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Semi-randomized Soviet starts

 
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Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 7/30/2020 7:25:50 PM   
eskuche

 

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Hi all,
One source of constant consternation and stress is the relatively deterministic turn 1 starts, which kind of goes against the fluid nature of the game. In Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa each Soviet army gets one of three or four alternate start positions, e.g. western front can start 50 miles closer to Minsk.

Proposal: have small position adjustments to a minor subset of Soviet units (20-40 on the border armies). Randomly sort the Soviet units list and for the first so many units make random (say, Gaussian distribution with standard deviation of 2 around 0) x and y coordinate movements that are valid. Alternatively, a random number of full border armies could have all of their units randomly displaced. A third party can validate the changes in the editor.

This would much more test the skill of the German player rather than rote memorization of openers. If anyone would like to take this up I’d be happy to set it up for a test run.
Post #: 1
RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 7/30/2020 9:44:26 PM   
sillyflower


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This has been needed for 10 years!



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RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 7/30/2020 9:49:34 PM   
tyronec


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and the request has been declined many times...
I took this to mean it was too difficult to implement. Are you saying there is a way you could do it ?

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RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 7/30/2020 10:23:23 PM   
eskuche

 

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I have some thoughts as to how to do it. It is simply generating the random numbers for which unit/army is selected and how far they randomly move and exporting the valid changes into the editor for the scenario file (which as far as I’m aware is quite possible). There can then be a deck of these randomized starts, perhaps sorted by difficulty or something like that. A checksum can validate that only a certain number of units were modified for those skeptical of their opponents.

(in reply to tyronec)
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RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 7/30/2020 10:48:31 PM   
CapAndGown


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Not sure this is going to accomplish much since the Germans can just recon the crap out of the map. From what I am seeing there are problems with german supply and ammo: there is simply too much. Reduce supply and ammo to 100% and have the germans rely on their supply train from turn 2 onwards. Also, don't allow them to carry all that fuel with them if you have them board a train and ship off to Rumannia.

Other problems with German logistics I see:
1) just how many units can be supplied by one double tracked rail line? Right now I believe it is infinite, whereas in reality it was limited.
2) As the Germans conquered more and more territory their rolling stock did not grow to match the ever greater number of miles they needed to travel. Hence, turn around times become longer and longer meaning less and less supply moved per day. Instead of just rail capacity, there needs to be a rail capacity minus total miles of trackage. The more miles needed to be traveled from your supply source, the lower the number of tons of supply delivered per day.

(in reply to eskuche)
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RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 7/31/2020 1:13:27 AM   
thedoctorking


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I think it is unlikely that this will be implemented in WitE1 since there are only two devs working on the project now. You can do this yourself with the scenario editor. Allow the Soviet player to edit the .scn file by moving any unit up to three hexes from its starting position and rebasing any air unit provided it doesn't end up more than three hexes farther from the nearest active (not Romania) Axis unit. Moving units in the editor is simple. Send the modified .scn file and an opening turn to his opponent. Presto, play as normal.

(in reply to CapAndGown)
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RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 7/31/2020 10:08:19 AM   
chaos45

 

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the supply issues you list are indeed problems....the game system is not really built/designed to be able to solve them.

From my understanding the supply system in WITE 2 will be more nuanced with limits per line an such.

Basically from talking with the patch team---they can really only limit overall supply levels or reduce the supply level based on a hex line passed.

So currently no way to limit 4 panzer armies all fully re-supplying off a single rail line.

Reducing some starting unit MPs was also a discussion in the past to represent the slower start AGS got but it was apparently voted down as it was never implemented.

Instead of doing all this random set up stuff, one of the easier solutions is just to add a small amount of additional soviet fort zones as MP bumps in T1 and another good suggestion is move the soviet reserve mechanized force that is to the West of Kiev more to the east so the Germans cannot encircle them on T1.

This to has been discussed in the past but i think the patch team is to worried about upsetting ppl to make the change which is really needed to assist in play balance.

If you arent going to make the Soviets a tiny bit harder to kill and encircle on T1/T2 then the Germans need to have less starting supply or MPs to reduce the encircle and destroy all soviets on T1/T2.

My vote has always been to let the Germans have their fun in T1/T2 but the Soviet player needs to be allowed the chance to save a few more units than they can right now against a well practiced German open. Keep in mind the Soviet Player has virtually zero influence or ability to modify what the Germans can do on T1/T2 so this has to be a unit placement at game start fix.

(in reply to CapAndGown)
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RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 8/3/2020 3:52:34 AM   
56ajax


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From: Carnegie, Australia
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Not sure how you do a script for the AI if positions are randomised.

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RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 8/3/2020 4:33:56 AM   
Hanny


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 56ajax

Not sure how you do a script for the AI if positions are randomised.


