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Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/8/2018 4:25:15 AM   
bcgames


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In reflection, I would have restricted the scope of Desert War to scenarios about Operation Crusader. These could easily be connected into a "campaign" using "carryover" .csv files. A Crusader campaign game (18 Nov 1941 – 30 Dec 1941 -- 132 turns) could "reasonably" fit within the scope of current Desert War time/distance scales (6-hour turns @ 2 miles per hex). Would Crusader have been a better start point for this operational WEGO game system? What say you?

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/15/2018 12:42:08 AM   
Okayrun3254

 

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I like that idea, and I will tell you why. First of all, I Operation Crusader is a battle where both sides have a chance to attack and defend. Secondly, modeling smaller battles gives a developer a more focused scope and scale to build a competent AI. Thirdly, a campaign would be appealing, and possibly add new features. Just a thought, but I would like to see some Campaign options where the player could pick historical forces on some kind of point per day refit system. Also, I would like to know if a campaign is mainly linking scenarios together, or does it add new features? If a solid system for campaigns is developed then it could nicely dovetail into a eastern front expansion.

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/15/2018 7:23:41 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254

I would like to know if a campaign is mainly linking scenarios together...

Good question.

Yes, a campaign game using the current game engine (plus new capabilities) would have to be a series of short, linked scenarios.

Why?

If the Campaign for North Africa was a single scenario at the current Desert War scale then it would be ~2,250 turns long (September 1940 to November 1942). If there were some VERY dedicated playtesters playing this campaign scenario at one turn per week, then it would take them about 43 years to play it and some time more to provide feedback. If they could squeak in just one turn per day, then we could expect some solid feedback in about six years...~2024. Then we could tweak the game based on their findings and send it back out for a validation playtest. If we got the fixes nailed right off the bat then a 2030 publication date could be locked in concrete.

Good news is, as you have pointed out, it would be possible to provide player interactions between limited turn-length scenarios that could allow for unit-level replacements, re-supply, and/or "power-ups" based on battle experiences from the previously played scenario.

Bottomline is the 6 and 12 hour turns of the Desert War engine allow the player to get down into the nitty-gritty of operational combat; the engine does not handle multi-year strategic situations at this scale. Hopefully someday the game engine will fully support multi-day or week-long time frames as TOAW does.


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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/15/2018 10:44:24 PM   
Okayrun3254

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bcgames

quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254

I would like to know if a campaign is mainly linking scenarios together...

Good question.

Yes, a campaign game using the current game engine (plus new capabilities) would have to be a series of short, linked scenarios.

Why?

If the Campaign for North Africa was a single scenario at the current Desert War scale then it would be ~2,250 turns long (September 1940 to November 1942). If there were some VERY dedicated playtesters playing this campaign scenario at one turn per week, then it would take them about 43 years to play it and some time more to provide feedback. If they could squeak in just one turn per day, then we could expect some solid feedback in about six years...~2024. Then we could tweak the game based on their findings and send it back out for a validation playtest. If we got the fixes nailed right off the bat then a 2030 publication date could be locked in concrete.

Good news is, as you have pointed out, it would be possible to provide player interactions between limited turn-length scenarios that could allow for unit-level replacements, re-supply, and/or "power-ups" based on battle experiences from the previously played scenario.

Bottomline is the 6 and 12 hour turns of the Desert War engine allow the player to get down into the nitty-gritty of operational combat; the engine does not handle multi-year strategic situations at this scale. Hopefully someday the game engine will fully support multi-day or week-long time frames as TOAW does.



Thanks for the informative response. A focus on a battle that happens over days for a campaign makes sense to me. It also makes sense as you describe from a development and testing point of view.

What would take it to another level of immersion for me would be for the player to have the ability to choose historically available forces for the "in between" scenario times. Maybe on some type of point system.

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/15/2018 11:16:31 PM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254

What would take it to another level of immersion for me would be for the player to have the ability to choose historically available forces for the "in between" scenario times. Maybe on some type of point system.


That's an interesting idea...sort of like a "sandbox campaign".


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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/16/2018 1:47:59 PM   
wodin


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Love campaign! A shame though it seems bcgames seems more into upping the scale of the game, where I'd be very excited about reducing the scale to more of a tactical game, say coy and below, preferably platoon though single vehicle units at 75m a hex. This would instantly become a must follow game!

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/18/2018 3:38:05 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

Love campaign! A shame though it seems bcgames seems more into upping the scale of the game, where I'd be very excited about reducing the scale to more of a tactical game, say coy and below, preferably platoon though single vehicle units at 75m a hex. This would instantly become a must follow game!

