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Advanced Third Reich Mod v1.4 Discussion Thread

 
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Advanced Third Reich Mod v1.4 Discussion Thread - 3/19/2020 11:05:43 PM   
pzgndr

 

Posts: 2825
Joined: 3/18/2004
From: Maryland
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Firstly, I'd like to thank Batavian, JawBreaker, Franciscus, and PHalen for commenting on the other Advanced Third Reich mod v1.3 for v1.16.02 Update thread. There have been quite a few downloads and favorable comments.

PHalen has spent some time making some graphics mods and emailed me a few times. With an eye towards updating to v1.4 at some point, I'm going to share his comments and my responses. There is certainly some room for improvement and I'm willing to get back to this, so I'm going to open this up for more discussion.

I will emphasize that I am still working full-time and most of my "free time" is spent on code development for Empires in Arms. That project has proven to be more challenging than expected. I hope to get out another official update this spring, and after that I can shift gears back to A3R. I did take a break last year to playtest WarPlan, but I haven't had time to play much of A3R or WP. Anyways, that's the deal. Next posts will have PHalen's comments and my responses, and then we can go from there.
Post #: 1
RE: Advanced Third Reich Mod v1.4 Discussion Thread - 3/19/2020 11:15:21 PM   
pzgndr

 

Posts: 2825
Joined: 3/18/2004
From: Maryland
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: PHalen

I was pleasantly surprised to note that your SC3 WiE A3R mod works fine on my Bleached Map mod, so I went ahead and made some modded A3R NATO counters, according to my preferences and initially intended for personal use.

You’ll probably not agree with my color choices etc. but if you like my NATO counters concept I’d be happy to make you something similar according to your color, symbols & shape preferences etc.

The attached .zip file also includes some other modded files that I use. Such as Phillipeatbays flag mod that I’m a big fan of.

Have a look & let me know if you find something interesting!


I appreciate your interest. The custom counters I made, plain as they are, are intended to replicate the original boardgame counters. You and others are free to customize them further, but I will stick with my nostalgic originals. I like the bleached map work you have done!

quote:

ORIGINAL: PHalen

Thanks for your reply.
I see & certainly appreciate your intent to replicate the original boardgame counters.
I'll keep my modded A3R counters for personal use.

A couple of A3R counter questions:
Why are there two rows of US Fleet counters?
Why are there two rows of UK & US ASW counters?
I assume the UK Special Forces, German Artillery & Rockets and USSR Artillery counters get activated by some events and/or variants, right?

Glad you like the Bleached Map!


Quick answers. Second US fleets are for variant where US gets 2 fleets from Pacific. This way the player can have +2 fleets without affecting the regular force pool. If the extras are lost, they cannot be rebuilt. And the UK/US ASW I think was set up early on when I was considering destroyers/battleships/carriers but changed back to generic fleets, or something; I can't remember. Anyways, only ASW is used. And yes, variants activate the special units.

I think the variants provide some subtle flavor to the game without being too significant. It helps with replayability, not knowing for sure what to expect!

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 2
RE: Advanced Third Reich Mod v1.4 Discussion Thread - 3/20/2020 12:14:45 AM   
pzgndr

 

Posts: 2825
Joined: 3/18/2004
From: Maryland
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: PHalen

I’ve just completed my first A3R campaign as Allies and had a ball!
So thanks again for the A3R mod!
I learned that the Russian Siberian transfer 3-5 Armored corps also cannot be rebuilt if lost.

Some other observations, queries & feedback:

1. UK, US & Allied Minor ASW units use the same - first - counter regardless of their ASW tech level. No issue for your vanilla A3R mod but I use modded counters with naval unit silhouettes that change according to tech levels. Can I edit this myself so that ASW units with ASW tech 1 use the second counter etc. (Just like Fleets, U-boats & all air units do)?
2. The Canadian units (one Fighter & one 1-3 Infantry corps) cannot be transported or strategically redeployed to Europe. Not even if I first move them to the US.
3. Finnish units get hit by Russian winter. I don’t think they should be.
4. Yugoslavian, Russian & Greek Partisans can reinforce to 5 at 3 supply, but French Partisans cannot.
5. At the liberation of France, all Free French units lose any research upgrades they had while under UK control. I recall & believe & that this may still be a vanilla SC3 issue?
Since liberated French units primarily were US equipped, I think they should be upgradeable to US research levels. Not automatically but as & if paid by France.
6. After liberation, Yugoslavia (UK) can purchase research upgraded Infantry & Fighter units. But Belgium cannot. Not sure about the Netherlands etc.
7. Giving Montgomery a level 10 rating feels a bit generous.
And controversial considering that Patton is level 8…
I would give Montgomery a level 8 rating.

