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So who here is enjoying this?


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Now the dust has settled somewhat and we've got our hands on the first patch - what do people think? This isn't meant as a negative post by any stretch of the imagination, I'm just curious what other people think.

For me, I really, really want to love it, but there is something missing. I just can't put my finger on it - as it stands CMBB/CMAK were more enjoyable, and I feel bad for saying that. I'm not likely to ever play those games again in the future, but they still feel more 'epic' and I don't know why that is. Perhaps it was simply because they were much larger games. I do enjoy a lot about CMBN, and I can also see where improvements have been made - there's lots of things I like about it - the 1:1, the graphics and animations, but overall the whole experience is somewhat underwhelming :(

I think maybe the difficulty level has soured my taste a little - I find it almost impossibly difficult. I like a game I can win, at least sometimes, and going from mission to mission in the campaigns getting my rear-end handed to me (more often than not), just isn't fun. I think this is part of my problem; the game needs to be fun, and perhaps the fun factor has been removed for me. There seems to be too many little niggles that really ebb away at my enjoyment, and I'm not talking about the bugs. But I don't know what the answer is or why I feel like this really. I've been waiting for this game for 10 years. Perhaps my mind will change once the commonwealth module is out - and we get to see some variation in units. I was a late adopter of Shock Force and I joined the fray once the Marines module had been released, so perhaps I was a little spoilt for choice. But I find myself turning back to Shock Force once again. Yet I prefer the WWII theatre and I really want to immerse myself in the Normany hedgerows. I'm aboslutely positive I will continue to play Normandy, but more and more I find myself easily distracted.

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I enjoyed CMBO the very first time I played it, even when an arriving US tank destroyer surprised me by knocking out MY Tiger. I always felt I had a chance against the AI or any PBEM opponent. Now I expect I'm going to lose no matter how carefully I play.

As I've said in other threads, I want to enjoy this game, and, so far, I don't.

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For me, I really, really want to love it, but there is something missing. I just can't put my finger on it - as it stands CMBB/CMAK were more enjoyable, and I feel bad for saying that. I'm not likely to ever play those games again in the future, but they still feel more 'epic' and I don't know why that is.

Let me hazard a guess; and here I repeat something I posted several months back. When CMBO and its brethren broke into our world, there was really nothing quite like it. For all its shortcomings, it was breath-taking. You might compare it to your first experience of sex. However sweet subsequent encounters may be, and however much your skills improve over the years, there will never quite be anything to compare to that first time.

Perhaps it was simply because they were much larger games. I do enjoy a lot about CMBN, and I can also see where improvements have been made - there's lots of things I like about it - the 1:1, the graphics and animations, but overall the whole experience is somewhat underwhelming :(

Yeah, there is that too. The CMx1 games had a sense of boundlessness that the CMx2 games lack, at least until each family is complete and we have more stuff to work with. This is not to condemn BFC's choice in how to present the material. They have made their reasons clear on more than one occasion, and they are not unreasonable. But one of the effects of that choice is as you describe.

I think maybe the difficulty level has soured my taste a little - I find it almost impossibly difficult.

What difficulty level are you playing at? I am playing at the Veteran level for now as it is easier in several respects and I am still learning the game. I think shortly I will go up to the next level and try that. But I am in no rush to have my balls busted by a game.

I like a game I can win, at least sometimes, and going from mission to mission in the campaigns getting my rear-end handed to me (more often than not), just isn't fun.

Well sure. There is no question that the AI is a much more challenging opponent in CMx2, and I regard this as a good thing. If you are frustrated playing the canned scenarios, either make your own or fire up some QBs and give your side a lot more points to play with. There are several ways you can make the game easier to win.

I'm aboslutely positive I will continue to play Normandy, but more and more I find myself easily distracted.

That's not exactly a sin, you know. At least not in my book. I myself do not spend endless hours playing the game every day. I will do a few turns and then turn it off and go do something else. In addition to something vaguely resembling a normal everyday life, I read a lot, listen to music, etc. If I start to grow tired of playing CM, I find something else to do, and there is always a lot more needing my attention than I wish. For instance, right now I am getting very hungry, so I must go and feed the inner animal.

Michael

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Phil, could it be that your memories of CMBB/CMAK are being viewed through rose-colored glasses a bit? I know I'm that way when I get nostalgic for "the old days" as a kid. Many really good times with board games and miniatures, but I've had more fun with computer sims like IL2 and CMBN. Anyway, I am simply having a blast in spite of some frustrations. I rarely "win", but I don't care, since I look at each scenaruio sort of as an episode of a story...sort of. It's hard to explain, but maybe its best summed up in the phrase "it's the journey, not the destination."

