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Miles1717

Black Sea or older CM game

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Hello Combat Mission community,

Lately, I have been craving a hardcore, strategy game that gives the player more command over their troops(unlike civ 5). I picked up the mobile game and the demo, and have had some great fun with them. I have decided to pick up one of the combat mission games,as they are expensive,I will get only one(for now). Just in case it isn't the game for me.

 

Logically, you would want to get the newest one, which would be Black Sea. This would because it would have a bigger player base, and hopefully the newest game mechanics. However, before I do so, I wanted to ask the community if getting Fortress Italy would bring me more enjoyment.

 

One thing I really liked about the mobile game, and WW2 games in general, is that tanks could take a beating. Sometimes your tank would bounce a shell and be able to swivel around and fire a shot off, positioning played a huge role, and I felt placement was the key to wining battles. The advanced tanks in Black Sea, seemed as if, who ever spots the enemy first usually wins, maybe I have not played enough. But, in the 2-3 hours I played on the demo, thats what I saw.

 

Another concern I have about Black Sea, is that Im not sure how infantry focused it is. I like having some tank/IFV/troop transports, but, I really love having to sneak your men into a flanking position to minimize causalities. 

 

I would like your opinion on the best CM game, and if you think I would enjoy an older WW2 game versus Black Sea. If so, how many people still play online in the older games, such as Fortress Italy. 

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I think the whole CMx2 family is great, but I would probably pick CMFI and Gustav Line if I had to choose and move on from there. I think Black Sea is great (I particularly like playing Russians against Ukrainians), and certainly worth buying eventually. I think CM games are best when the forces involved are slightly scrappy and you have to be creative with them, which is why I like CMFI. CMFI also goes earlier than any other game and I think a lot of the maps are really fantastic. 

 

Still, I would generally say the only way to go wrong is by only buying one CM game.

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Oh yeh, if you want infantry-heavy and/or less lethal tanks I would definitely recommend CM:Fortress Italy, especially with the Italian mainland module. Spring-summer-winter-fall seasons is the big selling point. Of course every theater has its ubertank. You gain a whole new respect for the mighty Sherman when you're facing-off against it with only those poor Italian tanks!  :)

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Would any of you recommend Red Thunder, over Fortress Italy? Also, which game would be the easiest for a newbie to get into. The game seems like it has a massive learning curve, so what game would ease me into the series.

Edited by Milesb11

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Well, there is a definite difference between black sea and the WW2 titles.

 

But tactics are tactics and they do work in both environments.

 

The firepower  just makes the modern setting just much less likely to get a turn around in a fire fight if you start on the weak end of one.

 

 

Being that I am a lover of WW2 stuff, I did not think I would like BS as much.  Well I have fooled myself because BS is now my favorite game and it is because of the infantry battles.

I am using weapons I know, the grunts have stuff that can handle any enemy unit and getting the job done is such a challenge unless you do it in a correct manor. Because being spotted for infantry is as deadly as it is for tanks. So you better either have great concealed movement of firepower being used to make sure the enemy cannot fire or you will be finding dead friendly units quickly.

 

Anyway I am finding small unit tactics the most interesting part of BS  (and I am finding maneuver to be even more important and more of it happening in the modern setting . So for me the modern battlefield has become more interesting to play (Something I would have never expected).

 

But which ever way you go you will be happy. So pick what interest you the most and you will be good (Out of the different games, I would suspect that CMFI has the least amount of followers. But I am sure you will be able to find people to play if that is what you want to do.

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Milesb11,

 

Welcome aboard!  May've already done this, but don't recollect.

 

If your goal is tank duels with rounds bouncing and such, presuming you like the period, then CMFI may be the way to go for you. Both Axis and Allies have cool camouflage for starters!  The terrain is splendid, CMFI has mountains, and you'll be able to play kohlenkau's Malta campaign ere long. Try that in CMBS!

 

You didn't say whether you were buying the straight game or a bundle. Obviously, the latter will cost more, but it gives you much wider gaming vistas. CMFI has GL, whereas CMBS is just that. CMBN is currently most blessed in terms of Modules, for it has CW and MG, plus a Vehicle Pack.  All three games operate the latest version of the game engine, so level playing field there. I think, though, the key issue, given what you stated, is how well you can handle a tremendously lethal battlefield, if you're considering CMBS?

