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Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it?

 
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Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/8/2012 3:34:53 PM   
redmarkus4


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I haven't DL'd yet. What's the consensus?

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/9/2012 8:34:15 PM   
Smirfy

 

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I bought it to support the continued production of turned based operational WWII games despite 1/ these scenarios should have been part of WITE in the first place 2/ As an Eastern Front operational and strategic wargame the WITE is FUBAR anyway. (Thats not FUBAR from a German or Russian point of view btw its the game itself). Hopefully war in the west will be a marked improvement with radical new mechanics (but not holding breath)

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/9/2012 8:48:49 PM   
Oloren

 

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Just finished Uranus.. was fun actually. Looking forward to trying some of the other scenarios.

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/9/2012 9:57:42 PM   
redmarkus4


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Oloren

Just finished Uranus.. was fun actually. Looking forward to trying some of the other scenarios.



Thanks. I bought it and played Kharkov '42 - see my short AAR. I'll give Uranus a try.

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/9/2012 10:04:51 PM   
redmarkus4


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Smirfy

I bought it to support the continued production of turned based operational WWII games despite 1/ these scenarios should have been part of WITE in the first place 2/ As an Eastern Front operational and strategic wargame the WITE is FUBAR anyway. (Thats not FUBAR from a German or Russian point of view btw its the game itself). Hopefully war in the west will be a marked improvement with radical new mechanics (but not holding breath)


My motive for buying was the same. I'll buy WitW for the same reason, although they are really going to have to make some fundamental changes if they're going to surprise me.

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/9/2012 10:38:27 PM   
redmarkus4


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Well, turn 1 Uranus with the AI on normal and the Axis army abandoned Stalingrad and started a long trek westwards, a la Napoleon. The game has become a race to see who can move west fastest from the very outset.

I guess I was supposed to create the pocket on Turn 1 - I was one hex short.




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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/9/2012 10:49:53 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi Markus,

Given that you're an experienced player, you really should at least have the AI on Challenging. The Normal AI is easy to beat in any scenario once you have a few campaign games under your belt.

Yes, you really should close the pocket on Turn 1 if you want to capture the forces around Stalingrad.

Regards,

- Erik

< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 3/9/2012 10:50:27 PM >


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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/9/2012 10:50:09 PM   
redmarkus4


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The AI suddenly stopped retreating on the second turn and opted to defend in place in unfortified positions during blizzard.

So, I have now formed a sizable pocket west of Stalingrad.




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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/9/2012 11:02:59 PM   
redmarkus4


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On turn 4 the AI opted to deploy about 50% of its Panzer forces in a seemingly pointless (failed) attack across the Don near Boguchar instead of focusing on the pocketed Axis troops. The remaining armour did open up a link to the pocket, but I closed this immediately.

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/9/2012 11:27:56 PM   
redmarkus4


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SOV minor victory - rather shambolic performance by the AI, to be frank.




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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/9/2012 11:34:18 PM   
redmarkus4


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Hi Erik,

I play on both Normal and Challenging. My observation on Challenging is that the AI gets assistance (beefing up) but it doesn't seem to make smarter choices - it feels unreal to me. Am I imagining that?

I'll repeat my point that Normal should provide a reasonably competent AI and Easy should be the beginner mode.

My main concerns have to do with the AI logic on any setting:

1. Abandoning good positions for bad.
2. Ignoring cities even when they are victory hexes.
3. Attacking in strange places (e.g. repeatedly (3 consecutive turns) across the Don at Boguchar in this instance).
4. Not attacking sometimes, even when it has overwhelming odds, although perhaps this has been fixed?

And so forth...

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 12:00:53 AM   
ird

 

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I don't claim to be an expert player but I've almost finished the Cherkassy Pocket scenario and the Soviet AI appears to be making far better tactical choices than has been the case previously. No more piecemeal attacks without the strength to break thru my defences, instead it has massed it's forces to far greater effect.

I also like the idea of a few smaller scenarios which can be played over a day or two. I'm partway thru a GC but it's nice to be able to spend a day or so playing a quick scenario. I'm happy with the new content

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 1:31:02 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi Markus,

It does make smarter choices on Challenging in my experience, especially in terms of where and how to attack, but it's definitely true that Challenging mainly gives it assistance.

Now I know you've been focused on observing the AI's weak spots since the original release. While that's appreciated, it's worth noting that any wargame I own where I've played it for a month I can beat the AI regularly. Discussing the War in the East AI is somewhat tangential to Don to the Danube, which is a content expansion rather than an AI expansion. With that said, the AI in the latest update is improved, but against a player who is in practice it really needs to be set to Challenging.

