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Author Topic: Classic wargame gets a huge interface boost  (Read 2806 times)
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marcusjm
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« on: January 20, 2010, 06:44:39 PM »

I know there are not many classic wargamers around here but for those few of us.
Matrixgames is about to update the best computer wargame ever made with some substantial GUI improvements,
apparently alpha transparency made all the difference smile.

I am talking about Operational Art of War(3), there simply isn't anything that can touch it in my book. Doubt there ever will.

Not only does it get a gui update but a huge patch for gameplay as well.

Just so you see I am not exaggerating this.



Rest of the thread with some winter shots too.
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2338553

Can't wait, it's a free update after all smile.
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Razgon
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 09:09:05 PM »

Is this game in any way like the old C64 game Invasion Normandy? I see it uses the same board and units style - I played that one for days!
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marcusjm
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 09:53:41 PM »

There are a couple of excellent scenarios for Normandy. In fact you can find scenarios for just about any conflict from WW1 and onwards(some older as well).
TOAW is operational warfare and best played PBEM but given a good scenario design you can get a pretty good opponent for a few times at least smile.

It has some similarities with older wargames too of course.
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 09:55:35 PM »

Very cool, really looking forward to this.  icon_cool

Razgon, this 'board and units style' goes back to at least the 70's if not earlier and was used by a crap ton of wargames since then, so yes. I started with Panzerblitz and had a dedicated group of wargamer friends to play with for many years. Nowadays, it's still pretty much solo play on computer wargames but I have a couple of friends that still play ASL on a regular basis.
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 10:15:40 PM »

I didn't know there were other TOAW3 players around here.  Interesting... smile
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baelthazar
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 10:30:52 PM »

Huw... you should have known that I have it... Don't we play the same games?

That is fantastic looking! I haven't been following this at all, and I am surprised nobody on the Wargamer.com boards said a word. Very very nice!

Bael
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marcusjm
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 10:45:43 PM »

Apparently it was a community member who started this and later got involved in the patch.

Personally I always found TOAW to be best for WW2 and the conflicts between 45-75, due to the mobile nature of those wars. Static
warfare is so so in TOAW. Norms Korea scenario is still
among the best designed scenarios I have played. Everyone interested in Vietnam should try the superb Vietnam scenario still being released.
Very well designed scenarios that work fine against AI.

http://sites.google.com/site/vietnamcombatoperations/Home/vco---volume-14

Still more to go smile.
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2010, 11:00:25 PM »

Quote from: baelthazar on January 20, 2010, 10:30:52 PM

Huw... you should have known that I have it... Don't we play the same games?

 icon_lol
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 11:04:34 PM »

I need to go dig through my games and see what version of TOAW I have.  And then I need someone to teach me how to play the damned thing.
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2010, 12:03:45 AM »

That does look pretty cool. thumbsup
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2010, 12:16:23 AM »

I've always wanted to try wargames, but I need something with a good tutorial.
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2010, 12:31:34 AM »

I actually preferred TOAW 2: Modern Battles to TOAW3 - Is Norm Koger also behind this remake? For my wargaming I generally prefer tactical to operational, but that map looks so darn pretty I could definitely see myself getting this day 1. My most anticipated upcoming PC wargame is Lock 'n' Load: Heroes of Stalingrad.



Not nearly as pretty as that TOAW3 map, but it features tactical, squad level play and if it's anywhere near as good as the boardgame, it'll be worth the purchase.
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2010, 02:32:51 AM »

Lock 'n Load: Heroes of Stalingrad was on my radar 'til I gave up on it a year ago; I hope it does come out well eventually. It looks so much like the ASL boardgames we used to play at the Berkeley wargaming club. I have a few John Tiller wargames like Advance of the Reich but they're so dry - but then Tiller games have a design philosophy pretty close to "You're lucky you get anything".

TOAW GUI upgrade looks really cool and if these were 2000 A.D., I'd be all over the Korean peninsula preventing the death of Charley Co or fighting my way from the Chosin reservoir. But I'm not returning to TOAW at this late date.
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2010, 02:44:55 AM »

Never tried TOAW. I've been spoiled by the likes of Airborne Assault: Highway to the Reich and haven't looked back. I'd rather order the regimental HQ's and let them move the companies around and make minor adjustments than move each individual counter myself. Plus its damn satisfying when I get inside the enemy's decision making cycle and have them dancing to my tune.

