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Over the Reich - Creation Thread

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

  1. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    I just changed the events in the previous post, to include an edit forbidding the production of red army groups.
     
  2. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    Sounds good. You might want to wait for the initial sounds to end if you intend to talk through turn 1 as in a test I found I couldn't hear anything over it.
     
  3. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    I figured I'd continue the discussion here as you suggested so it isn't lost.

    Frankly I think the reason I'm in the mess I'm in around turn 54 is mainly because you've played very well so I don't want to take anything away from you. The historic missions did stack at inopportune times (you managed to take out Schweinfurt, Peenemunde, and all three Mohne Dams around the same time as you had enough fighters to start chipping away at me), which was somewhat random I suppose, but all in all, well played.

    This scenario is meant for the Germans to eventually become desperate and to try to cling on which I think is OK as long as people know that going in. They start with a victory and how long can they last? It is enjoyable - I'm not bored or disenchanted by any stretch. A few obvious questions though:

    -Are we really at the "hang on" point in the mid 50's and if so, what does that mean about a 125 turn game? You've long suggested 100 might be better, and you might be onto something there but we'll see.
    -The bigger question, I suppose, is how your invasion goes and how fast it can progress with the few units that you get to prosecute it with.

    I think we'll learn a lot about both as we go forward. I'm curious about when my "end game" units will show up. I have a pretty good idea right now. We'll see if they are enough.

    Some changes I am mulling about:

    Critical Industries (As discussed - to replace historic missions). I am now thinking automatic respawn might be better so the Germans always have these out there rather than choosing to abandon them.

    Messerschmidt Flugzeugwerke at Regensburg: I like your idea about doubling production of 109s. I would point out that I've built all of a handful in the scenario and it was the most mass produced aircraft of the entire war. I haven't built them because they carry weaker ammo that struggles against B-17s, and they typically only get to fire once after you account for MP spent traveling to target (if it's a really short journey they can fire up to twice). They really aren't worth building in large numbers currently, but I wonder if I got 2 of them every time I built 1, if that would change. I'm trying to think this through in case we did this (every airfield builds 2) and someone built nothing but 109s because of it. I don't think it would imbalance things, because it would mean that you might face twice as many aircraft, but they'd fire 50% to 66% less munitions and the munitions would be weaker. It would be harder for your own aircraft to shoot them down as they have stronger defenses, but your bombers would tear them up defensively I would think. I don't think it would be imbalancing, might get the aircraft built, and would give the German player "some" option when they start getting slammed (which is pretty much why the 1930s design stayed in production throughout the war anyway - it was easier to manufacture). Also, the Allied player can shut it off by hitting Regensburg now and then, so it's not like they're helpless.

    If we do this, I would *not* have a 190 plant that does the same thing as those I feel would definitely be imbalanced.

    This could potentially respawn 10(?) turns later (you'd probably need a way to keep track of this as the Germans).

    Blohm & Voss U-Boot Werke: Same theory but for U-Boats. Maybe you get 2 every time you build one if this is alive. Heck, maybe even 3. This plant is in Hamburg so it's a fairly easy target (I'd say anything along the north German coast is fairly strikeable early). Perhaps it keeps the Battle of the Atlantic competitive a bit longer or at least gives a good reason to build U-Boats (I think I built none).

    This could potentially respawn 10(?) turns later (you'd probably need a way to keep track of this as the Germans).

    Peenemunde: We need to talk about this one more. Not sure how best to employ it, but what do you think of this? Possibly if it is active and Germans have "experimental design" tech, they have a small chance of earning a "prototype" unit each turn? I don't want them getting 262's on turn 3 but experimental design is a tech that is achievable in the high 30's to 50's depending on what you go for.

    Perhaps a respawn time of 10 turns?

    Politz Refinery: This is a very deep target in Poland but destroying it would remove Fuel Refinery III or II or I depending on how many the Germans have. This would probably need to respawn 2-3 turns later so it could keep up with potential tech regeneration by the Germans.

    Schweinfurt Ball Bearing Plants: Same thing as Politz, but this one takes Industry III, II, or I. Again, it needs to respawn 2-3 turns later so it can be repeatedly hit.

    Möhne Dams: The trains being diverted is actually a pain in the rear. Maybe 5 divert each time this thing is killed and it respawns every 5 turns or so?


