Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations in the press
AWARDS / DISTINCTIONS / NOMINATIONS
War Is Boring – Best War Games of 2013: “This isn’t just a game. It’s a simulation that’s as close as many of us will ever get to real Pentagon simulation. C:MANO, as fans call it, is a real-time game that boasts an incredibly rich—and unclassified—database of the aircraft and ships of the Cold War and beyond. […] I strongly suspect that this game won’t prove any less accurate than the government’s tippity-top-secret simulations.”
Usenet (CSIPGWH) – Wargame of the Year 2013: “I had no idea just how epic this thing is.”
Eurogamer.dk – Best Simulation of 2013: “Command is already, in its v1.02 incarnation, not just a technical marvel, there are still rough spots, but certainly a technical achievement of admirable caliber, and admiration is not diminished by the fact that it is made by only four men. […] If you look a little into the future, there is no reason why this could not be the ultimate operational and tactical sea and air war simulator on the market.”
GrogHeads Readers Choice Awards 2013 – Digital Wargame of the Year and overall Digital Game of the Year: “Our Digital Wargame of the Year was certainly a worthy title holder, as Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations pulled in first place over several other acclaimed titles.”
Eurogamer.dk – Runner-up Wargame of 2014: “Command was Simulator of the Year for 2013 (we switched category). Since then its development, just as we predicted last year, has not stopped. All of the past year new free updates to the game have been made available that have refined and transformed what was already the high point of the genre. With its latest 1.06 update, this stunning sea and air-land war simulator gets even better: in particular, there are new options for flight operations (Surge and Quick-Turnaround air operations) and an even more advanced scenario editor.”
REVIEWS (v1.05 / WOTY)
Martin Wiinholt, Eurogamer.dk : “CMANO: ‘Wargame of the Year Edition’ is a perfect-10 on the road from here: there is simply no other game (or simulation) doing what this game does. Whether you want to explore the current conflict in Ukraine, create a scenario that reveals aspects of a potential conflict between China and its neighbors over the oil in the South China Sea, or you want to try to see Israel bombing Iranian nuclear facilities, CMANO can handle it. For the last year it hasn’t left my hard drive. One can never never truly ‘finish’ it – whether you are studying military history at university or if you just love the intellectual challenge of strategy and tactics, CMANO delivers on all counts. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
For this reviewer, CMANO is one of the most important wargames that have come out since the original Harpoon in 1989, and as such it should be rewarded: 10 / 10.”
Maj. Erich Swafford MD USAF (ret), Wargamer.com: “Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations belongs in the library of anyone who has even a passing interest in Air/Naval warfare, students of warfare since 1945, and also just wargamers in general who like a fun game. Like Battles of Napoleon, Combat Mission Beyond Overlord, and War in the East – this is one of those classics that will never leave my drive.
No matter what new game comes out, I always find myself coming back to CMANO because of its unrivaled ease of use and its ability to simulate events which would otherwise be totally inaccessible. This is probably the most important wargame to come out since I started in the hobby back in 1979. It’s pretty much what we all dreamed about having back then, and to now have something this professional-grade available for home use is just nothing short of amazing.”
US Naval Institute : ““Command” will find a following not only among civilian gamers but might have value among military, government, and policy circles as a simulator of modern warfare. […] what time the designers did not spend making graphics and interface attractive were spent on building a game that depicts modern warfare on an unmatched scale. […] [This] is a game with broad appeal for everyone from casual gamers to government users looking to model unclassified, informal simulations. It likely will be the main choice for hard modern warfare simulators for years to come.”
SimHQ: “the interface is full of thoughtful details which add up to a very easy-to-use system that’s both intuitive and powerful .[…] I started playing the other night at 8pm, and my wife angrily tracked me down 4 hours later. I told her I thought I’d been playing about 45 minutes, and I meant it. She wasn’t amused, but I sure was. The game pretty much grabbed me and hasn’t let go. […] If you’re into modern military hardware, what-if matchups or historical conflict analysis, this wargame is definitely what you’ve been waiting for. […] Command is, if you’re into the subject at all, an investment in something which you will quite likely still be enjoying for many years.”
