Early Access Situation Report #3.

Comments 11


February -21 brings more player requested features, as the recruitment system is upgraded with an option for faster creation of units, and policies are overhauled. Since January, the 1864 campaign was added along with performance improvements and a lot of other changes, big and small. Let’s take a look at the most important ones!

Faster Recruitment Options Available.

Quality of Life — Recruitment

Many in the community have requested speeding up the flow of recruitment. Especially when starting a new campaign, it takes time to get the recruitment going, getting weapons upgraded, and so on. To make life easier, we have added a speed recruitment option in the army management panel.

The functionality is quite simple. First you select the Headquarters you wish to add the new units to. Then in the quick recruitment options select the number of units per type to be recruited. You can also change the initial strength of the units, from 50% to 75% to full 100%. The smaller units will start growing in strength later with additional reinforcements. Once happy, click to recruit, and the units appear under the selected HQ. The recruitment state is chosen with fastest arrival time (recruitment delay & movement to join the army) in mind.

You can also upgrade weapons for the best types available by simply clicking on the Headquarters in question, and then upgrade.

Other recruitment related improvements are the availability of volunteers via militia, and other, acts. Also the recruitment delays are slightly increased. These combined mean that it will be slower to recruit large armies early on in the campaign.

New Looks & Revised Effects & Research Times. And a New Act!

Policies Overhauled.

Another requested feature has been the policies and how they work. We also thought that the policies are not well balanced enough, and that it was too easy to activate the maximum amount, as research took quite little time. Instead of minor changes here & there, the whole system, along with policy effects, was revised. This is part of the campaign balancing, which has been ongoing, and will continue till the game is released in full.

First change is in the pre-war policies, which are chosen when the campaign is started. These policies included many weak ones and a few overpowered ones, making the choice — for those who wish to change them from the historical ones — rather simple. Now the policy effects are more balanced, so the choice should be more interesting. As an example, some of the pre-war policies are required during the campaign to proceed past certain policies: pre-war industrialization is required for industrialization III-IV policies, and so on.

Also the policies <-> subsidies link is changed. Previously they made too little difference, as without any policies you could invest up to a million to each subsidy, and policies would eventually increase this by 50% at most. In the revised system, without a policy there are no subsidies available at all, and the subsequent policy levels increase the investment cap with increasing steps. The level IV policies for industrialization, agriculture and military will also include a bonus to nation’s morale, support or military experience.

With the changes in place, the policies and acts will become more powerful and interesting to use. The previous updates, which made the research speed depend on national support, and multiple simultaneously researched policies slower, adds to this. Now the player needs to think a few steps ahead.

The Confederacy is Cut in Half, but not Giving Up!

1864 Campaign.

The late war campaign, that was added in January, kicks off right before the Overland Campaign and Atlanta Campaigns commenced. Lt.Gen. Grant, now in command of the Union armies, has the task to end the war, preferably before the presidential elections of 1864 in November. Previous summer Lee was defeated at Gettysburg and Grant captured Vicksburg. But this does not mean the Confederacy is beaten. Already the Red River Campaign by Banks has failed to capture Shreveport.

The main forces in this campaign are those of Grant, Lee, Sherman, Johnston, Banks, Kirby Smith and Butler. And the fighting ahead would be the bloodiest during the war.

With the new campaign, we have also updated the campaign map and the number of commanders available within the game files has been bolstered to more than 1700!

Terrain Blocking Command & Combat Radii: Lee’s Army Cannot Reinforce Battles in the Shenandoah Valley.

Other Changes.


  • Performance increase, with +10 FPS on average,
  • First steps with scalable UI,
  • Some UI improvements with very high resolution screens,
  • Fog of War calculation changed to instant when loading a campaign/battle,
  • Fix for the blurry screen after a fresh install, when using high refresh rates.


  • Battle type improvement, with defensive/offensive operations changing the initial deployment,
  • Rebalanced skirmishers’ effectiveness in general,
  • AI use of cavalry improved,
  • Rebalanced unit routing and army retreats, that should lead into less casualties per battle, especially early in the campaign when units are green.


  • Terrain now blocking combat and command radii of armies, mountain ranges now block arrival or reinforcements,
  • Rebalanced autoresolved battles, sieges,
  • Added rolling text information on the map informing about casualties from skirmishing, rear guard action, movement speed changes,
  • Changed raiding functionality so, that raiding armies no longer capture terrain, infrastructure is burned only within the combat radius of the unit, and raiding armies will skirmish with all enemies within their combat radii,
  • Improved AI defensive operations near capital city,
  • Before Military II -policy only early armies can be formed, and after the policy grand armies with multiple corps can be formed, grand armies made more flexible with rebalancing of command radii of armies,
  • Rebalanced intelligence gathering by armies, making scouting and use of cavalry much more effective in spotting enemy movement,
  • Added a large number of Grand Herald news from the Civil War, and around the world, for further immersion.

