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Player Defined Unit Limits in Scenario Editor.


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There have been scores of comments/complaints about the ability to make too many of one type of unit in SC. The most common abuse is too many airfleets and ranking right behind is the problem of too many armies, corps, etc..

I think I've found a simple solution for SC1, but it would involve adding a feature to the Scenario Editor.

If the player had a editor category called Unit Build Limitations to click on, and a chart exactly like the research menu would open up listing all the major countries.

Each country would have a drop down menue for each type of unit which would work as in the following example:

---------------- Armies Corps Air Fleets etc)

----Germany [ 10 ] [ 10] [10]

----------------- 15 - 15 - 15

----------------- 20 - 20 - 20

----------------- 25 - 25 - 25

------------ (unlimited) -- -- ----------------------- The example should be in the form of columns and rows but I can't get them to allign properly, anyway, it should be obvious, Country, Unit Types, and the player to select the Maximum Number of each Allowed for each different country.

Players could use the scenario editor to set limits to the number of each type of unit a country could field at any one time. Or, it could be used to limit the number of any type unit a country could build in the course of a game, either way would make sense.

Or it could be left at the default setting of unlimited.

While this does not solve the problems stated in forums, such as airfleets being too strong, etc., it does provide a way to control their influence.

An added benefit would be, with limits to the number of armies, airfleets, etc., players would be more inclined to field under used units, such as Rockets and Heavy Bombers to take up the slack.

Being able to set limits according to individual country would also allow the means to reflect issues like population, level of industrialization, wealth, and so on. I. E., Russia could be allowed to build a lot more armies and corps than Germany, which could be allowed to build more than England -- France -- Italy, etc. with similar ideas applied to other units per country, all decided upon by the player altering or creating the scenario. smile.gif

[ March 03, 2003, 09:02 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Three things affect force pools - manpower, resources like oil and mines, and overall economics (ie, MPPs). I like the simplicity of MPPs without trying to manage multiple resources, and manpower is particularly difficult to model in a game like this. I don't particularly like the idea of setting force pool limits, but maybe they are necessary to prevent abuse. Adding something to the campaign editor where we can set/edit historic force pool limits by unit type is an interesting idea.

An extension of this idea would be an option for additional units to be built in excess of the limits but at increased cost. Say Germany has a limit of 6 Air Fleets. The 7th could cost 10% more to build and reinforcement costs for all AIr Fleet units would increase by 10%. An 8th could increase costs by 20%, etc. This would establish the historical force pool limits, but still provide some opportunity to exceed those limits by applying a reasonable penalty. Players would have to decide if additional units are worth the cost.

Rather than tracking resources, I'd prefer to let significant events impose appropriate penalties. Loss of Romanian oil for Axis or loss of Caucausus oil for the Russians could reduce APs/range of their air, tank and naval units. Allied control of mines in Norway and Sweden could increase build/reinforcement costs of German tanks and naval units. Stuff like that. These events could provide a subtle historical effect without overly complicating the rest of the game. I say subtle because loss of particular resources would introduce an inconvenience but not a crippling blow. At this scale, we've got to assume ministers are doing appropriate things (synthetic oil research, world trades, stockpiling, etc.); otherwise, we're looking at complex management of everything like HOI is trying to do. :eek:

Anyways, the end result would be to let the abstract MPP be the real limiter for force pools. And if SC2 introduces a new Tactical Bomber unit type to split the Air Fleet function between air superiority and ground support roles, that alone could provide a lot more balance in the air war.

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Agreed on most points. The increased cost idea is floating around in several current threads. Although I've suggested a version of it I have to agree there are numerous factors that would need to be taken into account. Nobody wants to fix one aspect of the game by ruining a different aspect.

This suggestion is a little different, though. It would be a scenario editor feature. The default value would be to not change anything! Players would be free to experiment with different levels. That way, instead of always hearing the complaint that Germany won because it built 20 Luftflottes an immediate and irrefutable answer would be next time try setting the limit at 18 -- or 16, or 12 -- whatever you finally decide is best for your style of game or concept of history.

Two player games would still have to contested on a MOD both players agree to.

I like this option precisely becuase it does not tamper with the basic game mechanics.

Additionally it can be altered drastically as and as often as a player wishes. If the minimum choice is zero and the maximum is unlimited players are even free to make scenarios without subs, tanks or aircraft -- allowing those who want WW I scenarios, or other pre-modern age conflicts, to tinker with vastly expanded horizons.

Agreed with that EEK! face for HOI -- wouldn't want to see those half-baked concepts in SC.

[ March 03, 2003, 09:00 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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I agree with the scenario editor idea; that would provide a lot of flexibility. My suggestion for the increased cost option was for an on/off game option. This would allow for hard limits as set in the scenario, or allow players to go beyond the limits with a penalty. Alternatively, a scenario could establish no limits at all. This would cover just about everything, and players could adjust the limits as they want. For 2-player games, the host would set up a game with a scenario and game options as we do now, so that would work.

