Caucasus, the AGe engine and the RCW

Posted: August 19, 2013 in Rus Mod

Those having read my recent comments could rightly ask themselves why I’m continuing to mod on FY since computer wargaming as affected by flaws rendering them ultimately much less enjoying and realist than some of the best boardgames.


Not because the AGE engine isn’t sharing these weaknesses or because it is the ultimate military simulator. I don’t even understand how it can be assured the same system, with a few tweeks, may represent realistically the Ancient period, the Eighteen century and the WW1 period. Any boardgame or miniature booklet attempting this would certainly be qualified of wishful thinking or fatally flawed project.

During may last pause, I’ve come to the conclusion the wego system isn’t working at all for the ACW. Unless you’re targeting with the Army of Northern Virginia the main Union Army in the Eastern theater, or deploy your corps on 3 or 4 régions to trigger a march to the guns reaction, you will not have the swift capacity of Lee to react and block Union Army offensive. Deploying your corps on a 300 km line is unhistorical, targeting the main Army is leading you to attack it. Even by reducing the turn lenght to one week, you couldn’t be in the 3 to five days time span reactions occurred. And , of course, a one week turn renders very long the GC…

I could add other huge concerns In the main AGE features. The wego feature is less annoying for BA/WIA, considering the very low density of troops and the much slower chain of command.

RUS has the same flaw. So why will I develop yet FY?

Because the AGE engine is the only one offering 2 essential features about RCW:
– a Scripting engine allowing to offer a depiction of the political, social and economical backgrounds of the conflict, rather than being limited to the narrowest military history;
– the possibility to have an AI leading the small factions ( Anarchists, Freikorps, Greens, etc) independently of the players.

The RCW was a multipronged conflict. You can’t really build a game about without addressing the perturbations nationalists of all obedience introduced in the Red/ White fight, or the Green question that threatened both sides. Let’s add even Whites were in reality scattered by geography. It’s a curious point but very informative point most news between Omsk and Ekaterinodar were channeled by…. London, thanks to the diplomatic network of Great Britain.

  1. lexxsvarg says:

    Hard to talk about realism in wargames (and boardgames, and computer) because of the fact that the player have full information and full control over the subordinate detachment, squad`s.

    This is a huge convention.

    AGE engine gave a new word in evolution wargames – lack of secure execution of the order (not even sure that the squad will perform the maneuver – one can travel the region and stay in a town along the way, can ignore the order to move, it’s clean examples are not hidden from the player in the calculation battle) – it is very realistic in terms of the Civil War.

    Against this background, mod “Fatal Years” of adding a player to make political and economic decisions instead system of events – this is a exelent extension for the game RCW

    • Clovis says:


      I’ve not said all AGE features to be wrong.However, some of its features work well for some period and are unappropriate for others. Let’s just take an example: tommorrow Battlefront releases their next Combat Mission game about Roman/Persian wars, declaring they have kept the same engine with some adaptations, mostly the effect of Wind on arrows. What do you would think? In some ways, with a bit more adapatation, it’s exactly how the AG engine is presented, being as able to portray Ancient wars and RCW. Let’s be serious.

  2. Dick says:

    Well, I think FY is proof enough that AGE is a pretty good engine compared to many others out there. Obviously it requires a skilled designer to achieve all the potential offered by the engine, and more importantly (in my opinion), somebody who knows how to make the AI behave reasonably well. The fact remains that most people never play against human opponents, even though the forums are usually populated by the most active PBEM players. So without a reasonably good AI, many wargames are nowhere near as fun as they could be under other circumstances.

    • Clovis says:

      Thats’ because after a few runs, most gamers playing against AI just let the game dusting on the shelf, because its weakness kills any pleasure. That’s why many game have very active forum for a few weeks after release before they become just a sort of Very Private Mansion for PBEMrs…

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