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Surrender morale effects - 2/26/2021 5:32:26 AM   
mdsmall

 

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I thought I would start a new thread for the broader topic of the effects on unit morale when a country surrenders, which I first raised towards the end of the monster "Montenegro Gambit" thread below.

First, I checked and if Germany occupies Luxembourg on the first turn, yes, there is an immediate morale swing against the Entente and towards the Central Powers. Since there are no forces in Luxembourg to resist this and no negative NM or mobilization consequences of occupying Luxembourg, we can assume this move is a certainty for the CP on the first turn of the game. Essentially, this amounts to at least a net 30% morale swing in favour of the Central Powers across the map on turn 2. It is not even a gambit, so there are effectively no costs to the Central Powers to occupy Luxembourg. Call it an opening morale bonus for their side.

These surrender effects are almost always suffered by the Entente. If you look at the map at the countries that are most likely to surrender, in the order in which they are likely to fall, they are all Entente minors and two Majors: Luxembourg, Belgium, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, Greece, and then possibly Romania and Russia. The only Central Power countries at risk of surrender before the very end of the game are Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire; and now that the Bulgarian Gambit has been fixed, neither is likely to surrender before 1916 at the earliest, while the Entente is likely to face a couple of surrenders in 1914 or early 1915.

My question is: how long does these surrender morale effects last and what can the Entente player do to restore the morale of his units to the status quo ante? The manual implies that this effect will wear off "after a few turns". But if your French units are getting pummelled in the West or the Russians in the East, you will want to know what you can do by moving your units to better supply positions, and/or by reinforcing them to ensure this morale curse wears off as fast as possible.

< Message edited by mdsmall -- 2/26/2021 5:56:02 AM >
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RE: Surrender morale effects - 2/26/2021 2:03:27 PM   
Hubert Cater

 

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It is as the Manual suggests as it is based on a formula that will see the morale return/decrease back to regular levels over time which works out to a few turns.

The easiest is to probably just run a couple of quick in game hotseat tests to see the average number of turns as this is not hard coded.

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 2/28/2021 4:51:53 PM   
mdsmall

 

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Hubert - as you suggested, I ran a simple hotseat test between five France and German corps following the German occupation of Luxembourg on the first turn of the game, August 1, 1914. After the first turn, all five units stayed in place with no combat, at full strength and with supply levels from 8 - 12 (for the French unit on Verdun). I tracked their morale levels over the next ten turns.

The morale benefit for the German units was immediate: they enjoyed an immediate morale swing of 20-25% over their starting morale and remained at that level over the ten turns of my test.

The morale penalties for the French units were more ambiguous: they all dropped anywhere from 4 - 12% on the next turn (turn 2) and then rose the following turn (turn 3) to a level above their starting morale, except for the unit on Verdun which fluctuated between 5 - 11% below its starting morale of 120%.

I did a brief check of unit morale across the board and could see a similar swing in favour of the German units and against other Entente units after Luxembourg fell, but I did not document it.

These results for Germany where in range with what the manual suggests: i.e. a 20-30% morale swing in favour, but they appear to be permanent. The results for France were much less than the 20-30% swing against stated by the manual and were very temporary. I will keep track of this factor in my subsequent games and will report the results here.

But I would make the general point now that this effect seems over-powered, at least when Minors surrender. There are many more of them in the game and if attacked by a Major, in general it is not hard to force them to surrender (see the thread on Montenegro, currently at 168 posts and counting..). Would it be possible to adjust the game engine so that the Morale Effects settings can be adjusted by country; or at least to differentiate Minors from Majors in their surrender effects?

Michael


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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/1/2021 1:16:45 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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+1

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/1/2021 2:30:38 AM   
Bavre

 

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+2

I'm currently trying a non-M-gambit exploit of it with mdsmall. Let's see how that goes.

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/1/2021 4:21:30 AM   
Hubert Cater

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall

Hubert - as you suggested, I ran a simple hotseat test between five France and German corps following the German occupation of Luxembourg on the first turn of the game, August 1, 1914. After the first turn, all five units stayed in place with no combat, at full strength and with supply levels from 8 - 12 (for the French unit on Verdun). I tracked their morale levels over the next ten turns.

