War in the East Developer Chat

Chat Transcript from Thursday

blastpop What is the play time for the scenarios short ones and campaigns? approximately...
Joel Billings The short scenarios are as few as 10 turns.
Joel Billings I suppose the shorter ones can be played in a few hours.
Joel Billings The campaign game could take a very long time...
Joel Billings Figure an hour per turn, that's 225 hours
blastpop has one been completed?
Joel Billings Could be more, I know some people can take 2-3 hours on some moves, while some turns go much quicker (mud turns go fast)
Joel Billings only AI vs AI, in terms of the full campaign
blastpop thanks
Sean_Drummy thank you!
Joel Billings I don't think anyone has started in 41 and played to 45 yet.
Sean_Drummy Ok, BLurking - please ask your question!
BLurking How capable is the AI on offense?
Joel Billings Not as good as it is on defense, to be honest.
Joel Billings It can do a decent job as the Soviet in the late war.
grigbeme A lot of work went in to the offensive AI, but an experienced player would still have to give the AI some help to feel he is being challenged
Joel Billings The German 41 is tough to do, because their is a lot of difficult moves needed to trap big pockets.
BLurking So, smaller scenarios are best in this case - rather than trying to manage defense/counterattack...
Joel Billings It will however play good enough, especially with help.
BLurking THX
Sean_Drummy Thanks for that!
Sean_Drummy Ok, boatrigm, do you have a question?
boatrigm Will there be any video tutorials?
Joel Billings None planned at the moment. I am putting a video together, but it's not a tutorial like the WBTS tutorials.
boatrigm thx
Sean_Drummy Sure! Alright Champagne, please ask a question.
Champagne Will the AI be able to command some of my own forces in a game against the AI? I might want to command only a portion of the front against the AI and let the AI command the rest of the front. OR, I may not wish to command the Air Forces and Naval units.
Joel Billings No, it won't command your units as such...
Joel Billings However, there are many automated functions you can call on to make things easier.
grigbeme The AI will handle most of the air ops for you, the land ops must be controlled by you.
Champagne Naval Ops?
Joel Billings You can turn over some functions, like moving support units between HQ's over to the AI.
Joel Billings Naval OPs are abstracted. Their is limited transport movement and amphibious capability.
Sean_Drummy Dogancan, please ask a question.
Dogancan are there any scenarios small enough for rather newbie wargamers or is this game primariyly for those who have years of experience with wargames? I really would like to play it but looking at AARs, it seems that the game is rather intended for a group of Easterfront experts...
Dogancan that is all
Dogancan thx
Joel Billings There are small scenarios that a new player should be able to handle.
Dogancan and the tutorial?
Joel Billings The tutorial scenario is very small, and with the tutorial guide walkthru you should be able to get started.
Dogancan ok thanks
Sean_Drummy dougb1, your turn!
Joel Billings Trey built the tutorial scenario with a play area of about 6x15 hexes, and only 8 turns, so it's very quick to play.
dougb1 I'm interested in the design decision to make this a divisional level game rather than WIR with the corps level manoever units containing divisions. Was there any thought of using the WIR system initially?
Joel Billings I'm assuming Gary is going to answer this one.
grigbeme No, we wanted this game to be different, bigger and better that the earlier WIR games.
Sean_Drummy DSWargamer, your turn to ask a question.
DSWargamer yes
DSWargamer ok
el hefe Heh. I think me and DSWargmaer traded some Battlefield Academy PBEMs
Sean_Drummy :-)
DSWargamer how much of the games design will be similar to WitP?
Joel Billings Not much
grigbeme Very little!
Joel Billings There is some air combat that can trace it's roots to Bombing the Reich, Uncommon Valor and WitP, but really the system is totally different.
DSWargamer I would also love a video produced to show the game in operation
DSWargamer over to the next person
dukewacoan When can I buy it? If that's a no-go question, then AARs seem to show significant German advances over historical in '41 and Case Blue. If this is case (and it is hard to avoid due to unavoidable foresight/hindsight) how to you adjust gameplay to keep the game going long term?
Joel Billings By the way, I see Jim Martin is here. He labored hard to make all the nice weapon and leader pics you see in the game.
