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Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks?

 
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Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 2/23/2011 7:40:30 PM   
bradk

 

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I realize this is a free game and doesn't directly generate revenue for Matrix. But early on it drove a lot of traffic to Matrix (its purpose) and contunues to do so. Along with WIR, it is branded as a Matrix product. And so Matrix reputation is closely tied to this game (and WIR).

It seems to me that someone who knows the exe could make a few changes with a relatively small time investment. It is detrimental Matrix for people to have identified significant problems in a Matrix branded product, whether or not its free. And especially since I believe a few corrections could be applied with a small time investment.

Alternatively, it seems that a knowledgable user could make the changes. Because if Matrix does not support the program, then its abandon ware, apparently the same standing as Matrix had that allowed them to alter the SSI version into the Matrix version.
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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 2/28/2011 3:21:43 AM   
bradk

 

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Well, we have 63 page views but no comments. Would anyone like to post here asking that Matrix revisit PW for a few hours?

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/1/2011 2:04:43 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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Yes, I would certainly like to see a few more improvements. But let's face it, DOS-based games are not in demand, since Microsoft discontinued native DOS support with Vista.

Still, it would be nice to put in coast defense guns, which shouldn't be that difficult to do. The "Monsoon season" in the Burma area should be corrected to its actual time period (May through September IIRC). And the chances of an LCU failing the experience checks should be corrected to what the manual says they are.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/2/2011 7:34:56 PM   
bradk

 

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I'd like to see IJ oil behave normally in an AI game.

I believe you offered an opinion several years ago that chaning the IJ kill mutiplier from 1944 to 1946 was a bad idea.

A reasonably skilled user with an editor can fix many problems. But it takes more than a reasonably skilled user to fix exe issue.

Even though its becomming harder to run DOS games, I just checked and the PW Wikipedia article has 500 views in the last 30 days. That's a lot of interest. All I"m saying here is that there is interest, its a Matrix branded product, and these problems are a negative for Matrix.


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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/2/2011 7:48:25 PM   
bradk

 

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Anyway, here's what I'd like to be done.

1) Restore AI "cheats". A terrible word to use. Anyway, subtle help for AI is standard gaming practice.

2) Make IJ oil behave normally when IJ is AI. The war was over oil and unlimited IJ oil reduces the game to mere destruction instead of having a strategy of resource deprivation be part of Allied plans.

3) Lock CW LCUs in Australia, with release dates, as in SSI.

4) IJ kill multiplier effective 1944.

Basically, undoing some changes that I think are negatives. Not putting a lot of effort into new features. Just things a reasonbly skilled user can't do.

Related, I'm working on a corrected Tora Tora Tora obc. I discovered in a couple of PBEM games that some airgroups activate with aircraft that won't be available for months. I also have a work around for British etc airgroups not having access to US Army aircraft in PBEM, although they do in a game with AI.




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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/2/2011 8:21:23 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

I believe you offered an opinion several years ago that chaning the IJ kill mutiplier from 1944 to 1946 was a bad idea.


Yes, so I did.

One other thing: I am now using DOSbox 0.74 (Since I'm running Windows 7 64-bit, there's not much alternative). Reaction moves no longer seem to work.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/4/2011 6:53:48 PM   
bradk

 

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Interstingly, my opponenet in a PBEM game has found two people he knows IRL who want to play.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/10/2011 10:27:45 PM   
flipperwasirish


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I can't see Matrix expending resources for a discontinued product. There are other areas (current products) that need the resources more (IMO).

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/15/2011 4:17:45 PM   
bradk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: flipperwasirish

I can't see Matrix expending resources for a discontinued product. There are other areas (current products) that need the resources more (IMO).


Well, my point is this is their product, as is WIR, and everything else on the site is someone else's product that they're selling. They have no way of changing anything about the products they sell, but complete ability to change this one.

Anyway, I've found that many features that people object to in a PBEM game can be changed withj obc modifications. I'm working on it.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/18/2011 5:51:05 PM   
David Heath


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At this time I can't see us having the time or resources to do this.


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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/18/2011 7:12:15 PM   
bradk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: David Heath

At this time I can't see us having the time or resources to do this.





Thank you for your response. Its great to se the company is reading the boards.

After looking into this futher, I've found that just about eveything major that players have commented about over the years as problems with V 3.2 can be corrected through obc edits. So that's really good news because it can be done by a reasonably skilled consumer with an editor. I've done most of it.

