I'd like to put a request in for Multi-Hex Firegroups. I'd like lots of other enhancements, too. But, my number one request
is "Multi-Hex Firegroups".
Please allow me to expand on "how" and "why".
My handle, javafiend, is because I like programming in Java (not because of caffine). I'm familiar with the software machinery
needed to support a UI, such as events and tasks. So, I'm sensitive to the amount of work a UI change can entail.
Right now you have a MouseListener that recognizes LMB and ctrl-LMB for your Unit control Panel (lower left).
You also have a MouseListener that recognizes LMB for your Tactical Map.
I propose you extend the Tactical Map MouseListener to include ctrl-LMB, and that this mouse gesture will signal the selection
of multiple Firegroups.
The implementation flows from this extention. Simple LMB operates as before -- clear Unit Control Panel and refresh with the
new unit list. Now, ctrl-LMB will append more units to the Unit Control Panel. Only allow an append if the selected hex
is Personnel, not a solitary Leader, and adjacent to one of the other hexes in the Unit Control Panel list. User may repeat
ctrl-LMB on multiple hexes as desired. Not adjacent, no append, maintain current Unit Control Panel list.
Once the multiple location list is finally selected, then the user can select and deselect one or more units as is currently
done in the Unit Control Panel. The only difference is that the Unit Control Panel contents can be longer than before, and
encompass multiple locations. Of course, it will be necessary for the Unit Control Panel to shift to a scrolling mode as it
fills up. I note that you already have this function implemented in your Action Log Window.
Combat algorithms should be pretty much unchanged. It will be necessary to account for variable range in the subroutine.
The advantage of this approach is that it retains your current UI look-and-feel. It merely provides an extra, optional,
mouse gesture, ctrl-LMB, in the Tactical Map. This does not provide any burden to player's current play style. It can
easily be ignored as a feature if a player desires.
The rest of this section, Peter, you are probably familiar with. Please skip if you like.
I go back to the old ASLML days. "Those who know" would *always* advise ASL newbies, "Don't stack!" For one example:
>>McGrath's Tactics 101, Mon, 27 Dec 1999,...
2. Don't Stack. "Always spread out and form firegroups. It is
better to have one squad in a stone building and another in the
woods than to have both... in the same location in a stone
building... By not stacking, the most your opponent can hurt
with a single attack is one squad. My rule of thumb is one squad
with a '-1' leader and two squads with a '-2' or better leader."
For you TOTH-ers who've never done ASL; you've seen terrible, horrible things happen to your stacks from just one shot.
The computer rolled a "2" on it's fire attack, and the badness hits every unit in the stack (followed by much wailing
and gnashing of teeth).
Now we see the TOTH combat experience depart from ASL. You have to stack to get a good firepower -- because TOTH
only has Single-Hex Firegroups.
(This is *not* designed to restart ASLML discussions on how much to stack. My view -- tactical situations will vary.
I really want dispersed fire for some of those situations.)
What about AI?
Well, Peter, for starters, you might want to leave the AI alone regarding how much it stacks, and leave it doing
Single-Hex Firegroups. See what user experience has to say. If the players start smashing the AI because the players
disperse and the AI stacks, then add some new AI behaviors.
Thanks for listening, Peter. I know that bugs come first, etc... Just wanted to offer some thoughts on how to
tame the "UI beast" regarding Multi-Hex Firegroups. Hope this helps.