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"I a little disappointed…"


DaveWilson
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I’m not here to ‘bad mouth’ TacOps or to say that it’s not worth the money. I played the demo first and it was an accurate representation of the final product. No one tried to fool me. I’m just saying the program did not ‘exceed’ my expectations.

I started playing board wargames 40 years ago and the computer variety in 1980 on my brand new Apple II with 48K of memory :rolleyes: I’m not an expert; just an experienced customer.

I think what I find most disappointing is the lack of ‘character’ in the troops. The units don’t have individual Experience, Training, Fatigue or Moral factors. It’s almost if they were Robots. If the above were include you could have a vast array of different types of troops from Delta Force to Militias.

I remember simulations where your troops would gain experience with each battle. I always thought that was a nice feature. You also had to spend ‘money’ to repair or replace lost equipment.

The second major problem is Command & Control. There are no Headquarters units that effect play in a positive or negative way. I don’t find this realistic.

Smaller problems are the Unit Box coming up over the Unit Icon. It should not be too difficult to have it place somewhere else on the screen. There’s plenty of room.

Finally (you knew this was coming) where did Opfor get the ‘Death Ray’ that keeps killing my M1A1’s with headon shots? :D

OTOH there are may features that I do like, so like I said, TacOps is not ‘Bad’, it just that it could be much better.

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Feedback noted.

Nice to see that there are still people around that can be usefully critical without being insulting.

>where did Opfor get the ‘Death Ray’ that

>keeps killing my M1A1’s with headon shots?

If you mean tank vs tank then those shots are probably being assessed as striking at an angle great enough to count as "side" shots. TacOps is more liberal than some sims with awarding side shots.

If you mean loses to ATGMs then the unexpected result may be coming from the "enhanced" ATGM warheads that are given to OPFOR by a default game setup preference. If you want to scale back the lethality of OPFOR ATGMs you can do so by unchecking the appropriate box when the preferences window pops up at the begining of a new scenario.

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Originally posted by DaveWilson:

I remember simulations where your troops would gain experience with each battle. I always thought that was a nice feature. You also had to spend ‘money’ to repair or replace lost equipment. .

A significant number of the players you'll meet on this forum are retired or active military. Few of us ever got a chance to "spend money" to buy better units. A real field commander gets handed a mission and has whatever troops will fit on the plane. The flavor of TacOps generally reflects this, "come as you are" reality.

The second major problem is Command & Control. There are no Headquarters units that effect play in a positive or negative way. I don’t find this realistic..

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Originally posted by Coyote:

Just wanted to add I feel the same way. TACOPS remains the longest serving game on my computer. It never seems to be the game I'm primarily playing, but I always come back to it. It is so simple yet solid and does what it does extremely well.
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I think Dave makes some good points on making TacOps more flexible and better.

If a meaningful unit editor and scenario editor for Single play were added, TacOps would be the best game on the market..period. It is already close.

Then add several levels of effectiveness for troops...green, elite, normal. Normal being as it is now, no interference by freindly AI.

In short, make TacOps more flexible and everyone will find what they want.

personally, I would like to edit units and create SP scenarios.

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<I>personally, I would like to edit units and create SP scenarios.</I>

I remember a long time ago, maybe it was about eight or nine years ago, that someone asked for the ability to edit units, or had released a unit editor, and the Major said something like, "You might see some weird things, things like UAVs with Hellfire missiles on them."

Hahahahahaha!

Anyway, I remember doing exactly that. It must have been some kind of homebrewed editor, maybe it just affected the UAV. I think this was back in the AOL days.

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yes, but wouldn't it be nice to recreate battles from the 70's and 80's. BCT allows this and it is alot of fun to try to simulate actual battles.

I can see that MP could be a problem with others having modified units.

I was kind of thinking about making wessex helicopters and SAS special forces. LOL.

I could live without a unit editor, but would sure like to see a SP scenario editor!

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Originally posted by Moggy:

I think Dave makes some good points on making TacOps more flexible and better.

...

Then add several levels of effectiveness for troops...green, elite, normal. Normal being as it is now, no interference by freindly AI....

Agree. Moral, training, leadership can make all the difference in the world as to the combat effectiveness of a unit.

Of course, we ALL know the USMC units would be rated superior!! :)

Semper Fi!

[ January 07, 2003, 10:05 AM: Message edited by: TQLC VN ]

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Originally posted by Moggy:

... add several levels of effectiveness for troops...green, elite, normal. Normal being as it is now, no interference by freindly AI.

