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Civil War General - 4/16/2010 5:27:45 AM   
JeanAllTrekkie

 

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I dont know if you guys remember 'Civil War General 2', if you dont visit http://cwg2.org/. This game was one of the best wargames I have ever played. It was one of the top because it put you in the Generals chair. You had command over every brigade, artillery and cavalry unit with actual troop numbers (I always disliked and never bought any game that didnt portray troop numbers - That immerses you in the game. When you attack and a causulty scrren comes up saying you lost 900 out of 1200 men... it hits you... ALOT more than the computer telling you .. you lost 8 strength.) I loved the game so much I tried twice to develop a sequel... I even developed a in depth design document and started work on a engine, but as all volunteer gaming projects go... this one met the same fate. Sad thing too because Civil War General 2 had a community around it. Google it and you can still pick up sites devoted to it.

The genius of the game was that you could do anything go anywhere on the map. ex. Send 4 brigades to guard the bridge, have 2 divisions hold the main line, etc.. The User Interface was beautiful and streamlined. You immediately knew your brigade strength, its health, morale, supply. I played the game for years... and wondered why no major publication developer would pick it up.

One publisher I hoped would pick it up was Matrix games, since they specialize in Historical Strategy titles. Its a game that will develop a community as it did before, and only grow, if given proper support from the publisher. I mean think about it... Sierra stopped supporting the game back in 1998/99 and the game community were still playing, modding and supporting it in 2008 and possible today (Cant find the MSN Groups website, since MSN Groups shut down in 08... they could still exit somewhere on the net). There are still sites online to this day supporting the game. So a 13 year lifespace is a really good sign for a duplicate product to be made. Matrix or some other interested publisher could do as I did... Develop the game as a stand alone original title and not connected to the original Civil War General 2. This new game would have all the same gameplay elements, graphics, intent of the original (with some modern upgrades - for better gameplay and to distance itself from legal issues). If any publisher is interested I can provide you with a design document I developed, which would aid you in your development.

In any case. Lets open up the topic to all the past and present Civil War General 2 gamers.

How much did you love... and share your experiences! :)
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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 5:29:54 AM   
junk2drive


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Great game. I still have the box, manual and disc. Haven't played it since XP.

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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 5:31:33 AM   
JeanAllTrekkie

 

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Anyone know if it plays on Win 7. Im eager to play the scenario Virginia 1864. That was one of the best scenario / game levels I have ever played in my life.

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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 6:25:25 AM   
Obsolete


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If it were not for the compatibility problems, I'd still be playing it today.  I believe originally the TCP/IP community played it on the WON network, which was run by Sierra, but then that was dropped when Sierra got bought out of business.  What a shame. 

There always used to be some hot-head who had won the campaigns, then logged into the WON network bragging how they were the best player in the world.  Then after getting their ass handed back to them, they often never popped back in again.  I think this was also a part of why new blood was rare to enter the scene.  People don't like being out-classed by everyone else.





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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 7:38:45 AM   
Greybriar


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I loved that series. But I played the first game of it more than the second.

I installed Civil War Generals on my Vista PC, but I never could get it up and running.

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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 8:17:59 AM   
Missouri_Rebel


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Not CWG, but did you folks see the comment from Gil R of WCS, the developers of Forge of Freedom? He stated that they are working on or will work on a new series of games that uses an updated and expanded version of FoF's tactical battles. I have never played CWG, but have heard some people compare it to those in FoF.


Here is the quote from Gil,

''-- we will first be producing a series of releases using a greatly modified version of the FOF tactical engine for historical battles, starting with 1st Bull Run and a few other early battles. More on this soon... ''

mo reb


< Message edited by Missouri_Rebel -- 4/16/2010 8:18:40 AM >


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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 8:28:41 AM   
Anguille


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CWG2 is still my favorite game about the American Civil War....

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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 8:50:57 AM   
Gil R.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Missouri_Rebel

Here is the quote from Gil,

''-- we will first be producing a series of releases using a greatly modified version of the FOF tactical engine for historical battles, starting with 1st Bull Run and a few other early battles. More on this soon... ''

mo reb




Yes, indeed. I've just spent the past hour trying to plot out where the fences between Brawner Farm and the Groveton-Sudley Road should go. Trying to get long, straight fences to fit into a hex system is just a royal pain...

