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Barbarossa update: Play as the Germans against a strong Soviet AI

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Completed Scenarios' started by gringoesteban, May 23, 2007.

  1. gringoesteban

    gringoesteban Senior Consul

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    BACKGROUND

    I would like to commend Sarevok and Rocoteh for creating the Barbarossa Mod for Civ3 Conquests. The original thread is here:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=97038

    The main downside, as acknowledged by Sarevok and Rocoteh themselves in their thread, is that although their Mod is historically accurate and well balanced, it is way too easy for a Human Player to defeat the AI. For example, the computer does not stack artillery, it does not load units into Armies, it lacks an understanding of basic military strategy, etc.

    To make the game more challenging, I created the attached Scenario to be played as the Germans against a much stronger Soviet Union run by the AI. I would like to extend my appreciation to Rocoteh for giving me permission to “mod his mod”. Without the foundation created by him and Sarevok, I would not have been able to proceed.

    SUMMARY

    The Barbarossa_Germans v2.1 Scenario re-creates the War on the Eastern Front between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. The original Barbarossa Mod has been deeply redesigned to be played only as the Germans against a very strong Soviet Union. The Soviets receive many advantages in this updated Scenario, such as cheaper and stronger units, extra Wonders, better factories, etc. Winning as the Germans should prove difficult, even for experienced CIV3 players.

    CHANGE CONTROL VS. THE ORIGINAL BARBAROSSA SCENARIO

    The Scenario has been deeply redesigned in all areas. The Civilopedia has been completely overhauled to accurately describe all units, city improvements, Wonders, and governments. Please consult the Civilopedia for details. Here is an overview of some of the more significant changes.

    Many new units have been added, for example Ju-87G Tank Buster, Panzerfaust Battalion, Guards Tank Army, and the invisible Partisan Band. The Scenario also includes six Soviet “super units” with huge hit point bonuses to help offset the AI’s inability to properly use Armies.

    New Wonders, City Improvements, and Resources have been added. Most of them convey substantial advantages to the Soviet Union, and/or force the AI to build the structure in the appropriate location.

    German units have lower attack/defense stats and higher shield costs. Later in the war, German units cost population points to represent increasing casualties.

    The Germans cannot draft units until they discover the Manpower Losses technology, and they will only be able to draft one unit rather than two.

    To help illustrate their long supply lines and logistics difficulties, the Germans may not build the Battlefield Medicine or Forbidden Palace small wonders in this Scenario (but the Soviets can). Also, for the same reason, neither side can build railroads.

    The Scenario was cut from 236 turn to only 140 turns which will save over fifty hours of game time for somebody who plays to completion.

    The Player can research 35 techs during the game, assuming the Player keeps the tech research time to the recommended four turns each. (Unfortunately, I did not have the software to change the arrows in the tech tree diagram that pops up when you consult the Science Advisor, so that particular screen looks pretty bad).

    A Domination Victory can be achieved by the first side to control 85% of the population, so it is no longer necessary play all the way to a Conquest Victory.

    Several bugs have been fixed such as removing Tankograd from Berlin and the Army Headquarters from Trieste.

    Minor map updates.

    Etc., etc., etc. Again, please refer to the Civilopedia for details.

    HINTS

    The game was play-tested and balanced at the Field Marshal setting. Do NOT change the difficulty level. If you change the setting to an "easier" level, it might actually make the game harder to win.

    The Germans should keep the Nazi government throughout the Scenario. Never enter revolution/anarchy or change government types.

    Basic foot infantry units do NOT require support. However, all other units (e.g. workers, tanks, mechanized infantry, aircraft, artillery, and specialized infantry like paratroopers and mountain divisions) DO require support. You should be able to capture so many Soviet cities that military support never becomes an issue, but in the event your military starts to be a drain on your economy, switch your production to foot infantry units.

    Feel free to use the Power Bar to clear pollution from German and Soviet territory. There is no way to turn off population pollution in the CivIII Conquests software, and in this Scenario the Soviets cannot build Workers. It is not "cheating" if you clear Soviet pollution every time you clear German pollution.

