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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11)

 
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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/13/2021 8:57:27 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: IIo4Tu

there are the following ideas for balancing:

To strengthen China:
1. introduce DE, which for a certain amount of MPP will join Burma to the allies to activate the Burma road.
2. to untie aid from the USSR from the presence of Chungking in China.

To strengthen France, it is possible to introduce a large moral debuff (for example by 5 percent) for Germany if it attacks the Benelux before the onset of 1940.


Hi

On point 2, do you mean to increase the trigger points for the following?

DE 408 - USSR: Send Supplies to China?
Event fires: If 2 Japanese units are within 3 hexes of Chungking, Moscow is in Allied hands and China has not surrendered.
Cost of accepting: 200 MPPs at 100 MPPs a turn for 2 turns.
Yes: China will receive 200 MPPs at 100 MPPs a turn for 2 turns, and its National Morale will be boosted by
3,000 points.
No: Nothing.


In terms of an early attack on France, some changes were introduced into the latest patch for WWII: War in Europe, but I held back introducing them into this game, pending feedback on whether that did give France some more resilience or not.

These changes were:

- France's starting MPPs increased from 75 to 90.
- French 2nd Army at Verdun and 9th Army at 155,82 increased in strength from 5 to 8, 1st Army at 153,81 increased in strength from 5 to 6, XLIV Corps at Epinal; IX Corps at Belfort increased in strength from 5 to 6. This is the equivalent of 100 MPPs worth of reinforcements.
- Resource scripts added for Algiers; Casablanca; Rabat; Tunis, Bordeaux and Marseille so that they start the war at zero strength, increasing by 1 per Allied turn.

If introduced here the changes would follow the same path, to increase their starting strength while reducing France's income slightly for the first months of the game, i.e. so that France isn't noticeable stronger in May 1940 than it would have been prior to the changes.

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/13/2021 9:08:28 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marcinos1985

Lots and lots of valuable ideas here, great stuff!


Agreed, you've started a great thread here and I'm busy taking notes of changes to consider!

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Post #: 32
RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/13/2021 3:30:25 PM   
IIo4Tu


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre

Hi

On point 2, do you mean to increase the trigger points for the following?

DE 408 - USSR: Send Supplies to China?
Event fires: If 2 Japanese units are within 3 hexes of Chungking, Moscow is in Allied hands and China has not surrendered.
Cost of accepting: 200 MPPs at 100 MPPs a turn for 2 turns.
Yes: China will receive 200 MPPs at 100 MPPs a turn for 2 turns, and its National Morale will be boosted by
3,000 points.
No: Nothing.



I meant that if Japan captures Chungking before the USSR enters the war, then help from the USSR is not sent when it enters the war... and this is somehow not right at all

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Post #: 33
RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/13/2021 7:13:39 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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Thanks for explaining, that makes sense and I'll make a change here.

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Post #: 34
RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/14/2021 11:39:53 AM   
Alcibiades73

 

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Just a general comment on balancing from my years of gaming, including as a beta tester in turn-based strategy/tactics games (obviously I cannot say much in substance about balance in this particular game, because I have only played Axis and only up to early 1943):

Contrary to the wishes of most of the posters on this thread, I am going to stress that there is a great danger in niche games being balanced toward both elite, hardcore players and multi-player (MP) experience. The simple reason is that the vast majority of gamers will not play a particular game long enough to become "expert" players - nor will they explore MP game modes. Hence, tuning games toward both expert and MP segment of the player base may alienate the majority of the customer base. Yet, the majority of the most vocal posters and especially beta testers in many turn-based strategy/tactics games also tend to be hardcore and MP players. So the devs have a tendency to only get the feedback from a very small segment of the player base and implement changes that will only cater to that minority. I have seen many games, for instance, where the game was virtually unplayable for casuals at release, because the beta testers were in a race to ratchet up the difficulty in an e-peen measuring contest, and the devs obliged, because they had no other feedback source.

