Don't hurry i'm too totaly exhausted 'cause of my thesis, its how you say in english, final run or something...
Sorry for my delay in getting back to you with a report. Tomorrow I am on the last of a ten day consecutive run at work. Feeling a bit jaded right now but I will have time over the weekend to indulge in a bit of Civ2!
Don't hurry i'm too totaly exhausted 'cause of my thesis, its how you say in english, final run or something...
Hans, I have been spending all my free time at the moment playing civ2units AWI scenario. I intend to continue with my playtest of the Balkan Breakup Scenario as soon as I have completed that.
Several things have struck me about this scenario when comparing it with the AWI game. There are some similarities; both scenarios are visually stunning and feel very authentic. Both scenarios have great units and great subject matter. One thing the AWI scenario gets right that I feel the Balkan scenario falls down is the number of units. To begin with in the AWI scenario there is a manageable number of units and it builds up. By the time you are half way through the game there are lots of units but you are familiar with the map, the strategic situation and it still flows along at a good pace. With the Balkan scenario, in my opinion, there are just too many units to begin with. This may be historically accurate but I don't think it makes for good gameplay. I have enjoyed the first few turns but it has taken me a very long time to play them and I still don't feel I am totally in control. There is fighting all over the map and it is difficult to focus on the hotspots. Again this may be an authentic representation of what happened but it is a bit overwhelming for me. The number of units will only increase and this will make the turns longer and longer.
I would propose cutting back on the number of units by at least 50% if not even more. I realize you may have based your troop numbers on actual dispositions and unit sizes (IE every unit is a battalion/regiment etc...) but if the gameplay is not good (as in there it too much to do each turn) then the flow of events can be lost and this is counter productive. I think it is much better to compromise slightly on historical accuracy (IE exact unit numbers) to get the flow of the game right (fun gameplay and units behaving in a historically accurate manner).
I hope this makes sense. I think this scenario could be great if you get the gameplay right. I know how tempting it is to concentrate on trying to get everything just right historically as I do the same thing in my scenario. However when I play one of the great scenarios I realise that I learn a lot more when the battles flow along and I grasp the key battlegrounds of the war I am fighting.
As I said at the start of my waffle I will continue the test. I believe there is a major Serb attack due now and I can't miss that
I really appreciate your report McMonkey. Could you explain me, what exactly you mean with not being in control ?
Yeah, it still needs a lot of work, but it is a reward to me, that you like playing it at the moment. I think a little bit of the orientation problems can be taken away, if i make a precise Readme, wich helps you at the beginning turns of the game.
About cutting back the units, hmmmm, gotta think about that, but i think it depends here on what type of Player you are. Personally i actually liked Red front and Herbstnebel a lot, which were some inspiration for my scenario. But i get your point, that not everyone prefers micromanaging the army, but wants a compact and informative gameplay. I think two version could be helpful here. One muliplayer compact version and one for the die hard month long gamer.
We will find a solution for this problem because the scenario league staff always did, we just make things in the long term . But i am awaiting your review, as i did made some progress with my work,... well here is a preview of what will also be included
Post Scriptum: I am also very deep in the history about the yugoslav war now. Man i can tell you, not everything is as media propagates it. Public opinion is, that the serbs are the evil man and so on, but that's, so to say, not true. After a lot of recherche (Wikipedia is no reliable source) "Every" side had its aims an methods, and no side was innocent. I therefore want to give the player a very objective view about the war, so that he can make his own opinion about what happened.
Last edited by Hans99; January 18, 2011 at 18:47.
I think the this scenario will be amazing when it is finished. I really like the period specific backgrounds you have created there. I think a good read me would help the player to understand where the main areas of struggle are likely to be. I am very familiar with the map of course, but with such a large map and so many units I did feel a little lost and unsure where to begin or where to send troops to. I'm not anti large scenarios as such, I just feel that you could get the same historical effect with half the amount of units. This would still be a very detailed and involved scenario but you might be looking at finishing playing it in weeks rather than months. I expect most players attention spans don't last that long. I really need to do a few more turns of testing to see how I get on with it. At the end of the day it is your scenario and you must do whet you think is right as your the one putting the time and effort into building it.
I think a multiplayer version of this scenario would be a lot of fun. I'm sure the guys at Civ Webring would be up for testing it out.
One negative comment, I hope your not offended, but I really can't get on with the People icons. I tend to struggle with icons that vary loads from the original game (IE Food/Shields/Trade and People). In my playtest I have swapped them for some of Fairline's WWII Russian people with the colour coded backgrounds. That's just my personal taste, but pixel people just don't seem to blend in. Sorry
Hans you are doing an excellent job so far, keep up the good work, I look forward to your new "graphics".
I have not been playtesting much so far, but I promise to get into the game more in the next days as I often have to continue with my work when I come home from job.
I look forward to new graphics, the first one appears to be from the Hague
I have just tried starting up the playtest again but I am finding the number of units on both sides to be a real issue. I'm not saying this for the sake of being negative or to discourage you. I think you have all the core elements of a good scenario here but they are being drowned in a sea of units. I honestly can't see anyone but the most diehard and patient Yugoslav Wars enthusiast being able to play this. I was literally getting a headache trying to keep up with the Serbian turn and then try and get my 500 unit army to start acting in a coherent manner. I know this sounds harsh but it is my honest opinion. I would love to play this scenario, but as it is now it is unplayable for me for the reasons listed above.
