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Any info on Battles of Napoleon??

 
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Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/5/2005 9:38:33 PM   
diesel7013


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Just wanted to know what the current status is on BON - I sure am looking forward to getting at this one!!

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/6/2005 9:59:32 AM   
Pippin


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Not sure myself. But I am glad to see a new change of developers switching into Napoleon based themes now. This WWII is being currently over-killed.



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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/6/2005 4:15:04 PM   
ravinhood


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quote:

This WWII is being currently over-killed.


Amen to that. Now, when is World in Flames coming out? heh ;)

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/6/2005 5:29:01 PM   
Tim Coakley

 

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Always to to see the game discussed in this community.

Battles of Napoleon is still moving forward. Progress is slower than I want (always the case with the designer). The artist is updating the terrain this week to give a better feel and then I will get some screenshots up at www.doubleshotesign.com

More to come soon,
Tim Coakley
Double Shot Design

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/6/2005 6:11:19 PM   
DavidI

 

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Hurray for Double Shot and Matrix! It is about time someone did a real Napoleonic Tactical Game. An update of the old SSI BON would have bee fine by me but this looks even better. I am about to puke on HPS's series, unchanged and unimproved over years and years (virtually the same as Napoleon in Russia from way back when). Real Time Simulations suck out loud, I want a good wargame not a click fest! BON is to be WEGO thank goodness, absolutely the best way to handle this level of combat. I can see cavalry charges going forward, infantry checking to go into square, some failing, some succeeding, an enemy cavalry unit counter charging, all unfolding on the screen during the action sequence. Makes my heart beat faster.
OK Doubleshot, get to work! I want to see this game on my computer by July latest!
DavidI

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/6/2005 10:39:39 PM   
Tim Coakley

 

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David,
I answered some of your questions over at the Double Shot board.

I appreciate the support.

Tim

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/6/2005 11:41:44 PM   
ravinhood


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WEGO system???? BON wasn't a WEGO system. What's the deal??? Dang I just knew if Dave Landrey wasn't involved it wouldn't be a remake. WEGO! (frowns).

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 12:09:08 AM   
DavidI

 

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Ravinhood,
WEGO means "you plot, I plot, action phase". During the action phase the computer similtainiously moves the units you and your foe plotted, fires the units you and your foe plotted, determines morale issues, checks for forming square, counter charges cavalry,etc. Matrix Game's "Uncommon Valor" and "War in the Pacific" and Battlefront's "Combat Mission" are excellent examples. It really can work and makes for an excellent E-mail game, especially if the action phase is handled as it is in Battlefront's Games. In those games it works like this:
I plot turn 1 and I send to you
You plot turn 1 and send to me
I watch the action phase and send to you
You watch the action phase and then plot turn 2 and send to me
I plot turn 2 and send to you
You watch the action phase and send to me
I watch the action phase and plot turn 3 and send to you.
etc.
This is a very simple security system that prevents the plotter from plotting then watching the action phase then deciding he doesn't like the result and replotting until he gets the action phase results he's happier with.

DavidI

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 12:17:22 AM   
DavidI

 

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Well re-reading Doubleshot's website, maybe it isn't a pure WEGO, but sounds like something similar.
DavidI

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 5:04:58 PM   
Tim Coakley

 

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It is a WEGO system. The phases are:

Administration (this is handled by the computer and may disappear in the final release and be incorporated automatically before Side 1 Ops)

Side 1 Ops (this is action plotting for #1)
transfer file in PBEM
Side 2 Playback (previous turn)

Side 2 Ops

Action (resolves the plotted actions)
transfer file in PBEM
Side 1 Playback

End Phase (prepares for next turn, may be incorporated automatically with Side 1 playback)

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 5:36:12 PM   
Tim Coakley

 

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I tried to contact Dave Landrey (and Norm Koger of Age of Rifles) when I started the project but no response. I only had a design document at the time.

The old SSI game is how I became interested in Napoleonics.

WEGO- I would like to hear your opinions on this vs turn based.

After playing games like Combat Mission, I find it vastly superior. The next evolution is Pausable Continuous Time such as Highway to the Reich.

I think the concern with WEGO is in the lack of control by the player...the AI must make some decisions. The drawback of turn based is that the player can take advantage of the lack of an enemy response during a given time period.

Good discussion.

