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MichaelH

Combat Mission future

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17 hours ago, J Bennett said:

I like CMAK a lot still, I can get my fix of North Africa, the Italians, British Grants vs MKIII's near Gazala etc. Also on the Russian front we have early Russian and German afv's  plus the Finns

Thanks...  I forgot about the Finns.  They are fun with their high morale and "Sissi" Elite Status.  Like you, am surprised that CM2 version of CMAK is not a more popular topic considering the huge enthusiasm for CMSF2.  The games feature basically exactly the same terrain and weather but with different era equipment.  If one enjoys the mobility and long range combat possible in CMSF and presumably CMSF2, it would be a lot of fun to have similar for a CM2:AK

 

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15 hours ago, sburke said:

I just want to know two things.  

1 How'd that chopper make it all the way to Antarctica

2.  In that very long trip, she never got to change to at least put on boots for the snow?

You´re absolute right. It is that kind of inaccuracies that really spoils the realism. ;)

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4 minutes ago, umlaut said:

You´re absolute right. It is that kind of inaccuracies that really spoils the realism. ;)

Yeah really! I was totally immersed on how vividly realistic it was and it took me a while to recover from that initially off putting opening.  😎

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Another futurist thought to kick around is for BFC to slowly 'merge' engine 2 CM Families to keep things fresh and interesting without all new projects as their focus shifts to engine 3.

So e.g., they update force sets and TOE for CMSF2 to 2020, then drop the barrier between it and CMBS to create a single modern warfare family taking in both temperate and arid. So Russians fight Uzbeks, Germans intervene in Latvia etc.

Or e.g. CMRT Berlin builds in a gate that allows paid up licensees to import select CMFB and CMFI forces and terrain sets, without needing to do separate end of war modules for the latter. Then you can get 'what if' Patton v Zhukov too.

Yeah, yeah I know, all easier said than done, based on what was supposed to be a 'simple' modernization of CMSF.

But it's either that or they ditch the 'islanded' engine 2 families altogether while we all wait on engine 3.

Fresh meat!

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19 minutes ago, LongLeftFlank said:

But it's either that or they ditch the 'islanded' engine 2 families altogether while we all wait on engine 3.

Since BFC approach is to have the data (TOEs, input for the models of weapons effects, etc.)  that drives their simulation baked in with the executables, I am not sure how possible it actually is . I would wager that the "branches" of the engine corresponding to each "family" are probably at odds with each other in both obvious and subtle, irritating ways that require a lot of manual work.

 

But a happy thought @LongLeftFlank. CMx2 in 2020 being two bundles, WW2 and Contemporary, on STEAM (tchoo-tchoo).

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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While graphics are definitely not the primary attraction for CM, if CM is to remain merely "obsolescent" it needs to get to CM3 pretty soon (in 2-3 years).  At the historical pace of development it's doubtful (completely unrealistic?) to expect early war to be developed for the CM2 engine in under 5 years.  

Really hope I am wrong of course.

Edited by Erwin

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For me, the ultimate CM3 release would be sci-fi involving futuristic warfare (e.g. Combat Mission: 2067). Robotic units, yes (e.g. squad-level drones, mech suits maybe). Alien races, probably not. Could be a "Russia-Chinese force invades western USA-Canada' scenario or something like that. This would be amazing, not only because of its futuristic scenario and aesthetic (including much improved graphics on top of the stellar CM gameplay mechanic) but because it would bring in a much larger customer base if done correctly. That would translate into more sales, company growth, and ultimately faster development of other CM3 games (e.g. CM3 in obscure WW2 settings like Finland or Cold War settings like the "Fulda Gap', whatever the hell that is). 

