Author Topic: Radio Commander...  (Read 2713 times)

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Offline MengJiao

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2019, 07:24:03 AM »
I would love to see a game that focus on the higher level theatre management that has an almost RPG feel to it.

In that you are limited to what information you get on your own, you have call it initiative points that will let you listen / see certain intelligence however otherwise you have to trust your staff. And that staff has skill,, biasís and talents that can help or hinder you.

I guess it would be an amalgamation of DC Barbarossa, CK2 and any theatre wargame.

  Yes!  I hope things move in this direction.  The ultimate for this sort of simulation might be simulating von Moltke (the Younger) as he tries to control what would be known as the Battle of the Marne...but you have to run things just as he did and have some of the same "personal" problems (Like the Emperor won't let you give a retreat order...oops....sound familiar?...or von Kluck won't obey orders...the Saxons Kowtow to the nearest Prussian ), and so you write your wife, get radio intercepts of what the army commanders are transmitting to each other.  Finally, things get tough and you send out Colonel Heinke in a car (note that this sort of assumes cars have a lot of advantages over radios for transmitting orders) TWICE.  And the French go swarming across the remains of the Schlieeffen Plan.  And you probably lose the battle and get kicked out of your job.


Offline Lowenstaat

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2019, 06:25:59 PM »
Same publisher as 911 Operator, but different developer. Maybe the limiting factor of radio communications will create some interesting choices during gameplay as the commander "on the horn." The product description explains the developer is delivering 9 campaigns with the game. A game like this would also benefit from a random mission / campaign generator and a solid editor.
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Offline dinsdale

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2019, 11:12:57 PM »
  Yes!  I hope things move in this direction.  The ultimate for this sort of simulation might be simulating von Moltke (the Younger) as he tries to control what would be known as the Battle of the Marne...but you have to run things just as he did and have some of the same "personal" problems (Like the Emperor won't let you give a retreat order...oops....sound familiar?...or von Kluck won't obey orders...the Saxons Kowtow to the nearest Prussian ), and so you write your wife, get radio intercepts of what the army commanders are transmitting to each other.  Finally, things get tough and you send out Colonel Heinke in a car (note that this sort of assumes cars have a lot of advantages over radios for transmitting orders) TWICE.  And the French go swarming across the remains of the Schlieeffen Plan.  And you probably lose the battle and get kicked out of your job.

I wonder how repetitive and tedious it might become though. I like command friction and limiting what the player can accomplish each turn, board games have been going this way for years with chit pulls or orders delays. Frank Hunter introduced fog of war for friendlies in his Napoleonic games, it made for a really interesting mechanic.

While I think the radio idea could be really interesting, it's not that different from a hex board with fog of war which just abstracts away you having to listen and then make markings on a map.

BTW, if you want to experience Moltke's problems, try this https://www.gmtgames.com/p-415-1914-offensive-outrance.aspx  it handles most of the items you mention in a more abstract way, but ensures you can't optimize your force or avoid the historic mistakes.



Offline MengJiao

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2019, 07:46:18 AM »
  Yes!  I hope things move in this direction.  The ultimate for this sort of simulation might be simulating von Moltke (the Younger) as he tries to control what would be known as the Battle of the Marne...but you have to run things just as he did and have some of the same "personal" problems (Like the Emperor won't let you give a retreat order...oops....sound familiar?...or von Kluck won't obey orders...the Saxons Kowtow to the nearest Prussian ), and so you write your wife, get radio intercepts of what the army commanders are transmitting to each other.  Finally, things get tough and you send out Colonel Heinke in a car (note that this sort of assumes cars have a lot of advantages over radios for transmitting orders) TWICE.  And the French go swarming across the remains of the Schlieeffen Plan.  And you probably lose the battle and get kicked out of your job.

I wonder how repetitive and tedious it might become though. I like command friction and limiting what the player can accomplish each turn, board games have been going this way for years with chit pulls or orders delays. Frank Hunter introduced fog of war for friendlies in his Napoleonic games, it made for a really interesting mechanic.

While I think the radio idea could be really interesting, it's not that different from a hex board with fog of war which just abstracts away you having to listen and then make markings on a map.

BTW, if you want to experience Moltke's problems, try this https://www.gmtgames.com/p-415-1914-offensive-outrance.aspx  it handles most of the items you mention in a more abstract way, but ensures you can't optimize your force or avoid the historic mistakes.

