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So what is new and what is worth buying?


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So here we are sitting waiting for the release of CM:Normandy and with TOW:Kursk just out. Is it time to abandon CMBB in favour of these new games or is TOW as broken as before ( I read about Wespe's spinning round and and round as they engage planes with their main armament) and what are peoples reactions to CMSF (which I have bought but never got into).

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I'm still pretty much addicted to CMBB (and CMAK). I have a number of PBEM games going on right now, and thanks to your efforts (great list, thanks again) am following events throughout the war with all those fantastic scenarios out there to try.

Never taken TOW seriously after trying the demo (required too much effort to learn a new system, plus don't like the RT thing), so I didn't buy.

I have CMSF and all its modules. I love it, but was never hooked. I play it H2H with my 8-year-old son. We both like all those cool war machines, the explosions and special effects.

I'm pretty sure CM:Normandy will be great, but if it has the same editors and QB capabilities as CMSF I doubt there will many scenarios to choose from in the short term (not to speak of campaigns); so I'm afraid it will be short-lived.

Frankly, I don't see myself switching to anything else than CMBB or CMAK for "serious" wargaming in the foreseeable future .

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With all due respect to the 2nd poster :

I fail to see what entitles you so make such a pronunciation on a game (CM:N) which has not been released and for that matter the community knows very little about.

Maybe wait for the demo and then start your doomsday predictions.

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3rd poster,

I haven't mastered the art of predicting the future (yet). I just answered the 1st poster's question whether I would abandon CMBB in favor of other games. My answer is no, in case CM:N has the same faults/qualities as CMSF.That's all.

I make no claims to knowledge of other people's choices, or the intention to be negative about future BFC games. However, I think I am entitled to express an opinion, just as anybody else (in the free world). What do we have a forum for?

Yours truly

2nd poster and soon to become 4th poster

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I have tried TOW, including the latest demo of Zitadelle, the new Kharkov demo and many other demos of the pseudo-combat games churned out with eye-candy graphics which are really little more than the old command & conquer resource driven clickfests (with tank engagements at twenty feet!).

I first got into this genre when the East Front game series out. I had spend considerable time over the years at Hohenfels, formerly our combined arms training center for mech/armor task forces, evaluating battalions, supporting battalions, and commanding battalions. East Front had a scale that was immediately recognizable if you had spent time at Hohenfels. The WEGO was supportable, with reasonable time increments and commanding at battalion level was quite good tactically. If you accepted promotion and went to brigade command, command and control became tedious and near impossible. Yet there were many good things about the East Front series.

Battlefront subsequently released the Combat Mission series and set new standards for a tactical and very realistic wargaming experience. Thanks to a broad range of enthusiasts who contributed extensive vehicle, sound, and infantry mods as well as an incredible variety of scenarios (in many cases developed with an amazing amount of research from which I learned much about various battles little covered in mainstream media), the Combat Mission series was superb and eminently enjoyable. Scenarios could easily be modified and small changes, such as visibility or time of year could make a scenario play out completely differently, forcing the player to develop a new tactical battle plan. Unfortunately many of the gamers who developed those wonderful scenarios have moved on, as have the graphics gurus (which in many cases was far more than adding winter whitewash or mud, instead requiring extensive historical research).

To me, Combat Mission (and I must add, WWII) is still the best. TOW and its' successors are missing something. Two things were critical to Combat Mission- the scale ( roughly at the battalion task force level) and the WEGO system. Together they worked to allow a player to make up for the lack of a staff, and a real chain of command. In fact most of Combat Mission's follow-ons have been a step back, because without WEGO you are forced to rely on AI and believe me it is not there yet. I simply do not have the enjoyment I still get from CMBB.

So my recommendation is this- buy the Vista versions of CMBB or CMAK, go to Green as Jade's site and add the modifications, sift thru the scenarios or develop your own, and enjoy. Hope that the actual Combat Mission code is released to the public domain (I understand Combat Missions Campaigns may have been) and that we can induce folk to delve into it and work the improvements long time players wanted.

