1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Over the Reich - Creation Thread

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario League' started by JPetroski, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,531
    The BotA mechanism evolved from a desire of the Allied player to not feel compelled to search the seas aimlessly for U-Boats that may or may not ultimately be there, as an objective Prof. Garfield and I have shared is trying to improve the "quality of life" and minimize turn time whenever possible (a necessary goal for any 100+ turn multiplayer event). Condensing to a convoy route made sense given that. We went so far as to make the system completely abstract, so that players wouldn't even need to bother hunting for convoys or U-Boats after a time if they felt like it.

    I do agree with you however that this forces the Luftwaffe's hand to a focal point where they can be readily intercepted by the Allies. What I'm almost thinking we do is the following:

    1. Reduce all sea units (besides aircraft carriers) to two: U-Boats and Convoys. Both have an attack rating of 0. Convoys have a high defense and U-Boats now get a munition unit, the torpedo. Convoys cannot attack, but are strong enough defensively that it should take a true wolf pack and/or Condor air attacks to take them out.

    2. Convoys should now spawn somewhat randomly, but generally on the first third of the convoy zone, meaning that the Allies need to bring them all the way to England.

    3. Compensate for this by reducing the number of convoys dramatically. Instead of a maximum of 11 spawning, perhaps have a maximum of 3 or 4 spawn each turn. The # is directly tied to the number of port units alive for the Germans, as it partially is today. The amount of units in the convoy box no longer matters.

    4. Rather than each convoy spawning 1 freight train, have each convoy spawn several (perhaps - if possible - dependent on how much health the convoy has).

    5. Have the convoys start with a fair amount of speed, and rely on Civ2 mechanism to reduce this when they are weakened.

    6. Have the convoys be strategic targets as Garfield suggested, meaning that air units can't cover them.

    7. Have U-Boats draw reactive defensive fire from Sunderlands, making these units much more valuable. Perhaps a Sunderland has a pretty darn good chance of sinking a U-Boat, or at least badly damaging it. So, although point 6 would prevent the player from stacking an air unit on the convoy, there'd still be a good reason to have it nearby as it would have a chance to destroy the U-Boat.

    I think that this approach would do a few things:

    * Reduce the amount of time each turn takes (moving three freighters is better than 11)
    * Make attacking convoys more realistic for the Germans and make their U-Boats a bit more survivable since they can no effectively operate in the entire sea zone.
    * Give the Sunderland a purpose to be built (I don't know if I built a single one in the entire scenario).

    I'm not sure what to do to be honest. It's a big change and not one that I intend to reverse after making it. I'd really like to make one final push and complete this scenario after all of these years. I suppose there are two options (leaving things as is is not an option).

    1. I could just have one unit for the Germans and Allies "Army Group" or whatever, and still allow these to move around the map. Perhaps they are so powerful offensively that they take care of the issue of having flak hold up the game by taking 70+ attacks from tactical bombers to get past. If the army group reaches the city or airfield, the flak is guaranteed to be destroyed and the only thing that can effectively stop it is another (full strength) army group. This would allow people to choose their own adventure with the ground war to an extent still which might be more fun than the game "having" to progress along a certain path. As you mentioned, it would give tactical bombers more of a reason to exist (to soften up the army group so that your own one could kill it). Another advantage is that it works as is with what we currently have going on and would be substantially easier to implement.

    2. Have the city capture 100% driven by points. This would make the game all the more so about the air war but would also be much more complicated to implement and test and would basically take away the whole mystery of when and where the Allies (or Germans) land.

    Right now I'm leaning towards #1 I suppose mainly because of the ease of implementation but would appreciate both of your comments.

    @Prof. Garfield, I think I've seen you mention elsewhere that it is possible to "nullify" combat results/respawn defeated units instantly depending on what type of unit kills them, correct? If so, perhaps it makes sense to limit the types of attacks that can kill units at airfields. I would like night intruders to play more of a role (historically they would loiter near enemy airfields and shoot down planes that were landing). As it stands, my night fighters haven't done much. If they were the only aircraft that could kill Luftwaffe fighters at night (because they would respawn if killed by bombs), this might make things more realistic but also give the night fighters (another unit of limited use) a true role. How would that sound, @McMonkey? I think that would be much more realistic than having lancasters take your fighters out. This same concept, if it works, could be used elsewhere -- especially with more unit slots. I could simply have a few more types of ammo and only allow certain units to kill other units (perhaps the P-47D carries a bomb that is great against trains but can't kill other things, for example?).

    As for the flak, they should be able to move freely between day and night maps just like trains and if I missed that, I need to change that.

    A stated before, I definitely want to implement this.

    I didn't have a whole lot of luck killing these once you stacked flak trains on them, but if some changes above are implemented that might change, so perhaps they do need to be randomized somewhat.

    I mean that is kind of the point but in fairness I haven't been on the receiving end so I can't opine on how the frustration vs. fun aspect is going. It might not be the worst thing in the world to give the bombers sub qualities (rather than invisible) and allow the top-end intruders to be the ones that are full-on invisible.

    One more thing I'm considering is only allowing heavy bombers to call up ammo on the high alt map so there is a definite need for tactical bombers on the low alt map.
     
  2. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Chieftain Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,179
    Location:
    Ontario
    Having freight trains generated based on the remaining HP of the convoy won't be a problem. I also think moving reasonable numbers of convoys isn't a significant burden either, since there is a direct payoff to the action (as opposed to searching for submarines just in case).

    My concern with the proposed system is that the only way to win the Battle of the Atlantic for the Allies is to send aircraft on search and destroy missions, otherwise submarines would seem to live forever. And/or the Battle of the Atlantic consists of sending Sunderlands around to babysit convoys.

