Archive for July, 2008

Tip of the Spear Release

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Yes, it’s out! After a hectic week I managed to get it into fighting trim…thanks to all the players who took the beta out for a spin and sent me save games to stamp out the vermin. Well, coffee break is over so back on my head! I’m also grinding out some progress on Solium Infernum. I’ll post an update on what’s going on in Hell a bit later.

Tip of the Spear

Tip of the Spear Update Beta 4

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

I think the kinks are pretty wrung out. I had a player send in a game that did have a bug that I introduced into #3 while trying to fix an issue with the way the AI’s choose which cards to upgrade so I’m going to take a little more time and review the last round of changes. Version 4 is now up of the beta and if you have the interest in checking it out please let me know if you come across anything. The save games that I have received from players so far have been few but very, very helpful….especially with bugs that trigger only under very rare or odd combinations of actions or events.

There has also been some good discussion about the AT Cards and their usefulness on the forum. I’m going to keep them the way they are for the time being. I’ve been tempted to bump up the Toughness a bit to +3 HP but my gut feeling is that it would be a bit much especially with the power that Triage can give an army. I also think the Resistance bonus you get for toughness shouldn’t be underestimated when you face opponents with weapons like neurotoxins.

My design goal was to give players a chance to buff up their infantry marginally (the intent is not to make them able to reach high end armor or mecha status) while at the same time offer some tough and interesting choices. The low end AT Cards are designed for quick but simple play especially in the early game but they can also have their uses for things like recce cards that are eligible. As you go up the table in Action Point cost I wanted to offer some specialization options to give players some flexibility to counter specific enemies or just have some fun.

Personally, I’ve been surprised how much the new rules can change certain situations. Especially noticeable is the encounter with the Cult of the Rapture. It was already a bit of a challenge but now it is more so with the Cultists counting as infantry backing up the “Armored” gun turrets.

So, more testing and hopefully a full release in the next couple of days is the status. July 18 evening could still work. ๐Ÿ™‚

You can grab a zip of the beta update here (4.81 Mbyte)

Tip of the Spear Update Beta 3

Friday, July 11th, 2008

OK. Thanks to everybody who tried out the beta of the update. It had lot more bugs in it than I had thought. Some were really nice boneheaded ones on my part. Others were the results of breaking some things in the process of fixing others. Copy and paste can really be a trouble maker.

Big fixes for Beta 3 include:

Infantry Cards with the Assault special ability cannot be given Deep Strike Training. These two special abilities conflict when the logic goes to process an assault.

Some intermittent script errors have been fixed when the AI was trying to figure out the best infantry type cards to upgrade and odd situations in the rankings occured.

Recon category cards that are also infantry type cards have been weighted more towards HP and Def buffing for the AI’s choice of enhancement to increase survivability as a primary goal

Here is the download link again if you are interested in trying out the latest beta version. As always any bug reports/save games are very appreciated.

You can grab a zip of the beta update here (4.81 Mbyte)

Tip of the Spear Update Beta 2

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

I just put up a new version of the update for AE. Thanks to a quick tip by some early adopters a bug in the way the AT cards was presented has been corrected. In some cases with low AP available you could get the order of the cards all mixed up or some cards would not appear. If you see this behavior just download the update again and apply it. Sorry about the problem. So far I’ve got some overall good feedback about the changes.

Tip of the Spear Update Beta

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

The Armageddon Empires 1.08 update a.k.a. Tip of the Spear is now available in Beta form. It’s looking pretty good and from my testing is very stable…. famous last words I know. I will be officially putting it up on the Cryptic Comet Support Page on the 18th of July most likely but I wanted to give anybody who is interested the opportunity to get an almost completely finished look at it. Here are the facts:

Only for Full Game Versions of Armageddon Empires and can be applied to any previous version to bring it up to 1.08 Tip of the Spear BETA

You can grab a zip of the beta update here (4.81 Mbyte)

Directions for Update: Unzip the two files AIScripts.cxt and MainInterface.cxt to your C:\Program Files\Cryptic Comet\ArmageddonEmpires folder and overwrite the old files by those names.