Out of Eight Reviews : “The powerful yet relatively easy-to-use scenario editor includes a map of the entire world and essentially every plane, ship, and submarine used by any country the past sixty years; it’s a tool that should be fully embraced by the community. […] The flexibility to manage what you want and automate the rest certainly expands the appeal of this realistic military simulation. The AI does a good job following directions and behaving intelligently, and provides a good opponent for the battles. […] The exhaustive unit research, flexible scenario editor, handy automated mission system, and relatively accessible interface will make Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations appeal to any fan of realistic military strategy games.”
Armchair General: “To sum up: Although the price tag might seem a bit much, this game is well worth every cent of it. If you have even a passing interest in the subject matter, then this game is for you. Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations is, without a doubt, a seriously fun, intense, involving simulation of modern naval combat with nearly infinite replay value. It is a more than worthy successor to Harpoon.”
Hub3r.com: “The amount of content provided with the game is baffling. I was blown away by the amount of details, customization to our fleet, how I could control every aspect of the scenario without ever feeling overwhelmed. That was mostly due to how the user interface works. Sure, it still needs some work when assigning missions but overall it was a pleasant surprise. Last, but not least, community help and how Warfare Sims handles it. Tons of new scenarios in a matter of months! New database stuff, its amazing! Overall, Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations is one of those games that I will pick up five or ten years from now and it will still be awesome to play. Definitely one of the best strategy / wargames released in 2013.”
Coiler at Amazon.com:“Conclusion: Since 1.01, the hardworking developers at WarfareSims have improved upon their already spectacular product. Version 1.04 of C:MANO takes a base game that was incredibly adaptable and makes it even more so.”
HistoriaGames: “Command: Modern Air / Naval Operations is a very good game, boasting attention to detail and realism pushed very high. This precision can be detrimental to players with no knowledge of modern war at sea, in the air and especially underwater, but for experienced users of this type of simulation (like Harpoon in particular or in another aspect, more focused on pure simulations like Dangerous Waters or Sub Command ), both the game and its database, make this a software title that is worth seeing.”
Gamers Hall (de): “CMANO is a true gem for die-hard fans of hardcore Naval Warfare Simulations. Especially the issuing of orders and coordination of the units are at the heart of CMANO. The player virtually sits in the operations center and from there controls all actions. Interest in, and some basic understanding of naval warfare after 1945 are prerequisites to enjoy this item for a long time. Due to the intuitive controls and access to the tutorials, the game is easy to learn – but the complexity makes it difficult to quickly master CMANO. The improved AI and the modern graphics application make CMANO a must for Harpoon veterans.”
GamingShogun: “If you are interested in war games, I think you will be pleasantly surprised just how quickly you pick up the various options and commands. Overall, Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations is an excellent warfare simulation and more than a worthy, spiritual successor to the Harpoon franchise. It features an incredibly-detailed game engine in which to wage war and a huge database of platforms, ordinance, and more with which to do it.”
Wargamer.com: “Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations may have used Harpoon as a starting point but the innovations in graphics and interface mark it as a species apart. […] This game stands heads and shoulders above any game released this year. If it is not named ‘Game of the Year’ in its genre, then that accolade is meaningless.”
