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danfrodo

SF2 or Black Sea for first modern CM game?

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Hey folks, I have all the CM WW2 stuff.  I have prepaid the new FI module due August(-ish) which will bring new stuff.  But I am feeling greedy for a new adventure and thinking about delving into the modern world.  Black Sea seems to me to be more 'balanced' in the sense that both sides have at least somewhat comparable armor & professional soldiers.  SF2 seems like I would typically be fighting either insurgents or a poorly equipped Syrian army, which doesn't seem that great to me.  Yet folks on the forum seem to absolutely love SF2, so there must be some solid challenge there.

So what do y'all think I should try first?   SF2 or Black Sea?  I am open to any thoughts you have on this.

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Your analysis is spot on. I very much prefer CMBS but I'm playing plenty of CMSF too. There is so much content for SF and as you said there are people having lots of fun creating cool stuff.

I just finished a scenario where I was playing red and my blue opponent killed every last man of mine and I still won. How you ask - by doing just too much damage to his forces. So the way the scenarios are constructed can make it "balanced" in CMSF.

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Shock Force has a unique setup (asymmetric warfare) and a modern setting which is fictional, but is close to several real conflicts. 

It has a lot of advantages that play to CM's strengths - playing Blue vs AI Red means that the AI is often a little more plausible, since static defences or badly trained troops are the order of the day.

The asymmetry is often balanced by victory conditions - commonly Blue forces will have overwhelming force, but may have strict rules of engagement and can't afford to lose men or material, which creates a very interesting dynamic. This can be difficult to do well, but it can be done.

It was also first, so there is a ton of user content out there, especially since there's a lot of history to draw from.


Black Sea is more hypothetical, and is particularly interesting to compare to Shock Force - the Russian army is much better equipped than the Syrian one, even for ostensibly similar formations. The three factions in Black Sea aren't equals, but they're much closer in ability, which makes scenario design easier. 


If I wanted to buy a modern CM game for PBEM, I'd buy Black Sea, for sure. I suspect Shock Force might be the more interesting title in general though.

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I always play against AI.  Mostly because I am sooooooo slow to play -- like a few 'turns' one day, a few the next, that I think I would drive my opponents crazy.  But last kid heading for college in a month, hopefully my playing time will increase and I could do PBEM.  I won't have money to do anything else given what college costs :)

So from that perspective SF2 sounds better.  And I can definitely see how US/NATO cannot afford casualties. 

My first choice for non-WW2 would be 1980s, because I used to play Mech Brigade, which had a great manual with drawing of every vehicle.  Some of those still around in SF2 & BF, it seems, but so many new ones to learn.  But I suspect that's probably not even planned by BF at this point w all the other stuff that has to come out first.  I googled Mech Brigade and saw images of it -- nothing like what I remembered, looks so primitive now.

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Posted (edited)

Buy the CM:SF2 Big Bundle (Base Game, USMC, UK & NATO) if you can afford it.....There's a lifetimes worth of materiel already out there for it.  B)

And that's before you mod it into something else:

h7Vco6Y.jpg

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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SF2 is more forgiving. It is still a modern battlefield, so weapon systems are still hyper lethal. However it's definitely not on the same level of intensity that Black Sea is. My recommendation would be to get SF2 and play through some of the campaigns or scenario's to get a good feel for modern warfare (the equipment, capabilities, lethality, etc) against an opponent that will hurt you if you fail to follow the basic fundamentals, but otherwise is relatively easy to beat. Then, once you have a feel for modern warfare, go to Black Sea where everything is turned up to 11. 

Of course, you could always just fling yourself into the deep end and get Black Sea first. Or just get both and go nuts.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, danfrodo said:

Thanks everybody.  SF2 big bundle w everything, is now mine :)   

You will never, ever finish playing all the available content... and, obviously, more is yet to come.

As for the 1980's... give us some time & we'll see what we can do.

Edited by 37mm

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2 hours ago, danfrodo said:

Thanks everybody.  SF2 big bundle w everything, is now mine :)    

I'm utterly confident that you won't be suffering 'buyer's remorse' on that one.  ;)

Although you might wonder why you didn't buy it sooner, once you see just how much stuff you get for your money!  :P

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3 hours ago, danfrodo said:

Thanks everybody.  SF2 big bundle w everything, is now mine :)   

Good Choice. I had my doubts at first as to which one to get. I watched some reports from Syria  as I usually do one day and then it hit me just what a powerful game this is. I still want to get the UK expansion (especially if BFC adds Syrian toys to the pack 🙂) and Black Sea eventually. If there isn't one already, I think a Volgograd scenario would be fun to consider.

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2 hours ago, 37mm said:

You will never, ever finish playing all the available content... and, obviously, more is yet to come.

As for the 1980's... give us some time & we'll see what we can do.

