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  1. Maybe I am a bit late to the party with my answer, but I'll share my thoughts on the issue originally posted. I am 100% a civilian, and I find myself fascinated with military subjects. A sim like Steel Beast allows me to indulge and study military stuff I never would have been a part of. I have my "collection" of study sims that never leave my hard drive: Command, Dangerous Waters (naval combat), Falcon BMS and Il-2 (fighter planes), and Steel Beast (armored combat). I find that on Steel Beast, and the other study sims, the actual systems and weapons and vehicles are a bit daunting at first but soon stop being hard to use; the "switchology" becomes less and less intimidating... the complexity and frustration always comes from not knowing how to deploy and properly use whatever weapon system or vehicle is being modeled. This becomes the long term "hobby" aspect of all my study sims. And it can be very frustrating and/or satisfying. And there are so many questions to find answer to: for example in Steel Beats, am I supposed to have 3 vehicles in a platoon? 4? How do I set up a hull down position? What is the difference between a retreat route and a retreat condition? Of course, I am a civilian, so a lot of the unknowns of being a career military man can become a stumbling block... And sap a lot of the fun, because if I went thru the trouble of learning the proper switches and mechanics of using, say a M1A1, I don't want to be just playing a fantasy world-of-tanks scenario where I just go around blasting evil ruskies... I want to be able to simulate proper procedures and tactics, and use all the skills I developed within the simulation. Here is where a good study sim vs. a bad study sim can contrast: the good study sim thru a combination of tutorials, campaigns, missions templates, information and atlases, a fellow players community, youtube videos, good AI, tool tips, etc. teach and inform on tactics, procedures, history, deployment; this learning aspect beyond just the "cockpit switches, blinking lights, and bells" maintain my interest. The complexity of the sim is not on the switches/keyboard combos of key presses, but in how you apply your skills using these systems. The other day I played a scenario I downloaded from this website where a M1A1 platoon has to move towards an objective, capture it, and secure it for a short time. I used (what I think) is proper bound & cover tactics using pairs of M1s... and I was able to achieve the objective with no losses. That was such a sweet moment achieving my objective! It took me months of reading about tank tactics, trying out stuff, watching videos... to finally understand how to properly execute these tactics to be able to fight with my M1 platoon and survive the mission. I wish there where more missions available that taught me this stuff. And more missions that took me by-the-hand and guided me thru the process of learning how to deploy these tactics... The "aha!" moment when I was finally able to deploy my M1s efficiently was priceless and is the reason Steel Beats becomes a hobby. So to round up my answer: I do not see a problem with Steel Beast becoming more complex in the system/switches and vehicles it offers, the actual complexity found within the simulation is how to properly use them in a "realistic" manner. As a civilian, I love learning how to properly fight within the simulated world. On average I spend maybe 10-15 hours a month "playing" SB, and it takes me 6-8 months where I feel comfortable using whatever system I decide to try. The sim becomes a hobby when I start to study and research the proper way to deploy & maneuver and use the systems simulated on the sim. This is what gives the sim a long life on my hard drive... I keep coming back for more "aha!" moments... anything that SB can do to immerse me on this learning process is highly appreciated. I had Steel Beats for years, specially version 3... I finally decide this week to upgrade to version 4 and I am sure I'll be using it happily for a long time.
