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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yrs ago?

 
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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/5/2011 9:26:29 PM   
Mehring

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mehring

I notice that when you stack units, their individual defensive CVs do not add up as in most counter games, but apparently multiply. I like this. Two divisions on a 10 mile front will be more than twice as difficult to attack than just one.


I think that you're just confusing the rounding effect. The CVs for each unit are rounded down, so if you choose a couple of rounded down 1 CV units, then stack them, you may very well get a higher number for the summed CVs of the stack. In cases of adjusted CVs, from terrain, and fortification levels, this effect is even more pronounced.

How disappointing.

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/5/2011 9:33:30 PM   
Michael T


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I have been playing wargames since 1978. Many have been on the Eastern Front 1941-45. IMO WITE has a few key deficiencies. One a lack of a sophisicated set of victory conditions (that would include sudden death as an option). 2nd it needs to be at a slightly smaller map/time scale, say 10km per hex at 3/4 day turns (as the units movement rates are to high for both sides). 3rd no real C&C problems for the Russians in 1941. 4th the game desperately needs a AI controlled reaction (i.e reserves that actually move on the map to block/attack breakthrus). But none of that will happen. I enjoy the game anyhow and have played it more than any other PC game I have tried. But its far from the best East Front wargame I have played. I still put OCS, GMT's Barbarossa AGN/AGC/AGS and FITE/SE above it.

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/5/2011 10:10:10 PM   
Joel Billings


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Sajer, it's a game. Design choices were made. You are free to keep you money and not buy it. It's not perfect. For many it is very enjoyable. I really enjoy it, but I only have time to play the smaller scenarios against other players, although I played the campaign in development against the AI. Different people look for different things from a game playing experience, so if this is not for you, I respect that.

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Post #: 33
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/5/2011 10:20:22 PM   
Guru

 

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from a previous thread


quote:

I think the problem with the strategic side of the game is that the German can squeeze 20% improvement (over historical distance covered and losses Germany suffers) out of the freedom enabled by the game in 1941, whereas the Soviet Side can squeeze about 50% improvement (speaking to losses, saved industry, and army/air force organizational efficiency improvements) out of the freedom in 1941.

Thus, to me, WitE hands Germany a net 30% disadvantage over history in 1941, and that will be leveraged into further disadvantage in subsequent years. It is a recipe for me for an unenjoyable game, and for now at least, I've started my last game. I won't play Soviet because it's still too easy. I won't play Germany again because it's just not worth the time investment for the frustrating impotence you are handcuffed with, forced to deal with watching the Soviet scurry eastward just fast enough that you can't do anything meaningful (like damage factories or capture manpower) about it.

(sorry for the poor english I'm not a native english-speaker)
I couldn't agree more: I have identified precisely the same problem

