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The Third World War 1989

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Completed Scenarios' started by AnthonyBoscia, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. King Bulrush

    King Bulrush Warlord

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    Hello again everyone. I decided to post again in this thread because after some false starts and various issues, I eventually returned to this scenario, started a new game and recently managed to finish (and win!) a game playing as the Soviet Union.

    So I decided to write a sort of AAR/review to give my final impressions about the game.

    This was without a doubt the most epic, but also the most exhausting and time-consuming Civ 3 game that I have ever played. So of course my account of the game will necessarily be very compressed and will only cover the most important events.

    As you can imagine, the largest battles happened on the first few turns as I was struggling to clear NATO units in central Germany. I decided on turn one to concentrate all my units on the German front into two operational groups: one in the north (with the aim of taking Hamburg on turn 2), and one in the centre, aimed at Kassel. I had decided to thus open some lanes between my units so the enemy counter-attack would bypass them and exhaust itself on the units of my minor allies. The plan worked a bit too well as the West Germans offensive in the north proved to be very successful and managed to overrun Rostock. I had to abandon the attack on Hamburg and reassign my northern army to recapture Rostock where I garrisoned my surviving units to weather the next few turns of enemy airstrikes. Which brings me to the topic of the biggest challenge I had to face during the first few turns: NATO airpower. Even with the benefit of hindsight, I can not think of any way in which the Soviet player can contest air superiority over Germany for at least first week of the scenario or even later. Even when facing the AI. The qualitative and quantitative advantage of the NATO air forces is just too large. Even when the AI is stupid enough to throw away its airplanes against strong AA units, it still takes a long time to whittle them all down. So the real turning point of the scenario was on turn 4 when I broke through the west German defenses around the capital of Bonn and subsequently overran the main US airbase in Europe (wich was located right next to that city) and destroyed more than 20 air units. After that the strength of the airstrikes was significantly reduced, so my offensive picked up steam and by turn 20 I had captured every enemy city in continental Europe. It took a few more turns to also take the nearby islands (including Great Britain). At this point I probably could have abandoned the game, as I had an unassailable lead in the victory points, but I decided it would be more fun to try to invade the North American continent. To do that, I had to spend quiet a few turns rebuilding my air-force and building up a fleet of transports, but around turn 60 I was finaly ready for my invasion. In the meantime I had also eliminated the various European Neutral factions, after they suddenly but inevitably turned against me. I spend the last 15 turns rampaging through the US and Canada, and took their capitals just before I hit the victory points limit and the game ended (which was on turn 75).

    To sum up my experience, I can only quote the scenario crator:
     
  2. King Bulrush

    King Bulrush Warlord

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    Part 2: notes, issues and questions:

    One of the most striking characteristics of this scenario is how little it resembles a typical game of Civilization, and how much more it resembles a computer wargame. This is because during the first turns the game almost completely looses the sandbox feeling of the vanilla game. You start with a large army, lovingly crafted to resemble its historical counterpart, but at least at the start you can not replace almost any one of your units (and you certainly can not produce units at a high enough rate to afford high losses). Which means that you need to take care of your units a lot more than in the vanilla game (where a skilled player usually has no trouble keeping a steady stream of reinforcements to the front lines). Overall the variety of units that you get to play with (or against) and the amount of work that went into recreating the historical militaries of the various nations is one of the reasons why it is such a pleasure to play this scenario. However, with such an ammount of new units, buildings, wonders, etc, it is inevitable that there will be some issues. Here are some things I noticed while playing:


    • Soviet Spetsnaz units in the Civilopedia are listed as having the detect invisible and the stealth attack abilities, but in fact they do not have them.

    • Actually, no soviet land unit has the „detect invisible” ability, which is a bit annoying, at least at the start of the game, when there is a real risk of enemy invisible units running around in your terittory

    • On the other hand, the Spetsnaz units have the lethal land bombardment ability, which is not listed in the Civilopedia (but it is very usefull)

    • I noticed that western Cargo Ship units have some kind of anti air defense value (I saw one of them shoot down one of my air units) but the Civilopedia is again silent on this issue

    • Finaly, the pediaicons text for the VRR Wonder (communist west German government) is bugged (I had to change the text in the file from “#WON_SPLASH_BLDG_GermanPeoples” to “#WON_SPLASH_BLDG_VRD” which is what the game was asking for, otherwise it would crash.
    And I saved the “best” for last: The guerillas:

    WHAT THE F***! I'm sorry but I really feel the need to express my frustration about this. WHAT THE F***! Everything else in this scenario is so detailed and well thought out, and testifies to the huge amount of work that went into it, and then there is the Anti-Imperialist Guerilla unit that is like something from a bad bad Radio Yerevan joke. Just thinking about it makes me want to throw my computer out the window! Why oh why did it ever seem like a good ideea to make them have hidden nationality!? This way the only purpose these units serve is that your allies use them to fight eachother. It is annoying and causes the AI turns to be tediously long. And worst of all, it made me discover one more way in which it is possible to break a locked alliance. If an AI loads a Guerilla into a Breakthrough/Army unit, and attacks an allied city defended by another guerilla, it is possible to kill the defender, and then the Breakthrough unit (which is not HN in itself) will move into the city, thus capturing it and triggering a war (and causing the game to crash on the next turn). I had to reload from a save an use some of my own HN Spetsnaz units to kill the Breakthrough unit before it could trigger a war. But it was still extremely annoying (and required multiple tries before I was able to slove the problem.

    To end this post on a positive note, I have one more question about something I liked: The music. I found the custom music used for this scenario to be well chosen and I think it enhances the gameplay experience. However, I was left wondering where the music is from, because some of the tracks seemed familiar, yet I could not positively identify any one of them. So, where is the music taken from, actually?

    Otherwise, thanks again to AnthonyBoscia for creating such a great scenario, and best regards to everyone!
     
  3. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    King B, thanks for the great posts and insights. I'm glad your game turned out mostly well after all the issues you had to contend with up front. Your posts deserve thorough replies which I will write at the earliest opportunity. Rest assured that the hidden nationality and invisible units will be corrected/thrown out when this is updated. I should be able to have an update in a few months, focused strictly on fixing problems. Mutial protection pacts will also get the boot. More to come soon.
     
  4. Simon Darkshade

    Simon Darkshade Mysterious City of Gold

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    I'm about to return to this rather well-done scenario again on a different computer, so will see how it goes.

    Browsing through it once again, I'm struck even more than in 2017 how the UK is effectively done a wee bit of a disservice
    .
    6 GR.1 Tornado, 3 F.3 Tornado and 2 FGR Phantom squadrons is a huge reduction of the RAF and the reasoning given was the relative size compared with the USAF and the Soviets. However, there are a number of issues with this. First of all, aircraft holdings were more than 12 aircraft/squadron, in a similar manner to the Swedish Air Force, which, as discussed in the voluminous 1989 NATO orbat available online, "contained 8 aircraft, 16 pilots, and 6-10 aircraft in storage". Swedish fighter squadrons are not combined in the mod, nor are Turkish squadrons with 12, 15 or 16 aircraft, nor Greek squadrons with 14 aircraft, nor Italian squadrons with an official allocation of 12 fighters, although the Swiss are. USMC F/A-18 and A-6 squadrons are represented as individual units with the exact same size as the RAF's squadrons. This translates as the RAF having 23 fighter or ground attack squadrons compared to 22 of Sweden, 18 of Italy and 36 of France; the French units, by the by, also include squadrons of 8, 12, 15 and 16 aircraft.

    Given the limits of British production and manpower as simulated in the scenario, the RAF is very important, but is cut off at the knees. There are options for simulating smaller squadrons in terms of statistics and hit points that don't necessarily remove a third of the RAF.

    The "machts nichts" units I have found are the USS Constitution and HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, the Household Cavalry and the 'Foot Guards'. 1/1016 is a bit less than 4/213. I'd personally dump everything by Victory for the UK and add 2nd Coldstream Guards on Cyprus in place of the UN Peacekeeping Force and maybe something from the Gurkhas as a Far East reinforcement in the late game. Two infantry units isn't much, but it is better than two cosmetic units that are completely non-functional and stick out from the rest of the art and style of the game.

    The earlier discussion on the FV-432/FV-510 vs Chieftain armoured brigades was a reasonable explanation vis a vis the art situation, but if it is available, then it does give the British player some more realistic unit construction options in the latter part of the game.

    At present, the UK, without the RN, is perhaps the 5th most significant NATO/Western power, behind the USA, West Germany, France and Italy, with Sweden and Spain really pushing it. This doesn't really seem realistic.

    I'll have a bit more of a test play tonight for the USA and UK and maybe even the French.
     
  5. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    Thanks, Simon. It shall be done. The RAF squadrons will be expanded as you described. It is difficult to approximate all these international air force units as they all vary not only in squadron size but in number of available pilots and aircraft, spare parts, ground crews, and all that. I'm still not satisfied with the Soviet Air Force setup but haven't been able to think of a better way to organize them.

