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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:22 pm 
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Much discussion has occurred on this board over the years about different features that could be made to HPS's ACW games. I want to open a discussion on how the Multi-Player capabilities can be enhanced.

In the past I've played mostly 1v1 games either against yanks or in maneuvers with my rebel friends. But recently I've switched to playing mainly MP games. And in the past couple weeks I've even ventured out to successfully try the Direct-Play method HPS offers (it's very easy). The main reasons I've switched to playing MP games are two-fold. One, MP games allow me to spend less time on the computer since in MP games I'm usually only commanding one corps instead of a whole army. My new bride frowned upon the amount of time I played in some of my lengthy 1v1 battles to which I told her that "we all have to sacrifice in time of war."[:p] But that didn't sit with the home-front too well.[B)]

And two, I was tired of taking all the blame for lost battles since I was the only player.[:(] I've found playing multi-player games conveniently allows me to blame my teammates and my commanding officers.[:D]


So with mostly playing multi-player games now, I've had a chance to think and there are a few enhancements I'd like to suggest. I'm not sure how easy or hard they would be to implement since I know nothing about coding but here goes:

First, there is a "multi-player dialog" feature available only in Direct Play that allows the commanding officer on each side to assign commands to the different players. This feature allows the player to only move and fire the units under his command as assigned by the commanding officer. My suggestion would be that this feature be enabled for MP email games as well. It would help in the administration of MP games involving lots of players...6-8+. Since it's already available in Direct Play I wouldn't think it would be too hard to make it available in email play. But then again I'm not a coder.

Second, along with the "multi-player dialog" feature in Direct Play (and if it became available in email games) it would be nice to have the Fog of War option enhanced to what I'll call "Extreme Fog of War". Extreme FOW would make it impossible for you to see any friendly units not under your command unless they were in line of sight of a unit under your command. For example, Boyd is commanding Longstreet's corps on the far right flank and trying to capture Little Round Top. Den is commanding Ewell's corps on the far left trying to take Culp's hill. Boyd will probably succeed,[8D] Den probably won't.[:D] With Extreme FOW, Boyd, since he is only commanding Longstreet's I Corp, could only see those units of Den's (Ewell's) command that are in line of sight of I Corps units... which is probably not many. Not knowing what's going on on the other side of the battlefield with units of your own army would create a more realistic fog of war, more unknowns, and help eliminate some of the "radio" or GPS communication that we have discussed as an unrealistic feature in the games.

Third, it would also be nice if email game files and Direct Play game files could be interchangeable. That way if officers playing an email exchanged game against each other had a free night or weekend morning they could log on online for a few hours and play via Direct Play to get several more turns in then the current conventional email method. Right now email files end with .bte and Direct Play files end with .btx. This would enable some of the longer battles to finish faster.


A lot of good discussion has gone on in this forum over different features that could be added to HPS's ACW games. Many of which HPS has implemented. I want to thank HPS for being such an involved company with it's customers. I've purchased games from other companies who rarely updated or patched their games or if they did they'd sell them as an add on or a new game. So my thanks to HPS for creating enjoyable games for us war gamers and for their direct involvement with their customers via this forum, email communications, and events like Tiller-Con.[:)]

Thoughts or ideas on enhancing MP games?


Col. Boyd Denner
"Alabama Brigade"
1/3/III
ANV
"God Bless the Alabamians" Gen. Robert E. Lee - The Wilderness 1864


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:04 pm 
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Some good ideas Boyd, especially the idea of commanders in MP pbem games only being able to see the formations under their command, unless in LOS. There is more chance of suffering/recreating some of the historical disasters if this were so, and making orders and communication delays more significant. I think this would make MP games much more realistic and more of a challenge.

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[url="http://homepage.ntlworld.com/a.r.barlow/acw/acw.htm"]General Antony Barlow[/url]
[url="http://homepage.ntlworld.com/a.r.barlow/aoc/XXAoC.htm"]XO, Army of the Cumberland[/url]


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:44 am 
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Boyd</i>
<br />Boyd is commanding Longstreet's corps on the far right flank and trying to capture Little Round Top. Den is commanding Ewell's corps on the far left trying to take Culp's hill. Boyd will probably succeed,[8D] Den probably won't.[:D]<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

[:(!] Why I oughta.... [:(!] Now seriously, I couldn't concentrate with you incessantly typing "I think I see Chamberlain! I think I see Chamberlain!" in the Dialogue box.

Gen. Den McBride
Congaree Swamp Rifles
"Fightin' for The Cause since '97"
III Corps, ANV
C.S.A.
swampfox_csa(at)yahoo.ca
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:29 am 
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Gentlemen,

Something I do in my multi-player games I command is to issue my orders for the next turn at the end of the present turn. I do this to simulate the curriers riding to my Corps commanders. I also leave following the orders to the Corps commander's discretion should the situation change since the last report. This is something we can do now, no engine change necessary.

