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Combatintman

Victory at Verdenne - Anybody had one yet?

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I'll declare an interest ... I designed this.

But I am intrigued that since this game launched nobody really talks about the content.  Even more surprising is that in in the chat associated with one of ChrisND's TwitchTV feeds somebody asked whether the game featured one of the formations that is included in this scenario.  Yet no comment .... 

When I look at the release (based on threads) people dived into the German campaign and that is pretty much it .... shame really because the US Courage Conquers Campaign and the US Aachen mini-campaign have lots to recommend them.

Thoughts? 

 

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It may be an age thing.  When I was younger in the cardboard WW2 wargame era you practically had to bribe an oppo to play the Allies.  Everyone wanted to play the Axis.  It seems that the Germans had all the best toys.  The Allies - esp the Soviets - seemed to be represented as anonymous cookie cutter units. 

It was a surprise when CMBN came out that, presumably younger, players preferred the Allies, esp the US.   Perhaps the hardcore BF fans are older and we are seeing a resurgence of the traditional preference to play the Germans. 

I have started all of the FB campaigns.  But 1) My play time has been severely restricted over the last couple of years, and 2) I find most CM2 missions to be frustratingly hard, and I get discouraged and burned out (absolutely HATE having to replay missions to progress in a campaign).  Am not sure if that is because the missions are too hard (I was able to complete the infamous "Courage and Fortitude" campaign so am an experienced player), or the result of a lack of spare mental energy due to RL issues.

In addition, given how popular the Ardennes is as a game topic, am surprised that these FB forums are relatively quiet. 

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It is interesting to read how another player approaches the game. For myself I always play the game in chronological order. I don't pick a particular campaign because it looks the most interesting, or the easiest, or most challenging. I just work my way through them from the earliest onwards recording my results as I go, if I win, all well and good, if I lose (as often happens) I take my defeat on the chin and move on. I never replay a mission in the hope of progressing in a campaign. I'll finish all of the campaigns, go off and play some stand alone battles, then start a new series of campaigns comparing my results with my previous attempts.

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IMO the entire Battlefront forum have more or less died...

Asides from maybe 10 guys frequently posting here not much is happening any more i'm sorry to say.

A few MODS are being made and recieve some comments but not much more then that...

Not even larger projects like the Stalingrad MOD seems to atract alot of attention (atleast not on the BFC forum).

Scenario designing is very limited and overall intrest seems to have gone down significantelly...

Perhaps BFC needs to prioritize some major game-engine updates ?

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Combatintman,

I was always surprised by the lack of comment on scenarios, also.

I tried to get something going about them in Red Thunder--unsuccessfully.

My approach to the scenarios is to start with the smallest and work up.  With that strategy, I got to Assault, and not even to the end of that scenario, in RT.

My suggestion--made with perhaps annoying persistence--is that they include tiny scenarios, as in 2-3 units on each side, to hook people in.  It could be "StarCraft" style, adding new units with successive scenarios, and with some [fictional--though ideally based on some real incident] story.  That would lead people to scenarios like yours, "pay-off". At least CM1 had "Band of Brothers" and "Combat (the old TV show).  But...I will stop and disappear again.  I don't like being annoying.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rankorian said:

Combatintman,

I was always surprised by the lack of comment on scenarios, also.

I tried to get something going about them in Red Thunder--unsuccessfully.

My approach to the scenarios is to start with the smallest and work up.  With that strategy, I got to Assault, and not even to the end of that scenario, in RT.

My suggestion--made with perhaps annoying persistence--is that they include tiny scenarios, as in 2-3 units on each side, to hook people in.  It could be "StarCraft" style, adding new units with successive scenarios, and with some [fictional--though ideally based on some real incident] story.  That would lead people to scenarios like yours, "pay-off". At least CM1 had "Band of Brothers" and "Combat (the old TV show).  But...I will stop and disappear again.  I don't like being annoying.

 

 

What he said. I like your kind of annoying. Small unit action is what I crave. We must be a very small minority.

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I have been in the team that cried out for more very large CM2 scenarios - similar to what was commonplace in CM1.  However, the greater granularity/detail of CM2 requires much more mental work and time commitment (for comparable size scenarios) than CM1.  These days, even a rabid "huge scenario" fan like me finds them daunting.  I still love CM2 missions of huge scope and scale - but I tend to burn out halfway through and often have to take a long break b4 continuing. 

Am not sure if that's because of the size, or because the scenarios can be so hard that the degree of mental focus required for a large scenario is exhausting.  A campaign made up of smaller missions would be interesting.  But, it could be that it's the difficulty level that is the primary challenge, not just the size.

