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Whats up? - 11/10/2012 10:30:29 AM   
Vic


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Hi all,

Just a quick word from me. Basically the follow up on the release of Case Blue went quite well. There have been some bugs, but a number of patches has adressed them quickly.

I am currently completing a big new feature patch for Advanced Tactics adding some random officers to Advanced Tactics' its random games. Once that is finished I'll start on a new patch for Case Blue.

For Case Blue there is a small list of little bugs that need fixing, as well as some further finetuning i'd like to do. Especially as more player feedbacks keeps coming in I get some good pointers where i can improve things. Big thanks to everybody voicing opinion, making AARs, reporting issues and giving suggestions.

However i am looking forward to get to work with adding some features as well. I am thinking of 3 new features:

* Give the AI strategic sense on the big campaign maps. So that for example the Soviet AI will actually give ground at the start because it will realise standing and fighting at this force ratio would be unwise if it can also retreat for 1 month and receive 200k extra trooops. I think a lot can still be gained on improving especially the defensive AI in long term play (standing and fighting is actually good in the short scenarios).

* Allow for manual transfers between units for those who want to have the ability to do some micro-management. (annoying problem here is i dont think i have any button space left for a new order and i might have to do some redesign to create more space on the orderbar)

* Make a simplified version of the editor so that people can actually make their own simple scenarios on any front without to much problems. I think there is still a lot to be gained here in replayability of the game. The engine is quite flexible and I would love to see user-created scenarios.

Kind regards,
Vic


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RE: Whats up? - 11/10/2012 10:46:26 AM   
Korsun


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Excellent! Very pleased to hear that. Your effort in continuously improving the game is much appreciated. Though I post quite rarely this has to be said. DC WtP and CB are my absolute favourites at the moment.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/10/2012 11:33:09 AM   
Bonners


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Obviously I cant make a comparison to other strategy games as this is the first PC one I have ever played. But I'd like to echo Korsun's comments. Really enjoying the game including the very humbling learning experiences I'm getting against human opponents at the moment.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/10/2012 7:26:56 PM   
redmarkus4


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"The engine is quite flexible and I would love to see user-created scenarios."

Great! Can't wait to see this change.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/10/2012 9:48:27 PM   
Reconvet

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Vic

Hi all,

Just a quick word from me. Basically the follow up on the release of Case Blue went quite well. There have been some bugs, but a number of patches has adressed them quickly.

I am currently completing a big new feature patch for Advanced Tactics adding some random officers to Advanced Tactics' its random games. Once that is finished I'll start on a new patch for Case Blue.

For Case Blue there is a small list of little bugs that need fixing, as well as some further finetuning i'd like to do. Especially as more player feedbacks keeps coming in I get some good pointers where i can improve things. Big thanks to everybody voicing opinion, making AARs, reporting issues and giving suggestions.

However i am looking forward to get to work with adding some features as well. I am thinking of 3 new features:

* Give the AI strategic sense on the big campaign maps. So that for example the Soviet AI will actually give ground at the start because it will realise standing and fighting at this force ratio would be unwise if it can also retreat for 1 month and receive 200k extra trooops. I think a lot can still be gained on improving especially the defensive AI in long term play (standing and fighting is actually good in the short scenarios).

* Allow for manual transfers between units for those who want to have the ability to do some micro-management. (annoying problem here is i dont think i have any button space left for a new order and i might have to do some redesign to create more space on the orderbar)

* Make a simplified version of the editor so that people can actually make their own simple scenarios on any front without to much problems. I think there is still a lot to be gained here in replayability of the game. The engine is quite flexible and I would love to see user-created scenarios.

Kind regards,
Vic



Hi Vic

I'll pick up the ball, thanks for the opportunity. At this point thanks for this great game, to me it offers way more fun than War in the East.

As for your ideas:
1) Strategic sense for the AI: Excellent!!! This could be taken one step further for improving Stavka/OKH reading of the situation before dishing out new major/minor orders to gain/lose prestige. These prestige objectives might be tied to where the player has massed his main offensive tools - speak Artillery units, Pz/Mot/Cav Divisions or Tank/Cav/Mech Corps on soviet side. I really hate to get new objectives far away from my mobile formations, as normally the granted time frame to reach the prestige objectives is very tight and hardly ever offers enough time to redeploy offensive formations. So please tie OHK/Stavka orders to regions where actual offensives are taking place.

