Slitherine wants your ideas to improve Field of Glory . . .

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Slitherine wants your ideas to improve Field of Glory . . .

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:18 pm

I know we have had a number of these threads in the past but Iain from Slitherine has asked for an up to date list to be compiled now. As many of you may already know, HexWar will shortly be ending their developmental work on FOG.

I think one or two of us can also do a helpful job by going back through the similarly titled threads of the last year and c+p the relevant contributions again in this thread. I will go through the scenario forum in the next day or so because the scenario-builders also have lots of very good ideas that might be considered for incorporation in the game. :wink:
Last edited by stockwellpete on Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by stockwellpete » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:32 pm

From the thread in the scenario forum “Scenario builders wish-list" (June 2011)

i) being able to set rout points at any of the map edges

ii) being able to use square DAG maps 40x40 or 50x50 for scenarios that we are intending to submit to Slitherine at some stage. Bosworth Field, Kinsale, Najera, Aljubarrota would all work better on a square map in my opinion.

iii) weather conditions

iv) buildings

v) greater scope to customise units e.g. extending longbow range to 6 hexes, designating late medieval artillery as "poor"

vi) The ability to create units at less than their nominal strength (ie # of men)
also set cohesion levels

vii) set movement rates on an individual unit basis

viii) open up the POA charts for editing

ix) allow any combo of weapons armour etc when creating a unit (for example, the engine doesnt allow one to give pikes anything other than protected)

x) snow !

xi) bigger maps

xii) fix things that don’t work in the editor as of now but should like assigning allies

xiii) possibility for BG to start in a Fixed status
xiv) possibility to set the turn of release for fixed bg
xv) ability to set break points for single BG.

xvi) Ability to adjust Complex Move Test "Score to Pass" value on a unit basis by setting a variable from 2 to 12. Also allow a setting of "0" to indicate never fails. This would greatly help fine tune Anarchy.

xvii) Allow specified units/leaders the chance to change sides before/beginning of a battle (civil war scenarios, your "allies" aren't certain if they should be fighting for you or the enemy).

xviii) Allow reinforcements during a battle (units arriving late from your camp, flanking movement, see above).

xix) Allow units on map not to be able to move until a specified game turn (units are in camp, surprised, taking time to get organized, "allies" are deciding who to ally with).

xx) Conditional victory conditions (death of the C-in-C is an automatic win, taking this hilltop/breaching this river line is worth so many BP's, etc.)

xxi) Army's experience level affects its BP total (for every three Superior BG's or two Elite BG's increase the army's BP's by one, and for every two Poor BG's decrease the BP's by one, etc.)

xxii) possibility to place Field fortifications.
Last edited by stockwellpete on Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by stockwellpete » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:39 pm

From the thread in the scenario forum “Things Most Needed” (March 2011) that are not included in the post above . . .

xxiii) reinforcements appearing at a given turn - or - at least - turn of activation if units have to begin on map
xxiv) camps and fortified camps
xxv) town walls
xxvi) to be able to set a unit's stance to offence or defence

So these are the two threads in the scenario forum for the year 2011 that discuss improvements to the game. :wink:

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:45 pm

*hotseat dag battles

*select a premade army for the AI to use in a Dag battle

*allow human to deploy Ai forces in a Dag battle

*add real baggage camp in editor

*be able to set break points on an individual battle group basis, plus be able to set for camps (some camps just have more goodies inside than others:) )

*add functionality for "flank marches" as per the TT rules

*allow for more forward deployment of artillery and field fortifications (plus maybe allow one BG per field fort to deploy fwrd WITH the field fort as well) in DAG battles Maybe players will then have some use in buying them.

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Post by stockwellpete » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:52 pm

To amend the way that casualties are calculated so that there are far fewer "extreme" results in melees. Reduce sharply, or remove completely the overlap in the tables that deal with the way that missile fire is calculated.

To be able to replay an entire battle from start to finish.

To be able to look at the battle while it is the other player's turn.

To be able to specify what sort of challenge that you wish to play.

To be able to specify either "temperate" or "arid" terrain for your battle (e.g. so the Irish don't end up fighting in a desert!).

To replace the weird volcanic-looking "impassable terrain" terrain feature with a range of naturalistic impassable forests, marshes, hill hexes that are not readily apparent to the players at the start of the battle.

For archer's stakes to be "hidden" from the enemy until they come within two hexes of them.

