The Early Access Road Map.

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Author

Gen’l,

Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865) will launch in Early Access on Steam on Aug 21, 2020. Early Access means the game is not yet in its final, intended form. Instead, we want to improve it further before calling it “ready”. By purchasing the Early Access version (for a discounted price), the player can already play the game, but for a more complete and polished experience, it is recommended to wait for the full release. If you’re marching with us with the Early Access release, the going will not be smooth and there will be many hardships along the way. But, instead of turning back when facing adversity, the march will continue until the final victory – the full release of the game – is achieved!

During the Early Access period, we will follow the Road Map shown above. The Road Map steps are not in order of priority, but represent the order in which the missing features and content are finished. We will tackle the bugs and main feature improvements from the start. The most important single features he will be working on are the load & save functionality for battles and campaign AI & balancing. These are larger features requiring more development time.

During this time the other team members will be adding the content, which did not make it in the Early Access version. This includes, among other things, more commander portraits from Peter, further improvements in the campaign map, game balancing, maps, scenarios, and so on. The main steps on our march to victory, the final release, are listed below:

Map Pack #1:
This package will include a number of maps that will be randomly picked when fighting in regions where historical battle maps are not present. The functionality of the feature is already in, tested and it works, but the number of maps will be expanded to allow more diverse battle fields across the continent.

1864 Campaign:
The late war campaign scenario will start in May, 1864. Union armies are preparing to launch decisive campaigns to defeat the Confederate armies. Union commanding general Ulysses S. Grant is leading armies in the East to invade Virginia, to defeat Lee’s famed Army of the Northern Virginia, while his trusted lieutenant William Tecumseh Sherman is to move with his armies to defeat Johnston and take Atlanta, Georgia. The odds are heavily favoring the Union, but with the presidential elections closing, severe setbacks in Lincoln’s war effort may demoralize the people. If Lincoln is not re-elected, the Confederacy has a chance to enter peace negotiations, eventually preventing the nation from being overran by the northern armies.

Load & Save for Battles:
One of the most important and requested features. As the battles take a long time to play, it is only fair that the player can save the progress to continue playing later. This feature required a lot of work and testing, so that all the data will be saved intact.

Tutorial Videos:
As the game is very complex, it can be easy to lose oneself in all the details and different functionalities. We will add tutorial videos for the game, explaining the core game mechanics to help the player get going with the campaign and battles.

Map Pack #2:
This package will add more randomly selected maps as well as new historic battle fields. Mind you, this will not be the last map pack to be added to the game – more will be added post the final release, and for free. This pack will expand the number of maps to what we think is a sufficient amount in the game so that players will not be fighting on the same maps every other battle.

Campaign AI & Balancing:
This work is already underway, with each patch in beta also addressing these issues, but we are determined to improve the campaign AI and campaign experience a lot further. The campaign is what our game is all about, and we really want to make it the best we can!

After the Early Access release, we will keep the players and followers up to date about our progress by updating the Road Map. After the final step, the march will be over, and the final version of the game released. We welcome you to join us on this march! With the updating Road Map it should be easy to see the progress!

Cheers,

The Grand Tactician Team

Comments

  1. If someone has suggestions for possible future additions, can we suggest them?

    For example, I wanted to suggest the addition of historical Civil-War submarines for both the Union and the Confederation (Alligator; Intelligent Whale; Pioneer; Hunley).

  2. Development Road map looks good, I hope you sail through the development smoothly.

  3. I think we’re all ready for a long march, Generals. The men are beyond eager and I personally can’t contain my excitement.

  4. (Author)

    Andrea,

    Yes, suggestions can be made – preferably in the Steam forum of the game. We also already got a very long list of stuff we hope to add to the game after the full release.

  5. Certainly hope the save and reload works……I would think that would be #1 😀

  6. (Author)

    Rick,

    It is #1 priority, but the implementation will take more time than creation of the maps/scenarios. The work happens simultaneously.

  7. I’m looking for to the early access later this month. As well as more maps. One thing I’m really interested to see are how forts will work, as well as fort battles for both naval sieges and coastal fort sieges(similar to fort Wagner) if you guys ever need some help for anything civil war related to North Carolina I used to work with the historical society for a lot of the smaller engagements and bentonville.

  8. Obviously multi-player would be great. Any chance of that happening later?

  9. In non-historical tactical battles, will the battle maps correspond to the strategic map? So, if the opposing armies are in, say, western North Carolina will the battlefield be mountainous or will it just be a randomly generated map?

  10. Having more politics (like the old DOS game No Greater glory) would make it more different from the competition. The war was actually won at the ballot box not in the field, even Lee was aware of that he was a keen follower of New York stock and gold prices. Even in the South there was opposition from unionists, governors and generals. One feature could be loyalty ratings and party affiliations for commanders, so same party commanders get along better, another could be policy availability and success would depend on political support levels (and policies would also impact support, maybe in unpredictable ways, depending on the stage of the war and other factors).

  11. I’d love to see the uniforms that you pick when creating an army on the battlefield. That would add a lot of visual effects.

  12. Any plans to make this available to MAC?

  13. Is it possible for colonel to be promoted to bg if they proform valiant act thru out the campaign?

  14. (Author)

    Duane,

    We will add a number of sets for non-historical battle fields, which can be randomly picked in case the battle is initiated outside a historical field. These will be picked from a list and will not represent the actual terrain.

  15. (Author)

    Robert,

    It would, let’s see if we can manage that at some point!

  16. (Author)

    Josh,

    Not yet, but we will see about MAC version after the full release.

  17. (Author)

    Stickaless,

    Yes, but this happens automatically.

