First Impressions

iOS Beta
KenPortner
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First Impressions

Post by KenPortner » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:23 pm

I've played through the first 3-4 scenarios. My general impressions after @ anhour of play.

1. The graphics are nice. The unit icons remind me of those in Unity of Command.

2. What scale is this game set at? What do the units represent? ( platoons? companies? battalions? higher levels?)

3. If the units are higher echelon, why do non-artillery units get to fire at range. Seems like an odd mix of tactical and operational features.

4. The game says armor thickness and varying penetration depending on range is accoubted for. Do afv's have different armor depending on facing? If so, there doesnt seem to be a way to change facing.

5. The controls are a bit wonky. Too easy to select and then inadvertently deselect a unit.

6. Overall seems like a nice enough game. But unless you're contemplating a much lower price point, why would i ever buy this instead of (or in addition to) Panzer Corps?


4.

PirateJock_Wargamer
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Re: First Impressions

Post by PirateJock_Wargamer » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:37 pm

Played first three scenarios so far. First impressions are ...
  • Really like the look of the game
  • Like the option for armour to break through wire
  • Text too small on some items, in particular on the units showing possible (?) hits and also state (?) of unit so hard to see what's useful/important
  • Lots of information shown - which is good - but not clear what it all means. Also not sure how the results shown in the bottom left corner box relate to hit losses. Is it planned this will be in the release or is it for debug?
  • As only a few scenes in not sure if this will be linear or if get branching choices on getting to Moscow
  • Will there be an option to turn off music but keep sfx?
That's the initial 30 minute view. Will start looking at how the game plays over the next couple of days.

Cheers

KenPortner
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Re: First Impressions

Post by KenPortner » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:12 am

PirateJock wrote:Played first three scenarios so far. First impressions are ...
  • Really like the look of the game
  • Like the option for armour to break through wire
  • Text too small on some items, in particular on the units showing possible (?) hits and also state (?) of unit so hard to see what's useful/important
  • Lots of information shown - which is good - but not clear what it all means. Also not sure how the results shown in the bottom left corner box relate to hit losses. Is it planned this will be in the release or is it for debug?
  • As only a few scenes in not sure if this will be linear or if get branching choices on getting to Moscow
  • Will there be an option to turn off music but keep sfx?
That's the initial 30 minute view. Will start looking at how the game plays over the next couple of days.

Cheers

Yes, ability to turn off music is a must. Thought Slitherine would have known that based on the reaction to Panzer Corps on iPad. :cry:

Also agree the font in the bottom right corner is too small to read.

Lthillou
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Lthillou » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:55 am

1 hour into the game on iPad mini retina/iPhone 5:
Nice looking game with a different look
Up to the Leningrad scenario the AI is a bit too simple to beat
As already mentioned by other, hope that the final product will allow for various routes on the strategic map
No lag or control issues on ipad
On iPhone controls are a bit flimsy particularly during the first scenario
Fonts are a bit tough to read on both devices

More detailed points:
Not sure that air raid had any impact each time I used it
Comments related to promoted unit is outside of box
Supply going in negative when refuelling unit needing more than current prestige
At some point during the Leningrad scenario, supply was not usable anymore (any particular rule on supply availability)

IonutG
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Re: First Impressions

Post by IonutG » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:03 am

Hello guys,

I am part of the developing team for "Frontline:Road to Moscow". We are very happy we got to show you how the game looks in beta stage 1.

Feedback is crucial when developing a game, no matter if there's an experienced developer or not. And, while we are very happy with how the game turned out so far, we are aware "Frontline" might still have some rough edges and quirks (which we plan to fix during this beta).
And that brings us to this community beta phase, where we get in contact directly with you guys to find out impressions, suggestions, bugs(hopefully none), etc...

Needless to say, ALL feedback is of great value to us, as all of you here are wargamers. We will constantly improve "Frontline", and will take your feedback to grow this game.

Now let's answer some questions :) :

KenPortner :
We keeps units numbers as low as possible.

Infantry squads are divided in platoons, sections or companies depending on unit's type(from 10 to 100 men).

Tanks Platoons (about 2 platoons) Around 10 Units.

Artillery Companies (from 1 to 10 units)

Most units have a longer than 1 hex range. 1Hex=around 200 yards and we use ballistics(the shorter the distance, the greater damage and penetration)

The deflection of one’s unit armor depends on it’s angle and thickness.(this translates in chance to deflect an incoming attack different for infantry or At-gun. The facing of one unit is not taken into account as you cannot rotate units).



