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Campaign ???


wolle
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Originally posted by Kozure:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Tha_Field_Marshall:

When you finish a 10 battle operation on a static map, and look back at the map and see shell craters, destroyed buildings and burnt out tanks across the landscape that feels rather epic to me.

Aye, but it's still always the same map.

No changes in weather, no changes in overall location, no advancement of the front. </font>

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Originally posted by First Mate Detrius:

I quite liked the Steel Panther Campaigns.

Especially the fact that I could have as many battles that I wanted.

So what if its a bit unrealistic...its FUN!

Yes I love the fact that CM is the most realistic 3D wargame out there, but..... :D

The original SP campaign was one of my main motivations for making ROQC. I had sooo much fun with that campaign.
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I agree with Leutnant Hortlund. I remember my beloved "Panzer General IV" officer Michalke accompany me through ~18 Missions...

A Campaign mode would be horrendous work to do, but it could add great atmosphere. Maybe the player could be personalized as a platoon HQ at the start of the game, being reassigned to different unit types and Theaters of war, later being promoted to major, controlling more soldiers. This would be not too unrealistic, since it might be possible for an officer to start with a Kradschützen-Company in Afrika 41, and later becoming member of a Grenadier-Unit in Italy, for example.

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I guess that I have been a bit surprised by the negative comments regarding the campaign aspect. I feel that it is a natural progression of the Combat Mission series. We have the individual missions for those that like to play smaller parts of the game and then operations for a more in depth battle. I would favor as has been mentioned targeted campaigns such as the Winter war or a campaign for example covering the invasion of Poland or France. You would have a choice or maybe no choice in picking a particular unit and depending on how you performed you would receive reinforcements or if you performed badly the campaign would end. For example, you receive a report at the start of the invasion of Poland of your intended path. You review your units for battle and a map comes up that has an objective explained to you in the briefing. You have to take a road the will be a supply route. If you succeed you receive supplies and reinforcements if you fail you may be relieved of command or transfered elsewhere. You could have a series of historically linked battles that cover a certain time period and thus your performance affects what happens next. You get the feeling of being in the grander scale in a good historical setting. I do think this would appeal to many wargamers.

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Originally posted by Directive#21:

Moon said

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> Additional to that, a campaign mode is highly unrealistic, and has therefore always been regarded as "not essential" for the game.

I am so tired of hearing this nonsense! :mad: So moon tell me, is playing a campaign mode less realistic than moving dozens of units, that represent squads of individual soldiers, around a map of a battlefield? Truth is that CM is a game and realism is in the imagination. Bottom line is that Steve and Charles don't want a campaign mode! Lets all be honest and leave it at that.

regards,

Directive #21 </font>

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Originally posted by Moon:

So please note that we're not excluding a feature like that for future installations of CM (note that I am deliberately NOT saying for the NEXT installation; and note that I am saying that we're not excluding it. Ahem... you know what, best thing you forget what I just said and do not quote me out of context - argh!).

Perhaps there may be a middle way where CMx can be offered so that units in QBs can be fully edited and imported according to third party campaign rulesets? A bit like the ability to edit and transfer unit experience and strengths from one game to another using a system like Biltong's rules? The only change to CM would be a greater ability to edit forces for QBs and scenarios. CM community rulesets do the rest. Doing it this way ensures flexibility (campaigns can be as historical or fantastical as players desire) and allows BFC to develop other features?

How about this? On the screen where you choose single play, hotseat etc there is a button for campaign. Its clicked and up pops a menu, spreadsheet, whatever to enter unit details or import unit details plus the option for a map... press the go button, game is played. At the end of the battle, there's an export feature to record the details of units left. The player then applies the third party rules and we're set for another campaign game with a new set of imported values.

Alex

[ December 19, 2003, 01:38 PM: Message edited by: Yeknodathon ]

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Moon, that's good news, and straight talk smile.gif

How about commenting on the request for a feature that exports the status of all units and flags in the game (also those that moved off the map during the game) at the end of the game into a text file? I'd be happy to help specify the request more exactly.

It would really be a great help in the existing singleplayer campaigns. Probably also in the multiplayer campaigns.

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There are actually several issues (that I feel could be addressed). The nice developers wrote back to my e-mail and suggested I read this thread and respond here, so here I am.

