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And for this year's time honored tradition, we give thee the very first sneak peek at CM's return to the Eastern Front:

We'll give you a lot more visuals to chew on in January, but here's some non-visual stuff to think about. Let's see... where to start?

1. Ground to Air fire. Yup, now those AAA guns can do what they were supposed to do (shooting at aircraft) instead of the more fun role of plastering enemy units with lots of HE. Details are to come at a later time. In fact, we only got this to play with a few hours ago ;)

2. Ammo Dumps. Since Fortress Italy vehicles have had ammo loadouts tailored to the unit type it's supposed to transport. Now this has been expanded somewhere and then made even better. When you purchase a unit that has vehicles you can opt to have the combat units only, the vehicles, or Ammo Dumps. The latter is the ammo stripped out of the vehicle and made into a stationary "unit" on the map. No more do you have to choose between standard ammo and a perhaps unwanted vehicle loaded with extra ammo. It can be placed wherever you like during Setup and during the game units can draw from it as they already can from vehicles. You can put the Ammo Dumps near your combat units, or concentrate them to the rear somewhere. Your choice!

3. Vehicle Ammo Leveling. This is a common frontline technique of evening out ammo supply between vehicles in order to keep as many vehicles in the fight as possible. Sometimes an entire platoon was withdrawn and leveled with another, other times it was just vehicles within the same platoon after one or two wound up firing off a lot of ammo. Like real life, however, this is kinda tricky to pull off under combat conditions. Vehicles must be parked VERY close to each other and left unbuttoned for quite a few minutes before leveling can take place. In other words, vehicles performing leveling are sitting ducks. For short games this probably isn't a very useful feature, but for you guys playing longer scenarios it's bound to be quite handy.

4. Larger Maps. You didn't think we wouldn't try out larger maps after doing all those speed improvements, did you? Shame on you if you didn't think we would! [edit... the exact size is still up in the air due to hardware issues. We're working on that!]. Now you can make huge square maps or very long narrow ones. And yes, we also dramatically improved 2D map performance in the Editor to make the experience of building one of these monsters a happy experience instead of living death :D The speed improvements in the Editor obviously apply to smaller maps as well.

5. Tank riders, but you already knew that :D The number of soldiers each vehicle can take depends on the vehicle itself. Some, you'll find, don't take any because in real life they effectively couldn't.

And of course the usual things one should expect from a new theater of war... new terrain, new UI graphics, etc. Oh, and obviously what I just mentioned is just a few things that are new to the game.

Better still... these new features are going to be available to CMBN and CMFI as Upgrade 3.0. So those of you who don't want to slug it out on the Eastern Front (which us Ostfront grogs don't understand) you can enjoy the new features with what you already have in your hands. Provided, of course, the features are applicable to your particular front. I don't think you should expect to see Russian style Eastern Orthodox spires in the middle of Sicily for example :D

Steve

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Ahh, me likey :D Especially the functional AAA and huge maps. 30km² :eek:

Two questions:

1) Can ammo dumps explode if hit by enemy fire?

2) If these features are to be available to CMFI and CMBN as Upgrade 3.0 does that mean the East Front game is already 3.0? It sounds that way but last we heard about 3.0 it was going to debut with Black Sea.

3) Any time frame for release?

Ok, I guess that's 3 questions ;)

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Glad you like what you've seen so far!

1. Not sure if we'll allow Ammo Dumps to be damaged/destroyed. There are "gamey" ramifications that could come from that. In real life you didn't have stockpiles of ammo blowing up all the time at the tactical level. So we're thinking there's some good reasons for that.

2. Yes, the new Eastern Front game will start out v3.0 as will Black Sea. They're going to come out fairly close together, but we had to pick one to focus on and of the two Black Sea could use the longer time in the oven because it's the first time we've been back to Modern for several years while WW2 is all we've been doing since.

3. More info about release timing will be out in January. But I can say you won't have to wait too much longer. And I'm talking real world definition of that term, not the one that is in relation to traditional Battlefront concepts of time :D

4. We've got no plans to extend battles beyond 4 hours. I don't know if we'll extend Quick Battles beyond 2 hours, but I suppose I can kick that one over to Charles and see what he says.

Steve

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Great news! - Will definitely buy for the climate of the Eastern front;)

Of course, I understand a lot of work, (the new "skins", models of vehicles / buildings etc.) But I feel like I read the announcement of the DLC or mods to CMBN - no deeper changes in the game mechanics and graphics (soldiers on tanks - great) - I just hope that the really big changes will be more.

ps. Besides, more videos! more photos!

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Look good. Ill be getting this even if I find the 41/42/43 period to be more interesting. Going to be interesting to see how well it does. Many don't seem to be too interested in the Eastern Front.

Are there plans to give infantry stuff like handheld AT mines/grenades? I assume the Russians will have 14.5 cal AT rifles?

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I saw some casualties on the tank riders in the movie. Will the seriously hurt/KIA just fall off the tank or will they stay on board till the rest jump off? Gives us another movie where the T-34 takes a hit from an 88.

Looked to me like they behave as any other casualty in a vehicle: they just vanish. Same as passengers in a truck or crew in a vehicle.

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