At release, I think this was the best AI for a game of this scale on the computer to date. I don't think that's mentioned often enough. The AI has improved since release. It still makes some bad moves, but we'll continue to improve it and I know it's given a lot of players a lot of enjoyment and challenge over the year or so since release.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 2:29:59 AM   
Oloren

 

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I also failed to close the pocket on T1 and Germans evacuated Stalingrad. Conducted some minor encirclements afterwards and ended up with a Minor Victory. Played with German morale at 110. Was enjoyable and worth replaying.

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 2:47:50 AM   
CheerfullyInsane

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
At release, I think this was the best AI for a game of this scale on the computer to date. I don't think that's mentioned often enough. The AI has improved since release.


(Thread hijack ON)

I'd agree on that.
This is far and away the most competent AI I've played in an operational game. And I've been playing since the late 80's.
Having said that, it IS still an AI, meaning you can't expect it to show the same capabilities for lateral thinking and long-term planning as a human opponent.
And like almost every other AI, it's better at attrition-warfare than deep penetrations, meaning the Axis '41 AI is still the weakest of the bunch.
I'd also contend that the Normal level is a decent opponent when you're learning the system, but it's equally true that after having played the GC a few times (especially H2H) you need to give some advantages to the AI.
But then, how is that different from playing H2H against someone far better than you?
I'm a competent Russian WitE player, but if I was to go up against someone like Pelton, you can be damn sure I'd insist on some percentage advantage before even contemplating the challenge.
In other words, think of the AI as if you're playing a newbie.

As for what level you need to play on to get a challenge is obviously up to personal skill.
Personally, I'd opt for 120-100. I don't like adjusting my game-play between H2H and AI, so I prefer having 100% for my own side, and 110-100 is a bit on the low side for me.
But if you want a fun experience, try playing the Russians at 120-80......
Most of the stuff you can live with, but the lowered AP is a right bastard to contend with.

(Thread hijack OFF)

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 2:58:24 AM   
wadortch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: redmarkus4

Hi Erik,

I play on both Normal and Challenging. My observation on Challenging is that the AI gets assistance (beefing up) but it doesn't seem to make smarter choices - it feels unreal to me. Am I imagining that?

I'll repeat my point that Normal should provide a reasonably competent AI and Easy should be the beginner mode.

My main concerns have to do with the AI logic on any setting:

1. Abandoning good positions for bad.
2. Ignoring cities even when they are victory hexes.
3. Attacking in strange places (e.g. repeatedly (3 consecutive turns) across the Don at Boguchar in this instance).
4. Not attacking sometimes, even when it has overwhelming odds, although perhaps this has been fixed?

And so forth...

Have you tried playing any earthlings yet in the new scenario's?
AI is at best just a newbie school teacher as Erik suggests.


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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 3:28:05 AM   
Baron von Beer

 

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G*****it, see guys, you haaaaad to bring elves up in a few threads and see what you've done?

< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 3/10/2012 3:32:44 AM >
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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 3:53:58 AM   
map66

 

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I've been playing a server game of Red Army Resurgent as the Soviets and just finished (for the third time, thank you hackers) turn 4.

It's a very enjoyable scenario so far, with a good feel for the kinda shoe-string offensive the Red Army was launching, and a crash course on why 1942 Soviet Tank Corps are not 1941 German Panzer Divisions. Closed the pocket on turn 1, and again on each subsequent turn, albeit my opponent has managed to open a corridor each turn as well as he breaks out the pocket to the southwest (abandoning Stalingrad itself on turn 1) and relieves it from the south with his fresh panzer divisions. On turn 4, I've managed to encircle his relieving panzer divisions, so my sense is the pocket is going down next turn, but it has been a very enjoyable and fluid battle so far.

If the Soviets can close the pocket on turn 1, the Sixth Army is basically doomed, IMHO, just a matter of how many turns it can tie down Soviet forces. Attempting to breakout from within the pocket will give 4-6 turns of life at most I think--- basically as long as the Germans can each turn keep getting a token breakthrough to the pocket (which is actually fairly easy, given how hard it is to get decent Soviet defensive units onto the southern/southwestern side of the pocket -- dang slow moving Soviet infantry divisions, especially when the blizzard hits...). I'm curious if anyone has had any luck getting the Sixth Army to hold out anywhere near as long as it did historically by staying in place behind its fortifications and air lifting in supplies.

Oh, and Romanian Cavalry Divisions are the new NKVD Border Regiments. Those buggers don't rout...

