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SC Economic Analysis

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As mentioned in one of the other threads, alot of the suggestions and improvements stem from some believing that the MPP numbers are skewed in favor of the Axis. I would like to take a look at this, but from a slighty different viewpoint than normally seen on these threads.

If we were to take the approach that a game designer would, we would have to do research utilizing source material relevant to the economic production of the major and minor nations involved in WWII. While that can be very enlighting though time consuming, not to mention somewhat boring, lets cheat a little. I propose that we piggyback on the research already done by looking at how other Grand Strategy WWII games handle it.

Lets compare the economic systems of Third Reich, Clash of Steel and High Command to SC. Third Reich even today, is probably the best economic simulation of WWII. Clash of Steel at one time was the best Grand Strategy WWII there was, while High Command tried to gain that claim to fame. War in Europe, World in Flames have a lower operational level (ie division) than the others, nor as a complete system do I think they compare to the others, so I am bypassing them. Pacific War is a different theater. Hitlers War I have no knowledge of. Other than that, I don't think there are any others who tackled Grand Strategy in WWII. Kinda sad when you consider I've covered about 20 or so years of board and computer games.

If you think there are others and you have experience with them, then feel free to do the same comparison I am doing with each game.

I will cover Third Reich first, in another post.



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You might also consider throwing Hearts of Iron into the mix, Barry. I haven't had time to do more than scratch the surface with the game but perhaps others can comment on it. It is the Europa Unversalis engine brought up to the WW2 era (1936-1948), grand strategy on a global scale.

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Third Reich

Economic unit in 3R was the BRP... Basic Resource Point. Used to purchase units, pay for declarations of war, and offensive actions. Nations also had a growth percentage, which was used to increase your base BRP numbers. So basically you had economic growth thru saving or conquest. Economic unit in SC is obviously MPP.

If I have made some mistakes in my numbers, please feel free to correct me.








Minor Nation 15 to 30 BRP (can't remember)



I have since edited the above table to reflect the Third Reich BRP for the '42 and '44 scenarios. German numbers for '42 and '44 include Finland, Bulgaria, Hungary, etc (around 45 BRP). Please note that all of the comments below are in comparision to the 1939 numbers. These later scenarios point out that the British and USA have some serious MPP problems, since IT investment does not give them this order of magnitude growth. It is even worse when you consider that certain minors could fall under Axis control, but more on that later.


These are the 1939 numbers. Minor nations gave no plunder, and you gained half of thier production if you conquered them. While greatly simplfying the strategies, basically Germany would gain its BRP's thru conquest and USA thru savings. If you saved your BRP's, you got whatever you saved multplied by your growth %. There was no growth in '39 or '40.

I propose that the "growth factor thru saving" equivalent in SC is investing in Industrial Tech. And if any of you want to figure it out, you could compare the 3R growth rates with the IT 5% reduction for 5 levels.

So Germany in 3R would just about double its base number before having to fight Russia ('41), as well as getting about an additional 45 BRP from the Minor Axis nations (Finland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania). Historically accurate, and just about what any sane Axis player would do. In SC, German player gets his growth thru conquest, though he could attempt to put MPP into IT, or a combination of both. So if you followed the historical path, you would be around the same (economy doubled), with no investment in IT. Not too far apart from what I can see.

Now of course you have the ability in SC to do the "what if's". Taking out Sweden, Spain, Portugal and even poor little Switzerland. And at what price? Earlier entry of the USA into the war, and if you really mess up, the USSR. Earlier entry would result in the Allied research chits having more turns for level increases. Someone want to figure those probabilities? Big problem with this scenario is that the German production is now about four times what it started at. It is a problem, but not a problem that should be solved by reducing the plunder.

Notice the BIG difference between the numbers for the USSR? SC has already assumed that the US will give support to the USSR (not to mention the British). Don't forget that 3R was designed in the mid 70's. As someone tried to point out in some of the earlier posts, more current research has increased what people thought the USSR produced. SC also gives the US two (2) research chits and the USSR three (3) research chits. So if you wanted to follow the historical path, the US research should all go into IT, and the USSR chits should go into IT, armor, with the third going into your choice (ie anti-tank, long range air, maybe even jets).

Notice that the British BRP's are slightly higher relative to the SC MPP? I've included the 30 MPP that Canada provides in the SC total. It appears that the British have been shorted in SC, especially since if we assume that USSR is getting US aid, so should the British.