I have wargamed since I was a kid 50 years ago, in all different eras from Ancients to Modern, but the only era I was never "fulfilled" in was WWII. That's because I never found a rules system or board game that really left me satisfied. I was engrossed with many--ASL comes to mind--but there was always something missing, especially in the solo gaming department which, with kids and demanding jobs over the years, I was forced to do most of the time. So this game, with it's very, very good TacAI, is simply the answer to my gaming prayersafter all these years. I am an unabashed fanboy of BFC because of their game development/support philosophy, and for me, I am entering a truly golden age of gaming.

I hope you get to that point, too. Good luck.

Oh, and perhaps because I never played any of the CMx1 games, I don't have that comparison, which appears to be a big factor in your outlook.

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This is a question that is really subjective. No two people enjoy the game for the same reasons. For myself, I am finally venturing into PBEM so my enjoyment of the game is enhanced a good deal by finally playing against a human opponent. Not having to worry about how well an AI plan is scripted to and know the opposing side is capable of trying to read my intent and weaknesses and react to them is such a different experience. It skews my perspective in that I never tried this with CMx1 or CMSF.

The campaigns are designed to be a challenge as are many of the scenarios. As the AI is not capable of developing it's own plan or reacting intelligently to yours the defense has to be built in such a way to be difficult to make it credible. I look at those as more of a training ground. How to deal with almost worst case situations, for example how to cross open ground with minimal cover and not enough smoke assets etc. Some of the items in the campaigns force you into a situation of having to do something I would look to completely avoid. On the other hand some of them I have found the AI to be seriously unable to compete effectively. Huzzah for example is a map and battle I would really like to try against a human opponent. I have played both sides against the AI and found it not to be as much a challenge as I think that battle and map is capable of presenting.

In answer to your question though, I really do enjoy it. On the other hand I am still glancing back now at CMSF as I don't think I got as much out of that game as I could have. It still has a place on my PC for sure. There is no way I am going back to CMx1 however. They are now on the shelf for historical reasons only and are no longer on my hard drive. I just can't deal with the synchronized head turning by the 3 stooges anymore.

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Perhaps it is the battles you've chosen to play? I think that there has been some inflationary pressure on our scenario/campaing crafters to come up with more cunning AI adversaries. As the designer gets better at playing, he will create more difficult scenarios.

Is that a possible issue?

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I rarely "win", but I don't care, since I look at each scenario sort of as an episode of a story...sort of. It's hard to explain, but maybe its best summed up in the phrase "it's the journey, not the destination."

I have wargamed since I was a kid 50 years ago, in all different eras from Ancients to Modern, but the only era I was never "fulfilled" in was WWII. That's because I never found a rules system or board game that really left me satisfied. I was engrossed with many--ASL comes to mind--but there was always something missing, especially in the solo gaming department which, with kids and demanding jobs over the years, I was forced to do most of the time. So this game, with it's very, very good TacAI, is simply the answer to my gaming prayersafter all these years. I am an unabashed fanboy of BFC because of their game development/support philosophy, and for me, I am entering a truly golden age of gaming.

I hope you get to that point, too. Good luck.

A huge +1 to all of that.

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In my case, one significant problem is just controlling my view of the map. When I've watched U-tube videos of others playing CM:BN, they seem to be able to move around the map with ease. I've read and reread the manual's information (now that updates to Adobe reader have removed those ?-marks on every page) about how to view the map, but, after many hours of "practice", I still can't do it.

As one example of my frustration, X and Z let you zoom in and out. In my experience, the first press lets you zoom in or out one level, but the second press zooms me in or out to the maximum setting and then locks my screen entirely, taking me about five minutes of fumbling around to get it unlocked.

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I haven't applied the patch yet - still not sure about existing PBEM games being spoilt.

I am enjoying the CMBN experience greatly. As you say, the graphics, the 1:1 representaion, the general fidelity of the simulation.

Where I find difficulty is in the relative lack of feedback, enabling me to understand what is actually going on. If I start a new turn in a game, very little of what is occuring at that moment is evident.

I do not know who is shooting at who, who is targetting who, whether one type of building offers better protection than another, to what degree units not in C&C are being affected, is that a hedge or low bocage and exactly why my artillery is so much off target, to name a few.

While these things do not spoil my enjoyment, I do find them frustrating and they involve a lot of work and micro management to resolve - and then not completely. There just seems to be so much going on that I have no knowledge of. I realise that some things need to be kept 'under the hood' and I don't want or need tables and charts but some more in-game feedback would be welcome.

