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Rabelesius

The end game has problems

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After having played against the AI and MP, can make the following observations about the years 1917 and 1918 which I believe need some change to make the end game work (if you ever come that far, of course):

1) Russia's occupation. As noted already in this forum, the Germans and AH have no need to actually occupy Russia as historically. Coupled with the instant beaming of their troops to the border, the change to the offensive in the West happens much faster than historically. Usually, the Germans start going on the offensive mid 1917. This is too fast.

Proposal: Force Germany to occupy certain points in Russia with troops and/or make the operational transfer more costly.

2) The Kerensky revolution: Let's face it, as soon as the Tsar abdicates, the game is over on the Eastern Front. Reasons for this is that the rebound from Kerensky is too weak. There is no chance that the Russians can hold out for another 6 months like happened historically with the Provisional Government.

Proposal: Increase the morale boost for Kerensky by at least 50%.

3) Mesopotamia: The historical campaign for Baghdad does not happen as the British are simply too weak.

Proposal: Add another corps to the Mesopotamian front by 1917.

4) Romania: They are mere speedbumps. Unfortunately, the Austrians usually are strong enough to conquer them without German help which is not historical. At that time, the Austrians were already spent and German forces were needed to support the conquest.

Proposal: Difficult. I would increase Romania's forces by at least one corps.

Thoughts and comments?

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1) Russia's occupation. As noted already in this forum, the Germans and AH have no need to actually occupy Russia as historically. Coupled with the instant beaming of their troops to the border, the change to the offensive in the West happens much faster than historically. Usually, the Germans start going on the offensive mid 1917. This is too fast.

Proposal: Force Germany to occupy certain points in Russia with troops and/or make the operational transfer more costly.

That is really the main problem here, Russian defeat can mean the defeat of the entente itself, because the Germans can easily transport the units as you said. I think that the best idea is to force the Germans to maintain the troops in the border cities with all the old Russian empire (Ukrania, baltic states etc), and not only the cities but also the surroundings, at least 2 units per major city and 1 per town. Also, it could be added a attrition strength event in these units that could lead to their destruction. Not positioning the units there, or loosing them, would lead to entry of the minor countries formed after the fall of the tsar Russia, like the Baltic States. The entry of this countries would represent the militia and paramilitary forces that would go for the fight against Germany, their forces would be weak, but with some numbers, and could lead to loss in German territory. This event must also lead to the loss of German NM, something most players, as i believe, will try to avoid at this point of the game. The main idea is NM, to force the Germans to maintain the units there and keep them at full strength so they are not destroyed can make the game more balanced, at least I think it will.

2) The Kerensky revolution: Let's face it, as soon as the Tsar abdicates, the game is over on the Eastern Front. Reasons for this is that the rebound from Kerensky is too weak. There is no chance that the Russians can hold out for another 6 months like happened historically with the Provisional Government.

Proposal: Increase the morale boost for Kerensky by at least 50%.

I totally agreed with that one.

3) Mesopotamia: The historical campaign for Baghdad does not happen as the British are simply too weak.

Proposal: Add another corps to the Mesopotamian front by 1917.

Mesopotamia is a pain in the ass, i think that should be a DE to send one corps and one art with 5 points, or two corps by 1917. That should put the ottomans in a bad situation, forcing the Germans to send troop, more than just the asian corps.

4) Romania: They are mere speedbumps. Unfortunately, the Austrians usually are strong enough to conquer them without German help which is not historical. At that time, the Austrians were already spent and German forces were needed to support the conquest.

Proposal: Difficult. I would increase Romania's forces by at least one corps.

Romanians forces should be increased to 1 corp, but the A-H capacity to take over Romania is only possible if the CP player is doing well, which will be unhistorical, as A-H was in pretty bad shape by the time Romania joined the war.

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I think the CP is allready hard pressed to win. It depends on the game, every game is different. If you play a good game or get a little lucky either side can win, although I think the Entente has a small advantage (and it should), all in all it's prety well balanced as it is, if you tilt things in Mesopotamia or Romania tawards the Entente it might just ruin the whole game.

