I just want to hand it to the developers… this is the most fun I have had playing a game while also learning a lot since CM1 originally came out in 2000.
I just started building a scenario for my own giggles that has the US and China showing down in the Pacific. I call it the ‘Line in the Sea’. The US shot down several Chinese planes for harassing US aircraft, vessels, and allied vessels. China has drawn a line between southern Formosa and northern Philippines. Any USN vessel crossing that line will encounter a forceful response from China.
I did this to play with some features and units in Command. It contains the new Chinese carriers, their version of the navalized SU-27, the anti-carrier ballistic missile DF-21, newer Chinese AEW and recon aircraft, carrier-capable UAVs, US F-35 Lightning IIs, EF-18 Growlers, newer Ticonderoga cruisers with SM-3 anti-ballistic missile SAMs, newer Burke destroyers with same, etc. I am using exclusion zones, prosecution zones, formation management, complex patrol missions, coordination with allied navies, satellites, SAM bases protecting shore facilities, etc.
I really wanted to test out the Chinese military using a layered and mutually supporting approach to dealing with a full-strength US carrier battle group. The Chinese carrier is close to shore and supported by shore bases. There are anti-carrier missile bases on standby. Their are some anti-carrier bombers with carrier killer missiles ready to launch when the line is crossed. I am trying to have the AI coordinate bombers, missiles, and carrier strikes all hitting the carrier group within minutes.
I have it about half done. It was maybe two hours of steady work. Not too bad in my opinion. Right now, I still have to put in some allies and flesh out the satellite usage. The hard part for the Chinese is they can’t fire until they have a positive ID on ships crossing the line. It is all about getting recon past US fighter screens. The hard part for the US is waiting for Chinese planes to either do something hostile or cross the exclusion line around the carrier. There is also no scoring right now.
My initial tests show the US losing 1-2 Burkes and 1 Tico at most. The average is 1.5 ships before China has spent its missiles. Then its just mopping up with the US carrier aircraft. The only reason it isn’t worse for the US is I am struggling a little with coordinating all the disparate Chinese units for a time-on-target strike. I expect to have this one done over the weekend. This will be my first published scenario.
I just wanted people to see how amazing this game is. It was good on release, but the newer versions have made it into a “best ever” type game for modern wargamers.
In 25-30 years of computer gaming, I have never enjoyed any game the way I’m enjoying this one. I’ve spent hours playing, hours testing what-if, hours thinking of new situations and potential opponents, and hours scenario-building. It’s an amazing toolkit/sandbox/laboratory, and it gets better with every release.
[…] I find myself checking every couple days for a new “Build XXX” thread, just to see what they cook up next.
Thanks for sharing your hobby with the rest of us.
Thanks for a wonderful sim. I have been mulling this purchase over for some considerable time now after developing a new obsession with Air/Naval combat since reading Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy. I have really up to now only been interested in traditional land based strategy games, I own Flashpoint Campaigns and Command Ops and a whole bunch of others, but never really played anything along these lines before.
I went and looked at every other option available to me, and this turned up by far the best, and I have to say it was seeing the great continued development and support that got me across the line.
Good stuff, thanks.
Once again… amazing work. You are truly no longer the new kid on the block mixing things up. This is quickly becoming a veteran and refined work. Fine job and I look forward, even now, to the next suite of surprises for us!
My cudos to the dev team as well. You all have done a marvelous job with a topic of mind blowing complexity. I really don’t have the time to go to the War College. You have brought it to me!
Thanks to the dev team for your continued dedication!
Command shares the distinctions of (1) having one of the highest price points I’ve paid for a PC “game” and (2) being one of the most satisfying titles I’ve ever owned. Best of all, it’s exciting to know that Command will continue to get even better!
Just started really getting back into CMANO coincident with the 1.04 release. I love this ****.
Just played Texas Crow. Then replayed it. Then again, each time using different strategies. I think the last time something entertained me like that was Sid Meier’s Gettysburg.
If you’re into weapons, platforms and all that – this thing is like the best toy ever under the Christmas tree. I’m especially enjoying how easy it is to mod scenarios, adding and subtracting platforms, loadouts, etc to experiment with different showdowns.
And all of this on a tiny little Dell Venue 8 Pro 8″ tablet to boot. The game seems to use all the cores (4 of ’em) and so it chugs along quite nicely. Good programming helps too, I’m sure. It’s been since back in the 1.02 days that I last had a CTD [Crash To Desktop]. This thing is stable and runs easily under Win8.1 with only 2 GB of RAM.
Way to go, guys. All of this for exactly no extra cash. No game has surpassed my expectations like this since Panzer Front on my Dreamcast [released 1999] (that’s a whole other story, right there).
I’ve got a lot more fun out of CMANO than the $80 or so it cost… almost feel guilty. I got my first ‘minor victory’ earlier in the day… was fairly pumped.
To me, that learning curve is a big part of my enjoyment of the game. So many simple games out there, the complexity/detail of this is mentally refreshing.
I started playing harpoon in like 91-92…. this game is so outstanding and bloody lovely to look at…. thank you guys… sometimes I spend hours moving around the map an going through the database and dont run 5 minutes of game play….
Realized all my [support forum] posts so far are about problems… That ain’t right. I am having a total blast in this game, have not had this much fun in a naval/air warfare simulation since Harpoon 1.32A, and it is amazing how well everything works. Really good job!
Much kudos from me too on your fantastic dedication to a product you obviously love. Just makes Harpoon an easier thing to forget…..so long ago.
I can’t believe I didn’t pick this up sooner. I don’t want to open a CMANO vs. Harpoon war (have we had one of those yet?) but after playing Harpoon for more than a dozen years I can’t believe how much cleaner the UI for CMANO is compared to Harpoon.