    OTHER CHANGES
    -I'm thinking of upping the a2a rocket attack by 1 point given anything that fires it is stuck out there so it ought to be a guaranteed kill which it currently isn't late game.
    -I'm considering reworking "hispanos" into another term, giving the same munition to the Fw190A8 as a primary attack, and increasing the Fw190A8's cost to account for it. Right now it has the same cost as the A5 but is weaker defensively. It fires rockets as a secondary which leaves it terribly exposed. It had 4x 20mm cannon as its primary armament so having a more powerful attack would be warranted. The Ta152 would probably also get this attack (it had 1x 30mm and 2x 20mm cannons). It too would probably get an increased cost.

    (Just as an explanation, after some playtesting revealed how many more units the Allies would get than the Germans, and after considering how much of Germany's industry would be in rubble, I had left all 190 series at 45 shields, but if 2 are going to be significantly better I might still need to change this).
     
  4. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    We might just be at a point where you lose the ability to build up the Dortmund Cologne, Dusseldorf, Essen area. This is a shift, but it might just mean that you have to keep your interceptors out of range of my P38s. When I suggested 100 turns, I wasn't basing that on the game mechanics, but was rather suggesting that the game mechanics be altered to fit that, so the game is shorter.

    My next technology is Escort Fighters III, which gives the best P47. Those P47s drop 2x1000lb bombs, so I can use them for air support, and also as escorts when needed. I might decide that I want the best Jabo fighter, to do better against flak, but I don't know.

    I guess this means that I am about 4 techs from P51s, and so could have them out in about 10 turns. I suppose that would be the sign of the "hang on" point.

    I think that aircraft technology wise, 1st gen P38s, P47s and B17s could achieve the level of air superiority that I have at the moment, though I might need a few more aircraft. So, if Allied research were slowed by a third, then Mustangs would be out around turn 90, while not impacting combat too much as it has occurred thus far.

    I'll trust your analysis on this one. We can always tweak the shield cost of the 109s, or make the extra unit appear, say, 80% of the time instead of all the time.

    I'm not so sure about this one. If U-boats are built by train, then trading one U-boat per convoy is to the German advantage (Wolfpacks cost 600s at the moment, right?), since it denies the Allies 4 trains and the fuel. Since Wolf packs can survive death about 2/3 of the time, it seems to me that a critical mass of submarines could give the Allies some very serious trouble in the Atlantic.

    How about this: If Blohm & Voss U-Boot Werke is active, and the Germans have less than 3 wolf packs, wolf packs are created in the Atlantic until there are 3. This would keep a German presence in the Atlantic, but if the Germans really want to focus their efforts, then aircraft production will suffer. I don't think a couple wolf packs would create too much extra micromanagement for the Allies. Since convoys tend to survive a single attack and Sunderlands have a lot of movement, the allied player can simply keep a few sunderlands either in the Atlantic or in westerly airbases, and react to the attacks, rather than going on active search and destroy (if there is a lot of danger, then they will have to take a more proactive role, but then the battle is important anyway).

    Maybe Peenemunde 'researches' each of the techs from pulse jet engines to Vergeltungswaffen 2 for free, say 10 turns per tech, once available. This would mean that the Germans can research other stuff, but still get V1s and V2s, unless the Allies target the facility. If the facility is targeted, the Germans can still do the research elsewhere if they want (or wait for the re-spawn), but then they have to give up other research.

    These seem good.

    At the moment, I've kept the two 'jailbreak' special missions in the scenario (technically, all but Berlin are still in the game). They do seem like missions for which it is reasonable to be random, and also the stakes do not seem so high as to imbalance things. Should we keep them in the updated version, or scrap them?

    The trouble with guaranteed kills is that stack kills are also enabled. Unstacked formations will get quite large, and I've already had some trouble flying large formations when running into something like a railyard target.

    To me, the medium guns already seem very powerful, perhaps a little too powerful. Maybe this is because you've been using low defence aircraft.
     
  5. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    Yes, I think that is mainly it. I contested longer than I should have, basically.

    Actually they drop 500lb bombs - so I take it I have a documentation error somewhere? I changed it to 500 so there is a reason for the Typhoon/Tempest to make a show. The 500lb is still a pretty strong bomb but you'll definitely (I believe) want some dedicated jabo before embarking for Overlord.

    Yes, the Mustangs will be a problem for sure. Your bombers will be able to hit anything they want at that point, escorted.

    When we're done with the playtest I'm going to take a look at how you built everything up. I'll share the excel sheet with the results from both of us. We might consider tweaking build times at that point, or conclude that everything is well.

    I could certainly be wrong but I have no reason to build them currently - getting 2 for 1 would be a reason. If you built the event scalable like you suggested with 80%, it could be a tweak if it is overpowering.

    I think that would work. We could always tweak the exact numbers but 3 sounds about right to start.

