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Any Chance for a New Afrikakorps game?


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This is a very good point, and one that is often overlooked. During war, lots of chances are taken, usually based on incomplete information. Some generals are brilliant, most are at least decently com

How did he put up with Patton assaulting an American servicemen or Bradley's childish temper tantrums all the time? He was mindful of the fact he was the boss of all these men and that he had to be re

This is such a fascinating period or warfare - and history. Enormous leaps in technology, equipment, and tactics; plus such a variety of forces and organizational types. Would love to see a re-working

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I have wondered why it hasn't happened myself. Between Fortress Italy and Shock Force 2 there's plenty of useful terrain meshes, textures, and buildings to do a convincing North Africa. You've got what you need to model the desert from the Atlas Mountains to El Alamein or even Casablanca. Even small amounts of model work seems to be quite challenging though, and you'd need things like Italian tanks, French hardware, on-map field guns, and early-war German and Allied tanks that are not yet present in the engine. 

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29 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

I have wondered why it hasn't happened myself. Between Fortress Italy and Shock Force 2 there's plenty of useful terrain meshes, textures, and buildings to do a convincing North Africa. You've got what you need to model the desert from the Atlas Mountains to El Alamein or even Casablanca. Even small amounts of model work seems to be quite challenging though, and you'd need things like Italian tanks, French hardware, on-map field guns, and early-war German and Allied tanks that are not yet present in the engine. 

I was thinking the same thing, but I am not a programmer and I know they have a lot of things in the planning stage. Sure would buy it though.

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Announced projects they're working on:

Red Thunder End of War Module

Final Blitzkrieg Commonwealth and End of War Module

Black Sea US and Russian Marine module.

Lots to keep them busy for at least two more years I'd say. Anything beyond that I doubt BFC will share before the next New Years bones post from Steve.

 

 

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I've joked before that BFC must have a limited list of (ahem) 'popular' wars to cover. The world is full of conflict but there's little sales potential in producing a 1979 China vs Vietnam war title or one covering the 1974 Cyprus invasion. In the past Steve had previously shown an interest in the modern Chinese army but there simply isn't a marketable 'counterfactual history' to set such a title in. I suggested the Chinese invasion of Taiwan but that got poopooed. WWII North Africa would naturally be on any short list of legitimate contenders.

Wild speculation, just knowing how BFC thinks, I'd guess a North Africa title would start at Operation Torch with a Kassarine Pass campaign included. Modules would bring in the Brits and take the timeline up to the Sicily invasion. And EVERYONE would complain because it doesn't include El Alamein. ^_^

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4 hours ago, MikeyD said:

I've joked before that BFC must have a limited list of (ahem) 'popular' wars to cover. The world is full of conflict but there's little sales potential in producing a 1979 China vs Vietnam war title or one covering the 1974 Cyprus invasion.

What are the development tools and/or SDKs that Battlefront makes use of if they're willing to say? No promises, but if I had some knowledge of what's involved i'd look into volunteer work. I can't code but years ago I managed to figure out 3DS Max well enough. 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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4 hours ago, MikeyD said:

And EVERYONE would complain because it doesn't include El Alamein.

It's the fluid/mobile back and forth war prior to El Alamein that would be the most interesting.  El Alamein itself would be boring - kinda like the Soviet steamroller with masses of artillery smashing everything in its path.  After El Alamein the Germans were in retreat the whole time and the Brits had few challenges until they had to bail out the US at Kasserine.  

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2 hours ago, Erwin said:

It's the fluid/mobile back and forth war prior to El Alamein that would be the most interesting.

I totally agree - Crusader, Brevity, Compass, Battleaxe - and of course Gazala! How could we forget the "boxes," Bir Hacheim and the Cauldron?

And then there is the whole thing about Tobruk.  Reading a great book right now - highly recommend it:

 

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Edited by BluecherForward
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CMAK was a great game. I won't say it was my favourite of the old series, because I loved all three; but I have to admit that when playing AK I enjoyed Italy much more as a setting than the desert.

The early war armour was interesting, but often one side would be hopelessly under-powered (those Crusaders, for example, with their gossamer armour and pop guns) and I ultimately found the desert battles less fun to play than Italy.

