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Franco's Alliance v2.4 is here

 
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Franco's Alliance v2.4 is here - 12/4/2005 4:25:02 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
Joined: 5/30/2005
From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
Hey guys, here's the link to download Get it here


The readme:

Franco's Alliance v2.4 compatible with patch 1.087 or newer.
By Jesse LeBreton aka "Lebatron"

INTRODUCTION:

After years of trying out alternate versions of A&A and making my own house rules to improve the game, W@W came out and addressed all of A&A's shortcomings. It was the perfect replacement for A&A, and I no longer wished A&A to be more than it was. I was a happy board gamer. However, in my new love affair with W@W, I noticed some flaws. Some were easy to iron out, while others took some time. While developing Franco's Alliance many changes were made to the stock game to correct these issues. Some of them being play balance, map design flaws, exploits, historical feel, and metagaming just to name a few. With each new version of Franco's Alliance I hope to get closer to the perfect game W@W could be.
 
One of the biggest flaws I see, is that one Axis strategy is dominate. The Axis double teaming of Russia. If you want to have the best chance of winning, you have to use this strategy. It's sad that most games go down the same road every time. For two reasons in particular it turns out like this. Reason one, is that the Soviet Far East does not have enough territories. Reason two, is that the Japs gain nothing from focusing on the South Pacific so they might as well throw their weight at Russia. To address the first problem I added territories to the Soviet Far East, and to fix the second problem I created a simple house rule dealing with the Pacific islands.
 
Modifying the Soviet Far East is an obvious fix, but the problem with the Pacific may not be apparent to some. Presently the Pacific war plays nothing like the historical campaign; in dozens of games I've never seen anything like the drawn-out slugging matches that took place in the South Pacific. Never seen Japanese fleets base out of Truk or Rabaul in 1942/43, never seen major land campaigns raging back and forth over New Guinea, never seen huge dogfights and bombing raids over the Solomons, never watched contested invasions march across the South Pacific to the Philippines. The reason is simple, there is no political pressure or morale obligation to assist Australia. The US can just avoid the South Pacific. When the US plays like this is RISK, rather than WWII, a lot of the flavor is lost. Not to mention the huge imbalance it creates when the US timetable is accelerated by several turns.
 
In both the European and Pacific theaters, I have introduced solutions to stop this metagaming. What is metagaming? Making your decisions based on how to exploit the games' rules and mechanics rather than on what would be the likely decision the nation would really make. The old Prussian gambit is a perfect example of this. In real life, there would have been zero chance the British would have invaded Prussia in 1940, but in the game a player would be tempted to do so because it would unfreeze Russia. An unrealistic outcome for sure, so I did away with the garrison requirement in Prussia many versions ago. Two other huge examples of metagaming is Germany's conquest of Spain to take Gibraltar the easy way, and the US pretending there is no reason to secure the ocean around Australia. To keep players honest, I prevent Germany from attacking Spain via frozen rules, and addressed the Pacific theater's fundamental flaw by introducing a simple house rule. These additions make both the European and Pacific theaters more interesting and fun to play.
 
Gamey Allied invasions have also plagued this game. The designers tried to fix it by dropping the UN transport capacity to 2. I never liked this hack. It felt out of place so I developed a better solution. It's a new house rule that limits the UN amphibious potential in the early years of the war. No longer will they be able to land a huge force in Europe in 1941 by pulling transports from every corner of the globe. Large scale invasions will have to wait till around 1943. I outline the details below under House Rules.
 
Way back in version 1.0, I had originally modded W@W to solve one problem. To make Spain a tougher conquest by adding a few new units. If you felt no guilt in metagaming, then it was a no-brainer to attack Spain to get to Gibraltar. So I made Spain stronger than it was historically, for game balance. Then later I dropped it when I had a better idea for Spain which became Franco's Alliance. Anyway, since 2by3 has now officially made Spain tougher, I have decided to bring back my old offering. I will call it the Standard campaign. This scenario will have all my improvements, minus the frozen Spain, for those who wish to have the option to conquer Spain to close the Med. For those who wish to play a more historical game, select the Franco campaign. In my opinion, the Franco campaign is more fun to play, because of its special unfreeze triggers, but to each his own:)
 
Highlights of Franco's Alliance

Improved AI for solo play.
Added new territories to the Soviet Far East.
A more historical Pacific and European theater.
Fixed the issues with gamey Allied invasions in the early years.
Resources in South America and Africa are now collected realistically.
Introduced new victory city conditions for Japan and placed victory city stars on the map.
Changed the zoom so you can now zoom out. Useful for watching replays.

 
WHAT'S CHANGED:
For a list of changes from 2.3 to 2.4 look over the file called "log of changes."
Here's the list of changes I made to the stock game. Some ideas are borrowed, so I give credit where it's due.
 
Map Changes:
1.
Added some new territories to the Soviet Far East. Mongolia, Yakutsk, and Irkutsk have each been divided into two parts. The new double borders were placed strategically so that if Japan choose to attack, its advance through Russia will be slowed. The Axis double team of Russia will no longer be a no-brainer.
 
