Squad Leader

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Hi,

Squad Leader

probably the best known wargame outside wargame circles - probably the
only "name" which has some marketing punch, hence several attempts to
slap the name on <insert tactical level game that happens to be in
development> and try to cash-in on it.

Last year Paradox announced they had acquired the rights to the name
"Squad Leader" and would release a game of that name in the near
future.

This announcement generated more questions than it answered : what
would it look like ? 3D or 2D, a straight boardgame port or a Warhammer
40K treatment.

Given that Paradox have no previous experience in creating a 3D engine
and the "release in the near future" part has me thinking it might be a
2D hex or area based game. But that still made no sense reg. the "near
future" part as ASL has more rules than can possibly be implemented in
that short amount of time. "Hauptmann Schultz sneezes - roll 1 die, on
a 1 his head bobs up long enough to negate hedges for LOS purposes, on
a 2 he scares the mine-dog (if present) which routs to an adjacent hex,
on a 3 .." - you get the picture. No-one can program *that* many
rules into a computer game in such a short amount of time and frankly I
doubt if it would be fun unless you're an ASL religious zealot.

But then Multiman Publishing announces an ASL Starter Kit - boardgame,
counters and a 10 page rulebook. 10 pages instead of the 300+ in the
full ASL. Sounds about right to convert to a pc-game to be released in
the "near future". Coincidence ?

Anyone care to speculate on it ? Any rumours/juicy bits of gossip ?

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
 
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On Thu, 03 Mar 2005 05:43:19 -0800, eddysterckx@hotmail.com wrote:

> Hi,
>
> Squad Leader
>
> probably the best known wargame outside wargame circles - probably the
> only "name" which has some marketing punch, hence several attempts to
> slap the name on <insert tactical level game that happens to be in
> development> and try to cash-in on it.
>
> Last year Paradox announced they had acquired the rights to the name
> "Squad Leader" and would release a game of that name in the near
> future.
>

>
> Greetz,
>
> Eddy Sterckx

At the Paradox forum they say their next release will be Diplomacy in Q3
or Q4 this year. So Squad Leader will probably not be around anytime soon.
 
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Well..they could release the original squad leader game on a pc and it would
sell like hot cakes. Now you have all that time to produce addons. just like
the boardgame did.
 
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*IF* (and it is a big if) they are going to convert the boardgame for the
PC, they could simply choose a level of complexity (i.e. which rules from
ASL to use and which keep for expansions).

Anyway, sometimes it seems incredible to me that Steel Panthers was actually
published in 1995...
 
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In article <H1GVd.2332$WC1.933@tornado.fastwebnet.it>,
reckall@hotmail.com says...
>
> Anyway, sometimes it seems incredible to me that Steel Panthers was actually
> published in 1995...

It seems even more incredible that, ten years later, it's still arguably
the premier squad/vehicle simulation out there.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The Islamists have been clear all along about their plans to form
an Islamic caliphate and inhabit the entire world with burqas,
stonings, amputations, honor killings and a lack of religious and
political freedom. Whether or not to oppose such a movement should
have been a no-brainer, especially for self-proclaimed 'progressives.'
Instead, they have extended their misguided sympathies to tyrants
and terrorists."
- Cinnamon Stillwell
 
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miket6065 wrote:
> I have long wanted a PC version of the original game. No fancy
graphics, no
> fancy sounds, just a PC version of the board game...how difficult can
it be?

Difficulty level : well, even the original game had 30+ pages of rules
- some of which are not easy to implement - and I'm not talking code
here - LOS for starters : do you go with the arcane method of checking
it from white center dot to white cente dot with all the realism
problems involved or do you make use of the more advanced capabilities
of the pc vs a paper board and calculate true LOS.

And once you start deviating from the paper version, are you still
going for a phased turn-based play or do you go to some form of
continuous time play which is more realistic. etc.

See, the problem with a straigh port of a boardgame is that certain
rules/design aspects are less than optimal because of the limitations
inherent to paper. These limitations are no problem when you're playing
the boardgame because you accept the limitations of the medium, but get
irksome when you encounter them in a pc game.

But for the ASL afficionados there's always http://www.vassalengine.org

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
 
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I have long wanted a PC version of the original game. No fancy graphics, no
fancy sounds, just a PC version of the board game...how difficult can it be?

MikeT
 
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"miket6065" <miket6065@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:y9OVd.971$WK2.191@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
>I have long wanted a PC version of the original game. No fancy graphics,
>no fancy sounds, just a PC version of the board game...how difficult can it
>be?

Not difficult in the least as VASSAL shows, no AI with that of course.

http://www.vassalengine.org/community/index.php

Trouble I suspect that people might be a bit disappointed with a straight
port - computer games like SP, CC and CM are streets ahead of SL in
modelling unit integrity, fog of war, battlefield cohesion etc. and even
very basic stuff like the actual allocation of squad level support weapons,
rather than SLs bizarely anaemic squads with one or two LMGs per platoon if
they are lucky. SL was fun in 1978, but you can tear so many holes in the
game model now.....

Cheers
Martin
 
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miket6065 wrote:
> I have long wanted a PC version of the original game. No fancy graphics, no
> fancy sounds, just a PC version of the board game...how difficult can it be?
>
> MikeT
>
>

Not difficult at all!