If you try it out and come across anything odd or a Bore Worm a.k.a. a “bug” don’t hesitate to send a save game my way! Send it to the support+at*crypticcomet.c0m address. Thanks.

Feel free to praise, gripe, adore or complain about in any public manner of your own choosing ๐Ÿ™‚

This is only Windows version of the beta. Mac version will be tentatively released with the full 1.08 on 18 July 08.

Not compatible with the Color Blind Mod but the Color blind mod will be updated on 18 July 08.

Old save games are compatible

New Infantry-type Rules:
Note that Infantry Type refers to the following types of cards: Infantry, Robots, Mutants and Xenogytes. ** Elite Machine Infantry (Scourge, Revenent, and Lich Platoons) DO NOT qualify for these bonuses because they are considered Powered Battle Armor (PBA) equivalent

1. Fire and Manuever: Infantry Type unit cards in the front row that initiate an attack against a Large type unit card (Large type is an Armor, Mecha, Automat, Automecha, Dragon, Giant, Biomecha, Xenomorph, Support or Artillery) in the opponent’s front row automatically apply a disable effect equal to the Terrain Movement Cost of the hex that they are fighting in minus 1. The disable effect lasts for a single turn.

For Example: An Imperial infantry card attacks a Machine Leviathon Automat card in a city hex and misses the attack roll. Despite missing the attack roll a -2 modifier is applied to the Leviathon’s Defense die for the remainder of the turn.

2. Combined Arms Bonus: If an Armor, Mecha, Automat, Automech, Dragon, Giant, Biomecha or Xenomorph unit card makes an attack from the front row against a target card in the opponent’s front row and succeeds in the Attack Challenge then a damage bonus is applied if there are Infantry Type unit cards in the front row with the attacking card. For each Infantry Type unit in the front row a +1 damage modifier is applied.

New Advanced Training Enhancement Cards:
12 New special Advanced Training enhancement cards are available to buff up infantry type unit cards. In order to create an Advanced Training card you must have an Academy type facility card deployed to the game board as well as a hero with the “General” card subtype. A hero with the “General” subtype may attempt a Create Card Challenge if he or she is stationed at a hex with an academy and the hex is controlled by the player and not contested.

How To Create Advanced Training Cards:
Right click on the hero to bring up the Create Advanced Training option on the pop up menu. Click on the Create Advanced Training text and the Select Advanced Training Options Dialogue Box will appear. This dialogue is just like a Create a Technology or Tactics card dialogue box with the addition of a “Next” button on the left hand side of the dialogue that lets you toggle between the two pages of possible Advanced Training Cards that you can create.

You get 1 die for each level of the Academy card’s level and one die for every two points of Command Rating that the “General” possesses. You must then roll equal to the target threshold for the particular Advanced Training Card that you are trying to create. The Target Threshold ranges from 2 to 7.

For Example: Vladimir Kost is at an Imperial Outpost that also contains an Imperial War College that has been upgraded to level 3. When Vlad goes to attempt to create an Advanced Training Card he will receive (8 / 2) + 3 = 7 die.

Creating Advanced Training Cards only costs Action Points ranging from 2 to 7 which must be payed when the challenge is initiated.

If a Hero General succeeds in the Create Card Challenge then an Advanced Training Enhancement card is created and it can be added to the player’s hand. To enhance an infantry type card open the Army Viewer for the army containing the card then drag and drop the enhancement card onto the target infantry type card. The target infantry card must be at a controlled outpost or stronghold location that is not contested or besieged.

Each Infantry Type card can only ever receive 1 Advanced Training Enhancement. Once the enhancement has been applied by dragging and dropping the enhancement card onto the target infantry type card, then a special Chevron icon will appear in the top left corner of the card.