2) Manual transfer between units: Of course it would be nice if we could attach orphaned regiments into divisions/corps which have lost whole sub-units, but to me keeping veteran soldiers from losing their experience level when their unit gets disbanded should have higher priority. I'd like to be able to merge weakened units into other similar-size units which are in need of replacements. Right now units which have lost most combat value can be disbanded, but these disbanded veteran soldiers seem to be transformed into green recruits if they return to needy units via pool-replacements. I do hope you give us the opportunity to limit the experience hit we have to take now. So please let us merge similar-size units. If they'd get too large due to the merger then the surplus could be sent to the pool (preferably into a veteran soldier pool different from the current newbie pool if two pools are feasible to implement).
Regarding the interface problem: You might consider to replace the two buttons for unit management (make new unit/sub unit options) with one button opening a window (maybe similar to the window opening when playing a card) for general unit management with current and new functions.

3) An Editor might be very nice, but the way I see it there are more pressing issues to solve, including:
- Supply interdiction: I plan to document this in the AAR I've started. In short: Sewastopol is impossible to keep supplied because Axis airplanes - which don't even have to take off but can rest and resupply while sinking soviet supply ships... - seem to cause way too heavy supply losses on way too many hexes along the sea supply lanes. The Kerch region on the Crimea suffers from this too, but to a lesser degree. Please tone down sea supply interdiction or let axis planes at least lose readiness and supply/ammo each turn when they are on interdiction duty and don't let them do free interdiction while they are on R&R between ground attack turns.
- Readiness recovering eats all ammo: Units on low readiness use up ALL their available supply to recover readiness. Please code this in a way that readiness recovering ALWAYS leaves at least a minimum portion (0.5 maybe?) of stock-points of a unit's ammo needs and does not let units end up with zero ammo even if they don't move. In which army do soldiers order soap when their rifles are empty… An army forced to retreat fast not only loses readiness and entrenchment levels but also gets punished because readiness recovery eats up too many supplies.

Thanks for considering to further improve this nice game.

Greetings,

Jay

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RE: Whats up? - 11/11/2012 1:38:09 PM   
redmarkus4


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I have always been somewhat skeptical about the value that is put on 'experience' in war games. My reading suggests that, for a majority of formations, the more combat experience troops have the more cautious and less inclined to fight they become. They might have higher survival rates, but these are generally a result of them being less inclined to act boldly.

'Fanatical' units aside (and they are always in the minority in any army) well trained or elite but green troops are the ones most likely to drive forward regardless - think 101 or 82 Airborne in Normandy or the RM Commando operations on the French coast. In terms of 'attack value' I would put a lot more store in a 'green' unit of Paras, SS, etc. than in even the most highly 'experienced' unit of regulars. In fact, one British division in Normandy gained so much experience that it had to be disbanded after its members refused combat.

For most soldiers experience and battle fatigue go hand in hand, and the addition of green replacements (as long as they have been properly trained and equipped) should boost combat strength, not reduce it.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/11/2012 4:06:21 PM   
76mm


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Vic these changes sound great.

One question: I'm actually interested in using DCCB as the op layer for a tactical metacampaign, but to do so I would have to be able to revise save-game files (to reflect the results of the tactical battles). Unless I'm missing something, I don't see any way to do that now, and don't expect to be able to do so any time soon. Is that correct?

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RE: Whats up? - 11/11/2012 4:59:10 PM   
wodin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

Vic these changes sound great.

One question: I'm actually interested in using DCCB as the op layer for a tactical metacampaign, but to do so I would have to be able to revise save-game files (to reflect the results of the tactical battles). Unless I'm missing something, I don't see any way to do that now, and don't expect to be able to do so any time soon. Is that correct?



Sounds interesting..what game would you play out the tactical battles?

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RE: Whats up? - 11/11/2012 5:38:50 PM   
Reconvet

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: redmarkus4

I have always been somewhat skeptical about the value that is put on 'experience' in war games. My reading suggests that, for a majority of formations, the more combat experience troops have the more cautious and less inclined to fight they become. They might have higher survival rates, but these are generally a result of them being less inclined to act boldly.

'Fanatical' units aside (and they are always in the minority in any army) well trained or elite but green troops are the ones most likely to drive forward regardless - think 101 or 82 Airborne in Normandy or the RM Commando operations on the French coast. In terms of 'attack value' I would put a lot more store in a 'green' unit of Paras, SS, etc. than in even the most highly 'experienced' unit of regulars. In fact, one British division in Normandy gained so much experience that it had to be disbanded after its members refused combat.