The boardgame looks intriguing, but I was thinking of a more solitaire RPG approach as the ultimate realization of the potential for focusing on command problems.  Such an approach might be more interesting at a lower command level such as a Russian army in 1942 (say 60,000 poorly trained men, some artillery, uncertain supply, terrible communications, incompetent officers at all levels, lots of vodka, few recon assets etc.etc. and sooner or later Stavka calls you and wants to know what's going on:  Why aren't you at HQ all the time?  Why are you at an advanced post trying to find if a formation is where it says it is and is seeing what it says it is seeing?  What happened to all that fuel they sent you? etc. etc.)

Offline stolypin

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2019, 08:02:44 AM »
I would love to see a game that focus on the higher level theatre management that has an almost RPG feel to it.

In that you are limited to what information you get on your own, you have call it initiative points that will let you listen / see certain intelligence however otherwise you have to trust your staff. And that staff has skill,, biasís and talents that can help or hinder you.

I guess it would be an amalgamation of DC Barbarossa, CK2 and any theatre wargame.

  Yes!  I hope things move in this direction.  The ultimate for this sort of simulation might be simulating von Moltke (the Younger) as he tries to control what would be known as the Battle of the Marne...but you have to run things just as he did and have some of the same "personal" problems (Like the Emperor won't let you give a retreat order...oops....sound familiar?...or von Kluck won't obey orders...the Saxons Kowtow to the nearest Prussian ), and so you write your wife, get radio intercepts of what the army commanders are transmitting to each other.  Finally, things get tough and you send out Colonel Heinke in a car (note that this sort of assumes cars have a lot of advantages over radios for transmitting orders) TWICE.  And the French go swarming across the remains of the Schlieeffen Plan.  And you probably lose the battle and get kicked out of your job.

Yes!  Or how about Paulus sitting in his commander bunker at Gumrak in Fall 1942?

Offline MengJiao

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2019, 11:00:18 AM »
I would love to see a game that focus on the higher level theatre management that has an almost RPG feel to it.

In that you are limited to what information you get on your own, you have call it initiative points that will let you listen / see certain intelligence however otherwise you have to trust your staff. And that staff has skill,, biasís and talents that can help or hinder you.

I guess it would be an amalgamation of DC Barbarossa, CK2 and any theatre wargame.

  Yes!  I hope things move in this direction.  The ultimate for this sort of simulation might be simulating von Moltke (the Younger) as he tries to control what would be known as the Battle of the Marne...but you have to run things just as he did and have some of the same "personal" problems (Like the Emperor won't let you give a retreat order...oops....sound familiar?...or von Kluck won't obey orders...the Saxons Kowtow to the nearest Prussian ), and so you write your wife, get radio intercepts of what the army commanders are transmitting to each other.  Finally, things get tough and you send out Colonel Heinke in a car (note that this sort of assumes cars have a lot of advantages over radios for transmitting orders) TWICE.  And the French go swarming across the remains of the Schlieeffen Plan.  And you probably lose the battle and get kicked out of your job.

Yes!  Or how about Paulus sitting in his commander bunker at Gumrak in Fall 1942?

  That would be more complex (after all Paulus did have a lot of options and a lot of time to do some teletyping or visiting the fronts or flying back into the pocket after a conference or something)...I would think starting with something a lot simpler -- maybe Hobbs trying to manage the 30th Division in its first battle(a river-crossing in Normandy).  Messy, but without a whole cubic range of options and with reasonable assets in terms of staff and regimental officers and recon and so on.

Offline Apocalypse 31

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2019, 11:54:03 PM »
I play this game for real at work...except I'm usually sitting in my Stryker, freezing my ass off and staring at my digital map, chat screens, and commanders interface screen, while monitoring multiple radio nets.

My current record is 5 radio nets simultaneously.

Offline besilarius

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2019, 10:17:42 AM »
As thought,  Operation Crusader might be a situation that would lend itself to this command approach.
You would have Rommel, out of area, expecting no british attack and then dashing off with two Panzer divisions, and running low on fuel, versus Cunningham, trying to understand the battle from the rear area.
this also illustrates the problems of working in the dark.  Cunningham's original plan was to meet the two german panzer divisions with 7th Armoured Division concentrated.  When this didn't happen, he listened to the appeals of XIII Corps and detached a third of the Division to cover that corp's flank.
Then the Italian Ariete division was pinpointed, and he sent a brigade to beat them up.
Then a radio intercept showed the two german panzers were uniting to make an attack on 7th's one remaining brigade.
In no time, he lost control of the situation.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2019, 10:49:06 AM »
I play this game for real at work...except I'm usually sitting in my Stryker, freezing my ass off and staring at my digital map, chat screens, and commanders interface screen, while monitoring multiple radio nets.