People say the US MPP is too low. If we assume that lend lease is going to the Brits and USSR, then maybe not. Is it too low for the US player to build a military so he can invade Europe before '44? Sure is, unless you get lucky and the Axis make some BIG mistakes. So if the US needs to sit tight for a year or so and build up, guess what.... the War in the East is critical, because if USSR falls too early, then the Allies are toast. And as someone pointed out, it forces you to be conservative with the US and British units, since you cannot afford to lose and rebuild them.

Italy in SC terms, is much better off than the Italy in 3R. And here again is one of the beauties of SC... Italy instead of being a poor stepchild to the Germans, gets to be the younger brother. And if big brother is real nice (ie letting Italy conquer and plunder nations in the Baltic sphere), it could actually become a brother you would be proud of. Nice touch huh?

So what does all this mean? If we assume that the economic model in 3R is historically accurate, then SC has done a wonderful job of giving us a model that could be historically accurate in addition to allowing us our what if's. So can Germany increase its economic base to be equivalent to the Allies in the early years? Yes. But only if the Axis player is aggressive thru plunder and conquest. The same strategical considerations and options that Hitler had.

Think the Axis plunder is too high? Ok, tell me how much plunder does the Axis player get, then compare it against the 1250 MPP's the Allied player gets in research chits. Not to mention the "war bonus" in MPP's that the Allies get. If the numbers are way out of line, then maybe we should ask for a patch... or do some campaign mod's. Otherwise, maybe we should leave it as it is, and stop trying to play the Allied the same way as the Axis.

Should Iraq be part of the British Commonwealth? Unless I've missed something, or my numbers are wrong (which since I've edited this post once already, it may be), since the British are slighted (no US aid), this would help to make up the loss.

In summary, I think, that again, if 3R is the measurement, SC is not out of balance, with the exception of the British.

Ok, flame away at my analysis. Next one will be Clash of Steel, but lets see what you think of this one.



[ January 26, 2003, 03:17 PM: Message edited by: Shaka of Carthage ]

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Barry, wonderful evaluation. I've not played these games so I cannot be critical, but its just an example of what I've been saying. HC, I know your listening, what an opportunity. This forum has such compelling dedication to the baby(SC) you created, you cannot help but succeed with SC2,3 ... Failure is beyond comprehension, I've seen this environment before. So what say yee, where are we going?

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Barry, wonderful evaluation. I've not played these games so I cannot be critical, but its just an example of what I've been saying. HC, I know your listening, what an opportunity. This forum has such compelling dedication to the baby(SC) you created, you cannot help but succeed with SC2,3 ... Failure is beyond comprehension, I've seen this environment before. So what say yee, where are we going?

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Steve C

I'm familiar with what HoI is, but I have not purchased it. Call me biased, but from what I have seen and read, it would appear that HoI is really nothing more than Civilization style game set in a WWII era, that does Real Time.

Of course, if you have the game, you could gather the relevant information on what the relative economic ratings of the different nations are. smile.gif

[ January 27, 2003, 02:55 AM: Message edited by: Shaka of Carthage ]

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Clash of Steel

At one time, this was considered the best grand strategy WWII game there was. If you amended this to say the best "computerized" grand strategy WWII game, I would agree with you. Third Reich was designed as a paper board game, with the limitations that implied. Clash of Steel on the other hand, was designed from the beginning to use a computer. In some respects, it is what Computerized Third Reich should have been.

Economic unit was the Production Point (PP). Kinda like a BRP or MPP. The main difference was that in addition to cities and industrial zones giving you PP's, convoy's also supplied you various number of PP's. This was an important concept, since for example, the British PP total was 15, but only 3 of them came from the British Isles. So if you were British, the control of the sea meant everything to you. The other important concept was the Industrial Modifier. This reflected the efficency and/or growth of the economy as well as the conversion from a consumer to a wartime footing.

COS also tried to make a distinction between what the PP represented, without splitting the PP into different type of economic units (High Command, as you will see, took a totally different approach). Hence, during Strategic Bombing, you could target industrial, oil or the harbors. Industrial damage made the units cost more; oil damage reduced the movement points of the units; and harbor damage reduced the supply available to the naval units (actually caused naval units to potentially suffer some damage).








