Author Topic: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike  (Read 166818 times)

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #135 on: April 24, 2015, 09:19:25 AM »
A little preview of what I'm working on at the moment for Alpha 5.6:


Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #136 on: April 27, 2015, 07:41:10 AM »
Just uploaded binary and source for a new version I'm calling Alpha 6 release candidate 1, since it adds a huge aspect of the game: experience points and skills!

http://www.armouredcommander.com/downloads.html

There have been a few minor changes to the game, and there are still a number of known bugs / missing features, but I wanted to put this version up to give people a chance to try out the skills system. In particular, I'd like to players' reactions to the following:

- are any of the current skills either under- or over-powered?
- are there any obvious skills that I should add right away?
- is the experience point progression for gaining levels too fast/slow? When you view your crew, the exp required for their next level is shown in parentheses.
- should there be a pop-up notification when a skill is activated? Right now there is just a text message in the message console.

The layouts and design of a lot of the windows is a little buggy since I'm trying to make the entire interface more consistent, and have moved to a standard-sized console for most in-game menus and windows. I'll fix this up before the final Alpha 6 release.

I think there also might be a bug with the driver not being able to access the "unbog attempt" order after your tank is bogged down. IF you run into this, save and reload, and it should be fine. This is another issue I'm looking at fixing before Alpha 6.

Tons of stuff in the game is still missing - still no Counterattack mission type, campaign action times are not increased as they should be for muddy/snowy weather, etc., but it's coming along! As I posted on r/roguelikedev, I had a hairy moment a few days ago when I ran into three AT Guns at once. Just now I got exploded by a Panther when I took a risky shot on its side armour while it was hull down and I was not!

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #137 on: May 05, 2015, 12:33:23 PM »
Starting to add some "bells and whistles" to the game - sounds, images, and animations. Here's the bare-bones beginning of a large campaign map. Eventually each location in the campaign will have a coordinate so it can be displayed on the map.



Edit: These features and more can be seen in the new Alpha 6.1:

http://www.armouredcommander.com/downloads.html
« Last Edit: May 07, 2015, 09:16:35 PM by Rev_Sudasana »

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #138 on: May 11, 2015, 12:37:30 PM »
Just uploaded Alpha 6.2; the biggest addition to this version is a set of campaign options: full freedom to select your Sherman model, and whether you want to keep playing if your Commander is killed or seriously injured. Since both of these options reduce the challenge significantly (with casual commander replacement you can keep playing through to the end of the campaign no matter what happens to your crew), they are noted beside your final VP score in the high scores display.

This means, if you manage to play through the entire campaign with standard tank options and permadeath for your commander, it will be evident from looking at your score.

The campaign calendar itself is now set via a CSV file, which will make it much easier to modify in the future, and also easier to add in entirely new campaigns to the game. It also means it's extremely easy to 'cheat', just by editing the file and writing yourself an easier campaign. So I'm not sure if in the future the standard, included campaigns will be made harder to modify or not. In the end, anybody could download the source and add their own cheats, so I don't think this is a big issue.

Still working on a ton of features, but if you run into any bugs or crashes in this version, please do let me know. I've improved the Py2Exe script a fair bit, which has brought down the size of the main executable by about half!

http://www.armouredcommander.com/downloads.html

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #139 on: May 14, 2015, 07:05:25 AM »
Alpha 6.3 is now online at http://www.armouredcommander.com/downloads.html

Changes include nicknames for crew, some minor bug fixes, and a new crew injury system that should be more clear than the previous one, which was too closely modeled on the (somewhat unclear) Patton's Best system.

In a future version, crew that take serious injuries will be sent to recover and will be available again later in the campaign. For now, as long as they are not very seriously injured or dead, they recover at the end of an encounter. Once I have a better way to display crew wounds, they will persist until the end of the campaign day, giving them modifiers to any other to-wound rolls that day.

GalagaGalaxian

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #140 on: May 15, 2015, 06:24:00 AM »
In 6.2 I noticed a potential error with enemy shot math and another possible bug/display error.

http://i.imgur.com/x1qLlRS.png
http://i.imgur.com/3aJRt8I.png

In both these rolls, the dice don't seem to add up. First one is 2+1 = 5? And the second one is 4+3 = 4? I only noticed these after the fact so I dunno how many other shots were off (I have one screenshot, taken before the other two, but in the same battle as the Panzer IV screenshot I believe, where the math works fine). For the die roll math, can I suggest inserting a "+" between the two rolled numbers? Just to make things more clear to the user its a additive roll (maybe mention its 2d6 somewhere).

As for the other problem, that third screenshot mentions my Sherman being struck by a 75 AP round from a Pak 38, which it lists as a 50L gun (the Pak 38 being a 50mm gun historically). I'm unsure if this is a display error, and its firing 50AP or its a display error and its firing 75AP. One is a minor display error, while the other is a much more dangerous (for the player) error.

I also have some thoughts regarding crew skills, but I'll wait until I get some more games in before making any firm opinions there on if some need adjustment.

