Introductions and Questions

2GvSAP Flea

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Greetings all. I have just discovered Command Ops 2 and these forums and wanted to introduce myself and ask a few questions. I have viewed all 28 pages of the main forums and have opened those posts/threads that looked interesting or like they may answer my questions.

I am a former USMC Infantry Officer who currently supports the US Army as a contractor. My day job keeps me pretty well engaged in current Army doctrine and concepts, focusing in certain areas. This has motivated me to search out PC games that simulate tactical and operational planning. Over the past 8 months I have been playing another game, that while fun and “close”, just didn’t capture the true amount of mental energy required to execute the Military Decision Making Process (IPB, Mission Analysis, etc).

I think I may have found what I have been looking for. I only have a few hours under my belt in game, but I am impressed. I feel pretty good about the tactics and planning process, but I need to learn the game/sim in order to get the in game units to do what I want them to do. I saw Daz’ St Vith AAR, and he was speaking my language. I could look at his graphics and immediately understand his Scheme of Maneuver and the many and varied tasks/order that he has given to his subordinates.

All of this to lead to a few questions:
1. Can the game simulate the use of smoke? I think I’ve read that the answer is “no/not yet.”

2. Is it possible to issue “On Order” orders? Meaning that the unit’s higher orders have been received, planning conducted, and subordinate orders issued and received; but the unit does not begin/execute until directed. “On Order” missions are realistic and common and allow a unit to conduct all planning and to be “mounted and ready to go” just awaiting the commanders decision to launch.

3. Has there been any thought or discussion of using NATO Operational Terms and Graphics in the command menu? Orders to Seize, secure, block, deny, destroy, fix, etc have distinct graphics and definitions that could be used by the AI in planning subordinate orders. Sorry, but I’m kind of a graphics geek and get off on seeing an Operational Overlay on a map and immediately understanding all that is going on (yes, it is weird).

I’ll stop there. My sincere thanks to the developers and publishers of this game. Also, to all of the players over the years that have continued to provide feedback and offer advice to all the newbies.

Semper Fi,
Flea
 

john connor

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Welcome here! Your real life experience will be very welcome!

1. No smoke yet, no immediate plans to implement. I think you're meant to think of such tactical measures as abstracted into the game, at the moment, which is easy to imagine. I notice, interestingly, that after heavy bombardments visibility around the area often vanishes (as if there were consequent smoke) but I've asked about this and the dev denied there was any such implementation...
2. You cannot do what you suggest, but you can delay a start time using the 'start at...' slot in the orders menu. You can delay it as long as you like, and change the delay time, I believe, but there will be a delay then in recalculating the plan.
3. No immediate plans that I'm aware of to change the present graphics. The graphics were changed/improved significantly during the move from CO1 to CO2. There might be a huge huge list of desirable changes in the devs possession, but the truth is that for many years - for reasons I can never understand when you look at all the crap that is out there and selling great - there was only 1 coder (now there's 2) and very limited time and not enough income generated from what is always described as a 'niche within a niche' game to get a bigger team going, hence change happens slowly in CO2. (It's a niche game because it's quite realistic, perhaps...take a look at some of the comments in the steam forum discussion if you want to understand why it remains a niche for present mainstream tastes..) The latest patch and module have been being worked on for a few years, for example, still without a firm release date (hopefully, February...)

As far as I know, the present development priorities - besides getting out the 2 new modules - Bradley at Bay (Lorraine) and Khalkin-Gol (far east front - Soviets v Japanese) are, I believe, finalising the current patch, which is mostly concerned with making movement and attack a bit more complex and realistic, and in the process getting rid of formation freeze-up bugs, then, probably, implementing improvements to various AI behaviours. Along the way to this we've seen (already) a massive improvement in AI arty performance and realism, plus the virtual disappearance of behaviors which bugged the game for nearly ten years or more, involving HQ or support units sometimes leading attacks/advances. Much further down the line, perhaps, there's always been a pressing desire to implement sequential tasking and some form of mounted/dismount ops (with or without sequential tasking). There are also thoughts about developing a PBEM play mode. But I wouldn't like to guess how far away that is.

There seems to be more discussion and life going on in the steam forum for the game than in here. A decision was made recently to only develop and deliver the game through steam.