I’m retired USN. I actually used Harpoon and “North Atlantic 1985” as training aids 22 years ago, and got outstanding class reviews at the time. Concur that Command would definitely be a training force multiplier “out of the box” for the O-2 to O-4 level students. Possibly useful for other ranks, but would depend on the scenario used and teaching objective for those ranks.
In my opinion. this is the most accurate and realistic modern naval simulation yet (and likely ever to be produced). It has no peer. I have 27 years of experience in naval warfare (retired USN CAPT) and I doubt you will find anyone of equal experience who would disagree. This game is far more stable than it was on release (and it was more stable than Harpoon II or Harpoon Classic on delivery) It it has much more additional, free content than one would expect in a game life cycle for any game. It gets more updates in a week than Harpoon 3 ANW would get in a year. The team is always pushing the limits to make it better (and this introduces new issues in any complex game). New bugs come and get crushed, and the game constantly improves. I have never seen a development team this dedicated – ever. I have watched for many years the hard work and the long-suffering dedication of the developers.
Not everyone can appreciate this game. This game requires a significant investment of intellectual and temporal capital, and is not for everyone. Given the demands of daily life, I cannot dedicate the time to it I would like. If its not for you, that’s great – you are probably one of those folks it is NOT aimed at. It is a niche game. However, if you really want to understand modern air or naval warfare, this is your only choice as a simulation. It’s head and shoulders above the rest. In my opinion, any other modern naval game is a waste of your precious time. This game can give you understanding of current issues in the South and East China Seas, Crimea and Syria. It can trace the development of modern naval warfare since the Second World War.
I think CMANO is the gold standard in realism and customer service. Each person is entitled to their view, but I have never seen a better product or better support and wanted to add a balancing viewpoint.
There is an incredible amount of value in this game/simulation. As just one example, I’ve spent the last three nights fighting a huge air/naval battle against Libya (Operation Folgore) and it’s going to be one of those gaming experiences that just sticks with you. Submarines, ships, aircraft, missiles flying, Tornadoes going in low for runway denial missions, SEAD missions, ASW missions, Tanker tracks, CAP zones, AWACS tracks, etc. Oh crap, I have naval targets, which resources can I use to hit them? Do I take down some of my CAP to address this? What – a pop-up target of opportunity? Who’s got GBUs or Mavericks loaded that I can divert to deal with it. I’ve got approximately a 60 to 5 shoot down ratio between Libyan MiGs / Mirages and Italian Typhoons / Tornadoes, yet all five of my losses stick in my craw. This will be a game/simulator that I’ll be playing for the next 5-10 years.
I’ve had this game on my hard drive near on a year now, and I don’t think many days have gone by that I haven’t tinkered with it. Can’t remember what I paid for it, but the cheapest entertainment I’ve ever purchased as far as $$$ per hours usage goes. Streets ahead of Harpoon.
I’m craving a realistic WW3 grand strategy game, I would say that this is close. I like the game and it always appears to be promising. It is scenario based, no grand campaign and no GEO-Political AI. I would say it is naval warfare as it has developed over the last 70 years and beyond. The units and weapons are well defined, for each era, in the databases and the AI is OK and getting better with each release. The scenario designer can overcome some of the AI weaknesses to make scenarios interesting to all. It is holding my interest as I am attempting to create a series of scenarios around a single unit. There are many scenarios of differing complexity and difficulties as they are mostly created by the players. There are many scenario types and the user base is trying to be creative so there are different flavors of scenario/games for everyone. I played a few of the larger scenarios but, to date, they do not hold my interest as it seems there is always too much micro management of aircraft. The support here is excellent and responsive. I will be staying with it for a while.
I’m loving this sim more and more. Every time I visit the publisher’s forum there is an update!
CMANO is the best naval sim ever done – worth more then the price matrix is asking – trust me – I played all of Harpoon, Fleet Command, Naval War Arctic Circle, and many many more (even Red Storm on C64).
Retired USAF enjoying CMANO!
This is a very good simulation with a community like no other. And the developers are very active with the community and are actively looking to make a great sim even better. If you have questions, just ask on the forum.
I never played Harpoon because I struggled with the controls, I managed to pick this game up in about 1 hour. Its fairly easy. I’m still learning new things but I am having lots of fun.
I did the usual thing and jumped straight in!! The mechanics are actually fairly easy to learn. How to use the individual types of units is where the thought comes in. It is through using the different platforms, that you learn the strengths and weaknesses of them. The tutorials are very well done, and after you go through them, you should have a very good understanding of the engine. It is well worth the effort, both as a great simulation of modern naval war, and one of the most comprehensive databases that I have ever seen!
Been playing it for two weeks now…and I haven’t touched another game. Worth every penny, and will be only getting better.
I played some computer Harpoon in my day but haven’t for a long time. I was really looking forward to this title even though my gaming time is limited and I don’t consider myself a grognard. I worried too about the steep learning curve. I spent the day with the tutorials. This is the first time I have had to sit down and play since I got the game right after release. I looked at some of Baloogan’s great YouTube stuff and it really helped. I was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the first tutorial. A whole air wing is a lot to wrap my brain around. I put it aside and jumped into the second tutorial. It really helped me get into the game and learn the mechanics. There are some quirks and undocumented features to the UI but got most of them worked out by trial and error and reading posts here. I am over being intimidated by the game and UI. I will be spending a lot of my gaming time on this one for sure. It is worth every penny spent. (Put 2 torps into the BDK Udaloy but she was still floating as I surfaced to fire off my TLAM’s. Wow!) If you were ever a Harpoon player or interested in naval wargames this one is at the apex. It ain’t perfect but I wouldn’t know the difference and the amount of dedicated support truly amazing. You don’t just buy a game. You get a ticket into a community. Jump in. The water is just fine.
