One of Battlefront’s more popular Combat Mission titles, Shockforce is currently causing stirrings within the computer war game community because the sequel (Shockforce 2) running a little late.

Or rather, it’s not out that – you can’t be ‘late’ if not all parties agree on the timetable, and while Battlefront have previously communicated some vague noises about an October release, clearly that hasn’t happened yet.

As much as we like to tease developers in situations like this (especially developer with a history like Battlefront, who probably should know better by this point) we’re also going to seriously keep tabs on  things so that you guys can stay informed, which bring sus to today’s post.

As forum user IICptMillerII pointed out on the Groghead forums, there’s not actually much information about right now as to what the actual improvements are in Combat Mission: Shockforce 2 over the original game (which is now no longer for sale, incidentally).

After doing a spot of investigation, he managed to find a text file located within the CMSF2 Demo files that seems to list out the salient improvements (not quite patch-notes, but close enough). Whether those improvements actually exist in CMSF2 is another matter entirely, but we can get to that when the game actually releases.

Image Courtesy of the Battle Drill Blog

Here’s a summary of some of the more interesting improvements:

  • Amphibious Vehicles – Many vehicles now possess the ability to cross water based terrain –  Water, Ford Deep, and Reeds (although not Marsh or Deep Marsh), providing new tactical options.
  • Electronic Warfare – a new editable global setting is available that allows you to set the strength for both team’s communication nets separately, to the tune of ‘None’, ‘Light’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Strong’. The highest setting allows for the full use of communication assets, while none obviously blocks all of them. ‘Light’ only allows for limited vehicle based comms, with hand-held assets severely degraded. ‘Medium’ is a little better, but still doesn’t allow the use of precision-artillery missions.
  • Surface-to-Air Missiles – as seen in Combat Mission: Red Thunder, this gameplay feature as made it’s way into Shockforce 2 with new AA assets.
  • Precision Artillery – new ‘precision’ artillery shells are available to some fire support assets, namely amongst the American and British forces. They skip the spotting phase and possess a far higher degree of accuracy.
  • There’s whole host of other sections to peruse as well, covering Multiplayer, UI, Units & Combat Simulation, the map… even Commands, Soldiers and Fire Support.

When you see the list of changes laid out like that, you can sympathise with the developers a bit considering the scale of the task they under-took. Then again, plenty of one-man band studios manage to create successful, fully functioning games on time, which is why we only have so much sympathy. Hopefully the team at Battlefront make it to the finish line soon.

The last we heard, Battlefront were planning a piece-meal release of Combat Mission: Shockforce 2 content based on what was ready and what wasn’t. If you want to try out the demo, it’s available for download here.