My current record is 5 radio nets simultaneously.

Whenever you get to 'that' scene in Aliens, you must laugh and laugh and laugh...  ;D
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Offline Apocalypse 31

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2019, 11:45:39 AM »
I play this game for real at work...except I'm usually sitting in my Stryker, freezing my ass off and staring at my digital map, chat screens, and commanders interface screen, while monitoring multiple radio nets.

My current record is 5 radio nets simultaneously.

Whenever you get to 'that' scene in Aliens, you must laugh and laugh and laugh...  ;D

I sometimes wonder how well someone like Napoleon or Lee would do on the modern, digitally-saturated battlefield. Then again, it can all be delegated - My commander usually sits in the back of my command vehicle and asks me for updates every few minutes.

There's something to be said about the ability to monitor multiple radio nets, digital chat systems while monitoring digital and analogue maps then filtering all of THAT information to provide my commander with a one or two sentence update.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2019, 01:30:09 PM »
That is legitimately how military force is most efficiently concentrated on the enemy -- so there's a lot to be said for it!  O0 :notworthy:
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Offline The_Admiral

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2019, 09:39:06 AM »
BTW if some people are still interested in this project, they did put a kickstarter campaign up for grabs

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playway/radio-commander-use-radio-commands-to-lead-your-tr

To be fair their objective was fairly small, but it got funded real quick. They're on the right path for putting some novelty in the genre me thinks. Crossing fingers!

Offline Grim.Reaper

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2019, 06:40:24 AM »
I decided to back it..only $15 and received demo version.  Worth the risk for something hopefully unique.

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2019, 12:28:37 PM »
I love these games that try to simulate a unit's "relationship" with HQ.  The only challenge is finding the sweet spot between transparency and immersion.

If you go too transparent, it just becomes another game of spreadsheet management and spoils the immersion factor entirely.  But if you go entirely opaque, and don't provide at least intermittent feedback on the various factors "under the hood" that your command decisions are toggling, it becomes a maddening black box simulation.

There's great opportunity for good game design in the middle here.  I suspect that war itself is sufficiently random and senseless that you'd need to give players a little more control than an actual commander might have in a wartime situation. 

But it still represents a pioneering field for a genre that has seen only very limited innovation since Avalon Hill first released titles like Tactics almost a half-century ago.

Offline The_Admiral

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Re: Radio Commander...
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2019, 07:54:58 PM »
I can only concur with this statement.

Actually I am dealing with this thin line myself everyday. I am currently involved in my own wargame/command simulation project, and it is true that it is a narrow path to walk, where any wrong turn might prove harmful in terms of gameplay experience - to the point that the game might not be enjoyable anymore at all.

Still, I am also convince that improved immersion actually provides its own new options for realism and the understanding of complex mechanics. Once one is able to simulate a larger panel of factors in an immersive environment, things that used to be mechanics become obvious intuitive processes in the eyes of the commoner. But it requires an amount of immersion the abstract nature of classic, rulebook-based tabletop wargames wouldn't be able to provide - which is ok, as long as we acknowledge these limitations, love classic wargames for what they are, and start innovating towards new practices which would use our current computer power to its full extent.

For certain the balance is hard to find and always hangs by a thread - previous attempts have somewhat always come short of finding the immersion factor that would counterbalance the transparency, or excess thereof. I sort of fault (if I may use that word this way, although I mean no offense, being a grognard wannabe myself) our attachment to old wargame mechanics mainly for this, and our inability to project ourselves beyond our tabletop habits. For a few decades now, computer wargaming has tried to emulate - or even mimic - tabletop wargaming, first as an obvious way of dealing with a complicated setting by picking proven mechanisms compatible with the limited processing resources at hand; then as some sort of established habit, which is ok in itself (it's a genre) but is awkwardly not making full use of the potential of computers in the 21st century.

I am convinced that the ultimate point of a computer wargame experience shouldn't always be a tabletop simulator instead of an actual command simulator. We reached a point where technology allows for innovative outlooks such as Ultimate General, General Staff, Rule the Waves or Radio Commander (to name a few) to actually reach a point of maturity where immersion, gameplay, commendable historicity and reasonable realism all factor together in order to contribute to a new genre. A new genre that I can't wait to tackle further and hopefully contribute successfully to.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 07:59:16 PM by The_Admiral »