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Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates

 
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Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 9/29/2021 5:21:48 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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From: Vermont, USA
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He who controls Europe, controls the world… Empires in Arms is the official licensed computer version of Australian Design Group's classic board game. Empires in Arms is a seven player game of grand strategy during the Napoleonic period of 1805-1815. Playable either solitaire against the AI or by e-mail. Corps level with full diplomatic options to allow players complete freedom to fight it out for control of Europe any way they want to.

Released in 2007, 14 years ago and after more than 15 years of development, the game has been given a new lease on life with the v2.23.08 update. In the update, the games multiplayer mode has been updated to the smooth PBEM experience you've come to expect from more modern boardgame titles. There are also huge improvements to the games A.I. and U.I. as well as whole new 1812 scenario with setups for classic EIA and alternative EIH orders of battle.

If you missed out on this classic originally, there has never been a better time to pick up a copy as we have an amazing 76% discount all this week.

The game is available in the Matrix store and you can find it here.

< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 9/29/2021 5:25:49 PM >


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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 9/30/2021 8:15:28 PM   
csiemers

 

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Is Windows 10 supported now?
Does it support resolutions above 1024x768?

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 9/30/2021 9:54:41 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: csiemers
Is Windows 10 supported now?
Does it support resolutions above 1024x768?


I've been doing development work in 64-bit Win10. You still need to set compatibility mode to WinXp SP2.

Multiple resolution options are not available. That's something we can look at later with v1.24.


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Empires in Arms Development Team

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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 9/30/2021 10:44:41 PM   
csiemers

 

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Thanks that's what I was needing to know.

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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/1/2021 12:07:01 PM   
pzgndr

 

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FYI. I note that the official v1.23.08 comprehensive patch is available in My Files. Usually Matrix would post patches here in the forum but this time it's a little different. Please check your My Files page for Empires in Arms registered downloads.

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Empires in Arms Development Team

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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/1/2021 2:34:08 PM   
pzgndr

 

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I would also like to emphasize some of the more significant items in this v1.23.08 update, reflecting the past two years of code development:

quote:

Major Changes
• 1812 scenario and setups for classic EIA and alternate EIH orders of battle.
• PBEM improvements.
• Many bug fixes.

Game Enhancements
• Major Powers no longer able to declare war on an Ally's Influenced or Allied minor country (see rule 6.2.2).
• Loaned Unit Behavior includes comprehensive changes made related to loaned corps and fleets (see revised rule 7.6).
• Placing new depots now in accordance with original rules (see revised rules 10.3.1 and 10.3.3 for supply source definition).
• Auto-forage now only forages unsupplied besieged units and any other units not at risk for foraging losses; all other units must manually forage or pay for supply (see new rule 10.5.1).
• Ability to add newly captured/ceded provinces or minors to New Political Combinations (see new rule 12.8.4).
• Added Bernadotte as minor Swedish leader (see new rule 13.8.9).

AI Improvements
• AI land improvements for retreats, advancements, and redeployments.
• AI naval improvements for invasions and redeployments.
• AI Great Britain Economics blocks American trade with MPs it is at war with and for negotiating peace if at war with United States.

UI Enhancements
• Better info on Unit Report screen; now shows current/max factors.
• More detailed trade listing (see updated TRADE summary in Nation's Statistics box).
• Current manpower and revenue for other nations shown when the "show selected nation" button is used.
• Prussian saved manpower displayed.


Please also take time to read/review the updated User Manual, which has those new/revised rules and much more. The updated manual may be found in the \Data\docs and \Manuals directories. And for new players, please also check out the Murat Tutorial to help you get going with some basics. It's not only informative, but it's also somewhat entertaining as well; I've been reluctant to update it.

