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Panzers and Game Balance

 
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Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 1:34:44 AM   
battlevonwar

 

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Dear TOF Fans, read through the forums and AARs. Seems in the last month or so since last I played there hasn't been a lot of discussion on Super Panzers or game balance. No one ever started a game to challenge Axis Human vs Allied Human and really finished it enough to report back any decisive factors between say Axis Hard, Allies Easy.

I would like to know in future development if anyone has addressed or will address this or if it may have already been done? As far as I read of what last DoomTrader said it was more or less something he didn't see as important.

I challenge that assumption and I am willing to put my money where my mouth is : ) Let's raise this issue again, resolve and...or at least cover it fully. Multi player games involving people will never really take off for this game without this involvement. So I appeal to anyone. Plus let us not get sidetracked. It's all about either PPs, or Panzers... That's it... House Rules can cover Sea Lion or any other personal items that people may deem important. Challenge anyone?

~Battle(never beaten as Axis)
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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 1:54:22 AM   
doomtrader


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I think that discussions were not raised due to the fact that the official 1.01 patch is still not announced official.

What we really need is a feedback from people playing the game with latest changes where the balance was seriously tweaked and adjusted.

(in reply to battlevonwar)
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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 1:54:51 AM   
Razz


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I think you are mistaken as to the effects of the patch.

The supply severely limits the ability to use them.

A few players have reported this including me.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3035442

As you can see here a Level 3 Panzer Corps is reduced to strength 1

There are other threads that report the same issue, but it is not a sever in Russia as the supply is higher.

< Message edited by Razz -- 3/11/2012 1:58:12 AM >

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 2:01:24 AM   
gwgardner

 

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With 1.01, armor takes more losses in battles where it has overwhelming superiority. Thus as the campaign goes on, yes it gains experience, but it loses manpower, and soon it must be reinforced. When it is reinforced, it loses experience, and it's strength goes down.

In my current campaign game with Chocolino, playing on 'hard' level, I have 8 panzer corps by summer '41. Tech level 2. They range in strength from a green strength of 15 to a relatively experienced strength of 24, with commander. I think I had one up to 28 with Guderian for a brief period.

A full strength infantry corps at this same time has a strength of 7, which will rise to 8 or 9 with experience. So armor is anywhere from 2 to 3 times the strength of infantry.

A full strength armored unit with experience is capable of blowing some big holes in a front, but it is not invincible. Alone against an infantry unit dug in in a city or fortress, it is not overwhelming in strength. I have to add in air power and combined attacks to succeed. In my invasion of France, pitting a couple of armored units against a French 5-3 infantry unit dug in, I won, but I took substantial losses.

So far, up to summer of '41, I don't find these panzer corps as excessively or ridiculously strong. They may indeed need to be toned down a little, the jury is out on that, but I don't think by much.

< Message edited by gwgardner -- 3/11/2012 2:04:33 AM >

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 2:52:27 AM   
JLPOWELL


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I am waiting for the patch but don't think the T Rex Panzer Corps will be sufficiently nerfed.

IMO German Tank Corps are way overpowered particularly against units in a city or fortification and the patch will not address this.

Battle indicates he is 'undefeated as Axis' & I don't doubt he is a strong player (I have little information either way) but I can't see how any competent player could loose the GC as it currently configured (by loose I mean anything which has the Axis under serious threat by 1946). (I suppose the nuke a month club starting in '45 might do the trick for the USA in '47 or '48...) In any case don't even know of anyone who has played a GC game more than 100 turns. (my longest is on turn 51 and has been in play since December and its the longest running game I know of)


The game particularly the Grand Campaign appears to vastly favor Germany. Later scenarios do not appear to have as serious a problem re balance. One item is what I call 'Momentum Money' kind of like dungeons and dragons treasure. Pretty much only Germany gets these ridiculous cash 'rewards' for taking objectives. In the Grand Campaign the Germans can 'run the table' racking up nearly $2000. I am not sure what this is supposed to simulate but getting a GIANT infusion of cash after a victory doesn't simulate anything in the industrial era. Sure a kings ransom, but this game starts in 1939 not 1399. The Germans did not 'recoup' the military resources used to take Poland or France, at least not short term, the captured production capacity simulates the economic value of conquest quite adequately.