[edit] Just had a JdgPz IV report firing a 76 AP shell at me even though the tank is listed as carrying a 75L. Thankfully that shot, whatever it was, glanced off the turret!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 07:16:49 AM by GalagaGalaxian »

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #141 on: May 15, 2015, 07:04:23 AM »
The weird math in the screenshots is a result of a display error; the total was indeed 5 in the first one, and 4 in the second, but the individual die results were not being displayed properly. Fixed in 6.4, and I've added a plus sign in between to make this clearer, as well as a mention that it's a 2D6 roll.

In the third screenshot, it's also a display error. The base TK number for a 50L gun is 13, while for a 75 it's 14. The display was actually showing you your own gun type due to a bug! Explains the JdgPz IV shot described in your edit too.  Also fixed in 6.4.

Keep 'em coming, I'll keep squashing them.

GalagaGalaxian

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #142 on: May 15, 2015, 07:17:13 AM »
Another possible bug. When trying to fire both the Co-Ax MG and the Bow MG at the same time,  when the results of the Co-Ax MG finished, the bow MG was seemingly skipped. This was attempting to fire on a close range target in the front arc, so the bow MG should've had a valid target.

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #143 on: May 15, 2015, 07:26:30 AM »
Were you Hull Down? Can't fire the Bow MG when Hull Down. That got me several times.

Edit: Also, if the Hull and Coax MGs are both valid attacks, you will be given the choice as to which one to fire at a given target.

GalagaGalaxian

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #144 on: May 15, 2015, 07:41:20 AM »
Unsure, but that was probably it, as I actually do recall being given the option to select which MG to fire in the past. I'll keep an eye out for it though.

Though speaking of Machine Guns, when does the commander get his .50cal AA MG? My command needs that Ma Deuce so the gunner doesn't hog all the kills.  :P Also, do you plan to eventually include tracking .30cal/.50cal ammo (it was an optional rule in Patton's)? Though the feature I miss most from Patton's Best is advancing fire, it'd be useful for moving into those areas of "heavy" expected resistance.

I'll keep an eye out for more bugs, but for now, sleep!

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #145 on: May 15, 2015, 07:50:35 AM »
The AA MG will find its way into ArmCom eventually - beware that you are very exposed while firing it, however!

I'm not sure that tracking MG ammo adds much fun to the game; it might mean you lose a gun during combat and have to call in resupply afterwards. It's not hard to do, however, so I will add it, likely as a campaign option, eventually.

Finally, advancing fire is definitely on my to-do list, and should probably be higher up since it helps with areas of heavy resistance as you mentioned. It will probably be more automatic than PB, however. You select AF, expend a random number of HE shells, and as soon as enemies are spawned on the board you can a chance at an automatic attack on each of them. This can be combined with an arty attack to really lay down some fire before enemy units even get a chance to ambush. I do plan to limit the number of arty attacks that a player can call in per day, however. It will function like a pool, with each successful request reducing the chance of later ones.

Very interested to read what you think about the skills. Right now they are not too useful until you start upgrading them to the second or third level, but after a few upgrades I see a lot of those blue messages indicated successful skill checks popping up in the message window. There's a ton of possible skills that could be added, these are just a sketch.

GalagaGalaxian

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #146 on: May 15, 2015, 05:43:31 PM »
Yeah, I wouldn't care much if you decided that tracking ammo for the machineguns isn't worth it. If I remember right, they had boatloads of ammo anyways and typically were only consumed in large amount during advancing fire and the morning ammo expenditure roll. The exception was the .50cal AA MG, which only came with 6 boxes of ammo (compared to the 30+ of the Co-Ax). But overall tacking MG ammo and replacement periscopes (both optional rules from Patton's) is probably too much detail for too little gain. Main cannon/MG Malfunctions might be worth including though.

Advancing Fire being planned is good, its a very useful tool. I also agree with your idea to simplify it down to just a chance-to-kill on all enemies rather than Patton's method of selecting up to 6 zones with markers. Not sure if you want to emulate Patton's rule of advancing fire weakening as more friendly tanks get knocked out over the course of the day, but if so, you could simply model it as a penalty to the chance-to-kill roll for every 3 or so friendly tanks destroyed.

As for skills, intial thoughts without having played much is that the activation percentages might be a bit too low. Mostly the 3%/5%/7% ones feel a bit low but like I said, I haven't played much with them yet, so I could be wrong. The one that stands out to me is scrounger. Scrounger has decent odds 10/25/40% but at the same time I think to myself that I almost never have to resupply during most missions, so the idea of putting points in that for how much you get out of it feels like a waste. Once advancing fire comes in, though, that could change as I'd be expending a lot more HE shells. As a suggestion, maybe scrounger could instead give a bonus to sourcing more HCBI or HVAP shells each morning? (or a similar skill that does the same).

 I admit I practically never use smoke rounds*, but the idea of potentially getting more HVAP rounds is pretty appealing if I'm in a 76L armed Sherman.

*  I almost never use WP/HCBI smoke rounds because my two options are wasting a turn changing the gunload (Which is bad because I'm usually in a tight spot if I want smoke!) or firing a damaging shell at a target to clear the chamber and hope RoF kicks in to load the smoke round. This means the enemy unit will probably shoot back because I attacked it and I might not get my smoke if the RoF fails! Easier just to use the smoke mortar if present and, if not, just have the commander throw a smoke grenade and sit tight and hope the enemy is low on ammo and that I don't look worth the AP shell.