 

In WW II, per formerly SECRET level US Army analyses, it took 17 rounds on average to hit a tank at 1500 meters. Circa 1980, when that study was reported, that SECRET number was circa not even two rounds (65-80%, depending on the tank used). At the kinds of ranges we typically see in CMBS, the ammo expenditure to get a hit from an MBT cannon is one round. Said round generally removes a tank from the opposing side's force, especially if the recipient is Russian. The weaponry in CMBS in a Direct Fire KE engagement terrifyingly lethal. It's entirely possible to lose so much of your force in a single turn a small QB becomes hopeless. I speak from experience here. What I can't tell you, though, is what happens in CMBS as the ranges open up, for mine have been knife fights at 700 meters or so. At that distance, either side's tanks can get a frontal kill, though the Russian have to work harder. The combat tempo difference between the WW II CM games and CMBS is extraordinary, but it provides a fluidity I'm not used to but like very much. Until I meet a real human and have to abandon that nonsense, absent a lot of casualties inflicted, a strong base of fire and favorable reading of the chicken entrails that day. The great armored sweep is possible, but the great armored slaughter is more likely. The CM games have always punished mistakes, but in CMBS, the penalty bears alarming resemblance to decapitation, as whole segments of your force explode or are scythed down or torn apart. Best, too, not to get attached to AFV crews. If they survive the hit and bail out, they're almost certain to be wiped out by an airburst round immediately thereafter. Nor are there PGMs in WW II.

 

Summing up, and I'm assuredly no expert, I think it comes down to desired combat environment and intensity, what's to be had for a given game you're considering and the ground you like to fight upon. Frankly, Normandy gives me claustrophobia, Italy was a relief to my spirit, and that's from watching the Beta Demos for CMFI and GL, and Ukraine is, to the extent I've seen it in game or on vids, very soothing and pastoral. Until everything explodes in an instant. 

 

There really is no bad choice here. Ultimately, it's all about you. Also, and check on this, if you buy CMFI, it should come with 3.0 already in the game, sparing you from having to shell out $10 if that's the case. BFC said it was going to do this, but I'm not sure whether it's actually been implemented yet. 

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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Hi Miles,

 

Judging by how you have described your interest you may want to consider the CM Normandy big bundle: below as described from the store. The CMFI bundle is 85 dollars and the Normandy bundle is 105. You will get a lot extra for that 25 dollars. The Normandy Forum is quite active as well.

 

Best value! This Complete Edition Bundle contains it all: the base game and all modules (Commonwealth Forces and Market Garden), packs (Vehicle Pack) and uprgades (2.0 and 3.0) in one package, all updated to the very latest version! If you are new to Combat Mission Battle for Normandy, this is the one-stop-shop package for you, no patches or any other files required!

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I would go with z1812 suggestion, and there's one more reason for that: the next coming game will be battle of the bulge, this means that the boundle described above has everything you need just before the events coming with the new title.

 

Moreover, add the fact that combat mission normandy+expansions has a huge selection of mods and user made scenarios/campaigns (being the older title of the ww2 series).

Normandy in my opinion is the most infantry-focused game (and has a perfect environment for that).

 

If you will enjoy it, you can go on with combat mission battle of the bulge when it comes out, or switch to something completely different like combat mission black sea (modern warfare).

Edited by Kieme(ITA)

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Would any of you recommend Red Thunder, over Fortress Italy?

 

Oooh, that's like asking if I'd recommend blondes over brunettes! :D  It's entirely up to your own preferences. The game engine is the same (discounting small theater-specific differences). The commands are the same, the AI is more-or-less the same. Your choice may hinge on if you prefer white stucco houses under a hot Sicilian sun or rustic rural peasant hovels along the eastern Poland marshes.

 

Everything's got their demos. Heck, there's hours of free play time in the demos before you need to make a decision at al!

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Would any of you recommend Red Thunder, over Fortress Italy? Also, which game would be the easiest for a newbie to get into. The game seems like it has a massive learning curve, so what game would ease me into the series.

 

I'd personally recommend Red Thunder over Fortress Italy but it is largely personal preference of theaters and time periods.

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If you want the complete Fortress Italy + GL + v3.0 Engine thing you will have to pay 85$ !