< Message edited by map66 -- 3/10/2012 4:22:12 AM >

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 1:38:09 PM   
laska2k4


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just bought and I'm happy of this, grand campaigns are still a clue for me, too long, I loose interest because I'm not a great strategist and not so expert. DtD gave new life to this title with smaller and concentrate challenges.
Anyway I played several times (both sides) the Demjansk pocket scenario gaining decisive victories, the only complain is that playing with axis it seems that the key of success is a countinuos manual drop of supplies to frontline units. Played as soviets I realized that axis left all units without supply so they can't defend (and counterattack) properly.
Also I don't understand why on turn 11(or so) the soviets combat values fall to lower values.

max

< Message edited by laska2k4 -- 3/10/2012 1:41:43 PM >

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 3:20:43 PM   
redmarkus4


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OK Erik, well I travel on business about 50% of my life, so a solid AI experience is really important for me. The reason I still play WitE is that it remains my dream game - but mainly in my dreams thus far.

I take your point that the AI is probably the best so far for 'a game of this scale'. However, most of my enhancement requests seem fairly fundamental to me:

1. Make the AI defend cities, especially if they are also victory hexes.
2. Make it attack when it has overwhelming local superiority.
3. Restrain it from advancing beyond the ZoC reach of follow-on forces.

I know that huge amounts of effort have gone into fixing many deeply detailed aspects of the game (are there enough '42 Stugs in production in June '42, etc.) but for my purposes that's all secondary.

Those three changes above would pretty much shut me up - for a while at least :)

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 3:46:28 PM   
CarolusRex


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I played the retreat from Leningrad against the Soviet AI and was very disapointed with the initial few turns of the Soviets that I believed should be able to crush and rush to Riga with no effort and thinking at all, just using force and speed.

So I turned sides and have played the Soviets with this rush and crush tactic and guess what - the German AI makes a pretty good job and my progress via the red wave tactic has not been extremly impressive and there is still no huge hole in the German frontline. Yes, I have played the soviets quick and dirty with not to much thinking and maximizing odds and plotting the tactic...

In essence I agree its a very good computer AI, its not an human oponent but good enough to have a fun blitz game.

And after all, thats why I play games - to have some fun...

Rgds

Carolus

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 4:06:55 PM   
redmarkus4


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Well, it seems that either nobody has observed the three flaws I listed above, or nobody is bothered by them a year into the game, since none of the replies actually addresses them in any depth.

< Message edited by redmarkus4 -- 3/10/2012 4:07:23 PM >


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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 4:09:00 PM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: redmarkus4

OK Erik, well I travel on business about 50% of my life, so a solid AI experience is really important for me. The reason I still play WitE is that it remains my dream game - but mainly in my dreams thus far.

I take your point that the AI is probably the best so far for 'a game of this scale'. However, most of my enhancement requests seem fairly fundamental to me:

1. Make the AI defend cities, especially if they are also victory hexes.
2. Make it attack when it has overwhelming local superiority.
3. Restrain it from advancing beyond the ZoC reach of follow-on forces.

I know that huge amounts of effort have gone into fixing many deeply detailed aspects of the game (are there enough '42 Stugs in production in June '42, etc.) but for my purposes that's all secondary.

Those three changes above would pretty much shut me up - for a while at least :)


Didn't Hausser abandon Kharkov before the backhand blow? Maybe Paul Hausser is the role model for the AI?


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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 4:20:13 PM   
blastpop


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It would seem that some scenarios when played of human vs. AI are best played by the human as a certain side. If you choose to play the other side instead, I would presume you do so at your own risk...

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 6:22:13 PM   
redmarkus4


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tarhunnas

quote:

ORIGINAL: redmarkus4

OK Erik, well I travel on business about 50% of my life, so a solid AI experience is really important for me. The reason I still play WitE is that it remains my dream game - but mainly in my dreams thus far.

I take your point that the AI is probably the best so far for 'a game of this scale'. However, most of my enhancement requests seem fairly fundamental to me:

1. Make the AI defend cities, especially if they are also victory hexes.
2. Make it attack when it has overwhelming local superiority.
3. Restrain it from advancing beyond the ZoC reach of follow-on forces.

I know that huge amounts of effort have gone into fixing many deeply detailed aspects of the game (are there enough '42 Stugs in production in June '42, etc.) but for my purposes that's all secondary.

Those three changes above would pretty much shut me up - for a while at least :)


Didn't Hausser abandon Kharkov before the backhand blow? Maybe Paul Hausser is the role model for the AI?



Yes, but then the backhand blow was delivered! Anyway, wasn't that in 43? The scenario is '42 pre-Stalingrad.