    Be aggressive. The Soviets outnumber you and will outproduce you. Your only hope of winning is to stay on the offensive. Force the AI to react to you rather than vice-versa. Take as many cities as you can, as quickly as you can. As the war progresses, Soviet cities ramp up production. Also, several Wonders occasionally spawn units in every Soviet city. Bottom line -- the only way to win this Scenario is to capture Soviet cities.

    Do not lose air superiority. Manufacture lots of ME-109 and then especially FW-190 fighters. Use your fighters in bombing missions to aggressively attack Soviet ground forces. This will eliminate the Soviet interceptors that rise to challenge you, thereby clearing the skies for your bombers. Just as importantly, keep numerous fighters on air superiority missions in your border cities, and quickly move fighter units into newly conquered cities.

    Use Artillery and Bombers. The Player's main advantages over the AI is that the AI does not properly use its artillery and bombers. To keep your casualties to a minimum, redline Soviet ground forces with artillery and bombers prior to finishing them off with your tanks and infantry. Head-on combat with Soviet ground forces is suicide. Even if you trade one of your units for say 3 or even 4 of theirs, that is a path to certain defeat. You must maintain an extremely high kill ratio, and the only way to accomplish this is to use your artillery and bombers effectively. Soviet cities have strong antiaircraft defenses (not to mention that bombers cause collateral damage) so NEVER attack Soviet cities with bombers. Bombard cities with artillery, not with aircraft.

    Build infrastructure. Build multiple production improvements (oil drills, steel mills, coal plants, various types of factories, etc.) in all of your cities. The tank and mech infantry units that become available later in the Scenario are quite expensive. Also, the German Factories city improvements will eventually become obsolete. You cannot hope to compete with Soviet production, but nevertheless you must get your cities' shield output as high as possible. Build a Secret Police station in every city as soon as you can. The Propaganda Office, Medical Center, and Major City Center city improvements are vital, too. Despite the fact that each of them costs more than a German Infantry Division, build these improvements in all of your cities. Use Workers to build roads (to enhance trade) and to clear forests (to increase food production and to get the one-time shield boost).

    Keep tech research time to four turns. Better units become available later in the tech tree, and if you fall behind in your research, your forces will be crushed by more modern Soviet forces.

    INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS

    To play this updated scenario, you will first need to go to the original Barbarossa Mod thread and install BRB 1.2 Art& Text by following the instructions at the bottom of the first post.
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=97038

    Next, assuming you have the standard path from the Civ3 Conquests installation disk, copy the attached Barbarossa Germans v2.1 FINAL biq file into
    program files/infogrames interactive/civilization III/conquests/conquests

    Then copy the Civilopedia and PediaIcons text files into
    program files/infogrames interactive/civilization III/conquests/conquests/EAST/text

    Note that this procedure will overwrite the Civilopedia and PediaIcons files from the original Barbarossa Mod. My revised text files are NOT save game compatible. I encourage you to make a copy of the original Civilopedia and PediaIcons text files from the conquests/EAST/text folder and store them somewhere on your hard drive in case you want to play vanilla Barbarossa in the future.

    I have also attached a save file from the start of turn one. This file is optional, but I recommend using it since I selected production for all German cities and also fortified the city garrison units. This should save you about a half hour of tedious micromanagement on the first turn, plus loading a save game file is the fastest way to launch the game. Save the Start_Save_v2dot1FINAL.sav file to:
    Program Files\Infogrames Interactive\Civilization III\Conquests\Saves
    then launch Conquests and choose the option to load a saved game. (Note that even if you are using the save game file, you must install the BRB 1.2 Art& Text, BIQ, Civilopedia and PediaIcons files as described above).

    Previous versions deleted after 228 downloads.
     

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  2. gringoesteban

    gringoesteban Senior Consul

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    Soviet Winter Counteroffensive, week 52 of 1941
    Screen shows the action west of Moscow
    Soviets driving for German rear with 56 tank units & 14 infantry divisions
     

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  3. gringoesteban

    gringoesteban Senior Consul

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    reserved for possible future post
     
  4. Uncle_Ted

    Uncle_Ted Chieftain

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    This looks awesome ... I can't wait to play it! (Have to finish my WII Global game first.)
     
