Gil R. -> FAQ Thread for BAB (4/29/2010 10:08:03 PM)
Since some questions are being asked multiple times, and others have been asked once but will be repeated, it seems like a FAQ thread would be quite useful. So, in no particular order:
Where does the name "The Drawing of the Sword" come from?
As a matter of fact, no one has asked this, either because you all are well-educated and knowledgeable sorts, or because you lack basic curiosity. Perhaps I'll start a poll thread. Anyway, it is from a famous quote by Ulysses S. Grant: "Though I have been trained as a soldier, and participated in many battles, there never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword. I look forward to an epoch when a court, recognized by all nations, will settle international differences, instead of keeping large standing armies as they do in Europe." The italicized part is what's usually quoted, without the rest of the context. So this quote is not necessarily specific to the Civil War, but it's Ulysses S. Grant, so that's good enough for us.
General questions pertaining to running BAB
Regarding supported Windows OS's and similar technical questions, please see the product page: http://www.matrixgames.com/products/505/details/Brother.Against.Brother
Questions about the game itself
At what scale will BAB be played?
Hexes are 75 yards. The largest maps will be 5 x 10 miles.
5 x 10 miles at 75 yards/hex? Are you insane?
Questions about modding and moddability
Will it be possible to create new scenarios?
Yes, quite easily, since all of this is in data files that can be worked on using Excel or a similar program, and there will be a scenario-editor that speeds up unit placement.
Will there be a map-editor released?
Not initially. However, I am willing to work with anyone who makes their own map, using our internal program to map-edit it for him if 1) it meets certain standards, 2) is not for a battle that WCS plans to include in a future BAB release, 3) has not been done previously, 4) will be shared with everyone else. So even without a map-editor, it will certainly be possible to create a good number of small and medium battlefields, assuming that you have the graphics skills to make the maps themselves. (I can explain what I mean by "certain standards" once there are people interested in this.)
Why include mostly battles most people haven't heard of?
BAB is envisioned as a series of releases, each with one or two famous battles as well as some less prominent ones, all thematically released. Rather than jump right into Gettysburg we decided to go chronologically, beginning with the opening battles of the war. This approach makes sense in many ways, with the only downside being that in the first release the battles are mostly on the small side -- but even if small, they are quite interesting, and the terrain on which they were fought has numerous challenges.
Questions about the future
Will WCS and Matrix be selling more scenarios for "Brother against Brother"?
We will regularly be providing more scenarios for each battle, but these will be provided for free. So, yes to new scenarios, no to having to pay for them.
What's next for "Brother against Brother"?
BAB was envisioned as a series of releases which can be condensed or expanded depending on how successful it is. Each release would have 3-5 battles, normally 1-2 major ones and 2-3 minor ones, which means that we could have as many as six or seven titles, produced at a rate of 1-2 per year. But if there isn't as much demand we would limit ourselves to just the really big battles and then move on to other things. Right now, we plan for BAB#2 to be entitled "Lee Takes Command" and be devoted to the Seven Days Battles and 2nd Manassas, and if sales meet expectations the next release after that would be "The Civil War in the West (1862)," devoted to Shiloh, Pea Ridge, Fort Donelson and one or two others.
This engine obviously can be used for other battles of the gunpowder era. Do you have any plans to do this?
We would like to do that, especially for the Napoleonic era -- but time, of course, is a major factor. BAB is produced by a three-man team (programmer/designer, map/OOB/scenario designer, artist), so working on, say, Waterloo or Yorktown would come at the expense of Shiloh and Gettysburg. But it is not out of the question, especially for Napoleonic battles, since we already have most of the era-specific code we would need from our game "Crown of Glory" (e.g., cavalry screens, infantry forming squares). (On a related note, we do have plans to use the naval combat engine from "Crown of Glory: Emperor's Edition" to develop a game devoted to historical Napoleonic naval battles, essentially giving the BAB treatment to that game's randomized battles involving generic forces, instead using the actual orders of battle.)