2.
Added 2MP borders to England and Italy on their western sides, and removed the 2MP border in Algeria. Reason: To increase the flight range to 3 when flying to/from England and Spain, and to do the same from Gibraltar and other North African zones to Northern Italy. In the Med the goal was to eliminate air with a range of 2 from reaching Northern Italy. This will shift the Allied focus to Southern Italy where it should be, and increase the incentive for the Allies to take other parts of North Africa to get air within range of Italy.
 
3.
The flight range to Finland is now a little farther by the addition of a 2MP border along their northern coast. Reason: To fix an oddity. Norway and Finland were both the same flight distance from Britain. Now Finland is 4 from Scotland while Norway is 3.
 
4.
Shrunk the train icon so it doesn't stand out as much.
5.
Adjusted the British and Neutral colors so they contrast better. Also adjusted Germany's frozen color a little to make it easier to see.
6.
Adjusted the zoom so it zooms out. If you prefer zooming in???? follow the instructions below under extras to change it back.
 
Changes to mechanics:
1.
Spain is now a frozen ally of Germany, much like Finland. Spain will unfreeze IF Gibraltar, London, or Moscow falls. Spain will also unfreeze if the WA's attack Portugal, or any of Spain's territories. Reason: To stop a gamey strategy that German players will usually emply. Since Germany does not have much to do after the fall of France while waiting for the build-up to Barbarossa, many players will use this time to conquere Spain and Gibraltar. While that may make sense if your playing RISK it does not if your playing WW2. You would be ignoring political reality and be guilty of metagaming. Spain was a fellow facist country and enjoyed good relations with Germany. To keep the German player honest, Spain has been made a frozen ally. In this way, Germany can't easily cast aside a good relation with Spain just to meet a certain game goal. Note: Because of this change, the WA's will receive some interdiction points from Spain. To solve this, just duck into the port of Gibraltar and back out when you wish to enter the Med and you'll avoid those extra interdiction points.
 
2.
Axis auto victory has been adjusted. Its now 70+Moscow, 71+Leningrad and Stalingrad, 71+London. Taking London and reaching 70 is in my opinion easier than doing the same via Moscow, hence the 1 point increase to win via London. Leningrad and Stalingrad are similarly easier than taking Moscow. In addition, there are new victory cities I added to give the Japanese a shot at AV. They are, 70+Eastern India and Chungking, 69+Victoria and New South Wales. With these, there is now a better reason to play a more tradition Jap campaign.
 
Note: I added stars to the map to remind players where the victory cities are.
69 Victoria+ New South Wales
70 Eastern India+ Chungking
70 Moscow
71 Leningrad+ Stalingrad
71 London
 
3.
I changed it so that in some places of South America and Africa the resources will stay where they are unless a transport sits off coast. In South America all areas have been isolated in this way and will require a transport. In Africa I isolated the southern tip. South Africa and Rhodesia send their 4 resources to Cape Town port. By doing this the UN player can't get all of Africa's resources with one transport off the west coast. He will need to have a link all the way to the southern port. Reason: A problem with this game design is that the UN player can pull almost all his transports from around the world and still collect resources from South America and Africa. It's unrealistic to not even need a single transport for all of South America. Its resources can flow back to the US by land. In Africa, only one transport is needed off French West Africa and magically all resources there are collected too. That's stretching reality to far. Most things produced for the war effort were shipped from ports, not sent through thousands of miles of jungle and rough terrain by mule train . Oil tankers from South America come to mind. Given the lack of any need to use many transports to collect resources they will be pulled and placed neatly into nice shipping lines. This is contrary to the setup. The designers placed transports around South America with the impression they were there to collect that continents resources. When I first began to play I believed that was necessary. It seems like they had some intent to make it necessary to move resource production by transport, but in the end didn't do the code. The game was left to allow resources to trace any distance over land resulting in a diminished need to assign transports for that function. They are then available to do other things. This has created the problem of what many have said to be an overly large amphibious capability early in the game. If resource collection was interrupted from pulling transports for amphibious assaults, some of this problem would resolve itself.
Patch 1.070 moved some transports away from South America. Because of my changes, the original setup works better. I also took 2 transports from the Irish sea and put them on the west coast of South America to collect the resource production from Chile. I also removed 1 resource from French West Africa and put it in Madagascar. I also fixed the port in South Africa so that it connects to both sea zones.
 
4.
The regions Western and Eastern Kazakhstan plus the Caspian Sea are now frozen with the western block of Russia. Reason: To fix an exploit that involved Russia attacking Persia or Afghan to deliberately unfreeze themselves. Here's how it might play out. Say Japan attacks Russia while Germany does not. Unorthodox but still possible. This allows Russia to attack Northern Persia, then the next turn Southern Persia, which is now German. Russia is then unfroze. If the British on a turn before had attacked Southern Persia, even better, because now Northern Persia would be German. If the Russians attacked there, same result but sooner. I prevent this exploit by making it impossible for Russia to attack Persia or Afghan in this manner.
 
5.
An old patch added a declare war cost to Germany to try and address the neutral land grab which was a common method to win by AV. This fix was latter replaced by the current AV rules and is now obsolete. Since AV can only be achieved when certain victory cities are controlled, the need to penalize Germany for taking neutrals is no longer needed, so I have returned the game to its original state. Germany loses the 15 bonus supply added to Eastern Germany and no longer has to pay a 5 point supply fee to declare war on a neutral.
 
