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RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/6/2018 1:32:42 PM   
witpqs


Posts: 23657
Joined: 10/4/2004
From: Argleton
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quote:

Furthermore, there is the supply issue, especially, in your case, for base VPs in China. What territory Japan is able to hold is likely to be reduced somewhat in VP value because some bases certainly will be without supply by 1945.
I do not understand why you identify this as a problem??

I am not sure what the solution is. Any changes to the values of base VPs of areas close to Japan in favor of Japan will favor those Japanese players who try for an auto-victory in 1943 or Jan. 1 1944 also and may do little to discourage front-loading the Japanese economy to play for a mid-war auto-victory.


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(in reply to Aurorus)
Post #: 61
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/6/2018 1:45:50 PM   
Aurorus

 

Posts: 1314
Joined: 5/26/2014
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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

quote:

Furthermore, there is the supply issue, especially, in your case, for base VPs in China. What territory Japan is able to hold is likely to be reduced somewhat in VP value because some bases certainly will be without supply by 1945.
I do not understand why you identify this as a problem??

I am not sure what the solution is. Any changes to the values of base VPs of areas close to Japan in favor of Japan will favor those Japanese players who try for an auto-victory in 1943 or Jan. 1 1944 also and may do little to discourage front-loading the Japanese economy to play for a mid-war auto-victory.




The issue is the near-impossibility of Japan winning a victory in the late-war period and the question is how to tweek the VP system to make this more viable. The reduced value of bases owing to lack of supply is another factor that contributes to this problem of VP game balance.

< Message edited by Aurorus -- 1/6/2018 1:47:06 PM >

(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 62
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/6/2018 2:20:24 PM   
witpqs


Posts: 23657
Joined: 10/4/2004
From: Argleton
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Aurorus

quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

quote:

Furthermore, there is the supply issue, especially, in your case, for base VPs in China. What territory Japan is able to hold is likely to be reduced somewhat in VP value because some bases certainly will be without supply by 1945.
I do not understand why you identify this as a problem??

I am not sure what the solution is. Any changes to the values of base VPs of areas close to Japan in favor of Japan will favor those Japanese players who try for an auto-victory in 1943 or Jan. 1 1944 also and may do little to discourage front-loading the Japanese economy to play for a mid-war auto-victory.




The issue is the near-impossibility of Japan winning a victory in the late-war period and the question is how to tweek the VP system to make this more viable. The reduced value of bases owing to lack of supply is another factor that contributes to this problem of VP game balance.

I think it's a positive element and if needed some other adjustment should be made.

_____________________________


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Post #: 63
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/6/2018 2:33:48 PM   
Alfred

 

Posts: 5318
Joined: 9/28/2006
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

... As far back as WITP, and certainly in AE's early days, the VP ratio dilemma was discussed. A CV and a BB are in the same realm, more or less, in terms of building assets and crew investment. OTOH, a 4E bomber at 2 VP and a DD at 10 VP? The bomber has a crew of 10 men and costs low dozens (?) of tons of material, primarily aluminum. A DD has a crew of circa 250 men, and costs thousands of tons of material, mostly steel. Crazy. But, abstraction . . .



The VP system was indeed the subject of discussion amongst the AE development team but the devs did not much discuss it on the public forum. Their public comments on the issue basically ceased some 6 months before the game was published. What Bullwinkle58 is remembering is not dev but player discussion of the subject. Much of that player discussion being undertaken before or shorter after, the game was released.

AE's VP system is basically that of classical WITP. Ultimately the lack of resources and time meant that an early decision was made to not revamp the VP system. Some tweaking was undertaken, primarily in the area of base VPs, but the conscious decision was made to preserve the ratios between the various types of VPs.

The point was made that there were no, and the case still remains the same today, experts on AE victory points on the planet. The devs were very meticulous in researching all data germane to AE but this was not really of much assistance in determining specific VPs to be associated with each asset. To illustrate this problem consider Don Bowen's comment of 27 July 2008 that:

"If we were to determine a proper 'value' for a ship, should it not be related to the loss of it's capability."

Consequently ship VPs are not simply based on the ship durability value but also take into account tonnage and capacity to carry aircraft or troops, or cargo etc. It is therefore an attempt to represent the setback to the war effort of that side if the ship is lost.

Alfred

(in reply to Bullwinkle58)
Post #: 64
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/6/2018 2:34:43 PM   
mind_messing

 

Posts: 1852
Joined: 10/28/2013
From: Glasgow, Scotland
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna


quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

Regarding VP's for military assets, keep in mind that VP's are meant to most especially take account of political importance, so the VP's of battleships is certainly warranted.


It is a weird mix of military and political considerations for VPs. That is where I think you can handwave away the 4E's being 2 VPs - given the focus on strategic bombing (at least in Europe), the public perception of the bombers as being that important to the war effort provides some kind of justification for their VP cost.

Really, I'd prefer a general ballooning in VPs to provide for more granularity. If VPs were straight up doubled, fighters could be 1 VP, strike craft 2 VP, 2E's 2 or 3 VP, 4E's 3 or 4 VP... and you could really differentiate between capital ships better (currently, CV VPs = durability + 3*capacity). Alas, not in this game.

But ultimately, a dual victory condition system would be better. A political (negotiated) settlement vs. the total military victory. PPs are meant to abstract the will to fight a little bit, and a Japanese autovictory is meant to simulate a negotiated settlement as well, but it's not perfect.