Tim Coakley
Double Shot Design

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 6:43:22 PM   
DavidI

 

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Tim,
WEGO is definately the way to go. In a standard turn based game (Like HPS's) you know that an enemy unit is not going to react to your move, this gives you a knowlege unavailable in the real world. Some gamers will not like the fact that the AI controls some of the events in the game, but then they have the HPS titles to play. WEGO should allow for a fluidity and dynamism simply missing in a strick turn based game. You are definately on the right track. I have no doubt that some traditional board gamers turned computer gamers will critize you for this, but keep in mind the critisizm that BFC came under when the Grogs just wanted Squad Leader translated onto a computer screen (no 3d, no WEGO, etc). If BFC had knuckled under they would have ended up with a slightly different SteelPanthers instead of the best squad/tank level wargame on the market (no disrespect Matrix). Today's computers allow you to do so much more than just transfering a board game to the screen, use them.
So get to work, I want my copy by July!
DavidI

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 7:17:37 PM   
ravinhood


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The problems I find with WEGO games, is it makes one play more of a "guessing" game of strategy & tactics, instead of actually putting the strategy & tactics fully into the control of the gamer. What if CHESS were in a wego format? Or Checkers or Monopoly, etc. etc.

WEGO has a place within the gaming community of course. The Combat Mission series is fun and one of the best when you want to play a "guessing" game of strategy and tactics. But, I can't see it as being a true to strategy game of direct control over the simulation. Fog of War is plenty enough to add to the "guessing" game of board type wargames. And as I recall in the origional "Battles of Napolean" units did form square and charge during the combat phase of the game without player intervention. Of course during the turn the player could put his units into square formation, but, they did react to cavalry charges on their own sometimes during the combat phase.

I personally don't understand all this want for change to more of the realisms of war instead of sticking to what board wargames were in the first place. Strategy & Tactics!, there was no Fog of War or WEGO system to them, as far as the ones that I played. I see too many that want "blood n guts" type games, and all of this is just eye candy and adds little to the reality of strategy and tactics. Make some pretty pictures, waste resources on them when one could put more time an resources into making a tight simulation of a game without all the bells and whistles.

I could have just as easily enjoyed, probably moreso, the Combat Mission series if it had been pure turn based and I could have moved the icons around on my own their movement limits each turn (like Steel Panthers). I also would have been more satisfied by having more control over who, when, where they fired, instead of the AI taking over and deciding for the individual units themselves during the 60 seconds of battle. I don't know how many times I setup fire tactics and the computer AI changed them every turn. It was too much guessing and more watching the AI play the game instead of letting me play the game.

I like the Steel Panthers series better "because" it gives me the "option" to use the AI as a partner during combat and doesn't "force" me to use it. I can turn some, none, or all the companies over to AI control on each and every turn. The "OPTION" to do this was the best featue about it.

As a gamer "I" want to play, I don't want to watch the computer AI play my side.

< Message edited by ravinhood -- 4/7/2005 7:24:06 PM >

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 7:28:06 PM   
sol_invictus


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Well both/all systems have their problems, but when it's all said and done, I think WEGO is superior; if the AI can handle it. I think the "guessing" game is and should be a large part of strategy.

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 7:49:09 PM   
ravinhood


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quote:

I think the "guessing" game is and should be a large part of strategy.


And that's why the Germans lost the war, they were "guessing" that the WA were going to attack at Pas de Calais, instead of listening to Rommel who was a superior "strategist" and beef up the defenses at Normandy and also even after the invasion releasing the 15th panzer division. Guessing cost them the war at that point. Strategy & Tactics is just that, guessing is just that as well. ;)

When I order my units to do something or go somewhere, that's where I want them to go and attempt to do. I don't want them shooting at some unit half way across the board (like in Combat Mission) that is not even near the objective hex/square. I want to setup suppressive fire, cross fires and such so I can move a squad up the middle or a flank and in CM, I get screwed because the AI does stupid things like shooting at a retreating unit. Tanks firing needlessly on an infantry unit when there is clearly an armored enemy unit with MG's within range to put out of commission which I direct it to fire against and it fires maybe once and then turns on a silly infantry unit.

Fog of War gives plenty for the guessing game, the rest should be pure strategy & tactics. Morale values are fine, a unit should break and rout, but, it should always obey my orders first and foremost (Adolph Hitlerlike) ;) heh

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 9:20:58 PM   
DavidI

 

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Ravenhood,
Point taken, however in this particular period and scale I think units will be a lot less likely to be in a situation that causes them to perform other than what you plot them to do. Although I hope my infantry battalion advancing in line when it sees an enemy cavalry charging it will attempt to form square, or at least suck in it's skirmishers and face the cavalry with a volley.

