal for gothic horror soundtracks, but in CM if you are sneaking your infantry through backstreets, fearing an ambush, then they are great. When I am planning a turn, or just moving in to position, I want something atmospheric, but not to aggressive or overpowering, so I am not distracted. War film music often works, and sometimes, when I am sending in a helo attack, I have to play Ride of the Valkyries: "My boys love it!". I was playing some martial bagpipe tracks when I did SF2 UK Armoured Assault, for some of the time. I'm not a big fan of the pipes, but they are essential when you are sending the Scots in to kick some butt, I feel. Obviously I have a penchant for heavy metal (it's my age) and the Vietnam era music, for example in Full Metal Jacket even some innocuous 60's track seem indelibly military now. Recently I saw Joker, and Rock n' Roll Part 2 has become quite disturbing because of the film and also that Gary Glitter is a convicted pervert. These connotations are important and circulate around your subconscious. I have various tracks on the computer but what I have found most convenient is to have YouTube open and use various soundtracks. If something gets boring or doesn't feel right it is easy to find another. I save the best ones into playlists so I can get back to them quickly. I'd be interested in any other suggestions or recommendations.
  2. I've managed now to upload to Imgur and can post images. No idea why this site won't accept Mediafire. Only a year late! I should be preparing to go to two games conventions and fit Hadrian's Wall in between. COVID-19 sucks. This is the Scottish Reiver's view. The front wall does seem awfully low. Drinking designer beer that Ian (hat) had kindly brought, playing Bruges on a lovely afternoon, with an affectionate and daffy dog around. I'm holding the cards. The side of the castle by infrared light. The main gaming area was in the ballroom on the first floor with the semi-circular tower. Playing Call of Cthulhu in deliberately sinister gloom, in a room with heraldic symbols over the fireplace. Some players were very experienced RPGers, a couple of them had hardly done any role-playing but they loved it; I had promised to write a second installment for this year, but sadly the con has had to be cancelled.
  3. After Action Report UK Armoured Assault This is one of George MC's excellent scenarios, originally made for SF1. Summary A battlegroup of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in their Challengers, supported by mech infantry and engineers, with arty and air support, attack Syrian positions. Challenger on overwatch AAR: Firstly, one of the nice touches is you have recon in position when the game starts. It is a minor gripe of mine that you often go into battles blind, and have to expose a few hapless soldiers to incoming, to find out where the enemy is: Reconnaisance by Taking Fire. I don't like it or think it is realistic. It's a fairly big battlefield. I decided on a quite conservative plan, given that I seemed to have plenty of time (2 game hours) to achieve the objectives. Basically I was going to hide in the deployment zone and take the first enemy position which is in a dip then move forward and see what revealed itself. I pushed some Challys into overwatch. Two were promptly hit by ATGMs – both survived, one with its 120mm knocked out, the other with its commander dead. I pulled back immediately and dialled in my artillery and the Harriers that were on station. I spent 20 minutes pounding enemy positions with 81mm, 155 mm and one of the Harriers (keeping the other in reserve, which proved to be a wise move). So I destroyed all of the AT threats I could find. A recent portrait of Syrian ATGM team No. 2 Digression – We are fighting with the Jocks here, and the infantry brigaded with the RSDG maybe should be the Black Watch, so we have two units that fought together at Waterloo. Not having Scottish accents irked me (it's some form of orcish, I believe 🤣) I couldn't get HQS sound mod and George MC's and Mord's Cuss mod* to work together – they seem incompatible, so I wasn't entirely happy, as it didn't seem right to have legendary Scottish units speaking rather plummy English. (*further investigation by @George MC , it seems that the Cuss mod won't work with SF2. I might be wrong about the Black Watch – George checked when he wrote the scenario and the Orbat should be correct for the right time in an imaginary war.) (Politics Alert! British rankers traditionally come from the poorest parts of the country – Wales, Scotland, the North/Midlands of England, Cockneys (East End of London), and Ireland. It is probably nitpicking, but it would be good to hear more of these sort of authentic voices in BF games. /Rant over.) The first advance My forces moved forward. The infantry took the first dug-in position directly to the front, backed up by Challys and Warriors. I sent forces to the right to take a good position for the Javelin team. I didn't bother flanking to the left. After I'd bounded forward I consolidated then moved on to the next set of objectives, using light bombardments of 155mm to mash anything that seemed to be well hardened. I was taking hardly any casualties. Identified enemy tanks didn't last long, either hit by the Harrier or Challenger gunfire. One of the Static Tanks was still functioning, having been under an intense artillery barrage, and been struck by 2 x 155mm rounds and a 66mm to the back of the turret. I didn't find that believable, even if the crew had survived, I think they would have abandoned the tank. /End Rant 2. Infantry and armour advancing in close co-ordination, having taken the central farm. Out of shot to the right, the engineers are about to flank OBJ Elgin Infantry and armour move