[Dev’s comment: most if not all of the reported issues have been fixed by Command version 1.04. Thank you everyone for your feedback and support!
This game does have a real steep learning curve. Take your time to get a handle on how it works by watching reviews and tubes. Once it gets you, you will be hooked.
Just thought I’d let you know how much I’m enjoying this game, took the plunge and glad I did. Only played the first tutorial so far but this is better than I’d expected, only and “average” score at my first real attempt, but hey not bad for a newby. Oh Baloogan, great tutorials, very informative!
As I keep saying, dollar per second of gametime is going to be veeery low… I am having the most fun actually NOT playing the game i.e. preparing the operation plan while I am at work.
Other people who play other stuff might think I’m crazy but this is hands down the most fun per Euro ever! Even when I’m just looking for database pictures and writing/copypasting DB descriptions. Its like a mixture between a stamp collection and a chessboard!
I’m enjoying the game!!! I spend time and enjoy watching Baloogan´s Show!!!
Command does have a bit of a learning curve but my experience (with Harpoon, too) is you get a certain point and then suddenly it all makes sense–it’s a bit like learning a language, after playing it a few times, you get to a point where you are “speaking Command.”
Buy the game you will not buy any other one for a long time, if you like the topic this is the game for you.
I make no claim to be an expert either on the accuracy of the equipment modeled or on the game itself, I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks or so. But you need have no fear, the AI is very good and can be left to its own devices most of the time so there is no need to micromanage. However if you want to you can ‘fly’ each plane, ship or sub individually and have pretty much full control over each unit. Whilst it is early days the support has been uniformly excellent (I’ve brought some klunkers in my day!) and there literally seems almost nothing that can’t be done. Although it is expensive, value for money is excellent. I would thoroughly recommend it.
Mate I could never get my head round Harpoon but this game has been miles easier and with the help from people in the forum its been much better. Also theres a guy in the forum who has been making helpful video’s since it came out he is Baloogan website and youtube details. Have a look at these this may help. Again much easier to get into Harpoon I’m a great example complete incompetent with Harpoon, much much better at Command.
Personally I don’t find the game to be very hard to play, certainly below Dota2 and most flight sims, but above Starcraft and Age of Empires. I had no experience with Harpoon whatsoever when I bought CMANO, I’m too young to have experienced “the golden age of Harpoon“. The only reason I even bought it is because of another game about naval warfare (the bugfest Naval War: Arctic circle) that I played by chance. That game made me interested in modern naval warfare. Playing CMANO is easy, and the editor is logical. The hard part is as others stated knowing the different ammo types and platforms. Luckily there is a database with all the information needed. Without it (and some googling) I would not know the difference between the hundreds of different Russian missiles, bomb and torpedoes.
I have been playing Harpoon since my Amiga days, and have bought every release since. I have been fortunate enough to be apart of the beta team for Command since May or June 2013. The detail of this game, in particular the detail displayed to the player is unbelievable. I have been longing for 20 years to see UNREP (Underway Replenishment) work in a sim like this, oh and how I hated the F6 (UNREP function) in Harpoon that never worked. I have just tested an UNREP between an Australian ANZAC class and HMAS Success. I zeroed out the Penguin AGM load out on the ANZAC, added some Penguins to the Success. I gave the ANZAC the UNREP order and it chased the Success and in front of my eyes re-supped. More incredibly in the status bar on the right side, the info given was detailed, it tells you the quanity of fuel to go in Kgs and the number items being transferred, wow! This simulator adds a new meaning to logistics in computer war games, the above mentioned experience added to the ability to resup through the Event Editor makes the mind boggle with all possibilities there are to explore when it comes to creating logistics based scenarios.
Command is a game for those looking for a view from the Admirals Chair on their Flagship. The game allows the player to control every aspect of the game from the smallest unit (aircraft) all the way up to the Carrier Strike Group. The game also allows for the “AI” to control any number of units within the CSG so the player doesn’t have to micro-manage every little detail and allows you to focus on a particular task. The same applies to land units as well.
Each scenario differs from the mega 2000 units were a strike group may need to defeat a hundred SAM launchers during a 21st century battle in the Persian Gulf to small 100 unit conflicts during the 1960’s in the Red Sea that consist primarily of patrol boats and MiG-17’s. The pre-built scenarios that are in the game are well thought out but Command allows the players to design their own scenarios. This allows you to limit your abilities making the game as much of a challenge as you can. I like the scenario editor to take historical warfare scenario’s and tweak them a bit to see if I can get the underdog to win.
Command is not something that you play in an hour or two and you’re done. For example, a twelve hour real time scenario may take a few hours minimum to play, so patience is a virtue. But the reason for this is to add to the true to life feel of naval combat. If you follow US military conflicts, the US enjoys staging USAF aircraft in bases throughout the world which can take considerable amounts of time to fly an F-111 from the UK to Libya when you have to fly around Europe (such as in Operation El Dorado Canyon, 1986).
It’s a good game. Take some time to learn it. If you’ve never played wargames, either the hex style board type or PC simulations, give yourself a week and a couple hours a day and you should be able to form a pretty good opinion whether it’s for you.
So far (in v1.01 ), CMANO has already delivered more quality, breadth and depth than any other war game that I have knowledge of. The best part, is I know that this is just the beginning!
Geee … I love this game ! Gonna be busy for the next 10 years guys.
Are there other that are totally addicted by COMMAND? After getting this gem there hasn’t been many days I haven’t started this game. The game is my wet dream. Finally I can use my dozens of Cold War era books to find more info about platforms and many times I find lacking info so I need to order some new reference books. I have never been so addicted by game… Erh.. Since my teen times… Yes I’m older guy with kids now. The database is simply amazing. Almost everything can be found there. I’m using more time making test scenarios than playing, still having ton of fun. Hopefully one time I can finish my scenarios and release them. Now there is SO MUCH to do and test. I just want to thank developers for making game of the decade. I’m really enjoying every second of it.
