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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance?

 
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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/30/2011 10:39:06 AM   
BigAnorak


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quote:

How close have people got to Leningrad?
Who has reached the suburbs of Moscow by the 10th of December 1941 as the Germans did?


I captured Leningrad and got 1 hex of Moscow by 1 December in a test game against Trey, and Leningrad has been taken in at least one other PBEM AAR.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/30/2011 11:09:05 AM   
gradenko_2000

 

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quote:

So I have to agree with the other posters here, looking to "win" in the classic sense of conquering is not in the cards. The game is too accurate a reflection of history to have that happen.


Yeah, it seems that in this case the idea of simulating history and the idea of game balance are pulling apart from each other. A fair game (depending on your definition) could give the Germans a decent chance of making it all the way to the Soviet capital, whereas a realistic game (depending on how much alt-history wiggle room you're willing to give) probably wouldn't result in such a scenario.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/30/2011 11:22:42 AM   
BigAnorak


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Maybe more people should play the Operation Barbarossa scenario. This is specifically designed so the Axis can ignore the Blizzard (It lasts 25turns) and the VPs are based on the actual OKH objectives for the first 6 months.

This really is the opportunity for the Germans to go all out, and then see how they match up to what was expected of their historical counterparts.

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Post #: 33
RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/30/2011 1:12:50 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BigAnorak

quote:

How close have people got to Leningrad?


I captured Leningrad and got 1 hex of Moscow by 1 December in a test game against Trey


From my current campaign game against sitito:


T13_Leningrando_Ops

The date is September 11th 1941, patch 1.03 beta 2. He's forgone the conventional wisdom approach of first isolating Leningrad and has been crushing my fort 3-4 defences rotating infantry and doing 1 or 2 deliberate attacks per turn supported by 1000+ guns. Either that or multiple hasty attacks followed by one deliberate attack. I think I made the mistake of defending too stubbornly the land routes to Leningrad and the Ladoga - Ilmen line along the Volkhov river. Too bad

He's one of the few people I have seen around who actually knows how to use effectively German infantry and support. Most people tend to relegate Landsers and artillery to a mere "flank security" role for the Panzers.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/30/2011 3:02:46 PM   
Klydon


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I have ground down the Leningrad defenders "the hard way" before, bit it takes a ton of infantry and quite a bit of time while you are doing it. At some point, it comes down to either a 3 hex attack across the Neva into a urban hex or a 2 hex attack across the Neva into the clear hex just west of the city. Get control of either of those hexes as the German and it truly becomes a matter of time after that.

Unfortunately for the German above, it is into September already and there are a pile of Russians he is likely not getting rid of on the west side of the Volkhov. Anything he is gaining in Leningrad he will likely give back when the Russians counter attack during the Blizzard and either those troops get cut off from the south or pull back.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/30/2011 3:08:37 PM   
heliodorus04


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How on earth did he let the Finns below the no-attack line?

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/30/2011 3:47:57 PM   
IdahoNYer


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As BigAnorak said "Maybe more people should play the Operation Barbarossa scenario. This is specifically designed so the Axis can ignore the Blizzard (It lasts 25turns) and the VPs are based on the actual OKH objectives for the first 6 months.

This really is the opportunity for the Germans to go all out, and then see how they match up to what was expected of their historical counterparts."

This is the concept that the campaign currently lacks - the "kick in the door, the hole regime collapse" possibility that changes the feel of the game in the campaign. If this could somehow be implemented into the campaign - to continue on potentially through to the end of war, but maintain the original German objectives just till end Dec 41 for a Soviet collapse. If the Germans do not achieve this, the war grinds on. But if they achieve lets say that Decisive Victory for the Barbarossa Scenario victory conditions, game over.


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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/30/2011 5:08:59 PM   
heliodorus04


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quote:

ORIGINAL: IdahoNYer

As BigAnorak said "Maybe more people should play the Operation Barbarossa scenario. This is specifically designed so the Axis can ignore the Blizzard (It lasts 25turns) and the VPs are based on the actual OKH objectives for the first 6 months.