The morale benefit for the German units was immediate: they enjoyed an immediate morale swing of 20-25% over their starting morale and remained at that level over the ten turns of my test.

The morale penalties for the French units were more ambiguous: they all dropped anywhere from 4 - 12% on the next turn (turn 2) and then rose the following turn (turn 3) to a level above their starting morale, except for the unit on Verdun which fluctuated between 5 - 11% below its starting morale of 120%.

I did a brief check of unit morale across the board and could see a similar swing in favour of the German units and against other Entente units after Luxembourg fell, but I did not document it.

These results for Germany where in range with what the manual suggests: i.e. a 20-30% morale swing in favour, but they appear to be permanent. The results for France were much less than the 20-30% swing against stated by the manual and were very temporary. I will keep track of this factor in my subsequent games and will report the results here.

But I would make the general point now that this effect seems over-powered, at least when Minors surrender. There are many more of them in the game and if attacked by a Major, in general it is not hard to force them to surrender (see the thread on Montenegro, currently at 168 posts and counting..). Would it be possible to adjust the game engine so that the Morale Effects settings can be adjusted by country; or at least to differentiate Minors from Majors in their surrender effects?

Michael


Hi Michael,

I would have to say that off hand 10 turns doesn't sound right at all. I only suggest this as I've run these kinds of tests in the past and this is the same mechanism used for all 3 SC3 games, including the WWII games and hasn't probably changed code wise in a few years.

What I would suggest is running two games side by side, where in one game you only move one CP unit into Luxembourg and in the other, don't move any units at all. If you really want to be super accurate, creating a customized campaign with all scripts removed will ensure no unforeseen events or morale events are also having an effect.

From memory it should really only be 2 turns (from a single country surrender), just about, and my guess is that by the beginning of the third CP turn, let's say around August 29th, all unit morale levels should pretty much be the same, for both the Entente and the CP, in both test games.

Actually then, since the boost happens at the end of the CP 1st turn, and everything should return to normal by the beginning of the 3rd turn, the boost in reality is only advantageous to the CP side when attacking for a single turn, which is their 2nd turn.

I only suggest this as some units will by default have high unit morale levels, 120% is possible for some units even without any boosting on both the CP and Entente side, and this is really the only way to know what is what when it comes down to the precise differences between the two test games.

If I'm wrong I'd be happy to then run this exact test myself and look into any issues that might be there.

Hubert


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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/1/2021 1:42:03 PM   
Hubert Cater

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall
But I would make the general point now that this effect seems over-powered, at least when Minors surrender.


Perhaps, however the question we would ask ourselves before diving into potential changes, would be how did let's say the Western Front work out prior to the new gambits etc.?

For example the unit morale boosting mechanism is quite purposeful in intent and can be helpful for let's say helping to recreate the tension of the Race to the Sea for the Germans in August 1914, or the German blitzkrieg in the Spring of 1940.

Some players take advantage of the cumulative effects, some even do this in the WWII game to let's say maximize the effectiveness of Barbarossa, but as long as it is not game breaking we've been happy to leave the possibilities open for players to experiment with.

Now for this game, if the Montenegro gambit is the issue here, we'd probably like to continue to attempt to address that one first before we possibly upset the balance in other parts of the game that were otherwise working as intended.

Again, our hope would have been that the changes implemented in the last patch did just that, but if not we are always listening and will definitely make further adjustments as needed.


quote:


There are many more of them in the game and if attacked by a Major, in general it is not hard to force them to surrender (see the thread on Montenegro, currently at 168 posts and counting..). Would it be possible to adjust the game engine so that the Morale Effects settings can be adjusted by country; or at least to differentiate Minors from Majors in their surrender effects?


That would certainly be an option, and if it were to come down to something like that as the only solution then it would be something for us to consider for sure.


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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/1/2021 8:41:04 PM   
mdsmall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hubert Cater

I would have to say that off hand 10 turns doesn't sound right at all. I only suggest this as I've run these kinds of tests in the past and this is the same mechanism used for all 3 SC3 games, including the WWII games and hasn't probably changed code wise in a few years.

