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Old 10-17-2021, 01:52 AM   #31
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M1TP2 Observations:

On one mission, I was out of main gun ammo and was headed toward some BTRs and possibly a few BMPs. The reality is that the .50cal will “cut those vehicles to cheese” (a quote from an NCO back in the ‘80s when I asked him about .50 cal vs APCs).

So, I decided to cut loose and sure enough blew up the remainder of enemy APCs - about half dozen or so with the .50 cal. That was pretty good, ha ha! I could barely see the enemy vehicles but could see them explode when I hit them. I haven’t read everything on this sim but don’t recall that topic being discussed. Just FYI info.

I created a new platoon in an attempt to dominate M1TP2 on the Hard setting. Nope - not proficient enough yet. Got the whole platoon killed on campaign 1, mission 1. I might retry all campaigns on Normal instead until I get better.

Regarding reality vs computer simulations - I recall Ssnake discussing this in the SB1 manual - there’s no way really to compare a computer sim to actual gunnery. You can get close in the hand/eye coordination area only, maybe.

So - from that point of view, none of these sims are truly realistic. All that matters is that you’re enjoying the challenge of beating a program that a team of programmers wrote. So, don’t feel guilty for enjoying something as “unrealistic” as Mechwarrior 3 or Armored Fist 1, I don’t!

The most fun game for me has always been Armored Fist 1 (1994), FWIW. You can pretend you’re commanding a Company Team of mech and armor and have a pretty good time. And yes, gamers today care a lot about graphics, including my own son. He is perplexed as to why I play old tank games that look crude compared to Call of Duty or some other FPS with beautiful graphics. I explained that it’s not about the graphics, it’s about getting immersed in defeating the game!!! He doesn’t get it. It’s ok, lol!!

Back to M1TP2 - I might try something crazy….since there are 3 different M1TP2 versions that I am aware of, - unpatched, v 1.1, and v 1.2 - I wonder if I would corrupt my fragile Win98 OS if I tried to install all 3 versions in different directories.

Maybe upgrade to 1.1, then install the unpatched version again in a different location. Upgrade it to 1.2, then install the unpatched version yet again in a different directory. Just a thought. I might attempt this when I tire of playing it.

I’d forgotten how unstable Win98 is! Something like that could easily corrupt the registry and cause blue screens or other odd behavior. I installed Panzer Commander and iPanzer’44 a few days ago and Win98 got them confused with each other. iPanzer’44 ended up having Panzer Commander’s icon associated with it and I couldn’t fix it. I was never thrilled with either title so I uninstalled both for now.

More updates to follow on the mission to defeat and dominate M1TP2 with the legacy IBM Aptiva desktop rescue PC!!!!
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Old 10-17-2021, 06:50 AM   #32
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The most obsolete and needing of the change in M1TP2 is its modeling of the trees and forest patches. Frankly, this is totally archaic and pretty much even strange looking to anyone today.

I remember, that 1998 was the time that from the performance reasons forests were depicted as solid and unpenetrable blocks (EECH comes to my mind), but programmers and graphics artists at MPS here simplified the thing too much but making those blocks straight and linear.

As a temporary fix, I do while playing it today is either change the venue of the scenario to desert by simply replacing names and location of the map in the Battles text files. I know that this affects the gameplay as those crude (!) blocks are meant to hide the OPFOR.

Gunship! made the improvement to this, but it was still not as good as eSim had done in SB1. Trees and forests were IMHO one of the most important component of the combat land simulation.
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Old 10-17-2021, 11:36 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polak2 View Post
The most obsolete and needing of the change in M1TP2 is its modeling of the trees and forest patches. Frankly, this is totally archaic and pretty much even strange looking to anyone today.

Gunship! made the improvement to this, but it was still not as good as eSim had done in SB1. Trees and forests were IMHO one of the most important component of the combat land simulation.
All very true! I gotta get me a copy of Gunship!

The last tank sim I bought was T-72, I think back in 2006. That one was a quantum leap forward graphics-wise with even the terrain being deformable. I ordered it online and it came with two very cool labeled CDs and a great paper manual. The whole thing arrived in my mailbox in a brown envelope and it gave my computer a serious workout.

