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Topic: Kickstarter - Visible Artwork for HPS games!

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All Forums : [GAMES] : Computer Gaming > Kickstarter - Visible Artwork for HPS games!
22 MAR 2012 at 1:12pm

spelk

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I'm only pulling your legs, but I wish there was a Kickstarter project for a decent artist to do some revamps of HPS' 3d graphics.

 

After traipsing around a regimental museum and watching a massive room sized diarama depicting of the battle of Waterloo I was sucked in to purchasing Campaign Leipzig from JTS. My enthusiasm knows no bounds. Upon loading the game up, I want to see the armies, I want to command them, and I get this eye jarringly tiny non distinct splashes of pixels - presumably designed many years ago when screen resolution and gamers expectations where very much lower than todays possibilities. 

 

 

I just want visible depictions of these armies. Not smudges from a distant time long gone! This stuff is being peddled today as new! But ultimately most wargamers put up with it because it's all we've got. They use the 2d view. They change their desktop resolutions down. They cope. 

 

I've even considered ripping the art assets out of Napoleon Total War .pack files and using the "card" images instead of the pixle mash that is served up in the 3d mode. In fact I've thought perhaps the same could be done with Imperial Glory or Cossacks games. But as a wargamer, I shouldn't have to start ripping out art assets just to make the game palatable to me.

 

This isn't a one off, I have a number of HPS games that have the very same problem, and no one seems to want to fix this issue. 

 

I would be willing to put money into a Kickstarter to give me some visual clarity for my soldiers! 

 

So if someone here can draw a collection of men in a line of fire, with suitably coloured uniforms, you'll have my support.

 

Ok. Rant over. 



Last edited by spelk : 9 NOV 2012 7:53am
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22 MAR 2012 at 3:00pm

DBeves

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Originally Posted By spelk (22 MAR 2012 1:12pm)

I'm only pulling your legs, but I wish there was a Kickstarter project for a decent artist to do some revamps of HPS' 3d graphics.

 

After traipsing around a regimental museum and watching a massive room sized diarama depicting of the battle of Waterloo I was sucked in to purchasing Campaign Leipzig from JTS. My enthusiasm knows no bounds. Upon loading the game up, I want to see the armies, I want to command them, and I get this eye jarringly tiny non distinct splashes of pixels - presumably designed many years ago when screen resolution and gamers expectations where very much lower than todays possibilities. 

 

 

I just want visible depictions of these armies. Not smudges from a distant time long gone! This stuff is being peddled today as new! But ultimately most wargamers put up with it because it's all we've got. They use the 2d view. They change their desktop resolutions down. They cope. 

 

I've even considered ripping the art assets out of Napoleon Total War .pack files and using the "card" images instead of the pixle mash that is served up in the 3d mode. In fact I've thought perhaps the same could be done with Imperial Glory or Cossacks games. But as a wargamer, I shouldn't have to start ripping out art assets just to make the game palatable to me.

 

This isn't a one off, I have a number of HPS games that have the very same problem, and no one seems to want to fix this issue. 

 

I would be willing to put money into a Kickstarter to give me some visual clarity for my soldiers! 

 

So if someone here can draw a collection of men in a line of fire, with suitably coloured uniforms, you'll have my support.

 

Ok. Rant over. 

 

Well. you may have hurt their feelings there - given a large section of the accompanying documentation with the game goes into detailing just how much effort went into the graphics and uniforms..

 

More seriously - it is about money. HPS turn based games but with total war 3d graphics - there would be wonder and awe...



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22 MAR 2012 at 3:59pm

spelk

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Originally Posted By DBeves (22 MAR 2012 3:00pm)

Well. you may have hurt their feelings there - given a large section of the accompanying documentation with the game goes into detailing just how much effort went into the graphics and uniforms..

 

Yes that comment in the game blurb is one of the reasons that I took the plunge. Thinking if they've revamped the graphics it surely is going to be better than before. But apparently not.

 

Originally Posted By DBeves (22 MAR 2012 3:00pm)
 

More seriously - it is about money. HPS turn based games but with total war 3d graphics - there would be wonder and awe...

 

Oh I understand its about the money, and how they probably can't afford to hire an artist to update the art assets. But surely if they wanted to sell more, they'd make the game more appealing to strategy players as well as grogs? Open it up a bit. The casual turn based market is growing quite strongly on the mobile devices. Proper wargamery is just a step away, but when they dip into any of the HPS titles, this wall of tiny pixels is what greets them.

