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The Siegfried Line October - December 1944


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I would see this as being the next logical expansion pack after the "Funnies" recently released. It should be pretty straightforward to add German buildings in the same way as for Holland plus some new organisations (Volksgrenadiers) with autumn and winter weather.

Then we can add the Ardennes/Operation Nordwind packs and conclude the series with the invqasion of Germany itself which obviously will require some more new tanks (Pershings, Sherman "Easy 8" etc) plus volksturm, Hitler Youth, the 1945 Panzer Division TOE etc.

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AFAIK, public word from BFC was that ETO October 1944 - May 1945 is planned to be a new game "Family," with the initial "Base" release being centered around the Battle of the Bulge, rather than any further modules being added to the CMBN family.

According to the official roadmap, CMBN is done as far as new modules. Steve has intimated that there might be an additional minor releases for the CMBN family, such as a "Battle Pack" or two with new scenarios/campaigns, but that's it.

But it's possible plans have changed; it's been a while since Steve released the "roadmap."

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I don't see any reason for not being able to expand Normandy out to cover the remainder of the NW European campaign as two or three modules, most likely the latter. As I see it the recent Vehicles pack shows BF can update the vehicles stas and the Market Garden expansion shows that terrain graphics can be updated. Since these two technical issues are now resolved VF would appear to have the capacity to make the changes needed to allow gaming of the final campaigns, building on what is already here rather than re-inventing thwe wheel with a completely new game which would likely cost more to produce starting from scratch

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A new "Base Game" would not, and and of itself, take more effort to produce than doing the same time period, units, and TOE(s) as module(s). It's the same engine; there is no "reinventing the wheel." In fact, releasing future titles as a new game family is in some ways easier because it means we don't have to go back and test to make sure none of the new stuff screws up any of the old stuff. See e.g., the recent issue with the PzIV(late) LODs in the Vehicle Pack for an example of how this can happen.

A new game also game engine changes to be made without worrying about screwing up previously released scenarios. A good example of is the Air Support changes implemented in CMRT -- if hypothetically, CMRT had been released as a "module" to CMBN, everything would have to use the same Air Support system. In fact, CMBN was unintentionally switched to the CMRT "roving" Air Support in the initial release of the CMBN 2.2/3.0 engine upgrade, a mistake that was quickly fixed as it did indeed make some of the "official" scenarios and campaigns significantly more difficult and in some cases almost unplayable (e.g., the third battle in the Road to Nijmagen Campaign).

But what really determines the amount of effort for a given title is how much new stuff that is included; whether it's implemented as a "module" or a "new base game" is really an execution and marketing decision.

If BFC decides to continue with the plan to do 10/44 - 5/45 as a completely new game, it likely will be larger release, taking longer to develop and costing more, but in compensation players will probably get some major new game engine features with the new game family release, in addition to all the new units, terrain, TOEs, scenarios etc.

If they change their mind and do the same time period just as module(s) to CMBN, then there will be at most a few minor game engine improvements, and the product(s) will mostly be just new units, terrain features and battle/scenarios.

Basically, new game family = significant engine improvements, *and* stuff and scenarios. New module(s) = just stuff and scenarios. Which you prefer depends I guess upon whether you'd rather wait longer for more, or get less sooner.

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A new "Base Game" would not, and and of itself, take more effort to produce than doing the same time period, units, and TOE(s) as module(s). It's the same engine; there is no "reinventing the wheel." In fact, releasing future titles as a new game family is in some ways easier because it means we don't have to go back and test to make sure none of the new stuff screws up any of the old stuff. See e.g., the recent issue with the PzIV(late) LODs in the Vehicle Pack for an example of how this can happen.

