Posts by Joe B

    BTW, here's another bug: disappearing AI artillery. On two occasions now, I've been facing an AI-controlled stack of enemy units which included an artillery unit, and had to leave attacking it overnight, and when I've come back the next day, the arty unit has just disappeared into thin air. On both occasions, the arty unit had nowhere to go as it was the last province of that country and was surrounded by my provinces.

    It is possible of course that the arty units didn't just disappear, but tried to melee attack my units and got killed, but arty should not be melee attacking so that would be a bug regardless.

    Wait - it's back. It must be some sort of bug that sometimes it doesn't appear, because it definitely wasn't there yesterday or the day before, but was there earlier. In fact, when I went to look at it a couple of days ago, it briefly appeared but then disappeared right before my eyes, so I think that's pretty good evidence it's a bug.

    Update: it's disappeared again, now "top offers" is only showing food again, so yeah, it's got to be a bug.

    Actually, I'm not sure you can buy manpower in IO. There was definitely an option there to buy it the other day, but then yesterday I looked again and the manpower option was there again briefly but then it disappeared and hasn't come back - or at least, if it is there, I can't find it.

    With regard to S1914, I haven't played it for some months but last time I played units were as plentiful there as always as provinces spawn infantry automatically. Did they change that? Because if so, that would be a major change to a game that's been their big winner for many years and game companies don't usually do that sort of thing.

    Well here's a major negative - you can buy manpower in this game. As I recall, you couldn't buy manpower in either Tesla Wars or CoW, which put a brake on cash gamers. But in this game you can buy as many combat units as you can afford, which obviously puts players with limited means at a potentially big disadvantage.

    When I think about, the scarcity of resources in both CoW and IO is probably there to tempt users into spending $$$ to buy more, since it doesn't make any sense purely in game terms.

    I don't know - Tesla Wars had the same issue, I complained about it and the guy who responded said he would pass it on to the devs, but then shortly after they shut TW down. But if they deliberately don't give a morale boost anymore, they need to update the wording to remove the statement about a morale boost, because it's confusing.

    Perhaps it's because I had a good start and am winning the round, but I'm kind of enjoying this game ATM. Once I got over the disappointment of finding that it's nothing like Tesla Wars, I'm finding that I like some of the features, like the auto-upgrades, and the game looks - at this early stage at least - to be quite well balanced. I would still love to see Tesla Wars reconstituted with a better province morale system, as that game had a much more sophisticated bunch of algorithms for resolving combat than other Bytro games, which I thought worked very well, and the auto-retreat mechanic was clever and added to the sense of authenticity as well as the challenge. It does seem as though Bytro threw the baby out with the bathwater with that game. Iron Order has gone back to the simplistic combat system of CoW, but it at least has the virtue of predictability, which is something.

    IO is basically a streamlined version of CoW but with its own flavour, the unit balance looks quite good and I can't see any reason why it wouldn't be as successful. It is odd though, that Bytro are presenting it via the Tesla Wars/S1 links instead of as the entirely new game it is. This doesn't seem to me to be a very good marketing strategy given the unpopularity of Tesla Wars, I guess time will tell whether or not this was a good move on Bytro's part.

    Okay, here are a couple of positives. Firstly, infrastructure is relatively cheap - unlike other Bytro games, where higher levels of infra cost a lot more, there is only a modest increase in cost in this game for each higher level. Also, you get good value for some infra - for example, there are only 2 levels of railroads, but each gives a speed increase of 100%.

    Terrain effects are also simplified - I'm not sure whether this is a good or bad thing, but it does make calculations a bit easier.

    Add: Units upgrade automatically for no cost when the upgrade is researched. I actually enjoyed manually upgrading my units in Call of War, but given the resource limits in this game, auto-upgrading for no cost is clearly a plus.

    One additional thing I'm not keen on with this new game though: combat rounds are back to an hour. I got used to half-hour rounds in CoW and Tesla Wars so I'm not terribly happy with this change.

    Okay, started my first game, and my first comment is that I cannot BELIEVE how scarce resources are in this game. It's like a spartan version of Call of War. I can see that once I have built half a dozen units from starting reserves, I will be barely able to build TWO basic units per day because of manpower limitations alone, but other resources are scarcely more abundant.

    Additionally, I was able to research only FOUR unit types before I ran out of rare materials - and for one of those I had to spend most of my money to buy rares on the market - one of my research slots is now lying idle and it's only day 1! In spite of the fact that I already conquered an enemy capital with rare materials, I have barely enough to conduct 1 new research per day.

    I thought Call of War didn't have enough resources, but this game makes it look generous by comparison. This is pretty disappointing as Tesla Wars had much more abundant resources and I was expecting much the same for this one.

