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Macisle

The Radzy Award: Scenario Test & Discussion Thread

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I have started work on this again under the 4.0 Engine Upgrade.

I did a very quick first pass of giving the AI support units (armor and MG groups) Area Fire targets and am doing a play-through of the results. I haven't changed any of the AI moves yet.

I must say I really like what 4.0 is doing. The Area Fire command is coded very well. If you want intense fire, you can choose a single target and give it whatever amount of time. If you want to keep the player guessing, you can choose mulltiple targets and the AI units will hit them randomly. In both case, the amount of fire is not as intense as when the player sets a target, so the AI doesn't burn up its ammo too fast. What BF has done here seem very well thought out. The AI will switch attention to identified targets within LOS and then switch pack to Area fire targets if nothing else is in LOS. A VERY COOL, FUNCTIONAL feature.

The psychological difference is night and day for the player. Now, just like with H2H play, a player never knows when the enemy might put a round into a building. Just because an AI tank has been sitting there for awhile without firing doesn't mean your units are safe. It may decide to put a round (or light MG fire)  into a building at any time. And, with 32 orders, the designer has plenty of orders to say, let the AI Area fire for a few turns, stop firing long enough for the player to feel safe and move his units back into target zones, and then have the AI start Area Firing on them again.

AI infantry is just plain fighting and moving better. It's beautiful to behold. I was thinking earlier that I might use the extra orders to help the AI use smarter paths (like leading it to the desired building entrances), but it may not be necessary now.

The self-preservation behavior means that sometimes the player's forces are going to be falling back--even when he'd rather they didn't. This scenario is all about choosing when to fall back and where to make a stand. So, the player will have to be ready to roll with it when his men decide to bug out. So far, I'm liking this dynamic. Also, suicidal rout paths have not been bad so far during this first playtest.

I think I'm going to go with one AI Plan for initial release. I want to get this done so I can move on to other projects and I think the replay value in the current plan is quite high, especially with what the 4.0 Upgrade has brought. Assuming he is playing on Warrior/Elite/Iron, a player could actually play this quite a few times using different approaches and feel like his knowledge of the scenario isn't helping him that much, with surprises each time.

Anyhoo, things are looking good. I still need to get folks to help me sort out the Victory Point distribution. I'll post on that when I finish this test.

I'm looking very, very forward to a new round of playtests, finishing things up and getting this puppy out there!

Edited by Macisle

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A quick update:

I've had to take some time away again for work.

The integration of the v4 Upgrade features is going well. Having 32 Orders is great, but the remaining limit of 16 Groups is proving to be a bit of a bear. I've been experimenting with creative ways to "stretch" that limit with reinforcement additions to existing Groups.

An additional idea that I thought was going to be gold turned out, after a couple of weeks of work, to be a dead end. I misunderstood the Exit Zone point information in the manual and didn't realize that ALL units with Unit Objective values assigned for Destroy/DA, no matter which group they are in, must exit or have their point values be awarded to the opposing player.

I was trying to have AI support vehicles come in at the beginning of the scenario, lay down Area Fire for a period of time, exit by a certain time at their friendly map edge, and then have a different formation replace their group contents to tackle other objectives and stay on the map for the duration. In other words:

  • AFVs roll in and shoot up things for awhile while other friendly units advance under that covering fire.
  • The AFVs then exit off their own friendly map edge.
  • Infantry reinforcements arrive after the AFVs are gone and replace the now empty contents of that same group.
  • The infantry picks up with the next new group order and stays on the map for the battle.

I got it all working smoothly and was really happy with what it did for the scenario.

But...of course...I now realize that can't do it if I want to have any Unit Objective points awarded for AI casualties--which I do.

Major Bummer.

Here's hoping that future upgrades expand the number of available groups (32+ please!) and make Exit Zones more customizable for the designer so that ideas like the one above can be used.

This sets me back time-wise, but at least I've learned a few things along the way.

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Macisle,

  Sorry I've been absent from working on the 3.0 version of your battle.  Now that I've upgraded to 4.0, I might be able to start over and provide some assistance.  I liked your earlier version, even though Hans managed to crash the AT gun into a building and then the gun couldn't be moved out.  I might give Hans a second chance to redeem his combat prowess in your 4.0 version.

  Is there any way you could balance the points situation problem you note above by simply giving the non-AI side a set point bonus to counteract the points they wouldn't be getting due to the Exit Zones situation?  Just my two cents, as I really don't know the complexities associated with creating scenarios like the one you are wrestling with.  It all sounds very interesting though.

