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Historical vs Game Economics - 1/25/2020 7:34:24 AM   
aspqrz02

 

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Either the German economy is grossly OVERVALUED or the Allied economies are grossly UNDERVALUED.

Using historical GDP figures for the start of the war (1938-39), based on Germany economy in WarPlan being 170 PP, the REAL values of the economics of the other powers should be ...

UK: Warplan, 80. Actual 135.
UK Colonies: Warplan, 0. Actual 135.

France: Warplan, 95. Actual, 90.

USA: Warplan, 230. Actual, 386.

USSR: Warplan, 250. Actual, 250.

Italy: Warplan, 65. Actual, 68.

UK Dominions: Actual, 55 (Canada only is represented, with 35).

By 1939 the German economy was flat out, with new armaments industries not coming on line till late 1943 or early 1944 ... there was no slack, not really.

The UK, French and Russian economies, however, WERE playing 'catch up' to a degree, but had been rearming since 1937.

I am not sure how to represent this ... if you could simply give the various undervalued economies their ACTUAL PP (which you cannot do) that would make things impossible for the Germans to work against ... TOO impossible to represent reality.

What I WOULD suggest is that the German economic increase percentage be reduced from the current 0.9% to 0% (no increase in arms factories till late 1943, remember, that's actual history!) until 1943 when it gradually starts to increase, either every quarter or every month, to 0.9% (historically, by that time all the increases were doing was barely keeping up with losses to the allies in the air and on the ground).

And give the UK a 0.95% increase from the get go.

The problem of then 'missing' 135 PPs from the UK Colonies is more vexed. You cannot create active nations in the game and inactive ones cannot have production of ANY PPs.

The obvious answer would be to create a 'UK Colonies' off map (one for Africa, one for Asia) and set up convoy routes to transport the PPs ... and start them off at a lower level than the straight conversion would suggest, but increase the base PPs every quarter or half year, but have a multiplier of only 0.5%, or less.

The USA is a bigger problem, especially if they enter early. They should only get 85% of their actual PP as 15% was allocated to the Pacific War for a start and, of course, they shouldn't get 100% of the remainder right away ... like the UK Colonies they probably should get a quarterly increase to Base PPs as well as a 0.95% PP growth rate.

The other possibility is to have variable unit costs for each nationality ... which IS possible ... and give them different factors ... so US and UK Armour or Mech would, for example, have a LOT more tanks, guns and artillery but use more Oil than a similar German unit (etc.)

It is a pity there is no way (at present) to change a Nation's PP in the Editor ... it really should be allowed ... and, as far as I can tell, there is, likewise, no way to increase Base PP output at any point during the game, or to increase the PP increase %age.

These are serious shortcomings ... for a non-RISK type game.

Phil McGregor


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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/25/2020 7:40:38 AM   
battlevonwar


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The big problem here is what I read is that the British Industrial Output was equal to the Germans or Greater than(SUPER QUICK)? So really if you had it this way the game would be overs too quickly... The toning down is to slow the demise of the Axis for game balance again.

You have to take into consideration the Allies had junk land armies too in '39-'42 and they don't in game soooo... give them pure junk till '42? and maybe on par mid '42 late '42

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/25/2020 12:28:00 PM   
aspqrz02

 

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There are many other problems with the stock 1939 scenario ...

* Firstly, none of the armies involved are at their full actual strength. Look at the ORBAT mod ... the German army is about triple the size.

* Secondly, things take too short a time to produce. Not JUST naval units (which I've already pointed out) but ALL units. Which means armies and air forces can be build in a far too short time frame.

* Thirdly, well, if you want Axis fanboy fantasies for the Germans, then you have to accept reality for the Allies ... just to be fair.

How can these issues be solved ...

* Increase construction times.

* Have variable costs for each type of unit for each nation done by nationality and year ... so UK and French Armour and Mech should cost more in 1939-40-41, and a LOT more, to represent their general crappiness.

* Change the base stats for units according to the time frame ... British and French units should start off with lower experience, probably fewer HQ units (or lower level ones) and, for example, non-German armour and mech units should have lower Tank/AT values to represent crappy tanks and/or crappy doctrine and only allow them to be increased AFTER historical trigger points (1940/41 in France and the Western Desert for the Brits, 1941-42 as a result of Barbarossa for the Russians, for example ... the latter already occurring).

Or maybe just reduce the maximum strength that Franco-Brit Armour and Mech Corps can be ... perhaps only STR 20, or maybe even only STR 15 ... while keeping the cost high. That would also represent reality.

You can actually do most of this with the Editor as it stands.

* Reduce the types of units you can produce by nation and time period.

