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Shorter Scenarios?


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Hello:

This is my first CM game and I am surprised many/most missions are so long. Does CMx2 force this in some way? It really takes some time to play a 40 min mission, not to mention the longer ones.

Anyways I hope shorter scenarios, say 20 mins., will become more frequent. Any designers thinking this way?

Thanks,

Gerry

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In general, I think scenarios are longer in CMBN vs. CMBO/CMBB/CMAK because the CMx2 engine encourages less "time compression" than CMx1 does. Come aspects of the way CMx1 does things tend to allow the player to execute certain types of combat maneuvers faster than was probably usually possible IRL. Borg spotting is one example -- it allows very quick concentration of fire, even when units are widely spread out.

Things still probably happen somewhat faster in CMBN than they would IRL, but IMHO less so than CMx1.

So, given two scenarios, one in CMBO and one in CMBN, with similar maps, forces, and objectives, an CMBN scenario will usually take longer to play out.

This doesn't mean you can't have short scenarios in CMBN, though. It just means that the objectives need to be more limited than they would be for a similar length scenario in CMBO.

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Hello:

This is my first CM game and I am surprised many/most missions are so long. Does CMx2 force this in some way? It really takes some time to play a 40 min mission, not to mention the longer ones.

Anyways I hope shorter scenarios, say 20 mins., will become more frequent. Any designers thinking this way?

Thanks,

Gerry

I have to say I'm a bit puzzled as to the specific appeal of short missions. If you've got h hours per week to play, why does it matter whether it's n 40 minute missions rather than 2n 20 minute missions? It's not like you can't stop what you're doing at any moment in the course of the game...

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Hi Gerry

No, it's not a game engine restriction. Missions can be as short as 10 minutes if that's what the designer wants. I don't really want to play a mission that is over an hour in duration any more unless it is in some way special. I prefer to finish my missions in one session, in RT with very few pauses.

Quite a few folks like to play missions where they have lots of time to recon the enemy positions, carefully prepare everything and then take their time assaulting the objective and that's fine. I've crafted a few of that ilk myself. But it's also fun to cut through all that and get straight into the meat of the mission, the assault on the objective itself. Your guys start the mission already poised to strike and the clock is ticking. 10-30 minutes of pure mayhem.

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First, thanks for the responses. We could take this argument the other way; what not have missions 500 mins long then?

I want closure on something relatively soon; this is why I would like to see more shorter scenarios. I have a plan for a scenario and would like to see how it works out. I play slow I think so that is part of it too.

(I am not a person that needs immediate gratification. I have played a game system in the past where it took over 2 years to see the result.)

Gerry

I have to say I'm a bit puzzled as to the specific appeal of short missions. If you've got h hours per week to play, why does it matter whether it's n 40 minute missions rather than 2n 20 minute missions? It's not like you can't stop what you're doing at any moment in the course of the game...
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I have to say I'm a bit puzzled as to the specific appeal of short missions. If you've got h hours per week to play, why does it matter whether it's n 40 minute missions rather than 2n 20 minute missions? It's not like you can't stop what you're doing at any moment in the course of the game...

There is a difference between watching a 10-hour movie or five 2-hour movies. Or reading a 2000-pages novel versus ten 200-pages novels.

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Quite a few folks like to play missions where they have lots of time to recon the enemy positions, carefully prepare everything and then take their time assaulting the objective and that's fine. I've crafted a few of that ilk myself. But it's also fun to cut through all that and get straight into the meat of the mission, the assault on the objective itself. Your guys start the mission already poised to strike and the clock is ticking. 10-30 minutes of pure mayhem.

These type of missions have been getting fewer and fewer as the years have gone by, not just in CMBN, even in the Cmx1 games, more and more started the maps with the troops not even in contact of each other for 10 to 20 turns. It does make it boring to play, I agree that shorter get to the combat missions need to be designed. But the designers, are players themselves and design them to how they like to play. You might just have to learn to design missions, it is a good challenge and takes plenty of time. But when you post it and see hundreds of players downloading and enjoying your scenario, there is some satisfaction in it all.

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First, thanks for the responses. We could take this argument the other way; what not have missions 500 mins long then?

Why not, indeed? Playing a campaign of 5 100-minute missions can be a bit like that, after all. A pipe dream of mine is a huge 4km x 4km map covering the area of operations of a battalion or more on each side, with fighting backwards and forwards over the whole thing...

I want closure on something relatively soon; this is why I would like to see more shorter scenarios. I have a plan for a scenario and would like to see how it works out. I play slow I think so that is part of it too.

