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Real Time Strategy Games Discussion of all strategy games that use a Real-Time system, from the typical RTS games to the hardcore wargames.

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  #76  
Old 24 Sep 17, 11:46
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THE FUTURE OF NAVAL WARGAMING?

Games like the Harpoon series and CMANO are played only on a map screen, but most newcomers to naval gaming are going to want games which provide both a map screen AND a 3D screen such as the two below, they're old games and their graphics are not so hot but they still have a sizeable fan following, so there's definitely a gap in the market for a modern game with super-duper graphics and slick interface etc.

Below- Fleet Command, it's old with one or two bugs and quirks but is still fun and is played on a joint map and 3d screen-





Below- Naval War:Arctic Waters is another golden oldy much like Fleet Command with a map and 3D screen, but it's graphics are a tad arcadey-

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  #77  
Old 26 Sep 17, 09:17
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FIRING BOL's WITH MISSILES AND TORPEDOES IN FLEET COMMAND
After asking around various naval gaming forums for a long time and drawing a blank, I finally found out by pure accident and experiment how to do Bearing Only Launches!

Top pic- when your ship picks up radar emissions (purple ESM lines like the two shown) from invisible enemy ships, right-click your ship and select "Engage with Harpoon" (or whatever other antiship missile it's carrying), then move your cursor along any of the lines until the cursor changes to a crosshair icon as shown, then right-click to fire your Harpoon.
(You can then immediately fire more Harpoons down the same line or fire them down any other lines for good measure)

Bottom pic- the ship turns out to be a Boris Chilikin and is toasted as the Harpoon takes it bows-on..
(The procedure is exactly the same for when your ships passive sonar detects an invisible sub's engine noise, select "Engage with torpedo" and fire one or more down the bearing line when your icon changes to a crosshair.)



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



PS- a couple more tips for Fleet Command players-
If some hotkeys are not working, go into your computers Control Panel and select language "US English".
Also make sure your Caps lock and Num lock are OFF as they can mess up some hotkeys.

Last edited by Poor Old Spike; 26 Sep 17 at 09:30..
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  #78  
Old 27 Sep 17, 15:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
Games like the Harpoon series and CMANO are played only on a map screen, but most newcomers to naval gaming are going to want games which provide both a map screen AND a 3D screen such as the two below, they're old games and their graphics are not so hot but they still have a sizeable fan following, so there's definitely a gap in the market for a modern game with super-duper graphics and slick interface etc.
I cannot totally agree with you regarding the need for 3D graphics, but I certainly agree with the need for better user interfaces.

Naval war is fought in the CIC or Battle Centre. To see torpedoes hitting submarines like they do in Cold Waters is just never going to happen. CW does have some nice 3D, but I lament how much better the game could have been if they had not spent the time and resources on 3D that is likely to be turned off after it has been seen a few times.

Even old games like Harpoon ANW wasted some time on 3D images. However, the original game just had some quick video animations showing launches/hits. Once a player had seen them a few (hundred?) times, they were turned off. This was good because (probably) not too much time was wasted on the effort.

In ANW, they added a few 3D images to the database along with the ability for users to add more. NO one bothered to add any more. I strongly suspect that they simply did not deem it worthy of the time and effort. The lack of user-created 3D just lends more credibility to the argument against the necessity of such expensive graphics.

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Originally Posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
Below- Naval War:Arctic Waters is another golden oldy much like Fleet Command with a map and 3D screen, but it's graphics are a tad arcadey-

NWAC did have some 3D launch and hit sequences. However, the time and money they spent on them could (should) have been spent in fixing the game and making it more playable and reliable. To see developers repeatedly focus on such superficial features at the expense of good game play just saddens me.
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  #79  
Old 27 Sep 17, 15:44
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To which Dimitris (Sunburn) replied there today-
"This is incorrect...untrue" and he got the Steam mods to lock the thread!
Did you notice how the MNO developers grabbed for the most handy lie available, without any forethought whatsoever? 'Sure' they fixed it.

Of course, even if that lie were true, it only serves to make the MNO developers look even more incompetent. So, every bug 'fix' gets broken by later releases? At NO point in time, is the game ever 'functional'. Instead, it is in a perpetual state of bugginess. This means that players must check, and re-check, and RE-check for the same stupid bugs every damn time. There is never any certainty that anything actually works!

