This intermission is certainly a confuser because we’re not keeping the primary gameplay rule. We’ve only once before done an intermission with a radical change to gameplay rules. To emphasize the new offensive FB and MSP rules we decided this intermission would be a sort of “No Mans Land”. Yes, it’s going to be really hard to move the map, yes, there’ll be a significant number of towns where reaching the town will mean a travel – but this time it will be both Taxi To Victory and Taxi to Defeat since both sides will be spawning from Firebases.
We had a minor problem that kept the offensive MSPs working for a while but they are working fine now, meaning you can deploy an MSP to defend a 1-link-away empty, friendly, frontline town as well as using the FB that opens up on the link.
I know some people went away shaking their heads and shaking their fists – but hey, every intermission does that. The majority of people stuck around and played some, and we were well up on numbers for an intermission and on a Monday night. Lots of folks dropped for Heroes and came back again an hour later.
What I’m finding cool is the fact there are old-style armor engagements happening out in the fields. It’s very old-style slow going because people are still rushing to town rather than thinking “hey up, the enemy isn’t in town”. I fair fell about laughing when I saw people trying to pre-camp armybases in empty towns they were verging on capturing.
Over in Antwerp there were all kinds of armored battles going on in and around town – I watched a column of Tigers get pinned down on the north side of the central bridge, near the central rail station, held down by a platoon of infantry supporting a couple of ATGs. Each time I came back the Tigers were slowly being worn down by the guys holding the Ball-Bearing factory and various pieces of armor they guided in to try and get flank shots on the various Tigers/Stugs.
Later I watched a variety of high-end engagements – gnpatton in a Tiger staring down a Churchill Mk 7, both of them staring the other down and both of them holding off firing while so as not to give away their position to any friends the other guy might have. Eventually ‘k6’ merrily trundled a Stug directly across the Churchills line of fire and gnpatton opened fire. Neither of them had the right angle, two pillboxes firing blanks at each other. In the end gnp’s caution proved out – another Allied tank traced his rounds, moved up and fired a killer shot into his flank.
Had a blast playing infantry too. Yeah, it’s definitely slower, there’s definitely more foot time. But it beats trying to get out from under a camp and I don’t mind running an MSP out – think about it, FB->Town is ~1.5km and I can deploy my MSP anywhere from 1.4km to within 500m of an enemy facility which means I can drive right into town for the initial defense.
That’s actually quite a neat experience because it plays out a little bit like various systems people have talked about in the past for allowing people to choose where they spawn.
We fixed up a couple of “travellers battles” (primarily Revin/Haybes) so that the old time truck riders who have recently been lamenting the loss of longer time to battle gameplay could play there. Hmm. Total players who engaged in the Revin/Habyes fights? 9 – including me.
Every intermission has its share of haters. This one took way longer to set up than we anticipated and, to be honest, it the initial placements were a little rushed in the end, but it was just taking too long – we really need to offer someone like sres/slr/drave/xipper a little contract to provide us with a GUI-based map/deployment setup tool.
FWIW: The output format might be best if it reflected our Lua script:
setCP("Antwerp", "UK") setFacility("Antwerp-Schilde Depot", "DE") blowFirebase("Antwerp-Schilde Firebase") deploy("1pzd", "Schilde")
The trick to this intermission is not worrying so much about moving the map – this one is definitely about the combat. You can’t move a brigade into a frontline town so moving the map is actually kinda hard. But so far that has just mean’t that capturing a town doesn’t mean “yay, fights over”. It’s been kinda fun so far, and I figure it’ll be fun for a few more days.
See you in there!