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Development Update & Looking for historians

 
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Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/10/2009 5:33:28 PM   
Vic


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Hi everybody! I want to be a little more open about what games the future might bring. I have considered doing a HPS-like secrecy policy and announcing a title when its done, but considered it to be... aahh.. to secretive.

It's a better in my opinion to give some information about what games are being worked upon. I realize doing this brings the inherent danger of some disappointments. Because not everything worked upon, will also be finished. But on the other hand it will bring some good suggestions, input and hopefully help too. Having made that disclaimer now lets go to the development progress update.

Serious work is underway on a much more grognard style operational ww2 game.
This title is planned to put the player in the shoes of the German High Command.

Poland, France, Sea Lion, Africa, Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad scenarios are planned to be linked through a well researched campaign with interesting historical dialogue and operational discussion. The scenarios hex scale is about 10kms, Unit scale regimental, troops are modeled in exact numbers and with historical equipment. Historical generals are planned to be included on Corps level and above. Gameplay and rules are made more historical too. Examples of this include divisional cooperation bonuses and shattering of units. Also a completely fresh AI for these quite big scenarios is in the making.

At the same time the game will still give backwards compatibility to any Advanced Tactics scenarios and have the familiar old random game option. It will add new much awaited features too. Among others i am working on alliances that enable players to share hexes and trace supply and production routes through allied territories.

Furthermore i am planning to make sure a good quality manual will be included.

For this game I am looking for some specific help. I could use some (hobby) historians with experience and good military history knowledge to check, comment and help collect my OOBs, Equipment Statistics, Maps, General ratings and special abilities and Scenario Variants and events. If you are interested send a mail to vic@xs4all.nl with some motivation why you want to help and description of what you consider your expertise. (these are volunteer positions) Progress is slow so for the moment i am specifically looking for expertise on the (a) Poland campaign, (b) The campaign against the Low countries and France and (c) Sea Lion. Expertise on Polish, Dutch, Belgium, English and French forces is a big welcome at this stage. It will be a few months, at least, until I start on the Africa and Russia scenarios.

I hope to get this title finished around end of 2009, start of 2010.

I hope to do monthly update on de the development progress.

Kind regards,
Vic
Post #: 1
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/10/2009 10:16:58 PM   
Bombur

 

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Will this game have an editor?

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 2
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/10/2009 11:50:36 PM   
Balder

 

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It's Advanced Tactics v2.

for multilanguage?
quote:

It is an idea to maybe make the next game read all text from a text file
(that could thus be easily replaced).


< Message edited by Balder -- 5/10/2009 11:51:36 PM >

(in reply to Bombur)
Post #: 3
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/12/2009 2:18:14 PM   
Vic


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Still a long way ago... I hope to give some more in depth feature updates on aspects of the game the next months.

(in reply to Balder)
Post #: 4
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/13/2009 1:32:43 AM   
Captain Cruft


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Sounds great, and I look forward to it.

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 5
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/15/2009 1:31:02 AM   
Zaratoughda


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My two cents on this.... for what they are worth....

This plan..... kinda sounds like 'Panzer General except historically accurate'.

The niche that I see AT as having found..... is a game that, while not really competitive at an historical level with games like TOAW or the Grigsby games, is nonetheless reasonably historically accurate at a 'generic' level and, most importantly, is a FUN game to play.

So, sounds like a good plan except....

In TOAW there are various (at least THREE) scenarios (available on Rugged Defense) of the German invasion of Poland at this level (regimental level, 10 KM/hex, daily turns) and, there are like 800-1200 counters on each side.

The problem that I see here is, IMO, for most players 'fun' and 'big' are contradictions, and I am not sure how well the AT community would take to scenarios this big.

So, again IMO, you would really need to break this campaign down into smaller scenarios, like PG in fact did. If the way the scenarios played out tended to be historically accurate, then they would appeal to both those more interested in a fun scenario and those that are more the 'grognard' type.

