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Thread: My short-ish preview

  1. #1

    Default My short-ish preview

    OK I have the journalists' preview copy of the game and I will give my comment, that will pretty much be in line with other previews published on line (only more informative for us hard core TW players I assume I hope I don't breach any NDAs or etiquette by posting this. I write for non-English magazine, and we do not do previews, so there is no reason for me not to post this here. The preview copy I played is legit.

    NTW is somewhere in between heavily scripted Road to Independence campaign in ETW and the short 1700-1750 campaign.

    There are three big and two smaller campaigns on the game menu. Three main campaigns are Italian camp 1796-1797, Egypt campaign 1798, and European war 1805-1812.

    There is also an introductory Tutorial campaign (that has some small fights in it but is largely aimed at complete noobs), plus Waterloo, but Waterloo is not on Single battles menu, it's on the Campaign menu so I assume it will be some sort of super-mini campaign of 2-3 battles or something.

    The only campaign actually playable in the preview copy I've seen is the Italian campaign.

    The turns are very short in this campaign, the map of North Italy is very detailed (25 provinces or so). The campaign itself is not too short (I played to 60-some turns) but the game time covered by the campaign is.

    There is no research and no technology tree in Italian campaign, and no universities. Buildings are very limited - markets, magistrates, better roads, a farm or two, musket factory.... Forts cannot be built, and there is only one pre-built fort on the whole map (Austrian stronghold of Mantova).

    I assume the same will be true for the Egyptian campaign which is, in game time, even shorter.

    However, when you do build a magistrate or some such building, you get the info about "new technology research available", but the research button is greyed out and there are no universities on the map. I assume in the longest campaign, 1805-1812 there will be universities and some research.

    Sieges are unchanged - still as AWFUL as they were in ETW, grapple hooks and all. Don't know about you but I stopped playing ETW because of sieges - they were simply no fun (and too risky to auto-resolve), and 80% of land battles were sieges. So, as they didn't change the siege gameplay, at least it's good that in the Italian campaign new forts cannot be built. Don't know about the 7 year campaign but I certainly hope same holds true there as well. I HATE ETW forts.

    In fact I hate sieges in every TW so far, but ETW sieges were by far the worst in the series. M2TWs were so much better. ALL TW games are too heavy on sieges because cities are too close together, but I digress, it's a larger problem than just NTW...

    Diplomacy.... in the Italian campaign you can't do any diplomacy with Austria and Piemonte (they are your enemy for the duration of the campaign), some events are scripted (take Turin and Piemonte becomes your vassal, you get some missions to take this or that city because this or that will than happen). On the other hand you can force other factions to declare war on third parties, I think this wasn't possible in ETW. The core of the diplomacy model is the same as in ETW though.

    2D graphic and artwork (general's portraits) are much nicer than in ETW in my opinion.

    3D is unchanged and is, again in my opinion, far FAR too hardware demanding, as it was in ETW. Nothing changed here compared to ETW but I still can't understand why is a game that looks much worse than M2TW (just compare the tactical maps) is so much more demanding?

    Turns are very quick, which is good, no more waiting for Huron tribe or Dagestan to do their stuff...

    In short....

    Pros: short, fast, no bull, very concentrated campaigns, there are no forts on the Italian map (except one), and no way to build them - which is good since siege battles in ETW/NTW are awful, nice artwork

    Cons: siege battles are still awful, technology lovers will hate that they have much less control over research and universities (at least in the Italian campaign, I don't know about the 1805-1812, but you can't really invent much in 7 years anyway), still unreasonably big hardware demands

    Personally I like the game much more than ETW - for me ETW had too many tedious boring tasks: controlling the trade routes, fighting pirates and all things naval were no fun for me (your mileage may vary). Sieges were crap. Everyone declaring war on you was boring. Waiting for the turns to process was boring. Some of that is dealt with, even if it's just the by-product, not the real intention.

    On the other hand hardware demands are still criminally big, all the while tactical maps look worse than M2TW.

    Discuss.
    Last edited by Samsonov; January 24, 2010 at 09:00 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Your statement that Medieval II looked better than Empire leads me to believe that your taste is not the same as mine, and so I dismiss your aesthetics complaints.
    My computer has no problems with Empire, and thus I likewise dismiss your technical complaints.

