ACWGC Forums

HPS Maps needing help!
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Author:  DashRipRock [ Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:39 am ]
Post subject:  HPS Maps needing help!

Question: Seems to me that,ascetically speaking, the Talonsoft maps are far superior to the HPS maps, any remedy?

Author:  Gary McClellan [ Tue Apr 04, 2006 3:09 am ]
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Nope, the TS maps were made up by an artist specially. It means they look great, but they were also extremely expensive.

The HPS maps use a tiling system, which means they don't look as good, but considering the number of units that HPS sells, trying to top the TS maps would be enough to kill the company.

Major General Gary McClellan
1st Division, XXIII Corps

Author:  Dwight McBride [ Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:29 am ]
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On the other hand . . . if you play primarily two-dimensionally, as I do, you find the HPS screens better than Talonsoft's---especially in zoom-out mode, which I use a lot on the 'monster maps.'

Your obedient servant,

Lt Col Dwight McBride
1st Brigade ("The Regulars")
2nd Division/V Corps/AOP

Author:  Tristanjohn [ Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:41 am ]
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I agree that good art tends to be expensive, but I disagree that tiling is the "culprit." More to the point, a better selection and more varied placement of the tiles involved is the issue.

The HPS original artwork for CG is just horrible, there's no other word for it. How that could have been signed off on is anyone's guess. I grabbed someone else's work somewhere (one of the Design Center links) and that's an improvement, but only to a degree. It's still generic and redundant of nature, with no effort to afford discrete building structures for sites like the Lutheran Seminary and whatnot. I use that art instead of the original just because it isn't as garish, but I wouldn't call it especially good.

Is it still necessary to have a copy of the old <i>East Front</i> game in order to make maps? I've looked for a long time for that but never scored.

Author:  krmiller [ Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:05 pm ]
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If you're looking for a copy of East Front for map making I suggest you check on ebay periodically, I picked up a copy of it a year or so ago for $10 plus shipping.

But before you spend a lot of time fooling with making maps you need to know that you can only import maps into Corinth 1.01. All other HPS games have locked the maps so the game won't play unless the map is one of the originals that came with it, same with the OOB's. You can still load them into teh editor but when you try to play teh scenario the game won't load the maps or the OOB so you can't play them.

Gen. Ken Miller


Army of the Shenandoah

Author:  Tristanjohn [ Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:25 pm ]
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Thanks. I picked that bad news up off your last reply to my OOB query.

Years ago when Talsonsoft pulled this (and other) nonsense there was an uproar throughout a good portion of our community. Is Tiller in cahoots with HPS on this one, or is he possibly looking around again for a "better" company to do business with, or what?

No matter how you try to spin it, this is <i>not</i> what I'd call a user-friendly move by HPS. In fact it downright angers me.

Author:  warbison [ Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:07 pm ]
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<font face="Andale Mono"><font color="pink">Gentlemen! <salute>

Problem with the accessibility to the HPS ACW Campaign series is that we gamers constitute a rather small group and the designers/publishers need to have an avenue in which to make some profits! Otherwise we would never see any more new products come out. A small sacrifice for continued gaming titles!

<font color="beige">Tris, you are very much in the right also as many before you have posted the same. The point also for all Club members is that we have right here some of the very game designers and experts for the Tiller series. I know that they read and take to heart our postings and attempt to fix some of the issues that are raised on the Forum. How far can they go? I don't know the answer to that!</font id="beige">

I do know that I have in the past 18 months met more gamers and had more opportunities to enjoy gaming than at anytime in the past 40 years of my gaming experience and I would not want to give that up! Just my point of view!


</font id="pink"></font id="Andale Mono">

<font color="pink">Nick Kunz
Lieutenant General
Commandant, VMI
Confederate States of America</font id="pink">

Author:  Tristanjohn [ Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:52 pm ]
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How does a restriction of this type somehow guarantee graeter sales down the road, Nick? It turns me off and warns me not to buy another Tiller product, as it plainly makes the game less valuable to own. I've listened to the rationale you've suggested for some years now, and quite frankly I've never been able to get that point of view. In my book, less never equates into "more" when it comes to my computer software.