This really is the opportunity for the Germans to go all out, and then see how they match up to what was expected of their historical counterparts."

This is the concept that the campaign currently lacks - the "kick in the door, the hole regime collapse" possibility that changes the feel of the game in the campaign. If this could somehow be implemented into the campaign - to continue on potentially through to the end of war, but maintain the original German objectives just till end Dec 41 for a Soviet collapse. If the Germans do not achieve this, the war grinds on. But if they achieve lets say that Decisive Victory for the Barbarossa Scenario victory conditions, game over.




A nice idea, but if that's what the German player wants, then the Barbarossa scenario is all they should try for that objective.

The problem with creating a decisive victory that the Germans can achieve in 1941 is one of gameplay. If it's possible to do, then it creates a lopsided year of play that the Soviet player doesn't get a lot of fun out of. It's a one-dimensional game: German offense/Soviet defense. He plays his 30 or so turns, loses, and it probably wasn't fun because the German took historically implausible paths to that early decisive victory.

And if the German player tries for that early, 1941 decisive victory, but doesn't get it, then from a gameplay standpoint, he's probably compromised his game in such a way that it will hurt him the rest of the war. For example, he over-extends in mud/snow and doesn't achieve the Decisive, at which point he can expect to be brutalized in Blizzard, possibly worse than historical, for having dared to achieve the "Typhoon Collapse" and failing. This encourages him to walk away from the PBEM at some point and say "I lost too much in 1941, and now you'll be in Poland by 43".

These are my opinions, of course.
I don't know if any of you guys played Starcraft, but there was this strategy called the "6-pool rush" where a zerg player could try to quickly get the first six combat units out and attack the other player when 6 outnumbered him pretty well if he didn't assume the zerg was trying that strategy. If the zerg was right and the other player hadn't prepared, the game usually was won there early by the zerg. If the zerg was wrong, and the other player prepared, the zerg had so compromised his strategic prospects that he had no choice to surrender right there -he couldn't make up for the macro-economic hit the strategy required as an opportunity cost of choosing that strategy against an opponent who prepared. Basically, the 6-pool was an all-in for one side or the other. I'm afraid a 1941 decisive victory/game-over instantly model will create such a tradeoff as that.

It's beautiful in concept to have a system that encourages the Axis to go for the historical objectives. But I think Axis decisive victory shouldn't be allowed to happen before somewhere in late 1942, strictly for gameplay balance reasons, and because I think the idea that the Soviets would cease to fight with any effectiveness when Moscow falls is misguided historically.

This is why I want game mechanics, "Events" if you will, that if you take this or that, it restricts the Soviets in a way that benefits Germany's 1942 operational advantages.


< Message edited by heliodorus04 -- 1/30/2011 5:10:28 PM >

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/30/2011 6:21:57 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BigAnorak

quote:

How close have people got to Leningrad?
Who has reached the suburbs of Moscow by the 10th of December 1941 as the Germans did?


I captured Leningrad and got 1 hex of Moscow by 1 December in a test game against Trey, and Leningrad has been taken in at least one other PBEM AAR.

I took Leningrad in a PBEM game. Tried a right-hook around Lake Ilmen with 2nd Army, 16th Army and 3rd Pz Gp, augmented by part of 2nd Pz Gp. Meanwhile 4th Pz Gp and 18th Army advanced (bludgeoned its way) along the coast straight for the city.

The right-hook petered out in the bad terrain, after driving out (but not occupying Tikhivin). My opponent had railed massive numbers of reserves up there, and my supply lines were fairly extended at the time. However, the threat of encirclement had allowed me to reach the Neva and operationally isolate Leningrad. The city was still supplied, but split off from the rest of the Soviet armies as it was historically.