Now, I am not saying this dynamic exists in this particular game; I am just warning against it, as I have observed it in the generality of turn-based strategy/tactics games. (In fact, this dynamic may apply less in this game in particular, because customers of complex, large scale historical simulations tend to not to be casuals anyways.) Still, I worry about some of the proposals here. For instance, making the Russian Winter even harsher? Perhaps it is necessary in multi-player games, though the won-loss stats posted does not bear this out. But consider it from the perspective of new players like myself. I felt attacking Russia was a soul-deflating, Sisyphean slog, with an unending sea of troops being "raised" up by the Russians - more bodies continuously taking up space for their brethren. (This is not a zombie game, dammit!) Imagine the surprise and the devastation I felt when the Russian Winter hit. Most of my units were at 4-6 Strength from the endless fighting and low supply the turn before it hit. Imagine the panic when I found those troops at 2-4 Strength? And you want to make this random, arguably unfair, (Russians also died of cold, too!) mechanic harder for new players? I can imagine some new players quitting in frustration when a buffed Russian Winter event brings your unit strength to 0, rather than 2-4.

I implore you to keep in mind the little guys! ;)

< Message edited by Alcibiades73 -- 5/14/2021 12:03:53 PM >

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Post #: 35
RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/14/2021 12:03:28 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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On the more specific thread topic at hand: I am glad someone brought it up, because I, too, am keen to know and was in fact about to start a thread on it!

My experience is obviously limited, but I did find the Axis start rather difficult - though I would not be surprised if this were not mainly due to my being a new, inexperienced player. (For instance, I wasted too much time on China as Japan, and thus I did not really implement a "Southern" strategy at all - which meant that Japan was not going to be viable economically in the long-run.) In particular, I found Italy's position unsustainable; its economic base is so weak that I found myself unable to either research or produce new units at all. Instead, all I could do was just replace unit losses. Overall, the Italian play seems to be basically sitting there, waiting for the eventual Allied invasion and subsequent defeat. How are you supposed to play these guys with such a feeble military and weak industrial base? I suppose the Italian plight in this game is meant to mimic their historical plight, but I feel this game still exaggerates the Italian weakness at the start of World War II. Besides, here may be a case where fidelity to history may not be the best idea for game balance?

I think the other contributing factor to my Axis play were mostly newbie mistakes. As I have said, I just focused entirely on China as Japan and did not create the "Co-prosperity Sphere" necessary to fuel my war machine for the long-haul. Also, I am more of an RPG and small squad tactics player - rather than a war gamer - and I think I played too cautiously, only attacking when no casualties can be foreseen. So my time table likely got messed up. Finally, no doubt my ignorance of some key mechanics contributed to my bad showing. For instance, I did not realize the cheaper amphibious assault ships will take forever to get anywhere; so a lot of them were needlessly sacrificed at sea.

Anyways, I am going to re-run as Axis based on the lesson I have learned, and then try an Allied start thereafter.



< Message edited by Alcibiades73 -- 5/14/2021 12:04:56 PM >

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Post #: 36
RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/14/2021 12:15:27 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: EarlyDoors

We’ve seen the stats, the Allies win more than the Axis

But I agree that an experienced Axis player can cut off choke points and come out victorious

Primarily the UK -> USSR Arctic convoy and the Burma Road



Hmm, I did not engage in economic warfare at all. Specifically, I was saving all the U boats for a cataclysmic naval battle against the combined US-UK fleet. But can the potential loss of a U boat justify a little bit of MPPs shaved, when the Allies have a such a massive economy? I did not get the sense that this is a reasonable trade-off, at least against the AI.

Also, how do you "cut off" the Burma Road? Just occupy an area that it goes through? It seems pretty difficult to get down that far until late in the game though.