  5. dgfred

    dgfred Sports Freak

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    Is everything working right with this mod? I can't seem to get the arts file
    to download at home when I try. Or is it just my crappy home computer?
    Maybe a little condensed version of how to get this one going would help
    us computer dunces out. I would love to give this one a go :cool: .
     
  6. gringoesteban

    gringoesteban Senior Consul

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    dgfred,

    My scenario uses the art from the original Barbarossa mod. You need to download BRB_1.2_Art&Text from the first post of
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=97038

    Unzip it to
    c/program files/infogrames interactive/civilization 3/conquests/conquests/EAST

    Then follow the instructions in my first post, above. Download the biq, civilopedia, pediaicons, and first turn save game and install them as described in my first post, above. Note that this procedure will overwrite the original civilopedia and pediaicons files from the vanilla Barbarossa Mod.
     

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  7. dgfred

    dgfred Sports Freak

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    Thanks for the quick reply ;) , I'll give it another try tonight.
     
  8. dgfred

    dgfred Sports Freak

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    Ooooops, double post.
     
  9. gringoesteban

    gringoesteban Senior Consul

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    97 downloads and no comments, suggestions, bugs, etc.?
     
  10. Uncle_Ted

    Uncle_Ted Chieftain

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    I had the chance to play it a little bit over the weekend. No bugs that I noticed. I understand that the German units were intentionally weakened to make the game more challenging, but it seems a bit disproportionate. I played it for a while and then decided to open up the scenario in the editor to see how different it was from the original because I was starting to feel like I might have severely overextended myself early (I lost a lot of units to the stronger Soviet infantry and especially the buffed up tank brigades).

    When I have more time I'll resume playing.
     
  11. Uncle_Ted

    Uncle_Ted Chieftain

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    Tiny bug report:

    The German Security unit doesn't operate as described in the pedia. The Germans cannot build it and it doesn't detect invisible units.
     
  12. gringoesteban

    gringoesteban Senior Consul

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    Thanks for the feedback. I will make sure the Axis Powers can build the German Security unit in the next patch.

    I was thinking about making the following changes:
    - Ukranian Partisan unit, invisible, M3 instead of M2
    - German Security unit, Cossack Recruits, and all SS units can detect invisible
    - German Security unit and Cossack Recruits cannot be stealth attacked by Ukranian Partisans (same as in current version v1.1)
    - German Security unit M2 instead of M1 (so that Ukranian Partisans cannot retreat)
     
  13. Uncle_Ted

    Uncle_Ted Chieftain

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    I'm about 12 turns into the game and I haven't made as much progress as I'd expected, but I've now got a huge force of elite panzers which I am starting to use to good effect. The key I think is that instead of making a mad dash at the beginning, I focused on destroying Soviet front line units and took their border cities a little more deliberately. This way I preserved my mobile units by not exposing them to counterattack.

    After smashing a number of large counter-offensives (with some difficulty), I was able to take Lutsk and Pinsk more eaily than usual ... the Russians were throwing everything they had at Vilnius, then at Slonim, which gave me an opening. I took time to build up my forces on the southern front before moving forward; the axis satellite troops are not strong enough to spearhead an early offensive against the stronger enemy formations -- so I'm moving on Kishnev and I only recently took Kilya (Lvov and Kilya both should have fallen on the first turn, but they got lucky and narrowly survived). The Finns in the north haven't done much but consolidate and defend, but that will soon change (the units brought in from Norway barely survived, and will soon prove their worth).

    So far I have only a few changes to suggest:

    (1) workers are currently set to be indestructible -- this makes it too easy to either use them as bait, or build roads along the front lines, because even if the Russians capture them I can just take them right back on the next turn and then immediately build a road.

    (2) The sounds for a few of the airplanes aren't quite right, though the only one that I think defintely should be fixed is the sound of the Ju-87 dive bombing siren. It currently only plays when it shoots down a Soviet fighter, not when it bombs a target (for the bombing run it plays a more generic sound). Should be the other way around I think? Whoever made the unit did a great job on the sound clip, but presently it goes to waste. (I don't know how to edit units, so I don't know if this is an easy fix or not).

