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CM: Normandy Synopsis & Posts


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Here then for those to lazy to read through various CM:Normandy threads. I will add more later...

Timeline for the coming CM Normandy? Will Paradox or CDV be involved in the initial Normandy release?

All we're saying at this point is 2009, sooner is better for everybody than later. We're saying sometime in 2009, that's all at the moment. Progress is going very well, but we're really not going to start in on the potentially time consuming stuff (like the new QB system) until after CMSF British Forces ships. Once we get a couple of the intensive coding things done we'll have a better idea when Normandy will be done.

No.

Terrain - Normandy

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We're confident that we can get the look and feel of the Norman countryside without major changes to the code we currently have. For example, the system is already set up to do things like haystacks, for example, as Flavor Objects. Flavor Objects in CM:SF are specific to that setting so pretty much all of them (metal barrels perhaps not!) will be tossed out and new ones added. We don't need air conditioners or ATMs for Normandy.

CM:Normandy will definitely have a lot more variety and detail to its buildings than in CM:SF. That was yet another reason we chose to do an arid setting first... a lot easier to do! Since the CMx2 is something that continually evolves we chose to put the bulk of our efforts into making CM:SF a solid base for which to work off of for years to come.

Flavor Objects provide the possibility of Cover (depends on what it is and the unit behind it), but no concealment beyond what the base terrain provides.

Yup, we definitely are looking into sacrificing the functionality that CMx2 has over CMx1 for more "atmospheric" types of structures. Good thing is we don't have to jettison the flexible stuff... just *add* less flexible stuff to use for more flavor. It's an unfortunate situation where flexibility and aesthetic qualities are, pretty much, at odds with each other.

I'm pretty sure we'll get artillery illumination. The game is mostly set up to handle it right now. What is needed is the physics of simulating the shell's behavior once it lights up. Wind, height, that sort of thing.

Buildings do need to be a lot more complex/detailed than the ones in CM:SF. That's one of the many reasons we went with the arid Middle East setting for our first go around. Much easier from a graphical standpoint.

Special effects... well, there's only so much we can do with that. The Rise of Flight explosions involve a LOT of physics. They do look really cool, but not worth the programming time. Better effects for burning vehicles is something planned, though I don't know when we'll get it in.

Maps & Tiles

Map importation won't work. As I said before, the filters would have to understand the terrain being fed to it and match it with the available terrain in the game. Since maps that are being fed in won't have the sort of details that CM has, it's simply not a practical solution. We looked into this years ago when it was a requirement from a potential military client. With them paying enough for us to offload it to another programmer... sure, it's possible. Short of that it won't be considered.

The file format for CM (of all flavors) has always been compressed to minimize RAM and disk footprints, as well as reducing I/O and Internet transmission times. We'll never open up the file format because it introduces cheating to the game and that's something we've always hated about hackable file formats. This is a philosophy we've had since before we made CMBO and it shows no signs of changing.

Yes, the Mega Tile approach was inspired by various Avalon Hill and tabletop wargames, particularly Panzer Leader. Panzer Leader is the one I think of most since that's the one I'm personally familiar with.

The idea is that the Mega Tiles will come with no height information. Instead, the topography is generated randomly according to user settings just like CMx1. Then the Mega Tiles are selected, based on user settings, and laid over the topographical info. Roads and rivers would then be laid out according to the topography and/or the topography gets modified to accommodate them. Not sure which yet.

It's definitely not "over engineered" as this is the easiest way for us to get great looking maps with significant details. Of course, people can also play on user created maps just like in CM:SF.

Quick battles

A completely new QB system is the primary game mechanics focus for CM: Normandy (things like equipment, units, terrain, weather, etc. obviously must come first!). The new system will be more like CMx1's system in that people can Cherry Pick once again. More details later.

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Time period & Content of Modules

The initial base game will cover June 1944 through roughly August sometime. The whole Family will cover up to roughly September 1944. We're not big on hammering down exact dates (e.g. June 6, 1944 - August 12, 1944) at this point because they're not entirely relevant.

By that I mean if we said "the game will only simulate June 7 - June 10th, 1944" you could still make plenty of historically accurate battles going into about September with a careful selection of forces. What you couldn't do is simulate a battle in September which used equipment/units that weren't available in June.

Oh, and quick thing about the total content with Modules. Since we're breaking the Western Front up into two Families it's pretty clear that neither one of them will have the same, or more, units than CMBO since CMBO covered that entire period. However, I think when the two Families are added up they will have more units than CMBO did. Either Family will have more terrain possibilities than CMBO, and combines they'll dwarf CMBO's variety. Sheer volume of game data... the first CM: Normandy release will likely track more data than CMBO did, when you consider the 1:1 portrayal and much greater depth of detail for vehicles and soldiers alike. Definitely more defensive works available in the basic CM: Normandy game than CMBO. More detail in the terrain, both in terms of variety (as mentioned) but also in terms of effects (deformable, explicit simulation of hedgerow breaching, etc.). And other stuff as well.

I can't say for sure if any one of you will find the offerings in future CM games as compelling as previous CM games. For sure some won't, for sure some will. As long as we are happy with the net result (i.e. enough people happy) then we'll keep on chugging along.

Snow in first CM:Normandy release?

Nope, no snow since the first WW2 Family ends around September [1944] or so. Which is one reason why I didn't mention weather as a specific where the first Family will outshine CMBO, because obviously it won't.

H2O - I hope BFC solved the problem with water in CM Normandy? That's why I would like to see some screenshots very soon?

There were no problems to solve. It's a very straight forward process that simply takes a great deal of programming time to pull off. Since there was little need for it in CM:SF we felt it was a good idea to do other things that were more relevant and save water for Normandy. Definitely can't have Normandy without water.

Water will probably be tackled fairly soon. Bridges are basically done already, though at the moment I only have Charles' word on that because I haven't played with them yet.

We are not planning on releasing screenshots at all, of any sort, in the near future. That's because so far we've been focused on game stuff that isn't generally of a visual nature, therefore a screenshot as it stands right now looks a lot like CM:SF.

We got away with a water texture in CMx1, but only just barely. Water in CMx2 will be "alive", though to what extent is yet to be determined. … I am hoping for splash effects even if it really is overkill.

Amphibious operations?

No, we are not planning on amphib ops in CMx2 any time soon. Certainly not for Normandy. As stated a few posts ago (by moi), there is so much more to it than just having a vehicle graphical 1/2 submerged while crossing water. Because of the rarity of such events, we don't feel the effort is worth it.