For most soldiers experience and battle fatigue go hand in hand, and the addition of green replacements (as long as they have been properly trained and equipped) should boost combat strength, not reduce it.


I tend to disagree. Green troops are more prone to panic in combat situations, forget their training under fire, are less capable of teamwork, are more prone to be shellshocked, feel pinned down more easily, adapt less well to changing combat situations, lose the focus on the mission more easily. All these factors definitely should not lead to a higher "attack value".

The British division probably rather had a morale problem - in game terms - I'd say, and "experience" in most games rather reflects better reactions in combat situations (as a result of both training and learning the necessary lessons only the battle field can teach) rather than having the funcion of a trauma measure.




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RE: Whats up? - 11/11/2012 5:41:23 PM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin
Sounds interesting..what game would you play out the tactical battles?


CMx2 East Front once it comes out, if I ever come to like the CMx2 engine...

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RE: Whats up? - 11/11/2012 5:43:10 PM   
Vic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

Vic these changes sound great.

One question: I'm actually interested in using DCCB as the op layer for a tactical metacampaign, but to do so I would have to be able to revise save-game files (to reflect the results of the tactical battles). Unless I'm missing something, I don't see any way to do that now, and don't expect to be able to do so any time soon. Is that correct?


Thats correct 76mm.



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RE: Whats up? - 11/11/2012 6:07:11 PM   
76mm


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quote:

Thats correct 76mm.


Thanks.

Would it be possible to do something like this via cards? Maybe after a tactical battle the results of which need to be reflected in the op layer, either use a card to remove a certain number of men/vehicles from a unit, or delete a unit and replace it with a new one with the correct number of men/vehicles?

I don't need a detailed answer at this point, but would be interested to know if you think something like this might be possible...

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RE: Whats up? - 11/11/2012 6:18:21 PM   
Vic


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Nope there just is no way the engine allows you to change the combat result. Not by cards not by anything. Sorry man.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/11/2012 7:18:58 PM   
76mm


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heh, that's OK, thanks for the response.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/12/2012 11:34:10 AM   
Keunert


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great plans there, thank you for the info Vic.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/12/2012 2:24:15 PM   
olivier34

 

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A scenario editor for a newbie like me would be awesome.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/12/2012 5:53:52 PM   
redmarkus4


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It's a function of training as much as experience (and of course leadership, discipline and belief). Indeed, good training is experience. Green Wehrmacht troops didn't generally panic and run away in September 1939 and neither did the Airborne on their first missions. I was a recruit training officer for two years, so I believe in the training system and I have seen what it can achieve.

< Message edited by redmarkus4 -- 11/12/2012 5:54:41 PM >


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RE: Whats up? - 11/12/2012 8:31:36 PM   
Reconvet

 

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My service time included several years as instructor too, I'd never deny that good training and leadership ARE important for combat performance. But no amount or quality of training can prepare you for the real thing or can guarantee that even your top recruits won't crack in combat situations. So I'll stick to my argument that battle experience should remain a significant factor for "attack values" in wargames as DCCB.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/13/2012 4:55:17 PM   
redmarkus4


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I'm not saying it isn't a factor, just that it may be over-stated in many games. In my mind, training is a much bigger differentiator between opposing forces than experience. At the extreme end of the spectrum compare the performance of so many third world militias, some with many years of real combat experience under their belts, against a properly trained but 'green' first world army. First world wins almost every time, at least on the conventional battlefield, and this isn't only down to equipment and logistics.

< Message edited by redmarkus4 -- 11/13/2012 4:58:33 PM >


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RE: Whats up? - 11/13/2012 7:33:34 PM   
Keunert


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years ago i read a book on this issue. it argued that with every winter and counter offensive the Wehrmacht lost a lot of their experienced officers and soldiers. from 42 on they lost in overall experience due to the high losses of the Ostfront.

i agree with redmarkus, there are lot's of games modelling experience in the extreme. Panzer General was one of them. this is a little strange, given that the Soviets, Brits or whoever had soldiers in the field with the same amount of time on the battlefield.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/13/2012 8:05:52 PM   
redmarkus4


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Keunert

years ago i read a book on this issue. it argued that with every winter and counter offensive the Wehrmacht lost a lot of their experienced officers and soldiers. from 42 on they lost in overall experience due to the high losses of the Ostfront.

i agree with redmarkus, there are lot's of games modelling experience in the extreme. Panzer General was one of them. this is a little strange, given that the Soviets, Brits or whoever had soldiers in the field with the same amount of time on the battlefield.