    (3) Might need to increase the cost of German armored units a bit. Even this early in the game I've got a lot of cities producing Pz. III's and SS Infantry in 2-3 turns (or in the case of Berlin, 1 turn). I wouldn't go so far as to double it, but maybe a 25-50% increase? I'd leave the regular mot. infantry as-is though.

    (4) What to do about the the TD Batt.? At present I don't think they are worth building except on the rare occasion to put into a corps. Maybe if the cost of armor is increased their build cost can stay at present levels? Or maybe give them back their defensive bombard?

    As for the chages you most recently suggested (regarding the partisans), I would not give the German Security Units an additional movement point; it will make the unit too powerful. If the partisans can retreat that more accurately simulates guerilla warfare anyway (and if they don't escape to friendly forces or to soviet-held territory they are going to be killed soon after anyhow.) Also, I'd move the wonder further east -- if you leave it to be constructed only in Bryansk, I don't expect that city will be in soviet hands long enough to produce more than a couple units.

    I am impressed so far with the way you've modded this already excellent mod. I wish I had the time to do my own modding as I think Rocoteh has built some really excellent scenarios that lend themselves to specialty mods like the one you have done. I can imagine how cool would it be to use this scenario as the basis for a late-1942 historical mod (playing either as the Germans trying desperately to hold on to their over-extended positions, or playing as the Soviets trying to somehow stem the tide of the German onslaught). Or to do more mods like Equuleus has done with the WWII scenario but start at either June 1941 or Dec. 1941.

    So many possibilities, so little time ... :(

    Thank you for your efforts! :goodjob:
     
  14. gringoesteban

    gringoesteban Senior Consul

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    Good point. This has been an issue with CivIII in general and I had never considered fixing it. Maybe we could give the workers a 3 HP penalty and 1 Defense so that they can be quickly killed if exposed.

    What about giving them two moves, along the lines of CivIV, so they could move onto a tile and build a road on it in the same turn?

    I think most of the units were made by Wyrmshadow. I did not make any edits to the art or sound files because I don't know how to edit units, either.

    On a somewhat related topic, I tried to add Wonder and Era splashes and tech advance pictures to replace the standard CivIII graphics (Temple of Zeus, Hoover Dam, etc.). I converted some WW2 jpg pics into pcx format and replaced the original art files, but then the game would not run. I don't know what I did wrong. If anyone has ideas, please let me know.

    Possibly. However, Soviet production should ramp up as the war progresses, so it might be too soon to tell just 12 turns into the Scenario.

    I don't build very many TD Batts. Even though I took their shield cost WAY down from the original Barbarossa Mod, I agree that they still seem expensive. Giving them defensive bombardment would help. What about keeping the shield cost the same but changing the HP penalty from -2 to -1? Tank Destroyer Battalions would still be inferior to Panzer Divisions because TD Batts only have 2 moves (vs. 3 for tanks) and cannot blitz (whereas tanks can).

    Okay.

    Yeah, the Wonder only spawned 2 partisan units before I captured Bryansk. The thing is, the partisan movement happened in the Western Soviet Union, so moving the Wonder east might not be the best solution. I was thinking about adding a new small town in the middle of the Pripet Marshes, with 3 Marsh squares in all directions around that town. The Partisan Resource would be placed under that new town. It would be hard for the Germans to access the city -- given the Marsh terrain, it would take 3 turns to move there and 3 turns back. (Also, Marsh terrain could be updated to require say 20 turns to build a road). If the new town were put on major defensive line terrain and loaded up with immobile Local Defense Forces, the Player would probably just bypass it rather than diverting a large offensive force to conquer it.

    Thanks for the feedback. I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the Mod.
     
  15. Uncle_Ted

    Uncle_Ted Chieftain

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    I would vote "no" on giving workers 2 moves ... difficult logistics is an important obstacle -- which is why I'm always advocating against easily-buildable railroads on other threads :D

    "Scorched Earth" along with a strong counter-offensive cost me several idle turns after I took Vilnius. Giving workers 2 MP would make it too easy to bring massed artillery to bear when going on the offensive, IMHO. As for giving them hit points, that's a good idea, so long as it doesn't translate into (i) the dumb AI building a bunch of them to stack up in their cities or (ii) turning them into cheap garrison units to create happy faces far from the front.

