The Hinge of Fate - Playtest/Release Thread

JPetroski

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Hi all,

EDIT - 8/15/22 - Version 1.02 is now released. Change log:
-German AT gun now have 2 MP
-Artillery shell range = 2
-Allied flak to 0 MP - should make certain cities harder to take
-Scout car IZOC
-New Panzergrenadier cost = 180
-Doubled cost of Sdkfz
-Tripled cost of supply trucks
-when an artillery unit deploys from a transport, its movespent is set to 255. This means it can no longer be transported and fire on same turn.
-Add submarine unit in place of Montgomery for Allies.
-Submarines have random chance to spawn near Afrika Korps resupply lines starting turn 25 when Malta isn't neutralized.
-Germany starts with 2x Mobile Artillery units now
-Expanded paved road and regular road network in Italy
-Kampfgruppe now provide 3x Panzergrenadier and 2x Schutzen rather than 5x Panzergrenadiers
-Afrika Korps now starts with 1x Scout Car
-Adjusted Stalingrad event to make it more nefarious
-Increased speed of non-transport naval units (up by 50%)
-Made War industry nil prereq
-Made it impossible to build refineries or factories on any map but Europe so there won't be strat errors. Unfortunately this does mean you aren't going to be able to build up in the United States, but at that point in the game, I think this is acceptable.
-Fixed strat.cityCoordinate issues with refinery - it was looking for the wrong improvement which allowed fuel refineries to be built in places beyond simply industrial cities as desired.
-Fixed issue where fuel bonus wasn't being given.
-Added Melitopol, Voroshilovgrad, Poltava, and Kramatorsk.
-Fixed issue where flak 88 shells would not fire to the night map. The correct key is now 8.




I'm releasing the scenario for a general playtest. You can find it in our downloads section. Attached to this post please find optional improvement art (I could not fit the download with it).

I'm sure I've forgotten some relatively minor things (probably buried in game.txt somewhere) but I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that I've avoided any game-breaking bugs. I've playtested this scenario a few times on my own and am looking forward to seeing what you all come up with and how you do.

Please report any bugs in this thread. Given this is a playtest, I'd suggest you should save each turn, "just in case."

Please read the readme before playing as this scenario is a bit of a monster. You should at least understand the special keys and critical concepts portions.

I hope you all have fun. I'm also hopeful you have fun even if you lose. You're really supposed to lose - so if you do better, good on you!

Of note, Prof. Garfield, I have not added the "archive" function just yet. I really need to plan to do that from the start of scenarios going forward. However, the information contained therein isn't anything you can't find in the readme.

DOWNLOAD SCENARIO

**I utter a little prayer to the heavens that I haven't made a stupid error that will require an immediate patch, but you never know...**
 
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Pablostuka

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JPetroski

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You have not posted the scenario files, man...Only the improvement bmps.

I've posted the actual scenario to civfanatics in the download link @Pablostuka provided - the scenario was too large to fit on civfanatics at large so I opted to put the optional improvements stuff in this thread.
 

Civinator

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The techs Schnorkel and Hydrodynamics have the same prerequisites. I don´t know if this is intended. The "ü" in Karlsruhe is a typo.

Karlsrühe.jpg
 

techumseh

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I'm starting a game, and will play several turns at least to give you my impressions. It may be a while before I can actually finish a game. At first glance it looks well made and 'finished'. The scale, including the number of turns, is a bit intimidating. The additional unit features are impressive, but will take a few turns to figure out. I appreciate scenarios where there is plenty of differentiation between unit capabilities, and this one has that in spades. It helps give a nice 'tactical' feel to a scenario when you use one unit for one task and another for a different task.

I'm always interested in how the maps of different scenarios portray Canadian geography. This is a personal quirk, and I'm not suggesting any changes. St. John New Brunswick (not St. John's in Newfoundland) was a significant port on the Atlantic coast. It, Halifax, and Montreal are the largest eastern Canadian ports. It would most likely be located at 50,56 on your map. Thunder Bay was only formed in 1970 by the amalgamation of Ft. William and Port Arthur, of which Port Arthur was probably more significant in WWII.

Anyway John, well done! I'm looking forward to pushing the perfidious English into the sea!
 

techumseh

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At the end of the second turn, I've reached Lille and conquered all of the low countries. My panzers are almost completely depleted, and the offensive is now based on infantry and artillery, with lots of Luftwaffe support. I think next time, I will organize my supply trucks to keep the panzers at full strength and move some schutzen units with them too. I also think I need to swing a little farther south, because my schwerpunkt ran into the BEF, rather than getting behind it. I'm getting good results so far from my U-boats.

