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RE: Is WiTE Balanced?

 
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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 7:17:01 PM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: krishub1

Should victory conditions in 1945 be impacted by Allied operations in the West? If the Russians didn't take Berlin in May 45, would the Allies have stopped on the Elbe? Also, in August, the Russians may have had less casualties taking Berlin, since it would have been a radioactive ruin.


Yes, this is one of the main problems I have with taking the game much beyond May. It becomes increasingly difficult to pretend that nothing happening off map matters or that the war in the west is hermetically sealed from the east. This is debatable, but it seems to me that if the Germans halt the Sovs well short of Berlin, this simply results in the Western Allies overrunning Germany. Or, in extremis, nuking Germany.

The other problem is with respect to production and reinforcements. As of May of 1945 we enter into uncharted waters. The game engine isn't well designed to handle this sort of thing, given that a deliberate design choice was made to keep these things relatively fixed and historical.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 7:23:10 PM   
Aurelian

 

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Game should end at the end of May 45 IMHO.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 7:35:55 PM   
MechFO

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: krishub1

Should victory conditions in 1945 be impacted by Allied operations in the West? If the Russians didn't take Berlin in May 45, would the Allies have stopped on the Elbe? Also, in August, the Russians may have had less casualties taking Berlin, since it would have been a radioactive ruin.


I wouldn't be so sure about Berlin being nuked. It is often forgotten that Germany had extensive Chemical Weapon stocks and these could have been delivered via V2's to f.e. London quite handily. Nuke Berlin, and unless there's absolutely nothing left (but then why nuke Berlin in the first place) I expect London would have an interesting experience in mass VX/Sarin etc. usage. I doubt the UK would have been willing to take that kind of risk.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 7:43:31 PM   
Flaviusx


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I actually think they'd nuke the Ruhr before Berlin, at least if the USAAF had its way. Nor am I sure that the British would be able to or even desire to veto such an action, chemical weapons notwithstanding. Bomber Harris would be all for nuking Berlin.



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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 8:30:44 PM   
LiquidSky


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx

I can sign on to a May 45 ending date and a reduction of VPs needed.

The political thing is and always has been problematic. Leningrad falls in virtually every game. If it doesn't it's because the German takes a pass on it. If he wants it, he'll get it. Kiev never lasts until September. This isn't because of mythical runaways, folks. It's because Leningrad is seemingly indefensible and because SW Front goes up in smoke on turn one. I fight doggedly for these places and if the German knows what he's doing, he's going to take them and well ahead of time.

So this second purge is practically an automatic event. It will happen in every game. No Soviet could prevent it. It won't fix "runaways" because runaways are not and never have been the real issue here.

Nor is it clear to me how one writes a rule to prevent Axis runaways (which are far more clear and actual runaways.) I also doubt they are necessary.




One easy way to implement a rule to prevent runaways is to change the cost of movement depending on direction.

So moving Easterly is times 1. But moving Westerly would be say double..or triple. The reverse could go for the russians. This would still allow some tactical movement out of the line, but not wholesale running across the countryside.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 9:08:38 PM   
heliodorus04


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When the game was first released, Slitherine server games (and maybe PBEM too) could be modified between player side-turns. So the German could receive the game and set the Morale/Logistics/Transport/Fortification settings DURING a game, and if you were not checking for that, you could suddenly find yourself without trucks, or you wouldn't realize the German had set his Logistics level to 400 (or something). At least I vaguely recall this being patched way back in the 1.03 days, preventing settings from being changed once a scenario was actively begun.

I believe that lock-decision should be undone or some sort of toggle, and here is why:
As far as "house rule" victory conditions go, that's well and good, but nothing materially changes in the game.

If you could change these settings during a game, and you were playing with a friend or an opponent you knew you could trust, it would be great to have settings as something you could change as part of your house rule set.

Imagine if you could set the Soviet morale setting from 100 to 95 as soon as Leningrad or Moscow fell for a whole turn (or 4 turns later, or whatever freakin house rule you want). Imagine if the Soviet wanted a house rule that said "For every HQ Buildup you use over 1 per army group, you have to take 6 turns of -1 to your transport setting."

Here, you have robust possibilities to create house rules to suit almost all sizes and shape of player expectation.

