Author Topic: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike  (Read 172073 times)

Avagart

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #270 on: December 30, 2015, 05:05:00 PM »
Running from source should works good. Only what you need is python interpreter (2.7 if IIRC) installed.

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #271 on: December 30, 2015, 05:09:17 PM »
Is there a way to start ArmCom under Linux? With Wine it was too slow after a short time. I am no Linux crack I must tell.

You should be able to run the source Python script under Linux. You'll need to install libtcod and pygame first, though, and I don't have any experience in doing this.

panzerdiesel

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #272 on: December 30, 2015, 05:54:50 PM »
:) Does anyone know how to execute the source?

Avagart

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #273 on: December 30, 2015, 07:55:23 PM »
Rev_Sudasana should know more than I, but if I'm writing first, I try to help you.

Check if you have python interpreter installed already (python is preinstalled on most of major linuxes). If not, install it (I'm not the linux guy, but instructions here). Later install pygame ('Unix distribution' paragraph here). Next you have to put your libtcod files (download on github, official source disappears from web IIRC, but there are a lot of forks/mirrors) into game (source) folder. I think that these files are: libtcodpy.py, libtcod.so, SDLlib.so. Also you (probably) need to get data+asset files from 'general' standalone archive, so terminal8x12_armcom.png, data.zip (?) and data folder.

I'm not sure if whole ArmCom code is compatible with Linux, but... You can try. Post tracebacks if you encounter any problems :)

panzerdiesel

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #274 on: December 30, 2015, 07:57:35 PM »
Sounds a bit difficult. So, yesterday I have tried Manjaro Linux - which runs very fast on my T61 laptop. I think I'll have to stay with Win 7.

panzerdiesel

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #275 on: December 31, 2015, 04:55:35 PM »
SOLUTION: HOW TO RUN ARMCOM UNDER LINUX

1. Download libtcod from the website:

https://bitbucket.org/libtcod/libtcod/downloads/libtcod-1.5.1-linux.tar.gz

or for x64:

https://bitbucket.org/libtcod/libtcod/downloads/libtcod-1.5.1-linux64.tar.gz

extract libcod into the game directory. Change the name into "libcod" to simplify it. Then change the armcom.py in the "src"-directory:

Quote
##### Libraries #####
import sys
sys.path.append("/INSERTYOURPATH/libtcod/")
import libtcodpy as libtcod                     # The Doryen Library

You don't have to arrange all paths. Simply copy the content of the "src"-folder into the main folder of ArmCom. Also copy the "libtcod.so" from "libtcod" into the main folder.

2. Change to the ArmCom folder and run it via the terminal command: python2 armcom.py

Thx to the guys at de.manjaro.org for their kind help.

« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 02:37:25 AM by panzerdiesel »

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #276 on: December 31, 2015, 05:05:26 PM »
Is there any way I can add something to the source python script to make this even easier? For example, add a command line option to set the libtcod path?

Thanks for figuring this out, I will add a guide to running ArmCom under Linux to the website and give you and manjaro.org credit.

panzerdiesel

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #277 on: January 01, 2016, 02:42:13 AM »
First: Happy New Year! 8)

Second: I don't know if you can add something to the script. The directory is unique for every single user - as far as I can see. I have asked in the German forum. Link: https://de.manjaro.org/index.php?topic=4893.0

Avagart

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #278 on: January 01, 2016, 07:39:51 AM »
Is there any way I can add something to the source python script to make this even easier? For example, add a command line option to set the libtcod path?

I don't know if you have to enter WHOLE path to libtcod, maybe it's possible to make it relative just as
"/libtcod/" instead of "/INSERTYOURPATH/libtcod/". If it's not possible, you could check user's operating system and later use or %CURDIR% for Windows and PWD for Linux.

TanKrusher

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #279 on: January 02, 2016, 05:17:08 AM »
Hey there! I've been playing a ton of 2.06 and using old Patton's Best documents for reference. I'm very fond of this game but (like anyone who plays and makes games, I suppose) I have some criticisms and suggestions for improvement on top of some bug reports and questions.

