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Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/5/2020 2:08:35 AM   
Omnius


Posts: 771
Joined: 6/22/2012
From: Salinas, CA
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After reading multiple player forum reports on the way the sub war doesn't favor Germany I think I've figured out why after playing the 1939 scenario as both sides in hotseat mode up to June 1941. I used to do beta testing and scenario design for Talonsoft decades ago, so I do have a good ability to evaluate a game's mechanics and spot problems rather well.

The most glaring problem is the pathetically unrealistic Fog of War system. Showing us where every enemy unit is located in which hexes and knowing whether they're ground, air or sea ruins the whole game of hide and seek that Fog of War is supposed to give us. This failed FoW system was poorly thought out, especially for the naval aspect most specifically for subs. All proper FoW systems hide some enemy units from us, hide some enemy naval movements unless detected by our units. Subs in particular should be able to move almost all of the time without detection until they reveal themselves in an attack. Surface ships shouldn't always be revealed either. The Bismarck was spotted along the Norwegian coast when it made it's fateful voyage. It moved to the port of Trondheim if I recall correctly during which time it was observed. However it disappeared when it moved out of Trondheim and the British Navy was all in a frenzy about where she'd gone until found by cruisers hunting her specifically, then they lost her a second time. In Warplan there's no sweating it out as the British player will know exactly where any German fleet unit is and can sit in port and wait until the German fleets move out. He'll see on the first move turn that German fleet moved to Trondheim and can sit and wait, no need toi send the fleet out to search. Next turn he'll see the German fleet or fleets move from Trondheim and can then accurately move his ships in response, may not know which fleet has Bismarck and which has cruisers but will know where to attack and can attack both to find the correct target. The British never have to send fleets out to search for a Bismarck that might disappear for a while. A pathetic modeling of Fog of War for the Bismarck escapade.

Back to the sub problem and FoW. As the German before France falls I move my subs out full movement to land on a trade route hex but without being able to attack. As the British I know that there's most likely a German sub there and get to move a carrier fleet out to attack with at least one shot before the sub ever gets to make a merchant shipping attack. Now do I sit my sub to hopefully use both ops points for merchant shipping attacks or do I move 1 point's worth and use the remaining 1 for MS attacks? Let the British carrier have either 2 shots if able to sit or 1 shot again if it moves? Advantage British carriers thanks to a failed FoW system!

Now I want to look at sub merchant shipping combat, as I've noticed something rather unrealistic. On the first turn of 1939 I took Oslo with the German infantry division stationed perfectly to begin. As the British I moved my sub into the prime Nordic Iron Ore trade route hex 3 hexes from Oslo. That route has a flow rate of 1. What I quickly discovered is that that pesky British sub was sinking a merchant ship every other turn in 1939, about 3/4 of the time in 1940 and close to every turn in 1941 as my British subs got better. I placed the two German escorts in the route but they did little damage, a few hits per year at best. I also noticed no difference in British hit results when in winter 25 points of Swedish Iron ore are also shipped out of Narvik making a 26 flow rate. Oslo provides 5 production points and it costs 10 PP to replace a merchant ship point so I was basically breaking even in 1939 as Germany on Norway production but still losing resource points, losing about 2 PP per turn in 1940 and about 4 in 1941. Ironically I found the British sub was giving me much better performance than the German subs were giving me.

As the Germans I have to spend an entire movement to go from a German port to a trade route hex and don't get any MS attack. Then I get attacked by British carrier air before my very first MS attack, I opted to hang tough and go for using both ops points in MS attacks. When damaged I always sent sub fleets back to port for repair so I didn't lose whole units. In 1939 the British carrier air attacks netted no damage I remember and few spotting successes. In 1940 the spotting success improved and I began to see actual damage inflicted. By 1941 the British carriers were doing rather well against German subs, too well if you ask me. This is on top of the escorts that were doing their share of damage as time wore on, little to no damage in 1939, some damage in 1940 and rather too regular damage in 1941. I did cheat some times and reran air attacks or turns to ensure no German sub fleet was actually killed before I could move it back to port for repair.

I built 1 Attack sub in 1940 and a long range sub that'll appear in August 1941 so I can see how it works and stretches the defense. So I basically used 4 German sub groups for my game. Here are the loss results for both sides through June 6, 1941:

Country____Naval_____Merchant___Escorts
Germany____63________25_________0
Italy________10_________8_________0
Axis________73________33_________0

UK__________9________69_________6
France_______0_________2_________0
Allied________9________71_________6

A 1939 sub point costs 24 production points, a merchant shipping point costs 10 and escort points cost 40 PP. Now let's look at the cost in production points to each side.

Side_____________Naval___________Merchant___________Escorts
Axis____________1,752_______________330________________0
Allied_____________216_______________710______________240

I used single sub groups the whole time, didn't see the forum info about wolfpacks working better until a few days ago. As my first game I certainly could have done better as Germany and the UK as well. I didn't move my subs from German ports to French ones until the winter of 1940, found the South Atlantic route was more lucrative at 85 flow rate versus 72 for the North Atlantic. Loved seeing the Inner Seas stretch showing a combined flow rate of 157, certainly the motherlode of German sub hunting dreams. I also used Italian subs to figure out how to take Malta despite placing an interceptor fighter unit there so I had them in Raider mode around Malta blocking supply. Used some to blockade Alexandria for two turns as a test a few turns ago. I opted to not take the Vichy option to see what it was like to take France down, not a mistake I'll make again once I saw the whole French fleet show up in the British deployment screen. So as the Germans I had the Mediterranean route as well with the other British sub having fun there from about August 1940 on.

The problem I see is that the Germans lose out on wasting too much to repair damaged subs for the amount of merchant shipping and escorts sunk for them. My Axis spent 2,082 PP to the Allies 1,166 in outright ship losses. The Axis gain perhaps 70 PP in lost Allied production while the Allies gain about 30 for lost Axis production. So the results teach me that it's a losing proposition for the Germans to go gung ho on sub warfare because it's a rigged game rigged against them.

Here's one of the biggest problems I see about sub vs merchant shipping and escort combat. There's no difference given for flow rate of a trade route. Since I used single German sub groups to minimize carrier air damage I'm able to see that there was little to no difference in the results I saw for British subs and German ones, the German sub research was definitely ahead of the British. I couldn't see any difference flow rate made to attack results, didn't see any better results on average for Germans attacking the more lucrative North or South Atlantic trade routes than the British attacking the Nordic one when the flow rate was a mere 1. Granted the North Atlantic always had 10 escorts while the South Atlantic had the remainder which was less than 7. I only built a few escorts as the UK as well as merchant shipping and saw no problem, although I wasn't pressing as Germany. I did run some recent tests to see how wolfpack tactics with 3 sub groups in a fleet worked and yes they do give better results for merchant ships sunk as well as escorts.

What's so totally bogus about the British success on the Nordic route is that it's flow rate is only 1 and when that single point is consistently sunk almost every turn by 1941 then that represents 100% shipping loss almost every turn, totally bogus! When the flow rate increases dramatically in winter months there's really little difference in results with more flow rate. The sub merchant shipping warfare system is way too simplistic and gives pathetically unrealistic results. There's no way to turn off predetermined trade, only player created trade so the German player can't turn off Norway trade to stop the bleeding to that lone British sub group.

