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Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 2:33:46 AM   
Vonrich

 

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Hi Alvaro,

There's nothing I expect from you immediately on this, but I wanted to start a conversation around supply in general.

If there's one thing my study of military history has taught me, it's that logistics is the key component in any military victory. Within logistics, supply will win or lose the battle. To that end, I have two notes that I'd like to address:

1) Supply lines are too subject to chance. I have had games where I control most of Russia, yet my units find themselves out of supply because of partisan activity. I appreciate the sentiment around partisan activity, but when I am dominating the countryside with infantry divisions, I shouldn't be seeing quite so much partisan activity. I had a game where I had an infantry division at nearly every strategic RR junction, and nearly every city yet, despite my overwhelming military presence in the countryside (and after 3 years of occupation) I was still being disrupted by partisan activity to considerable effect every 2 weeks. It just feels unrealistic that that many cells are pulling off such tremendous disruption with such frequency when under such scrutiny.

2) Supply is too easy. Despite my objections to partisan activity above, I feel that supply is somewhat of an afterthought when planning a major offensive. All I really need to do is count hexes based on terrain type to know how far I can push. As an aside, I also feel like the scorched earth policy isn't sensible. Why would I be destroying my supply lines during an offensive? That said, needing to establish a supply depot or commit supplies further ahead of time to a particular destination would increase the complexity of supply. The idea that Germany is connected instantaneously to all other regions by rail seems untenable. Another aside, rail transport should be more limited or costly.

A few ideas that I'd like to brainstorm:

1) The ability to build supply lines, both convoy and rail, would be beneficial.
2) The ability to suppress a region from insurgency seems sensible. I could see this working well by requiring a command unit to garrison a "province" and for that command unit to be enforced with requested troops (efficiency of commander lowers number of troops required) and the chance of insurgency in the region falling (perhaps not to less than 5%?) based on the garrison requirements being fulfilled. Perhaps that number of troops requested could also be inaccurate based on the experience of the commander. Consider, an inept commander says he can control a region with 30 power, but in reality he needs 50 - despite fulfilling the request the actual requirement is unfulfilled. In this way it requires resources and command to accomplish a goal, detracting from frontline efforts, while adding a level of uncertainty common to such subjective circumstances.
3) Deteriorating supply from primary sources more rapidly but allowing that to be mitigated by building and manning supply depots. The deterioration from that supply depot would be based on how full the depot is and based on use. So, for instance, let's say there's a depot supplying an offensive to Stalingrad. On the turn previous I commit 40 oil, once I have used 40 oil my units are out of supply and cannot move. This forces resources to be committed to a particular offensive ahead of time rather than drawing from a common pool. Additionally, I would need to commit my supply trucks to that depot.

I think that's enough food for thought. I do want to thank you for making a wonderful game and I hope you only take my suggestions as friendly advice on things I would appreciate in this game.

Best,

Von
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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 3:17:28 AM   
Aspirin


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I find the current supply system good, as Alvaro is trying to reduce the micromanagement (which I like). The need to repair railways during rapid advances works well.

I'm not a fan of the partisan system though. In my current game I had reached the Kiev line in July 41 (after attacking in late March as the weather turned unexpectedly good). There were a few key partisan attacks + the whole Army south of the pripet marshes had no supply. The next turn a similar thing happened + everything north of the marshes was out of supply.

I also agree with you, it's a great game.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 3:02:26 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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Thanks the feedback. Logistics is always something hard to put in a game and I am not the super expert so it's nice to hear from someone who knows his stuff. There are many things I would like to do differently but often you have to design for the game instead of realism. You try and get as close as possible. For example I would love individual capital ships. But that is just too much for players. it is a lot of units to manage. The scale would be a little odd too. So it's 2 per naval group.

So on to logistics. Do you play poker? I do. I am very good at it. There are mathematical principles about your fair share of a pot, pot odds, and equity during a hand. There are also mathematics involved in calling even if you are beat X% of the time in which X is way greater than 50%. Or bluffing in a hand which you are beat to lose less in the long run. These are very complex mathematical thought processes even though the math is fairly straight forward.

The Supply system is also based on these principle. Much of the game is a balance of giving and getting. Thus why no decision events. Those are absolute decisions IMO when I see them in a game. There is only 1 answer and it's just there for feel. Like in poker all the micro decisions impact the longer grand strategy decisions on how you play. You must plan ahead. WarPlan makes people think instead of just clicking buttons and attacking.

So the supply system works on the same principle. Ok your supply got cut. You have a unit supply level 3. You can go 2 turns withing really hurting. You need to garrison your rear junctions and resources with divisions to help alleviate this. The loss in effectiveness is also a ratio of the total.

So say for example you are getting +20% eff return off of supply. You are at 80% which means you get +4% (100-80 * 20%).
Say you lose a turn and get nothing.
But a turn after that you get it back in supply.

So over 3 turns you should have gotten around 10-12% assuming different factors.
With 1 turn out of supply you get 7-9% instead. A total difference of 3-5% of your overall effectiveness during a 6 week period.
11 X 4 = 44 * 20% = ~9% vs 11 x 2 = 22 * 20% = ~4%

Even if you lose supply for 2 turns of 4 or 50% of the time. That is still only a difference 10-15% over those turns of 100% total.