German base number was 12, with 2 added for the Swedish "convoy" and 2 for Romania. Poland was worth 3, but is not included in the 1939 number. In 1942, the German economy expanded thru conquest by the addition of the Poland, France/Benelux, giving a new base of 28. Industrial Modifier for '42 was 20% increase. German modifier in '44 was 100% increase.

France base number included the Low Countries (ie Benelux).

British base of 15 was modified down to 8 (to reflect UK economy not at full wartime potential). They received 15 from Lend Lease later on. There Industrial Modifier in 1942 was 20%. In 1944 modifer was 60%.

US base number of 15 was once the US entered the war. The Industrial Modifier in 1939 for the US was 0 (no wartime footing). In 1942, modifier was 50% increase. Don't forget that at the same time it was sending 15 to British and 8 to Russia thru Lend Lease (1/2 of what it was producing for European Theater). By 1944, the modifier was 400% increase. Yep, not a typho, not 40%, 400%. .

Russian base number of 40, was modified down to 10. Not until Russia was put on a war footing, was the full 40 available. Lend Lease value of 8 is included as part of that 40. Industrial Modifier in 1942 was 60%, in 1944 80%.

Please remember that the '42 and '44 numbers are potential numbers, assuming the base economy was still intact. Does not reflect any losses or gains thru conquest or diplomacy.

Regarding Lend Lease... British (actually UK) received $31.3 billion dollars. The Soviets got $11.3 billion. These are 1940 dollars. Reflected above by the British getting 15, while the USSR got 8 PP's from the US (total of 23). This represented 1/2 in '42 and 1/3 in '44 of what the US produced for the European Theater. It makes you wonder what the heck the Japanese were thinking when they decided to go to war with US.

Poor, poor Italy. 3R has them at 1/2 of German economy, while COS has them at 1/3rd. And while 3R allowed the Italians the ability to increase their economic base by 20%, COS gave them nothing. Is SC too generous to Italy? Especially since they do have the potential to expand thru conquest and plunder? At one time, the British considered the Americans there "Italians", because of there poor showing during the fighting in North Africa. Wonder if the source documents were written to show the Italians in a poor light.

I'm going to post what I have now, and leave my comparison comments to later (it is late, I am somewhat "alchol impaired" and I need to hit the rack).

I will be doing High Command next, but it may have to wait until a few days, since there are quite a few numbers to deal with and multiple economic units.

[ January 27, 2003, 09:52 PM: Message edited by: Shaka of Carthage ]

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I propose that we piggyback on the research already done by looking at how other Grand Strategy WWII games handle it.
This is an excellent approach. I like 3R, but find it difficult to reconcile all of the economic differences between that and SC. COS seems like a better match, but I don't have experience playing that game. If the concensus of COS players is that its economic model was good, then SC2 should make some adjustments in that direction. Looking forward to the High Command summary and a final comparison.

Assuming the scale/scope of SC2 will remain about the same, I would prefer to see the following:

- Keep it simple and keep the abstract MPP rather than multiple resources.

- Normalize production on a per-month basis or some standard. Current variable turn system has greater production in summer than winter which is not technically correct.

- Significantly reduce plunder or eliminate it altogether. Immediate gains are unrealistic.

- Allow MPP transfers between countries to simulate Lend Lease and Murmansk Convoys.

Based on a comparison of the other games, it should be possible to establish what the expected MPP values *should* be at various points in the game and then adjust resource values accordingly. Two things can help make this happen (just suggestions, specific numbers can be worked out later):

- Allow certain resources to have variable worth. US and USSR resources could start at 50% and increase 25% each year. Early German conquests in Russia would have limited value while the rest of Russia would grow stronger each year.

- Allow each nation to have individual IT growth rates. US and USSR could have 10% per tech level rather than 5%. This would permit realistic growth, but be random enough to ensure replayability.

To compensate for plunder, Germany could start with low-strength cadre units which could be built up in time for France in spring 1940. This would go a long way to "fixing" the gamey problem of both sides trying to take the Low Countries early. The economic game should be one of long-term thinking, rather than short-term rewards.

This is an excellent thread to start hashing out some of these ideas for SC2 so that the economic model is more realistic and historically correct. A comprehensive analysis of the other games would be most useful.

