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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 Emperor

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    Judging by the unit count (which is hard not to see as we exchange turns, though I suppose it doesn't really give much info other than you've built a lot of stuff), you're dealing with significantly more units every turn. We'll see if it is too much, too little, or just right.

    In all honesty though, if a 400+ unit empire is only taking 30 minutes, we're still doing OK.
     

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  2. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    I have a new tactic, which took forever to set up, and I have no idea how effective it will be. It is extremely tempting to sacrifice some P47s to extend the range of effective escort. I really don't have any good ideas of how to disallow this tactic. The only thing I can think of is to penalize the player if a unit is activated beyond its theoretical maximum operating radius.
     

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  3. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    I'd recommend that if an aircraft cannot reach a home airbase, it cannot call up ammo. This would prevent the tactic of "kamikaze" German fighters as well.

    We will see how your tactic works in terms of getting bombs on target. Those P-38s are completely worthless as escorts - they are interceptors. Often, the B-24 is the first to defend, and a B-24 is not much challenge for an ace from the Luftwaffe.
     

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  4. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Changes to text.lua and generalLibrary.lua are not meant to affect OTR. I was working on other stuff, and updated them in OTR to try to keep everything up to date.

    The trouble is that we don't have access to the 'range' variable, so we can only check if it is beyond maximum distance or not. And in the case of P47s, I don't care if they can attack, I just want the reaction (which I suppose I could disable if beyond maximum range) or simply the defensive value (I suppose I could delete the unit the same way we fix air protected stacks).

    I was partly hoping for reaction damage and partly trying to avoid being able to bring a plane in and stand on a single square and attack 3 times for 3 different targets. Upon reflection, I realized that the last attack can be made with only 2 MP, so it doesn't really matter.

    Does reaction matter all that much to you? Since a reactive attack is unlikely to defeat a unit (except P47 dives), all you have to do is avoid attacking with very weak units, and rest up. I can't stack 10 B17s and kill the first 2 fighters that attack, since stack kills are enabled, and there is a relatively high chance that a single attack can kill a full health bomber.
     

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  5. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    I get this error:

    Code:
    Over the Reich
    error loading module 'generalLibrary' from file 'D:\Test of Time\Scenario\OTR\generalLibrary.lua':
        D:\Test of Time\Scenario\OTR\generalLibrary.lua:1140: 'end' expected (to close 'function' at line 1102) near <eof>
    stack traceback:
        [C]: in ?
        [C]: in function 'require'
        D:\Test of Time\Scenario\OTR\events.lua:98: in main chunk
    
    Adding the "end" leads to this error:

    Code:
    ver the Reich
    D:\Test of Time\Scenario\OTR\Events.lua:6987: attempt to index a boolean value (local 'gen')
    stack traceback:
        D:\Test of Time\Scenario\OTR\Events.lua:6987: in main chunk
    
     
  6. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Sorry, I must have moved the file after I played, not before, so I didn't realize there was an error.

    Here is the fix.
     

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  7. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    Excuse my ignorance, but we are already counting distance, correct? So then couldn't we just have another small table that talks about the maximum range each aircraft has, and then divide by 2? Then whenever an aircraft goes to call up ammo, we run a check to see how far away the nearest airbase is, and see if that number is lesser or greater than the equation for each aircraft type? I think the ranges are pretty well established and I doubt I'd change them at this point, so it would just be a matter of building it out once. We could also tie the reaction to this so that there's no benefit at all to flying off into the sunset (aside, perhaps, from dragging fighters away).

    Yes, your reactive defenses concern me a great deal. I take great pains to try and coordinate my attacks in such a way that I am able to knock out as many reactive units as possible before the main assault comes. I had 110s for this though you did a good job of wiping most of them out. I still have a few of them. My Experten are able to bounce your fighters without drawing a reaction as well, though I don't have enough of them to really make much difference.

    I am hesitant to say this because it will make my life harder, but I suppose it's good for the audience... When you brought in huge formations of B-17s I found it very hard to not lose several aircraft attacking them. There's definitely an attrition game going on, and for a long time I was not able to gain new fighters. That really didn't change until you went over to B-24s. A flight of 4-5 B-17s usually would mean I'd lose 2 fighters before I could start knocking any down. Throw in P-47s, and it's a guarantee I lose fighters. A few "cross" formations spaced 5-7 tiles apart from each other would mean that I'd probably have to lose 4,6,8 etc. fighters each turn to take them on. I might be able to knock one or two out with experten and 110s, but I could never take them all out.

