TrippleA v. BattleMap


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Ok, after playing G40 a little shy of 20 games on TrippleA I have formed the opinion that TrippleA is inferior to Battlemap in its current form.

    Is that blasphemy?

    Probably.  I admit TrippleA is smooth, crashes much less, will prevent player errors, and will likely become the default program.  But I don’t like it for two reasons, which I think are fatal:

    1. You can’t see the map.

    What do I mean by that?  Obviously I can “see” the map, but the visible area is so narrow/close in that it provides no real strategic perspective at all.  If you zoom out, the units become not only hard to distinguish but also hard to see creating another set of problems.  Given the enhanced movement of units in G40, this limited ability has led to many, many, many errors on my part.   Get rid of the particularized units and flatten out the perspective, the system may become more workable.  But as is, I feel like a blind man on the board, left often to guessing at what I am doing.  It makes playing TrippleA kind of a miserable experience.

    2. Poor Record Keeping for Battles.

    You’d think this would be an advantage for tripplea, but it is not.  Trying to decipher what happened in a battle you defended by reading line by line of the results or interpreting the email dice results is frustrating and confusing. Often I just have to throw my hands up and accept that I just lost a battle without really knowing how/why.

    I have no idea if these things are fixable.  But the time supposedly that should be saved by tripplea’s automation over battlemap is lost by having to constantly cruise around the map trying to figure out what is going on and researching the battle results to find out what happened.

    I want to tripplea to succeed.  Why not?  But as is I’d say, in my opinion, it needs reworking on these fundamental levels.

    Anybody else agree?  Or am I just a Luddite?

    (For anybody who wants to test my statements, try reading a g40 TrippleA map at 30% resolution – the minimum, I think, view area to know what you are doing.  As is, 50% is the lowest at least I can go before it becomes incomprehensible)


  • '12

    1. You can’t see the map.

    What do I mean by that?  Obviously I can “see” the map, but the visible area is so narrow/close in that it provides no real strategic perspective at all.  If you zoom out, the units become not only hard to distinguish but also hard to see creating another set of problems.  Given the enhanced movement of units in G40, this limited ability has led to many, many, many errors on my part.  Get rid of the particularized units and flatten out the perspective, the system may become more workable.  But as is, I feel like a blind man on the board, left often to guessing at what I am doing.  It makes playing TrippleA kind of a miserable experience.

    I’m interested in this issue… I’m not familiar with battlemap, so how does it do this better and solve the issue of zooming out and not being able to distinguish the units? And what do you mean by flatten the perspective? Isn’t tripleA played from a flat bird’s eye view?


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Well you can see the whole map with Battlemap,  but it’s a VERY rudamentry map, and the units are this -> . small.

    Also, ALL THE TYPING that goes into posting a battlecrap turn is so horrendous, that losing some functionality to triple A, becomes acceptable.

    Solution?  Get a rocking video card, and hook you PC up to a touch screen TV, and play Triple A on there! MWhahahahaha!


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Why cant these programs work just like this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV6BsDNRD1U

    Back in the old MSN Game zone days of 1998-2000 it was alot of fun and servers were available. I love the option screen and toggle on or off various rule additions and even house rules.

    That is all you need


  • Customizer

    On issue:

    1.  Please differentiate between “TripleA” . and . “a map or game that happens to be on TripleA

    TripleA is just an engine to play games.  One of those games happens to be “Global 1940”.  Each of our games is made by some user (some by me, most by other people).  The user who makes the map, decides how big it is, or how small it is, and the size of the units, the art of the units, the art of the map, the scale, the shape of the territories, etc etc.

    The best example of this would be for you to go play “New World Order”.  This map happens to be very zoomed out already, and it looks awesome.  The units are all distinctive and easy to see, despite being half the dimensions (75% smaller) of the units on “Global 1940”.  You can see more territories in your window without moving in NWO, than all the territories on the map in Global 1940.

    I actually argued with Bung (the guy who made the map base [territories] of Global 1940), telling him that the scale was too large and that he should make everything smaller.  He agreed but was basically done with the thing already and said it would be too much work for him to start over.

    To give you an example: aBattleMap has ‘modules’, which are loosely the same thing as maps on triplea.  If some user makes a module on battlemap where the scale is really really zoomed in, And you do not like it, should you blame BattleMap, or blame the user who made the map?

    You would blame the user who made the map (politely i hope), and if you actually able to contribute in some way you would go and make a new version of the module which is not zoomed in.  That would solve the issue.

    **TripleA has a wonderful, totally underutilized feature, called “MAP SKINS”.  **

    A map skin is basically all the graphics files, and nothing else (no game file).  Map skins can be changed IN THE MIDDLE OF A GAME, from the ‘view’ menu.  In fact, all TripleA games use map skins, except that generally speaking there is only 1 skin for each map, so noone notices (TripleA loads the game, then loads the ‘default’ map skin from the same folder as the game, unless the user was previously using a different skin).

    A map skin can change EVERYTHING about a map, except for the actual game data (game data = where units are, the rules).
    This means a map skin can have:

    • A different sized map. (ie: more zoomed out)

    • Differently shaped territories (but with the same names).