That is a tiny amount comparatively. So the mathematical construct works in increments. Most people are just not used to it. In poker you can go back and forth winning 60% of your hands heads up vs an opponent and still be losing. Because that opponent is playing based off of math and you are not you don't understand WHY you are losing even though you are winning more pots.

I will note that the Italians manage to get in 90% of the supplies into North Africa and arguably and successfully accomplished all their naval goals. But that 10% on occasion was pretty critical for an offensive. Why? Maybe that time the Allies sunk an important oiler or sank the transport with all the new tanks. A critical element of the offensive. So this is abstractly put in the game by the occasional cut off.

People are still learning. I saw an AAR where both the Allies and Axis had a huge number of units in Tunisia and neither were getting enough supply to generate an offensive. I would have played that situation different with detaching some corps into divisions covering strong points and focusing the best units in places to attack with less units. You technically have a smaller army but better supply. So those defensive supplied smaller units be just as effective as large less supplied ones.

I have played this game many times. I have no issues of supply. It takes time to figure out the balance on how to manage resources in WarPlan. I purposely designed it that way. Even I don't know all the variables and conditions. In Beta and post release I saw videos of new strategies people posted and I had to adjust the game for balance. They were really cool exploitative strategies.

Of course if this becomes an issue later it will be adjusted. I do appreciate and write down all suggestions in my list. Sometimes these ideas get put into the game sometimes they don't.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 3:45:11 PM   
Vonrich

 

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Thanks for the reply, Alvaro! Your methodology makes sense. Perhaps it is the alert system that makes it seem worse than it is.
Every turn I would be clicking through 20 or so alerts about partisan activity and out of supply. The level of partisan activity and not being able to do much about it ends up frustrating me. I've included a picture of how I am defending my supply lines. Is this less than you intend for secure supply? It's certainly frustrating in the winter when I can't get to the partisans and my units are sometimes too weak to attack and defeat them in a single turn.

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to listen and respond!





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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 3:58:44 PM   
Meteor2


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I had this enemy air unit with a partisan unit today.
Seems not to be very reasonable.
Maybe it should not be allowed for the AI to do it.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 6:04:30 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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It landed on a partisan?

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 6:06:49 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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Is that it on the map? Well sure that's a city. It's a supply source.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 6:12:39 PM   
Meteor2


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Hmmm.
It happend in the far Hinterland, so I thought it was a partisan unit.
And a plane was on top of it.
Seen that twice.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 7:10:18 PM   
Uxbridge


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Yes, I had the airplane too. A partisan spawned close to Odessa and took Mikolaev (or showed up there to begin with, don't know). It was accompanied by and air unit.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 7:22:48 PM   
Vonrich

 

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The airplane shown in the screenshot I provided was a partisan aircraft that spawned on that city. I am positive it was partisan because I had destroyed all Soviet forces at that time.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 7:40:58 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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Ok so in this case I can't do anything about that. It will pick an in supply city with production to spawn in.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 8:29:41 PM   
Meteor2


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Then, a new routine would be fine that prevents that behaviour.
A city under controll for quite some time cannot provide the infrastructure for a enemy air unit, representing numerous planes.
Is there an historical example for such an event?

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/25/2019 9:18:01 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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This is not as simple as you think it is for a computer game. There are gamey factors that can happen and A.I. problems.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/26/2019 1:32:03 AM   
scout1


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Pardon me if this has already been addressed …. But why the hell do partisans get air units under any circumstances ?

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/26/2019 2:46:43 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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The air unit spawned there because the Axis allowed them to take a production city.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/26/2019 6:13:03 PM   
Franciscus


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Maybe making impossible to create an air unit in a hex occupied by a partisan unit ? or prohibit to stack an air unit on a partisan unit ?


Regards

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/26/2019 7:47:25 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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That is a lot of extra code for something rare.

This happens in WIF all the time. Anyways who would put a plane in a production hex with a partisan?

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/26/2019 7:52:03 PM   
Franciscus


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quote:

Anyways who would put a plane in a production hex with a partisan?


The AI

But I agree it is a minor thing

Regards


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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/27/2019 10:56:20 AM   
Vonrich

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alvaro Sousa

This happens in WIF all the time. Anyways who would put a plane in a production hex with a partisan?


I'm curious what you mean by that. This isn't a captured aircraft (if capturing is even possible...I'm a bit confused by what you mean by your quote), this is an aircraft that spawned as a partisan. I believe you that it would be extra code, I'm just confused by what you mean by "who would put a plane in a production hex with a partisan?"

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/27/2019 12:49:16 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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Ok so a partisan pops up. You take some back city like Kiev. Now you put a plane there in the middle of German controlled territory with a dozen corps around it. It can be easily killed.

In WIF the board game if a partisan occupies a hex they control only that hex. If it is a supply source the Russians can annoyingly put units there lol.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/27/2019 1:07:00 PM   
Vonrich

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alvaro Sousa

Ok so a partisan pops up. You take some back city like Kiev. Now you put a plane there in the middle of German controlled territory with a dozen corps around it. It can be easily killed.