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Post by stockwellpete » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:44 pm

This was a monster thread that started in April this year entitled, "Best Ideas to Improve FOG PC" . . .

viewtopic.php?t=23454&start=0

I would say that it needs to be studied by anyone who is involved with the future development of the game. There are some fantastic ideas contained within it. :wink:

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:50 am

MXXXIVXII-VI Impassable rocks should block LOS and block shooting :)

light foot in terrain remain hidden even if in LOS unless they move or shoot (actually slitherine/hexwar were thinking about adding this at one point)

cavalry should be able to break off from elephants, elephants should be able to break off from heavy/ medium infantry (meaning same idea as applies to cavalry now vs steady infantry)

units that attempt to break off but cant should drop a cohesion level (per the TT rules), although might be too harsh in the PC game...

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Post by stockwellpete » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:45 am

Here is a distillation of the contributions to the thread "Any coders out there want to help with FOG?" (September 2011)

Changing the D6 system to something a little less random, but it'll still leave horde armies insanely powerful.

Some way of dealing with the attrition making Superior troops worth the points.

Some kind of Command/Control rules linking BGs into larger units moving together (making hordes harder to control).

Improvements to the missile-casualties (making massed arrows actually effective).

Army morale (so that units no longer fight to the death until some arbitrary BP line is crossed).

I would like to see pursuing units leave the map and have the ability to come back later in a queue. The same would be true to having reinforcements in a queue.

We also need fortifications and so on.

The combat system is not terrible but does need some fine tuning. Go to a d20 system. That would provide more results.

Also: when a general commits to a battle their command radius is zilch. The GMT GBOH did that and it is VERY historical. No commander committed to a battle should be able to exert any radius beyond adjacent units at best.

My feelings on command & control. If the unit is NOT in command control then it can only move ONE hex OR change facing. Add in a Line Command whereby if a unit is adjacent to another unit that is in command then any unit adjacent in a line of unbroken units (no gap between them) can also move.

Elephants. When they rout they should first determine direction - then they rout through ANY unit in their way adding one level of cohesion loss to that unit. This includes enemy units.

Chariots. They should be able to move through enemy light infantry or cavalry.

Light infantry should NEVER be able to beat HI in a stand up fight. They should ALWAYS lose. I got so sick of seeing light infantry with their backs to water hold off my Superior HI in good order in one game I finally just tossed in the hat. In other words make the difference between HI and LI more pronounced.

Oh yes, and please do the Empires of the Dragon module - even if it means cutting back on the more obscure armies of that book. Certainly Han Chinese and Japanese and Mongol (already have a ton of artwork for that one) could be done?

****units out of range of a Leader must pass a CMT check to do anything other than
a shoot
b charge
C move forward (ie in there frontal arc) their MAXIMUM movement

to do anything else would require a CMT. If pass, well you do what you can do now. If fail, the unit can still do any of the above items.

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Post by stockwellpete » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:59 am

These are comments from the thread "Historical accuracy, map size & rout level" (May 2011)

Following the fact that an ancient battle was a linear encounter between two compact bodies of soldiers it comes quite clearly that in order to duplicate a linear & compact battle you firstly need a linear & compact map.
Actually the DAG system employes maps whose size is clearly unable to create the flavour of a real ancient battlefield.
Some testing with the scenario editor reveals that infantry and mixed armies up to 550/600 points need no more than 20x30 maps to be correctly deployed and to give life to a real linear engagement (like, for example, the Durazzo Scenario clearly shows), while over this threshold a 20x40 maps would still remain optimal.
And the same should be worth saying for cavalry armies vs cavalry armies, the only exception being that of cavalry armies vs infantry or mixed armies, where – in order to recreate the hit & run tactics of horse archers – 30x40 maps would be more appropriate.
On the other hand, the second factor that tends to affect the actual system is given by the rout level, fixed at 50% of the total strength of an army, whereas the literary evidence coming from ancient writers says us that an army collapsed much earlier before reaching this amount of losses (and many other ancient wargames just place the rout level at 35%-40%).
A lowering of the rout level to, say, 40% would then bring in the FOG system two beneficial features represented by the fact:
- that a battle would probably stop a bit before having on the battlefield too few units, with that distinct feeling of a deserted party,
- that horde armies would start loosing the actual overpowering given by the great numbers of their units, that generally begin to tell only in the final stages of a battle.

I think one way to increase realism without altering map size is via deployment, and to stay within the way the game works. It is something that has been brought up before, and it does have some detractors BUT: the winner of the inititve deploys 1/4 of his troops, the turn passes and the opponent does same until everyone is fully deployed and game starts. Good chance armies will be deployed relatively across from each other instead of some of the huge surprises you often get where one army is tucked in the NE corner, the other in the SW.

