I feel like cheating

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TheGrayMouser
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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by TheGrayMouser » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:47 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:The casualty range has been changed so it will never allow you to inflict more casualties if you lose. This was always supposed to be the way it worked but we were only able to get it changed for the new version.

Hmmm I atually dont know if I like the sound of that , seems artificial, and also a stopgap measure

I mean, the range band is already reflecting a lesser casualty range if you lose so why have an an arbitrary cut off dependant on how many casulaties the winner inflicts? Isnt history full of the winners taking heavier losses than a loser?

Contrary to the TT too , as its the # of hits that will determine if a death throw is needed and how its modified.... There is nothing in the TT rules that says the Winner cant lose a base if the loser doesnt....

I think this is going to make superior Quality troops even that much better than average ones....

Oh well , no doudt it will be fine
I do have one suggestion if its possible. Any major game play changes should be optional rules . Currently there are only two options in this game FOW on or off, and Double Moves on/off.
Could have "old combat factors" and option for "new" etc .....

Fedem
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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by Fedem » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:56 pm

I agree with TGM. It is known that some victories cost more on casualties to the winner than to the looser.

The optional issue as TGM says could be nice.

Cheers!

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by CheerfullyInsane » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:12 pm

deeter wrote:I don't think fixing the combat system would be that monumental unless you're talking about doing away with the whole POA thing. The problem is with the range of possible casualties caused by the POA-inflicted hits. Hexwar made tit too broad. It shouldn't take much to make it less broad.

Deeter
I'm talking about completely re-doing it (wishful thinking, I know).
The problem IMO isn't the casualty-spread, although that can be a little annoying.
The problem lies in the POA system itself, or rather in the limitations inherent in a D6 system. There simply isn't enough spread available to properly differentiate the combat situations that can occur, nor does a single die offer up a bell-curve making each combat something of a roll of the dice (pun definitely intended).

Granted, I haven't touched FoG in a long while but IIRC Impact Inf will have no added benefits of charging into the rear of a unit (aside from the cohesion drop) since they're already at +2. Nor does it matter for the attackers casualties whether he's at +1 or +2, the defender still hits on 5,6. And of course there's the infamous situation where skirmishers already locked in melee with two other units can theoretically be charged in the rear by cataphracts, and still turn back the charge!
Admittedly an extreme situation, but it's possible. And this is where I got off the bus, so to speak.

Far as I can figure there's been a design-decision made that no combat should be a certainty, which is fine.
Heavily armored men bashing each other with sharp, metal implements is hardly an exact science, so there should be some random element included.
However, given the limited range of a D6 system, and you already use either end for guaranteed victories/defeats, you paint yourself into a corner where the possible number of outcomes are seriously depleted, leaving very little wiggle-room. So you end up with odds jumping from 50/50 to 70/30 due to one POA shift.
And with only 6 possible outcomes, you're limited to a +-2 POA if you want to keep the no-guaranteed-victories clause, so there can only be so many modifiers available. You can't have flank-attack mods, no mods for MF in open ground, no separate mods for crossing streams according to troop-type (why would warbands be penalized the same as a phalanx?), and so on and so forth.

Now, as I've said in earlier posts, I can understand the need for a D6 system in TT, since there are only so many dice a person can throw in one go. Same goes for the POA system. You have to keep things simple to keep the game running at a steady pace.
But this isn't TT, nor has it got very much in common with the TT game except the name.
It's hex-based, no multi-unit battlegroups, different DAG lists, fog of war, no 'reserve movement', no ambushes, attritional combat instead of base kill-rolls, etc etc.
So my point is seeing that this is already a different game, why on gods green earth would you refrain from using the computer for what it does best, number-crunching?
You could easily substitute the D6 with a 2D6, or for that matter a percentage-system, and still have the odds presented in a clear, concise manner on the screen for the players to use in their decision-making.
You could still get the no-guaranteed-victories, only you'd lower the odds to such a degree that these very peculiar things we've all seen happen wouldn't happen with the same annoying frequency as it does now.