…and many more improvements and bug fixes, that can be found in the patch release notes.

The Next Steps.

The work continues to get the game ready. With recent feature updates, focus is back in fixing bugs reported by the community. In the background we are writing a proper game manual, creating more battle maps, preparing new tutorial videos and improving the game play experience with fixes to most requested topics, such as campaign & battle retreat routes, and melees & surrendering in battles.

Most Respy,

Gen’l. Ilja Varha,
Chief Designer.


  1. Love the game and latest patch v0.8607.
    Glad policies take much longer and thus affects weapon availability. There is greater need now to plan in advance.
    Also AI getting there.

  2. Hello there, after having played the game about 20 hours in 1 week, here are all the feedback I can think of to help you improve the game!

    First of all, let me tell you that you guys did an amazing job to be able to produce this level of depth and quality with such a small team! I love the game, I love the art style, the music, the videos, the realism, the historic teachings and more! All my comments below are genuinely to help improving it! I will divide my comments in 2 sections, the Map and the Battles, and I will report both improvements suggestions and bugs that I have met.

    - I don’t find the message box in the top left very useful. I miss a lot of messages and often realize that I have 20 unread messages there but it does not really impact my decisions anyway. Maybe you could increase the visibility of the important messages received, maybe some of them could require some action/decisions from the players, like for instance accepting a shipment of weapons against some cash etc.
    - Forts: I think the idea of having forts is good, but there is not much going on with them. I found some enemy armies able to pass next to the fort and go inland without trouble, imo the fort should provide a defensive position that forbid enemies to pass by that easily. Secondly, I found the fort sieges a bit light, I cannot see the level of supply of the fort, I have no idea how long the siege is going to take depending on my army size, I cannot see if bringing a second army or a fleet nearby is going to help the siege. There is overall a lack of info about what is going on and how to make decisions during a siege, it does not really make me want to invest in forts constructions.
    - Fleets: it takes a very long time to build a ship. With the confederacy, it takes way too long to build a fleet able to break a blocade when you see the fleet size the union is starting with. I don’t really understand if it is worth investing in ship constructions. I would like to see also an ETA in days for a ship construction
    - Hide & Seek: it can be sometimes hard to engage an enemy in a battle. Even when I surround an enemy with 2 armies, he is sometimes able to escape through a third road quite easily. It is both realistic and unrealistic I think. The hide and seek game between armies is totally realistic but imo, the radius to engage a battle with an enemy should be increased and if an enemy army is in a certain range, it should not be able to avoid the battle that easily. If it avoids it by withdrawing or retreating then we should be better informed.
    - Auto battles: I found that sometimes some battles are auto-resolved. I receive some battles reports without being able to play them, without seeing the battle popup at all. Most of the times, these auto-resolved battles result in “2 casulaties on enemy and 1 casualty on my side”. I’d like to be able to really chose to play every single battle.
    - Policies: I find the policy system great, but I also find that the first choice almost always has to be the military act 1, otherwise you have no army at all and get quickly overwhelmed. Shouldn’t the first military/militia act be automatically given when the “demon of war” starts then, so we can focus on real strategic choices with other policies? If a choice must be made always first, then it is not a choice and does not bring much strategy
    - Finances: I find that a bit strange that you can invest in “industrialization”, “diplomacy”, “transportation” etc. only if you unlocked the corresponding policy. Before unlocking the policy, if you select low or high, it will always result in a “0” cost. Why not being able to invest the money where we want at all time in the finance section? Even if the industry policy is not selected, I am sure that the states have some basis of industry that we could invest in and the policy should bring a big boost to the sector we invest in.
    - Trade and goods is good to look at but I didn’t find a way to interact at all in this tab, should it be there at all if there is nothing we can do in it? Or did I miss something big there?

    - Objective points: I think to force players to attack/defend in a battle and to force players to play the battle in different sections of one same map, it would be great to dynamically change the location and score of the objective points on the map and to make them more decisive in a battle victory/defeat. Depending on the stance and movement orders of your army and your enemy’s, depending if you are the one invading or your enemy is invading your state, the objective points could be located elsewhere on the same map and with different scores, and the score could really impact the result of the battle, meaning that if you keep more than 25 points of objectives at the end of a day, you would win the battle (even if there is no bloodshed). I think this would be good to force a bit more the players to attack or defend around the objectives points. Right now, I found that you can most of the time passively dig-in and wait for your enemy to attack, even when you are the invader.
    - Enter buildings: I found that great that you can ask a brigade to enter buildings in a city to defend it but I think there is a bug when the enemy destroys one house, it kills the whole brigade, even if the brigade is actually divided within 5 houses. I think you should lose 1/5 of your brigade when the house is destroyed and if you brigade occupies 4 other houses. This could also impact greatly the morale of the brigade which would be broken if they lose 1/5 of their men in one sec. But right now, losing one full brigade sometimes make you instantly lose the battle when you have only 3 brigades for instance
    - I’d like to see the time for a brigade to recover after it has been broken and it is rallying next to an officer. And if possible, improve a bit the rally function which does not seem to work well all the time
    - I’d like to see the sight cone of the units becoming red if they are blocked by another unit in front of them that forbid them to shoot. The area of sight could stay yellow for 2/3 of it and only red for 1/3 if only 1/3 of the brigade or canon battery is blocked
    - I’d like to see a bit more autonomy for the cavalry divisions/brigades. They should automatically be detached from the corps commander and be able to navigate more autonomously and without waiting for orders, this would be more realistic imo since one of their purpose is to go far from the army to scout. It is a bit strange that when a scout is successful, you need to wait for the corps commander order to come back to your army

