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Battle of Iwo Jima 1945 ToT scenario released

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario League' started by tootall_2012, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    THIS SCENARIO HAS BEEN RELEASED ON THE SCENARIO LEAGUE WEBSITE:

    You can find the newly updated game zip V1.1 files and screen shots at http://sleague.civfanatics.com/index.php/Battle_of_Iwo_Jima_1945

    GAME INTRODUCTION:

    "
    PACIFIC FLEET HEADQUARTERS, (AP) -- Hawaii , Monday, February 19, 1945

    Marine forces under the command of Lt. General Holland M Smith, Commander, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, have begun amphibious operations against the heavily defended island of Iwo Jima. Vice Adm Richmond K Turner, Cmndr, Task Force 51 issued a statement exclaiming: "Iwo Jima is the most heavily fortified and capably defended island in the world. It will be a tough fight."

    As the Commander of the Marine Expeditionary Force you are in charge of "Operation Detachment". Will you be able to liberate the island while limiting your casualties or will your forces be repulsed by the fanatical Japanese defenders?
    "

    The scenario covers the battle of Iwo Jima. The game lasts from February 19 to March 16, 1945 with each turn representing one day.

    There are only two protagonists, the Americans and the Japanese. The game has been designed to play ONLY as the Americans .

    There are a number of house rules and game concepts, all designed to enhance the scenario experience, that the player should familiarize themselves with before beginning to play. As such, please read the scenario's ReadMe PDF file first.

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

    If you have a 64-bit computer you will need to run MastermindX's "Civ2XP64Patcher.exe" patch after starting the Test of Time program but before loading the scenario. I have included the patch and instructions on how to use it in the zip files. If you prefer, you can also download the patch from the CivFanatics forum http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=193215.

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

    Catfish Chieftain

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    This thread is looking a little lonely. It's a shame that there are so few people available these days to play new scenarios. I haven't played Civ for two years. I watched Letters from Iwo Jima on Blu-ray only a few weeks ago.
     
  3. Tanelorn

    Tanelorn Warlord

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    True C.
    Well, this looks great and I will play it asap rl allows.
    Tootall, thank you for the time and effort you spent on this.
    :goodjob:
     
  4. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi Gentlemen,

    Should you decide to have a go at my scenario I hope you end up enjoying it as much as I liked designing it. I think you will find it challenging. I've certainly tried to make it an accurate representation of the battle and it's ferocity. It was certainly done as a respectful hommage to all the brave men who fought and died on that desolate island.

    Though I know many players have probably long since moved on from Civilization II, I myself keep coming back to it, because I feel no other platform of the Civilization series is as flexible in representing not only different historical periods but scales of conflicts (from the tactical to the strategic).

    In the end, I designed a scenario that I longed to be able to play myself and in that sense, at least, I believe my efforts were rewarded.

    Tootall
     
  5. Catfish

    Catfish Chieftain

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    That was pretty much my own attitude to my WotR scenario. Although repeated play-testing made playing it a chore. You'll get people playing your scenario; it'll just be a trickle rather than a flood. Most you'll never hear from.

    Took a quick look at the scenario and I noticed a few things:

    1. Batch file: The 4th option in the batch file won't work (for Win9x or NT machines) because the expected input is 4, not X. Four of the blank "Echo" lines under the MSG label are missing full stops (periods). Delevent isn't required. It doesn't actually do anything because events are never embedded in SCN files; even if that weren't the case, you'd most likely be cleaning a clean file from the Events2 folder anyway.

    2. Events file: Debug mode is still enabled. The Report file included in the scenario download is a massive 18.2 MB. Every time you run events in debug mode, the game dumps the output to Report.txt, appending to the file. It also slows load times considerably. The @DEBUG line should appear before the @INITFLAG line, as the latter is technically an event - although there's not much you can get wrong there.

    3. I read the following in the Readme file:
      This looked like something fixable, so I dug into the events file. You're probably going to slap yourself for this one. ;) The reason that the storms keep appearing on turn 1 is because the first trigger (CheckFlag) of the CreateUnit event is being ignored. The reason for that is that the "@" symbol is missing from the @AND modifier. The game is reading it as two separate events. You can remove the event that turns Nature flag 0 off on turn 1.