forward and consolidate on the next enemy positions I'd moved forward on OBJ Elgin and Keith. My leftmost troops were closing in on OBJ North Queensferry from both front and flank. One of the nice things about this scenario is you can use the terrain to move infantry forward under cover. SPOILER COMING BELOW PICTURE A Challenger advances, the commander is an ancestor of James T. Kirk. Enemy armour reinforcements arrived. My Challengers in overwatch and the second Harrier dispatched them without any losses. One Chally took a 125mm hit to the added lower hull front armour pack, and survived. So that is 2 ATGMs and a 125 KE round that failed to penetrate. Pushed the enemy out of North Queensferry, a mainly infantry assault, supported by Warriors. (CM WEIRDNESS – BUT IS A SPOILER) Bizarrely, when the game ended I found that there was a static tank in the middle of one of my positions that I had overlooked. In RL I can't see how this could have happened, given that one of my observer teams was in an adjacent house and my footsloggers and armour were all around. As I prepared for the assault on the final objective, South Queensferry, I saw that my forward infantry were tired, so I mustered the engineers as a 2nd assault wave, bussed them into FV432s and drove them at high speed to the E of North Queensferry. The muster area was within metres of the static tank. I guess the high speed move must have not given it time to spot, because they must have crossed its gunsights.... The Final Assault on South Queensferry I sent my infantry and armour forward under a smokescreen over one of the bridges. I had miscalculated (again!) as there were a few enemy infantry in the vicinity of the N/S Queensferry Bridge. I thought they were suppressed/destroyed/surrendered, and I had sent a Warrior to finish them off, but I gave it Hunt orders and it stayed where it was. A brief firefight took 2 of my 3 man scout team down. The Syrians were neutralised, but it felt an unnecessary loss. Some of my engineers were speeding to the other bridge to cross and flank. I was laying down immense amounts of small arms and MG fire on all known enemy positions. The final assault on South Queensferry - armour, infantry and engineers attacking under covering fire. The Challenger has run out of ammo and is parked in a safeish position. Time was running out. I was – typically – less careful about moving forward and took some more casualties, which were unnecessary. Most of the enemy troops were forced to abandon their positions and as they crossed the open streets, were gunned down in a deadly crossfire, from smallarms and vehicle MGs, and Chaingun/50 cal from Challengers a long way off. Another digression – I've become inordinately fond of the L94A1 Chain Gun and often use it in preference to other weapons. It saves the too few, and valuable, HESH or HE rounds for when you really need them. Results Screen I achieved a total victory: 30 British casualties to 410 Syrian, knocked out all but two tanks for the loss of none. I lost a few Warriors and 432s. Nevertheless some of my lads should not have copped it. I'm arranging to court martial myself. Oh wait, I'm a general. That will never happen. Queenie's going to pin another medal on me. Amusing moment of the game: Road Traffic Accident – one of my 432s rearended a Warrior on the bridge, entirely due to my inept vehicle handling. You can see it in the image above. Classic. I hope I don't get a ticket. Music I think appropriate music really heightens the enjoyment of a video game. Usually I find the in-game music track palls, however good it is. So I turn it off and have YouTube open in my browser. So I can do a quick search and find something that is atmospheric and feels right for the moment, then save it as a playlist. I have game music on my computer, like the Doom era soundtrack of pumping metal, which can work, but YouTube is more convenient and you can just search again and use something different if it doesn't feel right. For example, for fantasy games, Lord of the Rings soundtrack works brilliantly, but feels completely wrong if I am playing Shogun 2. There's lots of westernised Japanese samurai movie and anime soundtracks which really juice that game up. For this CM scenario I was playing various heroic tracks, and I also interspersed this with Scottish martial bagpipe music. My boys love it! I have also been known to play Ride of the Valkyries when the attack helos go in... Conclusion I enjoyed this game a lot. However the British side has a considerable advantage, in technology, military competence and arty/air support. (SPOILER) The armoured counterattack could be deadly if the T72s ganged up on the Challys – which are already zoned in by Syrian troops. But the AI can't do that, and just drove around aimlessly, getting shot. I could have improved with better fire discipline: I wasted a lot of rounds that I should have saved for later, running out of ammo at the last stages of the game. I thought Challenger 2s had 52 rounds but the game only has 48. Could really do with those four shells. In longer games, keeping track of ammo is very important. I blasted away with the 81 mm when more careful use would have kept some in reserve. Use more “Target Briefly” rather than using T and hitting a target with area fire for the full minute. I've been doing TB for 30 or 45 seconds so I don't shoot up something ( and forget about it) for several turns, and run short of MG ammo in a Chally (which I did!). Finally, if there's anybody who's good with sound, perhaps contact GeorgeMC and Mord to upgrade the Cuss Mod. It might be something simple like needing reformatting? It's a mod I would like to see operational again. I could listen to it fine in my media player so there's nothing damaged.
