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Stacking - 5/31/2015 5:13:24 PM   
ncc1701e


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Greetings,

I have a question regarding this new game.

What I have always found fascinating in this type of WW2 grand strategy game is that it is impossible to stack an air unit with a ground unit.

What is approximately the scale of the map? A hexagon is about what? 50 kilometers? 100 kilometers?
Is it not enough to stack an air unit plus an army corps?

I have always found this is leading to strange things for Malta or for Overlord (when we have plenty of strategic bombers in England and plenty of corps ready for D Day to enter in a small space).

I am not disturbed by the fact it is impossible to stack two ground units. Why not? But, air and ground… this is disturbing…

Is it planned to be done with this new iteration?

Thanks
Post #: 1
RE: Stacking - 5/31/2015 9:51:15 PM   
Michael T


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I have the same thoughts. Its what put me off TOW and the others of the same company. I think its just lazy programming to be honest. Tiller games and GG games and many others can program a stack.

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RE: Stacking - 5/31/2015 10:34:51 PM   
solipsismMatrix

 

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This came up often on the original forum. The reply was always "simplicity", which resonates, but certainly stacking an air unit, or other micro-footprint units (e.g., rockets), should be possible and is a modest compromise to enhance realism and to leverage a handful of hexes / squares.

Graphically, this would be easy with the symbols, less easy with the 3d unit representations.


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RE: Stacking - 6/1/2015 1:41:09 AM   
Michael T


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Simple for the programmer :), not so much the players who have to figure out ways to place air units, fleets etc so they don't screw with the front lines of ground units.

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RE: Stacking - 6/1/2015 8:23:37 PM   
ncc1701e


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Yes exactly. I hope this one will change things but seeing the first screenshots, looks like I am again dreaming.


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RE: Stacking - 6/6/2015 5:21:54 AM   
AlvaroSousa


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Stacking is a lot tough to design than someone thinks it is. To implement stacking so it functions easily in a computer game even more trickier. On a board game stacking is easy. We use our hands to manipulate the stacks. In a computer game how many click you have to perform to make an action work is completely different. Now add in what if this? what if that? The variables start stacking up for situations. That's why you don't see many stacking games.

I know this because I program games. I designed a stacking system for an engine I am designing. There are always compromises

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Post #: 6
RE: Stacking - 6/6/2015 9:13:27 PM   
Michael T


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quote:

That's why you don't see many stacking games.


I really don't want to argue with the designer, but really this remark is ludicrous.

Here is small list just for starters of guys/companies who have been stacking for years.

John Tiller
Norm Koger
Ron Dockal
Gary Grigsby
Frank Hunter
Victor Reijkersz
AGEOD

Even Avalon Hill, the old boardgame company had stacking in their very first PC games (WAW) back in the 90's

Not sure who made HOS, but it has stacking as well. I would think there are easily as many games with stacking as without, I think probably more with stacking actually.

But its a simple equation for me. If this game has stacking I will try it. If not I won't.

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RE: Stacking - 6/6/2015 11:24:37 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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I am speaking of certain types of games, not all games in general. I should have specified better.




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Post #: 8
RE: Stacking - 6/7/2015 9:23:35 AM   
ncc1701e


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quote:

ORIGINAL: StratComAl

In a computer game how many click you have to perform to make an action work is completely different. Now add in what if this? what if that?


Actually, I just would like to treat two cases. Is it an air unit or a ground unit?

I am not even talking of moving a stack. Again, as I said earlier, I am not against the impossibility to stack two or more ground units. You have decided in your rules that two ground units (don’t know if you call them a corps or an army) cannot be stacked together. I am fine with that if and only if you have implemented a Switch command allowing changing a front line unit per another one behind the front without penalties on the entrenchment of the previous one. As such, we will have the possibility to disengage a tank unit per an infantry unit instead of keep it stuck on the front line.

The way I would like to see it implement is basically two mouse clicks to switch between the two units of a stack. If the ground unit is selected, you have all the actions possible for this unit. Clicking again, you have all the actions possible for the air unit. And, moving a stack of an air unit plus a ground unit is forbidden.

This is simplicity for players, perhaps not for you designers. I understand. I do not know where you are in your development process but I have always complained about the lack of space in England to put strategy bombers and ground units before D-Day in all games that does not implement such stacking.

quote:

ORIGINAL: StratComAl

The variables start stacking up for situations.


And, for the next questions adding variables to your design, do we need to allow stacking a naval unit and a ground unit; I do not know how your convoy system is implemented. But, my answer would be not necessarily if you have a combined counter to handle this.

Do we need to allow stacking a naval unit and an air unit? Again, I do not know but my guess would be not necessarily. It depends on how you implement a carrier. Do you represent its air assets by a counter?