Non-confirmed target ID / mis-identification:

We're going to change how information about the enemy is shown when we get to Normandy. More uncertainty.

(a) Are the Question Markers only visual aids for the player or do they really give a spotting bonus?

They give a spotting bonus, but only for a short while (i.e. when they are relatively "new"). Old "?" marks - which start to fade - don't give any spotting bonus.

(B) Do Question Markers give the AI information about the unit type the marker represents? Does this influence AI behavior?

No. Remember, giving the AI information does nothing unless the AI is programmed to interpret and then act on that information. Interpreting is a very difficult thing to get an AI to do well.

© Does the AI actively look for and try to identify Question Markers?

No, because once again that would involve a level of AI programming that wouldn't be worth the effort. If something appears as a "?" the AI is aware that something is there, but that's as far as it goes. Through the AI's other actions the identity is either revealed or it isn't. There's no special effort to do carefully considered "recon" which, in turn, other AI decisions are based on.

We're taking a fresh look at non-confirmed target identification for CM: Normandy. One thing on our list is misidentification. A much loved feature we didn't have time to implement for CM:SF, though we felt it wasn't as important there since the range of possible hardware of a particular type was either limited or not very relevant.

Sound contacts are something we aren't sure what to do with. In CMx1 they were far, far too easy to get compared to real world. Here's all the reasons why sound contacts don't happen:

1. Depending on circumstances units may be completely unable to make sense, or even hear, noises beyond a certain range. Battle noises, terrain makeup, topography, weather, etc. all play a role in real life.

2. Too much noise "clutter". Noise tends to cancel out noise, depending on strength, wavelength, etc. Individuals who are firing weapons, or are significantly close to those firing weapons, have a very limited range of sounds they can hear and the distance they can be detected. If there are friendly vehicles idling nearby, enemy vehicles on the opposite side of those vehicles won't likely be heard. Wind whipping through trees pretty much eliminates noises such as soldiers walking, at least while the wind is gusting. Fellow soldiers shouting and running about causes confusion and uncertainty about what similar sounds belong to. Etc.

3. All sorts of physiological things can happen to reduce hearing. Direct stress on the ears, such as nearby firing, and general stress to the body, especially adrenaline, reduce hearing capabilities. The latter is because when the body gets really excited there is a biological low level flight/fight response which causes the brain to focus on getting the body to do things like run and physically attack at the expense of hearing, smelling, peripheral vision, and fine motor control. There was a really cool study done about this relating to police officers discharging their weapons during the course of duty. Our brains are pretty smart

So what this all means is we're not quite sure what to do about sound contacts going forward. Whatever we do it won't be as broad and uncontrolled as CMx1. At least I hope not. …

What could improve is simply increasing the frequency of spotting checks. That's simply a function of computing power needing to increase quite a bit more before there can be substantially more checks. CMx1 had serious limitations in terms of frequency of spotting checks as well, despite them being vastly more simpler than what CMx2 has. We love proving that we can gobble up CPU cycles as fast as chip makers can give them to us.

Again, we're still evaluating our options. One thing I will say is I don't want us to repeat the CMx1 modeling of audio clues for the CMx2 engine. I think that would be a mistake.

It would be neat if US units were easier to spot to due to too much verbal commands as opposed to German units.

Not going to happen because we purposefully avoid putting in "national bias". A lot of German officers said they thought the Americans couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag, so once you start down this road it's a bit of a problem finding the place to stop.

Oooh… HEDGEROWS !!

For sure CMBO's treatment of Hedgerows was extremely simplistic and overly generous. We knew that at the time. The same will not be true for CM: Normandy.

1. We have destructible terrain now, so we can simulate explicate holes knocked into hedgerows. And those spots can be less abstractly simulated respective to terrain and speed conditions than could be in CMx1.

2. We are planning on directly simulating the cutters on tanks, therefore if you have 2 out of 5 tanks with cutters only the 2 with cutters are worth a damned. Lose them and that's that.

3. Because of the above we can better simulate affects of failing to breach a hedgerow, such as bogging/immobilization and vehicle damage.

In short, the system we'll have for CM: Normandy won't be anything like what we had in CMBO. Not even close.

I’m a Model and too sexy for my shirt and my family ...

The first Module for Normandy will definitely be Commonwealth Forces. We're already pretty far along in making the models for them. As I said in another thread, this is one of the beautiful things about CMx2... we can now do things in parallel.

… the first WW2 "Family" of games only goes up to the change in the seasons … There's all kinds of things which change about the time the Allies got into the woods along the German border. Far too much to do for a Module, therefore the second WW2 Family of games will cover from Fall 1944 until Spring 1945. We plan on 3 Modules for the second Family as well.

The second Family will ride out the war in the West to the very end.

Each time we make a new Family of games we will examine the details to see what existing stuff is not applicable any more and what stuff needs to be added to address specific issues in the new Family which weren't needed before. Some of these things are obvious to users, others will likely be taken for granted. For example, CM:SF has no code to support AT Guns or tank hull MGs. No point delaying Family X to support features that aren't needed until Family Y .. All we have to do is leave hooks for the things we know will come up sooner rather than later.

One interesting thing we can do in CM: Normandy that we couldn't in CMx1... “Acquire” for Bazookas. German and British forces had dedicated teams for Panzerschreck and PIATs, but US forces kept their Bazookas as general use weapons. In CMx1 we had to create artificial Bazooka Teams by permanently removing two soldiers from a Rifle Platoon. Now we don't have to do that because current US Army doctrine regarding Javelins is identical and therefore the code already exists to allow correct modeling of Bazooka use.

Panzerfaust part of the family…

Panzerfausts will be treated like AT-4, RPG-18, ILAW, etc. are in CM:SF... they are by default issued to the unit and the unit takes them wherever they go. It would be no problem to have them sit in a halftrack from a code standpoint, but we don't think that would be good from a user standpoint. Players would complain that they have to manually load up their units since why would you not take the Panzerfausts with you? Weapons like Bazookas, on the other hand, are a burden and the player should have the option of taking them or leaving them behind. We're going to have to code something new to allow this to happen for forces that don't have vehicle with them, since at present something can only be Acquired if there is a vehicle present with that particular item.

We've had many long discussions about the use of enemy weapons within the scope of a CM type battle. The conclusion we have come to each time is that it's not worth simulating since it happens so rarely in real life (all kinds of practical issues). Therefore, it won't happen in CM: Normandy.

CM: Normandy, which actually isn't it's real name, is designed to simulate everything up until the battles along the German border starting in the Fall. That's because terrain, seasons, TO&E, and a lot of equipment changes happened starting around then.