First of all I was not suggesting (in my e-mail) a "campaign" system (although it sounds like a nice feature to add in the future and I'd definitely support it).

What I feel is *seriously* lacking in Combat Mission now is the realism of caring about your troops! This is something that's critical to creating a realistic simulation experience.

I thought "operations" would do this (and hence I bought Barbarossa to Berlin and Afrika Korp as a combo pack). Unfortunately Operations lack the ability for a player to select ("buy") their own units. And they lack the ability to "request" reinforcements. Essentially they are "canned" (pre-designed).

After writing to the guys at Battlefront I discovered buried in the manual the mention that previous save games can be imported into Quick Battles, including the troops!

Well, that's *almost* all we need. Give us a "resupply the troops" and a "move to next map area" and we're set!

Now if we could add dynamic (initial) unit purchase to operations, dynamic unit purchase between battles in operations then we'd be in heaven.

- Mithel

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Opps... I failed to make clear the really important point that I was hoping was in Combat Mission when I purchased it (and the lack of it is the reason the rest of my gaming group decided to NOT purchase Combat Mission).

What we need is:

1) to be able to play multiplayer

2) Each player purchases their own unit mix using their best judgement as to the best mix of units that will serve them in the upcoming battles. Note: it's extremely important to impose realism restrictions here to avoid players taking all armor, only the best units, etc.

3) Be able to take that force and reinforce it and play the NEXT battle.

Thus you have your own customized force to lead and losses are critically important to you! If your opponent knocks out most or all of your armor then you have to seriously consider how you will handle the next battle with a lack of armor.

Conversely if your opponent has one Tiger tank that's wreaking havoc on you, then perhaps you sacrifice a major portion of your forces to take out that Tiger tank. Then for the next battle he doesn't have his tiger, but you might be really weak because of the effort it took to take out that tiger.

This would put long term *strategy* into what is otherwise a fine battle simulator.

As has been mentioned before in this thread, we love to get attached to our units. We want to experience a "campaign" with our guys. I personally have NO interest in just playing one unrelated battle after another. Either I'll dream up my own "campaign" rules as others have done, or Combat Mission will join the large pile of games in the corner that sounded great but weren't worth playing.

- Mithel

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" Another thing I suggest would be allowing exporting and importing AAR data for third-party campaign programs (or hand-written if the format is documented well enough). The program writes CM a file for creating a certain kind of battle, then after the battle CM exports a file that tells the program what happened and what losses were taken and so on. It would take some extra programming effort from BFC, yes, but less than if BFC had to design and implement a campaign system. At least it is more realistic to expect to happen, and it'd allow people to create as good or bad campaign system as they could."

I would like to throw my support behind that. I've been asking for this feature for awhile, as well, and would be--IMO--relatively easy to be programmed. (I say this as a professional software engineer.) The game already has to store data (probably some kind of array of tile types, locations of fortifications and structures, their damage levels, craters, stuff like that, probably keeps a list of units, their type, their name, their status, locations, etc.) to a file for PBEM and to save and load games. All that is required to is code a second way for it to be stored and loaded: In form a human can read. This also does not need to give any proprietary information (detailed internal stats on things that BFC wants to keep private), just needs to say, for example, that a particular tile is "Woods", or a particular unit is a Russian Rifle Squad '41 with weapon types xyz and casualty levels abc, etc. etc.

This would free BFC from having to satisfy the community's desire for a campaign (which may mor may not end up being realistic) as well as being the easiest implementation for them.

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I absolutely agree it would be a great solution to just provide import / export information so that the community could write our own campaign systems (unfortunately it would be troublesome to write our own unit purchase systems to go along with this - we'd need the entire unit database exported and the developers might not want to make that easy for everyone else to get - they've put a TON of work into that).

- Mithel

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Originally posted by Robert Olesen:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Salkin

The possibility of a campaign will be looked into in the next CM (CMx or whatever they call it these days ).

Salkin, forgive me for being so ignorant, but what is your official status in relation to BFC? In other words, what gives you the authority to present that statement? </font>
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Is the campaign feature being viewed as a solitaire play option?

