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how to stop train movement through neutral territory?

 
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how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 12:30:49 AM   
Adam Rinkleff

 

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In random maps, some people are using the trains to rapidly expand across the map. Not only does this sort of unbalance the game in my opinion, but it is also historically inaccurate. Trains are really never used offensively, for the obvious reason that it is far too easy to derail them or to blockade the tracks or to jam/destroy the switches. Is there any way to mod the trains, so that they only operate on territory you control, and cannot be used for advancing into neutral/enemy territory?

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 1:29:36 AM   
Twotribes


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Neutral territory is NOT enemy territory. It simple represents areas that are friendly to the first person that arrives.

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 1:44:28 AM   
AlanBernardo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Twotribes

Neutral territory is NOT enemy territory. It simple represents areas that are friendly to the first person that arrives.


I'm not sure Adam meant that neutral territory was enemy territory. All he was asking was if there was a way to limit rail movement on territory other than one's own.

Certainly cutting rail service would be one way. But he's asking how it could be modded into random scenarios.

One would think, also, that a division with trains or trucks or horses in it would incur some sort of offensive and defensive penalty. It does seem natural that it would.

On a kind of related question, I always wondered whether there was a difference in movement allowance between having trains, etc., in a division and moving in the regular way and having trains in a SHQ (for example) and strategically moving that same division (without the transport units).

Alan

(in reply to Twotribes)
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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 1:45:52 AM   
Adam Rinkleff

 

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I don't think the game is meant to be played by rushing your troops to all the various neutral cities by using your trains as 'super trucks'. In my opinion, trains should come to a screeching halt the moment they reach territory which isn't yours. Indeed, you can't create a new unit in neutral territory, and then use your trains to transfer troops there... so why can you just load a unit on the train and drive there? Its an abuse of the movement allowance.


< Message edited by AdamRinkleff -- 6/19/2011 1:47:21 AM >

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 2:29:30 AM   
Twotribes


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We will have to agree to disagree. Personally I no longer use my trains to move divisions. Cavalry works just fine. And trains are more important in the Headquarters.

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 2:32:28 AM   
LordJim

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff

I don't think the game is meant to be played by rushing your troops to all the various neutral cities by using your trains as 'super trucks'. In my opinion, trains should come to a screeching halt the moment they reach territory which isn't yours. Indeed, you can't create a new unit in neutral territory, and then use your trains to transfer troops there... so why can you just load a unit on the train and drive there? Its an abuse of the movement allowance.



I don't mind using trains as you say, in your own territory. Nothing wrong with that. It's logistically conceivable. But I agree with you otherwise. I'm sure this could be modded: I just don't know how to do it. :)

As for Alan's question, I don't know the answer to that either.

LJ

(in reply to Adam Rinkleff)
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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 2:38:18 AM   
Adam Rinkleff

 

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Isn't there a separate movement allowance for transfers and actual movement? If so, I think I'll just make the trains barely movable, and the only way to use them will be via transferring units. I just think the idea of using trains in a one-town start is really both destructive to the gameplay and historical accuracy. What's the point of carefully building early scouts with trucks or armored cars, when obviously the only logical strategy is to spam rush your trains as far as they can go to grab the cities? There seems to be an assumption, given above by TwoTribes, that neutral territory is friendly the moment you reach it. Oh, really? Is that why it takes so many turns to ramp up production in a city? Is that why I have fog of war there, and don't control the resources, and have a movement penalty when I enter the hexes? Um, no. Neutral territory is NOT friendly. It merely surrenders, but you are not being welcomed with open arms, and you should not have free access to the rail net. Even if there are no partisans to chop down some trees and block the rails, there most certainly isn't cooperation from local authorities, such that your trains would be likely to plow into civilian transit coming in the other direction, or at the very least it will get stuck behind some cargo train that was abandoned by fleeing civilians. Conclusion: rail units should only operate in territory that is truly friendly, in that it actually is occupied by your forces. 

