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Totally not just you, Sburke. 

 

I think it's human nature (and that seems confirmed by the article IanL quoted above) to want to improve things, but in the desire to improve things - even if only the best of intentions are involved - one can forget to appreciate just how good this game is. I've done beta testing, design work and map and scenario creation for other games. As a tester I know how much work a small piece of code can create for everyone. Changes that seem simple rarely are. 

 

In the anxiousness to change and improve things, we can easily lose sight of just how incredible Combat Mission is. Forget for a moment that it can be better. Everything can be better, but forget that because this is about appreciate what we have, not making improvements. 

 

I love immersion - to feel I'm in the battle and not just solving a tactical puzzle. To get on the ground watching my troops as they walk, or run or fight, or seeing the suspension move as a tank goes cross-country, or the ball of fire from a tank firing its main gun. Or just the trees swaying from a breeze, or the rain falling down. Amazing stuff! 

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I don't think sburke's sentiment is out of place either and I can certainly see how he could arrive at his question. Take me for example, I have been playing CM since the spring of 2001, however I s

This is not to start a thread saying BF and CM are about, well not above criticism so much as CM has room for improvement.  It certainly does and the folks at BF will be the first to say that.   Wha

The question is, at what speed are they moving and how far can they move forward while in the "cage" called CMx2 engine...

I don't think sburke's sentiment is out of place either and I can certainly see how he could arrive at his question.

Take me for example, I have been playing CM since the spring of 2001, however I seldom post to the forum. On the rare occasion I do, it's almost always the simple task of thanking a modder/BFC, reporting a bug or asking a technical question, but man I am infatuated with this game.

My first video wargame experience was Combat for the Atari 2600 and yes, my friends and I would gob at the colored rectangles and muse aloud, "wouldn't it be cool if they really looked like Shermans!"  It's also safe to say we were the only seven year olds in our small town that could tell you the diameter of a WWII era bazooka rocket. Merciful god - what glorious little freaks we were.

Bookend the joystick and button mashing sessions in those formative years with endless firefights among 1/72 scale Screaming Eagles and the injection moulded Wehrmacht and it isn't too hard to project how I ended up with BFC's baby on my present day hardrive. Every so often when playing CM the spell gently lifts and I snicker at the realization -  I am well into adulthood and still playing with little army men.
 

To sburke's point, here is a moment from this last weekend that made me stop and marvel at the depth of experience CM delivers.  The two Strykers in this image are on the 'splody end of a RUS fire mission. After a nearby shellburst decomissioned the M1126's RWS, an onboard sniper took up position and began scanning for targets.  How cool is that?

 

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Take heed all of you with a hand in the game's development, your efforts are noticed, no matter how small.  Your work not only gratifies us as adult wargamers, but also invites our boyhood whimsy to step right up each time CM lays out the welcome mat.

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These three action shots taken in "Die Amis Kommen" are a clear illustration of the thrill coming out of CMBN to mention only one of all CM titles.

If you played WEGO you were able to see it again and again and wonder at what was going on.

The farther SS is surrendering. The other one is surprised, then he is drawing out its pistol. To threaten his mate or shoot him ? Finally he must have thought that it was finally not a bad idea to surrender.

 

 

CM%20Normandy%202011-07-01%2021-24-40-27

 

CM%20Normandy%202011-07-01%2021-24-45-12

 

CM%20Normandy%202011-07-01%2021-24-51-32

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As a twenty-something, there is a fierce competition in the games industry for my modest earnings. Few games do what Combat Mission does, and that's why I keep playing the demos. I will hold off on buying the full games, though.

 

The occasionally-terrible AI is not a little thing you can handwave away. T-90AM gets laser warning'd by a completely non-threatening Bradley at point blank range and reverses into an Abrams while the turret spins impotently? Seen it more than once. Slightly nervous Jerries refusing to shoot back in favour of spinning around on the ground while Americans run over them? Yes. ****ed-up pathfinding -- why can't the game show the actual path instead of making me guess whether Private Johnson will drive his Jeep straight into the ambush I explicitly tried to avoid? Why do the soldiers cluster around each other so that any RPG can take them all out at once? (Happened to my opponent in the CMBS demo, so nice)

 

I'm no rivet-counter, but some semblance of sense is kind of important for immersion. Clustered soldiers etc. always make me go from "Man, I really should buy the full version" to "Nah, **** this, I was trying to save anyway" in no time flat. CM has its moments, and I've been playing since CMBO came out, but just no. I guess it seems really good if hexes and chits were what you grew up on, but I didn't.