Heinrich505

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I certanly agree with your wish for additional AI-groups. It's on the very top of my wishlist actually.

Just like you i have been forced to 'cheat' by using reinforcements instead of extra AI-groups when making scenarios. Perhaps not in the exact way you described but i also run out of avaliable AI groups.

The problem with limited AI-groups may not be all that great when designing PLAYER ATTACKING scenarios as a large part of the AI force may be stationarybut when designing PLAYER DEFENSIVE scenarios it most certanly is a problem. There simply is not enough AI-groups avaliable.


If the player is defending an area with a company sized force then the AI will need to be attacking with something like a battalion atleast.If you split that battalion into platoon-sized AI-groups that more or less means that you have used up all of your AI-groups right away.

Platoon-sized AI-groups might work OK in many situations but atleast i have found that often you would like to use smaller AI-groups to better controll the AI.

Waisting all 16 AI groups on the infantry leaves nothing left to include some supporting armour/ vehicles in the AI force.

If you do decide to include some vehicles into your scenario it is many times preferable to make each individual vehicle a seperate AI-group. This eats through the avaliable AI-groups quickly.

With only 16 AI-groups avaliable i have found it a bit tricky to 'peal off' parts of the battalion to defend ground taken. I may not want an entire platoon or even platoon+ sized force to defend a small objective/ key terrain secured by the AI forces (they are still needed on the attack).

Having more AI-groups avaliable would allow me to to that atleast to some greater degree.

In V4.0 we have been granted the ability to issue area target orders to the AI-plans. This finally will give the scenario designer atleast some controll of how the AI will use its mortars in mid-game.

If you asign an on-map mortar section to its own AI-group you will be able to decide where and when that indirect support asset will fire (using areatarget)...you will not be limited to a turn 1, random bombardment any more wich is brilliant.

Having a few of these mortar AI-groups also eats up the number of avaliable AI-groups quickly though.


So yes. I agree...More AI-groups, please !!

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12 hours ago, Heinrich505 said:

Macisle,

  Sorry I've been absent from working on the 3.0 version of your battle.  Now that I've upgraded to 4.0, I might be able to start over and provide some assistance.  I liked your earlier version, even though Hans managed to crash the AT gun into a building and then the gun couldn't be moved out.  I might give Hans a second chance to redeem his combat prowess in your 4.0 version.

  Is there any way you could balance the points situation problem you note above by simply giving the non-AI side a set point bonus to counteract the points they wouldn't be getting due to the Exit Zones situation?  Just my two cents, as I really don't know the complexities associated with creating scenarios like the one you are wrestling with.  It all sounds very interesting though.

Heinrich505

Thanks, Heinrich. I think you can leave off on the version you have--other than letting me know how things go if you play to the bitter end. That version was really an attempt to get something done quickly (though I did put some time into it) and "good enough." The armor orders were woefully out of whack, though it did make fodder for intense play that had some decent fun value in it. Also, my grasp of Order exit timings was off (as my earlier postings revealed). I've grokked them now.

The current version has armor providing much more realistic support. Also, I scrapped the canned opening for a more standard freeform one, though with its own "shaping" to overcome AI limitations given the large map and good defensive terrain and thus allow the AI to get a foot in the door it otherwise might not.

At this point, I do really need fresh eyes to help me judge if I've hit my difficulty level target of "Defensive Scenario Challenging for Experienced CM'ers." My level of familiarity with things is now such that I think I'm no longer able to judge that adequately.

So, I'd love to get your help. I may have you try the first half of the scenario in isolation to save time. However, I need cut the current temporary fire support groups and rework things first. It will be a few weeks. Right now, I don't see any way of dealing with the exit points issue other than having the player only get points for territory. I think the satisfaction value of the human player's earning casualty points outweighs the battlefield value of the temporary fire support groups.

11 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

I certanly agree with your wish for additional AI-groups. It's on the very top of my wishlist actually.

Just like you i have been forced to 'cheat' by using reinforcements instead of extra AI-groups when making scenarios. Perhaps not in the exact way you described but i also run out of avaliable AI groups.

The problem with limited AI-groups may not be all that great when designing PLAYER ATTACKING scenarios as a large part of the AI force may be stationarybut when designing PLAYER DEFENSIVE scenarios it most certanly is a problem. There simply is not enough AI-groups avaliable.


If the player is defending an area with a company sized force then the AI will need to be attacking with something like a battalion atleast.If you split that battalion into platoon-sized AI-groups that more or less means that you have used up all of your AI-groups right away.

