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BletchleyGeek

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BletchleyGeek last won the day on June 4 2020

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    Computer Science, AI, History, Wargaming

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  1. I really enjoyed First Clash @George MC, many thanks for that one and all the other scenarios you have pampered us with over the years.
  2. WITE 2 is a significant evolution wrt WITE and WITW. You have a more refined model of supply distribution (still abstract in jarring ways though), movement (more granular ground conditions, roads and rail transport), meaningful (allegedly) operational level air warfare (opposed to merely tactical), a notion of command inertia (preparation or ops planning points), combat delays/congestion (to more accurately reflect time and space constraints), and engaging campaign victory conditions (sudden death, high water mark rewards, vp awarded in function of how early or late certain milestones are achieved), and a significant overhaul of the user interface. The manual is very well written and it will be actually helpful and informative. A lot of effort went into it. There are a few "contras" too. The AI is as smart as Gary can program it, no more and no less. So quite smart, but not magical. In a game with this scope, that means things can go off the rails in distracting ways. Also it is a 1980s AI: it cheats, way less than it used to, and doesn't feel ashamed of doing so. You can adjust the level of cheating but the settings (basically a knob that goes from "I win always"/ "damaged tanks are always recovered and fixed" to "AI has nukes"/"AI has Star Trek technology to move and generate supply") require experimentation. Given that you need to restart a game if you mess up settings, throwing away hours, I find this irksome. WITE2 is funnest against a proper human opponent, the AI is for learning the game imo, just don't look too close at what it does with the rules. The game has no HD support beyond 1080p, if you need big displays the game will be possibly unplayable (native scaling is being implemented and should be out soon). The event engine is underutilized imo, but offers a few welcome morsels of flavour (but nothing like HOI4 which I think is all flavour and texture). The UI has been greatly improved but still fails to explain well combat results. If you're up for a big time commitment - a turn of the GC can take easily one hour or more of your time - and have a reliable war gaming buddy that is happy to play huge CMx2 scenarios to the end, then you can't go wrong with WITE2.
  3. I would like to recommend the excellent scenarios by Chris Maiorana http://thesharpendgaming.blogspot.com/ Some of them using maps and estabs (tables of organisation and equipment) for projects that never happened: Stalingrad, Korsun, Pacific, all testing the limits of the ai programming and the simulation engine. I think all the stuff is on Steam. My favourite AARs were those by Dazkaz, one of the few(?) that realised there was a lot of game beyond the "a game that plays itself" promotional line which, in hindsight, poisoned the minds of many players. Mark here is perhaps one of the best players ever, his tutorials for Highway to the Reich are a classic. I have all of the stuff he wrote for the game archived for reference.
  4. I guess that the fitting thing to say is both "Godspeed!" and "Well done team!".
  5. @dbsapp has a point: which is that the Red Army has been very often depicted in very unfair ways. If the same standard would have been applied uniformly across WW2 combatants... which is now starting to be the case. A good recent book which I recommend everyone here reading is David Stahel's "Retreat from Moscow" which takes a 360 degrees view of one of they key campaigns of the Eastern Front: that of the Red Army counteroffensives in the winter of 1941 and 1942. There are many things to take home from that book, but one that struck me deeply and is 100% relevant to this thread was the analysis that the Red Army offensives were not very successful when comparing the gains made versus the cost. In particular, it is noted that while the Red Army of December 1941 had more or less the "right brains" at the top (Saposhnikov, Zhukov and Vassilevsky) and a good chunk of the chaff had been weeded out from the army level command (which is basically like the German Korps level), division, regiment and battalion officers and staff were in general as green as anything can be. Which meant that tactics or competent employment of combined arms were rare, and often limited to units that had came from far away Military Districts (like the Transcaucasus or Far East). If you are forced to improvise an army - because the one you had was already destroyed in 6 months - the results will be apparent. The difference between an armed mob and a military unit is discipline, training, command and control. If any of