Battle of Italy 1943 - 1945 ToTPP 0.18.4 and Lua scenario, Updated to Patch 1.3

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THIS SCENARIO HAS BEEN RELEASED IN THE CIV FANATICS DOWNLOAD SECTION:

You can find the game zip files and screen shots here.
You may download Patch 1.3 found in Post #76.

A scenario page has also been posted on the Scenario Lleague website here (though given the zip size the download section points to the Civ Fanatics section).

GAME INTRODUCTION:

"
In Casablanca, Morocco, in January 1943, Allied leaders decided to use their massive military resources in the Mediterranean, once the Tunisian campaign was completed, to launch an invasion of Italy, which British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the “soft underbelly of Europe.”

The objectives were to remove Italy from World War II, secure the Mediterranean Sea and force Germany to divert some divisions from the Russian front and other German divisions from northern France, where the Allies were planning their cross-Channel landing at Normandy, France.

As an absolute precursor to any invasion of the Italian mainland itself, the Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff mandated that the island of Sicily needed to be secured first, so that it could serve as the primary base of operation against Italy. Thus the plans for "Operation Husky", the greatest amphibious invasion of the war to date, were drawn up.

Can you as the Allied Commander of Allied Forces in the Mediterranen quickly conquer the island, bring about the capitulation of Italy and swift conquest of the peninsula? Or will you be stymied by the daunting Axis defenses as were your historical counterparts?
"

The scenario covers the Italian Campaign between 1943 - 1945, with each turn representing roughly one week (4 turns per month).

You are called upon to act as the main protagonist, i.e. the Allies and are tasked with knocking Italy out the war and conquering the territory of that nation all the way into the Po Valley. The scenario has been designed to play ONLY as the Allies.

There are no house rules in this scenario. All events and game mechanics are strictly handled by lua and its associated events files. As such, please read the scenario's ReadMe PDF file first for a better understanding of the overall game play.

The scenario has been designed to play with ToTPP v0.18.4 and Lua, and as such you should read the installation instructions carefully.

The scenario has been designed and tested on a 64-bit PC computer and should therefore work on both 32 and 64-bit platforms.

I've posted the ReadMe pdf in this post.

I hope you enjoy the game as much as I liked designing it.
 

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I would like to take the opportunity in this post to extend my gratitude and credits to the following:

To Prof. Garfield not only for his creation of the lua template, which in my very humble opinion is as significant a contribution as TheNamelessOne's ToTPP project itself, but for his continued support during my design process in answering my many many technical questions along with furnishing some invaluable code solutions when needed!

To Knighttime for providing an updated version of his supply and leader bonuses modules and his creation of the AI Ranged munitions module, which were successfully adapted to work within the lua template framework!

To Fairline not only for his amazing set of WWII graphics but for reviewing and re-skinning many of the scenario's units to their more appropriate color schemes for the period!

To civ2units and John Petroski, whose wonderful Reformation and Hinge of Fate scenarios, which they allowed me to play test for them, served as great training resources on how to use and work with the Prof.'s lua template and for some of whose ideas I borrowed and customized for this scenario.

To Sorfox whose transport module was adapted for use in this scenario!

To TheNamelessOne for his continued support and development, over the years, of his Test of Time Patch Project.
 
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I'm excited to announce I've finally been able to start my campaign. I can only hope I fare better than my first go at your Napoleon years ago! More to come soon!
 
Ok so first impressions. This is definitely an amazingly well crafted scenario, but also one that is going to take a few playthroughs. I am enjoying it even more than Napoleon, and that's saying a lot as that's the scenario that convinced me I absolutely had to build HoF. I have an Operation Downfall I've been working on, and I think this is going to be a massive inspiration for that. Really cheers on such an amazing and fun work! I've been playing for hours past my bedtime!

I'm looking at Sicily as being kind of the tutorial almost (and a hard one at that!) I do think that if you're sitting on the sidelines biting your nails about this one, you should just jump in and start playing. Plan on redoing it, but see if you can at least capture Sicily as by the time you do that you'll have a very good grasp of many/most of the game mechanics.

