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Author Topic: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)  (Read 2867 times)

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Online Asid

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Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« on: May 01, 2017, 05:52:28 PM »




Grand Tactician is a strategy game series about 17-19th century line warfare, with focus on the operational art of war, or “Grand Tactics”, as described by Jomini. Prepare your nation for war, plan cunning maneuvers, defeat your enemies in the field of battle, and become one of the greatest Grand Tacticians in history!

This is from the folks behind "The Seven Years War".

A new custom built engine will be used


Website: HERE
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 05:05:21 PM by Asid »

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Online Asid

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2017, 06:35:29 PM »
This is the first place to release the news  :thumbsup

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Offline Raied

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2017, 06:44:52 PM »
Thanks Asid, will definitely keep an eye on this.

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 03:33:46 PM »
Grand Tactician News
Here's the latest news about The Seven Years War successor, Grand Tactician. We'll keep TSYW players informed this way until Grand Tactician has its own forums! Feel free to comment and have conversation about the successor here.

June 6th 2017:
Oliver, in latest developer's blog entry, talks about the change in engines, from Blitz3D in TSYW to Unity. This will allow better stability and visual quality, as well as DX11 and 12 support, with proper support as the engine is also developed. Also check out the first screenshots, and make a quick comparison with TSYW...
http://www.grandtactician.com/blog2.htm

July 1st 2017:
Introducing Peter Lebek, Grand Tactician team artist. He is working hard to create the visual look for the user interface. Check out the latest developer's blog at:
http://www.grandtactician.com/blog3.htm

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Online Asid

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 01:53:00 AM »
First Grand Tactician features revealed
1 OCTOBER   - ZIPULI



Work on the Successor to The Seven Years War (1756-1763), Grand Tactician, has progressed far enough to let us start revealing some of the features the game will offer. We have been focusing on the battle layer for now, improving on the design of The Seven Years War's battles in many ways.

Although all these features are universal for 17th - 19th century battle simulation, we are also getting closer to revealing the historical setting of the first title. Grand Tactician will feature, among other things:

- hundreds of units per battle, forming up armies of historical size and composition
- possibility for duration of multiple days per battle
- pre-battle deployment phase as well as redeploying and resupplying after each day, according to dynamically calculated deployment zones
- seasons and dynamic weather that can now change even during a battle
- reinforcements and supplies that move in to the battle via entry points, that can be captured
- battlefield engineering: not only barricades, but also buildable trenches, abattis, pontoon bridges...
- buildings that can be captured to provide cover to your infantry, but also destroyed
- automatic cover placement system for units: units will find and use available cover like walls, fences, creeks, road banks, etc. as well as hilltops


A pontoon bridge built by engineers


The buildings can be occupied, but also destroyed


Units automatically recognize and use cover, like the fence here

Also with the change in game engines, we are able to create better visual look for the new game when compared to The Seven Years War (as can be seen in the above pre-alpha screenshots), along with better stability and compatibility.

More information and features can be found at Grand Tactician homepage, at the developer's blog we have been updating on a monthly basis:
http://www.grandtactician.com/devblog.htm

Follow Grand Tactician on Facebook or Twitter:
https://www.facebook.com/GrandTactician/
https://twitter.com/Grand_Tactician

Sincerely,

Oliver Keppelmüller and Ilja Varha
Grand Tactician -team


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Online Asid

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 08:51:23 PM »
Developer’s blog
”Why Are They Not Moving?” 15th October 2017 by Ilja Varha



Image: A French Chasseur playing bugle, late 19th century.

Getting an army of tens of thousands of men moving was not a small feat, but to coordinate the movement in battle was even harder. When artillery fire booms and lines of troops unload their muskets in massed volleys, shouts of the commanders disappear in the noise. Distance also created a problem, as large armies deployed to battle, not all troops could be observed by the commander.

Back then, the most important communication systems were musical instruments and couriers, riding in the midst of the battle, delivering messages. Getting the troops moving could involve very long delays, from the commander giving the order, to the troops to start marching. And when they do move out, situation could have changed already! In Grand Tactician, the player will need to consider these problems, as he commands his troops in the field of battle



Read on

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Online Asid

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 04:55:58 PM »
First Annual Report 25th November 2017 by Oliver Keppelmüller

A year has passed since this project went from an idea to reality. Reading a bookshelf of historical data and research on the subject has been transformed, so far, into roughly 20,000 lines of code, and into game play features and development tools. While our core team of three is working on the main game play topics, a group of talented artists and history enthusiasts are helping us bring the era to life.



FIRST YEAR OF THE CAMPAIGN

A year has passed since we took the first steps in our new project, "Grand Tactician". During many sleepless nights and days, where the left hand was babysitting while the right one was coding, we managed to finish approximately 2/3rds of the battle engine, including some of most time consuming topics of the game, such as: Terrain generation, formations, moving functions with pathfinding, the sound engine and first unit animations. Not forgetting historical research that goes with all of this. Also a few really nice "additional features" have been added, with some more are on the to-do -list. But more on that later!

