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Glenn Saunders
12 May 05, 13:08
As the New PzC thread seems to be getting long and going in a few directions, I thought I might segarate the topics.

Below is some thoughts on Squad Battles by Wodin and I trust he will forward these to HPS, perhaps after interested parties here have discussed them and new items might be added.

++++

Here are some peoples issues with SB.

"Weapon effectiveness and armour ratings need review. Combat results, particularly concerning armour seem random. You can see a 2 T34's firing between them 5 close range flank shots at a PIV with no result. Next turn the PIV turns and kills two of your T34's with 1 front shot each. Yes this may occasionally happen in reality but it happens far too often in SqB. The results seem well just too random. 5 turns you hit nothing and then in 1 or 2 turns you can do no wrong.

The Indirect and direct fire weapons need review. Indirect fire seems to have no weight at all. Fire and fire those motars, to what purpose, when 95% of the time there are no results. In one game as a lark I fired all my motars all the time at one unit in trees. No result. "

and

"I'm not much of a SB player, but one thing that has turned me off is the high level of abstraction in the engine. The lack of discrete ammunition tracking is the worst part of the game, but there are other areas where the game engine is too "lumpy" in its calculations. When I go to the squad level I expect more detail, not less. SB has always seemed to me like a misconceived port of a larger-scale engine."

and

"I loved ASL because of the details. Iíve spent 100ís of hours studying that dam manual with sheer delight and still pick it up now and again today. I also have all the SqB titles but this game will die in the wind because there isnít the Ďeconomicí interest in getting the thing right. The powers that be should just let us players have the codes and sit back and see how many games sell after all the issues have been worked out. That includes map editors. Gads the literature is full of small arms conflicts under specific conditions that would be most excellent to reproduce in game form."


I also belive there is a problem with weapon effectiveness. Yes the way SB works it adds all those uncertainties. However sometimes it goes to far. I like some uncertainties but if several 60mm mortars are firing into hexes with trees some casualties must happen. This isnt always the case.

Ammo tracking isnt a big one for me as that is covered in weapon effectiveness. However the decrease in effectiveness is a bit harsh.

The great campaign system by Marc Bellizi is something that definatly should be added. What a game we will have then.

None of the above need a major engine change (though the campaign system would take some work). All of them would make SB an even better game.

Wodin
12 May 05, 13:38
Thanks Glen I was just thinking that I'd hyjacked the other thread;)

Glenn Saunders
12 May 05, 13:43
Well - I am happy to give you and all the Squad Battle Fans your own place to discuss the changes you want to see. I'm not involved in that series and I can't help you with it.

I'm trying to keep up on Panzer Campaigns and the new World War in Europe game and I think I hope the moderators will help us keep separate threads for separate topics of interest.

Bottomline is I don't think it is fair to ask readers interested in the new game from wading through other posts to find stuff they are looking for.

John Tiller and HPS have not abandoned Squad Battles or any other game lines. Support, bug fixed and general questions on any game can be found and we think we do it as good as anyone does.

Good luck with your issues.

Glenn

Wodin
12 May 05, 16:09
Glen,

As I stated before I emailed JT with a couple fo issues and the result was four games being patched in two weeks.

I just feel that SB doesnt have the kind of support that you give to PzC. I applaud you for helping make PzC the series it is today.

Sorry the other thread went off topic.

Wodin
12 May 05, 16:13
With the release of a new series and the expanding ACW games what is the future of SB?

I understand we a poor second cousins to the PzC series and now with this new series out it looks like we will be pushed into last place.

Ive seen several polls where tactical games get the thumps up over operational and grand startegy so why isnt SB the No1 game in the HPS stable?

Do you think some major new upgrades are needed to push this game into a spot it deserves? The campaign idea knocking around would really be a fantastic enhancement. What else do you think needs working on and what else could be done to make it the No1 turn based tactical game? So many enhancements have been made to PzC compared to SB. We need to think of enhancements that aren't going to require a totally new engine though we need to get some ideas together and then approach JT.

Glenn Saunders
12 May 05, 17:24
If you've communicated the issues to John then I am not sure what anyone here can do to alleviate your concerns.

Also - you said:

> With the release of a new series and the expanding ACW games what is the future of SB?

I would only add, with two new titles of SB in the works, what is the future for Modern Campaign which too is hugely popular and could see new titles with existing rules or expand to the turn of the century with Smart Weapons and Satellite intel? But I don't know what the future is there either.

That there are games in the works shows there is a future. Whether your concerns will be addressed in this future is not something I can even speculate on. And I'm afraid John is away right now so I can't even ask him about your ideas.

Glenn

Wodin
12 May 05, 20:23
Glen,

Dont worry about it. I'd just like to see other peoples opinion on what they feel could be changed WITHOUT making massive changes to the game engine.

That way I will most likely email John at some point with the major concerns and enhancements.

Also I hope that John revamps both the PzC series and SB to incorporate the new AI system.

Wodin
15 May 05, 13:59
Someone please post something!!

Any Squad Battle fans who feel something could be changed to enhance the game?

Anyone who has played SB and feels with jus a few chnages they could really enjoy it?

Please post your suggestions.

rahamy
15 May 05, 15:08
I personally don't have any big problems with the SB games. There's a few things I'd like to see changed to allow larger battles to be played, such as "repair" for weapons that have deteriorated. John agreed, but that feature hasn't been added in yet. I also think single man units are entirely too tenacious...they should run away at a certain point rather than defend indefinitely. Over all though I really enjoy the games when I do play them.

The series took a big hit when Wild Bill stepped down as the team lead. He was filling the roll that Glenn does for the PZC series, and no one was able to step up and fill that place the same way. I know Frank tried, but real life demanded too much of his time. Anyway, more is coming, it's just a matter of getting it done. I know on the pre-twentieth century side of things that it takes a long time to get a game together.

Wodin
15 May 05, 21:06
Well I know one thing if I had the knowledge needed Id step up and take over from Frank.

I also agree about one man squads. If they are surrounded so they cant retreat it can take an age to kill them off sometimes.


Pre twentieth century is that a hint at a fruture SB game?

