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#1 Harold Jones

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 1308 PM

This looks like it might interest some here.  

 

https://www.rockpape...rigade-preview/

 

 

Armored Brigade, a real-time wargame that invites comparisons with Combat Mission and Close Combat but is very much its own animal, is now less than a month away from a Matrix Store release (Steam and GOG releases are being considered). The preview code suggests the publishers of this gem are on the verge of delivering another Cold War winner, albeit a Cold War winner vulnerable to criticism in certain areas.

 

https://youtu.be/XWONTj0P_JU


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#2 Nikolas93TS

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 1627 PM

Well, there is a tanknetter among the developers 🙃
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#3 Chris Werb

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 0614 AM

It looks great. I'm a bit dubious to say the least about the viability of GWOT style air strikes in a general European war though. It's a bit like watching a successful 1944 raid on London mounted by Zepellins.
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#4 Nikolas93TS

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 0956 AM

While the clear trend since the Gulf War is that precision-guided weapons represent a steadily increasing percentage of munitions delivered (about 8% in Iraq, 30% in Kosovo,and 60% in Afghanistan) CAS sorties in game are usually strafing and rocket runs, with "dumb" bombs (iron, cluster or napalm) being dropped from a low altitude. Considering that even small conflicts today drain Western stocks considerably, and Soviet stock of guided weapons were not that small at all, that says a lot about what their expected use ratio would be in conventional wide war.

 

In 1980s, Soviets expected to use their KAB-1500 (Su-24) and KAB-500 (Su-24, Su-17M4 and MiG-27K) guided bombs primarily on bridges, lesson learned from Vietnam, as bridges turned out to be notably hard to hit and destroy with conventional bombing. Tactical missiles (Kh-23/25/29) would be used in attack sorties on high-value airports and command centres, and most Soviet aircraft could carry them. Pretty much everything else was to be attacked with "dumb" bombs and rockets.

 

Another factor that often troubles Cold War wargamers is actual availability of CAS sorties. One of the commanding commanding officers of NORTHAG used to say that the job of the air force was to keep the enemy air force off his troops and stop the enemy’s second echelon of reserves from linking up with their front echelon. This meant that any army had to accept that at least for the first few days of a conflict the only friendly aircraft they would see would be passing through their area at high speed on their way to and from targets beyond the battle area. The air commanders would have been far more concerned about achieving air superiority and interdicting follow-on forces than flying close support for ground forces. The Soviets had long viewed air-power's primary responsibility as the deep fight, not as flying front-line fire support (they viewed close support as a mission for helicopters more so than fixed-wing.) The US joined them in this view with the advent of Air-Land Battle doctrine and its new emphasis on attacking the enemy simultaneously throughout the full operational depth of the theater, as opposed to Active Defense with its focus on the main battle area. Even dedicated CAS platforms like Harrier (and to a lesser degree A-10) were really intended to attack the follow-on echelon in its assembly areas or on the march. Troops already deployed into attack formation would be much less rewarding and more dangerous targets. Not to mention the likely issues with fratricide when operating close to friendly lines.


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#5 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 1247 PM

Sounds like a great project Nikolas. I hope it satisfies my BAOR itch.


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#6 Chris Werb

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 1309 PM

No, I didn't mean that guided weapons should be more represented in the game - I meant that tactical aircraft tooling around at medium altitude dropping LGBs and A-10s using 30mm on individual tanks would have proven archaic an extremely hazardous and short-lived occupation against Warsaw Pact air defences.


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#7 Nikolas93TS

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 0811 AM

Sounds like a great project Nikolas. I hope it satisfies my BAOR itch.

 

Well, we had to put British faction in first release to redeem ourselves for using title spelling loathsome to native speakers of Commonwealth English.  :D


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#8 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 1028 AM

Do we get a free U with the commonwealth edition? :D


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#9 Harold Jones

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 1113 AM

Do we get a free U with the commonwealth edition? :D

You have to provide your own, the title is fitted for but not with...


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#10 Nikolas93TS

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 1617 PM

Less than 24 hours left to the release!


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#11 sunday

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 1648 PM

Well, there is a tanknetter among the developers

 

Great!


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#12 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 1105 AM

Will it be on steam? I noticed they put TOAW IV up on steam recently.


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#13 Der Zeitgeist

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 1516 PM

I'm thinking about getting this, too. But after my recent bad experiences with Matrix releases, I'm probably waiting until it's available on Steam. 


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#14 Skywalkre

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 1957 PM

I'm thinking about getting this, too. But after my recent bad experiences with Matrix releases, I'm probably waiting until it's available on Steam. 