Currently we are very busy creating the UI for battles before moving on to the last battle topics: unit interactions, fog of war, AI and statistics. And in the background, we are also creating the battlefields to fight on. So far our aim has been a very high level of historical accuracy and behavior, while also taking care that the game play will not be boring - as can easily happen with a deep, complex strategy title. Speaking of historical accuracy, have you ever seen the weight of powder charge play an actual role in a strategy game?

We plan to finish the battle part no later than Q3 2018, after which we are already keen on implementing the first campaign related concepts. So while battle related functions and topics have been discussed in these developer’s blogs, the campaign layer will be the main focus in our game, and that’s where we think we will make the game shine.

In addition to the core team of three working on the game play and functions, with Peter now officially part of the main line, we are happy to be working together with a talented lineup of artists and history enthusiasts. Their work includes historically researched art all the way from fonts to fifes and map graphics to battlefield signals, not forgetting 3D models or historically inspired soundtrack - recorded live!

So the project is advancing nicely, and if all goes well, we will be able to introduce the historical era of the first game of our series during Q1-2 next year.

The Grand Tactician team wants to thank you for your support so far and wishes you pleasant holidays! We will keep on working through December, and will return with more news from the front in January 2018. Stay tuned!

Oliver



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Online Asid

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 05:01:46 PM »
A Battlefield is Born 27th January 2018 by Ilja Varha

In Grand Tactician, you will be fighting your enemy in large, historical battlefields, up to some 13 x 13 kilometers in size. The battles can rage for multiple days, with fortunes changing as objectives are taken or lost and reinforcements rushed in. Same historical battle maps will also be used in the campaign game. Here’s a quick story of how the battlefields are created, and what features they will have.


ROAD TO A BATTLEFIELD

With the game’s battlefield features finalized, and editor tools ready, work on the battlefield maps has begun. While Oliver is busy finalizing the battle UI and coding core battle elements like morale-system, and Peter giving the final touches to unit sprites, I am producing the battlefields. The work begins with research. Sounds easy enough, but can be challenging.

First of all, there are the historical maps used by the commanding generals or drawn right after the battle. These usually highlight the important features of the battlefield, but are not very accurate. The scale varies, and there is no measured topography to speak of. And sometimes they are missing features the drawers did not know about at the time.

 

Maps portray important information for the commander. While the left map could be sufficient for ordering large bodies of troops (or not), its topography and scale are rarely even satisfactory. The right map could be more accurate, but spans less than 50% of the battlefield in question.

Modern day maps are openly available online, but most of the historical battle locations have changed dramatically over time: forests have been cut, cities expand, rivers are diverted, terraforming in general. And many old roads, used by the troops in the battle, have ceased to exist long ago. So the battlefields have changed. Some battlefields have been thoroughly researched, some not so. Though there are some gold mines like maps from early 20th century, where topographic measurement was already quite accurate, and countryside had not yet changed dramatically.

From all these sources I create a reference map, draw a height map, and then so called alpha map, that I use for drawing the terrain itself on the 3D terrain.

 

Drawing the contours to produce a heightmap, from which the battlefield’s 3D terrain is created from. After importing, it will be further refined by hand where needed.   

When the detailed alpha map is laid on the 3D terrain, the terrain types can be painted over it. Terrain types contain values like slowing down troop movement or cover provided. The terrain is then populated with trees, brush, bushes… These will change appearance according to season. Water is added, and by default cannot be crossed. For this purpose bridges and fords are added, and in-game also pontoon bridges can be built on suitable locations.

After the terrain is painted, roads, smaller streams, fences, are added. These elements contain information like cover values, and navigation costs for pathfinding, and most of them can be used for automatic placement of troops during game. Troops will follow roads in march columns for best speed and for example stone walls provide obstacle for artillery.

 

Painting the terrain types in 3D editor, using an alpha map (left), and then drawing the active battlefield elements, like the small stream here. The stream will slow troops down, but will also provide some natural cover if defensive line is placed there.

When the elements are placed, the map will start to look like a web - or a maze which will provide realistic challenges and opportunities for the opposing armies. Taking advantage of the terrain can provide crucial, as for example sunken roads are like natural trenches for a defender to anchor his line in, and narrow terrain will channel movement of even a numerically superior force.

Last thing is to add entry points and objectives on the map. Entry points allow reinforcements joining the battlefield according to maneuvres on campaign layer of the game, but can also be blocked by opposing troops. Objectives are placed on commanding features of the map, and these will be fought over by the opposing armies in order to control the field. In historical battles, the maps will also feature fixed entrenchments. But in campaign game these need to be planned and built by the armies.



And after that, the map is ready to be added in the game! Some balancing needs to be made later on, especially in the amount of trees and undergrowth, so the battlefield will not be a memory hoarder.

…but now back to drawing, as there’s a bunch of maps that need to be done!

Ilja

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 02:51:33 PM »
Getting Organized 13th February 2018 by Ilja Varha

Military organization structure and hierarchy play as big a role in Grand Tactician as it does in real battles. We are building the user interface and available orders so, that the player can utilize some of the same tools that were available for historical grand tacticians.


