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SharpFish
21st Jun 2005, 10:31
Well, I've given the game a good thrashing over the weekend and now I can confidently say: great game.

Flaws, yes. Problems, yes. But at core, this is indeed a great game.

The graphics are way cool. The strategy game play is wonderful - its actually a long time since I have played so engrossing a strategic game. Although there's not necessarily a huge amount of activity in a given turn, that very restriction makes nearly every decision critical. Although I may do less in a turn than some other games, it usually has more impact over all.

Even the costing of units is fine IMO. I especially like the fact that the advanced units are substantially more expensive and still pretty much as vulnerable to say cannon fire as anyone. This means they cannot be overpowering, and indeed at the strategic level I find this finely balanced. The level of conquest feels corrrect, unlike some other games in which it is quite possible to steam roller over the map.

I very much like the commander-and-troops system, I only wonder why Fleets were not treated in the same way. This adds a great deal to the complexity of troop deployment and the movement of armies. The Food limitations to deployment are excellent and innovative.

So much for the overview, now for some specifics:

on the Total War series:
I have played MTW extensively and RTW less so. I agree with those posters who thought MTW was a better game than Rome, especially strategically. But it seems to me obvious that IG is not a TW clone or homage - the system of multiple resource types looks right out of Warcraft, while the restrictions on troop deployment and the importance of capitals reminds me very much of Diplomacy. This is much more likely to be a case of indepenadant invention - but there are some things the TW series got right which IG misses.

On battles:
Firstly, the ability to give commands while paused is an absolute Must Have for a patch or expansion. Many have said this and I agree. In real life, each unit has a commander and can therefore handle micromanagement like getting lines dressed - in a game, I need to do all that and therefore I need time to do it. Some object to this as unfair but I say they can go jump in a lake.

I understand that aggressive and defensive postures, and hold position, may-or-may-not be part of the game. IMO this is absolutely necessary, not only the functionality but also some indication of the units current status. The absence of a Skirmish option contributes massivley to the casualty rate on both sides, and increases the degree of micromanagement required - rough when you cannot give orders in pause! It also contributes to the uselessness of artillery, as you cannot bait an enemy into range.

The range of cannons is abysmally short, so much so that they are only of dubious value. Real artillery had a theoretical range of a kilometer and a half, and while that may be only theoretical it is many times longer than the range of muskets. While in IG, artillery is only a little longer ranged than smallarms. Even so, things would not be too bad if your arty had grape/canister shot, as they did in Cossacks - that would make the artillery usable again in close quarters rather than being a very expensive but nevertheless essentially a throw-away weapon.

A thing I have not seen mentioned anywhere is range indicators. You should be able to see your fields of fire in some manner, at present trying to get into
effective range is a hit and miss affair, trial an error. Also, some indications of the appropriate use of line and column, and what bonusses these contribute.

I don't have any real problems with the peasant rush tactic, myself. While the early game is indeed pretty slow in terms of effective line troops, this is roughly realistic IMO and the peasant rush was genuinely used. Lets not forget the sheer lethality of firearms means that in terms of actual combat skill, trained and untrained infantry are at roughly the same level - unlike elite and peasant infantry in the middle ages. But equally, this tactic is disproportionately over-effective in practice because of the very limited artillery ranges. Its only the cost of officers that mitigates against peasant spamming.

The naval combat is weak IMO. I can do it 1-on-1, but fleet actions are hopelessly chaotic. And the battle area seems to be tiny. Now I am actualy quite good at this form of combat being an old hand at Sea Dogs, and my capture rate in 1-on-1's is 100%. But for fleet actions we really, really, really need a proper AI for player ships that can be left to their own devices.

On scale:
First let me say the maps are excellent, pretty, and so forth. I really love the buildings and woods etc and the way troops use them. However there is no getting away from the fact that I don't really feel like an ARMY commander, more like a detachment commander taking some specific strategic objective rather than fighting a decisive battle in main force. This is purely due to the small sizes of the units - it remains the fact that quantity, as the saying goes, has a quality all of its own. This game would be 100% cooler if the unit sizes doubled. But in this regard, the maps themselves also appear to be fairly small. I have to say I was surprised and disapointed in both aspects of scale, given the extent of modern technology.

--

So all in all a :thumbsup: from me but I WILL be hoping for a patch or significant changes in expansion for which there will be a charge. This is a good game as it stands, and I am having fun, but I join the chorus calling for orders-in-pause, increased arty range etc. That would make Imperial Glory not just a good game, but a truly great game.

Cpt.HooK
21st Jun 2005, 12:56
Some good points there i didn't like RTW as much as MTW and i think IG is great game.I was abit disapointed with the navel battles they look very nice but are too hard to control multiple ships.

And slightly off-topic but i just noticed there are no fish in IG :eek:

Age of Reason
21st Jun 2005, 13:34
I agree with mostly everything you said. Beautiful and engaging game, with a few flaws that could easily be fixed.

Queeg
21st Jun 2005, 21:42
The range of cannons is abysmally short, so much so that they are only of dubious value. Real artillery had a theoretical range of a kilometer and a half, and while that may be only theoretical it is many times longer than the range of muskets. While in IG, artillery is only a little longer ranged than smallarms. Even so, things would not be too bad if your arty had grape/canister shot, as they did in Cossacks - that would make the artillery usable again in close quarters rather than being a very expensive but nevertheless essentially a throw-away weapon.

I would agree, but only so long as artillery effectiveness were greatly reduced with distance. At present, artillery has a shorter range than is realistic, but also is overpowered. I can live with that compromise now that I am used to it.


I don't have any real problems with the peasant rush tactic, myself. While the early game is indeed pretty slow in terms of effective line troops, this is roughly realistic IMO and the peasant rush was genuinely used. Lets not forget the sheer lethality of firearms means that in terms of actual combat skill, trained and untrained infantry are at roughly the same level - unlike elite and peasant infantry in the middle ages. But equally, this tactic is disproportionately over-effective in practice because of the very limited artillery ranges. Its only the cost of officers that mitigates against peasant spamming.

I'd like to see Militia given at least some limited ranged fire capability so that early battles are not ALL melee. I agree that infantry evolved during this period, but 1790 was hardly the Stone Age. This is a more pressing issue, to me, than artillery.

Nial
21st Jun 2005, 23:05
I would still like to see arty range increased slightly. Enough for one more shot before you are in melee. And I agree with the militia argument as well.

But to me. Having units break under fire. (aka. moral ) is the most pressing issue. I can, and have adjusted to the range issue. But in my humble view.
The fact that moral is one of the most important factors in the history of warfare is toogreat a definciency to ignore.

giskard
22nd Jun 2005, 03:58
Good post Sharpfish.

Excuse me whilst I amuse my self with my own problem speeding reading peoples post.

When you said.



In real life, each unit has a commander and can

My mind rushed a head and finished your sentence like this.

"In real life, each unit has a commander and can Pause the game."

Sorry but i found my mistake funny :)

Giskard

SharpFish
22nd Jun 2005, 09:33
I'd like to see Militia given at least some limited ranged fire capability so that early battles are not ALL melee. I agree that infantry evolved during this period, but 1790 was hardly the Stone Age. This is a more pressing issue, to me, than artillery.

Yes but my argument is that it actually devolved, rather than evolved. Medieval armies were at their core, an elite army with support. The later proto-Industrial armies are all-peasant armies by comparison - the elite fighting man is no longer effective in an age of massed musket infantry and artillery. Which is precisely why Europes indigenous martial arts virtually vanished about this time.

If a unit of Chivalric Men-At-Arms from MTW were to stumble into a unit of grenadiers, the grenadiers would be cut to bloody chunks in short order IMO. But if the CMAA had to advance across open ground, only a couple of them would make it to contact. And it is this very change that allowed the revolutionary armies of France and America to triumph over traditional monarchies.

Queeg
22nd Jun 2005, 18:20
Yes but my argument is that it actually devolved, rather than evolved. Medieval armies were at their core, an elite army with support. The later proto-Industrial armies are all-peasant armies by comparison - the elite fighting man is no longer effective in an age of massed musket infantry and artillery. Which is precisely why Europes indigenous martial arts virtually vanished about this time.

If a unit of Chivalric Men-At-Arms from MTW were to stumble into a unit of grenadiers, the grenadiers would be cut to bloody chunks in short order IMO. But if the CMAA had to advance across open ground, only a couple of them would make it to contact. And it is this very change that allowed the revolutionary armies of France and America to triumph over traditional monarchies.

OK But, in terms of gameplay, Militia needs to be changed from a melee-only unit.