Wish List for Legion: Arena's sequel...

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robindavies
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Wish List for Legion: Arena's sequel...

Post by robindavies » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:39 pm

That said, I hope that you are planning something for all of us fans out there... I love this game. I loved Legion, Spartan and Troy, but the battles in Arena are by far the greatest so far so please keep up the great work.

I hope that it is ok to make a forum topic that would display people's outright wishlist for the next incarnation of the game but I thought that perhaps the game designers might like to see what is on everyone's mind. So folks, if you have any ideas, please put them here.

My personal top wishlist would be for you to make an upgraded centurion unit for veteran units. Ideally, there would be a graphic that would reflect a roman centurion, and ideally this unit would be detachable from it's parent unit in order for it to fulfill the role of a second in command. It would make battles more interesting where you are forced to split your troops and would provide a weaker commander unit if the general falls in battle.

Any thoughts?

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Post by IainMcNeil » Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:26 am

We are working on a sequel, but we can't tell you too much about it at the moment :)

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Post by heroes99 » Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:32 am

Looking to buy Legion Arena and there already a sequel .. :D :D

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Post by honvedseg » Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:39 pm

My hope is that the next game will have a non-linear campaign, or at least a couple of decision-branches to make each run through the game different from the last. A win-or-lose decision won't help, since you wouldn't want to intentionally lose a battle just to see the other branch of the campaign, it should be a conscious decision by the player, or else based on something hidden from the player, such as whether you broke a certain enemy unit through combat or if they fled when their army routed, or if you lost more than a certain number of men in a scenario where casualties weren't even considered for victory conditions, etc.

It would also be really impressive to have an upgrade path for units: those early peasants could be trained/upgraded into militia, and from there into either auxilia or into basic spearmen, etc. It's not reasonable to have an experienced combat group disband in order to replace them with raw recruits with "better formations", you would adapt your existing troops to the new tactics with the latest equipment. Once trained for one role or another (light infantry, heavy infantry, missle), you wouldn't want to go backwards.

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Post by IainMcNeil » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:09 pm

Those are interesting ideas ;)

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Post by peregrin » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:09 pm

First, let me say what I hope won't be changed. I love the fact that Legion Arena does not require hours to play each battle. Most strategy games put in too many details, and as the game progresses, the management time scales up. I also like that the game is forgiving of mistakes. You can keep trying the same battle until you win, without starting from scratch.

I would like some improvements in the user interface. I would like to be able to reorder the list of squads, so I can put frequently used squads at the top, regardless of when I recruited them. Tabbed squad lists by type of troop — light infantry, heavy infantry, light cavalry, heavy cavalry, missile — would be good (without taking away the full list). Also, I would like to know how many squads are currently on the field, so I don't have to count manually.

Placing the squads can be a chore. The UI shouldn't allow squads to overlap. If I try to move one on top of another, it should snap to the nearest open spot. If a squad changes formation and causes overlap, the overlapping squads should be nudged to make room. There should be an optional grid that can be turned on and off easily, so I can better see how the squads line up with each other and the enemy squads.

I would like a command that tells all idle squads to seek the enemy. As it is now, after a squad finishes a fight, it just stands around, unless another enemy happens to be very close. That's fine, but when most of my army is standing around idle, I'd like to be able to tell them all to look around for the nearest enemy and get to work. Maybe this is what the Rally command is supposed to do? I have never seen any noticeable effect of Rally.

Is there any way to tell how many order points my leader has? I know about the white bar during battle, but I'd like to know the total when I am promoting. I would also like an additional squad history stat — average kills per battle.

I would like to have a battle history so I can look back on what my army has accomplished during a campaign. Even dumping a summary into a text file would be OK. A good visual supplement to battle stats would be a few pics of the mini map, taken at regular intervals (e.g., once per minute). Would it be possible to have a complete replay of a battle without making a movie? Maybe if all starting conditions (including random number seeds) and all commands are recorded, the battle engine will recreate everything exactly as it happened the first time.

Maybe elephant squads should be strengthened to be more in line with their historical impact. With only 8 per squad, they don't get many kills. Heavy cavalry are a much better deal: fast movement and more units mean a lot more kills. Maybe 12 or 15 elephants per squad would be better — but still low enough to be surrounded easily by an infantry squad.

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Post by IainMcNeil » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:38 am

Thanks - we have taken things in a slightly different direction but we feel it makes it much more playable. All will be revealed in due course ;)

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Post by honvedseg » Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:29 pm

To answer a couple of questions above, Rally gives a temporary morale boost to all of your unbroken squads. If you don't have any squads in a reduced morale state, then you won't see any visible signs. If, on the other hand, one of your units is shaken, or on the verge of being, this command may put them back into reasonable order at least long enough to survive their current encounter. Broken squads are not rallied.

