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P5

Criticism towards CMAK

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Hello, it's time to prepare my hanging, after I've said the things that are on my mind smile.gif

So get the rope ready!

I would have never thought that I would say this, but I'm a bit, perhaps even very dissappointed to CMAK.

Why?

MAYBE A SPOILERS AHEAD, GENERAL TALK ABOUT THE SCENARIOS. NOTHING TOO SPESIFIC!

There's just something bothering me with the scenarios that came with the game. There just doesn't seem to be too many balanced scenarios. Eiher they are way too easy, like FlakFront! or the numerous meeting engagements, that only require you to drive your tanks with a full speed to a hill, have a hull down position and after that you wish that there would be an autoplay option somewhere, that you could go and watch TV or something.

Second option that they are _really_ hard, like Bir Hakhheim, The Last Day, where I did managed to capture the three first flags, but stopped my attack there. The enemy is usually so well entranched, that infantry is almost the only option to slowly dig them out, as there are usually AT-guns located on the far side of the map, where nothing can't touch them, besides some lucky artillery round. The combat looking more like a WWI combat than WWII. Well, perhaps this part of the complain, turns out to be a positive one, as I've always wished for an WWI game. From an Allied point of view, there is even more frustrating scenarios ahead.

Third option is, that the tea breaks are modelled in the game, as there are few scenarios, where there is no combat at all, because the allied AI advances so slowly, that they never get into the range of any weapon, Allied attack on Sid Rezegh for one example.

So far I've played all the scenarios from 1940 to the end of 1942 with axis forces and I must say that only the battles in Crete I did enjoy and they were as good as in CMBB or in CMBO. After those scenarios, I've started to remember all those excellent scenarios of CMBB and CMBO. Perhaps Battlefront run out of time when it came to scenarios? The main point being, that at least so far, they just don't feel very well balanced.

Other than that, I've got no complains at all. The game looks, sounds and feels really good. Especially that dust, really helps to generate the general confusion in battlefield.

I don't know, perhaps I'm the only one thinking like this? Perhaps after playing CMBO and CMBB so much, third similar game is just starting to feel boring. Also, perhaps the fighting in North-Africa really was like that? Perhaps CMAK is truly realistic in that sense, but it certainly doesn't make it any fun.

Also, I've only played with the axis forces, so perhaps I need to try the Allied next to see if I still feel like this.

Also I would need to try few scenarios from Italy, if they are any different.

The two scenarios that came with the demo, were really excellent! I just wish that the time period 1940 to 1942 would have kept inside similar scenarios, that were joy to play, but still possible for both sides to win or loose.

Ok, I'm done. You can start the hanging now smile.gif

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Played about 4 or 5 scenarios right now...

Has anyone played those hmm I would say "Commando unit" Scenarios where you have to

- Assault the DAK office

- Assault some FLAK's at crete

etc?

They seem very difficult. Maybe I have no real tactics but it is difficult to have a good strategy when your forces spawn in front of the enemy 20m away.... :confused:

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Originally posted by r0tten:

Has anyone played those hmm I would say "Commando unit" Scenarios where you have to

- Assault the DAK office

- Assault some FLAK's at crete

I "watched" as a German, the Commando units attacking DAK office, and I must say, that I'm not sure could I do it, playing with allied forces. That's one of the frustrating scenarios I meant with the allied.

The Crete scenarios were all difficult, but I was able to win them all, although after few attempts. Those Crete scenarios really required some thinking, and that's what I like in a scenario, not just drive with a full speed ahead and park my tanks there and blast everything that comes in my way.

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We only have the demo here in the USA, but having studied the North Africa Campaign for decades,I concluded that CMAK would somewhat sterile upon it's announcement, the demo hasn't changed my opinion; simply the nature of the situation being modelled: relatively flat terrain, with little to no cover or mountainous terrain that allows little or no movement. The true flavor of the North Africa Campaign is found on the "operational" level, in my opinion. I think that we'll see a lot rewrites of a lot of CMBO scenarios / ops

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Makes sense that the N. Africa fighting might not be to everyone's liking. But because of the significant differences in terrain between N. Africa and Italy, I would suggest holding off final judgement until you had a chance to fight a few battles on the boot. I've only played the demo thus far, but I sure like what I see.

BTW, I don't typically play pre-made scenarios. I tend toward QB's. You might give that a try too.

Regards!

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It just shows that scenario design is very hard.

