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Free French Fleet Test

Dan Fenton

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I was of the opinion, based on a previous post, despite what the manual says, that French Fleets would only convert to Free French in UK controlled Mediterranean ports.

I decided to run a test of ten identically saved games each under five different sets of conditions to determine the truth. All relevant setting were: Expert and with the Free French option on. I expected a conversion rate of somewhat less than base 40% due to the Expert setting.

The set one French Fleet locations were the UK port of Firth, Brest in France adjacent to a UK unit, at sea by Arcachon near a UK ground unit and the French Colonial port of Mers El Kabir. Contrary to my expectations, after ten loadings and replaying the same turn, eventually a fleet converted to Free French in each location. The average was 20% for being in a port and 10% for being at sea tieing the next poorest overall rate. The best record of this group was at Firth for 30%.

The set two locations were the same. I realized that the presence of UK units in the adjacent French ports made the ports UK instead of French, at the time of conversion. I wondered if removing the UK ground units would make a difference. It did, but not in the manner that I expected. Brest tied for second in the all sets record best at 40%. Firth was 30% again, while the at sea unit went from a previous 10% to 30%. I noticed with the UK units gone, the Germans ran toward the ports with ground units and a HQ. I remembered JerseyJohn's post regarding a Malta French HQ and all French Fleets around it then converting to Free French. My results suggested that if French Fleets are within the command range of any HQ, friendly or hostile, the fleet's chances of conversion increased by 20%.

The set three locations tested that HQ theory and another theory that the area West of and including Gibraltar was a "cursed" area. With a nearby UK HQ, the Firth port conversion went from a previous average of 20% to 30%. The port of Gibraltar had a conversion rate of 10%, tieing the next to record lowest in set one.

The set four locations tested at sea posistions in the Mediterranean. As expected, the Western off Gibraltar location had the worse conversion of the entire test, 0%. Meanwhile the Eastern off Gibraltar area had a 30% conversion. This suggests that port of Gibraltar and the area West of Gibraltar is truly cursed for the conversion of French Fleets. On the other hand the off Malta location had a odd 30% conversion compared to the set three in Malta port rate of 20%.

The fifth and final set were a test of the Eastern Mediterranean UK sea areas and ports. My theory was that this was a rich area for conversion. My tests confirmed this. There was a 30% conversion off Alexandria, a 40% conversion in Alexandria, a whopping record 50% conversion at sea near Suez and a disappointing 10% conversion in Suez itself.

My test results suggest that normally being in a port gives an extra 10% chance of conversion. Being within the command range of any HQ gives a 10-20% bonus. The luckiest places were the port of Alexandria and the at sea areas nearby it. The port of Gibraltar and the sea area West of it and the port of Suez, seemed cursed with a 20% penalty to the normal rate of conversion.

Has anyone else had similar results or experiences?

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My best result was having a French HQ at Malta and he was surrounded by the entire French Fleet with no vacant hexes between them and a French BB in the port. They ALL became Free French! Needless to say a pleasant windfall.

In other games, most games, I've had no French vessels become French French. Usually it tends to be on the low side in my games, so I never count on them.

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My test results suggest that normally being in a port gives an extra 10% chance of conversion. Being within the command range of any HQ gives a 10-20% bonus.
Maybe we have an undocumented feature here. We'll have to get Hubert to fess up. Ve haf vays of making you talk, yes?

Problem is that even after a series of tests, statistically there's a chance that you're going to see these results without any bonuses factored in. So it's very difficult to dismiss what the manual says is happening.

Btw, good to see you made it onto the forum Dan. That background check wasn't too hard, was it? ;)

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Bill, you are very correct about the possibility of a statistical anomaly. That is why I framed my conclusion as a suggestion and not as hard facts. That is also why I asked others if their experiences were the same. I want to see if my conclusion is on the right track.

As for registering, I contacted Moon, as you suggested Bill. He got back with me promptly. When I tried to register again, everything worked properly.

The really big suprise was the possibility that any HQ in command range might have a beneficial effect on conversion. I have JerseyJohn to thank for that. If it had not been for his French Malta HQ post earlier, I would have ignored the fact that a German HQ consistantly moved near some of my French test fleets. But when my conversion results were significantly and unexpectedly improved, I had to come up with a reason. Thanks JerseyJohn!

Out of fifty tests, I did have two tests that resulted in all four French Fleets converting to Free French. However, there were a lot of zero conversion results. My average seemed to be one of four fleets converted per test.

Kenfedoroff, I have not personally seen it happen. I did not think that it could as I thought that ground units had separate rules for converting. Therefore, I did not test for it. However, prior to this test I had several strong beliefs concerning Free French conversion (Bill knows) and some were just proven wrong.

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It is true! French ground units in transports at sea convert to Free French at apparently the same rate as French naval ships at sea.

On a hunch based on Kenfedoroff's comments,I ran a modified version of my saved game Group Four Free French Naval conversion test. In this version, I transported two French corps out to sea near Malta, just before the fall of France. After ten test runs, one corps converted to Free French three times and the other corps converted two times. That is an average conversion rate of 25%, which is about what I am getting with most ships at sea which are not near HQ's. On one test run, all four French naval ships converted and all two transporting French corps converted. I, of course did have some zero conversion test runs.

Oddly, this time the West Gibraltar Fleet converted at a 40% rate, calling into question my West of Gibraltar cursed conversion area theory. Also, the within UK HQ command range Firth fleet had only a 30% conversion rate, which is not as good as predicted by my previous HQ bonus theory.

The only possible significant possible variable in my latest test was that I had completely uninstalled Strategic Command, reinstalled it and then installed only the lastest 1.07 Beta patch. My prior configuration had been with many patches installed up to and including the last two Beta 1.07's.

Thank you very much Kenfedoroff, for your observation!

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This thread got me thinking about the effect of Canada.

So I moved 3 French units to Canada and 4 fleets to its shores.

Test 1: All 3 French Units vanished when Paris fell to the Germans. All 4 French Fleets Survived.

Test 2: 2 of 4 French Fleets survived

The naval results are probably due to chance, but heck, if the French army units made it all the way to Canada shouldn't they become Free French too or at least have a 25% to 50% of becoming Free French if in Canada when Paris Falls.

[ May 28, 2003, 05:54 PM: Message edited by: Edwin P. ]

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