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  • Good/Best sim to learn tactics?

    Hi all,
    I've been reading through the really good Tactics 101 articles, I now want to attempt to apply some of the planning methods to situations.

    I play TOAW but things like terrain planning seem a bit too 'low level' for TOAW, so i'm looking for some method to try out the Tactics 101 stuff.

    Any suggestions? I'm quite open to purchasing something!

    Pete

  • #2
    If I were you, I would try some of the HPS games. They have a very good terrain and line of sight rules. Try the Napoleonic series.

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    • #3
      I would go with one of the Combat Mission games myself.
      Publisher
      Armchair General Magazine
      Weider History Group

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Eric Weider View Post
        I would go with one of the Combat Mission games myself.
        I would like to second that and add Conquest of the Aegean as well.

        I have not seen many games where the need for terrain planning (as well as alot of other real life factors) are so clear like in that one.
        "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

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        • #5
          Combat Mission is WEGO and punishes you for bad ideas nicely. You have to actually use all your units as if they depend on each other (because they do).

          Highway to the Reich or Conquest of the Agean are both great ways to learn command, because that game beats you up if you just insist on giving pointless ill thought out commands. And it doesn't suffer take backs and do overs hehe. Once you tell a unit to do something, you are expected to only tell it something else if it is desperately vital. The chain of command matters in these games.
          Life is change. Built models for decades.
          Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
          I didn't for a long time either.

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          • #6
            Thanks for your input! I'm looking over COTA.

            I'm surprised nobody suggested, Decisive Action, TacOps or Armored Task Force....are these too heavyweight for a beginner to apply planning and stuff too?

            EDIT: Hmm..COTA looks good the more I look at it, more operational than tactical perhaps, or does that not matter for applying the Tactics 101 article stuff?
            Last edited by kneecaps; 05 Feb 07, 08:35.

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            • #7
              The more I read about COTA the more I think it looks great, seems to have everything.

              I'm often reluctant to buy something without demoing it first but this looks like a must have!

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              • #8
                If you want real, modern-day tactics that mirror those discussed in Tactics 101, try Air Assault Task Force by ProSIM.

                Download the demo HERE.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by kneecaps View Post
                  The more I read about COTA the more I think it looks great, seems to have everything.

                  I'm often reluctant to buy something without demoing it first but this looks like a must have!
                  There are a good demo movie available, it gives a good feel of the game.

                  There are however very many good wargames to try out basic tactics and planning on. We all have our preferences on what games we like the most. If a wargame is good, then you should IMO be able to implement most of the material given in the "Tactics 101" series.

                  EDIT: Hmm..COTA looks good the more I look at it, more operational than tactical perhaps, or does that not matter for applying the Tactics 101 article stuff?
                  The next installments (Battle of the Bulge and North Africa) will take the scale down a notch and for example offer the player to setup roadblocks, minefields and other obstacles. But COTA is still very much a tactical simulation with scenarios ranging from the command of divisons down to single battalions. The smallest units portrayed are usually companies with support unit in the platoon level.

                  If you want an accesible good modern day wargame then I would go with CPangracs, or TacOps as you mentioned yourself. Both offer good demos.
                  "The secret of war lies in the communications" - Napoleon Bonaparte

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                  • #10
                    Thanks again guys!
                    I've tried BTC Commander and Armored Task Force demos before, I felt a little overwhelmed and got whipped.

                    I'm having problems with this planning thing. It seems that I cannot come up with a decent plan for any scenario I try to analyse. I'm not really seeing 'decisive terrain, units or time'...which leaves me with no basis to define purpose and carry out futher planning.

                    Maybe its not choice of sim, I'm too stuck in a mindset of attrition (I think because a lot of games/sims require you to destroy the enemy rather than defeating them).

                    Confused, need direction!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kneecaps View Post
                      Thanks for your input! I'm looking over COTA.

                      I'm surprised nobody suggested, Decisive Action, TacOps or Armored Task Force....are these too heavyweight for a beginner to apply planning and stuff too?

