I played a quick game with two opponents, human vs. AI- ( and hiding real time AI to speed up the AI processing).
I must say, maybe it's simply nostalgia, but I like AI-. Though I understand how the AI enhancement in ATG improve game balance: It's nice to not encounter a location defended by the AI that is defended by a bazillion howitzers or by an overwhelming flying circus of airplanes. (Though it is always rewarding to see all those units destroyed when the hex is taken or the airplane factory is destroyed from under them.)
It's nice to be able to have the choice of gaining balance by taking a highly disadvantage regime.
The cavalry is a nice touch too. I've gotten used to the first half of ATG being a WWI style game, cavalry certainly brings the "Blitz" aspect that makes AT so fun. (Yes, I know that once resources have been marshalled, limited blitzes with staggered attacks are possible, but it's nice to have the global capacity back.) It's nice that it upgrades with infantry as well.
In my opinion, the vanilla random mode is a lot more exciting even in the early turns before oil and raw materials have been sufficiently developed.
My own minor quibble is that I had lots of fun with the cavalry, but I think it is still too powerful. It costs more and sucks up more supply, which is good, but I think it might be worth looking into giving it some percentage less hit points than standard infantry. Or maybe keeping the HP the same, but giving it more defensive disadvantages in almost every terrain type.
(In other words, I'm suggesting that cavalry be more like the opposite of militia, great on the attack, but lousy on the defense)
The game reason I make this suggestion is that cavalry is great for taking ground and making breakthroughs, but can also hold ground as well as infantry. I think that cavalry can run the risk of being regularly used as a supply-intensive infantry substitute. To keep ATG nuanced, the use of cavalry as an infantry substitute should be one of emergency, incompetence, or special-situation grognard nuance.
I'd think the use of cavalry would be more nuanced if it easy to counterattack and destroy when unsupported by infantry. Then, Cavalry would be great for gaining ground, but not for holding it. I feel like cavalry should be rather poor at holding ground once it has been taken. A player better be able to bring up the bullet and shrapnel absorbing grunts if the gains made by horse are to be held.
The (arguable) grognard justification could be that the unit is more vulnerable because horses are more vulnerable to destruction. Unlike horses attached to infantry as transport, the cavalry horse is an integral part of the unit. (Of course, not often used in actual combat, but the need for tactical access will put the cavalry horse closer to the front line than the infantry horse.)
[I guess it'd be worthwhile to program and test out various ratios of CAV HP to INF HP myself, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do so soon...]
< Message edited by springer -- 5/15/2011 9:07:51 PM >