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Husky to Dragoon - playtest thread

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario League' started by committed hero, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. committed hero

    committed hero Chieftain

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    Here are the playtest files for a scenario detailing the Allied liberation of Italy & Provence.

    I am seeking particular guidance about a few things:

    (1) Aircraft have much shorter ranges than IRL, including only 2 turns in the air. This is partly because I want the capture of airbases to be important, and partly because Over the Reich does strategic bombing far better. I am seriously thinking about using 3 turns in the air, despite the obvious problems (I don't think a 4 turn range makes sense if I have to house rule the return of bombers after they attack - there would be few returnees from long missions). I can raise the road movement to 8:1 and thereby get a max range of 32 if the planes aren't making a difference over Salerno, but I hesitate to increase ground movement because of how it might invalidate the pikeman flag.

    (2) The number of types of planes interacts with how reinforcements arrive, which is why there are 18(!). I can play with the speed of the new arrivals to some extent, and introduce a fifth bombing operation, but I am unsure about simply adding more planes at the outset.

    (3) I can add a subsystem that would let regular infantry transform valley spaces to bridges, and line to mud, in order to let wheeled traffic traverse impassable terrain (in turn, a ruined bridge unit could make a good/realistic target for paratroopers). There should be good synergy with faster road movement, but it would slow down the advance at its deadliest point. I didn't want to make wholesale changes without seeing how the current setup works.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi committed_hero,

    As I indicated in the “What are you working on?” thread this looks like a very interesting scenario to play. As I mentioned there, I see that the game doesn’t have the victory conditions or time limit set.

    One of the goals of play testing is to determine if the victory conditions are achievable within the prescribed time limit. Players will play a game very differently based upon the objectives they have to meet. Without these it can also be difficult to properly judge the different components of the game and their interactions if you have no specific goals to achieve or time limit within which to achieve them.

    I like to be as thorough as I can in my play test to be able to give the designer as much useful feedback as possible. I can’t speak for others but, for my part, I would be reluctant to start play testing without these in place.

    As such, do you believe you could take the time to add the victory conditions and time limit? They don’t have to be set in stone, and could easily be revised later on, but in this way at least, players could determine if they were realistic and would help them devise strategies to approach.
     
  3. committed hero

    committed hero Chieftain

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    Here is the scenario file only. There are 75 turns.

    Cities worth 3 points: Bologna, Foggia, Marseilles, Trieste
    Cities worth 2 points: Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Nice, Turin, Venice.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  4. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Thank you for taking the time to add the victory conditions. This will make a big difference in play testing. I plan on tackling it this weekend.

    Just a quick question: Any reason why the Italian M13/40 is almost as powerful as the German Panzer V, i.e. 11/10/3/3 vs 12/12/3/3? The M13 was by 1943 an obsolete 14 ton tank sporting a 47mm gun whereas the Panther was a 45 ton tank equipped with a lethal high velocity 75mm weapon with more than twice the armor protection.

    EDIT: Do you think you could zip your sound files as well and attach them to this thread?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  5. committed hero

    committed hero Chieftain

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    No good reason - I hadn't realized those stats were so high. I adjusted those and the Semoventes.

    Thanks for alerting me.

    Also, some of the Allied unconventional units have too weak scores ... what is the standard for making changes to the initial files - I probably shouldn't upload a new file every 12 hours.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  6. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi committed_hero,

    Just a few extra observations and a question before I begin playing the scenario.

    The battle of Italy is officially considered to have begun on July 9/10 1943 and ended on May 2 1945, which means the campaign lasted 663 days. That number divided by 75 means each turn is the equivalent of 8.84 days, which I rounded up to 9 days. Based on the calendars from 1943 to 1945, I added a turn by turn calendar in the event file based on the corresponding dates for each 9 day turn starting on July 10, 1943 up till May 2 1945 (with an extra turn added for July 9, 1943).

    This ends up with 21 turns to be played in 1943, 43 turns in 1944 and 13 turns for 1945 for a total of 75 turns. As such, this will not only allow me to situate myself in time but to track my progress against the historical events. In this manner, it will allow me to better assess if the timeframe for completing the scenario is achievable.