In the early real war the German subs were sinking British merchant shipping like shooting ducks in a barrel, using single sub groups. WP completely fails to model this! It wasn't until the British instituted the convoy system that the Germans counter with their successful wolfpack strategy, we don't see that at all in WP. A big problem is the 1939 scenario design, the UK has way too many escorts, should be maybe 3 at best with perhaps 1 or 2 in the deployment screen. Make the UK sweat it out and build escorts. Model the US Lend Lease of 50 destroyers, have them be represented by British convoy escorts that come on slowly since those destroyers were mothballed and had to be readied for service. Plus the British perhaps have too much merchant shipping starting in 1939, probably should reduce it some to make sure they build more early on. But it all depends on fixing the pathetically programmed sub warfare vs merchant shipping routine to account for flow rate of trade routes so German subs do much better along busier Atlantic trade routes, especially early in the war.

I made the mistake of buying the first two Strategic Command games, the corps level and the division level ones. They were pure utter garbage, totally pathetic with about the worst Artificial Ignorances I've ever seen. I totally passed on sc2 and for a while totally ignored this game because Alvaro touted he worked on sc2. However when I saw a video of combat where ground units in multiple hexes can make a single unified attack I decided to give it a try. I totally hate the arcade single ground unit at a time combat system, just will never buy that garbage ever again!

WarPlan has some good aspects, but it also has some serious problems. I like the ground system but absolutely hate the naval aspect of this game because of the phony baloney lame FoW system. I like how you've simplified aspects like research with unit types and replacements and reinforcements to make the game quicker and easier to play. However you made some bad scenario design decisions like the Yugoslavia one which you claim you copied off of World in Flames, one of my faves. In WiF that Yugo trick wasn't so easy to pull off and after watching several videos by different players all pulling the Yugo trick I could see you missed the point initially. I'm glad you bit the bullet and opted to correct that bad decision, in my game I took Yugoslavia the old fashioned way. I also noticed quite a few German invasions of Britain and can only wonder how that happens against human players, just like I wonder how human players could screw up the sub warfare routine as the Allies. Unlike WiF I see you've really dumbed down British production on the home island.

I know you're making a Pacific War version of WP, as well as a total world war one, and all I can say is unless you fix this screwed up phony baloney Fog of War system and straighten out sub vs merchant shipping and escort warfare to account for flow rate I won't waste my time or money on any of your future offerings with this game system. What a joke your current FoW system would be in the Pacific theater, no guessing where enemy fleets are. The American player can watch the Japanese carrier strike fleet head for Pearl for it's Day of Infamy and then accurately track it around the map afterwards.

Invest the time now to fix your totally poor game design decision regarding Fog of War and you'll make this game far better to play and give players more interest in seeing your future releases. So far my lesson learned is don't waste time and resources on the phony baloney sub warfare system, it's broken badly. Looks like as the Germans don't use subs in clear weather, wait for bad weather to come out and play to avoid those pesky British carriers. Your same lame excuse about building the subs as Germany to force the Allies to build the counters is so totally bogus. It's a losing production game for Germany so better to build panzers and planes. I'm also of the mind to not bother with invading Norway as Germany seeing how pathetically you've modeled sub warfare where a lone British sub in the first two years is wrecking havoc on my merchant fleet on a little trade route. Your same lame excuse about taking Norway to have closer ports to the USSR trade route is also bogus since you placed the trade route at least 13 hexes from any useful sized Norway port meaning German fleets can move but not attack in the same turn.

One thing I've noticed is that your answers are always vaguely obtuse, you rarely ever are specific or explain why. So now instead of the same lame excuses you've given that I've already blown off as bogus that you've given to other players who've complained about the German sub warfare problem but were never able to properly articulate please explain to me just how your sub warfare system works. How do you account for flow rate of trade routes in your combat system because I certainly don't see it from the results I've seen so far? What difference does sitting in a trade route hex have over having a sub move one op point and leave only one op point for MS combat? What's the sweet spot for number of sub groups in a sub fleet to achieve maximum efficiency? Are you playing the scoot and shoot game more than I've been doing? How do you keep those pesky British carriers from causing havoc starting in 1940? How do carrier air attacks work versus single sub groups versus say 3 sub group fleets? While I see that grouping subs into wolfpacks yields better combat results how do wolfpacks then affect air combat against them? Do they make them easier to find and thus damage? You say build up to 8 subs as Germany, what's your mix of Attack vs Long Range ones? I have a feeling there's quite a few players who'd love to hear the answers.
Post #: 1
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/5/2020 7:03:45 AM   
Meteor2


Posts: 379
Joined: 7/20/2009
From: Germany
Status: offline
Thanks for time and effort, to give Alvaro some reasons to think about possible improvements.
One aspect you mentioned several times is the FoW situation. I am looking to see, how Alvaro will solve that in the Pacific.
Your description is correct for me and especially the naval aspect will not work in the Pacific this way.
Intelligence and electronic warfare can give hints but the vast area of water should hide most movements and reduce
exact locations to some degree of probability.
Hopefully Alvaro can share some ideas of his concepts so far.


(in reply to Omnius)
Post #: 2
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/5/2020 2:42:40 PM   
kennonlightfoot

 

Posts: 914
Joined: 8/15/2006
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Many of what was said is true but there are some that are just the way the game mechanics handle things.
On FOW, remember these are two week turns and the game only provides you with limited information. You know a sub or ship went to a certain hex but you don't know its composition. FoW is indirectly added by the fact that you can send the entire UK navy to that spot and odds are you will not event spot the sub or surface raider much less attack it.

In your example of the Bismarck, remember the time line.
May 21st the British navy is notified of the increase in German warship activity in the North Sea.
May 22nd a hunter killer group of 14 Royal Navy ships including the Hood and Prince of Wales leave Scapa Flow.
May 23rd at 7:22 PM the cruisers Suffolk and Norfolk spot and shadow the Bismarck.

It took all of two days.

May 24th Bismarck is attacked by UK ships. The Hood is sunk and Prince of Wales damaged. UK loses sight of Bismarck.
May 26th UK PBY Catalina (something not even represented in the game except abstractly) spots the Bismark 700 miles from Brest.

It took another two days to find it.

May 26th UK hunter killer group reinforced by Renown, Sheffield and Ark Royal.
2:50 PM torpedo bombers from Ark Royal attack the Bismarck.
Around 9 PM two direct torpedo hits are made on the Bismarck.
UK ships start long range fire on the Bismarck during night.
May 27th The Bismarck sinks.

It took less than a week to spot, engage and sink the Bismarck.

In the game this is almost impossible to achieve. Because there is no interdiction the game allows a surface raider or sub to cross the Atlantic ocean from north to south in one turn without any chance of stopping it. It usually take me a year or two of chasing the Bismarck before it takes a hit.

Since the only surface ships that can attack a sub are the CV's, I found these pretty much useless against subs as long as they keep moving. The UK usually can't afford to keep all these various groups at sea hunting subs and raiders. They are needed else where especially in 1940 where they help block Sealion and the Italians.

You have to keep in mind there are a lot of ways to implement FOW. Having invisible movement is one. But ability to actually find and attack the enemy group is another which is what Warplan uses.