Platoon-sized AI-groups might work OK in many situations but atleast i have found that often you would like to use smaller AI-groups to better controll the AI.

Waisting all 16 AI groups on the infantry leaves nothing left to include some supporting armour/ vehicles in the AI force.

If you do decide to include some vehicles into your scenario it is many times preferable to make each individual vehicle a seperate AI-group. This eats through the avaliable AI-groups quickly.

With only 16 AI-groups avaliable i have found it a bit tricky to 'peal off' parts of the battalion to defend ground taken. I may not want an entire platoon or even platoon+ sized force to defend a small objective/ key terrain secured by the AI forces (they are still needed on the attack).

Having more AI-groups avaliable would allow me to to that atleast to some greater degree.

In V4.0 we have been granted the ability to issue area target orders to the AI-plans. This finally will give the scenario designer atleast some controll of how the AI will use its mortars in mid-game.

If you asign an on-map mortar section to its own AI-group you will be able to decide where and when that indirect support asset will fire (using areatarget)...you will not be limited to a turn 1, random bombardment any more wich is brilliant.

Having a few of these mortar AI-groups also eats up the number of avaliable AI-groups quickly though.


So yes. I agree...More AI-groups, please !!

Yeah, I could actually barely do the current concept under a limit of 16 Orders, but the limit of 16 Groups really puts an undesirable lid on things. You've identified a lot of the issues created.

So, taking the player's company versus, say, a battalion of Soviets...

3 x 3 platoons of infantry = 9 Groups.

Divide the MG company to support each company.

3 x MG platoon = 12 Groups.

Now, give each company a platoon of armor in support.

3 tank platoons = 15 Groups.

That leaves 1 remaining group for things like FO and static units (who may be used to "beam in" to hold taken territory). Since static units are meant not to move, that already creates an either static OR FO conundrum. Additionally, if you go with FOs, trying to get multiple FOs under one Group to reach multiple new locations that are far apart can produce iffy results in route choice.

So, as you can see, this puts major limitations on the attacking AI, as the battalion can barely be fit under orders at the platoon-sized Group level, with no room for HQ or single-vehicle separation. Here are just a few of the problems that arise:

  • Once a platoon loses an AFV from the platoon, the AI may not have one where his next order needs it (if there are 2 tanks left and 3 painted location tiles, the AI will choose 2 tiles randomly from the 3). The human player who needs fire support for his advancing infantry will just pull a tank over from somewhere else. Easy-peasy. The AI might well send in its infantry without the tank support, instead sending its tanks to locations with no utility. Not having to worry about the number of Groups available would allow the designer to reduce the impact of the problem by using single-vehicle Groups to "layer" overwatch and take random movement location tile decision-making away from the AI.
  • As a single AI Group, an infantry platoon cannot effectively provide fire support for itself when advancing. While the human player has no trouble breaking up his infantry platoon into fire support and assault elements (and can choose the best tools for each job), the best the AI can do is use Assault movement. This is not adequate--especially if the AI's platoon has already taken some casualties. So, for any hope of effective support fire, the AI must have at least 2 Groups to leapfrog each other at that point of attack. That really compounds the problem of having such a low number of Groups available.
  • As RepsolCBR mentioned, the current Group number limit makes it hard to find units to hold territory that has been taken. The human player can peel off whatever he needs and leave it to hold the Objective. The variables involved with an Attacking AI (how many troops does the AI Group have left? What location tiles are painted? How will remaining units be applied to those tiles?) mean that the designer's safest choice is to have a Group occupy and sit on an Objective for the duration. Otherwise, there may be nothing there when needed later. Yet, once they are in place, that's a Group out of action for any other purpose.

Right now, two techniques that I'm using to help mitigate these problems are "Snowballing" and "Beam-ins."

Snowballing is adding new units to an on-map Group via reinforcements to expand its utility and allow for a large change of tasks. For example, the group may start out as a tank platoon with responsibility for ranged fire support for advancing infantry. Then later, reinforcement infantry assigned to the same Group as the tanks may beam-in to a safe, nearby location (or one more distant and leg it over) and join the tanks to form a combined arms assault group to advance in and take ground. The snowballing Group can also evolve from light recon elements to recon in force to a strong combined-arms assault group as time goes on. With experience and careful use of Orders and their timing, this technique can bear some very nice fruit, despite vehicles being mixed in with infantry under a single Group.

