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Steel Beasts Beginner's Guide - Discussion Thread


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9 hours ago, Mirzayev said:

yes, it is simple

Relative to other games, its not.  Some of the basic complications...codemeter, map files download and location, split between documents folder and program folder and program data folder, multiple download files, etc.


All of these get somewhat mitigated through the manual and help on the forums, but lets not call it simple.  Simple is a one click download and start on Steam.  And that is becoming the benchmark for gamers.  For people that frequent the forum, it seems easy because we have seen the evolution and progression of why these steps are needed.  But from someone that doesn't know how to find a basic folder on a PC and is used to clicking install on a DVD or Steam, this game is quite a bit more complicated to install.


Again, I know why its like this, and so do most of the people that frequent this board.  But to someone who saw a video on youtube and wants to buy the game.  The video is great and is much needed.  I just want to point out that referring to the process is simple might be a little demeaning to someone new to the process.

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No problem.  I think that video is a great start to helping new buyers.  My opinion is that when a game needs to have numerous online help sessions just to get it installed, either the entire new game experience needs to be changed or we need a lot more VERY basic videos for users that are very prominently linked to in the docs.  Yours is a great start.

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There isn't one on "Installation" because the users tend to be using machines already configured in the classrooms or out of deployable Sec Trunks.


Similarly not one on "Networked Sessions" since the machines are all on the same sub net so you don't need to type in the Host's IP address, etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Beginner's Guide 2B, First Mission



I dimly remember making this scenario some 20 years ago as something suitable for beginner players with a fair bit of replayability; looks like you got one of those 5% outcomes in this run. Anyway, glad to see that it seems to serve the purpose well, even with the considerable reductions in difficulty that you made ... which is totally fine for your purpose, I'm not complaining!


I can only encourage every new player to also try and modify an existing scenario to your desires (like, how does it play if you set it to winter conditions, late afternoon, with strong wind and snowfall, and how that affects the overall tactical situation (hint, the tactical effect won't be dramatic, but still noticeable, particularly as far as visibility with thermals are concerned)).


Once that you do feel comfortable enough with the scenario I would recommend taking off the training wheels, however.


[*]I recommend putting a time limit back in. Doesn't have to be super-aggressive, but the purpose of a tank platoon sent on a reconnaissance mission (typically by the battalion commander) is to provide intelligence for the battalion to make certain decisions. An essential element of that is to provide the desired intelligence in a timely fashion.
[*]Three batteries of 155mm howitzers, that's a whole Brigade's tube assets (the artillery battalion). In practice you'd be lucky to have one on call.
[*]The M1A2SEP is probably the best protected vehicle in SB Pro for you as a player, and with AVePS as a stand-in for basically any active protection system that might actually be in use these days the mission becomes very forgiving. As you get better, raise the challenge!
Switching to the M1A1 would be a mild raise in difficulty, Leopard 2A4 could be considered gradually more difficult (though ammunition management is easier), M60A3 even more challenging, and if you were to pick the Leopard 1A5 and win the scenario consistently you'd earn my total respect but it'd probably be time to move on to some entirely different scenario.

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Completely agree with a gradual increase of difficulty as players get better. Some general thoughts:


1. Adding in a time limit is certainly acceptable; the one hour timeframe to beat this scenario is MORE than enough time if you are in tanks. Obviously this is flexible depending on the assets that you are using. It normally takes me about 30 minutes to beat this scenario with a Platoon of tanks, and about an hour if you are using IFVs (going slower, deploying missile teams and infantry, etc.) A time limit of say one hour is good for tanks; you can decrease it to 45 minutes if you want to up the tempo and keep things flying! 


2. The original scenario doesn't have indirect fire, which denies players the ability to be able to effect the enemy forces with multiple forms of contact to gain an advantage. Three batteries (especially with ICM) is absolutely overkill, but does allow the player to practice echeloning fires and setting conditions prior to moving forward from each phase line. If increasing the difficulty, the only IDF asset that I've found is useful 100% of the time is a section of mortars. I prefer using mortars over standard howitzers based on the very quick response time, and their usefulness in "mopping up" small teams of infantry that don't meet engagement criteria (are you going to hold up your entire unit's movement because one dude with an AK-47 happened to survive the destruction of his BMP-2?) They also still achieve the effect of forcing enemy units to displace, and it gives players practice in devoting your attention to multiple units (move them forward when necessary, make sure they can draw ammo, and make sure they are in a safe place.)


