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mcaryf1

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  1. Hi Steel32 The big problem with allowing naval units a longer range is you have TFs jumping in from too great a distance to join in a battle so naval conflict can too rapidly degenerate into a mass fight and weaker surface navies have little chance to contribute. The difficulty with naval war games is to balance tactical movement which might relate to engagements spread over 2 or 3 days at most as compared with the repositioning of units during the 1 month typical elapsed time between a Strategic game's player turns. If you think of Loops as being similar to operational movement for land and air units then it is actually less of an anomaly than those features. A WW2 Cruiser TF could actually steam to Australia from the UK in the equivalent time interval of one elapsed turn without stressing its crew. Transferring the equivalent of 500 aircraft from UK to Australia would be a very major undertaking in comparison. It would require substantial infrastructure to be ready and waiting and even then the pilots and ground controllers would require further periods of training to be effective in the new environment. It will be interesting to see what SC3 offers but if it spreads beyond the ETO I will be very surprised if it does not feature Naval Loops. Regards Mike
  2. Hi Norvandave Part of the issue with AOD (and SC in general) is that once a naval unit encounters an enemy unit its journey is ended and it stays where it is until the opponents turn when it can be destroyed at leisure. This seriously inhibits the ability of German surface units to break out into the North Atlantic which they successfully did until the Bismark in 1941. Even then the Bismark survived its first encounter with Hood and PoW and was eventually destroyed many SC tiles away from that location. I have previously suggested that Naval units should have a speed characteristic that could be used to check for evasion or continuation of its move with a higher chance for units with a greater speed than the unit(s) it had encountered. Note speed would be a different characteristic to range as DD units should be fast but typically shorter ranged. In my Seaways development I represent the German's ability to get into the North Atlantic by having a Loop from the Baltic to the Atlantic that has a reducing probability of getting safely to the Atlantic after the start of 1941. Loops really are quite a powerful mechanism for scenario designers who want to provide a similar challenge to that which faced the naval commanders of the time. It is too easy to dismiss them as "warp" drive whilst ignoring that the sorts of ranges given by the standard AP allocation would be less than achieved in the age of sail. When Nelson pursued Admiral Villeneuve's fleet from the Mediterranean to the West Indies he set off on 11th May and was near Barbados on the 29th May - this is a distance that no AOD naval unit could achieve! Regards Mike
  3. Dear All I have not posted for a few months as I have been rather busy with some voluntary work but seeing comments about Loops has attracted my interest. A while ago I created a scenario as a proof of concept in enhancing the way loops are used in AOD - for those interested search on the word "Seaways" and you will find my posts describing what the scenario delivers. I decided to stop further development work on it until AOD error correction/enhancement releases were finished as I did not want to have to keep updating my scenario to keep it in line with other changes to AOD. So please note the scenario I published does have old AOD bugs in it. One of the issues with Loops in AOD concerns the elapsed time that the designer sets for the execution of the Loop. Thus if the designer allocates an odd number of turns then the looping player's ships will emerge on one of their own turns preventing most opportunities for the opposing player to intercept them. Clearly if 0 or an even number is selected then the looping ships will emerge on the opposing players turn giving them an immediate opportunity to attack with any ships that happen to be in range. I have looked at the US to Japan loop and that takes 3 elapsed turns thus giving the US the opportunity to arrive and immediately attempt to land on the Japanese coast. In my view this would be better changed to an even number so the Japanese can respond. A further point about the elapsed time of loops is that AOD has taken a somewhat unfortunate design decision to put unrealistically long delays into the operation of loops to make them more compatible with the AP's allocated to ships. Given the notional elapsed time between players turns and the speed of WW2 shipping it is very hard to justify any loop being as long as 3 even if it includes passing through a canal! In my Seaways concept I have implemented some of the ideas suggested in this thread thus some of the Loops will only operate if the player controls some nearby islands. For example if the US control Midway they can Loop in forces arriving on their next turn whilst Japanese forces looping in to attack Midway will emerge on the Allied turn and hence be vulnerable to ambush/interception. If the Japanese capture Midway then the situation is reversed and the Japanese Loops arrive on their own next turn whilst attacking US units would be vulnerable to interception. My own opinion is that Loops are absolutely essential to preserve a realistic range of movement for naval units on a World scale map and they avoid giving an ability for naval units to join a current battle from unrealistic distances. When I experimented with allocating higher APs to naval units in SC Global I found that naval conflict became quite unrealistic with reinforcements rushing in and this was made worse by a ship such as Bismark becoming frozen in position when she encounters enemy units. It