I have played (or am playing) 4 GC PBEM games as Axis and they usually end with Allies getting horribly crushed. Of the two which lasted more than 20 turns (they are still underway) England has fallen and the USSR looks to be in a very poor position. The others were going the same way when Allied players dropped out. Supply will help in the USSR and perhaps in England, but the Germans will still 'Go Wild' anywhere near a city on a rail line.

I have only played one game as Allies on PBEM and it indicates the Fall Gleb Scenario is not as unbalanced. This game was not continued by mutual agreement but France did not fall until late fall of 1940.

I haven't played into Barbarossa vrs a human yet, but the USSR 'collapse event' is pretty extreme. I played one game vrs the AI just as Finland and pretty much dominated the USSR before the collapse event even triggered. I have played the USSR vrs the AI and done pretty well, but have no illusions that a human would not advance MUCH faster and in a MUCH more coordinated fashion. As the Germans USSR is pretty easy to crush even at Axis Hard vrs Allied Easy, and from what I see the USSR AI gets LOTS more reinforcements than a human.

My two ongoing games are approaching the 'War in the East' so I will have some PBEM experience against the USSR soon. Unfortunately I expect a USSR collapse before the end of 1942 in both games. 'Unfortunately' because as much as I like to win I get little satisfaction out of an unequal contest. (unless I win as underdog then its great )

IMO the AI isn't ever (in this game) going to get to a level I can feel challenged by so PBEM is where I would like to see the game developed.

Looks like I was typing at the same time as gwgardner... LOL I see he has been testing and makes some VERY good points. I am REALLY looking forward to the patch.

< Message edited by JLPOWELL -- 3/11/2012 2:56:29 AM >


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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 3:15:29 AM   
Razz


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The game doesn't get rolling until turn 100

You need a few games under your belt at 100 plus.

Here's one before the patch





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< Message edited by Razz -- 3/11/2012 3:22:11 AM >

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 5:59:37 AM   
gwgardner

 

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Just a couple of illustrations of the effect of supply, experience, terrain, etc, on the so-called 'uber-Panzers.'

In the first screenshot, a powerful panzer corps has an ostensible 20-1 odds on the Turkish defender. However, the Turk is dug in, has the defense of the city structures, etc. It brings the odds down to 5-1, which will NOT be a cake-walk for the panzers.

oops, I see in the screenshot at the bottom, I cut off the effect of being dug in.






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< Message edited by gwgardner -- 3/11/2012 6:00:17 AM >

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 6:02:14 AM   
gwgardner

 

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In this second screenshot, two powerful and experienced panzer corps, with Rommel as the leader, are reduced to less than half their basic strength, due to supply (using road supply from the nearest city).

In short, it is not a given that the game is plagued with uber-panzers, at least with patch 1.01. There are many factors which effect actual strength in combat.




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< Message edited by gwgardner -- 3/11/2012 6:04:47 AM >

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 6:40:48 AM   
JLPOWELL


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Is that a PBEM game?

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 6:44:00 AM   
JLPOWELL


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Do you know if all units are equally affected by supply? My understanding is that they are. IMO Tank units and to perhaps a lesser extent Mech units should be more significantly affected than infantry.

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 7:50:06 AM   
Razz


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Yes, all units are effected equally via percentage.

However countries are different.

< Message edited by Razz -- 3/11/2012 7:51:42 AM >

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 11:33:44 AM   
Rasputitsa


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I am using 1.01 and the supply situation is much more realistic, without supply the uber PZs are more vulnerable.

An armoured unit, axis, or allied, with good experience and a leader is going to be powerful - when in good supply - but, out of supply it should be much weaker and 1.01 is getting towards that situation.

