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When playing single player I will reload occasionally. This happens mostly when I have made I severe blunder or I'm faced with a difficult situation that I didn't handle correctly. As others have mentioned reloading allows me to try a different approach to see how I should have handled the situation. I look on these single player games as training for games when I play H2H where reloading is not an option.

I approach campaigns differently than I do single player scenarios and QB's. Even if I make a costly mistake in a campaign that prevents me from completing it, I try not to reload a turn but rather start the campaign over from the beginning or at least the beginning of the current battle. If I play badly enough to lose the campaign completely, then the replay doesn't happen immediately but rather after I have endured a season of brooding and self-flagellation.

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sburke: Yes, I didn't mean to demean the hard-working scenario designers.

But, I have noticed that there appear to be fewer and fewer scenarios and campaigns being produced. And the few GL ones I have tried have been "very hard" to win using reasonably good/realistic tactics without multiple replays. And as I'm one of those who hates replaying, I just abandon the scenarios and don't look forward to playing the next ones as much. I don't recall having these issues with CMSF or CMBN... I get the sense from these forums that most people are now playing vicariously through reading the fun AAR's and fewer are actually playing the game.

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Scenarios should be winnable by using reasonably sensible tactics the first time through

Oh so easy to write - but lets just think what is being asked here.

Some of the variables that come to mind, without any real thought

Play style

Which side is being played

WEGO or RT

AI or HTH

First time player or Grognard

Crap player or expert tactician

If vs AI which AI plan is being played

Who's definition of "reasonably sensible tactics" is used.

I could go on....

All these will affect how easy or not a given scenario is to play, before we even start talking about the forces involved, the terrain, the map size.

And the really bad news (and I can only talk for myself) is that I don't want my labours of love easily won on their first play. I want them to be challenging and I want them to have a good basis in historical reality.

As for numbers I make it that CMFI has 10 campaigns and some 35 scenarios across the two modules. Doesn't seem too shabby for starters

P

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Oh so easy to write - but lets just think what is being asked here.

Some of the variables that come to mind, without any real thought

Play style

Which side is being played

WEGO or RT

AI or HTH

First time player or Grognard

Crap player or expert tactician

If vs AI which AI plan is being played

Who's definition of "reasonably sensible tactics" is used.

I could go on....

All these will affect how easy or not a given scenario is to play, before we even start talking about the forces involved, the terrain, the map size.

And the really bad news (and I can only talk for myself) is that I don't want my labours of love easily won on their first play. I want them to be challenging and I want them to have a good basis in historical reality.

As for numbers I make it that CMFI has 10 campaigns and some 35 scenarios across the two modules. Doesn't seem too shabby for starters

P

I think what he means is that some scenarios will be laid out as "puzzles", where there is only one way to solve/win them.

For example a bocage mission without engineers or other ways to create new routes, so the player absolutely has to scour the map to find that single small gap between the hedgerows that will allow him to flank the impossible-to-win killing zone.

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that some scenarios will be laid out as "puzzles", where there is only one way to solve/win them.

I've got to disagree with this. CM is a sandbox game so even the scenario designer has no idea as to how a player will fight any given battle and use the assets available

I will agree that maybe not all scenarios are winnable for a given side - how can they be unless you want every one to result in a draw ?

P

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Agreed. But then, what do you do when you've gotten most of the way through a hard campaign and you just can't win a scenario to move forwards?

Then I lose the campaign, and maybe a few months or so down the line I'll try it again after I've forgotten why I lost.

There's no point reloading a battle you just fought to try to advance the campaign. Upon reloading it, you know where the enemy forces are, how many there are, what they will do, and how they react.

It's like having a free pass you don't deserve, or playing a game with god mode turned on. Sure you'll have some fun, but at the end of the day you won't feel like you've accomplished anything.

For me, the real fun of Combat Mission is being able to make mistakes, then being able to change your plans, counterattack, and be victorious without simply going back in time to erase your mistakes.

If I do come across a scenario, or campaign mission that I just can't beat no matter what I do, then I try to learn from my mistakes, and do better next time.

That's all.

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When i come across a mission in a campaign that i just cant beat and that causes so many casualties on my side that i cant go forward in the campaign, i let a few weeks pass and then try again to beat that mission. I dont see a reason why i should replay several missions i did already master just in order to get to the same point where i had already been.