I don't even want battles to be balanced, but even with that I found most CMBB scenarios to be much worse than CMBO ones used to be.

[ November 29, 2003, 02:46 PM: Message edited by: redwolf ]

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The key to the desert fight is BIG maps IMO, say 3km x 3km. Throw in some wadis, an oasis with a couple buildings, and some elevation variations and I think you could get some great armor fights going...big swirling battles with plenty of decision-making for the players.

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Originally posted by Lindan:

The AI is a sparring partner, not more. Try playing a human opponent for a whole different experience.

Speaking of human opponents, you owe me a turn Lederhosenboy.

And keep the 20th December free in the diary.

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Human opponents...err...yeah those boring meeting engagements probably would be a lot different if there would be a human controlling the other side.

Still, I will take up the challenge, or actually, no challenge for me, but if anybody want's to attack against my Allied forces in Bir Hakheim Last Day, I'm for it!

The slow AI, seems to bother always the Allied forces, because they have tons of equipment. Lot of transports etc. I've never seen Axis or Russian troops advancing so slowly. I think I've seen this kind of thing also in CMBO, when there were lot of Allied units around, mainly Bren Carriers etc.

But hey, even if the game would have shipped without any scenarios or operations, with only the editor and a QB generator, I would have bought the game. There will be again some great user made scenarios I hope!

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P5, I would like to respond to your comment ,"no challenge for me" in reference to playing a human opponent.My feeling is that you have no clue as to the level of play an adequate human player can bring to the game.If you have'nt played a human, you have'nt played.Play a human and join the big leauges.If you would like to send me the Bir Hakheim Last Day sceanrio as you defending,I would be happy to teach you a lesson you wont soon forget.

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Originally posted by legend42:

My feeling is that you have no clue as to the level of play an adequate human player can bring to the game.If you have'nt played a human, you have'nt played.Play a human and join the big leauges.If you would like to send me the Bir Hakheim Last Day sceanrio as you defending,I would be happy to teach you a lesson you wont soon forget.

I've played against human opponents, by PBEM or through internet in real time. Some of them have been experienced players and some have not been. And yes, I've enjoyed human opponents really much, as human is never so predictive in his moves as AI is. My only problem is that I have never finished a single PBEM game to the last turn, because normally the opponent has given up and never send another turn. I have better things to do than to waste my time, by playing half of the turns and then thinking that how it would have ended?

Anyways, I took on your challenge and sended the setup file for Bir Hakheim.

Don't worry, we will be laying you men to a decent graves and if there are any prisoners, they will have some fantastic French wine and perhaps a bit of a French bread. But hurry, if your attack attemp takes too long, my men probably have drank all the wine and eaten all the bread!

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Originally posted by P5:

I've played against human opponents, by PBEM or through internet in real time. Some of them have been experienced players and some have not been. And yes, I've enjoyed human opponents really much, as human is never so predictive in his moves as AI is. My only problem is that I have never finished a single PBEM game to the last turn, because normally the opponent has given up and never send another turn.

Join one of the wargaming clubs on the net, I play for instance at the blitz (www.theblitz.org) and I have finished 33 games, and no AWOL opponent so far.

The scoring system on the Blitz is not too competitive so games stay relaxed.

Other internet ladders are more competitive, if you are interested in tournament play.

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Originally posted by Panzer76:

I dont see the problem here. Unless you think the whole CM concept is boring.

Ok, we are getting way off topic here. My main complain was originally that the scenarios are not very well done. I'm not looking for exactly balanced scenarios, but still I don't see what's the point of including scenarios with the game, where even the maker of that scenario states, that it's nearly impossible to win?

But this is just my opinion. So far, the scenarios between 1940 to 1942 seem to be quite boring to me. Perhaps I just don't like that flat sand box?

And no, the CM concept hasn't been boring at all. I was still playing CMBB last week, until on Monday I noticed CMAK in stores. Before and after CMBB, I played CMBO.

Enough, my main intention was to create discussion about the scenarios and what other people think? So far there has been one comment, similar to mine. Perhaps this discussion will come up again, when more people will get CMAK in their hands.

Now, I need to go and get some French wine...

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Originally posted by P5:

Ok, we are getting way off topic here. My main complain was originally that the scenarios are not very well done.

Yes, but it went something like this :

1. Scenarios included was boring.

2. Suggested you play humans.

3. MEs was boring and PBEM opponent just bailed.

Solution: Play TCP, dont play MEs, play QBs, find regular PBEM opponents.

