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#4444156 - 10/17/18 07:30 PM Combat Mission Shock Force 2  
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Combat Mission Shock Force 2, demo (722MB) is out...

Combat Mission Shock Force 2 DEMO



Red


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Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#4444275 - 10/18/18 03:01 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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Long time fan of the CM series, though I skipped the modern stuff. Combat Mission was one of the few games where I was in from the start. I still remember the CMBO demo, and can picture the scenario. My friend and I played it by PBEM over and over..

I own...

CMBO
CMBB
CMBN
CMRT

Now, this list would be MUCH longer if they had ever developed a reasonable persistent campaign system. In CMBB they were headed in the right sort of direction, with flaws. But they've never really come close to the sort of thing I would like to see. It's a shame, in my view, as it's the best tactical combat simulator going. Spotting in particular is elegantly done. I just want a better campaign system. What's it like in CMSF2?

Thanks for posting the video. I watched it and when the RPGs fired from the building fell short I felt let down smile


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4444281 - 10/18/18 04:00 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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Reading a bit more about it it seems that CMSF2 is essentially a reskin, everything re-done for the new engine. Same game (with expansions) as the original Shock Force. Is this accurate?


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4444283 - 10/18/18 04:16 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by DBond
Reading a bit more about it it seems that CMSF2 is essentially a reskin, everything re-done for the new engine. Same game (with expansions) as the original Shock Force. Is this accurate?


Not sure, I havent been tracking Battlefornt to much to be honest. The paid upgrade system kind of put me off with the new engine. Iam still in V3 and have CMBN and CMBS. Oh, and the android attempt they put out some years ago, which really never got to work to well.

Seems some folks are having frame rate issues with the new demo so will see how it all ends up. Either way, it´s still cool that they put out demos. Playing CM is like being the director of a war movie and then watching the result!

Red


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#4444299 - 10/18/18 05:10 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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Got all the WWII stuff and ordered Shock Force 2... playing the SF2 demo at the moment. I really enjoy these games!

#4444301 - 10/18/18 05:27 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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I checked out BF's pricing on this one.

It's true that it is the base game and expansions....if you buy the big bundle. US$120! All the other stuff is sold individually as well.

I paid that for the CMBN big bundle, so it's not like I am staunchly opposed to such pricing, but this seems a stretch for what it is, unless I misunderstand what it is. I can't see taking the plunge at that price point.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4444332 - 10/18/18 09:34 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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I'm only interested in the British Forces side of things, so I just went for the Base game and the British Forces bundle, all the other stuff I just wouldn't be interested in playing.

#4444342 - 10/18/18 10:24 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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I should have worded it differently, that <I> can't see taking the plunge. The way I wrote it though could be taken as it's not advisable for anyone to do so. In the scheme of things 120 is a couple nights down the pub, and plenty of folks will get more than their money's worth. I paid that for CMBN as mentioned and got a hell of a lot of play out of it so far. Just wanted to clarify.

My experience with Combat Mission is that what's included with game, scenario-wise is limited. So I'm left to look for missions and campaigns to download. And especially campaigns, which I find are shockingly few for such a game. So what I found is that as new modules were added to each base game, many if not most of any new user made content now required it to be up to date. Scenario designers (bless 'em) obviously like to have new toys to play with. It broadens the scope of what they create. You might be playing the Queen's Dragoon Guards, but wouldn't it be cool to have the US Marines reinforce later For that you need the module. Even without units --, new weapons, vehicles, trenches, trees, buildings and all start to find their way in. It all added up to me needing to keep up to date with each new version if I wanted to keep getting fresh new scenarios to play.

SF has been around so long that it might not be a problem finding a lot of appropriate content when your install doesn't have all of them? As long as the old missions work in the new engine I'd say. Of course I haven't played SF and really don't know, just basing this on my experience with the titles I do have.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4444416 - 10/19/18 11:14 AM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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Well, the upgrade to v4 engine is $10 for each module. They now have a bundle upgrade for $25, of which before at it´s regular price was $50...

BF Upgrades

You then also have the "battle packs" that cost another $10, which in turn need the v4 upgrade (+$10)...