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marcusjm
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2010, 02:52:33 AM »

The problem with those one operation type games is that they never choose the operations I want.
With TOAW I get whatever I want.

Still in 2010 I can't really see what compares with this in this particular area but I have some hope left for that other Operational game they are working on.

Lock'n Load really looks cool, I have waited for some kind of ASL conversion for 2 decades and maybe this is it?

El-Producto: TOAW has tons of good tutorials, few wargames of this complexity have so many guides as this one.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 02:54:40 AM by marcusjm » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2010, 03:52:53 AM »

Crap, I didn't know they were working on a PC version of Lock 'n Load! I've always wanted to try the cardboard version of that, but since I don't really have any local wargaming buddies, I decided to stop getting them (after buying 8 or 9 different ones), but that system has always been on my list to pick up if I ever found a wargaming buddy.  Neat!
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2010, 04:17:27 AM »

Wow they've revolutioned it all the way into the 90s!!  So far I'm only seening pictures of the map. How about the menus and what not.  It's nice that the graphics have gotten a facelift but the whole damn interface needs to me made more user-friendly.
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baelthazar
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2010, 04:29:27 AM »

Well, the words "working on" in context of the Lock and Load PC port can only be used loosely.  ninja That one have been "in production" for a while with nary a word from Matrix or the developer. It's like World in Flames... don't hold your breath waiting on release...

TOAW has several thousand scenarios out there, which means you can play whatever you want. The one thing that held me back was how ugly the maps were. Now... looking good! I'm very excited for this new patch, but we still don't have an ETA. Not a good thing from Matrix, we still could be months away!

Bael
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kronovan
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2010, 06:28:51 AM »

Quote from: Chaz on January 21, 2010, 03:52:53 AM

Crap, I didn't know they were working on a PC version of Lock 'n Load! I've always wanted to try the cardboard version of that, but since I don't really have any local wargaming buddies, I decided to stop getting them (after buying 8 or 9 different ones), but that system has always been on my list to pick up if I ever found a wargaming buddy.  Neat!

Something to be aware of, is that there's Vassal modules for both Lock 'n' Load Band of Heroes and Lock 'n' Load A Day of Heroes. I've put a fair amount of time into the BoH module and it's very slick as far as Vassal modules go. For fans of the Blackhawk Down movie, LnL Day of Heroes is a must play as all maps are set in the streets of Mogadishu during 1993. I can't say enough about these games - it's an excellent tactical game system and it's surprisingly solo-friendly too. You can also download the rules for both from the LocknLoad publishing website. Of course you're supposed to own the boardgame in order to legally play the Vassal module. I own BoH, so if anyone's interested in playing, just PM me.

I hear everyone about the Heroes of Stalingrad being "in development" forever complaint. I do notice Mark Walker -game designer- making, and responding, to posts about it every once in a while at boardgamegeek. It's still being worked on, but like most 1st time PC conversions for board game developers, it's proven to be much more of a challenge than thought.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 06:43:58 AM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2010, 08:05:42 AM »

Yay, TOAW!  I still have TOAW3 loaded on my PC and play it once in a while.  The flexibilty of the system to handle the tons of scenarios out there is great.  Looking forward to the update.

As for Lock'n'Load, Walker did a podcast about it last year.  Troy Goodfellow and Tom Chick are both involved in "Three Moves Ahead," which is a strategy game oriented program (though Tom tends to define "strategy" rather loosely - see the epidsode devoted to Brutal Legend).  At any rate, the Lock'n'Load episode is here.  Walker allowed a couple of them to play an alpha version of the game but there were rather harsh on him about it.  At any rate, it's about as much information about the game as has been released in awhile.

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marcusjm
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« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2010, 11:31:40 AM »

I have heard the complaint about the interface before but honestly, compared
to most wargames it is much better. It took some time to get used to (like most of Kogers games), but once I did it was well worth the time invested.

Obviously nothing compares with the Panzer General games, those had the interface that everyone should match smile.

I find other matrixgames offerings much tougher, like that Crown of Glory game, still haven't finished one game due to the nightmarish interface.
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« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2010, 12:57:59 PM »

Quote from: marcusjm on January 21, 2010, 02:52:33 AM

The problem with those one operation type games is that they never choose the operations I want.
With TOAW I get whatever I want.