Back to modules …

The Modules are designed to be flexible so we're leaving some final details to be hammered out when we get closer to needing decisions made. For now we're going forward with the no-brainer stuff.

Unlike CM:SF, there will be significant German stuff added in each Module. That's because the Germans have an ungodly HUGE amount of stuff to simulate. This means that the Commonwealth Module will have quite a bit of new German TO&E and vehicles. The best example of this is the "Royal Tiger" (as the Brits called it) with Porsche turret. Since they were the only force in the world to go up against those beasties, it makes perfect sense to have it go along with the Commonwealth Module. Still, the focus of each Module will be on the Commonwealth forces since that stuff will be brand new while the German stuff will be adding to German forces which already exist.

The Module concept allows us to entertain all kinds of things that we wouldn't be doing otherwise. Will there be extremely rare vehicles in CM: Normandy's initial release? No. Will there be a Module which has such vehicles in it released at a later date? Chances are yes, at least to some degree.

We will continue the CM:SF model in terms of the campaigns. One campaign per release from the perspective of the attacker. In the case of the Normandy setting, this means Campaigns from the Allied perspective with a single unit at the center. Since end users can make their own Campaigns we have no doubts that German campaigns will come out. Mortain, for example, might make an interesting topic even though the Germans were ground into the dirt.

There's no difference in the workload between a fictional and historical setting as far as the game goes. TO&E, weapons, vehicles, and technologies are actually going to be easier to deal with because we already have them documented *and* none of them are in flux like the modern stuff is. Scenario creation might actually be easier too since history books give designers a lot of stuff to work with.

The biggest drag is simulating a completely different environment. Not only in terms of climate, but also in terms of weaponry. No single thing is a big time suck, but the couple of days for this and that adds up. For example, we don't have AT Guns in CM:SF, but obviously they are required for Normandy. So Charles had to spend a couple of days coding them to work correctly with everything else. Not a huge amount of time considering, but that's just one thing.

If a Module were to contain NOTHING but a few vehicles and textures (i.e. no scenarios, no new TO&E, no new features at all) then we could crank out a Module very quickly. But Modules do contain a ton of other stuff which adds up because often the time is consecutive (A needs to be done before B can be started, etc.). Plus, we can't help ourselves... we keep adding new stuff into the game itself.

Gpig: “I want Bayonets!”

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Generally speaking we have to be very careful about dedicating time to "outlier" possibilities. There are a million things that probably happened here and there over the course of such a huge campaign as that of the Western Front (Eastern Front goes well beyond huge. My best example of this is one I've been using since the CMBO days... what I call the MG42 Bovine Meat Sponge situation. In brief...

A platoon of US infantry was pinned down by a single MG42. Everytime they tried to flank it the thing blazed away on them. Well, some enterprising soldier found a barn with a bunch of cows in it. They herded them into the kill zone and ran behind them to get into a dead zone which, in turn, let them flank the MG position. The MG42 killed the cows, the American infantry men killed the MG42 crew.

Points to consider:

1. This is a historically documented event which is entirely plausible.

2. It had a tactically significant impact on that battle.

3. It would probably be practical to do it within the space of a typical CM battle.

4. There is no code for cows, nor any code for using them as a wall of hamburger helper.

The question is, should we support such a thing because it happened? I think 99.9999% of you guys would say "no". Intuitively we all know that this maybe happened one or two times out of a couple million or so tactical engagements at this level. Any time spent supporting such a massive outlier would be a gross misallocation of development resources. Right? Right.

However, it goes a step further. When we provide support for a particular tactic, even if unintentionally, it will get used if a player perceives it to be beneficial (perception is more important than actual results in our experience). The use of that tactic can then be far, far out of proportion to how it was used in real life. This then leads to a fundamental problem with supporting outlier type situations:

The outlier situation is supported to make the game more realistic, but if it is used unrealistically often then that lowers the overall realism of the tactical environment.

Or put another way, if the Bovine Meat Sponge thing worked, then every time cows were found in a scenario the player would likely try to find a way of using them ("friendly cows") or killing them to denny the other player use of them ("enemy cows"). This in turn leads at least a portion of the battle to be twisted into focusing on something which is completely wrong to focus on from a historical perspective.

ASL veterans often begrudgingly admit that there were a some detailed features in ASL that were abused. The one most often cited is the ability to set fires to things. This was not a common tactic in WW2, to say the least, but according to the ASL players themselves it was common to see in ASL games. Some players probably adopted it as a signature tactic, which likely earned them the nickname "firebug". The use of such tactic is "gamey" and therefore, no matter how realistically portrayed, something which lowers the overall level of realism.

Did non-heavy weapons crews man friendly heavy weapons in real life when the situation was just right for it? Sure. Did this happen often? No, definitely not. Same thing with manning enemy weapons. It certainly happened that small arms were used when the situation was desperate enough to justify the risk, but those instances were few and far in between. Use of larger captured weapons usually did not happen on the fly, but rather after said weapons were retrieved, serviced, deliberately crewed, trained on (even if hastily), and then sent back to the front with clear knowledge of that fact given to the surrounding friendly units (Germans using T-34s in combat, for example) in order to minimize the risk of friendly fire.

As with any rule there are exceptions. The German's love of the PPSh, for example, is one of the rare examples of a systemic use of captured enemy weapons. And since it was relatively common we supported it in CMBB. But it wasn't done on the fly and so CMBB didn't support that. It also wasn't something that could have unbalanced the game since, effectively, it's just a MP40 with more ammo (not that we simulated that in CMx1, but it is simulated in CMx2).

The conclusion we always come to when discussing these things is that the improvised use of enemy weaponry within the context of a CM sized battle is uncommon enough that supporting it would lower overall realism of the environment, not increase it. The ability for friendly units to man weapons they are not trained on is also uncommon enough that we shouldn't do it.

The one exception to that would be something like a MG. Soldiers would know how to fire it and keep it fed with ammo even if not explicitly trained to do so. If a friendly MG crew was taken out of action without damaging the weapon, and the conditions warranted sectioning off some men to crew it, it probably would be recrewed even if temporarily (i.e. until it jammed or the ammo ran out). Unfortunately, this poses some pretty significant coding and UI issues that would have to be coded around. Therefore, we're not planning on supporting this type of weapons swapping for CMx2 as we didn't for CMx1. However, this is something that is on that line between outlier/uncommon and outlier/common, so there is actually a case to be made for including it. We're simply saying we don't think it's crossed the line into being worth dedicating the resources to making it happen.

