Forge of Freedom - AAR

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eddys...@hotmail.com

ungelesen,
10.11.2006, 03:31:4310.11.06
an
Hi,

A PBEM game, both players posting their current thoughts and decisions
in two different threads - without peaking at the other thread of
course :)

Mighty interesting stuff, here are the 2 threads :

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/m.asp?m=1293605
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/m.asp?m=1293655

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

Adam Parker

ungelesen,
10.11.2006, 07:23:5110.11.06
an
Thanks for the heads up Eddy. My first impression was to say "Wow - now
that's how to make a game's graphics!"

But then not knowing much about this game I saw something that looked
familiar in those screenshots to my Crown of Glory game. I checked the
Matrix forum and of course this new game is made by the same company.

Then I remembered why I hadn't played CoG for so long. As someone on
the Matrix CoG forum aptly summarized:

"(Rapier117's) opinions on CoG

I've had the game a week now and played it whenever possible. Completed
a campaign as Turkey and played a little as Prussia and Spain.

First day I would have thrown the game in the bin if I hadn't read
these boards that said there is a learning curve. Very little in the
game is intuitive. You have to read the manual and try things/make
mistakes to learn. Even after reading the manual many aspects of the
game are unclear.

Second day its still just plain frustrating. Most of your time is spent
at the strategic map level trying to get more of this resource or that
resource. Making units to fight is "like pulling teeth"....

Third day.... Finally you start to get enough units to have some real
battles. The tactical battles are great fun. Be aware my first love is
tabletop turn-based wargaming. The AI is ok but can be beaten without
much fuss. I'm playing at the "normal" level so may be better at higher
difficulties?

Since then the game has kept me entertained. Still frustrating often
but the tactical battles keep me interested.

The strategy level map and interface is crap by modern day standards.
Too much clicking on things to inspect when a simple "mouse-over" popup
window would suffice. To many parts of the game are "secret
mens-business" /wink /nod.

The designers need to make thing intuitive. You should be able to see
fairly clearly how things work and if thats not possible than the
explanation should be in-game.

For example, how do you make textiles? Why is it capped on the
resources screen? I only half understand it from reading posts from
other confused gamers. What are the yellow triangles on the nation
relationships screen? I think they indicate allies?? I could go on....

In summary, the game is ok by modern gaming standards. I do enjoy the
tactical battles. Still many bugs (did I mention that the summary
screen after a tactical battle it always gets the battle statistics
around the wrong way... the defender gets the casualty count of the
attacker) but they don't make the game unplayable.

You can't just pick up the game and play. Expect to spend many hours
learning.

6.5 / 10"

Imho - shouldn't the company first fix CoG before moving on? Or is this
another "Uncommon Valor becomes War in the Pacific"?

Cheers,
Adam.

eddys...@hotmail.com

ungelesen,
10.11.2006, 08:00:0810.11.06
an
Adam Parker schreef:

> Imho - shouldn't the company first fix CoG before moving on?

I think there's a patch for CoG being worked on right now - IIRC a beta
patch is already available for members, but your quoted definition of
"fix" involves a major overhaul of the UI and strategic part of the
game. That's not going to happen as it's not that the game is somehow
unplayable right now or full of bugs.

Could it be made a better game ? Of course - but for the most part it
"works as designed" - and it was an ambitious design to start with
combining both strategical and tactical play.

> Or is this
> another "Uncommon Valor becomes War in the Pacific"?

You do realize a lot of players without copious amounts of time
actually prefer Uncommon Valor ? Game engines evolve and the economics
of wargame development simply dictate that new games are made with the
evolving engine which are not retrofitted into the previous games.

The only company who does retrofit is HPS, but we're talking virtually
static engines here. Nevertheless it's nice, and I'm sure this
retrofitting is a bonus from a sales pov but again only economically
viable for virtually static engines so a developer has to make the
choice between moving on or developing a scenario pack.

Most pick moving on, but there sure is also a market for the other
option.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

Brett S.

ungelesen,
10.11.2006, 14:50:2310.11.06
an
Nice links Eddy. I've been following the development of this one with
great interest. With all of the new ACW games being announced, it
almost seems like a mini Golden Age for the Civil War gamers among us.