There is an impassible road in Norway at 112,4. Also, I keep getting these pop-up messages: Empty truck (ID: 1234). Is this intended?
 

techumseh

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At the end of my 4th turn (late June), I've been thrown back from Calais on the coast road with heavy losses. I'm stalled outside of Lille, and I lost both Guderian and Galland. Interestingly, I first got a message saying Guderian was wounded, followed immediately by another saying he would be given a state funeral - so I assume he must be dead. Anyway, I think I'll stop there. That was a good dry run to learn the mechanics, and I'll start a fresh game tomorrow.

One observation - I made repeated U-boat and air attacks on the British fleet that was close inshore off Holland and found the battleships to be almost impervious to attack. Historically, the Royal Navy kept its big ships at Scapa Flow, north of Scotland to keep them out of the range of German bombers. Both submarines and aircraft, especially dive and torpedo bombers, posed a real threat to capital ships throughout the war.
 

Locopath

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I've only dipped a toe in this so far, and am completely new to LUA scenarios and added functionality in general, but it feels fantastic to play!

Can honestly say it feels like a new unique game I'm playing, not just a Civ II scenario. I hope to give better/more constructive feedback when I've gotten to grips with it but that'll take a while I reckon :)
 

JPetroski

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One observation - I made repeated U-boat and air attacks on the British fleet that was close inshore off Holland and found the battleships to be almost impervious to attack. Historically, the Royal Navy kept its big ships at Scapa Flow, north of Scotland to keep them out of the range of German bombers. Both submarines and aircraft, especially dive and torpedo bombers, posed a real threat to capital ships throughout the war.

I am having a bugger of a time figuring out why the AI likes to stack those ships there in some games.

At the end of my 4th turn (late June), I've been thrown back from Calais on the coast road with heavy losses. I'm stalled outside of Lille, and I lost both Guderian and Galland. Interestingly, I first got a message saying Guderian was wounded, followed immediately by another saying he would be given a state funeral - so I assume he must be dead. Anyway, I think I'll stop there. That was a good dry run to learn the mechanics, and I'll start a fresh game tomorrow.

That I am not totally certain as to why it happened. The code to me at least is not something that would have that happen. The object file has the flag defined as "false" at the start of the scenario - so I'm not sure why this would occur. I'll have to dig into it I suppose.

Code:
if loser.type == object.uGuderian and flag.value("Guderian Wounded") == false then
flag.setTrue("Guderian Wounded")
civ.ui.text("General Heinz Guderian has been wounded in action! He has been sent home to convalesce and will need to make his way back to the front lines.  He was badly injured in the attack, and one more such wound will finish him!")
civlua.createUnit(object.uGuderian, object.tGermany, {{130,64,0},{132,74,0},{124,72,0},{122,66,0},{117,53,0},{123,91,0},{114,88,0}}, {randomize=true, veteran=true})
end 
if loser.type == object.uGuderian and flag.value("Guderian Wounded") == true then
civ.ui.text("It is a tragic day for the Reich, as General Heinz Guderian has fallen in battle! A state funeral with full honors is planned!")
end

Also, I keep getting these pop-up messages: Empty truck (ID: 1234). Is this intended?

This is intended - when the trucks have units on them, it'll tell you what units are on them. When they're empty, it tells you they're empty. It makes it much easier to manage when you are using them to move units along on your offensives.

If I can give you a hint for your next playthrough, remember what caused the Dutch to surrender and maybe take a little flight on the night map. You won't expend as many units in the low countries ;)

Another hint - Calais is important to capture. I'd really try and capture Calais on turn one. Pin the B.E.F.

Can honestly say it feels like a new unique game I'm playing, not just a Civ II scenario. I hope to give better/more constructive feedback when I've gotten to grips with it but that'll take a while I reckon

Thank you! I hope there's not too many bugs for everyone :( I spent a *lot* of time on QA but there's going to simply be situations I didn't encounter that I'll need to sort through. As you play, I'd really suggest saving each turn and if something comes up the good news is it's usually fixable on the fly with lua meaning you don't need to restart everything (maybe a turn at worst).
 