    The B-24s are nowhere near as difficult to kill (often, I can one shot them - that is all but impossible with B-17s unless I'm firing air-to-air rockets from 110s or FW190A8s), and the P-38s are also easy to kill if caught. I know you don't have long-range escorts at the moment, so it's tempting to use the P-38's in that role, but they are interceptors. You can shadow near the bomber stream, attack my fighters after they've made their runs, and then likely move away several spaces so I have a hard time reaching them.

    The B-24's I would think are best for surgical strikes that skirt the edge given their range, and also probably for pulling my fighters away. If you're going deep into Germany, it's a job for B-17's all day long.
     
  8. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    Epic air battle on the approach to Schweinfurt... Germans claim nearly 50 Allied bombers in the vicinity destroyed and several more damaged... But is it enough?
     

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  9. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Well, so much for my strategy of saturating the German air defence capability...

    Yes, I can do this and it will probably be good enough. It might mean that P38s can sacrifice themselves for extra attacks instead of returning home (and maybe hurricanes and beaufighters), but it probably isn't worth sacrificing a unit to try to get an extra kill (well, maybe it is, since allied fighters are cheaper than German ones).

    This is interesting. From my perspective, the B17s seem like fairly easy kills, and even if a few survive the gauntlet to reach the target, they are not strong enough to have a reasonable assurance of doing much damage to the target. B24s on the other hand are cheaper and have a more powerful attack, so to me they seem more effective. They spend less time in the air, so there are fewer opportunities for them to be attacked also.

    B17s really only seemed cost effective when paired with the P47s, and I knew that attacking them would bring down the fury of diving reactions. I didn't usually notice any fighters in the German dead count (which did appear when P47s dived, so they do get counted), so to me it seems like not much is done via reactions.

    One of my conclusions from attacking the Netherlands was that you had far more forces than I realized (I took a photo of Woensdrech a few turns ago, and it looked like you had more fighters there than I did in England -- maybe a slight exaggeration ), so I figured it best to build up and attack all at once in an attempt to saturate your defences. Based on what you said, maybe B17s would have actually achieved this. Or, maybe the extra time it took to travel to a target would have allowed an equally effective response.
     
  10. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    I suppose it would be fair to say that if you want to destroy a target, the B-24 is better given it carries the 500lb bomb as opposed to the 250lb bomb, but if you want to destroy the Luftwaffe, the 17's seem more effective. The Luftwaffe is operating from nearby bases and often able to shoot and scoot, which the Allies don't get the benefit of, so reactive fire may be the best way to kill them. Also, the 24s are often 1-shot kills. It's rare to do that to a 17.

    I've also been employing real life tactics to an extent and simply declining to attack many of your low-alt formations when they're heavily escorted from above. So, it's not that the dive is ineffective so much as I am refusing to engage the formations because it is certain death. To the extent you're losing forces from such formations, it's likely Experten striking.

    The saturation isn't a bad idea but the spacing left most bombers vulnerable. 2 Bombers aren't going to kill a 190 that has high health. 4-5 will. Flying head on into a huge bomber stream was nerve-wracking and a quick way to die in real life, and it is equally dangerous in this scenario.
     
  11. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Pathfinders either need to generate many more window units (and, maybe, have the window units move further), or they shouldn't be payload units.

    I knew dive protection was effective, which is why I'm still employing it to protect my bombers for the first 20-30 squares. It was just that regular B17s didn't seem to get much in the way of reactive kills, so it didn't seem like they were worth the trouble. Especially since in Civ II, a not kill basically means no long term damage has been done, and bombers out of escort range have no way of finishing off a damaged unit.
     

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  12. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    Ugh... To not get that 4th Experten is a big blow. I won't have any more units that are that strong until I research jets now. Well done, well done.

