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Whine about CM costs thread. Post here!


bobo

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@ Michael Emrys.

LOL, so you do play some other WWII strategy games... j/k :)

I gave up on Unity of Command, it made up for lack of AI with tricky time-targets in my mind. HoI3 still keeps me engaged though. I recommend Project Zomboid for a bit of mindless [pun intended] survival fun, heh heh.

On reflection I think what concerns me overall is the possible 'elitism' (in it's 'hubristic' sense), which is possibly why I read your post as I did. The quality bar has been set very high (thankfully) by BFC but I don't think that comes without a price in terms of accessibility. Now if you add a layer of hubris on top of that then I see the potential for a stagnation in the fan-base. This isn't of course all because of the pricing but, personally speaking, I rarely myself noticing the price of a game and thinking "hmmm, I think that's steep" (but of course I bought it anyway) and then it makes me read threads such as this which I would normally not read. As so I am here. :)

@ Sixxkiller

I think CMx2 is more like buying a Morgan c.f Jaguar, with CM being the former. You can keep the alloy wheels and advertising thanks. ;)

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"In board wargames, GMT Games has Panzer (2nd Ed.) at $120, and it is broadly similar to CMRT. Iron & Oak for $60 is somewhat like Yaquinto's Ironclads"

Hi John

I have to fully disagree. You can't compare Ironclads, where you "feel" every single gunshot with the beer&pretzel die-roll contest Iron & Oak.

Hey, you can do better than that. Your brother designed Fear God, Dread Nought!

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StieliAlpha,

Only fully?! To respond, I was doing a quick research drill to see what was out there in the marketplace for board games these days, when I came across the one you mentioned. Since it seemed to be at the same tactical level as Ironclads, I thought it a reasonable comparison--having never played Iron & Oak, though. I wouldn't get too self-congratulatory about Ironclads, much as I love it. The ROFs are way too high, and the maneuvering ludicrous. IRL, it took half an hour to turn around the CSS Virginia/Merrrimack. Nice combined ding on me and shout out to Ed on the FG&DN game! Ed again did the Scenario Guide, had a piece of the Player's Handbook, and I'm all but dead certain he was up to his eyeballs in the Data Annex. I worked with him on scenarios for Steel Typhoon (second half of PTO at sea in the CaS series) and found it both brain and labor intensive, right down to poring over Google Earth images of tiny Pacific islands trying to puzzle out runway length, revetment locations and more in places long overgrown. Do you play any of the CaS games?

I wish I'd taken notes at an excellent game shop I visited while seeing another brother in April. There were several big double sided bookcases full of beautifully produced boxed games, with many at $45 or so and some as high as a breathtaking $85. This is without even invoking the SF, fantasy, horror and other genre, to include the endless expansions of Settlers of Catan. My sales resistance was incredible, a feat made much easier by having little in the way of funds! Addendum: On second thought, it would be more accurate to say that I thought a better use of scarce funds would be to ramble about in the stacks of old bookshops, fully expecting to find treasure. Scored big, both in unusual used books and killer deals on new ones!

Regards,

John Kettler

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I agree that we, Battlefront, are capable of making a more mainstream wargame type product. If you like, the Panzer General of the 21st Century. We'd actually really like to do that because it would give us a creative break from having to be so fussy with the details. Levels of detail and realism tend to be indicators of how many people might want to buy it. Here's the problem, though...

If we break from core audience and shoot wider, but miss, then we're likely done for. We are doing just fine with our current audience, not fine enough to be able to afford 2 years of development down the tubes.

So it's a good thing in theory, just not as easy to do as any of us would like.

Steve

First, I disagree with the premise of this thread. BF's CM series games are somewhere between fairly priced and outrageously cheap depending on where you fit in the grog scale.

With that said, I think BF could monetize their investment better with more official battles and campaigns. I think they could also reach a little further in to the mainstream and extract more money out of their core audience with their existing engine and some investment in a real campaign framework. How many close combat games have been released on an engine that is perhaps halfway between CM1 and CM2?

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First, I disagree with the premise of this thread. BF's CM series games are somewhere between fairly priced and outrageously cheap depending on where you fit in the grog scale.

QUOTE]

That is the entire premise of this thread. That and trying to keep the whiners in one thread. That part is not going as well as hoped. Too many non-whiners here.

Bobo

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I still get confused on this one. Let's say a month ago, I bought CMBN or CMFI. Would I then have to pay an additional $10 to get the 2.0 patch? That's the part that is insane to me. I was one of those people who simply never got the 2.0 patch. But if I had just bought the game, I would have expected it to be patched to the latest version. If that is (was) in fact the case, I would be bull****. I've asked this before, but only because it just seems so foreign to me. I mean that's some real Gamer's Gate APOS type crap right there.

-I'm 27 and have a job so feel free to plug me into whatever gamer category you want.

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I still get confused on this one. Let's say a month ago, I bought CMBN or CMFI. Would I then have to pay an additional $10 to get the 2.0 patch? That's the part that is insane to me. I was one of those people who simply never got the 2.0 patch. But if I had just bought the game, I would have expected it to be patched to the latest version. If that is (was) in fact the case, I would be bull****. I've asked this before, but only because it just seems so foreign to me. I mean that's some real Gamer's Gate APOS type crap right there.

