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Georgii2222
03 Mar 05, 09:52
Has anyone here played the PC game 'Squad Battles' from HPS Simulations? I'm specifically talking about the 'Advance of the Reich' version.... Any opinions?

Thanks,

Aries
03 Mar 05, 10:18
It's a good question.

Don responded that there was once a SB forum, but it didn't see sufficient response to remain open.

It is possible it is only capable of existing in a subsection of an HPS forum lead by the Panzer Campaigns crowd.

I for one am in the process of buying up the Squad Battles and Panzer Campaigns for two reasons.
1. They are what a grog looks for in a wargame to some extent.
2. They are likely the best priced well represented line of classic wargames on the market.

It is odd that they are uniformly higher priced direct from HPS as opposed to buying them from Warship News.
Can't for the life of me understand why HPS can list say for instance your example Advance of The Reich for 49.95, and then over at Warship News, its 29.95
It's a given, I plan to buy each and everyone of them from Warship News, and not lose a second's worth of sleep over it.
To do otherwise would be illogical.

Being a long time Steel Panthers devotee, and being (I think) well established as having supported the notion, that Steel Panthers is the truest form of experiencing a near ASL experience on the computer, it is worth noting I am growing towards thinking Squad Battles is a contender for deserving an equal share of that claim.

What does Steel Panthers deliver? You get the top down view, of a graphically pleasing, turn based, individually moved unit, squad level game.
Aside from the counters in Squad Battles being more oriented to counters, not intensely graphically represented, marginally animated icons, there appears to be not a great deal of relevant difference to the experience.

I am still new to the experience though, so my input is still superficial.
But it is sufficient, that I am willing to place each and every one of the Squad Battles titles on my purchase que.

Advance of the Reich is a potentially cliche offering.
I think Pacific War deserves a decent amount of time before deciding.
What is nice, is Squad Battles has made the leap to post WW2.
There is a Korean offering, as well as Vietnam offerings.

One other perk that got my attention and made me sit up and take notice. I saw Wild Bill Wilder's name in the credits.
Made by John Tiller and with input from Wild Bill, frankly the only important name I didn't notice (at this time) was Gary Grigsby. I base most of my wargame decisions on whether those three names are involved.

Everybody has their own yardsticks they measure a game by.
I am sure there are key important names in the RTS and FPS industry. But those games don't mean much to me.

Final word. You won't spend your 29 bucks (assuming you go here)
http://store.navalwarfare.org/ in a more satisfying fashion anywhere.
If by some fluke the game actually doesn't float your boat, you won't wait long re selling it here on the forum.

Georgii2222
03 Mar 05, 10:24
It's a good question.

Don responded that there was once a SB forum, but it didn't see sufficient response to remain open.

It is possible it is only capable of existing in a subsection of an HPS forum lead by the Panzer Campaigns crowd.

I for one am in the process of buying up the Squad Battles and Panzer Campaigns for two reasons.
1. They are what a grog looks for in a wargame to some extent.
2. They are likely the best priced well represented line of classic wargames on the market.

It is odd that they are uniformly higher priced direct from HPS as opposed to buying them from Warship News.
Can't for the life of me understand why HPS can list say for instance your example Advance of The Reich for 49.95, and then over at Warship News, its 29.95
It's a given, I plan to buy each and everyone of them from Warship News, and not lose a second's worth of sleep over it.
To do otherwise would be illogical.

Being a long time Steel Panthers devotee, and being (I think) well established as having supported the notion, that Steel Panthers is the truest form of experiencing a near ASL experience on the computer, it is worth noting I am growing towards thinking Squad Battles is a contender for deserving an equal share of that claim.

What does Steel Panthers deliver? You get the top down view, of a graphically pleasing, turn based, individually moved unit, squad level game.
Aside from the counters in Squad Battles being more oriented to counters, not intensely graphically represented, marginally animated icons, there appears to be not a great deal of relevant difference to the experience.

I am still new to the experience though, so my input is still superficial.
But it is sufficient, that I am willing to place each and every one of the Squad Battles titles on my purchase que.

Advance of the Reich is a potentially cliche offering.
I think Pacific War deserves a decent amount of time before deciding.
What is nice, is Squad Battles has made the leap to post WW2.
There is a Korean offering, as well as Vietnam offerings.

One other perk that got my attention and made me sit up and take notice. I saw Wild Bill Wilder's name in the credits.
Made by John Tiller and with input from Wild Bill, frankly the only important name I didn't notice (at this time) was Gary Grigsby. I base most of my wargame decisions on whether those three names are involved.