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Sounds excellent. I didn't quite get the increased cost idea the first time around, misread it as a parrellel suggestion but as an added option I think it's great.

The second part is also a fine idea regarding lost resources and the effect it has on unit functions and building new units, et.. No doubt it would be a little more difficult to add but the added strategy would make the game much more interesting and realistic.

[ March 04, 2003, 01:16 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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Jersey John

At first, I didn't like the idea of the pool limits being in the Editor. But on further reflection, I realized that its the idea of unit limits that I didn't like. Its been tried as far back as 3R. With the power of the computer, we should be able to come up with a better system.

Your suggestion though, does work in that it can be turned on or off. And as you pointed out, it does allow you to make scenarios without certain unit types (ie WWI). With SC as it is, I think it would be a good idea if Hubert listened to this and put some sort of unit max values in the Editor.

Maybe he should take it even one step further, and allow the Action Points to be modified. ;)

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Bill Macon

I understand your hesitation about multiple resources and having to track them. I do agree that we don't want to make it so complicated, for the very reason you stated... at this level, there are others who are suppossed to worry about those details.

But I do believe that a single economic unit (ie MPP) cannot give us those subtle effects we want. Even with them being event driven. I think a economic system with three (3) variables would work just fine, and not give us too much detail.

I suggested something along those lines earlier with Oil Points, Mineral Points and MPP's. If you throw Manpower in, that would add a fourth factor. I hope to be finished with the National Characteristics and Manpower issue before the week is out. While I am putting this together, I have been trying to keep the economic units limited to three (3). Its a problem, since manpower involves naval, air and ground units. And then all of the "volunteers" who are not part of the general population.

While I agree with the Scenario Edit option that JerseyJohn has suggessted, it is with the understanding that it does limit the "what if" factor, since manpower limits are variable based on how they are used.

Anyway, my point was, we should be able to design an economic system that has multiple resources, limits the units built based on manpower and limits the economic growth by certain strategic factors.

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I'm all for making the scenario editor as powerful as possible. From Hubert's point of view it has the added plus that much of the routine second guessing would be removed, players would be able to put into action, on their own, many of the things they badger him about.

A few more map features in the editor would be good for the same reason: instead of bothering Hubert about perceived shortcomings such as a lack of harbors, players could simply add the ones they think are missing and test the results.

If they economy goes awry as a result it would be an education.

Manpower in Nazi Germany was stretched to the limit very early on, as you indicate through the use of the word volunteers . The nazi ideal was to have their women producing and raising a new generation of nazis rather than working in the factories. The only way they saw to get around this was slave laborers.

Complicating matters even further was their arrogant mindless brutality and inefficient use of these poor wretches. Beyond that, as you mentioned in another forum, is the fact they didn't bother to switch over to a war economy till very late in the war.

It would be very difficult to put all of that into any game but the ideas being discussed in these constructive forums -- regardless of how far back a particular forum has dropped I still consider it being discussed -- are steps in the right direction.

Summing up these scattered thoughts as they relate to the present topic, extending greater freedom for players to explore their own ideas through the scenario and map editor would:

(1) Cut down radically the number of unproductive suggestions* offered to Hubert.

(2) Raise the level of remaining suggestions that are offered and --

(3) Leave Hubert considerably freer to explore his own newest ideas without the burdensome basic requests (How about another port -- too many airfleets -- etc..) he's so often bombarded with. The player body themselves would answer such requests with referrals to the expanded editor! smile.gif

So what about SC 3 already? :eek:

*By unproductive suggestions I mean issues in the nature of tweaking basic game elements already in the game.

At this point I think productive issues are those beyond the present game and relating to future game mechanics. These would include improvements to units, resources, the game economic model, use of diplomacy, orientation of minors, changes in research -- all of them very interesting topics, among others I neglected to mention, that are currently being discussed extensively but pertain only to SC 2.

The expanded editor would be the final touch for SC 1.

[ March 04, 2003, 09:58 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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  • 1 month later...

Jersey John, Excellent post.

I would also like to see added to the editor multiple (% chance) movement goals for units upon activation to give some guidance to the AI.

Example: Greece is activated. 30% Unit 1 moves to hex xxx1 and Unit 2 moves to xxx2.

Example: 50% French Army leaves fortification to move to hex xxx6 and then Paris corps moves to occupy maginot line hex xxx3 on turn 1.

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Glad you like it. Agreed on your random idea with the neutral troops but if it depends upon them starting out with supplies the example cited would have problems. The two Greek Mountain armies start out unsupplied and immobile! There was a different Topic discussing players being able to alter the starting locations of troops in neutral nations without activating them. I think this would be a comparatively minor upgrade in the scenario editor and hopefully that would be added as well.

*Map Editor and Troop Placement for Non-starting Nations in the Expanded Campaign Editor.

[ May 01, 2003, 10:47 PM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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I forgot about those cold, frostbitten, hungry Greek troops in the mountains facing Albania bring out of supply and out of gas.

The editor idea is a favorite with me, but I have not idea how much effort it would take Hubert to write the programming code to make the suggested changes.