Beam-ins (in addition to being an inherent part of Snowballing) are used to add static elements and/or important units that need to survive a dangerous journey (like FOs) and be guaranteed to be in a location at a certain time (movement that may be simple for the human player, but suicidal when left to the AI). They can also be used to "stretch" a Group's utility by adding static elements after an existing Group has finished its movement on the map. For example, an infantry platoon spends an hour fighting across the map, passing location A and B and then stops for the duration on C. At a point in time after the last movement Order is finished, reinforcements beam in to place elements (infantry, ATGs, FOs, whatever) to hold and defend points A and B. Nobody moves unless pushed out because there are no more movement Orders in the Group slot. Of course, care must be taken and playtesting done with this technique to make sure that the beam-ins are not spawning in an unrealistic location in relation to the human player's troops.

So, you can see part of why this scenario is taking so long. It really boils down to me fighting to fit my concept into the barrel of the current 16-Group limit. It's getting there, though.

Oh, and FYI, I gave up on the Photoshop planning technique once I reached a certain point in development of the scenario (no surprise for experienced designers there, I'm sure). The changes were just too fast and numerous to make it practical. Also, my mind was eventually able to handle more data without needing it. It did help quite a lot for the first pass, though.

Thanks for the responses and interest in the scenario/this thread. Hopefully, it is continuing to provide some brain food and will eventually lead to a pleasing scenario.

Edit:

I forgot to mention, for future upgrades, I'd love to see the AI Area Fire feature be divided into "Normal" and "Heavy" settings. The Normal would be like it is now. The Heavy would allow the designer to have units make their target orders priority, like the Target and Target Briefly commands do now. So, for example, the designer could say, have fire support groups do a minute of Heavy, and then follow up with Normal for a number of minutes. As things stand, it can be hard to get the AI to provide the kind of fire support a human player easily can, even if the AI has a lot of potential firepower in that Group.

Edited by Macisle

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Quick status update on this:

If I don't find any major problems in my current playtest, I'll be ready to have folks start testing version 2, which heavily integrates 4.0 features. The scenario briefing materials have already been updated (may need a few minor tweaks). I'm planning to add more battle damage to the map, but will do that while folks are testing things.

I'm looking very forward to gettiing outside input. No promises, but it could be as early as this weekend.

When I'm ready, I'll post the updated briefing materials and ask for PMs from those interested in testing (will probably use TPG for future testing, but want a "soft round" to polish a bit first).

Thanks.

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I'm still working on my playtest, but I think I'll go ahead and post the briefing materials and start lining up testers. If anyone is interested in testing, please PM me. I'll PM you a dropbox link when I am ready to have you start testing. I may or may not tweak a few things based on what has happened in the playtest so far. -Need to get a little further before I decide on that.

Here is the breifing (designer's notes are below the tactical map):

33985193656_2de3724716_o.jpg

Thanks in advance for your interest and help!

Macisle

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FWIW – some observations on the briefing.

 

Use Platoon/Pl or PLT vice PN (which is not a recognised abbreviation)

 

Sections 1-3 etc – would normally be written as 1-3 Sections or 1 Sect, 2 Section etc.

 

‘Defender’ – should be ‘defender’.

 

While you have an arrow linking the LH and RH maps, it is difficult to see the relationship between LH map and RH map and they are not oriented the same way.

 

Important Rail link – where is it? Also talk of the Northern Rail Bank which has been fortified with heavy weapons … where is the Northern Rail Bank and whose heavy weapons?

Reinforcements – from which direction(s)?

Air support …. Likely strength?

Med Howitzers A and B are meaningless terms (say what they are eg 4 x 105mm)

Likewise ‘Hvy Howitzers’ (say what they are eg 4 x 170mm)

 

The briefing states that you are in command of the vanguard reinforcement group … but don’t state what that comprises.  From my perspective it is always helpful to clearly state somewhere what the friendly force is.

 

Simple wording observation ‘in the town of Radzy’ could be replaced by ‘in Radzy’.

 

Otherwise nice work on the graphics – you have made a good attempt to add to the immersive feel.

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On 4/15/2017 at 8:35 AM, Combatintman said:

FWIW – some observations on the briefing.

 

Use Platoon/Pl or PLT vice PN (which is not a recognised abbreviation)

 

Sections 1-3 etc – would normally be written as 1-3 Sections or 1 Sect, 2 Section etc.

 

‘Defender’ – should be ‘defender’.

 

While you have an arrow linking the LH and RH maps, it is difficult to see the relationship between LH map and RH map and they are not oriented the same way.