Next.... as for 'France 1940'.... this is a difficult situation to make a game out of because the Germans suckered the Allies into believing they were invading through Belgian but instead totally outflanked them through the Ardennes. So, a campaign that was essentially over before the first shot was fired. But, if you break this down into parts, like the invasion of the low countries, the attack through the Ardennes, etc, then this would work.

Of course, the key is that is plays out historically accurate, given the decisions made by the player.

(Oh, BTW, if you have a regimental level game then you are gonna have batallion sized units as well so, no reason that I see why you could not do the German invasion of Denmark and Norway.)

Also, when it comes to the war in the east, 'Leningrad' may sound significant but this was mostly a siege with very little happenning. But, in TOAW, there are a series of scenarios (8 of them in fact, and all good scenarios) at this level on the progress of Army Group Center during the first year of the war. So, again IMO, if you want to appeal to the grognard the scenario selection has got to be open to the more interesting, if not necessarily the biggest name, situations.

You could almost do a game that was simply 'regimental level WW2' and concentrate just on that but.... that would leave out production which is a strong point of AT.

Hmmm.... it will take a LONG TIME to get good scenarios for the entirety of the war and not sure what you can do about that.

Whatever.... just thought I get in my two cents.

Zaratoughda

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 6
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/15/2009 10:03:29 AM   
Vic


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Zaratoughda,

I am attempting to combine fun and "grognard".
:)

gotta love a challenge.

kind regards,
vic

(in reply to Zaratoughda)
Post #: 7
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/19/2009 9:29:21 AM   
serg3d1

 

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Will Allied/Soviet sides be playable ? I for example don't like playing Germans. Can you make  OOB draft available online openly ? I'm not big mil-history buff,  but I know couple of things and operations, and know some real East Front buffs. FYI - there is now complete reworking of EF history going on in Russian mil-historical community, a lot of thing thought differently now . For example Prokhorovka battle now considered not important at all, Rzhev battle get a lot more attention, Soviet artillery general effectivens was overestimated, Soviet aviataion role was underestomated in the initial stage of Brbarossa (soviet had local air superiority from time to time) etc.

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 8
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/19/2009 9:45:26 PM   
Vic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: serg3d1

Will Allied/Soviet sides be playable ? I for example don't like playing Germans. Can you make  OOB draft available online openly ? I'm not big mil-history buff,  but I know couple of things and operations, and know some real East Front buffs. FYI - there is now complete reworking of EF history going on in Russian mil-historical community, a lot of thing thought differently now . For example Prokhorovka battle now considered not important at all, Rzhev battle get a lot more attention, Soviet artillery general effectivens was overestimated, Soviet aviataion role was underestomated in the initial stage of Brbarossa (soviet had local air superiority from time to time) etc.



hi,

I'll consider releasing the OOBs publicly in beta phase.

And for your question... yes you will be able to select a human opponent to play the whole campaign and play humans on scenario levels if you want too. I am trying activly to make the other side as interesting and accurate as possible. Special scenario "could be" variants will even give Polish and French a chance.

kind regards,
Vic

(in reply to serg3d1)
Post #: 9
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/21/2009 1:34:57 AM   
Zaratoughda


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Hmmmm.... if you want a challange... how about the entirety of WW2 ETO at the regimental level? <g>

Actually that is not as far fetched as it might sound. The TOAW Fire in the East scenario is regimental level at 10 KM/hex and half-week turns, and that is being played all the time (I guess). But, most of the regimental level 10 KM/hex games that I have seen are daily turns. War in the Pacific has the highest forum activity of any game in these Matrix Forums, and daily turns and, the entire war can be played out (it has been stated that it would take longer in real time than the real war took... don't know if anyone has undertaken the campaign there).

One might think that 2 day turns might be optimal for regimental and 10 KM/hex but this is not an option that is given in TOAW.