Hmmm........Or are you just going by your won experience with ACW games?

One game I'd make if I was in the developer role would be WW1.

I'd also make a couple of modern SB games for those fans that want them.

I came to the series pre Wild Bill but I can imagine what a loss he is. He is back on the SPWAW scene and I asked once whether he was coming back to SB but he didnt say.

Joao Lima
15 May 05, 21:12
One game I'd make if I was in the developer role would be WW1.

I'd also make a couple of modern SB games for those fans that want them.


Just speaking here but, Tactical Battles at Squad level in WW1? Conquer the trench!!!!!!!!!! :laugh:

Now modern SB... :love: You got my vote. And help in everything I can.

rahamy
15 May 05, 21:18
Pre twentieth century is that a hint at a fruture SB game?


Sorry, but no. I work with the Nap, EAW and to a much lesser extent the ACW series of games.

jztemple
15 May 05, 23:24
Count me in as one who also loves the SB series. Sure, it would be nice to make some engine changes, but warts and all I still play it quite a lot. I would like to see the modern era covered in more detail, say from the 1980s to the present. And since the SB releases tend to be few and far between, perhaps the scope could be extended to cover more than just one regional conflict or series of conflicts.

And just my two cents, I'm fine with the current range of battle sizes and the time limits. I don't really want some monster scenarios or twenty-plus turns, I like the "beer and preztels" aspect. The weapons breakdown rules really make it an interesting change from most wargames, so I have to really consider whether to let my units fire without restraint or hold back some reserves.

Paulinski
16 May 05, 01:31
I'm an avid SB player and I'd like to see few things expanded/improved.

1) Campaign games - How about a series of scenarios with upgrades/reinforcement purchases/battle hardening etc. I know about the Stalingrad campaign but it requires an umpire
2) Monster Scenarios - I'd love to play them :)
3) Modern SB game - Afghanistan would be my favourite
4) More mods (especially graphics and sounds)

Joao Lima
16 May 05, 07:04
On a general note a would like to see:

- More detailed Vehicles (Armor facing, maybe even turrets, smoke dischargers...)

- Better modelled support weapons (mortars that do hit, artillery fires that do cause casualties...)

- Better counter art (easily done)

- Less generic building locations on maps (we could have singular buildings like castles, fortresses...)

- Possibility to have longuer scenarios

- The obvious campaign mode

And I'll continue latter.

Wodin
16 May 05, 07:25
This is ore like it.

All thes points I will pass on to JT, so keep them coming.

Paulinski
16 May 05, 09:34
Few more things....

- Weapon breakdowns/jamming - every weapon has a % chance to jam should increase exponentially wih the amount of bursts fired...
- Vehicle\Mortar\Cannon - ammo - there should be a limit of shells at hand. Each tank should have xx amount of AP/HP shells etc
-Weapon ammo limit - xx numbers of bursts/clips (2-3 bursts per clip)....
-Resupply?? How about an ammo carrier for the mg? Lets say defendar has a supply depo there carrier heads and picks ap more ammo belts etc....
-Rethink mortar/artillery
-Rocket Artillery?
-Rout - with enough casualties/morale drop the unit should retreat and have limited firing capacity

dannybou
16 May 05, 10:16
I do have a few of these games here, but just couldn't get into them for some reason. Maybe becuase of the scale used? Used to controlling regiments/battalions/companies maybe? I might just have to load one up and give it another try.

Joao Lima
16 May 05, 10:32
Regarding morale there should be the possibility for an unit to go beyond the normal morale maximum therefore reaching a temporary status which would enable her to 'inspire' other untis on the same force.

For Modern SqB, I would like also to have command radius, leaders should be able to direct units within a certain radius not only on their present hex.

Another thing is the possibility to recon/search a neighboring hex, for mines, traps, enemies.

Wodin
16 May 05, 21:21
Few more things....

- Weapon breakdowns/jamming - every weapon has a % chance to jam should increase exponentially wih the amount of bursts fired...
- Vehicle\Mortar\Cannon - ammo - there should be a limit of shells at hand. Each tank should have xx amount of AP/HP shells etc
-Weapon ammo limit - xx numbers of bursts/clips (2-3 bursts per clip)....
-Resupply?? How about an ammo carrier for the mg? Lets say defendar has a supply depo there carrier heads and picks ap more ammo belts etc....
-Rethink mortar/artillery
-Rocket Artillery?
-Rout - with enough casualties/morale drop the unit should retreat and have limited firing capacity


Points one two and three are covered here. This is were the game is abstract to a point. To make alterations here would require a major engine change whoch isnt going to happen. Remember this game is all about giving that ASL or Squad Leader feel. That doesnt mean other things cant be changed though.

Here is a quote from the manual

"In the Unit List, the Effectiveness of certain units is shown as the Status value. The Effectiveness of individual Weapons is shown as a single percentage value.

Certain rules apply to Effectiveness:

∑ Effectiveness values cannot drop below 25%.

∑ Squad units at 50% Effectiveness or lower may become Demoralized as a result of combat.

When a Leader, Squad, or Vehicle is fired upon or involved in an assault, its Effectiveness is modified according to the Effectiveness loss calculation described in the section on Combat Results."

"Effectiveness is a percentage value that reflects the status of both Men, Vehicles, and Weapons. The Effectiveness of Weapons is affected by their use in combat, while the Effectiveness of Men and Vehicles is affected by being in combat. In general, Effectiveness begins at 100% and decreases during a battle. Effectiveness in general represents several factors affecting the fighting ability of units including wounding and fatigue for men and jamming, fouling, and loss of ammo for weapons. There is no way of restoring Effectiveness in the context of a Squad Battles scenario."

"Each Weapon is assigned a Reliability value that is used to determine loss of Effectiveness during the battle. These Reliability values are displayed when you right click on a Weapon unit in the Unit List.

When a Weapon is fired, its Effectiveness is lowered based on the Reliability of the Weapon. The new Effectiveness value of the Weapon is a certain random percentage of the previous Effectiveness value using the following percentages:

∑ Reliability A => Between 98% and 100% of previous Effectiveness.

∑ Reliability B => Between 95% and 100% of previous Effectiveness.

