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IMHO reality is overrated

 
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IMHO reality is overrated - 1/26/2012 12:05:48 PM   
Greyshaft


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I'm much impressed by the effort that players put into their modding <tips hat to Storm mod and others>. In addition, I think we have all enjoyed the animated conversations about the hïstorical "accuracy" (or otherwise) of this fine game and at this point I want to add some simple comments.

I don't care if Sealion should be impossible - I just want to try it and have a chance of winning it.
I don't care that in reality it is impossible for Generals to know the precise odds before a battle - I like that I can do that.
I completely agree that it is unrealistic to "level up" combat units in a week just by spending enough PP - but IMHO it makes the game flow better.

Therefore I doubt that I will install the Storm mod and thereby deprive myself of the God-like ability to know the odds before an attack. For those who like that sort of stuff then I say good luck to you - enjoy the reality. So call me a philistine - I don't care. I play the game just to to have fun and I daresay that the majority of purchasers have the same motivation. The game is big enough for all of us to play it in our own way.

I just ask the developers to keep reality as an optional rule.

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/26/2012 1:35:10 PM   
doomtrader


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Don't worry. We want to improve gaming experience and will hear your voice ( I think this is visible in the patch ), but still keep the game pretty simple and accessible for average player.

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/26/2012 5:55:00 PM   
JLPOWELL


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Good point FUN is the primary objective here. I like most of us (IMO) like the 'feel' of at least plausable historical accuracy. True accuracy is a very abstract and practically unatainable thing.

Historical pontification is part of the fun of the forums where the game basis for some beer & pretsel conversations, we can't take these too seriously either.



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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/26/2012 10:54:54 PM   
Romdanzer

 

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GOOD POINT! - I agree as well - and actually though the games made by Wastelands Interactive are always very well moddable so that it makes them very easy to cater to both types of players. Ones like you with the un-modded original with the main point being playability and then have players create things like the "Storm" mod for those who like extreme realism. That's the beauty of making games so "moddable".

Romdanzer

< Message edited by Romdanzer -- 1/26/2012 10:55:44 PM >

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/26/2012 11:24:46 PM   
freeboy

 

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Good point, are you German? Saw you are in Germany,
My family, at least part of my ancestors , imegrated from the Baden Baden area.. 

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/26/2012 11:40:44 PM   
Wolfe


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Agree with the Greyshaft.

What I like about ToF is that it is a great simulation of a WW2 ETO board war game, rather than that it is a great simulation of WW2 ETO.



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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/27/2012 12:04:05 AM   
freeboy

 

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yep, this is a super fun game... and now I even think the ai may be hard to beat as the USSR! lol
I don't want to see things that are silly, but this is fun...
ie no 25 cv groups in 41.. but so far I am not seeingthese excesses in my server or ai games...
and yes.. I played all the serious games too, GGwite.. taow3... etc etc.. there is a reason why games are popular that are easy to use.. think about it

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/27/2012 5:45:54 AM   
aspqrz

 

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I understand entirely ... you prefer a fantasy wargame with WW2 elements (and, seriously, I'm not dissing you or your choice) ... its a valid option.

On the other hand, understand that those of us who prefer reality would like equal opportunity to enjoy a game that does closely resemble reality ... and allow as how that, to, is a valid option.

Phil

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/27/2012 6:43:10 AM   
Razz


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I wouldn't call TOF a fantasy game.

That's going over board.

I can easily call War in The East a fantasy game. It's all how you view it and where you draw a line.

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/27/2012 1:13:12 PM   
aspqrz

 

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You're right, ToF isn't a fantasy game ... however, scenarios that allow impossible things to happen are.

Sealion is impossible, at least with a start date of 3 SEP 39. And, really, even with an earlier start date the Germans simply haven't got the capacity to do all they did historically and also do Sealion ... or, at least, a Sealion that has an actual chance of success that makes attempting it worthwile in geopolitical and economic terms.

Ergo, a Scenario that allows players to "just try it" is a fantasy.

I have no problem with such scenarios, but they are fantasy, and I'm really not interested in playing them. Just as those who like such fantasies will not be interested in playing the sort of historically parametered scenarios I would like.

Knives cut both ways

Phil

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/27/2012 1:39:48 PM   
doomtrader


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Could we use the word fiction instead of fantasy?

Fiction is much closer to 'what if', and when I read fantasy, I always see dragons, wizards and dwarfs, etc.

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/28/2012 12:08:48 AM   
aspqrz

 

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All campaigns for any wargame are, of course, fictional ... even the ones that closely emulate reality ... for the simple reason that the players have perfect 29:20 hindsight and, generally anyway avoid making the same mistakes the original parties did ...

