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The Scottish Corridor Thread


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Yeah, but if only the best players, beta testers and designers can play these scenarios satisfactorily, where does that leave us regular folks looking for some light entertainment after a hard day's slog.

I agree with Erwin the game needs to be fun to wide variety of players to remain viable. Otherwise new players aren't going to hang around long enough to become elite beta tester skill level.

This is perhaps the first ever variable-difficulty campaign devised. If you are struggling with the difficulty, you will lose levels and play the GREEN version of each mission. The GREEN versions are usually much easier to play and win for most of us regulars ;) If you are winning each mission, you will stay at that experience level, REGULAR, while if you are winning comfortably, you will eventually face a more challenging opponent, VETERAN. So, if you are patient and skip through the first couple of missions, you'll get to play the GREEN versions of the remaining which are more suited for the player who just wants to relax and enjoy a not-too-challenging evening's play. By having variable difficulty, everyone should be able to play the campaign through to the end at their own level of ability.

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I get a bit concerned when I see campaigns that resupply 100% or close between missions. Ammo conservation should be a critical element, and I think there is a tendency to create campaigns using the

+1    Having to learn the "trick" to winning is the worst. The only reasons to replay a scenario is 1) if you are playtesting it, or 2) If it's a learning opportunity to hone one's skills. S

I was playing a scenario in a notoriously difficult campaign recently and going left got cover, going right meant moving a great distance in the open. So obviously I went left. But me being

This is perhaps the first ever variable-difficulty campaign devised. If you are struggling with the difficulty, you will lose levels and play the GREEN version of each mission. The GREEN versions are usually much easier to play and win for most of us regulars ;) If you are winning each mission, you will stay at that experience level, REGULAR, while if you are winning comfortably, you will eventually face a more challenging opponent, VETERAN. So, if you are patient and skip through the first couple of missions, you'll get to play the GREEN versions of the remaining which are more suited for the player who just wants to relax and enjoy a not-too-challenging evening's play. By having variable difficulty, everyone should be able to play the campaign through to the end at their own level of ability.

Nice to hear you've taken this into account, it's a great idea.

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Sharing my experience.

I've just started the campaign, the first mission was really tough_ infantry in buildings now can be a real threat. Luckyly I was able to disable the AT gun with an artillery barrage but not before loosing one of the tanks.

Now, I'm on the second mission, and I can understand how those soldiers felt in real life: in the briefing it is stated that a Tiger is suspected to operate in the area. I'm scared as hell... especially because my platoons are understrength, low on ammo and with only one tank in support, the 95cm caliber Churchill, that, if I stand correct, it is pretty useless against tanks... Shaking my legs...

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I love this 'stay calm and keep going' atttitude. Sure I can play the campaign over and get it right but, surely, barring bad luck, knowing where the enemy is and what to expect is a huge advantage to winning. A good scenario should play straight out of the box and not be trying to force me with time limits into taking risks. I am intrigued by the variable-difficulty plan - very nice. But why not just take the time limits OFF? Hasrabit in CM;SF was a good campaign spoiled by this tendency to force time constraints. I know why it was done - if you failed Mission X then you were late getting to Mission Y. That's fine - write it in the briefing and let me know the consequences. Then give me three or four hours playing time and let ME decide how fast I want to push it and how to conserve my men and ammo etc etc. What IS this designer obsession with squeezing the time? For the sake of 15 or 20 minutes, the whole feel of the thing is transported from realism to a rubbish console FPS (run here and shoot, run there and shoot - oh crap. Reboot, try again).

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I think all the great games have time, force, and space as elements. Chess has them and ASL in the WW II tactics arena has time/turn limits. I would prefer that time limits stay reasonably tight so that the attacker is under pressure just as the poor defender is.

I think JonS had some comment in an older thread about how it might pan out in RL, and I am paraphrasing to the best of my memory here: if you are taking too many casualties, pull back and try again in a few days when more assets are available. That kind of time issue cannot be implemented in missions here. I realize this is days and people are just asking for hours but to me it is still excessive.

