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At the risk of blaspheming


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Hmm back over on home turf I have been discussing a notion, and would care to get the Battlefront crowds slant on it actually.

Ok this is not a quantification of whether SC is good bad or in need of any adjustment whatsoever.

Given a chance to acquire it, I for one would be happy to let it just be what it is.

But truth be known, I don't need SC, I need A3R to be happy.

Actual A3R, not a game that looks like it.

Is there a market for such a thing?

What I am thinking of, what I dream of is this. Take A3R and computerise it.

By that I mean I click on the ole icon on the ole desktop for A3R.

In a few moments the interface starts up asking me which Scenario I want to play. I click on Campaign. In seconds I am looking at the screen and it is asking me to deploy my forces for my chosen side.

Here is the kicker, the game has no AI none, not any manner of computer player. The other side is played by a human as well.

Through a good interface I am linked up with a buddy who sends me his set up. Then we begin to play.

Actual A3R. Not a game that looks like it, but actual A3R.

Currently this game of course does not exist. No I am not referring to the old Third Reich game. It had n AI and an AI was never required of it either. A waste of programer time in my opinion.

A decent foolproof cheat proof secure user friendly online connection program is what I seek.

Because we are only playing wargames on the computer due to a lack of opponents if the forums are to be believed. We do not seek to play largely brain dead computer AIs.

And the opinions you can keep them guys, frankly there isn't an AI in existence that was worth the effort to design into a wargame.

And we don't really need them in the first place. Wargamers want to play wargamers.

So in the end, I might by SC, but it will just be me buying a lame attempt at what I really wanted in the first place. I want to play A3R, actual A3R.

As good as SC is (and it is a nice game), it isn't A3R, and well let's face it, why constantly re-invent the wheel.

SC2 won't be A3R either, and if it comes with an AI and not a state of the art online link up concept for kickin real time psuedo face to face wargaming, it will have essentially failed to deliver what we really need.

We need a way to play our fellow wargamers first and last.

Like the old saying, you can't sell me what I already own. I already have A3R, I don't need a new game for the most part. I need someone to harness the power of the computer to make A3R playable over the net.

Computers are not being properly employed to serve our needs. More and more software wargames is really not giving me what I want.

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Originally posted by Les the Sarge 9-1b:

Hmm back over on home turf I have been discussing a notion, and would care to get the Battlefront crowds slant on it actually.

But truth be known, I don't need SC, I need A3R to be happy.

Actual A3R, not a game that looks like it.

Is there a market for such a thing?

I doubt there is much of a market for it, I'd be very surprised if it could be done as a commercial venture.
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Sarge,

After playing SC PBEM for awhile, my interest was rekindled for A3R. I had owned the game some years ago but never actually played against anyone.

Anyway, I stumbled onto a website that sponsers PBEM A3R and supplies a free program that acts as the map and counters. Check it out at Warplanner.

Unfortunately the program is not network/internet based.

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I have to agree with Les the Sarge SC is a great game,but i have growen bored with it already,in some games ive got to watch anywhere between 10-20 Air units punch holes in my soviet defence line,and does one know how demoralising it is to whatch helplessly as an never ending amount of air attack and an enemy takes any target he wishes,imagine if hitler could have done that at stalingrad.

Oh well A3rd Riech if only it was Pbem friendly

[ October 19, 2002, 07:47 AM: Message edited by: Titan ]

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It would be great to see A3R and other great boardgames ported. I agree, screw the AI. The only thing I use it for is to figure out the game mechanics. I have not played the AI since I started my first PBEM. TCP/IP for SC is just around the corner as well.

A good example of a company faltering in the conversion effort is World in Flames. I beleive WIF is the best wargame ever made but they have been screwing with the computer version for over 2 years and can't get it out (even though they have now decided to kill the AI).

A game I am looking forward to is Empire in Arms, also a wargame from Australian Design Group. They just did a deal with Matrix Games to do a computer version (Avalon Hill did a disaterous version about a decade ago). There is discussion on the boards over there about what should be done to the game. I agree with Sarge that I want to be able to play the original game. If they want to offer other options that may or may not make it a better game then fine, but give me the original as a start!

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Hmmm

Well as I have stated elsewhere, and maybe there is the slightest bit of truth to it.

When the gushing and fauning stops and you take a cold blooded look at it, and a person has to put there money where there mouth is, what is the bottom line?