CMBS Battle Pack

In a nut shell, circa $20 bucks per module (unless you buy the bundle) to be up to date AND be able to play any battle pack or user made mission!

For a game that cost you $60 bucks!

In my case for both CMBS and CMBN, that´s $120, now add $20 bucks for v4 upgrade, and +$10 for any additional battle packs.

Sad but not my cup of tea!

It´s a similar case to "Command Ops 2" were each upgrade and module is paid for!

Red



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#4444425 - 10/19/18 01:21 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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I agree. I really like Combat Mission and I like that they make improvements to the engine, but the way they monetize engine upgrades doesn't sit right with me. Add their high pricing regardless of title age and it's even less attractive. They are charging the same full $120 price for SF2, which is an 11 year old game with the new engine. I still don't know if that's accurate, but it seems to be from what I've read.

I understand it's a business, and their product is niche. But it seems to me that I would have spent far more money with them than I have if they approached it all differently. And if they had a good campaign system. CMBO came out in 2000 for crying out loud. 18 years and still no campaign system that I feel is worthy. Episodic campaigns can be fun, but only the first time. For me there is little replayability. The battle plan system means there can be some variability when you replay it, if the designer took the time to make them. But in general you're just playing the same thing again, even if the AT gun has been moved to a different spot.

In CMBN I played quite a few campaigns, actually just about every one I could find. Two that stood out were Devil's Descent and Kampfgruppe Engel. They were really good, but I have little desire to try them again. I already know what to expect and that takes away some of what makes this sort of tactical simulator so appealing.

Way back when they were Big Time Software and even on their current boards I've called for a simple system that works similar to what you have in Close Combat. You have a strategic map, with your battlegroups arrayed, and during the strategic turn you move them around. The opponent does the same. When moving in to an occupied zone/hex whatever, an attack/assault battle occurs. If both move in on the same turn a meeting engagement. Maps can be procedurally generated, doesn't need to be too 'correct'. This is really all I want, something for me to play where the result of each battle matters for the overall campaign, persistent states. Add supply, reinforcement and what have you, but at it's core this is all I need.

With this system, the game itself contains all I need. No need to scour the 'net hoping to find a good campaign, which I'll probably only play once anyway. And I need to sift through some pretty poor ones along the way. CMBB had a system that, while flawed, was moving in the right direction. You'd have this huge map and fight battles. When the battle ended, the front line and unit states were saved. It gave some sense of continuity, where you'd really want to take that high ground with the last gasp in order to be in control of it for the next battle. It mostly worked. But this all disappeared along the way, and we have the handcrafted, episodic system now. It's good for the 'story', but far too restrictive in my view.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4444426 - 10/19/18 01:25 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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As to content... there is a post on the forums somewhere, where one of the guys have collected all the missions and available scenarios and campaigns for SF1, and it comes to 800!
They will all be playable apparently of SF2 when it gets released.
I have them all, there are shed loads...

#4444427 - 10/19/18 01:36 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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Well that's a lot Trooper so very good. All of those require nothing more than the British Forces module? If so you've got plenty of content thumbsup


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4444439 - 10/19/18 02:14 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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There are 35 campaigns in that download, 4 of them are UK forces I think, plus in the scenarios section there are 67 UK forces missions.
All the other stuff are NATO, Marines, and base game missions and campaigns... biggrin

#4444514 - 10/19/18 10:14 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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Few pics from the demo showing US Forces level of detail...

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

#4444561 - 10/20/18 08:30 AM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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Looking forward

#4444729 - 10/21/18 06:08 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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Some heavily armed insurgents...

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

#4444730 - 10/21/18 06:13 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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Nice! smile2


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#4445567 - 10/26/18 06:14 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by DBond
So what I found is that as new modules were added to each base game, many if not most of any new user made content now required it to be up to date.


I want to touch on this point again, or at least a tangential point. After participating in this thread I got the itch to play Combat Mission once again. I hadn't played since my laptop died a couple years ago, and wanted to try it out with the desktop PC I built. So I reinstalled CMBN and forked over the 10 bucks for the V4 upgrade.