Gerry

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I get a bit concerned when I see campaigns that resupply 100% or close between missions. Ammo conservation should be a critical element, and I think there is a tendency to create campaigns using the US tactic of shooting at everything, every contact etc.

I wonder if that is what the players who manage to play within the time constraints do?

I rarely get anywhere close to running out of ammo, and usually have tons left as my habit is to conserve ammo and I love the campaigns that do NOT resupply a lot. I also think that reflects the Brit and other nationalities' frugality.

The German CW campaign says that ammo resupply is not a problem and you'll get 100% every battle. This worries me a lot as it is so ahistorical - the German lack of supply is legendary.

Having so much ammo surely encourages the "shoot at every bush" mentality that was not a realistic tactic for the Germans or Brits (and at Norrnandy maybe not even the US) due to logistics problems (no port etc). If that is how one gets to win within the time constraints that I don't think that's a good design.

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I get a bit concerned when I see campaigns that resupply 100% or close between missions. Ammo conservation should be a critical element, and I think there is a tendency to create campaigns using the US tactic of shooting at everything, every contact etc.

There is no ammo resupply for your units in the first four missions of the ASH series. But, TBH, ammo management is not one of the most sexy aspects of playing a campaign and the Brits managed to stockpile quite a bit before Operation Epsom so it's not unrealistic. (The Great Storm postponed the original launch date for Epsom) But I've already had an idea how to do this better in a future campaign though ;) a LOT better.

I wonder if that is what the players who manage to play within the time constraints do?

Absolutely NOT this player!

I think all the great games have time, force, and space as elements. Chess has them and ASL in the WW II tactics arena has time/turn limits. I would prefer that time limits stay reasonably tight so that the attacker is under pressure just as the poor defender is.

Thank you. I 100% agree with you. :D

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Glad to hear it - I have had to work really hard on it, too while playing. What would probably help everyone get round the argument about who's right or wrong concerning time constraints is to allow campaigns to be deconstructed. Or release the individual games. That way all us 'lesser' saps who can't cope can adjust to our liking and remake the whole deal. Incidentally, chess has time constraints as an OPTION, as does ASL and most other great games. The pressure should not come from the time element but from the tactics employed. If you have to force someone down a gameplay path, then you have failed in my book.

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Glad to hear it - I have had to work really hard on it, too while playing. What would probably help everyone get round the argument about who's right or wrong concerning time constraints is to allow campaigns to be deconstructed. Or release the individual games. That way all us 'lesser' saps who can't cope can adjust to our liking and remake the whole deal. Incidentally, chess has time constraints as an OPTION, as does ASL and most other great games. The pressure should not come from the time element but from the tactics employed. If you have to force someone down a gameplay path, then you have failed in my book.

blow56, I'm definitely a "lesser sap", but wouldn't want to lose time contraints. I would obviously have np with designers releasing modified scenarios, but that it down to them. However, where I would part company with you is over tactics and time constraints. Yes, you are right we do need to employ the right tactics for a given set of circumstances, but surely time constraints were also a key factor in RL; take that away and you are, imo, reducing CMBN's realism factor.

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What would probably help everyone get round the argument about who's right or wrong concerning time constraints is to allow campaigns to be deconstructed. Or release the individual games.

The pressure should not come from the time element but from the tactics employed. If you have to force someone down a gameplay path, then you have failed in my book.

There is a program in the repository that will break a campaign down into individual scenarios to play. You can then edit the scenario and give yourself all the time you want.

Regarding time limits, I think PT has already responded about that. If this were hth human play that might make sense, but the AI can only be programmed so much. It for example can not react to a flank attack once it has started to succeed. If folks really do not like what someone is designing there is always an option to design your own.

As to limits not being realistic, I would disagree. I don't think WW2 commanders were given however much time they thought they needed. The drive from higher command was usually the opposite. Take too much time and odds are somebody else would be taking over your command.

