Case Blue is now for sale at Steam and Matrix!!

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And that with a whopping 50% discount! To get it surf over to Matrix or to Steam. If you already own Case Blue and want to add it to your Steam library remember that Matrix gives free Steam keys to existing owners. Happy panzerdrive towards the Caucasus oilfields and/or inspired patriotic defense of the Motherland!

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Advanced Tactics Gold directions… what do you think?

Just a quick post about Advanced Tactics development with an extensive poll at the end.

I am building up enough small fixes and unofficial hot fixes to warrant an official beta patch sometime soon. Its crazy in my development agenda, but I like to keep supporting ATG and further develop it.

The last big things I added where tank models and officers. Then I tried to see if I could get the historical unit models (a bit like in DC; think Infantry Division, Pz Regiment, etc..) into ATG. However after spending quite some time on it I am not sure anymore this is a good idea. Allowing the player to create models for units (like: 40 inf, 2 at-guns, 4 horses) and have automated reinforcements being send adds more complexity to the game than I first thought. Mainly in 2 areas: 1. The player will have to have a in-game design window to specify the ideal contents of such models. But its not straight forward as for example if no halftracks are available, would trucks be ok too? or if no infantry is available will infantry ‘IV’ will be ok too? or SMG? or militia?…. 2. The player will either have to receive free of cost auto-reinforcements which would act as a magic transfer (breaking some core gameplay principles with transfers costing transfer capacity points) or an intricate system will have to be build where HQs use their land,train and navy transfer cap pts to send out these auto-reinforcements…

Anyway it is a hell of a lot more work than I expected and my gut-feeling here is that it might not be worth it. Why try to make ATG more like DC? DC already does this stuff well. Since the code base of ATG and DC have split some time ago I would ideally like to see ATG move in its own unique direction and get as much difference between DC and ATG as possible.

But my main goal with any continued ATG development is to support the community. So enough about my thoughts. What would you like to be the direction of Advanced Tactics?

What direction would you like ATG's features to move too? (select up to 3)

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Posted in Advanced Tactics (gold), Game Design | 13 Comments

A first sneak-peak at the DC : Community Project editors

For those of you who missed it DC : Community Project is the planned extra game. Free of cost, but initially only for upcoming DC3:Barbarossa owners. Later it will probably be made available to DC1 and DC2 owners as well. It is to focus completely on making DC easier to mod and design scenario’s with. Its aim is to promote cooperation, re-use and different levels of difficulty to edit in. I hope to have an early BETA ready within a few weeks, or at most a few months.

Here are a few screenshots: (click on them to enlarge)

simple1
Above we see the troop type editor. Where you can create a set of tanks, gun and infantry trooptypes

int1
Above we see the historical unit editor. Where you can create a set of model units and their TOEs. It uses 1 or more troop type libraries

int2
Above we see the officer editor. Where you can create a set of officers. It can use 1 or more officer card libraries

int3
Above we see the map editor. Where you can draw and design a map

int4
And above here we see the most complicated screen in the Simple Editor: the library overview screen. In the Simple Editor you can actually not design a lot, but you can load other libraries (like troop type libraries, historical unit libraries, event libraries) and then configure them

simple1
Above we see the configuration options available for the player to give instructions to the supply events loaded from the Basic VR Library.

As the name ‘Community Project’ suggests this is only going to work if people are willing to create content for it. The DC engine has proven to work and it has the potential to simulate a heck of a lot of conflicts. With some joint effort I really hope it is possible to kickstart modding and scenario design for DC.

With the new editors in place I hope to give budding and experienced designers the chance to use this engine to create their own unique scenario’s.

VR’s time is best spent on perfecting the new editors and adding more script libraries (to provide more design options to scenario designers), but if you are interested in making your own scenarios, maps, OOBs, TOEs, troop type statistics, etc… and want to be involved early on and help me debug the new setup drop me a line at vic@xs4all.nl with a motivation and what kind of scenarios you would like to create… and I’ll try to get you a beta entry. Either early on or later on. No promises, since I prefer at this stage to only accept people who have some experience with modding/scenario design with ATG/DC1/DC2. Later on when the bugs are out i’ll open up places for newbies as well.