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As originally posted by Bill Macon:

- Allow certain resources to have variable worth. US and USSR resources could start at 50% and increase 25% each year. Early German conquests in Russia would have limited value while the rest of Russia would grow stronger each year.

- Allow each nation to have individual IT growth rates. US and USSR could have 10% per tech level rather than 5%. This would permit realistic growth, but be random enough to ensure replayability.

Two excellent ideas Mr Bill, somewhat similar to the 3R and A3R economic models. As a long-time player and admirer of that particular game, I don't believe you could go far wrong in adapting some variation of their most successful features.

How about this? Separate the city values from the industrial values.

Assuming a somewhat larger map for SC2, you could then use the city values for manpower alone (... so that you would have a restraint on the size of any one countrie's armed forces) and have factory icons mostly (... or, only) representing the industrial (MPP) output.

Of course, these factories and resource hexes (... ore & oil, etc) would be of much HIGHER value, say - in the range of 20-50 MPP each, which would incidentally serve to make the strategic bombing potentially more devastating. It's another topic for discussion, but in this event you would have to pay for specific Anti-Aircraft upgrades for each industrial icon.

I surely agree that some mechanism is needed to more closely model the growth factors, especially in regard to USA and Russia. 3R had the variable growth ratios, and so in SC2 we might consider a way to represent "investment" in infrastructure and actual expansion of industry and/or better machine tooling. This could be limited to the home country which would limit the extent of any planned expansions.

One other way to modify factory output would be to put a number on its *EFFICIENCY* (... whether this might take the form of invisible computer ops, or some factor that might be manipulated by the player could be optional).

For example, you could say that all Ruhr valley or Great Lakes industries operate at 90% +, whereas captured industry in Poland or borrowed industry in Rumania would be in the 40-70% range. This would also serve the purpose of toning down those captured resources. :cool:

For this idea, you could also allow a research category called something like - "Improved Organizational Techniques," or some such. I realize some will assail this as too much micro management, but really, it would merely require a few seconds consideration at various intervals in the game.

I don't mind the plunder, though I would advocate that it be less than it is, since this fairly represents "momentum" or "initiative." Not all MPPs need be considered merely material in nature. It could be a kind of psychological impetus (... values of "resources" being immaterial as well as material).

Anyway, just a few thoughts on this issue. No doubt there are many other possibilities. smile.gif

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High Command

Here we have another game, like Clash of Steel, that was designed from the beginning for use on a computer. What was its problem? The AI. It was retarded... sorry, I just insulted all of the mentally challenged people out there. Really, the AI was worse than that.

We now move away from the realms of the single economic unit (like BRP or MPP). We have now entered into the realm of five (5) different measures of a nations economic strength. And this doesn't take into consideration the manpower. Since all of these numbers are broken down by city (a huge number of cities), I made have made a typo somewhere and included their totals in the wrong Major power. I'll comment on that if appropriate.

Here are the economic values for High Command.

.....Indus Prod...Ship Prod...Oil...Mines...Econ







These numbers are not in the above.

UK Imports............... 70 oil and 55 Mine.

German Imports (S.Amer).. 20 oil

Yugo...................... 5 mine... 20 econ

Rumania...................105 oil... 20 econ

Iraq/Iran.................275 oil... 20 econ

Hungary....................15 oil... 20 econ

Egypt......................25 oil... 10 econ

Denmark....................40 ship.. 10 econ

Benelux....................25 mine.. 10 econ

Algeria....................15 mine.. 5 econ

Albania.....................5 oil....10 econ

You use some or all of the above to produce units, improve production facilities, develop resources, perform R&D and invest in the general economy. Strategic Bombing can attack any of the above except for the general economy (ie economic number). The general economy is used to invest in R&D, Rocket development, and Atomic bomb. Half of your economic value had to be invested back into the economy, otherwise any number below that caused a recession (economy shrank), while any number above that caused the economic growth. R&D investment also had a chance of increasing economic growth.

What is wonderful about this, is that you can see the economic necessisty for some of the reasons why certain actions were taken.