    I think that would be a good idea because I seriously doubt that anyone will ever build these units if we don't do this. I am curious how much they'd disrupt you (if any) if they were in the game.

    They are just more train ones, correct? Yes, I'd say we should keep them.

    It might be OK as it is but I've noticed a lot of "duds" lately and the problem with using them from my perspective is that it is a sacrificed unit - I can only move it 1 MP (regardless if a bomber destroyer or 190A8).

    My medium guns have a very hard time beating your P-47s, and veteran B-17s. I've occassionally managed to shoot down B-17s and B-24s in one shot if the fighter is an ace and the bomber is (presumably) not. I think they're balanced from the Luftwaffe side but am unsure about from the Allied side. How do your P-47s (who fire the light guns, as will the P-51s) generally do against fighters? Again, I don't have many 109s up there.
     
  6. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    The Pedia description for the last P47 is in error.

    Yes, the trains and railyard events.

    Hard to tell. If we implement the firestorm mechanic, then the V1 and V2 could conceivably be used to try to achieve that. I could try setting the disorder flag if an Allied city has a urban center destroyed, since under fundamentalism, the happiness effect of the structures will be irrelevant. It is a way for the Germans to accumulate points, but the Germans already significantly outnumber the Allies in ground forces, so I don't know how useful that would be.

    Maybe that is because there are veteran bombers now? It's more important to have effective combat than convenient movement, so make the change if you think it is necessary. However, the other tactical options are to attack bombers outside of fighter cover, or to have fighters ready to counterattack the counterattacking fighters. Rockets are payload attacks, correct? We could simply reduce the movement cost of that kind of attack, so the unit has a chance to move at least a few squares away.

    I seldom use the P-47s in combat. Partly this is because the combat takes place beyond their operating radius, and partly because they have light guns, when I have a medium gun option in the P-38. The P-47 is basically a 'guard' unit for my bombers, and you rarely put an air unit in position to be attacked by them. I do remember from our first playtest that light guns tended to take a few hits to make a kill, while medium guns were better.

    I suppose the strong medium guns make the P-38 an effective counterattacker, otherwise the P-38 would have basically no role. Since it is not strong defensively, it runs a significant risk of being killed on the next turn, so the P-38 is worthwhile because if it makes the kill, the attrition favours the Allies, even if it dies next turn.
     
  7. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    Sorry about that - I'll fix it.

    I suppose the firestorm mechanism would be something worth going for. It would give me a reason to use bombers for something other than scouts, certainly. Also, the extra forces would be most welcome! If I had a crystal ball, I wouldn't need them, but not knowing precisely where you'll invade means I need to spread out.

    That's probably part of it, yes. Here's what I was thinking about doing:

    -The Me110 and Me410 currently have two advantages:

    1. They don't draw reactive fire from bombers;
    2. Their rocket attacks are NOT payload attacks, so they can fire this powerful munition repeatedly.

    They currently have two pretty serious disadvantages:

    1. They are criminally slow;
    2. They are basically defenseless against both fighter reactive attacks and fighter primary attacks.

    The 410 doesn't really improve much over the 110. It adds a few MP. I would propose that the 410 fire 2x rockets going forward for each key press (so a true "barrage"). It would still only get to attack once, and would still have all the same disadvantages, but having 2x rockets would be a reason to actually research it and use it (I haven't). In the best case, it could mean you destroy 2 bombers (or stacks), but even if that doesn't work out, the 2 rockets would probably at least be enough to guarantee you kill 1.

    As to the 190 series:

    The A5 is terrible at high altitude vs. fighters (it does a poor job of reacting to them);
    The A8 currently fires a rocket as a payload attack;
    The D9 is very good at high altitude and faster than the A5.
    The Ta152 is my best propeller fighter and combines the good defenses of a 109 with the good offense of a 190.

    The A8, in my mind, isn't differentiated enough right now. It was specifically designed to act as a bomber destroyer. It was better armored, and much more heavily armed than the A5 or D9. This made it a pig vs. fighters, which it is in this game, but it should do better against bombers. I'm thinking maybe we tweak it with your idea of giving them MP for the rocket attack. Perhaps the big deal is the rocket attack doesn't take any MP at all, since it is payload. This shouldn't be too unbalancing but would allow a chance of destroying a bomber right off the bat.

    I'm also considering adding a new .ds for the bombers specifically for the A8 that is much less effective, but can still hurt them. Allied fighters would still chew it up.