PirateJock:

We are still tweaking the text size, we agree, it is a little too small at this time.

The combat log in the left corner is meant to keep a history of the battle, (it is work in progress).

The campaign is linear, (Battles occur in chronological order)

Music and sfx will appear on the option menu. You will be able to mute the music or sfx


Lthillou
Air raid needs some balancing.(if no AA guns are in the area it does damage, if AA guns are present chances are the plane will be shut down)
"Supply going in negative"(will be fixed)
"Supply was not usable anymore"(no special rules here, it had to be a bug, we will look into it)


Thank you again for your time guys!

mboog12
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Re: First Impressions

Post by mboog12 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:24 am

Heya (from another 'Frontline' developer)

I just need some quick clarifications :
PirateJock wrote:
[*]Lots of information shown - which is good - but not clear what it all means. Also not sure how the results shown in the bottom left corner box relate to hit losses. Is it planned this will be in the release or is it for debug?

Cheers
Can you please tell what parts of the GUI are unclear? We will look into them and try to make them more intuitive where needs be.
KenPortner wrote:
[*]Also agree the font in the bottom right corner is too small to read.

Cheers
Thank you. We have noted it down.


Regarding difficulty : (my colleague answered in another thread) there will be difficulty levels. Currently it's locked on Easy.


Thank you for the feedback so far and keep the questions coming, we'll keep answering ;).

Warddav
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Warddav » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:36 am

Based on my first half-hour or so...

It's difficult to get a sense of scale, both in terms of the maps and in the size of the units. Are we dealing with squads, divisions, or something in between?

The type is somewhat tiny, even on the ipad.

Assuming/hoping that the final translation of text will be into better English, i.e., correct spelling, grammar, and correct military terminology.

The first couple of scenarios ( all I've played thus far) seem a bit easy, but that's ok: presumably they'll get more challenging as things progress through the campaign.

The graphics are nice.

Will the campaign allow multiple branches, or will one have to complete the scenarios in fixed order?

So far, looks like it'll be a decent enough game, but not in the same league as Panzer Corps. More later.

Evilmonkey
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Evilmonkey » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:58 pm

Hi,

Here are my first impressions.

- Crashed a few times on startup, nothing a reset of iPad mini didn't fix

- Intro video nice but maybe could mix it up with some map and unit graphics into a montage so you link the game and real video

- Some loading screens looking a bit pixelated (more than usual) on iPad mini (1st gen)

- Maybe fade in and out the loading screens so they are a bit smoother, more post processed

- Liking the map aesthetic style.... nice perspective and fade to edges / fog of war type effect

- Fonts on briefing screen look a little out of place... they are a bit retro pixel-esqu (where as other in the game are not)

- Info-snippets between scenarios really good and useful... you actually read them

- Could you add a pinch to zoom so you can zoom out and see more of the map? I wanted to zoom out a bit to see the whole area and plan my attack

- Graphically it look good (maybe splash screen could use a bit more polishing)... it would be nice if there was more 'firing' animations on the troops however. The tanks turn and fire, you get some motion backward from the blast and some smoke etc... but the troops just kind of turn and fire into the air.... I kind of wanted them to have a different stance, action etc...

- Also the bombers don't seem to bomb... just shoot machine guns?

- Audio - Really think you need a bit more realism in the firing sound effects to mix them up a bit... the guns sound kind of weak and samey mainly on the infantry... you want more ricochet effects and general variance in gun shots so that multiple guns are heard firing overlaid at random times to mix it up a bit... also this could give you a way of making troops sound weaker / stronger depending on their supply / casualty rating

- No undo button? I made a few movement mishaps and wanted to undo just the last move (before committing and firing)

- Map sizes - they feel a bit small but this may be because I love the scale of Panzer Corps... i found you were a bit 'funneled' into a single route of attach with not much scope for flanking

- Weather and weather effects would be nice to add

- Sometime found my self near the edge of the map an it was tricky to see what was going on - this may be intentional and i do like the edge fog effect but maybe this is again due to map size

- AI is a bit static (and easy) - they don't seem to move much but then they are on the defense as opposed to attack so this makes sense really

- Could you add a button the highlights unmoved troops?

- Can you add an option to let you finish destroying the enemy before the game ends (if you take a final objective it needs on that turn)

- Does direction of the tanks do anything to influence deflection? Or is it just down to vehicle type?

- Does the enemy ever surrender when surrounded?

