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First off, I want to say to Nick and his team what an amazing job they have done and how magnificent this game is. When I was young I played Robert E. Lee: Civil War General and Civil War Generals 2 and found in many ways this game is a spiritual successor, but superior in almost every meaningful way. Now that the game has been released, I wanted to make some suggestions for what I think would be improvements - some quality of life, some additional features, and some to set the groundwork for more replayability. When beginning your game, after making the choices to define your starting stats, have a final choice after which side where you choose your portrait from a selection. I really don't like being forced into the same portrait each side, each time. Please allow us to change it. Provide some mechanism for division commanders to be visible on the battlefield. I am not talking about another headquarters unit, because that will lead to more micromanagement in later battles, but perhaps something akin to what CWG and CWG2 did with a gold star on the brigade that had the division commander attached. Putting another star on the brigades in UG:CW is not the answer because it will confuse with veterancy stars, but a flag or a banner would work, and clicking on that unit would give the division commander in addition to the brigade commander. It would also be good for that brigade to almost act like a mini-HQ unit and give a small bonus to nearby brigades that are only of the same division. This suggestion also relates with item 6 below. Greater flexibility in custom missions. Allow custom placement of troops before the battle to increase the "what if" factor, allow custom generals to be added (custom names, etc). This is a hard one, I think: the maps you have are beautiful and due to being hand drawn were no doubt labor intensive. However, creating and releasing some maps for alternate areas which were only the site of small battles, or where a battle might have happened but didn't, etc to allow for use a more custom missions. Special traits that apply to historical generals. Don't get me wrong, I like having the ability to use the prestige purchasing to have generals like Reynolds, Hancock, Sedgewick, etc in my army but apart from the historical value they are no different than a general you can buy from the barracks and to be honest, by mid game I am using my prestige for resources and even then only sparingly, to keep it up for the morale bonus. There should be a benefit to employing historical generals - especially the good ones - such as custom traits that make their use very desirable. The ability to rename divisions. While the Union relied on numbered divisions at least in part, the Confederacy named their divisions the same way brigades tend to be, by naming them after the commander. So, I think on the battlefield map it would be a nice touch to have a show the division name under the brigade name. So, under "Armistead" it might say "Pickett's Division". Thank you!
I would like to suggest a feature called critical damage or a revamp to the current damage system. Similar to how a rudder, or pump would go out, or a permanent leak from losing the bow armor occurs, I would like to see permanent leaks caused by critical damage sustained by multiple hits in the same area of the hull. Another option perhaps is to condense these features into a single classification known as critical damage, a standalone threshold similar to hull armor now, but only repairable by moving crew to survival mode. Realistically speaking, if balls were to hit the same area of a ship repeatedly, the integrity of the hull in that particular area would become weaker and weaker compared to other portions of the hull. It would also require captains to focus their fire, and wait for opportune moments to fire more often than they do now. As it stands, firing an entire broadside when the opportunity arises is always preferable than firing single shots, which in my opinion is not exactly a skill based mechanic other than aim as low as possible, whenever possible, for maximum effect. Various things would be factored in to make this a reality, which are already in place, such as weight of the ball that impacts the hull which causes trauma to it (even bounces), as well as the range, and penetrating force. Leaks are a form of critical damage but the time it takes to repair leaks, rarely impacts overall outcome of a battle, same with fires, or module damage, and they really do not compound with each other because they simply never happen at the same time, and if they do, a simple emergency repair fixes most of these critical damage systems in place now, except fires and leaks. These forms of damage need more importance, and ships should take awhile longer than they do now to repair those types of things, along with more of a bonus for impacting the same portion of hull over and over again, would go along way in utilizing hull strength and armor bonuses, as well as make some of the larger ships, more vunerable to their currently obsolete counterparts (namely, Connie v Aggie). Happy Holidays!