Joel Billings I'm not sure what AAR you are referring to, but the game has changed so many times over the past few months that any one AAR is not a good judge.
grigbeme We have worked hard to achieve a historical balance in game play. We hope that the release version will reflect this.
Joel Billings We have some games where the Germans do not meet the historical advance, and then others where they do better, so I would wait to judge things.
dukewacoan Thx
Joel Billings All I know is when Andy takes a side, his side does better than historical. :}
el hefe LOL on that one Joel
Sabre21 harhar
Sean_Drummy Alright then, gilmer, your turn.
gilmer Skip me, please, I'm just content to read. Thanks for all the years of gaming. :)
Sean_Drummy You got it!
Sean_Drummy HMSImperator, please ask a question if you'd like.
HMSImperator Question: How easy will it be to build up the Red Army to the size it was in 43/44? Reading Glantz describing hundreds of Katyusha/artillery/engineer/other miscellanious regiments being raised every spring along with all the building up of tank/rifle corps and such seems like it would leave nothing for replacing losses/moving stuff around in the OOB in terms of APs.
grigbeme Our long tests have shown that the Soviets have the resources to build a hugh army, given the chance.
Joel Billings Yes, I think our testers have shown that you can build a big Soviet army.
Joel Billings It is a challenge, and a big part of the game for the Soviet player.
Joel Billings He has limited admin points so he can't do everything.
Joel Billings You'll have plenty of decisions to make, do you build a mech corps, switch a leader, or build some new support units.
el hefe You also have the mud turns when combat is relatively quiet to help build up as well
Sean_Drummy Ok then: johnnycanuck1944 - your turn!
johnnycanuck1944 do all the german and russian leaders in the game have pics? thanks
Joel Billings yes, most of them, Jim, can you say how many we have?
Joel Billings Oh, Jim left, but most leaders have pics
Jim_Martin Was just checking. Continue and I'll jump in with the answer. Want to be as accurate as I can be.
Joel Billings There are some we could not find pics for
Joel Billings But you can add them later if you find them.
johnnycanuck1944 ok,thanks
Sean_Drummy Ok then.
Joel Billings It's very easy.
Sean_Drummy joki, please ask a question if you'd like.
joki how close will this game be to the gameplay/rules of the original boardgame?
Joel Billings from a data file point of view, if you have the art, its easy
Joel Billings not at all like the boardgame
Joel Billings just big
Joel Billings that's the only things that's similar
Sean_Drummy jred - your turn to ask a question.
jred Thank you for re-doing my favorite game of all time!!!! I know there is a Kursk scenario but it would be interesting to listen to Manstein and attack in April/May vs. July. I know there is a scenario editor but I wouldn't know the positioning of units during April/May 1943. Any ideas on how I would be able to play this hypothetical scenario?
Joel Billings convince someone to build it for you :}
Joel Billings We have a very powerful editor, and hope the large community will enjoy building new scenarios.
Sabre21 I'm sure Trey can be bribed
el hefe I have been thinking of workin on some scenarios like this sometime in the future.
jred Great, thx!!!
Joel Billings We think the basic operational system is very good, and conducive to smaller scenarios.
Joel Billings or hypotheticals
el hefe Letting the player figure out the summer campaign strategy would be pretty cool
Sean_Drummy kclcmdr - please ask a question if you'd like.
kclcmdr Will the campaign game allow us players to play beyond apr 45?
Joel Billings yes
grigbeme You can keep going until Septemberr 1945.
kclcmdr Excellent... Thanks...
Sean_Drummy malko, if you'd like - please ask a question.
malko Can you tell us a little bit about any automation mechanisms that ease the burden on the human player? Especially with regard to the Grand Campaign? For example, can the Soviet player in 1941 automate industrial evacuation in any way? Or the use of aerial support?
Joel Billings The biggest auto feature is auto recon and auto airfield attack.
Joel Billings That will cut down on your first turn airstrikes.
grigbeme Air-ground support is automatic. Other air missions can be turned over to the AI. Supply is mostly automatic.