< Message edited by AdamRinkleff -- 6/19/2011 2:40:45 AM >

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 2:57:42 AM   
LordJim

 

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Barely moveable or prohibitively expensive. :)


LJ

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 4:48:35 AM   
Twotribes


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So long as this rant is nothing more then how to mod it feel free to ask for what ever you want.

By the way you do pay a "price" for entering neutral territory. It costs more to move there then your own. But as long as we are on the subject, how do you feel about the fact that at the beginning of every turn your territory auto occupies one hex all along its boundaries? That too can be modded away.

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 7:57:57 AM   
srndac

 

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AdamRinkleff, this problem you're describing is mainly an 'original' AT issue that existed from the moment the game was issued.
Hell - it existed from the moment it predecessor (People's Tactics) was issued!

And the problem is called: CITY RUSH

In other words, there has always been an early game phase where the players raced to claim the most towns, and get the most production for themselves. The only difference is: once we did it with trucks, now we do it with trains.
But the 'problem' remains, and 'crippling' the trains will only lead to the resurrection of the truck as the main unit for that kind of expansion. And what do we do then? Restrict truck movement? Not likely.

IMHO, Vic did a great job in ATG by creating countries from the beggining. This way, the early expansion phase is canceled, City Rush doesn't happen, and Trains will never be used that way. And for that I'll even forgive him stuff like 'flying oil' ...

Cheers!
srndac

P.S. Actually, there was one historical example of the early expansion phase: In the beggining of the Russian Civil War, Bolsheviks expanded their are of control in Russia by using the railroads for fast movement ... this phase of the war was often called "Railroad War" Phase. Notice any similarities?

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 5:17:20 PM   
phatkarp


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I believe carry capacity is the stat for both what the unit on the board can carry as it moves, AND its ability to perform strategic transfers.  If there was a different strategic transfer capacity stat, then the solution would be easy: set carry capacity to 0, and just keep strategic capacity.

I agree with you that the railroad rush is a goofy mechanic. 

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 5:18:20 PM   
phatkarp


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Isn't there a random map option that creates maps without railroads?  That would take care of the problem. 

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 6:25:14 PM   
springer

 

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Hi Adam,

As you can see, there are arguments for and against using trains as early transport. I sympathize with you, I think the main purpose of trains was for transportation. I suspect that a mod could be written to fix the problem if you don't like it.

If I'm reading this thread correctly, it seems like you have discovered one of the classic problems of highly flexible games. I like ATG because in my opinion, it is more of a game than a simulation. Though it gives me the feel of a simulation, the focus is on mechanics that make for good game play and high flexibility. The beauty of AT is that the "simulation" feel can be enhanced by modding. I think the exploit problem is a function of the game's flexibility. Though Vic does a good job of attempting to fix the most egregious exploits, the fact that ATG balances game, simulation and flexibility of design means that new ones will often occur.

The major problem is less the system and more the opponent, in my opinion. Perhaps your post reflects this?
As you probably already know, for one group of players, the goal is to exploit the system in whatever way possible (short of cheating,hopefully) in order to win no matter what. Part of the fun for them is to find the holes (exploits) in the rules that allow them to surprise the enemy and win.

(A subset of these "exploit" players are also devotees of the "I pwn noobs" principle, in which they like watching a player's shock as they inflict an unexpected exploit upon an inexperienced, unsuspecting, simulation oriented player. An example of the principle in another context can be seen in this video. [Ironically, one could argue that real warfare has the same principle.] I think there is no getting around these kind of players except learning who they are through experience.)

If you are into playing against real opponents. It seems to me, there are two strategies. The one strategy is to find those "simulation-oriented" players who like to keep to the intention of the rules and make a "gentleman's agreement" not to use those exploits and keep the game more like a simulation. In this case, it's best to make the most obvious exploits explicit before the game starts. The downside is that you have to know the exploits first, and that is often through the school of hard knocks. Also, "exploits" may still occur. As in this thread, one person's "train exploit" is another person's "Flying red army on the Transiberian railroad".

Another strategy is the "if you can't be them, join them" one of joining with the more "game-oriented" players. In other words, keep playing until you can exploit the game with the best of them. Such exploit-inclusive games have their own field, and can reach high tournament level as players try to out-do each other in manipulating the system.