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Post #: 37
RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/18/2021 7:55:29 PM   
Marcinos1985

 

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quote:

These changes were:

- France's starting MPPs increased from 75 to 90.
- French 2nd Army at Verdun and 9th Army at 155,82 increased in strength from 5 to 8, 1st Army at 153,81 increased in strength from 5 to 6, XLIV Corps at Epinal; IX Corps at Belfort increased in strength from 5 to 6. This is the equivalent of 100 MPPs worth of reinforcements.
- Resource scripts added for Algiers; Casablanca; Rabat; Tunis, Bordeaux and Marseille so that they start the war at zero strength, increasing by 1 per Allied turn.

If introduced here the changes would follow the same path, to increase their starting strength while reducing France's income slightly for the first months of the game, i.e. so that France isn't noticeable stronger in May 1940 than it would have been prior to the changes.


These changes seem to be nice. I wonder if there was a feedback from WiE players, did it help much? For me it seems that making 2 armies close to Luxembourg stronger would make France less suspectible to rushes.
In case of France, at least for me, I'd like to see attacking Low Countries very early - like 11 or 12.1939 - to come with sort of tradeoff. People on the forums probably know better, but I assume that GER wasn't that ready to strike Holland and Belgium that early, Polish campaign wasn't that easy for them and they had to refit for some time. Just food for thought.

When it comes to China, this idea with Oil Embargo tied to Japanese advance looks really nice, I wonder how hard to implement is that. For me from gaming perspective a situation like this would be optimal - Japan can break China's back so much, that Nationalists wouldn't be able to come back, even with IW2 in stock. But delving so deep into the country is just a very optmistic idea. So chinese front would be in action for longer and could put a strain on Japan, but only if they went too wild elsewhere. There is another issue with JP - check below.

USSR - as it was mentioned many times, Soviets are generally weak in this game and will not hold out without active Allied contribution. But at the same time I feel, they don't need that much help. I see following options:
1. Make Japanese 2nd front way less likely. Today a cookie cutter strategy is to go for USSR with JP at the end of 1941, sometimes even earlier. It is easy and pays off fast and hard. IRL this wasn't that obvious option. NM debuff is probably not sufficient, I'd take it as axis, but maybe spawn some additional units only when JP DOW's? To not weaken Eastern Front and make JP advance way more problematic. By advance I mean going for Irkutsk, taking Vladivostok should be imho somehow viable, though not without a cost.
2. Vladivostok - I really dislike current state. JP may buy torpedo boat, park it next to city and 30 MPP/turn go poof, even if JP is not at war with USSR and USA. Would US at least not react if their convoys would be intercepted by still neutral Japan?
Some other day someone suggested also making Vladi a fortress - maybe it's some idea.
3. Leaving JP aside, Eastern Front needs some buff, but only with small steps in the beginning. I see 3 options - making Syberians a bit stronger, giving Russia additional tank (they start with none in Europe, how much did they have IRL?) or make them start with a chit in IW1. 3rd option seems a very small step and doesn't seem to go overboard, what do you think?

This thread is great, players are very creative and at the same time, they left their pitchforks at home.

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/18/2021 10:01:47 PM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marcinos1985

1. Make Japanese 2nd front way less likely. Today a cookie cutter strategy is to go for USSR with JP at the end of 1941, sometimes even earlier. It is easy and pays off fast and hard. IRL this wasn't that obvious option. NM debuff is probably not sufficient, I'd take it as axis, but maybe spawn some additional units only when JP DOW's? To not weaken Eastern Front and make JP advance way more problematic. By advance I mean going for Irkutsk, taking Vladivostok should be imho somehow viable, though not without a cost.
2. Vladivostok - I really dislike current state. JP may buy torpedo boat, park it next to city and 30 MPP/turn go poof, even if JP is not at war with USSR and USA. Would US at least not react if their convoys would be intercepted by still neutral Japan?
Some other day someone suggested also making Vladi a fortress - maybe it's some idea.
3. Leaving JP aside, Eastern Front needs some buff, but only with small steps in the beginning. I see 3 options - making Syberians a bit stronger, giving Russia additional tank (they start with none in Europe, how much did they have IRL?) or make them start with a chit in IW1. 3rd option seems a very small step and doesn't seem to go overboard, what do you think?



