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Astronautz

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A member registered Nov 11, 2018 · View creator page →

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For the time being I will just leave it the way it is. Hiding the doors would cause confusion, when they suddenly appear when the player gets near. It doesn't actually give the player much tactical advantage if he sees a door open, because he doesn't know where the soldier went after opening the door.

(1 edit)

Thanks for the feedback. The next version should be in released in May.

>  visibility of the enemy is in conflict with the fog of war that the game sticks to

Not really, because once you try opening the door you can see the guy behind it (as you can see in the video). 

> Those movements should remain invisible unless there is line of sight.

It's not really a problem, because it only gives a hint where the enemy is without revealing the exact position.

I have most of the new door feature implemented. You can see how the feature works in the game in the linked video below. 

  • Soldiers can open and close doors from either side using the open/close door button in the HUD.
  • Opening/closing a door costs 3 AP
  • The player can drag a path though doorways and when executed it will open doors automatically. A open door icon is shown at closed doors.
  • The path takes into account the open door position (i.e. door behaves like a wall after opened)
  • If a soldier is behind an inward-opening door then you will not be able to open it
  • If an unknown enemy is behind a door, the player will be allowed to try to open the door. The enemy becomes visible after trying to open
  • If AI sees a soldier and then he hides and there is a door nearby, the the AI will assume that the soldier is behind the door
  • AI may try to open door, or try to enter building from a different entrance, or wait at door exit on overwatch
  • If a soldier opens door and there is AI on overwatch, the interrupt will trigger sooner than a normal interrupt 

Do you mean secondary quests? Currently, there isn't any, but I would consider it as feature for the future

Yes, there will be a manual. The "online help" button on the main menu will open the manual. It only has hot keys at the moment, but I will expand this.

Great. I'm glad you liked it ;)

This algorithm is only for buildings. In the future, all buildings will be generated. I can adapt it to create different types such warehouses and building sites, etc.

I think the next version will take another two months.

Here are some of building generated by the new algorithm, which I am still working on. 

It can generate any shape or size building.

and this is the inside:

Same here. I know you like the idea of maximum 4 or 5 units, Ed. But I agree that there could be a greater tactical variety with more units, maybe 8 to 10. This would also give the option to just keep on playing if one of your soldiers dies. Now you have to restart the battle every time a soldier dies. Maybe you could give it a try in one of the future releases. 

I will add it to the list of features to add new mercs, but there is a lot of artwork involved in creating each new character.

This would also give the option to just keep on playing if one of your soldiers dies. Now you have to restart the battle every time a soldier dies. 

Except, for all the work that you did leveling up the merc's up stats is lost, maybe replaying the battle is the better option ;)

I agree. AI is very challenging when taking good cover and when it sticks to a single strategy with all available forces. Splitting up into groups with different tactics (one group attacking, one group camping etc.) makes the AI very weak. I'm looking forward to see the changes in AI behaviour, especially when retreating.

As I said, I am thinking about adding a better "find cover" behaviour for the AI.

> I feel something similar could be used as a cover indicator when you put your cursor near cover elements (or already have an unit adjacent to cover), cause sometimes I'm unsure how good a certain piece of cover is since their looks can vary quite a bit. 

Ok, I will think about adding such a feature in the future

>On that note, I forgot to mention before, but I feel you should be able to shoot through windows while crouched, they just don't look tall enough that standing up should be necessary.

Soldiers cannot shoot in any case where that would cause the arms to pass through solid objects, like this:


In that case the "can't aim" reticle is shown:


that's why they have to stand up (unless the window ledge is very low)

> That's fair enough, but I don't think it's necessary for them to be 1vs1 to be easy, and with 1vs1 there's still the problem that mistakes are much more unforgiving, and if you get your one unit stun locked there's nothing else you can do but just wait for him to die.

I think you are talking about a case where your soldier was hit by a grenade? In that case, I could just prevent enemy throwing grenades in initial battles where the player only has one soldier.

> I think you're selling such a feature short, I believe having to reload and limited ammo gives more depth to weapons, having to make sure you'll have enough ammo for a battle, making you consider if you will be able to reload when you need to without risking yourself too much, being able take advantage of the enemies having to reload in certain situations, allowing more differentiation between weapons with different mag capacities and reload AP costs, maybe even having to swap to a secondary if reloading is gonna be too costly and you need to shoot now, different ammo types giving you more reason to use different weapons depending on availability of ammo and whether it's worth using a harder to come by ammo instead of a more common one, rather than just obsoleting a weapon instantly cause you got one with better stats, maybe you will have to pick up some ammo off the ground if you run low, etc.

It always ends up that you have to allow the player access to nearly unlimited ammo, because if ammo runs out then the game becomes unplayable, so it's really doesn't make the game much more interesting. Having said that, I am not against the feature, just that I put it on a lower priority than other features.

> Well, I don't mean to say you should do it just because other games do, but rather show an example of a fairly simple and common solution to this problem, since diagonals give considerably more distance and therefore give more value to moving in a diagonal if the cost is the same, +50% AP cost is easy to keep track of and good enough approximation to the real difference. Without accounting for the difference moving in a diagonal feels like a constant exploit IMO. Makes me think of those glitches in some old games that allow you to move faster in a diagonal.

I haven't come across any situation where it causes a problem

>the sound is heard from the perspective of the currently selected merc, so his own footsteps will sound loud. I don't know what you mean by "weird"

> Well, they sound kinda muffled and low quality.

Ok, I will look into it

>the roof disappears if your soldier gets close to the building, or if he spots an enemy inside the building. Maybe that's what happened.

> That's probably what happened the second time I had it happen then, but the first time I had barely gotten into the map and didn't even have visual range into the building that was revealed.

I might be a bug. I will look into it

> As far as I've observed, enemies can diagonally move through the marked red lines without triggering an interrupt, and these are inconsistent since you don't have any dead zones if you aim straight north, south, east or west. The other levels don't have these dead zones (aside from having your field of view limited by cover). I'm not sure how you could solve this though, other than having interrupt be able to trigger "in-between" tiles.

I could just make interrupt wider, when it's diagonal

>You mean it targeted a different soldier than the one that moved? Yes, the code is set to do that, but maybe I should change that.

> I see, that wasn't very clear to me since AFAIK the player units can't do that.

Yeah, it's more logical that only the soldier that moves it targeted, so I will change that.