I wonder what modules you've bought? I always recommend the Market-Garden and Westwall modules, as having scenarios in a range of sizes on very interesting maps with good gameplay, but it's personal taste really - they're all great. I also think that you should NEVER manually plot arty, because if you do that you give yourself a significant advantage against the AI - for the AI it's always (realistically) subordinates who are calling in and plotting arty in a more realistically restrained fashion. And with the current patch you don't need to plot arty, the AI for your side does it very well already. You can choose where to attach arty and where to site units, of course, but player-plotted stonks can stop almost any advance dead and can be done, at the moment, in a way which lacks realism. So you'll likely have a better, more challenging and realistic gameplay experience if you leave the arty to people below you.

I would also say that I think the engine works best if you command at Bn level, roughly - ie; give most of your orders to Bns. The AI sometimes struggles to put together attacks, for example, at regimental level. Not always - sometimes it's a joy to watch - but Bn level works very well.

If you come across any behaviours you wish to query as bugs, then please first off come out of the game and rename the recording of the game in the game's 'Recordings' folder, otherwise that recording will be overwritten next time you start the game. The recording is what the devs will need to look into any queries you raise. And bugs can happen - the present release (on steam) is a public beta.

Enjoy!
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Greetings all. I have just discovered Command Ops 2 and these forums and wanted to introduce myself and ask a few questions. I have viewed all 28 pages of the main forums and have opened those posts/threads that looked interesting or like they may answer my questions.

I am a former USMC Infantry Officer who currently supports the US Army as a contractor. My day job keeps me pretty well engaged in current Army doctrine and concepts, focusing in certain areas. This has motivated me to search out PC games that simulate tactical and operational planning. Over the past 8 months I have been playing another game, that while fun and “close”, just didn’t capture the true amount of mental energy required to execute the Military Decision Making Process (IPB, Mission Analysis, etc).

I think I may have found what I have been looking for. I only have a few hours under my belt in game, but I am impressed. I feel pretty good about the tactics and planning process, but I need to learn the game/sim in order to get the in game units to do what I want them to do. I saw Daz’ St Vith AAR, and he was speaking my language. I could look at his graphics and immediately understand his Scheme of Maneuver and the many and varied tasks/order that he has given to his subordinates.

All of this to lead to a few questions:
1. Can the game simulate the use of smoke? I think I’ve read that the answer is “no/not yet.”

2. Is it possible to issue “On Order” orders? Meaning that the unit’s higher orders have been received, planning conducted, and subordinate orders issued and received; but the unit does not begin/execute until directed. “On Order” missions are realistic and common and allow a unit to conduct all planning and to be “mounted and ready to go” just awaiting the commanders decision to launch.

3. Has there been any thought or discussion of using NATO Operational Terms and Graphics in the command menu? Orders to Seize, secure, block, deny, destroy, fix, etc have distinct graphics and definitions that could be used by the AI in planning subordinate orders. Sorry, but I’m kind of a graphics geek and get off on seeing an Operational Overlay on a map and immediately understanding all that is going on (yes, it is weird).

I’ll stop there. My sincere thanks to the developers and publishers of this game. Also, to all of the players over the years that have continued to provide feedback and offer advice to all the newbies.

Semper Fi,
Flea
Hi Flea,

You're right on with your perceptions of what the game offers -- perhaps a little more operational strategy than small unit tactics.


I glommed onto CO1 (later CO2) when I saw the relationship between what it offered and what I was working on during my career with teh Army on combat command simulation. I'd worked professionally on simulated training for combat that included logistics (my civlilan specialty while working a 27-year sustainment development career with the Army). CO2 was the best PC-hosted simulation that approached those issues along with what I perceived as combat command issues on the market.

What it lacks is a full combat simulation capability. What if offers is the best alternative to real life training simulations that can be hosted on individual PCs. The only limiting factor to offering a full simulation is the computing power available to average users (and customers).

You'll see the developers are responsive to those goals within the bounds of what's feasible on a typical PC and what is avaialble in software programming effort. .

Enjoy the game, and feel free to offer suggesions.



Where do you work with the Army?
 

Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor

Panther Games Designer
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Flea,

Welcome. You raise good points. These have all been raised before by various military organisations we've done business with including Australian Army, US Army USMC, Canadian Army, NATO. CO2 is still in use at the US Army Command and General Staff College.

