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Want to mod the base scenario for shorter turns-issues to discuss

 
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Want to mod the base scenario for shorter turns-issues ... - 6/8/2018 1:32:42 AM   
Elessar2

 

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Joined: 11/30/2016
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I'm not too happy with the typical turn times in the base scenarios (and most mods), but for playability reasons wonder if making such a change would introduce more issues than it's worth.

In essence TPTB basically carried over a lot of "traditions" from the previous versions, without adjusting for changes in the map.

The issues I have mainly have to do with how the Eastern Front typically plays out, naval movement being excessive, and the effects of the variable turns, esp. the long winter ones (and the rationale for).

The remedies however may introduce economic issues (esp. if MPP income is normalized to the variable lengths of the turns), as well as movement/playability concerns if unit movement is reduced across the board.

[I am well aware that I may be missing some key strategies and your typical performance may be better than mine]


The issue with the Eastern Front is trying to even duplicate the historical advance during Barbarossa, given the bigger map as well as the more numerous accumulation of towns combined with HQ limits (esp. before Command & Control has been maxed out). I have found that there are too many towns given the longer distances to be covered AND the supply rebuilding rate of 1 point per turn (to rebuild a city back up to 5).

In the earlier SC's it was pretty easy for me to be knocking on the door of Smolensk by mid-August. Now I usually can take it no earlier than early September. Likewise getting anywhere within shouting distance of Moscow (or, in the south, Rostov] by the time that Ye Olde Russian Winter hits...

Note that the movement rates are apparently the same as they were for SC2, IIRC.

You thus run into a two-edged sword as you expand out from Poland-one HQ's worth of units can probably take, at an absolute maximum, 2 reasonably-defended cities per turn-the effective average is probably quite shorter than that and closer to one, given how quickly and perniciously supply vanishes as units get farther away from their parent HQ's. 2 turns per month June/July/August (assuming you start on June 1st, and you may not), so 6 turns. To reach the historical Sept. 1 date would however require you to take 34 cities (by my count), an average of 5-6 per turn. Start with 5 HQ's (+ the 2 Rumanian and Hungarian ones and their inferior militaries), the average there is about equivalent-4 to 6 cities per HQ.

But, there often is typically a turn necessary to reinforce and/or refit each unit. You also have turns where nothing on section X of the front is moving because they are attacking without moving (i.e. cleaning out pockets of trapped units). You can probably have no issue keeping up such a rate for the first few turns, but, as the front gets wider and your HQ's get more spaced out, they'll probably be able to only focus on and take one per turn, at best. [the average at that point for me at least is typically quite a bit less than that]

For example, Army Group NW would at some point have to decide between going N to Parnu or NE to Pskov: it's 8 hexes between them. And once you do, you won't take the other for another 2 turns at a minimum...

It's 17 hexes between Brest-Litovsk and Smolensk, almost exactly 3 spaces per turn. An army could barely make it, as could an HQ. A tank could, but of course it would be quickly outstripping its HQ (and/or supporting air) and thus its supply, and thus have little punch at the end of its journey to take anything.

So, either the turns would need to be shortened and/or the movement rates of the units lengthened. The latter solution would do nothing to speed up the rate of supply growth tho. You could make the turns REALLY short, and likewise the movement rates slower, but that might mean that a unit with a max movement of 2 (even in good supply/terrain/weather) couldn't move into the ZOC of an enemy and attack it.


That's on the ground. As a naval buff I dislike the "warp speed" that current naval units enjoy (even if for the length of the actual turns it's probably slow)-if you are hunting convoys with your subs once you've raided and unzipped your fly, every Allied DD within range will instantly warp to your current location. There really isn't much planning necessary as the Allied player in terms of where to focus your efforts. Slowing them down would likely improve the naval side of things in several ways.


I've never, ever since SC1, liked the long winter turns. I often find that I need time in the "offseason" to refit and rebuild, but, before I know it, it's spring, I haven't disengaged my core units yet to do so, and summer is rapidly approaching. Not only that, but since the turns weren't normalized, I also get cheated out of some often badly-needed MPP's. It's a design choice that I've never really understood, and also seems far too "Eastern Front-Centric." If you have a promising offensive in the Med or Middle East, it will get warped on by as well. I'd eliminate the long winter turns and make them the same length as spring and fall.