You get CMRT + v3.0 for 55$ or CMBS + v3.0 for 55$ too.

 

I would wait till they finally integrate the v3.0 Update into the FI+GL Bundle for the original price of 75$. At least thats what i do.

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Thank you all for your great suggestions! This community is truly great, and I look forward to sticking around.

 

I just downloaded the CM:FI demo, so I can compare it to Black Sea. Haven't gotten around to playing it, but Im so excited.

 

Right now I'm leading towards either Black Sea or Red Thunder, as they are newer, and Wiggum pointed out it would be cheaper.

Once again, thank you guys, have a good one.

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iI'd go for Red Thunder, but that's because I prefer the east front. The 3.0 engine has some nice extra features, although you can get those for other base games. But only CMRT has the built-in scenarios and campaigns with tank riders and flame throwers, for example. But really it boils down to which nations you enjoy playing with - the different national forces have a very different feel due to the different equipment and organisation. The demos are definitely worth checking out to see how the different nations play - Italian forces for example with their underwhelming vehicles and massive, unwieldly infantry squads are a very different beast to the germans, and you might be surprised at which you enjoy.

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Hi,

 

Just a little contribution if you are starting with CM

 

 

A video made by one of the editors of the Armchair General magazine, it's like a tutorial about CM. He made 6 videos explaining weapons and tactics, I wish he had made 20 more as they are great.

 

 

I would recomend CMRT why? Because the Ostfront rocks : )  I have not played CMBN, neither CMFI (these games are expensive so I just buy the scenarios I like best of all).

 

CMBS is also a really good one, modern warfare is brutal and wildly fun, but if you are more interested in infantry maybe play a WW2 tittle first as in CMBS infantry seems less important.

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Right now I'm leading towards either Black Sea or Red Thunder, as they are newer

 

Welcome to CM. Don't make the mistake of believing that just because CMBS and CMRT are newer that they are "better" than CMFI or CMBN. BFC keeps the older releases updated with paid game engine upgrades, so they never become obsolete. The most recent version of CMBN is quite a bit different than when it was first released.

 

Your decision should really be based on what theatre you have more interest in, as well as (like others have pointed out) the fact that the older titles can cost more money due to the fact that they both have modules that have been released for them, whereas CMBS and CMRT have not yet had any additional content released.

 

If, for example, somehow I were forced to choose only one CM title to play from this point forward, I would choose CMBN, because it's my favorite.

 

CMBN, CMFI, and CMRT are all very similar, since they are all set in WW2. CMBS is *very* different, being set in the modern era.

 

So really, it's up to you, just don't think that CMBN and CMFI are somehow outdated or obsolete, because all four games use essentially the same engine, thanks to BFC's upgrade policies.

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Welcome to CM. Don't make the mistake of believing that just because CMBS and CMRT are newer that they are "better" than CMFI or CMBN. BFC keeps the older releases updated with paid game engine upgrades, so they never become obsolete. The most recent version of CMBN is quite a bit different than when it was first released.

 

Okay, thank you for pointing this out. I just assumed that because CM:BN was 5 years old it wouldn't be worth it. A lot of people said that they felt it was too claustrophobic, so i've been hesitant on picking it. And the problem i'm seeing with CM:FI is that the Italian force is very hard to use, which would make it hard for me. 

 

The main things I am looking for my first purchase, is really just an active player base and easy to get into. So do you mind telling me what you thought the easiest game was for you? I am very interested in the western front, so I will watch some videos on CM:BN.

 

Thanks for your help.

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One other thing that could make a difference for you. I have almost 200 custom scenarios (not including mods) created by some talented people for CMBN and its modules.

 

CMBS is great, but it will be a long time, if ever, for the newer games to get such huge mod content. These are available from BF repository, or better yet, GreenAsJade's website. Have fun!

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The Italians are the most difficult nationality to win quick battles with, especially against human opponents, unless you use a lot of "house rules". Their squads don't split, their firepower is weak, and their armor sucks. The only thing they have going for them are the Brixias, IMO. Nevertheless they can still be fun to play in well balanced scenarios. To be honest with you, most of the CMFI games I play are USA V Germans.

 

If you are a western front fan, then CMBN should be a no brainer. A lot of the maps that were included in the base game were kinda generic, with lots of bocage, but Market Garden added more map variety. If you go with CMBN, get the big bundle. Might want to check to see if that still buys you everything......I haven't checked in a long time.

