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Ludi1867

(un) Neutering Neutrals

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Strategic Command (SC) is a great game. However, neutrals are attacked far too often, and often too easily, in this game. There have been suggestions to increase the diplomatic costs for attacks on Ireland, for example. Yet so far little has been done.

This suggestion is to alter the game engine to make neutrals less technologically feeble as the game progresses. Neutrals cannot conduct R&D, which only seems reasonable given the constraints and nature of the game. But as time passes and technology changes neutrals become inherently more feeble – and therefore even easier to attack.

When attacked, neutrals should instantly become aligned with the faction opposing their attacker (this is the intent, I believe, of the current setting in SC but anomalies still occur - see the post by Pacestick regarding Italian fighters NOT intervening during the invasion of Tunisia for one example). They should then become INSTANTLY outfitted with the technology level of the dominant (or closest) major power in what has now become 'their' faction. Some examples should make this evident:

When the various neutral low countries are attacked by Germany shortly after the main war campaign commences, then a level zero technology for most units seems sensible. After all France is the main power for the Allies at this point, and the level of technology of most French units is indeed zero.

However, a real invasion of Finland after the USSR becomes fully mobilized still finds Finnish forces at level zero technology. This seems much less sensible. By the time in the war this can occur the main opponent of Russia – Germany – should have a number of technological advances. These should be reflected in Finnish forces, and are not. The result is that Finnish forces are generally fairly easy prey – at least they are significantly easier then they would be if upgraded before deployment to the level of the primary opponent of Russia, Germany.

Finally, the introduction of the Atlantic Wall in Assault on Democracy is an innovative improvement. However, an unintended consequence is to make the invasion of neutrals such as Portugal and Spain (if Spain is still neutral by this point) more attractive. To avoid the Atlantic Wall the Allies can now land in the Iberian peninsula. The opposition put forth by the neutrals there will STILL be at level zero tech, even though it should be 1943 or 1944 at this point. The invading powers should have significantly advanced forces by this point in the war. The main Axis power, Germany, should ALSO have significantly advanced tech forces. So level zero forces are rather easily brushed aside – and this is NOT the way it should be.

If getting the game to recognize the tech level of the main opponent of an invader is too complicated, then it might be easier to have the tech level of the invaded neutral be the SAME as the tech level of the invading major power. This is less historically reasonable, but it may be more easily accomplished, and would still make neutrals somewhat less of the easy sport they are now. One less than optimal result would be to have neutrals in the low countries in 1939/1940 have tech level one infantry weapons tech, as Germany – which would be the invader in this case – starts with that tech. However, neutrals would still be relatively easy prey, and if the change makes neutral less of an easy sport then it is an improvement worth making.

SC is a great game. Making neutrals less of an easy target would make a great game better.

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Hi Ludi,

good Point here. I think this can be adressed quite simple by the help of Decision Events.

I.e. A Mayor Nation can be "asked" or if AI it would be automated to supply

one or more possibly thread Minors.

In the Case of Finland, Germany couldbe Asked on the Winter War time if it would help out Mannerheim by Arms Trades. So on the case of Attack by RUS, Finland would dispose the Decision Event Units planned.

Similarly to Iceland, Hungary, (Yougoslavia allready made) Spain Portugal Greece and other Countries. I think US could receive some DE of this type so that GB doesnt have to pay for the Upgrading of all Minors.

the only Thing that is not possible is to set the entrenchment

Consider this done for other future Scenarios. Thanks.

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I think it would not be properly in accord with history if Germany was used to aid Finland in the Winter War. In fact the Russo-German accord that preceded the attack on Poland had allocated Finland to the Soviet sphere of influence and this is why Stalin decided he could risk attacking her. It is true that some German arms reached the Finns via Sweden but Hitler had this activity stopped when it became public knowledge that German arms were being supplied.

The main potential allies of the Finns who had weapon technologies were France and UK but they did not have an easy route to provide aid. They were considering an intervention on behalf of Finland via Norway and Sweden partly as an opportunity to interfere with German trade but that did not come to anything before the Finns decided to settle with the USSR.

Possibly the best and simplest way to implement the Finns having better combat values in the game would be to give some of their units basic stats as if they had some technology boost but then those specific unit types might have to be excluded from getting those tech upgrades again later when the Finns become a German minor.