Because TacOps models all weapons at their stated max effectiveness, any troop quality factor you apply will lead to less effective units. Perhaps all we need is single percentage on unit effectiveness that you set in the preferences dialog box that pops up before the first turn begins.

... yes, but wouldn't it be nice to recreate battles from the 70's and 80's. BCT allows this and it is alot of fun to try to simulate actual battles..
I played TF Peterjohn last week with an approximate 1973 Arab/Israeli OOB (M60A1 vs T62). I had a blast :D Give it a shot.

[ January 07, 2003, 10:00 PM: Message edited by: Coyote ]

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  • 3 weeks later...

Again, I have to be another one to chip in with my criticisms. I've thought about them for a long time, and will suggest improvements where I can. I only post this because I have yet to see some of them adressed anywhere, so here goes (with the usual comments about additional terrain levels and instanteous C3 ommited):

1) There's no "overkill" in the game! 10 M-2s fire at 10 BTRs and not a single one of them hits the same target as someone else? If it were occasionally to happen (as it does in real life), that (for example) two tanks firing at two APC shoot the same one, leaving the other to return fire, etc. (with a higher chance with more units involved, due to less time to co-ordinate). This would cut down on what some think are excessive kill levels in the game to a more realistic amount.

2) There's no fratricide (ideally there should be none anyways, but we all know it happens, and this is supposed to be a SIMULATION). To be fair, though, I'm not sure how this could be gamed in a reasonable manner.

3) Units automatically recognize units they see. How can a tank crew pick out the one guy that has an SA-16, and the two RPG squads out of the dozens of guys crawling around in the smoke under an arty barrage? Maybe a generic infantry counter, and a generic armoured vehicle counter and squad-weapon counter would be a good idea, until a positive ID can be made.

4) Units don't shoot at targets they can't kill with one hit. When (as happens often in scenarios, and has been exploited for purpose designed CPXs) a dozen T-55s (or BMPs, or whatever) charge a single M-1 and are all wiped out without returning a single shot, I start to raise eyebrows. I'm quite sure that around 80 shots (assuming a similar ROF) would do in most M-1s, or at the very least get both mobilty and firepower kill. I realize that having everyone waste their ammo on T-90s and M-1s is pointless, but a Target Priority command (two extra mouseclicks) would allow you to select a BMP-3 and say "Fire on (select unit) whenever possible". Perhaps have it as a "higher than High Priority" setting. At least you could go for the mobility kill, or take out a weapon.

5) It doesn't seem that an infantry unit with 13 personnel is any more effective than one with 1 man. (but this could just be me).

6) I think the idea of different skill levels is a good one. Yes, as has been noted, it would universally decrease unit capabilities, because the fire tables are "best case" data. But in the real world there are going to units who are complete grapes, and having Somali teenagers fire with the same accuracy and effect as SAS troops is a bit much.

7) MG fire seems (to me) FAR TOO EFFECTIVE. Units firing machine guns from 2000m away are killing vehicles almost every time they hit. VERY RARELY are units ever damaged (in TacOps terms), or just hit (with "H" symbol). I would suggest that from extreme ranges, and firing platforms with marginal hitting power would damage units far more often than destroy them outright.

8) Battlefield and counter-battery Radar: they're there... Why don't they do anything?

9) Wounded. Maybe (and this would just be a playability thing, I guess) when a vehicle or unit is destroyed, a counter (I've been using medic or civs of a neutral colour in games) is left behind. Ambulances are provided in the game, but there's never an oppourtunity or incentive to use them. Maybe assigning points for wounded picked up would be a good idea, and add another very interesting aspect to the game.

10) Airdropped or Artillery delivered PGMs.... PLEEEEEEEEASE???

11) Different visibilty on different parts of the battlefield would be a major plus (IMHO). Maybe using different types of smoke, or something similar to simulate weather?

12) And as wierd as some of the effects may be, I would LOVE a unit editor. How do I model weird Iranian hybrids? It would also enable players to do (here it comes) WWII scenarios (within certain limits).

13) ....No, that's about it, if there's anyone still reading this. The game really is a great one, and the only reason I managed to some up with so much stuff is because I play it so obsessively. I also realize that it's the most accurate game I've seen yet, and balk at anything that holds it back from perfection.

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I just want to add some tougths to the 13 points from thejames.

to point 1.) there you could argue that this just reflects the skills of the leader.

100 % pertfect ...(what is the english word for "Zielansprache") ;)

to point 4.) I agree.I also would add that fire (MG or BMK) would suppress/disturb the crew.Even when there is no damage on the vehicle.