I told a buddy about the no stacking in SC for instance, screeeeeeeeeech he slammed on the breaks. No stacking? Nope sorry if there game won't let me put an air unit in the same hex as a ground unit, then something is wrong he comments. Fun is fun, but I am looking for "historical" not fun.

He didn't even have the chance to run into the controversy over the run amok air units issue.

Fun might be enough for me....might.

But I wonder, was Hubert aiming for Mega Axis and Allies, or A3R lite?

As I have already mentioned in my opening post, I own A3R now, and essentially I don't require a replacement.

SC2 might have all manner of bells and whistles added to it, and it might even bridge the realism gap some of us think is missing in the current game, but, well, I already have A3R, its a been there done that sort of thing.

This sort of thing happens all the time in movies too. I have seen plenty of decent efforts die on the vine, someone got there ahead of ya sort of deal.

Its hard to say if there would be a market for the game. Part of the trouble being what I think was a mangled effort in the first release of computer Third Reich. How many sales of a decent A3R program will be lost from people saying sorry I already got burned on last time on that piece of garbage.

How many people though shun a game, the second it gets a rep for having a brain dead AI. But if the game was purposely marketed as a tool to play a game sans AI would it help.

Currently when I look at the forums I see two things. People want a game as good as A3R, and people seem to think that for all it's charm, SC is not that game.

That might sound negative, not my intention. There is likely plenty of people that want a simple game.

I know myself, when I first bought the original Third Reich I mused, so this is what a 10 on the complexity scale looks like eh. I thought it was so cool that I easily mastered a 10 type game.

But if you look at it, really look at it, are we not really saying we want A3R with all the griping over this design quirk and that design element.

The air asset issue for instance. This is a detail you would not be suffering with in A3R period. You can make all the air units or not, you can field an armour heavy war machine or not. You can atempt daring strategies or go with more humble ones.

In A3R I have done the Sealion thing, I have attacked Russia on Turn one. I have done the make nice nice with the US to the exclusion of all else to delay their entry. I have done the take out Malta, the invade Gibraltar, the early invasion of France.

All these notions can be done in A3R. Its not like SC invented wacky bend history out of shape strategies.

So what do you tell a fellow gamer, to convince them, that SC can be taken seriously?

A game must be good today, good tomorrow and continue to be good several years from now to become a classic.

They can release Combat Leader at Matrix for instance, but odds are people will be playing Steel Panthers for a loooooong time. It's several years down the road for that gamne, and people have still got an obsession with it.

Can SC deliver, or is it just the game of the moment, due to lose it's luster in a month?

And I have seen this happen numerous times with gamers. 5 bucks or 50 bucks, if the game gets to be a been there done that , yawn well there is nothing left, then it becomes a coaster.

What exactly are people paying for, when they buy SC, is it the mistaken notion it is sorta like A3R, or are they knowingly buying a game, they just want to be A3R, but clearly it isn't.

Innaccurate subs, air power ruins the game, politics that are anything but political, production that allows production simply because, resources that just end up looking like the next pile of gold in a monster mash rolegame, inability to stack based on flimsy justifications.

These are signs that the game as delivered, is not what people actually want.

A3R is out there, it is just not currently on my compputer.

If I can get an after thought program like the one indicated above to allow me to use my board game, perhaps that is what I should be investigating.

I wonder if it is what all the posters that want SC to be soooooo much more should be investigating too. Maybe we should just let SC be what it is, and stop insisting on Hubert making SC into a mangled clone of A3R.

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Sarge, a computerized PBEM version of A3R is already available as a gameset for Aide de Camp. Ckeck out this .

A couple of things that make SC more interesting than A3R right now, for either solo or pbem or tcp/ip play, are FOW and the political model. I've played 3R/A3R enough that some optimum strategies are very hard to deviate from, thus resulting in boring and/or stagnant gameplay. (Blasphemy! My apologies to Bruce Harper.) I like the game, but frankly it isn't enjoyable anymore and not worth the time/space to set it up and play it. That's one reason I have often commented here that SC should not get so much more complex, with too much detail for realism and historical accuracy, that it ceases to be fun to play. I give SC an A+ for replayability.

There's always A3R, WiF, and soon-to-be-released Hearts of Iron which provide alternative WWII grand strategy gaming experiences for those who want additional detail and complexity. Diversity and redundancy are good things. SC does not necessarily have to compete directly with those other games.

