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Here is What I Dont Understand about BF?


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On 10/4/2019 at 10:52 PM, 76mm said:

While I can imagine that determining the various precise TO&E for a wide variety of units over a lengthy period would be a daunting task, I wonder how it will affect BF's decision-making?  Personally I don't understand why BF does not limit their TO&E efforts to smaller units (platoons and companies) and let scenario designers pull together the various components necessary for their scenario (based on their own research).  Just looking at the CMRT units in the editor, how many CMRT scenarios feature entire anti-tank battalions, regimental infantry gun batteries, or mortar battalions (as just three examples)--why even bother to include them?  For that matter, how many scenarios feature entire infantry battalions?  Further, how often did actual TO&E comply with these official guidelines?  Why not just provide the relevant building blocks to allow scenario designers to build the force necessary for their scenario in the editor?

Very true. Another example being "straggler companies" that serve no real purpose. If I'm making a scenario about a straggler company, I can just use a regular company and strip out the mortars and set equipment level to poor to get rid of some squad automatic weapons.

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One element that has genuinely changed for the worse is the loss of ChrisND, and his twitch streams. Those were superb content, both in terms of engaging with the player base and highlighting upcoming

Yes and no...according to MikeyD, BF apparently also incurs a lot of brain damage determining OOBs and TO&Es for formations that I doubt anyone ever uses.  I was simply suggesting that they could

I've been playing Combat Mission equally as long, and I think it's an amazing outfit with wonderful support - I never got so much escapism in my life before. CMSF2 was incredible - a huge leap forward

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I kind of like having these formations avaliable in the editor...It simplifies scenariocreation imo...being able to easily see what those units condisted of...

Just like most guys though i guess i rarely use these entire formations in my scenarios but rather pick small parts of them or asign 'my own' supportunits from the single support unit list...This way i can assign them wherever i want in my selected force.

Having these formations avaliable though...is good imo 😁

Both as a reference as well as being able to pick selected parts of them...

And i don't really think that it takes all that long to research their organisation, toe or whatever in these days...a simple googlesearch will get you started nicely 😎

Spend ONE day researching anti-tank battalions in Italy for example and i'm pretty sure you would find a decent amount of information...

Spend the next day researching regimental artillery...

The next...engineerbattalions...

etc, etc...

In two weeks time you will have researched quite alot of formations...

After all...these support formations in the game seems to be pretty... 'standard' to me.

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7 hours ago, Pelican Pal said:

Take 37mm's Heaven and Earth...

Some of my favorite CM scenarios were African and Middle-East civil war scenarios. These are scenarios which are well outside of the scope of the game as made, but there is sufficient breadth to make possible.

THIS.

 

7 hours ago, Pelican Pal said:

a Core Launcher and numerous modules which in the end create a single mega game. The layout of CM, as it stands, would be adaptable to that selfsame system.  Rather than having ~6 families each with separate launchers and separate modules. You would have:
CORE LAUNCHER
Which hosted each family
Family Module
Which would be the base game for each time period.
Child Module
Which would be individual modules that are financially attached to a family module.

This sounds interesting.  To late for CM2 but maybe something along these lines would work for a future CM3?    

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8 hours ago, MikeyD said:

Complaining that a historical sim is too historical is a non-starter, its like complaining that the chicken sandwich you bought contains chicken.
An often-repeated joke of mine is someday BFC will give all this up and move to where the real money is - making My Little Pony roleplay iphone games for Japanese schoolgirls. Historical tactical sims is BFC's passion. If their games aren't that why would they be doing this at all?

I think its a bit ironic that first there's the suggestion to compile a single mega game, and at the same time wondering why the TO&E is so complex. A 50 gig $700 title spanning 3/4 of a century wouldn't require a complex TO&E?

Thank god for that passion. Far too few companies are driven by sincere passion and are just chasing big bucks. Look at what's happening in the triple-A game business, with companies like EA and Activision using microtransactions to monetize their games to death.

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20 hours ago, IanL said:

Honestly I am just frustrated with you attitude that if they don't change you are going to leave. Frequently threatening to take your ball and go home has become boring to the rest of us. 

