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david12345

Play balance question

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Although this concerns Global to a large degree, I really want to get one of the expansions (perhaps both). So I wanted to post this here as the development is ongoing with the expansions and complete with global:

Hello. I have been playing since SC1, so although I'm not an expert, I do know my way around the game.

I have 4 games of global going. In every one, and in the games that proceeded them, the allies have surrendered. Where is the play balance? Every game, the axis just walks over the allies. Once China, Spain, Turkey, etc all fall (and they all do) the axis experience is so much that the allies have no hope. I have tons of allied units with good tech, all useless against the experienced germans. Similar in the Pacific. The Japanese just hole up around the home islands with Units in the ports and HQ supported air in the Phillipeans, Dutch indies, etc. Game over - the Americans just can't bust it. In one game, I had the Japanese just in Japan and it took another whole year to kill them off, they just don't have good enough supply there to aid in the offensive.

Right now I have a game, mid 43, my Russians are in the urals. All units HQ support and good tech, all dug in, many in forts. Every turn, the germans just kill everything they attack. I can see no way I can ever dig out of this.

Example: My level 4 tank with morale and rediness in the high 70's, hq support (level 7), supply of 8 wanted to attack a german tank (level 5) his supply was 5, I assume HQ support, and his rediness and morale over 100. expected results? Att= 8 Def=0. If I can't expect to knock off a single point against a german tank in the urals with a level 4 tank, then how can I ever win?

I think experience is the problem. NO matter the tech and number of units, the allies just bounce off the axis. The players I play are around my skill level and EVERY game results in allied loss. News flash, the allies won the real war!

Sorry, I really want to love this game - it does so many things right, but what fun is it if the actual victors lose every game?

I bet that although I'm only an average player - that I can get at least a draw against anyone as axis - and that should not be.

So, I know it is too late for global, so I guess my question is has anything changed for the expansions? Like I said, I want to like this game, I want to buy and enjoy the expansions, and even SC3, but I don't want to play them and just watch the axis rule the world every game.

So curious if the play testors or Mr. Cator can tell me if anything has changed that might make me want the expansions?

Thanx, and sorry for the rant. I have bought many games that stunk and I just deleted them (recently commander Europe). But I complain at SC because it has so much potential and I so much want to have at least one turn based war game to enjoy.

dave

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I won't argue your point, david. My best advice is try some of the other campaigns, Allies Turn the Corner, Last Democracy, High Tide and BF42 are some of my recommendations for a more balanced scenario.

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David12345: dis you put the settings on the AI as very experienced? this may significantly change the situation.

I must say i played Axis and must admit that with the profound scenario knowledge i manage to win, but it was never a walkthrough even knowing all AI Plans.

I almost never get even Smolensk in 41 not to speak about Moscow. i soemtimes got "surprised" by retards in the African campaign with tanks needed for Russia and stuck in El Alamein...

In Japan i never got China fallen, but almost allways India.

I guess you are not an average Player but rather an Expert, where you can expect to win the game.

Average Players ask question like : how the heck do i get Nanning in less than 2 years or Chunking but to get Turkey and fight in the Urals is to me more like an absolute Expert with Years of SC1 + 2 experience...

Maybe some more AI responses should be figured out for Expert level Players?

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David,

I think that the AI has been improved significantly. I just wrapped up a game with AoD as the Axis where the AI kicked my butt on the hardest setting... In another game I was able to win as the Allies... but just barely... There was a moment when the Axis really threatened Moscow... were on the gates, broke through my fortifications... and I launched a massive counter offensive to push them back and it was a close thing. At the end of my offensive my Russians had pushed the Germans back a bit... I had lost almost all my armor and the Russians were basically exhausted. The Germans were in no better shape... but I held Moscow in 41... and was able to rebuild over the winter... I think if I had lost Moscow the game would have been over, unless I was able to get the UK in sooner... but I was having a hard time in North Africa... so who knows. Throughout the game... I had a difficult time, with the exception of China.