Exactly - great point! You LOSE experience during combat (due to casualties) as much as you gain it. Well trained replacements beef a unit up. Poorly trained replacements lead to a lowering of combat value. So, the key differentiator is the quality of the trained replacements - the troops on both sides in the field both gain/lose experience in similar ways, so that should balance out. At least in game terms, that's a model I can live with.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/14/2012 1:44:19 AM   
gdrover

 

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Hi Vic,

Fan of all four of your games. Currently playing Case Blue and enjoying it immensely.

The improvements sound great.
With regard to your first proposed change: Strategic sense.
Could make sense. In the game I am playing now I have been able to encircle and destroy almost 400,000 Soviets by July 20 because they are standing and fighting.
The advantage for them is that the defenses in the south near Rostov are holding, thus delaying my drive into the Caucasus.
Not sure how quickly I'll be able to lever them out of this position as my troops to the north are currently tied up in a very large encirclement.

In light of this and the fact that the Soviet command historically was reticent to give ground unless things were very bad indeed, I wonder if the parameter for giving ground rather than trying to hold should be set to when the line is really broken and not before.

Also, is the retreat set to the next strong position, or a long retreat?
Seems that a series of delaying actions is better than an all out retreat to the Volga.

Anyway, GREAT game!

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RE: Whats up? - 11/14/2012 10:17:08 AM   
demjansk

 

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Is there a good video tutorial of this game? I have the game but never play it, thanks

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RE: Whats up? - 11/14/2012 10:23:33 AM   
Bonners


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quote:

ORIGINAL: demjansk

Is there a good video tutorial of this game? I have the game but never play it, thanks


I'm sure somebody will correct me if I'm wrong, but I dont think there is one. To start to learn the game I played the 1st Panzer Army linked scenarios which are a bit smaller and easier to get your head around but give a good idea of the game mechanics. Although not a video tutorial I thought ComradeP's AAR of this (entitled 1st Panzer IIRC) was an excellent read and I always had it open to refer to when I was playing the scenarios, it really helped me along.

If it is the mechanics of combat then I found the tutorial in the manual really good as well, again not a video one though.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/14/2012 12:04:39 PM   
wodin


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I love the linked campaign and wish there where more of them. I'd happily buy DLC that is a linked campaign of a certain army though the campaign.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/15/2012 10:05:54 AM   
Reconvet

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: redmarkus4


quote:

ORIGINAL: Keunert

years ago i read a book on this issue. it argued that with every winter and counter offensive the Wehrmacht lost a lot of their experienced officers and soldiers. from 42 on they lost in overall experience due to the high losses of the Ostfront.

i agree with redmarkus, there are lot's of games modelling experience in the extreme. Panzer General was one of them. this is a little strange, given that the Soviets, Brits or whoever had soldiers in the field with the same amount of time on the battlefield.


Exactly - great point! You LOSE experience during combat (due to casualties) as much as you gain it. Well trained replacements beef a unit up. Poorly trained replacements lead to a lowering of combat value. So, the key differentiator is the quality of the trained replacements - the troops on both sides in the field both gain/lose experience in similar ways, so that should balance out. At least in game terms, that's a model I can live with.


I can't comment on Panzer General, never played it. As for eroding experience for Wehrmacht/any other force: I'm fully convinced that the Germans would have collapsed in the East way faster if they wouldn't have had a battlehardened core (on all rank levels) to keep the lines and even seek opportunities to strike back. The Russians bled out their veterans more quickly due to their bloody mass wave assaults, so the Germans could keep an experience advantage at least until late in 1942/mid '43. And why did the US/GB troops struggle so hard against numerically inferior Germans in N-Africa and in the West? Say it with me: Because the Germans profited from their hard gained battle experience…

As long as casualties ar not too high - however you want to measure, abstract and simplify that for games as DCCB - then a combat unit can overcome the experience loss by letting seasonned troopers take more leadership responsibility via getting promoted. Once veteran losses reach a critical point, then a downslide in combat strenght can start of course, but I'm still convinced that the average armed force can overcome light losses and improve (or at least avoid declining) combat performance.