As I noted above, I think that an idea like

You then put the player in a very specific spot in that division. For example, you let the player command one infantry battalion in one regiment. Then you build the campaign around that. Whatever battles that battalion took part in, you let the player take part in by creating an operation or battle, depending on the historical situation. All these operations and battles are made historical, so in battle X where the players battalion had tank support from unit Y, the player also controls these tanks.

would be really difficult if not impossible to do as a two-player effort. The problem is that individual units normally didn't duel each other over long periods of time. They typically faced different opponents.

While I think it would certainly be interesting for the side commanding the common forces, that interest would not be shared by the other side, which would potentially have completely different units every battle.

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  • 2 weeks later...
In the meantime, you have a bunch of umpired (mega) multiplayer campaigns as well as solo play campaign systems to choose from. I know that as a wargamer I'm happy that CM is what it is today as a tactical simulation, and those campaigns are external offerings. If CM was half of what it is today but had a built-in campaign, I am not sure if I would be playing it still.

Martin

External campaigns are really difficult to develop. Therefore most campaigns are a bunch of maps and rules (but great work).

Before I started to build CMBB Operation Störfang (http://www.eichenbaum.org/sevastopol.html) I didn’t had a clue that campaigns were such a hot item. The 1st version of Störfang was just a map devided in sections like a checker board. Since then I knew that a major part of players who’re playing against AI really love the idea of a campaign system. More then 2000 players have started it since June this year. Because of the huge amount of response I have started to develop an external system that maybe satisfy the needs of the players at last. This will be the 2nd and last version. This is really a hell of job ! and I recommend to not do the same if you’re only time for this is in the evenings or weekends. (slightly overreacted ;) ) Maybe the interaction of CM with the system, a , dynamic loaded bitmaps for each environment, A LOT OF RESEARCH, reserves, artillery and CAS on command… and more… , seems a bit much, but that’s what people like. They want to use only a few clicks, not more to read then the mission briefings and not be able to cheat.

I ain't complaining, really. But if CM had a campaign system I finally could start playing CMAK for instance smile.gif

Happy New Year!

Nils

[ December 30, 2003, 04:03 PM: Message edited by: eichenbaum ]

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Originally posted by Moon:

...I think we're going to code in Space Marines for the new engine. With hoverpacks. Charles and Steve like those.

Does that mean the next version will be set in the Pacific theater? That's where all the Marines were, the American ones anyway.

:D

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Hello

For me, the point of a "campaign system" would not necessarily be picking a group of units and watching their progress through a series of battles, but rather to come closer to understanding the conditions and events that men fought under and through in WWII.

For example, CMBB is a great game, but the story behind it is far greater. The entire conflict in the ETO is a fantastic setting from beginning to end. A "campaign" or game set in the period should at least attempt to show what happened and why so that players might understand what it is they are doing.

The campaign begins in 1941 and follows a division through to the end of the offensive near Moscow. Players wear the hats of various German or Russian commanders throughout. Battles or scenarios are designed to be indicative of the kind of operations that were being carried out in any given moment. You might start out commanding tanks in the drive on Minsk, later switch to Leningrad, spend a bit of time in the Crimea and eventually participate in the Russian counterattack.

Whatever, but the whole thing progresses along a timeline and everything evolves along with the campaign. Road conditions, air superiority, weather, morale, supplies, reinforcements, etc. All of these conditions are not random, but rather evolve as the months slip by.

You do not watch a particular set of units, but rather see how the campaign began, progressed and ended.

Of course, for those who like consequences, the campaign is given structure. The player must survive as a successful leader in order to command higher quality troops, have more support, choose new areas, etc.

In short, the campaign does not take place in a vacuum or confine itself to specific commanders or units. The player's goal is to experience the campaign.

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Clearly there are at least two totally different concepts of a "campaign". I don't see how a game of this scope (tactical) can attempt to teach a history lesson of following a unit through the entire war.

Critically important to me however is the severe lack of realism in buying units for a battle. Players purchase units based on the specifics for that battle (sorry but real commanders don't get to go shopping for units as if they were buying groceries!). We need to be able to string one battle to the next so that as a commander we must lead and maintain and use the forces under our command to the best of our ability without knowing what the next battle will bring.

Playing experience has now also lead me to the conclusion that the "costs" for units are very unrealistic and encourages players to buy far too many tanks. A tank should cost probably somewhere on the order of three to four times the cost of an infantry platoon. Yet the game values most tanks roughly equal to the cost of an infantry platoon.

- Mithel

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