After Leningrad was cut off, I focused 4th Pz Group on breaking across the Neva to the east of the city, and captured the port supplying Leningrad. Then, the city fell by a number of deliberate attacks by the 18th Army and 4th Pz Group, freeing the Finns. It was a nail-biter of a campaign, as the mud was just about to hit. Tough to do, but possible, given the strategic focus is set on the task, from the beginning.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/31/2011 2:30:36 AM   
rolypoly


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There seems to be some debate and ideas with the freedom-of-politics in this game. It is a pretty good point, to stand out the fact that the Russian army now has a competent high-command leadership in 1941 (equal PBEM or AI). The same applies to Germans, but one fact remain a bit of a mystery(IRL) - what if the Germans would have done the "liberation from tyranny" -sort of offensive?

This should have at least some effect to indrustial manpower and, most important, the partisans! The idea of ´liberating´ people from tyranny has seemed to work pretty well, even in 21st century, so it would be safe to say that population in occupied areas shouldn´t be too hard to put to work aganist Soviet Union, given that Germans would not commit attrocities to civilian or POW´s. Instead try some propaganda stuff.

Im well satisfied to this game as it is. Just my 2 cents...

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/31/2011 3:29:54 AM   
madgamer2

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 2ndACR

He did not prepare for the brutal winter he knew was coming. That was his biggest mistake. He should have prepared big time. You only have a prayer if you sitting behind level 3+ forts across your entire front. Anything less and you get butchered by the Russians.

I halt most offensive ops around the mud turns hit and fall back to defensive posture. I try to create a buffer zone that will force the Russian player to advance to my lines and burn a turn or 2 of Blizzard. If he gets next to my line before the blizzard I will deliberate attack to crush that stack/unit. Until he keeps his distance. That is the theory anyway. LOL

But that is what happens when you are kind of locked into a pattern. I know there will be blizzard from this date to this date, so I stop well in advance and prepare. What I would like to see is random winters, will it be as bad as the real 41 winter or will it be a mild winter.


WHO'S SIDE WAS GOD ON? I have found one of the most ironic facts of Russian history that the two ot the WORST winters happened in 1812 & 1941. I to find that pre knowledge of things that happened in the real war being hard factored in the game to be a turn off. I think that they should let the two sides use admin points for other things like winter clothing, winter defense training. Now these things should not come cheep and should have a down side as well but the unpredictable nature of war with all the chaos is missing and the game needs a bit of free wheeling and what the heck will happen tomorrow missing especially in the firs year.
The game is such a good designed thing that things will work themselves out I am sure. I hpe so as I will be spending a large part of the rest of my life playing this thing LOL

Madgamer2

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/31/2011 6:57:22 AM   
bevans

 

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Good thread, a couple of (OK, three) comments:

1. I have twice flown from Germany to Tallinn (and on to Narva by car) in January. In both cases it was at least as cold in Germany as it was in Estonia/Russia. Hard to believe that the Germans weren't ready for some kind of winter.

2. The game, as far as I can tell, is not an accurate representation of history - at least through March '42. It is a pretty accurate reflection of the constraints that the Germans operated under but the AI Russian defense is much better than the one STAVKA put up. As well, the Germans seem to suffer much worse in the first winter than was actually the case (which was of course bad enough). Finally, the terrain, especially swamps, along the Dnepr, make the replication of the actual rate of advance by the Germans impossible to replicate against a competent defense (see first point). The AI in fact seems to be well programmed to do this. The whole Russian defense in '41 is infinitely better co-ordinated and rational than was the real case. Any thrust by a Pz Gruppe will find several dozen new Soviet divisions in front of it every turn.