Speaking of skirmishers I hope the new BON will treat them the same way that the old game did. I thought it was brilliant, worked correctly and prevented the unrealistic use of independent skirmisher sub-units. It also reduced map clutter.

I also hope that cavalry can scout without the HPS "recon by Little Big Horn" method. In those games cavalry can only spot units in woods or behind ridges by moving next to them, being stopped dead in their tracks by the ZOC and then being just dead as the enemy infantry pours both defensive and offensive fire into them. Instead of being an affair of a couple of vendettes it became an affair of a couple of hundred dead troopers. Allowing cavalry to "see" two hexes out, or to allow the Cavalry to rebound back 1 hex with minimum movement point loss would solve that problem. This is an issue that HPS has refused to address in both their Napoleonic and Civil War Games, much to their detriment.
DavidI

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 10:40:27 PM   
diesel7013


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Why I don't mind WEGO

Remember the old Kampfgruppe for SSI??

You gave your units orders and depending upon being under command control, they would execute those orders in some time frame...

You then watched an execution phase where you go to see your units carry out thier orders. If it works on the C64 - I'm sure Matrix can make it work as well...

Matrix - the new SSI

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 11:39:10 PM   
Tim Coakley

 

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David,
two good points you bring up:
1) Skirmishers: They are handled in two ways in the game. The first is that a unit can be set to the "Skirmish" fire and melee control settings. They will fire at 1/2 strength and receive casualties at 50%. The unit will also withdraw if meleed...simulating the delaying action. The scenario designer can also set the number of allowable sub-units per unit, and the strength. So a line unit could have one sub unit and a light have as many as companies in its organization. These sub-units act just like regular units and can be set to skirmish.

2) Cavalry screens and recon: The sub-unit function works here too...so the player can send a cav squadron to recon. The unit may find enemy and be stopped by its presense. The player can then order the retreat the next turn (no ZOC kill because it is WEGO, not turn based).

Tim

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/7/2005 11:45:48 PM   
Tim Coakley

 

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Ravidhood,
you make a great point that is the center of the WEGO vs IGOUGO system. It is a matter of how much control should a player have. I do favor giving a lot of control to the player (we are not trained 18-19th century generals afterall) but a turn based system can cause unrealistic results as well.

Imagine I use good tactics such as using a screening force to cover the enemy and then launch a flank attack. I get into position but it is now the enemy's turn. He turns all his units to face the attack. If effect he is reacting instantly to my attack as opposed to having to get word from his troops and then execute a reaction. In a WEGO game, I would be on the enemy's flank and then launching my attack as he TRIES to turn and face the attack.

It is a more realistic simulation of the military decision cycle.

You make a great point about the AI reacting inappropriately...this is the killer of a WEGO system. Time will tell how well the agme works in this regard. I would offer, however, that the same issue is involved in turn based games that give control of the non-phasing player's units to the AI.

Keep it up...
Tim

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/8/2005 12:26:11 AM   
DavidI

 

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Tim,
Thank you for your excellent answers. It looks like you and your team have really thought this out.
Now, back to your work bench!
DavidI

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/8/2005 4:16:29 PM   
Lava


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Hi!

Well, the game has got my attention because it is WEGO. I think people will also find that WEGO makes for great PBEM.

The difficulty with WEGO is how the game reacts when their are conflicts (program wise not battle wise) which must be resolved. For example, if one force attacks a position the same time the other is retreating from that postion, what happens?

Will be keeping an eye on this one, and wishing doubleshot the best of luck!

Ray (alias Lava)

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/8/2005 5:24:05 PM   
ravinhood


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Double Shot Design

Ravidhood,
you make a great point that is the center of the WEGO vs IGOUGO system. It is a matter of how much control should a player have. I do favor giving a lot of control to the player (we are not trained 18-19th century generals afterall) but a turn based system can cause unrealistic results as well.

Imagine I use good tactics such as using a screening force to cover the enemy and then launch a flank attack. I get into position but it is now the enemy's turn. He turns all his units to face the attack. If effect he is reacting instantly to my attack as opposed to having to get word from his troops and then execute a reaction. In a WEGO game, I would be on the enemy's flank and then launching my attack as he TRIES to turn and face the attack.