Prof. Garfield

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That I am not totally certain as to why it happened. The code to me at least is not something that would have that happen. The object file has the flag defined as "false" at the start of the scenario - so I'm not sure why this would occur. I'll have to dig into it I suppose.
Code:
if loser.type == object.uGuderian and flag.value("Guderian Wounded") == false then
flag.setTrue("Guderian Wounded")
civ.ui.text("General Heinz Guderian has been wounded in action! He has been sent home to convalesce and will need to make his way back to the front lines.  He was badly injured in the attack, and one more such wound will finish him!")
civlua.createUnit(object.uGuderian, object.tGermany, {{130,64,0},{132,74,0},{124,72,0},{122,66,0},{117,53,0},{123,91,0},{114,88,0}}, {randomize=true, veteran=true})
end
if loser.type == object.uGuderian and flag.value("Guderian Wounded") == true then
civ.ui.text("It is a tragic day for the Reich, as General Heinz Guderian has fallen in battle! A state funeral with full honors is planned!")
end
The "Guderian Wounded" flag is set to true in the first "event." Then, as soon as that event is complete, the next event checks if the "Guderian Wounded" flag is true, which it now is, and proceeds to explain that he is killed. To fix this, use elseif, or switch the order of these two events. Based on this code, having the second event fire won't impact the game, so the fix can wait.
 
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Hi John,

So I was finally able to download and play my first turn of HoF yesterday. It probably took around 2 hours to do so, but as this was my introduction to the game, I spent a lot of time reviewing how the different units worked and went over some of the lua files to try and understand how you implemented the various game mechanics.

As you can see from the screen shot below, I made some good progress on my first turn though I’m uncertain whether it’s sufficient to defeat the BEF in time.

upload_2022-3-16_13-37-3.png


Overall, I have to say I’m truly truly impressed by the level of though and detail that went into it. You’ve basically covered all the major facets that one would expect in a strategic level conflict. From the supply and fuel systems, the truck transport and logistical support, the leader and contextual unit bonuses, strategic bombing, spy mechanism, the resistance movements, to the war at sea.

I like how you implemented the truck logistical and spy mechanisms, i.e. transferring hit points to depleted units and using the gen.setCityInvestigated(tile.city) to spy on cities were very clever ways of instituting these features.

This is for certain a very large scenario which will require a fair amount of time to play. As such, I don’t expect to be able to give a play by play of it but hopefully will post the occasional highlights on my progress and come back if I find any unexpected bug or have the occasional question.

And yes I whole heartedly support your position that we shouldn’t cloak the past be it with regards the Holocaust or any other unsavory aspects of human history. Only by confronting our demons can we ever expect to move past them.

Speaking of which, here’s my first questions:
  • What role do the German bombers play on the ‘Skies over Europe’ maps play? As far as I can see, other than airbases the British isles don’t appear to have Fuel Refinery, Housing District or Industrial Centers units to attack. Does that mean for the German side it’s primarily an air war (planes vs planes)?
  • I’m I correct to assume that there are a fixed number of Supply Depots improvements throughout the game with no chance of building additional ones?
  • Does the supply mechanism only apply to the German player?

On a side note, the Supply Depot icons on the map aren’t overwhelmingly obvious. Is it possible to identify these cities a little more clearly?
 
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JPetroski

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Thank you all for the nice comments!

What role do the German bombers play on the ‘Skies over Europe’ maps play? As far as I can see, other than airbases the British isles don’t appear to have Fuel Refinery, Housing District or Industrial Centers units to attack. Does that mean for the German side it’s primarily an air war (planes vs planes)?

There are British industrial units on the daylight high altitude map at certain cities and British civilian targets on the night map. You can also strike Rotterdam and Belgrade I believe. Personally, I don't know how much it's really going to matter/help the war effort so I don't use them for that, but your strategy might be different. Advantages of the medium bombers is that they can climb to high altitude (n) and then descend (n) which allows them to get around big clumps of enemy units and hit more distant targets. The Stukas are stuck on the low-alt map.

I’m I correct to assume that there are a fixed number of Supply Depots improvements throughout the game with no chance of building additional ones?

-Correct, you can't build more - you should aim to take these cities into consideration as you advance.

Does the supply mechanism only apply to the German player?

Yes - I had it affecting everyone at first but in playtests you'd go through so many random situations where the AI got itself in trouble based on where it moved that it really distracted from things. Instead of the whole supply system, there are some encirclements you can effect in Russia if you advance far enough. Likewise, when you capture Calais you'll pin the Brits.

On a side note, the Supply Depot icons on the map aren’t overwhelmingly obvious. Is it possible to identify these cities a little more clearly?

I could use text on the map if that would be easier? It probably is a good idea. Not much I can do for your playtest but for the sake of squinting future players I'll make the change :)
 

techumseh

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My second run-through has gone far better. I bombed Rotterdam at night this time, which worked so much better than last time as most of the Dutch army surrendered immediately. I was far better at organizing my forces too, and focused on getting to Calais in the first turn. Heading on the more direct route south of Brussels and through Lille, I did arrive with some movement left. I used my Fallschirmjagers to clear the ground units, and the panzers to take out the remaining air units. I organized my trucks far better this time and used them to carry infantry and heavy artillery to capture Brussels and Lille, and to start mopping up the BEF. On the second turn, I redeployed my panzers along the Somme river and took Rheims, ready to go for Paris on turn 3. Being well organized and focused seems to be the key to success here, as it should be.