    A few turns ago, I noticed h.w. Schnaufer couldn't go to high alt on the daylight map if he was brought over with Wilde Sau. I've finally made the correction for that. I didn't know if you were working on the events hence I'm uploading the events separately but if you have made changes, all you need to do is change his native transport from 0 to 1. Unfortunately, all the night fighters are going to have to live with only flying at low alt by day because otherwise they'd be build-able in day airfields. I'm considering giving them bombs that they can only use by day as compensation. It would be pretty historically accurate too, considering that the Ju88s are really bombers that were pressed into a night fighter role. I haven't made this change yet as I didn't know if you were working on the events and didn't want to do something so expansive.

    Well, with at least 2 more raids incoming after my fighters got chewed up with the Schweinfurt raids, we'll test that theory. I hesitate to send weakened aircraft against any target that hasn't expended its defensive fire.
     

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  13. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    I didn't realize I had any control over that. Then again, I haven't even been paying attention to when I'm supposed to get reinforcements, and how many I'm supposed to get. I think I missed some Italy reinforcements.

    The existing build conditions don't reference the native transport ability. Is that part of the default build condition? We can use the location of the city to determine whether something can be built, if we want to exclude certain units from being built on the day map.

    Well, as far as the daylight raids go, I have nearly all my forces out now, and will probably need a few turns to consolidate forces and transfer veteran status. On the other hand, my bombers are now surviving night raids. I don't know (and you don't have to tell me) whether this is because fighters were drawn off for daylight duty, or if the evasion mechanic makes attacks less worthwhile.

    Talking a bit about tactics has been useful. Single attacks in this scenario represent campaigns in 'real life', so I only have one or two battles to figure out tactics, while there might have been 20 chances for participants to figure things out. It's also important, because if this game is to be replayable, we need a decent idea of what the 'right' tactics are, so we can make changes if necessary.
     

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  14. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    I can't defend everywhere at once and banked on stopping Schweinfurt, which didn't happen to catastrophic effect (all of my Industry techs are removed--I might move Graf to Regensburg eventually to balance it a bit better). Actually the bomber thing hasn't worked so well because it only moves one space and the unit tends to be visible immediately afterward. We should probably switch it to 2 spaces minimum. I do think that we should not move them if they are hit by flak though. Only if the main munitions strike them.


    You're aiming to score 225 points every 25 turns to get battle groups. So now that we're at turn 48, you'd want to have 450 points. You're at 444 or so, so I assume you will in fact achieve this (though barely). So I think the points for the Battle Groups are working how I envisioned them (you have a bit of pressure on you, but it isn't completely unachievable considering that you barely missed the first one and will probably achieve the second, and will likely find achieving future ones much easier.

    I think you're doing a very good job so far. There are different things you could have done, but then if you're keeping up with the points for the battle groups that's your main priority. You did give me some breathing space but it also allowed you to build up large enough forces to smash 3x historic targets so I'd consider that a positive for you.

    I do think there are probably going to be some balance tweaks that we'll need to make but assuming that the Allies need more than 1 Battle Group to successfully invade and conquer everything in time, I think this campaign is "winnable" by both parties right now.

    Edit - here is the save
     

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  15. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    That's interesting. I spent some time wondering if it wouldn't be better to abandon Schweinfurt Regensburg and attack 'regular' targets that I had a better chance of reaching. From the map, it looks like Germany already has a lot of industry. Then again, I haven't counted the cities that are lacking industry.

    Is there a reason why you haven't put flak on the squares that can hold special targets? That would probably make my attacks almost impossible, if I had to kill a light flak unit (or two) also.

    I did achieve this, but only because I screwed up some unit placement, and so diverted some B24s to Lyons, so as not to lose them. This after reading your message...

    I'm wondering how balanced the historic missions are. They seem like something that has a good chance of helping whoever is winning. If Germany is in the lead, the missions force the Allied player to act at an inopportune time, or forego the mission entirely, giving the Germans a bonus. If the Allies are in the lead, then they have the forces to make the mission a success. There is also a great deal of variance based on exactly when the missions are issued. If they're issued just before an attack is made, the forces can be diverted to make the attack. If the mission is issued just after an attack is made, then most of the existing force has to fly home and repair before an attack can be made. Schweinfurt-Regensburg wouldn't have been a possibility if it started this turn, and I had just finished attacking Cologne or something.
     