THERE MUST BE ORDER

Maneuvering huge armies in the battlefield in an orderly fashion requires military organization and hierarchy. Grand Tactician armies are not just a collection of units, but they are built into organization structure, forming an order of battle. If you are familiar with Oliver’s previous game The Seven Years War (1756-1763), you know the drill, but there are a number of improvements.

The order of battle is built so, that it can be used in any conflict of the period, covering command levels from company/battery up to an army. These levels can then be utilized as needed, or later locked from use or added to be opened via a technology in the campaign layer. Unlike in 7YW, the organization is not set in stone and number of units in each command level is not restricted.

In the GUI we’ve been working on, we’ve added tools to visualize, browse and quickly navigate the order of battle.

NOTE: all images in this blog are pre-alpha containing placeholder art, and as such are subject to change

Image:
In the bottom orders panel you can open the order of battle (OOB) window, and here you see the whole organization available for the battle. The units and command levels are shown using NATO symbols.

For this blog, I mustered a tiny French (why French? No reason…) army for myself, consisting of 2 divisions with their own units, and one artillery battalion directly under my command.

In game, if I want to order the artillery battalion, the orders come from the army HQ. The artillery battery on the other hand gets its orders from the commander of 2nd division.



This hierarchy is used when giving orders. So if a player selects the army commander, the order given applies to all (attached) units under him. The order must first flow through the command structure, from commander to commander, with the appropriate order delay. For quicker movement, player can use historical formations where each unit has its pre-defined position, so amount of needed orders remains minimal.



Image: Here my tiny French army is selected. With command/control -information shown, you can see the HQs with NATO symbols, and the blue lines connecting my HQ to the 2 division HQs and the artillery battalion on the left. Here I am about to order the army, currently in single line formation, to refuse a flank. This will automatically curve the flank to prevent it from being easily turned.

NOTE: all images in this blog are pre-alpha containing placeholder art, such as the sprites. Peter is soon ready with the proper ones.

During a battle player can manipulate the order of battle by detaching, attaching and coordinating. Detached units work independently from their parent organization. So a detached brigade will not move, when the parent division is ordered forward. Detaching can be useful at times, but the organizations function better when held together, thanks to morale system and order delays. For example if a commander orders division of 5 brigades forward, the order will be followed faster, than if the division commander gives 5 separate orders to each brigade to move out: it takes time to write the orders, or play the signals. If a unit is outside the commander’s reach (command radius), it is automatically considered detached - and in this case couriers will need some time to find the unit to deliver messages, meaning yet more delay.

Attaching orders a unit or a command level to be put under command of different officer than organically. This flexibility comes with a price, as the commanders in question will not be completely familiar with each other. The attached unit will receive its orders from the new commander.

Unlike attaching, coordination does not change the command structure. Coordination can be used to tell commanders to place their command according to position of another unit. For example player can order a division to follow another division, or move on its right - after that the commander in question will move accordingly without extra orders. Coordinating big units is challenging though, and can end up in loss of cohesion, like was the case many times in reality.





Image: an example of coordination. I order 1st Brigade to detach skirmishers. By default, the skirmish line will coordinate with the parent brigade, shown with the “link” line. If the brigade moves, the skirmishers will maintain their position in front without any commands from the player. With the skirmishers selected, moving cursor over 1st Brigade gives option to break this “link” quickly by right-click.

NOTE: all images in this blog are pre-alpha containing placeholder art, and as such are subject to change.

The organization system we have implemented is aimed to make things realistic, in combination with the order delays. Larger the unit, the longer it takes for orders to travel to all units within. Smaller organizations are more dynamic, but of course lack the punch of larger ones. And then the player will face the problem with commanders: maybe there are not enough experienced commanders available, who could run these organizations effectively? We will discuss commanders in more detail in a future devblog!

Ilja

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Offline Zipuli

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2018, 03:37:12 PM »
Hi Dogs of War!

Thank you for sharing information about our game project, Grand Tactician. This time I beat Asid in speed 😉

We are happy to announce that the first Grand Tactician -title will be called The Civil War (1861-1865)! We got a small announcement trailer up at youtube: ...and also reworked our website at: www.grandtactician.com

With the announcement also a new devblog platform was opened, along with a new blog about commanders: http://www.grandtactician.com/thecivilwar/blog/articles/the-grand-tacticians

Hope you like it!

Cheers,
Zip

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2018, 04:00:14 PM »


This time I beat Asid in speed 😉

 :sifone

This is great news and I look forward to the project release.

Thanks for posting Zipuli  :thumbsup

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Offline Rinix

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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2018, 04:35:55 PM »
It looks interesting, thanks for posting. :)
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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2018, 10:06:32 PM »









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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2018, 03:13:59 PM »







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Re: Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2018, 12:29:53 PM »
Pre-Alpha Game Play: Bull Run





Published on Jul 21, 2018

The 1st game play video of Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865), showing the battle interface and how to command troops in the game's battle fields. Playing the (1st) Battle of Bull Run as the Union.

A pre-alpha development build is used, and everything shown in the video is subject to changes and improvements.

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