The Hinge of Fate - Development Thread

JPetroski

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I've been beefing up how Barbarossa works.

Basically, from the Spring '41 onward, the Germans will get a pop up box asking if they'd like to launch it or not. If they do, the War in the East starts. If they don't, the Soviets get more units. Thus, Balkan developments, or an Operation Sea Lion that isn't quite going as planned, can really make the task of Barbarossa more difficult. Note that you can't just ignore the Balkans because then Britain gets many units there. It's a you're damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

In any event, when the player chooses to launch Barbarossa, I've used a delay function to keep the Soviet units pinned for 3 turns while they wait for Stalin to come to terms with what has happened. I've also given every Soviet unit significant damage, to represent the operational disarray they found themselves in. This should make the initial onslaught much as it was in the war -- a bit of a turkey shoot for the Germans at first.

However, come winter, the tides are going to turn. In the winter of '41 and even for the start, at least, of winter '42, the Germans are going to lack adequate winter clothing, meaning that their units will have random problems. Further, the Soviets get quite a boost in units and operational efficiency at this time. This is going to be a time of digging in and holding out as best as possible, frankly. It should make for an interesting dynamic.

I'm also working to better represent the issues the Germans contended with. Specifically fuel, and a decreasing skillset for the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht. As indicated in an earlier post, at the start of the scenario, the Luftwaffe will be well-trained and start as veterans. However, once fuel stores deplete, this will no longer happen.

A similar issue will occur for the Wehrmacht. However here I intend to implement a counter like @tootall_2012 did in Napoleon. Lose too many forces, and suddenly they stop showing up as trained.

I'm interested to see if people will play a game they're losing, or if they'll give up halfway through to restart. Much of the inspiration for this scenario came from the first time I played Napoleon where the AI deftly whooped my butt especially in Spain. I found it fun, and hopefully you all will find it fun trying to stave off catastrophe if you aren't able to "win." Really, anything better than the historical outcome is a "win" to an extent.

More to come.
 
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I'm really looking forward to this scenario. I'll be very interested indeed to see if the Allied AI is able not only to mount a valiant defence but assuming they survive the initial German onslaught whether they can launch successful counter offensives that drive the Axis back into the Reich!
 

JPetroski

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Hi @Prof. Garfield - am I using doInFuture correctly? Specifically, I don't have anything in what is called the argument table (in bold).

Here is the function I want to happen 3 days after D-Day occurs:

Code:
local function dDayReinforcement(argTable)

    civ.ui.text("This text should occur 3 days after D-Day.")
   
end 
delayedAction.makeFunctionDelayable("Allied Reinforcement After D-Day",dDayReinforcement)

Here are what I believe to be the conditions necessary to trigger the function. Again, the part in bold being blank is what concerns me so I just want to make sure I'm following and doing this correctly as I have a few of these in the scenario.

if turn >= 1 and tribe == object.tBritain and flag.value("D-Day Happened") == true then
gen.justOnce("Allied Reinforcements Pour In",function()
delayedAction.doInFuture("Allied Reinforcement After D-Day",{},civ.getTurn()+3,object.tBritain.id)
end)

Have I followed the instructions properly or is the fact that this is blank going to be an issue? Thanks.
 

Prof. Garfield

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Have I followed the instructions properly or is the fact that this is blank going to be an issue? Thanks.

It looks fine. Passing an empty argument table shouldn't be a problem. The argument table is there just in case it is useful, but an empty table is fine. For example, if D-Day can occur in multiple locations, you could pass a location for the reinforcements to arrive (in a format using only numbers, strings, and other tables) instead of writing half a dozen similar functions, and choosing one of them to delay.
 

Konig15

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Cause I'm only seeing this near midnight, I have some questions:

Having watched a LOT of world war II in real-time, is there a way through tech or tedium to play a lesser dirtbag version of Germany (which I absolutely could have happened)? Less.....awful things, clean up the corruption, just don't be wasteful jackasses that make everyone hate you WHILE wasting everything you have.