Found/Possible bugs
  • If there is 1 or less to hit, and I get a 2, it counts as a Critical Hit and kills the enemy.
  • I have had Days where the Resistance will be "Heavy" and then every sector I check is Light or empty. It might be because I'm sticking to roads, but even when there are farmhouses or forests this still happens.
  • Sometimes enemy units will Shift Positions and end up overlapping. This wouldn't be such a big deal if it weren't for the fact that tabbing through enemies does not give their description in the little message box under the combat visualization window.
  • I was asked to capture Marshland, which I cannot enter.
  • Sometimes after battles (I haven't figured out what the conditions are for this) I will have a crewman who will be labelled with an open or closed hatch who cannot spot at all (even if they should be able to, given their current action). Changing the Hatch status fixes this; not sure if changing the Order does.
  • I have destroyed all resistance with my starting attack, but then still had to pass a turn (and then have random encounters rolled for, which may include an enemy unit joining the fight, continuing the encounter). Not a big deal, but it does mean that the message doesn't mean too much (other than "wow!", of course :P).

Questions
  • I can't switch between Direct or Area Fire. I assumed I'd be able to pick one for HE and get different to-hit results or something (or, at the very least, be able to Area Fire upon unspotted units), but I cannot. I assume this is by design, and area/direct fire just refers to smoke/gas shells having an easier to-hit table?
  • Does anything happen when my tank is Spotted by an enemy light vehicle? I was under the impression that my tank always has a 5% chance to be fired at by enemy units (up to 20% if I attacked them that turn).
  • As it stands I have no idea what Sector Control is supposed to do. I assumed it would increase/decrease the chance of Friendly Actions, but Patton's Best rules do not suggest that this is true (or that it has any effect at all).

Criticisms
  • As far as I can tell, all of Patton's Best rolls are d100s. The 2d6 conversion isn't really getting in the way or anything but I do like my d100s. :P Is this a sort of copyright-avoidance thing, and/or to encourage yourself to build your own game as much as possible?
  • I really like the idea of Rescue missions but they are often difficult or impossible to reach in time given random placement on the map. Perhaps limiting the distance from the player platoon's current location could improve things?
  • It's a bit hard to tell what (if anything) you're supposed to do during a Counterattack. Is there ever a reason to leave your map location? instead of repeatedly Awaiting Enemy Attack?
  • Counterattacks also feel like the longest phases in the game. I'm not sure if this is because not enough time passes between attacks, or if it's just because combat phases generally take longer when you've found cover and any larger vehicles approach to attack and you're as cautious as I am. :P
  • Perhaps most significantly, I feel like there's a bit of a "rock and a hard place" problem in the game's structure with Strict crew control. Armoured Commander is largely composed of dead-or-not possibilities, which is realistic and enjoyably tense, especially given how the player can mitigate many of those risks both by better play and by exchanging combat effectiveness for safety. However, many of the risk-taking choices present an unfortunate problem with the 89-day-long(!) campaign - there are many situations where completely reasonable combat actions could still result in a game over, well into the (extremely long) campaign. I have opened the hatch with my Commander to help destroy an enemy tank (the last enemy unit on the board), only to have my Commander killed by enemy small-arms fire after the attack, despite the absence of "nearby" (on-the-board) infantry. This ended a 9-day run, and the only way I could have avoided it would have been to take more crew safety perks or to ignore the possibility of using the Commander to assist other Crew rolls. At any rate, I am playing through a game with Casual rules for the Crew, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I believe the structure of the game with Strict tank selection and Casual crew works well with the "high score" setup of the game.

