Hi Victor. I also read your very good guide about the game and I have a very similar wargaming background to you, so I see all of the things you are achieving or trying to achieve with your design. I think it's great so far, and I hope you get enough positive feedback from other players to keep you 100% motivated!
One key thing I believe you have to decide is whether you are trying to address the (mostly) older board gaming market or the (mostly) younger RTS market. I don't think you can win with both groups. So far, I see the direction you are taking as a boardgamer's approach, but adding the real time element and the isometric views for realism, while avoiding the RTS click-fest. Obviously, I like that direction myself, but I wonder where the market will pull you?
An example of how I would like to see the game evolve is in the crucial Air component - how to model the critical effect of air without the RTS-style air attacks currently in the game? I would suggest that Air should be more abstracted and statistically modelled, with a focus on attrition of all unit strengths, reductions of efficiency and general interdiction of supply, based on who has air superiority, the weather, allocation of mission types, etc. The players should use sliders or some similar device to define their strategy (% allocated to CAS, Interdiction, Recon, etc.) while air supply values are set by the scenario designer to reflect limited numbers of suitable aircraft. Units can then be given supply priority by players and have a chance of receiving airdrops each turn if they cannot trace a supply path. Air drops can also miss and go to nearby enemy units. Random chance and target detection status (spotted, time since last sighting, etc.) should determine the chance and impact of air strikes. CAS should have a random chance of hitting adjacent friendly units as well - a common problem. You might want to consider a separate Air Operations Map, where the players can set their geographic priorities for air operations, so that, for example, they can focus all their assets on the most dangerous enemy movement. Also, it should be possible to strike bridges and supply dumps to interdict/reduce supply efficiency.
Osprey - I would say that this game is somewhat ahead of where the original Crown of Glory was. It does need more work, but it's already a fun and educational game if you can look past the flaws, IMO. CoG never did grab my attention. maybe I should look at the latest addition again.
Markus.... well... I need time to read your email. We are really moving to the core of "How to simulate Operation games w/o died traying it"
For me WWII:GC is a pure evolution, I was convinced that introduce the time variable on a Operational game is needed, on turn based I was loosing something, I know RTS = clickfest, but becouse nobody has trying something different, or adding the element for make it easy... example: if you play online but with many Timeout, it is a turn based game!!
But I know the people can not recorgnize our game with anything existing, and that is the problem. Problem for us and the sales ;)... but we did it, knowing the consequences..
What element we want to control during the game... in that case Supplies, the Air attack etc... We simplify, Air Attack is a pure support unit to reduce the efficience of attacked units (GC is not a RTS , the battalions are not destroy by an air attack... ). Talking about audience... if we include all, the game is very hardcore, too much. So we decide to simplify, perhaps the best would be to create different game mode, with alternative for gamers that want to control everything and other that just want to play different global strategics... not focusing in every detail.
Another question is. really the Generals had this controls of units.. supply etc during the combats? I do not think that, you say FoW was severe, you have to imagine in those days!! One day I would like to simulate the exactly atmosfere of HQ during the combats... radio message, notes comming from footmen messangers, wrong informations... well a nightmare...
I will back to you regarding supplies, it is quite interesting subject.
Hi again - I was travelling...
I understand your points and I agree that you have to pick a development path that can realistically be followed.
On the FoW point, that was a compliment :) I think the FoW is excellent - enemy divisions previously unknown emerge from the mist on my flank along an unguarded road - great! (This just happened to me).
Observations from another couple of hours play:
1. The ping of death came again but this time it was right after I alt-tabbed to read an email. I don't think the adware alert is the cause; it's somehow connected to coming out of the game (due to alt-tab or pop-up dialogue) and then going back in. Game freezes right after every time.
2. The AI plays different strategies each time, am I correct? When I replay the same scenario the AI sometimes defends, other times attacks my foremost units, one time with armor along this road, the next game with armor on the other side of the map. I'm loving it.
3. One negative about the AI; in the Bastogne scenario it once advanced the 101st Airborne straight towards by Panzer Divisions with no tank support and left Bastogne undefended behind it. I think a few tweaks are needed to make it a bit less aggressive when defending.
4. I notice that as the scenarios get more complex (Bastogne Corridor onwards) the battles become longer, e.g. the units sit and slog away at each other for a much longer period than in the earlier scenarios. I think some rules are needed on unit behaviour once certain casualty levels are reached (e.g. 10% losses and an attacking unit stops to regroup or 'Hold'. 20% losses and a defender withdraws 1 km, etc.) I guess there are such rules in the code already, but some of the AI units are just attacking to the bitter end. I'd like a bit more ebb and flow, some pauses to regroup and re-position, etc.
Still think this is a truly great design - just want to see it get even better!