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So as I understand it - it's not just a graphics update with all infantry and vehicles remodeled, as well as new orders added (and other stuff related mostly to mission design features) - but missions were updated too.

What I want to know is to what extent - is it mostly map detail and some visual stuff added here and there (as seen in the demo) - or does it go beyond that and every mission of every campaign makes use of triggers and more advanced AI plans that other CMx2 games have - bringing it to the same standards (and challenge) of CMBS?

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From what's been said so far:

It's not clear if every scenario and every campaign has been altered in that way, but we know that at least some of them have. Al Huqf Engagement is one that's been brought up as an example of one which uses all of the new AI tools, and I'd expect many more are similar.

There are many things to get excited about in CMSF 2 - some of them are AI related, but others are even more fundamental - not having visible trenches on the map is going to completely change how a lot of scenarios are approached, since (whether you mean to or not), they will still affect your actions.

There are also (going by the demo) significant changes to the TO&E, especially for the Syrian side. Nine man squads with two RPK's seem to be seven man squads with a single PKM now, which will drastically alter how everything fits together, from the ground up.

It'll be a completely new game, there's an awful lot more going on than just the graphical updates.

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There is a text file included with the demo that highlights many (though not all) of the changes between Shock Force 1 and 2. Copied below is the text:


Combat Mission: Shock Force 2 includes the following new or enhanced features that have accumulated during the evolution of the Combat Mission Engine since Shock Force 1. The following list only contains major new features and adjustments. The list of tweaks and smaller changes to the simulation of modern equipment are too numerous to list here.


Water is no longer an obstacle! Many Syrian and USMC vehicles are now capable of swimming across the surface of water obstacles, giving them enhanced tactical utility.
Amphibious vehicles are capable of moving through Water, Ford Deep, and Reeds terrain. Marsh and Deep Marsh ground types remain impassable to amphibious vehicles. Ordering a vehicle to move through water is as simple as issuing any normal movement command onto or across water. When it reaches the water, the vehicle will begin swimming.
Amphibious movement speed is capped at a relatively slow maximum swimming speed. In addition, passengers and crew cannot dismount or bail out if the vehicle is in deep water (not a Ford); if the vehicle is destroyed while in deep water, all passengers and crew are lost.


Don't want modern radio and satellite communications nets for your scenario? Shut them down! A new scenario environmental setting that can be independently set for either side simulates electronic warfare attacks allows you to degrade or completely disable electronic communications, forcing even Information Age forces to communicate without the benefit of modern technology.

Electronic warfare is represented in the game through a Data editor setting. (it is also available in the QB setup window). There are two settings: Blue Electronic Warfare Strength, and Red. The setting for one side will negatively affect the enemy systems. So for example, if Blue EW strength is set to Strong, then the Red player will feel the effects of Strong EW. These settings do NOT cancel each other out! So you could theoretically set both to Medium and both sides would have seriously degraded comms. Once in battle, you can see what the EW strength is for both sides by checking the Conditions panel.

The available EW strengths are None, Light, Medium, and Strong.

*    No EW assets are deployed against the enemy. Systems are unaffected.
*    Hand-held "walkie-talkie" radio communications are degraded. Manpack radios (as carried by "radio operator" soldiers), and vehicle-mounted radios are unaffected.
*    Hand-held satellite communications links via PDA devices are degraded. Vehicle-mounted satellite stations such as FBCB2 are unaffected.
*    Hand-held radio equipment no longer functions.
*    Manpack radio and vehicle-mounted radios still function but are degraded.
*    Hand-held satellite communications links via PDA devices no longer function. 
*    Vehicle-mounted satellite stations such as FBCB2 are degraded.
*    Delivery times for artillery and air support Missions are much longer due to comms interference.
*    Precision artillery missions of all types are not available.
*    The ability of on-map Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs) to detect and engage enemy aircraft is degraded.
*    All radio and satellite communications links are disabled. Units must maintain C3 links via verbal face-to-face communications or visual hand signals.
*    Artillery and air support missions now have an extreme delay, often over 20 minutes.
*    On-map SAM ability to detect and engage enemy aircraft is highly degraded.


