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Ildarion

Thoughts about new features no matter how ridiculous they are

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Some people posted ideas for features alongside their favorite era in

One idea in particular drew my interest and immagination: A strategic map.

However I would like for the strategic map to stay true to the General part of the series name. So no control over towns, no control over politics etc.
What then remains for the strategic map?

-A view of how your fellow generals are doing in their respective theaters, which would deal with the idea i had playing UG:CW, that i was the only general actually fighting the enemy.
-Room for an expanded politics system, where you can use influence to requisition officers and maybe even brigades or divisions from your fellow generals.
(On a side note: if you would add something like this it may even be used at a later date for some co-op/versus campaign multiplayer)
-Espionage for use to determine where your enemy is opperating in your theatre/campaign area.

These functions on their own however might not provide enough reason to add it ass a feature.
But there is another thing we could add in order to fill a gap in UG:CW: namely a theatre map.

This map would for example show the state(s) (in UG:CW) you are fighting in.
On this map you, as a general control either your corps and/or your divisions. (maybe in a way similar to skirmishers)
This map has fog of war, so you would need to scout (with cavalry divisions, for example) in order to find your enemy.
The map is also where your objectives for your current theatre are located. These could be towns or bridges or railway junctions or a particular important area of terrain.
These could be pre determined or dynamically generated and given as orders from higher up. Or they could be chosen by the player, based on the intel they have gathered. or a mix of these. (game gives several objectives and player chooses any number of them)
In UG:CW i always wondered why the battle i was playing came about even though the historical introductory text explained that a little. I still wondered, "what if the army behaved differently".
With a theatre map, the player can somewhat determine when and where a battle occurs, and thus know for him/herself why that battle is taking place.

The big link between the strategic and theatremap however is logistics.
On the strategic map this would show towns, locations etc, where your army's uniforms, weapons and uniforms are beign produced. The player can see how many are produced within a certain time and to where they are allocated. This would expand the influence/political part of the strategic map so that the player can alter the allocations of a particular type of weapons so that he recieves more of them.
In the Theatre map the player can determine where he places his supply depot(s) and current Headquarters. The player can also decide from where his supplies enter the theatre.
Using espionage and scouting the Player should be able to determine where the enemies supplies are and be able to raid them. If the player is not carefull though, his own supply lines might be raided aswell.

 

Now we have 2 features which add, in my opinion, a ton of gameplay opportunities, and interact whith each other to create some interesting mechanics.
There are some fairly significant drawbacks though: most notably mapmaking for the theatres, AI work (a Player strategic AI, An enemy strategic AI, Theatre AI just to start with)
But i think this is a good point on which to start discussing my idea, what do you guys think, and what kind of features/mechanics would you like to see?

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Allow tactical withdraws from maps and/or one side just deciding to end the battle early to avoid units being trapped in the corners of maps and annihilated. The reputation system might have to be adjusted because the player would too quickly be relieved of command if this strategy was used but could be interesting.

Different armies for different theaters. While one example to support how the current campaign works is Longstreet's departures for the Carolinas and for the Tennesee theater, the game is mostly unrealistic that a corps goes to the west to fight a minor battle then back east to participate in the ensuing major battle. Maybe you have two or three different armies with separate resources to build from? Or maybe once you commit a corps to a theater, it stays there for half year or through the current "major battle campaign" until it can be moved again. Would add an element of strategy.

Ability to see movement slowing effects quantifiably for elevations of different grades and more easily tell what the actual elevations are (hover over an area and it also tells you relative elevation) or the change in elevation (contour lines can be toggled on/off).

Aesthetics - ability to see division commanders (maybe see only when division brigades are grouped) but they can't be moved independently of the division to avoid too much micromanagement; uniform differences for different historical units (maybe won't work at brigade level?); more casualties shown on the battlefield. 

Different effects of streams - shallow and narrow ones can be crossed quickly but deeper and/or wider ones have longer times to cross if at all possible. Maybe it's already like this but could be more apparent by hovering over the water as opposed to having to try moving your unit across and seeing the movement effect or the reroute to the nearest ford/bridge.

Strategy - be able to decide what victory conditions you want to target. For example, if the victory conditions are capture A, hold B, hold C, casualties less than 30%, maybe going into the battle you can decide your only goals are hold C and casualties less than 30%. Less reward but more preservation of your army. If you know the odds are against you this could reflect a more defensive strategy. In later campaign battles the victory conditions require ghastly casualty rates storming trenches and I sometimes target a draw but can get in trouble with the reputation points system by doing so, but I'm more interested in prolonging the struggle and maintaining my army's numbers, for example. 

Non-linear major battle progression. Maybe keep the progression to start but if some battle result would have really changed the course of a campaign then break from the standard progression. For example, if the CSA wins Gettysburg maybe go straight to the Washington campaign. Or maybe make a randomly generated battle (random, bespoke map with arbitrary victory points and random name for the battle after a terrain element or made up town, for example) or two for some variety. For example, if Union win 1st Bull Run, maybe there is a new made up battle somewhere outside of Richmond and if they win that they go straight to Battle of Richmond, but if they lose go back to the normal progression.

 

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I would love for a pivot formation for units that are in corners of the lines. A real dynamic campaign that doesn't break immersion of player agency. Also the ability for us to choose if we want to be in charge of everything at the same time (mega battles) or smaller phase battles (eg Shiloh) or contributing only part of an army (1st Bull Run). The ability to have multiple fronts show up in campaign mode. Lastly, the ability for modding.
___
Adding onto strategy above, they could have less battles but more complex battles and bring back the maneuver/choose what to do next from UG:GB. On campaign maneuvering would be interesting too.

 
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Edited by limith

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How about the front page of a newspaper.

Giving details of how the war was progressing. Including our own progress. Good or bad.

Be able to print off. So would have a record of the war.

 

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