    Option 1 not only seems preferable to me, it would be much easier to implement. I would suggest making the "army" units stronger on the defence than on the offence (although, perhaps only after fortifying) and give it a relatively powerful "artillery shell" munition to fire, but that uses up all movement points. If damaged by the "artillery shell", an army probably loses on the defence against a full strength army, but the attacking army has had to wait a turn (unless it brings in a superior number of army units) to actually make the attack. Application of air power, then, would allow a quicker advance than simply relying on ground forces alone.

    Perhaps, we make it so that defeated armies "regroup" (i.e. are re-created) in a nearby city so that losing a couple army groups does not mean that the enemy crosses Europe uncontested from that point. If there is no friendly "nearby" city, then the defeated army was surrounded and surrendered (or was pushed into the sea).

    I think we can use the submarine flag instead of the invisible until attack flag. Invisible until attack still lets you check the status box to see if a unit is there anyway after it has been discovered (or, I think, just in general). The submarine flag keeps the unit hidden until it is stumbled upon, but the unit is visible from then on. I think the only reason we removed the sub flag was that defensive fire got "landed" on a friendly plane once or twice back when it was a munition.

    I suppose that a player could generate bombs a few squares away from a target, and use another bomber to carry them there if we use the submarine flag. If this is a concern, we can use an event to remove the sub flag from units for the active player, and only have the opponents' units have that flag. This shouldn't be too hard, it is how I got carriers to only allow certain planes to land.
     
  3. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,531
    I suppose we could have the convoys have a small attack factor after all, so they can kill U-Boats. As they give a substantial boost to the war effort by making it to port instead of lingering, you probably wouldn't want too many of them out there, but the Allies will need to make a choice: hunt subs with them or rush them to port. Investing in air cover would allow you to rush the convoys to port, which might be a worthwhile strategy (I do think at the very least I'd have built more Sunderlands if this was the approach).

    Option 1 it is. I like the regrouping idea but given we are freeing up units, I think it makes sense to have a new "depleted army" unit built instead. The artillery is also a good idea.

    I'm not sure that units with the air flag can even carry munitions with the sub flag. I'd have to check but you'd think someone would have made bombs already if they could. I do believe that munitions would "land" on aircraft instead of striking targets, but I don't know that this would really matter since all munitions (well, except flak) all only have 1 range anyway. It would probably be a good idea to do this even if only to prevent the flak issues.

    Anyway, this leaves us with some work and the challenge is picking up from a unified events point. I think I'm also going to need to make some changes to the map text if the mechanics are changing and that crashed the game with the clouds. I think we'll need to "reset" the clouds as part of all this.

    Do you have a suggestion of where to start? I assume the events from the current playtest as they have several fixes?
     

    Attached Files:

  4. McMonkey

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

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,876
    Location:
    Cardiff
    I like the new idea for convoys. Fewer targets but more high value. This would give the Axis player more of a motivation to produce U-Boats & search for the convoys as even taking out one of the three would be a significant blow. I also like the idea of torpedoes as it would allow a bit of strategy. For instance, if I spotted a convoy with my Condor and manoeuvre the wolfpack into an ambush position where I can fire individual torpedoes from several boats & then run for cover before the allied counter strike, presuming the allies have a counter-strike mechanism other than defensive fire.

    Alternatively a single U-Boat may be able to fire two torpedoes but would then be a sitting duck for the allied retaliation. This way it would be a bit of cat & mouse like the air battles without having to spend too much time moving dozens of units. The allies have a good chance of crossing the Atlantic undetected but if they are located then it's game on.

    More specialized air units would be interesting as it would force the player to carefully balance production so that they couldn't just rely on one type to do it all (A26). My beef with the Lancasters bombing the night airfields was that there is no good counter, other than not being there. If I could move flak onto the night map then I could protect key bases, but night airbases just don't have the production capability to build anything in volume. I guess I could have sent trains to the night map to build flak but by the time it became an issue it was too little, too late. Perhaps I should have anticipated your move but I genuinely didn't think of the bombers as being anything other than city levelers. My mistake, but historically it does seem unrealistic. Perhaps a few specialist night fighters with the ground attack ability would be reasonable if that happened historically.

    The frustration with the invisible bombers is that I can pick them up with radar and then use an aircraft to find them (I used the high movement Ju-188 extensively for this) but even then there was no allied unit revealed so I had to continually click around on the map to re-locate the already detected unit for follow up night fighters to attack. Quite a tedious process when there are dozens of them to attack!

    The key is to locate the bomber stream early on, predict its route & move the night fighters into position to intercept. The actual combat stage should not be as fiddly to micromanage. It should all be about the setup. Get your calculations right & you can do damage as the defender. Make the wrong prediction and your night fighters are concentrated in the wrong area and not enough of them can concentrate to stop the attack. The sub flag seems ideal if you can get the mechanism to work as it makes them difficult to locate but once spotted they are marked on the map for follow up attacks.

    This detection and ambush setup phase took a LOT of work as you will see when you read my log. It involved taking screenshots & plotting possible routes, working out ranges, deciding where to position my fighters so they can intercept without tipping you off to the fact that I was waiting & the raid diverting to a secondary target. It worked on a couple of occasions but once my night fighters were decimated I was reduced to piecemeal reactionary attacks. For the first few big raids I think the night raids were the most fun & challenging aspect of the scenario. Another cat & mouse battle of wits.

    I really like the army group idea. It keeps the main focus on the air war without making the ground war totally abstract. A nice blend that further does away with the need of moving dozens of individual units. I neglected the Wehrmacht somewhat early on and didn't build enough flak in France until it was too late. How would this affect the supply train/number of Wehrmacht troops in France mechanism?

    These final tweaks should just about perfect this scenario. Bear in mind that my performance was hindered by foolish planning at certain points. I've learned a lot but by the time I did it was almost too late to put right. It's sometimes difficult to work out which aspects are key in a new scenario with so many revolutionary concepts to take on board. I've made notes of where I went wrong & remedies for future games.
     