I have made this point several times, but I think the main factor should be rail damage and repair, at present during an advance there are several damaged rail hexes, which repair quite quickly. This works well for Western Europe which has a good rail and road network.

When acting as Axis invading France, I thought the rail repair was occasionally working too fast and I could strategically move INF units right up behind the leading armoured spearheads. That's not so bad because there would be good roads as well as rail to permit such movements, but not in Russia.

The rail damage set-up should be different for Russia and I don't know if the game can do that. Taking Russia can be too easy, because you send the uber PZs to capture the next city, the rail has little damage and repairs anyway, so you strategically follow up with the infantry and move off to the next city, even in the snow.

All rail hexes in Russia should be damaged, when hex control changes, to reflect the change of rail gauge that has to be done, before it can be used and the road net is not developed enough to provide an alternative strategic movement.

The armoured units are working well, I think supply is the control mechanism that has to be adjusted. On the other side of supply balance, units should be able to make use of supply from their allies, including naval and air supply, even if it has to be at a lower supply level.



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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/11/2012 11:59:57 AM   
doomtrader


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JLPOWELL, your observations are right but still based on unpatched game.

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/14/2012 4:12:24 AM   
battlevonwar

 

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I read through your letters here and I have played with the Beta Patch... The supply issues were complete and utter hell in regions like North Africa/The Middle East and Turkey.

The thing was that in the USSR, my opponent steamrolled me all the way to the Outskirts of The Urals. One of the largest PBEMs posted under the AAR section will give you a grasp on that. In that game the Russians had as much Tank Korps as the Germans. Of course Russian Tanks don't do much..(neither do their endless infantry corps as he used that strategy vs me in a mirror game) PP wasn't a problem for the Russians early, but it became a disaster as he ate my armor faster than I could build it(historically the Axis ran out of steam in front of the Capitol of Moscow) and the Russians fought tenaciously, I paraphrase a German Tanker, "we had to roll over their living bodies in order to advance." (RUSSIANS: should fight, should do damage, should sabotage, advancing should not be as easy as spreading butter, especially the deeper and meaner the Axis are)

I am just saying taking Russia is no challenge. Anyone here having issues with that I will help them and show them how it is done in under 75 turns in any scenario up until the later ones I haven't tried.


Russians do not defend, on cities or any other hexes, you people who have not learned that the Axis just need to do one thing, build endless Tanks...Nothing else matters... Tanks - PPs - ignore every other front = Victory As USSR = the whole MidEast/Turkey/North Africa

A-Bomb is the only Ace Card for the Allies(I had that as a backup plan myself)


< Message edited by battlevonwar -- 3/14/2012 4:15:27 AM >

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/14/2012 4:44:24 AM   
gwgardner

 

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For a more enjoyable game, limit your production of tanks to a historical level. Or play on hard, where there are less PPs.

In my hard level game, I tried to buy as many tanks as I could, and only have 8 armored corps by June '41. That's several less than historical. With a build time of like 16 weeks and a cost of 280 PPs for a level 2 armored corps, even on 'normal' level I don't see how you guys are getting such massive armored forces.

Starting with an historical OOB in June '41, the AI beat me. I don't think I'm so awfully bad a player. In my current hard level game with Chocolino, I guarantee I won't make it to Moscow.

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance ... Challenge anyone - 3/14/2012 5:44:39 AM   
JLPOWELL


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Battle I will give you a game as Allies if you like now that the patch has been officially released. I have been playing the Axis mostly and would like to try the other side. I think gwgardner is right in that there are WAY to many PP on all sides of the game. How about this:
Fall Gleb (1940) Scenario
Allies
GB set to Hard
FR set to Hard
USA set to Hard
USSR set to Hard
Belgium set to normal
Netherlands set to normal
Luxembourg set to normal
Norway set to normal
The other allied leaning neutrals will mess up the sequence of play so we need to let the AI handle them


Axis
GE set to Hard
IT set to Hard
Romania set to normal
Slovakia set to normal
Bulgaria set to normal
Hungary set to normal

