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Fortress Europe

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario League' started by McMonkey, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion

    Joined:
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    I observed the retreat of many Axis units in cheat mod twice. It happened all over the map, especially in Russia, Balcans and Atlantic, but not so in Northern Africa and the mediterranean region.

    The reason why I looked on the game in cheat mod - so this was very time-consuming - was, that I wanted to see my created winter 41 unit sprites in action. I made about 30 very simply animated sprites by using Catfishs 2 frame sprite. I wasn´t too convinced by the performance of these sprites, so I don´t post them here. It seems for not-spacewar mods, sprites that are showing every direction of the unit are needed.

    The problem with the city interface when opening a city is solved. I copied one of my city interface graphics in the FE-folder and now the containt of the city can be seen better (when the ugly black from the standard ToT2 cityinterface has dissapeared).

    I attache here two graphics of the very simple unit animation I made. One of the problems is, that the explosions also occur when it´s time for the unit to start moving (giving some blinking effect, but not in the way I like it).

    Edited: I like the map of this scenario a lot. Especially the looking of the narrow waterroads (p.e. Wolga and Suez Channel) is superb. I wish this would look as beautiful in my WW II mod for Civ 3 I´m working on -but it doesn´t. The convoy system for the Allies is a nice idea, too. :goodjob:

    On the other side the winterterrain in this scenario in my eyes is no winterterrain. All is green and the single white pixels on the trees look as it is now in spring with more than 20 degree Celsius when all trees are blooming.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. techumseh

    techumseh Chieftain

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    This is a very impressive scenario. You've put a lot of work into this, to be sure. It's well researched and accurate in detail, playable (and hard), and the design, events etc. are as sophisticated as anything currently out there.

    I've only got through the first few turns, but I had to restart several times just to complete those satisfactoraly.

    If there'e a weakness in the scenario, it's the treatment of the Battle of the Atlantic. In my first couple of attempts, it was lost almost before it began. Almost everything trying to cross the short stretch of water was sunk. Then I hit on a new strategy.
    Spoiler :
    By placing every naval unit or convoy under an aircraft, the subs can't attack. The extended duration and long range of units like the Sunderland and B-17 means that ships can be escorted right across the short stretch of water that passes for the Atlantic. This is not only unrealistic, but as far as I can tell, foolproof.


    I don't like air units with extended duration. There's something amiss when aircraft are aloft for a month or more. Lots can change on the ground before they return to base.

    Otherwise, the scenario is fun and challenging if the western desert campaign is any indication. I look forward to Torch, Husky, Avalanche, and Overlord.
     
  3. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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    @Civinator
    I did think about making the winter terrain that was all snow/white but I decided against it for two reasons. Number one: I personally find all white terrain very very hard on the eye and it makes it much harder to pick out hills etc... Number two: It looks odd having show in North Africa and the Middle East. I prefer to have the greyer looking terrain for the winter with the leafless trees and then much richer green for the other seasons. I may look at making the winter terrain a bit colder looking or having an alternative winter terrain in the final version.

    @Techumseh
    You obviously didn't pay attention to the house rules ;)

    I was able to get nearly all my convoys across in my last playtest so it can be done without air protected stacks. That said though I made a few alterations to the U-Boat events so I will need to test it again to see if it has now become too hard.
     
  4. techumseh

    techumseh Chieftain

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    Yes, I missed that. Still, I don't see the Battle of the Atlantic being adequately represented in the narrow space available. After a couple of games, the Allied player will learn the spawning locations of the U-boats, even if s/he doesn't check the Events file.
     
  5. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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    Learning the spawning grounds will be difficult as they are randomized and the Axis get to move before the Allies can search for the U-Boats. Getting the Battle of the Atlantic right has been / will be a struggle I agree. Unfortunately the map cannot be any bigger at this point (unless I started again and cut some of Siberia and Iraq off and shifted the map west). Perhaps a second map would work with the USA and Canada on the western edge. I have never worked on a second map before, can they be added to a saved game? Another option is to limit ship movement so they have to spend longer on the crossing. I could also limit the Allied air cover and insert a rule where only Maritime Bombers can operate over the Atlantic.
     
