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adishee

Stating my case for multiplayer campaigns.

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Hi all. I recently rediscovered the UG series after having played UGG briefly a few years ago. I don't game that much anymore, partially because I am laptop-bound now, which has prevented me from playing the only thing I have really wanted to lately: the Europa Barbarorum 2 mod for M2TW (I've played EB off and on for  ten+ years now). (UGCW runs on modest hardware.)

I think this game, UGCW, is absolutely brilliant (especially with the J&P mod). I am completely in love with it, and I think it's perhaps the best tactical wargame I've ever played, along with Close Combat which I think has a similar feel (despite the obvious disparity in scale). I guess I don't need to sit here and sing UGCW's praises too much, as you all are already here and get it.

I'm writing to express my fervent hope that the developers are not quite finished with UGCW -- or failing that, with the UG series expanded into other conflicts (perhaps in Europe in the 19th century, of which there were many).

Specifically, I am tantalised by the prospect of playing multiplayer campaigns. I don't just want individual multiplayer battles, although this would be a leap on its own. Because while the tactical mechanics in UGCW are fantastic to the point of being, in my mind, close to perfect, I've come to find just as much if not more enjoyment and addiction in the careful curation and development of my corps, divisions, brigades, pickets, batteries and squads.

It's a testament to the game that I can't actually figure out which part I like more, and I don't want to. I spend hours poring through unit and equipment stats, moving officers around and growing their careers, and trying to eek out enough kit and units to take on the next battle -- and trying desperately to keep as many alive during the battles as I possibly can. Even carefully constructing a naming convention that is both entertaining and useful -- or whatever else you want it to be (roleplaying, historical) -- has become a great enjoyment.

Because of how carefully and delicately we treat the Camp screen in this game (especially with J&P!), making mistakes *really* hurts in this game -- that feeling when you lose a swath of your veteran rifles from a dumb mistake hits in your gut.

That is, unless you just restart the match and play "perfectly," because you will unless you're playing with house rules. This is the area where I hope UGCW's potential does not end up going to waste, by not having a multiplayer mode. What if you *couldn't* restart the match -- at least not without the consent of your opponent, which he surely will not give -- ? What if you had to own every mistake, and so did your opponent, and your carefully cultivated and considered unit gets slaughtered? I can foresee a level of tension in a multiplayer campaign that I've never before imagined from a wargame. Because YOUR carefully built units will be dying. You will really care when some of your units get killed off (or, alternatively, not care so much about the cannon fodder), and what better way to simulate the consequences of war by having our beloved units get wasted? That James battery you were finally able to field? Oh, it was flanked by speed skirmishers and melee'd to death. Oh, you finally got up a squad of two star snipers by dropping a high level colonel in to get that second perk and using your rep points to order some scoped Whitworths from the government (and went into negative morale because of it)? Oh sorry, you left them just out of cover and they got cut in half by the Union's (much better) heavy guns. And the colonel was killed. Sorry. Etc.

To have two players brawling it out in a campaign, along with all the penalties and rewards that are applied to the single player campaign (withheld or rewarded forces based on victories/defeats, political points, and even randomness) instead applied to each other, I can't imagine how fun that would be. And further, how much longevity it would lend to this title. That's the kind of thing people would play for ten years or more -- even without new content, which Darth has mentioned an interest in producing! Honestly, I would beg the devs to make me buy another multplayer-only copy of the game if it meant it would actually get made, because I will gladly do it.

A final note on the single player experience. Being a creation of Darth, obviously the AI is really good. It is. And with J&P, the campaigns get challenging to the point of being unbeatable -- which is fine. But I submit that they are unbeatable in a specific way: you have to stack the AI with so many advantages to get a real challenge. And you have to learn how to play more or less "perfectly" in a specific way, to juice the game into giving you experience that your troops need to progress against such stacked odds.

This is not the same challenge of facing another human player, who is also desperately trying to conserve his troops, and we all know it. And on this latter point, in that case we might actually get more historically correct casualty numbers -- instead of 10x what they should be -- as players would perhaps prefer to cede a battle or two than lose all their troops as killed/wounded/surrenders. And we certainly wouldn't have the opportunity to farm experience from another human player: they wouldn't allow it.

Anyway, thanks for reading, sorry for any errors. I hope Game-Labs don't miss the chance to put the final keystone in what they've already built, as it would be a real shame not to.

Cheers.

Edited by adishee
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@adishee You have made a great point about campaigns and the necessity of conserving troops. Many if not most games whether vs. ai or player fail to get this right. I would analogize it to playing a table top miniatures game as a standalone scenario vs. playing it as part of a structured campaign. You find exactly the situation you describe - players will withdraw to conserve troops for the next battle rather than play an artificially high army morale break point. 

 

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Don’t tell anyone.

But I have started playing Naval Action. (Think my icon looks a bit out of place though! )

I now understand why a number on here would love an online version.

It would I’m sure be a winner. I love UG. The AL is pretty good.

But would love an on line version similar to Naval Action.

Appreciate it would take a huge  lot of time etc. But. If only !

Cheers all 🍻

 

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