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Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 9:37 pm

A great game! but ...

Mon May 17, 2010 10:20 pm

I have played the great campaign as the cp this weekend in gold edition. It's one of my favourite from ageod, great simulation.
Here some positive points:
1.The combat is really great, better than the other games because you actually can see why you loose (in WIA,NCP ect it seems random sometimes ie. 500 modifiers and you loose 50% of your force on a 5 to 1 advantage)
2.Economics sort of
3. Diplomacy sort of
4. Naval and air combat great (don't understand naval really, but its fun)
5. Pretty Historical with mobile armies then entrenched warfare great!
6. Technology (stosstrups and tanks and arti and gas and planes ect.. cool)
7. planned offensive (dont get that either but its cool)

I know I should read the manual but with monster games I trust my instincts and do what I think makes sense.

Anyways Greece turned CP and Austria had a bit of trouble with serbia. Russia was all over for a while then romania joined them. Kept italy and bulgaria out with diplo spam (CP has too many diplos) Kicked Russia in the a... Georgia with German troops and UK in palestine with other Germans. Austria and Greeced kicked Romania and they started to cry(ie. surrended)Then Russia colapsed in 1817 , Uk gave up and Paris was allready mine.Held for a couple of months . Then I got a decisive Victory. (My first for Agoed usually I get minor victories :( )

Now the dark side:
-It lags as hell sometimes, very slow very slow particularly in the deployment phase (can take up to 2 min for it to wake up). (Athlon 64 Dual Core 4200+ XP SP3).
-It crashes a lot(10 times at least) and phones bill gates.
Plus one blue screen (something about video card in endless loop) Geforce 8800 GT.
-When dragging and dropping stuff I was praying that it works because it take so long.
- And I got this compiler bug (see jpg) in the statistic pages
- In the deployment phase ghost armies show up (look at serbia here) I paniked but they were just ghost.
-In the buy unit screen you see all your troups and if they are damadged which is good. But finding then in the corps is tedious thank god that at least return is a fast way to search for stuff. The whole mouse reactions are weird delayed when healing.
-A lot of the events are not selectable could not call lenin but I guess I have to read the manual there.

Generaly I had a lot of fun eventhough It sometimes felt like the war as such a long hard slog. Some more work needs to be done for it to become a smooth game. Then we can see about the game balance as such.
This game like GI is diamond in the rough but a diamond nonetheless keep up the good work.

Great fun but I am sure It can get much better

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Mon May 17, 2010 10:57 pm

just a couple of points: when its lagging during the redeploy phase, its because the AI works heavily during that time. Even when the AI is working mesage is gone, it will take a few seconds for it to actually "let go" of the CPU.

the empty stacks during redeployment is WAD. Decoy stacks were a feature in the boardgame, and were kept in the computer version as a tool to help the AI. They only appear durign redeployment, never during military phase.

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Tue May 18, 2010 7:49 am

i thought about it for a long time and came to the conclusion that whilst ageod are some of the most brilliant and gifted game designers in the world right now and their games are really splendid affairs when it comes to the actual game mechanics as programmers they are really terrible. in terms of optimising the code or this whole system to have the map load a 800mb .bmp file is just weird. it takes huge demands from the computer, but the game itself isnt that much more complicated than the other games (paradox fex). so there must be this reason that makes such huge demands of my computer, which is a shame since it keeps a lot of potential wargamers away from purchasing their products. most wargamers dont have the machines that can run the latest FPS games in high res, and so this potential revenue from their excellent games is lost. maybe ageod should hire a dedicated coder whose sole purpose would be optimizing the code? just my thoughts, its a shame that i cant really play any of the later ageod titles even when they are 2D turn based affairs (ok simultaneous turn, but its the same for the purpose of the argument here) because the game is such a resources hog.

maybe its because all the values are exported into excel sheets to make them moddable? but how many mods are there out there really? one or two for each game that i have quickly browsed through the forae. most deal with new uniforms :) maybe hiding those values in the code to decrease the computer power needed to run them? how many people will not buy the game because its not fully moddable as opposed to those who would buy it had they owned a better computer? :coeurs:

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Location: Italy
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Tue May 18, 2010 10:22 am

For crashes:

1) if you are a Win Vista (Win7?) user, I strongly suggest you to disable the UAC filter, as it's causing several freezes and crashes and looong loading time, as reported by some customers.

