New comprehensive mod - STORM (Full Version)

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slaytanic -> New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 9:14:19 AM)

Hi guys, this is a rather big mod that changes a lot of stuff. Next post has the readme with details, but first a warning: this is a hardcore modification, it changes some important things and new and casual players should not be using this before trying the original game.

I wasn't even sure would I publish it or not since this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but 1 or 2 maybe people will enjoy the game this way even more...

I'll be posting an AAR today with the screens from the mod




slaytanic -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 9:14:53 AM)

I present to you Slaytanic's Totally Overhauled Realism Mod - STORM (because just calling it Realism mod isn't cool enough)

For starters here's a quick Q&A:

Q: Is it compatible with beta 1.01 patch?
A: Yes

Q: What does it change?
A: A lot. This is a hardore version of the game. Most combat mechanics are changed but a lot of other fundamental stuff as well.

Q: What's the goal of the mod?
A: 1. to provide as much realism as possible
2. to remove as much exploits and gamey elements brought in for casual gamers as possible
3. to present you with real time limitations on information that ww2 generals had

Q: Is it for multiplayer or single player?
A: It's made primarily for multiplayer but I also made changes for AI. AI should do even better when defending with new rules. It will surely be harder for a player without some info that you have in vanilla. But more on that later

Q: What scenarios/settings to play?
A: Currently it supports Grand campaign scenario. Will be expanded. Best settings are of course 1 hex FOW, advanced recon

Q: How did I playtest it and why did I change stuff?
A: I played myself vs myself and AI vs AI games and checked for deviations from historical outcomes. The greater the deviation the greater the change

Q: Will I change/add stuff based on forum comments/discussions?
A: You bet, if this gets any attention at all, that is

FEATURES & EXPLANATIONS (in order of importance):

I. No reinforcements/type upgrades/level upgrades

TOF features a nice, realistic element of unit recruitment which takes several weeks to happen. On the other hand, it gives you the possibility to magically reinforce your army in a single turn. Where did that reinforcement come from? Why can you get your tank units instantly when it takes several weeks to build a new one?
So instead of reinforcing your troops with magic, you now have to think in advance, strategically plan, create tactical reserves, build new units and then use merge or replace to make actual front reinforcement.

Creating corps from divisions is out as it creates an instant 2 divisions out of thin air. Sure, it can't attack for a while but it can defend instantly. Such huge, on-field reorganisations weren't done

Upgrading levels is also out for realism reasons. Example: you advance your tank technology. Did armies instantly replace old tanks with new ones? Or was it gradually building new ones and using them alongside the old ones? It takes 10 weeks to build new tank division. However you make a mouse click and have it instantly there on the front. Can't attack immediately but can defend.

This new feature (actually, a lack of feature) also takes away a big problem of uber tanks with 100 experience. You can still get them but can't make them better than its current level. Your older, obsolete units will die off with time or will be disbanded because of upkeep but you definitely won't have a brand new army with 1-2 mouse clicks.
You can repair your ships but not subs as 1 sub point represents 2 subs
IMPORTANT NOTE: I haven't changed tech increase options yet, so make sure you don't choose "reduce cost of reinforcements/repairs" option

II. Limiting info on enemy units

You, as a player, have a huge advantage on real ww2 generals. You take a look at the battlefield and see your 15 strenght unit against enemy's 5 strength unit, you see the modifiers and the odds and you already know what's going to happen. WW2 generals hardly knew the strength of their own units, let alone enemy's. Enemy intel was mostly guessed upon or even very misleading sometimes. So I'll try to make combat less of a math exercise and more the real "let's see what happens thing".
So on the screen there will be no strength points, no effectiveness and no combat odds. All enemy info you have is the unit description, strength bar and its level. You will find more info on enemy strength by bombing it and attacking it. Just as the real generals did, through experience and knowledge.
I can't differenciate own and enemy units for this info so as a consequence you won't see your own unit's eff and strength on screen. You can check it on unit display screen
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you don't want this option, leave your original GUI& counter land_units files