Sean_Drummy marco, please ask a question if you wish.
marco The German player have a real chance to win the game in the big capaign? or he just have to try to resist the soviet power? And in the first turns how much will be difficult to stop an experienced german player? I think playbalance it's essential to make this game succesfull, expecially if you have to take hours to do a single turn
Joel Billings Yes, the German has a real chance of winning.
grigbeme The German player must advance rapidly into Russia and destroy a lot of Russian divisions to have a chance.
el hefe The earlier the better for sure
Joel Billings A very good German player is going to carve up a new Soviet player, but a new German player will be stopped by a good Soviet player.
Joel Billings Between two players of equal ability, I think you have a fair fight.
Joel Billings I can't tell you how likely it is for the Germans to win a decisive victory in this case.
marco thank you guys,a nd good luck for the release
Joel Billings I'm very interested in seeing how things work out when we have tons of people playing PBEM.
Sean_Drummy miller41, your turn!
miller41 Thanks for all your hard work everyone. Answered my first question already. Is victory possible over the russians just by inflicting massive losses without taking moscow, lenningrad ect. Thanks
Joel Billings If you inflict massive losses, you will take those places.
Joel Billings But by massive, it must be more than historical.
Joel Billings And historical losses were pretty high.
miller41 fair enough, thanks
grigbeme The Axis player must overrun much of Russia to win an automatic victory...He must advance past Gorki!!
Sean_Drummy mvdh1, please ask a question.
mvdh1 Hi Guys, after reading the manual chapter on combat units I'm not sure I fully grasped what is meant by "support squad ground elements" as opposed to "support units". I know they both move between HQ's and combat units but what's the difference in combat resolution between the two?
Joel Billings Every unit has squads of "support". These are your cooks, truck drivers, etc.
Joel Billings They are needed for units to run smoothly, but aren't combat worthy.
grigbeme Support squads are a collection of medics, mechanics, supply handlers.. etc.
Joel Billings support units are battalions and regiments of combat units (artillery, AT-guns, assault guns) that fight but aren't on the map
Joel Billings support squads (or elements) don'
Joel Billings don't move
grigbeme Support units may be combat elements such as artillery regiments, SPG battalions, engineer regiments...
Sean_Drummy Sure, notenome, your turn.
notenome I logged in mid chat, so Im guessing this must have been asked a million times, but are we getting a release date? I jumped when I saw the buy now sign on the matrix website. And if that question is a no go, I was wondering if for a future project you'd consider a tactical game. I played the Lost Victories mega campaign for Steel Panthers and really there's nothing like it on the market, a dynamic tactical campaign, maybe even with promotions and demotions, who knows. Id think it great if 2by3 did a tactical game like that.
Joel Billings We don't have any plans for a tactical game anytime soon. I'm sure Gary would like to do one again someday. Gary has expressed interest in a grand tactical system with 1 mile hexes, more than a fully tactical game.
Joel Billings As for release, that's something Matrix needs to address, but we're close.
Sean_Drummy PyleDriver, there's a familiar name! :-) Do you have a question?
el hefe Heh. Hes a tester
Joel Billings I call him Mr. 42
Sean_Drummy PyleDriver?
Joel Billings he got typecast as the first tester of the 1942 scenario
grigbeme Posted a heck of an AAR!
PyleDriver I was the first tester
Joel Billings yes he was
Joel Billings quite a different game now, huh Jon?
Sean_Drummy rosseau? Would you like to ask a question?
rosseau Many of us remember War in Russia circa 1983. Did you ever imagine at that time having this much computer power to play with? And how much has that really helped, ie, design skill vs raw computing power when programming a game like this one?
PyleDriver Still here after all this time
grigbeme In 1983 it took about 6 months to finish a game...now it takes 4 years. Thats what all of that computer power does for game design...hope you guys appreciate the end product!
Joel Billings we couldn't do this kind of game without that computer power
Joel Billings WitP and WitE were just impossible to do without the computers of today
Sabre21 Just think what 10 more years will bring
Joel Billings Of course we all have 3 million dollar computers on our desk now. I worked at Amdahl in 79 and they had 3 million dollar computers where we were talking about Megs of memory.
grigbeme retirement?
Sean_Drummy haha
Sean_Drummy I have more hard drive space on my key chain now than the entire world did back then.
Sabre21 You can't retire
Sean_Drummy RyeM, please ask a question if you'd like.
RyeM Do ground units have entrenchement capabilities (like in Panzer General) that would increase thier defence capabilities?
