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DevBlog: An update on military in Anno 1800

Today, we want to give you an update on the status of military gameplay and land-based combat in Anno 1800.

Last Fall, we kicked off the topic of military gameplay in Anno 1800 with two blogs here on the Union (The Art of War Part One and Two), where we examined the history of combat and its various incarnations in the series over the years. We also announced that we had decided to focus on a great city-building and economic experience, as well as on expanded and more in-depth naval combat, while not adding land-based combat to Anno 1800. However, as a result of the passionate community feedback to this announcement on the Anno Union, we promised that we would revisit this decision and to explore possible ways to add land-based combat.

Since then, we spent a lot of time discussing your reactions while also inviting Anno veterans from the Union to the studio to discuss the military aspects of the Anno series. Based on the extensive feedback from our communities, we worked on possible game design approaches that would allow us to add land-based combat that would meet the expectations of our fans, while not having a negative impact on the quality and scope of our other planned content and features.

Given the community feedback to Anno 2205, our main priority for 1800 is to deliver a great city-building game that offers fans all the gameplay depth and replayability that they have come to expect from the Anno brand over the past 20 years. At the same time, we also need to ensure that everything that is added to the game meets the high quality standards that we as a development team pride ourselves on. Sadly, none of the possible scenarios and game designs we have worked on over the past months would meet the quality bar we are aiming for without negatively affecting other features. At the same time, cutting back on the gameplay depth of the core economic aspects of Anno in favor of a military system that we know many of our players do not use would be a disservice to our mission to deliver a stand-out city-building game. Therefore, as a team we have decided to stick to our initial plan of focusing on improved naval combat, and will not add land-based combat to Anno 1800 for its launch.

We understand that this is not what some of you in the community were hoping for, but with the Anno Union, we are big believers in transparency and being upfront with our players, even when delivering news that we know some of you will find disappointing. We look forward to sharing much more information about all aspects of Anno 1800, including the improved naval combat and how island take-overs will work, with you all in the coming months, as we get closer to the game’s release.

The Anno 1800 Team

29 Comments

  1. vaiosue vaiosue

    In the name of all that is good. Please add transports and land units. Maybe create like a town center building that can progress into a fortress that you have to captured to take an island. I absolutely adore this game but it NEEDS land combat. Capturing by destroying the harbor with ships just feels so empty and anti-climactic. Plus I can’t even bombard the coastline? Would 100% be willing to pay $30 to even $40 for this as a DLC. This game is so close to the greatest RTS I have ever played.

  2. avatart0ph avatart0ph

    I want to be able to invade another player’s land via land invasion after finishing off their harbour. Wouldn’t it be too easy if i was using the Navy only? I just need to know where their main harbour area and target that..

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  3. Liljagare Liljagare

    Land combat is the one thing this series could always have kept improving on, it’s the last lacking gem for the game play. A shame it won’t be in.

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  4. grcorleone grcorleone

    Hi,
    I think with land-based combat will be an great added value for the game(play). I played every anno serie and downloaded the last anno (2205), becasue it was not worth the money for me. I could do just play SimCity or City skylines as well. The combination of building and control your own city’s and fight other characters was for me the most fun part in the games. I don’t care how long the development will take, but what the quality of the game will be, like GTA 5.

    I will see if I have to download again or it’s worth buying.

    Greetz

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  5. HannesDS HannesDS

    Nice addition.

    I would like to see a blog about police, maybe upgradable (expandable) police stations. Or maybe the prison island can help you (with extra forces) during a riot?

    But please no missions you need to search people on the island, or considering another system?

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  6. Sir_Njall Sir_Njall

    Have you guys looked at more abstracted land combat?

    The way I see it is this way:
    Islands are for more slow moving action. I love it for city building, not so much for slow army management.
    Oceans are for fast action, great for naval action. Love it.

    What if we create another screen that says there are 12 units defending this island and 25 units attacking, at this rate the island can hold out for ~ 40 min!?

    This would completely eliminate the tediousness of controlling individual units or moving camps around. It would also enable the island to be optimized for building placement.
    That is, strictly speaking the soldier animations don’t have to “drive the simulation”, you could drive the results of the combat mostly from force ratios and combat modifiers (i.e. defence is OP?).
    Animations are mostly for eye candy.

    If you needed to be quick and dirty we don’t technically need the animations for it, but it would be super cool to see the units skirmishing along the island.

    Penalties for defender include reduced productivity.

    Guerilla tactics could be a thing? Pirates are here reducing our productivity by 15%. Build a garrison to protect island or deal with the pirates in other manner.

    Additionally, if you achieve naval dominance you could severely hurt an invasion army by cutting their supply line?

