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Long time player of CO2 (and 1, which was just CO). Better than OK, it's an outstanding game. I suppose you could use it for scenario creation, keeping in mind that in pretty much any CO2 scenario, you'd have to play to some point and then pick an interesting section of the overall battlefield and slice it to be a CM scenario, due to the map and unit sizes of CO2. There is plenty of detail under the hood listing all the equipment and personnel of every unit  and their casualty state, which you could take and apply to force selection in CM.

What you'd be doing is taking an existing historical battle/mini-campaign, playing it out partway using your own methods, and then at some point stopping to select part for a semi-historical/what-if scenario for CM. Getting all that info from CO2 to CM would be kind of tedious, but you could do it. Plus you'd have to create your own map based on what you sliced from CO2. The fidelity of the maps in CO2 is nice, but not the level of granularity of CM.

Anyway, CO2 is a lot of fun. Different level, but a pretty capable AI, and there are many scenario sets available. Also if you check the LnL forums there are some user made battles that are excellent. There's a 3 or 4 scenario Caen campaign that's really great (and huge!).
 

Dave

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32 minutes ago, Ultradave said:

Long time player of CO2 (and 1, which was just CO). Better than OK, it's an outstanding game.

Thank you very much for your input. I went to Steam had my credit card details next to my PC and learned it is for free. The other modules are not I suspect. But to create some FB scenarios would be a good start. Will have a look at their maps and how much information they have. Just starting with the game. Kind regards and happy gaming. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/18/2021 at 1:07 PM, chuckdyke said:

Thank you very much for your input. I went to Steam had my credit card details next to my PC and learned it is for free. The other modules are not I suspect. But to create some FB scenarios would be a good start. Will have a look at their maps and how much information they have. Just starting with the game. Kind regards and happy gaming. 

Especially the Ardennes modules are very good, but they all are very enjoyable. And they are turning to the East now, from the very start, the Russian-Japanese conflict and then on to Barbarossa. CO2 has much more potential than PZC, as much fun as those games are.

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1 minute ago, Aragorn2002 said:

Especially the Ardennes modules are very good, but they all are very enjoyable. And they are turning to the East now, from the very start, the Russian-Japanese conflict and then on to Barbarossa.

Which of the Ardennes ones would you recommend the most? I'm planning on getting some modules when the new engine comes around. Hope we don't have to wait too much longer. It has been years now in the process.

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The engine upgrade stumbled across several dev obstacles, both programming and IRL-related ones. There are two new modules that will be released in connection with the new engine and I think (but not sure) that old modules will be upgraded to the new engine for free or at a very low cost. The engine will have several improvements.

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15 hours ago, rocketman said:

Which of the Ardennes ones would you recommend the most? I'm planning on getting some modules when the new engine comes around. Hope we don't have to wait too much longer. It has been years now in the process.

The Bastogne and Ride of the Valkyries modules are very good. Highway to the Reich is also a must have, if you're a Market Garden fan, like I am. 

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7 hours ago, Aragorn2002 said:

The Bastogne and Ride of the Valkyries modules are very good. Highway to the Reich is also a must have, if you're a Market Garden fan, like I am. 

I have HttR and RofV, so will have a look at Bastogne for sure. I love the game, but has preserved playing most scenarios for the new engine. It is such an elegant game design.

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5 hours ago, rocketman said:

I have HttR and RofV, so will have a look at Bastogne for sure. I love the game, but has preserved playing most scenarios for the new engine. It is such an elegant game design.

Also check out the Cherkassy scenarios at Steam by SharpEndGaming. 

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There is no way to interface it and CM.

Back in 2000, BFC introduced the first title RDOA (Red Devils over Arnhem), but later we moved to Matrix.  Matrix got sold to Slitherine and we moved to Lock and Load which is actually David Heath who was the owner of Matrix.  (So, in a way, not so much a move.)

I was on the team including Bil who is well known here.

The game is brilliant.  Why?

* You are really commanding.  AI agents carry out your orders which can be very detailed.  Carry them out competently ... its been under development for 20 years now.  It is the most scalable war game you are ever going to meet.  You can command just 20 units or 500.  How much you micro is up to you.