> I'm talking about how you can also automatically increase a skill by using it enough, which for me happened when one unit increased his auto skill after a battle, I had previously thought you had to always manually spend skill points. I think it's cool.

glad you like it ;)

> That would be good too, but my main issue with that case was with how my grenade was stolen, perhaps you could make it so they won't try to take items dropped by player units for one turn.

I can do that.

> I don't mean to say they always do exactly what I had said, but I find they do it way too often. In the screenshot example only a few of them got shot, and there was cover they could've used around them, a few did take cover eventually, but most of the time they barely moved while taking shots, and sat around around each other in the open, with the occasional lone unit rush, until they decided to retreat.

Fair enough. I am thinking about adding a better "seek cover" behaviour for the AI.

Hi L1pE,

Thanks very much for your feedback and glad you liked the Linux version, below is my reply:

> The black text on dark background in the merc control UI buttons lacks constrast, the transparent backgrounds can cause readability problems too depending on what's behind them. "Range" text can sometimes blend in with the background, an outline would help. 

Ok, I can fix that.

> The tutorial speech bubbles that point to in-world element stay fixed and move with the camera. 

yeah, that only happens when you move camera by keyboard. I can fix it so it closes the help when the camera moves.

> I would like to be able to see the AP number on tiles from behind walls, so I don't have to turn the camera just to see that. 

yeah, I can do that.

> On that note, I think it'd be better if instead the remaining APs were shown on the tile instead of AP cost, so some of the math is already done (Xenonauts is a game that does it this way). 

Can do.

A cover indicator, using a similar system to the UI element that shows much of a target is visible would help to remove some ambiguity from some cover elements.

Sorry, I don't really understand what you mean.

> It's cool how the hearing gets reduced when you take a shot.

Yes, it's a realistic feature, but maybe a bit too "subtle"

> The beginning 1v1s were not very interesting at all, there's not many tactical options available then, and it puts too much importance on an individual unit, allowing cases with no recourse such as what happened to me where I got hit by a grenade, lost all APs, then got stun locked by pistol shots for the next 5 turns before dying. In fact I think the number of units you can have in this game is very low, having just 2 is fine for the very first tutorial battle, but by the end I only had 3 units, I believe 4 should be the minimum, with the possibility to get more.

There are a maximum of 5 soldiers in the squad. Zanata and Leonidas only join your squad after you have completed quests. Leonidas is only in the full version of the game. The initial battles have to be easy to allow beginners to learn how to play the game.

> It feels very strange to never need to reload nor have to worry about spare ammo in this kind of game, resource management is usually a key element to this style of game.

I'm not sure if ammo adds anything tactically interesting to the game. All it means is that the player to do extra work (clicking a reload button every few shots). However, I will consider adding it as a feature, but other features have higher priority.

> The AI can make some questionable grenade throws, had a case where it tried to throw a nade at one of my units, but it bounced off a nearby wall and killed another enemy instead.

In the current version the enemy throws sometimes with bad accuracy. In the new version they will always throw with good accuracy. Having said that grenade throws are never 100% accurate. If you are throwing over the edge of a wall without much clearance, there's a chance that it might bounce back off the wall. Also, in new version there will be grenade throw skill, which increases the range of throwing.

> I hate having to drag from a merc to a tile to move, you should just be able to select a merc and then click a tile. 

yeah, other people have commented about that. I will consider changing it, but it means changing all mouse buttons, because left mouse is being used for panning at the moment.

> I wish I could control the camera with WASD, changeable keybinds in general is always good to have too. 

I could add an option for that.

> I noticed right click also does nothing currently, maybe make that turn the merc instead by default, or make it change fire mode. I don't see why there needs to separate keys and UI buttons for standing and crouching, just make it a toggle.

If I change movement to use the left mouse button, then I probably have to use the right button for panning. A single UI button for posture change is confusing, because it's not clear if pressed means kneeling or standing, but I could use a single keyboard key to toggle posture alright.

> Diagonal movement costs the same, that's ~41% more distance covered per tile for no extra AP cost, other tactical turn based games often make it cost 50% more AP, which is a close enough adjustment.

I don't think that feature would make the game more interesting to play, just more complicated. Just because other games do it, does not mean it's good. 

> Footsteps sound quite loud and weird.

the sound is heard from the perspective of the currently selected merc, so his own footsteps will sound loud. I don't know what you mean by "weird"

> The different death animations are quite good, I liked how specific they get, like with the one where they hit their back against a wall and then fall over.

glad you like them ;)

> It's kinda weird how when the roof disappears from a building when you get close the lighting acts like it's physically gone, only casting shadows from the walls, perhaps keep the roof shadows but add some interior lights.

I could leave the roof shadow, but unfortunately the renderer can only handle one light

>It's also weird how it seems you don't need visibility of windows and such to get roofs to disappear. I had a case where a building way across the map had its roof removed. And another where I got close to one building and it also removed the roof of one that was farther away.

the roof disappears if your soldier gets close to the building, or if he spots an enemy inside the building. Maybe that's what happened.

> I like how there's many factions that are not friendly with each other, and how you can take advantage of that while they're distracted with each other in some big fights.

Yeah, I made it so there would be a lot of multi-fraction battles to make it more interesting 

> I noticed there's a lack of usable doors.

That's a feature of the next version. I am adding procedurally generated buildings and doors and window shutters that can be opened and closed

> I had weapons sometimes increase accuracy after taking a shot, I find that strange.

Yes, the second time you shoot at the same target the accuracy increases

> There really should be vaulting through windows, and similar low objects.

that would be a feature that I would have to leave for a future version.

> It's sometimes difficult to tell what is visible to a merc and what isn't, maybe have the tiles that aren't visible be darkened, the game already has some visibility UI element with the interrupts.

That's probably only interesting to advanced players? I will think about adding it in a future version

> I feel this game could benefit from a suppression mechanic, for more tactical options with burst and auto fire. This could give a reason to have a free aim option too, perhaps that's another thing right click could be set to do.

I could add suppression in future version. I already tried the free aim and it's not good. It breaks the whole logic of the game.

> I noticed attacks don't trigger interrupts, but maybe they should. 

You mean shooting doesn't trigger an interrupt? That is correct, only movement triggers it. 

> I also had an enemy walk diagonally in between two of the interrupt trigger tiles, which means there's basically dead zones when you're watching an area at an angle with only the first level of interrupt skill. 

Well, first level interrupt is limited, otherwise there would be no point in upgrading to second level.

> There was one case where I moved one unit northeast, and it triggered an interrupt, but the enemy targeted an unit further south I had already moved previously instead.