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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 8:59:00 AM   
Anguille


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gil R.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Missouri_Rebel

Here is the quote from Gil,

''-- we will first be producing a series of releases using a greatly modified version of the FOF tactical engine for historical battles, starting with 1st Bull Run and a few other early battles. More on this soon... ''

mo reb




Yes, indeed. I've just spent the past hour trying to plot out where the fences between Brawner Farm and the Groveton-Sudley Road should go. Trying to get long, straight fences to fit into a hex system is just a royal pain...


Sounds great...

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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 10:51:57 AM   
Obsolete


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quote:

(I always disliked and never bought any game that didnt portray troop numbers - That immerses you in the game.


That seems pretty silly to not buy a game for that reason.

The main reason CWG had immersion was because of the campaign system.  You actually now had a point to keep your generals alive, capture supplies, purchase/upgrade weapons, make trade-offs, etc.




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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 3:29:58 PM   
jomni


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I installed it in my Vista machine last month.
There were compatibility problems. It ran but there are some sound looping and an insanely large hex map.
But this is a really good game.


< Message edited by jomni -- 4/16/2010 3:31:54 PM >


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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 3:49:54 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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I'll have to try again. It didn't work at all when I tried it. Great game, guess it's worth the effort.

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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 4:07:20 PM   
Obsolete


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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 7:27:26 PM   
Dave Briggs


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The only thing I didn't like about CWG2 was the elevation graphics. I understand why they did it in triangular form, but it takes a lot of eye strain sometimes, especially where the elevation changes more than one level. I used to have to play it with the elevation numbers on. If a remake was made I'd sure like to see them improve the elevation graphics.

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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 7:31:30 PM   
jackx

 

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"So realistic it has safe re-enactor close-combat on the cover"

Sorry, couldn't resist... probably shouldn't be joking though, as I've never played the game. I'll see if I can get it to work on win7 64bit...

Regarding numbers, if there is sufficient documentation to allow for actual numbers of troops to be used, then that's great, but if it's mostly conjecture/paper-strength anyways, it doesn't make much difference to me whether numbers or some other abstract point system is used.
Numbers might make it feel more real, but only if you deceive yourself into viewing those conjecture-based numbers as more factual than the point system...


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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 10:26:13 PM   
Gil R.


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jackx is certainly on to something, by referring to "paper" strength. For the first time I've had to really dig into the numbers of troops present at certain battles, and see just how inconsistent our sources are. To me, the most reliably are reports in the OR by regimental or brigade commanders who specifically use language indicating that their numbers are for men present for duty on that day. However, my estimate -- based on research so far -- is that at most 10-20% or so are that specific, meaning that usually one has to rely on idealized strength figures for regiments (i.e., when everyone is healthy and present). So then there's the problem of whether you use the "present for duty" numbers for some regiments and the idealized numbers for others, which is completely inconsistent. Making this even more complicated, if you have a multi-day battle then the strength figures tend to be from the first day, and there are not always reliable records saying when casualties occurred.

Personally, I'm fine with either system, if the game itself is good. My favorite Civil War game (with which I've had no involvement, that is) is "Across Five Aprils," which uses abstracted strength figures.

< Message edited by Gil R. -- 4/16/2010 10:31:10 PM >


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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 10:38:50 PM   
Slick Wilhelm


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Gil, will this new series support widescreen resolution? If so, I'm drooling already. 

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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 10:41:19 PM   
Gil R.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Slick Wilhelm

Gil, will this new series support widescreen resolution? If so, I'm drooling already. 


Possibly. It hasn't been programmed yet, but we'd like to add it.

You'll be glad to know that one of our testers has been quite vocal on the matter ever since FOF was released, so you have a well-placed advocate on your side...

By the way, our "coming soon" forum is coming soon. So we'll be able to discuss such things there before too long.

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RE: Civil War General - 4/16/2010 11:05:37 PM   
JeanAllTrekkie

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Missouri_Rebel

Not CWG, but did you folks see the comment from Gil R of WCS, the developers of Forge of Freedom? He stated that they are working on or will work on a new series of games that uses an updated and expanded version of FoF's tactical battles. I have never played CWG, but have heard some people compare it to those in FoF.


