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Combat Mission in military training

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Hi

Does anyone know is there any use of Combat Mission game series as a tactical & leader simulator for ground forces?

And if so, does they need a special license or does the normal version EULA allows it's use in professional military education simulator?

Thanks

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And BFC posted the below:

New Zealand Defense Forces training aid - pretty much that's all there is to say about it :D And no, this will not be released for sale to the public.  Sorry, but that's just the way it works sometimes.

At the below link:

http://community.battlefront.com/topic/125797-another-reason-for-a-centralized-forum/

 

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There's been some small scale use of CMSF and CMBS for military training purposes.  I am also aware of one large defense contractor that has used CMBS for R&D to demonstrate proof of concept.  We run into major obstacles (i.e. building sized brick walls) when it comes to wider use.  The primary one being we don't have the resources to compete against the defense industry darlings.  The second one is that, as is, CM2's engine lacks features which are seen as required for full classroom integration.  The latter could be easily overcome if the former wasn't an issue.  So of the two limitations, the will of a potential user to overcome the defense industry problems is definitely the bigger one.  Sadly, the US' influence over defense simulations means that even smaller countries, with more constricted defense spending, aren't knocking down our doors even though we could provide a superior product for "cheap" compared to what is currently on offer.

That said, CM2 "as is" can be an excellent tool for exploring textbook work in engaging and more visceral ways at an affordable cost.  Pretty much any soldier's personal computer can run the game outside of a secured classroom environment.  Students can explore concepts on their own time in their own way at their own pace.  The experiences from the game can then be compared to that of their peers and instructors within a common paradigm and shared experience.  CM2's game mechanics are consistent and vetted by professionals, which means there's a degree of real world learning that can be integrated in with specific course goals.

That said, CM2 has some significant limitations from a traditional military classroom perspective, aside from the aforementioned procurement impediments.  The primary one is the lack of what we call CoPlay, which is where each student assumes a very limited role within a larger force structure shared with other students.  There is only a limited ability for the trainer to introduce elements during gameplay that are designed to provoke specific responses from the students at that particular time.  The rest of the limitations tend to fall into the "AAR" category whereby the trainer can analyze (grade) performance easily and consistently, as well as displaying particular course specific lessons to students in an easy and straight forward way (e.g. recording a particular student failure/success to highlight for post game discussion).

There's a bit more to it than that, but that's the gist of it :D

As for the EULA, there's nothing in it that prevents an institutional customer (military or otherwise) from purchasing and using CM2 in a classroom setting.  However, bulk purchasing of licenses is obviously desirable in most cases because budgets are tight and usually the number of seats needed is more than a handful.  We do offer discounts to institutional customers.

Aside from COTS use, we do offer our services for customizing CM2 to suit institutional needs.  We weigh the requests against both actual and "opportunity" costs.  The NZDF contract we have is an example of that.  The change requests for them are, on the scale of things, modest and did not an interfere with our business strategy.  It is the equivalent of what we call a Pack and Packs are, by their nature, an existing part of what we do.  By contrast, asking us to code CoPlay into CM2 would be a very, very different discussion because our current strategy does not have provisions for that sort of work.

Steve

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An assumption I certainly wouldn't make ;)  From all of our previous discussions about CoPlay, I am more convinced than ever that for CM2 it's a highly desirable feature for a subset of the total.  A bunch of other changes are likely needed to really let CoPlay shine and I'm not sure if the effort is worth trying even if a pile of money was put in front of us.

Steve

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Co-play sounds great in theory, but I don't think it works out in practice. In my experience with boardgames, it quickly turns into "Argument: The Game", where players constantly communicate and discuss in detail bicker about what each player should or should not be doing. So you end up with both sides' forces acting like a big coordinated blob anyway.

It could be fun if one of the players were the battalion commander and issued general orders to company commanders - advance, retreat, take objective, etc. but I think it would quickly turn into detailed orders like "Move your tank forward ten metres so it has LOS to hillock A". Individual players would be reduced to counter pushers.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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37 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Co-play sounds great in theory, but I don't think it works out in practice. In my experience with boardgames, it quickly turns into "Argument: The Game", where players constantly communicate and discuss in detail bicker about what each player should or should not be doing. So you end up with both sides' forces acting like a big coordinated blob anyway.