However, although I am no "german fanboy" or anything like that, I believe the "margin of improvement" to be of a very different nature for Germans and Russians. If, for the Wehrmacht, the improvement lies in strategic and operational issues, ultimately a question of decisions, for the Red Army the improvement actually implies a radically different doctrine : in other words, if playing better, as the German, consists in making better strategic and operational decisions, which is not historically implausible, and therefore fits in a simulation model, playing better as the Russian consists in mastering the principle of elastic and in-depth defence from the very beginning of the campaign, which is, according to me, historically implausible to say the least.
Indeed, the Red Army was conceived as an offensive army. Its physiognomy was determined by its offensive doctrine, that had been honed since its birth
back in the early days of the Revolution, and had know significant theoretical developemnt in the early 30's. This offensive doctrine impregnated the training of every officer, from the General Staff downwards to the platoon commander.
So I believe that the offensive disposition of the Red Army, and therefore its incapacity to implement the sort of optimum strategy that WITE players favour, is a sort of in-built, inherent, characteristic. And in the same way WITE as a simulation respects the material characteristics of the equipment and all - Sturmgeschützen don't fly - the Red Army should not be allowed to do something it was intrinsically incapable of doing: it took one full-year of experiencing disastrous counter-attacks, forced retreats and routs, and being bashed to bits before the Red Army started to integrate the principle and value of retreat as a deliberate element of its operational doctrine.
Now, all this could be splitting hairs, but I think this could provide us with a consistent reason to narrow this "margin of improvemnt" of the Red Army, that, obviously, hurts the game a little.
Indeed, I believe, and this is the only reason why I mention this, that if the German could inflict closer to reality 1941 casualties, probably by creating the large historical pockets such as are never seen in a game with a half-competent Russian player, the game would be a lot more tense, including , and maybe especially in 1942.
Now, how to constrain the strategic and operational freedom of the Red Army in game-terms?
Some have suggested fewer movemnt points (preferably a randomized reduction) and that isn't a bad idea, but it wouldn't invite to much counter-attacking anyway.
What I thought of is something like, randomly assigning (maybe modified by the pol rating of the leader) some sectors/HQ's/a mixture of both to the AI at the very beginning of the Russian turn (with the AI set on "aggressive mode"). This would account for the silly counter-attack and no-retreat orders, whose implementation, and ensuing failure, were a necessary step in the maturation of the Red Army. This would still create interesting dilemmas, such as abandoning the units that counter-attacked to their fate, or somehow try and protect them from being encircled, at the risk of suffering more. We could also include a "disobedience" sub-game, where the leader rolls his political rating in order to be freed from the obligation (failure would implie removal/execution). This, of course, could be applicable to the Germans later in the war (how else would precious leaders such as Guderian and Manstein be disposed of in a normal WITE game?)
Obviously, this "overtaking by the AI" would gradually diminish with time. But I think that allowing some premature wasting of Soviet offensive potential à la Kharkov offensive would also be beneficial to the game and to how long it can remain a tense and interesting challenge. Indeed, that fact that it seems more or less admitted (am I right?) that the best Soviet strategy is the general withdrawal without ever initiating combat, and then hoarding forces until in a position to launch an unstoppable juggernaut poses a real problem in terms of intensity and interactivity, and leads to justified comments and loss of interest such as the one I quoted
Anyway, that was just brainstorming, awaiting for the enlightened judgement of the Community...


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Post #: 34
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/5/2011 11:32:09 PM   
sajer

 

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@Joel Billings

he said:

quote:

Sajer, it's a game. Design choices were made. You are free to keep you money and not buy it. It's not perfect. For many it is very enjoyable. I really enjoy it, but I only have time to play the smaller scenarios against other players, although I played the campaign in development against the AI. Different people look for different things from a game playing experience, so if this is not for you, I respect that
.

Joel,

I understand it's a game - I have not been shot yet LOL.. Although I have been in the past and am now disabled - which gives me many, many hours in front of a computer.

"Design choices were made" ugghhh..maybe a "little" flawed. I don't know if you have been reading the posts of people that have found it virtually unplayable after 1942?? Actually it's most of the people - except for those new to the game.

quote:

"You are free to keep you money and not buy it."


To late Joel..I already bought it..

quote:

"It's not perfect. For many it is very enjoyable. I really enjoy it, but I only have time to play the smaller scenarios against other players, although I played the campaign in development against the AI."


It's not perfect..yes, I can see that - by the many patches - what are we on now 1.05.40 or something like that? I agree it's enjoyable - I was always waiting for Gary Grigsby to come out with a modern War in the East WW2 game. However I did not think it would turn into a WW1 game after the first snowfall.

quote:

Different people look for different things from a game playing experience, so if this is not for you, I respect that


I also respect you Joel - you are fair and keep a good grasp on this forum - believe me I know. I also know how it is to help design simulations. Having a few under my belt. I was also running, designing and running a fan site for a game for many, many years - it is exhausting work and people's feelings get hurt. More often than not the people that were in on the design (like you).

I am sorry I went overboard in my last paragraph of my post. But it seems my post are thrown away in the trash. Instead of patching up every month - it might be a good idea to give my post a read and at least 5 minutes of thought - instead of attacking my last few lines.

Who knows??? Maybe a solution like the one I provided just might result in another simple patch (not a whole new design) and besides it might also solve 95% of the problems that people are barking about on most of the forums.

< Message edited by sajer -- 12/5/2011 11:35:14 PM >

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 12:00:19 AM   
Joel Billings


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We don't think it is unplayable after 1942. With the changes through 1.05 I think it's very playable (although the exact balance is still in doubt as the recent AARs have only just gotten to the spring/summer of 42 in most cases). I've been playing a lot of later war (43 and 44 scenarios) that we've been working on lately for a scenario disk and they are very playable and fun (very different from 1941). I've seen a lot of suggestions on this forum although there's more posts than I can read. I don't recall your specific proposals for changes, however there have been many and honestly the work involved in implementing them is too much and/or the additional effort to make sure the changes made for a better game then we have now is way too much work. A lot of this is based on the decisions we made in design to begin with. Not saying that many of them aren't good ideas, it's just not economically feasible to do many/most of them.