    What I am thinking is that you can tweak the numbers such that attacking cities is hard, like really requires preparation, while attacking outliers is easier.

    Furthermore, if we really want to go there, we could have the defensive building placement matter somewhat.

    Thanks for reading and talking about this in dev diaries. All I want to say is that the idea of warfare adds stakes to the game. There has to be a “risk” factor for me. Something to keep me on my toes a little bit. When there is no risk, it sort of takes something away that compromises the gameplay. The challenge lies in avoiding making the supposed risk something that is really just tedious, whatever that means.

  7. Kevin_Ar182 Kevin_Ar182

    From the start, Anno has been a game that combines land RST combat with city building. Remove land combat and it is no longer an ANNO game.

  8. ThePhantasmJCH ThePhantasmJCH

    I’m perfectly fine with this decision. The land combat has always been a bit slow. I tolerated it in 2070 because the aircraft was a lot less clunky than troops.

    As long as there is a mechanism for taking over other players islands, I’m content. The 1404 Venice option of buying out islands was fine.

  9. Boldzmann Boldzmann

    I like to develop all the sides of Anno. The presence of military infantry means a lot to me. I am also ready to buy a military DLC with infantry.

  10. W0ke. W0ke.

    Noooo. My hopes were up REALLY high for this. I’m immensely disappointed. I don’t care about bugs or glitches or partial Gameplay. Just give us something like 1701. If it won’t be in the main game, fine, but please consider making it dlc number one. I’d pay 300 dollars for a modern Anno 1701 and this is almost that. But we need land combat. And walls. What about the lodge from 1701? I really loved that feature. It could make a great supplement.

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  11. Geextha Geextha

    I have played each any game of the anno series and can accept your decision to set focus on production chains, naval combat and City Building elements.
    In the other hand i would be happy if you see a possibility to add land combat after releasing the Game as many other commentators written in their posts.

  12. Basterius Basterius

    A great decision which I support for the full 100%. You could not make me happier (well actually you could, by removing war in total :)).

  13. ClemensX ClemensX

    Althoug I never realy focused on combat in my games exept for defense, I alwais liked planing out a island takover when I do went on the offencive. Blokking the harbor and distroying the key production chains on land to make hem weak.
    So I am diappointed that te land based combat wil not be included. Never the less I am glad you are being opfront and honest about it. I Understand that there are no unlimited resourses avadible for you to make this game. And I much rather have indepth systems than 1 more endjoyable feature and flat naval combat

  14. Ristonhawk Ristonhawk

    I’m supportive of the decision. I didn’t find the land combat particularly core to my experience. I’m hoping in lieu of land combat maybe we’ll get more vavried and in depth naval combat. Upgradable? Leveling? Weapon/armor/auxiliary slots? ‘Hero’ Ships? ‘Experimental’ Ironclad?

    Certainly plenty to build off of 2205.

  15. guest-9UKKxdQU guest-9UKKxdQU

    “I disagree with the decision, as land base combat is an essential part of any historical game. I understand why you had to drop it, but I would hope you add it later on to the game as a DLC , as it adds more to the game then what you believe so. I believe in the anno team as the games you deliver are quite exceptional (I have not played anno 2205)”

    This. Anno 1701 and 1404 (venise) were amazing, after that all the Anno were just medium.
    Add land-based combat, Anno 1800 needs it.

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  16. banan1996.1996 banan1996.1996

    I’m grateful you decided to focus on the economy. It always was the core element of Anno, I don’t want it to be worse just to include land-based combat.
    Anyways, winning wars was always based on that who has better economy and bigger population. Buying out enemies or defeating them in war always required the same thing: strong economy.
    And you said that land-based combat won’t be in the launch version so I guess you might add it to the game later via some DLCs – I think it would still satisfy those war-loving people.
    Keep in mind – there are many people who would agree with your decision!

  17. MMateos19 MMateos19

    I understand that point of view. It would be really interesting to see land combat, but if for this time it can’t be I hope in the future Anno games (I hope there will be more) something like that could be implemented. Mayble like an option where you get the permits from the goverment to train troops? Let’s wait for what you will prepare for us in the future 🙂

  18. Swimming-Paul Swimming-Paul

    I support your decission 100% and I´m very happy to know that you´re going to be focusing in other aspects of the game.
    Keep the amazing work guys!

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  19. sbeiti sbeiti

    I disagree with the decision, as land base combat is an essential part of any historical game. I understand why you had to drop it, but I would hope you add it later on to the game as a DLC , as it adds more to the game then what you believe so. I believe in the anno team as the games you deliver are quite exceptional (I have not played anno 2205).

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