For instance, I had no idea that 'partial penetration' could mean bullets richocheting into an open-topped vehicle or that a deflection from a Panther mantlet cound penetrate the hull. This is partially a failure of the manual - where is all the information in regard to terrain, for instance? - but also of the GUI which should be doing so much more.

CMBN is far more complex and involved than CMX1 and warrants, IMO, lengthier explanations and more in-game feed back.

Having said that, this is my game of choice and I suspect will remain so while there are modules being made available to us and possibly long after -much as with CMBB and CMAK. The learning curve is steep but I am prepared to ride it out.

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I just can't deal with the synchronized head turning by the 3 stooges any more.

Hehe. Once you've seen Paree...

I'm losing more often than not as well. I don't even dare to start a PBEM. Partly, because of the 1:1 representation, I feel terrible guilt when a squad is moved down due to a perceived careless move and x out of the scenario. But visiting the battlefield screen at the end I see we were actually on track to victory. You need to make yourself accept casualties.

CMBN, I believe, is a lot more unforgiving than the previous iterations and require unrelenting meticulous and patience on the part of the player. There's also, imo, the shock factor. The battlefields are claustrophobic and constricting, and danger lurks behind every hedgerow. I'd classify this one as the most 'frightening' of the CM WWII titles.

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As one example of my frustration, X and Z let you zoom in and out. In my experience, the first press lets you zoom in or out one level, but the second press zooms me in or out to the maximum setting and then locks my screen entirely, taking me about five minutes of fumbling around to get it unlocked.

I do not use the Zoom at all (except for taking screenshots). Instead I set the height of the camera with the preset positions (keys 1,2,3, etc.) or with the scroll wheels (two fingers on the mac trackpad). For moving the camera around I use the keys (w-a-s-d), not the mouse. Once you get used to it, it works very well.

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Well I've loaded up CMBO CMBB and CMAK and they work fine on my Windows 7 laptop so I'm alternating between CM1 and CM2.

CM1 is still more fun.

It's easier to move with the panel arrows.

It's easier to see what a unit has spotted and is firing at or being fired at.

Unit bases show me better where my guys are.

Quick battles just seem to work better.

Graphics are about the same frankly. 3gb memory Intel HD graphics is clearly struggling a bit with the new 1:1

I've got too many games and I'm not good at any of them so I like to find ones where I get about 50% win rate. Those of you who are super expert grognards generally want harder games, but unless it works easily first time for newcomers the market will be hard to grow. CMBN isn't yet an easy recommend for wargame newcomers. And I've been shooting at panthers for 45 years. But now I know CMBO works on Win7 I can play and wait.

I have hope BFG will get this upto scratch and kudos for getting a usable game out on version 1.0

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I think maybe the difficulty level has soured my taste a little - I find it almost impossibly difficult. I like a game I can win, at least sometimes, and going from mission to mission in the campaigns getting my rear-end handed to me (more often than not), just isn't fun.

The campaigns seem broadly regarded as at least "challenging", and C&F (the only one I've played so far) really throws some curveballs at you. QBs against the AI seem a lot easier, and I suppose against a human you're at least on an even playing field.

I think this is part of my problem; the game needs to be fun, and perhaps the fun factor has been removed for me. There seems to be too many little niggles that really ebb away at my enjoyment...

I have to agree a bit here. I am, emphatically, still having fun; I've always liked my fun serious, but what's eroding it is the so many "nearly" moments. Moments which seem to be "as far as it's going to get until the Bulge game".

...more and more I find myself easily distracted.

I've been trying to force the 3/314th's way into la Haye du Puits for must be a fortnight now. It's not like I'm reloading all the time, either, just that each minute has to be thought about for so long I hardly get anything 'done' in any given session (not helped by the distances that need to be traversed, slowly to get to grips with the enemy), and it's starting to inhibit my starting the game up, not to mention making me unnecessarily reckless of my pTruppens' pLives...

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As one example of my frustration, X and Z let you zoom in and out. In my experience, the first press lets you zoom in or out one level, but the second press zooms me in or out to the maximum setting and then locks my screen entirely, taking me about five minutes of fumbling around to get it unlocked.

Hmmm, that doesn't seem right. I use the mouse exclusively for movement of the camera, except for zooming. But when I press one key or the other, it will move in/out only as long as I hold the key down, and it stops zooming in/out as soon as I let up. So is it some sort of keyboard mapping issue you have????

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I play on Warrior difficulty and often dominate the AI and can't stop playing the game. Sometimes I'm chasing the dragon though because I play to get that half remembered thrill. When the thrill doesn't come then I play some more in hopes that I'll "get some" this time around. I feel a possible semi-burnout coming soon. Sometimes I compulsively open the game, poke around and suddenly discover that there is nothing new and interesting that I really want to do and shut it down. I think it's a sign that I just need to chill out and keep some low level PBEMs going and cut down on solo play.