This sim is great. I can do one thing a different way, in multiple different ways, sometimes scaling from the tactical to the strategic. Now consider that in a scenario, or mission, there are multiple things that has to be done, and that there are a whole slew of ways to do them. For the amateur war gamer like me, I could be involved in one scenario for days. Now I can only imagine a professional, war gaming or schemiming an operation, using Command.
Having been in the military, I have seen that there are often so many ways to accomplish the mission, which is why an enemy can be taken by surprise. With the developers actively involved in fixing and improving this sim, the sky is the limit. I have only been able to scratch the surface of this sim and it has a so much potential for scale, not only for me the amateur but, I believe also for professionals. Definately has been my best investment this year.
My wife was kind enough to get CMANO for me for Christmas. It was the only thing I asked for.
So far the game has exceeded my expectations. I have played through several scenarios (after having played the tutorials), and I’m impressed at every turn.
A friend asked me to run some P-3 ASW simulations to see if he might recommend the game to his reserve unit, so I started messing with the Scenario editor. I was floored when I noticed that you had pre-built many, many installations which allowed me to add Misawa AB Japan without having to add each Hanger, Runway, POL depot etc.. It was a very pleasant surprise.
Thank you all for your hard work. I sincerely hope that the effort is paying off, and I’m trying to get the word out in my circles.
This game teaches you something they drilled into us at Squadron Officer’s School: Think in terms of enemy capability, not enemy intentions. Not doing so is what led the IJN to Midway. Whenever you fall into the trap of needing to read minds for your “plan” to work, you’ve already lost. I was playing the “Raven 21 is down” scenario, and all that crap they taught us really came into play. When setting up my missions, I found myself preparing for what I thought the enemy could do, rather than trying to guess what they would do. The game (re-)taught me this lesson over the course of playing a few scenarios. I love it when a wargame responds properly to good, real-world operational technique. It’s… validating.
Thank you ! More so for the continued support and enhancing after the purchase! Good to know there are still developers with passion out there.
Agree with everyone, this game is great! Over the years I’ve bought every naval sim I could get my hands on. Everything from Jane’s Fleet Command to Naval War: Arctic Circle. They all came up short for one reason or another. Command is the only one that feels like a real successor to Harpoon.
Dear WarfareSims-team, thanks a lot! Great simulation and support! I’m sure this game will be a winner for years to come!! Cheers!
Just wanted to say that this game is outfrickingstanding and your support has been excellent. Congrats on such a fine product.
Having played Harpoon and other naval sims for years, CMANO is a much needed and welcome addition to this genre. Is it perfect? By no means. But in my eyes, it is already much better than anything out there. I kind of look at this sim as an jigsaw puzzle with some pieces missing. We know there aren’t some thing working right now, but we know we have the pieces to finish it. The devs are listening and fixing and adding things almost on a daily basis. Intermittent radars would be a nice feature to add in the future. They have already said an advanced mission editor is in the pipeline, and hopefully that addresses a lot of issues we have with the AI.
So far everything keeps my brain in a highly active state .I can see only one direction for this game, that is up. So much to learn, so much to play, so little time. Great job folks. […] Command is better than advertised!
Having never played a game like this myself I was not sure I’d like it. I thought I was in to graphics above gameplay, but this game is re-teaching me what I thought I liked. As it turns out graphics in other games are getting so realistic now there’s not much imagination left to be had, combined with gameplay/strategy that keeps getting toned down and frankly many games are boring.
I always thought because I was getting older I was beginning to dislike PC Gaming, but as it turns out it’s the imagination that makes the game fun. Remembering back to the Janes series in the 1990’s and 2000’s, graphics were cutting edge but still not realistic so part of playing the game was using your imagination to make it better. That’s what makes this game great, so I’m learning.
Bought the game Thursday night and have been playing since. Have not been disappointed; Command is a First Class effort and has met or exceeded all expectations – my sincere respect and appreciation to the entire Command Team. […] Again, am very excited to have Command on my hard drive. I was a Harpoon Guy for years, then went on to other games, what a wonderful way to return to the naval and air warfare arena.
Quite simply overawed. I was concerned about the cost. Not anymore. If there are people out there who really cannot afford it I would contribute an amount of money to buy it for them. A sort of ‘Group By’ thing The devs deserve it and someone who is into this sort of simulation definitely deserves to be playing it.
After a few days of playing v1.00 I realized that Command is everything I’d hoped it would be. I seriously feel like a kid in a giant sandpit filled with every single military toy I imagined as a boy and teenager. This game is going to keep me occupied for years. And I’m also looking forward to the new scenarios (hopefully more NATO and PACT because that was “my” era) which are bound to come.
I am actually beginning to think that my extensive experience with Harpoon is a detriment. Command is just close enough to the game play of Harpoon 3 that I frequently make assumptions about how to do something, get frustrated, rage quit, go back and read the manual or check the forum, have an “ah-ha” moment, realize the Command way is actually a good way to do it. Great example is formation editing. At first I thought the development team must be crazy. Now that I have used ref points to build formations, it all makes sense now. There are at least a dozen items like that.
$79.99 for 70 years of naval history is a bargain for me. Check the price of a current edition of Jane’s Fighting ships and you’ll see what I mean. That’s just for ONE edition! I’m confident when I say these guys spent thousands (maybe in the 10’s of thousands) of dollars gathering the reference material from over 70 years of naval history and then thousands of man hours compiling it all to create Command’s unprecedented database. There are spec/tech guys out there within the community that are all database and don’t too much play the games themselves.