 

If someone made some large sprites out of a few Napoleon Total War units, and hooked them into this game, I'd probably fawn all over it.

 

In fact I'd pay big time to have the Ravenmark artists create specific Nappy units in their style.



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22 MAR 2012 at 4:13pm

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The depicted graphics are actually above par for JTS.  IMHO, relatively speaking, they did a good job with the Campaign Leipzig graphics.  My biggest dislike is how they render hills and other elevations.  Fix that, and I'm satisfied.

 


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22 MAR 2012 at 5:46pm

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I have the Matrix compilations of Napoleon(w/Age of Sail), and the Civil War packages.  I'm perfectly happy with what I get there, and the terrain tiles looks a good deal better. 

 

But squinting at the map at 1680x1050 resolution can be painful.  It's actually much worse in the Civil War ones than the Napoleon series, too.  The Nap ones aren't too bad, for me, as seen in this shot:

 


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Last edited by Nefaro : 22 MAR 2012 5:47pm
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23 MAR 2012 at 8:56am

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The art there does look slightly better, but it's still very small and obfuscated. Why do we have to be punished with these sub-standard graphics for so long?

 

If they were bigger and clearer, I'd have no beef.

 

I would probably buy and play even more HPS titles.

 

As it is, I struggle to play the ones I have, because it's just not a pleasant experience. Graphics wise, and some UI quirks from yesteryear. 

 

It's a shame that the foundation of a lot of PC wargaming is still attached to tech that is still out-dated. New releases coming out, with graphics that most gaming titles would be ashamed of. 

 

I know its the wargamers/grogs badge of honour to declare indifference when it comes to graphical content, but for heavens sake it shouldn't be physically difficult to SEE the units themselves.

 

As I said, even the 2d graphics leave a lot to be desired in terms of size. They just haven't updated the art assets for the modern PC/Resolutions!

 

And yet we still buy into this.

 

Age of Rifles had this problem cracked many moons ago. I'd choose their ancient art assets over most of what is bundled with the majority of the HPS titles. In fact I'd take Field of Glory's garish efforts - at least I can make out some semblance of the units involved.

 

Good Lord, I do sound bitter about the whole thing. 

 

Time to take a chill pill methinks. 

 

Because nothing is going to change.

 

 



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23 MAR 2012 at 10:47am

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I agree, the super tiny size of the units at modern resolutions is just painful. 

 

I heard they were making updates to add an extra zoom level to some of the HPS stuff but that would zoom in so much that the tiny pixels would become big blocky pixels.  The oft-used game engine is just so old and it was meant for about 800x600 resolution.  No proper fix is in order until the whole thing gets redone, I believe.


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23 MAR 2012 at 12:16pm

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I have issues with the HPS/JTS ACW 3D graphics.  (So I mod them.)

 

OTOH, I think the HPS/JTS ACW 2D graphics are gorgeous, among the best I've ever seen.

 

Together with the Old Banshee unit info graphics enhancements, the HPS/JTS 2D battlefield is a never-ending delight to gaze at and to contemplate.  IMHO.

 

Your Mileage Varies no doubt.

 


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Last edited by berto : 23 MAR 2012 12:17pm
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27 MAR 2012 at 7:26pm

Nefaro

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I just started playing Battleground Civil War (a South Mountain scenario in Antietam) a day or two ago. 

 

For comparison, it's the worst of the bunch at hi-res.  Talk about tiny!  Check this out:

 

 

 

Yes.  That's the size of it on my screen, at maximum zoom.   Probably looks okay to people who have their desktops still set to 800x600 or 1024x but at 1680x1050 it requires hawk-like vision.


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Last edited by Nefaro : 27 MAR 2012 7:28pm
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27 MAR 2012 at 11:46pm

berto

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Originally Posted By Nefaro (27 MAR 2012 7:26pm)

 

... it's the worst of the bunch at hi-res.  Talk about tiny!

But some of us like tiny!  I much prefer "God-view" 3D over "table-top miniatures" 3D.  I play at 1920x1080 res and have no problem with "tiny".

 

That screen shot looks fine to me except for (a) the elevations (unnatural, and angular); and (b) the unit bases (don't like them; prefer units blending in naturally with the terrain, even if it makes them harder to see).