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I agree that clusters or lines of soldiers aren't a good thing, personally, any new CM engine should allow for infantry and vehicles formations. Anyway, try to use split commands to keep more spacing among your troops, modern weapons tend to have a much stronger lethality (air burst HE rounds are very common), as regarding bad pathfinding try not to rely too much on long movement commands, keep the waypoints closer, less chances for the tacAI to screw up, also, be careful with short walls, hedges, low bocages etc.

Edited by Kieme(ITA)
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I agree that clusters or lines of soldiers aren't a good thing, personally, any new CM engine should allow for infantry and vehicles formations. Anyway, try to use split commands to keep more spacing among your troops, modern weapons tend to have a much stronger lethality (air burst HE rounds are very common), as regarding bad pathfinding try not to rely too much on long movement commands, keep the waypoints closer, less chances for the tacAI to screw up, also, be careful with short walls, hedges, low bocages etc.

I'm no idjit, I split whenever I can. The pathfinding and tacAI are still pretty inexcusable, esp. in scenarios where success hinges on keeping one tank alive, but it just can't stop showing off its massive steel ass.

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As a twenty-something, there is a fierce competition in the games industry for my modest earnings. Few games do what Combat Mission does, and that's why I keep playing the demos. I will hold off on buying the full games, though.

 

The occasionally-terrible AI is not a little thing you can handwave away. T-90AM gets laser warning'd by a completely non-threatening Bradley at point blank range and reverses into an Abrams while the turret spins impotently? Seen it more than once. Slightly nervous Jerries refusing to shoot back in favour of spinning around on the ground while Americans run over them? Yes. ****ed-up pathfinding -- why can't the game show the actual path instead of making me guess whether Private Johnson will drive his Jeep straight into the ambush I explicitly tried to avoid? Why do the soldiers cluster around each other so that any RPG can take them all out at once? (Happened to my opponent in the CMBS demo, so nice)

 

I'm no rivet-counter, but some semblance of sense is kind of important for immersion. Clustered soldiers etc. always make me go from "Man, I really should buy the full version" to "Nah, **** this, I was trying to save anyway" in no time flat. CM has its moments, and I've been playing since CMBO came out, but just no. I guess it seems really good if hexes and chits were what you grew up on, but I didn't.

 

I am in my early 20s and i grew up with 3D games with mind blowing graphics. I agree with most of your critique of CM, but what for me makes CM superior to all other 3D tactical wargames that simulate platoon to battalion sized engagements is WeGo. I really LOVE to wind back time and watch the action from many different angles. WeGo, or to be more accurate the possibility to accurately analyse each situation on the battlefield in detail, adds so much tactical depth that i find other real time wargames dull and superficial, even if they dont have the shortcomings you mentioned. I tried many other games of the same genre, but i always came back to CM.

 

But to each his own, we don t have to have the same taste in games.

Edited by agusto
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WeGo, or to be more accurate the possibility to accurately analyse each situation on the battlefield in detail, adds so much tactical depth that i find other real time wargames dull and superficial, even if they dont have the shortcomings you mentioned. I tried many other games of the same genre, but i always came back to CM.

 

WeGo is fantastic, it's true. I too come back to CM, but I can't shake the feeling of disappointment. Maybe with 4.0 everything will be fine.

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infantry grouping together and no formation options are real issues, I will not disagree with that.

But your armor showing its ass to the enemy, Sorry to tell you, that is all your problem. Not game pathing issues.

CM is actually one of the few games I never have issues with pathing when it comes to armor movement. I must have played hundreds apon hundreds of hours and cannot think of one issue.

The only time I see a problem is when I try going through woods and I do not anticipate the allowable path the tank can take correctly. Woods can be challenging to keep the facing correct. But that is decision issue in taking the risk to move through thick woods.

Edited by slysniper
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This thread was not started with the proposition that CM can not be improved. I may be old, I may even be senile, but I am not THAT senile. . . .yet.

However when it comes to the AI personally I think that isn't necessarily a straight out CM issue. Phil is an AI guy and if he says that is still out of our reach, I am not about to gain say him. He is a helluva lot smarter than me. Looking around at some of the top tier game companies and their products, AI issues are everywhere.

But again this thread isn't about whether it can be improved upon, I think we all agree on that.

Regarding that specific example with the laser warning, what the TAC AI is responding to is information you have but it doesn't. That T90 doesn't know what lased it. It might have been the Bradley, it might also have been an M1 it has not spotted. Figuring out an AI response there is an interesting and difficult problem. What should it have done?

