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Well, turned out to be not my cup of tea.


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Got this some months back, tried to give it several chances...sorry but it's a no go.

I'll be brief in why. The title of the game is Ultimate Admiral: Age of Sail

Note the big size font, underscore and italics. Notice the word.

See, If I wanted to play a game about land battles of the musket era, I wouldn't be looking for one that says "Admiral" in the name. I can't be bothered with land combat - I find it boring, tiresome, highly unnatractive and in general something I just don't enjoy. I did play Ultimate GENERAL: Gettysburg (note the caps), I can aknowledge it's a good game but just not for me. Because tactics of the musket era I just can't find entertaining.

When I saw this in the works I thought "wow, must be good" (Specially coming from a company which developed NA, which for any fault anyone can put on it, nobody can say it doesnt' have brilliant combat mechanics).

The sad part - it IS good. The naval combat side of this game is just awesome. 

But that you're forced to partake in full scale land battles?. Nope, that is not. Limited scope ones?. Raids with a handful dozens of men? well sure, why not. But being pretty much forced to fight Bunker Hill?. What the heck?. Since when a game about naval combat throws you into a full fledged scale ground battle?.

And don't get me started with that english campaign mission about stealing gold. First, a pretty hard naval fight (ok, hey this is what I signed for, loved every bit of it). But then you have to land forces to find out 600 spanish guys entrenched in a town (with awful pathing, btw, there are several parts of that town where it seems you should be able to pass through to access the town mid plaza, yet your troops refuse to), to then find out that you have to turn to a chapel to fight another 200 (plus reinforcements if you're not in time and UNLESS you have foreknowledge of it, you won't be), to THEN be forced to run across again...to find out a further 600 spanish fresh dudes coming in nonchalantly.

Jesus, I can vouch, had we spaniards had that kind of defenses everywhere in america we'd won every single war against the british singlehandedly. Yet the most notable victories we had were in overwhelming inferiority (looking at you ,Cartagena de Indias), yet in this game seems the spanish have garrisons of 2000 men in every forgotten town in the bloody continent.


I'm sorry ,a landing operation for a fast raid with a handful of marines I'm ok with. Full fledged battles you have to undertake with ridiculously limited forces it's not what I'm looking for in a game that is supposed to be about NAVAL combat. Specially not when the campaign is not dynamic but canned missions; further specially not when so many times I'm not really doing anything with ships, but rather with land troops (fighting a style of warfare I find boring to the extreme), and even more so when the mission design and script means the opponent is MASSIVELY stacked in forces to make your life absolutely miserable all the time. 



I'm storing this one for checking in the future - maybe at some point there's a dynamic gamemode truly centered about what naval games should be about: naval combat. For the time being, I'm putting this one in the box of "hugely promising but ultimately failed" titles. It's a damned shame because again, the naval combat part of it is so very well done. But I'll insist one more: a game about naval combat has no busines throwing you in the middle of land battles. That's what "ultimate GENERAL" is for. And once more, note the caps. 

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I agree with OP to an extent..   Limited amphibious operations would be a nice touch but big land battles tend to dominate the time spent playing this game.  

 

For example I just finished the Landing on Nassau last night.  It took me upwards of 2 hours where I lost most of my men and only won by bypassing the final choke point by sea.  This resulted in massive casualties on both sides.   This in no way represented anything historical.   The real battle consisted of  ~250 Americans vs ~110 English militia.    The English simply fired their cannons once and loaded the gunpowder stores into their ships and left the scene.    0 casualties 

 

I do understand this game must scale to keep things balanced but turning minor skirmishes into bloodbaths is not the way IMO.  

 

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1 hour ago, sterner said:

We will add a question at the beginning of a stage where you can choose an option - to play a land battle or to have Naval oriented battle. It means if you hate musket tactics then you can avoid large scale land battles.

Oh, this is interesting.

So, for example, in a hypothetical Hornblower scenario where Pellew sends him to aid the royalist french army, one could select to play only Pellew part and stay with the fleet -or/and- also play Hornblower and the British and French armies Officers parts ?

That's cool :) 

 

would love to play just commanding the naval forces, send marines and give them to land commander and "suffer" by anticipation IF the land forces would do it or noteven with "alternative" endings like having to evacuate the failed expedition.

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I too dislike the current land battle format, but consider it a part of historical naval combat.  One of Captain Hughes' Cornerstones of Maritime Warfare in Fleet Tactics is "The seat of purpose is on the land".  I agree with that. Naval battles are not fought just for the heck of it, they are fought because of something happening, or about to happen on land; or to stop something from happening on land.  I am not crazy about the big land battles but very much like the amphib operations.