    Siege battles in Empire were awful, and I wasn't really counting on them to fix it in NTW. But if you'd explain how they're awful, that would help. Does the AI use the grappling hooks like stupid as usual? Is the pathfinding still ridiculously troubled? Details will help to judge about this particular aspect, though to to be honest, siege battles were never one of my concerns.

    You really didn't say much else that warrants consideration.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Can you speak about the combat at all? I hate the rank fire ability. I am not sure if they understand but much of these men at least early in the war till about 1803-1804 when they hit the training camps near the english coast were not well trained in firearm drills like the seven years war Prussians. Majority of the French generals would rather attack with the bayonet then shoot it out in an firearms duel since their men just weren't as well drilled as the Austrians or Prussians. Hopefully, they have put in mass volley fire. I enjoy seeing the mods that have mass volley fire and then breaks down into the somewhat mass fire with some shots from troops who reloaded faster or slower.

    Also did you get to see how the squares reacted to cavalry attacks. I read that now cav stops short if the square is formed and wont push home its attack. Also how is the uniform variety? I am excited because this period has the best uniforms in my opinion so that is what I am interested in.

  4. #4

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Quote Originally Posted by Roslolian View Post
    Your statement that Medieval II looked better than Empire leads me to believe that your taste is not the same as mine, and so I dismiss your aesthetics complaints.

    Siege battles in Empire were awful, and I wasn't really counting on them to fix it in NTW. But if you'd explain how they're awful, that would help. Does the AI use the grappling hooks like stupid as usual?

    You really didn't say much else that warrants consideration.
    I guess that's how they say "thanks for the free preview" in your neck of woods?

    Whoever thinks tactical maps, vegetation, buildings, forts... in ETW look better than in M2TW needs to have his sight checked IMO, so, yes, feel free to dismiss my aesthetic complaints.

    I don't think I need to really explain "how awful" were/are siege battles in ETW since there are lots of threads on this forum about this. I will just say they are no fun at all, unlike open field battles. You still have grapple hooks, questionable pathfinding, and honestly, no relation to real world siege battles of the period whatsoever.

    On the other hand, field battles are nice, so instead of panning the game because of sieges, all I can say is that I would like TW games to have more field battles, less sieges, by whichever means possible.

    ETW sieges were so painful for me I stopped playing them very soon in my ETW history. For some time I autoresolved them, but as I realised most battles are sieges, and auto-resolve gives me crap results, I stopped playing ETW altogether because of this.

  5. #5
    Kip's Avatar Idea missing.
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    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Mate, I'm not trying to be a prick here, but I could have written that review.

    All of your comments are things we already know, or things that are reasonable to assume (e.g. that sieges are still crappy). And why exactly did your magazine get a preview copy of a game if you don't publish game previews?...

    Give us some comments on the BAI, and then we'll discuss .

    That is, if you're not just yanking our chains here.

  6. #6

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherneck20LC View Post
    Can you speak about the combat at all? I hate the rank fire ability. I am not sure if they understand but much of these men at least early in the war till about 1803-1804 when they hit the training camps near the english coast were not well trained in firearm drills like the seven years war Prussians. Majority of the French generals would rather attack with the bayonet then shoot it out in an firearms duel since their men just weren't as well drilled as the Austrians or Prussians. Hopefully, they have put in mass volley fire. I enjoy seeing the mods that have mass volley fire and then breaks down into the somewhat mass fire with some shots from troops who reloaded faster or slower.

    Also did you get to see how the squares reacted to cavalry attacks. I read that now cav stops short if the square is formed and wont push home its attack. Also how is the uniform variety? I am excited because this period has the best uniforms in my opinion so that is what I am interested in.
    I am no expert on uniforms. What I didn't like - and my son either - was that French revolutionary infantry is barefoot like hobbits. To my son they immediatelly looked like crappiest unit ever (which they are not) so I had to explain to him these guys are actually very motivated, decent unit, a by product of the very important historic event, just too poor to have proper shoes A moment of hilarity + a history lesson....

    Cavalry did push the attack even vs squares - don't know if that's good for you or not.

    I am a bayonet guy myself, like Suvorov, and the version I have is preview, so I would rather not comment on the massed volley fire. For me it was always about couple salvos then finish them off with bayos.

  7. #7

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Quote Originally Posted by Samsonov View Post
    I am no expert on uniforms. What I didn't like - and my son either - was that French revolutionary infantry is barefoot like hobbits. To my son they immediatelly looked like crappiest unit ever (which they are not) so I had to explain to him these guys are actually very motivated, decent unit, a by product of the very important historic event, just too poor to have proper shoes A moment of hilarity + a history lesson....