For anyone interested in naval history, weaponry, or platform specs $79.99 can’t be beat for such a complete reference work. I will admit I have a $50/month game budget and I spent it all and then a little extra this month to buy Command. I’ll cut a corner or two to compensate, but it was money well spent for me. I probably would have spent twice the purchase price and then Ramen noodled it for the next couple of months!
So I’ve never played anything like this before other than Naval War: Arctic Circle, which was a let down. I tried to get into the Harpoon, Fleet Command, and GCBlue games but was unable to really enjoy them. My impressions [of Command] so far have been great! While obviously there is a real learning curve to get the most out of the game I was able to figure out the basics and start playing fairly easily. I bought the game for one reason and one reason only, to simulate the Royal Canadian Navy at war in the Arctic. The scenario editor let me get that accomplished in the first 30 minutes! Very excited about the easy to use scenario editor and getting to know the game better.
Having now played through the 3 tutorial missions I have to say I am really impressed with Command. Considering the jaw dropping amount of detail, it’s actually pretty user friendly. I love games where I can micromanage if I want to, but hand off to the AI if I prefer. Command lets me do exactly that. It is great to assign an ASW mission to a frigate and watch the helo take off and begin patrols. Setting up missions like this is easy and scaleable for 1 helo or a whole fleet. There’s something about watching blips on a map and letting the imagination take over… 2 Tornados, hugging the terrain – hell for leather… will they get through the air defences? SAM! SAM INCOMING! FLARE, MANEUVER!! Just blips on a map, but it sucks me in big time! With a database so vast, the entire planet as a potential battlefield and a level of realism and detail crafted to be as believable as possible – count me in on this one!
My 1st impressions: Stunned. The game does everything they promised and then some. Runs smooth, no crashes, AI if friggin’ awesome (especially the friendly AI) and it’s pretty much the Ultimate Toybox for guys who are into this stuff. It is definitely *way* easier to get into than Harpoon ever was. It’s the culmination of a lot of little interface tweaks (such as the handy right-click menu or the way you can easily define an area for missions) that makes the difference. The mission editor is especially clear, when you consider just how complex the thing really is. And the database is the equivalent of every volume of Conway’s, minus the pics (and I just downloaded those, thank you very much).
While the price being undisputably high, it’s also damn fine piece of software for an audience that is still considered being a rather small niche market. I started playing these strategical/tactical wargames back in the day with Harpoon II, which was followed up later by Fleet Command and then Dangerous Waters. Inbetween came the “land combat” simulations like “Armored Task Force or Close Combat. As of late, I played more “Total War” than any hardcore simulation. So I consider myself a returner to the warsim-genre. Not a complete newbie, but someone who once learned the ropes a while back and became rusty.
So, my first impression after playing it for a couple dozen hours: The performance is good and it seems to run rock-stable. I am playing it on a Win7, 64Bit with 16 Gigs of RAM and a GTX 570 and haven’t run into any problems so far. The tutorials work really well. The way they are executed makes you read a little and think a lot. They take you by the hand and explain the basic concepts of the game through hands-on experience, while being clear and concise. For me, they worked so well that I only looked into the manual to find out what custom overlays and the 1/3rd rule are, and I can still hold my own in most scenarios.
The “flow” of the game is impressive. Especially when looking at some rather clunky interfaces of other hardcore wargame titles. Nothing you can do in the sim seems “hidden”, and overall I had no problems putting missions together for my units, then have them execute manual movement and firing orders in an emergency situation, before giving control back to the AI. This makes reacting to new situations easier than I thought and cuts down on the micromanagement. From what I’ve seen of the AI, it pulls off believable and challenging tactics without making me feel like it’s “cheating”. I need to see more of it in more hours of gameplay to make a more detailed assessment. But the fact that it seemed to react to my actions in an appropriate way, and also differently in similar sessions, makes me like it from the get-go. S
omething I always love to do is starting the scenario editor. And I did so with “Command” after just 2 or 3 hours of gameplay. And I love it. Again, nothing seems hidden or hard to reach, the concept of Triggers, Events and Actions isn’t hard to grasp. Not entirely easy for those without prior knowledge, but also not hard to understand. I was able to put together a very small test scenario, containing a carrier with a custom contingent of planes, a submarine and some land-based targets on a custom overlay in under an hour.
The hardest part, if you can call it that, was setting up the custom overlay for the first time. Your explanation in the manual is really good and works well. The second time went much smoother and faster. Custom overlays are fun! 😀 The sounds are kind of ok, although generic, and not without crackling. But looking at how much a game like this generally needs sound – like a cow needing a bicycle – it’s not a big drawback or an annoyance. And I am sure there will be sound mods soon.
To conclude my early impression: If you want to get into wargames, get back into wargames or get a modern wargame that’s worth playing and also shows a lot of potential – get “Command”. The price of admission is high, no sugarcoating that, and the learning curve, although lower than in most hardcore sims, is still high, but if this game manages to build a strong community, I am sure it will provide years of wargaming fun.
Its astounding what is modeled in the database! Naval simulation of the decade!
You…Have…Buchan…Benbecula…HF200 in the Shetlands A HF200 is modeled in this game. A HF200. If I had a sister I’d give her to you.
Oh Dear God, there are Shacks at Lossie, Shacks at Lossie !! Must breath…
It’s like I’m back at RAF Boulmer in the mid 80’s. Except the graphics are better. Hats off to whoever thought the ‘Merge Range Rings’ up. All those circles drove me mad in Harpoon.
I had the pleasure of seeing a ‘nodding HF200’ when on a detachment to Boulmer. Strangest thing I ever saw. Radar head turned 90 degrees to the ground. But the best bit was the noise. Strange sort of ‘Whump’ as it it hit the limits of its arc. Then slowly lifted itself again. If I remember there was another ‘strange radar’ at Staxton Wold, something to do with triangulating Ivan’s jammers. I’ll see if I can find a link. 6 weeks at the age of 17 at RAF West Drayton learning all about the UK Air Defences. I was, as our colonial cousins say, in hog heaven.