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I encounter the similar situation as Agusto. There have been battles in the middle of a campaign that I have replayed several times using what are sensible tactics, and finally I give up and start looking at the enemy dispositions because it seems impossible to win and progress unless one knows the "tricks" employed by the designer. I don't play CM to become frustrated and stressed. I don't want to spend months on replaying battles just to win and get to "the next level" like an RPS game. This is supposed to be fun (for my tastes at least).

I generally only play campaigns and since there are so few available, stopping and coming back to the game weeks later is not a satisfactory solution. I just want to have a few hours fun when I have time is all. And some of the scenarios are simply not enjoyable, so one wants to just "get it over with" so one can advance to what will hopefully be a more fun scenario.

Why does one have to take a game that seriously, that it takes months of replaying to win? I am starting to find that most of the scenario and campaign offerings in each successive release are increasingly in this "hard work" vein. The game seems to become more complex and detailed with every release - and that is not the same as becoming more realistic, just more frustrating and hard work. I suppose if some see this as training then good for them. I would rather play on the DoD's multi-zillion dollar systems for training.

Eg: Currently I have tried the GL campaign THE CORRIDOR and am dismayed at the 45 minute time allotted (at least for the first 2 battles). I find it impossible to play these battles at this speed. There is no time to accomplish things in a way that satisfies me and that is fun. Even if I win, it's not a fun experience. I don't know if these short battles are for the iPhone crowd, and is an attempt to create a stressed out wrist twitch experience. But, it's certainly not a direction for CM2 that I am happy with. And this is why folks like me still play more CM1 tournaments where one has more options than the CM2 repetitive straight ahead assault/ME engagements with tiny formations on ludicrously small maps. I still play more CMSF and CMA than the WW2 games for the same reason.

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You buy the game, then in single player you can play anyway you damn well want to. Don't let anybody try and tell you your playing wrong because after all it's just play.

There you go. I think it's useful for players to compare notes on playing style as is being done in this thread, but at the end of the day the intent is not to produce a uniform style for all players. Conformity is death...or at least the death of fun.

Michael

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I encounter the similar situation as Agusto. There have been battles in the middle of a campaign that I have replayed several times using what are sensible tactics, and finally I give up and start looking at the enemy dispositions because it seems impossible to win and progress unless one knows the "tricks" employed by the designer. I don't play CM to become frustrated and stressed. I don't want to spend months on replaying battles just to win and get to "the next level" like an RPS game. This is supposed to be fun (for my tastes at least).

I generally only play campaigns and since there are so few available, stopping and coming back to the game weeks later is not a satisfactory solution. I just want to have a few hours fun when I have time is all. And some of the scenarios are simply not enjoyable, so one wants to just "get it over with" so one can advance to what will hopefully be a more fun scenario.

Why does one have to take a game that seriously, that it takes months of replaying to win? I am starting to find that most of the scenario and campaign offerings in each successive release are increasingly in this "hard work" vein. The game seems to become more complex and detailed with every release - and that is not the same as becoming more realistic, just more frustrating and hard work. I suppose if some see this as training then good for them. I would rather play on the DoD's multi-zillion dollar systems for training.

Eg: Currently I have tried the GL campaign THE CORRIDOR and am dismayed at the 45 minute time allotted (at least for the first 2 battles). I find it impossible to play these battles at this speed. There is no time to accomplish things in a way that satisfies me and that is fun. Even if I win, it's not a fun experience. I don't know if these short battles are for the iPhone crowd, and is an attempt to create a stressed out wrist twitch experience. But, it's certainly not a direction for CM2 that I am happy with. And this is why folks like me still play more CM1 tournaments where one has more options than the CM2 repetitive straight ahead assault/ME engagements with tiny formations on ludicrously small maps. I still play more CMSF and CMA than the WW2 games for the same reason.

I guess we are just going to have to take your word that you are unable to use sensible tactics and don't just suck at combined arms. Not saying you do, but considering that amongst your sweeping generalizations I know at least one is false (Campaign count amongst releases seems to be pretty uniform) I can't expect you to actually validate these broad statements. And honestly they are not getting any less insulting. Designing for the "iPhone" crowd? Really? C'mon man.

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I don't know if these short battles are for the iPhone crowd, and is an attempt to create a stressed out wrist twitch experience. But, it's certainly not a direction for CM2 that I am happy with. And this is why folks like me still play more CM1 tournaments where one has more options than the CM2 repetitive straight ahead assault/ME engagements with tiny formations on ludicrously small maps. I still play more CMSF and CMA than the WW2 games for the same reason.