These settings can have a great impact on both the fun factor, the difficulty level, and the historical accuracy of any particular scenario or game. Given that many players would like to experiment with different victory settings, and given that this kind of capability was formerly IN the game, it would seem to me a good starting point, and realistically achievable (but a non-programmer can never be sure there).

Anyone like the idea? I mean, if it came from someone else?

< Message edited by heliodorus04 -- 2/14/2012 9:10:00 PM >

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 9:38:12 PM   
Flaviusx


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Helio, I'm not against the idea in principle, so long as it can't be gamed or enable cheating somehow or otherwise compromise server integrity.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 10:04:03 PM   
heliodorus04


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Well, instead of it being always open or always closed, I'd like to see it be a toggle at game start. You either start the game with those parameters being open to change between side-turns (at which point, you simply have to trust your opponent and verify the settings, which isn't particularly difficult due diligence) or you start a game with those settings fixed prior to the first turn, knowing they can never be changed.

To me it seems simple enough, and quite versatile, without adding abuse potential.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 10:12:53 PM   
Flaviusx


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Liquisky, an interesting idea, but how does it distinguish between lateral movements on the front and retreats?

I very frequently march units east, put 'em on rails, and then send them to another part of the front that needs reinforcement. Same applies in reverse to the Axis. Neither of these are retreats in a strategic sense. But the rail net is such that you can't help but to march in the "wrong" direction if you want to reposition forces.





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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 10:17:28 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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Simply put, until, and unless, a VP delta over time function is coded in, there will never be any good means to prevent runaway strategies.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 10:46:40 PM   
Kamil

 

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quote:

JAMiAM

Simply put, until, and unless, a VP delta over time function is coded in, there will never be any good means to prevent runaway strategies.



I completely agree.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 11:03:10 PM   
smokindave34


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quote:

ORIGINAL: heliodorus04


Imagine if you could set the Soviet morale setting from 100 to 95 as soon as Leningrad or Moscow fell for a whole turn (or 4 turns later, or whatever freakin house rule you want). Imagine if the Soviet wanted a house rule that said "For every HQ Buildup you use over 1 per army group, you have to take 6 turns of -1 to your transport setting."

Anyone like the idea? I mean, if it came from someone else?


I didn't realize this was possible in the original release but I for one like the idea. You would need to be clear on the house rules you would "implement" up front with your opponent. I think the house rule regarding a morale loss for Soviets if major cities are taken (Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad) is a good idea although the fact that Leningrad almost always falls wouldn't change much in the way I would defend it.....

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 11:26:02 PM   
Marquo


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"Simply put, until, and unless, a VP delta over time function is coded in, there will never be any good means to prevent runaway strategies."

Agreed. And this is the perennial problem of most East Front game; supposedly the new iteration of Pround Monster has and interesting set of sudden death conditions; in fact there a series of game with that built in mechanic. I have been playing Ukraine'43 (GMT) recently and the adroit use of a running, dynamic VP tally makes for a very interesting game."

"Well, instead of it being always open or always closed, I'd like to see it be a toggle at game start."

Isn't this possible now? At least for morale, forts, etc. is. I would like to see a possibility for the players to enter a variable predetermined number for the various VP levels or sudden death. Or maybe even starting with a fixed number of VPs which have to be distributed to various objectives such that your opponent does not know. The screen could offer:

Moscow:
Leningrad:
Stalingrad:
Gorky:
Etc:

And each player could enter numbers which total to a 100; such that for example if the Axis player wants a Moscow strategy he puts in 80, and maybe 5 for everything else. And vice versa for the Soviet: maybe holding Staligrad is more important so places maybe 80 for Stalingrad, and 5 for eveything else. Each player's choices are unknown to the other, and the computer keeps the tally; if one side pops over let's say 50, then game over.


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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/14/2012 11:29:58 PM   
Tentpeg

 

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I am very much in favor of eliminating the extra innings.
Where do I send my vote?
BTW, I have always been unclear why the Grand Campaign ended in October 45.
Would someone enlighten me on the process that resulted in that date verses the historical one?

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 12:27:30 AM   
Farfarer

 

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..but I want to move the whole German army back to safe winter quarters as all of captured russia is a complete strategic liability of no value in the game... save Leningrad for the Finns.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 2:22:19 AM   
carlkay58

 

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Changing the victory conditions to end in May 45 with Axis Marginal victory based on still holding Berlin or the necessary city points to 260 for an Axis Auto Victory can be done just by a general agreement before the game starts. Both are simple to evaluate and very black and white.