In my mind, I get lots of little closures out of a long scenario: it's a bunch if 10 minute (or shorter) tactical problems (jump that field; take that house; stalk that kitty etc) strung together and in parallel. I, personally, get more satisfaction out of including the tactical problems and how you string them together/coordinate parallel threads, rather than just having one or two to deal with in any one helping, then jumping on to another, unrelated, duo or trio of distinct situations.

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There is a difference between watching a 10-hour movie or five 2-hour movies. Or reading a 2000-pages novel versus ten 200-pages novels.

Yeah, a 10-hour movie would need a break to attend to bodily functions. Or diapers and waitress service.

Playing CMBN isn't really analagous to either of those passive passtimes, in my estimation. It's more like the difference between speed chess and standard duration games. Or the difference between 15-a-side rugby and sevens.

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Why not, indeed? Playing a campaign of 5 100-minute missions can be a bit like that, after all. A pipe dream of mine is a huge 4km x 4km map covering the area of operations of a battalion or more on each side, with fighting backwards and forwards over the whole thing...

In my mind, I get lots of little closures out of a long scenario: it's a bunch if 10 minute (or shorter) tactical problems (jump that field; take that house; stalk that kitty etc) strung together and in parallel. I, personally, get more satisfaction out of including the tactical problems and how you string them together/coordinate parallel threads, rather than just having one or two to deal with in any one helping, then jumping on to another, unrelated, duo or trio of distinct situations.

Ok, so you like the opposite of the request for this tread, the point is a request for short battles, there is nothing wrong with that.

I personally have learned to enjoy many styles and designs except for the huge maps where there is more moving than battles going on. the game is not desined for that level of combat, but there are those that will take it there. To each his own.

But for the adverage player, not a war grog. I know they would prefer shorter to the point scenarios. Mostly because the history of this hobby has proven that is what the majority wants.

That is maybe where there is a weakness in these games, the grogs are pushing the game into deeper and deeper levels, forgetting themselves where they started in the hobby and that the game is truly getting to the point no casual new player will ever take it on, it is becoming a game for the elite wargamer only. Which I Love the game and am glad to see it develope, but we are hurting the hobby by not making things for the casual player within the game.

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Back in CMSF days posters successfully lobbied for four hour scenario lengths. 10 minute scenarios really straightjacket a player. It most often leaves you with just one option - a bloody frontal assault. Can't try flanking because there's no time to do it. Can't call in artillery because there's no time to do it. I''m talking infantry and combined arms. Driving a Tiger into a flock of Stuarts would of course not require much finesse. If you want to do a quick frontal assult go for it and cease fire ten minutes later.

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I also enjoy the smaller scenarios...a company or less...and hope to see more of them in the future. I seem to recall a website for CMx1 games called Byte Battles, or something to that effect, that featured smaller scenarios. It would be nice to see something like that for CMBN.

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I also enjoy the smaller scenarios...a company or less...and hope to see more of them in the future. I seem to recall a website for CMx1 games called Byte Battles, or something to that effect, that featured smaller scenarios. It would be nice to see something like that for CMBN.

Ditto. Company level, 30 mins, that's what I enjoy most.

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My first attempt at scenario creation in CM2 runs 30 minutes with a 5 minute variable end time. Company level meeting engagement. I doubt I could have squeezed it down any more, and some players thought that was too little time for RT play.

A twenty minute battle would most likely have fairly severe force constraints. One or two platoons with little armor and no artillery beyond small on-map mortars with direct fire capability. Even with my small amount of experience(since release) in the editor I can see where it would take very little time to build these types of battles.

If you want 'em .... make 'em. It's not rocket science, and the community is all one could wish for in regards to assistance.

I don't/can't play RT, so there is little incentive for me to make small RT battles, but I will give whatever meager help I can to anyone who wants to.

While I agree that CM1 battles had quite a bit more 'dead air time', I still prefer longer battles for PBEM play.

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Regarding Paper Tiger's post above, a word to any new players that might be reading this.

Mr. Tiger does design exceptionally good scenarios and campaigns. What makes them so good is not his ability to produce finely crafted and beautiful looking maps. No, it is his ability to put together AI forces and plans that use those gorgeous maps to their full advantage.

So when Mr. Tiger says he has produced a short scenario with everything set for you to go now with your attack - no need for recon or manoeuvre - what he means is you are going to get absolutlely hammered and should expect to take 50% casualties even if you manage to scrape a win.

As you sit staring, dumbfounded at the ruin of your troops you may well hear the faint sound of demonic, cackling laughter. That will be Paper Tiger celebrating yet another victim.

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