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/14/2012 5:52:30 AM   
JLPOWELL


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For money as Axis I go for the dungeon treasure found in certain USSR cities and upon conquest of UK and FR (this treasure can reach the $2000 range for GE which buys LOTS of tanks). Now that the patch is out the events and naval rules are the weakest design elements. I believe the Uber Panzers may still be an issue but are significantly addressed by the patch. I also like the idea of playing on hard to limit the PP's.


quote:

ORIGINAL: gwgardner

For a more enjoyable game, limit your production of tanks to a historical level. Or play on hard, where there are less PPs.

In my hard level game, I tried to buy as many tanks as I could, and only have 8 armored corps by June '41. That's several less than historical. With a build time of like 16 weeks and a cost of 280 PPs for a level 2 armored corps, even on 'normal' level I don't see how you guys are getting such massive armored forces.

Starting with an historical OOB in June '41, the AI beat me. I don't think I'm so awfully bad a player. In my current hard level game with Chocolino, I guarantee I won't make it to Moscow.



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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/14/2012 8:51:32 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: gwgardner
In my hard level game, I tried to buy as many tanks as I could, and only have 8 armored corps by June '41. That's several less than historical. With a build time of like 16 weeks and a cost of 280 PPs for a level 2 armored corps, even on 'normal' level I don't see how you guys are getting such massive armored forces.


I accept that this is a way to control the game balance, but it is by ahistorically reducing the number of Axis armoured units. I still think that the proper control mechanism for the Eastern Front is supply.

If the supply system was made more realistic, the Axis armoured units would still remain as powerful and in near historical numbers (or greater if the player decides to set armour as a priority), but they would need to be supplied to maintain their power.

At the moment the advance into Russia becomes the 'rail advance' that the German High Command dreamed of and expected would happen after destroying the Red Army on the frontiers, obviously, historically this did not happen. The Axis did not initially have the quick use of the rail net as they advanced, nor did the Soviets on their advance westwards later in the war.

Under the present rules the uber PZs take the towns, there is little rail damage, which repairs in short order and the following infantry can ride into Russia in comfort.

I have a self imposed rule not to immediately use strategic rail movement in previously Soviet rail hexes and there is no dash into Russia, especially in the snow, it's a hard slog. It is difficult to keep track of when rail hexes changed control and when a reasonable game time has elapsed so that rail can be used.

Maybe the game will not be able to reproduce a more historical rail damage and repair scheme for the Eastern Front, but Doomtrader has not commented on this item.

Razz has said that decisions should not be made until playing several games beyond 100 turns, which is sound advice, but it would be good to have some advice on how rail damage could be modded, to become more extensive on rail hex change of control and not just if combat has taken place in a rail hex. There has already been comment on adjusting how quickly rail damage is repaired, which may help.

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/14/2012 9:51:19 AM   
Rasputitsa


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The other point about rail repair is that it can be adjusted, but will always repair after 3 turns and if that is correct, can the repair time be revised to allow periods beyond 3 turns.

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/14/2012 11:33:29 AM   
doomtrader


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Currently there is a common mechanism for the rail damage, it would be hard to implement different setting for wide rails.

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/14/2012 4:27:34 PM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: doomtrader
Currently there is a common mechanism for the rail damage, it would be hard to implement different setting for wide rails.

I suspected that it would be the case and not expecting a change in the whole game system, but if it could be modded to increase the overall rail repair times beyond the existing 3 turns, or increasing the odds of rail damage occurring, to be used by those who want it. It would be less realistic for Western Europe, but the supply effects are not so significant there.

Otherwise, I would mod rail repair to go to max delay for all weather conditions, e.i. all repair takes 3 turns, as the best for now.

Does the common mechanism 'hard' to change, mean never, or maybe sometime.


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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/14/2012 5:41:12 PM   
jjdenver

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: doomtrader
Currently there is a common mechanism for the rail damage, it would be hard to implement different setting for wide rails.


