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Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of micromanagement and gaming the system involved

 
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Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of micromanag... - 11/18/2017 6:14:05 PM   
DanNeely

 

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I was a heavy player prior to about a decade ago (TOAW:ACOW is probably one of 3 games I've logged upwards of 2000 hours in); but burned out during the TOAW 3 beta. (It sounded like fun when I said yes, but turned playing the game into work. *ooops*)

I've tried to come back into it a few times since but the amount of time I'd end up spending fiddling around to make sure I didn't end turn out early, constantly flipping loss tolerance levels from min to max depending on if i was attacking or not, and the general cheesiness of always making limited/minimize loss attacks to avoid running out the turn while doing 'fake' attacks with tiny units against giant stacks just to burn enemy supplies and readiness combined to always end up leaving me unhappy enough to go elsewhere the next day for my gaming fix.



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Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man ... weighing all things in the balance of reason?
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RE: Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of microm... - 11/18/2017 6:23:13 PM   
jzardos


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I wish I could answer this. For me, just struggling with an extremely high learning curve. Menu icons and graphics seem about a decade old and not very intuitive. The learning curve might just keep me from even getting into the game as it seem there maybe 15 - 20 hours to burn on learning the interface and game play alone. Maybe more.

(in reply to DanNeely)
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RE: Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of microm... - 11/18/2017 6:50:25 PM   
ralphtricky


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Dan,
We have put a lot of work into trying to cut down on the micromanagement and giving the players as much information as possible to help them play better. There's the new battle planner and a list of battles and results of battles. We've also worked in minimizing the chance of a turn burn so you don't have to micromanage quite as much.

Hopefully someone has a pointer to an article on how we (Bob) fixed the issue of one stack taking out your whole turn, it's pretty intuitive. If I remember right, it's basically using the median rounds used for the end of turn instead of the maximum. It may actually be in the part of the manual that was posted here.

To me, a fun game is one that allows you to make interesting decisions without forcing needless micromanagement.

Ralph


_____________________________

Ralph Trickey
TOAW IV Programmer
Blog: http://operationalwarfare.com
---
My comments are my own, and do not represent the views of any other person or entity. Nothing that I say should be construed in any way as a promise of anything.

(in reply to jzardos)
Post #: 3
RE: Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of microm... - 11/18/2017 7:46:27 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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Well, I've never played any TOAW before and just bought this and I'm messing around with it now, and so far it seems pretty intuitive and enjoyable. I do think there is a lack of a single really clear concept video - or documentation, even (at least, I haven't found one yet) - to explain the actual way this game works, the actual turn flow concept, as it were. But, messing around with the Kasserine 'tutorial' (lol, it's about as untutorial-like as I've seen, in that the documentation - which is beautiful - is more like a thesis....) I have found that you quickly and intuitively can pick up what the idea is. Which is, there is a mechanism built in to try to mitigate the effects of I-go-U-go play, by making sure that as much as possible (without going for WeGo - and why didn't they, I wonder?) movement and combat is as if it were synchronous, sort of. In everything I've read it has sounded complicated, but it actually feels quite easy to get used to and understand when you're playing it. So I would respectfully disagree with the person above who predicted hours and hours of learning. I'm already able to play and enjoy scenarios (albeit in a messing-about haphazard kind of way) without bothering overmuch with reading docs or watching videos (indeed, good job, as those I have read and watched didn't, imho, make it very clear for those who are absolute novices, though they definitely were helpful). So I would just recommend playing and feeling your way around, then dipping into the video and docs there are (including the manual - which definitely fails to explain the concept well, but explains a load of other essential stuff very competently), and doing that I think it's possible to enjoy it a lot. The maps can be very very good, I think. They vary in detail and quality, but some are excellent. And there are so so many scenarios to get lost in.

I don't like I-go, U-go, because it seems inherently unrealistic and distorts all sorts of real life things, and I've recemtly stopped playing JTS games, for example, because I got sick of this. I also hate hexes. But the hexes are very background in this title and the mechanism mentioned above really does mitigate I-go, U-go problems quite a bit, so for that reason I'm trying to get the hang of it, so I can get to making a judgement on the single most crucial issue for me - how good is the AI opponent? I only play against the AI these days, so this is crucial. I'm not good enough at the game yet to judge the AI, but it certainly seems vastly superior to the JTS AI, for example, which is a waste of space, imho. And, incredibly, there are a few scenarios in this game which appear to be about as huge as whole other games, with good detailed maps and historically more or less accurate OOBs (Directive 21, for example) so if the AI is really useful for those then this would be a big step up from many games where it's not so good.

And that's without scratching at the question asked by the OP. It seems that once you get past the basics there is a mechanism for reducing micromanagement (and introducing realism) by using the AI to move some of your own forces. I haven't got near to being able to test this yet, but it's certainly there. So it would appear that there is the potential to reduce micromanagement, though as yet I can't comment on how it works.