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RE: Whats up? - 11/15/2012 10:06:53 AM   
Reconvet

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: redmarkus4

I'm not saying it isn't a factor, just that it may be over-stated in many games. In my mind, training is a much bigger differentiator between opposing forces than experience. At the extreme end of the spectrum compare the performance of so many third world militias, some with many years of real combat experience under their belts, against a properly trained but 'green' first world army. First world wins almost every time, at least on the conventional battlefield, and this isn't only down to equipment and logistics. ...


... You LOSE experience during combat (due to casualties) as much as you gain it. Well trained replacements beef a unit up. Poorly trained replacements lead to a lowering of combat value. So, the key differentiator is the quality of the trained replacements - the troops on both sides in the field both gain/lose experience in similar ways, so that should balance out. At least in game terms, that's a model I can live with.



Combat with a more or less equal opposing force is the most extreme form of training. A unit tested and seasonned under fire can learn lessons - individually and teamwork-wise - which can't be anticipated and and taught in pre-war training. Each war has it's own rules, units have to throw overboard doctrines drilled into them which don't work in real combat, soldiers/officers which don't adapt on and to the new battlefield don't last long. Those who do adapt and survive are in a position to try and prepare later arrivals/replacements for what is waiting for them and thus improve newcomers' expected initial performance. I'm still not convinced that battlefield experience should not be a major factor when you abstract and simplify reality into algorithms.

As for your green first world army meeting militia third world veterans in conventional combat: That's purely academic I think. I can't recall a single case since WWII where militias which had fought in hot wars - border skirmishes between thrid world countries in Africa/Latin america can't be a measure stick - didn't switch to guerilla warfare or refuse to fight the instant a first world army came knocking.

But this discussion would probably lead us off topic and into a political minefield. Vietnam for instance is a very touchy subject even today…

*** Edit: cited and quoted wrong post, this one was meant to reply to redmarkus4 ***


< Message edited by Reconvet -- 11/15/2012 10:16:58 AM >


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RE: Whats up? - 11/15/2012 11:30:15 AM   
Korsun


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I love the linked campaign and wish there where more of them. I'd happily buy DLC that is a linked campaign of a certain army though the campaign.


The linked campaigns are great additions to the game. Especially for people used to operate on tactical levels. I find playing the big maps a more rewarding experience though....once you take the plunge. But I will definitely be playing the 1st PzA Campaign once I have finished CB and Uranus.

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RE: Whats up? - 11/16/2012 8:22:28 AM   
LiquidSky


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WW2 saw relatively untrained to completely untrained Russian units thrown up against trained and experienced Germans. While I agree with a lot of the trained vrs experienced arguments put forward by Redmarkus, as it would apply to German/Western powers during WW2, I would have to say it would not apply to the Russians.

The Russian survivors would have gained experience...and if through some miracle they actually come together as a unit and perform well against those trained/experienced Germans, then they would gain the honourary title of Guards (and it is just that, a title). From then on, they would gain better logistics, more replacements and be used more often in combat, thus gaining more experience in combat.

What I have noticed in game is that the Russians (and the axis for that matter) gain very little or no experience due to combat. What you can do, is play Exercise or Personnel (is there others?) to 'train' a unit up. My opponent is busy training Guards divisions (all of them Tank Corps) behind the lines. Not a single division has been promoted on the front lines.

While I can except that sort of training for the Germans (or Western) powers, it doesn't seem to make sense for the Russians.

Did Russian Guard divisions get 'dumber' due to casualties? Or did they get better and better as they fought, incorporating new replacements and training them 'on the job'?




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(in reply to Korsun)
Post #: 29
RE: Whats up? - 11/16/2012 10:46:01 AM   
Reconvet

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: LiquidSky

...

Did Russian Guard divisions get 'dumber' due to casualties? Or did they get better and better as they fought, incorporating new replacements and training them 'on the job'?




When Russian Guards suffer the same catastrophic losses as their nonguard fellow formations due to the mass assault tactics soviet commanders forced on their units, then my thesis of critical point in losses applies (where after severe losses there simply are not enough veterans anymore to babysit greenhorn replacements, which leads to an erosion of combat strenght).

As for the ingame possibility in DCCB to train formations to guard status via cards: I'm not happy with this either. Guards was a tag earned in combat, not via drill. So while drilling troops has to have a place in the game (retraining weakened units which received a lot of green replacements) I have my doubts about the morale bonus that purely trained-up soviet fake-guards might receive in this game.



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(in reply to LiquidSky)
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