The only major issues requiring programmer skills are fixing IJ's unlimited oil in and AI game and changing the kill multiplier to be effective in 1944 except 1946. However, players can manually calculate the score if desired. IJ oil already works correctly in PBEM.

It is reasonably evident to those who have particpated in PW communities for many years that the SSI verion was not really complete when released. The extensive work done by Matrix on aircraft and ships is highly valuable and widely appreciated.

Thank you very much for your response.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/21/2011 1:03:15 PM   
Eno67

 

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Bradk,

What edits are you considering making? And what version of PACWAR do you consider the most "salvageable", SSI or Matrix? Just curious.

Thanks,

Eno

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/21/2011 5:10:43 PM   
bradk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Eno67

Bradk,

What edits are you considering making? And what version of PACWAR do you consider the most "salvageable", SSI or Matrix? Just curious.

Thanks,

Eno




Salvagable is not a word I'd use. They are both fine games.

Has to use the Matrix exe for several reasons. The PBEM vcr feature is a Matrix addition. I personally am not conerned about the "secure" part of PBEM since I don't worry about my PBEM opponents cheating, but that's important to a lot of people. Also, all USN CVs represented and activated on schedule rather than the SSI system which provided just some of the CVs and additional ones if there were losses. The Matrix provision to convern IJN AVs to CVEs/CVLs is good. So it has to be an obc designed for the Matrix exe.

I'm primarily interested in PBEM scenarios. I became bored playing against AI long ago when I played the SSI version. But I've started on a Campaign 41 scenario for playing against IJ AI. It will be harder to do one for play against Allied AI.

Here's what I've done so far.

1) Error corrections. There are perhaps two dozen airgroups that activate with aircraft not yet in production. Fixed that.

2) In Matrix, US Army aircraft are available to Dutch, Commonwealth, and British airgroups in and AI game but not in a PBEM game. I have given these airgroups access to the P39, P40, P38G, and B26 in a PBEM game. They already have access in Matrix to all USN/USMC aircraft, plus the P47s, which is retianed.

3) Aircraft production designed for human skills since we know in PBEM the players are human! <G> Really there needs to be a separate production system depending on whether a human is involved. Aircraft production under "computer control' is not AI. Its basically fixed amount production that overproduces everything because there's no feedback loop. Same issue in SSI and Matrix.

4) Without the functionlly infinite supply of aircraft that AI needs for cya purposes, player decisions about production are relevant.

5) Aircraft costed so better aircraft cost more. Players can make cost and benefit based decisions about what to produce. (AI needs some better aircraft costed less because its going to produce each aricraft in x number of factories for y number of turns, same thing every game. Humans will change the number of factories and time of production based on game needs, which computer produciton knows nothing about.)

6) Restored the SSI balance between production and control ponts, and kill points. There is now a slight uncertainty about the outcome, as there is is SSI. There is no uncertainty about the outcome in Matrix. Whether or not IJ could have gotten the Allies to quit can be argued for ever with no resolution. Gary Grigsby states in the original game manual he thinks IJ was destined to lose, but that he gave IJ a slim chance for something other than a loss in the game because it made for a better game.

7) The Matrix ship and aircraft modeling is excellent. The only changes to aircraft relates to obsolete aircraft being costed at 99 to prevent their production. I think this doesn't address the real issue. If the real world judged the aircraft as obsolete in 1941, then the answer to to model them as less effective than their replacments. A lot of cotemporary performance claims don't match the technogy used. There's disinformation out there. Even Jane's swallowed some of it! <G> Anyway, the real world said the P36 and F2A were obsolete, and that's how I've modeled them. Costed comparatively so people can build them if they really want to.

I have PBEM V 1.01 available. PM me with your e mail address if you'd like it. I'm currently testing V 1.02. Scneario for playing against IJ AI a week or two away.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/21/2011 5:58:23 PM   
Eno67

 

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I agree, "salvageable" is a poor choice of words. I have enjoyed solitare PACWAR off and on for many years. I've never quite been able to bring myself to do PBEM simply because the game has changed but I've never been able to find documentation on exactly what did change. I read the AAR which I immensly enjoy and think "man these guys would so kick my butt".

I tried several "in-house" rules to limit my advantage over the AI like using only 1/2 the available space on an airfield. I could only fill the number of slots in a task for with the sum of the NAV and AIR rating of a commander...etc.

I also have tried exclusive British/Dutch campaigns and let the computer run the Americans. The SW headquaters would sometimes "steal" Dutch ships and teleport them across the map. Love that one...