< Message edited by Phoenix100 -- 11/18/2017 7:50:21 PM >

(in reply to ralphtricky)
Post #: 4
RE: Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of microm... - 11/18/2017 7:48:58 PM   
Tamas

 

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Phoenix, just in case: have you spotted these three videos, also linked from the game's launch menu? http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4377809

(in reply to Phoenix100)
Post #: 5
RE: Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of microm... - 11/18/2017 7:56:09 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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I have been there and done them, Tamas, thanks. But maybe I'm old and stupid, because they didn't get me to understand the mechanism - though, without a doubt, they were simple and clear and they did help. I think the first thing that needs explaining for idiot novices like me, in a short, simple video, is how this game works and WHY it works like this - ie; what the problem is that this mechanism (time stamps, phased play etc) is trying to address. I have read the posts on it too, and taking all these together - the posts, the videos - I do get it, I think, but it should be possible to flag up a single five minute video that deals with this as a first priority, because for complete novices I feel the system 'feels' very complicated and you might not be sure why it's like that.

Secondly, I think I still haven't come across anything that adequately explains how to use Elmer to move and fight your own forces. I'm still looking for that. Because that would be a big plus for me, if that worked. And for the OP, I guess. The documentation on this in the manuals folder is, again, a bit like a thesis. That's nice, in its own way, but pretty hard-core, and likely to be off-putting for novices. Just my opinion, of course.

< Message edited by Phoenix100 -- 11/18/2017 7:58:11 PM >

(in reply to Tamas)
Post #: 6
RE: Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of microm... - 11/18/2017 8:21:46 PM   
budd


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From: Tacoma
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yea, an AAR video with someone very knowledgeable about the Elmer assist using it on a big scenario would help. Mr. Sill....you busy

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(in reply to Phoenix100)
Post #: 7
RE: Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of microm... - 11/18/2017 8:27:41 PM   
ralphtricky


Posts: 6658
Joined: 7/27/2003
From: Colorado Springs
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The basic idea for Elmer is actually pretty simple.

You can either go to the formation dialog and right-click on the orders box to set it to Manual or go into the order of battle formations dialog and click off the AI control for the formation you want to control.

The bottom row of the reports tab has the AI buttons. The next to the right one enables/disables the AI view. If the AI view is on, the rightmost button will advance all the AI units. You can also advance one AI formation from the formation panel. You can control the AI by setting waypoints and the general orders and orders emphasis on the formation panel. The AI control isn't absolute, more of suggestions. It understands some things about flanking and whether or not it's outnumbered. Order Emphasis for formations means something a bit more than it does for units, it also influences behavior.

That's about it. Play around with it some and ask questions.

I'll try to work up a better description later.

Ralph




_____________________________

Ralph Trickey
TOAW IV Programmer
Blog: http://operationalwarfare.com
---
My comments are my own, and do not represent the views of any other person or entity. Nothing that I say should be construed in any way as a promise of anything.

(in reply to Phoenix100)
Post #: 8
RE: Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of microm... - 11/18/2017 8:43:49 PM   
Phoenix100

 

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Joined: 9/28/2010
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Thanks Ralph! I'm sure I can get a lot from that once I've worked out what a 'formation' is in TOAW, where the 'formation dialogue' is, where the 'order of battle formations dialogue' is, where the 'reports tab' is (actually, that one, I know), what the 'formations panel' is, what 'order emphasis for formations' is, etc. Complete novice, like I said. But I will find these things and learn, and I'm sure it will be fun doing so, so thanks.

Of course, if it were 'pretty simple' then a mere 2 pages from the Elmer document might not look like this, perhaps? But I appreciate your trying to reassure me!






It's nice if it's complicated, anyway. I'm not complaining. Complicated = depth.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Phoenix100 -- 11/18/2017 8:49:48 PM >

(in reply to ralphtricky)
Post #: 9
RE: Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of microm... - 11/18/2017 9:14:32 PM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 11484
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: DanNeely

... while doing 'fake' attacks with tiny units against giant stacks just to burn enemy supplies and readiness ...


This (ant tactics) was fixed back in TOAW III.

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Bob Cross's TOAW Site

(in reply to DanNeely)
Post #: 10
RE: Do all the changes in TOAW4 reduce amount of microm... - 11/18/2017 9:22:25 PM   
DanNeely

 

Posts: 489
Joined: 10/18/2005
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quote:

ORIGINAL: ralphtrick

Dan,
We have put a lot of work into trying to cut down on the micromanagement and giving the players as much information as possible to help them play better. There's the new battle planner and a list of battles and results of battles. We've also worked in minimizing the chance of a turn burn so you don't have to micromanage quite as much.

Hopefully someone has a pointer to an article on how we (Bob) fixed the issue of one stack taking out your whole turn, it's pretty intuitive. If I remember right, it's basically using the median rounds used for the end of turn instead of the maximum. It may actually be in the part of the manual that was posted here.

To me, a fun game is one that allows you to make interesting decisions without forcing needless micromanagement.

Ralph



I've seen the explanations of what you changed to try and mitigate it; what I'm looking for is feedback from people who've played the old version on how much the changes in the new one are helping.

_____________________________

Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man ... weighing all things in the balance of reason?
Is not [it] an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
--Zachris Topelius

(in reply to ralphtricky)
Post #: 11
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