OOC, what bad experiences were those?  I've had my eye on a few products of theirs over the years but the high prices have always kept me away.


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#15 Der Zeitgeist

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 0209 AM

 

I'm thinking about getting this, too. But after my recent bad experiences with Matrix releases, I'm probably waiting until it's available on Steam. 

OOC, what bad experiences were those?  I've had my eye on a few products of theirs over the years but the high prices have always kept me away.

 

 

Put shortly, it is the release of games in a state that would normally be called beta or early access, as full price or massively overprized products, combined with developers who are oftentimes unable to cope with any kind of criticism and a totally fanatical fanbase that tries to shield the developers from said criticism.

 

It was mostly two games in recent years. One was Command: Modern Air / Naval Operations (CMANO), and the other was TOAW4.

 

As a longtime Harpoon player, I was really looking forward to CMANO when it released in 2014, but as it turned out, a ton of features the developers spent years advertising and hyping on their own homepage either weren't implemented, were just implemented as placeholders, or aren't really working even today (mostly concerning things like mine warfare, hundreds of placeholder units without detailed stats and the braindead AI that relies completely on scripting). And for an asking price of 80 bucks, that was pretty disappointing to me.

 

The thing that then really drove me away from that game was the behavior of the developers and their most loyal fans on the Matrix forum. I spent the first few months after release trying to document bugs, especially incomplete placeholder units and nonworking AI behavior. The problem now was other players in these forum threads constantly playing down each and every issue with the game as well as the developers demanding proof of bugs and other issues before even considering fixing something.

 

So everytime you found some problem in the game, you'd have to spend days or even weeks having longwinded discussions with the rabid fanbase and the developers before anyone even acknowledged there was a problem. At some point, I just went away because I don't have time arguing with people about a PC game and working as an unpaid beta tester after spending 80 bucks on an unfinished game.

 

In all these years, I have never seen a crazier gaming community than with CMANO. I mean, at some point it got so bad that a forum user, not affiliated with the developers, offered me money as a "refund". He actually paid me the price of the game on release in exchange for the license key. He said he wanted to clear that sale with the developers, so that they could then remove the key from my account. Now, years later, the key is, of course, still in my account, and I'm pretty sure he paid me money to simply stop me from writing about the game on the forums.

 

The other game is TOAW4, which I wrote about in the respective thread here on the forum. To put it short: Incomplete manual, reused scenarios from TOAW3 (or even earlier) where they didn't even take time to modify the scenario descriptions from the old versions, reusing the complete readme file from TOAW3 without even taking the time to modify the included links to the product page, and the list goes on. Oh, and almost a year after release I still didn't have working game music and I'm pretty sure the game still crashes when I try to pick a scenario because the game can't deal with folder structures for non-english language versions of Windows.

 

So I'll probably simply buy any future Matrix releases on Steam to be able to refund them if any problems occur that the developers are unable or unwilling to fix.


Edited by Der Zeitgeist, 16 November 2018 - 0211 AM.

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#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 0256 AM

You want working game music in TOAW4? It was the first thing I turned off. :D The TOAW3 manual is in fact mostly adequate, the main amendments they put in a seperate PDF they create with every update.

 

It would have been nice to have had new scenarios, but im working on one based on NATO in the Baltic. With a but of luck I might get my finger out and finish it soon.


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#17 Der Zeitgeist

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 0357 AM

The TOAW3 manual is in fact mostly adequate, the main amendments they put in a seperate PDF they create with every update.

 

 

They may be adequate for people who are familiar with TOAW. To this day, I still haven't understood the precise meaning of all those unit stats like proficiency, readiness, morale and quality.

 

When I asked the developers after release, it turns out even they don't really understand what these stats are. 


Edited by Der Zeitgeist, 16 November 2018 - 0401 AM.

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#18 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 0410 AM

Well, Ive been playing TOAW for nigh on 20 years, so I kind of take all that stuff for granted.


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#19 Der Zeitgeist

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 0425 AM

Well, Ive been playing TOAW for nigh on 20 years, so I kind of take all that stuff for granted.

 

And here we have the exact reason why Wargaming is still in its current, sad niche and isn't able to aquire new and younger customers.

 

If everyone is just content with the stuff we get from publishers like Matrix, the genre will continue to be stuck with game design from the late 70s and horrible UIs from the mid 90s.


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#20 Harold Jones

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 1254 PM

Post release continuation of the pre-release review from the topic post https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/11/16/armored-brigade-review-part-2/ TLDR solid release, wishes there were a campaign mode, modding is easy, helicopter command kind of fiddly.  I'm on the fence, mostly because my interest in playing war games on the PC is not what it was.


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