    By the way, I tested out making the workers "destructible" and it didn't have the desired effect. Soviets will still snatch them but then just leave them in place to be recaptured on the next turn.

    Your idea for the partisans is creative ... if you decide to test it out let us know what happens.
     
  16. Uncle_Ted

    Uncle_Ted Chieftain

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    Playtest report: March 1942

    The Wehrmacht is humming along, with only a few local reverses here and there. In the north Leningrad is under siege. Though I'm finding it a bit difficult to mass sufficient artillery and elite units needed to take it (while still maintaining aggressive operations elsewhere), I am slowly wearing them down. In the far north I have a small force conducting a holding action in front of Murmansk until Leningrad is taken.



    In front of Moscow the Soviets hit me with a pretty heavy counter-offensive every few turns, but the distances involved between cities ensures that I can take a huge bite out of their armor with my air force before mopping them up with my own armor. Elite armored units from this sector are then sent north to Leningrad. My plan is to advance south of Moscow and then swing north to encircle it. Looking at the map in the editor, my experience with Leningrad tells me that it's going to take an insanely large force to take Moscow.



    On the southern front my plan is to cut off Stalingrad from the north, by-pass Sevastopol (it looks like I can take the 2 forts outside the city and just keep them isolated with a relatively small force), and take everything south of Stalingrad. Then I'll work on reducing Stalingrad and Sevastopol to rubble :)



    Just a few observations:

    (1) Are the SS Panzer divisions too powerful on both offense and defense? I think they should either be weakened or have the cost increased. As it stands, an elite SS Pz Div placed into a corps is nearly as powerful as the Zhukov special unit. Maybe a "house rule" is needed to keep SS units out of the corps formations (which probably makes sense historically -- I've never done the research, but I'd be a bit surprised if there were any corps-level formations made up entirely of SS).

    (2) I wonder if there is some way to extend Moscow's range of influence, either by adjusting the cultural values of the cities, or adding cities in a tight ring around it? Currently the Soviets send a huge amount of armor into the teeth of my defenses southwest of Moscow with virtually nothing to show for it -- they cannot cover the distance in one turn, and they outrun their fighter cover. Maybe another way to blunt my airpower would be to add a few airfields around Moscow, but I don't know how well the AI will use them.

    I'll keep you posted on my progress.
     
  17. gringoesteban

    gringoesteban Senior Consul

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    Since the Germans failed to capture either city during the war, I designed the Scenario to make those cities difficult (but not impossible) to capture. As you mentioned, it will take a pile of artillery and Wespe SPG units to "soften up" the defenders. Expect to lose some tank units -- even tanks loaded into an Army Corps!

    Sevastoool can be easily bypassed. Like you said, just capture the two barricades in the tiles next to the city and put a couple infantry divisions in each of them. The Germans had some trouble capturing the fortified city of Sevastopol during the War, and had to bring in von Manstein to command the besieging forces, so like Moscow and Leningrad, this city is somewhat difficult to take.

    Good plan. By doing that you will avoid one of Hitler's most serious military blunders. He split his forces and tried to take both Stalingrad AND the Caucasus simultaneously. We all know the result of that mistake.... Bypassing Stalingrad while cleaning up the southern part of the map is the same strategy that I used during my game. It worked quite well.

    Yeah, the attack and defense strength of the SS Panzer Division need to be further reduced by 1(?) point each -- although the unit as-is is already WAY weaker than in the original Barbarossa Scenario.

    I am thinking about changing the "Army Corps" unit to only provide a +2HP bonus rather than the +3HP bonus that it has now. The AI seems reluctant to attack a city with a fortified SS Panzer Army, but if the unit has one less defense point and one less hit point, then maybe the AI won't be so scared.