My feeling is that with both games... AoC and AoD you will find improved AI game play. There are a lot of changes being made to AoD at the moment... a lot... after the next beta patch Happy and I will be holding a multiplayer walkthrough AAR for everyone that I think will show off the game in great detail which I think everyone wants to see.

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I know the frustration and disbelieve when you get a combat resulat of 0:8.

some solution suggestions:

- allow tanks to use their 2nd attack to improve the odds of the 1st attack (instead of 0:8 a 4:4, but no 2nd attack for the attacking lvl 4 tank).

- experience loss from purchasing a unit a tech upgrade (not all, but some)

- allow tech upgrades without any losses only in your home country, and suffer experience loss or strength point loss if you upgrade your units out of your home country

- allow unit reinforcements with little experience loss only in your home country, and suffer higher experience losses if you reinforce a unit outside of your home country

- allow purchase of overstrength points only in your home country (or suffer experience loss / readiness loss etc.)

- allow experience gains from training (unit setting: sacrifice your movement one turn to gain a little experience)

- introduce one time combat advantages (new tactics)

- make woods, mountains, cities more dangerous for tanks (they need open ground and are vulnerable in a forrest, mountain or city

Or maybe HQs should get an option to push one attack of an attached unit. The HQs could suffer strength point losses from doing this. It always felt odd when you had this big healthy HQ next by, and still weren't able to achieve anything with your attached units.

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Thanx much for the kind responses. I will address them in the order received :)

Seamonkey: thanx. I do prefer the total war. As an aside, tried the scenario where Russia and Germans allied - Axis walked in a mirror game even more that the regular game.

Bill: That is great. Just what I was hoping when I wrote this. Perhaps you could consider some way of tweaking multiplayer balance that can be adjusted? For example, the 2 players could agree to give the allies an advantage like they would get in single player games. That would keep the game from ever being unbalanced!

Power/Abu: Thanx for input, but my problems are with multiplayer - no AI involved. All my games are mirror, and axis always wins in all the games.

xwormwood: Thanx. If I understand what you say, you think I should attack and the second would be better? How could that happen? I respectfully believe that if I had attacked at 0 def 8 att, I would just get slaughtered. The defender is not entrenched, so the second attack would just get worse as I have just given him some more experience and seriously damaged (or lost if I hit again) my tank. Did you mean something else here?

If you are saying that there is no way that I correctly described the situation, well honestly, I have no reason to not report what is going on honestly. I was careful to write down all the numbers before starting this thread. My goal here is to improve the game, not make excuses for my impending loss. My opponent (clause) could verify everything visible from the opponents side. Or perhaps I just don't understand your first sentence.

That said, I really like some of your ideas!

Another problem is a massive 3 and 4 star (experience flags) Japanese army that emerges from the defeat of China.

thanx again

dave

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@ david12345:

- I think xwormwood suggested ways to improve the game not anything about you wrongly reporting your game ;) . As I understand him, what he says about tanks 2nd attack is actually:

* tanks have two strikes

* tanks could forfeit their first strike to increase their chances on second strike

* tanks will then have only one strike but with better chances

* I suppose it would simulate the fact that an armor unit decides not to keep any reserves for exploitation or counter-attack and just throw everything at the enemy seeking a "punishing" blow (I can't defeat you but I can make you suffer).

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I would like to echo Dave's frustration with the playing imbalance in all of the SC products. I like Dave have had many hours of fun gaming with SC products and hope to continue with AoD. My only goal is to share information to improve the SCG modes. Currently with the possible exception of a few elite allied players the allies never win. Thus each match gets decided by which axis was most dominate. Every experienced proficient axis player adopts the same strategy which is to single mindedly kill China and Russia which ends game. In my opinion this imbalance is due to four factors. First the map size in Russia and China is too small. The axis can isolate the Chinese behind Lanchow and the Russians in Urals by 1942. From that point factor two takes over which is that the very experienced axis units cannot be moved. They cannot be moved because neither the Russians or Chinese can build an effective air force to help bleed away axis experience and as Dave referenced you get tank on tank odds that offer no hope. The third factor is the fallacy that the allies have superior MPPs. By the time the axis has conquered Russia and China in 1943 the MPPs must be about equal. The fourth factor is inadequate supply in liberated countries or those conquered by allies. The allies can land in Spain or France with superior numbers but the high axis supply dominates. All of this is compounded by impossible victory rules. If all the axis needs to get a tactical victory is possession of one of four capitals the game is over before it starts. As Dave referenced the Japanese home island is very safe.