You do not discourage me! I am worried, 'cause i did not want to cause you a headache. I really appreciate a honest opinion. You know, i am also a hardcore Steel Panthers Gamer, and turns in this game tend to be very long, so i had no real difficulty adapting to the size and complexness of my Balkan scen. But you are right, the game should be playable for everyone to some degree, as it also is my intention to bring some knowledge about this war to the people. I will reduce Unit size by 2/3, and skip to brigade size, which will make movement and tactics a lot faster and easier. But because of the size of the map i see some issues, when i reduce the number of units. As the map will be to wide stretched then i think, hmmm, we'll have to test it.
What do you mean trying to keep up with the serbian turn ? Did you play as the serbs now or were all battles visible ?
And what zoom level do you use ? I personally play on the nearest zoom level.
I am looking forward for your report
Yeah, it's from the trial
Last edited by Hans99; January 20, 2011 at 18:38.
I used to have a copy of Steel Panthers many years ago. I think I also had a modern version with Abrams and Vietcong. That takes me back a bit. I also played a bit of Eastern and Western Front and Waterloo. Hextastic fun! I was always more of a Panzer General fan though. It was just had a bit more zip (IE quick and easy gameplay). I understand why you want lots of units for the detail but to me having five or more Infantry in every backwater village just seems too much. I would consider a scenario where you started with 200-300 units to be pretty large, but 500+ just seems to give the player too much to contend with from the start. I think it will be a wise move to reduce the number of units by 2/3 and will make the scenario accessible to a wider audience. I guess it depends what you want to make here, the scenario you want to play or a scenario for others to play. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You are the one putting in the effort so you must decide on something you are happy with
I normally play at the standard zoom (shift+z) and I have the fast piece slide option switched on so that moving units does not take forever. I could have turned this off for the Serb turn but even then there were so many battles going on I was missing half the action (IE looking south of Osijek while the fighting was happening north of Vukovar). What I was really struggling to comprehend was where the main Serb thrusts were aimed. There was such widespread fighting (I know that is how it was in the Yugoslav War) that it was difficult to grasp the bigger picture. I think with fewer units it will become clearer where the crucial areas of conflict are/were.
Yeah, Panzer General also makes me remeber the old days. I blazed through this one in three days and conquered Washington with major victory. After that i tried to win a major victory as allies in every scenario. It was quite fun. Whereas a single Steelpanthers scenario could take up to a weeks for me to play. The version with abrams and vietcong was Steel Panthers 2, modern battles.
Concerning the old people icons. Well, i did choose them because i always had difficulties with the modern ones, they always seemed too fuzzy for me, and i am also a little bit nostalgic and were happy to see the old civ1 people back in action.
About the zoom level, i play on the nearest zoom level (Got a big flatscreen), also fast piece slide on.
In the next Beta the units will be reduced, and i also found a way, to stop the fighting at the beginning in bosnia till april 1992, when the war there really started. I am messing around with the events for the croat bosnian brother war at the moment.
Players can, and will, do their own minor modifications to the graphics to suit their own tastes. I know Agricola changes roads to make them more visible and I usually swap some of the resource icons to make them more like the original game. Again this all depends on ones personal preference.
I would be happy to test the next version for you (if you still want me as a tester ) when it is ready. If it makes any difference I would prefer to play as the Croats or Bosnians.
been playing some more - I find it difficult to distinguish between units, especially when they are all stacked around one place, its difficult to see what unit belongs to which side especially when the flags are quite similar. Perhaps this is also due to the terrain, I will play some more and let you know on more impressions. As for the number of units, it really depends on what you like most. Most players will however probably be discouraged to play the game if the game has too many units.
I also noticed that two airplanes have the same characteristics but one more expensive than the other (Galeb, Orao).
Bosnians and Bosniaks are two different terms. Bosnians means people that live in bosnia and this is not a nationality, you have 3 nations that live in Bosnia. you should correct this terms if you want the scenario to be realistic.
keep on with the good work
Yeah, i really would like to keep you as Playtester. But it will take a while till the next Beta, work keeps me busy as everyone here i think.
I desgined the map to be played at closest zoom ( Which i also always use ), but since most players seem to prefer standard zoom, i will adjust my graphic appearances and change the health bar for better visibility. already changed the stats of Orao and Galeb, thanks for the remark. Concerning the designation bosnians and bosniaks, yeah, i had some thoughts about it. Usually bosniaks accounts only for the muslim people of bosnia. But (at least in the beginning) BiH and especially the bosnian army was mixed in character (Two friends of me are serbs, one served in 5th Korpus in Bihac, the other one in BiH Army in Sarajevo, and said many people did not want to go on with this nationalist thing, but declared themselves as bosnians). Many serbs and croats served in it. Many of them said, bullsh***, we are bosnians, and want to live in a state where all three nationalities coexist.
Therefore i named them bosnians, altough the muslim component did increase later, to some extrem levels sometimes. But i included Bosniaks as a tech advance. If you check bosnian research you will see it.
So long, thanks for all your patience and good advises. I hope to see some progress soon.