Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (Full Version)

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Josh -> Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/24/2012 8:15:43 PM)

As in the subject, what are your experiences with the newly introduced concept of officers sofar?
I know the subject has been touched briefly in the discussion about the 2.12 beta patch, but I would like to have a thread dedicated to Officers and Staff. Or to be more precise; what's the best way to use them.
My experiences sofar, after having toyed around with them somewhat, is a mixed bag.
Because once you create a new HQ with an officer, the info about that Officer says something like; "Max Staff = 25" meaning this Officer can control 25 Staff adequately. So you think oh let's give this one 25 Staff, that means that with 25 Staff you can only give a fairly small force a 100% Staff coverage, about 3-4 units of 20-30 Inf plus maybe some 2-3 tanks, some Cavalry and 2-3 Artillery. That's not a lot, 25 Staff is not a significant HQ, and its frontcoverage is pretty small. You'd need at least 3 to 4 HQ's to cover a decent part of your front.. and with the increasing cost of new HQ's (nice touch there Vic [&o] ) covering all your fronts with HQ's would see the cost of new HQ's exploding.
Ofcourse after each battle your Officer gets new Exp and new traits and cards, therefore the amount of Staff he can adequately give a bonus increases .. although this goes ..slow. Maybe adding a few Staff after each "promotion" Maybe adding 5-7 Staff after each battle, so 25+7 = 32 Staff.

I've fought a few battles sofar and some of my Officers are now at say 50 Staff... that's *still* a fairly small HQ. I know from my experiences with ATG that a HQ that can pack a punch has about 200 Staff... With 200 Staff you can have, with 100% Staff coverage, 4-6 Inf units with mortars, MG guns and AT guns, a few Tank units with 3-5 tanks each, some Arty units with 5-10 tubes each and some recon units. Now that HQ can blast a hole somewhere, and cover a decent part of your frontlines. But before the new HQ with an Officer gets promoted to 200-250 Max Staff you're already at the last stages of the game I'm afraid.

So the above way of thinking was my initial one. Create a new HQ and give that Officer rank zero 25 Staff. Let's say that's a sergeant/lieutenant/whatever. Seems logical no? But then you run into the problem of needing way too many HQ's and and exploding HQ cost.

Sooo now I try something different. Play it the old way like I'm used too. Create a new HQ, and pump it full of Staff, early on to 100 Staff, and as your production gets on the way, inflate it till 150-200 and maybe even more Staff. That way that HQ can give 10-12 or 15 units a 100% Staff coverage.. but it has the drawback of having a Officer level zero ( the sergeant/lieutenant) at the command of a "division" like force. The HQ has 200 Staff but the commanding Officer can only adequately commmand 25 Staff...
I'm in a game right now and changing my way of playing from the first way to the second way of thinking, let's see how it works out.




Meanfcker -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/29/2012 2:34:12 PM)

I agree with much of what Josh says in his last post.
In a tough fight with a determined like minded opponent, sometimes a staff will get up to between 200 and 400 staff.
When you really need to pack a wallop, you need heavy artillery, lots of big tank units, lots of cav, lots of supporting inf.
For one of our now infamous OMG's between 150 and 250 staff is normal.
It would be nice if the Max staff number could be raised to accomodate larger mobile formations as that is the best part of this game.
In my opinion, that would be preferable to having more of the expesive HQ's that deny multiple concentric attacks from a single HQ each turn.
Meanie.




CarlVon -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/29/2012 4:39:17 PM)

Hi Guys,

I would like to chime in on this one.

1. ATG is a very advanced game, so advanced that even the best players are still finding major things in it for Strategy and Tactics. That being said, I'm not sure more variables were required here, as we already had HQ experience. Although I know this is Beta.
2. Given that, I assume it was implemented for an "RPG" type mechanic for excitement.
3. It seems that everything is gearing to slow this game down, and scale it down, I'm just wondering if this is an unintended consequence, or that's where Vic wants to move it? This is important too me, I would like to know where Vic want's to take it.
4. It seems to me that this option does nothing to address the most important issues... (For me at least)
a. Getting MORE people to play the game.
b. Map Generation.

What I would do at this point...
1. Remove Staff Limit for the new commanders.
2. Remove any progressive costing for HQ's, don't punish people for building large army's, mechanics like supplies already do that. Looks to me that a lot of game mechanics are getting piled on top of each other, I see that as quite dangerous.
3. Make commander HQs more expensive than normal HQs, but optional
4. There are no need for action cards at this point, I would disable them.

Sorry to be critical here, this IS the best war game in history.