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 12:06:04 AM   
sillyflower


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I think the answer is simple, even if the implementation is not.

Everyone acts logically ( at least in their own heads) and adapts their behaviours to what they see as rewards. Therefore, doing things like beefing up the Soviet army won't work unless the aim is to make it easier for the Russians to win. It would be the best way of getting more people to play Russians if that was a problem. However, it won't change most people's strategy, though it may for some who get (some of) their rewards from adopting a 'no retreat straegy' caring less about the outcome. TD might be one such ( I do not presume to put it higher than that) but why not still run away and give Germans the bashing from hell when they overextend? As is it would help to win the game.If standing still still gets you bashed,no one sane ( my reward system speaking here) will stand still. If you increase Russian strength so they can go head to head with the germans in '41 the it will be like the first time I played Avalon Hills' 3rd Reich;I failed to take Minsk. Then no one will play Russian.

The answer has to lie in the victory conditions. VPs are the main (only) reward given in this game. Although not the only reward players get from playing, they are the only reward that the designers can control directly.

This leads me to the belief that a more sophisticated VP system will have far more impact on players' strategy than anything else. It has to be designed so the risk of that final push will give rewards if it means you gain more VPs if it succeeds, because then it may be worth the downside of failure ie a weaker army which will lead to the other side gaining more objectives/ holding them for longer.

There are plenty of games that give X VPs for taking an objective and/or Y VPs for holding for every turn or every few turns so it is nothing new. The only hard part would be deciding on what the points are and the totals for victory. It may take time to balance but that would be easy to do by tweaking the odd objective or (more easily) the total for a given victory level.

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Post #: 37
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 12:08:58 AM   
wadortch

 

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FWIW.

This discussion seems to revolve around creating a vehicle for preventing the runaway strategies for both sides.

There has been voluminous posting about significant modifications to the game (reaction and idiocy rules, execution of commanders who retreat, etc.,) that based on what we have heard, is not in the cards for the small and valiant crew at 2x3 games.

So, I go back to a solution that Michael T proposed in another thread that lost its focus due to the same discussion about major modifications to the game, interpretation of history and so on.

I think the game is close to being what was intended, namely a great game.

What I suggest is to Patch (because people, me included, want an official rule not a house rule) in an OPTIONAL victory condition set that would involve sudden death victory conditions for both sides.

My proposal for the SD condition is this: if one side or the other occupies all the following cities on the 1st turn of March, 1942, they win the game: Leningrad, Rzhev Moscow, Tula, Voronezh, Voroshilovgrad and Rostov.

Let's try it and see if it doesn't eliminate the run for the hills tactics by both sides.





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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 12:11:10 AM   
Joel Billings


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We have said we are willing to look at implementing an optional rule with different victory conditions (especially if they use existing mechanisms), but the few attempts by the community to come up with something have not come up with anything.

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 12:13:24 AM   
Joel Billings


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A simple rule like proposed by wadortch can easily be tracked by the players as a house rule. Of course if people used this and it gained popularity, we'd consider adding it into the code, but I don't see the need to do that now (since it can already be agreed on by the players).

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 12:35:14 AM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joel Billings
A simple rule like proposed by wadortch can easily be tracked by the players as a house rule. Of course if people used this and it gained popularity, we'd consider adding it into the code, but I don't see the need to do that now (since it can already be agreed on by the players).


This is pretty much what I alluded to in an earlier post. Players can easily download the old rules for Russian Campaign or Russian Front from boardgamegeek.com and determine intermediate victory conditions manually as a house rule. It's not that hard. If a few players were to actually playtest a campaign using the Russian Front victory rules and could endorse that (perhaps with modifications) then maybe Joel would have something solid to consider adding into the code.

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 1:15:26 AM   
Baelfiin


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Can I buy WitW, WitS and anything else that comes out now please?