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  16. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    The only targets I can do this with are the three dams and I just haven't put the resources into it to be honest. I'm sure you've noticed the Atlantic Wall I'm building. We'll see if that was a complete waste or not!

    You raise several excellent points.

    -They can't be timed;
    -They force your hand;
    -They don't represent the current state of the war; and
    -There is a huge random element to them.

    I've done a lot of reading on the air war while building this and even more so over the past year or two. I can tell you a few key takeaways:

    (1) The raids on Schweinfurt and the Mohne Dams were not that successful, but were made all the less so because there was not repeated and deliberate follow ups;
    (2) Operation Gommorrah was outrageously successful but a lot of that had to do with random chance (the weather was just perfect for a fire storm and most of the fire brigades in Hamburg were on the opposite side of the city at the time dealing with other fires. Also I believe much of the utility infrastructure was knocked out so they had a lot of trouble bringing water in.
    (3) While Albert Speer said that a half dozen more Hamburg's would cost Germany the war, it wasn't for lack of trying that this wasn't attempted - Harris certainly envisioned destroying Berlin - but the conditions just weren't right and there wasn't a repeat of Hamburg-esque proportion until Dresden later.

    Currently, everything is "one and done" with Schweinfurt, Peenemunde, Mohne, etc. and heavily scripted for those as well as Hamburg. Ideally, what I'd think we want to do is something like this:

    -Rename "historic targets" critical industry. Schweinfurt, Regensburg, Mohne Dams, Peenemunde, and perhaps a few other places would have it.
    -If possible, have these respawn, but maybe 1-2 turns after they are destroyed (not sure if that is possible or not but assume it is with flags/states) - this is so that the Allies can't just hammer them over and over again on the same turn, but could make repeated attacks in a row if they wanted to.
    -Have a detrimental event occur for the Germans that can scale. So right now, Schweinfurt costs the Germans all three of their industry techs. What I think would be better, is if the game checked along these lines:

    if criticalIndustry killed @ [location] and Germany has tech (Industry III) then
    remove Industry III
    but if they don't have Industry III then if they have Industry II
    remove Industry II
    but if they don't have Industry II then
    remove Industry I
    If they don't have Industry I
    text: "Our repeated air raids have obliterated Germany's ball bearings industry, severely hampering their war effort. It should be some time before it recovers. Perhaps we should seek a different target..."

    So basically, if you wanted to knock the Germans down three pegs, it would take 3 attacks on 3 different turns, but if you committed to it, you could really set them back.

    I could come up with other "issues" for each of the other main targets but you get the point - sustained, repeated pressure to destroy the industry and keep it down. These targets would also provide points. Perhaps more than a usual target.

    I think an approach like this would make the game much more fluid, less predictable, and up to the player to come up with a strategy. Replayability would be enhanced as people wouldn't simply put forces somewhere because it was "around the right turn."

    As for the random nature of the perfect conditions at Hamburg, I'm wondering if we would be better off having a random chance that if you manage to kill all the urban centers in a city, there is a small (like probably 5-10%) chance that you would also destroy ALL the other targets as well... Because I will tell you, Hamburg is destroyed and isn't coming back in this scenario, but why does it "have" to be Hamburg? Why couldn't it be any other city? We already have the table ready-built with coordinates...
     

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  17. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    I was sort of thinking that it would be a good idea to put a few flak around from turn 1 for the night map targets. I don't suppose it matters much now.

    I like these ideas a lot. I'm thinking something like the following: Destroying the last urban centre in a city has a chance of starting a firestorm which destroys everything. Killing a target (day or night) increases the chance by, say, 2%, and every turn the chance is reduced by 1%. So the attacks have to be made quickly to be effective, but not necessarily on the same turn. Maybe we should discuss in the creation thread, so that we don't have to search through dozens of posts to find our ideas.

    Should I disable further historic target events, or leave them in?
     

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  18. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    Only if you're enjoying them - they seem to be on the chopping block.

    As does the Luftwaffe... For that matter!
     

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  19. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    changelog

    Battle of Berlin removed from scenario. Operations Jericho and Carthage kept, since the stakes are low.

    Escape distance increased by 1 for all HP levels (including 0-25%, you can change that if necessary).

    Flak and light flak don't cause escape into night.
     

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  20. JPetroski

    JPetroski Emperor

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    Turn 51
     

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