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Old Feb 25, 2012, 08:09 AM   #21
AGRICOLA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catfish View Post
Market-Garden doesn't swap events files during the course of the game. It randomly selects from 10 files when the scenario is launched. IIRC, there was not enough memory available for all of the Delayed events in that scenario.

Thanks. It was sloppy reading of Market Garden events on my part but it is the only published example I know of that uses technologies as messengers. Also, I was making sure that I wasn't claiming credit for something that tech had figured out.

However, in developing additional events for the Red Front 1.4 TOT redux (finally almost finished ), there are a number of events that can take place at any point in the scen. Moreover, information that such events have taken place needs to be passed on to all subsequent events files. Using technologies as messengers was the only way I could do that.

Here's what the Bay of Biscayne ports events in BOF would look like if there were multiple events files and the Allies could capture the cities at any point in the scen. Note that the Allies cannot otherwise get techs 60-63 in the scen.



@INITFLAG
.
.
.
.
.
@IF
CITYTAKEN
city=Brest
attacker=Allies
defender=Germans
@THEN
GIVETECHNOLOGY
receiver=Allies
technology=60
@ENDIF

@IF
CITYTAKEN
city=Lorient
attacker=Allies
defender=Germans
@THEN
GIVETECHNOLOGY
receiver=Allies
technology=61
@ENDIF

@IF
CITYTAKEN
city=Saint-Nazaire
attacker=Allies
defender=Germans
@THEN
GIVETECHNOLOGY
receiver=Allies
technology=62
@ENDIF

@IF
CITYTAKEN
city=La Rochelle
attacker=Allies
defender=Germans
@THEN
GIVETECHNOLOGY
receiver=Allies
technology=63
@ENDIF

@IF
RECEIVEDTECHNOLOGY
technology=60
receiver=Allies
@THEN
FLAG
who=Allies
flag=1
state=on
continuous
@ENDIF

@IF
RECEIVEDTECHNOLOGY
technology=61
receiver=Allies
@THEN
FLAG
who=Allies
flag=2
state=on
continuous
@ENDIF

@IF
RECEIVEDTECHNOLOGY
technology=62
receiver=Allies
@THEN
FLAG
who=Allies
flag=3
state=on
continuous
@ENDIF

@IF
RECEIVEDTECHNOLOGY
technology=63
receiver=Allies
@THEN
FLAG
who=Allies
flag=4
state=on
continuous
@ENDIF

@IF
CHECKFLAG
who=Allies
mask=0b00000000000000000000000000011110
count=2 or 3
state=on
@THEN or @AND
.
.
.
.
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 03:52 PM   #22
tootall_2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGRICOLA View Post

However, in developing additional events for the Red Front 1.4 TOT redux (finally almost finished ), there are a number of events that can take place at any point in the scen. Moreover, information that such events have taken place needs to be passed on to all subsequent events files. Using technologies as messengers was the only way I could do that.
This sounds like an interesting usage for any designer who needs to retain accumulated triggers even after swapping the event file. Though it's still unclear to me why. Don't the accumulated triggers still get saved in the mask?

What's different about the RECEIVEDTECHNOLOGY that it is able to keep record of the accumulated triggers? Is it because the game is always checking to see what technologies a tribe possesses and therefore doesn't care when they were acquired?
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 06:00 PM   #23
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A .sav or .scn file has two distinct parts:

The first, Part A, contains game information such as complete details of the map, civs, units and cities. There is nothing about events in this part.

The second, much smaller, Part B is entirely devoted to information needed to execute events. It contains no data from Part A. However, it can access Part A for information needed to execute events. When a .sav file is dragged over delevent, only Part B is deleted.


Quote:
This sounds like an interesting usage for any designer who needs to retain accumulated triggers even after swapping the event file. Though it's still unclear to me why. Don't the accumulated triggers still get saved in the mask?
No. Information on a civ's technologies is stored solely in Part A. This is why there must be IF statements that convert technology info into event flags. Masks are only a means of diplaying event flags in Part B.


Quote:
What's different about the RECEIVEDTECHNOLOGY that it is able to keep record of the accumulated triggers? Is it because the game is always checking to see what technologies a tribe possesses and therefore doesn't care when they were acquired?
Yes.


