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petf

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A member registered Apr 14, 2021

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

Hmm, I don't know. This reminds me of the remote nade shelling that revealed enemy positions anywhere on the map, even if out of sight. I remember that you planned to limit the range where those explosions are visible for the player. Maybe you could add the same feature for opening doors? When you make opening doors visible only in a certain range of the player's units, enemy movement on the other edge of the map wouldn't be revealed.

Hi Ed!

Good to see the project advance. Do you already have a schedule for the next release?

Some observations of the door feature:

<<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>>

IMHO the visibility of the enemy is in conflict with the fog of war that the game sticks to. Making the enemy visible allows a player to see the weapons the enemy is carrying and in what direction the enemy is looking. This could allow a player to attack from another angle without taking the risk of being interrupted.
Suggestion: When trying to open a door, there could be just a message telling "The door is blocked".  So it is up to the player to decide if it worth the risk to take a look inside that building from another door or window.

In the video when the AI moves you can see doors opening and closing that apparently are out of view. Those movements should remain invisible unless there is line of sight.

Kind regards!

Peter

Very nice piece of coding! I like this project, especially for the simplicity of the game. I managed to play it without the tutorial, so i guess it is pretty much self explaining. 

The only thing that is not very intuitive are the icons used for the units. Maybe you could use less abstract icons.

I agree with the comments that criticize the final stage of a match. At the beginning movement is quick and the AI can surprise you by sneaking in and conquering a city. At the end there are so many units that the game becomes very static. And when I control a certain number of cities the AI has no chance to win the match anymore. It is just a question of time for a player to line up units and conquer the last cities. Maybe you could add an optional short game, where the match is won with the control of less cities. Or make the cities produce less units towards the end of the game.

Does the AI use any artillery? In the matches I have played so far, the AI has never produced artillery. That is a big disadvantage: when I line up my units (1st row cavalry, 2nd row infantry and 3rd row artillery) the AI has no way to break through, as the artillery will always increase my chances to win and simply makes the difference.

Another suggestion: you could consider adding more terrain types: mountains, rivers, swamp and especially roads. The game reminds me of The Perfect General (early 1990s). In that game moving units on roads would increase their speed significantly. That could also solve the reinforcement problems, that were mentioned here (having to move units from remote cities to the front line).

When there are 3 or more players there could be an option to make allies. To keep the game simple you could simply train the AI to stop attacking a player when that player has not attacked the AI for a certain period time. Alliances could bring new tactical options to the game. ... And the AI could sometimes be nasty and attack the player anyway.

Looks interesting. Maybe with that algorithm you can create maps with complete cities without those deserted spaces that make them look like ghost towns. That could add new tactical options to the game. Maybe in one of the next releases you can try out a variety  of different AI generated landscapes and we can find out which one works and which does not.

Looking forward for testing the next release. Do you know when you are going to finish it?

Hello everyone :-)

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.
-> 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. 

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
-> 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.

Hi Ed. Thanks for that explanation. 

The wall could be anywhere, not necessarily at the edge of the scene.
I have seen the enemy retreat to the edge of the map in many cases. So maybe this occurs because the AI thinks that it can find the only usable wall there (in those cases the wall was placed at the edge of the map as a part of one of those fortifications which are usually placed there).

During retreat they will take pot shots if you pursue them, but only if they have high chance of scoring a hit.
That is true, but it doesn't happen frequently and only few soldiers will stop to return fire. Most of them keep sprinting to reach the wall. I think most of them don't try to shoot because my soldiers are quite far away and out of range for light weapons - but they are within range of my sniper weapons.

I think in fact, having different groups of enemy following different strategies make it more unpredictable for the player.
Yes, I think that will make it more entertaining. So one group could prepare a real ambush instead of only returning fire half-heartedly :-) Maybe you also could tweak the AI to not always look for the big wall structures that can be found at the edge of the map in most occasions. Instead it could look for other (smaller) walls etc. which can be found in other parts of the map.

Hi Ed, thanks for your reply!

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.
I agree for the easy and normal levels. But on hard and very hard level an enemy who sticks together will make the difference.

Another point: When the enemy opts for retreating and camping, they always do the same: line up at a hiding spot at the edge of the map. This is very predictable. When they are escaping I can chase them without taking cover because (almost) none of them will stop to return fire. Suggestion: When retreating, the enemy could chose different places for camping, for example inside a building. Or they could fake a retreat and and prepare an ambush nearby.

I could also just make the soldiers gain skill points faster.
Your game is great, but it is over too soon :-) I would prefer more missions and new challenges (in future versions, I know the strategy map is not your focus at the moment).
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Hello again, here is some feedback about the current version (played a campaign on very hard):

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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):


Hello Ed,

sounds as if you resolved many issues and suggestions that have been reported here by the beta testers (including me :-) . I am going to do some testing as soon as I will be back from my vacations in 2 weeks. Is the full version available on your server?

Some final remarks:

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.

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).

That's it for the moment. I am definitely going to do some more testing as soon as you are going to release the next version. 

After more testing the campaign mode (very hard level) here are some other issues / suggestions:

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. Suggestions:
- 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)
- throwing skills could improve during the game

Inventory menu:

- 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.
- 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
- 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. 