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Just wanted to add:

While you're at Green as Jade's website, it would be very much worth your while to check out, not some, but ALL of Mikey D's textures. Seriously.

IMHO, Mikey D's textures are, by far and away, the best you will find anywhere for the armor in CMBB and CMAK. He's made tons of textures, and each of them are of a very high quality.

I've downloaded every single texture he made, and spent an hour or more installing all of them in CMBB/CMAK. Very much worth the time spent.

Likewise, there is a series of equally high-quality textures for all the BT-5s, BT-7s, and T-26s in CMBB. I don't know who the author is (not in the readmes) but the quality matches that of Mikey D's work.

Gurra's Eastern Front Interface overhaul is another strong recommendation. Mint work, this is!

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Well yes I am still sticking with CMBB and CMAK(ETO) as my main games. I would tend to agree that it is the scale that I find appealing, CMSF seemed to step down a level, as you spent more time managing squads and I think this is the wrong direction to go. I would have liked to see more chain of command (also to counter borg spotting) and less micro management - getting down to level One to place you tank (and the tank commander cannot dismount to scout ahead) always flummoxed me. I really want to be able to direct a platoon to go over there and they would be able to do it on their own - even with a command delay.

CM2:N I will certainly give a go but I think the three month time frame will rapidly become very constricting especially as it moves to the Eastern Front - 90 days out of 1400 days of combat in the East.

I am always perplexed by TOW, it must appeal more to gamers as it had a real 'bang and your dead' kind of feel to it. But it does seem to have a following so there must be something there.

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Im surprised no one mentioned Achtung Panzer.

I recently tried the demo, which was developed by another Russian company and was so positively surprised with it i bought it right away.

Its only RT, but adds an operational layer, where you move units around on a operational map and then play out the resulting battle. Sort of like what CMC could have been. Drawbacks are small unit sizes(maximum i had was 1 inf coy) but its a pretty good game with really nice immersion. The game itself has quite a lot attention to detail, you set stances for your units or order them to move via road or not etc(which actually works quite well...). Infantry is handled like in CM, so you move single squads around.

The graphic is for such a niche game great. The models look good, the infantry looks a bit clumsy though. The atmosphere is excellent, with flares illuminating the night, airplanes circling over the battlefield. Destruction on the battlefield being carried over between the battles.

The underlying game is, as far as i can say, good too. From time to time its difficult to get your units move where you want them.

Scenario is the german Charkov counteroffensive in 43. There is a demo around so you should check it out.

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I've always wondered does BF produce such a unique product anymore? Will another company look at their carefully created niche and produce a rival product or is it such a small market that it would not be a financially viable big corporation strategy? As many companies know to their cost, brand loyalty only survives if the brand produces what the consumer demands, the company that can match the demand wins their temporary loyalty.

Personally, I loved CMBB but find its shortcomings outweigh the enjoyment, if another company could produce a rival product that addressed some of those shortfalls I'd buy it like a shot. As it is the wait for CM N, featuring a very restrictive time frame, is now taking on almost comical proportions. Still with no rivals, we sit, asking each month "is it coming soon?" Seeking news of our electronic Godot. Strange, one normally would expect there to be some competition to exploit this state of affairs, or going back to my original point is the market so small it would not be worth the time and effort to mount a challenge.

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Actually I was referring to the Achtung Panzer Kharkov demo, Drescher. Sorry that I was not clear. I did not find much immersion in the demo, and felt that the layering of controls was exactly opposite the control simplicity of the Combat Mission series. I must admit I did not spend a lot of time with the demo. But you appear to have played the full game , and full games are often a different case from demos. You mention the infantry act clumsily, but how about key elements like line-of-sight and armor and weapon characteristics? The Battlefront guys did a lot of research in developing the Combat Missions series-does Achtung Panzer exhibit similar attention to actual weapon performance? Are there some tutorials in the full game? But I guess the simplest way to find out is to simply dive in and purchase the complete game and it does seem to be available at a bargain price. I shall try it.

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