  5. McMonkey

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

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,876
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Quick one I keep forgetting to post: The message "The Allies have crossed the channel in force!..." message is triggering at the start of every Axis turn now. I presume it was meant to be a one off.
     
  6. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,531
    It's not that I really want to rely on the A26, but I don't have much choice. The way the ground war is set up now, it takes an overwhelming amount of those aircraft to clear out any city. With the Army Group mechanism, the Army Group itself should be able to clear out the city (unless there is another army group in there, in which case you'll want to soften it up with the A26, which might have a new munition that actually has a chance of damaging one).

    As for night fighters, well, I wouldn't say that they necessarily "bombed/strafed" airfields at night, but Intruder missions were launched to try and catch enemy aircraft in the middle of landing. We can't really represent that very well with Civ, but having them be the only types of aircraft that can take out aircraft in a city on the night map is close enough. The Germans could also launch such missions, of course.

    You've convinced me. Leaving the dedicated night fighters invisible should remain OK however?
    We'd need to rework the mechanism. As I'm toying with not allowing strategic bombers to call up ammunition on the low alt map at all (thus making tactical bombers more useful), I might rework it so that the courthouse now corresponds to a unit (Garrison) which doesn't move but can be destroyed just like the other bombing targets. Your freight trains might be tied directly to these units being in place. Occupied Europe is by far the easiest place for the Allies to strike so a threshold would work. You might have them in every city in Germany, but only a count value higher than that will start to produce bonus trains, which means in practicality that you'll need to invest in keeping them alive in France, the Low Countries, and Denmark.
    Yes we'll have to fix that.

    I think on my end the next step is to make a giant "TO DO" list, share with @Prof. Garfield, and see what order we intend to tackle it. It really depends on your preference/schedule, Garfield. I see there being three things to be done in general:

    1. Bug fixes (there aren't many but let's include the cloud reset with it);
    2. Swapping out units/munitions which will be tedious but something I can likely handle with time;
    3. New features - this is likely something you're going to have to do.

    I don't know if it matters if 2 or 3 are done first but they probably can't be done concurrently given the scope of 2 and the complexity of 3.
     
  7. McMonkey

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

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,876
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Just confirmed that night flak can't move to the day map via the switchyard. Have not tested day to night yet.
     
  8. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,531
    Random question I've been meaning to ask:

    Have you encountered window at all? I'm not sure if it is working as intended.
     
  9. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,531
    TO DO LIST 5/12/19:

    INPUT NEEDED
    @Prof. Garfield and @McMonkey, this is a big wall of text but there are a few parts up front on which I'd appreciate your advice please:

    Battle of the Atlantic: We originally went to a convoy box system where only certain actions in a certain area mattered because it was annoying to have to search for subs that may or may not be out there. There will now be significantly fewer naval units, so we can't really use the "count" mechanism any more for the box. The question I have is should we have the box at all at this point? Another option might be to draw 3-5 small boxes (9x9 square) that shows where the convoys emerge on the map so the Allies can keep track of where to expect reinforcements to arrive from, and to try and patrol the approaches from these areas with Sunderlands. Basically, do we still want to restrict the Battle of the Atlantic to one narrow channel or do we want to open up the cat & mouse game? If we open up the cat & mouse game, does removing most Allied naval units (because the freighters are now convoys which are powerful defensively) also remove the tedious nature of earlier games? This also might make U-Boat missions less suicidal given that a player could choose to concentrate on a route(s) of choice as opposed to needing to go to a specific one.

    Tech Rate: I'm not sure exactly what turn you received jet technology but you did mention them first on turn 71, so I'm guessing somewhere between 68-70 is when you got the tech). I received Mustangs by turn 62 of 175... Given that our game has slowed down so much, we might be saying, "gee 175 is a lot" but on the other hand the reason it has slowed down is the need for me to send 90+ aircraft to destroy a few flak, which isn't going to be the case in the future. With "Army Groups" being able to push aside flak in future versions, I think that the pace will be significantly better. So my question is, knowing this, should we increase the tech rate somewhat? I did a solo test earlier in development and did not min-max as well as a player could (I did a reasonable job of it) and found that projected tech tree completion was at turn 139 for the Germans and 110 for the Allies, but this didn't include ANY aircraft factories being built, either, so it's probably much faster. Then again, @McMonkey you mentioned that you didn't get to develop Vengeance Weapons? I'm curious if this was simply a choice or if you really feel as though you can't obtain them by the end of the scenario?

    Turns: On that note, I guess we should also talk about turns. They go hand in hand. I could just reduce the number of turns and in that case the tech rate might work. 175 might be a lot to play (we've been playing since January and haven't hit 80 yet, but again, we've slowed down *significantly* as of late, which I don't think would necessarily be the case in a future version). I'm thinking something between 125-150 might be better? I will say I forgot I had 175 turns until just now and was really feeling the crunch in our playtest.

    Navy: Right now I'm envisioning only Convoys, Aircraft Carriers, and U-Boats, but I'm wondering if it also makes sense to include "Naval Battle Group?" These would be expensive and rare, would be used to bombard the shore, and if the Germans could slip one out into the Atlantic they could cause all kinds of problems. Thoughts?