  6. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Hey how is this scenario coming along? I got a hankering to try it again (I never was able to counter the nasty side effects of losing Malta).

    Have you made any significant changes since my last playthrough, or should I give the last scenario another try?

    Edit - I'm pretty sure I'm completely lost as to which is which, any chance you can send the latest files?)
     
  7. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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    The files from post #163 are the latest ones. I have done no work on this since posting those files. As nobody seemed to be playing it I kind of gave up. My interest could easily be re-ignited though :D I think you played an earlier version last time and so some of the big issues should have been seen to. My playtest went well and I too need to get back on the case and play it through again. Would be nice to officially release a completed version.
     
  8. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    I had to take a break from it. I got so far, and was doing so well, but then Malta fell suddenly (I think the Germans used their anti-Torch reinforcements to cream it with Stukas), and I had a whole new set of issues to deal with.

    Next time I'll make it a point to rushbuild aircraft in Malta every turn until I reach the Po! :lol:

    I'll re-download #163 and go from there.

    EDIT - Also, from looking at some past saves in cheat mode, I think you might want to consider making desert terrain impassable to tanks... The Germans just loooove to send their units way off into the desert, perhaps eventually reaching Egypt in 1944 :)
     
  9. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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  10. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

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    Cool. We'll have to test it out and see what happens. I think there's enough passable terrain along the coast that the AI should be able to figure it out, but you never know... Sometimes I think ToT was designed with multiplayer exclusively in mind, given how terrible the AI is at using ToT's advanced options!
     
  11. Barthi

    Barthi Chieftain

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    I like the Scenario :)

    and her is a KV-2 winter unit ;)
     

    Attached Files:

  12. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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  13. Barthi

    Barthi Chieftain

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    i have play not many Turns (4), i play axis :)
     
  14. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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    Have you looked at the read me? The game is designed to be played as the (Western) Allies only. I guess if you play as the Axis the Russians might give you a bit of a challenge but the Allies will probably barely bother you at all. I hope you enjoy it, but as I said it was never designed to be played as the Axis.
     
  15. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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    I would be interested to hear feedback from anyone who has tried this sceanrio. In particular I would be interested to know:

    - How challenging was your game?

    - Did the Axis behave in a threatening way or did it just stay put and wait to be killed?

    - Did the Battle of the Atlantic / U-Boat menace cause you any problems?

    - How did your economy and tech research work out?

    - Did you make much use of strategic bombing?

    - Are the objectives / events too stifling, forcing you to play in a way that followed the history too closely for your liking?

    I put a lot of work into this scenario and would like to make the final touches to get it right. If people don't enjoy it because it is too rigid I am willing to make changes. Most of the directing of the gameplay was aimed at making the AI Axis fight well. If things were too open to unhistorical strategies it would be to easy to run rings around the AI, well that was my rationale anyway.
     
  16. Nicheal

    Nicheal Chieftain

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    Hi McMonkey!

    The Word i found for my Taste of your Scenario was ´overawing´...
    this damned huge Fortress Europe is too shocking to me, i was in awe and fear
    and capitulated early, i was a sad and suffering Allies General!
    (i was a bad Englishguy, perhaps the Reason is i dont want to shoot at my Nazi Friends:lol:)
    For my Taste you made a Scenario Grande, but that Grande plus that damned
    huge Fortress Europe is shocking twice! You should perhaps do a 40 x 80 Map
    with only one Nazi Defender?

    :D

    Like a huge ´Hitler Coloss´ Statue in the Middle of Europe to bomb to hell...

    No. Jokes out. One Major Criticism: Usually it is better for the Understanding of the
    Scenario to give exotic Units normal Names like ´German Main Battle Tank´
    or ´Russian Main Battle Tank´. But in THIS special Case it is like in Tolkiens ´Lord of the Rings´
    if you call ´Aragorn´ ´Strong Dunedain Warrior´.
    The WWII is a LEGEND, and every Unit is LEGEND, its Name is LEGEND.
    I as a Nazi want to play Panther, Tiger, Stuka, the Guy who not knows these Names,
    damned, he WILL by playing that Scenario! And i as British or US General want to
    fight versus Panther, Tiger, Stuka. I think it is a bad fault to delete the Names of
    the LEGENDS, if Nazis or British, US or Russians!
    And, o yes, the second Major Criticism: I cannot play my Nazi Friends!