Joel Billings yes, very much so
RyeM Thanks. I wish for the release each night before going to sleep. Thank you gentleman!
Joel Billings and they can use support construction battalions and city labor to help dig them faster
Joel Billings Soviets need to dig deep.
RyeM The germans too?
Joel Billings sure
Joel Billings they actually can dig faster, and they need it later on
RyeM My question answered. Thanks again!
Joel Billings I should say, a typical infantry vs rifle division can dig faster
Sean_Drummy Slick Wilhelm, fire away!
Slick Wilhelm Are there plans for a WWI game using this engine, or a modified version? :)
Joel Billings Not at the moment, no, but that's an interesting idea.
Slick Wilhelm PLEASE! :D
grigbeme It has not been discussed...this engine should be able to handle a WWI game.
Slick Wilhelm Thank you.
Sean_Drummy The Plodder, your turn!
The Plodder What made you go to IGOUGO gameplay as opposed to the WEGO of WITP? thanks.
Joel Billings IIRC, I wanted Gary to make a game that had the appeal and addictiveness of Panzer General where you get to move, attack, move some more, attack some more.
Joel Billings I thought it would be fun to do it that way instead of plotting, and it was something different from the other WIR games.
grigbeme Steel Panthers actually convinced us that IGOUGO was more fun to play than the sci-move systems.
Sean_Drummy typhoon, please ask a question if you'd like.
typhoon For me War in Russia is such a great game it casts a very large shadow. So although vague I want to know why you think that War in the East will be a worthy successor to it and where it has improved upon it the most? and thanks
The Plodder thanks for your answers:)
Joel Billings I assume you mean WiR of the nineties, not WiR of the eighties, right?
typhoon yes
grigbeme It has better resolution, it is bigger, hopefully more accurate results...
Joel Billings I don't know about Gary, but for me WitE is more focused on just doing the land war in Russia better and more detailed than WiR. WiR had peripheral issues like putting units in other front holding boxes and production.
Joel Billings War in the East is so much better as a pure operational land game.
typhoon thanks
Joel Billings They are two very different games on the same subject.
Sean_Drummy Xian, your turn to ask a question!
Xian How are the huge number of late/very late war German divisions being handled? Do you have the ability to direct replacements to certain units or group of units (Armies/Fronts/Waffen-SS division/regular divisions) or are replacements showered evenly over all units/fronts/etc?
Joel Billings You do have some control over where replacements go. You can set some units to refit, and these will draw replacements first....
grigbeme We have the historical arrival of all Axis divisions that fought on the Eastern Front.
Joel Billings Second, you can set the percentage of your TOE that you want to replace to, from 50-100%, so you can starve some units if you want.
Joel Billings So you will get the historical reinforcements to the front, and then you can impact their replacements.
Xian All of the fractional divisions that were raised in early 45 are coming with the battalion strength that they actually had?
Joel Billings Trey, do you know offhand what those 1945 units look like?
el hefe Yes, the late war ones that were hastily raised show up at about 5% strength
Xian Thank you
Joel Billings I see the 35th SS with 3500 men, the Stettin Static division with 628 men
d007mog is there a function that allows one to compare ones losses against historical figures
grigbeme We have various reports that you can use to track different aspects of you Armies status/losses. There are no historical benchmarks listed in the game.
Joel Billings There is no function to compare historical progress, however, one of our testers has produced a very cool map that shows the historical lines all through the campaign (at least for 41 and 42). We didn't have time to produce it and provide it in the game, but we will find a way to get it posted on the public forum.
d007mog thanks
Joel Billings It really is a great looking map, so we'll get that out. It is nice to compare your progress every few weeks against the German's historical progress.
Sean_Drummy ioticus, you're up!
ioticus I'm interested in the smaller scenarios. What will be included and what timeframe can you complete them in?
Joel Billings I think the smallest scenarios can be played in a few hours.
Joel Billings We have 6 Road to... scenarios that take parts of the front in June 41.
Joel Billings Several 10 turns, some about 17 turns.
Joel Billings You could play them in 2-4 hours, depending on how fast you are. There are several intermediate sized scenarios.
Joel Billings Operation Blue and Operation Typhoon are both about 20 turns, but cover larger areas.