Two: can you avoid....pissing off everyone on earth? If only for smuggling purposes not invading the Netherlands and delcaring war on America no matter how much FDR has declared war on you or needlessly pissed off Brazil. And uh....why are we talking about the Caucus oil as a necessity when the Berlin Bagdgdad Railway is there, it's brand spankin new and the USSR will gladly split Turkey with you while you're still they're ally. Most Civ 2 scenarios pretend this line doesn't exist and that the Arabs will give the Germans EVERY drop they want if they can into Iraq (And Hitler can pretend he isn't a compulsive looter on 13 kinds of Morel meth).

I know the desire to play close to historical but with the Germans in the World Wars even among all the other (all also shades of morally bankrupt) powers means being high handed, short-sighted, brutal and needlessly stupid. So I'd like to know the latitude for pragmatic villainy on this on if there is any. Make nice in the occupied territories, don't steal everything tied down, use moo cow subs as merchant subs like in world war I, or just say yes to every single one of Franco's absolutely unreasonable demands to join the Axis in the fall of 1940 and then seal off the Med and then think really hard about fulfilling them while Axis shipping trades with South America via Casablanca completely unmolested while India and Middle East Command withers on the vine.
 

JPetroski

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No, Konig. You simply start May 1940 and have to conquer the world. There may be some variation in history in any given match, but this relates to where the Allies land to retake Europe. Also, there's a chance ( a small one) that Yugoslavia doesn't have its coup and you don't have to worry about it.

As for the Holocaust and such, you're going to find it wasteful and annoying, and beyond your control to stop.
 

Dadais

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And uh....why are we talking about the Caucus oil as a necessity when the Berlin Bagdgdad Railway is there, it's brand spankin new and the USSR will gladly split Turkey with you while you're still they're ally. Most Civ 2 scenarios pretend this line doesn't exist and that the Arabs will give the Germans EVERY drop they want if they can into Iraq (And Hitler can pretend he isn't a compulsive looter on 13 kinds of Morel meth)
Maybe because Oil WAS a necessity to the Third Reich.
Maybe because part of the Bagdadbahn is under Allied influence.
Maybe because URSS would NEVER have tolerated German control over Bosphorus, like they tried to get control over gulf of finland.
Maybe because Turkey was playing its own agenda using its position, reserving it's action for a clear victor to claim benefit with minimal losses.
Noting, Franco's demands included ... Oil already sparse in Wehrmart...

Anyway,
JPetrovski is giving there an astounding piece of entertainment to have fun with, born from his vision, talent and work. It's indeed interresting to have people confront visions or ideas on creations.
Yet, your words sound harsh, with words agressing JPetroski's vision for simply not beeing yours.

Having another vision about what a scenario should have been is fine. Proposing Uchronia is fine too.

One can simply alter an existing scenario for itself. One can also build its scenario to share its fun.
Some even teamwork to bring further away scenarii creations.
On the other way, Bashing a piece of art for not beeing of its taste or to impose its own vision sounds impolite.

Sorry for beeing harsh myself. Reacted empathizing probably too fast with the heart JPetrovski did put in this (and all his other) scenario.
And, for the most important, just have fun playing.
You may alter whaterver you wish in a very easy fashion with civ2 so it matches your taste !
 

JPetroski

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I was hoping to be further along this week but unfortunately got the virus (I have the vaccine so I am told I'll be fine but my back is killing me for some reason). Anyway, a few days back from where I wanted to be but I've started another playtest taking into account multiple changes that I've made. My goal in this test is to see if I can conquer the Soviet Union, so I'm ignoring the Battle of Britain, just putting in the units I need in France to keep commandos at bay, and rushing everything to the east. My science path is going straight through aligning Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria so as soon as Britain takes over Greece, I can jump on and attack from Bulgaria before the Yugoslav question comes into play. It's a little cheesy, I suppose, but I really want to see what happens if the player can put their full force against the Soviets. I'm also using my initial supplies (75,000 in this version) to rush-build factories across Germany and I plan on using the new Kampfgruppe function to rapidly build up for Barbarossa.

In the last match, the Soviets were really strong right at the start which isn't the balance I'm seeking. We'll see how it goes here.

