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streakeagle

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About streakeagle

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  • Birthday 02/14/1968
  1. VASSAL is amazing and I used to collect and update all the modules for my games that I once owned. But I am just not motivated nor have the patience/energy to re-learn the rules for board games and get used to the VASSAL interface. My time and energy are much more easily committed to PC games. I am an online multiplayer advocate for the challenge, realism, and fun of interacting with real people. But in practice, I seldom play online because it is hard to find a group that plays the way I want to play within the limited windows of opportunity I have to play. Whereas I can find many games where the single player experience allows to get most of what I want out of combat simulations in terms of unit types, force ratios, crew quality, etc. AI never behaves quite the way it should or the way I would prefer, but at least it is consistent and allows me to maximize the enjoyment of my limited time and energy.
  2. Virtual Reality support?

    While I would love the option to play Steel Beasts Pro PE in VR, I have yet to spend much time looking around the 3d interiors. Unlike flight sims, I saw very little gain when TrackIR support was added. As a game, I am largely looking through a gunsight or controlling units from a 2d map. So, I understand why it is not cost effective to support VR. The present resolution of Oculus Rift and its competitors is unacceptable for combat sims which require visually detecting and indentifying contacts. DCS World is a great VR experience for flying, especially helicopters which showcase the benefits of a huge field of view in the vertical as well as the horizontal and 1:1 head tracking in a 1:1 scaled cockpit/world environment. But the resolution limits of the current VR technology make combat flying tedious at best. It is like going from Steel Beasts Pro PE at 1080p back to the original Steel Beasts at 800x600. Hopefully VR succeeds and continues improving until the field of view exceeds the limits of human peripheral vision and the resolution exceeds that of the human eye. Of course, for that to happen, PC cpus and gpus need to keep making big leaps forward, too. I hope to see that in my lifetime or better yet in the very near future so I can enjoy it a while.
  3. The board game from GDW was the "Assault" series by Frank Chadwick. I had every release in the series. But I much preferred the look and feel of miniatures. "Command Decision" was Frank's miniatures game for WW2. A little while later GDW released the modern miniatures adaptation, "Combined Arms. GDW went out of business as the wargame/miniatures gaming fell to the wayside with the advent of PC gaming. But Command Decision continues to evolve and is still available in its latest form "Test of Battle". Unfortunately, ToB only supports WW2, but unofficial rules combining the latest data for modern armor provides an equivalent to the "Combined Arms" supplement. The board game I enjoyed the most was West End Games "Air Cav". It was much faster/easier to play and just as realistic. It only came with two full maps: a Fulda Gap type terrain on one side and an Israeli desert type map on the other. But I loved the Air Cav German terrain map. Whether I was the US or USSR, I knew every hill, valley, town, forest and could exploit the lines of sight to my advantage. Another board game I enjoyed was Avalon Hill's Tac Air. But each counter represented a battalion, so it was less about specific hardware and more about supply lines, speed of advance, learning to penetrate a line/outflank enemy positions. Playing Steel Beasts from the map view is very similar to my board gaming experience except that it moves in real time which doesn't provide the chess like experience of carefully considering your options. In fact, Steel Beasts from the map view feels like one of those real time strategy games where you need to be everywhere at the same time, but can only command/control one area at a time and have to correctly prioritize where to provide command/control to make up for AI limitations. The best part about playing board game and miniatures games was face-to-face interaction. But finding others to play those games could be difficult. I had a friend that would play Air Cav with me, but never had a live opponent for Assault or Combined Arms. Computers providing AI for single player is the breakthrough that killed board games and miniatures... not to mention the flexibility of the screen to provide a huge battle space not possible on a table top. I understand why board games and miniature games have mostly died out, but I still miss them even if I don't have the time/space to play them now that I am married with a child and working full time.
  4. The board games came with many scenarios, mostly generic based on standard engagement types with standard orders of battle: i.e. US company vs USSR battalion in a meeting engagement, or hasty defense engagement, etc. US company might be two or three tank platoons with an attached mech infantry platoon. USSR battalion might be two tank companies with a mech infantry company. The maps were generic "geomorphic" German terrains meant to represent areas similar to the Fulda Gap that could be rearranged to provide some variety. The miniatures games gave you force structures, but little guidance on setting up your own terrain on a table top or specific scenarios. The WW2 Command Decision game had supplements that provided precise scenarios to recreate specific battles and/or campaigns such as the Battle of the Bulge, but the Combine Arms modern supplement mainly provided rules, charts, and orders of battle. As the board games and miniature games were both by the same author, it was easy to adapt board game scenarios to miniatures scenarios. I typically liked meeting engagement/hasty defense scenarios with either early M1s or M60A3s and M2/M3s or M113s facing T-80/T-72 battalions with a company of BMP-2s or BMP-1s. Against any form of M1s, it was very difficult for the USSR to win unless you were skilled at using artillery or could somehow flank the M1s to beat their armor. M60A3s needed to get in the first shots and not miss to have a chance to win or otherwise needed creative use of artillery and infantry support to avoid being decimated.
  5. All of my board games and miniature games for simulating "modern" armored combat were focused on mid 80s orders of battle. GDW in particular had both board games and miniatures rules covering this order of battle very well. As much as I like the idea of eSim supporting such a thing over time... I am already quite satisfied with what they have already provided. But I think I would enjoy a 1960s or 1970s order of battle even more. Imagine facing hordes of T-62s and/or T-64s/T-72s with M60A1s. The years immediately preceding the development/deployment of the M1 were far more challenging for NATO. At the same time, the F-15 was just entering service and the F-16 and F/A-18 were still in development. Cold War gone hot in the 70s is a pretty interesting fight. Israel in 1973 was a preview of what Germany might have looked like... Ultimately a NATO win, but at great cost.
  6. Learning the game the hard way :)