(a MG-salvo(7.62 mm) hitting the Tank you are sitting in is quite "impressive"!When I imagine it to be 20 or 30mm...)

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> 1) There's no "overkill" in the game! 10 M-2s fire at 10

> BTRs and not a single one of them hits the same target as

> someone else?

Already present via an abstraction that (a) causes some markers to sometimes briefly continue firing on a freshly "killed" unit and (B) that allows some "dead units" to fire again one time during the 15 second phase in which they were "killed", but the routine might need some tweaking.

> 2) There's no fratricide ...

On the wish list but not really relevant to the intended scale of the game.

> 3) Units automatically recognize units they see. How can a

> tank crew pick out the one guy that has an SA-16, and the

> two RPG squads out of the dozens of guys crawling around in

> the smoke under an arty barrage? Maybe a generic infantry

> counter, and a generic armoured vehicle counter and

> squad-weapon counter would be a good idea, until a positive

> ID can be made.

On the wish list as an additional "fog of war" option.

> 4) Units don't shoot at targets they can't kill with one

> hit. When (as happens often in scenarios, and has been

> exploited for purpose designed CPXs) a dozen T-55s (or

> BMPs, or whatever) charge a single M-1 and are all wiped

> out without returning a single shot, I start to raise

> eyebrows.

On the wish list as a unit by unit option controlled via the unit orders window. The howling from the users would be fierce if every unit fired on whatever was in front of it without regard as to whether or not there was any chance of killing the target - wastage of ammo, giving away unit positions prematurely, more mouseclicks required from the user to override, etc, and etc.

> At least you could go for the mobility kill, or take out a weapon.

I would like to be an observer at the following briefing. "T-55 comrades ... today we have the honor of attacking M1 tanks for the motherland. Remember to aim for the tracks." smile.gif

> 5) It doesn't seem that an infantry unit with 13 personnel

> is any more effective than one with 1 man. (but this could

> just be me).

The main contribution of personnel strength in a TacOps infantry marker is staying power. The more people in the marker, the longer the marker continues to function while taking casualties.

> 6) I think the idea of different skill levels is a good one.

> Yes, as has been noted, it would universally decrease unit

> capabilities, because the fire tables are "best case" data.

On the wish list as an option.

> having Somali teenagers fire with the

> same accuracy and effect as SAS troops is a bit much.

TacOps does not currently portray SAS troops or Somali teenagers.

> 7) MG fire seems (to me) FAR TOO EFFECTIVE. Units firing

> machine guns from 2000m away are killing vehicles almost

> every time they hit. VERY RARELY are units ever damaged (in

> TacOps terms), or just hit (with "H" symbol). I would

> suggest that from extreme ranges, and firing platforms with

> marginal hitting power would damage units far more often

> than destroy them outright.

I have observed that many hobbyists and even some contemporary military folks have an unwarranted lack of respect for heavy machine guns. smile.gif Machine guns of .50 cal and larger are powerful weapons with a much longer reach than many people realize.

> 8) Battlefield and counter-battery Radar: they're there...

> Why don't they do anything?

On the wish list but not critical to the intended scale of the game. The radar markers were added mainly at the request of the military users but even they were not particularly interested in them actually doing anything. They currently serve mainly as place holders for umpire moderated rules in CPX gaming.

> 9) Wounded. Maybe (and this would just be a playability

> thing, I guess) when a vehicle or unit is destroyed, a

> counter (I've been using medic or civs of a neutral colour

> in games) is left behind. Ambulances are provided in the

> game, but there's never an oppourtunity or incentive to use

> them. Maybe assigning points for wounded picked up would be

> a good idea, and add another very interesting aspect to the

> game.

On the wish list as an option but mainly for the military users. Only a few hobbyists would be interested in dealing with a battlefield littered with wounded (i.e. combat ineffective markers) or with victory points for treating and or evacuating them.

> 10) Airdropped or Artillery delivered PGMs....

> PLEEEEEEEEASE???

On the wish list. Artillery delivered PGMs are already fairly adequately covered in the currently artillery abstraction which allows the player to seemingly shift the target point of artillery salvos that are already in the air. Consider all those times during a game when you have been allowed to shift an incoming salvo that was only a few seconds from impact. That apparently unrealistic detail is in the game engine for a reason. smile.gif

> 11) Different visibilty on different parts of the

> battlefield would be a major plus (IMHO). Maybe using

> different types of smoke, or something similar to simulate

> weather?

On the wish list.

