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Nice game, Some Feedback from the first night playing.


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Howdy Dev's,

 

Nice game so far.  Have played your games since UG: Gettysburg and spent far more hours than I care to spend on UG: Civil War.   I was really excited for this title.  I played it and I had a lot of fun last night. I do however have some concerns that I want to point out / discuss and see if they have perhaps been addressed or is it something thats in the works for the future.

 

1) Surrendering - The single most hated aspect to me in all of your games so far is the surrendering mechanic.  Nothing pisses me off more than routing a unit, they surrender and then somehow some unit manages to creep behind my lines and rescue them and suddenly I have a strong unit in my rear area with full armament.  IT's illogical and its not fun.  For starters if a unit surrenders you would not leave them with arms. They would disarm them.    How about changing the game so that when a unit surrenders, they are permanently out?

Last night I had a mission to capture a merchantman and the merchantman struck its colors and surrendered.    I sailed away to attack another ship and the previous merchantman just took off and sailed away.  I can understand this a bit more since I did not send a prize crew over but still. Its an incredibly frustrating mechanic.

 

2)  Time Compression - I would suggest a higher level of time compression in naval battles. There are periods of multiple minutes where I am doing nothing but sailing after a ship trying to run it down. Its incredibly boring and could get old real fast.

 

3) Shatter / Surrender levels - Playing bunker hill last night as the USA on normal difficulty.  I have mixed opinions on this. I don't want to see the same thing happen in this game that happened in UG: Civil war when the rebels had to capture the fort on the very first mission. I know many people quit because the very first battle was beyond difficult and I hope this doesn't end up the same way. I played it 4x and the best I could do on normal difficulty was a draw and I was barely able to pull that out..    Many of the redcoat units would suffer north of 60-70% casualties and would not shatter / surrender.  This needs to change.  I get you are trying to show them being a more disciplined army and all that, but thats bordering on insanity.   On the flip size I would argue that the rebels rout a bit too quickly Even in defensive works with supporting units the militia units still rout very easily. 

4) Artillery Changes / Friendly Fire -  Im not sure what to thing about this. I get the whole friendly fire thing and realism, but at the same time, the very mechanic makes the game incredibly more difficult. It seems like you are trying to change the mechanics away from the UG: Civil war style of loading cannons up behind infantry and wasting charging units with canister fire with little to no impact to allied troops. If thats the case, I can support that. Problem I am seeing from my limited play so far is that its incredibly difficult to position artillery so that it can shoot effectively. YOu need to leave gaps in your lines and the enemy has an advantage on bunker hill where the slope of the hill they are coming up protects them.

5) Fortifications - Love the changes that fortifications can be destroyed.  I would however suggest that if fortifications can be destroyed that you consider making them strong in terms of defensive values.  Add an inherent moral boost to fortifications. Increase the bonus to defense.  IF they can be destroyed, make a compelling reason to destroy them.

6) Routing pathing - Last night on bunker hill I had two units stuck in a perpetual routing loop.  For some unknown reason they kept retreating toward the enemy and the incessant gunfire from the british ships had the unit completely routed and never able to be controlled again. IS there a way to fix the routing AI so that troops rout toward friendly units and not into the enemy units?

7)  Tonnage Limits - Have you considered removing the tonnage limits to certain battles?  I HATE games with arbitrary restrictions on what I can and cannot do.  By limiting the tonnage I can bring to certain battles I get that its a way that you can balance the encounters to ensure that we have a challenging battle ahead of us.  I must however strongly disagree.  Realism matters and if I happen to have a great start and build a strong fleet early, why am I limited on how much I can use in a battle?    If you feel that its necessary, can you at least make options to have the ability to turn if off in the options so we can play the way we want?

 

Thanks in advance! nice work so far!

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25 minutes ago, Gsam said:

How about changing the game so that when a unit surrenders, they are permanently out?

I disagree with this as it makes sense that if friendly troops rescue them, they would want to take revenge on their captures. If you feel your line isn't secure or are unable to guard the prisoners you can always kill them after some time (roughly 16 minutes in game time based on a rough check). However, doing this will net you no captured weapons nor prisoners that can be used to get nice boons. Also, captured units seem to default to sprint so you can often outrun the ai trying to take them back.

For sea, I agree that it is incredibly frustrating when fighting a big battle and you have no troops to spare to man the captured ship. But, if you have no one to guard your prisoners on a fully operational ship, it makes sense that over time they'll retake the ship and engage you again.