    Years later and now the M60A3 is a crewable vehicle. I imported my original M60A3 adaptation of the Hasty Defense mission and it seems to work fine, but I wonder if it would be better to edit the current version of the M1 Hasty Defense into the M60A3 just to make sure I capitalize on anything that has changed/improved over the years and/or avoid potential problems caused by importing a mission from a much older version?
  7. A confession

    I got it up and working with the latest version/hotfix. Been a long time. Forgot how fun and easy it is to make a T-72 turret pop up It didn't take me long to remember my stick mappings for laser designation, sight zoom, thermal/normal toggle, etc. I am too out of practice to get more than 3 or 4 targets before getting zapped in the M1A1 instant action mission. Plenty of fun anyway. But I need to go to bed.
  8. A confession

    For a number of reasons, I haven't played SB Pro PE in some time. Primarily, I am a flight sim jockey. When I played SB in recent history (year or more ago?), it was with a Warthog HOTAS. But I had built a dedicated seat/stick/console setup for flying that used a stick from a real F-4 Phantom and it was a hassle to set up the Warthog stick on the side or on the desk. The F-4 stick was not the best interface for the gun and I can't stand to use a mouse, even if it is superior to a stick. As an M60A1 addict, I did buy and try Steel Armor:Blaze of War. I really liked it other than it wasn't really set up to let me use hardware other than a keyboard/mouse. I wish SB Pro PE has an M60A1 or M60A3 modeled as well as its M1 series. I also wish being the tank driver in SB Pro PE was as fun as driving an SABOW. To support more modern aircraft with their super complex stick grips, I have removed/replaced my F-4 stick with the Warthog stick (at least for now), but it has a 15 cm extension to replicate the movement range of the F-4 stick. I am curious as to how this setup will work with SB Pro PE. Trying to get it working now, but it is already an hour past my bed time since I need to get up at 6 AM Please excuse any typos/grammar issues... I am tired and have just finished a glass of rum and coke
  9. Crewable vehicle mega poll

    My favorite tank of all time is the M60A1 as modeled by Tamiya in 1/35 when I was in the first grade. It was the 2nd plastic model I had built (an MPC 1/72 B-17G being the first). I recently picked up SABOW during a steam sale, so I finally have a decent sim/game based on the M60A1. But it isn't in the Cold War setting I would prefer. A Steel Beasts M60A1 modeled as well as the M1 would be my preference, but I would gladly accept any variant of the M60 made crewable. The external-only M60A3 presently available would be a great alternative as a crewable vehicle (even at lo-res). I would also enjoy the challenge of employing the M60A2.
  10. Where was eSim / Steel Beasts Pro ?

    Don't get me wrong, I like ArmA/VBS, but if you are doing serious armor training with expensive trainers replicating tank interior positions/controls, why would you not use Steel Beasts Pro?
  11. I was lucky enough to get a pass to attend I/ITSEC 2013 and took a day off from work to attend today. This is a huge military training simulators conference. I saw a lot of representation for Bohemia Interactive. Their "booth" was huge. More importantly, many if not most ground warfare simulations being demonstrated used VBS3 as their base. Sonalysts wasn't promoting Danger Waters or any other combat simulation/game, but they had a booth there promoting simulation of electronic systems for maintenance and operation training. Lockheed's P3D was the commonly used basis for many of the flight simulations. Cryengine also had a strong presence. One company's booth did have a banner/poster promoting all the systems they used to create their products which included "Steel Beasts". But other than that, I saw no evidence of an eSim presence. Rheinmetall Defence had a very nice Canadian Leopard 2A4 simulator on display and operated by Canadian armed forces (really great guys!). I was shocked to discover that they were using VBS 3 rather than Steel Beasts for a Leopard sim. I didn't get to talk to the Rheinmetall Defence representatives as they got busy demonstrating their systems, but I wanted to know if they knew about Steel Beasts and why they chose VBS over it for a tank simulator. The amount of overlap between consumer games and professional military training simulators is staggering. They had so many products that some dedicated pc gamers would buy if they were made available to the public despite their high price tags. Joysticks, throttles, rifles, and even replica ejection seats for most modern aircraft. Oculus Rift was being used for many demos, though there were many equivalent technologies in use as well. But you could see that when cost was a factor, high end gaming hardware was prevalent. Thrustmaster Cougar and Warthog HOTAS controls were very common as well as Logitech sticks. Natural Point (Track IR) had a sizable booth, too. While I had a great time talking to many representatives about their products (and comparing them to all the consumer level games I play), I was disappointed not to see even one demo using Steel Beasts Pro :icon_frown:
  12. New CodeMeter stuff

    My stick wouldn't work with firmware 1.15, it automatically updated to 2.02, and it still doesn't work with the weblink. Error 0x18080001.
  13. Win 8 + SB runs fine

    So when is SB Pro PE being converted to a mobile app?
  14. I cannot overstate the value of preplanned routes and waypoints. I can spend hours trying out lines of sight to find out the nature of the terrain and coming up with contingency plans. I don't mess with advanced conditional scripts yet, I just hop around as quickly as I can telling everyone which route to follow and monitoring their progress. If you don't get overwhelmed, the AI can be nudged into performing very effectively. The automatic cycle between retreat and re-engagement can be effective, or the AI can manage to retreat at a bad time and re-engage at a worse time
  15. Russia test Centauro near Moscow

    Russian buying western equipment? That would be something really new and different.
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