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 2:11:45 AM   
wadortch

 

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Hi Joel
My suggestion remains, if it is an easy thing for you all to do, is to patch it up now as an option. Get it in as an official optional rule which players can test and feedback on precisely.
Walt

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 4:20:05 AM   
gradenko_2000

 

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wadortch, I think Joel's point is that if all you're doing is tracking which side has which cities by some set date, then it should be easy enough for the two players to agree to track that manually. The "difficulty" lies in getting the two players to both consent to a set of rules, but once those rules ARE set, then it should be very straightforward for the players to abide by them even if there's no official UI to support it.

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 4:40:37 AM   
Ketza


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I enjoy this game immensely.

It keeps getting better and issues are being addressed.

Thats about all we can hope for


I would love to be able to create Axis units just as the Soviets do but that would make for some odd games and I agree with the developers in choosing to not give the Axis that freedom until possibly later in the series if at all.

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 8:27:30 AM   
Apollo11


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Hi all,

Please note I replayed to similar thread of same author earlier - this is copy & paste...



Is this game / simulation flawed?

IMHO not!


Why do people think it is flawed?

Because many still think that Germany could have won against Soviet Union and / or that Japan could have won over USA in historic WWII!


This is, IMHO, fundamental mistake many player make and this is where all "issues" came from...


The very second Germany attacked Soviet Union in WWII the Germany lost the war - similarly the very second Japan attacked Pearl Harbor the Japan lost the war!

No serious modern historian would tell otherwise either!!!


So why do we still play Japan in UV / WitP / WitP-AE and / or Germany in WitE?

Because we know that it is lost cause but we want to be better than history!

The winning is not in absolute victory - that was historically impossible - the winning is beating the history (i.e. being better than the history)!


Thus, the winning for Japan in UV / WitP / WitP-AE is not conquering the Pacific - the winning is keeping the USA further away from home islands in 1945 and not allowing devastating B-29 raids on Japanese cities (including the A-Bomb attack)!

Similarly, the winning for Germany in not conquering the Soviet Union - the winning is keeping the Soviets as far east as possible from Berlin!



Leo "Apollo11"

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 9:52:36 AM   
delatbabel


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I agree with what a few others have said about the Soviets being too weak in 1941 to put up a fight. It's not worth having your entire army encircled and destroyed to hold a few hexes with little value. In return the Soviets built up strength way too quickly and were too able to powerfully demolish the Germans in the winter of 1941/42, and then the Germans get too weak in 1944 to hold their line, and there is an enormous stalemate in 1943 with too little attack opportunity on either side.

Unfortunately the designers' reaction to the second problem has been to weaken the Soviets in 41 and strengthen the Germans in the winter of 41, which is the wrong solution to the right problem.

I think that the biggest mistakes of the earlier versions have mostly been fixed in 1.05 (even if I don't agree with all of the fixes) and I think the main issue now is sorting out the fine detail of the balance issues. Personally I don't want a "sudden death" victory condition, I would be happy with a version where the Germans could come out of it bloody, bruised, but victorious, having held the Russians out of Berlin until June 1945. I don't think we're too far from that.

In terms of holding ground -- when he invaded Russia, Hitler's eyes were not on the factories and armaments production of the Soviets. He knew he couldn't use those and in essence he was greedy -- he wanted what he could gain for Germany and not what he could tear away from Russia. Hitler's eyes were on the grain producing areas of the Ukraine and the mines of the Donbas, things that couldn't be torn up or shipped eastwards. So there should be some incentive for the Soviets to protect those, but with the weakness of the Soviet army in 1941 there's no chance it can be done and hence no point trying.


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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 11:09:25 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joel Billings

A simple rule like proposed by wadortch can easily be tracked by the players as a house rule. Of course if people used this and it gained popularity, we'd consider adding it into the code, but I don't see the need to do that now (since it can already be agreed on by the players).


The reason why this option needs to be coded, is that it is just too simple to name certain cities by a certain date, there needs to be some uncertainty. If you know you just have to win one more city to win, then you will risk everything else for that certain victory.

However, as selected criteria (cities, hexes, casualties, etc.) are met by either side, there could be a die roll on victory, the odds don't have to be too high, as it is the chance of victory, or defeat, that keeps both sides fighting, just as it did historically. The odds will improve as more of the criteria are met, so the potential could start to act early and become more urgent as the game progresses. There would be a level of risk, albeit at first a low risk, in an early run-away strategy.

There were certainly attempts to overthrow Hitler as conditions deteriorated for Germany, one successful bomb and this would have been reality, who's to say what might have happened to Stalin after things had got worse.

