Armies are a great idea (and you have the code already written, as it’s effectively the manifest on a saved replay) but would need an army creation screen. If you can add that (and it doesn’t need to be sophisticated) then it would both solve a chunk of the Unit Deployment Bar issue and also make my desire to control which units are included in an online challenge far easier to implement. Don’t constrain the number of unit types in an army though, I suspect people would just mod the constraint straight back out
Ouch! Just tested 1024x768. Anybody gaming on that needs an upgrade, fast!
Anyway… as an alternative or addition to the army idea, filter buttons! The deployment bar is this shape:
So divide that width (whether it’s 800pixels for people gaming on netbooks, or 1700pixels for those of us with a little wider screens) by 8 and have eight filter buttons lined along the top or botom that toggle on/off showing light/med/heavy mechs/tanks, infantry and trucks.
For defence, 5 buttons for light/med/heavy turrets, infantry and support stations.
Those buttons don’t have to be large, you could make their visibility a toggleable option, and it gives people the ability to show any/all subsets of their unit types as they desire. Maybe a ‘show all’ and/or ‘show none’ button in the corner too for added convenience.
Feels a little more intuitive and quicker to use in the heat of battle than a more complex filter approach.
You could also hotkey the number keys (1…8) so that when a number key was hit, only that filter button’s units are shown. So you wouldn’t need to toggle off heavy tanks and toggle on Medium Mechs, you just hit ‘3’ and it shows you your medium mechs.
Sorting: would be nice, but ideally would need to be alphabetical, by value, by unit type, maybe even by weapon type. I’d suggest if you want quick/easy make it alphabetical and people can use a 1-2 letter key at the start of their unit names if they need to sort. (I think it’s already alphabetical, but case sensitive and upgrading a unit without changing the name breaks the case)
Divisions is a nice idea, and could become part of a two-tier army system. “The Fifth Armor Corps comprises the 28th Lancer Mechs, the Heavy Tank Brigade and misc support units”
Different icons is unnecessary if people use a little more variation on colour schemes - I used 23 different unit types in my last attack and they all look different despite using the same four-colour palette.
But given the choice, armies!