The iron ore coming from Sweden was critical to its economy (I think I have those numbers already included in the German totals). So as long as the ore flowed, Sweden was fine. Threaten it, even indirectly, as Germany would act (ie Norway). While the synthetic oil refineries in Germany produced half of its oil, it still needed the oil it got from Russia thru trade. Also imported from South America, but the Allies cut that source off. So once it loses the oil from Russia, it needs the Rumanian oil even worse. Where else could it get oil? From middle east thru Vichy France. So if it invaded Vichy, the extra production did not make up for the loss of oil. Or it could try to increase its synthetic oil production. If any of those oil sources could be reduced or eliminated, the German economy came to a standstill.


Big fleet, and had the ability to match France in terms of building ships (be it merchants or warships). Got its oil from the Middle East. Once war started, the Allies cut them off. Now they are desperate, since they have to beg for oil from Germany... otherwise, the Navy no moves. If only they had known about the Libyan oil.


Sitting pretty. All of its needs can be met from within. Once war with Japan started, it was concerned cause of the threat it posed to some of the specific resources it needed. So its only European concern was to provide what its allies needed. Understand now why the US pulled the 100 or something aircraft it had from the Atlantic to Pacific during a time when they were the only aircraft that could cover "the black hole"? You gotta look out for number one before you look out for others.


Big problems. We need Merchant ships, to keep our raw materials (oil and minerals) flowing, not to mention the TEA... my goodness, did someone forget to stockpile the TEA? But if we build merchants, we can't build warships. U-boats are sinking our merchants left and right. And some chap named Montgomery wants us to build a bigger Army? Tell him to come back in a year or two.


Looking good... looking good. What do you mean we don't know how to build anything? Who said that!? Shoot him! Resources, but no infrastructure or economy to support it.

So what we have here, is an attempt to create a realistic economic model. They also attempted this with the Diplomatic model.

Now the problem... how do we convert this into any meaniful comparision with 3R and SC? We don't.



[ January 30, 2003, 11:37 PM: Message edited by: Shaka of Carthage ]

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High Command (cont)

Fooled you... didn't I? If I could have only seen the looks on your faces.

Ok... how to take the multiple economic units and make them one unit? First lets see what these units are.

Industrial production and Shipbuilding production can loosely translate into Steel production. The type of steel production that produces heavy equipment, like artillery, tanks and ships... or consumer goods like tractors or automobiles. While we lose the distinction between ground and sea, we just have to assume these factories are competent enough to switch production as needed. :(

Economic values... This is the general economy. If Steel production is the "heavy" industry, then this is the "light" industry. And while not entirely correct, this is the economy that produces your aircraft. So we will take 1/2 of that number, and add it to the Steel production. You didn't forget that 1/2 of this is needed for investment to keep the economy stable did you?

Btw, one day I WILL use the spell checker.

Now the raw materials. Assuming mines are reflective of iron ore, alloying ores, and aluminum ores. Oil... we know what that is, but don't forget that until it is processed it is worthless to us. Thats when I get my gasoline and aviation fuel. Vasoline? In the 60's (Mrs. Robinson!) plastic, and other wonderful stuff. One of the things the Russians got from lend-lease was high octane fuel, which though they had the oil, they did not have the ability to process... and we are talking 89 octane? fuel if I remember right. But I digress. Ok... raw materials. I think I will leave them out of the calculation. If the Industrial production was not in place to process them, they in and by themselves were worthless. But since SC does show mine and oil sites, lets file this away for later inclusion.

So, what number do we have now? Let us call this the HCP.


US........ 1090..........180






I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now that we have our single economic unit, we can do some comparisons, but before that, we have one more thing to do. We have to convert the numbers into thier equivalents. You know, so instead of apples and oranges and pears... we are comparing apples to apples to apples.

I will do that next, but I need to hit the rack first. Until tommorrow.



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Here is an interesting article if found in "The Historic Encyclopedia of World War II".

Numbers in US Billions of Dollars for 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945: and total.

USA, 1.0, 1.0, 4.5, 23.5, 37.5, 50.5, 40.0: 158.0.

UK , 3.5, 4.0, 6.5, 8.5, 11.1, 12.0, 7.4: 53.0.

USSR, 3.5, 7.0, 8.5, 10.0, 13.9, 14.1, 10.0: 67.0.

France, 2.5, 3.5, 0, 0, 0, .5, .5: 7.0.

German, 5.0, 6.0, 6.0, 9.8, 13.8, 16.5, 7.9: 65.0.

Italy, 1.0, 1.0, 1.5, 1.5, 1.0: 6.0.

Their diagram does not show Allied or Axis minors.