 

Important Rail link – where is it? Also talk of the Northern Rail Bank which has been fortified with heavy weapons … where is the Northern Rail Bank and whose heavy weapons?

Reinforcements – from which direction(s)?

Air support …. Likely strength?

Med Howitzers A and B are meaningless terms (say what they are eg 4 x 105mm)

Likewise ‘Hvy Howitzers’ (say what they are eg 4 x 170mm)

 

The briefing states that you are in command of the vanguard reinforcement group … but don’t state what that comprises.  From my perspective it is always helpful to clearly state somewhere what the friendly force is.

 

Simple wording observation ‘in the town of Radzy’ could be replaced by ‘in Radzy’.

 

Otherwise nice work on the graphics – you have made a good attempt to add to the immersive feel.

Thank you very much for the feedback on the briefing, Combatintman.

I'll put some of your notation suggestions into practice. My use of "Defender" wasn't a typo. I often use a starting cap for key words as a kind of a personal style (frequently seen in my forum posts). However, since there are no other words in the text to clue the reader in to it being a style and not a typo, I should probably change it to standard.

The LH and RH maps have different North arrow angles, which is supposed to help show their orientation. The orientations and rail station locations become very clear as soon as you see the map in-game. However, I should probably add a bit more detail to the tactical map. The tactical map's main purpose is to make the Terrain Objectives (an example of that personal writing style) clear. Those are hard to identify in-game in places, mainly due to roads.

The RH map does show the directions and general locations for reinforcement arrivals. Are those unclear?

Usually, I would be pretty detailed about the player's force, but have intentionally made things as vague as possible to reflect that chaos of the situation. "A" and "B" for the Medium Howitzers lets the player know that two batteries are coming--rather than a potential line repeat in the graphic. It may not be worth being so vague on the arty though, so I'll probably change that to what you suggest. However, on the other reinforcements, I'll likely stick with things as they are.

 I could add details on the player's core infantry force in the briefing, as the player is assumed to be the HQ leader in that formation and would know them. I'm trying to keep the briefing as short as I can, though. In the early days of CM, I liked long briefings. Now, I like them to be as short as possible. However, as I'm already on a second page and can summarize the force with minimal text, I'll probably go ahead and do that for those that really like having that info.

Thanks again for your input. I appreciate it!

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A quick update:

I got close to reinforcement arrival time in my playtest, but ran out of time. Things are looking good, but I need to tweak some of the mid-game AI timings. I'll finish the playthrough completely first, though.

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@Macisle - no worries at all.  My bad on the reinforcements - it is clear, I can't work out why I didn't see the annotations the first time.  Otherwise, like everything to do with mission design, we all have our own styles and I understand the thinking behind how you've structured the brief.  Good luck with the rest of it.

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Thanks for the thanks, guys!

I'm looking very forward to getting feedback on version 1.

BTW, I tried to get the scenario up on TSDIII, but it's not letting me log in (and doesn't use a secure login). I'll have to contact the admin, but probably won't have time to sort it out before the weekend.

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-Have been on break from CM for a number of weeks, but I finally got the file up on TSDIII. Here's a link to the page:

The Radzy Award V1

Anyone who is interested, please take a crack at the scenario and post your thoughts here. I have not received any feedback on V1 yet, so anything at all would be appreciated. It doesn't need to be long or detailed. Thanks.

Macisle

Edited by Macisle

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On ‎2017‎-‎07‎-‎16 at 4:01 AM, Macisle said:

I have not received any feedback on V1 yet

 

That's depressing to read...:(

After god knows how many hours of work that have gone into this one and not a single word from the 'downloaders'...ooouch !

I'm afraid that personally i'm unable to provide any feedback at the moment. I'm struggeling with getting my 'old' computer up and running again after having some problems.with it. I have reinstalled Windows (windows 10 instead of the previous windows 7) and Everything seems to be working fine except on thing...The bloody windows keeps overwriting my Nvidia drivers and change back to CPU Graphics cars (i think). This is prohibbiting me from playing any CM games right now :angry:

I have been googeling about this and there is an issuie with Nvidia cards and windows 10 apparently...I have tried all the tweaks i can find on Youtube but no luck so far...

I will have to take my machine to the local computerstore and see if they can fix it...but they are closed for holidays right now...

Ones i get everything up and running your scenarios is on the top of my list to be played  :) and i will submit a report of the battle...

/RepsolCBR

 

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5 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

That's depressing to read...:(

After god knows how many hours of work that have gone into this one and not a single word from the 'downloaders'...ooouch !