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Last edited by berto : 27 MAR 2012 11:50pm
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28 MAR 2012 at 1:12am

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I prefer unit bases and usually play games at the good ole 1024x728 resolution. I really don't understand this need to play games on 1920x or 1600x or even 1200x screens. All they do is make things SMALLER and most especially the FONT that can't be read at such high resolutions unless one has a magnifying glass.

 

One of the best systems out there to portray minatures though is the TIN SOLDIERS series of Caesar and Alexander. I totally love those graphics of the units and the maps.

 

Another one of the worst though even at large resolution is Slitherines Field of Glory series....talk about pixelated and ugly...ugh.


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28 MAR 2012 at 1:40am

spelk

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Originally Posted By berto (27 MAR 2012 11:46pm)

But some of us like tiny!  I much prefer "God-view" 3D over "table-top miniatures" 3D.  I play at 1920x1080 res and have no problem with "tiny".

 

If theres a need for people to experience the tiny, fine, the games play as is. But theres obviously a need for larger more defined unit graphics at the 3d level, as well as a more palatable zoom level in 2d. 

 

Millions of games manage to accomodate today's PC resolutions. It just requires work. 

 

Spinning new games out of an old engine is what we see with the HPS titles, and it hasn't got appreciably better since JTS moved away from HPS. 

 

Originally Posted By berto (27 MAR 2012 11:46pm)

That screen shot looks fine to me except for (a) the elevations (unnatural, and angular); and (b) the unit bases (don't like them; prefer units blending in naturally with the terrain, even if it makes them harder to see).

 

You see I'm fine with the elevations as such, stacked, textured and shaded hexes does a poor job at the best of times, I'd prefer they used a contour colouring mechanism, but at least I can see the terrain hexes fine. It's the unit's that are one or two pixels in width, that when crammed into a firing line with flags, just become a "mash" of colour. In fact the flags themselves are legible, just stick flags on bases and you'll get the same, without the background pixellated noise. 

 

But to truly appreciate the unit's you need to be able to see them, not just a hint of them. You say you like the bases off, and the units blending into the trees detail... I'm not entirely sure what is pleasurable or useful about having badly imaged units, hidden away behind badly imaged trees on grainy and awkwardly elevated hexes.

 

The 3d mode is purely there for flavour, immersion and giving you a representation that isn't so abstract. If the units are a legacy soup of tiny pixels I fail to see how the 3d mode is fulfilling its purpose. And calling it a "God mode", seems to be a cop out. If you want a birds eye view of the action, then surely you want to be able to see defined collections of troops, if you're "high enough" to be in God Mode then thats what the 2d abstraction is for.

 

If JTS want to make a go of it, put the brakes on churning out more scenarios in an old engine, and take the bull by the horns and re-build the engine for the 21st Century. 

 

It seems like wargamers always get a raw deal on the development of their games. We're always having to put up with awkward and mediocre UI's along with old mechanics and legacy graphical content. It's about time the Grandfathers of War and the stalwarts of the industry got their act together and updated their skillsets and engines.

 

We don't need more scenarios, we need better engines!

 

 



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28 MAR 2012 at 2:10am

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Originally Posted By Wolverine101 (28 MAR 2012 1:12am)

I prefer unit bases and usually play games at the good ole 1024x728 resolution. I really don't understand this need to play games on 1920x or 1600x or even 1200x screens. All they do is make things SMALLER and most especially the FONT that can't be read at such high resolutions unless one has a magnifying glass.

 

One of the best systems out there to portray minatures though is the TIN SOLDIERS series of Caesar and Alexander. I totally love those graphics of the units and the maps.

 

Another one of the worst though even at large resolution is Slitherines Field of Glory series....talk about pixelated and ugly...ugh.

 

 

Bigger screen and higher res means you see far more of the map, something I wish I could do as I only have a 19inch screen and certain games are a pain. I like a close in view but you end up not seeing enough of the map. Zoom out view in many wargames is abit rough looking.

 

 

I honestly thought the latest screenies I've seen of FoG was alot better than I imagined, far, far better than HPS. 



Last edited by DCosta : 28 MAR 2012 2:12am
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28 MAR 2012 at 11:34am

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Yeah, FOG actually has sizable units and is quite crisp. 

 

I suspect his complaint about the graphics is just the images of miniatures used for them. 