Combat Mission: Red Thunder introduced anti-air capability to the game. This feature continues in Combat Mission: Shock Force 2 with the addition of Anti-Aircraft (AA) assets that will attack air support that is currently performing Strike missions on the battlefield. The degree to which the AA fire is effective will depend on the AA platform and the air asset involved. AA fire can miss the aircraft, drive it away and force it to abort the attack, or hit and damage or destroy the aircraft.


A few fire support assets, namely American and British 155 mm artillery support, have access to precision artillery shells. These special support missions fire only one artillery shell per gun, but they are guided shells with much higher accuracy and precision. Precision missions do not have a spotting phase; the shells arrive (hopefully) on target with no warning. Precision missions are very useful for attacking enemy armored vehicles that typically need a direct or near-direct hit to knock them out of the fight, or for targeting a specific building or location while trying to avoid collateral damage.

Other important notes for precision artillery missions:

*    Precision missions must use a Point target.
*    Precision missions do not have a duration. The maximum number of shells that can be dropped during a mission is one shell per gun.

*    WeGo TCP/IP with the ability to save but not the ability to replay combat action.
*    Pausable RealTime TCP/IP option. A player can request a Pause and, if the other player agrees, the game is Paused until both players are ready to continue play.
     Quick Battles
*    Redesigned Quick Battle Generator that includes the ability for players to purchase formations, units and support, for their own force and for the computer AI. By deleting subformations/units, setting experience, motivation, fitness, and leadership levels, and attaching Specialist Teams and individual vehicles, the player can custom-tailor their force for the mission.
*    Automatically purchased force options are still available for the player and opponent, as well as a "Suggestion" button in the unit purchase screen that will quickly buy a force that the player can then modify.
*    Players can now choose their own maps, and preview maps before playing.

*    Two new camera control modes have been introduced in addition to the traditional Combat Mission controls: First Person Shooter (FPS), and Real Time Strategy (RTS). These new camera controls allow a player the choice to control the in-game camera in a way that is more familiar to other game genres.
*    Hotkey Unit Groups. Select units and assign them to number keys for quick navigation during gameplay.
*    New Load New Game dialog screen. The list of scenarios can now be sorted by size, length, or alphabetically.
*    Improved Saved Game dialog screen. The list of scenarios can now be sorted by newest file, oldest file, or alphabetically, or filter between single player and PBEM saves. Save games can be deleted in the game.
*    Visual Hotkey binding. A new dialog in the Options menu allows you to specify and view key assignments.
*    KIAs are shown in the Soldier/Crew Panels to track soldiers lost during the game.
*    The Ammo Panel has been redesigned: Ammunition is now listed by name and in discrete quantities instead of icons and depleting bars.
*    Option to disable music separate from other game sounds.
*    Combat Victories (Kill Stats) for individual units showing how many and what types of units the soldier or vehicle has eliminated in the mission (totals tracked for campaigns).

*    FoW floating icons. FoW floating icons. Instead of getting a general area "?" icon and then immediately progressing to an accurate 3D representation, there is now an in-between stage where you get an icon that represents the general category of enemy unit without 3D representation. This tells the player "you know roughly what the unit is, but nothing more specific than that."
*    Command lines are back! Command and Control (C3) links can now be shown on the battlefield, allowing you to quickly determine whether subordinate units are in contact with their headquarters. Use the Alt-Z Hotkey to toggle the feature.
*    Expanded floating icon categories. New unique floating icons have been added for Ammo Bearer, Recon, Engineer, MANPADS, LMG, Light Truck (Antitank), SPAA.
*    Dismounted vehicles function as Ammo Dumps, allowing formations to have reserve ammo stored separately on map (automatically distributed for certain Skill Levels).
*    Player-placeable static defenses and fortifications such as trenches, barbed wire, and mines.

