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Some light reading & suggestions . . .

 
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Some light reading & suggestions . . . - 1/20/2001 4:16:00 PM   
Martinov

 

Posts: 24
Joined: 12/24/2000
From: Western Australia
Status: offline
Here are some last minute suggestions from a new WIR player - I think you old hands don't even notice some of this game's idiosyncrasies; some would be easy to implement and maybe will reach the programmer, others are just for interest: 1. It would be nice if there was a fraction of second's delay after each plot move, to allow the player to better see what is happening and how units behave. 2. Removing the unused panzer corps from the start of the '41 scenario would remove the temptation of using them as flying infantry corps, just have them available later (start of '42). 3. There could be a minimum railing cost of 100, to ensure railing HQ's consumes capacity. 4. The combat report summary could be better organised, esp for reviewing opponents actions, eg it could explain which losses are due to which cause battle/shatter/retreat & when a HQ without units is shattered it only seems to provide half a report. 5. Prevent corps from changing their HQ after they have received emergency supply. 6.It would be much more realistic if experience was described analogously, so the 10th Panzer would be described as "Experience: Veteran" rather than "Experience:68" (think of the pleasure when they became "Experience: Elite" could go like this: 80+ = Elite 60+ = Veteran 50+ = Experienced 40+ = Trained 20+ = Green 01+ = Militia 7. It would be great to have a few more Western/Mediteranean front messages added, even if they have no effect on the game (perhaps they could quote the proportion of the required force currently on the front) eg 'Rommel halts allied offensive, but warns: "I have only 85% of the forces I need"' 8. After the individual combats of a battle have occured, but before the final battle report is presented, the losses flash by on the lower screen (attacker on left, defender on right) it would be easier to read and compare these losses if they were in two columns on the left screen. 9. The Slovenian corps icon would be better in the satellite colour scheme. *Lastly some questions: 10. Does it cost more to rail transfer a unit than to rail it within a corps structure, can you rail a unit once it has moved? 11. Is your squads/armor/artilley pools listed anywhere? (maybe current rail capacity could be listed there also). 12. How does the replacement distribution system work? 13. Are Operations Points produced (which means its worth saving them) or are they automatically replenished (which means you should spend them all)? 14. Do aircraft have an effect on the Western/Med fronts? 15. It says HQ's may send reserves to battles within 5 hexes, what is their intervention range for aircraft & will their aircraft assist another HQ's unit's? 16. HQ on a supply 0 hex still get max ops points, is this right? *trivial suggestions: 17. Sometimes when you change a leader the text string isn't long enough and some text remains in the top left box. 18. Delete the rule that requires SS/Elite units on the Western and Italian fronts, whats the point? 19. On the battle reports it would be nicer if it said the "86 fighters sortied" rather than "86 aircraft attacked." 20. Thanks for your efforts in debugging & upgrading the game.!
Post #: 1
- 1/20/2001 11:48:00 PM   
RickyB

 

Posts: 1155
Joined: 7/26/2000
From: Denver, CO USA
Status: offline
quote:

Originally posted by Martinov: ... *Lastly some questions: 10. Does it cost more to rail transfer a unit than to rail it within a corps structure, can you rail a unit once it has moved? 11. Is your squads/armor/artilley pools listed anywhere? (maybe current rail capacity could be listed there also). 12. How does the replacement distribution system work? 13. Are Operations Points produced (which means its worth saving them) or are they automatically replenished (which means you should spend them all)? 14. Do aircraft have an effect on the Western/Med fronts? 15. It says HQ's may send reserves to battles within 5 hexes, what is their intervention range for aircraft & will their aircraft assist another HQ's unit's? 16. HQ on a supply 0 hex still get max ops points, is this right? ... 20. Thanks for your efforts in debugging & upgrading the game.!
Thanks for all the ideas - we could've used you months ago. Some of your ideas for 1-9 have been implemented in some way (eg. special supply can only be used once per unit per turn, so a transfer doesn't help anymore, unless the ops points are reduced to 0), others were not implemented earlier, and some never came up. For the new ones, unfortunately, the programmer is done making changes to the system, most likely, so I doubt any will get done now. Answers to your questions: 10. No, I believe the cost is the same, but could be wrong. Yes, it seems like (I didn't know this one for years) you can move a unit and then rail it somewhere. 11. You can see your pools by Alt-P or Util-Pools. You can see the rail points left (in the latest version anyway that will be out real soon) when you select rail for a unit on a rail line. It shows in the bottom left corner. 12. SS and Guard units get preference. Then replacements get sent out based on your replacement levels you have set, until the units reach that. Finally, if your pools of certain items (squads only, maybe?) grow over 999 or so, they will distributed to everything even when over their replacement settings already. HQ leaders also have an impact on who gets brought up to strength first, according to the manual, but it seems to act differently in what I have seen. 13. You get new ops points each turn based on your industrial levels. An HQ cannot have more than its supply level times 10, so 60 is the max except during blitz supply, or less if not on a rail line at SL 6. If you run all of your HQs down too low, then they may not reach full ops points the following turn, although this seems rare except early for the Soviets and late for the Axis. 14. The only real effect of aircraft in the 2 fronts is to all fairly secure training and air defense against Allied bombing raids. 15. I believe that aircraft will fly support out to their full range, for the ground units in the HQ. 16. I am not sure about this one, but it is very possibly correct. You can setup a test and let us know how it works. ;-) Thanks again for the ideas, but after 9 months of work, Arnaud (the programmer on this) is ready to wrap it up and get back to the serious business of playing games in his spare time - he has a full time job on top of this, like all of this in the project. However, there will be bug fixes if needed going forward (with the code for this game, there will be at least a couple of small bugs left probably), so maybe some small changes can also be made. Thanks ------------------ Rick Bancroft Semper Fi