So, just because the plane hovering bug 'might' have been fixed, there is absolutely no guarantee that it has not returned this (or next) patch.



Seemingly, every time the MNO developers open their mouths, they only serve to further embarrass themselves by showing their staggering level of incompetence and ineptitude.
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  #80  
Old 30 Sep 17, 10:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman Hum View Post
Naval war is fought in the CIC or Battle Centre. To see torpedoes hitting submarines like they do in Cold Waters is just never going to happen. CW does have some nice 3D, but I lament how much better the game could have been if they had not spent the time and resources on 3D that is likely to be turned off after it has been seen a few times.
I agree, after a while those scenes are boring and pedestrian. They are designed for Arcade gamers and casual uncommitted gamers that focus on the visual aspect of explosions and special effects than the tactical mechanic. A game like Dangerous Waters allows to focus on the graphic aspect or the tactical aspect. Yet, the graphics are old but the tactical aspect is good for a 12 years old game. It sells for $15. Considering the outdated graphics, it is the tactical aspect that keeps it alive. There is a mitigating aspect which is "MODS". Mods can re-actualize the graphics and/or the Tactical side and/or the user interface.

Fleet Command is very simple to use, and the casual gamers looking for a quick and easy ride in naval warfare will enjoy that game. Harpoon is more elaborated and require a little bit more of a commitment. It's focus is the tactical aspect.
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  #81  
Old 30 Sep 17, 21:37
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Originally Posted by Poor Old Spike:- Games like the Harpoon series and CMANO are played only on a map screen, but most newcomers to naval gaming are going to want games which provide both a map screen AND a 3D screen

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I cannot totally agree with you regarding the need for 3D graphics,
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after a while those scenes are boring and pedestrian..
In the stone age before home computers came along, we board wargamers (including me) wished we could somehow be there in the thick of the battle enjoying the exciting sights and sounds that make war such fun, and the arrival of computers with their 3D graphics enabled us to do just that..
Games like Harpoon and CMANO are played purely on a radar screen full of blips and stuff with no 3D graphics at all, and although that appeals to hardcore naval buffs, many people find it just plain boring.
At the moment my favourite naval game is dear old Fleet Command first released 18 years ago, it has both a radar map AND adequate 3D graphics plus great sound effects, here are three screenshots from it, sorry if they seem a bit blurry, they're JPEG stills from FRAPS video, maybe I should have tried PNG format instead-

1- This is how I prefer to play it, with large size 3D screen and small size radar screen-




2- but at the touch of a key you can reverse the sizes like this to get a large radar screen and small 3D screen, it's a matter of preference-




3- And at the touch of another key you can expand the 3D to fullscreen like this-

Last edited by Poor Old Spike; 30 Sep 17 at 21:52..
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  #82  
Old 01 Oct 17, 20:52
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This is how real simulators used by the US military are shown and reported. Notice how this is all public information and confirmed from sources within the US military.

https://www.defensetech.org/2017/09/...training-time/
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  #83  
Old 02 Oct 17, 17:19
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Quote:
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This is how real simulators used by the US military are shown and reported. Notice how this is all public information and confirmed from sources within the US military.

https://www.defensetech.org/2017/09/...training-time/
Good call, Herman Hum, I missed that one, thanks for sharing!

VBS2 (the military version of Arma2) was already used by the Corps and the Navy. They also use different type of sim depending on what they want to cover. My bet is VBS3 is flexible enough to cover a lot of needs.

Last edited by Gunnyhighway; 03 Oct 17 at 15:34..
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  #84  
Old 03 Oct 17, 16:48
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Yes guys, wargames have always been around for as long as there have been wars, and computers allow us to take it to a whole new level whether it's land, air or sea warfare..

