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noxnoctum

CMAK vs. CMBB

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I've got a little bit of money and not sure which to buy. I own CMSF and CMAK. I loved CMAK and was extremely dissapointed with CMSF. The AI, pathfinding, and interface were, I felt, massive backwards steps.

Now I've heard Marines has improved some, but honestly I'm much more eager to backward track to CMBB, which hopefully isn't "iffy" like Marines will probably be. I figure I'll let Battlefront keep working out the kinks and hopefully by the time their WW2 game comes out, the engine will be refined.

My question is, will it be annoying to go from CMAK to CMBB (since it's an older iteration). What are the main differences between the games, aside from theater. Are there any things I will miss in CMAK?

BTW: Do people still play CMBB on PBEM? Where can I find opponents?

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CMAK is only very slightly improved. It has less obnoxiously slow vehicle turns and less bogging rate.

The dust clouds in there are more of a bug than a feature.

CMBB has extra command delay for the Allies until Dec 31, 1942, adding insult to a bad feature injury (one of the things improved in CMx2, the command delay as implemented in BB and AK is just a cute idea gone wrong).

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Infantry is more vulnerable to fire in CMBB so the main difference for me is that in CMAK I can rush forward to a position quite easily but in CMBB get pinned more. ON the other hand infnatry tends to die more easily in CMAK but tends to hang on a bit longer in CMBB.

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So basically the only real differences are very minor behavior changes in vehicles and infantry, dust, and theater?

Is the AI any worse in CMBB than CMAK?

The theatre change is a big, BIG, difference. You also get a number of minor nationalities to play - Rumanians anyone? A large number of different units, and King Tigers. My advice - grab it.

As for CMSF - I didn't get the game until Marines, and I'm not at all unhappy with it.

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Yeah my main concern was just that it'd be tough going back on any AI changes or anything like that but it seems nothing on that front was changed.

Do people still play it on PBEM?

And concerning Marines I've still read way too many negative reviews and had a terrible impression of even a patched up CMSF so I'm not going to be putting into more money into that for now... Plus WW2 > Modern warfare any day.

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Noxnutom, just wondering when was the last time you tried CMSF. The game has improved immensely, and it would be worth the time to patch it up and give it another try.

Speaking of PBEMs, CMBB still has a fairly large player base I would assume. I don't actually own the game. With several gaming clubs still supporting it, for instance http://worldatwar.eu/index.php?〈=3&refcode=0&locatin=intro. Which has 7 players currently looking for CM:BB opponents this week.

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Well just bought CMBB last night and so far it's awesome :D.

Thanks for the tip about PBEM. I'm trying to get a bunch of games going. TCP-ip is actually my preference but not many people seem to have 4 hours to throw down for this.

About CMSF, maybe I will try the new patch (1.20?). Last I played was 1.08 I believe.

My biggest issues were the TacAI (or lack thereof) and I just completely don't understand the static AI battlefront chose to use? Is that still in place? (where the AI has a limited number of preset "plans" basically removing any flexibility from the equation).

Is the interface easier to handle now?

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Where do you see this information?

Well to play at WaW you have to join and then post at the open battlegrounds part of the site. Or if you joing the English site, post in the forum there. We also play CMSF and have an active community there too, we are even about to kick off another SF tourney.

back to CMBB, wise choice and you will find plenty of opponents....

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Currently playing PBEM CMBB as Romania against Hungary in October 44 via WaW. Joined WaW, posted a 'hello' and within 24 hrs I am playing 3 PBEM games (1 BB, 2AK). I could probably be playing more if I contacted others: these were games where folks just whacked off a file and said "play this". Actually the probably wanted to say "play this and die, sucker" but jsut held back a bit ... :)

Early BB years played as Russians (as far as I remember) are pretty dire, expect to have your bottom offered to you in a bowl.

Another (still good?) place to find opponents is http://webandofbrothers.yuku.com. Although you have to get a sponsor to play you before you join, it's relatively easy to do - check the membership list for the folks who are willing to act as sponsors and contact them and play a game through with them. There are a lot of opportunities there if you can put up with the occasionally anally retentive and autocratic 'club management' style. Stay out of the forums and play the games and you'll have some fun ...