I played through 10 turns, because this is what it took me to conquer Sicily on the first try (and I already lost 50+ units doing it). I know the game suggests getting through it in 8, and I think I have a plan for how to do that next time though I won't spoil it now.

MAIN INITIAL THOUGHTS
-I don't know if you realize it, but my first "hit" scenario was "Up the Deadly Boot" years ago, so I've been beyond excited to play this ever since I learned it was in development. It's more than I ever would have dreamed a scenario could be. It's extremely, extremely well done. While at first glance it's completely intimidating, once you start playing it, it is, for the most part, "Civ2" and a great Tootall scenario. I am annoyed at how well you can design these in secrecy and just release them with 99% of it working fine :)

-The sea supply system is interesting but in Sicily at least it's basically just a minor annoyance. The main issue of course being that the Battleships when out of supply can only fire once per turn rather than twice. It's a bit random of a system and RNG really but I guess that'll help replays. I was always planning on doing something similar to it in Cold War but I think I'll adapt what I was going to do based on what you've done.

-The air (and terrain) stacking prohibition has problems when you use a goto command with a mouse. Not the end of the world but I'll have to remember it. I can see why the air one is a must have. I'm not sure I like the ground one just because I really prefer to use the goto command and on several occassions the computer has picked a path that puts it in a conflict tile. Lua then moves it out, but it doesn't reset the command, so it gets stuck in a loop and you effectively lose the unit for the turn. Would suggest figuring out a way to end this loop or consider if there is some other penalty (maybe supplies) that makes sense because this is going to be a big scenario with transporting units quite some distance and I don't know that I'm going to want to manually move them all. I like the idea of the feature but it started giving headaches by turn 3.

-Also, the stacking in general makes Catania a giant PITA but I suppose it was in real life too. There just isn't a good visual indicator reminding you what tiles have what available in the stack so it can be frustrating, but it is on me and just means I'll have to plan more. It's definitely going to fundamentally change the tactical element of the game.

-The mine removal length is tough but probably makes sense. I didn't plan well for it or realize just how important it is to bring support staff along my campaign. That's on me.

-Most issues I had were "on me" for not reading correctly. Maybe all of them, honestly.

-I love how you don't have house rules and rely on lua to stop players from doing what they shouldn't.

PENDANTIC SUGGESTIONS / MINOR ERRORS

-Is it by design that Canadian infantry can't be supplied by UK trucks? I know that US infantry need US trucks and UK need UK but shouldn't the Canadians have a way to resupply too? And wouldn't it make sense that be with the UK stuff?ss

-The Allies start with 1x P-51D but this wouldn't enter service until 1944. I disbanded it at the start and played the game without it. I thought it might be an error? Unless I missed something in the readme.

-I'd probably change out the P-38 to one of the olive drab ones, especially at the start of the scenario since you have a batch file to help with art. Also note I figured out the recon birds double as fighters by accident, but that's on me.

-On Turn 1, Concept: Game Menus, "You may, at any time, access the 'Total units in THEATHER ..' has a misspelling

That's all for now - the goal tonight was to get my feet wet and make this scenario fell less daunting. I think I have a better handle on it to play again later this weekend, though I'll be running all over the place tomorrow.

So happy for you and thanks so much for adding this great scenario for all of us to play!
 
-The air (and terrain) stacking prohibition has problems when you use a goto command with a mouse. Not the end of the world but I'll have to remember it. I can see why the air one is a must have. I'm not sure I like the ground one just because I really prefer to use the goto command and on several occassions the computer has picked a path that puts it in a conflict tile. Lua then moves it out, but it doesn't reset the command, so it gets stuck in a loop and you effectively lose the unit for the turn. Would suggest figuring out a way to end this loop or consider if there is some other penalty (maybe supplies) that makes sense because this is going to be a big scenario with transporting units quite some distance and I don't know that I'm going to want to manually move them all. I like the idea of the feature but it started giving headaches by turn 3.
I can think of a couple ways of dealing with this.

First. During the on activate unit execution point, if the active unit has a goto order, check if any of the adjacent squares "saturated", and, if so, cancel the goto order.