-I'm 27 and have a job so feel free to plug me into whatever gamer category you want.

And we are back with the Jack and Rod show...

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I still get confused on this one. Let's say a month ago, I bought CMBN or CMFI. Would I then have to pay an additional $10 to get the 2.0 patch? That's the part that is insane to me. I was one of those people who simply never got the 2.0 patch. But if I had just bought the game, I would have expected it to be patched to the latest version. If that is (was) in fact the case, I would be bull****. I've asked this before, but only because it just seems so foreign to me. I mean that's some real Gamer's Gate APOS type crap right there.

-I'm 27 and have a job so feel free to plug me into whatever gamer category you want.

Ah, now we are back to our regular programming.

Yes, pay your $10, put a smile on your face, and we may invite you into the cigar lounge.

$10 cover charge.

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IIRC CMFI came out with v2 so you never had to pay for the upgrade. You will have to pay for v3.

For CMBN - yes, you would have had to pay for for v2 and v3. But if you'd buy it now it would come with v2 already.

It is quite simple. If only BFC would align game version numbers with game engine numbers.

Example: current CMRT is 3.0 (3 for engine, 0 for number of patches). After that came 3.1, 3.2 and so on until 4.0. Would be less confusing.

Ah forgot - have to whine! Ok: I'm a bit worried that in a few years when we have Bulge and BS and '43 comes out with v4 we have 5 families to upgrade. $50 is something to consider and not everyone will do it.

That might create problems with PBEMs. Because currently everyone I know and play with has all modules and all of them up to date. That may not be the case any more then.

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Really, what BFC should do is keep spending months and months upgrading the various titles to the newest edition of the engine...for free. And after about a year go out of business. That way guys will be able to save 10 dollars. That'll teach those EVIL, thieving, price gouging, punks! It's a win win for everyone!

Some of you guys can't see any farther than tomorrow...the rest of us are thinking about two years from now and beyond. It's a case of poking out your eyes and lighting your heads on fire to spite your nose. If 10 bucks is all that it takes (per title) to get us to the next level, every year or so, that's a TINY price to pay to have all our titles (or favorite title) on equal footing. If that's what it takes to keep BFC in the black and making the games that a lot of us love, well...what's the alternative, leave the old titles in the dust?

I've said it a million times; we got the best deal we could ever get for a wargame—no feature envy—and all some of you guys do is bitch about it. Because waiting ten years for an upgraded version is such a better choice...

Name one wargame from 2011 (or 2007 once they upgrade CMSF) that is still being supported by its publisher, RIGHT now...for free. OR only charges 10 bucks for engine upgrades (NOT PATCHES). I can think of one...but it doesn't upgrade at the cost of 10 bucks and goes for 115.

BFC is a damn loyal company, I've never once felt ripped off by them. Because I know (and they proved it with CMSF) that they'll stand by us and their games, even if sometimes we have to argue to get something changed. I don't know of too many companies that care that much about the players where they spend as much time debating/listening/applying what came up in the discussions. It's one of the reasons I've been participating for going on 14 years. They are a small company, and pack more game play in a CM title than most multi-million dollar companies put into their latest blockbuster releases. If we need to shell out a few extra bucks here and there to keep our games fresh...so be it. It's been WAY beyond worth it for the hours of enjoyment I've received.

And yeah, yeah, yeah...I know...I'm a fanboy. All that rational thinking gave it away.

Mord.

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What I find dismaying among some of the whiners is the level of vitriol and vehemence in some of their complaints. This among people who sometimes cannot get their facts straight and do not, for instance, seem to grasp the distinction between patches (which are FREE) and upgrades (which are not). This is not to say that CM is always and ever beyond criticism. It is not, and a comprehensive reading of the posting history of the most ardent fanboys would also turn up a consistent history of criticizing this or that facet of the game. We criticize it because we love it and want to contribute its flourishing.

And I also have sympathy for those who are on limited budgets and may feel envious pangs of disappointment that they simply cannot afford—at least at the present time—to play the latest version of whichever game is on their HD. Yeah, that can be a sad fact of life. But it is not confined to CM and blaming BFC for it is wildly inappropriate. Look around. The main reason that many games go directly to the bargain bin a few months after they appear is that they are crap and after the initial sensation of their release, their appeal also drops off. As has been attested on this forum many, many times, every release of a CM title has provided as many satisfying hours of entertainment as the player can find in a busy life to devote to it. There are players still playing CMBO, which came out almost a decade and a half ago. How many other games from other companies have a comparable longevity? I'm sure there must be some, but I am also sure that there aren't all that many.

Michael

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a comprehensive reading of the posting history of the most ardent fanboys would also turn up a consistent history of criticizing this or that facet of the game. We criticize it because we love it and want to contribute its flourishing.

A GREAT point that cannot be stressed enough when the "fanboy" card is played. There's been a few people on here that pretend common courtesy and respect while lobbying BFC are just forms of brown-nosing. Maybe products of bad parenting...but I always figured that was how they rationalized acting like king sized Richard noggins.