3. Have been reading a lot of stuff on this campaign and a very good case can be made that Hitler did not consider Moscow to be a prime objective in '41. His directives can certainly be interpreted as having the primary objective as the destruction of the Soviet army - plus Leningrad for the same obvious political draw that Stalingrad had. If that was his intention going in, then the swing of the AGC Pz Corps south was entirely consistent with that primary objective

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/31/2011 7:48:35 AM   
randallw

 

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The extra defensive help that swamps provide is an error that the development staff knows about.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/31/2011 9:18:23 AM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Klydon
Unfortunately for the German above, it is into September already and there are a pile of Russians he is likely not getting rid of on the west side of the Volkhov. Anything he is gaining in Leningrad he will likely give back when the Russians counter attack during the Blizzard and either those troops get cut off from the south or pull back.


I beg to differ. The Finns look to me more than able to hold the Volkhov line and Novgorod and they have their homeland a few hundred miles away. Besides that, the fact that the 16. and 18. Armee will become "available" to be used elsewhere, makes me think of an Operation Typhoon on steroids to be launched from late October on. If that's the case I will be forced to withdraw forces from the Volkhov to be used defending Moscow.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/31/2011 9:21:17 AM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: heliodorus04
How on earth did he let the Finns below the no-attack line?


Ahem, they just infiltrated across the ZOCs of my units. Not sure what was he trying to do there, besides riling me up. And there are too many things to do all across Russia, too easy to forget about the Karelia...

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/31/2011 5:24:23 PM   
Maggot99

 

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I'm still very new to the game and have not as of yet to play against a human player. The only thing I find missing is the chance to set up the armies as I see fit. I assume the setup is historical (and thats fine), but I always imagine when playing as the Germans, Hitler is dead and I'm in charge. I want to invade the SU with MY plans, not someone elses. Would this help 'balance' the game as the German player? (and the Soviet as well, if they could set their own defences)

Just my two cents.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/31/2011 5:33:32 PM   
Klydon


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There is no question the Germans would benefit from a "free set up", especially if they can set up their command structure as they see fit (No overloaded AGS and AGC).

For the Russians, it is hard to imagine how they would do a free set up since their dispositions are fairly fixed to the concept of a forward defense. Now if they can deploy as they wish with no restrictions on where they are, then I think this is a huge advantage to the Russians and does not make as much sense as a German free set up as long as the German set up is fairly within reason (no panzer army starting in Rumania for example).

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/31/2011 5:40:41 PM   
Maggot99

 

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I'm very surprised there isn't a setup option, there is random weather, why not German set up?

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 1/31/2011 5:42:06 PM   
Flaviusx


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Soviets would get far, far more out of a free set up than the Germans. They could effectively nullify the entire suprise turn. You'd simply place NW front by Pskov, Western front by Minsk, and SW Front around Zhitomir. With some NKVD border guards scattered on the border to provide a bare minimum ZOC coverage. Airbases would be deployed well out of Luftwaffe fighter escort range, too.

Pretty much an autowin for the Sovs.





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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/1/2011 5:41:50 AM   
Sgt Barker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

Soviets would get far, far more out of a free set up than the Germans.



+1 wait... +infinity

Bottom line is three fold 1) the Soviets did not expect an attack, 2) Soviet doctrine demanded the defense of all territory and immediately counter-attacking and taking the fight on to enemy territory, and 3) the RKKA was in the midst of a massive reorganization with its attendant disorganization. A free set up would allow the Russian to do away with all those (in practical affect), making the Red Army much stronger on the defense than it was in those first weeks.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/1/2011 8:31:43 PM   
miller41


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quote:

ORIGINAL: von Beanie

This is why I proposed "Hitler Directives" and "Stalin Directives," hidden to the opponent, that force the players to fight for certain computer-determined objectives, or lose significant victory points for each turn they fail (up to a set amount).

What is also needed is a hypothetical scenario beginning on 15 May, the original start date for the campaign. As it turned out there were fairly substantial rains between then and June 22, but those wanting to see if Russia could be defeated with a longer campaign season could find such a scenario entertaining.