29 minutes ago, Gsam said:

I played it 4x and the best I could do on normal difficulty was a draw and I was barely able to pull that out

Bunker Hill is certainly a difficult battle but once you understand how to do it, its really not too difficult. The simple truth about AOS is that playing defensively is stupid and making aggresive pushes will always win. You have a bunch of units on the hill not really doing anything so I would recommend you immediately use them to flank the left. Wait for the ai to move troops in range of your fortifications then use your troops to volley once and charge. You will most likely capture every unit. Make sure to send some skirms to distract the artillery and at lest one unit to deal with the infantry/arty on the left north flank. Your two artillery pieces should be used to counter battery their artillery. Once you've cleared the left flank, use your ~8 or so units to flank the center and obliterate it. Remember volley and charge. By this time, the British reinforcements should have landed so make sure you have a couple units on the right flank. The British will come in peace meal so its easy to pick them off quite easily. Your main force should now become a reactionary group that engages the British as they come up. Remember, volley and charge. After you wipe out their force, move all your allied units near the coast and let them get shelled by the ships as you'll get free equipment by doing that. I'll make a better and more full guide once we are near the ea release.

34 minutes ago, Gsam said:

60-70% casualties and would not shatter / surrender.  This needs to change.

That's really not that high. In UGCW infantry would only shatter after taking 75% casualties and when under 10% morale. However, as the unit sizes are significantly smaller, units are very much more likely to surrender. This has been balanced somewhat but it is still quite easy to get surrenders of units at 100+.

36 minutes ago, Gsam said:

I get the whole friendly fire thing and realism, but at the same time, the very mechanic makes the game incredibly more difficult

Friendly Fire was in UGCW but there was never a notification for it so you wouldn't notice. Next time you play, charge some units and have your artillery fire into it. You will notice your numbers drop.

37 minutes ago, Gsam said:

IS there a way to fix the routing AI so that troops rout toward friendly units and not into the enemy units?

Routing units are supposed to rout towards friendly units. However, if the path finding ai can't find anywhere reasonable to rout to, they will end up just routing back and forth and eventually die. This is especially noticeable if you are flanked on several sides (even if those troops on the flank are not within firing range). 

39 minutes ago, Gsam said:

Realism matters and if I happen to have a great start and build a strong fleet early, why am I limited on how much I can use in a battle? 

Yes realism matters but good gameplay should take precedence. Before the BR was balanced, you could bring 3rd Rates to battles where you would be fighting 6th/7th rates. In short, your ship would one shot the 7th's and it was incredibly boring and very unfun. The BR restriction is meant to balance the player and keep battles reasonable so you don't have scaling forcing ship of the lines on what should be a minor engagement.

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5 hours ago, WilliamTheIII said:

For sea, I agree that it is incredibly frustrating when fighting a big battle and you have no troops to spare to man the captured ship. But, if you have no one to guard your prisoners on a fully operational ship, it makes sense that over time they'll retake the ship and engage you again.

I agree. I'm even willing to swear that there is more than one example of exactly that happening. They strike, and suddenly the ship they struck to gets dismasted, distracted, sails off in an entirely different direction. Makes sense for them to say "hey, this is different, how about we rejoin the fight?" Even more so because they're still in possession of a ship and whatever weapons were left on her, unlike the case of the surrendered prisoners suddenly plucking muskets off a nearby tree to rejoin. Or perhaps they got them from the rescuing unit. Everybody knows that infantry carried three spare muskets a man just in case they came upon a surrendered unit they needed to rearm 😉

 

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6 hours ago, Gsam said:

How about changing the game so that when a unit surrenders, they are permanently out?

This also opens up abuse cases where you charge around behind enemy lines capturing units and then they just teleport to your base with their weapons. Having to actually guard captured units seems like a reasonable mechanic even if the end result when they are freed doesn't make much sense.

6 hours ago, WilliamTheIII said:

Your two artillery pieces should be used to counter battery their artillery.

No need to even bother with counter battery, the AI will basically leave it's artillery undefended and you can just run it over and capture it with a few infantry units.

6 hours ago, WilliamTheIII said:

Friendly Fire was in UGCW but there was never a notification for it so you wouldn't notice. Next time you play, charge some units and have your artillery fire into it. You will notice your numbers drop.