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I just want to add my two cents here by saying that I did indeed hope to find Strategic Command filling my A3R board game needs and found that it came up a bit short. But then I looked anew at the actual pc version of Third Reich and, realizing just how bad it is, appreciated SC more than I initially did. Since I concentrate with games against the AI, I need to realize that there are still some limitations to what it can do. Hopefully SCII will take us one step closer towards reliving are A3R board gaming days but this then brings up the old debate of whether or not you want to increase the complexity of SC. Many are happy with seeing it remain a "beer and pretzels" game while others ( including myself) want more complexity added.

[ October 19, 2002, 01:48 PM: Message edited by: J Wagner ]

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I'm with Yohan on this one; WiF and EiA are the two games I am looking to satisfy my strategic addiction with. WiF is still in beta so there is hope they will streamline the interface and I have great hope that EiA will be the Holy Grail of strategic Napoleonic warefare that gamers have been looking for all this time. SC does an admireable job at what Hubert intended it to do, which was provide a very approachable game of WW2 strategy, but there are some things that the game forces the player to do that I just don't like and greatly subtracts from my enjoyment. I place a very high priority on historicly realistic possibilities but trying to play with those self-imposed limitations is begging for defeat unless some houserules are agreed on.

Hubert has certainly shown a great willingness to listen to and act on our opinions and I still have much hope that he will continue to let SC evolve into a more detailed and realistic simulation. As it stands, SC is a fine game and with some moderate changes I feel it could be exceptional. If Hubert decides that he does not want to make any more changes from this day on then I would simply congratulate him on an excellent effort and wish him much success on any future projects. He has my deep admiration in either case.

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Originally posted by Les the Sarge 9-1b:

Warplanner ....damn forgot all about Warplanner. Got side tracked last year real good to have had a memory lapse to forget about it.

For that matter I should probably be seeking to check out more on VASL (which for those that have not heard of it, is a program to allow you to play ASL in much the same manner).

The really interesting thing is that VASL 4.0 is designed to be modular; i.e. VASL itself doesn't pay ASL, but VASL plus the ASL module does.

People are already working on some other "modules" for 4.0. I wonder if A3R is a possibility? The intriguing thing is that it wouldn't do rules for you; really it just gives you a map, counters, and "interface" (TCP/IP) to an opponenet.

Jeff

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Maybe VASL , Warplaner and Aide De Camp are the future for me personally.

Been waffling, been fussing, but in the end, hmmm I guess for my "simple" beer and pretzels game, I will settle for Axis and Allies.

For "realistic", "accurate", and "historical" I will seek to get more use out of A3R though secondary software.

I enjoyed the demo Hubert and I intend to leave it on the hard drive as accessible for those I interact with through file sharing, but having already acquired Axis and Allies Iron Blitz, I really don't require another "simple" game.

I wish the company sccess wth SC though. It does play well, and for my opinion, a functional game, is often just about the most important part of the software design process. Accurate is pointless after all, if the game is a buggy worthless piece of garbage.

I think the game's single best feature I noticed, was just how easy it was to use.

In that respect, you are good at game design.

I will likely be largely absent from here on in folks (I don't have much interest in the other products here at Battlefront, outside my preference range).

I will continue to mention SC to those looking for a good game in the beer and pretzels category though.

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I agree with Sarge. I've been looking forward to SC for a long time, and I still wish great success for the game. I've however decided not to get the game simply because, based on my extensive experience with the demo and the testimony of other players, I just don't see it holding my interest for long.

SC is a good game, but not quite the WW2 experience I'm looking for.

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I have been hearing about WIF being worked on for almost 10yrs. Doubt if it will ever see the light of day.

SC is a great game for what it is meant to be. By using the editor and using agreed upon house rules you can overcome some of the historical factors. But of course repeating history close to exact is boring. So that argument wont ever change.

A game like this wont have as much replayability in the long run as say Combat Mission because of the size of units and theatre. But remember board games used to take forever to play so you couldn't play near as many as you can now with computers.

All I can say is a game of this nature for $25 is a heck of a bargain. To each his own.

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Originally posted by windstarz:

But of course repeating history close to exact is boring. So that argument wont ever change.

I've never heard anyone say that they want to repeat history close to exact. I have however heard this point presented as a straw man argument by people who want to do away with historical limitations. :rolleyes:
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