    GENERAL
    -Revisit bomb dropping sound as it takes too long
    -Ensure that no German cities start the game with a food deficit
    -Remove all ships from the game map
    -Remove all ground units (except flak) from the game map
    -Replace ground units with army groups for Germans and Allies and place on map
    -Add the torpedo unit
    -Update readme with all changes
    -Update civilopedia with all changes
    -Increase the defensive bonus from cloud cover or potentially reduce the attack rating of a munition to 1 if it is activated on cloud cover. Frankly, increasing the defensive bonus is probably the far easier way to get to the same exact situation.
    -Delete neutral territory unit from map since I can't get barbarians to keep it, anyway. We'll just need a house rule to avoid flying over Ireland, Sweden, etc.
    -Remove invisible until attack flag from all night bombers - replace with submarine flag.
    -Add munition unit for Army Groups
    -Create "depleted Army Group" unit - spawns when regular Army Group destroyed
    -Revisit window. Confirm it isn't automatically deleted by events, even if this means that the player is going to see a message when it runs out of allotted time. Consider letting it stay up for an extra turn?
    -Either add in map text showing the dams (perhaps electric facilities given there's no river anywhere near them) or get rid of Dambusters raid. It is unfair for German player.
    -If Ruhr dams event is kept, then add additional information for the German player in the events so they know what to do - the Construction Crew event confused our playtester.
    -If Ruhr dams event is kept, update event using explanation from post #178 in playtest thread so German player knows exactly what to expect.
    -Add listing in readme for Fw190A8 as having rockets as secondary weapon.
    -Review unit costs in the readme as they aren't all accurate apparently.
    -Add to the historic target appendix the time length the target will be there/how long it must be defended for.
    -Consider adding a "hints" section where it is mentioned that Amiens Prison can only be defended if a player chooses to ring it with flak or other units every turn since it is a 1-turn event well within striking range of England and therefore nearly a guaranteed loss for the German player otherwise.
    -Go through all cities and ensure that happiness still works now that there aren't going to necessarily be units in each city to restore public order
    -Ensure that no cities are building units they shouldn't be able to

    NEW OR REVISITED EVENTS
    -Need to reset the clouds to accomodate the numerous text changes I need to make to the map. I'm not sure how this is done.
    -Require a certain number of civilian population improvements before allowing the corresponding level of industry, refinery, aircraft factory to be built in the city
    -Implement event where strategic bombers cannot call up munitions on the low alt map.
    -Need to implement veterancy mechanic to allow units to acquire it offensively. Perhaps an event where if certain munitions (any gunfire for fighters, bombs for bombers) kills a nearby enemy aircraft, all nearby friendly aircraft have a 1/4 chance of becoming a veteran unit? If it was possible for it to just be the aircraft that loaded the munition, that would be even better.
    -Add in Prof. Garfield's idea for Allies having to press 'H' to load up bombers, and 'k' expending the munition. While it will make the form up a bit more time consuming I think it will be well worth it. I don't think we should do this for fighters as much of what differentiates the types is how many times they can press 'k' per turn.
    -Make Army Groups 'k' units that can fire munitions but expend all of their MP doing so.
    -Make submarines a 'k' unit with torpedos. Make sunderlands reactively attack them when they call up ammo.
    -Tweak the Battle of the Atlantic mechanism. See "Input needed".
    -Add in events where after a certain threshold of points, the Mediterranean receives reinforcements more regularly to keep this a viable threat/thorn.
    -Add Garrison Unit == Courthouse event. No terrain change, but building the courthouse creates the garrison and destroying the garrison deletes the courthouse. Garrison units need to be placed for each city on the map.
    -Tie the presence of garrison units to the ability of Germany to spawn additional freight trains now. There should be no bonus for the amount of German cities but keeping garrisons in occupied Europe will confer a bonus. Allies should naturally wish to attack the garrisons in occupied Europe first as they'll be, by far, the easiest to strike.
    -Make convoys and army groups "strategic targets" and thus ineligible for air cover.
    -Revisit radar in general. No more advanced radar unit, so let the old radar get better stats from the better tech level instead.
    -Reduce radar range slightly to compensate for bombers no longer being invisible until attack.
    -Revisit where the French trains spawn and consider randomizing these.
    -Convoys now to spawn 4 freight trains each instead of 1. They will also revert back to providing fuel bonus (I'd guess 1,000 to start though this may need to be tweaked) since they won't be providing any ground forces.
    -Create event where when an Army Group is destroyed, a Depleted Army Group unit is created in a nearby friendly city. If one can't be found, it is not spawned and there is a message advising that the unit has been annihilated.
    -Create event where sub flag is removed from all units for the active player to prevent issues with bombs stopping on aircraft.
    -Revisit friendly fire. If it's possible to make it so that flak will only fire if there aren't friendly fighters around (per post Over the Reich - McMonkey vs. JPetroski in the playtest thread, then that would be best. If we can't get that working, disable the concept completely. I like the idea of the flak just not working (reactively) if the fighters are there. I think that allows us to make it a "choose your poison" situation without inadvertantly shooting down your entire airforce.
    -Add brief text event, likely towards the beginning of the game, warning players to maintain a certain fuel level so that certain improvements aren't sold off.
    -Change the Russian Front event to require an additional 750 points beyond D-Day to trigger, rather than 250 (we agreed on 500 in the playtest but even that is pretty close behind. I really want to keep driving the use of strategic bombers).
    -At certain high point threshold (maybe 1,250 post-D-Day) create Battle Group in the south (coming from Italy).

    BUG FIXES
    -Fix D-Day event that discusses "The Allies have crossed the channel in force" because it is triggering at the start of every Axis turn and should only trigger once.
    -Allow 3.7cm flak and Bofors 40mm to travel back and forth to the night map via the railyards.
    -Operation Gomorrah event has grammar mistakes "essentially destroys." Destroys what?
    -One of the Mosquitos is throwing up an error for defensive fire (could have sworn I remember McMonkey reporting this but I can't seem to find it).
    -P-47D40 needs to be able to native transport to the high alt map as well. I tried implementing this earlier via lua and couldn't get it to work and am not sure why as it worked for others.

