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mooxe

Rep: 175.9
votes: 23


PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:33 pm Post subject: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

If we were to take what everyone is asking for, and what has been asked for in the past we would end up with this and this.

The game was initially called the Tactical Art of Combat, and now just the Art of Combat. Without knowing much about it aside from what Sulla has said, there seems to be a heavy disposition to modify the operational and strategic side of the game. This is exactly what Close Combat was never meant to be. The op/strat portion of the game should be minimized to no more than what CC4 and CC5 had. The focus must be on the close combat.

Another debate looming is map size. Large maps work well with smart AI, good cover, long range weapons and more than 1v1 multiplayer. Large maps haven't worked with poor AI, poor cover, infantry battle groups and 1v1. The largest Gold Juno Sword and Stalingrad's maps would be a great guide for the maximum size of a map.

Close Combat was about fighting close up, with small arms, bayonets and grenades. You worried about supply on the strategic side. On the tactical side you worried about morale, casualties, suppression and ammo. Your objectives were gaining a two story house, a bunker or a hedgerow. You love it when a lone surviving soldier scavenges a machine gun. Close Combat was was about making attacks on bunkers with squads that have almost no ammo and turning your mortar teams into front line troops.


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Pzt_Kanov

Rep: 30.7
votes: 9


PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:06 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

I would like the strat level detailed at least like LSA. Purchasing of unit is a must I think, together with merging and drawing support of reserve battle groups. I can't go back to CC4/5 days with single BG's occupying a map, too spoiled for that lol.

But I do think that the focus should be smaller, instead of covering the whole bulge for example, it should just cover an area so we could have truly company level battlegroups and not this abstract world where 15-21 units represent a Battalion/Regiment/Division.

Agree the focus should be the tactical level, fix that and improve upon that and then maybe start looking above on the operational layer.
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Tejszd

Rep: 122.5
votes: 19


PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:50 am Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

I agree the focus needs to be the battle. But the strat layer is gravy on top and adds flavour/options.... Though to Pzt_Kanov's point calling it an operational layer would give the player many of the same options as the strat layer but could cause less debate due to the name change. You also have to watch you do not make things to limiting as leaders at the tactical level can not choose their squads or vehicles.....
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pvt_Grunt

Rep: 86
votes: 5


PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:20 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

I think LSA was "nearly" the perfect mix of OP and STRAT. I say nearly because the merge/stack function was unintelligible to me - And I cant even spell the word  Rolling Eyes
PiTF and later unit selection is no good, I try to get the best units for a battle and I have to randomly click with no indication of what I might get. I see a platoon with 7 units and the game gives me 3 of them  Evil or Very Mad
I say LSA with PROPER unit stacking / merging is the best balance.
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Sulla

Rep: 12.6
votes: 4


PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:29 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

The Strat/Op layer IS important to CC.

The battles you fight, need to mean something and having to battle on both Op and Tac layers, with both interacting is real. Being able to stack armour, infantry and break through, this is really an Op layer worthy of the name.

The Tactical level will be unchanged apart from predeploy, more accurate ballistics, physics, better pathing/AI. 3 sides allowing for modern asymmetric warfare. [Partisans / insurgents]

I know what has made the game great, close up fighting, mostly infantry, this is the key and its not gonna change. Map size is a question of scale, do you want us to think about it? To get it right? or just follow what? Which previous CC version? 1, 2,3,5,LSA,Panthers? Which one? Each are a CC game, but very different in map size.

We are keeping the Ethos, we are keeping what has always made the game great, while improving and building what it did badly. If that is wrong mooxe, what exactly would you do? 15 years after CC last came out, just after Win95. We should change nothing as its perfect? Or just what you think should change? Are you the arbiter of what's right?

This is why we are asking both ourselves and the players what they think, so we CAN get it as close to right as possible. Not just what I want or Luer or GW Tim, Southern_Land, but what as much as we can the community wants.