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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 9:03:58 PM   
Smirfy

 

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Don't want to be negative honestly but WitE does not do small scenarios like Uranus at all well. The suspension of belief is too great. This does not bode well for WitW. An example of this is the entire 6th army which as we know was heavily engaged in the streets of Stalingrad can merrily disengage and move along the axis of its choice (Yup the logistics model aint good). The mechanics of the game do not differentiate between a units circumstance a unit behaves exactly the same way if it is down to 5000 men defending a ten mile front as a 15,000 strong division attacking on a mile frontage.

Personally I think it is a shame that such an in depth game is so weak in too many important areas

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 9:11:11 PM   
DBeves

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Smirfy


Don't want to be negative honestly but WitE does not do small scenarios like Uranus at all well. The suspension of belief is too great. This does not bode well for WitW. An example of this is the entire 6th army which as we know was heavily engaged in the streets of Stalingrad can merrily disengage and move along the axis of its choice (Yup the logistics model aint good). The mechanics of the game do not differentiate between a units circumstance a unit behaves exactly the same way if it is down to 5000 men defending a ten mile front as a 15,000 strong division attacking on a mile frontage.

Personally I think it is a shame that such an in depth game is so weak in too many important areas

quote:

Hausser is the role model for the AI?


I just wonder - most of your time here seems occupied with telling everyone the game is utter crap and is no good. I wonder why, if its that bad, you havent moved on long ago and started playing something else. Seriously - if its that bad - why do you bother coming here ?

I dont really see your point above in any case - logistics aside - surely the whole point of the 6th Armies situation in stalingrad was that it wasnt allowed to disengage. Even when surrounded they werent allowed to break out. So - whether the underlying theme of your argument has any validity - you have likely chosen the very worst example in the whole war to illustrate it.

Had the 6th army chosen the correct moment - they might very well have been able to disengage in a manner that kept them in good order.



< Message edited by DBeves -- 3/10/2012 9:19:06 PM >

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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 10:23:05 PM   
comsolut

 

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Not sure if this is a debate about the AI or the value of the expansion.

My own opinion is based on several factors:

1) Shorter scenarios allow me the fun of the game system and the reward of an outcome in a very reasonable amount of real life time.

2) The smaller scenarios allow me to explore the numbers behind the game - micro managing the GC is very time consuming - but digging in what SU's are assigned, specific aircraft, leader ratings, etc in the scenarios has given me greater insight into the GC - and actually made my skill there improve.

3) The smaller advanced year scenarios give me a chance to see how the armies need to evolve

4) The smaller scope allows me to try multiple strategies/tactics to see what may work or what may not. In Decision in the Ukraine I tried 3 different openings with the 60th army and learned from each.

5) And best of all - while waiting for a PBEM turn from my opponent in the GC - I can mess around in the scenarios.


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RE: Don to Danube Feedback - so how is it? - 3/10/2012 11:05:42 PM   
Smirfy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: comsolut

Not sure if this is a debate about the AI or the value of the expansion.

My own opinion is based on several factors:

1) Shorter scenarios allow me the fun of the game system and the reward of an outcome in a very reasonable amount of real life time.

2) The smaller scenarios allow me to explore the numbers behind the game - micro managing the GC is very time consuming - but digging in what SU's are assigned, specific aircraft, leader ratings, etc in the scenarios has given me greater insight into the GC - and actually made my skill there improve.

3) The smaller advanced year scenarios give me a chance to see how the armies need to evolve

4) The smaller scope allows me to try multiple strategies/tactics to see what may work or what may not. In Decision in the Ukraine I tried 3 different openings with the 60th army and learned from each.

5) And best of all - while waiting for a PBEM turn from my opponent in the GC - I can mess around in the scenarios.



quote:

I just wonder - most of your time here seems occupied with telling everyone the game is utter crap and is no good. I wonder why, if its that bad, you havent moved on long ago and started playing something else. Seriously - if its that bad - why do you bother coming here ?

I dont really see your point above in any case - logistics aside - surely the whole point of the 6th Armies situation in stalingrad was that it wasnt allowed to disengage. Even when surrounded they werent allowed to break out. So - whether the underlying theme of your argument has any validity - you have likely chosen the very worst example in the whole war to illustrate it.

Had the 6th army chosen the correct moment - they might very well have been able to disengage in a manner that kept them in good order.



I would like the games to improve that's kinda the point.

Now if you read what I have written with regards the uranus scenario and compare it to events you will notice the mechanics are unsupportable. I am using an example that is easy to comprehend. The bottom line is you have fantastic structure to units hats off to that but in the scheme of things they all behave the same way in every circumstance no matter what situation they find themselves in which is well and truly ludicrous. Like you say if the 6th army had of composed itself and organised a breakout no doubt it could have moved in reasonable shape the thing is the game dont reflect that.


(in reply to comsolut)
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