You mean it targeted a different soldier than the one that moved? Yes, the code is set to do that, but maybe I should change that.

> It's interesting how there's both a purchase system and a "learn as you do" system for gaining skill points.

I don't know what you mean by that.

> Consider making it so you can safely shoot over your own units if they're adjacent and crouched, feels a bit jank to have to move around them in those situations (that's another thing Xenonauts does), maybe you could make so if you shoot over an unit this way they also have their hearing reduced as if they've taken a shot.

I could do that, but I would need some type of indicator to show that the soldier is temporarily deafened.

>The "close to wall" animation seems to override the "in interrupt mode" animation.

Yes, so that the gun does not pass through the wall.

> I noticed there's different "classes", like "scout" and "rifleman", what's the difference? I don't think the game explained it.

Their abilities upgrade at different rates. For instance, the scout increases action points faster, while sniper increases accuracy faster.

> I had one case where I dropped a nade so another one of my units could pick it up the next turn, but then a Ben Dabi unit that was previously idling in a corner with little HP, walked up to it, stole it, and proceed to idle in the middle of a doorway blocking my path as well for the next couple turns, it decided to move and do some shooting after.

Yep, they can do that. I might add a feature, so they move out of your way if they are blocking a doorway.

> I'm a fan of shotguns but this game has none, hope some will be added in the future.

Yeah, I will think about adding them, but other features have higher priority (for instance grenade launchers)

> The enemy AI is... Not very good, even on very hard, they have a tendency to bunch up in the middle of roads and shoot without seeking cover, rush where I have units waiting for them, sometimes walk back and forth and do nothing else as if they're indecisive

They do look for cover. The AI moves in range to the best target, fires and then takes cover, if there is any about. Obviously, it can't take cover if there is no cover about. They may do nothing if they don't have enough APs to do anything. Remember, if they have been hit many times they can lose a lot of APs. 

> when retreating, all run simultaneously to the same wall in the map, and line up side by side in an easily flankable position.

You might have got lucky because in that particular scene it was easy to flank, but it's not always the case. Anyway, in the next version I will make AI take positions in buildings to cover the retreat. Also, I will make some enemy make wide flanking movements.

> Sometimes some weird shadows appear on the top left of the screen depending on the camera position.

This will be fixed in the next version. Shadows have been improved.

> There should be a way to plot a path through the overworld.

Eventually, the "overworld" will be changed completely, (see this post: https://itch.io/t/1355801/new-strategic-design), so not really worth the bother.


By the way, if you want to try  the full version of the game send me an email to edwelch@astronautz.com and I will send you a link to download it.

I am working on improving the rock field generation algorithm. The new algorithm creates more realistic rock fields and also arranges the rocks, so that can be used for cover easier. The old algorithm had too few high rocks and too many medium height rocks that just served to restrict the path of the soldier, without giving good cover.

new rock field algorithm

Instead it could look for other (smaller) walls etc. which can be found in other parts of the map.

The wall has to be big enough to fit all the soldiers that are retreating. Sometimes this wall happens to be at edge of scene, but not always.

I could send some soldiers to occupy a building near the  defense wall. That would make it a bit more difficult.

Hi Petf, 

Let me explain how the AI retreat algorithm works.

Firstly, only soldiers engaged with your soldiers take part. They choose a wall, because that's the easiest structure to defend and the wall must be in opposite direction from your soldiers positions to avoid fire during retreat. The wall could be anywhere, not necessarily at the edge of the scene. During retreat they will take pot shots if you pursue them, but only if they have high chance of scoring a hit. Also, because only part of the militia are retreating, if you start chasing them you can run into other enemy patrols. I think in fact, having different groups of enemy following different strategies make it more unpredictable for the player.

Inside a building is not a good place to defend if there are a lot of soldiers, because they tend to get in each others way.

Hi Petr, 

Nice to hear from you again.

> Nades: The bugs are pretty well fixed. Throwing nades out of / into windows and doors works perfectly. Only when standing next to a building and trying to throw very close to the corner of the building, the nade sometimes bounces off the roof or the corner. But I think it is ok if there remains some risk when handling with nades.

that's good to hear ;)

> The increased damage inflicted by the nades creates a good balance compared to other weapons now. Anyway, I think at the end of the game there could be even more powerful and longer ranged nades, to create a balance to the more effective weapons that become available at this stage.

In a future version, I will add under-barrel grenade launchers, which will have longer range

> AI nades: AI throws far less nades and with less skill than in the previous version. I think you could improve the skill and the number of nades a little bit. I played a whole campaign without getting hit a single time by a nade.

I was worried that AI throwing grenades would make it too hard for players, because they're hard to defend against and cause a lot of damage. In the next version soldiers have a grenade skill attribute, which will allow them to throw grenades further. I will make soldiers throw more grenades in harder levels.

> AI tactics: I like the defend building strategy that the AI sometimes chooses. Anyway the tactics sometimes are not really coherent: If an overpowering enemy uses half of its power to forward attack and the other half to camp buildings on the other side of the map, he loses his major advantage. All or most of the enemy forces should stick to a single strategy.

I thought it would make the game more interesting having different enemy employing different strategies in the same battle. I will consider making them stick to the same strategy.

> Strategic map: When attacking an overpowering enemy I can place my soldiers next to the retreat zone and wait for the enemy to attack. When I realize the enemy is about to win, I simply retreat, get my soldiers healed in the hospital and then attack again. I think this somehow could be considered a cheat. Suggestion: There should be a penalty when retreating, for example the enemy recovers his former strength.

Yes, I could do that.

> Bug: When using this strategy and an own soldier dies in battle, his weapons are returned to the inventory, although I left them on the battlefield when retreating.

I will fix that.

> Strategic map: I think there could be more missions. I can't even get near to the maximum skills available for my soldiers when the game is already won.

I could also just make the soldiers gain skill points faster.

> Bug: Sometimes the death animations do strange things to the dropped weapons. A gun can keep spinning on the ground or instead of being dropped, it is thrown for a long distance, as happened here (the gun at the top of the image was "dropped" by the enemy at the bottom of the image):

I will look into it

Yes, the full version is available on the server, but it's 1.3.2, not 1.3.1. I had to release a last minute bug fix. Send me and email if you have any problems downloading. Thanks very much for testing ;)

> Weapon balance: in the final stage of the campaign the FN SCAR seems to be too powerful. If I manage to equip my soldiers with 2 or 3 of these guns, they are about invincible. It has a range that comes close to a sniper rifle, incredible accuracy and power and needs only 8 AP for a single shot. It therefore outperforms most of the sniper rifles. My soldiers have an average of 30 APs at the end of the game. So they can fire 3 shots with the FN SCAR, whereas most sniper rifles only allow 1 or 2 shots, depending if I have to move that soldier or not.