Mooxe, if you don't want to like it, think I have already got it wrong, fine. You never need play it. I would say however that give the 15 years of no real DEV in CC, you would welcome new things happening, not instantly knock them.

S
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mooxe

Rep: 175.9
votes: 23


PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:06 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

I always felt that Matrix's push to modify the strategic level was more or less based on the fact the they couldn't modify the tactical level. Many of those changes to seem hacked in, hard to understand and just added confusion. Sure there was room for improvement, but it was never required. I really don't know much about what you're doing but it looks like your making two games in one. I am not knocking your ideas, this is the discussion you were looking for.

I don't think the strategic layer was done badly for CC4/5. It was just enough to get by while keeping the main game about fighting. I have probably finished more CC3 campaigns then CC5 campaigns. In CC3 they were quicker, decisions were minimal and most of the game you were configuring your company and fighting.

Will the strategic layer really be a key to a new Close Combat's success? I would say no. Good AI, multiplayer support (not exclusively 1v1) and more realistic close combat are the way ahead.
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Sulla

Rep: 12.6
votes: 4


PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:21 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

Hia Mooxe,

TBH this is what I am looking for, this kind of direct, from the guts, this is what I like and why.

Ok, Matrix NEVER had any interest in the CC titles apart from making money. I worked for Matrix Games for too many years. There was one riving force making money. To me a games company is about making games, not hug amounts of money.

If I told you what all the CC Rebuilds grossed, you would in all honesty be stunned. No I am not posting figures, its not my place and not my business any more. The whole point of the CC Rebuilds for Simtek, for Chris and myself was to make enough to develop CC further. Sadly I both got ill and trusted the wrong people. I did some stupid things [retrospect is not kind] by trusting too many too much. I paid for it, I lost everything. THAT was my fault. We live, we hopefully learn. My point is, the plan had been with Simtek/Matrix 50% Destineer 50% Split = Matrix 25% Simtek = 25% [Gross] we Simtek, were going to fund the development of a new engine and continuing the rebuilds for that reason. The funds all went to Matrix, you know that story. This is the past, I cannot change that. I can change now, what the future brings.

Now, I have a dev team, better than I could ever have imagined, I have financiers. I can and will make the next Generation game. It is called The Tactical Art of Combat, it will inevitably get shortened to Art of Combat [not NO name change]

I have waited a long time to do this, to build this game. The biggest thing I am concentrating on is the AI. The Strat layer is there as it was always such an after-thought in previous titles. I wanted it done right, with operational realities. Its there to make the game below work better.

Mooxe, my fave has always been CC3, no strat layer straight campaign, but that does not mean everyone wants the same.

2 things are guiding principles here: To make a game that has as many options as possible, if you don't like one view, switch to another or lock the view/zoom. Want to dive right in, quick battles, campaigns. Want supply/logistic, pre bombardment, air strikes, morale reality levels, pre deployment, river crossings, want to award medals, auto award them, promote units, make your own unit? OPTIONS. Eventually we will be trying modular AI, so it can be aggressive, defensive or even build in various traits. AI has moved forward enormously, we will be using as a base AI, an AI that learns. AI is central to the game, small unit combat is central to the game. CQB is central.

The other thing is modding. Yes Unity makes modding hard, but not as hard as has been made out and we can always build game specific editors.  This is a game for the community, to finally give a new title worth the name after 15 years, something new and fresh, while keeping what makes it unique.

The more input, the better we can do. Already ideas have come in and long may it continue and god save me from thinking I know what everyone wants or that I know best! I and the team are listening to what people want.

http://www.tacticalartofcombat.com/ARTCOM/index.php

More soon,

S
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Tejszd

Rep: 122.5
votes: 19


PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:07 am Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

I'm a fan of the strat layer but I will agree with MOOXE that it was easier to complete the grand campaign in CC3/COI. The strat layer seems the most fun when not all the maps have BG's fighting on them or the sides can not have a solid line of BG's which will;
- reduce the number of battles
- reduce the time req'd to complete grand campaign
- make the movement, supply and support on the strat layer more important

Italy may not be the best for the scenario I describe above as it was a very slow and tough though I guess at times things became more fluid.
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johnsilver

Rep: 61.4
votes: 4


PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:05 am Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

Quote:
Italy may not be the best for the scenario I describe above as it was a very slow and tough though I guess at times things became more fluid


Point taken there Tejszd, then there were areas where action flowed fast also, such as in Sicily.