Ha, I haven't even finished all the WW2 content and I've been at it for what, 4 years now?   yeah, bring on the 80s!  Mech Brigade rides again, my Atari rides again :)

I'm starting the the first battle in the list, Canadians going after a bomb factory.  I am going to go way out on a limb and guess the roads are often mined or have IEDs.

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Campaigns are the best way to enjoy the CM games imo.  However, once you've mastered the Training Missions and start thinking you know how to play the game well and are a great commander, here are a few of some of the best standalone CMSF (1 and 2) scenarios (that I recall playing (apologies to other good designers whose scenarios I may have forgotten) that should challenge you:

"Conventional" scenarios :

"A Helluva Road Opening" (ANA and USMC versions) and "Helluva Takeover" (UK as well as USMC-NATO versions available).

"Into the Green"

"The Passage At Wilcox"

"Royal Mud Marines"

Of course the most original and innovative scenarios are by MOS who has reimagined what the CM2 system can do esp re UNCON.  The brilliant scenario he developed for CMSF2 is "Coup d-Etat".

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Thanks for the tips, everyone.  Lots to learn with these modern weapons.  Like you said, huge number of scenarios, plus the campaigns.  I hope the rains come early to Oregon this year so I have a good excuse to play in the coming months :) 

 

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Posted (edited)

Link not working at this time(?)

BTW:  Is this the "NATO Halt! Hammerzeit!" scenario?   

I have "Halt! Hammerzeit!" and noticed that it has exactly the same description as Hammertime v4 and v6, but those must have been the older versions for CMSF1.

Edited by Erwin

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On ‎7‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 1:48 AM, Erwin said:

BTW:  Is this the "NATO Halt! Hammerzeit!" scenario?

No, it's the original US version remade for CM:SF2.....Sorry about the link, I don't have another, but I do have the scenario, so I've stuck it up on Dropbox, here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/shzosrsl6o8vc82/Hammertime v6.btt?dl=0

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On 7/15/2019 at 6:26 PM, danfrodo said:

Mostly because I am sooooooo slow to play -- like a few 'turns' one day, a few the next, that I think I would drive my opponents crazy

Slight tangent, but just for reference, that's a really good rate of return for PBEM games ;)
1 turn a day is pretty standard, more is a bonus, less isn't uncommon.

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3 hours ago, Hapless said:

Slight tangent, but just for reference, that's a really good rate of return for PBEM games ;)
1 turn a day is pretty standard, more is a bonus, less isn't uncommon.

Agreed. That is pretty much what I would consider a good rate of return. It largely depends on time zones. If you share the same one things are easier.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

No, it's the original US version remade for CM:SF2.....Sorry about the link, I don't have another, but I do have the scenario, so I've stuck it up on Dropbox, here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/shzosrsl6o8vc82/Hammertime v6.btt?dl=0

Thanks for that.  So, the v4 can be deleted?  Uncertain if that was a variant or just an obsolete version. 

Please designers, label your scenario designs clearly so we know what it is.  There are more than a few scenarios and even campaigns that have same or similar names (other than date of release) and one can't tell if they are variants or versions without loading em.  

And when I loaded "NATO Halt! Hammerzeit!" that looks the same as "Hammertime".  Anyone played these or know if there is a difference?

Edited by Erwin

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5 hours ago, Erwin said:

Thanks for that.  So, the v4 can be deleted?  Uncertain if that was a variant or just an obsolete version. 

Please designers, label your scenario designs clearly so we know what it is.  There are more than a few scenarios and even campaigns that have same or similar names (other than date of release) and one can't tell if they are variants or versions without loading em.  

And when I loaded "NATO Halt! Hammerzeit!" that looks the same as "Hammertime".  Anyone played these or know if there is a difference?

A literal translation of 'Hammertime' into German = 'Hammerzeit' so from memory it is essentially the same scenario but with those pesky Germans vice the original Americans as the Blue Force. @George MCwill be able to confirm.

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14 minutes ago, Combatintman said:

A literal translation of 'Hammertime' into German = 'Hammerzeit' so from memory it is essentially the same scenario but with those pesky Germans vice the original Americans as the Blue Force. @George MCwill be able to confirm.

@Combatintman has it right! 'Hammerzeit' should have water and bridges. I don't think i re did 'Hammertime' - TBh memory bit hazy as did a heap of stuff in updating for CMSF"! I'm away from my PC at the mo so can't check.

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5 hours ago, Erwin said:

Thanks for that.  So, the v4 can be deleted?  Uncertain if that was a variant or just an obsolete version. 

Please designers, label your scenario designs clearly so we know what it is.  There are more than a few scenarios and even campaigns that have same or similar names (other than date of release) and one can't tell if they are variants or versions without loading em.  

And when I loaded "NATO Halt! Hammerzeit!" that looks the same as "Hammertime".  Anyone played these or know if there is a difference?

All the new stuff will have SF2 in the file name. If it does not then it was not updated to take advantage of CMSF2 features e.g. triggers, water etc etc.

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