In the current version there are too many FN SCARs.  I will just reduce the amount

Issue: In the tactical game the "retreat" button is messed up with the "menu" button, when playing at the highest resolution (and moving soldiers to the retreat area, of course).

Good catch. I will fix

> Weapon balance: Nades are doing a great job in about the first half of the campaign. But when the soldiers get better weapons (like the AKM or FN SCAR), nades become more and more useless. The AP/damage/range ratio for most nades is too bad, compared with these weapons. Especially when soldiers are armed with FN SCAR, there is no  way to get close enough for throwing a nade.  So usually I don't take the risk to get close to any enemy at this stage of the game. I rather try to take them out with long range weapons before they get too close. 

You use grenades less, but there are still situations where they come in handy (for instance, sometimes several enemy will try to rush your position)

- when long range weapons are available, there should also be better nades: with more power (like the RPG) and a better range (maybe by adding more bounciness the range could be increased)

As a quick fix, I could make the M87 grenade even more powerful than the F1. In future versions I will add grenade launchers, maybe remote detonation devices

- throwing skills could improve during the game

I had planned to add this in a future version

- when the available slots are occupied, the following occurs: when I drag and drop an object to the active (hand) slot, the current object is dropped to the inventory. But when I drag and drop an object to the secondary slots, I can't drop the object there. I first have to free that secondary  slot, then I can drop an object there.

That's a good point. I will fix it.

- when I move a weapon from any slot back to the inventory it will appear in the broken-weapons-tab, if that tab was open while removing the weapon

I will fix that bug

- there could be an easier solution for getting the  attachments found on broken weapons from battle loot: I have to move the broken weapon to any soldier's weapon slots, move the attachment back to the inventory, move a new weapon to the soldier's slot, look for the attachment again and finally attach it to the new weapon. Suggestion: When receiving broken weapons as battle loot, the attachments should automatically be stored in the misc.- inventory. 

I will think about it

- nades sometimes crash the game: so far this has happend twice to me: an enemy soldier throws a nade but it doesn't explode. Instead it keeps turning around on the ground, resulting in a permanent loop with no way to skip. See this image (the soldier tried to throw the nade, it bounced off the wall and never exploded):

I know there are a lot of bugs caused by the grenade throw code. I am going to release a bug-fix version soon.

Hi Petf,

I'm glad you like the new features. Below are my answers

> Nades. Awesome! Now i want a bazooka, too! Nades  offer  new tactical options when an enemy is camping or attacking with too many soldiers in one area. The attacking range and the damage inflicted in relation to the APs required to throw nades are in good balance, i think. Things that could be improved:

> the timer could be much shorter. When enemies and allies throw nades it slows down the game because i always have to wait for the nades to explode although they are fighting in remote areas where they can do no damage to me.

Yes, I agree. I will reduce it.

> a turn can be over altough the nade has not exploded yet (due to the nade's timer still counting).  When you are lucky you can still  move away from the nade before it explodes. In a turn based game all attacks should be executed before the next player's turn starts.

Yes, I thought it would be interesting to give the player a chance to avoid the grenade, but it does break the logic of turn-based games. I will change that.

> when enemies or allies throw nades in remote places i still can see the smoke. I think this should be hidden by the fog of war. Spotting the smoke makes it pretty easy to locate enemies and allies.

Ok, I will fix that.

> sometimes the nade path indicates green light but anyway my soldiers manage to throw the nade against a wall etc. and it will bounce back to them. Is this meant to be this way? (is the nade path indicator meant to be inaccurate to some extent? In that case there should be a waiver of liability :)

Yes, the trajectory calculation is not thorough enough. I will fix.

> i have the feeling that allied AI has improved much more than the enemies AI. Maybe it depends on who is attacking and who is defending or how many soldiers are on the map. But enemies still tend to make massive attacks without any cover when my soldiers are well hidden and covered. Often they rush out of their cover when i send a single soldier to attract their attention (or even better: let my allies draw their attention). Then i move this soldier back to cover and the enemy will keep attacking without any cover. Usually AI tries to escape when it is too late, when only one or two soldiers are left.

No. Allied AI is more defensive. It'll only fire one shot, which leaves more APs to retreat further to better cover. However, this leads to the soldier constantly moving back and forth. That's OK for allies, but it makes for an annoying enemy to fight against. So, the normal AI tries to take cover, without moving out of range - that leads to less back and forth movement. I don't think it's a problem, because the objective is to make the AI challenging, but not unbeatable. 

> On the other hand i found the enemy AI chose a defensive strategy on one map, hiding the soldiers in buildings all the time, which made it very hard to attack.

> In short: I think the enemy AI should try to take more cover and hide in buildings etc when they are overpowered.

The enemy will randomly adopt a "defend buildings" ploy for 20% of the battles. That means they will wait for the enemy inside the building instead of charging forward. I could change it so they use the "defend buildings" ploy only when they realise they are over-powered.

> enemies and allies often throw nades with a low path when the opponent is covered behind an object. AI should try to get closer and throw with a high path.

The AI sometimes throws the grenades high, but the algorithm is not very sophisticated. I prefer to keep it that way. If it were too clever it would make it very hard for players to defend against grenade attacks.

> when the AI tries to throw a nade and it comes back bouncing off an object, it shouldn't try to make the exact same throw from the same position again.

Each enemy soldier has only one grenade, so that shouldn't happen very often. 

Strategic Map:

> Allies are overpowering in last quarter of the game and keep attacking enemy cities with waves of soldiers (each wave with a strength of about 200 or more). This results in battles of 25 or more (very poorly armed) allies - this makes these battles almost unplayable: i have to wait more than 3 minutes until the AI finally completes its turn (including the above mentioned delay caused by nades). Maybe there could be an option to speed up / skip the animation of the AI's turn or only show those actions that happen next to my own soldiers or could have an effect on them.

If the fighting between militia occurs out of visual range the animations are already speeded up. I can reduce the grenade delay time, which will improve things. Also, I will cap the maximum amount of allies in one battle.

Issues:

> I am testing on Ubuntu 20.04: when moving objects or dragging the walking  path for soldiers, the bars showing AP, health etc start to flicker in different colours. When i release the mouse button, the flickering stops. 