is important to remember just how vast the oceans of the world are. The possibility of mid-Ocean interceptions was pretty low and the disparity of speed between U-Boats and surface vessels such as liners acting as troopships meant that you would be extremely unlucky if a sub sunk such a ship whilst it was in transit and in practice virtually no Allied troopships were sunk by subs. One final comment which concerns the Red Sea loop - I really do not like the ability to Loop past a constricted sea area where an interception might be theoretically possible. In Seaways I set up my Loops so that there was an intermediate stretch of sea which transports or warships had to traverse off the East African coast where they might be intercepted between the exit of one Loop from the UK and the entrance of another that took them through the Red Sea to Egypt. I do think Loops are much better for realism but designers need to think quite carefully how they should operate. Regards Mike
  4. Clearly you think that having more units would be an advantage so that is likely to impact gameplay. However, you could consider taking another Japanese unit, such as a Corps, deleting that and replacing it with several garrison units. My rule of thumb is that 6 to 8 garrison units might be equivalent to one Corps unit in terms of troops deployed. Garrison units cannot be improved so you can work out how much offensive power your are giving up in order that you can spread your resources more thinly across the landscape. In my view there is a somewhat unfortunate design choice in the standard scenarios whereby all unit types have pretty much the same basic combat capability across different nationalities. In reality the Chinese had far weaker units as they had virtually no artillery deployed within Divisions or Corps but they did have potentially a great deal of manpower. Thus a Japanese Corps should be able to do pretty much what it likes versus Chinese equivalent units but the Japanese did not have enough Corps to conquer the whole of China and barely enough to hold onto what they already had. The big missing element in the standard scenario in AOD is that the Japanese had of the order of 1m low grade Chinese troops "fighting" on their side effectively as mercenaries. I put "fighting" in inverted commas as these units typically changed sides if confronted by serious opposition. Thus if you choose to reduce the number of Japanese Corps and/or army units and increase the number of garrisons that might be a better historical approximation to the real situation although you might need to retune the standard game in other ways as well e.g. reducing offensive values for Chinese units. The great strength of the SC series is the editor and the flexibility it gives you to try different options vis a vis relative unit capabilities, however, you will then need to find some human players to try your scenario out with you as the AI will have been designed to expect the standard deployments and unit capabilities. Regards Mike
  5. It is interesting to see British carrier aircraft being used apparently very effectively in an anti-tank role in 1940. I do not recollect them ever having much success in ground attack throughout WW2 but they have the same underlying anti-tank ctv's as a German tactical bomber which is I guess intended to represent a Stuka. In fact if the wind was blowing hard in the wrong direction the Swordfish might have been hard pushed to catch up with a light tank driving into the wind along an open road let alone hit it wirh a bomb! Regards Mike
  6. Hi Battlefield The Tiger of course did not appear until 1942 but the KV1 was around in 1941 and proved a nasty surprise for the Germans being hard to destroy but not deployed very effectively on the offense. Having created a USSR minor it is quite useful to be able to deploy a limited number of Heavy Tank units with high evasion alongside lots of cheap light tanks whilst leaving the traditional Tank Group unit to be available for development into a T34 style Tank Armies. This can mirror the actual Tank situation in the Soviet Army in 1941 going into 1942. By the way do you visit the SC3 forum and have you read my enhancement suggestions for scenario designers there? Regards Mike
  7. Hi Battlefield I do already use some of the ideas you just posted for example my armies have the same attack values as Corps but they get two strikes, my BB units also get 2 strikes as do IJN CAs in that case because of the strength of the IJN CA torpedo batteries. I am not so happy that a unit that does not have 2 strikes can fire back twice when attacked but I can live it because typically my army and BB units will have a higher evasion. I have mixed feelings about SS having much evasion as they already have the potential to dive when defending. I agree that they ought to get some benefit from a surprise attack but I consider my BB units as having an integral destroyer screen so if the SS attacks the BB it is the BB's screen of DDs that will be counter-attacking. I do usually give the subs some offensive evasion but only 5% and no defensive evasion as diving is enough. One unit I have enjoyed making was converting the "light tank" for some countries so that it is actually a "heavy tank" such as a Tiger or KV series and then it has a very high defensive evasion. It cannot have tech upgrades but its basic values are good especially the Tiger and its evasion still works however much the opponents have improved so I do not need to convert to King Tiger. For the Soviets I have Ukraine and a few other Republics grouped to create a separate USSR minor so that the USSR can deploy both Light Tank and Heavy Tank variants of the new Tank unit which is a good representation of the mix they really deployed in 1941 and 1942. Strategic Command has very interesting possibilities even where the game designers tried to close off some development paths for a unit. Regards Mike
