Season’s greetings, everyone! I’m happy to announce that we’ll be stuffing one last release into your stocking for the holidays: IKE v1.5 is out now, with code and manual ready for download as well as the updated scenario pack containing 14 PBEM-ready scenarios. Some of the highlights from this release include:
Support for variable turn lengths
I’ve finally implemented what may be IKE's most frequently-requested feature— variable turn lengths, in which turns may vary between two different amounts of time: a longer Intermediate length (usually around 30-60 min) to resolve the simulation more efficiently when enemy units are out of range, and a shorter Tactical length (around 10-15 min) for more granular control of high-intensity combat encounters.
In this mode, the game begins in Intermediate time, but any player may put the game into Tactical time at the start of their turn if they anticipate needing more control. The game may also return to Intermediate time later, based on a vote on which all players must agree.
While the scenario author can enable this mode by default from the IKE Wizard, the players may also choose to use this mode on their favorite scenario by changing the recommended settings when starting the game.
You’ll notice that the scenario pack now has variable turn lengths enabled by default on most of the medium-length and long scenarios (e.g. Canary’s Cage, Malvinas - The Pincer), whereas fixed turn lengths are retained on the shorter scenarios (North Pacific Shootout, Red/Blue Hawaii, etc).
More useful reports
The report at the start of your turn will now announce any successful strikes (i.e. weapon impacts) made by your units during the off-turn, as well as any damage received by your ships, submarines or facilities.
Two new scenarios
Red/Blue Hawaii, 1985
Yes, it’s our COMPLEX tournament scenario, now available for non-contestants to play along from home. In this symmetrical “CMANO-a-mano” setup, two equally-matched US carrier groups fight it out to the death over the Hawaiian islands.
The Bear and the Eagle, 1987
It’s a furball over central Europe in this late-Cold War-era scenario contributed by @Eskild, in which advance USAF aircraft contend with the latest Soviet jets as both sides attempt to strike each other’s command-and-control facilities while protecting their own. Check it out!
New special actions
By popular request, I’ve brought some of the Special Actions available in the tournament edition to regular IKE, including the ability to resign, offer a draw to your opponent, or change your password to show a turn to another player.
Bugs squashed & outdated features removed
I’ve fixed a number of annoying little issues, mostly involving games between players using two different locales. I’ve also removed support for Unlimited Orders mode, aka "turn-based real-time” play. While this was the very first mode I implemented when I initially wrote IKE, it never really made any sense for PBEM use, and wasn’t really used after Limited Orders was possible. Stripping it out makes the code easier to maintain, and also streamlines the IKE Wizard for scenario authors by removing unnecessary clicks.
IKE v1.5 has turned out to be another great community effort. Thanks to everyone in the CMO/PBEM and Harpoon V Discords, as well as all of the COMPLEX participants, for their suggestions. Very special thanks go out to @nukkxx5058, for his help and ideas while testing the variable turn length feature (as well as his ongoing French localization), and @cristianwj, who translated the entire revised scenario author's manual into Chinese at very short notice.
When I posted the first version of IKE here back in January, I didn't think it would be much more than a fun little curio for Lua enthusiasts. Now—almost a year and 2900 lines of code later—it's been incredibly rewarding to see your videos, screenshots, and AARs of PBEM games, as well as play the custom scenarios you've created for IKE. I hope you enjoy this release--and best wishes in the new year!