WW2 Armored Warfare - Demo Testing

If I can swing it that I’m going to do my mc is going to do his very best to have them be his only crew and see the end of the war with them. :persevere:

Like I said we haven’t talked all that much with the men thus far and, imho, Owens and Mendoza just maker stronger first impressions, the kid who is clearly from a different world compared to the mc and the rest (Owens) and Mendoza has that strong, silent, mysterious latino thing going for him.
Nelson simply makes a weaker first impression on me, but since we have thus far had at most two conversations with any one of our men for now that’s all it is, first impressions.

The career stat is…interesting. If the story description is accurate my mc has managed to push it quite a bit, in spite of it not being his first priority, as that one is for the boys and him to make it to the other side (mostly) intact.

That said I suppose my mc would potentially like the idea of remaining in the army better (whenever he’s not being shot at that is) than returning to whatever foreman’s job he likely had in one of the smokestack factories of that era post-war and, yes, he certainly wouldn’t be adverse to a mustang commission in an epilogue. Though I guess that may bite him in the ass if you ever do a Korean war sequel. :sweat_smile:
Did the US use much armored warfare in Korea?

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I do think the tank crew is a bit bland, especially compared to the other characters. Knox is seen by others as a shirker, and Baume’s a vengeance-driven Frenchman, but even when you seek them out the tank crew doesn’t really give much up. If everything goes well, it just seems like they’re there, and that’s it.

I wonder whether a few more comments from them while you’re between action sequences would help – I remember there being some in Chapter 1, especially the camel/dromedary thing, but not much else afterwards. I also think it doesn’t help how in Chapter 1 you can only have one protracted conversation with one of your crew before Casablanca; that’s not indicated either, so players (as I did) might have expected an opportunity to speak to everyone, not just one. The Casablanca/Algeria gap seems like it would be a good place for that, since it is a bit of a void.

I don’t have much attachment to my crew (yet), but I’d like more. Glancing at the code it seems like breezing through and never taking any damage gets you even less content with the crew. (Perhaps the PC’s tank having a “charmed life” could even be commented upon given how everyone else tends to end up badly)

The thing with the radio is that aside from preventing it from not working (so like maintenance in that regard), I’m not sure whether collecting parts would achieve much else in terms of story or gameplay? A two-way radio would be a massive upgrade, and it doesn’t make sense to me if you can just “upgrade” it by collecting a random collection of radio parts across North Africa (though I’m not familiar with how radios work). So far, lack of tank maintenance or paying attention to the radio hasn’t had an effect on my playthroughs, so I’m tempted to ignore it for other things (especially interacting with other characters). If there were more consequences keeping up maintenance and keeping the radio in trim would incentivise more player attention.

If the PC got a field promotion and ended up commanding multiple tanks I could see it coming in useful. However so far, especially with so much action being devoted to being unaccompanied by other tanks, it doesn’t seem important - you can’t communicate with the infantry (I think), so the radio’s useless much of the time.

Regarding upgrades, I’m not too sure about molotovs – grenades seem somewhat more practical and it’s said the PC doesn’t want them in the tank either. Perhaps some sort of satchel charge, which might be less of a hazard since there’s nothing for it to catch on? Still think smoke grenades/projectors would be a bit more useful.

Regarding shotguns, my first thought is the M30 Luftwaffe Drilling (which I guess you could get from the Luftwaffe bomber), but it seems like a shame to cut that up.

A related idea for personal defence would be a machine pistol carbine – namely some sort of fully-automatic C96 variant, be it a Schnellfeuer or one of the Spanish versions. The Schnellfeuer would probably be taken off a dead German officer. I guess the Spanish versions could come via Spanish Civil War veterans (be they Axis or Spanish Republicans), so it could be taken off the battlefield or obtained by gambling. There is the Thompson, admittedly, but it’s a bit, well, bigger.

