Old World's Undo Feature Has Ruined Other TBS Games For Me

I am too disheartened by recent developments in certain games due to my own mis-clicking to give details.

But, as per thread title.




I want it.

That is all.

This is one of the reasons I loved Through the Ages and glad to see it in Old World too. I know some games don’t allow it or limit it (as I’m sure Old World does–I’m still working through the tutorial) so you can’t game hidden information or randomness, but for simple misclicks or experimenting to glean information it’s fantastic. It brushes away almost every reason for reloading and keeps you ‘in’ the game rather than frequently being snagged out.

It really doesn’t, at least when I last played. You can go back turns and turns, IIRC.

Slipways deserves a mention in this thread. The game is really uniquely well-suited for an undo with its puzzle-ish nature, and it is scrupulously fair about letting you undo as long as you haven’t revealed any unknown information.

Oh! Does it draw fresh cards and new events then? In fact, maybe I recall that happening when I first played it at launch?

I can’t remember, alas. I suspect it also rolls back the state of the RNG, so you’d get the same events, but that’s speculation.

Within the same turn, you get the same events, and results. I’m not sure what happens to the RNG if you roll back further. I believe if you roll back far enough to have intervening events and intervening RNG rolls, it can yield different results eventually.

Old World is basically letting you play it like a boardgame, where you can take back your move if you need or want to! And it can do this because – IMO – it’s carefully designed so that undo’s don’t accidentally break anything. I don’t think this is the case in many other games.

For instance, I’ve been playing a ton of Phoenix Point. I don’t think anything thinks an undo button in that game is a good idea, especially with the randomness of shots. An undo button would basically be an ingame invitation to keep attempting a tricky shot until the RNG lands it. And you can’t very well preserve the RNG because it’s a point in space determined by the position of the shooter and not an arbitrarily rolled number.

Yet there’s still a valuable roll for undo’ing in Phoenix Point! Sometimes, I’m not sure how a new mechanic or gadget works. Fancy new grenades, for instance, or some of the cool vehicle upgrades, or even the new weapons introduced in aerial combat. So there have been times when I’ve decided to attempt a test move just to see how something works. I save the game, I do the move, and regardless of what happens, I reload the game. I just wanted to check.

Cheating? Kind of. An impromptu training exercise for my soldiers? That’s how I think of it. Taking up the slack for imprecise documentation? Maybe, but a big part of a Phoenix Point playthrough is discovery. Carving out a single test move to be undone regardless of the outcome is something I do in Phoenix Point because I’ve learned from Old World how much it helps. Let me see firsthand how something works, then I’ll be better able to use it as its intended. I’ve got a ton of saves in Phoenix Point with names like grenade_test or movement_test or new_weapon_test.

So I share @sharpe’s agony (when it’s not in other games) and ecstasy (when I’m playing Old World and freely make use of the undo button to test game mechanics, check costs, verify that things are working as I expect, test that I’m correctly understanding outcomes, etc)!

And I’m glad to see props given to Slipways, as well, although it can be problematic in Slipways, since so many of your moves are about revealing previously unknown info (there’s some of that with scouting in Old World, but otherwise, the undo feature is almost never an option for “cheating” Old World). That’s always our threshold for taking back a move in boardgames, which brings me full circle here: as long as no new info has been revealed, a player can always back up and try something else. That’s how I play Old World, and now it’s coloring how I play other games because I’ve been applying the concept to better learn Phoenix Point.


Yeah, one of the things I quickly figured out about Slipways was exactly what was unknown info. The main one is probes, of course, but there are a couple subtle things like what the options are for an event (such as a ruined megastructure). The main reason the Slipways undo is 100% necessary, for me, is that even with the really-quite-well-done blueprint mechanism, I can’t fully grasp a several-planet layout until I see it done.

(I’ve also found one arguable oversight of the undo button, which is that colonizing a planet can slightly bump your borders and reveal shadows, but you can then undo after that.)