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My feedback - 4/16/2019 3:21:28 AM   
sveint


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I am really enjoying this game, but there are some glaring issues I feel qualified to comment on by now. This concerns balance vs human opponents.

1. China

China is by far the biggest imbalance in the game currently. Historically this was one big stalemate. In the game, Japan wins 100% of the time, the worst performance by Japan I have seen is just short of taking Chungking. Forget China doing better than historically, it's not even a remote chance of that happening.

Suggestions:
a) Japan starts without Infantry Weapons tech.
b) All Japanese units in Manchuria are locked in place until war with the Soviet Union.
c) Improved Chinese mountain supply. Give Chinese infantry units a special ability where they are never at less than 8 supply within China proper.
d) Special events for tech transfer. Specifically when it comes to air and anti-air tech.

2. The Soviets

Much like China the Soviets seem to consistently under-perform. I have yet to see the Soviets perform better than historical unless playing against a green opponent (I was one in my first game as the Axis - sorry Jagdpanther). The problem here is that the Axis is "active" and can set up their strategy while the Soviets have very few options open to them pre-war. Mostly the Soviets are forced into researching a narrow band of technologies if they are to have any chance of survival.

Suggestions:
a) Japan must respect the non-aggression treaty unless they control either India, Australia or Hawaii. (I think this is very realistic).
b) Randomize spawning unit starting locations. German players know exactly what will spawn where when they declare war.
c) Slightly increased production or a few more free units (an HQ and a few corps?). It feels very odd and unhistorical when German units outnumber Soviet units.
d) Winter still doesn't feel strong enough. Some sort of morale penalty in winter weather for Axis units?
e) Add some events where Soviets can prioritize either the army, tanks, air-force of something else? To give the Soviets some pre-war options and "surprise" the Axis. Currently every game plays out 90% the same for the Soviets.

Finally I'd like to add that the rest of the nations/powers feel remarkably balanced.

< Message edited by sveint -- 4/16/2019 3:26:52 AM >
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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 4:02:26 AM   
sveint


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Here is a typical situation from PBEM. Historically it was completely impossible for Japan to field such a large army in these mountains.

Furthermore in game terms the 3-star Japanese army is invincible. It inflicts tremendous casualties and takes none.




Attachment (1)

(in reply to sveint)
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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 4:29:59 AM   
zzmzzm

 

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The situation map is just from the match of sveint and me . As I am Chinese ,I agree part of the first one: Japan troops in China starts without upgraded Infantry Weapons . I think it is enough if Japan troops have not upgraded the Infantry Weapons, but they have the tach just not upgraded. Just the same as German . But is will be more hard for Axis. Actually I can defend keweichow in most matchs.

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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 4:39:43 AM   
sveint


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Honestly it could be from any game, I just captured it as it was the turn I was currently playing. The situation is no different if I play Japan.

China always collapses.

< Message edited by sveint -- 4/16/2019 4:41:00 AM >

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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 8:19:40 AM   
rob89

 

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Hi Sveint,

in my mod.39-45 Campaign (work in progress)

about China : I had already made several changes that you have now suggested :
- Japan starts without Infantry Weapons tech.
- China has some more free units in the production schedule, for the period 1939-1940
- I increased the value (MPPs) of American aid, from the beginning
- I reduced the supply for Japans, modifying the Occupation Efficiency of China (now 60%, like in Russia)

but the result is, more or less, the same : China collapses by the end of 1940 / spring 1941.

about Russia :
- I added more units in the production schedule, for the period 1939-1940
- I added fortifications around Moscow
- I improved the Soviet economy, in various way, for a 10-15%

I also reduced the speed of the research upgrades (more time, more expensive),
to prevent the Germans from having a decisive qualitative advantage.

Now when Barbarossa starts, the Soviets generally have more units (including a lot of tank corps) than the Germans,
but the problem is the operational mismanagement of the AI ...

regards

(in reply to sveint)
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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 3:31:46 PM   
HannoMeier


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I had the same experience in a two-player game.
The Chinese need strong support and the Russians need help also.
Maybe they should get cheap Inf units again - as the Russians had in the War in Europe game.