An idea which in reality would be quite impractical would be to stick a rocket on the side of the turret, whether it be a bazooka a la “Rosie the Rocketer” or a bazooka jeep, or something bigger like stealing the RP-3 from the Brits. It’ll see some attempted ground use in the Sherman Tulip later in the war. The Canadians tried mounting it on a Staghound, so an M3 makes some sense, I guess? It’ll be horrendously inaccurate but it’ll probably scare the hell out of anyone on the receiving end. Article on the Staghound Tulip and the Tulip’s efficacy.

Edit: Found the Staghound Tulip:

Canadian Staghound Tulip


Land Mattress Tulip:

There’s also the practice of welding spare tracks (among other things, ranging from planks to sandbags) onto the tank as a sort of improvised armour. Not sure if it was actually useful, and I think it was largely a measure against infantry AT rather than other tanks. Though, given the encounter with the anti-tank team and the Vichy French trying to mount the tank:

Sandbag armour Stuart with tracks welded to the turret(?)

But they could go perhaps a bit over the top:

Sherman with a lot of improvised track armour

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For those with the technical know how it was actually fairly easy to cobble together a working radio.
It would very much be non-standard spec, but it would work. Just Google “Fox hole radio”. Though those were not made to send, they were cobbled together from parts far inferior than what we can loot.

Anyway from what I did read in books many radio operators of the day were always tinkering with their radios. Much like I custom build my own desktops, would be my closest guess. The only thing I can think of is that if Nelson cannot do it the tech sergeant might charge a one-time fee of 100-200 scrip to make the upgrades for us. Though I suggest that would be a session fee and not a per part fee, so, yes, we’d get more bang for the buck if we gave the guy more and better parts to work with. :thinking:

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You want to minimize legitimate explosives in the tank, so molotovs are more practical in my eyes, but I actually agree that smoke grenades would be above all in this game, seeing as you can flush enemies out of cover for the turret to mow down or even cover speedy flanking maneuvers - my new vote’s on smoke grenades.

Well, you would want to inside the tank. I’m not a huge fan of that gun, but anything would do, here.

I’ve honestly never seen that before. That’s pretty cool and would be a great option to have, in my opinion. I won’t do it because I want a highly personalized tank, but for more practical players/playthroughs, that would be a unique and viable option. Combine that with interior plating already in the game, and you could make that work.

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Hi Allen –

The silent choices are not so much “unwelcomed,” but rather they seem inconsistent. In some choices they seem to stand in for the “stoic” and "quiet type of sergeant, but in others they seem to stand for the “shy” and “reluctant” type of sergeant. My senseis: you insert this choice when you feel there needs another, but are unsure what you want it to be.

I’ll make specific notes next update – again it is not so much “unwelcoming” as “unsettling due to inconsistency”

As a player of your games, I always appreciate certain characters you write: in Tinstar the character I love is the daughter of the outlaw and in this story, I like the gunner you begin with.

The reason I bring this up is that the scene you write where you join the gunner looking at the stars and end up having an unvoiced discussion together is perfectly how I want my sergeant to behave and act when choosing the silent choices.

As a tank sergeant, I feel the shy and reluctant would have been washed out of the tank corps, before completing training in the states. I guess my sister being a real sergeant in the Marines has colored my perceptions, but such a person would not be in such a vanguard edge fighting element, and it frustrates me when i get “shy and reluctant” results.

This is just regarding the Casablanca interlude… I feel it should be centered around a grant of “Liberty” – this is the first down-time, the location is in a major port with supporting infrastructure and population to handle this sort of activity from army personnel, and you can explore so many relative sub-topics (ie drunken and disorderly behavior at a bar) or prostitution, interaction with locals, etc.

Each interlude should serve its unique purpose and not be clones of each other.

ttyl.

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Again, working from my sister’s experiences in the Marines… there are two different issues happening:

1: the radios in WW2 were tubes and non-solid-state radios, so tinkering to keep them working properly.

2: The early days of conflict highlight the different parts that needed upgrading or changing, and here I think this is an aspect that should be explained more… North Africa was the “field-test” for Normandy, and as such, there were detail upon detail that needed working out. Radios in tanks are an example of such.

:two_hearts:

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Your ideas are so good for this game. I would personally love some sort of “boss” vehicles sprinkled throughout. Even if it gets a little unrealistic. I think there should still be some room for a little fantasizing. Always.

