Breathing Life

Discussion relating to Battlefront

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Postby chris miller » Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:13 am

I played KP, BiN, BiI and then BF. I played the crap out of the first three, but then when BF came out I lost interest very quickly.

My reason is very simple.

The BF interface is very bulky and clunky compared to the other titles which already lacked a relatively intuitive interface. The lack of option to select stacks in BF honesty was the death knell along with the burgeoning Orders of Battle. Although the direct fire of artillery and air support was very neat as it could kill units, I think it ended up making the game less interesting/fun as you are able to snipe units. Part of the fun of the previous games was a relative sense of security behind the lines which was then taken away in BF.

I see a lot of the features that made the game more 'cool' ended up actually hurting the game.

You can argue all you want that CaW or other business factors hurt BF, but the fact of the matter is that the proof is in the pudding. The game is not as fun or as acclaimed as the previous three for a reason. BF is not as good a game the previous three (in my opinion.) "Progress" is not always a good thing.

I also agree with HercMighty in about everything that he said.
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Postby JSS » Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:38 am


I don't speak for SSG and won't try to, and sure as hell will not try to defend them!... An obvious point to me, as a tester who feels many of the same frustrations everyone else does, is that SSG is in tough position (kinda a damned if you-do, damned if you don't)... announce too early, or promise a release too early, and then everyone gets disappointed when product isn't delivered.

Yep, BF release could have been handled better, wasn't perfect, wasn't eff'd up either. It was, what it was.

Have heard talk of a new ground release (haven't seen anything to test at all). One focus I've heard is that the game will be fully Windowed like CAW. That is my number one request!


BF is not equal to DB. Right now I like both equally (BII & BF). It's taken me awhile to realize the true fundamental differences... mostly because of my hardheadedness. I've been working on BII size battles for BF, and they're just not the same... Smaller battles are the way to go in BF.

Anyway, feedback from the developers is always interesting! Gregor? :twisted:
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Postby Roger Keating » Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:01 pm

I suppose I will just support JSS in his comments, that is to say that there are no easy answers.

After 30 years in the industry I have seen many things, and can go on for hours about the history on them, like the others in SSG. We are now a very small company developing games for a niche market that we hope will like what we do.

Criticism is always welcome and we do read all the posts, however some things just can't be changed. We do not have the structure/money/manpower(peoplepower) to implement many of the changes suggested, but we are attempting to come up with new product and refine the system so that the games can be sold into an explanding market. CAW took us about 2 years to make, and it required a significant effort. It gives us a game system which is quick to play, internet friendly and a lot of fun. But there have been numerous comments and frustrations about the system that we have sought to address and I am sure that anyone following the development would agree that we do, in fact, listen.

I can't talk about future product as that would produce problems for both ourselves and for Matrix, so they will be announced when they can be. We are often asked to release information about future products that made us once publish a list in one of our magazines. This list included ...

Battlefront XIII: You buy the game, we flatten your suburb, dig trenches and give you an old army surplus M4 Sherman tank.
Reach for the Stars XII: We send you to the moon and let you figure the rest out yourself. Estimated cost $17, 000, 000, 000.
Warlords VI: Warlords in Real Reality. Every time you play, the computer sends a signal to SSG HQ and we send hired thugs dressed as fantasy warriors around to your house to kick down the door, steal your possessions, beat you to a pulp, and burn the lot. The ultimate reality in fantasy gaming.

Even though we wrote this over a decade ago, I think the games would still hold up today.
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Postby jeffs » Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:35 pm

With all due respect, my opinion differs from that of Chris Miller. While I like "Korsun Pocket" and "Battles in Normandy" very well (I don't have "Battles in Italy"), I think "Battlefront" is even better.

Since I usually find it more effective to position each unit individually, the inability to move stacks together doesn't strike me as much of an inconvenience. For me, it is more than compensated for by not having to fiddle around with artillery and air power shifts when setting up attacks. In addition the less stringent restricitions on unit integrity also improve the ease of gameplay.

Artillery and air power are now easier to use and more flexible. They tend to be used more for preliminary "softening up" bombardments, post attack "mopping up", and attacks on units in rear areas, all of which reflect the historic uses of artilery and tactical air power.

The use of headquarters to enable attack resupply, coupled with the limitation on how quickly a unit can be resupplied, is a clean and elegant game mechanic that rewards careful planning and adds a great deal of strategic depth.