* The game simulates the 4th. dimension of war - TIME, better than anything on the market.  It was built with the OODA loop in mind.

Do you make 3 uncoordinated attacks in the next 4 hours and take advantage of the enemy's confusion?

or

Do you make 1 coordinated attack in the next 12 hours, but risk that the enemy has dug in?

---

The closest analog to style of play is the Take Command series.  Key differences:

* Far superior AI without scripting.

* You cannot be a cog on the wheel.  You are always the senior commander on the field.

* Counters with pseudo-topo style; no 3D.  This is for real officers; TW players need not apply.

---

One of the key changes from:  RDOA/HTTR/COTA/BFTB is that CO2 is free floating windows that are no children of the main window.  I personally have mixed feeling.

For the player with a single display, the fixed windows of the early series was tighter.

For the player with multiple displays, you get more information and flexibility.

And if you can afford 4 video cards and 8 displays, well you got the War Room.  Something no WWII commander never had.

---

For those who complain about no documentation, there is about a 500 page detailed manual.  There is a tutorial.

Now, you don't need to understand every nuance.  It follows the old systems 80/20 rule.  You use 20% of the commands 80% of the time.  Also, a good plan and being able to determine the ebb and flow of battle is far better than a perfect plan that is always behind the clock.  You can accomplish a great deal with just basic ATTACK, DEFEND, and MOVE.  The game does not play itself, but it is not a clickfest, and you are going to spend time analyzing what is going on and when to alter your plans.

I hope that helps.

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I had about produced over 200 pages of PDF featuring tutorial style play.  No, YouTube.  I went to school when the slide rule was still used in physics class.

I have spoken David O'Connor (owner of Panther Games) and David Heath (owner of LnL), but the materials I produced are the IP of Slitherine now and I cannot make it available for download.

Feel free to ask questions.

Note, I am no longer active team member and just alumni.  I am not up date the latest change list.

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3 minutes ago, markshot said:

No, YouTube.

Yes, I don't have much time for it too. I don't even have an account there. Trolling and conspiracy nonsense. I am retired and 71 years of age and remember the slide rule well. The game is interesting, and just playing with it. How far do they go with logistics?  

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There is a supply system which includes:  depots and simulated convoys.  I think regular supply happens every 12 hours, but 6 hour emergency requests can be made.

Supply is more abstract than most of the game.  Like every round is simulated, but the status of roads are not checked every minute due to performance reasons.  It is checked often enough, though.

There are different types of objectives and different ways to construct a scenario.  A common approach is obviously advancing or falling back victory points.  A scenario designer won't explicitly create supply objectives.  Instead the designer will use a trail of breadcrumbs approach along highway of relatively low value objectives to be held.  The main reason is not so much for points, but supply.

Also, supply is one of the parameters you as the player can vary for difficulty (reserves, weather).  I recall supply was divided into I believe ammo, basics (food/water), and fuel.

Running out of supply is kind of bad news, and of course you cut the enemy's supply.  The things which you are most likely to burn thru is arty ammo.  You really need to meter your personal (ordered) fire missions or if you are doing on arty autopilot, then give them a rest (stand down order).  Auto-pilot is useful, since it will do better than you tracking targets on move.  But you may want to micro.  Why?  Suppose you want to take a bridge and make sure it is not blown.  Suppress the garrison with arty and assault it.  They are more likely to blow it if you just show up for a fire fight.

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6 minutes ago, markshot said:

Supply is more abstract than most of the game.

Thank you very much for this. I have an example of the American Civil War. Lee lost the battle of Gettysburg because of attrition; he could have done a turning maneuver to have a diversion on Washington so the Union would have attacked him. A defender is at an advantage. I look at a sort of game you can do this.  In CM the maps are just not big enough. 

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Maps are much bigger.  Check the forum for actual sizes.

There is an explicit PROBE order which has somewhat different behavior to ATTACK.  It is the type of thing you will want to use to feint and hide your schwerpunkt.

Like CM, the designer has a good deal of flexibility.  There are objectives which reward for how long you hold something or just having it at the write time.  There are objectives about force destruction/preservation.  There are exit objectives.  There are bridge objectives.  Bridges can blow.  Also, unlike CM, objectives are not necessarily live the entire scenario.  So, your exit objective, may only come alive on the final day.  Maybe the intent is to keep the highway open so Patton can bring up the tanks in relief, before he exits.

