One of the core mechanics for Heroes & Generals is the way action and campaign games intermingle to introduce causality – actions of one game effect the outcome in the other. A major part of that is how the strategy game detects conflicts and assigns resources for the action game – we call this the “Battle System”.
In short, battle system handles detection of conflicts on the campaign map, and creates appropriate mission types for the action game players. When players in an action game have finished the mission, then the battle system shows what their efforts have achieved in the campaign map and recalculates if another kind of conflict needs to be triggered.
In the upcoming ‘Jefferson’ build, we’ve reworked the battle system to better differentiate conflicts on the campaign map, and what action game missions they lead to. This is the first iteration in a sequence of builds we intend to release, which will help shape the world of Heroes & Generals – through the actions of ‘Heroes’ (action game players) and ‘Generals’ (strategy game players).
A big step towards that aim is that skirmishes should have the real meaning of what we’ve always intended them to be – stepping stones to the actual assault on a town rather than being created because of the defender who clicked a button quicker than the attacker. Some of the highlights of the new Battle System are:
- An all new auto-resolver – has been re-made from the ground up to help us iterate on it faster.
- Transportation logic now moves ATs to access-points instead of towns
- Conflicts are automatically triggered and no ‘Attack’ button is shown
- Skirmish missions are contests for the access-point – winners can slowly work their way towards the assault on the battlefield
- Assault/Defend missions are contests for the town’s control – winner gets control of town centre and is the defender of the next assault mission on that town
- Winning ATs in a mission stay at the location and losing (depleted) ATs are undeployed (generals need to reactive/redeploy team near their faction capital)
- Remaining ATs at the town immediately start a new mission
- No ‘Cancel’ button is shown on conflicts
- All ATs (except the ones in the action game) are allowed to retreat (by clicking and dragging away)
An allied general (blue in the example) may experience the new battle system as:
- The general can see that the enemy has ordered some forces to move into ‘Brandenburg’ from ‘Potsdam’ and ‘Oranienburg’.
- He judges that the enemy’s position is weak and orders 2 teams of his own to assault on ‘Brandenburg’ – from ‘Genthin’ and ‘Niemegk’. This creates an Assault Mission for the action game players to fight out and decide the fate of the town for.
- As a precaution, the general also orders another team to fallback from its current position at ‘Neuruppin’ to ‘Rathenow’ and hold position.
- The German commander has figured out that his teams are at a disadvantage and tries to reinforce the battle via ‘Neuruppin’ and ‘Rathenow’. But the waiting Allied troops at ‘Rathenow’ engage them into a skirmish mission at Rathenow’s accesspoint ‘A’.
As I said earlier, the new battle system is the first step towards working on the core game feel for Heroes & Generals. But we’ll need some more iterations on this model in order to move closer to that goal. You can find more details about the battle system on the wiki.