Josh -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/29/2012 4:41:57 PM)

Well after having played for a few more days I'm still inclined to create HQ's the "old way"; that is create such an HQ that it can occupy and attack from an significant part of the front. About 6 (100% Hq bonus) to 16 hexes wide (zero bonus HQ), that kind of HQ would need about 200-300 Staff. And just put a Sergeant, or as I see it now, a very green General (Officer lvl 1), at the top of that HQ. Sure that greenhorn General can't command his entire Staff efficiently, what with his "25 Staff Max", but it beats creating numerous quite expensive 25 Staff HQ's. IMHO ofcourse.

Oh and about how we "view" the ranks of those officers... from Sergeant to General... or from a very green inexperienced General to a .. say four star General like Patton/Rommel.
Now with many small 25 Staff HQ's it makes sense to see the Officers as Sergeant and higher, they get more exp and therefore rise in rank. But with the very large HQ's with 200-300 Staff it doesn't make much sense seeing that officer as a Sergeant or Lieutenant, it would make more sense to see each and every Officer as a General (or whatever you would like to call brass). The lowest lvl 1 Officers give very little bonus to their Staff, whereas the highest Officers can give their entire Staff a huge boost. 




Josh -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/29/2012 4:51:17 PM)

Oh but there is no "Staff limit" for officers, there's only a "this Officer can adequately command ...25 (or more) Staff". So you can put as much Officers in that HQ as you like. I thought af first that that number (max Staff) was sacred, but ofcourse it ain't. It only reflects that Officers limited experience.

For the time being I like the cards idea, Vic has it in the DC series as well, I think it's refreshing and original. (well not quite original but for AT I like it). The concept does need some ironing out though... too many Officers get killed after having played a card doh [:(]. Some get their cards removed after a new unit has been created and so forth.




Meanfcker -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/29/2012 5:13:57 PM)

I have been doing the same thing, just running the staff the way that I used to. It will be nice when we don't have to have an officer in a distribution hub or a backwater, but I can wait for the next patch. I agree that the cards would be more fun to use if you didn't almost certainly suffer an officer death.
It would be nice if the Max staff number started around 100.
I am ok with the new officers for now, we will have to wait and see how the team game plays out for the true test.
There is no room for any slack in the economy, if they are worth it or not will become apparent rather quickly (if Webizen can remember his password).
NIce to see there are other guys out there who appreciate the need to "really pack a punch".
Can't win with a negative aim and all that, you have to be able to hit hard to get the game over and done with.
Good observations Josh.
Meanie.




Vic -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/29/2012 5:23:47 PM)

@mean,

Hard is it may be to believe AT took quite a lot of flak at release for removing the officers that where present in the predecessor game of People's Tactics.

The reason i am working on integrating them in AT again is mainly for atmosphere and "bonding" reasons, the game benefits from some recognizable differences between the leaders of the different armies(HQs). In my opinion the staff always felt a bit to generic.

But also the leaders should slowly develop and each get their own strong cons and pros making it a strategic choice for the player where to put which leader.

@all,

Thanks for all the feedback. I am making notes and will make quite a number of improvements for the next patch.

Oh... and yes in this "New Dawn" BETA layers of complexity are being added. Yes thats true. This is the reason why I launched it as a seperate ruleset from the regular ATG random games. One of the reasons why i am adding the complexity is that i eventually want to move AT(G) to random games that resemble the historical (albeit fictional) level of detail and feel/atmosphere of the Decisive Campaigns games. This is a long term plan and it will require quite a lot of time to actually get there.

Basically i am now using the ATG player base to help test how some new features work with the existing random games. It should be a fair trade off :) i get to try out some new stuff and get some good testing results for the eventual big AT upgrade and in the meantime the players get some new content to play around with.

Best,
Vic




Meanfcker -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/30/2012 1:56:28 AM)

Win, win.
:-)




Twotribes -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/30/2012 4:07:59 AM)

Is there anyway to edit for ourselves the amount that a starting general can command?




Vic -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/30/2012 8:41:55 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Twotribes

Is there anyway to edit for ourselves the amount that a starting general can command?


Yes there is a stringlist where you can change the ammount. Nothing about the officers is actually hardcoded. It is all stringlists and events.

best,
Vic




CarlVon -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/30/2012 3:47:19 PM)

Thanks Vic,

Your ability to work with the community is great.

"want to move AT(G) to random games that resemble the historical (albeit fictional) level of detail and feel/atmosphere of the Decisive Campaigns games"

Does this mean your vision is to scale up or down AT(G). Ie; regarding group sizes, general scale. Basically making AT(G) more tactical? As the name current imply's :-).