    :lol:

    Please dont take this serious! I wear my SS Uniform only on Hitlers Birthday...

    McMonkey, i will try to play longer as my first 4 Turns to praise the graceful Creator!
    although you are ´British´...

    :D

     
  17. Nicheal

    Nicheal Chieftain

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    Played this first Try (til Turn 5 or 6) a while along (Turn 7)
    and was completely and badly sucked off to not want to play any longer...

    I HATE that i cannot attack anything! Tobruk was taken by these damned Nazis,
    that was no Problem cause my British Tank Divisions waited for open up a new Nazi BangBang
    in the Backyards of Tobruk. Took my Veteran British Heavy Armor to lose versus a damned Assault Gun!
    This damned Stackable! McMonkey did quite well to make Tanks much better in Offense,
    although they are ARMORS, so that the Tank Offense could move on, and the Infantry
    could defend the Terrain... but this damned Stackable makes any Effort obsolete to make
    any damned Offense, so: The Unit Values dont work, cause this damned Stackable makes
    them obsolete. If even the greatest Animal on Battle Field cannot march on, that Battle
    is lost from the first...

    I could take, that Tobruk is taken. I could take, that my Troop Transport is sunk by German U-Boat.
    I could take, that i have to wait so long until Russians and Germans have finished their Turns.
    But i cacacacacacacant take, that this damned Stackable makes any Effort of Offenses useless.

    If a heavy Armor cannot march on, what could i use? Bombers and Fighters to make Air Assaults?
    Artillery to bomb that Enemy UNTIL my heavy Armor can march on?
    A heavy Armor like a fearsome Rabbit in its British Suffering Earth Hole? Therefor these damned Tanks
    are not built. And let me say this as a Nazi: If my Tiger cannot shoot anything, i should not fight.
    I cannot fight if these German Guys shoot everything down or sunk, and my left Tanks
    are silly biteless, toothless Rabbits!

    :blush:

     
  18. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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    @Nicheal
    I have visions of you sat at your PC in your black Panzer uniform slamming your fist into your desk and shouting obscenities at the screen. :lol:

    Its been a few months since I played Fortress Europe but here are a few pointers:

    - Combined Arms tactics are essential. No unit can win a battle alone and every unit has its use. Find the right combination and you will find the tactics to allow you to move forwards.

    I will use the German army of 1939-40 as an example. There is a commonly held impression of the Panzer units sweeping all opposition aside. As you know this was only part of the picture. To succeed they were supported by heavy artillery, Stuka dive bombers and Panzer-grenadiers. The Panzer came into its own when exploiting gaps in the enemy defences. They would race into the enemies rear areas, cut lines of communication, take out artillery and hold key points such as bridges and cross roads until the mobile infantry could secure them. On their own the Panzers usefulness would have been more limited.

    - Patience and preparation are also essential. Historically after initially pushing back the Italians into Libya the British were in turn pushed back by the Africa Corps. When you begin the scenario you are facing one of Rommel's offensives aimed at the Suez Canal. Your initial goal is to survive this and build up your reserves further east in Egypt in preparation for a counter attack when the time is right. You can try and hold onto Tobruk by reinforcing from the sea, or you can pull back to a more easily defended position east of Bardia. There are (event) advantages to holding Tobruk, but historically it fell!

    - Pick your moves carefully, especially in the first few turns. Ask yourself if it is worth leaving a defensive position to attack an enemy unit in the open or if you are better to let them attack you in your defences. Sometimes they will lack the strength so defeat your unit whilst sometimes it would be better to kill them before they kill you. This may take a few turns / restarts of the scenario to master as you get used to both sides unit stats and the effect of different terrain defence bonuses.