_____________________________

Rick Bancroft
Semper Fi





(in reply to Martinov)
Post #: 2
- 2/3/2001 9:44:00 AM   
Teppo Saarinen

 

Posts: 21
Joined: 8/31/2000
From: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Status: offline
Well, I finally found the time download & try out WIR: The Matrix Project and have now gotten to december '41 in my first campaign playing Soviets. Let's take a look... Hmmm, the new icons are a bit ugly and unclear, especially in blizzard, I preferred the original ones. Flak seems to cause more casualties - seems more realistic. Aircraft values tweaked - well I guess in a more historical direction? (Same for tank values) I would have preferred not to have all these "M-40", "5FN/7" designations after equipment names, in this scale of simulation only the main types of equipment are presented anyway, so it just makes stuff look messy. It seems that the aircraft system in general is much more realistic now, not the wholesale slaughter of bombers it used to be. Computer production & upgrade path just *seems* to be a bit better although I haven't played far enough to determine this for sure yet. I've let the computer handle this now, I used to do it myself for the fun but mainly due to the AI's pathetic performance (example: flying with a dozen air groups of a coupla dozen I-15's each and just one of LaGG's until 1942, then suddenly changing everything - and draining the pools - to Yak-1 while there's still hundreds of LaGG in the pools - where they would stay until the end of the war I hope this is made better. Limiting special supply is also a realistic bit, tends to tilt the balance a bit on the axis side early on. The AI is STILL cheating. Ie flying with same air groups more than once per turn, flying air groups after transfer etc. In the previous version it was also not uncommon to bomb a HQ to find it stacked with loads of tank and other divisions in R&R, encircle it during the same turn, destroy it the next and found you've destroyed a completely EMPTY headquarters. Well they must of all have slipped through in the dark of the night Fair enough, the AI is a pathetic opponent anyway, but I'd prefer it to give a challenge in the I more than the A way. I was also wondering about the operations points. The manual states something like "the more operations points left in an HQ, the better its units will perform". Is this true? I've always been in the habit of leaving a few OP's on top of those needed for the units for plotting, but is there any appreciable difference in performance depending on, say, if you leave 5 or 20 extra OP's? By the way, there used to be a new grand campaign done with the scenario editor by some guy, you could download it and replace scenario J in your original WIR with that. Mind you, this was years ago. It seemed *a lot* more realistic than the original campaign, and also somehow made the AI work in a more aggressive fashion. It included stuff like individually named special artillery units, naval infantry etc. I wonder why this wasn't incorporated in the new WIR; would it be possible to manually import it from the old one? It still had the basic fault of the scenario editor though - filling all pools with hundreds of pieces of equipment, basically distorting any homemade scenario beyond repair. BTW is this corrected now? Finally a very big THANK YOU and my hat is off for you guys, it's simply brilliant that someone still takes interest in the masterpiece that WIR is. Even more so as it shows that I'm not the only hopeless addict around - it's a bit of a nostalgia trip as well since WIR used to be a major headache in my life as I simply could not let go of it - sort of along the lines: "****, I got that mechanics test tomorrow. Well, I'll just try and complete this outflanking movemement in Courland and then I'm off to bed - ****, is it 5 A.M. already?" ;--) Yours, Teppo ------------------

_____________________________

"I think, so I think I am." (Err... probably...)

