What needs updating in PFE ?

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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Rasputitsa
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RE: What needs updating in PFE ?

Post by Rasputitsa »

Unit Stack Value and Strength Points :

There is not a always a direct correlation between these two factors, HG MOT Div. has a Stack Value (5) and an initial strength of (19), 26th Pz Div. has a Stack Value (4) and initial strength (14), 29th MOT Div. has Stack Value (3) and also an initial strength also (14). 305th INF Div. also has a Stack Value of (3), but a strength of only (9).

Motorised units are likely to have a greater Stack Value, as having a significant number vehicles will increase the unit's footprint in terms of filling the terrain, but GER 1st FsJ has a Stack Value (5), which seems a lot for a unit which should be light on vehicles and a strength of (15), which reflects the fighting power of the paratroops.

As a unit takes losses the strength points reduce, but the Stack Value stays the same.

This makes some sense, as the unit size (Stack Value) shows the unit's potential, whereas the available strength points show how much of the unit's power is actually ready to fight. This is all probably WAD, but does it need to be adjusted.

The manual confirms that the Stacking Value represents the physical size of the unit, but when a unit has been significantly reduced by losses, then the Stacking Value should also reduce, especially when a unit is reduced in strength and stays that way, because of lack of replacements.

If GER 1st FsJ Div. is reduced to strength (1) and there are no replacements, which is likely, it still retains its Stack Value of (5), which means that other units cannot be placed in the same mountain hex, where the stacking limit is (5), but the FsJ would no longer have their original physical size to justify their Stack Value.

Again from the Manual : 'Friendly units can also block movement due to their occupation of a hex that cannot otherwise be entered due to stacking limitations'. - So a unit reduced in size by heavy losses could still block a hex for other friendly units to move through.

Stacking Value is also used to calculate Allied amphibious transport capacity, but units are usually at full strength at that stage of the game and I am not sure you would want to amphibiously move a unit with heavy losses, but still, Stacking Value should reflect the actual size of the unit, if it has been reduced significantly.

I am not proposing a direct correlation, between Stack Value and strength points, as there is need for variation, but there should be some dynamic adjustment of Stack Value to reflect large losses of strength. The game makes dynamic adjustments in the case of units capability for generating an LOC, which is changed when a unit is forced to retreat, likewise, when strength changes by certain limits the Stack Value should change also.

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Rasputitsa
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RE: What needs updating in PFE ?

Post by Rasputitsa »

Here's a situation which occurred in the AAR that I am posting :




Image



In the main image the highlighted unit (GER 94th) is in a mountain hex and was ordered to 'withdraw' last turn, but the Allies launched an attack and the 94th was unable to withdraw and remains in the mountain hex.

Next turn hoping to try again and 'withdraw' the 94th, but there is no 'withdraw' option available only 'attack'. I am not sure why this is, as the Axis still control the hex into which the 94th could withdraw. I can plot an 'attack' into any of the 4 adjoining hexes which contain enemy units, but I have no option to plot a move into the empty adjoining hexes.

The Supply overlay shows that the Axis still control the adjoining black highlighted hex and although it may now be affected by Allied ZOCs, there should be nothing to stop a 'withdraw' move.

The 'Replacement' button is available in the unit info box, also 'combat supply' can be selected, so the unit is not isolated (hex has 70% supply) and although a 'withdrawal' may fail, I am not even being allowed the option.

I can see that there may be effects from Allied ZOCs, but other Axis units also have a ZOC influence here and it is still Axis territory, so there should be no prohibition on having a withdraw option.
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RE: What needs updating in PFE ?

Post by Rasputitsa »

To add flexibility into the game it would be good to have an option to return Combat Supply and maybe also Strength Points, from units, back to their respective pools, maybe with the same limitations that apply to allocating these items in the first place.

That would be for combat supply, one level could be returned to the combat supply pool each turn, for strength points, three points per turn could be returned to the relevant replacement pool (Armour/Infantry/Airborne) each turn.

In the case of combat supply, this would complete the action for that unit for that turn turn, as it is when combat supply is allocated to a unit.

In the case of strength points, there is already an option to disband units and return strength points to the replacement pool, but I suggest that this should be available in part, without fully disbanding a unit

You get situations where units at full strength and full combat supply sit idle, whilst other units desperately need these resources. In reality, commanders would transfer resources and manpower to more threatened parts of their forces.

In reality this would use transport capacity, so perhaps there should be a limit on how many times this procedure could be used in any turn, or a fuel penalty to avoid over-use of this feature.
"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon
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RE: What needs updating in PFE ?

Post by Rasputitsa »

Terrain Error :

Hex (12,52) is being counted as 'open' terrain, with a stack limit of (10), when the map graphic shows it as hills.



Image



There is a further error, already noted, where 'hilly' and 'rough' terrain are transposed in the map legend and manual text, although it is only a presentational error, as the data seems to be applied correctly for relevant map terrains.

The adjoining hexes around (12,52) are listed as 'rough', where they are obviously 'hilly', so (12,52) should show 'hilly' when all errors are corrected.

The map legend on the CHEMKID map mod was corrected some time ago, so use the graphics as a guide to terrain.
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"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

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RE: What needs updating in PFE ?

Post by Rasputitsa »

Terrain Error 2

I scanned the map hexes to see if there were any more errors and found just one more :


Image


Indicated as 'Hills' when it is 'Open' terrain on the map, which has dropped the stack limit to (7).




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"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon
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RE: What needs updating in PFE ?

Post by Rasputitsa »

Hotkeys :

Doesn't look like the hotkeys are working, don't know if it's just me, but I don't use them anyway.



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"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon
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RE: What needs updating in PFE ?

Post by Rasputitsa »

Message Archive :

I asked if a message archive could be created so that you could look back over the messages that the game gives you, but have since found that you can 'lift' the text out of the message panel, by highlighting and copying the text into a separate file, to save and have for reference.

The access is the same as the battle reports in 'Campaigns on the Danube', where the text can also be copied.




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"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon
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