Weren't you the one advocating that scouts units get a magical spotting bonus?

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I guess we are just going to have to take your word that you are unable to use sensible tactics and don't just suck at combined arms. Not saying you do, but considering that amongst your sweeping generalizations I know at least one is false (Campaign count amongst releases seems to be pretty uniform) I can't expect you to actually validate these broad statements. And honestly they are not getting any less insulting. Designing for the "iPhone" crowd? Really? C'mon man.

My aren't you delicate.

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Borrow from other game devs, institute an option in SP you can turn on or off for iron man.

Once selected there will be only one save file for the duration of the battle or campaign, no turning back, second guessing or suffering a momentary lapse of willpower.

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Sorry, I meant Android, not iPhone. The frustration I feel is that after 12 years of CM1 and 5(?) years of CM2, it feels like I am becoming a worse player. As much as I appreciate the huge amount of work that goes into scenario design, I find myself enjoying the latest modules/families less and less. I only hope that by the time East Front is released we'll have some of the LOS and UI issues resolved so that gameplay becomes more efficient and the engine will be optimized so we can enjoy the sort of large-huge maps that we can have in CM1. I really miss the maneuver games we used to have. Head on assaults on small maps with little or no chance of speedy maneuver around flanks have become very repetitive.

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I remember Billy Connolly singing an amusing little ditty about the Goldfish all about how all it does is swim round and round, and round and round, and round, and ROUND and ROUND!! This song seemes to be appropriate for one swimmer in this forum.

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=102955

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=103215

Just two threads but I'm sure there are plenty more where the same complaint comes up, gets dealt with and then gets forgotten. Because here we are... again.

But, we really need to discourage "tricky" scenarios which one almost has to replay in order to discover the "key" to winning. Scenarios should be winnable by using reasonably sensible tactics the first time through.

While I agree that replaying is useful for when you are learning, speaking as an experienced player who has played through every available CMBN campaign, I now absolutely hate being forced to replay scenarios just to find the trick to winning.

My concern is that "tricky" scenarios are being used to substitute for the paucity of new scenarios and campaigns that have been produced for each succeeding CM2 game module/family (whatever the hell they are called...).

(Love the attitude being displayed in the last paragraph btw ;) A nice twist of the knife. You're getting good at this)

I encounter the similar situation as Agusto. There have been battles in the middle of a campaign that I have replayed several times using what are sensible tactics, and finally I give up and start looking at the enemy dispositions because it seems impossible to win and progress unless one knows the "tricks" employed by the designer. I don't play CM to become frustrated and stressed. I don't want to spend months on replaying battles just to win and get to "the next level" like an RPS game. This is supposed to be fun (for my tastes at least).

I generally only play campaigns and since there are so few available, stopping and coming back to the game weeks later is not a satisfactory solution. I just want to have a few hours fun when I have time is all. And some of the scenarios are simply not enjoyable, so one wants to just "get it over with" so one can advance to what will hopefully be a more fun scenario.

Why does one have to take a game that seriously, that it takes months of replaying to win? I am starting to find that most of the scenario and campaign offerings in each successive release are increasingly in this "hard work" vein. The game seems to become more complex and detailed with every release - and that is not the same as becoming more realistic, just more frustrating and hard work. I suppose if some see this as training then good for them. I would rather play on the DoD's multi-zillion dollar systems for training.

Eg: Currently I have tried the GL campaign THE CORRIDOR and am dismayed at the 45 minute time allotted (at least for the first 2 battles). I find it impossible to play these battles at this speed. There is no time to accomplish things in a way that satisfies me and that is fun. Even if I win, it's not a fun experience. I don't know if these short battles are for the iPhone crowd, and is an attempt to create a stressed out wrist twitch experience. But, it's certainly not a direction for CM2 that I am happy with. And this is why folks like me still play more CM1 tournaments where one has more options than the CM2 repetitive straight ahead assault/ME engagements with tiny formations on ludicrously small maps. I still play more CMSF and CMA than the WW2 games for the same reason.

And round and round, and round and round,

and round and round, and round and round.

And round and round, and round and round,

and round and round, and round and round.

:rolleyes:

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The frustration I feel is that after 12 years of CM1 and 5(?) years of CM2, it feels like I am becoming a worse player.

