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European Theatre of Operations - 7/12/2010 4:47:47 AM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Suppose it's time to let the cat out of the bag on what I've been working on. It's tentatively called European Theatre of Operations and uses the big map of Europe that I uploaded to the Sandbox already. It's a very ambitous project, covering the entire war in Europe and North Africa at around 15 miles per hex and generaly division level units (maybe going upto corps level for the late war). It's a very big project so I'm not entirely sure how long it will take me to get to a point it's ready for play testing...but I've got a fair amount of work done. Essentialy the map is complete, as are Regimes and Peoples as is research and the SFT's are mostly complete. I still need to do event code, action cards and starting unit placement.

There will be 3 playable position....Axies, Allies and Soviets.... There will be only one winner...so the Allies and Soviets are going to have to carefully balance how much they are willing to cooperate with each other with the need to defeat the Axis. Planning somewhat random national entry.. to add a bit of uncertainty into the scenerio (i.e. as Germany, you won't be 100 percent sure when the Soviets will wake up...or when Italy will decide to join your side) while still having the players actions effect the political landscape.

I've also designed a custom SFT set... and am trying to include as many historical weapons systems as practical. For example...here is a list of Air SFT's availble to the Allied player at the start of the game:

Gloster Gladiator, Hawker Hurricane, Spitfire Mk I, Bristol Blenhiem IF, Fairey Swordfish, Blackburn Skua, Fairey Battle, Bristol Blenhiem, AW Whitley Mk IV, Handley Page Hampden, Vickers Wellington, MS406, Amiot 143, Bloch 210, Potez 63, Curtiss Hawk P36, SBC Helldiver, TBD Devastator, B17b

Here is a picture of the strategic map







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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/12/2010 6:34:36 PM   
Grymme

 

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Sounds great. Kind of had a feeling that it was something like this because your european map had the maginot line in it How far along are you? I am escpecially interested in your historical equipment list? How did you approach this?

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/13/2010 1:45:35 AM   
Barthheart


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This looks pretty good!

Let us know if we can be of help.



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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/13/2010 12:54:24 PM   
Josh

 

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There will be only one winner...

Wow, that will produce some awesome AAR's. Combined with Grymme's Pacific map you'll have something that equals WitP and WitE together.

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/13/2010 3:21:06 PM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Thanks guys,


re: The historical equipment, basicaly it's kind of impractical to go for an exhaustive list. So I decided to concentrate on what I felt would give me the most bang for the buck and what I was most comfortable working with. Essentialy that means air SFT's and AFV SFT's. I did make some modifications to other SFT types but they were more towards game play modifications rather then historical stuff.

For the historical SFT's, I basicaly diveded along 3 Tech lines... Axis, Allied and Soviet and roughly into time periods... Pre-Early (39-40), Early Mid (41-42), Mid-Late (43-44), Late-Post (45 +). I then looked to the equipment for each MAJOR belligerent power in each Tech line Axis(Germany, Italy), Allied (UK, USA & France) and Soviet (Russia) and looked at the MAJOR weapon systems they were producing/using during this period. There was a bit of a fudge factor involved in what to include and what not to include. Essentialy my general criteria was stuff that was produced in quantity... saw use in Europe and North Africa (so some stuff that was mostly only used in the Pacific got left out), was intended for actual combat (not training or rear echelon stuff) and had some significant differentiating factor. Systems that I could roughly lump together, I did so and picked 1 model that was most representitive.

So for instance, you'll only see one Ausf for the Panzer III in each time period...even though I think they were upto Ausf L or something like that by the time they were done.

This gave me my basic list of equipment. For the last time period....I did get a bit creative, since I also wanted to account for systems that would likely have seen production had the war carried on or taken a bit of a different course. This was particularly important for Germany. So basicaly, some of the stuff it had on the drawing board that wasn't overly impractical made it in. For example, the Panther II is in.... the Maus or whatever they were calling that 1,000 ton behomth land-battleship some nut job dreamed up isn't.

Once I had my basic list of equipment, I had to decide what factors went into determining it's combat stats in AT. So for instance, for fighter craft.... I decided that hits didn't just represent raw durability but also speed and to some extent agility. I then used the base numbers from AT as an "average" example of the type and adjusted off that. I'll admit that the process was very, very subjective and I often tried to factor in things that weren't really represented by stats but played a major factor anyway (like mechanical reliability and ease of use)...until I, hopefully, ended up with something that felt right.

We'll see how well I did when people get thier hands on it.... hopefully I didn't end up with too many wacky results.

I'm basicaly done with the SFT's right now. Just working on finnishing up the Item types for production. Then I'll go on to place starting forces, create action cards and code events. So still alot of work yet.

The thing I'm looking for right now is a reasonable source for the OOB/forces that various nations had in place in '39. Right now I've got reasonably good ones for Britain, Germany and Poland....I'm pretty sure I know where to get ahold of Frances....will need to do some looking for the rest.