I use "Fantasy" for those things that simply couldn't have happened even with 20:20 hindsight because the preconditions made ... whatever ... impossible.

It's not used with any intention to be a pejorative, but perhaps we could call them "Gamey Campaigns" vs "Historical Campaigns", I guess.

Phil

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/28/2012 12:40:11 AM   
Wolfe


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I don't disagree with the view that in hindsight some things were (in almost all probabilities) impossible, Sealion is probably a good example of this.

However at the time an invasion of the UK was a very strongly perceived threat/possibility (from both sides) that had to be countered, what other reason (excepting Nazi hubris etc.) could there have been for the Battle of Britain given current historical interpretation.

Thus making Sealion impossible though (most probably)realistic would therefore allow for an unrealistic (or Gamey) British stance (i.e. diverting greater strength to the defence of France knowing that fortress Britain was invulnerable or diversion of the RAF to Norway or Egypt for the same reason)

Having said that aspqrz/Phil makes equally valid comments.

P.S. I still remember rolling up my first Space Opera character and deciding Traveller to be unrealistic in comparison

< Message edited by Wolfe -- 1/28/2012 12:44:50 AM >


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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/28/2012 1:30:00 AM   
Numdydar

 

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Fiction Fantasy TO-moto to-MOTO

No county in the world in 1940 could produce enough sea lift to carry 3 CORPS (2 inf and 1 ARM) anywhere at once. Yet as Germany in 1940 I could accomplish that in three weeks (and still wipe out Russia by 1943). So while there are not any dwarian or elvish units in the game there must be magical items present that the Germans located somewhere to be able to do this. If not fantasy how about Si Fi as Hilter was looking for aliens lol.

Any time a game is started it becomes a non-historical simulation. While it is nice to throw all reality to the wind and see what happens, it does ruin the game (at least for me) when there seems to be no historical restriction on a countries capability on what they could or could not do. This is where the issue lies imho. Belive it or not restricting a country to what they could build/supply/effect/etc. does NOT mean that the game has to be made more complex. The computer version of Decision Games War in The East (which has no AI so must be played by two or more people) is a good example of how a game can balance historcal constraints versus playablity.

Also, surprisingly enough to me at least, is that the Hearts of Iron III series can also be pretty simple IF you assign Army Group HQ's to objectives and do not try and micro manage every unit or corp. This also has the effect of not having to worry about difficultly levels so much as if you play this way the game is more balanced as the AI is fighting itself using the same routines just with the overall objectives set by the player. Of course many of us here LIKE the idea of controlling evey unit, ship, and plane so obviously doing that makes HoI MUCH more complex than ToF

The bottom line is that without some kind of historical 'brake' on the player, there is no way to judge how well you would do versus the historical record. In that regard ToF does not succeed. But if you want magical (or Si Fi) things to happen, then ToF is fantastic. Just depends on what type of game you are looking for.

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/28/2012 2:17:12 AM   
Wolfe


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Agree with you historically

BUT

During WW2 a lot of things that were perceived as impossible were achieved and a lot of things that were planed for / attempted were impossible.

To absolutely limit what are in hindsight impossible is no more "realistic" than allowing it to be a possibility.

Should Sealion be very very hard to do - YES, should it be impossible - NO (even though it almost certainly was) because then you alter historical "realism" more by the certainty of it not happening.

My general argument being that being "historical" is potentially less realistic, however what happens should be in the realms of "perceived" possibility.

To me TOF is no less realistic (or more to the point fun) than Third Reich, World in Flames or Totaller Krieg to name some respected if not classic board war games.

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/28/2012 4:20:21 AM   
battlevonwar

 

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It is very boring to play the same strategies over and over and over. The whole point to this is to add variation. A game has it's extreme limitations and is set in a Fictional World of PC 0s and 1s... They only allow so much to be possible anyway. A hard coded rigid strategy like you would have in Gary Grigby's War Between the States gets dull after 5-6 Plays, as does say Guns of August. Both offer several options(more historically accurate).

Why not merely create a Scenario if you're so big on History called, "Fairly Historical Scenario."

This game I have played 4 games so far and won 3 out of 4(1 pending) strategy has been a bit different each time. Invasion of England, Invasion of Russia through The MiddleEast, 2nd Invasion of Russia through Europe.

Much of this wasn't possible, but the Leaders of WW2 played out the Scenario of WW2 100 Xs. What type of variation would you see?

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/28/2012 5:29:41 AM   
aspqrz

 

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Putting historical constraints in place does not force you to follow "the same old strategies" over and over ... whatever gave you that idea?