Vladivostok would have fallen almost instantly, if Japan chose the "Strike North" option instead; saying you'd deign to make it "somehow viable" sounds like there is some some doubt in real-life whether Japan could have even achieved this!

To make a long story short, I think hindsight bias based on the ultimate outcome of World War II (especially in the Far East after the Russian declaration of war against Japan in 1945) has made some in the West vastly over-estimate the Red Army and conversely under-estimate its Japanese counterpart - at least in the context of 1941, our hypothetical clash date. Also, the Strike North option was "alive," so to speak, among Japanese policy-makers up to literally months before Pearl Harbor, albeit in a scaled-down version. And no, contrary to Western perception - fed by Russian propaganda - the Nomohan incident was likely not what spooked the Japanese. Nomohan was a small-scale clash - far less significant than, say, Tours (which is apparently epoch-making for Europeans though it barely registers for Arabs) or Talas (the same for Muslims though again the Chinese think it was just one among many innumerable border spats in Chinese history). Instead, the decision to opt for the "Strike South" option instead was due to a complex set of factors - not the least important of which was that the "Strike North" faction was largely purged after a failed coup.

What would have happened if Japan invaded Russia in 1941? It depends on the timing - before Stalin transfers troops to the European theater or after? Either way, however, it would not have looked good for the Soviets. As one of the highest-level commanders in the Far Eastern Soviet forces famously said, Russian plight would have been "hopeless" if Japan committed fully in 1941. Remember, Japan does not have to drive to Irkutsk for the Axis to win - much less split occupy Russia with Nazi Germany. At a minimum, even tying down the Soviet Far Eastern forces alone would mean that those pivotal Siberian divisions that relieved and augmented the Moscow front would not be there. Heck, even cutting off Vladivostok may have starved Russia to death. If, on the other hand, Japan attacked after Stalin emptied the Far East, who is going to stop the Japanese? Russians can't even fight a war of attrition - which was about the only thing they were good at in 1941 - because Stalin sure is not transferring armies from Leningrad, Moscow, or Stalingrad. I suspect Stalin would have panicked and offered the entire Far East to Japan - just as he offered all of Ukraine to Hitler in a secret negotiation right around the start of Barbarossa.

The upshot: If we are going by "IRL," then the Soviets would have a very limited capacity to resist Japanese northern thrust, if it comes after Barbarossa. So please I'd rather not hear historical arguments in favor of buffing the Soviets in the Far East. If game balance dictates it, then, well, I think single player experience ought to matter too, as I have been saying on this thread; and I am not persuaded that Russia needs help in single player at least.

On the proposal to place an extra tank in the Far East: That just sounds bizarre, given that the Soviets had more personnel and tanks in Europe. It is already weird that the Soviets have more tanks in this game in Siberia, but another? Surely, we can have a different way to buff the Soviets - if they even need to be buffed in the Far East?


< Message edited by Alcibiades73 -- 5/18/2021 10:29:35 PM >

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/19/2021 6:42:14 AM   
Marcinos1985

 

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quote:

So please I'd rather not hear historical arguments in favor of buffing the Soviets in the Far East.


If you don't want to hear about it, then just don't browse this thread.
It's about balance in PBEM matches, as stated in opening post and there are no bad ideas, as long as game gets more 'even'.

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/19/2021 8:32:19 AM   
EarlyDoors


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There was an unofficial USSR-Japanese war in 1939 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battles_of_Khalkhin_Gol

and it was decisive in no further outbreak on that front

I'm not sure how to model this event and its impact in the game

Maybe its possible that a Japanese DoW on USSR could spawn some of these USSR forces mentioned here?