“Wargaming allows you to try out tactics and not worry about having to swim for it”– Sir John “Sandy” Woodward, Admiral (Ret) RN (Commanded the British Falklands War Task Force)
http://www.h3milsim.net/


For example, even 18 years old Fleet Command with it's not-so-hot 3D graphics still lets us to get onto the battlefield inside our monitor like 2D games never can.
Here's a screenshot from it, I'm currently creating scenarios where I take on the Chinese navy. I've added text labels to this destroyer to show how we can examine vessels from every angle and inspect their weaponry and firing arcs etc in a way that's harder to do from printed diagrams and photos-



Below: me holding a few Fleet Command data charts which I've compiled for every vessel in the game covering vital info like weapon and radar ranges etc to help me devise devilishly cruel tactics to defeat whatever the enemy throws at me.
(My motto for all wargames and which I try to drum into my recruits is- "Fight with your brain first and your weapons second")
The editor is very good and a dream to use, for example you can give the enemy several different ships and assign a random location and a probability of inclusion factor that makes every game guaranteed to be fresh and different as a great prophet once said- "Yer never know what yer gonna get"..



"I have a high art, I hurt with cruelty those who would hurt me"- Archilocus (Greek mercenary) 650 BC

Last edited by Poor Old Spike; 04 Oct 17 at 12:09..
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  #85  
Old 07 Oct 17, 13:17
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Below: me holding a few Fleet Command data charts which I've compiled for every vessel in the game covering vital info like weapon and radar ranges etc
To me, an image like this exemplifies a failure of design for a computer wargame. Any computer program which requires/forces a user to write things down on paper is a failure because the entire point of having a box that computes and calculates is to manage the information.
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  #86  
Old 08 Oct 17, 01:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman Hum View Post
To me, an image like this exemplifies a failure of design for a computer wargame. Any computer program which requires/forces a user to write things down on paper is a failure because the entire point of having a box that computes and calculates is to manage the information.
In the middle of a game it can be a hassle having to keep pausing the action to call up data readouts, that's why I like to have handwritten charts in front of me so I can see at a glance what weaponry a vessel is packing.
Also when iI'm in bed I can read my charts before going to sleep and work out which ships to include in my team for the next scenario I build..
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  #87  
Old 09 Oct 17, 15:39
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In the middle of a game it can be a hassle having to keep pausing the action to call up data readouts, that's why I like to have handwritten charts in front of me so I can see at a glance what weaponry a vessel is packing.
That's why games need to allow players to open multiple windows simultaneously and place them side-by-side, so that the information is readily available for reference and comparison.
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  #88  
Old 09 Oct 17, 21:55
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That's why games need to allow players to open multiple windows simultaneously and place them side-by-side, so that the information is readily available for reference and comparison.
Yeah that's fine if you don't mind separate windows eating up your screen space, but my main beef is that most games don't present unit info in the way that I personally would like it displayed, so by hand-writing my own charts i can do it my way.
Anyway my charts go much deeper than just straightforwardly presenting dry data, as they also contain test results so I can see with my own eyes how units perform in combat.
For example I'm currently testing the Fleet Command units, here are a couple of charts for the Chinese Luhu and the US Spruance, the letters 'OB' stand for what I've "Observed" with my eyeballs happening on the screen during tests-



PS- I write my own charts for every computer game I've ever owned, then pass on what I've learnt from my observations to the wargame community and write tutorials and do screenshots etc.
Analysing games like that has also helped me during online wargame play over the years, for example the late Denny Houghton once paid me the compliment of saying- "You're a tough little f*cker to play against!"
And the Band of Brothers club refused my application to join them because they said I was "too obsessed with winning"..
Incidentally my analyses and tests also help me spot bugs and notify game developers about them.

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles...
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."
Gen.Sun Tzu (600 BC)

Last edited by Poor Old Spike; 10 Oct 17 at 00:51..
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  #89  
Old 14 Oct 17, 16:43
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Yeah that's fine if you don't mind separate windows eating up your screen space, but my main beef is that most games don't present unit info in the way that I personally would like it displayed, so by hand-writing my own charts i can do it my way.
With the size of monitors these days, the ability to spread windows/games across 2 or more monitors, and option to open multiple versions of Harpoon simultaneously, the screen space requirement is quite minimal. However, maximum customization like a paper notepad is difficult to match. Some utilities allow for hand-written notes to be placed on the computer screen, but that is sometimes more technical than some computer users can manage.
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  #90  
Old 18 Oct 17, 13:44
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The UI for games is crucial, there's nothing worse than a cluttered UI no matter what genre the game is.
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