View Full Version : Combat Mission:Shock Force

21-10-2005, 19:22:35
From battlefront.com

Well, at long last it is time to announce the setting for the first two releases of the CMx2 game engine. Obviously there has been a lot of speculation about what they would be, and most of you guessed correctly, though many guessed the order incorrectly. The two releases are, in order:

1. Near future modern warfare
2. WWII western Europe 1944/45

Now, before I get into any specifics I want to explain why we chose to do modern warfare first since many of you on this forum claim to only have interest in WWII combat. For many months I've been subtly (and not so subtly!) reminding you guys that we are a warfare simulation developer, not a WWII only simulation developer. Therefore, sooner or later that means doing something other than WWII. I'm sure there is still some amount of shock that modern is the first setting for the new game engine, but the reasoning for doing WWII second is extremely sound and beneficial to you guys out there. Especially, oddly enough, for you WWII gamers.

The primary reason for not doing WWII first is burnout. You gamers have the luxury of picking and choosing how much, or how little, time you devote to the singular subject of WWII. For us it is all or nothing. For 7 years, without a single break, we spent nearly all of our waking hours thinking about and working with WWII subject matter. Developers must periodically recharge their batteries or the charge that sparks creativity grows weaker and the products they produce suffer accordingly. One of the best ways to refresh ourselves is to take on new challenges by trying something new. The other is to take time off from developing... but that isn't an option any of us want to contemplate

The second reason is that we are making a very far ranging game engine. In order to do this we need to have a design framework that is inherently setup to handle the most complex setting we can think of. By doing modern warfare we are forced to think about stuff like extensive communications networks, complex armored vehicle defenses, asymmetrical warfare, urban warfare, small combined arms teams, missile systems, on-the-fly targeting paths, and tons more. If we did WWII first we'd have to basically design two games simultaneously to ensure we covered all our bases. Therefore, by doing modern we killed two birds with one stone.

Either of these reasons are strong enough to point us towards doing modern first, but combined... there was really no discussion to be had. The answer was obvious despite the fact we know that many of our existing customers would be disappointed with this decision no matter how rational or to their benefit it actually is. We also know that the modern game we're working on will be a commercial success, so no worries there either.

Now, with that out of the way (for now... I know you guys too well to think it is behind us ) I will move on and outline what each setting is all about. Keep in mind that CMx2 is designed specifically to support the settings and concepts being discussed. If you find yourself thinking "that would suck in CMx1" your next thought should be "but since this isn't CMx1 that thought isn't relevant". It is going to be tough to imagine what CMx2 will be instead of what CMx1 already is, but you guys MUST think of the two game systems as being totally different from each other even though they share certain common traits and overall philosophy.

Combat Mission: Shock Force

The setting for CM:SF is 2007 Syria after a coup removes the current Assad government. I do not wish to go into the specifics of the backstory at this time, but the premise is that UN is called upon to remove the illegitimate regime. Support comes from all major nations and nearly all within the Middle East region. Leading this liberation is a coalition of mostly NATO states, with a strong contingent of Arab/Muslim states involved directly in the immediate and long term rebuilding of the nation. The player is in command of one of the more interesting missions - to slice through the center of the country and join up with other coalition forces around Damascus.

The primary force under the command of the player is a task force from a US Army Stryker Brigade. At times other forces, such as US Mech Infantry and US Armor, are involved and under player command, however the core organic units are from the Stryker based task force. Air support and off map artillery support are of course a part of the battle as well. The player commands these forces through an extensive, semi-dynamic campaign. The individual missions vary greatly from full up conventional fighting to small scale unconventional actions involving a few platoons. Terrain covers the full range from fairly open desert to dense modern urban, and everything in between. The new game engine was purposefully designed with urban warfare (MOUT warfare) and extremely rough terrain in mind.

The OPFOR (Opposing Forces) consist of regular Syrian Army troops, the well trained/armed Syrian Special Forces, hastily organized militias, and other non-conventional combat formations. This array of opposition allows for a host of possibilities and opportunities for vastly varied play from one scenario to another. The tactical challenges that these forces and terrain options, along with the new way we're constructing scenario parameters, present make CMx1's battles look mundane and repetitive by comparison. Rest assured that CM:SF is not an unchallenging "turkey shoot" for the US player. We'd not be making a modern game if we felt an unrealistic turkey shooter was the best we could do.

The campaign is single player only from the US side. Quick Battles and user made Scenarios (using the Editor) can be played from both sides. Additionally there is an option to play "Blue on Blue" where US forces face off against US forces.

We have no definite plans for follow up Modules, but it is highly likely that one of them will simulate US Marines. Personally I would like to see British, German, or other NATO forces simulated as well, but we'll just have to see how things work out.

