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Version flow - 5/24/2008 12:12:16 PM   
JanSorensen

 

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1.02 Bugs
1.03 AI
1.04 PBEM
1.05 Features
would be my suggestion.

It seems that 1.02 is almost done with 1.02k - though bug reports still are coming in.
Marshall Ellis has already posted about the things to come in 1.03.

1.04 PBEM
After that I think PBEM needs a serious overhaul
- anti-cheating (as debated in other threads)
- simultaneous diplomacy, reinforcement and economic phase to speed up game play. (suggested by many others - obviously make it an option for each phase and something the host can change from turn to turn if need be)
- in game option for each player to check during reinforcement to skip his naval phase so the game skips the phase automatically rather than through the host making it happen. (posted by others)

This brings the game down from roughly:
7 (dip) + 7 (reinf) + 7 (nav) + 7 (land) + 7/3 (econ) = 30,3 phases per turn to 1 (dip) + 1 (reinf) + 4ish on average(naval) + 7 (land) + 1/3 (econ) = 13,3 phases per turn.
The changes needed to make this happen should be relatively simple. Mind, this wont likely half the playing time as battles still take up time as well.

If one was to make it even faster it could be considered to make land movement for stricly neutral MPs (not at war with a minor nor a MP) possible out of turn. Speficially, a neutral MP could then perform his land movement phase after the reinforcement phase at some point while the other MPs are doing naval moves. The issue here would be with supply only (stacking for foraging and placement of depots) but I believe those things could be overcome or modified to allow this kind of early movement for neutrals. It would likely require alot more care than the other changes so I suggest waiting till everything else is working before attempting it.

1.05 Features
Kingdoms - more of them + the ability to add new areas.
etc.
Post #: 1
RE: Version flow - 5/24/2008 2:15:28 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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These are excellent suggestions. For improvements to 1.04, I might add to speed up the land combat phase a little, to make all seige combats run by the AI, i.e. don't exchange battle files for any city assaults. The ability for players (and their controlled minors) not at war, to pre-program their land phase (and why not naval phase) during the reinforcement turn is a great suggestion.

(in reply to JanSorensen)
Post #: 2
RE: Version flow - 5/24/2008 3:15:44 PM   
pzgndr

 

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While I greatly appreciate that Marshall has some AI improvements in the works for v1.03, that should not be the priority yet. Certainly, make a few adjustments along the way where beneficial but an AI overhaul must wait until the game is rock-steady solid. v1.03 should resolve all remaining game bugs (for the as-designed game) and PBEM issues. v1.04 could provide the editor and other scenarios/campaigns, ideally for both standard EiA OOBs and the EiH variation (v4 rather than v3?). Why not just provide both up front? v1.05 could add new game and interface features, including any redesigns if necessary. After that, AI development should be the long-term priority, and some effort toward implementing TCP/IP network play.

Getting the bugs and pbem issues resolved is critical so player groups can really start playing well. I've been poking along with AI games playing different countries, and while I'd love to see more AI improvements sooner rather than later I recognize pbem must be the higher priority. Whether the new scenarios and OOBs or new features should come next is a toss-up, but I think having more players get into more game situations sooner with the additional scenarios will better help identify remaining game issues that could then be addressed with a features update. Finally, AI improvements are likely to take a very long time but should prove to be worth the wait. Network play shouldn't take too long to implement but would probably be a separate patch update somewhere in the version flow.


(in reply to Dancing Bear)
Post #: 3
RE: Version flow - 5/24/2008 4:46:03 PM   
NeverMan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr

While I greatly appreciate that Marshall has some AI improvements in the works for v1.03, that should not be the priority yet. Certainly, make a few adjustments along the way where beneficial but an AI overhaul must wait until the game is rock-steady solid. v1.03 should resolve all remaining game bugs (for the as-designed game) and PBEM issues. v1.04 could provide the editor and other scenarios/campaigns, ideally for both standard EiA OOBs and the EiH variation (v4 rather than v3?). Why not just provide both up front? v1.05 could add new game and interface features, including any redesigns if necessary. After that, AI development should be the long-term priority, and some effort toward implementing TCP/IP network play.

Getting the bugs and pbem issues resolved is critical so player groups can really start playing well. I've been poking along with AI games playing different countries, and while I'd love to see more AI improvements sooner rather than later I recognize pbem must be the higher priority. Whether the new scenarios and OOBs or new features should come next is a toss-up, but I think having more players get into more game situations sooner with the additional scenarios will better help identify remaining game issues that could then be addressed with a features update. Finally, AI improvements are likely to take a very long time but should prove to be worth the wait. Network play shouldn't take too long to implement but would probably be a separate patch update somewhere in the version flow.




