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Updating Shock Force

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I am personally extremely excited to have the CMSF content brought up to current engine capabilities. There is so much content and possibility with CMSF as it is now. You can essentially simulate most major Middle East conflicts since the 1st Gulf War. While it doesn't have the most up to date equipment in service by the US Army, it does have more than enough as is. Plus, once they bring it to current engine capabilities, they can always release another module that adds all the latest toys to the game. 

I'm very much looking forward to the planned upgrade, and I'm willing to pay full price for such an upgrade. The amount of content alone is more than worth it in my opinion. And worst case scenario if people do not want to pay for the upgrade, the game is still plenty playable in its current state. 

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Here's my humble 'tweaks' wish list for the CMSF2 reboot, in priority order. I assume here that all existing CMSF and all CMBS 4.0 content and functionality becomes available. I excluded dreaming up "new" features that really need a CMx3 engine (e.g co-play, camo nets for vehicles/ fortifications, limited tank gun elevation vs adjacent targets).

Note my top asks are terrain-related, as intelligent use of cover is one of the only 'equalizers' RED has to use in the game.

1. Default modular building walls are thin, as in CMSF1 (mud brick or cinderblock), but also have heavier square pillars at the corners that provide tree trunk like cover. Can also be used to simulate open shops, garages, under construction, etc.

RPGAlley-Red.jpg

2. Buildings don't collapse very readily under HE fire, crushing occupants. Instead, thin curtain walls are readily torn away / blown out, leaving a ragged skeleton of pillars and flooring intact.

BabaAmr_ruins2.jpg

3. Building floors are dense poured cement, providing significantly better hard cover than do walls against fire directed up or down through them.

4. Custom buildings include a minaret with 2 man max capacity (and multiple textures), or at least an oversized doodad with no functionality.

5. Keep modular buildings with flat roofs and parapets a la CMSF, but give some custom buildings angled (steel or tiled) roofs.

6. Reskin the thin-walled double height 1 story European barn as a tin roofed high bay or warehouse area (no rooftop access). Option to ctrl+click remove one or more walls, leaving 4 corner pillars (i.e. the last stage of 'damage' is total removal of the wall)

7. Standard building skins include open fronted shop types ubiquitous in the Middle East.

2012_Syrian_Army.jpg

 

FSA_BabaAmr.jpg

8.  Ctrl+Alt+click window/door frame toggle includes a "gutted" version with windows and doors removed (alpha channel transparent)

Ruin1.jpg

8. At least 6 different skins for the tiny European Shed outbuilding, with minimal windows. Third world settlements contain countless sheds,  shacks, cookhouses and shanties, mostly cinderblock or mudbrick with rusty tin roofs.

9. Top asks for new Flavour objects: COSCO shipping containers, lie down freezers, an alternate skin for the bus shelter object to represent shopfront awnings.

Souk_1-1.jpg

10. Doodad cars, lorries and buses, each with multiple skins, including new, rusty and charred wreck. Also a soil type containing a slick of burned oil. (Charred wrecks add mucho atmosphere to otherwise sterile maps).

Roadblocks.jpg

11. Wider range of CM tree types including Med climate CMFI vegetation, plus conifers for higher altitude areas.

12. For each AI order, designer can paint map squares for units to *avoid* (as if it contained impassable terrain), as well as destinations. A simple fix to hinder zombietruppen banzai charging down roads etc....

AI_Fail.jpg

13.  Some way to fortify/sandbag/thicken selected walls of upper building levels, and rooftop parapets (aware that this is harder than it sounds in CMx2 as fortifications are a kind of vehicle). Perhaps just a thicker-walled small square modular building we can then use to "harden" portions of a larger structure.

14. "Rout / remove" (!) feature for all non-Fanatic Uncon infantry, not just Spies. Units removed in this way don't count as kills for VP. If possible, link rout probability to pop density (i.e. guerrillas who strike then fade into the population)

15. Tall clusters of reeds/grasses/ thornbrush for watery/marsh areas (high LOS block). These grow prolifically in any Mideast water source. Something like the growth atop gapped Bocage, without the embankments.

Mangroves.jpg

16. Units and men stay inside buildings and don't enter balconies if their facing is <30 degrees in each direction from perpendicular to that building wall. Otherwise, they do use the balcony (i.e. to gain LOS up a street).