As for the maps, maybe I can understand that, as with a thousand decent maps out there all running off the same engine then Tiller might be hard-pressed to do as well. But to not allow users to fool around with OOBs is over the top.

This attitude is nothing but a terrible reflection of the awful Talonsoft arrogance I'd thought we'd gotten past so long ago. I guess I was mistaken about that.

As for our community being small: one reason it's still so small, and possibly getting smaller, is because of the lack of quality software. Slapping one's userbase in the face on top of that strikes me as an excellent way to <i>lose</i> some of that base, hardly build on it.

We'll have to see what sort of stance Matrix takes on this when the old BG series finally rolls out. As a rule that company has always been favorable to the "open architecture" school of thought. I hope that continues. The so-called "smart AI" sounds good, too, if that is true. What Tiller offers doesn't make it by half in that respect.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear your point of view, Nick, and I respect your opinion, but I have to tell you that you're your own worst enemy on this one. Ask for more and you just might get it--the squeaky wheel and all that. Simply settle for what you've been offered and that's all you'll ever be offered. And that cold reality comes right off the street.

Author:  Rich Hamilton [ Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:34 am ]
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In the Gettysburg title alone are maps to cover the Manassas battles as well as Sharpsburg and others. If OOB's were left free that would remove any possibility of a '62 campaign game being created. So what you may say? Well, for a good portion of gamers out there an official handling of a campaign is all they will play. And the way things went crazy with Corinth is proof that left unlocked there would soon be no point in making any further official titles. Then everyone looses, as no new campaigns come out, no engine enhancements, etc. So yes, while a pain (and for some a frustration), it is the best course of action for the hobby as a whole.

LGen. Hamilton
II Corps

Author:  KWhitehead [ Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:25 am ]
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First, regarding the map quality of HPS, I think it could be a lot better in 3D than HPS publishes. I have seen Bull Run maps made for Corinth that come close to looking exactly like the Talonsoft map when using the right graphics set. Also thing the sprites used for units and terrain features in HPS games could use a lot of work. There are gamer made ones far better than HPS's.

As to locking OOB's, I don't think they should. When designing scenarios using the HPS Editor this severely restricts what you can do for "What if" designs. It would be nice to do some Jackson what if's. I don't think locking the OOB's has that much affect on HPS sales. Gettysburg did well in spite of at least two versions out under Corinth engine. I think the maps are the most critical and time consuming item in a game and having them locked is sufficient security. The user created games for Corinth engine are the main reason I even played HPS games. And, it was the main reason I purchased their new games. If HPS had had to depend on the Corinth campaign games to draw players in there would probably be no Campaign Gettysburg, etc.

BG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
III Corps, AoM (CSA)

Author:  Tristanjohn [ Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:11 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 Rich Hamilton</i>
<br />In the Gettysburg title alone are maps to cover the Manassas battles as well as Sharpsburg and others. If OOB's were left free that would remove any possibility of a '62 campaign game being created. So what you may say? Well, for a good portion of gamers out there an official handling of a campaign is all they will play. And the way things went crazy with Corinth is proof that left unlocked there would soon be no point in making any further official titles. Then everyone looses, as no new campaigns come out, no engine enhancements, etc. So yes, while a pain (and for some a frustration), it is the best course of action for the hobby as a whole.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

I don't understand your logic, Rich. On the one hand you say that for a substantial (I assume you meant "substantial," otherwise why worry about it?) <i>portion of gamers out there an official handling of a campaign is all they will play.</i> Well fine. Then why fret over home brews? How could the latter possibly eat into HPS sales if your original reasoning were correct?

The reason I went to the trouble of designing a new OOB for CG is that the OOBs provided are insufficient to accurately "model" anything. All sorts of errors, and plenty of subjective opinion which does not even come close to my understanding of the history, and I've read/studied just about everything <i>except</i> the OR firsthand--I threatened to buy that a few years ago, but the problem is I have nowhere to store it! (My shelves are more than full already. <g>)

As long as I'm on it, I seem to have found an error in the large Gettysburg map. For some reason a unit an artillery unit is not allowed to move directly from hex 113,159 to 112,159. Both hexes are clear, no obstacles are listed in the information panel, both hexes are of the same elevation, yet I'm forced to go around.

