Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Fantasy General II - Invasion is the reimagination of the strategy game classic from the 90s!

Armies once again draw battle-lines on the war-torn land of Keldonia, and a new generation of commanders will test their bravery and tactics against each other. Fantasy wargaming is back!
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prestidigitation
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Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by prestidigitation » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:34 pm

The supply limit system does not work well at all and is a downgrade from the Panzer Corps/Order of Battle model.

I am currently at 35/34 supply because someone "stole" one unit of supply (btw, this should never happen). I can still deploy all 35 units and there is no penalty, it just wildly ticks me off.

I cannot recruit new units such as the lizards I want very badly for these interminable swamp levels without disbanding my existing units. Given that they are all max tiered -- many with 6 levels of XP -- and the refund is a piddly sum of cash, this is wildly unappealing. I want to specialize my army with monster groups based on the map (ex trolls + extra heavy artillery for when city fights are happening, a full company of skirmish lizards on water maps), instead I am using the same core throughout. This would mean going over my supply cap in recruited units and only deploying the 35 supply I am allowed to bring. This is standard for OOB and Panzer Corps, so why isn't it in here?

I would like to be able to use monsters as mercenaries to get around the supply issue. The only options are the fantasy vikings. Why aren't ogres and lizards in the mercenary recruit pool?

Please allow naming units from level 1 and please allow renaming heroes. I use names to sort units into formations to ease planning and deployment, and to create standardized formations for planning purposes. Not having them from level 1 complicates my play without adding value (as I very much doubt most people go to the trouble of giving roleplay names to their units). At the very least make this a toggle in the options menu. Here is an example
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I currently have 2x heavy infantry companies (2x spear, 1x axe, 2x slinger) and 1x light infantry company (2x javelin, 2x berzerker type) each with a mage (dragon killing duty) and a combat leader (rally spam for magic resistance). I also have a troll company with two armored chargers and a troll artillery, a cavalry company of 1 skirmish and 1 shock cavalry, and an independent tracker allocated on an as needed basis. He's surprisingly effective at racking up kills on the lizards as they like to retreat after a sufficiently heavy morale shock. I would like to add a lizard company of some sort and use them instead of the troll and cavalry company depending on the map. Even though I have an enormous resource reserve this simply isn't an option. Why? I suspect I will be similarly frustrated when I inevitably receive some imperial unit lines and can't recruit them.

Please copy the deployment style from Panzer Corps or Order of Battle. Right now deployment auto grabs the next unit in the list and overwrites placed units when an errant right click occurs. This is wildly annoying behavior and I feel I am constantly fighting it to achieve the results I want. Swapping equipment during deployment is such a nightmare that I have taken to doing it during the first turn.

The hex grid is very "scifi" in style. I know this isn't particularly important, but solid faint grey lines would look less weird honestly.

As a final note, please allow basic spears to fortify. The early game is extremely hard relative to the rest of the game and the balance would be much improved by giving the player a solid "base of fire" unit that they can rely on to absorb punishment while earning their way to reaction fire units.

prestidigitation
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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by prestidigitation » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:39 pm

AI petrify spam is wildly irritating and only one unit in my army can clear status effects. Why?

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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by prestidigitation » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:58 pm

Please give casters range 3 on their basic attack. Since everything has range 2 (except range 4 artillery), the front line gets extremely congested which is especially annoying on narrow snakey maps with a lot of penalty terrain.

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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by prestidigitation » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:17 am

If I have raided every settlement on a map and the goal is to raid all lizard settlements, please just end the scenario. Alternatively come up with a more interesting objective for me to accomplish than sweeping the map. You could have centered all three of those scenarios around the on map mini-bosses and let the player determine off their own bat whether they wanted to go raiding.

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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by prestidigitation » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:25 am

Game: "you can't leave da island"

Me: "that's where you're wrong kiddo"
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prestidigitation
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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by prestidigitation » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:10 pm

After unlocking a certain mount I restarted on hard. There is a clear intended progression to the early game which isn't clear when first starting.

Way of the Fighter is by far the best of the potential upgrades you can get. +20% damage and +50 HP vs +1 morale aura you can get from Thane or a buff to a single (and fairly weak) unit class.

Ulnar the Bear is so junk that I am legit considering trading him for the mercs I get in Clanmeet. If I didn't lose the free supply he came with this would be a no brainer. His stats need a large bump because he performs poorly against all targets and provides only minimal buffs/debuffs even when upgraded for fighting.

The game is much, much easier if you use your first mana to get a Troll Hurler for some long range artillery. I didn't know this on my first run and used it for some other unit which did not do nearly so much work. Similarly you're clearly supposed to use weapon/armor grabs to get at a minimum 2x spear warrior as a fortified line, a javelin (the AI gets absolute hordes of them), 2x wolf killers and then whatever. If you don't know this and grab the right units to get the job done you will have such a hard time in this game. It would be a very good idea for the game to give the player some advice along that front, maybe with an in game adviser as in civ.

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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by prestidigitation » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:40 am

Summon spam is so much more powerful than the direct damage magic that it is ridiculous. I'm not even sure why direct damage magic was included when summons do far more damage for far less mana.