The same could be done for any other minors likely to be attacked based on the likely timeframe from a historical perspective.

This is a technique I am using in a 1942 scenario to help Vichy Algeria and Tunisia versus the Allies as well as making the cost and timescale for their new unit production relatively low.

Regards

Mike

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Hi Mike

While I do not want to get into a long debate about Finland and the Winter War – your points are correct, and I really don't have a problem with the decision event that basically covers off the Winter War now – I would have to say that I really do not understand your proposed solution.

The problem for me is not so much with the Winter War, but with when the Soviets attack Finland AGAIN after the German invasion begins. If the Soviets are prepared and make this attack well before Finland joins the Axis then Finland is really in trouble. One of the main reasons they are in so much trouble is because the Finnish units enter the war completely unimproved. So level 2 Soviet Armour (rough estimate) and level 1 or 2 Soviet infantry attack unimproved Finnish infantry, and the results are usually not pretty. An attack like this is not all that unreasonable (if ahistorical) but my problem is that Finnish units in this situation should NOT be level zero, as that IS unreasonable. Does your proposed solution address this sort of situation? If so, how?

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Hi Ludi

The basis of my suggestion is that Finnish units be given better basic combat stats on the 4 different unit types that they actually deploy. Thus instead of their Corps being Attack 2/1 and defence 2/2 they could be 3/2 and 3/3 (soft and hard). Thus they already have effectively one level of tech improvement. If you want to be able to improve them subsequently then their tech upgrade benefit can be reduced to 0.5 thus two upgrades brings them up to the equivalent values they would have had if they started from where they are in the standard game and had 2 upgrades. You could adjust the unit purchase price to factor in the tech improvement if you are aiming for exact equivalence to the standard game.

You can also use the editor to ensure that Finnish units start with reasonable experience (notionally gained in the Winter War) and well dug in - not all of them are in the standard scenario. The reality is that German units were already in Finland at the time of Barbarossa but I am not sure whether it would be possible to engineer that if you want to leave the USSR the possibility of making a unilateral attack before Barbarossa.

It is not actually clear to me historically whether Finland or the USSR initated hostilities as the USSR seems to have made bombing raids on Finland prior to the Finnish declaration of war on June 26th. I have spent most of my energy with AOD on developing my own 1942 scenario so I am not sure in game terms which way round the initiation is treated but that should not make any difference to my suggested solution.

Regards

Mike

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Hi!

The similar problem also exists in the campaigns "Barbarossao to Berlin" and "Storm over Europe". A planned attack by the Soviet Union against Finland ends faster in Helsinki than the Germans can say "halt". What is still gamy and historically at the beginning (Benelux countries, Denmark and Norway) can quickly upset the balance later in the game.

I wonder whether all core units of small and strategically important countries must be placed from the start. In the event of a declaration of war against Finland, substantial troops could be also placed with an units script. Only in the cities first but nevertheless equipped with the appropriate technology level of each Allied side. Remained only the problem with the value of entrenchment...but for a slowdown in the first attack wave, a few (previously placed) entrenched garrisons might well suffice.

Regards

Konstantin

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Hi Konstantin

Actually there are two different situations with respect to how the game works. Most neutrals or minor countries do have their units placed in position when the designer is creating the scenario. As part of the editing process the designer can change the basic combat values and set both the experience level and entrenchment for these minor units. However, they cannot allocate any tech levels to minors who are not yet mobilised on one side or the other. This is why I previously suggested that the designer can give relevant minors higher basic values to take account of tech levels they might have obtained.

There are some minors where the political situation is complex such as Algeria and Tunisia where the circumstances when they might be involved are variable. In these situations the scenario designer creates UNIT events which can place a number of units for that minor on the map in the event of their being attacked by or choosing to join one side or the other. The designer has the normal choice at this stage as to whether the units arrive with full research or not - in the standard AOD 1939 scenario the designer has chosen not to give them full research. In this case the designer can also give the units some level of experience but cannot arrange for them to be entrenched.

If we are to think of the real historic situation it might be reasonable for these N African units to have some level of tech but full tech might be unrealistic. This situation could be treated in the way I have previously suggested whereby Algerian and Tunisian units are given an increment of 1 in their base attack and defence values.