Hope that adds some perspective.

Unallocated weapons/ammo:

In CM:SF this is accomplished by having them stuck in a ride of some sort. This approach has run into very few problems except for what to do with the rides are left out of the scenario. Usually people include the vehicles since that would be SOP in real life, but in WW2 the rides often weren't present on the battlefield. As AKD pointed out they were stuck in a soft-skin truck in the rear and brought forward "as needed". This means in CM: Normandy we're going to have to allow scenario designers (and QB users) the ability to have unallocated weapons optionally pre-allocated. There's no UI support for this yet, but there will have to be.

Could it work to have something resembling an MG pit (a large-ish foxhole surrounded by sandbags on three sides and covered with camouflage netting) serve as a micro weapons cache?

Yes, and we've already thought about that. However, we haven't gotten to the point of deciding if that's a good thing to do or not. From a code standpoint it's no extra work, so it's merely deciding if there are gameplay reasons to not do it. Without having thought of it that much, I tend to think it's something that would be a good thing to add.

CP’s & OP’s.

Another one we're planning on doing are Command Posts and Observation Posts. Basically, "vehicles" which have nothing more than higher and lower levels of communications equipment in them. That gets us a MUCH better simulation of field phones and non-portable radios than CMx1 had because if they aren't manned or are destroyed their C2 functionality is lost. In CMx1 you could move around HQs with very little regard for historical reality.

Are there any plans for the map editor in CM:Normandy?

The system for drawing roads in CMx2 is nearly the same as CMx1, so I don't agree it's a step backwards. It's just not a step forward since what we all would rather have is the ability to drag the cursor around and have the road assemble itself. That sort of thing involves a considerable amount of programming time, so it is an extremely low priority.

Overall the CMx1 Editor was "easier" to use because it has only a fraction of the options that CMx2's Editor offers. Kinda like a normal pocket calculator is easier to use than one of those $300 scientific ones simply because it's more simplistic.

As for the UI, it's not only designed for you guys it's also designed for us on the development end. Since CMx2 is an open ended system we built an open ended UI so we can easily add and subtract features without upsetting everything that was already in there. The old CMx1 UI was a hardcoded mess which made adding or subtracting game features and terrain extremely difficult. Difficult is never a good thing for either us or you guys.

In a perfect world we'd have the resources which would allow us to make the Editor easier to use. However, we don't so like CMx1 the CMx2 Editor will continue to be functional with slight improvements over time.

How will aircraft will be represented in the game. Will it be similar to CMx1?

The graphical representation will be the same as CMx1 (probable) or like CMx2 (doubtful), but not like TOW (absolutely).

The UI will not be the same as CM:SF because .. that would be ridiculously unrealistic. However, when we get to the second WW2 Family (later war Western Front) the US will have Forward Air Controllers available. Extremely rare, more limited than in CM:SF, but definitely better. I'm going to have to brush up on what the status of tactical air control was for the Germans in 1944. Obviously they rarely had aircraft available in the first place, but earlier in the war they had the equivalent of FACs.

Ground fire will matter like it did in CMx1.

Take care of him. I have a buddy wounded

Buddy Aid will definitely be in WWII games. It might be a little less effective, but maybe not. Gunshot and fragmentation wounds aren't that different and the "tools" available to the soldiers in the immediate area aren't necessarily all that much better now than they were back in WW2. What is MASSIVELY improved is the system of taking wounded off the battlefield and getting them to the level of medical attention they need.

Fordability - Will there be a shallow water tile fordable by infantry/vehicles? Will my little pixeltruppen hold their rifles above their heads wading through a flooded field?

Like CMx1, there will be specific spots which can be crossed by infantry and/or vehicles. I'm trying to get in some shallow streams that would be a different type of "water" altogether. Basically slows things down but it's too shallow to prevent fording. Plus, they would look nice.

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Wait, it's WW2?

I thought it's Normandy 2011. :)

You mean the scheduled invasion of Western Europe by the Coalition of US and Commonwealth forces? :D

At least, vehicles modelling for the Coalition side would be quicker ;), and at least we would have the modern French Army in CM, even before CM:SF2...

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Gack! Can't find the EDIT button to add further CM:Normandy musings to my 1st post. It has been THAT long? Can somebody help where this elusive EDIT button supposedly is?

EDIT found, next to this post. You cannot edit your first post in a thread then???

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Since I cannot edit my 1st post, herewithsome more details on CM:Normandy...

Area Fire to be revisited?

When trying to solve a problem, one should start by identifying exactly what the problem is. Since the problem of Area Fire has come up since the CMBO Beta Demo, I feel experienced enough to address this topic head on.

Area Fire is the ability for a unit to use its weapons on a location instead of a unit. This allows "recon by fire", peppering a place where a previous identified unit has gone to unknown status, to hit near a known target that can't quite be shot at directly, or to ensure that suppressive fire is placed on a known or suspected location while doing something else.

The realism problem comes from WHY a unit is being ordered to use Area Fire (note the "why" part is CRITICAL to this discussion). There are three possible WHYs:

1. The unit, through its own senses, suspects or knows about an enemy position but, for whatever reason, can't use direct fire on it at that particular moment that the player has to assign a Target Command. Maybe it was visible the second before, perhaps it is just a spot that looks too obvious for the enemy to occupy. The reason is irrelevant.

2. The unit places fire on a location as directed by another unit even though it has no first hand knowledge, or even suspicion, that firing at that location is the right thing to do. The more sophisticated the ability to communicate, the more versatile the weapons are, the greater opportunity for this type of thing to occur. The most common example is indirect fire, since the artillery units obviously are doing Area Fire on something it can't see or couldn't possible have sensed on its own.

3. The unit places fire on a location that it doesn't know about and wouldn't know/suspect to shoot at if it were not for the intervention of the God like player. In this case fire is being unrealistically manipulated to yield the best possible result regardless of the realistic chance of such fire happening in real life.

The only one of these three that anybody should have a problem with is #3, correct? I hope so And how common are #1 and #2, from a realistic standpoint, within the course of a battle? I hope you also agree VERY common.

Now, the trick of a "solution" is finding something that works to curb #3 and NOT interfere with #1 or #2. The other trick is to make the penalty, which affects only #3 and not #1 or #2, be plausible in terms of realism. In other words, a "solution" that penalizes all three types of Area Fire, or penalizes #3 in such a way that is not at all realistic, then it's not a "solution" worth pursuing. Especially since any solution, no matter how simplistic, involves bumping some other feature off the development schedule and, quite likely, causing unintended consequences that also have to suck up development time to fix.