Vic -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/30/2012 4:19:23 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: CarlVon

Thanks Vic,

Your ability to work with the community is great.

"want to move AT(G) to random games that resemble the historical (albeit fictional) level of detail and feel/atmosphere of the Decisive Campaigns games"

Does this mean your vision is to scale up or down AT(G). Ie; regarding group sizes, general scale. Basically making AT(G) more tactical? As the name current imply's :-).


No it will remain operational-strategic scale. Its what the engine does best.

And yes the name "Tactics" remains a bit misleading :)




Twotribes -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/31/2012 12:29:50 AM)

I see the card lists and I see a German officer string list, is that it?




lancer -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/31/2012 3:06:32 AM)

quote:

Nothing about the officers is actually hardcoded. It is all stringlists and events.

best,
Vic


Ahhh! I'd better have another look.

Cheers,
Lancer




Vic -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (12/31/2012 10:43:34 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: lancer

quote:

Nothing about the officers is actually hardcoded. It is all stringlists and events.

best,
Vic


Ahhh! I'd better have another look.

Cheers,
Lancer


The only thing that is hardcoded is that the random game and the officer creation read from a specific stringlist format some data. You can find the references to the stringlist IDs in the random game setup rulevars.




Josh -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/6/2013 7:31:57 PM)

Many thanks for yet another patch Vic [&o](referring to the latest patch)

You were asking for feedback for the Officers, well one thing I'd like to add is that when you send more Staff to a HQ I'd like to see when the 100% level is reached. As it is now you see a HQ unit with an Officer and Staff... and it's Staff coverage is say 60%. Then you go to the, uhm central depot or Supreme HQ where all the stuff is, and make a calculation how much extra Staff is needed for the 100% level. Then you send all the new Staff to the HQ unit, which should reach 100% then.
So the same as when you send horses to an Inf unit and you can see the carry/weight ratio, so you can send the exact amount of horses that unit needs.




Josh -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/6/2013 7:41:02 PM)

Oh and maybe an "expeced time of recovery" in case your famous general gets wounded. Say 1-6 months, maybe a year, before total recovery.  

And while were at it.. how about Airfleet Officers? As it is now they don't need, just like ships, Staff...well they do need a HQ for supply but that's all.




towerbooks3192 -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/7/2013 8:23:20 AM)

I have a question though, I went MIA after having too many games to play and I had to upgrade over the holidays and forgetting my log in name and password on matrix store and forum, I gave the game a spin again and downloaded that public beta patch. My question, are officers something like you get a staff assigned to a unit and it gets promoted to an officer depending on what unit it is assigned like if I assign it in an artillery it would become an artillery general or an admiral on fleets or something?

My other wish for ATG is for units to gain experience and get upgrades like if you have a brigade that wins x amount of mountain battles could become mountain specialist infantry or something like that. I am really sorry if I don't have a clue what has been going on and when I stopped playing last year I havent even mastered the basics




Josh -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/7/2013 9:49:47 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: towerbooks3192

I have a question though, I went MIA after having too many games to play and I had to upgrade over the holidays and forgetting my log in name and password on matrix store and forum, I gave the game a spin again and downloaded that public beta patch. My question, are officers something like you get a staff assigned to a unit and it gets promoted to an officer depending on what unit it is assigned like if I assign it in an artillery it would become an artillery general or an admiral on fleets or something?

My other wish for ATG is for units to gain experience and get upgrades like if you have a brigade that wins x amount of mountain battles could become mountain specialist infantry or something like that. I am really sorry if I don't have a clue what has been going on and when I stopped playing last year I havent even mastered the basics


No Staff doesn't get promoted to an Officer, you buy Officers with PP's. Each new Officer has a increasing cost so the first costs say 10, the next 12, 15 etc, don't know the exact numbers but you get the idea. As it is now there's only one kind of Officers, so no Airfleet, Navy etc. Maybe maybe in the future who knows?
I like the idea of the special trait of an unit.




Jafele -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/9/2013 10:42:09 AM)

Common HQ cost 5 PP. They have no appearance or name. Why donīt give them a particular name and a standard portrait? Ie: Subofficer 2nd HQ: John Smith. John Smith would be the higher rank subofficer. They would get some personality, even though it will have no effects on rules.

Playing with Hardcore production I prefer to assign common HQs to factories and cities, while leaders to attack or defend strategic places. Also to distinguish in the map leaders from common HQS a different symbol or colour would be quite useful.




