Sunday, 28 February 2016

Falcon 4 BMS 4.33 Tutorial 11 AGM65G Maverick vs Unju-Ni bridge

I must admit, I'm not at all convinced how useful Visual mode is with the Maverick. You really do benefit from the TGP when targeting the missiles. But if you do come across more prominent targets, and if possibly for whatever reason a TGP is not available, then it's certainly useable, and as such it's worth understanding how the mode works.

Steel Fury Operation Fridericus 1 Panzer Regiment 201 attack on Fedorovka

Operation Fridericus continues with a drive towards Fedorovka.

Combat Mission Battle for Normandy Surrender invites Death 12th SS at Authie

This is an interesting scenario for me. The power of Hollywood has educated the world to believe Normandy was simply an American operation, and it's the Canadians that suffer the most from that. Which is particularly unfortunate given that they probably had the toughest time, and the toughest fights in Normandy, at least outside Omaha Beach. And their confrontations with the 12th SS Panzer Division is the stuff of legend.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Falcon 4 BMS 4.33 Tutorial 10 AGM65D Maverick vs ZSU 23-4 Shilka

This has without doubt been the most difficult and time consuming of the Falcon 4.0 BMS 4.33 tutorials that I have done so far.

The most difficult part of it was working out how to clear the handoff errors. It simply is not possible to clear them if following the tutorial, because switchihg to dogfight mode to clear the locks doesn't work. You have to manually clear them, which isn't all that difficult, and it doesn't take that much time.

I'm not even sure any other BMS tutorial on boresighting mentions that. The only video on it using 4.33 that I've seen has the AV fault list notification lit right through the tutorial.

It's not a huge thing, but if you want to do this right you need to know how to clear the fault list.

And so here it is, at least 50% longer than I expected, but hopefully a complete overview of boresighting and using the AGM65D Maverick missile.

Combat Mission Battle for Normandy Bois de Baugin turns

This is a shorter video than usual. Part of that might well be due to the fact I'm switching to real time mode.

Now, I address the reasons for that at the start of the video, but for a little added clarity, I'll repeat those reasons here.

I don't enjoy turn based CMx2. CMx1 was of course a different animal. There was no real time mode available. But CMx1 did turn based so much better. Of course it helped that it wasn't a 1:1 representation, but it had features such as the A.I. pathfinding solution being visible, which helped when the A.I. chose a particularly silly route.

The benefit of real time is that even when the A.I. does choose such a route, you can interrupt it, whereas in turn based you have to watch a full minute of silliness to play out.

The only downside to real time is that there is no rewind capability. If real time had been coded with that feature right at the start then there would have been no need for a specific alternative - turn based could have been added simply by allowing pre-defined breaks. It would have been even better than the current turn based feature because it would have been possible for the player to have decided how long turns should be.

Also, I'm adding more mods, which should at least improve the sound.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Combat Mission Battle for Normandy Bois de Baugin setup

It's time for another Combat Mission Battle for Normandy scenario, and this time we're looking at the Bois de Baugin scenario.

This scenario might well end badly as there's a lot of open ground to cover, which makes life difficult for infantry, while making it easy for anti tank guns.

Falcon 4 BMS 4.33 Tutorial 9 AGM88 HARM using HAS mode

I have already done a video on AGM88 HARM using POS mode. That will typically be used for non mobile threats. The second mode, HARM As Sensor, or HAS, is used for mobile threats.

Steel Fury Kharkov 1942 Operation Fridericus

I have a confession to make. I missed out on Steel Fury when it was released. As I remember it there were a few tank titles released at the same time, and they all seemed to blend into one homogenous blob for me, with all their perceived faults and failings blending together. But it is so much better than I imagined.

I go back to Panzer Elite, which was the best PC tank game, at least of World War Two vintage, out there. It had some huge failings of its own, but when it worked as it could it did provide some fantastic moments. I will never forget rolling along the route of train tracks exiting a village in North Africa and squinting through binoculars into the distance, trying to establish what on earth the blocks were that I could see. Of course those blocks turned out to be advancing Shermans, and a tank battle quickly ensued.

Steel Fury will give you those same moments. That's not to say it's perfect, because it's far from it. It's not quite the tank sim that I have had in mind for the last ten years. But the very fact that the developers have made it so awkward, so interface heavy, that shows that when they developed the title they wanted to create a vehicle for that sort of internal storytelling.

And when battle is joined, the sense of being blind inside the tank, the dependence on not just other tanks, but crucially the infantry, which is quite well developed, to close with and defeat the enemy, that tension, the uncertainty, all of those things contribute to simulate the basics of what it must have been like to have been inside one of those steel boxes with orders to go forward, seize objectives and win the battle.

In this opening campaign I'm taking part in Operation Fridericus, under the famed General von Paulus.



Combat Mission Battle for Normandy Bloody Dawn

Now this was a tough scenario. And not for all the right reasons.

Without spoilers I would just say that this scenario highlights the good and bad about Combat Mission. It gives you the wonderful, breathtaking almost, moments of excitement and tension, but lets itself down with oddities.

That said, it is still the best tactical wargame series ever, and will continue to be so, at least until Battlefront produce their CMx3 engine.