    BALANCE
    -Rework points system and introduce mechanism where Germany can also reach a threshold for landing barges so that it will be possible for the German player to take the offensive and win.
    -Add objective count for English cities. Now, Allies start at marginal defeat. Decisive defeat would be losing England. Stalemate would be recapturing France and the Low Countries. Victory would be pushing into Germany somewhat and decisive victory would be pushing in substantially.
    -Consider reworking when the historic targets take place. We may need to boost them a bit so they happen sooner. Schweinfurt in particular appeared to occur far later in the game.
    -Consider if the tech rate needs to be rebalanced. Jets appeared rather early in our playtest.
    -Given Allied navy severly curtailed to point where they really can't build many ships, consider increasing cost of U-Boats.
     
  10. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,531
    Oh and @Prof. Garfield - I believe as step one to "reset" the clouds I need to once again remove all clouds from all maps, correct? If so, I can get right on that.
     
  11. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Chieftain Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,179
    Location:
    Ontario
    I'll give the main post a more thorough reading later, but don't bother removing the clouds manually. I'll write a script to remove all the clouds and replace them with the terrain they are supposed to have (in fact, I think I do that already in the cloud mechanism implementation, so I just need to find that functionality and cut and paste it).
     
  12. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Chieftain Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,179
    Location:
    Ontario
    I think we can do away with the convoy box, and have convoy units generated like they were originally. As long as there are very few units to use, a little cat and mouse shouldn't be a huge problem, especially when the convoys can defend themselves. Perhaps we can have an event that tells the Allies how many submarines are at sea? "Based on radio transmissions and reports from the French Resistance, intelligence estimates that X German submarines are on patrol in the Atlantic." That way, if the Germans give up on submarines, the Allied player doesn't have to search the Atlantic for them.

    Since this is an Air Power scenario, the Battle of the Atlantic should matter if the Germans are putting enough resources into it that it makes sense to divert resources from the air campaign to address it. If only limited resources are being put into the campaign, then it is something for the Navy to worry about, not the Air Force.

    Even at 2 turns per day, 175 turns is 3 months, so I'm not sure it is advisable to try to stretch out the time to research the tech tree to ~150 turns or anything like that. Maybe with certain highly desirable technologies, if you try to research them "too soon" there will be a chance that the research won't produce the hoped for results (the tech is taken away) and that you'll have to try researching the technology again.

    I would suggest fixing the game length, and then tweaking point thresholds and the research rate around that, at this point. Maybe you should consider 90 turns? That seems fairly close to the way the game is working now, and would force the Allied player to try to make things happen quickly. I suspect people are more likely to play in a timely manner if they "almost done" than if they are "in the middle of a long game."

    Alternatively, let the players decide. It looks like the Allies win given enough time, so when organizing the game, each player offers the turn that they'll win if they are the Allies, and the person who offers the sooner turn gets to play Allies, and try to win before the limit.

    If there are going to be aircraft carriers, then there should be something to protect them, so you will need some sort of battle group. Perhaps the Germans have one, and the Allies have 3, and they're the only transport unit. So the Allies need to have at least one to move Armies to the European mainland, and should, therefore, be wary of sailing too close to German air power.

    Yes, increasing the defensive bonus is probably best. Would the clouds change your plans anyway, or would you just loiter over the target for a turn waiting for them to pass?

    I'll have to see if lua can be used to "revive" a civ. Or, you could use the Advanced Unit Field to prevent barbarian units from expiring.

    I'm inclined to think there should be a way to bring the army back to full strength (but without vet status), otherwise any defeat is a significant blow, with relatively few army units in place. This detail should perhaps wait until we've decided how many army units to place. If there are, say, 6 per side, then they need to be brought back to strength, or it will be hard to come back from any defeat. If there are 30, then depleting them permanently is more reasonable (depending on the depleted stats).

    Instead of the generic special target, we could use a specific "dam" unit to denote the event. But, maybe, we just want to eliminate the event. If the German player just put some night flak on each dam, then defeating it would be almost impossible and yield the huge payoff to the Germans.

    It is fairly easy to keep the last unit that loaded a munition in memory, and to give it a veterancy chance, but that could be subject to abuse (generate bombs near target, generate bombs at home with unit desiring vet status so that unit is the most recent generator, attack with all bombs, unit at home gets vet status). Giving aircraft nearby the vet chance wouldn't be too hard. Keeping track of the individual aircraft that loaded a munition is a bit of a hassle, especially to have it survive save/load, but I suppose it could be done.

    What is wrong with the current system anyway? Are non veteran units too weak, but increasing defences makes vets too strong?

    I'll make a table that determines which units have payloads and which do not. I can make it so that fighter bombers have a bomb payload restriction, but not a guns restriction.

    An alternative is to fly units to Italy and disband them in order to produce the Italian bomber.

    With the sub flag, they should still be invisible until discovered, so I don't see why the radar would have to change.

    Did you want this, and the fuel bonus, to depend on the health of the convoy? What if the convoy heals itself before docking? I think it might be possible to write an event to prevent healing, by changing a unit attribute, but I don't know for sure.

    This isn't too difficult, but we'll need a list of appropriate aircraft. Maybe we should check if this actually is an issue first.

    We should be able to tell flak not to attack under certain circumstances (I "left space" for that functionality). On the other hand, maybe "splash damage" isn't worth the trouble, and we should eliminate it entirely. The bombers could make their attack run, fly through the flak, and then face fighters as they leave the range of the flak.

    I'm not sure that's really a good idea. If the Germans can quickly put together an invasion after reaching the threshold, then that is not much different from announcing a German victory (and not very realistic at that point). If it takes a while to build up the invasion, then the game could drag on for a while after it is clear that Germany has probably won.

    Yes. U-Boats were meant to be cheap so that they were advantageous in attrition against destroyers/freighters. A 100s U-boat for a destroyer or a train was a good trade.
     