To clarify this, any unit hit by ranged fire in UGCW also resulted in nearby units getting hit by a percentage of that damage. However, there was no friendly fire from the animation of canister being fired through a unit as long as the target being fired at was far enough away. One of the big benefits of moving to an actual 3d engine is that projectile arcs can be implemented so that artillery positioning actually matters. While it is certainly more frustrating than UGCW, I think this is something players will adapt to after a bit more time with the game. Especially since their are notifications for when you are messing up.

6 hours ago, Gsam said:

For some unknown reason they kept retreating toward the enemy and the incessant gunfire from the british ships had the unit completely routed and never able to be controlled again.

When you say they were routing towards the enemy, do you mean enemy land units or the enemy ships? I don't think the ships are currently factoring into land unit routing direction, so if you encounter this in game I would recommend reporting it as a bug.

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10 hours ago, pandakraut said:

When you say they were routing towards the enemy, do you mean enemy land units or the enemy ships? I don't think the ships are currently factoring into land unit routing direction, so if you encounter this in game I would recommend reporting it as a bug.

It was my front most land unit on bunker hill manning the defensive works between the two cannons at the front of the mountain. They got routed and kept retreating down the mountain toward the navy and where the British Troops are landing.

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10 hours ago, pandakraut said:

This also opens up abuse cases where you charge around behind enemy lines capturing units and then they just teleport to your base with their weapons. Having to actually guard captured units seems like a reasonable mechanic even if the end result when they are freed doesn't make much sense.

Any chance of getting an option to execute prisoners at the cost of Fame ?

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24 minutes ago, sterner said:

You can execute them when time is passed.

I assume you mean after the battle? I was referring to in battle to free up troops to avoid guarding them.

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The whole surrender mechanic needs a bit of tweaking (it is an alpha version after all). I had instances where a 100 men surrendered to like 30 and they weren't surrounded by any means and they weren't just settlers either. It felt very weird. 

 

On another note ships sometimes seem to be too sturdy. I cheesed the AI yesterday during the Treasure Fleet Mission with the Arrogant and I was pumping canisters into the last Spanish ship of the line and I had to take the crew down to like 50 or so from 500 until it finally surrendered. 

Overall I think the casualties on ships are too high and maybe crews should surrender a lot faster? I don't know...hard thing to balance I guess. 

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I am interested in these comments and may write my own review of the game thus far.

The developers seem to be a small team and are making great progress from what I have seen. However, I know very little about creating a game. My skills lie in Carpentry and Auto Mechanical

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On 1/14/2020 at 12:47 AM, pandakraut said:

How about changing the game so that when a unit surrenders, they are permanently out?

My solution for high value prisoners is to lock them in the Brig.

Prisoners with high value weapons or cannon are sent to the row boats.

They are then transported to the nearest ship.

Where the enemy won't be able to reach them.

Would be nice if you could just retreat them off the map.

So they couldn't be freed on maps with no ships.

Example:  snakes and powder

 

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On 1/13/2020 at 5:46 PM, Gsam said:

Howdy Dev's,

 

Nice game so far.  Have played your games since UG: Gettysburg and spent far more hours than I care to spend on UG: Civil War.   I was really excited for this title.  I played it and I had a lot of fun last night. I do however have some concerns that I want to point out / discuss and see if they have perhaps been addressed or is it something thats in the works for the future.

 

1) Surrendering - The single most hated aspect to me in all of your games so far is the surrendering mechanic.  Nothing pisses me off more than routing a unit, they surrender and then somehow some unit manages to creep behind my lines and rescue them and suddenly I have a strong unit in my rear area with full armament.  IT's illogical and its not fun.  For starters if a unit surrenders you would not leave them with arms. They would disarm them.    How about changing the game so that when a unit surrenders, they are permanently out?

Last night I had a mission to capture a merchantman and the merchantman struck its colors and surrendered.    I sailed away to attack another ship and the previous merchantman just took off and sailed away.  I can understand this a bit more since I did not send a prize crew over but still. Its an incredibly frustrating mechanic.

2)  Time Compression - I would suggest a higher level of time compression in naval battles. There are periods of multiple minutes where I am doing nothing but sailing after a ship trying to run it down. Its incredibly boring and could get old real fast.