Well, I'm not really threatening...for it to constitute a threat, I would have to have some expectation that the recipient (BF) would change its behavior based on my statements.  But I have no such expectations, I've been around long enough to know that BF is gonna do what it's gonna do...  But honestly, I would think that they would at least be curious why a long time hard-care tactical wargamer and customer is losing interest in their products.  Given that many people don't seem to understand the points I'm trying to make, I've had to repeat them several times, although I'll try to stop soon!

20 hours ago, IanL said:

Also enlightening that you referred to it as well :)

Well, yes...

20 hours ago, IanL said:

It is and apart from the occasional troll or whiner it is the one of the best forums on the internet. So, let's quit the whining and have more discussion.

Not sure about that any more.  While I only look at the CMRT and general forums, both of those are quite dead.  While I'm sure there will be a spurt of activity after R2V comes out, not sure how long it will last.  And frankly, a lot of what I would consider to be interesting conversations get shut down very quickly because people who raise any concerns are immediately branded as whiners, haters, etc. and disappear...

Edited by 76mm
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12 hours ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

I am curious what titles you own?

The comments about not many units, formations being of no use to anyone, and very little to edit seem to me to be a very harsh description of the games. 

I am also curious to know how often you use the editor to try and create scenarios of your own?

Well, what I own and what are on my hard drive currently are two very different questions, but currently:  TOAW IV, several Panzer Campaigns games, several Battlefront games (including CMBB), CMANO, COTD, CSME, Desert War, Empires in Arms, FOG2, SoW Waterloo, SoW Gettysburg, SP, and ASL (via VASL).  I own a couple dozen more games but haven't played them in years.

Regarding my comments about not many units and formations, little to edit:  First, I think that the current unit offerings in the base games are tolerable, but not generous.  I'd be happy to pay for more units via modules but modules are very slow in coming.  MikeyD has said that researching/creating the various OOBs and TO&Es in R2V almost "broke" the relevant people, and that might lead BF to further narrowing unit counts/formations in future offerings.  That is why I suggest that rather than limiting unit counts even further, they could make their lives easier by not including little used formations such as anti-tank battalions, etc. and just provide their component parts (AT batteries, etc.).  

Finally, I have played around with the editor pretty extensively over the years; I've been waiting for the first CMRT module to really get into it, but still waiting for that.

 

Edited by 76mm
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11 hours ago, MikeyD said:

Complaining that a historical sim is too historical is a non-starter, its like complaining that the chicken sandwich you bought contains chicken...Historical tactical sims is BFC's passion. If their games aren't that why would they be doing this at all?

Honestly, I find it hard to understand how anyone as involved in this game as you are to say that a historical sim cannot be "too historical"?  Every game developer, especially those as small as BF, has very limited resources and must strike a constant balance between what is actually historically relevant for their games and what is not.   

For instance, has BF done thorough research about the boots of all of the combatant nations during World War II?  Is sole wear being modeled properly, and are bootlaces the right color, and fraying to the correct degree based on manufacturing procedures and raw materials?  Is boot design factored into how quickly soldiers of various nations can double-time?  Are German soldiers wearing Russian felt boots in winter, as was very common? 

And while we're at it, we should probably have historical vehicle serial numbers accurately reflected in the game, because you know, it would be historical...right?

I hope you would agree (although maybe not, based on your statement above) that these features would be instances of a historical sim being "too historical"?

As you say, historical tactical sims are BF's passion, but that does not mean that precious game development resources should wasted on irrelevant stuff.

11 hours ago, MikeyD said:

I think its a bit ironic that first there's the suggestion to compile a single mega game, and at the same time wondering why the TO&E is so complex. A 50 gig $700 title spanning 3/4 of a century wouldn't require a complex TO&E?

You keep bringing up this $700 title for some reason?  Has anyone actually suggested that?  You realize that it's possible to add content to existing games, right?  And I have no problem with complex TO&E as long as it they are not the reason for holding up the release of modules for years on end.  

Command Ops has an interesting system IMO.  They have a single game engine (which they actually give away for free), and then they charge for content to run on that engine.  Obviously you'd have to get the pricing right (and I don't really see the need to give the engine away for free), but imagine the amount of time BF could save by not having to patch/update/upgrade, what, seven separate game families now?  Obviously too late for CMx2, but I hope that BF looks at alternate models for future game engines, if any.