If you are interested in seeing how a file is structured and what is in it, visit Catfish's Cave http://users.tpg.com.au/jpwbeest/ and look in GUIDES to download "Saved Game File Format for Test of Time 1.1".
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Last edited by AGRICOLA; Feb 26, 2012 at 06:05 PM.
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 03:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tootall_2012 View Post
Thank you for the revised BOF event file, it is much appreciated. I will be sure to include it in any subsequent update.
No problem. It should give you some more breathing space for tweaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tootall_2012 View Post
I'm not certain what you mean by "If anything, I would've created some kind of alternative to grassland, for example farmland, just to break up the block that covers most of France. That can still be remedied with a combo of the Civ2 Map Editor and MapCopy". Perhaps you can explain further.
What I mean is that if that terrain slot was to be used for purely aesthetic purposes, I'd be more inclined to use it to add variation to the vast blocks of grassland than to mark out borders, which, as Techumseh pointed out, could be done using pollution. Instead of laboriously editing large sections of the terrain using Shift+F8 in the game, it would be faster to export your map (Ctrl+Shift+3), edit it using the Civ2 Map Editor and then import the changes back into the scenario using Dusty's MapCopy utility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tootall_2012 View Post
One of the known bugs in the scenario is the AI's unfortunate habit of pillaging some of the stackable(fortress) tiles near the Siegfried line and the eastern side of the Rhine river. Is there a way to prevent the AI from doing this?
I had a problem in my War of the Ring scenario where the AI would pillage tile improvements around cities. I was able to prevent this by setting the pillaging tribe as the city founder (hex editing). From what you're describing (Germans pillaging German territory), that's not going to be of much help. I suppose it's possible that it could be an issue with tile ownership. I'd start by noting down which tiles were being pillaged and looking for patterns. It may not be solvable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tootall_2012 View Post
What's different about the RECEIVEDTECHNOLOGY that it is able to keep record of the accumulated triggers? Is it because the game is always checking to see what technologies a tribe possesses and therefore doesn't care when they were acquired?
No to the first question, yes to the second. Unless the JustOnce modifier is used, the ReceivedTechnology trigger will check for a technology every turn. The players' technologies data are not touched by Delevent. It's as simple as that.
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Old Mar 13, 2012, 09:13 AM   #25
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I've just about come to the end of my 3rd try at your excellent scenario. I managed to cross the Rhine, but too late and not in enough strength. I wasted most of the winter building up my strength, but that allowed the Germans to as well, and there isn't enough time left to defeat them and occupy the required objectives.

This is a first rate scenario, one of the best I've played in a while. For a first effort, it's remarkable. In particular, the rendering of complex amphibious operations, including the Rhine crossing, is excellent. It remains challenging right up to the end. You can always tell a scenario that has been thoroughly playtested, and this one has.

My comments below are meant as suggestions only, since I can't leave any scenario alone without wanting to tweak things. It's this thing I have.

1. German naval units always end up in the Thames estuary. Is there room for random moveunit events to get some of them into the Channel?

2. Spitfire is underrated. It was as good or better in a dogfight than a Mustang, and clearly superior to the Lightning. As an interceptor, it's weakness was it's short range.

3. Why have "veteran" and "regular" infantry slots for the US and British infantry? Why not just give veteran status to some of the infantry units? You'd save 2 slots for something else.

4. Why the odd combat factors for American infantry? I don't think they were as good as that on offense, and not that bad on defense.

5. I know it's hard to reproduce the longer ranges of some aircraft on a map of this scale, but I just don't find planes that can stay in the air for 4 weeks believable.

6. Pretty optimistic on the arrival of the Pershing tanks, aren't you?

7. How about adding the Maquis? The French resistance controlled some areas in south-central France and aided in the Liberation of many French cities, including Paris.

8. I still don't like the covered map. I feel like Caesar invading Gaul. I use Cheat mode at the start to reveal it, which also allows me to replace pillaged stackable terrain as I go.

9. I know that you've already put enough time into this scenario to write a thesis, but have you considered adding multiple scenario and event files? The game selects one at random when you start the scenario. You can vary the location of defending units and reinforcements in this way, so repeat play is not predictable. You could, for example, vary the location and numbers of German fortifications, or the timing and location of the Ardennes offensive.

Great work! After a few days break, I'm going back in. I'll beat the thing sooner or later. Thanks.
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Old Mar 13, 2012, 05:49 PM   #26
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I finished the scen a few says ago but am still awaiting Tootall's reply to my PM about posting any results. The only comment I can make right now is that the Allies did fight a planned 3-turn battle of attrition that cost the Germans 105 of their best units while the Allies lost a total of 10.


I find tech's suggestions highly interesting because they are so different from my comments which center on:

1. The correctness of Mv=1 for the highly motorized/mechanized Allied infantry and artillery of 1944. In much reading about the Allied European campaign, I have never seen anything that suggests that the infantry divisions or artillery could not keep up with the spearheads.