Also, in one of the Pipe Creek scenarios I found Confederate units places on a pond hex (along with breastworks if I recall), and when I tried to move those units I received some kind of "bridge" error message.

These are examples of why users need to be able to change the data provided by the company. Errors are made. I know how it easy it is to do that, as I've done a lot of game mods over the years and errors seem to be my specialty. <g> But the thing is, the user needs to have the ability to pick these errors up when he finds them. No?

I can only speak for myself, but this locking of the OOB files turns me off big time to your product. If I could possibly see how it might negatively impact your sales, I might relent, as I don't wish to see you go out of business, but the truth is I've heard these arguments for years, and it's always just a tempest in a teacup, to put it no lower.

I wonder why the breakdown of cavalry and infantry units as it's handled for the Nappy titles hasn't been ported over to the ACW games. What's with that? The "skirmisher" dynamic provided for infantry units in the ACW games is hopeless. And cavalry should <i>always</i> be able to be broken down--afterall, that's how it was meant to be used, and in fact how it was actually used. (See Buford's deployment and the results he achieved on July 1.)

Indeed, what you <i>really</i> need is the abilty to breakdown cavalry into 2-man increments, this to simulate the kind of picket duty troopers regularly performed at night. Same same for infantry, especially to reasonably simulate the role of sharpshooters. Infantry as well needs more fexibility at the regimental level <i>per se</i>, with appropriate rules to go with the "skrimisher" or "battalion" breakdowns (per published house rules for the Nappy titles) so that users can't get totally silly with these subunits.

A few changes to the game system along these (and similar) lines might breathe a lot of new life into the product, and go a darned sight further to increasing sales than your decision to lock the OOBs.

Anyway, I hope someone bothers to take a look at those two map errors I cited.

Take care.

Author:  Rich Hamilton [ Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:56 pm ]
Post subject: 


The pond error has already been addressed and will be include with the patch...when that finally makes it out. Will look at the other.

Zip up your OOB and include a detailed note on why it is better/what exactly it will add to the game and send me a copy of it at Support at We'll check it out, and if its agreed to by John & Doug we'll include it with the patch.

And sorry for the spelling can tell I rely on spell check a bit too much. [:0]


LGen. Hamilton
II Corps

Author:  Dirk Gross [ Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:00 pm ]
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Extemely small unit breakdowns, especially by cav, will probably lead to extremely gamey tactics particularly zoc kills. [:(]

Lt. General Dirk Gross
XIV Corps/AoC


Author:  Gary McClellan [ Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:10 pm ]
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It's not ZOC kills that worry me. You'd just need to add a rule that gives a unit a minimum threshhold for a ZOC (which would be a good thing anyway)

That said, allowing too deep of breakdowns (anything less than 50 really) would have two effects that would impact the game very badly.

1) You'd be stuck spending most of your gaming time trying to deal with an onrush of 10 man units trying to pick off leaders, supplies, scouting (with Cell Phones of course), and the like.

2) The counter density would get excessive.

I'll pass.

As for the OOB, I agree with the HPS practice. HPS doesn't OWE us anything they don't advertise. We all know that the moment that they allow "free" oob files in Gettysburg, we'll be buried in Bull Run, 2BR, hypothetical 3BR, and Antietam games. HPS had only two realistic choices. They could either lock the oob files, or they could cull the Gettysburg campaign down to not having any of those "extra" maps.

Major General Gary McClellan
1st Division, XXIII Corps

Author:  kenturner [ Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:18 pm ]
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Do the Hps maps pale in comparision to TS's maps?
Are the playable?
Yes again.
Maps and oob are not the real problem. The inferior AI is what really hurts it. That and the number of artillery units in the game really turn me off. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE artillery, it's just in most games, there are almost as many artillery counters as there are infantry and that imho really slows done a game. And yes, skrimsihers really do need to be tweaked. I propose allowing a unit to deploy a skrimisher detachment of 100 to 50 men, but not allowing it to travel further than 1000 yards from the mother unit. But back to the AI, that really needs work. In most vs/AI games, I have a major victory achieved about halfway through the scenario. It has to be more challagning than that.

Fld Lt Ken Turner
Western Theater/tbd

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