I agree that making the game "rock solid" should be the 1st priority, period. This game still has way too many bugs in it. I disagree that PBEM should take priority. I think that once the game is "rock solid", the PBEM will go along much better. I also think that it is imperative for Matrix to put out an AI that is at least playable (not a total roll over). I just think there are a lot of people on here who bought the game thinking they were getting an AI and they didn't. It's just important to Matrix's reputation and marketing that the AI get some upgrade, IMO.

Also, since the original EiANW didn't come with IP play and it wasn't promised, I wouldn't mind paying some dough ~$20 for an IP upgrade once things got going. This would allow those that wan't IP play to get it and would give Matrix a reason to do it. Once again, this is way down the road though.

#1 Priority: Make the game play the way the game was suppose to play.
#2 Priority: AI
#3 Priority: PBEM enhancement
#4 Priority: New Features/Editor
#5 Priority: IP Play

Although I would rather see IP play before an Editor, JMO.


< Message edited by NeverMan -- 5/24/2008 4:49:01 PM >

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 4
RE: Version flow - 5/24/2008 5:38:07 PM   
borner


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Let me cast my vote for one that would like to see combined dip/Eco phases to speed up PBEM play. Seige combat that does not need a battle file exchange is also a great idea. Most of the time in PBEM is waiting on the rotation of files through the group, so anything that can speed this up woud be great.


(in reply to NeverMan)
Post #: 5
RE: Version flow - 5/24/2008 6:22:59 PM   
bresh

 

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I do not support a simultanious reinforcestep. There is a reason for the reinforcement-phase order, both from a stratetic point of view and from a balance point of view.

Diplomacy/Economics simultanious would be nice though.

I agree siege combats should not require battlefile-exchange.

The editor could be a valuable item to.

1.5 i guess features you should include the possibility to change dominant powers/status of all MPs and the effects.


Regards
Bresh

< Message edited by bresh -- 5/24/2008 11:45:56 PM >

(in reply to borner)
Post #: 6
RE: Version flow - 5/24/2008 8:13:27 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Ok, well, make the simultaneous reinforcement an option that can be picked by players.

(in reply to bresh)
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RE: Version flow - 5/24/2008 11:28:40 PM   
Jimmer

 

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I agree that reinforcement should not be simultaneous. In fact, it should be broken up further than it is: Land and Naval should be separate.

However, the five non-dominant nations could all go simultaneously. Just France (land) and GB (naval) should go last.

There's no excuse for GB going second in the reinforcement phase.

I support diplo being simultaneous, and econ being simultaneous (in PBEM -- once TCP/IP shows up, all phases should be broken out again). But, not with each other. Things can happen in the econ phase that might require a change of diplomacy.

_____________________________

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(in reply to Dancing Bear)
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RE: Version flow - 5/24/2008 11:43:32 PM   
bresh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer

I agree that reinforcement should not be simultaneous. In fact, it should be broken up further than it is: Land and Naval should be separate.

However, the five non-dominant nations could all go simultaneously. Just France (land) and GB (naval) should go last.

There's no excuse for GB going second in the reinforcement phase.

I support diplo being simultaneous, and econ being simultaneous (in PBEM -- once TCP/IP shows up, all phases should be broken out again). But, not with each other. Things can happen in the econ phase that might require a change of diplomacy.


I dont agree on the five non-dominant, could go simultanious.
Reinforcement order matters if at war.

I think we should stick to the order from EIA.

Regards
Bresh

(in reply to Jimmer)
Post #: 9
RE: Version flow - 5/25/2008 1:53:16 AM   
bOrIuM

 

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I do Agree, except Economic and Diplomatic, everything must keep an order. the suggestion from JanSorensen about having land order of Neutral MP isnt good. If You're playing France and not at war with Russia, but this one has a great army in Prussia, you would like to know what they can do. But I agree with a player skipping his turn (naval, land or both) in diplo/reinf, but may be hard for foraging, automaticaly pay for what cannot forage on the ground ?

According to me, TCP/IP is NOT important, when can you really bring 7 players at the same time for a couple of hours ? Don think its really important, should be the last thing to do.