Best wishes,
Vic

Posted in DCX : Community Project, Upcomming releases | 8 Comments

A Night out on the Town with Ms. Logistics

If Logistics was a demure young lady you’d ask her out for a date. What kind of evening would you be in for?

She’d be very precise. Very black and white. Utilitarian dresser, severe hair, sharpened incisors, full-on black rimmed, coke bottle, glasses.

When it was time to ask her what wine she would like with her dinner she’d tell you. In detail.

While you were congratulating yourself on finally finding a female who knew what she wanted, Ms. Logistics would inform you that she had, in the last month, downed exactly 3 bottles of the aforementioned tipple.

Mmmm, you’d think. Mmmm.

Not to be deterred she would proceed to tell you that she had 11 bottles of it tucked away under her staircase at home. As you stared at her, wondering what the heck was going on, she’d stare straight back at you and insist that it wasn’t 10, nor 12 but Eleven bottles, thank you very much. Eleven. Got it?

Yep, you got it. Should have ordered water…

On a roll, Ms Logistics feels obliged to let you know that she has another half dozen bottles currently in transit, courtesy of her friendly local web wine depot.

You ask who that might be, by now desperate to change the conversation to anything other than a full statistical breakdown of Ms. Logistic’s wine habits.

Expected to arrive next Thursday, she replies. After 3 pm. She’s insisted the delivery firm be on time.

There is an automatic order for six bottles every month, says she. Important not to let stocks sink below a critical level. What if there was an unexpected supply interruption? Or guests that suddenly arrive on her doorstep, expecting to be entertained?

Jeez. Guests? She has guests? Who the heck is going to visit? The bore-me-to-death society? Actuarial-Statisticians-R-Us?

Mistaking your frown for a look of puzzlement, she pokes an iPad under your nose. Yellow icons. Tool tips, she says. Tool tips containing further information. Press. Here. With your finger. Yes, finger! Are you slow?

You resign yourself to spending the rest of the evening doing hard yards with the analytical school m’am but console yourself with the thought that Ms. Logistics can be safely scrubbed from your address book.

Which would be a mistake.

Within the last week Ms. Logistics has had a DC3 makeover. She’s all glammed up. Curvy dress, lipstick. Flowing locks of auburn hair. Heels. A hint of a smile.

She’s gone from this…

log_perfect_0

 

To this.

log_perfect_1

Yep, visual on-map displays of your three logistical pipelines.

How does it work? Pretty simple. You’ve got your three stockpiles – Your Main Depot, Forward Supply Base (FSB) and Panzergruppe HQ. Each one is colour coded to indicate how much fuel is available at that particular location.

Grey indicates none. You can see from the above pic that the Main Depot of AGN and the FSB both have no fuel. This is because the total fuel allocation received this turn has been efficiently transported, by train and truck column, to the PG HQ where it is needed. Check the Logistics report above to see how that correlates.

Red would indicate less than one fuel quota present, Yellow between one and two quotas and Green two or more quotas (plenty, nothing to worry about).

Remember what a ‘Quota‘ is? It’s the amount of fuel required for the relevant in-theatre Panzergruppe (in this case the 4th PG) to maintain full operational tempo for a turn, eg. Every division expends all 100 AP (action points) available to it.

This is dynamically calculated every turn to reflect changing numbers of Panzers, halftracks and trucks within the Panzergruppe. It acts as a handy rule of thumb guide for determining your fuel status and negates the need for fiddly calculations.

If you’ve got at least one quota on hand (at the point of use, your PG HQ) then you can be assured that you won’t be having any fuel issues for this turn at least. The German General Staff used an identical system with fuel stocks being reported in available quotas, not actual amounts.

Log_start_2

Back to our pretty picture. Your bases are acting as they should and your PG HQ is coloured Yellow indicating between one and two quotas are on hand. All good.

But this doesn’t tell the full story. Having fuel at your bases is one thing, getting it transported through the pipeline is another. Your two transport links, train and truck columns, work on an identical colour coding scheme.

