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General_Sun
01-07-2007, 21:20
Features of the Amerial Wars
Tactical-Battle Map

Before I start on this section I must say that it is extremely difficult to draw a line between that exists as a campaign map feature and a battle map feature. Changes to the campaign map affects the battle map and vice versa. So just to fans, if you're playing the mod and notices a feature we've not included in this blog, it might be included in the next. Also, this blog covers the features changed as of Beta 1.3, if you are reading this blog after the release of 1.4 or even later, please be aware of that it might not cover everything. Thank you for reading.

For the Amerial Wars we at the development team attempted to bring together past proven game play changes for superior game play and combine them with new techniques which we've come up with ourselves. Our focus through all this time was purely situated on fun, in our fantasy setting there was no such obstacles as historical accuracy to hold us back.

People begged for longer battles. We at the team examined the idea, and asked ourselves the question, are longer battles truly better? What makes them better? Are there any situations where they are not better? Our answers: longer battles is a misleading way of saying that line infantry should hold onto their positions longer, allowing more time for more advanced maneuvers such as flanking, leading, faking, and moving your missile units to fire into exposed sections of the enemy units.

This however, does not equal longer battles all together. Longer battles are generally causes for intense boredom. For example, nobody wants the missile exchange phase of the battle to be longer, nor the marching section. So with these things in mind, we went about creating the game play in this fashion. We increased all unit health so that less casualties are taken over the same amount of time decreasing the amount of time for units to break after engagement. We then edited the missile units' attack and range to enable them to both engage faster, and decreased their health and defenses to enable them to kill each other faster. The mission was accomplished and this has tremendous implications in actual game play.

The siege battles are now, as more one player called it, "epic." We also anticipated that this would have a few other effects. EASY, boring battles are now actually faster. In battles where you significantly outnumber the enemy you can now devout less troops to holding the line and more to crushing operations such as flanking or puncturing. Of course difficult battles are now longer, as you can no longer use momentary flukes in local unit strengths to crush sections of the enemy lines. Also, causality rates are now much reduced after each battle, stemming from the fact killing those routing troops are much more difficult. We noticed just as much kills happen during the actual fight (as should be), but the routers are killed with much less frequency. This has the effect of prolonging the overall life of troops, enabling you to racket up those prized chevrons that much easier. Also, and this is getting more into the strategic side of things, this allows the losing side to store up more troops from defeats and resembles them faster, creating for bigger, faster armies, and allowing factions to rebound from losses quicker.

The development team also recognizes the wealth of excellent mod packs that exists within the community. To that end, we made excellent use of Sinuhet's crazily but deservedly praised battle mechanics mod (vastly improving the battlefield AI by giving them more formations and making the battle work better in general) as well as zxiang1983's 2 handed units fix and his siege fix. Much thanks of course goes to both for making the Amerial Wars that much richer.

Look for our much longer Strategic-Campaign Map blog here soon.