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OT-Graviteam Tactics

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How is it? It looks nice but other than that I don't know much about it. Operation Muis seems like latest iteration.

I think I once had it years ago as Operation Kharkov which I may have somewhere along with Tiger vs T-34 which I never played.

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Best thing to do is try the GTOS demo, if still available. Also, there are a lot of past threads on it here.

Some CM'ers love it. Others can't get into it. I bought it, but quickly stopped playing. The lack of fine control over infantry, cheesy infantry graphics (some graphical elements are better than CMx2, it just depends on what you're looking at) and UI (I'm fine with the CM UI, but the GTOS UI was the most off-putting I have ever used) outweighed what I liked about it. Basically, I didn't find anything in it that gave me enough of a reason to play it over CM.

Having said that, the design choices are different enough for the two series that I don't consider them to be in direct competition. You may well enjoy having both. Also, it looks like Mius Front may have a lot of improvements, though I haven't played it or read a detailed review.

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4 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Can you stop and replay Graviteam Tactics games, or is it like RT play of CM2 - where you miss 90% of the action?

Oh, yeah...that was another thing. Paused RT play only with no replay, IIRC.

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I bit the bullet and bought Muis Front. Played the first tutorial and a small quick battle. It has its charm and I can see why many would like it, but it seems a bit busy to me and it's not quite my thing. 

I may have to watch some YouTube videos and try it out some more. 

I do prefer the WEGO of Combat Mission more and definitely like being able to replay turns. 

I could see myself enjoying very tiny battles in Graviteam say 1-4 tanks and a small section of infantry. It would appear larger battles it would be hard to keep track of things and it becomes a clickfest?

To some degree it reminds me of the Wargame series which I never could get into.

Only time will tell if Graviteam turns into another $$$ spent that I never play.

i put it aside for the moment-I started Meijel Mayhem as FB battle and down loaded KGr Von Schroif 

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I agree with everything @Macisle said about the game. I don't like the UI, the action is real time so things are missed, and a lot of it felt rather gimmicky. For example, the flares and smoke grenades infantry seem to throw at random during firefights. That and I could never really get a hang of the controls. It feels more like you give very generic orders and then watch them kinda play out. Overall I wasn't a huge fan. 

I will say that the vehicle graphics and physics (armor being blown off, full destruction models with burning tanks and such, and things like tracks throwing mud around) are a very nice immersive touch that CM lacks. That said, I much prefer what you get with CM, and if that means no fancy mud flaps for my tanks, then so be it. 

Just my 2 cents. 

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Played a little more. It may grow on me. If you have a powerful workstation the graphics are very nice. The infantry isn't bad IMO and the tanks definitely have a nice feel to it. It  feels from my very early impression and lack of experience with it all as something where you give orders and watch it play out, you can change things once things get going but there is so much going on that its not like CM where you feel like you have more control. One might argue that commanders really didn't have much control once the fight started.I'm finding it very hard to see the infantry once the fight starts. I'm running the game at 1680x1050

The Muis Front which I got has a different interface that supposedly takes the feedback from players and improves on previous versions. I have no idea if morale, leadership, command and control or ammo is modeled. I do notice that where in Red Thunder the Russians don't have a lot in the ways of smoke, in Muis Front they seem to have no shortage of it-at least from what I've seen so far.

I would really love to see WEGO and replay added. Other things I noticed is big red explosions, like someone loaded dye or red paint in some of the shells like Oddball from Kelly Heroes

A different approach than CM.

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I see from their site that Graviteam also produce some good-looking first person sim type games where you can crew a tank etc.  Like a much better version of the xnt but very buggy Panzer Elite.  That type of game may be much more fun.

Anyone played those?

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54 minutes ago, Erwin said:

I see from their site that Graviteam also produce some good-looking first person sim type games where you can crew a tank etc.  Like a much better version of the xnt but very buggy Panzer Elite.  That type of game may be much more fun.

Anyone played those?

If you're referring to T-55 or the T-72 sim you may want to consider Steel Beasts 4.0 instead. 

I haven't tried the single player Grav. sims so I can't comment on them but I do have Steel Beasts 4.0.

I still have original Panzer Elite and the ref. manual is nice. I felt bad for the creator as it sounded like he did most if not all of the work himself and when it was first released a lot of people ruthlessly attacked the product and he took it personally.

Sure it wasn't perfect but he obviously put his heart and soul into it and for what it was it wasn't that bad. 

I know there is some independent modding going on with it but I haven't played or installed it in years.

I don't know of any realistic WW2 tank sim where you command a single tank or platoon. I've heard rumors but nothing solid.

