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Am I the only guy here who is sick of WW2?

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Many interesting and valid points throughout.

It was mentioned a few times but I think the appeal of WW2 and ACW as a game is based on the American market (sorry guys). If CM:SF was instead CM:ACW I would not have bothered with even the demo.

The appeal of the WW2 large battles is obvious. You are talking Army Group, Corps, Division and Brigade level operations while in modern combat simulations you normally deal at the Battalion, Company and Platoon level. Why control 30 troops when you can control 30 000? Personally I like the 'intimate' nature of modern simulations as I am a soldier in this time, not the past.

I like Cold War era simulations and the 'what if' scenarios of today because they are unknown. Playing WW2 games that are based on history have a definitive conclusion and known outcome. It becomes more of a forum for the armchair people to see if they can do better or test their own theories on what General so and so should have done.

A war in the '80s with NATO and Warsaw Pact is my number one pic for gaming. Modern is #2 simply because I am here now living it. I personally do not understand the infatuation with ACW (I have a couple of friends who are re-creationists) in any way, shape or form. When it comes to games, I feel that they should appeal to the masses, not just a core group of 'grogs', this is what mission design and mods are for.

WW2 has been done, done and done. I think what most of those gamers are looking at is the new game mechanics and engines and thinking of their favorite games and saying, man, that old game would be awesome with this new technology. It is fair to want that, everyone wants their fav game done in the latest fashions. But I think it is also fair that other eras get the same treatment, as there are many people out there who find some of the most obscure wars/battles in history to be of vastly more interest than WW2.

So after saying all of that, gimmie CM:Cold War. Better yet make a generic war game that you can pick your era, nationality and units from the first bone club to tomorrows phased plasma in a 40W range. Just make sure I can be Canadian, getting tired of killing the bad guys as an American. ;)

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WW2 all the way, I have played Day OF Defeat since it was released, because of the game play and ww2 theme. I have played the "CM" series since it's release, because of the game play and it's theme.

I play "SC2" and "WAW" because of it's game play and

it's theme.

Haven't even tried the demo of "CMSF" because of it's theme, but well try the "CMWW2" demo, because of the WW2 theme, when it comes out and hopefully I'll like the game play.

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If one considers only games for masses (with the U.S. home market also included) then by all logic it should be 50's and Korea. U.S. vs. Chinese communists. Chinese are the most numerous so there should also be most potential customers ;)

It is also very close to WWII.

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Originally posted by Snake Raper:

Many interesting and valid points throughout.

It was mentioned a few times but I think the appeal of WW2 and ACW as a game is based on the American market (sorry guys).

The majority of Second World War games have always had the Eastern Front as a theme, though, so that logic doesn't quite hold - be it strategic, operational or tactical.

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So please do not consider only games for the masses.

Make one game/module of the early WWII, 1-2 for Eastern front, 1-2 for the late Western front + one perhaps for Africa.

Well that makes awfully lot of modules. But I guess it is D-day again all over next time?

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Originally posted by track:

If one considers only games for masses (with the U.S. home market also included) then by all logic it should be 50's and Korea. U.S. vs. Chinese communists. Chinese are the most numerous so there should also be most potential customers ;)

It is also very close to WWII.

Yeah, but you've got to actually get them to PAY for the game.

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I'm WW2ed out as well. Well, more like ETOed out. The ETO, east or west, has been done to death, and that poor dead horse keeps getting beaten. However, I'd love to see the new WW2 CM set in the PTO. I know hell will freeze over first, so I'd rather see more modern/cold war era modules than yet another ETO game. *yawn*

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Originally posted by Rambler:

I'm WW2ed out as well. Well, more like ETOed out. The ETO, east or west, has been done to death

There isn't a single game out there that deals in detail with Scheldt Fortress South or North, the battles for the Channel Ports, the battle at Kapelsche Veer - most battles, perhaps even the majority, that took place between the landings in Normandy (and the ones in Southern France) and VE-Day have been untouched by games of any scope - tactical or operational. The same handful of situations have been picked over, usually the Normandy landings, the Battle of the Bulge, Operation COBRA, MARKET-GARDEN, and to a lesser extent the Rhine Crossings.