Yeah, if you ever decided to go this far, might need two games to cover it... a War in the West game and a War in the East game.

One idea I had recently... is in a campaign breaking down the map into operational areas for each army or army group, and having separate scenarios for the operations of each. For instance, in the German invasion of Poland, there was Army Group North in the north and Army Group South in the south, and each has separate objectives. In fact, the armies within each of these army groups had separate objectives so you could break the game down into separate scenarios for each army (or army group), and then you don't have the monster games... while those that wanted to play the entire campaign, could do that.

In any case, if doing a regimental level game you are going to have to decide what you are going to do about 'ants'. For example, I took a look at the makeup of the 3rd Panzer Division and, two panzer regiments, two motorized infantry regiments, one motorized artillery regiment.... and like 3 or 4 batallion sized formations. It's these smaller sized units that people refer to as 'ants'.... their combat values are not comparable to the regimental sized units.... and many (including me) find it a pain to have to move all these units around and it tends to clutter up the map.

The alternate to having separate counters for these units is to have them assigned to the HQ unit and then the game allocates them to support combat based on proximity and units of the same division involved.

So, something you are probably going to have to make a decision on.

Zaratoughda

< Message edited by Zaratoughda -- 5/21/2009 1:35:50 AM >

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 10
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/21/2009 12:27:08 PM   
Vic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zaratoughda

Hmmmm.... if you want a challange... how about the entirety of WW2 ETO at the regimental level? <g>

Actually that is not as far fetched as it might sound. The TOAW Fire in the East scenario is regimental level at 10 KM/hex and half-week turns, and that is being played all the time (I guess). But, most of the regimental level 10 KM/hex games that I have seen are daily turns. War in the Pacific has the highest forum activity of any game in these Matrix Forums, and daily turns and, the entire war can be played out (it has been stated that it would take longer in real time than the real war took... don't know if anyone has undertaken the campaign there).

One might think that 2 day turns might be optimal for regimental and 10 KM/hex but this is not an option that is given in TOAW.

Yeah, if you ever decided to go this far, might need two games to cover it... a War in the West game and a War in the East game.

One idea I had recently... is in a campaign breaking down the map into operational areas for each army or army group, and having separate scenarios for the operations of each. For instance, in the German invasion of Poland, there was Army Group North in the north and Army Group South in the south, and each has separate objectives. In fact, the armies within each of these army groups had separate objectives so you could break the game down into separate scenarios for each army (or army group), and then you don't have the monster games... while those that wanted to play the entire campaign, could do that.

In any case, if doing a regimental level game you are going to have to decide what you are going to do about 'ants'. For example, I took a look at the makeup of the 3rd Panzer Division and, two panzer regiments, two motorized infantry regiments, one motorized artillery regiment.... and like 3 or 4 batallion sized formations. It's these smaller sized units that people refer to as 'ants'.... their combat values are not comparable to the regimental sized units.... and many (including me) find it a pain to have to move all these units around and it tends to clutter up the map.

The alternate to having separate counters for these units is to have them assigned to the HQ unit and then the game allocates them to support combat based on proximity and units of the same division involved.

So, something you are probably going to have to make a decision on.

Zaratoughda


I sweep the ants in to the regiments. 3 or 4 regiments per division is already a lot of detail imho.
The same with ants on Corps and Army level like independent artillery battalions i sweep them into larger units to avoid to much clutter.

In all cases i want to keep an eye on gameplay too, but without compromising history.

I am trying to designing the new engine so that such a monster scenario as you described will be possible to create through the editor, but i'll focus the release on more limited battles.

< Message edited by Vic -- 5/21/2009 12:34:50 PM >

(in reply to Zaratoughda)
Post #: 11
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/22/2009 7:08:33 AM   
Zaratoughda


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Posting this here for reference.... from Wikipidia and assuming one artillery regiment per division verified in TOAW Fall Weis scenario... The German OOB regiments for the invasion of Poland:

Army Group North:
Reserves: 17 regiments and 4 HQ units
4th Army (directive: capture the Polish corridor): 39 regiments and 14 HQ units
3rd Army (directive: drive south to Warsaw): 41 regiments and 18 HQ units

Army Group South:
Reserves: 24 regiments and 7 HQ units
8th Army (directive: along with 10th Army, drive to Warsaw): 17 regiments, 8 HQ
10th Army: 53 regiments and 19 HQ
14th Army (directive: destroy Polish forces around Krakow): 45 regiments and 16 HQ

The artillery regiments are included in the count, and the HQ represent the HQ units at division, corps and army level that would be included. Not included are the air units and the various flak regiments that accompanied them. Also there are the Slovak forces and some German naval units.

Hmmm..... so, a scenario of this entire campaign at the regimental level would mean at least.... 322 counters on the German side and.... probably around 450 total I would guess.

Hehe.... YES! <g>... I would think breaking this campaign down by each army would produce more interesting and managable scenarios... while allowing scenarios at the AG level or, for those that really want it, the entire campaign.

Zaratoughda

P.S. If you can get interesting and historically accurate scenarios of the invasion of Poland, you got a good start. Not necessarily the most popular WW2 wargame era, maybe because too many units for such a short campaign (or maybe because the Polish really don't stand a chance), I dunno.

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 12
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/22/2009 10:23:12 AM   
Vic


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quote:

a short campaign (or maybe because the Polish really don't stand a chance), I dunno.


I got Poland Scenario nailed down.

Next i got to do is the humongous Fall Gelb scenario which is even larger then Poland.
I think i will not take along the MaginotLine and army group C in that scenario. but still.

I am thinking along the same lines as you are concerning playing Armygroups.

(in reply to Zaratoughda)
Post #: 13
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/23/2009 2:53:41 AM   
Zaratoughda


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Hmmm.... I did some investigation on scales and..

The V4V/WAW games (batallion level 1 KM/hex) allowed a max stacking of three... in other words.... one regiment. So, conceivably one could do a regimental level game at 1 KM/Hex but then again...... couldn't handle normal frontage so from this... something along the lines of 3 KM/Hex would seem appropriate.

Looking at this from the opposite perspective..... 2x3 is developing a new divisional level game on the eastern front, and will probably do the western front when they are done, and they are using 10 mi/hex.... which is about 15 km/hex. So, given an average of 3 regiments per division (neglecting artillery regiments which are rear area) one would think around 5 KM/Hex would be an appropriate scale for a regimental level game.

TOAW uses 10 km/hex but TOAW is 'micromanagment heaven' with lots of counters and lots of units in the same hex... and I don't think you want to go there.

The advantage of a lower scale, is you got less unit density and don't have to spend a lot of time looking at stacks of units to see what is there. It would also be more fun having larger maps to maneuver over.

It might be too late to change the scale, but if you did it at 3-5 KM/Hex you would be distinct from 2x3 and TOAW and that would be an advantage. Otherwise, kinda like stringing a bunch of TOAW scenarios together and maps that are not that much different from the 2x3 maps.

Whatever,

Zaratoughda

P.S. One of the fun things about the V4V/WAW games was the low unit density. Looks like the new 2x3 east front game will be about the same. Of course, WiR only allowed one unit per hex.

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 14
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/25/2009 4:31:02 AM   
Zaratoughda


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Just like to get a few more comments in before moving on (got a RL that needs attention).

1. I would like to get in one last vote for Army level scenarios at the regimental level.

At AG level on the invasion of Poland, there would still be like 200 counters on the German side. Also, I have brought up the TOAW scenarios on this a number of times and have looked at them but have never bothered to play one out. Part of this is the number of counters but, also, each of the armies had separate objectives (excepting the 8th and 10th armies which had the same objective) and you got to go back and forth from one army with it's objectives to the other armies with their objectives. In the real campaign things where handled at the army level and the real commanders did not have to do this so, why should I? (unless I am a micromanagement freak <g>)

I was thinking separate scenarios for each armies (excepting 8th and 10th armies which would be together) and then combine these exactly if you want an AG scenario or all of them if you want the entire campaign.