The various units interact very realistically, giving an excellent combined arms feel to the scenario. It's both detailed and large, not to mention long, so it may be a while before I'll be able to finish a game. But it's definitely interesting and leaves me wanting to play the next turn, which is after all the hallmark of a good scenario.

A couple of questions and suggestions:

How do you get France to capitulate? How does the armistice work? If you manage to invade England successfully, do they surrender?

By the time I get this far on a scenario, the last thing I want is a bunch of well-meaning suggestions about what I should change. Here are my well-meaning suggestions with no expectation that you will change anything. :p

1. At some point, the Belgians and the Dutch should lay down their arms. You shouldn't have to mop up the units one by one.

2. If the Germans hold both Antwerp and Calais, British units between them that are on the coast should have a chance of being evacuated back to Britain.

An excellent scenario so far John. Well done!
 

JPetroski

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How do you get France to capitulate? How does the armistice work? If you manage to invade England successfully, do they surrender?

I should probably add a section in the readme like Tootall_2012 did with Napoleon that reinforces what you need to do to get the capitulations. For now:

France:
-You need to capture the four cities that are marked with *** on the map (Paris, Le Havre, Cherbourg, Brest).

Britain:
-You need to capture all the cities except for Scapa Flow (We shall fight on the beaches and all that, they'll never surrender).

USSR:
-You need to capture Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Baku.

1. At some point, the Belgians and the Dutch should lay down their arms. You shouldn't have to mop up the units one by one.

I could either have the Dutch/Belgian units lay down arms after France falls, or I could convert them into resistance members (which might be more accurate though it doesn't solve the mop up problem).

2. If the Germans hold both Antwerp and Calais, British units between them that are on the coast should have a chance of being evacuated back to Britain.

-This already happens - units that you do not destroy by a certain turn will evacuate back to Britain via the Miracle of Dunkirk. If you destroy enough of them this doesn't happen.
 
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Hi John,

Just a quick recap. Though my play through hasn’t gone as smoothly as Tech’s second attempt, I did manage to capture Calais by Early June and Paris, Le Havre and Caen by Late June.

My ability to achieve this was largely prompted by my ability to first sweep the areas in front of Calais and then Paris with my armored and air units and then transport large number of artillery units at critical focal points to reduce these strongholds and then mop up with Schutzen and PanzerGrenadier. As Tech said using your combined arms in an effective manner is crucial for success and the scenario marvelously portrays that aspect of modern warfare.

I believe I’m in a position to capture Cherbourg and Brest in the next turn and thereby force France to surrender.

upload_2022-3-17_11-31-4.png


I concur with Tech, after capturing both Amsterdam and Brussels I expected both the Dutch and Belgian units to surrender but like him had to mop up every single last unit.

Unfortunately, I also lost Galland on the very turn after he appeared due to very heavy Spitfire activity near Calais (as seen in the image above).

There are British industrial units on the daylight high altitude map at certain cities and British civilian targets on the night map. You can also strike Rotterdam and Belgrade I believe. Personally, I don't know how much it's really going to matter/help the war effort so I don't use them for that, but your strategy might be different. Advantages of the medium bombers is that they can climb to high altitude (n) and then descend (n) which allows them to get around big clumps of enemy units and hit more distant targets. The Stukas are stuck on the low-alt map.

Ah, okay. I didn’t realize these units were ‘hidden’ until you flew next to them. Thanks for confirming.

I could use text on the map if that would be easier? It probably is a good idea. Not much I can do for your playtest but for the sake of squinting future players I'll make the change :)

Yes, I think a label of some kind with a bright color would probably be easier to see.

Again just on personal preference, I found the Neutral Territory white flag a little too pale to properly see and swapped it out with a yellow colored flag instead.

upload_2022-3-17_11-32-22.png


On the sea front, I'm not certain if I'm doing well but have managed to sink 12 Allied Cargo Ships, 7 Destroyers, 1 Light and 1 Heavy Cruiser. I also managed to sink 3 Battlehips that came too close to shore near Rotterdam with 4 shells from 2 nearby artillery units. In exchange I lost 9 Type VII submarines.
 
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Quick follow up questions:

I can move my air units between the 'Europe' to the 'Skies Over Europe (N)' nighttime map by pressing on the '5' key.

But how to I get them to operate on the 'Skies Over Europe' day time map? At least, I haven't figured out how to do so as of yet,
 
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