Rock-Paper-Shotgun: “Turnless and sporting a seamless global map, a unit list longer than the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and the sort of radar/sonar modelling more usually associated with high-quality jet/sub sims, its 40-strong scenario selection and nicely integrated editor lets you orchestrate everything from nailbiting Red Octoberish SSN duels to quirky Cod Wars and vast multi-day Operation Noble Anvils. […] even the densest landlubber should have grasped command basics within an hour of embarking on the trio of tutorials. […] Yesterday I used authentic British technology including Sea Vixens, Gannets, and WW2-era C class destroyers to defend 1960s Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion. I participated in history’s first missile boat barney and used contemporary Spanish FFGs to face-down aggression from the uppity Moroccan Navy. If you’re a NHWLM (Novelty-Hungry Wargamer Like Myself) the scenario list [..] is an irresistible chocolate box, the editor an incomparable military chemistry set. With a unit roster and armoury that spans sixty years of history and over one hundred countries, there are few post-Korea air or naval engagements that can’t be precisely recreated.”
Canard PC (print, #284): “It leaves no doubt about its intended audience: the guys who are obsessed with the AMRAAM, the fetishists of SSBNs, the ayatollahs of Tomahawk, those who know by heart the radar ranges of all armies of the Warsaw Pact, and can discuss for hours the differences between the Rafale-M and Rafale-C with a lustful twinkle in their eyes. The amount of military hardware simulated via the huge database of the game is impressive, it is the trophies of the technowarrior in all their splendor […] No other recent title is able to simulate with the same care, detail and realism any naval battle of the last 50 years.”
Eurogamer.dk: “All things being equal, if you have the slightest interest in the genre, then it is a title that must be purchased. Without a doubt.”
Wargamer.fr: I played Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations for many hours and I have not yet explored all the opportunities. I have not touched for example laser guided bombs with designation from a ground crew or the use of satellites. This hints at the completeness and variety of techniques and tactics available to achieve one’s scenario objectives. The game is complex but it is quite possible to let the AI handle the details in order to focus on the overall strategy. If I am not for example interested in the precise management of destroyers, I order my F-16s to head towards their goal and tell them when to use their AIM-9 Sidewinders. However, even with the help of AI, to make the most of this simulation some military knowledge will obviously be asked of the player, who will however be assisted by the database or Internet sources.”
Royal Aeronautical Society – Does the F-35 really suck in air combat?: “TIM ROBINSON puts virtual F-35s into perhaps the most accurate non-classified high-fidelity simulation of a future air combat clash. Who comes out on top?”
War Is Boring – How I Lost the Battle of the South China Sea: “In our simulation, it’s 2016 and both nations have continued to press their claims. Two ships of the Philippine Navy, the patrol craft BRP Emilio Jacinto and BRP Artemio Ricarde, have arrived. The potential for a shooting war is very high.
The U.S. Navy is backing up its Filipino allies: two LCSs, USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth, are both about thirty miles south of the Emilio Jacinto and Artemio Ricarde. The USS Halsey, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, is behind them at an equal distance.
The ships of the Philippine Navy have comparatively crude sensors — basically amounting to eyeballs and navigational radars — and are having a difficult time identifying all of the ship traffic in and around the shoal. There are a lot of surface contacts; some are fishing boats, and some may be… something else.”
Ekstra Bladet – Here’s the game, that Tom Clancy would have loved: “In Command a virtual admiral can fight all sorts of virtual battles – from the conflict between China and Taiwan, the first naval battle which used missiles (between Israel and Syria in 1973), or some of the many Cold War scenarios from the 1970s & 80s. You also have the opportunity to sit in the Admiral’s chair during the Falklands War, to see if you like the British against all odds to win the war against Argentina.”
Royal Aeronautical Society – A hypothetical East China Sea air combat clash: “For this test, I elected to create a simple test. What would the result of two overlapping air combat patrol zones (representing the Chinese and Japanese ADIZs) be? Would forces automatically engage? Who is likely to come out on top? Can I command my forces to minimize losses?