I agree entirely with the Vladivostock disatisfaction - the Allied player just has to sit there and take it, unable to respond

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/19/2021 10:06:36 AM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marcinos1985

If you don't want to hear about it, then just don't browse this thread.
It's about balance in PBEM matches, as stated in opening post and there are no bad ideas, as long as game gets more 'even'.


The issue is that you brought up historical arguments to justify buffing the Soviets in the Far East. That I feel is unjustified.

As for MP balance justifications, the thrust of my argument is that SP balance should be considered, too. After all, I suspect SP players are the majority of the player-base in even specialist war simulations.

< Message edited by Alcibiades73 -- 5/19/2021 10:24:23 AM >

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Post #: 42
RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/19/2021 10:22:51 AM   
Alcibiades73

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: EarlyDoors

There was an unofficial USSR-Japanese war in 1939 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battles_of_Khalkhin_Gol

and it was decisive in no further outbreak on that front

I'm not sure how to model this event and its impact in the game

Maybe its possible that a Japanese DoW on USSR could spawn some of these USSR forces mentioned here?

I agree entirely with the Vladivostock disatisfaction - the Allied player just has to sit there and take it, unable to respond


I've already broached this topic. First of all, the Nomohan incident was hardly a "war." It was, as the Japanese titled, an "incident" caused by a renegade, overzealous elements of the Japanese army that did not in any way follow the proper chain of command. Thus there was no central planning and support for the action. You have to understand that the Kwantung Army in those days frequently acted like an out of control, private contractor - a bit like the British East India company. In this respect, the Nomohan incident was a bit like the Mukden incident in 1931 - which ultimately led to the invasion of China. Lower level military officers stirred things up, and the higher ups back in Japan was furious.

Second, most important, the Nomohan incident is greatly exaggerated in terms of its impact in the West - in large part fed by Russian propaganda. It really was a minor border clash that involved runaway elements of the Japanese army acting on its own. To the Japanese eyes, it was no big deal. Yet, just as Europeans over-exaggerated the impact of Tours or the Arabs over-exaggerated the impact of Talas, Russians grotesquely over-exaggerate its impact. Instead, the real reason that Japan did not choose the "North Strike" option had to do more with domestic factors - just like why the Tang Chinese stopped its westward expansion after the defeat at Talas. The North Strike faction was purged after a failed coup, so there were no longer powerful officials advocating for it in 1941. Otherwise, Japan may have gone North - just as Gao Xianzhi would have come back with an even bigger army and routed the Arabs after Talas, but for the breakout of the An Lushan rebellion - which rent China apart. In fact, the Nomohan incident was in part an effort by the Kwantung Army to instigate a larger conflict with Russia in the aftermath of its very flagging prospects after the purge of the Strike North faction.

Also more important than the outcome of Nomohan was the simple fact that Japan felt existentially threatened by the Western oil embargo. I tend to think people over-rate the impact of oil as a primary cause in the decision to go to war, but I cannot over-rate it in this case. Japan's two options were either a humiliating capitulation and accede to Western demands(including an unconditional withdrawal from China) and get oil - or make war and get oil.

< Message edited by Alcibiades73 -- 5/19/2021 10:32:58 AM >

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/19/2021 10:34:17 AM   
Marcinos1985

 

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quote:

Maybe its possible that a Japanese DoW on USSR could spawn some of these USSR forces mentioned here?

I agree entirely with the Vladivostock disatisfaction - the Allied player just has to sit there and take it, unable to respond


Such an event would be nice. Though i could imagine that some players would take those troops and transfer them to Europe immediately

Vladivostok feells little bit off. Maybe if there was no RNG in this event, that lets you shoot at blocking ships (just shoot them each turn 100%) this would deter Axis players more.

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/19/2021 12:19:00 PM   
taffjones

 

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I'm sure that in a previous patch it was implemented that if Japan blocks the supplies going to Russia by blockading Vladivostok USA mobilisation increases.

As this issue was raised a long time ago. I might be wrong, but that's my understanding of the situation as it stands now.