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This is an issue for any global wargame of ww2. Usually the easiest strategy is to slam Russia for the win. The Allies must be prepared and observe the Axis intensions and plan for it.

Balancing a game of this size is much more difficult than you think. Not all players are equal and even when they are their skill level is different which can impact the game.

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A couple of things. First of all, we're playing a game with hindsight that supposedly simulates a vast conflict in history. We all know the history of the mistakes and blunders well enough that we can choose not to recommit them. This is an Axis advantage in of itself and the balancing factor, historically viewed, is skewed by our knowledge.

The reason the Axis didn't win was their mistakes were more compounded than the Allies were because the Allies had more resources which tended to lessen the extent of "bad decision making".

What SC has a problem representing is the efficiency of force projection the Allies had over the Axis, those resources. The HQ representation is a party to that problem as it tends to enhance the logistical train over and above what the Axis truly possessed.

Think about it for a second, a minute, the logistical base that can provide the essentials for an army, airforce, navy to continue to project its offensive power in a very "low infrastructure" environment like USSR, China and the Pacific Islands requires an investment the likes of which Germany and Japan did not possess on the scale that SC represents.

The Allies simply had the resources to build small cities at many geographical locations to support their force projections and in the vicinity of a more sophisticated infrastructure build a force that was simply overwhelming. You want reality, you want SC balance, then SC3 better endeavor to get this correct.

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I agree with seamonkey. Axis can avoid dumb moves which cost them during the actual war.

Several of xwormwoods helps could be toggled giving the ability to tweak the game for play balance. I think this would greatly improve the game. I really like taking a turn for training to give some experience since this appears to be the biggest contributor to the problem.

Clause makes a good point about supply. Allied supply in Spain and India, for example, make offensive moves there tough. Probably accurate, but the axis supply should be worse, at least in india.

The Russians most of all are victim to the juggernaut experience of germans who have been beating up on minors for 2 years. Perhaps reinforcements could enter with experience?

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I can think of several ways to stem a 41 barb.

#1 put W.Allied units in Murmansk if not more to support them.

#2 invade France Early

#3 go Pacific light and focus efforts in Europe

#4 a massive strat bombing campaign

#5 send a massive W.Allied airforce to USSR.

Its very hard to balance all this when you can min-max a situation in the game. The Allies have to foresee this and prepare, that's all. Germany can always max out only tech that applies to USSR, ignore subs and keep only 2-3 on the map just as a threat, and 100% focus on the USSR. Then have the Japs assist.

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I believe Sea Monkey's comments are very valid. I also respect the original design statement when SC was released that this was an opportunity to rewrite history. However, through some combination of map size, supply etc. the axis must be forced to make very hard force allocation decisions which currently do not exist. I would say to Big Al that he may be one of those very few elite allied players that seem to accomplish the impossible but both Dave and I typically have two or three mirror matches of the 1939 campaign going simultaneous. We have seen pre-emptive allied invasions of Indo China, Thailand, DEI, Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Spain and for even very good allied players nothing works. For instances in Spain or France a rail gun and bomber negate allied supply and very experienced axis Tac B kill one or two key units a turn. I believe both Dave and I accept the current SCG for what it is and it has provided much fun. However we both desperately want some playing balance and in my case irrespective of historical outcome.

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Critical thinking about the scope of logistical support actually represented as historical would lead me to believe that outside of the owning country's infrastructure, the Germans could support 2 HQ assisted offensives and the Japanese one.

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I can think of several ways to stem a 41 barb.

#1 put W.Allied units in Murmansk if not more to support them.

#2 invade France Early

#3 go Pacific light and focus efforts in Europe

#4 a massive strat bombing campaign

#5 send a massive W.Allied airforce to USSR.

