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About Holman

  • Birthday 12/20/1968

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    PA, USA
  • Interests
    The wargames and the history and the fiction and the teaching.


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  1. I read it years ago, and found it fascinating. IIRC (and this will be a test of my memory, as I'm not looking it up), Malaparte was an Italian journalist who enjoyed the company of aristocrats and other well-connected Italians, many of whom would come to be part of or adjacent to the Mussolini regime. He was also deeply cynical about the war. The novel is semi-autobiographical and offers a very unusual perspective on WW2. Did I remember it right?
  2. Plus, the CMx2 graphics engine doesn't present every twitch and squirm of an individual soldier. Someone ducking at the right time or pressing themselves that much further into the dirt can save them even if the computer doesn't show it.
  3. Someone could create "Invasion America" right now with graphics mods alone. The US/Soviet data is already in the engine, and all you have to do is change some building textures and doodads. You've got German terrain for the East and South and NTC terrain for Texas etc. Recolor it for Kudzu and gravel roads if you really want to go to town.
  4. Visible from whom? That's the question. I think you should just accept that it's difficult and that the player has to learn the complications and work with them.
  5. I feel icky about dumping on another developer's vision. There's room for lots of wargames, and the life of the genre depends on attracting new players at all levels.
  6. Buddy aid has a random element, and rightly so. Maybe you want the FT, but the buddy just has no idea how to use it correctly. Maybe that BAR is better than your carbine, but the stock got shattered by the blast that killed the BAR man. Maybe you'd love to pick up that M240, but the former gunner's entrails are currently slathered all over it.
  7. I assume you want to press a key and have the map highlight everywhere your unit can see. But what is the "unit?" Since sighting in CMx2 is by individual members, does (for example) a selected tank highlight where the commander can see (even if the gunner can't), or does it only highlight what the gunner can see (meaning that the tank itself might be visible from places where you're told it can't see). Likewise, an infantry squad. Does your button highlight only what a single member can see, or is it necessary for all of them to be able to see the spot? In the end, even with such a sighting-highlight tool in place, you'll be developing an eye for what a unit can *effectively* see and not see through long practice. And that's what we're already doing now.
  8. Ideally, sure. Or... maybe not. In CM, visibility is checked not per unit but per individual soldier. Your opened-up tank commander might see an enemy that the gunner can't; an infantry rifleman might see one that the squad machine-gunner can't; etc etc. CM requires that you learn by practice what works and what doesn't. Some extra UI tools might actually make this harder, not easier.
  9. Try it and see. Place a waypoint (which you can of course delete afterwards) on the other side of a forest or even just a building. The LOS line does appear to originate from the unit, but its colors very clearly indicates sight from the waypoint.
  10. I haven't spent any time in the CMCW map editor, but how is it for 1970s-80s urban architecture? Berlin might not be much of a battle, but fighting would surely be serious in Hamburg, Hannover, etc. And of Course Frankfurt and Cologne/Bonn would probably be the ultimate targets for the Pact invasion plan. Perhaps the West-and-East German DLC could include appropriate urban terrain as well.
  11. Remember that CM allows you to check LOS not just from a unit's current position but from a movement waypoint. For example, select a unit and place a waypoint somewhere the unit definitely can't see (such as the other side of the map). If you select that waypoint and give a "target" order, the line of sight tool will reflect visibility from that waypoint, not from the unit's current position. (It take a little getting used to because the line still originates from the unit, but its color clearly indicates calculation from the waypoint.)
  12. And "Target" works perfectly well for this. CM already gives the player plenty of unrealistic god's-eye-view advantages lacked by historical commanders. Having to be in position to check spotting is a feature, not a bug.
  13. CM actually started development as what would have been the official computer adaptation of ASL.
  14. We've been in Roxborough/Manayunk for 20 years now, with friends all over town!
  15. Not to rain on the parade, but it's worth remembering that BTS has indicated that they're not even interested in the WW2 Pacific theater, let alone Mars. But more seriously... The CMx2 engine is perfect for ground combat at the scale where mid-20th to early-21st century dispersed mechanized units, leg infantry, and their support assets come into contact in open, broken, and urban environments at plus-or-minus battalion level. Change any of those variables, and the engine probably shows limitations. Vietnam jungle would be very frustrating in the CMx2 engine, as would WW1 trench raids. The player's control would be much more limited. Terrain and surprise would dictate the result far more than player input would. Likewise, imagined Sci-Fi conflicts would require a different scale and different design assumptions. If every armored soldier is a tank (Heinlein-style), you'd want a game with more intimate choices (individual troopers' weapons, sensors, and systems), and the tech would probably mean that engagements occur at thousands of meters rather than hundreds or dozens. On the other hand, the most interesting engagements would be inside structures or spaceships, and that's not at all suited to CMx2's squad-level and 10-meter square baseline.
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