 

As for active player base, join a gaming club like We Band of Brothers and/or Few Good Men and you should have no trouble finding opponents.

 

But yea, the initial learning curve is going to be steep, but well worth it, IMO. Once you get good at using the game engine, transitioning from one CM game to another is rather easy. The hardest transition (after the initial learning curve) is from WW2 to Modern, or vice/versa if you've only played Modern. I'm a noob at Modern, but have still been doing pretty well just using the lessons I learned in CMBN/FI/RT.

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BF has sprinkled some hints that the Italian theatre will be revisited. Namely to incorporate tank riders and splittable Italian infantry- in part to accommodate their tankettes. Date: unknown. BS and FI are the only two titles in which the use of the MOVE command is common. This reflects the heavy load of gadgetry the grunts tend to carry in the former and the mountainous terrain in the latter.

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The Italians are the most difficult nationality to win quick battles with, especially against human opponents, unless you use a lot of "house rules". Their squads don't split, their firepower is weak, and their armor sucks. The only thing they have going for them are the Brixias, IMO.

Brixias and the Semovente 90mm TDs... :) Talk about your archetypical sledgehammer-wielding eggshell!

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I just checked the CM:BN big package, $105 is a bit to much to drop right now, in fear that I won't enjoy the game or am not good at it and loose interest. I also picked up the CM:BN demo so between the 3 demos, I'll find my favorite. All of you made good suggestions and I will keep them in mind while making my final choice. A lot of you, said that its all preference, so I will just play around with the demos and find the time period and factions I enjoy the most. 

 

One question I have about the demos, I'm not sure if its reflected in the full games. Is the fact that I get terrible performance, I have a GTX 770 and an I7-4790k, as well as 16 gb of ram. When I zoom in i get terrible shadows on trees, the trees bug out while moving the camera, and the game has some weird screen resolutions. I found a post about this, and they said to edit the Nvidia control panel, which I will, but can any of you recommend some settings I use?

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Hmmm, It's possible (probable even, especially with CMBN and CMFI) that the demos are rather out-of-date as far as game engine performance, compared to the latest, fully patched versions of the actual games.

 

I can tell you that I have no problems with the performance of any of the actual games (CMBN/FI/RT/BS), even on Huge battles. My PC is Windows 7, I7 4770k @ 3.5 GHz, 16 gb of ram, and a GTX 680 video card.

 

I know the GTX 680 was a high end card when it was released, but I find it hard to believe the GTX 770 wouldn't be even better.

 

Try turning Shaders off. Should be able to do that from the main menu under Options/Advanced.

Edited by Doug Williams

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I just checked the CM:BN big package, $105 is a bit to much to drop right now, in fear that I won't enjoy the game or am not good at it and loose interest.

 

I looked at it again just now and it does seem that the $105 "big bundle" buys everything that has currently been released for CMBN and upgrades the engine to the latest version. As I understand it, CMBN is now complete, and there will be no further modules or packs released for it, so that $105 buys you the entire game. I'm sure BFC will continue to release upgrades for it, as more improvements to the game engine are made. These upgrades have, historically, cost $10, and are what keep the older titles in line with the most recent releases (as opposed to the free patches, which are basically bug fixes).

 

With all that said, I happen to agree with you that $105 is a lot of money to drop at one time for a computer game. I'm not going to try to tell BFC how to run their business, but I would urge them to consider a price drop on the CMBN bundle. In fact, at this point in time, I would think they would offer the "big bundle" as the entry point for CMBN new players.

 

 

Edit: And I'm sure BFC would hear much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the early adopters if they did that. As a customer who has preordered and paid full price on every CM game, module, pack, and upgrade, I can say that it would not bother me one iota if BFC dropped the price on their older releases.

Edited by Doug Williams

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With all that said, I happen to agree with you that $105 is a lot of money to drop at one time for a computer game. I'm not going to try to tell BFC how to run their business, but I would urge them to consider a price drop on the CMBN bundle. In fact, at this point in time, I would think they would offer the "big bundle" as the entry point for CMBN for new players.

So what do you recommend I do? I have deffinatly eliminated the Big Bundle from my options...Would CMBN still be worth it?

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