Comparisons between CMN/CMBB/PCO

Geordie

CM Moderator
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
2,111
Reaction score
13
Location
Scotland
Country
llUnited Kingdom
Obviously, like many others I have been following the threads at both Matrix and BF concerning new and upcoming ww2 games.

I have to say that its been a refreshing change to have a company that actually shows what their game does. I am impressed by the guys making PCO, their openess, their willingness to describe what they are doing and how they are doing it. To be honest it really puts BF in a bad light.

What I know about PCO in less than 2 weeks far outweighs what I know about a title I have to describe as CMN. BF has promised much in the 1-1 world or ww2, unfortunately, it has delivered very little. About 3 screenshots, one of them over 2 years old, some descriptions of bridges and a whole lot of promise.

Along comes the PCO team and with in a short period Ive seen loads of vehicle models, a huge amount of building, water, bridges, smoke coming out of chimneys. I know about the ability to tailor game turns to my liking. I know that armour and guns will rock back when firing. Ive seen AARs and DARs. Ive seen how air support works. I know about the artillery, heck they even put a Maus in and Ive seen a screenshot. It goes to show that when you want to, you can.

BF has constantly stated that this and that is in and everyone playing it is loving it and were going to love it. Quite frankly, Im pre-disposed now to not believe a word of it, I havent actually seen much proof of anything and I would have thought by this time that we could have a forum, working title and at least an AAR of some 1-1 battle.

SO why did I put CMBB in my title?

Quite simply, PCO seems to me the game CM-1 should have become. It seems to have all or most of the elements guys at BF had been asking about. Improved graphics are in, tailoring turns are in, running water, better campaign modes. Detailed reporting of armour hits, i.e. some feedback from the action. A one key switching of map modes. An editor that looks easy to use. High modability, which leads to the ability of designing other conflicts. Its almost as if the guys designing PCO looked at PCK and CMBB and said, lets combine the best elements of both games and see what wargamers would like to add to them and design that.

Now, Im not one to get too excited though, I do realise that none of the new games are out yet and Ive yet to play anything on a PC. I have played a lot of CMBB though, a bit of PCK and quite a bit of CMSF. I imagine CMN will be much like CMSF (nothing to prove me otherwise that Ive seen so far). Im also begining to think that PCO is a kind of hybrid CMBB+ and if it is, then thats the one Im most interested in.

I see the possibility that PCO will provide me with the next level in ww2 wargaming where as CMN will just provide a new bit of 1-1 ww2 gaming. I may still buy CMN, but if I get PCO first and the CMN demo is just more CMSF but in ww2 uniforms while PCO is that CMBB+, then all bets are off.


Editted to add - I wouldnt be surprised if BF actually show more screenshots and give a bit more information soon about CMN following the PCO revelations.
 
Last edited:

nicdain

Recruit
Joined
Sep 12, 2005
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Location
Florence
Country
llItaly
I wouldnt be surprised if BF actually show more screenshots and give a bit more information soon about CMN following the PCO revelations.
Well.. that's what competition is for!:D

Seriously, even if I have enjoyed CMBB a lot, I like CMSF and I'm looking forward to CMN, The more I see about PCO, the more I think I will get this title.
 

dalem

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
2,298
Reaction score
61
Location
Columbia Heights, MN
Country
llUnited States
I'm kind of interested in PC now. I'd be more interested if it were West Front, but I'm considering buying in.

-dale
 

Mad Russian

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
1,372
Reaction score
188
Location
texas
Country
llUnited States
I'm kind of interested in PC now. I'd be more interested if it were West Front, but I'm considering buying in.

-dale
It's a funny thing. On the way to a patch a game was born.

There was never intended on there being a PCO at this stage of the series development. There was intended to be a patch.....about 18 months ago. Then along comes real life and low and behold PCO is born from the unending stream of improvements that the development team kept throwing into the patch. That and the fact that Matrix let us do it.

Now for your pleasure Dale PC4 will be NWE. It will be a much simpler transition now that PCO has updated the PC series. With far fewer issues to redirect. BUT don't be surprised if you don't see some NWE scenarios before the complete release of PC4. ANYTHING can be modded in the PC series. It was designed that way from the first line of code up.

Mobius has already been working on Shermans. If somebody does a couple different US/UK infantry company maneuver and support elements you can have NWE scenarios NOW!

Of course PC4 isn't just about NWE. It's about taking the series to where it needs to go. With a new infantry combat model, destructible terrain, CAS/AAA, etc.....so just adding new vehicles/infantry units isn't really the deal for PC4. We could do that now.

For those of you that like AAR's/DAR's thewood and I are set to fight one. We've been trying to start one for awhile and we finally got our act together today. You can tag along here:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2762395

He selected the battleground and did a random pick of the units. See how it turns out. I've never played a random game in PCO. So this is a first for me.

Good Hunting.

MR
 

mOBIUS

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
650
Reaction score
4
Location
Kalifornia
It's a funny thing. On the way to a patch a game was born.
Mobius has already been working on Shermans. If somebody does a couple different US/UK infantry company maneuver and support elements you can have NWE scenarios NOW!
MR
Well, we have Soviet operated Shermans. They don't include the use of the M79 round for their guns. But I don't see that load in the BFC AARs either.
Most German vs Sherman AARs at BF could be easily redone in PCO at a moments notice. The standard Russian command systems can be switched in a scenario to a German or Western system. We do lack a mod of a white star for unit ID logos.
 