Edited by 76mm
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3 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

Having these formations avaliable though...is good imo 😁

Both as a reference as well as being able to pick selected parts of them...

And i don't really think that it takes all that long to research their organisation, toe or whatever in these days...a simple googlesearch will get you started nicely 😎

I don't mind having them, but I don't think that getting the TO&E right for different types of units is as easy as you suggest; just on the German side, you have Wehrmacht, SS, Fallschirmjager, Mountain troops, Luftwaffe, Panzergrenadier, Fusilier, etc. etc. all of them changing over time, both in terms of OOBs and TO&Es), then add in the umpteen Allied armies in Italy (or wherever).  MikeyD implies that it was very difficult indeed for R2V, and I have no reason to doubt him.  Based on WWII research that I've done, one of the issues is that there is a lot of conflicting information out there, and sifting out the correct (or least wrong) version can take time.  Another issue is that while it can be easy to find about 80% of the information you need, finding the remaining 20% can demand lots and lots of time...

And I'm not saying to delete formations altogether, just delete little-used things like anti-tank battalions in favor of anti-tank companies (which would be used more often), so you could still select their components. Anyway, it was just a suggestion which I seriously doubt will be adopted so I would not lose much sleep over it...

Edited by 76mm
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On 10/5/2019 at 10:27 PM, IanL said:

It is and apart from the occasional troll or whiner it is the one of the best forums on the internet. So, let's quit the whining and have more discussion.

Not really. The forum is a shadow of its former self. It still has a decent activity I suppose but a lot of the best posters have left. It used to be much more vibrant and interesting. Where is the Peng challenge thread, Jason C and all the grogs? While I don't particularly regret the threads with people arguing about the numbers of cogs on the wheels of russian tankettes there are a lot less historical or even tactical threads. I used to visit this forum daily, now it is once a week at most.

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11 minutes ago, Zveroboy1 said:

there are a lot less historical or even tactical threads. I used to visit this forum daily, now it is once a week at most.

To be fair, the community has been very prolific and the games haven't changed as quickly as we have gone over topics. With a few distinguished exceptions, most conversations these days seem to me to be rehashing old controversies: we're in "archival" mode.

Until Battlefront shakes the sandbox with a new iteration, I don't think there's that much interesting to write about tactics and what not. IMO the last major shake up to the games came with CMFB, where the simulation was expanded to account more fully for winter fighting (EDIT: I am writing this thinking that CMFI winter simulations had to be tweaked a bit to be more convincing).

Yet, if CMx2 went to other places - such as Vietnam - I would say that there would be something to talk about, as organisation, equipment and terrain would be way different from everything else Battlefront has achieved with the CM2 games.

Edited by BletchleyGeek
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2 hours ago, Zveroboy1 said:

Not really. The forum is a shadow of its former self. It still has a decent activity I suppose but a lot of the best posters have left. It used to be much more vibrant and interesting.

Agreed.

2 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

To be fair, the community has been very prolific and the games haven't changed as quickly as we have gone over topics. With a few distinguished exceptions, most conversations these days seem to me to be rehashing old controversies: we're in "archival" mode.

Until Battlefront shakes the sandbox with a new iteration, I don't think there's that much interesting to write about tactics and what not.

I think that this is also correct to a certain extent, but I would think that a lot of the old topics would continue to be discussed as new players join the forum who had not participated in the many past discussions.  But that does not seem to be happening; seems like either new members are reviewing old forum content without further discussion (which frankly doesn't seem especially likely) or the topics simply aren't being discussed.

Edited by 76mm
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I don't have access to the forums backend, so I can't tell you how many users there are who haven't posted anything but browse the forums, how many and what kind of queries users put through the search engine or what is the ratio between registered customers emails and forum accounts.

The above is a guess informed by what I have seen in other communities where spikes in forum activities are strongly correlated with new patches or DLC. 