∑ Reliability C => Between 90% and 100% of previous Effectiveness.

∑ Reliability D => Between 85% and 100% of previous Effectiveness.

∑ Reliability E => Between 80% and 100% of previous Effectiveness.

∑ Reliability F => Between 70% and 100% of previous Effectiveness.

When a Weapon is dropped as a result of combat, then its Effectiveness is lowered in one of two ways. For Single Use weapons, the new Effectiveness is 75% of the previous Effectiveness. For other weapons, the new Effectiveness is 50% of the previous Effectivene"

4. Resupply can be done like the way you say by sceanrio desginers. They could bring in a truck loaded with fresh weapons as a reinforcement. Or leave in a certain area loads of weapons represnting an ammo dump. SO it can be done.

5 and 6. I agree effectiveness needs looking at. However in SB a drop in unit moral or staus is just as important as a casualty. Arty is great fro that. More or less can leave some units useless.

7. Units do get limted friing capacity as soon as they get disrupted. Also as the untis status drops so does it fire capacity so that happens anyway. As for reteat thats covered by the untis pulling out of a hex once assaulted and going demoralised. Remember its upto you when you think a unit needs pulling out. Units moral can go back up if they have a rest out of the firing line without the need for a rally.

Wodin
16 May 05, 21:26
Regarding morale there should be the possibility for an unit to go beyond the normal morale maximum therefore reaching a temporary status which would enable her to 'inspire' other untis on the same force.

For Modern SqB, I would like also to have command radius, leaders should be able to direct units within a certain radius not only on their present hex.

Another thing is the possibility to recon/search a neighboring hex, for mines, traps, enemies.


A troop modifier idea similar to PzC has been banded around which gives a bonus to elite units and a handicap to say a partisan unit. This is needed I feel. Make the SS or Ariborne the force they should be. Moral is the only way at present to replicate this.

Leaders do have a command radius. This helps with fire effects/ assualting/keeping moral up etc etc. Always try and keep you men within a command radius of a leader. They are the most improtant unit on the battlefield.

As for rallying well you do need to be close to your troops to rally them. Standing over 50 mteres away isnt going to help.


For traps and mines send in a unit with a mine detector.

I find you spot units far to easy in SB on awhole. Ive had a squad spotted going to ground in a built up area from over 200 metres away!!

jztemple
17 May 05, 07:15
I like the current use of effectiveness, reliability and morale in the game. I think the game engine works reasonably well, and honestly if it's not going to be a big seller compared to the PzC series I'd rather have the limited development budget spent on adding a new era to the game sytem. The SB series has always been focused on the hardware, which is what drew me to it in the first place. So let's set the next release in the 1980s and later and focus on some new hardware. How about Hummers, Strykers, those cool Ranger dune buggies and more like that? And some of the new small arms being developed? Wouldn't it be interesting to try out a mission where your Marines arrive in V-22 Ospreys?

rahamy
17 May 05, 08:08
For those who aren't aware of it, and own Pacific War, here's a modern add-on for that game:

http://www.wargamer.com/hosted/squadbattles/id104.htm

Africa at War is a mod that covers 1960's-1990's central and southern Africa and uses Squad Battles Pacific War as a host. Why PW? Because of all the maps and terrain available. Making it for TOD or Nam would limit it to strictly jungle terrain when some sparse bush and the like is needed. Why not Korea? Not enough jungle. Getting new maps did not happen , so PW was the mods' best option. The first batch of scenarios will be concentrated on the Angolan Border Wars of the 70's and 80's, the Nigeria-Biafra War, actions in the Congo 60's-80's as well as others (some hypothetical).

Joao Lima
17 May 05, 10:30
Hmmm. About Command Radius I was meaning that , for example units out of a command radius would effectively be out of command for all it's worth, like for instance the inability one would have to say them,go here, do this. If they are out of command, they are out of command, not just a bunch of modifiers if I have a leader close enough, but to reflect the actual fact that if there is no way for you to transmit your orders to a certain squad you cannot continue doing it. Not sure if it is clear now.

I would like to see also certain specialist vehicles, like mine clearing tanks, bridge laying, engineer vehicles to remove road blocks...

I would also like to see bridges that would blow up if bombarded enough, or bridges that would had to be taken before the opponent could effectively blow them up.

En I spoke of the ability to recon a neighboring square I was assuming that there would a strong decrease in the ability of a unit to spot other untis since in most scenarios fog-of-war is nearly non-existant and you know everything from turn 1....

Joao Lima
17 May 05, 10:35
Getting new maps did not happen , so PW was the mods' best option.

That is one of the big things letting down the series, sure there good and plen of maps with every edition, but if you look the extensive possibilities that a simple utility like the one that allows to 're-create' some ASL maps for ES and AofR gives and I would certainly like to see in each edition a bunch of historical maps, say for instance AofR, you would get the Stalingrad map, probably more 2 or 3 selected large areas with each you could create loads of scenarios, and then a set of 10 or so small thematic maps that could be combined to form new sets of more generic maps to cover other battles. This small set of maps would be thematic according to the game, that is in a Vietnam release you would get 10 small jungle type maps, plus the 3 larger ones, on a ES you would get 10 small European terrain maps, plus 3 larger ones and so on...

rahamy
17 May 05, 10:39
There are very large maps included with each game, but in most cases only sub-maps are used in the scenarios. Have you dug into the editor and looked at what's there?

Joao Lima
17 May 05, 10:45
There are very large maps included with each game, but in most cases only sub-maps are used in the scenarios. Have you dug into the editor and looked at what's there?