In a good design, a historical start with historical hindsight on both sides should produce historical results. And this game comes pretty close to it, especially if the German player uses the HQ Buildup more than twice. In human vs human games this leads to quite historical lines/accomplishments no matter what the Soviet player tries to do to slow down the Germans.



From a soviet players view (which is the only side I have played so far) this kind of thing makes perfect sense, without alerting the other side, you have to satisfy the computer Stalin to a certain extent or it costs you. I would most likely defend Kiev much longer if I knew it would cost me VP's if I didn't hold it till turn 15 (or whatever) even if it cost's me troops (which historically is what happened but it will never happen with me commanding because I will fall back rather than hold till the last man. Things like this (while no doubt hard to implement) would enhance an already great gaming experience and give some randomness to it that is historically based.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/1/2011 10:07:55 PM   
Zoetermeer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: von Beanie

This is why I proposed "Hitler Directives" and "Stalin Directives," hidden to the opponent, that force the players to fight for certain computer-determined objectives, or lose significant victory points for each turn they fail (up to a set amount).


I like this idea too. I haven't played a GC to completion or a PBEM game, but it seems to me like there isn't much incentive for the German player to push really hard to capture key objectives, such as Leningrad or Moscow. If the German player knows he has no hope of achieving complete victory and only really needs to keep the Soviets out of Berlin to "win", what's the point of attacking deep into Russia? Plus, as the game stands right now there isn't any real chance for the Germans to capture enough cities/production centers to cripple the Soviet war economy. Even if you captured Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad, would you be able to hold all of those cities until 1945?

To me, this encourages a lazy attitude on the part of both sides. The German player has no reason to attack with the same aspirations the OKW had historically, and the Soviet player has no reason to conduct a desperate fight to hold onto key cities and production centers, because his war machine will eventually overwhelm his opponent's regardless.

I guess the biggest problem I see right now is that because the game is designed to produce close-to-historical results, the Soviets will be able to overwhelm the Germans even if the Germans advance to their historical lines. But it looks like the Germans aren't able to even make it to their historical lines in PBEM games against good Soviet players.

However, there is an endless debate going on here. We want a game that gives us good "historical" results, yet we want some control over key decisions which affected the historical outcome so that we can experiment. I think we can all agree that nobody wants a game that always produces the same result every time, yet many of us don't like a game fraught with "what-if" possiblities. But the whole game is a what-if. We want to play a game where we can answer questions like "what would have happened if the Germans sent Panzer Group 3 on a right hook around the Volkhov line?".

I don't think there really is any such thing as a true "historical game" when you have the benefit of hindsight.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/2/2011 4:32:15 AM   
LiquidSky


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Actually, if both you and the Soviets never move a counter, its a German Minor Victory. So you dont need any cities in Russia at all to win.

I was thinking of making the entire city of Moscow an automatic victory for the Germans if they take it by June 1942 in my PBEM game with a friend of mine. Not because the Russians would have thrown in the towel, but because it encourages proper behaviour.

The Germans can decide if they want to really extend (and possibly lose big) in 1941 with Typhoon. Or can resume a case Blue in the spring (which is what the Russians thought) aimed at taking Moscow. The Russians will still have to guard Moscow in the Spring of 42 or risk losing the game. All the historical decisions are there, if not the historical outcome.




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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/2/2011 9:31:41 PM   
Feltan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: matt.buttsworth
Is the game balanced enough - within historical parameters of course - to give the Germans a chance to win?


No.

Regards,
Feltan

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/2/2011 10:57:00 PM   
starbuck310

 

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I dont need the computer to tell me if I won or not. I know how well I played. To me the actual computer generated points are of little import. Pulling off a surprise attack or a new move that unbalances my opponent is enough. Expecting to get an electronic pat on the back is pretty futile IMHO

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/3/2011 11:55:55 AM   
BigAnorak


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quote:

I dont need the computer to tell me if I won or not. I know how well I played. To me the actual computer generated points are of little import. Pulling off a surprise attack or a new move that unbalances my opponent is enough. Expecting to get an electronic pat on the back is pretty futile IMHO


+1

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/3/2011 12:27:10 PM   
ComradeP

 

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True, but being beaten by the system can be extremely frustrating, so much that my enjoyment of WitE is currently at rock bottom, basically.