III. Land combat rebalance

While testing, one thing that bothered me was that the attacking side always suffered less losses than historically, while defenders suffered always more. That includes all german operations, winter war, italian attack on greece, north african campaign, italo-french war, barbarossa etc.
I believe it has to do with the fact that the attacker can attack with more than one unit AND gets a multi direction bonus while defender has only his set terrain/dig in bonus. Any intelligent player will be smart enough to use superior numbers to attack and destroy.
Since the game doesn't give the lone defending unit some extra help like adjacent defenders modifier, I've made the following changes:
1. defender casualties slightly decreased
2. attacker casualties increased - even with great odds, the attacker is the one who needs to break the lines and suffer a lot of casualties.
3. multi directional attack modifiers decreased
4. some country specific terrain modifiers increased - Finland gets bigger forest modifier, Greece&Norway mountains&hills, Uk in desert (nothing too extreme)
5. trench modifier is now 5 steps of 10% (was 5%). Because it's a big difference attacking a fortified unit or a unit "on the run"
6. river penalty is now 35% (was 25)
7. increased retreat chances for everyone. USSR and Germany will retreat less to simulate "no retreat orders" by Hitler and Stalin
8. air bombardment: air losses / defender eff loss table tweaked & reversed - original is illogical. Now planes attacking higher lvl inf and stronger troops will suffer more casualties, not vice versa. Also weaker units will suffer a greater effectiveness hit
9. cost of unit splitting decreased

The changes should motivate a player to use the encircling tactic even more now as attacking units head on is more costly now

IV. Amphibious overhaul

Invading with anything but regular infantry is now insanely expensive - 2 to 3 times more than original.
Invading with inf corps now costs 4 AIP instead of 3
Max supply from ships and bombers reduced to 15 from 20 and from 3 hexes inland to 1
Amph & paradrop casualties higher
Chances of nearby fleets joining on the amph action increased
Ships engagement chance slightly higher
Southern Uk beaches given fort 1, mainly for easy graphical representation of invasion hexes

Try Sea lion now, I dare you.

V. Other stuff:

-many ships put to 100% strength to avoid AI spending a lot of PPs on repairing at game start
-AI build priorities tweaked
-Railroad repair increased to 5 turns maximum AND chances for repairing it sooner decreased - mostly to simulate supply problems in USSR
-Air units need to be within 2 hexes of sea zone to attack ships (was 5) - to stop exploits
-Carriers can attack land units up to 3 hexes inland (was 8) - was quite unrealistic
-Cost of motorized units slightly increased for everyone except UK&USA which have it decreased
-Cost of armor slightly increased for everyone except USA, UK, Germany, USSR and France - to stop minors from building too many tanks
-Cost & build time of regular infantry increased for UK&USA to make it build 100% motorized as was historically - why isn't this in game already
-Level 1 motorized for Uk&uSA strengthened to keep it up with regular infantry
-Cost of aircraft increased for all except major powers - same as tanks
-AIP = 50, usa&uk 35
-southern uk beaches are fort 1 for better graphical representation of beach hexes
-PP FromOccupiedCity changed from 50% to 40%, PP FromAnnexedCity 80% to 70% - because Germany is slightly overpowered in 39-41
-Slightly reduced build times for UK air units to make it more competitive against Germans in the early stages - IRL Uk had biggest world plane production in 1940. Nowhere near was i while playing them in TOF
-1 full air unit now represents 250 planes (instead of 25). I don't know why this wasn't implemented in vanilla. You will now have very realistic air losses report
-Fighter interception threshold reduced from 5 to 3, because of the inability to reinforce air units (I wish there was air merge)
-Cost for german cv&bb ships increased a lot
-No time at sea penalty - this is just a micromanage nuissance. If german ships weren't allowed through the Channel, that would be a different story
-Greece starting war economy slightly higher
-London has more PPs - to help Uk early on, now similar to Paris and Berlin
-Axis minor powers have less PPs - they could build way too much stuff
-Tech changes: ger inf very close to 2 , ussr&ita no investment in inf, UK, France & Ger 2 stars for tanks, no invest for Ger air, Ita navy lvl 1
-Uk & Us starting units changed to motorized, malta&gibraltar buffed to 100%, some african units strengthened
-Changed most event-based UK, Usa infantry to motorized
-1 fighter unit in uk reinforced to full strength
-Starting PPs: UK 100, France 100
-Greece land tech 1 in 12 months
-Yugoslavian def modifiers decreased - they had a big army in 1941 but it sucked due to various political reasons which can't be easily represented so I chose this solution
-air to sea attack effectivness reduced - unfortunately a lot of stuff is hardoded here, including air losses
-Changed Deutsche Afrika korps from level 3 to level 2. Lvl 3 is too strong and invincible within the timeframe it appears
-halved PPs to Finland in Winter war
-now a huge chance AI Romania will cede Bessarabia so no early SU-Germany war
-SU will guard Leningrad better against finnish forces
-losses report will now show the same numbers as the sum of all detailed combat reports. For some reason, default overall losses took only half of the actual number