Which is why I stated it would be a monumental task. Not only would every unit-stats have to be recalculated, their point-costs would have to be changed, and the whole bloody thing would have to be play-tested again.
So I'm not holding my breath here.
But I do know that I'm out of the FoG business due to the above-mentioned problems. Every time I re-install it, that comes with a serious risk of me throwing my laptop through the apartment in disgust.
Which can get a wee bit expensive. :mrgreen:

Lars

PS: if the luck-factor really does even out during the course of a game, why not take the potential whining out of the equation?
Here's what they did with SSG's Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets:
Image
(haven't attacked anyone yet, so the numbers are obviously blank)
That screen can be called up at any time during the game.
I'm admittedly no programmer, but it can't be an insurmountable task to incorporate something like this in FoG.
I've got two words for ya: Math is hard.

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:46 pm

Some interesting points there too, Lars. :wink:

For example, I think the really big losses (like 24%-1%) that we regularly get now should only occur if you have something like cataphracts charging into the rear of a "disrupted" enemy BG that is also engaged with another one of your own units - then it is quite realistic for that enemy unit to shatter very quickly. It is not at all realistic to get that sort of result if two "steady" cataphract BG's charge into each other head on in open terrain. So you would probably need to have POA's going to +3 for that to happen - but, of course, any change you make to the system would have other consequences so, so you would need to beta-test the game again to pick up the new anomalies.

Dan, who is doing the new version, has said this in one of his posts on the "New Field of Glory" thread,

"Due to the enormous task of having to rebuild the whole game from the scratch, in the shortest time humanly possible, there's not too much room for drastic changes and improvements for the new version of the game. Definitely not for the first release (which will be the next add-on). We already have to deal with enough at this point with the recreation of the whole series, not to also mention the changing of the data formats and all the other under-the-hood things in order to provide a flexible platform which is also intended to be used for the development of FoG 2.0. With the release of the new version (hopefully) lowering the pressure, the next two (last) addons will see some more changes added into the code."

So it seems quite clear in terms of the timescale. In the autumn the new Unity version will be released with "Wolves From the Sea", but any major changes will have to wait for a further 3 months or so until "Oath of Fealty" comes out. Nothing definite has been said to us about will happen after that except that Dan has indicated in the paragraph above for the first time that a Version 2.0 is now in the pipeline - which is OK because it means that FOG really does have a much longer future ahead of it. Some players did think that the game was going to be left to die but that is cerainly not the case now (if it ever was).

So I hope you will consider getting back on the bus again - just around Xmas time might be a good time to do so. :D

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by omarquatar » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:58 am

It would be so simple, give a fixed percentage of losses per hit inflicted and do without the silly second combat die

it's true that luck usually evens out in the end, but why cannot we have our "single combat" result reasonable?

IainMcNeil
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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by IainMcNeil » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:41 am

This is not going to happen - it would be like chess. The whole system only works because there is a chance of a unit which is down a POA wins. Take that away and you you win every fight you have a +POA. That would be extremely dull and very unrealistic. The system makes it more likely you will win an individual combat if you play well but not guarantee it. If you are looking for a system that allows you to guarantee victory then this is not for yo. In fact none of our games do that. FoG has no more randomness than our other games but for some reason its picked up time and again. Just try Battle Academy or Commander Europe at War. They all have randomness and while you do get the odd person moaning about bad luck it doesn't go any further. This randomness is never going to be removed as it would destroy the game.

The same goes for the PBEM warning system. This is in all games and its only the FoG forum where it generates a cause for concern. I don't really understand why issues seem to be bigger in the FoG forum - this is just an observation!

If you don't like randomness at all you need to go and play something like Hero Academy or Chess. Try our Hero Academy for an idea of what a game with no randomness feels like. Very sterile and predictable with a few simple tactics that always work. It appeals to casual gamers but not to true wargamers.

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by CheerfullyInsane » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:57 am

IainMcNeil wrote:This is not going to happen - it would be like chess. The whole system only works because there is a chance of a unit which is down a POA wins. Take that away and you you win every fight you have a +POA. That would be extremely dull and very unrealistic.
No-one (well, certainly not me) is advocating removing the randomness entirely from the game.
What omarquatar suggested wouldn't necessarily mean a sure win for anyone with a +POA, it would merely even out the casualties suffered per hit inflicted. You'd still have to score more hits to win the combat, and thus need the POA modifiers.