This is the real crux of the VP issue; it's a balanced system for a asymmetrical war.

The lack of competitiveness in the late-game for Japan is a combination of three main factors:

- The game design over-emphasizes the impact of strategic bombing. Firebombing did monumental damage to Japanese cities, but (as with Germany) it made very little impact on the decision of the leadership to surrender. Even the atomic bombings were afterthoughts in the decision to surrender.
- The Allied aversion to losses (especially after May '45) is not really represented in the VP values of ships or units.
- The VP value of pre-war Japanese possessions (Formosa, Manchuria, Korea, Sakhilin) is too low.

There's never going to be a fix for it, but if there was, I would propose that:

- VP values from strategic bombing of Japanese industry is reduced by a moderate degree.
- VP values for bases in Formosa, Manchuria (in particular), Korea, Sakhilin are increased significantly to represent the value Japanese leadership placed on these possessions.
- VP values for Allied units and ships lost to combat increases gradually after 1/1/1945, and makes a significant increase after 1/5/1945 in order to represent the aversion of the Western Allies to incur massive losses after the end of the War in Europe.
- VP values for Japanese units and ships lost to combat decreases after 1/1/1945, to represent the all-or-nothing approach of the Japanese leadership to continued resistance.

To my mind, these proposals would make the late-game more competitive for Japan in that:

1. Strategic bombing becomes less of a one-sided VP harvest for the Allies.
2. Core regions of the pre-war Japanese Empire become paramount considerations for defense (as they were historically).
3. Battles where both sides trade equal numbers of casualties will have greater VP cost for the Allies than Japan (case in point, Iwo-jima) and will make large-scale attrition warfare more viable for the Japanese than it is currently.

Fundamentally, by 1945, the Allies should be fighting against the stubborn nature of the Japanese leadership more than the Japanese armed forces, and they should be compelled by the VP system to make moves that would change the outlook of the Japanese leadership regarding the prosecution of the war.

< Message edited by mind_messing -- 1/6/2018 2:41:50 PM >

(in reply to Lokasenna)
Post #: 65
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/6/2018 3:55:41 PM   
Lokasenna


Posts: 8332
Joined: 3/3/2012
From: Iowan in MD/DC
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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

The problem with VP in a game of this scope is that there was no way to fully test it in the beginning. You would have to had multiple completed games in the play testing phase to have any idea if there was balance.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

AE's VP system is basically that of classical WITP. Ultimately the lack of resources and time meant that an early decision was made to not revamp the VP system. Some tweaking was undertaken, primarily in the area of base VPs, but the conscious decision was made to preserve the ratios between the various types of VPs.

The point was made that there were no, and the case still remains the same today, experts on AE victory points on the planet.



Exactly my point.

I wouldn't say I'm an expert, but I'm at least a journeyman. I have a hypothesis and I think initial observations bear it out.

The fact that it's not possible to get a big enough sample size nor a complete understanding of the exact factors that led to the conclusion of each game in such a sample means that it's also impossible to know exactly what to change. Hence, I would be conservative in adjustments. I do think VPs for bases needs further adjustment.

And of course, any changes would be a mod - which is to say, no longer a stock scenario.

(in reply to crsutton)
Post #: 66
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/6/2018 5:55:22 PM   
crsutton


Posts: 9567
Joined: 12/6/2002
From: Maryland
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna


quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

The problem with VP in a game of this scope is that there was no way to fully test it in the beginning. You would have to had multiple completed games in the play testing phase to have any idea if there was balance.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

AE's VP system is basically that of classical WITP. Ultimately the lack of resources and time meant that an early decision was made to not revamp the VP system. Some tweaking was undertaken, primarily in the area of base VPs, but the conscious decision was made to preserve the ratios between the various types of VPs.

The point was made that there were no, and the case still remains the same today, experts on AE victory points on the planet.



Exactly my point.

I wouldn't say I'm an expert, but I'm at least a journeyman. I have a hypothesis and I think initial observations bear it out.

The fact that it's not possible to get a big enough sample size nor a complete understanding of the exact factors that led to the conclusion of each game in such a sample means that it's also impossible to know exactly what to change. Hence, I would be conservative in adjustments. I do think VPs for bases needs further adjustment.

And of course, any changes would be a mod - which is to say, no longer a stock scenario.


Yes, that. Plus I doubt anyone really would be willing (read crazy enough) to fool with it anyways. I have managed to thoroughly enjoy the game over the past decade regardless of VPs.

_____________________________

I am the Holy Roman Emperor and am above grammar.

Sigismund of Luxemburg

(in reply to Lokasenna)
Post #: 67
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/6/2018 9:41:31 PM   
witpqs


Posts: 23657
Joined: 10/4/2004
From: Argleton
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna


quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

Regarding VP's for military assets, keep in mind that VP's are meant to most especially take account of political importance, so the VP's of battleships is certainly warranted.


It is a weird mix of military and political considerations for VPs. That is where I think you can handwave away the 4E's being 2 VPs - given the focus on strategic bombing (at least in Europe), the public perception of the bombers as being that important to the war effort provides some kind of justification for their VP cost.