Hmmm. I see i was not clear. I know that, my point is that most larger maps are only of limited use if you want introduce a new scenario out of them, you may be missing a combination of factors impossible to find in the maps coming with the scenario, however if those larger maps were coupled with 10 or so smaller combinable ASL-like maps, then we could go an extra mile in scenario creation.

jztemple
17 May 05, 12:08
Hmmm. About Command Radius I was meaning that , for example units out of a command radius would effectively be out of command for all it's worth, like for instance the inability one would have to say them,go here, do this. If they are out of command, they are out of command, not just a bunch of modifiers if I have a leader close enough, but to reflect the actual fact that if there is no way for you to transmit your orders to a certain squad you cannot continue doing it. Not sure if it is clear now.
Don't know if I would like to have this in a turn based game. While possibly more "real world", I don't know how much fun it would be to play. Also it ignores squad level initiative. For the scope of a Squad Battles scenario, which is only about an hour of game time, I would expect a squad to have been told ahead of time generally where to go and what to do. But, ultimately, I want to play a computerised version of "Advanced Squad Leader", so I want to be able to move units where I want, subject to morale and other limiting factors.

I would like to see also certain specialist vehicles, like mine clearing tanks, bridge laying, engineer vehicles to remove road blocks...
We already have ground units that do this, so adding engineering vehicles is very logical. I'd like to see this, too.

I would also like to see bridges that would blow up if bombarded enough, or bridges that would had to be taken before the opponent could effectively blow them up.
I agree, although I'm not sure that you'll be able to design balanced scenarios!

En I spoke of the ability to recon a neighboring square I was assuming that there would a strong decrease in the ability of a unit to spot other untis since in most scenarios fog-of-war is nearly non-existant and you know everything from turn 1....
I'm surprised to see this comment about the lack of fog of war. I have stumbled across many a hidden unit or had one open up when I'm moving in the open. AT guns especially in Eagle Strike scenarios :surprise:. I would like to see the ability added to the scenario editor to set a max reaction limit for the AI units, so that they would hold their fire until the enemy is within optimum range. Hmmm... actually this would also be a good ability for all units during play, to avoid having them blast away with endless defensive fire. The only option right now is to set "Hold Fire" on.

I do have to put in a nod to the current way defensive fire is handled. I think it fairly represents the uncontrolled (and reasonable)way that units would open up unpredictably in response to enemy movement or fire. While some may argue that it is "gamey" to sent a truck down a road to trigger defensive fire, I envision that most regular troops, nervous and scared, might open up at the first thing to drive their way, without consideration that this might be being used to ID their location. So perhaps you can only set reaction limits to units with high enough morale?

Dave68124
17 May 05, 14:01
I really enjoy the SB series and feel the AI gives a pretty good game and don't have a lot of gripes; however, if I had any one thing I would like to change is how the game handles smoke. The game characteristics of smoke is almost criminal. I understand there are many factors that go into smoke (atmospherics, wind, unfamiliarity of using it by arty troops, etc.) My biggest gripe is that a 81mm motar smoke has the same effectiveness in terms of duration and coverage area than smoke fired from a 5" gun. I realize the 5" will spread it across in 3 or 4 shots v. 3 shots on a 81mm, but if turn duration is 2 minutes, I would believe that smoke, even in its most ruidmentary form in WWII, would have a longer lasting effect.

jztemple
18 May 05, 14:42
I realize the 5" will spread it across in 3 or 4 shots v. 3 shots on a 81mm, but if turn duration is 2 minutes, I would believe that smoke, even in its most ruidmentary form in WWII, would have a longer lasting effect.

Turn duration in SB is nominally five minutes. I think the developers tend to downplay the use of smoke and for gaming purposes I don't disagree with the current rules.

Joao Lima
19 May 05, 17:58
Africa at War is a mod that covers 1960's-1990's central and southern Africa and uses Squad Battles Pacific War as a host.

Actually just reminded something, some time ago I contacted the authors of that mod to see if they could enlighten me about how to create something similar, unfortunatelly they weren-t able to inform me due to lack of time,does anyone in here can help me on that? I wanted to create a mod set in the French Indochina during the 46-54 war.

Wodin
19 May 05, 20:32
Join The Blitz SB forum. Thats where they all hang out.

Frank who was the main player in the development has had to semi retire from the warging circuit due to real life commitments. Thats why Task Force Echo hasnt been updated for awhile (However there are many updates waiting to go online).

I'd like todo a WW1 western front mod using the maps from Eagle Strike.

Paulinski
20 May 05, 00:02
Wodin
WWI mod would be sweet....Any idea what the TFE updates will be?

Wodin
20 May 05, 09:52
More scenarios. Sound Mods. A counter mod for all the games that adds a small flag in the corner for each nation (You also get a chose with certian nationalities, made by myself). Someone is doing a new 3D mod. A big campaign for Stalingrad which does need an umpire. Other things Im sure.

Paulinski
20 May 05, 12:54
Awesome....When is the update scheduled?

Wodin
20 May 05, 17:56
Well its been awhile now.

There was a problem with a password which Frank couldnt get. Though I got hold of it and then Frank still never received it. Then he semi retires from SB so RedMike took over but is having problems aswell!!

So as soon as possible.

Joao Lima
20 May 05, 20:47
Join The Blitz SB forum. Thats where they all hang out.

Frank who was the main player in the development has had to semi retire from the warging circuit due to real life commitments. Thats why Task Force Echo hasnt been updated for awhile (However there are many updates waiting to go online).

I'd like todo a WW1 western front mod using the maps from Eagle Strike.
To be quite honest, none of them seemed too eager or even willing to help in any type of explanation whatsoever a couple of months ago, that's why I posted here...

Wodin
20 May 05, 23:08
The main man is Frank and over the last year he has been inundated with real life issues.

He would be the only one who could give out advice on this.

He is also developing the next SB game. Thomas Wolfe was also developing a game but he disapeared. Frank from what Ive been told took this one on aswell.

Another problem for SB was the loss of Wild Bill. He had a similar role to Glen and PZC.

All rather gloomy news Im afraid.

rahamy
20 May 05, 23:25
Another designer has entered the picture too, on another SB title, so we'll see how that goes. They don't have a solid development cycle going yet though.

None of us are as prolific as the PZC guys. :laugh:

Joao Lima
21 May 05, 08:05
The main man is Frank and over the last year he has been inundated with real life issues.

He would be the only one who could give out advice on this.

Oh well, though luck for me then...

Mike Cox
09 Mar 06, 12:01
Cool. I found this thread. I did not realize this had been extensively covered before, but interesting reading.

