Absurd problem with production (Full Version)

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Ormand -> Absurd problem with production (4/14/2012 6:49:24 AM)

This has probably been discussed, but here goes. I have a serious complaint about assigning production to HQ's. I discovered this in a game against the AI in which I couldn't understand how I was being outnumbered so quickly. We have a water world, and an island that is contested. I have two cities on the island (which are not ports) and it has one (which is a port). In two turns I notice that it has doubled in size and has two units filled with armored cars. OK, I discover that if you have a port on an island (and one on the home continent), you can assign production to an HQ to an HQ connected to that port even if you don't have any transports. The production goes to the HQ, and you do with it what you want. This is an extension, but more serious, of the same thing you can do on a continent where you can assign production to a city and more or less avoid issues related to transport. But, this seems to be a serious loophole. It is essentially possible to direct the production of an entire continent to an HQ on a tiny island far away without having to build the transport infrastructure to support it. It is all magically transported there. I did it myself. I edited the map, converted one city to a port (just one sea hex), and assigned production to the HQ, and magically I had 2 light tanks and 32 infantry from industry in my capitol on a continent that cannot be reached in one turn by sea movement. I did not have a single transport in my inventory. This makes supporting an invasion pretty simple. Get on the continent, get a port, and assign production to an HQ in the port. Frankly, this makes a game simulating an ocean war verge on the absurd.

Frankly, I am not too happy with the same situation by land. It is a gamey way to get around transport infrastructure and the readiness loss arising from reassigning units from different HQs.

Now, I also understand there is a problem with production and transport. Obviously, there has to be some kind of transport system in place, otherwise no game can even start. If you have no trains, how could you even get production to the supreme HQ. Chicken -- Egg. And no matter what you do, there will gamey work arounds. Perhaps rules like these could work as a start:
1- production can be assigned to any HQ that lies within the distance that can be reached by a truck in one turn. To make this simpler I would even suggest a defined radius, because the distance could be extended by roads, which makes it a bit complicated for the player to compute, remember and use.
2- production can be assigned to any HQ at the top level of the command chain provided the production center is connected by an unbroken chain of land hexes. Connection by a series of ports should not count.

An advanced alternative is to allow production outside these limits to to be performed only by using the current landcap and seacap transfer rules, which then limits later transfers within the turn.

Frankly, I consider this to be a serious "deal breaker" and should be addressed in a patch rather than ATP.

Josh -> RE: Absurd problem with production (4/14/2012 4:35:54 PM)

Yeah that's true, but no big issue IMHO. Against the AI it ain't no problem because the AI needs all the help it can get, against a human opponent one should have house rules against this gamey exploit.
The production however travels "magically" to the designated HQ's, that's true, but not without restrictions. Too far away and you'll notice that part of the production won't reach its HQ, it stays in the production centre where it accumulates.
You could in theory invade "only" with an HQ, and then link all the production and troops to that HQ. Your troops will be canonfodder then because they will be absolutely green and low on readiness/morale/whatever. Easy meat for an experienced player.
Sometimes the AI can indeed magically outnumber you but I see this as an extra bonus, it creates and extra challenge. Usually when that happens I go on heavy on the defense and it creates the most tense battles I fight against the AI.
So you are right when speaking of human players, when the AI should follow the same restrictions... I fear it would collapse completely, it's having a hard time as it is already.

Kraftwerk -> RE: Absurd problem with production (4/14/2012 5:06:25 PM)

IIRC only the AI can do that. When a human does it, its subject to distance rules. I think it scales with map size, but a town with no roads, far from an HQ, all of the production wont make it to the HQ. And if its over water, im pretty sure its interceptable by anti supply and subs.

Not to mention, stuff in transit that way, isnt gaining experience or readiness.

In the current war at sea multiplayer game we have going, I wont be doing what you describe, because id rather build the troops back at my protected home island, attach them to hqs there, put them on ships and send them that way, so by the time the reach combat, they have full readiness and full 40 xp.

Throwing 10 xp troops into combat is a waste, and something that the AI regularly does, that most human players wont do.

Ormand -> RE: Absurd problem with production (4/14/2012 9:59:01 PM)

You guys have some points. I realized I was harsh yesterday. And I got to thinking that it something that the AI could use since it needs what it can get.

This was a case where throwing 10 xp troops into the fight works, since it is the start of a random game, and the xp is 20.

Unfortunately, it appears these sea transfers of production aren't subject to anti-supply attacks either. I did a test in which I put six stacks of naval units, 3x5 subs and 3x5 battleships, in front of the destination, and DOAS is set to 'yes'. Everything made it just fine, 4 light tanks and 2666 supply, without a single AS kill four turns in a row.

