Monday, May 14, 2018

Military Operations - An Early Peek at a Unique Portrayal of Warfare

All screenshots shown in this blog are from a beta version of Military Operations and as such, may not reflect the final released product.

If you are reading this blog, you are likely familiar to the immense scope of WWII. The massive Armies, the hundreds of kilometers separating them from victory, the gigantic amount of resources needed to keep them in the fight, plus the astonishing skill set required to be in command and make sense of all the chaos of war.

The operational level of warfare has been brought to our computer screens in different formats and we have fought our operations for better or for worse. A few of us have shivered at the thought of how an Army-sized martial Leviathan would look like, from head to tail, splattering destruction over the peaceful countrysides of yesteryear. But for the most part, we have found comfort in the conceptual efficiency of counters or hexagons.

Military Operations (MilOps) is trail blazing a portrayal of warfare never seen before in an off-the-shelf computer simulation. With a terrain engine that can potentially represent the entire globe, from orbit to street level in a visually attractive format, it will bring the "World" to "War". So novel is this approach that the first thing you will experience in MilOps is a benchmark utility to make sure that MilOps will run properly in a wide variety of hardware combos. This benchmark will be released around June, according to this press release.

The gameplay will be in continuous time with computer-driven staffers and commanders for both the player's and enemy's side. The scope of the gameplay will be operational/grand-tactical, although the engine doesn't squander the thrill of seeing individual vehicles and troops executing their orders.

The development team's blog is choke full of material outlining the design ethos for Military Operations. The mention of Robert Leonhard's "Fighting by Minutes" scores very high in my book, but the solid thought given to the current state of affairs in operational level wargaming is worth of mention. The developers have extensively played other operational level wargames and make a solid case for how they can be improved.

I can tell you that I have never seen a virtual battlefield of this size or a representation of war this extensive. It is nothing less than a shock for me to see how much real estate and vehicles a supply train takes. Similarly, the view of just a single panzer battalion moving into the attack humbled me. The terrain can wither out your armor shock if you are not careful to take it into consideration. And off course, there will be command and control considerations on top of that. I'm bracing for a war in a way I never experienced before.

It is always refreshing to see new quality wargames coming out. MilOps promises more than just a novel approach but an ambitious and brave take on wargaming.



Paolo said...

OMG! This looks like positively a massive game! And I use "game" in a manner of speech...

Stunning! Sadly it's going quite under the radar...
Mind if I advertise it a bit too?

JC said...

Hi Paolo,

Great to see you around. Thanks for reading. Please feel free to spread the word.


Bil Hardenberger said...

Looks interesting.. but you must lose some tactical detail at the pointy end of the spear... I doubt it is possible to have the realism of a Combat Mission at the tactical level combined with the realism of Command Ops at the Operational?

From the screen shots it doesn't look like the tank/vehicle representation is nothing more than a graphical representation of the unit... still I will need to see more to have those questions (among others) answered.

JC said...

Hi Bil,

That I don't know, yet. From the version which I have (the latest benchmark), I can see individual soldiers and vehicles moving into contact, pushing, shooting, retreating based on the threats that are up against them, and off course dying sometimes. A video is coming up sometime, maybe that will help.

Another interesting thing is that the way to give orders is by drawing them on the terrain, and then the computer-based staff executes those orders.



Bil Hardenberger said...

Well I suppose it doesn't have to be as detailed as a tactical specific game, after reading the blog it sounds like they are on to something and I'll be looking closely at this one.

Not happy about lack of multiplayer, though I understand why, also no mission editor yet, and I am not a fan of Steam... so that also is a downer. Would also prefer a turn based wego system ala CM so we can play via email.

Also it appears like the maps might be generated from Google Earth data.. any details on that?

Marco Diaz said...

This promise so much, it could be a turn over on simulations and strategy, kind of a Command Ops more open box and with great potential.

Anonymous said...

Hi JC,
Thx for the preview & keeping your interesting site up to date.
To my surprise, the screenshots showed the Ardennes 1940, which I believe is rare.
Do you know any other simulators that cover Belgium 1940, esp. the crossing of the Meuse near Dinant or tank battles near Flavion & Gembloux ?
Thx Koen