None of this really matters to me, since I don't see the casualty-rates as a major problem. Annoying at times, but not a game-breaker.
What I (and others) object to, isn't having a random factor in the game, but that it's so prevalent.
You get some absurd results at times, and given that a bad combat-result ends with severely curtailing the units further combat-capabilities (Disr. or Frag) a few bad rolls can cripple a line. And with the small size of the armies involved, one round can cost you the game.

So it's not a matter of removing the randomness, I'd object myself if it became a skill-only game.
But it does need some serious toning down.

Lars
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stockwellpete
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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by stockwellpete » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:42 pm

CheerfullyInsane wrote:What omarquatar suggested wouldn't necessarily mean a sure win for anyone with a +POA, it would merely even out the casualties suffered per hit inflicted. You'd still have to score more hits to win the combat, and thus need the POA modifiers.
I think that is a very strong point, Iain. I don't know of anyone who thinks there should be no random elements in the game which is really what you are answering to in your post.

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by Turk1964 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:01 pm

So thats that then ,nothing will change. I have actually found that if you play the game without Fog of War or Double moves on a lot of these dodgey happenings dont occur. The only thing is everyone plays with these on and the game is very slow without it.At the end of the day Slitherine has the final say and thats final,i guess?

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by omarquatar » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:04 pm

CheerfullyInsane wrote:
IainMcNeil wrote:This is not going to happen - it would be like chess. The whole system only works because there is a chance of a unit which is down a POA wins. Take that away and you you win every fight you have a +POA. That would be extremely dull and very unrealistic.
No-one (well, certainly not me) is advocating removing the randomness entirely from the game.
What omarquatar suggested wouldn't necessarily mean a sure win for anyone with a +POA, it would merely even out the casualties suffered per hit inflicted. You'd still have to score more hits to win the combat, and thus need the POA modifiers.

None of this really matters to me, since I don't see the casualty-rates as a major problem. Annoying at times, but not a game-breaker.
exactly
and while i love the game, keep on playing it (and designing historical scenarios to be published in the forum), i, as a historically minded player (i'm not playing DAG, only historical battles, so i am maybe a kind of rara avis here), would like to have more average combat results, that's all
chess is completely another thing

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by stockwellpete » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:06 pm

Turk1964 wrote:So thats that then ,nothing will change.
No, not at all. What seems to have happened in this latest exchange of posts is that Iain has replied to an argument that nobody, in fact, is making. No-one has suggested that there should be no random element in the game, just that the random element should be reduced a bit more. There are a number of ways of doing this - removing (or reducing) the overlaps in the casualty charts so that, for example, 2 hits always (or usually) inflicts more damage than 1 hit, and re-writing the code for melee combat results so that the extreme results (24-0) occur much less often than they do now.

In the past Iain has said that he would be prepared to look at both these aspects and my impression was that he is generally supportive of making some changes. My understanding is that Iain's and Slitherine's main sticking point is that they do not want to make the game any more complicated than it is now - and making these changes to missile and melee casualty calculations would not do this at all.

I am presuming that this is still the situation. If it is not then perhaps Iain could explain what has changed since we last discussed this issue.

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by CheerfullyInsane » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:10 pm

stockwellpete wrote:So I hope you will consider getting back on the bus again - just around Xmas time might be a good time to do so. :D
I'm still here complaining, aren't I? :mrgreen:
Seriously though, if the combat-system gets fixed (read: changed monumentally) I'll be happy to come back.
Just in case there's any doubts, I can find a lot of things that I like in FoG. Nor will I consider myself 'cheated' in some way if things aren't changed.
If any of the money I've spent has gone into furthering the PBEM+ system, I consider that money well spent.
Considering how easy it has made my games in War in the East, I think that alone is worth the price of admission.
So it seems quite clear in terms of the timescale. In the autumn the new Unity version will be released with "Wolves From the Sea", but any major changes will have to wait for a further 3 months or so until "Oath of Fealty" comes out. Nothing definite has been said to us about will happen after that except that Dan has indicated in the paragraph above for the first time that a Version 2.0 is now in the pipeline - which is OK because it means that FOG really does have a much longer future ahead of it. Some players did think that the game was going to be left to die but that is cerainly not the case now (if it ever was).
About what I figured. Seeing as Wolves and Fealty had already been 'promised' it makes good business-sense to get them out of the way, as it were.
If there is a 2.0 it would make sense to configure it to Ren and Nappy, assuming of course that the number-crunchers consider it economically worthwhile. I don't think a 2.0 without those would be viable, nor am I certain that it would necessarily entail an upgrade of the Ancients/Medieval system.
One can draw parallels to WitE in this regard. Matrix has made it clear that they're aware of some of the problems with the engine in that game, and that some of them will be fixed in War in the West, but we should NOT expect a 'retro-fitting' of WitE.
They MIGHT use the lessons learned for a possible WitE 2.0 further down the line, but remaking the same game with a new engine at no cost to the current owners is a pretty good way to lose money. :wink:

So if there is a FoG 2.0 in the future, people have two choices.
They can b*tch and moan about having to pay for the 'same' game all over again, or they can rejoice in the fact that the developers listened to their fans, and made the game they want.
Personally I gave up pouting a long time ago......Well, except when the dice go against me. In which case prepare for some serious whining. :mrgreen:
Turk1964 wrote:So thats that then ,nothing will change. I have actually found that if you play the game without Fog of War or Double moves on a lot of these dodgey happenings dont occur. The only thing is everyone plays with these on and the game is very slow without it.At the end of the day Slitherine has the final say and thats final,i guess?
Where's your Quixotic spirit?
You didn't expect the windmill to topple after merely glancing at it, did you?
So grab your lance, your donkey, don a silly hat, and go tilting again. :wink:
Or in perhaps more plainer English, things won't happen tomorrow. Might not happen at all.
But if you don't keep trying, things certainly won't change.

Lars
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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by IainMcNeil » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:29 pm

I just do not agree that the randomness is too high. Good players always beat bad players.

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by CheerfullyInsane » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:15 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:I just do not agree that the randomness is too high. Good players always beat bad players.
Fair point, and much of this is obviously a matter of personal taste.
But with no offence intended, you do seem to be in something of a minority.

And looking at the LoEG Player Performance tables, which is arguably a pretty good yardstick of the better players out there, there are a few oddities.
There's 7-8 players who have won more than 80% of their games. Most everybody else is hovering around 55-65%, with yours truly being in the bunch without a chance way in the bottom.
Looking at the rankings, there's of course pantherboy, with ericdoman in 2nd, and mceochaidh in 3rd.
However, eric 'only won 78% of the games, and mceochaidh 'only' won 85% of his.
So either they played all their remaining games against pantherboy, or they got screwed by the dice.

Going further down the list it only gets worse.
In fact as you get below 4th place, the number of won games plummet to 67% and below.......
Looking at the stats I can't help but think that there's something wrong with the argument that 'skill always wins'

Now, forget about me. When it comes to PC games I'm about as fickle as they come, and quite frankly this whole adventure into Ancients warfare is a bit of a rarity for me. So forget every argument that I've made.
Nor do I believe in trying to tell people how to run their business.

But I do want to point out than when people like Pete, omarquatar, Fedem, TGM and others, who have not only been around from the beginning, bought every expansion, actively contributed to the game by designing historical scenarios, and so on, when people like these voice complaints, it is perhaps time to sit up and take notice.

Lars
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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by stockwellpete » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:19 pm

IainMcNeil wrote: Good players always beat bad players.
:lol: Not true. Lars beat me once! :lol:

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by stockwellpete » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:37 pm

Yes, good point about the league table, Lars. I think that you can say that "good players will usually beat poorer players", but not that they always will. On certain (very rare) occasions when I have beaten a top player it has usually been because I have clearly had the better of the dice in the game - only very occasionally will I play above myself and secure a victory on merit.

I have to say that I am less optimistic about the future of FOG than I was a few hours ago. I suppose, like omarquatar, I am what you might call a "historical player". I make a lot of scenarios and prefer to play them or, at least, historical match-ups in the DAG. I have long since tired of weird battles involving Swedes versus Grenadines and Irish versus the Burgundians, or suchlike.

I was really hoping, above anything else, that the bizarre combat results would be reduced in the new version of the game in order to give it greater historical realism (this would undoubtedly enhance many of my scenarios) - it is the only thing that really bugs me about the game. I believe that luck does even itself out over a period of time but every 5 or 6 games one of the players has much better dice than the other and really that particular game is a complete waste of time.

