My thoughts on the game.

Piercing Fortress Europa is a new game from veteran game designer Frank Hunter, which covers the campaigns of the Western Allies from July, 1943 through the end of April, 1945 in Sicily and Italy. Each area has its own map and time scale to best represent the campaigns for Sicily and Italy and the player is offered complete freedom, limited only by a historical order of battle and logistics model, to plan his operations and explore all of the many “what ifs” that the Italian theater has to offer.
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stormbringer3
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My thoughts on the game.

Post by stormbringer3 »

As a recent purchaser I'm very pleased. My comments apply to the Campaign game. Playing as the Axis, the Allied AI did an excellent job. Playing as the Allies it was a different story. The Axis AI was way too agressive. Early game it adopted an offensive posture and as a result I was able close a pocket surrounding many of their units on more than one occasion. Later, I was able to capture Rome by just moving into the hex. IMO the AI should never leave Rome undefended. I would love to see the Axis AI adopt a more defensive posture which would make it a lot more difficult for the Allied player.
I really like this game and my comments are an opinion to make it even better.
FrankHunter
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RE: My thoughts on the game.

Post by FrankHunter »

Thanks for your thoughts stormbringer, the thing with Rome, or any other major objective is that having a line, or retreating to form one, is more important to the German AI once the initial scramble for southern Italy is over. The AI tends to fight more for Naples than it does for Rome. I could increase the importance of Rome so the AI will tend to fight harder for it but its not the best defensive position.

Historically, there was no real battle for Rome either, for much the same reasons.

I may make some changes to the German AI to reduce its propensity to attack or add more variability.



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pzgndr
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RE: My thoughts on the game.

Post by pzgndr »

ORIGINAL: FrankHunter
Historically, there was no real battle for Rome either, for much the same reasons.

However, this game makes Rome more important by assigning 12 capacity to it, which means a 37% reduction in German capacity when the Allies take it. I'm into June 1944 in another campaign game using v1.03 as Germans vs favored Allied AI and still holding a line at Rome. Trying to maintain full capacity for as long as possible is a motivator for me as a player, to be balanced against losses I'm taking now that Allies have clear weather and are gaining ground. Perhaps Rome should not have more importance in the game than it did historically, for both sides. Maybe consider adding Florence as another German supply source and split the Rome capacity between them? But if Rome remains as important as it is, then players and the AI for both sides should fight for it accordingly.

I do have a couple of comments about my current game. I let Foggia airbase go too soon, which opened up central Italy for invasion. So Allies landed at Civitavecchia north of Rome around October 1943 and I had to deal with that for several months. One of the units was GBR 4th Arm, which gets withdrawn in January 1944. It was holding the port when it got withdrawn, allowing me to move in and cut off the US 3rd Inf which had advanced into the hills toward Rome. So that's an Allied AI weakness where it should have reinforced the invasion with another unit or two, or at least recognize the imminent withdrawal of a unit and fall back to defend the beachhead. My other thought is whether the Allies should even be allowed to invade that far north in 1943 even if they have captured Foggia but not yet captured Naples. It's a risky maneuver.
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Toby42
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RE: My thoughts on the game.

Post by Toby42 »

One thing that I've found with the latest update is that the winning side in a battle doesn't retreat anymore? I'm not sure why that is?
Tony
FrankHunter
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RE: My thoughts on the game.

Post by FrankHunter »

pzgndr, there has to be an incentive for the Germans to fight for Italy instead of retreating everything back to Northern Italy where they can't be flanked. So rather than use VPs or something Rome itself is worth production capacity. The idea being, and I think its based on history, it was far more likely for the German high command to divert resources to Italy if they were actually fighting for Rome and central Italy and not just withdrawing to the Alps.

That being said, the option to build a fortified line across Northern Italy and withdraw all forces back to it should also be a possibility. Which it is but you lose the capacity you would have received by fighting for Rome.

That incentive is for human players of course, the AI will already fight for central Italy.
Symple
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RE: My thoughts on the game.

Post by Symple »

This game is elegantly simple, yet simply complex. Very nice game and play.
Lars Wistedt
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RE: My thoughts on the game.

Post by Lars Wistedt »

Rome was declared an open city, for many reasons, and that's hard to reflect in a game. If the Germans had turned Rome into a fort, it would have been destroyed very much like Monte Cassino, which would in turn have turned the world's opinion against anyone fighting in it.
Besides that, when defending something, one rarely has to sit _on_ it,but rather defend in front of it or behind it, covering the approaches to the objective.
(a common military tactic, you command an area with fire rather than having soldiers physically occupying it)
Lasse
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