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Over the Reich - Prof. Garfield vs. JPetroski

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario League' started by JPetroski, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    I can't remember the last time that I was able to knock out double digit forces for you. Maybe those long turns won't be as long forever.

    But if the airfield are the first ones that cycle (apparently anyway), wouldn't that mean that every single turn you'd have dozens of "can't support airfield" messages to go through?

    Another way to cut back on late-game Allied fuel costs might simply be to have some of your higher-powered aircraft cost more of it to launch attacks. Right now, your bombers take 20 fuel but maybe that needs to increase for later aircraft. Likewise all of your fighters cost 5, but maybe your Mustangs should cost more. You are tending to fly further later in the game so it wouldn't be "inaccurate" but I'm not sure how you feel that would be to juggle/balance. I agree you probably don't need $30,000 but maybe if you reached a point where your bombers were costing 40 (throwing a number out there) you wouldn't have an opportunity to increase it that much.

    With a 500 "minimum," the Germans could only make 10 attacks per jet and it's not like that means 10 kills. I have a pretty small sample size, but a new jet isn't a vet and it's usually taking a few shots to make a kill, so I don't think there'd be anything terribly unbalancing with the minimum though you may disagree.

    I don't think that German propeller aircraft need to increase costs the same way the Allies do because you're doing a good job of reducing fuel stocks as is. I've finally reached a tech where I desire no further, yet I didn't reach it fast enough to still have a strong economy. If you hadn't smashed it, I might be getting $3,000 - $4,000 per turn but instead I'm netting 1,678 with everything maxed. Units cost so much (especially jets) that this really hurts my plans.

    I'm being quite careful about where I put my jets but this also means I can't put them just anywhere, so my operations are somewhat restrained.
     

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  2. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Sorry, I meant 500 shields, so they generate that gold upon sale.
     
  3. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Changes:
    number pad minus gives the active unit the goto order for one tile beside the nearest airbase. The adjacent tile is chosen to be closer to the unit than the airbase.

    shift reinstates the goto order that the active unit was given (e.g. if it stops moving next to an enemy unit). If you gave the order via 'in game' methods on the current turn (e.g. by mouse), this won't work.

    specialNumbers.baseFlightDistance = 40 -- attacks more than this many squares away from a friendly airbase will cost more, and will be scaled based on baseCost*distance/specialNumbers.baseFlightDistance (base cost is still the minimum)

    specialNumbers.italyDistanceAddition = 30 -- for the distance modification of munitions costs, 15th AF and red tails add this many squares from the 'Italy' city

    Pressing 'delete' on a tile (or with an active unit) give information about the units on the tile. How many units, how many have full movement, how many have full movement and are at 17+ hp, how many have full movement and full hp.
    specialNumbers.moneySafeFromRefineryKill = 500

    I've made it so that the fuel cost of attacks increases with distance away from an airfield. At the moment, 40 squares is the 'baseline', so if the 'cost' of an attack is 20, and the attack is made 80 squares away, the actual cost is 40 instead. The cost will never be below 20, however, even if the attack is made closer to home. We can change the baseline if we want.
     

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  4. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Very cool idea.
     

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  5. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    I killed an airborne jet this turn. It reacted to a bomber, so I knew to search for it.
     

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  6. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Yeah I made a mistake and left one in the air. You got me! I'm curious though - It reacted to a bomber? Were you bombing something low? I thought low aircraft would not react to high aircraft but maybe I made an error with the jet reactions. Did it at least badly damage the bomber? It should have.

    Changelog:
    -I doubled the movement space of our battle groups and depleted battle groups as I'm concerned they move too slow for a map this large. I didn't double the Russian battle group movement as it will have less space it needs to move to start capturing cities of mention.
     

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  7. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    This turn still took ~45 minutes. I'm running out of ideas for improving playtime. Maybe have a key for bombers to tell if they are in attack range of a damaged target, so I can more easily bring in extra force to finish something off. Maybe have all units with goto orders move before any other units.

    Is there anything that would make the German player's life easier?

    Progress is made on the Western Front, Tours and Le Havre captured. The Eastern Front opens up.

    Maybe we want to delay the Eastern Front for our game? See how Jets change the balance.

    I think we need a way of preventing the Allies from landing in captured Russian Airbases. Maybe put the Red Army improvement in cities captured by Red Army units, and use that as a deletion check.

    No, it was a regular strategic bomber. I think the 'same map' parameter was the one that made it only react on the same map (stuff is documented in the file). I don't think either bomber was killed from the reaction. Given the price difference between the units, (and the fact that a reaction will probably encourage a search) we might want jets to auto kill bombers during reaction. Or, maybe alter the code so that the jet fighter is teleported to a nearby airbase afterward, so it can intercept and then retreat (I think I built in 'space' in my code for this sort of thing).