Its very hard to balance all this when you can min-max a situation in the game. The Allies have to foresee this and prepare, that's all. Germany can always max out only tech that applies to USSR, ignore subs and keep only 2-3 on the map just as a threat, and 100% focus on the USSR. Then have the Japs assist.

The problem with 1 and 5 is that the Allies will not get supply while in the USSR, due to Stalin's uncooperative nature.

I actually tried to do the same sort of thing a number of times in SC1 (when Allied units did receive supply in the USSR) but it never worked out. Early offensives into western or southern Europe are the only real way to draw German forces away from the east.

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Well gosh darn poo. I was going to just put "well poo" but the forum wouldn't let me enter a post of less than 10 words so I got stuck entering "well gosh darn poo"

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@ david12345:

- I think xwormwood suggested ways to improve the game not anything about you wrongly reporting your game ;) . As I understand him, what he says about tanks 2nd attack is actually:

* tanks have two strikes

* tanks could forfeit their first strike to increase their chances on second strike

* tanks will then have only one strike but with better chances

* I suppose it would simulate the fact that an armor unit decides not to keep any reserves for exploitation or counter-attack and just throw everything at the enemy seeking a "punishing" blow (I can't defeat you but I can make you suffer).

That was exactly what i tried to write and to tell, thanks alot, Strategiclayabout! :)

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I can think of several ways to stem a 41 barb.

#1 put W.Allied units in Murmansk if not more to support them.

#2 invade France Early

#3 go Pacific light and focus efforts in Europe

#4 a massive strat bombing campaign

#5 send a massive W.Allied airforce to USSR.

Its very hard to balance all this when you can min-max a situation in the game. The Allies have to foresee this and prepare, that's all. Germany can always max out only tech that applies to USSR, ignore subs and keep only 2-3 on the map just as a threat, and 100% focus on the USSR. Then have the Japs assist.

Some good ideas here - though I have tried #5 and no supply. I just don't see any of these saving Russia unless the Russian player is much better than the Germans.

The Germans usually have level 4 or 5 air by mid 43 - the earliest that a bombing campaign could hope to be powerful. A few experienced fighters with HQ support would stop the air campaign.

If the allies go light in pacific, really does not matter. The Japanese will go wild - pick your poison. I have seen india and Australia fall when I have tried this. Of course Japan emerges from victory in China (100% of time for me as axis) with a bunch of super experienced units, so Russia gets the back door kicked in.

I do appreciate all the allied advice, but I have tried it all. Give me any but an elite opponent and I will slaughter china and Russia (thus winning the game) every time.

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Let us see how the new logistical model works out. Believe me I been vocal about this issue for a while now, with Big Al for his restriction of double strike S.Bombers and Hubert / Bill for the super supply HQs.

One thing is absolutely clear without bullets and butter combat will not occur for long, without fuel, mobile formations(land, air, & naval) are sitting ducks.

I just hope that there exists a mechanism to simulate this actuality. My theory, as evidence supports to this day, is airpower is the key. When the conditions are optimum, the command of the high ground, the third dimensional artillery, the clarity of direct fire, and the force projection from a distance trumps all others.

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Brute Force is a total Big Al scenario. AoC/AoD is minor changes for these specific campaigns based on the work I did for Brute Force.

"One simply cannot change SC2"

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I understand the restrictions Al, but I believe the current editor will allow a customization of the airforces to a degree that they can logistically isolate the battlefield, given they have air superiority.

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Thanks for all the feedback gentlemen and we will work to ensure that the new Global campaign for AoD will be as close to balanced as possible and we'll continue to tweak it as necessary after release as well :)

Some great ideas here and I think we'll be looking at SC3 before some of them become a reality but I just wanted to let everyone know that we are listening and we'll continue to do our best to address concerns like these.

Hubert

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It was never in doubt, at least in my mind, and I'm also positive that you(Hubert) have the presence of common sense to sift through what is adoptable to the SC AI and make the game better with each evolution.

I play no other computer game, you have my complete trust and respect as the best wargame designer on the planet.

Thanks:)

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