In the game I was able to set up reference points for both China and Japan, which would give the computer-controlled AI aircraft the boundaries to patrol. For China I gave the Chinese Air Force four J-11 (Su-27) Flanker Bs, an AEW aircraft (Y-8W/KJ-200 Balance Beam) and a reconnaissance aircraft (HZ-5 Beagle). Meanwhile the Japanese Air Self Defense Forces (JASDF) would get four F-15J+s, and a E-767 AEW aircraft for support. Each side was set to see the other as ‘unfriendly’ and would be allowed to fire on unidentified contacts breaching their ADIZ. No civilian air traffic was included in the scenario this time and the patrolling CAPs would not be allowed to investigate contacts outside their ADIZ. I would be taking the role of JASDF commander. The scenario takes place in early evening, but all times are in Zulu(GMT).”
Royal Aeronautical Society – Flight Sims in 2014: “Not a ‘flight sim’ as such, the recently released Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations is real-time PC wargame that casts the player as battlespace commander in overall charge. It is included here because its deep and authentic weapons and sensors modelling, its database of thousands or air and sea platforms from 1949-2020, and a global map allow users to simulate almost any air power clash from the late forties on. What to see how effective the TSR.2 might have been in sneaking under Soviet radar? Want to plan the first night of Operation Desert Storm? Or want to explore a hypothetical US-Chinese clash in the East China Sea. It’s all in there and CMANO is a must for any professional practitioner or amateur air power geek.”
War Is Boring – If China’s Airspace Grab Turns Violent, This Is What Could Happen: “Japan and the United States said they would not recognize the ID zone—and promptly sent in warplanes to underscore the point. U.S. B-52 bombers flew over the Senkakus, practically inviting a Chinese intervention, but Beijing’s planes stayed on the ground. Two days later, the Chinese air force flew J-11B and Su-30 fighters and a KJ-2000 radar plane into the zone.
With tensions mounting, I decided to see what might happen if the maneuvers escalated into actual combat. In my scenario, played out in the ultra-realistic computer game Command: Modern Naval/Air Operations, Beijing decides to teach Tokyo a lesson … and opens fire on the Japanese planes. When three of the world’s most high-tech air arms meet in simulated battle, the results might surprise you.”
Arcadia Prime – CMANO: South China Clash AAR: “Command is definitely a thinking man’s simulation (it’s too cool to call it a “game”). You can just jump into a scenario and start playing, but it you do that you’re asking for trouble. Command rewards the prepared player, who studies the mission objectives, assets, and threats carefully. Playing to win forces you to think like a commander, methodically planning your missions to accomplish your objectives, and how best to deal with the obstacles in your way. If you don’t research the capabilities of your assets (e.g., “What do you mean my Aegis destroyer doesn’t have Harpoons? Oh, right, it’s a Flight IIA Arleigh Burke, not a Flight I…crap”) and those of your adversaries, you can be in for some nasty surprises.
Command is a game that’s not only fun to play, it’s fun to think about when you aren’t playing it. You’ll be replaying the mission in your head afterwards, or planning the next one. And you’ll learn something about modern air/naval warfare as well.”
Sugarfree Gamer – Air Tutorial Part I: “CMANO manages to crack open [the] shell of a complex simulation, and give you the tools from a Google Earth style Geosat map to organise large scale or intimate modern warfare. Coupled with an extensive database of hardware, launch platforms, missiles, sensors, electronic counter measures and more across the eras – it really is a Military Porn lover’s wet dream.”
Sugarfree Gamer – Air Tutorial Part II: “The first time I tried it without any clue, and lots of chaos, I got 1100 points losing only four aircraft! I think that’s probably a testament to how good the sub-ordinate AI is to your mission commands. No doubt people who are willing to heavily micro-manage it all, will be able to squeeze every drop of performance and score out of the scenario. But I really enjoy the higher command side of things, and I don’t really want to be worried about the altitude of about 30 odd planes at the same time. It reminds me of the ethos behind the Panther Games’ Command Ops series where you are a conductor of the battle and you’re coaxing the very competant AI sub-ordinates to do your will.
The game is a long term investment in modern tactical warfare, with a scenario editor, a dev team who are out in the community already listening and updating the systems, with submissions to the database openly allowed – I can see this title flourishing in our small niche.”