(in reply to Martinov)
Post #: 3
- 2/3/2001 12:28:00 PM   
RickyB

 

Posts: 1155
Joined: 7/26/2000
From: Denver, CO USA
Status: offline
Teppo, We have had a few discussions about the new icons in our testing group but nothing recent for some of the same reasons you raised. The next release will have a tweak or two, but will probably continue the overall new look. One thing that I think will work is that for those with the old game the old symbol file can be copied in to use the old icons. The next release in the very near future will have further changes to the air system, which seems to play out really well overall. The airpower will do a little more damage than the current release, but still not the massive amounts from before. I agree with you - the AA changes seem to help also. The ops point costs are lowered in the next version, but only 1 special supply can be used per unit per turn, which I like. Funny that you think the special supply cost changes help the Axis, in playtesting I have thought otherwise as the Axis seem to bog down in the late summer of 1941 more easily due to low readiness. The AI has not been touched at all, including for the production system. The programmer says (and I can believe it) that it is hard to dig into as very little of the code is commented, and after almost a year on the project I doubt he will do much if anything in the future. However, he changed some of the hard coding for upgrades so that as new equipment is added, the upgrades, which were hard coded, can be changed now. This will help, I think. Regarding ops points in an HQ, I think that it does have an effect on the likelihood of the of the plots being carried out for both sides. It is hard to tell in this game, but over the years it has always seemed to me that if you get low on ops points, even when there are enough for the plotted moves, that the odds of a plot not being carried out increases significantly. Could be mistaken about this, though. I have a copy of the Scen J that you are talking about, and agree that it is really good. However, without getting permission from the creator of it, I think it wouldn't be too cool to include it directly in the game, and it would have to be converted to the new data format also - probably not too hard. Thus, we made changes to the 1941 campaign, but mainly to the start points, not the units like that person did. I am not sure, but I think Matrix distributed the seperate scenario editor editwir.exe with the game, that allows the scenarios to be edited directly. It is not as convenient as the games built-in editor for some things, but it does allow easy changes to the equipment ratings, adding equipment, units, etc, including the pool, so that the pools can be changed. Also, the built-in editor has been fixed, I think, so that the pools aren't automatically filled, which I guess was a design decision. Thanks for all the comments! This has been fun to work on - we are all volunteers for Matrix on this. Look for the new release, and probably the last except for fixing any further problems, in the next week or so. ------------------ Rick Bancroft Semper Fi [This message has been edited by RickyB (edited February 03, 2001).]

_____________________________

Rick Bancroft
Semper Fi





(in reply to Martinov)
Post #: 4
- 2/6/2001 8:22:00 AM   
Teppo Saarinen

 

Posts: 21
Joined: 8/31/2000
From: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Status: offline
quote:

Originally posted by RickyB: Teppo, Thanks for all the comments! This has been fun to work on - we are all volunteers for Matrix on this. Look for the new release, and probably the last except for fixing any further problems, in the next week or so.
I especially love the way inexperienced crews flying inferior fighters are not able to catch up with the bombers at all, and if they do are just hit by MG themselves. Record so far: 60 Fokkers intercept similar number of Sturmovik, result: 11 Fokker and 10 Stormo's down in flames. Sounds like a desperate Fokker-Sturmovik dogfight Sorry, I didn't think that Special Supply issue through, must be as you say. I was thinking of Axis getting 100 ops per HQ anyway, and Soviets not being able to do any division transfers early on. But you must be right as speed is of the essence for the Axis anyway. Regarding equipment upgrades, the AI still seems to hate MiG-1; any MiG-1 groups are promptly changed to MiG-3 (regardless of amount in the pools) and any other airgroups I change manually to MiG-1, even I-15's, will have been changed to Mig-3 the next turn, eventually leaving hundreds of MiG-1 sitting idle in the pools. The AI doesn't seem to be so eager to countermand manual changes to other types. Well, MiG-1 is junk anyway, especially now that I-15 and I-16 are much closer to it in terms of performance (which I also like - the I-15 could be a quite deadly opponent in able hands at low level) and there's plenty of better aircraft available. On the other hand, playing against a human opponent I'd probably want to feed those MiG-1 to the gently grazing Axis cannon This brings me onto another subject which is aircraft conversions. No aircraft does seem to get converted although this is not necessarily historically true. I was browsing the local library a few years ago when my WIR playing was at its peak and found this very hefty, very technical book on Soviet aircraft, written in Russia, and it was quite new as well. Naturally I was very interested and skimmed through the paragraphs on aircraft presented in WIR; the book stated that any MiG-1's remaining in the fall of 1941 were converted to MiG-3; and that a large number at least of LaGG-3 were converted to La-5. It even had a passage about some political commission or other visiting an aircraft factory in the winter and finding dozens of LaGG-3 airframes lying in the open, covered in snow due to lack of hangar space, and "even these were eventually converted to La-5 standard". Furthermore it appears that many Su-2 were flown as stopgap fighters due to heavy losses in summer '41. Maybe make Su-2 a fighter-bomber BTW does bridge bombing work now? Not that I would want it much, it fits much better in Western Front anyway. The ops points issue seems to be one of those "grey areas" that WIR is full of. I couldn't say for sure either, since I've always been in the habit of leaving some extra, and it would be hard to say on the basis of one or two turns of play. Couldn't you sort of get hold of this guy who made Scen J and ask him if it can be used? Being a WIR enthusiast he'd probably agree anyway. Great work, fixing that editor. Now the only problem is that I have played WIR every which way already and I think that I just *might* be getting close to exhausting it for me. Cheers, Teppo ------------------

_____________________________

"I think, so I think I am." (Err... probably...)

