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As some of you know, we have been doing work for the British Ministry of Defense. They've been very happy with the experience and created this video that they are sharing with the public. They've given us the OK to share it as well. It's pretty cool.

Dstl MoD Video

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Why is the Matrix/Slitherine logo shown, but not BFC's?  I know the dstl have worked with the Command devs at Matrix for a while now.  Just seems weird they show all CM clips, but no mention of BFC.

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Certainly interesting! Are there any new functions/forces/other software implemented that we can also expect in the near future? Good to see the game is indeed good enough to attract even military customers!

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Thewood1 said:

Why is the Matrix/Slitherine logo shown, but not BFC's?  I know the dstl have worked with the Command devs at Matrix for a while now.  Just seems weird they show all CM clips, but no mention of BFC.

Yeah also in the video description you can read:  "Enjoy our work with Slitherine Games"

 

The music is horrible though. Like on a funeral.

Edited by Bufo

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2 hours ago, BFCElvis said:

As some of you know, we have been doing work for the British Ministry of Defense. They've been very happy with the experience and created this video that they are sharing with the public. They've given us the OK to share it as well. It's pretty cool.

Dstl MoD Video

Nice! :)

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I would expect that the publisher and prime contractor are terrified that MOD would think "Hey... we can work directly with BFC, why do we need a middleman?"

It's often SOP to have the guys who do the actual work to be pushed far, far into the BG and made as anonymous and apparently expendable as possible.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

Why is the Matrix/Slitherine logo shown, but not BFC's?  I know the dstl have worked with the Command devs at Matrix for a while now.  Just seems weird they show all CM clips, but no mention of BFC.

I suspect it has to do with authorized vendors; the bureaucracy of government procurement protocols.  While I am not familiar with the British Ministry of Defence, the United States Department of Defense will only award contracts to authorized vendors who complete and maintain a pretty onerous vetting process.  I know of several situations in the US where people from small organizations who are not vetted sub-contracted through CACI which is thoroughly vetted in order to perform Defense Department work.  It makes sense to me that Battlefront would piggy-back off of someone else's credentials to avoid vetting hassles and costs at the small price of a reasonable fee through the agency of someone like Slitherine/Matrix. 

Tre' cool video.  Thanks for sharing.

Edited by Badger73

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Nice to see Iain in the video, and he is an absolutely passionate wargamer and has been very successful in seeing that passion work for him and deliver to players great games. Iain worked for Intelligent Games many years ago which was run by a close friend, it was a games software company that collapsed with cash flow issues when a major company failed to pay on time what they owed. A very painful experience for everyone affected at the company, lessons learnt which came at a price..

I am glad he has teamed up with Battlefront as they have similar passions. Sure his games have perhaps a broader appeal as they could be said to lack depth and are easier to pick up, but he and his team have provided gamers with many hours of fun.

To succeed in life you need passion for what you are doing...

Let's hope this partnership continues and we might see some benefits, even if it is just to keep Battlefront afloat and supporting the games we love...

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51 minutes ago, Holien said:

I am glad he has teamed up with Battlefront as they have similar passions. Sure his games have perhaps a broader appeal as they could be said to lack depth and are easier to pick up, but he and his team have provided gamers with many hours of fun.

Wait, are you talking about Matrix Games and lack of depth?  For someone that considers themselves a wargamer, you sure don't seem to look around much.  Go take a look at Command Modern Operations (CMO).  Your eyes will bleed from the depth and detail.  In fact, CMO is used in large classrooms at several MODs and is partnered with several defense contractors.  Well beyond anything BFC can hope to do.  And they are a team no bigger than BFC and might even be smaller.

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Entities like the Pentagon usually insist on training aids repeating successful results whenever doctrine is correctly followed. That mindset had hindered BFC's access to the market because Combat Mission doesn't work that way. All it took to get BFC's foot-in-the-door was to redefine the intent. Instead of training to following doctrine, the sim appears to be meant to train for thinking on your feet in fluid situations. This is something Combat Mission excels at. If you follow standard doctrine and get unwanted results that's not the fault of the sim, that's the fault of your doctrine. ^_^

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That is a myth from years ago.  DoDs and MoDs are much more sophisticated, in general.  There are different types of training systems needed and trying to lump them together in some mythical defense organizational buying conspiracy belittles both the developers of the simulations and a large number of military personnel involved in getting them into the process.  There are procedural simulators, ergonomic simulators, operational simulators, etc.  They all have a place in the training chain.  None of the "off-the-shelf" and PC-based systems  I know of are blind  procedural simulators.  Games like Steel Beasts and CMO are built on providing as real of an environment as possible for what they do.  In fact, CMO is used more as a sandbox by some navies to test weapon usage, operational theories, and strategic options.

I also want to point out that Matrix and BFC started out around the same time.  I think BFC might have been a little bigger than Matrix at one time.  They aren't some giant conglomerate, even considering Slitherine.  They are most likely less than 10 people.  But through connections they made with Close Combat, Harpoon, and now CMO, they have managed to carve out a space for themselves and established a beachhead in some MoDs and DoDs.  They partnered with a couple defense contractors to get a foot in the door.  Its something BFC could have done if they had the mind.  There is nothing special Matrix/Slitherine did other just put their head down and do it.  Companies like eSim and Matrix have put the effort into doing this and are now in the drivers seat for companies like BFC.

..

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7 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

Wait, are you talking about Matrix Games and lack of depth?  For someone that considers themselves a wargamer, you sure don't seem to look around much.  Go take a look at Command Modern Operations (CMO).  Your eyes will bleed from the depth and detail.  In fact, CMO is used in large classrooms at several MODs and is partnered with several defense contractors.  Well beyond anything BFC can hope to do.  And they are a team no bigger than BFC and might even be smaller.