Issues: 

- 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):


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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. 
...

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.

I completely agree with you that the AI should be beatable on skill levels easy to hard. But on very hard skill level in my opinion it should be almost impossible to win for causal palyers (as I am). Even for me the very hard skill level is too easy, especially when allies are involved, as they will always draw the enemies attention (and bullets). So I can stand back and make use of my sniper skills :-) When I play without allies things become much harder though.

To make it more difficult on this skill level you could improve some enemy AI skills:
- better nade skills.
- more tactical variety: it's really challenging to beat the enemy when he is camping inside a building. They could do this more often. And they could also use the allied tactics of "back and forth" sometimes. It may be annoying, but it is also challenging to beat an enemy who is well covered in his shelter.
- more discipline: the majority of the enemy soldiers sticks to their strategy. Anyway at the end of the match I always find some enemies who are hanging around somewhere else and not taking part in the battle at all. When the AI chooses to attack, all available soldiers should be involved.
- more discipline: when the enemy decides to camp, he should stick to this strategy and not be distracted when he spots my soldiers. Frequently all enemies begin to rush when I send a single  soldier.
Maybe on this sill level the allied AI could also be reduced to prevent a player (like me) from using allies as human shields and avoiding direct confrontation with the enemies.
- anti-camping skills: when I camp inside a building the enemy AI is great. They approach quickly and from different sides, which makes it really hard to defend. Anyway if crouching behind an object (fence etc.) the enemies keep trying to shoot at me, altough there is almost no chance of ever hitting (the old problem: there seems to be a line of fire and a hit probability, although there isn't). AI has already improved, as some enemies now try to flank when they realize that they are suffering casualties without ever hitting. However, they aren't really determined to flank: only few enemies follow this strategy and they only do it half the way, they still stay on the other side of that fence and don't get a better chance of hitting my soldiers. So again, maybe you could adjust the enemy AI to make all or at least most of them follow the  new  strategy of flanking.

Bug: At the end of the allies' turn the enemy had an interrupt. Then it was my turn, but the interrupt-message would not disappear and it was impossible to select and of my soldiers. So I had to restart the match. I got a message in  my console, but I am not sure when and if it has anything to do with it: <<ran out of objects!>>

 

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A quick feedback on version 1.3 after playing about 70% of a campaign at skill level hard:

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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 :)

AI improvement: very well done. Especially allies don't behave like lemmings anymore. When they see that there is little possibility to attack they take cover and wait for the enemy. Some ideas:
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.

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.

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.

Keep up this excellent work, Ed!

Sounds great :) When is the next version going to be released? I am looking forward to check out the changes.

Nice! Can be very useful when used against groups of enemies:-) I think you could make the impact/damage zone a bit larger so that each of the nades that you are you are throwing at them in the video causes damage to both of the enemies .

Are you going to add smoke nades, too?

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.

I know that and the idea of repairing weapons and armors is ok. I only believe that having to employ gunsmiths etc. to do these jobs, watch if they have enough to do and eventually sack them etc. could kind of overload the strategic part of the game. I would prefer the current design with some modifications. Major cities could be the places where you can buy and repair weapons and armors, sell stuff, heal your soldiers, hire squad members etc. So the players  would be able to concentrate on the core of the game, which is assembling and equipping a squad with the gathered funds.

One final thought: You could maintain the current campaign mode as a "simple campaign mode" and add the strategic part you are currently designing as another alternative, "complex campaign mode". I see pros and cons for both modes and you would give players the choice whether to play a more or less predetermined campaign with a focus on the tactic battles or a campaign that allows them more strategic movement and opens a multitude of strategic options. IMHO the current strategic mode is almost ready to use, only some minor bugs can be found. So I don't see the need of stopping its development. 

Ok, that's it for now. I will wait for the next beta to do some testing :-) Keep up this incredible work!

Sounds very promising : )

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 :) 

Ok, maybe I got you wrong there, Tchey. Nothing against optional controls. But I think the default controls / interface are quite good: click and drop movement, one-click-shots, only 3 available attack modes, unlimited ammo, no need to reload, easy picking up weapons etc. All this is really intuitive and I wouldn't like to see it getting messed up with too many additional stuff by default.

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?

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.

+- 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.

- 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.

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.

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.

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 don't agree with the suggestions Tchey makes for the "tactical map". IMHO the controls are very simple and intuitive. I don't see any need of adding anything, would only make it more complicated. 

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).


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

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 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. 

My soldiers move one field towards the street, fire and hide again. The opponent's bullets all end up in that fence/wall where I am hiding. One remaining enemy approaching from the top comes too late.

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.

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.

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

I just came around some issues:

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.

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).

First of all: Incredible work! Unbelievable that You did this all alone. And thanks for taking into consideration players' suggestions.

I tried V 1.2.1 at easy level in campaign mode and completed all the missions that are available in the beta versions. Today I gave it another try and completed the (demo) campaign on hard level.

I didn't find any bugs. Some thoughts on how to make the game even better:

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 wapons. Other maps could be forests or fields, consisting of only bushes and trees, forcing players to use different tactics (and weapons) on each landscape.

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...

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...)

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.

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.