As to who is right and who is wrong..that's pretty simple. I don't think PT got paid to do this so he's right. And if I want him to keep designing (which I very much do) I figure I ought to respect his approach. If I want something else then maybe I will sometime take a spin at the editor myself.

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I think i found my problem... After restarting missions so i have enough forces for the next battle i end up getting total victorys because i become an ace at the mission second time round which means i end up playing the "Veteran" version which takes me back to my cycle of having to restart the mission...never ending cycle. Might start again and surrender the first few missions so i can play "Green"

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After restarting missions so i have enough forces for the next battle i end up getting total victorys because i become an ace at the mission second time round which means i end up playing the "Veteran" version which takes me back to my cycle of having to restart the mission...never ending cycle. Might start again and surrender the first few missions so i can play "Green

I think I found YOUR problem ;) Why can't you just accept the result and move on to the next mission? What's the obsession with winning every single mission? Why are you willing to throw away your core forces in a suicide rush to seize an objective? When a Football team plays a game (Soccer or American, I don't care) they don't get to restart and even replay matches when they lose a match, even when they took lots of injuries. They get one shot at it and they rise and fall on the outcome. I expect that playing a H2H opponent is the same. If you screw up, your opponent isn't going to allow you to revert to an earlier save or restart, is he? Of course you are free to play this game any way you like but perhaps you should be willing to accept that what you're reporting there is the inevitable outcome of your own actions. ;) Let me repeat, so watch my lips...

'You don't get thrown out of the campaign for losing missions'.

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Oh you must of missed the point of me being a CASUAL player.. i want to start the next mission with my tanks so i can actually get somewhere in the mission now that its almost impossible to route enemy out of buildings without them. I honestly dont mind losing missions at all! Its making the next mission fun for me that im concerned about.

P.s. I really do love the campaign PT even with time constraints ;)

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"What's the obsession with winning every single mission?" That's a good point PT and I agree with you there. It's probably a habit we get into playing computer games, esp shooters as you HAVE to win every mission to move forward.

The great thing about CM is that one can have branches so that even if you lose, you can go on. It's great that it makes it possible to have a campaign where if you lose you get to play against greener/easier enemy, and if you win, the enemy gets (or stays) tougher. That has always been a Holy Grail of gaming.

However, I think that all game descriptions should include telling the player if the scenario/campaign was designed/tested "primarily" for WEGO or RT as that also can make a huge difference. Same thing when players post their results/AAR's here.

I suspect that the time constraint issue may be less of a problem in RT. But, in WEGO it can be really tough. It would be helpful to know what to expect, so one would be (mentally) prepared for a tougher fight in WEGO.

One of the issues I had with Scottish Corridor is that if you lose your tanks in scenario 1, it appears impossible to continue too far. I may be wrong. But, I didn't want to play through several scenarios only to find that out and have to restart scenario 1. Has anyone lost their armor in scenario 1 and been able to continue and win the campaign?

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What's the obsession with winning every single mission? Why am I willing to throw away my forces etc etc? Because points mean prizes - missions are, especially in The Scottish Corridor, linked to the extent that failure and/or heavy losses in one make the others harder or impossible. I throw away my forces, as you put it, to achieve a victory inside the time limit. The CM series is great, but the designed missions in this and CM:SF have always been too tight for time - I am clearly not the only one who thinks so. It wouldn't matter save that a) you can't adjust it in a campaign and B) this is part of a paid-for package and not someone's volunteered work - so when this is up for debate, I get irritated at you simply reducing all us carpers to 'casual' players who need to stay in the shallow end of the pool and leave the real fighting to 'experts'.