*    Ground units are now able to fire at attacking aircraft using self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicles, emplaced anti-aircraft guns, or shoulder-launched MANPADS units. Aircraft that are fired upon may have their combat effectiveness diminished, be forced to abort the mission, or even be shot down.
*    Soldiers with assault rifles are more likely to use aimed semi-automatic fire at distant targets instead of burst fire. Soldiers fire weapons faster at short ranges. Machine guns fire longer, more accurate bursts. More realistic and varied Rate Of Fire (ROF) of automatic weapons. Ammo bearers and heavy weapon assistant soldiers generally use their weapons only at shorter ranges.
*    Soldiers can surrender to nearby enemy units and possibly be "rescued" by nearby friendly units. This replaces the old "routing" behavior, which has been removed from the game.
*    Wide range of weather types and environmental effects, including rain, fog, heavy winds (with ballistic effects), different types of ground conditions, animated water effects, and more.
*    Vehicles and soldiers equipped with night vision and thermal vision have a significantly improved boost to spotting abilities in low visibility conditions such as night.
*    Buttoned-up armored vehicles spot enemies to their flanks far less effectively.
*    Improved UI display for timing of pre-planned artillery missions also indicates what delay would be after the battle begins.
*    Small arms fire causes more suppression than before.

*    Game performance and load times for large maps have been improved.
*    Maps can now be up to 8 kilometers long or wide (up from 4 kilometers). However, total map size is still restricted to 16 square kilometers. This means that you can make a 2 kilometer wide map that is 8 kilometers long!
*    Expanded environmental assets mean that you can conduct combat operations in lush rural landscapes, dense urban settings, or anywhere in between.
*    Water terrain types added: Water, Reeds, Deep Ford, and Shallow Ford. Infantry can cross Deep Ford and Shallow Ford, while non-amphibious vehicles can only cross Shallow Ford.
*    Bridges are now available as a terrain type. Bridges come in multiple varieties, including wooden foot bridges, small rural stone bridges, large concrete traffic bridges, and even railroad bridges.
*    Improved tree and bush models. Forest ground tiles can accompany them for proper forest terrain.
*    Generic buildings can now be up to 14 stories high (up from 8).


*    Dynamic, context sensitive equipment loadouts for individual soldiers depending on what weapon and equipment are carried.
*    Expanded soldier details. A completely new way of assigning models and textures allows greater flexibility and variety of how Soldiers look in the game. It also allows for more flexible modding possibilities.
*    Night vision equipment will be automatically and visually equipped in scenarios with low-light conditions.
*    Many new soldier animations, stances and positions, including kneeling and sitting positions for crew served weapons, pistol firing animations, hand grenade throwing, crew functions, first aid, and much more...
*    Soldiers will automatically share ammo with other nearby units if needed.

*    On-map mortars, both dismounted and vehicle-mounted, are now available. On-map assets such as mortars are able to fire in both direct and indirect modes, using their own spotters or separate forward observers.
*    Spotters are now restricted to directing only one artillery or air support mission at a time. Assets can now be group fired by shift-left-clicking them, allowing more than one Asset to be assigned to the same Mission.
*    Player-placeable Target Reference Points (TRPs) allow simulating prepared support strikes and ambushes. Support missions aimed at TRPs do not require LOS from the spotter, or any spotting phase.
*    Precision artillery missions are available for Point targets. These missions are only available for certain artillery assets.
*    Helicopter support no longer requires Line of Sight (LOS) for the spotter to call in a mission. In other words, the mission can be called anywhere on the map.