I have tried this out with Spain, which has on map units, and it seems to work as I intended.

Regards

Mike

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Hi Mike

An individual improvement of the combat values ​​is of course a way to simulate a higher technology level. A regular automatic adjustment of the neutral countries to the state of research (attack/defense values) of the weakest major would also be an alternative. Maybe in SC3... :cool:

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Hi Battlefield

The solution I have suggested has the advantage that it can actually be implemented now by any player or pair of playing partners who are confident enough to use the editor. It took me less than 10 minutes to make relevant changes to the neutrals when I first thought about the implications raised in this thread.

I do not think the weakest major should be the criteria as that would most likely be China or possibly France neither of whom would have what might be called the going rate in terms of technology in the later war. Certainly both the Allies and the Axis supplied weapons to Turkey at various times in attempts to bring her to favour their side so she had some modern weapons.

Regards

Mike

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Hi Mike

To more accurately describe what what my thoughts were...

For example, this could mean for Iraq: By March 1940, the country would be in a neutral diplomacy value of "0" and automatically get an infantry research value of "0". Just because, for example, the Italians (or others) still have such a low level. After the pro-Axis coup and now with a 40% focus on the Axis powers, the level of technology would depend on the state of research in the major country affiliated in the editor. Suppose that this would be Germany, equipped with a current infantry level of "2". Then Iraq will, in the event of an Allied attack, also field units with this technology level. Nice thought, when the British fields themselves only a level "1" Infantry. The Germans, for their part, would now be confronted with the results of its own military support. In the event of an attack on Iraq, they stood against a technically equal opponent. This would enhance even strategic impact of diplomacy. Anyone who bothers to automatisms: Even a transfer of military technology over a diplomacy window, event or similar would be possible.

Ok. Back to the current game engine...

You reduce the levels of development in the area of infantry warfare on the level "2", right? At a maximum level of "3", like in many vanilla games, small countries would be again weaker in the end (For a benefit of 0.5 per research level and an initial combat performance advantage of 1) Was the price advantage described by you intended to compensate the weaker units in later games?

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Very interesting discussion and thanks for the various points of view and arguments.

I think there is certainly a fear of unintended consequences from some of the suggested changes or as Mike has argued the possibility for the changes themselves introducing other ahistorical elements likely to also be challenged from a game play point of view.

I can certainly see how declaring war on minors after all majors have entered the war are not penalized enough and I think a large part of this is due to the lack of any diplomatic penalties that can be applied (with the current game engine) since everyone is already at war.

Early on in the war we wanted minors to be able to fall relatively quickly, for various historical and game play reasons, but again I can certainly see how this becomes an issue for later on in the war.

I think some things we could introduce are additional units for minors that would appear later in the war if they are declared war upon, as well as perhaps introducing a mechanism that increases the at start supply and entrenchment for minors as the war progresses.

Having applicable technology upgrades based on the upgrades of their major parent is a bit trickier as we could run into some of the historical issues that Mike has highlighted above but perhaps a middle ground could also be found like a Major current Level - 2 and that might do the trick etc.

Definitely a few things to think about and as mentioned thanks again for the thoughts and suggestions.

Hubert

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Hi Battlefield

In the standard AOD 1939 scenario the maximum infantry tech level is 2. So in the case of Finland you could effectively build Tech level 1 into their standard units on the basis that they are likely to enter the war in 1941 when quite a few major's units will also be operating at Tech 1. For Finland specifically you would adjust its infantry tech level increment to be 0.5. Thus they could subsequently be upgraded by 2 x 0.5 increments totalling a 1 point increment and so effectively be the same as other country units that have enjoyed 2 x 1.0 increments. Obviously it might be that Finnish units after a subsequent 1 level upgrade would be .5 better than, say, USSR units also with 1 level. It really depends where you think the greater anomaly might be.

If you have another country, for example Turkey, that the scenario designer thinks might not enter the war until late 1942, then you could build in 2 infantry tech increments to the basic values for say Corps and place some of these on the map but use the Editor to prohibit these particular unit types from receiving any infantry tech upgrades. Thus their infantry tech upgrade could still be 1 for other unit types such as divisions and armies that would still be upgradeable.

