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Nick Thomadis

UGCW Feedback v1.0+

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darktatka    1

I have suggestion about degameifing scenarion specific units. For example in Chancellorsville as UNION, you get several thousand men armed with spencers. For game purposes, it's best to hold the bridges with as much losses as possible, so that you get those spencers. There is no incentive to save those units. You can't even use them later if you fought well and they reamined on the battlefield. (Which they in my case did, inflicting thousands of casualties and receiving about 30% themselves)

It would be nice, if the game would notice that the player had taken care of those units and gave him a reward for this - for example by saying "The local force was impressed with your skill in battle and commander approved X volunteers to join your army" and player would get some money/manpower, based on percentage of survivors. Even better, receive a unit for cheap or no political points (like Iron Brigade).

Thoughts?

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First of all the game is great. Strikes a nice balance between the detail and realistic complexity of Gettysburg! engine games from 15-20 years back and the faster paced CA games. I don't think I have had this much fun on virtual battlefield since Medieval 1 TW and Austerlitz. The camp is in conception much superior and less distracting from the real deal than TW series' campaign and still preserves the fun of building your own army. And indeed thank you for at least partially adressing those scaling issues from EA that threatened to make the camp rather pointless (and turned me off personally).

Nevertheless some critique and suggestions:

A big one I think is the lack of information in battle deployment. You have no idea besides previous experience of the battle of exactly how useful a given corps is in a battle. Some of the later battles at least remark "tomorrows reinforcements" but simple breakdown, for example when hovering mouse over assigned formation in the pre-battle screen where you assign your corps' would be nice. For example "10 brigades will be available immediately, 5 will be available early on the first day, 5 will be available late on the second day".

The Fredricksburg phase transition is really, really gimmicky and there is absolutely no warning of it. Is it not possible to include the whole map when the Rebel center is opened up ala Shiloh?

Brock road map in the Cold Harbor campaign could use extension to the south by about roundshot's range. There is this really nice patch of woods in SW corner of the map flanked by creeks that is both perfectly accessible even to infantry and also a sensible spot as Union to delay or stop Longstreet's reinforcements and prevent them linking up with Hill on the northern victory point. However at the moment the map is quite congested and you end up spawn camping Longstreet if you deploy into those woods.

Shiloh and Stones River could both use either alternative second day or at least possibility for Union victory on the first (either by standing your ground or via some mild counterattack objective). The sudden Union retreat on Stones River was particularly awkward as I was all the way at Murfreesboro at end of first day.

I'm less certain if there should be chance for second day Union win at Chancellorsville. On the other hand the player may have foreknowledge that Lee is divided and press hard to the south for early victory and Jackson is almost surprisingly easy to delay and stop (some good defensive terrain there), but on the other hand it is odd to take a stab at the southern VPs for third time and being defeated in detail is ultimately the risk in dividing your force as Lee did. Possibly add a foward VP in Jackson's way, hold them all and Union wins on second.

The corps commander MG skill pick (the cavalry/artillery/infantry one) is a virtual no brainer. Meanwhile division commanders are just command stat padding. Move the corps commander MG skill to division commanders (unlocked and chosen at MG rank, perhaps automatically upgraded to slightly stronger form at LG) and give corps commanders new set of second tier skills to choose from.

Minor quibbles:

Allow us to rename random leaders. Some of the names are eyesores and they can get repetitive.

Lorenz and C.S. Richmond: were they really supplied with katana-bayonets unique among minie rifles? The high melee ratings on the pre-minie rifles are bit odd too particularly as these were fairly short weapons.

Burnside and possibly Maynard carbines could use bit buffing I think. The sense of progression with cavalry weapon seems to kinda stall at Sharps at the moment until you have those few Spencers in the end.

Recolour the remaining predominantly bronze artillery pieces. 6 pounder, 12 pounder howitzer, James.

Lastly a random, wild thought: How about an independent cavalry division slot under army command where you can only ever assign cavalry (and possibly a single special slot for a horse artillery) to avoid that "but I would be better off with another infantry brigade" syndrome. Would require probably excessive tuning of the battle deployments I suppose.

Edited by Bounty Jumper
Typo

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darktatka    1

I've finished the game as Union and I was a bit sad that I wasn't given an option to review my soldiers one last time. Some kind of credit roll maybe? It would be fun if the game would recognize a unit which has been with me since the beginning, the unit with the most overall kills, the unit with most losses, the unit which lost the most commanders etc.

 

I've grown to love some of those units. I care. Now they are gone because I've won :(

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ACW has not been my favourite period to game in the past, although I have read a decent bit of the history. UGCW has changed that and has been a great experience so far (still playing through my first campaign). I love the battlefield tactics part, which are generally easy to understand and adjust to, and look fantastic. I also love the campaign, with the experience of dealing with major decisions of where to focus, medicine vs logistics vs politics, etc. I spend more time in camp than in battle, but it is all very interesting, knowing that what I do will soon be tested in battle. 

Congratulations to Nick and the studio.

I hope in the future to see them tackling events of 80-50 years earlier, which would be spectacular. 

 

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