2. The completely unnecessary and time-consuming scut work that players must put up with because:
a. All British, Allied and American replacements are spawned in Britain, homed to British cities, have to be freighted across to France, and repeatedly re-homed to ensure that there are always enough spare shields in British cities to support the next spawned units.
b. Excepting a limited number of units for Dragoon, American reinforcements are also spawned in Britain, have to be freighted across to France and then moved to the front. They could equally be spawned a few turns later on the continent, close to the front, saving players much tedious road and sea movement. There are web site that give dates not only for when all American units arrived in Europe but also the dates when they actually entered combat.

3. I seriously question the use of RANDOMTURN events to spawn critical reinforcements in a relatively short scen. Depending on how the algorithm works, Lucky Louie could do a h*ll of a lot better that Joe Average or Larry the Loser. Use of TURNINTERVAL would level the playing field for all. This is not sour grapes on my part because I was the beneficiary of a couple of freakish rolls early on.


Otherwise, I agree with tech that it is a very challenging scen.
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Old Mar 14, 2012, 01:18 AM   #27
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Those things also occurred to me, Aggie. However, as the Allied strategy was so dependent on logistics, I was willing to endure a quartermaster's duties to get the complete experience. I agree with some, but not all, of your points.

1. Allied infantry Mv=1. Mostly agree. British and Canadian infantry were completely motorized, US units somewhat less. But the American divisions had lots of supply trucks which were readily available to move troops when needed. So I would suggest giving British and Allied infantry 2 movement plus about half of US infantry, and the other half, plus the French infantry, 1 movement. The artillery was all motorized, some towed, some self-propelled. Of course, this has play balance impacts, so it's a major change.

2 a. Homing of reinforcements to British cities. Agreed. At first, I accepted this as some sort of logistical requirement. But as the game went on, and I lost a number of units because I hadn't been attentive enough to rehome them all, I realized that it was a pointless exercise, and completely unnecessary.

2 b. Spawning reinforcements nearer to the front. Disagree. Adjustments in the location of spawning sites for reinforcements will seriously reduce the strategic options of the Allied player. Higher movement of allied infantry will alleviate the busywork somewhat. I appreciate the ongoing effort to keep the sea lanes open and protect the transports.

3. Replace randomturn events with turninterval events. Strongly disagree. There are 20+ allied events with a D of between 2 and 13 in a 47 turn game. The overwhelming probability is for a very even overall distribution of replacement units. The mix might vary, but overall there is no Lucky Louie or Larry the Loser. Besides, war is not in any way predictable, and an accurate simulation should reflect that.

Cheers.
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Old Mar 14, 2012, 08:45 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by techumseh View Post
My comments below are meant as suggestions only, since I can't leave any scenario alone without wanting to tweak things. It's this thing I have.
I feel the same way and often have 'tweaked' other scenarios rules.txt file myself. Ultimately, the designing process remains a series of compromises and choices used to reflect our own personal interpretation of some historical event or other. In my case, I tried to remain faitfull to what I perceived as being the overall feel and direction of the French campaign. But in the end it remains just that, my interpretations. That said here is my feedback to your excellent comments.

1. German naval units always end up in the Thames estuary. Is there room for random moveunit events to get some of them into the Channel?

Yes, I agree with your observation. On one side, I didn't want the Germans to be able to generate new units in the Channel ports, which would have been unhistorical, but at the same time I just didn't know how to prevent the naval units from always going into the estuary. I still have much to learn about using the events file and it's varied mechanisms.

2. Spitfire is underrated.

As I mentionned in a previous post, I was less certain about the combat strengths for my air units. I didn't have corresponding data that would let me easily integrate them into my overall combat structure. I tried to review how other scenarios of the period evaluated their air units and therefore I must regretably admit there was a certain element of guess work involved. In the end, I agree with you that both the Allied bomber and figther units could use an adjustement.

3. Why have "veteran" and "regular" infantry slots for the US and British infantry?

The Allies possessed many experienced infantry divisions ready for combat on the eve of the invasion, many of them veterans of the African, Sicilian and Italian campaigns. On the other hand for the Americans, most of the follow up divisions came straight from the States without any combat experience and thus were raw and untried. The British for their part were in their fifth year of the war and their manpower reserves were strained to the limit. For those reasons, I felt it was important to make a clear distinction between the veteran and new divisions and didn't feel that the simple usage of the 'Veteran' flag was adequate enough to distinguish between the two.

4. Why the odd combat factors for American infantry? I don't think they were as good as that on offense, and not that bad on defense.

