View Full Version : Questions before buying...
**Edited to correct various spelling and grammer mistakes. Must learn not to post before drinking that first cup of coffee**
I consider myself a half-way serious wargamer and have followed the development of ATF on the Shrapnel boards for some time.
I downloaded the demo when it first came out and was amazed at the level of detail within the game. The downside to this, of course, is that I was completely befuddled by this same detail. Not having any military training, I ended up spending more time fighting with my own units trying to get them to do what I want than fighting the enemy. I still come back to the demo at least a couple times a week and learn a little more...
With that in mind, I have a couple of questions for those that have purchased the came.
1) How is the manual? I understand that the game comes with a printed manual (great decision). Does it do a good job at not only explaining the interface, but why/when/how you issue commands?
2) From reading other posts, I see that the game ships with only 14 scenerios, two of which are included in the demo. This would seem to hurt the long term aspects of the game. Are there any user made scenerios available or in the works?
04 Dec 02, 11:37
The manual is detailed and explains the game reasonably well. There is a short 'walkthrough' tutorial. While the manual covers the mechanics well (the 'how'), it falls short on the 'when or why' you issue commands as this is the province of tactics.
It falls upon the player to decided the 'when or why' he would adopt a mission profile (assault,attack by fire, etc), or the route or the formation to adopt. That is because the factor like enemy, obstacles, terrain define that.
As for question 2 - the designer states that he will providing more maps as an update at some point. There was supposed to be a map construction tool, but the thing ended up being so much of a problem that it didn't make the cut in the initial release and may (the operational word being 'may') make it into a update to ATF at some point.
That said, there is a scenario editor which allows one to use the existing maps and design one's own scenarios.
As for user-defined scenarios, I am working on some now and will post them to the scenario area of warfarehq when they are done and have been playtested by myself. I imagine that others will do so as well.
In conclusion, I think ATF, like Brigade Combat Team, will see longevity as updates to the program and the user community providing scenarios and OOB will ensure that it is around for the long haul.
My two coppers ....
04 Dec 02, 11:57
1. The manual provides you with an in-depth look at what you can do in ATF. Many of the things you might be doing are likely done automatically by the smart AIs. There are alot of features you could miss that are revealed in the manual. It also has a tutorial that is very helpful.
There are some discussions on tactics, but not alot. There's an article on breaching and defense. CPT. Proctor also includes a small discussion on the importance of mass and synchronization. In addition, the manual includes scenario notes for all scenarios shipped with the game. These point out important problems or solutions that can effect how a particular scenario unfolds.
It does not discuss in-depth tactics, techniques, and procedures for the various battles. This would be difficult, and probably ineffective. Commanders have varying fighting styles. I prefer to strike an enemy in-depth. I use air support and artillery to address enemy indirect fire and damage it's rear. At the same time, I attack to crack his front lines and pass my reserves through. Another commander might prefer to attack the enemy with all his firepower from the front or side. It's better for you see what you like and don't like than have lengthy discussions on tactics that you might not use in a manual.
You will probably see an increase in AARs for the game as well. I see these are important to players and will work on some myself. I think as more people contribute, the learning curve will shorten.
2. I agree with you 100% custom scenarios are vital to the game's survival. I am personally looking into making scenarios for ATF. However, the lack of a database editor means I can't add the vehicles I want to make the scenarios more interesting. We do have a scenario editor with a large list of vehicles. Yet, these are in the game already and new scenarios might not offer the challenge they can.
CPT. Proctor is planning to release a number of add-ons that will change that. This includes the much needed database editor. Without a doubt, I will abandon BCT: Commander and make scenarios for ATF at that time. Right now though, the lack of the database editor is discouraging my interest in scenario building in ATF.
ATF is just getting off it's feet. Most of us are still learning the game so scenarios will not be immediate. However, ATF is far better than BCT. Once CPT. Proctor releases the necessary tools, I am certain the game will see a host of add-ons.
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