T-72 was a very hard game, nobody’s computer was good enough to run it at the time, and it failed miserably. I beat that sucker more than once.

M1TP2 and Steel Beasts did something right, though. For the first time, a player could manipulate the joystick with skill and lase and hit the target. iM1A2 had that modeled pretty accurately as well but I couldn’t get into it, unfortunately.

I’m probably gonna have to take a break as the wife is getting mad at me for playing too much, ha ha ha!!! (I know everybody’s been there!)
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Old 10-17-2021, 12:55 PM   #34
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wife is getting mad at me for playing too much, ha ha ha!!! (I know everybody’s been there!)
Smoke grenades won't work here I am sure... Slow down then.
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:07 AM   #35
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Default Observations After Memory Upgrade

I pulled the original 64MB RAM stick and replaced it with two 128MB sticks. I ran some 3DMark99, 2000, and 2001 benchmarks and noticed it’s running slower!

I am not entirely surprised. Even though I ran memtest for 24 hours and it passed, my current setup is not as fast.

M1TP2 still runs ok.

Now - if I could just play it more proficiently….I keep getting the whole platoon killed on the normal and hard modes!!
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:38 AM   #36
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Default Very Short Clip



I am pretty satisfied with how M1TPII plays.

It might be fun to try out a few vintage graphics cards to see how good it can get.

If anybody knows how to do a proper video capture from within Windows 98, please send some details.

As I recall Fraps was the thing back then. I’ll do some research.
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Old 10-21-2021, 09:10 AM   #37
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For screenshot:
Press the combination [ALT]-[Print Screen] simultaneously.
this will capture the window graphics and store in the clipboard.

FRAPS for video.
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Old 10-21-2021, 01:00 PM   #38
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One thing which is for sure superior in 3Dfx is smoke or to be more general - transparency and semitransparency rendering.

About being more proficient in M1TP2 it is my opinion that the maps are too small and they do not allow for more efficient maneuvering of the friendly units around OPFOR. A 2x size map would be IMHO better and I was hoping to try to mod that.
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Old 10-21-2021, 01:34 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Polak2 View Post
One thing which is for sure superior in 3Dfx is smoke or to be more general - transparency and semitransparency rendering.

About being more proficient in M1TP2 it is my opinion that the maps are too small and they do not allow for more efficient maneuvering of the friendly units around OPFOR. A 2x size map would be IMHO better and I was hoping to try to mod that.
If you can mod the map, that’s impressive!

A few other observations about realism - which is kind of a ridiculous subject…

There should be a way to designate sectors of fire. I recall at the Infantry Officer Basic Course (IOBC) back in the ‘80s, there was in-depth discussion about everyone engaging the same target, blowing it to hell, only to have an unobserved enemy element fire upon your unit, while you’re distracted over killing the 1st target.

On Bradley Table XII, which is the platoon level qualification at Fort Hood, we would be “gigged” or docked points if somebody fired on a target outside of his sector of fire. That was a major part of our eval, come to think of it.

I noticed in M1TP2, sometimes somebody would fire upon my target right as I’m about to engage. True, I was Bradley Mech, not Armor, but the principle is the same.

Also, something that I find humorous- tanks running into each other! Lol!!! Maybe that happens in war (I never saw any action in theatre so I do not know), but in training, that’s also MAJOR and requires an investigation if it happens. I think everyone involved in the collision is mandated to report to the medics and I’d have to do an accident report. Anyway, that’s going on all the time in M1TP2 as you all know.

One final laugh - Bradley IFVs traveling cross country with the TOW launchers up. That’s another big no-no…my gunner relayed to me that can seriously damage the launcher or at least it’s calibration.

I admit it’s kind of fun knowing a little bit about this subject and observing the game companies’ sometimes inaccurate take on things.

Here’s another one that keeps popping in my head - “Always scan in low mag, sir!” I was kind of admonished by my gunner in the COFT simulator for scanning for targets in High-mag. In M1TP2, I’m always scanning in low mag as a result….I can still hear the disgust in SSG Guzman’s voice, lol!