A new game also game engine changes to be made without worrying about screwing up previously released scenarios. A good example of is the Air Support changes implemented in CMRT -- if hypothetically, CMRT had been released as a "module" to CMBN, everything would have to use the same Air Support system. In fact, CMBN was unintentionally switched to the CMRT "roving" Air Support in the initial release of the CMBN 2.2/3.0 engine upgrade, a mistake that was quickly fixed as it did indeed make some of the "official" scenarios and campaigns significantly more difficult and in some cases almost unplayable (e.g., the third battle in the Road to Nijmagen Campaign).

But what really determines the amount of effort for a given title is how much new stuff that is included; whether it's implemented as a "module" or a "new base game" is really an execution and marketing decision.

If BFC decides to continue with the plan to do 10/44 - 5/45 as a completely new game, it likely will be larger release, taking longer to develop and costing more, but in compensation players will probably get some major new game engine features with the new game family release, in addition to all the new units, terrain, TOEs, scenarios etc.

If they change their mind and do the same time period just as module(s) to CMBN, then there will be at most a few minor game engine improvements, and the product(s) will mostly be just new units, terrain features and battle/scenarios.

Basically, new game family = significant engine improvements, *and* stuff and scenarios. New module(s) = just stuff and scenarios. Which you prefer depends I guess upon whether you'd rather wait longer for more, or get less sooner.

Wait, will BFC charge us for either a new game or a module(s)??? Not fair, since all the Bulge stuff clearly should have been included in CMBN in the first place!:D:;)

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Wait, will BFC charge us for either a new game or a module(s)??? Not fair, since all the Bulge stuff clearly should have been included in CMBN in the first place!:D:;)

No reason why it shouldn't be. This is the North West European campaign we are discussing here. The Siegfried line battles followed on from Market Garden. And in fact the Market Garden module could be used tio cover the early Siegfried Line battles in Lorraine. And arguably Market Garden itself was one of the early attempts o breach the Siegfried Line.

The autumn fighting sucgh as the Aachen battles and the Hurtgen Forest are a natural fllow on from the September battles. The Battle of the Bulge and Operatin Nordwind were simply the largest German counter offensives attempted in the late summmer/early autumn and in fact throughout the autumn. For example the Commbat History of the 21st Panzer Division menins the Zaberner Senke offensive November 11 -22ndagainst US 7th Army.

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A new "Base Game" would not, and and of itself, take more effort to produce than doing the same time period, units, and TOE(s) as module(s). It's the same engine; there is no "reinventing the wheel." In fact, releasing future titles as a new game family is in some ways easier because it means we don't have to go back and test to make sure none of the new stuff screws up any of the old stuff. See e.g., the recent issue with the PzIV(late) LODs in the Vehicle Pack for an example of how this can happen.

A new game also game engine changes to be made without worrying about screwing up previously released scenarios. A good example of is the Air Support changes implemented in CMRT -- if hypothetically, CMRT had been released as a "module" to CMBN, everything would have to use the same Air Support system. In fact, CMBN was unintentionally switched to the CMRT "roving" Air Support in the initial release of the CMBN 2.2/3.0 engine upgrade, a mistake that was quickly fixed as it did indeed make some of the "official" scenarios and campaigns significantly more difficult and in some cases almost unplayable (e.g., the third battle in the Road to Nijmagen Campaign).

But what really determines the amount of effort for a given title is how much new stuff that is included; whether it's implemented as a "module" or a "new base game" is really an execution and marketing decision.

If BFC decides to continue with the plan to do 10/44 - 5/45 as a completely new game, it likely will be larger release, taking longer to develop and costing more, but in compensation players will probably get some major new game engine features with the new game family release, in addition to all the new units, terrain, TOEs, scenarios etc.

If they change their mind and do the same time period just as module(s) to CMBN, then there will be at most a few minor game engine improvements, and the product(s) will mostly be just new units, terrain features and battle/scenarios.

Basically, new game family = significant engine improvements, *and* stuff and scenarios. New module(s) = just stuff and scenarios. Which you prefer depends I guess upon whether you'd rather wait longer for more, or get less sooner.