However in the case of your transport links, the colour is referring to how much available transport capacity is available. In the case above both links are showing Green which indicates there are enough trains and truck columns to transport at least two full quotas of fuel per turn.

Simple and straightforward. All the information contained in your number-intensive logistical report, but displayed graphically on the map. Watch your logistical pipeline extend, slithering and sliding, into Mother Russia as you advance.

log_big_Picture_1-01

Here we are in the early stages of the campaign. AGN is similar to the original pic except now their PG HQ is coloured Green, indicating two or more quotas. Even better.

AGC has two Panzergruppes, Guderian and Hoth’s 2nd & 3rd PG’s respectively. You can see the two HQ’s, both Green and well supplied.

The Main depot for AGC at Warsaw is feeling the strain of moving large quantities of fuel (the Forward Supply Base has just finished relocating to Grodno and there was a build up of fuel at the Main depot) and you can see the Rail link is Yellow. It’s handling it but there’s not a great deal of spare capacity available at present. It’ll probably revert back to Green next turn once the big slug of stockpiled fuel has gone through the pipeline this turn.

Notice the icons for the truck columns running from the FSB at Grodno have overwritten the train icons from the Main depot at Warsaw in a couple of places. This is happens from time to time and the decision was made to do it this way rather than have a smaller, more complicated combined, possibly dual coloured icon.

It’s not difficult to see what’s happening in the above case provided you remember the way the logistical pipeline works.

logistics_pipeline

In the big picture above, it’s AGS that is the most interesting. The rail link is having to take the long way around, via Warsaw, to the Forward Supply Base at Lvov because of an enemy presence near Przehysl (red circle – full points to anyone who can pronounce that).

From the FSB to the nearby PG HQ, it’s all good with ample stocks of fuel (Green HQ, two or more quotas present) but the Main depot is showing Red (less than one quota) indicating that the FSB has probably just relocated, like AGC, and the train system is struggling to clear the fuel back log, hence the Yellow train icons (enough trains for between one and two quotas present).

 

AGC, everything under control

AGC, everything under control

 

AGC, actual situation. There are buttons and hot keys to easily toggle the unit display on and off.

AGC, actual situation. There are buttons and hot keys to easily toggle the unit display on and off.

Below is an interesting situation.

What’s going on? See if you can figure it out before reading further.

log_cutoff_0
Well the Main depot has fuel, not a lot (less than one quota, it’s Red) but some. Both the PG HQ’s of AGC still have a small amount (same, Red) and are probably going to run dry this turn.

The FSB has nothing. But where are the transport links? Have a look at the FSB. How can a train trace a route along a train line or road (where there is assumed to be lower quality, secondary rail lines)?

It can’t, hence the absence of a train link. What about truck columns from the FSB to the HQ’s? The nearest HQ would indeed have a truck column active but because it’s adjacent to the FSB the truck icons aren’t shown. The other HQ, to the right, is cut-off. Truck columns aren’t possible either.

You’d be notified by your staff of the situation, as below, but you don’t need to have your minions tell you that the situation is dire. A quick glance at the map tells you all you need to know.

log_cutoff_1

Here’s another one. Guess away. Ms. Logistics is standing by with a prize.

log_fsb_0

It’s AGN and you are in the midst of relocating your Forward Supply Base. Fuel is piling up at your Main depot while this is going on as there are no transport links operating (the Grey indicates that the current transport capacity is zero) due to the disruption caused by the relocation. Contrary to the previous situation the transport links have viable routes, there just isn’t any spare trains or truck columns to utilise them.

Your PG HQ is starting to run low (Red, less than one quota). Did you remember to build up your supplies at the front line before ordering the relocation? Doesn’t look like it.

But, hey, there’s a war on and what Commander in their right mind is going to listen to the feeble bleatings of his Quartermaster General?

Did Napoleon? Did Hitler? Will you?

 

Close up. AGS campaign start. Stand well back, though, as you're liable to get slapped. Ms. Logistics takes her personal space seriously. And her wine.

Close up. AGS campaign start. Stand well back, though, as you’re liable to get slapped. Ms. Logistics takes her personal space seriously. Like her wine.

 

Cheers,

Cameron

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments