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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 4:32 pm 
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With the posting of today's new 1.05beta, the game looks sharper. And new hot keys! Little by little, release by release, raising the quality level, polishing the game...

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 7:43 am 
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Berto wrote:
With the posting of today's new 1.05beta, the game looks sharper. And new hot keys! Little by little, release by release, raising the quality level, polishing the game...

Yep, they had decided to get the game out and get the details done in updates which are almost weekly. Don't necessarily agree with there decision but at least they didn't release last November which was their original target.

They did at least promise a replay feature but still future update. But they still have quite a few things to fix still. One thing they have been good at is addressing issues that players bring up so its one of those games that the player can cause change in. Sometimes within just a few weeks.

Also, you can mod the game. No map editor but just about everything else can be changed. I have been tinkering with a Second Manassas scenario involving just A. P. Hill's defense of Jackson's left since the First Manassas map covers this area.

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 8:44 am 
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In the new betas, they are tweaking graphics little by little. But what a pity the BaB sprites map displays are not as clean, crisp, uncluttered and clear as depicted in the splendid Old Banshee mods shown here: http://old-banshee.com/3d-maps-antietam.php

If the BaB devs could merge Old Banshee-like graphics with BaB game play, how smashingly good that would be!

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 8:51 am 
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KWhitehead wrote:
Berto wrote:

Also, you can mod the game. No map editor but just about everything else can be changed. I have been tinkering with a Second Manassas scenario involving just A. P. Hill's defense of Jackson's left since the First Manassas map covers this area.

Please tell me you can mod the unit graphics, and on-map info indicators. The map is fine (even if somewhat too dark and the white-tick slope marks look kind of goofy). It's the unit sprites and other on-map indicators that together make everything look so jumbled and confusing!

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 8:54 am 
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KWhitehead wrote:
Berto wrote:
But they still have quite a few things to fix still.

I see lots of little glitches and flaws that I hestitate to mention at their forum because I don't want to appear to be too negative. The game is still quite rough around the edges.

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 8:38 pm 
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Berto wrote:
KWhitehead wrote:
Berto wrote:

Also, you can mod the game. No map editor but just about everything else can be changed. I have been tinkering with a Second Manassas scenario involving just A. P. Hill's defense of Jackson's left since the First Manassas map covers this area.

Please tell me you can mod the unit graphics, and on-map info indicators. The map is fine (even if somewhat too dark and the white-tick slope marks look kind of goofy). It's the unit sprites and other on-map indicators that together make everything look so jumbled and confusing!

You can change everything in the game including the map. All icons, graphics, units, generals, etc. are in pcx files which it looks like Photoshop has no trouble opening. I haven't altered anything and saved it to verify. However I don't think you can alter the underlying characteristics of the map because that appears to be in a binary file with a "gbmap" end code. Most of the "unit" graphics are done like HPS game files. An array of icons showing say a gun in every facing.

I suspect without knowing that these arrays showing individual soldiers are reconstructed into the actual two rank lines displayed and show the soldier in multiple positions. These are used to create both the stationary line and animated lines. In the game the units both yours and the enemies are shown in various states of "jiggle" for lack of a better word. The more agitated the unit appears to be the closer it is to breaking. It is their method of FOW. You can tell a little more by viewing your own units morale, losses and state. Enemy unit condition is only indicated by the jiggle. If you see unit with a lot of agitation it may be time to order a charge against it. How difficult that would make tinkering with the graphic file I don't know.

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Chatham Grays
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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 12:51 am 
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This "jiggle" seems a nice addition to represent the status of a unit visibly instead of just by some numbers, maybe if they expand on that they could put more numbers into FOW and the players simply have to guess out of the animation of a unit how there state is.

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 2:57 pm 
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KWhitehead wrote:
Berto wrote:

Please tell me you can mod the unit graphics, and on-map info indicators. The map is fine (even if somewhat too dark and the white-tick slope marks look kind of goofy). It's the unit sprites and other on-map indicators that together make everything look so jumbled and confusing!

You can change everything in the game including the map. All icons, graphics, units, generals, etc. are in pcx files which it looks like Photoshop has no trouble opening. I haven't altered anything and saved it to verify.