At a minimum it seems at the same level as Harpoon. But as I dig deeper it seems to have cleaned up some of the issues with Harpoon. I think tactically it is superior to Harpoon ANW. At least guns have arcs now. And on top of that, the interface is a heck of a lot easier. If you have played Harpoon, you should be able to jump into this without any tutorial. Mission building is where the tutorial comes in. My favorite part is opening up a scenario in the editor and the going to God mode and watching both sides play it out.
The game mechanics are very nice..easy to set up missions..ai behaves very well..color sets are sweet…looks like i’ll be havin some fun building scenarios! Also nice,pulled message log to second moniter….
Thumbs up!! Excellent! So far, no crashes, runs great….you guys should pat your selfs on the back. Great job. So far I have not had any issues. The game totally draws you in.
Good first impressions. If you have played Harpoon and liked that, you will like this game.
The discussion about ‘how do you get players who have no background in modern air/naval warfare to grasp this game’ has been with Command since the beginning, at least from my involvement. I think this has been a factor in some of the game’s interface and abstraction-level design – ie at the top level newbies can move around, perceive the situation and react to it in a clean and simple way. The elegance of the game is that there is an underlying complexity that can be later leveraged as player knowledge/skill goes up.
What I can tell is that I have never been too knowledgeable in naval affairs, so I only knew the basics when I fired up the game the first time ( perk of the job to take a peek I guess! ), and… wow! I think the interface is very well done. So of course poor naval tactically-challenged me got slapped around in all but the most simple scenarios (I am learning though!), but that was because I had (and still have) to learn about the ins and outs of modern naval warfare, not because the interface was in the way. Quite the contrary, actually.
Due to the clear options, the mission system, and the AI, I can do all the planning and order issuing on the macro level I am most comfortable at, and that is great not just for the big scenarios, but also for learning via the smaller ones I think (for naval noobs like me, at least). E.g. there is nothing stopping you from manually tweaking sensor usage and all the rest on a submarine (there is an excellent Trapped Under Ice scenario AAR somewhere around here detailing just that).
But if you are like me, who fell out of his chair in shock and awe when saw all the different sensors you can use (or not), then no worries because you can just, for example, define a patrol area for the sub, (“there be enemy subs. Sink them!”) and let the AI take care of it. Want to go somewhere in between macro and micro? No problem, tinker with the rules of engagement for the AI. And then there is of course the scenario editor, and the scenarios in general. Playing a minor skirmish in the Korean War, or a detailed, complex, regional engagement based on the fictional nightmare scenario of terrorists getting hold of a nuclear missile base in Pakistan, and anything between those is really just awesome.
I’m deeply impressed with the game so far and have got Stinkos to print out and ring-bind the manual, which is likely never to leave my side for the next couple of weeks.
Great job on this release. This looks like it was a sizeable undertaking. Massive database, feature rich, from scratch engine, extensible and expandable, etc. Many fewer bugs/issues than I would expect from a new engine. Regardless of some of the cost complaints, feel a little pride in what you’ve done. I have spent part of my life managing complex software system releases and always have a hyper-critical eye. So my standards are fairly high.
I am also impressed with the release. The developers are active on the forums and are taking suggests/advice/criticisms on board. Keep up the great support work!
Ill try to do a bit of picking through it. A little background: I am a former USN qualified in submarines ST-S (Sonar Tech, Submarine.) I spent 10 years in active service and 4 years in the reserves. I spent 6 years of my active service on SSN-754 USS Topeka, and spent a lot of time on the beach instructing. The whole reason I bought a home PC back in the past was I saw a copy of Harpoon II in all of its 3.5 inch floppy disk glory and decided I HAD to have it. From then on, if it was a naval sim, I bet I have played it. Including Harpoon in all of its flavors, and now CMANO.
I had been following this sim for a long time. Since they first mentioned “Red Pill”, which was the development name. I really didn’t get my hopes up about it until is was announced that they had a publisher and Matrix games was going to distribute it. I didn’t even flinch at the $80 dollar sticker price. I had done my scouting with watching any preview video I could find and decided that this HAD to be the replacement for Harpoon. Was I right? Heck yes I was.
This is the game this niche genre needed to survive. Even flawed as it is at release. But it isn’t so flawed you can’t play it, but now that us completists and nitpickers are getting to dig through it, we are seeing bugs and shortcomings in the AI. And we are telling the devs about it on the official Matrix forum. And happily, the developers are listening, having released several patches already, fixing various things. I am playing the latest beta patch version (build 440) so I’ll base my conclusions on that, and not from the initial release version.
Being a child of the Cold War, I expected to see more NATO vs. Warsaw Pact scenarios. That was Harpoons strength. All those wonderful scenarios where battles that never were were played out. Command doesnt really give you a lot of those WWIII scens right out of the box. But there is hope. The community is already hard at work building scenarios, and I even know of one Red Storm Rising scenario project in the works. So soon scenarios wont be an issue.
That being said, the scenario editor is a dream to work with. It makes it VERY easy to plop down some units and start the sim and you have a battle on your hands. The only other thing that compares to it is if you had a big box of army men when you were a kid and setting them all out and having a battle with your imagination. Basically if it was a warship/warplane from 1950-today, chances are it is in this simulations database. For example, there are 81 different versions of the US Navy Ticonderoga class cruiser in the database. They represent different weapon loadouts and capabilities since its introduction all those years ago. So if you want a vintage Aegis cruiser in your scenario, or one you set foot on yesterday, the possibility is there.