Notice that the United States in 1944 produces almost as much as UK in one year, than UK's 7 years.

If you use these numbers, Germany has to win the war before 1944 or she is burried by economic might!

[ January 31, 2003, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: SeaWolf_48 ]

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Ok Barry, I nominate you to design the economic format for SC2. I will only digress with one of your statements although somewhat accurate. Oil is useful before it's processed; it can be used in its raw form as bunker fuel for ship's boilers. FYI the high octane fuel was leaded alkylate, 120 octane used in high performance (supercharged) engines of WW2 aircraft. Petroleum is easily refined in a first cut application, we can even do it at "The Still" if we wished, but we don't like our white lightening with an oil taste.

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Ok, I have converted everything to a MPP equivalent. Couple of ways to view this, so let me post the numbers for all the nations, then do a nation by nation analysis.

Germany was used as the standard, so conversion factor was based on the two game systems ratio of German production.

Remember, everything is in MPP numbers, 1939.








Now for the comments on the nations.

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Lets talk about its relative strength to Germany. 3R has it as 50%, COS at 36% and HC at 80%. About the only consensus is that Italy should be weaker than Germany. So what historically was Italy's weakness? Lack of oil. Without it, its economy (from a war materials viewpoint) cannot function. Once it entered the war, it lost its access to the Middle East oil it was dependent on. So its economy would generate war materials based on the amount of oil that Germany provided her. I tend to believe the the differences between the different game systems, is in how they interpet the weakness of Italy without its oil.

As a cross check, I found the actual Steel production for each of these nations, 1939. I also obtained the Merchant shipping tonnage for 1939. Becomes worse for Italy, since it's steel production is only 11 or 12% of the German production. Merchant shipping she is much better off... 3 million tons, compared to Germany, which has almost 4 million tons. Only Norway (4 million), Japan (5 million), USA (9 million) and UK (18 million) have more.

Is the SC MPP number realistic? No. 60 MPP number would be better. Could give it 80 only if the game system dealt with the criticalness of oil. Germany needs to "lend-lease" support to Italy for it to play as a Major.

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I think you can figure out the relative percentages as compared to SC. France economically, is almost identical to Italy. Except that it has material resources coming from Algeria and it has access to Middle Eastern oil. Hence the general economy of France is stronger than Italy.

The MPP number France is assigned, really doesn't matter, since it won't survive. Coulda, woulda, shoulda doesn't matter. Key though is that Germany does not get direct access to the French oil.

Vichy France on the other hand is a different matter. It still has access to oil and material from North Africa. Problem is that its economic infrastructre is wrecked. So as a neutral, it needs to trade its oil to survive, and hope it is left alone to rebuild itself.

Is the SC MPP realistic? No. But if Italy gets bumped, then so should France. Which points out that those two numbers are probably more a reflection of playability than reality.

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Now things get interesting. 3R and SC are close. COS at first glance is more than twice SC. But since half of that is US Aid, it becomes close to SC also. Only difference is with HC, which has a number that is 50% greater than SC. Commonwealth imports don't matter, since they are raw materials, not industrial production ability. Ahhh... I know what it is. Merchant shipping. The UK in 1939, led the world with 18 million tons of merchant shipping. From 1939 to 1941, 8.6 million tons were sunk. Was it all UK ships? Probably not. But the UK, totally dependent on imports to keep its economy going (no oil or not enough material), is probably cranking out merchant ships as fast as it could. Since in High Command, 2/3rd of the "steel" production are for shipping, it is not unreasonable to assume that our "missing" MPP's are dedicated to cranking out merchant ships.

Is the SC number realistic? Yes. With one condition... where is the US Lend-Lease aid? Without it, the UK economy cannot spend more on military, making up the consumer losses by the aid from the US.

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3R only has a 36 MPP difference. Not too big, but a significant difference. By 1944, due to growth, the US "should" be at 320 MPPs. So the US should be able to double its MPP once it enters the war. If we take the difference away, and say the US is at 180 MPP's, then that leaves me with 140 MPP's that I can "lend-lease". Guess what? Thats still not enough... since the "lend-lease" to USSR is somewhere around 400 MPP's. US doesn't have that. And the UK needs its 35 to 100 MPP "lend-lease" as well. So we have a 435 to 500 MPP difference. Titled towards the Allies.