I'm for the scale that best fits the scene of the operational topic.

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/19/2018 12:11:51 PM   
Okayrun3254

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

Love campaign! A shame though it seems bcgames seems more into upping the scale of the game, where I'd be very excited about reducing the scale to more of a tactical game, say coy and below, preferably platoon though single vehicle units at 75m a hex. This would instantly become a must follow game!



Hmmm...Not everyone would be excited about making such a drastic change to the scale. It is after all an operational level game.

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/22/2018 4:31:20 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254

...modeling smaller battles gives a developer a more focused scope and scale to build a competent AI...

A good synopsis of our current thinking. Brian has been working on this game engine about eight years now; me about five. It's now in the neighborhood of "about right" under the hood. Now?...we need to scale it properly. The engine is closer to John Tiller's Panzer Campaigns than it is to Gary Grigsby's War in the East/War in the West. Towards that end, the next game will be more narrow in scope and time frame. There will be more smaller, low-stack, connected scenarios...and fewer large scenarios...like maybe one to three "campaign" scenarios at most. We'll see.

Onwards!


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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/22/2018 4:32:29 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254

...It is after all an operational level game.

Yep.


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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/22/2018 10:53:37 PM   
Okayrun3254

 

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I have an idea that would reduce counter density on the mid to large size scenarios. Instead of having all units start at Battalion size or smaller, how about the majority of units starting out at regiment size, but with the built in game feature to breakdown the regiment into (3) Battalions. The Battalion level is needed when spreading out a defense, or surrounding an enemy unit, etc...

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/23/2018 2:50:12 AM   
Rosseau

 

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That's a good idea above.

Big question is whether to introduce changes in a completely new release (and leave us early supporters sort of stranded) or do some kind of DLC thing. A campaign seems like it would garner the most additional sales. Whether a patch or more money depends on the development time of the campaign option obviously.

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/23/2018 4:24:54 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254

I have an idea that would reduce counter density on the mid to large size scenarios. Instead of having all units start at Battalion size or smaller, how about the majority of units starting out at regiment size, but with the built in game feature to breakdown the regiment into (3) Battalions. The Battalion level is needed when spreading out a defense, or surrounding an enemy unit, etc...

I think that would be a good move in the right direction. I've been thinking about this idea a lot...because decisions about unit scale, ground scale, time scale, stacking, unit type capabilities--all impact how the game plays. Diverting from the current game models is...re-modeling years of playtested work.

Breakdown/Build-up of in-game units is a way that has been used in numerous board and computer games...splitting things into three...unless there were only two or four or whatever historically--TO&Es are inconvenient to the "Rule of Three". On the other hand, the simplicity side (coding) sez three is probably the best way to go. I would certainly support such an approach.

On the other, other hand, TO&Es are...and task organizations are too. So maybe a Roll-up/Roll-out is a better approach to replicating actual combat operations. The first (and only) place I've seen this done is in Jim Lunsford's wargame--Decisive Action. Units are attached/detached to/from a HQs unit. The HQs unit represents a roll-up of all the capabilities of all the different unit types assigned to that HQs. IOW, a infantry regimental HQs with three infantry battalions, a regimental cannon company, a direct support artillery battalion, engineer company, and anti-aircraft battery--could all be rolled into one unit on the game board with a single attack, defense, and movement factor--and all the special capabilities (shock, engineer, AA) automatically rolled-up into that single unit...and...the regiment can be rolled-out to extract its various components as the player desires to create new task organizations (with a cost of course).

Dunno. Prolly too hard. We'll see what the coding cost/benefits are compared to other user-defined requirements for the next game--a campaign-like experience on the Eastern Front with smaller scenarios and a better GUI.

Decisions, decisions...


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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/23/2018 2:30:56 PM   
Okayrun3254

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bcgames


quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254

I have an idea that would reduce counter density on the mid to large size scenarios. Instead of having all units start at Battalion size or smaller, how about the majority of units starting out at regiment size, but with the built in game feature to breakdown the regiment into (3) Battalions. The Battalion level is needed when spreading out a defense, or surrounding an enemy unit, etc...

I think that would be a good move in the right direction. I've been thinking about this idea a lot...because decisions about unit scale, ground scale, time scale, stacking, unit type capabilities--all impact how the game plays. Diverting from the current game models is...re-modeling years of playtested work.