Jafele -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/9/2013 11:46:22 AM)

An important risk for officers is enemy attacks, they can die suddenly. Example: Jim Gordon is a leader with 20 staff, during an enemy bombardment his unit lose 5 staff. It means there is a 25% probability that Gordon dies. History is filled with important officers who died in similar circumstances. Obviously the same rule affects to your enemy. Exposing HQs is not a good tactic. If a common HQ unit lose his high rank sub-officer (if this rule is applied) then another sub-officer will take command and the experience is lost.




Webizen -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/9/2013 12:38:23 PM)

We could think of common 5PP HQs as being commanded by nondescript logistic staff officers. Most likely logistics is what they will be used for in random games with officers. I like Jafele's idea of giving them a 'face' and name even though they would not have the stat attributes of a combat officer.




towerbooks3192 -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/9/2013 3:01:38 PM)

I finally tried a new dawn game and I was wondering if I could move officers and attach them to a particular division? I hope that there will be more roles that an officer would do for the units and there would be field officers and the ones that stay in the HQ.

I am not sure if its a bug or what but I played new dawn and ticked increase production cost in the options, now I noticed that even though I am not training units that require raw materials, my raw materials are dwindling and sometimes the amount of raw materials on the next turn is not accurate or doesn't add something at all. Is it a bug or I am missing something?




Jafele -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/9/2013 6:17:24 PM)

Officers of Supreme HQs should have better stats initially. Itīs supposed theyīre the best ones in the country. Letīs say a random level between 1-5?




Josh -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/9/2013 9:20:24 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: towerbooks3192

I finally tried a new dawn game and I was wondering if I could move officers and attach them to a particular division? I hope that there will be more roles that an officer would do for the units and there would be field officers and the ones that stay in the HQ.

I am not sure if its a bug or what but I played new dawn and ticked increase production cost in the options, now I noticed that even though I am not training units that require raw materials, my raw materials are dwindling and sometimes the amount of raw materials on the next turn is not accurate or doesn't add something at all. Is it a bug or I am missing something?


Not sure what you mean with "dwindling" raw as I haven't played the latest patch yet, but you do realize that building stuff with your engineers like railroads and airfields and the like also costs raw.
As it is now Officers are "Staff only", but who knows where this may lead to in a future patch? Field officers giving individual units or even tanks bonusses or traits? That will ofcourse slow the game down enormously...




Jafele -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/9/2013 9:35:34 PM)

What about gaining experience depending on distance to HQ? An unit fighting at a 2-hexes distance from its officer should increase easily the officer experience (HQ power 100%). An unit fighting 6 hexes from its officer will only increase the officer experience by 40% (HQ power 40%).

Also card effects must have a limit depending on the distance between unit selected and officer, perhaps a bonus reduction to attacks. I like the idea of cards but we should never forget the unit HQ has a limited number of action points (they donīt travel by helicopters [:D]). I suppose a good idea is a cost in action points for every card use. Donīt wannna lose the feeling of a real battle.




towerbooks3192 -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/10/2013 11:45:02 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Josh



but you do realize that building stuff with your engineers like railroads and airfields and the like also costs raw.



Probably this but I will have a look. Does higher production cost cause higher material consumption for creating units and infrastructures that requires raw or just the amount of production points needed to produce a unit/build an infrastructure?




Josh -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/10/2013 3:20:29 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: towerbooks3192


quote:

ORIGINAL: Josh



but you do realize that building stuff with your engineers like railroads and airfields and the like also costs raw.



Probably this but I will have a look. Does higher production cost cause higher material consumption for creating units and infrastructures that requires raw or just the amount of production points needed to produce a unit/build an infrastructure?



Honestly don't know, I think the latter; more PP's. In general in the early stages of the game I keep the Raw number under close surveillance as you are always running out of Raw. Build a few railroad tracks and *poof* you have to little/few (?) raw left to build armoured cars, the Raw number turns red before you know it. Later on when you have more mines producing Raw for you it's *still* possible to run out of Ore, build a few tanks (especially Heavy Tanks) and gone is your stockpile.




towerbooks3192 -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/11/2013 6:18:52 AM)

Never got to the level of the heavy tanks, I usually get tired at times and wanted to start a new game. Will keep a close eye on raw and I forgot roads and rails cost raw. Its pretty hard on Stoneage+expensive research+high production cost. I mean I only produce a meager amount of PP and I have to think if I will save it up for an upper hand against my opponent (early machine gun/infantry gun or something) or use the PP and raw to upgrade my raw resources




Jafele -> RE: Officers in ATG, your thoughts please. (1/11/2013 2:47:16 PM)

Military ranks for officers depending on the staff indiviuals that can be commanded effectively. It doesnīt change any rules just adds more personality. Different ranks during the second world war: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_officer_ranks_of_World_War_II




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