Lt Gen Joseph C. Mishurda
Killer Angels
VI Corps, AoS, USA


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:47 am 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by jmishurda</i>
<br />Gentlemen,

Something I do in my multi-player games I command is to issue my orders for the next turn at the end of the present turn. I do this to simulate the curriers riding to my Corps commanders. I also leave following the orders to the Corps commander's discretion should the situation change since the last report. This is something we can do now, no engine change necessary.

Lt Gen Joseph C. Mishurda
Killer Angels
VI Corps, AoS, USA

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

<font color="yellow">Thanks General Mishurda, yes that is similar to what we do in our MP games. We have a 36 hex courier rule. If the corps commanders ever want to communicate with each other or with our commanding officer we determine how far away each other is and for every 36 hexes we delay our communication one turn. It helps defeat radio communication somewhat. The items I mentioned above, especially #2 is another way to prevent instant intelligence in MP games.

Regards,</font id="yellow">

Col. Boyd Denner
"Alabama Brigade"
1/3/III
ANV
"God Bless the Alabamians" Gen. Robert E. Lee - The Wilderness 1864


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:51 pm 
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Gentlemen,

Just a thought, what if they added a Currier that would carry messages (like the Bull Run Take Command game) where you type a mesage and then have to move the currier to the officer to recieve it. Then it would be possible for the currier to be delayed, captured or Killed. No communication except by currier unless the two officers were in the same hex. It would be nice to be able to have text and marked up maps. Imagine if you did not know for sure where the Officer was located (Boyd's second point). That would take that all powerful all knowing General down a few notches. Oh! am I dreaming too much!

Lt Gen Joseph C. Mishurda
Killer Angels
VI Corps, AoS, USA

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Lt General Joseph C. Mishurda,
"Killer Angels"
XXV Corps, AoJ


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:55 pm 
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Boyd has presented some very ingenious enhancements here. I have recently started playing some direct caller games, and they are a great way to play HPS games, and I think a great way to make the multi-player experience even better. Not actually 'seeing' what your other corps commanders are doing would be about as close to the real thing as you could get. There are some really dynamic possibilities here that if doable, could add a great new angle to an already great game engine.

Col. Ron Virts
XXV Corps
Army of the James


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:21 am 
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I like your same side fog of war idea too. And I think adding couriers should be easy. In the newer Nappy games each side has an abundance of Aide-de-camps that could serve that purpose.

Major General Jon Thayer
Old North State Divison
3/III
Army of Northern Virginia

jonathanthayer@bellsouth.net


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:14 am 
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Great thread Boyd. I also have also moved to almost all multiplayer games for the same reasons stated, but also to me they are much more fun. The best suggestion so far is having the ability to assign troops to individual commanders. I would also like to be able to click on the "next unit" button (whether it be for moving or firing) and have the computer then cycle through just those troops under my command.

I would also like to echo Boyd's comments on HPS. While there are things I would like to see changed, I want to compliment and thank them for coming up with what we have now. Thinking back to my younger days and the board games of the 70's, this is light years beyond what I ever dreamed would be available during my lifetime. Thanks again gentlemen![:)]

Col Gary Krenek
III Corps
3rd Division
Army of Northern Virgina


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:16 am 
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On the courier issue, in our Penninsula multiplayer game, the Generals do seem to have mounted staff units assigned to them. It would be easy to use them as messengers. I don't think they are used much in other series though, but I haven't really looked either.

Lt. General Dirk Gross
XIV Corps/AoC

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:10 pm 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by jmishurda</i>
<br />Gentlemen,

Just a thought, what if they added a Currier that would carry messages (like the Bull Run Take Command game) where you type a mesage and then have to move the currier to the officer to recieve it. Then it would be possible for the currier to be delayed, captured or Killed. No communication except by currier unless the two officers were in the same hex. It would be nice to be able to have text and marked up maps. Imagine if you did not know for sure where the Officer was located (Boyd's second point). That would take that all powerful all knowing General down a few notches. Oh! am I dreaming too much!

Lt Gen Joseph C. Mishurda
Killer Angels
VI Corps, AoS, USA

ImageImage

Lt General Joseph C. Mishurda,
"Killer Angels"
XXV Corps, AoJ
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

<font color="yellow">I really like your idea about sending messages to each other through the game and with delays if the receiving officer is far away. Think of other possibilites this would allow. What if the courier never arrived and the orders were never received? Or what if the message were intercepted by the enemy!?! Boy what an ingenious set of guys we are...</font id="yellow"> [:D]

Col. Boyd Denner
"Alabama Brigade"
1/3/III
ANV
"God Bless the Alabamians" Gen. Robert E. Lee - The Wilderness 1864


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:35 pm 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">I really like your idea about sending messages to each other through the game and with delays if the receiving officer is far away. Think of other possibilites this would allow. <font color="red"><b>What if the courier never arrived and the orders were never received?[/</b></font id="red"> Or what if the message were intercepted by the enemy!?! Boy what an ingenious set of guys we are... <blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Heck, with my $#^*)#$!)* internet provider, that is already happening![:0]

Col Gary Krenek
III Corps
3rd Division
Army of Northern Va.


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