Order of Battle Table Screen Captures.

Even though it was fun to create, the YouTube video of the Order of Battle Table / Create Army Module for General Staff doesn’t have high enough resolution tho show the clear, sharp screen images that do it justice. Below are a couple of screen captures from the section of General Staff that allows users to create their own armies. We will next work on the Create Maps Module that allow users to design their own battlefields.

Screen capture from the Create Army Module of General Staff. This shows a section of the Order of Battle Table for the British-Portuguese army at the battle of Albuera (16 May 1811). Click to enlarge.

A screen capture from the Create Army Module. This shows the ease of editing unit information. These are the variables, and unit types, that were selected by over 150 wargamers in our previous survey. Click to enlarge.

Victorian Typography

Last week we ran a quick survey to get your opinion on the legibility of two Victorian typefaces (see here). The clear favorite was the font ‘Monastic’ garnering 73% of the votes. However, we also received numerous personal emails and comments from grognards that were also very fond of the Phectic font. The decision was made to go with Monastic but to use Phectic in a larger point size when appropriate.

Below is a screen shot of how we will be using Phectic:

Screen shot of the Unit Types information display. The ornate Victorian font at the top is Phectic.

Your comments were greatly appreciated (it was especially enjoyable to hear from a letterpress operator who fondly remembered metal type). The interactive Army Design Module is almost completed and we will be posting a video of it shortly.

We Need Your Feedback on the Legibility of These Fonts:

We need your feedback about the typography used for editing units in the Order of Battle (OOB) table. In the first example (below) we would like to ask if the typeface for ‘Edit Commander Data’ and ‘Leadership Value’ is legible for you. This font is called ‘Phectic’.

Screen shot from the General Staff Army Design Module Order of Battle table. Do you think the type for ‘Edit Commander Data’ is legible or not? Click to enlarge.

Below is the alternate typography which is currently being displayed for editing the subordinate commander data. This font is called “Monastic”;

Screen shot from the General Staff Army Design Module Order of Battle table. Do you think the type for ‘Edit Subordinate Commander and ‘Leadership Value’ typeface is more legible than the above display? This font is called ‘Monastic’ Click to enlarge.

Our overarching design goal has been to create a wargame with an ‘authentic Kriegsspiel‘ look. If they had computers in the 19th century what would the design look like? Phectic by the way, is from Walden Font Company’s, “The New Victorian Printshop, Volume One.” Walden has done a fantastic job in finding, scanning and digitizing old typefaces (including a series of the American Civil War that I used on a previous project). A link to their site is here.

Please take a few seconds and answer the survey question below:

Gameplay Surveys 1 & 2 Results.

We just ran two Gameplay Surveys to find out exactly what kind of units and unit structures you wanted to see in General Staff and the results are in. We especially wanted to know, in general terms, if you wanted us to create a classic Kriegsspiel game or a very detailed military simulation like UMS, UMS II and The War College.

Well, here are the results and they’re not what we expected:

48%: I prefer simple unit data; just the unit type and unit strength.

52%: I want to include as much detailed information about a unit as possible.

In other words, about half of you want a simple game and about half want a very detailed game. I must admit, I had to think about this for a while, but I’ve finally come up with a solution. This really isn’t about gameplay, it’s about the information that is stored about each unit and how the information is used for combat resolution. When an army is created using the Army Design Module all the required information will have to be added and stored within the unit data structure. However, when a user selects a scenario to play, the user will be able to decide if they want to play the ‘classic Kriegsspiel‘ or ‘complex simulation’ version.

The half of respondents that want detailed information about units requested the following information be stored for each unit:

Unit Name. For historical or informational purposes such as, “Chasseurs à Cheval Garde” or “Battery B 4th US Artillery.”

Unit Type. Such as, “Heavy Cavalry,” or “Field Artillery.” See below for more survey questions about pre-designed unit types.

Unit Strength. A numeric value of the number of men in the unit. However, in the ‘classic Kriegsspiel‘ version this value would simple be the numbers 1-4 and shown by the number of unit icons displayed (see below):

Screen captures of various unit types and facings in General Staff. Note that unit strength is obvious (1,2,3 or 4). Click to enlarge.

Unit Leadership. A value from 1-10 representing ‘poor’ to ‘superb’ leadership values. This will be displayed as a graph in the game. This value is used in the combat equation and to calculate how fast a unit responds to orders.

Unit Quality. A value from 1-10 representing ‘poor’ to elite’ unit quality values. This will be displayed as a graph in the game. This value is used in the combat equation and to calculate how fast a unit responds to orders.

Unit Morale. A value from 1-10 representing ‘poor’ to ‘elite’ morale. These values will change during the game in response to the results of the unit’s combat. This value will be displayed as a graph in the game and is used in the combat equation.

Ammunition Level. A value indicating the number of volleys remaining for the unit. In the ‘classic Kriegsspiel‘ version of General Staff units have unlimited ammunition.

Our next series of survey questions asked what unit types would you like to see. The following unit types will be available in General Staff:

Infantry (line infantry), Light Infantry (including skirmishers), Cavalry, Light Cavalry (including lancers), Field Artillery, Horse Artillery, Headquarters (see below) and Supply Trains.

We next asked if users wanted a ‘flat’ or ‘hierarchical’ army structure. The hierarchical army structure allows for a Corps → Division → Brigade type structure. Headquarters units will be included and orders will be transmitted via couriers. Users overwhelmingly wanted a hierarchical structure:

88% of users want a hierarchical army structure.

Lastly, we asked you about screen resolution.

75% of users were happy with 1440 x 900 screen resolution.

We understand that 25% of users want a higher resolutions and we’ll do our best to accommodate them.

Feedback from users is very important to us. We want to create the wargame system that you want to buy. If you have other questions or comments please don’t hesitate to contact us here.