Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Playtest to begin

The commands are set up for the playtest in December.

The more limited map of the playtest area

The map is limited as are the simple objectives for the teams.

For the French, penetrate the line of the Spree River in three places *and hold open those crossings uncontested for three days* or get a Division to survive combat in Berlin.

For the Allies, drive the French back from Brandenberg and penetrate the upper Elbe River between Wittenberg and Luckau.

We will see what battles come about with this setup.

*amended on 8 Dec 12

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Map Administration

The data files are finally out, thanks to Drop Box, and players are starting to examine the tool kit and asking questions.

One item that has come up regards the map symbols.

I have mostly used standard military symbols, where I have deviated is with the special officers or commands for the game, characters such as Blucher, Schwartzenberg, Ney and, of course, Bonaparte.

Allied forces supreme command
Note that the 'blue' areas are all 'clear' when placed on the map surface.  I have also expanded the images for better display on the blog here.

Feldmarschall Fürst Carl zu Schwarzenberg
For the troops, as all units have two sides (flipped over or 'covered' and 'exposed'), I am using an 'eagle' symbol for the 'covered' side of the troops.  This is inspired from the French golden Eagles that topped the flag poles carried by each battalion.

For Russian Forces a bronze eagle
For Austrian Forces a silver lion
The 'open' side of such forces are the standard military symbols:

Austrian Army Corps (2 or more Divisions)
Austrian Infantry Division
Austrian Cavalry Division
Austrian Artillery Brigade (the smallest 'separate' command for road movement)
The game box also contains a data file for each of these commands, listed as the Corps level of command (save for some special units like the Cossacks attached to Russian HQ)

To view these simply hover your cursor over the unit, in the box or tool bar (side bar) you will see a little 'x' to the left of any unit with 'extra data' in the dialogue box.

data dialogue box of Army Corps
Note that you can read this data whether you have the unit selected or not when the unit is on the map also.

Data boxes can also be seen on the side bar or even before the unit is deployed.

Named command unit in side bar
Selecting units is as simple as drawing a box around the ones you want to select, once they are selected the units will appear in the sidebar tab:

sample of selected units
An event that will be done a lot over the course of this game will be to 'flip over' units to the 'covered side (where the data box will not come up on the map).

To do this simply select units and 'flip' them with the counter control:

selected units may be 'flipped'
once 'flipped over' the data box will not appear when the cursor is moved over the unit on the map
There are more "how to" suggestions to be found on the Brainiac site:

Setting up a game tutorial

Another interesting tutorial that includes discussion about 'fog of war' issues.

This week will be one of allowing the players to download the software and do some self-exploration.