As a general theme, there have been many games taking place in the ETO, or with the equipment used there, but specifically, the surface has barely even been scratched, particularly if looking at any kind of campaign type play.

Look at the CC series; the MARKET-GARDEN game featured a nice campaign. If something could come along to link an operational layer to the tactical layer in the same way as CMMC, there would be much fertile ground in NW Europe that has never been touched in any genre - boardgame OR computer, and that includes ASL, PL, Steel Panthers, CC, CM, etc.

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In SPMBT you can play (nonhistorical) scenarios between 1945 and 2010(?). I fail to see why modern equipment lessen the combined arms principles. Ok, you have aircrafts with precision weapons, arty cluster ammo, but in limited quantities. Sure, the "purchase prices" are designed to produce fair fights. But that's what tactical wargaming is about,isn't it?

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Kineas says "I fail to see why modern equipment lessen the combined arms principles". Ok, I'll explain.

Combined arms is not the idea that there are forty different way to eviscerate anything. it is the idea that only one (or a couple) best method exists to handle a given tactical job, and trying to use any other method will fail and hand the enemy a big advantage. And that the coordination problem and scarcity of right weapons for given enemies, makes this hard.

Modern "combined arms" means if mech infantry kills something, there is a "whoosh" sound and the bystanders say "oooh" when the target blows up. Whereas when armor kills something, there is a loud "bang" sound and the bystanders say "aaaahh". And when artillery kills something, there is a deafening roar and billowing clouds and the bystanders say "Jesu freakin Christobel!!! what the heck was that?!"

Combined arms is not loading the specific round into the breech that dices the specific target downrange, nor dialing in the finely minced setting on your trusty selectomatic killer-o-everything before letting fly. When everything can kill anything it sees, or just hit "talk" and kill it by remote control, that isn't combined arms. It is undifferentiated bags of combat power and a special effects video feed.

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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Snake Raper:

Many interesting and valid points throughout.

It was mentioned a few times but I think the appeal of WW2 and ACW as a game is based on the American market (sorry guys).

The majority of Second World War games have always had the Eastern Front as a theme, though, so that logic doesn't quite hold - be it strategic, operational or tactical. </font>

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When I purchased CM:SF it was not because of the Modern setting, but the new CMx2 engine. I loved it from day one, warts and all. I have enjoyed asymmetric play, the use of Uncoms and all the wiz bangs the US arsenal displays. But am I tired of WW2...no, not at all. What I am tired about are the old engines and methods of playing it. That doesn't mean I don't respect those games. Far from it. I just want to see what creative wargame companies, like BFC, can do. When CM:WW2 comes out I'll be among the first to pre-order just like CM:SF. One difference though, and a telling one: I'll definitely follow that forum whenever it opens. Unlike the CM:SF forum, which I rarely (ever?) looked at until the last pre-publishing month.

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Originally posted by Snake Raper:

Eastern front is popular because of the German and Russian armies, very big battles, the biggest in fact. The Germans had brilliant combined arms tactics and platoon weaponry that are basically mirrored today.

Huh? Most German soldiers never saw a tank, and the majority were armed with bolt action rifles. Not sure what regiment you're in, but here in 41 CBG we use the C7A1... ;)

The German artillery system was antiquated compared to what a Commonwealth FOO or American FO could do. Their section tactics were completely the opposite of what the Commonweath and Americans trained to do - and what we train to do today. (The Germans used the lMG as the main killing weapon, whereas the CW used the LMG as a support weapon to allow the riflemen to maneuver.)

Not saying the Germans weren't effective, but as far as "brilliant", they were not the modern army that mythologists would have us believe. As far as mirroring the section, we have a section completely armed with semi-automatic rifles, two Minimis, two M203 grenade launchers, vs. a 1944 German rifle section with an MP40 machine pistol (near useless beyond 200 metres), an MG42 (which fired far too fast at 1200 rpm), and 7 K98s, though the sturmgewehr had started to see issue in quantities - though the Grenadier/Volksgrenadier regiments probably did not enjoy as high a priority as the panzergrenadier or "elite" formations such as Hermann Goering, Grossdeutschland, W-SS, Panzer Lehr, etc. Our sections are divided into two man fire teams and can be subdivided very usefully; the two Minimis provide much useful firepower when and where needed; the German section was AIUI much more unwieldy and not often broken down beyond perhaps a gun team and a rifle team.