Most of the time I find the solo Quick Battles 50% cool and exciting and 50% of a frustrating struggle with the AI. Some QBs turn out well and are really fun but others just feel like they were a waste of 2.5 hours of my day when you discover the AI has set up their forces is some stupid and totally illogical way or they try rushing you with 500 infantry and jeeps without any support or cover after you've painstakingly picked and deployed your forces.

I think I'm going to move over to more scenario design as well. I'm currently working on an 1800x1800 map and it's about 65% done. It's a nice mix of bocage, open country, wooded areas, village, river and swamp. Currently trying to refine it to get a beautiful and natural look.

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I haven't applied the patch yet - still not sure about existing PBEM games being spoilt.

I am enjoying the CMBN experience greatly. As you say, the graphics, the 1:1 representaion, the general fidelity of the simulation.

Where I find difficulty is in the relative lack of feedback, enabling me to understand what is actually going on. If I start a new turn in a game, very little of what is occuring at that moment is evident.

I do not know who is shooting at who, who is targetting who, whether one type of building offers better protection than another, to what degree units not in C&C are being affected, is that a hedge or low bocage and exactly why my artillery is so much off target, to name a few.

This is the reason why i am not having as much fun as CM1.The lack of feed back on who is shooting who.Its like I'm disconnected from the game.I usually only find out that a unit like a tank is knocked out when i come to move it.

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Guys, thanks for the feedback. There's some very eloquent replies here, certainly food for thought - just digressing, don't you just love this forum!

Michael, great post, and thanks. I think you've hit the nail on the head. I think I'm just expecting a little too much, too soon, if you follow. This is where my original post was heading - I bought into Shock Force quite late in its production cycle, and I guess I was a little spoilt for choice. A lot of hardware available to me straight away - and a very polished game by the time I played it. Kudos to BFC for producing such a fine piece of software in the first place. Normandy is a bit of a rough diamond in my opinion. Which is no bad thing really. It will mature, in time for the Bulge and the Eastern Front ;)

I play at Warrior level, and I think if I'm honest, it's a little too steep for me. Maybe I should restart the campaign and try again - I will have a think about it.

Believe me, I've tried the QB generator and I can instantly see the appeal - it's powerful for sure, but it isn't exactly 'quick' is it? I miss the days of creating a random map, and cherry picking a very small force within a couple of minutes. Now you need to add this, remove that, change this; I found the generator quite time consuming actually. But I like it's addition for sure.

mjkerner, you are probably right. It's always easier to remember the good times isn't it. Maybe you should try CMAK, and see for yourself. It is still very good indeed.

c3k, good point. I've played most of the single scenarios and I've played the German campaign to its conclusion and the RTM campaign. I am one of these that hates to see the red cross when your' guys get hit - so I end up saving more or less every turn and replaying. It sucks to be honest, but I feel so bad about losing my units.

James, yes, I know what you mean about the lack of 'feedback' - I too find it a little chaotic and confusing. I didn't know that about partial penetration either. I think I really need to play against a human - that's where it's at! But they did away with the WEGO TCP/IP - nooooooo!

I also agree that the scenario designers have surpassed themselves this time round - they are obviously a very talented bunch - and have had plenty of practice since SF. But this actually creates a problem in my eyes too as they have created a rod for their own backs. They can make the maps too challenging; the forces too balanced. I was under the impression that the Allied forces have overwhelming superiority in the air and sea, and on land. I've not even seen a mission yet that features air support, or naval support. Instead it's the same old 2 x 81, 2 x 105 etc etc. It gets a bit tedious when we have access to so many nice toys, but we can only look and not touch!

I think this is partly where I prefer SF - the maps seem generally larger, and more open, path-finding is better as a result. Plus the forces are much less balanced - which works in your favour. I guess BFC can't win can they :D

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I think CMBN is a blast. This is the stuff I could only dream of when I was a kid. I do yearn for the Commonwealth / Market Garden stuff. CMX1 was very broad in it's choice of hardware and settings. So CMBN feels a bit limited compared to that. The modules will fix this for sure. Can't wait for the Churchills (especially the Crocodile flame throwers) and Cromwells! But overall, this is friggin' great stuff from BFC!

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. Can't wait for the Churchills (especially the Crocodile flame throwers) and Cromwells! But overall, this is friggin' great stuff from BFC!

Nice edit! Well, I await with baited breath the fire and flame thrower units, especially the crocs which simply must feature in the commonwealth module. But I've a feeling they wont :(

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