    • Different unit art.

    • Different map art (the relief tiles [aka: map details]).

    So, instead of complaining, make a map skin (or get someone else to do it).

    Because you do not have to mess with the game files, it is 100x easier.  I made a skin for Napoleonic in about 3 hours.

    You could even take the existing art from battle map, and copy and paste it, run the map maker part 1 utility for triplea, and you are done.  The result would be a map that looks just like battlemap’s version of global (or w/e map you want), but plays on TripleA.

    2. Battle reports.

    I guess when you are playing a live game, you don’t need a report because you watch the battle happen.  
    When playing a play-by-forum game, you either get to read the history text, or load the game and go into history mode to see the results line by line.

    What exactly would you want the battle report to be?

    I find the current way adequate, and I have never heard of this complaint before by anyone.

    I am open to making a more details battle report just for pbf players, but I do not know what is wrong with the current one, or what you want it to be / what it should be.

    thx,
    veq


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Veqryn,

    My criticism I suppose is hidden praise too. TrippleA is better in almost every way except, in my opinion, those 2 points.  BattleMap is about as creative as playing an old counters war game like Blitzkrieg.  Anybody remember that old warhorse?  But the view problem is really a major problem – ruins the game I think.  I am a poor programer, so I acknowledge that I am complaining while at the same time unable make any positive contribution.  Sigh…    😞


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    I’m interested in this issue… I’m not familiar with battlemap, so how does it do this better and solve the issue of zooming out and not being able to distinguish the units? And what do you mean by flatten the perspective? Isn’t tripleA played from a flat bird’s eye view?

    Like Gargantua said, with BattleMap you can see about half the map at a time so you really can get a good sweep of the global strategic perspective, critical in a global game.  Further the counters, while rudimentary and unglamorous, are easy to distinguish and easy to quantify, unlike trippleA.  TrippleA units, if I am not wrong, are “standing up” so to speak on the map which make them harder to differentiate and quantify.

    Often cited as a downside of Battlmap is the fact that you have to type out moves and program each battle using a simple battle code.  I don’t know, I never found it to be too cumbersome.  In fact, running the battles out line by line lays out an excellent historical track so you could figure out what happened.   Finally, BattleMap is very forgiving unlike trippleA.  You make a mistake, miss a ncm move or something, you can always just change the map and not use an editor etc.  (The editor really did go a long way to fix that problem with trippleA – why I did not cite it.)


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I will only say that it’s easier to plan moves in battlemap.  Because you can jump to/through any phase and do anything you want at any time without having to click through a turn order.

    But that’s small potatoes in comparison to a live chat-room with players ready to play, fancy graphics, and 1000’s of games/options.


  • Customizer

    @Karl7:

    I am a poor programer, so I acknowledge that I am complaining while at the same time unable make any positive contribution.  Sigh…    😞

    I really really want to dispel this myth that you need to know computer programming in order to contribute.

    In order to make a “MAP SKIN”, you do not need to know ANYTHING.  Literally.  You just need patience since there is a lot of clicking involved and it takes a long time.

    All of the steps to make it are very easy.

    It mostly involves a lot of cutting and pasting, and clicking, in MS Paint or any other drawing program.

    I’m going to put together a tutorial on how to make a map skin.


  • '16 '15 '10

    @Karl7:

    You’d think this would be an advantage for tripplea, but it is not.  Trying to decipher what happened in a battle you defended by reading line by line of the results or interpreting the email dice results is frustrating and confusing. Often I just have to throw my hands up and accept that I just lost a battle without really knowing how/why.

    I never read email results (unless I’m in a paranoid mood).  Use the game history.

    Obviously I can “see” the map, but the visible area is so narrow/close in that it provides no real strategic perspective at all.  If you zoom out, the units become not only hard to distinguish but also hard to see creating another set of problems.  Given the enhanced movement of units in G40, this limited ability has led to many, many, many errors on my part.   Get rid of the particularized units and flatten out the perspective, the system may become more workable.  But as is, I feel like a blind man on the board, left often to guessing at what I am doing.  It makes playing TrippleA kind of a miserable experience.

    It sounds like you’re not used to using Triplea (specifically, using the minimap on the upper right).  20 games isn’t alot.  Any time you switch to a new software format there will be errors and that will be frustrating.  People who have played alot of TripleA live will have certain advantages in pbem games because they know how to use all the features.

    Once you get accustomed to TripleA you won’t want to go back to Battlemap and tedium of endless typing and inevitable errors.


  • Customizer

    It took about 6 hours to do, but half of it was just cutting and pasting the unit images out of battlemap and into separate files for each player.

    100% click click click (and ctrl-c, ctrl-v, ctrl-c, ctrl-v)

    No skills required, hardly any typing required, almost 100% copy and paste (and sometimes slightly editing images).

    I have done it:  I am now proving to everyone that TripleA is NOT a map, but an engine.  Here you go, this is TripleA using the “ABattleMap” map, for Global 1940.

    have a look

    (it needs more love, especially with where the placements are, but i did this as quickly as i could)

    Best part is, because it is a Map Skin, i can switch to this “VIEW” in the middle of my game, and then switch back, all without leaving triplea or closing down the game or anything.