[ December 16, 2007, 08:00 PM: Message edited by: Michael Dorosh ]

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Perhaps I should have said that comparatively speaking they had good gear that is similar in function.

MGs, mortars, AT, yes bolt-action rifles but rifles none the less (some of them were quite good at using them). What you are describe is essentially the modern equivalent.

The point I was making was that the WW2 German rifle platoon was very similar to that of modern platoons. They have the same capability and sustainment (comparatively speaking). They had integrated support (MGs and mortars) at the platoon level, most other nations in the early goings had that support (mortars) at the company and higher level.

Not sure why you say that most German soldiers never saw a tank, the part of the war that saw them paste Europe says otherwise (that whole blitzkrieg thing).

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Originally posted by Snake Raper:

[QB] Perhaps I should have said that comparatively speaking they had good gear that is similar in function.

MGs, mortars, AT, yes bolt-action rifles but rifles none the less (some of them were quite good at using them). What you are describe is essentially the modern equivalent.

The point I was making was that the WW2 German rifle platoon was very similar to that of modern platoons. They have the same capability and sustainment (comparatively speaking). They had integrated support (MGs and mortars) at the platoon level, most other nations in the early goings had that support (mortars) at the company and higher level.

Ah, that makes more sense. How good they were with their rifles makes little difference; riflemen rarely did anything effective with them. I'm not quoting SLA Marshall, either, but our very own Strome Galloway - if you've served operationally with the RCR, you'll know who that is, or should. He said that most riflemen could have carried pitchforks in the Second World War for all the difference it would have made. I'm certain it applied as much to the Germans as to his Royal Canadians.

Not sure why you say that most German soldiers never saw a tank, the part of the war that saw them paste Europe says otherwise (that whole blitzkrieg thing).

Have you read Matthew Cooper? "Blitzkrieg" wasn't a German military concept, though we've had that conversation here more than a few times. German armour in Poland in 1939, for example, was mostly timidly used and supported the infantry, but even at the height of the war, less than 20 percent of German divisions were armoured divisions. There were assault gun battalions and independent heavy tank units, but most German soldiers simply didn't operate with medium tanks (what we call main battle tanks today) all that often. They slogged around on foot and did battle in the time honoured way, perhaps with assault guns in support, usually relying on mortars or rocket artillery by 1944 particularly in the defence.

Nor did they have personnel carriers as we do today - you've trained with the LAV, I take it, for current mechanized operations. The Germans didn't deploy a single regiment equipped with armoured personnel carriers during the war that I am aware of. Compare to US armored infantry battalions or CW Motor battalions which were available in decent numbers in the case of the former, and while not greatly numerous in the case of the latter, at least they were fully equipped unlike the panzergrenadiers/schützen regiments, who used underpowered and unarmoured trucks for the most part.

From Ellis (Brute Force):

Our perception of land operations in the Second World War has...been distorted by an excessive emphasis upon the hardware employed. The main focus of attention has been the tank and the formations that employed it, most notably the (German) panzer divisions. Despite the fact that only 40 of the 520 German divisions that saw combat were panzer divisions (there were also an extra 24 motorised/panzergrenadier divisions), the history of German operations has been written largely in terms of blitzkrieg and has concentrated almost exclusively upon the exploits of the mechanized formations. Even more misleadingly,this presentation of ground combat as a largely armored confrontation has been extended to cover Allied operations, so that in the popular imagination the exploits of the British and Commonwealth Armies, with only 11 armored divisions out of 73 (that saw combat), and of the Americans in Europe, with only 16 out of 59, are typified by tanks sweeping around the Western Desert or trying to keep up with Patton in the race through Sicily and across northern France. Of course, these armored forces did play a somewhat more important role in operations than the simple proportions might indicate, but it still has to be stressed that they in no way dominated the battlefield or precipitated the evolution of completely new modes of warfare.

