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Theatre of War series The most historically accurate RTS games

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  #11  
Old 04-04-2011, 08:27 AM
Sneaksie Sneaksie is offline
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You can turn icons on and off simply by pressing F1 if i'm not mistaken.

Did you try F4 damage info overlay, do you find it useful?

Are you sure that recoiless rifle is immobile, devs say you can move it?

{Units (notably field guns and mortars, but also tanks, probably everything...) do not respond to the Hold Fire command. To make them cease fire it is necessary to give them a movement order, wait until they start to move, and then order them to halt. This is not good for game immersion.}
- Just give them Hold Fire and the Stop, they won't start firing again until you remove Hold Fire.
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2011, 11:07 AM
nodlew nodlew is offline
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Thank you, Speaksie, again for your responses.

I have read most of the manual, but, like many, I skip over parts and skim through to the stuff I'm worried about at the moment. I'm very glad to hear that I can toggle the icons off, thank you for informing me.

I know the .30 cals don't move. I don't use the RRifles much, but in one particular mission I know I couldn't get it to move. When I had the trouble with the .30 cals, I remembered I couldn't move the Rifles, so I assumed the same bug was affecting both units. It could have been a momentary glitch, or caused by something else. I'll try the Recoiless Rifles again.

Since learning how to use the CANCEL button, I have no trouble with the HOLD FIRE command. As you said, I use it in combination with the CANCEL button-- CANCEL then HOLD FIRE, or the opposite would work. Works great. The trouble I was having was that I was confused about what the HOLD FIRE command and the CANCEL ORDERS commands were for. I thought that the CANCEL ORDERS command was merely a command to order moving troops to halt--the result of the hand symbol which I interpreted to mean simply "Stop". And I thought that the HOLD FIRE command was a CEASE FIRE command--as in most games a HOLD FIRE order doubles as a CEASE FIRE order. Not a problem, just an eccentricity of this game I needed to become aware of.

Also, the game is much more pleasing to play since I tried using the CLASSIC SELECTION MODE. The default selection mode makes it very hard to reorganize units after they've taken casualties, or to combine different units. I almost posted a long complaint about that--glad I tried the other mode first. I don't like wasting people's time. More than that, I don't like being wrong. Who does?

A further note on the turret armor of the M46 which I said was very weak--I just played a mission in which a group of American tanks moved into my area trying to link up with the units defending the village I was assaulting. My tanks were stationary, in decent defensive position and shot up the Shermans and Chaffees, but at that range, the M46, though apparently immobilized (anyway, it stopped), was impervious to to all of my guns and I had to order my tanks to cease fire to prevent wasting AP ammo. I was able to close on the Patton using the terrain for cover in a SU76, and fired on it from quite close range just behind a little ridge. The SU76 scored multiple direct hits on the M46's frontal turret armor and gun mantlet with every available armor piercing ammunition type, including APCR and HEAT, without noticeable effect. The turret continued to function and the tank continued to fire on me, though my SU76 expended all of its AP rounds, as I said, hitting the Patton over and over again. I couldn't destroy the Patton until I had it decoyed to engage the SU76 and shot it at very close range through the side of its turret with an ambushing T-34.

So maybe not all that weak at all, is what I mean. I think what was happening to my Pattons when I was playing them is that they were getting hit at ranges where just about any gun is effective against any tank. At a stand-off range, the Patton looks like a very tough nut to crack.

They still need machine gun ammo though.

I'm having a ball playing this game, I have to say. Some really interesting, surprising, and even hilarious things can happen. One mission I was attacking a village as the US vs. the USSR. I thought I had things well in hand when suddenly my M36 and two M4s were jumped by two Russian tanks. The SPG and one of the Shermans was destroyed, the other Sherman not having been spotted. I had a goodly number of infantry in the village ahead of my tanks and the Soviet armor just went medieval on them, machine gunning them, blasting them, and crushing them beneath their tracks.

The situation was not good. I ordered my remaining Sherman to move up and ambush the enemy tanks, but they rolled forward a short distance, and then bailed out of the perfectly good tank in terror. What do I do now? My infantry was being slaughtered the whole time.

So I ordered the crew of an immobilized Sherman farther back to bail out and run to the abandoned tank in the village, which they did. With that tank we ambushed the Ivans, destroyed the enemy armor, and won the battle, although not unscathed as I had expected.

I haven't had a game give me wonderful little moments like that since CLOSE COMBAT. This game is a real treat and I will do whatever I can to help advertise it.