- It would be good to have a map prior to starting the scenario so you could plan your attack a bit

- Can you hide the info pane at the bottom left at all, maybe on a tab to hide / reveal?

Thanks!



-

-

mboog12
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Re: First Impressions

Post by mboog12 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:14 pm

Warddav wrote: So far, looks like it'll be a decent enough game, but not in the same league as Panzer Corps. More later.
Panzer Corps is an excellent game and we love it, but our goal was not to make a game similar to it in any way (except that it's a war game :D ).

Evilmonkey
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Evilmonkey » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:35 pm

Also, a couple of other things:

- I'd like to be able to see the stats of the units to be bought during a game by holding down the icon (same as you do a unit).

- Sometimes when you have a unit at the bottom middle of the screen you cannot resupply them very easily as the supply when appears of the top of them (you have to then move them to the far edge to see the unit - pesky).

Thanks

coppernob
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Re: First Impressions

Post by coppernob » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:05 pm

have played the first 8 scenarios now. Entertaining game which does get a little more challenging but I need to ask.

would a puma armored car be as effective versus soviet armour in real life?

is there a way of replicating weak numerous soviet units opposing a fewer tougher german units?

were fw190 available in the timeframe of the game?

airstrikes do not seem to have any effect in the majority of cases - is that intentional?

mboog12
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Re: First Impressions

Post by mboog12 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:44 pm

Evilmonkey wrote:Also, a couple of other things:

- I'd like to be able to see the stats of the units to be bought during a game by holding down the icon (same as you do a unit).

- Sometimes when you have a unit at the bottom middle of the screen you cannot resupply them very easily as the supply when appears of the top of them (you have to then move them to the far edge to see the unit - pesky).

Thanks
Hey, Evilmonkey,
Great first feedback (in the 1st comment), we liked it and it has some valid points. We still analyze some of the options, but we will reply to it asap.

Regarding unit stats in the supply bar, it's in the works, just not ready yet. We felt the need for it too.

Second issue is a bit more tricky to deal with, as that's part of the design. We'll think about it :).

coppernob wrote: airstrikes do not seem to have any effect in the majority of cases - is that intentional?
That was a bug introduced in the latest build. We fixed it and airstrikes will be functional starting with the next build.
I will leave my colleague to reply to your other questions, as he is more fit to answer them.

IonutG
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Re: First Impressions

Post by IonutG » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:13 pm

coppernob wrote:have played the first 8 scenarios now. Entertaining game which does get a little more challenging but I need to ask.

would a puma armored car be as effective versus soviet armour in real life?

is there a way of replicating weak numerous soviet units opposing a fewer tougher german units?

were fw190 available in the timeframe of the game?

airstrikes do not seem to have any effect in the majority of cases - is that intentional?

Hi Coppernob,
Great questions
The Puma had a great gun especially for a recon vehicle, it mounted the 50mm KwK 39, same gun used by the Pz III or used as a towed gun-Pak38. It had little armor but a great gun and also could fire APCR rounds.

The Fw190 was present at the time, actually the first flight was back in 1939 but it was introduced in august 1941.

About replicating battles between numerous weaker soviet units you will find a few maps who do just that.

The airstrike will be fixed in the next build(it had abug)

Cheers

Evilmonkey
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Evilmonkey » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:16 pm

I've been playing a while now and am at the Leningrad mission.

I would say the difficulty has ramped up quite a bit from the previous mission.

I'm finding that even with fairly over whelming odds 5 Panzer III F's units against a single T-34 Russian tank unit it can almost be impossible to destroy them or grind them down - which feels a little off (this could be my terrible tactics however allthough they are also surrounding them on all sides).

The German tanks just feel a bit weak?

Or is this me choosing one sideed (better Russian tanks) match ups?

IonutG
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Re: First Impressions

Post by IonutG » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:22 pm

Evilmonkey wrote:I've been playing a while now and am at the Leningrad mission.

I would say the difficulty has ramped up quite a bit from the previous mission.

I'm finding that even with fairly over whelming odds 5 Panzer III F's units against a single T-34 Russian tank unit it can almost be impossible to destroy them or grind them down - which feels a little off (this could be my terrible tactics however allthough they are also surrounding them on all sides).

The German tanks just feel a bit weak?

Or is this me choosing one sideed (better Russian tanks) match ups?
Hi Evilmonkey,
Great feedback as usual.
Yes, when an unit is surrounded it will have a big HP handicap, also units will desert.
It is not active in the current build as it still needs some bug fixing.

