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Who's still playing operations?


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I recall I really enjoyed playing multi-battle operations (repeatedly) in CMBO. In CMBB my operation play was more sporadic. Now in CMAK I don't even bother to check out the operations menu anymore. Anyone else have the same experience? Anyone have the opposite? Got any theories why? Could it just be outside pressures on my (your) time or is it something inherant in operations themselves?

I've often felt that operations was a significant untapped CM resource. For CMAK - for me - operations have devolved into an entirely UNTOUCHED resource!

:confused:

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Mikey, if interested, do a search at TSD for CMAK operations by reviewer name junk2drive. Select current under reviews just below.

EDIT*****

I have a modest computer and can't play anything monsterous.

[ May 16, 2005, 09:31 AM: Message edited by: junk2drive ]

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I've only recently started playing ops again, having liked them in CMBO. I just finished the Gemmano op available from the Scenario Depot. It started off slowly but in the end was one of those real chaotic nail-biters that make you really appreciate the game and the extent of the AI to really surprise you (both literally and figuratively) sometimes.

I really need to go leave a review. smile.gif

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Wrong forum but would someone plese continue making oprations for CMBB.I have played,or in some way been exposed to,the currently available ones.I would love some more advance/assualt/destroy ops dealing with Kursk.I have played the only non-static one out there,'Models Last Hope'.It was great,but I want more and different.I will even help play test.

Some theories as to why ops arent played more.

1)A lot of people operate under the flawed premise that playing many,many small QB's will get you the same amount of experience that a few really large ones will.This is NOT true.I have played versus people that thought this way.Half-way through the first battle of a really large assualt op and they are saying how much fun it is.Wanting to know who some other opoonents are that like large battles,etc.

2)Most people are intimidated by the large setups.They see all those units and their brian fries.The sad thing is that in the majority of all battles,in all operations,you rarely move more that 50-75% of your forces in a battle.Granted,a large setup can be time-cunsuming,but it is well worth it in the long run.Especially if you are playing an op that has atleast 20+ turns per battle.The setup may take you a few days to complete,but when you see it all come together....there is just nothing like it.

3)Static ops,flaggies,and setup zone algorithm's!I do not believe that static operations are the way to go.Operations shouldn't be about taking and holding.It should be about taking(or bypassing)and moving on.In a static op a defender my be forced to abandon his flaggies because the setup zone algorithms makes him.In an assualt op,this happens as well,but atleast you aren't losing points,just good defensible ground.If you have been doing your job,you should always have fallback positions.

I have more ideas and suggestions,IF anyone gives a rat's ass.Then again,no one probably even read this....

Edit to add:

Sorry,I should have added that IMHO all CM battles should be played versus another person.If you play for too long against nothing but the AI,you WILL have to break bad habits formed over the time that you played the AI.In addition to this,I have never played a BB operation in which a couple of battles have gone my way and then the remainder was easy.Every operation that I have played PBEM has been very challenging.Even the ones in which one side or the other IS supposed to over-run his opponent in the first few battles.

[ May 16, 2005, 02:37 PM: Message edited by: no_one ]

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I read it.

Ops are hard to make and then have them come out the way you intend them to.

I have played some ops where I did so well in the first few battles that it was no contest in the last. But I still enjoyed playing them. I've even had fun played backwards of the designer's intended side vs AI.

Some were so tough that I had to restart several times. When you finally learn what works and start doing well it is a great gaming experience IMHO.

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I guess I am in the crowd that really enjoys a good op. The random weather and ground conditions, ammunition reloads between battles, and the overall increased size and scope of ops can make for a much greater challenge. On the other hand ops are much harder to design and playtest. It is very difficult to figure out how a huge 10 battle op will play out and that can lead to some very critical reviews. Never the less ops are still my favorite to design and play.

smile.gif

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Indeed, ops are the hardest to design. I gave up on the current operation system after designing a few for CMBO, mostly due to the way the game handles the shifting frontline. I know there are different settings for that, but IMO the effect is not very realistic.

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Originally posted by Pzman:

Indeed, ops are the hardest to design. I gave up on the current operation system after designing a few for CMBO, mostly due to the way the game handles the shifting frontline. I know there are different settings for that, but IMO the effect is not very realistic.

I wouldn't mind so much if one could at least transfer terrain AND forces from one map to the next, and do a manual drawing of front lines, but we were denied that too....too bad. The CMX2 "ops" sounded pretty tantalizing though.
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Yes the map and force transfer in the current quick battle system with the ablity to draw the frontline would be the best the current CM could do, I guess. CMX2 ops sound very good, and a lot more flexable too, if I understand it correctly.

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Well I'm surprised Nidan didn't chime in here with a mention/complaint about our current op, which we started in December of 2003.

And yes, we are still playing that one. Mainly my fault it has taken so long, but 7 20-turn battles isn't quick by PBEM...

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I enjoy playing ops. I play under "play as they lay" rules. That is -- play your units where they ended at the last turn. All new reinforcements should start near a logical entry point in the rear of the map. Of course, you can fudge these rules a bit.