As to pathing yeah that can be very immersion breaking, the jostling at a way point, vehicle collisions etc

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You are right about pathing. Bridges are still a problem and a lot of micro management in moving must be done in wooded areas as well. Movement becomes even more complex when units get lased and issue a warning, what they do next can often make or break a seriously constructed movement order. Which is why in most cases I like to keep them as simple as possible especially with armored vehicles.

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Yes back on track, there is no better tactical battle simulated than CM ;)

As for vehicle pathing, I make sure to manipulate my paths\movement so they are spaced apart enough so that no foul ups or tangles occur, its not that hard... also if you click the movement order and hover the cursor over the terrain you want to move over, the cursor turns red when it is over impassable terrain for the unit selected..

As for laser warning, I prefer the pop smoke and reverse action rather than just stay there and be killed.. in fact nidan1 I was playing last night and when I issued a fast movement order to my Bradley's and M1's during which they got lased, they kept moving forward, the only thing that they done was turn there turrets to face the direction the laser was coming from...is it possible that the AI ignores being lased when a fast movement order is issued?

Yes sometimes the infantry get bunched up, but it doesn't really happen that often, not anywhere near enough to break the immersion factor for me...

Edited by highlandcharge
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As for laser warning, I prefer the pop smoke and reverse action rather than just stay there and be killed.. in fact nidan1 I was playing last night and when I issued a fast movement order to my Bradley's and M1's during which they got lased, they kept moving forward, the only thing that they done was turn there turrets to face the direction the laser was coming from...is it possible that the AI ignores being lased when a fast movement order is issued?

 

I believe the answer is at least partially yes

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I think you are just too close to the game.  I have found that people associated with a software developer for too long, game software or business software, have a hard time dealing with people that have issues with the software.  Its just human nature.  I have seen this in factory automation software where an individual becomes an expert in the software and that becomes his identity.  He becomes very cranky when people question any aspect of the software, as only an engineer can.

 

Your perspective is completely different than someone who sees CM for the first time after playing ARMA or COD.  You see the same issue with ARMA also.  There are people who spend their whole young adult life modding ARMA and it has become their identity.  They can't move on or get any perspective on how other people perceive the game.

 

The fact you can't understand people not having the same wonder makes me think you just need to take a break.

Did you even read his post?

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Did you even read his post?

I believe he did and he has a perspective on it.  I may disagree with it, but I think his answer to the follow up helps me understand his answer a bit better.  Nothing seems to grab his attention for long. He may feel something akin to what I was trying to express, but it doesn't last.

 

No offense meant to Thewood1, but I pity him.  I wouldn't trade that wonderful exciting chill for anything.  Life is short, it should be full of stuff like that.

 

Like my wife, I am amazed she married me and I hope I never lose that and take her for granted. 

 

My father passed away from Alzheimer related issues this year.  As his memory went he began forgetting things, he lost his sense of taste, he began to lose track of individuals and he eventually forgot how to eat. 

 

One thing that experience reinforced for me is appreciating everything you have while you can.  CM with all it's issues and all the features missing I would love to see it have, is still an incredible game.  There is simply nothing comparable in it's genre.  And it's genre is my favorite.

 

Sure the first time I tried Skyrim and I stood on a mountain looking out over a river valley with an amazing huge moon overhead, I was impressed.  And then I basically walked over the side of the mountain and slithered all the way down into the valley and when I got to the bottom a mammoth popped up several hundred feet into the air... a mammoth I could not even see 5 feet further away.  Okay cool game, cool graphics, no immersion.  For me anyway.  Another player could come along, mod the hell out of it and it is everything they ever dreamed of. 

 

FP shooters just make me think, great visuals for a game of paintball.  Some of the ARMA 3 hardcore teams look pretty neat, but again it just doesn't translate for me to what I want to play.

 

CMx2 fills a spot for me and does so better than anything I'd ever hoped.  I pray I never lose my appreciation for that.  It would be a sad statement on me.

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In my opinion, some of the pathing problems, etc, are very good for the game and I don't think players should be able to determine exact paths for their units that they follow to a T. Anyone who has led troops in any capacity knows that this can't be done anywhere except on the grinder for close-order drill.

The caveat is that there are definitely pathing issues to be fixed, especially with bridges and reversing. But in my opinion, I'll deal with those over having complete detailed control.

CM simulates the "friction" factor better than any other war game out there.