    I hope that’s not too many comments and that you will find some of them relevant! I am really looking forward to seeing the improvements in the next patch!

    Best of luck commanders!

  3. Hi there. Hope things are going well. Have sunk quite a view hours into the game so far and my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. The Strategic level (SL) looks great, I really love the road matrix system and the presentation is fantastic. In battle, the maps are gorgeous and the sprites have great charm. It’s also a really pleasure to see how stable the game is and how few bugs there have been. A really excellent job.

    Niggles are few and many will be undoubtedly be on your to do list.

    1. The road network is too sparse. I understand it’s probably too late in the development process to do much about it but it really limits the possibility of outflanking at the strategic level (how, for instance, might you replicate the Seven Days battles on the map at current?)

    2. The map icon priority at SL is wrong. The unit icons are the important thing, not weather to transfer troops to a fort or old battle stats.

    3. The pause is inconsistent. Clicking the pause sign and pressing P or whatever key you have chosen should give you a hard pause. At the moment, pressing p is undone by left clicking to clear notifications or trying to send an order

    4. I might have missed something but are the maximum amount of policies locked at 5 plus the level you invest? Or does that ceiling increase with time? Whilst I think you should have to wait for various policies to be implemented, the cost benefits of each should be the limiting factor rather than a set limit so the latter option would be my preference.

    5. Hotkeys are really needed I feel, especially for things like construction and the army builder.

    6. Being very greedy, I would love more options for the Army builder with brigade size, uniforms and composition. In addition, being able to create multiple brigades to similar spec at the same time would ensure the process did not become laborious. In addition, the ability to rename units needs to let you use apostrophes. One last consideration would be able to chose the brigade commander after the selection of the state so you didn’t have to change each name.

    I think a better way to model the support elements of Armies is to recruit specialist units via the Army Builder and link those to the OOB. The perks should reflect the unit’s general “personality” rather than support units like engineers/sappers/HQ staff

    7. Fort battle do lack information about how they are going. More than a few times, either mine or the AI field units have been stuck in a siege without the pop up to resolve the event. Whole corps can be swallowed up without any player control.

    8. Having a clear way to establish friendly state governments in contested areas would be handy with options so you could exclude them from taxes, drafts or policies to improve volunteering, supply and movement.

    9. The supply element and things like line of communications (LOC) seems a little inconsequential in the game too. I’ve invaded deep into AI territory with large formations without any really supply structure in place and suffered little in the way of problems. LOC and centre of operations are such a vital part of simulating the period, that is seems a misstep not to include them.

    10. I understand there is to be AI rebalancing before the release goes live but there does seem to be a problem with how the AI navigates the strategic map. I have found the AI produces numerous Armies of 30-40000 with increasingly distant names rather than consolidate it’s numbers in a few larger, corps organised, formations. It also does not produce anywhere near enough artillery.

    11. At the tactical level, there are issues with deployment areas. One problem is a unit routing in the deployment phase if it is place outside the area whilst placing a HQ. I’ve also had Corps separate their infantry units in one deployment zone and their artillery in another. In addition, is there a way to place HQs without moving the entire division to the new position?

    12. Units can’t seem to be pinned to fortifications during the deployment phase sometimes and will only take up position when the timer is running.

    13. Charging is confusing to carry out.

    14. As is falling back.

    15. Units sometimes lock into column formation without reason.

    16. I may have missed it but is there a way to move HQs without moving all their subordinate units?

    17. Would it be possible at this stage to graphically represent different weather and ground conditions?

    18. It should be possible to give units instant orders during deployment, representing orders received during the night.

    Apologies for long windedness. You have created a brilliant game, one that could easily handle other conflicts (Napoleonic/AWOI/7 years war). Thanks

  4. Hey Stuart, for the HQ positioning, you can press Alt + right click to re-position a HQ without the brigades involved!
    I found several other useful hotkeys like Ctrl+right click to set a path with checkpoints to a unit. There must be many more but I couldn’t find the full list of hotkeys anywhere…

  5. Thanks Loic

  6. (Author)


    Thank you for the feedback. Most of the topics are on our to-do list — which is quite long. Eventually, as we’re chipping away with the bugs, the game should move to the direction you are describing.

