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  #11  
Old February 9th, 2018, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: My most sincere congratulations

Son of a gun! That's much much better
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Old February 9th, 2018, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: My most sincere congratulations

It works very well. Better than I imagined it would

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Old February 11th, 2018, 08:14 AM
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Default Steel Panthers vs Close Combat

Regarding the OP's post, I've been playing real-time tactical combat games recently, to revisit experiences of the olden days, like Sean O'Connor's Fire Fight, and Close Combat.

While I enjoy them for their unique real-time experiences, I find them (especially Close Combat) to be too much of a click-fest, poor decisions, and mostly brute force wins the day.

When the battle gets hot, it's very easy to lose the bigger picture, ignoring other units on other areas of the map. The rushed feeling makes for very poor decisions to your forces. While some may say "That is what real war is, chaos!", I'd say, in real-life, soldiers act intelligently based on their training, doctrine, and the battle plan, NOT just sitting around idly or do extremely stupid things when you forget to attend to them (i.e assign commands).

Steel Panthers, being a turn-based game, makes for realistic behaviors for every unit in the map, because we as human players get to control each and every one of them. This means every unit is behaving as human would, NOT some Artifical Intelligence behaviors. On the other hand, individual unit behaviors not conforming to higher orders (mostly for preservation of lives) are realistically done using morality check, experience rating, suppression status, and rallying mechanisms. Stupid, heroic, or overly optimistic behaviors are directly the result of the human player's over optimism and lack of patience when controlling that particular unit (this OFTEN happens in Steel Panthers).

One might be easily awed by the "apparent" physical and psychological details modeled in Close Combat, such as "Panicking", "Berserk", "Heroic", "Cowering", "Unconscious", "Dead", "Wounded", etc... but actually Steel Panthers already modeled this in an elegant and abstracted way, without bogging in too much superficial varieties that actually do the same thing more or less.

Regarding other aspects of the game, such as Map and OOB, even a half-wit person knows that Steel Panthers outperform Close Combat by a HUGE margin. There's no contest here. Steel Panthers allow for nearly unlimited variety of maps and equipments. And not just quantity, but quality as well, because each unit stats is rigorously checked and rechecked by the developers & the community. Close Combat is very restricted in terms of OOB, only to that particular time and area. And the maps are TRULY small, they leave you with very restricted tactical freedom and maneuvering. Hence what I said earlier about brute force winning the day. In some cases, such small maps will get you boxed-in and then slaughtered by artillery, very EARLY in the game, which is MIGHTY frustrating.

Other aspects are also missing in Close Combat (just off the top of my head):

(1). Chain of command is not relevant AT ALL. So long as you have "HQ unit" nearby, morale and performance is enhanced. It's not rare to have entire forces being led by only a single HQ unit. Thus no Platoon HQ, no Company HQ, no Battalion HQ. Just a single "HQ Unit". Who knows what exact command unit he's from.

(2). Artillery firing is so simplified. Just a single press of a button, then wait, voila! Once used up, artillery is no longer available. Ditto Air Support is very simplified. In Steel Panthers, not only we have Forward Observers, X0 units that can call arty, their Artillery Experience rating, Off Map and On Map artillery, radio link status, General & Direct support artillery, counter battery fire, silencing certain tubes, "walking barrage", pre-plotted dead zones, remembering previous locations for quicker call, advising air units of the best path to take thus avoiding danger zones, etc etc.

(3). The battles are restricted to generic land-combat only. No amphibious assault, no river crossing, no ships, or naval bombardments, no paratrooper drops complete with DC-3s actually flying and dropping troops and intercepted by AA guns, no helicopters for air assaults & transports (hey we're not even talking SPMBT yet!)

(4). Our forces are unnaturally thin. I mean, a single "squad" mostly consists of 4 to 6 men. I can accept if they call it "fireteam" or whatever. But the fact the Force Screen says we have Zug / Platoon means that's a single effing squad! Whereas in Steel Panthers, 8 to 12 men is the norm, as in real life squads.

(5). While I applaud the inclusion of "strategic" factors in Close Combat, such as supply & logistics, greater strategic maps, changing weather, and allocation of artillery and air support for a given "front", I must say the implementation is quite simplistic. I mean, a single strategic map being fought by only 5 to 6 thin companies is NOT representative of the real operational level battles. It's just eye candy, lip service. And the strategic map movements are simplistic "region/province based", not of the real lay & expanse of the map. In Steel Panthers, campaigns are abstracted in terms of subsequent battles, with your forces being carried over, gaining experience, casualties, etc along the way. No strategic factors, unless you want to dabble with the unit stats yourself. But weather and visibility are amply simulated.

(6). And other things I don't recall right now. For example, SP has the ability to tell what specific units to engage, e.g Armor or Infantry, the ability to set range of engagement, overwatch zone, fire specific single weapon, etc etc.

Okay enough rants.

If there's one thing that is memorable from Close Combat, it's the rushed & fast paced feeling. Also that multi-storey buildings actually give higher line of sight (but this can be done in Steel Panthers with some map-making tricks, albeit rather lame )



All that being said, I must give thanks to Close Combat, that made me appreciate Steel Panthers even more.

As Boris Yeltsin said:

"We don't appreciate what we have until it's gone.
It's like air. When you have it, you don't notice it." -- Boris Yeltsin


So thank you very very much for Don and Andy, who keep maintaining and improving this legendary game, year after year, after year

Last edited by RightDeve; February 11th, 2018 at 08:30 AM..
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  #14  
Old February 11th, 2018, 02:16 PM
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Exclamation Re: My most sincere congratulations

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuFL View Post
I'd like to pile another scoop of congratulations on this cone. The only downside of this game is that it makes me sigh every time I catch sight of the 4 U-Haul boxes in my closet, full of 1/285th armor pieces that I just cannot bring myself to simply throw out.
I wouldn't throw them out either. Some of the 1/285th are little gems. I still keep a copy of PanzerBlitz, PanzerLeader and Squad leader on my bookshelf..... I know I'll never play them again but I keep them anyway I even have a shrink-wrapped unopened copy of Steel Panthers Modern Battles.....
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