We will just have to see what Dan comes up with. I know he takes his history very seriously so we might still be pleasantly surprised. If not, it will be time to move on, I think. :wink:

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by deeter » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:10 pm

Looking at the league standings in terms of dice does not tell the whole story. Clever DAG armies, poor matchups and good/bad terrain seem more important to me than luck.

Deeter

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by CheerfullyInsane » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:33 pm

deeter wrote:Looking at the league standings in terms of dice does not tell the whole story. Clever DAG armies, poor matchups and good/bad terrain seem more important to me than luck.

Deeter
Nothing tells the whole story.
For example, had this been a skill-based game, ain't no way in hell I'd have managed to win 30% :mrgreen:

And I'll agree on the poor match-up point. Some armies just can't beat other armies, and others, like the Numidians, can't beat anybody.
But surely 'clever DAG armies' comes down to the player-skill, doesn't it?

And of course the choice of terrain is dependant on initiative, which is again dependant on.....wait for it........The Dice.
stockwellpete wrote: :lol: Not true. Lars beat me once! :lol:
Once?
Your memory seems to get more and more selective as you grow older. :wink:

Lars

EDIT: Typo-corrections.
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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by stockwellpete » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:59 pm

CheerfullyInsane wrote: Once?
Your memory seems to get more and more selective as you grow older. :wink:

Lars
:lol: I think it took me about six months to win my first game against you! I am very grateful for the time you took to teach me the game. It seems like a very long time ago though now. :wink:

I'll give another example of what I am talking about though. Myself and Frank (omarquatar) have been collaborating on a number of "Dark Age" scenarios recently and we are play-testing "Frigidus" at the moment. In the first two games we had one where the dice was fairly even (I won) and one where the dice heavily favoured Frank (he won). We then made some alterations as the balance between the two armies wasn't right (that was why I won the game that I did) and we wanted to try out some slightly different terrain as well. So now we have a second set of three games on the go and in one of them already the dice are heavily favouring me (and I should win) while the other two games are even dice-wise so far. So although overall the dice have been fairly even for the both of us, two of the five games have actually been blighted by uneven dice (they have not been as much fun as they might have been).

Of course, this does not even take into account the other irritating factor (for me and Frank anyway) which is the fairly regular randomly bizarre combat results that we all get in our games e.g. scores of 18-1, 23-3, 12-0 etc. Why would heavy cataphracts charging into cavalry on level ground lose 16-1 on impact for goodness sake? Did they leave the rubber stoppers on the ends of their lances or something? :lol:

Anyway, my own view is that when I make either of these two points I am not having "a whinge" about bad luck, but I am saying that the historical realism of the game could be improved somewhat.

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Re: I feel like cheating

Post by Fedem » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:05 am

IainMcNeil wrote:This is not going to happen - it would be like chess. The whole system only works because there is a chance of a unit which is down a POA wins. Take that away and you you win every fight you have a +POA. That would be extremely dull and very unrealistic. The system makes it more likely you will win an individual combat if you play well but not guarantee it. If you are looking for a system that allows you to guarantee victory then this is not for yo. In fact none of our games do that. FoG has no more randomness than our other games but for some reason its picked up time and again. Just try Battle Academy or Commander Europe at War. They all have randomness and while you do get the odd person moaning about bad luck it doesn't go any further. This randomness is never going to be removed as it would destroy the game.

The same goes for the PBEM warning system. This is in all games and its only the FoG forum where it generates a cause for concern. I don't really understand why issues seem to be bigger in the FoG forum - this is just an observation!

If you don't like randomness at all you need to go and play something like Hero Academy or Chess. Try our Hero Academy for an idea of what a game with no randomness feels like. Very sterile and predictable with a few simple tactics that always work. It appeals to casual gamers but not to true wargamers.
If you fixed the PBEM warning system at least to let to know both players that a re-download has been made I would be tremendously happy. That for me at least is a number one priority.
I had two warnings about redownloads caused by my laptop running out of battery last days. One could get used to the warnings and still playing without a problem. That is not good.

Cheers!

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