Joel Billings Andy, how long did it take you and Stuart to play 8 turns of Op Blue?
Joel Billings We also have the 4 campaigns, one starting each year and going to the end of the war.
Sabre21 3 or 4 days if I remember right passing the turns back and forth daily. One day we made 3 turns
Joel Billings I think the Road to Smolensk game which is 10 turns was played over a week PBEM.
Sabre21 But I tend to take longer to do a turn probably than the average player
Sean_Drummy gilmer, do you have a question now?
gilmer My question is I noticed that there were maybe mentioned 4 different strategies by the AI in Pyledriver's posts in AAR section (especially on the attack, I guess)? Will there be different strategies by the AI or is it a fluid, full campaign AI that reacts to the moves by the human player? Thank you.
ioticus sounds great thanks!
grigbeme There is a different AI for the strategic attack and strategic defense. The AI will try to figure out if it should be attacking or defending.
gilmer Ok, thanks!
grigbeme We try to get the AI to react to any situation it faces.
gilmer I was just thinking in Pacwar, sometimes the Japanese went after Andaman Island and other times it went South.
PyleDriver It'e really effective on regaining supply for isolated pockets
Sean_Drummy Yeah thanks so much to Joel, Gary, and the rest of the dev team!
grigbeme You are welcome!

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Chat Transcript from Friday

Sean_Drummy Welcome everyone to the War in the East Developer Chat (Round 2)! The format of this chat is simple. We will go down the list of participants shown on the right side of the chat window and each person can ask one question. I will direct the chat and announce when it is each person's turn to ask a question. If you decline to ask a question when it's your turn, that's totally fine, but if you do ask a question please do so in a timely fashion so we have time to fit everyone in. If you miss the answer to a question, don't worry! We will be publishing the full transcript of this chat in a day or so. If you're signing on late and we've already passed you on the list, stick around! After we’ve gone through the user list we will make sure that anyone who missed their opportunity to ask a question will get the chance to.
Sean_Drummy Alright, well with that out of the way, let me introduce our developers: Gary Grigsby (grigbeme), Lead Programmer/Designer, Joel Billings, Executive Producer, Andy (Sabre21), Test Coordinator, Pavel, Programmer, and Trey (el hefe), Scenario Designer and Data Editor in addition to some members of the test team.
Ken7 Welcome aboard.
Sean_Drummy Banzan, your turn to ask a question.
Banzan i was about the same think Champagne asked, how does the supply flows towards the front - range/speed ?
Banzan ups, thing, not think :p
Joel Billings Basically it flows from rail to HQ to unit.
grigbeme Supply flows without penalty to a rail head, it then is degraded by the distance from the rail head to a unit/HQ.
Joel Billings We track the number of hexes from the rail to the HQ/unit and the number of MPs, and both can degrade the flow of supplies.
Joel Billings There are many other factors that influence how much gets to the destination.
PavelZ There are penalties for the rail movement for the Axis as it goes east
PavelZ for the supply movement
Joel Billings There is a motor pool of vehicles which matters for supply.
grigbeme Other factors such as the number of MPs froa a railhead and the number of trucks in the supply pool also effect the supply state.
Sean_Drummy blastpop, please ask a question if you would like.
blastpop What mechanic or combination of mechanics are used in the game to give the German Panzer Divisions or Soviet Tank Corps their punch and the ability to hang around? Is it just strength, morale, combinations of move/fighting choices, movement values or something else? Explain rational if you can, please.
Joel Billings That's a big question...
blastpop lol
Joel Billings Of course you have all the elements that made up the unit, each with it's own factors and abilities
grigbeme How many pages is that in the rule book?
Joel Billings Then you have experience and morale
PavelZ shorth answer -> TOE
Joel Billings German panzer formations have great morale and experience and lots of movement points
Sean_Drummy The manual approaches 400 pages.
grigbeme Experience and morale play a very large part in a unit's combat performance and survivability.
Joel Billings Generally good leaders as well.
Joel Billings Soviet Tank Corps OB in 42 makes them very weak.
Joel Billings Over time their OB changes and they become stronger.
Joel Billings If they live long enough, their experience and morale will increase as well.
