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Deja Vu?

Shaka of Carthage

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This is from a Feb '98, Computer War In Europe (CWIE) "forum" (BWIE is the boardgame version of War in Europe). Units where Divisions, turns in weeks.


In a message dated 98-02-26 15:01:17 EST, you write:

I feel my position will be supported by playtest, as CWIE rule 10.3 continues to manifest that playing the Soviets in CWIE is not a fair proposition. I had overlooked this CWIE rule that differed from BWIE. It is another nail in the Soviet coffin.

Simply allow the Russians a free set-up from the beginning of the game like the Germans.

I think it is far easier to change it than to create a "free" Soviet set up or some other difficult coding situation.

Simply use the editor to turn on player control of Russia.

With artillery on rail, I used to terrorize the Germans in BWIE.

Sounds more like you are just upset that a pet strategy using house rules has been ruined. By the way, what other games use this tactic? All the games I know of dissallow other movement/combat if units use rail movement.

Apparently, the Germans got all the goodies in CWIE, and the Soviets got left at the train station.

I think it is quite silly to not allow player control of Russia. This gives the Russians lots of goodies to compensate for the German goodies.

Ned "Hey, Fred, that war on the eastern front was something."

Fred "Sure was, Ned. It could have gone either way."

Ned "Hey, you want to play a game and simulate this war?"

Fred "Sure! It should be a blast - a real nail biter."

Ned "O.K., I'll be the Germans and you can be the Russians."

Fred "Fine with me. This is a nice, even campaign. I'm happy playing either side."

Ned "Cool. Now here is where you set up your units. It is my best guess from the history books."

Fred "Sure. Now, did I get them all set up right?"

Ned "Looks good. Now I'll set up my units."

Fred "Hey, what are those units in the airborne box?

Ned "Oh, nothing. I just thought airborne units would help me in my campaign."

Fred "Uh, O.K. What are those, glider units?"

Ned "Yup, I really like them."

Fred "Do I see right? Do you have 9 Amph and 9 Naval units, there."

Ned "Sure, they really help grabbing Lenningrad."

Fred "Are those German artillary units?"

Ned "Yup. It's only fair. You start the game with three of them."

Fred "How come so many of your infantry divisions are motorized."

Ned "Oh, I feel the Germans were capable of them if they wanted them."

Fred "What are those 9 5-5's?"

Ned "Those are mountain units."

Fred "Uh, what are all those panzers doing here in Rumania?"

Ned "They give my forces down there some punch."

Fred "Why are we starting 6 weeks early?"

Ned "Don't want to waste good weather. Besides, I conquered Yugoslavia and Greece last year."

Fred "Uh, O.K. I think I'll rearrange my forces and have some of my bigger units on the board."

Ned "Fred!!! That wouldn't be historical! Are you trying to ruin the game?"

I usually don't include entire posts in such a short reply, but this is such an excellent example of the Russian player's dilemma!!!!


Sound familar?

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Very enjoyable reading. It is a problem. What do you suggest as a solution.

The possibilities are:

1) Set up Russia on the players first turn.

a) give him set amount of MPP, let him buy any type of units, place anywhere he wants.

B) give him prepurchased units, let him place anywhere he wants.

2) Set up Russia when it enters the war

a) give him set amount of MPP, let him buy any type of units, place anywhere he wants.

B) give him prepurchased units, let him place anywhere he wants.

3) Randomize placement of the units by the computer. (could also randomize total units also)

Idea 1 slows the beginning of the game down, but is much better than idea 2 which requires an extra turn to be taken at the DOW, as well as slowing the game down.

Idea 3 doesn't change the pace at all, and removes some of the pre planned moves, adding variety.

[ February 20, 2003, 02:56 PM: Message edited by: KDG ]

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One of the complaints Soviet Front commanders had in early and mid '41 was the liberties long range German high altitude aircraft were taking in flying over Soviet territory. The Germans had a good idea of where Soviet units, depos and fortifications were extending very far east; probably as far a Riga, Kiev and the Crimea.

Stalin did not raise a protest for fear of angering Hitler, nor did he allow any counter measures, including the sensible redeployment of troops, for the same reason.

It might be reasonable to allow redeployment later in the game, as Russian war readiness increases to 80% or so, a level they never reached historically. At that point it can be assumed Staling would have come to his senses and suspected something was brewing across the border.

Again, we come to the matter of whether or not this is possible in the game system. It would be the equivalent of saying, at 80% war readiness the USSR can have it's units moved by the Allies but it's still a neutral nation.

[ February 21, 2003, 11:42 AM: Message edited by: JerseyJohn ]

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I prefer the third option of slightly moving the starting positions of units each time. Have the two tanks be in a different postition so they aren't the first thing the Germans go for (at least require a bomber in the from line to see them before attacking them) sometimes have a army blocking an area instead of a corps, and vis-a-versa.

I only want some minor variation in the starting positions, with the computer choosing the positions. This makes each game slightly different when playing the computer (and sometimes even a human).

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I have no idea what the solution should be. Know why? Because we as players have more knowledge than our equivalents did. The problem I have with "random setups" is that all the conditions based on the situation may be invalidated now.

Example, you random setup Poland... if Poland lasts longer than three (3) turns, it is successful... since now the Russian readiness will start to rise. And what about France? What is to prevent them from invading Germany? We don't have the same constraints as our historical counterparts did.

I think what people are after would be better served by using a scenario where the major nations are given MPP's equivalent to thier startup forces and they get one turn to build what they want. But even then, you would have to have some sort of "gentlemans" agreement so that the inactive nations (Russia and Italy) were given a one turn grace after the DOW.

And this wouldn't satisfy the issue of minor nations setup being the same.

So maybe it is best just to leave it the way it is.

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KDG, a while back I made a similar suggestion as an option. Randomly offset each Russian unit not in a city to one of its adjacent controlled hexes. That way units would remain in their historical district, but slightly adjusted to prevent any perfect German invasion strategy from succeeding each time.

If we get Italy, Russia and the US as active neutrals in SC2, then players are free to set up units any way they want. This works OK in 3R so should work OK in SC2. How the AI would handle free setup is another matter. Perhaps a semi-historical template would work here, using the random offset idea above.

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