The cost of the units and upgrades could be fine tuned to make the resulting price not too dissimilar to the current values e.g. add 8% to the price of the enhanced Finnish units and reduce their upgrade cost to 5% so 2 increments cost around 10%. I do not in any event think that the game is currently so finely tuned with respect to MPPs that it would make a lot of difference.

The AA attribute has a maximum tech level of 3 which makes it a bit more complicated but it should still be possible to improve the Finns so that they are not too vulnerable to an early USSR attack. In general where a choice is to be made, I would tend to favour the minor countries in boosting their combat values as I prefer to be on the side of the little guy!

Hi Hubert

As you know I am not a fan of gamey mechanisms that give readiness boosts for ahistoric behaviour such as the UK attacking neutral Ireland. In addition to improving Ireland's ability to resist as above, I would probably look at a likely historic response to counter such an attack which might be random sabotage bomb attacks on UK industry lasting the rest of the war rather like the situation in India.

Regards

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Hi Mike

Interesting approach. Just for my own modification (link below :o), which I have developed based on the Breakthrough campaign "Storm Over Europe" and then transferred in AoC. Although this is by default created with a maximum of "3" infantry levels. But even here, the SU should have only a research level "2" at the earliest time of a possible attack on Finland. Would be also quite balanced. And a slight weakening at level 3 would be not necessarily ahistorical for a minor.

Since I have a little more tiles for a staggered formation of the Finnish units on this map, I'll try it first with the default values ​​and with one or two destructible fortifications. If that was not enough to slow down an initial attack as appropriate and to enable unit upgrades on more then wreckage and refugees, I'll come back to individual combat values....very nice idea Mike. Thanks for the explanations.

PS: Even though it may appear otherwise, I have more trouble with the English language as the technical understanding of the game. So again thank you for your patience! :)

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Hi Battlefield

Thank you for your supportive remarks.

My main interest in Strategic Command at present is its ability to represent every theatre in WW2. Thus I acquired SC Global and subsequently Gold and then AOD. I have not yet chosen to acquire AOC as I do not really have time to work with that as well as developing and trialling my own scenario which is based on the historic world situation in May 1942. The three objectives I have set myself are first to enable realistic naval movement for turns covering 2 elapsed weeks (this involves a major system of loops), second to build in more constraints for a human player making them take note of supply costs and limitations and third to restore artillery to its rightful place as one of the main determinants of late war land battles. My artillery units operate at an Army Group/Front level, comprising effectively a corps of infantry as well as the artillery that might be allocated by an Army Group - Soviet ones in particular can become very powerful and my front lines typically see large scale exchanges of artillery fire. The trouble with changing so many fundamental concepts in SC is that the AI needs a huge amount of development and testing.

I wish you well with your own scenario development - I find it is quite challenging to understand how and why the AI does what it does based mainly on reading lots of scripts. It must be even more difficult if English is not your first language.

Good luck

Mike

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Hi Mike

On the issue of naval movements, I'm completely on your side! Military units on the high seas are generally limited only by the forces of nature, total failures due to material wear or even a revocation of the marching orders. This differs significantly from all land units and because of its large fuel capacity also of the air units. After a move, intended to reflect an a period of 14 days, longer ranges would be expected. A simple inflation of the range of motion for naval units would lead to a fleet omnipresence of all parts (march and strike). Which would destroy the game concept and thus the gameplay. Loops are currently the only way to transport naval units to specific locations and to separate march and attack. Unfortunately, too many (labeled) loop points leave the playing surface appear somewhat cluttered and visually unprofessional. Moreover, their Rigs in the script concept is not just a "drag and drop". I assume, that they were originally intended to connect (play)technically separate map parts. Well, "forced march" for land units has long been integrated into the game, so it is already a part of the game engine. Is it not possible, in view of the already approaching SC3 at least in the editor, to optional set up such a function also for naval units? The naval warfare would benefit a lot and also feel more "realistic"...

