Command Ops 2, Return to St Vith Tutorial AAR part 1, pages 1-30 1.2

Command Ops 2, Return to St Vith Tutorial AAR part 1, pages 1-30 by Daz

  1. Daz

    Daz Member

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  2. Chris Buhl

    Chris Buhl Member

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    Wow, I can't thank you enough for posting this. Is there any more of this to be found? I'd love to know what happens in the rest of the battle. Currently I'm trying to find a way to keep KG Peiper from kicking my butt all over the place...
     
  3. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Hi Chris.
    The last update to the PDF included the last few pages I had.
    The German reinforcements that arrived north east of St Vith got completely wiped out, in that pocket against the northern map edge, with no loss to my own forces.

    It's a long time before KG Peiper arrive on the map so I decided to stop there.

    I still have the save, so could pick up from there for the second half if you want?
    It would probably take me a few months to complete it though, and that's assuming I don't get distracted by home life, or another game again.
     
  4. Chris Buhl

    Chris Buhl Member

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    Well of course I'd love to read it, but I wouldn't want to ask you to put that much work in just for me.
     
  5. Davide Pessach

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    Damn I have read the entire thing (thanks btw, wonderful work) and I was really curious to see how you dealt with the onslaught of Panthers and Tigers coming up from the west...and image my dismay when I didn't find those pages! :)
    Anyway I find the reverse slope idea pretty intriguing but I reckon all the other units will get a beating from the panthers sniping from afar...
     
  6. Daz

    Daz Member

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    Thanks Davide.
    I'm struggling to get back into Command Ops at the moment, because I have felt the irresistible pull of another game.

    I'll be back, because it is most certainly one of the best games I have ever played.
    The other units deployed in St Vith have the cover of the town buildings, and given time, the dug in bonus to direct fire as well..
    Not just cover, but just as important, concealment. Set to ambush, they should do reasonably well for themselves, before they get picked off.
     
  7. Davide Pessach

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    Uh Daz, can I ask what game is pulling you? I'm certainly curious about a game that pulls irresistibly someone fascinated so highly by Command Ops 2...
     
  8. MarkShot

    MarkShot Member

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    I have surprised myself. I am playing a lot of Shogun 2 and Rome 1; both total mods.

    I am getting old and lack the patience for hours of analysis and planning before the battle.

    I was playing a lot of Ghost Recon (modded), the original, but I have tremors which really messes up my aim. It was time to move on to something that was less frustrating. Even with medication I have tremors; just diminished.

    CO2 is always here.
     
  9. Daz

    Daz Member

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    I have been playing quite a bit of Warhammer Total War. The cinematics of the battles are amazing. I probably watch guys playing it on YouTube as much as I play the game itself.

    I have had to start sharing my computer, and steam account, with my grandkids when they come to stay, as they have reached that age now where they are interested in gaming.
    I look after them a lot as my daughter does shift work. They are into games like Planet Coaster, Cities Skylines, X-Com and Minecraft.
    I find myself continuing to play their favourite games, after they have gone to bed lol
     
  10. Davide Pessach

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    I covered Warhammer total war on a press tour for eurogamer and they has us play the game in huts in a recreated medieval village (with cosplayed actors around and a medieval steaming lunch served afterward). All of this in england countryside in february. Frozen my a@# as the huts didn't have proper windows (but they housed 4000$ pc stations to play the game and cables connected to generators)...shellshocked by this experience I can't get to play this game anymore...

    :)
     
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  11. MarkShot

    MarkShot Member

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    Actually, before Shogun 2 and Rome 1, I spent quite a bit of time with Skylines and Sim City 4.

    They were interesting, but ultimately it was painting or making dioramas. I am just not an artist at heart, but more of an engineer.

    I think Shogun 2 and Rome 1 are perhaps the SP best of the TW series. The combination of campaign and not overly strenuous battles suits me at this point my life.

    I have revisited other genres I used to play heavily like WWII and nuke subsims. But I just don't have time to spend 3-4 real hours patrolling for a convoy or contacts.

    From RDOA -> HTTR -> COTA -> BFTB -> CO2 are brilliant. Nothing scales and is more flexible than this engine. I have not given up on playing. I have CO2 all set for running on two displays. I think the UI for CO2 does nicely on two displays. On a single display, I think BFTB was more concise and ergonomic. But CO2 has more features and more content. Also, I think BFTB is totally unsupported.

    But before I leave, I want to say this. If there had only ever been an RDOA, it alone would have been a defining classic of game design and simulation. Dave and Paul and quite a few others did a stellar job with this series.
     
  12. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Absolutely, Markshot. The game is astounding, when you consider what is out there and the way things have gone. A real work of art. For me to play NOTHING but this game (and there is already so much content to make that possible, but you can always add and do your own, maps and all, and I've done a little of that and it was fantastic) all I would need is Dave to implement 3 things. 1. A good look at how the AI uses (what we might call) 'reserves' in both attack and defence (ie; how it keeps back way, way too much as 'reserve', doesn't sufficiently locate areas where it can mass force and strike, or where it needs to defend against such possibilities), 2. Scripting of some sort for scenario designers, so historical positioning means something and isn't just a starting point for the AI to up and shift whatever it feels like shifting at scenario start, 3. mounted ops of some sort. That's it. lol. Tall order, perhaps. But I live in hope....
     
  13. Davide Pessach

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    Yeah, scripting is definitely high in the list.
    Still I may be thinking too commercial but I'd really look for a way to make the whole game more attractive to less than uber grognards; that would snowball in bigger profits and, in the end, bigger budgets to do all these nice upgrades.
    I'm thinking about graphic resources to make maps prettier and a better interface...together with a real tutorial.
     