    The ceremonial units will go away but I'm keeping the Warrior. These units have no effect on turn times (aircraft have the greatest effect). I'll see about adding some Era 4 reinforcements to the U.K. although there's not much left east of Suez by this time as you know. Also, will iron out the mech infantry problem. I think at the time I really just wanted to make a BAOR chieftain unit.

    I would really like to get back into updating this but am almost never home these days. Hopefully this situation can change in the near future and we can get this done. I still owe King Bulrush a post. There are a lot of suggestions from Lionic to incorporate as well. Plus it would be nice to, ya know, actually play the game.
     
  6. Lionic

    Lionic King

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    Damn! RAF Tornadoes already make it impossible to perform missions for every non-NATO aircraft in French airspace. Unless you've got 7-8 spare units that you are willing to sacrifice of course.
     
  7. Glutius Max

    Glutius Max Warlord

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    This looks like a really fun mod, but it's unplayable for me. Having problems saving the game. Shows an error and just leaves a corrupted save file. I see that it may be due to the large scale of the game and a memory problem. Can't seem to figure out a way to fix it. I have a high-end gaming computer and 32RAM with nothing especially taxing running in the background too. :(
     
  8. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    I wish I knew a better way to address that memory issue. I haven't tried it on my new computer yet. But I always used to run it with absolutely nothing running in the background.
     
  9. Civinator

    Civinator Blue Lion Supporter

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    Glutius Max, this wonderful scenario always was running 'at the limits' of even powerful pcs. As Tony posted, absolutely nothing should run in the background of your pc and may be you should do a try with the Tsubasanut No raze exe. This exe has a 'no MUA' (maximum units allowed) component integrated and can be found here: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/ccm2-epic-mod.625812/page-32#post-15755612
     
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  10. Glutius Max

    Glutius Max Warlord

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    Thanks, was already using a no raze no unit limit patch but will try shutting off everything i can in the background. I pretty much had every app I could get shut off in the background already, but there are many processes that won't. Still it wasn't using more than 18% of my memory at any given time from what I can tell.
     
  11. Tigris of Gaul

    Tigris of Gaul Warlord

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    Playing as the neutral nations, I get a fatal error when I go to the city Wien.
     
  12. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    I didn't get a crash from the graphics. But I got one from clicking on one of the buildings on the side. This is the old memory problem again. It's not an issue when going to the civilopedia from the main map screen, though.
     

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  13. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    King Bulrush,

    First of all, thanks for the great posts and my apology for not being able to respond more promptly. "Exhausting" is about the best description I can think of for this game, both in playing and developing it. The early assault by Warsaw Pact forces differs in some respects from the early releases of the game. The way the map was drawn then made an assault straight across northern Germany a fast, if bloody affair. The current build is a little tougher on the Pact as the Fulda Gap stands as more of a slog than a highway with so much NATO hardware in the way. Channeling NATO counterattacks into ineffective funnels seems the way to go, as they either exhaust their best units in the attack or leave them exposed on non-urban squares to be decimated by your chemical and artillery counterstroke. My current frame of mind is to nerf NATO airpower still, especially in regards to lethal land bombard. But despite significant Soviet and NSWP air power in depth, there seemed to be an almost supernatural worry about the latent capabilities of NATO airpower in this time. One report I read (which sadly I can't recall to cite off the top of my head) from a Soviet source postulated that as much as 50% of all NATO fire support would come from the air. Since Soviet forces enjoy such dominance on the ground, I did want to recreate the obstacle of NATO airpower in a way that challenged the Civ player to consider advancing without total air supremacy.

    Invading North America is always a challenge in terms of amassing enough ships and aircraft. You come across this in WW2 games a lot where a Soviet victory over Germany leaves the player with a mammoth land force but limited transoceanic power projection.

    As you noted, one major feature I was going for which doesn't come up often in Civ is that units cannot be rebuilt faster than they are lost in the early game. This was always the most striking feature of the Cold War era to me, as these expensive and highly trained forces would vaporize within mere weeks due to the unprecedented attrition suffered, and leave their nations in a curious position. Certainly, such behavior has been seen in the past (WWI springs to mind), but how would that look in the information era? Frankly, were it possible, I would have made build times for new units even slower. What is most chilling to me is that such conflicts were only the precursor to years of war and suffering as the combatants had to readjust their entire national focus to winning the war.

