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Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change

 
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Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/26/2017 4:02:28 PM   
Taxman66


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Attention Harry, Bill and Modders (if this is possible to mod)

I was thinking about the issues with Diplomacy towards the USA & USSR in HarryB & Korut's current PBEM++ AAR and my own AAR with Korut's.
There is a rather remarkable outsized effect of Diplomacy against the majors. In short it has a significant chance to drastically alter the game (to the point of virtually ending the game) with the results of a relatively few RNG rolls.
I just had an epiphany of an idea and am posting my suggestion here. I think it is so good that I'm giving it its own thread instead of pulling out my list of suggestions that has dropped off the board.

Here is the idea in 2 (presumably) simple changes:
1. Reduce the Mobilization change (increase or decrease) on diplomacy success versus the USA and USSR to 1/4 (normal rounding) that of a hit on a minor.
2. Reduce the cost of Diplo chits to the USA and USSR to 50 MPP (just like all the minors).

Affects of making this change:
This would equalize the maximum MPP investment in Diplo chits no matter where it is spent. Hopefully it should be obvious why that would be a good thing.
It also would make it nearly impossible to 'end the game' by bringing in the USSR or USA into the war before the chance to install Vichy France.

Quick Analysis and examples:
You could reduce the mobilization modifier to 1/3 to keep it equally balanced with the current game cost of 150, but the potential swings still seem rather drastic and it is important to note that Mobilization changes for the USA and USSR modify their income so have an immediate and profound effect, unlike hits against minors which (with a few minor effect exceptions) require the accumulation to hit 100% before impacting the game.
At 1/4 it is effectively increasing the cost of a chit to current game value of slightly less than 200 MPP, considering the rounding.

Examples:
Using 1/4
An 8-9% diplo hit would be 2%, 10-13% would be 3%, 14-16% would be 4%.
Using 1/3
An 8-10% hit would be 3%, 11-13% would be 4%, 14-16% would be 5%.

-----
Edit: Checked the manual and the 10% chance for double sized hits only applies to minors.



< Message edited by Taxman66 -- 12/28/2017 1:34:30 PM >


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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/26/2017 4:09:09 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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AFAIK Majors don't have that 10% of a major increase like minors have.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/26/2017 5:27:15 PM   
nnason


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my two cents on this:
1. PBEM players until the community can agree and Matrix can make changes should refrain from investing diplo on majors. This just whacks the game up to much.
2.Examine what would brings Germany to attack Russia its readiness and Russia's readiness. Majors should not be able to invest diplo in Russia. What ever state of mobilization Russia is in in May 1941 it should rapidly increase to 90%. This should stay that way as long as Germany doesn't attack east (Iraq/Iran/Sweden/Finland.) They should go to war May 1942 regardless.
3. USA mobilization should be increased by Axis advances against anyone but Russia. SC3 already does this. USA should automatically go to war Dec 7th, 1941. Roosevelt wanted to support England and just needed Pearl Harbor to justify. No major should be able to invest diplo in the USA.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/26/2017 7:17:35 PM   
Sugar

 

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I wouldn`t change anything, but the possible outcome of Diplo-Hits: more than perhaps 9% is too much imho; such huge hits arew able to break the game.

DoWs should affect mobilization of course; otherwise were's the benefit to avoid them?

Every diplo offense can be countered. Just those possible huge hits are unbalanced.

quote:

Roosevelt wanted to support England and just needed Pearl Harbor to justify.


Germany declared war on the US, nicht umgekehrt.


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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/26/2017 11:56:25 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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Although I am the one taking the brunt of Korgut's Uber-diplomacy strategy, I think it may be premature to make any major changes at this stage. Like most things this needs to be playtested. Accordingly, I can't agree with nnason's suggestion that we refrain from diploing the majors. I would suggest the opposite; everyone should use this strategy until enough games have been played to determine its overall effect.

Part of the problem with my game with Korgut was my ignorance of the Rules. In particular, I didn't know that there was no limit on the number of diplo chits that can be played on a neutral major. Is there a reason for this? I also still don't know if Diplomacy checks for both sides are made at the end of both players turns, or only the end of your turn. Korgut is pretty sure that it is only at the end of your own turn; can anyone verify this? In my defence, I don't think either of these are explained in the Rules.

Having said all the above, I confirm my opinion that the Diplomacy element of the game is more about luck than it is about skill; especially when dealing with the major powers. Just my 2 cents.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 3:49:07 AM   
James Taylor

 

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So, what is the counter to this diplomacy game? Off the top of my head, I'm thinking Axis expansion. Get a lot of buffer territory between the victory cities and the USA and using your teched up, experienced Axis units to guard it from good inside supply lines.