Will be posting feedback from my second complete run soon.

I now have a concept for my fully-customized tank. An all-tan Tremor with a single light blue vertical stripe on the canon and a blue Allied Star spraypainted sloppily on the sides, maybe even a blue American flag on the back, spray-painted as well. I’ve been enjoying this game so much I’ve actually purchased a Stuart model and am having it repainted just like that. I’ll post it on here what’s that’s finished. The bright tan allows the tank to blend in with the sands of North Africa a tad, while the blue is my MC’s favorite color and also represents America. I went with a more realistic design scheme that would still look beautiful on any ol’ armor. Putting my vote in for this as an option.

This game has reignited my love for history.

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@Thfphen110 - The need for a Casablanca Interstitial is certainly growing steadily.

The M30 Luftwaffe drilling is certainly an interesting gun. Hmm. Maybe not for the Bomber in Chapter 3, given that you can pull an AT Rifle off the Italian Infantry, but at the Airfield in Chapter 4 that would fit right in… So too a machine pistol carbine. Note, however, that the Tank only gets one special infantry weapon though. Trying to keep track of all the personal weapons feels too difficult for very little return.

I’ll have to take a look at the difficulty settings. That’s a tricky bit of business, trying to find the point where choices make the biggest difference versus crew skill.

Additional armor… interesting. Will probably use it as an ablative function, taking a single generic hit to keep the underlying armor intact… provided that the round isn’t a direct hit from a high caliber cannon.

@idonotlikeusernames - Good notes on the radio. Yeah, the Fox Hole receiver was quite the improvisation. Utterly sketchy to look at, but it worked. As for paying to fix up the radio, I believe I do have the Tech Sergeant use fewer parts when making the alterations.

@Eiwynn - Excellent critique of where the silent responses have gone poorly. It should be obvious what to look for and how to fix it.

Your ideas about the Liberty in Casablanca are also apt.

Assuming the PC got a day or night out in Casablanca via a Liberty Pass, what would people want to see? Marketplace shennangians? A tour of famous sites? An evening at a night club (Think Rick’s American Cafe from the movie Casablanca)? Something else? We would want this to be unique and memorable, hopefully referenced later when the sergeant and crew is far from such transitory delights.

No prostitution though because reasons.

And yeah, the American army learned a lot in North Africa. Radios were definitely one part of that.

@Voldy - The paint scheme is interesting. Better than my own thoughts on the matter. What would you say were the key features to focus on, if a painting option were open.

  1. The cannon.
  2. the sides of the turret
  3. The sides of the hull.
  4. The rear engine compartment.

And that certainly is a fun tank model. Please do post about your work on it. Those sorts of things give me my ideas.

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Can we ask the nice French Sergeant, not Baume obviously but the more gentlemanly one from Casablanca to be our guide in that case?
Going alone is so boring after all.

Obviously it would give us something to talk about with the crew, that’s for sure. Assuming they’d tell us the truth that is. I do wonder what Owens, Mendoza and Nelson would get up to in their free time?

Another fan of our hot, broody Latino boy, eh? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Now that I have confirmation of the fact I also wonder what made Owens become a gentlemen ranker, is he the victim of a scandal, out to prove something to his family or a lover or maybe just the good old fashioned impoverished patrician tale? :thinking:

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Can you add one more section in your post which contains the demo link of the game, stating all the updates with appropriate dates when you update the game?

This will help us to be in loop with any updates in the game.

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I’m glad I was able to communicate my thoughts to you.

A couple of thoughts:

  • The old training films I saw on YouTube, talk about the men being “guided” by experienced Liberty vets (acting as a sort of chaperone) on their first day of Liberty… having such a guide might help set the tone and also provide potential goto locations. These vids are on Youtube, so they should be easy to review.

  • There are many locations to have adventure at. I have many stories from my sisters, so if you want to discuss some ideas, hit me up in PM. (Don’t want to go into details in public).

Yes; so far he is my favorite supporting cast member… the French commander is interesting as well, but I doubt we can carry him the entire game.