6.
Land access from Gibraltar to Spain is now one way. Spain, if its unfrozen, can invade Gibraltar but the reverse is not true. Reason: So the WA's no longer get an easy pass to the mainland by just attacking with an unrealistically large stack from Gibraltar. This change forces the Allies to amphibious assault somewhere else to gain a foothold in Europe. mcaryf's idea, thanks!
Note: I just added an optional house rule that limits the amount of forces that can stack in Gibraltar. It's 2 air and 3 land units of any kind for a total of 5.
 
7.
Changed Japan's x3 militia popup to x2. Reason: Since the Pacific hop list slows the US advance, the need to protect Japan in this way is no longer needed.
 
Placement and unit Changes:
1.
Hungary gains a factory, and can now make militia. Reason: Hungary contributed. Germany will need a few extra militia down the road because it's going to be much hotter in the Mediterranean due to the fact that the Med will most likely be open. Oleg's idea. Thanks.
 
2.
Removed one Russian factory at Moscow and placed it back in the cue partly build. Reason: To start the Russian economy at 24 production instead of 26. With the map changes they became an even tougher nut to crack, so it was necessary for balance. You A&A players may notice a coincidence;)
 
3.
Moved the factory from Southern Urals to Smolensk. This will recreate the Soviet relocation of industry from this area to the Urals on the turn of Barbarossa. Also done to address play balance and consume rail capacity to limit Russia's ability to respond on the turn of Barbarossa. WanderingHead suggested this. Thanks.
 
4.
Moved some units to Grozny so it's not so easy to take by paradrop during Barbarossa. Added a flak there too. In North Africa, Vichy French infantry have been changed to militia. Several other changes are listed in the log file.
 
5.
Portugal gains 3 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 flak, and 1 population. Reason: So the WA's don't get a free pass to the mainland. Now that Portugal has troops, other issues needed to be addressed. I removed the Portuguese nationality from the Azores. They are now true neutral. This was done so Germany does not automatically gain Portugal if the Azores are taken by the WA's. This is better than everything Portuguese turning German just because the Allies borrow the Azores for an air base. Historically the Allies got to use the islands when some political pressure was applied. You could say that the 10 supply you pay to use the Azores is the cost of that political deal.
 
6.
Forts have been added to several of the Pacific islands. Putting forts in these areas is a good way to simulate Japan digging in and fighting to the last man. It will also help to offset the likely tech difference between the UN and Jap infantry. To help you identify which islands have forts, I have placed an * after the name of each island that is fortified.
 
7.
Adjusted the starting techs and world standards of some units. For instance the world standard for heavy bomber LA has been raised from 5 to 6. The A-bomb will be cheaper to build, but lots of production will now be needed to boost UN transport invasion tech. Look to the log of changes file for a complete list.
 
8.
Adjusted infrastructure so that fighters won't find it so easy to hit damaged infrastructure. The problem now is that after being hit, infrastructure defense drops from 12 to 6. This drop is to drastic. At a 6 defense, an escorting fighter can easily get the second hit. Fighters are getting to play a dual role in this case. One, they protect bombers from geting hit. Two, after protecting the bombers they then go on to bomb and get the second hit on infrastructure. This is a case of having your cake and eating it too. Now its been changed to only drop to 9 after taking a hit. A fighter would have to get lucky to get a hit now. Only dedicated bombers should be a threat to infrastructure.
 

House Rules:

1. The hop list.
In the Pacific, W@W's game mechanics kind of flop. This is no incentive for the US to fight a traditional Pacific war, and because of that Japan has no reason to take islands like the Solomon or Gilbert's. Doing so would be a waste of Japan's resources. These islands are supposed to act as an outer ring of defense that buys them time but can't when the US doesn't have to obey strategic and political realities. There is no way to prevent a US player from metagaming once they realize the South Pacific doesn't matter. That's not that much fun and gets old fast, so I created a 'Hop List' to enforce political realities so it stops playing like RISK in the Pacific. When its followed, both players will enjoy a much more fun and interesting Pacific theater. The basic idea is that an area like Australia needs to be protected and liberated first, as it would have been in the real world. Then gradually push the Japs out of the area so that the US's Pacific ally is safe from invasion and shipping raids. In the stock game, Japan's only reasonable path is to go into Russia, but using this hop list can open up new play styles for Japan because securing the South Pacific islands actually works to Japan's advantage now.
Islands in this hop list fall into categories marked A to G. These letters are on the map to assist you. Here's the house rule.
 
Rule 1: the sequence. Those marked A (Midway, Australia) are the US's highest priority and must be secured first. Islands marked B are the next priority and so on. Within a category, the US may attempt to capture in any order he chooses.
Rule 2: is that no surface ships may enter the next category until all conditions are met. This is to keep the US from raiding to deeply into hostile waters. Note: Air and subs are not bond by these rules.
Rule 3: Generally sea zones located next to a lettered island are considered to be a part of that letter category. Example: The Philippine Sea is adjacent to E, so its considered an E sea zone, and therefore can't be entered by surface ships until all D's are secured. All sea zones surrounding the Philippines are considered E except 217 which is obviously considered a D because of Palau. All sea zones surrounding Australia are considered A. All sea zones surrounding Borneo/Sarawak are considered type G, except the ones next to the Philippines. This may seem complicated, but it's not. Once you see it on the map it will immediately be obvious.
 