(in reply to Martinov)
Post #: 5
- 2/6/2001 10:49:00 AM   
RickyB

 

Posts: 1155
Joined: 7/26/2000
From: Denver, CO USA
Status: offline
Hi Teppo, The bridge bombing has not been fixed. Arnaud was going to do it, but ran into some significant problems or issues and passed on it. I don't know for sure, but maybe that is why it wasn't in the game in the first place. As you say, the air combat is quite a bit different, and the bombers, especially early on, can be deadly to poor fighters and/or aircrew. Regarding the automatic upgrades, you may be able to stop them by taking over factory control, but I am not sure. I usually just let the factories run and tweak the planes a little. One problem fixed from before that I ran into last year was upgrading an airgroup to a plane that did not have as many in the pool as the old type in the unit - it would drop to 0 planes and then never ever give the squadron any planes. That hurt when I was sitting on hundreds of old planes that were better than nothing. We discussed the use of bombers as fighters last summer. The Axis tried all sorts of bombers against the Allied bombers, including rockets and the Ju88 carrying a remote control bomb by cable into the formations (didn't last long due to the top gun turrets on the B17s). No real way of implementing it except by changing the plane type, but since the bombers do better anyway it seems okay to leave them as bombers. I am not sure how to reach the creator of Scen J. I have an old discussion group set of messages that has his name, but I don't think it has e-mail addresses. Maybe he will pop up here though, but I doubt it. If the next release includes the map and scenario editors, you could just about create any game you want with it, using the original system. It could be converted to WW1, the west front, africa, etc. Just an idea for those who are bored and waiting (like me) for the 2by3 East Front game . ------------------ Rick Bancroft Semper Fi [This message has been edited by RickyB (edited February 05, 2001).]

_____________________________

Rick Bancroft
Semper Fi





(in reply to Martinov)
Post #: 6
- 2/7/2001 7:19:00 AM   
Teppo Saarinen

 

Posts: 21
Joined: 8/31/2000
From: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Status: offline
quote:

Originally posted by RickyB: Hi Teppo, I usually just let the factories run and tweak the planes a little. One problem fixed from before that I ran into last year was upgrading an airgroup to a plane that did not have as many in the pool as the old type in the unit - it would drop to 0 planes and then never ever give the squadron any planes. That hurt when I was sitting on hundreds of old planes that were better than nothing.
That's exactly what I'm doing at the moment, and the only things interfering are the AI's aversion to MiG-1 and an occasional spoiling of my upgrade plans by upgrading early to something else, though the latter is easily corrected. Once I got so pissed off with the AI that I actually got into a tug of war over the MiG's with it (I change to MiG-1; next turn it's changed to MiG-3; doggedly, I change back to MiG-1; next turn it's MiG-3 again etc. etc. ad infinitum with experience value dropping all the time...) The result? "Seems to be a good year for MiG's", said the illiterate Russian farmer as he looked up at the flaming aircraft raining on the collective fields. I ran into that "aircraft drops to 0" problem as well, in the older version it could be resolved by using the X key which for some reason was accessible from the game itself. (I discovered this by accident ) Actually when playing against a human opponent this was one of the gamey tactics we agreed was OK to use - using the X key to change the 0 group to 4 damaged aircraft. It would build up slowly from there and only distort the net available number of that plane by those 4 damaged ones.
quote:

The Axis tried all sorts of bombers against the Allied bombers, including rockets and the Ju88 carrying a remote control bomb by cable into the formations (didn't last long due to the top gun turrets on the B17s).
As a conception, sounds like in league with the PAC and "potato shooters" of the Arctic convoys
quote:

If the next release includes the map and scenario editors, you could just about create any game you want with it, using the original system. It could be converted to WW1, the west front, africa, etc. Just an idea for those who are bored and waiting (like me) for the 2by3 East Front game .
I tried creating lots of different scenarios in my time including the Winter War and Karelia '44 which were rather boring due to the scope of simulation not really being compatible. And some funny scenarios especially in the balkans some of which turned out quite well. I even thought about a Poland '39 scenario but ran into difficulties with OOB's and all that historical stuff. The major problem was always the inability to tweak production & replacement rates and to create supply centres. But if that's true and the new version includes such editors, it would definitely breath a whole new life to the game. Cheers, Teppo ------------------ Remember: God is on the side with the best artillery!

_____________________________

"I think, so I think I am." (Err... probably...)

(in reply to Martinov)
Post #: 7
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