I’ve put together a py2exe-packaged version of Armoured Commander II for players to try out. It is very much a work in progress, is missing a ton of important features (one example: enemy units have no movement AI at all, but they will shoot at you as best they can) but it will give interested players an idea of where the game is going.
I know there’s a handful of bugs in the game (eg. objective hex highlights disappear during attack animations) but one can play through an entire scenario. No sounds or music yet.
New version available: see post of 25th March
A couple of bugs have been shaken out since 1.04, so we’ve fixed them and uploaded a hot fix. Just re-download 1.04 from the downloads page and overwrite your copy of the game. Saved campaigns should have no trouble being continued in the hotfixed version.
Version 1.04 of Armoured Commander, which brings a slew of bugfixes and interface improvements, is now available to download. Many thanks to Eric Normandeau who has worked on this update for some time. (Version 1.03 was skipped as it was an internal build and only had minor changes)
Changes in 1.04:
- Feature: Automatically end RoF on Critical Hits
- Feature: Infantry and MG squads easier to pin with MG fire
- BugFix: Change ‘Armoured Carrier’ to ‘Armoured Car’
- Feature: Add sound toggle option during play
- Feature: Use ESC to exit tactical map unit detail screens
- Interface: Added symbol legend to tactical map
- Interface: Minor tweak to command highlight color
- Interface: Made use of ENTER and SPACE more consistent
- Feature: Add pop up “Screenshot saved as: …” for screenshots
- Feature: Menu items (help…) are now accessible through F keys AND number keys
- Feature: Add “On the way!” as possible gunner call upon firing
- Feature: Add more crew talk diversity and increased odds for artillery
- Feature: If 10 rounds cannot be added to tank, add maximum possible
- BugFix: Also fixed a crash when trying to display a Distinguished Service Order
I know I’m getting close to finishing a version when my bug list gets longer than my to-do list. There’s only a couple major things I need to finish before Alpha 1 is playable:
- a proper spawn function for units that place them intelligently into the map
- force selection tables for enemy units that will generate a random but reasonable opponent
- AI movement action: selecting a good location on the map and moving toward there
Some things that are important but non-essential, such as animations for attacks and sound effects, will need to wait for a future version. I’ve learned that it’s better to put everything together and give players a chance to try it out, even if the interface and features are bare-bones.
We are nearly ready to release version 1.04 of the original Armoured Commander game. We just need to do some internal testing then I can package up the new binary and data files for download.
I’ve added a new work-in-progress version to the GitHub repo that includes assaults and close combats. Surprisingly they work pretty much as intended, although they are probably not balanced at all right now! Infantry have the ability to do an anti-tank attack in close combat, representing the use of grenades and molotovs at close range, but it’s not very effective and can result in the loss of an attacker step. In the future, certain units will have much better close combat anti-armour attacks, such as pioneers and units armed with panzerfausts and similar weapons.
I’m working on adding assaults and close combat to the game right now, which requires the addition of a new turn phase. As it happens, however, this is one of the those game mechanics that relies on another that’s not yet implemented (having the AI automatically select the best attack possible for defensive fire) which in turns relies on another (having friendly units inherit an AI instance as well, which would benefit from having a better unit spawn function) and which would greatly benefit from yet another (infantry anti-tank attacks). So it’s a bit of a jumble at the moment, but after I create all of these and get them to work well together, that’s another big chunk of the core game system finished.
Close combat will use the same basic attack as Shooting, but there will be different modifiers (eg. infantry will fare much better in dense terrain than tanks) and it has the potential to be very damaging to both the defender and the attacker. Note: normally in wargames, vehicles can’t engage in close combat with each other (are they ramming each other?) but since the scale width of each hex is about 160 meters it represents two tank platoons squaring off against each other at point blank range.
As part of my work toward Alpha 1 I’ve returned to the terrain generation function and am trying to improve it. So far I have redone the procedures for generating hills, forests, and villages, as shown in the animation. Showing the step-by-step parts of terrain generation is a debug feature and won’t be in the final game.
I’ll have to write a lengthy post about this some day, but for now I’ll just write that I figured out how to handle a tricky problem with calculating lines of sight along hexspines. The current Field of View function takes about 14 ms. to run on my machine raycasting from four observers.
I’ve also recently replaced the core combat engine in the game, from one that was still based on Advanced Squad Leader to one more closely resembling the Tactical Combat System, albeit with several changes, including the use of 2D6 rather than D66. The new system works better for the larger units and scale of ArmCom2, and has the added benefit of combining the attack and armour rolls into one single roll. It still has a lot of flexibility, and I’ve only added the most basic modifiers (range, armour, movement status, terrain) for now.