Having said that - if Battlefront were to make it, I would buy it. My preference would be earlier Western or Eastern Front, though.

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We're just thinking about all those times the British charged strong defensive positions head on because of London. That didn't stop happening after 1943 though and we didn't skip or fail to enjoy the Market Garden and Final Blitz modules despite the fact that they depicted losing battles predominantly. El Alamein wasn't even a defeat for the British, it was a resounding victory albeit a highly frustrating one. It was really one of the war's most classic set-piece battles that in fact played into the British Army's strengths more than people realize. An artillery-infantry battle aiming to reduce a fortified enemy position head-on, something the British proved themselves rather good at. So I just don't understand where all the pessimistic descriptions of it arise from. 

The Crusader's problem was that it was rushed into serial production after France because the British Army had its More-Tanks-Right-Now mentality. Who could've known how empty a threat Sea-Lion was? The plan after that was always to grab the Grant and Sherman tanks but neither of them were ready before the Crusader was, and the Crusader was better than nothing even though British commanders were well aware of its many undesirable features like lack of a commander's cupola, light main armament, faulty cooling system, and dangerous open rack stowage of its ammunition. Plenty of German and Italian tanks couldn't match it, and Rommel never really had all that many Mk IIIs and IVs.  

 

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17 hours ago, Sequoia said:

Announced projects they're working on:

Red Thunder End of War Module

Final Blitzkrieg Commonwealth and End of War Module

Black Sea US and Russian Marine module.

Lots to keep them busy for at least two more years I'd say. Anything beyond that I doubt BFC will share before the next New Years bones post from Steve.

 

 

May i know where you have read this?

It's been awhile since I chceck out BFC forum and was looking for any new update.

Appreciate it if you can send me the links to these announcements

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57 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

We're just thinking about all those times the British charged strong defensive positions head on because of London.

Another way of looking at it: They charged those defensive positions in the desert in the early days because they knew they were out-ranged and over-powered by many of the German tank guns and AT guns (especially the 88). Closing the range by "charging" was a reasonable tactical response by the leaders of the British armored units confronted with this challenge. They needed to get in close for their weapons to be effective.

...and let's not forget that in the case of Operation Crusader (18 November – 30 December 1941) at least  - when it really counted - these tactics succeeded.

Edited by BluecherForward
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@Ridaz

See the Year Ahead Bone Post in the Red Thunder forums.

Also I left out:

 

"  CM Red Thunder Battle Pack.  A bunch of battles for the late Summer 1944 time period was started a while back and is now moving forward again.

  • At least one more Battle Pack, yet to be determined."

 

 

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3 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

El Alamein wasn't even a defeat for the British, it was a resounding victory albeit a highly frustrating one

Initially the first battle (July 1942) it was a strategic victory in that it stopped Rommel cold and depleted his resources so he couldn't continue to threaten Alexandria & Egypt - like Coral Sea in the Pacific was a tactical draw but a strategic victory since it prevented the Japs from threatening Australia.  After the 2nd battle (October-November) it was a question of the Brits having more resources and being able to grind down the Afrika Korps which was in retreat from that point on.  (Hence the reason why the 1940-42 period is the most interesting for gamers - rather like the 42-43 period is on the Eastern Front.)

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That narrative makes it sound like the British cheated because they had more stuff so the Germans could console themselves that they never stood a chance. Rommel was warned by OKH that if he pursued the British into Egypt he would not be resupplied. There was no uncertainty about this warning, he would get nothing because there would be no way to reach him in Egypt. He literally chased the British right back into their own supply dumps on "his own initiative" when it was already very problematic to keep his Army supplied from Tripoli. By chasing the British into Egypt he signed a death warrant for the huge number of Italian troops in his command that he marooned there after leaving his umbilical cord several hundred miles to his rear. Marooning your Army behind enemy lines is not sound strategy, confronting a cautious enemy commanding superior defensive ground and supported considerably by artillery and air support was both unsound and not even doctrinal for the Wehrmacht. Rommel was showboating that's all, he wanted to convince Hitler to personally intervene on his behalf and direct supplies to the Afrika Korp over the protestations of the OKH and the meddling of the Commando Supremo and Kesselring. Incidentally Kesselring was not in fact trying to sabotage him, but he did earn Mussolini's (useless) advocacy of his priority in the supply chain. 