It does need some fine tuning.
The Oslo convoy route is one of those. What works for all other routes fails there because it is a special case. I think it is the only one merchant convoy route but there may be a low ship count one for Italy.
Surface raiders are entirely to effective right now. It's hard to quantify since a lot of things effect it.
German Subs probably need a bump in effectiveness. But the UK needs needs to have effective air power against them. It was a Catalina that started the sequence that sank the Bismarck. And it was air power that eventually shutdown the U-boats in the North Atlantic.

In 1939 - 1941 the U-boats probably should be more effective and harder to damage.
Starting in 1941 this balance shifts dramatically in favor of the Allies and better convoy tactics evolved and air dominance over the Atlantic started taking effect.

But the game designer can solve these problems with with nerfs to the units or by abstractly handling in the game mechanics.
You don't have to add Catalina's to the unit mix. It can be handled by rolling all types of convoy protections into the Escort mechanics by just making the Escorts increase in effectiveness dramatically in late 41 and 42 to reflect the better tactics, equipment, and air power.

At the level Warplan covers the war, units really are very abstract representations of combat units.

But the Surface Raider still should have a average life measured in weeks not years.

(in reply to Meteor2)
Post #: 3
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/5/2020 4:44:30 PM   
ago1000


Posts: 313
Joined: 8/6/2004
From: Canada
Status: offline
The game itself as a whole is excellent. For a first time developer of his own game, the concept and ideas that Alvaro has developed and programmed into the game are awesome. I'm sure in WP Pacific, will be a totally different experience.

However, that being said, this is the European Theater, fleet actions I would consider as being less important than land action. I believe sinking the Bismark is not suppose to be represented in this game.. It's about keeping sea lanes open and resources flowing which is represented in the game ( similar to Third Reich). A hex system is more difficult to program than ocean zones when dealing with fleet actions. I'm very confident what Alvaro has learned he will incorporate in WP2 (or updates to this game) and WP Pacific.

+1 Kennonlightfoot
On FOW, remember these are two week turns and the game only provides you with limited information. You know a sub or ship went to a certain hex but you don't know its composition. FoW is indirectly added by the fact that you can send the entire UK navy to that spot and odds are you will not event spot the sub or surface raider much less attack it.
+1 Kennonlightfoot
You have to keep in mind there are a lot of ways to implement FOW. Having invisible movement is one. But ability to actually find and attack the enemy group is another which is what Warplan uses.

There is a FOW mechanics in this game as Kennonlightfoot mentioned that works and have been discussed since the early release of the game. While certain situation still need to be tweaked, I'm sure over time, they will.


@Kennonlightfoot
Because there is no interdiction the game allows a surface raider or sub to cross the Atlantic ocean from north to south in one turn without any chance of stopping it.

There is fleet interdiction/interception (5 hex range- subs exception, can only be attacked by air).

Any fleet (except subs) in fleet mode or raider mode, can be intercepted by any fleet in fleet mode(subs included) if within range of 5 hexes of a fleet on patrol. The AI does a good job too. This is one of the reasons I suggested to make the range at least 12 in another post(also the fleet attacking should have to move closer to the fleet if interception was successful (not sure how close CVs 3, others adjacent)-just my thoughts), but that too would cause possible issues.



< Message edited by ago1000 -- 9/5/2020 5:12:51 PM >


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(in reply to kennonlightfoot)
Post #: 4
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/5/2020 5:11:36 PM   
Nirosi

 

Posts: 113
Joined: 9/17/2017
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Hi all,

I also agree that surface raiders are way (way!) too hard to find, I must I say that I have, kind of, become blasé to see “not found “ (or something similar) pretty much 100% of the tries.

But as far as the subs are concerned, my experience goes the other way around: a good player investing in subs can wreak havoc on the Allies. I have found it very hard to counter them. CVs spread out one per fleet never find them in my game (honestly, not a single time), if concentrated at 3 CVs per fleet, they find them from time to time, but nothing too scary for the German, it is manageable.

As far moving or not moving the sub goes, I see no dilemma at all, the sub should always move to reduce the CV attacks. The rule simply states that a sub needs a OP left to attack (the same way a fleet need an OP left to interdict a port). Nowhere in the rules does it say that you do one attack per OP. If that is the case, the manual should be changed, because a written, it simply is “an attack” or “no attack”. So unless he manual is wrong, one must simply always move its subs and reduce the (already low, at least in 39-41) damage from CVs. If not, you simply give an extra attack to the CVs for nothing.

Escorts and strategic bombers specialised in anti-sub are also not that effectives for the buck (bombers do coast a lot!). The subs can always (if they want) have a one-year advance on both because they start at 1940 and can go to 1945. Escorts and electronics start at 1939 and can only go to 1944. From my experience, they (bombers specialised) more often than not fail to find the sub when one year behind.

As far as the escorts goes, for the 1st six month, I always loose 4 to 6 escorts to subs before I reach the 1940 tech (when it goes down for a while) even with full escort (10 on the lane) and CVs harassing the subs. I have reached the conclusion that it might be better to probably not use them at all (the escorts) until it happens because they actually do not protect merchants (from what I read on the board). I have yet to try it however. It still seems to me that escorting in 1939 simply give free targets to the subs! Loosing ~5 escorts early on is really annoying (if not worse) for the next few months.

Because let’s not forget that a sub only cost 24 PP per steps once (when built; or rebuilt if sunk). For repairs is cost only 25% (so… 6 PP at 1939 tech) and come back at one turn per step loss. The escorts cost 40 PP always and take… 7 months to come back.

Still, despite all that, I believe it is by far the best such game out there. We all have our views that such thing and such thing should be this way or this way; and that is normal and healthy. But I still have to find a game (of this scale anyway) where the ''historical'' feel is better. We stopped (me and my friend and usual opponent) playing SC3 a while ago because we where tired of playing a land battle on land and a land battle... at sea... (and of course air units that could disintegrate whole armies). WarPlan does have the right fell even if we do not all agree on each detail.

(in reply to ago1000)
Post #: 5
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/5/2020 6:53:23 PM   
ago1000


Posts: 313
Joined: 8/6/2004
From: Canada
Status: offline
Hello everyone:
Re: Surface Raiders are too hard to find.
I just wanted to show this video. There seems to be some calculation difference between when it's your turn and you are attempting to attack a surface raider then when a fleet moves within a patrol area. Not sure what it is, but I would like to know the difference between the two cases. The AI has better success rate when attacking within the patrol area as you will see. Not sure what variable is kicking in during your opponents turn but the video shows the decimation of the German fleet.
The German surface fleet is all in raider mode, while the UK fleet is not. This is the first couple turns of the 1939 scenario, hotseat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnMnA36zg8A






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(in reply to Nirosi)
Post #: 6
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/5/2020 11:16:53 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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WP’s FoW system was designed to be different from everyone else’s. I have played plenty of computer games for the last 30 years to see how each way works. It is based on research of naval battles and logistics from books like Black May, Struggle for the Middle Sea, Japan’s War, Eagle against the Sun, and many internet resources. It is supposed to give a board game feel with options for deception. Yes this is the first incarnation of it and in future games it will get better. Naval combat is very hard to do because there are so many small factors involved for balance. kennonlightfoot summed up a lot of what I was going to say.