    4. Maybe you could change the @MISSILEATTACK message in Game.txt. Since it applies to a range of units, including storms, I suppose it would have to be a general message about taking losses.
     
  6. AGRICOLA

    AGRICOLA Chieftain

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    Thanks for the tips on problems with the Batch file and the Events files :goodjob:.

    In the Batch file I can only get the Tunnel Complex 1 - Events 1 option, no matter which option I specify ( I have an XP desktop). I disabled the @DEBUG in Events and deleted the Report file from the download when I first looked at the scen.

    Hint: In the Events file, the AND that is missing an @ is almost at the end of the Events file. Search for it from the bottom up.
     
  7. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi Catfish,

    As usual your comments and observations are always welcome. With regards to the following:

    1. Batch file: I made all the requested changes.
    2. Events file: I removed the report.txt file :blush: from the game zip file and re-uploaded it unto the Scenario League' website and I commented out the DEBUG command line from the events files.
    3. Storms appearing on first turn: As you indicated, I made the correction to the event file and added the @ before the 'AND' command and ran a few tests and it looks like it works fine now. I modified the ReadMe file accordingly and re-uploaded it as well. Thank you for catching that mistake, I can't tell you how often I tried to figure out why my event wasn't working properly.
    4. Maybe you could change the @MISSILEATTACK message in Game.txt: I changed the message to "Violent storms cause damage to your combat forces".
     
  8. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi Agricola,

    Always pleased to hear from you.

    I have a 64-bit computer that runs on Windows 7. I modified the batch file to use the "if "%OS%"=="Windows_NT" goto winxp" code, otherwise my computer wouldn't run the bat file (though I believe this code is supposed to work for all systems). For my part, I have no difficulty selecting the different versions of the game.

    I'm not certain whether XP or less computers require the choice.com file to be able to run the bat file properly. Nevertheless, I added it to the re-uploaded game file. Please try it again with the choice file and let me know if it works for you now.

    Tootall
     
  9. AGRICOLA

    AGRICOLA Chieftain

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    I ran into one significant error in Events as well as some visual problems.

    There are two events that may or may not work as you intended because the correct parameter is Randomize and not Random.:

    @IF
    RANDOMTURN
    denominator=4
    @THEN
    Delay
    delay=3
    CREATEUNIT
    unit=Mar Rifle Co.
    owner=Americans
    veteran=no
    homecity=no
    Random
    locations
    30,62
    45,57
    endlocations
    @ENDIF


    This would not work very well for Kamikazes.



    I found the colors of the American and Japanese health bars too similar for easy play and changed the colors to red and white for better contrast.

    .
     
  10. Catfish

    Catfish Chieftain

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    I can't reproduce it. That part of the script works fine on Win7 and virtual WinXP at my end. Are you getting any feedback on the screen? Try moving the scenario folder to another location, like C: drive or the desktop, and running it from there. Try the attached batch file. I haven't re-downloaded the updated scenario yet.

    It works for NT-based systems, eg, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7.

    It's only used by Win9x machines. NT-based systems bypass that part of the script (the line you quoted) and use "set /P" instead.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi Tanelorn, thank you for your comments. Have you had the opportunity to try the scenario yet? Have you experienced the same issue with the batch file as Agricola?

    On a side note, thank you for all your hard work on your graphics. I'm particularly impressed by your medieval units :cool:.

    Now I understand why the replacement units always only appeared on the same tile. Thanks for pointing that out, I will make the necessary adjustment.

    As you pointed out, I was a little too hasty on changing the @missileattack message. I will see if I can't create a more generic one.
     
  12. techumseh

    techumseh Chieftain

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    I've downloaded the scenario, Tootall. I'm looking forward to playing it as soon as I can finish my new project.
     
  13. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi Techumseh,

    Thanks for downloading my scenario. I'm looking forward to your feedback. I can honestly state that your OMG scenario was certainly one of my all time favorites :D and as you may already know served as an inspiration to my Battle of France scenario.

    I've read your Techmod thread and are looking forward to seeing the end product. Good luck!