    Were you having trouble re-deploying your troops without rails? Or, were you concerned that a later invasion might not have time to get far enough. The 8 movement seemed reasonable to me.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  8. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    These changes don't impact the main events.lua file. On the off chance that you modified either of these files, let me know, and I'll merge in my changes.

    changelog:

    Units with goto orders now have higher 'priority' in unit selection, so all units with goto orders will move before the other units. This should reduce 'bouncing' around the map because a goto unit got activated.

    When air units in a formation are reduced to one movement point, they are given the goto order for the square that they 'should' move to.

    Unit types can now be dropped from formations (except for the leader's unit type).
     

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  9. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    I changed it back based on your commentary--let me know if this exposes you somehow and you'd like a turn of grace for other elements to catch up. I was thinking the Allies might be going a bit slowly, but then I guess you've made good progress already and still have 45 turns (which is a LONG time) to make it happen. If you don't win by, say, turn 100ish or so, we might want to consider changing it back, simply because you have a much stronger command of the base game (let alone the scenario you designed) than many potential players.

    Well, when do we want to ultimately have it open? Are we in agreement that it happened "too soon" here? We some options:

    1. Keep it the same;
    2. Increase the points threshold (which we could only do to an extent before we'd have the potential issue of no one being able to reach it -- you are running out of targets as you've destroyed pretty much everything!)
    3. Keep a point threshold (possibly the same one), but add a different parameter besides "any" city being captured. Push the line of city that needs to be captured back.

    This seems to be a good enough resource for the historical advance (a wikipedia link with the particular maps every few months). I know it's wiki but they are just compiling maps here. The map below is February, 1945, and I think it makes a strong enough case that the Russians shouldn't open up until the Rhine is at least reached. For our purposes, it might be easier to say pierced. So I'd ask you to hold back on the ground offensive until you at least reach the Rhine, unless you have other thoughts? It just seems weird to have Russia open up before you've even reached the Seine, let alone the Rhine.

     

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  10. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Maybe the threshold should be the current points level and 8 captured cities (not airfields) with at least one of those cities being in Germany Proper (I already have a list for that -- which reminds me, should Prague be considered an 'occupied' city?). If France is liberated first, then the 8 cities will probably be held by the time the player can reach Germany. If the player goes a more direct route through the Netherlands or Northern Germany/Denmark, then territory must be secured before the Russians arrive. Since avoiding France is probably more difficult, the Russian advance might be a compensation (or a way for the allies to get a 'last chance' if they delay their invasion too much).

    Increasing the movement of full strength Battle Groups too much means more or less outrunning the air support, particularly the Tempests, and I really don't think that we want to try scaling the air movement at this point. In any case, Allied battle groups will usually have full HP, since they recover any time they capture a city or an airfield, and there aren't that many battle groups to 'share' the city captures. 8 movement per turn gives 200 squares of movement in 25 turns, which should at least give the Allies a fighting chance if they invade around turn 100. After all, the Germans should have a chance to win, too, and the main way for them to win is to hold out. In fact, we probably don't want it to be 'theoretically' possible to win very late into the game. If the Allies haven't made progress by turn 110, it might be preferable to be able to confidently declare a German Victory, rather than play several weeks longer to see if the Allies can make a desperate push.
     

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  11. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    I like this idea. Prague should probably be considered occupied, yes. I'd say Vienna and Linz should not, though I'm kind of curious what the group thinks (assuming there is a quiet group out there watching this, anyway ;) ).

    Yes that's probably true. How many MP games really play out until the end, anyway?

    Since we're at 81 turns now, do you mind if I start looking at your earlier turns for data? What turn is a good cutoff for now? Maybe 60? It seems like so much changes within 20 turns that I doubt I'd learn anything profound about your operations if I went that far. I'd like to examine a few things that I need your turns for. Also, before I start, since I'm going to be compiling this in excel, is there any data that you would find useful, turn by turn, to understand?

    I am at least going to check:

    Total aircraft
    Allied fighters
    Allied Bombers
    German fighters
    German jets
    Achievable Fuel surplus (in tax rate - methodology: max the rating for fuel, but do not check/change specialists as that would take forever and we can reasonably say "plus a bit better.")
    Fuel amount (in treasury)
    Achievable science rate (methodology: max the rating to where there is still a fuel surplus, but again do not check/change specialists )
    Tech progress
    Count of Total Industry (since they all cost the same, I won't break it down by type as that is going to vary by player - I'm interested in how long it takes to build how many improvements).