Breakdown/Build-up of in-game units is a way that has been used in numerous board and computer games...splitting things into three...unless there were only two or four or whatever historically--TO&Es are inconvenient to the "Rule of Three". On the other hand, the simplicity side (coding) sez three is probably the best way to go. I would certainly support such an approach.

On the other, other hand, TO&Es are...and task organizations are too. So maybe a Roll-up/Roll-out is a better approach to replicating actual combat operations. The first (and only) place I've seen this done is in Jim Lunsford's wargame--Decisive Action. Units are attached/detached to/from a HQs unit. The HQs unit represents a roll-up of all the capabilities of all the different unit types assigned to that HQs. IOW, a infantry regimental HQs with three infantry battalions, a regimental cannon company, a direct support artillery battalion, engineer company, and anti-aircraft battery--could all be rolled into one unit on the game board with a single attack, defense, and movement factor--and all the special capabilities (shock, engineer, AA) automatically rolled-up into that single unit...and...the regiment can be rolled-out to extract its various components as the player desires to create new task organizations (with a cost of course).

Dunno. Prolly too hard. We'll see what the coding cost/benefits are compared to other user-defined requirements for the next game--a campaign-like experience on the Eastern Front with smaller scenarios and a better GUI.

Decisions, decisions...



I have to admit, I did not think about the required effort it would take to revise the programming. I do like the Battalion scale as it is, and I am really looking forward to seeing this scale in a east front setting.

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/24/2018 1:47:38 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Okayrun3254

...I do like the Battalion scale as it is, and I am really looking forward to seeing this scale in a east front setting.

You are not alone. The long-time playtesters are rattlin' my cage over any thought of leaving the battalion level. Battalion level means scenarios involving no more than a corps or two per side--this fits the "smaller" requirement; therefore, a linked-scenario campaign follows the operations of only a corps or two per side. The reduced stacking requirement? If no regimental level, then "ant unit" combat power & capabilities (i.e. Recce, AT, Cbt Engineer, AA, DS artillery batteries) needs to be rolled up into the combat power of the infantry and armor battalions. Dunno.

Other folks want regimental level...others division. These require different ground and time scales that require some data crunching external to the game engine. With some tweaks, the Desert War engine can easily support a regiment or division-scaled game...prolly corps level units as well.

Bottomline: Desert War in the East at battalion level is not War in the East, it's not War in Army Group South, it's not even War in 6.Armee...it's War in XIV Panzer Korps and/or War in LI Korps, for example.

Smaller, shorter, low-stack, campaign, GUI. This conundrum requires more puzzling to find a solution acceptable to the most players and the two guys that need to pull it all together.

Onwards!

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/24/2018 10:42:31 AM   
Saint Ruth

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

Love campaign! A shame though it seems bcgames seems more into upping the scale of the game, where I'd be very excited about reducing the scale to more of a tactical game, say coy and below, preferably platoon though single vehicle units at 75m a hex. This would instantly become a must follow game!

That's be a different game though, as you'd need Line Of Sight, Direct Fire and a lot of other stuff.
Though the idea of a sort of WEGO PanzerBlitz type game is nice, there are not enough hours in my day!

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/24/2018 11:01:23 PM   
Deathtreader


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bcgames


Desert War in the East at battalion level is not War in the East, it's not War in Army Group South, it's not even War in 6.Armee...it's War in XIV Panzer Korps and/or War in LI Korps, for example.

Smaller, shorter, low-stack, campaign, GUI. This conundrum requires more puzzling to find a solution acceptable to the most players and the two guys that need to pull it all together.

Onwards!


That would work for me---corps level is just fine.

Maybe the answer to the battalion level (along with all the small specialist units creating towers of counters) is to change the hex sizes so that the maps are probably bigger and unit density is lower. This would preserve the uniqueness of the smaller unit types and hopefully eliminate the monster stacks.
I dunno……..just a thought.


Rob.

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So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/25/2018 3:47:15 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader

That would work for me---corps level is just fine.

Maybe the answer to the battalion level...is to change the hex sizes so that...unit density is lower. This would preserve the uniqueness of the smaller unit types...

I think this may be the way to go in the future. A high point of Desert War is its ability to show the different strengths and weaknesses of different types of units in relation to each other--every unit isn't calculated to be a stronger or weaker version of infantry. There is actually a rock-paper-scissors quality to each unit type--whether in offense or defense.

But...The rest of World War II does not take place in the desert.