Here is the quote from Gil,

''-- we will first be producing a series of releases using a greatly modified version of the FOF tactical engine for historical battles, starting with 1st Bull Run and a few other early battles. More on this soon... ''

mo reb



Forge of Freedom is one of the few games I bought hoping to get a Civil War General 2 Experience. It got close but The UI isnt simple and efficient enough, as well as some of the gameplay. But then again I dont think the developers tried to make the game like CWG. I do love the game though. It has a nice mixture of Strategic and Tactical combat. As a former game developer, designer, etc. I would love to make some edits though! ;).

I hope they make a sequel to Forge of Freedom, because thats a sure fire hit. In fact Im planning to play it in a few min.

What I would love see done is for a developer to take Civil War General 2, replicate it, and build upon it. The number one thing CWG2 needed was a strategic level of play (Im not talking about Campaign). People who play games dont want load screens they want a big game but scaled down to management level ( why Grand Theft Auto was a hit). What I envision for a CWG sequel would be to have a massive hex map that would stretch from The Atlantic to the end of Texas. Every state, every river, town represented on this large map. The way to manage it would be a zoom feature, very similar to Google's Map. On the 1x view you can view the whole of the map. Your armies would be represented by a flag. You can move them by simply clicking and draging to where you want them to go. Now when you see your army approaching a enemy force ... you can zoom down to 5x view where you can view and command the individual brigades. You can attack, charge, defend, etc. on this level of play. This would be the ultimate Civil War Experience. No other game would compare to it, but then again no company is risky enough to try it lol.

Anyway I ramble Forge of Freedom is a very good game. I cant wait to see the updates they do to it.

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RE: Civil War General - 4/17/2010 4:56:00 AM   
JeanAllTrekkie

 

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Played Forge of Freedom for a bit. Couple of suggestions from a former game designer:

TACTICAL:
- The Misinterpret Command. I know it was probably designed to bring more realism to the game, but its a very frustrating frequent occurance. There are times when too much realism in a game negates it.

- I didnt like the inability to select units. I had to pass turn until I got the unit(S) I wanted to use.

- Many times when a unit que's and their next to a enemy unit they would fire without command, and you wouldnt be able to issue a command to that unit. This should be removed. The player needs to be able to make choices. Again too much realism is not a good thing.

- The Mini Map needs to be a bit larger, more simpler and defined.

- Terrain needs to be a little bit more defined.

- The Brigade status bar (on the bottom) needs to be simpler and more alive. It needs to be more eye friendly. People today are all about a better UI. Look at how Microsoft, Google are replicating Apple's simple streamlined OS.

and to my #1 suggestion:

- Implement ZOOM. This is a must. Players need to have the ability to zoom in on a specific field of battle and zoom out and take it all in. All players prefer different resolutions of playing. Some enjoy seeing small parts of the battle field, while navigating the mini map, others enjoy the map zoomed out totally and ordering units from there... and then there are the middle people who prefer zooming in and out throughout the tactical map.


West Civ: If you would me to help in game design Id be happy to help. I think your on the right track. I have much experience.

< Message edited by JeanAllTrekkie -- 4/17/2010 5:14:53 AM >

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RE: Civil War General - 4/17/2010 5:05:09 AM   
Obsolete


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quote:

"So realistic it has safe re-enactor close-combat on the cover"


LOL, that part about smelling the gun-powder did indeed get noticed for the first time Sierra ran some FALSE ADVERTISING on the cover of a title.




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RE: Civil War General - 4/17/2010 6:26:37 AM   
Gil R.


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Jean, thanks for your favorable comments on FOF, which are always appreciated. Below are some responses.

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeanAllTrekkie

Played Forge of Freedom for a bit. Couple of suggestions from a former game designer:

TACTICAL:
- The Misinterpret Command. I know it was probably designed to bring more realism to the game, but its a very frustrating frequent occurance. There are times when too much realism in a game negates it.

We're likely to tweak this to make it less common, especially since we're introducing whole new ways to frustrate the player! (Remember, though, that misinterpreting command is partly a function of unit quality, so it's more common early in the game.)