Speaking of oldies but goodies I still have IL2 installed and with the new mods and add ons it's still a viable sim even after 15 years....

 

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Man, I have all the IL2 games and modules etc.  Never got to even load em!!  :wacko:   CM2 is a "vampire" game that sucked all the precious life force gaming time out of me.

Panzer Elite was so buggy that it would crash most games I played.  Then there were some great mods.  But, it started to feel like you needed to be a programmer to get everything working.

Re Graviteam check out their Steel Armor series ("Basra 86" and "Blaze of War") for what looks like a Panzer Elite-like game. 

Edited by Erwin

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That brings back memories. I loved Panzer Elite. I think I still have the CD and manuals somewhere. Wasn't the creator "Teut" on the forums? I think that was the first game forum I started reading regularly, until CM came along.

After a few patches, I don't remember the bugs being too bad. My main disappointment with it was the infantry being such a small part and only 2d sprites. Otherwise, it was great--especially for the time period. I've always hoped a new version would come out with current graphics.

I do remember that in the German campaign, I started having an issue with ammo. I wasn't losing many tanks (IIRC, I played on 100% realism), but my ammo supply got very low so that I had a large fleet of vehicles, but few rounds between them.

In fact, PE was the game that taught me that American TDs could indeed take out Tigers and Panthers frontally.

Yeah, CMx2 has indeed been a body blow to my spending time on any other games...or hobbies...or exercise...or....

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Like others, I own Graviteam Tactics, however I never did get into it.  I feel like I'm more part of the action with the CM games and that the terrain actually 

HAS an effect. I just don't know with Graviteam.

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As a fan of real-time play in CM games I enjoy Graviteam Tactics a lot. Yeah it's realtime (which again is a non-issue for me, on the contrary) and in some ways simplified compared to the tactical depth of CM - namely infantry. And no you don't miss most of the action - in that regard GT is way slower than CM and battles do take time - not a bad thing, just different.

The major thing that sets GT apart for me is its dynamic campaigns. You choose where to fight, when to retreat and resupply and all losses are persistent. Yeah it's possible to fail after several pyrrhic victories.

Plus vehicle damage system is quite nice visually, you can really see bits and pieces fall off tanks and APCs... Now you may have noticed the word 'visually' - yeah in that regard CM simulates vehicle system damage to a much deeper degree, just doesn't represent it as well.

Granted visuals may be due to Graviteam Tactics having a really nice tank simulator spinoff - Steel Armor: Blaze of War. Highly recommended if you are into tanks and even if you have Steel Beasts Pro - since it's quite a different beast.

I think GT shouldn't be treated as an "competition" to Combat Mission really. It is actually heavily inspired by Close Combat and in many ways plays really similarly, except in full 3D.

 

Now another question - which one to pick - Operation Star or Mius Front. I own them both and, well, MF is quite raw at the moment. Content-wise it's far behind Operation Star with all DLCs and is mostly a (very nice) UI overhaul instead of a proper sequel. They even resell you the same map DLC from Operation Star without any change. So if you can stomach a cluttered UI of GTOS (and we wargamers do love horrible UIs, or so all those devs think) - it's a far better choice right now, especially since it goes on sale quite often with all the additional content. Mius Front needs time and sadly doesn't offer many new things... I'd say even less than CMFB vs CMBfN.

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Ah yes Teut sounds about right he would come on the forum say hi and you could tell he was probably a very nice person in real life. Then some would just say nasty about the game, that must have been really discouraging. A lot of us really got pissed at the people saying bad things and let them have it. For a small what seemed to be a one or 2 man operation PE was quite amazing and you really couldn't do the things you get today with the hardware that was available. 486 CPUs and a new thing called a diamond graphics card. Was playing European Air War and Janes Combat Simulations back then.

Regarding GT Tactics-I give it 2 thumbs up and will get the 2 DLCs for Muis. It has its flaws but overall its a good game. Its a different perspective and feel than Combat Mission, but once you get used to it, its very enjoyable. Unless I'm missing something you do miss things as there is no replay and in RT things happen and you don't see it at the time.

I may get Operation Star, but need to see just what you get and I have other questions.

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I vaguely recall that the PE people ended up making a World of Tanks type multiplayer game using the PE name.  (The horror.)

So no one has played their tank simulator spinoff - Steel Armor: Blaze of War or Basra 86? 

Those look interesting if one liked what Panzer Elite was trying to do.  Was wondering if one could use some of the CM2 scenarios to create a Graviteam  scenario.  So, one could actually man a tank etc.