CIMSEC – The Fourth Generation of Video Games: Professional Training Rewards beyond ‘Killstreaks’?: “Command’s ultimate benefit is its vast scale. The ability to employ nearly any naval or air unit in any corner of the globe allows players to experiment with various situations and conflicts including counter piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, transiting the Strait of Hormuz while being harassed by dozens of Iranian missile boats, counternarcotic operations off the coast of South America, and repelling Chinese A2/AD forces in the Pacific. Some units and methods work almost perfectly in some situations but fail in others. Players experience both the tactical and operational challenges in these various scenarios. Although the game lacks stunning visuals or sounds, it gives users a vast sandbox to practice a wide array of naval tactics.”
Real and Simulated Wars – Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations – ASW Exercise: “Naval warfare strains my poor tactical skills but the feeling of accomplishment, even after a not so successful Command mission, keeps me coming back for more. Today, this devil of an scenario entitled “advanced ASW (anti submarine warfare) exercise””.
Real and Simulated Wars – Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations – Report of Action for May 25, 1982 (Malvinas/Falklands War): “In this scenario (Sea of Fire) the Argentine Air Force (two flights of three A4 Skyhawks each) and the Argentine Navy (one flight of two Super Etendards) attack the HMS Coventry (type 42 destroyer) and the HMS Broadsword (type 22 frigate). Both British warships are on radar picket near the north mouth of the San Carlos Bay.”
Cry Havoc! – More Command: “While not yet perfect, Command is what I always wanted Harpoon to be but never was. I think this is what the guys at Warfaresims.com were after, and they’ve done a great job. I think this is going to be a great sandbox naval warfare sim, playable for hundreds of hours like Arma II and the Combat Mission games.”
John Guy Gollick – Some games I’ve played: “Bit of a guilty pleasure this one. This is about as detailed and hardcore a simulation you can get and yet it also makes a gripping game – especially if you are a Tom Clancy fan. Instead of flashy eye-candy you basically get a copy of the kind of display Jack Ryan stands in front of – fluorescent icons on a world map as you conduct hi-tech operations against your enemies. The verisimilitude of Command is second to none, whether you are a Norwegian sub playing cat and mouse with the Russians under the Arctic ice or trying to take out a spy satellite with missiles fired from a stealth drone (I didn’t even know you could do that). Anyone writing about modern or future intel- and cyber-based operations should check this one out.”
Information Dissemination : “I would list the names of people who have been talking to me about this game for the last year, but I feel like I would be name dropping. Needless to say the range of people involved in beta testing range from an Admiral in the US Navy to professors at the US Naval War College to some distinguished Fellows of several think tanks. […] what you guys have done is incredible, I wish all of you great success.”
Real and Simulated Wars : “The lack of micromanaging in Command has finally opened the gates of hard core naval warfare at the grand-tactical and operational levels for me. I am now commanding a naval operation instead of worrying about my patrol aircraft not climbing enough for a better radar coverage. […] This is the ultimate naval/air war game/simulator”
Eurogamer (DK): “Command is furiously ambitious […] With a map covering the whole world, relentless realism and endless opportunities to create interesting scenarios in the included editor, everything indicates that Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations will be a success among wargamers and people who are curious about how a […] war against e.g. Syria would look like from the bridge on a ship.”
SimHQ : “[..] a wealth of effort has gone in under the hood to make the game mechanics as realistic as possible. […] With the wealth of units represented, the scope of time covered, and the entire world as a playable area, the possibilities for scenarios set around any real-world or plausible engagements at sea are without limits.”
Canard PC (print, #283): “After the first mission (The Battle of Latakia in 1973), I was under the spell of the game. After the second mission (Falklands Crisis in 1982) I was excited. After the third mission (US vs Iran in the Strait of Hormuz in 2017), I was in love. […] CMANO is definitely the wargame that all the Harpoon’s fans were waiting for.”