What I would suggest is running two games side by side, where in one game you only move one CP unit into Luxembourg and in the other, don't move any units at all. If you really want to be super accurate, creating a customized campaign with all scripts removed will ensure no unforeseen events or morale events are also having an effect.

From memory it should really only be 2 turns (from a single country surrender), just about, and my guess is that by the beginning of the third CP turn, let's say around August 29th, all unit morale levels should pretty much be the same, for both the Entente and the CP, in both test games.

Actually then, since the boost happens at the end of the CP 1st turn, and everything should return to normal by the beginning of the 3rd turn, the boost in reality is only advantageous to the CP side when attacking for a single turn, which is their 2nd turn.

Hubert



Hi Hubert - so I did what you suggested and ran two tests to check the morale effects on both CP and Entente units of Luxembourg's surrender. The base case had no units moving at all over six turns (ie from August 1 to September 5), compared to what happened if just one German unit moved to occupy Luxembourg on Turn 1. All other mobilizations and scripts proceeded as per normal in both cases. I also included A-H units, Russian units and one Serbian unit in the test.

The results were very close to what you predicted. On turn 2 (Entente turn) there was a net 20-30% swing in unit morale toward the Central Powers versus the Entente units. On turn 3 (CP turn) this has reduced to a net 10-20% swing. This dropped again on turn 4 (Entente turn) to a net swing of roughly 5-10% against the Entente. By turns 5 (CP turn) and 6 (Entente turn) the lingering effect was only 1-2%. The only exceptions were the two Russian units in my test which still had a 7-8% morale drop by turn 6 compared to the base case. I can't figure why that would be, as everything else was equal, but there may be a random factor involved.

My earlier test reported above did not take into account the fact that all the units morale, on both sides, increases on turn 2 and the German units morale continues to rise over the next couple of turns. This may be due to the arrival of new HQs - certainly Hindenburg's arrival has that effect on German units in East Prussia.

This test confirms what you have argued that the effects of surrender are tangible but temporary. A smart offensive player might want to time the final take-down of a minor somewhere on the board to increase his advantage for the opening turns of an offensive somewhere else.

I still think the line-up of minors likely to surrender in this game is de facto weighted against the Entente and I have a hard time figuring out why Russian units in Galicia would care about what happened in Luxembourg. I'd encourage you to think about being able to adjust the morale swings due to surrender based on the country in question. But at least based on this test, I would not argue that surrender of Luxembourg per se distorts the game.



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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/2/2021 2:27:01 AM   
Hubert Cater

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall
A smart offensive player might want to time the final take-down of a minor somewhere on the board to increase his advantage for the opening turns of an offensive somewhere else.


For sure and a lot of players do use this tactic which of course led to the discovery of the Montenegro gambit. Typically if the diplomatic penalties, and the risk reward are balanced enough, while useful, it is not overpowering.

In the WWII games, as mentioned, it helps with the Spring Blitzkrieg of 1940, but it can also help with Barbarossa where some players try and time the conquests of Yugoslavia and Greece to give the Axis a bit of a boost in the USSR.

quote:


I still think the line-up of minors likely to surrender in this game is de facto weighted against the Entente and I have a hard time figuring out why Russian units in Galicia would care about what happened in Luxembourg. I'd encourage you to think about being able to adjust the morale swings due to surrender based on the country in question. But at least based on this test, I would not argue that surrender of Luxembourg per se distorts the game.


It's a fair point and I guess it comes down to how victories on the board for one side ultimately affect the other side. Does it affect the entire other side? More for one nation versus another? Would it depend on the size and effect of a victory?

For example, Luxembourg might not have an effect on Russian unit morale, but a quick surrender of let's say France in 1914 might.

Perhaps minor surrenders only effect the parent nations, while major surrenders affect all major nations etc.

Something for us to think about as well.


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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/2/2021 6:34:10 AM   
mdsmall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hubert Cater


For example, Luxembourg might not have an effect on Russian unit morale, but a quick surrender of let's say France in 1914 might.

Perhaps minor surrenders only effect the parent nations, while major surrenders affect all major nations etc.

Something for us to think about as well.