Although there are only 4 scenerios, they are all good, and they are very different from each other, so the game has a great deal of variety. This variety is increased by off map areas which add to the strategic possibilities of each battle and thus improve gameplay and add replayability to each scenerio.

Overall I think that battlefront has improved upon it's predecessors with increased depth, increased realism, and playability that is equal to (or better than) theirs. I very much look forward to seeing new scenerios and careful additions to the system in the future.
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Postby Talos » Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:30 pm

JSS wrote:BF is not equal to DB. Right now I like both equally (BII & BF). It's taken me awhile to realize the true fundamental differences... mostly because of my hardheadedness. I've been working on BII size battles for BF, and they're just not the same... Smaller battles are the way to go in BF.

Anyway, feedback from the developers is always interesting! Gregor? :twisted:

I will echo JSS point that I like both games; its just that they emphasis different aspects in the command of forces which if you are DB player can take a while to get used to and can cause problems in how you play until you do, I can't emphasis this strongly enough.

BF is a primarly a tactical format with operational and strategic considerations the DB series is very much operational with tactical and stratgeic considerations being aware of this difference is important when playing then two gaming systems. Another important point is that presuming that scenarios are balanced the most funs comes from playing some one of roughly equal ability in a given scenario and system if there is a big imbalance in ability the fun aspect rapidly dwindles either from getting trounced or getting bored.

Just my two pennies worth :wink:
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Postby hank » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:57 am

I agree that I enjoy both BF and and to a lesser extent KP/BiN. (I never upgraded to BiI ... later on that). I would simply like to see more scenanrios which may bring back more players and interest in the game.

I consider BF superior to the KP/BiN/BiI games in that it models command structure and supply better IMHO ... not to mention the off map areas and two hex range direct fire which I think is a big step up in realism.
The lack of HQ units on the map in KP/BiN/BiI is a reason I've migrated away from those games. After playing hundreds of KP/BiN games I simply could not understand the absence of such critical units on the battlefield. I thought when BiN came out with Political Units, that was a step in the right direction but BiI did not take it a step further.

My own persoanl preference is to know where Patton, or Monty or Rommel or Zhukov is on the battlefield but KP/BiN/BiI simpy abstracts this which I disagree with. I don't know of any other popular map based wargame that doesn't model commanders on the battlefield. This is a big enjoyment for me in these games but its absent in KP/BiN. (I even started my own sce in BiN and changed the Political Unit icons to HQ's to try and simulate them but my HD went belly up and I lost all my work ... and to say the least enthusiasm to finish)

So I've put my faith in BF coming up with more sce's and/or future upgrades. If Bi? was to include this HQ/command structure aspect to the game, I would jump on it in a heartbeat.

another couple of pennies ... or another log on the fire ... or ... have a nice day

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Leave leaders out

Postby critter » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:33 pm

I disagree with Hank about the leaders. Since you're playing wargames and probly know your military history, you already know where Rommel and Zhukov are at.
In a Regt. game leaders are built into the units Quality, steps, strenght, and supply factors. All 20/20 hindsite factors built into the game that R & Z wld have never known. You also know enemy set ups and even can practice your battle plans. Who hasn't got regular opening moves?
In North Africa take R away and the Africa Korps are Reg (Grey) arm units with the standard Crt. Now factor in R, They're now elite units with +1 on the crt and the ability to influnce other battles even if only 1 unit is involved. What do we need the leader counter for?
Put Z in front of AGC in 41 and it's him taking a dirt nap in Moscow with a 9mm labotomy.
I think the main problem of KP - BII lies in the AI, They need upgraded..It only holds up for a few turns. While Pbem games are more fun, its too slow waiting for your turn
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Re: Leave leaders out

Postby Noakesy » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:57 pm

critter wrote:While Pbem games are more fun, its too slow waiting for your turn

Hey, who is it that currently has Velikye Luki then :wink: :lol:
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Postby fjell75 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:09 am

Just bought the game, and totally new to this game system. Only played Panzer General before :oops:

I must say that I just LOVE BF :D
Are there many players out there playing by mail? I have only played the AI so far... :)
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Postby JSS » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:58 am

Welcome to Run5!

You can normally find an opponent quickly by posting scenario and side you'd like to play in the BF PBEM section of the forum.

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