Combat Mission set in WWII

We won't be talking much about this project until after CM:SF is released for the simple reason that we can not afford to be distracted by something we aren't actively working on yet. What I can tell you is that the setting for the main title will be WWII set in western ETO 1944-45 timeframe. Like CM:SF the player will be in command of a task force based around US forces. Follow up Modules will cover other Allied forces and settings within the same WWII western ETO setting.

Specifics of the WWII game are simply not going to be decided and/or discussed between now and the release of CM:SF. If you want input on how the game shapes up this is the time to do it since when we move to WWII the core game system will only be subjected to minor changes for WWII specific needs (which are not insignificant, mind you!). If you think modern warfare isn't your cup of tea we still encourage you to stick around and talk about game mechanics since the overlap with WWII is fairly significant. In any event we would suggest playing the demo when it is available. We fully expect that many of you will be surprised to find that you actually like it! I can say this since I've been a WWII ETO bigot most of my adult life, and yet I have been extremely excited while working on this project for the last 2 years. If I can change after all of that, anybody can

Well, that about wraps up letting the cat out of the bag. There will be a formal website set up in about a week and an exclusive article in Computer Gaming World in the next issue (late October for subscribers, early November for the rest). You'll see some of the very early artwork and UI that we have to show, but I've included two tidbits below to show you guys what to expect in terms of level of graphical detail. Note that these images are VERY early tests of the animation and graphics engine, not in any way shape or form a presentation of what the final product is going to look like (well, except for the level of detail of the soldiers and vehicle).




21-10-2005, 19:44:35
Sounds intriguing. I just hope that they can somehow include the greatness of the other CM games in these new ones. I'm afraid the gameplay won't translate outside of WWII very well.

21-10-2005, 20:05:43
yeah, but the move to fully simulated infantry sounds good, there is a new forum up at www.battlefront.com for the game.

21-10-2005, 20:41:55
I don't blame them, all WWII would get dull after a time.

22-10-2005, 10:29:57
well the second CMX2 engine game is back to the ETO 1944-45

looks like overlord again

22-10-2005, 12:28:46
"US Mech Infantry"

I thought:
a) mechs are technically difficult to engineer,
b) simply bloody expensive by contemporary standards of technology,
c) Battlefront is interested in realism.

On the other hand, they could also mean exoskeletally augmented infrantry. THEN it should be interesting.

My only fear is that they jump the BF 2 bandwagon too much.

22-10-2005, 13:00:46
Or maybe they just mean mechanized infantry like, you know, armored vehicles and shit move the infantry around.

22-10-2005, 13:15:11
Mech infantry means Infantry that moves around in APCs, there is no sci-fi or future element involved.

22-10-2005, 13:30:12
Oh shit I'm so stupid :lol:...

23-10-2005, 03:19:30
Yeah, mark that one down for the most stupid post of the year contest.

24-10-2005, 13:27:00
I thought you were joking, and I thought Chris had missed the joke.


24-10-2005, 15:34:53

24-10-2005, 15:48:40
Mech inf in Pole is spelt cavalry

25-10-2005, 16:42:21
maroule: thanks for the attempt to excuse me, put that's no the case unfortunately :). The only types of units in Poland that have "cavalry" in their name are attack helicopter, armor and paratroopers.

However, keep in mind that at the time of writing my original post I was after a hard night drinking, so all it took was the lack of a dot after "mech" to drive me off-course :lol:...

25-10-2005, 16:58:22
I think maroule may have been trying to imply that the only transport the polish army has are horses...

twice in one thread LoD...

25-10-2005, 17:02:00
I need to stop drinking. It's starting to kill off way too many synapses.

25-10-2005, 17:09:36
You've nearly locked up Dumbest Poster of the Year. It would be a shocking upset over Mr G, Drekkus, and Lurker.

25-10-2005, 17:26:30
Mr. G has been positively cerebral lately. It hurts my heart to see it.

25-10-2005, 22:24:17
I'm sure tomorrow he will be back to normal.

26-10-2005, 14:32:27
Originally posted by Beta1
I think maroule may have been trying to imply that the only transport the polish army has are horses...

twice in one thread LoD...

:lol: indeed

that was also a reference to the glorious cavalry charges of the pole army against the panzers in 39...

26-10-2005, 14:51:51
Oh, tha's probably why I didn't get it - there were no "Polish cavalry charges againts the panzers in 39".

26-10-2005, 15:46:24
I read several times of one particular instance of a recon panzer group (light Pz I and II) being charged by cavalrymen

but it could have been BS of course

26-10-2005, 16:31:55
Exactly. Just shows how Nazi (and Stalinist) propaganda is still prevalent.
Here's a Wikipedia article:


See the section "7 Cavalry charges and Nazi propaganda"

Now, that IS Wikipedia, but I'm fairly certain the article is credible.