Second. If a unit enters a "saturated" tile, but has a goto order, don't remove it from the tile, so it can continue on its way. Then, use the finalOrderGiven execution point to remove it if it can't get out of the tile.

Third. As part of the code moving the unit out of the saturated tile, cancel any goto order the unit might have.
 
Hi John,

... I am enjoying it even more than Napoleon, and that's saying a lot as that's the scenario that convinced me I absolutely had to build HoF. I have an Operation Downfall I've been working on, and I think this is going to be a massive inspiration for that.

I imagine, like most designers, I also tinkered around with the idea of doing an Operation Downfall scenario but it never went beyond looking for a map and units selection. I'm glad to see someone else is actually working on one. Let me know if you ever need a play tester.

I'm looking at Sicily as being kind of the tutorial almost (and a hard one at that!) I do think that if you're sitting on the sidelines biting your nails about this one, you should just jump in and start playing.
I actually thought about suggesting that players use Sicily as a tutorial. There is a lot of game information and mechanics to absord in the first couple of turns, that I felt were necessary to provide given their importance to playing the game and in that sense there is definitely a steep initial learning curve (not because its complex but simply because there's are a lot of different pieces). But the truth is that once you become familiar with them they should very quickly become second nature.

As such, I also highly recommend you print out 'Appendix C: Hot Keys' of the ReadMe guide as a very useful reminder.

Plan on redoing it, but see if you can at least capture Sicily as by the time you do that you'll have a very good grasp of many/most of the game mechanics.
There is a lot of random placement of units and events done throughout the scenario. So though there may be some basic disposition done to maintain Axis defensive front cohesion you will all the same never play the exact same scenario twice. Sometimes you will come across a vital position that is relatively lightly defended and easily overrun and other times the opposite will be true.

I played through 10 turns, because this is what it took me to conquer Sicily on the first try (and I already lost 50+ units doing it). I know the game suggests getting through it in 8, and I think I have a plan for how to do that next time though I won't spoil it now.
Losing 50 units in the first 10 turns is heavy losses for sure. You have to be mindfull of your casualty rate for certain because it can become expensive in lost supplies otherwise.

You also have to be aware of the time factor, not only in your time limit for launching your 2nd invaision (no later than October II) but also in the potential increase in Italian Fascist forces that might remain to fight with the Germans (and a possible other nasty surprise).

I am annoyed at how well you can design these in secrecy and just release them with 99% of it working fine :) .
Though I had done a lot of preliminary work beforehand, I really only began to work in earnest on the project back in April of last year. Of course, as I indicated on post #2, the Prof. helped a great deal in answering not only my very many lua questions but in providing code solutions to some of my more complex features.

Otherwise, there is no magic solution, it all comes down to extensive play testing (probably 1/3 of the last 19 months was spent on it).

-The sea supply system is interesting but in Sicily at least it's basically just a minor annoyance. The main issue of course being that the Battleships when out of supply can only fire once per turn rather than twice. It's a bit random of a system and RNG really but I guess that'll help replays. I was always planning on doing something similar to it in Cold War but I think I'll adapt what I was going to do based on what you've done. .
This more than anything was an experimental feature I wanted to try out. I've always felt that it was unrealistic for naval units, in Civ 2, to be able to remain at sea indefinitely and this was equally true historically. Reading up on the naval aspect of the campaign, I quickly discovered this equally true of Allied naval forces (destroyers in particular, had a very limited operational range and frequently had to return to port for refueling).

Since there are only a limited number of naval units in this scenario, I felt it was an ideal time to introduce the concept and get some feedback on it.

In terms of the scenario itself, it most certainly plays an important role, as you have to carefully manage and time not only your invasions but, as you'll discover, your ability to transport your replacements and some reinforcements to the mainland.

