Author Topic: REVIEW: Battle Demo (by Julian Romane)  (Read 775 times)

Offline JudgeDeadd

  • There's a custom title box now?
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
  • A perfect day for a short walk around the world.
REVIEW: Battle Demo (by Julian Romane)
« on: August 03, 2010, 04:31:19 PM »
Battle Demo is a 1998 release by Julian Romane, which showcases the possibility of using FRUA's combat engine to simulate not small-scale party-vs-monster skirmishes, but battles between entire military units - not unlike "Fire Emblem". The demo basically consists of a couple of easily completed battles, where your phalanxes, cavalrymen and siege towers (and your player character, who is inexplicably powerful and capable of taking out entire armies by himself) face balloons, elephants, archers and walls/fences (which can be funny when a "wall" surrenders).

This is a demo, naturally, and not a full-fledged design; the combats are the focus here, and everything around them (text events, etc.) is basically an afterthought. Therefore one can forgive flaws in this regard: there are some misspellings ("seige", "reenforcements"), a lot of punctuation errors - most annoyingly, none of the text statements have a period at the end (in fact, I've seen this in a lot of old FRUA designs... was this some kind of a trend?) and there are no spaces between sentences. The storyline is mostly ignorable, as it amounts to generic names being dropped around, and isn't at all the point of the design.

There are a couple of bugs. The Cavalry unit, for some bizarre reason, has only 6 movement points on the battlefield even though it's set to 40 in the monster editor. (But Cavalry is useless anyway; compared to the Phalanx and the player character, who plow through enemies like a hot chainsaw through butter, the horsemen can't ever seem to land a hit.) Also, during some overland battles there are far less units on the battlefield than the combat event indicates; I'm guessing this is due to a glitch where monsters in a combat are dropped if they'd get in the way of a dungeon wall - even if the fight is set to Outdoors.

There are a couple of new pics here. One of them is the overland map, which is quite nicely done, except for the horrible color-cycling water. There are two small pics of much smaller niceness. One of them is your "advisor", a weird silver humanoid creature. (In fact, I'm suspecting that it was meant to be human, but the pic's coloring got messed up somehow, so the author quickly covered up the bad paint job with a "metallic creature" story. But whatever.) The second pic depicts a table with some mugs on it, but it's of such horrible quality that it's hard to tell what's on it.

The new combat icons are much nicer. I especially loved the phalanx icon.

No rating, since this was not made to be a game with great gameplay, but rather an educating and insightful demo. I like the basic concept, and I wonder if some other author used the idea and had full-fledged army-on-army combat in his design. Or maybe someone is preparing such a release right now?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 03:18:05 PM by JudgeDeadd »
“For one who claims to be no more than an observer of this play, you’ve had more than your share of commentary, stranger.”

Offline JudgeDeadd

  • There's a custom title box now?
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
  • A perfect day for a short walk around the world.
Re: REVIEW: Battle Demo (by Julian Romane)
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2010, 03:18:18 PM »
I found the UANL article, just letting you know
“For one who claims to be no more than an observer of this play, you’ve had more than your share of commentary, stranger.”

Offline Baronnecro

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 153
Re: REVIEW: Battle Demo (by Julian Romane)
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2010, 11:04:07 PM »
very interesting ideas. Shows promise as a way to incorporate mass combat... another staple of 1e and some 2e games.

Offline Mannast

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: REVIEW: Battle Demo (by Julian Romane)
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 09:06:55 PM »
Thanks for the kind words.  It has been a while since I looked at this module.  I remember fiddling with the set combatants and seeing what actually was created by the event.  I had feelings it reflected what level the game was set to and the memory that was available, but I never investigated it thoroughly.

I had tried to use the old "Battlesystem" rules to set up the combat balance, but the FRUA engine would mess with what I hoped would happen.  In my "Xalderon's Journey" module, I did set up a few combats that used the military units.  They would be added as friendly combatants for each battle.
Mannast (aka J. Romane)
---------------------------
Designs -
Astranna
Darklands
Westlands of the High King
Xalderon's Journey
Mid-Level Crisis