I own this game and I'm slowly gaining more and more understanding of this game by starting to play to less complicates scenario's with not so much units. There is a lot to learn. Not only about tactics but about all the hundreds and hundreds of weaponsystems, radars, sonars etc. But it is very immersing! I'll stick to it!
And on Youtube there are a lot of video's explaining the game and AAR's. If you like to plan things and in a wargame environment and in the -I think- most realistic setting around: this is your game!
Having said that, the air tutorial is a play by play movie of the scenarip with that name which comes with the game. So basically you're playing the game while learning it. Same as in the tutorials which came with the CM games.
This is a really great game. There are tons of scenarios available as both paid DLC and from the community. Integration with Steam Workshop makes getting new scenarios a piece of cake. I strongly recommend that you download the Database Images and Descriptions from Warfare Sims (http://www.warfaresims.com/?page_id=1876). You can also use stylized icons (pictures of ships, planes, and subs) rather than NATO symbols if you prefer.
A couple of important tips for a new player:
Do not play in real-time. Scenarios are long. @Lethal, four hours is short for CMANO. Most scenarios are several days long. CMANO does a great job simulating with time compression. I tend to run on 15 second - 1 minute and then slow down to 1-5 seconds when things get exciting.
Command, do not lead. Coming from a game like CMx2, the tendency is to try and micromanage your units. Don't do it. Remember this game is called Command: Modern Air / Naval Operations. Use the Mission Edit to send units and groups of units on missions to accomplish your objectives. Use the Doctrine Editor to set ROE. You will need to jump in and lead individual units occasionally but it should be the exception, not the rule.
BTW, if you want to try CMANO but are not sure about your commitment for the price, check out Command: Northern Inferno and Command: Chains of War. These are two stand alone games based on the CMANO engine. They include period-based campaigns (Northern Inferno is a NATO/USSR conflict set in the mid-1970s and Chains of War is present day US/Korea/Pacific conflict). The entry price is USD 20.
@Lt. Smash - thx for the advice. I lashed out and picked up Northern Inferno as well. Obviously a long learning curve that I will take my time with. I did note that you could drill down to single aircraft and their payload etc. But as you say, it is more a game of Command than micro-management.
Flashpoint Command: Red Storm is more a command game than individual formations as well. Once I have that under control I'll give CMANO a bit more time.
Command: The Silent Service was recently announced. It is another stand alone expansion to C:MANO that focuses in on submarine warfare. It's going to include a bunch of new scenario's and some campaigns as well. Should be interesting for anyone who currently owns C:MANO, or for anyone who is interested in submarine warfare and wants to get their feet wet without spending the full $80 for the full game.
Yeah, you can buy any of the "spin off's", Like Shifting Sands or Northern Inferno for 19.99. They are standalone games unto themselves, but they give you an idea of what the game is about and if you like it, you can spring for the big boy version.
This "game" is an operational level battle simulator. You have to know weapon systems ( good thing I posted a link to Jane's in the website review section...LOL) and you have to understand modern naval and aerial warfare tactics, it ain't a walk in the park, it's like work but very satisfying when you pull something off, like sinking some heavy duty ships. Think Harpoon, then think steroids, then think Harpoon on steroids.
An update to my CMANO experience. Although I purchased it back in July 2017, I have only just got around to braving the tutorials! After 17 hours of tutorial time and a few hours watching Youtube I have a good idea of the mechanical basics of the game. So, yes it does have a fair grind to cover the initial learning curve. Having said that the mechanics seem to be relatively straight forward, if detailed. Of course, the devil is in the details if you want to master the game.
The first tutorials are on Air Ops. This is a bit unfortunate as it is the most complex of the three - Air, surface vessel and submarine. If you find air ops a bit daunting move onto the other two and come back to Air later. The mission editor (not scenario editor) is powerful and a key to understanding how to play the game initially when you should get the AI to do most of the tactical stuff. You can do this manually later when you have a better understanding of the mechanics of the game.
From what I have seen to date CMANO offers a very good look at the multi-level puzzle that is modern air and sea operations. If you have the time and interest, and are not in a hurry to play the campaign, I would recommend it. If you are a WW2 player and eschew other periods I would recommend having a look at Flashpoint Campaigns - Red Storm and Cold Waters to dip your toe into modern warfare. Jumping straight to CMANO might be a bridge too far.
There are a number of new user created tutorials that are now included in the latest updates. These walk through basic to more advanced air operations step by step and make it easier to get a handle on air operations than the fairly complex original one provided with the game. They cover air to air warfare, and air strikes, including SEAD ops and jamming. There are also a number of other user tutorials on various other subjects including some newer features like the use of cargo and mines.
A final update on my CMANO discovery tour! I have put in 40 plus hours on CMANO so have a reasonable idea of how to use the UI and appreciate the gaming experience. The initial experience of CMANO is daunting. A little like walking into a library with the books spread all over the floor! Where do you start?! The CMANO V1.0 manual has the feel of having many different authors, all with english as a second language. IMHO in an otherwise brilliant game, this is a major flaw and I'm sure has put off many prospective players.
However, as some posters have mentioned the community have come to the rescue and placed the important books in a smaller room! There is still a perseverance factor involved but authors such as Baloogan have produced some very useful Youtube material, and I also like Bunyap for how he organises his attack. Once you get your head around the Mission Editor, (note not for making scenarios but instructing your units what to do) you realise that the UI works very well, in fact the mechanics are well thought out. Plus community authors have produced tutorials that are in suitable bite sized chunks for the average bear to digest.
In the end, there is nothing like game time and repitition. The reward is a military gaming puzzle that provides a credible simulation of the real deal. Scenarios have good replayability and the solutions are many and varied. You will fail a lot! But that just means you have to dig into the detail and find the clues to getting your missiles on target. Sometimes this will be a UI feature - like how to plot the course of the Tomahawk missiles to use terrain to mask their approach, or it maybe a characteristic of the enemy's sonar you need to dig up - only having HF sonar - in the comprehensive database which is readily accessible via useful hyperlinks.
As the title suggests, this game is about command. Most of the gameplay (90%) involves planning the attack with the assets at your disposal and letting your troops do most of the tactical stuff. Of course, your big picture view of the battlefield allows you to change plans on the fly as new data is obtained. There are opportunities for tactical involvement, but at the initial stage concentrate on the basics of the Mission Editor. Plenty of gaming hours to be had if this style of game suits you.
The Silent Service expansion allows more tactical involvement by the player. Plenty of additional material via offical products and the community.
There is an unofficial version of multiplayer and there was talk of developing a WEGO multiplayer version - which I think would suit this game.
I have had a go at editing parts of the manual and added some material that should be of interest to players. Bit of an ongoing project - My Command Manual.