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1 hour ago, Pericles said:

For me, the ultimate CM3 release would be sci-fi involving futuristic warfare (e.g. Combat Mission: 2067). Robotic units, yes (e.g. squad-level drones, mech suits maybe). Alien races, probably not. Could be a "Russia-Chinese force invades western USA-Canada' scenario or something like that. This would be amazing, not only because of its futuristic scenario and aesthetic (including much improved graphics on top of the stellar CM gameplay mechanic) but because it would bring in a much larger customer base if done correctly. That would translate into more sales, company growth, and ultimately faster development of other CM3 games (e.g. CM3 in obscure WW2 settings like Finland or Cold War settings like the "Fulda Gap', whatever the hell that is). 

Not on board with the first idea. Fantasy units would take away a lot of the appeal of Combat Mission. Arma 3 did this to attract a larger customer base, and it made vanilla a joke.

I am a fan of World in Conflict -- so a Red Dawn scenario could be pretty cool. Especially as an expansion for Ful-da-Sap. ;P

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2 hours ago, Pericles said:

would be sci-fi involving futuristic warfare

For those of you newer to the forum, I might suggest typing "Space Lobsters" into the forum search engine.

It will happen one day !

P

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I'd really like to see the engine incorporate the ability to allow a little less micromanagement for those who want it that way.  So, the player could issue basic orders to a platoon HQ to secure a specific location and then the subordinate units would be subject to the TacAI, although you could set parameters around urgency, loss tolerance etc.  However, the player would still retain the ability to micromanage as deeply as they like, so they could issue orders to individual units directly if they felt the need.  Those familiar with the Command Ops system will know where I'm coming from here, for those that are not I hope I explained myself adequately.

Of course, that would be a huge amount of effort to implement and to make work correctly and a large departure from the dna of the CM series - too much probably, but if implemented I think it opens up the system to a whole bunch of new players.

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2 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Fantasy units would take away a lot of the appeal of Combat Mission. Arma 3 did this to attract a larger customer base, and it made vanilla a joke.

Futuristic units are not necessarily "fantasy units". The appeal of Combat Mission can be boiled down to its realism (ballistics, unit fatigue, and pretty much everything else) and gameplay mechanics (WeGo, full 3D freedom of camera movement). Neither would be sacrificed in a futuristic title. The units that end up being included in the title would be carefully configured so as to be "realistic" in the sense that they are entirely consistent with the imaginary future in which the combat takes place (ballistics, fatigue, and damage modeling would remain believable).

If done carefully, this sort of title has the potential to become a masterpiece due to the creative license afforded. Essentially it would be the video game equivalent of Blade Runner 2049 if done right. And the engine would be readily amenable to other more realistic what-if scenarios like the Fulga Dap. 

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40 minutes ago, Pericles said:

If done carefully, this sort of title has the potential to become a masterpiece due to the creative license afforded. Essentially it would be the video game equivalent of Blade Runner 2049 if done right. And the engine would be readily amenable to other more realistic what-if scenarios like the Fulga Dap. 

Funny story. Two mates and I went to see 2049 exactly one week after opening (friday evening) at a major cinema. I kid you not, the theatre was empty -- 8 people including us. I generally liked the film for its aesthetic -- the villians were silly and it was amusing to watch Gosling play a robot. He may not be able to sing, but he sure can keep his face still. I'd be interested in seeing the director's cut. Hopefully they'll replace that ridiculous "CELLS" sync sequence with a proper, noir, Void-Kampfwagen test.

45 minutes ago, Pericles said:

The units that end up being included in the title would be carefully configured so as to be "realistic" in the sense that they are entirely consistent with the imaginary future in which the combat takes place (ballistics, fatigue, and damage modeling would remain believable).

As I have a mech from 2142 as my mugshot, I suppose I cannot disagree too much. This being said, sci-fi "strategy" games often come up with lazy home-brew sci-fi. The success of this game would depend largely on the quality of this imaginary future. The world has to be built to be consistent, interesting and lived-in. I can't really see BFC writing much sci-fi -- at least, in the near future.