Do we need to stack a ground / air / naval unit? Depending on the two above answers, I would say no.

What does others think? Looks like the forum is pretty quiet. Is it the official forum for this game?

Cheers

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Post #: 9
RE: Stacking - 6/7/2015 2:14:09 PM   
solipsismMatrix

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: StratComAl

On a board game stacking is easy. We use our hands to manipulate the stacks.
[...]
In a computer game how many click you have to perform to make an action work is completely different.

1) on a humourous note, having toppled many stacks in board games, I'm not so sure it's easy :)

2) here is a design suggestion: no clicks at all. Hover over the hex/square/what have you, and scroll the mouse wheel. Now I call that a UI improvement.

As envisioned, there wouldn't be much stacking. Just tiny-footprint units allowed. So no multiple armies. It would, however, be a significant increase in realism with no decrease in playability (if my UI suggestion is taken in).





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Post #: 10
RE: Stacking - 6/8/2015 2:23:09 AM   
Hubert Cater

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T

quote:

That's why you don't see many stacking games.


I really don't want to argue with the designer, but really this remark is ludicrous.


Hi Michael T,

Thanks for your interest in SC3

I just wanted to quickly say that StratComAl is a moderator for this forum and not an official designer for our latest project. I'm just mentioning this as a point of clarification and only to suggest that his posts here are simply an expression of his own point of view and not the official word when comes to SC3.

That aside, I can say that Bill and I have discussed the possibility of limited stacking (Bill Runacre is the campaign designer for SC3) and this would include stacking air units with regular land units and so on.

Not necessarily the more thorough stacking as seen in the games you've listed in this thread, but something to better protect air units and so on in game.

solipsismMatrix is correct that in the past we would argue against it for simplicity, and while this still applies, the scale of the current SC3 map also helps in making it less necessary, i.e. the map is at a pretty good size right now where it works pretty well without requiring stacking... and we've kept that in mind since we always have so much to do and often have to pick and choose the additions that will have the biggest/most important impacts to the new game.

However, since SC3 is fully customizable, including the maps and map scales, it is not to say that this should never be an option, and that is primarily why it is still something that may or may not be included in the end.

Probably not the straight answer you might be hoping for, but it honestly is the best answer I can give at the moment and I hope this helps,
Hubert





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Post #: 11
RE: Stacking - 6/8/2015 9:09:41 AM   
Hanal

 

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For me it is quite simple...SC has evolved over the years where one would think we can finally see the day where air units will no longer clog up hexes...my goodness, if my original version of PANZER GENERAL can manage this on my 3DO gaming console, don't waste my time with reasons why it is difficult to do now...lazy programming is how I see it...

< Message edited by J P Falcon -- 6/9/2015 11:30:14 AM >

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RE: Stacking - 6/8/2015 4:54:56 PM   
SeaMonkey

 

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Like I promoted in the beginning, there should be a density of deployment mechanism that allows multi units to combine and breakdown with a mathematical restriciton for each hex based upon the terrain and logistical potentials. Now I'm not a coder, so I have no idea if "Eiffel" or "C++" or whatever computer languages are available could adequately incorporate such a procedure. I have programmed in "Basic" and have written macros and functions in Excel and it seems to me that the possibilty exists as it all has to be incorporated using algorithms.

Yes, it requires thought and testing and probably some pretty complicated mathematical equations, but for some reason the contemplation of "impossible" escapes me. Perhaps, Bill and Hubert need an advanced mathematician on staff, like someone with a strong physics and differential equation background. Just a suggestion.

Hope this helps.

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RE: Stacking - 9/30/2015 12:59:59 PM   
Ron

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: J P Falcon

For me it is quite simple...SC has evolved over the years where one would think we can finally see the day where air units will no longer clog up hexes...my goodness, if my original version of PANZER GENERAL can manage this on my 3DO gaming console, don't waste my time with reasons why it is difficult to do now...lazy programming is how I see it...



I agree completely. Brand new engine and we still don't have stacking of air units? Incredible!!

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Post #: 14
RE: Stacking - 11/30/2015 6:20:47 PM   
aaatoysandmore

 

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Ron Dockal games have some of the worst stacking rules I ever tried. It reminded me of Kampfgruppe back in the 80's when it first came out. You could stack every unit into one hex and run around the map slaughtering everything in sight because the AI didn't do that cheatin/exploity stuff. Then they fixed it in Battlegroup an only allowed 2 units per hex and that was a good game. Later came Panzer Strike and Typhoon of Steel and I think they dropped it back to just 1 unit per hex. Steel Panthers later came out and I forget how many units could bunch up in that game but I'm pretty sure it had limits as well.