Blackcloud6
09 Mar 06, 12:34
A big change to this game system woould be allowing other forms of voctory conditions beside point based ones. This game sufferes from a point based victory system just as the Campaign Series did and Combat Mission does now. This limited scenario designers and causes the game to become stagnent as each sceanrio begains to have a similar feel.

The strength in ASL is the open eneded VC syste, thus scenario desingers can clevlery desing sceanrios to replicate certain actions and allow those players who use the proper tactics for the sceanrio to prevail.

I uderstand that my proposal is a programming challenge, especially with how the AI would then operate. It may not be possible to go to a full ASL like system for VCs but some minor changes may go a long way such as:

- Allowing the scenario designer to turn of points for casualties on one or both sides. For example this could used in a situation where Russians defenders may not need to worry about taking causalties but only need to stop the enenmy.

- Allow some kind of points be gained for delaying, or objective point increase/decrase per turn.

- Different point values for objectives for each side.

I'm sure there are more if we all just think about it.

Mike Cox
09 Mar 06, 16:01
Your first sugegstion exists in the Early American Wars series, and it would be quite helpful in designing and balancing scenarios.

The second I think is in the First Blitzkrieg game...

The third is kind of in SB already when they added 'Capture' as an objective (only one side gets the points and they are irrevocable)...

RedMike
09 Mar 06, 18:53
To be quite honest, none of them seemed too eager or even willing to help in any type of explanation whatsoever a couple of months ago, that's why I posted here...

Joao,

First I heard of it. I'd be happy to help you out in any way I can. What is it you require ? Why don't you email me at tfe4@alaska.net and we can go from there.

I believe that Frank once did an Indochina war mod for either Vietnam or Tour of Duty but it seems to have disappeared. It may be a planned title, I don't know. Anyway, let's have at it. I've actually fooled with this subject off and on myself.

Task Force Echo Four is alive and well, thank you very much. The fellas are working on various scenarios and graphic mods etc. I'm currently revamping P&F scenarios for serious H2H play. Also modifying my P&F sound mod a bit.

Ozgur has done up a Lock n Load counter art mod for ES which will go up with next update. And I did a higher resolution art mod for AotR a la Volcano Man which has already been posted.

Anyone has anything to submit to TFE4, be it articles, scenarios, what have you, please do. Happy to host it !

Regards,
RedMike...out

CJMello
09 Mar 06, 19:26
I missed this thread last May. Hopefully someday we have good news for all.

Wodin
09 Mar 06, 20:31
RedMike,

I will be getting back into the fold soon.

Love your counter mod. Cant wait to see Oz's countermod aswell.

I spent a few months trying to convince others to take up SB. With a couple of success. Not to sure if any are still playing that I convinced to try it.

Great to see you Blitz boys carrying on the fight to make SB even better:).

Glyn
10 Mar 06, 07:56
Nice to see all this postive chat on the SB series.. :)

I for one would also like to see a WW1 SB game or set of games covering that War.

(The East African Front would fit nicely.)

foster
10 Mar 06, 22:17
I would love to see a squad battles game covering the last years of the Second World war on the Eastern Front, Since AOTR only covered the first Two years of the war in the east.

Wodin
12 Mar 06, 20:49
I would love to see a squad battles game covering the last years of the Second World war on the Eastern Front, Since AOTR only covered the first Two years of the war in the east.


Same here.

Ozgur Budak
24 Mar 06, 14:55
Here is a snap from Counter Mode for ES:
http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/3732/snapasl4cz.png
http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/8901/infoasl0wp.png

We will put the file to TFE4 when we get the consent of the LnL producers. I am also expanding artpack to be compatible with "ES allies addon". Slowly though since I have many things on my plate at the moment.

RedMike
24 Mar 06, 15:18
Wow Oz, looks great!!

Regards,
RedMike

Joao Lima
24 Mar 06, 15:53
Wow Oz, looks great!!

Regards,
RedMike

Yes it does...

RobAPol
27 Mar 06, 11:57
My biggest peave with Squad Battles and many other wargames for that matter, is that when you run a scenario it isn't marked as having been run in the scenraios list.

I end up reading a lot of scenario descriptions, loading up a scenario only to find out that it is one I have played before! This would be a very simple feature to implement and would make scenario selection at the begining easier!

Wodin
27 Mar 06, 14:21
OZ,

Can you edit the numbers off the counter? Also how do you get around having only a leader face showing on a leader counter?

Due to the limitations of the engine I prefer your original mod counters. Still keep up the good work.

Ozgur Budak
27 Mar 06, 18:04
Jason,
Counter numbers are just for cosmetics. I love numbers on boardgame counters so I kept them. They are part of the counter art and static but sure you can edit them as a graphic.

My intention with countermode is giving 2 men counters for squads and 1 man counter for leaders. Giving MG or AT art for respective teams is possible too. Only problem is; the image representing that unit has to be selected during OOB editing and one has to change all previous scenarios to reflect the true intention of my mode. Anyway, I edit the oobs of a scenario when I start a pbem for my taste. The graphical editing of oob doesnt lead to errors. You just have to open the oob file and change the art of each squad. It is also possible to give any soldier graphic to any squad. You just have to know what number means what when you open the oob file in notepad.

Wodin
27 Mar 06, 18:30
Well if you pull it off and upload the new OOB's for the scenarios to fit with the mod then that would be fantastic.

Ozgur Budak
28 Mar 06, 12:10
Well if you pull it off and upload the new OOB's for the scenarios to fit with the mod then that would be fantastic.

Editing the entire scenario archive OOBs ? :nuts: Comeon Jason I have a real life ;)

Wodin
07 May 06, 15:54
Thought I'd add a few more things to this thread.

1. Multi story buildings. Buildings can be destroyed turning hex into rubble.

2. Smoke effects from fire, explosions, falling buildings.

3. Snipers are great until disrupted, then they are just like a man with a rifle. If it was possible for disrupted snipers to lose disrupted status quicker than other units would be great. Maybe just moving the sniper to a new location could indisrupt him. However that can be hard see below...

4. FOW issues can be a little odd. Ive had units in buildings become visible going from ground mode to standing up. This doesnt strike true especially as the unit spotting was about 6 hex's away. Its very hard to move about without being spotted in built up areas which strikes me as odd.