Regards,
Hanno

< Message edited by HannoMeier -- 4/16/2019 3:32:23 PM >

(in reply to rob89)
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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 5:04:30 PM   
eriador08

 

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I would not change too much. Chinese sure are doomed, if japan invest there, what will weaken their investment in the pacific. But the war is not won in china. It is just a sideshow.
Russia sure needs help. Allies must send convoys and open a second or even third front.
But if russia can stand on its own the balance slips too much in favor of the allies in my opinion.

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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 5:09:36 PM   
ElvisJJonesRambo


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Agreed, loss of China not the loss of game. Momentum is king. So is the man who can sing.


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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 7:07:54 PM   
sveint


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The argument that something doesn't need to be balanced because it is a "sideshow" isn't valid.

(in reply to ElvisJJonesRambo)
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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 7:19:18 PM   
eriador08

 

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My argument was, that it is balanced right now, so i would not change anything. It would weaken axis too much.

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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 8:06:57 PM   
Xenocide

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sveint

The argument that something doesn't need to be balanced because it is a "sideshow" isn't valid.


If Japan ahistorically throws everything they have at China they should do better there then they did historically. From experience though a Japan that throws all their MPP at China quickly loses in the Pacific.

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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 8:26:50 PM   
sveint


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So it should remain impossible for China to do better than historically? I stand by my argument.

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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 8:31:46 PM   
eriador08

 

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If it helps game balance i would say yes. Otherwise you would have to change more. If you give allies something to push them you also have to take something to keep balance.

(in reply to sveint)
Post #: 13
RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 8:47:09 PM   
xwormwood


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ElvisJJonesRambo

Agreed, loss of China not the loss of game. Momentum is king. So is the man who can sing.




Yep, absolutely correct.

_____________________________

"You will be dead, so long as you refuse to die" (George MacDonald)

(in reply to ElvisJJonesRambo)
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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 11:14:06 PM   
Numdydar

 

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The issue with China is that most Axis players want to overrun China. The Japanese in RL had no desire to do so. Even in War in The Pacific AE, China can be overrun. IF Japan wants to expend the supplies and materials to do so. Plus play the political cost to move units away from the Russian border.

However in AE, the cost of doing this is much steeper than in this game.

The issue from a player point of view is that using mmp for reinforcing losses in China seems to be not very costly for Japan. This does not translate directly to less 'stuff' to fight in the Pacific in their minds.

From my point of view nothing needs to be changed (expect replacing forces with garrisons) for China. I'd much rather Japan waste mmp there than on ships/planes that will fight anywhere but China.

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RE: My feedback - 4/16/2019 11:47:35 PM   
sveint


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OK, I'll lay this issue to rest now. I'd try to argue that I play this game because it is fairly historically accurate but it seems like an uphill struggle.

(in reply to Numdydar)
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RE: My feedback - 4/17/2019 2:39:35 PM   
Xenocide

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sveint

So it should remain impossible for China to do better than historically? I stand by my argument.


If Japan stripped the Manchuria armies and sent them to China and focused on building up troops for the China campaign and did not work on building up the navy but focused on winning the war in China then it is very difficult for China to do better then historically. If the Japanese focus on building carriers and winning the Pacific China can do better then they did historically. I would even argue that is the better choice for China.

The problem is that if you beef up China or weaken Japan to force a more even fight in China then Japan will be forced to launch a full court press in China just to survive and the Pacific campaign will be all but impossible for them.

In a MP game when I play as the Allies I am happy to see Japan throw everything at China. It means I have a good chance at forcing Japanese surrender in 1944 or even earlier.

(in reply to sveint)
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RE: My feedback - 4/17/2019 4:12:15 PM   
zzmzzm

 

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Actually I support sveint. I wonder just one question : how many time did any one lost China but can conquer Japan? I have played 6 Pbem game and win 5 of them , and never seen anyone who lose china but congqued japan.