Really, I'd prefer a general ballooning in VPs to provide for more granularity. If VPs were straight up doubled, fighters could be 1 VP, strike craft 2 VP, 2E's 2 or 3 VP, 4E's 3 or 4 VP... and you could really differentiate between capital ships better (currently, CV VPs = durability + 3*capacity). Alas, not in this game.

But ultimately, a dual victory condition system would be better. A political (negotiated) settlement vs. the total military victory. PPs are meant to abstract the will to fight a little bit, and a Japanese autovictory is meant to simulate a negotiated settlement as well, but it's not perfect.


This is the real crux of the VP issue; it's a balanced system for a asymmetrical war.

The lack of competitiveness in the late-game for Japan is a combination of three main factors:

- The game design over-emphasizes the impact of strategic bombing. Firebombing did monumental damage to Japanese cities, but (as with Germany) it made very little impact on the decision of the leadership to surrender. Even the atomic bombings were afterthoughts in the decision to surrender.
- The Allied aversion to losses (especially after May '45) is not really represented in the VP values of ships or units.
- The VP value of pre-war Japanese possessions (Formosa, Manchuria, Korea, Sakhilin) is too low.

There's never going to be a fix for it, but if there was, I would propose that:

- VP values from strategic bombing of Japanese industry is reduced by a moderate degree.
- VP values for bases in Formosa, Manchuria (in particular), Korea, Sakhilin are increased significantly to represent the value Japanese leadership placed on these possessions.
- VP values for Allied units and ships lost to combat increases gradually after 1/1/1945, and makes a significant increase after 1/5/1945 in order to represent the aversion of the Western Allies to incur massive losses after the end of the War in Europe.
- VP values for Japanese units and ships lost to combat decreases after 1/1/1945, to represent the all-or-nothing approach of the Japanese leadership to continued resistance.

To my mind, these proposals would make the late-game more competitive for Japan in that:

1. Strategic bombing becomes less of a one-sided VP harvest for the Allies.
2. Core regions of the pre-war Japanese Empire become paramount considerations for defense (as they were historically).
3. Battles where both sides trade equal numbers of casualties will have greater VP cost for the Allies than Japan (case in point, Iwo-jima) and will make large-scale attrition warfare more viable for the Japanese than it is currently.

Fundamentally, by 1945, the Allies should be fighting against the stubborn nature of the Japanese leadership more than the Japanese armed forces, and they should be compelled by the VP system to make moves that would change the outlook of the Japanese leadership regarding the prosecution of the war.

These are interesting proposals. Sure most are not possible without developers, but at least the bases you cite could be adjusted in scenarios.

_____________________________


(in reply to mind_messing)
Post #: 68
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 12:24:55 AM   
John 3rd


Posts: 15867
Joined: 9/8/2005
From: La Salle, Colorado
Status: offline
I remember the proposal that aircraft be counted for VP by number of ENGINES. That would make sense but would also serve to scue things as well.


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(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 69
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 3:15:40 AM   
Lokasenna


Posts: 8332
Joined: 3/3/2012
From: Iowan in MD/DC
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna


quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

Regarding VP's for military assets, keep in mind that VP's are meant to most especially take account of political importance, so the VP's of battleships is certainly warranted.


It is a weird mix of military and political considerations for VPs. That is where I think you can handwave away the 4E's being 2 VPs - given the focus on strategic bombing (at least in Europe), the public perception of the bombers as being that important to the war effort provides some kind of justification for their VP cost.

Really, I'd prefer a general ballooning in VPs to provide for more granularity. If VPs were straight up doubled, fighters could be 1 VP, strike craft 2 VP, 2E's 2 or 3 VP, 4E's 3 or 4 VP... and you could really differentiate between capital ships better (currently, CV VPs = durability + 3*capacity). Alas, not in this game.

But ultimately, a dual victory condition system would be better. A political (negotiated) settlement vs. the total military victory. PPs are meant to abstract the will to fight a little bit, and a Japanese autovictory is meant to simulate a negotiated settlement as well, but it's not perfect.


This is the real crux of the VP issue; it's a balanced system for a asymmetrical war.

The lack of competitiveness in the late-game for Japan is a combination of three main factors:

- The game design over-emphasizes the impact of strategic bombing. Firebombing did monumental damage to Japanese cities, but (as with Germany) it made very little impact on the decision of the leadership to surrender. Even the atomic bombings were afterthoughts in the decision to surrender.
- The Allied aversion to losses (especially after May '45) is not really represented in the VP values of ships or units.
- The VP value of pre-war Japanese possessions (Formosa, Manchuria, Korea, Sakhilin) is too low.

There's never going to be a fix for it, but if there was, I would propose that:

- VP values from strategic bombing of Japanese industry is reduced by a moderate degree.
- VP values for bases in Formosa, Manchuria (in particular), Korea, Sakhilin are increased significantly to represent the value Japanese leadership placed on these possessions.
- VP values for Allied units and ships lost to combat increases gradually after 1/1/1945, and makes a significant increase after 1/5/1945 in order to represent the aversion of the Western Allies to incur massive losses after the end of the War in Europe.
- VP values for Japanese units and ships lost to combat decreases after 1/1/1945, to represent the all-or-nothing approach of the Japanese leadership to continued resistance.