Mord.

P.S. My bunker does have anti-curse protection...however I haven't installed the pox upgrade.

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Would I then have to pay an additional $10 to get the 2.0 patch?

There is no such thing as a 2.0 'patch'. You persist in calling the engine upgrade a 'patch', which it wasn't. The difference between a patch and an upgrade is the difference between an auto recall for a faulty part and an aftermarket performance package. I suppose you would have wanted Ford to drop a turbocharger into your old Mustang free of charge too.

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StieliAlpha,

Only fully?! To respond, I was doing a quick research drill to see what was out there in the marketplace for board games these days, when I came across the one you mentioned. Since it seemed to be at the same tactical level as Ironclads, I thought it a reasonable comparison--having never played Iron & Oak, though. I wouldn't get too self-congratulatory about Ironclads, much as I love it. The ROFs are way too high, and the maneuvering ludicrous. IRL, it took half an hour to turn around the CSS Virginia/Merrrimack. Nice combined ding on me and shout out to Ed on the FG&DN game! Ed again did the Scenario Guide, had a piece of the Player's Handbook, and I'm all but dead certain he was up to his eyeballs in the Data Annex. I worked with him on scenarios for Steel Typhoon (second half of PTO at sea in the CaS series) and found it both brain and labor intensive, right down to poring over Google Earth images of tiny Pacific islands trying to puzzle out runway length, revetment locations and more in places long overgrown. Do you play any of the CaS games?

Hi John

Yep, re Ironclads, I may have dwelled a little in fond memories of the past and dreamed about long forgotten playing sessions. Ironclads certainly had it's shortcomings. Realisticly, one could rate it in the same league as WSIM: Nice and playable wargame, but not neccessarily a Simulation. Anyway, it is still miles better than Iron & Oak. That one I found overly simplistic and, even worse, quite boring to play.

Re CaS: Nope, though I do own quite number of the CoA games, I really played only the La Bataille and the Age of Reason series. And lately some Fires of Midway.

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Battlefront.com,

Steve, I take your point about the wisdom in not taking a flyer on game design when there is no reserve to absorb a failed business direction. I believe several game companies have been sunk or gobbled up as a result of what you seek to avoid. Ready-Shoot-Aim as a business decision generator seems ill advised when compared to your current Ready-Aim-Shoot!

Michael Emrys,

Will there be a subForum in which people can whine about BFC's advertising practices? On a more useful note...

There is a mantra in the ad business: "Repetition is the soul of advertising." Repetition in the various media costs money, can easily cost a lot of money, and BFC hasn't the deep pockets to build a brand the way it's typically done these days. As Steve noted, it's a resource allocation issue. BFC doesn't have much and has to always make astute moves.

As an aside, I will say, though, that AH's "Don't buy an Avalon Hill game unless you are above average," as seen in a 1964 catalog (on BoardGameGeek)and the repeated invocation of the immediately engaging and immersive YOU ("Now YOU command...) were very effective blandishments--as was BFC's arresting animated banner (with all that wonderful armor) and the call to arms: "The enemy is attacking!" I have no idea how extensive the CMBO ad campaign was and what it cost, but it was 100% effective in my case. And life changing!

StieliAlpha,

Thanks for the info. Was always intrigued by the La Bataille series, despite knowing squat all about Napoleonic land warfare, but they were too pricey for me. Looked gorgeous, though.

Regards,

John Kettler

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There is no such thing as a 2.0 'patch'. You persist in calling the engine upgrade a 'patch', which it wasn't. The difference between a patch and an upgrade is the difference between an auto recall for a faulty part and an aftermarket performance package. I suppose you would have wanted Ford to drop a turbocharger into your old Mustang free of charge too.

Well said, MD!

:D

Michael

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First, I disagree with the premise of this thread. BF's CM series games are somewhere between fairly priced and outrageously cheap depending on where you fit in the grog scale.

Thanks! Many times in the past we've challenged price complainers to estimate how many hours they've played CM so that we can derive the cost per hour of entertainment. Then we could fairly compare it to things like going to the movies, Netflix, Cable TV, live performances, etc. It would be an interesting comparison to make, but as far as I remember none of the price complainers provided that information. They just tried to change the subject instead. Not hard to figure out why :D

With that said, I think BF could monetize their investment better with more official battles and campaigns. I think they could also reach a little further in to the mainstream and extract more money out of their core audience with their existing engine and some investment in a real campaign framework. How many close combat games have been released on an engine that is perhaps halfway between CM1 and CM2?

It hasn't been something we've done so far because until recently it's been frowned upon because there was a time when wargame makers abused this model. It's why we have always had a full featured editor and "quick battle" features in every single CM game we've made. Pay once, play as long as the game holds your interest.

What's changed now is that providing small amounts of content is economically feasible thanks to digital downloads. As a result people have gotten used to Downloadable Content (DLC). As long as we don't hobble/abandon our current approach of including playable content, a full featured editor, and "quick battle" features in our products, I don't see why anybody could complain if we also offer pay-for-play playable content as an additional option. Meaning, it doesn't remove any options people have had for 14 years, rather it adds to it.

Steve

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