I'm going to mod the base scenario and see what happens. 5 days per turn in the summer, 8 in the other seasons (maybe 11 in the Winter, but that's as high as I dare go). Movement rates for land units unchanged, naval reduced by ~25-30%. HQ's made more numerous, but proportionately cheaper. I'm not sure what to do with the MPP's however-I'd have to normalize them I guess. I get ~17 turns per year, which actually is 21.5 days normalized. On this new schedule, you now get ~25 turns per yer.

Note you would now need to plan ahead and hoard MPP's for major offensives, or you may quickly run out... The extra HQ's would make it easier to chain in a sector where you plan a big push. Maybe a 25% increase in build limits, 25% cheaper.

The other question is what this would do to event scripts, if they would fire off just fine, or if something would be FUBARed that I don't know about.

And, gameplay, natch. Would this make the Sugar Shuffle even more pernicious?

All thoughts welcome.
Post #: 1
RE: Want to mod the base scenario for shorter turns-iss... - 6/14/2018 5:00:11 AM   
sPzAbt653


Posts: 7405
Joined: 5/3/2007
From: east coast, usa
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I like all of your analysis and appreciate the time you have spent on it. I've been tinkering with this for almost two years myself, and hadn't considered the turn length/intervals as being much of an issue. The reason is, I played my first 3-4 full games without even knowing that turns were alternating, and of varied time frames. I was of course learning a new game, but it was my 4th or 5th game that I noticed these features and while I was shocked at first, I figured 'hey, it wasn't an issue until I knew about it, so it really isn't an issue'. I could be very wrong, though.

My thoughts always center on terrain, movement and supply as being the factors that keep this game from obtaining historic results.
For the terrain, it is difficult at this scale to determine when a feature would have an effect on movement thru an entire hex. This is especially true in Western Europe where the road net was good enough to negate any terrain effects at this scale, even in the Ardennes. Russia is different, but still the Germans would not be able to advance thru most areas as quickly as they did historically, even without any resistance.
Movement therefore is slower than historical, and then add in zones of control for units over 4 strength and things get worse. It's possible at this scale that ZOC's aren't appropriate. Raising movement allowances is, however, easy enough to do.
The supply dynamic has its oddities, but what game doesn't ? That is no excuse, except that it does tend to point out that it is a difficult thing to model. Especially in a three front simulation where all three fronts have different variables yet use the same supply model. I have had several thoughts, but no viable solutions, although I have made a change in Africa that I think works well [removing towns that don't have ports], but obviously the computer player has difficulty with it.

The naval game I removed almost entirely from my mod. I have had weird thoughts of adding it back in in order to get the capital ships back in action, but only on a separate section of map where there are zones and limited movement allowances. A real naval strategy game. Maybe.

(in reply to Elessar2)
Post #: 2
RE: Want to mod the base scenario for shorter turns-iss... - 6/14/2018 1:23:12 PM   
Elessar2

 

Posts: 28
Joined: 11/30/2016
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I'm also going to let infantry get anti-tank upgrades. Many of the 1943-45 AARs I've seen have been utterly bloody on the Eastern Front, typically around a dozen units lost per turn, on both sides.

I also miscalculated on the normalization period-experimenting showed it should be 8 days (i.e. 16 between same player turns).

< Message edited by Elessar2 -- 6/14/2018 1:24:29 PM >

(in reply to sPzAbt653)
Post #: 3
RE: Want to mod the base scenario for shorter turns-iss... - 6/14/2018 1:58:25 PM   
sPzAbt653


Posts: 7405
Joined: 5/3/2007
From: east coast, usa
Status: online
I redid all of the Research for the mod I am doing [653N], and that is one of the changes [AT included with Infantry].

Yes, the double turns or whatever they are called. A quick look at the historic German 2nd Pz Grp advance from Orsha to Smolensk took ten days, in SC3 it would take twenty-eight days, without resistance. [The path on the SC3 map would run south of the main road, thru the woods].




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