Have you thought of doing something like rail damage that affects all rails? It would probably have little effect in Western Europe but the right effect in the East....


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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/14/2012 6:19:04 PM   
doomtrader


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Actual mechanism is located in consts.ini file
[Railroads]
MaxRepairTimeAfterOwnerChange = 3
RepairChanceForWeather = 90;35;50

First value represent maximum time after which the rails will be auto repaired.
Second line values are describing % chance to repair the rails earlier, dependable on the weather.

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/15/2012 6:03:21 AM   
Razz


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The railroad repair rate is fairly accurate.
One problem is the SR movement.

We need a parameter to define the range a unit can Strategically Redeploy from one hex to another.

According to German calculations, on the average, a supply or troop train could cover about 500 miles a day.

So that's about 38 hexes per turn.

This doesn't solve the big problem but will help.

A bigger problem is capacity. Capacity was not there.

The only way to limit this is to reduce the the availability of SR points. You could put a cap on it but an easier quick fix would be to reduce the SR points at start of game for Germany and then increase the cost to buy more SR points or increase the SR cost to move a unit using.

< Message edited by Razz -- 3/15/2012 6:05:15 AM >

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/15/2012 11:13:32 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: doomtrader
Actual mechanism is located in consts.ini file
[Railroads]
MaxRepairTimeAfterOwnerChange = 3
RepairChanceForWeather = 90;35;50

First value represent maximum time after which the rails will be auto repaired.
Second line values are describing % chance to repair the rails earlier, dependable on the weather.


Thanks, looking at that.


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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 3/15/2012 11:22:44 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Razz
This doesn't solve the big problem but will help.

A bigger problem is capacity. Capacity was not there.


Thanks, somewhere in here are adjustments that may come near to an historical perspective.

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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 4/1/2012 1:58:00 AM   
JLPOWELL


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If anything Razz understates the limitations, but perhaps overestimates the distances.

US army estimates for trains was (War Department publication TM-E 30-451 dated 15 March 1945)

"The average German movement appears to average from 150 to 200 miles per day for long movements within Germany, and about 60 miles daily in areas near the combat zone."
This is West Front under Allied air interdiction late in the war, but other references within the same document indicate that much more than 400-500 miles per day is a practical maximum if unimpeded and that near enemy lines 100 mi per day is an effective maximum. Further that the rail heads tended to be 50+ miles behind the front line (somewhat more during offensive operations. Loading and unloading of a unit takes up a day as well. So in a week you are looking at something closer to 2100 miles (1/2 day load; 1/2 day unload; 5 days at 400mi; one day at 100 mi) This is just under 3400km.

Using this much lower estimate (compared to the 500 miles per day or 3500 miles or about 5600 km) The road distance between between Cologne Germany (Far West) and Kazan Tatarstan (former USSR) which is about as long a trip as one would contemplate in ToF could be done in a week with a road distance of 3272 km.

All that said accommodation of this in the game may add more complexity than its worth. Most rail movements simply are not going to be this far.

The more important point Razz makes is that rail capacity is the limiting factor. In ToF it is pretty cheap and Germany IMO gets too much while other contries are significantly short changed the UK for example and my favorite USA which is given 4 REALLY 4???? Less than Romania try giving them 34 then cut it in half (for PTO vrs ETO)and you still underestimate relative to Germany getting 16 IMO) And of course giving USSR only 4 points is an absolutely amazing underestimation of capacity(at least relative to German capacity or Romanian LOL). I expect this can best be tweaked by changing the strategic movement allowances (at start) and the cost of extra capacity. Perhaps strategic bombing could 'kill' capacity points forcing rebuilds (reference the 'transportation plan')

It is worth noting that SR points are also used for aircraft Strategic Movement (with a $ cost added)

Razz's suggesting regarding SR points looks like the best and simplest to implement way to address this.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Razz

The railroad repair rate is fairly accurate.
One problem is the SR movement.

We need a parameter to define the range a unit can Strategically Redeploy from one hex to another.