    Oh, another disappointing feature of this new game - scout mech (the equivalent of scout cars in other Bytro games) can't take provinces. So kiss goodbye the tactic of speeding up conquests by sending scout units to take undefended or poorly defended provinces - one of my favourite tactics, and one of the few things one could do to speed up conquest a bit and get an advantage over other players. You also can't use the tactic of getting scout units into the enemy rear and messing up their communications by temporarily taking their provinces and breaking stuff in their cities. (Update: it turns out NO mech can take provinces - or to put it more plainly, the only units that can take provinces are from the infantry branch. So a humble militia unit can take a province but your monster mech unit can't. That's just silly).

    In sum, first impressions of this game are not promising from my POV, but I haven't played long enough to come to a definitive judgement yet. But I will say that I thought Tesla Wars was a potentially great game with lots of great ideas, that was seriously flawed by an unworkable province morale system - had they fixed that, I still think the game could have been a big hit with gamers. I was hoping that Iron Order would keep all the good aspects of Tesla Wars while removing the bad, but it looks like they've gone very much in a different direction with this game, and I'm disappointed about that. I don't want to play an even more spartan version of Call of War with a different skin. But still. I'm reserving judgement until I've had some more experience with this one, because after all I'm still only in day 1 of my first game.

    I like most aspects of the game, and enjoyed several games on the 19-player map, but when I moved to the next larger map, I found the morale regime so severe that it became a total bore to play, because instead of actually playing a wargame I found myself just having to manage province morale most of the time.

    I ended up having to adopt really silly, gamey solutions, like attacking a country and then immediately relinquishing most of its provinces once I had conquered it in order to avoid the almost impossible-to-avoid downward spiral caused by multiple low morale provinces adjacent to one another dragging each other down. Later, I just attacked high VP provinces, ie capitals, and tried to ignore the rest of the country.

    It was a horrible schemozzle and in the end the three leading players including myself all agreed to form a coalition just so we could leave the game with a win, because we were ALL sick of struggling with province morale.

    I told myself I would go back one more time on the second largest map to try and do everything right from the outset to see if one could avoid the downward morale spiral that way, but just haven't been able to bring myself to try again yet. But given that I'm a veteran of Bytro games and it's difficult and offputting even for me, one wonders how Bytro imagines this degree of difficulty is going to be accepted by noobs.

    Good grief I don't believe this - morale has dropped again -for the second day in a row .The provinces I conquered two days ago, that I have dutifully kept fully garrisoned, have now dropped to a mere 5% morale! And now I am going to have to increase the garrisons just to stop them rebelling! On top of that, the province morale arrows are still red, meaning that morale is set to get worse yet again tomorrow.

    How does anybody even manage to play the game or conduct any conquest at all with such draconian morale conditions? This is probably the last game of S1 on a large map I will bother with.

    Well heck, that's a huge disincentive to keep playing - especially when you no longer get a morale boost from taking capitals (it says you do in the in-game manual, but you don't).

    They really need to do a major rethink of the way war affects morale, because it's never made much sense, even in S1914, and now you are telling me it's even worse in S1.

    I would really like an explanation for this, as there is no point in playing if your province morale is just going to plummet for no apparent reason.

    I thought maybe it was spies (still haven't figured out what use these units are) but it's only day 2 and you can't build spies until day 4.

    The first 3 games of S1 I have played were all on the 19-player map, and at the end of every day, morale in newly conquered provinces went up, as it always has in games of both S1914 and S1 in my experience when you have a big enough garrison to prevent uprisings.

    But for the first time, I am playing on the 30-player map, and to my astonishment, on the new day all the morale in my newly conquered provinces has plummeted - to between 8% and 11% - so that instead of being able to reduce the size of my garrisons, I can't do so, in fact I am now having to increase some of them because their garrisons are no longer strong enough to prevent uprisings. Also, even in the provinces where I have made improvements, morale has either barely budged - from 50% to only 51%, for example, in a province where I built a vehicle factory - or has also decreased, from 50% to 49% in a province where I built a barracks.

    Now if I had some clue as to why morale has plummeted across the board, I might be able to do something about it, but since there's no hint in the province morale tooltip, I have no idea what is causing it.

    It might also be easier to stomach a harsh morale regime like this if you actually got a boost of morale the way you used to for conquering capitals - but this appears to no longer be a game feature, at least not in any of the games I have played, and not in this one either as I already conquered one capital and got no morale boost. But regardless, it's ruined my strategy, and I am now thinking of quitting the game because if your morale is just going to plummet turn after turn for no apparent reason, there is no hope of getting anywhere.