Perhaps there needs to be a scale change to move forward--to Europa. The central consideration for scale is hex size. The larger the area covered by a hex, the larger the unit size required to "cover" the hex while keeping stacking to one or two units per hex (on average). The higher you go up in the scale/echelon of command of units the lower the differentiation between unit types...and when you get to the top? Just one question for ground units--Is it an infantry or armor army? A game where ground ops have to be reduced to grunts, treadheads, and zoomies making air fleet-sized appearances. The good quality about strategic-minded games.

Now...back to the operational level we all want for the next game; where combinations of "the uniqueness of the smaller unit types" can still be explored from their pedestal. A reduction in hex size to one mile per hex (versus the current two), retains the uniqueness of unit and reduces the number of units per hex by half. Instead of two battalions and two companies per hex (or eight companies), it becomes one battalion and one company per hex (or four companies). Movement factors double (a potential problem). Artillery and heavy AA ranges double (a potential problem). And 1600 meters is at the furthest extent of direct fire systems in a European environment (due to terrain masking).

Still...scenarios at this scale (one mile/hex) can't have more than two corps per scenario (Large). That's what I hear. Scenarios need to be Twitter-sized...140 units or less per scenario.

Keep these observations coming. Somebody has the golden apple.

Onwards!

< Message edited by bcgames -- 7/25/2018 4:06:00 AM >


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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/26/2018 7:39:02 AM   
bcgames


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On reducing units per hex...

Would there be loud wailing and gnashing of teeth if there were 6-turns per day (vs current 3-turns per day)? This would mean four three-hour daylight turns and two six-hour night turns?

Playtesting has revealed that the current numbers work in Desert War as far as movement, combat, and zones of control; these are balanced--they work nicely and tightly. I don't want to lose that. If hex scale is reduced from 2-miles per hex to 1-mile per hex then units per hex is halved (smaller stacks...two units)--but the cost is scenarios take twice as long to play (compared to current Desert War scales).

What say you? Good, bad, indifferent?

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 7/27/2018 9:40:01 PM   
Deathtreader


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No wailing and gnashing of teeth here, it works for me.

Rob.

_____________________________

So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

(in reply to bcgames)
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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 8/11/2018 12:39:30 AM   
harley9699


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bcgames

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deathtreader

That would work for me---corps level is just fine.

Maybe the answer to the battalion level...is to change the hex sizes so that...unit density is lower. This would preserve the uniqueness of the smaller unit types...

I think this may be the way to go in the future. A high point of Desert War is its ability to show the different strengths and weaknesses of different types of units in relation to each other--every unit isn't calculated to be a stronger or weaker version of infantry. There is actually a rock-paper-scissors quality to each unit type--whether in offense or defense.

But...The rest of World War II does not take place in the desert.

Perhaps there needs to be a scale change to move forward--to Europa. The central consideration for scale is hex size. The larger the area covered by a hex, the larger the unit size required to "cover" the hex while keeping stacking to one or two units per hex (on average). The higher you go up in the scale/echelon of command of units the lower the differentiation between unit types...and when you get to the top? Just one question for ground units--Is it an infantry or armor army? A game where ground ops have to be reduced to grunts, treadheads, and zoomies making air fleet-sized appearances. The good quality about strategic-minded games.

Now...back to the operational level we all want for the next game; where combinations of "the uniqueness of the smaller unit types" can still be explored from their pedestal. A reduction in hex size to one mile per hex (versus the current two), retains the uniqueness of unit and reduces the number of units per hex by half. Instead of two battalions and two companies per hex (or eight companies), it becomes one battalion and one company per hex (or four companies). Movement factors double (a potential problem). Artillery and heavy AA ranges double (a potential problem). And 1600 meters is at the furthest extent of direct fire systems in a European environment (due to terrain masking).

Still...scenarios at this scale (one mile/hex) can't have more than two corps per scenario (Large). That's what I hear. Scenarios need to be Twitter-sized...140 units or less per scenario.

Keep these observations coming. Somebody has the golden apple.

Onwards!


Don't know about the Twitter-sized limit. I enjoy larger scales as well.
There's a different thread about the next game (as mentioned in this one).
Know you're not going to add campaigns or any type of sea influence/units to this one.

You keep saying "Onwards!".
Does that mean you guys are done with this game now? (except for the occasional bug-fix)

< Message edited by harley9699 -- 8/11/2018 12:40:08 AM >

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RE: Desert War: Operation Crusader? - 8/11/2018 2:05:00 AM   
bcgames


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quote:

ORIGINAL: harley9699

You keep saying "Onwards!".
Does that mean you guys are done with this game now? (except for the occasional bug-fix)

No.

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