Brett S.

ERutins

ungelesen,
10.11.2006, 19:54:1010.11.06
an

Adam Parker wrote:
> But then not knowing much about this game I saw something that looked
> familiar in those screenshots to my Crown of Glory game. I checked the
> Matrix forum and of course this new game is made by the same company

Adam,

You should know that FoF in fact includes an overhauled and streamlined
interface and a much easier economic and diplomatic system since CoG.
Despite CoG's learning curve, many gamers found it to be an outstanding
Napoleonic title and this newsgroup voted it as wargame of the year, in
fact. Making an equivalent change to it in the first place would be
far beyond a patch and well into new game development territory (as it
was with FOF) as far as effort and time. We're continuing to support
CoG however, if you haven't applied the latest (including the beta)
patches, please give them a try.

Regards,

- Erik

Ctal

ungelesen,
10.11.2006, 20:56:1610.11.06
an

Very interesting indeed. Good read thanks for the post Eddy. This one
is already on my must have list.

Adam Parker

ungelesen,
11.11.2006, 00:30:0811.11.06
an
Roger on both Erik and good news on the former. The graphics do look
hot. I personally loved the aproach of CoG when it came out but the
complexity of the economic system got to me.

Cheers,
Adam.

ERutins wrote:
> You should know that FoF in fact includes an overhauled and streamlined

> interface and a much easier economic and diplomatic system since CoG....

kev9000

ungelesen,
11.11.2006, 02:54:2211.11.06
an
Brett, beside the Birth of America sequel, what others are you
referring to?
Thanks,
Kev

eddys...@hotmail.com

ungelesen,
11.11.2006, 11:50:5011.11.06
an

kev9000 schreef:

> Brett, beside the Birth of America sequel, what others are you
> referring to?

Super Sekret Stuff :)

Seriously : there are 5 ACW games nearing completion right now

AGEOD'S AMERICAN CIVIL WAR - Our Hearts were touched with Fire
ACW using the Birth of America engine
Available : Februari 2007
http://www.ageod.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1533

Gary Grigsby's American Civil War
The World at War engine brought to the ACW - monthly turns, brigade
level
Available : Q2-2007 - entering alpha - beta for Q3-2006

Take Command : Shiloh
3D ACW operational / tactical (Shiloh, Pea Ridge, Corinth, Perryville)
Available : December 2006
http://www.madminutegames.com/

Forge of Freedom : The American Civil War 1861-1865
Grand strategy ACW game based on the Crown of Glory engine
Available : Fall 2006
Forum : http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=316

Battlegrounds : American Civil War
Re-edition of John Tiller's Battleground ACW games in one package
Should have been out already - probably held back because it could
drown in the flood of new ACW games
http://www.matrixgames.com/games/game.asp?gid=319
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=227

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

kev9000

ungelesen,
11.11.2006, 16:48:3511.11.06
an
Thanks Eddy! I had forgotten about Grigsby's!

Wow. I remember 10 years or so ago being delighted to see Empire
Interactive's "American Civil War" hot the shelves and being bitterly
disappointed at the disaster it was!

I'll probably buy them all!!! Am a big ACW fan (though not an
American).

Kev

Brett S.

ungelesen,
16.11.2006, 23:17:0516.11.06
an
Kev,

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I didn't manage to read this
group all week until now. As usual, Eddy has it covered. I share your
disappointment with Empire Interactive's game, BTW. With this many
titles to choose from, I think there is going to be something (many
things?) good for almost any Civil War gamer very soon. I'm hoping
Forge of Freedom and Gary Grigsby's effort bring in some more
"mainstream" wargamers, if any wargamer can be called "mainstream",
that is. ;-)

Brett

Brett S.

ungelesen,
16.11.2006, 23:18:5916.11.06
an

eddys...@hotmail.com wrote:

> Take Command : Shiloh
> 3D ACW operational / tactical (Shiloh, Pea Ridge, Corinth, Perryville)
> Available : December 2006
> http://www.madminutegames.com/
>
>

> Greetz,
>
> Eddy Sterckx

Eddy,

I know this one won't be coming out any time soon. MMG had several
intermediate ideas on the front burner, and some personal health issues
may have further delayed this game.

Brett

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