    It is fully zoomed in, in this picture.  You can of course, zoom out more if you want.  Someone tell me if I got the unit images correct or not, cus I can’t figure out which of the AIR units was which in battlemap’s files.

    triplea_using_abattlemap_as_skin.jpg



  • @Veqryn:

    It took about 6 hours to do, but half of it was just cutting and pasting the unit images out of battlemap and into separate files for each player.

    100% click click click (and ctrl-c, ctrl-v, ctrl-c, ctrl-v)

    If you spend 6 hours on that, you should think about some automatic method…

    When I change the pieces used for a map, I usually just run it in one command, taking me like 2 minutes…

    (using Linux only, I believe that the same kind of command should work on mac, dunno about windows).

    But I was overwriting the old pieces, looks like your operation is different.

    a minor thing about tripleA : why not being able to open a new game while one is already opened (currently, one need to close the current game and then open a new one… “open” looks like a classic basic operation).


  • Customizer

    @Yoshi:

    a minor thing about tripleA : why not being able to open a new game while one is already opened (currently, one need to close the current game and then open a new one… “open” looks like a classic basic operation).

    All the game datas are cleared from memory after you enter a game.  In order to display the ‘choose games’ list, we have to load them all again.  Loading them while in a game could result in you running out of memory when playing a bigger map.

    FYI: you can always start a second copy of triplea and have both running at same time.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    I will be the first to acknowledge player error due to player inexperience.

    MrGreeen has been schooling me in trippleA on the boards.  I am half way competent on it now.  I know trippleA is the future.  I want it to be better……


  • Customizer

    another screen below.

    as you can see, triplea can do what battlemap does: be zoomed out

    it all depends on how the person is making the map, makes the map

    if he starts out with a map of the world that is zoomed out, then you will get a finished product that is zoomed out

    and even if every single map is too zoomed in for someone’s taste, they can always make a map skin for it, very easily, as I just did for global (using the battlemap’s map)

    triplea_battlemap_2.png


  • Customizer

    And i fixed USA so that the west and east sides would actually line up.  Whoever made this AbattleMap map… man I want slap for not making the sides line up.  That seriously took a long time to fix.

    triplea_battlemap_fixed_usa.jpg


  • '16 '15 '10

    @Gargantua:

    I will only say that it’s easier to plan moves in battlemap.  Because you can jump to/through any phase and do anything you want at any time without having to click through a turn order.

    IMO it’s faster and easier to plan ahead using TripleA because I can do practice runs in Local Game mode before deciding on the actual move.

    On the advantages of TripleA over the competition….

    http://www.axisandallies.org/p/10-reasons-to-try-triplea-for-games/


  • TripleA '12

    Veqryn, is there any way to slow down the data flow in the combat screen when a battle is unfolding? I just find it all happens a bit too fast for me to keep track of… Thank you very much.


  • Customizer

    @Lozmoid:

    Veqryn, is there any way to slow down the data flow in the combat screen when a battle is unfolding? I just find it all happens a bit too fast for me to keep track of… Thank you very much.

    triplea forces you to click before moving onto the next step in combat

    if you want to slow it down, wait a bit before clicking

    i am not sure what else you can mean…


  • TripleA '12

    Thanks, Veqryn. Sorry if I wasn’t being clear. I meant that the way the dice results and casualties are shown - it all happens within split seconds and then disappears and moves on to the next step. It just happens a bit too fast for me to take in… do you know what I mean?


  • Customizer

    I does not move until you click.  So no, I don’t understand.  Just slow down your clicking.


  • TripleA '12

    It’s got nothing to do with my clicking. Say it’s my turn and I am the attacker: I click on the embattled territory and the combat sequence begins immediately. Within 1 or 2 seconds, all the attacking units have fired (AI selects casualties), then all defending units fire back. I am then required to select casualties of my own, I do this and then click to proceed to the 2nd combat round. The sentence in bold is where I’m finding things to move too fast to take in. Is there any way to slow it down? I cannot easily see which units have scored hits because all the dice are thrown simultaneously.


  • Customizer

    @Lozmoid:

    It’s got nothing to do with my clicking. Say it’s my turn and I am the attacker: I click on the embattled territory and the combat sequence begins immediately. Within 1 or 2 seconds, all the attacking units have fired (AI selects casualties), then all defending units fire back. I am then required to select casualties of my own, I do this and then click to proceed to the 2nd combat round. The sentence in bold is where I’m finding things to move too fast to take in. Is there any way to slow it down? I cannot easily see which units have scored hits because all the dice are thrown simultaneously.

    If you play against a human, they will not respond so quickly.  Also make sure the option “confirm enemy casualties” is selected, so that you have to click to confirm that you see the enemies casualty selection before moving forward.

    You should start playing humans more.  The AI is just a novelty, and is really just for beta-testing maps and for completely new players to test a few games on.


  • TripleA '12

    Ah, okay thanks. Didn’t realise that.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    Hey Veqryn, you may be glad to know that I am almost full time TrippleA now… I eat my own words I guess.  I still like battlemap and will play it, but the tide is too strong…  😄


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