Another final comment for new players. If you change the forum's "Display topics from last" to "All Topics" then you'll be able to see all of the comments, discussions, and arguments over the past 20 years. This game isn't euphemistically called "Empires in Arguments" for nothing. It is my optimistic hope that most of the previous gripes and complaints over the years have been mostly resolved and that we may attract veteran EIA players back to this Matrix Games computer adaptation so that new players may learn from the masters.

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Empires in Arms Development Team

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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/3/2021 2:45:30 AM   
WG

 

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Thank you so much for continuing to support this game. I played the board game ages ago, but could never get the time or players to get very far. I didn't know that this PC port existed until I saw the sale advertised, and I bought and installed it (with a few difficulties) immediately.

A quality PBEM engine is just what this game always needed!

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 7
RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/4/2021 8:04:48 PM   
trw2264

 

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quote:

I've been doing development work in 64-bit Win10. You still need to set compatibility mode to WinXp SP2.


Would the updated engine for Windows 10 require a new game to be started or would the ongoing PEBM game still work?

Thank you.

(in reply to WG)
Post #: 8
RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/5/2021 12:02:51 AM   
Michael T


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From: Queensland, Australia.
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I gave up on this game years ago. I am tempted to try it again. My question is, if I do a fresh install do I only need this latest patch for it to work or do I need to install previous patches first.

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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/5/2021 12:10:07 AM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T
I gave up on this game years ago. I am tempted to try it again. My question is, if I do a fresh install do I only need this latest patch for it to work or do I need to install previous patches first.


Welcome back! Yes, for now you still need to do a fresh install, reboot, and then just install the comprehensive v1.23.08 patch. The production team is close to finishing a remaster of the original install using v1.23.08, so very soon players will be able to download and clean install a single file. Future updates will be much easier. Enjoy!


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Empires in Arms Development Team

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Post #: 10
RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/5/2021 2:02:20 AM   
Michael T


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From: Queensland, Australia.
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Ok, so if I wait for the coming remaster, am I entitled to it as an original purchaser of the game all those years ago?

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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/5/2021 12:55:06 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T
Ok, so if I wait for the coming remaster, am I entitled to it as an original purchaser of the game all those years ago?


I'm certainly assuming all original serial numbers will work with the remastered installer. Erik or others can confirm. But again, your original download plus the comprehensive v1.23.08 update will work fine right now.

UPDATE. I just verified my original serial number worked fine with the remaster beta I just tested. BTW, the single remaster install was quick and clean, and the installer even sets the XP compatibility now. Matrix Games should be releasing the remaster soon, after a couple of very minor issues are resolved. It's looking great!

< Message edited by pzgndr -- 10/5/2021 7:14:01 PM >


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Bill
Empires in Arms Development Team

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Post #: 12
RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/5/2021 8:44:14 PM   
Michael T


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From: Queensland, Australia.
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Great, thank you. The board game was one of my all time favorites. So much fun with the right group. Hopefully this new iteration will do justice to the original concept of a PC version. Thank you for all your hard work.

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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/11/2021 4:20:14 PM   
SamSlitherine

 

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Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your patience in waiting for the remaster.

It is now ready for you to download via the https://www.matrixgames.com/game/empires-in-arms download area (if signed in) and also your my page area if you have the game registered.

Your original serial from purchase should work. If you encounter any issues please contact our support team @ mail to support@matrixgames.com

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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/11/2021 11:59:56 PM   
Will_L

 

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From: NYC-Queens
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Wonderful, thank you!

(in reply to SamSlitherine)
Post #: 15
RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/14/2021 11:00:34 PM   
Michael T


Posts: 4442
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From: Queensland, Australia.
Status: offline
What exactly are the PBEM improvements? Because a casual look at the process in the updated manual looks pretty much the same as it was in 2007.

I was hoping/expecting the use a of a PBEM Server that would automatically handle/manage a PBEM game.

Really the PBEM system still looks crazy complex, and prone to error, unless I am missing something....