I don't necessarily agree with your observation. There are numerous instances, in Africa, Italy and even France, were American divisions buckled under a sustained German attack. At one point during the Normandy campaign SHAEF considered disbanding the 90th Infantry Division for it's very poor showing (it went on to have a distinguished war record). The newly formed 106th Infantry which had just arrived on the front a few days before the start of the Battle of the Bulge was basically overrun and forced to surrender en masse. Much to their credit the Americans were always better on the attack then on the defense, partly due to their heavy firepower but also their bravery and offensive spirit.


5. I know it's hard to reproduce the longer ranges of some aircraft on a map of this scale, but I just don't find planes that can stay in the air for 4 weeks believable.

Initially, I tried to give longer ranges to the air units but discovered that their seemed to be a direct correlation between the road movement factor applied in the rules.txt file and the maximum range you could give air units. Originally, I had a road movement factor of six but any air unit that had a range greater than 30 in the rules somehow saw their movement reduced to 2 tiles in the actual game. I then tried a road MF of 5 and had a similar problem. I didn't want to go below 4 otherwise it would have taken for ever for the Allied infantry to keep up. But at that factor it seems as though the maximum range you can apply to an air unit is 30 without having an adverse effect. So I compromised and gave some air units the maximum # of MP's but extended their range with the # of turns they could stay in the air.

6. Pretty optimistic on the arrival of the Pershing tanks, aren't you?

Not necessarily. From my research a little over 300 Pershing's saw combat before the end of the War in Europe. I believe the first recorded combat occurred on February 26, 1945, when the 3rd Armored Division attacked across the Roer River. In my scenario, the Pershing's only arrive in England on the week of February 12th, and by the time they actually make it to the front line there might only be 5 or 6 turn left in the game (plus the fact that there are only 4 units in total in the game).

7. How about adding the Maquis? The French resistance controlled some areas in south-central France and aided in the Liberation of many French cities, including Paris.

My scenario originally included the Maquis and though I agree they played a valiant and brave role in the campaign they were more of a nuisance then a truly effective fighting force. Their main contribution was sabotage and that's not really possible to reproduce within the confines of the Civilization framework. Besides, in most circumstances, they were only able to 'liberate' certain cities either because the Germans had already left or strong Allied units were in the vicinity to help, as was the case for Paris, Toulon and Marseilles.
There were a number of other units I wanted in the game and had to make a choice on which ones to keep and those to cut. In the end the Maquis lost out to the pontoon bridge!

8. I still don't like the covered map. I feel like Caesar invading Gaul. I use Cheat mode at the start to reveal it, which also allows me to replace pillaged stackable terrain as I go.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.


9. I know that you've already put enough time into this scenario to write a thesis, but have you considered adding multiple scenario and event files?

With regards to the fortifications, I disagree. The further you move away from Normandy and the closer you get to the Pas-de-Calais the stauncher were the German defenses. Hitler and his General Staff allocated the greatest part of their resources to defend that area because it was the shortest route to Germany. If the Allied player wants to go that route, they can but should expect a corresponding level of difficulty in overcoming the coastal defenses. The same goes for the Siegfried line. I didn't want there to be a weak spot in the line that the Allies could regularly exploit from game to game (even less for it to be determined by random placement). I wanted, just as it was historically, for the line to be as equally tough no matter which venue the player decided to attack.

The German replacements placement is actually random. The Ardennes offensive is actually based on flags and is triggered only when a certain number of events are triggered.
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Old Mar 14, 2012, 08:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGRICOLA View Post
I find tech's suggestions highly interesting because they are so different from my comments which center on:

I finished the scen a few says ago but am still awaiting Tootall's reply to my PM about posting any results.

The only comment I can make right now is that the Allies did fight a planned 3-turn battle of attrition that cost the Germans 105 of their best units while the Allies lost a total of 10.
I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were waiting for a reply though, at the same time, I'm not certain what you mean about posting results. Could you elaborate?

During my testing I did keep casualty records at the end of each game. There may have been sequences of turns were the Allies inflicted much greater losses than they suffered but overall the German to Allied casualty rates never exceeded 3.5 to 1 (Some results: 588 to 267, 628 to 293, 697 to 246, 700 to 190).

1. The correctness of Mv=1 for the highly motorized/mechanized Allied infantry and artillery of 1944. In much reading about the Allied European campaign, I have never seen anything that suggests that the infantry divisions or artillery could not keep up with the spearheads.