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I somewhat agree, but we must first test the historical routes whether they can be replicated by the game. If that is the case (and I fear in some areas, it's not), then we can talk about balancing it out. I always admire designers who first play out the historical scenario with the game and if it's inside the game's possibilities and parameters, they start tinkering around the edges to allow for what-ifs.

In this sense, the game has some problems in the endgame. I would therefore wait and see (especially in our current game where the Russians are close to collapse) what happens in the West. If the Germans become overwhelmingly strong in 1917 already, it's a problem. I noticed that issue in my AI games.

With Mesopotamia and Romania, it's just minor tweaks. I just want to see Bagdhad fall as happened historically. Romania is no issue, they go down anyway.

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Agreed. The russian front's occupation problem can at least be somewhat resolved manually with house rules: all units that "beam" should simply use rail transport to the west front and not Forced March. Garrisons can also be maintained, 1 detachment per "border" town or city and 1 corps per capital should be enough.

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After having played against the AI and MP, can make the following observations about the years 1917 and 1918 which I believe need some change to make the end game work (if you ever come that far, of course):

1) Russia's occupation. As noted already in this forum, the Germans and AH have no need to actually occupy Russia as historically. Coupled with the instant beaming of their troops to the border, the change to the offensive in the West happens much faster than historically. Usually, the Germans start going on the offensive mid 1917. This is too fast.

Proposal: Force Germany to occupy certain points in Russia with troops and/or make the operational transfer more costly.

2) The Kerensky revolution: Let's face it, as soon as the Tsar abdicates, the game is over on the Eastern Front. Reasons for this is that the rebound from Kerensky is too weak. There is no chance that the Russians can hold out for another 6 months like happened historically with the Provisional Government.

Proposal: Increase the morale boost for Kerensky by at least 50%.

3) Mesopotamia: The historical campaign for Baghdad does not happen as the British are simply too weak.

Proposal: Add another corps to the Mesopotamian front by 1917.

4) Romania: They are mere speedbumps. Unfortunately, the Austrians usually are strong enough to conquer them without German help which is not historical. At that time, the Austrians were already spent and German forces were needed to support the conquest.

Proposal: Difficult. I would increase Romania's forces by at least one corps.

Thoughts and comments?

very good points, i whole heartly agree with all of them except number 4.

i have some reservations about the need for strengthing romania. as has already been mentioned, it all depends on how good or bad the austrians are doing.

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The big problem is how to model the austrian Army.. in history their performance was really bad, and without german help they would have collapsed in 1915. In this game they fight as good as german troops.. esp. when you research Infantry Weapons and Trench Warfare. Maybe it helps to limit Austria┬┤s maximum IW Level at 1.

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I think the key issue for the outcome of the game, is what happens with the German troops in the East, after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is signed. It has been already well elaborated in one of the posts by Hyazinth von Strachwitz.

Germans should be forced to leave in what would be the ex Eastern Front, a force of about 10 corps. If not, their units and the German NM should be seriously affected by the Bolshevik agitation and that in result could lead to the quick surrender of Germany and A-H, due to the communist revolution. So leaving a considerable force in the East, should be essential in order to preserve the further ability of CP to maintain the war effort.

I also completly don't understand why the units are "teleported" from the East for free. If the CP player decides to transfer his troops to the West, he should pay for the operational movement as always, or march/force march the units to the new theatre of war.

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The big problem is how to model the austrian Army.. in history their performance was really bad, and without german help they would have collapsed in 1915. In this game they fight as good as german troops.. esp. when you research Infantry Weapons and Trench Warfare. Maybe it helps to limit Austria┬┤s maximum IW Level at 1.

Well, I don't know. The Russians performed really badly aswell, yet in one of my games I managed to capture Berlin in 1916. Both Russian and Austrian infantry units have lower parameters than the German, French and British counterparts. Also their HQs' have usually quite low ratings and their NM pools are low enough, so both countries may be out of the war quickly enough. In my opinion those pre-set conditions reflect well the A-H and Russian weaknesses and at the end of the day, the outcome of the game, depends on the individual performance of each player.