    - Don't underestimate the importance of the Infantry. In many scenario's they are mere garrison units. In Fortress Europe they are an essential part of the Combined Arms team. They move across rough terrain - use this to your advantage. Then also ignore city walls which tanks do not. They are cheap so if you have a choice of sacrificing them or sacrificing artillery or tanks then you know who to leave as a rearguard!

    - Don't despair about a lack of units. Once the lend lease shipments begin to flow across the Atlantic you will get more Lend Lease US Armour arriving in the Middle East. John Petroski and myself have both playtested the scenario and it is possible to push the Africa Corps out of North Africa. Its just not easy!

    I hope you will persevere with this game :D
     
  19. Nicheal

    Nicheal Chieftain

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    any Objections? :mad: o i forgot: :)

    Ehm, could it be, that you called all these Panzer, Tanks and Armors generally,
    so that you can change the Unit Graphics Year by Year to present the better Vehicles
    not to have to rewrite your Rules.txt by using non-increasing same Values? :confused:

    I dont like. Ä dount läk! (Bavarian-English)
    I as a German would like to see Panzer II, Panzer III, Panzer IV, Panzer V (Panther),
    Panzer VI (Tiger).
    And i as a German like to hear that SDKfz (Special Armored Vehicle i could translate),
    this special military Names are very interesting and make the Feeling complete, in my Taste.

    That was funny. I took the Veteran British Heavy Armor to kill that German Assault Gun,
    ten Times, and lost ten Times badly. After critizising you, it worked better. Miracles of beyond i think.
    But you said, that the Infantry has the Ignores Walls Order... it seemed that Infantry
    can attack much more easier Stackable, and thats quite embarrassing, that these
    cheap Infantries CAN attack, and these Armors cannot. That tastes like Insanity.

    ´General! What shall we use to fight on? Throw Plates and Cups, my Tanks are ill!´

    :D

    I will try my best to open the Nazis the Way to Suez Canal...

    ´General! There is a Traitor in Division! Yeah, am i.´

    :D


    I recognise and praise your Ambition, Field Marshal McMonkey, to give my Armies
    a combined Arms Offense!!! But that seems just like Curt Siblings ´American Kingdoms´:
    There you have to research a Tec to build an Improvement to get the Major Tec cheated
    to build heavy Arms... perhaps i will understand that after, say, thousand Games,
    but the AI will NEVER understand. And perhaps i will understand to attack by, say,
    Bombers and Fighters and Artillery, and Infantry, but i as General would think:
    IF Artillery can KILL, and cheap Infantry can KILL, why should i build expensive Tanks?
    They cannot attack, and cannot defend. Perhaps i as Human Player General will use
    these useless Tanks, but the AI will totally damage its Crusade! You make the greatest
    Animal toothless, and so: Even Infantry is better, and the German Tanks also are limited,
    and finally: Lost, i think...

    but i will give it a try... hopefully.

     
  20. McMonkey

    McMonkey ----Evertonian---- SLeague Staff

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    I will need to refresh my memory, but I think the German panzers do pretty well. I think I gave them better stats to help out the AI. I will take another look at the Allied Tanks. If they are too weak I will improve their stats. I may have gone too far in trying to play down their super unit status in most other WWII scenarios. It must be remembered though that generally speaking the western Allies tanks were inferior in quality and leadership to the German panzers.
    The Matilda was heavily armoured but had a puny 2-pounder gun that could not fire high explosive shells and it was very slow. The M3 Grant had a good gun but it was mounted in the hull, plus it was a large target. Even the M4 Sherman, which was the best of the bunch, used to go up in flames far too easily, preventing the vehicle from being repaired and often incinerating the unfortunate crew. This disparity in quality was to continue until the end of the war. Luckily for the Allies they were able to make up for their qualitative deficiencies in quantity.

    As far as the naming of units goes you are right in saying that I didn't want multiple rules files. Also including some specific units means leaving others out completely. The way I see it you can see which unit graphic is a Tiger or Panther, and if a player doesn't know the difference between them visually then they're probably not going to be bothered what they are called! This part of the scenario is not going to change :)
     

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