-The air (and terrain) stacking prohibition has problems when you use a goto command with a mouse. Not the end of the world but I'll have to remember it. I can see why the air one is a must have. I'm not sure I like the ground one just because I really prefer to use the goto command and on several occassions the computer has picked a path that puts it in a conflict tile. Lua then moves it out, but it doesn't reset the command, so it gets stuck in a loop and you effectively lose the unit for the turn. Would suggest figuring out a way to end this loop or consider if there is some other penalty (maybe supplies) that makes sense because this is going to be a big scenario with transporting units quite some distance and I don't know that I'm going to want to manually move them all. I like the idea of the feature but it started giving headaches by turn 3. .
I'd been pondering about a stacking feature ever since Agricola told me, 11 years ago, that he had landed his entire invasion force on a single beach tile in my Battle of France scenario.:lol:

Stacking limits, is of course, not only historical but entirely accurate. It's simply impossible to stack an entire army in your back yard. Armies need room to operate and maneuver, otherwise units simply begin to become a hindrance to one another and become increasingly ineffective as a result. How many times have we read in history books of traffic jams occuring because too many units were trying to use the same road.

Originally, I planned to make the stacking feature optional to players, but as I play tested the scenario more and more I quickly began to realize it was a vital component of the game play and flow.

So I was aware of the issue with the goto command, having experienced it myself, but before suggesting an alternative I wanted to get some feedback Personnaly, I tried most of the time to follow these simple techniques:
  • For the long goto commands move you units near the front line first and in the back second.
  • This is especially, true during non-summer months, where you will want to move your active air units next to the airbase or city, before flying them off to their attack destination, to prevent them from being grounded. Don't temporarily place them on the road/highways, since 80-90% of the time in the scenario you move your ground units along these routes of communications
I had played with the idea of other penalites, like inflicting damage but that didn't address the loop problem.

Of course, the primary delimiter here is that, as far as I'm aware, I can only check for stacking limits at the moment that a unit enters a tile (through the onEnter function), i.e. it must enter the tile for the code to be able to check.

As such, the only other solution I thought of applying is again to return it to the previous tile but impose a full stop on the unit (currently I'm only imposing a 1MP penalty, which means if you weren't using the goto command the unit could still be able to move). Therefore that would resolve the loop problem but the player would no longer be able to move the unit at all for this turn, which I felt might be too severe a penalty.

Which do you prefer, a 1MP penalty with the oft occasions will you get the loop or a full stop with no loop?

-Also, the stacking in general makes Catania a giant PITA but I suppose it was in real life too. There just isn't a good visual indicator reminding you what tiles have what available in the stack so it can be frustrating, but it is on me and just means I'll have to plan more. It's definitely going to fundamentally change the tactical element of the game.
This is not only entirely realistic and historical, but intentionaly done by design, and there are many other times when you will be confronted with similar circumstances during the campaign (think Gustav and Gothic defensive lines).

-The mine removal length is tough but probably makes sense. I didn't plan well for it or realize just how important it is to bring support staff along my campaign. That's on me.
The sea mines, in the game, should only be seen as the symbolic representation of the Germans efforts at denying the Allies acces to ports. As such, its not just that they may have mined the entrance to the port but its also that they would have destroyed its infrastructure (cranes, warehouses, docking installations, etc) and often placed time delayed bombs.

Therefore the fact that it can take up to 3 weeks to free a port of obstacles is entirely realistic and historical (sometimes it even took longer before the port could be made even partially operational).)

-Most issues I had were "on me" for not reading correctly. Maybe all of them, honestly.
It's understandable, there is alot to absord initially. But as I mentioned previously once you know them it quickly becomes second nature.

-I love how you don't have house rules and rely on lua to stop players from doing what they shouldn't.
Yes, I didn't want the player to have to be concerned with remembering house rules in addition to the other features. I wanted the events to handle all those little details in the background so that the player could just concentrate on playing the game itself.