Script will spawn them at different/random points, rather than pre set locations. This will produce a incoherent defence set up, potential for armour to be in swamps etc, wide open gaps in the front lines, massive over stacking and so on. To get over that would require considerable work. A better option may be to have fixed set ups, say 3/4 versions of a SU set up, and the script chose from the them and deploy.


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RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 8/3/2020 2:57:02 PM   
sillyflower


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Leaving aside the issue of optimised T1 moves by axis, the problem has been worsened since I played 5 years ago by
HQs, their attached supports and airbases being killed rather than displaced which reduces not only manpower (which I know has been increased but I don't know it compensates fully) but also huge numbers of costly support units are destroyed and the reduction of soviet ability to rail troops.

_____________________________

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Post: I am always fearful that when I put this game down on the table and people see the box-art they will think I am some kind of neo-Nazi

Reply: They already know you're a gamer. What other shame can possibly compare?

(in reply to Hanny)
Post #: 10
RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 9/27/2020 3:14:40 AM   
eskuche

 

Posts: 506
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Hi all,
I've found the motivation to undertake this project with my willing subject, Tyronec. See attached example scenario file and the template file. Explanation for what I did:

Narrowed down a range of Soviet units x < 74, x > 0 (hex 0,0 is where offmap units are normally stored), and y > 20 (to avoid frozen leningrad units) in the units CSV file.
Limited units to all infantry, tanks, and fort zones.
Randomly modified 20% of x or y coordinates. X coordinates were only added to, and y coordinates were either added or subtracted from.
The value was a random value of a normal distribution centered at 0 with a standard deviation of 3.
I then manually combed the map for units displaced into axis territory. I think optimally stacked combat units would also be combed out and either returned to their original location or moved one hex.

This yielded a map with several nuanced yet meaningful modifications, including some better protected or better hidden soviet units that threaten the german who is not careful about reconnaissance and follows the cookie-cutter start. Stacked units in rough terrain may also force slightly different micro-decisions. We will report on how this goes after hopefully the first turn or two. I am happy to generate several different versions as well.

An alternative to this randomization, which may not necessarily favor the Soviet, would be to give a Soviet player a handicap of X numbers of armies and/or Y numbers of corps (by a point system). Units can be moved at will but must be in supply range of the static HQ.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dj_4LLrflpIbIU0YD_Ssfz9Z5c9AX2_n/view?usp=sharing

Instructions for files: scenario file must be put in WitE/dat/scen
If you want to generate your own template, open the setup file (this may only work in Excel because of function names)
1. Into cell A6235, insert the function =IF(AND(H6235>0,H6235<74,I6235>20),IF(RANDBETWEEN(1,5)=1,H6235+ABS(FLOOR.MATH(NORM.INV(RAND(),1,3))),H6235),H6235)
2. Into cell B6235, insert the function =IF(AND(H6235>0,H6235<74,I6235>20),IF(RANDBETWEEN(1,5)=1,I6235+FLOOR.MATH(NORM.INV(RAND(),1,3)),I6235),I6235)
• Note that the floor function makes it so I had to use 1 as the mean value for the normal distribution instead of 0 in the norm.inv() function.
3. Click Formulas option > calculate now to re-generate random values.
4. Copy A6235:B7207 and paste VALUES into H6235:I7207.
• This replaces x-y coordinates with new ones
5. Delete columns A and B.
6. Sort now-column A from low to high. This now looks like a normal map CSV file.
7. Open the editor, open any full campaign scenario, export CSVs (into WitE/Dat/CSV, automatically)
8. Replace the units CSV file with the file we just edited.
9. Import CSV files into the map (last tab in the editor).
• This basically JUST replaces the units info with the modified randomized start.
10. Go-to map and check for erroneously placed units, as mentioned above, and edit the CSV if necessary.
11. Change scenario name, and save.

(in reply to sillyflower)
Post #: 11
RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 9/27/2020 7:17:58 AM   
Simon Edmonds

 

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This is an outside of the square idea so please don't shoot me for it. Why not start the scenario after the Germans historical first turn has finished. It should be easy enough to work out where the units were historically. The game then starts with the Soviet reply to the German's historic first turn.

(in reply to eskuche)
Post #: 12
RE: Semi-randomized Soviet starts - 9/28/2020 6:28:00 AM   
tyronec


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From: Portaferry, N. Ireland
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quote:

This is an outside of the square idea so please don't shoot me for it. Why not start the scenario after the Germans historical first turn has finished. It should be easy enough to work out where the units were historically. The game then starts with the Soviet reply to the German's historic first turn.

T1 is the most important turn of the game for Axis, that is where they set their strategy for '41. Take that away and you lose an important part of the game.
Even assuming you set up an historical Axis T1, which would be quite a job, then it just transfers the issue to the Soviet player. Now they have full knowledge of the Axis T1 move and can prepare and practice their response.

(in reply to Simon Edmonds)
Post #: 13
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