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Thread: Tactical Combat: The Future

  1. #1

    Default Tactical Combat: The Future

    My reply to the *Next Official Total War Game* thread prompted me to post this as a friendly gesture for discussion to other TW players. In TW, the combined strategic layer with tactical combat was brilliant and the model for any serious strategy came to come. However, for myself, the main draw was the tactical combat which played out in a realistic and believable manner. In this thread my vote for next TW game was Napoleonic TW but I lack confidence in CA to advance any further the "SratTac" genre. I also noticed in this thread many people have a false conception that gunpowder tactical combat cannot be done or isn't fun. I found this ironic considering only three titles attempted this with any accuracy and all were hits beginning with Sid Meiers Gettysburg and the Close Combat series. Most recently was the Combat Mission series and Civil War Bull Run.

    I'm here to say tactical Napoleonic or WW2 style warfare can be done and done well. It takes a major commitment from the developers along with a tactical engine capable of much greater depth than the RTW engine can provide. The "mainstream" devs simply won't touch it and if they do it's always very dumbed down and gamey. Imperial Glory is a prime example of this problem. There is simply nothing tactical or realistic about the Imperial Glory tactical layer, its pathetic.

    One example of tactical Napoleonics done right would be Civil War: Bull Run by MadMinute Games. A startup company dedicated to recreating the ACW in exacting detail. This is their first release which covers this historical battle of the ACW. There is no strategic layer but all battles and scenarios are played out in real time like TW. The graphics are not SOTA as one might expect from a startup company but they are very convincing. Trust me you will forget about the graphics one you have a full division engaged :). It's Only $20.00 and clearly alot of talent and passion went into creating CWBR. I see a bright future here boys as they have expressed an interest in doing a strategic layer in future games.

    For extremely detailed tactical WW2 combat look into Combat Mission: Afrika Korps. This may be beyond the scope of what many TW gamers are looking for but its worth mentioning. This game truly crosses the line into "grognard" territory. It is highly detailed and realistic. The graphics are passable considering the extremely detailed weapons, armor and morale model. However this was the last in the series to use this engine and it's age shows. They have been working on a brand new SOTA engine for the next in the series yet it's still very much under wraps. Orders are carried out by both sides during a pause after 1 minute of action. Once both players are finished issuing orders the action is played out in real time for 1 minute. This allows for very detailed orders to be given to units. No game of this detail could be played fully in real time. A very active multiplayer community exists, be prepared to get beat down by excellent players. Word of caution, this is not a beer and pretzels game but if you are patient and learn it you will be rewarded with the richest tactical combat game ever made. The next game code named "CMx2" will blow minds.

    Napoleonics on the radar.. keep your eye on Crown of Glory from Western Civilization Software. Looks fantastic with great depth. This game uses both a strategic and tactical layer so it could be considered a "StratTac" with a grognard bend. Evidence of this is the option of NATO like symbols or 3D animated units. The tactical combat uses a turn based system based on initiative. The scope of the game covers all of Europe and North Africa from 1799 to 1820.

    So whats the future of real tactical combat in computer games? Keep in mind there are very few developers with the vision, will or guts to attempt the StraTac genre. Everything is RTS, FPS, RPG.. very pathetic. I see a sliding scale which IMO is sliding in exactly the wrong direction for the future of StratTac games. MTW hit a sweet spot with its tactical combat, however with a more focus on playability could have added even more tactical depth IMO. RTW moved to a faster, less realistic RTS like nature. Imperial Glory took this 2 steps further and implemented a tactical layer without tactics or realism. Just gamey RTS action. Do you see a fightening pattern here? I sure do.

    CA have clearly drawn a line in the sand with their support for RTW. Their definitons of polish and realism clearly differs from many of their fans. I will remain hopeful but I'm not betting on "mainstream" companies anymore.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Tactical Combat: The Future

    The future is Wartime Command and CM2 (IMO).
    Recommendations: Hammer of the Scots, Rommel in the Desert, Memoir '44

  3. #3
    Senior Member Senior Member 1dread1lahll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    tucson Az usa

    Default Re: Tactical Combat: The Future

    One wonders if you have not paid attention to the rather successful MTW Mod "Napoleonic TW"; If that is the case you shoul go to the "lords" site and down-load it, you should try it in multi player.

  4. #4
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Default Re: Tactical Combat: The Future

    And this might be worth considering too:


  5. #5
    Member Member thelzdking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Manchester, UK

    Default Re: Tactical Combat: The Future

    Think: genuinely challenging AI. Games as a whole will never fully flourish until they can really sort out the AI, which has never been managed, especially on a complex game like TW. Games are graphically 'based' at the moment, the things that will happen when people really start to look into the mechanics, I'm pretty convinced will have the power to melt your face, particularly with something like TW.

    Also I remain to be convinced of the value of 'moving on' from the 'swords and spears' style. Few games cater for this well (how awful is AoE), and TW does it very well, it doesn't need to have any kind of generic strategic setting in WWII etc. There's plenty of history to go around, most of it occured before 1914, contrary to popular belief.


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