I think the question of "realistic" playback of supply routes and their cost is very closely interwoven with the game engine and are likely to be difficult to mod without a deeper engagement. Of course, it is also now possible to script various types of undersupply of units and places. I think of the examples "Malta effect" or "Russian Winter". The effects of military enclosures are also displayed more realistic in the last two expansions. It is all on a pretty good path. Nevertheless, sometimes I wish the opportunity to present a form of air transportability of supplies. Perhaps as a purchasable and through research expandable extension for headquarters. Once added to a HQ, these units could (maybe by MPP charge) cause a type of airdrop. According to the laying of a parachute unit with preparation and the threat of enemy fighters. Each target field, located in the radius of the action "Airdrop", could then be operated with an appropriate supply level over a limited period of time. This level could be limited, for example by varying transport capacity and injuries by enemy influence (Fighters). Another SC3 dream, I know...

The weighting of the artillery in multiplayer games is only a matter of availability, combat performance and price. To bring the AI to a reasonable use of this unit is a different matter. Quite true. The unit "artillery" in itself is then probably more a matter of conditioning and philosophy of the game. The larger the scale, the more important the appearance of a separate artillery unit. In the case of SC2 (which is very good created as a global game) I would prefer an integrative solution to accommodate the many separate support units (artillery, air defense, anti-tank, pioneer, etc.) in the various divisions, corps and armies. Available via the context menu of each unit, this purchasable and through research expandable "Integrated Regiments" could bring the same actions and abilities to the battlefield as the current, separate units. Without the need to call back "stacking" by half of the gaming community and that the other half, induced by the choice of map scale, complain the misplacement of a single anti-tank gun...well, this time SC4 ;)

One other thing I have noticed in the intensive employment with the game. It seems unnecessarily difficult to represent the size of a unit just by varying their combat values​​. The successful introduction of the "garrison" unit was still an important step to simulate smaller units by changing the strength! Why stop there? The editor already allows an "elite" unit increase up to a strength of 15. If we subtract the three "elite" strength points, used in the standard playing, leaving a maximum strengh of 12 for the award at the largest military unit. (Corps / Army). The other units could be then classified in predefined intervals (eg 3/5/8/12). No interference with the game physics when the editor ​​interpreted that values as the maximum strengh of the unit. It still works with the garrison! The combat values ​​could then relate primarily to the training and equipping of troops and better reflect the relative strength of equivalent but in size different units (eg. Infantry Division/Infantry Corps). Even the distinctions of naval units would greatly benefit, in my view. Although a flotilla of submarines may be extremely dangerous in attack. However, compared to a task force of capital ships she goes to war with very fragile hulls. A equality strength of 10 to 10 takes a little too short, right? What do you think?

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Hi Battlefield

That was a very interesting analysis and I would never have guessed that English is not your first language having read it!

Unfortunately I have 3 important presentations I need to prepare for the next few days and I am trying to deal with the consequences of a leaking water pipe in my home so I do not have enough time to address most of your points. However, I will pick up on combat target values. I only realised relatively recently that the way SC calculates damage only uses the CTV from the unit inflicting damage. Thus it does not matter whether the unit receiving damage is a division, a corps or an army the damage received calculation is the same. Of course when these 3 different units return fire their defensive CTV is used and the original attacker will take more harm from the units with better CTV's but for me that is insufficient distinction.

This is a big weakness in the way the current versions of SC handle the proliferation of unit types of varying size and I hope that SC3 will have a more sophisticated damage calculation algorithm that takes some account of the different unit types that are all classified as SOFT. As a current solution to this weakness I am experimenting in my scenario with the "bigger" units having increasing levels of evasion. I quite like the results so far but it is very early days.

One final point - I do like the garrison unit but in my scenarios it is possible for most countries to build or rebuild them instantly. My USSR in particular has lots of these and my intention is to give Axis players some experience of what the real Axis Generals must have thought about the seemingly inexhaustible supply of Soviet troops.

Regards

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Hi Battlefield

I have managed to find a few extra minutes to reply to your post.

Forced March for naval units - yes I really like that idea. I use blocks of loop entrances to also serve as exits to reduce the playing space required by loop symbols. I agree they are not aesthetically pleasing but until Forced March is available they are the only way to go. The current standard scenario implementation of loops is in my view very strange as it seems to try to emulate the unrealistic slow speed of units whilst they are looping - loops should only take the player or player and opponent's turn to complete. Forced March would I think need to consider on which turn the unit arrives as deciding which side has the opportunity for the "first attack" is an important issue in naval warfare.

