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Campaign scenario issues - 5/4/2015 10:43:04 AM   
Jim D Burns


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I played around with the game some from both allied and axis and have found myself very frustrated with the tight scenario design choices I’ve seen so far (2 or 3 scenarios per side completed). Rather than fighting a WWII simulation, I feel like I’m playing a solve the puzzle game instead.

A good example would be the first Japanese attack scenario on Luzon. With only 12 turns allowed to take out the US airfield, it is impossible to fly more than one strike mission against the base due to fuel limits and the distance between your airfield and the US airfield. There simply is no time to return to your field to repair any damage and get back for a second strike so you need enough force to do it in one go. So players are forced to purchase at least two bombers at setup if they hope to have enough firepower and staying power to destroy the base within the 12 turn limit given.

This of course then severely limits the amount of money available to purchase land forces to use to reach the two bridges within the 10 turn limit. It all boils down to no real choice given to players in how they want to build their force structures. If you choose to try out different strategies you will fail some of the mission goals and then be penalized for the rest of the campaign due to penalties given when goals are not met.

Personally I do not find this kind of scenario fun to play, in fact it annoys me since I’d prefer the freedom to try out different force structure strategies and hopefully have enough freedom and time to be able to succeed at completing mission goals with many different force structures.

If you want players to play with a specific force structure, simply give them the units you want them to use. Giving us the freedom to build our own forces but then penalizing us for creating a force that isn’t capable of meeting draconian turn limits for tightly timed mission goals is not good design philosophy. It would have been better to keep the freedom to build units from us and simply assigned us the units you wanted us to use.

I’ve found myself already setting the game aside because of these design issues. But I’m hopeful someone will chime in and tell me later campaign scenarios are not all built around draconian time limits and tightly limited force structure options because of them.

Jim


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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/4/2015 11:08:11 AM   
Meteor2


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First I have to say, that I do not own the game (yet).
I am on the fence of buying, but after some discussion in the forum (here and Slitherin), I have some fear, that Jim is right.

I would wish, time limits or even objective limits are not strict.
As in real life, the following scenario will tell you, whether your achivements and results have been sufficient or not (FOW).
Please not "puzzle as long as the results fit". Thats not a campaign.

So, well said, Jim.

(in reply to Jim D Burns)
Post #: 2
RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/4/2015 1:01:29 PM   
Erik2

 

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Re destroying Clark airbase.
You can do it With one tactical bomber, you need to attack twice that's all.
You take some damage from the AA unit, but Your bomber should survive.

The two bridges can be taken by ignoring some of the Allied forces North of them. You deal With them later.

But I agree, the 'solutions' to these objectives normally comes after playing scenario at least once.

Generally the primary objectives are the campaign essensials and the secondary the icing on the cake.
Also, when you are familiar with the game you get a better feeling what units to purchase for a given scenario's objectives.

Hope this helps a bit.


(in reply to Meteor2)
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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/4/2015 1:13:25 PM   
Lukas


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Thanks for your honest feedback Jim. Let me explain our reasoning behind this aspect of the game:

First of all - especially for those who don't own the game (yet) - these objectives are secondary objectives so don't have to reach them. If you do, you get some benefits in the current or consecutive scenarios, but nothing that prevents you from playing on. In fact some missions have been designed specifically so you can't achieve everything - or at least have a very hard time doing so.

So rather than force you to purchase a specific combination of units or play the scenario a specific way we hoped these objectives would encourage various approaches and experimentation. If - in your example - you choose to focus more on a strong airforce you will be able to knock out Clark Airfield quickly and you'll get rewarded for it. If instead you decide to focus on ground based forces you'll have a better chance at capturing the bridges intact.

We could have hidden the exact details of these objectives and just mentioned "We should try to catch the enemy airforce by surprise and raid their airfield" in the briefing, without giving specific details on what happens when you don't do that (enemy fighters taking off) or by when it should be done. I suppose that's more realistic and "FOW" but most players like to know what they have to do and what the results of their actions are. If we hid all that the game would look a lot more shallow simply because a lot of stuff would happen without you even being aware of it.

For the primary objectives we've tried to be quite generous with the turn limit (without allowing the player to just sit back and use nothing but artillery to pound enemy defenses into oblivion). If players find a specific scenario to be too tight we will gladly increase the limit. None of the scenarios should rely on these limits to turn them into "puzzles".

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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/4/2015 2:30:15 PM   
fsp1978

 

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I for one have to say that I have the exact opposite feeling.

I feel most of the scenarios are less of a puzzle than in Panzer General or stock Panzer Corps (the Mega Campaigns allow more freedom than the stock version). I am very happy with the time limits I have experienced so far (only three missions into the US campaign though). I love that there are usually several routes you can take to win a scenario.

I am also thrilled to see the developer explain his design decisions here, that helps a lot in understanding why those were taken (even though you don't necessarily have to agree with everything).