- when picking up an object from the ground it replaces the currently held object, which is fine. But the replaced object appears to be on the ground now although it is stored in the backpack.

I will look into the flickering problem. The other issue looks like a bug.

Thanks very much for the feedback.

Thanks for the feedback Ursom, below are my answers

> Pressing 'H' pops up the hotkey list

> Not obvious, make an icon or menu item

I'm planning on having online help selectable from the main menu

> That's the hard one. I guess you'd better add some limit to witch allies can attack enemy city, so player will not join at the very end of battle.  This game has  "overwhelming advantage" check, and it ends battle a bit earlier than complete annihilation. That's smart and works for city capturing.

I don't see the problem. If allies have done all the work, they should receive all the rewards. Most times the play will not arrive late in the battle. 

> One more good thing I would mention - silencer actually works very well! It looks like enemy cant's see me if I hide right after I see them and silencer doesn't attract other enemies, if they shoot me with silencer.  

Sometimes you can see the enemy, but they can't see you. In this case you will notice "zzz" in the target indicator above their head. 

> So I was able to specifically play a full game round without disturbing them and killed like 4 of them in ninja way! Also, I've seen they doing area patrol - awesome, thanks for adding this feature! There could be improvements later on but it's good enough for this release. 

That's great

> For future release, it would be cool if AI give a chance to hide when enemy noted player's location... so they run to a spot where player was, not to actual player coordinates. 

It already does that.

> Maybe add "camouflage cape" instead of armor?

That feature will have to wait for future versions.

> 1. So old saves are not versioned and appear broken on the list... it's not a big issue, we discussed that already.

yeah, That's just a mater of changing the error message. I'll fix that next version

> 2. Throw nade, kill enemy, press undo - this will not undo the kill and not return nade in inventory. works like extra AP.

Good catch. I forgot to program the undo for grenades. Easy to fix

> 3. swapping broken and non-broken weapon places good one to broken list... but only once.

yes, I will fix that too.

>Questions:

>1. What are the key-bindings? I found that space moved camera to current Merc and "D" starts game after placing Mercs in >start zone. how do >I call a list during the game?

Pressing 'H' pops up the hotkey list

>2. Battle at Jury, where I play with allies ended on second turn without my participation, that is fine, since allies live their own life... but there >was a message saying, they received several AKs and like 10 nades as trophy, and I got nothing... how is it calculated, who gets what? by % of >kills?

Yes, it's proportional to the damage you inflicted on the enemy. For instance, if allies inflict 40% and your squad inflicts 60% on enemy, then loot distribution is 40-60

>3. is snipe scope and 7.62 silencer available somewhere?

Sniper scope is only available in full version of game. Send me a email to edwelch@astronautz.com and I will send you the full version of 1.3. Silencers are only available for 9mm and 5.56mm caliber.  

> 4. I guess walk route calculation should first offer the best route. Below left image is what it gives by default when I move mouse straight down. >To get route from the right image, i need to move mouse around a bit... I mean, it still works but I'm trying to understand what was the intent >behind this logic...

It's just the nature of the A* pathfinder algorithm. Sometimes it does not get the perfect path.

>The rest is awesome! nades are doing good, and the fact that enemy uses them actively adds much fun to the game! Hard mode is not too much hard, but good enough, takes about 4-5 hours to complete for me - like that :)

That's good to hear. Thanks very much for the feedback!

The version with new AI behaviour was released yesterday

I implemented some of the ideas mentioned here in the latest version. The AI now will sometimes fight from inside buildings, rather than moving towards the enemy position. Also, they will retreat to a rally point, if they think the enemy is too well "dug in".

Unfortunately, I could not implement all the requests yet. I prefer not have too many new features in one version. The next version will concentrate on scene generation improvements.

Previous discord expired. New discord link: https://discord.gg/Nfv8ygChwR

> How about making nades roll on a ground, rather than bouncing?

what for? The grenade travels further if bouncing

> What happens to the roof when throwing inside a building?

The roof goes semi-transparent so you can still see inside

Hi Ursom,

Thanks for your feedback on the roadmap. Let me answer.

The plan is to first improve the tactical part of the game, then the strategic part.

I am not making the game much more complicated than it already is - I am just making the strategy part better. The current strategy design is really only a stop gap. In fact, the new version will make it a lot more like Jagged Alliance. It certainly will not be like Galactic Civilisations. Now the non aggression agreement is necessary, because the player will be right next to a strong enemy that he has to eventually defeat. Without the agreement the enemy would just attack and wipe him out. He will not be able to do it until he gathers and equips a stronger squad. This gives the player motivation and makes the game more interesting. Also non-aggression agreements are not for free - you have to pay a hefty fee to maintain them.

About MMOs, believe it or not, not everybody likes them. Some people prefer playing offline against an AI.

There are some squad based games that have almost no strategy part (for instance Silent Storm) and the next battle is just chosen by selecting from a list. That makes the game very one-dimensional, in my opinion.

As, regards hiding in bushes, that seems like a good idea, I will consider it.

I didn't really understand the last part about the machine learning.

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Grenades part 2:

This is a video of the latest status. You can throw grenades at a low or high trajectory, which is selected by the fire mode button. The high trajectory setting is good for throwing over objects in the way and low trajectory for throwing further. 

The player initiates the throw by pressing the "throw" button on the HUD, or by holding down the CTRL key and then the ballistic path  is displayed. The player can move the mouse to select the desired path and then press the left mouse button to throw the grenade.

Normally, roofs are removed so the player can easily see inside buildings, but when throwing the roofs are temporarily put back on, to prevent being able to throw through the roof.

The code isn't 100% yet, that's why they don't all get hit. 

For next release I'm only planning hand grenades and under barrel launchers.

Merc Tactics community · Created a new topic Grenades!

I am currently working on adding grenades to Merc Tactics. 

> Major cities could be the places where you can buy and repair weapons and armors, sell stuff, heal your soldiers, hire squad members etc. 

The problem with that is that the player has to travel back and forth to the repair shop location to fix weapons. With the new design, if an enemy counter-attack is expected the player's squad can wait in the current village, keeping it safe, while repairing / healing, without needing to track back.

> You are right, some of the enemies will try to move closer in order to hit me, but most of them stay basically at one spot. This occurs most frequently when you hide behind a fence or an object like a car. When you hide in a building the AI most of the times works great:  they will try to enter from various sides and kill you if the enemy outnumbers you. So I think that maybe the calculated hit probability is is misleading the AI: If someone hides behind an object and you aim at him, the crosshair turns green. I think you mentioned earlier in another thread that the obstacle is not taken into account when calculating the hit probability. Maybe this is the reason why the AI keeps trying to kill you and misses almost all the time.