To my mind, these proposals would make the late-game more competitive for Japan in that:

1. Strategic bombing becomes less of a one-sided VP harvest for the Allies.
2. Core regions of the pre-war Japanese Empire become paramount considerations for defense (as they were historically).
3. Battles where both sides trade equal numbers of casualties will have greater VP cost for the Allies than Japan (case in point, Iwo-jima) and will make large-scale attrition warfare more viable for the Japanese than it is currently.

Fundamentally, by 1945, the Allies should be fighting against the stubborn nature of the Japanese leadership more than the Japanese armed forces, and they should be compelled by the VP system to make moves that would change the outlook of the Japanese leadership regarding the prosecution of the war.

These are interesting proposals. Sure most are not possible without developers, but at least the bases you cite could be adjusted in scenarios.


Since only bases can be adjusted without code changes, which would be HUGE code changes (not in terms of difficulty, but in terms of ramifications)... I've kept any thinking about what could possibly be changed to base VP adjustments.

Hence, my conclusions have been that bases closer to Japan (or even in Japan) need an upward adjustment for the Japanese side. And probably some of the major bases that the Allies take need a downward adjustment on the multiplier since strat bombing has been and always will be the way the Allies win. Has there been a game where strat bombing (or at least a-bombs) weren't the thing that won the game for the Allies in 1944 or 1945?

(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 70
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 3:39:50 AM   
Aurorus

 

Posts: 1314
Joined: 5/26/2014
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

Since only bases can be adjusted without code changes, which would be HUGE code changes (not in terms of difficulty, but in terms of ramifications)... I've kept any thinking about what could possibly be changed to base VP adjustments.

Hence, my conclusions have been that bases closer to Japan (or even in Japan) need an upward adjustment for the Japanese side. And probably some of the major bases that the Allies take need a downward adjustment on the multiplier since strat bombing has been and always will be the way the Allies win. Has there been a game where strat bombing (or at least a-bombs) weren't the thing that won the game for the Allies in 1944 or 1945?


Perhaps a project here on the forum to collect final VP scoresheets from all of the games that have reached 1945? This would provide some data that could guide a VP-mod. I would recommend 2 versions of the mod: a mod for scenario 1 games, which would be more favorable to Japan, and a mod for scenario 2 games, which would be less favorable. To do this, however, one would need data sets from both scenarios to compare and try to get some idea of the differences.

(in reply to Lokasenna)
Post #: 71
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 7:12:26 PM   
mind_messing

 

Posts: 1852
Joined: 10/28/2013
From: Glasgow, Scotland
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna


quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna


quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

Regarding VP's for military assets, keep in mind that VP's are meant to most especially take account of political importance, so the VP's of battleships is certainly warranted.


It is a weird mix of military and political considerations for VPs. That is where I think you can handwave away the 4E's being 2 VPs - given the focus on strategic bombing (at least in Europe), the public perception of the bombers as being that important to the war effort provides some kind of justification for their VP cost.

Really, I'd prefer a general ballooning in VPs to provide for more granularity. If VPs were straight up doubled, fighters could be 1 VP, strike craft 2 VP, 2E's 2 or 3 VP, 4E's 3 or 4 VP... and you could really differentiate between capital ships better (currently, CV VPs = durability + 3*capacity). Alas, not in this game.

But ultimately, a dual victory condition system would be better. A political (negotiated) settlement vs. the total military victory. PPs are meant to abstract the will to fight a little bit, and a Japanese autovictory is meant to simulate a negotiated settlement as well, but it's not perfect.


This is the real crux of the VP issue; it's a balanced system for a asymmetrical war.

The lack of competitiveness in the late-game for Japan is a combination of three main factors:

- The game design over-emphasizes the impact of strategic bombing. Firebombing did monumental damage to Japanese cities, but (as with Germany) it made very little impact on the decision of the leadership to surrender. Even the atomic bombings were afterthoughts in the decision to surrender.
- The Allied aversion to losses (especially after May '45) is not really represented in the VP values of ships or units.
- The VP value of pre-war Japanese possessions (Formosa, Manchuria, Korea, Sakhilin) is too low.

There's never going to be a fix for it, but if there was, I would propose that:

- VP values from strategic bombing of Japanese industry is reduced by a moderate degree.
- VP values for bases in Formosa, Manchuria (in particular), Korea, Sakhilin are increased significantly to represent the value Japanese leadership placed on these possessions.
- VP values for Allied units and ships lost to combat increases gradually after 1/1/1945, and makes a significant increase after 1/5/1945 in order to represent the aversion of the Western Allies to incur massive losses after the end of the War in Europe.
- VP values for Japanese units and ships lost to combat decreases after 1/1/1945, to represent the all-or-nothing approach of the Japanese leadership to continued resistance.

To my mind, these proposals would make the late-game more competitive for Japan in that:

1. Strategic bombing becomes less of a one-sided VP harvest for the Allies.
2. Core regions of the pre-war Japanese Empire become paramount considerations for defense (as they were historically).
3. Battles where both sides trade equal numbers of casualties will have greater VP cost for the Allies than Japan (case in point, Iwo-jima) and will make large-scale attrition warfare more viable for the Japanese than it is currently.

Fundamentally, by 1945, the Allies should be fighting against the stubborn nature of the Japanese leadership more than the Japanese armed forces, and they should be compelled by the VP system to make moves that would change the outlook of the Japanese leadership regarding the prosecution of the war.

These are interesting proposals. Sure most are not possible without developers, but at least the bases you cite could be adjusted in scenarios.