Also, while I'm sure this will disappoint some, I decided to nix the Allied carriers for this scenario. While I know they were important in real life, I'd simply put out there that literally every scenario any of you has ever played before this had AI carrier units that were useless figureheads, and cracking that code sufficiently will be a good inspiration for a Pacific Theatre scenario I'm starting to plan as a successor to this. In place of that, I've put in the Fw200 Condor as it's very hard for U-Boats to find convoys. I've mad the Fw200 difficult enough to build that I don't think the lack of Allied air units will really matter, but if it proves overwhelming I can always give Allied destroyers the air attack capability.

Major events I still need to build:

-While the Allies have solid goto commands in Africa, I need to add them for Italy, Normandy, and Russia (I figure I can do this after I've caught a break and played a bit).
-I'd like to flesh out some more "history" events surrounding different cities conquered. These are just a paragraph of what happened with some flavor text. The sort of thing that makes a scenario more enjoyable but isn't really necessary to

Other than that, it's fixing bugs, writing the describe.txt (and I need 9 of them) and the daunting task of the readme.

What I can say is that at least the first 25-30 turns (what I've thoroughly playtested) work as designed. I can consistently beat France in 3 turns though I also know the perfect strategy to do it with - I'd assume it might take a first time player 4-5 turns but that wouldn't be the end of the world or beyond reasons. I've managed to win the BoB when I committed to it, or destroy the B.E.F. when I've committed to it, and the new Kampfgruppe can make both of these easier than in the past. That's not the end of the world considering that Kampfgruppes cost a lot of money and any unit you lose fighting those "bitter weeds" in England is one less to deal with the real monster - Russia.

I know designers shoot themselves in the foot with release dates but I'd really hope to get this out by May 10, 2022. I think that's quite reasonable given what is left to do so maybe I can under promise and overdeliver here!
 

JPetroski

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Thanks all for the well wishes! I've found my son is an absolute darling during this time. The little guy just knocked on my door and left me some jello before running away lol. Didn't ask for it or anything.

As for the game... I had to fix a few bugs which slowed my progress, but I'm currently on turn 17. I've spent much time enhancing my infrastructure with conscripts to allow for swifter reinforcement of the Eastern Front. I have researched Panzer IV and the Fw190. However, my fuel is down to 37,394 barrels (only 7k above where the Luftwaffe can't train), so I've made the decision to go "all in" for Barbarossa and have maximized production. This means I won't be able to align Finland before the war, so I won't be able to build Axis tanks or aircraft there (only infantry). Still, I have Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria all built up with factories to produce their tanks and aircraft and I think I can get by without the Finns. Their infantry is pretty darn good in and of itself. Once I clash in Russia, I'll get a tech necessary to research my better tanks and I'll have to switch things over, but I want to be able to build 2-3 Kampfgruppes for the invasion, so every drop counts for now.

The British expelled the Italians from Cyrenaica by turn 16 prompting Rommel to arrive. Turn 16 is technically Christmas, 1940, so it's about 3-4 turns early, but given he arrives in Tripoli and the roads are bad, he'll see major action around the historical time. I've found that the AI consistently beats up the Italians in Africa. Now we'll see if they beat me up as well. There was an issue with pathfinding for the southern convoys so Malta has yet to be reinforced meaning my cargo ships can run the gauntlet easier so I might have a better time of this for a bit, but I've been mauled so badly in the Atlantic that I really can't count on this for long.

I've found Italy to be the same type of ally Germany found them in the real war, and I'm glad I decided to keep the civs seperate as I really think we all need to have them jam up our plans. While I used "incredible foresight" to swiftly move through Greece as soon as Italy invaded, what I couldn't account for was the Italians clogging up my main path back through Yugoslavia. After the coup, Italy took it upon themselves to "help" by seizing Skopje. This has trapped my main army that was going to drive through it to Nis and then to take up position in Romania as Army Group South in Russia. We'll now need to go around the long way, losing time. Basically, as much as I tried to cheat fate, Mussolini has dealt me a lousy hand for the southern question.

upload_2021-12-31_15-48-18.png


I'm currently staging for Barbarossa, which can start at the earliest on turn 25. Model will have Army Group North with an objective of Leningrad. Bismarck, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Tirpitz will provide bombardment on his approach as I've decided not to risk them convoy raiding.