I think double moves have already effectively shrunk the maps. I would like to see wider maps with a more limited deployment zone. That way you cant setup on an edge, and have a safe flank.

I also think that double moves should end for the entire army once you are in charge range of non LF/LH. Then Horde armies could not easily redeploy from 1 flank to another when they were out maneuvered.

The hard 50 percent army break caps makes you do crazy things to get to end the game. In reality you never knew when an army would break. Some randomness when the army would break would add some spice to the game.

I don't mind a number of the suggestions. The rout level being variable is OK also but shouldn't be a blanket addition. I think what slitherine needs to do is create a large options list for matches. For me variable rout level is excellent for campaigns but in a tournament I'd prefer a set level. With an options list you could pre-select the size of the map thus catering to all tastes. Posted challenges just need to detail all options in use for it and then everyone can be satisfied.

Have an Extreme FOW option where enemy units % strengths remain hidden,. POA calcs/combat odds would still be “visible” but will always represent the maximum/ ideal and not necasarily the actual reality….. At the least there would be no more hunting down units at 46% casulties w LF bows etc to atritt them to auto rout level, nor would you charge a knight with a defensive spear unit cause you just wouldn’t know .01% causalties will rout it.

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Post by stockwellpete » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:13 am

Contributions from the thread “Improving the Single Player Game” (March 2011)

We need DAG to be able to use custom-made map.

The possibility to have an army to be exported as ti is at the end of a battle to start the following battle with a used army is surely a GREAT improvement.

AI gets confused by complex terrain
ii) the AI skirmishers are very aggressive but they can easily be encircled whereas the main battle-line shuffles towards you in a rather shambolic and confused way
iii) the AI leaves all its "poor" units by its camp instead of keeping the army together and using them to give rear rank support to the main battle-line

open ended DAG army creator: Buy any units available up to your AP's from any army list

Seriously good AI, that would attract players that like lone challenges, even from other eras

Simple campaigns, a la "Panzer General" or "Close Combat" series.
>A series of interlinked scenarios getting progressively more challenging
>Themed with real generals - Hannibal, Caesar, Alexander....
>Different situations, terrains and opposition armies in each scenarios
>Flow over from one scenario to the next - if you do well, your army is better in the next one
>A feature that hooked me in PG (actually Fantasy General) was personalisation of generals and units - you named "1st Macedonian Cavalry" and treasured it as gained battle honours, gained experience and moved from Average to Superior to Elite status

Regarding AI troop selection and deployment, I know of a few games which rely on a "database of human actions" to make similar decisions.

Thus, you could create a database of human-created armies and deployments used in multiplayer DAG games (probably sorted by some kind of score based on its success), and then let the AI use them in single-player. Of course you would need a large database so that the AI can randomly choose among a few options, and probably you should also add some purely random elements to spice up things. The database should be updated frequently with new data collected from multiplayer games, so that the system would improve over time. If you want to go even farther, you could use some genetic algorithm to produce better armies and set-ups.

This is not a long term fix, but if you let the single player select two created DAG armies and allow them to deploy both sides, then, when deployment is done, allow the AI to control one side, that would fix the selection and deployment problems.

1-You can select your army and initial purchase points.
2-You can select up to three (or other number) different enemy armies to battle against to.
3-You can select the max number of battles of the campaign (in increments of one to five battles, for example)
4-You play the battles. If you win you gain some sort of initiative bonus, more purchase points for the next battle, etc., even allowing to 'upgrade units', that is, purchasing better, veteran, battle-groups, handling the gains in experience in a simple but effective way. In the same way, a lost battle would have some sort of consequence or penalty to the player army.
5-A campaign ranking/record would be great (battles lost, wins, draws, enemy and friendly soldier lost, etc).

1. The ability to add new armies and modify existing ones; the mechanism is already there but is blocked for some reason.
2. I would like to able to choose the map size myself and add my own maps. An option for a random map generator would be ideal. Why not add the tabletop terrain selection system?
3. Some control over how the AI chooses troops; the number of generals, which allies to select etc would help re-playability.
4. An option for less randomness in combat results would improve things. The tabletop rules need a simple dice system for speed of play but the computer version could be more complicated. Why not put all the configuration stuff in text files so that I can mess around with it? This goes for things like the points system too.
5. It would be great if I could use photos of my own tabletop armies instead of the default ones. Support for this looks like it would be quite simple to add.
6. Allow me to continue playing after victory if I want to.