Joel Billings A tank corps in 42 is nothing like one in 44.
Joel Billings What these units are best at is using their MPs to encircle enemy units.
Sean_Drummy Alright, Champagne, your turn to ask a question!
Champagne How is Howitzer indirect fire support represented in the game? Some guns fired more than the length of a hex of 10 miles.
Joel Billings Some artillery units can fire 2 hexes.
Sean_Drummy Drew please wait your turn
grigbeme All artillery units in the game may fire from 2 hexes away from the target hex.
Joel Billings But each combat actually starts at a specific range, depending on terrain and some random factors.
Joel Billings The range impacts who can participate in that round of combat. Then the range shrinks and more and more elements can participate.
grigbeme Some early turns are scripted, most of it is intended to respond to the current situation
Joel Billings I know at least one tester has learned how to used massed Soviet artillery divisions in a very effective way from 2 hexes along with his normal attacks.
grigbeme The AI will only improve if the programmer improves the code.
Sean_Drummy DrewBlack, please ask a question if you would like.
DrewBlack Joel & the team, heres the big question...as an AI player how good is it. I noticed there are numerous topics over the last year on the message board, but come on how good have you and the team made it... can it get better is it responsive or is it wholley scripted?
grigbeme Some early turns are scripted, most of it is intended to respond to the current situation
grigbeme The AI will only improve if the programmer improves the code.
Joel Billings My feeling is that the defending AI is pretty good. The Soviet attacking AI is also decent. The most difficult part was the attacking early war German AI. That's the part that probably needs the most help factors to have it play well against an experienced player.
DrewBlack As a follow up, when you say responsive, how has that been programmed? Is this first time we have had a responsive AI?
Joel Billings A good human player can use his mobile formations to pocket lots of Soviet troops, but the computer just can't compete with that good human German player.
grigbeme All AIs must be somewhat responsive to offer any resistance.
DrewBlack Joel it never will I suppose.
Joel Billings As an example, the Soviet AI does try to figure out where the German panzer strength is, and tries to build more lines of defense opposite that strength.
PyleDriver In my new 42 test, the AI countered into a pocket to resupply it. That was 10 moves into the game.
Sean_Drummy generalchaos, do you have a question to ask?
DrewBlack Thats excellant news....
DrewBlack Thanks
Sean_Drummy Grouchy, it's your turn then.
Grouchy eeeuh ooh...Partisans: if possible a short explanation on the mechanics and has the player any influence on them (as axis prevent them popping up) and if there any scripted 'partisans'events like for instance a 'warsaw uprising')
PyleDriver There a real pain in the rear. If you don't keep your garrisons up they start cutting rail lines everywhere.
Joel Billings The Germans need to garrison cities or additional partisans are recruited. In addition, as partisans make attacks on rail, they will pop up on the map. At that point you want to go after them.
grigbeme Partisans may be created from Soviet units that are destroyed. They may also be created by dividing strong partisan units into tow smaller partisan units. The Soviet air force will automaticly try to fly supplies to partisans during the supply phase.
PavelZ There is no scripted events...
Joel Billings Partisans start as partisan cadres, and then can grow over time. Getting resupplied by soviet air can bring them NKVD squads to help in recruiting and supplies. Eventually when they get big enough, they can start attacking rail hexes.
Grouchy as USSR player you can create them then?
Joel Billings no scripted events
Joel Billings you don't create the partisans
Joel Billings but you do resupply them by air
Joel Billings by putting certain air groups on certain airfields, the resupply missions will be flown automatically
Grouchy ok, thank you all for answering that question
Big Anorak It can become a game of cat and mouse positioning night fighters to reduce air supply
PyleDriver As the Axis you don't know where these cadres are until there activated
Sean_Drummy kclcmdr, please ask a question if you would like.
kclcmdr Can Axis Allies; Rumania, Hungary, etc; get excess German tanks & halftracks when the Germans upgrade their units to newer equipment and those excess are not converted to SP artillery carriers or AT units?
ComradeP Equipment is never converted, for starters. The minor Axis can get exported German equipment if the Germans have enough in their pools. The types of equipment they can get are fixed.
grigbeme All of the German exports to their Axis allies happen as they dis historical...they are limited to the exact quantities that were exported.
kclcmdr thank you.