Or they could do an incremental, modular approachupgrading the engine features, TOEs and terrain to sui. We know that BF can do this as they have just upgraded Normandy to the latest version having previousl added Dutch terrain in Market Garden and the Funnies in the recent Vehicle pack. I don;t ming paying $20 - $30 for upgrades and modules for, in this case North West Europe. I can see two or three such upgrades as being neccessary to complete the NW European campaihn up tp May 1945. By which time I will probably have paid out slightly more than the cost of the future Battle of the Bulge game on it's own after which I will then be paying for upgrades to that,

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No reason why it shouldn't be. This is the North West European campaign we are discussing here. The Siegfried line battles followed on from Market Garden. And in fact the Market Garden module could be used tio cover the early Siegfried Line battles in Lorraine. And arguably Market Garden itself was one of the early attempts o breach the Siegfried Line.

The autumn fighting sucgh as the Aachen battles and the Hurtgen Forest are a natural fllow on from the September battles. The Battle of the Bulge and Operatin Nordwind were simply the largest German counter offensives attempted in the late summmer/early autumn and in fact throughout the autumn. For example the Commbat History of the 21st Panzer Division menins the Zaberner Senke offensive November 11 -22ndagainst US 7th Army.

LOL, Lucas, I was joking about the cost; figured I'd be the first to complain about it, since we know certain people will. But I could see the Bulge as a module (or two), rather than a new family. However, I thought there was mention a long time ago of major changes to the UI planned for the Bulge family, which would be CMx2 v4.0? Or am I thinking of the future CMx3?

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One of the problems with doing lots of small incremental releases is that this increases the number of installers BFC has to compile, and us Beta Testers have to test. I don't think it violates my NDA to tell you that we spend a LOT of Beta time testing installers, and we FREQUENTLY find problems, which means then BFC has to fix the problem, compile a new installer candidate, and the process starts all over again. Not the most fun part of beta testing.

Basically, if ETO 10/1944 - 05/1945 is going to involve X new game features, Y new units, and Z new scenarios/campaigns, it's more work to release all this stuff in multiple small releases as opposed to one big lump.

This said, there's a balance that has to be struck between releasing new stuff on a regular basis and therefore maintaining interest in the game, and efficiency. This is the balance BFC is trying to find with the Base Game-Module-Pack system. They may or may not have found the correct balance, but as a business that has to be their overall goal.

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The main issue is what units are included in the base game because those are the only units that can be used in every module. If the TO&E has changed between June and October or November then you need a new base game or your module restrictions will make things tricky. Lest someone think that there aren't any TO&E changes - Volksgrenadiers? That's just one example.

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One of the problems with doing lots of small incremental releases is that this increases the number of installers BFC has to compile, and us Beta Testers have to test. I don't think it violates my NDA to tell you that we spend a LOT of Beta time testing installers, and we FREQUENTLY find problems, which means then BFC has to fix the problem, compile a new installer candidate, and the process starts all over again. Not the most fun part of beta testing.

Basically, if ETO 10/1944 - 05/1945 is going to involve X new game features, Y new units, and Z new scenarios/campaigns, it's more work to release all this stuff in multiple small releases as opposed to one big lump.

This said, there's a balance that has to be struck between releasing new stuff on a regular basis and therefore maintaining interest in the game, and efficiency. This is the balance BFC is trying to find with the Base Game-Module-Pack system. They may or may not have found the correct balance, but as a business that has to be their overall goal.

Interesting. Installer testing waas not an issue I had even thought of let alone considered. But then I am not a developer or beta tester! :D

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The main issue is what units are included in the base game because those are the only units that can be used in every module. If the TO&E has changed between June and October or November then you need a new base game or your module restrictions will make things tricky. Lest someone think that there aren't any TO&E changes - Volksgrenadiers? That's just one example.