(in reply to Xenocide)
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RE: My feedback - 4/17/2019 4:18:23 PM   
zzmzzm

 

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt had said same thing about china. Only just 30 thousand japan troops can conquer Singapore, how about 1000 thousands japan troops into Russia and India? Since they are all in one land.

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RE: My feedback - 4/17/2019 4:48:03 PM   
Xenocide

 

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One method of discouraging Japanese conquests deep into China would be to up partisan activity. As it stands there are only four locations in China that China starts in control of that you have to garrison to prevent partisan activity. Building and shipping over more garrisons would up the cost. Maybe cap the supply of captured Chinese cities beyond Chungking to 2 or 3 to make the deep drives into the outback of China more painful and less profitable?

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RE: My feedback - 4/18/2019 12:18:17 PM   
Numdydar

 

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The issue with that is that China was very fractured with local warlords retaining area control. If Japan was winning against China, then in their pragmatic fashion they would have 'supported' Japan so they could retain their control. Which would have meant less partisan activities in their areas. So it does make sense the way the game is now.

Also given the huge scale of the game, there was not a lot of guerrilla activity that impacted huge areas of the country anywhere, including China. Reducing supply in locations not garrisoned is the best way to handle partisan activity in a game of this scale. As that better reflects the impact and localized area these activities took place.

(in reply to Xenocide)
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RE: My feedback - 4/18/2019 7:16:24 PM   
MrLongleg

 

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While I agree that Russia and China are pretty weak, the overall balance is pretty good after the last patch, so I would oppose changing that. The western allies are forced to do something to help those two. Otherwise you will get a historical game where the Axis always loses, and that is pointless from a game perspective.

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RE: My feedback - 4/18/2019 7:48:35 PM   
sveint


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Numdydar

The issue with China is that most Axis players want to overrun China. The Japanese in RL had no desire to do so.


This is just 100% false. The entire reason for the war in the Pacific is because Japan wanted to subjugate and puppet China. The US embargoed them because of this. Japan attacked the US because of the embargo.

Something needs to be done to make the war in China more historical and fun to play.

(in reply to Numdydar)
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RE: My feedback - 4/18/2019 11:16:20 PM   
prestidigitation

 

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I wrote a post here detailing a number of Soviet events related to People's Militia Units that could be added to the game. I think additional and entirely historical PMU events that provided free units are a better fit to what the Soviets need than extra income. Also I also don't want to insult, but have you tried boosting convoy percentage to increase income to the Soviets from UK and from US to UK? From what I've seen, the two combined provide a fairly chunky boost to Soviet income especially in the critical (in this game but not in reality) 42 to 43 period.

The historical route to solving this issue would be to weaken supply throughput on muddy tiles further, especially in occupied territory. This would more accurately capture the situation for the Nazis on the Eastern Front. David Stahel, David Glantz and Robert Forczyk all indicate in their operational histories of the eastern front that mud (and in the case of Stahel, Nazi refusal to acknowledge logistical limitations and emphasis on the supremacy of will) was a substantial limiter. This is not currently represented in game. Winter also has too large of an impact on offensive operation and continues to parrot postwar Nazi propaganda about being defeated by the climate rather than the Soviet military (best understood as a variation on the stab in the back myth from WWI). While it should definitely reduce mobility if not prepared for it, it should not substantially impact offensive capability otherwise.

The Nazis should definitely outnumber the Soviets at the start. On the border on June 22 in 1941 they had a substantial advantage in manpower and material (especially when including the surprisingly large if ill equipped forces of the Axis minors). Around 4 POINT 5mio Axis soldiers attacked around 2 POINT 5mio Soviet defenders. Only after substantial time and the immense crash mobilization that the Soviets underwent did they manage to amass a comparable force in manpower. They then lost this parity at the catastrophes (as Lev Lopukhovsky calls it) at Viaz'ma and Bryansk. And only later in the war did they rectify the real disadvantage in material (chiefly trucks and planes, a substantial disadvantage in both that jointly led to substantial impairment to operational mobility and performance). At no point prior to late 44 did they substantially outnumber the Nazis on the front as a whole. Only by bleeding secondary fronts of all forces and concentrating them into shock armies assigned to specific attacking fronts did the Soviets manage to achieve overwhelming superiority on key frontages. For instance, during the critical counteroffensive against Army Group Center in 41 (during which snow fell on both the Soviet and the German side of the front....) the Soviets barely achieved parity in manpower and were still short of material.