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As a follow-up to the TO&E discussion, tonight I started reading what looks to be an interesting book about German production and manning levels on the Eastern Front (Enduring the Whirlwind https://www.amazon.com/Enduring-Whirlwind-Russo-German-1941-1943-Wolverhampton-ebook/dp/B073WF9S9W/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3PHB33HR9452B&keywords=enduring+the+whirlwind&qid=1570496974&sprefix=enduring+the+wh%2Caps%2C148&sr=8-1)  The question the book seeks to answer is:  ""Did the German war effort in the East fail due to the numerical inferiority of German forces and an inability to replace losses?"

In his introduction, the author says that the Germans made some 3,000 changes to their TO&E during the course of the war, but were never able to carry all of these changes out in a uniform manner throughout the army, with the result that no two German divisions actually had the exact same TO&E, even if they were of the same type of division.  It sounds like coming with with 100% accurate standard TO&E for German units at any given moment would be challenging indeed, if not impossible...

Edited by 76mm
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On 10/7/2019 at 1:58 AM, BletchleyGeek said:

IMO the last major shake up to the games came with CMFB, where the simulation was expanded to account more fully for winter fighting

As far as I can see, the winter fighting just means that the ground is white instead of green. Troops don't seem to suffer from the cold or the snow in any way I have been able to detect. Spotting, accuracy, stamina, etc. I've noticed no effect on gameplay.

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On one of the big night scenarios - the one featuring the 84th US Division IIRC - infantry movement was noticeably slower, and troops were getting winded up quicker, than what I am used to. Similar conditions can be found on the first Chaumont scenario.

On CMFI I fought a couple years back a big QB with similar settings - that got AAR'ed by my opponent on these forums - and I don't remember the same difficulties.

Edited by BletchleyGeek
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On 10/6/2019 at 7:49 PM, Zveroboy1 said:

Not really. The forum is a shadow of its former self. It still has a decent activity I suppose but a lot of the best posters have left. It used to be much more vibrant and interesting. Where is the Peng challenge thread, Jason C and all the grogs?

Some of them got banned, for good reason.
Having the personality of a pissed-off Rottweiler might make things "vibrant" and "interesting", but only if you are not the target of their ire.
Personally I don't come to these forums to witness dumpster fires in progress.

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If the forum lack discussions you want to have, then start threads about such topics and see what happens.

If you want to discuss tactics, put the question out there, and it gets replies.

In general, the forum has been quiet, as pointed out , most that visit here are old hands at it and don't have questions. Not much to talk about if there is nothing new to discuss and so until that changes the status will stay the same. And even when the next game does come out, the engine and how it works is still the same, so there will be discussions for a while on the new units and some of the new scenarios. but other than that, things will settle back down pretty quick once the new items have been indulged in by those that visit here.

As others have pointed out, unless a whole new game system is released, I doubt we will see the forum as active as it once was when CMBO first came out or when CMSF or CMBN came out.

When CMRT WAS RELEASED, I was amazed of how short of a time it increased forum activity and how few topics it created.

So I don't know why after all this time and all the other releases since then,  you would think the forum would suddenly get more active because it does not.

Until CMX3 happens, the forum will be only as good as you personally want to make it, that means, you help by creating discussions instead of sitting back and wondering why such discussions don't happen.

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10 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

As far as I can see, the winter fighting just means that the ground is white instead of green. Troops don't seem to suffer from the cold or the snow in any way I have been able to detect. Spotting, accuracy, stamina, etc. I've noticed no effect on gameplay.

IIRC - at least in the older titles -  weather had much more impact than the terrain.


Re: Forums

I'm sure some damage has been done by the balkanization of the titles. In an absolute sense there is less to talk about and when you are talking about content its going to be limited. Generally though the online presence of CM has been in decline for years. A few years back there were some long threads about the lack of feedback/lack of use of user-designed scenarios which is part and parcel of that decline.

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The incremental approach for CM2 development has worked well for some years and put some very well deserved $ in BF's pockets.  But, I feel a boredom setting in.  Each module has virtually identical gameplay value as the previous - just adding a few new units, and perhaps a few bugs cleaned up.  Until there is another big step forward in evolution I predict a slow decline as we saw with CM1 over the past 6-7+ years.  The amazing work that Aquila has accomplished for graphics and the outstanding innovations of designer like MOS with his TOC and COUP scenarios has been exciting.  Perhaps the "Heaven and Earth" project will breathe some new life into the system for a while.  But, after playing the CM game series since 1999 for over 20 years, I find my interest flagging.  I have always bought whatever BF released immediately.  But, I just can't summon the interest to preorder the new CMFI module (as yet).  And am sad about that - like an old friend fading away...