In WIF the board game if a partisan occupies a hex they control only that hex. If it is a supply source the Russians can annoyingly put units there lol.


Sure. So it sounds like the Russians deployed an aircraft there that they had built but had nowhere else to deploy it. I didn't have an aircraft there to begin with (mine or Russian), a partisan just popped up and then had an aircraft with it. It sounds like it's not a partisan aircraft but a Russian aircraft deployed to a supply hex controlled by a Russian partisan group. Is that correct?

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/27/2019 1:26:59 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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That is correct Russian A/C in the deployment queue and the A.I. brain farted.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/27/2019 2:43:28 PM   
Cohen_slith

 

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Ahem - correction here.

In WIF it cannot happen because a Partisan unit do not convert the ownership of the hex it is in.
A partisan unit prevents railing through the hex, collection of resources, etcetera.

Here from the AI perspective, well ... a player will just faceroll partisan and plane then out of the blue I believe.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/27/2019 4:41:34 PM   
TrogusP96

 

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Alvaro,

I'm terrible at poker. My one observation from a charity event is that with equal players a slight advantage in ealry starting conditions can snowball into an irretrievable situation. I know nothing about programming. so I read the discussion with and the other comments you've made about programming difficulties with interest. The WIF programmer is wrestling with supply programming in order to get it to conform to the board game rules and I say just change the rule. A huge waste of time. Your discussion makes sense.

I do feel that the double capital ship is tough especially for smaller naval powers and the US buildup because the costs are so high right now you cant even get a build started. Also, a strength loss can be recouped with much less time than an original build even though one ship might have been sunk.

Also a number of capital ship encounters only involved one battleship or odd numbers of carriers. The cost/risk ratio is less flexible it seems to me.

I don't understand the scale being odd at 1 ship because right now the logistic. shipyard, PP cost is well over twice armored corps so the units at two capital ships per purchase (plus support) is out of scale with the land and air units.

Also, capital ships were not laid down two at a time until the US got rolling.
They operated in divisions squadrons and flotillas etc. I think the system for infantry units is exceedingly clever and flexible in both on map and in production and the same system applied to naval and air would be awesome. Especially when production is drawn off for upgrades and reinforcements. Maybe from a programming perspective this is too much.

To wrap up the supply issue I appreciate the interplay between supply and effectiveness. Very cool.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/27/2019 7:05:42 PM   
Essro

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Vonrich

Thanks for the reply, Alvaro! Your methodology makes sense. Perhaps it is the alert system that makes it seem worse than it is.
Every turn I would be clicking through 20 or so alerts about partisan activity and out of supply. The level of partisan activity and not being able to do much about it ends up frustrating me. I've included a picture of how I am defending my supply lines. Is this less than you intend for secure supply? It's certainly frustrating in the winter when I can't get to the partisans and my units are sometimes too weak to attack and defeat them in a single turn.

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to listen and respond!







that is a whole lot of troops on garrison/anti-partisan duty

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/27/2019 7:06:48 PM   
Cohen_slith

 

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They're not enough by how the Partisan go.
Because the anti-partisan range to prevent them spawning is just a unit ZoC. So you can imagine how many units the Axis needs to safekeep their rails.
And that is why I say partisans are broken.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/27/2019 7:44:33 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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Thanks for the compliment. On the two capital ship for Naval group this is it a decision done for my experience between two games world in Flames and European theater of operations. The latter had single Capital ships for Naval group new is unmanageable. But if I can find a solution will see what happens

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/27/2019 10:54:38 PM   
Taxman66


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I don't own Warplan (yet), but I have a suggestion.

Why not implement WIF build rules for ships?

In short, break the build cost into 2 payments. First payment (say 33% of overall cost) lays the hull down and takes 50% of build time. At deployment it doesn't go on the map but becomes available on the production screen for completion. This would cost 67% (i.e. rest of the amount) and also take 50% of the build time.

This also has the advantage of placing partially completed hulls on the production queue at the scenario starts.

------
Admiditly, probably a moderately significant coding change. So maybe more of a long term or next game suggestion.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/30/2019 1:38:28 PM   
Vonrich

 

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Yeah, I agree, Essro. I think it's too many troops for the outcomes I was experiencing. It's difficult to make decisions about what micro should stay and what should go. Alvaro has done a very nice job of taking away a lot of the micro involved in a game like this, but this is one area where I think there is room for improvement. It's just not fun fighting a dozen partisans every turn - especially in the winter months when it's difficult to get to them. By the end game I felt like half of my turn was managing something that I found both preposterous (that is, how many partisans somehow managed to do so much damage every 2 weeks when under such heavy control) and unenjoyable. This is a system I hope to see updated in a subsequent game as per my recommendations above.

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RE: Supply Frustrations - 11/30/2019 6:50:46 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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I have to start small, smaller, than I want to with the game and build up. Otherwise there would be too much to fix for a complicated game under the hood. But all the posts and AARs I keep adding ideas for the future.

The Pacific will probably have individual capital ships for sexy play.

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