Oh, and yes, I have tried the damage overlay which is a very nice feature, very much the same as I remember from playing Steel Fury. Same Co, I know. What can I say? I love 1C games--all of the ones I've played--Steel Fury, Soldiers, Heroes of WWII, Men of War, Red Tide, the other more recent Men of War game, the one that was set in Kharkov...probably some others. I have to say, I think this game is a real step in the right direction, especially grapically. It looks so much better than the Kharkov game, which was very dark and ugly, though the gameplay was great. I just wish this game could incorporate some things from the Men of War series--like commanders riding open hatch, using their heavy machine guns. The hatches open--couldn't this be implemented? The infantry models in this game are truly fantastic when you zoom in to take a close look, and the maps/landscapes are beautiful and very fun to fight in. Seems to run much much better than previous TOW games as well. I don't have much problem with slow downs in Campaigns. In Mission Generator missions, with hordes of enemy attacking all at once, my computer can slow down alot until the fighting dies down a bit. But I have accepted that this is due to all of the ballistic calculations, damage calculations, angle calculations, etc that my CPU must process and not a result of graphics detail. The game seems to run as well on the highest graphics settings as it does on the worst. From what I have read, the performance of the game on my system is equal to or better than its performance on some other much better computers with more ram, better cpu's, and better graphics cards. So, like I said, I'm making allowances for some slow downs when the action is very intense.

Game crashes are still a real issue however. I just lost about two hours of progress in my last mission because the game crashed when I tried to call in a mortar bombardment on an enemy tank. I'm getting into the habit of saving the game regularly, especially when it starts to act up. If the graphics start flickering, I have to save, exit and restart to prevent a crash and stop the graphical glitches. Have any idea what causes that?

Cheers.

Last edited by nodlew; 04-04-2011 at 11:51 AM.
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:46 PM
Sneaksie Sneaksie is offline
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Yes, CC games are still unsurpassed infantry gameplay-wise (too bad it's damage modeling is too simple to speak about nowdays). Especially CC2 is still unique with it's simulation of the entire Market Garden operation. This is an interesting effect actually - more schematic old 2d games seem more life-like than modern 3d ones.

Why is it so? I'll quote my old post from Battlefront forum about possible cause of this:

Note that making 3D versions of CC (GI combat and another one), transferring all gameplay elements exactly and, AFAIK, having access to CC infantry AI coding resulted in epic fail compared to original games so it's not that easy for some reason. This is an interesting question why. My opinion is that in CC you're really restricted - you can't order individual soldiers around, and you could only guess what's happening in the house where two hostile squads meet. Your imagination portrays what's happening there for you, and no future CPU, AI code or super videocard would be able to compete with your imagination. On the other hand, in ToW, where you can zoom to any soldier's face you see all the AI quirks clearly. Some people reported that playing Kursk in top-down (tactical map mode) they felt that their soldiers act smarter

BTW, actually Steel Fury and Kharkov 43 (and T-72 sim) are from the different development team (i heard they're making a T-62 sim now), and games from MoW series were developed by various other teams. For example, there is MoW: Vietnam on the way (by the team that made Red Tide).

Quote:
I haven't had a game give me wonderful little moments like that since CLOSE COMBAT. This game is a real treat and I will do whatever I can to help advertise it.
Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2011, 02:39 PM
nodlew nodlew is offline
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I remember the imagination. I grew up playing RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, Traveller, Melee, and tactical board games like Panzer Leader. My friends and I would even invent our own role playing, military, and sci-fi games, when we weren't in the woods taking enemy positions with pine-cone grenades and sub-machine guns made from vacuum cleaner parts. When I was a little boy, before personal computers I played with plastic army men and I remember dreaming that one day they might be able to make little robot army men that would bring the game "to life," which is essentially what computer games do, except better, because computer army men are a lot cheaper than hundreds of little robots would be, and they never wear out.

Sound effects were something that you provided yourself--I can still produce dozens of pretty decent weapon and battle field sounds with my voice. It's a skill that you never forget. I wonder if little boys can still do that. Not as well I, would guess.

My favorite CC game was Close Combat III: The Russian Front. Actually it was the first one I bought, and I absolutely loved it. I never played II or I because the graphics of III were much better and it put me off. Battle of the Bulge was good. And of course all of the mods for III really kept the game growing and expanding and kept me playing it literally for years. CCIII was actually a pretty good-looking game, for being 2d--without the necessity of 3d it was possible to make nice looking maps and units, all of which moved and fought in very convincing fashion, and it all ran flawlessly on a computer that didn't have enough HD space to even install a modern game. It was of course a quantum leap beyond Steel Panthers which I also played way back when. The thing about Close Combat that hooked me was the realism. The game literally could not get boring because it was like watching real battles unfold, not like trying to beat a computer. You felt like you were trying to beat, not the computer, but the Germans. I felt some moments of real triumph playing that game, like the time I had a paltry force of Airborne Paratroopers with a few measly AT guns, bazooka teams, etc., maybe a Sherman and an M10 and I had to defeat a landslide of German armor including Panthers and King Tigers. You guessed it, Bastogne. Hitting that Panther with a bazooka and seeing that nice big shower of sparks and smoke was like: Yeah! Take that you Nazi bastards! (not propaganda). Learning to play Close Combat was learning to deploy troops on a battlefield, its lessons would transfer directly to the real world.