3) Shatter / Surrender levels - Playing bunker hill last night as the USA on normal difficulty.  I have mixed opinions on this. I don't want to see the same thing happen in this game that happened in UG: Civil war when the rebels had to capture the fort on the very first mission. I know many people quit because the very first battle was beyond difficult and I hope this doesn't end up the same way. I played it 4x and the best I could do on normal difficulty was a draw and I was barely able to pull that out..    Many of the redcoat units would suffer north of 60-70% casualties and would not shatter / surrender.  This needs to change.  I get you are trying to show them being a more disciplined army and all that, but thats bordering on insanity.   On the flip size I would argue that the rebels rout a bit too quickly Even in defensive works with supporting units the militia units still rout very easily. 

4) Artillery Changes / Friendly Fire -  Im not sure what to thing about this. I get the whole friendly fire thing and realism, but at the same time, the very mechanic makes the game incredibly more difficult. It seems like you are trying to change the mechanics away from the UG: Civil war style of loading cannons up behind infantry and wasting charging units with canister fire with little to no impact to allied troops. If thats the case, I can support that. Problem I am seeing from my limited play so far is that its incredibly difficult to position artillery so that it can shoot effectively. YOu need to leave gaps in your lines and the enemy has an advantage on bunker hill where the slope of the hill they are coming up protects them.

5) Fortifications - Love the changes that fortifications can be destroyed.  I would however suggest that if fortifications can be destroyed that you consider making them strong in terms of defensive values.  Add an inherent moral boost to fortifications. Increase the bonus to defense.  IF they can be destroyed, make a compelling reason to destroy them.

6) Routing pathing - Last night on bunker hill I had two units stuck in a perpetual routing loop.  For some unknown reason they kept retreating toward the enemy and the incessant gunfire from the british ships had the unit completely routed and never able to be controlled again. IS there a way to fix the routing AI so that troops rout toward friendly units and not into the enemy units?

7)  Tonnage Limits - Have you considered removing the tonnage limits to certain battles?  I HATE games with arbitrary restrictions on what I can and cannot do.  By limiting the tonnage I can bring to certain battles I get that its a way that you can balance the encounters to ensure that we have a challenging battle ahead of us.  I must however strongly disagree.  Realism matters and if I happen to have a great start and build a strong fleet early, why am I limited on how much I can use in a battle?    If you feel that its necessary, can you at least make options to have the ability to turn if off in the options so we can play the way we want?

Thanks in advance! nice work so far!

1. Surrendering. I like the idea of having to manage prisoners. However, I also agree that the present system  is lacking somewhat. I think it is hard to judge just based on Bunker Hill, as the dynamic of that battle is much more frenetic and desperate than most of the other ones I've played. That said, I DO agree that the way British troops love to loiter in rear areas is not realistic at all. They behave like guerrillas, not like rigid formal infantry. Add to this the tendency for Brit units to flee towards the Yank rear, and you get a very strange dynamic for Bunker Hill. This isn't so much true with other battles, but what is true from other battles is that: even once a Brit unit has been repelled and badly mauled, they just keep coming back for more and they keep roaming around all over the place (like guerrillas). Once you figure this out and distribute your forces accordingly, i.e., in as much of an overall formation as possible to produce reciprocal assistance between small, medium and large companies (and including constant guarding of flanks and rear by at least SOME small companies), then mostly the erratic, unpredictable, and IMHO unrealistic behavior of the red coats becomes mostly just an annoyance and a test of how well you can read the battlefield and anticipate what will come next (as well as how much micro-management endurance you have).

So in sum: if possible make the Brits less guerrilla like more RED COAT LIKE. Also, more functionality associated with prisoner management MIGHT be nice?

Now here comes the real clinch: as someone said above, if an enemy formation surrenders, they are NOT going to be allowed to keep their arms or weapons. Perhaps some or even many might retain a small knife if it could be concealed, but they are going to be forced to lay down their shoulder fired weapons, swords, bayonets and pouches. Most likely these would be partly dropped at the spot where the surrender occurred, and partly dropped in a central location specified by the commanders of the companies to whom the surrender was given. In any event, shortly after surrendering, the guys who did NOT surrender are going to do everything in their power to put as much separation between the prisoners and any means of doing violence as possible. Depending on circumstances, this process could take a few minutes, but effectively this units capacity to ever pose a serious threat again should be pretty damn minimal and depend almost completely on regaining access to a handy stash of weapons and ammo.