Elephants were not known for causing massive casualties; their purpose was to disrupt the enemy's battle line. Once engaged, the elephants probably looked for the easiest way out, and generally managed to flatten a few soldiers of one side or the other along the way. Standing around squashing humans wasn't high on their list of priorities. If anything, the ratio of elephants to humans is already higher than it was historically, so an elephant in the game represents a lower number of elephants than a human figure represents actual humans in these battles. Possibly the largest deployment of elephants in a battle occurred during one of the Alexandrian Successor battles, in which approximately 100 elephants were used by each side. Compare that to the 40,000 or more men in each of the two battle lines and you get an elephant-to-man ratio of around 1:400. Deploying 2 units of 8 elephants in a Legion Arena battle with 12 units per side gives 16 elephants to roughly 400 men, or a 1:25 ratio, which is way more than enough of the belligerent beasts.

I can agree that deploying units could be a little less awkward, especially regarding overlaps with other units. "Telescoping" of a selected group of units when they are dragged up against a boundary is also annoying, where the bumping unit collapses into the next one. The only time I would expect that you would WANT units to overlap would be when you are placing your General.

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Post by peregrin » Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:40 pm

honvedseg, interesting points about historical use of elephants. In game play terms, however, is there ever a compelling reason to use elephants? Heavy infantry is generally superior to light infantry, but in difficult terrain, it's good to have some LI squads. Can a similar case be made for the situational superiority of elephants over heavy cavalry and/or heavy infantry?

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Post by Redpossum » Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:32 pm

I'd say the main usefulness of elephants was to panic troops that hadn't seen them before.

Even the Romans panicked and ran away at Heraclea.

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Legion Arena

Post by ross » Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:56 am

That you already working on a sequel perhaps means that what I recommend is already of no use, but nevertheless here is what I have to say. In Arena Rome dictates what you do because as the learning officer that is how the game is set up. However now that you have finished the programme as a winner or conqueror I feel the sequel should take you to a new level where you as winner or conqueror dictate where and with whom you now shall fight and conquer.

By that I mean an enlargment of the map where not one town in an area subjugates the whole but perhaps three must be taken for that to happen. Of course this then would enhance Arena and also provide the long awaited second version of Legion in a combined effort without comprimising either. The basics are all there as are the graphics so perhaps this recommendation might not seem as far fetched or far away as first thought.

When discussing Arena with others the feeling I get is that it is too simple, not that it is not good or badly made for none have ever said that, but what they do want is more depth and that is what I propose. By doing as suggested takes Arena into the same scale, perhaps even better, than RTW, and certainly into the area that modders are trying so hard to fill. There is still a huge appetite for all things Roman as these mods show. So Iain and team, whatever your sequel is make it have more meat.

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Post by antipasta » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:32 am

In May 2006 there was a press announcement for Arcane Legions and Europe At War. Now that the latter has been developed, patched and upgraded does this mean that development can now start/restart on Arcance Legions (soon!)?

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Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:01 am

Commander was developed by Firepower, we helped out with the design, art, music, marketing etc. Arcane Legions has been worked on since 2005 continuously by the core team though it has undergone some major changes. Watch this space.

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Post by kongming » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:08 pm

My hope is that the next game will have a non-linear campaign, or at least a couple of decision-branches to make each run through the game different from the last. A win-or-lose decision won't help, since you wouldn't want to intentionally lose a battle just to see the other branch of the campaign, it should be a conscious decision by the player, or else based on something hidden from the player, such as whether you broke a certain enemy unit through combat or if they fled when their army routed, or if you lost more than a certain number of men in a scenario where casualties weren't even considered for victory conditions, etc.
That you already working on a sequel perhaps means that what I recommend is already of no use, but nevertheless here is what I have to say. In Arena Rome dictates what you do because as the learning officer that is how the game is set up. However now that you have finished the programme as a winner or conqueror I feel the sequel should take you to a new level where you as winner or conqueror dictate where and with whom you now shall fight and conquer.

By that I mean an enlargment of the map where not one town in an area subjugates the whole but perhaps three must be taken for that to happen. Of course this then would enhance Arena and also provide the long awaited second version of Legion in a combined effort without comprimising either. The basics are all there as are the graphics so perhaps this recommendation might not seem as far fetched or far away as first thought.
This post has some great ideas that I echo whole heartedly. The UI comments are right on. I have posted elsewhere on the changes I would like to see to the deployment maphttp://slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2974&highlight=deployment+map. (BTW I would love to have some more input on the deployment map poll posted there!)