  18. Hello
    I wanted to point out an error on the map.
    I may be wrong, but the West Point is not in the middle of the peninsula, but at the very end of the “York River”
    as indicated on this old map, with a small branch of the railroad to the port.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overland_Campaign#/media/File:ATLAS_OR_SOUTHEASTERN_VIRGINIA_MAP.jpg

    I also wanted to ask if you have an important “Fort Hudson” on your map?

    And don’t you think that these crossings through the York and Rapahanok rivers are a big cheating for the North !?
    Any fool would use them and end up under Richmond bypassing the army !!
    this completely deprives the “peninsula campaign” of any sense !!

  19. It seems like historical accuracy is an important part of Grand Tactician.

    I have not seen discussion of the impact of enslaved people’s desertion from their captivity on the war in any preview of the game.

    Does the dev team hold the work of JM McPherson, Ira Berlin, Herbert Aptheker and others on this question in high regard?

    This article summarizes the historical argument:
    https://www.abolitionseminar.org/who-freed-the-slaves/

  20. (Author)

    Brendan,

    McPherson’s book Battle Cry of Freedom is one of the books that inspired this project, among with Ken Burns’ documentary. As of now, there is no desertion of slaves modeled in the game, except via the underground railroad.

  21. On closer thought one might also say the war was won at Shiloh, but Goodwin’s Lincoln book is a good source on northern politics if you would ever need one (and Day of the Confederacy on the southern POW, though maybe somewhat outdated).

  22. Will the game eventually be available in other versions for the computer, for example for the iPad?

  23. (Author)

    Robert Fix,

    We will take a look at the possibility of other than PC version(s) after the Early Access period is over. But already I can say iPad is out of the question as the game requires a lot more calculation power.

  24. When approximately do u think that the full version would be released?

  25. (Author)

    Richard,

    We’re hoping to get it ready during this year. But there are many moving parts still in play, so cannot promise anything, yet.

  26. Am curious about the game size memory wise and how much Early Access is at the moment and how much the full version will be.

  27. I love that you allow for battles to take place in locations other than historical locations, but why is it randomized? The United States is geographically well understood and surveyed, why can’t real data be used to create battle maps? And if I battle in a location that I know, should I not expect for this location to be modeled appropriately instead of randomly? This also adds uncertainty into the repeatability of campaigns. The real Civil War generals campaigned understanding terrain (to varying degrees). Even if certain details were masked based on perspective (ie a Northern General may not understand the terrain in the Southern rear), there was very real calculus as to when/how to resist assault based on foreknowledge of the land.

  28. Id really love to see a strong diplomacy feature that allows the player to manage relations with European powers. Maybe have a system that even allows for the UK or France to intervine if certain conditions are met by either side. It would may become a driving factor in game play.

    Generally it would be great alternative roads to victory / defeat such as a slave rebellion, losing Presidential races, loss of public will and so on. It would greatly diversify the road to victory

  29. (Author)

    Micah,

    Currently the game size is some 10 GB. There are big video files, for example. There will be more maps in the full version and the size will increase a bit.

  30. (Author)

    Brian,

    unfortunately a map generator of this accuracy is impossible – especially if going back in time to 19th century. At least it is for our team =)

  31. (Author)

    Justin,

    You can lose the presidential elections and European powers can already intervene.

  32. Okay…is it necessary for the videos?

  33. Maybe having unpredictable results is not a good idea in a game, but having the AI automanage overall campaign aspects seems to somehow make that part more trivial. Perhaps a better idea could be a war cabinet minigame where the overall policies are decided, which the AI then implements (like in some Koei games). Perhaps there could also be a minigame for the military goals with the commanders (and capturing those goals give bigger rewards). Though probably getting the game working at all is now a priority, maybe an idea for a DLC.

  34. First I would like to start off by saying this is a wonderful game, I am very impressed and it already is one of the best Civil War game’s I have played.
    I am currently playing the different campaigns and have noticed the following issues, there seems that sometimes a battle gets into a loop and just goes crazy resulting in a crash, I also randomly loose all the controls just looking at the map as an observer (restart fixes this one), on a couple occasions my opponents just ignore me walking on threw my armies and I am unable to engage.
    Things I would love to see, the experience gained from auto battle is not equal to manual engagement, increasing travel time going across the southern states in hours is not realistic, realistic movement such as stopping or slowing at night or weather, battle fatigue having a unit ready to move and fight again right after a battle is not realistic, wounded and replacements should require time to return to battle readiness, picketers for defensive action and protecting the flanks, finally allow us to change hat color and leggings also if possible add the different hats.

  35. First of all, the game is great. I have been waiting for a game like this to come around. I can’t wait for the game to be in its final release.

    A few things that I have noticed that might be a cool thing if they work on to make the game a little bit easier for the player.

    1. Managing the link status and movements of units linked to an Army HQ. Example, when you move the HQ of the Army of the Potomac, the Corps also move and attempt to converge at the location of the Army HQ.

    2. Have the numbering of the Corps be sequential, so the 1st Corp is only in one army. So you do not have like six 1st Corp.

    3. Have the ability to create independent divisions within an army without having to create a Corps first.

    4. Also, when looking at an organization in the military screen, it would be helpful to see its current location. At least in which state its highest HQ is located in.

    5. When recruiting an Artillery battery, it would be helpful to be able to select which kind of guns are to be assigned to the battery.Maybe the same thing to the infantry and cavalry units as well.

  36. How do you promote commanders, also I can’t assign certain commanders such as Lee and Longstreet even though he is available in the officers screen. Please help

  37. (Author)

    Jay,

    Commanders are automatically promoted according to position you put them in. So if a captain is put in command of a brigade (like was very usually the case with West Pointers), he will be promoted to Brigadier.

    You can assign commanders in the management panel by selecting the unit, and then next to the commander portrait you have button “REPLACE”. This allows you to select a different (suitable) commander from the list.

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