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10 hours ago, Erwin said:

When I was younger in the cardboard WW2 wargame era you practically had to bribe an oppo to play the Allies.  Everyone wanted to play the Axis.  It seems that the Germans had all the best toys.

10 hours ago, Erwin said:

It was a surprise when CMBN came out that, presumably younger, players preferred the Allies, esp the US.

I guess it comes down to whether you're the technical kind of player who likes seeing which tanks are good against other tanks, or if you like to imagine you're fighting the good fight against nazism.

My guess would be that as the game became more realistic and 1:1, it started to draw in more of the latter group. I personally don't really care much about having the strongest tanks, what I like are the infantry tactics.

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12 hours ago, Dennis50 said:

What he said. I like your kind of annoying. Small unit action is what I crave. We must be a very small minority.

I've been trying :)

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I got one but tbh it felt "weird". I played as Germany and cease fired at a point where I controlled Verdenne and the north crossroads, but felt my force was in no condition to assault the last town. However, there was like 1 and a half hour left on the clock. So it felt like I would have to mow down the occasional american infiltrator in the woods around the crossroads while running down the clock, which is not my idea of a good time. I got a major victory and realised that there was still a significant American force in the forest (well a platoon and a heavy weapons company I guess), but they were all broken with some single rattled teams thrown in. The last town was guarded only by a scout team and 1 immobilized Sherman (also broken for some reason). So I guess I could have taken it, but it would have been pretty anticlimactic.

So in conclusion I would say the scenario has some problems with pacing.

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On 3.7.2016 at 10:09 AM, Combatintman said:

When I look at the release (based on threads) people dived into the German campaign and that is pretty much it .... shame really because the US Courage Conquers Campaign and the US Aachen mini-campaign have lots to recommend them.

Thoughts? 

I am playing the "Courage Conquers"-Campaign, just progressed to mission three. It is hard. I mean attacking in 1 to 1 numerical ratio or less is not for the faint harted. Especially when you don't receive any replacements, have to conserve HE ammo on your tanks and your infantry is crap.

I am certainly not complaining, I even found the challenge of the German "Market Garden"-Campaign cool (and it is a tactical nightmare), but I guess many players will back away from this. Especially after their command is bled white and they find out the next mission is even harder.

The Aachen Campaign will be tackled next. But honestly, knowing some of the history of the Battle of Aachen, I thought "You guys must be kidding". I think it will be a baaaad meatgrinder, just like "Courage and Fortitude".

 

Basic line is: the campaigns seem to be just for the hard-core grogs, nothing for the average player.

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18 hours ago, Ts4EVER said:

I got one but tbh it felt "weird". I played as Germany and cease fired at a point where I controlled Verdenne and the north crossroads, but felt my force was in no condition to assault the last town. However, there was like 1 and a half hour left on the clock. So it felt like I would have to mow down the occasional american infiltrator in the woods around the crossroads while running down the clock, which is not my idea of a good time. I got a major victory and realised that there was still a significant American force in the forest (well a platoon and a heavy weapons company I guess), but they were all broken with some single rattled teams thrown in. The last town was guarded only by a scout team and 1 immobilized Sherman (also broken for some reason). So I guess I could have taken it, but it would have been pretty anticlimactic.

So in conclusion I would say the scenario has some problems with pacing.

Thanks for giving it a spin - one of the issues is having to design for all three modes of play (Allied vs Axis, Axis vs Allies and H2H) and the other one with such large forces and such a large map is to 'aim off' to ensure that players have sufficient time to complete their objectives. Another factor (spoiler alert) was the need to start just before first light so as to give both sides reasonably covered approach marches while running on for sufficient time to realistically bring in Allied Air.

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In terms of content - if I'm not new to the game so don't have to learn how the interface works etc then I generally crack straight into scenarios or campaigns that interest me most.  QBs are certainly not my thing because I enjoy the thought processes of teasing out the details in the orders and then planning how to complete the mission.  That isn't to say that I never play QBs, they are a great release when I've got a spare hour and just want to go out there and zap (or get zapped) stuff.  For this title I think there were quite a few big scenarios (the Verdenne one included) which I know aren't everyone's cup of tea but for those that have the time they are worth the effort.

I think this title in particular shines because of the number of historical scenarios in it but again that is due to my personal preference of seeing if I can do better than the real World commanders.

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Eventually, here is the French version of that especially interesting scenario. Hopefully, it will make more players have fun with it.

To Verdenne & Victory » CombatMission.fr

On my side, I have to be honest : I don't play CM that much, first because it's summer and, quite unbelievably, it's actually sunny here in Belgium so no way to not be outside. Second I'm still learning ropes and anything beyond a platoon to manage is a big deal to me, so such a scenario need several game sessions just to be prepared the way I play it.