Here's the Hop List. These are marked on the map so there's no need to memorize this list.
A: Midway, New Caledonia, Any part of Australia. Once all under type A are secured, the US may go to any type B.
B: Solomon, Gilbert, Papua etc. Once all under type B are secured, the US may go to type C.
C: Marshall, Wake, Caroline etc. Once all under.....
D: Mariana, Guam, Palau. Once all under.....
E: Philippines. Once all 3 parts are secured........
F: Bonin. Once it's secured.......
G: Ryukya, Borneo and Sarawak Once all under type G are secured the US may invade the Jap home island.
X: Sea zones 205,206,211 are adjacent to the Jap home island and are off limits to surface ships(but not subs) until all type G are secured.
 
2. The transport cap.
To fix the problem with the UN's overly large invasion potential in the early game, I have developed a house rule that will replace the patches effort to fix this. As you know the patch reduced UN transports to level 2. My House Rule will make that obsolete. Therefore the UN transports will be returned back to level 3, and then linked to a new table that starts small and progressively grows in invasion potential as the transport amphibious value increases. This method has the advantage of preserving the correct feel and mimics the effect of adding a dedicated amphib ship unit. So instead of spending production in the unit build screen, that cost is shifted to the tech screen. In the end, the UN will have to spend something to get better invasion capabilities. That solves many gamey issues. In Germany's case, since it doesn't have lots of transports it needs to build them for Sealion. So when you think of it, these transports are specifically being built just as dedicated invasion ships would be, which is why only the UN needs to have this special house rule applied.
 
Here's the details. Lets say we limit the number of transports that can be used to assault a territory to say 5 in 1940. That would give us a transport amphib value of 15. Therefore the WA's would be limited to landing no more than 3 units. This is a fair starting value. In approximately 1942 when they have upgraded to level 4 the WA's new cap would be 20 points, or enough to land 4 infantry. Jump to 1943. The WA's should be at level 5 by now. The amphib point cap would only be limited by the number of transports the WA's could bring to the area.
 
Rule 1: The capacity value is the total that can invade a territory, not the value from each adjacent sea zone. In other words if the transport amphib level was at 4 you could land a total of 4 infantry in Western France. Not 4 from each sea zone adjacent to Western France.
Rule 2: This amphib limit does not get used up. For instance, at level 4, Western France, Denmark, and Norway all could be invaded by 4 infantry each.
Rule 3: Remember that tanks will use up 10 capacity points each. When I say 4 units can invade at level 4, I don't mean 4 tanks.
 
At level 3 15 capacity cap
At level 4 20 capacity cap
At level 5 unlimited

 
3. The Gibraltar stacking limit.
Due to its tiny size, this location can not hold much. I am setting the limit to a very generous 2 air and 3 land units of any kind. For a total stacking limit of 5.
 
Errata:

I removed all the original scenarios since they are not compatible with the map changes. There are now 3 of my own. Two of the scenarios are intended for PBEM or hotseat. As I explained in the intro, picking between the two is a matter of preference. The third is intended for solo play, or specifically when you have the AI playing the UN. In this solo scenario, I needed to leave some of my game improvements out, because the UN AI does not play well with them in place. For instance, adjustments had to be made to Spain to prevent the UN AI from always attacking Spanish Morocco. This would unfreeze Spain which I'm sure would not be the AI's intent if it knew any better. Also the South American and African resource collection changes I made could not be used in this scenario since the UN AI will always abandon these coastlines. This would cripple the UN's production, so I left it stock.
 
INSTALLING:
Warning: due to the changes I made, you must follow these install instructions or you will mess up your stock game.

Step 1: First reinstall another copy of the game in a different directory. For instance c:\games\Franco's Alliance v2.4. Rename the new desktop shortcut to Franco's Alliance v2.4 so you know which one is which.
Step 2: Install patch 1.087 or newer for the new copy you just made. Make sure you select the right game folder to patch since there are now two choices.
Step 3. Run the Franco patch executable. At the path choice, direct it to patch the new copy you just made.
 
EXTRAS:
A:If you wish to go back to the original zoom levels, look for the code below in the art.txt file. Once you found it, erase the // in front of the lines I bleeped out and place them instead in front of the second copy of each line. Then save. Now the old zooms will be back.
 
// zooms for the game
//MAP_ZOOM,4800,5400,6000
MAP_ZOOM,4800,3000,2000
// chip scaling by zoom
//CHIP_SCALE,3000,3375,3750
CHIP_SCALE,3000,1700,1500
// Y ofsets by zoom
//ICON_Y_OFFSET,35,40,45
ICON_Y_OFFSET,25,25,25
 
You could also use 4000 in place of 4800. That's the furthest out you can set it and still see the onscreen fonts. Also the icon offset was changed to 25 because it makes the units in a stack sit closer together. It looks better this way.
 