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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/13/2010 7:36:48 PM   
Grymme

 

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I find that niehorster has really good OOBs for almost anything during WWII.

http://niehorster.orbat.com

http://niehorster.orbat.com/500_eto/_40-05_france.html

Or if you want to go completely crazy you can always download George F. Nafzigers collection of 7 000 OOBs and drive yourself mad at the detail.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2382717


Let us know if there is anything you need help with.

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/21/2010 9:02:34 PM   
Grymme

 

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How is it going Grumpy? Project is very interesting.

You dont feel like doing a upload of what you have got so far. Just so this doesnt become one of these "lost projects".



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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/22/2010 3:05:23 PM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Don't worry, even though I've been quiet, it's not lost. Map, Regiemes, SFT, Items, and Research all completed.

I'm in the process of placing starting units... UK, France, US, Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland, Norway, Sweden are all complete.

Right now I'm immersed in the swamp of the Soviet OOB (thanks for the neihorster links, btw, they are very helpfull)

Denmark, Benelux, Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece remain to be placed.

After that it's action cards and event code.

I might put something up after I have the most basic event code done. I imagine to do what I really want to do with the scenerio...the event code will take quite a while.... but if I get just some of the basic code in... it'll be something I'm willing to push upto the sandbox for people to fool around with while I work on completing the rest.

If it seems like I'm getting to the point where I feel like putting the project aside....I'll definately push up whatever I have done...but right now I'm still plugging away at a pretty good pace.


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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/23/2010 10:12:15 AM   
Grymme

 

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Nice to see that the project is well under way.

Are you planning on using the default map graphics or another set, NATO counters or silouettes?

What level are the units? Divisional? Corps or others?

Maybe a nice screenshot as a teaser...

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/23/2010 2:39:49 PM   
Josh

 

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"... Maybe a nice screenshot as a teaser..."

+1


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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/24/2010 3:01:57 AM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Ok some screenies as requested. Bare in mind the scenerio is still being worked on. First one is a shot of the Slovak-Polish border near Ostrava. The highlighted unit is the German 44th Infantry Division, fairly typical of starting German Infantry.




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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/24/2010 3:09:03 AM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Next we have a shot of the face-off along the Maginot and Siegfried lines. The highlighted unit is a French "Cavalry" division, in a reserve position at Nancy.






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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/24/2010 3:12:54 AM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Next, Southeastern England. Bomber Command is highlighted, giving a feel for the level of air SFT's.






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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/24/2010 3:24:30 AM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Next is a good shot of the Middle-East. You can note the Suez Canal on the right side of the screen, the Nile Delta and Cairo in the center and a little bit of the Quatara Depression to the left. You'll have to forgive my graphics skills as I know they are piss poor.... so more then welcome anyone modding graphics for the scenerio when it comes out. Highlighted is a rather fameous unit...the British 7th Armored Division. At this time it was actualy called the Armored Division Egypt or something like that but it was later renamed to the 7th and known as that throughout the War...so figured I'd go with the better known name. You'll note that the unit holding Port Said is a slightly different color and graphic. That's because they are Commonwealth Troops...the 11th Indian Bde to be precise.




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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/24/2010 3:31:54 AM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Last but not least, the face-off between Finland and Russia with a Soviet Motorized Division highlighted. I hope this provides folks with enough of a teaser. The graphics are nothing special, that's my weak point. But I think it should be a fun scenerio to play if I can manage to put everything together.




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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/24/2010 4:44:46 AM   
LazyBoy

 

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Looking good

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/24/2010 6:46:56 AM   
Jeffrey H.


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Wow, very cool !


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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/24/2010 5:10:22 PM   
Josh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: GrumpyMel

Next, Southeastern England. Bomber Command is highlighted, giving a feel for the level of air SFT's.







Looking great! This is exactly what people think AT needs, besides the fun random scenarios it would be so much nicer to have all those planes (and other vehicles) at hand that were really there. Just looking at the pictures already gives you a historical feeling.
Not that these planes will last long though

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/25/2010 9:03:02 PM   
Grymme

 

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To be hones i personally prefer all black&white pictures or at least not a mix.  But i guess its a matter of taste. In any case the SFTsystem seem to shape up nicely.



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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/25/2010 11:43:28 PM   
Bombur

 

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Great work, what do you intend to do to simulate latter French units (in the event we have the French surviving beyond 1940)?

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/26/2010 5:00:01 AM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Thanks,

Going pretty good so far.... I'm working on action cards and event code at the moment... I should have a pre-alpha availble sometime this week. Not sure if it'll be worth anyones time trying to play a real campaign at that point or not....but I'll upload it to the sandbox for folks to fool around with if they want while I keep working on it.

I've got the War Footing code and Action Cards working... War Footing controls a nations production and combat effectiveness. It's how I simulate things like the Western Allies and Soviets not being ready for war when it came to them...and not being able to stand up well against the Axis despite having large armies (At least in the case of the Soviets....Polands and Frances aren't all that small either) and large economies.
It's something you can increase over time by spending PP's on.

