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The problem with research..

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The problem with research.. - 4/16/2005 2:48:26 AM   


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It seems to me that the problems with research as it is currently employed in the game (see Heavy Bomber thread etc., is that once the tech advantages are researched they are immediately implemented throughout all existing troops, tanks, planes, subs, and so forth related to the tech without any additional cost or time to re-tool and re-fit (aside from the research costs). It seems to me this is hardly realistic or practical, and leads to real problems as described in various other threads.

Why not have a re-fit option or a time delay with an appropriate cost that is administered when a new tech level is implemented? This would make someone think twice before going gangbusters and hitting unrealistic tech levels and would probably help balance out force allocation in the end as well, instead of having certain units (ie, Tac Air) that are virtually useless in the endgame. In other words, if I choose to research 9/9 tanks, then it's going to cost me a helluva lot in terms of research (currently implemented) and it's going to enforce a re-fit delay that takes units out of play for a turn or two if you choose to upgrade them and/or there is an appropriate delay and cost before the tech effects come into play.

Any problem with something like this? We would probably see more balanced forces that included combined arms because there would be far fewer super-tank-only or uber-bomber-only tactics employed.


There's a simple answer to every complex question - and it's wrong.
-Umberto Eco
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RE: The problem with research.. - 4/16/2005 2:58:59 AM   

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But doesn't the game already account for this by imposing a higher cost for plentiful units? Yes, you can minimize this cost by researching before you build the units in question, but sooner or later you have to actually build the stuff, and then your costs go up for further research.

Nor am I worried about people eschewing combined-arms tactics. The game mechanics really demand combined arms. You can't defend against invasions or conduct Op Fire without artillery. You need armor to exploit. Infantry is cheaper and inevitably will be part of anyone's army. The Japanese need aircraft and naval units, as do the Western Allies. The Germans need subs; the WA need light fleets to counter them.

For that matter, the research mechanics also encourage combined-arms. I'm up to 10/10 tanks now. Should I spend 33 points on 11 evasion, or buy five other techs for the same price? I'm glad to have the choice. And I'll take the other five techs, thanks. I need to in order to keep up with my opponent, who is killing me with lots of other units that outclass my corresponding units.

I really like research the way it is. I hope the devs don't change it lightly, at least not until we've all had months to push the system to its limits in PBEM games.

(in reply to mllange)
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RE: The problem with research.. - 4/16/2005 3:27:12 AM   


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The problem with research is the amount of it the allies can do above and beyond what the axis can and the how effective that research is. Research is THE deciding factor in the game right now. The allies can outdo the axis in research by 2 to 1. Which means if the allies go HEAVY into research, the axis has NO HOPE of keeping up, and when those units start riolling out they have no hope of stopping them. This all means the axis have................... no hope in a game with heavy research.

History is great for the classroom, but when it makes a game not worth playing, its time to make the game fun instead of historically acurate.

(in reply to mllange)
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RE: The problem with research.. - 4/16/2005 5:04:51 AM   
Paul Vebber

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As discussedin the other thread, this is true in the Axis can't put the allies on teh economic defensive. Left to exploit their economy, the Allies will "always win" - but this requires the Axis to take the "bait" and try to win a purely military victory killing units - rather than using their military to achieve an economic victory.

(in reply to Scott_WAR)
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RE: The problem with research.. - 4/16/2005 5:11:16 AM   


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I think that some sort of option, to allow for differences in research implementation, is best.

Do you want to keep research at default?

Do you want research to cost more when a certain tech level is reached, representing the refitting of older units?

Do you want the option of manually refitting or not refitting units when a certain tech level is reached, at a particular cost?

Do you want to set different caps on efficacy on particular techs that seem to skew play balance?

These might not be the greatest of ideas, but I'm sure many of you could think of excellent toggles, that could extend playability and maybe create better balance.

Any time there are differences of opinions, having toggle options (for example) is a decent way to go, if these options are easily programmed and don't take too much manpower.


(in reply to Scott_WAR)
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RE: The problem with research.. - 4/16/2005 5:14:06 AM   


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Besides which, as near as I can tell the Allied players who spend enough resources building these "super weapons" loose anyway, because they don't conquer the Axis in time to beat the clock. So as the Axis player, I say "please don't throw me in that briar patch!"


Carthago Delinde Est

(in reply to Paul Vebber)
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RE: The problem with research.. - 4/16/2005 5:21:25 AM   

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I think the research system and costs are fine. What I think is skewed is the dramatic effect a single point of unit value has when increased. IMO, the effects of the increased unit values should be lowered somewhat. In a WWII game, no units should be essentially invulnerable to the enemy. Look how many examples there are of outclassed forces inflicting suprising and respectable casualties to technological superior forces.

Again, it isn't the research costs or any such thing that is the problem. It is the drastic effect a single researched point increase has.

(in reply to QBeam)
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RE: The problem with research.. - 4/16/2005 5:56:27 AM   


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Exactly Blue.

(in reply to Bluestew0)
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RE: The problem with research.. - 4/16/2005 6:50:19 AM   

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Those 'unkillable' units really only result at the high end of the research when the defenses have outpaced what most other units can hit. Usually that is by being a step or two ahead of the World Standard. The issues I see are Tanks and Heavy Bomber.

For Tanks, they have 1 armor which gives them a 3.5 point advantage on defense vs offense. But what makes them really so much better is that the World Standard for tank defense is 8. To get Infantry or Arty or Tac Air that keeps pace with them would need to also be 8 Ground Attack. Unfortunately, Infantry Ground Attack WS is 6, Arty is 7, and Tac Air is only 5(!). But Tanks ALSO have a WS of 8 for Ground Attack...So, it behooves you to research Tank attack up because it will be cheaper and more effective.

Nothing else can have the defense that Tanks can for anywhere near the same cost. Again, WS for Tanks is 8 for Defense while Infantry only have a 6, and Arty, a 5.

So Tanks become the 'best' unit to focus your research on and the pay-off is that they are hard to kill except by anything but opposing researched tanks. But that strikes me as wrong because historically, many more tanks were lost to just about everything else BUT enemy tanks (tank vs tank actions werent all that common). Air support cant kill them and 'dug in' Infantry cant kill them so you are encouraged to research and build tanks of your own instead.

For Heavy Bombers, the situation is a little different. The have 1 armor, so they do get a die advantage there. There also have a higher durability (4). This means each point of Bomber Evasion is worth more than a point of Fighter or Flak AA attack. Couple that with the armor, and you need to basically exceed their defense to hit them rather than equal them. Fortunately, Hvy Bomber Evasion's WS is only 4, while Fighter AA attack's WS is 6, as is Flak's AA attack. So, this one is a lot more possible. You just cant be taken off guard as I was in my game. I still dont care for the Hvy Bombers to be quite that hard to take down, but at least you had to pay through the nose to research 2 points above World Standard. Note that if they DO make that investment, you also have to be 2 points above the WS to realistically take them down with Fighters and Flak, so if they pull it off, you are hurting unless you have equal resources to burn.

So, at any rate, I think it is the World Standards that have to be looked at, especially for Tanks. 8-8 is just so much better than anything the other combat arms can muster (6-6 Inf , 7-5 Arty). Bombers are probably OK, but I wouldnt mind seeing Flak/Fighter WS in AA attack go up by a point or else lower Bomber Evasion WS by a point to ensure that they need ESCORTS to survive, not just a very high defense stat.

(in reply to Bluestew0)
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