*    Scout Team Command splits off 2 men to act as scouts.
*    Target Armor Arc Command. Instructs units to engage only armored units within the specified arc. As with most Commands, outcome varies greatly depending on unit quality and battlefield conditions.
*    Target Briefly Command. Tells a unit to fire all its guns on a designated spot for 15 seconds, then cease fire.  Issuing the command repeatedly increases the duration in increments of 15 seconds.
*    Mark Mines Command for Engineer teams and squads.
*    Waypoint dragging. A waypoint can be clicked on and moved by dragging it to a new location.
*    Grouped Spacebar Command system. Instead of getting all of the commands in a big list when the Spacebar is used, you get four groups of commands: Movement, Combat, Special, and Administrative. Selecting one of these presents the Commands specific to that Commands Group.
*    For vehicles with more than two weapons systems, such as an IFV armed with ATGMs, cannon, and MGs, the Target Light Command will fire only MGs on the target, while the Target Command will allow all weapon systems to be fired.


*    Faster graphics, including FPS improvements, especially for infantry-heavy maps and faster video cards.
*    Possible speed improvements depending on video card hardware and drivers.
*    Movie Mode.
*    Bright Night Mode.
*    Hit impacts to vehicles and bunkers now shown graphically ("hit decals").
*    Improved rendering. Normal and Bump mapping allows for more texture detail while using less system resources and improving the pressure on framerates.


*    Single vehicles and specialist teams can be purchased and attached to any formation in the editor or Quick Battle purchase window, allowing players to custom-tailor their formations.
*    Exit objectives.
*    Improved scenario briefing format, including a new Designer Notes subsection.
*    "Reduced headcount" option to simulate previously depleted formations.
*    "Ditch Contours" feature. Map editor elevation changes can be "sharp" by holding the control key when clicking tile elevations.  This allows the creation of realistic ditch contours.
*    Ability to create AI Triggers that execute actions based on other units or interaction with Objectives.
*    Improved responsiveness of 2D editing, especially for large maps.
*    Improved load time for 3D Preview, especially large maps.
*    Customized "Mod Tags" for most graphics. This allows for multiple mods for the same item without the need to move items in/out of the mod folder.
*    Ability to specify specific mods be used for a specific Scenario. If CM fails to find the specified mod it will use the default graphics.
*    Auto-Assemble linear terrain tool. Roads, walls, fences, and hedges can now be automatically drawn across the map instead of placing them one tile at a time. The old manual selection interface still exists to allow tweaking specific Action Spots.
*    BMP map overlay. Instead of having to create game maps by freehand you can now trace over a real world map within the Editor. Four different levels of transparency make the process easier by adjusting for different needs as work progresses.
*    More AI Groups. The number of AI Groups available has been increased from 8 to 16. This allows for greater fidelity of AI Plans and their assigned units.
*    Copy and paste AI Plans. Create a solid AI Plan, copy it, and paste it into an unused AI Plan slot. Once done the copied Plan can be modified to make a unique variant without having to build the Plan up from scratch.


22 minutes ago, domfluff said:

It's not clear if every scenario and every campaign has been altered in that way, but we know that at least some of them have. Al Huqf Engagement is one that's been brought up as an example of one which uses all of the new AI tools, and I'd expect many more are similar.

The scenario's and campaigns that came with the base game and modules are being reworked to the 4.0 standard. However as Steve stated, not all of the scenario's and campaigns will be reworked for the release of Shock Force 2, but will be worked on and released as they become available. To start, I believe SF2 will have reworked scenario's and campaigns from the base game and the Marines module. 

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Yeah it really comes down to is the scenario in need. Some definitely needed rework, some still functioned wel from an AI perspective but still wanted map work.  I think everything has been touched to some degree but what was actually done depends entirely on the scenario/campaign in question. 

Just for clarification I am not even sure every CMBS scenario takes advantage of triggers etc. it all depends on what the designer is trying to achieve. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

V4 game engine soldier automatic reaction and animation changes are pretty extensive if compared to the last CMSF1 patch so long ago. Things like squads being more spaced out and soldiers behind buildings deploying someone to peek around a corner. I can't recall when splitting off a 2 man scout team from a squad first showed up. Syrians being able to split squads  is a big change, itself.

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