    One thing is the campaign map. Some roads can be added, but for example to imitate the 7 days battles, the scale is a bit too rough on the campaign map. The finer maneuvers can be carried out in the battle maps.

  7. Hello again Ilja,

    After playing about 10 more hours, I’d have more questions and suggestions to share with you, I’d love to see you answering some of that (by email if it is more convenient for you).


    1. I have a difficult time to understand how the recruitment work
    - Sometimes weeks pass without new volunteers available. Is it because I recruited all available volunteers at once and I should let some in the pool for them to increase faster?
    - Is there something we can do to increase the refill speed of volunteers?
    - Or the volunteers are only available to pick once and only draftees are replenished over time?

    2. I found the numbers of deserters a bit odd (I saw that when doing some army management). They seem to be much higher than the total number of “missing” that I might have had in my battles.
    - Are the deserters coming from other sources than the missing soldiers during the battles?
    - Is there a way to reduce this number or is it expected that it gets quite high for volunteers?

    3. Is there a way to change the commander in chief (in the overview)? Or does it only update automatically based on real history ?

    4. Is there a way to better follow-up the weapons availability?
    - We can see what is available when upgrading a unit but it would be nice to see what is being produced, when we can expect new shipments of guns and canons, what can we expect and when from diplomacy, etc.
    - I can’t see the canons and guns I capture in battle available to give to my units. I captured more than 16 canons (Napoleons from what I saw during the battle) but they didn’t show up in my inventory when I tried to upgrade one of my arty unit —> it would be nice to see exactly what type of guns and canons we capture and make sure that they can be available to us to upgrade our units


    1. Is there a way to make a unit move sideways (like sliding) when we reposition it? It can be frustrating to take flanking fire when trying to re-position a unit because it is making a 90 degrees angle to move.

    2. Is it intended that arty units cannot build fortifications and that we have to use infantry to build breastworks for them?

    3. Can you explain a bit more how the “rally” function of the HQ work? I would expect it to be used to rally broken units but it does not seem to work that way. When I click on rally when a unit is broken, somehow the general goes to see another unit which is still firing and doing fine. Also what would be the differences between division HQ, corps HQ or army HQ rally?

    4. I still find some of my units exhausted after the night but it seems to happen only because of a bug when one of my unit is stuck in the water or a fence at the end of the previous day. The movement animation keeps playing without the unit moving and they are losing condition by a fence or water and I cannot get them to move away. When a unit is stuck like this by a fence or in water and the night comes, the condition of the unit is not refreshed, even if we re-deploy this unit out of the fence or water in which it was stuck.

    5. Is it intended that the detach function of a unit just detach it from the corps orders but not from the division orders? When I detach a cavalry unit to use it as a scout, it still has to wait for the division commander orders. I am not sure if putting the cavalry directly under the army commander and not within a division would solve this, would it?

    Thanks a lot for your time and great work!

    Looking forward to my next 10 hours of play :D

  8. (Author)


    Some answers:
    1) Amount of recruits is controlled in 2 ways: 1) militia act (and other) policies. These “unlock” X% of the population for recruitment depending on support in their state. The other way is to use recruitment subsidies, which slowly, over time, increases the amount of recruits (1 million per year will double recruits in 2 years).
    2) Soldiers will also desert all the time during a campaign. Especially after a lost battle, or if supplies are low and under poor leadership.
    3) You cannot change him, but he is not changed per history, but dynamically. Your best commander is appointed.
    4) Currently you cannot see a list of available weapons per type, I am afraid. The weapons you capture are added to pool of weapons you have, but their type is not tracked.

    1) Not right now.
    2) Yes, it’s intentional. (we made this slightly easier at some point, earlier you needed an engineering unit)
    3) If there are units that are low on morale, but not broken, the HQ will move in to rally them. Though, here our commanders are mathematically quite advanced: if they calculate their rallying ability is not good enough to rally the units, they will not try to rally. The better the leadership of the commander, the more likely he is to be able to rally wavering units.
    4) Hopefully this is fixed in today’s patch.
    5) Detached units still get their orders from their original commander, but they are no longer part of the group orders: so the cavalry in question will not follow orders given to the divisions.


  9. Thanks a ton for your quick and detailed answer!
    Keep up the amazing work!

  10. Hi there again

    Just wanted to ask if there were plans for a jump map, at both map levels? Would really help I reckon

    Again a really fantastic game is coming together. Thank you for the hard work.

  11. (Author)

    Stuart, no plans for jump map, or minimap.

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