What are the possible solutions that fit what I've said above? Well, if we had a solution it would already be in the game, so obviously we don't have one And in nearly 11 years of talking about this issue nobody else has come up with one either. Is it possible to come up with something that would work? I don't think so.

What I do know is that slapping an arbitrary time delay on Area Fire is absolutely not a good thing. There's zero realism behind that idea, so it is inherently gamey. A gamey solution to a gamey problem generally just creates more gamey issues. And it certainly screws with types #1 and #2 which penalties are decidedly harmful to in terms of both realism and gameplay. So absolutely, without any doubt in my mind at all, time delays for the use of Area Fire are not up for consideration.

Time delays for moving, like CMx1, are an entirely different matter. In that case time delays simulate the problems with internal coordination of movement, which is an established issue which soldiers train very hard to overcome. Time delays are not necessarily easy to assess fairly based on conditions (we had complaints/problems with CMx1's implementation, to say the least!), but they are at least pass the test in terms of being inherently appropriate. And yet we purposefully decided to try CM without them since even our modest implementation was quite problematic from a realism standpoint.

Wider area covered also fails to pass the test. What this does is water down the suppressive effect #1 and #2 should be getting for no legitimate reason. It also means unrealistic wasteful ammo expenditure for all three situations. I say all three because what we're trying to do here is PREVENT #3 from happening at all, so allowing it to expend even one bullet is unrealistic. So penalizing #1 and #2 with reduced suppression and higher ammo useage so the player can STILL get an unrealistic (though slightly reduced) results from #3 doesn't get us further along.

Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting topic and I for one would love to find a magical solution to this issue. I just think it's about as likely to happen as me winning Mega Bucks (I don't play, so that gives you an idea of the odds I'm giving this). The only thing we can do is mitigate the problem through other game features, such as Realtive Spotting and the eventual CoPlay. The problem will still be there, just like it is now, but it will be more difficult to leverage it to an unrealistic advantage.

Artillery

We're not planning any significant changes to the Artillery UI (and I must stress the UI, not the artillery system or it's features!!) for the near term. While c3k's suggestions aren't necessarily bad, they aren't at all easy to implement. Our time would be far better spent on other things which arguably are more important.

Still, I would like to see some sort of "Repeat Mission" feature. As has been pointed out here and before, it shouldn't cost much time to fire the same mission again. Arguably even if the battery has subsequently fired at another target inbetween (i.e. the FDC still has the info from the last time).

And Apocal is very much correct when he says: - I just imagine I'm the CO, turning to my FISTer/FO/FSO, etc. saying, "this is what I want, make it happen."

This gets into the "many hats" problem that CM inherently has. In real life the amount of control is defined by the guy calling in the strike. If it is a Rifle Squad SGT he gets almost no control, if he is the FIST he gets a TON of control. But the FDC, which is operating under SOPs assigned by the Battalion and/or Brigade CO, has the final say on what happens. One Major I spoke with joked about when he was a Captain in Afghanistan... no matter how many times he requested WP as the spotting round he never got one.

When I was designing the Artillery and Air Support mechanics I had to decide what level of control the player should have. Players want basically all the control possible, and with some justification since they are also in theory wearing all the hats. So instead of having a convoluted system where the amount of control varied depending on who you selected to fire, you basically get pretty much full control all the time no matter who you select. Since the whole game is unrealistically within the player's control, it's not inconsistent to give the player this sort of control for Artillery/Air.

But we didn't want to take it TOO FAR in the direction of FDC Simulator. So we approximated the FDC in that we prepackaged some of the results and do not let players get too specific.

First picture of the game CM:Normandy?

Tiger.jpg

Bridges

Yeah, bridges over water are a must. Being able to destroy them is also a must, even though there are probably few examples of even contested bridges being blown up during active CM scale combat. The exceptional and/or important ones, however, get a lot of attention in the history books. The majority of demolished bridges were done prior to engagement with enemy forces because it simply was a surer bet. Little thought was put towards doing it under enemy fire so as to give wargamers cool, dramatic material for scenarios for hundreds of years to come .

Air and artillery against bridges were generally ineffective in demolishing a bridge. Sometimes they weakened them enough that they would collapse under their own weight later on, or were at least rendered temporarily unusable due to either damage or risk from the actual attacks at the time they happened.

Direct fire, by tanks and SP artillery, could easily take out small bridges if given the opportunity. But for big ones... fuhgeddaboutit Engineers, with enough explosives an time to set them correctly, were the primary way of bringing a bridge down in WW2.

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Mac Version

Our expectation is that Normandy will have a Mac version for sure… We're definitely going to have a Mac version at some point. I can't say when, other than it's an ongoing effort.

Trenches, foxholes, slit trenches

Getting back to what specific defensive stuff we'll include in CM: Normandy... too soon to say. Definitely a lot more variety of bunkers than we have now, for example wood. Bunkers big enough for AT Guns is also going to happen. Barbed wire is a sure bet. But beyond that, I can't say.

OK, so what do we have for defensive objects and how are they handled? We basically have three types:

1. Those that rely upon the terrain to give them definition (both visually and game properties).

2. Those that do not rely upon terrain to give them definition, but modify the terrain if needed.

3. Those that do not rely upon terrain to give them definition and do not modify the terrain.

Starting with the last first, things like barbed wire obstacles, roadblocks, sandbags, and other things which sit on top of the terrain mesh, and don't dig into it ever, can be treated like units. That means they can, theoretically, be spotted/hidden.

Bunkers are similar in that they are separate from the terrain and therefore can be spotted/hidden. However, bunkers are often "cut into" terrain and therefore the terrain has to be modified. Trees can't be growing up through a bunker, for example. When a bunker is put on the side of the hill, having it conform to the contours of the hill would be visually ridiculous, so the hill's terrain mesh is conformed to allow the bunker to remain horizontal. Since terrain, once modified, must be shown that way all the time you get a situation where the bunker can be shown/hidden, but the bits of terrain removed to allow it to be where it is must be shown "as is". This means you can use the camera to hunt around and possibly find where the bunkers are without actually having spotted them. The possibility depends completely on how obvious a bunker modifies the terrain (it might not modify it at all, remember).

And last but not least... things which are defined by the terrain itself. Specifically, trenches and foxholes. As is, these things can't be spotted/hidden, but instead must remain visible at all times once the game starts. The work arounds for this are not practical to achieve, for one or more reasons.