Play real time and there would be no time for that. Anyone trying to micro manage their lower level commanders would likely loose.

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3 hours ago, IanL said:

Play real time and there would be no time for that. Anyone trying to micro manage their lower level commanders would likely loose.

I think that in realtime, any player can pause the game, so there's plenty of time to discuss and tell each player what to do ? 

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But we are talking about a hypothetical co play feature. There is no way that could be implemented with anyone being allowed to pause for any length of time. That's my main point there would have to be some limits on pausing and that could work fine because the multi players are managing smaller forces.

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Pausing is cheating anyway! War is fast paced and you should keep up!

I think coplay would really take advantage of the spotting system. It would make things more realistic I think. 

Sure you don't HAVE to play with multiple people in a game... it would make setting up plans of operations useful and fun. 

I wonder if this feature was added, and if CM was advertised as a multiplayer game.. we could raise that cool million and a half with new customers!

I'm just an optimist.. :lol:

Edited by Artkin

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2 hours ago, Artkin said:

I wonder if this feature was added, and if CM was advertised as a multiplayer game.. we could raise that cool million and a half with new customers!

Yes, you are an optimist. Honestly, I doubt that very many CM players would use this feature at all. I know there is a small group of players who passionately want this feature...or think they do. But I bet that of that number, at least half would try it and give up in disgust. As Steve has already mentioned, the vast majority of BFC's customers are solo players against the AI and want to keep it that way. The hassle of organizing a PBEM, let alone a coplay is just not up their street.

Michael

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We tried doing team games in CM1 days and it didn't work well.  All it took was for one person to have an interruption or other commitment and things fell apart.  Having a reserve pool of players didn't help.

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17 hours ago, SlowMotion said:

Finnish army uses Steel Beasts Pro in CV9030 training. Adding that tank to game cost about 100 000 euros. CoPlay is included.

https://www.mikrobitti.fi/2017/10/pelaamalla-panssarimieheksi-simulaattorikoulutus-karjalan-prikaatissa/

and a video from that article in Finnish.

 

Thanks for the video!  Yup, Steel Beasts has done a decent job getting itself into military training use for a couple of reasons.  The primary one being that they long ago chose to focus on getting into those markets.  We, on the other hand, have remained focused on consumer sales.

BTW, 100,000 EUR for getting the CV9030 into Steel Beasts sounds about right to me.  There's a TON of work involved in doing that, as the video clearly shows.

Steve

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On the other side of the fence it is equally difficult to implement a game like CM at the industry. After a long time of arguing I succeeded in using CM:BS and CM:SF as a sort of helper simulation and I am busy to expand this. Everybody here is surprised of the rich features of CM when they see it, but, unfortunately, implementing something serious will take more time and a good opportunity.

Merry Christmas, Henning

 

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By the way, a little off topic, but as others have started to discuss this...

Since some time I am dreaming of CM usage in some Computer Aided Exercise weekend like they were conducted at the good old times of paper wargaming by the British Army of the Rhine here in Germany. Hopefully, Battlefront is still going strong in four years when I will retire and can afford to spend the time to organise something big like that. Image1.gifPreparing and conducting such CAX was part of my business here at the industry during the last two years.

A cheap hotel, big ballroom, hired computers for those not bringing their own, a nerd connecting these and preparing material for After-Action-Review and the forum, temporary licenses from Battlefront (?), a fitting scenario, a blue and red leader and some 10 to 20 players resolving any clash that shows up on the common situation map of the Excon (Exercise Conductor) which is kept secret to red and blue.

Good idea?

Edited by hank24

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5 hours ago, hank24 said:

A cheap hotel, big ballroom, hired computers for those not bringing their own, a nerd connecting these and preparing material for After-Action-Review and the forum, temporary licenses from Battlefront (?), a fitting scenario, a blue and red leader and some 10 to 20 players resolving any clash that shows up on the common situation map of the Excon (Exercise Conductor) which is kept secret to red and blue.

Good idea?

can I come? i will bring my pc! I just got off some wargaming today with VBS3 for the week. Made me wish we could mix it up a bit with CM though.

PS: So brit in germany hey? did you by any chance participate in Vgauntlet last year? had a good time working with some of your fellows there. Good times

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