    Actually, yes, there were corps formations composed entirely of Waffen SS Divisions. One example is the 2nd SS Panzer Corps under the command of Paul Hauser which was instrumental in the success of Manstein's brilliant Kharkov counteroffensive during the spring of 1943.

    If we weaken the SS Panzer Division and the "Army Corps" as described above, I don't think there will be a need for the house rule (especially later in the Scenario as the Soviet production ramps up and their units get much stronger).

    That could be done, but I'm not sure if it is necessary because any changes would cut both ways. By that I mean that to take Moscow, the Player must advance far east of Smolensk. German forces will be out of range of fighter cover. Also, since the Player does not have a Battlefield Medicine Wonder, the extra distance means that wounded German units will need several turns to escape to the rear, heal, and then advance towards Moscow again. And the wounded units must be well protected as they withdraw, or else the Russians will pick them off.

    That's great. Your feedback and recommendations are quite good.

    Thanks for the screenshots. You must be a better CivIII player than I am, because you made it much further than I did by Week 10 of 1942, especially in the south. The Romanian/Hungarian/Italian units are so worthless that after I captured Odessa, I just fortified some units to hold it and then stopped any further offensives towards southeast. Instead, I massed my forces for an assault on Moscow and Leningrad.

    Does anyone else have comments? I noticed that the Scenario has been downloaded well over 100 times.
     
  18. gringoesteban

    gringoesteban Senior Consul

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    Status Report: Week 44 of 1943

    Things definitely get tougher as time moves on.

    The Soviets are aggressively counterattacking. It is kind of my fault; I had become overconfident attacked several enemy cities simultaneously without properly massing my forces, especially artillery. The fortified Soviet Mechanized Infantry (1942-43) units -- with 20 Defense -- were a lot harder to kill than I had expected. I lost several armies and numerous tank units, leaving my border cities exposed. The Soviets took advantage of this momentary weakness and surrounded several of my cities. I did not have enough mobile units left to kill everything they threw at me. They plundered the roads, cutting off a couple of my easternmost cities. I tried bombing them into submission without clearing the air of enemy fighters, and I also stupidly bombed unit stacks that included Mobile AA Guns, and now my entire Luftwaffe bomber force has been reduced to fewer than ten bombers.

    Here is a screenshot. Note the SS Pzg. (1943-45) Division -- with 25 Defense -- that had been loaded into an Army. The Soviets attacked it last turn and knocked down to only 2HP. I guess the AI is not afraid to attack Armies after all....
     

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  19. Uncle_Ted

    Uncle_Ted Chieftain

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    Week 36, 1942:

    After I took Leningrad I transferred my northern army and put them on the task of clearing a path through the fortresses NW of Moscow. The assault started out better than expected and my SS Pz divisions were able to knock out all of Moscow's big fortress guns without significant losses. So I started the war of attrition earlier than planned, prior to the encirclement of Moscow (which was achieved in week 36).



    It took me about 5 weeks to build-up a sufficient striking force to execute the right hook south of Moscow. The Soviets countered heavily against Ryazan for several weeks, but my airpower was decisive. Once I got rolling, I was able to take both of the 2 cities to the east in one turn. Also, the AI stupidly launched a counteroffensive to the west of Moscow just before I encircled it, so I was able to destroy all his remaining armor in the area before I cut off the city.

    In the south, the move towards Baku began. At the end of week 36 I took Stavropol, and Grozny should fall in week 38 (could probably take it in week 37, but preserving my elite armor for the Stalingrad campaign is more important than speed at this point).



    Barring any nasty surprises, I think that victory is in sight!
     
  20. Uncle_Ted

    Uncle_Ted Chieftain

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    The things that I did differently were:

    (a) I allocated more German troops and armor to the southern front early on in the game, didn't launch my first major offensive on that front for several weeks, and made sure to send lots of reinforcements, even when I was on the defensive;

    (b) changed the initial build orders for a lot of the cities to focus on building units rather than infrastructure, so I had a steady stream of reinforcements available from the beginning (I did eventually build the improvements, but made sure to stagger them so that I still had fresh troops moving to the front at all times); and

    (c) built a lot of workers early in the game, which I put to work clearing forests to speed up construction in cities where I was building improvements.
     

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