Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations ("The Harpoon that Never Was")

A bit disappointed that I haven’t seen a thread on this warga… (gets elbowed)… ow, sorry, “simulation” here.

Basically if you disappointed with how Wargame: RD’s naval combat turned out, or have an interest in push-button warfare (“Tomahawks and cappuccinos! That’s the way you fight a war!”), Command is your game. Mind you, you’ll have to deal with the $80 pricetag endemic of Matrix joints (happily, since I beta-tested it I got a coupon that brought it down to $60) and visuals straight out of Google Maps (on the plus side, whenever I’m working on my laptop in a Starbucks and I want to take a break, people can almost think I was still working while I’m playing it).

And something that will look familiar to Harpoon aficionados:

I don’t particularly mind, but there was a thread out there. Only know since I referenced it last week while deciding if I wanted to pick it up or not.

The $80 price point holds me back. I never get my money’s worth out of Matrix’s “monster” games and have finally broken myself of the habit. If it had come out at $39.99 I would have been on it like stink on a chimpanzee.

That people have spent $60 on experiences that last little over eight hours (if that) and that I’ve spent probably close to two hundred in Command did make it an easier pill for me to swallow.

That, and I’ve paid subscription fees for MMOs before, and that I paid $200 for my TrackIR and HOTAS set-up to play combat flight simulators properly.

Command’s price (it was put up on Steam for an intro price of $60) is a bit of holy war, as are all of Matrix’s prices.

tgb123 has the right of it for me as well.

That’s you. IN the past I’ve spent $80 on War in the East, War in the Pacific, and a couple of the Command Ops titles. The result has always been the same - install, play the tutorial, scan the manual, fire up a scenario, stare slack-jawed at the monitor for a while, and then uninstall.

It’s not them, it’s me. But either way, no mas.

Command’s price (it was put up on Steam for an intro price of $60) is a bit of holy war, as are all of Matrix’s prices.

Not all. Most of their new releases are coming out at $40 or less. If Command was say $49.95 with a $10 discount when first appearing on Steam, I porbably would have grabbed it.

Yeah, I bought it at release, and it’s a fabulous simulation/sandbox thingy, but do I actually play it? Um, not really. Same with WitE. Will I buy WitW this December? Probably not.

So the statement genrally goes along the lines that Matrix provides niche games and their price point is what it is for that demand. Is counter with what Paradox is doing . They’ve embraced steam which as far DRM goes I always get concerned with, but what they’ve gone on to do is price their products more reasonably. They’ve just wrapped up a 75% off sale week. I challenge Matrix to produce as many toolkit and sandboxes as we have with EU, Victoria and Crusader Kings.

I went and jumped into the old Matrix pricing hat but it is relevant here. I started the other Command thread because I was an excited Harpoon vet eager for more and especially with a more contemporary database. I just couldn’t do it at that price point. Now it is interesting to note that when Matrix has been more conventional I’ve jumped in a lot more readily. No regrets on getting into Commander: The Great War. And though I’m disappointed in Space Program Manager it was the kind of game I wanted to encourage, well except the part where the design is terrible but the theme and the arc they seem to want to build looked good. For now Command will wait.

Tom M

I bought WITP and have played it maybe 110 hours
I bought WITE and have played it maybe 8 hours
I bought Command and have played it 4 hours
I bought Steel Beasts Pro and played it 34 hours.

Yes, they are spendy but they ALL have years and years of gaming…whether you play them now or later. They aren’t the 20 hour adventure game or the 60 hour RPG and then that’s it. I have them installed and will keep them installed as long as they work so I can get on them whenever I feel like really getting my wargame/simulation fix. But, we all spend our money on what we want. I bought a 14" dob telescope that I’ve used twice in two years…very spendy…but it’s there if Mercury ever crashes into the moon or any other cool occurance happens. I also have a TON of boardgames that I never play because no one I know plays them but I love complex stuff.

As a sandbox it is quite entertaining to load up the editor mode and see who’d win in a fight between a Ticonderoga-class Aegis cruiser loaded with 20 LRASMs vs a modernised Kirov, or to see how many MiG-21s it takes to take down an F-35.

just one and a little luck i’d say [/snark]


I am a member of WarfareSims (development team of Command) and I can try to answer any player questions about Command (except for price).


Welcome Dimitris, nice to have you here!

I have dreams of playing this on a massive multi-monitor setup like this…

Say Dimitris, is it true that this game (simulation) is a direct descendant of a harpoon successor project named ‘blue pill’ ? could you tell us a little about its development story?

I am quite tempted to buy it as soon as I have some disposable income, if only for the toybox value.


Command is a from-scratch project that borrows some concepts from the Harpoon family but also from other successful games (e.g. anyone familiar with TOAW will recognize the roots of the Event Engine), as well as original ideas of the development team. It was originally unveiled under the working title “Red Pill” until its present title was determined and the publishing deal was made with Matrix Games (cue irony).

As to the development roots, I’ll be a little lazy and quote the relevant section from our Grogheads interview:

Command is a culmination of all our hobby experiences. Our interest was born reading & watching the great techno-thrillers of our youth (Forsythe, Clancy, Ludlum, Coyle, Brown etc.), absorbing all the political & military history and facets of the Cold War (which at that day seemed far from over) and playing some really great amazing games of the era (F-19, RSR, M1TP, SPI’s CentFront series, the Fleet series, Gunship, Steel Panthers, Fleet Defender, Tornado, Harpoon and loads more). Our involvement with Harpoon and AGSI helped cultivate it as we met each other through the Harpoon community and really started learning about modern warfare, talking with professionals and thinking about simulations. We started out as avid modders for Harpoon 2 and then 3 and had great success helping to grow the Harpoon community and helping AGSI develop their game (including doing the grunt work for their first pro deal). All of this played a part in our own development and helped us build a strong and skilled team that had a vision of the game they wanted to build and the energy and motivation to do it. So we reached a point where we really wanted to do our own thing and as is now self evident we went ahead and did just that.


Quick question about the gameplay for those that have played:

Although I loved Harpoon 2, I always played with whatever magical feature that made datalinks irrelevant because I loathed having to surrender control of platform when I didn’t have contact with it. Is this functionality supported in Command? Similarly, I’ve seen functionality for ‘Manual’ fire control, but is this a binary option? Can I surrender control of my point defenses to the AI while I manually control offensive weapons?

Yes. Communications between units are assumed to be omnipresent and instantaneous, including direct control of submerged submarines. (We have several good ideas on COMINT and comms jamming for the future but these still need further development). OTOH comms between platforms and weapons (ie. weapon datalinks) are meticulously modeled and are subject to disruption, with the results varying according to the weapon. (Some weapons outright self-destruct if their “leash” is broken, other search out for a new parent, others simply go autonomous etc.)

Similarly, I’ve seen functionality for ‘Manual’ fire control, but is this a binary option? Can I surrender control of my point defenses to the AI while I manually control offensive weapons?

Yes. This is in fact the default setting, when the unit in question is not assigned to a mission. You can also go to the other extremes (don’t fire anything unless manually instructed to, or go full trigger-happy) through a number of AI & doctrine/RoE settings.

Awesome, Dimitris. Thanks for the response! It really makes me regret having missed the intro steam sale :)

Y halo thar!