What I would love to see is a change in the way the land forces operate.  I hate the fact my unit can rout, then run right by three enemy units, then cross an enemy occupied bridge before settling in enemy territory and waiting to be destroyed.  I hate the fact that 13 guys will repeatedly charge a 150 man unit. I hate the speed over ground the troops can march, much too fast. etc. There are more, but the point is I can take the big battles as a part of the whole.  I just wish land combat could be toned down a bit.

Also, thanks to all the developers for such a great game!

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2 hours ago, sterner said:

We will add a question at the beginning of a stage where you can choose an option - to play a land battle or to have Naval oriented battle. It means if you hate musket tactics then you can avoid large scale land battles.


That's wonderful news, at least for me. I really don't care for musket era land battle tactics. I really don't, and not for a lack of trying to get used to them and find them interesting. And really, being forced into commanding large ground forces in the game is totally killing the fun of the game for me, which is really a shame because I can't love the naval combat implementation more. It's the best (by far and wide stretch) naval strategy game of the age of sail ever made and the idea of not being able to enjoy that because I can't stand the land combat portion of the game really soured me.

So knowing I can choose not to have to bother about that part can't make me happier :). Looking forward to it. 

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6 hours ago, sterner said:

We will add a question at the beginning of a stage where you can choose an option - to play a land battle or to have Naval oriented battle. It means if you hate musket tactics then you can avoid large scale land battles.

Will skipping these battles nullify your reward, experience, and reputation you gain from the land battles? If so, then I would suggest creating a script that increases the rewards slightly for the next naval battle to help outset. As losing 50k plus 1 experience, and some rep can really hurt players who choose to go this route.

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No, it will be replaced with more naval oriented gameplay. Maybe a short version of Snatch... only naval part and a virtual brave officer will take care of the land part. Of course less reward in this case, but if you hate large land battle then it is a solution. Moreover, If you are inexperienced in land battles then you will lose more than win. In total player will get almost the same amount of rewards but in a different way. I have to think about how to reformat campaigns.

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I'm fine with that. You do less, you get less men on the line of fire too (and less you have to replace so you have less things to spend money on), so your rewards should be accordingly smaller. It all sounds like perfectly reasonable from this end.

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Great news Dev Team!  You guys rock!  

I feel this will also help replayability, especially for us helping with the testing!  Although super fun the first time around, replaying some of these longer battles seems like a daunting task when time is limited.   

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I would think that it would be a better decision at the start of the campaign rather than the stage.

Perhaps you could just make the land combat as a auto resolve based game.  For example, you still control the land unit composition.  You still maintain troopships.  But you just auto resolve the battles.  Battles would use the percentage success based on your land composition like the POI with your ships.  This way keeps the rewards the same and doesn't break gameplay, as like ramjb pointed out, less rewards but less upkeep. 

Battles with landings would just end after you land your units based on the selection chosen.  Like have the red retreat box on the beach, and make 50% of your amphibious units there.

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Hello,

 

new in here an i am absolutely happy about the future option to give us the choise what was to go.

Like most here,  i'm far more interested in naval combat than in land combat. 

Where i have to say, small landing operations should be still in, but not the big land battles.

McGuinness

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Great news. but something's off. In the mission that takes the place of the Bunker Hill ground battle, you gotta save a transport called Earlstone. I did it, managed to put it in the escape zone and did a succesfull disengage.

Result was Defeat, and ending the campaign. Both times I tried it, both times I was succesful, both times the game told me I had lost. So something must be off in the victory conditions of that scenario ;).

/edit: I ran it a third time. Both previous ones I had engaged with the enemy with my own ship while Earlstone was disengaging, capturing one ship both times. The scenario intro says "avoid contact with the enemy as much as possible", so I just tried my luck running for it with both ships, only trying to fight when any enemy came close to the transport, just in case that was somehow what was causing the defeat screen at the end.

Nope - Managed to put Earlstone into the disengagement area allright - again I was told I lost. Campaign over. Something's definitely off ;).

Edited by RAMJB
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Plainly stated: Love it. Has totally reignited my desire to play the game after I had lost all will to do it by the time I posted this thread ;). If that's not good enough praise of what I think of this change....nothing is ;).