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I'm sick of the big wars in first world countries as strategy games. Give me the Angolan Civil War, Arab-Israeli wars, African bush wars, Peru vs. Ecuador (hypothetical), Central American wars, Iran-Iraq war and the Russian Chechen situation any day over the same washed over stuff.

I played the John Tiller stuff (Soviet Afghan war, Vietnam, Korea and the Africa @ War mod for Pacific War, absolutely interesting and tense.) If not on the strategic level, at least make games based on a tactical level.

[ December 16, 2007, 10:26 PM: Message edited by: Uberpickle ]

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MD - while I agree the infantry and rifle formations fought most of the war, it is untrue that the Germans fielded no fully armored infantry units. Panzer Lehr had all 4 Pz Gdr battalions equipped with SPWs, plus the recce battalion. While the usual load out was a single armored Pz Gdr battalion per division, a number of divisions had 2 later in the war, and the recce battalion was sometimes armored as well (though usually only a portion was).

As for the other fellow's claim that the Germans had supporting heavy weapons at platoon level, I simply don't recognize it as being accurate. The Germans used a heavy weapons platoon in each company, and a heavy weapons company in each battalion - the same as the US line infantry and most other powers. The company weapons had several HMGs and 2 81mm mortars, the battalion weapons had several HMG platoons and a mortar battery (usually also 81mm, 4 to 6 of them).

It is true that early on the Germans used 50mm at platoon level - as did everyone else who fielded mortars that light (Brits, Russians) - but they dropped them as ineffective.

Within the platoon, the Germans had MGs, but they were squad level weapons, not pooled at platoon level. The formation type that did use platoon level weapons for fire support was the US armored infantry, which had an MG squad of 2 MMGs, plus a mortar squad with 60mm, to two rifle squads for maneuver - if you think weapons sections pushed down that far are emblematic of something more modern.

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Originally posted by JasonC:

MD - while I agree the infantry and rifle formations fought most of the war, it is untrue that the Germans fielded no fully armored infantry units. Panzer Lehr had all 4 Pz Gdr battalions equipped with SPWs, plus the recce battalion. While the usual load out was a single armored Pz Gdr battalion per division, a number of divisions had 2 later in the war, and the recce battalion was sometimes armored as well (though usually only a portion was).

As always, thanks for your comments and clarifications. I always use Grossdeutschland as the litmus test - GD never did have their two mechanized infantry regiments fully equipped with SPWs. If you say Panzer Lehr actually managed it, I have no choice but to believe it - but I would have to believe they were the exception to the rule. I've yet to lay hands on a good divisional history; closest I've come is interviewing a platoon commander from Pz Gren Lehr Regiment 901 in his home here in Calgary. I laughed at Osprey's "elite units" title that gave a divisional order of battle and didn't even list his regiment... Admittedly, I suppose I am not looking hard enough - Fedorowicz is too expensive to contemplate for units I'm only briefly interested in. There doesn't seem to be much online, but I haven't googled Lehr in a long time.

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Originally posted by Bigduke6:

Arguing modern land war is a more interesting framework for a wargame, than the "classic" periods (particularly WW2, Napoleonic, US Civil War, and Ancient) is pretty non-sensical, unless you really depart from standard definitions of victory and defeat.

Traditionally, battles in war and the popular wargames are won by killing or otherwise incapacitating more of the other guy's soldiers, and destroying more of his equipment, than you lose yourself. Certainly there is variance in unit quality, but the definition of victory remains the same: your force physically defeated the enemy force.

That definition has held true pretty much since cavemen.

Not all wars are particularly interesting to replicate as wargames, because you need something approximating a fair fight for a good wargame.

Certainly, fair fights are not the only way battles take place in wars. In WW2 from summer 1944 onward Soviet deliberate attacks of any scale are pretty much no fun to wargame, as where's the fun of replicating a Red Army massive combat power advantage flattening the German opposition?

By that same token, a bunch of invulnerable Tigers on a ridge cancelling out dozens of Shermans or T-34s likewise is a dumb wargame.