In CM: Normandy we'll add functionality that allows people to place trenches and foxholes using 2D representations (similar to CMx1). The difference is these 2D representations have NO GAME ATTRIBUTES and are, instead, identical to the little 2D icons in the Editor in terms of their functionality. As soon as Setup is exited the 2D icons are translated into 3D modifications and the changes are permanently made to the map used for the game.

It may be possible, and I stress POSSIBLE, to have foxholes retain their 2D representations in the 3D environment and then add hacked in 3D properties for them. Meaning, the foxholes will look pretty much like CMx1 foxholes, but will behave correctly in the 3D environment. This is something Charles will look into at a later date prior to CM: Normandy being complete. No promises, other than we'll give it a shot. I'm hopeful that it will work, and IF it does then foxholes will have at least some degree of FoW.

Trenches, unfortunately, are out of the question. They are too deep and too complicated to even consider making bloody hacks to get them to work in 3D without a 3D representation. Plus, on top of that they would look like crap. Based on feedback over many years from dedicated CMx1 players, and a sense of what the wider audience wants, looks do matter. But as I said, the looks are coming for free with the 3D game engine so this isn't about sacrificing spottable trenches for visual reasons, it's about the impracticality of having significant 3D objects represented in 2D.

And finally...

The realism problems associated with not having spottable trenches is, I think, overblown. Sure, the attacker will always know where trenches are once the game starts, and act accordingly, but I will remind you in CMx1 we had the opposite problem. That was where the attacker was always denied benefiting from intel gathered by previous encounters/attacks. Even if the attacker shouldn't know exactly where the trenches, he most likely would know a) that the fortifications existed, B) roughly where they were, and c) roughly how tough they were. Sure, units bumbled into thick defenses all the time, but usually those engagements were short and the attacker withdrew so that it could come at them again with a plan. Extreme circumstances, such as the Hürtgen Forest battles, this was done over and over and over again in fact.

My point here is to remind you guys that this isn't a one sided thing. In CMBB/AK trenches were unrealistically favorable for the defender to some extent, in CMx2 they are unrealistically favorable for the attacker to some extent. If you're displeased with one because it is unrealistic and has an effect on gameplay, keep in mind that you've somehow managed to live this long even though you've already experienced something similar in reverse Therefore, perhaps the negative effects aren't nearly as game wrecking as some think they are.

On top of this, we have the fact that in WW2 the options for attacking trenches were somewhat limited. Or at least vastly more constrained than they are in CM:SF's modern setting. Artillery was slower, less accurate, and less effective. Look at WW1 for Pete's sake... every inch of the enemy's trenches were known and attacked for MONTHS by heavy artillery and raked with MG and sniper fire... yet the side getting hit more often than not was able to fight off a massed attack against it. Which just goes to show that seeing the enemy's positions is not the same as being able to eliminate them.

It's also true that the more involved the defenses are, the more likely they are to get spotted. Therefore, the degree of effort to mask the defenses was somewhat proportional to the effort involved in creating them. Massive, well hidden fortifications like the Maginot Line, the Atlantic Wall, and even the Siegfried Line are outside of CM's scope and aren't part of the equation. Neither are defenses built in other epochs under similar long term conditions (like Pacific Islands, for example). The majority of defenses in CM: Normandy, therefore, should be of the hasty type that aren't heavily camouflaged. The big exception to this would be the Hürtgen Forest battles which are not within the timeframe of CM: Normandy and are, for now anyway, not relevant. Trenches in Normandy shouldn't even be that common, from a realism standpoint.

A reminder... there was aerial recon in WW2, in case you guys forgot. Not only from specialized aircraft, but also each US division had a dedicated aircraft at its disposal to check things out for themselves. Which means a field with a lot of trenches in it could indeed be known to the ground troops long before they got there. Not as likely as modern days, for sure, but definitely not impossible.

Now, don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that having trenches shown all the time isn't a break with reality. It most definitely is, no argument about it. What I'm saying is that we need to be careful about the Chicken Little effect that is so common about stuff like this. The downsides of the system, as we have it, are often highlighted, taken out of context, and blown out of proportion, while the upsides are downgraded and often cast aside. Others, like the problems CMx1 had with fortifications (like no trenches at all in CMBO) are even forgotten about because they really complicate the arguments that the sky is falling.

Terrain mesh & Foxholes + Trenches

Actually, terrain mesh deformation has nothing to foxholes or anything else. The problem is that the terrain mesh is complex and not easily modified on the fly. So yes, we could have no deformable terrain while in the game (no shell craters), but it wouldn't change a thing regarding trenches and foxholes.

Now, we can theoretically have 2D foxholes and trenches and not run into the terrain mesh problem. It wouldn't mean we would have to get rid of deformable terrain, it would mean we'd have to fudge a 2D environment into an inherently 3D environment. You're a programmer, so I'm sure you can imagine that this could get really ugly fast :D

Charles is pretty sure he could fudge 2D foxholes and I'm definitely in favor of that. They are fairly shallow and don't have issues with direction like trenches do. In other words, they rely less on the 3D world compared to trenches, therefore they are easier to fudge compared to trenches. Charles doesn't think fudging trenches would work out very well, not even considering the damage to the 3D visuals that would come from that.

Out of the two I've always considered the foxholes to be the problematic one worth trying to solve. Trenches... I'd like to have that one solved too, but technically it's not practical. Fortunately, trenches aren't all that important to either the game (CMBO had no trenches, people complained, people survived) or to the overall realism of the theater. This is not as true with foxholes.

Put another way, no FoW trenches is probably 20% unrealistic to 80% acceptably realistic, foxholes are probably the inverse of that. The idea of cramming a 2D simulation of foxholes into an inherently 3D game system is probably practical, not practical for trenches. So I'm focused on getting FoW for foxholes and not concerned about trenches.

The complexity of the mesh is the issue. Or more exactly, the limitations of the computer handling dynamic deformations and "undeformations" (I like that new word!). CMx1 wasn't able to deform terrain at all, for any reason, including things like trenches. It was just too much for the computers of the day to swallow. Now we can have a vastly more complex terrain mesh, complete with dynamic deformations... but "undeformations" based on circumstantial reasoning is not within the computer's grasp.

Polygons, animations

Animations are a really big problem for small shops like us, unfortunately. We are working on some options already.

Renders and other visual bones are likely in the near future.

Everything that is in the game [CMSF] now will be in Normandy if applicable. Radio coms for artillery is applicable for sure. Different lingo, perhaps, would be appropriate. Not sure at the moment what the calls were back then.