    Cavalry did push the attack even vs squares - don't know if that's good for you or not.

    I am a bayonet guy myself, like Suvorov, and the version I have is preview, so I would rather not comment on the massed volley fire. For me it was always about couple salvos then finish them off with bayos.
    The clothing is actually very historical then, the Army of Italy was a ragtag piece of looking army, but it was gritty and tough as a lion. Hell some of the units in the Army of Italy should even be lacking guns historically .

    When the units fired, did the entire unit shoot no matter how many ranks deep they were?
    Forget the Cod this man needs a Sturgeon!

  8. #8

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Quote Originally Posted by KippyK View Post
    Mate, I'm not trying to be a prick here, but I could have written that review.

    All of your comments are things we already know, or things that are reasonable to assume (e.g. that sieges are still crappy). And why exactly did your magazine get a preview copy of a game if you don't publish game previews?...

    Give us some comments on the BAI, and then we'll discuss .

    That is, if you're not just yanking our chains here.
    I dont think you could have written this. Some people on the forum were asking perfectly reasonable questions like "are the grapple hooks still the best siege weapon?" and no one answered them, which is what prompted me to actually write this, including the answer to their question.

    If you already knew all this then why did you even bother to respond?

    BAI I would not feel comfortable commenting, because it CAN be tweaked till the release day. I know the limits of the preview copy.

  9. #9

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Thanks for the free preview . but my fears were basically just confirmed. I really think CA just wants money these days. It seems like they didnt fix anythig that people have been complaining about. Empire was a disaster when it came out. It took me 2 days to get installed. then there was steam, and then there were all the damn glitches. And why not just have made empire total war around this era instead. This way they get double the money. And sieges... dont get me started...


  10. #10
    Kip's Avatar Idea missing.
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    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Quote Originally Posted by Samsonov View Post
    I dont think you could have written this. Some people on the forum were asking perfectly reasonable questions like "are the grapple hooks still the best siege weapon?" and no one answered them, which is what prompted me to actually write this, including the answer to their question.

    If you already knew all this then why did you even bother to respond?

    BAI I would not feel comfortable commenting, because it CAN be tweaked till the release day. I know the limits of the preview copy.
    I'm saying, one can reasonably assume that those things will still be in Napoleon. I could write "If you capture Flanders, you can choose to annex it or instead release it as a client state - the Belgian armies will then fight for your cause", and it will most likely be true, because we've already been told so.

    I guess I'm looking for something more substantial than a summation of features that many of us already know about. If you really do have a preview copy, I applaud your coming here to tell us about it - but I'm more interested in hearing how the game plays, rather than what I can do with the game. We've already been told plenty about that

    What I want to know, is in my made-up Belgium scenario, how does Belgium actually behave? Do they shadow your armies with their own, and fight on the same battlefields? Do they sit idle in their city and pay you tribute? Do they actively go to war for you?

    I'm sorry if I offended you, I swear I'm not - my tone was a bit hostile now that I re-read that post, so I apologize

    I understand if you're not comfortable talking about the BAI, but how about CAI? You mentioned making Sardinia-Piedmont your satellite - do they actively fight for you? If they capture a settlement, who gains control?

  11. #11

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiberius Tosi View Post
    When the units fired, did the entire unit shoot no matter how many ranks deep they were?
    Yes, at least the units I tried (I must put disclaimers everywhere as this really is only a preview).

    Also, some units have "fire and advance" toggle, most don't (grenadiers have it IIRC).

    Some units - chasseurs - have "light infantry behavior" toggle, which makes them scatter, disperse and individually look for some cover.

  12. #12

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Geez that's terrible to hear about siege battles. How could CA seriously look at the game and say siege battles are good? They are a total mess in almost every possible way.

  13. #13

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Well at least the Chasseurs have light infantry behavior! To bad we dont get the revolutionary mass skirmish tactics of sending battalions to even whole divisions on me in full skirmish order against the enemy because it just was easier to attack that way and I guess in theory if the enemy had little cavalry you could really annoy the enemy enough to when you attacked with some type of stronger force in formation they could force the enemy to retreat.