And frankly I've been disappointed. For a couple of reasons. One is that there is very little user made content for this game (in particular campaigns), and very little new stuff since two years ago. The second thing is that much of what exists was made for an older engine, and as a result plays differently. I haven't played SF2, but I imagine that this huge backlog of 800 scenarios that Trooper mentioned will be similarly affected?

Scenario designers walk a tight line. Their battles are often play-tested within an inch. It needs to challenge the player, but be winnable with the right tactics and choices, or so I think. The lack of a true AI, and the reliance on scripts means that scenario designers instead rely on placement and timing. So things are finely balanced. When engine changes are introduced that modify the behavior of the units in an already existing scenario, the result is often it becomes impossible, or at least far more difficult that originally planned. For example a scenario may be designed to cross open ground. It's tested and tweaked so that it's possible to get across that ground with your infantry, with losses. If the infantry behavior is changed to say retreat and seek cover instead of go to ground, when under mortar fire,or how suppression works is changed, it fundamentally alters the balance of the scenario. It becomes impossible in the first place to get those men across that open space, and what was a tough test before becomes an unwinnable scenario after the changes.

The upshot therefore is that having a big library of scenarios available is of questionable utility when the majority were made using a different ruleset. This adds to the need to have new content designed for the new engine, and not just the need to keep up with modules in order to have everything that newer content requires. Every battle is different, and some perhaps become easier, but that's just the other side of the same coin.

For me it even more starkly illustrates the need for more flexible ways to generate your own content within the current state of the game. The lack of updates and refinement to quick mission builder, and especially the lack of a dynamic campaign or mission generator is even more keenly felt than it's ever been. I'm only speaking for myself, but when getting back in I felt a lot of excitement and anticipation, but the reality sent me crashing back to earth. Combat Mission remains a great game, but is hamstrung by the lack of tools the player is given to create content and enjoy the otherwise amazing tactical battle core that BFC has given us. So you're left to rely on user-made stuff, which becomes in some ways obsolete or out of date as the core evolves.

In most cases I would find a game is not for me, or has shifted outside my preference and I would just move on to something that is more suitable. With Combat Mission though i just can't do it. I like the game too much, and have an attachment to it going back almost 19 years. With this reality smacking me in the face I've even come to resent SF2 in some odd way. I know that BFC is not going to create the sort of campaign system, or generator software that I think the game needs desperately. They make an updated version of an 11 year old game instead of focusing on developing the sort of stuff that I think is so clearly necessary. I also realize it's not my game, and not my work and long, long hours. It's not my dime at risk At the same though I see it all as a huge missed opportunity to not only keep Combat Mission relevant, but to ensure it actually evolves and provides the player not only with an amazing base, but the actual content it requires to make that base shine.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4445570 - 10/26/18 06:37 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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A coincidences because just now I was watching the video below, and as yourself the "itch" to get back to CMBS is on me too! Would have to dish out 10 bucks for the v4 aswell though.

But darn it! It has so much potential that at the same time it makes me sad...



I know these guys below play alot of MP matches, and maybe that´s the way to go when all has been done...
Iam a member too, although havent been active in the past years, but can say there´s nice folks there.

The Blitz Wargaming Club

Red 1 α


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#4445572 - 10/26/18 06:56 PM Re: Combat Mission Shock Force 2 [Re: Red2112]  
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CM MP is awesome, although I've only done PBEM. The game really is fantastic when played this way. My experience is a bit mixed though because of the varying and flucuating motivation levels of your opponents, and especially so if things are tilting your way smile When I used to play with a good life-long friend we didn't have this problem, we played for bragging rights, not just to 'win' although those are obviously linked. But the motivation was camaraderie in a sense, not simply prevailing on the scoreboard.

the BFC boards are full of detailed head-to-head AARs that I find endlessly entertaining. I was actually thinking earlier today how I am having more fun reading those than playing the game. A wargaming club could fill the void so it's a fine suggestion, though for myself as I blow hot and cold it's not really a long term solution. I do like to follow it though.

The only real long term solution, for me, is a way to generate my own campaigns. But the writing on the wall shows it just isn't going to happen. Single scenarios leave me cold for whatever reason. Only campaigns (and head to head) do I find interesting in the long run.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
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