    Tootall
     
  14. minipow01

    minipow01 Chieftain

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    This is a terrific scenario that is extremely fun to play! Tootall, you nicely exploit the special ToT features, especially the idea of having tunnel passages. Even though U.S. forces never really explored these tunnel hideouts in the real battle (as you duly note), I think it adds an extra dimension that provides for a very rewarding experience. I found it quite challenging to capture the underground HQs within the allotted 26 turns. (I only had two objectives by the end of my game).

    The number of units and their combat stats seem pretty balanced. At first, I thought there were too many units under my command - 80 infantry units alone (at the start). But after a while, their numbers got whittled down by the constant need to attack enemy entrenchments. I actually appreciated the later reinforcements! Nevertheless, it wasn't too difficult to clear Japanese forces from the bulk of the main map.

    The Japanese defenses are quite formidable, but I wonder if there is a way to increase their attack capability. I noticed that my forces were rarely under relentless attack unless I captured one of their HQs. (The banzai counter-attacks were well-executed!). On some turns, the Japanese never attacked me at all. Most attacks involved weakish missile units. I realize that much of the heavy Japanese equipment was destroyed before the ground battle commenced, but I wonder if there is a way to simulate their constant ambushes and enfilading fire. Perhaps you could create a grenade-thrower type unit that has stats similar to the bazooka unit?

    The house rules seemed to work fairly well. However, it was difficult to remember to avoid putting my armored units on the escarpment terrain. At first glance, I thought maybe the solution was to make escarpment/hill terrain impassable, and give the override ability to infantry units. I then realized that it would render the bedrock terrain passable to rifle units, which would be highly undesirable. It's too bad that ToT doesn't allow infantry units to specifically recognize certain terrain types as impassable (bedrock/crevices), but ignore other impassable terrain (e.g., escarpment/hills). I'm not an expert on ToT mechanics, so perhaps someone else can correct me here.

    In sum, this is an immensely fun, innovative, and well-polished scenario. The Readme is also impeccable. I encourage EVERYONE to play this scenario.
     
  15. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi minipow01,

    Thank you for your comments. They are greatly appreciated. As I mentioned in a previous thread, though I designed the scenario for my own enjoyment, I was, nevertheless, eager to share it with the Civilization community.

    When creating the scenario, I struggled, at first, whether I should include the tunnel complexes. I was concerned it would be too much of a deviation from the actual battle and might feel too much like a role playing game. In that sense, I did sacrifice historical reality in favor, I hope, of a richer and more enjoyable experience. In the final analysis, I believe it was a good decision.

    After all the feedback I received for my Battle of France scenario, one of the things I wanted to avoid as much as possible was what Agricola and Techumseh called 'quartermaster's duties'. Originally, I probably had twice as many transports and landing crafts, forced the American player to go pick up all their reinforcements in Peleliu, had random Japanese submarines appearing on the edges of the map forcing the American to regularly sweep the ocean tiles. In the end, I changed all that because I realized it didn't bring anything extra to the game and simply added unnecessarily tedious tasks.

    Nevertheless, I tried, as much as possible, to remain faithful to the actual orders of battle for both the American and Japanese ground forces. Though I agree that there seems to be a lot of units to manage and tasks to accomplish at the beginning, especially on the first turn where you have to disembark the initial assault wave on the beaches and return to the transports to unload the 2nd wave, I discovered, as you did, that it quickly becomes more manageable after 4-5 turns.

    In game after game, I believe, I rarely suffered less than 50% overall casualties to my ground forces, with the 4th Marine Division sometimes suffering as much as 75% casualty rates. This is higher than the actual battle's American combat losses of approximately 30% (Iwo Jima is the only Pacific battle where the Americans suffered more casualties than the Japanese (even though the island defenders suffered nearly 100% losses)). Maybe I'm just not a very good commander ;) but I think I strived to design the game in a manner that would extract a heavy toll on the invaders.

    As such, I intentionally layered the Japanese 'reinforcements', both ground and missile forces, to arrive either on specific turns or to be generated by specific events. This was to prevent the Japanese counterattacks from being concentrated all at the beginning of the game. As such the American player can never remain complacent as they can never be certain when they will have to face an unexpected Japanese banzai charge or artillery barrage.