Mad Russian

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
1,372
Reaction score
188
Location
texas
Country
llUnited States
Last edited:

junk2drive

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
897
Reaction score
7
Location
Arizona West Coast
I just installed the CMSF 1.30 demo again for the umpteenth time. Browsed thru the first 80 of 216 pages of manual and remembered that I may be too old to deal with all the stuff in the GUI. Too many mouse and keyboard combos, panels, buttons...
 

mOBIUS

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
650
Reaction score
4
Location
Kalifornia
As noted many many times on this board both by fans and detractors, the CMx2 engine is at its core an engineered ballistics sim. The primary development challenges for the team (Charles) have been around reconciling that model with a more abstract and conventional "boardgame" model based on a grid of Action Spots for spotting and targeting purposes to keep calculations finite. That, I believe, lies at the root of most of the oddities CMSF (and its players) went through in its development.
The root is Chaos Theory is working. From little variations in the starting condition of many complicated deterministic processes unpredictable and unusual results will happen. As you say the core is an engineered ballistic sim. Where it simply follows an engineering formula or formulas to get a single right solution.

PCO uses probability models that attempts to define the limits of the right solution within boundaries. If a solution falls within these boundaries it is a right solution. For example in complicated functions like ballistic flight paths a collection of possible solutions based on ranging errors and gun dispersion is produced beforehand. Then the statistical mean of the collection is saved as data for ballistic accuracy. Later when this is needed in the game a probability roll is done to see if falls within the value.
I think this is more involved than just rolling dice.
 

dalem

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
2,298
Reaction score
61
Location
Columbia Heights, MN
Country
llUnited States
The root is Chaos Theory is working. From little variations in the starting condition of many complicated deterministic processes unpredictable and unusual results will happen. As you say the core is an engineered ballistic sim. Where it simply follows an engineering formula or formulas to get a single right solution.

PCO uses probability models that attempts to define the limits of the right solution within boundaries. If a solution falls within these boundaries it is a right solution. For example in complicated functions like ballistic flight paths a collection of possible solutions based on ranging errors and gun dispersion is produced beforehand. Then the statistical mean of the collection is saved as data for ballistic accuracy. Later when this is needed in the game a probability roll is done to see if falls within the value.
I think this is more involved than just rolling dice.
And the Atomic Cannon had more punch than a Colt .45, but they're both guns.

-dale
 

Mad Russian

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
1,372
Reaction score
188
Location
texas
Country
llUnited States
Extremely few wargamers could give you the ballistics characteristics of any of the tank guns involved. For the most part it's actually not about how great the ballistics in the game are. It's whether or not the game plays well and "feels" right.

I'm one of those that thinks if you get all the details right the game play falls into place almost effortlessly. For making a board game I know this has been my experience. I would think the same would hold true for computer games.

For me personally the most important thing is to get as much detail as you can under the hood. I don't want to handle all the details and most of the time I don't even want to know anything about them except to confirm their existence. I want SOMEBODY to have gone and done the legwork. Just normally not me.

Once that's all been done then we can do the most important part. Play the game. This is where it needs to "Feel" right. Whether it's accomplished by die rolls or logarithms I don't really care so long as it gets the right results when I play.


ASL being a case in point. There are no complicated formulas to see if a Sherman kills a Panther. And it's fun and the results are close to what you expect to see. That works.

Good Hunting.

MR
 

Michael Dorosh

der Spieß des Forums
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
15,326
Reaction score
2,142
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada
But there ARE complicated mechanics. :)

-dale
Exactly - there may be a dice roll, but it's a complicated dice roll....actually a pair, and each pair has multiple possible outcomes; a snake-eyes on the TO HIT is a possible Critical Hit; the juxtaposition of the colored die to the white die indicates the location of the hit, thus determining whether the turret or hull armour has been struck; the "to kill" number is modified by the Armor Factor; a box car indicates a dud hit, etc. Also possible are shock/unconfirmed kill results if the To Kill result is exactly equal to the necessary DR needed; and if the tank is destroyed, more calculations for crew survival and burning wrecks, etc.
 

dalem

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
2,298
Reaction score
61
Location
Columbia Heights, MN
Country
llUnited States
Exactly. Maybe I'm just being a jerk (it's been that kind of month) but I think the whole "it's not just a die roll!" defense is ignorant. Unless it's a chess move, i.e. "this X always does this Y when encountering this situation Z", then it is a die roll. Maybe a die roll based on great info, medium info, or poor info, but it's a "die roll".

-dale
 

Geordie

CM Moderator
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
2,111
Reaction score
13
Location
Scotland
Country
llUnited Kingdom
I think I know where MR is coming from and I have no ideas about ASL other than it's an ancient paper based thing.

CMSF is actually quite easy to play, there are no complicated menus to navigate, or rules to learn, nor die to throw. You can quite easily play it using just the Mouse and Spacebar. I don't find it any more cumbersome to play than CM-1 or PCO.

I agree with MRs point, I don't need to know everything that's going on, I just need to know it's approximately right.
 
Top