Love the troop modifier being brought into play in the new ToD patch. Hipe it gets implimented in all games.

Love to see Arty reworked. Just not powerfull enough.

Thing about all this makes me want to play again. Just got an ASL rulebook. Love to see SB go just a little more detailed. ASL without the mind boggling rulebook. Lovely.

RedMike
07 May 06, 16:21
Thought I'd add a few more things to this thread.

1. Multi story buildings. Buildings can be destroyed turning hex into rubble.

2. Smoke effects from fire, explosions, falling buildings.

3. Snipers are great until disrupted, then they are just like a man with a rifle. If it was possible for disrupted snipers to lose disrupted status quicker than other units would be great. Maybe just moving the sniper to a new location could indisrupt him. However that can be hard see below...

4. FOW issues can be a little odd. Ive had units in buildings become visible going from ground mode to standing up. This doesnt strike true especially as the unit spotting was about 6 hex's away. Its very hard to move about without being spotted in built up areas which strikes me as odd.

Love the troop modifier being brought into play in the new ToD patch. Hipe it gets implimented in all games.

Love to see Arty reworked. Just not powerfull enough.

Thing about all this makes me want to play again. Just got an ASL rulebook. Love to see SB go just a little more detailed. ASL without the mind boggling rulebook. Lovely.

Very good stuff. Arty definitely is too anemic. I doubled canister for 37mm ATGs in P&F for my H2H revamped scenarios. Much more realistic kill ratio now.
But I think all arty needs some help.

Jason, I've had ASL since 1985 but only now have started learning/playing it with help of VASSAL. If you'd like some live practice, I'd be happy to play you.
The starter kits are really good too. I recommend them.

Now back to computer ASL...

RedMike...out

Wodin
07 May 06, 17:50
Still need help accessing the files you sent.

As for live play. At the moment I'd rather help you with comp ASL;)

Maybe when I have even more free time I will have ago over VASSAL.

RedMike
07 May 06, 17:56
Still need help accessing the files you sent.

As for live play. At the moment I'd rather help you with comp ASL;)

Maybe when I have even more free time I will have ago over VASSAL.


OK...I'll see about the files in a bit.

Wodin
07 May 06, 18:04
Another SB point.

Why cant we assault from different hexe's at the same time? Instead you have to gether all your troops into one hex then assault. Sure you can make seperate assaults from different hex's but you dont get the odds you'd get if they all assualted at the same time. Also it would be good if you get a bonus modifier if assaulting from different hex's.

Wodin
07 May 06, 21:23
RedMike,

Have you thought about an ATS conversion rather than an ASL one?

How do you find ATS?

RedMike
07 May 06, 22:00
RedMike,

Have you thought about an ATS conversion rather than an ASL one?

How do you find ATS?

The rules are shorter. <grin>

The original Tobruk was one of my all time favorites, played it a lot. I have ATS and soon Mannerheims Cross. It's certainly worth considering. I was working on ASL simply because there's so much material available already. Maps, counters, stuff like that. And of course it's extreamly detailed. I'm not sure if I want to go with a tile map or use existing map boards and convert them to 2D vector maps or something under the hood. It's all experimental at the moment.

I'll fool around a bit with ATS system too. Maybe it will work out better.

What do you need to open the example I sent you ? Drivers ? There's about 6 or so needed. Let me know which ones are called for and I'll send them over. You can put them in the game folder where the exe file is located. Otherwise they go in the System32 folder.

out

Joao Lima
08 May 06, 14:13
The rules are shorter.


If I may add my 2 cents to your discussion, even though ATS rules are shorter and much more straightforward, I can see one large drawback of trying to put ATS in PC version, it will be almost impossible to PBEM due to the IGOUGO system of impulses.
On ASL while one is moving the toher is defensive firing, basically as in SB, while on ATS after one moves or fires , the other can move or fire, which in an 50 units or stacks scenario can make PBEM virtually impossible.

A big incentive though is that if you guys come up to CH with a pretty fiished procduct , Ray will certainly support it, something I do not think Hasbro or MMP will , with Paradox (?) already producing a computer ASL (more likely their version of Combat Mission... :devil: )

Have you guys thought in joining efforts with Lars Thuring? The creactor of JASL) I think there would be some milleage there, more than in starting things from scratch...

RedMike
08 May 06, 15:59
If I may add my 2 cents to your discussion, even though ATS rules are shorter and much more straightforward, I can see one large drawback of trying to put ATS in PC version, it will be almost impossible to PBEM due to the IGOUGO system of impulses.
On ASL while one is moving the toher is defensive firing, basically as in SB, while on ATS after one moves or fires , the other can move or fire, which in an 50 units or stacks scenario can make PBEM virtually impossible.

A big incentive though is that if you guys come up to CH with a pretty fiished procduct , Ray will certainly support it, something I do not think Hasbro or MMP will , with Paradox (?) already producing a computer ASL (more likely their version of Combat Mission... :devil: )

Have you guys thought in joining efforts with Lars Thuring? The creactor of JASL) I think there would be some milleage there, more than in starting things from scratch...

That's another reason I'm messing about with ASL over ATS.

JASL is cool but I don't want anything to do with Java if I can help it, or any other managed language except maybe Python for that matter.

For languages I prefer Assembly, C++, and Python. Have no idea where it will all lead, just having fun. At the moment I'm fooling around with ClanLib API. Very nice!

Regards,
RedMike...out

Wodin
08 May 06, 16:32
A screenshot of Lock n Load PC version has beeen posted over at Matrix!

Joao Lima
08 May 06, 16:46
A screenshot of Lock n Load PC version has beeen posted over at Matrix!

The shot looks good , but the rate of abandoned projects at Matrix dosen't promisse great things for any future projects, as with everything there, only when it hits the streets I actually believe in things, even to go from beta to anywhere things seem to take ages and develop onto 'battlefields' :devil: sagas...