Since only bases can be adjusted without code changes, which would be HUGE code changes (not in terms of difficulty, but in terms of ramifications)... I've kept any thinking about what could possibly be changed to base VP adjustments.

Hence, my conclusions have been that bases closer to Japan (or even in Japan) need an upward adjustment for the Japanese side. And probably some of the major bases that the Allies take need a downward adjustment on the multiplier since strat bombing has been and always will be the way the Allies win. Has there been a game where strat bombing (or at least a-bombs) weren't the thing that won the game for the Allies in 1944 or 1945?



The pre-war Japanese holdings should all be bulked up, as it was the prospective loss of these (especially Manchuria) that got the Japanese government to finally send up the white flag.

I'd even go as far as to suggest that these areas should be of such high VP value as to require the Allies to seize in order to attain their victory conditions. It shouldn't be enough for the Allies to simply get the B-29's into range in order to win on VP's (the Japanese leadership didn't give a damn IRL), the game design should promote the Allies taking core pre-war Japanese territory, either Japan proper, or their colonial holdings.

It's not that strategic bombing shouldn't be a valuable source of VP income for the Allies, but it shouldn't be THE long term strategy for the Allies.

(in reply to Lokasenna)
Post #: 72
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 7:24:13 PM   
Canoerebel


Posts: 17201
Joined: 12/14/2002
From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
Status: offline
Mind Messing - I'm enjoying your thoughts and those of many others. Many good ideas from veterans here.

I agree that the pre-war holdings should be highly valued but I don't think the Allies should be "forced" to take them. They didn't in the real war - the Allies didn't touch Formosa, Korea, Sikhalin Island and (until Russia got involved) Manchuria.

I think we all agree that the Allies should have a number of viable routes to victory, including one similar to the historical model, which did rely heavily on strategic bombing and the atomic bomb.

By the same token, we wouldn't want to do things that would seriously restrict the options that Japan has in the game.

But within that framework, there may be ways to adjust VPs in order to give Japanese players a more fair chance to win the game on points than currently exists (if the consensus I'm seeing here is on target, which I think it is).

On a separate note, there are 10 zillion ideas out there and it would be hard to accomodate everyone's notions. Probably the only way to get this done would be to appoint a committee of like five fair-minded, experienced, clever Forumites who could debate it and make decisions.

But whether we ever have enough consensus and energy to implement that is uncertain at this point.

(in reply to mind_messing)
Post #: 73
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 8:09:58 PM   
Chickenboy


Posts: 24097
Joined: 6/29/2002
From: San Antonio, TX
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel
On a separate note, there are 10 zillion ideas out there and it would be hard to accomodate everyone's notions.
...
But whether we ever have enough consensus and energy to implement that is uncertain at this point.


Whether we feel a compelling need to reinvent a system that already works pretty darn well is the operative question. Everyone's got an opinion about this overvalued and that undervalued, who won, what the 'game' says, what the historical analogy is, what the emotional impact on a nation's psyche should be, etc., etc., etc.

So long as there is a methodology to adjust the VP value of bases, units, etc. in the editor, then there is no need to bring this to the 'officials'. It can be yet another mod subject to review and agreement by two players or by a player and the AI.

If I was going to beseech the developers to work on ONE thing with the game, it would not be this one. This would not be the hill I would 'die on' and can't agree with those that ask for a developer's scarce (and dwindling) support for this issue.



_____________________________


(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 74
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 8:15:25 PM   
Canoerebel


Posts: 17201
Joined: 12/14/2002
From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
Status: offline
I don't think anyone was envisioning the developers working on this. I wasn't. As far as I know, there's no extant body that would even consider a request like this.

The idea is indeed a mod.

(in reply to Chickenboy)
Post #: 75
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 8:37:04 PM   
witpqs


Posts: 23657
Joined: 10/4/2004
From: Argleton
Status: offline
I have found it is not enough to "simply get the B-29's into range". The strategic bombing campaign in my recent game was much more difficult than that.

_____________________________


(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 76
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 8:39:43 PM   
Canoerebel


Posts: 17201
Joined: 12/14/2002
From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
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I found the same thing, though I wasn't sure that was due to the nature of the campaign or my own shortcomings.

I do know this - trying to strategic bomb from the Marianas (as in the real war) wouldn't get the Allies anywhere at all. You have to get a lot closer than that.

(in reply to witpqs)
Post #: 77
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 8:55:19 PM   
mind_messing

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Mind Messing - I'm enjoying your thoughts and those of many others. Many good ideas from veterans here.

I agree that the pre-war holdings should be highly valued but I don't think the Allies should be "forced" to take them. They didn't in the real war - the Allies didn't touch Formosa, Korea, Sikhalin Island and (until Russia got involved) Manchuria.

I think we all agree that the Allies should have a number of viable routes to victory, including one similar to the historical model, which did rely heavily on strategic bombing and the atomic bomb.



While only Manchuria and Sakhalin were invaded by the USSR, their loss was THE key component in bringing about Japan's surrender. Strategic bombing and the atomic bombs scarce factored in the decision. It was the certain loss of the pre-war territories that forced Japan's hand.

If this was reflected in the VP situation, it brings about some degree of balance into the late-war game. The Allies are compelled by the VP system to attempt a conquest of high-value Japanese possessions, while the Japanese will be able to dig in deep to bloody the Allied advance.