This game also continues the myth of the elite Manchurian units, but I'm not getting into that. Most of the forces transferred were simply equipped to to the prewar standard, largely with obsolete equipment. It is only in comparison to strung out Nazi units and the much reduced TOE of 41 to 42 for Soviet units that they could at all be described as well equipped.

Cities are also far too easy to attack with tank units. I'm not sure why this is at all effective. It has not ever been the case that an armored force was successful in direct assault against a determined and reasonably well equipped/supplied opponent in urban warfare without exceedingly high expenditure in lives and material. Meanwhile in this game I tend to start urban assaults off by smashing the enemy with heavy tanks, an utterly asinine decision from a historical perspective but wildly effective in game terms because it ruins enemy readiness/morale and guts entrenchment. In reality, a concealed 53-K or soldier with an inflammable projectile would have no trouble dispatching a Tiger in the close combat situations enforced by urban fighting. In game, the Tiger would gleefully prance around annihilating everything. The entire scenario feels absurd, as if it were straight from the fevered mind of Hitler himself. Forczyk and Dougherty both detailed the critical nature of small infantry units and combat engineers using infiltration and a hearty helping of explosives to defeating the French fortifications at Sedan, and Glantz says the same regarding Soviet annihilation of Japanese fortifications in Manchuria. I have never read similar comments about SS actions at Kursk (frontal assault with heavily equipped units against Soviet units equipped largely with 45mm and 57mm guns) or Nazi actions at Stalingrad, yet here we are.

edit: And once again this awful forum ate my post because it happened to have a link to my prior post on this forum. Whoever wrote that rule for this site should be sat in a dark room full of garbage to think about what they've done.

edit: Apparently this forum thinks that June 22 OF 1941 (minus the OF) is a phone number and eats my post. Whoever wrote the regex for that is an incompetent gibbering baboon and should be ashamed.


< Message edited by prestidigitation -- 4/18/2019 11:18:18 PM >

(in reply to sveint)
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RE: My feedback - 4/18/2019 11:47:13 PM   
sveint


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Good feedback, prestidigitation. Hopefully the developers are reading.

Perhaps units in cities/forts should be immune to demoralization from tanks?

(I also think air-power is too good vs. cities.)

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RE: My feedback - 4/19/2019 5:08:59 AM   
Numdydar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: sveint


quote:

ORIGINAL: Numdydar

The issue with China is that most Axis players want to overrun China. The Japanese in RL had no desire to do so.


This is just 100% false. The entire reason for the war in the Pacific is because Japan wanted to subjugate and puppet China. The US embargoed them because of this. Japan attacked the US because of the embargo.

Something needs to be done to make the war in China more historical and fun to play.

Wow. This is just so wrong in so many ways it hard to know where to begin.

But here is one item. The oil embargo was mainly due to Japan occupying the airfields in Indochina, And it did not occur until August 1941. The earlier embargo for scrap metal and closing the Panama canal occurred when Japan occupied Indochina from Vichy France. So between 1937 and Peral Harbor, nothing Japan did in China mattered to the US. Did it raise tensions? Sure. But the US did nothing until Indochina was occupied.

Also Japan was willing to actually leave most of China as late as early '41 in order to get back on good terms with the US. But was ultimately rejected by the War Minister.

While I'm sure Japan would have loved to puppet China, their main goal was to occupy the coast an the major urban centers as they knew they could not really control much more than that with the manpower allocated to China.

Japan attacked the US in order to get the oil in the DEI and the PI was in the way. If Japan could have gotten the oil without having the PI across their trade routes, they would have done so without involving the US in a war.