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@Eiwynn - PM sent. Thank you.

Having a guide, especially a local guide, is definitely preferable. But also having an American ‘Old Salt’ along would be a good one. Hmm. Lt. Wilson might do, though he is an officer and thus shifts the center of the story away from the PC. We’ll see.

@Aditya_Baishya - Are you asking for ‘Demo-Link (Update as of xx/xx/xx)’ or some other format? Would a full change log be worthwhile? After all, if this is helpful to you then it will be helpful to others.

@idonotlikeusernames - The idea of seeing what Owens, Mendoza, and Nelson might get up to in their own free time is an interesting one. Though working them into the narrative of the Casablanca Interstitial is a character/RPG opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up. Perhaps a bit of both then, where they express their preferences and may even wander off for a time, but then return to talk about it and proceed with the main ‘plot’ of the interstitial.

A broader question: If you could sit down and talk with any of the crew members, what would you discuss, if anything? Asking because there’s a portion set aside for talking in chapter 5. Owens was easy, because he likes to talk books. :slight_smile:

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Definitely their views on the war. And just their take on the idea of killing another man. The reactions you can get are pretty interesting-some will macho it up and try to paint themselves as badasses, others will talk about how painful it is in the most gut-wrenching depressive tone. Others will try to rationalize that they’re the enemy and a good soldier should only see them as such, a few use dark humor to cope with the idea, and maybe there are some who just say it how it is and say that they don’t like to think about it and just do their job.

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I’m asking for full change log. For instance, as you started the post of this game on 1st May 2020 and for example added Ch - 1 on 15th June 2020 and Ch - 2 on 20th July 2020 then you can write the updates in this manner:

• 1st May 2020 - Uploaded the prologue with a word count of 3000 without codes.

• 15 June 2020 - Uploaded the first chapter of the game along with introduction of RO’s of the game. Word Count is 7461

• 20th July 2020 - Uploaded the second chapter along with correction of typo’s and other bugs. Word count is 12,007

In short, make the change log as much detailed as you can as that helps players/testers like us to know how the game is progressing, what has been updated and which part has been updated. That helps us while we are replaying the scenes.

Apart from that, you can also mention when are you expecting to upload the next chapter as well. But it is totally fine even if you don’t mention that but some curious players like me actually like that :slight_smile:

Perhaps how our luck is good enough that we survived so far? Or perhaps discussing the horrors of the battle? Or perhaps talking about family such as how my crewmates are missing their wife and children (considering all the crewmates are male), how the parents of the NPC are back in America? Or perhaps someone who is concerned whether there ailing parents took their medication or not? Or perhaps if they (NPC) dies will their family be able to survive without him (considering he is the only one who earns money for the family) or if it happens if he die, will his family be able to forget him?

(A lot of things to discuss :slight_smile: )

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The usual staple of wartime conversation topics: “What did you do before the war?” and “What will you do after it?”. It could open up all kinds of possibilities, since the crew have a chance to reveal (more) individual capabilities beyond what they usually do in the confines of a tank.

A question regarding that last chapter - was it common for Germans to tap into British/American radio frequencies so easily?

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@AAO - That’s a good point. The time for this is, probably, during the Casablanca interstitial just after the first days of fighting are over. We can have conversations, or just watch how the men act knowing that they’ve (likely) taken a life.

As you say, the reaction to it varies from person to person. From the veterans I’ve discussed it with, they usually start out wondering ‘Can I do this?’ ‘Will I screw up?’, and then they have to navigate things mentally afterward. After all, it isn’t normal to kill other people. Mind you, it was easier for some if they’d been exposed strongly to death prior to service (Slaughter-houses in particular) but it invariably took a period of adjustment (Excepting a rare few). Thankfully, the PC and the crew will have a chance to do that at Casablanca.

@Aditya_Baishya - Well, I’ll try to figure out how best to present the changelog. Sadly, it has taken this long for me to understand how useful it could be to playtesting.