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Oddly, I joined WaW with the intention of playing CM:SF (BoB (of which I haven't been a member for years) won't have anything to do with any game outside WW2) then I discovered that the opportunities offered by CM:SF are not and remain unlikely to be anything near as broad and deep as CMx1. Once I fired up CM:AK and BB, got over the clunky graphics, I remembered just how damn good these games were. Sure they have their idiosyncrasies and some failings that annoy the purists, but bloody hell there was a LOT of work went into a) making them playable B) modelling reality (albeit in abstract) and c) creating humongous quantities of men and equipment. CM:SF seems to have little of any of that, but does have lovely graphics.

From what I read the CM:SF QB system is not going to rival CMx1 for am LONGGGG time to come (so once you've played the pre-cooked scenarios, you'll need to wait to buy a new module before getting a 'decent' fight); it will not model the breadth (time frame, location) of AK & BB for many years to come (if ever); it concentrates scarce development resources on 'displaying' things (like shell holes in tanks, 1:1 modelling of squads*) rather than modelling the effects of them, with just a nod to graphics or adding equipment, terrain features etc; it doesn't have the range of commands in the UI that AK has (nor BB either, I think). It may be be that CMx2 will develop into a game with all the content of CMx1 but not for a few years yet (in BF's own declared timeframe).

*the 1:1 modelling of squads, with all the effort that's gone into pretty graphics does, I must confess, produce some entertaining moments when they all do a "square dance" embarking or debarking their transports.

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I think this post (here) on BoB really illustrates the issue: the writer says "but, 1:1 modelling of squads produces awesome action".

That completely misses the point: the "awesome action" is produced in the innards of the software - all that CM:SF does is to allow us to see it in full PanavisionDolbyTechincolour, without troubling us to use our imagination .....

the same "awesome action" is (broadly speaking) produced in CM:BO, BB, & AK - it's just represented differently on-screen.

Tragically, the MTV generation need to be spoon-fed with "awesome action" and pretty graphics: how on earth are these young-folk ever going to be able to read a book made up only of letters, without pictures showing them the "awesome action"?

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Clearly, wargaming has never attempted increases in attractiveness or visual fidelity. Oh, let me pull out my copy of Tactics II. Only four colors? What's this? It doesn't look anywhere near as pretty as my copy of TacAir, nor do the terrain or counters fire my imagination as much. TacAir might be marginally more fun because it is attractive. I must be a member of the MTV generation.

Another thing: some people just like to see more detail. Seeing as I was raised on text adventures and books (and learned to code long before I saw a proper "game"), I doubt that I'm some sort of reverse Luddite, only able to experience the fullness of life when I am ensconced in technology, but I prefer CMSF to CMBB *because* I can see the action. I also quite like Men of War. Because I can watch the awesome action.

I think it's one of those "to each his own" things, and less some insurmountable generational gap.

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I think it's one of those "to each his own" things, and less some insurmountable generational gap.

Most likely, yes. But to privilege 'eye candy' over scope (breadth and depth) is, IMO, more a feature of modern times. Historically, 'eye candy' was a vehicle for content, not an objective in and of itself.

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Another (still good?) place to find opponents is http://webandofbrothers.yuku.com. Although you have to get a sponsor to play you before you join, it's relatively easy to do - check the membership list for the folks who are willing to act as sponsors and contact them and play a game through with them. There are a lot of opportunities there if you can put up with the occasionally anally retentive and autocratic 'club management' style. Stay out of the forums and play the games and you'll have some fun ...

The Band of Brothers is a great place to find opponents, and egamarl is correct about the process for joining the club. http://webandofbrothers.de/join.htm

Drop me a line and I'll find a sponsor for you, if you are interested.

egamarl, you must have changed names since departing the BoB, I couldn't find you on my "dear departed list".

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egamarl, you must have changed names since departing the BoB, I couldn't find you on my "dear departed list".

It's actually an anagram, or palindrome, or anagrammic palindrome or palindrommic anagram or somesuch :).

I don't know if I would qualify as "dearly" departed: I left because I wouldn't tolerate being shouted at in 14" high letters by "the luddite representatives of management" :)

I hadn't played CM again until recently.