< Message edited by bOrIuM -- 5/25/2008 1:55:02 AM >

(in reply to bresh)
Post #: 10
RE: Version flow - 5/25/2008 2:09:53 AM   
JanSorensen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bOrIuM

I do Agree, except Economic and Diplomatic, everything must keep an order. the suggestion from JanSorensen about having land order of Neutral MP isnt good. If You're playing France and not at war with Russia, but this one has a great army in Prussia, you would like to know what they can do.


I think you missed my point then. The neutral MP has the option to do his move "early" - he isnt forced to. Also, as Russia does the land move early France _can_ see what Russia moved before moving his own forces. So, what is it you are objecting to?

(in reply to bOrIuM)
Post #: 11
RE: Version flow - 5/25/2008 2:13:36 AM   
JanSorensen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bresh
Reinforcement order matters if at war.

I think we should stick to the order from EIA.

Regards
Bresh


Bresh,

I disagree. While reinforcement does matter its not worth the wait to have seperate reinforcement phases for me. I think that Marshall Ellis should code it as an option to have simultaneous reinforcement - and once thats done I doubt I would want to join a game where that wasnt used just like you may only join games where reinforcement is strictly sequential.

(in reply to bresh)
Post #: 12
RE: Version flow - 5/25/2008 3:54:11 AM   
bOrIuM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JanSorensen


quote:

ORIGINAL: bOrIuM

I do Agree, except Economic and Diplomatic, everything must keep an order. the suggestion from JanSorensen about having land order of Neutral MP isnt good. If You're playing France and not at war with Russia, but this one has a great army in Prussia, you would like to know what they can do.


I think you missed my point then. The neutral MP has the option to do his move "early" - he isnt forced to. Also, as Russia does the land move early France _can_ see what Russia moved before moving his own forces. So, what is it you are objecting to?


Forced or not, there is reasons for the order. It changes the strategy of others, you might not choose to move first one month, and the other first. For another country that normaly move before you but still be neutral with you, you moved up to 8 cases between his two turns. Its a weapon for dominant powers only.

(in reply to JanSorensen)
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RE: Version flow - 5/25/2008 9:06:03 AM   
bresh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JanSorensen


quote:

ORIGINAL: bresh
Reinforcement order matters if at war.

I think we should stick to the order from EIA.

Regards
Bresh


Bresh,

I disagree. While reinforcement does matter its not worth the wait to have seperate reinforcement phases for me. I think that Marshall Ellis should code it as an option to have simultaneous reinforcement - and once thats done I doubt I would want to join a game where that wasnt used just like you may only join games where reinforcement is strictly sequential.


Yes, I would not want to play a game where its simultanius.
I said this before, its EIA i want to play, not someones houserules :)


Regards
Bresh

(in reply to JanSorensen)
Post #: 14
RE: Version flow - 5/25/2008 3:36:43 PM   
Dancing Bear

 

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Like I suggested, if it is an option the players can select at the begining of the game, then everyone will be happy.

It would be nice for each player to have a reinforcement phase in sequence as they are right now, but not everyone is willing to have a game last an extra year or so just so we all get an individual reinforcement phase.

Think of the poor Spainish player, who has nothing to do for years, how are you going to keep this player interested in the game over the months to years required to play a 7 player PBEM game? Not every player is in the centre of the action all the time like France or England. Simultaneous reinforcement has to be at least an option to speed things up as much as possible.

(in reply to bresh)
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RE: Version flow - 5/25/2008 8:54:19 PM   
Jimmer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bresh
I think we should stick to the order from EIA.

Unfortunately, they have already broken from EIA so severely that it cannot be corrected. EIA had two reinforcement phases. PBEM means that is less than desirable (at best).

But, you are right: Reinforcement order DOES matter when at war.

However, I submit that diplomacy matters MUCH much more. Orders of magnitude more. If diplo can be even all done in one pass (even if separate), then reinforcement is a much smaller compromise.

_____________________________

At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?

(in reply to bresh)
Post #: 16
RE: Version flow - 5/26/2008 1:15:34 PM   
bresh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer


quote:

ORIGINAL: bresh
I think we should stick to the order from EIA.

Unfortunately, they have already broken from EIA so severely that it cannot be corrected. EIA had two reinforcement phases. PBEM means that is less than desirable (at best).

But, you are right: Reinforcement order DOES matter when at war.

However, I submit that diplomacy matters MUCH much more. Orders of magnitude more. If diplo can be even all done in one pass (even if separate), then reinforcement is a much smaller compromise.