PENDANTIC SUGGESTIONS / MINOR ERRORS

-Is it by design that Canadian infantry can't be supplied by UK trucks? I know that US infantry need US trucks and UK need UK but shouldn't the Canadians have a way to resupply too? And wouldn't it make sense that be with the UK stuff?ss

-The Allies start with 1x P-51D but this wouldn't enter service until 1944. I disbanded it at the start and played the game without it. I thought it might be an error? Unless I missed something in the readme.
  • The UK Truck can replenish any British unit but only tank type units for the Commonwealth nations. Why did I do that? Other than India most of these nations had small populations and some of them didn't even have conscription, meaning that it wasn't so easy for them to make up for combat losses. As such, it‘s slower for them to rebuild their units to full strength in the game. It's a similar concept for the US Truck which can replenish any Amercian ground unit but only tank units of the FF.
  • As per the niehorster.org site the P-51 was already operational with many wings in 1943, though as you indicated not the P-51D. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I should name specific air types during the design process precisely because some of them might be seen as out of place. I guess for most of them I should have just limited the naming convention to the aircraft itself P-51, P-38, B-17, Me-109, etc.
That's all for now - the goal tonight was to get my feet wet and make this scenario fell less daunting.
Contrary to Prime Minister Churchill's assertion that this was the 'soft underbelly of Europe', the Italian front was an extremely difficult campaign, very costly in lives and materials.

Your battles in Sicily were only a small precursor of what is yet to come. The battles to be fought along the main defensive lines, as was the case historically, should be seen in terms of months with you making small but incremental gains here and there. An important tip, this is very much a battle of attrition, i.e. the more Axis units you destroy the harder it will be in the long run for them to be replaced.
 
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I can think of a couple ways of dealing with this.

First. During the on activate unit execution point, if the active unit has a goto order, check if any of the adjacent squares "saturated", and, if so, cancel the goto order.

Second. If a unit enters a "saturated" tile, but has a goto order, don't remove it from the tile, so it can continue on its way. Then, use the finalOrderGiven execution point to remove it if it can't get out of the tile.

Third. As part of the code moving the unit out of the saturated tile, cancel any goto order the unit might have.
Hi Prof.,

It's looks like our posts crossed paths. I also proposed to impose a full stop on the unit in my post above. Before reaching out to you, I like to hear what John or other players might like to see as an option.
 
It's looks like our posts crossed paths. I also proposed to impose a full stop on the unit in my post above. Before reaching out to you, I like to hear what John or other players might like to see as an option.
Could there be an option to reverse armies (maybe limited) ?
 
-The Allies start with 1x P-51D but this wouldn't enter service until 1944. I disbanded it at the start and played the game without it. I thought it might be an error? Unless I missed something in the readme.
I forgot to mention, the active units on board and the procurement menu are extremely interwined and tied into one another. Its what determines what and how many replacement units you have available to purchase and the maximum number of units you can have on board at any given moment.

As such, I do not recommend that players atttempt to mess around with the order of battle otherwise they may end up un-intentionally breaking the procurement menu.
 
I'm not certain I understand what your are suggesting. Can you elaborate?
Something like, if the unit already on tile has enough movepoints left, propose to exchange tile with the unit which tried to go into said tile at the cost of both unit movepoints costs ?

"unitA on hill tileA goes to tileB, a plain where is already unitB.
If unitA has at least 1 Mp left and unitB has at least 2 Mp left, propose unitA goes to tileB and loses 1Mp while unitB goes to tileA and loses 2Mp
"
 
So I was aware of the issue with the goto command, having experienced it myself, but before suggesting an alternative I wanted to get some feedback Personnaly, I tried most of the time to follow these simple techniques:
  • For the long goto commands move you units near the front line first and in the back second.
  • This is especially, true during non-summer months, where you will want to move your active air units next to the airbase or city, before flying them off to their attack destination, to prevent them from being grounded. Don't temporarily place them on the road/highways, since 80-90% of the time in the scenario you move your ground units along these routes of communications

The template includes the option to make the game a bit "smarter" about what unit to activate next. Basically, when a unit is activated, Lua tries to figure out what the "best" (smallest "weight") next unit to activate is, and give the 'wait' command to all other units. (An actual waiting unit list is kept in a Lua table.)