I guess I’m on a roll - the OP Order…wow, what they’re depicting in the game is far from what we were taught. It should be one sentence that relays, “we are successful when ___ happens”. It’s ok. I don’t really like 100% realism.

Last edited by RetroGamer; 10-21-2021 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:13 PM   #40
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Quote:
I admit it’s kind of fun knowing a little bit about this subject and observing the game companies’ sometimes inaccurate take on things.
this is the "cherry on the cake" in this thread.

Quote:
Always scan in the low mag, sir!
a good one and in a way very intuitive, as one can cover much more of the surroundings and do it faster.

Quote:
Bradley IFVs traveling cross country with the TOW launchers up]...[ can seriously damage the launcher or at least it’s calibration
nice detail to know.

Quote:
Tanks running into each other
that maybe could be cured.

Quote:
There should be a way to designate sectors of fire.
we need to dig into mission editing.. its all a text file, but some are not.

Just wish more people expressed interest in this old great tank simulation.
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Old 10-22-2021, 05:50 AM   #41
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Question: are the tanks in the platoon marked in any way to differentiate the Platoon Leader, Platoon Sgt and both wingmen?
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Old 10-22-2021, 08:44 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Polak2 View Post
Question: are the tanks in the platoon marked in any way to differentiate the Platoon Leader, Platoon Sgt and both wingmen?
There were no obvious markings other than stenciled vehicle numbers that you could only see close up.

Each Bradley CFV and IFV had a number stenciled on the back. We were working with M1 tank platoons, and as I recall the tanks and every vehicle had a marking denoting it’s specific unit but there was nothing other than that.

Mine, for example, was HQ #301 if I remember correctly. The scout platoon was technically part of the headquarters company even though we reported directly to the battalion commander.

The vehicle designations described in the M1TP2 manual appear accurate and were similar to how our vehicles were marked. FM 17-98 was my main guide book back in the day. I studied it religiously in the fall and winter of 1990!

There’s a flaw in the logic of the scout platoon mission in that “what can be seen can be hit, what can be hit can be killed” - our mission was to gain and maintain contact with the enemy - apparently without being seen….in a two story tall screaming M3 CFV!

We carried twice the ammo as a standard M2 IFV, but we were not to engage.

Upon studying tactics, I came to the conclusion the scouts mission is basically to get out in front of the battalion and if we get destroyed, the main force knows where the enemy is! The awfulness of that was discussed in the first M1 Tank Platoon manual!! Sending vehicles out to see what shoots at them. That was an effective tactic in the first game even though it was frowned upon.

I came to the conclusion we should’ve been on motorcycles or something quiet and camo’d up. You can’t sneak around in an M3 Bradley CFV. You will be seen - and hit. I would’ve preferred a hummer with the windshield down and top off but even that’s a bit loud.


More trivia - around that time, there were only two PC games depicting platoon level armored combat. M1 Tank Platoon (the best) and Armored Fist 1994 (the most fun for me). Ed Dille wrote the Armored Fist Strategy Guide which was fun reading. I also noticed he is credited in the M1TP2 manual. His name also appears as a tank crewman on the platoon roster in the game!!

I enjoyed Armored Fist immensely because it was a civilian’s take on the subject. That game was just really interesting. They got some stuff right, some was total fantasy, probably because everything was classified then.

Fun memories…ancient history now.
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Old 10-22-2021, 11:10 AM   #43
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It’s been years but I recall some units did have their own markings on the rear of their vehicles. I believe that was a unit-specific SOP.

They consisted of symbols. Our unit had no such markings, however.

Oh, and full disclosure….I am by no means an expert in any of this stuff. I was a young lieutenant in the National Guard, put charge of a cavalry scout platoon in the fall of 1990. I was light infantry prior to that so I had to learn mech and armor specific tactics quick. By April of 1991 we had done about 6 months on active duty which included an NTC rotation. By May 1991 it was all over.

To be an effective leader, you must be able to function on very little sleep in uncomfortable weather conditions. You must be able to pay attention during briefings and pick out what’s specific to your platoon, then brief the PSG and section leaders.