I do agree with both of those changes, it is difficult for an Axis player to reach the 260 city points vs an equivalent Soviet player. It also gives the Axis player a bit more freedom on where they can drive and reach the points which could keep the Soviets needing to defend everywhere as they should have to.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 2:35:22 AM   
wadortch

 

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Drifting off topic here.
Is it fair to represent to Joel that there is consensus, as a baby kind of step, to code the end of the game in May, 45 and reduce Automatic VP total to 260?


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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 5:16:37 AM   
Farfarer

 

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May 45 for sure.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 7:00:30 AM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wadortch

Drifting off topic here.
Is it fair to represent to Joel that there is consensus, as a baby kind of step, to code the end of the game in May, 45 and reduce Automatic VP total to 260?


I agree with the May 45.

With resepect to the 260 VP Total for Axis Automatic VP, as I stated earlier I would only agree if there was also a Soviet Automatic victory if the Axis do not have a particular number of VPs by November 42. If I understand Michael correctly his theory is that if the Axis Player has a reasonable target to obtain the Auto Victory than it will encourage him to attack in 42 to obtain this. But what about the sitiuation where the Axis Player, perhaps due to a poor 41 or a poor start in early 42, knows that he has pretty much no chance to obtain this victory. Or isn't a gambler and decides that he has a better chance of winning the game by simply surviving. What is stopping him than from turtling to conserve his forces in the hopes of ekeing out a minor victory or draw by lasting until game end. But if he knows that he has to capture and hold a certain number of victory points or suffer an Auto Loss than that will encourage him to continue the attack in 42. In any event, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If the Germans are given a reasonable chance at an Auto Victory, than the Soviets should be given the same.

Finally, for myself I believe it would be better if this was an optional rule. Or even better, allow the players to set, by agreement, the VPs needed for Auto Victory ny both sides.

< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 2/15/2012 7:01:37 AM >

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 11:45:22 AM   
Offworlder

 

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It would be better to keep the September date. The simple reason is that May is tied to the historical end of the war and nothing else. Considering that players have altered the way the war was fought over the course of several years, it would be rather strange to have a cutoff date that simply corresponded to the historical end of the war. I feel that there is no intrinsic connection between the game (and the gaming decisions taken by the player) and the historical end of the war and thus an approximate date would be preferable.

Let's face it, if the Russians took Berlin in July, would that have made it a lesser victory in real life? Besides the western allies overrunning of Europe would have been irrelevant since basically there was political agreement as to who was to take what.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 12:12:47 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder
Let's face it, if the Russians took Berlin in July, would that have made it a lesser victory in real life? Besides the western allies overrunning of Europe would have been irrelevant since basically there was political agreement as to who was to take what.


I think it would have been a lesser victory; the Western allies would not have sat around waiting for the Russians to catch up, there would have been some excuse for them to continue to the east, regardless of what political agreements were reached.

I think the end of May is too short, but don't see much point in extending the game beyond the end of June. September definitely seems too long.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 2:01:00 PM   
Offworlder

 

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The truth is that there seems to be a general mixup. Everybody knows how history played out. Unfortunately as on turn 1 of the game, all historicity goes down the drain for the simple reason that game decisions tend to be different than real life decisions taken during the war.

So if we take the case of a successful Axis invasion of the Soviet Union were the Axis powers have inflicted horrendous reverses and losses on the Soviets (ie say 10 milion combat troops lost in '41 and '42) and are basically rampaging through the motherland, does anyone really think that the Western Allies even stand a chance of invading Europe in '44 and finishing the war in May '45? Now we know that this did not happen, but it could happen in the game. So what sense would the May '45 date have?

Another example - the Axis player doesn't suffer a Stalingrad. The forces thus saved basically give sufficient/additional mobile forces to crush the allied landings in Italy and/or France or give greater strike capability on the Eastern front. The war could be extended beyond May '45 due to these additional forces.

Actually, this reminds me of another WWII game, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which had a theoretical end in the first quarter of '46, which made sense since its not like players are chained to a timetable. Because if that is the case, all Axis players should just start falling back in '43 even if they had been successful and got to the Urals awaiting the inevitable... Frankly it would be better to tie down victory conditions to VP rather than a time limit.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 2:25:08 PM   
Flaviusx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder

Let's face it, if the Russians took Berlin in July, would that have made it a lesser victory in real life? Besides the western allies overrunning of Europe would have been irrelevant since basically there was political agreement as to who was to take what.