I was a little disappointed with just 12 missions in every campaign and would have loved branching campaigns. While I realise this is a lot more work, I will happily pay for Mega Campaigns. Hope those are on the cards. It would be fantastic to see a Japanese MC that can end in either total victory (even something outlandish like landing in the US and meeting Germany at the Rockys), a stalemate (Japan holds onto Pacific but cannot land in CONUS) and a defeat (historical). Then also a US MC, with three possible outcomes:
Major Victory (historical or having to land in Japan)
Stalemate (contain Japan)
Defeat (lose control of the Pacific/Defend CONUS)

I loved how the original Panzer General had Moscow 41, 42 and 43 (you don't have to design a new map for this, just put in different units).

Is something like this realistic?

(in reply to Lukas)
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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/4/2015 2:37:12 PM   
Lukas


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quote:

Is something like this realistic?


It's certainly one of the possibilities for extra DLC/expansions although personally I'd prefer to cover some more different content first , such as the island hopping campaign or the war in the south-east asian mainland with British and Chinese forces. Nothing has been decided yet though.

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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/4/2015 4:46:38 PM   
GrumpyMel

 

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I don't own the game yet, though I am interested in it..... lots of different demands on my limited gaming time ;)...... quick question is it possible to proceed through the campaign (though obviously at a strong penalty) even if the player fails the primary objectives? (don't know how tough these are... so it may be pretty much a moot point). One thing I've always hated about the Panzer Corps style games, "is the you must replay this X number of times to get the victory conditions in order to continue to play the game." Is there no allowance for a player simply losing a battle? Obviously I feel there should be, since even the best generals didn't always win.

(in reply to Lukas)
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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/4/2015 5:19:13 PM   
wgfred


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I got the game Friday, played much of the weekend and think it is very enjoyable. Regarding the Luzon scenario, I had purchased a bomber for Pearl and then another for Luzon but agree with Erik that it can be done with one bomber. Also agree with original poster that there is some feeling of solve the puzzle but not exclusively or to the extent it is less enjoyable.

Looking forward to many hours/days with this one and of course more DLCs!

Fred

(in reply to GrumpyMel)
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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/5/2015 5:06:40 PM   
Solaristics


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lukas
None of the scenarios should rely on these limits to turn them into "puzzles".


Glad to hear that. I found PzC too puzzle-like on occasion. I'll add this to my list of differences between OOBP and PzC!

(in reply to Lukas)
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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/5/2015 5:29:04 PM   
Erik2

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lukas

quote:

Is something like this realistic?


It's certainly one of the possibilities for extra DLC/expansions although personally I'd prefer to cover some more different content first , such as the island hopping campaign or the war in the south-east asian mainland with British and Chinese forces. Nothing has been decided yet though.


I could do a Chindit scenario, but someone needs to add the Chinese to the factions and some new units for both Brits and Chinese...

(in reply to Lukas)
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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/5/2015 6:08:21 PM   
gunnergoz


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I'm enjoying the game much more than PC because it has more variety in it and is better thought out with features like supply. I think after a few campaign play throughs it will get a bit stale so I welcome mods and player designed campaigns in the future. DLC would of course be very welcome and I eagerly await them.

What would really be great would be a more open strategic campaign, on a global (or Pacific theater) strategic map, with the ability for the player to decide the next scenario, then plunge into it after deciding what units to commit to the battle. Advanced units could be researched as well, perhaps accelerating their introduction over historical dates, but at a price to other research areas. This is only slightly more detailed and involved than the present game, of course. The limiting feature of the present game design is the set path of scenarios that the player has little choice but to take. A more open-ended strategic layer would give players much more freedom in choosing how to fight their war, and when and where to do so.

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...Well, maybe not as good as they were yesterday, but much better than they will be tomorrow!"
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(in reply to Erik2)
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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/5/2015 6:26:10 PM   
Ormbane


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So far I'm enjoying the game although there does seem to be a bug in the Midway scenario that prevents some Allied players from completing it. I understand a patch is expected this week for various issues.

My early impression is that I would very much enjoy an Allied General type campaign using this engine. I used to play Allied General over and over. I think this game would also benefit from a good explanation of how to use the editor. My short attempt to figure it out was not fruitful.

(in reply to gunnergoz)
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RE: Campaign scenario issues - 5/7/2015 12:27:48 AM   
TheWombat_matrixforum

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ormbane

So far I'm enjoying the game although there does seem to be a bug in the Midway scenario that prevents some Allied players from completing it. I understand a patch is expected this week for various issues.

My early impression is that I would very much enjoy an Allied General type campaign using this engine. I used to play Allied General over and over. I think this game would also benefit from a good explanation of how to use the editor. My short attempt to figure it out was not fruitful.


There's definitely something amiss in the Midway scenario. The primary victory conditions are kill two IJN carriers and stop the invasion of Midway. I did that, and still got a defeat, which is odd.

(in reply to Ormbane)
Post #: 13
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