Alright, I've played through a couple of full RC4 campaigns, one Union, one Confederate, and have a list of things to share.
First, so they're not lost in the shuffle: bug fixes.
1. Mosby's Rangers are spawned in Rockingham, NC. I'm guessing they are supposed to be spawned in Rockingham, VA?
2. CSS Wyvern (one of the Laird Rams) is misspelled "Wynern"
3. Misspellings across the map: saw a number of "Bay" regions with the lowercase "bay"-- Swamp bay, Tucker bay. Also, Cape Henry reads as "Cape henry", etc.
4. When you hover the cursor over a division in the stack, you will see the left-side box pop up with the leader and units in that division. The leader in that left-side box is always shown as 1 star, regardless of whether they are 2- or 3-star generals. If you click on the division, you'll get the *right* side box with the leader and see their real rank, but it would save a click if the left-side box accurately portrayed the leader's rank.
5. Light infantry in a stack is shown as militia in that left-side pop-up box.
6. Is horse artillery worthless in a siege? I'm assuming yes because they were useless in game.
7. My units rarely were able to capture leaders or supply wagons outside of enemy stacks, i.e. I'd have units in regions with both, for *dozens* of turns, and I'd never capture them. Seems like a bug.
8. The game crashes pretty frequently during turn resolution; I'd say 1 out of every 20-30 turns I'll get a
crash. I wasn't in the hunt to start sending error logs, but I may do so; surely I'm not alone.
9. Happy the "never enter Kentucky" bug is fixed in 1.01... that really put a damper on both my games.
Overall, a great game. Kudos to the AGEOD team for delivering something of this scope!
That said, from a historical standpoint, I think there are some odd balance choices when it comes to money/war supplies/conscripts:
10. Money is a limiting factor for both, but especially the Confederates. Definitely stings, and I never could get "whole" as the South in the cash flow department. Seems to work well.
11. Choosing either side, selecting even a smattering of industrial options in the early game results in essentially limitless war supplies in mid-war (forget about late war). Personally, I think the war supplies are probably too stingy in the early years, but by the mid to late game, they're absolutely meaningless.
12. Likewise, manpower isn't much of a limiting factor for either side in the mid/late game. The Union's supply is practically inexhaustible (historically WAD, perhaps-- but more on that in a moment), while the Confederate's manpower isn't a limiting factor (again, cash is-- at endgame I had well over 800+ conscripts in the bank without *once* ever paying a premium for volunteers, thousands of war supplies, but little cash to use them).
Bottom line: the mid-game, let alone late-game, balance is out of whack for some reason.
A special note about Union manpower: as a student of the Civil War, I'm well aware of the Union's historical ability to swamp the South in manpower, money, and industry. But playing as the South, the Union numbers were genuinely obscene. I wasn't just outnumbered in every theater-- I was outnumbered by 3, 4, even 5 times at every spot. And this was at the point of attack, mind you, i.e. we're not adding in all the 1000+ (even 2000+) PWR Union stacks that magically appear in the rear every turn. It's one thing, for instance, for the Army of Northern Virginia to face down a 100,000 man Army of the Potomac; it's another thing entirely for there to be *multiple* Armies of the Potomac bearing down on you in every theater.
It certainly makes for a challenging game as the South, but not a very realistic one, IMO.
13. Victory conditions: in my Union game I managed to defeat the South in April 1864 by capturing Richmond and Nashville. I *hadn't* captured, however: New Orleans, Atlanta, Little Rock, Vicksburg, nothing in the Carolinas, no El Paso, etc. I'm sure I won based on the NM hit to the South, but this wasn't capturing Richmond in 1861, when the shock of such a conquest might have forced peace; this was after three years of war. Again, ahistorical outcome, IMO.
14. Cavalry should have an "auto destroy enemy rail" capability that works every turn without having to wait for it. Currently in the game, destroying rail takes two turns minimum-- one turn to enter a region, a second turn to destroy the rail, and additional turns if you fail to succeed the first turn. I think for certain units (again, cavalry) this should be quicker and/or automated (perhaps at the cost of cavalry's speed). One month to destroy rail in one region is ahistorical.
15. Washington, D.C. isn't blockaded by an army laying siege to it, i.e. you need to also blockade the port. To anyone familiar with the geography of Washington, this is pretty ridiculous-- you could "blockade" the Potomac with a battery of guns. I'd suggest that river (but not coastal) cities consider themselves blockaded, at least partially, if an enemy stack is besieging it.
16. Promotions: these come very infrequently; I'd suggest a bump to their frequency. Also, if you miss the notice in the bottom-right reports, you won't know a leader is promotable until you stumble across that leader in a stack (and only if you select that stack for special orders). When the info ledger eventually gets the ability to see all your leaders (it *will* get that, right??), it'd be welcome to see a notice of all your promotable leaders there.
17. Unit experience: units gain too little experience, too slowly. Even my best units, elite units, that had been victorious in battle many times, at most had 2 stars of experience. Given that enemy units probably had similar levels of experience, it's all relative, BUT given how the game tracks *10* stars' worth of experience, this is too slow (especially since you can train up unit experience to one star without ever entering battle).
Bottom line: Battles just aren't that frequent in Civil War II to justify slow promotions and experience gain.
18. Leaders are wounded rarely, and die VERY rarely, perhaps ahistorically so. Maybe a player-selectable option to increase the frequency a bit?
Anyway, thank you again for the great game, and continued technical support!
< Message edited by Davekhps -- 10/17/2013 12:07:54 AM >