MechanicsFiles\simpleSettings.lua
Code:
-- uses events to select the next unit to activate
-- see gen.selectNextActiveUnit 
simpleSettings.enableCustomUnitSelection = false

-- provide an alternate weight function for selecting the next
-- active unit
-- see gen.selectNextActiveUnit
-- customWeightFn(unit,activeUnit)-->integer
-- gives 'weight' to each unit, and the unit with the lowest weight will
-- be activated next
-- By default, weight is +1 if unit is not same type as active unit
-- + 2 per square for distance between activeUnit and unit
-- + 10000 if on different maps
simpleSettings.customWeightFunction = nil

A simple weight function would be to return unit.location.y, which would make units further north become active first. That would approximate units being nearest the front line in this scenario, though there might be cleverer things you could do.
 
Something like, if the unit already on tile has enough movepoints left, propose to exchange tile with the unit which tried to go into said tile at the cost of both unit movepoints costs ?

"unitA on hill tileA goes to tileB, a plain where is already unitB.
If unitA has at least 1 Mp left and unitB has at least 2 Mp left, propose unitA goes to tileB and loses 1Mp while unitB goes to tileA and loses 2Mp
"
Ok, thanks, I understand what you meant now. At first glance, I see a couple of potential issues with this approach. What if all the units in the tile have the same amount of remaining MP's? How do you select which unit to move out?

And what if the player was merely trying to transit through the tile and never intended there to be a swap. How would you prevent that?

Ultimately, I believe it would have to be a very simple mechanism for the player (if not within the code itself), as options 2 and 3 in post #7 above from Prof. Garfield or simply have a full stop.
 
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As per the niehorster.org site the P-51 was already operational with many wings in 1943, though as you indicated not the P-51D. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I should name specific air types during the design process precisely because some of them might be seen as out of place. I guess for most of them I should have just limited the naming convention to the aircraft itself P-51, P-38, B-17, Me-109, etc.

So I realize this is extremely pedantic but I'm only being so persistent in it because you have taken considerable efforts and agony I'm sure to get the OOB as accurate as it can be. After all, this is a scenario that doesn't allow one to build their own units as you are trying to make it as historically accurate as possible. In this light, and with the best intentions, I need to be emphatically clear that niehorster.org is categorically wrong. The 307th, 308th, and 309th Fighter Squadrons that website cites as being in Mustangs were all flying Spitfires (VIII for the 307th and 308th with the 309th in the V) at the time of the Husky invasion. They did not transition to the P-51 until mid-1944.

Any "Mustangs" in Sicily at the time of the scenario start are not the Mustang you're thinking of. While you can certainly make an argument about the naming conventions of most aircraft being more trouble than its worth often, the Mustang is a very different beast. The P-51A was an Allison powered Mustang that for most intents and purposes was near identical to the A-36 Apache (there was a slight difference in a 30 inch fuselage cocarde). To put it plainly, it was a poor performer and not the superstar we think of. These are the only Mustangs that would have been in the theater at the start of the scenario.

The Merlin-powered P-51B didn't start trickling into England until September 1943 and weren't available in any kind of numbers until early 1944. This past weekend I was reading some book or another and it noted that as a result of the horrendous losses the 8th was taking after Schweinfurt, etc. the 8th got first dibs on all Mustangs. 52nd Fighter Group, for example, didn't transition to P-51's until April/May of '44, which is what I'm also showing for the 325th FG. The 31st, which comprises those three squadrons 307th, 308th, 309th, got the Mustang in May of 1944. The 332nd (of Tuskegee Airmen fame) got them in July.

I mean do what you will and balance if it's even worth changing anything, but since you went through all the trouble of building out a detailed OOB I thought I'd try and help. Hopefully it seems helpful and not too annoying :lol: My recommendation would be to swap out that Mustang at the start for a Spitfire.

This is not only entirely realistic and historical, but intentionaly done by design, and there are many other times when you will be confronted with similar circumstances during the campaign (think Gustav and Gothic defensive lines).

Therefore the fact that it can take up to 3 weeks to free a port of obstacles is entirely realistic and historical (sometimes it even took longer before the port could be made even partially operational).

Oh I don't really have issues with either. I think they're both brilliant. It's just this is one of those games, like many others these days I suppose, where you're really going to need to play a few times to remember all the stuff you can do and will want to do. Any problems I had with either is part of the learning curve. Really, after it happens once, it's on me, eh?
 