I agree that airdrops would be a useful addition. However, my efforts on restricting supply are more concerned with trying to make players consider allocating scarce resources between theatres. The Japanese, for example, were not able to complete the conquest of China because they could not take the offensive on all fronts at once. Similarly in 1942 the Germans had to concentrate their resources on one major push and chose to go for the oil. I try to simulate this by making HQ units relatively very expensive and having fewer of them on the map for a human player. Thus in a 1942 scenario the Japanese human player might only start with one HQ in the whole of China. I set it up so they can acquire another HQ if they choose by means of a DE with staged payments to cover the cost. Allocating these scarce funds to China seriously restricts their ability to advance in other theatres such as towards Burma or even Australia. If SC3 introduces a greater role for oil and links that to the mobility of units in particular theatres than that will be another useful method to make players consider priorities. The lack of oil of course played a big part in restricting use of the Italian's big ships so some oil constraint on naval movements will be good. The trick for the designers of SC3 will be to achieve this whilst preserving the ease of game play which is an important part of SC's appeal.

One of the reasons why I wanted to increase the impact of artillery was to address problems in the IGOUGO approach. Units in my front lines can often receive fire support from other nearby units with artillery capability - I typically give them permanent availability of 3 shells. It may seem strange that I am arguing for more realism in terms of range for naval units but also allowing artillery units to fire as far as 2 tiles. Clearly no artillery in WW2 was capable of firing over the 50 or so miles that 1 tile represents let alone 100 miles if units were located towards the edges of their tiles. My concept here is that the artillery fire should be considered as representing the response of the defensive commander in rushing reserves to a threatened point. Thus my artillery units can intervene from both alongside and behind the front line units. To recognise that these units are not pure artillery I call them Army Group Reserves (in fact AG Reserves) eg for the Soviets Don Front AG Reserves and for the Germans Army Grp A AG Reserves. The Soviets have more than a dozen of these units and have the ability to research artillery to a higher level than any other major if the Axis gives them enough time to do that.

Your suggestion of various layers for maximum strengths is an interesting one but might need to be wider than you suggest. I use a rough guide of an army as 8 divisions, and a corps as 4. My division units actually represent 2 real WW2 divisions and my garrison units are 1 division or less. Thus each of my units is twice the "size" of the next one down so I might need strengths of 16, 8, 4, 2 or even 32, 16, 8, 4 if you want to allow units to take damage without being totally destroyed. Perhaps units of damage could be measured in 0.1's and then the strengths might be on the 8 to 1 scale with some opportunity for elite units being higher. The use of evasion to represent larger units, which I described in my earlier post, is also quite a good way of representing small but elite units.

My BB units are TF's of 90k tons and my CA units 45K tons (I have tried to model all the actual ships in WW2 in the tonnage allocated) so strength ratios of 2 to 1 might work for them. I currently give BB units two strikes as a way of distinguishing their greater ability to inflict damage and that works for me conceptually. Unfortunately in SC defending units can shoot back any number of times so my BBs can shoot at other units twice but correspondingly receive the same double return fire. I again address this by giving BBs a higher level of offensive evasion - it is a bit clunky but naval warfare has always been influenced by lucky hits.

I treat DDs and SS in a different way. In order that the playing area does not have too many units DDs and SS each represent flotillas of around 30 actual ships. Because I do not want 30 ships to be potentially lost in one engagement I allow any lost DD or SS unit to be rebuilt instantly at 1/3 of the cost. My logic is that only 1/3 of the SS flotilla would actually be deployed for combat at any one time, another 1/3 would be in transit to the theatre and another 1/3 resting or training or refitting in port. I have been very pleased with the way this works in the game. I agree with you that a submarine would have a fragile hull if hit by a heavy calibre shell but actually so did WW2 BB's when hit by a torpedo. My 90K BB units typically represent 1 or 2 capital ships plus a few DDs as escorts so considerably fewer individual units than my DD or SS flotillas. Thus it is right that it should be possible to destroy a BB unit whilst my DD and SS can always be rebuilt.

So I would not agree that naval warfare is so much about the allocation of strength units - even the largest ships were vulnerable to lucky hits whilst flotillas containing lots of smaller units could not so easily be destroyed.