Hubert - there is a huge strategic difference between a major like France surrendering and the most minor of minors, Luxembourg, surrendering. Yet there is no difference in morale impact at the unit level - both are the same. I would encourage you to consider revising making the revision you suggest so that when minors surrender only their parent major is affected. Equally, only the conquering major on the attacking side should benefit when a minor surrenders.

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/2/2021 4:19:46 PM   
Bavre

 

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I absolutely agree with mdsmall (we are currently testing this issue together btw). The problem is that for the CP those boosts are easy and especially very early available. It might not do much in 15 or 16 when everyone is well dug in, but 2 of them in the first 3 rounds permit truly extreme rushes with devastating long term consequences for the Entente. During the discussion on this topic the question about selling tech chits and operating units has also come up. However I am convinced, that those are not the culprits. Railed in troops have a considerable debuff and the Entente can just rail in troops to. What they can not do however is pressing the powerup button after teleporting their strike team in and immediately raise hell.
Bottom line I would strongly advocate to scale the surrender bonus to the countries size or at least distinguish between major and minor surrender.

On the other hand, going




PUNY ENTENTE, KAISER SMASH!

because mighty Luxembourg and Montenegro just surrendered is undeniably hilarious.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Bavre -- 3/2/2021 9:46:48 PM >

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/2/2021 8:37:59 PM   
Hubert Cater

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall
Hubert - there is a huge strategic difference between a major like France surrendering and the most minor of minors, Luxembourg, surrendering.


Of course, this is just one of those where we have to consider a potential game engine change and what kind of impact it will have in other parts of the game, as well as for the other games that use the same code base.

For example, the code works the same for all surrenders and for all games and overall up to now has pretty much worked as desired, e.g. for most circumstances, so it is a question of whether or not we absolutely require code changes as there is no other solution, possible new special rules for one game, or some other solution that has yet to be considered.

quote:


Yet there is no difference in morale impact at the unit level - both are the same. I would encourage you to consider revising making the revision you suggest so that when minors surrender only their parent major is affected.


Fair, but we'd still prefer to think this through as some geographical locations could perhaps have an effect on more than one major, potentially.

For example, let's say Germany did take Montenegro (before the gambit was discovered) in some time in 1915 from a push there to help its AH allies. Would taking Montenegro just boost Germany or could it be argued that it should boost the AH as well which is doing the bulk of the fighting in neighboring Serbia?

Again, I completely understand what is desired here and the logic behind it, the hesitation is always from possibly introducing new unforeseen issues etc.

Again, to my earlier point, what we always ask ourselves is if it is possible to keep the code as is where over time the affects average out without having to introduce a number of special rules and consider a number of special cases and because we can find other solutions to the current exploits, or do we definitely have to go down the route of changes and then potentially find it introduces other newer problems we didn't see until the changes were made?

That's really why we keep asking the questions and are happy to listen to the feedback.

quote:


Equally, only the conquering major on the attacking side should benefit when a minor surrenders.


Potentially though, I believe a Montenegro gambit of sorts could still exist as it still doesn't stop a German player from taking Luxembourg and Montenegro to give just Germany a unit morale boost for all theaters.

Which again has me lean more towards attempting to limit this particular gambit first and then go from there to see if most of these issues/concerns go away.

Bill of course will have his final say on what he feels will work or not for this as well.


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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/2/2021 10:44:03 PM   
Chernobyl

 

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To be clear, what exactly does a surrender do, and for what exact duration?

Does it affect morale only (which indirectly affects readiness) or does it affect readiness directly too?

Does it give a boost to all faction units (e.g. Germany, Austria, Ottomans), or just the conquering major and their sub-nations (e.g. Germany + Bulgaria)? Does it affect naval units?

Does it lower morale of the "losing" side also?

I gather it takes effect when you end your turn, so your units are stronger on defense, and then when you begin your next turn your units are stronger on offense. And then perhaps in turns thereafter, readiness is still a bit higher because morale is higher (morale affects readiness) and morale is dependent partly on previous morale. I'm under the impression from the manual that morale itself has no direct effect on combat except that morale affects readiness. Is this accurate?