Hi the key phrase I used was "could" and perhaps I should have also  said "some"... 

But hey ho the overall all aim of my post was to applaud the collaboration and I hope that came through...

😏

Both excellent companies that have both withstood the test of time...

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Posted (edited)

Great video .... Thank you for sharing.

it seems that the map can be printed - that a feature I would like have in an easy way - bouth for set up  and during a game.

 

best regards 

Morten

Copenhagen - Denmark

Edited by 6plus1SMC

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29 minutes ago, 6plus1SMC said:

Great video .... Thank you for sharing.

it seems that the map can be printed - that a feature I would like have in an easy way - bouth for set up  and during a game.

 

best regards 

Morten

Copenhagen - Denmark

I guess they just use a screencapture program and a laserprinter, should be easy enough. capture screen, open picture, print. But they might have some feature for it implemented, I don't know.

I liked the idea too, but don't have (laser)printer at home! I usually just make a capture and use paint.net or whatever.

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13 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Guessing somebody ported in the CM:SF2 models?

What I don't understand is why we have separate CM products in the first place.

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16 hours ago, Erwin said:

I would expect that the publisher and prime contractor are terrified that MOD would think "Hey... we can work directly with BFC, why do we need a middleman?"

It's often SOP to have the guys who do the actual work to be pushed far, far into the BG and made as anonymous and apparently expendable as possible.  

Nah, that's not it at all.  We're terrified of working with militaries, not the other way around :)  The contract with the MoD consisted of 67 separate contracts.  If you think Battlefront has the resources to do that, you don't know us very well :D  Plus...

16 hours ago, Badger73 said:

I suspect it has to do with authorized vendors; the bureaucracy of government procurement protocols.  While I am not familiar with the British Ministry of Defence, the United States Department of Defense will only award contracts to authorized vendors who complete and maintain a pretty onerous vetting process.

Correct.  The MoD would never have contracted with Battlefront directly.  Never.  Slitherine has been working on this particular contract for THREE YEARS before it came to fruition.  We simply do not have the corporate infrastructure to qualify in the eyes of the MoD, nor the resources to engage in such speculative contact work.  The situation is no different with the US military, as we know from first hand experience.  Which is why Combat Mission has been around for 20 years and only recently has it made it into official military use.

12 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

That is a myth from years ago. 

Not a myth years ago, though today is more nuanced as you say.  As it is, Combat Mission is being utilized pretty much the way MikeyD outlined.  Specifically, it is being used as an analytical tool to test various concepts (weaponry, organizations, tactical employment, etc.) using standard scientific methodology.  At least with the custom version we've made for Dstl.  Combat Mission is also separately being licensed "as is" for individual readiness purposes. 

12 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

I also want to point out that Matrix and BFC started out around the same time.  I think BFC might have been a little bigger than Matrix at one time. 

Battlefront was started before Matrix and at the very beginning Battlefront was twice as big (i.e. Battlefront = 2 people, Matrix = 1).  Matrix doesn't exist any more as it is been fully incorporated into Slitherine.  Internally, that is.  Externally Matrix remains as a brand name.

12 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

They aren't some giant conglomerate, even considering Slitherine.  They are most likely less than 10 people.  But through connections they made with Close Combat, Harpoon, and now CMO, they have managed to carve out a space for themselves and established a beachhead in some MoDs and DoDs.  They partnered with a couple defense contractors to get a foot in the door.  Its something BFC could have done if they had the mind. 

And hundreds and HUNDREDS of thousands of Dollars sitting around to spare for highly speculative work.  We've been very successful over the years, but we've never had those sorts of resources to invest in anything but our games.  Direct contact with militaries has always gone nowhere because we lacked the muscle to deal with the bureaucracy.  Therefore, we've been trying to partner with various defense tied entities for years, but Slitherine is the first one that proved viable.  And we're quite happy with the arrangement.

Steve

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1 hour ago, Bufo said:

What I don't understand is why we have separate CM products in the first place.

That's rhetorical, right because this has been discussed ad nauseum. You don't need to agree with it but surely you must understand the reasoning...

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To give you guys a little more background on our arrangement, Slitherine secured a contract with the British MoD with us on board as a subcontractor.  They've handled all the relationship building and the mountains (Everest type) of paperwork.  We are simply the engineers in this endeavor.

A typical discussion with Dstl (the entity within the MoD we are working for) involves talking about what their needs are and how Combat Mission can/can't handle those requests.  We then work with them to design solutions for things CM currently can't do or can't do the way they need it to.  Those designs are refined and then prioritized with other needs.  Schedules are set up with specs that are agreeable to everybody, then we move forward.  We are also providing the sort of low level Q&A work that looks similar to how we interact with you folks here, but with more gritty details.

As you've all noticed already, from all outward appearances in the video Combat Mission is portrayed as a Slitherine product.  Outwardly, that is not inaccurate as we are a sub contractor to Slitherine.  At the government level that's just the way it is and we're absolutely fine with that.  We know who we are and so do you, so the lack of our logo or mention in MoD materials is not a problem for us.  The only entities that can acquire a version of CM that is similar to what the MoD is using need to go through Slitherine no matter what, so it's only important that Slitherine's name is out there.  Put another way, if the US Secretary of Defense personally called me to ask how the Pentagon could get some CM loving, I'd bounce him over to the UK to talk with Slitherine.

In the video you see Iain (Slitherine) and Tom (Dstl).  I work with those guys daily to get all this stuff done.  Great people to work with.

Steve

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British taxpayer dollars being used wisely IMO.  And best of all British taxpayer dollars being used to make BF more viable and able to make more stuff for us so we can play w our little toy soldiers and tanks.  Win win.  Modern Brits vs Russia does sound rather fun....

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