It is the chance of victory, or defeat, that will enliven the game, not necessarily the certainty of the result.

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 12/6/2011 11:57:00 AM >


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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 11:54:56 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Apollo11

The very second Germany attacked Soviet Union in WWII the Germany lost the war - similarly the very second Japan attacked Pearl Harbor the Japan lost the war!

No serious modern historian would tell otherwise either!!!

So why do we still play Japan in UV / WitP / WitP-AE and / or Germany in WitE?

Because we know that it is lost cause but we want to be better than history!



Japan did not expect to defeat the USA, they planned to make the recapture of lost territories so costly that the US would would recoil from that price, historically they were wrong.

Hitler did not so much expect the defeat of the Soviet Union, more the collapse of Stalin's government and to drive the Russians back to an East wall that could be held against the Asian hordes, historically he was wrong.

Few players have a problem 'losing' as Japan in WitP/WitP-AE, but then Japanese forces did not come within sight of the Capitol dome in Washington. However, there will always be a discussion on whether the Germans could have brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union, especially after capturing Moscow.

We will never know, but it would be an advantage to have the option to introduce the same imperatives that drove the historical commanders. The Soviet commanders did not throw thousands of troops into forlorn attacks because they had confidence they would eventually win, they did it because they thought they might lose. The Germans drove on to Moscow through worsening conditions because they thought that one last push would win through.

Whether they were right, or wrong, I think that the game would have a different feel if players had the option to experience the same fear of failure, or glimpse of success, experienced by the actual commanders, who were not protected by hindsight from the historical timeline of victory, or defeat.


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Post #: 49
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 12:30:19 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wadortch

What I suggest is to Patch (because people, me included, want an official rule not a house rule) in an OPTIONAL victory condition set that would involve sudden death victory conditions for both sides.

My proposal for the SD condition is this: if one side or the other occupies all the following cities on the 1st turn of March, 1942, they win the game: Leningrad, Rzhev Moscow, Tula, Voronezh, Voroshilovgrad and Rostov.

Let's try it and see if it doesn't eliminate the run for the hills tactics by both sides.



This proposal is still too narrowly focused on the initial 1941 campaign and neglects anything beyond March 1942. There needs to be something more that spans the entire war and keeps players continually focused on fighting for objectives rather than running for the hills; that's the core issue and the reason why those old boardgames had ongoing sudden death victory conditions. The Russian Front rules specifically provide for this and could be easily implemented as an optional victory condition set to be checked during the first weeks of March and November. A Decisive Victory would automatically end the game. A Marginal Victory would allow players to end the game at that point or continue on.

So yeah, patch it up if possible as an official optional rule which players can test and provide specific feedback on. Alternatively players can manually calculate these victory conditions themselves. If nothing else, players could go back and review a few recent game saves to see what the victory points were during the March and November turns. Given these sudden death victory conditions, it's no real accomplishment to run for the hills to save your Army for another day if you just keep handing your opponent a Decisive Victory in the process. It may be an entertaining alternative history, but not exactly the kind of wargame most players are expecting to play. And I believe that's the fundamental point Pelton and others are trying to make, and it's a valid point.

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RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 1:18:02 PM   
Marquo


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Russians running = Axis victory in 1945. I agree with Apollo 11 --> I have not seen one AAR where the game has been played out to the bitter end and already we are in v 1.5xxx.
1:2 --> 1:1 really hurts the Soviets in 1942 and beyond; the Axis is in good shape.

Marquo

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 51
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 1:20:56 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joel Billings
We have said we are willing to look at implementing an optional rule with different victory conditions (especially if they use existing mechanisms), but the few attempts by the community to come up with something have not come up with anything.


Joel, tracking VP's in the manner as scenarios do works very well. I'm doing that manually for the game Q-Ball and me are playing, and I'm liking what I'm seeing. Q-Ball VP advantage was well over 3:1 until September 1941, then start to slowly decline until having stabilized around 2.5:1. I think I'll have a hell of a hard time to even that out (he's got a 2:1 advantage on on-map VP's and a 3.5:1 advantage on losses, and we've yet to see what happens during Summer and Autumn of 1942). I just left out Air losses since I think it's not working well w.r.t. German tactical aviation losses.

On the x-axis you can see the turn "number" (odd is Axis, even is Soviet). So turn 51 is actually Axis turn 25, 52 is Soviet turn 25.