< Message edited by Chernobyl -- 3/2/2021 10:45:15 PM >

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 2:11:46 AM   
mdsmall

 

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Hi Chernobyl - The surrender of any country causes a positive swing in unit morale for the winning side and and a negative swing for the losing side that is felt by all units, of both majors and minors, on both sides. It affects naval units too, but less than land units. This morale swing affects readiness which therefore affects combat results. The sharpest effects are in the first two turns after a country surrenders, starting with the losing side, but the morale effects linger for 3-4 turns. See post 8 in this thread where I explain the results of a test that I did with Luxembourg. See also the Morale tab in the Game Editor where you can see the default settings for this effect.

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 2:22:56 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hubert Cater

Potentially though, I believe a Montenegro gambit of sorts could still exist as it still doesn't stop a German player from taking Luxembourg and Montenegro to give just Germany a unit morale boost for all theaters.

Which again has me lean more towards attempting to limit this particular gambit first and then go from there to see if most of these issues/concerns go away.



A game engine change is not desirable. Nerfing the temporary surrender and morale boost mechanism is not desirable either. The Montenegro Gambit should be available as a strategy. This is a geographical and infrastructure problem concerning this A.O. (Area of Operations). I proposed a simple removal of a narrow gauge railway that is featured as a regular railway...to be replaced with a paved road. (which already is on the map running along the RR). If the CP elects to do the gambit at anytime..especially the first turn..they will stage within 1 hex of Sarajevo. From there they can march down with adequate supply to assemble outside Cetinje.

This proposal eliminates the need to start fiddling with the game engine. It also eliminates the need to change the mechanics of chit selling, or the prohibition of that on the first turn. It also probably means a second capital at Pec isn't necessary..though I personally would add an alternative capital there with the RR snip.

Taking Cetinje early (after turn 2) without making Montenegro surrender is still a huge loss to the Entente, hence its a Gambit.
A gambit is an action entailing a degree of risk...which for the CP, is having substantial units in this A.O. for a while longer then they may want. Having no rail there means they will have to march back to Sarajevo if things turn bad for them on one of the other fronts. As this so called Montenegrin Gambit stands..its actually an exploit. Its an exploit because Albania goes neutral, and there is no conceivable way for the Entente to inject force into the Balkans.

This is all my humble opinion of course..... o7


< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 3/3/2021 7:21:06 AM >

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 7:04:43 AM   
mdsmall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hubert Cater

Of course, this is just one of those where we have to consider a potential game engine change and what kind of impact it will have in other parts of the game, as well as for the other games that use the same code base.

For example, the code works the same for all surrenders and for all games and overall up to now has pretty much worked as desired, e.g. for most circumstances, so it is a question of whether or not we absolutely require code changes as there is no other solution, possible new special rules for one game, or some other solution that has yet to be considered.



Hubert - I appreciate why you are reluctant to make a change to the game engine just to address what some players feel is a problem with one situation in one of the SC games. I think the problem is bigger than just Luxembourg and Montenegro, at least for the Entente in this game. But would you consider building into the game engine the option to vary the surrender morale settings by country and then leave the default setting as they are now (at least for now). That way players who want to dial up or down those settings for certain countries can do so in their own mods and everyone else can keep playing normally. It would at least give players (like me) who think there is an issue here to test out alternatives and so if they make any difference.

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 7:12:51 AM   
mdsmall

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hubert Cater

quote:


Yet there is no difference in morale impact at the unit level - both are the same. I would encourage you to consider revising making the revision you suggest so that when minors surrender only their parent major is affected.


Fair, but we'd still prefer to think this through as some geographical locations could perhaps have an effect on more than one major, potentially.

For example, let's say Germany did take Montenegro (before the gambit was discovered) in some time in 1915 from a push there to help its AH allies. Would taking Montenegro just boost Germany or could it be argued that it should boost the AH as well which is doing the bulk of the fighting in neighboring Serbia?



Hubert - I really don't think this is much of an issue. I would deal with it the same way you do plunder. When two majors are attacking a minor, as in your example above, the one that takes the capital gets the plunder. You could do the same for the morale effects when a minor surrenders - the major that captured the last capital and thus triggered the surrender gets the morale swing. The Central Power player, in this example, can decide whether Austria-Hungary or Germany could most benefit from the glory of hosting the victory parade in Cetinje.