Advanced Training Cards Available:

Toughness Training – adds + 2 HP, +3 Resist
Defense Training – adds + 1 Defense
Firepower Training – adds + 1 Attack
Tactical Training – adds Flanking 2 Special Ability
Maneuver Warfare – adds +1 to unit card movement rate
Anti-Armor Warfare – adds Hyperkinetic +2 Special Ability
Deep Strike Training – adds +1 Attack and Breakthrough Special Ability
NBC Training – adds Neuro Toxin 4 Special Ability and + 3 Resist
Medical Training – adds Triage* Special Ability
Assault Training – adds Assault +5 Special Ability
Advanced Sniper Training – adds Sniper 7 Special Ability
Commando School – adds + 1 Attack, +1 Defense and the Commando Special Ability

*Triage is a new Special Ability. Each Infantry Type card in an army that has a card with the Triage Special Ability has a 50% chance each turn of healing a single hit point of damage regardless of where the army is located. This also applies to the card with the Special Ability. This special ability can stack.

Here are 10 of the 12 images for the cards

Advance Training Cards

New Assassination And Sabotage Action Point Costs: The AP cost for Assassination and Sabotage Challenge Attempts increases by 1 point for each additional respective assassination or sabotage challenge performed by any given hero or unit card during a single turn.

For Example: Mata Boyd stumbles upon the enemy’s Stronghold and attempts to destroy it through sabotage. The first Sabotage Challenge costs 4 Action Points to initiate. The Challenge is unsuccessful. The next challenge will cost 5 Action Points to initiate. At the start of the next turn the first sabotage challenge will cost 4 Action Points and then ramp up by one for each additional challenge attempt.

Optional Fuel Cost Rule: This rule can be toggled on via the Options menu and is available at any point within a game. It ONLY AFFECTS YOU and NOT YOUR AI OPPONENTS. In order to move an army containing an Armor, Mecha, Automat, Automecha or Biomecha type unit card, you must pay one unit of the Energy resource for each such card.

For Example: You have an Imperial Recon Army with a single Leopard Armor card. In order to move this army you will have to pay 1 unit of the energy resource.

NOTE: If at any point you toggle off the Optional Fuel Rule then all games will have this rule disabled. The rule is global and not specific to any particular game.

Elements of Battle Quiz

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

When you examine military conflicts you come to recognize that what we call “battles” are often a unique crystallization of a combination of geography, forces, leaders, strategies/tactics, and chance. Here is a quiz to test your MHIQ (Military History Intelligence Quotient). I’ll list some elements from a battle and you name it. Answers are at the bottom.

1.
Herr Ridge
Devils Den
The Angle

2.
Spartakovka
Mamayev Kurgan
Chuikov

3.
Themistocles
Mount Aegaleo
Trireme

4.
Hougoumont
Gebhard von Blรผcher
Old Guard

5.
Sir Douglas Haig
Bazentin Ridge
Debut of The Tank

6.
Chard and Bromhead
Impi
The Hospital

7.
Iron Bottom Sound
Canberra and Chicago
Admiral Mikawa

8.
Saint Crispin’s Day
Pailings
Henry V

9.
Captain H.R. McMaster
Tawakalna Division
M1 Abrams

10.
Julius Caesar
River Enipeus
Pompey

_______________________________________________________

Answers:
1. Gettysburg 2. Stalingrad 3. Salamis 4. Waterloo 5. The Somme 6. Rorke’s Drift 7. Savo Island 8. Agincourt 9. 73 Easting 10. Pharsalus

With a little help from my friends

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

I owe a big debt of gratitude to many people out there who have tried the Armageddon Empires demo, purchased the full game and then had their sleeper programming activated to spread the word about the great endorphin rush you can get playing the game. I’ve written about this before but word of mouth advertising has been a huge component in the formula for success of this indie enterprise. With that in mind I came across this post on the GameSpot forums from a fan of AE who honestly wanted to let other players know about the game and see if there was some way to get GameSpot to feature the game or at least list its existence. Thanks to whoever the poster was (it really wasn’t me). Thanks as well to everybody else who has spoken up on Armageddon Empires behalf.

I’m not hammering on GameSpot mind you. I have tried to contact them now and then through their general contact emails without any luck. I would like to get a review or some coverage or at least a listing so if anybody knows the secret handshake send me an email. ๐Ÿ™‚