I'm working on the code and Action Cards for Neutrality and Activation right now. Essentialy rather then entering the War at a set time or in response to a specific event...nations have a somewhat random chance to enter into the War once thier Neutrality drops below a certain threshold. Neutrality will be effected by events in the game.... essentialy the more agressive the Axis is, the more everyones Neutrality drops as they start to realize that staying out of the War might not be possible....but players can spend PP's to influence various nations Neutrality through Action Cards.

So for example, Italy doesn't enter the war in response to Lillie falling or anything like that. Italy has a random chance to enter the War each turn after it's Neutrality drops to 70. It's neutrality drops in response to events Germany triggers (like capturing Warsaw, etc) but the Axis can also play Action Cards to lower it as well. The lower the Neutrality, the more likely it will be to join. This makes things a little more random and simulates the fact that leaders didn't always no for sure how countries would react to certain events or propositions. Of course, Germany can attack many of the neutral nations any time it wants....and this wil bring them into the war right away.

Bombur, in response to your question. French equipment upgrades to US built equipment after tech level 1. You are also free to produce British, French or US equipment from any Western Allied city.... I don't really see a way for the game engine to stop you from doing that. However, players could always make a House Rule about it if they want...to keep things closer to history.








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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/26/2010 10:13:19 AM   
Josh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Grymme

To be hones i personally prefer all black&white pictures or at least not a mix.  But i guess its a matter of taste. In any case the SFTsystem seem to shape up nicely.




I think you're right about that, most would agree. But then again I'm gratefull these old planes made it into the SFT system in the first place.

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/27/2010 3:46:46 AM   
Bombur

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: GrumpyMel

Bombur, in response to your question. French equipment upgrades to US built equipment after tech level 1. You are also free to produce British, French or US equipment from any Western Allied city.... I don't really see a way for the game engine to stop you from doing that. However, players could always make a House Rule about it if they want...to keep things closer to history.



-A good idea. Another alternative is to create "what is if" equipment, based on prototypes of 1940. But it makes no sense if all allied cities are to produce the same equipment. I liked the way you dealt with this. Will you include post 1945 equipment too?

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/30/2010 5:01:39 AM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Alright, as promised I uploaded what I had completed of the scenerio so far for people to take a look at and fool around with. You can find it over in the Sandbox area of the AT scenerio bank. Please be aware that this scenerio is incomplete and still being worked on. There are LOTS of things that haven't been implimented yet (Winter, Vichy France, about half the diplomatic options, VP's etc) and most of what is implimented hasn't been play tested yet...so it's quite likely you'll encounter some bugs.

In other words...play at your own risk...and I probably wouldn't start up a serious PBEM game yet. Nevertheless, I know some of you guys have been really interested in getting a look at this so I figured I would put it up, even at this early stage rather then keep you waiting.

I'll be working on this and posting updated versions as regularly as I can. So that being said...please enjoy....and feel free to post feedback here.

< Message edited by GrumpyMel -- 7/30/2010 5:04:16 AM >

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 7/31/2010 2:57:22 AM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Uploaded a new version to the scenerio bank....


- Fixed some bugs with some SFT's not availble to the Allies that should be.

-Fixed air transport range.

- Added Winter Effects (Might need to do more here....will be interested in opinions)

- Added Activation Code for most countries in the game.

- Added a check to see if England has been invaded, vastly decreasing US neutrality.

- Added some reporting and better feedback for players.

Still quite a few things to do, but this version might be playtest-able. If anyone is giving it a whirl, I'll be interested to hear your feedback.


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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 8/2/2010 1:36:57 AM   
Bombur

 

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The scenario looks great. Do you intend to develop custom ships?

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 8/2/2010 4:14:51 PM   
GrumpyMel

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bombur

The scenario looks great. Do you intend to develop custom ships?


No immediate plans for that, although that certainly is something that I could do once I'm sure that the basics of game-play are working well. At this point I'm play testing it against myself...and I'm relatively happy with how it's working out.

Have a few more options that I need to put in (Vichy as well as finnishing up a couple activations I haven't done yet). Also I think I may need to do something graphicaly to represent Winter terrain...so far I'm just using readiness loss by zone...and that seems to be working ok from a game-play perspective...but I may want to add in winter terrain types to give the players a better graphical feel (could also do funky stuff like the swamps to light forest that WAW does...and maybe even frozen lakes in Russia...I know that was a pretty big deal in the Lenningrad campaign historicaly.)

Anyways, at this point I'm really hoping to get some people play testing the scenerio...so I can get some feedback on play balance.


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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 8/3/2010 6:09:47 PM   
Bombur

 

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I volunteer for playtest, but I noticed that USSR cannot be chosen by players...

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 8/3/2010 7:06:07 PM   
GrumpyMel

 

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USSR starts asleep like in WAW, it wakes up during the course of play. At which point it is availble to be played

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RE: European Theatre of Operations - 8/4/2010 6:30:43 PM   
Bombur

 

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But in this case you should keep the USSR active in order to allow the players to choose regime and the sleep the country in turn 1, right?
Also I feel it´s unfair to keep the USSR asleep because they will be unable to research and to build up their forces. And there was also the Russian Finnish war....

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