After some thinking during the weekend I decided to redo the multiplayer code for Imperium a little bit. The previous code worked ok but it would have been a lot of work to design scenarios for that as it relied on predeployed troops on maps. I would have had to design a range of maps and select suitable troops for them as well as come up with a deployment. I already do that for all the single player campaign maps, but for multiplayer there should probably have been 20 maps or so, and that is a lot of work.
The new design relies on predesigned empty maps and the player selected and deploys the wanted forces. This means that I don’t need to worry too much about balancing as the players can buy any kind of troop setup they want. During setup one of the player decides on how large the battle should be and based on that a random map is selected and credits are given. A smaller battle gives a smaller map and less credits etc. I still need to create a set of empty maps, but that is a far smaller task than creating fully populated and balanced scenarios. As a small bonus I can also mirror the maps in both x and y directions, thus giving the players a bit more the play on. Could also rotate them 90 degrees, thus more or less creating totally new maps.
When the players select their forces they get given a number of credits and with those they can buy various formations. There are larger formations like regiments that contain a headquarter and a number of subordinate units as well as individual units. Larger formations are cheaper to buy compared to individual units. The force selection screen is shown below:
Of course I still need to add code for the actual deployment phase where the players position their troops on the map. I’ll do something simple and allow the players to put the units any way they want as long as they keep inside a deployment area.