So, back to topic: CMAK scenarios are boring.

Since I dont have the game yet, I cant comment on that, but, I think I will feel the same when it comes to the desert warfare. It hasnt anything to do with the scenarios per se, but I really dont find the desert warfare interesting. The maps I suspect, and as shown in the demo, are just too... boring. So, I hope Italy will save CMAK for me, and I think it will.

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Originally posted by Alkiviadis:

We only have the demo here in the USA, but having studied the North Africa Campaign for decades,I concluded that CMAK would somewhat sterile upon it's announcement, the demo hasn't changed my opinion; simply the nature of the situation being modelled: relatively flat terrain, with little to no cover or mountainous terrain that allows little or no movement.

If you have studied the North African Campaign for decades, no doubt you have come across those passages in Rommel's diaries where he compares war on the desert to war at sea. The metaphor is fleets of armored vehicles roving freely to strike where they were not expected and then quickly moving on.

It wasn't an infantry battle for the most part, though they did have a role. It sounds like you are looking for infantry vs. infantry battles, and if that's the case you will indeed experience some disappointment as there weren't many prominent infantry battles. Nowhere else, except possibly the Russian Steppes (and I doubt even there), did the tank so dominate combat as in North Africa.

The true flavor of the North Africa Campaign is found on the "operational" level, in my opinion.
The true flavor of every WW II campaign is found at the operational level IMO. But until somebody brings out a set of operational level games that will play on my Mac that are of the caliber of CM, I will happily play CM.

In any event, there are a few tactical tricks I've always wanted to explore in a game...

smile.gif

Michael

[ November 30, 2003, 08:39 AM: Message edited by: Michael Emrys ]

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Originally posted by Michael Emrys:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Alkiviadis:

We only have the demo here in the USA, but having studied the North Africa Campaign for decades,I concluded that CMAK would somewhat sterile upon it's announcement, the demo hasn't changed my opinion; simply the nature of the situation being modelled: relatively flat terrain, with little to no cover or mountainous terrain that allows little or no movement.

If you have studied the North African Campaign for decades, no doubt you have come across those passages in Rommel's diaries where he compares war on the desert to war at sea. The metaphor is fleets of armored vehicles roving freely to strike where they were not expected and then quickly moving on.

It wasn't an infantry battle for the most part, though they did have a role. It sounds like you are looking for infantry vs. infantry battles, and if that's the case you will indeed experience some disappointment as there weren't many prominent infantry battles. Nowhere else, except possibly the Russian Steppes (and I doubt even there), did the tank so dominate combat as in North Africa.

The true flavor of the North Africa Campaign is found on the "operational" level, in my opinion.
The true flavor of every WW II campaign is found at the operational level IMO. But until somebody brings out a set of operational level games that will play on my Mac that are of the caliber of CM, I will happily play CM.

In any event, there are a few tactical tricks I've always wanted to explore in a game...

smile.gif

Michael </font>

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I bought CMAK yesterday (CDV version). my only criticism so far is the whopping 634MB setup.exe.

Dunno if this was CDV´s bright idea or BFC´s. I have a reasonably fast computer (AMD XP2800, 512MB DDR). after clicking setup.exe my computer went into deep freeze (DVD drive running at top speed and CPU usage 100%) for something like 8 minutes until it finally managed to start installing. I really wonder what people with less memory/CPU power will do.

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I -loved- the CMAK demo. Played both battles against a human opponent and I won both w/ the Allies. I'm sorry to hear you didn't like the Last Defense as that was my favorite of the two. I won a tactical victory and only took 65 casualties so it's not impossible. Just takes a little thought in your approach as the Germans -are- pretty well dug in. Great battle it was :)

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With CMBB and CMAK I'm expecting a huge variety of engagements. I think you almost have to look at CMAK as an expansion set. The lower price point should make that more palatable.

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For me, I have always found armor battles in CM to be deadly dull. I didn't enjoy them in CMBO, and I enjoyed them less in CMBB. However, in CMAK they are a freakin' blast!

They are still boring to me in Italy, but in the desert, meeting engagements suddenly make sense and QBs suddenly become a viable playing option for me. I'll still stick with scenarios and infantry fights for Italy and Crete (not that there really is a choice for crete).

In any case, stick to 2 player, playing the AI is a waste

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