It is a more realistic simulation of the military decision cycle.

You make a great point about the AI reacting inappropriately...this is the killer of a WEGO system. Time will tell how well the agme works in this regard. I would offer, however, that the same issue is involved in turn based games that give control of the non-phasing player's units to the AI.

Keep it up...
Tim


My main point is in regards to the "remake" of an origional great game "Battles of Napolean", by changing the system to a WEGO system you are in fact changing the game to something else, thus it will NOT be "Battles of Napolean" as per Dave Landrey's rendition that I played for weeks, months on end.

I'm not so opposed to a WEGO system, it's the fact that you're implementing it into a game I was led to believe would be a recreation of the origional and update so to speak that was going to work on the XP OS. Of course I see now I was wrong and therefore no longer have a peaked interest in the game.

You seemed to overlook my comment about trying to bring too much "realism" into a board wargaming type of world. That's the problem with most games out there, the rts genre most of all. Trying to bring so much realism is taking away from the full hands on strategy we once knew. The more and more designers let the AI control the game events, the less control we the players have. That's what I'm opposed to most of all. As I said, I don't want to watch the AI play my side of the battle. When a mistake is made I want it to be my fault, not the fault of faulty ignorant AI programming and you as well as the rest of us know an AI is nowhere near as good as a human mind making "ALL" the decisions.

There's nothing realistic about Chess, yet, it is a very popular game, because the players have full control over the game. Same with checkers, and any other board game, trying to use computers to bring realism (which it never really can) into the gaming world just takes too much out of the players hands and brings frustration when the AI does countless stupid things each and every turn. The old SSI games of the Civil War period and WWII period were great, players had full control over everything. Same with the origional Battles of Napolean, we had full control. Many talk about realism but they seem to overlook many of these games play in "30 minute to hour" long turns, I'm pretty sure I could get orders to all my units within an hour. Then there are games that play in month long, 3 month long and year long turns, once again, I'm pretty sure realistically I could get orders to all my units in 3 months to a year, so full control takes nothing away from realism.

Even in tactical battles of Combat Mission, those turns are 60 seconds long, and with radios, I don't have a problem with delayed orders, what I have a problem with in a wego system is "my orders" not being carried out at all. The AI has too much control. It's more like sitting watching the AI play and every once in awhile doing what I want it to do. I just don't find that a whole lot of fun.

Now, of course many like this "lack of control" and call it realism. For game simulation purposes I do not. After playing board wargames for 25+ years, it's very hard to let go of old "established" habits. I will always prefer to have full control. I looked to the computer for a fair to decent opponent when I couldn't find a friend to play face to face, of course over the years, everyone has pretty much disappeared and the computer AI or PBEM has become my best friend. But, that doesn't change my "established" habits of enjoying the full control of a board game in a computer wargame.

With the many complaints and gripes of the AI's of today, I still don't understand designers and programmers giving even "more" control to the AI. That just doesn't make sense.

Also, don't get me totally on the opposite side of the fense here. There are times I enjoy a WEGO game. Combat Mission is still one of my favorite "guessing games" of squad level warfare. It's just not at the top of my list of favorite ways to play a wargame. ;) My nephew enjoys it though. heh But, he's locked into the graphics of it and not so much that he has not a lot of strategy control of it. So, if you're making this for the mainstream, youngters of today types, it will probably go over pretty well. ;)

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/8/2005 7:06:05 PM   
Tim Coakley

 

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Good discussion…
I did not think the name would cause that much of an issue but it has caused some concern. It has also grabbed some people's attention. I consider the SSI game as my benchmark and hope to surpass it.

I origionally started the design as turn based but switched after trying Combat Mission, thinking about PBEM play, and my own military experience. I saw the WEGO system work in CM so that eliminated my own personal hesitation from switching. I then examined how many people play wargames…PBEM is very important to the Napoleonic gaming community. To keep the number of file transfers down, the game would either have to give a lot of AI control to the non-phasing player (current HPS Napoleonics) or have "defensive phases" (Talonsoft Napoleonics). If it did not, then the games play like chess/checkers…popular and fun but not combat. I also took into consideration my own military experience…no combat but time with troops/leaders and maneuvering forces.