  13. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,531
    I think that would be fine so long as the Germans get a similar message - maybe the Allies get a broadcast talking about the approximate strength of U-Boats in the Atlantic (we should be able to do a fairly easy coordinate box for that running from the Bay of Biscay west). I think if we're tipping off the Allies, it's only fair to tip off the Germans as well. Perhaps they get the same broadcast warning of how many convoys are also in the Atlantic (so they can decide if they want/need to start investing in the battle more). I don't think either is all that unrealistic either--chalk it up to Allied code breaking and German spies keeping an eye on departing ships. This way no one needs to spend a ton of time doing stuff that doesn't matter.

    I think the solution above would also work fine for this. Maybe instead of going to the trouble of trying to resurrect a dead civ, or use the advanced unit field (which I tried--for some reason it doesn't work), we simply have a message to the player if the enemy has aircraft in Switzerland, Sweden, or Ireland. "The Swiss government publicly decries the Allied invasion of their sovereign airspace. 36 aircraft are currently overhead." The only real "advantage" to flying there is to try and get past defenses undetected as these are generally blank areas of the map. Why not just eliminate that advantage and call it a day? We could also probably implement a (pretty good but not certain) chance that an aircraft will be shot down if it ends its turn in that box (probably by onActivate on the next turn) which would dissuade people from flying there. You've already implemented a "no base build zone" in Sweden and if we add these to "Irish" and "Swiss" boxes, I think this issue is effectively solved. You can fly in but you might lose units and your opponent will know exactly how many are there so they can react.

    I think it's probably closer to 90 than 175. I'm interested to hear from @McMonkey how many techs he has left to research now given that a determined human hand has been at it, and he's built a number of aircraft factories (which I ignored in my testing). I also think some of the other solutions (like giving fuel back to the freighter drop off which we previously removed) will increase the number of aircraft and eliminate some dead time. Probably 90-110 turn range makes sense.

    It would certainly make things interesting if they were the only way to invade and you only got one. One thing that I'm a little torn about is how to approach D-Day. I still remember the feeling I had in my stomach when I read that you had landed. I think that's missing a bit when you know that the Allies have enough points to land. All of the surprise is gone. Even so, the points system is important to keep people focused on the air war. There has to be a real reason to keep accumulating them. Perhaps they are the only way that the Allies (or Germans) can build up battle groups? Maybe they each start with a few, but the Germans start with many more. If the Allies don't take out enough air targets they won't have enough battle groups to 1. capture enough cities quickly enough to win; and 2. overcome the Germans. The ideal breakthrough being accumulate enough points and the Russians burst through (as they'll have many, many battle groups just waiting).

    I increased it from 3x bonus to 6x bonus. To loiter would depend on how well defended the airspace is, I guess.

    I've made the battered battle group cost the same as the full strength one in shields, so disbanding two of them will merge the survivors into one full strength battle group.

    I'll check and see if there is another building that would make sense to have a strategic "electric power" unit that perhaps only bomber command can hit to destroy. Either that or perhaps I rework a WoW that is particularly helpful and call it the "electric system" and have there be numerous electric targets, once you drop below a certain threshold you lose the wonder. Then it doesn't matter what improvement is used (it could be a worthless one).

    I'm OK with all units nearby (let's make it very short - like 1 space) having a random chance to become veterans from the battle. The current system bugs me because this is a scenario about air combat yet there aren't any reliable ways for the Allies to make ace squadrons or units. This makes every unit expendable from their perspective and I'd like to let there be a reason to change this. On that note, how possible is it for units to check vet status when calling up ammo and getting one unit for non-vets and another for vets? Perhaps vet status gives a different munition with a +1 or +2 to attack? Then there'd be a very good reason to keep them alive.

    It was a suggestion by McMonkey. It doesn't necessarily have to change (I do need to remove the second radar because there's no real point with lua making the first better).

    No, I don't think that's necessary. Knocking a convoy down in strength is a good result because it means the convoy's arrival will be delayed. Every time convoys got delayed (at least early in my game) it threw my plans into a lurch.

    OK, let's wait.

    Splash damage against friendly aircraft can go. I found it to be one of the biggest assets of the Luftwaffe against me however so I'd keep it against enemies. It reliably destroys a few aircraft per attack if there is enough of it.

    With your idea of having the battle groups be the only transports (and presumably unbuildable though perhaps points gets you a few extra of these too) I don't think the Germans will be able to quickly put together anything. Obtaining the kind of air superiority necessary to move their battle group into position to invade would take work but could be fun. Sea Lion 1944 anyone? I think perhaps the tweak needed to points is simply to stop having the German ones get removed when the Allies earn some, and then figuring out what bonuses the Germans should get for help if they do particularly well (new battle groups, perhaps large shipment of freight trains in the east where they don't show up normally, maybe a fuel bonus, etc). We can balance it by having them earn points slower.

    It'll be interesting to see how it works out. Maybe a U-Boat should now be a Wolf Pack and represent several boats and also cost the same. I think an ideal BoA would consist of no more than 3-5 convoys spawned per turn (or maybe every other turn, or even every three turns?) which would make them scarce. U-Boats shouldn't flood the seas under such a situation. Wounding them would make them slower which would allow convoys to slip past, so there's no need to have them be "that" replaceable."
     
  14. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Chieftain Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,179
    Location:
    Ontario
    Can you please post your current OTR folder so I have the active rules/working save/etc.

    I could make the vetMunition unit characteristic simply produce veteran munitions, if you prefer, rather than different munition types.

    Changelog

    console.clearAllClouds() will remove all clouds from the map if typed into the console. The "storm fronts" will still remain, so the weather will pick up again in roughly the same place the next time the clouds are updated.

    console.updateAllWeather() will "increment" the cloud system (remember that in the console you can use the arrow keys to easily find previous commands). If done from an "empty" test map, it may take a few increments for clouds to show up from the west ("storms" are "generated" off of the map usually)


    Entries in the table artilleryUnitTypes now have the following optional entries
    payload=boolean (absent means payload=nil and is treated like false)
    If payload=true is set, then the unit can only conduct its primary attack if it has a home city, and conducting the primary attack will set the home city to NONE
    vetMunition=unitType (absent means vetMunition=nil)
    If vetMunition is set, then if the generating unit is veteran, it will generate the unit type specified by vetMunition instead of munitionCreated. If vetMunition is nil, munitionCreated will be used regardless of the veteran status of the generating unit.


