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John Kettler

BFC leads & Matrix follows on DOD Use

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Never played it, but CMANO is a big deal, so big DOD wants its own version, now in development, which presumably will be classified, if the Army's Dunn-Kempf experience is anything to go by.  Aside from the BTS/BFC trailblazing of official military versions of its products for traing (starting with the Australian Army and extending to?), something else that makes it pertinent here is that these people are not only writing flashpoint scenarios, but have even gone so far as to provide supporting news reports as each crisis unfolds. Got this from Wodin's AWNT site.

Regards,

John Kettler

 

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I have been part of the CMANO testing crew since closed beta started like 6(?) years ago. Personally I think it's biggest training potential is as an introduction to the realities of modern warfare regarding the use of sensors, EW systems, and the employment of various assets. As the pro version progresses (I test the commercial version, not the Pro Edition) I think one of it's more interesting uses will be in defining the tactics and general usage of new systems, ships, aircraft, before they even hit production. No use buying a hammer when a screw driver is what you need sort of thing.

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Command is an awesome simulation with some very talented scenario designers out there and a very committed community. I would strongly recommend it to any body with an interest in post WW2 naval or air warfare. Just the database is worth the money. 

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Years ago when I made my initial purchase of CMANO when it was on sale I was somewhat frustrated because it was micromanaging hell for me and the missions/functions that were supposed to reduce that problem often didn´t worked out like I intended or were a huge time sink on their own.

But with the years they´ve kept patching and adding more intelligent features and especially sophisticated AI functions/routines that I meanwhile changed my opinion and really enjoy the hell out of it without the need to manage every asset, no matter if bigger or moderate scenarios.

Immersion was always a big problem for me also because that pragmatic windows interface. It may look not different from software at use in the real military but from a gamer´s standpoint it can be hard to immerse itself when confronted with such an interface. I´ve learned to get used to it and especially those free seperate addons/mods that add pictures to the assets helped a lot, and I even proceeded to include my own asset pictures and high res map overlays from Google or other Services that even let you see the real life facilities, airports, or harbours that you may use or even attack in a scenario (which is a scary thing to tell I know but it adds an unbelieveable amount to immersion). Also love their realistic what if scenarios that they´re selling as DLC.

You can play it also with this "decide as it were real and if I am were responsible for real soldiers, sailors, and airmen here" attitude I am also enjoying when playing Combat Mission games (altough the psychological and moral simulation of CM is not represented in CMANO and abstracted due to the scope). Don´t know why but excercising this "real responsibilty" is a very important challenge/roleplay aspect for me when playing wargames. 

It requires to understand all aspects of post ww2 modern warfare except land based operations and COIN which is underrepresented for a good reason. Thus you need to especially understand how guided weapons, air combat, naval surface and subsurface combat work and what weapon and active/passive sensor systems are deployed, and how they are countered. If you understand this and invest some time into understanding the vast functions that come with that software you may have the best simulator in your hand in this regard (and yes I owned and played all alternatives like H3, Fleet Command, etc.)

Would like to get eyes on the GOV version of it and how different it is out of curiosity.

Edited by The Wolves of Steel

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Guys,

Much appreciate the information and perspectives you provided. Sound like it would break my brain for sure! I remember there was a time when I was dying to get those VG named Fleet games, because I was in that line of work and wanted to see how things were done. Had to deal with Fleet Air Defense for real, with direct program impact.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Just invested 150 + hours finally in CMANO over the past couple of months while I had some free time but ultimately decided to put it aside and switch back to Combat Mission as my main focus. Had a lot of fun. It does have a steep learning curve and it is indeed Harpoon on steroids and well worth the investment in time and money. It does involve intense micromanagement and the frustration involved finally overwhelmed me. It is probably my lack of skill and dedication. I may return if the proposed strike planner ever materializes. We are living in another golden age of combat simulations. Armored Brigade from Matrix  is on the horizon too but I am a sucker for Shock Force!

 

 

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The main problem with Command is that there is a big gap between different parts of its customer base.  One part is in it for the simulation aspect and they do a lot of sandboxing play.  The other part is more traditional wargamers expecting everything to be neatly laid out in tables and rules, with a very specific set of goals for winning and losing.  The wargamer group wants to come in and play massive 3000 unit scenarios that come close to representing an entire war.  They get upset that the game can't support what they want.  On the simulation side, there are rivet counters that demand every variation of every ship/plane/missile be represented, regardless if the variant is significant.  There are literally people demanding every size and engine combo of civilian small craft.  The third pull is the DoD side of things.  They have their own demands putting strain on the devs.  If you combine all three factions, its a wonder the devs have been able to meet all three.  The strike planner is a great example.  What started out as a simple ToT calculator mushroomed into a tool that one veteran called more complex that the real strike planners used by the US Navy.  It basically forced the devs to stop working on it because it was consuming so many dev cycles.

Command is a type of product we might never see again.  It was not developed to make money.  It was developed to make a point and as something the devs wanted to play.  There is nothing out there that combines the level of simulated detail and flexibility.  But I am always worried the devs have over-extended themselves trying to please all factions.

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