Another Friday and we have more goodies for you! We have both the Napoleonic Battles series as well as the Naval Campaigns series getting full updates today - bringing all titles in each up to the same level.
Before we dig in, wanted to mention the last blog post we made covering David's recent battlefield tour...so be sure to check that out as well!
Now first, let's look at the Napoleonic games.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, version numbers are no longer tied to a specific game. Rather, they are tied to the engine which is common through the series. And as the title alludes to, we are now moving this series to version 4.03 - and updates for all 14 games + the demo have been released.
Why not stay at 4.02? Because a couple of bugs were found after Waterloo & the Demo were updated...and in-line with our "continuous improvement" philosophy, Henrik went ahead and made a few more enhancements as well! The lengthy list of what 4.02 brought to the table was covered in this blog post from the beginning of September, so I won't rehash all of that. Here are some new things that 4.03 brings to the table:
- Adjusted Fatigue calculation when combining skirmish units with their parent battalion. Now fatigue is applied proportionally across the entire unit.
This was a request posted on our forums and we agreed it was something worthy of addressing. Previously, if the fatigue threshold of the returning skirmisher was below 100 it would simply be ignored and the fatigue level of the parent unit would be adopted (even if zero). If above, the fatigue rate of the entire command would increase to the new level. Now it is proportional, so there is no "resetting" fatigue which was a common practice.
- Adjusted melee modifiers so Defenders now suffer a -10% (High Fatigue) and -20% (Max Fatigue) penalty.
Previously High & Max fatigued defenders did not suffer any penalty, so it gave them an edge we feel they should not have at that condition.
- Adjusted Infantry defense. Infantry not in square which is charged by cavalry into its flank or rear will defend at 50% strength.
We've seen a good bit of grumbling about the ineffectiveness of cavalry charges. This is one change made to address this, but additionally we went in depth to the melee and fire calculations and found a few long-standing bugs there and applied fixes...so we'll be interested to see how players react to this.
The next group of changes are more "system level" in nature. For example, you can now select between all three symbol sets within the game engine without any file changes:
If you are the "modding" type you'll want to know that the file names that are used have been changed. "a" for Nato, "b" for Alt., "c" for Block. These files are located in the \Map sub-folder.
A change which saved me (Rich) countless hours of work is:
- Added check in the engine for overstacked cavalry units. If found on map or as reinforcements squadrons will be detached until the parent unit is <600 troopers.
So there should be no instance where an overstacked Cavalry unit exists on the map in any game at this point.
During play with FOW in effect you used to get a notice when initiating a melee that there were "unknown odds". Now, we've made this change:
- Added Melee Combat Prediction when On Map results and FOW are On.
And our final change for this round is to alter the keys used for controlling the speed of the A/I to be in-line with the other series:
- Adjusted A/I activation HotKeys from F6-F9 to F5-F8.
I'm asked frequently if an update can be applied to a game in progress, and the answer is Yes for the 4.03 round. There are no structural OOB changes or alterations to the PDT files that would cause game file corruption...so you can apply immediately and take advantage of these new features.
Now, onto the Naval series!
As with the Napoleonic series, a few issues surfaced with the Naval games after the 4.02 releases. You can check out that blog post for details on the many enhancements that were included with that release, but here we will focus on just the differences in 4.03.
We received notes from people with various video cards that struggled with some of the graphical elements in the new releases - so both engine changes and file modifications were made to accommodate those:
- Added support for up to 5x5 tiled shore bitmaps for systems with limited dedicated GPU memory.
- The 800 size cloud files are now loaded and scaled on start for all zoom levels.
- Streamlined image loading process to reduce GPU footprint.
And then a couple of changes were made to improve the in-game player experience:
- Added secondary target line to main display.
- Adjustment to always show commanded direction for selected ship.
And then a block of other issues were addressed:
- Fix for ship name overlap code.
- Fix CTD on a blank map target for a Strike Escort Mission
- Fixed shore battery targeting issue.
- Fix for carrier A/I check for aircraft conditions.
All of these changes, along with the previous enhancements have now been rolled out to the entire series. Here's a shot of Jutland - "The German Fleet Attacks":
All in all we believe these are some outstanding updates being applied to both of these series and will provide many hours of enjoyment for both veteran and new players alike.
You can head up to the Support page, and then to the appropriate series pages to grab the updates that apply to your games.
Alternatively, you can login to your Account Page and download new fully up-to-date installers for each game and do a clean install - whatever works for you.
And don't forget to head on over to our forums to discuss the games with others!