For example, afaict, the Poles really only fielded Divisions ... they had 'Army' HQs, but there were really ineffective Corps HQs ... so Poland should only have Infantry Divisions and reduced strength Cavalry Corps (to represent Brigade level units) at start, and either Division level HQs or no HQs.

I'd suggest that France be only able to produce NEW STR 20 Corps ... or maybe only STR 10 Divisions and be forced to combine them into Corps, or simply have to live with the few STR 30 Corps they get at start

* Germany, likewise, should not be able to create new units in 1939 with Experience 75. They should only start at EXP 50, which is better than most other countries, and represents better than average doctrine but less of it (this is actually historical).

If Germany cannot do as well as it did historically within real world constraints, then there's something wrong either with the actual game engine (and I don't think there is) OR with the way it is implemented.

Or, to put it another way, Germany WAS going down ... it was just a matter of how long it took and how much damage they did while being taken down. She simply didn't have the economic power to win in anything but the extreme short term.

YMMV, but mine doesn't.

Phil McGregor

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/25/2020 1:45:02 PM   
ericdauriac

 

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Historical production

For GDP in 1939, we have Germany = $411 billion, France = 199, the United Kingdom = 287 USA= 869, italy=151, USSR=366

If we take into account the exchange rates we have: Germany = $52 billion, France = 11, the United Kingdom = 28, USA= 90, USSR=23, italy=9 . Here the GDP figures are deflated to 1939 prices and converted using 1939 exchange rates.

France's GDP behaves strangely from 1936 onwards. Indeed, the massive expansion of the French money supply caused a sharp devaluation of the currency, which led to a very low GDP in terms of dollars converted at exchange rates. Their nominal GDP was therefore below their long-run equilibrium level, French GDP was around 20 billion dollars in 1939 instead of only 11 billion.

We have for WP rather the following figures: for Germany at 170 PP,
France = 65 (without the colonies which can be evaluated at 15/20 PP),
UK = 91 (without the colonies which can be evaluated at 10/20 PP without India).
Dominions = 40 (canada, Australia, NZ, ...)
USA = 294
USSR = 75 (WP:250)
italy= 30


BUTthis does not take into account the share of the war effort in the economy of the countries.


For 1940

Germany : 40%
Italy : 13%
USA : 2%
USSR : 20%
UK : 50%

With max:
Germany : (43) : 70%
Italy : (41/42) 22%
USA : (44) : 54%
USSR : (44) : 52%
UK : (43) : 59%

and it is necessary to take account of the fact that the United States has also fought in the Pacific, as have, more marginally, the United Kingdom and the USSR.

A good baseline estimate might be:

Germany : 170
France : 90 (WP:95)
UK : 130 (WP:80)
Dominions : 20 (WP:35)
USA : 180 (WP:230)
USSR : 90 (WP:250)
Italy : 15 (WP:65)



Sources: https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=191325, and The Economics of WW2, Harrison

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/25/2020 2:51:51 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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You can't make a wargame based on historical figures. Hindsight prevents the tactical mistakes the Allies made during the war. You need to adjust it.

For example if the Russians fought 100% correctly the Germans would have been slaughtered. Instead in 1941 they threw away army after army due to a paralyzing ineptitude from command and fear of being shot for not directly obeying orders from the officers below.

You can't mimic that in a game.

If you want to test what I am saying go into the base 1939 scenario.
Modify the productions as you see fit
Play 10 games vs 10 different opponents at the very least.
Then tell me the results.

The other way to balance the game is to really lower Allied experience and give it back later. But then the game is boring as pretty much the Allies won't be able to do anything fun for 50% of the game because the Axis now with hindsight won't do anything stupid.

There is a reason why board games are not historical recreations. You can't do it.

When I started WarPlan I used historical production then modified from there for balance. It took me a long time to calculate the tables for production from each country based on the values of output of pretty much everything and associated costs.

Too give 3 examples.
1940 raw scores
Germany 247
Japan 102
Italy 83
France Unknown
UK+CW 422
USSR 254
USA 13
Canada 60
------------
AXIS 432
ALLIES 699 + unknown France


1942 raw scores
Germany 571+155 minors
Japan 240
Italy 88
UK 915
USSR 954
USA 1450
Canada 153
------------
AXIS 954
ALLIES 3,472

1944 raw scores
Germany 1868+269
Japan 1101
UK+CW 1271
USSR 1223
USA 4473
------------
AXIS 3,238
ALLIES 6,967

Axis will get slaughtered by 1943 if I followed these figures. Before 1943 the figures would be similar. There is no way around it because players will min-max the values the do something different other than historical. If I find a balance it will make the game incredibly not fun because ti will be limiting what players do.

So there you have it.