When every turn you open, you see something primarily caused through modifications made by the system, and not directly due to your opponent's skill, and that something unhinges your offensive, it's rather frustrating.

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RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/3/2011 4:20:53 PM   
bloomstombs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: madgamer2


quote:

ORIGINAL: 2ndACR

He did not prepare for the brutal winter he knew was coming. That was his biggest mistake. He should have prepared big time. You only have a prayer if you sitting behind level 3+ forts across your entire front. Anything less and you get butchered by the Russians.

I halt most offensive ops around the mud turns hit and fall back to defensive posture. I try to create a buffer zone that will force the Russian player to advance to my lines and burn a turn or 2 of Blizzard. If he gets next to my line before the blizzard I will deliberate attack to crush that stack/unit. Until he keeps his distance. That is the theory anyway. LOL

But that is what happens when you are kind of locked into a pattern. I know there will be blizzard from this date to this date, so I stop well in advance and prepare. What I would like to see is random winters, will it be as bad as the real 41 winter or will it be a mild winter.


WHO'S SIDE WAS GOD ON? I have found one of the most ironic facts of Russian history that the two ot the WORST winters happened in 1812 & 1941. I to find that pre knowledge of things that happened in the real war being hard factored in the game to be a turn off. I think that they should let the two sides use admin points for other things like winter clothing, winter defense training. Now these things should not come cheep and should have a down side as well but the unpredictable nature of war with all the chaos is missing and the game needs a bit of free wheeling and what the heck will happen tomorrow missing especially in the firs year.
The game is such a good designed thing that things will work themselves out I am sure. I hpe so as I will be spending a large part of the rest of my life playing this thing LOL

Madgamer2


Actually, 1812 was considered a mild winter, according to wiki.

(in reply to madgamer2)
Post #: 58
RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/3/2011 6:18:38 PM   
bevans

 

Posts: 109
Joined: 1/27/2011
Status: offline
I agree that the system is frustrating, but it was probably pretty frustrating being an AG Commander as well. And the Germans did lose. Therefore arguably the game is historically accurate. The developers certainly worked hard to ensure that the Germans have to operate under historical limitations (no war economy, no good tanks, (overly) harsh first winter rules, a few ahistorical defensive bonuses thrown in for good measure and a tactically much better defense than occured). The game is definitely slanted in favour of the Russians through at least spring '42 - which is as far as I got. Now playing my own modded version.

I don't really see any hope playing a competent opponent by PBEM, the AI (on custom difficulty, favouring the SU) is all I can handle. So a question for those who have gotten further than I have against the AI: my very limited experience is that the AI is much less competent attacking with the Germans than they are defending with the SU and their attacks during the first winter were not as aggressive as a human would have been. So the question, post mid-43, can the AI competently attack as the Soviets or do all the disadvantages suffered by the Axis for the first two years get evened out over the following two years? If they do, than the answer to this thread is that the Germans can win, at least by the criteria of the game. I expect that the thread actually counts a German victory as Novosibirsk in '41 and Vladivostok in '42 - to which the answer is NO.

(in reply to ComradeP)
Post #: 59
RE: Balance of Game - Does Germany have a chance? - 2/3/2011 8:28:11 PM   
Farfarer

 

Posts: 670
Joined: 7/21/2004
Status: offline
Have selectable options so the PBEM players can elect the type of game they wish to play - one that appeals to both of them. There may be a non-historical setting that is quite enjoyable to play for both sides.


For example, select the type of penalty if Moscow falls, or if 50% of a minor ally army is lost etc.

(in reply to Sgt Barker)
Post #: 60
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