    Though the 'Sento Enjinia' (Japanese combat engineers) and ' Senpaku Hohei' (Imperial Japanese Navy) units aren't as powerful as the American bazooka, they've certainly proven, in my experience, to inflict their share of casualties on the Marines.

    I did, at first, make the Hill/Escarpment impassable terrain, but as you noted, quickly realized that that allowed the American Rifle units to move over the Bedrock terrain below, and I couldn't permit that to happen.

    For my part I grew up playing board games like Avalon Hill's 'Third Reich' and 'Squad Leader', war games whose game mechanics were explicitly layed out in sometimes exhaustive rules books (for those who are curious you can check out the following website http://www.boardgamegeek.com/).

    Though the Test of Time platform is fairly flexible, it has its limitations, which can, in certain circumstances, only be addressed by house rules. So in this particular situation I had to compromise and make the bedrock impassable and add a house rule for Hill/Escarpment tiles with regards the armored units.

    Tootall
     
  16. Catfish

    Catfish Chieftain

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    This could be done if you replaced the bedrock terrain on the secondary maps with ocean. You'd use MapEdit and MapCopy. That leaves the problem of impassable (to all) crevices on the primary map. You could change these to ocean and cover them up with something like pollution.
     
  17. minipow01

    minipow01 Chieftain

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    Clever solution, Catfish.

    This scenario is a fantastic contribution to the Civ community. Kudos! :goodjob:

    It does give it a quest-like feel, but doesn't appear unrealistic. The tunnel complexes make the game that much more challenging. In my game, I was unable to locate the secret stairwell, which is probably why I only ended up gaining two objectives.


    A few more submarines would have been nice. Actually, one of my transports was sunk by a naval craft of some sort. I sent a bunch of destroyers/cruisers to search for this mysterious craft, but couldn't find it. Who knows? Maybe it was a kamikaze sub.

    I guess my overall impression was that a lot of Japanese units were incapable of attack (i.e., immobile). For example, I spotted quite a few immobile tanks and howitzers. I understand that this is deliberate, so that they can serve as artillery launchers. Nonetheless, it still seemed somewhat underwhelming to position my infantry next to a tank/gun, only to not be attacked.
     
  18. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi minipow01,

    HINT: There is at least one cave entrance per Tunnel Complex scenario that doesn't lead to an HQ (though there are always 5 HQ's no matter which version you've selected to play). Some of the HQ's are hidden behind bedrock walls. In these cases, you must first find an explosive unit located in the cave complex and destroy it by 'attacking' it (so you must physically search every tile in the tunnel because, while some of explosives are visible when you move next to them, some are invisible). This will destroy the wall and give you access to the HQ (Note: the walls are never situated next to the explosive unit, so you may have to go back in the tunnel to find the newly opened wall).

    Also in a few cave complexes, depending on which version of the scenario you are playing, one of the bedrock walls isn't really a wall at all. In those particular cave complexes, you will stumble upon a 'Message' unit (?) who once you've 'attacked' it will give you a message stating that you should pay special attention to the walls to locate a further entrance (there is a subtle but noticeable difference in the bedrock graphic).

    Also sometimes you have to go down to 'Underground' level 2 to either be able to find one of the HQ's or find an explosive unit that opens a bedrock wall in the tunnel above (again depending on which Tunnel complex version you selected to play).

    During my testing, I, 1) discovered that the submarines didn't act in a predictable manner as they were more inclined to move away from the American naval units then come in to attack and 2) found the task of searching for them tedious and that it didn't add any real value to the game as a whole and therefore removed them from the game.

    Nevertheless, the code for the generation of these random submarines is still in each event file associated to each tunnel complex but have been commented out. Those experienced enough with events files can open the events.txt file in Notepad to reactivate the 'Submarine' event by searching for 'Japanese submarines' and removing the semi-colon, ;, in front of each line of the event (from the @IF to the @ENDIF).

    ;--- Japanese 'Submarine'

    ;@IF
    ;RANDOMTURN
    ;denominator=6
    ;@THEN
    ;CREATEUNIT
    ;unit=Submarine
    ;owner=Japanese
    ;veteran=no
    ;homecity=None
    ;Randomize
    ;locations
    ;9,53
    ;5,55
    ;1,77
    ;82,40
    ;91,51
    ;93,65
    ;endlocations
    ;@ENDIF

    I understand what you are saying, though given the game mechanics it is quite difficult to reproduce enfilading fire (though I certainly tried to do so with the artillery shells). Though it might not be apparent only around 40% of the infantry type units are immobile in the game. The rest are quite capable of movement and attack. It seems as though certain times there is no activity because these assaults are delayed in time through the events file.

