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My first impressions


John DiFool the 2nd
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Got back from my vacation, noticed the demo was released, decided to give it a go.

1. Trying to load troops onto transports is a pain in the butt. Often I'll have a transport less than a day's sail from a ground unit on the coast. I'll keep trying to load the bugger onto the transport, but it will continue to insist that the unit has "no orders." Many times it will take 2-3 attempts before the ground unit finally grasps that there is a transport nearby that I want it to get on. If they are in a city it is a little easier, but for some reason it will only let the transport provisionally load just one unit as it moves towards the city-others will continue to flash no orders until the transport finally arrives and picks up the first unit.

Thankfully I've grasped how to offload them-the transport apparently needs to be less than a day's movement from the landing spot. Click on the landing spot and the ground pounders will unload with no fuss.

2. Likewise upgrading units is often puzzling-sometimes it will appear that a unit is in a city, but the interface will refuse to upgrade it-in actuality the unit is typically just _outside_ the city, but it is hard to tell at a glance if it is or not.

3. We need more unit orders. Later in the game you can have dozens of units waiting around for orders, which can really bog things down. I tried the "repeat last order" button to automate the patrol paths of planes, but the next turn there they were in the no orders queue again. At a minimum we need:

A. Patrol from point A to point B (to point C), deviating from the path if necessary to attack designated unit types. As such for planes you probably want to put in some reserve fuel for manuevering purposes.

B. Wait. Disappear from the move queue until next turn, when the transport will be able to pick you up. Often I'll forget about a fortified unit in a city that I wanted to move.

C. Guard-sit in this location until the designated type of enemy unit approaches, then sortie out and do battle.

D. Build paths-in Empire Deluxe this allowed you to build say a plane and designate a path that all aircraft from that city would take to get to the front.

4. I'm not sure how repairing units works exactly or how long it takes-perhaps I missed that in the manual. One hit point per 3 turns?

5. Ground units (read: infantry) should all have more than 1 hit point. In my first game I revisited an old Empire "feature" from long ago when 4 infantry units died in succession trying to take my 2nd city. Suffice it to say I restarted that game.

It's a fun effort, but there needs to be more orders to better automate things, and enough "realism" that quirks of the random number gods don't detract from the experience too much.

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Most of what you're complaining about is based on your lack of experience with the game. Or insufficient effort in learning it.

Loading/unloading is painfully easy.

1. You send your transport near a shore. You have to right-click near the coastline so a yellow circle appears.

2. Select your infantry or whatever and right-click that yellow circle.

3. Select your transport and CTRL+rightclick wherever you want it to go later.

The transport will go to the pickup point, wait for the units, load them and then go about its further orders.

Then you can unload the units in the same manner. Rightclick the transport near a shore to create a drop point. Select the onboard infantry unit and rightclick that point to tell them to unload there. Then you can CTRL+rightclick anywhere on the target island and the infantry will unload and go as you want them.

I suggest you do the tutorial again and read the Manual that's included with the game.

As for:

A - you can set patrols with "Repeat Orders" button and a correct Field order. Read the Manual. *

B - yeah, this would be good.

C - Either as I said above or use Sentry button. Read the Manual.

D - rally point; agreed.

* Repeat orders seem to be a bit bugged now though, wait for it to be sorted out.

Other than that, play some more. Once you've grasped the basics, elaborate on more complex ideas.

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Most of what you're complaining about is based on your lack of experience with the game. Or insufficient effort in learning it.

Loading/unloading is painfully easy.

1. You send your transport near a shore. You have to right-click near the coastline so a yellow circle appears.

2. Select your infantry or whatever and right-click that yellow circle.

3. Select your transport and CTRL+rightclick wherever you want it to go later.

The transport will go to the pickup point, wait for the units, load them and then go about its further orders.

Hey, I did say that I've only been playing it for a day or so, right? No reason for the arrogant tone. Yes, as the interface is very much point-and-click, and as such is ostensibly WYSIWYG, I just found it annoying that past actions-in this case clicking on the ground unit and then clicking on the transport-which usually worked just fine don't always consistently work that way. But you mentioned another method which I'll now try, which also has the advantage of not wasting the transport's valuable time waiting around for a unit to stop picking its nose and finally get onboard. I would prefer that those little circles be bigger tho.

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Jdif

I am afraid that despite many beginners finding the transports clunky N3rull is convinced we are all at fault and not that it is actually a little clunky design*. I do like that you can see you have a transport coming to pick them up but would prefer to allocate soldiers to is rather than a single unit. Also that this single unit if waiting over a turn can be upgraded in port rather than having to be taken off load orders to do so then re-set the load order.

*I can do an unload order and place the grab targets order before landing but to say I have confidence in the unload system would be stretching the point.

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I have been having problems getting infantry to load onto transports from land and, sometimes, onto land from transports. I know about moving the transport to the dot and am usually successful but this system doesn't seem to be working very well and imo needs to be made easier and more intuitive.

I think one thing that could be changed is the ability to have infantry and armor able to attack cities directly from the transport. Having them go on land first and then attacking seems clunky.

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Ok, maybe it is not dead obvious how to use tansports, but I somehow managed to understand it in a single day.

I thought others could as well.

Anyway, I believe that the power of this system overwhelms how unintuitive it is. You can, after all, order one infantry unit on a transport to capture 5 islands in a row! Provided you revealed them first, obviously.

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I have been having problems getting infantry to load onto transports from land and, sometimes, onto land from transports. I know about moving the transport to the dot and am usually successful but this system doesn't seem to be working very well and imo needs to be made easier and more intuitive.

I think one thing that could be changed is the ability to have infantry and armor able to attack cities directly from the transport. Having them go on land first and then attacking seems clunky.

I'll take a look at it.

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Units and groups are very picky about orders. To unload/load a unit from a group the group has to be disbanded or the unit exited from the group first.

Frustratingly transports that appear to be in aport are not always in and will not accept loads untill they have been given new orders to enter the port.

Also transport on the way to, and with orders to pick up units from a port appear in the list of units in the port if that port is checked. This is confusing when many units are in play. Ideally both the transport and its targeted pick ups should in some way be highlighted (Greyed out?)

Slightly off topic: When groups attack without being given a disembark commmand do they get disadvantaged? When groups attack are there any advantages/disadvantahes to mixing units, say tanks and infantry? or infantry and arty? Is the arty sucked in and looses its stand off status? When several groups attack one target in the same turn are they considered independant or do they get some sort of bonus?

It would also be nice to have some command to be able to click on a unit and have all units of a similar kind be highlighted on the map.

Also this game is far to addictive - I am seriously considering laying off until the full game comes out.

David

Chaos breeds new ideas whereas as Order simply perpetuates old ones.

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It would be nice, then, for the transport to land and the infantry to disembark in the same turn. Not a big deal though.

Easy? Select transport with a unit, r-click right next to the city (so that the magic yellow circle appears), select infantry/whatever that's on board, r-click the circle and CTRL+rclick the city. Transport lands, units immdiately get out and capture the city.

If that's what you wanted.

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