There is a problem if there is a tall thin object, such as a post in front of the target. I can fix this though in the next version.

> And yes, it is true that some enemies wait for an interrupt. But the majority keeps trying to shoot and stay uncovered.

> I don't see a problem. If you take good cover, you should be able to defeat the enemy. That is the whole point of the game.

> I think it is ok for easy and normal skill level. But pro players will discover this exploit easily and win almost any battle (i am only a casual player and discovererd it quickly). I think that very hard skill level should be insanely difficult, making it almost impossible to win when your players are outnumbered.

I could make more of the enemy try and flank the player's squad on higher difficulty. Also, maybe send one soldier to completely circumvent the player's cover and come from around the back. 

> Your answer from the other thread: > If you overwhelmed by enemies, then you could just play on an easier level. Apart from that, I could make Ben Dabi take a more defensive attack.

> Being overwhelmed by the enemy is not the problem. I manage to win most of these battles (also on hard and very hard skill level), but my Ben Dani allies are only useful as human shields: The AI will always try to shoot them, as they are standing around completely uncovered. I put my soldiers in covered positions and take out the enemies while they are busy killing the Ben Dabis. When they finally eliminate the Ben Dabis I usually have managed to kill a lot of enemies. The remaining enemies now will try to attack my soldiers, but are too weak to achieve this. This tactic is ok, but I would prefer my allies to do a better job than only playing human shields :) 

so, the best solution is to just make allies more defensive. For instance, if they shoot only once, then they have more APs to find cover.

> I like the idea of being able to add more soldiers to your squad. In the current version I can't afford to lose any of my soldiers and I keep restarting the battle until I  manage to win it with all of my  soldiers surviving. Your draft could bring back some of the the good old x-com strategy: train a core of good soldiers and hire normal soldiers to provide back up - and who can be reemplaced if they are killed in a battle.

I just play the battle again if one of my soldiers gets killed, but it'd be handy to have a substitute while one soldier is being healed

> Personally I don't see any need for equipping gunsmiths and armourers. This could turn the game into another "gain resources and start to produce goods and weapons" strategy game. I suggest to keep the strategic part simple. Collecting taxes and hiring people etc. sounds good. But I think it would be sufficient to be able to buy (or repair) weapons in bigger cities, without having to take care of employing and equipping a gunsmith. Until now I actually never have bought (and very rarely repaired) a weapon. The weapons dropped by dead soldiers are more than enough to equip the own squad.

Sometimes the enemy drop weapons in good nick, but usually they need repair. Also, the guns wear out the more you shoot. Eventually, you will get a gun jam if you don't repair. 

> Non-aggression agreements with stronger clans seems an interesting strategic element. Have you thought about other types of agreements too? Maybe instead of non-aggression agreements players could also try to ally to another clan and not have to pay tributes. The player than has to join this clan in battles (maybe against an enemy both have in common) to gain reputation. If the player's reputation with the clan is good, the clan won't attack, but if the reputation is too low, the clan will abandon the agreement and start to attack.

The reason for this feature is because there will be an enemy that's close to the player's home and unbeatable in the beginning. The player then has his objective very clear, to become powerful enough to eventually over power this enemy. Also, the protection money paid will be very high and the player will be forced to expand to earn more taxes. I don't think I want to add more complex agreements

This is the first draft of the new strategic design. This is only a rough draft and will tweaked a lot as it's implemented.

The strategic game will change to focus on occupying territory. The player will start off with one village and try to expand from there.

Each village that the player owns contributes certain amount of weekly tax to the players earnings and has a small labor pool.

Each person in the labour pool has the following skills:

Life points, Accuracy, APs, auto skill, interrupt skill, repair skill, medical skill

The player can hire anyone from the labour pool for a specific assignment according to his/her skills. 

The player must pay a weekly fee up front, plus an initial hiring cost, which is 20% of the weekly fee.

The size of this fee depends on the skills of the employee.

Assignments are as follows:

Soldier in players squad, militia man (used to garrison villages),  gunsmith / armourer,  medic

Possible labour pool for players home village would look like this:

Soldiers in player's squad are directly controlled by the player in a battle and militia men are controlled by the AI. Soldier's in players squad are paid 4 times their normal salary.

The player must supply militia men with weapons, gunsmiths / armourers with tools and medics with med kits to do their jobs.

Each worker can be given any assignment at anytime, which include guarding village, repairing, etc., or traveling to another location.

Each employee can be equipped with any equipment from the village storehouse.

Each village will send out raiding parties to surrounding villages (as in current game). Raiding parties can only be seen from one hex space away. The player can send militia men to any hex space to act as scouts (i.e. to give advanced warning of incoming raiding parties).

When a battle starts all workers in that location will be put in to the battle and can get injured (even if not employed as militia men). Medics and gunsmiths will fight if armed, otherwise they will try to avoid contact with the enemy.

At the start of each week all employees have to be paid in advance, or let go. They can also be reassigned to a different task. The player has an initial amount of capital, so initially salaries can be higher than tax income, but when capital runs out he will have to let employees go.

At the start of each week, new people may enter the village and can be hired.

Some characters will work for free (such as Watski in the current game)


The map will be hexagonal. Each hexagonal space on the map will contain, either empty country side, a village, or mountains / rivers (impassible)

Each village is normally occupied by a hostile militia clan. Each militia will be constantly trying to take over adjacent villages, by sending out attack parties.

Some clans will be too strong for the player to defeat and so the player can ask for a non-aggression agreement, but this means that the player will have to pay a weekly tribute.

Initially, travel is by foot. Traveling through a hex space with a road takes 6 hours and 12 hours if there is no road. If a location is occupied by the player's militia they can see approaching enemy attacks from adjacent spaces. 

These rules can get infinitely complicated if you get carried away,  so I want to keep things as simple as possible for the time being. Any comments , or ideas are welcome.

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Replying to both Petf and Tchey:

> Almost all other similar games do click, not drag. Both should coexiste, actually, but IMO "click" is a must unless you like to disturb players habits for... no reason. Drag is usually used for precise tactical behavior, like Door Kickers or Frozen Synapse, where you must do several things on the way. and phone/touch games, but let’s not talk about those horrible GUI here...

I see now that you are right. But if I use a left click to create path, then I can no longer use left click for panning.  I would have to change panning to either right, or middle button click.