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/19/2021 12:57:14 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: taffjones

I'm sure that in a previous patch it was implemented that if Japan blocks the supplies going to Russia by blockading Vladivostok USA mobilisation increases.

As this issue was raised a long time ago. I might be wrong, but that's my understanding of the situation as it stands now.


I'm not sure we did, but will check and if it's not already included then it's another potential change.

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/19/2021 1:01:25 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alcibiades73

quote:

ORIGINAL: Marcinos1985

If you don't want to hear about it, then just don't browse this thread.
It's about balance in PBEM matches, as stated in opening post and there are no bad ideas, as long as game gets more 'even'.


The issue is that you brought up historical arguments to justify buffing the Soviets in the Far East. That I feel is unjustified.

As for MP balance justifications, the thrust of my argument is that SP balance should be considered, too. After all, I suspect SP players are the majority of the player-base in even specialist war simulations.


You're right, I've taken quite a few notes from this great thread and will do my best to implement the ones that are the most applicable to both single and multiplayer.

I realise that some might make more sense in one environment than another, but the good thing is that some of the ideas are also generating ideas of my own. Lots to think about and I'm merely noting things down and thinking about them at this stage, but I am optimistic that we will see some improvements coming.

It's certainly going to keep me busy for a while!

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/19/2021 1:04:45 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marcinos1985

These changes seem to be nice. I wonder if there was a feedback from WiE players, did it help much? For me it seems that making 2 armies close to Luxembourg stronger would make France less suspectible to rushes.


I've not had any feedback yet from WiE. Maybe I should have implemented it in WAW instead!

quote:

This thread is great, players are very creative and at the same time, they left their pitchforks at home.


I totally agree.

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/19/2021 7:51:17 PM   
Marcinos1985

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre


quote:

ORIGINAL: taffjones

I'm sure that in a previous patch it was implemented that if Japan blocks the supplies going to Russia by blockading Vladivostok USA mobilisation increases.

As this issue was raised a long time ago. I might be wrong, but that's my understanding of the situation as it stands now.


I'm not sure we did, but will check and if it's not already included then it's another potential change.


@taffjones, @BillRunacre No sign of such a change in patch notes. Maybe in 1.12?

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/23/2021 2:09:50 PM   
petedalby

 

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Apologies if it's already been suggested but a simple way to buff the USSR might be to reduce the research costs for their 'must haves' like Armoured & Infantry Warfare, Command & Control, Advanced Tanks & Infantry Weapons.

I find that once Barbarossa begins all of your MPPs are spent on rebuilding losses rather than keeping pace with technology.

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/24/2021 8:10:54 AM   
rafaelmbaez

 

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Be careful of buffing too much the Allies ( that France buff is significant ) or it will need a very good Axis player to win... remember, in ELO matches right now, its almost 50/50 at the moment.

Another thing to touch is the Pacific War, Japs and USA avoids each other focusing in URSS / India and USA in Germany first.

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RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/24/2021 5:50:23 PM   
boudi

 

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From: France
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The main problem is in Soviet Union. USSR is severly hit before the end of 1942 in MP game. At the start of Barbarossa i think that USSR need a additional HQ, because there are often 4 opened fronts : Leningrad, road to Moscow, Stalingrad and Caucasus. However, the USSR has only 3 HQs (the 4th is easly destroyed at the border when it appears).Moreover the level 2 in infantry weapons is obtained too late even if we do everything to accelerate the research, with the research of level 1 from September 1, 1939.

In addition to the HQ, maybe USSR can start the game with level 1 in infantry weapons research started at 50%.


(in reply to rafaelmbaez)
Post #: 52
RE: Yet another balance thread (1.11) - 5/26/2021 2:42:54 AM   
Elessar2


Posts: 585
Joined: 11/30/2016
Status: offline
Alas every tech starts any scenario at zero.

(in reply to boudi)
Post #: 53
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