I don't like Dockal games and I don't like large stacks. Games like Panzer General and Panzer Corp do it right. One infantry and one plane. I think that is enough. Whoever heard of guys getting up on their comrades shoulders so they all could stand on one piece of dirt?

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Post #: 15
RE: Stacking - 11/30/2015 7:27:57 PM   
Ason

 

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I have been playing Time of fury lately and the biggest problem I see with no stacking is that numerical power disappears from the battle calculation. It all comes down to "is your unit better or worse - then you win/lose" and that feels too simple. For example whenever your enemy has a higher unit level you can't hold the front, you already know it from the start.
If we had some stacking (I agree there should be a limit though) numbers would also play a role in the battles and it wouldn't be just about "is your unit higher or lower level?"(I know there are other things that's also affects the outcome of the battle).


Also no stacking creates weird situations some times, like not being able to move a unit, 1 inf division defending an entire city etc etc.

I hope there will be stacking but made in a good and simple way, not like hoi3 which I stopped playing because i found stacking to be too complicated and huge (can stack like 10-20 units or smt). It should be simple to see stacked units and understand what is stacked and how powerful the stack is.

< Message edited by Mrslobodan -- 11/30/2015 8:29:26 PM >

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Post #: 16
RE: Stacking - 12/29/2015 11:42:15 AM   
MasterChief


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hubert Cater

quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael T

quote:

That's why you don't see many stacking games.


I really don't want to argue with the designer, but really this remark is ludicrous.


Hi Michael T,

Thanks for your interest in SC3

I just wanted to quickly say that StratComAl is a moderator for this forum and not an official designer for our latest project. I'm just mentioning this as a point of clarification and only to suggest that his posts here are simply an expression of his own point of view and not the official word when comes to SC3.

That aside, I can say that Bill and I have discussed the possibility of limited stacking (Bill Runacre is the campaign designer for SC3) and this would include stacking air units with regular land units and so on.

Not necessarily the more thorough stacking as seen in the games you've listed in this thread, but something to better protect air units and so on in game.

solipsismMatrix is correct that in the past we would argue against it for simplicity, and while this still applies, the scale of the current SC3 map also helps in making it less necessary, i.e. the map is at a pretty good size right now where it works pretty well without requiring stacking... and we've kept that in mind since we always have so much to do and often have to pick and choose the additions that will have the biggest/most important impacts to the new game.

However, since SC3 is fully customizable, including the maps and map scales, it is not to say that this should never be an option, and that is primarily why it is still something that may or may not be included in the end.

Probably not the straight answer you might be hoping for, but it honestly is the best answer I can give at the moment and I hope this helps,
Hubert






Thanks for clarifying the thought process as you move forward. This would be a deal breaker for me though. I have loved the SC series but have always hated the stacking limitations (especially regarding air units). It seriously limits moding scenarios and that is one of the features I most admire in this game system.

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RE: Stacking - 12/30/2015 1:58:37 AM   
Hairog


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mrslobodan

I have been playing Time of fury lately and the biggest problem I see with no stacking is that numerical power disappears from the battle calculation. It all comes down to "is your unit better or worse - then you win/lose" and that feels too simple. For example whenever your enemy has a higher unit level you can't hold the front, you already know it from the start.
If we had some stacking (I agree there should be a limit though) numbers would also play a role in the battles and it wouldn't be just about "is your unit higher or lower level?"(I know there are other things that's also affects the outcome of the battle).


Also no stacking creates weird situations some times, like not being able to move a unit, 1 inf division defending an entire city etc etc.

I hope there will be stacking but made in a good and simple way, not like hoi3 which I stopped playing because i found stacking to be too complicated and huge (can stack like 10-20 units or smt). It should be simple to see stacked units and understand what is stacked and how powerful the stack is.


Ah Time of Fury...such a missed opportunity. Almost was a classic. They got most elements right. Just a few programming challenges left and it would have been golden. So fricking close...

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RE: Stacking - 12/30/2015 2:08:00 AM   
SeaMonkey

 

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I know that Hubert and Bill, probably Al too rationalize that with the map being so spacious that stacking may not be of concern.

But, I want to remind them that eventually we will be expanding the SC3 scope to include Pacific Islands and some other remote reaches of the WW2 geography as SC3 goes global.

Remember, an island is an "island", its own little world and somewhat limited in its deployment options.

< Message edited by SeaMonkey -- 12/30/2015 3:08:43 AM >

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RE: Stacking - 1/5/2016 6:10:48 PM   
Happycat

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: SeaMonkey

I know that Hubert and Bill, probably Al too rationalize that with the map being so spacious that stacking may not be of concern.