Suggestions
  • Unsure if you're interested in adding in-game text that could further obfuscate the rules, but the game would become more atmospheric if "destruction via friendly action" were put into more detail (even if it were just random choices per enemy type in a hex on that turn.) "Enemy Tank destroyed by friendly Tank Destroyer fire; Friendly field guns failed to penetrate Unidentified Enemy Tank; Friendly artillery missed MG squad;" etc. it'd be more opaque than "friendly action" is right now, but it'd be cool to read. (It'd also be nice to see Advance Fire's effects through this text; ie "Advance Fire destroys enemy squad" or what not. That would make the benefits of Advance Fire clearer to newer players.)
  • I would diversify the possible random events, including deadlier effects. As it stands there is almost always the possibility of instant death, and I would be interested to see this extended to mines and enemy artillery. (Related suggestions below.)
  • It seems strange to me that artillery can only kill infantry squads and not tanks (or, of course, the player tank). Of course, all of this would increase the instances in which the player and/or their tank/crewmen could instantly die, but it would not necessarily hinder Casual mode.
  • I notice that Panzerfaust attacks are not currently in the game. Perhaps they could be worked into giving Light Arms squads a way to pose a threat to your tank beyond attacking exposed crew members.
  • If Sector Control has no effect on the game at the moment, it would be nice if Sector control was more relevant. Changing the aggressiveness of enemy units based on sector control (especially if infantry are given attacks that can threaten your tank) and/or modifying the Random Action board would be my suggestion.
  • Related to the Panzerfaust suggestion, it would be interesting if excessive Sector Control by Germany would open the possibility that Light Arms squads engaging in short-range attacks on your tank (ie, satchel charges), instead of simply "peppering it with small arms fire". (Perhaps attempts towards this would generally fail, and/or possibly result in the squad being destroyed by allied fire? Many possibilities here.)

Thanks a lot for reading all of that, and best of luck developing this awesome game further!
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 05:45:17 AM by TanKrusher »

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #280 on: January 04, 2016, 10:35:29 AM »
Thanks for this! I have one general response and then I'll address your points one by one:

ArmCom was indeed started as an adaptation of Patton's Best, but it didn't take long before I wanted to develop the scope of the game further. I like to think that it's its own game now, and that while having experience with Patton's Best will help, there's a lot about ArmCom that doesn't fit into the system of the board game any more. Have you taken a look at the online manual page? It's still incomplete, but might be helpful.

Bugs

  • I originally kept this in to always give the player a chance at a critical hit, but I'll change it so that the shot must be possible to get a critical hit
  • That's just a matter of chance; even on Heavy resistance days there's a chance of light resistance, and there's always a chance of having no encounter after capturing an area
  • I found this bug too, and hopefully it's fixed in Beta 3
  • This was a bug with all mission types; fixed in Beta 3
  • Not sure why this is happening; spot ability should be re-calculated at the start of every battle encounter. I'll do some testing and check it out.
  • I think it's still good to walk the player through what's happening, otherwise the flow of the battle can quickly become confusing. Using arty and advancing fire is a tactic choice, and the benefits of making this choice should be clear to the player when they happen.

Questions

  • You can only switch between direct and area fire with HE, and only before you start to fire. If you've maintained RoF, you can't switch modes. I'll do a write-up on the to-hit calculations for the manual eventually, but with area fire you have a much better chance to hit at medium and long ranges, but the dice roll modifiers are applied to the to-kill roll instead, so you've more likely to pin rather than destroy the target.
  • Any other AT fire on your tank while an enemy scout car is Spotting your tank gets a -1 bonus to hit. This modifier is listed in the to-hit roll display when such an attack happens.
  • Sector control is a bit weird, and it might be something that I simply remove in the future. The number of sectors controlled applies a modifier to friendly attacks, and enemy units cannot spawn in a friend-controlled sector. You're right though, it's quite unclear what they do, so it's something I'll have to figure out for Beta 3.