That's entirely possible, and I don't intend that as a slam. Speaking for myself, I know I don't have nearly the focus I had as a wargamer 30 years ago. I still enjoy the hobby, but I don't presume to have the same all-consuming grip on my play that I once did, and I don't doubt that I am less efficient as a result.

...and the engine will be optimized so we can enjoy the sort of large-huge maps that we can have in CM1. I really miss the maneuver games we used to have.

I hope I am proven wrong, but I suspect that those days are gone forever. I think that kind of play became a casualty with 1:1 depiction. The basic maneuver unit in the game has gone from the squad to the team and become more nit-picky as a result. While there is still some room for flanking attacks, play is inevitably slowed down. Whether one experiences this as a gain or loss in fun depends on one's play style and what one is looking for in the game.

Possibly I am being unduly narrow in my prospect, but my gut feeling is that unless BFC brings out an entirely new line of games on a completely different engine incorporating a larger scale (with say the battalion as the basic maneuver unit) we are not likely to see much in the nature of sweeping maneuvers. And I don't think we are apt to see that in the foreseeable future. BFC has carved out a niche for themselves in the wargaming field in which they are supreme. They are the big frog in a small pond. If they decide to venture into games set at a larger scale, they will be competing against multiple companies, some of whom have a great deal of design experience at that scale. As a marketing venture for a small company, it could be suicide. Or at least rough going.

Michael

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Can I assume from this you think BF folks are fair game for any obnoxious swipe, but it isn't okay to object? Somewhat of a double standard me thinks.

No, it's called learning how to separate oneself from one's work, a concept you obviously cannot grasp. A crit on a scenario or the product does not equal an attack on the individual(s) who created it. I don't see where Erwin personally attacked anyone at BFC, but rather gave his strong opinions on what he thought was wrong with the scenarios/campaigns and why he doesn't find them enjoyable. Hell, I've suffered worse crits during juried reviews than what Erwin is offering up. You can disagree with him, but realize it is you carrying out personal attacks due to some perceived slight. So yes, harden up a bit.

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Rambler

Sometimes, it just gets tiring listening to the same old complaints coming from the same folks time after time. It gets doubly frustrating when one of the chief complainers sounds off when a mission is too easy as well.

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=106397

Apparently, it's frustrating for him when the AI throws in the towel too early as well. :rolleyes: So it's getting harder and harder to make anything that will keep him happy.

Sometimes, it really is just time to find another game to play when you're no longer getting any pleasure from the old one. Unless you want the titles and modules to ship with content that is easy to win on the first playthrough. That would be really easy for us to do and it really would save us all a lot of work creating and testing content in the future.:D

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Why does one have to take a game that seriously, that it takes months of replaying to win? I am starting to find that most of the scenario and campaign offerings in each successive release are increasingly in this "hard work" vein. The game seems to become more complex and detailed with every release - and that is not the same as becoming more realistic, just more frustrating and hard work. I suppose if some see this as training then good for them.

Maybe i have masochistic tendencies, but i enjoy complex and detailed computer games. After all, that is why i play Combat Mission. I did try out other games but most of them werent complex and detailed enough for my taste. I actually find that Combat Missions complexity can even be compared to the complexeity of chess - and that is not something i just say, i did actively play chess tournaments for several years. Sometimes i litterally spend days just thinking of tactics without playing a single turn. If a scenario is just about finding the enemy and shoot him without facing serious resistance, i get bored quickly. I enjoy playing unusual secnarios and facing new tactical challenges.

and the engine will be optimized so we can enjoy the sort of large-huge maps that we can have in CM1.

Map size is just a question of computing power. The larger the maps and the more units are involved, the more computing power is going to be necessary to run it. Of course BFC releases maps that can be played on most customers PCs, but if you want to you can just go to the editor and make a 10 x 10km map. IIRC there is no built-in map size limit in the CMx2 editor, so the only limit is what your computer can handle. Mine (usually) crashes if the map is larger than 2,5 x 2,5km.

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Maybe i have masochistic tendencies, but i enjoy complex and detailed computer games. After all, that is why i play Combat Mission. I did try out other games but most of them werent complex and detailed enough for my taste. I actually find that Combat Missions complexity can even be compared to the complexeity of chess - and that is not something i just say, i did actively play chess tournaments for several years. Sometimes i litterally spend days just thinking of tactics without playing a single turn. If a scenario is just about finding the enemy and shoot him without facing serious resistance, i get bored quickly. I enjoy playing unsual secnarios and facing new tactical challenges.