  4. I've only just seen this. Bet that driver needed a stiff Ricard (and deserved it) after that. Modeller's note: the exhaust has started to discolour already, and presumably it was painted DunkelGelb when they did that lovely paint job.
  5. Agreed, Erwin. If it didn't say, I would think it was the real thing. However, the intriguing radar must have some defect, as we don't seem to have seen it on the battlefield, and the Russians have tested everything they can in Syria.
  6. Actually, I agree, because I have got two out of three. You are a person of impeccable taste obviously :-).
  7. Thanks for your reply. Perhaps I wasn't clear - I was suggesting getting on to Tankograd publishing to re-release POD some of their old titles, not out of print stuff from other publishers, which would be a complex process. For example, there's a book on the Panther, which was in their "most popular" category but is now unavailable.
  8. Update I've now looked in more detail at Tankograd's catalogue, and frustratingly, a lot of the most interesting books are out of print. I wonder if a few of us emailed them they would consider doing those as Print on Demand (POD) as Osprey do - you can get publications from their back catalogue, it just takes a couple of weeks. What do you think? If they were convinced there was a market they might be more willing than if just one person wrote. Can we have a straw poll for what is the most popular book?
  9. Hi all, I have been visiting Tankograd - the Soviet/Russian armour blog (which goes into mind boggling detail): https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/ Serendipity strikes: I neglected to bookmark it, and have cleared my cache, so when I typed Tankograd in the browser bar, I got this: TANKOGRAD PUBLISHING - JOCHEN VOLLERT PUBLISHING It's a German military publishers https://www.tankograd.com/cms/website.php site in both German and English. Has distributors around the world. Here's the UK one: https://www.bookworldws.co.uk/product-category/military/tankograd/ And the US: www.aberdeenbookstore.com www.rzm.com If you go to Outlets you can see the booksellers in many other countries. Loads of interesting stuff for modern, WW1 and WW2. Now I'm under house arrest like an effin' political prisoner I have started obsessively buying military books again. I wonder if Nelson Mandela ended up furtively poring over the details of track arrangements on Challenger 1s and 2s. In the old days at least it was porn mags. I'm clearly going downmarket.
  10. @Probus I have all the early BF games. I didn't play them for years and came back recently to CMBS and now CMSF2. I love these games: in a sort of insane masochistic way, because the modern battlefield is very punishing. You can do everything right...and still be blown to pieces by missiles or tanks. I am glad you are enjoying the game. Do download player-made scenarios and mods - many of them are quite brilliant and surpass the (generally) high standard of the normal scenarios you get when you purchase the game.
  11. Fascinating. The weirdness of the Nazis never seems to end.
  12. I have "solved" this. Imgur works, I can post externally hosted pix from that source. The only problem I see is that Imgur deletes pix after a period of time, whereas Mediafire does not (it seems) so any pix there will end us disappearing...as they do from other threads, which is frustrating, if you find a thread from times gone by that you are interested in. Eg all of Kieme's pictures have gone, so you don't have the screenshots of his works, so you can decide if you want to download a mod or not - you have to go through the downloading/installing process before you can find out anything about it.
  13. I find that a strange thing to say. If there's anything left of this society in 100 years, I feel sure that Hitler will be as vilified as he is today: a murderous fascist.
  14. And finally, a tender has gone out for 864 virgins, by my count
  15. I found some screenshots of this battle The beginning, note my strategic lack of plan. At the end of the battle, a BMP pulls survivors from Strongpoint 1 out, covered by the sappers and a tank. The last unit from Strongpoint 2 to pull out - there's a tank shield and behind them, their transport.
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