I think making a sci-fi CM in an established IP would be better. A lot of smaller wargame devs are making 40k games (Sanctus Reach, Armageddon), these days. The IP has low overhead and was made specifically for wargames. Stuff like leadership, experience, armour values, strengths and tactics are already fleshed out in the lore.

CM would need melee, though. Which would be a sick feature if they ever get around to it.

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44 minutes ago, DerKommissar said:

I kid you not, the theatre was empty -- 8 people including us

Yes, I'm aware that the movie "flopped" in the theatres and ended up losing money. I still think that if packaged properly with really nice graphics, graphical effects, sound effects, and marketing, CM: 2067 could double the customer base. 

 

47 minutes ago, DerKommissar said:

The success of this game would depend largely on the quality of this imaginary future. The world has to be built to be consistent, interesting and lived-in.

Agreed. 

 

As for the potential "lore" of such a title, it wouldn't be overly complicated. Developing a world consistent with a CM: 2067 vision requires only that one ask the question: What would modern military forces look like in 50 years? What are the current development trajectories of modern military forces? These are exciting questions. Add a relatively coarse "what-if" military situation/storyline (China-Russia invasion of North America) and much better marketing (better trailers, BF presence at soul-less functions like E3) and it could work. 

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3 hours ago, Pericles said:

. I still think that if packaged propfew erly with really nice graphics, graphical effects, sound effects, and marketing, CM: 2067 could double the customer base. 

The cherry on top would be to have a Ryan Gosling lookalike as a model for the face of the pixeltruppen. And of course, imitating that signature "naturalistic" interpretative style he is so appreciated for.

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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10 hours ago, Pericles said:

For me, the ultimate CM3 release would be sci-fi involving futuristic warfare (e.g. Combat Mission: 2067).

That would be the point at which BFC and I would part company. I am really not into the idea of gaming someone's fanciful imaginings about the future. Trying to model current military capabilities is already borderline. If you have no reliable history to check your game against, it tends to fly off in all directions with no validity whatsoever.

Michael

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I think that's a difficult one. It's obviously possible to do proper hard sci-fi/speculative fiction in a military context. CM: Starship Troopers, CM: Old Man's War or CM: The Forever War would be a lot more plausible (and interesting) than CM: 40K, but since none of those are actually about the fighting, it's debatable whether that would be a good idea.

Worth doing? Probably not. Even with Black Sea, there's a worry about over or under-modelling certain aspects, which just aren't an issue with the WW2 data.

Forging one's own setting is possible, but given the amount of speculation that already exists in Black Sea, I'm not sure that more would be a good idea for a simulationist game.

In general with wargaming, you can do speculative or counter-factual stuff, but it usually requires being set at a less granular level to be plausible - something that an Engle Matrix game or TEWT can do really well, for example, but that a detailled counting-bullets sim will struggle to keep plausible.

Would I like to see a CM-like serious take on something speculative? Sure. I think it would be unlikely to end up all that similar to Combat Mission though.

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12 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

If you have no reliable history to check your game against, it tends to fly off in all directions with no validity whatsoever.

By writing "tends", you imply that there is a chance that BF or some other group could make a solid, believable military simulation set in the not-so-distant future (e.g. 2067). So I contend that if BF really put their heart into a title like this, the resulting product would not "fly off in all directions with no validity whatsoever". Further, I think they do an excellent job modelling current military capabilities... describing the modeling as "borderline" is essentially synonymous with saying that it isn't done well. 

6 hours ago, domfluff said:

Even with Black Sea, there's a worry about over or under-modelling certain aspects, which just aren't an issue with the WW2 data.

Again, we have concerns over the ability to "model" reality. This is a misplaced concern when considering the accuracy and believability of CMBS. For me, the modeling in CMBS is believable - BF's speculations seem reasonable. Any problems I have with the game have tended to relate to scenario design and "AI" behavior, which have nothing to do with unit parameters. 