So if something is broken, break it more ?

The naval reinforcement is less leathal when its official ship builds. If they where secret like its possible to play EIA with, its more essential, as far as i remember.


Regards
Bresh

(in reply to Jimmer)
Post #: 17
RE: Version flow - 5/26/2008 3:20:37 PM   
DCWhitworth


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bresh

So if something is broken, break it more ?

The naval reinforcement is less leathal when its official ship builds. If they where secret like its possible to play EIA with, its more essential, as far as i remember.

Regards
Bresh


It's not so much broken as inevitably compromised. To produce a perfect representation of EiA by PBEM on a computer would be near unworkable. It is inevitably a trade off between exact reproduction and playability.

Whilst on the whole I support reproducing EiA as nearly as possible, I am prepared to make compromises to make the game more workable. Simultaneous reinforcement would be one thing I'd be prepared to accept. The pay off in loss of character of the game is small compared with the benefit.

_____________________________

Regards
David

(in reply to bresh)
Post #: 18
RE: Version flow - 5/27/2008 4:22:18 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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David:

Is reinforcement order intentional?
Could this affect balance?



_____________________________

Thank you

Marshall Ellis
Outflank Strategy War Games



(in reply to DCWhitworth)
Post #: 19
RE: Version flow - 5/27/2008 4:56:09 PM   
DCWhitworth


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshall Ellis

David:

Is reinforcement order intentional?
Could this affect balance?




_____________________________

Regards
David

(in reply to Marshall Ellis)
Post #: 20
RE: Version flow - 5/27/2008 4:59:50 PM   
DCWhitworth


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshall Ellis

David:

Is reinforcement order intentional?
Could this affect balance?



I guess it could affect the balance but I don't personally think its a major loss. There are occasions when reinforcement order matters but they are quite rare.

I think the gain in being able to do reinforcement simultaneously would be worth the loss.

But equally some people seem to feel the opposite.



_____________________________

Regards
David

(in reply to Marshall Ellis)
Post #: 21
RE: Version flow - 5/27/2008 7:00:05 PM   
NeverMan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshall Ellis

David:

Is reinforcement order intentional?
Could this affect balance?




I personally believe it does. It is very helpful during wartime to see new corps put down, new leaders, etc.

(in reply to Marshall Ellis)
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RE: Version flow - 5/27/2008 7:46:06 PM   
DCWhitworth


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quote:

ORIGINAL: NeverMan
quote:

ORIGINAL: Marshall Ellis
David:

Is reinforcement order intentional?
Could this affect balance?


I personally believe it does. It is very helpful during wartime to see new corps put down, new leaders, etc.


Helpful definitely, but I would swap it for a c.20% speed up in the PBEM game.

_____________________________

Regards
David

(in reply to NeverMan)
Post #: 23
RE: Version flow - 5/27/2008 11:29:01 PM   
Jimmer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DCWhitworth

I guess it could affect the balance but I don't personally think its a major loss. There are occasions when reinforcement order matters but they are quite rare.

I think the gain in being able to do reinforcement simultaneously would be worth the loss.

But equally some people seem to feel the opposite.


The biggest issue I think is who made what choice of movement order position for the French and British. It was even more important in EIA, when in-turn declarations of war could occur (like, attacking a fleet carrying your opponent's forces or forcible access).

The next highest concern is probably where leaders show up. When Austria pops Charles on the map in Bavaria at the beginning of a war, France may want to place Napoleon or Davout in the vicinity. This is pretty important to France (and, to a lesser extent GB with Nelson).

Finally, while people try to mask how many troops were placed where, the appearance of extra corps counters is always a sign of impending issues (at a minimum).

Realistically, only the last two apply to powers other than France and GB, since nothing can be done about the first. HOW important? Not that much.

But, the three issues above matter quite a bit to GB and France.

_____________________________

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Post #: 24
RE: Version flow - 5/28/2008 1:36:57 AM   
DCWhitworth


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer
The biggest issue I think is who made what choice of movement order position for the French and British. It was even more important in EIA, when in-turn declarations of war could occur (like, attacking a fleet carrying your opponent's forces or forcible access).


Move,men choices would be revealed after reinforcement, would this affect reinforcement placement ? It might but it's unlikely.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer
The next highest concern is probably where leaders show up. When Austria pops Charles on the map in Bavaria at the beginning of a war, France may want to place Napoleon or Davout in the vicinity. This is pretty important to France (and, to a lesser extent GB with Nelson).