Facing.jpg

17. Western forces facing Uncon units do not Surrender. They know what happens....

18.  Some kind of locked (driveway) gate in a High Wall section that any unit can 'Blast' a gap in without special charges, after a brief delay.  (Even better would be a Toggle allowing these gates to be freely passable to a Defender without blasting (presumed to have support of occupants), but this may require too much brainjar....)

19. Uncon sections (not snipers, MG or RPG teams) don't take a prone position when fighting, except when they Pin or Cower.  Middle Easterners tend to think of it as unmanly, unless they receive Western-style military training.

20. "Poor" equipment Uncons get SMLEs or Mausers instead of SVDs.

21. Ambient smoke and haze from explosions lingers in the air for longer (toggle it with the Toggle Smoke switch). Also, would love to see bigger plumes of smoke and more cookoffs from burning wrecks (which also turn black). Again, immersion without major new functionality.

Joker3-30min_2.jpg

22.  True Humvee guntruck with better protected gun turret, as well as "passenger" version with open topped rear and higher seating capacity (don't make me reskin a BRDM).

Guntrucks.jpg

23.  I personally like the idea of a "collonade" or a wall surface with multiple doorways, for fights in mosques or Old Town areas.

Ramadi_S_SaddamMosque_Int3.jpg


 

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Nice list. I'd settle for some how figuring out how to reconcile the CMSF trenches with the new trenches and making all the old content "work" by making sure reasonable defaults are in place for any conflict.

I tend to think that this will be a roaring success of all the old content remains at least playable to some extent. And only a partial success of old content doesn't work at all and people have to remake stuff. 

They have to bring IED's and spies to the new engine, reconcile changes to trenches and the removal of routing. Just doing all that plus testing and bug fixing is going to be a lot of work.

I would honestly be surprised if they took on anything else. Plesently surprised but surprised.

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That's a 'sandbox' game kit, which would certainly be ideal for the 2.5 of us actively designing scenarios, but is completely uneconomic as a product for BFC. As Ian says, it's pointless to dream of an extreme makeover for an old game; all we can hope is that too many older features don't get removed.

Whatever they do release needs to have content that is both fully functional and compelling to a general wargamer market in what is already a niche hobby.

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I'd be willing to buy it in chunks, as I have with CM:BN.....I'm just not interested in other games any more, the current iteration of CM has hit my personal 'sweet spot'.  My big issue is that I don't like the current modern game focus very much, I just don't want to model Russians, Ukrainians & Americans killing each other.  :(

Head-Choppers on the other hand.....

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a religious or ethnic thing with me either.....I find the misappropriation of the name of the almighty by these filth almost as abhorrent as their ghastly practices.  That the west has aided and abetted them on so many occasions, initially through short-sightedness and more recently for narrow-minded political ends, is a genuine disgrace IMHO.  :mellow:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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"I'd be willing to buy it in chunks, as I have with CM:BN.....I'm just not interested in other games any more..."

+1

I used to buy maybe 20 board wargames each year, then in the 90's, maybe 10 computer wargames each year (that usually stayed on my HD for a few weeks after which they became boring).  After CM1 came out in 1998/9(?), I have bought a total of maybe 5 or 6 other games in the last almost 20 years.  In other words I have SAVED a huge amount of money thanks to BF and the CM series. 

I guestimated the value of each CM1 game at about $300 back then.  If each CM2 title with modules and updates comes to an average of about $100 - that comes to about $400 for everything.  An extraordinary good value... 

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I have as many RPGs & board-games as I have kits, then there's my Steam collection.....All of which have been ignored for months, years in the case of the former (this will be changing on the kits front shortly as I'm co-hosting another GB on Britmodeller).

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I just reinstalled the entire Shock Force Marines, British and NATO. Restarted the TF Thunder again. What a contrast beating up on T-55s and RPG armed infantry from wide open spaces.

It sounds like there will be an update to bring it up to Black Sea standards? Hopefully 4.0 and out by next week ?

Since I now have SSD drives and more ram and a I7 processor I'll probably be able to try out some of the huge maps..

 

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After reading up further on the Iraq campaigns, I am adding a further mod request for CMSF2:

24.  Add a fourth wall type: reinforced cement wall/barrier sections in common use by Allied forces and civil highway authorities alike, both low ("Jersey barrier") and high (T wall or "Texas barriers"). Should be breachable only by fully tracked vehicles, main gun rounds, or demo charges.