However, once I'll be "qualified" to play large scenarios, I know I will enjoy it because it's not the typical Bulge scenario, Combatintman made it so interesting for both sides and, last but not least, it happens that this scenario almost takes place in my backyard as I drive by the area quite often and actually can see Verdenne's area from my home office.

 

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I've been pulled away from RL issues over the last year with work and building a new house, which has meant getting some serious CM time in is a rareity. Still have plenty to play through of the CMFB release and I'm currently pushing through the Aachen campaign.

I think in some cases given CM's (worthy) commitment to reality, the line 'remember it's a game' gets lost in some scenario and campaign design. There's difficult, but as it's been said above, if your forces are bled white it's not a lot of fun and can drive players away; especially if they need to replay battles inside a campaign to proceed. I don't think the CM community are the type that are 'Total Victory or nothing kind' of players, but it should never be a case of expecting them to go up against insane odds or be tricked at the last hurdle.

The best example to illustrate this I can think of was the 'Scottish Corridor' campaign back in the CW module. Don't get me wrong, a brilliant campaign except for that last mission. In the mission prior, your forces have likely just taken a pounding holding off a determined attack by a company of Panthers with infantry support and artillery support. A fitting climax to the campaign... except then there's one more mission where you take whatever you had left from that battle and fight another, this time at night against fresh German armour and infantry forces. If your experience was anything like mine, you get steamrolled by forces you have no hope stopping.

If I had to define the CMx2 scenario design sweet spot - "A persistant challenge where the player always feels like they have a fighting chance." :)

And if I may @Jorge MC seems to be a master at it. In my opinion at least. :P

Edited by Ithikial_AU

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I think part of the reason for less user content is that the QB maps have improved so much, I think the FB maps are amazing and work in QB so much better than older games. 

Maybe people felt frustrated and thought they could add more to the game with their own content earlier in the series. 

I have a backlog at the moment, FB - several H2H battles on the go, trying to get into RT more as i struggle with this one (not sure if it just the larger scale or what it is).  I also want to finish my BS Russian campaign which crashed middle game and lost loads of game turns, and thats not to mention the new great swan addition to CMBN!

I need more quality CM time :D 

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6 hours ago, Placebo said:

 trying to get into RT more as i struggle with this one (not sure if it just the larger scale or what it is).  

Yeah same here, I think I posted a theory earlier regarding this: I think it is because of the less intuitive terrain.

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On 18.7.2016 at 7:50 AM, Ithikial_AU said:

The best example to illustrate this I can think of was the 'Scottish Corridor' campaign back in the CW module. Don't get me wrong, a brilliant campaign except for that last mission. In the mission prior, your forces have likely just taken a pounding holding off a determined attack by a company of Panthers with infantry support and artillery support. A fitting climax to the campaign... except then there's one more mission where you take whatever you had left from that battle and fight another, this time at night against fresh German armour and infantry forces. If your experience was anything like mine, you get steamrolled by forces you have no hope stopping.

If I had to define the CMx2 scenario design sweet spot - "A persistant challenge where the player always feels like they have a fighting chance." :)

And if I may @Jorge MC seems to be a master at it. In my opinion at least. :P

Agreed on all points.

Yep, I had this campaing in my mind too, when I started on the issue. I pulled off the night mission, even found it less hard than the day-attack by the Panther Company. Another thing griped me: I just wanted to get over the damn thing. You capture your final village after 10 or more missions... and defend it... and  defend it... and defend it. And after finally defending it and cheering this monster is finally beaten you are finished... NOT.

You get a "Bonus-Mission" which has nothing to do with the rest (plays a month later) and you can have your poor Shermys getting shredded by King Tigers instead of Panthers. Yay.

Seriously, 10-mission-campaigns with the mentioned difficulty sweet-spot are enough for people less crazy than me.

 

@ Ithikial: Thanks for mentioning Jorge MCs work, gotta check it out! :)

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2 hours ago, Ithikial_AU said:

Cheers for the praise - but we're different people. @Jorge MC does the superb skin mods, he's the Euro version of me - I'm the scenario guy, from Scotland, currently fighting a last ditch action to stay in Europe! ;)

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32 minutes ago, George MC said:

Cheers for the praise - but we're different people. @Jorge MC does the superb skin mods, he's the Euro version of me - I'm the scenario guy, from Scotland, currently fighting a last ditch action to stay in Europe! ;)

Balancing VPs might be difficult in that campaign mate ...

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21 hours ago, George MC said:

Cheers for the praise - but we're different people. @Jorge MC does the superb skin mods, he's the Euro version of me - I'm the scenario guy, from Scotland, currently fighting a last ditch action to stay in Europe! ;)

Whoops! (Well I do use some of his mods as well so... :rolleyes:)

 

 

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