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 7:56:02 AM   
Espejo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hubert Cater

Potentially though, I believe a Montenegro gambit of sorts could still exist as it still doesn't stop a German player from taking Luxembourg and Montenegro to give just Germany a unit morale boost for all theaters.

Which again has me lean more towards attempting to limit this particular gambit first and then go from there to see if most of these issues/concerns go away.



A game engine change is not desirable. Nerfing the temporary surrender and morale boost mechanism is not desirable either. The Montenegro Gambit should be available as a strategy. This is a geographical and infrastructure problem concerning this A.O. (Area of Operations). I proposed a simple removal of a narrow gauge railway that is featured as a regular railway...to be replaced with a paved road. (which already is on the map running along the RR). If the CP elects to do the gambit at anytime..especially the first turn..they will stage within 1 hex of Sarajevo. From there they can march down with adequate supply to assemble outside Cetinje.

This proposal eliminates the need to start fiddling with the game engine. It also eliminates the need to change the mechanics of chit selling, or the prohibition of that on the first turn. It also probably means a second capital at Pec isn't necessary..though I personally would add an alternative capital there with the RR snip.

Taking Cetinje early (after turn 2) without making Montenegro surrender is still a huge loss to the Entente, hence its a Gambit.
A gambit is an action entailing a degree of risk...which for the CP, is having substantial units in this A.O. for a while longer then they may want. Having no rail there means they will have to march back to Sarajevo if things turn bad for them on one of the other fronts. As this so called Montenegrin Gambit stands..its actually an exploit. Its an exploit because Albania goes neutral, and there is no conceivable way for the Entente to inject force into the Balkans.

This is all my humble opinion of course..... o7



As I feel this game is quite excellent in its core mechanism I dont think that we need to bring a sledgehammer to fix an obivioius exploit. I think to simply cut the railway would be a very good soultuion as suggested.

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RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 7:58:24 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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The reason they are hesitant to change the game engine pertaining to the surrender and subsequent morale buff on the next turn is that it pertains to all their games...this one, WiE and WaW. It is an important feature that is utilized many players...especially in WaW, where timing is everything.

The problem here is geographical...and the fact that Cetinje falls on turn 2. The surrender buff is irrelevant here. If Montenegro surrenders, thats fine...its the fact that it surrenders on turn 2. If it surrenders on turn 2, Albania doesn't go over to the Entente. If Albania doesn't go over..there is no chance for Entente intervention. Period.

Bosnia and Dalmatia is rugged and undeveloped in 1914. Bosnia-Herzegovina was just incorporated into Austria-Hungary in 1908. The rail net that's featured in this game in Bosnia was pulled by a simple railroad map that didn't differentiate by type. The railroad featured here was narrow gauge...and was only connected at Sarajevo at a station with the main trunk lines that stretched over Europe.

Anyway...the more I have researched this, and thought of the short term gamble and long term effects...its the way I'd go.

In addition...thinking about German warplans...there were 2 main ideas: Schlieffen's France First, and Ludendorff's Russia First. Montenegro wouldn't of even been a second thought because the infrastructure in Dalmatia and Bosnia, and the rugged terrain, would make it impossible to move 100,000+ men to the outskirts of Montenegro. They could, however, contemplate a push on Montenegro by train staging an army to Sarajevo..and then conducting an overland push down. Now this would be a 'gambit'..an expensive one..a possible one even.




(in reply to mdsmall)
Post #: 19
RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 1:46:54 PM   
Hubert Cater

 

Posts: 4893
Joined: 7/22/2013
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: OldCrowBalthazor

A game engine change is not desirable. Nerfing the temporary surrender and morale boost mechanism is not desirable either. The Montenegro Gambit should be available as a strategy. This is a geographical and infrastructure problem concerning this A.O. (Area of Operations). I proposed a simple removal of a narrow gauge railway that is featured as a regular railway...to be replaced with a paved road. (which already is on the map running along the RR). If the CP elects to do the gambit at anytime..especially the first turn..they will stage within 1 hex of Sarajevo. From there they can march down with adequate supply to assemble outside Cetinje.