The end results of ops are disappointing. No real score... just the outcome -- "Minor Victory," etc. I would like to see the casualty report.

Designing Ops is a major pain as said. Extremely flimsy AI in this dept. I have seriously scaled back my abitions when it comes to ops. Small ops can be good... but I do love the scope of a large battle.

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Originally posted by no_one:

Wrong forum but would someone plese continue making oprations for CMBB.I have played,or in some way been exposed to,the currently available ones.I would love some more advance/assualt/destroy ops dealing with Kursk.I have played the only non-static one out there,'Models Last Hope'.It was great,but I want more and different.I will even help play test.

I have just uploaded a CMBB Operation to the Scenario Depot. It's called, "HSG C Across the Terek AI". It takes place in the Caucasus and the 111th German Infantry Division does a river assault across the Terek River to take the village of Predmostny, Russia.

There was a very detailed description of the battle along with a battle map. The only thing that kept this from being historical was that the map wasn't a topo map and information on the village was as detailed as I would have liked.

If you get time you might try this one out. It is my first try for a CMBB operation and has been A LONG TIME in the making.

Junk2Drive mentioned one of my CMAK operations in this thread...I found out I have one historical review of one of my favorite ops. HSG First Town Liberated.

Three in one. Attack, hold, defend.

Across the Terek has the same type of combat. You must advance but you have to also defend your positions from the Russian counterattacks at times. Or you can advance on parts of the map while trying to defend other parts.

The artillery support is extensively modeled in this fight as well.

Hope you will give it a try.

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Originally posted by no_one:

Wrong forum but would someone plese continue making oprations for CMBB.I have played,or in some way been exposed to,the currently available ones.I would love some more advance/assualt/destroy ops dealing with Kursk.I have played the only non-static one out there,'Models Last Hope'.It was great,but I want more and different.I will even help play test.

Thanks for the kind words, that was a fun op to make. I would advise you to go to the Boots and Tracks site and downloading Franco's "Tank Warning." It is an excellent depiction of part of the battle at Prokhorovka and is one of the best CMBB ops of all time.
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I've been making Finn operations for CMBB all the time, but testing them takes time - I'm expecting CMx2 to be out by the time someone has played through the Vuosalmi Operation... You can search for these and works in progress by others from The Proving Grounds, if it doesn't bother you that they might not be fully tested - but that's where you can make a difference smile.gif

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I create ops on a QB scale (static ops). I set a number of points for each side, buy my units then send it to a friend so he can buy his units. On an honor system it works near perfectly, but one side tends to dominate the other because I haven't quite got the reinforcement balance down correctly. When the battles are 50/50 though they are intense and it creates a sense of worth. Having the same, persistant units fight out for 8 battles is fun and gives you lots of options since time isn't against you (and you get resupply). I'd wager to say it's a million times more realistic than a QB especially if you set up the points to 'branch off' giving each side to buy extra artillery in expense of infantry / armor, etc. It's a lot less predictable and 1:1 meeting engagementy.

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I liked ops, especially on big maneuver maps, because after the second battle you really really really don't know what's behind the next hill. Medium-size even-odds scenarios, you can guess pretty well what your 76mm gun Shermans are going to meet up with in a 1200 point QB.

I really should dust off a couple CM operations and have some fun. I think what originally scared me off was the word 'huge' coupled with my wimpy computer setup.

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Mikey that's why I mentioned my modest computer. If I reviewed an op, there is a good chance it will play on your computer. I'm impatient. If it takes more than a minute to calculate a turn, I think about not continuing. 5 minutes and I quit for sure.

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Originally posted by junk2drive:

How does that "branch off" work?

This sounds like something I might like to try.

It's a rough way of balance, plus there are lots of factors that might unbalance the op, but heres how I do it in a pinch:

I first get the points for each side by going into a real QB with an estimated point size and recording how the QB balances it. So for a 3000pt combined arms battle you'll have 1450 infantry, 300 support, 100 veh, 900 armor, 150 artillery. Lets say you want more tanks in the op, so we replace 250 infantry pts with 300 extra tank points. Thats around 3050pts. I found in my ops that both sides won't have exact same point totals, but it doesn't matter as long as you're within 100pts of each other. I base reinforcements roughly on how good each sides equipment is and the terrain. American vs German late battle, americans would get more tank pts for reinforcements each battle, as an example.

Anyways, how branching works: lets say on the first battle I see that germans get nice big rocket artillery but not enough points to buy them. They are 700pts, and obviously powerful. For first battle points, I give the option to the player to take away some points to add points to another section. For a 700pt spotter, I'd let them take away 250 infantry and 600 armor to add around 650pts to artillery. The artillery is probably worth more than that infantry and armor combined, especially if the op is long and resupply is large. These point numbers are defined by me and not the player, so he can't take away from other areas, just those. This is a really rough example, way more thought goes into balancing it but thats the jist of it. So far all the QB's I've played using this method have been extremely balanced, almost to a point where it's impossible to predict what exactly will happen or what the person might be carrying in his next reinforcement. It never gets gamey or too unrealistic, either. When designing the op you just have to think ahead, but a little effort goes a long way for a very satisfying experience.

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