< Message edited by Alvaro Sousa -- 1/25/2020 2:52:11 PM >


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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/25/2020 3:11:41 PM   
tyronec


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Am with you here Alvaro, the game needs to be balanced through play experience.
Raw data of GDP or arms manufacture is not an appropriate measure of production or combat units in the game.
WITE is built around actual production of all the significant military hardware (you should see the forum posts of exactly how many of each type of tank were built by each side !) but game balance comes from working backwards from game play and then adjusting combat values and so on.

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/25/2020 3:20:57 PM   
Cohen_slith

 

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And how much of a nation GDP is actually devoted to war equipment? How much of it was invested into ships?
Will players do the same blunders of historical leaders? How many Soviets actually deploy upfront hugging the Germans for Barbarossa? How many French and British troops march straight into Belgium to meet up with the Germans there?
Etc. Etc. Etc.

UK has already a generous economy pre-buff of latest beta, and now is simply ridiculously overpowered considering they can do landings in late '41, on their own accord.

I reiterate - besides your own mod project - best of luck finding a game that railroads that much. In most WW2 Game Germany outproduces UK by a good shot. In -good- WW2 games Germany outproduces Soviet singlehandedly (before Lend Lease) because at the same time German superiority in units is hard to mirror, and mostly any player will do far better than the Allies with their troop management in the early years of the war.

And since by design any '39 campaign bases the later years by the successes and failure of early years, if the Allies dominate the first years (or can easily frustrate the Axis that supposedly dictates the pacing and the grand strategy in 39-41 timeline), then there is no game later.

Ultimately one gets in a game where no one wants to play the Axis, the game thus is something to be played solitaire at best, or taking dust to the shelves. And that is not a game that merchandises around.

So I am not even entering the matter of 'how correct production is' compared to history - but 'how production is modelled within a game to offer a pleasant experience on both ends'.




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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/25/2020 3:58:46 PM   
ericdauriac

 

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That's the question. Should we create a game as close to reality as possible (and therefore a game that will be unbalanced), or should we create a balanced game by getting out of reality?

And in the first case it will then be necessary to create adequate conditions for victory.

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/26/2020 1:29:13 PM   
hansondavid4

 

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A grand strategy game that properly models economic strength AND give the play control of directed that economy will be a snoozer of a game. The fact is German had no way of winning the war as it played out. Germany's only chance was that the war would follow a 19th century continental war. You win a campaign, you foe capitulates and you have a small exchange of territory or concessions.

This worked in the case of France 1940. Britain did what it did vs Napoleon, hunkered in Britain and cut off trade. The problem for Germany was that the Soviets were not the rotting edifice that was going to collapse with one swift kick... It was not and Germany was doomed. Period. It was going to be a long total war which Germany was going to lose.

You could make it a game about National Moral. Once you decide that the Soviets will not surrender, the have to adjust Economics to make it a game. It is one of the big challenges to making a good WWI grand strategy. There you forces a more evenly match and you need to model national moral to create a good feel for the war.

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/26/2020 9:35:31 PM   
tigercub


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well Russians may have been closer to Collapse than people generally know according to sources. the Russian Army and people were pretty much starving in 1942 the Germans captured most of food growing areas.

Tigercub

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/26/2020 10:44:12 PM   
Michael T


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Any game can be based on reality and balanced. But 'balanced' simply means adjusting the victory conditions so that both sides have an equal chance of winning. Maybe winning for the Axis would be surviving to 1945. Winning for the Allies conquering the Axis by early 44. Just some examples. Personally I prefer a historically based game with VC that reward the better player.

I don't care for fabricated advantages for one side to compensate for historical limitations. Just give the weaker side easier victory conditions. Then you can make some comparison with your performance against the historical leaders. Otherwise it's just some kind of fantasy scenario unrelated to actual events at all.

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/26/2020 10:50:08 PM   
aspqrz02

 

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I disagree ... completely.

Victory conditions determine 'winning' ... and for the Germans that would mean, mostly, lasting longer than 8 May 45.

Of course, I came to *Computer* Wargames from *Board* Wargames, SPI and Avalon Hill, which WERE meant to be historical simulations, and BG grognards would laugh uproariously at your statement ...

I get it, many (perhaps most) players want computerised RISK with some vague but unimportant historical trappings.

That's fine, for those as want such ... but not ALL do.

I'm one of the ones that doesn't.

Phil McGregor

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Author, Space Opera (FGU); RBB #1 (FASA); Road to Armageddon; Farm, Forge and Steam; Orbis Mundi; Displaced (PGD)
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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/26/2020 10:57:00 PM   
aspqrz02

 

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Exactly so.

I sympathise with players who want what amounts to a computerised arcade game with vaguely historical (but otherwise completely unimportant) elements to amuse them.

Not everyone wants such.

The rest of us would like the tools to create something where history is more accurately reflected.

Phil McGregor

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/26/2020 11:12:51 PM   
aspqrz02

 

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Yes, but ...