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RE: My feedback - 4/19/2019 1:52:31 PM   
eriador08

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: prestidigitation

Winter also has too large of an impact on offensive operation and continues to parrot postwar Nazi propaganda about being defeated by the climate rather than the Soviet military (best understood as a variation on the stab in the back myth from WWI). While it should definitely reduce mobility if not prepared for it, it should not substantially impact offensive capability otherwise.


The Nazis should definitely outnumber the Soviets at the start. On the border on June 22 in 1941 they had a substantial advantage in manpower and material (especially when including the surprisingly large if ill equipped forces of the Axis minors). Around 4 POINT 5mio Axis soldiers attacked around 2 POINT 5mio Soviet defenders. Only after substantial time and the immense crash mobilization that the Soviets underwent did they manage to amass a comparable force in manpower. They then lost this parity at the catastrophes (as Lev Lopukhovsky calls it) at Viaz'ma and Bryansk. And only later in the war did they rectify the real disadvantage in material (chiefly trucks and planes, a substantial disadvantage in both that jointly led to substantial impairment to operational mobility and performance). At no point prior to late 44 did they substantially outnumber the Nazis on the front as a whole. Only by bleeding secondary fronts of all forces and concentrating them into shock armies assigned to specific attacking fronts did the Soviets manage to achieve overwhelming superiority on key frontages. For instance, during the critical counteroffensive against Army Group Center in 41 (during which snow fell on both the Soviet and the German side of the front....) the Soviets barely achieved parity in manpower and were still short of material.



Interesting post of yours. I agree at some points, like the problem with mud period in Russia, what hinders supply. But i also have to disagree with others.

We in the Alps have around 0° to -10°C in winters, with much snow. We think this is cold. But eastern Europe is a totally other level. When temperatures nearly fell down to the -50°C mark at some points at the east front, this was fatal. Motors wont start, weapons freeze, air power is hindered, there is snow everywhere and so on. Just think about the effect this has on a soldier who has to fight for days out in the cold, especially soldiers who never experienced something like this. And how can something hinder mobility and not offensive capability otherwise? Mobility is the cornerstone for every offensive operation.

I also do not see the substantial advantage in manpower and material of axis in the east. If i remember correctly the axis attacked in 1941 with around 3000 tanks, while the soviets managed to field around 24000 tanks in the red army, among them even around 2000 T-30 and KW. How many heavy modern tanks could the Wehrmacht field at this point? While at the initial phase the ratio of combat forces in the east was slightly above 1:1 for the Axis, this began to turn in winter 1941 (1,5:1 for soviets) and never really went under the ratio of 2:1 for soviets after spring/summer 1942. (according to Glantz) I would call a ratio of 2:1 outnumbering, especially with the greater reserves of manpower in mind.



< Message edited by eriador08 -- 4/19/2019 1:56:42 PM >

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RE: My feedback - 4/19/2019 2:31:30 PM   
amandkm

 

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But remember, we are looking at strength factors here, not absolute numbers. The Soviets had more tanks to deploy, but as manned and used they were less effective tank for tank, than the Germans.

You can simply consider that it takes more tanks to make up a 10 step unit for the USSR than it does for Germany.

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RE: My feedback - 4/19/2019 2:53:25 PM   
Xenocide

 

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Yeah, not true Japan wanting China completely subjugated. Japan wanted to chew up and eat bits and pieces of China in a series of wars but the Chinese knew that if they agreed to a peace and gave up a little territory Japan could come back and do it again so they kept the war going in hopes of a reversal rather then ceding territoy. Japan would have been happy to annex what they had and end the war. The Japanese attack on China did not have a "total war" objective like the attacks on Poland and France. Japan was still using the old military playbook.

edit: replied to wrong post.

< Message edited by Xenocide -- 4/19/2019 2:55:47 PM >

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RE: My feedback - 4/19/2019 3:39:02 PM   
eriador08

 

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I am with you on this. Since this is a game i have no problem with some abstaction for playability.

(in reply to amandkm)
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