The only thing that putting historical constraints in place does do is limit you to realistic strategies ... I've even suggested lot of possible variants that can, or could be, modelled in ToF that were possible, or at least attemptable, and which could be allowed even though probably couldn't have worked ...

For example, if the Germans don't waste time and resources on a Sealion bluff (and the Kriegsmarine knew it was impossible, and pretty much said so ... even the Heer did their planning on the basis that the required resources could be assumed to exist, and carefully never addressed whether they thought that that could ever come to pass or not) then they could, for example, take Malta ... possibly even make an attempted coup de main against Gibraltar (which should at least have a low order probability of success ... a the cost of gutting the U-Boat campaign as the Allies take bases in Portugese and Spanish possessions in retaliation) ... or they could take on Switzerland (at the cost of gutting the Italian Economy for at least a year, if not longer, for a whole slew of reasons) ... or possibly invade Sweden, except, of course, for the massive Von Gamey Redoubtland in the northern forests where the Swedish Army will hide for the rest of the war ... all of which, while risky, and with probable adverse consequences that cannot easily be avoided, were more realistic than Sealion.

YMMV.

Phil

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/28/2012 6:09:21 AM   
Numdydar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wolfe

Agree with you historically

BUT

During WW2 a lot of things that were perceived as impossible were achieved and a lot of things that were planed for / attempted were impossible.

To absolutely limit what are in hindsight impossible is no more "realistic" than allowing it to be a possibility.

Should Sealion be very very hard to do - YES, should it be impossible - NO (even though it almost certainly was) because then you alter historical "realism" more by the certainty of it not happening.

My general argument being that being "historical" is potentially less realistic, however what happens should be in the realms of "perceived" possibility.

To me TOF is no less realistic (or more to the point fun) than Third Reich, World in Flames or Totaller Krieg to name some respected if not classic board war games.


You are missing the point I was attempting to make. It IS IMPOSSIBLE to build enough sea lift for THREE CORPS in THREE WEEKS in 1940. By anyone. PERIOD. It does not matter what was or was not done historically (or even the extreame range of what was really possible). THIS is the type of things in the game that makes the game beyond the bounds of this world's reality. However in the alternative universe where ToF exists, this can be done.

So if you want to play in a different dimension of time and space, that is all well and good. Just do not expect that what you can accomplish in ToF will bear any resimblance to anything close to what the nations actually involved in this universe's reality could really do with the limiatations they had to work under.

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/28/2012 7:21:38 AM   
battlevonwar

 

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Well, there is an alternative... Add these possibilities. With a good knowledge of history not only can people learn as they play but add in Tactical/Strategic aspects to the game that are missing. I already see so much that could be added for realism and for strategic evolution. Which this debate is good for... I can see where tweaking the events scripts heavily to cause many more things could add in so much.

P.S. In one of my many strategic games we all discussed realism vs fun. Sea Lion, primarily was a focal point... They agreed in the end it was likely impossible .. of course the house rule of no Sea Lion often lead to some nasty abuse of sending 99% of the British Forces to Egypt!

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/28/2012 10:03:06 AM   
aspqrz

 

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Yes, I agree entirely ... the use of scripted event choice "trees" could make players carefully consider alternative strategies ... or, at least, the consequences of alternative strategies.

But, as others have noted, the scripts for events are ... not very transparent ... which makes it hard for modders to, well, mod them

Phil

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/30/2012 9:47:20 AM   
Greyshaft


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quote:

ORIGINAL: battlevonwar
In one of my many strategic games we all discussed realism vs fun. Sea Lion, primarily was a focal point... They agreed in the end it was likely impossible .. of course the house rule of no Sea Lion often lead to some nasty abuse of sending 99% of the British Forces to Egypt!


Perhaps for those who design a mod where Sealion is impossible you might add a caveat that if the Allied player reduces the UK forces below a certain threshhold there will be a rapid increase in Social Upset. After all, the man-in-the-street thought there was a good chance that Jerry was coming and wanted the reassurance of a strong local force to protect himself.