None of this highlights anything the British did during either battle as particularly clever, but they were rather more prudent and it was a good time to be that way since the British had just suffered a string of emotional and actual setbacks that year. First Singapore fell, then that summer the Gazala line collapsed and Tobruk was lost after its heroic defense had been the headline of the year before. Case Blau commenced in Russia and seemed as if the Soviet Union might lose the war after all. Against this Claude Auchinleck was facing major morale problems in 8th Army (some of which were by his own making), another major defeat for the British that year would be devastating so he kept the retreat going right on through Mersa Matruh.

History has obscured how unpopular a decision this was at the time, El Alamein was much closer to Cairo, and the Luftwaffe would be in range of Alexandria but Auchinleck realized that 8th Army's morale was close to breaking and suffering another major defeat would be devastating. Stabilizing the front was the most important thing and he couldn't rely on willpower for that, so he had the Qattara Depression arrange it for him. Even if catastrophe struck and Rommel somehow managed to collapse the line, he couldn't bypass the 8th Army since the force-to-space ratio was so dense. There would be fighting all the way to Alexandria no matter what. The British were thinking strategically while Rommel wasn't. 

The narrative of a successful offensive via bludgeoning is ironically one also sold by the British themselves, who wanted to make it sound as if it had been Montgomery's plan all along. Ah ha! I meant to order 7th Armored Brigade into a suicide charge against that Flak battery you see! He certainly could not claim he had been a superior leader to Auchinleck on the grounds that he had been a better tactician that's for sure. 

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1 hour ago, SimpleSimon said:

That narrative makes it sound like the British cheated because they had more stuff...

We're simply saying that for a game, the pre-El Alamein battles are the most interesting period of the Afrika Korps "story" and battles.

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1 hour ago, BluecherForward said:

Thought I would include a link to a great article on the Afrikakorps and Rommel by renowned historian Robert Citino:

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/drive-nowhere-myth-afrika-korps-1941-43

Worth a read.

Is it? Personally I think Citino is a good example of a bad historian. Calling Rommel's performance in North Africa overestimated confirms my low opinion of him. Rommel never had the means or logistics to force a decisive victory. He perhaps wasn't the genius propaganda made him, but deserved his reputation as a great tactician. And the British, South Africans, Australians etc were tough opponents and equally skilled in desert warfare.

All these little men nowadays, judging men so much greater than themselves. It makes me nautious. No offence intended, Bluecher.

Edited by Aragorn2002
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1 hour ago, Aragorn2002 said:

All these little men nowadays, judging men so much greater than themselves

Looking back to dead heroes and debunking them (as well as revising history to show that folks considered evil were actually quite good eg Richard III) It's probably more to do with getting one's academic career going and making a reputation.  Montgomery has been vilified, and critical depictions of Churchill as a doddering old fool have started  Some are now making out that Stalin was actually a great leader and his evils were necessary.   Have wondered how many years must pass before it becomes acceptable to disinter the reputations of Hitler and the other Nazis?  History is fascinating as in those who don't remember the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.

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3 hours ago, Aragorn2002 said:

All these little men nowadays, judging men so much greater than themselves. It makes me nautious. No offence intended, Bluecher.

No offense taken Aragorn2002. I found the article thought provoking and well-written.

3 hours ago, Aragorn2002 said:

Rommel never had the means or logistics to force a decisive victory.

...so why did he attempt to go all the way into Egypt? ... with such limited logistics?...with an increasingly limited air force? ...while violating his specific mission instructions?

There is more to campaign-winning generalship than good tactics. Kind of like the argument over the "superior" Panther tank - that was complicated to produce and maintain vs the "inferior" Sherman tank argument, don't you think?

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Rommel and Churchill are both rather complicated historically/militarily.  Making them out as either gods to be worshipped or dogs to be kicked is silly.   Sometimes Churchill was brilliant -- history-changing brilliant.  Lots of other times he was a meddling, micromanaging, narcissistic, incompetent toy-soldier general.  Rommel was sometimes brilliant, sometimes really lucky, and sometimes a foolhardy and reckless gambler.  

But Montgomery's insane egotistical tirades --  how did Eisenhower punch knock his teeth out?

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