There's a wide spectrum of choice for both players if this is the case, as Japan has a wide range of geographically distant regions to defend, while the Allies have the debate of pre-empting the Russian activation or not, and risking the clock running out before sufficient territorial gains are made to trigger the victory conditions.

quote:


By the same token, we wouldn't want to do things that would seriously restrict the options that Japan has in the game.


By late 1945 Japan has little, if any options in the game. Under the current system, the Allies are not required to do much more that strategic bombing of Japanese industry. Granted, the hard part is getting bases in range from which to do this, and Japan has some capacity to contest this, but not much.

This irks me moderately, as in reality the strategic bombing campaign wasn't a major factor in forcing Japan's surrender. It was certainly a factor, but not to the extent that the VP system suggests.

If you bulk up the VP value for the pre-war holdings, you give Japan a bit more leeway in terms of potential. The B-29s can bomb away, but if the VP's from the strategic bombing campaign alone won't be enough for autovictory, then something else is needed.

My point, basically, is that the Allies should be required to do something other than strategic bombing in order to win. The smart play is the safe play, which is strategic bombing.

By requiring something more you change the late-war to be a bit more balanced. The Allies can play smart, strategic bomb till the Russians roll in, but in doing so they run the risk that Japan might play the clock out. The Allies can play a bit more aggressive, and try and take Formosa or other holdings before the Soviets get involved to ensure a swift autovictory, but then they expose themselves to Japanese preparations and a potential bloody nose.

The '45 Allied OOB is immense: I think any competent Allied player with such assets at his disposal can't fault the notion that they should be expected to do something with it.

(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 78
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/7/2018 10:25:05 PM   
Aurorus

 

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It is my understanding that the Japanese high command, all but a few, were in favor of surrender after Guam and Saipan fell. The question was the terms of that surrender. The more hard-line senior people would accept only terms that allowed Japan to retain all the territory of her pre-war empire, including eastern China, Manchuria, and Thailand. A minority were in favor of terms by which Japan retained Formosa, Sakhalin, the Kuriles, and Manchuria. Finally, a small group were willing to accept any conditions except the occupation of the Home Islands. The hard-line group was the dominant faction until Iwo Jima fell, which shifted some of the hard-line people to the more moderate position, when the majority were willing to surrender provided that Japan retained all of its "home soil," which would include Formosa, the Kuriles, and Sakhalin. The U.S. insistence upon unconditional surrender prolonged the war, however, and allowed the Soviets to enter the conflict (which created the current situation on the Korean peninsula).

It was the combination of the situation on the ground (which, by August 1945 had deprived Japan of most of her imperial possessions) and the strategic bombing (including the atomic bombs) that forced the hard-line party among the Japanese high command to concede that they would never be able to negotiate the terms that they desired. Without the strategic bombing and the atomic bombs, however, I do not think it was certain that the majority of the senior Japanese people would have accepted terms that allowed the U.S. to occupy the Home Islands. There was great concern that an occupation would become a rape of Honshu, literally and figuratively.

I assume the victory conditions for the end-war period would be based upon the U.S. desire for unconditional surrender, which would include a post-war occupation of the Home Islands. In which case, the value of the Japanese Home Islands would be much higher than it is. It was the high value that the Japanese high command placed on the Home Islands that prolonged the war beyond the point where everyone, including the Japanese high command, knew that the allies had won.

< Message edited by Aurorus -- 1/7/2018 10:31:59 PM >

(in reply to mind_messing)
Post #: 79
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/8/2018 6:07:30 AM   
Barb


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Do not forget the naval and transportation blockade established by the allies. Without supplies (food, oil, raw materials) coming from the South, China, Korea, Manchuria the Japan would starve. Yet even more trade was being carried by ships around the islands and this was being crippled by subs, mines and airstrikes. If you have a quarry at place A and factory at place B... the B is not worth much if it cant get what it needs from place A. Plus the Japanese rail system had its own problems - mountainous center of the islands forced the railways onto narrow coastal corridors on at some places - thus it was not that problematic to interdict.

But this is very hard to measure in game terms... So its more on a Japanese player acknowledge the defeat when he cannot run his economy.

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(in reply to Aurorus)
Post #: 80
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/8/2018 10:05:51 AM   
Pilsator


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I never ever captured Palembang as the Japanese for VP Points.

Key bases always depend on something other then VPs. Sadly , in computer wargames this neglected and a VP System is there to "guide" players the right way.

As Japanese I have a few bases which I consider important and they give me always no VPs

(in reply to Barb)
Post #: 81
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/8/2018 2:08:27 PM   
Canoerebel


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Here's what I've taken from this thread and related comments from other threads:

1. The VP system, despite its shortcomings, is rich and gives Japan something to play for deeply into the game (even "winning the game"), long after any hope of "winning the war" is over.
2. Japanese players would appreciate a VP system that was fairer, allowing the Referee (the Game AI) to more accurately declare a winner.
3. There seems to be a consensus that the Victory Points system is somewhat askew - at least arguably or hypothetically - in favor of the Allies.
4. A lot of good thoughts have been expressed here but it would take a great deal more thinking before anything could be done.
5. There is not a strong desire to pursue this further at this time. It'll take time for a movement to develop (or this might be stillborn).

Thanks for chiming in. I learned a lot.