#1 Why can’t I find the !@#$ing German fleet in the middle of the Atlantic?!?!?!
Look at naval battles of WW2. All of them except one took place near a coast. Only the Bismarck didn’t and it took half the royal navy to get a lucky shot from a biplane to disable her long enough to catch up. As is Prinz Eugen got away. I can’t think of any other naval battles that took place in the middle of nowhere. So how do you stop them? You use half your navy in smaller groups to get a lucky search find to increase the naval ID and recon levels to allow more engagements as the British did. Will you lose naval groups? Of course. But what is a larger ratio? 15 UK groups vs 6 German groups or 6 UK groups vs ZERO German groups? You should be willing to sacrifice the UK naval 2 to 1 to destroy the Axis. Once the Axis navies are GONE you have free rule over the seas. As the Axis you need to protect your navy because while they don’t do much they do require the UK to keep fleets in certain spots to protect their lanes.

#2 My convoys!!!
As the UK your first priority is protecting what you have. You should be max invested in convoy protection and building an escort a turn till you have at least 40 of them. By 1942 you should have things under control. If you read up on history that is when the UK finally beat the Uboat. So why did they have a huge year in 1942 you ask. It is because the USA stubbornly refused their help in defending the American convoys and the Germans had a shooting gallery and thus the second happy time.

#3 Patrols are so effective at finding. Why?!
Because they are usually considered near a coast protecting a select set of objectives in a linear line supported by aircraft. They can intercept rather easily. While in the middle of the Atlantic the enemy can simply not run into them. A 5 hex radius in this game is ~42,000 square miles.
#4 Builds.
As the Allies you need to build escorts, planes, and naval groups during the game. Historically the UK built 2 Battle groups, 5 Cruiser Groups, ~10 Patrol Groups, and 100 escorts from 1939-1944 in WP game counters. How many were in the Pacific I don’t know. You should have Canada build 2-3 strat bombers with anti-sub advancements and place them in Canada, Iceland, and Greenland. As the Axis you should be maximizing one of the sub advancements at least and having by 1942 10 sub groups on the map.

#5 Why can’t I intercept along the way?
The naval system is based on the fact most battles took place near a coast and that movement from the enemy to that point will be either under air cover or in the least searched part of controlled sea. This again points to the fact that finding fleets in a large water mass with no reference is incredibly difficult. For example it took quite a while for the Allies to find and sink all the supply submarines that were out at sea away from any coast. There were only 10 built.

#5 Battles.
There is a deceptive element to WP FoW that isn’t in hidden counter FoW systems. You can trick the enemy by luring a fleet away or presenting strength where there is none. You can use uboat group positioning to force the Allied player to split his escorts. There are several zones. Escorts fight at maximum potential when there are 10 escorts in a zone. Any more does no good but to take losses, any less reduces coverage exponentially (based on real research in convoy protection). The uboat war is a math game. You sacrifice some production to slow down the Allies early to gain more in other areas. Where you balance this is up to you and knowing your opponent.

#6 My Iron?!
Norway is a difficult situation to fix. It takes time with slow changes to make it worthwhile for the Germans to invade it. Currently there is only one spot where a sub fleet can part and not be attacked by naval forces which is near Denmark. I am considering rerouting that to protect it along the entire coast even going down Sweden or rewriting the coast of Norway with an untouchable convoy lane.

#7 Future developments
I have played several games vs Hadros and got a feel for the naval game. The 25% repair rate for naval units has improved the sub situation. To me he cost exchange ratio seems correct for subs vs escorts. Somethings I have plans to change especially in advancements. I will very likely increase air anti-sub advancements to something more practical because as pointed out above it isn’t really work the time to invest in it. in WP2 it will be merged with general ASW advancement. I have been testing naval searching as I fix up the Pacific scenario. So some changes will be coming along but these take time. With any system nothing is perfect. Someone won’t like this or that or the other.

#8 Pacific?
WPP has a SIGNET intel system. I am still deciding its full effects and if naval units will be visible or not.

If I missed anything post back.

To Omnius. If WarPlan has too many flaws you don’t like then I suggest Hearts of Iron IV. From your post I believe that would be a game more suited to your realism requirements. It is a much more complex WW2 simulation with diplomacy.



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Designer of the Strategic Command 2 products
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(in reply to ago1000)
Post #: 7
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/6/2020 6:58:35 AM   
Meteor2


Posts: 379
Joined: 7/20/2009
From: Germany
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Thanks for your time to read and respond, Alvaro.
With all the input and the discussion, I am quite sure, that the Pacific will be a great advancement from the solid current mechanics.
It is top priority on my list.
From my perspective, I would prefere „invisible“ naval units on the map, as long as intel or coast watchers or planes or uboats or ... have not detected them.
And there should be an element of failure to detect them correct. An observed carrier TF is maybe a battleship group in reality or CLs are Battleships in reality.
So estimated position on the map and cource of the group should be dependent on weather, quality of Intel, ...
By the way, will we have turns of one or two weeks length in the Pacific?


(in reply to AlvaroSousa)
Post #: 8
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/6/2020 12:41:36 PM   
Nirosi

 

Posts: 113
Joined: 9/17/2017
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Hi Alvaro,

Thanks for the answers. For surface raiders I will indeed try the smaller hunter fleets approach and see. Question on that if you may: The table on page 82 of the 1.00.08 manual (interception modifiers) seems to apply only to air interceptions. The interception modifier table seems only to apply to air units trying to find a surface naval unit. Is there such a table for naval to naval and for air to sub? Or is it the same table for air to subs but with the advancement modifiers missing?

Thanks in advance,


(in reply to Meteor2)
Post #: 9
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/6/2020 1:00:39 PM   
Nirosi

 

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Hi again (Alvaro or anyone that can help with a strategy),

Concerning subs and convoys, believe me, I do all that is required by the book (keep research maxed in both convoys and electronics, buy at least 4 strategic for anti-sub and way more than 40 escorts) and still I find it very hard. But I think I understand why but can no know how to counter it. Even at 43 tech escort against 44 tech subs the escorts by themselves seems so and so. They do some damage, but since subs repair at 25% PP, the damage from escort to subs compared to the damage received (escorts and merchants) is not that impressive and still favor Germany close to 2 vs 1 in PP, sometime more. But that is ok, because it is supposed to work in conjunction with strategic patrols that should more than make up the difference from what I read.

That is where it hurts in my games, the strategics are just not that effective out of Greenland (or the Azores) and I believe it is because of the size one ports. In my game, the German subs stay in that exact spot for that. Readiness goes down the drain in one turn. Even trucks can not keep up. You move the air unit there and readiness goes down, the next turn it goes down again because of basic supply only, you then attempt to attack twice, down again. In two turns, you are a shadow of your former self.

The same way a port was added in Portugal, could something be done for the ones in Greenland/Azores? Maybe an even that upgrades them?
And of course, there are also those 4 hexes down south that are out of reach of even the Azores bases… But there is a counter to that one at least.

(in reply to Nirosi)
Post #: 10
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/6/2020 2:47:34 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Meteor2

Thanks for your time to read and respond, Alvaro.
With all the input and the discussion, I am quite sure, that the Pacific will be a great advancement from the solid current mechanics.
It is top priority on my list.
From my perspective, I would prefere „invisible“ naval units on the map, as long as intel or coast watchers or planes or uboats or ... have not detected them.
And there should be an element of failure to detect them correct. An observed carrier TF is maybe a battleship group in reality or CLs are Battleships in reality.
So estimated position on the map and cource of the group should be dependent on weather, quality of Intel, ...
By the way, will we have turns of one or two weeks length in the Pacific?