    Entries in the table secondaryAttackUnitTypes now have the following optional entries
    payload=boolean (absent means payload=nil and is treated like false)
    If payload=true is set, then the unit can only conduct its secondary attack if it has a home city, and conducting the secondary attack will set the home city to NONE
    vetMunition=unitType (absent means vetMunition=nil)
    If vetMunition is set, then if the generating unit is veteran, it will generate the unit type specified by vetMunition instead of munitionCreated. If vetMunition is nil, munitionCreated will be used regardless of the veteran status of the generating unit.

    Changes to Tables for testing purposes:
    Hurricane IV produces unitAliases.ThirtyMM insteaed of TwentyMM if veteran for primary attack
    B17F now has a payload restriction for its primary attack

    Hurricane IV has a payload restriction for its secondary attack
    Hurricane IV produces unitAliases.FiveHundredlb for its secondary attack if veteran
     

    Attached Files:

  15. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,531
    Here are the update files (less the sounds and improvement graphics which I doubt you care about for these purposes). The new workon save is, well, Newworkon.sav.

    I just did a quick test and note that the changes you've implemented seem to work very well so far!

    I like this idea much more. It gives a very, very good reason to hold onto your veteran units and protect them by not needlessly endangering them. This is a great idea to basically get the same game bonus with our new ranged attack units. Also, it will save munition types (the less I have to change is probably the better. We've done some pretty extensive bug testing so far so not reinventing the wheel is also not introducing new ways to fail).

    Do you need the save/files to remain the same now or can I start plugging away at removing some features of the maps? Much of the text is now going to be obsolete.

    I'm going to assume that you have the events until you say otherwise as you're making the veteran change. I'm also curious if it's possible to only do the home for one attack vs. the other. For example, I think fighters need to be able to attack multiple times (it's a quality of life issue for one, and also a major difference/consideration between interceptors and escorts is how many times they can attack), but there are some aircraft that are fighter bombers (or even carry rockets) and we might want to limit those to a home city.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,531
    Looking at this again, we could also just keep things simple and instead of using Schutzen + Panzers + Artillery as the equation, only using Battle Groups in France past the grey line and keep the calculation/process exactly the same. Right now I have the Battle Groups at 50a/50d/20hp/2fp so they're much more powerful than usual targets and will likely take a pounding, especially after becoming veteran/adept at dodging bombs after a few attacks, so I think we could get away with using the same mechanism without dooming them to early destruction. It also might make strategies where the Allies land in Holland or even further east viable if they figure all the German battle groups are west of there. I definitely would prefer to keep things simple where possible because, again, less to go wrong/test. Adding in new improvements isn't exactly hard but it is laborious and ripe for mistakes and I think I need to remind myself sometimes to "tweak, not tear out."
     
  17. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Chieftain Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,179
    Location:
    Ontario
    Thanks, you are right that for my purposes sound and graphics aren't very important.

    You can make map changes. Map changes only affect events with respect to locations. Let me know if you change any coastline, since that will mean I have to alter the clouds event.

    The payload characteristic of the primary and secondary attacks are independent. The Hurricane IV (one of my test units) can still make fighter attacks even if its home city is NONE, and the fighter attack doesn't turn the unit to NONE. Note, however, that if both the primary and secondary attack are "payload" attacks, they'll only be able to make one attack, not one of each.

    What do you want the default to be? Should munitions from vet units always be veteran unless specified otherwise, or should munitions be non-vet even for veteran generators unless specified otherwise? I can also set it up so that a veteran generator will either produce a veteran munition or a different munition, depending on the entry in the table. This will allow some flexibility in case a 50% attack bonus is too much.

    Counting up the Battle Groups for the occupation bonus seems fine. We can do some interesting things with the count as well, if we like. E.g. only count units at full health, only count one per square, etc.
     
  18. JPetroski

    JPetroski Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,531
    OK. I shouldn't be making any coastline changes except that there might be text that was on a coast that won't be there any more. Text is the only thing that will change about the map, period. Hopefully that won't be an issue but I guess we'll find out.

    OK I missed that. Great to see the functionality is already there.

    I think we keep it simple that vet units get vet munitions and regular units get regular munitions but I do like the idea of "dormant" capability to swap out to a different munition if this proves too much. I don't know that it will (though I guess no one does until we test) because I think the payload change is going to impact how many bombers you need to get to target and so bringing veteran crews over (and having them survive) becomes very, very important. I think the veteran munition will be a nice way to compensate for this. The only trick is we do definitely need to implement a chance for a unit to become a veteran offensively by firing a munition/having that munition successfully destroy a target.

    I think it would definitely be a good idea to only count one unit per square. Otherwise we're going to be right back to 45-minute turns and the need for an armada of A-26s. I don't think we need to worry about health because there is a battle group and depleted battle group - the healthy one can be worth twice as many points and just leave it at that.
     
  19. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Chieftain Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,179
    Location:
    Ontario
    This post will be my checklist for the OTR events tasks to complete. If it's not on this list, assume I've forgotten about it and remind me.