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Just to clarify (I already done the british campaign twice just to play and provide bug reports - might start 3rd or try the US campaign) but I'm a big fan of playing SOME ground battles - especially amphibious landings...The long winded land battles - especially with wonky pathfinding is after the 2nd run through not very interesting, but the game is stronger from having both options.

In the same story I would be super interested in having a few more playable and optional side quests - especially in the early british chapters for minor skirmishes:

Make a few smaller naval missions clearly labeled as optional with 1-2 smaller ships (perhaps a limit of 40 or 80 initially and later upto 120) with ships doing small unimportant missions with rewards only big enough to compensate for repairs and a small bonus. Maybe get rewards like 200 or 400 special rifles, some carronades or EIC cannons, mortars or cannons on top for making them very interesting?

Suggestions for missions from which the maps can be 100% water or reusing existing maps for easy development:

  • Race the "insert name here" (select your fastest ship perhaps a 12 gun ship to reach a specific zone before another british ship with which you have a bet going - make it sail around an island or something and sail up against the wind so you have to zig zag) Maybe when you get there you encounter 2 enemy small 12-gun ships on patrol and you get control over the allied ship too.
  • Sink the merchant (kill a single merchant with a small escort - merchant must be sunk to make an example - make the crew numerous and strong in melee to make it obvious not to board)
  • Sink the pirate (same as above except it's a single armed ship which must be sunk to make an example - make the ship have a strong crew to make it obvious not top board)
  • Battery ambush (remove the battery from a small island - either by taking up the gunfight or land troops on the back of the island... Maybe with 1-2 small enemy ships)
  • Maybe even a variation of Battery Ambush where you take control of an enemy battery and use it to kill an enemy ship being anchored up in front of the battery. But this might not work unless the ship is hardcoded stationary and the battery is strong enough to kill it.
  • Capture the smuggler, traitor, spy or whatever (board and capture a smuggler in an armed merchant or sloop-of-war to have him arrested - you may not necesarily keep the ship after - maybe it sank on it's way to port) If the ship is sunk mission could be a win or loss depending on what you think but with small or negative reward compared to boarding
  • Similar you could make up a scenario to either cut down a mast or tear apart the sails on a merchant with plague on board - or maybe it's on fire so you cannot get close but somehow you just don't want to sink it...
  • Kill the flagship (take on a group of 3 ships with only 2 ships of the same size - like allow 2 ships with a limit of 80 weight total to fight 3 or 4 identical weight ships. The missions is to sink 1 designated enemy flagship and make it to an exit zone. Like a hit'n'run (cutting off the head of the snake)

All these battles should be minor skirmishes to provide more optional content for the player and not take a lot of time. Also a good variation from the big battles coming up later. Many of these battles can also be used as a training ground for some of the combat mechanics a new player need to learn. Most of them at the same time should not take too much time to develope?

I hope it'll be possible

PinkyDK

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It does, in a sense - yet introduces another ;).

In that battle when you get Earlstone to the edge of map, she retires as she's supposed to and a victory screen is shown with the battle results. But, upon hitting "OK" in that victory screen, music keeps on playing, battle engine keeps on going (but you can't move the camera anymore and the UI is not presented), and the game gets stuck there. It doesn't send you back to the campaign screen with your victory.

Tried three times, three times the same problem happened.
Already reported it with the in-game tool too :).

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The game is primarily naval oriented and the Revolutionary War only focuses on the first couple of chapters for the US campaign. Future chapters will most likely be centered on the Quasi War, Barbary Wars, and War of 1812. The British campaign also only has one chapter focusing on the Revolutionary War however, it is by no means the focus of the campaign. It would also be a massive disservice to ignore the major engagements of the Revolutionary War such as a 3 day Trent, Saratoga, Yorktown, etc. This is part of the reason discord decided to keep the name as is. It is quite broad as is expected of a game that covers ~30-40 years of military history. 

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4 hours ago, AXEWITEE said:

I would like to say that the best name where Ultimate General: Fight for Independence.

Everyone who know a bit about History knows, it mean Land and Sea battles.

Except Nelson was absolutely not fighting for independence.  
 

“By Land, By Sea” is a good subtitle for Ultimate Admiral, and “Admiral” is good family name for the first tactical game to even attempt to properly depict the interrelated nature of land and sea operations.

If anything, the game still somewhat trivializes the difficulty of command in this area.  Way too easy to sail ships right up to the coast and disgorge troops under the guns of a fort.

Battles that are land only are fine as well as long as there is a direct connection to the sea campaign and they are not just stuck in as filler.

Edited by akd
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