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28 MAR 2012 at 12:39pm

berto

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Originally Posted By spelk (28 MAR 2012 1:40am)

Originally Posted By berto (27 MAR 2012 11:46pm)

But some of us like tiny!  I much prefer "God-view" 3D over "table-top miniatures" 3D.  I play at 1920x1080 res and have no problem with "tiny".

 

If theres a need for people to experience the tiny, fine, the games play as is. But theres obviously a need for larger more defined unit graphics at the 3d level...

 

Originally Posted By berto (27 MAR 2012 11:46pm)

That screen shot looks fine to me except for (a) the elevations (unnatural, and angular); and (b) the unit bases (don't like them; prefer units blending in naturally with the terrain, even if it makes them harder to see).

 

...

 

But to truly appreciate the unit's you need to be able to see them, not just a hint of them. You say you like the bases off, and the units blending into the trees detail... I'm not entirely sure what is pleasurable or useful about having badly imaged units, hidden away behind badly imaged trees on grainy and awkwardly elevated hexes.

 

The 3d mode is purely there for flavour, immersion and giving you a representation that isn't so abstract. If the units are a legacy soup of tiny pixels I fail to see how the 3d mode is fulfilling its purpose. And calling it a "God mode", seems to be a cop out. If you want a birds eye view of the action, then surely you want to be able to see defined collections of troops, if you're "high enough" to be in God Mode then thats what the 2d abstraction is for.

 

"Useful"?  I don't maneuver or fight in anything but 2D mode.

 

"Pleasurable"?  Yes, I find pleasure (and immersiveness) in, from time to time, viewing the battlefield from a great distance and height as the commanding generals might have perceived it (if they had the right vantage point).  A mile behind the lines, McClellan at Antietam (just to give one example) wouldn't have perceived individual soldiers and cannons at a distance, rather a "soup" of colors.  Think Impressionism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism).

 

As I see it.  Your Mileage May Vary (of course).


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Last edited by berto : 28 MAR 2012 3:14pm
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28 MAR 2012 at 2:09pm

Nefaro

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I believe the point he was trying to make was that there is already zoomed-out god views in these HPS games.  So that's not really something missing, unlike the inadequate zoom on the isometric "close-up" view.


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28 MAR 2012 at 6:26pm

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I don't spend anywhere near as much time staring at the terrain in the HPS civil war games as I do staring at terrain in Panzer Campaigns or the Napoleonic games.

 

But I've generally found the terrain and the unit mods that you can get from this site to be more than satisfactory.  I also find the colors a lot easier to live with than what you get from the old Talonsoft games (i.e. some of the screenshots that appear earlier in this post).

 

So although I've made flag mods, base mods, and I think I even did something with bridges at one point, I've never felt compelled to give the end result a complete overhaul.

 

Mostly because the terrain mods that you can get from this site look pretty darn good.

 

The site also has great mods of the 3D units.

 

So if you aren't familiar with it, you really should spend some time taking a look.  It may be no frills, but it's a great site.

 

http://www.brettschulte.net/ACWCGDC/index.html

 

 

 


  

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28 MAR 2012 at 7:32pm

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Originally Posted By Nefaro (28 MAR 2012 11:34am)

Yeah, FOG actually has sizable units and is quite crisp. 

 

I suspect his complaint about the graphics is just the images of miniatures used for them. 

 

I'd hardly say they are "CRISP" graphics. It's so pixel blurred I can't even play it anymore. Every minature piece looks like a blob of colors and hardly looks like anything needing or even requiring High resolution graphics settings.

 

I'm really surprised at your comment about FOG Nefaro since you are the one who usually has so many problems with DOS games (which btw have better graphics quality in many cases BETTER than FOG) graphics.

 

At any rate neither one of them compares to TIN SOLDIERS graphics terrain or the minatures looks.

 


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28 MAR 2012 at 10:36pm

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Originally Posted By Wolverine101 (28 MAR 2012 7:32pm)

Originally Posted By Nefaro (28 MAR 2012 11:34am)

Yeah, FOG actually has sizable units and is quite crisp. 

 

I suspect his complaint about the graphics is just the images of miniatures used for them. 

 

I'd hardly say they are "CRISP" graphics. It's so pixel blurred I can't even play it anymore. Every minature piece looks like a blob of colors and hardly looks like anything needing or even requiring High resolution graphics settings.