A number of very smart historians have looked at the evidence, especially the evidence that has emerged since 1989, and especially economic historians ... and the conclusions they have come to are interesting.

Yes, the Russian people were in dire straits ... food was disastrously short (and the Russian army was largely fed by Lend-Lease SPAM and the like, as well as being largely clothed and shod by same) BUT the historians and economists looked at the ALTERNATIVE to fighting on.

Being exterminated, quickly or slowly, by the Germans. *LITERALLY* exterminated ... not just their nation and culture being wiped from the face of the earth, but being *EXTERMINATED* as a people.

Which the Russian people were quite aware was the choice.

Which was, of course, therefore no choice at all.

You really want to read some easily available recent books such as 'Moral Combat' and 'Ostkrieg' as well as some of the economic historical works, starting with Barber & Harrison's excellent "The Soviet Home Front, 1941-1945: A Social and Economic History of the USSR in World War II"

The reality is that HITLER invaded Russia with one intent and one intent only ... LEBENSRAUM.

Most people didnt understand what that actually MEANT back in the day, despite it being pretty clearly spelled out in Mein Kampf and the Second Book as well as in everything Hitler said and did, and most people STILL don't understand what it meant.

Hitler's aim was to open up European Russia to German settlement ... and that meant, quite literally, EXTERMINATING THE MAJORITY OF THE EXISTING INHABITANTS ... at least 50% overall and as close to 100% of the urban population as possible. Leaving just enough 'darkies' to tug their forelocks and sing slave songs while labouring from dawn to dusk for their German betters.

It WASN'T a war to liberate the Russian people (not even the Ukrainians) from Communist oppression ... though that's what the Army tried, half-heartedly, to sell to said Russian people. While raping, looting and pillaging all across western Russia ... like a plague of locusts.

That was the ENTIRE reason for Barbarossa ...

And POLAND was invaded because the Poles wouldn't bend over and take it up the bum and allow German troops to use Poland as a staging area or even join in the crusade of extermination for some table scraps.

Which, in turn, meant that the Western Allies had to be dealt with ... so invade NEUTRAL Denmark, Norway, Holland and then Belgium, Luxemburg and France purely and simply to give the Germans a free hand for their war of EXTERMINATION in the East.

THAT is the reality of the reason(s) for WW2 breaking out.

If you want to be 'Not Hitler' then there is actually NO reason for a war,

Phil McGregor

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Post #: 14
RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/26/2020 11:15:50 PM   
aspqrz02

 

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I get it, you want computerised RISK with vague historical window dressing and aren't interested in the slightest in reality.

Fine. Not all of us have the same inclinations,

Phil McGregor

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Post #: 15
RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/27/2020 1:23:21 AM   
Michael T


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I think you confuse 'player' win versus the Axis actually winning in reality. Of course for the Axis to win in reality it meant not just surviving but conquering the UK or forcing them to terms. Plus conquer the USSR.

I am talking about a 'player' win. Which is a well established method in wargaming to assess which player did better considering the most likely result between evenly matched players for that particular game.

Consider a scenario in ASL. Each scenario has unique victory conditions. So some scenario's are very one sided and it is expected that side A demolishes side B. But the player of side B can still 'win' the game by perhaps simply inflicting heavy losses on side A.

So my point is, if a game like WarPlan had a most likely outcome between evenly matched players of the Allies conquering the Axis by Dec 1944, we can then say ok, it's a German win (in the player sense) if they manage to survive beyond Dec 1944.

This is a well established method of determining victory in wargames. I am surprised I would need to explain it.

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/27/2020 3:38:33 AM   
aspqrz02

 

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quote:

I disagree ... completely.

Victory conditions determine 'winning' ... and for the Germans that would mean, mostly, lasting longer than 8 May 45.

Of course, I came to *Computer* Wargames from *Board* Wargames, SPI and Avalon Hill, which WERE meant to be historical simulations, and BG grognards would laugh uproariously at your statement ...

I get it, many (perhaps most) players want computerised RISK with some vague but unimportant historical trappings.

That's fine, for those as want such ... but not ALL do.

I'm one of the ones that doesn't.

Phil McGregor


*I*, on the other hand, think *you* completely missed the above. Which, of course, renders your complaint ... wrong and irrelevant.

Phil McGregor

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Post #: 17
RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/27/2020 4:08:00 AM   
Michael T


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Not wishing to enter in to a time wasting and escalating argument, I respectfully disengage.

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RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/27/2020 4:29:40 AM   
battlevonwar


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+2 Michael T

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Post #: 19
RE: Historical vs Game Economics - 1/27/2020 9:13:43 AM   
tigercub


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i fear it would go longer than the war itself! but each to his own.

Tigercub

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