B: If you are tired of hitting escape 3 times to get to the game, go into the video folder and look for the 3 intro videos. Rename these, and they will no longer harass you. Example: XXX2by3intro.wmv once renamed like this, or anyway you see fit, the program will not play them on startup anymore.

< Message edited by Lebatron -- 8/27/2006 5:15:46 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 12/4/2005 4:29:49 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
Joined: 5/30/2005
From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
Here are the new Soviet territories.





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< Message edited by Lebatron -- 6/6/2006 5:48:11 AM >

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RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 12/4/2005 4:31:03 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
Joined: 5/30/2005
From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
Changes to Europes map. Notice the new double borders on England and Italy. These fix flight range oddities. Double border in Algeria was removed. Italy's southern port now connects to both sea zones.






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< Message edited by Lebatron -- 6/6/2006 5:55:05 AM >

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RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 12/4/2005 4:31:53 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
Joined: 5/30/2005
From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
Some of the Pacific island categories.






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< Message edited by Lebatron -- 6/6/2006 5:54:04 AM >

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RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 12/4/2005 5:42:42 PM   
dobeln

 

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Joined: 3/28/2005
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Great work! :) Keep it up!

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Post #: 5
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 12/29/2005 2:07:49 PM   
steevodeevo

 

Posts: 20
Joined: 12/28/2005
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Hi all,

a couple of questions (assuming this is a mod of the grand main campaign)

is this the best grand campaign mod available?

what is it primarily intended to do - improve overall balance, introduce more variability of strategies/outcomes or counter a 'flaw' or address /introduce a new particular feature?

Does this make it even harder for the germans to win or otherwise (excepting the invade England method).

manty thanks.

(in reply to dobeln)
Post #: 6
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 1/6/2006 5:18:03 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
Joined: 5/30/2005
From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
Hi Steevo,
While I believe the stock game is great it does have its flaws. Over the last several months I have been continually refining my mod to address these. In the process I have improved gameplay, fixed map errors, oddities and exploits, and hopefully made it more balanced and intense. Recently in v2.2 I added the Pacific hop list. This I feel has been the largest improvement in gameplay since I introduced the extra territories in the Soviet Far East. When players follow this guideline, The US must island hop through the Pacific in a simi historical manner. Believe me its much more exciting to play the game this way than the way it has degenerated into.

Since your relatively new to the game you may not have yet noticed the South Pacific plays no importance in this game system. Human players will play much differently than the AI. When you watch the AI, you will notice that the AI of both the US and Japan will head into the South Pacific and battle it out. Thats because its scripted to do so. When you get good enough with the US you will begin to skip right over reconquering islands like the Gilberts and Solomon's and head right for Bonin. That's quite the shortcut. And because of that the Pacific is very broken. If the US can skip these islands then it makes no sense for the Jap player to take them in the first place, as that would just get valuable troops stranded. So the Jap player forgoes this in favor of a much smaller and tighter area of defense. Kind of like where they were in 1944 but instead of being pushed back to that, they start there. This doesn't give them many layers of defense to buy time, so the Jap player puts off Pearl Harbor until Fall 1942 in most cases. Before 2by3 took my suggestion to scale back the US production multiple, I would have to say almost all experenced players waited until the last possible turn to attack the US. While adoping my x2 production multilple, instead of the x3, did make it more worthwhile for Japan to attack earlier, it still left the problem of the US advancing to quickly through the Pacific. The hop list I created for v2.2 solves this very nicely. Its now worthwhile for the Japs to take islands in the South Pacific because the US must play honestly. With all the extra time it buys for the Japs its very reasonable for them to attack on the historical date of Fall 1941. I did many playtests attacking on this date and found that it very closely matched the historical US progress through the Pacific. You will find it more appealing and fun to play the game this way.



< Message edited by Lebatron -- 1/6/2006 5:22:19 AM >

(in reply to steevodeevo)
Post #: 7
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 1/6/2006 8:28:28 PM   
steevodeevo

 

Posts: 20
Joined: 12/28/2005
Status: offline
wow its great of you to take the time to send this, I will give the game a try tomorrow.

One more question. I like to play the Germand and have failed every time to win, though I am getting better. My question is if I play as the germand do I have to play the entire axis personally to have a chance at allo to win? When I dont play as the Japs they a) bring the Yanks in early and b) don't do well in Asia so dont distract the Russians for me..

any advice is fine.

steevo

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 8
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 1/6/2006 8:33:46 PM   
JanSorensen

 

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From: Aalborg, Denmark
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Its easier if you play the Japanese too (if you know how to play them) but its certainly still very possible to win playing only the Germans.

(in reply to steevodeevo)
Post #: 9
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 1/6/2006 8:58:51 PM   
steevodeevo

 

Posts: 20
Joined: 12/28/2005
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Come on Jan! giz' a break - spill the beans!

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Post #: 10
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 1/7/2006 6:54:45 PM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
Joined: 5/30/2005
From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
I could help you out with some PBEM saves from v2.2 of my mod. With them you could examine how an opponent of mine played as Germany. He played really well. If you somewhat mimic what he did you would have no problem defeating the Russian AI. Then you could see for yourself whats works and why. Of coarse, this could defeat your sense of acomplishment from learning on your own how to win. Its up to you. Let me know if you want me to send them saves.