It is correct that building whole units from scratch this way will not help much as they would face more experienced defenders. But, there are two ways this helps.
1 - Replacements. After fighting and wearing down the other guy, replacements can get shuttled to the front quickly. It can save 1-2 turns in transport, and also can save production by not having to build transports.
2 - Supply. This is far more beneficial. You can assign supply production directly to an HQ and it is not subject to anti-supply interdiction.

So, yes in human games it would make sense to apply a house rule on this. And as for AI, yes maybe it is the best way for it put up a fight.

Josh -> RE: Absurd problem with production (4/15/2012 11:13:57 AM)



Unfortunately, it appears these sea transfers of production aren't subject to anti-supply attacks either. I did a test in which I put six stacks of naval units, 3x5 subs and 3x5 battleships, in front of the destination, and DOAS is set to 'yes'. Everything made it just fine, 4 light tanks and 2666 supply, without a single AS kill four turns in a row.

Hm that's odd, and it doesn't reflect my experiences with submarine AS. I have them on AS missions all the time and when they blockade a port they're usually quite succesful as one can see at the blue numbers denoting the AS interception. What I did notice is that after a few turns the results decrease significantly, maybe the AI reroutes its supply routes??
Anyways, I have my doubts of using submarines against AI supply, it has enough of everything as it is. What *is* important though is using SS as a means to intercept enemy amphibious invading forces. Sometimes my "defense" is a little thin, and *sometimes* the AI manages to do an invasion [&o] Left unchecked that could really really unhinge my plan to conquer the world [:D]

Jeffrey H. -> RE: Absurd problem with production (4/15/2012 6:26:51 PM)

There is the resource mod, does it have the same issues ?

Ormand -> RE: Absurd problem with production (4/15/2012 8:44:42 PM)

A couple of things:

First, I made a mistake with interdict-ability. I had set up a test, and I forgot to make sure that war had been declared. It wasn't for the various turns I ran it out. I redid it today, checking that war existed, and yes, production assigned this way can be interdicted. Stupid me! Mea culpa.

Technically speaking, I don't think the AI is actually exploiting the production loophole. Instead, the AI is getting a large number of "free" sea transfers. I think it has essentially an infinite navcap, and can perform them without cargo ships. In the end, it has the same effect. I ran the same game without fog of war and with a prepositioned blockade. Prior to war being declared, the AI transferred by sea large quantities of units that got through the blockade, and got to the port destination. I could see this because many of the units actually moved to a port, and then showed up on the other end. When it was my turn I looked at the port of origin, and all those units I saw moving, weren't there. After war was declared large quantities of troops were lost via AS attacks. There is probably no reasonable cure for this since it requires prepositioning cargo ships in HQs, which the AI probably would have a hard time doing.

A cure for this production in human games (the AI wouldn't be able to handle this) is to use rulevar 312, which forces production to go to an HQ in the same hex. Or a house rule.

In the end, I guess it is something to live with, and it isn't as bad as I thought.

Kraftwerk -> RE: Absurd problem with production (4/15/2012 9:27:47 PM)

Yeah that rulevar was an option in random game setup in AT, maybe should return in ATG?

I dont have a problem with the ai cheating. So long as its a challenge, its fine by me.

I could have sworn it was interceptable, so im glad to find out that is the case. Ive played alot of games with the hardcore production and logistics option in AT, alot of fun. Slows the game down dramatically. Not in processing speed, just in the speed of expansion and conquest. Though thats a consideration when playing other people too. Big epic games with alot of players, playing with those production rules, I wouldnt give a good chance of actual completion.

Ormand -> RE: Absurd problem with production (4/16/2012 3:29:48 AM)

That rulevar looks to still be an option in ATG. But, you have modify the masterfile, and then use than masterfile for a random game (or a regular game).

Yes, the AI does need to "cheat". And yes this isn't too bad as it is the best way for it to overcome some limitations. Namely that it can't learn the quirks of the game to optimize its performance, which humans do.

Sorry to have erroneously reported that the production wasn't interceptable. That makes a BIG difference. Still it is disconcerting to look at an island that gets 12 divisions pumped into it in two turns and there isn't anything you can do to counter it.

The production loophole is an issue for humans in my opinion, and shouldn't be used. Where it could be very advantageous is to build up prior to war. But, even during war, it is a way to try and get strategic movement without the infrastructure.

CSO_Talorgan -> RE: Absurd problem with production (8/27/2012 12:04:48 AM)

Convoy battles would be nice though.

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