And of course the units in Close Combat were somehow imbued with something you never find in computer models: character and personality. Somehow, looking down like God on that poor, wounded and bloody foot soldier as he crawled painfully across the frozen, shell blasted map, panicked and trying to find some place not to be shot at, you felt sympathy for him, and you hoped he would make it.

One other thing about Close Combat. I don't remember once ever while playing that game thinking "Ok, this is stupid. Real troops/tanks/guns/cannons/bullets/explosions/...etc. don't work that way." I remember thinking, or shouting, "Stop! The other way, you idiot!" Or, "Oh, crap, I did not think that was going to happen..." But in its terms, the game was completely believable. If I lost, I scratched my head and re-strategized, but never did I want to contact the game designers. It was, in a word, perfect.

Last edited by nodlew; 04-04-2011 at 02:58 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-05-2011, 06:56 AM
nodlew nodlew is offline
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Quote:
BTW, actually Steel Fury and Kharkov 43 (and T-72 sim) are from the different development team (i heard they're making a T-62 sim now), and games from MoW series were developed by various other teams. For example, there is MoW: Vietnam on the way (by the team that made Red Tide).
Different development team, Ok. Not really sure how all of that works. Different teams working for the same company on different projects/series of games? Do the teams interact at all? They must. I know that TOW and MOW have very distinctive looks and completely different gameplay styles. But there are similarities as well. I suppose there would have to be, both of them being RTS games centered on conventional ground warfare, mostly in the WWII era.

I am looking forward to the T-64 vs. The M-60 game. I liked Steel Fury very much until the limitations of the AI and the impenetrability of the Mission Editor caused me to lose interest in the game. I hope they can get the infantry sorted out. There were lots of problems with Steel Fury. Anti-tank guns were usually buried in the ground, unable to fire, or cocked at ridiculous angles. Infantry modelling was too crude, and the AI, though deadly accurate, was very mechanical and predictable.

The Mission Editor needs to be simplified, or at least it needs a detailed manual--in English as well as Russian!--explaining how to use it. The longevity of a game is essentially and directly dependent upon its modability by users, both in terms of the campaigns and missions available to play, and also the available units and some of their attributes, such as infantry weapons, ammo load-outs, etc. New expansions and sequels to games will always be in demand because of major improvements to a game that modders are generally not capable of. They will be more in demand, if the games are known to be mod-friendly.
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  #16  
Old 04-06-2011, 04:27 AM
nodlew nodlew is offline
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I finally lost two battles as the North Koreans. I was given two SU76s, two AT guns, 2 mgs, and infantry against a huge US tank company with artillery support. Some of my guys didn't even have rifles. There was no time to prepare defenses, and after killing our own weight and more in the enemy, we were overrun by heavy tanks and massed infantry. It wasn't fair.

But, while the battles took place, we surrounded the "victorious" Yankees. Let the capitalist pigs savor their triumph while they can. Tomorrow belongs to us.
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  #17  
Old 04-06-2011, 08:38 AM
Sneaksie Sneaksie is offline
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Looks like you're having fun
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2011, 06:42 AM
nodlew nodlew is offline
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The capitalist dogs of the American 7th Infantry Division were indeed crushed by the heroic 203rd Tank Regiment of the People's Republic. Our revenge upon them was hard won, but sweet in the achievement of it.

Now only one Yankee, Capitalist, Pig-Dog Imperial Army (now that's propaganda!) remains, and it is utterly surrounded and cut off.

After that? Who knows. Growing in strength, perhaps we shall bring the light of Communism to liberate the enslaved people of Japan from the American Dogs!

One day the whole world will be free to think and do as we do as loyal comrades. And if they are not, we will liberate them until they do.
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  #19  
Old 04-09-2011, 05:45 AM
dce21b dce21b is offline
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If you select your group of soldiers and then assign them a group number cntrl 1 for example. That group will keep selected formation. But you have to select group by its number or it will not work.
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  #20  
Old 04-09-2011, 08:03 AM
nodlew nodlew is offline
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Thanks for that info, dce21b. I didn't know that. As a rule I assign groups to my armor and artillery, and special infantry units like scout/snipers. Guess I'll have to start doing it for infantry squads as well.
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