    I am still going to buy the game because I like the uniforms even if they have to be changed to be correct and I know the modders will fix any problems in mods later on. I hope at least some of the boys had shoes I mean a few or like bandages around there feet now that would be cool looking. But then again I love historical accuracy so I would deal with the BAI just marching into battle against me and giving me a few volleys and then bayonet attacking me and having a few cavalry charges back and forth that would make me happy. I just hate how the BAI just would move around and crap if it just stayed still and moved forward in formation it would be nice

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KippyK View Post
    What I want to know, is in my made-up Belgium scenario, how does Belgium actually behave? Do they shadow your armies with their own, and fight on the same battlefields? Do they sit idle in their city and pay you tribute? Do they actively go to war for you?

    I understand if you're not comfortable talking about the BAI, but how about CAI? You mentioned making Sardinia-Piedmont your satellite - do they actively fight for you? If they capture a settlement, who gains control?
    Can't comment on Belgium, as in the preview copy only the Italian campaign is playable.

    Piemonte Sardinia became my vassal after I took Torino (Turin). They were neutral then, but still hostile to me. After that in diplo window I asked them to join my war against whoever I was in war against and they did so. I am not sure but I think this option, to ask factions to join your wars regardless of them being your allies or not, was not possible in ETW (correct me if I am wrong). I had Tuscany join my wars too, but they only wanted me to pay them for the alliance, then broke it after couple turns.

    After joining my war vs Austria they did nothing though. Perhaps I should have given them military access over my lands?? Geez that didn't occur to me until now, gotta try that one of these days

    Venice was in war with Austria and Papal state, but they pretty much all ignored each other, as Venetian armies were crossing the Austrian territory activelly seeking to attack ME, ignoring their other enemy, Austria. I didn't like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cameraman View Post
    Geez that's terrible to hear about siege battles. How could CA seriously look at the game and say siege battles are good? They are a total mess in almost every possible way.
    They are indeed complete mess, but honestly I would be happy with the simple quasi-solution. No forts - no sieges!

    Italian map has only one fort, and no ability to build forts - it's not an ideal solution to the siege problem, but since ETW sieges are true joy-killers for me, removing forts makes the game so much more playable for me.

    I do hope the big 7 year campaign does not have buildable forts as well. (And not too many pre built forts either)
    Last edited by Astaroth; January 25, 2010 at 06:41 AM. Reason: double post merged

  15. #15

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Quote Originally Posted by Samsonov View Post
    They are indeed complete mess, but honestly I would be happy with the simple quasi-solution. No forts - no sieges!
    I'm no expert on the period, but wasn't this one of Nappy's big innovations (or at least one of the ways he disproved the conventional wisdom of the time)? Weren't forts supposed to be where the action was and Nappy just said f- y- and avoided the fortifications altogether? Am I remembering that correctly?

  16. #16
    EmperorBatman999's Avatar I say, what, what?
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    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    So the AI was able to maintain straight lines in battle that returned fire, Samsonov?

  17. #17

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Quote Originally Posted by erasmus777 View Post
    I'm no expert on the period, but wasn't this one of Nappy's big innovations (or at least one of the ways he disproved the conventional wisdom of the time)? Weren't forts supposed to be where the action was and Nappy just said f- y- and avoided the fortifications altogether? Am I remembering that correctly?
    Yes, in fact in Italy he one time sacrificed all but two guns of his artillery and left them behind just to go around a small fort. Luckily the fort capitulated in time and he got his artillery for Morengo, but he thought it was better to keep going with little artillery than get bogged down with all of it. It did, however, make his supply line risky at best and could have bitten him in the ass many times.
    Forget the Cod this man needs a Sturgeon!

  18. #18

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Quote Originally Posted by EmperorBatman999 View Post
    So the AI was able to maintain straight lines in battle that returned fire, Samsonov?
    Ummm, yes, why not? Did I miss something? They had straight lines that returned fire in ETW didn't they?

  19. #19

    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    I think he is on about the melee bug, in the current version of ETW the AI pefers to attack with baynotes even though a shoot out would be much better...

  20. #20
    EmperorBatman999's Avatar I say, what, what?
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    Default Re: My short-ish preview

    Quote Originally Posted by Samsonov View Post
    Ummm, yes, why not? Did I miss something? They had straight lines that returned fire in ETW didn't they?
    Well in ETW they for no reason run right up to your forces in the "melee bug", which caused a melee fest. Did they remain shooting at you or did they "charge" you?

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