Some changes to reduce the advantage that cheap troops have would help to rebalance things and make more armies viable. I would suggest.
1. Switch to the tabletop casualty system to avoid the constant attrition of troops even when they win.
2. Increase the range for cohesion tests for routing friends to two hexes for average and three hexes for poor troops, which would make this more like the table top game where poorer troops tend to be in larger battle groups and thus run away in larger quantities.
3. Count poor troops as half for the purposes of victory calculation. Again this would be more like tabletop where poor troops tend to be in larger battle groups.

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Post by IainMcNeil » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:14 am

Thanks guys - is there any way you could between you prioritise what you see as the most important changes so we can work out what it is best to do.

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Post by stockwellpete » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:31 am

iainmcneil wrote:Thanks guys - is there any way you could between you prioritise what you see as the most important changes so we can work out what it is best to do.
Hello Iain. I have gone back 10 pages now and c+p'd the most relevant stuff that I could find for the year 2011. So the first part of getting everything in one place is done now, although I am sure that other people will still have new ideas that they want to contribute. I have to go out for a while now but I'll sit down a bit later on today and come up with a list of the main issues from what is posted above and then people can discuss priorities and suchlike. :wink:

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Post by stockwellpete » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:55 pm

Right, I have had a good look at what I have c+p'd above and I think that it all can be broken down into seven main groups. So there are issues around the following subjects that many players would like the development team to look at . . .

Categories

1) Casualty calculation from melee and missile fire

2) Better AI for the single player game

3) Command and control issues

4) Greater options for scenario builders using the scenario editor

5) Development of FOG functionality (is this the right word? :oops: Things like specified challenges, hotseat DAG battles)

6) Campaign module

7) Miscellaneous i.e. anything not covered by the above.

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Post by stockwellpete » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:02 pm

I don't know if those category headings are acceptable to everyone - but if they are then maybe we can proceed by sharing them out between three or four of us so that we can develop a detailed list of things to do for each category (in some sort of order of priority too). Obviously people are going to have different ideas about what should be done first but I think that there are probably some key things in each category that we would all like to see done fairly promptly.

I don't mean to be domineering or anything, but if this is accepted as a reasonable way to proceed then is there anyone else who would like to help out with compiling lists for one or two of the categories I have drawn up?

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:53 pm

I think your categories are to many and too specific, also not even categories in some cases but actual ideas of a change. Also to be considered, what is even a "realistic request" Better Ai means so much but likly cant happen......

maybe something like (with an example):

Single Player Impovments
*hotseat DAG battles

Multi-Player Improvements
*ability to write up a blurb to potential opponents re play style accaptable armies etc

Scenario Editor Improvements
*add camps

Gameplay Balance tweaks
*tone down the % casualties taken

Addon Functions
*add campaign
etc etc

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Post by stockwellpete » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:01 pm

TheGrayMouser wrote:I think your categories are to many and too specific, also not even categories in some cases but actual ideas of a change. Also to be considered, what is even a "realistic request" Better Ai means so much but likly cant happen......
Hello TGM. :wink: I think your categories would work OK. You would need a "Miscellaneous" one too though. My idea is that if we can agree a group of categories then maybe three or four of us would compile more coherent and detailed lists for each category from the info I have c+p'd above (plus anything else that crops up). Then these lists could eventually go to the development team. Does that idea work for you?

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Post by JayRaider » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:02 pm

I would like to see a Campaign system introduced as the main priority.
I would happily pay for such an update.
Thank you.

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Post by stockwellpete » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:06 am

I hope it is OK with everyone . . . myself and TGM are going to work through all these ideas in the next few days and we shall try and come up with a more coherent set of proposals for the development team. We shall post here in due course so everyone can see what we have come up with. :wink:

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Post by IainMcNeil » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:03 am

Thanks guys - this is a great start. No promises on any of them obviously but it really helps us when evaluating what type of changes we should make.

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Post by Morbio » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:46 pm

One of my pet hates is when a bug is encountered, especially if it is at a critical point in a close game. The sort of things that I remember seeing are;
- Not being able to move a unit into a hex vacated by a routing unit (there's a recent post in Tech Support about this)
- Units evading to the edge of the battlefield, taking a rear hit with no damage

I understand why these sorts of bugs persist - they are rare occurrences, it's difficult to recreate them and therefore really hard to find the cause. This makes it not worthwhile from the cost-benefit perspective.

However, I'd like an option (button?) in game that allows the player to dump the start of turn positions, current move log and some player comments, and send it to the server for the developers to review. This should give all they need to replay and see the problem and hopefully understand the cause with little work. This would then hopefully enable these bugs to cost-justifiable to fix.

Maybe this dump of start positions and log would also be useful for the players to replay the last move (or two) and thus meet one of the requests to allow players to replay their last moves while it is the other player's turn?

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