Any place USA lands, degrade their supply. You have rockets and str. bombers to accomplish that fact.

If UK has spent itself on diplomacy, then take them out, the Island and Egypt. Get Spain working for you and drive as deep as you can into USSR, maximizing your MPPs and accumulating unit experience.

As the Axis you should be ahead in tech upgrades and have a veteran force and you're only fighting two foes instead of the usual 3.



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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 2:07:09 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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I guess there is some bragging right to be had to be considered to have broken the game.

I'll repeat what I said in my current AAR.

quote:


Germany can spare having USA joining because they have no army and will require a ramp up phase before they are a threat. Not so much for the USSR. If Germany is caught flatfooted then all of the USSR static defences survive activation. With 2 garrison unit in the east? Yeah... it's lights out.

In the ye olde SC days, USSR and USA chits were 250 mpp I believe. People never bought then. I'm ok with 150 but would probably put some kind of cap on USSR ones. Something like 2 chit max for Germany, 1 for UK, 1 for France, 0 Italy and USA. Stalin trusted no one (not even himself, so the quote says).

At a fixed price, only a handful of minors are 'worth their price'. I do wish there were more variety between minor prices. There would still be an opportunity cost in picking how you use you chits. Let's say you put Yugoslavia at 15 mpp and Spain at 60mpp, maybe you'd see Axis player trying a yugo push if they want to keep their diplo expenses low.


To expand on my suggestion here's how I would classify minors. I put all three category multiple of 15 so that it is not evident from reading the research/diplo ledger where the effort is being invested.

Big Minor (60 mp)
Sweden
Spain
Turkey

Medium Minor (30 mpp)
Greece
Bulgaria
Finland
Romania
Belgium
Netherlands
Vichy France
Switzerland

Small Minor (15 mpp)
Denmark
Hungary
Yugoslavia
All Vichy Colonies
Norway
Ireland
Portugal

Vichy France could be a Big Minor if upon joining its still neutral colonies follow suit.

(in reply to James Taylor)
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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 3:18:32 PM   
Bill Runacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

In particular, I didn't know that there was no limit on the number of diplo chits that can be played on a neutral major. Is there a reason for this? I also still don't know if Diplomacy checks for both sides are made at the end of both players turns, or only the end of your turn. Korgut is pretty sure that it is only at the end of your own turn; can anyone verify this? In my defence, I don't think either of these are explained in the Rules.



Hi

There is a limit to the number of chits that can be invested at a time, if that's not working in your game, i.e. an unlimited number can be invested, then we might have a technical issue rather than a gameplay one.

In terms of the diplomacy checks, they are carried out at the end of your turn.

Bill

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 3:57:33 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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Bill,

Sorry, I didn't phrase my questions very well (they are phrased better in the AAR of my game with Korgut).

Yes there are limits on the number of Diplomacy chits that each major power can purchase. As I under it they are 5 for each of UK, USA, USSR and Germany and 3 for both France and Italy. But to influence minor countries the most chits that can be purchased by a particular major power are limited to a maximum of 3. But there is no limit to the maximum number of chits that can be purchased to influence a major power. So in our game Korgut used all 5 of his UK chits and his 3 French chits to influence the USA. I was unaware when the game began that it was possible for the UK to purchase 5 diplomacy chits for the USA so I got caught flat footed. My own fault I suppose, though it would be nice if this was stated in the Rules. I was just wondering why there is no limit on the number of diplomacy chits that can be purchased to influence the neutral major powers (USA and USSR) like there is for the minor powers. My own thought is that it would not only be more expensive to influence the major powers (which it is in the game) but also more difficult, so that, if anything, you should only be able to buy fewer chits not more.

So if I understand the answer to my 2nd question, it means that if the UK, France and Germany all put all of their diplomacy chits into influencing the USA it means that the Allies will have a 15% chance per turn of influencing the USA: 5%(5+3-5)=15%. But this chance will only occur at the end of the Allies turn, not both the Allies turn and the Axis turn. Is that right?

< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 12/27/2017 3:59:50 PM >

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 4:04:00 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

I was just wondering why there is no limit on the number of diplomacy chits that can be purchased to influence the neutral major powers (USA and USSR) like there is for the minor powers.