For the talk, ‘Luck’ is a good one, especially as it dovetails with survivor’s guilt. Family back home is always a constant… and now I need to pin down which crew member has what sort of family. :slight_smile:

@Pheriannath - Those are good wartime conversations. It is early enough that both questions get asked. What did you do before, or why did you become a driver/mechanic/gunner? The soldiers are also naive enough to ask, ‘what will you do afterward’? As if the war was only going to last a few more months. I mean, kick the Germans out of Africa, beat them out of Italy, and then on to Berlin, right?

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We don’t mind that. We simply love your games :slight_smile:

Pardon me for adding more tasks to your busy schedule :wink:

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Seems like this tank crew is one that may not actually want to talk about that. Nelson is reluctant to talk about anything of substance and will probably deflect, Owens mostly seems to deflect too by steering the conversation towards books and other cultural stuff (which my Sarge actually likes to hear about, but that is beside the point here). Mendoza in keeping with the whole broody Latino bad boy aesthetic also doesn’t seem like the sharing type there. And lastly, in my case, the Sarge is a gay man in the era where that is definitely don’t ask don’t tell or bad things will happen.
In terms of what I think my mc did before the war my short headcanon is this, he became estranged from his parents/family moved to a different city, likely even a different state, became a factory worker and thanks to his talents for leadership and logistics worked himself up to foreman. A position which absent a combination of more wealth, education or connections he would probably have held until retirement.
So in short quite boring career-wise with a home life and family he definitely does not like to talk about.

Which is why I already said above that if the army were to offer my mc something like a Mustang commission and the chances of even further advancement that come with that in the epilogue he’d be highly inclined to take it and don’t look back.

Plus from what I know of the older generations of gay guys back then some definitely liked having the excuse of frequent overseas deployment and a high risk job as an excuse / shield to not get involved with marriage or even the opposite sex dating scene at all.
In fact being “married to the job”, provided it was a job with some social capital (which army officer would qualify for, but factory foreman would not) was seen as one of the very few socially valid excuses to dodge the normal American dream of a family with a wife, a dog and 2.5 kids in a house with a white picket fence and a big yard.

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@AllenGies, I think I found a bug here, on the stats page:

Radio: Operational. Infantry radio frequencies enabled. Long range. Transmission sending. Morse code capable

I was on the scene where we upgrade the radio, and I haven’t upgraded it yet.

Edit:

Another bug, at the airfield:

“Germans, approaching,” Baume says. "And I shall require more time. (Leadership slightly increased, Baume’s Trust increased)

A flash of light from the nearby hill catches your eye. A mirror of some kind, redirecting a bit of sunlight. Baume sees it too and rises.

“Avertissement Allemands approchent,” he translates. “The Germans are approaching. A column. And I require more time.”

Sgt. Baume explained the Morse code twice, in this scene.

Edit 2:

Another bug here:

“Sir!” he calls over to Knox. “Lieutenant Stern says that we need to switch lineups to play defense because there’s going to be a counterattack soon. So, get off the bench and back into it.”

“Who is this Lieutenant Stern?” Knox asks as he turns to you.

My MC here has not met Lt. Stern; previously, I chose to maintain my tank and cannibalize the wrecked M3A1 Stuart, then I chose not to support Lt. Stern (I got the scene with Abdallah instead). So I haven’t met any of the Lieutenants yet.

@idonotlikeusernames - Good points. They all don’t want to talk. But the PC might get them to open up eventually. Will keep this in mind when writing the interstitial in Casablanca.

Your Sergeant certainly has his difficulties during this time period. Might allow the PC to define certain aspects of their life pre-war, but in large part this story is about the war in North Africa and must remain focused there or I’ll never finish writing it.

But after the war… hmm. We probably won’t go there with this specific game, since the war will continue for two more years. Will give it some thought though. Choosing to be ‘married to the job’ could be a decision the PC makes.

@NJG - Thank you. The radio upgrade bug was in the open due to a coding error defining the variable as a string rather than a binary number.

The airfield issue was a good find too, would’ve happened far too frequently.

Same with the Stern issue. More fun to fix though, as the PC now gets a chance to snark a bit.

Thanks again. Fixing this and updating the forthcoming change log.

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