Regards

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Hi Mike

Again, many approaches to make yourself thinking about real strategic fundamentals and (fun) playing techniques. (And once again, a lot of work for my google translator and my over the years spilled School English.:))

"Forced March would I think need to consider on which turn the unit arrives as deciding which side has the opportunity for the "first attack" is an important issue in naval warfare."

Of course it would not be done with a simple transfer of the "forced march" of ground troops. If you would so easily handle it, considerable problems for the game balance would result. I try once in a fictional, but in terms of a naval unit specific description of the naval action "travel move". ("naval forced march" would somehow promote the erroneous expectation of a massive slump in readiness and morale, which is unlikely to occur for a fast traveling warship in the 40s.)

Ok. Now here is the British battleship "Warspite", which has just left the port at Rosyth. It travels in the set by default mode "patrool move". Although this involves only a limited range of action, but also allows for any time an attack on a perceived enemy. The "Warspite" is part of a task force that granted a group of destroyers (located in the Norwegian Sea) the necessary protection from the German capital ships. Intelligence and loss reports suggest the presence of a German cruiser in the middle Atlantic, which successfully and so far unchallenged attacked the British convoy routes. Due to naval battles taken place recently, the "Warspite" is the only battleship with a readiness of at least "85", which is the minimum value for the activation of the mode "traveling move" from the context menu of the unit. Well, the "Warspite" recently leave its home port and therefore still has a rediness value of "97". The strategic decision of relocating a Battleship (and two other destroyers groups) in the middle Atlantic is not without a risk. UK does not have its own port in the target area and at the end of the turn (in the mode "traveling move") the unit has lost "15" points of rediness. An immediate return to the territory of the North Sea (because there could also worsen the situation) would not be possible without a previous port stay. In addition, the unit can not initiate a standalone attack immediately after this long distance turn. We are taking a risk and send the three units on their dangerous mission. The Warspite and the first destroyer group access without interference and within a turn (14 days), from the British East Coast to the sea area south of the Canary Islands. The second destroyer was less fortunate. Coming from the sea area south of Iceland, it follows a slightly different roadmap and runs directly on this German cruiser. A direct hit from this encounter battle reduces the strength value of the unlucky bird to "4" and also costs the enemy cruiser three points. In the following naval battle the battered destroyer is lost. But also the cruiser "Luezow" begins (accompanied by a last salute from the only slightly damaged battleship group) his final journey to the bottom of the ocean. The second British destroyer group put the kill shot and had no damage. As a veteran with a strength value of "11" and a remaining rediness score in the amount of "86", they will return to the North Sea with "traveling move" in the next turn. The Warspite marched off with "patrool move" towards the Mediterranean. Always hoping to reach the nearest British port even without an ugly encounter with a German U-boat...

I'm pretty sure that it could work this way.

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Again, many approaches to make yourself thinking about real strategic fundamentals and (fun) playing techniques..

I think the forced march mode is quite interisting as it prevents move and attack, while permitting to come quite fast onto a theatre of Operation.

Now my question would be: how to explain tha AI when to use forced march and when not? Actually an AI Plan doesn't care of readiness factors, which would mean if Naval Units would be below a certain readiness, a Plan would never be executed ( which may be a good Thing ).

but if the AI brings a lot of DD via Forced march, it may be not a so good idea, as the Sub simply goes away on the next turn.

On the other side an idea of giving a Naval unit an Attack Range of 4-5 tiles ( only on Seatiles ) while ALL other moves would have as consequences to have no attack left could also do the trick of preventing "Long-range-move + Attack" . Ther the AI would not do "dumb Errors".

It would also help to increase the Movement range to up to 25 ( i.e. 12 days of cruise Speed ) while at the end there would be no Attack Point left. on the next turn the Unit would have a "partol and Act" range of 4-5 tiles which could be still realistic.

Aditionally this would be a movement wuite similar to Airfleets: opertating or moving doesnt Permit Action any more ant so it would be with Naval Fleets: first take Position then atrack.

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I think the forced march mode is quite interisting as it prevents move and attack, while permitting to come quite fast onto a theatre of Operation.