The only minor with some form of cap are Spain and Switzerland if my memory serves right. I think the USSR has some further diplomatic restriction also, I don't think they can spend diplochits in spain for example but I forgot if there's anything else.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 6:09:17 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: KorutZelva


quote:

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

I was just wondering why there is no limit on the number of diplomacy chits that can be purchased to influence the neutral major powers (USA and USSR) like there is for the minor powers.


The only minor with some form of cap are Spain and Switzerland if my memory serves right. I think the USSR has some further diplomatic restriction also, I don't think they can spend diplochits in spain for example but I forgot if there's anything else.


Really, I thought all minors had a 3 maximum chit limit. But admittedly the only ones I have ever tried to influence are Spain, Turkey and Arabia. I continue to learn this game. This all really should be in the Rules though.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 6:11:07 PM   
Taxman66


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Bill, I'm a little surprised that you and Hubert don't consider this an issue.

I'd be interested in hearing an explanation and/or an alaysis from playtesters.

Even if the Axis player is on his toes and notices 150 MPP investment shots by the allies, he has to guess if they are targeting the USA or USSR.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 6:29:17 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: KorutZelva


Germany can spare having USA joining because they have no army and will require a ramp up phase before they are a threat. Not so much for the USSR. If Germany is caught flatfooted then all of the USSR static defences survive activation. With 2 garrison unit in the east? Yeah... it's lights out.



With respect, I think we are just talking about a matter of a small degree when comparing the US and USSR. True in our game I would rather have the US at 75% mobilization than the USSR and it is also true that with proper play I could probably have limited you to 2 or 3 diplomacy hits rather than the 4 you got. But either way it will cost the Axis 1050 to 1200 MPPs, either way a major power has almost doubled its prewar production and will be in the War that much quicker and either way it significantly reduces the chances of Spain being diploed onto the Axis side. There are also a couple advantages to using this strategy on the US rather than the USSR:

1. It gets Lend Lease happening much quicker so the UK gets a boost to its MPPs to make up for the ones lost, and

2. With the USSR it will probably be in the War prior to hitting 100% mobilization anyway. But by using the diplomacy on the US it almost guarantees the US will be in the War by the summer of 1941.

My initial objection to this Uber-diplomacy strategy was that it made the game more dependent on luck than skill, but that it didn't change the game balance. Now I'm not so sure.

I have started a pbem game using this uber-diplomacy strategy as the Allies, but targeting the USSR rather than the US. This was before reading your comments. My purpose was to test to see if this does make the game unbalanced. So if you truly believe that the game is broken using this uber-diplomacy strategy on the USSR let me know and I will give my opponent the option to restart our game.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 7:06:07 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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It's possible like you say that the a USSR push is only more dangerous if it manage to triggers the USSR activation. I haven't played the game enough vs human to see how drastic the impact on USSR performance when it's getting additional income. USA lend lease are all very fine and good but I believe you underestimate the ripple effect of increasing USSR income. They are already getting infantry unit at a discount and with just 2 diplohit by march 1940 (which should be quite feasible to do) it already double its mpp for an entire year before Barbarossa starts. That's a lot of tech and/or corps.

I'd keep at your game if only to gather more data as you initially suggested.




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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 10:49:34 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: KorutZelva

It's possible like you say that the a USSR push is only more dangerous if it manage to triggers the USSR activation. I haven't played the game enough vs human to see how drastic the impact on USSR performance when it's getting additional income. USA lend lease are all very fine and good but I believe you underestimate the ripple effect of increasing USSR income. They are already getting infantry unit at a discount and with just 2 diplohit by march 1940 (which should be quite feasible to do) it already double its mpp for an entire year before Barbarossa starts. That's a lot of tech and/or corps.

I'd keep at your game if only to gather more data as you initially suggested.



My opponent is countering my going heavy on diplomacy with Russia not by countering me with his own, but by operationally moving his tanks and some other units to the West and attacking Belgium and Luxembourg on his turn 4 (October 25, 1939). I believe he is an experienced player so maybe this is the proper counter to the Uber-Diplomacy strategy. Needless to say he will catch France with understrength units and it will probably be a much quicker than usual conquest. On the other hand I already have 1 diplo hit on the USSR. If I can get 2 more before France falls I will call the plan a success.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/27/2017 11:08:50 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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Yepp a ''39 Rush' paper counters the 'Uber-Diplo' rock.

However, turn 4 is a bit late to attack in the west. Snow might yet save you!

