What is Ancient Armies?
It will be the most advanced simulation of Ancient Warfare created to date.
What are its features? (this question will be updated as development continues)
- An Advanced Mapping System.
Ancient Armies features one of the most advanced mapping systems currently available to any wargame – gone are the hexes and squares of older computer based games! The mapping system can simulate maps from hundreds of metres across, up to around 50 km across, though more than likely it will be able to go much larger. The mapping system is also fully vectorised, which in layman’s speak means that it will provide a smooth and continuous zooming capability with no loss of mapping detail – regardless of how close one zooms in. In addition, the mapping system supports massive customization, terrain overlays and Bezier based curves for more natural looking terrain.
- An Industry Leading Line-Of-Sight System. When set to its highest setting, it models not just terrain based line of sight, but also unit based line of sight too. It is so advanced that it can show the effects of screening units and has the capability to show things from purely the commander’s perspective only. In addition, it even takes into account such things as terrain clutter and the actual height of the commander! For example a person on a horse can more easily see over a unit of men….
- Full Battle Replay functionality. Relive your most glorious moments and see what really happened in your battles!
- Realistic Command and Control. Going hand in hand with the Line-Of-Sight system, is probably one of the most realistic command and control simulations seen in an Ancient Warfare game. Most of your battles will be pre-planned using signals to trigger off events – just like real life. However, as a commander you can dispatch and receive messengers (called heralds in the game) and even personally order other units that are close enough directly yourself. In addition, the system will model your ability to be able to command dependent on whether you are actively fighting or taking a more backseat role. Both styles of command have their advantages and disadvantages…
- Detailed Formation Modelling. Ancient Armies includes some of the most advanced formation modelling ever seen in any game! Formations actually have a big impact on the game. Formations will impact combat, movement, cohesion and fatigue. Units will be able to adopt a wide variety of formations and unit densities – just like real life! This will enable players to experience the differences between a Roman Maniple and a Macedonian Phalanx (a first in a wargame) – thus forcing a player to operate them the way they would be operated in real life. In addition, Ancient Armies models the actual locations of the individual people within a formation down to a precision of 10cm!!! These locations are dynamically modelled so that as a formation takes casualties, you will be able to see that impact on their shapes…
- Realistic Manoeuvre Modelling. Most wargames treat all units of a given type the same way. Not Ancient Armies! These other systems also take big shortcuts with regard to the modelling of the various manoeuvres, such as having units turn from their centre points – a manoeuvre that would be almost impossible to do in real life. In Ancient Armies the manoeuvres available to each unit are unique – for example a Roman unit will be able to do a lot more than a Barbarian unit. In addition, the way that each unit carries out these manoeuvres will also be unique as the system takes into account a variety of variables that would affect that unit’s performance.
When will it be finished?
To use an old development adage, it will be finished when it is finished.
Is it a commercial project?
Ancient Armies is being coded as a one man home project with the intent of making it commercially available when it is complete. The reason for this approach is that I don’t want money or commercial politics to affect my overall vision for the game system.
How much will it cost?
To be honest I haven’t thought about this yet! I will have a much better idea with regard to cost once the project is completed…
Will it be fun?
I hope so! There will be some ‘game’ mechanics within the simulation. In addition, many of the hard-core options, like ‘Leader-based-Line-of-Sight’ can be switched off.
Will other periods in military history be covered?
Yes!!! At the core of Ancient Armies is a relatively generic simulation engine. I believe this engine will be suitable to model periods all the way up to the late 1800’s. In addition, the mapping system (tentatively called ‘Atlas’), is coded to be completely stand-alone. As such Atlas can be used for any period or game!
What makes Ancient Armies unique?
It will be one of the first wargames that will put the player firmly in the place of the commander. The player will only be able to see and react to the events that a real leader who is physically present on the battlefield will be able to.
What platforms and technologies are you using?
Ancient Armies will be available on Windows only and is coded using the .net framework. It uses a custom graphics engine called Ionian. Ionian is optimised to run 3d graphics within a standard window and have standard windows controls interact with that engine. It has been coded in such a way that it also ‘plays-nicely’ with other running applications too. The advantage of this approach is that the system will support any monitor resolution that you care to throw at it!
Are you available to work on ‘our’ project too?
I have had a few requests of this nature and the short answer is ‘No’. This is due to the fact that my time is extremely limited. Like most people, I have a day job, which in addition to, I have many hobbies, ranging from hiking, astronomy, wargaming and even writing music. My current top priority is to get Ancient Armies over the line – as such I cannot jeopardise the limited time that I have available for this project.
What if I have a question that is not answered here?
Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try and answer it as best as I can!