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I think that all game descriptions should include telling the player if the scenario/campaign was designed/tested "primarily" for WEGO or RT as that also can make a huge difference

I always play in Real Time but some of the testers play in WEGo. When I play RT, I also handicap myself with a few 'house rules'. For example, I rarely pause the game, only doing so when:

a) I am calling in an air or artillery strike

B) reinforcements arrive

c) I'm really, really flummoxed

d) I have to go and pee, whatever :D

I also do not take unfair advantage of intelligence I obtain in the game vs the AI. If an enemy unit does not have a spotted icon, '?' I will not fire at its position. So if some of my boys are getting pasted and I have a tank with LoS to the building that they're taking fire from, I won't give that tank a 'Target' order to that house until it gets a '?'. This is a tough rule and sometimes it's very, very tempting to break it. But in my book, that's cheating and since I'm designing stuff for you guys to play, I avoid it like the plague.

I don't fire at every possible enemy location when I'm playing either.

I absolutely do not take advantage of my knowledge of all the AI set ups to plan a sneaky opening artillery barrage. (Again, this can be very tempting but when playtesting...)

You guys must have noticed that I take some screenshots of the action from time to time? When I'm playing RT, I have the camera way down near the soldiers' shoulders so that I can experience the game at its very best. I miss a lot of course, and this also means that when I'm focussed on one part of the battlefield, there are units standing around doing nothing or are on autopilot. This is probably very inefficient as probably only 1/3 of my forces are being used.

So, no, me playing RT with my own 'House rules' in place is not giving me an unfair advantage. And BTW, I know this will sound utterly insane :0, but sometimes I deliberately do something incredibly stupid which costs me some pixeltruppen so that I get a better feel for what you guys are going to experience when you're playing these missions.

Assume that anything that I release was designed and playtested by me in RT using those rules and under those conditions (and I play EVERYTHING that I design). And if I had playtesters, then it was a mixed group so that they're tested both RT and WEGO.

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One of the issues I had with Scottish Corridor is that if you lose your tanks in scenario 1, it appears impossible to continue too far. I may be wrong. But, I didn't want to play through several scenarios only to find that out and have to restart scenario 1. Has anyone lost their armor in scenario 1 and been able to continue and win the campaign?

I really don't want to give out spoilers at this stage of the campaign. It's only been out for a week :D. However, I will say that those two tanks appear in two missions only. And the PIAT is quite capable of taking out the enemy AFV in mission 2 (if you can get it to hit:eek:)

And you get lots of refits. The Cameronians get a refit before moving on to Grainville while the ASH get refitted before moving on to Gavrus. These refits represent both replacements and scrounging men off other companies that have taken heavy casualties. In all cases, you get a full refit so that there are no one-man sections or platoons without a Platoon HQ etc, at least until the next refit. But you don't get a full head-count. As you go on, your overall head-count will reduce your overall strength.

That's about as much as I'm willing to give away for now.

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Semantics. What I am paying for is the package - it is still such a good game engine that I might well buy it if it came with no Battle or Campaign missions at all, but that's my personal preference. What the game is SOLD on includes said Battles and Campaigns and if BF manages to persuade PT and others to volunteer that is their good fortune. My reference to volunteered work was for all the legion of modders who put their own Missions/Campaigns out there, without it being included in the paid-for game. But PT's labours being voluntary - and more power and respect to him for it - does not abrogate the responsibility he has to answer to criticism. Let me make it clear - I am full of admiration for the work of PT and playtesters, but if I think it is flawed I surely have the right to say so without being dismissed as an FNG, or someone trying to diss a happy volunteer. I like the Missions PT does - I just think he is obsessed with squeezing the time to increase the adrenalin levels.

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A late PS - I am working on a Campaign of my own, Operation Pomegranate and the 59 Div. I read the accounts and I find that the leading elements of the H-Hour force began their attack at 05.30. By 08.00 they had battered their way to the first objective and were making little headway. By14.30, an enemy counterattack forced them back. Read it - three hours to make their first objective which was only a few hundred yards away. Six hours fighting to achieve little progress. Then a retreat. Sounds like a ding-dong battle to me - and hard enough without time limits.

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