Criticisms

  • So the d100 scores and modifiers in PB are actually all pre-calculated odds from the Advanced Squad Leader system. If you look up to-hit rolls and modifiers for ASL, and calculate the odds of success on 2D6, you come up with the percentile scores in the Patton's Best charts. When I realized this I decided to make just about everything in ArmCom use a 2D6 system. This is because the odds of 2D6 results are not linear, but produce a pyramid-shaped 'bell curve' centered on 7. When you start stacking multiple modifiers, their effect on the final chance of success doesn't calculate the same if you use a 2D6 system versus d100. In any case, with ArmCom the game calculates everything for the player, so there's no need to simplify things into tables.
  • In Beta 3, all mission locations will be maximum two map nodes away from the player's current position.
  • Counterattacks are changed too in Beta 3. The actual resistance level you face in a Counterattack battle is determined by the level of adjacent map nodes, so if you're next to a Heavy node it might help to reposition yourself. In Beta 3, however, you'll be forced to move if you are cur off from friendly forces, so moving around a bit will be helpful.
  • With Counterattack you're fighting a lot more during the day. You always get a bug bonus to start Hull Down and ambushing your enemy, however, so make the most of it! There's not a lot of Counterattack days in the calendar, either.
  • Strict Commander Replacement was something I added to provide the option of playing with permadeath for those who wanted it. If you want to play through an entire campaign, it makes sense to choose Casual and just replace your Commander as needed, but just as in history, crew death in ArmCom can be sudden and unexpected. I don't think it's ever unfair, however, since the player is aware of all the dangers they face. There's always a risk in every action, the key is to balance risk and reward in how much you expose your crew to danger in order to complete their mission.

Suggestions

  • The suggestion to flesh out Friendly Action is very well-received. The way you describe it is definitely something I've been thinking of: making game messages more narrative in tone, even if they don't add anything materially to the game. It's on my to-do list, anyway.
  • There's a huge scope for random events in the game, but I'm not sure how much I want to add to this incarnation of the game. More on that later.
  • Arty affecting only infantry is a hold-over from Patton's Best. I think I'll leave it for now, however, since losing tanks is a huge VP hit.
  • Aha - Panzerfaust attacks are indeed in the game! It's a random event, but there has to be an infantry squad in close range armed with a PF for the event to trigger. Be glad you haven't been on the receiving end of one of these. It's not pretty.
  • Regarding sector control: I might just end up removing it altogether; especially since the player can't do anything directly to affect it. It's nice to abstractly model what's going on around the player, but if it has a significant impact on the game and is totally outside of player control, it can get frustrating.

Anyway, thanks again for your comments! I should mention that I have a to-do list of major features for ArmCom that is slowly getting shorter, but once I have everything on that list implemented I'm going to be shifting the game into a maintenance / bug-fixing mode. Hopefully all the major stuff will be done in 1-2 months, and then I'll keep working on polishing the rough corners of the game for a while.

After that, however, I'm planning on starting ArmCom 2, which is going to break away completely from the model of Patton's Best to become its own game system. I've learned a ton over the past year, and want to start from the ground up on a new tank commander roguelike. I'll keep supporting ArmCom 1, and if someone wants to fork the project to develop it further they are more than welcome to!

TanKrusher

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #281 on: January 07, 2016, 10:22:40 PM »
Thanks for the response, and good luck on both of these projects. I look forward to Beta 3!
PS: As a final note on my own experience, I've quit playing for now, though I got to September 15th, 1944 with the Casual rules. This is partially because I found the campaign a bit repetitive by that point (no special events being the cause, I suppose? I also poured hours a day into it, mind you) and partially because I got myself hooked on WoT again.

Kyzrati

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #282 on: January 08, 2016, 02:50:24 AM »
After that, however, I'm planning on starting ArmCom 2, which is going to break away completely from the model of Patton's Best to become its own game system. I've learned a ton over the past year, and want to start from the ground up on a new tank commander roguelike.
This is great to hear! Amazing how far it's come already, and I'm sure the next one will be even better :D

Kyzrati

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #283 on: January 08, 2016, 01:22:18 PM »
Aaaand congratulations, ArmCom just got another mention in RPS ;D

Rev_Sudasana

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Re: Armoured Commander: WW2 Tank Commander Roguelike
« Reply #284 on: January 08, 2016, 03:26:08 PM »
Aaaand congratulations, ArmCom just got another mention in RPS ;D

!

Tim was very kind to focus on the exciting and fun parts of the game rather than the persistent bugs and crashes, most of which, however, should be fixed in the next major version.