Thank you for your time

mboog12
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Re: First Impressions

Post by mboog12 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:13 pm

Evilmonkey wrote:Hi,

Here are my first impressions.

-
As I said, we liked the points that you've made and we definitely will implement some of them in the first shipable build.

- We will make bottom-left combat log 'hideable'
- Zoom : most probably we will have a 2 predefined levels of zoom for game version 1.0
- Bombers shoot guns rather than drop bombs : we liked the effect :), mostly that's why it's still there. We're still thinking whether to change it to bombs.
- Weather effects : that's a nice touch for the feeling, if we finish all other polish in time we'll enhance the weather effects.
- Highlight unmoved troops : we've implemented that, it's just that we don't explain it anywhere. There are two small arrows in front of each German unit : one green that shows it can move, and one red that shows it can fire.
- Direction influences deflection : no

- Other improvements that we're considering require a bit more work, and probably will be added in incremental versions.

PirateJock_Wargamer
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Re: First Impressions

Post by PirateJock_Wargamer » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:24 pm

mboog12 wrote: - Highlight unmoved troops : we've implemented that, it's just that we don't explain it anywhere. There are two small arrows in front of each German unit : one green that shows it can move, and one red that shows it can fire.
In the Tip boxes (seen in the transition between map and scenario) there is one that says unmoved units have a white circle around them - not sure that's correct as I haven't seen the white circle. Also if, for example, a unit moves but does not fire should the red half arrow remain?

Cheers

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Re: First Impressions

Post by PirateJock_Wargamer » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:06 pm

mboog12 wrote:
PirateJock wrote:[*]Lots of information shown - which is good - but not clear what it all means. Also not sure how the results shown in the bottom left corner box relate to hit losses. Is it planned this will be in the release or is it for debug?
Can you please tell what parts of the GUI are unclear? We will look into them and try to make them more intuitive where needs be.
The main thing on the GUI is size of text/icons - though looks as if this being addressed.

With the Combat Log I was meaning that it says, for example, 'Unit X attacked Unit Y from 100m for 550 damage' and I was wondering how the 550 damage translates into hits on Unit Y. Is it to do with the HP/Unit valve of Unit Y?

Concerning the Combat Log I know it's work in progress but I have noticed that towards to the end of a battle it goes blank and does not show any battle information. Is it planned that this will scroll - currently it does not. Also on my iPad Air the last and first line of text are not always within the box, either dropping off the edge of the screen or partially obscured by the top of the box.

Cheers

Lthillou
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Re: First Impressions

Post by Lthillou » Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:22 am

2 hours into the game on iPhone
I confirm my first comments on air raid
The katiouska unit is immensely powerful and never seems to miss also their ability it defend themselves against armour is uncanny
I really liked the air-based scenario but was there a way to resupply air unit I got through but lost most of the units I was granted
I concur with another post on the defence capacity of the T34 which seems only really susceptible to AT artillery and anything below a 4 to 1 attack ratio is doomed
I noticed in one of the later scenario a volkssturm unit which is probably not historically accurate as it was created in October 44. Maybe landwehr more than volkssturm and even that seems a bit dubious historically
More later
Can you also give some info on the supply system in particular conditions under which re supplying a unit is not possible
I should also say I like the game up to now: good job guys

IonutG
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Re: First Impressions

Post by IonutG » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:43 am

Lthillou wrote:2 hours into the game on iPhone
I confirm my first comments on air raid
The katiouska unit is immensely powerful and never seems to miss also their ability it defend themselves against armour is uncanny
I really liked the air-based scenario but was there a way to resupply air unit I got through but lost most of the units I was granted
I concur with another post on the defence capacity of the T34 which seems only really susceptible to AT artillery and anything below a 4 to 1 attack ratio is doomed
I noticed in one of the later scenario a volkssturm unit which is probably not historically accurate as it was created in October 44. Maybe landwehr more than volkssturm and even that seems a bit dubious historically
More later
Can you also give some info on the supply system in particular conditions under which re supplying a unit is not possible
I should also say I like the game up to now: good job guys
Hi Lthillou,
Great feedback
We agree, so me units need more balancing, yes Katyusha will miss more and deal less damage, also it will be very easy to destroy once in range. All T-34's need some tweating.
The name "wolkssturm" will not appear in this installment, thank you,
Info panels for supply will also appear.
We are glad you like the game so far.

Thank you for you time.

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