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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 1/31/2012 10:14:53 PM   
Romdanzer

 

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Well there are two main points about this whole Sea Lion talk:

1) One major problem in games like ToF and others like it is the very simplistic way economy and industry is represented - with simple "PP"'s. In reality of course a major constraint in when choosing what to "produce" is industrial production capacity of any type of product or in this case "weapon". i.e. for example there are simply not hundreds of ship building yards in Germany lying there in waiting for you to decide to build a humongous Kriegsmarine. Meaning even if you have several hundred PP's "stored" (whatever that means in realistic terms) then this simply could not be converted hey presto in hundreds of ships being built if one choose to do so. Likewise for Tanks or Planes. The capacities of the "types of industries" would have to be simulated to get a real feel for that this means. It would mean you would have "spending maximums" for the different types of weapons you can be building. Like for example you spend at most x amounts of PP's on buildings ships, y on building Tanks, z on building Planes etc... Increasing these ,while possible, should be difficult, costly and take a long time according to what type you are increasing. Unfortunately we don't have this in ToF ..... (yet???? )

2) On the other hand everyone has a bit of a tunnel vision here. I am very opposed to any House rules not allowing Sea Lion out flat. Where is it written in stone that Sea Lion can only happen in 1940? Why can't it happen in 1941? With over a year's preparation a somewhat half-way decent Sea Lion could very well be possible. It would all depend on such factors as to what else happens. Can Germany pacify USSR long enough to do this? Can a several front, year long PP-drain of a Combination U-boat War, Battle of Britain, Africa possible weaken Britain enough to enable this? If Germany concentrates everything on this and doesn't overexert itself in other adventures, then indeed it could have the power to make a scenario like this become possible. Think out of the box here guys. So yes Sea Lion 1940 3 weeks after defeating France is not realistic. But there are many other different approaches and ways to do things. A House Rule not allowing ANY type of Sea Lion would make any strategic thinking like this totally impossible. In particular and more important all threats in this direction as well. Creating a threat and making the enemy have to react just to the possibility of doing something is sometimes by far stronger and more powerful than actually executing the threat itself.
IN REALITY this happened as well - The English people in 1940 did not remain super-cool and say "OH it's impossible for the Nazi's to stage an invasion - they do not have the means to do so - don't worry; let's send all our Military Assets to Africa"..........even though it might have been true, a lot of resources where expended just because of the THREAT it MIGHT happen. A house rule like this would result in other house rules for Britain to "spend PP's on a psycologically-only happenning Sea Lion"....????? That becomes really strange, really quick.

Romdanzer

< Message edited by Romdanzer -- 1/31/2012 10:22:32 PM >

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 2/1/2012 2:15:36 AM   
LiquidSky


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Actually, its not the fact that something like Sealion can or cannot occur with hindsight, but the fact that the UK acted like it was possible. I would like to avoid situations where an empty UK can keep the Germans from invading it, while the whole British army is in Egypt, with the entire navy in the Med.

If while you play the game you think that the Germans can invade you after France, then you will (as the British) do something about it.

I remember playing the british in my favourite fantasy wwii game (world in flames). After Vichy was installed, I moved my 4 corps of British to Brest for evac to Britan. Instead of pursuing me, the German player assumed I was leaving and sent his whole army streaming east for the setup for Barbarossa. Instead, I just sat there...he asked me why I wasnt leaving and I said why? The nearest German army was two turns movement away....I am waiting for the US to arrive in two years. Needless to say, he had to turn an army around and by the time it got close, I just packed up and left.

If you put the Threat of something in the game, then your opponent will have to counter it. If you dont put it in because 'historically' it was impossible, or improbable, then with the power of hindsight, new impossiblities arise on the other side. (like not garrisoning England).

Its the balancing act of what to leave in england that makes for a good game.

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 2/1/2012 5:31:53 AM   
JLPOWELL


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Very good point. Sealion is really improbable but must be defended against and should very difficult but could work if the island were almost completely undefended. Where ToF breaks down is its way to easy. Set at Hard vrs Easy (Human vrs AI) Sealion is automatic success, just plain EASY. I have also successfully succeded (well I think I am going to succeed) twice against human opponents. The RN should be able to interdict supplies and intercept transports (port to port is possible without any possibility of interception) Once on shore the Germans are just about unstoppable and can easily reinforce and supply.

England doesn't get enough $$ invasion effectiveness way too high too easy to keep supplies open (RN home fleet set to raiders should shut down the channel but would be getting bombed...

Sealion 1st game well underway...




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< Message edited by JLPOWELL -- 2/1/2012 5:41:35 AM >


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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 2/1/2012 6:50:36 AM   
Flaviusx


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WTB production delay for amphibious points. These things shouldn't be dialed up on demand. This is part of the reason Sealion is so easy. The German doesn't really have to plan for it, he can cash in immediately once France falls. That's a little too easy and convenient. Put those on a 10 turn delay and then we'll talk.

The other problem here, of course, is that the RN seems incapable of interdicting sea transport across the Channel. Only the RAF can hit things.



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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 2/1/2012 7:04:54 AM   
Razz


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I pointed that out almost a year ago.

Should be like SOP.

Transports and Amphibious boats 3/3 and allow a player to attack those units.