Everybody has their own yardsticks they measure a game by.
I am sure there are key important names in the RTS and FPS industry. But those games don't mean much to me.

Final word. You won't spend your 29 bucks (assuming you go here)
http://store.navalwarfare.org/ in a more satisfying fashion anywhere.
If by some fluke the game actually doesn't float your boat, you won't wait long re selling it here on the forum.Thanks for the response, Leslie.

I never cared for the WWII version of Steel Panthers. It just aggravated me that first shot hit probabilities were always so low (3%), and the infantry combat left something to be desired.

I've been looking since then to find a close approximation to ASL, that is hex/turn based (CMBO and CMBB are fantastic, though).

I just happened across the Squad Battles series recently, after checking the Campaign Series forums here, and just wanted to get an educated opinion about them before I snatched one up.

Thanks again!

Blackcloud6
03 Mar 05, 13:27
I have a few of the SB games and I do like them. The interface is very much like Tiller's Campagin Series he did for Talonsoft. Graphics are on the weak side but you can download some 3rd party stuff to make some of them better.

The games play well and are easy to learn. But...

They suffer from what almost all computer tactical simulations suffer from:

1. Rigid set up. You have to use the set up that the scenario designer gives your forces. In board games like PB/PL and ASL the player determines set-up. I think how you set up is the most important part of any tactical situation. It can make or break a game sometimes and should. You're the leader, you decide how you are going to fight.

2. Point based victory conditions. Every scenario is won or lost by points you gain for killing enemy forces (or loose for losing friendly forces), capturing ojectives or exiting units. This limits scenario designers on what they can do and after awhile most scenarios seem to have to same feel. I think the strength in ASL is the many ways one can design scenario victory conditons. Then you can have sceanrios to represent withdrawals under pressure, delays, raids, etc. I don't think this can be done in SB, EF/WF and SP.

3. A very dark fog of war. These games suffer from the opposite of boardgames where you see all. In the computer tactical games you know nothing of the enemy dispositions. There is little time to properly recon and what recon you do is usually recon by death. (Send the recon car forward and when it goes boom we know we found the bad guys.) Plus, no one has yet to design recon units that can stealthily move into position and onbserve with out getting spotted (except maybe the CM series of games but its been awhile since I played them.

I was getting the SB series to try to recapture my love for ASL (but hatred of the ASLRB) and started playing them. But then I feel into a good deal on ASL from a friend and have got back into into (thanks to VASL)and am spending most of my tactical gaming time there.

Georgii2222
03 Mar 05, 13:50
I have a few of the SB games and I do like them. The interface is very much like Tiller's Campagin Series he did for Talonsoft. Graphics are on the weak side but you can download some 3rd party stuff to make some of them better.

The games play well and are easy to learn. But...

They suffer from what almost all computer tactical simulations suffer from:

1. Rigid set up. You have to use the set up that the scenario designer gives your forces. In board games like PB/PL and ASL the player determines set-up. I think how you set up is the most important part of any tactical situation. It can make or break a game sometimes and should. You're the leader, you decide how you are going to fight.
Ouch. I know that EF/WF were like this, but I figured that it would have been changed in later games. Heck, even in EF/WF, in the CGs, you could set up your own stuff.



2. Point based victory conditions. Every scenario is won or lost by points you gain for killing enemy forces (or loose for losing friendly forces), capturing ojectives or exiting units. This limits scenario designers on what they can do and after awhile most scenarios seem to have to same feel. I think the strength in ASL is the many ways one can design scenario victory conditons. Then you can have sceanrios to represent withdrawals under pressure, delays, raids, etc. I don't think this can be done in SB, EF/WF and SP.
Ouch again. This is the one thing that really annoys me about EF/WF, the unimaginative VCs.


3. A very dark fog of war. These games suffer from the opposite of boardgames where you see all. In the computer tactical games you know nothing of the enemy dispositions. There is little time to properly recon and what recon you do is usually recon by death. (Send the recon car forward and when it goes boom we know we found the bad guys.) Plus, no one has yet to design recon units that can stealthily move into position and onbserve with out getting spotted (except maybe the CM series of games but its been awhile since I played them.
Well, this isn't *so* bad, although it does take some getting used to after ASL. In EF/WF, I really wished they'd give you a bit more time to recon positions before having to make your attack, but usually time was so constrained, you almost have to go in blind. I guess SqB isn't much better on that front.