Author Topic: Today's AAR - Scourge of War: Waterloo (on the anniversary of the battle)  (Read 3388 times)

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Offline bayonetbrant

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Boggit's back, and drops a nicely-screenshotted AAR for your anniversary enjoyment.

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Offline Sir Slash

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Very nice Boggit. Your positive review seems to be at odds with some of the more negative ones I've read. Good to hear something good said about this game.
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Offline panzerde

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Nice review Boggit! I think it covers the bases nicely. I've been fortunate not to have any CTDs. It sounds like the upcoming patch will fix those that do exist.

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Offline Boggit

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Thanks Sir Slash, and Panzerde :)

It is a positive review, but is not overwhelmingly so because of the stability issues.

I suppose it all depends on your level of expectation. Having played the earlier versions of the engine - 1st Bull Run and 2nd Manassas I had a fair idea of what to expect. The engine doesn't blow me away, but by the same token it works well. NorbSoftdev have added features like square, volley fire, and detaching/attaching skirmishers, which are all specific to Napoleonic battles, so you  end up with a game with a definite Napoleonic feel to it. Graphically it is pretty, and the AI seems fairly reasonable - certainly at the tactical level. On that basis it does actually have a lot going for it.

My biggest gripe was with the stability of the game. I had several CTD's playing it over several games - far too regularly to put down as a one off event. It may well be for marketing reasons that the release just had to be out before the 200th anniversary, and maybe that curtailed testing? However, a game that gets released and is prone to crashing like that is unusual in this day and age, and given that Waterloo is a spinoff from other games in the series I'd have expected the game engine to be far more robust. Releasing the game with regular CTD's frankly is just embarrassing for NorbSoftdev's quality control, though maybe they were under a time pressure to release when they did.

On the plus side, I am assured by Slitherine that they know all about the CTD's and are currently trying to fix them. This being so, I am less concerned about the CTD's than I would have been. I expect NorbSoftdev will prioritise a patch as a matter of urgency, as I think this is a major area of criticism. If they fix the CTD's quickly, then hat's off to them as overall I found the game solid, and immersive.
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Offline jomni

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Thanks for the review. But there are some inaccuracies. 1) you do not get useful  reports from your subordinates. They will just say if they are engaging the enemy. 2) there is no mixed order formation in the game.

I had only one or two CTD while accessing the high scores but it is stable in general when playing the battle.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 05:32:09 AM by jomni »

Offline Boggit

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Thanks for the review. But there are some inaccuracies. 1) you do not get useful  reports from your subordinates. They will just say if they are engaging the enemy. 2) there is no mixed order formation in the game.

I had only one or two CTD while accessing the high scores but it is stable in general when playing the battle.
Thanks for your feedback. You make some reasonable points about the article, and deserve a response to clarify why I wrote what I did. :)

I note your comment about subordinate reports. For me playing out mostly brigade and a couple of divisional actions prior to writing up my screenshot article they weren't an issue. At that level I was mostly micro managing. I hadn't played the corps nor army level scenarios, so I bow to your knowledge as to their utility. At the time of writing, I thought it appropriate to mention them in passing, as they are implicitly important for the large scale battles, which clearly are nightmarish to micro manage. Not being much concerned with subordinate messages given the scale of my own gameplay, I relied on the manual as the basis for my comment. Under 'Couriers' the first paragraph of that topic (although it mentions more specifically superior commanders) it states at the end of that paragraph that "Other messages may arrive from other commanders giving other important information". I took this at face value and in combination with the manual saying further on that you can make requests for support to the AI, and depending on its situation may respond or not, suggested to me that there was more meaningful dialogue with the AI, than what you say is the case. It made sense to me, particularly for the large scale actions. None of this applies though if you are playing multiplayer, which particularly at the army level (maybe corps too) is probably the way to go, as you can make pre-set, and more importantly in this context - free text messages - asking for support, giving orders, feedback or whatever to other generals using the courier feature.

Strictly speaking you are right about the mixed order - I was really speaking about the assault column, but drawing the analogy with the mixed order (l'ordre mixte). As you probably know mixed order was the hybrid assault formation based on line and columns for the assault - and functionally it is much the same as the assault column in SOWW. I just thought it might be more meaningful to readers at the time of writing to distinguish it from the "column" formation that other games often use as an assault formation, but which in SOWW is a just a column of march. I can see that using that term might be ambiguous.

As for the CTD's, according to Slitherine, they are a known issue and particularly prevalent if you load a scenario, go back out to the main menu, and restart another scenario. This is most likely if you are playing one scenario after another as I did. I hope that helps. I'm glad you haven't had much trouble apart from a couple of CTD's. :) It wasn't my experience - it happened five or six times for me. :o

The "review" such as it is, is really more of an screenshot AAR with commentary about the game. I just wanted to give Grogheads readers a flavour of the game, rather than make a detailed commentary which requires considerably more gaming hours than this one got.
The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own. Aldous Huxley

Foul Temptress! (Mirth replying to Gus) ;)

On a good day, our legislature has the prestige of a drunk urinating on a wall at 4am and getting most of it on his shoe. On a good day  ::) Steelgrave

It's kind of silly to investigate whether or not a Clinton is lying. That's sort of like investigating why the sky is blue. Banzai_Cat

Offline Atilla60

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Very good hands on impression Boggit. O0

I have a question though. On a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being superb), how do you rate the AI?
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Offline Boggit

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Thanks Attilla, I appreciate that.

Your question is a tough one, as I only have a limited experience of the game to comment on - say 10/12 games played. On present impressions, I'd say 6, as I've seen several good moves, as well as one or two that made me stop and wonder. On balance it seemed ok, not outstanding, but ok. I hope that helps?  :)
The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own. Aldous Huxley

Foul Temptress! (Mirth replying to Gus) ;)

On a good day, our legislature has the prestige of a drunk urinating on a wall at 4am and getting most of it on his shoe. On a good day  ::) Steelgrave

It's kind of silly to investigate whether or not a Clinton is lying. That's sort of like investigating why the sky is blue. Banzai_Cat