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Noxnoctum, I found them in the open battle grounds of the WaW site.

From what I read the CM:SF QB system is not going to rival CMx1 for am LONGGGG time to come (so once you've played the pre-cooked scenarios, you'll need to wait to buy a new module before getting a 'decent' fight); it will not model the breadth (time frame, location) of AK & BB for many years to come (if ever); it concentrates scarce development resources on 'displaying' things (like shell holes in tanks, 1:1 modelling of squads*) rather than modelling the effects of them, with just a nod to graphics or adding equipment, terrain features etc; it doesn't have the range of commands in the UI that AK has (nor BB either, I think). It may be be that CMx2 will develop into a game with all the content of CMx1 but not for a few years yet (in BF's own declared timeframe).

Egamarl, as a CMSF player im gonna have to disagree with you a bit here. Although, I will admit the QB system is workable but still rather eh. Luckily CM:N will have a totally new QB system! Anyway...

CMSF covers a fictional war against Syria meaning its time frame will be necessarily short. The 1st and 2nd Gulf War's are good examples. This is also the reason for the lack of content, the war is over in a period of months not years.

Graphically, improvements were needed to sell the game - this of course only applies to non hardcore wargamers. While 1:1 modeling, in my opinion, has improved the simulation.

The UI has nearly all of the commands present in BB/AK. The only ones missing are shoot&scoot (which is easily worked around), move to contact was merged with the hunt command (this is one were I do miss the CMx1 command), move to hull down not a glaring omission but still missed by some, and human wave.

Also, I have a feeling that some people misunderstand the CMX2 development cycle.

CMSF is nearing the end of its run with the NATO module. The next release will be CM:Normandy, followed by CM:Battle of the Bulge, then things get hazy. But, it will be something like CMSF2 and then CM: Eastern Front. With each game having incremental improvements over the last (Normandy will have bridges/new QB system). So it would look something like this.

-CMSF

-CM:Afghanistan*

-CM:Normandy

-CM:Bulge

-CM:Eastern Front

-CM:SF2

*CM:A is a third party game which, with any luck, will be released in the next 6 months

Also development can be ongoing for multiple titles simultaneously so waiting times between games should be decreasing.

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Hi wengart. Just to clarify what I meant:

1) SF QB system will not offer the variety of meant and equipment nor the subtle 'point based' system we have come to enjoy in CMx1 for some time to come. It offers what it offers, and if that's OK with the player, then that;'s OK with the player: I am just contrasting it with CMx1 for the possible enlightenment of those for whom the purchase price of SF is a stretch. From what I read in (or rather infer from) BFs 'updates' the QB system won't even include all the 'reasonably to be expected' range of equipment in the Normandy time frame. Why? Not enough resources to do the artwork (which, I allow, is enormous). (Obviously almost all of the unit data is available per CMxq1 databases). If the artwork weren't privileged over abstracted representations adequately but not gloriously represented on-screen then this would not be such a big issue for the developers. I'm sure SF will eventually get a good QB system if the title survives well enough - but until then the limitation on TOE will be a PITA after a while, IMO.

2) Timeframe: what I meant is not the limitations of a Syrian conflict (with which I have no issue at all) but the lengthy growth of the breadth of coverage of CM2 WW2 - all the modules you list (and many more) having to be bought over an extended timeframe to get close to the coverage of the existing CMx1 titles.

You say graphic improvements were necessary to sell the game - and that may indeed, sadly be so. It won't be the first time content has been sacrificed to commercial pressures. The eye-candy might indeed eventually contribute to a superior product - but not for a while and not for anything near the same price you can pick up BB & AK and have a damn good time!

You say 1:1 modelling has improved the simulation. I doubt that very much - that'd be the engine, if anything (and actually I don't know if the simulation has or has not been improved)! It has improved the visual representation of the simulation. The simulation takes place in the 'innards' of the engine. What I lament is the focus on the eye-candy rather than the guts of the game: but as you say, the commercial assessment is 'eye-candy sells". And indeed it does. But for those who want a good, broad, deep game NOW for very few £££, CMx1 is it.