That's more like it although perhaps you're just a tad further towards the other end of the difficulty spectrum than most here too;) I appreciate complexity in my games as well. But where this game truly shines is that I can get my 'fix' in quite a short period of playing time. I can set up and play through an average sized mission in one afternoon's session, less than two hours most of the time. Whereas some of the other complex monsters that I play can take weeks or months to play just one campaign.

With CMx2 campaigns, we can make them linear or we can make them dynamic to varying degrees. A strictly linear campaign would simply demand that the player wins the mission or

a - gets ejected from the campaign, or

b - skips a mission and continues at a later point

Now, if this were the case, I really could understand why people were complaining about how difficult it is to get wins in missions in a campaign. But I'm not really aware of any campaign that shipped with the disks that played out like that.

I think every single campaign I have ever crafted, from Hasrabit for CMSF through to The Scottish Corridor for CMBN has been fully dynamic. That means that the campaign follows different branches depending on the player's success and doesn't simply eject him from the campaign for losing a single mission. This means that a player can suck up the loss and continue to play the campaign to its natural conclusion. Yup, that may mean the campaign ending earlier than the full 14+ missions but that's why it's dynamic. You can argue that if you don't win, you won't get to see all the missions in the campaign but if you win every mission, you won't see the alternates. So winning all the time doesn't let you see the whole campaign, just one possible outcome. Winning first time, every time makes dynamic campaigns a complete waste of everyone's time.

And another one...

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=103484

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PT: As you know I have been a HUGE fan of your campaigns from CMSF days and have actually played every one - am trying to complete the last one, ROAD TO DINAS right now.

But, after playing IIRC the 13th scenario about 10 times and losing - which gets one kicked out of the campaign - I have resorted to repeated CF's to ascertain what important enemy assets need to be destroyed before I can get a win. And even then(!) I am struggling to complete it. Having played through just about every other CMSF campaign ever created, I think I am at least a reasonably good player. But, sometimes...

And as I said I would describe your designs as some of the very best.

BTW: The strange "early surrender" issue I mentioned is one where the game system gives up even when a perusal of the battlefield indicate that they could fight on effectively. I don't recall this being a problem issue in CM1, so it's a vagary of CM2 and the "unstable" CM2 victory calculations. By that I mean that one can play two scenarios, each one can feel like one is doing very badly or very well, and yet the Victory Window can show widely different results from a big victory to a big loss. I started Primasole Bridge campaign scenario #2 and thought I had a disaster on my hands and got a Tactical Victory. In the Corridor I thought I had done ok, and got a huge loss. Again, I don't recall having such an unpredictable set of results in CM1.

And while we're at it, I do believe that specialized units like scouts, snipers, FO's, engineers etc should function at a higher level that regular troops. I agree that they can be improved in the Editor if they do not have inherent advantages. ie: They should be Cracks or Elites most of the time. And IIRC, FO's, mortars and snipers do in fact have the ability to fire/see further through terrain than regular troops. If they can, my suggestions is that scouts would also have enhanced abilities due to their training.

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Once selected there will be only one save file for the duration of the battle or campaign, no turning back, second guessing or suffering a momentary lapse of willpower.

You don't need a selectable option for this.

All I do is save the game using the same file name each time. When you save the game, it usually has a save game file name like this:

[The Road to Montebourg 001]

All I do is hit backspace four times and get this:

[The Road to Montebourg]

I then save the game using that name every time. It keeps me from stacking up dozens of savegames, and it keeps me from using savegames to travel back in time. So basically, I've been playing CMBN in "Ironman" mode from the very beginning.

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No, it's called learning how to separate oneself from one's work, a concept you obviously cannot grasp. A crit on a scenario or the product does not equal an attack on the individual(s) who created it. I don't see where Erwin personally attacked anyone at BFC, but rather gave his strong opinions on what he thought was wrong with the scenarios/campaigns and why he doesn't find them enjoyable. Hell, I've suffered worse crits during juried reviews than what Erwin is offering up. You can disagree with him, but realize it is you carrying out personal attacks due to some perceived slight. So yes, harden up a bit.

Nah, I call BS. Suggesting designers are deliberately altering designs to some "puzzle" format to accommodate a lesser quantity or catering to the iTouch crowd is not just a critique of design. You might feel that is an objective complaint. I don't.

Incidentally it isn't my work so I don't even get the reference....

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