Another thing I am loving right now is the mission editor. Finally I can set up CAP’s and they do exactly what I want them to do. If you want to set up an ASW patrol, the plane/helo will go to the defined area (set up with reference points, be it a box or point to point) and start dropping sonobuoys, and if they find something, they will prosecute it. And making patrols that move with your surface groups is just as easy.
Another thing that I have wanted in a sim of this nature. Logistics. UNREP. Refueling. CMANO models this. Your planes and ships will run out of weapons and fuel if given the chance. I have tested this and have seen a supply ship go alongside a carrier and transfer over fuel and munitions. Air-to-air refueling also works. No need to worry about maps, because the whole globe is modeled. and there doesnt seem to be a limitation on physical map size.
Another thing I have tested, I made a small scenario, put a base on the continental USA (Whiteman AFB) and then put a Soviet era Typhoon class missile sub in the barents sea. I then launched 2 SLBM’s (yes nuclear weapons are modeled in this sim, be it tactical nukes or strategic systems) and I tracked the missiles clear to detonation over whiteman. The cool thing about it was that the missiles when they started their terminal descent… MIRVed!
As far as the UI goes…if you can navigate Harpoon…youll get used to this rather easily. It is not perfect, and could use some refinement, the most notable thing is I’d like to be able to bring up the DB with hyper-linking in certain situations such as when I’m in the scenario editor and trying to figure out what loadouts work with what plane. There have been some issues with unit/AI behavior that “dont work right” but have been reported and are in the pipeline for a fix.
As I mentioned before the devs are guys who, like alot of us, LOVE this genre and and want to improve things. They know what they have released isn’t perfect but are willing to listen to people and fix it. This alone makes me believe that this is going to be an amazing simulation. I haven’t even mentioned another OMG moment I had with the sim the first time I played it… Unit Physics. In the past, change course with a ship in Harpoon: instant 180 degree turn. With CMANO, units actually turn. Planes actually dogfight(it is pretty cool to witness a furball in air combat in this sim). As far as how ASW, radar, ESM, etc, etc go… everything seems to be very well modeled, and to me it just seems right.
To end this rambling on… CMANO is a painting that is not quite finished, but it is damn close to becoming a masterpiece. If any of you have any questions, just ask away… I’ll try to answer.
[Dev’s comment: most if not all of the reported issues have been fixed by Command version 1.04. Thank you everyone for your feedback and support!
Alpha and Beta Phase (pre-v1.00)
The aerial warfare AI is pretty damn sublime. We’ve come such a long way since Harpoon – just amazing to see really.
I’ve thought long and hard about this and based on the type of games that I like I have to say this is by far the best game I’ve played (ever). The amount of detail is staggering and the scope is beyond belief. The air battles alone and Sensor/Radar modeling is the best open source implementation I’ve seen (and beats many others). It even seems like the game try’s to beam PD radars and get in the notch. Great jobs guys.
I have done several air strikes etc but finally I had zoomed in close and was watching what was going on… My airplanes and an AA gun unit were trading shots as the planes swooped and dropped CBU’s.. then I noticed all the gunfire (in both directions) and then I actually saw the CBUs drop and spread the bomblets everywhere!! MUCH better than a star shapped yellow “impact” star! Good work guys..it’s little things like those details that shows this is going to be an amazing game come full release…
Firstly, I’m really impressed with the technical detail behind the game, and the fact the AI hasn’t driven me insane within minutes, normally a big potential mess of micro management issues with games of this type. So far I’m really impressed. The devs have done what seems to be a fantastic job on what is truly a monumental project. Looking forward to playing more.
This game literally blew me out of the water. Having played only the “Warship” tutorial mission ( Tutorials were a VERY nice and impressive surprise, thank you, very much, even if there were only two. ) I found the interface and the key strokes surprisingly easy and simple to learn and to interact with, and I was shooting the Naunchuka and the D-30 with the Burke’s guns in no time, while simultaneously launching helicopters. ( Have to learn to do that automatically .) I didn’t expect much from a tutorial mission with one ship, but processing BDA reports and deciding where to send my ship, my two choppers, and trying to find a sub all at the same time made it great. Now if just one ship is keeping me occupied, then just imagine how a fleet would, with ICBMs flying all over the place as well… Food for thought.
I’ve been waiting for a game like this since I got my first copy of Simulations Canada “Raketnyy Kreyser” in 1979 and the Warship Commander miniature rules in 1980. For a game to have this level of both complexity and flexibility is very rare. After having played this game for a week, I believe this is the Sistine Chapel of naval warfare games – of any era. There is no other modern warfare game that comes close to this. Unlike most other new releases, this will be very strong out of the box, and it only get better. I remember wanting to play Harpoon II in 1994, but it kept crashing repeatedly. I only was able play it in 2002 when Harpoon III came out. This game is even more ambitious, but also more flexible, open ended, and more reliable even now. The passion for excellence in this design shines through in each database entry and GUI design. Thank you for taking this path. In the end I believe it will be worth all the blood, sweat and tears.
I love Command’s attention to detail for the sensors and the realistic illumination requirements for weapons! Its one facet of modern naval combat that is usually ignored in other games in this genre like Fleet Command or H3. In fleet command its always irked me that illumination requirements were just ignored, which turns Aegis crusers into big missile trucks rather than a ground breaking new way to manage the battlespace.
The first computer game I ever played was Strike Fleet, by Lucasarts/Electronic Arts, a million years ago. I loved that game and I was hooked for life on computer naval wargames. Command is everything I ever wanted Strike Fleet to be. I feel like a little kid again playing the best computer wargame ever. So a big “thank you” to the Command team.