ComradeP Garry: Theoretically it's possible to assign equipment that would normally be exported to German units
Sean_Drummy Ken7, do you have a question to ask?
Ken7 Playing as the Germans Can I actually change history and win the War in The East? If so will I have to win before the end of 1944.
grigbeme If the Germans have a use for it in their TOE then it will be assigned to a German unit.
Joel Billings Yes, the Germans can win, but there best chance is in 41/42.
Ken7 Thank you.
Joel Billings They can still win the game by holding out until the end (sept 45).
ComradeP The Axis can both win by achieving auto victory or by not losing
grigbeme The Axis player wins by overruning most of Russia and capturing cities. It is possible to win a Axis automatic victory in 1945 in this manner.
Sean_Drummy Micke II, your turn!
Micke II How the scale of the map and the time 'one week?rurn) has been defined ?
Joel Billings Not sure what your question is. If you are asking if it can be changed, it can't.
grigbeme We set the scale of the map at 10 miles per hex. We then determined the maximum rate of advance that was ever achieved during the war and used that to determine the number of MPs we would allow units to use during a turn.
grigbeme Under most circumstances, units do not move at their maximum movement rate.
Joel Billings We did cheat in one place I have to admit. The first German turn in June 1941 is 4 days, not 7.
Micke II I am just asking why the designers have chosen a relatively big scale for the map and a relatively low scale for the time
Joel Billings The speed of advance on those first few days, given the allowed build up, was just too fast to have a 7 day turn.
Joel Billings We wanted a game that didn't have too many turns, and wanted a lot of action in one turn.
Micke II OK thank you
Sean_Drummy The famous sterckxe! Do you have a question?
sterckxe Resting formations - how does it work ? Do you simply declare a unit as resting or do you have to move them to the rear for some R&R and refurbishing ? What if they are attacked while resting ? Can you upgrade units while they're in the frontline ?
Joel Billings There is no resting per se...
Joel Billings Just don't expend MPs and you recover fatigue.
grigbeme Units may receive some rest on the front line by just not moving.
ComradeP Reducing fatique happens during the logistics phase. As units are attrited when next to a hostile hex, their fatique reduces less when next to enemy units
grigbeme The quality of 'rest' improves by pulling a unit back to the rear.
Joel Billings Closer to a rail hex, the more replacements you will get, and the more supply, etc.
Joel Billings Yes, and units next to enemy units suffer attrition.
Joel Billings So you're better off away from the front.
Micke II Is the experience of the units improved by combat or training ?
ComradeP Placing units in an area with good supply, say, a major city on a rail hex, will improve training, and the amount of replacements units get/the chance of getting replacements
sterckxe ok - got it - nice and simple solution - thanks - got to run now - gamenight is starting
Joel Billings Also, if you can get 10 hexes away from the enemy, you have a better chance to increase your unit's morale, which can also increase experience (training).
grigbeme Yes, units gain experience both through training and by fighting.
ComradeP Micke II: the experience is related to the morale, the experience increases as long as your units doesn't suffer too many losses and the morale is higher than the experience level
Sean_Drummy tbone, your turn to ask a question.
tbone how long does it take before the russian af can challenge the german af
ComradeP The Luftwaffe will eventually run itself into the ground through operational losses and decreasing pilot quality, the VVS will take at least until 1944 to become competitive
grigbeme The Germans have a large qualitative advantage at the start, but attrition starts to take it's toll.
Joel Billings Just because it isn't competitive, doesn't mean it can't still have a big impact.
tbone thanks
Joel Billings The Soviet airforce will lose tons of planes in the air, but they can also cause a lot of damage to German units via ground support.
ComradeP Quantity has a quality of its own, 200 bombers will ruin the day of a German attacker if the Luftwaffe can only send about 10 fighters with experienced pilots
ComradeP In all honesty, losses through air combat are something that we'll keep a close eye on for a while, as some changes were recently made
Sean_Drummy salconstant4, sorry i forgot you!
Sean_Drummy Please ask a question if you'd like
salcostant4 Tell me something about editor
Joel Billings It's big, it's powerful, and Pavel should talk about it.