    I don't think it's much of a secret that the special operations units with invisible and hidden nationality flags were not fully tested and thought out. Furthermore, the partisan units were also poorly implemented, and combined with the issues of mutual protection pacts along with locked alliances, have led to all kinds of frustrating shenanigans. This needs to be the main issue corrected in an update. When I get a chance to work on this, I would love some input on how to fix these issues. As of right my reaction would be to eliminate guerillas entirely.
     
  14. Nanuk

    Nanuk Warlord

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    Have you tested checking "Explore" for AI strategies and nothing else? It seems the biggest problem is the HN units being loaded into Armies. I don't know of any way to stop them from attacking cities (which is actually believable as partisan uprising or warlord going off the walls, etc...). But I believe the AI doesn't load explorers into armies. I have not fully tested this out, however.
     
  15. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Archivist, redux Supporter

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    I love this one, Tony, and the alacrity with you adjust the mod, even when provided with "heavyweight" technical info.
     
  16. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    I think that eliminating the hidden nationality flag altogether is the way forward. Then it's just a matter of incorporating the invisible flag without triggering the sub bug. I haven't messed with the explorer flag but considering how much the ai can just do whatever it wants I think this path is fraught with peril.

    :hatsoff:Thank you, good sir, although I would probably describe it more as "grim determination".
     
  17. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Archivist, redux Supporter

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    Well, how else should one properly address the subject of The Third World War? ... :popcorn: ...
     
  18. King Bulrush

    King Bulrush Warlord

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    I don't think eliminating guerillas entirely is really necessary. Just take away the hidden nationality flag. Guerillas aren't invisible, so they weren't going to trigger the sub bug anyway. And the big problem with with HN units in this scenarion is that the AI will allways prioritize attacking the closest HN unit it can see, which will usually belong to an ally, so after guerillas are introduced, your AI allies will just waste time trying to kill eachoter's guerillas. (And what is worse is that the AI will also attack friendly special forces units if they have the HN flag)
    Anyway, I think that for guerillas there are the following options: One is to make them be juts a form of cheap and weak attacking infantry (just like in the vanilla game) The other is to give them some perks that make them act more like guerillas in a real war. So you could give them one or more of the following attirbutes:
    - be invisible (but without the HN flag). I think with locked alliances on, invisible units can not trigger wars between allies (but they might slow down the game even more, so that is one possible drawback). Also, they may trigger the occasional war agains the neutrals, but this is no big deal, because the way this scenarion is set up, it will degenerate into an everyone vs everyone else fight as soon as you research the tech needed for military alliances anyway.
    - treat all terrain as roads, like explorers (someone allready mentioned giving them the explorer flag anyway). This way they can more quickly reach enemy rear areas and attack vulnerable targets there
    - have the ability to do stealth attacks (again, to simulate the guerillas doing sabotage behing enemy lines without engaging in battle with the frontline units).

    On a related note, there is one more issue I remembered, related to invisible units: When I was playing my game as the Soviets, on turn 2 or 3 the US AI dropped a bunch of invisible SF units somewhere in my terittory. Dealing with them would have been an interesting challenge, Since the soviets lack the ability to detect invisible units inland. However, the AI made the mistake to of also dropping an unit that wasn't invisible (I think it was called "airborne AA", or "special forces AA" or something like that) on the same map square. So now I knew the location of all the enemy infiltrators and I just sent a tank division to slaughter them all. So maybe you could double check that all units that have the ability to paradrop also have the invisible flag, so they can act as effective infiltrators.


    And on an unrelated note, you did not answer the question about the music used in the scenarion. :)
     
  19. AnthonyBoscia

    AnthonyBoscia Emperor

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    We'll see. Triggering wars with neutrals is something I wanted to avoid right from the start. It removes the option to compete for them in the tech tree. Having guerillas as cheap, no-resource infantry is an option, although this role is filled by reserve units. The explorer flag will not function well for the AI as the map is revealed to all parties at the start. We'll see. I won't have time to work on this for a while anyway, so different possibilities can be considered. I appreciate the detailed feedback. This is exactly what's needed to make improvements in the scenario. We're gonna figure something out for sure.
     
  20. r16

    r16 not deity

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    ı have forgotten the time scale in the scenario , with the computer failing to cross the first turn , but few urban guerillas in the West would have been executed in the first hours and this is perhaps meant for the Caribbean or Middle East where they already existed ? Maybe some seperate "ethnicity" without naming them ? A few preplaced units that enslave when victorious placed in the map , must win quickly or gets whittled down immediately , to represent , say , typical lraqi response of widespread massacres ? To be owned by the British and Russia respectively ?
     

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