In this sense the game is utterly immersion breaking. Units surrender and then if you don't properly micro-manage them they can get "re-activated" by a nearby enemy unit, and suddenly as if by magic they have their weapons back and are back to full efficacy. NOT GOOD design.

IMO, the point of representing POW Management in game like this should be multiple fold: (a) encourage battle field disposition and tactics which leads to both historical (or at least leads to avoiding "NOT Historical") behavior by the player; (b) put some incentive on taking and keeping prisoners (not executing them); (c) force decisions on the trade offs involved in battlefield management of prisoners.

Given how the game is setup here is, IMHO, the ideal way this would manifest: When a unit surrenders the game pauses and a popup window occurs. In this popup window, the information for the units involved will be outlined (the game will need to decide in every instance which unit has surrendered, and which unit it has "surrendered to," most likely this will be the unit which was inflicting casualties to the unit at the time of surrender, or the one which has caused the most casualties to the unit so far, or the largest one which is in area of effect). The window would thus say something like "4 Lb Crew has SURRENDERED! to Hitchens. How do you wish to proceed?" Next would be some choices: (i) Slaughter them, this of course would result in additional volleys of damage from any unit presently firing on the POWs, until such time as the surrendered unit either shattered, or fled; (ii) Order them to drop their weapons and ammo where they stand, this would result in the surrendered units being reduced to the least potential threat (meaning that if they get recaptured they are basically disarmed and have paper-thin morale), but it would result in a lower amount of booty at the end of the battle. (iii) Order them to honorably move behind our lines and thence disarm in a gentlemanly fashion. Choosing number (iii) would then close the popup window, but game would still be paused and the surrendered unit would be flash glowing. The player could then give the unit an order to move to a location and begin disarming. Disarming will take some time, and during that time the unit poses a serious threat, even to some extent posing a threat without friendly units coming to their aid. 

Once the timer for disarming has played out (in the event that choice iii is taken) then another popup will occur (and this same popup will occur immediately in the case of the player choosing surrender option (ii)). This popup will ask the player to allocate guards to the POWs. A list of all intact units which are eligible will come up and the player will have the opportunity to pull personnel from any or all of them to form a "Guards" unit. This guards unit will then move to wherever prisoners are being placed on the map and automatically "attach" to the POW unit to guard it. I am not aware what ratio of guards to POWs is advisable but that may be known from history. The risk that a POW unit be "freed" from captivity if they have been played under guard should now be pretty damn low, and basically necessitate that the guard unit be defeated by a rescuer.

The other thing that could be tweaked or changed is: to define a holding area (or multiple maybe). Prisoners would move there and guards would guard there. Right now the way POWs can be moved anywhere on the map (and even told to Run!) is not realistic. I had an instance on the Chelsea battle where I had flanked around to the northeast and came down from the northeast on the 2nd objective. I had captured a couple and sent them off to the far northeast coast. I happened to observe some wandering small Brit units getting VERY close to one of these so I set him to run and had him run as far as possible toward the southwest corner of the map. I watched it for a few minutes, two or three companies of 20 to 40 red coats right on the heels of their captured buddies chasing them across the map. Very unrealistic.

2) Time compression: totally agree

3) Shatter levels: again, I'm not sure Bunker Hill is the best indicator of overall balance. I do think Bunker Hill needs some tweaking, as it just tends to play out in a seemingly unrealistic pell mell, and the use of the two capture the flag sites  creates the capacity to game the battle for victory even when the actual disposition of forces at the end does not sensibly = Yanks "won." Just happening to have non-routed units standing at those flags as the timer runs out, even though the Brits are deep into the rear area and seriously outnumber and outgun the Yanks doesn't sensible = victory, but you can win it that way.

4) Fields of fire and friendly fire. I generally find that simply placing cannon a bit behind my lines is fine as long as they are not shoot on totally flat ground. The situation I find it matters is moving units to flank enemies, but even there it is not too bad. The one area where I think the game could be a bit more helpful to players is allowing the positioning and movement markers to persist during a "diagram mode" or something like that.

5) Fortifications: I agree that having some that are destructible is great . . . BUT . . . there are some which SHOULD BE destructible but are not. For example, the buildings that the arty unit at the coastal battery at Nassau is hiding behind. They look like just regular buildings but are seemingly impervious to 4 Lb cannon fire.

6) Not sure

7) Agree, that the tonnage and ship count limits are annoying. At least enlarge them a bit.

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