I certainly don't disagree with your observation. I believe you are very correct in pointing out that the Allied infantry and artillery units had access to a large fleet of motor transports and were for the most part able to keep up with their highly mechanized armored counterparts.
I originally tried to add truck units that would carry the infantry and artillery units but quickly realized that only naval units can carry units. I then tried increasing the road movement factor up to 6 but soon found out it somehow had a negative impact on the range of aircraft. I then thought about giving the Allied infantry and artillery a movement factor of 2 but then realized I would have an issue with the "x2 on defense versus horse (pikemen)" flag that I wanted to be able to apply against units with a movement factor of 2. If I gave the infantry 2 MP they would also be subject to the same effect and I didn't want that. In the end, I settled for a road movement factor of 4 and 1 MP for non-mechanized units.

I think Techumseh's suggestion to give some of the Allied infantry and artillery units 2 MP is probably a good compromise (British and US Veteran, Allied Infantry and British 5.5in Gun), though I would still be concerned about the effect of the 'x2 on defense' flag.

2. The completely unnecessary and time-consuming scut work that players must put up with because:

a. All British, Allied and American replacements are spawned in Britain, homed to British cities, have to be freighted across to France, and repeatedly re-homed to ensure that there are always enough spare shields in British cities to support the next spawned units.

Sometimes when you come up with a concept during the designing phase it's difficult to let go. I did question at some point whether players might find this aspect a little too cumbersome, but persisted because I felt it added a logistical element. I guess in this case I sacrificed playability and should revise this in a possible future version.

b. Excepting a limited number of units for Dragoon, American reinforcements are also spawned in Britain, have to be freighted across to France and then moved to the front.

Originally, I was generating even more replacements than now, and would see an even greater backlog of units accumulating in English ports. I will admit that the transport issue was my greatest concern with regards to players reaction. During my testing, even I sometimes came to find it a little bit too much. But I wanted to remain committed to my concept of freighters and the capture of key ports. If I started having Allied units initially deploy in French ports it would render my freighter concept mostly void. Perhaps, in a future version I could compromise and allow some reinforcement units to arrive in France instead of England with the capture of specific ports (time delayed of course).

3. I seriously question the use of RANDOMTURN events to spawn critical reinforcements in a relatively short scen.

I agree with Techumseh on this one. War is full of vagaries and good or bad luck most certainly plays a role. I have no problem with it. When a player has a string of bad luck it simply tests his abilities as a commander that much more. Besides , in the end, I think it's how you've played the game overall that will determine whether you win or not.
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Old Mar 14, 2012, 10:56 PM   #30
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Tootall 2012:

1. In fairness, US units did arrive directly at French Atlantic ports, once they had been cleared. My objection is to Allied reinforcements appearing "near the front", rather than at ports of debarkation.

2. You may be incorrectly assuming that the "x2 on defense versus horse (pikemen)" applies to your anti-tank units. To defend at double defense strength, a unit with the pikeman flag must be attacked by a unit that not only has a MF of 2, but also a HF of 1. I gave up trying to utilize the "pikeman" flag for anti-tank units a long time ago.

3. According to the sites I've checked, only ~20 Pershing tanks actually saw action in the European theatre (although they did very well).

4. German naval moveunit events could look like this (not playtested):

@IF
RANDOMTURN
Denominator=2
@THEN
MOVEUNIT
unit=Torpedo Boat
owner=Germans
maprect
60,0,88,0,88,22,60,22
moveto
44,18
numbertomove=1
@ENDIF

and,

@IF
RANDOMTURN
Denominator=2
@THEN
MOVEUNIT
unit=U-Boat
owner=Germans
maprect
60,0,88,0,88,22,60,22
moveto
32,14
numbertomove=1
@ENDIF

I don't know if you have events space, but you could free some up by deleting some of the text in the events.

Cheers.
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Old Mar 31, 2012, 04:44 PM   #31
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I've made a series of modifications to my original scenario design thanks in large part to the feedback from Agricola, Techumseh’s, McMonkey and Catfish. Their testing and observations made light of some design flaws and playability issues that had escaped my attention during my own original testing. As such I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks for their aid:

• Replaced the old border icon with the pollution attribute (renamed 'Border'). Now the border runs through different terrain types and feels much more realistic.
• Increased the attack strength for the B-26, Avro Lancaster and Spitfire IX units
• Increased the movement factor of all the Allies infantry and artillery units to 2MP
• The home city attribute for all replacements as now been set to 'None'. Though the feature may have been intended to reflected the historical strain on the British and French war effort at this time it detracted from the overall playability of the game and for this reason was removed.
• Reduced the role and number of freighters. American reinforcements will now begin to appear directly in four different French Channel ports (Cherbourg, Le Havre, Dunkerque and Anvers), depending on what turn you are at in the game and whether the ports in question have been liberated. The placement of these reinforcements is done, in part, using the randomize attribute so depending on which ports are liberated the units may be spread out between them. In the event that none of the ports are liberated, they will appear in England. This was done for two reasons:
o Because it is historically accurate that many follow-up American divisions were disembarked directly in French ports, but also to
o Reduce the tedious task, reported by players, of having to constantly ferry the units from England
• Added British mines in front of the Thames estuary to prevent German naval units from entering
• Added new house rule whereby it is strictly forbidden to stack any air unit on top of your ground or naval units under any circumstances (exception: within cities or on airbases is allowed). Otherwise, this gives the Allied player a completely unfair advantage by preventing the AI from launching naval or ground attacks.
• Made significant modifications to the Rhine river city defenses, thereby making it much more difficult to capture them by a combination of airborne/air attacks.
• Modified the Flak 88mm unit by making it a static unit and increasing its defense factor and placed them either by random events or as part of the initial set up in key German controlled cities
• Added the 'SAM Missile Battery' improvement (Called 'Radar Station' in the scenario) to a few cities on the Western side of the Rhine
• Added extra Blockhaus units along the Siegfried Line and a few extra cities along the coast.
• Randomly generate through the events file a few extra Blockhaus units along key beach areas
• Randomly generate through the events file some floating mines to prevent their always being in the same location on the opening turn
• Slightly changed the location of some of the pontoon or Rhine river crossings. The capture of certain Eastern Rhine cities before the capture of their Western counterparts could on occasion destroy the pontoon bridges.
• Added a few events that generate German reinforcements only when specific events occur.
• Corrected the spelling of these 2 cities: Avranches and Saarbrücken

I hope these changes will enhance the players overall experience of the scenario. You can find all the new game zip files and screen shots at http://sleague.civfanatics.com/index...of_France_1944

Last edited by tootall_2012; Mar 31, 2012 at 05:09 PM.
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Old Apr 02, 2012, 03:39 PM   #32
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They sound like a carefully considered and balanced changes. I look forward to playing this scenario again in the near future!
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Old Apr 05, 2012, 02:54 AM   #33
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Most of the changes look appropriate , especially the one that slams the door on approach I used on Turn 13 to capture Köln and Bonn on the west bank of the Rhine; Düsseldorf, Essen, and Dortmund on the east bank; and by the end of Turn 20 to reduce the Germans to 5 scattered cities in das Vaterland plus 6 in Belgium and Holland.


The only change I have very serious questions about is:

• Added new house rule whereby it is strictly forbidden to stack any air unit on top of your ground or naval units under any circumstances (exception: within cities or on airbases is allowed). Otherwise, this gives the Allied player a completely unfair advantage by preventing the AI from launching naval or ground attacks.

When CIV 2 first appeared, the stacking of aircraft with ground and naval units was the only way to prevent the destruction of an entire stack by a single successful attack. Before Mercator wrote his CIVSTACK utility, if a designer wanted stackable terrain he had to laboriously add a fortress to each map square. I have played only one scen where the designer actually did this. CIVSTACK changed all that, but scens that have stackable terrain tend to have all terrain types stackable.

If you think that it is unfair for players to stack aircraft with ground units it seems equally unfair to players to make naval stacks (including pontoon bridges) almost indefensible against a single U-boat or bomber that can destroy all ships as well as all ground units aboard the ships. Or, for that matter, unguided missiles that somehow can unerringly find a convoy hundreds of kilometers away and wipe it out.

IMHO, to redress the balance you might consider either making ocean terrain stackable or allowing aircraft in naval stacks.



I also have suggestions about a couple of more things.

1. Pontoon bridges (actually ships) with very limited carrying capacity are a part of your scheme to make it difficult for players to move units across the Rhine. However, historically, once they held both sides of the river, the Allies were quickly able to build enough pontoon bridges to be able to freely move both fighting units and endless columns of supply trucks across the Rhine. The scen grossly underestimates the incredible ability of Allied Combat Engineers to rapidly build both vehicular bridges, foot bridges and even railway bridges.

The only capacity figures I have seen are for the 3 pontoon bridges that were completed within a week of the capture of the Remagen bridge. Evidently they subsequently carried 60,000 vehicles in a week. I assume that this includes both eastbound traffic as well as westbound.

One can also deduce quite a bit from the US 9th army's crossing of the Rhine north of Düsseldorf. It crossed on March 24, 1945 and 11 days later had not only formed the northern arm of the Ruhr encirclement but also advanced eastward by 200 km to well beyond Bielefeld. Clearly, engineers had rapidly built enough pontoon and other bridges to allow its 3 corps (3 corps = 11 divisions = 33 regiments = 33 units in the scen) to cross the within a week and a half.