I spent ten years chasing development funds from the military, but in the end got no significant funding other than a few evaluation studies. These fleshed out detailed requirements for the Australian Army and the US Army but both failed at the commitment of funds stage. So I no longer waste my time pursuing military business. I've been burnt too many times. However, if someone is prepared to actually pay for development work and can put money on the table, then I'm all ears.

As Peter (aka john connor) indicated, we're a very small team here by virtue of the size of the market we serve. That limits what we can do. There are so many things I would like to do to enhance the engine, but that will take significant funding. If you are serious, we can talk offline.

Dave O'Connor
dave[at]panthergames[dot]com
 

2GvSAP Flea

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
6
Points
3
Age
52
Location
Huntsville, AL
Thanks all for the welcome. I have been tied up with life recently and haven't been able to get back to the forums or to the game much.

I've started and restarted Return to St Vith multiple times just to learn the game mechanics, not necessarily playing to win. I think I'm getting a handle on it now, but I still learning.

Dave, I appreciate and am amazed at what you have accomplished with such a small team and limited funding. I have seen DoD supported projects, and quite frankly, have not been impressed. And I understand your frustration with dealing with DoD, I commend you for even trying to work with them. The DoD has a very "my way or the highway" approach and tends to not be very supportive of things "not invented here." Congratulations on CO2 being used at CGSC. I look forward to future updates and module releases.

Another question for all. Is there an easy way to download or export the various OOBs for the scenarios? Maybe to MS Word or to Excel?

Semper Fi,
Flea
 

2GvSAP Flea

Member
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Messages
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Age
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EDIT: DISREGARD. I figured it out. Original Post follows:

Jim, I found the ScenEditor in the file folder but it is giving me an error

"The game or the particular scenario is not properly authorized.

Please contact Lock ’n Load Publishing support at http://support.lnlpublishing.com to report this error.

If you're using the Steam version, make sure that you run game from under the Steam client."

So what am I doing wrong? What should I be doing? I purchased the core game through Steam.
 
Last edited:

ioncore

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EDIT: DISREGARD. I figured it out. Original Post follows:
Jim, I found the ScenEditor in the file folder but it is giving me an error
"The game or the particular scenario is not properly authorized.
Please contact Lock ’n Load Publishing support at http://support.lnlpublishing.com to report this error.
If you're using the Steam version, make sure that you run game from under the Steam client."
So what am I doing wrong? What should I be doing? I purchased the core game through Steam.

For future reference, anyone else having same problem check my post #913 in this thread
https://forums.lnlpublishing.com/threads/sitrep.1107/page-46#post-36699
 

GoodGuy

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May 20, 2015
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2. Is it possible to issue “On Order” orders? Meaning that the unit’s higher orders have been received, planning conducted, and subordinate orders issued and received; but the unit does not begin/execute until directed. “On Order” missions are realistic and common and allow a unit to conduct all planning and to be “mounted and ready to go” just awaiting the commanders decision to launch.

I really like this idea. If introduced in the game, such function would embrace the historical procedure of a given unit waiting for the "green light" to commence a particular mission. During the Ardennes offensive, for instance, 3 German coys were ordered to attack and clear a particular area just outside some wood by their Bn Co in a local operation, where 1 coy was then supposed to form up inside the wood and where the other 2 coys were tasked to create pincer attacks. The 2nd coy was delayed and the 3rd coy never showed up because it got held up by US units. The Bn Co still ordered the attack, thinking the 2nd coy would show up in time, but it actually appeared way too late. The single attacking coy was unable to boot the Allied defenders and retreated back into the woods, so the 2nd coy's attack was called off. The player should get the opportunity to prevent such situations, maybe with the new option suggested by Flea:
Such function would define that all units earmarked/participating for/in a particular attack move to their respective FUPs, "reorg" and wait for the player's "go" order. If the player decides that it is too risky or if he sees that other elements won't be ready in time, the attack won't be executed (which would then prevent unnecessary losses), as the player would deny to give the "go" signal.

Besides issuing particular attack orders (eg.: attack X at 08:00 at location Y), quite a few local operations were pre-planned and set on hold, when superior echelons insisted on particular conditions that had to be met, for certain attacks, historically. If those conditions were not met, the operations were put on hold (this even applied to large-scale operations like the Normandy landings, when they were ordered to be executed the following day) or even canceled.
 

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