US numbers in COS are less than SC. We already know that 128 MPP's are going to the UK. The Soviet "lend-lease" is 69 MPP's. Thats 197 MPP's going to "lend-lease"... which is suppossed to make the US around 326 MPP's. So I have 197 MPP's going out in "lend-lease". Leaves me with 129. Even when you adjust the base numbers by the COS Industrial modifier, not until 1944 does the US MPP total grow large enough to give the MPP's to Russia and grow beyond what the SC base number for the US is (to US "net" of 300 MPP).

HC basically flips it. The HC US number is the same as the SC Russian number. The HC Russian number is the same as the HC US number. HC has "scenario" growth factor, problem that there are three (3) different percentages for the five economic units. Gist is that your industrial production can increase by 1.5 ('43) or 2 ('44)times, while your other resources only get a 30 to 40% increase for those years.

So what do we have? SC is taking the numbers that the US would have, and is giving them to Russia. It does so in much more generous terms than 3R does. COS automates it also, but gives the lionshare of the lend-lease to the UK. HC and SC are almost identical in MPP equivalents... but gives the US the MPP's that SC gives to the Russians. Different game systems and playability.

What about "balance"? Does SC favor the Axis? No. At least not because of the initial MPP setup, and not even until 1941, when the Russians get involved. If anything, the Russians get more MPP's than historical. But it is hard to give an absolute answer to this, until we talk about the Germans.

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According to 3R, they are a 70 to 90 MPP nation.

COS is more generous, giving them 343 MPP's (of which 69 of them are US lend-lease). Then in 1943 it takes off, with a 548 MPP economy. Then in 1944, it gets even better, with a 617 MPP economy. Even so, those numbers are not too far off from the base SC number of 480.

HC puts them back in the realms of 3R land. With a little bit more. Even so, they cannot get anywhere the numbers SC gives them. So while SC gives them the numbers automatically, in HC, the US has to give it to them, within the game. Different approach, to solving the same problem.

Back to the balance issue. Is SC balanced? Well at least we have the answer to where the UK lend-lease went. The Russians got it. US has its economic strength, but in SC it is automatically "lend-leased" to the Russians, even shorting the UK. Is it biased towards the Axis? No. But we need to talk about the Germans before we can be sure.

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Very interesting so far. I do think you must also look at starting forces for each side in MPP terms, as well as the fact some of the games give MPP (the term we are using) as soon as the game starts in 1939(Russia in 3R and COS come to mind).

Looking forward to Germany.

Thanks for the research. I'm playing 3R on the computer right now(with updated patches that improve the AI), as well as SC. Might even start up a game of COS and see how it compares.

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Wow! Some very technical stuff here...For what it's worth, I'd like to bounce off some of these ideas, particularly Bill Macon's, in part.

Having loved A3R, CoS and still loving SC (hated HC), some thoughts:

1) I like the idea of keeping it simple and letting MMP's stay simply as MMP's. Yes, oil was critical, but I would suggest just letting oil hexes have a high value of MMP's similar to now, but maybe as treble value (HOI's mishmash of resources required to put on a war effort makes me think of a misplace effort to incorporate Starcraft resource gathering - doesn't work).

2) COS and A3R allow the major powers to move and invest, while neutral. I liked that. It is limited, but effective (and reduces gambits).

3) Unused MMP's should be allowed to to be invested back into the basic infrastructure to increase the overall base: This would vary, based on the relative efficiency of country (Germany high, USA high, Italy low) - ala A3R.

Since the turns would be relatively monthly or some such, the percentage boost would be necessary low (around say average 3%).

4) Over time, the productivity of the hexes grow, ala CoS. Make it annually, and as a percentage. For example: USA has, throwing out a number...500 MMP's as a base. In 39, they operate at 20%, 40 at 40%, 41 at 60%. When they declare war, there is a 40% bump. At '42, at 20%, in 43 add 40%, in 44, add 80%. Something like that.

These are hypothetical numbers. I'm just trying to keep it simple.

5) Limit the manpower. Ala Cos. In CoS, if you want to make a new unit, you had to pay a higher price. If you wanted to rebuild a destroyed unit, it was cheaper, because it was reconstituting the elimianated unit. Unless, it was eliminated while surrounded, in which case it was a surrendered unit and you had to buy it all over again.