    I also intend to modify @tootall_2012 's playtest spreadsheet for Napoleon (Tootall, would you mind resending that as I have lost it in my recent crash) and check production vs. losses every 10 turns or so.

    It's going to be quite the effort, so I'd like to get started on it now. I think it would be valuable data when we're trying to figure out how to balance the mid to late-game. Any objection to my starting?
     

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  12. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Go ahead. I think a 20 turn fog of war is good enough. I can't think of anything that would be useful that you don't already plan to capture.

    These don't have much meaning for the Allies, who get lots of fuel from convoys. 80% science is achievable even if it means a fuel deficit.

    Should we have a way to 'send' convoys to Italy? Key press in the Atlantic, trains appear in Italy. The current reinforcement system basically means that I usually want to keep the units there as a 'threat' (to force some air defence to stay south), but I don't usually want to actually make an attack, since that exposes basically defenceless bombers.

    Something that I just realized this turn is that, strictly speaking, I don't have any more reason to conduct strategic bombing at this point, since all point goals have been achieved. I still am, of course, but it is probably technically best to build more Jabo or something, maybe hurricanes and carriers.
     

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  13. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    I found an interesting quirk that I'm not sure we can do much about, or frankly care to, but I can see inside your cities that are in disorder. I doubt it'll be enough of an issue for it to matter but then again I suppose we could just view this as resistance/collaborators giving intel. For all I know it's a base game mechanic that I've never known of for 20 years.

    I had to edit the save again as we're changing "Atlantic Wall" to "Adolf Hitler" I moved it from Calais to Berlin. I forgot to do this last time.

    Well, we certainly need to do something about it, don't we? I did a little research to see if maybe we could just add another fighter group (say, P-47s) that have enough range for the first targets (or at least part of the way) but nothing more, and found a website that had this interesting nugget:

    "A unique sidelight of the Fifteenth's operations has been the rescue and repatriation of air crews shot down in enemy territory. No other air force has undertaken escape operations in so many countries. The Fifteenth has returned 5,650 personnel by air, surface vessel and on foot through enemy lines. In more than 300 planned "reunion" operations, men have been brought back safely from Tunisia, Italy, France, Switzerland, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Austria and Germany."

    Maybe there's just a chance that the aircraft reappear (with no MP)? Maybe that chance increases from 1/4 to 1/2 as points increase to a threshold (to represent the Allies getting closer in Italy).

    I could also do more research on the fighter groups as well. We still have at least one unit space, and pretty sure we could actually have 2-3 since I don't think we have a need for light/medium shells any more and could simply use "barrage" for everything at this point. Is there any unit you really think the Allies need? Is there any unit that would make things more fun?

    I kind of think the Germans might need a generic Experten unit that's not as powerful as the special units but keeps giving them something to work towards. These units played a pretty critical role for me early and while I wouldn't want them to be overwhelming or pervasive, they're one of the things that makes the game more enjoyable for the German player and also gives them more of a chance.

    You've done a marvelous job with the strategic bombing. Right now I can fairly confidently say that the early game looks like I envision, and the late game looks like I envision. I think that the middle game was shorter than I envision and that there seemed to be almost an overnight flood, but we'll see what the data supports.

    Right now, I have a handful of Me262s which are very powerful but they're also gas guzzlers and I only really have enough fuel on any given turn for maybe 30 attacks (for example, I launched 28 this turn). That might seem like a lot, but it's not enough to put much of a dent in, and often means that I leave several on the ground. Fuel, more than anything, is hampering my operations. Also, I'm finding it very difficult to replace any losses because I have very few industries remaining.

    The skies are filled with Allied aircraft, and even if I can make a sizeable dent in one group, I can't destroy it for lack of fuel. The Mustangs are deadly, probably too deadly (they tend to take 50% of a jet's health), or maybe just right under different circumstances.

    My decision to rush super weapons was questionable. I wonder how things might have turned out had I placed a heavier emphasis on flak and traditional weapons, but I figured most players are going to go for the 262, so I should too.

    Anyway, it clearly feels like 1945 to me, and it's only probably 5 or so turns before the Russians arrive to compound things.

    I'm pretty pleased with the way the scenario ends. It's that middle part that just doesn't feel quite right yet.
     

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  14. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 Prince

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    Hi John,

    I've attached spreadsheets from 3 different play tests I did. Let me know if that is what you were looking for.
     

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  15. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Yes those are precisely them. Thanks!
     
  16. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    I suspect that what is going on is that the 'city investigated' flag is still active, so after I capture it you can see inside the city. I don't think the fix would be all that hard to do, but I just can't bring myself to care about it (even enough to confirm my suspicions).