For #1 there are a couple of japanese CVEs that start in 1942 with AM5 and B6N. Any way to fix those? I can switch out the AM5 for the AM2 but for some reason I can not trade out the B6N for the B5N which makes the carriers a little useless when there are no replacements to make up the losses.

As far a #7 goes I think if you removed the Hawk 75A and switched it for the P-36 for the Dutch the P-36 is not going to be as attractive an option. The 4 range of the Hawk 75 makes it too tempting. I'm sure the air slot could be used for a different plane option besides the Hawk 75.

Thanks,

Eno

< Message edited by Eno67 -- 3/21/2011 6:22:12 PM >

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/21/2011 9:29:50 PM   
bradk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Eno67

I agree, "salvageable" is a poor choice of words. I have enjoyed solitare PACWAR off and on for many years. I've never quite been able to bring myself to do PBEM simply because the game has changed but I've never been able to find documentation on exactly what did change. I read the AAR which I immensly enjoy and think "man these guys would so kick my butt".



That's exactly how I felt reading the old PacWar mailing list late 90s. I am very glad for the day I got over that. I hope you'll consider PBEM.

Here's what I'd say to anyone who's been playing against AI. You don't know if you're good. Your opponent, unless he's played several PBEM games, doesn't know if he's good. That's because AI is so weak its not a test of anyone's skill.

No knowing the differences between Matrix and SSI isn't what causes problems for people. What causes problems is not understanding the nuts and bolts of the game, which is the same in both. Prep points and HQs, mostly.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Eno67

I tried several "in-house" rules to limit my advantage over the AI like using only 1/2 the available space on an airfield. I could only fill the number of slots in a task for with the sum of the NAV and AIR rating of a commander...etc.



Yea, compensting for AI by limiting your play to what it does. AI just sticks some aircraft at a base, somtimes doesn't fill it, and never optimizes. If you look at AI sometime in a battle you're having between arifields that are perhaps 4 hexes apart, you'll find AI has range 2 aricraft there that aren't being used.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Eno67

I also have tried exclusive British/Dutch campaigns and let the computer run the Americans. The SW headquaters would sometimes "steal" Dutch ships and teleport them across the map. Love that one...


How about that level of realism!!! Can you imagine?


quote:

ORIGINAL: Eno67

For #1 there are a couple of japanese CVEs that start in 1942 with AM5 and B6N. Any way to fix those? I can switch out the AM5 for the AM2 but for some reason I can not trade out the B6N for the B5N which makes the carriers a little useless when there are no replacements to make up the losses.



Yes. Already done.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Eno67

As far a #7 goes I think if you removed the Hawk 75A and switched it for the P-36 for the Dutch the P-36 is not going to be as attractive an option. The 4 range of the Hawk 75 makes it too tempting. I'm sure the air slot could be used for a different plane option besides the Hawk 75.



Well, same basic aircraft. I think as a private venture aircraft, the Hawk 75 may have been the beneficiary of salesmen inflating its capabilities, and that made it into the data we have today. It was a throw away real life, but in Matrix, players built it for two years until Matrix made it impossible by costing it at 99.

Aircraft technology during the era increased like computer tech did in the 90s, state of the art today, obsoelte two years later. I doesn't make sense that a 5 year old aircraft that sold for $23,000 would be better than new $40,000 ones (P39 and P40). I think the proper incentive to simulate real life is to make it not as good as the newer ones, and make it cost less. Then players can decide if they want to build it, rather than being told they can't. Its kind of a tease the way it is and promotes gamey play.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 3/21/2011 9:38:07 PM   
bradk

 

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Since you mentioned slots in the data base... real fun stuff.

Some are for carrier capable aircraft, some are for USMC, Dutch, Commonwealth, and British aircraft, and the total number available decreases from 100 to 90 Jan 1943 when the exe obsoletes 10 aircraft. So its more than having a limited number of slots, because within that there are types of slots with their own numerical limits.

You have the Vildebeast which takes up a slot so it can be used for a month. Both SSI and Matrix made that choice. Not sure that's good bang for the buck. Similar situation with the P35. A friend told me he thought having both the Buffalo I and F2A was silly. Well, can't really do anything worthwhile with their slots since they're both in the obsolete Jan 1943 section. Anytthing that's put there leaves the game Jan 43.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 5/8/2011 3:59:55 AM   
Ian R

 

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Hi Brad,

Did you change around the F4U so the FAA can put them on CVs in November '43?

