Some of you who read this and work on games yourself will probably find this a bit … eerie or weird or nerdy or something. But, I like to enjoy the game I work on. So yes, for my birthday, I stocked up on beers and chips and candy, and I sat myself infront of our game for most of the day – a good 16 hours played yesterday/this morning.
And it has really been quite phenomenal. Fundamentally, it’s still the same game it was before our last patch set of patches, but this differentiated brigades has definitely been a major milestone in the development track.
As much as breakouts have a potential to suck, they can also add a sense of urgency and purpose which cranks the heat up in every battle on the map. This weekend started with the Axis having squeezed a breakout in the south, trapping a large number of French brigades, throwing the AHC plans into chaos by forcing them to try and hold various key points and perform as many delaying stalling actions in order to give them time to rebuild the lost brigades. So that “fever” was there.
If you play for more than a couple of hours it becomes infectious. Hell, the Allied attack (or was it a defense?) on Charleville I actually found myself screenshotting the AB capture.
And some of our enemies…
Although, it turns out there were about 8 of them holed up above me, and right after I took that screenshot they pumped me full of holes. There’s gratitude for you.
The rules of our game aren’t simple, but when everything comes together and people step up and lead, that can give it a little more bite. I’ve just got done helping defend Namur. The key to our survival was one single depot. The high commanders moved in a couple of Naval Brigades to try and keep us afloat (pardon the pun), but the Axis were pressing on us pretty hard. The only brigade available to assist us was the 3rd Commandos in Profondoville. The enemy had taken everything but the North Armybase and the docks. Some of the troopers managed to regain a foothold in town and 15 minutes later we managed to snag the Profondoville depot…
It took a little while for some of us to understand why the heck Profondoville depot was so important, but once we did that sense of focus makes the fight that much more interesting and challenging and even though you are just capping yet-another-depot somewhere in yet-another-town it gives it context and meaning and purpose, which translate into adrenaline and excitement.
A few people have made the claim that nothing has changed with Armored Brigades: it’s still just tanks vs troops. There are three main reasons for holding off from going to an absolute historic set of TOEs:
1/ Nobody in the war designed their TOEs with balance in mind.
2/ They had completely different supply and logistical systems – should the BEF get 12 matildas total until Tier 1?
3/ Baby steps.
Right now, facing off against an Armored Brigade with an infantry brigade isn’t any worse than being camped by armor ever used to be. When infantry brigades go up against each other, though, you get the meat of raw infantry play people have been wanting for years and when Armor goes up against Armor you get those great, old-school intense armor fights with the bells and whistles that have been introduced in the years since.
Last week during the intermission, I had the most fun in our game I’d had for a long time. This weekend has been as good if not better — the significant amount of beer consumed yesterday may have clouded my judgement somewhat :)
I’d just like to /s! all of the Axis players I’ve gone up against this weekend :) I’ve only had a handful of sorties Axis so far this campaign, but I’ll be back :)
I’d love to write up some AARs of some of the battles I’ve been in – really great fights, but so many of them this weekend it makes my head swim. (I’m fairly sure it’s that)
I think my favorite moment was driving a Panhard inside the shrinking French pocket. Pootling along in the last armored car out of Sechault heading cross-country to Montfaucon I’m passing the little, empty town of Montfaucon which is showing signs of enemy nearby, as they try to crush the pocket. Should I surprise them? Nah. Montfaucon needs me to clear the airfield!
I’m about halfway from Grandpre to Mont when the all-clear is sounded. I drive for a minute or two more and then decide I might have time to stop the enemy from capturing Grandpre and cost them a few tanks to boot. So I turn around and start the 5 minute drive in the opposite direction.
The first opel was quite a bit of a surprize, brazenly driving right at me along the road, probably didn’t realize what he was seeing. 1 opel, 1 infantry killed. But the second opel coming over the hill before I even got up to 3rd gear… That was a shock, which almost let him get away. Unfortunately, he managed to dump his infantry and now I’m out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by sappers.
So I got to spend … 20-30 minutes hunting infantry around our firebase. Best I could tell I’d got most of them, I knew one was just to the east of the FB, and he got impatient and popped his head up out of the trench. So I rolled my panny right up to the lip of the trench, pointed my turret at him… And gave him chance to say his prayers. He sort of looked around, I waggled my turret a bit, gave him chance to run or something, and then sent him an AP round…
Feeling very smug, I pulled up just over by the FB, which is when I heard the stuka, moments before he and his bomb flew straight into me.
I guess I’d missed some because a few minutes later they blew the FB :( Still – I made them work for it :)
Oh, and at 4am this morning I took it upon myself to throw the HCs a bone and save them RSI from typing /nextmove all the time by hacking the once-a-minute Lua script that checks brigade strengths: