PBEM and more (Full Version)

All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [Ancients] >> Tin Soldiers: Alexander the Great


z1812 -> PBEM and more (12/2/2004 10:51:27 PM)

Hi all,

TS Alexander the Great is a good wargame. It is charming and a pleasure to play. I am very happy to have the demo. It is not however a great wargame.

For the following reasons your game has missed greatness.

1. No Play By E-Mail. What an oversight!! If the game had Play by E-mail I would already have purchased it based on the demo. The A.I. is fun but the true test is really against a human. For many wargamers PBEM is a must. It is a comfortable way to play opponents without having to set aside a large block of time. Why risk losing sales over a simple concept. This one issue was the decider for me.

2. I would have liked a you go I go we both go system.

3. I would prefer the cards be dispensed with and replaced by leader pieces that have a command effect ( morale ect.) upon troops. This would be more realistic and more interesting.

4. The ability to set up ones own battles and purchase units would also be very desirable.

The developers are on the right track but as I have already said overlooking PBEM, aside from any playability issues, is a poor business decision.



DIEMAN -> RE: PBEM and more (12/3/2004 12:48:46 AM)

hey z1812, thanks for the feedback on the demo... reading this forum I have noticed quite a few posts by a small but resolute group of players who are adamantly in favor of a PBEM system for Tin Soldiers: ATG. The simultaneous turn system of Tin Soldiers could certainly be adapted to accommodate PBEM gameplay, but there is at least one inevitable drawback to this idea that for me outweighs any conceivable benefit: In order to allow each player to input reaction or reserve orders, there would need to be an e-mail exchange for each phase of a 30-turn battle. That would mean a total of 90 e-mail exchanges per battle, so even if I could do maybe 3 in a day it would still take 30 days to resolve a game!!!!! Maybe it always takes a month or 2 to resolve PBEM games, I don't really know, but the idea of playing that way is a massive turn-off for me. I would love it if I could speed up the action so that a battle plays through in 10 minutes!!!!

Iņaki Harrizabalagatar -> RE: PBEM and more (12/3/2004 12:41:51 PM)

You are right Dieman, the only way to make PBEM work in TS is to get rid of reaction and reserve phases, so that each turn is played in a single phase. That modification would help the AI as well, as my experience is that the AI takes very few times advantage of the reserve phase, while I many times just put a good number of units in reserve and wait for the wrong movements of the AI, taking advantage of them

toddtreadway -> RE: PBEM and more (12/3/2004 4:40:30 PM)

Why not make it an option as far as whether to play with one, two or three phases in a PBEM game?

DIEMAN -> RE: PBEM and more (12/3/2004 5:02:55 PM)

I am not convinced that a drastic alteration to the game mechanics (eliminating the phase system for example) is really the ultimate answer for implementing PBEM. It's true that a change like that would nicely do away with the necessity of exchanging e-mail for those reaction or reserve phases where you have only one or two orders to give... but in doing so it would also destroy much of the character and originality of the Tin Soldiers battle system, while greatly limiting the ability of the player to utilize his/her personal style of command. I like to use a lot of reserve orders (on any given turn I probably set about a third of my army to reserve) so eliminating the phases would really force me to change my playing style a lot... maybe 90 e-mail exchanges per battle really isn't that many after all. I could think of it like one of those epic chess matches that goes on for months and months...

Iņaki Harrizabalagatar -> RE: PBEM and more (12/3/2004 10:25:51 PM)

I think most players would not like to play those reaction/reserve pahse in PBEM, I guess another solution could be to have them somehow automatically handled by the computer every turn in PBEM as an option, leaving them to the player in solo/on line games

Hertston -> RE: PBEM and more (12/3/2004 11:50:36 PM)

In all honesty there are other games I would rather play PBEM that are better suited to it, and Alexander plays superbly as an internet game - and considerably more rapidly than some of the posts here would suggest.

However, it seems several do (and all the beta testers were agreed it was a good idea, at least until we tried internet play), and so Koios should probably include it in the next game - it's too late for Alex now, I suspect. The only request I would have is that the game mechanics aren't altered to accommodate it, unless such alterations are totally optional. I don't think the demand is that great, and enforced changes on the whole system would spoil the character of the game(s).

UglyElmo -> RE: PBEM and more (1/24/2005 11:16:39 AM)

Don't underestimate the attention span of some gamers. :) I am currently playing a Civ3 PBEM with 6 other people. It is going on 6 months now and still everyone is interested and regularly making their moves. In addition, I am playing several 30+ turn Combat Mission PBEM games which started over a month ago.

PBEMs are perfect for players such as me, who work odd hours and/or 7 days a week. I am 42 years old and have quite a lot going on with the wife, kids, work and other things, which makes my time online sporadic at best. I do not have many nights where I can spend an hour or two playing online. Therefore, the PBEM feature is a big seller for me. Eventually the AI gets stale, but a human opponent never becomes dull or predictable.

Tin Soldiers looks like an excellent game, which I may purchase soon. I am still reading thru the forum to make sure the game is to my liking. A PBEM function would have insured my purchase, since a group of online friends pointed me to this site and have only good things to say about the game. I am glad to see a PBEM function is not entirely out of the question for the future, since that is how I spend the majority of my time online these days.

Keep up the good work. It is very refreshing to see the developing team and programmers participating in discussions such as these.

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