I also like the idea of a enhanced "centurion" role a la robindavies above. And I would love to see the gruff centurion from the tutorial become the "voice" for introducing scenarios.

But the most significant in my mind though, are the requests for non-linear campaign elements that give the player more control over the progress of the campaign. That would require a narrower chronological scope: more like Alexander's campaigns or Caesar's Gallic War or Hannibal's campaign in Italy or Scipio. I have written some other ideas in the Great Battles of the Middle Age post: http://slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1135
“There are only a few notes in the scale.
Yet you can always rearrange them.
You can never hear every song of victory”
- Sun Tzu, the Art of War

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Post by honvedseg » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:04 pm

The earlier "empire building" games (CoW, Spartan) included armory and weaponsmith buildings. Oddly, these made an instant upgrade to every applicable friendly unit on the map, regardless of distance or quantity. Rather than "buy" weapon upgrades for each unit as in LA, it might be an idea to tie the cost/availabilty of equipment to the posession of a smithy or similar facility. For example, you might get a limited number of points to spend on equipment only (seperate from your manpower pool to purchase units). Building/improving/capturing a higher class of smithy would enable you to buy the next quality level, as well as increasing the number of points added to your equipment pool each "game turn". Even more "realistically", you could add points to a higher "rank" of that pool. Making a 5 tier equipment point pool would allow you to add points each turn for "production" or "spoils" after a battle dependent on the quality of the opposing units "killed", or allow you to deduct points from a particular level (or the next higher if there weren't enough in that tier) to equip a unit with better stuff. Your unit's "old" gear's points would be added back to the lower pool that it came from originally.

Example: a unit has 40 men with level 1 armor, you have a level 1 equipment pool currently at 27, and a Level 2 pool now up to 53 due to recent "acquisitions". The unit "sells" the 40 points of current equipment into the level 1 equipment pool, and then uses 40 of the 53 of your Level 2 pool points to re-equip with Level 2 armor. You now have a Level 1 pool value at 67 and a Level 2 pool value at 13. You could then equip an unarmored peasant or militia unit with the Level 1 gear, if you wished. With this "system", freshly recruited or auxiliary units would typically get the "hand-me-downs" from the "elite" formations, as was frequently done throughout history.

Likewise, posession of a healer or herbalist would increase the number of trained troops returned to active duty each turn, who had been "inactivated" by injury in earlier scenarios. A training facility could allow you to replace losses with a small number of trained troops, rather than watering down the overall average experience level of the unit by bringing in raw recruits, and add a tiny number of experience points each turn, divided up among the units stationed there.

- Peregrin - Elephants are fairly effective at "disrupting" an enemy battle line, as they were used historically (and are at least half-way decent at tangling with cavalry). Send in a group of the big gray "fire and forget" torpedos and wait until every opposing unit in the area converges around them (or scatters), then hit that giant "furball" with your own line of heavies. Obviously, the elephants weren't too impressed with the idea....

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Post by kongming » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:56 am

One thing that I hope will be fixed in future follow-up is the tendency of units to not follow orders. I order my troops to move to a particular point on the deployment screen, and the next thing I know they decided to race into the fray all on their own.

Also, getting troops to stick to the terrain you want them to fight in seems insanely hard. River crossings are particularly frustrating. Seems like the boys should be able to figure out when the enemy is in the river or not. I don't know how many times I have waited patiently for the enemy to come into the river to "play" with my aux only for my aux somehow to end up engaged in open ground even though all of their feet are wet.

More control over these types of situations would be a great improvement.
“There are only a few notes in the scale.
Yet you can always rearrange them.
You can never hear every song of victory”
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Post by perry » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:48 pm

I like the fact that units do not alway follow orders :D
Makes it kind of realistic in some sense

Also, I'd like to say that the multiplayer interface is GREAT! I've never encountered problems, when setting up a multiplayer game. You can't say that with too many games!! :evil:

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Post by sum1won » Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:16 am

Trample definitely needs to be revamped, as it stands. It doesn't feel right. Also, charging through units gives better results than charging into them (partially because units stand slightly apart, so the horses can walk right through.)
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Post by perry » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:59 am

Last post from Ian - who I suppose is a designer - was in October 2007.
Do we have any updated information on the sequel to Legion Arena. Would be great to have something to look forward to here!

Cheers / Perry

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Post by IainMcNeil » Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:54 pm

You're in the wrong forum - see Great Battles of the Middle Ages!

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