It is a 2 week turn game to match Europe.

What I can tell you so far is that Subs and Patrol Craft (new unit) are invisible on the map. Larger fleets are not using the same FoW system with deception. But I am 50/50 on if I am going to change this and use SIGNET to show fleets. I am weighing both options.

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(in reply to Meteor2)
Post #: 11
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/6/2020 2:51:32 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nirosi

Hi Alvaro,

Thanks for the answers. For surface raiders I will indeed try the smaller hunter fleets approach and see. Question on that if you may: The table on page 82 of the 1.00.08 manual (interception modifiers) seems to apply only to air interceptions. The interception modifier table seems only to apply to air units trying to find a surface naval unit. Is there such a table for naval to naval and for air to sub? Or is it the same table for air to subs but with the advancement modifiers missing?

Thanks in advance,




Actually that is a typo. Line 2 should say "Fleet and air unit distance to enemy". I will update it.

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Post #: 12
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/6/2020 2:55:40 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nirosi

Hi again (Alvaro or anyone that can help with a strategy),

Concerning subs and convoys, believe me, I do all that is required by the book (keep research maxed in both convoys and electronics, buy at least 4 strategic for anti-sub and way more than 40 escorts) and still I find it very hard. But I think I understand why but can no know how to counter it. Even at 43 tech escort against 44 tech subs the escorts by themselves seems so and so. They do some damage, but since subs repair at 25% PP, the damage from escort to subs compared to the damage received (escorts and merchants) is not that impressive and still favor Germany close to 2 vs 1 in PP, sometime more. But that is ok, because it is supposed to work in conjunction with strategic patrols that should more than make up the difference from what I read.

That is where it hurts in my games, the strategics are just not that effective out of Greenland (or the Azores) and I believe it is because of the size one ports. In my game, the German subs stay in that exact spot for that. Readiness goes down the drain in one turn. Even trucks can not keep up. You move the air unit there and readiness goes down, the next turn it goes down again because of basic supply only, you then attempt to attack twice, down again. In two turns, you are a shadow of your former self.

The same way a port was added in Portugal, could something be done for the ones in Greenland/Azores? Maybe an even that upgrades them?
And of course, there are also those 4 hexes down south that are out of reach of even the Azores bases… But there is a counter to that one at least.



That is a good idea. Since those ports are only used for ASW I will raise them to match the unit size so they get full supply. You have a point that there is no reason they should lack their full capacity.

I assume you do build MMs to replace losses.

_____________________________

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Designer of the Strategic Command 2 products
- Brute Force (mod)
- Assault on Communism
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Designer of the Strategic Command 3 products
- Map Image Importer

(in reply to Nirosi)
Post #: 13
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/6/2020 3:04:19 PM   
Nirosi

 

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quote:

I assume you do build MMs to replace losses.


Pretty much every turn! If one wants a job at a shipyards, they are hiring!

While we are on the Greenland subject, I have a proposition. When the US and the UK do get their ports, can you also give them enough hexes around so that the ports have a link between them. This way both ports could supply a single unit. This way, you only need to improve one of the ports by 1 and the total supply should be enough for a strategic (unless you want the Allies to have 2 air units there). Right now the only way to connect the 2 ports is to declare war on Greenland and walk a unit between the ports (it is not hard, but it seems odds to have to do that).

And thanks for your answer,

(in reply to AlvaroSousa)
Post #: 14
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/6/2020 3:29:50 PM   
kennonlightfoot

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ago1000

Hello everyone:
Re: Surface Raiders are too hard to find.
I just wanted to show this video. There seems to be some calculation difference between when it's your turn and you are attempting to attack a surface raider then when a fleet moves within a patrol area. Not sure what it is, but I would like to know the difference between the two cases. The AI has better success rate when attacking within the patrol area as you will see. Not sure what variable is kicking in during your opponents turn but the video shows the decimation of the German fleet.
The German surface fleet is all in raider mode, while the UK fleet is not. This is the first couple turns of the 1939 scenario, hotseat.



Video is a little hard to follow due to resolution. If the German Raider ends movement within 5 hexes of enemy it will trigger interdiction which, I believe, has a much better chance of a hit. If the ships are in Fleet mode it is close to 100% chance of interdiction I think. But in a game this will almost never occur because the ocean is big enough that the German will never have to do this. I have been meaning to test whether you can game this in situations where you want something like the Italian fleet to blockade a port but don't want to get hit the first time you move in. That is, move in Raider mode then switch modes.

(in reply to ago1000)
Post #: 15
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/6/2020 3:30:18 PM   
pzgndr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Omnius
The most glaring problem is the pathetically unrealistic Fog of War system. Showing us where every enemy unit is located in which hexes and knowing whether they're ground, air or sea ruins the whole game of hide and seek that Fog of War is supposed to give us...

However when I saw a video of combat where ground units in multiple hexes can make a single unified attack I decided to give it a try. I totally hate the arcade single ground unit at a time combat system, just will never buy that garbage ever again!...


I have a couple of comments. But first, like Al, I've been playing these games since the 1970s and I've also seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. WarPlan is a good advancement in the evolution of WWII grand strategy gaming.

#1 FOW. I tend to agree that a computer wargame SHOULD provide FOW to the point where you don't see every unit on the board. I prefer to create surprises, and to be surprised. I understand the deception mechanic Al is trying to implement. World in Flames is similar, with no FOW system. If nothing else, FOW for subs could be reconsidered. Additional FOW options could also be provided to players in the next version; on/off toggle options are always nice so players can customize their game experience.

#2 PG-style single unit combat. I also tend to agree that wargames SHOULD provide unit staking and multiple hex combats. I get it that the programming is easier, but I still prefer the baordgame feel of unit stacking, multiple hex attacks, and restrictions on air/naval support of land combats. That said, I have also come to appreciate the SC-series combats. It requires a different kind of battle orchestration to sequence attacks and such. The important point to consider is that ANY combat system to resolve a particular battle at a particular location during a single game turn is an abstraction. Some abstractions feel better than others, but they are all imperfect simulations of reality. What is more important is the overall results of multiple battles over multiple game turns, and whether or not the overall results are fairly consistent with historical results. IMHO, both systems can be effective.

I like how WarPlan gets around the unit stacking "problem" by adding/subtracting subunits. Why this didn't include armor at first is questionable, but the next version is supposed to have this. The multiple hex combat is implemented. All good. Overall results tend to be believable. There is room for improvement, as there always will be. For a first effort, WarPlan is pretty good. So the OP criticism is a bit harsh. Certainly a few valid points, but let's see how things progress with the next updates and the next version.

(in reply to Omnius)
Post #: 16
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/6/2020 3:53:13 PM   
kennonlightfoot

 

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quote:

Look at naval battles of WW2. All of them except one took place near a coast. Only the Bismarck didn’t and it took half the royal navy to get a lucky shot from a biplane to disable her long enough to catch up. As is Prinz Eugen got away. I can’t think of any other naval battles that took place in the middle of nowhere. So how do you stop them? You use half your navy in smaller groups to get a lucky search find to increase the naval ID and recon levels to allow more engagements as the British did. Will you lose naval groups? Of course. But what is a larger ratio? 15 UK groups vs 6 German groups or 6 UK groups vs ZERO German groups? You should be willing to sacrifice the UK naval 2 to 1 to destroy the Axis. Once the Axis navies are GONE you have free rule over the seas. As the Axis you need to protect your navy because while they don’t do much they do require the UK to keep fleets in certain spots to protect their lanes.