                      EDIT: Hmm..COTA looks good the more I look at it, more operational than tactical perhaps, or does that not matter for applying the Tactics 101 article stuff?
                      If you like tactical more than operational, why don't you try 'Close Combat'? Platoon up to company size combat and you can use the '101' skills quite well.
                      IMO 'Russian Front' is the best in the CC series, but there is more to chose form. I even read some months ago in the forum that the plan exists to modernise and re-issue the Close Combat series: Excellent idea.
                      BoRG

                      You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kneecaps View Post
                        Thanks again guys!
                        I've tried BTC Commander and Armored Task Force demos before, I felt a little overwhelmed and got whipped.

                        Confused, need direction!
                        Well, COTA is a lot easier to get started in. I know because I've literally given dozens of 5-minute instructions demo-ing the game at a number of wargame conventions.

                        Just using the move, attack and defend orders and using common (military) sense will get you up and running in no time. It's a game you grow into. At first you don't need to bother with the finer parts, just give orders to your battalion HQ's and they'll execute them well enough, after a while you'll start to micro-manage your arty or think you've found a better spot for that AT company but as a game COTA keeps you focused on the operational strategy, not the drudgery of having to move and order each unit every turn.

                        Check out the forum - every day there are newbies checking in saying it's the best experience they had with wargaming in a long time.

                        Greetz,

                        Eddy Sterckx

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by eddysterckx View Post
                          COTA keeps you focused on the operational strategy, not the drudgery of having to move and order each unit every turn.

                          Check out the forum - every day there are newbies checking in saying it's the best experience they had with wargaming in a long time.
                          Thanks! Great point. I think this sums it up. When your trying to learn and focus on applying proper tactics at this level the labour of micromanaging individual platoons is a bit too much! Those more comfortable with tactics can more easily manage units at a lower level perhaps?

                          I'll checkout the COTA forum too. Thanks!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kneecaps View Post
                            Thanks! Great point. I think this sums it up. When your trying to learn and focus on applying proper tactics at this level the labour of micromanaging individual platoons is a bit too much! Those more comfortable with tactics can more easily manage units at a lower level perhaps?
                            The thing is : in Cota you won't want or need to most of the time. Let me give you an example : say you want a battalion (a battalion HQ, it's companies, some supporting mortar, heavy machine gun and AT units) to defend a town.

                            Cota allows newbies to do this : <click on Btl HQ unit> <click on "Defend"> <click on the town> done. If that was a sound move from a military operational point of view (the battalion is not out on a limb, nearly encircled etc. ) that was a good move to make and you can easily win a game like that.

                            But when you're a bit more used to this whole "worry about the strategy, not about implementation" way of wargaming you'll start to notice that the default footprint (frontage / depth) that battalion has can maybe be enhanced somewhat - and Cota lets you do that easily. The next step is that you notice that the battalion has a rather feeble AT company and that for best effect you could maybe place it somewhat to the right/left of the main highway leading into town because you know the enemy is usually scouting with light armoured cars and getting flank shots would be nice, etc.

                            The point I wanted to make is that Cota lets you micro-manage *everything* if you wanted to, but that most gamers don't bother because in most instances the AI commander does a credible job himself so you only intervene at the critical points and if you just need to garrison a flank that is not threatened even the most experienced players will just <click unit> <click defend order> <click location> and go on to focus where his attention to details matters : at the focal point of the attack.

                            Now, if the above sounds suspiciously like the job description of the divisional or corps commander that's because Cota is simply the best simulation of commanding at that level available on today's market.

                            And that's not just my opinion - Cota was recently elected Wargame of the Year by the very tough grognards on Usenet's war-historical gaming group.

                            Originally posted by kneecaps View Post
                            I'll checkout the COTA forum too. Thanks!
                            http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=123

                            Greetz,

                            Eddy Sterckx

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CPangracs View Post
                              If you want real, modern-day tactics that mirror those discussed in Tactics 101, try Air Assault Task Force by ProSIM.

                              Download the demo HERE.
                              This does look interesting...I may give it a try. Thanks for the tip.
                              Publisher
                              Armchair General Magazine
                              Weider History Group

                              Comment

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