Guderian, presently in Greece, will form Army Group South with an objective of striking north through Jassy towards Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk. The goal being to reach the Dnieper before winter and form a strong defensive line.

Manstein, when he arrives (turn 23, so cutting it close) will lead Army Group Center on the drive for Moscow. Army Group Center will be the largest Army Group, and has multiple conscripts in line. My goal is to construct a highway between Warsaw and as far east as possible so I can swiftly reinforce troops.

We will see how it goes...
 
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Hi John,

As the others say, the important thing is to take care of yourself. There are few more important things in life than good health

Also, while I'm sure this will disappoint some, I decided to nix the Allied carriers for this scenario. While I know they were important in real life, I'd simply put out there that literally every scenario any of you has ever played before this had AI carrier units that were useless figureheads, and cracking that code sufficiently will be a good inspiration for a Pacific Theatre scenario I'm starting to plan as a successor to this. In place of that, I've put in the Fw200 Condor as it's very hard for U-Boats to find convoys. I've mad the Fw200 difficult enough to build that I don't think the lack of Allied air units will really matter, but if it proves overwhelming I can always give Allied destroyers the air attack capability.

For my part, I won't be disappointed. I just knew that escort carriers played an important role in defeating the U-boats and was wondering how you were going to simulate that aspect. If you say destroyers are doing a good job of it that's fine. Just a thought, but if you haven't done so already, adding strong long range ASW aircraft could also be a possible solution (like the American PBY or British Sunderland).

I've found Italy to be the same type of ally Germany found them in the real war, and I'm glad I decided to keep the civs seperate as I really think we all need to have them jam up our plans. While I used "incredible foresight" to swiftly move through Greece as soon as Italy invaded, what I couldn't account for was the Italians clogging up my main path back through Yugoslavia. After the coup, Italy took it upon themselves to "help" by seizing Skopje. This has trapped my main army that was going to drive through it to Nis and then to take up position in Romania as Army Group South in Russia. We'll now need to go around the long way, losing time. Basically, as much as I tried to cheat fate, Mussolini has dealt me a lousy hand for the southern question.

I was wondering why you didn't combine Italy and Germany into one power but now I can see why you have done so. It make sense.
 

JPetroski

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For my part, I won't be disappointed. I just knew that escort carriers played an important role in defeating the U-boats and was wondering how you were going to simulate that aspect. If you say destroyers are doing a good job of it that's fine. Just a thought, but if you haven't done so already, adding strong long range ASW aircraft could also be a possible solution (like the American PBY or British Sunderland).

I think they're doing pretty good. I have in no way, shape, or form been able to stop the Allies from getting a fair amount of cargo ships across to England. As of turn 25, I have 10 active submarines and have lost 39. Then again, the Atlantic has not been my main focus, I haven't sent raiders out to help the subs (except for my destroyers plus one CA and one CL, almost all of which are now dead), so I hesitate to say "it's too hard as it is." It certainly can live without aircraft carriers though! :)

I was wondering why you didn't combine Italy and Germany into one power but now I can see why you have done so. It make sense.

It should also make for a fun Italian campaign when you have to rush to reinforce the Italian cities that suddenly surrender on you.

As to the playtest....

Spoiler :

It's now turn 25, the very first chance I have to launch Barbarossa and I elected to strike immediately. I'm just tossing down some notes so I can reference it later. We'll see how this holds up a bit later.