PavelZ Editor is there, looks good and keeps improving :)
salcostant4 ok thanks
PavelZ There won't be too many docs on the editor initially, since it would be another 400 pages
Joel Billings Pavel added a feature we have not had in our previous games. You can easily convert data files to excel spreadsheets...
Joel Billings make changes, and then load them back into the game.
salcostant4 can I make new units
PavelZ sure
el hefe thats a big help importing loads of data
Joel Billings Yes, we have not had time to document the editor, but that's something we hope to do over the coming months.
Joel Billings yes
Joel Billings you can make new units, new OBs, new leaders, new just about everything (not new map).
salcostant4 That's great lot's of what if's
Sabre21 It's by far the best editor I have seen in any game, and if you like to mod, you will be a happy camper!
el hefe When I built the 1944 Campaign, I did it completely from scratch within the editor
Joel Billings Can make new aircraft and weapons if you wanted
PavelZ I hope there will be many mods and scenarios done over the time as I'm trying to make it intuitive.. and not so destructive :)
Sean_Drummy typhoon, your turn to ask a question.
typhoon I want to know a bit more about the airwar how big a part does it play in the game and how much control does the player have of this side of things?
Joel Billings It's important, but not as important as in WitP.
Joel Billings The player controls lots of things, but the air doctrine screen allows for global settings that will impact how missions are flown.
ComradeP The air war is in, but don't expect WitP:AE level details. Both sides use primarily tactical air forces, so you'll be using lots of medium/tactical bombers to support attacks
ComradeP the Soviets have plenty of level bombers, but those are best used for partisan resupply
PavelZ Game is no air centric, but you still should have some air toys to play with. You should be able manually upgrade plane types, set the replacements for the airgroups, etc..
Sean_Drummy Von Beanie, please ask a question if you'd like.
Von Beanie How did you resolve the problem of the new railroad lines that were created during the war, such as the one running from Astrakhan to Baku, that did not exist in 1941? And how did you solve the Russian need to rebuild much of the rail network as the Germans retreated, nearly destroying every part of the network that the Russians reoccupied? Can the Russians build new rail lines?
Joel Billings We don't build new rail during the game, so some rail built during the war is on the map from the start.
ComradeP No new rail lines can be constructed, after capturing an enemy hex with a rail line a friendly rail repair unit will have to repair/convert it
ComradeP You have a number of on-map rail repair units you can control yourself, the AI sends construction battalions out for the lines you're not repairing yourself
Joel Billings We have automatic rail repair that is slow, and a few on map special rail repair units that the player can move that is faster.
Von Beanie Thank you
ComradeP The Soviets lack on-map rail repair units until late in the war, though
ComradeP The trickle in slowly
PavelZ Baku->Astrakhan line is on map
Sean_Drummy wmcalpine, please ask a question if you'd like.
wmcalpine Given the large number of turns, have there been many 41 and 42 campaign PBEM games that have been completed during the beta phase and is the team satisfied with the late game balance in those PBEM games? (Sorry for the earlier question, I unintentionally hit the return key while trying to edit my question).
Joel Billings no there haven't, but many games started in 43 and 44
Sean_Drummy No worries on the earlier question, it happens!
Joel Billings Only time will tell, but we think we are in the ball park on game balance.
wmcalpine Thank you
PyleDriver Jonny's happy
Joel Billings We will keep a close eye on how games go once the game is released.
Big Anorak There have been very good results from AIvAI games, but PBEM games play differently and we are trying to extrapolate from these games
wmcalpine Good to know :)
grigbeme For a game that takes so long to play, it is almost impossible for PBEM testers to complete a game, as the rules continue to chang during development.
PavelZ data was not so static as well
Sean_Drummy Anyone not yet had a turn?
Frank Me
Sean_Drummy Ok Frank, please ask your question!
Frank No Question. I only want to say thanks to Gary, Joel and all the other persons who have contribute to this game. I play Grigsby games for 28 years now, starting with Bomb Alley, and now a dream comes true. Many thanks!
Sean_Drummy :)
grigbeme Glad you stuck with us for so long!
Joel Billings You were one of a select 1900 that played Bomb Alley.:}
Sean_Drummy Anyone else who has not yet asked a question like to ask something?
Sean_Drummy Ok, well thanks for stopping by for this chat!