3. AVEPS can be 100% removed once you have an idea of what you are doing. Difficulty can also be raised by changing the enemy platforms you face (T-90s and BMP-3s anyone?) It really depends on the objective as well, and which platforms that you are comfortable with.


4. Me being nit-picky, but the scenario itself isn't really doing a good job of depicting an actually reconnaissance task as far as US Doctrine is concerned. I would ask what questions you are actually answering for your CO when the objective is to get to a specific point on the map, and to hit the enemies in your path with a sledge-hammer while doing so. For the player, success or failure is defined purely by moving a single vehicle onto the objective. A movement to contact to secure a key piece of terrain in advance of the Company's movement seems to be a bit better of a description. Missions that I have seen that do a very good job of depicting reconnaissance are the following (in no particular order):


1. Byto_1 included with the base game (highly recommended for Platoon-level! Includes answering basic questions about the enemy's composition.)


2. Arid Valleys Recon by @ben (A step up from Byto_1 with a similar premises of answering basic questions regarding the enemy's composition in NAIs. Combined tanks with mech infantry, with each being very manageable due to size.)


3. Area Reconnaissance at Neustadt am Rübenberge 1989 by @Panzer_Leader (To me, this is the definitive recon mission, requiring you to determine composition in an NAI, the route an enemy FSC is taking, and followed up by an infiltration to set conditions for follow on operations.)


4. Cavalry Troop Reconnaissance by @ben (Features an approximation of a modern US Cavalry Troop (M3A2s as opposed to M2A3s) which features defeating the enemy's disruption zone followed by targeting enemy High Payoff Targets with indirect fires.) 


Again, this isn't a knock on the scenario itself (I chose it for a reason!) but if you are wanting to depict a reconnaissance mission, the four options above are better choices IMO. 


5. Everyone always wants to download "the best scenarios" when there are some amazing scenarios that come with the game that, in my opinion, are underplayed. If you haven't taken some time to play the base scenarios that come with Steel Beasts, do so. There are quite a few gems in there! 

Edited by Mirzayev
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Yes, of course the mission would require an actual reconnaissance task. That could be the presence of mines (unfortunately that can't yet be properly randomized) or whether a certain bridge is suitable for a river crossing (unfortunately there is none on the terrain), the location of enemy and its disposition (but its too randomized for that). In that respect I wouldn't make the scenario the same way again today.

Then again, here's where a beginner player could start becoming creative with the map editor (add a small river and several bridges), then with the mission editor (explode one, all, or all but one of the bridges at mission start with IEDs). Low effort, but high payoff through a substantial effect on the conduct of the mission.

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1 hour ago, Ssnake said:

Yes, you can randomize FASCAMs, but no other mine type. Still, I suppose, good enough for at least some symbolic scouting effort.

Yeah its better than nothing!


I know this is not the Wish List thread but..  It would be very useful to have "Spawn If" conditions for Minefileds, obstacles, bunkers, emplacements etc!

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8 minutes ago, BadgerDog said:

Thank you for your excellent tutorials. 👍


They have been really helpful.


Question:  What directory do I place the Recon 2B.pin and Recon 2B.pin files?




Somewhere within your "steel beasts" folder.


You can add folders to help you organise your files.


I use "C:\Users\mark\Documents\eSim Games\Steel Beasts\My Scenarios\aPlan files" to store plan files, that way they are kept together and when you want to open a plan file (or overlay) file they are easy to access.


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6 minutes ago, BadgerDog said:

Thanks Mark... 👍


So I create "\Documents\eSim Games\Steel Beasts\My Scenarios\aPlan" and  put Recon 2B.mrk and Recon 2B.pin files in there?



Sure (or something similar - I just picked "aPlan" because when you hit "sort" it puts the folder name near the top of the list).


Then when you go to open / load the plan file and you are presented with a folder list you know where to look.


Of course you can just put them in "My Scenarios" but then they maybe harder to find - depending on how many files you already have in there.


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Another question....


In the execution phase of Recon 2B, there's a brief reference to using the SHIFT key while viewing an enemy target.  It places a small RED mark in viewfinder.


Supposedly it marks the target so it appears on the map, so unit friendly call signs know it's there.


Does this also show up for ALL friendly units, or just ones associated with your own unit?


It's academic for me anyway, as I can't see to make this function work?


Any ideas what I'm misunderstanding? 


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