And this bit '...There are two campaigns (Soviet, German), each campaign branches, eqach tells a story, introduces characters and follows their lives through the battles. ...' sounds so... lame... introducing characters and following their lives? There's even names for them:

Johannes Wurtz: German Sergeant (at first)
Michael Brennand: German tank commander
Elena Petrova: Soviet partisan
Andropovich: Soviet Lieutenant

ermmm... right.

Sgt_Rock
28 May 06, 02:57
I really like the SB series. While there are some things that are gamey (what else is new with a GAME!) overall the series is a great.

clements
16 Jul 06, 22:08
You know, I bought SB when it first came out. I bought Vietnam, The Proud and the Few and Tour of Duty. I like the series but, unlike other Tiller games, I feel abandoned...the game engine changed with Tour of Duty. While I appreciate the improvements, I felt a bit burned. The last time Vietnam and The Proud and the Few were updated was 2003. I plunked down the extra $50 for Tour of Duty but I wasn't motivated to pay another $50 bucks for Pacific War (upgrade to The Proud and the Few). And who is to say that the engine won't be upgraded again? Frankly, this has made me hestitant to by any HPS game unless it is part of the PzC. I love the look of WoV but I feel burned from SB.

Bob

Mini-Me
16 Jul 06, 22:59
You know, I bought SB when it first came out. I bought Vietnam, The Proud and the Few and Tour of Duty. I like the series but, unlike other Tiller games, I feel abandoned...the game engine changed with Tour of Duty. While I appreciate the improvements, I felt a bit burned. The last time Vietnam and The Proud and the Few were updated was 2003. I plunked down the extra $50 for Tour of Duty but I wasn't motivated to pay another $50 bucks for Pacific War (upgrade to The Proud and the Few). And who is to say that the engine won't be upgraded again? Frankly, this has made me hestitant to by any HPS game unless it is part of the PzC. I love the look of WoV but I feel burned from SB.

Bob

Not that this would alleviate feeling burned, but you don't have to pay $50 for an SB title. You can get them for about $30 from NWS Online.

clements
18 Jul 06, 12:27
Not that this would alleviate feeling burned, but you don't have to pay $50 for an SB title. You can get them for about $30 from NWS Online.

:laugh: Good point! I was thrilled when I discovered these guys! What a deal!

Bob

Mike Cox
21 Jul 06, 15:03
I like the series but, unlike other Tiller games, I feel abandoned...the game engine changed with Tour of Duty. While I appreciate the improvements, I felt a bit burned. The last time Vietnam and The Proud and the Few were updated was 2003. And who is to say that the engine won't be upgraded again?
Bob

Well as you know HPS is always very tight lipped on projects, but I understand there a couple of teams working on SB projects.

The March 2006 TOD update is encouraging as usually when one game is patched the others follow suit.

Trigger Happy
28 Sep 06, 00:00
Seriously this game is the best of all HPS games (well IMHO) and one of the most fun to play computer tactical games.

I think that now that Squad Battles looks like it has been abandoned, it is time to entirely open it for scenario design. I don't understand why it hasn't received as much support than the other HPS games.

Ok ok, maybe only after the two next SB games come out... :(

rahamy
28 Sep 06, 08:04
I can definitively say that the series has not been abandoned...in fact we're working on the next title now and have 6 new enhancements for the engine to go with it. I can't give you more details than that, but you will see something new in '07 for sure. :shock:

Double Deuce
12 Dec 06, 06:30
How have I overlooked this series of games being the tactical level PC wargame fan I am? I had know idea.

What is the best one to jump into the series with? Are they basically all the same engine, just covering different themes? I'm a WWII ETO/DTO person but the Pacific one looks mighty interesting as well.

rahamy
12 Dec 06, 08:00
Mike,

It really depends most on the topic that interests you the most. As with the other Tiller games, when the engine is updated updates are rolled out to the entire series, so which ever one you choose you will always have those to look forward to. This series has been in a bit of a development lull for a while, but that should be changing in '07 if all goes well.

So, there's 4 WWII titles to choose from...Eagles Strike & Advance of the Reich probably have the most user created add-ons available for them, but the others are played too. We're running our current tourney with Pacific War.

Anyway, if you have more specific questions please let us know.

Double Deuce
12 Dec 06, 10:15
Thanks Rich. I'll have to check into them a little deeper and choose one to start off with. More than likely it'll be Advance of the Reich.

Aries
12 Dec 06, 10:52
It's one of those mysteries DD, the series has a lot going for it, it's possibly capable of being thought of as slanted towards infantry actions more so that armour actions.

I guess that makes it an interesting companion to a game like Steel Panthers.

Ozgur Budak
13 Dec 06, 09:13
Thanks Rich. I'll have to check into them a little deeper and choose one to start off with. More than likely it'll be Advance of the Reich.

Russian front is always a popular subject and AOTR has many 3rd party scenarios as well. However I recommend a title which covers more infantry based action. There are lots of Stalingrad scenarios as urban fight in AOTR but other scenarios seem to be dominated by open ground and armor; a dimension SB series doesnt focus as a priority. AOTR is still a good title but other infantry based titles with more obscured ground can help learning the game dynamics better.

Double Deuce
13 Dec 06, 09:23
Russian front is always a popular subject and AOTR has many 3rd party scenarios as well. However I recommend a title which covers more infantry based action. There are lots of Stalingrad scenarios as urban fight in AOTR but other scenarios seem to be dominated by open ground and armor; a dimension SB series doesnt focus as a priority. AOTR is still a good title but other infantry based titles with more obscured ground can help learning the game dynamics better.Well, thanks for screwing up my purchase plans. :laugh:

I didn't see you recommend a specific one though. I have also been looking at Eagle Strike and Pacific War (in that order). Oh well, I may have to choose more than 1. :smoke:

Thanks for all the input guys. You may see me here more regularly after the holidays and I have had a chance to get one of these.

Ozgur Budak
14 Dec 06, 10:11
I didnt mention specific titles since it depends on the areas one likes best. Korea, NAM, Eagles Strike or Pacific war... All promises good quality squad level infantry action. They do have armor but their importance was scaled down either by improved infantry AT weapons or the topography. Pacific war brings the opportunity to play the Africa@War mod. At the end, it depends on which theatre you like.