    I noticed that you have some duplicate entries in the @COSMIC2 section of the rules.txt file. I don’t know if that can cause issues but I removed them nonetheless:

    CityPopulationLossAttack, 1
    CityPopulationLossCapture, 1
    NoStackKills, 1

    I would recommend you also reduce the M13/40 FP factor to 2. At 3 FP, it still makes it more powerful than the M4 Sherman which was equipped with a superior short barrel 75mm gun in comparison to the M13’s 47mm.

    I also recommend increasing the Allied artillery units movement factor to 2 MP's (6lb AT Artillery, Ordnance QF 25pdr, Ordnance QF 3.7" AA, 90mm M1 AAA,155mm Artillery). They would all have been highly motorized and given the scale of the map, one movement point seems wholly inadequate. Let me know if you agree on this point. If yes, I will modify my rules file accordingly.

    Can the Allied 1st Airborne and 82nd Airborne use the 'P' key to paradrop on their own or can they only be dropped from a C-47 plane?

    That’s it for now. I’m off to liberate Italy from the fascist yoke!
     
  7. committed hero

    committed hero Chieftain

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    Thanks for these suggestions. I worry that increasing the movement rate of the artillery will make them harder to distinguish from Move 3 units - and susceptible to the x2 vs horse flag. Go ahead and try it out, however. IMO this is another argument for increasing the road movement to x8.

    The timeline sounds right, although the artificial slowness of the transition from Husky to Avalanche will be magnified.

    I would also ensure the special forces are correct:
    Commando 8a,7d
    82nd Airborne 7a,7d
    Ranger 7a,8d
    1st Airborne 6a,8d

    I have been steadily increasing the cost of the AB41 since the AI seems to love building them while it can (once Sicily is captured, all of the Axis production switches to German units).

    The airborne units (including the Chasseurs du Choc) can paradrop from any airbase, without a C-47.
    The C-47 can drop all infantry and Pack Howitzers to other airbases.
     
  8. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    I just completed the conquest of Sicily on turn 10 (in fact turn 9 because for an odd reason the scenario begins on turn 0), which in terms of my calendar represents the period of September 20 to September 28, 1943.

    That puts me behind schedule by a couple of turns as Operation Avalanche occurred on September 3 (turn 8 for the scenario; September 2 to September 10, 1943) but not so bad for a first try.

    The reason I suggested increasing the MP’s of the artillery units is because besides the first couple of turns of the invasion of Sicily, they were never able to keep up with the pace of the advance of the other ground troops and therefore were rarely if ever used after that, thus rendering them essentially useless. This might change when I reach the Gustav line.

    I can’t remember who told me so but apparently the ‘x2 vs horse’ flag is somewhat unreliable and designers shouldn’t really try to implement it as part of their design.

    I will hold back on making too many other observations for now and try to play the full game first.

    Thanks for the confirmation for the paradrop ability. If I have other questions I will let you know.

    For now, I’ve started the invasion of the tip of the boot near Reggio Calabria.

    EDIT:
    I looked at the stats for the airborne units more closely and currently they are as such:

    Commando, nil, 0, 2.,0, 8a,7d, 2h,2f, 5,0, 0, U1, 000001001000100
    82nd Airborne, nil, 0, 2.,0, 6a,4d, 2h,1f, 6,0, 1, U1, 000001101000010
    Ranger, nil, 0, 2.,0, 9a,8d, 2h,2f, 4,0, 0, U1, 000001001000110
    1st Airborne, nil, 0, 2.,0, 5a,5d, 2h,2f, 4,0, 0, U1, 000001101000010

    Are you confirming they should be like this instead:

    Commando, nil, 0, 2.,0, 8a,7d, 2h,2f, 5,0, 0, U1, 000001001000100
    82nd Airborne, nil, 0, 2.,0, 7a,7d, 2h,2f, 6,0, 1, U1, 000001101000010
    Ranger, nil, 0, 2.,0, 7a,8d, 2h,2f, 4,0, 0, U1, 000001001000110
    1st Airborne, nil, 0, 2.,0, 6a,8d, 2h,2f, 4,0, 0, U1, 000001101000010
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  9. committed hero

    committed hero Chieftain

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    Yes.
     
  10. Broken_Erika

    Broken_Erika Nothing

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    I believe 2x vs. horse only works against units with 2 movement and 1HP.
     
  11. techumseh

    techumseh Chieftain

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    Correct.
     