6 hours ago, domfluff said:

In general with wargaming, you can do speculative or counter-factual stuff, but it usually requires being set at a less granular level to be plausible - something that an Engle Matrix game or TEWT can do really well, for example, but that a detailled counting-bullets sim will struggle to keep plausible.

I don't understand. 

6 hours ago, domfluff said:

Would I like to see a CM-like serious take on something speculative? Sure. I think it would be unlikely to end up all that similar to Combat Mission though.

Combat Mission is essentially the following: realistic model scales; WeGo; full 3D camera freedom; ability to pause, replay; realistic/believable modeling. Successfully applying this formula to a hypothetical TO&E for future military forces 50 years out is more likely than not in my mind, so long as there is genuine interest on the part of the developers. If done right, the final product would feel exactly like Combat Mission, only with different units, environments, and scenarios. 

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17 hours ago, Pericles said:

Yes, I'm aware that the movie "flopped" in the theatres and ended up losing money. I still think that if packaged properly with really nice graphics, graphical effects, sound effects, and marketing, CM: 2067 could double the customer base. 

As for the potential "lore" of such a title, it wouldn't be overly complicated. Developing a world consistent with a CM: 2067 vision requires only that one ask the question: What would modern military forces look like in 50 years? What are the current development trajectories of modern military forces? These are exciting questions. Add a relatively coarse "what-if" military situation/storyline (China-Russia invasion of North America) and much better marketing (better trailers, BF presence at soul-less functions like E3) and it could work. 

I think that if packaged properly with really nice graphics, graphical effects, sound effects, and marketing, CM: 1967 could triple the customer base. Sci-fi doesn't have the mass appeal it once did, and recent history period pieces are actually quite popular. "Based on real events" is always a selling line. Or just look at three of the biggest game franchises now: CoD, BF and AC. All of them try to do the historical fare, World Wars are surprisingly popular. Not even talking about the great success of World of Tanks or War Thunder.

Marketing is expensive, so you need to make money to make money. I can picture BFC at E3 -- it'd be hilariously absurd. Actual developers in the midst of hype hacks.

I think it'd be cool if big CM had a fully voice acted career mode, where you roleplay an officer throughout a campaign. 

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1 hour ago, Pericles said:

Again, we have concerns over the ability to "model" reality. This is a misplaced concern when considering the accuracy and believability of CMBS. For me, the modeling in CMBS is believable - BF's speculations seem reasonable. Any problems I have with the game have tended to relate to scenario design and "AI" behavior, which have nothing to do with unit parameters. 

That's an opinion (not an invalid one, but opinion nonetheless) - you could take exception with a number of unit parameters, and others do. Over-protected Bradleys are a common one, for example. I don't think I have enough understanding of modern kit to really have an opinion, but I don't think questioning some of Battlefront's assumptions are invalid either.
 

1 hour ago, Pericles said:

I don't understand. 

TEWT = Tactical Exercise Without Troops. Matrix games are a type of wargame which are more similar to an RPG than Advanced Squad Leader. Matrix games consist (at the basic level) of an outline of a situation and an umpire. The players (or frequently teams) make formal Arguments about their disposition and choices. Example arguments could look like:

Action: (Normal March) My army moves from France to Austria, via Wurttemburg and Bavaria.
Result: (Open Battle) We will fight the first army we encounter.
Reasons: (Prepare) The army is ready to go. (Supply Lines) Our supply lines are good. (Victory) I always win!

The arguments are compared, and usually both can be valid, but the umpire is then responsible for determining the outcome, which might involve some randomness.

(You'll note the above argument structure bears a strong resemblence to the format of the Solutions in "Moltke's tactical problems from 1858-1882" (spoilers?)

6lxtw4A.png

The lack of detail firmly works in it's favour when it's used to model things that traditional wargames find veyr difficult - hidden information, random events and complex socio-political leanings. They are therefore a powerful tool for modelling speculative or hypotheticals, since the fine details are unimportant.

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