So I tried out Tenshu General from groupees bagb15.
Tenshu General is a real-time strategy boardgame. The map is divided into provinces, some of which have cities which produce rice for its owner. Rice is the currency of the game, and can be used to expand cities for higher rice production, or for military units.
On first sight, the game looks very promising, however balancing issues, missing information on the gameplay, and a bad UI keep it from being good.
Missing information: For example, there are 3 types of units, which are supposed to be advantaged/disadvantaged according to terrain type. There is no information about the stats of a unit, all you see is a picture. There is no information about the bonus of the terrain type, so it is impossible to judge whether one type of army would win against another. I have not noticed any difference in the fighting power of the different units (it probably is there, but terrain can practically be ignored).
Fights are resolved automatically, with no information about the mechanism. While two full armies (4 units of each type) seem to always completely destroy each other, there also seems to be some kind of randomness involved in battles: I had larger armies destroy smaller forces, but loose more units in the process as the small one had.
There also appears to be a maximum amount of rice which can be stored, and which depends on the gameplay state (possibly number of provinces owned, rice production rate, number of cities owned), but again there is no information whatsoever that this maximum exists, let alone how high it is and what it is influenced by.
Balancing issues: The home province can be protected by powerful walls. A full army attacking a full 4-section wall will always destroy 2 sections, when that province is on a hill (not sure about the hill part, there is no further information, but I once managed to destroy 3 wall sections, don't remember which terrain...). So it is possible to kill the computer player with 2 full armies, which attack his home province shortly after each other (with possibly a third army necessary to kill the army in his home province). However, the player is unbeatable, because the destroyed wall sections can be bought back instantly. As two wall sections cost 600 rice and a full army is 4800 rice, the game can be delayed indefinitely, even in a losing position.
UI issues: This is easily the biggest problem of the game. When a battle occurs, a popup-window shows the strength of the two armies, and upon clicking a button, some of the units are drawn red, they died. This popup window does not pause the game! So you have a real time strategy game, which throws popup windows at you (very bad UI design), which do not pause the game! So you get interrupted of what you were doing, time keeps running, and time is the most important ressource in most RTSs. I just can't stress enough how horrible this design decision is. Moreover, the first page of the popup window shows now information which is not present on the second one (which additionally shows the losses of the battle), so you unnecessarily need to click a button to see the result.
Also, the UI swallows many mouse click events (at least 30%), which makes a RTS quite frustrating to play.
After battle, you usually want to replace the lost units. The dialog for this is also badly designed: you have to click on each grayed out unit of the full army to buy it. You can do so only in the order from left to right, which is no problam per se, but becomes a problem with swallowed mouse clicks. A much better option would have been to enable as many units of a type as can be bought with the available rice, and letting the player buy as many as he wants with a single click on the unit up to which he wants to restock the army. Also for the endgame, a button to immediately buy a full army would be nice.
All in all, I found myself battling the UI more than the enemies.
After having spent about one hour playing the game, I believe I have seen everything (there is no campaign mode or similar, I have defeated 3 opponents which were hacking away at me, being in the middle of the map), and don't feel the urge to return to the game. Not all is bad, though. I think the game could be changed into a decent turn-based strategy game with relatively little effort.