  8. Hi Battlefield The way I try to get round the diversity of soft units (there are not many hard) is by using evasion. Thus an army will have a higher evasion value than a corps which will have a higher value than a division. What I found was that the army might evade actual strength loss but still sometimes be forced to retreat - I quite liked this as it is similar to some games I used to play with die rolls having a variety of results including just retreat. Regards Mike
  9. Hi Battlefield In the Defence Bonus Menu you should see a list of terrain types on the LHS and then a series of bonus values for different types of attack that might be inflicted on a unit occupying that type of terrain. The standard value for city is 3 for tank defense and 1 for soft defense. I assume that this means if your unit is being attacked by a tank or hard unit in a city then you will enjoy a defence bonus of 3 which reduces your losses. If you are being attacked by a soft unit such as infantry you will enjoy a defense bonus of 1 which will also reduce your losses but not by so much. So the attacking unit type determines what defense bonus the defender gets and it does not matter what type the defending unit might be. If you are the attacking unit then I think you get no defense bonus by being in a city until it is your turn to be attacked. I do not think this is unreasonable as a tank on the defensive in a city can hide in side streets or even inside buildings if they have broken through a wall. On the other hand a tank that is offensive and therefore revealing itself is vulnerable as you describe and gets no bonus. Personally I do think that in general the defensive capability of a unit should have an effect on the losses it suffers when it is attacked but as I understand it that is not the way SC currently works and an army or a division with similar experience and morale and terrain potentially suffer the same strength losses although one unity type is potentially of the order of 8 times the size of the other. The defensive values of a unit in SC are used to determine how much loss is inflicted on any unit attacking them not how much loss they themselves suffer. Regards
  10. Hi Battlefield Good luck with trying my scenario in AOC - I would be quite surprised if it works. With respect to differentiating unit bonuses you are overlooking a setting in the editors that adjusts defence bonus between hard and soft targets etc. It is menu called Edit Defence Bonus Data as a sub menu under Campaign. With respect to different unit types within that classification there is no further distinction apart from the settings you give to the unit itself which apply to all terrains. Thus you can give a mountain unit an extra action point as compared to vanilla infantry but it will go further in clear as well as on a mountain. Regards Mike
  11. Hi Bill or whoever Could you please clarify how the "RANGE =" qualifier should be used in the AI scripts? I notice for a lot of Japanese scripts it has a value of 30 but in European ones it is more typically 10. Regards Mike
  12. Hi Battlefield Have you looked at the Loop system I created for AOD in my "Seaways" variant? It is a bit clunky but gets round some of the problems you are now thinking about. For example the RN patrol in the area between UK and Iceland was not all that effective up until early 1941 because their RADAR was very rudimentary. In fact no German surface raider was intercepted until Bismark. I simulate this by having a loop system that works to get German raiders into the North Atlantic but switches off early in 1941. I posted that scenario just to show how it might work for human players as I had not modified the AI to use the new loops. I am just at the stage of programming the AI now for my 1942 scenario which has broadly the same loops (some switched off post beginning of 1941 so are not relevant in 1942). I have tried to position my inter-ocean loops so that the ships using them emerge in areas of the ocean from which they will need to make another normal move before they can attack an enemy port or raid a convoy area. The AOD standard 1939 scenario has a loop that enables US ships to emerge within 4 tiles of Japan without any condition on its use. I do not think this is a good approach as such a move ought to be dependent on the Allies controlling various islands such as Midway and Iwo Jima so that IJN recce planes would not have detected and attacked the US ships sooner. I think that your "Forced March" ought to operate under similar constraints and by the time you have taken all those limitations into account you might find that the sort of discipline imposed by fixed loop entrances and exits is not so unreasonable. This is so long as what I term "attack" loops that emerge near targets such as Guadalcanal, Midway, Pearl or the Aleutians are dependent on ownership of any appropriate intermediate locations. Regards Mike
  13. Hi Battlefield Could you clarify whether your Forced March for ships would require a player to trace out every tile through which the ship might pass and would that path be subject to interception? Tracing the path could be somewhat tedious for players. I think one of the advantages of the current loop system is that interception does not occur as that would potentially add complications. If your forced march would allow interception, then I think there should be some added refinements. First the forced march should not allow naval units to pass through sea areas where they might be subject to air interception and second there might need to be a speed characteristic that allowed the marching unit to avoid interception if it was faster than the unit trying to intercept it. By the way I have started a series of posts for Scenario Designer enhancement requests for SC3 on the Matrix forum, you might like to contribute to that. Regards
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