But being a seasoned player, you probably already know all of this. It just feels to me that this is the real, eternal issue that crops up again and again in games like this.

Fortunately, from what I can tell on the AARs, you have your choice either way. ATG has many of both "simulation-oriented players" and "game-oriented" players, you just have to find them through trial and error or by asking up front what kind of game they want to play.


< Message edited by springer -- 6/19/2011 6:58:17 PM >

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/19/2011 9:01:31 PM   
all5n


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Sorry, unless it is listed as a bug it does not fit the definition of an exploit.

When starting a new game, lay down the gentleman's rules on what is and is not allowed. I have not met anyone in the AT community that will not follow these. And if they don't, find someone else to play with.

Personally i assume that if someone starts with roads and a one city start (without any other gentelmen's rules) that trains will be used for an early rush and some 12 year old is trying to punk me (LULZ PWN U). Plus, whoever has the first turn has an unfair advantage. Early rush leads to imbalanced games, which is why i prefer to not use the one city start. Too easy to unbalance the game before the fighting even starts, especially on random un-mirrored maps.

The other option is to use the no roads option. Much slower expansion is forced on everyone.


quote:

ORIGINAL: springer

The major problem is less the system and more the opponent, in my opinion. Perhaps your post reflects this?
As you probably already know, for one group of players, the goal is to exploit the system in whatever way possible (short of cheating,hopefully) in order to win no matter what. Part of the fun for them is to find the holes (exploits) in the rules that allow them to surprise the enemy and win.

(A subset of these "exploit" players are also devotees of the "I pwn noobs" principle, in which they like watching a player's shock as they inflict an unexpected exploit upon an inexperienced, unsuspecting, simulation oriented player. An example of the principle in another context can be seen in this video. [Ironically, one could argue that real warfare has the same principle.] I think there is no getting around these kind of players except learning who they are through experience.)



(in reply to springer)
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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/20/2011 12:27:41 AM   
Adam Rinkleff

 

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quote:

And the problem is called: CITY RUSH. In other words, there has always been an early game phase where the players raced to claim the most towns, and get the most production for themselves. The only difference is: once we did it with trucks, now we do it with trains.

Well, I'm not really as concerned with the trucks -- that takes more time and so far in the 1v1 random maps it hasn't been too unbalanced. I think I might take out the roads too, but decrease the cost of building them.




(in reply to srndac)
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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/20/2011 12:29:07 AM   
Adam Rinkleff

 

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hmm

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/20/2011 1:29:14 AM   
Tac2i


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I agree wholeheartedly. A change should be coded into the game that limits trains to friendly territory (yours or an ally) only. The idea of trains in 1 city start games rushing into the hinterlands just doesn't feel right. As has been stated, the current best way to restrict this is to play with the "no roads" option.

quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff

I don't think the game is meant to be played by rushing your troops to all the various neutral cities by using your trains as 'super trucks'. In my opinion, trains should come to a screeching halt the moment they reach territory which isn't yours. Indeed, you can't create a new unit in neutral territory, and then use your trains to transfer troops there... so why can you just load a unit on the train and drive there? Its an abuse of the movement allowance.




_____________________________

Tac2i (formerly webizen)

(in reply to Adam Rinkleff)
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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/20/2011 2:51:26 AM   
Twotribes


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Webizen

I agree wholeheartedly. A change should be coded into the game that limits trains to friendly territory (yours or an ally) only. The idea of trains in 1 city start games rushing into the hinterlands just doesn't feel right. As has been stated, the current best way to restrict this is to play with the "no roads" option.

quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff

I don't think the game is meant to be played by rushing your troops to all the various neutral cities by using your trains as 'super trucks'. In my opinion, trains should come to a screeching halt the moment they reach territory which isn't yours. Indeed, you can't create a new unit in neutral territory, and then use your trains to transfer troops there... so why can you just load a unit on the train and drive there? Its an abuse of the movement allowance.




