The future of Command Ops

The Stolberg Corridor: This scenario is included in the Westwall and details the fighting outside of Aachen in September 1944.

I love Command Ops but almost never play it now.  That is amazing because I basically spent all of 2014-5 playing it, creating scenarios for it and musing about it's future or lack thereof.

I do not love Command Ops 2.  The game is essentially the same, with some improvements but it's new publisher smartly released it for free with some stock scenarios and then re-released all of the old content plus some new stuff (see the screen above) for a reduced price that better fits the marketplace (kudos to David Heath!).

The base game is still charming but CO2 symbolizes for me how gaming companies can go off the rails with patches and updates (there were years of these) while failing deliver on the wider promise of said wargaming engine by delving into new content (which you have said for years is just over the horizon).

I am writing about Command Ops today because there is some discussion in the forums that CO might not continue.  If that is true, I hope that Dave and company will consider releasing the almost complete Eastern Front game and whatever else they have (by the way I have seen the Eastern Front stuff and it is already awesome).  I would pay for this content even if it is half-baked or doesn't have mounted ops.  After all, this is just a game and I don't need the most accurate simulation of command and control warfare ever built, I just want to continue playing.


Comments

Alan Taylor said…
Hi Chris

I second your request for the Eastern Front Game to be released and a belated thanks for all of your hard work with CO1.

Hope you and your family have a Happy Holiday.
Marco Diaz said…
That's right, I have been playing CO1, but the release of the almost the same game again was a really dissapointment, I saw the demo and it was like night and ..... later that night, of course if that came with something different it would be more like an expansion, but with the the same scenaries plus Crete, which we waited for years to be released.
Miguel said…
Hi Chris,

I am still reading you :)

And I have mixed feelings about what you post here. I was very sad to see what was released in early 2015. But then I got a bit pissed off when I started seeing on the patch notes how the blame was being shifted in a convenient way. That anger come to pass though, and I sincerely thought that Pavel's involvement and the Greenlight thing were showing some hope for the project... but now when I read the same old fantasies being written down as an update, I could see that the end of the road was nigh.

By the way, you have my full permission to distribute any materials - maps, estabs etc. - that I worked on. Maybe that way I will get to see those Korsun scenarios other s and me worked so hard push across the line.

Merry xmas Chris, I hope you and your family and doing well too.

Miquel
Doug Miller said…
It'll be a damned shame if this is the end of the series. I wasn't really excited about having to buy the game all over again when CO2 came out, but I bought the Commander's Pack and it wasn't a bad deal. I bought the new DLC that came out after that primarily to support the developers and the publisher, even though I thought the content was kind of underwhelming.

The system is great - the closest thing to a WWII computer Kriegsspiel there is. We've used it at Origins as part of our Command Post Wargaming sessions. It's great stuff.

Unfortunately as time goes on the game slips more and more toward the "lost potential" side of the equation and away from the "great game" position. All of the comments above, and Chris' observations are spot on. Ultimately I think there's been too much of an effort to monetize the existing player base with these constant re-releases of what's essentially the same game, and it's driving people away. Certainly that's the discussion I see every time CO2 comes up on the forums I frequent.

I understand that Dave O'Conner has been dealing with a lot of serious personal life issues lately, and that's going to have a pretty major impact on progress. I just hope that the delays and the growing skepticism over the pricing model don't combine with Dave's need to focus on other things to drive this system completely into the ground.
Chris said…
Alan, thanks for the comment! I hope you and your family have a nice holiday too.

Marco, I agree. It was a disappointment. I haven't even played the Crete scenarios and have instead focused on the earlier game.

Miquel! Thanks for your comment. I didn't write this blog lightly and it hurts to say it, but I think now at what appears to be the end of the struggle, that this game went off the rails right around the time you left. I know you were trying to do more with it, and it is a shame your work with the game didn't continue. Thank you for allowing me to release the Korsun Pocket Project! I looked at the folder last night and realize there will be a lot of work to see all of it through but I will try to finish it. I will focus on the Shpola-Burtki part of the battlefield as that map is the furthest along and try to build out the battle there. By the way that map is spectacular. I did a quick read of Glantz and it looks like Wiking was there along with a few other infantry divisions. I don't know much about Korsun but there is some good source material you have collected and I have Glantz's coverage of it.

Doug, thanks for the comment. We've talked about this a lot and I completely agree. I hope the game development doesn't end. Fingers crossed we are wrong.
David Freer said…
Hi Chris,

I'm a bit of an expert on Korsun having spent years researching it and providing all the revised scenarios for Tiller's PzC Korsun. Glantz work is very poor and based on the 1944 Soviet study. It suffers from immediacy. A couple of better research choices are Zetterlings https://www.amazon.com/Korsun-Pocket-Encirclement-Breakout-German/dp/1932033882/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

And Shaw's https://www.amazon.com/Hells-Gate-Battle-Cherkassy-January-February/dp/0965758435/ref=pd_cp_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0965758435&pd_rd_r=9S3R2JMP7T87958X7QYV&pd_rd_w=kVUd7&pd_rd_wg=sVVPz&psc=1&refRID=9S3R2JMP7T87958X7QYV

They are much better research documents. I also have a heap of spreadsheets and other source material, just let me know.

David

Ps And yes I really want to do a Panzer battles title on it!
Phil said…
Merry Christmas Chris!

I have to admit. I still really like this game and it will still provide me lots of entertainment well into the future. It really helped me in my mission to learn more complex games. Btw based on your advice I got Decisive Campaigns Operation Barbarossa. This is the first time I have really enjoyed a Hex based game and am having a blast. So thank you for that.

Merry Chrismas and all the best!
ioncore said…
Merry Xmas Chris, Miquel, guys, and happy New Year!
I still think CO2 have something to offer next year, EF-oriented in particular. It's not a promise of course, merely a gut feeling based on the amount of work already done and the stuff already available (but not released yet).
Cheers
Chris said…
Hi ioncore! I agree if they released EF it would definitely offer something new. I hope yo uhad a great Christmas!

Hi Phil! Glad you like it and Merry Christmas to you!

Hi David! Thanks for the message and the sources. Maybe when I finish up second scenario I can switch gears and take a look at Korsun!