- I didnt like the inability to select units. I had to pass turn until I got the unit(S) I wanted to use.

Units can be selected at will. Completely different from FOF.

- Many times when a unit que's and their next to a enemy unit they would fire without command, and you wouldnt be able to issue a command to that unit. This should be removed. The player needs to be able to make choices. Again too much realism is not a good thing.

Under our new system, which some people will like and others might not (as your post suggests), the computer always decides on the target. This is because in the Civil War units would fire at the closest enemy unit, unless returning fire at enemy troops farther away. You would never (to my knowledge) have a situation in which a unit would deliberately aim at an enemy unit four "hexes" away when another was within two. Each turn, though, a unit can be fired upon by and return fire against multiple enemy units, so there will usually be a good chance that the computer targets the unit you would have. We view this approach as more realistic and, arguably, more challenging.

- The Mini Map needs to be a bit larger, more simpler and defined.

For now, at least, we're keeping it as it is. I think so far it is working well, and none of the testers has complained about it.

- Terrain needs to be a little bit more defined.

Not sure what you mean in particular, but I'd say it's much more defined. All sorts of new terrain types and features.

- The Brigade status bar (on the bottom) needs to be simpler and more alive. It needs to be more eye friendly. People today are all about a better UI. Look at how Microsoft, Google are replicating Apple's simple streamlined OS.

We're keeping this the same, at least for the first release. That sort of change involves a lot of graphics work. We've added a separate hierarchy box on the left side of the screen, though, that might solve some of your issues.

and to my #1 suggestion:

- Implement ZOOM. This is a must. Players need to have the ability to zoom in on a specific field of battle and zoom out and take it all in. All players prefer different resolutions of playing. Some enjoy seeing small parts of the battle field, while navigating the mini map, others enjoy the map zoomed out totally and ordering units from there... and then there are the middle people who prefer zooming in and out throughout the tactical map.

Zoom's been around for ages, added in one of our big patches. Use CTRL +/-.

West Civ: If you would me to help in game design Id be happy to help. I think your on the right track. I have much experience.

Thanks for your offer, but the game is mostly designed at this point, and we are too far along to do any major redesigning. If there's some aspect of the game that's widely hated -- which I don't really expect, but it's always possible -- we'd fix it in a patch, or else do a redesign for our next release and retrofit the changes.





< Message edited by Gil R. -- 4/17/2010 6:29:04 AM >


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RE: Civil War General - 4/17/2010 6:42:55 AM   
JeanAllTrekkie

 

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Thanks for your reply Gil. Im excited about the changes your doing to your next update. Look foward to it.

If you would like I can help you with the Graphics work (Have about 10 - 11 years experience). Let me know if your interested.

AWESOME cant wait to try out the zoom :). Any chance you guys are going to code the mouse wheel for - / + zoom? Would be alot more simple

Forge of Freedom is one of the best historical strategy games out there. I like the direction your going and your committment to your product. Carry On.



< Message edited by JeanAllTrekkie -- 4/17/2010 6:43:57 AM >

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RE: Civil War General - 4/17/2010 10:17:43 AM   
jackx

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Obsolete

quote:

"So realistic it has safe re-enactor close-combat on the cover"


LOL, that part about smelling the gun-powder did indeed get noticed for the first time Sierra ran some FALSE ADVERTISING on the cover of a title.





xD. I was treating that as a "figure of speech" right away, but the guys dry-humping while rubbing their weapons together make for a horrible (albeit safe, and from a distance, somewhat convincing) representation of close combat, regardless of their intention to actually use their bayonets or not.

----

quote:


Under our new system, which some people will like and others might not (as your post suggests), the computer always decides on the target. This is because in the Civil War units would fire at the closest enemy unit, unless returning fire at enemy troops farther away. You would never (to my knowledge) have a situation in which a unit would deliberately aim at an enemy unit four "hexes" away when another was within two. Each turn, though, a unit can be fired upon by and return fire against multiple enemy units, so there will usually be a good chance that the computer targets the unit you would have. We view this approach as more realistic and, arguably, more challenging.