    Legend

    Green -- Completed Event
    Orange -- Event Completed, but associated table awaiting update. Probably a JPetroski task.
    Blue -- Event under construction or awaiting modification
    Black -- Event can be updated/implemented at any time, but not started yet.
    Red -- Event can't be done until mechanism decision is made
    Yellow -- Discussion suggests the event is no longer necessary/will be significantly changed

    NEW OR REVISITED EVENTS
    -Need to reset the clouds to accomodate the numerous text changes I need to make to the map. I'm not sure how this is done.
    -Require a certain number of civilian population improvements before allowing the corresponding level of industry, refinery, aircraft factory to be built in the city
    -Implement event where strategic bombers cannot call up munitions on the low alt map.
    -Need to implement veterancy mechanic to allow units to acquire it offensively. Perhaps an event where if certain munitions (any gunfire for fighters, bombs for bombers) kills a nearby enemy aircraft, all nearby friendly aircraft have a 1/4 chance of becoming a veteran unit? If it was possible for it to just be the aircraft that loaded the munition, that would be even better.
    -Add in Prof. Garfield's idea for Allies having to press 'H' to load up bombers, and 'k' expending the munition. While it will make the form up a bit more time consuming I think it will be well worth it. I don't think we should do this for fighters as much of what differentiates the types is how many times they can press 'k' per turn.

    -Make Army Groups 'k' units that can fire munitions but expend all of their MP doing so.
    -Make submarines a 'k' unit with torpedos. Make sunderlands reactively attack them when they call up ammo.

    -Tweak the Battle of the Atlantic mechanism. See "Input needed".
    -Add in events where after a certain threshold of points, the Mediterranean receives reinforcements more regularly to keep this a viable threat/thorn.

    -Add Garrison Unit == Courthouse event. No terrain change, but building the courthouse creates the garrison and destroying the garrison deletes the courthouse. Garrison units need to be placed for each city on the map.
    -Tie the presence of garrison units to the ability of Germany to spawn additional freight trains now. There should be no bonus for the amount of German cities but keeping garrisons in occupied Europe will confer a bonus. Allies should naturally wish to attack the garrisons in occupied Europe first as they'll be, by far, the easiest to strike.

    -Make convoys and army groups "strategic targets" and thus ineligible for air cover.
    -Revisit radar in general. No more advanced radar unit, so let the old radar get better stats from the better tech level instead. I think this something changed entirely in tables

    -Reduce radar range slightly to compensate for bombers no longer being invisible until attack.
    -Revisit where the French trains spawn and consider randomizing these.
    -Convoys now to spawn 4 freight trains each instead of 1. They will also revert back to providing fuel bonus (I'd guess 1,000 to start though this may need to be tweaked) since they won't be providing any ground forces.
    -Create event where when an Army Group is destroyed, a Depleted Army Group unit is created in a nearby friendly city. If one can't be found, it is not spawned and there is a message advising that the unit has been annihilated.

    -Create event where sub flag is removed from all units for the active player to prevent issues with bombs stopping on aircraft.
    -Revisit friendly fire. If it's possible to make it so that flak will only fire if there aren't friendly fighters around (per post Over the Reich - McMonkey vs. JPetroski in the playtest thread, then that would be best. If we can't get that working, disable the concept completely. I like the idea of the flak just not working (reactively) if the fighters are there. I think that allows us to make it a "choose your poison" situation without inadvertantly shooting down your entire airforce.
    -Add brief text event, likely towards the beginning of the game, warning players to maintain a certain fuel level so that certain improvements aren't sold off. Maybe we want a warning if ammo is called up below a certain threshold?
    -Change the Russian Front event to require an additional 750 points beyond D-Day to trigger, rather than 250 (we agreed on 500 in the playtest but even that is pretty close behind. I really want to keep driving the use of strategic bombers).
    -At certain high point threshold (maybe 1,250 post-D-Day) create Battle Group in the south (coming from Italy).
    -Veteran units generate veteran munitions.
    -If a unit is killed or wounded by a 250, 500 or 1000lb bomb on the night map, it needs to be replaced at full health and vet status preserved if it was a vet (to prevent bombers from unrealistically bombing airfields at night).
    -Remove point deduction from Germans when Allies score points. Now that either side theoretically "can" invade from turn 1, no need for it. The Germans only have 1 Task Force and the Allies only have 1 Army Group. Both of these facts should make it very unlikely that a naval invasion starts soon.

    -Take a look at the additional Army Group and Task Force events (search for: if tribe == tribeAliases.Allies and counterValue("AlliedScore") >= specialNumbers.newAlliedArmyGroup1 then). Right now this is a little sloppy because the other side could have captured the cities yet the text. I've tried to use logic where Allied reinforcements start in SW England and then continue to the North as cities are captured (I assume that when you don't use randomize, it works just like core Civ2 macro.txt where the game searches for the first "available" coordinate, so if the first three are occupied by enemies, the reinforcements would show up on the 4th that is safe). We might need a state where the Allies only get reinforcements if one of Plymouth, Bristol, Liverpool, and Glasgow remain Allied - capturing all 4 prevent reinforcement. Likewise, the Germans get them if one of Wilhelmshaven, Bremen, Kiel, or Rostock remain German - capturing all 4 prevents reinforcement). I wasn't really confident in my ability to add this. If you can add this, I'll need to change the map text to warn people that these ports are especially important to defend. Perhaps change the German land reinforcements.
    -Quick fix that I could have done but forgot - since we have far fewer freighter/convoy now can you please double the amount of points the Allies get if they bring one home? Thanks.
    -Implement reaction for Gun Batteries against amphibious Battle Groups.

    -Spend movement when Battle Group is activated at sea.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  20. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Chieftain Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,179
    Location:
    Ontario
    I doubt that air power is going to be used to completely defeat army groups, except in rare circumstances. I was thinking that if damaging an army group prevented it from counting towards the occupation bonus, there would be some value to making raids against them.

    On the topic of Army Groups, I don't think they should be buildable, at least in unlimited quantities. At the current price of 1270 shields, they will always be more cost effective than any aircraft, and the game will devolve into army group vs army group, rather than an air war game with some interaction with the ground war. We're trying to model the air war, not the overall war.
     

Share This Page