At the end of March, the Allies had 7 armies totalling nearly 90 divisions along the Rhine. All armies crossed the river between March 22 and March 26 and by April 4 all their divisions were across the Rhine and spearheads were 125-175 km east of it. In other words, engineers had in less than two weeks built sufficient bridges to carry 250+ regiments across the river. By contrast, in the scen, the maximum units that can be moved across the Rhine per week are 36 . . . . . 25 by pontoon bridges and 11 by landing craft.

I would suggest that you at least double, and preferably triple, the carrying capacity of pontoon bridges. Otherwise there is an artificial traffic bottleneck at the Rhine.



By far the best site for extremely detailed operational, logistical and other information about the U.S. army in WW2 that I have found on the net is the United States Military Academy History of World War II
http://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/



2. Do the V-1 and V-2 really belong in this scen? I was reading about the bridge at Remagen when I came across the following paragraph:

http://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-...E-Last-11.html

THE U.S. ARMY IN WW2

Chapter XI A Rhine Bridge at Remagen

p. 227
Quote:
From 12 through 17 March a rocket unit with weapons emplaced in the Netherlands fired eleven supersonic V-2's in the direction of the bridge, the first and only tactical use of either of the so-called German V-weapons (Vergeltungswaffen, for vengeance) during World War II. One rocket hit a house 300 yards east of the bridge, killing three American soldiers and wounding fifteen. That was the only damage. Three landed in the river not far from the bridge, five others west of the bridge, and one near Cologne; one was never located.
This started me thinking about what kind of weapons the V-1 and V-2 actually were -"vengeance" missiles with primitive guidance systems, lucky to hit within a kilometer or two of the intended target. That is why initially both were used against London and southern England. Later, V-2's attempted to attack the harbor facilities at Antwerp. These were sufficienly large targets to offer a reasonable chance of actually hitting them.

Their only significant effect on the Allied armed forces was considerable pressure to rapidly overrun the V-1 launch sites along the Pas de Calais and end the V-1 bombardment of London and SE England. They were much too inaccurate to have any tactical effect on Allied ground or naval units.

The V-1 and V-2 definitely were not the long-range precision guided tactical weapons that they are in the scen. Cruise missiles required decades of new technology and additional development before they became usable tactical weapons.



3. I didn’t notice this earlier, but is it you intent that the two “shell” units behave like helicopters?

155mm Shell, nil, 1, 2.,0,
240mm Shell, nil, 1, 3.,0,

If you make two minor changes, they become one-shot aircraft

155mm Shell, nil, 1, 2.,1,
240mm Shell, nil, 1, 3.,1,

.
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Old Apr 08, 2012, 01:07 PM   #34
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Agricola, I would like to thank you for your comments. As usual you a very thorough and factually correct in your research and observations. Here are my replies on my decision making process.

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Originally Posted by AGRICOLA View Post
The only change I have very serious questions about is:
• Added new house rule whereby it is strictly forbidden to stack any air unit on top of your ground or naval units under any circumstances (exception: within cities or on airbases is allowed). Otherwise, this gives the Allied player a completely unfair advantage by preventing the AI from launching naval or ground attacks..
I know that house rules are often used by designers to remedy what they deem as design flaws in the mechanics of the game itself and therefore add them to redress balance of play issues. By far my greatest pet peeve with regards to Civilization has always been the ability of a single unit to wipe out an entire stack of opponents. That's why in my scenario I made the land tiles stackable. But in this case, to allow the Allied player to place air units on top of his troops, particularly at critical moments like on the beaches, near critical cities or the Siegfried line, to prevent German counterattacks would be completely unfair and totally unrealistic.

I didn't make the ocean tiles stackable because whenever a transport carrying troops is destroyed only the transport itself get eliminated, the ground units remain in the ocean hex ready to be picked up again by another transport. I find this completely unacceptable.

For my part, I almost never stack my naval units in the game. The only exception is when I might stack some of my transports with a battleship when I feel they are located in a location that might be vulnerable to an attack by German naval units or when I'm sending them south to the Mediterranean. I also usually send my destroyers and cruiser to aggressively sweep the ocean to neutralize any German naval units that might be in the vicinity.

Nevertheless, in the end, house rules simply remain recommendations to players on how they should play the game and are for the most part hopefully designed to provide an extra degree of challenge. Players are free to disregard them should they so choose, though I feel they might not get the full experience should they decide to ignore them.