According to German calculations, on the average, a supply or troop train could cover about 500 miles a day.

So that's about 38 hexes per turn.

This doesn't solve the big problem but will help.

A bigger problem is capacity. Capacity was not there.

The only way to limit this is to reduce the the availability of SR points. You could put a cap on it but an easier quick fix would be to reduce the SR points at start of game for Germany and then increase the cost to buy more SR points or increase the SR cost to move a unit using.

quote:

According to German calculations, on the average, a supply or troop train could cover about 500 miles a day


< Message edited by JLPOWELL -- 4/1/2012 2:15:55 AM >


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RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 4/1/2012 2:45:38 AM   
JLPOWELL


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From: Pacific Time Zone
Status: offline
Just took a look at the SR numbers in ToF Wow what an eye opener. See below:

Germany 16
Italy 9
France 9 (really same as Italy???)
Romania 6
UK 6 (you got to be kidding same as Romania... REALLY)
USA 4 (this is the most amazing number I have seen in this game and there are some doozies but WOW four Wow California likely had 10 not to mention the remaining 47 states)
USSR 4 Seriously 66% of Romania
Slovakia 3 Wow almost as much as the USA

I had no idea Romania was such a transportation super power (my best guess is actual capacity was about 2-3% of US capacity to haul freight) so relative to US Romania should get about a tenth of a SR point if US gets 4.

Does anybody proof this stuff?


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(in reply to JLPOWELL)
Post #: 28
RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 4/1/2012 2:46:21 AM   
Razz


Posts: 2522
Joined: 10/21/2007
From: CaLiForNia
Status: offline
1) I calculate hexes to be just over 13 miles, hence 38 hexes per turn.

An average turn is 8 days so that comes out to about 500 miles per week.

This is very close to you 60 miles per day. 60*8= 480miles per turn or close to 38 hexes.

If there was a parameter to limit the distance of SR it won't hurt either side much as usually you don't have to cover a long distance of 38 hexes. It is usually 15 to 20 maximum.

Most of the time it is less distance.

2) Limiting deployment cities to 5 in Germany and 6 in Russia could fix that issue. If you have to deploy from that distance a limit on SR distance would become a factor as a few times it would take two turns to SR to the Front. However, there is a problem with this. In real life the Germans captured a major RR hub in Estonia which is much closer to the front. That distance is close enough to do it in one turn.

3) Concerning RR drop off point being 50 to 60 miles from the front... we already have this as the last few hexes you captured are being repaired, so the drop off point is be well behind the front unless you wait a couple of turns.
So it looks like we are in agreement.

Third Reich already has increased capacity limits and slightly increased repair time for RR.


(in reply to JLPOWELL)
Post #: 29
RE: Panzers and Game Balance - 4/1/2012 2:50:32 AM   
Razz


Posts: 2522
Joined: 10/21/2007
From: CaLiForNia
Status: offline
No big deal.. UK has several trains. Romania built most of the trains in the war.
France also uses several trains.

USA.. there's no place to use trains.. Besides they have enough PP's to buy anything.

Also SR does not represent trains. It represents all forms of strategic movement, barge boats ships etc...

This is why it costs SR to move planes.

quote:

ORIGINAL: JLPOWELL

Just took a look at the SR numbers in ToF Wow what an eye opener. See below:

Germany 16
Italy 9
France 9 (really same as Italy???)
Romania 6
UK 6 (you got to be kidding same as Romania... REALLY)
USA 4 (this is the most amazing number I have seen in this game and there are some doozies but WOW four Wow California likely had 10 not to mention the remaining 47 states)
USSR 4 Seriously 66% of Romania
Slovakia 3 Wow almost as much as the USA

I had no idea Romania was such a transportation super power (my best guess is actual capacity was about 2-3% of US capacity to haul freight) so relative to US Romania should get about a tenth of a SR point if US gets 4.

Does anybody proof this stuff?



(in reply to JLPOWELL)
Post #: 30
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