    I don't think "unrealistic" escorts are the issue here. The way the Allies deal with heavy bomber losses flying from England is simply to replace the bombers. Maybe the solution is just to replace every destroyed bomber with a fresh one, say, five turns later. Then there's a sort of 'use it or lose it' aspect. Make the attacks, because otherwise the units are gone anyway. I suppose this could be a problem for the German player, since killing the units doesn't achieve much. Now that I think about it, this isn't too much different from your idea of respawning with some probability.

    Or, B24s could simply have a backspace/u option to be moved to the 15th airforce. But then we'd have to take a closer look at how 15th Airforce effectiveness compares to regular 8th Airforce effectiveness.

    The Allied roster seems pretty good. Maybe we need a sort of 'specialist' bomber and specialist munition. I know we're likely dropping the dam busting missions, but the bombers actually used were modified and had specially trained crews. If a dambuster mission had to use 1200 shield bombers, say, and required a diversionary technology, then there would be some risk on the Allied side to the endeavour.

    I don't have a use for the Allied tactical bombers. Jabo work better attacking ground targets, and strategic bombers are better for the high altitude stuff, and the Allies don't really need compromise bomber units.

    That seems reasonable.

    If we slow down tech progression a little, then maybe a sort of middle ground will exist for a while. Or, there has to be some sort of event reinforcement mechanic to prop up the Germans a little bit in the mid game, just as the Allies get bomber reinforcements periodically in the early game.

    Maybe the Regensburg Critical Industry bonus is not 2 for 1 ME109 production, but rather free 109s to ensure that the Germans have at least 25% of the number of Aircraft the Allies have. 'Late game' would be when the Allies can regularly muster the resources to flatten Regensburg.
     

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  17. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    I had to give myself 250 again so airfields wouldn't be sold.

    It's tough to get rid of them though. If I were in your shoes I would have used these as anti-radar bombers from the get go. You didn't hit my radar nearly as much as I thought you would.

    I'm not totally opposed to this but if a B-24 can turn into a 15th AF bomber and vice versa, I'd probably want to increase its shield cost fairly substantially to balance things a bit. The fact that you can redeploy them to the underbelly, so to speak, would probably justify an increased cost, I'd think. You should only get to do this once Foggia opens up though, so the Allies would need to have at least that number of points for the option to work.

    Do you think the current cost of Allied fighters is reasonable? I won't really know until I see how many you're building. Do you feel like you can escort everywhere and have enough of them? Did you ever feel a need to attack without an escort? My current strategy seems to have left a derth of Luftwaffe air targets (mostly because there aren't many left) for you to attack as well, which I imagine is a bit of a bummer that you don't get to send your Mustangs off to kill something, so maybe more 109s (which are pretty ineffective against most of your aircraft on attack at least) would change things.
     

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  18. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Hello. I'm still around, but I've been a little ill. Not seriously ill, but I've thought 'oh, I'll play later or tomorrow' for a few days now, so I figured I'd better check in.
     
  19. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    No worries. Hope you feel better!
     
  20. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Changelog: Minor fix to formations and changed experten kill event so that the treasury is never brought below 0 (killed someone, then captured Paris, and found that I 'plundered' around negative 300 gold.)

    I don't think the last urban target near Linz destroyed terrain when it was killed, but I didn't follow up on that. Maybe have a look.

    I didn't mean to suggest getting rid of them, just that they might not see much use, and maybe should be tweaked a little.

    I never really attacked the radar, since I thought the advantage would be relatively small. I usually have to penetrate so far into Germany to do something, that surprise never seemed all that plausible anyway. I might have liked to target radar stations near Hamburg/Denmark, but that is out of range of the tactical bombers anyway.

    The cost of fighters is fine from my perspective. I don't think it is too high, but it is a bit hard to tell if it is too low. If the Allies attack without escorts, it is either because they are impatient or because the escorts just don't have the range to be useful.

    At the moment, my 'strategy' is basically saturating your air defences. The Mustangs, as far as I can tell, just make it harder to kill stuff, so reducing the number of bombers required for 'saturation,' and requiring you to have flak in the airbases that you use. At their current price, this seems a reasonable use. Maybe I could mass enough to kill the flak in an airfield, but thus far it hasn't seemed worth the trouble.

    I think the B-24 has a pretty 'balanced' price at the moment, so that I neither focus entirely on B-17s nor on B-24s. I'm afraid that upping the price might relegate them to 'specialist' missions, especially after the 200 shield B-17G is introduced.

    However, I just got an idea that should be very easy to implement, and would solve these problems: Allow 15th Airforce production at airbases in England, and use an on-production event to simply teleport them to Italy when they are produced. Then, their price can be tweaked if they're too powerful, and we don't have to worry about lightning re-deployment of bombers to and from England.
     

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