Ian


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Ian R

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 5/9/2011 2:01:16 PM   
bradk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ian R

Hi Brad,

Did you change around the F4U so the FAA can put them on CVs in November '43?

Ian




No, hadn't considered that, and there are some problems making that happen. Its not posible to make the F4U1 availble to USMC Dec 42 and to the RN Nov 43. Only one availability date is possible.

There are a limited number of carrier capable slots avaialble and making the F4U1 carrier capable would require giving up another carrier capable aircraft. I'm guessing what the slots do is controlled by the (scenario name).md file. Its in programming code and its beyond my capability to change it.

I'm currently playing PBEM using the revised scenario. I expect this experience will result in some new ideas. My opponent's input for future revisions will be very valuable.

I hope anyone here who has ideas about features will post them. The more ideas, the better.

Also, if anyone is interesting in trying the revised scenario PBEM, please send me your e mail and I'll return a copy. I can't guarantee its error free, however in my current game everything so far is working as intended (we're in Jan 43 at this point). Due to changes, some of the aircraft icons aren't right, but I'm working on fixing that. An appearance inconvenience that doesn't affect function.

It is possible to play it against AI but to do so, players must control production and upgrades for AI.

< Message edited by bradk -- 5/9/2011 2:04:35 PM >

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 5/10/2011 5:02:07 AM   
Ian R

 

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Understand the point about carrier capable slots and upgrade paths; I had that all plotted out (and a table of which airgroup slots are hardwired to which slip slots on the data table, which has never changed) for SSI pacwar back when I paid for the improved version of Bear Yeager's pacedit from Novastar. Rich Dionne's editor makes it simpler to do mass edits - and make mass mistakes, I once managed to sort the slot number column for the airgroups seperately to the other data - big, big error if you don't reverse it immediately. had to paste the original air group sheet back in and start on it again to save the edits on other pages :-(

I was thinking more of using the F7F slot (carrier capable and not any upgrade path I have identified) for an RN 'Corsair I' and giving it the Hurricane IIc factory slot so its produced in small numbers, but it will be available to the USN so self restraint will be required. The exegesis of that idea was to create a 1942 campaign scenario where the TBM slot is used for the AD Skyraider, and the F7F for the Hawker Sea Furey, where you sit as the allies and wait till after May 1945 (Germany first), with slowed arrival of ship reinforcements etc.

Many years ago there was a 'Dolittle scenario' floating around which featured some B25s edited onto the Hornet - It was alleged they operated off the carrier if given USN nationality/mission. I haven't tested if this is still possible, or to put it another way, whether the 'carrier capable' restriction just operates to limit the menu choices you get when you change types in an airgroup whose status number in the data base places it shipboard.

Right now I'm working on an edited 1941 allies v IJN (AI or human) game where a few things are changed around to make it more interesting... "RN mod OBC_41". I'm testing it out and the moment and ironing out the kinks. One thing I have done is put the Allied CVEs back in larger groups (it saves a lot of ship, and twice as many air group, slots).

Question related to that: when does the IJN/A 'surprise bonus' run out?


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Ian R

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 5/10/2011 5:42:03 AM   
bradk

 

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I thnk a revised obc41 would be good for those who want to play against AI, so I'm glad you're working on it.  AI, especially IJ, needs a lot of help.  Problem is Matrix did some exe edits.  Them taking away what they called AI "cheats", a terribly inappropriate work to use, is a major problem.  I don't have the capability of fixing that.  Do you?  Anyway, I'm primarily interested in PBEM now, and believe as the game stands now, AI is so weak that people should consider playing against AI only to learn the mechanics of the game.

Regarding your suggestion to use the F7F slot, it presents a crossroads.  Should a scenario be designed with the intention the game end Jan 46, as was the intention of the orignal SSI version?  I didn't touch the aircraft and ships that appear after turn 200, on the possibility people would want to play well into 1946, but I have no intention of ever playing a game myself with an agreed end date later than Jan 46.

Surprise bonus?

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 5/10/2011 6:11:12 AM   
Ian R

 

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The 'cargo numbers' in the air group data base for the KB groups have some stuff in them in the 1941 campaign, that IIRC Dave Yeager said on the Pacwar mailing list he suspected triggered some sort of advantage recognised by the exe that ran until about March/April 42, just can't remember when it stops. maybe Matrix have removed it. We don't want the Ryukaku & Hikaku arriving before then

PM me and I'll send you the readme file settng out the rationale for the changes.