But, I want to remind them that eventually we will be expanding the SC3 scope to include Pacific Islands and some other remote reaches of the WW2 geography as SC3 goes global.

Remember, an island is an "island", its own little world and somewhat limited in its deployment options.


SC2 had many Pacific Islands, and some were multiple hex. Regardless, I never found it difficult to provide air cover from an adjacent island. My problem was more to do with how to keep that air unit at high readiness. Something I would love to see is an HQ having influence within its range, even across water. That way,for example, Dugout Doug could sit in Correigidor but provide readiness for air and ground units on the big island.

How you doing by the way? Haven't talked to you in about 2-3 years it seems...


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Post #: 20
RE: Stacking - 1/5/2016 10:00:30 PM   
Magpius


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Schwerpunkt's latest does NOT have mountainous stacks of überunits.

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Post #: 21
RE: Stacking - 2/7/2016 4:47:58 PM   
andrea23

 

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quote:

John Tiller
Norm Koger
Ron Dockal
Gary Grigsby
Frank Hunter
Victor Reijkersz
AGEOD



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Post #: 22
RE: Stacking - 2/7/2016 7:29:01 PM   
governato

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: andrea23

quote:

John Tiller
Norm Koger
Ron Dockal
Gary Grigsby
Frank Hunter
Victor Reijkersz
AGEOD





+1000
Just add some reasonable stacking rules, so that bridgeheads and beachheads can be modeled in the game. Lack of realistic force concentrations would be a strong limitation of the game engine. Normandy anyone?

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Post #: 23
RE: Stacking - 2/10/2016 1:35:11 AM   
SeaMonkey

 

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Dang it Happycat, I totally missed your greeting, my apologies! Other than getting a little absentminded, I'm doing fine. Just hoping Hubert and company will get this baby out here so we can sharpen our SC skills and get into some of those email competitions that SC so excels at.

Noticed your a moderator, and hopefully along with our other veterans, a beta tester too. And like you, I would love to see enhanced readiness in those isolated areas, perhaps needing some engineering help to accomplish.

Probably a little to late, but customizing our deployment options with a variety of aircraft/ground types including mission versatile options would make stacking obsolete. Maybe leader/HQs with player directed asset attachments could fill the bill. It will definetly be interesting to see what the SC gang has cooked up for us.

Waiting patiently

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Post #: 24
RE: Stacking - 2/10/2016 11:44:02 PM   
battlevonwar


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If the map is very big it could be a hinderance..if it's smaller it may pack up units ...

I am not even sure what stacking would do. In various games when you can pack a few valuable hexes(regions) with a massive amount of units it does change things. Of course the smart thing would be to do like in HOI(go around the stack and cut off it's supply if possible and wait it out) my favorite method of destroying massive stacks there against the AI. Not so easily done with a human. In AGEOD games they place traffic penalties and slowed movement but the way turns are played at the same time changes the meaning of it all. Not sure how that turned out precisely and causes lots of issues.

I remember in Guns of August the front was so small(perfect example of stacking and over stacking) the game still ran okay as the frontage was so limited you needed stacking.


Penalizing stacking is a way of making things run more smooth. In the latest Hex game I'm playing Barbarossa it seems that it does okay... Though at first there were roadblocks from overdoing it

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Post #: 25
RE: Stacking - 2/11/2016 2:57:36 AM   
Hairog


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Strategic War in Europe's scale is 150km per hex. It works very well. There are a number of other problems that plagued the game including lack of stacking for air units.

The scale, however, was very good.

They also had a rule that let you swap out front line units with any unit directly to it's 3 hex rear. This worked out very well.

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Post #: 26
RE: Stacking - 2/11/2016 9:21:25 PM   
Ason

 

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150km is way too much, max 50 km but even that is too much, with 150km you would fit like 1 or 2 units in entire crimea and you wouldn't even see normandy...
I think the size they show in the screenshots seems good, wouldn't mind a bit smaller though, we all love strategic wargames, we can handle more than 10 units, rather have more than less.

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Post #: 27
RE: Stacking - 2/12/2016 4:11:26 AM   
Hairog


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Time of Fury is 30 miles across.

[image]https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipOQ2-3nyAOMBhvE7kwN9SQn3-zcMkQppttKDq2x[/image]

Time of Fury

Strategic War in Europe

Time of Fury Crimea

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Post #: 28
RE: Stacking - 2/16/2016 5:36:28 AM   
Ason

 

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Yeah, Time of Fury has pretty good size imo.

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Post #: 29
RE: Stacking - 6/13/2016 2:43:01 AM   
Steely Glint


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Time Of Fury was so close to being great and then they gave up on it. []{}#%^!!!!!!!

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