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6 hours ago, kraze said:

As a fan of real-time play in CM games I enjoy Graviteam Tactics a lot. Yeah it's realtime (which again is a non-issue for me, on the contrary) and in some ways simplified compared to the tactical depth of CM - namely infantry. And no you don't miss most of the action - in that regard GT is way slower than CM and battles do take time - not a bad thing, just different.

The major thing that sets GT apart for me is its dynamic campaigns. You choose where to fight, when to retreat and resupply and all losses are persistent. Yeah it's possible to fail after several pyrrhic victories.

Plus vehicle damage system is quite nice visually, you can really see bits and pieces fall off tanks and APCs... Now you may have noticed the word 'visually' - yeah in that regard CM simulates vehicle system damage to a much deeper degree, just doesn't represent it as well....

...

I think GT shouldn't be treated as an "competition" to Combat Mission really. It is actually heavily inspired by Close Combat and in many ways plays really similarly, except in full 3D.

I was thinking about weighing in on this topic, but kraze summed up very nicely several of the points I'd make. Pretty much in total agreement here.

I also completely agree: it doesn't have to be a question of "Combat Mission VS. Graviteam Tactics," one or the other. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Both are superb, serious games. On that note, I'd weigh the strengths accordingly -- speaking strictly of the Single Player experience:

Graviteam Tactics - Mius Front / Op Star

++ Dynamic campaign on large-scale maps, beautifully rendered with persistent damage (You shell that village to smithereens, it stays that way)

+ Vehicle modeling with visually rendered damage.

+ UI. Many will probably disagree here, but I think Mius Front's UI is quite elegant and functional, and frankly puts CM's to shame. Yes it's idiosyncratic. But once you learn it, it's a quite flexible, powerful tool. Even just being able to give vehicles a "follow road to this point" command eliminates a good deal of micromanagement necessary in CM.

+ Overall visuals. Graviteam is simply the more impressive looking, up-to-date game, in terms of environment (including dynamic weather) and vehicles. An artillery barrage in Mius Front makes the same in CM look cartoonish. Infantry is a push - I don't think visually either game clearly outshines the other

+ Modeling airstrikes. Watching a formation of Stukas / Sturmoviks dive in and wreak havoc is a sight to behold. CM's "bullets and bombs out of the clear blue sky" is primitive by comparison.

CMx2

++ Infantry, combat and modeled behavior. Here is where Combat Mission shines by comparison with Mius Front. You simply have much more flexibility with infantry in CM. Infantry-only battles in Mius Front often feel a bit dull. In CM, they are often intense, gritty affairs.

+ Overall challenge and difficulty. CMx2 is simply harder -- more demanding, less forgiving of mistakes -- than Mius Front. This partly reveals one of the weakness of Mius Front's otherwise great strength: dynamic campaigns. The AI often is not smart enough to be able to adapt to all the new situations Mius Front creates in the course of a campaign. The scripted AI of CM means less flexibility, but undoubtedly makes for a more challenging game.

++ Moddability and user-created content. No contest here.

+ Save game system. Small point, but Graviteam Tactics' "One save only, and quit on save" system is, in my view, a travesty. Especially since the game has been known to crash during saves...leading to many hours of lost work. Luckily, I'm finding Mius Front rock-solid stable... can't think of a single crash (ditto for CMx2).

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26 minutes ago, sandman2575 said:

I was thinking about weighing in on this topic, but kraze summed up very nicely several of the points I'd make. Pretty much in total agreement here.

I also completely agree: it doesn't have to be a question of "Combat Mission VS. Graviteam Tactics," one or the other. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Both are superb, serious games. On that note, I'd weigh the strengths accordingly -- speaking strictly of the Single Player experience:

Graviteam Tactics - Mius Front / Op Star

++ Dynamic campaign on large-scale maps, beautifully rendered with persistent damage (You shell that village to smithereens, it stays that way)

+ Vehicle modeling with visually rendered damage.

+ UI. Many will probably disagree here, but I think Mius Front's UI is quite elegant and functional, and frankly puts CM's to shame. Yes it's idiosyncratic. But once you learn it, it's a quite flexible, powerful tool. Even just being able to give vehicles a "follow road to this point" command eliminates a good deal of micromanagement necessary in CM.

+ Overall visuals. Graviteam is simply the more impressive looking, up-to-date game, in terms of environment (including dynamic weather) and vehicles. An artillery barrage in Mius Front makes the same in CM look cartoonish. Infantry is a push - I don't think visually either game clearly outshines the other

+ Modeling airstrikes. Watching a formation of Stukas / Sturmoviks dive in and wreak havoc is a sight to behold. CM's "bullets and bombs out of the clear blue sky" is primitive by comparison.