Comparing and contrasting CMx1 and CMx2 today on a value-for-money basis, CMx1 has it hands-down IMO. On a VFM basis for the enthusiast, CMx1 might always win out: for the MTV generation where eye-candy is necessary for enjoyment, CMx2 will win through, for sure. For a bit of fun for someone for whom $70 is the cost of a Friday night out in the pub, CMx2 is OK.

I have nothing against CM:SF at all, either ideologically or as a potentially good and maybe great game. I just don't like it enough to buy it for the eye candy: for that I bought Fallout3 :) (That was the first new game I'd played in YEARS - you can call me shallow but having been first exposed to that type of computer games via Doom, Descent and suchlke I was blown-away by Fallout 3 (literally and metaphorically).

MY recommendation that if one is after eye-candy with limited re-playability RIGHT NOW (as opposed to some-when after a lengthy development cycle and parting with cash for each relatively minor increment in the overall scheme of things*) go and get Fallout 3! :) If you're interested in damn-fine game play - broad and deep - go for CMx1. I'm just not sure where CMx2 sits right now - it's neither fish nor fowl in that regard. Not for the gamer, anyway - maybe it's pulling-in military and mercenary ("contractor") $$$ already ....

* I don't know the answer to this question, so I don't know whether it is good or bad news, but what is the estimated cost to the customer and time-scale of getting a CMx2 WW2 version as broad and deep as CMAK+BB? Perhaps $300 and 3-5 years? (I get to $300 by saying - roughly - $45 for base game, $35 each for three 'families', $25 each for 6 modules. No idea at all how realistic that is, but it's already $45 for SF+Marines. + $25 for British ($70) and that's just in Syria!

By the way: just as a matter of interest, I do wonder from time to time why is there no 'Far East' content in CMx2? Indeed, why was there no 'Far East' content in CMx1? It seems too large and important a theatre to ignore. It might simply be that jungle warfare isn't much fun for the player, and certainly not for the PBI!

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It's actually an anagram, or palindrome, or anagrammic palindrome or palindrommic anagram or somesuch :).

I don't know if I would qualify as "dearly" departed: I left because I wouldn't tolerate being shouted at in 14" high letters by "the luddite representatives of management" :)

I hadn't played CM again until recently.

I must have missed that episode, although I was most likely there at the time. As with a lot of clubs, there has been a turnover of management.

The club maintains a list of those who have left for one reason or another. A few left under difficult circumstances, but most are welcome to return. I was observing that you aren't on that list, so you must have left a long time ago or under a different name.

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(snip)

By the way: just as a matter of interest, I do wonder from time to time why is there no 'Far East' content in CMx2? Indeed, why was there no 'Far East' content in CMx1? It seems too large and important a theatre to ignore. It might simply be that jungle warfare isn't much fun for the player, and certainly not for the PBI!

First, the guys at Battlefront aren't personally interested in the Pacific theater. Second, anticipated US sales of a WW2 land-based wargame featuring troops from China, Japan and India would probably run in the hundreds of units for the grogs. No Germans = no mass sales. If the Japanese had Tigers, Panthers or possibly SS uniforms maybe it would be different.

I've often wondered if there is much of a WW2 computer wargaming market in Japan and China and India. It seems like the number of potential players must be unbelievably huge. Maybe in those markets the American and German armies would be sales duds.

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All I know is that Panzer General was born from influence by a Japanese strategy game. Just like PG is very different from your standard western hex based wargame, Japanese games in general are very distinct. Compare Final Fantasy or Zelda series to SSI's Gold Box games or Garriot's Ultima series, it's that big a difference. So while the game market in Japan must be huge, actually making it there big can be hard for a western company.

China is a difficult market for historical wargames. Not only is piracy there rampant and not many people can afford computers, even less games, but also censorship. Having trouble with swastikas and Waffen SS in Germany? That is nothing, in China a game, film or book can be banned if it in any way portrays Japanese soldiers as anything else than the murdering, raping vandals of Nanking. I'm sure you can also get into trouble if you try to convey that Mao couldn't have liberated China without imperialist help!

Indians are predominantly Hindus to whom all life is sacred, so they detest war and killing as a form of entertainment. Only kidding. But like China, the majority of Indians are poor and therefore the legal game market is far smaller than that in USA or Europe.

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