2) Be sure also you run the game with PC Administrator priviledges, mainly under XP.

3) Finally, beware that the "AI Logs" option can be detected by the Antivirus as a danger (it creates HTML log files) so making the Antivirus crash the game.

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Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 9:37 pm

programming and ghost units.

Tue May 18, 2010 4:24 pm

Ok the redeployment ghost armies kind of make sense to me now, its a kind of intense fog of war which makes sure you don't surround the ai during redeployment and allows him to redeploy anywhere. They dont disapear in the military phase straight afterwards though (see screenshot) which still makes sense.I guess I should have though about it before.

As for the programming aspect, Monster games are difficult to make. Programming AI for individual units is probably ok but as the number of units increase the cpu power needed increases exponentially I think. My biggest lags where in 1916-1917 when Russia was at its apex in number units. As soon as Russia and UK quit you could play again pretty smoothly. As for the crashes I have admin use XP SP3 and have no AI log on but I will try without my virusscanner again. I believe it has to do with memory leaks because a reboot sometimes made at least the first turns seem more playable but that may just be an impression. I have also noticed that most of the cpu power came from just one core... but again that may be an impression only.

As for other companies are better at programming issue. Making pc games out of boardgames is just damned difficult a lot of firms fail: EU1 v1.00 was no walk in the park and HOI3 still seems to be under construction, Empire in Arms is a disgrace and I am sure World in Flames will be a catastrophe.

I think AGEOD is doing well with respect to the challenges that it brings. As for the map you are right that seems a little large but there maps are so beautiful I am not sure that a compressed image would deliver that quality but then again I dont know.

keep up the good work AGEOD

Oh yeah I forgot to mention Richthofen died 4 times in my game lol those german zombie guys

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Tue May 18, 2010 7:37 pm

I share many of the sentiments expressed. A brilliant game somewhat hampered by the lack of transparency. The big manual is a must and the marked for players willing to actually read a 200+ pages manual before playing is likely somewhat limited. Nonetheless well worth it and the support is outstanding with the designer himself tirelessly answering newbie questions. Even so I confess I’d pay real money for a weekend course in learning how to understand the navel system and events in detail.

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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:31 pm

Tue May 18, 2010 8:50 pm

I totally agree with you ulver1, we got the SAME opinion and you perfectly expressed, clearly above all, what I've tried tediously to tell developers in many messages.
Good to see I'm not the only one not to be clever enough to understand every little thing that is happening in a party. :)

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Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 9:37 pm

you don't really need to read the manual for playing

Tue May 18, 2010 9:41 pm

I am reading it now and am surprised a bit. I fantasized a lot of rules that didnt exist. If you play tannenberg you learn movement normal train or admin, interception, artil support and healing your guys (in playing germ).
The Serb scenario is a bit longer and you learn how to fight for the next day (loss management), surrounding,big sieges and battles in the mountains (ie when to retreat). You realise some generals dont like retreating early and you realise it must be that obstinancy thingy. Then you do the italian mini campaign and realise how to use support stosstrupps and double battles. Then you do jutland and see how going out to sea is not allways a wise choice unless you are lucky. Then you can do the campaign 1818 for example diplo, economics are a bit there but irrelevant All concentrated on France. Now you can do the great campaign without really having read the manual. The only thing that will still get you, is where can I place my units after reinforcements, then you realise that the roman numerals relate to the corps they have to be in or near in a city and you can really get going, allthough the stacking limits sometimes still gets you.

of course if you want to master this game from the beginning, read the manual and good luck.

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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:31 pm

Tue May 18, 2010 11:42 pm

A good sum-up I guess! :)
And I agree for the reinforcement, I'm currently in june, 1915 and I got one cavalry unit waiting to be affected to its (full) army since the first offensive, in september 1914.

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