I'd like Mooxe especially to take a look at this with regards to his questions on the AI. I had/have them also.

TAOC
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ke_mechial

Rep: 75.6
votes: 2


PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:05 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

I would agree mooxe, CC is not a board game, which is just centered about moving unit icons on a map. Strat layer is only good, because you can decide, which corner or the side of the map is more important to defend, because it goes to your supply depot map or you can cut your enemy's supply.
Strat layer might actually evolve a bit more to support the tactical side more and bring more variability and dimension to it.
CC2 style strat map was good, a decent map showing road junctions and critical locations, where maps were located. In CC4 and CC5, map appears as if covers the whole shaded area, which seems unrealistic and unprofessional. In real battle, it is not like that. Wehrmacht invaded a vast amount of area in Russia, but actually they did not step on every square meter. They invaded road junctions, paths along railways and cities. Like a gridline on an area.
Nonetheless, you had the ability to order your troops to move onto a map, which was better than CC2 and CC3.
Another thing I do not like is that you see all the facing enemy units from the beginning of the campaign. There is no fog of war.
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Tejszd

Rep: 122.5
votes: 19


PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:33 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

On the strat layer you can see BG's you are in contact with or that are spotted by air and or recon (both of these percentage chance to see can be edited for each side in campaign.txt) thus you can have some fog of war....
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ke_mechial

Rep: 75.6
votes: 2


PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:14 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

Tejszd wrote (View Post):
On the strat layer you can see BG's you are in contact with or that are spotted by air and or recon (both of these percentage chance to see can be edited for each side in campaign.txt) thus you can have some fog of war....

Yeah, sorry, it has been long since I last played a campagn..Smile
But IMHO it would even be better, if you explicitly ordered a task force to conduct a recon mission into the neighboring map before your whole bg jumps onto it. Thus, having recon units in your bg would become meaningful and important. And maybe you choose to avoid this route, because there is a panzer regiment there. Of course in normandy, they expected enemy when landing at the beaches, without needing recon but I am not sure, if they knew exactly the name or number of regiment/division that unit belonged to. It would even be cooler, if you were only able to identify your opposing battle group after first contact, if not previously through reconing, and one of your units inspects the killed enemy troops or vehicles as in real battles and report that to you during battle.
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Tejszd

Rep: 122.5
votes: 19


PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:17 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

Good idea ke_mechial, there should be more limited info on BG's on the strat map and in battle with slowly more information becoming with the duration of contact.
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Schmal_Turm

Rep: 46.2
votes: 1


PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:34 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

I limit my enemy info intentionally by not clicking on the icon to see the forces deployed. That way I have to decide on a force that is more balanced to one that is geared to what the AI actually is using thereby giving me a more challenging game and giving me an essence of the fog of war.


"No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy." Moltke
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Sulla

Rep: 12.6
votes: 4


PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:27 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

Hi Guys,

Fog of war is something that will be a large part of what is happening. In WW2 we often forget that intelligence on the enemy was by modern standards appalling and almost exclusively HUIMT.

Even with Enigma, the Allies often got things wrong or purposely ignored the warning for fear of exposing Enigma. Look at the Bulge, 600,000 men built up and the allies missed it. FOW is important to any wargame that wants to be in any way realistic.

Intel, won't be totally random, but FOW will be a real factor, although it is something that I think has to be made an option as some people simply want to know the enemy locations etc, which to me has always kind of defeated the purpose of playing ;)

S
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Schmal_Turm

Rep: 46.2
votes: 1


PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:14 am Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

I am not sure, after thinking about it, that 3D is the way to go to resurrect interest in the CC series. I am not against it and may be pleasantly surprised by how well it works but since the original CC was based on the Squad Leader games by Avalon Hill it seems that the 3D option is getting away from the things we all were attracted to in CC from the beginning.