CMx2

++ Infantry, combat and modeled behavior. Here is where Combat Mission shines by comparison with Mius Front. You simply have much more flexibility with infantry in CM. Infantry-only battles in Mius Front often feel a bit dull. In CM, they are often intense, gritty affairs.

+ Overall challenge and difficulty. CMx2 is simply harder -- more demanding, less forgiving of mistakes -- than Mius Front. This partly reveals one of the weakness of Mius Front's otherwise great strength: dynamic campaigns. The AI often is not smart enough to be able to adapt to all the new situations Mius Front creates in the course of a campaign. The scripted AI of CM means less flexibility, but undoubtedly makes for a more challenging game.

++ Moddability and user-created content. No contest here.

+ Save game system. Small point, but Graviteam Tactics' "One save only, and quit on save" system is, in my view, a travesty. Especially since the game has been known to crash during saves...leading to many hours of lost work. Luckily, I'm finding Mius Front rock-solid stable... can't think of a single crash (ditto for CMx2).

Sums it up well. Most of the time in GT so far I'm just looking at small specs of flags at a distance when hosing down enemy infantry. Like being a Company or higher commanded looking at a battle from a distance.

In CMx2 you can get down and dirty right in the middle of the action with infantry.

I like both systems. If I were a billionaire I'd buy both companies and lock the developers up in a room and tell them to combine features from both into the ultimate simulation. They would be fed bread and water till progress towards that goal was achieved... ?

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8 hours ago, kraze said:

The major thing that sets GT apart for me is its dynamic campaigns. You choose where to fight, when to retreat and resupply and all losses are persistent. Yeah it's possible to fail after several pyrrhic victories.

Plus vehicle damage system is quite nice visually, you can really see bits and pieces fall off tanks and APCs... Now you may have noticed the word 'visually' - yeah in that regard CM simulates vehicle system damage to a much deeper degree, just doesn't represent it as well.

I definitely agree with you on these points, specifically the dynamic campaign. That feature is great for a many number of reasons. Unfortunately BFC has stated that they have no plans for including this as a feature in the near future. However it is possible to simulate an operational layer (dynamic campaign) with other games. Currently there is a game being developed that will be able to use combat mission as a way to resolve tactical battles and then input the results back into the operational layer. It's a ways off from being completed though. 

If GT has one definite advantage over CM, it's the dynamic campaign. All that said, I still couldn't get into it and much prefer CM, but I recognize GT does some things differently which is a good thing. 

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So Steel Beasts is way better than either of the two Steel Armor tank sim games from GTeam?   Does SB have good AI in that you can play vs AI or is SB primary for multiplayer games online?

Anyone ever play MS Tank Platoon btw?

Edited by Erwin

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Steel Beasts AI is good - tactical-level that is. Much like its counterpart in CM it will take care of much of "micro" stuff. Better than somewhat passive AI of SABoW that's for sure. Strategic-level... well much like CM it depends on waypoints and scripting.

Saying that playing single-player is fun, improved by the in-game editor that for example lets you quickly change vehicles you want to control in a given mission for a different kind of play (and in-depth features with more effort of course).

Now when it comes to single-player content that comes with the game it's a different thing. Being a training software SP content was always on a backburner. Most missions you will play are community-made (there are a lot) and many are good, with best included into Personal Edition itself. And recently the ability to have branching campaigns (similar to Combat Mission) was added with one made by devs based on Yom Kippur war.

 

I've played M1 Tank Platoon 2, but it's far behind the fidelity of SB Pro PE now.

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The biggest problem with Graviteam Tactics as I see it is its low unit density: you can only deploy roughly a company per square kilometre, which makes the battles feel unrealistic, even though the maps and the combat is visually stunning to behold. CM isn't as pretty, but you can achieve a much more realistic concentration of troops on the maps.

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5 hours ago, Kronolog said:

The biggest problem with Graviteam Tactics as I see it is its low unit density: you can only deploy roughly a company per square kilometre, which makes the battles feel unrealistic, even though the maps and the combat is visually stunning to behold. CM isn't as pretty, but you can achieve a much more realistic concentration of troops on the maps.

That was certainly true of the game in its first iteration as 'Achtung Panzer: Kharkov '43,' where unit density sometimes felt more like a single platoon per sq. km. But for Operation Star and Mius Front, you absolutely can get several companies deployed per sq. km.; in the game Settings, the "Combat Radius" setting should be set to "unlimited," else the game (rather arbitrarily and artificially) limits the number of eligible units in a battle -- presumably does this for computer performance reasons, cut down on lag (?). But it's not at all unusual to get clashes with battalion strength forces or larger in a 3x3 sq. km. battle in Mius Front.

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