Volksgrenadiers would be the big one obcviously. There will also be the Volksturm/Hitler Youth types and the 1945 Panzer Division eventually. And probably some minor Allied changes as well. It is of course possible to override TOE changes if you really want to by simply changing the date. For instance if I wanted Kriegsmarine on D Day defending the Atlantic Wall I xcan simply make a temporary date change to September, include the Kriegsmarine units I wanted and change the date back again to June 6

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Volksgrenadiers would be the big one obcviously. There will also be the Volksturm/Hitler Youth types and the 1945 Panzer Division eventually. And probably some minor Allied changes as well. It is of course possible to override TOE changes if you really want to by simply changing the date. For instance if I wanted Kriegsmarine on D Day defending the Atlantic Wall I xcan simply make a temporary date change to September, include the Kriegsmarine units I wanted and change the date back again to June 6

It isn't about just one side. It is both sides and how they interact with each other. In other words, if Volksgrenadiers are added in a module to CMBN then the only opponent they can fight in any BFC produced scenarios are opponents that are either in CMBN base game (June 1944 Americans) or the module that Volksgrenadiers come in.

Take your Kriegsmarines for example. You want to have a fight with Kriegsmarines and British troops in Hamburg or some German port in 1945. Guess what, you can add Kriegsmarine troops to your battle using June 1944 TO&E and change the date to May 1945 but who are they going to fight against? They aren't going to be combined with any Volksgrenadiers because the Volksgrenadiers are in a different module so too bad for that. The only British your Kriegsmarines are going to be fighting will be those included in the Market Garden module because that's what came with the Kriegsmarines. Now if you don't play any stock scenarios and you just play Quick Battles or user made scenarios then I guess there aren't any issues.

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The main reason to start a new base game is marketing. BFC will sell a lot more stand alone "Battle of the Bulge" games than they will "Battle of the Bulge" modules to CMBN. On top of that they are going to get a lot more game reviews and press as well, since it will be a 'new game' and thus worthy of a prerelease review and a full release review by the gaming press.

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The main reason to start a new base game is marketing. BFC will sell a lot more stand alone "Battle of the Bulge" games than they will "Battle of the Bulge" modules to CMBN. On top of that they are going to get a lot more game reviews and press as well, since it will be a 'new game' and thus worthy of a prerelease review and a full release review by the gaming press.

OK But you still need to be covering the Siegfried line battles up to December 15 1944. for which you can either use he current game endine, opening up the dates between 1 October and December 15 or you do the same thing with the new Bulge game. Given that most of what we will need for the Siegfried Line is already going to be there in the current Normandy series (with obvious exceptions such as Volksgrenadiers, German buildings and snow) Bf could go down the route of producing the Siegfied Line as the final module in the Normandy series covering operations in October, November and the first half of December. Then, if they want to produce a new family of games covering the Bulge, Nordwind, The Rhine Crossings and the final advance into Germany I would have no serius objections. However, I still feel that the Normandy series is the right place to cover the autumn 1944 campaigns.

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It isn't about just one side. It is both sides and how they interact with each other. In other words, if Volksgrenadiers are added in a module to CMBN then the only opponent they can fight in any BFC produced scenarios are opponents that are either in CMBN base game (June 1944 Americans) or the module that Volksgrenadiers come in.

Take your Kriegsmarines for example. You want to have a fight with Kriegsmarines and British troops in Hamburg or some German port in 1945. Guess what, you can add Kriegsmarine troops to your battle using June 1944 TO&E and change the date to May 1945 but who are they going to fight against? They aren't going to be combined with any Volksgrenadiers because the Volksgrenadiers are in a different module so too bad for that. The only British your Kriegsmarines are going to be fighting will be those included in the Market Garden module because that's what came with the Kriegsmarines. Now if you don't play any stock scenarios and you just play Quick Battles or user made scenarios then I guess there aren't any issues.

Unless the Volksgrenadiers were included in a Siegfried Line module in which case it could be done.

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