(in reply to Pilsator)
Post #: 82
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/8/2018 3:41:38 PM   
MakeeLearn

 

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What constitutes winning and losing will vary from person to person, so instead of one new victory mod it may be more beneficial to develop several new victory mods, allowing the contestants to decide which to play under.

Modding-wise It would probably be better to make several new victory mods in parallel rather than one at at time over time. This will also aid in fine tuning.

< Message edited by MakeeLearn -- 1/8/2018 5:19:42 PM >

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Post #: 83
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/8/2018 11:02:02 PM   
Kull


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

Since only bases can be adjusted without code changes, which would be HUGE code changes (not in terms of difficulty, but in terms of ramifications)... I've kept any thinking about what could possibly be changed to base VP adjustments.

Hence, my conclusions have been that bases closer to Japan (or even in Japan) need an upward adjustment for the Japanese side. And probably some of the major bases that the Allies take need a downward adjustment on the multiplier since strat bombing has been and always will be the way the Allies win. Has there been a game where strat bombing (or at least a-bombs) weren't the thing that won the game for the Allies in 1944 or 1945?


Very interesting thread, but the bolded is the crux of the matter. It's the only solution that works within the parameters of the existing game code. While there are interesting ideas for altering other types of VPs, that would require an external calculation system, which seems problematic. Barring that, the only thing worth discussing is a revision to base VPs. Which ones, and by how much?

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Post #: 84
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/9/2018 7:05:37 PM   
Lokasenna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kull

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna

Since only bases can be adjusted without code changes


Very interesting thread, but the bolded is the crux of the matter. It's the only solution that works within the parameters of the existing game code. While there are interesting ideas for altering other types of VPs, that would require an external calculation system, which seems problematic. Barring that, the only thing worth discussing is a revision to base VPs. Which ones, and by how much?


Since it's about late-game adjustments, it should be bases. There are essentially 3 options:

1) Maintain same overall number of VPs available to each side, but: reduce the Japan VPs for various bases not in the "inner core" (Manchuria/Korea, E/NE China, Taiwan, Okinawa, Bonins) that Japan can expect to hold onto until at least the middle of 1945 in a "historically comparable performance" (or close to it) game - this means reducing Manila, Singapore, Rangoon, etc. They're the big ones and you need a big change. In exchange, you then increase the points of the "inner core" areas I just mentioned.

2) Maintain same overall number of VPs available to each side, but: reduce Allied VPs for various bases not in that "inner core".

3) Increase the number of base VPs available to Japan by increasing the "inner core" value without reducing any points elsewhere. In order to counterbalance this increased ability to reach an AV in 1943 or 1944, you would also need to add about 50% of this increase to the Allied side in other semi-safe locations that are safe from all but the most aggressive/successful Japanese player (Hawaii, Alaska, CONUS, India, etc.). In doing this, remember that you are balancing base VPs that Japan would lose in the late game if an Allied player were more successful than history vs. base VPs that an Allied player would lose in the early to mid game if a Japanese player were more successful than history.

The number of VPs that you would need to move around is probably more than 5K, if not somewhere in the low 10K's, so to me the best solution is a combination of all 3. Or, you know, we could all just continue to use our opinions to award victory or defeat instead of having a neutral arbiter in the VP/victory conditions system.

FWIW, my hunch is that I think strategic bombing is worth about 2x as many points as it should be to be properly balanced.



I've also been thinking about what I think is going on in LST's Bottlenecks mod (which I think adds many more bases). Adding more bases helps the Allies (in the Pacific anyway) in 2 ways: 1) it adds more potential invasion spots so it's harder for Japan to defend overall, and 2) it adds more Allied late-game base VPs (unless other bases were adjusted downwards). I've got that thread open to look through it in more detail today. Just an example of how certain mod/map changes also change the VP calculus.

(in reply to Kull)
Post #: 85
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/9/2018 9:47:25 PM   
Kull


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A few thoughts on Base VPs and Strat bombing VPs:

1) Base VPs: The starting VP level is multiplied by (Port level + Airbase level). So changes to the overall base VP mix should be concentrated (if possible) in locations already at or near the max level of port and airfield. Otherwise there's too much variation and possible gaminess associated with the ability to massively change the revised VP levels by dumping a ton of engineers on a newly captured "key base" and building it up.

2) Strat Bombing VPs (i.e damaging and/or destroying industry): Since the only industry destruction that grants VPs (at least according to the manual) is that in Japan itself, couldn't we reduce the impact of strat bombing by moving a sizable amount out of Japan and into a nearby location? Admittedly this is kind of gamey, but if "strategic bombing is worth about 2x as many points as it should be", than removing half of all industry from Japan proper would solve the problem (albeit with other side effects that would have to be analyzed). I only bring it up because industry levels ARE moddable, and that's the only way (outside of coding) to alter the impact of strat bombing points.

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Post #: 86
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/10/2018 6:46:13 PM   
Lokasenna


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Moving the industry would not really change strat VPs that much - they would become harder to hit if the hypothesis that "smaller" factories are harder to hit, which would slow things if that's true... but other than that, you'd have to most almost everything out and that would fundamentally change the game so is off the table, IMO.

I had the thought about it already with regards to simply removing Light Industry in favor of auto-generated supply, but nixed that as an idea after thoughts on the consequences and degree of balancing vis-a-vis Resources that would need to be done.