NOTES: English isn't my primary language, so sorry for the mistakes. With a job and a kid, I have at most 1 hour a day for TOF. So I can't get much playtesting/balancing on my own. Any help appreciated



To-do list:
-Make partisans more frequent and/or stronger
-show unit's strength % instead of str points in counters
-air interdiction events



INSTALLATION:

1. make a backup of Grand Campaign scenario in data/scenario folder
2. backup you resolution files in data folder
3. backup the land_units files in your data/gfx folder
4. copy contents of zip to your main TOF folder




Rasputitsa -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 10:55:52 AM)

Thanks very much, this is a lot to take in, but can't wait to give it a try.

In the 'To Do' list, I don't know if this can be area specific, but I would have thought that partisans should be more frequent, than more powerful, in the West and the opposite in Russian and Yugoslavia.

Does this operate with AI, or is it mainly for PBEM. [:)]




slaytanic -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 11:01:08 AM)

It should be a bigger challenge playing against AI, especially if you're playing Axis. I'm waiting for some sort of event editor before diving more into events. Partisans should really be a bigger factor, especially from 42 onwards




gwgardner -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 1:59:07 PM)

I'm excited about trying the mod. Thanks for making it available.

Lots to take in there. One aspect that may prove a problem is the increased cost of air units. Back in Time of Wrath and Storm over the Pacific days, air units were so expensive that players couldn't use them. In Time of Fury, cost was reduced, along with effectiveness, to make air power more useable.




slaytanic -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 2:11:53 PM)

You will see that all major countries have air costs on their original levels. Only some minor changes there like strategic bombers slightly cheaper for USA and slightly more costly for Germany or UK building it sooner. It's only more expensive for small countries. I hate it that countries like Romania, Finland etc could build a new air unit every month (in 1941). And also, aircraft will now be more effective against level 1 land units and much less against high level units




slaytanic -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 2:18:02 PM)

Here you can see unit info restrictions - no unit strength, no unit eff and no odds before attack - you will now have to be careful when attacking. Sorry bout that :-)

[image]local://upfiles/40519/5E9F8D879CA0478B901F98E51EE2ED5E.jpg[/image]




doomtrader -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 2:25:55 PM)

Really interesting mod and many major changes.

I'm not pretty sure does the AI will be able to handle them.




slaytanic -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 2:35:13 PM)

it's a calculated risk [:)]

did some limited ai vs ai testing. Looks similar to vanilla ai vs ai. Germans weren't any slower than vanilla.




gwgardner -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 5:13:30 PM)

Good about the air units.

That uncertainty level in combats is surely going to cause some nail-biting. Should be exciting.

It should be noted for anyone who wants to try this, that a separate install of the game should be used, in a different folder. Otherwise the player won't be able to play with standard features.

Please advise if I'm wrong in that.





freeboy -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 7:08:33 PM)

looks interesting




freeboy -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 7:46:54 PM)

how do I add mod to existing folder and still keep integrety? do a mirror folder?




freeboy -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/25/2012 11:15:24 PM)

dude, you ment to leave streangth off units? you are extreme.. it is a little bit too hard for me.. but keep trying.. I need to at least have an idea whats on the board. lol




slaytanic -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/26/2012 8:35:28 AM)

here's the best way to backup your original files without making 2 installations of the game:

1. make a folder called backup - anywhere
2. find your 1939 grand campaign folder in scenarios and copy it to backup folder
3. copy all GUI files (with resolutions) to backup folder
4. copy all unit counter folders in data/gfx to backup folder (actually you only need land_units within the folders, that's the only file that changes)
5. from data/events, copy: events_02_germany, events_07_finland, events_09_england, events_53_usa and territorial_demands_soviets_romania to backup folder