In SC2, you would have a given amount of units that you could buy at face value, and without delay (think the scroll bar in SC with the HQ's (by the way, if an HQ called Rommel dies, it shouldn't be able to be replaced). CoS did this ok, with an OOB, and it could be similar in SC2. If you wanted more or needed more sooner, you would pay a premium and have a wait time (This could be a good brake against making to many air fleets) (also, cool, would be to allow a bit more differentiation of units. CoS introduced very powerful SS units later in the game). anyways, I digress.

6) Lend Lease and Murmansk and convoys: I definitely think this should be incorporated, but you would have to go with sea zone naval and strategic (uboat) warfare. And there would definitely have to be a cost, depending on destination, weather and interception. Say Murmansk from the U. S. (As an aside, the US - or Britain and even Italy for that matter, would only be able to tranship so much per turn. These countries would have so much convoy MMP points at the beginning of the game. To increase MMP convoying capability, you would have to invest in it.. Anyways, Say Murmansk from the U. S.:

40 MMPs. 5% loss due to transhipment in summer, 10% in winter. Say there is interception. This could cost an additional amount of loss (as well as loss to the convory capacity). So maybe only 26 MMP's make it. On the next turn.

You could even implement this part for Germany, convoring MMP's from Sweden and possibly Norway.

Still though, I think it's pretty basic and easy to implement designer wise, and not a burden on playability.

To conclude this post, for now...

A3R is a great board game and simplified by necessity, but some of the rules concerning economics they have could easily be adapted into SC2.

CoS was a great computer game and many of their rules concerning economics, among other things, can be adapted into SC2.

SC takes it to a whole new level and SC2 could be the game of all strategic games. Ever.

Anything I can contribute, from ideas, to beta testing, etc. I would love to participate in.


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The beginning economic number for Germany is 120 MPP's. Now we get to the conquest and plunder within SC. Lets look at the "historical" path first. Plunder numbers are random, I have no idea what the formula is, nor should we try to figure it out. So the plunder numbers I am stating are from a game... your results could vary.

Nation .......Plunder........+Econ








The German base has now increased from 120 to 269 (124% increase). Better than double. And you get 2000 MPP's bonus. I gave the numbers for Yugo, but I consider that in the Italian "sphere of influence".

What about that 2000 MPP plunder? This all depends on playing style, but lets assume that half go into research and the other half go into units. That would be four (4) research chits, compared to the Allies five (5) chits (US 2, USSR 3). Most would get another Air, Army and 2 Corps (though I would contend that you should be getting HQ's, but that is another subject).

Now for the Axis Minors.


Hungary...............20.........1 Army, 1 Corp

Romania...............60.........2 Armies, 1 Corp

Bulgaria..............20.........1 Army, 1 Corp

TOTAL................100.........4 Armies, 3 Corps.

German base economy has now increased to 369. Three (3) times the initial base. And you get some units. It is not cost effective to invade those Axis minor nations, let them join you. If you invade, the plunder you get, will not make up for the lost units, and the additional economy is at 80%. Let them join you. Romania is the most important one, then Hungary, mainly because that increases the continuous border hexes with Romania.

All of this is generally done around 1941. 3R in '42 has Germany at 232 MPP's, which includes Finland. 369 vs 232... 137 MPP difference. In COS, Germany should have around 288 MPP's by the same time frame. 369 vs 288.... 81 MPP difference. HC is much harder to calculate. Germany can get twice easily, but has a much harder time trying to get three (3) times. It works out to around 2.5 times the base number. SC lets a "historical" Germany get much stronger than the other game systems do. But SC compensates for this by having a much stronger Russia.

So while the "historical" Germany would appear much stronger than it should be, and the US much weaker, the apparent weakness of the US and UK needs to be adjusted by the fact that the Russians are much stronger.

Now I am going get into trouble. In SC, the Allies are stronger than the Axis, even with the increased Italian economy. In fact, the earlier the US and USSR enter the war, the greater the advantage to the Allies.

Let me make one further point about Russia. Historically, the longer the Russians stayed out, the better it was for them. Why? Because they were strategically "surprised" when Germany invaded. SC does not reflect this. It took them some time to mobilize, though not as long as the US. SC does not reflect this. So it is to the Axis advantage, to keep the Bear out of it for as long as possible.

I will address the "non-historical" German approach in a different post.



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