The expectation for units/formations to obey orders and receive commands is a matter of scale. In a corps level game with week long turns, the units should react as expected and the defining factor is the strength of the unit. In a battalion level game with ten minute turns (like BoN), there is much more of a chance for orders not to be received, misinterpreted, not carried out…especially without radios (don't over-estimate radios…I have been 1/4 mile away from another tank and have had to resort to flag signals!)

You also have to consider what level command you personally want to represent on the battlefield. In CM, your are either a company or battalion commander. US Army Doctrine is that you maneuver units two levels down…essentially having direct control. Below that, your subordinates (the AI) have some/most of the impact. Looking at BoN, you would be either an Army or Corps commander…maneuvering your divisions/brigades that are made up of battalions (actually giving some control 3 levels down).

The "realism battle" goes back and forth between having too much contol over the units vs allowing an AI to act as a subordinate. I have tried to strike a balance by allowing the player to issue orders to the represented units (battalions), but giving the AI control over firing (you can still set a target) and reacting to the enemy during a ten minute turn.

The game is intended for the Napoleonic computer, board, and miniatures gaming community. I don not think it will appeal to young gamers used to fancy graphics and realtime games. It is still turn based, just the actions for both sides are resolved at the same time.

< Message edited by Double Shot Design -- 4/8/2005 7:10:02 PM >

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/13/2005 5:01:56 PM   
Tim Coakley

 

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It is official! Matrix just posted the press release announcing the game.

Tim Coakley

< Message edited by David Heath -- 4/13/2005 6:46:00 PM >

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/14/2005 12:35:55 PM   
Arckon

 

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quote:

Imagine I use good tactics such as using a screening force to cover the enemy and then launch a flank attack. I get into position but it is now the enemy's turn. He turns all his units to face the attack. If effect he is reacting instantly to my attack as opposed to having to get word from his troops and then execute a reaction. In a WEGO game, I would be on the enemy's flank and then launching my attack as he TRIES to turn and face the attack.

It is a more realistic simulation of the military decision cycle.


I am a huge fan of IGO-UGO but do prefer the WEGO system for the reason stated above.
I don't believe WEGO is guessing it is more realistic. You plot your attacks as does your opponent (as with IGO-UGO human opponent will always give better game) and away you go.
Rommel did not have the luxury of watching what Monty did assess make his attack while Monty sat back and appraised.
Granted at the moment I am playing far more IGO-UGO, as WITP is too time consuming and am REALLY looking forward to BON as I am Combined Arms WWII (from what I have read I think this may be more manageable time wise).
Double Shot Design if you can design this with the time balance of say IGO-UGO games like Battles in Normandy but with the WEGO system I think you will have a winner.

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/14/2005 1:01:42 PM   
steveh11Matrix


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Hmph. If it comes right down to it, I can't help thinking that pausable real-time suits me down to the ground, WEGO appears to pander directly to the PBEM crowd and IGOUGO, while classic, is a little outdated and unrealistic. But as for complaining about the game title - "It does exactly what it says on the tin" after all!

Steve.

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/14/2005 5:56:04 PM   
Tim Coakley

 

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You are right on with this.

I started learning more about PRT recently and it is a good system. The Panther Games productions are a fine example.

It may be the future of Double Shot games as well.

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/15/2005 6:54:54 AM   
Arckon

 

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Over the last month or so I have been looking more and more at trying HTTR to give this PRT system ago.

What do you believe the advantages of it are as a system?

Does it basically run in real time and you pause the game when ever you wish to issue an order?

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/15/2005 11:58:38 AM   
steveh11Matrix


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Arckon: PRT means you can stop the clock, look at what's going on, issue orders etc as needed and then start the clock running again. It's what stops continuous-play games from becoming click-fests, while at the same time allowing their advantages.

I'm not saying there aren't disads as well - in particular for MP play, some sort of turn-based design is much easier - but by heck it works well overall.

I've neither played nor seen HTTR on the PC (had the boardgame of the same name, though) so I can't say much about the implementation on that, but I have played Europa Universalis and the other Paradox titles, and they converted me from turn-based to PRT.

Steve.

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RE: Any info on Battles of Napoleon?? - 4/15/2005 5:22:52 PM   
Arckon

 

Posts: 121
Joined: 12/19/2004
Status: offline
Thanks Steve,
you said not as multi friendly therefore need to ask how good are the AI's in these type games then?

If anyone can give me an impression of AI in HTTR would be appreciated.

(in reply to steveh11Matrix)
Post #: 30
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