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Originally Posted by AGRICOLA View Post
1. Pontoon bridges (actually ships) with very limited carrying capacity are a part of your scheme to make it difficult for players to move units across the Rhine.
During the designing phase I struggled a little on how many units I would allow to cross pontoon bridges per turn. I knew, as your research clearly demonstrates, that historically once the Allies had set up their multiple pontoon bridges that it allowed them to transfer massive numbers of their troops across the Rhine in a short time. In the end, I decided to limit the number of units that could be 'transported' by the pontoons for 2 reasons:

• I wanted to make it a little more difficult for the Allied player to conquer Germany proper. If I allowed too many units to cross per turn then the Allied player would be able to overrun the country too quickly. In that sense, I wanted to increase the degree of difficulty and thereby make the final conquest more challenging.

• During my play testing, I actually enjoyed having to select which units should cross the pontoons first and in what combination, i.e. all armor, armor/mechanized, etc. I found that it brought a certain extra element of fun to the scenario.

Anyhow, once all the pontoons are established the player is able to transfer up to 25 armored units per turn and within 4 turns can have 100 armored units across the Rhine, not counting the infantry units that are being transferred by the landing craft. Once you factor in the air units and the airborne units, once spring has returned, this is more than sufficient forces to complete your conquest. So in the end I decided to sacrifice historical reality for increased challenge and fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AGRICOLA View Post
2.Do the V-1 and V-2 really belong in this scen?
I know that the vengeance weapons where used primarily against cities, not as cruise missiles capable of selecting specific targets. Their purpose was to create terror and cause random destruction. Unfortunately, the game mechanics don't allow for such specific usage . Nevertheless, considerable resources and efforts were deployed by the Allies, both on land and in the air, to bring about their elimination, and I felt it quite appropriate for the scenario to represent that aspect of the war. I believe the randomness and unpredictability of the vengeance attacks, though not necessarily in line with their actual usage, reflects the burden that they placed on the Allied war effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AGRICOLA View Post
3. I didn’t notice this earlier, but is it you intent that the two “shell” units behave like helicopters?
This is a design flaw. I didn't realize that giving the missiles a range of zero gave them the helicopter capability. Though I must say that in all the many games I played during my testing I never saw them act in that manner.

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Old May 19, 2012, 04:11 AM   #35
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@tootall

I finally had a chance to play the latest version of BOF. It certainly is much easier the second time around. Most of it played very well but there are two things that should be fixed or altered.

The README states that there is no Bridge at Remagen in the scen. Unfortunately there is a Bridge at Mainz. Tempting though it was to use it, I immediate destroyed it with the cheat menu. Please rehome the Sapper from Mainz to NONE. Otherwise the sapper disappears when the city is taken.

In my last e-mail to you, I mentioned that the Allied mine barrier across the Thames estuary might be bad news if the scen is played by smarta** players who know what to do with mines. Because of Allied countermeasures, I was attacked only by a V-1 on the first turn and two V-2’s later in the scen. The rest wiped themselves out in kamikaze attacks on D=99 mines.


Otherwise, because of the changed house rules, the announced strengthening of some city defenses and lessons learned from playing the original version I made significant strategy changes. For several good reasons, the D-day landing was on the west side of the Cotentin peninsula. After a breakout at Avranches, I took the easiest though not shortest route to the Siegfried Line. The Rhine was crossed on Turn 10 and the scen finished on Turn 29. The last German cities captured were the heavily fortified ones along the Pas de Calais - Ostend, Dunkerque, Calais, Boulogne, Dieppe and, finally, Le Havre.

Very good scen.
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Old May 26, 2012, 01:23 PM   #36
tootall_2012
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Thanks for the observations Agricola. I will make a note of them next time I update the scenario.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 04:45 AM   #37
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This makes me want to install ToT again. Looks like an amazingly polished scenario, judging by Tech and Agri's comments
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 10:55 AM   #38
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This makes me want to install ToT again. Looks like an amazingly polished scenario, judging by Tech and Agri's comments
Hi Fairline,

I've always been a great admirer of your work. If my scenario has a polished look it's in no small part due to your and Catfish's wonderful talent as artists, so in that regard I owe you both a debt of gratitude (not to mention Agri, Tech, McMonkey, Curt and all the other designers who've kept Civ II alive and well over the years). Should you decide to try your hand at my scenario I'd certainly be interested in getting your feedback.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 01:44 PM   #39
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Thanks tootall, I might just be tempted to install ToT and have a go at this - I'll be sure to post feedback (although not with the level of insight that Tech and Agri can contribute!)
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 09:59 PM   #40
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Gareth, stop trying to hide your light under a bushel basket.

I remember very well, as I suspect does tech, the brilliant left hook strategy by a certain Field Marshal "Lefty" Birch in Market Garden.


Anyway, a warm welcome back after a too-long absence.
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