Here you can see the VP advantage for the Axis (computed by taking the ratio between Axis total VP's to date and Soviet total VP's to date):



the picture really says it all. Q-Ball is winning, but his advantage has been declining, slowly but at a constant rate, ever since the Red Army started to get its act together.

Each turn, 10% of the VP's corresponding to Victory Locations held by either side, are added to the accumulate VP. Here's the plot of how many of such points have been awarded so far:



so the Axis is being rewarded - handsomely I think - for having pushed as far as it has pushed in our game.

Finally, let's see how VP's due to losses have been piling up



Note the inflection point for the VP's awarded to the Soviet Union: it's right about blizzard. Note the inflection point for the Axis on turn 76 or so. That's March 1942.

Sincerely, I don't get this remark about "the community not coming up with anything interesting". Guys, you already have a wonderful VP system for scenarios which, for reasons I can't fathom, hasn't been applied to campaign scenarios. What's the problem with it? I don't see any, and I think it's truly a good reflection of what's happening on the battlefield in terms of VP's.

(in reply to Joel Billings)
Post #: 52
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 1:39:12 PM   
sajer

 

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@Joel Billings

Joel Billings said:

quote:

Sajer, it's a game. Design choices were made. You are free to keep you money and not buy it. It's not perfect. For many it is very enjoyable. I really enjoy it, but I only have time to play the smaller scenarios against other players, although I played the campaign in development against the AI. Different people look for different things from a game playing experience, so if this is not for you, I respect that.


Later....Joel Billings said:

quote:

We don't think it is unplayable after 1942. With the changes through 1.05 I think it's very playable (although the exact balance is still in doubt as the recent AARs have only just gotten to the spring/summer of 42 in most cases). I've been playing a lot of later war (43 and 44 scenarios) that we've been working on lately for a scenario disk and they are very playable and fun (very different from 1941). I've seen a lot of suggestions on this forum although there's more posts than I can read. I don't recall your specific proposals for changes, however there have been many and honestly the work involved in implementing them is too much and/or the additional effort to make sure the changes made for a better game then we have now is way too much work. A lot of this is based on the decisions we made in design to begin with. Not saying that many of them aren't good ideas, it's just not economically feasible to do many/most of them.


You said: I don't recall your specific proposals for changes

If you can't recall my post why are you reacting to it???

You said: we've been working lately on a scenario disk and they are very playable and fun (very different from 1941

A scenario disk - really - would we have to flop down more money for that too...??

You said: Not saying that many of them aren't good ideas, it's just not economically feasible to do many/most of them

But yet the patches keep coming out every month....hmmm I don't think that most of the ideas that are coming out these forums are not "feasible" to implement. In fact they should be looked at very closely. We are (in-fact) the very people that pay for this game and play much more than any playtesters did.

In fact I think that alot of the changes put forth on these forums could be easily be part of a "patch" - not an game engine overhaul.

I not saying my original post was feasible to do - but I think it is pretty well thought out - in my opinion. But you reacted twice to it - but now can't seem to recall it?.....???

If you need to read it again my post - here it is - unedited..

I have been playing games for a very long time - going back to board games. I think what is being discussed here is very important. It hits right at the core of what is wrong with large strategic computer based simulations. As it always happens, players at some point discover that by playing any side that they can "game" the system. This is based on rigid rules of what really happened.

This where all creators of theatre-wide simulations go horribly wrong in their thinking.

I think the post by Big Anorak hits the nails on the head - right from the manual:

quote:

The game is an “Alternate History Creator” that focuses
on simulating the logistic and command and control problems that the historical commanders
on the Eastern Front had to deal with. It will allow players to explore many of the strategic and
operational “What ifs” that have been discussed by historians and armchair strategists for
many years. As such, economic and research based “what ifs” are not the focus."


First of all it is NOT an alternate history creator - it is to a very small degree - but no matter what the Axis does, unless he gets an auto-victory - he is basically screwed. The Soviets will build up and eventually overrun him.

This is why no games are running (human to human) past early 1942.

Also by not having the what-if's imbedded in the game it does not take into consideration the most important part of the human vs human or human vs AI overall strategy - there is too much rigidity in the game. You KNOW that the Germans will have this much production in this year or that. You KNOW what replacments or units will be transferred to the front and when. You KNOW that the SU will eventually build into this big juggernaut that is unstoppable starting in the late summer of '42 or early '43.