The game engine is designed to handle different model states based on damage. For example, when you hit ERA armor the blocks are blown off. Unfortunately, more complex things like different destroyed states requires hand made alternative models for them to look right. The quick and dirty turret/gun things we did in CMx1 barely looked OK then, but now they would look silly. We're not sure at what point we'll start to have more detailed knocked out graphics.

We'd love to put in tons of animations. Unfortunately, we've not really found commercial samples that are worth a damned, nor 3D animators who are willing to squeeze in another couple of hours' work in a day after spending 14 or so for a day job. KwazyDog (Dan) is our internal artist and his dance card is quite full. So we're still trying to solve the bottleneck on getting more animations into the game.

Gpig knows how difficult it is to get guys to help out I also talked about this with my cousin this weekend at a family gathering. He and his wife work for big Hollywood production companies (including a certain outfit in Kiwiland). The people best qualified to help us out are the ones with the least amount of time available. Or they want Hollywood hourly rates, which are a wee bit out of our budget.

Turret numbers on the sides of tanks... eventually it will happen. Not sure if Normandy will get that or not.

Pics and what not of WW2 stuff will come around sooner rather than later. I don't think the models for Normandy will have more polygons. I can't imagine what that would even look like since the current ones are already frik'n huge!

What about how armor penetration is visually modelled?

Th[at] is called "decals" which basically are graphics laid over the model to show where a hit was registered. The second involves changes to the actual model itself. The more the damage is tied to the type of damage the more work is required. We ultimately will have both decals and limited model damage. The problem is that decals require a lot of programming work and damaged models require a lot of artist time (and some programming time). That's why they aren't high priority from a development standpoint, though I can assure you that we want both in as soon as possible.

Title vs Module vs Family and the road ahead for Battlefront.com

In another thread someone asked about our plans now that CM:SF Marines is out. This question came up in second thread, and I think even a third one, this week. So I guess I should post my response here and sticky this thread for a while.

Our plan is to release a Module every 3-4 months. This should hold true for the British Module as well, but this is the first Module that we've not done "in-house" so there are some variables. Personally, I think things are going VERY well.

There are many threads on this Forum, some dating back several years, that explain the development philosophy we now have. Here is a very quick overview:

Title Release This is a major release, such as CM:SF and the initial CM:Normandy (name is still a placeholder) game. These are full priced products ($45 most likely) that offers enough game content to warrant that price. Specifics are based vary, but generally speaking shifts in geographical setting, timeframe, major shifts in units, fairly big new features, etc. combine to create a new Title.

Module Something that builds directly off of a Title product. Usually in the form of new units only, but not necessarily limited to that. For example, a game feature may be added because a new vehicle requires some sort of behavior not present in the game up until that point. However, such game features are specific to the needs of that Module.

Family this refers to a Title and its Modules.

Updates, be they bug fixes or improvements, to the game itself are always made to the Title product. This way you will never, ever have a situation where two people are playing different games because of what Modules they do, or do not, own. The fixes/improvements may be more applicable to one Module or another, but that's incidental and not really relevant.

Bug fixes and tweaks to things specific to a Module are released as their own stand-alone patches. For example, if we find that a bit of data is wrong for a Marines only vehicle, then we will release a Marines patch specifically to address that problem. This is necessary because the Modules are separate EXEs with their own data and supporting resources. Again, such fixes/tweaks are specific to Module content and therefore don't affect gameplay in any general sense like patches to the Title do.

Our plan is to make Module releases every 3-4 months, Title releases every 12 or so. Patches are released on an "as needed" basis with no hard cutoff in mind. At some point we'll say "this particular product is no longer supported" just like we eventually did with CMx1 games. However, since the basic code is going to be in use for such a long time it is possible that if someone pulls the rug out from under us that we will be able to offer a fix even if the game is several years old. In other words, if OpenGL 5 in the future breaks something we use now, we'll have to fix the code we're currently working with to use OpenGL 5 correctly. Those changes will hopefully be viable for us to offer previous customers, even if technically speaking their products are not supported. This was simply not possible with CMx1 since the code was not in use by the time various technology changes caused problems.

The second WW2 Title, [WW2 Normandy being the first] will pick up where Normandy leaves off and go through the end of the war. Because of the terrain, weather, and equipment changes in the Fall of 1944, what follows is basically an entirely different game from our perspective. Far too much for Modules to handle.

What this means is that after the initial Normandy release is out one group will be busy making Modules for it (British in Normandy, Arnhem, etc.) while the usual suspects start working on the late war stuff. This allows us to not only do the big changeover correctly, but it also gives us the time needed to continue adding major game enhancements to the system as a whole.

One of the major benefits of the new Module system is that we can stop having the grunt work (adding TO&E, models, art, scenarios, campaigns, etc.) compete with improving the game engine itself. From the customers' perspective this is great because there is both a steady flow of new stuff to play as well as a steadily improving game engine all within a fairly compact amount of time compared to CMx1. It also keeps us from burning out trying to do too much all at once, which is great for us but also good for you guys since happy developers are more productive developers.

Something new

And now for something new …

In about 2003 we set up our strategy described above. IIRC we told you guys about it in 2005, and took quite a bit of flak for it. Still do. Some people simply don't understand that the CMx1 strategy was an unsustainable concept for us and that it had to change. If we were given a choice between doing more CMx1 games, or repeating that strategy, and making no games at all... we'd make no games at all. Yup, it was far more fun for you guys playing them than it was for us to make them. Fortunately, we chose to make CMx2 instead of applying for "real" jobs.

Now that our first Module is out, it is a fair question to ask... "so, how goes the new strategy?". I'm pleased to say that the doom sayers, who predicted before and after CM:SF was released that the new concept would fail, are wrong. It was just wishful thinking on their part. The fact is that we sold more Marines Modules in the first 3 days post release than we expected to sell in its lifetime. Yup! And believe me, our sales predictions were not pessimistic. So here's a big thanks to you guys out there for the first tangible vote of confidence that we're headed in the right direction.

[note. The following two paragraphs were added on 10.7.08] The CMx2 game engine is not a monolithic product with a set of features that basically remain unchanged over the life of the engine itself. That was the way we did things with CMx1 and it was, largely, out of necessity because the code was difficult to work with. Instead, CMx2 is designed to evolve over time. Features we don't have time for today might show up tomorrow. Stuff that people aren't as thrilled about now will possibly be changed later. Things that people see as having great potential will be expanded upon, while features that don't seem to get people's hearts beating will not be expanded upon. So on and so forth.