Or you could learn a little from watching my new German AI. This will be included in my next update, which will come out when the new patch does. I started working on this AI after a topic about it was posted last week. It seems there are many who want a better AI because they may never intend to play PBEM. I was, at first, not very supportive of the idea and recommended PBEM instead. But I had a change of heart and decided to work on it. I focused on the German AI because that was where modding could have the largest impact. For Japan I only made a small tweek. I did nothing to the Allies AI yet. Its much harder to make the UN play better because they are a sea power and have their forces spead all over the world. This decentralization of UN forces is why the Allied AI is poor. Anyway, the German AI is good enough now to really push the Russians back. In several test runs the Germans came very close to AV before the Allies launched D-day in Summer 1944. The Axis were at 69 a couple times and only missed the AV because Japan was not at 24. I'm sure with enough test runs sooner or later the Axis would get an AV before the Allies land in France. Unfortunately I can do nothing about the miserable defense Germany places in France to hold off D-day, nor would I want to. Its scripted that way so the Allies will have an easier time landing there. 2by3 must have found it necessary to deliberately weaken Germany there because they knew the UN AI was not aggressive enough to successfully pull D-day off if Germany had a better defense in France. The up side to all this is that in my mod D-day almost always comes in Summer 1944 or later. In the stock game, I frequently see invasions taking place in 1943 which is way to early. My suggestion to those who wish to fight against the German AI is to play Russia and enjoy it from that end. If you play the WA's you could to easily take advantage of Germany's weak defense of France. So just play Russia and leave all the rest under AI control for the best experience.

PS if you wished I could send you my new AI without having to wait for v2.3

(in reply to steevodeevo)
Post #: 11
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 1/7/2006 11:46:53 PM   
pzgndr

 

Posts: 1666
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This is good news. HOI2 just had an AI enhancement released. It's good to see you and Jan starting to work on some AI enhancements for GGWAW, at least to the extent that the AI can be improved. Thanks!

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 12
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 1/8/2006 5:15:54 PM   
steevodeevo

 

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Leb I am sooo tempted but, like you suggest I am a stubborn bugger and I want to try and sort out the victory myself if I can at all. But I suspect I may need to come back to you on that one, I am just about to have another solo game this arvo (no one available to play LUX and I am gonna try some new tactics.

I am tempted to play the Japenese as well and focus them on Asia but to be quite frank I really can't be bothered with the complexity of managing both fronts, I suspect i may have to give up on this reluctance however if I am to win - but as long as Jan says I can win as the Germans alone, then I will continue to plug away .

p.s. I just bought Battles in Normandy, not played it yet - sounds a good OP level game.



< Message edited by steevodeevo -- 1/8/2006 5:16:40 PM >

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 13
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/1/2006 6:21:26 PM   
toddtreadway

 

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Lebatron, is your mod compatible with the newest patch (1.087)?

(in reply to steevodeevo)
Post #: 14
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/2/2006 1:51:18 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
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From: Upper Michigan
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Not exactly. Since my old super infantry fix is no longer needed, the new patch would make it quite prohibative to upgrade UN infantry evasion several levels as I intended. But your timing of this question is spot on for I am about to release v2.3 All the files have been done for at least a week now, except I keep tinkering with the AI file when I got time. Perhaps its good enough for now so I think I will release it tonight.

(in reply to toddtreadway)
Post #: 15
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/2/2006 6:58:54 AM   
WanderingHead

 

Posts: 2132
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lebatron
Not exactly. Since my old super infantry fix is no longer needed, the new patch would make it quite prohibative to upgrade UN infantry evasion several levels as I intended. But your timing of this question is spot on for I am about to release v2.3 All the files have been done for at least a week now, except I keep tinkering with the AI file when I got time. Perhaps its good enough for now so I think I will release it tonight.


What exactly can you do with the AI?

I've looked at the ai.txt file. It looks like all you can do is prioritize what is built when and what research is done. Does modifying just these have that big of an impact on AI play, or is there something else to tweak?

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 16
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/3/2006 12:41:31 AM   
tlintlunfl

 

Posts: 12
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lebatron

Not exactly. Since my old super infantry fix is no longer needed, the new patch would make it quite prohibative to upgrade UN infantry evasion several levels as I intended. But your timing of this question is spot on for I am about to release v2.3 All the files have been done for at least a week now, except I keep tinkering with the AI file when I got time. Perhaps its good enough for now so I think I will release it tonight.

Dear Lebatron,
I am writing from Italy and have obviously international version.
After downloading v 1.087 I unzipped it and extracted, but cannot understand why my serial number (registered) results uncorrect.
Have I made any mistake?
Can you help me?
Thanks in advance.
Max

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 17
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/3/2006 12:57:35 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
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From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
Hmm... I think you should post this question in "Gary Grigsby's World at War - Support." I honestly have no idea what your problem may be.

(in reply to tlintlunfl)
Post #: 18
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/3/2006 2:07:10 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
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From: Upper Michigan
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quote:

ORIGINAL: WanderingHead
What exactly can you do with the AI?