While they mostly were that way it is because all ships had to end up in a port eventually in reality. Subs tended to take advantage of this by staking out the ports the merchants eventually had to go too or, more likely, the choke points at the beginning and end of their voyages.

The problem is these situations are easy to avoid in the game since all the convoy routes go through open ocean with rather large spaces between. The big capital ships were seldom used as raiders after the Bismarck failure. They were easy to spot and required a lot of fuel. Most of the successful surface raiders were small ships, usually converted freighters.

To create the situation you describe requires a massive commitment of UK ships to cover the sea lanes. Since the German player can spot any gaps in the coverage they can easily slip the surface raider into the gap. They can also game it by just jumping all over the ocean using Oilers to resupply them. The UK has no answer for this. Since one oiler is used per stack they can't match the German ability to keep their fleet at sea.

The other flaw to the logic is the cost of keeping ships at sea for interdiction. This requires a lot of small groups that can't defend themselves if they do get an interdiction so they have to be supported by larger groups of BB and CV's that are within the 1 point range. This requires more oil than the UK can spare. The UK's ships and air can eat up 86 oil a turn if in operation. The UK only produces 75 in 1941. Maintaining just half of this force in active operations uses about 40. What is left has to handle all land operations the UK undertakes. While testing trying to hunt down just one German fleet I almost ran the UK down to zero oil. And, over that period I never got one hit on the German Raider fleet. I don't think cutting the UK available ships in half is going to improve my chances.

And, I still haven't had a CV hit a sub or anything else in my games that were in Raider mode unless one of my surface ships got a hit first to spot the raider.

All this assumes that if you have covered the sea lanes with DD's and CA's so that you can get an indiction trigger that this does improve the chances that a BB or CV groups can move over and get a hit with its one shot.

(in reply to AlvaroSousa)
Post #: 17
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/10/2020 6:26:52 PM   
Omnius


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First off let me say that I actually like WarPlan! I finished my first test game through the entry of the USA. @Alvaro - I would never waste time or money on any paradox product like HOI4, I bought the original perversion of that game and considered it the worst game ever made, hated that one could rearm strategic bombers with nukes in midair! Tried the free Steam HOI4 trial a while back and after watching a few videos of gameplay I opted to just delete that program without wasting time playing it. After extensive testing I've found the following problems with the sub warfare merchant shipping routine that favor the Allies tremendously.

First is the fact that it takes only 10 escorts to "fully" protect a convoy lane regardless of flow rate. Take that limit off and make it 1 escort protects 5 convoys period! Why did you make the escort capacity limit 20 when you give us no real reason to place that many in a route? Don't mollycoddle the UK! For the USSR northern route that would mean that flow over 100 would be unprotected since 20 escorts is the limit unless that limit is bumped up to match the flow rate of that route. Now you're forcing the Allied player to have to build more escorts to "fully" protect the entire convoy flow. Out of curiosity what happens when a convoy route isn't fully protected? I'm not sure I saw any material difference in loss rates between when I put escorts in a route and when there were none in my tests, or if they were only partially protected.

I found the Baltic route to be very poorly modeled, imagine my disgust when the Soviet sub blows out of port to hex 171,75 and it got two attacks, one against the Swedish Iron and the other against Finland. I had seen the posts about the double attack situation but the poster was very poor at being specific as to where it happened. Instead of one combined attack against 31 flow it gave two attacks, one at 25 and the other at 6. Once again this poorly thought out exception favors the Allies as they get a good chance to hit 2 merchant shipping instead of just one every turn. If we get a double attack there why not a double attack on the Nordic route when iron flows out of Narvik? Why not a double attack at the junction of the North and South Atlantic trade routes in hex 119,73 or through the Inner Seas where that would favor the Germans? Actually that would be bad for the Germans since those Atlantic routes will be well covered by escorts and German sub units wouldn't last long sustaining two good escort attacks in a turn. This is totally bogus, just give the USSR sub one attack against the combined flow of 31, just like you did for the Nordic route when iron flows.

The other major cheat you've given the Allied player is that of escort Instant Transit from one trade route to another. I can look at where a German sub is and switch my escorts around accordingly. For the Pan American route a German sub needs a minimum of 3 travel turns from German ports or just 2 from French ports. It means any sub heading for the Pan American route will be seen well in advance and the Allied player can shift escorts around accordingly so there's a definite greeting party for that sub when it enters the Pan American route. Extrapolate that out to your world war version and the Brits could shift escorts from the North Atlantic to the Pacific instantly! Yeah big Oops! What's needed is a transit box for the Atlantic so that escorts have to transit a turn to the transit box before being able to enter the available pool for transit to another route. That cuts down on the Instant Transit cheat the Allied player has so that he can shift his escorts around with perfect intel on where the German subs are every turn. Because of this there's no need for the UK to build 40 escorts unless the Germans have enough subs to cover all 4 routes every turn.

Flow rate should matter, I ran many tests on attacking routes with different flow rates. I made sub attacks along the Inner Seas route at hex 119,73 which is the junction of North and South Atlantic trade routes where the flow is 137. Best result I got was a 6 which I got twice. Along the South Atlantic with a flow rate of 85 I also had one 6 result and 2 results of 5. I think the best I got on the North Atlantic route was a 4 with a flow rate of 52. So I really didn't see a material difference between the routes with differing flow rates, especially between South Atlantic and the combined 137 flow rate. I should see a big difference between South Atlantic and combined, making the Inner Seas portion of the route the motherload of German merchant shipping sub hunting like around 10 if really lucky looking at the results of both routes combined in my best test results. Now these tests I conducted with no escorts whatsoever on the routes. I then tested with escorts on the routes and found little difference except that sometimes the Germans lost subs. I tried 10 in some tests and 6 in others to see if I could see a material difference and it really didn't appear so to me. So it really makes me wonder about what "fully" protected means as far as loss results go for merchant ships. I would expect to see bigger differences between fully protected and only partially protected routes. Size should Matter! It certainly does for the wolfpack sub strategy.

@Alvaro I'm really glad to see your post about your Pacific theater version having subs sometimes disappearing from the map and the introduction of proper PBY search plane units so one doesn't have to be stupid abusing strategic bomber units for such mundane fare. I know that you were trying to model board games in this game for some things but with computers now there's really no reason to be so old school for Fog of War. We shouldn't have perfect vision for all units, there really should be some occasions where ground, air and sea units disappear from view. At the battle of Kursk the Germans sure didn't see that massive Soviet tank reserve sitting behind the lines, at the Battle of the Bulge the Allies certainly missed the big German panzer buildup before the attack and those were sitting almost on the front lines. When I'm rampaging across Russia as the Axis in 1941 I shouldn't have the perfect knowledge that every open city I see beyond my lines is really empty of enemy units. Improve your FoW routine so some units disappear from the map from time to time, the farther units are from an enemy the less likely they should be spotted. Heck sometimes those units behind the lines should be revealed for what they actually are, sometimes loose lips let such secrets be revealed. Make FoW such that a German player moving ship units around won't know for certain if they're spotted or not until the following turn when they can see the Allied reaction. Some nations had better FoW capability than others and the game should reflect that.