In SOP you can attack and target those units.

Since they are 3/3 you can not always sink them but have a good chance.

If you can kill 1 or 2 units out of 5 then that helps allot before the first fleet of 5 lands.

In SOP the AI attacks in 2 or 3 waves. You can not kill them all but it helps allot to delay the onslaught. If you get lucky you can hold to part of Indonesia.

Patch 1.01 helps, but we could use the SOP method of Naval combat vs transports and amphibious units.

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RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 2/8/2012 4:13:23 AM   
Mantis


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Hi guys. Haven't been here in a while.

A couple thoughts I'd like to share.

In my experience with game design, many issues boil down to one thing: Historical Accuracy vs. Game Balance.

Through I-can't-tell-you-how-many play tests, it becomes very apparent that in many instances historical accuracy has to be sacrificed or the game simply won't work. It's always walking a tightrope - you try to fudge reality as little as possible to give you what you need to keep the game design itself functional. (And then adding another paragraph to the designers notes to try and explain yourself). The problem is that the more detailed and complex the game itself, the more departures from reality you are opening yourself to. It's like parallel universes; each time you take a left, you create a new universe where things are now different. And the more flexibility the players have, the more of these potentials a designer has to deal with. It sounds very simple, but if you've ever had to tackle a pretty big game, the task is much more difficult that it seems, and can be incredibly daunting (if not impossible).

That being said, when I see odd things (like mega-panzers, USA fleets at entry that have two dozen CVs, etc), I shake my head a bit, and keep on going. IMO, I'd much rather take a bit of the historical accuracy with a grain of salt (and hope for patch tweaks), than play one of those locked-in games where you really have no strategic options whatsoever, and simply go from this battle to this like a good little Kraut.

In a game that features production, if the Germans can 'depart from the script' to any appreciable degree, well then my brothers, things are going to get weird. :)

Second point - I'd like to share how we overcame the Seelowe difficulties that I see being replicated here. Our philosophy was that we were going to bend reality and make Seelowe possible. Not likely, but under the right circumstances, do-able. The issue became that if the Germans even managed to get ashore (very difficult in the game I was working on), then the UK has had it. They simply did not have the production or units available to do anything but roll over after a brief skirmish. You can't just go and give them a ton of PPs to spend turn after turn - what's the rationale, where did they pull that out from?

Home guard? Sure, but very ineffective, and limited numbers available. The Germans will overcome them quite quickly, and then you are in the same boat. That's a band-aid that only buys you a turn or three.

We found (with that particular game design), that we had to increase the US entry variable. If the Axis land any units on the UK, it started the snowball effect that would (eventually) see the Americans enter WWII. This was also easier to rationalize in the designer notes. With England herself no longer able to resist the Nazis, it was apparent to all that soon there would be no one left to fight the Axis. Even the most anti-war citizen would agree that something more had to be done... With great reluctance, the US started the first plodding steps that would see them join in. Emergency convoys with supplies and materiel. Long term Lend Lease increases approved, and a pre-war industrial increase to supply it. More aggressive escorting of convoys, and a 'guarantee' of specified sea lanes to the UK. (Provoke an incident, increasing war entry more quickly, etc). We even had a version of the UK Home Guard. By the time the US enters, the first series of hastily formed and trained units were green as hell, understrength, and ready to be sent over to the UK as a stop-gap before any 'real' units could be equipped, trained and transported.

It bought us the time we needed, the PPs and the units. A very close thing, but gave us enough to let the Allies fight back. That might (or might not) be an answer here. I hope it is, but my point is more about the way of examining the issue, and coming up with a solution that does its best to pay homage to Historical Accuracy AND Game Balance.

My $1.02!

Good to be back!

- Shane


< Message edited by Mantis -- 2/8/2012 4:17:09 AM >

(in reply to Razz)
Post #: 27
RE: IMHO reality is overrated - 2/8/2012 4:24:50 AM   
Mantis


Posts: 77
Joined: 9/10/2000
From: Edmonton, Canada
Status: offline
A quick follow up after reading over my post.

We also had Russia able to drop a DoW on the Germans if Seelowe went on too long. If it became apparent the Germans were tied up in the UK after a certain time (stale-mated), the Russians would take advantage of the fact and do what Stalin had hoped to do - declare war himself when he was 'ready'.

It forces the German to make a choice. Keep going for the UK and try to take it out, knowing the Reds are building up for you, or go on the defensive in England and prepare for Russia yourself.

Regards,

Shane

< Message edited by Mantis -- 2/8/2012 4:38:21 AM >

(in reply to Mantis)
Post #: 28
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