> Often the camera still hides somethings i’d like to see. If not free at the very least it should cover 4x90° not just 2x180° Also for pure cosmetic, i like moving the camera around. It’s a big QoL in "all" games, i think.

I will look into it. 

> Same here, watch the images I uploaded in  my last reply in the thread I opened here: Testing V 1.2.1. The AI will always come for you so there is no need for taking any risk and leave the cover. Sometimes you have to send one of your soldiers to wake the enemy up, then run back and prepare the ambush. It works many times, also on very hard skill level.

I don't see any problem with that, considering the player has used good tactics in finding good cover (which will not always be located near the deployment zone). Also, in big scenes not all the enemy attack in the first wave. The player will have to leave the cover to seek the rest of the enemy on the other side of the battlefield. As I said in previous thread, I could make new behaviour that the militia retreat to a building once they have taken a lot of damage.

> Also the AI of allied troops could be better. I am currently playing the full version and I am fighting the cities that are not available in demo. There are so many enemies that you need some allies. But it is disappointing to see Ben Dabi forces  running into the opponents' fire completely uncovered.

If you overwhelmed by enemies, then you could just play on an easier level. Apart from that, I could make Ben Dabi take a more defensive attack.

> I also agree with  the proposed improvements for the "strategy map". Anyway I think Ed is going to change some things there, so I will wait for future updates.

I'm working on that ;)

> The game crashes when I go back to Ben Dabi in order to meet my fellow merc and it also crashes when I have earned enough reputation to make Leonidas join my squad: When I go back to Ben Dabi on the strategy map to meet Leonidas, the game crashes (on linux and windows).

As I said in previous thread, I can't reproduce. I'll have another look, but if you could send me the game save data that would be useful.

> I am still fighting the last villages in the full version and my allies are so annoying... They seem like lemmings, rushing for the enemy and trying to catch some bullets. And when all allies get killed before you win the battle, the Ben Dabi forces won't move in to these places (on the strategy map). So the enemy can easily retake these places once you have left. Is meant to be designed this way?

The Ben Dabi uses a slightly modified AI algorithm as the enemy, but as I said before I could make it more defensive.

> I would suggest some kind of communication with allied forces on the tactical map. It is ok that you don't share their FOV. But there could be some interaction like status infos (enemy spotted, enemy in this building etc.) and I would suggest a way of asking the allies to do certain things (take cover, stick together, attack, flank the enemy etc). Maybe this could increase the probability to survive for some of them.

Ok, I will think about that.

Hi Petf, sorry I didn't answer before, I only noticed this post today.

> I checked the flickering issue again and it it caused by firefox hardware acceleration, so nothing wrong with the game.

that's good to know.

> But I found a bug on strategy map on very hard skill level: When you return to Ben Dabi to meet your partner and to make him rejoin the squad after conquering the villages he indicated, the game crashes and reports a memory access error. This bug can be reproduced.

I can't reproduce this bug. Maybe if you have saved a game just before the bug occurs, you could send me the game save data and I will have a look at it.

The game save data is stored as a number of files in the "C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming\MercTactics" under Windows

and in {home dir}/MercTactics/gameSave directory under Linux 

> I am playing a campaign on very hard skill level and it is really hard, so don't get me wrong. If the enemy outnumbers me, there usually is no chance of winning the battle. Anyway sometimes the AI doesn't manage to defeat you when hiding your squad. They just stand around, try to fire at you but hardly ever hit, because your soldiers are well protected behind some objects. See these images: 

> 7 enemies attacking 3 mercs armed only with light weapons. I tried to hide in the building some times but they came from everywhere and kicked my ass. So I restarted the battle some times and tried this place. For whatever reason the AI in this case doesn't try to attack from various sides. All enemies stay  basically at the same spot and wait for me to take take them out. 

You say that all enemies stayed in the same position, but I see in the second image two of the bodies are in different positions. It looks like two of them did try to move in (obviously you were able to kill them before they got any closer). 

The AI algorithm works as follows: if it has already missed in previous turn and does not have a good shot it will either: 1) move for a better shot, 2) wait for an interrupt

> This sometime occurs in buildings too. Normally the AI moves in quickly and kills your mercs. But sometimes it doesn't move in and tries to shoot through the windows from the outside. That makes it easy to kill them because the own mercs are protected by the building and the enemies are completely uncovered. Doesn't happen frecuently, but frecuent enough to restart the battle an win it after some try and error.

I don't see a problem. If you take good cover, you should be able to defeat the enemy. That is the whole point of the game. 

> Suggestion: AI should notice that its soldiers are suffering severe damage while causing very little damage to the mercs. When the ratio is too bad for the AI, it should change its strategy and attack in a different way.

> And another thought: The AI always attacks. I just have to wait for them to come for me with the advantage for me to kill some of them uncovered. The AI could use different strategies, for example hide in a building and wait for me to attack.

Maybe I could combine both of these ideas: when militia group receives a certain amount of damage, they abandon the attack and move to a place with good cover and wait for the player to attack

Hello Tchey,

Thanks for the feedback.

+- from itchio app, game doesn’t run, must go to local folder and run the MercTactics launcher manually

I think the itchio app is looking for a script to run the game. That should be easy to fix.

- drag to move is fine, but a click once to target, click again to confirm, would feel better IMO

I don't think that's a good idea. It would slow things down, besides there is an "undo" button in case you make a mistake.

- same for shooting, click to target and see details, click again to confirm, would be good

I will look into it.

-- driving around to reach shop, recruit, heal etc is no fun. I read you want to improve battlescape first, geoscape later, so there is hope !

I would prefer a "base" instead, but not sure if you can or want to do so.  Maybe at least a mobile truck with some basics, instead of the jeep ?  Maybe let the player select a few nodes to have camps/bases, with some steps to improve them with money, reputations, something, and attracting bandits to attack ?

I have a plan to change the strategic part of the game (i.e. the 2D map). I will write a post soon, explaining that.

- Free camera please ? also when i switch camera, the direction are inverted too, ie right arrow moves the map to the left.

I am not too keen about the free camera, because it just creates more work for the player, without being really necessary. I will fix the key issue.

+- Mouse customization, so i could use MMB to pan the view, LMB to select, RMB to fire, Thumb mouse button to open inventory, etc 

that seems like a good idea, I will look into it

+- A way to remove roof, without having a unit inside ?

The roofs disappear once your mercs come close to the building. This is so that you can't see everything until you explore the scene.