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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by OBG_primetide » Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:48 am

Hi, thanks for all the extensive feedback! I would like to touch on some of the topics you mentioned and explain a few of the decisions underlying the current design (and mind you, I fully appreciate that the way you suggest is a desirable option as well and I am not saying our reasoning is definitive or cannot be argued against, I just want to explain the thinking)

1) Mercs - you can indeed get LIzards later on as mercs as well as non-Barbarians such as Centaurs as the game progresses
2) Supply limit: There are two reasons for the way we are doing it. One is topical: The army you have with you is supposed to be the horde you have and can sustain...there is no supply base you have your reserves in. The second is a design decision: We wanted decisions to have consequences that cannot be simply "buffered" away easily. Taking on a certain unit always means not having another and we wanted players to have to adapt tactics with the army they have instead of being able to have the right "counter" for every enemy type. Not saying this is better- it is just what guided our design. Mercs
3) Army composition: While I would also agree Troll Hurlers are very useful early in game (and it IS mentioned in the dialogues that they will be useful prior to starting the "Wall" scenario), a Wolf Mother is similarily good to get depending on your play style (and we had different players argue each case extensively). Then if you go by Iseal, hurlers may be less useful than if you choose the Machnar route. I really believe there is no optimal set-up for the army...which is exactly what we wanted. The same goes for Javelins and Spear Maidens. I for one hardly use Javelins at all, preferring Stag Riders and I have my 2 Shield Maidens for defense which is enough for my more mobile army. I really think it comes down to play-style and we have seen various very successful plays on very hard with wildly different army set-ups.
4) Ulnar - He is admittedly (and on purpose) a hard unit to keep alive. But he does get quite powerful mid- to late game against large monsters and heroes and given a few items that help him regain Health or get armor, he can devastate hordes of Undead by himself. Again YMMV but he is designed to be someone you have to work to keep (in game and story as well).
5) Map does not end after everything has been raided - yep, this is on us and it's stupid. We need to implement a way to simply end the scenario instead of running out the clock.
6) Dragon Isles: We know, why else would be put locations in areas you cannot reach by foot ;)
7) Range for casters: And this is another case of us not allowing to optimize every aspect of the army set-up directly. Caster ranges make them vulnerable to missile attacks from the enemy, which they would not be at range 3. However the Thunderers DO get range 3 (so you could place them behind casters) and there are items you may gain that extend the attack range, that also work for casters (Kanthas has some of them I think).
8) Stole supply: Again opinions may differ. We wanted to throw a little spanner in the works and some people dislike being interrupted this way from building their optimal army. I can see how that can be annoying, but to us, it is part of the toolbox of putting new and varied "challenges" before the player that are not solely dependent on an enemy army.
9) Deployment/Equipment: We made the deployment behaviour consistent with the rest of the control scheme and we actually tested several versions in beta. This one worked best for people. Equipment: I personally agree the inventory is not great to use. We had different opinions on that internally and this was what we ended up with...
10) Early game fortify: As spears already break charge, we considered this to be enough as means of defense. The early game is supposed to be more about maneuvering and using the environment well, so players learn to work with that and have the feel of a more "mobile" army before you go into the "siege and army lines" style of larger scale battles.

Again, I in no way want to refute your points, this is simply because you asked "Why?" several times in your feedback and I wanted to explain the reasoning for what we did. Of course one may disagree with our assumptions or design goals, but the extensive feedback in my view merited at least a proper explanation as to why we did what we did. Having said all that, we always consider feedback from players as a great way to present alternate preferences and viewpoints and re-visit our own assumptions. So thanks again for taking the time to do that!
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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by prestidigitation » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:46 pm

Thanks for the answers, I appreciate it. I'm actually pretty sure Ulnar isn't getting any benefit from his Frenzy stacks? I've stacked upwards of 15 on him without any change in his damage output.

Specifically with lizards, it would really help to have them as mercs when they unlock as units during the swamp battles. Whenever I checked, they weren't.

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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by ErissN6 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:04 pm

Good and important thread.

I don't remember well, but I feel we had more freedom in 1st FG, so FG2 is a somewhat trap for those who played FG1.
The building spirit of the army is different, we must not do as in FG1.

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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by OBG_primetide » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:05 am

Ulnars frenzy does stack, but it only stays for one turn, so you have to constantly have him attack to keep it active. Last time I checked Frenzy worked, but I will look into it to make sure.

LIzards - they are unlocked as mercenaries after you talk to the "outcast" Lizard tribe, but as they are just added to the roster they are subject to randomization (and them being only one unit of several on that roster you may just have been unlucky). Investing in them as full units is a double-edged sword (as they are so slow OUT of water) and only worth it for the highest (so Devourer, which is very tanky but slow on land or Witch Doctor, the latter being more mobile but easily killed if exposed). They would be the perfect case for having a "reserve" unit that only is deployed on maps where there is suitable terrain, so they support your argument :).
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Re: Supply limit system is weirdly implemented and other feedback

Post by OBG_primetide » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:11 am

ErissN6 wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:04 pm
Good and important thread.

I don't remember well, but I feel we had more freedom in 1st FG, so FG2 is a somewhat trap for those who played FG1.
The building spirit of the army is different, we must not do as in FG1.
Well, yes and no. You could also only take the units with you that you had and had no "reserve" pool and had to deploy them all. You had more units if you count the total number, BUT they essentially were the same ones throughout the game (skirmishers, light infantry, etc. always remained that and very few of them had extra abilities, so they essentially simply had better stats than before and a different image, but were the same unit but better). We have tried to provide very different units even within the same branch of the upgrade tree and create more variety within the army you have or at least make them different even if the same base type (see for example the slingers: they do change "character" markedly and it makes a difference whether they are made into Armored Slingers or Thunderers.). As always YMMV, but I think we have more variable tactics with fewer units and of course heroes also offer much more depth than in FG1.
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