I totally understand & appreciate that you must have put lots of thoughts into the research trees. I’d nevertheless like to try out some tweaks. But I’ve never used the Editor so any hints about how to make the following adjustments would be much appreciated:
- Skip Motorization research altogether.
- Limit C&C research to max 2 for Germany, UK, USA & USSR only
- Add Infantry Weapons research (max 1 for Germany, UK, USA & USSR only).
- Add Advanced Tanks research (max 2 for Germany, UK, USA & USSR only).
- Add Anti-Aircraft Defense research (max 2 or 3 for Germany, UK, USA & USSR only. Max 1 for all other nations). Because two Tac Bomber strikes obliterates just about any unit.


For the comments:
1. Each row of icons has 6 counters for all tech levels 0-5, so yes the second would be L1, etc. I kept the generic counters the same, as tech level is indicated on the counter.
2. The Canadians are purely for home defense and cannot be deployed. The 1 Can and 2 Can units are part of the British force pool per the original boardgame.
3. All Axis units get affected by Russian Winter. Maybe this changed with the WAW game? If there's something new in WIE then I can relook this.
4. Not sure why?
5. May be an SC3 issue and not my mod. Are these motorization upgrades for FF? I usually don't bother.
6. I think for Axis Minors and larger minors (Yugoslavia, Spain, Turkey) that I set upgradeable in the editor, but not the others? We can reconsider this.
7. My A3R HQs have names/personalities for flavor, but really they are Army Group HQs representing relative national capability. And they arrive on the P/Q at preset times. Axis has the advantage during the early years and Allies gain the advantage during the later years. It's not so much Montgomery deserves a 10 but Britain needs a 10.

Thoughts on adjustments:
1. I included Motorization to help offset the whole movement factor abstraction. With single stacking I essentially doubled the map scale but kept the original MFs. Certainly some units could move 3 times during a quarter (3 turns), but usually 1 or 2 turns are a pause for reinforcements/upgrades and then weather (mud) can slow units down. So a little extra boost for some units is OK.
2. Limit C&C to 2. Is this a noticeable issue? Not sure it gets too high or if that's a problem. You are welcome to experiment with the editor on the research screen to restrict the tech levels. Look at what I did for subs and ASW for L3.
3/4. I purposely did not include infantry and tanks research for the same reason John Prados used the same counters: relative improvements are assumed to occur on both sides throughout the war. In early versions of this A3R mod in SC2, I noticed a bad "snowball effect" with tech + elite + experience to the point where Russia could not push back on Germany. I did previously use tank research for German 4-6 to 5-6 armor and Russian 3-5 to 4-5, but SC3 added more unit slots so the force pools are more accurate now.
5. AA. Yes, we could add AA upgrades to units, but maybe better (and easier) to reconsider the Tac Bombers and knock them down a notch.

quote:

I learned that the Russian Siberian transfer 3-5 Armored corps also cannot be rebuilt if lost.

It's possible to get "extra" armor, more than the force pool limits. In this case, the extra units cannot be rebuilt.

Alright. Good comments. I think most of this mod is rock-solid these days but certainly some fiddling and adjustments could help. Anyone else who has played and has comments or suggestions, please speak up. Thanks!!

< Message edited by pzgndr -- 3/20/2020 12:19:02 AM >

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 3
RE: Advanced Third Reich Mod v1.4 Discussion Thread - 3/30/2020 9:03:30 PM   
Batavian

 

Posts: 36
Joined: 7/19/2004
Status: offline
Bill,

I really can't think of much to improve. Anything I can think of is really more nit-picky than anything else. I love the mod and play it far more than the standard vanilla scenarios that come with the game.

The only things that come to mind were the convoy bug in which the game would crash if Germany had control of the English ports. I submitted that to Hubert.

And I only play your mod with Welk's board game mod. The dark map that comes with the game is just not as pretty as the board game map.

Thank you again for all your hard work.


(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 4
RE: Advanced Third Reich Mod v1.4 Discussion Thread - 3/31/2020 7:32:45 AM   
ericdauriac

 

Posts: 75
Joined: 9/14/2016
From: Limoges
Status: offline
Hi,

I would have liked to impose force pools. Do you accept that I use your mod as a starting point?

