Finally finished the Union campaign last night. I'm mentioning it only because of how poorly designed the final battle was.
It was a fictional fight of you and you alone taking Richmond (some of the earlier major battles featured elements of other formations that you'd temporarily control for the duration of that battle). The list of issues were pretty numerous...
First, they slapped on these really bizarre time restrictions. Even though I had won everything up to this point apparently if Richmond wasn't taken in this one day the war would be lost. Umm... ok.
Second, and tied in the first, was their use of splitting up the battlefield to fight chunks of the engagement one at a time. This was always kind of annoying in previous big battles (you'd have times where you'd fight one chunk, then fight the next, and when the two came together you'd have part of your line in between Confederate forces in a way that just wouldn't happen if you fought it all on one big map). They took it too a whole new level in this final one.
Basically the battle consisted of you taking 5 forts and the town itself. With several of these chunks they put the forts literally on the edge of the map. In every situation the only place to maneuver was through Confederate trenches instead of around in the open ground the forts would have been set up in front of. One of these forts, even when the battle finally went to one big map, was STILL on the edge of the map with a river running by it so you had to cross through it to take it. Just... a complete cop out on their part (they were being lazy in map design or in trying to make it more difficult).
Third, tying in with the above two, was because of this lack of time and often limited maneuver space you basically have no choice but to just push straight on the objective and be slaughtered. There were no days or weeks of trench building and bombardment. Nope... you have a few hours to take the most well defended objective you've encountered all war or else you lose.
Fourth, they had a LOT of instances of enemies popping out of the side of the map, even way behind you, with no warning or reason. In previous big battles where you had the entire map playable this was never an issue because there was still room for maneuver on the far ends of the battle line (and I made a point to always have skirmishers acting as eyes well beyond my lines for the few times the AI tried to send cavalry around my flanks and the one time it tried to send an entire corps around my flank!). Not here. Sometimes these units would pop out right on top of you and immediately flank one of my units and make them route (which was made even worse because it really felt like the final battle was bugged or purposefully designed to kill most of my officers... ~2/3 of them were killed off by the end of the fight, including 2 of my 3 corps commanders... no other battle I fought came close to those casualty figures for leaders).
There were a couple more issues but the point has been made. I bring this up because by the end of the campaign this game has a lot of similarities with the showrunners of GoT - when given something to work with, here with the historical battles and with GoT with actual books, the designers do an AMAZING job. When left on their own to make something their own the game really goes to shit (many of the minor battles, from what I can tell, were fictional as well and they had many of these issues to a lesser degree).
Even though I highly recommend this game the ending and the issues make me skeptical of their future products. If it's something where they're taking historical events and putting the player in charge I have faith they'll do an amazing job. If it's something they're making on their own (as in, inspired by real events, like this new game seems to be)... yeah... I'll probably pass.
Edit: This final Union battle was so bad it made me put off playing the Confederate side indefinitely. While I still recommend the game to everyone just STOP when you see Richmond/Washington as your next major battle. You've won! Congratz!
Edited by Skywalkre, 17 May 2019 - 1017 AM.