Everyone has seen the movie Blackhawk Down, which shows how the convoy got lost after leaving the raid objective site due to roadblocks and a comm delay from the surveillance aircraft (these days it would have been a drone) and the convoy. Turns were missed, etc. That is friction.

It certainly can be frustrating to see in CM, but for me, things going wrong, sometimes even absurdly so, is part of the challenge of CM.

**** happens. Deal with it. Continue the fight. Win.

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Steven,

 

The best is yet to come. Hang in there! Take for instance a new forumite, Lee McLaughlin who is 68 and just starting into CMX2. So, add on 18 years to my age 50 and we will all be enjoying CMx3, CMx4, CMx5 or even CMX6.0 maybe or who knows! Who is our oldest forumite by the way, Michael Emrys? 72+/-. 

 

Imagine in 2033...."I don't like that French odor mod...the cows of the Normandie area had a grass-based diet and their dung would have smelled more acidic in nature..."  

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Emrys tutored Tutankhamun in tactical planning -  poorly, but he did tutor him.  I am just glad I am older than Charles and Steve.  Theoretically I should be able to retire while they are still making games.

 

Sorry Steve, but age has to have some perks

Edited by sburke
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 Movement becomes even more complex when units get lased and issue a warning, what they do next can often make or break a seriously constructed movement order. Which is why in most cases I like to keep them as simple as possible especially with armored vehicles.

 

 

I am fielding a solution that consists in an extensive use of the Fast command (proven there's enough room), a lased Abrams can pop out smoke but still move forward, enough to force the enemy gunner to break contact and, as soon as the smoke is passed through, the Abrams engages again. No stops full throttle ahead.

Edited by Kieme(ITA)
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I am fielding a solution that consists in an extensive use of the Fast command (proven there's enough room), a lased Abrams can pop out smoke but still move forward, enough to force the enemy gunner to break contact and, as soon as the smoke is passed through, the Abrams engages again. No stops full throttle ahead.

You are right Kieme,

 

I have found and reported during the testing of CMBS "Rolling thunder" that a M1 being lazed reversed and was therefore most of the time consequently destroyed.

It would have been better to move forward and leave the threat area, but the AI, overriding the human given order, felt differently.

That is how I have found, testing that problem, that the only way to avoid this deadly and unwanted ,reversing move was to give the M1 a fast move order.

Cheer 

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Yes, I agree with the OP.

 

Single best moment of gaming (going back to the mid-80's) was a beta-test of CMBN. Two US squads were flanking a German team. The right squad got the drop on the Jerries and opened up on them...hard. Heavy woods, short LOS. The two surviving (visisble) Germans surrendered. As they surrendered, the left US squad got a "?" contact and area fired...killing the men who had their arms raised. Gobsmack moment. A very visceral gaming result which I had never anticipated or seen.

 

Nothing else comes close. I WeGo so I can find these moments, replay them, and watch them from different perspectives.

 

CM is totally immersive. It's not the graphics: it's the behavior.

 

Ken

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Yes, I agree with the OP.

 

Single best moment of gaming (going back to the mid-80's) was a beta-test of CMBN. Two US squads were flanking a German team. The right squad got the drop on the Jerries and opened up on them...hard. Heavy woods, short LOS. The two surviving (visisble) Germans surrendered. As they surrendered, the left US squad got a "?" contact and area fired...killing the men who had their arms raised. Gobsmack moment. A very visceral gaming result which I had never anticipated or seen.

 

Nothing else comes close. I WeGo so I can find these moments, replay them, and watch them from different perspectives.

 

CM is totally immersive. It's not the graphics: it's the behavior.

 

Ken

beautiful example of what would not happen with borg spotting.  Nice Ken it helps me understand a little better what it is about CMx2 that has hit me more than even CMx1.

Edited by sburke
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I also agree with the OP and Ken describes it beautifully above. It's a mixture of table top wargaming and ASL with a level of detail that creates numerous immersive and amazing vignettes almost every game.

 

I do wonder having read a good number of these post over the years, which draw up the battleline between (and my tongue is in my cheek here) the fanbois and haters what the correlation (if any) is between those that really think the CMx2 games are the bees knees and the number of computer games played by them.

 

I only play one set of games on the PC - CMx2. The kids have an Xbox which I occasionally use, but otherwise it is CMx2 all the way. I suspect that many of those that don't regard CMx2 as highly play a lot more games and just see CM as another game in a wider pool. Nothing wrong with that but I do wonder if it goes someway to explaining why views sometimes get polarised.

 

just my 2p

 

P

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