The problem is that it does not appeal to anyone who has enough money to
buy the rights to the game.

No one who has had the rights or been commisioned to do the game has
wanted to do a PC version of the board game. The designers have
generally wanted to do a real time rendition of squadlevel combat.

Close Combat was I believe one of the early efforts.

Graham
 
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On Thu, 3 Mar 2005 16:32:03 +0100, "Vincenzo Beretta"
<reckall@hotmail.com> wrote:


>Anyway, sometimes it seems incredible to me that Steel Panthers was actually
>published in 1995...
>
Time for an updated modern graphics SP sequel, me thinks.
 

hermann

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> But then Multiman Publishing announces an ASL Starter Kit - boardgame,
> counters and a 10 page rulebook. 10 pages instead of the 300+ in the
> full ASL. Sounds about right to convert to a pc-game to be released in
> the "near future". Coincidence ?

I've yet to try the MMP starter kit, but from what I understand, it is not
necessarily a simplification, but rather a very limited subset of the full
ASL rules for infantry skirmishes. There are, for instance, no vehicles or
artillery, cutting some 200 pages of rules. The recently released starter
kit #2 introduced direct-fire artillery.

> Anyone care to speculate on it ? Any rumours/juicy bits of gossip ?

Speculate, yes.

I'm convinced they will use their old engine, a which has been a faithful
part of all their releases, save possibly Svea Rike 1 and 2 and the air
sims. Given their financial situation, it's not likely they will invest in
developing a new engine*. Squad Leader will most likely be area-based
pausable real time. The areas may or may not be hexsides.

■ According to a press release, Diplomacy will be developed on a new
engine. I'm uncertain whether this refers to a new Diplomacy engine (i.e.
RTS conversion), or a brand new game engine, e.g. for use in other
turn-based strategy games such as SL.

Furthermore, ASL - and to a lesser extent SL - are very complex games. The
boardgame predecessor of Europa Universalis was similarly complex, but
turned out to be a huge success despite - or perhaps thanks to - the
streamlining of the rules and mechanics (not to mention the RTS element). I
think Squad Leader will be subjected to a similar streamlining in order to
introduce the game to a broader market.

I'd wager Paradox is more interested in putting a well known trademark on
one of their products, rather than putting out a very faithful conversion of
the boardgame for a very limited audience of grognards.
 

hermann

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> Given that Paradox have no previous experience in creating a 3D engine

Not true. IIRC, the 3D development team branched off from Paradox in 2001,
but has in cooperation with Paradox Entertainment released Airfix Dogfighter
and Warzone Online. Unless I'm seriously mistaken, Paradox still owns the
Valpurgius 3D engine.
 
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> Time for an updated modern graphics SP sequel, me thinks.

With Joel Billings and Gary Grisby both at Matrix we could start a pitch
campaign.

Joel, are you listening? :eek:)
 
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In article <snhWd.5861$WC1.4868@tornado.fastwebnet.it>,
reckall@hotmail.com says...
> > Steel Panthers IV is planned for 2006-2007
> >
> > http://www.2by3games.com/devjournal/journal20041109.html
>
> Weh, here is a good way to start the day :eek:)

I agree, but I think so because of the Civil War game they mentioned.
Never could get into Steel Panthers. Not saying it's bad. It doesn't
float my boat though.

--
Epi

How can a man who used to dress in next-to-nothing,
and show off his body, then turn around and
call others girlie-men. Strange.
 
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> > http://www.2by3games.com/devjournal/journal20041109.html
>
> Weh, here is a good way to start the day :eek:)

Addendum: speaking from the POW of someone who works in a creative job, it
is always refreshing seeing people do what they want, the way they want to
do it, and when they want, propelled only by the need to be productive and
to have the costumers happy. That "developer diary" pages were really
uplifting, believe me.
 
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"Vincenzo Beretta" <reckall@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:nthWd.5877$WC1.4091@tornado.fastwebnet.it:

>> > http://www.2by3games.com/devjournal/journal20041109.html
>>
>> Weh, here is a good way to start the day :eek:)
>
> Addendum: speaking from the POW of someone who works in a creative
> job,

I thought the Geneva convention forbids captured officers being set to
work. And there's something about cruel and unhealthy work in there too :)

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
 

hermann

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> I thought the Geneva convention forbids captured officers
> being set to work. And there's something about cruel and
> unhealthy work in there too :)

Do not speak to me of rules. This is war! This is not a game of cricket!
 
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In article <_9DWd.131889$dP1.470948@newsc.telia.net>, hr_hesse@yahoo.com
says...

> > I thought the Geneva convention forbids captured officers
> > being set to work. And there's something about cruel and
> > unhealthy work in there too :)
>
> Do not speak to me of rules. This is war! This is not a game of cricket!

Madness! Madness!

--
Giftzwerg
***
"Little more than three years after US forces, backed by their faithful
British allies, set foot in Afghanistan, the entire historical dynamic
of this blighted region has already shifted.

Ignoring, fortunately, the assault from clever world opinion on
America=3Fs motives, its credibility and its ambitions, the Bush
Administration set out not only to eliminate immediate threats
but also to remake the Middle East."
- Gerard Baker
 

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