> 12) And as wierd as some of the effects may be, I would LOVE

> a unit editor. How do I model weird Iranian hybrids? It

> would also enable players to do (here it comes) WWII

> scenarios (within certain limits).

On the wish list but it presents a huge challenge for multiplayer game play - i.e. the mechanics of insuring that every computer in a given game session is using the same set of modified unit and weapon characteristics.

> I also realize that it's the most accurate game I've seen

> yet, and balk at anything that holds it back from

> perfection.

"Perfect" is the enemy of "good enough now". smile.gif

Thanks for the feedback.

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Originally posted by MajorH:

> 3) Units automatically recognize units they see. How can a

> tank crew pick out the one guy that has an SA-16, and the

> two RPG squads out of the dozens of guys crawling around in

> the smoke under an arty barrage? Maybe a generic infantry

> counter, and a generic armoured vehicle counter and

> squad-weapon counter would be a good idea, until a positive

> ID can be made.

On the wish list as an additional "fog of war" option.

Another thing for this would be completely unreliable info, that means not only is the units type not given, but it may be wrong or there might be a report which is no real unit at all.

That might sound over the top for normal direct-fire situations, but it would be useful for the air attack spotting. The positions and numbers of enemy units should be pretty unreliable.

> 5) It doesn't seem that an infantry unit with 13 personnel

> is any more effective than one with 1 man. (but this could

> just be me).

The main contribution of personnel strength in a TacOps infantry marker is staying power. The more people in the marker, the longer the marker continues to function while taking casualties.

Isn't it that fire from smallarms is the more powerful the more men the unit has? I seem to remember that from a Gazette.

> 7) MG fire seems (to me) FAR TOO EFFECTIVE. Units firing

> machine guns from 2000m away are killing vehicles almost

> every time they hit. VERY RARELY are units ever damaged (in

> TacOps terms), or just hit (with "H" symbol). I would

> suggest that from extreme ranges, and firing platforms with

> marginal hitting power would damage units far more often

> than destroy them outright.

I have observed that many hobbyists and even some contemporary military folks have an unwarranted lack of respect for heavy machine guns. smile.gif Machine guns of .50 cal and larger are powerful weapons with a much longer reach than many people realize.

What I would like to see is an "no improved smallarms ammunition" analogous to the "advanced ATGM warheads for OPFOR".

I think the penetration value of TacOps for 7.62, 12.7 and 14.5mm weapons are about what the best ammunition available today can do.

But when I play something like 1967 near east, I don't want the BTRs to be penetrated by 7.62mm fire. It should take a .50cal. This item is the singlemost item which keeps me from playing scenarios like these (maybe I'm just ignorant of the other factors smile.gif ).

> 11) Different visibilty on different parts of the

> battlefield would be a major plus (IMHO). Maybe using

> different types of smoke, or something similar to simulate

> weather?

On the wish list.

What I would like to see is a "seasons" modifier. Visibility in woods depends on a setting of summer, spring/fall, winter. You would get more variation out of the same maps this way. A "snow" modifier could also emphasize on rough terrain, making the use of roads more desirable and hanging out in cities more valuable (concealment but no loss of mobility).
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> But when I play something like 1967 near east, I don't want

> the BTRs to be penetrated by 7.62mm fire. It should take a

> .50cal. This item is the singlemost item which keeps me

> from playing scenarios like these (maybe I'm just ignorant

> of the other factors ).

BTRs apparently had poor side armor in the 70s and 80s. Afghan mujahadeen had no trouble killing them in the 80s using the Soviets own ammo and 7.62 machine guns.

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Well, OK then, I am convinced.

However, I still have a slight issue with the probablity of knockout of a BTR on such a penetration. The thin walls are around the passenger compartment. I would assume that these bullets wound mounted infantrymen, but a catastropic explosion or even immobilization seems unlikely.

I know TacOps has no model of mounted infantrymen being wounded without the vehicle being knocked out. But that might be an item for the wishlist. The same issue applies to soldiers riding Humvees, although of course these get immobilized more easily.

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Another item I would like to see is the fire and forget capability of the Apache.

They are able to pop up and fire their entire missile load against multiple targets while the same time getting back into cover(without guiding the missiles)using a scout helicopter(or other laser designator) would be also great.

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Yeah, buddy-targeting would be nice. I seem to recall reading an AAR for a CPX where they used buddy-targeting with LAV w/Hellfires guiding Hellfires from Apaches. It had the Russians fighting the U.S. in the Middle-East. I can't remember where I read it though. I wonder what the umpire used to model that?

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