This proposal eliminates the need to start fiddling with the game engine. It also eliminates the need to change the mechanics of chit selling, or the prohibition of that on the first turn. It also probably means a second capital at Pec isn't necessary..though I personally would add an alternative capital there with the RR snip.

Taking Cetinje early (after turn 2) without making Montenegro surrender is still a huge loss to the Entente, hence its a Gambit.
A gambit is an action entailing a degree of risk...which for the CP, is having substantial units in this A.O. for a while longer then they may want. Having no rail there means they will have to march back to Sarajevo if things turn bad for them on one of the other fronts. As this so called Montenegrin Gambit stands..its actually an exploit. Its an exploit because Albania goes neutral, and there is no conceivable way for the Entente to inject force into the Balkans.

This is all my humble opinion of course..... o7



Thanks OldCrowBalthazor, and yes one of the questions we ask ourselves in this situation is how did the game play before a possible exploit was discovered?

Was it fairly balanced? Were the entries of nations otherwise ok? Did it allow for multiple strategies but none were game breaking? And so on...

If we have more NO then YES to those questions then we tend to lean towards the bigger picture and consider more significant changes.

If it is more YES than NO then we lean more towards the issue that has raised all the questions and focus more on that and then go from there.

As mentioned, past experience has led us to think carefully so as to not introduce new issues. Whack-a-mole has happened to us before in the past and that leads to even more player frustration.

We also tend to lean towards a balanced approach unless it is something truly game breaking and no other option remains other than to completely remove it from the game.

For example, as you've alluded to perhaps the Montenegro strategy should remain as a viable one with some adjustments and if we can raise the risk to ensure it is not the strategy that wins the game for the CP side every time with little to no risk.

We had a similar situation in our WWII game where players felt it was game breaking when the Axis operated all their air to North Africa to overwhelm the Allied defenses there. In the end we didn't remove the option, e.g. some argued for hard caps, special rules etc., we just amended how air units received maximum supply where they had to be attached to an HQ in order to do so. It allowed players to continue to send as much air to North Africa as before, it just now required a bigger logistical investment in order to be effective, e.g an extra HQ or two. The strategy was there for players to still pursue but became more balanced as a result.

That being said we haven't made a final decision just yet, so to everyone, please keep the feedback coming


_____________________________


(in reply to OldCrowBalthazor)
Post #: 20
RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 1:50:03 PM   
Hubert Cater

 

Posts: 4893
Joined: 7/22/2013
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: mdsmall

Hubert - I appreciate why you are reluctant to make a change to the game engine just to address what some players feel is a problem with one situation in one of the SC games. I think the problem is bigger than just Luxembourg and Montenegro, at least for the Entente in this game. But would you consider building into the game engine the option to vary the surrender morale settings by country and then leave the default setting as they are now (at least for now). That way players who want to dial up or down those settings for certain countries can do so in their own mods and everyone else can keep playing normally. It would at least give players (like me) who think there is an issue here to test out alternatives and so if they make any difference.



It's certainly possible, and it really will just depend on which way we go with the solution to this problem. Just being honest here, there is always so much to do and we have to prioritize our efforts and if in the end this is what we find to be the only way to solve the issue then yes that kind of option would be introduced into the editor.


_____________________________


(in reply to mdsmall)
Post #: 21
RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 2:20:29 PM   
mdsmall

 

Posts: 431
Joined: 4/28/2020
From: Vancouver, BC
Status: offline
Hubert - I appreciate your willingness to think about this. It is very easy for a player like me to ask for a change in the game engine, when I have no idea how much work that might take. An alternative which might be easier for you to implement is, as discussed above, limiting the surrender effects for minors to just the parent major and the conquering major. You could introduce a box to that effect in the Editor which could be ticked or unticked, much like you do with the little-noticed "attachable HQ" box under Country Data (something else I learned by reading about the dreaded Montenegro Gambit!).

(in reply to Hubert Cater)
Post #: 22
RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 6:24:17 PM   
OldCrowBalthazor


Posts: 743
Joined: 7/2/2020
From: Republic of Cascadia
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hubert Cater

If we have more NO then YES to those questions then we tend to lean towards the bigger picture and consider more significant changes.