Regards

(in reply to Batavian)
Post #: 5
RE: Advanced Third Reich Mod v1.4 Discussion Thread - 3/31/2020 3:45:22 PM   
pzgndr

 

Posts: 2825
Joined: 3/18/2004
From: Maryland
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: ericdauriac
I would have liked to impose force pools. Do you accept that I use your mod as a starting point?


I don't understand. The boardgame force pools are implemented, and there are variants for some additional units. But otherwise a faithful implementation. If you select the Soft Build Limits option then you can exceed force pool limits, but they are there. For further mods, certainly. That's why I provided all editor files, so folks can customize or experiment with different ideas.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Batavian
I really can't think of much to improve. Anything I can think of is really more nit-picky than anything else.


Yes, we're definitely at the nit-picking stage now! I am a little concerned that C&C research might be too much, and that tac bombers might be too strong. Not sure about C&C because I doubt either players or AI get too far with that and even if they did then does it matter that much? For tac bombers I spent a lot of time going back and forth between them being too strong and not strong enough. Certainly the AI on higher difficulty gets an extra bonus on tac bomber strikes and can be oppressive. But what about hth play and what do others think, are they 'just right' or need to be knocked down a notch?

I'm also curious about Allied AI response to a successful Sealion if UK relocates to Canada. Has anybody gotten to that point and did Allied AI eventually invade Britain? If anything, that's one area that might need adjustments. Other than that I'm not sure what to mess with at this point. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

(in reply to ericdauriac)
Post #: 6
RE: Advanced Third Reich Mod v1.4 Discussion Thread - 4/1/2020 8:44:49 AM   
ericdauriac

 

Posts: 75
Joined: 9/14/2016
From: Limoges
Status: offline
Sorry for my bad English, I'm not making myself understood.

My idea is to allow players to get units only from the production queue. They don't have the possibility to buy units except those put in the force pool by the production queue (or those put on the map by the "units" file).

(in reply to pzgndr)
Post #: 7
RE: Advanced Third Reich Mod v1.4 Discussion Thread - 4/1/2020 4:44:02 PM   
pzgndr

 

Posts: 2825
Joined: 3/18/2004
From: Maryland
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: ericdauriac
My idea is to allow players to get units only from the production queue. They don't have the possibility to buy units except those put in the force pool by the production queue (or those put on the map by the "units" file).


Your idea is pretty unprecedented for a grand strategy WWII game? Most players want to customize their unit builds to support whatever strategy they want to pursue.

If you try to implement your idea for your own use, be aware that force pool limits will restrict you to those numbers for placing units on the map or on the P/Q. Which may be fine for the early years but does not provide players a means for replacing destroyed units. Not practical, IMHO. Good luck.

(in reply to ericdauriac)
Post #: 8
RE: Advanced Third Reich Mod v1.4 Discussion Thread - 5/5/2020 2:25:30 PM   
pzgndr

 

Posts: 2825
Joined: 3/18/2004
From: Maryland
Status: offline
Adding to discussion here. Like Goldilocks, we need to figure out if air and naval attacks on ground units is too much, too little, or just right. I am mostly interested in any pbem AARs between two players, and whether play balance is OK or not with the current air and naval attacks. Against the AI at higher difficulty, yeah, I know some of those attacks get pretty unrealistic but the AI needs the help.

quote:

ORIGINAL: pzgndr

quote:

ORIGINAL: TangSooDo
The one thing I find pretty unrealistic, and I confess I don't remember how this plays in the original boardgame, is the ability of fleets to do significant damage to land or air units on a coast. It just seems a bit excessive.


The boardgame restricted shore bombardment to only support seaborne invasions, and not for exploitation attacks or any other hex not under attack by seaborne invasion. This is one of those issues with the SC game mechanics; if you allow some shore bombardment capability then naval units are free to bombard anywhere. Ditto for air ground support, which should be restricted to supporting ground attacks and not able to freely attack any units anywhere (and ultimately being able to destroy land units with either air or naval attack).

So the issue boils down to whether air and naval attacks are 'too' powerful by themselves or not. On my other v1.4 discussion thread I mentioned that I might reconsider Tac Bombers and knock them down a notch for ground attack. Maybe also reconsider Fleets. My nagging concern is that even a 1 factor reduction might be too much, but maybe not?


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Post #: 9
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