I recently wrote a long post about this exact problem. It was blown off by a few people than got thrown into the trash of other posts - and lost.

I introduced the idea of creating a simple creation of out of theatre (and in) "what-if's". I made the mistake of listing ten or twenty of them. It was then shot down by certain posters, saying that "Ohhh.. that would have never happened". You see that was never my point. The idea put forth is WHAT IF ONE OR MORE OF THEM DID!! And they were always questionable to happen till the end of the war (i.e. simulation).

These variables would keep players playing the game to the end to my estimation.

The most important part of a strategy simulation that should be implemented is the "fog of war". I always play my games with it fully implemented. The problem is that there is not enough of a fog of war. Do you really think that the Soviets or even the Germans had the capability to "see" through the eyes of recon planes "everything" that was going on at the front - through hundreds of recon sorties. It's almost as if the Soviets and Germans had spy sattelites for pete's sake.

You know why the Ardennes Offensive (or Battle of the Bulge, if you wish) was a surprise to the Americans? Hell, they had plenty of recon planes, didn't they? It was because of the art of deception. Complete radio silence, hiding tanks in forests, moving units at night. A pretty good job by the Germans, I might say. To hide 26 Divisions and all that armor and to attack the Allies with total surprise.

I remember reading a book on the Battle of Kursk - and Zhukov heaviliy fortified his flanks and eventually defeated the massive attacks on his northern and southern flanks by SS panzers armies - bacause he said - that is what I would have done.

Also I am reminded by Hitler's quote on the Soviet Army: "All you have to do is kick in the door, and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down".

Would he would have attempted the invasion if he had known that the Soviets would get American/British help via the Murmansk port? Or had the capacity to "move" factories east behind the Urals?

I'm getting away now from my main point. I also don't want to bore you with hundreds of "what-if's". But hopefully you get my drift.

The main thing wrong with big intricate simulations like this if that we all plunk down $60 to $80 because are intrigued by the thought of a huge intricate model of the greatest battle ever fought - the Russo-German war in the East. It is fun for awhile, but then a strategy arises from constant play by smart players to "game" the system. I am not blaming them at all. They after all find the flaws in the game - as to almost make it unplayable.

In the end I am only saying that if this game could be modeled to include historical variants it would keep the players- playing the game to the bitter end. Also it would give the players the ultimate satisfaction - "FUN".

But, companies spew out these games, like War in the Pacific (where you just move pieces around a board for MONTHS - knowing the U.S. will win the end.) Then moving on from WiTe ( after getting thier money) to designing WiTw - where again they will again get paid. With the deep design flaw is still present. After you slap down big cash for War in the West - players will eventually find a way to "game" that computer simulation. But by then they will be on to their next project..and so on..and so on.....

The thing is you don't really "fix" a game by creating dozens of patches. You don't stop the blood from severed arm with a band-aid (I know what that is all about - because I have seen it up close). You have to fix the root problem. Until that is done - I will keep my money in my pocket.

You can poo-poo my post - but in my heart and in my opinion I know I'm right.



< Message edited by sajer -- 12/6/2011 1:43:13 PM >

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 53
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 1:48:20 PM   
BigAnorak


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quote:

What's the problem with it? I don't see any,


BG you may well be right, and there is indeed a workable system using the scenario VP system for the campaign, but the biggest difficulty I see is, as far as I am aware, is that the Number of VP locations is hard-coded at 10 per side, so choosing the right 10 VP locations and then assigning the correct per turn points value for each objective will be a nightmare, because some clever clogs will work out that by capturing Objective X by T10 and objective Y by T15 will give them "victory" by TXXX and there will be cries of "Foul" from one side or the other. If you add casualty VPs into the equation, this too could lead to "manipulation" and the use of "trick" strategies to achieve the magic numbers of casualties that will trigger a "win"

I have a dim memory of this system being discussed in testing, and the hard-coded VP system meant it was kicked into touch leaving us with the current system.

I'm guessing that the 10 VP locations could be used to trigger a sudden death check as Joel noted elsewhere.

edit: Maybe the 10 VP locations could also form the basis of players' selecting their own objectives for sudden death checks.