But, whatever... my vote is cast.

2. If you are going to just do a sampling of regimental level scenarios I don't think the grognard community is gonna be impressed. Doesn't have to be all of em at the start, even just one army or ag level scenario at the start for Poland would be fine... but down the road, should allow for all actions along these lines. User developed then 'knighted' or whatever. IMO, there is enough of these to allow for two separate games, East Front and West Front. PG did things along these lines, first there was PG then Allied General.

3. Giving a bonus for units of the same division... means there is still gonna be attacks including units from differet AG or whatever. This has been a major lacking in many wargames over the years. Due to the difficulties of coording such attacks, it was something that just did not happen.

A suggestion, charge 'preparation rounds' for combats involving units not in the same division. Would be best to just make attacks with units from the same division (no charge) but, units from different divisions same corps would be doable when you really need it (taking a well defended city or whatever), while attacks from units not in the same corps would be difficult at best and not in the same AG close to impossible.

This would be one way to motivate staying in organization with attacks, to a significant degree.

4. Panzer General had this linking of scenarios and I have seen the same in games like Steel Panthers.. and I guess there are more than a few players that get into these (I haven't) but, IMO the more different types of players a game appeals the better. Can't please everyone but, what AT has that most other games don't have is the random game generator... and the better this is in the new game the better the game is gonna be. Would need new terrain types (urban, dense urban, cropland, etc), improved AI, continuous selectable AI strength, etc.

Whatever.... again just getting my comments in.

Best of luck in any case!

Zaratoughda

(in reply to Zaratoughda)
Post #: 15
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/27/2009 9:31:16 PM   
Ande

 

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so allies will be able to share resources and supplies in this new game?
will this allow for players playing the fall gelb scenario for example to cooperate and control an army each?

(in reply to Zaratoughda)
Post #: 16
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/28/2009 5:53:11 PM   
Zaratoughda


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Only Vic knows for sure what his plans are and.... I would expect.... still considering different options at this stage.

However, no doubt facilitating multi-player play would be a big plus. In TOAW, there are a fair amount of people playing the Europe Aflame scenario.... this is ETO and multi-player but TOAW only allows for two players... can't even break off the Russians as a third player.... so they gotta fudge things to have a many-player game.

In Vic's new game, would be nice, like you say, to have different players command different armies, and have essentially separate turns for them. If you take the German invasion of Poland as an example, maybe some high level turn for the German high command / army group functions then each army commander would be able to do their turn separately.

Yeah, would be nice to have a system where all players on a side could take their turns simultaneously and then the game integtrates them all.... now THAT would really take a step forward in multi-player play.... but that would take some intense design and programming.

Whatever,

Zaratoughda

(in reply to Ande)
Post #: 17
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 5/28/2009 8:30:18 PM   
Lützow


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Vic

Serious work is underway on a much more grognard style operational ww2 game.
This title is planned to put the player in the shoes of the German High Command.


Sounds good. Consider me interested in beta participating, once you're at this stage.

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 18
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 7/25/2009 12:53:49 PM   
Balder

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Vic

Still a long way ago... I hope to give some more in depth feature updates on aspects of the game the next months.

What's new ?

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 19
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 7/25/2009 4:25:59 PM   
PDiFolco

 

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Hmm, interesting !! I think I could help a bit mostly for France campaign- I happen to be French !
Will send you an email Vic.


(in reply to Balder)
Post #: 20
RE: Development Update & Looking for historians - 7/29/2009 8:48:31 PM   
Ronson


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hello vic,will this be an expansion?

(in reply to Vic)
Post #: 21
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