To stack or not to stack (soldiers)

Respected Call of Combat addicts,

Hopefully you have all had a great start in the new year. Life isn't always easy, on the contrary sometimes... But life is what you make of it! Life can be fantastic. You, and only you, are in control :)

Ok, thats more than enough philosophical crap for an early sunday morning. Today I would like to dicuss game design with you guys. Wikipedia: "Game design is the game development process of designing the content and rules of a game in the pre-production stage and design of gameplay, environment, storyline, and characters during production stage." In other words: shaping the game concept!

Florian and myself are both 'new' to properly developing a game. We are learning immense amounts. One of the most crucial elements of developing a game is game design; the game concept; the actual game. Makes sense I guess eh? :)

For this exact reason the team has welcomed two very ambitious game designers: Martin and Antoine. They have been introduced in previous blog posts and in particular Martin, who has been around since the beginning, has posted stuff before. Its very likely that from now on you will find them publishing more blog posts about certain game design subjects or mixing in certain discussions. We have noticed that its not as easy as one might think to explain ALL OF THE AWESOMENESS related to Call of Combat to people who haven't played it for such a long time as most of us have, but we're trying :) And steadily people like Martin and Antoine are getting a very tight grip on what makes this game so goddamn great.

Anywho, today we would really like to pick your brain about an extremely important feature: stacking. I realise this might cause a little confusion, cause with stacking I dont mean bashing noobs! I mean stacking soldiers. The ability to place two or more soldiers on the exact same location. So for example: 10 soldiers behind the same tree or window. If you give it some thought, you will find that this had quite an impact on the gameplay: strategically and more... Now, there have been quite a few people in the past year that have told us: you cannot do this nowadays. It will look awfully weird, and its simply not realistic.

My question to you is.. What do you think? As far as we can think of there are merely two possibilities (with lots of options for possibility number 2 though):

1. Old school. Eventhough it might look weird and unrealistic, its crucial for the CoC gameplay and should remain as is.

2. Remove stacking. Soldiers cannot stand in the same place.

Options for removing stacking:
- Position soldiers shoulder-to-shoulder.
- Increase amount of cover: more windows, fatter trees, etc.
- Broader hallways etc.
- Automatic 'step-aside' animation for when several soldiers are moving in small spaced areas to prevent frustrating situations.

I expect, at least at first, that veteran players are probably leaning towards old school (as is kind of the case with the leash and button panel ;)). Hell, I went crazy when we discussed this for the first time. "You CANNOT remove stacking! CoC is not CoC without it! Not being able to stack your soldiers will change everything!". But I've thought about this a lot in the past months. And I've become much more open minded about it. Partly because, as most of us have experienced in CoCv1...., we simply need lots of, or least more than enough, players!! If the modern gamer conceives the game as weird-looking and unrealistic, we might have a problem.. Not being able to stack adds a whole new strategic & tactical dimension to the game. Positioning becomes even more important for example.

To stack or not to stack? A very important choice..
In our opinion, both options have their advantages and disadvantages. And, as with everything, it will need to be thoroughly tested.

Looking forward to your input!!

Many thanks and salute,



BoNcHiE's picture

It's too important to gameplay to remove it completely.

There may be ways to make it more visually appealing.
Delta2k17's picture

I feel we should keep the element of stacking in the game, as it brought a great sense of strategy to the game. Also with very strategic leaders such as Shayan, making battle plans, we would set up 4 soldiers under a wall laying down and then rush the other side of the map so when the flank comes those soldiers got up and destroyed. Was very fun and with stacking you can come up with way more crazy ideas. Not to mention stacking is ESSENTIAL when defending a location
P40tiger's picture

Erik says.
My question to you is.. What do you think? As far as we can think of there are merely two possibilities (with lots of options for possibility number 2 though):

I'm all for stacking units. The more soilders in any given area offers the most ofencive coverfire ( allowing soilders to Advance towards the goal. ) stacked or not, and the same holds true on the defencive side of the battle the more soilders in an area the harder it is for advancing troops to reach there goal, stacked or not.
One main tactics of the game is often about out numbering and moving as many soilders you can towards the weakest point in the front line, stacked or not.
From both an ofencive and defencive position on a map stacking has fundamental advantages to tactics.

Here is why.
If Four Squads have five or six objects of cover in a given area, that would be sixteen brave soilders, ten or eleven of those soilders would have no cover if not able to stack, ( depending on what the cover was ). Often the bulk of an advance comes from one side of a battle map or the other, it's these sixteen brave soilders that need to be able to stack together, with so little cover working as a team. and in this case out numbered five to one.
This question also apply's to an ofencive position say the sixteen brave soilders want to advance towards the goal against five to one odds.

This subject of stacking Squads should in no wise down play the adavtages of spreading out, moving one soilder at a time, all at once or leaving one to three soilders behind they each have there tactical advantage in doing so as Soilders have to move, look around, run, fire in difrant directions, flank, hide, spread out, and use every tactic availble, including stacking units.

I watched your youtube video shows Erik, there looks like you have enuff cover in one area to build it in such a way that half the players will in no wise have a lack of cover, if not stacked, just slightly over-lapped maybe with other players lack of cover would be alfull for the soilders. I'm sure you could make four side to any object of cover, and simply state in the rules, how ever many spots per sides each object has, corner , tree , rock , window, wall, hay.

There are also disadvantages to (each ).. of the above formations, movments, and tactics ya ? All I know for certain is that if the players ( thats me ) can do it, they will do it...

I saw another post the idea of Fox Holes.
I Dig that, pass them out like wepons easy.

Other simple ideas.

I'm all for medic kits, brings one soilder back to like, every Squad has one . best if they cant be picked up or passed.

I'm all for in game close quarters combat / paratrooper training, pass out like wepons, easy.

I'm all for in game rewards, flags, points, wepon's stash, amo stash, nade stash, mustash, medic stash, easy.

I'm all for in game off shore bombardment, as long as those troops in the area have a short time to move, away or take cover in say a foxhole or building? not to say that the bombardment dosent fall short and the battle turns.

I'm all for random air strikes bursts of fire where planes fire on the map ! easy to make ya ?

I'm all for a cantien to by supplys befor a battle, introduce money, and items, boots, jacket, back pack, ammo, rest, scope, nades, every palyer could get 1 coc bit coin to purchase at the cantien, items that last only 1 game. if the items are disposable used up, a player will have to save money playing more games, and playing again in order to obtain the goal.
Kinda opens a can of worms this one.. because you could sell coc bit coins to me for real money ?
I'm not asking you sell out, just saying if you had 3000 15 year olds x5 dollars, thats 15,000

Colethemole69's picture

The game without stacking would seem so foreign. You have really persuaded me from being on the fence to wanting stacking to say. You made quite an argument! :P
Dr Dynamite's picture

Without stacking it is going to be a pain in the ass to move around and find available cover.
Mrdood92's picture

I think that you should do no stacking but maybe for first 20-30 seconds of a match let soldiers pass through each other that way it doesn't become gridlock at spawn.
Rezurexc's picture

I would like if it there was no stacking, but I wouldn't mind if somehow, stacking was passed.