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I also completly don't understand why the units are "teleported" from the East for free. If the CP player decides to transfer his troops to the West, he should pay for the operational movement as always, or march/force march the units to the new theatre of war.

You have to pay for operational move, what players do is forced march, which cost nothing, but takes 1 or 2 turns more than operational move.

Now, as you said and i said before, CP players should be forced to leave forces in the eastern borders, because in a late game, around 1917, or even in a early game, around mid-late 1915, russian surrender can lead to the victory of the CP player, easily. The deal, is to maintain historical accuracy, and game balance, maintaining forces to not let NM drop, is needed for the germans. Of course a smart player would put A-H and attachment forces in these positions.

I normaly apply A-H forces in the west front, to concetrate even more the germans in the offensive operations.

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After having played against the AI and MP, can make the following observations about the years 1917 and 1918 which I believe need some change to make the end game work (if you ever come that far, of course):

1) Russia's occupation. As noted already in this forum, the Germans and AH have no need to actually occupy Russia as historically.

Well, there was no real "need" to occupy russia. The germans did it, and they maybe lost the entire war because of their greed.

I agree that the endgame is not as strong as the earlier parts of the game.

But please, don't force me to make the same mistakes as my historical counterparts. After all every player wants to change history.

My point of view: offer the player sweet but poisenous seductions to make the same mistakes as their historical counterparts.

Like sending the Zimmermann telegram.

Or to say it with C.S. Lewis:

"Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;

Strike the bell (= say yes to the decision event) and bide the danger,

Or wonder, till it drives you mad,

What would have followed if you had."

2) The Kerensky revolution: Let's face it, as soon as the Tsar abdicates, the game is over on the Eastern Front. Reasons for this is that the rebound from Kerensky is too weak. There is no chance that the Russians can hold out for another 6 months like happened historically with the Provisional Government.

Proposal: Increase the morale boost for Kerensky by at least 50%.

I disagree. I think a better solution would be to give the russian Kerensky player certain goals to GAIN National morale. Like "hold the line between town x and city y for z turns" or "garisson x cities for y turns to regain z National Morale.

In general i don't like scripted magic events. The troops in the field and the homefront should get something out of the Kerensky government to regain trust (=National Morale). Just because the historical Kerensky government kept up for 6 month should never be a reason that it HAS TO in the game as well. This should be more like an option, let me the player earn National Morale. Maybe i'm able to avoid the Russian Revolution at all if i do it right?!

I want to play and rewrite history. At least i want a chance to do so.

I don't want a scripted way like i'm the AI. For the AI this might be very much ok, but not for a human player.

3) Mesopotamia: The historical campaign for Baghdad does not happen as the British are simply too weak.

Proposal: Add another corps to the Mesopotamian front by 1917.

Ok for the AI, but NEVER for a multiplayer game. Here the players can decide on their own if and how much reinforcements they want to send.

4) Romania: They are mere speedbumps. Unfortunately, the Austrians usually are strong enough to conquer them without German help which is not historical. At that time, the Austrians were already spent and German forces were needed to support the conquest.

Proposal: Difficult. I would increase Romania's forces by at least one corps.

Thoughts and comments?

Sorry, once more i disagree.

As you already said on your own: the Austrians are to strong.

Thats the key. Not the Rumanians.

I would like to suggest that the Austro-Hungarians get two different force pools. One for Austrians (and maybe Hungarians), and one for those people, which hoped to get free of Austro-Hungarian government (like czechs).

Austrians and Hungarians should be fight better and should be more expensive (with limited units), and the minor quality troops should be less expensive and less effective.

Anyway: good discussion!

:)

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Thanks for these suggestions, I'll give them some thought and see what can be done.

I'm sure you will keep playability and balance in mind, I find the CP very hard to play as it is, if AH gets some negative tweaking then the Germans will need some positive tweaking. As it is the CP can conquer 75% of the map and still get a draw or even loose. I think the balance is quite good, even with AH stronger than they really were.