Double Deuce
16 Dec 06, 06:08
Well, I may have the chance to pick up a used Vietnam and Eagles Strike. Should give me a chance to see how the series plays and give me incentive to purchase AOTR and Pacific War. :smoke:

Mike Cox
19 Dec 06, 20:21
Well, I may have the chance to pick up a used Vietnam and Eagles Strike. Should give me a chance to see how the series plays and give me incentive to purchase AOTR and Pacific War. :smoke:

Make sure you give us an AAR. Always interested to hear comparisons between systems too.

Double Deuce
19 Dec 06, 23:31
Woohoo, games arrived today. Will be installing soon and checking them out.

I now have Vietnam and Eagles Strike.

I may have some questions about using some of the mods I've seen out there and making sure I have the latest patches.

Double Deuce
20 Dec 06, 12:09
Installed great, got the patches! Next stop, getting the mods. :D

I would add more than this short post but . . . . I'm kinda busy now. ;)

Mike Cox
20 Dec 06, 14:26
When you are up for a PBEM game to learn the ropes, let me know. I'd be happy to pass along tips.

McIvan
07 Jul 08, 22:13
I ran out of time reading through all of this, but did anyone ask for differing move values for vehicles, specifically tanks?

It seems to me that the great virtues of lightly armoured tanks are stripped off them by giving them exactly the same movement as an Elephant or JagdTiger. My Hellcats and Stuarts should be able to pop up, shoot, and scoot off to cover using generous movement allowances, while Brumbars have to pretty much stay in the open after firing a round. It would immediately add so much more flavour and tactical options, and the present situation is demonstrably unfair to the lighter, faster vehicles.

Ozgur Budak
08 Jul 08, 07:27
I ran out of time reading through all of this, but did anyone ask for differing move values for vehicles, specifically tanks?

It seems to me that the great virtues of lightly armoured tanks are stripped off them by giving them exactly the same movement as an Elephant or JagdTiger. My Hellcats and Stuarts should be able to pop up, shoot, and scoot off to cover using generous movement allowances, while Brumbars have to pretty much stay in the open after firing a round. It would immediately add so much more flavour and tactical options, and the present situation is demonstrably unfair to the lighter, faster vehicles.

Elephant and Jagdtiger has 24 speed. Hellcat and Stuart along with Shermans have 60 speed. More than twice. Brumbar too has lower speed with 48. I believe with those numbers you can employ hit and run tactics.

McIvan
09 Jul 08, 03:34
Hmm, I guess I just haven't used any of those units ...actually I have had a Brumbar, but must have forgotten it had a lower move.

But to carry on with it, a JagdPanther and Tiger have 60 as well.....does it not stretch incredulity that the Hellcat and Stuart (just as examples) should have only the same?

Ozgur Budak
09 Jul 08, 06:26
Hmm, I guess I just haven't used any of those units ...actually I have had a Brumbar, but must have forgotten it had a lower move.

But to carry on with it, a JagdPanther and Tiger have 60 as well.....does it not stretch incredulity that the Hellcat and Stuart (just as examples) should have only the same?

Tiger I has 48 speed.
Tiger II has 24
Only Jagdpanther has 60 speed which in my opinion is not incorrect. It had nearly the same weight of Panther. Panther was an agile tank. Jagdpanther's only disadvantage was lack of rotating turret but that is taken care of by another rule in the game.

McIvan
09 Jul 08, 18:21
OK mate, I give up :)

I still think that light recon tanks and very fast tanks like the Hellcat have a good case for more movement than a Panther/Sherman/PIV etc.

But I'll play a lot more scenarios and experience a lot more tank types before bothering this thread again.

Ozgur Budak
09 Jul 08, 18:35
I still think that light recon tanks and very fast tanks like the Hellcat have a good case for more movement than a Panther/Sherman/PIV etc.

I agree that recon tanks and very fast AFVs like Hellcat should be higher than 60. Actually some vehicles like German Lynx and M-24 Chaffee has 72 speed. I dont know why designers didnt give 72 to Hellcat and Stuarts.

Mike Cox
09 Jul 08, 20:18
I think John in his original vision outlined light tanks to have 72, medium to have 60, and heavy to 48.

Most of the time, the distinction does not matter, but in SAW for example, there is more of a spectrum, rather than discrete points.

HPBentien
11 Jul 08, 13:41
I know Pz III, Pz IV and Tiger have the same speed! 40 Km/H!

I think:
40Km/H -25% is 30Km/h this is 75% from the high speed!
Next:
30 x 1000= 30000m
30000m : 60min= 500m/min
500 x 5min=2500 (1turn = 5 min)
2500 : 40= 62,5 hexes (one hex =40m)

I think this is the right speed for the tanks!
62! Correct?

Anyway all german tanks (from Tank III to VI have two MGs! One in the tower(Turm) and one in the front!(Wanne)) the designer have this forgotten!

Pit

Mike Cox
13 Jul 08, 13:48
I think this is the right speed for the tanks!
62! Correct?
Pit

Sure - on test track at Stuttgart or the proving grounds at Aberdeen. :)

This, I believe, was an early design choice to better reflect the tactical use in game. With those high movement values, tanks would be zipping all over the board, as we players tend to push the game pieces to the extreme.

I don't disagree though on the MG's.

Joao Lima
13 Jul 08, 16:50
...

I don't disagree though on the MG's.

Wasn't the turret MG used for fire direction purposes? If so, the rationale might be to prevent the players from using it all the time in an 'unrealistic' mode.

Just guessing here, anyway , I would have added both MG's.

HPBentien
14 Jul 08, 11:07
Sure - on test track at Stuttgart or the proving grounds at Aberdeen. :)

This, I believe, was an early design choice to better reflect the tactical use in game. With those high movement values, tanks would be zipping all over the board, as we players tend to push the game pieces to the extreme.

I don't disagree though on the MG's.

Maybe you have right Mike Cox!
I want to understand only that!

I also soon want to play against! I have now more time!

Pit

Mike Cox
17 Jul 08, 12:07
Hi Pit -

I am game for a scenario. Pick one and send it my way. mlcox@<my domain> which is napanet.net