Total German Units: 844

Kriegsmarine

-5 BB (1x Italian that happened to be in North Africa when received all Italian units there. I think I'll leave the possibility of this happening).
-3 Panzerschiffe
-4 CL
-1 DD
-10 SS


Luftwaffe
-45 Me109
-10 Fw190
-13 Me110
-36 Stuka
-9 Do17
-10 He111
-6 Ju88
-11 Axis Fighters
-2 Axis Bombers

Motorized
-20 Panzergrenadiers
-7 Sdkfz 251 (transport can carry 2 each)
-14 Supply Trucks (transport can carry 2 each plus health supply)
-20 Panzer II
-41 Panzer III
-27 Panzer IV
-4 Stug III
-11 Axis Tanks
-3 Waffen SS Divisions

Horse and Cart (transport capacity from above = 42 units)
-174 Schutzen
-9 Fallschirm
-1 Kommando
-20 88mm Flak
-56 heavy artillery
-7 anti-tank guns
-35 Finnish Troops
-33 Romanian Troops
-9 Axis Minor Troops (Bulgarian but the unit also represents Spain and Turkey if they join)
-27 Hungarian Troops
-19 Conscripts (for building roads or garrison backwaters).

Afrika Korps (not counting aircraft, and some of the artillery and motorized is with them as well)
-13 Schutzen
-5 Panzer III
-8 Panzer IV

Barbarossa OOB (not breaking down by unit type because of the constant crashes when scrolling through large unit stacks).

Army Group North (Model): 44 units in 3 battle groups - Objective: Leningrad
Army Group Center (Manstein): 113 units in 5 battle groups - Objective: Moscow
Army Group South (Guderian): 98 units in 3 battle groups (most units, but not the strongest as many of these are Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians). Objective: Dnieper River

Let's swing the Hinge of Fate and see how many of these are around much later... Onward with Barbarossa!!!
 

JPetroski

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You'll be drinking schnapps in Moscow before you know it! ;)

We'll have to see about that - by turn 30 the offensive in the south has stalled after taking Kiev and Odessa. Army group Center has yet to reach Smolensk and is regrouping. Army Group North is hammering Leningrad (I do feel pretty good that I might at least take that one before the winter).

But, I need to pause, because the dumb ol' AI is not changing over its production from universities to anything else, so I think I'll take advantage of the new features in version 17 and just schedule what I want the Soviets to produce each turn and where. A large task, but one that should be worth it.

In Afrika Monty is giving me fits near El Alamein and I probably need to retreat a bit and regroup.

For some reason, the goto commands for the cargo ships are not working as well now as they were earlier in the game. No idea why this is given I'm using it in onActivate, but nothing has broken out into the north Atlantic in a bit, and there's no reason it shouldn't... Maybe the amount of units is messing with it?
 

Prof. Garfield

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For some reason, the goto commands for the cargo ships are not working as well now as they were earlier in the game. No idea why this is given I'm using it in onActivate, but nothing has broken out into the north Atlantic in a bit, and there's no reason it shouldn't... Maybe the amount of units is messing with it?

The goto order is cancelled when adjacent to a foreign unit. If you have both British and American units at sea, they might be meeting each other, and cancelling the existing order (which happens after onActivate).

For example, a British Freighter travels due east and meets an American Freighter, thereby cancelling the goto order. The AI then decides it is best to send the Freighter west. Once the British Freighter is no longer adjacent to the American Freighter, it again listens to the onActivate event, and starts travelling east once more, whereupon it spots the American Freighter, and the cycle starts over, until all movement points are expended. If both the American and British vessels have the same event (and the AI thinks it is best to go west), I think this would cause them to move west one or two squares per turn.

You could try teleporting the freighters a few squares in the direction they are supposed to be travelling if they are near a foreign unit.
 

JPetroski

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I'm not sure that is what is causing it at this stage but I suppose it could be. There's basically a channel where the British gets ships on the top and bottom 3rd of the map and the Americans go through the middle. I've taken out a few offending outliers to make sure this won't be an issue going forward. I think I need to spend a turn or two just watching the AI moves to figure it out.

The AI's choice of unit building is annoying to say the least. I'm not sure why they decide to keep building the same buildings they already have. I'm going to build a module that considers the AI build choices. That'll be a good ordeal. I guess I'll try "onTurn" first and then "beforeProduction" to see what makes it stick.

Also, you mentioned that you can use lua to allow units to investigate cities. How would I go about that specifically? I'm unfamiliar with a sample from another scenario (though I might have forgotten if we were doing it in OTR).
 
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