< Message edited by BigAnorak -- 12/6/2011 1:53:23 PM >

(in reply to Bletchley_Geek)
Post #: 54
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 1:53:45 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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From: Living in the fair city of Melbourne, Australia
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quote:

ORIGINAL: BigAnorak

quote:

What's the problem with it? I don't see any,


BG you may well be right, and there is indeed a workable system using the scenario VP system for the campaign, but the biggest difficulty I see is, as far as I am aware, is that the Number of VP locations is hard-coded at 10 per side, so choosing the right 10 VP locations and then assigning the correct per turn points value for each objective will be a nightmare, because some clever clogs will work out that by capturing Objective X by T10 and objective Y by T15 will give them "victory" by TXXX and there will be cries of "Foul" from one side or the other. If you add casualty VPs into the equation, this too could lead to "manipulation" and the use of "trick" strategies to achieve the magic numbers of casualties that will trigger a "win"

I have a dim memory of this system being discussed in testing, and the hard-coded VP system meant it was kicked into touch leaving us with the current system.

I'm guessing that the 10 VP locations could be used to trigger a sudden death check as Joel noted elsewhere.


Ok, that's a good explanation, and indeed, being limited to 10 VP locations is just not going to work for the campaign. But I think that changing the number of VP locations from a paltry to 10, to say, 100 (or 1000) shouldn't be that much of a problem, should it? If it's an AI thing, well, let the AI plan for the top 10 victory locations. The players can manage the other 90 :)

(in reply to BigAnorak)
Post #: 55
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 1:55:25 PM   
Bletchley_Geek


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Actually, it's not a good explanation at all BigA. I just realized that there are much more than 10 on-map VP locations (i.e. places with VP's attached).

(in reply to Bletchley_Geek)
Post #: 56
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 2:03:14 PM   
BigAnorak


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Again, my memory is dimming - I'm sure the question about increasing VP locations was asked at the time and I can't remember the answer/reason. This all got raised about the time Trey and I were testing the Blizzard in October/November; just before the December release, so it may have been a time/resources/return on investment issue.

I suppose my mindset at the time was that the players would not mind the lack of a sophisticated VP system for the campaign, as they would enjoy the journey more than arriving at the destination; but clearly for many getting to the destination without enjoying the scenery along the way is more important.

(in reply to Bletchley_Geek)
Post #: 57
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 2:12:37 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rasputitsa
Japan did not expect to defeat the USA, they planned to make the recapture of lost territories so costly that the US would would recoil from that price, historically they were wrong.


You are using an euphemism here. If you bring the Americans to the negotiation table it's because the latter are admitting DEFEAT... That was the idea behind the Midway Operation. American carriers sunk = Americans might give up (the hordes of American CVs would only be ready in 1943-44)

Capture of Moscow in WitE and Midway captured and CVs annihilated in WitP would be the excuse to say "hey, they might have surrendered / sued for peace"...

I personally believe both the Germans and Japanese grossly underestimated their enemies... especially their WILL to fight to the end.

< Message edited by TulliusDetritus -- 12/6/2011 2:17:48 PM >


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(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 58
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 2:13:57 PM   
BigAnorak


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quote:

the Number of VP locations is hard-coded at 10 per side


Not 10 total.

(in reply to TulliusDetritus)
Post #: 59
RE: I this what 2 by 3 started out to design back 5+ yr... - 12/6/2011 2:45:54 PM   
abulbulian


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I agree with most of what sajer has been saying. Unfortunately for the designers/developers they have been 'too good' about fixing issues and updating this game. We as players have come to expect this and even more from them due to this precedent set. Personally WitE for me has been the crowning jewel of WW2 strategic computer war games. Having said that, sure there are still several remaining issues with the game playability and many which I believe would be 'low hanging fruit' to implement changes.

Almost 8 months ago I posted my thoughts(w/examples) on adding variants to the game to reduce the rigidity. This is a game and thus needs a replayability factor. I think this community could come up with some great variants in addition to some I posted, within the historical context of the east front, to exponentially increase the replayability of WitE. For those purist, make this an optional at start game setting.

Allowing more flexible use of German production and TOEs (within reason) would be IMO huge improvement to replayability. I'm tired of seeing large pools of tanks that would never have sat in 'pools' from a historical context.

What pains me most is that WitE still has so much potential to be better, yet the designers/developers are very hesitant to take that next step. With good reason as I suppose WitW now has their attention ans resources.

< Message edited by abulbulian -- 12/6/2011 2:47:06 PM >


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(in reply to BigAnorak)
Post #: 60
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