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So I realize this is extremely pedantic but I'm only being so persistent in it because you have taken considerable efforts and agony I'm sure to get the OOB as accurate as it can be. After all, this is a scenario that doesn't allow one to build their own units as you are trying to make it as historically accurate as possible. In this light, and with the best intentions, I need to be emphatically clear that niehorster.org is categorically wrong. The 307th, 308th, and 309th Fighter Squadrons that website cites as being in Mustangs were all flying Spitfires (VIII for the 307th and 308th with the 309th in the V) at the time of the Husky invasion. They did not transition to the P-51 until mid-1944.
...
I mean do what you will and balance if it's even worth changing anything, but since you went through all the trouble of building out a detailed OOB I thought I'd try and help. Hopefully it seems helpful and not too annoying :lol:
Trust me, I would never seriously question the expertise of members like yourself, Fairline or Tanelorn when it comes to these matters. I'm definitely no 'expert' especially when it comes to these very specific matters such as aircraft types (as I indicated in my credit section above it's Fairline who corrected all my unit re-skinning).

In this case, I relied on niehorster.org because they seemed like the most accurate in terms of the different air unit orders of battle. As I have no spot available left on my unit icon grid I'm not certain if there a suitable compromise I can make or whether I should simply let it stand as is (given that it's only 2 units in the game).

I will need to think about it but as I've said in the past in my Napoleon thread, I prefer to let players get a first touch and feel for the scenario and get their feedback before considering making any changes.

Oh I don't really have issues with either. I think they're both brilliant. It's just this is one of those games, like many others these days I suppose, where you're really going to need to play a few times to remember all the stuff you can do and will want to do. Any problems I had with either is part of the learning curve. Really, after it happens once, it's on me, eh?l:
I just want to re-iterate that this will be a challenging campaign. There will be long periods where you will only be making small gains but each small gain will be a step forward to a general advance.

Artillery and air units play an important role in the game but they will not win battles on their own. There are times, especially against the well defended positions where you will have to take ground casualties, even heavy ones, at times, to overrun it. In the end, it will all be about proper preparation and the right combination of units and their different abilities before making that big assault.

But just to let you know, I played 3 full versions of the scenario during my play testing and always managed to secure a decisive victory before the end of the game. Of course, as the designer I have a big advantage over new players since it's my creation. But just for comparison I didn't achieve a decisive victory in my Napoleon play tests till my 5th game. So I don't see why players shouldn't be able to achieve the same kind of results with Battle of Italy.
 
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Trust me, I would never seriously question the expertise of members like yourself, Fairline or Tanelorn when it comes to these matters. I'm definitely no 'expert' especially when it comes to these very specific matters such as aircraft types (as I indicated in my credit section above it's Fairline who corrected all my unit re-skinning).

In this case, I relied on niehorster.org because they seemed like the most accurate in terms of the different orders of battle. As I have no spot available left on my unit icon grid I'm not certain if there a suitable compromise I can make or whether I should simply let it stand as is (given that it's only 2 units in the game).

You're using a batch file for unit changes, no? Is there a reason you can't just have an American skinned Spitfire in the first batch file, change it to perhaps a P-47 in the second, and then finally the P-51D in the third? I guess it would mean three rules files and a few tweaks of the events file, but if your scenario is using a batch file anyway... (Then again editing 12 rules files in HoF nearly killed me).
 
You're using a batch file for unit changes, no? Is there a reason you can't just have an American skinned Spitfire in the first batch file, change it to perhaps a P-47 in the second, and then finally the P-51D in the third? I guess it would mean three rules files and a few tweaks of the events file, but if your scenario is using a batch file anyway... (Then again editing 12 rules files in HoF nearly killed me).
Again, I'm not an expert programmer in lua (at this stage of my development path perhaps an experienced beginner :)) but my first thoughts are that it's not simply a matter of the batch file.

Basically the complication is related to how I track the number of 'specific' units in the game, which is currently all based on the unit object names. This is not only done within the procurement file, which is already over 4400 lines, but at least 3 others as well such as onTurn, consolidatedEvents, onTribeTurnBegin. Trying to track different unit names for the same unit type might become overly complicated.
 
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