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I've got a bit of a bone to pick with how France currently works in SoE, with 2 main issues;

- The capital transfer to Bordeaux

- The expendability of her troops

- Bordeaux

I really dislike the fact that you can take Paris and France still stands, even when her military is in tatters. Simply put, it removes any kind of fun decision making for the German player- usually, the Axis can choose either to spearhead straight for the capital (pros: France falls quicker, more plunder, but less experience) or do as much damage as possible, such as by tackling the BEF first before surrounding Paris and grinding it down slowly (pros: more experience, but France falls slower). However when the capital transfers to Bordeaux the majority of the time it forces you by default into the 2nd option; you have to destroy everything in your path, potentially taking higher losses (as I did in our AAR).

I would suggest either;

- Make it like AoD/GC (when Paris falls, France surrenders)

- Add some kind of script where the presence of the BEF in France permits capital transfer to Bordeaux, but if they evac, then Paris falls = surrender (not sure of the feasibility)

The other big problem as stated is the way the Allied player can use French forces, primarily the navy, but to a lesser extent, the army as well. I have nothing against France being able to 'hail Mary' the Italian navy (again what happened in our AAR and others like it), except that it comes with virtually NO consequences for the Allies- there is no benefit to them conserving their navy, so why shouldn't they suicide everything? Just sinking a single ship, even if they lose their entire fleet, is, in essence, a victory. It's the same deal when Germany invades France- France is going to surrender anyway, so there's very little downside, should the opportunity arise, to abandon all defensive positions and gang up on a single HQ/armour unit, even if the MPP loss is disproportionate. In many ways, French MPP is 'free'.

I would therefore suggest either;

- Tie French NM blows to the British (makes a kind of historical sense; as Britain watches its only ally mindlessly suicide its forces, it loses morale, also gives an incentive for the Axis to actively hunt the French navy rather than sitting in port until they go away)

- Give a % chance for each remaining French ship after the fall of France to be scrapped and salvaged by the British

Interested in hearing other's thoughts on this.

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Definetly Agreed on all points. I actually made a pretty long and detailed test of France, and suggested several ways to make the battle for France both interesting (several tactical decisions for both players) and harder to "suicide".

Here is the link;

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=110062

The pictures wont be up until the 4th unfortunately (bandwidth resets).

The relevant part is in "suggestions" in the second post, so skip right to that unless you really want to read an attempt at recreating the historical fall gelb results by doing everything as closely as possible to history, including allied blunders into Belgium.

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Overall I do agree with your feedback guys but the problem is how to tweak all areas to make a more realistic game with other possibilities depending on action take during the game. This includes the complete unrealistic advantages of the allied air arm always getting thru the fighter protection as long as they have their own fighter arm to protect. Russia in the beginning not having anything comparable to the size of the army they had in the real war. German subs not having a chance if defended against of making it out into the Atlantic if the Brits put a blanket on the approaches.

Current game though

If you do want a quicker ending, take Netherlands/Belgium in the winter to have your forces in an advantage on knocking out the French in the spring/early summer. I also do not like the move to Bordeaux when it is clear that the French are defeated. If this was done in the real war the French would only of done this if the British committed their reserves. This could be replicated as a decision that drastically can hurt British ability to fight in Africa or in Sealion, perhaps a large MPP drain on the British which also takes away their reserve pop-ups if England is invaded or even part of their Anzac/Africa force.

Expendability of troops/navy you have some good ideas and if done this way in hari kari should/could be some adverse or positive outcomes if not. But believe we all do it with all countries if possible. I try to get anything easy with Polish forces remaining rather than defending longer myself. Beyond your ideas perhaps also a bigger Free French force given when Africa is free or landing in France later is an idea. In the real war the Free French got quite large towards the end of the war as they are not really represented in this one.

Naval question of Italy can be changed in the current game by keeping Italian ships in harbors where only subs/AC can have minimal impact on them and if under axis air fighter protection then can be defended. A tactical bomber or 2 down here can also be very devastating to the British, just ignore the French and do not go into open water. Another way this could change could be for the Italians to enter only on the last turn or 2 to not allow much of a chance for an attack unless a decision is given where they choose to enter on their own part. Another point to put here is that harbors altogether should be more protected from all naval attacks vs naval attacks. Still need the reduction factor as this is already replicated in enough losses when attacked.

Russians I played a few PBEM games and learned not to defend the borders to allow defense in strength, otherwise it is hard to get any type of late 41' attack or even 42' until their MPP cranks up. Germans just run right thru anything in their path in the beginning with a clear armor advantage, which they really did not have beyond tactics/quality. Something could help is more light tanks for the Soviets as is done in AOD/AOC.

Subs I rarely get embroiled in this war unless terms dictate for the fact if the British want they can just blanket the approaches. There needs to be an easier way to get out. Perhaps the approaches to open water the destroyer automatic hit is much less in certain areas to allow them to get out. The reality is the water approaches are quite large and the subs could get out into open water, without Enigma being cracked it would of been much easier.

Bombers should still have a chance of being hit by German fighters at least a % in the air war and not immune as it is in this game.

Overall however as always I believe the Strategic Team has done a great job as always with a well balanced game overall if played within the terms of the game. Difficult to make balanced with any one single change and even more difficult to predict against those who find ways to exploit as it is done with any game.

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- Add some kind of script where the presence of the BEF in France permits capital transfer to Bordeaux, but if they evac, then Paris falls = surrender (not sure of the feasibility)

Hi

I'm thinking about this all, and am inclining towards doing something roughly along these lines, but just need to think about it a bit more first.

Bill

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Well, I think the french throw-away-troops are a minor problem. Much more important is, that die Allies are used like they were one nation. In RL the Western Allies AND the SU fought against Germany, but they would never have sacrificed themselves for the other one.

What I mean is, that in all the strategy games, all Allies are played by one player. That's a much bigger problem then France, I think. The war is decided in the east, so every player will invade Denmark, Spainorwhateveryouwant with his suicide-Britons or send the Royal Navy to sure death, just to buy the Russians time. That's a nonsense imho.

So, if you want a more plausibel gameplay, you would need to choose, if you play Western Allies or the Soviet Union, not all together.

Otherwise this talk about France is useless, as the Brits can be thrown away too, as soon as Barbarossa starts.

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IMO, this problem would be handled best by lowering Western Allies' NM considerably, and the throw-away units would become a much bigger risk vs reward. This would mirror France's historical reality much closer too, as France was very politically divided and suffered from lack of unity. If their navy was used in a suicide attack, it would speed their surrender, simulating loss of confidence by the populace following a naval disaster. Later on, a disastrous invasion by UK or USA would be severe NM blow if it led to loads of units being destroyed. This again would be a good simulation. From a pure military standpoint, the USA could easily have invaded Germany in 1943, but wouldn't have risked doing so out of fear of taking unacceptably high casualties.

It may not be the perfect solution, but seems like a sensible way of reflecting historical realities within the confines of the game engine.

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