(Although there are more people out there than you think that believe a good computer wargame is a progam that allows you to watch the forces you happen to like - be they an S.S. Panther Abteilung or a U.S. M1A1 company - kick butt on you computer screen. But that is not so much a wargame as mental masturbation, and it's not easy to find opponents willing to play against a person so he can act out such fantasies.)

WW2 was so big in scope, that you can replicate plenty of actions where commander skill was, the determining factor in achieving victory, and again the definition of victory is, basically, killed and wounded more enemy and his equipment than the other way around. This paradigm holds true for all the "classic" wargaming periods. The force mix may vary, and the unit quality may vary, but the definition of victory and the key factors in achieving it - commander skill and by implication his ability to apply combined arms - remains the same.

In modern warfare, the definitions of victory are different. After all, by the classic standards, the modern high tech commander to kill and otherwise defeat the enemy needs not skill, but permission to use enough force.

Worse, victory for him often has little to do with the classic definition of victory. Capturing ground, killing and wounding the enemy, very often takes a back seat to preventing collateral damage, avoiding friendly casualties, and (even) avoiding enemy casualties, because they can be misconstrued as dead civilians.

Certainly, it can be a mental challenge for a modern high-tech commander to try and do what he is told to do - clear that village, take that ridge, etc. - given the generally political constraints on him. But it is not a fair fight and the decisive battle is not the one between the two commanders, but rather between the field commander and higher command assigning firepower and the right to use it. These are parameters set ahead of the wargame battle, and so not influenced by the player. It is usually not fun to play a wargame where you can't influence the action, witness CMSF before the patches came out.

And on the other side, the main thing the hapless Arab force is concerned about is, how much force will the enemy be allowed to use against me? He can deploy his troopies and set up his clever ambushes to his heart's content, but classic victory has nothing to do with his brains. Rather, it all has to do with a political decision made in a foreign country.

Combat in a straight-jacket is almost always not the basis of a good wargame, and combat where one side hugely outclasses the other is even worse. There are mental challenges in a battle like that, and thinking can be needed to get to certain objectives. But in any case, the objectives cannot be classic battlefield victory, as that will be decided not by commander skill, but by the degree the high-tech side is allowed to use force.

The more battlefield results are unclear in the case of unlimited force, and where there are plenty of interesting "toys" for the wargamer to play with, the more likely you have the basis for a good wargame. There is post-WW2 stuff out there, for instance Taiwan-China, Pakistan-India, and Yom Kippur. But modern Middle Eastern warfare, which includes pretty much any action the US would be involved in in the foreseeable future, by definition these days is asymetrical. Not much fun in that.

It is no accident that most of the classic wargaming periods historically were periods of massive multi-national conflict lasting at least a decade, and sometimes closer to a century. That is where variety in force mixes comes in, where adaptation to new tactics and weapons comes in, and where, throughout it all, commander skill in handling the force mix, determines battlefield success, with that military success defined in classical terms.

As Jason and Mr. Dorosh correctly point out, the opinion of the hobby market is unequivocal. Modern war just doesn't hold a candle to the classic periods, it is too narrow, and too unbalanced.

To each his own.

One of the better explanations of the issue at hand I've seen to date. WW2 does particularly well in allowing for an interesting "game" setup.

But apart from that you can more or less count me among the "mental masturbators". Though the game would be wholly unattractive without the realistic and tactical elements, I mainly love to blow "stuff" up and shoot people.

I absolutely love the WW2 setting, generally the later in the war the better.

And I love CMx1 for its 3D representation, the WeGo system and the anal attention to detail and authenticity (notably a dozen or more Soviet tanks I'd never heard of). Same goes for other wargames I rank as high as CM.

But I don't love it particularly for the WW2 setting. Personally, I prefer scenarios from the industrial age. Give me modern warfare, or even "Combat Mission 2025", Fulda Gap, Korean War, whatever. And hey, throw in a Waterloo or US Civil War, plus Agincourt and Romans vs. Gauls, just for the fun of it. The period does not determine if I like the game or not, the game/gameplay does.

PS: And everybody please take note of the quote button, and use it. Thank you

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