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Some things we need to know

August 12th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 6 Comments · Wargames

From page 97 of the manual for Gary Grigsby’s War Between the States.

Movement Tips: The good news is you don’t have to count movement points, but you may be left wondering why you can’t make a move. Is it the or reaction phase? it winter? Does a leader with attached units have initiative? Are you moving from a friendly region another friendly region or an enemy region? What are leader specialty skill ratings and is one type of attached unit dragging entire force ability down? there a transportation line across river you are trying to cross? Has rail unit you are use for been demolished? The problem of movement becomes even more difficult when you get a combination of the above, such as reaction in winter with a force without leader initiative. It can be frustrating at times, but we think it effectively portrays reality of moving forces during American Civil War.

You know what else would be realistic? Being told why a move is invalid, so the general can do something about it. I doubt McClellan just stared at a torn up railway and wondered why his train wasn’t moving.


6 Comments so far ↓

  • Jason Lefkowitz

    Reminds me of this classic rant on “realism” in gaming from Old Man Murray — they were ranting about the old World War II Online MMO, but the point is the same…

    Grenades are in! Our commitment to bringing you the actual battlefield experience has resulted in the most realistic depiction of maintaining and throwing a grenade ever attempted. Here’s how it works:

    Press shift-7 to inspect the grenade for obvious defects.
    Press shift-8 to inspect the grenade for less obvious defects.
    If a defect is found, you will be alerted. Press shift-E to “Enter” the grenade alert screen so that grenade alerts may be read. Alternate between pressing shift-7 and ctrl-8 relatively quickly to correct the obvious defects, faster for less obvious defects.
    If fixing the defect is not possible, you will be alerted to return to the nearest Resource Center where you must turn in the grenade at the flag station by pressing alt-M.

  • JonathanStrange

    Heh. That does sound like the proverbial “it’s not a mistake, it’s a feature” excuse for not providing the gamer feedback. One can almost hear ol’ Abe saying “Why doesn’t Gen. McClellan MOVE?!”

  • ascagnel

    You both make valid points. A general at first may not have information, and may need to investigate. IE: if there’s low morale, the men still might tell the general they feel fine, and the general would need to do outside research.

    This sounds like there’s no option for that further research, so shame finger anyway.

  • Scott R. Krol

    I have mixed feelings on this. Clarity is perfectly valid, but at the same time one nice thing that computers can do that you can’t do in cardboard is to realistically simulate friction. Sounds like it succeeds at that.

  • Troy

    The simulation of friction is fine. It’s nice to have lots of little things that can impede movement and delay your plans. I’d just like to have a message telling me why I can’t move these five soldiers into Virginia. Is it a movement point? A weather thing? Lack of initiative? Something.

  • Jason Lefkowitz

    It occurs to me that if you’re designing a game (i.e. something that’s supposed to be “fun”) and you find yourself describing a feature as “frustrating”, you should probably take it out, no?