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 Post subject: New Matrix Offerings
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:13 am 
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Close Combat - The Bloody First:

I was really excited about this a few months back but then I saw a YouTube video on gameplay and remembered why I've lost some of my love for the CC series. I feel like the battles have become too large and too complex for my liking. I used to love the small, intimate battles of the original CC3 era. Where every tank or mortar shot could turn the battle. Losing a key unit was critical as they carried forward from battle to battle. And as each new version came out its seems the battles just got bigger and more unwieldy. I'm sure a lot of people love that and from a developer's POV it is definitely an accomplishment but I just find the battles too high level, confusing and not as fun.

WarPlan:

While this at first does look a bit like SC part 20, I think it actually looks pretty good. I like the fact that air units can stack with land units (finally!). I'm still waiting to see a YouTube vid on the naval aspects of the game which is where I've always thought the SC series fell short. I don't expect WIP levels of realism (or frankly want them) but I also don't want floating divisions whose movement and combat don't represent reality in any way shape or form which is what you get in SC and all of its clones. I still think World in Flames probably has the best compromise of any game system I've seen. Too bad the PC implementation is so clunky and will never have an AI. But I might actually give this one a chance.

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 Post subject: Re: New Matrix Offerings
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:03 pm 
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You probably liked Jagged Alliance 2? If you have never installed the "2.1.13 Patch" (actually a GIGANTIC mod) it is fantastic.

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 Post subject: Re: New Matrix Offerings
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:13 am 
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Also released the France-Belgium DLC for Armored Brigade. Picked it up but haven't dug into it get.

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 Post subject: Re: New Matrix Offerings
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:45 pm 
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So I picked up WarPlan.

Probably the best WWII Grand Strategy game I've played so far.

The naval model is MUCH better than any of it's rivals. Ditto supply. The naval invasion system is also quite good.

And I really like the way you can build infrastructure units. Things like supply trucks, transports, air transports, escorts, landing craft, AA, shipyards, etc. I purchased just like any other unit and take time and resources to build. It adds a layer of planning. If you are thinking about a SeaLion for example, you better stock up on landing craft before you even attack France or they won't be available when you need them.

Supply trucks in particular are cool because you can use them to supplement units in low supply or 'preload' a unit with extra supply before it heads into battle. Obvious uses in North Africa and Russia.

Another neat innovation is the ability to add a specialization to an existing unit. So instead of having say a corp sized Engineer unit taking up an entire hex, you can attack an Engineer (brigade?) to an existing unit. This is great for example with armor units that you want to be able to cross and attack over rivers more efficiently. They also have things like heavy artillery for building siege units, infiltration, and a couple others I can't remember.

There are certainly some warts. Partisans often feels like a game of whack-a-mole and if left unchecked can cut off an entire army group. Needs to be nerfed. Also it's interesting that they don't provide a specialized security unit or security specialization to more efficiently deal with them.

Also, the AI is still a bit of a work in progress. Seems very efficient in some areas like defending France but in other places it leaves the door open to grab ports and other critical positions. OTOH, I've seen posts that claim it does a pretty devastating Normandy invasion so I have that to look forward to.

Also, I haven't seen it as attacker yet having only started a couple games as the Axis. It's generally easier to make a defensive AI than offensive.

But the dev seems very active and open to suggestions and says that this is only V1 of the AI and he hopes to greatly improve it. Anyway, for those of you looking to re-fight WWII for the 4 millionth time, this is a great game!

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 Post subject: Re: New Matrix Offerings
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:19 am 
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WarPlan isn't like Strategic Command, is it? That game felt too "scripted".


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 Post subject: Re: New Matrix Offerings
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:06 pm 
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Zad Fnark wrote:
WarPlan isn't like Strategic Command, is it? That game felt too "scripted".


It's more sophisticated than SC in terms of air and naval model. Feels more realistic.

As far as "scripted" goes, I'm not sure as I'm still playing my first game. I'll have to play 2 or 3 to see if it feels like I'm just playing the same game over and over.

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 Post subject: Re: New Matrix Offerings
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:59 pm 
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If I remember in SC, playing Germany, you just click a yes/no button to take Denmark and then the same to take Norway. Never mind the Nazis lost half their navy taking Norway...

If you don't invade the USSR in June 1941, the Russkies will declare war less than a year after.


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 Post subject: Re: New Matrix Offerings
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:54 pm 
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Zad Fnark wrote:
If I remember in SC, playing Germany, you just click a yes/no button to take Denmark and then the same to take Norway. Never mind the Nazis lost half their navy taking Norway...

If you don't invade the USSR in June 1941, the Russkies will declare war less than a year after.


OK, so on the first one I can definitely answer. There is no automation for taking any country AFAIK. I even watched a video where the guy finished off France and then realized he had forgotten to invade either of those countries.

OTOH, you will definitely NOT need your entire navy to take Norway. One well supplied Infantry Corp can pretty much take the capital on it's own with Naval Support. And if you take Denmark first, you can put some bombers there, any sort of attempted naval intervention by the Allies would be suicide.

I'm not sure if USSR will declare war if you don't. But they do seem to build up their army in response to your success in the west.

Also, taking Egypt is no cakewalk. The supply rules are such that as you approach Alexandria, it becomes very difficult to mount an offensive. I ended up invading the country currently known as Israel (can't remember what it's called on map) with a very heavy German contingent and attacking Egypt from both sides.

So yeah, it's not scripted in the sense that you just click a dialog and take a country, but I think the AI will roughly react to the same situations the same way. In other words, once you find a strategy that works, it will probably continue to work in the next game unless you crank up the difficulty. But that may change. There is already a new patch out with a lot of changes including making it much harder to steamroll France.

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 Post subject: Re: New Matrix Offerings
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:41 pm 
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Sounds interesting!

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 Post subject: Re: New Matrix Offerings
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:34 pm 
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There are a few good YouTube video series of people playing through the main campaign. Almost always as Axis (shockingly).

I think this is one of the better ones if you want to get a feel for the gameplay:


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