Now my question would be: how to explain tha AI when to use forced march and when not? Actually an AI Plan doesn't care of readiness factors, which would mean if Naval Units would be below a certain readiness, a Plan would never be executed ( which may be a good Thing ).

but if the AI brings a lot of DD via Forced march, it may be not a so good idea, as the Sub simply goes away on the next turn.

On the other side an idea of giving a Naval unit an Attack Range of 4-5 tiles ( only on Seatiles ) while ALL other moves would have as consequences to have no attack left could also do the trick of preventing "Long-range-move + Attack" . Ther the AI would not do "dumb Errors".

It would also help to increase the Movement range to up to 25 ( i.e. 12 days of cruise Speed ) while at the end there would be no Attack Point left. on the next turn the Unit would have a "partol and Act" range of 4-5 tiles which could be still realistic.

Aditionally this would be a movement wuite similar to Airfleets: opertating or moving doesnt Permit Action any more ant so it would be with Naval Fleets: first take Position then atrack.

Interesting point. The "forced march" for land units finds also no use in the AI? This mode is dependent on readiness and morale of the units and can also be used tactically! The idea with the elimination of offensive potential for excessive use of movement distances is held regularly in games, which map the movement and attack actions to a fixed value of total points. A tank then has, for example, 20 Action Points. He could now attack twice for 10 action points each, move for 10 points (map tiles) and shoot once or, as in your example of a naval unit, move all 20 points and hold still. Not bad. I think the developers mull over similar problems...:D

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Hi Mike

Now comes the second part...

"...so I might need strengths of 16, 8, 4, 2 or even 32, 16, 8, 4 if you want to allow units to take damage without being totally destroyed...

...So I would not agree that naval warfare is so much about the allocation of strength units..."

Of course you're right in principle. Considering the strength value of a unit isolated as a simulation of the sheer number of soldiers or, even more abstract, as a reflection of the absolute size of a unit, then numerical values ​​can arise very quickly that are barely playable. And these absolute numbers should even more difficult to bring warships into relation than ground troops or even aircraft. This is all quite true. Hm...Maybe we should change our viewing angle a little and first slide the pure aspects of the unit quantity in terms of strength points slightly backwards...we try it the other way around:

Just imagine you want to participate in a bike race. You walk into a bike shop and the salesman shows you a great road bike with 12 (where we only know this number?) Transitions and says to your astounding: Hey, we have the gear always set to "10" - for the sake of simplicity. We have made ​​an optimal setting by fine-tuning the handlebar height, seat height, wheel size and the weight of the materials used in. This bike is guaranteed to get you to the finish. If nothing should go in the final sprintup, then the circuit automatically rattles to zero. Yes. Exactly. Will probably work. You bought this high quality, cool bike and what is the first thing you do at home after a few funny trial runs? Correctly, you start to screw on the gear shift around. And why? Because it is an additional tool to customize your ride even more individual to the route.

Finally, variable strength values ​​of certain units could be exactly the same. Another resource to represent a unit more realistic in the use, abstracted in their interaction with other parts of the game and most important: Playable

Until then... :)

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Many years ago I used to play an SPI modern naval-air game called "Sixth Fleet" which had a unique attack then move feature. The player would have to pre-position his units in the move phase for attack the next turn.

If the moving player intersected with an enemy unit, the move was halted and on the ensuing next turn the enemy would have the option of the first attack and then could move away. This mode of "attack then move" might work for naval units as they usually require greater maneuver time to obtain an advantageous attack position, but for air units there might be a case for a different sequence.

I like to think of surface and subsurface naval units as being slow and two dimensional, like ground units, but air has the high ground and rules the third dimension, of course with consequences. Air may not have the resilience of naval and ground units but they move so much faster that they should almost always have the initiative of first attack with relation to the two dimensional combat units.

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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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Hi Mike

I would continue to use the current way how the game calculates a "chance encounter" at sea. Units which you would encounter at the end of "traveling move" located in "patrool move" and therefore get an attack advantage. During the "traveling move" ships would ignore all the opponent's units and thus simulate a "prevention strategy". (Just as in your loop) My history with the intercepted destroyer group was obviously somewhat misleading ... this unit was attacked at the end of the "traveling move". This flotilla reached the target only approach from a slightly different direction! ;)

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