(in reply to Kull)
Post #: 87
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/10/2018 7:20:35 PM   
Aurorus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna


Since it's about late-game adjustments, it should be bases. There are essentially 3 options:

1) Maintain same overall number of VPs available to each side, but: reduce the Japan VPs for various bases not in the "inner core" (Manchuria/Korea, E/NE China, Taiwan, Okinawa, Bonins) that Japan can expect to hold onto until at least the middle of 1945 in a "historically comparable performance" (or close to it) game - this means reducing Manila, Singapore, Rangoon, etc. They're the big ones and you need a big change. In exchange, you then increase the points of the "inner core" areas I just mentioned.

2) Maintain same overall number of VPs available to each side, but: reduce Allied VPs for various bases not in that "inner core".

3) Increase the number of base VPs available to Japan by increasing the "inner core" value without reducing any points elsewhere. In order to counterbalance this increased ability to reach an AV in 1943 or 1944, you would also need to add about 50% of this increase to the Allied side in other semi-safe locations that are safe from all but the most aggressive/successful Japanese player (Hawaii, Alaska, CONUS, India, etc.). In doing this, remember that you are balancing base VPs that Japan would lose in the late game if an Allied player were more successful than history vs. base VPs that an Allied player would lose in the early to mid game if a Japanese player were more successful than history.

The number of VPs that you would need to move around is probably more than 5K, if not somewhere in the low 10K's, so to me the best solution is a combination of all 3. Or, you know, we could all just continue to use our opinions to award victory or defeat instead of having a neutral arbiter in the VP/victory conditions system.




If we assume that an allied decisive victory would be unconditional Japanese surrender, including allowing U.S. forces to occupy the Home Islands at the conclusion of the war (whether the Home Islands had been invaded or not), the value of Home Island bases to Japan (and possibly to the allies as well) should be higher. I would be reluctant to reduce the value of Singapore, Bangkok, or Saigon, for either side, if we want some historical and post-war geo-strategic basis for the victory conditions. Control of these regional capitals would have been the basis for any peace nedotiations that did not include unconditional surrender (i.e. an allied marginal victory or a draw).

In real historical terms, an allied marginal victory would have been a peace that allowed Japan to retain control of all her "home soil:" Formosa, Sakhalin, Honshu, Hokkaidu, and so forth, including possibly Manchuria, depending upon the situation on the ground.

In real terms, a draw would have been a peace that acknowledged the situation on the ground at the end of hostilities: an armistice more than a surrender. Such a peace would have allowed Japan to retain most of her colonial possessions, including Thailand, Manchuria, and possibly even Hong Kong and Shanghai.

In real terms, a Japanese marginal victory would have been a victory that extended the empire, even slightly, which may be as little as adding Hong Kong to Japan's possessions.

As such, I think that the VP values of Singapore, Bangkok, and Saigon should remain mostly unchanged (or even possibly increased for both players). It seems to make more sense, if we wish to use history as the guide, to reduce the VP value of Manila and Rangoon (for both sides), and reduce the value of bases such as Noumea, Luganville, Moresby, and Chungking for Japan to offset increases in the Home Islands. The value of these same bases could be increased for the allies to offset the possibility of Japanese auto-victory in 1943 if the allied player is able to restrain the Japanese advance to its historical limits. Also bases that allow for the strategic bombing of the Home Islands, such as Okinawa, should be reduced for the allies, because the VPs associated with having these bases will come from the strategic bombing, not the base itself.

These are my thoughts on the matter, and my intent is to induce discussion, not provide any definitive guide.

< Message edited by Aurorus -- 1/10/2018 7:22:19 PM >

(in reply to Lokasenna)
Post #: 88
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/10/2018 8:43:02 PM   
HansBolter


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Question:

Will all of the efforts to nerf VPs for Allied strategic bombing of Japan in late game to make Japan more competitive in the late game only result in a common strategy implementation of Japanese players exploiting VP gains by strategic bombing Australia early when the Allies have no effective countermeasure?

Scenario:

Unscrupulous Japanese player mercilessly exploits VP gains strategic bombing Auatralia in '42 and then thumbs his nose up at his opponent going "na, na, na, na you'll never overcome this VP deficit because we nerfed your ability to harvest them through strategic bombing".

p.s. I have no vested interest here as I don't play PBEM and would never play a mod that nerfs the Allies to make playing Japan more enjoyable. I'm just acting as devil's advocate since I perceive you may find yourselves investing considerable time in gaming mods that may be headed off the rails.

< Message edited by HansBolter -- 1/10/2018 8:50:16 PM >


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Post #: 89
RE: An Old Timer Steps Back to Measure Game Competitive... - 1/11/2018 2:12:19 AM   
spence

 

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quote:

I think we all agree that the Allies should have a number of viable routes to victory, including one similar to the historical model, which did rely heavily on strategic bombing and the atomic bomb.


The Japanese Player is already handed a solution to the historical stalemate in China which prompted the whole war in the first place: attack and the Chinese will fold up by mid 1943 or so.

The Japanese Player doesn't have to feed any of its workers. Apparently the grass recipes featured in the Tokyo Times were adequate nourishment to keep the wheels of war turning without interruption.

These advantages won't go away in the early part of the game or the late part of the game.


(in reply to HansBolter)
Post #: 90
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