 

I'm really surprised at your comment about FOG Nefaro since you are the one who usually has so many problems with DOS games (which btw have better graphics quality in many cases BETTER than FOG) graphics.

 

At any rate neither one of them compares to TIN SOLDIERS graphics terrain or the minatures looks.

 

 

Naa.. the FOG graphics, interface, etc are quite crisp, since it was meant to run at my native monitor resolution. 

 

The problem is that they use photos of hand-painted miniatures for the units and it comes out blobbish-colored at times (like human skin or leather colored parts).  It has nothing to do with the size or intended gfx resolution, but with their use of hand-painted minis. 

 

The hand-painted look doesn't bother me much because I don't have to strain to see them, nor do they look like they're always out of focus, which happens when something is running at a fixed screen resolution and gets 'stretched' to fit a higher-res monitor (that's what I bitch about a lot).

 

 


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29 MAR 2012 at 2:21pm

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Originally Posted By Nefaro (28 MAR 2012 10:36pm)

Originally Posted By Wolverine101 (28 MAR 2012 7:32pm)

Originally Posted By Nefaro (28 MAR 2012 11:34am)

Yeah, FOG actually has sizable units and is quite crisp. 

 

I suspect his complaint about the graphics is just the images of miniatures used for them. 

 

I'd hardly say they are "CRISP" graphics. It's so pixel blurred I can't even play it anymore. Every minature piece looks like a blob of colors and hardly looks like anything needing or even requiring High resolution graphics settings.

 

I'm really surprised at your comment about FOG Nefaro since you are the one who usually has so many problems with DOS games (which btw have better graphics quality in many cases BETTER than FOG) graphics.

 

At any rate neither one of them compares to TIN SOLDIERS graphics terrain or the minatures looks.

 

 

Naa.. the FOG graphics, interface, etc are quite crisp, since it was meant to run at my native monitor resolution. 

 

The problem is that they use photos of hand-painted miniatures for the units and it comes out blobbish-colored at times (like human skin or leather colored parts).  It has nothing to do with the size or intended gfx resolution, but with their use of hand-painted minis. 

 

The hand-painted look doesn't bother me much because I don't have to strain to see them, nor do they look like they're always out of focus, which happens when something is running at a fixed screen resolution and gets 'stretched' to fit a higher-res monitor (that's what I bitch about a lot).

 

 

 

Ahhh ok you're talking about the interface graphics. I was talking about the minature graphics which are horrible and look like something out of an 8 bit or 16 bit program from the early 90's to me. It's kind of funny because usually I don't have an issue with graphics but FOG's minature graphics are ones that I just can't stomach anymore after playing Tin Soldiers games and Great Battles Dos games of Caesar and Hannibal an Alexander which have very LARGE unit icons and everything is easy to see and tell what they are.

 

 


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29 MAR 2012 at 2:36pm

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Originally Posted By Wolverine101 (29 MAR 2012 2:21pm)

I was talking about the [FOG] minature graphics which are horrible and look like something out of an 8 bit or 16 bit program from the early 90's to me. It's kind of funny because usually I don't have an issue with graphics but FOG's minature graphics are ones that I just can't stomach anymore ...

+1

 


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29 MAR 2012 at 3:45pm

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Just like kids, some developers will never learn nor listen!

 

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31 MAR 2012 at 4:45pm

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Originally Posted By Azzurri (29 MAR 2012 3:45pm)

Just like kids, some developers will never learn nor listen!

 

Johnnie T., YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!

 

I'm happy to say PARADOX did with the release of Crusader Kings II. Bout dam time though.

 


Want is the foundation of impatience, a step without thought can be a drop without end


Dbeves: And LMFAO - didnt you just have to work battlefront into your response somewhere - you are priceless.

 

Listen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYhAycDqhog 

 

"ha! GL getting THAT much...lolz"


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31 MAR 2012 at 6:54pm

Dion

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Never play with 3D graphics, always in 2D. Not much use for them, but they are interesting to look at. I especialy like to look at the dead bodies because you can see how the battle has shaped.


Wargaming: The art of fighting without fighting.


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1 APR 2012 at 8:30pm

AP514

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Graphics are not the best but.................... the AI is the worst I have seen I a long time. (units that face the wrong direction to the enemy arty that limbers/unlimbers face'n the wrong way) the Whole series is only good for PBEM..and at that the Fatigue makes attacks very limited.

 

 

 

   AP514



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