As I play the games I end up musing about what else I would like to see, and ended up putting it together as a list. Thought I would share it and see if anyone else thought of similar things to me - I know that these lists do pop up from time to time! Also, all you WWII fans please excuse the Cold War obsession - it is more prevalent due to the fact that Combat Mission already covers WWII quite well, and thus I have less to wish for on that front.
This isn’t a ‘Battlefront I really want this will you add it please?’ list, just a thought exercise (although seeing these things added would be fun!).
1) Combat Mission: Fulda
A Combat Mission game set in Cold War Germany in the 1980s - possibly spanning several key periods, e.g.: Able Archer gone hot (1983), Black Sea incident gone hot (1988) - this would bring slightly different TOE’s to bear, such as the introduction by 1988 of the M1IP and M1A1.
Would also allow for an interesting array of weapons systems from the nations involved (a number which could expand massively to include most of NATO and the Warsaw Pact), especially: US Army, British Army (BAOR), Bundeswehr (West Germany), Red Army (USSR) & NPA (East Germany).
2) A core engine with add-on modules
I envision this as a DCS-style system - a (free?) core engine, which could ship with some limited forces (acting as a demo), and then each additional game we see currently is an add-on module. If done well, I imagine this would simplify updates, as well as allowing expanded possibilities: want to see how the 2017 (Black Sea) US Army would fare against the Wehrmacht of 1944 (Battle for Normandy)? I imagine that when in the editor selecting the date would now be independent of the TOE (unlike the current system, say in Battle for Normandy), and an additional tab would allow you to select the TOE’s involved (e.g. US Army - June 1944, US Army - September 1944, US Army - 1945, US Army - 2008, US Army - 2017)
I believe people have asked for this before, and that the response was that the current design of the engine couldn’t allow it, but it is interesting to see that others have thought of this/also play DCS!
3) Rework of CQB/building interiors
I am sure that most people would agree with me that the least ‘real’ feeling part of Combat Mission is clearing buildings, where a single man with a bolt action rifle can kill an experienced assault team armed with submachine guns as if they were unintelligent pixeltruppen (… oh… it all makes sense now…!). The ability to at least tell men to clear a building with grenades (i.e. throw a grenade in first and kill off some of the occupants) would make things so much better IMO - clearing a building known to be occupied should always be a risky scenario, but it certainly happens - especially in a more modern counter-insurgency environment.
Either way, at least having outlines of internal walls and staircases so you understand why your squad entered, faced a wall and were all mown down would be nice - but I am sure others have come up with far more sophisticated dreams for how this could be improved .
Another extension to this point would be the ability to have a team lob grenades over a wall into a non-LOS area - say you know the enemy fire team is camping on the other side, breaching and potentially killing yourselves seems foolish when you could just lob a grenade over!
4) A ‘formation’ button
The ability to chose the formation your infantry fireteam/squad takes would be great: you can choose say ‘column’ or ‘line’, giving flexibility depending on the scenario - no more machine-gun cutting down a column of men when they could be in a line as they cross an open space. This could even go further - ‘staggered column’ would be great IMO for patrolling troops down roads.
As a side note, having a vehicle movement speed that matches the infantry walk speed would be nice - again for when patrolling, rather than having to effectively sprint-and-drift like a submarine!
5) Visible helicopters, drones and aircraft
One of my pet hates of the series is hearing your TACP call ‘inbound for target, weapons hot’, and the only indication of this is a magic laser-beam falling from the sky and exploding things, or a SAM smoke trail reaching out and touching the aircraft - I personally would love to see the actual assets themselves - especially when they are shot down and crash on the map itself - a nice wrecked F-16 or Su-25T would be awesome!
6) Counter-battery fires
I feel that for larger artillery pieces in the modern games (where data-links and radio intercepts make tracking the location of an active battery quite feasible, being able to have an FO request counter-battery fire that would impede or stop that deadly M109 fire from stunning all of your pixeltruppen would be nice - and it would just make the massive barrages seem a little more combatable - I assume after all that if you were on the receiving end of such fire you too would be screaming into the radio asking someone to make it go away!
7) Combat Mission: Vietnam
It would probably have a similar feel to CM: Afghanistan or CM: Shock Force - a powerful army fighting guerrillas and insurgents, but there were quite a lot of ‘conventional’ battles in Vietnam, especially between the NVA and ARVN once the US withdrew, and the time period is also interesting - there are still WWII weapons floating around, but helicopters and M16’s now rule the field.
As a side note, I feel that a CM: Vietnam would require the introduction of UH-1 Hueys as a vehicle that you can land and transport troops with or provide overwatch/gun runs, just because of their prevalence for landing in ‘hot’ LZ’s to provide ‘dust-offs’. Also, who doesn’t want to recreate the Apocalypse Now helicopter scene?!
8 ) Combat Mission: Korea
Maybe it is just me and my love of all things Cold War, but an early Cold War game focusing on Korea would be fun IMO - it would play in a similar manner to CM: Fortress Italy I imagine, with big mountains limiting vehicle mobility and nasty trench warfare - which is why it appeals to me: this is where Combat Mission really shines in creating the ‘perfect storm’ of games for me (and a stark contrast to the rapid maneuver warfare that we see in CM: Black Sea or would in a hypothetical CM: Fulda!).
9) Combat Mission: Pacific
Now that amphibious vehicles (and flamethrowers) are tried and tested, a focus on the WWII Pacific front would be excellent - my biggest 'loss' in CM: Battle for Normandy was the lack of LCP's and LVTP's with which to do amphibious assaults. I also like the idea of a more infantry focused battlefield, where cover can be sparse or thick jungle, and where bunkers are king (perhaps this would have to ship with some fortification/trenchline improvements and expansions).
Other interesting things (I hope!)
As I said above, this is all hypothetical, and I don’t expect Steve to look at this and say - lets do that! It is more getting my thoughts out there to see if anyone else has similar ideas, and perhaps recommendations of games I might enjoy because they fit those ideas. Sadly it seems Cold War games largely went out of fashion with the coming of 2000, but there are a few left out there!
Not directly Combat Mission related, but because they fit the things that interest me and perhaps others, here are some games I recommend or am watching closely:
Command MANO (especially the Northern Inferno campaign)
DCS (as already mentioned!)
Men of War AS2
Wargame (EE, ALB and RD are all excellent, though more RTS and less tactical than CM for sure)
Escalation 1985 (the trailer really gets the vibe right IMO, has a bit of a Deutschland 83 feel: https://youtu.be/9nupkXjbaok)
I have tried Graviteam Tactics, but didn’t really enjoy it… I should go back and try it again though methinks!