I've looked at the ai.txt file. It looks like all you can do is prioritize what is built when and what research is done. Does modifying just these have that big of an impact on AI play, or is there something else to tweak?


Yes, it can have a large impact. Over the last few weeks I have tried countless varieties of the ai.txt file and it does change the AI behavior, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in hair pulling fustration. As I discovered, little tweeks to the German AI can totally mess up Barbarossa for instance. For that matter the attack on Yugo is effected too. Yugo has been a problem in previous versions of Franco's Alliance till now. With the stock AI file, the German AI was always attacking Yugo on turn one. This resulted in a bounce off with 3 or 4 militia casualties followed by a few more the next turn. This was an unexceptable loss since taking Yugo should only result in maybe 1 hit. Well after I started tinkering with the AI file Germany stopped attacking on turn one and now attacks on turn 3 perhaps 80% of the time. If if misses the Fall40 turn it will generally do so Wi41. I'm basically happy with the AI settling on turn 3 in this case.

Having a different build and research priority has allowed the German AI to push deep into Russian lands. So even though it may not seem to effect when and where the AI attacks, it does. It got to the Urals and Caucasas a few times. This is with all nations using the AI BTW. This outcome is rather contrary to what it does using the stock AI file. As I was able to see, its possible to adjust the character of the AI in this manner. The far reaching German conquest I mentioned above was a lightning blitz kind of AI character I was able to bring out. Over the last 2 weeks I have changed it so that it doesn't do that anymore. That may have been good against the Soviet AI but that kind of character isn't optimal when a human is playing Russia.

Over the last week I have tweeked the other nations too. Now they all will built and research smarter. So no matter what nation you pick to play, your opponent AI will be a bit more challenging than before.

< Message edited by Lebatron -- 2/3/2006 2:08:36 AM >

(in reply to WanderingHead)
Post #: 19
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/4/2006 12:18:54 AM   
AAGamer

 

Posts: 17
Joined: 10/24/2004
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Lebatron,

Does this version of Franco's alliance work with the 1.87 beta or does it conflict.. I want to run the mod but just want to clarify.

Thanks..

_____________________________

-AAGamer--Geshwader Adjutant

You too can have your own Pocket Sheep for $19.99 pm me.. I will send one out asap.

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 20
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/5/2006 11:34:39 AM   
tlintlunfl

 

Posts: 12
Joined: 12/11/2005
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lebatron

Hmm... I think you should post this question in "Gary Grigsby's World at War - Support." I honestly have no idea what your problem may be.


Dear Lebatron,
I succeded installing 1.087.... the solution is simply to disactivate antivirus during installation, as indicated.
This will be useful for international players!
But now still remains the doubt if your scenario, Franco's alliance, is compatible or not with V. 1.087 and if your instructions about installation are still valid (create another copy of the game, rename it, substitute some files... et cetera).
If affermative, please may you post again in you reply those instructions?
Otherwise I had to search in the forum the appropriate discussion.......
Thanks a lot.
Massimo

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 21
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/5/2006 6:48:11 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32914
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
Lebatron,

Would you mind if we post your mod in the Members' Club for GGWAW?

Regards,

- Erik

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to tlintlunfl)
Post #: 22
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/8/2006 7:03:56 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
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From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
Sure Erik. That would be great.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 23
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/8/2006 7:21:30 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
Joined: 5/30/2005
From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
Hey Guys,
The wait is over Posted at the top is the new readme and download link for v2.3.

Of importance to some would be my inclusion of a new scenario that allows you to play using a standard Spain. This is for those who like my map changes but not a frozen Spain. Also of new importance is the better AI I been working on for weeks now. Its much better IMHO than the stock AI. Well that's about it for now. Enjoy!

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 24
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/8/2006 5:46:36 PM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
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From: Upper Michigan
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Since Doblen asked what I changed in v2.3, here is a quick run down of what I dropped or didn't bother to mention in the readme. I intentionally left these out so that the readme is as short and concise as possible.

1. Fixed move arrow in the English Channel so it displays over where I moved the strait to, also redid the sea zone so the flashing red is displayed correctly.
2. Undid the trigger event that would unfreeze the US if Eastern Canada is taken. No longer needed because it's now standard.
3. Made Southern France rough.
4. Changed the single Jap VC from 69+Southern India and Victoria and Chungking to a choice between two which are
70+Eastern India/Chungking or 70+New South Wales/Victoria. Also dropped London VC from 72 to 71.
5. Changed Finland's unfreeze trigger back to stock. Since Russia lost a factory the need for this is reduced.
6. Undid the super inf fix I made to make it more expensive to upgrade . No longer needed.
7. reduced Canton pop to 0. Nobody ever places a garrison there anyway, so why annoy everyone with the end of turn partisan attack. Also since partisans are much more effective now, I think its best to give Japan a break in Canton. While I'm on the subject let me just say I'm having my doubts about the recent change to the partisans.
8. Changed map names of West Irk and West Yak to Eastern Siberia and NE Siberia.
9. Moved the extra resource in Norway back to Sweden. Its back to stock now. I just didn't like it that way anymore.