I get what you're saying. Still, its 2010 now. I want to see more games use the HTTR command and order structure. I want to command subordinates and have them command their subordinates. I want hexless maps. I want an orders delay that also takes into account fatigue, morale, and whether the HQ is under attack or nonexistent. I want to tell an HQ that I want the hill taken, and not have to move every single unit on the map.
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« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2010, 06:08:56 PM »

It is an excellent system and I hope some day they release some kind of construction kit (like TOAW but for that system).

Why not Vietnam for instance?

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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2010, 06:32:14 PM »

Quote from: marcusjm on January 21, 2010, 06:08:56 PM

It is an excellent system and I hope some day they release some kind of construction kit (like TOAW but for that system).

Why not Vietnam for instance?

Agreed. Or even Korea. The differences in command, control, and mobility between sides would certainly be highlighted in either one.
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« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2010, 01:54:51 AM »

I just tried to replay an old game from my early teens - East Front II - and it was quite tedious, primitive and dull to boot. I can't believe I ever enjoyed it but I seem to have memories of liking it enough to have played it a hell of a lot when I was 13. But now, I was thinking: "I rarely play any more, hardly played more than 30-40 hours total last year - AND THIS is what I choose to look at!!" Life's too short to try to rehabilitate old games; if someone's enjoying an old wargame that's one thing (more power to 'em) but for me they had their day. I really really need some gimmick -a powerful AI, spectacular graphics/fx, or an original setting -to enjoy a game now.  

The new maps for TOAW are attractive, but I'd rather read about your battles than actually play it again.
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« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2010, 07:45:20 AM »

Quote from: marcusjm on January 21, 2010, 06:08:56 PM

It is an excellent system and I hope some day they release some kind of construction kit (like TOAW but for that system).

Why not Vietnam for instance?



Because in a niche genre, WW2 games sell a little and and games that are not WWII sell even less.  If I were a multi-millionaire I would happily make a game based on whatever era of warfare interested me but guys who do this as their day jobs really can't afford to do that.
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« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2010, 03:47:46 AM »

Quote from: Canuck on January 22, 2010, 07:45:20 AM

Quote from: marcusjm on January 21, 2010, 06:08:56 PM

It is an excellent system and I hope some day they release some kind of construction kit (like TOAW but for that system).

Why not Vietnam for instance?



Because in a niche genre, WW2 games sell a little and and games that are not WWII sell even less.  If I were a multi-millionaire I would happily make a game based on whatever era of warfare interested me but guys who do this as their day jobs really can't afford to do that.

I wouldn't necessarily say Viet Nam doesn't sell wargames - Lock 'n' Load Publishing launched their business on a Viet Nam game -Forgotten Heroes- and they recently republished it as a downloadable game due to popular demand. Of course nothing says that the PC gaming audience for these type of games is the same as the board game one, but based on coverage and posts on boardgame sites, I get the impression that there's a fair amount of overlap. The problem with using Viet Nam for a game like TOAW is that their weren't a lot of coordinated campaigns and much of what there were was the air war. It was really a war of insurrection and containment, with much of the fighting being conducted at remote Foreward Fire Bases by platoons on patrol. That suits a tactical level wargame very well, but doesn't make for a very interesting operational game.  Now the Korean War, that was a war with a lot of coordinated campaigns and an excellent theater for a game like TOAW.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 03:55:55 AM by kronovan » Logged
marcusjm
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« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2010, 04:06:58 AM »

When did wargame designers develop any kind of business sense? slywink.

The argument that something doesn't sell because there is no interest is because the wargame producers tend to cater to the same small group all the time, instead of trying new stuff. It is that very mindset that has reduced wargames to niche. At least before Russians and other new exciting developers came along. They are more willing to try new untested wars.

Norm Koger who made TOAW3 isn't stuck in that mindset though, he has made games about Russo Japanese war etc becasue those conflicts interests him.

Anyway, this is why games like TOAW is so great, they allow anyone to make a scenario about any conflict.

Kronovan:Try the Vietnam Operations scenarios I posted about, they are superb and shows just how well it did work with a good dedicated scenario designer. Actually, some of my favourite TOAW scenarios concerns the French Indochine wars, simply great scenarios.

I recommend anyone who is sceptical about this to read this AAR from the Vietnam scenario:
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2302538

It is important to read the PDF that follows this scenario. Not only does it give you a guide but it serves as an excellent tutorial for TOAW and really puts you in the right mood to play this conflcit.

It's all about designing the scenario well after the constraints you have in TOAW (ie it's an operational game, not grand strategic or tactical).

« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 04:36:48 AM by marcusjm » Logged

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