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One tweak that recent experience suggests might make quite a big difference for CM:SF II would be to give UnCons the ability to anti-buddy aid (finish-off) and retrieve weapons from fallen enemies.....Players will really start to hate them (just as they should)!

Perhaps giving regular units the ability to buddy-aid and take prisoner fallen enemies while recovering their weapons might also be an idea.

Just a thought. 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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18 hours ago, Erwin said:

I'd forgotten about your Pacific Mod.  Have now d/l'd and will give it a spin.

 

Unfortunately, it was designed in 2012 with CMBN version 1.0. I gather the mods look like a mess or don't work at all with 2.0 which I never bought. Need to change my sigline I guess. 

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10 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

One tweak that recent experience suggests might make quite a big difference for CM:SF II would be to give UnCons the ability to anti-buddy aid (finish-off) and retrieve weapons from fallen enemies.....Players will really start to hate them (just as they should)!

Perhaps giving regular units the ability to buddy-aid and take prisoner fallen enemies while recovering their weapons might also be an idea.

Just a thought. 

I am not at all the blood and gore type, but that actually appeals to me. Perhaps apply the Execution not aid rule to any Fanatic unit?

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6 hours ago, LongLeftFlank said:

Unfortunately, it was designed in 2012 with CMBN version 1.0. I gather the mods look like a mess or don't work at all with 2.0 which I never bought. Need to change my sigline I guess. 

Hmm...  I thought the newer CM2 versions only messed with UI mods, not terrain and uniform mods.  I will try em and see.  Here's hoping for the best...

Re "...give UnCons the ability to anti-buddy aid (finish-off) and retrieve weapons from fallen enemies."  

Maybe have "cutting off heads mod"?  Also useful for SS troops vs enemy troops and uncon civilians?   

It's (nearly) always great to have extra features.  And the above wouldn't bother me.  But, need to consider that this feature could get "creatively misused" generating complaints (although on the bright side it could get CM2 featured on CNN).

Edited by Erwin

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How?  You either have head-choppers on your team (in which case they chop heads), or you don't.....I wouldn't be keen on extending this ability to units other than UnCons of the nastier type.  It could be argued that it should be available to Soviet Partisans too, but we don't actually have any of those yet.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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It didn't seem to matter whether I simply put ZZZ's in front of the Pacific Folder and booted up, or if I removed my entire Z folder with its massive array of mods and only used the Pacific Island mods.

What seems to work perfectly is the tropical sounds, birds etc; and the jungle foliage.  Some of the buildings esp the 2-floor ones had bamboo walls.  But other buildings (most of the smaller ones) had stone or brick walls as in Normandy.  And all buildings still had the Normandy slate or tile roofs.

In the lagoon it looked like there were a bunch of bridge elements.  So, I guess that didn't work either.

The US troops looked like Normandy, not Marines.

From the Jap side, the wooden bunkers looked v good, but the stone ones looked like Normandy.  The Jap floating icons looked v good.  But, the uniforms and faces were still Brits.  :( 

So...  The mod works perfectly if one wanted a map that had only jungle and wooden bunkers but no buildings.  Perhaps if you play Blue, the Brit unit uniforms would work for Imphal or Kohima or India...  Maybe with the short pants and sleeves of the Afrika Korps mod.  (Or am I getting confused with CM1?)

Edited by Erwin

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Memory is hazy 5 years on, but I think I used Poles for Japanese or sumfink, so there could be a possibility of CBI/SEA theatre.... you'd have hetai carrying Lee Enfields and stuff, but wev.

Edited by LongLeftFlank

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amazing to think you did that 5 years ago...   We while away lifetimes just on this one game system. 

But, for people wanting Pacific Theatre, this is 90% there.  Just need to bring the uniforms and some of the buildings (and maybe the stone bunkers) up to latest version.  The desert island terrain and wood bunkers look great.  Maybe repost on CMBN forums and see if anyone else want to do the extra modding needed?

BTW:  What were the bridge sections stuck in the lagoon supposed to be modded as?

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As an interim measure, just updating the current CM game to BS standards would be good. Making Ant aircraft weapons function as such would be more than welcome. As would adding drones and relevant additional  terrain (rivers, maybe railways)

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Adding new forces like the Turkish and Iranian armies along with other non-state actors might be a good idea. In fact why not add Syrian/Russian forces as well.

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