Yes lets force our opinion on others as fast as we can, after all only your style of play is acceptable, right?

(in reply to Tac2i)
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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/20/2011 3:28:42 AM   
Adam Rinkleff

 

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quote:


Yes lets force our opinion on others as fast as we can, after all only your style of play is acceptable, right?


What is your problem? Quit trolling.

(in reply to Twotribes)
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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/20/2011 7:12:54 AM   
Twotribes


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AdamRinkleff


quote:


Yes lets force our opinion on others as fast as we can, after all only your style of play is acceptable, right?


What is your problem? Quit trolling.


Ohh I see I am trolling for noting that you and others want to change the way the game works and I and others do NOT want it changed. Mighty convenient that only your opinion matters and any other is trolling.

(in reply to Adam Rinkleff)
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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/20/2011 7:17:13 PM   
Zaratoughda


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I ran into this situation when I was doing ARHS_1914.... this for AT. I used the scenario that Tom Weber had created and it had railroads instead of roads and that meant the trains could be used for exploring... like in ATG. So, when I got ATG I was surprised to see trains in there that could be used just like in ARHS_1914.

But.... otherwise... like in AT... I would just build a bunch of armored cars (at least had some offensive ability unlike trucks) and send them down the road on turn 2. So, doesn't seem to make that much of a difference, and in AT you couldn't really do much on turn 1, had to wait until turn 2 before your trucks or armored cars came in so, nice to have SOMETHING in there on turn 1 that you can do something with.

Starting out with 60 rifle and 6 trains, it means 10 rifle per train and down the road they go. Again, othewise it would just be armored cars and you have to wait a turn for them to come in ... and that was a pain.

I agree that is not realistic for trains to be able to go into neutral/enemy territory but, not that big a deal IMO.

Of course, then there is the SECOND thing that I do that is not realistic. Assuming my starting capital is a port, on turn 1 I build 3 or 4 cargoships and come turn 2 I load them up with 3x3 STR rifle and, if possible, a train with at least 3 rifle. They can't be dropped on turn 2 when they move out but, starting in turn 3, it's drop them along all coastlines that are unoccupied, and then just immediately pick them right back up. If a port or even a railine that is on the coast is found, then trains go down there.

With this I get auto-explore going on all over the place. Of curse, if I take a continent this way, it is very difficult to hold if there are no cities having my people. In this case, I just get some PP out of it and, advance the repair for the ultimate AI owner.

There is a rulevar that will turn off auto-explore and I tried random games with that a few times but, this seems to present significant problems for the AI, who oftentimes seems to be having trouble getting of the starting blocks. Also, with auto-explore turned off you have to get next to every hex to get it under control and this can get to be a pain.

Ideally, auto-explore should not happen unless you have the direct supply path to your home capital, like in Lancer's new enhancement for resources. But, lacking this, I turned it back on as it didn't really seem to help the AI and it was a pain to have to get next to EVERY hex in your area to get them under control.

Zaratoughda

P.S. Oh, the other thing that is significant here, the biggest problem that the AI has, is if it starts out with a capital that is essentially on an island and the capital is not a port and there are no other ports with the AI's people... the AI just ends up sitting there. This with 1 hex start and it's remaing cities are on unoccupied territory and the AI apparently does not build shipyards and thus never gets out of the starting blocks in this case.

(in reply to Adam Rinkleff)
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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/20/2011 7:48:50 PM   
ernieschwitz

 

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Well, if i might point something out, isn´t the really unrealistic thing that there exists such a thing as non-aligned territory that you just can conquor without any consequences. I would think so.

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RE: how to stop train movement through neutral territory? - 6/21/2011 5:33:31 PM   
LordJim

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ernieschwitz

Well, if i might point something out, isn´t the really unrealistic thing that there exists such a thing as non-aligned territory that you just can conquor without any consequences. I would think so.


Yeah, there ought to be some penalty, like maybe to enter neutral territory you must relinguish 33% of your forces or drop 70 PPs, or lose all oil for three turns. Any number of things could be done.


LJ

(in reply to ernieschwitz)
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