  14. MarkShot

    MarkShot Member

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    Well, there is this push for Steam now. I am not too hopeful. Yep, Steam is a big market, but it is like being in Apple's App Store. It is quite possible to sit in a quiet corner of the store while crowds rush by.

    When I first saw RDOA, I was simply amazed. I said this is the future of gaming. Intelligent agents which the player interacts with. Yet, the hardcore wargaming community has proved me wrong on this. The type who would play CO2 are still largely enamored with counters, hexes, and turns.

    Perhaps the true market for this engine was never the demographic we tend to think of. I was not at all a traditional board game war gamer. When Sid Meier made SMG (one of the first 3D realtime wargames), he was not targeting wargamers, but gamers.

    Of course, it is hard to not try to market CO2 to wargamers, because the product is too detailed and sophisticated for the casual gamer who lacks deep military interests.
     
  15. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Yeah. I think it's too late now for hopes about bringing in enough money to keep Dave at it, whether from Steam or elsewhere. I don't blame Dave, either - he's been at it for what? Fifteen to twenty years?

    Personally, I couldn't care less about the graphics thing. I WANT counters, not animations. I'm delighted with the maps. The kind of people who want something other than realistic maps and functional counters don't want to play a game this complicated or historical. They won't buy it unless you dumb down the game itself as well as providing a graphics feast. There's no need to have done half the work that was done on the graphics, imvho, for CO2 - all that time would have been better spent working on the AI. Good maps aside, whether I play it or not really only depends on whether the AI can give a good, realistic performance.

    But like I said, I myself have been hoping for some of the things on my little list there for at least ten years, so I doubt it's going to happen now. Fingers crossed though....
     
  16. Davide Pessach

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    I don't agree, at all. The real important point here is that Command Ops 2 is definitely not a complicated wargame. The whole functioning is pretty straightforward and everything makes complete sense. Yet the look of the game (and the absence of tutorial and well conceived documentation) make it seems a complicated affair, like a Gary Grigsby's game which is very far from true... and that, I bet, scare a lot of people away.
    I bet that given a better interface, a serviceable (but not ugly) map and a good tutorial this game could appeal to all the average wargamers, the ones who Slitherine appeal to...while Gary Grigsby appeal only to a subniche of fanatic grognards who want to manage every single crate of logistic or single man in a platoon.

    If you improve the AI or spend time refining the actual game you will only please us and get a handful of other players on the bandwagon but that is in no way a market wise decision (and that is the reason why it will not happen). In a nutshell: the game has to get more graphic and UI/UX love not in order to dumb it down but to get on board the average wargamer...because right now I bet we only have the real super hardcore on. The game has to look less scary and uber complicated because it is not, actually, and it deserves to show its true colors to give itself a chance to shine also marketwise.
     
  17. MarkShot

    MarkShot Member

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    I don't believe the game intimidates its demographic. I just think its demographic prefers traditional hex, turn, and total micromanagement to scalable intelligent agents. A criticism I have heard oft leveled at the game by its potential market is: "It is not for me. The game can play itself. I am only a spectator." My point is what I see as a fantastic strength and plus is actually considered by many to be a detriment.

    This game will never be a financial winner. I am sad for Dave and Paul. But then, they were artists in the true sense. I don't think they went into this for money (or Dave would have continued with games about drug lords and aliens). They have created a superb piece of art, and to my dying die I will appreciate their genius.

    It has been sad genres like: sub sims, flight sims, tank sims, died ... They didn't die. The demographic didn't go away. Instead digital gaming went mainstream. The market for The Sims grew and grew far faster than for tank simulations. This is capitalism. This is the same reason why research on certain drugs is heavily funded and little is spent on rare diseases. There is no expected return. So, it is with games. Even hex and counter ... if you want to be rich, this is not the stuff to program.
     
  18. Davide Pessach

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    No, maybe I didn't explain myself properly. Grognards are definitely not intimadated by CO2. THey are not scared by nato counters, 2d maps or old interfaces: they look into the meat of things and they will go extra mile to get what CO2 has to offer: and they discover the wonderful treasure that this game is.
    On the other side, the average strategy gamer who enjoys games like the Paradox titles or the most interesting and historic RTSs (wargame series for example, Red Dragon and Steel Division) are definitely scared away...and that's a pity because, and this is my main point, this is not a scary game rules and learning wise! War in the West is a scary game, CO2 is not and you can easily learn it on the same time/learn curve you would walk learning HOI4.
    And, last point, this demographic (which is way more ample and can grant some economic success) is scared away because of the looks of the game: that's a decision they make before even considering buying: they see the rough 2d maps, the nato counters and the super cluttered interface and bam! The deal is (NOT) sealed, they close the steam page and it is finished.
     
  19. jimcarravallah

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    The beauty of the game is if you want to play it like a true operational commander, you can.

    You look at the operational concerns, identify the commanders and units at no more than two echelons below your level to address those concerns, issue your orders, and monitor the progress.

    Or, if you want to play it lower than that second echelon below your level, you also can, taking into consideration the burden you put on your "staff" to issue orders to each unit and monitor each unit's progress.

    While this may not be the stuff to program to get rich commercially, it has a solid foundation for simulation training of command staff in the armed forces. The beauty of releasing it as a commercial piece of software is there is a substantial amount of playtesting that can be culled from the buyers' feedback which improves the engine for developing training simulations for sale to armed forces.

    I think the one thing which holds it back is the lack of dismounted operations capability. Until the software is upgraded to allow for ad hoc tactical movement by truck, track, amphib, or helicopter and separate deployment of combat soldiers from those transports during combat, the simulation falls short of what the armed forces want to train.
     

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