So, much depends on the designers.  Some people almost give you the plan in terms of timing and sequencing.  Others just throw you in the deep end; Dave has mainly handled coding and some OOB; not scenarios.  (If you are going over to LnL and want to talk scenarios, the guy you are looking for is Richard Somivich.)  Some are very sparse in terms of units.  I had done an analysis on the individual titles.  If I recall on average COTA was generally the sparsest and BFTB the most dense in terms of units.

You are not playing a realtime clock, but simulation speed ultimately depends on unit count.  You never experience lag.  Unlike most games, the map rendering and scrolling runs in its own thread.  Even if the game slows, viewing the battle will be silky smooth.  And they came up with this architecture 20 years ago.  I was a software engineer previously.  It is quite impressive.

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Perhaps the single most complex order is ATTACK.  When I say complex I don't mean what you do (but you have options), but what the AI does for you.

You'll begin with a move (probably road march), but with proper security of lead guard, trailing guard, side guards ... etc ...  Despite, personally, I would say you should not be sending a brigade on an attack that you did not recon first.

They will reach the FUP (form up point).  The developers are Australian, I think we would say rally point.  There they will shake out into formation.  You can watch orders propagating through the chain of command.  You will see armor do this quite a bit faster than infantry ... the best armor will almost do this on the fly.  You can specify an H-hour for coordinating or if you want to cover open ground before the sky begins to lighten; and be in small arms range at dawn.

Attack begins ... and they advance.

Indirect fire art is going to pull away, but in range to provide fire support.

You will see mortars and other heavy weapons drop off and deploy once contact is made.

Troops will continue forwards and close.  The counters have different overlay modes so you can know what is going on.  Is my command doing a replan as the resistance is more than expected?  Is the enemy fortified or is he bugging out?  Is the enemy suppressed?  Are my troops exhausted?

Well, if you misplanned their commanders will pull back and try it again.  How much they put into depends on what you set for aggression, rate of fire, etc ...  This is the main difference with PROBE.  It has all the parameters of ATTACK, but semantically when they meet enough resistance, they will throw in the towel.  ATTACKs don't quit easy.

Let's suppose it is going well.  They will actually exploit beyond the attack point; then reorg; finally pull back and set up a defense.  It is all amazing as new player watching all this AI.

Now, you as the player may not want to wait for the complete evolution.  Why?  Well, it could be 4 hours until your orders get circulated and plans made.  So waiting until everything it picture perfect might be a mistake.  When you sense the enemy has broken, you might want to start you next chain of orders to save time.  Remember OODA loop.

You need to have a good sense of flow, because the absolutely worst mistake you can do is issue new orders in the middle of an ongoing attack; many will die due to your incompetence.

I think you will like the game.  It's not the ACW ... I mean there are para and glider drops ... but it has its own charm.

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18 minutes ago, Ultradave said:

I predict more CO2 players coming up

I do too. And hope so. The way @markshot describes how the AI handles an attack and it works out as intended is like watching a perfectly synchronized dance. Very compelling and immersive. I think players who like the anticipation of making plans in CM and then press "go" to see what will happen will like CO2, even if it takes time to get into. There is always a pause button if you need to alter your plans, so not a hectic click-fest.

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For those who just got it, take a look on the LnL forum for a couple of outstanding AARs that are downloadable as pdfs. Really well done graphics give you a good feel of how to plan. Also, Dave's walkthrough on YouTube of the Return to St. With demo scenario is a good intro to getting up and running with the basic concepts. 

Dave

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From the start there was realtime, head to head.  I don't know if coop was added.  It would be kind of odd, since unlike other games, PLAYER is always the senior commander.  So, as reinforcements arrive, you may actually find that your command changes.

We had discussed PBEM many times, but the problem was always how to do it fairly?  It is very much an OODA loop simulation.  So, if you are analyzing and ordering faster than the OPFOR, you are inside his OODA loop.  It means you got him dancing to your tune.  But now you break at arbitrary point for PBEM to allow updated commands, depending on where orders are in their execution, it could be quite unfair to one player or the other.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop

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