From: OH, USA
It's been roiling around my head awhile to get a balance mod going. In contrast to stjeand's mods, which involve overhauls of unit dispositions and triggered events, I thought I would keep it simpler through editor modifications only. This serves two purposes: easier integration into future patches, should Al decide some of these are worthwhile changes, and 2, ease of grasp for players.
Download link: Click me!
Here are the (as of official version 1.02, with 1.03 just out) reasons for implementing these changes:
1. Japanese overrunning of Solomons/Fiji, etc. This was generally unpreventable with moderately skilled Japanese play and led to extremely ahistoric choking of Allied territory and VP.
2. Sub spam by US and UK (with 70 PP UK subs bug) resulting in huge reversal at the earliest opportunity.
Changes: blockade requirement increased to 5. Small islands are still 1, as this is hardcoded. It occurred to me that both birds could be tackled with one stone. A 5 blockade requirement means that the turn 2 Ceylon gambit would actually require hard commitment of Japanese resources. As of 1.03, transports are decreased by 30, with only 20 free transports turn 1. Thus, IJN has to choose between west or east, at least more so than before. In this rendition, it is much harder to get a full blockade of Moresby, Fiji, AND Noumea turn 1. This will require some testing, but I believe it is around the correct value. If small islands can be edited, 4 large/2 small might be a better value.
Subs were increased from 80 pp to 125 pp, and build time upped to 126 days.
Currently, Japan suffers from advancement issues. There is little reason to upgrade anything other than one fighter, carriers, and assault, with a maybe on warships and a bomber. Even with advancements, a 10% cost PER YEAR for a much less than 10% increase in effectiveness means that aside from the above, it may hardly ever be worth upgrading anything else. In the case of subs and garrison, it just means you churn out more '39 counters to do their job. This leads to a non-decision for most countries. The route I have taken to try to ameliorate this is two-fold.
One, advancement cost is decreased to 8%. Unfortunately, this is global, as I would have preferred to tweak it for just the above units. Instead, I have increased the base cost of units. Infantry by 33% to 75 base cost, 150/225 for small and large corps and the special infantry types. The old progression starting at '39 of 60/66/72/78/84/90/96 is now 75/81/87/93/99/105. This change leads to less spamming of cheap garrison counters and lends more weight to keeping your existing counters alive.
On the immediate look, Japan is disadvantaged because it has fewer PP. However, in reality, Japan has most of its counters on the board already, so this is counterbalanced by the brunt of the cost being born by the Allies having to build units anew.
Carriers and BB were increased to 600 and 500 from 480 and 400, but the upgrades are now cheaper. Subs described above, patrol boats decreased to 80 to reflect both the fewer HP and restriction in movement. Planes were bumped up by 50. Now, there should be more emphasis on
The second change was to set the base advancement to '41 for everyone except China at a minimum. This means that Japan CAN consider advancing anti-tank, for example. Combined, these changes should foster more decision-making and more impactful decision-making, all while mitigating counter spam issues.
Quality of life changes
These are actually pretty substantial. Please take a look.
1. Most units' production times have been changed to a multiple of 14. No longer do you need to count which months have 31 days.
2. All units now have ZOC, but the ZOC penalty is now only 1. This change prevents massive army breakthroughs (most commonly at the Rangoon junction or with Chinese armies zippityzooping around Japan's) around divisions that can do nothing to stop them. It also mitigates units wasting their entire turn at times just trying to get in range and weakens slightly the WPE tactic of retreating one step to prevent attacks.
3. Fleet range decreased to 20, but loops reinstated for Allies only. Eastern loop is two turns, western loop three turns. This is probably the most controversial and will require more testing, but it feels more correct to me. The major conceit for design in a biweekly turn based game is that the opponent cannot react to anything done. These changes make naval movement carry more weight, and units can no longer garrison hop by transports to such a huge degree. With this decrease, the loops save a slight bit of time and more protection at the cost of flexibility.
4. Garrison supply/logistics saving increased to 50%. Official v1.03 introduced an ungarrisoning penalty that is double the cost of garrisoning but gives garrisoned units additional anti-tank factors. While this is good to prevent using garrison as a bank account, it makes garrison a very unattractive choice. The changed logistical savings will 1) allow more air supply on small islands and 2) allow a focused more focused Chinese offensive by Japan with the limited port range issues. Smart garrisoning will allow certain stable fronts to release supply for more distant troops. This allows for a more dynamic Chinese campaign rather than just ramming things into Changsha and calling it a day.
5. Strategic resources were bumped up to 2% to have more encouragement for fighting over them.
6. Foreign resource ratio bumped up to 1:2 from 1:3. Currently, the game rounds DOWN, which means 5 resource hexes are worth 1. This change gives Japan a bit more to start off with (and offsets the new unit cost somewhat) and gives a better incentive to try for Russia.
< Message edited by eskuche -- 7/23/2021 8:58:38 PM >