Control may be nice for the player, but with a hex system, it leads to fire stacking - i.e. two units on each side, you'd be stupid not to first pump all your fire into one, then the other if you can. Somewhat acceptable perhaps with large base units and long turns, but hardly what happened historically, as it was mostly blaze away to your front in the general direction of the enemy, not least because in a prolonged fire-fight, you won't be seeing much on account of the smoke.

So having the computer in control of attack allocation seems a decent option, though it doesn't solve another problem, that of unit-vs-unit-combat, where if a unit fires once, one of the enemies to its front will usually escape completely unscathed... that's actually the second part of the unit numbers/strength problem that we talked about earlier - how to best distribute numerical strength to game units, so it doesn't ruin the OoB, but also works well with the game mechanics, and you don't end up with some of the more ridiculous side effects of MSU...

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RE: Civil War General - 4/17/2010 5:25:23 PM   
wodin


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I must admit I prefer a game where the units have troops i.e PzC, Panther games series and the War in the East game.... rather than a step system like the SSG games.

Thats not to say I will not play a game with an abstract system...just for me it lacks a little immersion. Especially if your playing a game at company level and below.

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RE: Civil War General - 4/17/2010 7:00:21 PM   
Missouri_Rebel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeanAllTrekkie


Forge of Freedom is one of the best historical strategy games out there. I like the direction your going and your committment to your product. Carry On.





I agree with Mr.JeanAllTrekkie completely.

I love FoF and cannot wait to see what WCS has in store for this upcoming title. It seems they really have their finger on the pulse of wargamers that enjoy depth anda fun gaming experience, a combination that escapes too many title that I purchase it seems.

If there are people that still do not own Forge of Freedom, IMHO it is a must buy. I have spent many hundreds of hours playing it. Great value for the buck.

BTW Gil, is there a working title for your game yet?

mo reb

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RE: Civil War General - 4/17/2010 11:22:54 PM   
Gil R.


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mo reb,

Thanks for your comments. The only way we could get better publicity for the game would be to hire a booth babe next time we're with Matrix at Origins or GenCon...

Yes, there's a working title for the series, but I think I'll hold off on announcing it until we have the "coming soon" forum. (We are not going with Forge of Freedom because we'd like to emphasize that even though derived from that game's tactical engine, the changes are far-reaching enough that they are essentially two different products. Plus if/when we do a FOF2 it would get even more confusing.)

< Message edited by Gil R. -- 4/17/2010 11:24:05 PM >

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RE: Civil War General - 4/18/2010 5:14:28 AM   
ilovestrategy


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I want Age of Rifles. 

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RE: Civil War General - 4/18/2010 6:20:03 AM   
Obsolete


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One type of wargame I’d like to see is the whole war of 1812 scenario.  Unfortunately this may not be so easy to implement.  The Americans constantly had lopsided strength (in numbers) to their advantages, but they simply got outplayed over and over again.

Playing the US while using historical insight on the real numbers simply isn’t going to work, as no armchair general is going to scurry back across the border with his tail between his legs when he knows clear well he has the upper hand.  Nor is a PC player going to seriously alter his strategic bravery due to his fear of the Native Indians & their means of torture applied to captured American soldiers/militia.  This had tremendous impact on solders and moral during the war.

I suppose this could be do-able from the Brittish/Canadian perspective with the addition OF BLUFF-CARD gimmicks while playing against an AI?  Or perhaps one could play as the US forces and be at the mercy of what is drawn from a deck of BLUFF-CARDS.  But I’m sure that would still annoy a lot of players to no end.  So this would have to take some good thinking through.

What do others think on this?

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RE: Civil War General - 4/18/2010 1:09:29 PM   
Yogi the Great


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Obsolete

One type of wargame I’d like to see is the whole war of 1812 scenario. 



Maybe not quite what you are lookingfor, but in case you haven't seen it yet, here is an offering from HPS.
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The War of 1812

The War of 1812 is a tactical/operational level game covering the major battles of the War of 1812 from the pre-war Battle of Tippecanoe to the post-war Battle of New Orleans. The game includes the same detailed tactical game engine as the earlier game Campaign 1776 and a higher level campaign game so that a player can fight individual battles or campaigns. Over 100 historical and what-if battles are included in the game together with a full-feature scenario editor.



(in reply to Obsolete)
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