If you wish to return to your original game, simply return those backup files to their original locations


I tried copying and creating another scenario but it was too buggy. That's why I had to overwrite the default grand campaign




slaytanic -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/26/2012 8:42:09 AM)

quote:

dude, you ment to leave streangth off units? you are extreme.. it is a little bit too hard for me.. but keep trying.. I need to at least have an idea whats on the board. lol


You can check the strength bar, level and experience of the units to get some idea of its strength. Besides, playing against AI you already have a big advantage of being intelligent. You don't need any extra help [;)]




gwgardner -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/26/2012 3:19:40 PM)

By the way, your objection to the 'time at sea' penalty in ToF may make sense, but I originally proposed it for Storm over the Pacific. In that game, I think it is totally essential, and hope it is implemented much more rigorously sometime in the future.




gwgardner -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/26/2012 3:58:34 PM)

post deleted, because I thought there was an endgame problem when there wasn't - operator error.




doomtrader -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/26/2012 4:07:38 PM)

Did you tried to reload last save?




gwgardner -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/26/2012 4:30:41 PM)

..




slaytanic -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/26/2012 4:58:56 PM)

I don't think I changed anything that would cause this [&:]




gwgardner -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/27/2012 2:11:16 PM)


..




doomtrader -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/27/2012 3:50:17 PM)

gwgardner,
send me a save game, we will take a look at that




gwgardner -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/27/2012 3:55:08 PM)

..





slaytanic -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/27/2012 9:52:58 PM)

I just ran AI vs AI past that date and Ger occupying Belgium and Holland and nothing like this happened. Must be tough luck...




gwgardner -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/28/2012 12:14:22 AM)



Do you have any interest in making a Barbarossa campaign STORM scenario?

On the other hand, I could get the added FOW effects of the mod by simply using your counters and your gui_xxx.png, no?

[later]

Here's a Barbarossa of a different color. No attack factors, no odds shown. Yeah, I know I'll slice through the Soviet border forces like butter, and they will suffer shock, but it's not going to be immediately obvious when they overcome that shock.

[image]local://upfiles/20372/36113F46FCBE4716B909D94027B180B9.jpg[/image]




doomtrader -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/28/2012 3:18:23 PM)

gwgardner,
you are playing only as Netherlands, and you have been beaten by Germans, so the game ends for you because there are no more countries controlled by human player, so everything works just fine.




gwgardner -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/28/2012 4:12:44 PM)

Found that a house rule, not to use the 'L' hotkey, will be necessary with STORM, if the no reinforcement feature is to be adhered to.

I can't quite see the rationale for the no reinforcement feature. A unit in foreign territory can't be reinforced completely in one turn. Every turn it reinforces, it loses all action points. And for every reinforcement there is a heavy cost in experience.

Since merge doesn't work for air units, the only way to 'reinforce' air units is to build new ones. Seems rather ahistorical to have to build whole new units, as opposed to dribbling in reinforcements to air units a few strength points a turn.

Similarly for armored corps - I suspect that players will be forced to go to divisions instead of corps. Building a completely new corps is a huge expense.

I'd rather see a mod to the mod, allowing reinforcements.

Great mod, though!

[later] just a followup on reinforcing: example of the Germans on the Eastern Front, to fully reinforce a depleted unit, or even to upgrade it from division to corps, or inf to mechanized, etc, requires as much as five weeks. 1) disengage and move to railhead, 2)RR to home territory, 3)perform the upgrade or reinforcement, 4) RR back to the proximity of the front, 5) move to the front. Seems like a reasonable refit time.




Rasputitsa -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (1/29/2012 3:22:35 PM)

Had a chance to install the mod, using GWGardner's suggestion of having a separate game installations. Having several versions of the game on the HDD certainly allows plenty of choice, as I still have the original game to continue and now the 'reality mod' and 'Beta 2' to experiment with.

Thanks for all the work this must have taken.[:)]




Rasputitsa -> RE: New comprehensive mod - STORM (10/12/2012 3:49:03 PM)

Will the mod be OK to use in 1.03 ?




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