  12. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Thanks Erica / Tech.

    Another quick question. Would I be correct to assume that each ground unit represents roughly a regimental sized unit?
     
  13. committed hero

    committed hero Chieftain

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    With the exception of unconventional forces. I have doing about 5-7 units for an infantry division but it's not uniform.
     
  14. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Other question: I only just noticed but is it correct that the Lancaster Bomber only has a FP of 1 whereas the older Wellington's and the Halifax's have 3 and 4 FP's respectively. I assume that is a mistake and for now increased the more modern Lancaster's FP to 4 as well (it had the same bombload capacity has the Halifax).

    Let me know if that sounds correct.
     
  15. committed hero

    committed hero Chieftain

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    Thanks!
     
  16. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Hi committed_hero,

    A quick update and a few questions. I'm on turn 38 (June 7 to June 15, 1944) and conquered all of southern and central Italy and currently hold a line from Ravenna - Ferrara - Bologna - Florence - Leghorn.

    More importantly on turn 33 I captured Florence and secured it's crucial airbase to the northwest of the city (on tile 39,45) by the end of turn 34. On turn 35, I started moving most of my air units to the newly liberated airbase. But somehow when I started using some of my air units on turn 36, some of them started crashing for lack of fuel and when I rechecked the tile I noticed the airbase had disappeared. I then checked if somehow this was event driven but found no entry in that file that seemed related to this. I can't really explain why this could have happened unless maybe an enemy unit deleted the airbase without my noticing, which seems unlikely.

    For now, I used the cheat menu to reinstall the airbase but wanted to confim with you if removing the airbase was planned or not?

    I also noticed that tile 39,45 is the northern most airbase in Italy and therefore that beyond that base, much of northern Italy is beyond the range of your air units. Was this your intent? Surely their must have been other available bases in northern Italy for allied air units to operate from, like Milan and Verona.

    Finally, is there any reason why the major cities of Mantua and Pavia have no roads leading to it? Surely it must have had multiple road connections to other Italian cities?

    That's it for now.

    EDIT: Could you explain what are the triggers for Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France. At this moment, it's not all together clear how this occurs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  17. committed hero

    committed hero Chieftain

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    Fast!

    That happened to me in a playtest as well, with a different base. No idea what happened, or how to counter it - would altering the menu affect the AI?

    I thought there was enough range - I will look for some good options.

    Laziness probably.

    After conquering Sardinia, you should get a prereq for Firebrand, which allows Dragoon.
     
  18. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Once I’ve completed my play test, I will try to give an overall play back of my game play.

    I rechecked if it could be related to the pillage and paradrop hotkeys but there not really connected. It’s ‘p’ to paradrop and shift + ‘p’ to pillage, plus when you want to pillage you will get a pop up asking which element in the tile you want to pillage.

    So at this point, I’m still not able to determine why the airbase would have been removed.

    Not all of the northern cities are out of range from the Florence airbase but still quite a few: Trieste, Udine, Bolzano, Trent, Turin, Genoa and all the Vichy French Coastal cities.

    If you place some air unit on the airbase in Corsica, that brings Turin and Nice within reach of your long range bombers.

    It would be worth reviewing the placement of roads to these cities: Trieste, Pavia and Mantua.

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t clear to me that I had to mount a separate invasion of Sardinia. I was somewhat expecting to get an event related to this. When it never occurred, I just decided to bypass the island altogether.

    On the other hand I was able to liberate Corsica with just the forces situated on that island.

    At this point, I’m on turn 41 and have just captured Genoa. It will be easier just to forge ahead and conquer the Vichy French coastal cities from this point rather than go back and try to conquer Sardinia.
     
  19. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Chieftain

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    Could you elaborate more on the following house rule: " Do not use paradrops to take cities."

    I'm on turn 45 and basically in mopping up mode, trying to capture the final objective cities in northern Italy that will me allow to accumulate the 71 points required to get a decisive victory and this particular rule is slowing me down.

    Do you mean that a player cannot:
    • Drop directly in an empty enemy city to capture, or
    • Drop next to a city and capture it on the turn that it paradrops
    Could a player drop next to a city on one turn and then move into it the following turn?
     
  20. committed hero

    committed hero Chieftain

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    This was my intent.
     

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