I can't believe that the Western Allies would just sit on their asses until July if the Soviets had stalled, Yalta or no. Churchill didn't give a damn about Yalta, he would cheerfully have ignored it and taken the extra real estate. Truman I am sure could've been persuaded by strictly military arguments, as would Ike. In this situation Berlin isn't a mere "prestige" objective, and ending the war in the quickest most efficient manner would indeed require the Allies to march east forthwith, Yalta be damned.

The post war situation would be quite interesting.


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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 2:32:51 PM   
Seminole


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quote:

I don't think the game is balanced in the way Michael T suggests a game (not a simulation) can and should be balanced else why would be all be playing? To do our very best and be content with a draw?


If you're playing an equally skilled opponent in a balanced game, isn't a draw by definition indicative of that?

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 2:42:55 PM   
Seminole


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quote:

Besides the western allies overrunning of Europe would have been irrelevant since basically there was political agreement as to who was to take what.


By wars end that was in flux. That's why Eisenhower decided to let Patton march into Czechoslovakia. If the Russians were still fighting in the Ukraine Ike wouldn't have sat on his hands. As much as he wanted to limit casualties, he wanted to wrap up the war in Europe so he could start transferring combat units to the Pacific.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 3:17:36 PM   
Offworlder

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Flaviusx


quote:

ORIGINAL: Offworlder

Let's face it, if the Russians took Berlin in July, would that have made it a lesser victory in real life? Besides the western allies overrunning of Europe would have been irrelevant since basically there was political agreement as to who was to take what.


I can't believe that the Western Allies would just sit on their asses until July if the Soviets had stalled, Yalta or no. Churchill didn't give a damn about Yalta, he would cheerfully have ignored it and taken the extra real estate. Truman I am sure could've been persuaded by strictly military arguments, as would Ike. In this situation Berlin isn't a mere "prestige" objective, and ending the war in the quickest most efficient manner would indeed require the Allies to march east forthwith, Yalta be damned.

The post war situation would be quite interesting.



I was speaking in a what if scenario. Real estate had to be paid for with lives, lives which at least half the alliance was not really ready to lose. The western allies needed to keep Stalin sweet so that he would declare war on Japan and besides they were exhausted by the war. Thus, would it have made sense to lose precious lives to take land which would then be handed over to someone else? I'm also not really sure that the Americans of that time would have appreciated their president not living up to promises made to allies - allies which they still regarded as heroic in thier resistance to Nazism. It should be noted that till '47 both 'sides' of the alliance kept to the word of treaties/agreements and avoided confrontation, these usually erupting due to minor players like Tito, who had their own agenda.

But I have to agree that if that situation came to pass, the post war situation would have been interesting... even the war itself I might add. What if Stalin did not invade Manchuria? But all in all these are all speculations...

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 3:51:56 PM   
Flaviusx


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Manchuria was going to happen regardless, I think. This wasn't some kind of charity offensive to help out the USA in the pacific (although Stalin cleverly tricked too many Americans into thinking this.) The Soviet Union had its own interests in the Far East. We should've bargained harder with him and kept that in mind instead of behaving like supplicants.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 5:20:44 PM   
krishub1

 

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I think you guys are still not sufficiently considering the a-bomb factor. It would have been ready in August 1945 regardless of how much the Germans were overrunning the USSR. I believe the likelihood of it being used on Germany would have been even greater if the Germans were still in Soviet territory in 1945 and the Allies were not across the Rhine.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 5:25:12 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: krishub1

I think you guys are still not sufficiently considering the a-bomb factor. It would have been ready in August 1945 regardless of how much the Germans were overrunning the USSR. I believe the likelihood of it being used on Germany would have been even greater if the Germans were still in Soviet territory in 1945 and the Allies were not across the Rhine.


With the "Germany First" policy, I think it would of been used there.

But on what target though, being that the Strategic Bombing Offensive was halted due to lack of targets.

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RE: Is WiTE Balanced? - 2/15/2012 7:02:59 PM   
elmo3

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Aurelian

...But on what target though....


"Berlin, flat as a pancake." Bonus points if you know who said that, but you'll be showing your age.


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