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 12:41:00 AM   
Leadwieght

 

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I am a big fan of the "39 Rush" option for this reason and others--but KZ, I'm curious how you envision the Axis player making a serious attack before his fourth turn. Two turns to conquer Poland, one turn to Operate mobile forces and air assets to the West Wall; then attack in the October 25 turn is the quickest I've managed it. You can grab Luxembourg earlier and maybe start to de-entrench the French unit in Strasbourg, but I can't see attacking Belgium with what you have stationed in the west at the start of the game.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 7:29:41 AM   
KorutZelva

 

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If you blitz in reaction to the Diplo-Uber, turn 4 is probably the earliest you can realistically react because the strategy is likely to only be apparent after the second allied turn. I find that snow often starts in November so attacking on turn 4 gives you a single turns of nearly guaranteed clear weather after that you can't rely on it. When I blitz, I try to do it on turn 3 at the latest. (Admitely only vs AI (yet!)...) In such case, it would admittedly more prevention than counter. You can do it on turn 2 but it's not a serious attack but just clearing the way for units finished with Poland to be operated in the thick of the action. (The tanks don't start on rails but if you shift-switch them with an unit that does, you can operate them right away.)

You're not on a very strict timer to conquer Poland (Previous SC had USSR mobilization increase if Poland stayed after turn 3 or so) and if the USSR invade they sometimes surrender without having to take Warsaw provided you damage enough units and conquer enough land. Skip Netherlands for later, declare on belgium, but just go through the ardennes and target those understrenght french unit.

< Message edited by KorutZelva -- 12/28/2017 11:52:12 AM >

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 12:33:03 PM   
nnason


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I agree playtesting is best. If people are playing to determine results of uber-diplomatic.

If just playing I would refrain until testing is done and cmty can agree on way forward.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 1:36:14 PM   
Taxman66


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FYI: Checked the manual and the 10% chance for double sized hits does only apply to minors.

I still like my original idea in the first post (which I've corrected).

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 2:38:03 PM   
Sugar

 

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So the best way to counter uberdiplo is to DoW a country you won't necessarily DoW and increase US/USSR mobilzation?


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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 2:58:41 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sugar

So the best way to counter uberdiplo is to DoW a country you won't necessarily DoW and increase US/USSR mobilzation?



Dow Belgium is like what? a 2-4% increase? Just saving one diplohit worth pays it back many times over. If you ain't gonna spend in counter diplo, you have to hustle.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 4:34:43 PM   
Sugar

 

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I don`t see any point in not countering uberdiplo, instead of the diplo costs you`ll spend it on operating just to achieve an earlier fall of France to prevent them from investing more on diplo, and whith doubtly outcome (even bad weather may disturb) and a guaranteed increase of SU and US mobilization and income.

You`ll also spare the german points in spanish diplo, the Brits are already fully committed; therefore there`s just the french chits working, leaving their forces in bad shape. And even with those 15% chance a hit on the US is not guaranteed before the fall of France; anyway there shouldn`t be more than 1 at all.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 5:07:37 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sugar

I don`t see any point in not countering uberdiplo, instead of the diplo costs you`ll spend it on operating just to achieve an earlier fall of France to prevent them from investing more on diplo, and whith doubtly outcome (even bad weather may disturb) and a guaranteed increase of SU and US mobilization and income.

You`ll also spare the german points in spanish diplo, the Brits are already fully committed; therefore there`s just the french chits working, leaving their forces in bad shape. And even with those 15% chance a hit on the US is not guaranteed before the fall of France; anyway there shouldn`t be more than 1 at all.


I'm not sure I quite got what you're trying to say here. I think you are saying you shouldn't rush and just max diplo with Germany and take the 15% chance reminder with France. One problem you face is that you don't know if it's a USA push or a USSR push until a hit triggers, and then you're playing catch-up when you probably don't have the cashflow to buy all 5 chits at once. They could have UK go for one and France for the other to throw you off scent too.

Making Germany sink 750 mp of their '39 spending in diplomacy is a gain of sort for the allies though since tech that would have been bought during the same period are essentially guaranteed to be ready for Barbarossa.


< Message edited by KorutZelva -- 12/28/2017 5:27:17 PM >

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 7:09:55 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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I have just completed Turn 14 (January 20/40) in my game where I have invested in 7 Russia diplomacy chits (5 UK and 2 French). His early attack on France foiled my bid to buy 3 French chits. Unfortunately my luck has not been good. I scored a diplomacy hit with my first attempt with only a 15% chance. But since then I have had chances of 20%, 25%, 30%, 35% and 35% without any further hits. To make it worse the skies were clear for both of his December 1939 turns (so clear for 3 of the 4 turns he has been attacking so far). So I believe I will only last another 3 turns at best before France falls. This will be the earliest I have ever lost France in a game and possibly all for just a 10% Russian mobilization hit.

