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New Combat Mission RTS game concept!


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For the Battlefront Developers and Community:

Recently I came up with what I feel is a solid WW2 RTS game concept that I would Like to share with you all. I am a veteran player of both the Combat Mission series, and the Sudden Strike series, and would describe this game as a mixture of the best features of the two series. The game is based on the new Sudden Strike 3 engine for its appealing graphics, but could probably be adapted to the CMx2 engine. Different than Sudden Strike it incorporates more of a Combat Mission type game play as a pure real time strategy game. Sudden Strike always had great eye candy in my opinion, very good command and control, but lacked in the realism, and strategic depth that Combat mission has. Although Shock Force is a real time strategy game I think you will see that there are enough differences in this concept mainly in the command and control, and multiplayer aspects. These are inspired from my years as a multiplayer league player with the Sudden Strike series. Players will find the command and control fast, fluid, and very functional for real time play. Command hot keys are located on the left side of the keyboard, and the camera is mainly controlled with the mouse wheel, which is more common for RTS games compared to how Shock Force controls. Multiplayer will offer team play rather than 1v1 only. I originally posted my concept on the Sudden Strike forum. I would copy the entire post here, but it is very detailed with many illustrations. All aspects of the game are described in this link: http://www.suddenstrike.com/index.php?uid=forum_message_list&uid_forum_topic=8407880&uid_forum_section=38202&offset=0&total=15

Here is an excerpt describing the infantry commands to give you a taste. Much larger screen shots can be seen at the link. Perhaps Battlefront, or someone will consider the concept, or some of its ideas for development of a game I think many would want to play.


The game uses the Sudden Strike layout for hot keys, but is greatly improved with many more options. Through the use of the ALT key and Ctrl key most hotkeys have multiple types of orders available. Here are my initial thoughts for commands available.

Key / Command / +ALT Key

Q / Move / Move to Contact

W / Target, Line of fire tool

E / Assault

R / Rotate

T / Hold fire/Hide / Ambush hide

A / Find Cover / Enter nearest structure

S / Artillery Strike

D / Split squad / Rejoin Squad

F / Fast

G /

Z / Special infantry

X / Spread out / Regroup

C / Pause

V / Stop

B / Sneak,Crawl

MOVE: Infantry moves at a walking pace. This movement is slow, but conserves the most energy. When enemy is spotted it will try to continue on its order path to the location ordered to.

MOVE TO CONTACT; Infantry moves at a walking pace. This movement is slow, but conserves the most energy. Infantry STOPS when an enemy is spotted, or is fired upon.

TARGET/L.O.F. TOOL; (shown in the pic above with the tank) when the target command is selected a line projects from the unit to where ever the cursor is moved showing the distance, and describing what the target cursor is on. The line from the unit follows the contours of the terrain allowing the player to more easily read the dips and elevations especially where it may not be clear due to lack of visual contrast or limited camera view. It also shows where line of fire/ Line of sight is clear and where it is blocked. In the illustration shown above with the tank we see that the target cursor is on a light building that is 190 meters away. The line of fire to the house is blocked for the tank although the infantry can see it. The line breaks from red to yellow showing the spot where the tank’s line of fire is blocked. The player knows he must move the tank to the spot where the line breaks in order to have a clear shot at the building. A solid red line means line of fire is clear. Half red, half yellow shows partial line of fire is clear. A solid yellow line means line of fire is blocked. The Target/ LOF tool not only issues target command, but also gives the player more information to better read the terrain, range distance, and lines of fire.

ASSAULT; Infantry keep moving forward to the area ordered to in an over watch method. Half the squad runs up a bit then establishes a base of fire, and then the other half does the same leapfrogging toward the enemy always maintaining a base of fire. This movement is medium paced as it involves running and stopping at intervals, but gets tiring over long distances.

ROTATE; rotates the squad to face a desired direction. Infantry react faster to things they are facing, but are more vulnerable when hit from the side or rear. This makes flanking the enemy very effective in inflicting damage.

HOLD FIRE/HIDE – Infantry hold their fire, keep low and quiet, and do not try to engage the enemy unless fired upon. Infantry get a stealth bonus when in this mode and are much harder to spot.

AMBUSH HIDE; Infantry hold their fire, keep low and quiet, but will ambush by opening if the opportunity is good and the enemy is in close enough range to cause maximum damage. Infantry get a stealth bonus when in this mode and are much harder to spot. Great for hiding a bazooka guy in some woods to take out a tank!

FIND COVER: Orders infantry to move to the nearest cover, but not to enter structures rather to move behind them.

FIND COVER STRUCTURE: Orders infantry to move into the closest structure.

ARTILLERY STRIKE; this order is available only for HQ’s and artillery observers. This places a marker on the map that calls in artillery for more accurate firing. You will notice there is no binocular command as the game abstraction assumes units with binoculars use them on their own. However depending on the LOS system used for the game a binocular command may be included and would be connected to this hotkey.

SPLIT SQAUD; Splits the squad into two separate units. Splitting a squad will allow a player to spread out more, but half squads do not have the same firepower as full squads. Only squads can split. HQ’s and teams cannot.

REJOIN SQAUD; rejoins a split squad into a single unit.

FAST: Orders the infantry to run. This movement is the fastest, but burns the most energy. Infantry cannot run continually with out needing a rest to refresh their energy. Infantry can fire while on the run, all be it not very inaccurately.

ARTILLERY STRIKE: This is for officers only. This places a reference point marker on the target. When artillery is selected and clicked to target the marker it is more accurate. Artillery firing blindly with no reference point is very in accurate despite the fog of war being revealed. The more experienced the officer, the more accurate the rounds are. Artillery observers are the most accurate for calling in artillery. This simulates how artillery works in reality. Some one must relay coordinates to the guns for accurate fire

SPECIAL INFANTRY: An open slot for any special infantry types. The heal command for medics would be here.

SPREAD OUT; tells the squad to spread out double their normal interval. Spread out squads get a fire concentration penalty, but are less likely to suffer large amounts of casualties during an artillery barrage. Squads and HQ’s can spread out. Teams cannot.

REGROUP This brings the infantry back to their normal interval and maximizes their concentrated firepower, although they are more likely to take casualties to artillery.

PAUSE; This gives the player the option to issue a series of commands, but the unit will not execute them until taken off pause mode. This makes coordinating attacks very easy. This game concentrates less on clicking much faster than the opponent, but more on thinking and planning coordinated attacks. The pause command allows the player to do this. A player could hit pause, issue commands to one squad to attack from one direction. Select another squad and issue similar orders. He can then release the pause for both units at the same time to have the units follow their orders simultaneously.

STOP; orders a unit to stop canceling any previous orders.

SNEAK/CRAWL– Orders infantry to hit the dirt and low crawl. This is very slow movement but is the safest. Infantry will tire if ordered to low crawl long distances. Infantry get a little bit of a stealth bonus when in this mode, as well as an exposure to fire bonus, but get a spotting penalty.

*Infantry may change speed on their own depending on the situation. For example if an infantry unit was ordered to walk to some cover from being out in the open they may choose to switch to running, or crawling there instead if they were suddenly caught out in the open taking fire. The AI is expected to react as real individuals might in certain situations. If a unit is just standing out in the open and starts taking fire it will move on its own to cover, or will automatically change to the best stance for the situation. If a green unit is ordered to charge a machine gun nest through a 100 meter of no cover it just may drop to the ground and freeze. It is all part of the simulation of real battle. The randomness of chance is thrown into the game just as dice are rolled for many classic board games. Certain choices the player makes will either greaten the odds or less the odds, but luck, just like the roll of the dice can happen too to in reality.


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