    If both of these changes are done, I would increase the cost of the A8 by at least 10-15 shield rows--I'd aim for 2.5 trains to be necessary for one to be built. I'd like to test it out in our test but I don't want to mess with events to that scale without checking if you're doing something with them.


    It sounds like these are working precisely as intended and each has a good use.

    What about your Spitfires? It seems that the heavier gun package wasn't enough to give them a reason to be used (why bother when the P-38 guns work just fine vs. 190s and they have better range, right?)

    Proposed Solution: Remove the hispanos from Spits and give them the same package as the 38's BUT, now allow them to not draw reactive fire (I'd put them in the same tables as jets and Experten, so only jets and the fastest aircraft could intercept them). I will tell you, this is a big deal and makes my Experten so darned useful (to the point where I wish I had more). The Spitfire range is so limited that I doubt this would be an issue but if they had this ability, you'd probably want to have at least 5-6 squadrons because the idea would be "attack enemy fighters with the Spitfires first and knock a few down so they can't react against other fighters/bombers."

    You'd think that at the very least they'd be useful for the D-Day invasion or any time you could engage close by. Also, we'd save a spot by removing the hispano which seems to be overkill at this point. Doing this would give us 4-6 unit slots (I can't remember if we are still using the light and medium shells or if everything fires a barrage).
     
  8. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    That seems reasonable.

    You can make the changes. If you don't make them before you post your turn, just let me know that you are still working on the events, so I don't make changes.

    Yes, at this point I think that spitfires are mostly outclassed by P-38s and P-47s, depending on the desired role, and their range is too short to make them an effective 'compromise' aircraft that would try to take on both jobs at once.

    Preventing reactions against Spitfires might swing the pendulum in the other direction, or be such a threat that you just keep your planes more than 20 squares away from Allied airbases. Increasing the power of spitfires too much might just make it so that Germany has no chance to take the fight to England if she does well, since England could always switch to spitfire production for defence.

    I don't have any alternate suggestions at the moment.

    Maybe we just keep the hispanos and consider the spitfire the 'counter' to the 109, which might come out to play more if their cost is reduced 50% by Regensburg.
     
  9. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    I have an idea for how to differentiate spitfires (and maybe 109s as well).

    Let them stay deployed indefinitely by using backspace to clear movement so it doesn't use up the range counter. Basically, if the unit is within its operating radius, let it 'float' there indefinitely. That would mean that once put into position, the player just has to press backspace, and the units can stay there until they need to recover or something. Their 'special ability' would be that 100% of the assigned force can be used at once, instead of 50% or 66%. Part of this would simply be 'quality of life', so the player doesn't have to bother with figuring out the rotation.

    If 109s were given this, then a few could just 'loiter' indefinitely around likely targets, without the German player having to shuffle back and forth to nearby airbases.

    Maybe this would simply make the spitfire too defensive, like I worried about before, so I would like your thoughts.
     
  10. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    I don't know - one challenge both sides have is timing their attacks so there either is optimal escort cover or it had to depart - the Spits are definitely part of that so I don't know that I want them indefinitely in the air.
     
  11. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Do you want Air to Air rockets to be improved by discovering Tactics? This might address some of the issues with their effectiveness.

    I was looking at the strategic bombing code, and it might be easiest to use the strategic bombing mechanism to tie an improvement to the "critical industry" targets rather than building a custom solution, like I did for the historic missions. The application of the bonus could simply check if the appropriate city has the improvement. This would allow the German player to choose when to 'repair' the industry, perhaps waiting a couple turns if continued attacks seem to be forthcoming. We can use counters and modify the 'can build' function if we want to force a delay in construction. The only trouble is if we want to have some targets on the day map and some on the night map (the code expects all targets of a type to appear on the same map), but that can be worked around, I'm sure.

    I have a way to make the V1 and V2 a little more useful to the Germans. If an Urban Center is killed in England, make it so the Allies can't get additional points for 3 turns or until they kill a launch site. This would create a 'political' motivation to focus on the rockets, even if ignoring and re-building might be the player's preferred option.
     
  12. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    I like this idea a lot in that it also provides incentive for the Luftwaffe to invest in bombers - anything to stave off some point earnings. I think the turns is better than having to destroy a launch site (as they would be able to tell if a rocket attacked them, they'd know to look for the sites, and they'd want to attack them as that's the only defense against the V2. Bombers, they'd simply want to have fighters held back to defend against).

    If we just get over the desire to have the attack on various dams then we don't need to bother with messing about and this could be used exclusively for the high alt map. The actual historic location of the dams is nowhere near any of the "rivers" that are in the game so it looks awkward anyway.

    Yes, please.
     

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