I'm afraid that personally i'm unable to provide any feedback at the moment. I'm struggeling with getting my 'old' computer up and running again after having some problems.with it. I have reinstalled Windows (windows 10 instead of the previous windows 7) and Everything seems to be working fine except on thing...The bloody windows keeps overwriting my Nvidia drivers and change back to CPU Graphics cars (i think). This is prohibbiting me from playing any CM games right now :angry:

I have been googeling about this and there is an issuie with Nvidia cards and windows 10 apparently...I have tried all the tweaks i can find on Youtube but no luck so far...

I will have to take my machine to the local computerstore and see if they can fix it...but they are closed for holidays right now...

Ones i get everything up and running your scenarios is on the top of my list to be played  :) and i will submit a report of the battle...

/RepsolCBR

 

Thanks, RepsolCBR! Sorry to hear about your computer woes. I look very forward to hearing your battle report when you get up and running again and have a chance to play it.

It's only been up on TSDIII since Sunday. The dropbox file linked to a few posts up in this thread (same file as on TSDIII) has been up since 6/4. I don't know how many downloads that one has had, but given the location of the link, I can't expect too much. I was hoping for at least a little feedback to allow for any tweaks before posting to TDSIII, but no worries.

Hopefully, now that it is in a prominent place, folks will give it a try and some will drop a line here to give their thoughts on it.

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Sorry about not getting feedback back to you after all the amazing work you (and other designers) have recently done.  You must be frustrated.

In my case I am going thru a particularly bad CM2 burn-out period and can't stomach playing CM at present.  Playing Grigsby's WITPAE to give my brain a rest(!).   Hopefully, I will be back in due course.  

But, it is disturbing that so few players or scenario testers seem to be left on these forums.  I suspect we hobbyists have become fragmented over so many CM2 game "families".  It's a bit ridiculous that we have players who only buy one or two families at most and therefore have very few others to talk or play with (at least from BF forums). The paucity of people in any one forum could end up killing the CM market. 

The great thing about CM1 was that we were all on one to three forums max and it was far easier to get enthusiastic testers and players.  Hope that BF finds a way to consolidate all CM(3?) games in one compatible engine so we can once again have a lot more people on fewer forums.

 

Edited by Erwin

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6 hours ago, Erwin said:

Sorry about not getting feedback back to you after all the amazing work you (and other designers) have recently done.  You must be frustrated.

In my case I am going thru a particularly bad CM2 burn-out period and can't stomach playing CM at present.  Playing Grigsby's WITPAE to give my brain a rest(!).   Hopefully, I will be back in due course.  

But, it is disturbing that so few players or scenario testers seem to be left on these forums.  I suspect we hobbyists have become fragmented over so many CM2 game "families".  It's a bit ridiculous that we have players who only buy one or two families at most and therefore have very few others to talk or play with (at least from BF forums). The paucity of people in any one forum could end up killing the CM market. 

The great thing about CM1 was that we were all on one to three forums max and it was far easier to get enthusiastic testers and players.  Hope that BF finds a way to consolidate all CM(3?) games in one compatible engine so we can once again have a lot more people on fewer forums.

 

Thanks for the update, Erwin. Just drop a line here when you get back into CM and have a chance to play the scenario. Don't worry about writing anything too detailed. I spent a ton of time on it, but of course time spent doesn't automatically equal good. Here's hoping!

I've been away from CM for the summer due to a combination of RL time demands and burnout. I almost picked up Hearts of Iron III on summer sale, but couldn't afford to get into something new that deep. I really wanted to get Grigsby's War in the East, but for the same reason and a much higher price, I passed on it as well. I did, however, pick up RO1 and am in love with the Darkest Hour mod. The new features that will be added in the upcoming 8.0 version are very exciting. The gameplay blows RO2 completely out of the water. It's really too bad that they pushed that one in a more mainstream direction. I don't even feel the need to fire it up anymore (the RO2 art team did an amazing job on everything but the soldiers, though).

I think I'm going to get a cheap headset and join one of the sim groups that focuses on Darkest Hour. I can't afford to put too much time into it, but man, what a cool virtual first-person WWII experience!

Back to CM...

I understand that demands on people's time and attention are ever-increasing. Be it real life, non-gaming entertainments or the world of gaming, options are ever-increasing. I know that I've sometimes been guilty of not following through on my good intentions with regards to feedback and likes. Sometimes, you're just spread too thin.

Anyhoo, what comes is what comes. I do hope folks are enjoying the scenario. I'll save any of my own thoughts on it until players post feedback.

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