 

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Well, there is no question in that there are those that see the glass half empty and those that see it half full.

Yes, CMx2 has been around for a long while. Its like driving that old car you have with 200,000 miles on it.

Back when it was new you enjoyed it so much and cared for it in every aspect. Now its just that old machine that you are trying to keep running without throwing away any good money on it with any major expense, milking out the last miles of its faithful service.

But for me it also means I have saved tons of money, ready to used to purchase that new car I want when the old one is finally done.

 

BF has been actively engaged in new projects on those government contracts, they have produced continually new items in the CMX2 product line. I think you can rest assured that they have plans on a new engine and new product at some point to replace that old car with a shiny new one. (when and what will it look like is anyone's guess, but those boys are not ready to retire and I am sure they are not planning to run on the cm2 engine til their finial days.

And how can anyone ever get tired of playing these games. I never lose the thrill of playing in a h2h match and have a plan come together where I see my forces kill my opponent forces and succeed in the desired plan.

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Part of the issue is that BF does a fair amount of research, but for most players it doesn't actually matter. CM:FI is almost certainly better researched content than CM:AK. However, for 90% of players directly using the pre-existing CMAK TO&Es would be more than enough. Because BFC is apparently going through hoops to track down the correct information - so most players definitely aren't going to care. They lack the means and the time to do so and that creates a saminess to the proceedings.

(Clarifying the above) If BFC has to go through pains to track down the correct information for a time period then the player base isn't really going to care because they:

1. Can't verify or gain new information from the work that BFC has done.
2. Actually be able to tell when something is wrong or right

Once info is tracked down that information needs to be shared in some sort of consumable fashion with the audience for them to also become a stakeholder in that level of detail. Right now if the audience wants to be a shared stakeholder they have to go through the selfsame hoops that BFC did to find the info.

I was recently playing Graviteam's North Africa game and they have a section of the game that details some basic stats for each unit and also a few paragraphs of relevant info. So when I started a battle and found the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M6_Gun_Motor_Carriage I was able to say "what the hell is that" and then quickly become acquainted some history. All without leaving the match I was in.

That connection between the game and research can be content, but CM doesn't really do that. You select the year and month and a rifle squad appears from on high with an STG-44 why? We don't know. To an extant it makes me pine for the in-game information tabs of stuff like the original Rome Total War. Even stuff as simple as terrain differences aren't really known to anyone. If you made a CM:FI style map in CM:BS are there any differences?

3 hours ago, slysniper said:

And how can anyone ever get tired of playing these games. I never lose the thrill of playing in a h2h match and have a plan come together where I see my forces kill my opponent forces and succeed in the desired plan.

I get the impression that a lot of people here exclusively, are almost exclusively, play CM. For folks who play other games those other games will offer different experiences and obviously we have limited time. The other day I was the Sherman crewmen who suppressed a German trenchline in Hell Let Loose. Its not CM, but many of the thrills that happen in CM happen in other games.

Other than that the tendency for PBEM games to become abandoned by people for various reasons, occasional annoyances setting them up, and the balkanization of the series all can make it a bit of a pain with various engine and module combinations now existing. PBEMs being abandoned or slowing to a painful crawl is my single biggest issue followed by engine and module upgrades. I don't want to come back to a match and wonder "what was I doing".

Edited by Pelican Pal
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I used to love playing and modding the CM games (gen1 and 2) and still check in once and a while. I still have them installed even but I just can't bring myself to play them any more, for years now. My "criticism" is enshrined in the forums so need to rehash. Needless to say I still have a sadness about how I see the "death" or near death of the series. It's like a gaming relationship breakup, I probably shouldn't even be here, it's like checking in on an old girlfriend from years past, creepy! lol :) 

Now, "IF" we ever get a proper version 3 maybe we can rekindle the lost relations! ;)  

Edited by AstroCat
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