A first try Less Is More Graphics Mod here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3868113

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 8:07 am 
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Berto wrote:
KWhitehead wrote:
Berto wrote:

Please tell me you can mod the unit graphics, and on-map info indicators. The map is fine (even if somewhat too dark and the white-tick slope marks look kind of goofy). It's the unit sprites and other on-map indicators that together make everything look so jumbled and confusing!

You can change everything in the game including the map. All icons, graphics, units, generals, etc. are in pcx files which it looks like Photoshop has no trouble opening. I haven't altered anything and saved it to verify.

A first try Less Is More Graphics Mod here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3868113


Yes, much better. But I suspect they will also have fixes out too. The game is still in rapid change.

I am hoping more for them to fix the slow response to move commands soon. The game use to execute much faster before Beta 1.36 came out. They did something wrong in the path finding algorithm. After that every time you clicked on a unit their was a visible hesitation while it tried to decide where to place all those arrows and an even longer hesitation when you clicked on the hex to move too. This is a math problem not a graphic problem so hopefully they will fix it soon.

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Chatham Grays
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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:24 am 
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http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=3903235

If the BaB designers can't get the basics of FOW right, how can we trust them to get anything right? :(

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:11 pm 
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Berto wrote:
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=3903235

If the BaB designers can't get the basics of FOW right, how can we trust them to get anything right? :(


Using that criteria almost all games are dogs. HPS because not only do reinforcements come in at exactly known times but their movement rates are fixed so that you can predicted within the hex where any reinforcement can reach. There are some scenarios that use a die roll for reinforcements but few and still usually predictable because of the 70 hex LOS of HPS games allows you to observe entry areas. BaB while not having random reinforcements does have a number of improvements in FOW since movement rates are dependent on quality, command, initiative and proximity of enemy troops as well as ability to "see" enemy troops is very limited.

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:18 pm 
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You have just stated several reasons (among many others) why I don't much play the HPS ACW games any more.

I will leave unstated the many more issues I have with BaB. Oh well, it's good to have gaming alternatives (even if not ACW :( ).

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:04 pm 
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I should maybe clarify: I still esteem the HPS ACW games. And enjoy them, after a fashion. I just don't find them very compelling. Probably I'll return to playing them when I retire in a (very) few years. But now, free time is woefully short, and the HPS games just don't cut the muster.

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:06 am 
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For CW gamers we are actually in better shape than we have ever been. With three major game systems representing a pretty wide range of approaches to simulating the Civil War; HPS/JT/BG, BaB, and Scourge of War. On the Strategic level their are at least three with ACW II the most detailed.

But all games trying to reproduce historic battles share common problems. The players know to much about the situation. They also know all the stupid mistakes made by the leaders that made the battle come out the way it did. How do you put the player in the place of the commanding general and not bore him to death with his lack of control? Would anyone play a game where they typed in an order to Longstreet to attack and then waited two hours for a reply saying he isn't ready and thinks we should turn the flank instead?

Board games like Three Days at Gettysburg actually do a better job in some ways of simulating the CW. And, being board games you can add rules as needed simply by writing them on a piece of paper. Unfortunately, PBEM with these games is very tedious even with programs like AideCamp.

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 Post subject: Re: Brother Against Brother
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:19 am 
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Someday I should do a writeup here about the experiment where I played the HPS Campaign Vicksburg Port Gibson scenario a dozen times, every which way. And demonstrated to my own satisfaction, at least, how poorly the JT ACW system simulates anything like the historical battles.

Which led me to create my own BaB-like overlay system. It did a pretty decent job of simulating plausible actions and outcome like the real life Port Gibson, and has given similar plausible actions and outcomes for the other battles I have tried.

The main problems with the system are: (a) it requires H2H solitaire play (I'm okay with that; did that lots in my board war gaming days); (b) requires technical skills beyond the reach of most players (i.e., employs Cygwin, a Linux-like operating environment for Windows); (c) slows down game play by a factor of up to 3X, so playing through a battle requires weeks and even months to finish.

I don't have time for that now. But maybe when I retire in several years.

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