In a different topic, you put the campaign calender to an external, editable file. That is cool, looking at the format I think I understand it and I'm tempted to create a version that covers an alternate combat calender from an old Avalon Hill Magazine that features a Canadian Tank unit. However I think I'll wait for now as you might change the format at some point and I'm lazy about manual data entry.  :P



To be honest, it looks like a "hard mode", I mean look at those activation percentages! It seems you'd see a lot more combat on average than the default US 4th Armored Division campaign. That said, they do get access to the Firefly with its 76LL gun, which is cool. I mean, who wouldn't want a tank that always starts a fight hull down and has a gun that basically fires HVAP as standard ammo, punching through anything short of a King Tiger or Panther's front hull armor with ease (and for those you get APDS rounds, which are super HVAP)? I mean, other than the Firefly having a special rule that replaces most of the "Enemy fires at lead tank" action results with "Enemy fires at you" because they're terrified of that 76LL gun and concentrate fire on Fireflies when IDed.

Of course, my big dream would be getting to drive the M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer, the ultiamte in "High Risk, High Reward" Panther/Tiger killers. But, I'm rambling at this point, so I'll just shut up.  :P


[edit] You don't get XP if you don't finish the day of combat? Ouch, teach me to throw a track an hour before sunset! I think it'd be fair for the surviving crew to still get XP, maybe apply a penalty though, like halving it.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 06:09:48 PM by GalagaGalaxian »

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #147 on: May 16, 2015, 08:49:56 AM »
Just uploaded Alpha 6.4, which fixes the roll display errors you discovered, a couple more bugs, and adds awards for VP and EXP on days when your tank is destroyed or immobilized.

I don't think I have ever resupplied during a mission, but as you say once advancing fire is added, the player will be spending a lot more HE rounds so perhaps then it will matter a lot more. A skill that increases the number of rare ammo supplied per day would work really well too. Perhaps they could be combined?

I only use HBCI rounds when I run into 88s or Tigers early in the game, then I change gun load while dropping a smoke grenade, then lob off smoke as fast as I can and hope that my friends can handle those guys!

The Canada's Best calendar is a good start, but to be fair the campaign should be quite a bit different from the PB one. I've read that the Canadian 4th encountered very few AT guns in the latter part of their campaign, by which time resistance was mostly tanks and infantry, so the activation tables should be different. Also, they were fighting through terrain that had been flooded by the Germans, leaving very narrow causeways between flooded fields. That would make for an interesting campaign day map! Anyway, I do have plans for this, being Canadian myself, but I'm thinking about adding a fair bit more to the game than simply an extra calendar and a restriction to M4A4s and Fireflies.

I would add TD as tank options right now, the only problem is that they introduce some complications to the system as it stands. The Hellcat doesn't have a hull MG (what did the assistant driver do?), the Wolverine doesn't have an assistant driver at all (ditto for the Firefly), they were open-topped so crew are always at least partially exposed, and as you've written elsewhere they should enjoy modifiers to movement and getting a side/rear enemy facing since they are fast tanks. Also I would imagine that the types of missions should be different too: instead of advancing through territory, you might be called to advance to a specific map area to help take out some enemy tanks. Again, definitely something I want to add, but I'd like to do it right so it might take a little while!

Hopefully 6.4 will be stable enough for your Let's Play plan - if you run into anything before then let me know and I'll try to push out a quick update to fix it.

GalagaGalaxian

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #148 on: May 16, 2015, 05:57:43 PM »
Oh yeah, thats all just "one day stuff", I'm quite happy with Shermans right now.

Had something strange happen to me. Combat encounter started with a Panther dead ahead, close range. Being stupid I decided I'd fire an AP shot at it and load my single HVAP from the ready rack for the follow up shot. Except for some reason, the HVAP round didn't get loaded! Coincidentally, I actually recorded a gif of it since I was trying to work on a bit of intro action for my LP.

After playing a bit more, it is really weird, but I may have discovered the reason! This was a save I loaded from 6.3, so my loader was still set to the "Load" action, I just noticed the command has been renamed to "Reload". Could that possibly be it? Could explain why earlier shots never achieved RoF...

Ok, played even more, that is very likely the problem. Took a shot at another target later, AP with AP set as the reload, got the "no shell loaded" message again. Gunner was defaulted to the "Load" action at the start of the encounter.

http://i.imgur.com/PKVupGG.png
http://i.imgur.com/0nBBzUZ.png

Also since switching to 6.4 (4 or so encounters) I have yet to achieve Rate of Fire. Could be horrible luck, could be an error.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2015, 06:09:27 PM by GalagaGalaxian »

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander Alpha 1: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #149 on: May 16, 2015, 06:29:20 PM »
Yep, your Loader's default order is still Load, which doesn't exist any more! Sadly a lot of these updates require starting a new campaign, since so much of what's being saved is being changed.

Keep an eye on the RoF weirdness, though I have gained RoF in my 6.4 games.