So, Guided Action…
The basic premise is: devise a robust set of atoms from the current mass of variables, which tend to indicate selections with a good chance of action and a relatively short time to battle.
Use these atoms to (a) automatically score->rank->sort the lists, so that the top of the list corresponds to the best match for the current policy, (b) identify what information the player is most interested in and better organize the informational screens.
Also, by identifying atoms, we can perhaps better identify information the system needs to gather in order to be able to adequately inform the player WTF IS GOING ON.
Some of you consider this dumbing it down. I never realized that it was expected that all our grunts be generals too. An “instant action” button would be dumbing it down, launching people into the game with absolutely no allusion to the fact that there is a plan other than to kill the other guy.
What I envision, and I’m no artist, is an initial layout with the list down the left side, and the map on the right side, with the highest-rated entry in the list ready selected for you. I rustled this up a long time ago (I borrowed the map background from a WWIIOnline maps site that I can’t refind)
The actual layout and content isn’t really what matters – nor am I suggesting there have to be two panels. But, FWIW, the top panel from top-to-bottom is: Town, opposing brigade strengths, either relative people within 4km or recent deaths (its a stick man or a helmet on a gun), relative ownership (bases) and relative ownership (flags overall)
What this (bloody awful) image is supposed to convey is the potential of the “back” and “next” buttons to navigate you through the ordered list rather than requiring you to study a very dry looking list and request additional information about the entries to figure “wtf”.
You’d have the list there on the left, you’d have the option of not showing the info panel(s), you’d have the option of hiding the list.
Personally I’d like a return to a map-centric operation, most of the time the brigade/etc layers are frankly beyond me – I just wanna kill stuff, and the motive the rest of ya’ll have behind taking this town is window dressing. Besides, the experience seems to more closely match up with the descriptions I’ve heard of field assignment and deployment – the grunt was told to go take that hill, maybe he was told “so 6th brigade can sneak past”, but he probably wouldn’t hear the bigger or full picture until afterwards – and that’s often the play experience I get to have.
Another advantage to the guided method is … well, its very hard to learn a foreign language by reading a book, but you can pick up a lot by watching TV.