Yes this would be a loss, but not much of a one. Usually leader placement isn't that much of a surprise.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer
Finally, while people try to mask how many troops were placed where, the appearance of extra corps counters is always a sign of impending issues (at a minimum).


Disagree with this. Corps counter placement is sometimes a bluff. Placing one or two corps counter to 'boost' a weak force is a cunning move. But how many countries can come close to filling a corp counter in a single phase ?

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer
Realistically, only the last two apply to powers other than France and GB, since nothing can be done about the first. HOW important? Not that much.

But, the three issues above matter quite a bit to GB and France.


I've spent a lot of my EiA career playing France and I'd be prepared to forego the small (in my opinion) advantages of sequenced reinforcement.

_____________________________

Regards
David

(in reply to Jimmer)
Post #: 25
RE: Version flow - 5/28/2008 7:29:26 PM   
Jimmer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DCWhitworth

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer
The biggest issue I think is who made what choice of movement order position for the French and British. It was even more important in EIA, when in-turn declarations of war could occur (like, attacking a fleet carrying your opponent's forces or forcible access).


Move,men choices would be revealed after reinforcement, would this affect reinforcement placement ? It might but it's unlikely.

For GB, this one is not really a big issue.

I haven't played France, so I don't know for sure. But, I DO know that GB (or other powers at war with France) can certainly take advantage it if it were made simultaneous. The French would be blind to the machinations of her enemies until it was too late to do anything about it. Picture the French currently going first. The British have their obligatory corps in Portsmouth, London, or that area SE of them. In sequenced movements, if GB throws Wellington on that corps, it's a cinch that France may want to think about moving last. But, with simultaneous reinforcement, he won't know until it's too late.

_____________________________

At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?

(in reply to DCWhitworth)
Post #: 26
RE: Version flow - 5/28/2008 7:31:51 PM   
Jimmer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DCWhitworth

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer
The next highest concern is probably where leaders show up. When Austria pops Charles on the map in Bavaria at the beginning of a war, France may want to place Napoleon or Davout in the vicinity. This is pretty important to France (and, to a lesser extent GB with Nelson).


Yes this would be a loss, but not much of a one. Usually leader placement isn't that much of a surprise.


Agreed.

_____________________________

At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?

(in reply to DCWhitworth)
Post #: 27
RE: Version flow - 5/28/2008 7:34:03 PM   
Jimmer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DCWhitworth

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer
Finally, while people try to mask how many troops were placed where, the appearance of extra corps counters is always a sign of impending issues (at a minimum).


Disagree with this. Corps counter placement is sometimes a bluff. Placing one or two corps counter to 'boost' a weak force is a cunning move. But how many countries can come close to filling a corp counter in a single phase ?

Everybody except Turkey, Spain, and Prussia would be able to do it almost every turn.

Usually, though, a power places TWO corps when playing this kind of bluff. One is full, and the other nearly empty. It makes the opponent guess which pile got the reinforcements.

Still, it's at best, minor.

_____________________________

At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?

(in reply to DCWhitworth)
Post #: 28
RE: Version flow - 5/28/2008 7:38:24 PM   
Jimmer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DCWhitworth

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jimmer
Realistically, only the last two apply to powers other than France and GB, since nothing can be done about the first. HOW important? Not that much.

But, the three issues above matter quite a bit to GB and France.


I've spent a lot of my EiA career playing France and I'd be prepared to forego the small (in my opinion) advantages of sequenced reinforcement.

Well, anybody playing GB under the current rules should agree with you in an instant (because they have a very unfavorable position compared to their old rules placement). I'll have to take your word for it about France, because I've never played her.

Still, someone asked the question (paraphrased) "what difference does it make?", and I've outlined the answers to that.

As I said earlier, diplomacy is far more important than reinforcement, and it is effectively simultaneous now (war declarations are not declared openly until the last person has finished, for instance). So, given the current rules, simultaneous diplo is fine. But, I would still prefer to have a much more structured diplo phase overall. However, that would make PBEM unplayable, so we compromise. :)

_____________________________

At LAST! The greatest campaign board game of all time is finally available for the PC. Can my old heart stand the strain?

(in reply to DCWhitworth)
Post #: 29
RE: Version flow - 5/29/2008 6:58:18 PM   
NeverMan

 

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I would really like to see something implemented that could speed up the battles. The battles are simply way too long. Maybe even a side IP program just for battles, or something.

(in reply to Jimmer)
Post #: 30
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