But I can tell you, serving as a beta tester, that this is the most accurate and flexible commercial simulation of air/naval modern warfare bar none – there is no comparison with any existing sims. I am amazed at its scope, from counter-terrorism operations all the way up to global thermonuclear warfare simulated with realism and painstaking attention to detail. Conflicts from the Korean War to modern issues such as the Senkakus, South China Sea, Strait of Hormuz, and Syria are all simulated or can be simulated with the tools provided. I was able to whip up simple scenarios with the editor quickly and easily -this game is a superb sandbox game as well.
As a beta tester, the one thing I can tell you is that the COMMAND [development] team is truly relentless in their work to make this the premier naval simulation – they are always responding to feedback and updating the game. It’s the COMMAND team that has convinced me more than anything else that this game will be here to stay – they are the most responsive team I’ve seen. The effort and attention to detail that has gone into this system are very impressive. As a retired naval officer, I can say that you will not find more detailed and realistic simulation modelling, at least in the public domain – I have looked long and hard and this game has no peers. I want the game to be a great success, not just because the team richly deserves it but because I want it to thrive so we can continue to play simulations that challenge our intelligence and decision-making skills into the future. This game is a downloadable Naval War College, and should be a must be for any amateur or professional student of modern naval or joint warfare – or any taxpaying citizen who wants to understand what he is paying for, for that matter.
It’s exactly what I wanted it to be, and it kicks the snot out of Jane’s Fleet Command. Actually, after playing Command, just thinking about Jane’s Fleet Command makes me frustrated. You guys did a really good job with expectation management as well – I got exactly what you’ve been telling us about. And my God, that editor is a dream to use. Even the briefing editor – so freaking simple and powerful! It makes me want to make scenarios, which I think is about as good as an editor can get.
I am thoroughly impressed by this game. It is everything I expected, and I expected a lot. This is a rare, precious thing when it comes to computer games in my experience. When I showed my wife around it a little bit (she was wondering where I disappeared to over the weekend…) her comment was, “Oh, it’s like war on Google Earth.” That captured one aspect of this game that I am absolutely blown away by – real time, global military operations on a topographically accurate globe. I mean, where has this ever been possible before at the scale/scope of Command?
The operations engine (sensors, combat, etc) is intuitive and easy to use yet hyper-realistic. Weapons need to fit their employment envelopes and engagements can be won or lost in seconds because of a choice you made or the ability of the platform(s) involved to react. The flow of the game seems natural to me as well. Commander over-load can be moderated by the use of missions and effective use of messaging & time compression.
The databases are, unsuprisingly, outstanding. Combine that with the game engine and it’s really quite astounding. I was playing the surface action tutorial last night and swapped in a Kidd Class and then a C.F. Adams Class destroyer for the Burke normally used. It was a lot of fun to watch how each handled the initial air attack – the NTU Kidd using the SM-2’s data link to guide the missiles in close and then allocating a director for terminal guidance, and the C.F. Adams firing SM-1s and establishing director illumination for the entirety of the engagement. Both of them had their Anti-Air range circles reduced to the 5″ gun range during the short amount of time it took to reload their launcher rails. Just so very cool to see.
I am very impressed by the scenario editor. I’m just getting started with understanding the event engine and recognize that its’ use allows game narratives never before possible in a modern air/naval game. Adding to that is the ability to create and store installations, not to mention the huge amount of work that’s already gone into accurately cataloging many of the world’s air bases for our use, is incredible!
Okay, I’ve gone on way too long. Long and short is, this game is EPIC! I will lose my social and possibly my married life to it if I’m not careful. The possibilities for scenarios are endless. Most bugs have been easy to spot and/or fix and no game-enders have appeared, though I’m sure a few hard to find and kill ones will appear. Finally, a big thanks to the dev team for their time and effort in making this game come alive!
My patience has been rewarded by being able to watch such a wonderful game take shape! It truly is the new Harpoon 3, which is really high praise!
I have to say I’m absolutely loving your game. A worthy successor to Harpoon 3. Not many games get this sort of high praise.
[…] Bloody love it, keep up the good work fellas, this is a really fantastic product!
Interface is everything in a game that has everything. No use providing a feature if it’s almost impossible to find the proper control at the proper time. That Command does this, and does it well, it key in my opinion. That was easily my biggest complaint about Harpoon ANW, the interface was intimidating to say the least, and using all the tools at your disposal well required a lot of time in game.
For instance, I know Harpoon has a system to set missions and then platforms to those missions, but don’t ask me how. After 1 night with Command, I am able to use missions effectively and don’t know how I could have played such a game without them to be honest.”
It’s like the Command Ops series in the way you can act as a senior commander instead of sitting in every cockpit and running each bridge while trying to also run the operation.”
I am really loving the editor btw. You stated in a different thread that your goal was to provide fans of the genre with the ultimate sand box to play in, you nailed it right on the head.
This game is really amazing… I think its the best computer game I’ve ever played – I’ve played hundreds. I am struck by how it can model the history of naval warfare from Korea, Vietnam, China/Taiwan, India-Pakistan and the Arab-Israeli Wars. Every naval war college needs this – and Harpoon cannot do it realistically – especially the pre-1970’s stuff and anything involving smaller combatatants. COMMAND has both depth and flexibility, a rare combination.”
This damn game has totally destroyed not only my interest in other games for now, but its also gotten me into a heap of trouble at home with the wife. I call it “The Ultimate Modern Hardware Toybox”. I also think it stands on its own merits (they totally changed how the Formation Editor works for instance, and what it’s used for – something that Harpoon folks might have some problems adapting to at first). But I also like how they kept a lot of the interface conventions and shortcuts the same, so if you’ve played Harpoon, you can build off that.
Have been through the tutorials and few of the scenerios and i got to say that this simulator is amazing! This to be your first game you make and with so few members of the dev team is amazing job!
So far I’m really impressed. The devs have done what seems to be a fantastic job on what is truly a monumental project.