Jump to content
ZackTactical34

Average Learning Curve???

Recommended Posts

So I understand that this game involves a lot decision making and such. However, what is the average learning curve for a newbie with basic strategy/tactic knowledge (i.e. Support & Assault elements, bounding overwatch, etc.)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recall that when "Battle for Normandy" came out there was much moaning over how steep the learning curve was (much of it my own, by the way). So, you pays yo nickel and you takes yo ride.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Michael Emrys said:

I recall that when "Battle for Normandy" came out there was much moaning over how steep the learning curve was (much of it my own, by the way). So, you pays yo nickel and you takes yo ride.

Michael

There has always been a crowd that complains about games being too difficult, hence why arcade games like Call of Duty are so popular. Realism and simulation are very appealing until the complexity of them becomes apparent. In case you haven't seen it, someone made a funny musical animation about this very concept:

 

Edited by ZackTactical34

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've compared learning the game to a student driver learning to drive a standard. The first time behind the wheel you'll swear there something's horribly wrong with the car, that driving  stick is just IMPOSSIBLE! By the third attempt you will have gained some confidence and start enjoying it. Eventually you'll be merrily zooming around town like you were born behind the wheel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue with CM is not to do with controlling the game, issuing orders etc. The UI isn't the greatest, but it's far from the worst, so in terms of actually playing the thing there isn't much to get to grips with.

Learning the capabilities of the weapons and units is a decently long study, but the manual and/or wikipedia will help a lot, and whilst this will help this is not required up front.

Tactically, there are plenty of resources for how to manage things on this scale - Bil's Battle Drill blog was eye-opening, but there are tons of youtube videos which illustrate the same kind of planning that's required - but again, that's really a guide to how to do this *well*, rather than how to play at all.

 

The actual difficulty with CM is that it's a harsh and unforgiving sim - depending on the scenario, a single mistake can set you back a lot.

What really compounds this is the length of the feedback loop - CM scenarios tend towards the long side (even short ones will usually take a couple of hours of actual-time to play out minutes of game time), so it can take a long time to learn from mistakes.

Liberal use of the save button can help, but not if the mistake happened significantly earlier in the game, and the thought of reloading a real-hour worth of time can be demoralising.

 

One of the advantages of Shock Force over some later titles (Red Thunder in particular) is that there are a lot of scenarios with a comparatively small number of (US) units, even in larger battles. That makes CMSF one of the better titles to learn with, alongside CMBN.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that for me the thing that made the game hard to get started in was first of all learning all the different factors that interact within the game, of which there are many, many, many, and then creating a model in my mind of how they interact with each other. This, of course, tends to be a characteristic of almost all complex endeavors.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ZackTactical34 said:

So I understand that this game involves a lot decision making and such. However, what is the average learning curve for a newbie with basic strategy/tactic knowledge (i.e. Support & Assault elements, bounding overwatch, etc.)?

After about 3 hours of gameplay, you'll have a very good skill set for using the UI. It is different than other games and you'll have a choice of HOW to play: wego or realtime are the biggest choices. 

Look around at some of the tutorials. A lot of good info is out there...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This game has a steep learning curve compared to arcade games. However, compared other complex games it isn't too bad. Knowledge of tactics and weapon system capabilities sure does help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Come on...  There is really nothing complex about it (compared to (say) learning a new OS.  I started playing CM1 in 1999 and after 7 years of that I had a pretty good idea of WW2 weapons and tactics.  Then another 10 years of CM2 and I really feel like I am getting the hang of this game!  Simples...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Come on...  There is really nothing complex about it (compared to (say) learning a new OS.  I started playing CM1 in 1999 and after 7 years of that I had a pretty good idea of WW2 weapons and tactics.  Then another 10 years of CM2 and I really feel like I am getting the hang of this game!  Simples...

Well, 'learning a new OS' (or getting to know any new 'thing') can be a steep barrier for some. 😉 

Edited by Lethaface

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Aquilas-ESP said:

the complexity is in placing your units correctly

And have them act as if you were a member of each unit and could lose your life. Best quote is "Don't be in a rush to die" from Jeffrey Paulding's tactics video series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, ZackTactical34 said:

So I understand that this game involves a lot decision making and such. However, what is the average learning curve for a newbie with basic strategy/tactic knowledge (i.e. Support & Assault elements, bounding overwatch, etc.)?

As others have pointed out the game itself is pretty simple... its UI is FAR more simple to understand than some Paradox monster for instance.

Even the tactics are fairly simple really... find the enemy, fix the enemy, flank the enemy & finish the enemy... the four f's.

The biggest issue is not game related, it is psychology related.