So for the moment anyway I am leaning towards my initial view that Uber-Diplomacy adds too much of a luck element to the game for my liking, but perhaps does not effect game balance.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 7:20:51 PM   
KorutZelva

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

I have just completed Turn 14 (January 20/40) in my game where I have invested in 7 Russia diplomacy chits (5 UK and 2 French). His early attack on France foiled my bid to buy 3 French chits. Unfortunately my luck has not been good. I scored a diplomacy hit with my first attempt with only a 15% chance. But since then I have had chances of 20%, 25%, 30%, 35% and 35% without any further hits. To make it worse the skies were clear for both of his December 1939 turns (so clear for 3 of the 4 turns he has been attacking so far). So I believe I will only last another 3 turns at best before France falls. This will be the earliest I have ever lost France in a game and possibly all for just a 10% Russian mobilization hit.

So for the moment anyway I am leaning towards my initial view that Uber-Diplomacy adds too much of a luck element to the game for my liking, but perhaps does not effect game balance.



Clear air-Clear Land or Clear air -Snow land?

The former happens but is quite rare, the later might be the usual outcome.

< Message edited by KorutZelva -- 12/28/2017 7:24:01 PM >

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 7:35:36 PM   
Bill Runacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

Really, I thought all minors had a 3 maximum chit limit. But admittedly the only ones I have ever tried to influence are Spain, Turkey and Arabia. I continue to learn this game. This all really should be in the Rules though.


The default number of chits that can be invested is five, admittedly that isn't listed in the Manual, but lesser numbers of chits can be invested by some countries against Spain, Ireland and Switzerland, see sections 10.3. to 10.5.


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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 7:49:05 PM   
Bill Runacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Taxman66

Bill, I'm a little surprised that you and Hubert don't consider this an issue.



I'm rather interested in seeing how the discussion goes, following the threads is often the best way for us to learn if something is an issue or not. With enough input we can then see if it's something that needs changing, or something that may give good results from time to time, but like with betting, only a risk taker will likely take the plunge. If the latter then I'd be inclined to leave things as they are, as having a little room for the gambler in the game is no bad thing.

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RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 10:27:41 PM   
Sugar

 

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Status: online
quote:

One problem you face is that you don't know if it's a USA push or a USSR push until a hit triggers, and then you're playing catch-up when you probably don't have the cashflow to buy all 5 chits at once.


Is that really an issue? I would also gamble and invest all the chits into Russia, then wait if the guess was right. Russia is far more dangerous than the US are, and after my own chits are firing, I´d beginning to change to the US, and when Italy joins, they can invest also into the Us. The next cheaper chits I'd put into Spain with Germany reducing their commitment. Imho that would be more efficient than operating into winter and taking a hit at US and SU by DoWing Belgium; and the investments are partially compensated by less losses and a quicker conquer of France. I guess those actions will hurt brit. economy more badly than german, they already have an army.

Diplo investments always force the opponent to counter, that`s part of the game. The outcome isn't predictable, but manageable I guess.

quote:

having a little room for the gambler in the game is no bad thing.
I highly appreciate your comment!



< Message edited by Sugar -- 12/28/2017 10:29:17 PM >

(in reply to Bill Runacre)
Post #: 29
RE: Suggestion for US & USSR Diplomacy Change - 12/28/2017 10:51:29 PM   
KorutZelva

 

Posts: 486
Joined: 2/4/2017
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sugar

quote:

One problem you face is that you don't know if it's a USA push or a USSR push until a hit triggers, and then you're playing catch-up when you probably don't have the cashflow to buy all 5 chits at once.


Is that really an issue? I would also gamble and invest all the chits into Russia, then wait if the guess was right. Russia is far more dangerous than the US are, and after my own chits are firing, I´d beginning to change to the US, and when Italy joins, they can invest also into the Us. The next cheaper chits I'd put into Spain with Germany reducing their commitment. Imho that would be more efficient than operating into winter and taking a hit at US and SU by DoWing Belgium; and the investments are partially compensated by less losses and a quicker conquer of France. I guess those actions will hurt brit. economy more badly than german, they already have an army.

Diplo investments always force the opponent to counter, that`s part of the game. The outcome isn't predictable, but manageable I guess.


Errrrr... I'm not sure doubling up on both USSR and USA is more efficient or hurt the UK more. All that to avoid a measly 2-4% increase from Belgium? That's seems overkill. HarryB can testify that the '39 Blitz works just fine.

(in reply to Sugar)
Post #: 30
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