|The WDS improvements to the Tiller ACW games are astounding|
Given that I'm mostly interested these days in the period 1680 to 1815, this is the first opportunity I've had to take a look at the Wargame Design Studio upgrades of John Tiller's American Civil War titles. These rolled out in June, and between Origins, the end of the 1806 Kriegspiel, tabletop gaming and life in general I hadn't really looked at them.
All I can say is WOW. The improvements, both graphically and to the UI are dramatic. If WDS had done nothing other than an actual 2X zoom view I'd have been delighted, but these look like completely new games. The terrain is so much better, and the unit symbols - of which there are two choices, much like the Panzer Battles games - are much more clear and well executed. Most importantly they've reworked the UI completely. It's much easier to use, there are keyboard shortcuts for everything, and the tooltips on the buttons tell you what those shortcuts are. Dialog boxes are reorganized and much more clear.
The icing on the cake are the new 3d maps and units, done by the Old Banshee team. Units have unique brigade flags now. The 3d maps are so large and detailed that they're offered as a separate download from the main upgrade. Don't forget to grab them, they're a treat. They make playing in 3D not only viable now, but much more like playing with miniatures on a tabletop.
I can only hope that JTS sees fit to give the Napoleonic titles a similar treatment. Just having the true 2X zoom and having divisional colors along the counter edge rather than on the counter face would enhance my enjoyment of my favorite JTS games immensely!
As of this writing, you can download updates for Campaigns Antietam, Chancellorsville, Potomac, and Petersburg for the JTS Updates page.