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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 5/12/2011 9:59:05 PM   
bradk

 

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Well, they sure were interested in wiping out any advantage IJ AI had... to the point playing against IJ AI isn't even a game any more.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 6/11/2011 9:29:18 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

After looking into this futher, I've found that just about eveything major that players have commented about over the years as problems with V 3.2 can be corrected through obc edits. So that's really good news because it can be done by a reasonably skilled consumer with an editor.


There's one other thing that should be corrected, which can't really be done with the editor. In the latest version, airfields on level 4 (lowlands) terrain cannot be expanded beyond size 4. This is a problem for squadrons/daitai with 48 fighters. It was not Grigsby's original limit (all the way up to 9!) and leads to the ridiculous situation that level 7 (jungle) terrain is more desirable. To top it off, the OBC itself has to "cheat" and start several airfields or ports at size 5, in terrain where they could not be built during the course of the game.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 6/17/2011 1:27:40 PM   
bradk

 

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I think Grigsby had some ports start off larger than the max that could be built.  It kind of makes sense to me in places that may not have a real good natural harbor, just a decent one, but which are locations that were developed into outstanding locations over a period of many decades.  The other thing is that having port size, airfield size, and combat difficulty all determined by the same variable - terrain rating - is unlikely to accurately simulate all three.

Consider, for example, Midway and Kwajalein. I think the terrain rating of 1 handles the combat difficulty situation well on both of them.  Not so with port and airfield.  Midway is over rated and Kwajalein is underated on port and airfield.

Classification and compromises...

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 10/10/2011 8:13:34 AM   
Ranger-75


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When did IJN oil go 'unlimited' I don't remember that... Then again i've been off the board for a few years...

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Still playing PacWar (but no so much anymore)...

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 10/10/2011 8:38:40 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

When did IJN oil go 'unlimited' I don't remember that... Then again i've been off the board for a few years...


AFAIK, that is new to the latest version, 3.2, and is only true when the computer is playing the Japanese side.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 10/17/2011 4:14:50 PM   
orabera


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I would pay for an updated game, WiTP is not for everyone, Pacific War might attract a broader crowd.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 10/17/2011 5:32:18 PM   
bradk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

quote:

When did IJN oil go 'unlimited' I don't remember that... Then again i've been off the board for a few years...


AFAIK, that is new to the latest version, 3.2, and is only true when the computer is playing the Japanese side.



Oil, is unlimited only mid and late game. Early game, Combined Fleet grabs most of the TKs and uses them in replenishment TFs, killing the oil supply. This is the cause of what the documentation refers to as the plodding IJ conquest of DEI. The solutions - resduction of Allied defensive capabiltiy - were bandaids not addressing the root cause. The solution was to remove TKs as an available ship type for replenishment TFs and give IJN a few more AOs.

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RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 12/4/2011 1:18:40 AM   
Cerran


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bradk

Oil, is unlimited only mid and late game. Early game, Combined Fleet grabs most of the TKs and uses them in replenishment TFs, killing the oil supply. This is the cause of what the documentation refers to as the plodding IJ conquest of DEI. The solutions - resduction of Allied defensive capabiltiy - were bandaids not addressing the root cause. The solution was to remove TKs as an available ship type for replenishment TFs and give IJN a few more AOs.


Nuts, and there I was sinking tankers by the buttload in '43 and '44.

_____________________________

'All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.'
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(in reply to bradk)
Post #: 29
RE: Would Matrix Consider A Few Final Tweeks? - 12/15/2011 4:39:49 PM   
bradk

 

Posts: 279
Joined: 12/12/2005
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cerran


quote:

ORIGINAL: bradk

Oil, is unlimited only mid and late game. Early game, Combined Fleet grabs most of the TKs and uses them in replenishment TFs, killing the oil supply. This is the cause of what the documentation refers to as the plodding IJ conquest of DEI. The solutions - resduction of Allied defensive capabiltiy - were bandaids not addressing the root cause. The solution was to remove TKs as an available ship type for replenishment TFs and give IJN a few more AOs.


Nuts, and there I was sinking tankers by the buttload in '43 and '44.


Play against a human and sinkng TKs would be significant. An oil denial strategy is not effective in a game against IJ AI... yet oil was the reason Japan went to war. A game against IJ AI is in effect reduced to a project to make big explosions.

(in reply to Cerran)
Post #: 30
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