Most people play games which have been designed to be fun & enjoyable... in CM you will be playing scenarios designed to be annoying.

You don't have as much artillery as you like? It was designed that way. You rushed that platoon in the machine gun filled village because you thought it'd be safe... designed that way.

If you think about a CM scenario maker as an evil, twisted creature determined to humiliate you & laugh at your dead pixeltruppen then you probably won't go too far wrong.

DON'T cross the street... just don't. Find another way... do you have demo charges? Smoke? A way to bust through walls? A long-winded outflanking move you hadn't previously considered? Can you at least suppress suspicious buildings before you cross?

Do that instead.

NEVER cross the street.

Edited by 37mm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, 37mm said:

Most people play games which have been designed to be fun & enjoyable... in CM you will be playing scenarios designed to be annoying.

If you think about a CM scenario maker as an evil, twisted creature determined to humiliate you & laugh at your dead pixeltruppen then you probably won't go too far wrong.

Interesting take, and not far wrong. At least they strike me that way...

"CM as a form of highly structured sado-masochism."

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, 37mm said:

NEVER cross the street.

"You must always out flank your opponent, because if you don't, he will".

Oh, and never, never cross the street :P unless it's night time, under an overcast, or its raining :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, JohnO said:

"You must always out flank your opponent, because if you don't, he will".

Oh, and never, never cross the street :P unless it's night time, under an overcast, or its raining :D

When we got a new division commander, he told us all "If we ever go somewhere for real, it will be at night, overcast, and no moon, if we can. So get used to it."  We never made a jump in daylight again. Always at night. Dark. Really dark. Sometimes (more times than seemed possible for the laws of averages) in the rain. Not fun. Not at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 37mm said:

NEVER cross the street.

😂 I'll make sure to remember that. But in all honesty, I would think that crossing a road "could" be somewhat safe if you have the right amount of support from armored vehicles and an element of aerial reconnaissance (e.g. RQ-1 Predator).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ZackTactical34 said:

😂 I'll make sure to remember that. But in all honesty, I would think that crossing a road "could" be somewhat safe if you have the right amount of support from armored vehicles and an element of aerial reconnaissance (e.g. RQ-1 Predator).

Oh you poor soul. You’ll be writing virtual letters for your pixeltruppen. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, 37mm said:

Most people play games which have been designed to be fun & enjoyable... in CM you will be playing scenarios designed to be annoying. ...think about a CM scenario maker as an evil, twisted creature determined to humiliate you & laugh at your dead pixeltruppen then you probably won't go too far wrong.

Good observation.  Pin note to computer monitor.  But, yes, playing CM2 well requires a great deal of patience which just about every other game is designed to NOT require.  So, it's a culture shock if you come from another gaming genre. 

In most CM2 scenarios, one needs to move carefully to spot enemy, then wait (sometimes for quite along time) for arty or air to do the actual killing, then move in to mop up.  The waiting around can be very boring when all one wants to do is run your tanks around etc.  Nearly every time, giving in to the need for excitement and attacking prematurely is when one gets into trouble.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/22/2018 at 11:13 PM, ZackTactical34 said:

There has always been a crowd that complains about games being too difficult, hence why arcade games like Call of Duty are so popular. Realism and simulation are very appealing until the complexity of them becomes apparent. In case you haven't seen it, someone made a funny musical animation about this very concept:

I think with CM, it's the other way around. When I first started playing it, I considered it a rather simple tactics game. There's not meta campaign to worry about, the UI is well refined. The AI can accomplish things without serious micromanagement. All you got to do is just get your dudes to shoot the bad dudes and take positions.

Then, when I got more into it, I realized all the details. As you play, you learn that the game is infinitely more complex. Every little part matters, and in campaigns, it doesn't only matter if you win -- but how you win. You need to learn how to keep your dudes alive. Need to learn what to expect and how to use each piece correctly.

It's not a difficult game. But the more immersed you get in it, the more challenges you have to face. That's the beauty of it, it's like chess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its FPS players who seem to suffer most first learning to play. Because your ingrained run-and-shoot gamer reflexes will do you no favors playing. Also, puzzle-solving game players may get frustrated thinking there's a specific 'key' they need to figure out. This isn't Tombraider. The solutions weren't designed into the scenarios.

Don't be intimidated, though. Playing is as simple or as complex as you want. You can select all your forces and give a single 'move' command to the far side of the map and just watch what happens. Anything more detailed than that is called 'tactics' ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be an interesting PhD thesis re difference between those who play fantasy/FPS vs tactical/strategic sims... and what does it all mean for one's success in life perhaps(?).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×