I myself love the top-down look and I believe the improvements over the years have really enhanced the game. If I was to identify the best improvement that has been made I would say it is the ability to stack units. Too many times I needed to make a decision as to if it was prudent to leave one battleground knowing that when anther unit moved in I would have to literally reconquer the territory I already occupied if an enemy unit also moved in at the same time. Second to me would be the delay for the mortars to hit thereby making the decision as to how far ahead of a unit I need to have as the target to make sure I hit it. Many times I will use the mortars just to slow down an infantry advance before other units are made available to deal with them.

It seems that most criticisms of CC are that the AI is not very smart. I agree, but there are things to do to make the game more of a challenge. For instance, the unit being fought against can be attritioned down to where there is very little combat effectiveness left in it or by cutting them off from supply. I was even surprised to find that a unit cut off long enough ceased to exist. It just disappeared from the strat map. For this reason I have intentionally stopped a battle when there is a request from the AI for a truce, especially if there are stacked units in the battleground.

Even though my units effectiveness can be limited by moving the settings to elite I have decided that I have so little left of some forces that I have hardly any room left for error and the game ceases to be fun anymore.


"No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy." Moltke
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Hicks

Rep: 31.6
votes: 2


PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:29 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

Schmal_Turm wrote (View Post):
I am not sure, after thinking about it, that 3D is the way to go to resurrect interest in the CC series. I am not against it and may be pleasantly surprised by how well it works but since the original CC was based on the Squad Leader games by Avalon Hill it seems that the 3D option is getting away from the things we all were attracted to in CC from the beginning.

I myself love the top-down look and I believe the improvements over the years have really enhanced the game.


I think a good compromise to this is relating to camera controls. If you can tilt the camera to have a top down view then you have a 3D map and camera for those that wish to use it and for those that would prefer to play from a top down perspective - tilt the camera and it's done.

I'd personally like to see a system closer to CC3 with much more specific control over what you requisition. GtC's requisition mechanics were awful.

If you're looking to create this as a base game that later modules could be plugged into then that would also be fantastic. I've little interest in controlling US forces but would be interested in potential future modules covering the Eastern and Far Eastern fronts.
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Schmal_Turm

Rep: 46.2
votes: 1


PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:21 am Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

I have probably more time than almost anyone at this site to test out different ideas for CC game playability against the AI as I do so much of it at my job. What I have decided is that I will help the AI to be "smarter." So instead of moving the settings to where the AI is set to recruit and is therefore getting so many more units that it becomes nearly impossible to reduce a unit down, I have been going in and putting into place the enemy forces that I would use, assuming I was assigning the forces for maximum effect. This is done after I have decided what units I will use according to the limited intelligence I allow myself. I have noticed that the AI tends to portion out the remaining units, such as tanks, in order to keep using them when there are only a few left. That in effect takes longer to reduce the effectiveness of the unit. My goal, after I let the unit survive each time it asks for a truce, is after it is down to the last remaining tanks and infantry is to then crush it. I have decided that even though this might take any number of turns it is only fair to units that are very tank heavy. The way I see it anyway is that the Germans were eventually beaten by attrition as opposed to any dramatic force reduction in a few major battles.


"No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy." Moltke
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Hicks

Rep: 31.6
votes: 2


PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:39 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

It would be a massive help to be able to order units to hold off from using certain munitions as well. The amount of times a Mk III in Gateway to Caen spunked away the sabot rounds on infantry...
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Schmal_Turm

Rep: 46.2
votes: 1


PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:53 pm Post subject: Re: Focus on the close combat! Reply with quote

Hicks, you can get around that to a degree by putting the tank or AT gun into "ambush" mode so you have more control over what it is firing at. I have used that to have a tank not fire at infantry in order to have an AP round ready for a tank coming into view.


"No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy." Moltke
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