I might be wrong about this, depending on the path finding algorithim that SC uses, but it might be easier to write canned movement strategies for the AI with variable triggers.

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I missed this posting the first time, but nonetheless an important one.

The limit of how many ships, planes, artillery and tanks was a matter of industry, defense of the industry, moral, natural resources, technology, and manpower, and yes also time (schedules). Units should be developed in home country cities. These cities should be protected and suplies by owned natural resource hexes (mines and coal, oil, and factories). No oil no planes or tanks, no resources no steel, no steel no nothing. Italy aways clamered that it did not have enough steel, and Hilter was aways stingy with his steel supply.

I can't bomb Berlin now because it's suicide to bomb it from England, plus bombers can't travel that far until way late in the game, bombers can't defend themselves because it's aways daytime, no night bombing.

Getting back to limits on units, I agree Jersey John there should be unit limits. The other problem is how many planes is a fighter unit? bomber? Battleship? Panzer? Sub? This makes them a like a chessman!

SC has the best plaibility of any strategy wargame yet, still there is a ways too go!

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Agreed on all counts.

To begin with, I've found in my own scenarios that when I give the Brits LR Aircraft+2 in 1939 there's no end to the bellyaching. Yet, as you so correctly mention, during the Battle of Britain British night bombers were consistantly hitting Berlin and were inadvertantly a factor in German-Soviet relations when Molotov personally experienced an air raid. When Ribbentrop told him Britain was on it's last legs, Molotov pointed to the bomb shelter's ceiling and asked, "Yes, and who do those bombers belong to?"

There have been numerous efforts to pin down the number of men and machines contained in various units. Some of them seem pretty good. I'm sure there would have been wide variation between the various nations.

Also agreed on the matter of units requiring time to be completed and, of course they should be built in the homecountry. A possible exception might be warships; there's no reason they couldn't be built or more ofteh completed (from captured hulls) in occupied countries. As usual, there have been threads on this as well, but I'll need to find them.

The schedule issue was why, a while back, I referred to MPPs as Magic Production Points -- You pay your money and poof! anything, even a BB or CV suddenly appears!

The reason SC is so playable is because it cuts a lot of corners and takes a lot of realism license. The funny thing is most players don't really seem to care about these things. :confused: Ease of play at the cost of over simplification is staunchly defended.

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ease of play at the cost of over simplification [realism?} is staunchly defended
And that is why your (Jersey John's] idea of a powerful scenario editor is so useful. With more flexibility in the scenario editor, plus the kind of options Bill Macon suggested, players who are looking for realism can more closely approximate what they perceive as real-life conditions. And those who like playing SC as a game can leave things at the highest possible levels of abstraction.

[ May 02, 2003, 06:33 AM: Message edited by: santabear ]

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S-Bear and J-John, I hope that the Scenario Editor will become more powerful as you have suggested John. Would solve a lot of my problems, well not my problems, twenty years of theropy and five years of golf lesson would help.

My hadicap has gone from 9.1 to 11.6, aaargh, and well the other problems........

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On this topic, i have to say only one thing.

Lately i have written a paper game on 2nd WW, based somewhere between 3R, SC and other similar games, but i came out with a new economic style.

Each nation produces a set amount of points (in '39 scenario i gave 200 to germany and usa, 140 to uk, 60 to commonwealth, 110 to france and some less to italy and japan), but each nation has a different percentage of points expendable in a few directions.

I mean, urss can use up to 60% of her points in infantry units, up to 30% in industrial powering up and so on with tanks, navy, air, diplomacy, supplies and lend leases.

Not only, some nation has minimum requirements: for example, USA has to spend at least 10% of her earnings gearing up industries, while Germany, for her military doctrines, has to spend 10 or 5% in navy, air and tanks.

We made a couple of tests, in one USA entered the war in summer 1940, so i had to tweak a bit diplomacy issues, but now i believe the system works correctly... (by the way, in the other test i was france, the german player opted for a direct assault on the maginot, that allowed me to resist much longer, but in the end his tanks are reaching Paris...)

Hope this is of some interest.

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Exactly right, in effect it would make SC a lot of different games for a lot of different people. Additionally they'd have the freedom to change their views and alter their settings.


I saw a great book dealing with the special issues you described. It's called Plato, Not Prossac! but I didn't catch the author. I was thinking of buying it myself but decided neurosis and paranoia are more fun than sanity. :D


Sounds interesting -- I gather this is a hex based boardgame. Wonder what it would take to convert it into a PC game with AI? smile.gif

[ May 03, 2003, 03:27 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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No hex-based, JJ! Game is based on a European map, divided in "fronts". So France is divided in 3 parts, Eastern France from Paris to the Maginot, Vichy France (you know what this is!) and Western France what remains. So you can have all the "stacking" you can muster ;)

Additionally, each unit has Attack, Defence and HP values, where attack is a dice value, while defence and hp are fixed; i found this setting more interesting and amusing than fixed force tables and so on.

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