those four factors are not up to snuff, bad things will happen. The best kept secret of the Eastern Front is that for most German setbacks in 1941 and 1942, the usual explanation is that they came across a "veteran" (i.e. an outfit that had been active for a few years) Red Army unit which was well supported and sensibly deployed in good terrain. What made and broke armies in World War 2 was having intelligent, well-trained officers at the division, regiment and battalion levels that were able to work in positive ways with their peers and with their superiors. In my opinion that factor alone trumps almost everything else. And still, in some situations, mass will be right answer. For an example, consider the battles for the Anzio beachhead in January 1944. There you had plenty of examples of German (German!) armed forces using "human waves" to try and overrun the allied fortified lines (there's even one CM scenario about that, see "Lancing the Abcess"). We talk a lot about trying to hit the enemy where he is weak, and so on, but if the enemy is competent, there may not be weak points to exploit, unless you create them by firepower and attrition. While the German Army bled at Anzio very badly, the US, Polish, Indian and Free French armies bled profusely over the Rapido and the mountains around Cassino. So you can find examples of using infantry as "cannon fodder" pretty much across every WW2 combatants. Some of those examples have become ingrained in popular culture more strongly than others. Are these examples of military genius? I wouldn't say so. But I think that even Napoleon - a military genius and one-man-staff for the Grande Armee - would have had a hard time to overcome reliably and any given Sunday problems like having to crack the Anzio perimeter or breaking out of the Korsun pocket.
  6. I guess that in theory it is possible to have a smaller country subjugate the whole of Europe without cheating. In theory. In Europa Universalis there is an achievement called the Three Hills (?) which is awarded if you conquer the world playing the of Kingdom of Ryukyu (Okinawa)...
  7. I just see a blur... There is too much going on at the same time, all the time in that game. I see it essentially as a sandbox for alt history. Which is fine and means I don't play it anymore - I bailed out in 2018 or so. HoI 3 - when they managed to get it running which certainly wasn't at release, more like two years after that - eventually became a decent strategic level war game. Still the air and naval war systems never quite worked or the AI was programmed robustly enough to handle them. I didn't like very much the HOI 4 system of "fronts" etc. that did away with having player defined orders of battle... campaigning armies in WW2 are more than a line on a map with a names close to them. I don't know if in the years since there have been any improvement in this area, or they have just gone heavy on the " nation roleplaying" aspects. The strategic war game I have quite liked in recent times is the terribly named WarPlan.
  8. There is actually a Tech Support Forum already, so maybe with some rebranding to make it more evident...
  9. Having a dedicated bug reports forum could be useful too. In that way I think it is possible for moderators/admins to remove posting privileges of users that decide to be deliberately unhelpful or do not abide by some straightforward rules on how to structure reports and minimum amount of data to provide.
  10. The screenshot that I would love to see is that showing the progress bar for the upload of the Fire & Rubble installers onto the Amazon servers
  11. Man, that's the business of making games. I don't know what is Battlefront threshold sales to break even - 2,000 copies, 5,000 copies? Those volumes, in the context of actual war games are "best sellers". Hence why so much (board) war games now run campaigns on a variety of crowdfunding platforms, have "pre-order" targets (like GMT Games does), and so on. You make an elevator pitch, people put their credit cards on escrow, and then you get a sense how many more sales than the ones you already have in prep orders are statistically likely given historical sales data.
  12. In the last year there have a been a couple of stunning developments (Steam distribution, Combat Mission in the Fulda Gap...). Next thing we know you guys turn up with a game on the war of Vietnamese Independence or the War of Jenkins' Ear...
  13. Sorry @stikkypixiethat was indeed for you. I confused your avatar with that of someone else's.
  14. Hi @Probus, I get issues like this whenever the CM application loses focus while saving the file (as in when you alt-tab out of it). Sometimes this happens if you have Windows notifications popping up. Whitelisting the saved game folders for the Windows anti-malware service is a good idea, this issue also happened to me with the anti-malware service kicking in and slowing down disk operations to a crawl.
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