If it is more YES than NO then we lean more towards the issue that has raised all the questions and focus more on that and then go from there.

For example, as you've alluded to perhaps the Montenegro strategy should remain as a viable one with some adjustments and if we can raise the risk to ensure it is not the strategy that wins the game for the CP side every time with little to no risk.



Thanks Hubert for responding to my reply. I believe the latter question is the answer as it applies here with the Montenegro Gambit starting on turn 1:

"If it is more YES than NO then we lean more towards the issue that has raised all the questions and focus more on that and then go from there."-Hubert

The game overall is balanced for both sides, even when the artillery was uber powerful haha. Both sides could get that back when!

Its definitely a local problem considering the time frame of the M-Gambit imho. The M-Gambit actually has a long history...but it was employed usually from my experience later..when the CP stabilized one or both of the main fronts, and they were having problems with the Serbian player being recalcitrant lol.

Anyway..thanks for considering and reading all that we write here. Everybody that I know in this community appreciates all the extra time you and Bill put into our questions and observations. o7

(in reply to Hubert Cater)
Post #: 23
RE: Surrender morale effects - 3/3/2021 9:17:03 PM   
Bavre

 

Posts: 159
Joined: 12/5/2020
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Hubert Cater

Thanks OldCrowBalthazor, and yes one of the questions we ask ourselves in this situation is how did the game play before a possible exploit was discovered?

Was it fairly balanced? Were the entries of nations otherwise ok? Did it allow for multiple strategies but none were game breaking? And so on...

If we have more NO then YES to those questions then we tend to lean towards the bigger picture and consider more significant changes.

If it is more YES than NO then we lean more towards the issue that has raised all the questions and focus more on that and then go from there.

As mentioned, past experience has led us to think carefully so as to not introduce new issues. Whack-a-mole has happened to us before in the past and that leads to even more player frustration.

We also tend to lean towards a balanced approach unless it is something truly game breaking and no other option remains other than to completely remove it from the game.

For example, as you've alluded to perhaps the Montenegro strategy should remain as a viable one with some adjustments and if we can raise the risk to ensure it is not the strategy that wins the game for the CP side every time with little to no risk.

We had a similar situation in our WWII game where players felt it was game breaking when the Axis operated all their air to North Africa to overwhelm the Allied defenses there. In the end we didn't remove the option, e.g. some argued for hard caps, special rules etc., we just amended how air units received maximum supply where they had to be attached to an HQ in order to do so. It allowed players to continue to send as much air to North Africa as before, it just now required a bigger logistical investment in order to be effective, e.g an extra HQ or two. The strategy was there for players to still pursue but became more balanced as a result.

That being said we haven't made a final decision just yet, so to everyone, please keep the feedback coming



I think I already posted this in the game balance thread, but the game seemed to have excellent balance for me before I discovered this exploit. All my games before were decided either by difference in player experience or getting lucky after a long match with a lot of back and forth.

Also those surrender effects are by no means an autowin. Even after realizing their potential it took me 4 games vs humans and well over a dozend test runs in hotseat to fully harness their power.

I am currently doing two parallel test games:

One with OldCrow (featured in the war room) were I'm combining the M-gambit with an attempt to cut the Russian rail lines to Poland. This one is still in its opening phase.

In the other vs Mdsmall I am basically doing the same thing but with the houserule, that I am not allowed to attack Cetinje before the Sanjak corps spawns. This game is a bit further along and I have unfortunatelly not made screenshots (mdsmall do you have any?), my eastern attack however looks almost identical to the one I did vs Oldcrow. On the Balkans I simply used the force I normally throw at Montenegro to completely bulldoze Serbia. I dare say the end result is almost as devastating as the M-gambit. In the east I also managed to encircle Poland, but with me lacking the boost in turn 3 the Russians managed to save a significant part of their forces. The mosquitos in the swamp however had the feast of their live


EDIT:
So here is the non-M-Gambit situation on the Balkans on 26th Sep 14. I attacked Serbia directly with the force I normaly use on Montenegro boosted by the fall of Luxembourg.






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(in reply to Hubert Cater)
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