Let's take turn 1 for example. I move my 2 German sub groups to the South Atlantic route in a wolfpack. Now the UK blows out with its two carrier units with one getting to attack before the German sub does. The UK player now gets to place his escorts seeing exactly where the German sub unit is so can place 10 along the South Atlantic route and 2 in the North Atlantic. I place my carriers around hex 113,73 and I can cover all hexes in both routes. As the German player do I stay or do I go to the North Atlantic figuring this is what the UK player will most likely do? I had assumed from my test results that it's better to stay and fight rather than move 1 OP and fight. However I have seen that I risk more damage from the escorts if I stay. I've seen that if I move I get less MS hits, but then the North Atlantic has less flow. It could be better to move first to North Atlantic and make the UK make the decision of where to place escorts and hope that in the second turn I can move to the busier South Atlantic route and get better MS hit results. In every other instance of units having two Operation Points they can make two attacks, is this not the case for subs vs merchant ships? My test results indicate it's better to stay and fight than scoot and shoot. Is there really no difference in sub vs MS warfare between a sub with 2 OP's left or one that moved with just 1 left?

If I have 2 or more carriers in a fleet do both attack twice? I did notice that when I had two in one fleet the fleet only attacked twice but it was unclear if both carriers attacked twice. From the results of one test it looked like there was only one attack by one carrier two times. I'll have to recheck that to see if double my carriers will lead to double the damage on some lucky rolls. Otherwise I'm finding it better to separate my carriers and do 4 attacks and hope one gets lucky.

So as a German player do I waste Production on subs early on or build Panzers? I know that I can build 2 panzer corps by turn 4 by turning off replacements and garrisoning infantry units and just building the 1939 version. Then another 3 to 4 turns to build 2 1939 Mech units so that I match the 1940 start for France. I know that the second panzer corps won't be movable on the May 10 turn, just comes in as a reinforcement. After that then I could build some subs, most likely the long range ones so I can stretch the defense to the Pan American route. However I need to build things to ensure success in France in 1940. I know that if I want another 5 panzer corps ready before Barbarossa I need to start building them about June of 1940 so I build 1 per month for 5 months so that they're on map by the end of April. Unless Axis players opt for that silly ahistorical England first strategy there's really little incentive to me to build up 6 more sub units so I have 3 fleets of 3 sub groups before 1941. If I go USSR in 1941 then I have to forego the sub building strategy. How many Victory Points do I score with my German subs? ZERO! That's why I'm skeptical about wasting German production on subs when Panzers and planes will score far more for me.

Sadly I don't see the Happy Times for German subs in this game early on, but you can give it to us by making some changes to stop favoring the UK so much. Some of your proposed changes for the Pacific theater look interesting, especially the business about SIGNET. I also like that you have seen how unfair the Norway trade route is for the Germans and are planning on improving that so the route flows better for the German player. I'm thinking it would be nice to have the German long range subs start at the 1940 tech level to give their subs a little more advantage, give me a little more incentive to build them. I hope that changes you make for the Pacific theater become available as updates for WarPlan so we have consistency between the two as well as enticing us to want the Pacific version more. By the time the worldwide version comes out there'll be little interest in a second version of this original game with the new rules.

(in reply to kennonlightfoot)
Post #: 18
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/10/2020 7:04:05 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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Escort system - Read Black May by Gannon. That will explain why the convoy system is the way it is. In short the number of ships being protected doesn't matter. It is how many escorts and their configuration that matter the most with an upper cap on effectiveness. That is why the system is the way it is. It is based on the real strategies and their effectiveness. You will enjoy the book. It is a real eye opener on the Battle of the Atlantic.

Subs and FoW -
#1 CVs have to find the sub in the middle of the Atlantic
#2 if you have say 8 sub groups and send out 4 different fleets covering 4 different zones the opponent doesn't know where to assign his escorts for the most effectiveness until reports are in. There is a strategy to this kind of FoW system.

Land and FoW -
There is certainly enough fog. In one game vs my opponent I kept my tanks back in strategic positions always changing to counter attack. He told me he couldn't figure out where they were.
Another example is that a loaded the coast of Netherlands with 6 units. All depleted divisions from the Eastern Front send there to recover. It prevented a land in Netherlands. he would have easily wiped out that force of 2-4 strength units.

The point is sure you give up seeing a counter or not seeing it but it doesn't take away from not knowing as much as you think. What it does add is a function of deception as noted above.

I am considering having a mode for naval ships and air to escort a convoy instead running around the map. They simply have to have access to the lane or sit on it.

Production strategies - You should be able to build your 4 armor + fill your shipyards with subs by 1940. If you do both these things you will be on track as the Germans were. After the Bismark comes out now you have a choice to build a lot of subs or not. By 1941 if you plan right you should have a significant 1943 force out there. I think you might be able to do it in late 1940. But to give the ability for the Germans to build 10 units in 1939 would seriously unbalance the convoy battles too early. As is the UK must build escorts and tech to combat submarines because they don't know how many the Germans will.

Raiders the word is still out in my book. As the Allies I have no problems with raiders. You want to send out the German navy to sink my convoys you might get 10, 20, or 30 but I will find you and I will sink you. Also you send out ships, I bomb your oil. Everything is a balance of decision making points on how to process limited resources for what you want to accomplish.

Also you can modify the scenarios as you see fit. That is how I got into SC2.

Glad you like the game.

_____________________________

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Designer of the Strategic Command 2 products
- Brute Force (mod)
- Assault on Communism
- Assault on Democracy

Designer of the Strategic Command 3 products
- Map Image Importer

(in reply to Omnius)
Post #: 19
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/10/2020 7:41:03 PM   
kennonlightfoot

 

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I wish I knew how you got your CV's to be so effective. So far in my games I haven't seen a CV hit a sub (as long as it moves to prevent two strike attack). For that matter I have not had a CV get a strike against a Surface Raider yet. I haven't kept up with the number of attempts so I don't know how bad that is statistically. However, I wouldn't be surprised if I started losing carrier planes to crashing into the ocean because I suspect my pilots are all blind.

I also haven't seen all that much weakness in the effectiveness of German subs. In my current game there have been 14 turns. Most of the sub attacks have been by the initial 2 U-boat units followed by the last few turns being 3. These are all 1939 and first months of 1940 turns so some of those turns were spent traveling and attacking in bad weather (I assume weather effects these). I have used ships to birddog the SS so only once has there been a turn where they hadn't moved before the Convoy attack.

My guess is of the 14 turns only 10 turns had Convoy attacks and probably only 2 or 3 with a 3 sub stack. Rarely were there less than 8 escorts in the route. Here are the results:

Merchants sunk: 29
Escorts sunk: 1
Subs sunk: 1

That looks pretty one side in favor of the German to me. And, it will probably get a lot worse when Germans have French ports to work from. The UK only has about 250 Merchants. They have to have about 150 to move their supplies. So they only have a buffer of 100 merchants before they have to replace every merchant sunk as well as Escort. Considering the amount of damage done by these early U-boats I can hardly wait to see what 5-6 later ones can do especially with a little help from surface raiders.

(in reply to Omnius)
Post #: 20
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/10/2020 9:07:03 PM   
Omnius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AlvaroSousa

The point is sure you give up seeing a counter or not seeing it but it doesn't take away from not knowing as much as you think. What it does add is a function of deception as noted above.