It sucked, big time! I wasn’t always the greatest at it, either but I tried. You have to be patient when things break, too. CVC helmets, final drives, the main gun, radios…they all broke down which I did not have the patience for.

Yup - ancient history now. I still enjoy armor simulations on the PC because when you’re tired, you can quit and rest!!

Last edited by RetroGamer; 10-22-2021 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Can’t do it right the first time!
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Old 10-22-2021, 11:58 AM   #44
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Great insights and memories RG! Thanks.

Here is another great and revealing piece by Ssnake from SB1 manual on how is difficult to convey and simulate real "tanking" on PC :

Quote:
PHYSICAL STRESS

You don’t have to do hard labor on your PC. A tank crew member has to do a lot of manual labor. Each round weighs about 25 kilograms, and there are 42 to load into a tank. The loader will jump in and out of the tank numerous times a day.

The whole crew will probably sleep only two to four hours a day for weeks. It stinks.

It’s loud inside a tank. You may not wash yourself for days, and then you get some ice cubes instead of a warm and comfortable shower. The rolling motion of the moving tank might cause nausea -- somebody’s barfing into a rubber boot, but the tank won’t stop. Boring routine for hours, days, even weeks.

Then an enemy attack, all of a sudden. And it’s over even before you fully realize that there was a threat to your life!

If you care to simulate the routine day of a tanker, here’s what you can do. (Take care to avoid all social contact, though, or you may find yourself under sedation in a rubber room.) Once you’re alone, stop washing for a couple of days19. Then start 19 OK, if it’s absolutely necessary, use a bowl of ice water. Shave yourself with a blade, but no foam! Use face paint afterward, and diesel fuel as a deodorant.

Exercise by repeatedly climbing some dressers in your bedroom. Fold yourself into a locker for a few hours, and then start weight-lifting your 17“ monitor. Avoid sleeping for more than three hours per day - in the locker, of course! Use duct tape and fix yourself to your seat.
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Old 10-22-2021, 04:43 PM   #45
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Great insights and memories RG! Thanks.

Here is another great and revealing piece by Ssnake from SB1 manual on how is difficult to convey and simulate real "tanking" on PC :
I do remember reading that as well. It’s very accurate. I think my experience would’ve been more enjoyable if my platoon and battalion as a whole had lived and trained together a little longer. Everything was rush, rush, rush….no sleep, constant field training.

I really did not know WTF I was doing at first which was horrifying. In retrospect, I should’ve gotten the whole platoon together and started troubleshooting the radios and intercoms. The same care we take of our desktop PCs nowadays should’ve been done on our electronic commo equipment back then. The stuff was always broken which infuriated me. I didn’t know enough about it at the time, unfortunately. Contact cleaner, reinforcing cables with heat shrink tubing or tape, maybe….anything to make that stuff more durable. A CVC helmet for example, had little tiny wires - like something from cheap Walmart headphones, connected to the mic. They were always broken or about to break. We should’ve re-wired and rebuilt all that stuff because commo is the key to coordination. I’m sure all the Army’s stuff is different now,

A gunner in a Bradley or Tank, or LAV could actually have some job satisfaction if everything works right. We did get very proficient right at the end. My Bradley crew and I ended up with an almost perfect score on one of those range qualifications. The tracking of moving targets and fire commands in M1TP2 is very accurate.

I also pulled the trigger on another Voodoo2 3Dfx card. It may or may not work in SLI mode with my existing card. I’ll find out. If it does, I’ll make some M1TP2 Fraps recordings of gameplay in SLI. If it just doesn’t work, oh well - I’ve taken it as far as I can.

The only way my 1999 era computer can communicate with the outside world is via CDs. I’m not sure it’s even capable of burning CDs, only reading them. I don’t think a USB thumb drive would work, either.

I may just end up putting the iPhone in front of the screen because I don’t know how I’d get the movie files off the thing and onto my laptop.

I’ll keep you posted.

Last edited by RetroGamer; 10-22-2021 at 04:54 PM.
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