  2. You are correct Grenny... I should train and play with humans... I never tried multi-coop with humans. You are probably right, "die-roll mechanics" might not be the best way to implement friendly fire. Might end up being arbitrary and artificial. I have 4 new items for the wish list: 1. the TUSK addition to the M1A2 2. With the idea of multiplayer on my mind and TUSK... a back-of-the-tank infantry telephone, so a player using infantry/dismounts needs to approach other player's tank with the TUSK and use the back telephone to communicate and coordinate when in close proximity (BTW, how does infantry communicate with tanks, if at all, in the modern battlefield when coordinating tactics?) 3. the Stryker family of vehicles 4. French tanks for the player
  3. Hello you'all, I have no idea how to go about making the AI make the mistake of engaging a friendly. I am not a programmer. But I thought it would be a good addition to a future version of SB. It would force the player to be more realistic on how to plan and execute his tactics & maneuvers... isn't this one of the cool things about SB, it teaches proper producers? It would probably be a bit frustrating to new players and make the learning curve more steep. But this is a big part of the fun and attraction of SB! I remember I was soooo frustrated I could not really get myself to survive for long any engagements; until I learned how to move in bounds and use platoon members to cover my unit, and myself cover my wingmen (is this a tanker term: wingmen?). Once you master any of these tactical necessities you feel so proud of yourself... so I can imagine how frustrating it will be if the player is dumb enough to send troops across a line of fire an he gets a friendly fire incident; and how great a feel when a properly planned and executed mission not only results on objectives met but also no friendly blue-on-blue casualties. How does the AI knows what it is shooting at? Whatever check is going under the hood, can it be deactivated for a split second for a green crew if a % roll is failed? I am not a programmer, so I don't know how easy or difficult something like this would be... just my two cents on a feature I think makes the simulator more challenging and interesting.
  4. Snipers already on the game? Ok... I am going to be looking tonight on the editor... wish you had told me the Sheridan is in the game already, I would prefer this to sniper! Yup, target misidentification is what I was thinking about for blue-on-blue events. Last night I made a mission where it all became a very chaotic scene with units crossing all over shooting, ect... I thought to myself -"ummmm, in RL this would never be planned this way for the danger of fratricide, with units crossing sideways over the killzone designated for other units..."- Right now SB allows you to "cheat" knowing you can go all over the place without fear of being hit by your own units.
  5. Hello you all. My first ever post on this forum. Five items that would be interesting to see on future Steel Beast editions (my own particular wish list; SB is already quite amazing and close to perfect): 1. The possibility for the AI to fire by mistake on same-side units. (Maybe this is already possible?). It could be set up in the mission editor with a probability % of happening. This will force player to plan tactics considering the need to minimize the possibility of friendly units crossing the field of fire of other friendly units... I am sure this is very important in RL tactics. Also, there is a bit of a "cheat" where you can wait to get the "identified" call from the gunner to know what you are firing on... maybe add the ability to allow the gunner to proceed firing after a "fire" order from the TC even when he can't identify the target? If the TC is able to order "fire" on unidentified targets it weight heavily on the TC (player) to take responsibility of knowing what he is firing on. 2. Snipers. Adding the danger of snipers in SB would make the player think twice before unbuttoning. Right now it is so tempting to pop out the head for a look around all the time. But I bet in RL this not so... maybe some of the veterans in the board can correct me on this assumption? Specially around building and urban areas (where snipers seem to congregate) being able to add them in the mission editor would add a new dimension for the player to consider, forcing a more realistic way to operate. 3. Better "destructible" terrain and buildings that deforms with explosions and demolitions. 4. The set of tools to make maps. I am aware that these tools are available on the professional edition (a business decision... probably a really good one to only give them to the professional clients). And there are a gazillion maps available. And if you ask nicely some users with access to the tools might make the map you are looking for. But still I want to add this to "my" wish list... having access to the tools, in my case in particular, I would use them a lot. Reading about the process from other forum posts, it seems the process for making maps is intricate and tedious, but not complicated. The process sounds very (VERY) similar to making maps for IL2-1946. I do my own maps for IL2-1946, so finding and working with DEMS and making heightmaps, and importing them and doing corrective work with software is nothing new. It would be nice to make my own maps for specific scenarios I want to try and practice on, or make specific maps for missions in Syria, Cuba, Persian Gulf, South America, Taiwan, Australia... maybe future editions will include these tools for us lowly mortals without a security clearance? 5. Add the M551 Sheridan to the tank lineup.
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