I am considering having a mode for naval ships and air to escort a convoy instead running around the map. They simply have to have access to the lane or sit on it.

Production strategies - You should be able to build your 4 armor + fill your shipyards with subs by 1940. If you do both these things you will be on track as the Germans were. After the Bismark comes out now you have a choice to build a lot of subs or not. By 1941 if you plan right you should have a significant 1943 force out there. I think you might be able to do it in late 1940. But to give the ability for the Germans to build 10 units in 1939 would seriously unbalance the convoy battles too early. As is the UK must build escorts and tech to combat submarines because they don't know how many the Germans will.

Also you can modify the scenarios as you see fit. That is how I got into SC2.

Glad you like the game.


Alvaro,

I agree that allowing the Germans to build too many subs too quickly would unbalance the 1939 scenario. However if I'm going to do Russia in 1941 I need to also build 2 more interceptor units, not cheap. I also need a lot of large infantry corps as well as divisions plus HQ's. I just don't see the luxury of wasting production on subs for insignificant gains when the big score is in Russia gaining more production and resources plus taking their population cities to decrease their awesome manpower advantage.

I also view sub groups as being too fragile with only 5 points, a couple of good results and the sub group is in Davey Jones's locker! Thanks for the dope on subs being replaced at half cost, does make repairing them less costly. I also agree that the German must be careful with using surface units as convoy Raiders early on, lose your surface fleet early and the UK can reposition surface groups to the Mediterranean.

I wish you would have answered my most burning question about the difference in combat results for a sub group that sits on a trade route with 2 operation points and one that moves and only has one OP to use. Considering how every other instance of units being able to use both OP's to make two attacks I have to assume you'd be consistent with subs on trade routes. From what I've seen the results of my tests do look like sitting with 2 OPs is better than scooting and shooting with 1.

How do carriers operate when grouped together in one fleet? When I attack do both carriers attack with one attack and then both attack with a second attack? It'll make a big difference in the Pacific for sure when there'll be lots of big carriers. So far I found that keeping carriers separate seems to give me better results when I have 4 separate attacks that tend to give me that lucky result more often than using both in one fleet with only 2 attacks.

I got into paid scenario design with Talonsoft decades ago while doing beta testing for games like Eastern Front and Western Front as well as Operational Art of War. Was pleased to see 2 of my ToAW scenarios are still in the 4th version. We have something in common. However I don't want to gimmick scenarios just to make myself happy when I'd rather play the official ones so that if I do spot problems I'm on the same scenario design as the original.

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Post #: 21
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/10/2020 9:14:27 PM   
Omnius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: kennonlightfoot

And, I still haven't had a CV hit a sub or anything else in my games that were in Raider mode unless one of my surface ships got a hit first to spot the raider.


kennonlightfoot,
Are you combining multiple carriers in one carrier fleet or operating separately? I'm finding that keeping them separate gives me more shots and with more shots comes more lucky results. I didn't even upgrade my carriers with carrier ops but will do so from now on. Carriers escorted by a DD group work well.

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RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/10/2020 10:56:18 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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The number of operation points don't matter. As long as you have 1 you attack the convoys.

If you want to keep subs safe place then 10 hexes away from any coast in raider mode. I always play the sub game. I also build 9-12 subs. In 2 games I have kepts all my subs alive until 1942 when I started taking sinks. Group them in 3s on main convoys and 1-2 in smaller ones before the Allies build up. Use a little deception. Keep moving and swapping them around within 1 opt pt.

Larger fleets get increases in spotting per ship. Technically they have more search planes.

Many smaller fleets get extra chances. Look in the updated manual there are a lot of charts.

Takes a long time to balance out games. It took World in Flames a decade.

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Post #: 23
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/12/2020 2:59:17 PM   
Omnius


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@Alvaro
If operation points remaining doesn't matter that's not consistent with every other combat function that consumes OP's. I'd think you should rethink that as it should matter if I stay and shoot or scoot and shoot just as it does in every other combat function. That would add some new flavor to the sub vs merchant shipping game and give us something new to consider for both sides.

Thanks for the dope on the spotting advantage of bigger fleets. Larger fleets are also easier to spot in return for combat too. Thanks for telling about the charts in the updated manual, I printed out the original manual before I saw something about a printer friendly version. I'll definitely have a look and probably print out the charts.

World in Flames is still a work in production. I'm waiting for the oilers to be put into play to make that whole convoy system more user friendly. I played the original AD computer version of the game so my game has been decades.

Thanks to the Change Advancement improvement I now can switch to heavy Armor for all armor as Germany as well as switch my fighter bombers to close support to dumb down my research choices so I can devote 4 points to each type of sub so will be giving the sub game a shot now that I will research them seriously. However Hitler always moves East in my games so that's always my priority.

I checked the manual on the forum here, the printer friendly one yet didn't see any charts in that manual I don't already have in my printed version. Certainly nothing about smaller fleet more search chances info.

< Message edited by Omnius -- 9/12/2020 3:06:01 PM >

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RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/12/2020 3:32:42 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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I meant that you can have 1 or 2 operation points and attack the convoys. I didn't make myself clear. ZERO operation points no you can't.



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Post #: 25
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/12/2020 3:33:11 PM   
AlvaroSousa


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I update the manual all the time. When I feel the game is balanced and stable I will make a better printable version.

It takes a lot of effort to make a nice manual. Way more than people think until they actually do it.

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Post #: 26
RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/12/2020 4:15:21 PM   
Omnius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AlvaroSousa

I meant that you can have 1 or 2 operation points and attack the convoys. I didn't make myself clear. ZERO operation points no you can't.


You made yourself clear before about whether having 1 or 2 subs the convoy attack will be the same, I knew that zero meant no attacks. Wish we had the choice of stay and shoot twice or move 1 op point and shoot once. I may not have made myself clear.

I found the updated manual in the game's folder under manuals and am now printing it out. Some nice info charts, I love manuals with lots of interesting info charts!

Plus I know about the ten hex close support bomber range for sub hunting. I made myself a cheat sheet showing the limits of where German subs move from German ports in one turn as well as the hexes British bombers can reach from near Belfast and Mailag.

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RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/12/2020 5:04:41 PM   
ago1000


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Omnius

Plus I know about the ten hex close support bomber range for sub hunting. I made myself a cheat sheet showing the limits of where German subs move from German ports in one turn as well as the hexes British bombers can reach from near Belfast and Mailag.


Don't forget about strat bombers with Electronics and Detections tech, they have a range of 24. They can hunt down subs too.


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RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/12/2020 8:04:09 PM   
Omnius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ago1000
Don't forget about strat bombers with Electronics and Detections tech, they have a range of 24. They can hunt down subs too.


A sad task for strat bombers. Are you saying that Detection and Electronics works on just strat bombers or all bombers like Close Support or Naval Air? I thought it worked on ships. Can you tell me exactly what units it affects? I see the effects on the chart but not which units get the benefits. I'm researching it since it seems relevant at least for now though Alvaro did mention he's going to merge it with Convoy Escorts. Thanks for the answer.

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RE: Sham Sub & Fog of War Systems - 9/12/2020 8:49:24 PM   
ago1000


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Detection & Electronics is a Tech to help attack subs and can be used with all the bomber units, Ground Attack Grp, Tactical Air Grp and Strategic Air Grp. Naval Air Training can be used with the same group of planes but that's more for attacking surface fleets.






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