    All the same, during my research on the battle, I discovered that General Kuribayashi decided, against the objection of his subordinate commanders, to mount a static defense. He would thereby force the Americans to assault his well entrenched and positioned units thereby inflicting the maximum numbers of casualties on them. As such, every Japanese soldier was expected to hold and defend his position to the last. Traditional Banzai charges by his men would be frowned upon and only authorized as a last resort.

    Colonel Nishi, the commander of the Japanese 26th Tank Regiment (really just a battalion), knowing that his tanks would quickly be found and destroyed if out in the open, had all of them dug in to be used as stationary pillboxes.

    Since most of these statics units are located in strategic areas, you are forced to attack most of them to be able to move on. As I mentioned in a previous thread I wanted to place these static units to ensure an integrated defensive line. As such, you should kind of consider the casualties you receive from attacking these units the result of enfilading fire. It's not a perfect representation but the best I could come up with given the ToT platform (if only we could have CIV 5's ranged fire like for the machine gun units).

    With regards the artillery, each and every unit on the island is assigned its own lot of ammunition, with each unit receiving periodic replacement shells. The island as a whole was only allotted around 40 days ammunition because that's how long the Japanese High Command expected the garrison to last against an American invasion.

    Remember that all the artillery pieces on the island were dug in or located in cave entrances to protect them as much as possible from American shelling and were therefore immobile. Most times when you come up next to an artillery piece, it's probably already expended its ration of shells, and even if it hasn't you won't see the shells, until attacked, because the Japanese player always moves first on any given turn, and will shoot as soon as any of your units are in range. Nevertheless, that still leaves the gun crew to defend the gun position.

    I hope, at least, that this explains the reasoning behind my decisions.

    If you can I would like to know:

    1. What kind of casualty rates did you experience in your game?
    2. Did you experience the same difficulties with the batch file as Agricola (only being able to select Tunnel complex 1)?
     
  19. minipow01

    minipow01 Chieftain

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    That's what happened in my case. I may have been too lazy to search for a difference in the bedrock walls. Or more likely, I tried searching in that particular tunnel, but didn't bother "re-exploring" the other tunnels that I had uncovered.

    I completely understand your rationale for creating a static defense. From the perspective of historical accuracy, this makes total sense. Also, given the AI (mis)handling of tactics, it probably works best to make most Japanese units immobile. Still, it would have been interesting to throw in some mobile armor, even if not historically accurate.

    1. I had a casualty rate that was well over 50%. Just in terms of infantry, I lost 77 units by the end of the scenario. Most of these units were lost in the 1st half of battle, as I had already lost 59 units by turn 13.

    2. I didn't experience any problems with the batch file. I just tried loading Tunnel complex 3, and it worked fine. (I'm running an old 32-bit Windows Vista machine).
     
  20. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    I think you have to admit that 50% casualty rates is pretty high and a good barometer of the robustness of the Japanese defenses. Other than the Japanese, who on many occasions experience nearly 100% casualties in many battles in the Pacific, only the Allied Bombers in Europe (50% rates) and the German U-boats (80% rates) experienced anywhere near such high casualties.

    Combined with the shortened number of days to complete the game, I believe most player should find this scenario quite challenging (except Agricola of course, who I'm certain will find some devilish way of beating it within 10 turns or less :king:).

    Easily done. I've modified the attached rules_mobile.txt file to make the Japanese armored units mobile. Naturally, I've also modified their attack/defense strengths to reflect their actual values (since I had made them static I was compelled to augment their defense strength to offset their 0 combat value). Note: don't expect a swarn of Japanese tanks coming at you. There were only 4 companies issued to the island defenses.

    For anyone interested, all you need to do is save the original file somewhere else, and rename the attached file to rules.txt and insert it in scenario folder. It will automatically work for all versions of the game since they all source the same rules.txt file.
     

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