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RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/15/2021 12:08:54 AM   
pzgndr

 

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Joined: 3/18/2004
From: Maryland
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T
What exactly are the PBEM improvements? Because a casual look at the process in the updated manual looks pretty much the same as it was in 2007.
I was hoping/expecting the use a of a PBEM Server that would automatically handle/manage a PBEM game.
Really the PBEM system still looks crazy complex, and prone to error, unless I am missing something....


Mostly bug fixes over the past few years:
quote:

- Single skip for PBEM reinforcement and naval phases not working - resolved (new pop-up message only prompts player to verify skips without automatically setting a single skip).
- Siege battles causing human pbem players to be swapped with AI - resolved.
- Spanish guerrilla attacks causing human pbem players to be swapped with AI - resolved.
- Diplomacy Phase messages – resolved.
- Awaiting battle results pop up message is confusing – resolved.
- Clearing PBEM Battle Folder – resolved.
- Add prompts for PBEM phase skips if no reinforcements arriving or no naval forces – resolved.
- Game bug with path and opening files related to loading PBEM gamestart file - resolved.
- Player view mode bug in PBEM - resolved.
- PBEM Admin Menu bug setting wars with minors - resolved.
- Show money given from myself to other powers – resolved.
- In-game editor does not allow removal of leaders - resolved.


The loan money bug was a big one to find and fix. The PBEM Admin menu bugs and phase skips were problematic and they're now fixed. So, yeah, no real improvements per se that required updating the manual or the process. It's just that now it all works as intended. I will say there is still a nagging bug (occasionally now) where a human player gets swapped with the AI. Still trying to track that down but it's elusive.

Regarding a PBEM server, Maple Leaf has been running PBEM games off the groups.io server. When set up for a game, it sends out a message to players when a file is uploaded with a comment as to who plays next, that player downloads commin files and plays his turn, and then uploads his commout files. I was active in one game for a while and thought it worked fine. Maybe we can get more info out about groups.io so others can try it. It's not fully automatic, as players still need to manually upload and download zipped files, etc.

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Bill
Empires in Arms Development Team

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Post #: 17
RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/17/2021 10:55:26 AM   
Maple Leaf

 

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From: London,Ontario,Canada
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For all of us that fell in love with Empires in Arms as an outstanding and classic boardgame, PBEM is the closest we can get to playing in person, while the computer handles all those tiresome book keeping chores.
Having said that, the PBEM system in this computer game, only requires a small amount of manual file exchange. Not a big deal at all and with the improvements that Bill has made over the last few years, the game has drastically improved.
A central storage site for game turns is the ideal solution and what most of us have been using for years now. Convenient and safe.
Groups.io Basic is free and easy to navigate and the Discord gaming site also works well, with the added benefit of also being able to use it for one to one communication for secure diplomacy discussions (always one of the more exciting and intriguing aspects of this game!)
I highly recommend PBEM as the best way to enjoy this great game.

< Message edited by Maple Leaf -- 10/17/2021 10:57:00 AM >

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 18
RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/18/2021 4:21:34 PM   
beamslam

 

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From: Vejle, Denmark
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Great to have this classic updated!
I'm not so much into the PBM, but am using the game to get my miniatured exercised by the export/import battles function. Well, nowadays my miniatures are mostly digitalized ;-)
If possible, in a future update it would be nice to have the UI scaled up about 40-50% as it is tiny on a modern screen size.

(in reply to Maple Leaf)
Post #: 19
RE: Empires in Arms - 15 years of development and updates - 10/18/2021 10:43:25 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: beamslam
If possible, in a future update it would be nice to have the UI scaled up about 40-50% as it is tiny on a modern screen size.


I'm adding this to my list for v1.24. If I can figure out how to set the resolution to the player's native resolution or add an option to select one or more larger resolutions, I will do so. Understand, my focus has not been on making any significant game engine changes. Bug fixes, improvements, and enhancements are within my scope and programming abilities. Some things are not.


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Bill
Empires in Arms Development Team

(in reply to beamslam)
Post #: 20
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