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But if we make Austrians weaker in the game, than accordingly the same should be done with the Eastern Big Brother. Russian army is more numerous than the combined forces of France and Britain and if the Entente player performes well, it is much more dangerous to the CP than the Western Allies. The Tsarist army was performing historicaly very badly on every level ( appart maybe form the usual toughness of an average Russian foot soldier ) and if we would like to be exact, most it's units in the game should have very low readiness and morale just to reflect the permanent problems with the supply and lack of ammunition. If that was be done, than yes, I would agree that Austro-Hungary should be weaker, but right now strong Russia requires strong A-H just to keep the balance right.

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No, wormwood, currently the game is treating the East like a Science Fiction movie. Units are teleporting and Russia and the clear historical needs which you call greed are ignored.

Same for Kerensky, the NM rebound is not near anywhere as strong as needed to have the Russians survive as they did.

Anyway, it does not destroy the game but it is annoying as Germany makes these super offensives in 1918 which are out of whack with its capabilities.

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i for one find it incrediable that the game doesnt require some garrisons in the east.

come on, be realistic, theres no way in hell that the real life germans werent going to leave substantial troops in the east. the chaos in the east along with the threat of renewed hostilties (the germans trusted the bolsheviks about as far as they could throw them) alone would force them to leave troops there.

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I see no reason why the Germans should not be required to garrison certain citys in the east, it seems logical. Failure to do so possibly having a negative diplomatic effect on those eastern countries.

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No, wormwood, currently the game is treating the East like a Science Fiction movie. Units are teleporting and Russia and the clear historical needs which you call greed are ignored.

Same for Kerensky, the NM rebound is not near anywhere as strong as needed to have the Russians survive as they did.

Anyway, it does not destroy the game but it is annoying as Germany makes these super offensives in 1918 which are out of whack with its capabilities.

I don't call it greed, it was GREED. And it was one of the german death-sins that costed them dearly, as they lost the war, and with it all those vast eastern provinces in the east as well.

If Germany would have treated the Russians better (with a more friendly and humble peace treaty) it could have brough back hundred of thousends soldiers more into the west.

The "super offensives" in 1918 did happen. With one million men more fighting in the west instead of securing large russian territories they might have won in the west too.

And let us not forget: even with all those germans garrisson the east they nearly won in 1918, after 4 years of war and hunger blockade of the oceans. They broke through the entente front lines, but they had no plan what to do next, so they wasted their success.

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i for one find it incrediable that the game doesnt require some garrisons in the east.

come on, be realistic, theres no way in hell that the real life germans werent going to leave substantial troops in the east. the chaos in the east along with the threat of renewed hostilties (the germans trusted the bolsheviks about as far as they could throw them) alone would force them to leave troops there.

Yes, you are right, they didn't trusted the bolsheviks.

But there was no danger that a bolshevik army would anytime soon start a new war against Germany.

Just look at the picture (source: wikipedia):

the pink area, that is THE GREED. If Germany had stayed out of it it would have had hundred of thousends men for the west.

The Germans occupied these territories AFTER the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk:

Armisticebrestlitovsk.jpg

Imagine what would have happend if the germans had stopped at the armistice front line, or even behind it. That would have been possible if the germans would have stayed reasonable. But they didn't.

Thats why i don't like the now discussed demand for a need of strong german garrissons in the east.

As i already wrote: seduce me as a human player with a decision event to become greedy. Offer me something so that i have to think long about what to do: get soldiers out of the east or keep them in the east.

But if i decide to grab for more russian soil, than i would prefer a solution where i have to move my units manually into the east.

Example: every Ukrainian city i move into could generate some CP NM. To keep the NM one would have to garrission the city after the conquerest.

Every garrissoned city could generate each turn a chance for bolshevik propaganda. If propaganda chance hit, the CP income could be affected. And once the income of the CP falls below a certain amount, they could surrender (this way the income could become a second NM value after the treaty of Brest-Litovsk).