+- Deployement is too often similar, a road, some buildings, an open space to deploy first turn i  run to cover and wait for the AI to attack, as they always find me it seems.

Yes, I want to vary the types of scene. I have planned to add a randomised building generator, which should give more type of building.

- AI was "stuck" a few times, while my men where behind heavy covers, untouchable. I just stand, shot, kneel, the AI shot at my cover, repeat until victory.

The enemy should be occasionally be able to hit you, even if hiding behind wall. Also, they try to flank your position, or try to get an interrupt, after missing several times. It could be a bug. I will look into it.

Thanks for your reply and yes, I would like to test the full version of the game.

Just email me at edwelch@astronautz.com and I'll send you a link to the linux version (I assume you are using linux)

> 1. Tactical map: When you kill an enemy next to a car, the death-animation goes through the car. It is really a minor issue, because at the end of the animation everything is fine again.

Yep, the code that prevents intersection isn't perfect, but works most of the time

> 2. Strategy map: When you move to the last available village in the demo version and don't do anything for a long while, your allies will conquer almost the whole map. After that, nothing occurs for a long time. But at about day 200 the paths on the map start to flicker at random. The flickering increases and finally the whole screen flickers and leads to a total system crash, forcing you to perform a hard reboot (tested on Ubuntu 20.04).

Thanks for spotting that, I'll fix it in the next version 

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Thanks very much for the praise Petf and glad you liked the game and didn't find bugs (I guess the stability release paid off ;) )

>All the battle-maps are designed more or less in the same way: a street in the middle and some houses on both sides. This can get boring after a while as it allows players to use the same tactics on about all the maps.

> I think you could add greater variety to the map design without even creating new artwork by just balancing houses, streets and landscape differently on each map. With the objects included already in the game you could  create a map without the notorious street in the middle and set it up for example with only houses and narrow paths between them. This would create a sort of urban warfare battleground allowing players to take advantage of light weapons. Other maps could be forests or fields, consisting of only bushes and trees, forcing players to use different tactics (and weapons) on each landscape.

Currently, the layout of the village is randomised, so there are several layout possibilities, with 1 - 4 roads and sometimes buildings on one, or more sides of the road. Sometimes it will layout several buildings close together and sometimes spread out. I could add forested areas, or orchards and rock fields. Also, if you meet the enemy on the road between villages you will see a countryside scene, with trees, rocks and maybe one or two shacks. At the moment the rock field generation is not good. I will fix that. Also, I want to implement a randomised building generator. This would make a lot more varied types of building and could make huge buildings, so the battle could take place mostly indoors.

> The mission objectives could me more variable. What about taking/defending a certain object (building or bridge)? What about hostage rescue or protecting civilians / refugees? Or giving cover to a person that has to walk to a certain point on the map? The person could be an unarmed member of your team, allowing you to control his movements in these missions...

That's a good idea, I want to do something like that.

> Grenades have already been demanded. I would like to add a sniper rifle, smoke and flashbang nades to the wishlist, providing new tactics to the players. And what about a rocket launcher? (remembering the good old x-com days...)

Yes, grenades & launchers are at the top of my list of todo features. Sniper rifles already exist, but they are only in the full version. Let me know if you want the full version and I will send you a download link (I offer this version to anyone who gives feedback)

> A way of healing your soldiers without having to drive to the hospital all the time would be nice. Continuous self-healing or pop-ups offering medical aid for cash would be an option. What about medi-packs in the game?

> I am collecting loads of useless weapons and have to drive a long way to sell them. You could also add pop-ups with merchants offering to buy those weapons, maybe for a worse price but without having to drive to another city.

I'm going to change this in future versions. At the moment I am adding features to the tactical part of the game (i.e. the battles). Once I have improved that I will work on the strategic part of the game (i.e. the 2D map). I am going to get rid of hospitals and workshops and use medics to heal mercs and gunsmiths to repair weapons.

> You could add more interaction with allies. They could request assistance for attacking certain places. And players could request assistance for their intended attacks.

The goal is to assist the Ben Dabi militia in any battle they may engage in, so if you see them moving to attack a village you should in to assist. 

> I would also apreciate (as other players have mentioned here), to be able to fire although the enemy is out of range. There can be reasons to shoot although the hit probability is very low. For example when a group of enemies is approaching you may hit any of them when shooting at random. This would also enable you to draw the enemies' attention to a certain player (in safe distance) and leading them to an ambush you prepared for them. 

You can already fire beyond the effective range by 60%. I will look into making it more.

> Reverse Angle Camera: works great, but what about more angles? or even free camera rotation? When you are in a building sometimes none of the available angles will work for you.

I will look into it. 

> Diffculty: On easy level most of the missions are a piece of cake, that's ok. But 2 or 3 cities in the middle of nowhere are defended by about 2 or 3 times as many defenders equipped with powerful weapons which makes it hard (i think almost impossible for novice players) to win these battles.

On easy level you have villages with 1 - 2 enemies at the start. Later on it's 3 - 9 enemies (bear in mind you will have increased your squad size by then). I guess could reduce that to 3 - 7 max enemies.

> The hard level could be more tricky. Once you learn the AI's tactics it is easy to outskill them. You just have to build your fortress in a building or behind a wall with all your soldiers assembled at one place - and let the enemy attack. They will do the favour. After some hiding they will start to run uncovered into your ambush and you can take them out 1 by 1 (which ist fun anyway :). Just stand up, shoot and crouch again. Your soldiers are almost invulnerable behind objects. Those enemies who manage to make it into your fortress will be killed by one soldier who has saved some APs for exactly this purpose. This tactic allows you to collect the assault rifles your dead enemies leave on the floor although your soldiers were only armed with pistols. Suggestion: AI (enemies an allies) should try to take better cover and not head directly to their opponents but look for a sneaky way, where you can't spot them or where they are covered.

If the hard level is too easy you can switch to "very hard". Some scenes have very little walls, or the walls are on the opposite side of the village, so you may not have it so easy to make an ambush. The AI will eventually try to flank your position. I could add an AI behaviour so they completely walk around your cover and come in behind you.

> My previous game settings, like "windowed mode" ignored.

That is a bug. The new version was meant to be able to read the old settings

>  Not sure if any other back compatibilities broken by that old AppData

Don't worry about it, everything should be fine ;)

1.2 breaks compatibility of old games, but that does not always happen when we release a new version. When you create a new campaign, all these old game saves are deleted

Ok, if that makes things easier. I setup a discord server. This is the link: https://discord.gg/PeecKue3