Well that's all I can think of at the moment, but I don't think I left anything big out. Since I rewrote many parts of the readme I think its best for you guys to just reread the whole thing rather than rely on a summary of changes. For instance, I rewrote the Hop List house rule to try and make it more clear.

< Message edited by Lebatron -- 2/8/2006 5:48:22 PM >

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 25
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.2 is out - 2/8/2006 5:51:38 PM   
dobeln

 

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Thanks Lebatron! :)

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 26
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.3 is here - 2/9/2006 3:21:32 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
Joined: 5/30/2005
From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: SeaMonkey

Leb, what side would you suggest playing against the AI to have the best(hardest) game for the human opponent?

Do you recommend any settings in this case(AI)?

Is the game balanced for humans or does one side have an advantage(IYO)?


Lets start with the worst one first. That would be playing the UN. Why? because you would be all over the Germans in a heart beat. Because of fixed scripting that I can't change, Germany does little to protect itself from D-day. That I believe was intended by 2by3 to be a match for the timid UN AI. For if it was any harder to invade, the UN AI would never do so. This would give you little challenge. So I suggest not to bother playing the UN unless you deliberately hold off on D-day.

The best experience I feel would be Russia with all others using the AI. Let Japan and US do their thing in the Pacific and Britain and Germany do theirs. Just focus on trying to get a German surrender. While watching the AI play though many games, D-day was generally in 1944 sometimes even 1945 and rarer still, never. If you happen to be playing a game as Russia and the WA's for some reason are really timid that game, you will find it very hard to force a German surrender. Try smashing your way through 60 8/8 infantry, 35 10/9 tanks and other units.

Japan would probably be next best as long as you don't use the Axis double squeeze on Russia. Try a tradition Pacific campaign and shoot for AV. You can count on Germany netting you at least 37 AV points. Use either of my 2 new Jap AV conditions instead of relying on Germany to get the victory cities. My UN AI will throw alot of subs and about 8 carriers at the Japanese.

Germany is just a bit under Japan. What keeps it from being better is that any competent German player can keep the UN AI from ever landing in France. You just put enough infantry and flak there and your set for the rest of the game. I could never overcome the timid UN AI with anything I tried. The UN AI just does not like making attacks that will result in loses. So once you commit enough garrison in the west to hold off the UN it boils down to a slug fest between you and Russia. Once Russia hits its target tech levels it really begins to pump out the units. So you are in a race to hit AV before that happens. Once again I stress not to use the Axis double squeeze as that will make it to easy to win.

EDIT:Now that 1.200 is out, a bug in the combat analizer has been fixed. The UN AI is not as timid now, and will lanch more agressive attacks. So concider parts of my old statements to be out of date now.

As far as game settings go make sure you check auto and area supply for the AI players. It seems to help the Axis avoid partisan problems. When the Axis have it off, I notice there are a lot more cases of paritsan attacks.

I'm not sure what your asking when you asked if the game was balanced. Balanced for PBEM or balanced between human vs AI. If you mean human vs AI, then I would have to say that just depends on how good you are. Casual WAW players may not be able beat my Russian or German AI. And don't forget, you can always up the difficulty level. With all the AI players building and researching smarter under my new AI, a combat bonus can be a real killer when they are teched up in the right areas. On the other hand if you mean balance under human vs human play, I think the balance is very good. Let me know if your experience differs in that regard and I'll certainly address it in future updates.

Edit: I would suggest to turn off advanced supply for the AI instead. It will have an easier time repairing and dealing with partisans. For the country you play, leave advanced supply on to make it a bit more difficult for you.

< Message edited by Lebatron -- 5/20/2006 5:44:43 PM >

(in reply to dobeln)
Post #: 27
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.3 is here - 2/9/2006 7:45:21 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
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From: Upper Michigan
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Its came to my attention that I forgot to include the art.txt file in the download. Because of that, some graphics will not display right. For instance the English Channel. A few of you may have been wondering what was up with that. I have now replaced the download link so please download again to fix this problem. Sorry about that

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 28
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.3 is here - 2/9/2006 10:19:42 PM   
Bibbo

 

Posts: 248
Joined: 11/14/2005
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I have a question about the installation of the Franco's Alliance mod. When I insert the disk it does not give me the install option, but only the play option, I guess, because I already have the game installed. Can you just copy the game itself without reinstalling it? Thanks for any advice.

(in reply to Lebatron)
Post #: 29
RE: Franco's Alliance v2.3 is here - 2/10/2006 3:45:24 AM   
Lebatron


Posts: 2142
Joined: 5/30/2005
From: Upper Michigan
Status: offline
Ah I forgot about that. Maybe in a future update I will methion that in the install steps. To get the game to install again close the play window out. Then goto the cd drive in my computer and right click to get the menu. Select open so that you can see the files on the cd. Select the WAW setup file not the autorun file. That will reinstall the game. The other option is to just copy the entire game folder then remame it to Franco's Alliance v2.3 If you take that route, you will manully need to create a desktop shortcut. Copy the original shortcut then rename. Now right click on it to select properties. In the target path field, direct it to where the waw.exe file is located. For example it may look like this c:\Games\Franco's Alliance v2.3\waw.exe

(in reply to Bibbo)
Post #: 30
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