Or, another approach, it could affect the CP treasury. Every hit reduces the cash of the CP for a certain amount. If the CP fail to keep lets say 200 mpp in the treasury, they surrender. In this case the CP should get cash out of occupying the ukrainian cities and towns (garrisson to keep the money). Every game turn the nescessary cash amount to avoid instant surrender could rise. This way the CP could spent less and less on new units once they said yes to the poisenous seduction (go into the Ukraine).

Well, that were just some ideas. Probably not the best. But i would prefer a model like described better than a scripted event.

:)

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I'm not sure if the occupation of Eastern territories was a result of greed on the part of German leadership. I think it was more of a necessity. By the 1917 Central Powers were already half starved by the naval Allied naval blockade, so establishing and maintaining the control of Ukraine and other Russian provinces, was crucial in order to preserve further ability of waging the war by the forces of Kaiser. True, some German historians claim now, that leaving behind one million troops in the East contributed to the final failure of the 1918 spring offensives. But how could Germany leave such a huge vacuum just behind her Eastern border? After the Brest-Litovsk treaty was signed, none could really tell with any dose of certainty, what would happen with Russia next and if the treaty would have any long lasting effects. In reality, it was just a tactical move, made by the Bolshevik leadership in order to buy some time and Germans were probably well aware of it. What were the true colors and intentions of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov ( known also as Lenin ), was proved soon enought after the withdrawl of German troops from the East. A Polish-Soviet war broke out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Soviet_War

Just to not leave any space for the doubt, this is what the commander of Bolshevik forces Mikhail Tukhachevsky had to say before the upcoming offensive:

"Over the dead body of White Poland shines the road to world-wide conflagration".

The dream came partly true 25 years later.

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I'm not sure if the occupation of Eastern territories was a result of greed on the part of German leadership

It was only a necessity do make the russians sign the peace treaty of brest litovsk / to fullfill all the german High Commands annexationist ambitions in the east.

With Russia fighting out its own civil war, there was not much to fear from the east for the Germans.

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Yes, you are right, they didn't trusted the bolsheviks.

But there was no danger that a bolshevik army would anytime soon start a new war against Germany.

Just look at the picture (source: wikipedia):

the pink area, that is THE GREED. If Germany had stayed out of it it would have had hundred of thousends men for the west.

The Germans occupied these territories AFTER the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk:

Armisticebrestlitovsk.jpg

Imagine what would have happend if the germans had stopped at the armistice front line, or even behind it. That would have been possible if the germans would have stayed reasonable. But they didn't.

Thats why i don't like the now discussed demand for a need of strong german garrissons in the east.

As i already wrote: seduce me as a human player with a decision event to become greedy. Offer me something so that i have to think long about what to do: get soldiers out of the east or keep them in the east.

But if i decide to grab for more russian soil, than i would prefer a solution where i have to move my units manually into the east.

Example: every Ukrainian city i move into could generate some CP NM. To keep the NM one would have to garrission the city after the conquerest.

Every garrissoned city could generate each turn a chance for bolshevik propaganda. If propaganda chance hit, the CP income could be affected. And once the income of the CP falls below a certain amount, they could surrender (this way the income could become a second NM value after the treaty of Brest-Litovsk).

Or, another approach, it could affect the CP treasury. Every hit reduces the cash of the CP for a certain amount. If the CP fail to keep lets say 200 mpp in the treasury, they surrender. In this case the CP should get cash out of occupying the ukrainian cities and towns (garrisson to keep the money). Every game turn the nescessary cash amount to avoid instant surrender could rise. This way the CP could spent less and less on new units once they said yes to the poisenous seduction (go into the Ukraine).

Well, that were just some ideas. Probably not the best. But i would prefer a model like described better than a scripted event.

:)

whether the germans do or do not try a land grab is immaterial. they were going to need to garrison the eastern frontier regardless.

to say that there was no danger of the bolsheviks restarting the war is you using hindsight that the germans at the time didnt have.

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I presume they had a rough but good idea about what dangers were ahead of them.

This explains why they took so much land from the Russians (like in "what can they do about it, hahaha").

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