The point is the game engine is an ever evolving platform for our wargaming hobby. It will never, ever have everything you guys want to see in it, but it will continue to have more than any other game company is willing (or even capable of) providing. Some will be unhappy with specific decisions we make, others will be overjoyed about the very same ones. The first rule of wargaming design work is to realize that you can't make everybody happy, therefore someone is always going to be upset. Focus on the wrong group and that will be the last game you make. Fortunately, we get to make that decision since it's our butts on the line.

As you can hopefully see from the above posts, we're really just starting the CMx2 strategy. By this time next year things will really be in full swing. A little behind schedule (we spent about 1 year longer making CM:SF than anticipated, 2 years if you include the patches up through v1.10), but time is on our side now. The ever evolving CMx2 game engine will keep on going, evolving and improving as we go instead of stagnating and perishing like the old inflexible and difficult to use CMx1 code.

Splitting up the Western Front via various releases

There are several reasons for this:

1. TO&E. Around the Fall and early Winter all forces in Europe underwent significant tweaking, especially the Germans. These changes varied from rather small stuff to rather large things, such as the German's late war formations which had major compromises due to shortages.

2. Equipment. Most vehicles that were still in use by the late war period in the exact same form as they were in Normandy, others were completely new. Some were fairly minor variants, such as adding armor to a Sherman or Panther, others were brand new, like M36 Jackson or M24 Chaffee. To a lesser extent this is also true for some non-vehicular weapons, such as the Panzerfaust 100 and of course the more exotic stuff towards the end of the war (like the Pak44).

3. Weather. Winter weather effects and graphics are, of course, a completely different thing from Summer and Fall. Spring is similar to Fall for the most part, though there are some differences. Textures for vehicles also need to be different, so even when we reuse the same models we have to at least change the textures.

4. Architecture. Buildings encountered along the border of Germany, and on either side, are very different than the ones found in Normandy. These things involve not only new textures, but new models AND likely new coding (though probably not much).

5. New game features. New Titles mean we have to put in new game features. If we don't make any new Titles, then you don't get any new game features. Simple equation So it makes sense to us that by the time 12 months post Normandy rolls around you guys will want some new game features to play with. The logical place to do that is with this Title.

6. New "in the box" battles and Campaign. These would go into a Module, of course, but will also go into a Title.

In the end it is no one single thing, rather it is a combination of everything. What you basically get is more content than you would with a Module, by far, plus new game features. So you can think of it as a $25 Module with $20 worth of new features and graphics that we wouldn't put into a Module.

Battlefront HAS a strategy!??

One of the best things about our strategy is that it is not dependent upon every customer buying every single Module. In fact, we definitely expect people to be choosy. That would suck for everybody if we didn't offer many things to choose from, hence why we're determined to not let that happen. If Modern isn't your cup of tea, or the thought of British tanks in Normandy bores you to tears, no problemo. Just sit back and wait for something that gets you excited.

I should have added that we will release a Demo for each Title and each Module. We're a little behind on doing that for Marines, but we will get to it very soon. This is still a learning process for us in terms of how to juggle the various needs of a Module.

Over time we will take the Modules and bundle them in with the base game or with each other. We've already done this with CM:SF and Marines. Over time the pricing will drop somewhat, though not the way the cutthroat retailers do it. As many of you might remember, there was one British retailer that was selling CM:SF at the wholesale price before we had even released the game! We still don't know how they can make out on doing that, but that's their standard MO. It is so much fun being involved with retail where you're product is like a new car... worth less than you paid for it before the ink is even dry on the contract. Grr!!

On that point, retail is not something we've completely written off. We had great success with it in the past, including a simultaneous release of CMAK. But things are changing for the worse in retail. Publishers are paying less for product and yet demanding more from them. That is in part because retail is even less interested in keeping full price point than they were before, which is really hard for us to believe. Today only a few products manage to stay away from the bargain bin for even a small amount of time by wargame standards. Our games are strong for years, but retail measures strength in weeks. Not good.

Back to the specific question about what vehicles we might throw into WW2 Modules... too early to get specific, however I will say that YES... the Module system was very much designed so that we can afford to offer wacky stuff. We've always heard from people "damn, I'd pay all kinds of money to play around with a Maus or an E-100!". Well, although we have made no specific selections for any WW2 release outside of the initial Normandy game, I can say that you guys will get your wish in at least a general way (i.e. wacky stuff).

The point is the game engine is an ever evolving platform for our wargaming hobby. It will never, ever have everything you guys want to see in it, but it will continue to have more than any other game company is willing (or even capable of) providing. Some will be unhappy with specific decisions we make, others will be overjoyed about the very same ones. The first rule of wargaming design work is to realize that you can't make everybody happy, therefore someone is always going to be upset. Focus on the wrong group and that will be the last game you make. Fortunately, we get to make that decision since it's our butts on the line.

Russions? Do I hear the Red Tide coming?

CMx2 will head East after the 2nd Western Front Title. The first Eastern Front Title will be centered around Bagration. How much the Modules will expand upon that is unknown at this point. Too early to say. What will happen after Bagration is also not known because it is too far down the road, though it will likely be a second Eastern Front Title.

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Yes. Yes it is.

But you see it's really required, otherwise troublemakers like Winecape would abuse the intense power of editing to appear, well, what is wrong with the first post again? Oh yes, it's out of date and it's important to keep the impression that Winecape can't keep things up to date. Or somefink.

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But you see it's really required, otherwise troublemakers like Winecape would abuse the intense power of editing to appear, well, what is wrong with the first post again? Oh yes, it's out of date and it's important to keep the impression that Winecape can't keep things up to date. Or somefink.
The ONLY thing I abuse is a bottle of good vino.

It sucks not keeping the very 1st post up to date via editing. Alas, some scrolling will soon be in order.

So quit the long posts here in this thread (a post bump you all are now relegated to do!) - and let me be the one to drop the long monoloques ... :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Fantastic news Winecape thanks very much for the informative posts. Having been a long-term fan of CMBO/CMBB and CMAK and still regularly playing the last two I am really looking forward to seeing a Battlefront 'modernised' approach to WWII. I couldn't get into Shock Force at all unfortunately, even though I tried the demo several times.

Just one question and forgive me if I missed this in your posts, but what sort of scale are we looking at with regards to the composition of units in the Normandy campaign? Will it be more along the lines of Shock Force, i.e. company sized engagements or can you upgrade this factor due to better quality systems and such like? It would be a shame if we have to limit the type of battles we could play.

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